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Too Hot To Handle
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Too Hot To Handle
by Deanna Lynn

Chapter Seventeen

Sheridan woke to find herself alone in Luis’ bed. She stretched her arms over her head then raised herself up into a sitting position and swung her legs over the side. Once she was standing she leaned down and pulled the sheet off the bed. After securely wrapping it around herself, she walked toward the door and opened it. She saw Luis the moment she stepped into the living room and when he turned to look at her, she had to smile at the sight he provided. Dressed in nothing but a pair of black denim jeans, zipped but unbuttoned at the top, he looked sexy as sin. Her grin widened as she remembered what his body looked like underneath those jeans. But then she noticed they weren’t alone and her grin vanished instantly.

Ethan and Theresa stood just on the other side of Luis’ couch and neither one looked very happy to see her there. Of course that could have to do with the fact that she was dressed in Luis’ bed sheet. "What are you guys doing here?"

"You didn’t come home last night." Ethan said through gritted teeth. " We got worried and came by here to see if Luis had seen you." Ethan shook his head. "Little did we know..."

Sheridan felt her face heat and immediately lowered her head to look at the floor. She hadn’t wanted Ethan and Theresa to know she was going out with Luis because she’d been afraid they would call Luis and try to change his mind. But looking back she realized she should have at least told them in the note she wrote. Why hadn’t she? Because she had wanted to let Ethan know she wasn’t little miss innocent and she thought that by staying out all night she would be able to prove it? Even though that thought hadn’t crossed her mind last night, she knew it was an entirely plausible explanation for the reason she didn’t tell them who her date was with.

She took a deep breath then raised her head. Her eyes connected with Luis’ instantly and she could tell by the look that he gave her that he knew about the note. She could see the questions in his eyes and wondered how she was going to answer them. Sure she could tell him that she’d been afraid they would try and change his mind about seeing her, but would he be able to tell there was more to it than that? She hoped not, because she didn’t want to get into the other reasons. She wasn’t even ready to think about the other reasons – not yet.



Luis couldn’t read the expression on Sheridan’s face at all. Usually her face was like an open book, but right now… the book was closed. Why? What the hell was going on in that pretty head of hers? Did she regret last night? Is that what was bothering her? No, he thought shaking his head, there was no way she would regret what happened between them. She’d wanted it just as much as he had. Maybe she regretted not telling Ethan she had a date with him. That little tidbit still bothered him and he planned to ask her about it just as soon as Ethan and Theresa left.

"Sheridan," Luis said breaking into the sudden silence. "Why don’t you go get dressed while I finish talking with Ethan and Theresa?"

She looked at him a little uncertainly then slowly nodded and walked back into his bedroom. Once she had shut the door, he turned his attention back to their unexpected visitors. "I know you two want to rant and rave at me right now, but I’m not really in the mood to listen so how ‘bout we do this a little later?"

Preferably never, he thought meeting Ethan’s eyes, but he was pretty sure that was out of the question. Ethan wouldn’t sweep this one under the rug. He’d want answers and he wouldn’t quit until he got them.

"Fine." Ethan said nodding his head and walking toward the front door. "We’ll discuss this when you bring Sher back home."

Luis grimaced at his tone, but didn’t have much chance to reply because Ethan threw open the door and walked out. Theresa followed right behind him, but she stopped just before she walked out and turned back to face him. "This isn’t like you Luis. Normally when you give your word it means something. You told Ethan you wouldn’t get involved with Sheridan and yet the minute his back was turned you do it anyway. It would be different if you really cared for her, but we both know you don’t. We both know how you are with women. A few nights in the sack is all you can handle, because the minute it gets serious you run as fast and as far as you can. Don’t let Sheridan fall for you, Luis. Don’t let her give you her heart, because we both know you’ll only break it in the end."

With that Theresa turned on her heel and stormed out of his apartment not even bothering to wait for his response or shut the door. He stood frozen in place for a full sixty seconds then once he got over his shock, he walked to the door and slammed it shut. He had known his sister’s opinion of him wasn’t all that good but he didn’t know it was quite that bad. He jammed a hand through his hair then cursed when he realized it was slightly shaking. What gave her the right to talk to him that way?

"And how the hell does she know I’m not the one that’s going to get my heart broken?" Luis muttered under his breath. He shook his head to clear it then turned to find Sheridan dressed and standing in the doorway, her blue eyes wide and full of questions. Had she heard what he said? He hoped not. He hadn’t meant that the way it sounded. He would hate to give her the wrong impression. He had meant what he told her the other night – his heart was off limits. He had promised himself a long time ago that he would never again give another person that much power over him and come hell or high water, he planned to keep that promise.

He caught sight of the phone cord lying on the table and figured he’d it was time he plugged it back in. The last thing he needed was for more worried visitors to come by. Once he was done, he turned to Sher and gave her a rueful smile. "I’m sorry about Ethan and Theresa being here. I left my keys in the door lock last night and they used them to let themselves in."

She shrugged a shoulder then looked toward the floor. "I guess we had more important things on our mind last night."

"Yeah, I guess we did." He said walking toward the kitchen to make some coffee. He had a feeling he was going to need some, especially since he had no idea how to broach the subject of last night and why the hell she didn’t tell Ethan and Theresa she had a date with him. He started getting the coffee ready then searched through the cabinet for a couple of mugs. He had no idea if Sheridan even liked coffee. He had just started to ask her when he heard her speak from behind him.

"Luis, I’m sorry."

"For what?" He asked setting two mugs on the counter then turning around in surprise.

She pulled a chair out from under the kitchen table then sat down and feigned interest in the décor of the kitchen. She wasn’t looking at him and that couldn’t be a good sign. Did she regret what happened between them last night? Is that why she looked so sad? He hoped like hell that wasn’t the case because there was no way he could ever regret it. It had been too… well he wasn’t even sure there was a word for what it had been. "I heard what Theresa said. I didn’t mean to cause problems between you two. Or between you and Ethan. And you don’t have to worry about breaking my heart. I don’t plan on giving it to you so that won’t even be an issue. I know that what we have between us is nothing more than sex. That was after all what we agreed to, right?"

Nothing more than sex. Something about that statement really irked him and it caused him to speak more harshly than he normally would have. "I know you don’t plan on giving me your heart. Just as I don’t plan on giving you mine. As long as we both remember that then I don’t think we’ll have a problem. Do you?"

"N...no." She stammered, obviously taken by surprise at his tone. Dammit, what was it about her that set him off so easily? He was usually more laid back but ever since he met her it was as if his emotions were on a roller coaster ride with no way to get off.

Luis shook his head then turned back to the coffeepot. "How do you take your coffee? Or do you even like it?"

"A little cream no sugar."

He nodded then poured two cups of coffee. He put cream in hers and stirred it then handed her the mug. "Be careful." He said sitting the mug in front of her. "These ceramic mugs get hot."

She smiled. "I know. I drink out of one all the time. A friend of mine back in New York, Kiley, her mother owns a ceramic shop and she made me a cup that says Princess Sheridan on it."

"Princess Sheridan?" He asked raising a brow and sitting in the chair across from her. "Is there a story behind that name?"

She sighed and took a sip of her coffee. "Yeah, but I’m not sure I want to tell it to you."

"Why not?" He asked taking a sip of his own coffee. "Is it embarrassing or something?"

"No, it’s just…" She stopped and shook her head. "Do you know what it’s like to have someone treat you like they know who you are but they really have absolutely no clue? They think they have you all figured out but they really don’t. They judge you based on…" she stopped in mid sentence and titled her head as if she was trying to find the right word then sighed and gestured with her hand. "certain things and not on who you are inside. Do you know what I mean?"

Did he ever! Wasn’t that what Theresa had done this morning? And what Antonio did yesterday? Come to think of it the rest of his family had a nasty habit of doing that too. And so did Ethan. They all thought they knew him better than he knew himself but the truth was none of them even had a clue as to who he was. He supposed he and Sher had that in common. Ethan had thought her to be little miss innocent, but in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Okay, she did have a tendency to seem innocent at times, but more often than not she knew what she wanted and she went after not caring what people thought about her for doing so. That was one of the things he liked most about her. In a way, she reminded him of himself. He wasn’t in the habit of stopping to think about how his actions might look to someone else either. He didn’t give a flip about what anyone else thought. Except Sher. For some reason he seemed to care what she thought. But he’d never admit it to anyone. They might take it completely the wrong way. That’d be all he needed, he thought shaking his head, for someone to take his caring what she thought about him to mean he’d fallen in love with her. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

The only thing they had between them was sex. Just pure physical satisfaction and nothing more. But if all they had between them was just sex then why did he have this sudden urge to get to know her better? And why did he want her to get to know him better as well?



Sheridan studied Luis over the rim of her coffee cup and wondered what he was thinking. He suddenly looked so serious and he was staring at her as if she were a puzzle he was desperately trying to figure out. She give anything to know what was going through his mind. He’d gotten kind of short with her earlier and she still wasn’t sure what had caused it. But then they’d started talking about her Princess Sheridan cup and he seemed to be okay. At least he had until a few minutes ago. Now she had no clue as to what was going on.

"So..." she said tapping her nails on the table. "Do you know what I mean?"

"Huh?" Luis asked in confusion.

Sheridan laughed and shook her head. "I was asking if you knew what I meant about people thinking they knew the real you when they didn’t. You never answered me. Where did you space out to all of the sudden?"

"Nowhere." He said getting up from the table and pouring himself another cup of coffee. "I was just thinking about something. Do you want another cup?"

"No." She said shaking her head. "One is fine for me thanks."

"Okay. So finish your story. I want to hear how you got this nickname Princess Sheridan."

Sheridan sighed and wondered how she was going to tell him without sounding like a complete and total loser. It wasn’t like she was ashamed of how people saw her. That wasn’t it at all. She just wished people would take a little more time in getting to know her before put a label on her. "I got the nickname because of my friend Kiley. We were, I guess about eleven, and we were playing dress up. She’s not as well off as my family is and because I lived in a bigger house than her she always thought it was more like a mansion or a castle."

She chuckled softly as an image of Kiley’s shocked face flashed in her mind. She had been absolutely awed by the house. "Anyway, one day we were playing in the attic and she was afraid about us getting locked in. But then she laughed and said if we did get locked in, we wouldn’t be there for long because someone was bound to go looking for Princess Sheridan. It kind of became a joke after that."

Luis raised a brow. "Something tells me you left something out of that story."

She had but she wasn’t about to tell him the rest of it. How everyone adopted the name and refused to call her by just her first name. By the time she hit high school, the guys refused to come near her because they feared the she was too perfect for them. After all a princess had an image to uphold. It didn’t matter that she wasn’t’ really a princess. Because from that point on everyone treated her like little miss innocent and nothing she said or did since then had been able to change that opinion – until now.

Now she was certain that no one, at least no one that lived in Harmony, would see her as little miss innocent. She smiled as she remembered the pool party and how she and Luis getting caught making out in the pool had been the hot topic of conversation. For the first time in her life, no one was making fun of her because she lacked the experience to fit in. And she had Luis to thank for that. Meeting him was the best thing that had ever happened to her and she had known it from the moment she saw him. She had known he was the right man… the right man to help her ruin her good girl image and boy had she been right.

"What’s that smile for?" Luis asked leaning over the table to take her hand. "You look like the cat that ate the canary."

"Nothing I was just thinking about all that has happened since we met."

"Oh?" He said raising a brow and turning her palm over so he could place a light kiss in the center of it. "Care to explain that one?"

The ringing of the phone stopped her from answering. Luis sent her seductive grin then winked. "Hold that thought."

God, she thought as he walked into the living room to answer the phone, the man was just too damn sexy. They hadn’t got much sleep last night and he still managed to look sexy as sin. She on the other hand had looked like the bride of Frankenstein. At least she had until she’d gone into the bathroom to change her clothes. She’d taken the opportunity to splash some water on her face and fix the mop she called her hair.

"Hello?" Luis said as he picked up the phone. Sheridan watched as the smile he’d been wearing a few minutes ago faded to a grimace. Whatever the caller was saying it wasn’t good. "Yeah, we’ll be out of here in five minutes tops. Thanks Ethan."

Ethan? Why was he calling? "Luis?" she asked getting up from her chair and walking into the living room. "Is something wrong?"

"You could say that." He said jamming a hand through his dark hair. "That was Ethan. He said I’d better get you home and quick because your parents are there. They got in late last night and needless to say they’re looking for you."

Her parents? Her parents were in Harmony? Oh god, she thought raising a hand to her mouth, if they got in last night that meant they knew she hadn’t come home. She had wanted to prove to them that she was no little miss innocent but this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Well it was, but she didn’t think it wouldn’t happen nearly so soon. And now that it had she had no idea what she was going to do about it!

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