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Too Hot To Handle
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Rating: R

 
     

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Too Hot To Handle
by Deanna Lynn

Things to Note: Luis is 25, Sheridan is 24. Luis is not a cop in this one. He's a construction worker. Um, he doesn't hate the Cranes. His father owns the construction company where he works. His mother is a Spanish Teacher at Harmony High. Sheridan's father (name to be determined later) is a judge and her mother (Don't know yet) is a doctor. She's been living in New York City, but she's staying with her aunt and uncle Julian & Ivy, and her cousin Ethan for the summer. She just broke up with her beau of two years because her folks kept pressuring her to marry him. She is staying in Harmony so she can get out from under her parents’ watchful eye. Everyone thinks she's little miss innocent, but she plans to shed that particular image before the summer is over.

Luis is known as a bad boy that's hell on women. Hmm, can't you see the fireworks already? Ethan and Theresa are around the same age as Sher and Luis. Theresa is 23 and Ethan is 25. Okay, on with the story!!



Chapter One

LUIS LOPEZ-FITZGERALD used his right forearm to wipe the sweat from his brow, then turned back to hammer another nail into what would soon be a doorframe. The pool house he was renovating for the Cranes was by no means going to be an easy task, but he knew it would be a fun one. After all, his best friend Ethan always had a lot of parties during the summer and that meant plenty of hot girls for him to meet.

Luis grinned and hammered the last nail into the doorframe then turned and sat the hammer on the pile of wood beside him. He needed a break, he thought running a hand through his sweat drenched black hair. He'd been working nonstop since seven this morning. It was now, he paused and glanced at the watch on his wrist, noon. He shook his head and decided to stop and relax a bit before he tackled the next job. He grabbed the bottom of his white T-shirt and used it to wipe the sweat off his face. Then decided to just take the shirt off altogether. It was too damn hot to wear one anyway. He pulled the shirt over his head and wiped the sweat off his back and chest before throwing it on the ground beside his toolbox.

It had to be at least ninety-five, ninety-six degrees outside, he thought in disgust. He turned and stared at the water to his right. A dip in that pool would sure feel good right about now, he thought his mouth practically salivating at the mere thought of cooling his heated skin. Ethan had told him to use it whenever he wanted. Hmm, maybe a swimming break was just what he needed. He was certainly glad he had the forethought to wear his swim trunks under his jeans. Something told him, he would want to take a swim today. Luis pulled off his boots, unbuttoned his jeans, and reached for the zipper. Just as he started to pull it down, a voice called out. "Hey, Luis."

He turned to see his sister, Theresa, walking toward him. "Hey, sis." He said removing his hands from his zipper and placing them on his hips. "What are you doing here?"

"I came to see Ethan of course." Luis just shook his head. He should have known. Theresa and Ethan had been dating for the last few months and from what he could tell it was getting pretty serious between them too.

"So," he said raising a hand to wipe the sweat off the back of his neck. "Where is Ethan today? I haven't seen him all morning."

"You forgot, didn't you?" Theresa asked shaking her head. "His cousin, Sheridan is coming in today and he went to pick her up at the airport."

That's right, he thought. Ethan had mentioned something about that the other day. "Yeah, I did forget. So when are they supposed to be back?"

"Should be soon." Theresa said glancing toward the back door of the main house. "Sheridan's flight got in over an hour ago."

"Ah," he said glancing back toward the pool. "Well sis, I'd like to continue this chat, but I'm a little hot. I was just about to jump in the pool and cool off."

"Oh good idea." Theresa said turning back to him with huge smile. "I'll go get my suit on and join you. Maybe when Ethan and Sheridan get here they will want to join us too."

"Sounds good to me." Luis said as he started walking toward the pool. Frankly, he didn't care who joined him as long as he got to cool off. He threw off his jeans and dove into the deep end of the pool. The water was perfect, he thought as he swam back to the surface. In fact, it was better than perfect. It was heaven. The only thing missing, he thought as he started swimming toward the diving board at the end of the pool, was a beautiful woman to share it with. He briefly wondered what Ethan's cousin looked like, but then realized it didn't really matter. From what little Ethan had said, she sounded as if she were just two steps shy of joining a convent. Definitely not his type of woman, he thought. He liked his women on the wild side and the wilder they were the better he liked them.



SHERIDAN CRANE set her bags down just inside the guestroom her aunt and uncle had prepared for her. It was just as she remembered, she thought looking around the room. A room fit for little miss innocent, right down to the frilly lace curtains and too-many-flowers-on-it bedspread. God, when would they realize she was not who they thought she was. Oh she had tried to be, but it was just too damn hard to pretend to be the "good girl." She was tired of living the life everyone else wanted her to live. She wanted to cut loose. She wanted to have fun. She wanted to know what it felt like to drive a man wild.

She smiled at that last thought. If her parents or her aunt and uncle knew the thoughts that went through her head, they would lock her up and throw away the key. She laughed. She may be little miss innocent right now, but by the end of the summer she planned to show this town just how wild she could be. Maybe then her family would get off her back and let her make her own decisions. Maybe then they wouldn't continually set her up with boring country club losers. Just once, she'd like to meet a real man and know what it was like to feel his hands on her body. Maybe that would erase the memory of Mike he ex-boyfriend and first lover. God, how could her parents have actually expected her to marry him? He was BORING and... Even worse, he was predictable.

"Sher," Ethan said as he entered her room. "Theresa is downstairs. She and Luis are fixing to enjoy the pool and wants to know if we'd like to join them."

"Theresa is your girlfriend, right?" Sheridan asked picking up her suitcase and laying it on the bed. She unzipped it and found her favorite bikini lying on top.

"Yes." He said his eyes lighting up at the mention of Theresa's name. Did he know he was in love yet? If he didn't he was in for one hell of a surprise. "And Luis is her brother and my best friend."

Ah yes, Luis. Wasn't he the guy that Ethan was telling her about on the way up here? The love 'em and leave 'em, Mr. I'll-break-your-heart-in-a-New-York-minute guy? "Is that the playboy you warned me about?"

Ethan's eyes widened and he swiveled his head around to check to see if anyone else heard her comment. When he saw no one else was around he relaxed. "Sher, don't say things like that. The guy is my best friend, not to mention the fact that he's also my girlfriend's brother! Besides, I didn't say he was a playboy. I just said he was hell on women. "

"There's a difference?" Sheridan asked raising a brow. "Forget it. Don't bother answering that. I don't care that he's Mr. Heartbreaker. I don't plan to fall for any guys while I'm in town. The only thing I expect to do this summer is discourage my folks from trying to marry me off and to have fun. That's my only request for the whole summer. I just want to have fun and if Luis love 'em and leave 'em Lopez-whatever is the man to help me have that fun... then that's great. If he isn't then that's fine too. Regardless, I plan to kick up my heels this summer and by the time I'm done, no one will see me as little miss innocent anymore."

"Sher, you don't -"

"Ethan." she said interrupting him. She already knew what he was going to say. 'Don't go messing with Luis. He would only break her heart.' Ha, he had to have her heart before he could break it and there was no way in hell she was giving it up without a fight. "My mind is made up. Besides, the more you badmouth your friend the better he sounds."

That said she grabbed her bikini out of her suitcase and walked into the bathroom to change. She hoped Luis was as good looking as she pictured him. From what little Ethan had told her, he sounded like a dream. And who knows, she thought throwing off her light blue T-shirt and faded blue jeans, he might just be the man she was looking for. The man that would help her to ruin her good girl image once and for all.

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