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Unjust Suspicions

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Unjust Suspicions
by
Caseytlk

     
Chapter Ten

Sheridan pressed Luis' hand to her cheek and tried to keep from falling apart. Tears dripped off her cheeks and fell onto Luis' arm. "Oh Luis..." she whispered. "You have to wake up. So many people need you... and love you. Think about Pilar and Theresa and Miguel... they'll be lost without you." Her heart ached as she forced the next words out. "And there is Beth and the baby to think of. They need you Luis... so much." She took a deep breath. "Where's the super-cop that was so tough and strong whenever I needed help? After the things we've been through this should be a piece of cake for you." The machines beeped and whirred away , but the man in the bed remained silent and motionless. Sheridan continued to talk to him, a lot of it meaningless chatter. She talked about their adventures in Paris... the weather and the latest book she was reading. She saw Pilar and Theresa peering in the window from time to time... giving her encouraging little smiles.

Sheridan felt terrible. They were expecting her to work miracles... the woman he loved would save the day. She sighed. That would be well and good if she were that woman. Beth should be here... holding his hand and talking about the future they would have together when he awoke.

Sheridan couldn't stay there any longer... she needed a break. She kissed his hand and lay it gently on the bed. "I love you Luis..." she couldn't help whispering as she stood to leave the room. She paused at the door, looking back at the bed... at her only true love. "If only things could be different..."

Sheridan left the room and was instantly flanked by Pilar and Theresa. They latched onto her arms and the three of them went into the waiting room. "Do you think he was starting to come out of it Sheridan?" Theresa asked, pinning hopeful eyes on Sheridan as they sat on the couch.

"I don't think so Theresa...I'm sorry." Sheridan sighed. She wanted to tell them about Beth and the fact that Luis was going to be a father, but she knew it wasn't her place to tell them anything. Still, Beth should be there. "Has anyone called Beth?" she asked. Nobody had. "I guess we should call her," Theresa agreed. "She's one of Luis' best friends... she'd want to know." "Yes," Pilar nodded. "I will go and call her."

Sheridan and Theresa were silent when Pilar was gone. They were both lost in their memories of Luis. Theresa was remembering all the times Luis had encouraged and helped her and how he was almost like a father to her. Sheridan was thinking about all the times he'd rescued her, risking his life in the process. All the horrible things they'd survived... only to lose him now. Sheridan mentally shook herself. she couldn't think that way... they weren't going to lose him. She shook her head sadly... he wasn't hers to lose anyway... he was Beth's and she would do well to remember that.

The night passed in a blur to Sheridan. Pilar returned, saying that she couldn't get ahold of Beth, and despite her good intentions Sheridan was glad. At some point Miguel arrived, and both kids went home shortly after than. Even Ivy made an appearance for Pilar's sake, wishing them the best of luck.

Sheridan and Pilar spent most of the night alone... seated beside each other on the couch, or taking turns sitting with Luis.

Sheridan was returning from the cafeteria early the next morning, with some coffee and donuts for her and Pilar when she saw Beth just going into Luis' room. Sheridan stumbled, sloshing the hot coffee onto her hand. She hardly noticed the coffee... she was too busy thinking about Luis and Beth. She took the coffee to Pilar and drifted back to the window of Luis' room... unable to stop the self-inflicted torture. She gazed into the room and her heart ached. Beth sat beside the bed, holding Luis' hand and crying. As Sheridan continued to watch Beth gently rubbed her abdomen... obviously talking to him about their baby. Sheridan couldn't watch anymore... she lurched away from the window and made some lame excuse to Pilar about why she had to leave.

Beth was there now... that was all Luis needed... he was sure to get better now. Sheridan left the hospital... not sure where she was going, but needing to be anywhere but there... where Beth was securing her rightful place. Her place with the man Sheridan had expected... needed... dreamed of having for her own.

Sheridan wandered aimlessly through the streets of Harmony... each place she passed yet another painful reminder of her doomed love life. She'd never realized how many places in Harmony held memories of Luis... not all good memories, but memories just the same. Good or bad, they were all painful to Sheridan. She could practically see him... feel him, everywhere she looked. Finally she sank onto a bench in Lighthouse Park and gazed out over the ocean... listening to the waves crashing against the rocks below. She had sat here on the very same bench with Luis only a few days ago... back when all had been well in Sheridan's little piece of the universe. Now her piece looked like an endless black hole...

She stood and moved to the railing, where she peered down at the rocky shore far below. The tide was high and the huge waves were pounding the shore almost angrily. Sheridan thought that if someone were to fall over the railing and down onto the shore if the fall didn't kill them the ocean was sure to finish the job. Really, the railings weren't very high at all... someone could easily take a tumble...

chapter 11

       
     

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