"You should be more careful, Mommy. Don't overwork yourself," Sheridan scolded, giving her mother a disapproving
Victoria sighed and rolled her eyes, but she was secretly pleased that Sheridan had started calling her Mommy again
since she'd been released from the hospital last week. "I was only making dinner, dear," she replied
Sheridan smiled wryly. "I guess it's better than the usual...TV dinners."
Victoria lifted an eyebrow and turned back to the stove. "I don't need you worrying about me. I have enough
worry for the both of us. And I know when I'm going overboard." She threw a smile over her shoulder, stirring
the pea soup that was cooking on the stove. "But, your concern means a lot to me."
Sheridan stood from the table and meandered over to her mother. Stopping next to her, she placed a hand on her
mother's arm and whispered, "When you had a heart attack, I thought I'd never see you again. Now that I have
you back...I just want you to be careful. I love you, Mom."
Victoria smiled through blossoming tears and let go of the spoon she'd been stirring the soup with to wrap her
arms around Sheridan. "And I love you, dear." Pulling back, she smoothed Sheridan's hair from her forehead
and said, "I'm sorry that I'm invading your home. I know you get tired of all my lectures, but I hope you
know that I'm only concerned for your well-being."
Sheridan shook her head. "No, I don't mind at all that you're here." She smiled and looked away. "I
realized that every second counts in life." Grabbing her mother's hands, she said firmly, "I'm glad to
have you here, and don't you dare think about running out on me."
Victoria had moved into Sheridan's house after she'd been released from the hospital so that someone could look
out for her, considering Alistair worked as a lawyer and was away often. The doctor had recommended she move in
with Sheridan, and Sheridan had been happy to oblige.
Victoria laughed. "I wouldn't run out on you, Sheridan. Have I ever?" She turned back to the stove. "Have
you heard about that Lopez-Fitzgerald guy? Luis?"
Sheridan stiffened. "What about him?"
"Seems he called off the wedding to Emily Hanson." Victoria glanced suspiciously at Sheridan. "What's
with that look? Do you know him personally?"
Sheridan only looked away in confusion. She hadn't seen Luis in two weeks, being careful to avoid him and not returning
his phone calls. Since when had he called off the wedding to Emily? And why?
Shaking her head at her mother, she said, "I have something to do." Leaning over, she gave her mother
a peck on the cheek and a quick hug. "I'll be back soon."
She hurried out of the kitchen and into the livingroom, her mother's voice filtering through the house as she called
out, "Don't be late for dinner!"
With a cursory, "I won't, Mom!" she fled the house.
Luis paced the livingroom of the Lopez-Fitzgerald mansion, rubbing his chin, seemingly in deep thought. Emily tapped
her foot against the wooden floorboards, her arms folded over her chest.
Shaking his head, Luis sighed and faced her. "I still think it would be better to wait."
"Why?" Emily demanded irritably. "What's so bad about having the wedding in two weeks? Do you know
how upset my mother and father are by this turn of events, Luis?"
"Emily," Luis said firmly, approaching her and taking her by the shoulders, "I've already called
off the wedding. For now," he added as an afterthought. "I don't think you should stress yourself during
"For crying out loud, Luis!" Emily yelled back. "You're alreadystressing me out! Dammit." Twirling away, she rubbed her temples.
Luis sighed irritably and placed his hands on her shoulders. She shrugged them off. Grumbling, he turned away from
her and plucked a glass of brandy off of the wooden desk a few feet away.
Swallowing down a gulp, he said, "I'm sorry. I just don't want you focusing on anything too...frustrating
while you're pregnant. We can wait until after--"
"Oh, dear God, Luis!" Emily turned around and replied sharply, "You're not making any sense. We
can just have the wedding in two weeks! I don't see whatyou're so worried about."
Slamming the glass of brandy down on the desk, he growled out, "I've already explained it several times. You'rebeing impatient!"
"I wonder why!" Emily retorted sarcastically. "It's onlymy wedding day we're talking about here! Ourwedding day," she corrected. "I want to be married to you as soon
"Why?" Luis replied, shaking his head. He approached her and studied her face. "What are you so
impatient for? We're still together, even if we're not married."
Emily gazed up at him, hurt. "You don't understand, do you, Luis?"
Luis closed his eyes and sighed. "What don't I understand?"
Emily let out a dry chuckle and eased past him. She halted just behind him and bowed her head. "You don't
Taken aback by her accusation, Luis spun around. "What?"
His mother's cheery voice rang out across the livingroom as she sauntered towards them.
"Someone's here to see you," she announced with a bright smile.
Luis rubbed his temples, suddenly finding that he had a headache. "Can it wait?"
Pilar shrugged and glanced back and forth between them. "What's going on here?"
Luis sighed and shook his head, looking up, but his gaze wandered past his mother and settled on the figure in
the doorway. She smiled nervously at him and shifted, her purse held in both hands in front of her.
Shrugging a shoulder, she said uncertainly, "I...hope I didn't interrupt anything important."
"Sheridan." His voice was just above a whisper.
"What the hell is she
Emily's shrill voice cut into the trance-like moment between them. Luis's eyes shot towards her, a warning in them.
Turning a smile on Sheridan, he said, "If you'll excuse me for a moment, Emily. Sheridan?"
Sheridan accepted his arm and the two traipsed outdoors, into the frigid December air. Snowflakes had covered the
yard and the roofs of houses, the trees skeletal and trembling in the light breeze that swept over Harmony.
"Why didn't you return my calls?" Luis finally asked. They took a seat on a bench near the front door.
Sheridan shook her head. "That's beside the point. I heard that Emily was pregnant, but you called off the
wedding. Why?" She glanced at him.
"I didn't permanently call off the wedding, Sher..." He studied her face. "Why did you ask that?"
Sheridan shrugged uneasily. "I felt, ah...sorry for Emily." Changing the subject, she inquired, "So
you're still marrying her?"
Luis nodded, looking away. "As far as I know."
Sheridan scrutinized him. "Did I interrupt something important in there?" she whispered.
With a half-hearted shrug, he replied quietly, "All couples fight."
"You seem...upset," she observed. Looking down, she released a sigh and said, "I guess I should
go. Forgive me for interrupting you and your fiancée."
She started to stand, but Luis grabbed her arm. Looking down in surprise, she questioned him with her eyes.
"Will you see me tonight?" he asked, almost desperately.
Sheridan blinked in confusion and whispered back, "Yeah. Sure."
He smiled weakly. "Eight?"
"I don't know," she said with a small laugh. "My mother wants me to be home for dinner."
"Would she mind setting an extra place at the dinner table?" he replied with a grin.
Sheridan studied him for a moment before smiling softly. "Not at all."
Standing, Luis pulled her in for a hug and said, "See you then."
"'Bye," was her quiet reply.