Revolving Doors Chapter 3

Republisher’s Note: Michelle on insisting on getting Mick to the hospital after her and Drew’s attack left him unconscious. She met Danny at the hospital.

Revolving Doors – Chapter 3

Danny entered the darkened chapel. He had found his way there after escorting Mick to ICU. He had felt totally useless there. Mick was obviously out of it. Danny had squeezed Mick’s hand. No response. He lowered his mouth to Mick’s ear and whispered, “Hang in there big brother. I’ll find out who did this to you. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of everything.”

ICU was not a very private place. Lots of nurses were milling around, checking IVs, all the other things nurses did. Danny didn’t like the feeling of having his emotions on display. He made a note in his head to take care of this before Mama came for a visit. She would like the lack of privacy even less than he did.

He wasn’t sure why he’d come into the chapel. Religion had played an important role in his life. He’d been an altar boy with his cousin Ray when he was younger. The rituals of the Catholic Church comforted him in ways he couldn’t quite explain, even to himself. He couldn’t quite resolve the teachings of the church with the way his family did business, but he didn’t like to dwell on that. He knew the church brought him comfort when things happened to the people he loved. He had especially embraced the church when his father died.

He sat down in the back of the chapel. He thought about Mick. It wasn’t a surprise Mick was hurt. Danny had known ever since they were kids it would probably come down to this. Mick had always been the tough one. Never afraid of hurting other people or of getting himself hurt in the process. Even so, it was hard to see him like this.

Danny felt guilty for his part in defining Mick’s life. He knew that Mick should be head of the family because he was first born. Mick would have been the family’s first choice for crime boss in the time of their grandfather when strength and ruthlessness were the perfect qualities to possess. In this day and age, however, it was more important to be savvy in the areas of business and politics where the right tip on insider trading or knowing which palm to grease would procure the biggest profit.

This was to be Danny’s future, to become the brains behind the operation. They still needed Mick to play the enforcer. Taking care of any problems with their neighborhood clients or dealing with any competitors who tried to move in on Santos’ territory. Actually, Danny saw the areas where Mick was needed as becoming unnecessary and tending to be very messy. The aftermath of Mick’s actions were often difficult to cover up from the police and he was sometimes more of a headache than an asset. Danny knew that in the future, he would be phasing out those portions of the business for the more lucrative areas of big business, when and if, his mother finally let him take over.

Mick knew the truth about his lot in life. He knew Danny was his mother’s choice to become head of the family. Mick sometimes joked about his job with Danny. Sometimes he would taunt Danny with his latest brutality. He knew Danny couldn’t always take the cold hard facts about how the family ran its business. Mick enjoyed showing him the reality of their lives.

Danny’s mother had always told him he would be the one to go to college. The first one in the family to do so. Danny’s childhood had been somewhat sheltered from outside influences. The Santos way of life had been drummed into him from an early age. Respect for your elders was of paramount importance and you did not argue with the decisions they made.

Danny’s mother had not seen the peril in sending him to college. He remembered how his college courses and professors had opened his eyes to other ways of living one’s life. Knowledge could be a dangerous thing for someone like him. He now often felt trapped in a life that he had no control of.

He resented the way people reacted to hearing the name of Santos. The family had always stressed the importance of being proud of their name. Danny was proud of the struggles they had overcome, but sometimes he was ashamed, too.

Danny thought back to how Michelle Bauer had reacted when he had met her. She hadn’t flinched at the mention of his name. He was intrigued by everything he’d seen in her. He wondered what it would be like to have a girl like her in his life.

Danny knew that he would be responsible for finding out who hurt Mick and for the punishment that would be doled out. Any other kind of betrayal and he would never have to soil his own hands. He would call on one of the many henchmen that worked for the family to do his bidding. But, because it was Mick, his mother would expect him to exact revenge on whomever was responsible.

He thought again of Michelle. How would a girl like her react to what he was going to do? Why would her reaction be so important to him? He knew it was a symptom of what he disliked about his life.

He lowered his face into his hands and said, “Please help me.” He wondered if God would hear him. He didn’t know exactly what he wanted. Not to have to exact revenge? Or was it something even bigger he wasn’t ready to face?

He heard the door to the chapel swing open. His jaw dropped as he saw who had entered the chapel.

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