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You've Got Mail Passions Style - Part One
by JSP

     

Chapter 21

Luis arrived home later than expected. He and Jay had stayed after everyone left for a friendly game of one on one. Jay wasn’t sure she’d still be in Harmony after the roof repairs were finished and Luis had promised her a game. He smiled when he remembered how easily he’d beaten her and she immediately wanted a rematch. Luis had laughed and promised her one if she was still around when the Youth Center reopened or the next time she was in town. He always had a great time with Jay and today was no exception. He hoped she’d be around for awhile, but he knew her life was now in Beverly Hills. He was glad that she still made occasional visits to Harmony, because he didn’t know when he’d ever get out to California.

Try as he may, he never got back to the Book Cafe to send another email to KC. He felt terrible about that, but had a feeling that getting away in the afternoon would be difficult. He immediately sat down at his computer to send a note to KC when he saw he had two emails from her. A smile crossed his lips as he opened the first.

Dear Pezz,
Thank you for thinking of me, but don’t put yourself out getting back to me this afternoon. I probably won’t get a chance to read anymore mail till I get home this evening myself. Reading this one note from you is enough to get me through the rest of the day. :-)

Guess what I found this afternoon? I found a Wonderwoman Pez Dispenser! Can you imagine? Of all the luck! I wasn’t even looking for it, it was just there. They had quite a variety of them including Superman. I wanted to get it for you, but I had no idea where to send it. I know you said you know where Harmony is, but I have no idea how close that is. If you’re anywhere near here I got the Pez Dispenser at ‘Matushek and Company.’ I just thought I’d save you the running around.

Speaking of which, are you ever going to tell me where you live? Or do I have to wait until we meet? Sometimes I think you enjoy torturing me! LOL.

Well, I have to run. There is still work to be done.

Take care and I hope to hear from you soon,
KC

"Oh KC, if you only knew" Luis laughed. "Matushek and Company? That is too funny." Still smiling and shaking his head, Luis opened the second email.

Dear Pezz,
Well, I’m home now and absolutely exhausted. I had no idea I could ever be this tired, but it’s a good tired. Tomorrow promises to be an even busier day, as I probably won’t be home until late at night. By then I expect I’ll probably drop right into bed! LOL.

I guess you didn’t have time to sneak away again. That’s ok, I’m sure you were really busy and I can totally understand that. I guess this weekend crept up on both of us.

As much as I want to talk to you Pezz, I am really tired and will be going to bed shortly. If I wake up I’ll check to see if you are on line, but I feel like I could sleep for a week right now! LOL. I’ll write again in the morning, as I doubt I’ll be online at all tomorrow.

I’ll miss chatting with you, but I’m counting on Sunday to make up for it! :)
Miss you,
KC

"I do too KC" Luis grinned. "As a matter of fact, I know Sunday will make up for it. I have a feeling that Sunday will be a day I won’t soon forget."

Luis composed an email to KC and then decided he should probably turn in as well. After all, with the dance tomorrow, he would be very busy.



Sheridan awoke feeling completely refreshed. She was also excited as today was the day of the big dance. All of the families whose children attend the Youth Center would be there which was basically the whole town, with the exception of the Cranes and their cronies of course. That was fine with Sheridan, however, as she much preferred the kind of people the Youth Center catered to than the Country Club. There was just something so artificial about the "blue bloods" she was expected to hob nob with. She chuckled when she thought about what a disappointment she was to her family. Sometimes Sheridan really wondered if she wasn’t switched at birth. She, her father and brother saw eye to eye on only one thing. Nothing.

After she cleaned up and dressed, Sheridan pulled an outfit from her closet that she’d worn to a fiesta several summers ago in Spain. Marianna had helped her pick it out and told her she’d have every available male begging her to dance. Sheridan blushed at the memory, as Marianna was right. She did have numerous offers that night and when she went home after the festival, she had to soak her feet in hot water they ached so much from dancing.

She packed a small bag with her costume and some needed accessories and grabbed a quick glass of juice before she sat down at her computer to write to Pezz. Her heart began to pound when she realized that in a little over 24 hours she and Pezz would finally meet. It was the strangest sensation Sheridan had ever experienced. She was completely exhilarated at the prospect of meeting Pezz, yet scared to death at the same time. She remembered promising her internet buddies she’d bring a friend along, just to be safe and she hadn’t yet asked Jay to go with her. She made a mental note to ask her first thing this morning.

Having finished her juice, Sheridan sat down and checked her mail. She sighed with relief when she saw she had a note from Pezz and quickly opened it.

Dear KC,
Thanks for being so understanding for my not getting back to you this afternoon and it looks like I missed you tonight as well. I just got home a few minutes ago and I was hoping to catch you before you went to bed, but it doesn’t look like I made it.

It sounds like you had a grueling day. Mine wasn’t much better, but I know how you feel about a sense of accomplishment. I felt the same way after today. I wish I could do this all the time but it doesn’t pay the bills! LOL.

So things will be hectic for you too tomorrow? I wonder if we’re working on the same project? HA HA! Just kidding. It’s just that we seem to have the same schedule these past few days. Then again, this is nearly the end of summer and I imagine that there is lots going on all over the country never mind our sparsely populated state of Maine.

Thanks for the heads up on Matushek and Company. I know the place. It’s on 1st and Elm am I correct? LOL. How do I know that you may ask? The same reason I knew about the red bench under the lamp by the flower garden in Lighthouse Park. I told you I knew Harmony. ;-)

OK, time for a slight confession here. There is a reason I know Harmony, KC. It just so happens that I was born at Harmony Hospital. As a matter of fact, I was raised in Harmony and still live there. Harmony is that small little town I described to you when we first started emailing each other and it’s even smaller now that I know you live here as well.

Do you have any idea what I’ve been going through since I found out you were from Harmony? Every woman I see with blond hair and blue eyes that I don’t recognize I stop and stare at. They must all think I’m some kind of nut. You know, you might have picked a better time of the year to come home. This is tourist season and there are lots of unfamiliar faces. Had you come home in the dead of winter and I’d spotted you, I’d have known you in a heartbeat.

Just a few more hours KC. That’s all until we finally meet. Are you nervous? I hate to admit it, but I am. At least I won’t have much time to think about it tomorrow.

Sleep well my Angel. Have a great Saturday and I’ll see you Sunday.
Take care beautiful,
Pezz

"Pezz is from Harmony?" Sheridan exclaimed. "I don’t believe it! This is unbelievable! I wonder if I’ve seen him?" So many thoughts were going through her mind she almost forgot where she had to be today. She sent a quick reply to Pezz and flew out the door. The last thing she needed was to be late... Again.



Sheridan arrived a few minutes late this morning and waited for her nemesis to lay into her. To her surprise he said nothing. To confuse her even more, Luis brought a cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin over to where she was sitting talking with Jay. Jay gave Luis an encouraging wink, while Sheridan politely thanked him, yet she was in total shock.

"Is he sick this morning?" Sheridan asked Jay when Luis turned to leave.

"No, he’s not sick" Jay laughed. "But I think that Pilar and I are finally getting through to him and he’s starting to see past your last name."

"Well, that would be nice, but I don’t know if I can believe that just yet."

"I keep telling you Luis was really a nice guy. you just have to get past that gruff exterior he puts on for some people."

"By some people you mean me?" Sheridan asked frowning.

"In this case yes, I do mean you Sheridan" Jay answered.

"We’ll see how long it lasts" Sheridan said hesitantly. "I’m not ready to let my guard down quite yet."

"I can understand that" Jay said. "Luis hasn’t been the most pleasant person to be around where you’re concerned, but it looks like he’s lightening up around you. I guess we’ll have to see how the rest of the day goes."

Before Sheridan could respond, music came blaring out of every speaker in the Youth Center causing both Sheridan and Jay to cover their ears. As quickly as it started, it stopped.
"Sorry y’all" Chad grinned sheepishly. "I’m going to do a sound check now. I won’t let it get as loud this time."

"Good idea Chad" Luis said as he walked over to where Chad was playing with his equipment.

"How many speakers does he have set up in here?" Jay asked looking around the gym.

"I don’t know but I swear the building shook" Sheridan said as she looked around as well. "If that keeps up the Youth Center is going to need more than a few roof tiles." Sheridan couldn’t believe how elaborate the sound system was. She saw speakers in every corner of the gym as well as spread across the ceiling at just about every other rafter. The music sounded again and although it wasn’t quite as loud as the last time, it was still deafening. As Sheridan covered her ears, she saw one of the speakers in the center of the Gym’s ceiling shaking with the music. She nudged Jay and pointed at the ceiling. She tried yelling but there was no way she could be heard above the music.

Jay looked over at Sheridan but wasn’t sure what she wanted as the music was so loud she couldn’t think straight. Sheridan held her finger up signaling to Jay that she’d be back in just a minute. Sheridan got up and walked over towards Chad. She kept her eye on the speaker as she walked over to the sound system to have Chad stop the music.

Luis was right in her path but not looking at her. He was trying to get Chad’s attention to turn down the music. Chad had a funny look on his face as he tried to make out what Luis wanted. Sheridan kept her eye on the speaker and it began swinging dangerously from its position. Suddenly she saw the speaker break loose and begin to fall. It was positioned directly over where Luis was standing.

Without thinking, Sheridan broke into a run and with all her might she pushed Luis out of the path of the falling speaker. Chad finally got the hint and turned down the music. When the shock of the situation was over, Sheridan found herself lying on top of Luis.

Luis still wasn’t quite sure what happened, but couldn’t let this opportunity pass him by. "Why Sheridan" he said in a seductive whisper. "I never thought you’d be the dominating type. You know, all you had to do was ask." He gave her a quick wink.

Sheridan was completely taken aback by his reaction. She blushed at his insinuation and quickly got up from her position. Chad and Jay had come running over when they saw the speaker fall. "Luis! Luis!" Jay yelled. "Are you all right?"

"Of course I’m all right, why wouldn’t I be?" Luis asked.

Sheridan had completely walked away from the scene. She was embarrassed. Chad glanced quickly at Sheridan and then returned his attention to Luis. "Maybe because that speaker missed your head by a few inches man" Chad said as he pointed to the speaker which lay on the gym floor in the exact spot Luis had been standing before Sheridan shoved him out of the way. "Sheridan, she saved your life man."

"What?" Luis asked. He stared at the speaker, then looked at Sheridan, then at Jay who nodded acknowledging what Chad had told him. The reality of the situation finally hit home. It then dawned on him what he’d said to Sheridan. He’d accused her of coming on to him when all she was trying to do was save his life.

Luis looked over at Sheridan and felt like the biggest heel there was. Somehow, it didn’t matter what the circumstance, he always managed to think the worst or try to make Sheridan out to be the enemy. He couldn’t believe that she’d actually pushed him out of the way of that falling speaker. Luis picked up the speaker from the floor and felt its weight. He knew without a doubt that if that speaker had landed on his head he’d have been killed for sure. Despite what he thought of Sheridan, or rather her family, he owed her an apology.

Sheridan had returned to where she’d been sitting with Jay and was sipping on her cup of coffee with her back turned to Luis. Luis quietly approached her, preparing himself to apologize to her once again.

"Sheridan?" Luis called out softly.

Sheridan turned to face him and immediately her defenses went up. "Don’t worry Officer" she said icily, "I won’t come near you again. I wouldn‘t want you to misinterpret anything else I might do."

"Look, Sheridan, I’m really sorry. I know this probably sounds pretty lame, but I was only kidding. I had no idea what you were doing and it was the first thing that popped into my head."

"I’d hate to think what you might have accused me of had you actually been thinking Officer" Sheridan remarked tersely.

"Well, I wanted to say thank you" Luis said sincerely, managing to look directly into her deep blue eyes. "I really am sorry for what I said back there and I don’t think there is anyway I can ever thank you enough for saving my life."

Sheridan stared back into his golden brown eyes. There was something in his eyes, in the way he looked at her that was so familiar. There was also something that told her he was telling the truth, that he meant every word that he said.

"You’re welcome" She finally said, her tone softening considerably.

Luis flashed her his signature smile and nodded his head. Sheridan couldn’t stop a small grin from forming as she looked into his handsome face. Right now he was acting like the Luis she first met, the Luis Pilar and Jay talked so much about. It lasted only a moment, as Luis turned and went back to the sound system. He had to hurry and fix all those speakers to make sure none of them would come down at the dance.




Luis, Buzzy and Chad worked hard for the next few hours removing all the speakers from the ceiling. It was the best course of action to prevent a tragic accident from occurring. Once the speakers from the ceiling were removed and the others rearranged, Chad one again performed his sound check. The music was still loud, but by no means deafening. Luis seemed to be in a playful mood because he grabbed his mother and then Jay and began twirling them around the dance floor. Sheridan smiled as she watched the trio spin and whirl about the dance floor. She was amazed at how much fun Luis seemed to be having. She noted he had about the most beautiful smile she’d ever seen. She hadn’t had much of a chance to see him smile until today. Usually she was looking at him as he yelled at her through gritted teeth. She found herself almost wishing he didn’t hate her family so much because maybe...

"Sheridan, what are you thinking?" She said out loud as she shook herself from her thoughts. "Just remember, tomorrow at this time you will be meeting the man of your dreams." She smiled again when she imagined meeting Pezz and fought the thoughts that were threatening to surface that Pezz would look like Luis. As much as that man annoyed her, she couldn’t help but admire his good looks. A person would have to be blind not to notice.

By late afternoon just about everything was ready and Jay suggested that she and Sheridan shower and change so they would be ready when the kids all started to arrive. Jay took Sheridan to the locker room and got her everything she’d need.

"You go ahead and get started Sheridan" Jay said. "I need to get something out of my car."

"Sure thing Jay" Sheridan smiled as she grabbed her stuff and headed towards the shower.

Jay put her things in a locker when she heard Luis call her from outside the locker room.

"Yo, Jay are you in there?" Luis called.

"I’m getting ready to take a shower Luis" Jay answered as she walked towards the doorway. "What’s up?" She said when she finally reached him.

"Oh nothing really" Luis said with a huge grin on his face.

"What are you up to Luis?" Jay asked suspiciously.

"Up to?
ME? Jay, I’m hurt!" Luis said holding his hand over his wounded heart.

"Then get out of here Luis" Jay laughed as she gently pushed Luis out of the doorway of the woman’s locker room. "I have things to do if I'm going to be ready in time to greet the kids" Jay told him. "I suggest you go get yourself ready while you've got a few minutes free."

"Good idea Jay" Luis agreed. "I think I’ll go do that right now." Luis smiled at Jay and headed into the men's locker room. Jay watched the door of the men’s locker room for a moment, half expecting Luis to pop back out.

After waiting a few minutes and no Luis, Jay decided the coast was clear and ran quickly to her car to retrieve her costume which she’d left there earlier.

Luis waited several minutes inside the men’s locker room. "I think I’ve given her enough time" Luis said with a foxy grin on his face. "I wonder how she’ll react to an ice cold shower?" He walked back to the door of the men’s locker room and peered out to make sure no one was watching him. He then quietly stole away to turn off the hot water heater, thus giving Jay a surprise cold shower.

Sheridan stepped into the shower and turned the handle to hot. She placed her hand under the spray of water and adjusted the handle until she’d reached the precise temperature she wanted. She was never so happy to take a hot shower in her life as she was hot and sticky from all the work they’d done that day and her muscles were already beginning to ache.

Jay returned to the locker room and Sheridan was already in the shower. Since it was only the two of them in there, Jay decided to go over to the other side, thus allowing each of them plenty of space.

Jay hung her costume up in a locker and put her purse and the rest of her stuff in it as well. She then went and grabbed a couple of towels for herself from the shelf and returned to the bench in front of her locker to undress. She’d only gotten as far as her shoes when she heard Sheridan start to scream.

"What’s going on?" Jay asked herself immediately after Sheridan’s scream. She then got up and walked around the far side of the lockers about to check on Sheridan when she found herself stopping dead in her tracks. She jumped back a bit to keep from being seen.

"What happened?" Sheridan said wiping water from her eyes as she came out of the shower in nothing but her birthday suit. "The water suddenly turned to ice and I couldn’t find my..." Sheridan stood still when she saw Luis standing there looking like the cat who ate the canary holding her towel. At the moment he wasn’t looking at her, he was laughing uncontrollably.

"Well, well, well" Sheridan grinned slyly. "I see you’ve applied for the position of towel boy Officer. The job suits you."

Luis looked up only to see a very naked Sheridan in front of him. Sheridan’s blue eyes danced mischievously when she saw Mr. Macho turn about six shades of red. Nudity was not something that bothered her since in Paris it was widely accepted and she‘d spent most of her life there, but apparently it was affecting the very provincial Officer Lopez Fitzgerald. "Sh-Sh-Sheridan!" Luis exclaimed in complete shock.

Jay held her hand over her mouth so her giggles wouldn’t be heard.

"Is there something you wanted Officer?" Sheridan asked in a very sexy voice making absolutely no move to cover up. She loved the idea that Luis was so embarrassed over this situation that
HE created. She decided to use it to her advantage. She found it exhilarating to have the upper hand where Officer Lopez Fitzgerald was concerned.

Sheridan’s grin grew wider when she remembered what Luis had said to her earlier in the day. The temptation to give it right back to him was too great to pass up. "You know Luis" Sheridan said in the voice of a true temptress, "If you really wanted to see me like this, all you had to do was ask."

Try as he might, Luis couldn’t help himself. He swallowed hard as his eyes appreciated a full view of Sheridan’s perfect body. Despite his constant bickering with Sheridan, Luis knew she was beautiful, but he never imagined she was this beautiful and sexy at the same time. Hell, he never dreamed he’d be in this predicament. "No, I...I...I...I think this is all a big mistake" he finally sputtered.

"Oh?" Sheridan asked with disappointment in her voice. "You mean you didn’t come in here to give me my towel? How disappointing."

Luis finally managed to unglue his eyes from her voluptuous curves and held the towel out for her to take. "Here... Here is your towel" he said forcing himself not to look at her. Even though he wasn‘t looking at her with his eyes, the vision of her magnificent body was tattooed to his mind’s eye .

Sheridan walked towards Luis and took the towel from him, but not without making sure she touched his arm. She let her fingers linger on his arm just long enough to make sure he was affected by her. She raised a brow when she heard him inhale sharply. "Why thank you Officer" Sheridan smiled devilishly. "I’d love to give you a generous tip, but as you can see, I don’t have any pockets right now. Come see me later, will you big boy?"

Jay couldn’t take it any more. She was about to split a gut laughing. Not being able to hold it in any longer, Jay came out from behind the lockers laughing uncontrollably. "Oh Luis! If you could only see the look on your face right now!" Jay laughed.

"What are you doing over there, Jay?" Luis asked angrily. "You were supposed to be the one who got the cold shower!" Though his tone was angry, if the truth be known he was very pleased to have Jay there as a distraction from this mortifying moment.

Jay walked up to Luis, still laughing. She gave him the once over and whispered in his ear, "don’t look down big guy, but it looks to me like you’re the one who needs the cold shower!"

Despite her warning, Luis looked down and again turned several shades of red. Sheridan had put her towel on, so she was now covered, but Luis was still very much aware of her presence. "If you’ll excuse me, I’ll go turn the hot water heater back on. Sorry Sheridan!" He yelled over his shoulder as he literally bolted out of the women’s locker room.



Sometime later, Jay and Sheridan finished dressing and were just about ready to leave the locker room.

"Well Sheridan" Jay said as she put the final touches of her make up on, "This is it. It’s time for us to show this town who puts on the best End of Summer party."

Sheridan laughed as she fixed her jewelry. "I don’t know Jay, the story I heard about Luis’ friend Hank and last year’s party seems like it will be pretty tough to beat."

"Forget Hank! Forget last year!" Jay dismissed with a wave of her hand. "This year will be one for the books."

"You don’t have something sneaky planned do you?" Sheridan was suddenly alarmed by Jay’s complete confidence.

"No, of course not" Jay smiled. "I just have a feeling that everyone is going to have a wonderful time tonight."

Sheridan had finished putting on all of her jewelry except for one item. She furrowed her brow deep in thought wondering what she could possibly have done with her ring? She absentmindedly played with her finger that at one time her favorite ring decorated and couldn’t imagine what happened to it.

Jay noticed the worry on Sheridan’s face and wondered what happened to change her mood so suddenly. "Sheridan?" Jay asked, "What’s wrong?"

Sheridan shook her head in complete frustration. "Nothing really, it’s just that I can’t find my ring."

"Are you sure you had it on this morning when you came to the Youth Center?" Jay questioned.

"Positive" Sheridan answered. "I never take it off except when I’m in the shower."

"Well, do you remember taking it off when you showered here?"

"That’s just it Jay" Sheridan told her, "I don’t remember taking it off."

"Let me go look and see if maybe you left it in the shower." Jay walked over to the shower and looked inside. A few minutes she came back holding a sterling silver ring between her fingers. "Is this it?" Jay asked as she examined the intricately designed ring.

"Jay! You found it!" Sheridan squealed with delight.

"I don’t know Sheridan" Jay said as she read the inscription on the ring. "This has someone’s initials on it and I don’t see an "S". Jay struggled to read the inscription. "It looks like the initials are
KC? Jay looked at Sheridan and tried to hide the shock on her face.

"That’s mine Jay" Sheridan grinned. "Actually it was my mother’s ring and every time she wore it when I was a little girl I always wanted to play with it. I would always take it off my mother’s finger and read "KC" to her, even before I could read. Several years later, after she died, one of the family lawyers handed me the ring. I was willed most of my mother’s jewelry, but I wasn’t allowed to touch any of it until I was of age, but this one ring was given to me immediately. I remember how thrilled I’d been to receive it. When I looked at the ring to read the inscription, KC, all I could see was my mother smiling at me like she always did when I took the ring from her. My mother always teased me that I was definitely Katherine Crane’s daughter and after awhile she started calling me KC’sGirl." Sheridan fought back her tears as she remembered her mother fondly. Her death had been the saddest part of Sheridan’s life

"KC stands for Katherine Crane. Those are my mother’s initials" Sheridan finished her thoughts.

"That’s a very nice memory Sheridan" Jay said quietly as she handed Sheridan the ring. Jay fought back the urge to yell "YES!" Now she had the proof she’d been looking for. Sheridan Crane and KCGirl were the same person.

As Sheridan thought about KC’sGirl she suddenly remembered she had something important to ask Jay. "Oh Jay!" Sheridan exclaimed excitedly. "I have a favor to ask you."

"Sure Sheridan" Jay answered. "What is it?"

"Remember that cyber guy I told you about?" Sheridan asked, her cheeks blushing slightly.

"Yes, I remember" Jay said not letting any emotion show on her face.

"Well, I am supposed to meet him at Lighthouse Park tomorrow at noon and I was wondering if maybe you’d come with me?" She asked hopefully.

"I see you’re considering my advice and being cautious about meeting a stranger?" Jay grinned.

"You might say that" Sheridan smiled.

"I’d love to go with you Sheridan" Jay answered. "I’ll tell you what we can do. We’ll meet for a late breakfast at the Book Cafe and then we can walk over to Lighthouse Park from there. I’ll stay in the background and only come out if it looks like you’ll need some back up."

"That sounds wonderful Jay!" Sheridan said excitedly. She gave Jay a quick hug of thanks. Tomorrow would definitely be a day she’d remember. "Thank you so much!"

"Anytime Sheridan" Jay laughed. Jay had a feeling that Sheridan was definitely going to need some assistance after she met her cyber pal. She could almost see the fireworks now.

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