Revolving Doors Chapter 10

Republisher’s Note: Danny finds Michelle at Millennium.

Revolving Doors – Chapter 10

Michelle Bauer walked into Millennium. Danny thought about the scene going on in the other room. His first instinct was to protect her. He walked toward her. He could tell she was surprised to see him. It suddenly dawned on him, the only place they’d seen each other was at the hospital. She stammered, “D.D….Danny, what are you doing here?” She couldn’t believe he was here. She’d come to relax, to have a night out with Jesse. Now that was never going to happen.

He didn’t want her to know the real reason he’d come to the club. He did wonder if she might be half glad to know her competition might be disappearing.

Disappearing. He hadn’t even thought that far ahead. Hadn’t really wanted to dwell on what he was going to do to the person responsible for hurting Mick. Could he really do this?

Michelle’s voice brought him back to the present. “Danny?”

“Hey, Michelle. Well, this was the last place Mick was seen prior to his attack. I was just coming to check it out. See the kind of people who hang here. Would you like to sit with me awhile?” Danny wondered if he could delay her long enough for the song to end in the other room.

“Actually, Jesse is expecting me,” Michelle hoped her voice didn’t sound too curt.

Danny watched as Michelle slipped out of her coat. At the hospital, she had only worn jeans and t-shirts. She stood before him wearing a tight fitting sweater set along with a very short black skirt. The clothes accentuated her every curve. Danny forgot to breathe. He had never felt so envious of another person in his entire life. His eyes roamed every inch of her body and she blushed under his scrutiny.

Michelle had to look away from his gaze. As she looked around the club, she thought to herself, “Jesse, where are you?”

Danny wondered what Michelle’s reaction would be if she saw Drew hanging all over her boyfriend. He didn’t have to wait long as Michelle glanced over and caught a glimpse of what was happening on the dance floor. She grimaced.

“Damn her,” he heard her say under her breath.

Danny’s memory flashed back to the scene he had witnessed in the chapel. He had wondered what problems this girl had and now he knew what or rather who would cause Michelle to be so unhappy.

“Is that your boyfriend?” he asked.

“Yeah, and his boss,” As she spoke, she pursed her lips wondering what to do.

Danny commented, “She’s putting on quite a show.”

“Drew always does,” Michelle said sarcastically. She looked at Danny, a sardonic grin etched across her face.

Danny got an idea in his head. He wasn’t sure whether his motivation was for her benefit or his. He proposed, “Wouldn’t you like to put on a show of your own?”

Somehow, Michelle’s anger was being directed at Danny as she said defensively, “If you think I’m worried about Jesse, I’m not. I know exactly how he feels about me. Drew just needs an occasional reminder.”

“Sometimes bringing out someone’s jealous streak illustrates that quite nicely,” he added.

“I don’t like to play games, that’s Drew’s department.” Michelle knew what Danny was proposing. If it had been anybody but Danny Santos, she probably would have jumped at the chance to put Drew in her place. Deju vu. She remembered how she’d used Mick to make Jesse jealous. Isn’t this precisely what got her into her current predicament?

A mischievous look appeared in Danny’s eyes as he said, “Come on, wouldn’t you like to turn the tables on her? It might even be fun.”

Michelle thought to herself, “You’re nuts Michelle. Drew and Jesse are never going to forgive you for doing this.” But, to Danny she said, “Sure. Why not?”

They moved together toward the dance floor. Jesse and Drew were still too busy with each other to notice their arrival. Michelle turned toward Danny. Her muscles were so tense she felt like an automaton. How was she going to relax enough to dance with this man? Michelle put her hand on Danny’s shoulder. Her whole body seemed to be on fire and the cool leather of Danny’s jacket felt good on the palm of her hand.

Danny put his right hand at the side of her waist. He felt her tense up just a little at his initial touch and then she seemed to relax. His other hand took her free hand and they began moving to the music. Danny felt like he was in junior high, his initial nervousness at having her so close to him, made his movements seem overly stiff.

He longed to envelop her whole body, to have her arms reach up and pull him to her. Instead Danny bent his head and nuzzled the side of her face with his own. He could smell the fresh scent of her shampoo. She turned her face toward his and looked into his eyes. He smiled at her; she smiled back. It gave him the courage to pull her closer to him. He moved his right arm to encircle her waist. He bent and brought their joined hands to his chest.

Danny felt Michelle’s body soften against his own, as she rested her head on his shoulder.

Michelle thought to herself, “What is happening here, Michelle? You should be scared to death.” Somehow, she felt safe in his arms.

To Danny she whispered, “Do you think this will do the trick?”

“Uh huh,” he said lazily, not wanting the dance to end.

They continued moving across the dance floor toward their target. As Danny positioned them in front of Jesse and Drew, the other couple became aware of their presence. Jesse stiffened and said, “Michelle, honey, I didn’t know you were here. Why didn’t you let me know?”

Michelle had an edge to her voice as she said, “Well, you did seem a little busy.”

Drew chimed in, “Hey, Michelle…….I was just keeping Jesse occupied until you arrived.”

Michelle rolled her eyes towards the ceiling as she threw her head back, moving it from side to side, demonstrating her disbelief. She realized Drew had once again tried to turn everything back on her. Michelle reminded her, “Drew, I think you and I have had this conversation before.”

Drew shrugged her shoulders and then retorted, “I’m really impressed. You’ve never taken this tack before, Michelle.”

“Well, maybe I decided to fight fire with fire, Drew,” Michelle hated having to justify her actions.

Drew smirked and added, “You know what they say about playing with fire, Michelle.”

Michelle turned to Danny and said, “Thank you for the dance, it was fun.”

“Anytime,” he said to her. And then silently he said, “I really mean it, Michelle….. Anytime……Anywhere.”

He sat down to watch what would happen next. Jesse left Drew’s side and pulled Michelle to the opposite side of the dance floor. Jesse’s face scowled as he continued to talk to Michelle. He couldn’t hear what they were saying, but Jesse was glaring at him and seemed to be asking her about him. Michelle’s response seemed to upset Jesse even more. And even though they were across the room from him, Danny was still able to read Jesse’s lips as he mouthed the name……. ‘Santos’. Michelle frowned as Jesse continued his tirade.

At that moment, Drew sidled up to him and said, “Hi, I’m Drew.”

“Danny,” was all he said. He wanted to keep her in the dark as long as he could.

“Well, Danny, you seem to have made an impression with Jesse,” Drew added.

Danny questioned her, “Oh, really? Why do you say that?” He didn’t trust her, but knew it was always better to get to know your enemies.

Drew answered, “I’ve never seem him react this way to any of Michelle’s friends.”

Danny smiled innocently and added, “Honestly, we barely know each other.”

Drew continued fishing, “How did you meet Michelle?”

“At the hospital,” He knew his short answers were irritating her.

“Really? Are you a medical student?”

“No, let’s just say I’ve done business with her brother,” He fudged the truth just a little.

She nodded her head as she spoke, “Oh, Rick….Right.”

Jesse and Michelle joined them. Danny knew the element of surprise was over.

Jesse was the first to speak. He was addressing Danny, but looking intently at Drew. As if to say, pay attention to what I am saying.

“Danny, I’m sorry about your brother, Mick. I hope he is doing better.”

Danny wanted to put the fear of God in the woman standing in front of him, he responded, “Thank you. Well, we hope he recovers soon. We’re all really hoping he’ll be able to communicate soon.”

Jesse was still looking at Drew. Danny was watching her too as the knowledge of who he was dawned on her. A look of terror flashed across Drew’s face, but she recovered quickly enough to address Michelle in an accusatory tone, “Michelle, you told us about Mick, but I guess you neglected to mention how close you and Danny have become.”

Michelle glared at Drew. Danny could see real contempt in her eyes. He would have liked to confront the woman he believed to be responsible for hurting Mick.

Drew seemed to read his mind because the next thing out of her mouth addressed his suspicions. “I realize you know about Mick getting arrested for selling drugs at the club. I had to protect the future of the club, but we didn’t have anything to do with Mick getting hurt. We were both at the club that evening.”

Michelle felt guilty for putting Jesse and Drew in this position. They all knew this was coming, but she knew that she had hastened the confrontation. She realized that she needed to help give them an alibi. She knew Danny trusted her, she felt some guilt at using his feelings for her. She silently chastised herself, “Come on, it’s your survival at stake here, Michelle. He’s still looking for who’s responsible. Don’t forget that.”

Michelle addressed Danny, “Actually, I talked to both of them at the club that evening. Jesse was supposed to join me at the lighthouse the night Mick got hurt. He was late, so I called the club to find out what happened to him. Drew answered and told me that she had decided to work on the books that evening and she wanted him to be here to work in the club. As usual, she was playing games and had told him that she’d be able to finish up quickly, and he’d be able to join me later. Jesse called me a little later to say that he wouldn’t be able to make it. That’s why I left the lighthouse and that’s when I found Mick.”

Michelle was surprised at how much easier it was getting to lie.

Danny realized that the scenario he’d played out in his head was wrong.

He suddenly felt relief. He didn’t like Drew, but he knew now that his vendetta was not going to touch Michelle’s world.

“I’m glad we’ve had this conversation. I hope that if you hear anything about Mick’s attack you’ll let me know.”

“Of course,” said Drew.

“That goes without saying,” Jesse added.

Danny nodded to them and then addressed Michelle, “Goodnight Michelle, I’ll probably be seeing you at the hospital in the next few days.”

“Goodnight, Danny,” Michelle said.

They all watched as Danny exited the club. Jesse looked at Drew. He seemed to sense she was about to lose it. He said, “Just wait, we need to make sure he’s really gone before we talk about this.” Jesse moved toward the front window and watched until he saw Danny drive away in his car. He came back over and said to them, “Let’s take this upstairs.”

They climbed the stairs and walked the hallway toward Jesse’s room. Michelle could feel the daggers that Drew was shooting at her back. She knew what was coming.

Drew shrieked, “Michelle, are you crazy? Why did you bring Danny Santos here?”

Michelle defended herself. “I didn’t. He was already here when I walked in. I was trying to act normal. I am supposed to be innocent. Remember?”

Now it was Jesse’s turn. “Did you have to dance with him?”

“I think he thought he’d be doing me a favor. He saw you dancing with Drew.” Michelle answered and then under her breath she added almost to herself, “If you want to call it that.”

Jesse was looking uncomfortable as he said, “You know that Drew and I are just friends.”

She really hated this. Jesse couldn’t seem to see what a threat Drew was to their relationship. “It was obvious to me and to Danny what kind of friend Drew is.”

Jesse’s jealousy reared its head, “What kind of friend is Danny to you? I am sorry, but I think he has something else in mind. Have you seen the way he looks at you?”

“Don’t be ridiculous. He’s just grateful for my saving Mick’s life. And how big of a joke is that?” Michelle still hated that she had to deceive Danny. She had come to like the man. He was nothing like his brother. In spite of his background, if they had met under other circumstances, they could have been friends.

Michelle noticed that Drew was standing in the corner smirking at the exchange between she and Jesse. She looked at Drew as she said, Jesse, you either trust me with Danny or you don’t. I trust you with Drew, but you need to make sure she understands where you stand.” Michelle wanted to wipe the smug look off her face once and for all. “I think you and Drew need to talk. I am going home, why don’t you call me later.”

And with that Michelle left the room.

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