"Well, it may not look like much, but it’s home now," Sheridan sighed. She was still very sad about the
way she had left things with her family, but this had to be done. They would never leave her alone. Luis dropped
the last box on the floor and looked around Sheridan’s new apartment. To call it bleak was an understatement. He
wasn’t thrilled about the neighborhood either, but it wasn’t his place to say anything. He and Sheridan had agreed
to start slow this time. This was a big step for Sheridan, and he wanted to support her decision to cut off all
ties with her family.
Luis watched as Sheridan looked around the room, then out the window at the Pier below. "You don’t have to
sleep here tonight, Sheridan. Why don’t you come home with me? We can come back in the morning and I will put a
new lock on the door and make sure this place is secure." Luis offered. Sheridan smiled, "No, Luis. I
appreciate the offer, but I am going to be just fine. I have everything I need…a telephone, a refrigerator, a bed…"
There wasn’t much in the apartment, but in a neighborhood like this, that was probably a good thing. "Thank
you so much for helping me with these boxes, but I know you need to get home." Sheridan said.
Luis had no intention of going home, but he didn’t want Sheridan to think he was lurking. He said, "Fine,
but call me on my cell phone if you need anything. I mean it. I can be here in an instant." Sheridan nodded.
She walked him to the door and gave him a small kiss. He wanted to stay there all night and kiss her, but he didn’t
want to rush her. She had enough to worry about these days.
Sheridan unpacked a few things. It was late. She heard noises coming from the other apartments. People screaming,
children crying, dogs barking. This would take some getting used to, but it had been difficult finding a place
to live in Harmony that wasn’t owned by the Cranes. She felt good about her decision. She could stand on her own
Sheridan got ready for bed. The rest of the unpacking would wait until tomorrow. There were clean sheets on the
bed and she was so tired. It was a warm night and the breeze from the harbor would cool things down. That meant
sleeping with the window open, but it was such a nice night. She took a shower and put on her pajamas, pale blue
shorts with a sleeveless matching top that had little scallops along the edges. She got into bed and fell fast
A noise woke her. It was a cat, knocking over a trashcan outside. Then she heard a creaking sound from above. Her
apartment was on the top floor. Could someone be on the roof? She debated calling Ethan or Luis. I need to stand
on my own. Anyway, Ethan has enough to worry about with his life. The truth had come out about Sam being his father.
Sheridan stood by him, but things were tense. Luis had urged her to call him for any reason. She looked at the
clock. It was 1:10 AM. Too late, but maybe he was up.
She dialed the number. Luis picked up on the first ring. "What’s up, Sheridan? Do you need me to come over?"
He said as though he had been waiting for her call. She wondered if he had even been to sleep yet. "Luis,
did I wake you?" He answered no. Sheridan continued, "I just keep hearing noises, but you don’t need
to come over. I just wanted to talk." "Why don’t I just stop by? I am in the neighborhood." Luis
revealed. "In the neighborhood?" Sheridan asked as she got up to pour herself a glass of water. "Yeah.
In fact I am coming up the stairs. Now, I am at your door." Luis added.
Sheridan walked over to the door and began to open it. There stood Luis on his phone. He continued talking to her
on the phone, although they were face to face. Luis thought how beautiful she looked, standing there in her pajamas.
He said, "You know, you really shouldn’t answer the door without checking first, and you should never open
the door wearing just that." Sheridan played along. "Oh, really? Well thanks for the tip. You can go
now." She closed the door in his face. He put his arm in the door to stop it from closing. They both laughed.
Sheridan fixed a beer for Luis. "So I guess you’ve been out there all night waiting for me to call. You were
probably taunting that cat. It was probably you on the roof making those creaking noises." Sheridan remarked.
Luis looked concerned. "Someone was on your roof? I’ll go check it out." Sheridan pulled his arm. "No,
Luis. It’s an old building. It probably just makes noises. I’ll get used to it." Luis held her hand. "Well,
I am not leaving you alone tonight. I’ll sleep on the…" Luis looked around. Sheridan didn’t have anything.
He continued, "I’ll sleep right here…on the floor."
Sheridan smiled, " Come on, Luis." She grabbed his hand and led him to the bedroom. "I am too tired
to argue with you. You can sleep in my bed." She offered. Luis looked shocked. "Are you sure, Sheridan?"
He asked, uncertain as to what was going to happen if he stayed the night. Sheridan laughed, knowing what he was
thinking, "Sure, Luis. I think you can be trusted. You behaved yourself in Santa Fe, and we didn’t have any
clothes on that night." They both thought back to that evening and smiled. Luis took off his shirt and pants.
He was still wearing his boxer shorts. They got into bed together and Sheridan turned off the light. Luis joked,
"Sure, maybe I can be trusted, but can you?" Sheridan whispered, "Goodnight Luis." Luis sat
there in the darkness, completely aroused by their closeness. How would he ever get to sleep?