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Storms of Desire
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Storms of Desire
by SheridanC

     
Sidenote: This is just a story created from my overactive imagination. Meeting people that you’ve met through the internet in real life can be dangerous.I advise you listen to your parents -- don’t do it! It’s better to be safe than sorry. :-) Just looking out for my buddies, hehe.

Chapter One

SHERIDAN CRANE went completely stiff in her faux-oak chair, staring at the words on the computer screen in front of her as if they were a death sentence.

In reality, they were far from it. They didn’t bring a bad a reaction; rather a warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of her stomach. Her heart hammered against her chest.

She re-read the words.

No, definitely not a bad reaction. In fact, she suddenly thought of the many nights she would lay in bed, all alone in the cold December nights and dream of this exact moment. To witness it now was like experiencing a bad case of déjá-vu.

She tried to make her hands move to type back, but they refused to obey her command, and instead went fluttering to her mouth in shock mixed with delight.

KnightInShiningArmor: You live in Harmony, right?

IceAngel: Yes. Why?

KnightInShiningArmor: ...My fiancée and I are moving there. And my family.


Of course, in her fantasies, he was a free man; and he would come to Harmony, sweep her off her feet, and kiss her passionately. And she would return the kiss with a fire before moving back and uttering, "I love you, Luis." The words would be returned in a husky whisper -- then they’d stumble to her bedroom and make love.

His name was Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald, so he said, and he had dark black hair and golden eyes. She liked that. She’d never seen anyone with golden eyes.

She’d never seen his picture, so she would capture him in her dreams as a man who would set her heart on fire, make her blood boil. She could never actually see his face in her fantasies; but she would tell herself that he was a hunk to placate herself.

It was unusual for a woman who had been dating a successful author for three years. One who had been asked her hand in marriage just yesterday.

It had been a heart-stopping, terrifying moment. She’d simply blinked several times and replied in a zombie-like way, "Give me time to think."

He’d left her with a kiss on the cheek, and she hadn’t seen him since.

Undoubtedly, he’d be back today, and she would turn down his proposal.

There was nothing wrong with Darren Hanson. He was a handsome man with dark gold locks and ice blue eyes; but he wasn’t the man for her. She’d only agreed to date him that day three years ago because he was a successful author; because he was like her in every aspect. Because they had things in common.

And mostly because he was safe. Boring, shy, and safe. Every woman’s fantasy. Not.

Now, Sheridan sat in front of the computer she spent two hours in front of every day chatting away with Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald, and lowered her hand to shakily type back, "You are?"

Dumb question. Didn’t he just say he was moving to Harmony? Sheridan mentally kicked herself.

KnightInShiningArmor: Hehe, yes.

A smile instantly spread across Sheridan’s face. And then disappeared as his words replayed in her mind.

My fiancée and I are moving to Harmony.

Fiancée.
Key word, Sher.

Sheridan bitterly smiled. Even if they did meet, even if they did get along, and even if he was the hottest man on the face of the earth, he was a taken man. And he certainly wasn’t taken by her.

She studied the computer screen for a long moment. KnightInShiningArmor. The screen name definitely fit him. She was suddenly reminded of the time one of the chatroom members -- a guy who went by the name of "BadAssBiker" -- hit repeatedly on her and she kept having to tell him to back off. Luis had logged on, and she’d taken him into a private chatroom to confide in him about the little escapade.

To put it bluntly, BadAssBiker had ended up logging off only two seconds later. Sheridan giggled at the memory.

KnightInShiningArmor: Do you want to meet?

Sheridan bit her lip tentatively. She could almost hear her mother, Victoria, chiding her, "You shouldn’t meet people online! It could be dangerous."

Of course, Sheridan was a twenty-four-year-old woman. She could certainly make her own decisions. And this was one oppurtunity she intended to jump at.

Without a moment's hesitation, she typed back, "Yes," and they worked out plans to meet at the Book Café at six o’clock two days from now.

Twenty minutes later, Luis logged off, leaving Sheridan with a dreamy smile on her face. A loud knocking permeated the room, jarring Sheridan from her momentary bliss.

She stood from her chair and stretched to get the kinks out of her back before passing the couch to answer the front door. Her house was pretty small, with a staircase to the left side of the room near the front door, leading up to the second floor -- which had three rooms, two unused. She had a fair-sized dining room and a large kitchen. The livingroom was probably the smallest room in the house: A television set sat in front of a marshmallowy, comfortable couch, with two small tables on either side, and her computer sat on a desk to the right of the couch, only a few feet away.

She peered out the peephole on the front door before groaning and unlocking it.

In front of her stood her bronze-skinned boyfriend with a goofy grin plastered to his face.

"Darren," she greeted, forcing a smile. It figured that he was the one to interrupt her fantasies about Luis. She felt a twinge of guilt, knowing that she shouldn’t be dreaming of another man when she was with Darren.

It wasn’t his fault that he didn’t ignite her passion. Anyhow, she thought, numbly accepting a kiss from Darren, she wouldn’t have to worry about feeling guilty. She couldn’t imagine a life with dull Darren; therefore, she had to turn down his proposal.

She’d given life with him a shot. It just didn’t work out. And it had nothing to do with Luis. She’d only met him two months back, and she’d known that she had to let go of Darren long before that -- she just hadn't had the heart.

Besides, she reminded herself with a frown, Luis was taken.

Taking Darren’s coat, she glanced briefly outdoors at the snow-covered ground before retreating inside and hanging his coat on a coatrack to the left side of the front door, closing the door in the process.

"We have to talk--"

"How are you--?"

Sheridan laughed half-heartedly at their simultaneous words before turning to face him.

He acknowledged her serious demeanor with a knitted brow.

"Is something wrong?" He worriedly took a seat on the couch. Sheridan sat next to him.

"Well, yes...you see..." She bit her lip briefly. "About your proposal..."

Darren averted his gaze, almost nervously. Sheridan eyed him suspiciously.

"Darren?"

He cleared his throat and turned his eyes on her again. "Yes?"

"What’s wrong?" She studied his face. "You look nervous."

Darren forced a laugh. "Well..."

Sheridan stood and folded her arms over her chest. "What’s going on?"

Darren cleared his throat again and rose to his feet. "I was thinking yesterday about you, about life." He ran his hand through his golden locks before dropping it to his side. "We’ve been dating for three years, and there’s...there’s no fire, Sheridan."

Sheridan gaped. "Are you taking back your proposal?"

Darren nervously shifted his weight. "Well...I...I guess you could put it that way," he replied tentatively.

Sheridan blinked in surprise. Then she burst out laughing at the irony of the situation.

"You’re laughing. Why are you laughing?" Darren stared at her incredulously.

Her bout of giggles subsiding, Sheridan straightened up and waved her hand in dismissal. "Because, I agree."

Darren lifted a curious eyebrow. "What?"

Sheridan smiled nervously and gestured for him to sit. He did.

Taking a seat beside him, she explained, "I’ve been thinking about this for months, and I agree with you. There
isno fire. I think the only reason I started dating you is because you’re so much like me." She paused and studied his reaction. He simply nodded his head in agreement.

"Could we be friends?" she quietly asked, unsure of whether she should have inquired such a thing -- or expect it.

But Darren’s reply was a positive one.

"That would be nice." He touched her hand affectionately. "I think it would be best for both of us. You’re like a sister to me. I wouldn’t want to lose contact."

Breathing a sigh of relief, Sheridan leaned forward and hugged him. "Thank you for being so understanding."

Darren nodded and kissed her hair. "Anytime."



That night, her mother went into another lecture about how Sheridan should be getting out more often, and meeting more people.

Typical night with her family around. Father sat at one end of the dinner table, merely picking at his food and rolling his eyes as Victoria worriedly went off about how Sheridan shouldn’t spend so much time at home, sitting at the computer.

"You’re a beautiful young woman, Sheridan. You shouldn’t write so often. It’s not your life," Victoria chastised, shoving a bite of spaghetti into her mouth. Swallowing it down, she added, "And I don’t think you should have broken your engagement off. Darren is a nice boy, and a wealthy one."

Sheridan sighed in exasperation. "The feelings were mutual, Mother. We both agreed that we should date other people. And I never said writing was my life, but it is a very important part of it."

Victoria cast her a disapproving look. "You’ve already had two books published. Isn’t that enough?"

Sheridan rolled her eyes and sighed, taking a bite of her dinner.

"I perfectly understand how Sheridan feels," Julian, her brother, piped up. "Mother, she’s a twenty-four-year-old woman. She can make her own decisions."

"Stay out of this, Julian," Victoria warned, never glancing his way. She reached out to place her hand on Sheridan’s.

"I’m only being a worried mother," she explained gently. "You shouldn’t stay cooped up inside this house so often. You don’t have to be alone, you know." She squeezed her daughter’s hand. "And you should invite us over more."

Sheridan smiled tightly. "And get lectured every night? Dream on."

Victoria grinned at her and removed her hand. "I’m only doing what I think is best for you."

"Mother," Sheridan replied with a sigh, "I can make my own decisions, as Julian pointed out. I’m not your little girl anymore." She smiled sadly at Victoria, who only shook her head and shoved another forkful of spaghetti in her mouth.

"And I think I know what is best for me," she added, taking a sip of water from a glass that had been sitting next to her plate.

"Sometimes you need to learn from other people’s mistakes." Victoria knitted her brow and looked at her daughter. "Are you sure that breaking off the engagement was the right thing to do, Sheridan?"

Sheridan nodded and smiled. "Positive."

Victoria shook her head and sighed. "All right, then. I’m happy for you." She looked up. "But you really should get out more often."

"I will," Sheridan responded with a smile, setting her glass down again. "I promise, Mother."

Victoria nodded. "Good."



"I don’t see why you insist on seeing this girl," Emily Hanson protested, looking at her fiancé with a mix of jealousy and irritation. "She’s poor. She has no class. And she’s certainly not friend material. Really, Luis." She adjusted her fiancé’s tie. "You should choose more suitable people to meet."

"Emily, darling, your Hanson genes are showing." Luis gave his fiancée a peck on the lips before turning back to the mirror in his bedroom at the Lopez-Fitzgerald mansion. Or, so it was now. They’d bought the estate upon moving to Harmony. It was a beautiful mansion that rested on top of a hill. A little bit away was a small cottage. He had no use for that, nor did the rest of his family.

"At least give it thought, Luis. You have two days to decide. I don’t see why I’m letting you go through with this." Emily sighed and rested her chin against his shoulder, gazing into the mirror. She smiled, her red lipsticked lips curving upwards.

Luis glanced once at his pale fiancée, with auburn hair and emerald green eyes. He supposed they made a good enough looking couple, but he didn't love her. No, he was only marrying her for the Lopez-Fitzgerald-Hanson merger...but he would fall in love with her some day. He was sure of that. And he certainly wasn’t using her. She was a great friend. He wouldn’t do that.

"We make a lovely couple, don’t we, darling?" Emily whispered with a dreamy sigh.

Luis glanced at their reflection. "Yes," he managed to reply. But something didn’t feel right. And he was looking forward to meeting Sheridan Crane just a little too much.

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