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epilogue

 

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Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About
by SheridanLF74

Luis was flipping through the radio stations, listening to Christmas music and whatever else played as he drove. He wanted to get back home to Sheridan as fast as possible, especially after what Beth said. However, he knew he would tense up as soon as he got to see her again…his angel. That’s exactly what she was: his angel. Her beautiful blonde hair, her big blue eyes and a smile that lit up the entire room.

"And that body," Luis chuckled. How he missed her the night before…regretted telling her that he would sleep on the couch. "Hopefully it will all be fixed tonight," he said to himself.

Pressing the gas pedal slightly harder, he continued onto the cottage. He could see the gate ahead of him, the mansion on the hill towering above. Luis hated this place; loathed it in fact. "This is her life, Luis, and you know that if she gets to keep *any* money than she is going to want a decent lifestyle, one above what you live now."

Luis hit the breaks.

"One above me…" he put the car in park. "What was I thinking?" He looked up at the mansion. "It’s not that she isn’t good enough for me…I’m not good enough for her…"

He just stared at the grounds before him. The large black wrought iron gate encased the acres of land that the home consisted of. Oak and maple trees as well as bushes and flower beds spread as far as the eye could see, though they were now buried slightly beneath the snow. Also under there was the lawn that would be trimmed and well cared for during the spring and summer. He could see the tennis courts, knew where the pool was, had seen the gazebo and walked to the stables. This was heaven and he couldn’t offer her anything more than a small house in the midst of town with two bedrooms and that was only if Sheridan worked and he stopped supporting his family.

"I’m such a fool," he sighed and looked down at the steering wheel. "A stupid fool."



"Sheridan, I hate to do this, but I have to get home to Mama. I expected Luis here long before now," Theresa picked up her pocket book and headed for the door.

"I’m going to leave with her, we promised Pilar we’d help with things before dinner tonight."

Sheridan nodded. "It’s all right. I’m sure he’ll be back soon. After all, Harmony is a small town and he couldn’t have gotten lost. I mean he was running home right?" Sheridan hated lying to them, but she didn’t need Ethan flipping out over the situation. "He probably had to help Pilar with something before he left…or he got wrapped up in talking to her over something."

"Yea, he’ll be back soon, Sheridan, don’t worry," Theresa hugged her goodbye. Ethan followed suit and both walked out the front door and back towards the main house.

"He’ll be back soon, Sheridan," she said to herself, walking to the window to watch for his car. "He’s got to come back, you’re his job…" She sighed. "Just his job…you really blew it, Sheridan Crane, you passed up the one man in the world that was going to give you everything you’ve dreamed of…"

She looked out at the ground and sighed. Sheridan decided then and there she would give it all up, ever last penny, if Luis would propose just one last time…and this time she wouldn’t let him down.


Pulling up to the cottage, Luis sighed again. He was going to go inside and tell Sheridan he understood what she was talking about and then he was going to retract his proposal. Luis was going to tell her to forget it ever happened and as soon as the stores opened, he would return the ring. After all, he was never going to need it.

Climbing out of the car, he prayed this went easier than planned. He didn’t want to cause a scene, just tell her he understood what she meant, give his point of view and then take back everything he said the night before. He expected a fight, at least part of one, but he prayed for nothing more than some mild bickering and a tear or two. Opening the door, he was surprised when Sheridan threw her arms around his neck and kissed him passionately. Perhaps this wasn’t going to go as easy as he planned.

But as her lips touched his, he melted and pulled her closer to him. Damn, he couldn’t help it; he did love her. Kissing her was like heaven and touching her made him feel alive. Deepening the kiss, he leaned her back against the wall. They didn’t pull away until the need for air defeated their need for each other. Even then, they continued touching, their foreheads meeting as they panted for air.

"Sheridan," he whispered breathlessly.

"Yes?"

"I…I was going to come in here to do something…"

"What?" she asked hopefully.

"I was going to tell you how I understand why you can’t marry me…in fact I was going to say that I would be ruining your life."

"What?" she pulled back slightly. "How?"

"By taking you out of this place and making you live in what I can give you. I can’t give you much, Sheridan, and if we married you’d have to give the money, the traveling, the shopping and the connections up. I’m not worth it…I’m not worthy of your love."

Cupping his face in her hands, Sheridan kissed his lips lightly. "That’s not true. I would trade my whole world for you, Luis. You’re worth all of this and more…you are more than worthy of my love. I don’t want to give you up."

"I was going to withdraw my proposal for good…"

She covered his lips with her finger. "Just nod…do you want to be with me?"

He nodded.

"Do you still want to take the proposal back permanently?"

He shook the head no and kissed her finger.

"Do you still want to marry me?"

He nodded yes.

"Then when we’re both ready, you’ll propose again and I promise to you I’ll agree, Luis. Right now, we’re not ready." Her finger ran from his lips, down through the middle of his chest and to his stomach. "I love you."

"I love you more," he pulled her to him and kissed her hard and deep. When they separated, she looked above his head and laughed.

"What?"

She pointed up and he joined in the laughter, there above him was a sprig of mistletoe.

"We give new meaning to that Christmas tradition," she giggled.

He laughed. "God I missed you last night."

"Hey, you knew where I lived," she teased.

"But I was stubborn…"

She nodded.

"A fool even…"

She nodded again.

"You don’t have to agree with me all the time you know," he smiled.

"I don’t always agree, only when you’re right," rubbing his chest she smiled. "Luis, can we go back to the way we were now?"

"Definitely," he rubbed her sides. "I definitely want to be with you, Sheridan, more than anything else in this world."

She hugged him close. "Good, because I wouldn’t know what to do without you."

"Ditto," he chuckled and gave her a gentle squeeze. "Now, come on, I want to open my presents," he released her and headed for the tree.

"Oh no you don’t," she grabbed his waist. "I want to know where you went first and what brought you back so fast."

He brought her around in front of him and kissed her cheek. "It started as a drive around town, just to clear my mind and then I ended up at the Book Café. It was closed so I was going to go into the Youth Center and shoot some hoops, but I saw Beth and decided I needed to talk."

"So you stopped and talked to Beth? What did she say?"

"That if I really loved you, I wouldn’t let anything at all stop me from being with you, not even my stubborn pride. She admitted to having feelings for Hank, very deep feelings, and told me not to give Hank the chance to steal you away. So I decided I had to come home and be with you."

"And what was all that talk about not being good enough?"

"When I pulled up to the gate, I got a good look at what you would have to give up for marrying a local Harmony police officer. I wondered if I was worth it…"

"You are, so very worth it," she kissed his lips lightly. "I’m glad you came home."

"Me too," he smiled. "Now can we open presents?"

She giggled. "Just let me put some music on," she stood and fetched her own copy of the Mariah Carey Christmas CD. Popping it into the player, she set it to play number two. Sitting on the floor, she hit play and smiled when the words began.

I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you

"Subtle, Sheridan, very subtle," he teased, handing her one of his gifts to her.

"Hey, there are some things I like unwrapping more than others," she winked playfully. "Or should I say undress?"

He laughed. "We can worry about undressing later, right now I want to open the presents."

"Oh fine," she pouted, handing him one of hers.

I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need, and I
Don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I don't need to hang my stocking
There upon the fireplace
Santa Claus won't make me happy
With a toy on Christmas day
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you
You baby

Luis opened the first gift and smiled. It was a pocket watch he had been admiring one afternoon downtown. The pair had taken a chance and gone shopping at the small stores on the pier. While looking through an antique store, Luis had fallen in love with this watch. It was plain, looking like Sheridan’s silver compact, except for the monogrammed L on the front. When they had gone to the store, Luis immediately went to the case where it was contained. He had been eyeing it for a long time and wanted it so badly.

"Thank you," he was in awe of the expensive gift.

"Turn it over," she motioned to the backside.

Flipping the pocket watch over, he read the engraving on it.

To my love. Merry first Christmas together. Love you always. Sherry. 12-25-00

"Sheridan, it’s perfect," he leaned in and kissed her lips gently. "Thank you so much, baby."

"I’m glad you like it, Luis, I wasn’t sure how you would feel about it."
"Come here you," he opened his arms. Sheridan moved over to him and settled between the V of his legs. "I love it, Sheridan, just like I love you."

"Love you too," she smiled.

I won't ask for much this Christmas
I won't even wish for snow, and I
I just want to keep on waiting
Underneath the mistletoe
I won't make a list and send it
To the North Pole for Saint Nick
I won't even stay up late
To hear those magic reindeer play
'Cuz I just want you here tonight
Holding on to me so tight
What more can I do
Baby all I want for Christmas is you, you baby

"Open yours."

Sheridan tore the paper off the small white box and smiled. She knew what it was before she opened it. Removing the lid, she smiled at the locket inside of the box…but it wasn’t the locket she had seen in the store.

"It was my Great-Grandmothers," he rubbed her sides gently. "Mama gave it to me years ago to give to Beth. I couldn’t see Beth wearing it; after all, it was meant for my love and I didn’t really love her at that time. So, I hid it away in my room."

"It’s beautiful," she traced the small heart.

"Open it."

She pushed opened the latch and was surprised to find a picture of herself and Luis as children on one side and a picture from Thanksgiving on the other. "Luis, this is so sweet…"

"It gets better. Read the back."

Sheridan closed the locket and flipped it over. On the back was an engraving.
To my angel on our first Christmas together. Love always. Luis 12-25-00

"Luis, I love it. Thank you, sweetheart."

He hugged her close. "I love you."

All the lights are shining
So brightly everywhere
And the sound of children's
Laughter fills the air
And everyone is singing
I hear those sleigh bells ringing
Santa won't you bring me
The one I really need
Won't you please bring my baby to me

I don't want a lot for Christmas
This is all I'm asking for
I just want to see my baby
Standing right outside my door
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby all I want for Christmas is you, you baby
All I want for Christmas is you, baby

~*~Mariah Carey "All I Want For Christmas (Is You)"~*~

"Ditto," she settled against him. She closed her eyes and imagined their future together. It looked good! Sheridan sighed happily and decided then and there that she would be Luis’ bride in the near future.

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