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Tax Time

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Tax Time
by DabbaDo

     

Part Three Ė Confessions

Sheridan felt a sense of relief from her conversation with Julian. She had not killed anyone; she was sure she could trust Julian on this point. However, she knew that something sinister had happened all those years ago. If it had anything to do with Martin Fitzgerald, Sheridan would discover the truth. She owed it to Luis.

Sheridan looked again at her watch. Where was Luis? They were supposed to meet at the Youth Center for lunch. Sheridan sat down on a chair in his office. She reached into her purse and pulled out the mail she had stuffed in there earlier.

A letter from Hettie! It had been ages since she heard from her. Just as she was about to open the letter, Luis came up behind her. "Hey, sweetie! Sorry Iím late." Usually, Luis never kept her waiting. In fact, it was almost always the opposite. "Busy day?" Sheridan asked. "Yeah. First day back. Playing catch up." Luis confessed.

Sheridan felt so guilty because his trip to Paris was the reason he was behind on his work. He realized this and added, "Hey, it was well worth it though. How many people get to spend two weeks in France with the woman they love? All the guys at the station are jealous. Plus, you made me look like a hero."

Sheridan smiled, knowing that he was telling her this to make her feel better. She replied, "Well, if you donít have time for lunch, I totally understand, Luis." Luis touched her cheek and answered, "No way, Crane. Youíre not getting out of our date that easily. I know youíve got some hot love letter you want to read, but it will have to wait until after our lunch." Sheridan explained, "Itís just a letter from an old friend, a girlfriend." Luis was happy to know that.

Luis and Sheridan went by The Harbor Market to pick up some sandwiches and salads. They headed to Lighthouse Park and set up the blanket under the old Oak Tree. Luis poured a glass of lemonade for Sheridan and handed it to her. He noticed that she seemed very relaxed and happy. Whatever had been troubling her the night before had passed.

He asked, "How does it feel to be back in Harmony?" Sheridan replied, "It feels wonderful. I had breakfast with Ethan this morning and talked with your Mom. Itís really nice to see everyone. And I even had a decent conversation with Julian." Luis almost choked on his sandwich, "Julian? What did you two talk about?" Sheridan offered, "The past, the present, and even the future a bit. Weíre by no means the best of friends now, but we have come to an understanding, and he knows how I feel about you."

Luis smiled and put his arms around her waist, "And what exactly did you tell Julian about us?" Sheridan looked straight at him and said, "Just that I love you very much and that if he tries to interfere, I will make his life a living hell." Sheridan saw the happiness and pride spread across his face. She continued, "I have no real proof that Julian or Father was behind the misunderstanding at the wharf, but I put Julian on notice that we will get to the bottom of it."

Luis wasnít quite satisfied, "Misunderstanding? Sheridan, someone pretended to be me. Do you know how strange that feels?" Sheridan answered, "Iím the one who had to sit and listen to you, or not really you, say some terrible things about me. Do you have any idea of how much it hurts to have someone you care about say theyíre using you?"

Luis had a pretty good idea. After all, Sheridan claimed to be using him. Sheridan remembered, "Oh yeah. I guess you do know what thatís like. I am so sorry for the things I said. I had no right to slap you. I just didnít want you to know how much you had hurt me." Luis didnít want to go there again, "Letís just forget about it. I donít like to think about that time."

Sheridan continued to relay the details of her meeting with Julian, "Luis, thereís more you need to know about my talk with Julian. He told me some things about my past. I still have a lot of questions, and Iím hoping that together we can find the answers."

Sheridan watched as Luis took all this in and she added, "Luis, I asked Julian about your father. Julian claims that he and Father had nothing to do with Martinís disappearance, but my gut tells me they did. And I think that I may know something about it. I believe that the nightmares Iíve always had may be the key to your Fatherís disappearance."

There, she had gotten it all out and the world had not ended. Luis was still there next to her and she was okay. Luis looked at the ground and remained silent while he processed all this information. He finally spoke up, "Thatís what your dreams are about? My father?" Sheridan explained, "Well, I donít know for certain, but theyíre pretty disturbing. And as I told you before, they started around the time Martin disappeared. I hope you know that I wanted to be honest with you from the start, but I didnít really know how to talk about this with you. I have no proof of anything and even my nightmares are so vague. I didnít even realize there may be a connection between my nightmares and your fatherís disappearance until a few months ago, right before we went to Santa Fe."

It was all starting to make sense to Luis now. He asked, "And thatís the reason you went to Santa Fe? To give yourself some piece of mind?" Sheridan held his hand and answered, "Yes and no. I needed to know my involvement in your fatherís disappearance. I was so young at the time. I donít remember ever knowing him. I wasnít lying to you when I told you I wanted to find answers for Pilar. Thatís the truth. I love your mother, and she deserves to know what really happened. And so do you. I canít stand seeing you in pain, Luis. I want you to know what happened, even if that means bringing down my family."

Their plans for a relaxing picnic had turned into a heavy discussion. Without even realizing it, an hour and a half had passed. Luis needed to get back to work. Luis glanced at this watch. Sheridan asked, "I know you need to go. Are we ok? Please tell me that you arenít angry. Please tell me you donít hate me."

Luis was overwhelmed by all this new information, but he was so relieved that Sheridan finally trusted him enough to tell him the truth. He held her in his arms, "Of course I donít hate you. I could never hate you Sheridan. Donít you know that by now? Iím just thinking about it all. I knew that you were hiding something from me, but it never occurred to me that it might have something to do with my father. I guess Iím just desperate to find out the truth, and yet Iím scared as to where this might lead."

Sheridan knew that Luis was afraid that if they proved what he suspected all along, that the Cranes were responsible for Martinís disappearance, that it might destroy their relationship. He kissed her goodbye and said, "Weíll talk about this more tonight, Sher. Weíre going to find out what really happened. We can solve this together." Sheridan was glad that he said Ďtogetherí.

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