Sheridan arrived back at her cottage completely exhausted.
Sheíd been ready for bed hours ago, that is until she decided to take a walk on the pier. And now, as tired as
she was now, she couldnít sleep. After her questioning had ended at the wharf, sheíd been taken to the hospital
to be checked out, just as a precautionary measure. Dr. Russell was on duty and attended to Sheridan personally.
She cleaned her wound and told Sheridan she was very lucky she didnít need stitches. The cut was deep, but thanks
to Luisí quick thinking and applying pressure immediately there was no real damage. Sheridan gasped in horror when
she realized that if the blade had moved a quarter of an inch to the right and sheíd probably be dead right now.
Thatís how close it was.
Even though her injury wasnít life threatening, Eve suggested that Sheridan take it easy for a day or so and avoid
strenuous activity. She could go to the Youth Center (or Book Cafe for the time being) if she wanted the next day,
but she was not to participate in any activities other than watching the kids have a good time. Sheridan smiled
and agreed with Eveís medical advice. She was happy to be alive at this point and planned on following doctorís
The entire time she was being treated in the hospital, Sheridan's thoughts were consumed with only one thing, one
person, Luis. A few hours earlier, sheíd done everything in her power not to think about him and now she felt exactly
the opposite. Right now she wanted to think about him. She wanted to think about Pezz and whether or not it was
possible for her to continue her relationship with him. She also wondered if it was possible to start a relationship
Sheridan reasoned that she could continue her cyber relationship with Pezz for the time being, but she also knew
that if Pezz was to find out that KCGirl and Sheridan Crane were the same person, heíd probably not take it too
well. The part that had Sheridanís mind in such a state of utter chaos, was the fact that the part of Luis that
was Pezz, was a man that she was pretty sure she was falling in love with, yet the part of Luis sheíd met as Sheridan
Crane, was someone who had hurt her almost beyond words.
Initially her reaction was she never wanted to see or hear from him again, but after Pezzís note to her earlier
and Luis saving her life tonight, she could no longer think in those terms. There was something in Luisí behavior
tonight that made her believe he was being honest with her.
So now as she sat in her cottage sleep deprived and very confused, Sheridan once again read Pezzís letter. She
was determined to come to some kind of decision before she finally went to bed. Though she was impressed by Pezzís
entire note, it was the last part that she seemed to be drawn to.
Iím ashamed of myself KC. She did nothing to deserve
that. Despite what I think of her family I had no right to treat her that way. She has done nothing to me but help
me and how do I return the favor? By belittling her. By treating her as if she was less than human. No one deserves
to be treated like that and yet I did to her what I claim her family does to others. I acted superior. I treated
her as a non person, someone without feelings and as the words were flying out of my mouth I could see immediately
that she was anything but that. She is a person, a very caring person who I had no right to say those things to.
"Do you really mean what you say Luis?" Sheridan
asked thinking out loud. "Can you really separated your feelings for me from my family? I would so much like
to believe that you can. I want to believe that you are capable of treating me as a person separate and apart from
my family. Can you do that Luis?" Sheridan flashed back to the apology sheíd received from Luis on the wharf
after the shooting.
"Just know, that Iím never going to speak to you
again like that. I hope that in time, youíll come to realize that I mean what I say. I know youíre not like the
rest of your family. As a matter of fact, I have no intention of ever mentioning that fact to you again."
"Maybe he can learn to accept me for me" she
said hopefully. "He seemed so sincere when he told me that." She read the rest of the letter and took
a deep breath as she finally came to her decision.
I plan on apologizing to her, but I donít expect
her to forgive me as I donít know as though I can forgive myself.
KC, I trust you are well and I do hope I hear
from you soon.
"Well, I donít know if I can forgive you yet Luis,
but you did apologize and you seemed sincere. The least I can do is give you a chance to prove what you say. I
must be crazy to even think this" Sheridan whispered to herself, "but I really want to get to know you
Luis." Her eyes scanned the last line of his email and her lips curved upwards into a shy grin.
P.S. I really was looking forward to giving you
a real hug KC. Itís been on my mind almost constantly since I gave you that cyber hug several days ago. :)
"You did give me that hug Pezz whether you knew it
or not. And I must confess... it wasnít terrible." Sheridan felt her cheeks get hot as she recalled Luis holding
her in his arms to keep her warm.
Sheridan now knew what she needed to do and the first thing on her list was emailing Pezz and apologizing to him
for standing him up. As she began to type her apology to him, she hoped and prayed she was making the right decision.
"Mijo!!" Pilar yelled as her son walked finally walked inside the house. She hurried over to Luis and
threw her arms around him, holding him tightly.
"I thought youíd be asleep by now" Luis told his mother. Luis hoped his mother would have gone to bed
before the shooting news hit the airwaves, but from the reaction he received from her right now, he knew she hadnít.
"I was on my way to bed when I heard the news on the radio" Pilar explained. "Are you all right
"Iím fine Mama" Luis said quietly.
"And the woman who was mugged? Is she all right? They wouldnít give any details except that the woman and
the mugger were both being taken to the hospital."
"Sheridanís fine Mama" Luis answered. "She just got a small...."
"Sheridan Crane was the woman who was mugged?" Pilar asked in shock.
"Yes Mama" Luis replied. "She has a small cut on her neck. I managed to stop the bleeding before
EMS even showed up."
"Yeah, well Iím really tired right now Mama and I think Iím going to go to bed. Itís been a very long day
"Oh my yes" Pilar said as she glanced at the clock. "Youíll have to be back at the station in a
"I wonít be going to the station for awhile Mama" Luis said in dismay.
Pilar was surprised initially and then saw the grave look on her sonís face and knew something was terribly wrong.
"Mijo?" Pilar said in a shaky voice. "What is going on that I do not know about?"
Luis stared directly into his motherís worried eyes. He didnít want to tell her, but he had no choice. "Iíve
been suspended Mama" he finally said. "Itís routine to suspend any officer that is involved in a shooting
that results in death."
Pilar faced her son, her hand over her mouth trying to hide her shock. "The mugger? The mugger is dead?"
"Yes Mama" Luis confessed. "I had no choice. He would have killed both me and Miss Crane had I not
pulled the trigger. He had a gun aimed directly at me."
"Dios mio" Pilar whispered. She knew her son would never kill anyone unless it was in the line of duty,
yet hearing that he killed another person, even justifiably was still a big shock. "Are you all right Luis?"
"Yes Mama" Luis said absentmindedly. "Iím just tired and all I want to do is go to bed. Iím going
to help out at the Youth Center until this whole mess is cleared up by Internal Affairs. Itíll keep me busy not
to mention the fact that they really can use the help while the Youth Center building is closed."
"I understand Luis" Pilar said knowingly. She kissed her son on the cheek and then held his face in her
hands for a moment as only a mother can do. "Sleep well son. I love you mijo and if you want to talk..."
"I love you too Mama" Luis said, managing a tired smile. "And thank you." Luis gave his mother
a hug and kiss and walked towards the door leading to the living room on his way to bed. "Good night Mama."
"Good night Luis." Luis disappeared through the door as Pilar stared after him sadly. She hated seeing
her son in so much pain, but she knew he was strong and would get through this. She planned on doing everything
possible to help him through it. She wondered however, if the fact that the woman he saved from the mugger was
Sheridan Crane was having an impact on him. Right now, she was having a difficult time reading him, but somehow
she had a feeling that it was going to have a major impact on her sonís life.
Luis pulled his chair up to his desk as he seated himself in front of the computer to check his mail. He prayed
there was an email from KC. Heíd managed to slip off to the Book Cafe several times during his shift to check mail,
but was disappointed each time when there was none. He promised himself he wouldnít get upset if he still didnít
hear from her, but knew that promise or no promise it would hurt.
A wave of relief hit him when he opened his mailbox and found this time he did have a message from KC. He was nervous
as he clicked on the icon, as he had no idea what to expect when he finally opened it. Swallowing hard and taking
a deep intake of breath, Luis glued his eyes to the computer as her letter appeared on screen.
Iím sorry it took me so long to respond to your last email, but I was detained by several matters. Iím sure youíre
wondering what happened to me earlier today and let me start out by apologizing for what happened. I never meant
to hurt you and judging by your last letter, I did just that. You expected to see me there in the park and instead
you were greeted by someone who apparently brings out the worst in you. I am so sorry for placing you in a position
that caused you to act in a manner such as what you described. I must admit, the person you described yourself
to be is nothing as I would have ever pictured you to be like.
It sounds to me like you are truly sorry for your actions with this woman today. Though I canít condone such behavior,
I believe you when you say you are sorry for it and I suggest you make your feelings known to this woman. I truly
believe that if you are sincere in your apology, the woman will forgive you. It might take time to regain her trust,
but I trust in you Pezz. I trust you will do the right thing. Have faith in yourself Pezz. If you do this, I believe
everything will work out for both of you.
I accept some responsibility for the chain of events that happened today and though Iíd like nothing more than
to explain to you why things turned out the way they did, I am not in a position to do so right now. I promise
you that I will tell you everything when the time is right, but until then, I beg you to understand why I can not.
Iíve missed talking to you Pezz. So much has happened to me in the last few days and not having you to talk things
over with has been very difficult. I feel as if you are my best friend and I donít want to lose that. You have
been there for me so much in these past months, I donít know what Iíd do without you.
I hope you can forgive me Pezz. I want to be there for you if you need me. If you can find it in your heart to
forgive me, I still want to be your friend. I also still want to meet you, but due to unforeseen circumstances,
I am afraid that wonít be possible for awhile. When I get everything worked out, I promise you we will meet and
if things go the way I would like them to, it will be a meeting that neither one of us will ever forget. When we
do meet Pezz, there is nothing I would like more than to take you up on that offer for a hug. Does it still stand?
Take care of yourself Pezz. I miss you.
Though Luis was still disappointed in not meeting KC, he
felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders after reading her letter. He responded to her email and then
happily went to bed.
The sun streamed in Sheridanís window as she slowly opened her eyes, shielding them from the bright light with
her hands. She was still exhausted when she saw the time was 9:30 on her alarm clock. She groaned loudly as she
rolled over, pulling the covers over her head in protest of a new day. Her telephone started to ring preventing
her from falling back asleep, so she reached her arm across the bed and picked up the receiver.
"Hello?" She said sleepily.
"Sheridan? Were you sleeping?" Jay asked in an apologetic tone.
"Actually I was awake but I wish I were sleeping."
"Iím sorry" Jay responded. "Iím just calling to tell you that weíre not meeting at 10:00 as we previously
planned. Luis called and rescheduled for noon."
"Thank you Luis!" Sheridan mumbled, still trying to hide under her covers.
There was something strange about this whole situation Jay mused. "Sheridan, you wouldnít happen to know why
Luis changed the time of the meeting would you?" Jay asked curiously.
"What, he didnít tell you?" Sheridan asked in surprise.
"No, actually Buzzy is the one who called me and told me the time had been changed."
"Well, if I had to guess, Iíd say Luis didnít get much sleep last night Jay" Sheridan answered in a matter
of fact tone. "Neither did I for that matter."
Now Jay was totally confused. "You and Luis were together last night?" Jay asked in quiet shock.
Sheridan chuckled to herself. She could just imagine the bizarre thoughts going through Jayís mind right now. "Yes,
we were together" Sheridan told her with an amused grin. "But itís not what you think. Luis worked last
night and he saved me from a mugger." Sheridanís light air suddenly became deadly serious. "Jay, the
man had a knife to my throat and then he pulled a gun on Luis. He was going to shoot us both."
"Oh my God!" Jay said in a barely audible tone. A knot developed in the pit of Jayís stomach. She had
a feeling she knew what was coming next. "Did he.... Is the mugger dead?"
There was silence for a minute and it spoke volumes. Sheridan took a deep breath. "Yes Jay, he is."
Jay knew police procedure and she knew that Luis was now on Administrative leave. "Listen, Sheridan, I need
to talk to Luis. Iíll see you at noon" Jay said.
"This is all my fault. If I hadnít decided to go for a walk on the pier last night, none of this would have
happened." Sheridan felt terrible for Luis having been all but suspended.
"Sheridan, itís not your fault" Jay explained. "If it hadnít been you it would have been someone
else and who knows, maybe Luis wouldnít have been around to help someone else. Luis did what he had to do. Any
good officer would have done the same thing."
"Thanks for trying to make me feel better Jay" Sheridan said.
"Iíll talk to you later Sheridan."
"Ok. Bye Jay." Sheridan hung the phone up, but now she was wide awake and there was no way she could
get back to sleep. She climbed out of bed and walked into the bathroom for a hot shower. She was careful to protect
her bandage and felt somewhat better when she was finished. She made a pot of coffee and sat down to her computer
to check her mail and caught her breath when she saw that Pezz had returned her email.
Is there any doubt that I would forgive you? Yes, I was disappointed that we didnít meet, but if you say there
was a good reason, I believe you. You have no idea how much I value our friendship, angel. I canít imagine not
being friends with you. Like you, our friendship has gotten me through some rocky times. The times we spend online
chatting are the highlight of my day as far as I am concerned. It is also music to my ears to hear those three
little words, "Youíve Got Mail" and find out that the mail I have is from you. Every email we exchange
is special to me KC. Iíve saved every one.
Iíd love to write some more tonight but I am absolutely exhausted. I had an experience tonight that I hope I never
have again. I havenít told you this before but I am a cop. There are some great parts to my job such as being able
to save lives of innocent citizens and that was the good that came out of my unfortunate incident tonight. I saved
a woman from a mugger who was holding a knife to her throat and for that I am eternally grateful, but it came with
a price. I was forced to shoot and kill this man. I have never before been forced to shoot another human being
until tonight. I know I had no choice doing it and if the same situation happened again I would do the same thing,
but I am still responsible for taking another manís life. That is something I am going to have to live with for
the rest of my life. I only hope I never have to make that choice again.
Well angel, Iím off to bed, Please write soon and Iíd love to talk to you sometime. I should be home every night
for awhile. Iím on administrative leave for the shooting so if you want to chat, Iíll be here waiting. :)
Oh and sweetie? That hug most definitely still stands. ;- )
Take care angel,
Sheridan felt tears fill her eyes as she read his letter.
She could tell how much pain he was in for having to shoot the mugger in order to save her life. She was relieved
to find he didnít have any animosity towards her and touched that if given the same choice he would do it all again.
"There has to be a way" she said softly as she reread the last part of his letter, "there just has
to be a way."
Sheridan arrived at the Book Cafe at precisely 11:45. She was the first one there for the meeting. In a very chipper
mood, she ordered a coffee from Chad and then walked over to a table and sat down with her notebook in hand. She
decided to jot down a few thoughts while she was waiting for the others to arrive.
She nearly jumped out of her skin when Buzzy walked up behind her and placed his hands over her eyes. She let out
a slight gasp of horror, not knowing who was behind her as memories of her mugging last night surfaced.
Buzzy sensed Sheridanís fear and immediately released his hands and announced himself. "Sheridan, itís me,
Buzzy!" He said. "Iím sorry I scared you. I didnít expect you to react..." Buzzy stopped mid sentence
when he saw the look of pure fright on her face. "Man, Sheridan, are you all right? Youíre so pale?"
"Buzzy!" Sheridan exclaimed with relief as she caught her breath. Her heart was beating wildly as she
held her hand over her bandage protectively. "Iím sorry I didnít realize it was you" she said trying
to laugh it off, but in reality sheíd been petrified.
Luis joined the two of them and saw Sheridan holding her neck and immediately became concerned. He walked up behind
her and protectively placed his arm around her. "Sheridan, are you all right?" He asked softly.
Sheridan immediately began to relax from his touch and looked up at Luis and stared into his kind brown eyes. "Thank
you Luis" she said sincerely. "Iím ok, really. Buzzy just caught me off guard."
Luis wasnít even aware he was doing it, but Buzzy noticed immediately that Luis was caressing Sheridanís shoulders
in a very soothing fashion. He stared at the two of them with a very confused look on his face. Heíd heard only
last night that the two of them had a major fight at Lighthouse Park Sunday afternoon and now this? He had no clue
what to think anymore. "Itís my fault Luis" Buzzy admitted. "I scared Sheridan when I came up behind
her and covered her eyes. I was just trying to surprise her."
"Buzzy, Iím fine now, really" Sheridan insisted, her breathing almost normal.
"You should be more careful Buzzy" Luis said sternly. "Sheridan was attacked by a mugger last night
and Iím sure sheís still reeling from it."
"Sheridan Iím so sorry!" Buzzy told her. "I had no idea!"
"Itís all right Buzzy" Sheridan said managing a small smile.
""Why donít you get us some coffee?" Luis asked Buzzy, still not removing his arm from around Sheridanís
"Sure thing Luis" Buzzy nodded as he left to get the coffee.
Once they were alone Luis asked, "Are you sure you are ok?"
"Iím fine Luis" Sheridan smiled, her vital signs again normal and her face again pink.
"Sheridan, are you sure you should even be here?" Luis asked seriously.
"Why shouldnít I be here?" Sheridan asked quizzically. For a moment she thought Luis was trying to tell
her her didnít want he there.
"Well, I talked to Dr. Russell last night and she said you were supposed to take it easy for a few days"
Luis told her quietly. "I assumed youíd be staying home today. I was going to call you later and make sure
you were ok."
Sheridan smiled genuinely as she stared into his beautiful brown eyes. ĎA person could get lost in his eyesí she
thought to herself. "Thank you for being so concerned, but Iím fine really. Dr. Russell told me no strenuous
activity and I didnít think a planning meeting here was considered strenuous."
Luis grinned. "Youíre right. You should be fine at this meeting. I take it by your being here that youíve
decided to stay at the Youth Center?" Luis asked hopefully.
Sheridan looked at Luis for a long moment. "Yes, Iíve decided to stay for now" she said truthfully. "I
still need some time before Iíll be able to completely forgive you, but if you keep your promise I think weíll
be able to work things out."
"Well, Iím happy to hear that Sheridan" Luis smiled, "because I plan on keeping that promise. Iíll
have to tell my friend she was right."
Luis pulled out a chair and sat down at the table next to Sheridan. Jay had walked in and she was with Buzzy at
the counter watching the two of them together. Sheridan was intrigued by Luisí statement and wondered if he could
possibly be referring to KC. She dared not get her hopes up, but couldnít resist asking.
"Your friend?" Sheridan asked curiously.
Luis was suddenly embarrassed. He hadnít meant to tell anyone about KC, but he wasnít sure how to get out of this
one. When he thought about it, he didnít know why it should bother him. "Yeah" he admitted quietly, staring
at his shoes. "My friend, the one I was supposed to meet yesterday."
"Oh yes" Sheridan acknowledged, keeping the amused look that threatened her face in check. "The
one with the child."
"She doesnít have a child" Luis said a little too quickly. "At least not as far as I know."
"As far as you know?" Sheridan prodded gently.
"Well, yeah. Iíve never actually met her, but Iím sure if she had a child she would have told me by now."
"Forgive me Luis, but if youíve never actually met her, how do you know this woman?" Sheridan questioned
knowing full well how he knew her.
Luis said nothing. He swallowed hard and looked at Sheridan with a confused and frustrated look on his face. He
was having difficulty admitting how he knew her. Sheridan decided to help him out a little.
"Oh, I see" Sheridan said, acting as if sheíd come to this major revelation. "You met her on the
Luis looked up in utter surprise. "How did you know?"
Sheridan had to be careful. She knew she was treading on dangerous ground. "How else would you know someone
and not have met them. Iíve talked to some very nice people on the internet, but I havenít met any of them. Are
you sure itís a wise idea, to meet her I mean?" Sheridan asked with a look of concern. "Iíve had people
tell me you have to be very careful about meeting people youíve talked to online."
"I know you have to be careful, but I donít think this girl is anyone I need to worry about" Luis answered.
"After all, she lives in Harmony."
"Luis, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but that mugger from last night lived in Harmony too. A person
can never be too careful."
"Sheís not a mugger!" Luis said adamantly.
"I didnít mean to insinuate she was a mugger" Sheridan explained. "I have internet friends that
I trust too. Good friends. I was just thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to bring someone with you the
"How do you know I didnít have anyone with me?" Luis asked.
"Did you?" Sheridan asked curiously.
"Well, no" Luis answered, slightly embarrassed. "Youíve really never met anyone youíve talked to
Sheridan hesitated slightly. She didnít want to lie to him but she certainly couldnít tell him the truth. "Iím
afraid Iíve never had the courage to introduce myself to my cyber friends, but if I did Iíd definitely have someone
there I trusted."
"Thatís very smart of you Sheridan" Luis commented. "You are right. There are weirdoes out there
and one can never be too careful." Luis stared at Sheridan for a moment and chuckled. "Itís funny, I
canít picture you talking to anyone on line."
"Really Officer" Sheridan answered with an amused grin. "You know, I bet thereís a lot about me
that might surprise you if you got to know me."
Luis smiled back. Her blue eyes captivated him. "I believe youíre right Miss Crane. I probably would be surprised."
"Well now" Jay smiled as she approached Sheridan and Luis, making her presence known. "What have
we have here?"
"Oh nothing really" Luis said. "Sheridan and I were just talking."
"Good, talking is good" Jay said, pleased that the two of them seemed to actually be getting along. "Buzzyís
bringing the coffee over right now."
"Glad to hear it" Luis said. "I can use some coffee right about now."
Luis turned his head and watched Buzzy coming towards them with a tray of coffee. "Whatís this?" Luis
asked in surprise.
Jay couldnít keep the smirk off her face. "Nothing really" Jay replied with a huge grin. "I just
thought that since youíd be making your office here for the next week or two that you should feel at home."
Luis shook his head and laughed when he saw Buzzy carrying the tray of coffee. On the tray was the mug Luis used
every day at the Youth Center. It was a ceramic mug with his name on one side and "Top Cop" written on
the other side with a picture of a cartoon police officer arresting a criminal. "Thanks Jay" Luis grinned.
"You know how I canít do without my mug."
Buzzy set down the mugs of steaming coffee as he and Jay joined Sheridan and Luis. Together, the four of them began
planning the activities for the kids for the next few weeks.