Chapter Five: Yes I Will
Sheridan sighed as she carried a large cardboard box of
ornaments into the living room. She had one week before Christmas came and had barely gotten anything done. Luis
had left her in the care of Crane security while he went out to get a tree for the living room of the cottage.
She smiled. It was almost as if they were a family getting ready to celebrate their first Christmas together. While
the thought pleased her, it also made her wonder what kind of wife she could really be to the man she loved. He
always tried to show her what she meant to him, but she had yet to feel that she was truly giving back what he
Glancing at the clock, Sheridan placed the box on the couch and waited for Theresa. Since she was not allowed to
go to shopping in town, Sheridan had asked Theresa to go shopping for her. She made a list of things she wanted
to buy for people and asked Theresa to pick them up. She added boxes and rapping paper to the list and decided
to wrap the presents herself. Her only wish was that she knew Luis would like his gift.
Again she checked the clock, praying Theresa arrived before Luis returned. She didn’t want anyone to see the presents
she had chosen for everyone. A knock on the door alerted her of someone’s presence.
"Come in," Sheridan called.
Theresa walked in with bags of gifts in her arms. "Sorry it took me so long, but you did wait until the last
minute to get this shopping done."
Sheridan helped Theresa bring the bags into her bedroom. "I know. I just couldn’t help it. When I saw Luis
getting all excited as he looked through some of the catalogues I received in the mail, I knew I just had to get
him some presents. Then of course there’s your mother, you, Ethan, my nieces and nephew at boarding school, Beth
"I get the picture," Theresa held up her hand. "Remember, I did the shopping."
"And I can hardly thank you enough!" Sheridan replied unpacking the bags. "Did you find everything?"
Theresa nodded. "Absolutely everything on the list was still the stores. Not many of them were left, but at
least I was able to get them."
Sheridan’s smile grew threefold. "I have one more request."
"Anything, Sheridan," Theresa smiled. "After all, you’re keeping one of my most precious secrets."
Sheridan patted Theresa’s hand and forced away the thoughts that those secrets could ruin her relationship with
Luis. She was hiding the fact that Theresa was seeing Ethan. "I need you to teach me to wrap these things."
Theresa giggled. "No problem. Let’s get started before Luis gets back here with that tree."
Sheridan watched as Theresa took one of the gifts and put it in a gift box. Watching the girl’s hands as she decided
how much paper she needed and then cut the sheet into a square. Theresa wrapped the gift and added a pre-made stick-on
bow, holding it up for Sheridan to see.
"Wow," Sheridan shook her head. "You did that fast."
"I was a gift wrapper at the mall one year," she giggled.
Sheridan laughed and the two settled into wrapping the gifts. They put them back into the bags and returned them
to the living room so that they could be placed under the tree when it arrived. Theresa hugged Sheridan and headed
for the door. "Tell Luis Mama said not to be late for midnight mass."
"I’ll tell him," Sheridan replied sitting on the couch.
Theresa waved and left, heading to the main house for an afternoon of work.
About an hour later, Sheridan heard the door open and turned to see Luis bringing in the top of an evergreen tree.
As he came down off the landing, she noticed Sam bringing in the other end.
"One Christmas tree for a Ms. Sheridan Crane," Luis said as they pulled the tree further into the living
"Luis, it’s gorgeous!" Sheridan clasped her hands together gleefully. "It’s going to look spectacular
when it’s decorated!"
"It better," Sam laughed as they set up the tree. "Luis spend the last four hours comparing it to
every tree at the lot. I was beginning to think we’d never get back here with one!"
"It has to be perfect," Luis shrugged slightly. "This is our first tree as a couple, Sam."
"I know, but you didn’t have to be so damn picky," he teased his friend.
"I wasn’t picky," Luis replied, cutting the plastic that was pressing some of the branches down flat.
"There were just too many choices and not enough that fit my description of a good Christmas tree."
"He labeled several of them ‘Charlie Brown Trees’ and a few others ‘completely unacceptable for his home.’"
"His home?" Sheridan winked at them. "I thought this was my home."
"Careful, Sherry baby, or else Santa won’t be visiting this cottage for Christmas."
Sheridan gave her his best pouting face and Sam laughed. "If I didn’t know better I would say you two are
married already," he shook his head. "Well I better get back to Grace. She was to decorate the Bed and
Breakfast for our winter visitors. She bought enough garland to wrap around the outside of the building about eight
Luis laughed. "She was always the one in the Christmas spirit."
"Yea, and she’s making tomato soup cakes for sale," he scrunched up his nose in disgust. "So you
might want to stay away until after New Years."
They all laughed.
"Thank you so much, Sam, for helping Luis with the tree. I am so excited about Christmas this year."
"And well you should be," Sam smiled. "Anything for Luis’ girl, Sheridan. I know he loves you."
Sheridan blushed. The men laughed at her reaction.
"I think I’ll leave you two to do the decorating," Sam headed for the cottage door. "If you two
need anything at all, let me know."
"Thanks, Sam," Luis grinned as his friend left. Turning to Sheridan, he opened his arms. "Now, where’s
She immediately ran to him, flinging her arms around his neck. "I missed you so much, Luis. Theresa dropped
off the gifts I asked her to buy and they are waiting patiently to be put under the tree." She leaned in and
kissed his lips. "I’m so excited about Christmas this year, darling."
"Me too," he leaned his forehead against hers. "I love you."
"Love you too, Luis, and I think you did a wonderful job on choosing a tree for our home."
"Our home?" he asked, making sure he had heard her correctly.
"Yes, our home, Luis. I see this as our home…at least for the time being. Some day I think we’ll really have
a home of our own."
"I think so too, Sherry angel," he agreed while caressing her back. "I have a surprise for tonight."
"Oh Luis, what is it?" Sheridan pulled back excitedly.
"I can’t tell you now, but you’ll have to dress warmly since we’ll be leaving the Crane compound."
"Really?!" Sheridan was getting super excited. "We’re really going to go out?"
Luis nodded. "I’m going to make you an early dinner and then we’re going to be going into town. I have a very
nice evening planned for us there and I think you’ll enjoy everything I arranged."
"Luis, you really didn’t have to plan anything for us tonight. We could have watched some Christmas movies
or listened to the radio while enjoying the lights on our soon to be beautifully decorated tree."
"Well, I had other ideas, baby. I know you love staying here with me and doing nothing but making love and
lounging around, but I thought people might think we were antisocial if we didn’t start getting out just a little
more. Now, no more about the plans for tonight. We need to decorate our tree."
Sheridan nodded, trying to figure out what could have prompted Luis to make plans for this particular evening.
The gears started turning as she brought over the box of ornaments and lights to decorate their tree. "You
know, I was thinking this morning about my father and Julian," Sheridan stated softly as she removed a set
of white lights from the box.
"What about them?" Luis asked, plugging in the lights to test them. When they all lit up he unraveled
them and started to string them.
"I was wondering why they were leaving us alone right now. Usually they would try to interfere somehow. My
brother would start going off on how untrustworthy you are and I would be questioning things. Perhaps they backed
off after the imposter fiasco, but I doubt it will be long before they start something else, no?"
"True, but it has been three months since we got together and they haven’t made a move yet." Even Luis
suspected something was coming, though he was trying to deny it.
"They probably think this is a phase I am going through…"
"Is it?" he asked, stringing the lights onto the uppermost branches.
"How can you ask that?" she paused, hurt.
Luis stopped stringing the lights and looked down at her. She was on her knees besides the box, her eyes filling
slowly with tears and her hands gripping another set of lights. "Sheridan, I just wanted to hear you say it
wasn’t. I don’t doubt that you love me, but I need to know if you see us together for as long as I do."
Sheridan looked up and sniffled. "I see us together for the long haul, Luis. I won’t grow out of my love for
you and my love won’t ever change. I need you, Luis. I always will need you."
He smiled. "Then, Sheridan my love, we will be together for the long haul and nothing they do can ever tear
"Good," she smiled widely. "I don’t know what I would do if I lost you."
"You’ll never have to find out," he smiled and returned to his work.
Sheridan watched as Luis stretched to place the lights around the tree, his sweater hugging at his chest and his
entire body seeming to become more interesting with every move. His muscles were proudly displayed as he placed
the lights on their tree and his sweeter even rode up displaying his well-toned stomach.
"Sheridan, I need more lights," Luis said from his position at the tree. "Sheridan?"
She continued to watch him, imagining her hands tracing those well-defined ridges and muscles. Her eyes were closed
and her lips slightly parted as touches and caresses became kisses.
"Sheridan, baby, I really need more lights," Luis asked again, turning to her. He smirked; she was miles
away and he planned to take advantage of the situation. Walking to her side and then kneeling beside her, Luis
took a deep breath before initiating his plan. Slowly, he leaned in and kissed her neck and ear. Sheridan tilted
her head to the side to give him better access. His hand started on her knee and moved up her thigh and then towards
her stomach. She moaned.
"Oh Luis…" she paused, realizing she wasn’t daydreaming anymore. Her eyes popped open and she saw him
at her side, a smile of triumph on his face.
"Welcome back, baby," he chuckled, rubbing her stomach gently.
"I was…I thought I was…I don’t know what I thought I was," she blushed. "How long were you…"
she motioned to where he sat.
"Not long, sweetheart. I tried to ask you to bring me some more lights for the tree, but you didn’t answer
and when I turned to see what you were doing, you were sitting here with your eyes closed. I decided to come and
enjoy the moment," he winked.
Sheridan giggled and they both moved off of their knees and sat beside each other. Luis put his arm around her
and she placed her head on his shoulder.
"So what were you thinking about? It seemed like a good thought."
Sheridan turned crimson and buried her face in his chest. "I was dreaming of the two of us making love,"
her voice was no louder than a whisper.
She nodded. "With the lights of the tree as the only light in the room. You called me your Christmas present
and said it was time to unwrap me."
He laughed and pulled her body onto his lap. "It is one of my favorite activities…"
"Unwrapping me?" she giggled.
"Mmm, and then making love to you," he kissed her forehead.
Sheridan shifted so she was straddling his lap. "We could always engage in some of your favorite activity
now," her hands started for his shirt, but Luis caught them.
"As much as I would love to, baby, we can’t. I want to get the decorations done so I can start dinner."
Sheridan tried to give him her best pout, but the look on his face made her stop. "Luis, why can’t you just
tell me where we’re going this evening?"
"Because I can’t, it would kill the surprise. Now, come on, I used the better part of the day setting up plans
and choosing a tree. Let’s get this place done so I can make you our favorite."
"Pilar’s enchiladas?" Sheridan asked excitedly.
"But of course," he smiled.
She jumped up off of his lap. "Well, what are we waiting for?"
Laughing, Luis stood beside her and then grabbed the next set of lights. "I was waiting for you to get off
She stuck her tongue out at him and returned to the box for the next set of lights. She hummed along with the Christmas
carols on the radio while Luis continued to string the lights. Then the pair turned to the ornaments and other
decorations in the box. The two of them decorated the tree with the ornaments of Sheridan’s past and together they
decided where they should be placed.
When the tree was finished, Sheridan looked the tree over and smiled. "Luis, it’s perfect," she hugged
"It sure is," he kissed her cheek. "Our tree is beautiful."
Glancing around the rest of the room, Sheridan sighed. "I think the rest of this place needs some decorating."
"But the box is empty," Luis pointed out.
"There has to be more decorations in the attic here at the cottage. My mother stored a lot of things here
before she died, that’s how I found the ornaments when I returned here."
"You found them here?"
Sheridan nodded. "Come on, let’s go check it out."
Luis sighed and the two headed towards the ladder to the attic. Sheridan started to climb up before Luis and he
laughed. She looked back at him, her eyes squinting as she tried to read him.
"Don’t you dare, Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald!" Sheridan paused in her climbing.
Luis grinned at her wickedly. "Don’t what?"
"You know what…"
"You mean this?" he asked as he lightly smacked her behind.
"LUIS!" she screamed, he was laughing. "You’re terrible!" She continued to climb.
"I didn’t do anything," he shrugged and waited for her to get into the attic. He then followed her up
and looked around. Even in the darkness of the attic, Luis could see the stacks of boxes and some old toys in the
attic. Sheridan had made her way over to an old dollhouse and was about to move it to get at the boxes beneath
it. "Were all these yours?"
Sheridan nodded. "They used to be kept in my room at the main house, but when I turned sixteen, Father called
to tell me that the room had been made up for his grown-up daughter, should I ever return to Harmony. I managed
to get in touch with your mother and she assured me that, while some of the toys had been given away, many were
in the cottage. Some of these were my mother’s, which is probably why they had been spared."
Luis watched as Sheridan fingered the dollhouse, a sadness in her eyes that often came when she discussed her childhood.
"Come here baby."
She looked at him and then went to his side. A tear rolled down her cheek as he took her into his arms.
"I love you, Sheridan, you know that."
"I love you too." She clung to him.
"Let’s find those decorations, sweetheart and then I can make you your favorite dinner."
She looked into his eyes and grinned. "All right." The two went to work digging through the boxes to
find more decorations for the cottage.
Three hours later, the tree and the cottage were completely decorated. Some silk poinsettias, which they had found
in the cottage attic, were hanging on the walls, white fur garland draped between them. Here and there, sprigs
of mistletoe hung for yet another excuse to kiss each other; not that the couple needed one.
The tree was covered in white lights and an assortment of ornaments adorned the branches. Some had been Katherine’s
before she wed into the Crane family; others Sheridan had purchased for her home in France. Yet the three that
had meant the most to her were the ones she and Luis had bought at the store after Thanksgiving. One was a crystal
ornament showing two doves on a branch. She had gone to a jeweler and had it engraved so that beneath one was ‘Sheridan’
and beneath the other was ‘Luis.’ The other two were crystal hearts that she had also taken to have their names
and the year engraved onto.
Atop the tree was a beautiful angel with long curly blond hair and big blue eyes. Her dress was made of midnight
blue satin with tiny faux pearls adorning the collar and the edge of the skirt. Her hands clasped one tiny white
candle, its light shinning brightly. Her wings were made of white cloth with a mother of pearl look to them, which
reflected the lights of the tree. Luis had placed her atop carefully, as she had been a present for Sheridan’s
tree from her mother as a child. The Crane’s each had a tree in their rooms at Christmastime, and this one had
been on her tree since birth; the only item not rented yearly from a decorator.
Beneath the tree was a red velvet skirt that was trimmed in white lace. It was something Sheridan had bought her
first year back in Harmony. Stacked nicely atop the skirt were the perfectly wrapped packages Theresa had brought
that day. Their multicolored Christmas paper, bows and ribbons looked spectacular under the shimmering white lights.
Glancing around, Sheridan smiled and hugged Luis. She actually felt the Christmas spirit this year and it made
her feel complete for the first time ever. "It’s beautiful, so stunning, Luis! It actually feels like a home.
It has ever since you moved in here."
Luis slid his hand around her waist and pulled her up against his side. Leaning closer, he kissed her passionately.
"One of my best assignments was being put on as your body guard, Sheridan. I am so glad we’re together. I
don’t remember ever being so happy in my entire life."
Sheridan looked into his eyes and saw the truth of the statement. "I know I was never this happy before."
She pecked his lips. "Have you checked on dinner?"
"Sheridan, I just put it in the oven, it isn’t going to be finished yet."
"I know; I’m hungry though. I haven’t eaten since breakfast," her hand rubbed his chest and she snuggled
into his arms. "And I do have a certain promise of a surprise that is driving me insane. I can’t wait to see
what you have planned."
"We’ll, I can always finish cooking and pack it into a picnic basket and it can come with us, if you’d like
to get to your surprise slightly early."
Sheridan pondered the idea for a moment and nodded. "As long as it won’t ruin anything you have planned."
Luis shook his head no. "But let me call the place we’re going and check with the owner, all right, baby?"
"All right," she kissed his cheek. "But hurry, because every minute I’m not in your arms is one
He kissed her lips lightly and went into the kitchen to make the phone call. Sighing, Sheridan sat in one of the
large orange chairs and looked around the room again. She absolutely loved the living room looking the way it did.
Getting up, she went to turn up the volume on the radio so she could listen to the Christmas music from earlier,
most of it instrumental so she could sing to it.
"Silent night…holy night…all is calm…all is bright," she sang with her back to the kitchen door. "Round
yon virgin mother and child, holy infant so tender and mi…" She gasped when hands snaked their way around
"You have such a beautiful voice, angel, I just love hearing you sing," Luis whispered into her ear.
She rested back into his arms and placed her hands over his, which were resting on her stomach. "I’ve always
loved to sing Christmas carols, even when I was away at school. It was one of the few things I knew they could
never stop me from doing."
"Sing anytime you want, my love. You’re voice takes my breath away." His hands began to stroke her flattened
belly. "The owner said she has no problem with our coming by early, as long as I bring her some of Mama’s
"Share my dinner?" she pouted.
"Only two, Sheridan. I made an entire tray, we can spare two."
She sighed. "Of course," she swayed slightly.
He laughed. "I love you."
"So you’ve said," she teased. "Love you too, darling."
He kissed her cheek. "Go get ready to go and I’ll get ready and by that time dinner should be ready, all right?"
"All right, I’d invite you to shower with me, but then dinner would burn."
"And that, my love, is why I didn’t offer," he winked. "Now go on and get showering so that I can
hop in and get ready to go."
She nodded and kissed his lips lightly. "Don’t touch those packages," she admonished him and headed towards
He looked at the packages under the tree and went over to his duffle where her presents were hidden. Looking at
the four in his arms, he placed the larger three beneath the tree and looked at the velvet box he held. "Not
tonight," he opened the box and glanced at the diamond ring within. "I just need to wait one week."
He closed his eyes and imagined proposing to Sheridan besides the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, just before
they left for mass. She would say yes and then he would kiss her, his fiancée. Afterwards, they would meet
his family at mass and share the good news, ringing in the holiday together. Sighing, he opened his eyes, closed
the box and returned it to its hiding place. He went into the kitchen and checked dinner one last time.