Public Relations by Alisia – Part 1

Republisher’s Note: Starting a new classic Manny fanfic. This one is just two parts so enjoy it while you can.

Author’s Note: Hello all! This is my very, very late contribution to the celebration challenge. I intended to get something written much sooner but this month has been rough. Anyway, this fic is based on an idea that has been rolling around in my head for a while, but I just got around to writing.

As always, I do not own or profit from the characters of Danny and Michelle Santos. They belong to GL and P&G. I just do this for fun.

Thanks again to the board moderators for the celebration fun it was a great trip down memory lane. This is part 1. Part 2 should be up very soon.

Alisia

Public Relations by Alisia – Part 1

“You’re kidding me, right?” Danny looked at his mother’s very serious expression and decided that she was, in fact, very much not kidding.

“Daniel, it’s the perfect solution.”

“Perfect for whom, Mother?”

“The family, the company…”

“Two excellent reasons for me to get married.”

“Daniel!” she said exasperated.

Danny, however, was determined not to give up without a fight. “I am not getting married just because it’s an expedient arrangement. I am not marrying anyone until I fall in love.”

“Your father and I were an arranged marriage.”

“Look how well that turned out,” Danny muttered under his breath. In retrospect, he thought, that probably wasn’t the best way to go.

“Daniel, you WILL marry this girl. Her father is an important member of this community. She is a major part of the business.”

“She’s not part of that family.”

“Daniel! You are NOT listening to me. She may not be part of the family but she’s close to them, she’s a vice president in the company. If the two of you are married, the only thing that makes sense is for the two empires to merge.”

“What if she doesn’t want to marry me? Even if she does, what if they don’t want any part in our business?”

“They do. I’ve already talked to her father about this. He says it is a perfect idea, and so does Phillip.”

“Phillip? You talked to Phillip Spaulding about this?”

“He is the CEO of Spaulding enterprises now that Alan retired. Michelle is like his little sister, and Ed Bauer considers Phillip’s opinion very valuable.”

“So are you just going to order her to marry me?”

“Phillip and her father can talk to her, or if you’d rather, you can go.”

“No. Absolutely not. I am not going to be a party to this. If you want to make your little plan, you’re doing it without me. I don’t even know her I can’t just walk in there and…”

“You mean you don’t know her well. You DO know her.”

“I hardly think that our experience in college is basis for a marriage, and I remind you that the one meeting we’ve had since we ended up competitors was less than friendly.”

“I’m sure you’ll manage.” Carmen was already gathering up folders and heading out of the room, so Danny knew the discussion was over. “I’ll call Phillip from the car, and tell him he can talk to Michelle.”

“Mother, no!” he exclaimed, but she was already out the door. A corporate wedding. A marriage for profit. He was going to be sick.

“Michelle? Do I look alright?”

“You look great Pilar. We are going to be the two most glamorous pledges at the party.”

“I still don’t like this.”

“Pilar! You were the one who insisted we rush the damn sorority. You can’t back out now!”

“But to go to a party where the seniors – who are out to get us by the way¬† – chose our dates? That can’t end well. How can you be so calm? We’re going to be auctioned off tonight. That’s the pledge task. It’s our job to look like idiots in front of these guys!”

“Pilar, you knew pledge week would not be fun. Besides, the guys probably know how stupid we are supposed to look. None of them will take the auction stuff seriously.”

“But, I didn’t know how flat out mortifying it was going to be.”

“Well, deal with it.”

“That’s your advice? Deal with it? My brother is going to be here. He’s going to watch me be humiliated!”

That stopped Michelle in her tracks. “Danny is going to be here? Why didn’t you tell me that?”

“He’s practically dating Teresa Sandoval, Michelle. Where else would he be?”

“He’s dating the president of the sorority?”

“Well, not formally. But they are sorta together.”

“Well, then we really have to hold are heads high and not let them get to us.”

Michelle and Pilar walked down to the Theta house where the party was to take place. As they entered, they were blindfolded and led to their date. All at once, the pledges were told to remove their blindfolds. Michelle took hers off to see Danny Santos standing right in front of her.

“Danny?”

“Hello, Shorty.”

“Danny!” He hadn’t called her that since she was a kid, playing in the back yard with Pilar.

“Now, now. You have to be nice to me tonight. You wouldn’t want me to tell the girls in charge that you…”

“Fine. It’s just one night. We only have dates so you can lead us up to that ridiculous catwalk. Why are you one of the pledge dates anyway? I thought you were with Teresa.”

“Nope.”

“That’s all you’re going to say.”

“Yeah. That’s it. Well, that and I suggest you have some punch.”

“What?”

“You’re going to need it. They’re starting the auction.”

Michelle Bauer sat at her desk looking over some papers from Spaulding enterprises latest acquisition. It was a warehouse. Normally, that would be nothing to get excited about. However, since the previous owner had gone bankrupt, Spaulding was able to pick up the building at a fraction of what it was worth at auction.

Auction. Yuck. She hated the mere mention of the word. It always reminded her of hell week in college. She joined a sorority, and, at a party, she was not only auctioned off to a jock from a fraternity house and had to spend a whole day cooking and doing his laundry, but her date – granted a date chosen for her – merely stood by and watched. He didn’t bid on her, he barely even noticed her. Just left her to the wolves after leading her up in front of everyone and spinning her around. He spent the rest of the evening dancing with other people. She had been mortified. As if the auction wasn’t bad enough, she was humiliated in front of Danny Santos, a boy she had had a crush on for years and he just sat back and enjoyed the show.

That same Danny was now the CEO of SanCorp, her company’s major competitor. She enjoyed every deal; they were like little victories over Danny Santos. Lately though, Phillip had been hinting that the two companies should work together more often. Maybe even merge. The mere thought made Michelle sick. The one meeting she had with Danny had not gone well.

“Michelle! It’s good to see you.”

“Hello, Danny.”

“What are you doing here? I was expecting the VP of Marketing for…”

“I’m Spaulding’s new marketing vice president. Deal with it.”

“No need to be hostile.”

“I am not hostile.”

“I haven’t seen you in ages. How have you been? I knew you were going to work for Spaulding, but VP is impressive.”

Danny eased into his chair behind the solid oak desk and looked completely comfortable with his position of power. Michelle was not about to let him get the upper hand, however just because the meeting was in his office.

“I’d really rather just get this done if it’s all the same to you.” If she was honest with herself, Michelle had to admit that Danny was as handsome as ever, but she was not some silly schoolgirl mooning over him anymore.

“Bad mood, Michelle?”

“Only because I have to deal with you.”

“You can’t still be mad at me for something that happened in college nearly five years ago if I remember correctly.”

“You do remember correctly, and trust me, I can still be mad.”

Michelle looked up at the knock on her door. “Come in.” Michelle watched Phillip Spaulding come through the door. “Phillip! What can I do for you?”

“Actually, I need you to do something for the future of this company.”

Michelle smiled. This company meant just as much to her family as it did to Phillip’s, and he knew it. “Anything. You know that.”

“I need you to marry Danny Santos.”

Michelle laughed so hard she fell back in her chair. “You want me to to to marry him?” she managed to get out through her laughter. “Phillip! That’s really funny. What do you really want?”

Phillip found himself slightly taken aback by Michelles response. He had expected yelling. She wasn’t taking him seriously. There was nothing Phillip hated more than when people didn’t take him seriously. “I’m serious, Michelle.”

She stopped laughing and stared at Phillip with wide eyes. “Explain.”

“The government won’t allow Spaulding and SanCorp to merge. It violates trust laws. However, the lawyers found a loophole. If we sell off all of our extraneous operations and SanCorp streamlines, we can merge.”

“OK. If you’re so set on it, merge. What does this have to do with me?”

“We need to show our customers that we’re not abandoning them.”

“So you want me to give up my life for PR reasons?”

“Well, giving up your life might be a little strong, but yeah. If a major player in our company marries the head of SanCorp, merging looks like a natural progression. I can already see the ad campaign. We have always been a family company. Now were adding to our family.”

Phillip looked entirely too pleased with himself, while Michelle was still in shock that her whole life was going to change so that Phillip could launch a new ad campaign. She had to do something…

——-

“Mr. Santos?” the voice came over the intercom.

“Yes, Carol?”

“There is a very angry woman out here who insists on seeing you.”

“An angry…” Danny was interrupted by a very terse voice coming over the speaker.

“Tell him it’s his fiancee.”

Danny cringed; she knew. She knew and she sounded very unhappy. Somehow, that upset him. Danny didn’t really want to get married he really didn’t. But she didn’t have to sound so repulsed about the whole idea. Danny had always liked her. She was beautiful, smart, and feisty. Yes, he had been a jerk to her in college. There was a reason for that — he was a jerk in college. Before their ill-fated meeting a few months previous, he had considered asking her out to dinner when she got to town to work for Spaulding Enterprises. He knew she was coming because she was still good friends with his sister Pilar. Michelle made it quite clear at the meeting, though, that she wanted nothing to do with him. Danny’s ego had been hurt at that, so he switched into competitive mode instead. He certainly had no trouble getting a date; he didn’t need Michelle Bauer. But for some reason, he liked Michelle in spite of himself.

And now she was seething out in front of his secretary. Making her wait while he thought of something to say probably wouldn’t improve her mood.

“Send her in, Carol,” Danny said, and he braced himself for a storm.

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