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Falling For You
chapters

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14

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16

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epilogue

Rating: R

The sequel to Falling For You is A Hero For Hire currently being posted on CR FanFic Board
     

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Falling For You
by Deanna Lynn

Chapter Fourteen

Luis slowly opened his eyes the next morning and found Sheridan sleeping peacefully in his arms. She looked like she belonged there, which of course in his opinion she did. He didn't think he would ever tire of looking at her. He broke out into a satisfied grin as the memories of last night came flooding back to him. Who would have thought he would fall in love with a Crane? Then again, Sheridan wasn't like the rest of the Crane's. She had a good heart and that's why he loved her so much. She cared what happened to people. She didn't use her wealth and the power of the Crane name to hurt people. She did the opposite actually. He still couldn't believe it had taken him so long to see that. He had automatically assumed she was just like the rest of her family when he should have given her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe if he had it wouldn't have taken them so long to get together. But then Alistair and Julian had certainly had a hand in keeping them apart.

He still couldn't believe they had actually hired someone to impersonate him. Granted, he didn't have any proof of that, but it was the only logical explanation. The man that had impersonated him that night on the wharf had taken Sheridan's worst fears and made her believe they were coming true. The only way he could have known that would be if someone close to her had given them the information. And he knew the only people that would know that about her were people she trusted... her family. He ruled Ethan out because he had seen how much Ethan cared about Sheridan and his instincts told him he wouldn't hurt her that way. The same thing could be said about Ivy. She seemed to self-involved to really care what happened between him and Sheridan. So that left only one logical conclusion... Either Julian or Alistair or both of them had been behind it.

He knew they were capable of anything. He still believed they were behind his father's disappearance and they... God, he thought removing Sheridan from his chest and rolling out of the bed, how could he have been so blind? Why hadn't he realized it sooner? The Martin imposter... He had always believed Julian was behind that. Again he couldn't prove it, but he knew it was true. They had hired someone to impersonate his father and now they had hired someone to impersonate him. The only question was why? Why would they feel the need to keep him away from Sheridan? Was it because they thought him not good enough for her or because they were afraid, afraid he would find out what really happened to his father the night he disappeared? He had no doubt that the two imposters and them wanting to keep him and Sheridan apart were somehow connected, he only prayed he could find out how.

He reached down, grabbed his jeans off the floor then pulled them on, and zipped them up. He walked toward the doorway and was just about to walk through it when Sheridan called his name. He turned to see her setting up in the bed, holding the sheet around her chest, and reaching toward the lamp on the bedside table. "I'm sorry, sweetheart. I didn't meant to wake you."

Light suddenly illuminated the room and his breath caught his throat as she turned toward him with a smile. Her eyes bright and clear with love. "That's okay. You looked pretty intense a few minutes ago, as if something was bothering you. Want to talk about it?"

Luis sighed then walked toward the window and looked out at the cloud filled morning sky. It looked like it was going to storm. He wondered if it was symbolic. His gut was telling him that more trouble was coming. He wasn't sure if it was from the Cranes or from the drug cartel that was still after Sheridan. He just knew he had to be on guard. Now that they had finally admitted their feelings to each other there was no way he was going to take any chances. He was going to stick to her like glue. He'd have to talk to Sam about either taking some time off so that he could protect Sheridan or him being assigned to guard her. He knew Sam would understand his position so he didn't think either one would be a problem.

He heard Sheridan get out of the bed and wasn't at all surprised when she walked up behind him and placed a hand on his back. "Luis, what's wrong? You're starting to worry me."

Luis turned slightly and wrapped his right arm around her waist. "Sorry, sweetie, I don't mean to. I was just thinking about everything that's happened the last few days. You know that you're still in danger, don't you? Antoine may be dead, but the drug cartel isn't. They could have already hired someone else by now. And then there is this possibility of someone going around impersonating me. I'm almost positive your family is behind it. You know in the last eight months this is the second imposter we've had in Harmony."

"Oh my god." She said raising a hand to her mouth. "Martin. The Martin imposter. I can't believe that didn't occur to me sooner. Luis, do you still think Julian and my father was behind that?"

He nodded. "Yeah, I do. I think both imposters are connected to the same thing -"

"Your father's disappearance." Sheridan said finishing his sentence. "So you what? You think Julian hired someone to impersonate you because maybe we were getting too close?"

"It crossed my mind. They never made a secret of the fact that they didn't want us together. If they hired someone to impersonate me there has to be more to it than simply not believing I was good enough for you. My gut tells me it's more."

"Well, if there is one thing I've learned it's to trust your gut instinct. It's saved my life more times than I can count."

"So" He said raising a brow at her. "You finally admit that, do you?"

"Yes," she said smiling and wrapping both her arms around his waist. "I finally admit it. I know I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for you and your gut instinct."

"Yeah, well, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you and your quick thinking yesterday. Did I tell you how proud I was of you?" He asked looking down into her bright crystal blue eyes, eyes that always seemed to be able to see straight to his soul.

"Um, I don't think so. But if you did that's okay. I rather like hearing that you're proud of me. I was so scared, Luis. I've never been as scared as I was when he aimed that gun at you. I -"

"Shh," he said placing his left forefinger over her lips. "It's okay now. I'm fine. We're both fine."

She nodded as a lone tear rolled down her cheek. He raised his finger and wiped it away. "Don't cry, sweetheart. Everything will be okay. I promise."

"Oh, Luis." She said placing her head against his chest. "I'm just so tired of being scared. I know the drug cartel is still after me. I know that. I get that I'm still in danger, but now we have so much more to lose. They went after you to get to me, Luis. They almost killed you because of me. I don't know what I'd do if I lost you, Luis. I -"

"Hey," he said pulling back and taking her by the arms. "I won't let anything happen to you or to me. I plan to be around a good long while. I won't let you get rid of me that easy, Ms. Crane. I plan to stay by your side until we're old and gray."

"Is that right?" She asked breaking out into a small smile.

"That's right." He said with a grin. "But I guess I'll have to marry you so no one accuses us of living in sin."

"Mar... Marry?" Sheridan asked with wide eyes. "You want to marry me?"

"Of course, I want to marry you." He said taking her face in his hands. "I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. So what do you say Ms. Crane? Are you ready to become Mrs. Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald?"



Sheridan closed her eyes as the tears started to fall down her cheeks. All her life she had waited for someone like Luis. Someone that would love her for her and not her money or the Crane name. But how could she marry him? There was still so much that he didn't know about her. So much, he wouldn't understand. So much, she didn't even understand. The nightmares that had plagued her as a child flashed in her mind and she wondered if her father was right. Would Luis still love her if he knew what she had done? Would he still love her if he knew she had possibly murdered his father? He already believed someone in her family was responsible. What would he do if he knew that someone could easily be her?

She pulled away from him suddenly realizing that he needed to know. She turned to stare out the window, not wanting Luis to see the pain on her face. She would never be able to get through what she was about to tell him if she had to look at him. "Luis, I... I can't marry you."

She heard his quick intake of breath, but rushed on before he could say anything. "It's not because I don't want to. God, I want to marry you more than anything in this world. But I can't. Not until you know..."

"Not until I know what?" Luis asked coming up behind her and turning her around to face him. "What do you think I need to know?"

She opened her mouth to tell him, but the chiming of the doorbell pierced the air before she could. Hal, she thought glancing at the clock on the bedside table. His plane had landed about over an hour ago. When she woke up, she hadn't looked at the clock. She had been to concerned by the intense look on Luis face to even think about what time it was. She looked up and her eyes locked with Luis'. They stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. Then he nodded and closed his eyes. She felt the loss immediately. "I'll get the door while you get dressed."

She swallowed hard then nodded. They would have to continue their discussion later. She would tell him about her nightmares. She would tell him about her fear that she had killed his father. She would tell him all of it and if by some miracle, he still wanted to marry her then... She shook her head, knowing full well he wouldn't. When he found out she could be the one that took his father away from him, he wouldn't want anything to do with her, unless of course it was to throw her in jail for murder.

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