Note: This fanfic was co-written by me, Lizzy (whiteowl4@yahoo.com), and by Marni (sabourin_21@hotmail.com)

Part 1:

The relationship was perfect. It was exactly what everyone was looking for in their lives. And according to Sheridan Crane, things couldn't have been any better. She was in love with the sweetest, hottest, and sexiest person on earth. Sheridan met Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald her freshman year, and since the first time she laid eyes on him, she was in love. The way he walked…the way his deep voice carried… everything about Luis made her want him even more.

Finally, a week before Homecoming in her junior year, he had asked her to the dance. It was the greatest day of Sheridan's life, and she accepted his invitation without hesitation. After they got to know each other even better, Luis revealed he had a major crush on Sheridan since his freshman year. The two laughed at how stupid they both were, but were thrilled to finally be together.

This was what Sheridan thought about as she was driving to school one beautifully chilly fall morning. Sheridan knew how lucky she was. Every moment she had to spare she spent with Luis. Sheridan pulled into the parking lot and was walking through the front doors. She glanced over and saw her wonderful boyfriend coming towards her. Smiling, she met up with him and the two embraced in the longest, deepest kiss. They hadn't seen each other since Friday, and to them, that was two days too long.

"Hi Sheridan. Have a nice weekend?" Luis asked, slipping his arms around her waist.

Sheridan grinned. "It could've been better…I missed you, of course!" They began to walk to Sheridan's locker together. This was the morning ritual that Sheridan and Luis shared. They would always meet by the front doors, and spend the morning together before the bell rang.

"Yeah, I had to go to my brother's college convention at the University of Maine. Too bad you couldn't have come with me. I bet we could've showed those professors a thing or two!"

The two laughed as they made their way to the cafeteria. As usual, they met up with Gwen Hotchkiss and her boyfriend Hank Bennett, and what seemed like only minutes, the bell rang. Sheridan and Luis shared one more kiss and hug before they departed.

~*~*~*~

English Literature wasn't the most exciting class Sheridan had, but she was forced to take at least a semester of it. And a whole semester with Ms. MacDonald was more than enough for Sheridan.

Ms. MacDonald always began the day by going through the schedule and talking about what hell the students would be going through this week. "So," Ms. MacDonald began, looking around the classroom with disgust. She never seemed happy with the class, no matter how hard they tried. "Can anyone tell me what we did Friday?"

Sheridan raised her hand. "We read through the beginning of Macbeth."

Ms. MacDonald nodded. "Yeah, and who can tell me what happened?"

Sheridan looked around the room. Everyone was still half-asleep, while others were asleep. After a minute, Sheridan raised her hand again. "Macbeth and Banquo met witches in the woods. The witches addressed Macbeth as the King."

Once more, Ms. MacDonald nodded and asked, "And what happened when Banquo and Macbeth reach King Duncan's place?"

Once again, no one raised their hand. Sighing, Sheridan raised her hand and almost began to answer the question when Ms. MacDonald stopped her.

"Kids! There is no reason for this!!! We need more participation in here!" Ms. MacDonald paused dramatically for a moment. "Okay, since nobody seems to participate in discussions here, I'm now assigning an oral presentation…" Ms. MacDonald went on and on about the guidelines which the presentation would be graded on.

"So, is everything clear? Good." she said, not bothering to even check if there were any hands up. "And now—"

Ms. MacDonald was cut off by Matt Thompson. "Is this wonderfully educational presentation going to be in groups, or is it by ourselves?"

Ms. MacDonald, angry that he'd cut her off, snapped. "LOOK! I was ABOUT to GET to that if you'd just LET me CONTINUE!…Now, as I—"

Matt cut her off again. "Oh, I'm sorry. I'll just wait for you to answer my question then."

Ms. MacDonald glared at Matt. "Thank you," she spat out. "Now, as I was saying—"

"Hey, you're welcome. I'm very interested in the well being of the class, so go ahead and finish."

Ms. MacDonald exploded. "GET OUT!"

Matt looked confused. "What did I do?"

"TAKE YOUR THINGS AND GO TO THE OFFICE!!" Matt was about to open his mouth when Ms. MacDonald yelled "NOW!!!" Irate, he picked up his belongings and left. Ms. MacDonald continued. "Okay, before I can be interrupted again, I will be assigning you with a partner…" Ms. MacDonald rattled off a bunch of names. "Kay and Miguel, Whitney and Chad, Brian and Sheridan…"

Now that Sheridan heard her name, she heard that she was paired with Brian O'Leary. This made her happy. Brian was a total babe, not to mention one of the most popular guys in the senior class. He had thick, dark brown hair with sparkling eyes to match. She had always gotten along with Brian, but never made an attempt to get to know him. She looked at him casually from across the room. He was looking back at her with a sexy grin that made him even hotter, if that was possible.

"Okay, meet with your partner and start to get things going…NOW!"

Whistling under her breath, Sheridan walked over to Brian and sat down in a nearby desk. "Hi Brian. Ready for this awesome presentation?"

"Are you kidding? I love this class, let alone all the meaningless projects we do." Brian shook his head, obviously joking. "So, do you have any ideas, because I have absolutely none."

"Neither do I…" she trailed off as she caught his expression. He was half grinning, half disappointed. "What did I say?"

Again, Brian shook his head. "The smartest girl in class doesn't even have any ideas? Well, if YOU don't have any, can you imagine what the rest of the class is going to do?" He knew he was embarrassing her, and stopped. "Well, what I guess we could do is…" He went on and explained his idea.

Sheridan loved it. "That's awesome! I think we should do that!" Brian began to write something in his notebook. He was not only hot, but smart also! Of course, not as hot and smart as Luis, but he wasn't too far behind.

The rest of the class was spent talking and making fun of Ms. MacDonald and English Literature. Sheridan's day went by pretty quickly, and before she knew it, it was 8th hour, and 8th hour meant time with Luis during Physics. They sat together near the far side of the room so they could have a little privacy. Usually, Luis waited for Sheridan after 7th hour, which was another ritual.

Surprisingly, he wasn't waiting for her today. She walked to physics to find Luis already in the room. Sheridan felt a twinge of jealousy. It wasn't because he didn't wait for her, but because of who he was sitting by and talking to. He was in a deep conversation with none other than Beth Wallace.

In Sheridan's opinion, Beth was one of the biggest sluts that she was forced to have classes with. There were always rumors circulating around school about who was the latest guy that Beth had slept with.

She watched as the two started laughing about something that Luis said. Sheridan sat down at her regular seat, rolling her eyes. Beth's laugh was so obnoxious and fake. She couldn't believe Beth could actually carry out a conversation for as long as they'd been talking. Sheridan figured that the only words Beth knew were bed, sex, more, and yes. Sighing, Sheridan got out her notebook and located her assignment for today.

Finally, as the bell rang, Luis walked over to his usual seat and sat down. "Hey Sheridan. Sorry I wasn't able to wait for you today, but Beth needed my help with something…"

Sheridan stopped listening after she heard Beth. She just nodded and waited for the class to begin.

~*~*~*~

Later, after Sheridan arrived at home, the phone rang. It was Luis. Sheridan didn't particularly feel like talking to him, but she did so she wouldn't come off as rude.

"Hey, Sheridan. Look, I just want to know how you're doing. You weren't talking much to me today during physics, so I was just wondering if something was wrong."

Oh, so now he wanted to talk. Probably now that Beth wasn't around. "No. Nothing is wrong…" Sheridan trailed off with no feeling in her voice.

"Oh." He paused. "Uh…is this about Beth? Because I told you that I was only helping her-"

"Look," she snapped, completely cutting him off. "I believe you. I guess I just didn't like the fact that you were flirting with her."

"I wasn't flirting, Sheridan. Just talking."

"Uh huh. Sure…"

Luis sighed loudly. "Oh, and I suppose you can talk to any guy you want, and it's wrong for me to get mad, but when I talk to another girl, you becoming jealous is totally justified?"

"I am not jealous! No…what? Huh? N-…No!." There was a long pause. "Well…maybe a little jealous…but just a smidgen…no… no, half of a half of a smidgen."

Luis was silent for a moment. Sheridan figured that either he didn't have a comeback, or he was trying to figure out what she had just said. "It doesn't matter. I'm sorry. Look, can I stop by for a while? I think we need to talk."

"Uh…I'm busy," Sheridan lied, surprising herself. She had never lied to him in the year that they'd been together.

"Really? With what?"

"I…I uh…I'm meeting Brian."

"Brian O'Leary? Really? Why?"

"For English Lit. We're partners for this project and we have a lot of work ahead of us."

"Oh. Well, uh, I'd better leave you alone then…I love you, Sheridan," he stammered.

"Yeah…bye." Sheridan hung up the phone, tears rolling down her face. What was happening between them? Why did Sheridan suddenly feel the need to lie?

~*~*~*~

Luis held the receiver in his hand for a moment, staring at it. Did he hear what he thought he'd just heard? He slowly hung the phone up and stood still. Luis honestly did not know what to do. Him? Flirting with Beth? The idea was crazy.

Picking up the receiver again, he quickly dialed Brian's number. He wanted to see what was going on, but he didn't get the chance, because the line was busy.

He then dialed Hank's number. It rang, and Luis sighed in relief. He needed to talk to someone, and Hank was the perfect person. He had known Hank his whole life, and, as an added bonus, he was also in his physics class.

"Hello?" a feminine voice asked.

"Hi Mrs. Bennett, it's Luis…is Hank around?" he questioned anxiously.

"Luis! How are you doing? I haven't talked to you in years! "

"Uh…yeah…great. Is Hank--"

"How is school? Doing well in all of your classes?"

"Yeah, great, fine. Look, I just called--"

"And your mother! How is she doing? I can't remember the last time I saw her!"

"She's doing good. Could--"

Mrs. Bennett laughed. "I remember the last time I saw her! It was back when you and my little boy were entering high school!"

"Yeah, it's been a while, but I really need to talk to Hank. Is he around?"

"Just a moment…I think the last time I saw her was at the freshmen football game! Yes…yes, that's right! That was the game where you dropped the ball several times, and my poor baby vomited all over you. I think you lost…the score was 20-0. Yes, I remember it clearly!"

"Yeah…thanks for reminding me…I almost succeeded in forgetting that game, but now thanks to your great memory…"

Mrs. Bennett chuckled. "I think that was your best game that season, too! Yes, I'm correct, because the first week, the score was 35-3. Then, the next game, you lost 59-6. That was when you caught the ball and ran all the way to the wrong end of the field! Ha! Your face-you looked so happy and couldn't understand why everyone was mad! And then--"

"LOOK! I SUCKED AT FOOTBALL! CAN you PLEASE put Hank on the phone?!"

Mrs. Bennett sighed loudly. "Well! You don't have to get snippy about it! For the love of God…" She put the phone down, and a couple minutes later, Hank answered.

"Hey, man, what's up? What'd you do to my mom?"

Ignoring his question, Luis once again sighed a breath of relief. "Look, man, I gotta talk to you…it's an emergency."

"Let me guess. Does this emergency have anything to do with Sheridan?" Hank asked, laughing.

"Wha- how did you know?" Luis asked, amazed.

"Well, I saw what went down in physics today, so I figured there would be trouble in Paradise. So did she forgive you, or did you do some major ass-kissing?"

"I would rather talk to you about this someplace more private. Gwen just got home, and you know how she likes to eavesdrop."

Hank thought for a moment. "How about we meet at the Book Café?" he asked, referring to the teen hangout in town.

"Yeah, I'll meet you there." Luis said as he hung up. Hastily, he threw his jacket on and ran out the door.

~*~*~*~

Meanwhile, Sheridan was on the phone with Brian when Luis tried calling. Sheridan told him that she thought they should get an early start on the project. And they too decided to meet at the Book Café. Brian agreed to pick her up and the two arrive at the Café, but not before Luis and Hank do.

~*~*~*~

Hank and Luis were sitting in the back of the cafe. "Hey man, thanks for coming on such short notice. I really needed someone to talk to. I need to fix things with Sheridan."

Hank nodded. "I'll bet. I'm sure Sheridan wasn't too happy walking into physics seeing you come onto another girl."

Luis groaned. "Did it look that bad?"

Shaking his head, Hank answered. "Sorry, but yeah. If I saw Gwen flirting with another guy, I'd probably bash his head in. If I were you, I'd hang low for a couple days and give her some space. I remember last year when I was in the same type of situation. Do you remember? Kellie Carstens was my old girlfriend before Gwen and I hooked up, and one day she saw me and Kellie joking around about something. She got so mad, that she started spreading rumors that…well, let's just say after a month of me letting her cool down, she finally forgave me. Now, were even more crazy about each other than we were before. "

Luis thought for a moment. "I guess it could work…I just don't want to lose her. Finally, I find someone who I feel completely in love with. With her, I can talk about anything and she won't laugh, I can give her a look and she immediately knows what I'm thinking…" He trailed off, looking down. What have I done? he silently asked himself for the hundredth time that day.

"Quick! Duck!" Hank said, hastily slouching in the booth he was sitting in.

Luis did the same, but was at a loss as to why. After a couple seconds, Luis cautiously looked over his shoulder and saw his beautiful girlfriend sitting down at a table with Brian.

Hank saw Luis's face fall as Brian pulled out a chair for a smiling Sheridan. "Remember what you said? She's only here because of the project."

Luis spun around. "Do you actually believe that there was a project? I mean, maybe she lied…maybe she's going out with Brian and is just waiting for the right time to tell me…"

"Whoa! Luis! Get ahold of yourself! You're beginning to sound real insecure, you know that? Please, stop. Don't get all emotional on me,…not here!"

"Well, wouldn't you be worried if you saw Gwen on a date with another guy?"

"No, because Gwen wouldn't. She's completely in love with me. I don't have one thing to worry about…I trust her. And just to let you breathe easy, there actually is a project. I have Ms. MacDonald the same hour as Sheridan. Ms. MacDonald even paired us up, so you see, she didn't even choose him."

Luis looked around once more, and sighed. "She won't even talk to me!"

"Hey, give her time. Believe me, she'll be back in your arms before you know it. Trust me. I'm your best friend. When have I ever let you down?"

Luis rolled his eyes with a loud sigh. "We're about to find out. Come on, let's get outta here."

Hank threw some money down on the table as the two got up and exited through the back door.

~*~*~*~

It was 4:35 am, and Sheridan couldn't sleep. All night she tossed and turned, thinking about Luis and Brian. Her thoughts drifted back to earlier the previous day at The Book Café. She went there with Brian, and after she sat down, about ten minutes later, she saw Hank and Luis leave. Luis didn't seem to see her, and Sheridan was relieved.

She had told Brian about her dilemma, and he had talked through her problems. Sheridan was finding out that not only was he hot and smart, but also understanding and sensitive. He had said some things that really made her stop and question her relationship with Luis. Was he really the one? Since freshman year, that was what she believed, but was love blinding the truth?

Luis had called a couple more times later last night, but Sheridan refused to talk to him. She knew he was getting irritated. Good. He deserved it.

Sheridan flopped onto her stomach and buried herself in her warm, soft blankets. This comforted her, and she almost drifted off to sleep when a terrifying thought entered her mind. What was she going to do when she saw him at school later that morning? Would he meet her at the front door as usual? Would things be the same? Could she forgive him? Slowly sitting up, she decided to get ready early so she would have an excuse to tell Luis if he asked why he didn't see her. Feeling a little better, she got dressed and prepared herself for a long day.

~*~*~*~

Gwen and Hank were already in the cafeteria when Luis sat down across from them. He looked preoccupied.

"Hey Luis! What's up?"

Luis looked over at Hank. "Not much. Have you seen Sheridan today?"

"Yeah. She was here about ten minutes ago, saying she had to go talk to her math teacher about something," Gwen answered, feeling bad for Luis. "I think she wants to talk to you. I can tell when something is bothering her, and believe me, something is…"

Before Gwen could say anymore, Luis stood up. "You know what? I'm completely SICK of trying to figure her out! I've wasted too much time and energy trying to think of a way to make things better between us, but she doesn't want to even make an attempt to sort through our problems! So, guess what? I'm through! I am completely through!"

Sheridan, who had just walked up behind Luis, finally decided that they needed to talk. As she reached Luis, she heard what he had just said, and she froze with shock. "What?!"

Luis spun around, his eyes narrowing angrily. "Oh good. You've decided to talk to me again."

"Huh? What is that supposed to mean? Didn't I have a pretty good reason why I wasn't talking to you?"

Luis threw his head back and laughed, his voice raising as he talked. "Oh, that's right. Your reasons are always completely justified."

"Look, Luis, I think we need to talk."

"I wanted to do that last night but you didn't want to. And now, I don't want to!" He paused, looking thoughtfully at Sheridan for a moment. His gaze softened, and his voice became quiet. "Sheridan, yesterday after I tried calling you I saw you at the cafe with Brian. When I went to bed last night, I couldn't sleep. I thought about us long and hard, and I could only come up with one solution to our problems. And that would be to break up. It sounds harsh, but I think we both are in need of a lot of space and soul searching. I think we should call it quits…at least for now." Luis paused, and hastily left the cafeteria as the bell rang.

~*~*~*~

Soon, it was Friday. By this time, everyone knew about Sheridan and Luis's break-up. That morning, during English Literature, Sheridan and Brian were working on their project.

They were both busy when Brian stopped and looked at Sheridan. "Hey Sheridan?"

"Hmmm?" she asked, not looking up from the poster that she was busy designing.

"Uh, well, I just wanted to say that I heard about Luis dumping you."

Sheridan laughed, still concentrating on her drawing. "I wouldn't exactly call it dumping…more like an understanding."

"Funny. That's what Luis said too…look, since you aren't attached to anyone, I was wondering if you wanted to go out tonight."

Sheridan stopped drawing and looked up at Brian. She just couldn't get over how completely wonderful he looked. "Thanks, but I think it's a little too early."

"I talked to Luis about it, and he didn't seem to mind. In fact, I think he's got a date with Beth later on."

Sheridan shrugged her shoulders. "Well, in that case…" she trailed off, kiddingly.

Brian smiled broadly. "Great. I'll pick you up at 8:00. You're going to love what I have planned! It's going to be an awesome surprise! Just wait and see!"

Sheridan opened her mouth in protest, but decided against it. Apparently, he had really liked her, and being the incredibly sweet person that he is, waited for her all this time! Her mouth slowly turned into a smile. "Okay. What should I wear?"

Shrugging his shoulders, he laughed. "I don't care…you will look gorgeous in whatever you choose!"

"And you're not going to tell me where we're going?"

"Nope! Then it wouldn't be a surprise."

"Well, I'll be ready at eight!" Sheridan said, feeling excited with anticipation of their date.

~*~*~*~

The rest of the day seemed to drag by, but at last 8:00 arrived. Sheridan had just finished getting ready. She couldn't decide on what to wear, and ended up trying on almost every piece of clothing she had. By the time she found an outfit she liked, her room looked like an explosion at the Gap. In the end, Sheridan had chosen a tight black skirt with a semi-revealing red shirt.

Sheridan was a little uncertain about already going out with another guy. She figured it was a little too soon to be dating again.

On the other hand, Luis was on a date with Beth, so maybe it wasn't too soon. Luis had said that they needed time apart, and that dating other people wasn't out of the question.

Distracted, Sheridan walked over to the mirror and checked over herself once more. As she was smoothing her hair, the doorbell rang. Calming herself, she walked over to the door and paused a moment. This was it.

Taking a deep breath, she opened the door, and saw a bouquet of flowers. Giggling, she took the flowers.

Brian was leaning on the frame of the door, his eyes traveled lazily over her. Then he grinned, apparently happy with what he saw before him. "Wow…you look absolutely beautiful."

Sheridan, blushing, looked over at him. "Thank you. You don't look too bad yourself!"

Brian laughed. "Well, thanks. So, are you ready to go?" he asked, helping her with her coat.

"Hey, I've been ready for a long time!" she joked.

"So have I…" he said after a moment, gazing at her. She knew by the tone of his voice that he wasn't talking about preparing for the date. "Sheridan, I'm really glad that you decided to go out with me tonight. I wasn't sure if you wanted to, but was hoping you would…" Suddenly, he shook his head and smiled, holding out his hand. "Let's go." Together, the two left for their date.

~*~*~*~

Meanwhile, Luis was at home lying down on the couch watching Sports Center. He was tired, and was happy that the week was finished. It had been long and frustrating. Telling Sheridan that they should break up for a while was the hardest thing he had ever done. He loved her so much, but he knew that it was good to date other people.

The one thing that bothered Luis so much was the fact that she was already going out with Brian. He figured that at least she would wait awhile. If anything, it proved that she really was losing interest in him. This made him reevaluate their relationship. Did she feel this way when they were still going out? Luis thought for a moment.

Things finally began to make sense. Sheridan didn't love him anymore, but didn't know how to break it off with him. On Monday, when she saw him talking to Beth, she used that as an excuse to break up. The signs were all in front of him, yet Luis was too blind to see them. He was so busy thinking about this that he never heard Theresa walk in.

"Luis! You are so lazy! Didn't you even do your chores yet?! Mom is going to be home any minute now!"

Luis pushed himself up and looked over at her. "Huh? What are you talking about?"

Theresa picked something off of the table and shoved it in Luis's face. "I am talking about this!"

The note was from their mother instructing them of what she wanted done. "Oops. Guess I didn't see this."

Theresa narrowed her eyes. "Well, at least I did MY jobs. Wait till mom comes home!"

Luis scanned over the list. He had to vacuum, do dishes, and clean the living room and kitchen, while Theresa and Miguel only had to clean their rooms room. "Hey! All you had to do was clean your room?! I think mom is prejudice! I think she favors you over me! Did you see all the jobs I have to do? Totally not fair!"

"She doesn't favor me! The only reason you have all that work is because you never do your jobs right!"

"Look Martha Stewart, I don't need you, or anyone else, telling me what to do or how to do it, so just back off!" Luis laid back down on the couch and continued watching TV.

Theresa looked at her brother. She knew what was going on, and slowly walked over and sat down by him. "Look, Luis, I know it must've been a rough week…"

Luis laughed angrily. "That's putting it lightly!"

"Sorry. Look, if you ever need to talk, I'm here, okay? I'm a girl too, so I probably know what she's thinking." She stood up.

"She's going out with another guy already," he said evenly, looking down.

"Brian, right?" Luis nodded. "Yeah, I heard that too." Theresa sat back down.

"Brian asked me if it was okay if he took Sheridan out. Apparently, she happily accepted his invitation. What a jerk."

"Didn't you want her to see other people? Wasn't that part of the deal?"

Luis fumbled with his shirt. "Yeah, but we agreed on that only a couple days ago! I never would've thought that she would this soon…"

"If you were in her place, wouldn't you have?"

"No. I would've forgiven my handsome, loving, sexy, hot boyfriend in a second. Of course, that's only what I would've done if I were Sheridan and had a boyfriend like me."

Theresa sighed. "Whatever, Luis. Good luck. You'll need it…a lot of it!"

~*~*~*~

Sheridan and Brian were having the greatest time imagined on their date. First, Brian took Sheridan to a fancy restaurant where he demanded that she order the most expensive item on the list. Then, the two went to a dance club where they had a lot of fun. Finally, the date was about to end, or so Sheridan thought.

On the way back to her house, Brian pulled off to the side of the road and turned the engine off. He turned in his seat toward Sheridan.

Sheridan was confused. "Why are we stopped here?"

Brian smiled, taking off his seatbelt. "Because the date isn't over yet…"

Nervously, she backed up in her seat. As she looked at Brian with wide eyes, she too took of her seat belt, getting ready to get out of the car. "Whoa, Brian…this is our first date…I mean, come on!"

"What? What are you…oh…Oh! No, it's not what it looked like. I'm not like that, Sheridan."

Knowing she was blushing, she closed her eyes and looked down. "Well, now that I just made a complete fool out of myself…"

Brian put a hand on her knee, he laughed lightly. "Don't worry. I can see why you'd think I'd be pressuring you…especially since you really don't know me all that well. I would never do that to you or anyone." He paused. "Let's take a look around. This park is so beautiful at night time."

The two got out of the car and Sheridan followed Brian to the path in the hidden park he was referring to. It was all lighted up, reflecting off of the water spraying upward from the fountain. "We came at a good time. This fountain is usually turned off at the end of the month, and is locked up for the winter." The two proceeded farther down the path. Sheridan could distinguish a small pond off in the distance. As they neared it, she saw a small bench hidden off the path. Brian stopped and grinned at Sheridan. "Do you want to sit for a little while?"

"I'd love to," Sheridan answered, completely amazed by Brian. She never knew he could be this romantic. Luis had never done anything like this with her before. Thinking of Luis, her spirits were dampened. Right now, she figured Beth was probably putting moves on her boyfriend…her ex-boyfriend. Pushing Luis out of her mind, she joined Brian on the bench.

Together, they sat and talked. The more he talked, the more Sheridan could feel herself falling for Brian. She knew it was way too early to have feelings for another guy. In spite of everything, she smiled. She was happy to be with Brian tonight. He helped her forget about Luis.

"What is so funny?" Brian asked slyly, his eyes twinkling as he studied her.

"What?" Sheridan asked.

"You were smiling about something…was it something I said?"

Again, Sheridan's cheeks became red. "I didn't realize you were watching me."

"I can't help it. When I see something beautiful, I can't control myself."

Sheridan rolled her eyes. "And exactly how many times have you used that line?"

"Well," Brian said, putting his arm around Sheridan's shoulders. "You'd be my ninth…tenth…eleventh…" He laughed. "No, you're my lucky first." He hesitated for a moment. "Seriously, I am very glad you decided to come with me tonight. I realize that you may not feel the same way about me that I feel about you. I understand completely since you just broke up with Luis. I just wanted to tell you how much I like you, and that I care so much for you. I don't think I've ever felt this way about anybody before."

He raised her chin up so her eyes would meet his. "I love you, Sheridan. I've loved you for such a long time now…I just never had the courage to tell you, but I feel like it's the right time."

Sheridan held his gaze, losing herself in his heavenly brown eyes. Slowly, she felt herself drawing closer and closer to him. Brian gently put his arms around her as the two began to kiss. Sheridan realized he was a great kisser, but not as good as Luis.

Brian, on the other hand, had waited for this moment for a long time. It felt good to be with her, and have her in his arms.

When the two stopped, Brian suggested that he get her back home. Taking her hand, Brian led Sheridan back to his car. They drove back in silence, both thinking about the kiss. When Brian pulled into the driveway, he got out and walked her to her front door. The two embraced once more for a goodnight kiss, and Brian got back into his car and drove off. Sheridan watched him go, and smiling once more, she walked inside.

~*~*~*~

"She WHAT?!"

"She went out with Brian. Thanks for your great plan of giving her time, Hank."

Hank and Luis were hanging out at a local gym. The two were shooting hoops on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Hank was crushing Luis, 54-29. They still had two quarters to go.

Hank, easily stealing the ball from Luis, went for the easy three. "Well, no wonder you suck so bad today! That explains something…Hey baby!" Hank exclaimed, happy to see his beautiful girlfriend.

Gwen walked over and the two quickly hugged and kissed. "Having fun?" she asked, looking over at Luis, who was looking at them depressed. Uneasily, she walked over to Luis, and put a hand on his shoulder. "Look Luis…I heard about what happened last night, and I…"

"Last night? What do you mean last night? What happened?"

"Nothing…except that Sheridan and Brian went out on a date."

Luis picked up the basketball and started dribbling it. "Oh, that. Yeah, I knew. Did she call you and tell you all about her new boyfriend?"

Gwen exchanged looks with Hank. "Yeah, but she didn't say much…apparently it wasn't that good." She paused for a moment. "Maybe you should just make up with her…I think that she misses you."

Luis looked skeptical at her. "What makes you think that she still has feelings for me? I mean, come on! She just went out on a date with another person!"

"And like you didn't?" Gwen accused, pointing at Luis.

"Huh? What are you talking about? I can't remember the last time I went out with any other girl besides Sheridan!"

"What about Beth?"

Luis narrowed his eyes. "Look Gwen, I know it may have looked bad, but I really wasn't flirting! If anything, she was flirting with me!"

"Well, Sheridan told me that you and Beth had—"

"Nothing happened! How many times do I have to tell you that? NOTHING happened! Nothing!"

"Hey, I didn't mean to accuse you of anything. It's just that she told me that—"

Hank cut in. "Gwen, I realize that Sheridan is one of your best friends, but are you sure she wasn't exaggerating a little, perhaps?"

Gwen's mouth flew open in disgust. "Are you trying to say that Sheridan, Miss Sheridan I-Cannot-tell-a-Lie Crane, was lying to me? I don't think so. Come on, Hank. Why would Sheridan make up such a lie as Luis and Beth going out on a date?"

Luis, who was dribbling a ball, let it fall to his side. "Whoa! What are you talking about? I may have talked to Beth, but I never went on a date with her! I think you know me better than that!"

"Well, why would she tell me that? I think I'm going to call her as soon as I get home and see what's going on." She turned to Hank. "So, are we still on for tonight?"

Hank smiled, pulling her in for a long, deep kiss. "Of course. I wouldn't miss it for the world!"

"Great…I'll be over at 7:00 then. And as for you, Luis, you take care of yourself. If you need anything, just let me know." She leaned over and gave him a quick hug. "Bye."

~*~*~*~

Sheridan was just finishing up her homework as the doorbell rang. Quickly, she sprang to the door. It was Brian.

"Hey there! How are you doing this morning?"

"I'm doing good."

Brian raised his eyebrows. "Only good? Well…I guess I'll have to fix that now, won't I?" He held Sheridan, giving her one of the most romantic kisses that she had ever experienced. When they pulled apart, Brian looked at her and grinned. "Now how do you feel?"

Sheridan thought about it for a moment. "I'm not sure…maybe you should try again."

Brian's smile faded as he looked deeply into her eyes. Carefully, he brushed a lock of hair from her eyes as he kissed her.

"I feel much better! What…what's wrong?"

Brian looked at his feet. "I'm not sure if I should tell you this, but…" he trailed off.

"But what? Tell me! Apparently something's bothering you, so let me help. What is it?"

"Ah-well it's about your old boyfriend."

A lump formed in Sheridan's throat. Swallowing, she looked up at Brian. "W-what about him? He is okay, right?"

"Yeah. He's fine. It's just about…" he paused, studying Sheridan. "Are you sure you want to hear this?"

Sheridan shook her head. "Yes! You're the one who opened the can of worms. Now you have to tell me."

"All right. Well, I heard from one of my buddies that Luis had a really good time with his new girlfriend last night. I guess he got into some trouble because he didn't come home until early this morning. Of course, he'll probably deny it. I mean, spending the night with Beth is probably not something that you'd want to go around school. Think about it. Beth doesn't exactly have the best reputation, if you catch my drift."

"I do. There's no need to go on. So anyways, are you busy tonight?" Sheridan asked.

"I don't know…guess I'll have to check my schedule." Sheridan's face fell. "Just kidding!"

"Great! How about we go out later on? Please? For me?"

A grin started to form on Brian's face. "Why do you want to go out with me so badly?"

"No reason…just to spend more time with you, that's all."

Brian pushed Sheridan lightly. "Right. I know you better than you think I do."

"I guess I just wanted to get my mind off of some things for a while."

Brian looked at her for a moment. Then he shook his head. "Oh…well…what do you suppose we do? How about a little…oh, I don't know…strip poker?"

Before Sheridan could react, the phone rang. She ran to answer it. "Hello?"

"Sheridan? It's Gwen. Look, I really need to talk to you. This morning I went to the gym, and guess what?"

"I'd love to guess, but right now, Brian is over, and I really want to spend some time with him."

"Fine. When you decide that you want to talk to me, give me a call." Gwen hung up the phone.

Not sensing the sarcasm in her voice, Sheridan also hung up. "That was Gwen."

"Oh, really? What did she all have to say?"

"Not much. She wanted to chat…you know, girl stuff."

"Oh…okay." He paused. "So, how about that strip poker?"