Loving Michelle by Carla Chapter 18

Republisher’s Note: After shocks are rocking Michelle and Danny at the hospital. Sorry¬† for those reading as I post. I got out of order. Here is the chapter I missed.

Loving Michelle by Carla – Chapter 18

Danny continued to stand by Amelia’s bedside and listened as her recent threats gradually turned into incoherent mumblings.

Dear God, what was he going to do now? She was more of less telling him that she was going to kill herself if she wasn’t pregnant any longer. How on earth was he going to get her to understand that she had never been pregnant by him and that there was no chance that she would ever be pregnant by him. He didn’t want to appear harsh, but he had to let her know that he would be there for her, but only as a friend and with Michelle by his side.

She was going to need lots of help to get past the obvious pain that she was feeling and he would lend his hand in friendship but he had to tell her gently that that was all he could offer her. He would let her know that he would be there for her as any friend would but not in any other capacity. That didn’t make him apathetic. Did it?

He needed to find a way out of this situation and let her keep her dignity while not looking like a complete jerk in the process. It wasn’t fair that this should happen now. He shouldn’t have to sacrifice his happiness again.

He didn’t ask for any of this.

Amelia ceased her rambling for a moment and he took that opportunity to try and talk to her again. “Amelia,” he began and she brought her brown tear-filled eyes up to make contact with his.

She didn’t acknowledge him with words but continued to hold his gaze with her own. He searched for life beneath those grief stricken pools. He searched long and hard for any sign of the selfish, vapid, ice queen he had left behind in Springfield. He could find no signs of that woman and that realization knocked the wind out of his sails.

This was his fault. It was entirely his fault. If he had only listened to Michelle and stayed in Springfield while she took care of the divorce then Amelia wouldn’t have come chasing after him and she wouldn’t have been in the path of that taxi and she sure as hell wouldn’t be lying here in this emergency room silently pleading with him to make the pain go away.

But then again, if he hadn’t have come down here after Michelle, they wouldn’t have gotten to talk and then later…

He couldn’t think about that now. Amelia’s mental health depended on knowing that she wasn’t going to be deserted by him. He would reassure her but he would also tell her that Michelle was now in his life again and they would both be available to help her.

“Amelia” he tried again “Don’t say things like that. Everything will be okay,” he said, “You’ll see.”

“No, it won’t,” she said in a voice void of feeling. She was shutting down emotionally and Danny began to get really frightened again. Where was the beautiful, confident woman that had decided to go after Danny all those months ago even after he repeatedly proclaimed his undying love for Michelle? Where was the woman who refused to accept the fact that Danny would always love another and wanted him anyway? He needed to remind her of who that woman was and try to find a way to resurrect her again. His future depended on Amelia getting over this false pregnancy depression. Make that, his and Michelle’s future depended on it.

“Sure it will,” he said trying hard not to sound patronizing. He took her hand and gently rubbed tender circles on her palm with his thumb in a gesture of concern. He was genuinely moved by her situation but she was grieving for a baby that had never been. She didn’t know what real grief was. He could tell her a thing or two about real grieving. Daniel Santos had lived with the aftereffects of true and all-consuming grief.

True grief was holding your tiny, born too soon, son in your arms and knowing deep in your soul that you weren’t going to get to keep him. It was knowing that you would trade your own life for his in an instant. Genuine grief was rubbing your son’s head one minute and watching him take his last breath the next. Authentic grief was watching the woman you love completely withdraw inside herself until she was gone too. And finally, actual and total grief was watching someone place your beautiful son in a box and deposit him in the ground and cover him with dirt and knowing that you will never see his sweet little face again. That was what true grief was and Amelia had absolutely no idea what the true meaning of the word was. As much as he sympathized with her obvious pain, she didn’t have a clue what losing a child felt like.

Her expression never wavered but he wasn’t going to be deterred. His second chance with Michelle was at stake and it was too important to him.

“Amelia,” he began, “you need to realize something. You were never pregnant. I know you don’t want to hear that but the doctor confirmed that there was never a baby. I know you really thought you were pregnant and I am very sorry for doubting your sincerity but the fact remains is that there is no baby and you have to find a way to deal with that. Don’t worry though. I won’t desert you. I will be here for you as your friend,” he added and then her expression began to change. It began to change drastically.

“I don’t want you as my friend,” she finally managed to say through clenched teeth. “I suppose Michelle had something to do with this decision,” she said angrily.

Danny began to feel some hope. Amelia was beginning to show some emotion. Her anger was refreshing. It was a sure sign that she was coming out of her depression and that things were going to be fine. He needed to keep her talking and soon she would realize that he was right. Soon, she would put this behind her and they could all get on with their lives.

“Michelle doesn’t have anything to do with this,” he said in a gentle manner and she suddenly went silent again and her face reclaimed its earlier lifeless expression.

Danny was perplexed. Was this an act? What was she doing? One minute she was depressed then the next she was downright angry and before he knew what hit him, she was sullen and withdrawn again. Was he being pulled into a web of deceit from which there was no escape?

What if she were truly mentally ill? Michelle had gone through so many emotions when Will had died that he had feared for her sanity. Thankfully, she finally began to come out of it and had put her life back on track since the divorce. It had taken her a long time to do it, but she had done it. He had not insisted she get the help she needed when they were married like he should have. He should have not let her shut down after Will died but he hadn’t known any better.

This time he knew what could happen. He would not make the same mistake with Amelia. He would make sure she got the grief counseling she needed and then pray that she could find the strength to go on with her life. If she couldn’t find that strength to go on, then God help him, he would have to remain by her side. There simply was no other way.

Ben sat down next to Michelle and noticed how she moved as far away from him as possible without getting up out of her chair and moving.

He held the chuckle that was dying to come out inside. She loathed him now but soon that would change. He had planted that seed of doubt in her mind about Danny and now was the time to capitalize on it. Danny was in there right now with Amelia battling with his conscience and Ben would bet dollars to donuts that his conscience was winning.

Danny Santos was no enigma. His guilt and shame was written all over his face and all Ben had to do was remind him that it was his fault that Amelia was here in the first place. Danny was in there dealing with Amelia’s plight and accepting his part in it. No matter how much Danny and Michelle wanted to reunite, it wasn’t going to happen. He would make sure of that and if he knew Amelia, and he was pretty sure he did, she was in there playing Danny like a cheap violin and he was so bogged down in his guilt that he was no match for her. Yes, everything would end up rather nicely. Amelia would get Danny back and he would be consoling Michelle now.

It was not the way he had originally planned it, but it would do. He let his eyes roam over Michelle freely and appreciatively and noted that she was still holding on to the other side of her chair for dear life. She wouldn’t be feeling that way about him for long. He could take his plan of consolation for Amelia and lay it on Michelle and soon she would be begging for him to be her friend. Once she saw where Danny’s true loyalties lay and after he planted a few more seeds of guilt and doubt in her mind, she would be all his.

His mind began to race with the possibilities. Michelle was petite but she would do. He would have to be careful with her. He had had a lusty romp planned with Amelia later, since he knew that was what she liked, but Michelle would be a sweet, soft act of seduction. She would have to be petted and made feel beautiful and cherished. Hell, he supposed he could do that if he had to. What was the difference how he got her, as long as the end result was him securing her into his bed?

As a matter of fact, he felt his body react to the new possibilities that arose in his head. As much as he was looking forward to some horizontal exercise with Amelia, the thought of seducing the high and mighty Michelle Santos got his motor running. It would take some suaveness and sophistication, but it could be done. Hell, it would be done. By the time it was all over, Michelle Santos wouldn’t know what hit her and he would have succeeded in keeping Danny and Amelia together and that would make Carmen very happy.

Yes, he smiled to himself, this was a definite win/win situation and he couldn’t wait to put his plan into motion, he thought as he began to slowly maneuver his body towards hers.

What was taking Danny so long, Michelle began to wonder? He should have been back by now. He was simply going to check on Amelia and then come back. She knew he wouldn’t purposely leave her in the company of Ben Warren for more than a few minutes if he could help it. Something must have gone wrong.

Was Amelia more ill than they realized? She wished like hell that she was in that room right now and could see what was going on. She wished she were anywhere but here next to Ben Warren.

His presence was making her very uncomfortable. She never knew what he was thinking and that frightened her. He was the kind of person who would offer you his coat and as you turned to let him help you put it on, he would neatly insert a knife in between your shoulder blades.

She dared to sneak a glance at him. He was sitting entirely too close for her liking. This was the third time that he had managed to be alone with her and each time it got more uncomfortable. The ride in the elevator was uncomfortable to say the least and the taxi ride over made her feel like she needed a shower but this was making her skin crawl. He was doing it on purpose too but she was determined not to let her anxiety show. Any weakness shown to this man would be exploited later. He wore his familiar smirk and she wanted nothing more than to slap it right off of his face.

She began to tap her foot in impatience. Maybe he would take the hint that his company was unwelcome. Something told her he wouldn’t take any of her subtle hints so she would have to be point blank with him.

Without warning she turned to him and said, “Why are you still here?”

The question seemed to catch him off guard but he recovered nicely. “Well Michelle, someone has to look out for Amelia’s well being and since Danny is only in there with her out of guilt and you are just waiting for him to return so you can resume your fairytale life, I feel like someone needs to be here to pick up the pieces so to speak,” he said.

“You don’t know what you are talking about,” Michelle said. “You have no idea what any of this is about”.

“Well now, let’s see, shall we?” Ben began. “Amelia, Danny’s betrothed comes down her to help him make sure his divorce goes through. And like it or not Michelle, Danny came down here for the same reason. Less than a week ago, Danny was standing at the alter saying his vows Michelle and no matter how much you don’t want to admit it, he did say them,” he reminded her and he could tell by the change in her expression that his barb had hit its mark.

“Upon her arrival,” he continued “she walked in on her fiance¬† in bed with his ex wife. She freaks a little and then decides to hear Danny’s side of the story. They talk, she reveals that she is carrying his baby and he says something to her that makes her run away from him and right into the path of an oncoming car where she loses her baby,” he says. “Now that about sums up this disgusting situation, don’t you think? Amelia has lost everything, her fiance , her baby and all you two can think about is yourselves,” he said.

Michelle tried not to let his comments affect her, but it was no use. As much as she hated to admit it, he was right, but there were circumstances that he didn’t know about. That no one who hadn’t lost a child could possibly know about.

“You don’t know what you are talking about,” Michelle spurted. “Danny has suffered every bit as much as Amelia, if not more.”

“And how’s that Michelle?” Ben queried “She was there for him when he needed someone. You let him go Michelle, remember? You had Danny but you let him go. Amelia didn’t try to break you two up. She only went after him once he was free and even then she didn’t have to tie him up and force him into her bed you know,” he said knowing he was treading on dangerous territory and if he hoped to get her into his bed, he was going to have to tread lightly. “He went there willingly,” he added in a voice full of phony sympathy.

Michelle felt like she couldn’t breathe. Why was he doing this? She knew all of this already, but she and Danny had been granted another chance. They never should have parted. It wasn’t Danny’s fault. She accepted her inability to get over Will’s death and they had worked through it. They were meant to be reunited. She hated Amelia’s predicament, she really did, but God help her, it was time she thought of herself. She had been a fool to leave Danny. She should have given him a chance. She should have listened to him when he begged to go to counseling. She should have told him she loved him and shared in his grief also.

All the should haves in the world wouldn’t change anything now and suddenly she was very confused. What if Danny couldn’t get past this guilt? He had accepted her leaving him and had never tried to talk her into coming back to him. He had just signed the divorce papers when they came and that was that. He had accepted his guilt and chose to live with it by letting her have her own life apart from his. What if he chose to accept his guilt in this and stay by Amelia’s side?

She hadn’t really considered that before now. Was it right for her to claim Danny when another woman was suffering because of their night of reunion? What if she never recovered emotionally? She knew what that felt like. She knew all too well what it felt like.

The doctor had said that he was concerned for her mental well-being. Could she sacrifice another’s best interests for her own desires? She didn’t know. She honestly didn’t know.

As a doctor, she was sworn to take care of the sick and affirmed. Wasn’t Amelia sick and affirmed? If not physically, wasn’t she emotionally? What kind of healer would she be if she ignored Amelia’s obvious pain?

Suddenly, it was too much for her. She needed to get some air. She needed to think and she needed to do it away from this hospital.

She tried to disguise her agitated and confused state but Ben picked up on it and asked her if she wanted him to take her somewhere. She surprised him and she surprised herself even more by telling him yes.

Danny listened to the doctor with the wrinkled lab coat and five o’clock shadow. The news was not promising. In his opinion, Amelia was sinking into depression and was considered a danger to herself. She was mourning the loss of the child she was convinced she was carrying and no amount of medical evidence to the contrary would make her see otherwise.

If Danny continued with his plan to reunite with Michelle, it would be devastating to Amelia. Could he live with himself? Could he live with the guilt if she did something drastic?

The answer was no. He had lived with the guilt of his and Michelle’s failed marriage and Will’s death. Guilt wasn’t something to be taken lightly and he knew the aftereffects of it could be cataclysmic. He was responsible for Amelia whether he wanted to be or not. He would accept his responsibility and do what was best for her which included giving up his dream with Michelle if need be.

He thanked the doctor with a voice of a man who had no desire to continue living himself and prepared himself to walk out into the waiting area and tell Michelle that he couldn’t desert Amelia and that their planned reconciliation was going to have to be postponed…indefinitely.

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