Sheridan sat underneath a shade tree eating an apple as
she absentmindedly watched Tammy and a few of the younger children trying to throw a Frisbee to each other. She
chuckled silently when Reese stopped by to show them some pointers from a scientific point of view. She shook her
head in wonder and turned her head surveying the rest of the scene before her eyes. The area of the park they were
in was a mini paradise with the laughter of children echoing through the air. Everyone seemed to be having a great
time, small groups of people scattered throughout the picnic area enjoying their lunch on a beautiful sunshine
She spotted Luis walking across an open field carrying a plate of food and a smile came to her face. He was getting
to her these days more than sheíd expected him to. No longer did she hold any animosity towards him, just a longing
that one day soon he would feel the same way towards her that Pezz felt towards KC.
Sheridan sighed deeply when she recalled the email from Pezz sheíd read this morning. Thinking about Pezzís emails
had always brought a smile to her face and today was no exception. As a matter of fact, his last email was so special
to her that sheíd printed it up and stuffed it in her pocket. The more she thought about the email, the more she
wanted to read it so Sheridan pulled the folded sheet of paper out of her pocket and began to read.
Iím so sorry you had to miss the Boss, sweetie. It was a truly phenomenal concert. You thought you saw me dancing
in the aisles did you? Normally I would have said that was laughable, but believe it or not sweetie, one of those
wild men was me! My old partner always seems to get me to do the craziest things and tonight was no exception.
My mother is wondering how she is going to explain this one to her friends when they ask her about her son the
policeman making a fool of himself. I told her to remind them that I was only one of four cops there making equal
fools of themselves.
Remember that woman I told you about? The one
that drives me crazy that I am learning to become friends with? Well Iíll tell you KC, she really is beginning
to amaze me. At one point I actually thought she had ulterior motives for wanting to work at my Center, but now
I know she simply has a gift for working with young children. She managed to do something dozens of paid professionals
were unable to do.
This is actually a long story and I donít want
to bore you with the details, but I have to tell you this much, because itís one of the most astonishing things
Iíve ever seen. We have a little girl at the Center that hasnít spoken in over a year, ever since her motherís
death. Anyway, my friend (I feel as if I can call her that now) has been spending quite a bit of time with her
since her arrival in Harmony. This afternoon at the ceramics shop, the little girl made something special for her
and when she gave it to my friend, she said "I love you."
Sweetie, I am not really the demonstrative type
but I almost cried with her father and my friend when I heard her speak. At that moment I could only imagine myself
as the father of the little girl and what he must be feeling. It was truly one of the most beautiful things Iíve
I donít like admitting when I am wrong, but every
time I see her with the children, every time I watch her interact with them or the other chaperones I realize how
wrong I was. Iíve done a lot of stupid things in my life, but judging this remarkably kind hearted woman solely
on her last name has to be among the dumbest.
Angel, Iím tired and Iíve rambled long enough.
Tomorrow night I would love nothing more than to chat with you. It was so nice chatting with you last night, but
I have to tell you I am still holding out for a personal chat if you know what I mean? ;-D
I should be home all evening Angel, so just let
me know when and Iíll be there.
Take care sweetie,
Sheridan leaned back against the tree and smiled to herself.
"One day soon Luis. One day soon."
Luis sat on the ground eating a sandwich when Jay came up with her plate and joined him. "Whatís wrong big
guy?" Jay asked. She was surprised that Luis was sitting by himself.
Luis snapped to attention when he heard Jayís voice. "Huh? What? Oh, nothing is wrong Jay" Luis answered
as he finally realized what Jay had said.
Jay looked over in the direction that Luis had been staring and wasnít surprised to see Sheridan. "I get it"
Jay said with a knowing look. "Youíre still brooding about Sheridan accepting a date with Robert Kralik."
Luis laughed. "I donít know what you are talking about Jay" Luis insisted.
"Yeah, right" Jay grinned. "Like I believe that for one second. I know you were staring at her and
I know you were upset when you overheard Sheridan accept that dinner invitation."
"Sheridan can date whomever she chooses" Luis said angrily.
"Why the anger Luis if you don't care who Sheridan dates and you're not jealous?"
"Iím not angry" Luis scoffed.
"Luis, why don't you just admit that you like Sheridan, just a little?" Jay asked. "It's not a crime
you know. Actually, now that you've spent some time with her, if you didn't like her, I'd think there was something
wrong with you, like you were dead. C'mon Luis, Sheridan's a really nice person. She's bright and funny and fun
to be around. She's always thinking of new things for the kids, she's a fabulous dancer and to top it all off,
she's drop dead gorgeous. What more could a guy ask for?"
"Jay, Iím not arguing with you" Luis answered. "I agree, Sheridan is a wonderful person."
"Then you admit you like her?"
"Of course I like her Jay" Luis said. "Itís just that Iím sort of involved. Besides, I could never
get involved with a Crane."
"You mean KC?"
"Yeah" Luis said. "KC."
"Let me ask you a question Luis."
"Sure, go ahead."
"What would you do if KC turned out to be a Crane? Would you say the same thing about her? Would you say that
you can't be involved with her because she's a Crane?"
"What kind of a question is that Jay?" Luis asked irritated.
"Itís a valid question Luis" Jay said. "All you know about KC is she lives in Harmony. Have you
ever mentioned the Cranes to her? Has she to you?"
Luis didnít answer.
"What would you do? Would you hold being a Crane against KC?"
Luis sat there and thought for a minute. "I think I learned my lesson with Sheridan" he finally answered.
"I donít think I would hold it against her."
"Then why are you still holding it against Sheridan?" Jay asked quietly.
"What do you want me to do Jay? Go over there and plant a passionate kiss on her?" Luis asked sarcastically.
"Iím sure that would go over well with her new boyfriend."
Jay responded knowingly. "Youíre jealous! You are really jealous."
Luis stood to leave.
"Maybe you should Luis."
Luis caught a glimpse of Sheridan standing with his mother laughing. Tammy was with her as well and sheíd never
looked more beautiful to him than she did at that moment. He thought about the night before when he wondered what
it would be like to kiss her and the memory of their closeness affected him.
"I think Iím going to make a sundae. How about you?" Luis asked, not answering Jayís question.
Jay got up and followed Luis. "Oh no you donít Luis" Jay said as she caught up with him. "Youíve
thought about it, havenít you?"
"I donít know what youíre talking about Jay" Luis said as he tossed his plate in the trash and walked
over to where the ice cream was.
"Just admit it Luis" Jay pressed.
Luis knew Jay wasnít going to give up on this one. When she got an idea in her head there was no stopping her.
"All right Jay, Iíll admit the thought might have crossed my mind once." Luis immediately busied himself
making the perfect sundae complete with hot fudge, strawberries, nuts, whipped cream and a cherry.
"HA! I knew it!" Jay squealed with delight.
Luis tried to hide the grin that was forming on his face, but Jay caught him.
"Well, Iím glad to see youíre not dead Luis" Jay laughed.
"Dead? Iíll show you dead Jay" Luis laughed. He picked up a whipped cream can and sprayed a tiny amount
on Jayís nose.
"Oh, is that the game you want to play?" Jay grinned as she wiped the whipped cream off her nose. "Two
can play at that game." Jay picked up a can and sprayed Luis on the arm with it.
"Ha! You missed" Luis laughed. Luis picked up another can and aimed it at Jay. "Now youíre going
to get it Jay!"
"Believe me Luis, I didnít miss and if you think youíre going to get me, youíre going to have to catch me
Jay started running and Luis shook the cans as he chased her. Jay ran behind a tree with Luis in hot pursuit. When
she didnít come around the other side, Luis figured she was hiding behind the tree.
"Bad move Jay! Iíve got you now!" Luis began spraying his whipped cream as he went to the back side of
the tree and when he saw her face, he stopped dead in his tracks. It wasnít Jay behind the tree, it was Sheridan
and heíd managed to cover half her face with cream.
"Sheridan!" Luis said horrified. "I am so sorry! I didnít know it was you back here."
Sheridan wiped the whipped cream from her eye and looked up at Luis. She couldnít help but smile at his expression.
It was priceless.
"Who are the kids here Luis and who are the adults?" Sheridan asked with a mischievous glint in her eye.
Luis obviously wasnít paying close attention to her facial expression because if he had been, he never would have
relinquished one of his cans to her.
"Sheridan, I am really sorry" Luis apologized again.
"So am I Luis" Sheridan grinned. She turned the whipped cream can on Luis and completely covered his
head with the topping.
Sheridan stood there for a moment laughing, proud of herself for having doused Luis so well.
"I canít believe you did that!" Luis said in shock. "Youíd better start running Sheridan because
when I get done with you, youíre going to look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy!" Luis shook the remaining can
in his hand and Sheridan took off running.
Sheridan laughed as she ran from Luis. She turned every now and again and saw Luis was gaining on her fast. She
was an excellent runner, but since she wasnít playing ball today, she chose not to wear sneakers. Big mistake.
Sheridan could hear the ground pounding behind her and she knew Luis was very close. She decided there was only
one option. She turned to face him and began spraying wildly.
Luis was taken by surprise at first and covered his head. Sheridan couldnít stop giggling.
"You think thatís funny do you?" Luis asked with a glint in his eye.
"Yes, actually I do" Sheridan laughed.
"Tell me Sheridan, Is this funny?" Luis asked. He shook his can again and white spray shot out at Sheridan
who fell to the ground to escape the sticky mess.
Sheridan turned her can on Luis while on the ground.
"I told you Iíd get you Sheridan!" Luis laughed, as whipped cream continued to fly in both directions.
"YouĎre mine now! You have no place to go." Luis dropped to his knees with a very mischievous grin. Luis
used one of his arms and pinned Sheridanís "trigger" arm across her chest.
Sheridan fought to regain control of her can with no success. Luis started spraying little dabs of whipped cream
in various places.
Sheridan couldnít stop laughing as Luis raised and lowered his eyebrows. "Oops, I missed a spot!" Luis
was enjoying himself immensely and Sheridan knew it.
Sheridan tried one more time to move her arm and fight back, but Luis had it held snugly to her body. He knew she
couldnít move it and took full advantage of it. Sheridan had one last idea. She closed her eyes and momentarily
let her body go limp.
Luis felt Sheridan go limp and looked down and she wasnít moving. He instinctively loosened his grip. "Sheridan,
Sheridan are you ok?" He asked in concern.
Sheridan fought hard to hold back the laughter. When she was sure he wasnít holding her arm any longer, she grabbed
her can with both hands and shook it vigorously spraying Luisí chest and part of his face. Luis was taken completely
by surprised at her sudden move.
"You are sneaky" Luis laughed. Regaining control, Luis grabbed both her arms and pinned them over her
head, laying on top of her in the process. "Now I have you! Are you ready to admit defeat?"
"Never!" Sheridan declared.
Luis held both hands down with one arm and brought out his spray can with the other. Sheridan saw the gleam in
his eyes and knew she didnít have a chance.
"Ok, Uncle! Uncle!" Sheridan screamed in between laughs.
Luis released her arms, but remained lying on top of her while the two of them caught their breath.
Sheridan couldnít believe sheíd just emptied a can of whipped cream on Luis. His hair was loaded with it as was
his face. She reached up and placed a finger across his cheek, the cream now on her finger and off Luisí face.
She licked the whipped cream from her finger. "Umm, thatís pretty good" she said playfully.
Luis smiled at her action and did the same to her. He gently scooped some whipped cream off the bridge of her nose
and tasted it. "Youíre right" he smiled. "It is good."
The two of them just stayed there on the ground, gazing happily into each otherís eyes. Sheridan couldnít remember
the last time sheíd just let loose like this and had so much fun. Right now though, having Luis so close to her
was taking itís toll on her. She wanted nothing more than to reach up and kiss him, but she knew that Luis had
to be the one to initiate it. Her heart began pounding to a point she was sure it could be seen protruding from
her chest when Luis took his hand and began brushing the hair out of her eyes and caressing her cheek. She found
herself staring at his mouth, those incredible full lips wanting them to kiss her.
Luis couldnít help himself. Every day, every minute of every day he found himself being drawn closer and closer
to this magnificent woman. Over and over again, sheíd proven to him she was nothing like what he imagined a Crane
to be like. She was friendly, kind hearted, considerate, thoughtful, beautiful and sexy. As he stared into those
crystal blue eyes, he felt a connection to her, similar to the one he felt the night they tangoed. It was a connection
heíd felt with no other woman, ever.
Instead of catching his breath after the whipped cream escapade, Luis found himself more breathless than he was
before. He couldnít help himself when he reached out to touch her hair, caress her cheek. Her skin was silky soft
underneath his hand. She smiled at him when he brushed the hair out of her eyes. Her smile was contagious. Luis
found himself wondering again what it would be like to kiss her. This time instead of backing away, he leaned in
closer. He wanted to feel her lips against his and at this moment in time, nothing else mattered but Sheridan.
He leaned in closer still and Sheridan anxiously awaited the feel of his soft lips on hers.
As Luis closed the distance to within a featherís width of Sheridanís waiting lips he heard a scream.
"Luis! Luis!" Reese yelled loudly as he approached the couple on the ground. The moment completely gone,
Luis pulled himself to his feet and stood before Reese, trying to hide his disappointment.
"What is it Reese?" Luis asked as he folded his arms in front of him. Sheridan slowly stood up behind
Luis, brushing herself off in the process.
"Luis you have to come quick!" Reese yelled animatedly. "Someone just stole all the bases!"
"What?" Luis asked incredulously. He couldnít believe Reese had kept him from kissing Sheridan because
the bases were missing.
"The bases! Theyíre gone!" Reese proclaimed. "A bunch of us wanted to play a little and the bases
"Reese, calm down" Luis said. "Did you talk to Buzzy?"
"No, I came straight to you" Reese admitted.
"Why donít you go talk to Buzzy. I have a feeling he can help you with this one" Luis said, a fake smile
plastered to his face.
"Sure Luis" Reese said as he adjusted his glasses, which has slipped slightly down the bridge of his
nose. Reese sniffled slightly and then took off running in the other direction to find Buzzy.
"Unbelievable" Luis muttered under his breath as he watched Reese give Buzzy the same show. He then saw
Buzzy point to a box where the bases were located.
"Whatís up with Reese?" Jay asked as she approached Luis. Luis turned quickly looking for Sheridan when
he saw Jay standing there and saw she started walking off in the opposite direction.
"Excuse me for a minute, will you Jay?" Luis asked.
"Sure thing Luis" Jay said. She grinned as she watched Luis run after Sheridan.
"Sheridan! Sheridan!" Luis yelled as he ran to catch up with her.
Sheridan stopped and turned around to face Luis. She smiled nervously as he stopped within inches of her.
"Hi" She said quietly.
"Youíre not mad are you?" Luis asked.
"Mad? Why would I be angry with you?" Sheridan asked in surprise.
"I donít know" Luis answered sheepishly as he jammed his hands in his pockets. "I did get a little
carried away with the whipped cream."
"We both got a little carried away with the whipped cream, Luis" Sheridan smiled. "Truthfully, it
"Really?" He asked, his eyes lighting up.
"Good, as long as there are no hard feelings" Luis smiled with relief.
"None at all" Sheridan responded with a playful look. "But if I were you, Iíd watch my back."
"Oh?" Luis asked with a curious grin.
"You won that round and I donít like to lose like that."
"Iíll keep that in mind Sheridan" Luis grinned mischievously. "And just for the record, I donít
like to lose either."
"Well then, things should get very interesting" Sheridan laughed.
"Come on" Luis gestured with his head. "Letís go find my mother and see if she has something we
can use to get this whipped cream off."
"Sounds good" Sheridan smiled.
The two walked off together in search of some towels. So far the day had been a success.
Sheridan was playing Frisbee with Tammy and a few other young children while Luis and Jay helped his mother and
Grace pack away the food.
"So Luis" Jay said after several minutes of silence, "I see you gave my earlier suggestion some
"What are you talking about Jay?" Luis asked as he continued his work.
"About kissing Sheridan. Well, you didnít actually kiss her but you would have if Reese hadnít interrupted
"It wasnít that close, Jay" Luis laughed.
"Yeah, right Luis" Jay grinned. "What would you call it then?"
Luis stood there and was about to defend himself, but he couldnít come up with an answer. "It was..."
"It was what Luis?" Jay asked calling him on it. "It was almost a kiss, thatís what it was."
"Well it wouldnít have been almost anything if you hadnít been putting ideas in my head" Luis said defensively.
"Moi? Putting ideas in your head? I donít think so."
"Sure it was Jay, donít you remember? All your talk about me wanting to kiss Sheridan."
"I remember the conversation clearly Luis" Jay agreed, "and you were the one who started talking
about kissing Sheridan, I just followed your lead. You also seem to be forgetting the part where you admitted that
you thought about kissing her."
"I said that I might have thought about it once" Luis said defensively.
"Iíd say that now youíll have to say youíve thought about it twice Luis."
Luis rolled his eyes. "Give it a rest Jay" Luis insisted. "Donít forget, I like KC. If Iím going
to think about kissing anyone itíll be KC."
"All right Luis" Jay answered. "Iíll let it go, for now."
Luis nodded. He was pleased Jay was finally seeing things his way. As steadfast in the belief that KC was the one
woman for him, Luis still couldnít get thoughts of Sheridan out of his mind. It wasnít long before his gaze sought
out her curvaceous form and once again, he began wondering what it would be like...
Sheridan, Luis and Jay returned to the Book Cafe after a long fun filled day at Lighthouse Park.
The parents all picked up their children at the park and Buzzy decided to go home directly from there as well.
"So what is everyone doing tonight?" Jay asked as they seated themselves the first table they found.
"Showering" Luis and Sheridan said simultaneously. They looked at each other and smiled.
"I figured that" Jay answered. "I meant afterwards."
"I have a date" Luis grinned. "A computer date that is."
Sheridan frowned and turned her head so Luis wouldnít see her reaction. Jay however saw Sheridanís face and also
knew she was going out with Robert Kralik, therefore there was no way Luis would be meeting KC online.
"What time Luis?" Jay asked. "Did KC give you a time to meet?"
"Well, no actually" Luis admitted. "We usually meet around 8:00."
"Why donít you check and see?" Jay suggested. "Maybe we can catch dinner if sheís going to be later
"All right" Luis agreed. He logged onto the computer at their table and went through the process to retrieve
his mail from another location.
"Iíd like you to come with us Sheridan" Jay said, "but a little birdie tells me you have a "date"
Sheridan laughed. "And which little birdie might that be?" She asked. "Could it possibly be a small
curly haired cherub that answers to the name Tammy?"
"I take it you heard her telling everyone?" Jay asked in amusement.
"How could I not?" Sheridan grinned. "She did forget to tell everyone the most important part though."
Even thought Luis was busy at the computer he was hanging on every word Sheridan articulated.
"Oh?" Jay asked curiously.
"Yes, that she and her grandfather will also be there. "Itís not really a date."
Luis had to hide the smile that was starting to appear on his face.
"Sheridan, I hate to tell you this, but I think Tammy has you and her father married right about now"
Jay told her.
Sheridan knew that despite his appearance Luis was listening. "As much as I love Tammy" Sheridan began,
"I have no intention of marrying her father. Donít get me wrong, Robert is a wonderful man. Heís a devoted
family man which is a trait thatís very important to me. He has a kind heart, heís generous to a fault and incredibly
"But?" Jay urged Sheridan to continue.
Sheridan caught a peek of Luis catching a glimpse of her. Shifting her gaze away from Luis and back to Jay she
answered. "But, heís not who I imagined myself spending the rest of my life with. That probably sounds pretty
silly, but I have a picture in my mind of the perfect man for me. As nice a man as Robert is, heís not that man."
"It doesnít sound silly at all Sheridan" Jay answered.
Luis let out a low groan and Jay gave Sheridan a knowing look. They both knew that Luis just discovered KC wouldnít
be online tonight.
"What is it Luis?" Jay asked.
"Something came up and KC wonít be online tonight" Luis grumbled.
"Iím sorry about that Luis" Jay told him.
"Itís all right. Maybe Iíll catch her later. She said she hoped to be home early from her meeting" Luis
"So do I have a date for dinner then?" Jay asked.
"Sure thing Jay" Luis grinned. "Sheridan, I think I should check your bandage before you leave tonight.
Sheridan laughed nervously. "Right, my bandage" she said.
"Iíll go get the stuff and be right back" Luis assured her.
"Thanks Luis" Sheridan smiled demurely. As soon as Luis left, she took a deep breath and looked at Jay.
"I donít know how much longer I can take Luis changing this dressing" Sheridan said seriously.
Jay laughed. "I told you Sheridan, enjoy it."
"Thatís easy for you to say. I never know what to expect. He does something different each time."
"Sheridan, if things go as I predict they will go, Luis will be blowing on more than your ear by the time
you no longer need that bandage changed.
Sheridan turned scarlet. "Jay!" She laughed.
"Heís close Sheridan" Jay said. "Itís just a matter of time."
Luis returned to the table and sat down right next to Sheridan. He scooted his chair in very close and Sheridan
could already hear her heart pounding in her ear and he hadnít even started yet. As Luis gingerly began to pull
the old dressing off Sheridanís neck, the door to the Book Cafe could be heard opening. Jay was the only one who
looked up initially as Sheridan and Luis were otherwise occupied. Who she saw standing in front of her caused her
jaw to drop to the floor. ĎOh noí Jay thought, Ďtalk about bad timing.Ď She locked gazes with the person standing
there but said nothing.
"Well, well, well, I should have known the minute I left Harmony youíd show up" Beth Wallace said bitterly
as she stared at Jay with hatred in her eyes. Luis immediately looked up when he heard the familiar voice.
"Beth!" He said in disbelief. Beth was the last person he expected to ever walk through the door and
the last person he wanted to see right now, or ever for that matter.
"Hello Luis" Beth said. She noticed Sheridan sitting in very close proximity to Luis and her eyes shot
daggers as she sized up this strange woman. "I see you didnít waste anytime getting over me, now did you?"
Luis didnít have any idea what to say next. This was definitely an unexpected surprise.