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Playing With Fire

















(bonus chapter-rated R)

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Blast From the Past
Fan fiction and fond (mostly) memories
of soap days gone by


Playing With Fire


Chapter Eight

Gwen watched as Tony walked into his brother's room. Luis had been awake awhile now, but Tony had waited until the rest of his family had a chance to talk with Luis. It said a lot about the kind of man he was. Of course, she had already gotten a few glimpses of that already. He was so unlike anyone she had ever met. That night in New York she had thought him nothing more than a playboy, but now... now she was seeing a different side to him. He was a different man around his family. He wasn't all sweet talk and heated glances. Nor was he the playboy he wanted everyone to think he was. What he was, however, was a man that felt things deeply.

She had to smile at that. She knew Tony wouldn't particularly like that description. He seemed to want people to think of him as a playboy. She secretly wondered if that was so he wouldn't have to live up to so many expectations.

She felt someone staring at her and when she turned her head to look around, she found Theresa. She took a deep breath as Theresa made her way toward her. Gwen wasn't at all sure she was ready to deal with Theresa yet. It was just too soon for her. She had barely made peace with Ethan.

"Gwen," Theresa said hesitantly. "I wanted to thank you for being here for Antonio today. I know what it took for you to come here and I know it means a great deal to him that you are here."

Gwen smiled in spite of herself. "Thank you. I'm glad I could be here for him. He's a wonderful man." More wonderful that she expected him to be.

Gwen blushed when she realized she'd said that last part aloud. She hadn't meant to. Theresa didn't seem at all shocked by it though. In fact, her face lit up as if she just discovered some knew treasure or something. "I knew it. You really care about my brother, don't you?"

She took a deep breath. "Yes I guess I do. But we don't really know each other all that well either." At least, they didn't, outside the biblical sense.

Theresa smiled. "He said the same thing. Maybe you guys should get to know each other better."

"I wouldn't mind that. But I don't know if Tony feels the same way."

"He does. I can tell. I must admit Ethan and I were shocked when we found out that you two knew each other. It's funny how things work out sometimes."

Gwen laughed. She couldn't help it. The irony of it all was just too much. Here she was talking to the woman that was now involved with her ex-fiancé, and the main topic of conversation was her involvement with her brother. She had once thought she would never be able to talk to Theresa or Ethan or anyone in their families, without feeling all that resentment and anger, but here she was, no anger, no resentment, just this feeling as if she had finally let go of the past.

Antonio walked into Luis' room and watched as his brother's eyes lit up at the sight of him. He closed his eyes and said a silent prayer of thanks then walked toward Luis' bed. "Hey little brother, did you have to give us all such a scare? I mean really, superman, getting yourself shot was a little extreme even for you."

Luis laughed. "Yeah well, I had to get your attention somehow."

He smiled and shook his head then took the chair beside the bed. "So the doc says you're going to be all right. How do you feel?"

"I feel wonderful. I feel like the happiest man alive. I have a beautiful wife and we're expecting a baby. All is right with the world."

Antonio nodded. "I'm glad things have worked out for you Luis. I know you and Sher have been through hell, but you know what? It only made you stronger."

"That sounds like something Theresa would say." Luis said with a smirk.

He chuckled realizing Luis was right. It was definitely something Resa would say. "Yeah, I guess she's starting to rub off on me or something."

"Are you sure it isn't Gwen who is starting to rub off on you?"

Antonio's brows shot up in surprise. "Who told you about Gwen?"

Luis laughed. "YOU did. I heard you. You were telling me all about her. You said you didn't think of that night you spent in... Where was it? New York? Anyway, you said you didn't think of it as a one night stand. You said it meant more to you than that. So what did you mean? Have you fallen in love with her?"

Antonio shook his head then got up and started pacing the room. "Hell no. Luis, I barely know her. How could I possibly be in love with her?"

"Well, I don't know. Looking back, I think I probably fell in love with Sheridan the minute I laid eyes on her. There was just something about her that got under my skin. Still does. From what I heard you say, it sounded as if Gwen did the same thing to you. Am I wrong?"

Antonio stopped pacing and just stared at Luis. "Of course you're wrong. There is no way I'm in love with her. I can't be. It's impossible."

"Why?" Luis asked with a curious expression on his face. "Why is it impossible that you could be in love with Gwen?"

"Because..." he let his voice trail off, unsure of how to explain himself. Gwen got to him like no one else, but love? There was no way. He remembered that look in her eyes earlier. He had thought it looked like love. He shook his head. That was nuts.

"Because what?" Luis asked with a raised brow. "Because you guys barely know each other outside that one night you guys spent together? Hell, Tony, love never works the way we want it to. It's there before you know what hits you. But I'll tell you what, she wouldn't be here if she didn't care about you too. Especially with what happened between her, Ethan, and Theresa."

Antonio walked over and sat back down in the chair he'd vacated just moments before. "What exactly did happen between them?"

"Resa didn't tell you?" Luis asked.

"No. Gwen said that Theresa had pretended to be her friend and all the while was after Ethan. Is that true?"

Luis nodded. "Yeah, I didn't find out until Gwen was walking down the aisle and Ethan called off the wedding. Theresa was one of Gwen's bridesmaids and had walked in first. Ethan took one look at her and said he knew he couldn't marry Gwen."

Damn, Gwen must have been devastated. "So the whole time Theresa was planning Ethan and Gwen's wedding, she was also putting the moves on Ethan?"

Luis shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. The only thing I really know is that they always ended up being thrown together, sometimes it was Gwen herself who threw them together. She had Ethan and Theresa check out a Honeymoon resort in Bermuda while she was in New York. Then when she came back she had Ethan take Theresa to the prom. I don't know why she did that. It seems to me as if she was almost pushing them together."

That's what he was thinking to. The only question was why? If she had really loved Ethan why would she push him towards another woman? "It doesn't make sense does it?"

Luis shook his head no. "That's a woman for you though. There is no figuring them out so you may as well not even try."

Antonio laughed. "Spoken like a true man."

"You're damn right." Luis said with a grin. "Now why don't you get out here and let me get some rest.

Antonio grinned. "Okay do you want me to ask Sher to come in?"

Luis smiled. "Yeah, thanks and I don't want to see you back here until tomorrow. You need a night away from the hospital. Sher said you had been here since they brought me in."

"I have. There was no way I was leaving until I knew you were going to be all right."

"I know, I wouldn't have been able to either. But I'm fine now so get out of here and take Gwen to dinner or something."

Antonio stood up and gave his brother a wide grin. "That sounds like a great idea. I'd like to spend some time alone with Gwen. We have a lot to talk about."

"Yeah it sounds like it. Well I wish you luck. Just remember not to tell her what do to. I know Sher really hates when I do that."

That was a total understatement, Antonio thought as he walked out the door laughing. His sister-in-law was probably the most independent woman he knew, but he knew from experience Gwen came awfully close. Without even realizing what he was doing, he looked around for Gwen. A second later, he saw her, standing in a corner talking to Theresa. They really were talking too. In fact, right now they actually looked as if they were laughing. Had he just walked into a surreal universe? First, she had talked with Ethan and now Theresa? He wondered if they were making amends. After what Luis told him, he wasn't sure that would ever be a possibility, but now... now he wasn't so sure. They almost looked like... friends. He really hated to interrupt them, but he was ready to get out of there. He was tired not to mention famished.

He had just started to make his way toward them when he saw Sher come around the corner. She stopped in front of him and asked how Luis was. "He's fine. He told me to tell you go in."

She smiled then reached up and placed a kiss on his cheek. "Thanks Tony."

"You're welcome, sweetie. I think I'm going to go grab something to eat, you want anything?"

"Nope, Pilar and Miguel brought me something earlier. Have fun and take Gwen with you. She's got to be starving, you've both been here all night."

He smiled. "That was the plan."

She laughed then walked around him toward the door to Luis' room. "Good! Now I'm going to go see my husband. Stay out of trouble."

I'll try, he thought turning back to look at Gwen. She was alone now and looking right at him, her brown eyes still sparkling with humor. He hoped she would agree to have dinner with him. He really wanted to spend some time alone with her. They needed to talk, not just about that night, but about everything else that was going on too.

He smiled then started walking toward her. She must have had the same idea because she started walking toward him too. They ended up meeting halfway. "Hey, sweetheart."

"Hey yourself." She said giving him a bright smile. "How's Luis?"

"Luis is good. He's already back to giving orders. He told me to get out of here and go home."

She smiled. "Well, you have been here all night."

"Yeah and so have you." He said giving her a full-fledged grin. 'How 'bout you let me repay you by taking you to dinner?"

Her eyes danced and she gave him a kick-to-the-gut smile. "I would love to go to dinner with you. I'm starving. Do you mind if we stop back by my hotel first though? I really need to change clothes."

"Not if you don't mind if I get ready there too. I have a change of clothes somewhere around here. Miguel and mama brought them to me earlier." He spotted a bag in the corner and figured that was probably them. He walked over and grabbed the sack to make sure. Sure enough it was.

He and Gwen quickly said their goodbyes. Since he'd rode to the hospital in the police cruiser with Sam and had left his car back at the airport in Boston, they had to take her car. He supposed he'd have to get someone to drive him up there tomorrow and pick it up. It was too late to do it tonight. It was almost nine. Besides the only thing, he wanted to do tonight was go grab something to eat and hit the sack. He was too beat for anything else.





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