"What . . . what do you mean?" Theresa's heart raced. "Why can't you come home with me?"
Sheridan had to come back with her.
Her entire relationship with Ethan depended on it.
Not to mention Luis's future.
Sheridan hugged her arms to her chest. "Someone is obviously trying to get rid of me."
Theresa swallowed hard.
"Let's face it—that person is probably my father." Sheridan's voice choked with emotion. "I can't let him hurt the rest of you, too."
"Do . . . do you really think your own father would do that?"
Tears welling in her eyes, Sheridan looked up at Theresa. "Between the bomb on the boat and the bomb on the plane, I'm pretty sure he's already tried to kill me twice."
Theresa's heart skipped a beat. "The pilot was murmuring something about a man. . . ."
"I remember." Sheridan's eyes darted to the remnants of the plane. "Who else could he have meant?"
"I . . . I don't know." Theresa followed Sheridan's gaze. "But no matter who's behind this, Luis will protect you."
"I can't let him do that." Sheridan scrambled to her feet.
Theresa's eyes whipped back to Sheridan. "What . . . what are you doing?"
"I'm getting out of here." Sheridan brushed herself off. "I would never forgive myself if I put you in any more danger, Theresa. I can't let Luis or Ethan—or your mother and the rest of your family—suffer through losing you, too."
"But I can't go back without you." Theresa sprang to her feet. "I won't go back without you."
Sheridan's face creased with pain. "You have to."
"No—I don't." Her heartbeat accelerating, Theresa tugged at Sheridan's hand. "Come on—let's go find our way back to civilization."
Sheridan's hand dropped to her side. "I can't do that to your family."
Theresa's heart pounded.
She had to convince Sheridan to come home with her.
Really, this discussion shouldn't even be happening.
If things had gone differently, Luis and Sheridan would already be married—Sheridan would already be a Lopez-Fitzgerald.
"I'm sorry, but I have to go." A tear slipping down her face, Sheridan started across the grass.
Theresa grabbed Sheridan's hand. "No—please don't!"
Sheridan looked back.
"You . . . you know my family. . . ." Theresa shifted on her feet. "No matter what happens, we stick together."
Sheridan's face dropped. "But I'm not a member of your family. . . ."
"That's . . . that's not true." Theresa's face flushed. "Not only are you the love of Luis's life, but Mama has always loved you like a daughter."
Another tear slipped down Sheridan's cheek. "I love Pilar so much."
"And she loves you, too." Theresa's chest tightened. "As far as I'm concerned, you're already a Lopez-Fitzgerald—I'm not leaving here without you."