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Tax Time

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Tax Time
by DabbaDo

     

Part Eight: Closing the Books

Sheridan, Luis, and Martin set off for Harmony. What an exhausting couple of days it had been. Sheridan slept on the plane. Martin took the opportunity to talk with Luis. He looked over at Sheridan and said, "She’s really special, son. I am so glad to know that she survived that family."

Luis grinned and looked at the love of his life. "Yeah. She’s an amazing woman. Speaking of amazing women, are you nervous about seeing Mama? How are you going to explain all this to her? Do you want me and Sheridan with you?" Martin answered, "If I know your mother, she will forgive me without a second thought. I’m not worried about that. Pilar and I have a unique love. It will take time, but I know that she will understand why I did what I did. We’ve lost so many years, but we have so many more ahead of us. I only wish that I could have been there to see you grow up. Maybe I can have a second chance with my grandchildren." Martin grinned. Luis replied, "We’ll see. Sheridan and I both want children. Now that this whole mess is cleared up, we can start our life together."

Luis called Pilar from the airport and told her that he had a surprise for her. Pilar almost fainted when she saw Martin coming into the house. Sheridan and Luis let them have some privacy as Martin explained everything to Pilar. She was supportive. Together they explained the story to Theresa and Miguel. Most everyone in Harmony had heard the news.

With Sheridan’s testimony, Martin was absolved of any crime. Unfortunately saving Martin meant sparing her father. The authorities had no cause to arrest him. They cautioned Alistair that his actions were wrong and warned him that they would be looking into the matter further for a connection between Purcell and Lowry.

The police were not the only ones investigating Alistair Crane. With permission from Sheridan, Ed starting digging into Crane Industries and learned that Alistair was guilty of seven counts of tax evasion. Old man Crane would be paying some large fines and may even have to spend some time in the pokey. Sheridan was relieved to finally know the truth, but she felt sad that Luis had missed out on so many years with his father.

As Sheridan and Luis had a picnic in the park one afternoon, Luis asked, "Are you ok? You seem so quiet?" Sheridan answered, "It’s just that I feel responsible for all those years you missed with Martin. I know it was all just a twist of fate, but I still feel awful." Luis held her hand, "You have to believe that all this happened for a reason. If you think about all the things that could have happened, you will drive yourself crazy. Imagine, if things hadn’t played out his way, we may not be sitting her with each other today. I may not be looking into those big, beautiful, blue eyes that I love so much. You may not be holding my hand, knowing that I will always be here to take care of you. I may not be reaching into my pocket to pull out this ring and ask you to marry me."

That caught Sheridan off guard. Tears were welling up in her eyes as she watched Luis open the box and kneel down. "So, will you marry me, Sheridan Crane?" Sheridan could hardy speak, "Yes, Luis. Of course I will."

Everyone in town was so happy for Luis and Sheridan, but no one was happier than Hettie Breyer. She felt as though she were the one who brought this couple together. If she hadn’t insisted on climbing that poplar tree all those years ago, Sheridan might never have fallen into Luis’s arms.

As Hettie helped Sheridan get ready for her wedding, she remarked that Sheridan really needed a necklace to finish the look. Pilar had given Sheridan an antique handkerchief that belonged to Martin’s mother. It had the letter ‘F’ embroidered on it for ‘Fitzgerald’. This was perfect for ‘something old’. Sheridan’s pale blue garter belt would suffice as ‘something blue’. Theresa lent Sheridan her lucky penny to put in her shoe for ‘something borrowed’.

Now, her oldest friend Hettie was giving her ‘something new’. Sheridan opened the box. Inside was a beautiful heart shaped locket. Inside the locket, were two small pictures, one of Luis as a young boy that Pilar had provided and one of Sheridan as a child.

On the back of the locket, was an inscription. It simply had two interlocking ‘F’s and the names below, Felix and Flora. Sheridan hugged her friend and said, "Great. Now you’re going to make me cry."

Just then, Tommy Breyer knocked on the door and said, "Well, are you ready, Shakes? It’s now or never." Tommy had agreed to walk Sheridan down the isle since Alistair was busy making license plates. As the music began to play, Sheridan started down the isle, as all her friends watched. She saw Luis waiting for her and remembered that summer day when he caught her underneath the poplar tree. She knew that Luis would always be there to catch her when she fell. Luis felt like the luckiest man alive to have that responsibility.

THE END

       
     

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