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In the End

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In the End
by
Shuis112

Chapter 11
Sheridan flicked the light switch on. Light flooded the hallway as Luis stepped inside. Sheridan took off her coat and smiled at him. "Welcome to my humble abode," she said, gesturing to the rest of the house. Luis chuckled. The walls were bare and a few scattered pieces of furniture rested on the floor. The house smelled like fresh paint and the thud of the door closing echoed throughout the building. "It doesn't look like much, I know," said Sheridan, reading the look on Luis's face. "Since I just moved in, I'm still in the process of fixing it up." Luis raised his eyebrow at her last statement, but kept silent. He followed her into what seemed like the living room.

There were two couches on opposite sides of the room, with a small coffee table in between. The wood floor was littered with tools that Sheridan pushed into a small pile. There was a huge window facing the ocean that was covered with vertical blinds. With the exception of two side tables with lamps by the sofas and a TV, that was all that inhabited the living room. Sheridan turned on both of the lamps and motioned for Luis to sit down. "Would you like anything to drink? Before you answer, keep in mind that I don't have much in my kitchen." Luis laughed and felt the tension between them ease a little. "I'll have some water, thanks."

Sheridan smiled back. "Coming right up, Officer."

"Detective."

She turned back around, surprised. "What?"

Luis looked down for a second and then fixed his gaze on her. "I what I meant was that I got promoted to Detective a while back." Sheridan broke out into a huge smile, her blue eyes dancing with happiness. For a moment, Luis thought she was going to run up and hug him, and he wished she would, but Sheridan just stood there in the kitchen doorway.

"Now this calls for something more than just water," she said still grinning. She then whipped around and disappeared into the kitchen. Luis felt the corners of his mouth turning up, too, and he settled back down onto the couch. When she smiled at him like that, it almost felt like old times. When they weren't at each other's necks, when he had melted the wall of ice she put in front of her. Luis slowly exhaled and tried to suppress the excitement bubbling up inside of him at the prospect of spending the evening with Sheridan. Sheridan leaned against the counter, trying to calm herself down. If she didn't, she was sure she would lose control and throw herself at Luis. Hell, she almost had. For a second, she felt like throwing her arms around him and congratulating him on his promotion. But she had come to her senses in time and stopped the impulse. Sheridan continued to rummage through the cabinets and took out the champagne glasses she was looking for. She set them next to a bottle. "I never thought I'd be drinking this, with Luis no less." Sheridan carried it all out into the living room and set in on the coffee table.

"Sheridan, what " he paused when he read the label on the bottle. "Sparkling apple juice." Luis looked up, amusement and question all over his face.

"I can't let you drink and drive, Detective," said Sheridan, glad he liked her surprise. "So I figured this was the next best thing." Luis shook his head in disbelief and opened the bottle.

"You never cease to amaze me, Miss Crane."

"I'll take that as a compliment." She sat down next to him and held her glass as he poured her a drink. "To Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald, who I congratulate on being promoted to Detective." Luis laughed but raised his glass to the toast. This was turning out to be one heck of a night.

Two hours later....

"Click, click, clickety-click." Luis opened one eye and glanced over to where Sheridan was busy typing on her laptop. He repositioned the pillow behind his head and shifted over to his side on the couch. The weather had gone from bad to worse, if that was possible, and Sheridan had let him rest on the couch while she finished her report. But he couldn't sleep. Images of Sheridan kept on popping in his head, and he didn't want to drift off to sleep; he might mumble her name in his slumber. He kept telling himself he was crazy, that he shouldn't be thinking about another woman when he was already engaged to the most wonderful woman in the world. But it didn't help.

Sheridan sighed and closed her laptop. "Done?" a voice asked. She looked over to where Luis was sprawled out on the sofa.

"Yeah. Finally. I thought you were sleeping."

"I couldn't. I'm not really that tired."

Sheridan nodded. "So, you want to do something? I know there's not much to do, but we could watch TV, or play a game, or just talk. Or you could try going to sleep again."

"I don't think I'd have much success with that last choice. How about we just talk?" suggested Luis, sitting up straight.

"Okay. Let's talk." Sheridan said, talk being the farthest thing from her mind that moment.

"Right. Talk." Luis felt himself being drawn closer into Sheridan's sparkling eyes. The last thing he wanted to do was talk. In fact, what he wanted to do was what he was about to as he leaned in closer to where she was sitting.

Sheridan held her breath. The distance between them gradually lessened, and she could feel his breath tickling her skin. She closed her eyes and waited for him to kiss her.

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