Quench Me by Amy – Chapter 2

Republisher’s Note: This is almost a nonmob category since Danny has chosen to walk away from the mob himself and is working at Spaulding when he meets Michelle.

Quench Me by Amy – Chapter 2

It’s an absolutely beautiful April afternoon, so Rick, Phillip, Harley, and I choose an outdoor table at the Lakeland Country Club. The sunshine is warm and glowing, and I’m glad that I’m wearing a short skirt and tank top. Suddenly I remember walking out of Danny’s office, and I can still feel his eyes on me, sliding over my body.

Halfway through lunch, Rick and Harley are doing their normal thing – arguing over some silly little thing, while Phillip and I just look at them, shaking our heads. Phillip and Harley have been trying to keep Rick busy, since Abby left eight months ago. Harley has become a master at distracting my brother, something she’s demonstrating yet again, right at this moment.

I take advantage of their argument to have a private conversation with Phillip, wanting to find out more about Danny Santos. Insulted or not, I must admit that I’m curious as to why he is working at Spaulding Enterprises, when he already has a rather lucrative, albeit shady, family business. As my brother and Harley continue to harmlessly hurl insults at one another, I lean closer to Phillip.

“I had a run in with one of your employees earlier,” I say quietly, emphasizing the words “run in”.

“Really, I can’t imagine that anyone at Spaulding would be stressed these days,” Phillip says sarcastically. “Who was it?”

“Danny Santos,” I answer.

“Ahh, Santos, now why doesn’t that surprise me?” Phillip sighs.

“I couldn’t find your office this afternoon,” I begin. “I went down the hall where it used to be, and found an empty office. I thought it was yours, so I went inside to wait.”

“And Danny found you there,” Phillip said smirkingly.

“Yes, and he wasn’t very cordial,” I say, as Phillip chuckles. “Why is this so funny?”

“Danny’s a little bit of a punk from time to time, but he’s really all right. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, and I’m sure he’s going to prove to be quite an asset to the company.”

“Asset?” I question. “I can’t imagine why he’s even working for you.”

“I’ve had my eye on that kid for a while now,” Phillip says. “When he was still working for his family’s business, it was obvious that he had a flair for business, so when he gave his mother notice a couple of months ago, I made him an offer.”

“He gave his mother notice?” I ask.

“That’s right. Flat out told her that he wasn’t going to work for her anymore. Said that he wanted to make a name for himself in the ‘real world’.He’s a grown man, obviously, so she didn’t have much choice but to let him go.”

“And you believe he was sincere?”

“Sure do, Michelle,” Phillip replies. “When he was working for the Santos family, there was more legitimate activity than there had been in the past twenty-five years. I guess his mother just got in his way one too many times, and he’d had enough.”

“So what’s his mother doing now?”

“Carmen, well she pretty much hung it up after Danny left. Her oldest son, Mick, died about 4 years ago when he overdosed. Danny’s little sister lives in Europe and has never had anything to do with the family business, so Carmen was alone. She ‘diffused’ the Santos family business and moved to Europe to be with her daughter. The woman made enough money to last three lifetimes, so I figure she’s enjoying herself.”

“Wow,” I say. “I can’t believe he just stood up to his mother like that.”

“Danny’s got a lot of integrity, even though it’s hard to tell sometimes. I have to reign him in on occasion, because he does tend to get defensive easily. He’s still living with the Santos reputation, and because of that, he’s got a pretty big chip on his shoulder.”

Rick and Harley finish their little argument, and Phillip and I cease our private discussion. The conversation at the table returns to normal, but my thoughts wander back to Danny’s office, as I considered going to see him again.

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