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The Bathroom
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The Bathroom
by catcrazytlk

     

Chapter Eighteen

"What do you mean probably my father? You saw him?" Luis' voice was strangely calm, but his insides were in turmoil. Sheridan was still incoherent and Luis repeated himself louder. "SHERIDAN! Did you see my father?"

Sheridan took several deep breaths and calmed down a little. "No Luis... I can never see the face on the body..." Luis felt himself relax a little. "Then why did you say that?"

Sheridan sat back on the sofa, stiffly at the edge and took an unusual fascination in her fingernails. "Because... the night your father disappeared was the same night my nightmares started." She whispered softly. She raised her eyes up to look at Luis, terrified at what she would see in his eyes. The look was unreadable... but at least it didn't seem like hatred...

Luis didn't know what he was feeling at the moment, but it definitely wasn't hatred... not for Sheridan anyway. Was it too much of a coincidence that the two events took place on the same night? Was the dead body Papa, or did the body even exist outside Sheridan's dreams? Too many questions with no answers... at least none that they could answer. He knew Sheridan would tell him if she knew more. He glanced at her and his heart lurched.

She was looking at him like she expected the end of the world and he knew it was because she was doubting his love for her. He thought about what she'd told him, and he realized that no matter who's body was under that sheet there was no way that she'd killed anyone with a letter opener. She was only a small girl...

He looked at Sheridan again and saw her lip tremble and a tear roll down her cheek. "It's alright Luis... I understand that you don't want anything to do with me..." Her voice cracked and she stood, moving to stand at the window, her back to him. She wrapped her arms around herself, staring out into the darkness and feeling her heart break. She didn't know what she would do without him. She'd waited all these years for the man of her dreams and now she was losing him because of her other dreams. How ironic. Her lips curled briefly in a sardonic smile, that faded quickly to a frown again.

Luis came up behind Sheridan and took her lightly by the shoulders, turning her to face him. They gazed silently into each others eyes for a moment, then Luis pulled her into his arms. She wrapped her arms around him, laying her cheek on his chest and she let out a sigh of relief. "Why Luis? How can you still care about me?" She whispered.

"How can I not." He replied. "Sheridan, I can't imagine my life without you in it. Besides, we have no idea what really happened that night. We won't until we see what Julian has to say about it."

"What if he doesn't tell about that night? What then?" "We figure it out ourselves I guess." Luis shrugged. "Somehow we'll find out. I won't give up until I know what happened that night... to both you and my father."

"Luis... what if... what if I did kill him... your father? What then?" Luis didn't answer right away. He just held her and thought seriously about the question. Finally he answered softly, "We'll worry about it when the time comes. I don't believe you killed anybody sweetheart. Even if you had tried, I don't see how a little girl could kill a full grown man with a letter opener."

"Really?" Sheridan asked hopefully. "Yeah, really. For the time being, we'll just have to see what comes out in the trial."

The next day Julian's testimony was starting to become more interesting. He was now talking about Sheridan. He related the tale of the impostor mask and how they had hired someone to wear it to impersonate Luis.

Luis sat there, and it suddenly hit him. Sheridan had often mentioned him using her in the past, and he'd never understood what she was talking about. Now he had a pretty good idea, and glancing over at Sheridan, he could see that she had a good idea too.

Luis turned back to the proceedings where the lawyer had just asked Julian about the hiring of a hit man to kill Sheridan. "Well," Julian began. "With these drug dealers already intent on killing my dear sister Sheridan, it seemed like an opportune moment for Father to dispose of her. We waited for drug cartel to accomplish their task, but they were no more than bumbling fools. I mean really, shooting the wrong woman, and then allowing the likes of my sister to best him?"

Julian paused, for effect perhaps, then continued. "Well, Father had some contacts and he hired someone who could get the job done. In turn, they hired Hank Bennett... that was a big mistake. That fool was no better then the Frenchmen's choices."

Sheridan sat there, feeling sick to her stomach. How could her own father be so heartless as to take out a contract on her life? She shuddered, and Luis' arm came around her. She leaned into him and tried to focus on Julian, who had just been asked a question. "Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. Father hired a hit man to kill Sheridan."

At that point Julian started to ramble a little. "Sheridan should've had the good sense to stay in Paris where she belonged. None of this would be happening if she hadn't returned to Harmony. She never did know what was good for her! Even as a child she didn't know when to keep her nose out of other peoples business."

"Mr. Crane... please limit your testimony to answering the questions posed to you." The judge interrupted him. Julian gave her a condescending smile. "Yes your Honor." He replied, wondering where he could get a robe like that. He would love to get together with Suzanne and play 'naughty prisoner and the big bad judge'. But now the lawyer was asking him why Sheridan needed to be killed.

"Father wasn't trying to have her 'killed' exactly. He was trying to silence her. You make it sound so cold blooded." "Answer the question Mr. Crane."

The judge was getting annoyed with him. "She knew information that we just couldn't have revealed. Information she was getting closer and closer to uncovering. Her and that cop... officer Louise Lopez-Fitzgerald... always nosing around the estate. We just couldn't have it go on any longer."

"And what exactly, was she in danger of uncovering Mr. Crane?"

"Why, only one of the Crane's most carefully guarded secrets of course!" Julian almost sounded gleeful at the prospect of revealing this secret. "The secret that will destroy lives... Hell, it may just destroy the town of Harmony altogether!"

Sheridan and Luis looked at each other, fearfully anticipating the bombshell Julian was about to drop.

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