Quench Me by Amy – Chapter 21

Republisher’s Note: Danny is a Santos executive when he met and began a romance with med student Michelle Bauer.

Quench Me by Amy – Chapter 21

When Danny pulls into the driveway, I’m already waiting for him at the door.  The khaki pants and red, lightweight sweater I’m wearing are a far cry from  the little black number that I wore to his house two weeks ago. I dressed  conservatively on purpose, still not sure what’s going on with Danny, and  why his demeanor has changed since his trip to Atlanta.

As he makes his way up the sidewalk, I open the door and step outside. He  looks fantastic in his khaki pants and denim shirt, and I feel myself  weakening already. He doesn’t say a word as he walks toward me. He just  looks at me, with the same look I’ve seen in his eyes before – the same look  that I saw the day he surprised me at school.

I stop walking and just watch him as he gets nearer and nearer. My heart is  racing and my muscles quiver. He doesn’t divert his stare, and I’m frozen  where I stand. Finally, he’s standing directly in front of me, and instead  of saying “hello”, he puts his hand on the back of my neck, lowering his  lips to mine, and kisses me with the same gentleness that I felt from him before he left.

I can’t say anything. I’m too stunned. This man changes directions faster  than anyone I’ve ever known, and at this moment, I’m suffering from the  worse case of emotional whiplash known to man.

“Will you accept my apology for the way I acted on Wednesday?” he asks.

Breathless, and still reeling, I answer, “I guess I have no choice.”

He smiles at me, and I melt all over again. “Ready for lunch?”

“Ready,” I reply.

During our lunch at Towers, Danny seems his old self again. We talk and  joke, not at all in a hurry to leave. He tells me about the stodgy old  accountant that he worked with in Atlanta, who wore practically an entire  bottle of cheap cologne every day, and nearly gagged the rest of them to  death. I tell him about Tanner and his pitiful, lame attempts to catch my  eye. I realize that we are talking to each other the way we talked before  his trip. It feels normal, and normal has never has never felt so good.

It’s almost 2:00 p.m. when Danny’s cell phone rings. He reaches in his shirt  pocket for the tiny phone and says, “Sorry, Michelle. I’ll just be a minute.”

The phone conversation lasts less than a minute, and when he hangs up a huge  grin spreads across his face. “That was my mother’s attorney,” he begins.  “Apparently, everything concerning the deed to the house is taken care of,  and all I have to do is go down to the courthouse and sign some papers.”

“That’s great, Danny,” I say.

“Do you want to come with me?” he asks.

“Now?” I respond.

“Now,” he answers.

“Let’s go,” I say enthusiastically.

At the courthouse, I take a seat outside the office, while Danny goes inside  to sign the papers. Whatever the process is, it doesn’t take him long, and  before I know it, he’s sitting in the chair beside me.

“I can’t believe she really did it,” he says. “I can’t believe she actually  left the business behind and set me free.”

“You seem really happy,” I say softly.

“I am,” he answers.

I take this opportunity to ask him about his trip. Things have gone so well  between us today, that I think surely he’ll be open to
the possibility of  discussing things.

“Can I ask you something Danny?”

“Of course,” he replies.

“Why were you so distant with me when you called from Atlanta?”

“I didn’t mean to be,” he answers.

“I know. You just seemed different somehow,” I say. “And then the other day  in your office…”

“I told you I was just having a bad day,” he interrupts.

“I don’t want to make you mad, Danny,” I say apologetically. “I just want to  understand.”

“Understand what, Michelle?” he says in an irritated whisper. “You want to  understand what? I had a very long and tiring week in Atlanta. It wasn’t  some fluff trip where I got to take advantage of a nice big Spaulding  expense account. It was hard work. And things at the office weren’t any  better when I got back Wednesday. I’ve told you all this already.”

I start to tell him that I’m sorry, and drop the subject, but I can’t. I  asked him an honest question, and he could’ve given me a straightforward  answer. Instead, he hid behind the wall he keeps hanging on to, and I’m not  going to let him do that. Not anymore.

“Look Danny, I’m not stupid. I know that something was wrong with you. Don’t  insult my intelligence by giving me the same excuses again. I’m not asking  for a blow by blow of your itinerary. I just want you to tell me the truth.”

“The truth,” he mutters beneath his breath. “The truth is that while I was  away, I had an opportunity to think about things –you, in particular. Being away kind of gave me a new perspective. Is that what you want to hear?” His  voice is brimming with sarcasm, and I can tell that he’s still extremely agitated at me.

“What new perspective?” I ask, not letting him off the hook yet.

“What, you don’t think I missed you?” he asks. “Or did I just not miss you  enough?”

“Dammit,” I say in a whisper, not wanting to alert the other people in the  courthouse hallway to our argument. “I’m not asking for a dissertation here.  I just want to know what they hell is up with you.”

“You wanna know what’s up?” he says, standing up quickly. “Well, come with  me and I’ll show you ‘what’s up’, Michelle.”

He grabs my arm and pulls me down the hallway, shoving me into an empty  stairwell. He pins me against the wall with the weight of his body as his  mouth collides with mine, his tongue totally dominating mine in a battle of  wills.

He lifts his face from mine, his body still pressing hard against me, and  says, “Now do you know what’s up?”

I push him away from me with a force that surprises even me. “God, Danny,  what do you think I am? You think you can just seduce your way out of this?  You think you can just kiss me and that’ll make everything disappear?” Even  as the words come out of my mouth, I know that his kisses really could make  everything else disappear.

“I just wanted to show you how much I missed you, Michelle,” he says, his  voice still full of sarcasm.

“This was not what I wanted from you,” I say, reaching for the door to the  hallway.

“I don’t think so,” he says, as he grabs me by the arm again and drags me up  a flight of stairs to the next floor.

When we emerge from the stairwell, he straightens his shirt, and, still  holding my hand, begins walking us down the hall as if nothing is wrong.  Suddenly, he turns sharply to the right and walks into an office where a  young woman is sitting at a computer.

“What are you doing?” I ask softly.

“Don’t make a scene, Michelle,” he says, not even looking at me.

The lady behind the counter looks up at us. “Can I help you?”

Danny replies before I have a chance to say anything else. “We’d like to get  a marriage license please.”

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