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You've Got Mail
Passions style-
Part Two

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 to be continued


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

     

Chapter 23

Sheridan waved good bye to Tammy Kralik and her family as Robert’s Blazer pulled out of the parking lot of the Youth Center. Sheridan was exhausted both physically and mentally and her feet were killing her. She grimaced with each step as she walked back into the Youth Center.

Once inside, Sheridan leaned up against the door as it closed shut. She just needed to rest her eyes for just a minute before she changed back into her jeans and Nikes to help with the cleanup. Almost as soon as she closed her eyes, Sheridan regretted it as a vision of Luis caressing her cheek entered her mind and all she could hear was the song Un Amor that they’d danced to not that long ago.

Sheridan shook her head to rid it of her thoughts and opened her eyes. When she heard Luis’ voice, she shook it again, trying to rid him from her thoughts once and for all. Once her eyes were fully open and she stood away from the door did it dawn on her that it really was Luis’ voice she was hearing.

She walked towards the voice only to find Luis and his mother saying good night to each other outside his office. She smiled slightly, pleased that she’d not lost all self control. As she started to walk towards the locker room she heard them talking and although she was not eavesdropping, she couldn’t help overhearing their conversation.

"You did an amazing job tonight hijo" Pilar beamed, proud of her son.

"Thanks Mama, but I had a lot of help you know" Luis said. "You should know, you were a big part of it."

"All I did was cook Luis. I do that every year, but this year you outdid yourself."

"Jay is the difference Mama" Luis smiled. "I’ll tell you, it’s really been nice having her back in Harmony. I wish there was something I could do to convince her to stay, but she’s having too much fun out in Beverly Hills to ever come back to this boring little town."

Sheridan was just about to go inside the locker room when she heard Luis talk about Jay. She stopped and smiled when she found herself agreeing with Luis about that one. She and Jay had become friends since she returned to Harmony and she hated the idea that Jay would be leaving soon herself.

"Yes, I know Jay loves California" Pilar remarked.

"And as much as I detest admitting this" Luis said with a slight frown, "Sheridan Crane has really been a big help too. I have to tell you, she really surprised me with how she came through for us at the last hour." Luis laughed suddenly. "And to think, she did it all herself, she didn’t have her butler do any of it for her, or at least I don’t think she did."

Sheridan frowned slightly and rolled her eyes. Typical Luis, at least when it came to her.

"Hijo!" Pilar exclaimed. "I’ve told you repeatedly that Sheridan is not like that. And if you truly believed she was just like her father and brother then please explain that tango you danced with her earlier?" Pilar stood there eyeing her son as she waited to hear what excuse he would come up with.

Sheridan caught her breath. She cocked her ear a little closer towards Luis’ office to hear his response.

Luis averted his mother’s gaze. "That was nothing, really Mama" Luis said with a sheepish grin.

"Luis, that dance was NOT nothing" Pilar informed him.

"Mama, I dance the tango like that no matter who I dance it with" Luis said trying to dismiss his mother’s whole notion as pure fantasy.

Suddenly Sheridan felt the need to leave. She wasn’t sure she wanted to hear anymore, but she couldn’t tear herself away.

"I’m sorry to disagree with you Luis" Pilar answered him shaking her head, "but from what I saw, there is something going on with you and Sheridan."

"Mama, there is NOTHING going on with me and Sheridan" Luis said adamantly "and there never will be. For crying out loud Mama, she’s a Crane! The Cranes are evil people and there is no way in hell I will ever get involved with one of them."

Sheridan closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She knew she should have followed her instinct. She definitely didn’t want to hear this conversation. Not again.

"Luis" Pilar said quietly, "You can’t hold Sheridan responsible for the actions of her family. She is truly a good person and deserves to be judged on her own merits not those of her family."

"Mama, please listen to me" Luis asked patiently. "Sheridan’s not as bad as the rest of her family. I’ll admit that much, but she’s still a Crane. I don’t think there is anything that could ever make me forget that. I’ll be civil towards her while she works at the Youth Center, but beyond that I want nothing to do with her. We shared a tango. It was nice, but that’s all it was. It will never be any more."

Sheridan finally heard enough. She fought back the tears that threatened to surface and quietly slipped into the locker room unseen. She sat down on the bench in front of the lockers and sighed. Her heart was heavy and she didn’t really know why. Until today, she could barely stand the sight of this man and now he was getting to her.

"Don’t think about it Sheridan" she said to herself as she took the shoes off her aching feet. "He means nothing to you so there is no reason for you to be so upset. Concentrate on tomorrow. Tomorrow will be the first day of the rest of your life." A smile crept on her face when she realized the impact that statement really held. Tomorrow she would meet Pezz. Sheridan began to changed her clothes, her thoughts now consumed with a man who would never be so petty as to prejudge her. A man who wanted her as much as she wanted him.



Jay walked into the locker room and found Sheridan sitting there slowly placing her personal items in a bag. Her expression was solemn. "Sheridan, are you all right?" Jay asked, noticing the forlorn expression on her face.

"Everything is fine Jay" Sheridan smiled half heartedly. "I’m just tired, that’s all. I just need a few minutes to finish gathering my stuff and then help with the clean up."

"You know what?" Jay said. "Why don’t you just go home now. I’m sure Luis won’t mind. There’s really not that much left to do and he and I can finish up without any trouble."

"Are you sure you wouldn’t mind Jay?" Sheridan asked hopefully. She really did want to go home and take a hot bath and go to bed.

"Not a bit" Jay grinned. "I’m going to change myself and then finish up. And don't worry about Luis, I'll tell him that I told you to go home."

Sheridan smiled warmly at Jay. "Thanks."

Jay walked over to the other side of the locker room and quickly changed. When she came back, Sheridan was still sitting there. "We’ll meet at the Book Cafe around 11:00?" Jay asked.

Sheridan looked up. "That sounds great Jay. I really appreciate you coming with me."

"Not a problem Sheridan" Jay exclaimed. "I’m happy to do it. But if you don't get moving pretty soon, Luis and I will be out of here before you."

Sheridan smiled. "Good night Jay."

"Night Sheridan." Jay walked out of the locker room and Sheridan decided it was time to change and go home. That hot bath was looking better by the minute.



Sheridan gathered all her belongings and walked out of the locker room into the gym. She saw that most of the clean up indeed had been done, mostly it was paper trash left to be disposed of. She saw Luis and Jay picking up the remaining papers and decided it was time to go. She’d already said goodnight to Jay and she really wasn’t in the mood to make pleasantries with Luis. Besides, he seemed too busy playing with the streamers. She shook her head as she began walking.

Luis had some streamers and other discarded decorations in his hands and was attempting to smash them into a round shape. Realizing what he was up to, Jay looked around the trash piled on the floor and spotted a stray leg from one of the piñatas. She picked the leg up and began speaking into it as though it were an announcer's microphone.

Sheridan looked up when she heard Jay’s voice. She chuckled when she realized what she was doing. Watching the way Luis interacted with Jay still amazed her. He was so different around her and his family. What am I thinking? It’s just me he hates.

"Welcome back to Harmony Arena for the conclusion of today's championship basketball game. This has been a marvelous basketball game played here this evening. We've seen an amazing performance by the team from the tiny Hamlet of Harmony. They've been led by their star, Officer Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald, who has played a truly magnificent game."

"When play resumes after this time out, Harmony will have possession of the ball trailing the world champions by a single point with 30 seconds to play. Everything will be riding on this one play. We are anticipating that the team from Harmony will work the clock down to try to take the game's final shot. A gutsy play - they'll win or lose the championship on a single shot. And we expect that final shot for the championship will be taken by Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald."

Jay looked over at Luis who smiled broadly and nodded to indicate that he was ready to play championship trash basketball. Jay the announcer continued, "Lopez-Fitzgerald brings the ball over the 10 second line." Luis is pretending to dribble his trash ball. "The clock is winding down. Lopez-Fitzgerald continues to dribble."

Sheridan stood there watching silently amused. She’d never seen anyone play basketball with trash before.

"10 seconds remain and he starts to make his move." Luis fakes to his left and makes a move to his right. "He fakes left and then goes around his man to the right. The defense collapses and cuts off his lane to the basket. The clock is down to 5."

Luis stops and shoots his trash ball toward the trash dumpster. "He stops and takes a 15 foot jump shot."

Luis' trash ball bounces off the dumpster and falls to the floor. "The shot hits the rim and Lopez-Fitzgerald flies in and grabs the rebound." Luis picks up the trash ball and shoots again. "He goes back up and ... IT'S GOOD! IT'S GOOD! THE GAME IS OVER! Harmony wins the championship on a last second shot! Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald got his own rebound and his 2 foot put back shot went in just before time expired! Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald is the hero of Harmony!"

Sheridan had to hold her hand over her mouth to keep herself from laughing out loud. These two were really a sight. Luis acted like he really had just won a championship and Jay, there were really no words to describe her. It really was nice seeing them have so much fun together. She secretly wondered if she would someday have that kind of fun with Pezz. She always had fun when she was online with him and she could only imagine what it would be like when she met him in person.

"We're going to go to our courtside reporter to try to get a quick word from the new hero of Harmony." Jay walked over to Luis and stuck the piñata leg out towards him. "Great game Luis, congratulations."

"Thanks Jay."

"Luis can you describe what you're feeling right now?"

"We're very excited for the whole town of Harmony and we're thrilled ...."

Jay interrupted, "That's nice Luis. Now, since we can all see that you're looking really yummy and sexy in that sweaty outfit, I'm sure that what our viewers really want to know is, is it true that you recently broke up with your long time girlfriend and that you're romantically unattached at the moment?"

"Well Jay, I'm always available when it comes to you." Luis said with a wink and a sexy smile.

Again, Sheridan had to bite her lip. Watching Jay and Luis in action was better than paid entertainment any day.

"Oh my! Yes, well, we'll talk later, honey. Anyway, is it true that every member of the Harmony team has a nickname?"

"Yes, it is true. We were all given nicknames when we were in the Police Academy."

"Hmm, I wonder what Luis’ nickname is?" Sheridan thought.

"And is it also true that they gave you the worst nickname of everyone in your class?"

Luis nodded "Yes, it is a truly awful nickname."

"Oh, this ought to be good, really good" Sheridan thought with a smile. "Maybe I can use it against him someday."

"Our viewers are dying to know, Luis."

"PezzMan." Luis said in shame.

Sheridan’s jaw nearly dropped to the floor. She gasped when she heard what he said and immediately covered her mouth. "I must be hearing things" she said to herself. "I know I didn’t hear what I think I just heard. There’s no way."

"I heard it was THE PezzMan." Jay announced loudly. "In fact, our sources have also told us that cops aren’t typically very clever or creative when thinking of nicknames. So the officers took the "PEZ" from the Lopez part of your last name, then took a second "Z" from Fitzgerald, and being macho cops they had to add 'man' to the end and that’s how they came up with Luis Lopez Fitzgerald also known as ....... "the PezzMan."

"Oh my God!" Sheridan whispered out loud in complete shock. "This can’t be. It’s not possible....."

Luis pretended to hang his head in shame and slowly said, "Yes, Jay, it’s all true. It’s all horribly true."

"No! It can’t be true" Sheridan said softly. "Luis is PezzMan?"

Luis then looked at Jay and both of them broke out laughing hysterically.

With tears in her eyes, Sheridan quickly left the Youth Center before Jay or Luis noticed her standing there. This new information she’d received tonight had completely turned her world upside down. She raced home, not knowing what to do next.



Once she’d reached the privacy of her own cottage, Sheridan walked in and closed the door behind her. The minute the door clicked shut, she felt a tear trickle down her cheek. She’d managed to hold it together for the entire ride home, but for some reason she was beginning to lose it now, now that she was completely alone. Her eyes a blur from the tears that filled them she spotted her computer from across the room. Seeing it in her current emotional state only caused the stream of warm salty water to fall faster down her now ruddy cheeks.

"Why? "Why is this happening to me?" She asked no one as she threw her belongings on the couch and headed for the bathroom to draw a much needed hot bath. She hoped more than anything now that a hot soak in her tub would make her forget her troubles.

Nothing seemed to work however. The more she tried to avoid thinking about it, the more thoughts of PezzMan being Luis entered her head. As she soaked in the hot soapy bubble bath she’d drawn, she decided to think about this rationally. Maybe this was all a big mistake. Maybe Luis and Pezz weren’t the same person. "There’s always a chance" she thought. "Just because Luis was given the nickname PezzMan while he was at the Police Academy, doesn’t mean that there isn’t another PezzMan out there?"

Sheridan leaned back in the tub and tried to make sense of this whole thing. She’d been completely and utterly amazed when it turned out that she and Pezz hailed form the same state, never mind how she felt when she found that they were both from the same town. That was too much of a coincidence, considering they met while she was still in Paris. Now if they’d met at a local chat room after she’d come back to the States, she could almost believe it, but this?

After she climbed out of the tub and dried off, Sheridan decided to go read some of the old mail she’d received from Pezz. Maybe there would be something in there to shed some light on the situation.

Sheridan sat at her computer reading everything she’d ever received from Pezz. She found her mood lightening some what as she read the words from the man that had become so special to her. Over the past few months, both had shared so much of themselves with each other, they knew things about the other that they’d most likely never tell anyone. She found a passage from Pezz about his break up with his girlfriend that reminded him of something she heard Jay say tonight.

...Like you, I have recently had a break up, not with my fiancée, but rather girlfriend. She and I had been going out for ten years when it occurred. The reason we split wasn’t due to one of us cheating, but rather wanting different things out of life. I’ve told you that I am a small town boy and though I want to travel, living in my small town, the one you don’t know the name of yet ;) is my life. My girlfriend had other ideas. She decided she wanted more excitement in her life, so about a week ago, she surprised me at work by announcing she’d taken a job in a big city and was leaving. In one flash, the woman I’d stayed faithful to for the past ten years had walked out of my life for good....

Sheridan read and reread this passage. This about summed up Luis. She knew that Luis had recently broken up with Beth after dating her for many years. Sheridan remembered her talk with Jay clearly, Beth had accepted a job in New York and Luis refused to join her. Jay had also told her that Luis was Mr. Harmony, never wanting to leave his home town.

As she continued to read, Sheridan made two lists. One list with things in common between Luis and Pezz and the other list differences. She hoped the differences list would end up longer than the things in common list.

Things in common :

1)both live in Harmony
2)work shift work
3) love their small home town (Harmony)
4) recently broke up with their long time girlfriends
5)live with mother
6))have never been, but want to go to Spain
Sheridan cringed when she wrote that one. That was not common to a lot of people.
7)dark hair and eyes

"I know Luis has dark hair and eyes, but I’ve never actually met Pezz. I don’t think he’d lie to me on that though."

8)both have volunteer jobs
9)PezzMan!!

"I think I’ll start on the other list" Sheridan said. The more she wrote the more she was sure Luis and Pezz were one in the same.

Differences :

1) Pezz has never mentioned the Crane family

"The subject has never come up either, now has it Sheridan?" She said out loud frowning.

2) Pezz has never treated me ...

Sheridan got up from her seat at her computer desk. "This is totally absurd!" She yelled as she began pacing the living room floor. "I’ve never even met Pezz. He doesn’t know my name or what I look like!"

After several more minutes of pacing Sheridan sat down on her couch and pulled her legs up to her chest wrapping her arms around them. She rested her chin on her knees as she contemplated this situation.

Her mind flashed back to her first meeting with Luis and remembered how attracted she’d been to him. She recalled her dance with him earlier in the evening and how he’d taken her breath away. In a way, the thought of Luis being Pezz was very appealing. She could see herself falling head over heels in love with him, but there was one small problem. Luis hated her family with a passion, thus he hated her. She’d heard him herself just this evening tell his mother that Sheridan would always be a Crane and in Luis’ mind that was a crime punishable by death. Once he found out that KCGirl was a Crane, he’d shout out a few very nasty comments and leave, never turning back.

It was bad enough to have Luis hate her so much, but the thought of Pezz turning on her in the same manner was almost too much to bear at this point. She’d grown to trust him with her most intimate thoughts. They shared so many of the same hopes and dreams and seemingly had many things in common.

Unable to sit still in one place for long, Sheridan walked back over to her computer to re read some more of Pezz’s emails. She came across one from a few days ago and felt tears well up in her eyes again as she read it.

Dear KC,
I’m home now and will be going to bed shortly, but I promised you I’d write and here I am. Can you believe in three days we’ll know what each other looks like, know each other’s names and maybe even what the other does for a living. I have so many thoughts in my mind, so many questions I want to ask you, but if the truth be told angel, the first thing I want to do is hold you in my arms.

Remember the night I gave you the cyber hug? If you only knew how much I wanted to do that in person. I’m not usually the mushy type, but you do something to me KC that no one has ever done before.

I’m off to bed now, hopefully to dream of you.
Goodnight angel,
Pezz

With tears streaming down her face, Sheridan lightly fingered the computer screen where Pezz’s name was. The sobs were coming fast and furiously as she read his words. She could almost hear Pezz’s voice saying this to her. The sad thing was, Pezz’s voice was now Luis’ voice and as long as the last name wasn’t Crane, she could see Luis writing a letter just like this.

Just as she was about to completely lose herself in self pity, she heard those three little words, "You’ve Got Mail." Sheridan sniffled and sat up straight in her chair as she dared to check and see who her mail was from. She gasped slightly when she saw it was from Pezz.

Hoping there would be a clue in his mail, Sheridan quickly opened it.

Hi Angel,
Oh how I missed writing to you today and I missed hearing from you even more. As busy as I was all day, I thought about you constantly and wished you could have been with me. Tomorrow KC. Tomorrow we will finally meet.

I’m sure you are asleep right now, as it’s very late. I myself will be headed to bed very shortly. I just got home, but I couldn’t go to bed without writing to the woman who makes me smile every time I think of her.

KC, I don’t know how to tell you how much I am looking forward to meeting you. We’re down to hours now KC. In a few short hours I’ll be able to hold you in my arms.

I think I’ll end this on that note KC. Until tomorrow my angel,
I’ll be dreaming of you,
Pezz

Sheridan lost it again after reading this email. She rested her head on the computer table and cried her heart out. All her life she’d had everything she could ever want because her last name was Crane and now it appeared, she was going to lose the one man she wanted Pezz, or Luis as she now believed for the very same reason.

With tears streaming down her face, Sheridan lightly fingered the computer screen where Pezz’s name was. The sobs were coming fast and furiously as she read his words. She could almost hear Pezz’s voice saying this to her. The sad thing was, Pezz’s voice was now Luis’ voice and as long as the last name wasn’t Crane, she could see Luis writing a letter just like this.

Just as she was about to completely lose herself in self pity, she heard those three little words, "You’ve Got Mail." Sheridan sniffled and sat up straight in her chair as she dared to check and see who her mail was from. She gasped slightly when she saw it was from Pezz.

Hoping there would be a clue in his mail, Sheridan quickly opened it.

Hi Angel,
Oh how I missed writing to you today and I missed hearing from you even more. As busy as I was all day, I thought about you constantly and wished you could have been with me. Tomorrow KC. Tomorrow we will finally meet.

I’m sure you are asleep right now, as it’s very late. I myself will be headed to bed very shortly. I just got home, but I couldn’t go to bed without writing to the woman who makes me smile every time I think of her.

KC, I don’t know how to tell you how much I am looking forward to meeting you. We’re down to hours now KC. In a few short hours I’ll be able to hold you in my arms.

I think I’ll end this on that note KC. Until tomorrow my angel,

I’ll be dreaming of you,
Pezz

Sheridan lost it again after reading this email. She rested her head on the computer table and cried her heart out. All her life she’d had everything she could ever want because her last name was Crane and now it appeared, she was going to lose the one man she wanted Pezz, or Luis as she now believed for the very same reason.

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