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Thread: Make Me Believe (Gwen Story)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    Post Make Me Believe (Gwen Story)

    Make Me Believe



    The finishing touches. A strand of auburn hair in disarray tucked behind her ear. A dab of perfume strategically placed. Lips made glossy. Eyes shining brightly from smoky lids.

    She stepped back slowly and gazed at her reflection.

    "You can do this," she told herself.

    The pale light from her bedside lamp made the diamond studs in her ears sparkle as she picked up the tiny sequined purse.

    The doorknob turned easily in her hand, and the sound of her heels were muffled on the carpeted floor.

    She trailed her hand down the satiny banister. Taking careful steps.

    This house.it was so empty.

    Out of the corner of her eye, she thought she saw a glimpse of the woman she was before.

    Happy. Smiling. Engaged to the only man she had ever loved.

    But when she turned around.

    All she saw were sad, haunted blue eyes that belonged to a stranger.

    Who had she become?

    What had she become?

    So intent on revenge, she lost sight of who she really was.

    That all ended tonight.

    She fingered the elegant caligraphy for a moment. An invitation. From Sheridan.

    Her reasons for missing the actual ceremony were better left unsaid. But Sheridan had understood.

    She thought of the sympathetic smile on her friend's lips as she slipped the ivory card into her hand.

    "You're my friend, Gwen. At least come to the reception."

    THEY would be there, she knew.

    Wrapped in each other's arms. Oblivious to the outside world.

    Was she really doing the right thing, she wondered as her car sped along the Coast Road.

    Waves surged and broke against the shore.

    Should she turn around? Call Sheridan on her cell and make excuses she knew she wouldn't buy?

    Too late, she realized as The Seascape loomed ahead.

    Her headlights cut across the darkness, and in their illumination she saw a young man and a young woman. Sharing a sweet kiss.

    Charity and Miguel.

    Another girl lurked in the background. Sullen. Forgotten.

    She knew exactly how Kay Bennett felt at that precise moment. She'd been there.

    A tall youth with a shock of tawny hair and freckles across his nose took her keys, and she almost laughed at the sheer pleasure in his hazel eyes as he ran his hands reverently over the steering wheel, and the engine roared back to life a few seconds later.

    Strains of romantic melodies reached her ears as she walked slowly through the entrance.

    But it wasn't enough to drown out the roar of the whispers that followed her.

    Heads turned as she walked to the back of the crowded room.

    Ahead she heard joyous laughter. Utterances of well wishes.

    All grew quiet as she neared.

    Sheridan and her brand-new husband swayed gently in each other's embrace. Eyes locked. All glorious smiles.

    She felt a dull pain shoot through her chest at the sight of the simple golden wedding band that adorned her friend's finger, and she shut her eyes to the sight. Willing the ache to go away.

    "Gwen. What are you doing here?"

    Her eyes fluttered open, and she swallowed the urge to say something nasty. Snide. Instead.she spoke with as much politeness as she could muster.

    "Theresa," she murmured. "I."

    She felt a gentle hand on her arm.

    "I invited her, Theresa," Sheridan spoke softly.

    Theresa apologized awkwardly, and she watched her retreat to a quiet corner with Ethan close on her heels.

    "Thank you for coming," Sheridan smiled. Hugging her close. "Gwen," she said. Holding her at arm's length. "You look beautiful tonight."

    Luis nodded his silent agreement when Sheridan glanced his way.

    "Luis," Hank called. Motioning to him.

    "Gwen.if you will excuse me," he cleared his throat. "Mrs. Lopez- Fitzgerald," he grinned. Encircling Sheridan's waist. "There's something very important I have to take care of, but I promise I'll be back soon."

    She bowed her head. A pained smile on her face at the sparkle in Sheridan's blue eyes. The love so plain in her voice.

    "I'll miss you," she told him with a radiant smile. Capturing his lips in a lingering kiss.

    "Mijo," Pilar repeated.

    She was trying to be stern, Gwen realized. But she just couldn't.

    Luis got two steps away before he turned back around. Strode up to Sheridan and swept her into a kiss more passionate than the one before.

    "Luis," Sheridan giggled against his lips as catcalls and whistles broke out. "Go," she whispered. Pushing him away reluctantly.

    "I'm so happy for you," she told her sincerely as she looped her arm through hers and led her to a refreshment table. Grabbing a flute of champagne and handing it to her.

    Gwen raised the glass to her lips hesitantly. "Sheridan? Aren't you going to."

    Sheridan's hand rubbed circles on her stomach in an unconscious gesture. "No," she murmured. "No champagne for me. Gwen.I really am glad you came. Believe me when I say so. I feel so terrible. So guilty. All these months I've neglected you. I haven't been a real friend. A true friend," she said sadly. "Let me make it up to you. From this day forward."

    Gwen's throat grew tight with tears as she rested her chin on Sheridan's bare shoulder. Accepting her embrace.

    A friend. A true friend. Maybe she wasn't so alone, after all.

    "Don't cry," Sheridan smiled. Brushing her tears away with a sisterly hand. "This is a night for new beginnings."

    "New beginnings," she agreed as she let her go.

    Luis's voice sounded loud and clear, and they looked up to find him standing onstage. Microphone in hand. Silly smile plastered on his face. But as he spoke.his expression grew serious.

    Tears of happiness spilled from Sheridan's crystal eyes as she listened.

    "It's been a long road filled with many obstacles along the way. But we made it. Together. I never thought this day would come, but now that it's here.Sheridan.Mrs. Lopez-Fitzgerald," he corrected quickly. "This is the happiest day of my life. I love you."

    "I love you, too, Luis!" Sheridan shouted joyfully.

    Laughter rang out in the crowded room.

    Luis turned to the band leader and whispered something to him. "May I have this dance?" he asked. Holding out his hand for her.

    "Imagine."

    Sheridan floated forward.

    And it all became too much.

    Her purse dropped to the floor as her feet carried her away.

    She pushed through the crowd of people. Thankful at least they were too busy watching the newlyweds sharing their first dance together to notice her falling apart.

    The night air wrapped itself around her. Suffocating her as she gasped for breath. Hiding her tears behind one shaky hand as she gripped the terrace rail with the other.

    "I believe this belongs to you," a voice said.

    He stepped from the shadows. Arm outstretched.

    She took the purse from his hand. Wiping self-consciously at her tears. "You must think I'm a terrible person." Just like the rest of Harmony. "I didn't mean to make a scene. It.I."

    "Stop apologizing," he said. With a gentle smile. "I happen to think you're entitled."

    She studied him through veiled eyes.

    He was taller than she'd originally thought. Still.it was unnerving. Staring into his brown eyes. Kind eyes. Understanding eyes. A stubborn lock of dark hair fell across his forehead.

    She wanted to brush it away. Run her fingers through his hair. And that thought had the corners of her lips tugging upward.

    "What?" he asked. Running his hands through his hair.

    She didn't answer. Only laughed when he grinned goofily at her.

    "You should laugh more often," he suggested. Reaching out to tuck a stray auburn strand behind her ear.

    She inhaled sharply at his unexpected touch. Then ducked her head. "Well.I haven't had much to laugh at lately. With."

    "I know," he interrupted her. Leaning back against the terrace railing. "It's hard."

    She lifted confused blue eyes to his face.

    "Being the town outcast. The black sheep. The little brother," he smirked. "Trust me. I'm an expert."

    "Really?" she said. "Tell me something.does it ever get any easier? Wouldn't you like to change things sometimes?"

    He considered her question for a second. And crossed his arms about his chest. His tie hung loosely from his neck. "Easier? I don't think so. But the trick is.you have to embrace it. Learn to make the best of it. Don't take the friends you DO have for granted. I'm lucky. I have Luis. Sure he stays on my ass sometimes," he chuckled. "But I know he loves me."

    "Sheridan wants to start over," she said absently. "I know she didn't mean to.she was in a really tough position.but I can't help resenting the fact that she was so supportive of Theresa." When MY heart was breaking.

    "That's a tough one," he said softly. "But she's trying now. I think tonight proves that. I think you should give her that chance. Things might start looking up. They're sickeningly happy you know."

    She smiled. Finally. Someone who felt some of the same feelings she was feeling.

    "I feel like such an.underachiever," he sighed. "But it's always been that way. It's almost comforting."

    "How?" she asked in an incredulous voice.

    "It's just normal," he shrugged. "And really.I kind of like being the hellraiser," he grinned. "It's much more fun." His brown eyes twinkled with mischief.

    "Fun," she scoffed. "That's something I haven't had in a very long time. I can't even remember the last time."

    His brows creased.

    Lively Spanish beats filtered from inside The Seascape.

    "The tango," they said simultaneously.

    They couldn't see their friends, but they could imagine.

    She laughed at the thought of Sheridan dancing the sexy dance in her pristine wedding gown with its abundant skirts.

    He stared at her profile in the dim glow that emanated from the inside.

    A gentle ocean breeze tickled her cheeks as she propped her elbows on the railing. And she could taste the cool, salty mist on her lips.

    "Do you want to go back inside?" he finally asked.

    Applause resounded inside.

    "No," she whispered softly.

    "I can take you home."

    She turned to look at him with a mysterious smile. Her blue eyes shining. "Show me."

    "Show you what?" he asked curiously. Grinning a tad uneasily. "Oh," he laughed in realization. And he offered his arm to her. "Let's blow this joint. Ms. Hotchkiss.are you ready to have a little fun?"

    She laughed breathlessly as they stole across the crowd of people. Ignoring the curious onlookers.

    He caught the keys she threw him and slid into the leather driver's seat of the silver convertible.

    The tires squealed as they raced out of the parking lot, and she closed her eyes as the wind hit her face.

    He smiled at her out of the corner of his brown eyes. Steering the car onto the Coast Road.

    Her auburn hair whipped about her face. Pins gone.

    "Having fun yet?" he shouted over the whistle of the wind.

    "Faster," she yelled.

    He looked at her in disbelief.

    "Faster," she repeated.

    He pushed the pedal down and watched the speedometer climb steadily.

    She felt like she was flying. Her arms soaring in the air. A beautiful smile on her face.

    He slowed the car down and pulled over on the side of the road.

    "The beach?" she arched a slender auburn brow.

    "I think you should go for it," he grinned. Pushing his door open and walking to the passenger side to let her out.

    She took his hand. Her heels sinking deep into the sand before she kicked them off.

    He trudged after her.

    They stood side by side. Watching the white crests of the waves roll for as far as the eye could see.

    Her slender hand fit perfectly in his. There was a challenge in his brown eyes.

    "I dare you."

    And he laughed and laughed and laughed as she dove into the waves.

    "Now we're having fun."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dubuque, IA
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    118

    Re: Make Me Believe (Gwen Story)

    Was this the natural end to your story?
    I still haven't figured out if our mystery man who is the "black sheep" and "little brother" is Antonio or Hank, but I am leaning more towards Hank, as you mention "their friends" are inside.

    Just thought I'd ask
    The truth shall set you free, now if only someone would tell it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    489

    Re: Make Me Believe (Gwen Story)

    Mystery man is, indeed, the Hankster.

    This was one of those one shots where I always toyed with writing a sequel of sorts. In fact, I still have a snippet of that particular fic somewhere on my hard drive.

    But I satisfied my Gwank needs in other fics so I never revisited this particular -verse.

    Maybe someday.

    Funny you should question the identity of the mystery man, though. I *do* tend to stray to the Antonio side with Gwen sometimes.

    Shae

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dubuque, IA
    Posts
    118

    Re: Make Me Believe (Gwen Story)

    Thanks for clearing that up
    I love rereading your stories!!!
    The truth shall set you free, now if only someone would tell it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    489

    Post Re: Make Me Believe (Gwen Story)

    Aww.

    You're welcome.

    Keep reading/rereading; I'll definitely keep writing.

    Shae

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