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Playing With Fire

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(bonus chapter-rated R)


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Playing With Fire
by
OKDeanna

     

Chapter Five

"Hey, little brother." Antonio said sitting down in the chair next to Luis bed. "We really have to talk about this superman business. I mean did you really think you were faster than a speeding bullet?"

"Damn it Luis." Antonio said running a hand through his hair. "Sheridan and that baby need you. I need you."

"I know I've never said that before, huh? Well, it's true. I do need you, especially now. I could really use your advice about something. You see I met this woman. Yeah I know. You warned me it would happen, but what you didn't know is that I met her six months ago in New York City."

Antonio shook his head and ran a hand over his unshaven face. "It wasn't just a one night stand for me, Luis. I mean it was, but I wish it wasn't. You see something happened between us that has never happened to me before. She got to me. I mean really got to me. I thought that she felt the same way, but then I woke up and she was gone. She left me in the middle of the night, can you believe that? I mean, no note, no nothing, she was just gone. It really ticked me off."

Actually, that was an understatement. He had been more than just ticked off. He had been furious. "I didn't know her last name so I had no way of finding her. Because of that I tried to deny what happened between us. I tried to shrug it off as no big deal, that she was just another woman. But the truth is... it was a big deal. I didn't realize how big of a deal until yesterday when she showed up at the Book Cafe. I couldn't believe my luck. I mean I thought this was my chance you know? This was my chance to find out if she felt the same thing I did, or at the very least why she left without so much as a goodbye. But then I found out who she was. It's Gwen, Luis. It's Gwen Hotchkiss, Ethan's ex fiancé."

"Yeah I know. Leave it to me to sleep with a woman that used to be engaged to my sister's new boyfriend. God, I've got a mess on my hands, Luis. I mean what am I gonna do? She hates our family because of what happened between her, Ethan and Theresa." But then again, she was here, he thought. She had come to the hospital. "She heard about what happened on the news and she came, Luis. She came here to be with me... to make sure I was okay... to see if there was anything she could do. That's got to mean something, right? I mean even if she doesn't admit it, she came here because she cares."

Since he had already spilled his guts, he figured he might as well go all the way. "Luis, I think-"

A door creaked behind him and he turned to find Ethan and Theresa standing in the doorway. Damn, he thought, had they heard what he said? Had they heard him talking about him and Gwen? Had they heard him say that he had slept with her? If the surprise in their eyes was any indication, he figured they probably did. Oh hell, now what was he going to do?



Gwen glanced at the door to Luis' room. She knew Tony was still in there. She wondered if he was okay. She had seen Theresa and Ethan walk in a few moments ago. She wondered if they were asking him about what they saw earlier. Why had she kissed him here? She knew Ethan and Theresa would be there. Is that why she did it? Because she knew it would get to Theresa? No, she thought, shaking her head. Her kissing Tony had nothing to do with Theresa or Ethan. She had kissed him because she wanted to.


"Gwen?" a voice behind her asked. She turned to find Sheridan followed closely by Hank.

"Hey Sheridan." Gwen said pulling her into a hug. Just because she wasn't with Ethan anymore didn't mean she couldn't care about his aunt. She knew how much Sheridan loved Luis. "How are you doing?"

"I'm hanging in there." she said. "I must say I'm a little shocked to see you here, considering what happened between you, Ethan... and Theresa."

Join the club, she thought. She wasn't exactly sure what she was doing there herself. "Yeah, I know. I heard about what happened on the news and I wanted to make sure... everyone was okay."

Sheridan smiled. "Everyone as in Antonio? Hank told me he saw you two kiss earlier. I hadn't realized you two knew each other."

Gwen felt her cheeks heat at the mention of Tony and the kiss. How could she answer that? No one knew she and Tony had met in New York. She wasn't sure she wanted them too. "Um, well..."

"Sheridan." Hank said interrupting. "Did you tell Pilar and Miguel about your idea yet?"

Gwen realized what Hank was doing and sent him a grateful smile. "Yeah, Hank. I did. I really need to get back in there to Luis, but it was really good to see you Gwen. Maybe we could talk later? After Luis wakes up? That is if you're still going to be in town?"

Gwen nodded. "I'll be in town for awhile. I hope Luis will be all right and that he wakes up soon."

"Thank you. So do I." Sheridan turned then and walked toward Luis hospital room.

"How 'bout going to the cafeteria and getting a cup of coffee?" Hank asked. "You look like you could use one."

"Yeah, a cup of coffee sounds great. I think I'll get one for To... Antonio too." Gwen followed Hank down the hall and prayed he wouldn't ask any questions about her and Tony. She wasn't ready to talk about it yet. In fact, she wasn't even ready to think about it yet.


Antonio glanced at Ethan and then at Theresa. He wasn't sure who looked more shocked. He figured Theresa did, but then again, Ethan looked as if he'd been thrown for a loop too. Damn it, he should have kept his damn mouth shut. He wasn't ready to talk about Gwen with Ethan and Theresa.

"Antonio -" Theresa started.

He shook his head. "Not in here. Let's go out into the hall. I'm sure Sheridan is back by now."

He stood just as Sheridan walked into the room. "How is he?"

"The same." he answered. "But I'm sure he would rather hear your voice than mine."

She gave a smile of thanks and went to sit down next to Luis. She grabbed Luis hand and Antonio felt the tug in his heart. The love those two had was unbelievable, he thought. He knew that love would bring Luis back. He knew everything was going to be okay. He didn't know he knew, but he did.

Antonio turned and followed Theresa and Ethan out into the hall. He wasn't looking forward to answering their questions, but he knew he had to. He figured it would be easier to just get all the cards out on the table. He glanced around for Gwen, but he didn't see her. Had she already left? Surely not. But then again, he wouldn't put it past her. She seemed to do a lot of running when things go too tough. He really couldn't blame Gwen for leaving this time though. After all, explaining to Ethan and Theresa what had happened between him and Gwen in New York was not going to be pretty. "Look I know -"

"Wait." Theresa said interrupting him. "All I need to know is if you really care about her? Because if you do then I won't say anything. I never had anything against Gwen personally. I just didn't think she was right for Ethan."

"Same goes for me." Ethan said putting his arm around Theresa. "Gwen is a wonderful woman. We just weren't meant to be together is all."

Antonio couldn't believe it. They weren't going to object? Not that it would have mattered if they had. It's just he thought for sure they would be against him and Gwen. "I don't really know her all that well. We weren't exactly very talkative the night we met."

Theresa shook her head. "Do you want to get to know her though?"

"I wouldn't mind seeing her from time to time, but I don't want anything serious." Truth was he wasn't exactly sure what he wanted yet.

"Okay," Theresa said. "Then I have just one question for you. Since you don't want a serious relationship with Gwen, then you wouldn't mind if she was with another guy right?"

What? What the hell did that mean? He figured Theresa was just trying to get to him and he wouldn't give her the satisfaction of knowing it worked. "No, I wouldn't mind. Gwen and I aren't a couple. She's free to do as she pleases."

"Good." Theresa said looking at something over his left shoulder. "Because there she is."

He turned and felt his heart plummet to his feet. She was talking with Hank Bennett. They must have just came back from the cafeteria because they were both carrying a cup of coffee. Gwen started to slip and Hank reached out and caught her arm. Antonio sucked in deep breath as Gwen sent Hank a bright smile. Okay so maybe he did care, he thought making his way toward Gwen and Hank. Maybe he cared a lot.

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