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In the End

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In the End
by
Shuis112

Chapter 16
The waiter came back to take their orders and was surprised to see four more guests sitting at the table. "I'll be right back with more menus," he mumbled tiredly.

Everyone at the table laughed as he walked away. "Poor guy," said Chad. "He goes away for a few minutes, and then when he comes back, there's four more people to serve." Luis grinned before getting lost in Sheridan's sparkling blue eyes again. It was just like his dream, except this time six more people surrounded them. And one of them was his fiancée. He tore his eyes away from her and looked down. Had anyone else seen him looking at her like that?

"Excuse me for a second," he mumbled before getting up and banging his knee under the table. "I'll be right back." Sheridan watched him leave. When her eyes swiveled back to the table, they met Beth's suspicious ones. Sheridan quickly looked away. Great, now Beth thought she still had the hots for Luis. Which couldn't be further from the truth. They were just friends, right? They had both moved on with their lives.

"What are you two up to?" Sheridan was startled out of her thoughts by Ethan's comment. Theresa and Whitney only grinned wider and attempted to stifle the laughter that threatened to come out. She looked between their excited eyes and felt the corners of her mouth start to turn up. It was contagious.

Chad turned to Nick. "The whole drive here, they've been whispering and giggling about something. They won't tell us what, though." He didn't know they had caught Luis staring at Sheridan, and that they knew why he had gotten up so suddenly.

Nick shrugged. "A woman's mind is always a mystery. Who knows what they're thinking of up there," he said, pointing to his head.

Sheridan turned her head so she was facing him. "Watch it, mister. As of now, you're outnumbered." He flashed a grin at her before replying. "Aren't we always?"

"Aren't who always what?" Luis asked before giving Beth a peck on the cheek and taking his seat. Whitney and Theresa burst out laughing. "What?" he said, confused. "What's so funny?" He looked around the table, expecting to see everyone else laughing, too.

"It's nothing," Beth assured. "At least, it's nothing we know about. While that waiter gets here, I think I'll go freshen up." She was surprised to see Sheridan get up too.

"Me too," she said. "Be right back." Theresa exchanged looks with her best friend. The ladies' restroom was known for having brawls.


"Beth, we have to talk," Sheridan said as soon as she heard the thud of the door closing behind them. Beth stopped rummaging through her purse and looked up. What could there possibly be to talk about? Sheridan was going after her man, and no amount of "talking" could dissuade her from that belief. After getting no response from her, Sheridan decided to continue. "I know you probably think that, well, that I "

"Save it, Sheridan," Beth snapped. "I know you're still interested in Luis. But he's mine now. We're engaged." She held up her hand and showed her the ring. "I'm warning you, if you even so much as try -"

"I won't," she interrupted. "You can be sure of that. Whatever kind of relationship we had before, that's over now. It was over three years ago." Her voice dropped lower and lower until it was barely above a whisper. "Besides, I don't go behind people's backs and steal their man. I know what it feels like to have your heart broken."

Beth nodded. "As long we have an understanding." She pulled out two shades of lipstick and turned towards the mirror. "So, which one goes with my outfit better?"


"There you are. We were thinking of sending a search party after you two," Ethan greeted as Sheridan and Beth walked back to the table. "Why do women take so long to 'freshen up'?"

"It's like I said, Ethan." Sheridan shot Nick a warning glance. "Um, where is that waiter?" Beth smiled, her eyes lighting up. Nick could charm his way out of any situation. "I'm going to go find him," he said, getting up. Another waiter appeared as his profile disappeared in the crowd.

"Phone call for Miss Beth Wallace?" Beth excused herself and got up. "Right this way, ma'am," the waiter directed. She followed him with a confused look on her face. The only people who knew she was here were some employees at the Book Cafe and Pilar. And they wouldn't be calling unless it was an emergency.

Sheridan watched Beth leave. She thought about the conversation she had in the bathroom with her. It was funny, really. She was assuring Beth she wasn't going after Luis. How could Beth even suspect she was? That was the most hilarious part. So why was it that all she felt was disappointment and strange sense of being let down? "Sheridan?" She looked up. Luis was staring at her, his brown eyes filled with concern. "Are you okay? You seem a little distant."

Sheridan mustered up a smile. "Yeah, Luis. I'm fine," she answered as the gnawing pain in her chest grew. "Just a little tired." Suddenly all Sheridan wanted was to go home and curl up into a ball. She didn't want to be here, where everyone could see her break down. Sheridan inhaled deeply. She had to stay strong for the remainder of the night. Because that's what she was, she told herself. She was strong.


Beth pressed the cold receiver up against her ear. The feeling of impending doom grew stronger by the second, and she was almost positive that something was wrong. "Hello?" she answered quietly, afraid of what the person on the other end might unleash.

"Beth, honey? Is that you?" Beth froze. That voice, it sounded so much like her mother's. But it couldn't be. Her mother had passed away from cancer years ago. "It's your Aunt Rose," the voice continued. She let out a breath she didn't know she had been holding. It was her mother's sister. She had forgotten how alike their voices sounded.

"Aunt Rose? How are you?"

"I'm fine, dear. You may be wondering why I'm calling after all this time." Beth heard her aunt sniff and start again. "It's your uncle."

Suddenly Beth knew her feelings were right. Something was wrong. "Uncle Jack?" she asked, her voice shaky. "How is he?"

"He's in the hospital, Beth." She gasped. Tears started to well up in her eyes.



Nick sighed with frustration. Friday night was definitely one of the Seascape's busiest. They were running short on help, and many tables were complaining about the slow service. He heard his stomach growl with hunger. "I guess I better get back to the table and tell everyone the news."

He turned around and saw Beth walking by. She seemed to be in a hurry, she was obviously upset about something. He ran up to her and tentatively lay a hand on her shoulder. "Beth? Are you okay?" She whipped around. Nick stepped back. Her face was tear-streaked, her eyes red and puffy. She was shaking uncontrollably, and he wrapped his arms around her to calm her down. "Beth," he whispered. "What " She didn't answer. She just grabbed onto him and sobbed, letting her tears fall freely down her face. He responded by embracing her more tightly and kissing the top of her head. "Shh, it's going to be okay."

The End

               
     

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