Full Circle by Erin – Chapter 16

Republisher’s Note: Manny put on a show.

Full Circle by Erin – Chapter 6

My heels make a hollow clicking as I march through the main hall of the Santos mansion. I’m dressed to the nines in a suit that Danny bought me last week. When I saw the price tag, I had nearly fainted, but Danny had just chuckled, kissed my cheek, and said that I, and his son, were worth it.

I remember that as I keep my head held high and run a protective hand over my stomach. I’m nearly five months pregnant, but I don’t really show yet. There’s just a tiny bulge where once was a flat stomach.

Naked, it’s barely perceptible.

Clothed, it’s invisible.

I carry in my hands a large cardboard box.

Esperanza sees me, notices the box, and closes her eyes, muttering a prayer.

“Esperanza, you have got to stop praying every time you see me!” I say in a light tone that’s been practiced again and again. “I assure you, no harm will befall your precious Senora Santos just because I’m here.”

Esperanza looks at me with sad eyes. “I do not pray for the Senora. I pray for you.”

I smile at that, but keep going past here and into the bedroom I once shared with Danny. I purposefully leave the door open. This is part of the plan. With feigned anger and frustration, I begin to pull whatever clothes I have left in the drawers out and fling them in the box.

Skirts, blouses, nightgowns…all sail through the air to land with a slight whoosh against each other.

That done, I begin stalking around the room, grabbing pictures and knickknacks and throwing them in the box with a loud clatter.

Just then, Danny stomps in the room.

Right on schedule.

“Just what in the hell do you think you’re doing?” he growls.

I turn on him, my voice loud and harsh. “What do you think I’m doing, Don Corleone? I’m packing.”

“I bought you most of those things and they’re not leaving this house.”

His voice in angry and his words would be hurtful, but his eyes are smiling and I know mine are smiling back.

“To hell with you, Danny, I’m taking my goddamn things!”

Danny picks up the box and dumps in contents on the floor. “No, you’re not!” he yells.

By now, I’m sure the entire household can hear us, but just to be sure we’ve got everyone’s attention, I pick up a photo of our wedding day and throw it against the wall. The heavy gold frame makes a gouge in the wall and the glass shatters.

It’s no great loss. I picked that photo because I have one exactly like it at home.

“You can’t tell me what to do!” I cry and even manage to work up some tears.

Danny does a good job of looking like he’s seething and then picks up the box and flings my things back inside of it. “Fine. If giving you all of this is what it takes to get rid of you, so be it. Take it. Take all of it.”

He goes around the room, gathering up more stuff and throwing it in the box. I hear glass break.

He roughly shoves the box into my hands. “Now take this and get out!”

“With pleasure!” I fling back and, spinning on my heel, march back out of the room.

Carmen is standing there, her eyes bright with a dark kind of happiness.

“I hope you’re happy.” I tell her in a tremulous voice. “You got what you wanted. He hates me and now I’m leaving.”

Carmen smiles that brittle smile of hers. “Yes, I am happy Michelle. My son finally sees you for what you are.”

Danny walks out of the room then and I have to hastily divert my eyes before Carmen sees the look in them. This is the second time Danny and I have pulled this fighting stunt for Carmen’s benefit. We did the same thing yesterday when I “stopped by” to pick up a purse that I had “lost”. We do a pretty good job of screaming at each other. There’s only one problem: for some reason, this fake fighting is wildly arousing. When Danny drove me home (I had taken a cab over there) after yesterday’s episode, we’d barely made it two miles before he’d pulled the car off the road and we were tearing at each other’s clothes.

Now, I can almost feel the heat coming off of him and I know I need to get out of here. Fast.

I turn my back on both of them, really turning on the sobs now.

I walked to my car with an air of dejectedness and Danny followed me, ostensibly to help me load the things into my car.

I knew Carmen was watching us, so I kept my eyes steely and my posture ramrod straight. Danny closed the trunk and I slid into the driver’s seat, still acting the part of the shunned wife.

Danny leaned into my window, still looking angry. His tone was cold, again for Carmen, who could hear his voice, but not the words.

What he said sent a shiver of anticipation down my spine. “Later. Tonight. The lighthouse.”

I nodded my head stiffly, but it was all I could do to keep from smiling. Danny walked back to where his mother stood and put an arm around her as I drove off. I watched them in the rearview mirror and smiled at the superior look on Carmen’s face.

“Oh, Carmen,” I murmured. “I’d be careful if I were you. You’re not even going to know what hit you.”


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