Until You by NotSew – Chapter 5b

Republisher’s Note: The good people of Springfield have been transported to 1800s Richmond. Michelle and Danny met and felt an instant attraction. Now to cover up why Danny was kissing her Michelle claimed he’d gone blind.

Until You by NotSew – Chapter 5b

On the way to the Lewis’s.

“I can’t believe you’ve talked me into this.”

“Come on Mick. Where’s your sense of adventure? Of romantic intrigue?” Mick rolled his eyes at his brother who sat across from him in the coach wearing a huge grin.

“I lost it after you dueled with this chit on Cousin Clarisse’s front lawn.”

“Why? Nothing bad has come from that experience. And I’ve never felt more alive than I did that night.”

Mick made a derisive sound in the back of his throat.

“This is lunacy. You are NOT blind.”

“Ah, but I am,” Danny said turning his eyes vacant and reaching out searchingly for his brother, “Mick, Mick, where did you go?”

“Cut it out,” Mick said slapping Danny’s hands away and trying not to laugh, “blindness is not a trivial matter. Do you remember old man Osterman was blind?”

Danny looked out the window lost in a memory.

“Mick, that man saw more than you or I ever could.”

“Yes, he did.”

“What do you think Osterman would tell me to do about Michelle?”

“Hmmm.”

“I’ll tell you what he would say. He would say ‘Danny, my boy, the only failure is in not trying. Women are there for the taking.'”

Just then the coach pulled to a stop in front of the Lewis Mansion, and Danny quickly opened the door to get out.

“Wait a second,” Mick said in a perplexed voice, “I don’t ever remember him saying that.”

“He didn’t? I could’ve sworn. Well nevertheless, I’m sure he thought to say it and just never got around to it.”

Once in the Lewis Mansion, Danny and Mick were greeted by a dower faced butler.

“Yes,” the butler drawled aristocratically.

“We are here under the invitation of Regis Blue,” Danny said shrugging off his overcoat and handing it to the butler.

“Mr. Blue does not live here.”

“I’m sure if you were to announce our presence to the Lewises, you’d find that we were indeed welcome guests,” Danny bit out between clenched teeth.

The butler harrumphed and cast doubtful looks Danny and Mick.

“Look,” Danny began, his patience having run its course.

“It’s okay, Dilbert. They are with me.”

Danny and Mick turned simultaneously toward the soft, graceful voice.

Michelle stood before them, a vision in rich cream lace. Her silky golden tresses were piled on top of her head with a few wispy tendrils framing her flawless heart shaped face. The soft perfection of pearls gleamed from her ears and the strand lying against the background of her elegant, straight neck.

Both Santos men were stunned momentarily by the beautiful visage of the girl before them.

Danny felt his pulse quicken and the now familiar sense of awe enveloping him. He couldn’t take his eyes off Michelle. The onyx pools, now bright with intense emotion, drank in Michelle like they were viewing a priceless artifact.

Every particle in his body was throbbing from an intense reaction to being in Michelle’s presence.

Involuntarily, he took a step forward.

“You are without a doubt, the most beautiful creature I have ever seen,” Danny said choking past the lump in his throat.

Michelle cast a brief embarrassed look in Mick’s direction, before turning back to Danny and giving him a shy, thankful smile.

“I can handle things from here, Dilbert. Thank you,” Michelle said motioning for Danny and Mick to follow her, “Everybody is in the Blue Room.”

The two men let Michelle walk in front of them to lead the way.

Mick leaned to Danny.

“I thought tonight was about proving something to Michelle. You take one look and you are drooling like a hound. So much for your ability to resist her, shall we say…charms.”

Danny spoke to Mick without taking his eyes off the gentle sway of Michelle’s backside.

“What can I say? She takes my breath away.”

Mick gave a snort of derision.

“Mick, mark my words, I’ll have her.”

“Well Don Juan, I hate be the rain cloud over the parade, but this worshipful gawking is going to give the game away.”

Danny gave momentary pause to Mick’s words.

“Thanks for reminding me.”

The trio came to a stop in front of an ornately gilded door.

Michelle turned to face Danny and Mick.

“Listen Danny, about my little subterfuge the other night. You needn’t worry about pretending to be blind, from what I can tell no one is aware of what happened.”

“I wasn’t worried,” came Danny’s amused response.

“Good, because I’d like to just forget about it and I’ve asked Jesse to do the same.”

Michelle opened the door and they stepped into the room.

All activity ceased and all eyes focused on Danny.

There where an awkward silence in which Danny was trapped in an embrace of inaudible sympathy.

Suddenly Reva Lewis rushed forward, enveloping Danny’s hands in her own.

“You poor, poor dear. I just heard about your predicament. Such a travesty to be struck blind in the prime of one’s life.”

Danny shared a quick surprised look with Mick, before plastering a polite smile on his face and turning to stare blankly at a point just over Reva’s shoulder.

Michelle groaned. She knew Danny was going to make her pay for this.

“You poor dear.” Reva Lewis repeated squeezing Danny’s hands where she held them between hers.

“Danny, ” Michelle said tremulously behind him, “may I introduce you to Reva Lewis.”

“It is a pleasure to finally meet you Mrs. Lewis,” Danny said gathering one of Reva’s hands in his and bringing it to his lips.

“Heavens there is no need for all of that,” Reva said flustered.

Danny flashed the hostess a devastating smile, which produced an audible sigh from all the females in the room.

Michelle rolled her eyes.

“This is all very odd, because Vanessa Reardon swears that she saw you just last week at the Hinden affair and nothing appeared out of the ordinary with your sight.”

“I’ve become very effective at keeping up appearances,” Danny explained.

“Well come, come, sit down,” Reva said waving to the group of settees located at the center of all the milling social groups in the room.

Danny reached out to link his arm through Michelle’s.

“Ms. Bauer, could you help lead me.”

Do I have a choice?, Michelle thought.

Michelle tucked Danny’s arm more firmly between her arm and her side and made her way to the velvet couches.

As Danny slowly lowered himself onto one of the couches he took Michelle, arm and all, with him.

“Can I have my arm back now? ” Michelle hissed for Danny’s ears only.

“In a minute dear, I need time to settle.”

Michelle mumbled something indiscernible under her breath.

No sooner had they sat down then several interested parties decided to join them. Mostly eligible women.

Vultures, Michelle accused silently.

“Do tell us Mr. Santos, how does your impediment effect your ability to function in your everyday life,” Reva said from her perch across from Michelle and Danny.

“Yes, do tell,” said an amused Mick from his position beside Reva.

Danny tried not to send his brother a sharp look, but his eyes fairly itched to shoot daggers Mick’s way.

“It is actually a lot easier than you think,” Danny said grinning wryly at his lounging audience, “especially when kind citizens like Ms. Bauer volunteer to accompany me to all my outings, to make sure I get suitably adjusted to my surroundings.”

“Why I had no idea you and Michelle were that well acquainted,” Reva said sending an astonished Michelle a curious look.

“Michelle has been my godsend,” Danny said turning to give Michelle a wicked wink.

OMG, he oozes sex appeal.

Underneath Michelle’s soft ivory skin, shivers underscored with heat begin to run a course throughout her body.

She must be coming down with something.

Danny broke the connection with Michelle and turned back to his audience.

“It helps that I’m able to see things in my mind as well.”

“What do you mean,” Marah Lewis asked.

Danny turned the full force of his captivating smile to the couch of young females sitting adjacent to him.

“My mind is able to conjure up the image of something before me.”

“So you use you imagination,” Susannah Lemay offered.

“Yes and no. Sometimes I’m able to mysteriously project the actual images before me. I believe you call it ‘second sight'”

Everybody drew in a shocked gasp, while Mick tried to contain his mirth and Michelle made strangling sounds in the back of her throat from beside Danny.

I can’t believe this is happening, Michelle thought.

Reva recovered first.

“Surely you are having fun at us Mr. Santos.”

“I can assure you I’m not.”

“But what you are suggesting is impossible. The gift of second sight is but a gypsy’s hoax to steal our monies.”

“Is it?” Danny parried daringly. “I need a volunteer.”

“Really, Danny,” Michelle began.

“I’ll do it,” Marah Lewis said popping up.

“Well come sit here, directly in front of me,” Danny said gesturing non-specifically in front of him.

Reva moved over to make room for her daughter to sit next to her across from Danny.

“Now I need complete silence,” Danny said unnecessarily because he had everybody in the room’s rapt attention.

“Now Marah,” Danny said in a soothing voice, “look directly into my eyes.”

Marah giggled and looked nervously around her, but then fell prey to the mesmerizing chocolate brown pools of Danny’s eyes.

Michelle watched as Marah’s expression turned dreamy and she looked worshipfully at the man in front of her.

She couldn’t fault Marah for falling prey to Danny. The man was a walking, breathing heartache.

Danny tilted his head to the side causing a lock of hair to fall over his forehead. He gave Marah a lopsided grin.

“What’s the name of my subject?”

“Marah Lewis.”

“You are a very beautiful young lady.”

There was a chorus of titters all around.

Marah blushed bright red and Michelle gnashed her teeth.

“How do you know that?” Marah asked flirtatiously.

“I can see you plain as day.”

“You can’t,” Marah said aghast.

He can, Michelle and Mick thought simultaneously.

“Yes I can. Your image has come to me in my mind.”

“Prove it,” clamored Jesse to the back of Danny.

Jesse received disapproving glares for his eager induced rudeness.

An anticipatory hush fell over the crowd.

“Marah,” Danny said, “you are a golden tressed beauty with eyes the color of the ocean blue and skin the color of the richest cream.”

Danny’s revelation garnered many oohs and ahhs.

Mick sat back and observed it all with amusement. These people were fascinated by something that didn’t even exist. Talk about gullibility. It was the height of ridiculous. And absolutely hilarious to watch.

“You could have remembered Ms. Lewis’s appearance from making her acquaintance before you lost your sight,” Jesse piped once more.

That’s right lad, give him hell, Mick thought.

“I hadn’t met Ms. Lewis before my blindness.”

“How do we know?”

Oh sod off already, Danny thought but kept the amiable smile plastered on his face.

“I suppose you don’t so I’ll further demonstrate by stating the make-up of Ms. Lewis’s attire.”

“Do I need to look deeply into your eyes again?” Marah sighed dreamily.

“Er..yes,” Danny said inwardly cringing away from such blatant female adoration.

Danny quickly settled into his part by staring intently back at Marah.

“Are you wearing a lovely shade of peach tonight?”

Danny’s audience broke out into a chorus of applause and smiles. He had “seen” right.

“What gem is the setting in my necklace?” Marah excitedly asked.

Danny gave the gaudy sapphire an unnoticeable assessment.

“I see…I see a ruby.

Mick choked on his port.

What was Danny’s game?

There was a chorus of disappointed sighs.

“What? Am I wrong?”

“Yes Mr. Santos, my daughter is wearing the family sapphire tonight.”

“Oh my,” Danny said trying to sound chagrined, “in my defense I must admit it works better with people I know.”

“Maybe Ms. Bauer would like to volunteer,” Reva suggested helpfully.

“No really I…,”Michelle began .

“Michelle would be perfect,” Danny said flashing a devilish smile.

Michelle turned to glare at Danny. She had been trying to distance herself from her surroundings since Danny came into them, mentally putting distance between herself and Danny so she didn’t make a fool out of herself in front of him and the rest of the town’s people.

Marah got up from her seat and moved to trade places with Michelle, eager to sit beside Danny. Reluctantly and wearing a sullen expression Michelle gave up her seat and took Marah’s place next to Reva.

She silently made a pact not to actively play a role in Danny’s little farce and to make it known to him that she was a hostile participant.

But as soon as she sat across from him and felt the heat of his gaze she felt the ominous frown that furrowed her brow begin to fade away.

He was smiling roguishly at her and her heart sang a funny little trill.

“Now Michelle,” Danny said silkenly, “stare deep into my eyes.”

Michelle’s deep brown eyes fused with Danny’s.

Instantly Michelle saw Danny as she’d seen him in the back of her mind since the night she first laid eyes on him..hot, naked, panting, and lost in passion.

What was she thinking, proper ladies didn’t think about men in a physical sense?

But as she looked in his eyes and saw every compliment, every slight, every battle, every lust, every love, and every cruelty, she realized she was traveling the route to his soul. Her gaze traveled to his lips. The wide curve of his lips hinted at nights spent sharing long, slow, achingly tender kisses. Michelle felt her heart race in her chest.

Danny Santos oozed sensuality and radiated the kind of sexual appeal that your could warm your hands by.

Michelle was getting caught up in a vortex. Warmth curled in her belly and a dull but keening ache had formed at her core.

Danny reached out his hand and cupped Michelle’s cheek in his palm. His thumb stroked the soft curve of her cheekbone.

He returned Michelle’s reverent gaze. Falling effortlessly into her eyes and drowning in the completeness he found there.

The air crackled between them.

“Is this helping you to see her?” Reva whispered loudly to Danny.

“Wha..what?” Danny said as if coming out of a daze.

“The touching of the face…does it help you to see what she is wearing?”

Danny withdrew his hand from Michelle’s cheek as if he’d been burned.

Clearing his throat past the unspoken words that had gathered in his throat as he sat staring into Michelle’s eyes Danny addressed his audience.

“It seems I’ve exhausted my gift enough for one evening. I was unable to see anything.”

An announcement everybody believed but Michelle for she knew in those few short moments Danny’s eyes had burned the path straight to her heart.

After a [chorus of] disappointment made its way through the crowd they began to disperse back into smaller social groups.

“It seems I’ve exhausted a lot more than just my ‘sight’, ” Danny said turning to Reva, “I must beg departure.”

“Of course Mr. Santos.”

“But you’ll call again,” Marah said eagerly.

“Of course Ms. Lewis,” Danny said taking Marah’s hand and kissing it.

Marah beamed with satisfaction.

Danny and Mick stood.

“Ms. Bauer, would you be so kind as to see us to our carriage?”

Michelle nodded her head and stood up to leave with the two brothers.

Once at the carriage Danny let Mick enter ahead of him and turned to face Michelle.

“You are quite mad you know,” Michelle said in an amused voice.

Danny walked the two feet that separated them.

“I’m mad but only in love,” he said before crushing her lips in a kiss.

Pulling back and planting a quick tender kiss on her ravished lips, “With you.”

“I’ll see you soon, princess,” Danny said before bounding into the coach and tapping on the door as signal for the departure.

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