Sheridan and Jay made plans to meet early for breakfast
at the Book Cafe before Sheridanís first day at the Youth Center. As pleasant as Jay was to Sheridan, she was still
reeling from the hurtful remarks Luis made to her. She was really wondering if coming home was such a good idea.
An hour ago no one could have said anything to her to make her think sheíd made a wrong choice, but in an instant
everything had changed.
Somehow right now there was only one person Sheridan wanted
to talk to and that person was Pezz. When she emailed him or chatted with him, she felt a sense peace and harmony.
He made her feel as though she were special. Special in a way no one had ever made her feel.
Walking into her cottage, she had only one thing on her
mind. She dropped her purse on the couch and walked over to her computer to compose an email to Pezz. She was a
little early for their "date" if they even had one. After all, she hadnít been home all day to see if
heíd responded to her invitation. Checking her mail, she smiled when she saw one from Pezz.
Eight Oíclock? I wouldnít miss it for the world.
Sheridan sighed as she began typing an email to Pezz. She
knew it would be less than an hour when he came online, but she felt the need to write to him. Somehow it made
her feel closer to him. "Maybe I should send him an easy clue?" She said as she typed her email. "Then
we can meet and it might make living here bearable."
Luis listened to his mother the entire way home talk about
how wonderful a person Sheridan is and how disappointed in his behavior she had been. Luis knew his mother was
right of course. Heíd lost his cool when he heard the name Crane, but sometimes he couldnít help himself. He hated
that family and regardless of how "nice" Sheridan was, it was going to be difficult for him to overcome
As he climbed out of his jeep, he noticed the sky which
had been cloudless all day, had suddenly become dark. ĎHow
fittingí he thought. It fit his mood perfectly.
The faint sound of thunder could be heard in the distance and he knew it was going to rain any minute.
"Mama, Iím going to put the lawnmower away before
it rains" Luis told her as his mother headed for the house. "From the looks of these clouds I think itís
going to be a doozy."
"Of course Luis" Pilar said. She then disappeared
into the kitchen of the Lopez Fitzgerald home.
Absentmindedly, Luis began gathering all the gardening
tools that had been left out and put them in the shed. He couldnít shake the lousy feeling he had when he joined
his mother in the kitchen.
"Dinner will be ready shortly Luis" Pilar told
"Iím really not hungry Mama" Luis replied.
"Hijo, you must eat" Pilar said with a worried
expression on her face.
"Maybe later Mama" Luis replied. "Iím going
up to my room."
Without another word, Luis disappeared through the swinging
door to the living room and ascended the steps to the second floor. As he climbed the stairs he saw a flash of
lightening from the window at the top and knew the storm wasnít far away. It was followed shortly by a louder roll
of thunder than heís heard earlier.
None of it mattered to him right now. All he wanted to
do right now was talk to KC. She always seemed to brighten his day and right now he definitely needed some cheering
up. He knew he was early for their chat, but decided to wait there by the computer so he could catch her when she
came on line.
Luis was pleasantly surprised to find an email waiting
for him. He smiled for the first time since he found out the beautiful damsel in distress heíd helped earlier in
the day was really a Crane. In a way he was relieved things had turned out the way they had. Heíd almost felt guilty
for being so attracted to her when they first met. What he wanted more than anything right now was to meet KC in
person. He knew she lived within a few hours drive and he felt the need to meet the person that had captured his
heart and soul in a way heíd never imagined. He didnít even want to think how this had happened, he just knew it
had. Wasting no more time on his thoughts, he opened KCís message.
How I wish Iíd been fortunate enough to come home to a town as you described in your notes, but unfortunately it
seems that my hometown is anything but what itís name describes. Oh Pezz, I met the most arrogant, hateful man
today. All I wanted to do was pack up and move back to Paris. At least in a big city itís possible to avoid seeing
someone you detest on a daily basis. Iím not so sure itís possible here. You were right about one thing, a small
town is definitely a place where everybody knows your name.
Iím sorry if I sound down, except for this one incident, I really
have enjoyed being home. My nephew has been wonderful as have new and old friends alike. I even have a job that
I will be starting tomorrow, which is probably the only thing that is keeping me here.
Iíve been thinking a lot lately about clues for out little game.
Iíve decided to make my clues easier. The sooner this game is over, as much fun as it has been, the sooner we can
meet. My thoughts have been all but consumed lately trying to figure out how close we really are to each other.
Even though weíve never met, I feel I can trust you more than just about anyone I know. I feel a connection to
you I canít explain to myself, never mind describe. Itís as if weíre in perfect synch with one another. I know
that despite all the curves life chooses to throw at me, the one constant I can count on is you. The highlight
of my day is signing on to the computer finding I have mail from you. When I read mail from you, nothing else matters.
If only youíd been the man I met today instead of that Neanderthal
I had the misfortune of bumping into, my entire outlook would be different.
My clue is "unison." Itís not as difficult as you
may think. Look it up.
Counting the minutes until eight oíclock.
"Look it up? Look it up? What on earth does she mean
by that? I know what unison means" Luis said thoughtfully. Not wanting to miss anything, Luis grabbed the
dictionary off his shelf and was about to look up "unison" when he heard music to his ears. He put the
book down and turned back to his screen. He took a deep breath when he saw that KC had IMíd him.
Hi Pezz, Iím so pleased to see you online tonight.
[PezzMan] Iíll always be here for you KC. Iím sorry you had such a bad experience
today. I had a rather unpleasant experience myself today.
[KCGirl] Why do some people have to be so cruel Pezz?
[PezzMan] I wish I knew angel. Maybe the guy was just having a bad day! LOL. Sometimes
circumstances cause us to act in a manner we wouldnít ordinarily.
Luis was thinking about how his own deplorable actions
earlier in the day. Never in his life had he treated a woman with such disrespect and for that he felt terrible,
but the mere fact that a woman he found himself attracted to was a Crane sent him into a near rage.
I canít imagine you ever acting in such a way.
[PezzMan] I wish I could tell you Iím perfect, but Iím far from it. Hey, try not to
let this beast bring you down. You need to show him he doesnít get to you. Maybe thatís what he was trying to do.
[KCGirl] Oh he was trying to get to me and it worked all right.
Sheridan shuddered when she heard a loud clap of thunder
outside. "Perfect" she thought frowning.
"I wish there were something I could do to make her
feel better" Luis said. He then found himself chuckling as an idea popped into his head.
I wish I could be there in person to make you feel better KC. Can I send you a big hug via IM?
"God, he is so sweet" Sheridan said to herself.
"So unlike that macho cop I met earlier today." She almost forgot about the storm brewing outside and
the lousy way sheíd been feeling most of the evening.
That would be very nice Pezz. :-)
[PezzMan] OK, close your eyes and imagine yourself being pulled into a warm embrace.
Iím holding you until you forget all about your bad experience with that absolute idiot today. Iíll gently stroke
your silky blonde hair (donít forget, I think of you with blonde hair ;-)) and watch all the tension from your
Luis sighed as he imagined himself actually holding her
in her arms. He could only imagine how sweet her scent would be, how soft her skin...
Sheridan grinned. She closed her eyes and imagined a pair
of strong arms wrapping themselves around her holding her tight. She could almost feel his large hands caressing
her hair. A smile crossed her face that she couldnít seem to get rid of.
Pezz, I could almost feel that hug. Thank you.
[PezzMan]Youíre welcome. Just say the word and Iíll do what I can. :-)
[KCGirl] Watch out what you promise. I might just take you up on one of them.
[PezzMan] How did the rest of your first day go? You did say you were enjoying being
home except for that one unfortunate incident?
[KCGirl] Truthfully the rest of my day went very well. I had a chance to catch up
with the person who I was closet too besides my nephew and I took a walk around town. I even went down to the pier
and watched the fishermen unloading their boats. I couldnít help but think of you as I did. :)
[PezzMan] Was it as you remembered?
[KCGirl] Actually it was better. For the first time in a very long time I felt I
was in a place I could think of as home.
[PezzMan] See, I knew youíd like it!
[KCGirl] Donít get too excited. If I have many more run in with the Neanderthal man
Iím out of here.
[PezzMan] Donít let him get to you KC. You can't let one first class jerk ruin it
for you. You need to be better than he is.
[KCGirl] I donít know if I can do that Pezz.
[PezzMan] Sure you can! Donít stoop to his level, but donít give him an inch either.
[KCGirl] Iíll try, I promise.
[PezzMan] Good girl!
[KCGirl] Can we talk about something else?
[PezzMan] Of course. What would you like to talk about?
[KCGirl] Hmm, letís see.
Sheridan smiled, gently biting her bottom lip as she typed
her next line.
May I ask you a personal question?
[PezzMan] Uh oh, Ok, you win, I give up. I have brown hair as well as brown eyes.
Actually itís almost black.
Thank you for telling me that! :--) Now Iíll have more details for my dreams, but that wasnít my question.
Luis felt his heart skip a beat.
You dream about me?
Sheridan thought back to the last dream sheíd had about
the tall dark man with no face. The one whose eyes sheíd seen for the first time which reminded her of what Pezzís
eyes must be like. The dream she would have sworn he called her KC. There was something so familiar about those
eyes now, almost as if sheíd really seen them...
Well, Iím not sure.
[PezzMan] Youíre not
sure? Now Iím confused.
Youíll probably laugh when I tell you this.
[PezzMan] Iíll never laugh at you.
[KCGirl] Thank you for that. Honestly Iíve been having similar dreams all my life.
Dreams about a tall dark stranger that comes to my rescue.
Luis found himself disappointed that the dreams werenít
about him. He sighed slightly.
[KCGirl] Iím not sure you do see Pezz. The other night I saw this manís eyes. Heís
never had a face before. His eyes looked exactly as I imagine yours would look. I could even swear he called me
KC. Heís never called me that before, heís always used my given name.
Luis couldnít keep the grin from spreading across his face.
What? PezzMan: Iíve had a few dreams about you too. :)
Yeah. Iíve never admitted that to anyone. Actually my mother knows. Sheís woken me up both times. She heard me
calling your name out in my sleep.
"He dreams about me too!" Sheridan whispered.
Suddenly the connection she felt to Pezz was that much stronger.
Pezz, what do you think this means?
[PezzMan] I wish I knew angel.
Sheridan grinned happily when she saw him call her "angel"
again. Her cheeks were red and she just couldnít get over the feelings she had every time she talked to him, read
one of his letters or even thought about him. This man sheíd never met, never heard the sound of his voice made
her feel things she never dreamed possible.
Do you realize this is the second time tonight youíve called me angel?
"Luis you are such an idiot" he chastised himself.
Iím sorry. I donít mean to make you uncomfortable. Iíll stop. [KCGirl] Donít be sorry. I donít mind, really.
[PezzMan] You donít?
Sheridan shook her head gently in amusement.
No Pezz. Would you believe I actually blushed when I read it? [PezzMan] You did? :-) Ok, I wonít stop calling you angel then. It fits you.
Boy am I glad you canít see me right now. :)
[PezzMan] Someday soon I hope I do see you.
Sheridan suddenly remembered the clue sheíd sent him. He
hadnít mentioned anything about it. Outside her cottage the summer storm was becoming fierce. She nearly jumped
out of her skin when she heard the latest roll of thunder which was followed almost immediately by a large flash
of light. "I wish he was here right now" she said.
Did you get my clue?
[PezzMan] YES! I was just about to look it...
Just as Luis was typing that last line he heard another
huge crack and saw a flash of bright light and then everything went dark.
"What the hell?" Luis yelled when his computer
went black. "Damn it! He jumped up from his desk in complete frustration.
"Luis? Hijo?" Pilar called from the hallway.
"Do you know where the candles are?"
Luis joined his mother in search of candles. It was anyoneís
guess when the power would return, and without power, there was no sense in staying in his room.
Sheridan awoke the next morning, relieved to see her alarm
clock flashing 12:00. She jumped out of bed and saw it was 7:30. "Thank God" she said as she headed for
the bathroom. "I have to meet Jay at the Book Cafe in an hour. At least I didnít oversleep. Iíd hate to see
how Mr. macho man would react to my being late on my first day."
Sheridan showered quickly as she wanted to get a note off
to Pezz before she left. She didnít want him to think sheíd just shut down on him. She hoped he didnít think her
so rude as to do that.
Checking her email she was surprised to see sheíd received
an online greeting card. With a grin on her face she went to the site and burst out giggling when she saw who it
was from. Pezz had sent her a card.
In all itís animated glory, Sheridan read the card from
KC, Hugs make the world a sweeter place, angel.
Everyone needs a hug, so here is a big bear hug From me to you. Have a Great Day. Pezz
She couldnít keep the grin off her face as she watched
the two little teddy bears embracing while watching a sunset. She noticed there was another message at the bottom.
Iím sorry about last night. We had a huge storm rip through town and we lost power. Iím not sure when it came back,
sometime during the night I think. I DID receive your clue and I DO want to talk to you about it. NOW in fact,
but I have to go to work.
Care to meet me tonight around eight? Iíd prefer in person but
Iíll settle for online, for now anyway.
Have a better day today,
Sheridan left her cottage this morning with a renewed spirit.
Despite the fog and light mist that was falling on this August morning, Sheridanís mood couldnít have been brighter
if the sun were shining on her alone.