Loving Michelle by Carla Chapter 27

Republisher’s Note: Michelle fainted in Danny’s arms at the airport, right after seeing him for the first time in 2 months.

Loving Michelle by Carla – Chapter 27

When Michelle regained consciousness, the first thing she saw was Danny’s face. What happened? Was she dreaming?

More faces began to come into focus and she deduced that for some reason she was lying down on the floor of the terminal. “What happened?” she croaked.

“You fainted, baby,” Danny answered. “I called for an ambulance. They should be here shortly.”

Michelle sat up, grabbing Danny’s arm for support. “Don’t be silly, Danny,” she said. “I am fine. I just picked up a bug while I was away is all. Have someone call and cancel that ambulance, okay?” she said her eyes pleading with his. “I really am okay.”

“Michelle,” Danny began. “You fainted. You should have someone look at you.”

“I’ll make you a deal,” Michelle proposed. “You call and cancel that ambulance and I will go to Cedars and get checked out. I am sure all I need is some antibiotics and I will be as good as new. How about it, Danny? Please. ”

“Okay, Michelle,” he said helping her into a chair. “I’ll be right back.”

The crowd began to disperse after seeing that the young woman who had fainted was okay. Michelle noticed Danny talking to one of the employees of the airport who then nodded to Danny. They shook hands and Danny began to walk back to where she was sitting.

He took Michelle’s hand and only when he was certain that she was really okay, did he relinquish it. “What kind of bug do you have Michelle?” Danny asked. “Do you think it is serious? You scared me to death when you fainted like that. You lost all your color and you just fell into my arms,” he explained.

“I think I picked up something while I was in Africa living under some pretty primitive conditions. I am sure my system was just not used to it is all. I am telling you that some antibiotics are all I need. I am a doctor you know,” she aid cheekily.

“Well, I still would feel much better when I hear it from Rick’s mouth after you have had some tests, okay Dr. Bauer?” he teased. “Or is it still Dr. Santos?”

“I still use Dr. Santos, but I want to know do I get to say ‘I told you so’ when I am proven right?” she said.

“Baby, as long as you are okay, you can say a hundred ‘I told you sos’,” he said seriously.

Michelle’s expression went from jovial to serious also. She hadn’t realized until that moment just how much she had frightened him. “I’m sorry, Danny. I didn’t mean to poke fun but truly, I am feeling better already,” she said walking into his embrace without being able to help herself.

Danny’s arms immediately enfolded her and he pulled her close. “God, I missed you, baby,” he said into her ear while breathing in the scent of her hair and planting little kisses along her earlobe and then moving lower onto her neck area.

“Danny, wait, ” Michelle interrupted. “We really need to talk first.”

Danny allowed Michelle to maneuver out of his arms but only because he knew that after they talked, when he told her that they were finally free to be together, that she would be right back in them.

He took her hand with one hand and grabbed her bag with the other after slinging his own bag over his shoulder. He led her out of the airport and onto the curb outside where he hailed a cab.

After deposited her safely inside, he put the bags in the trunk and joined her inside. When the cab driver asked their destination, Danny was surprised to hear her give the address of her house and he immediately objected.

“Danny, I am going to the hospital, but I need to get a few of my own things and put these away. I would also much rather drive my own car if you don’t mind. Don’t worry silly,” she said playfully swatting him on the arm, “I will let you drive if you are a good boy.”

“Haha, funny,” Danny said and despite himself he found himself chuckling right along with her.

In less than twenty minutes, they pulled up in front of the house that they had shared when they were married. The same house that Will had died in.

Michelle had long since laid to rest the ghosts in this house but she could tell by Danny’s expression that being this close to the house that they used to share was affecting him deeply.

“Are you okay?” she asked gently taking his hand in hers and squeezing.

“Yeah, I am fine,” he said pushing open the door with more force than he intended and went around to open her door for her.

“Do you want to come inside and wait while I grab my things or would you rather stay outside?” she said sensitive to the outbreak of emotion Danny was obviously feeling.

“You go on in,” he said. “I will take care of the cab fare and wait for you out here, okay?” he said and she nodded her understanding.

“Okay, I won’t be but a minute or two,” she called behind her.

Danny paid the cab driver and stood in the driveway staring at the house that they had once shared and been so happy in. Seeing it again hurt him in ways that he wasn’t ready to deal with yet. He purposely avoided this part of town and he had not driven over here at all since the divorce. This house used to hold so many hopes and dreams but ended up being filled with broken hearts and failure.

This was silly, he chided himself. It was just a house after all. Besides soon, once they were reunited, they may reside in it together again, unless she wanted to make a fresh start in a new home with no bad memories.

He pushed his hands deep into his pockets, a habit he had picked up in junior high school when he was nervous about something, and began to walk up the pathway to the front door. He pulled the door open and walked inside the house he hadn’t stepped foot since Michelle had asked him for a divorce.

He heard her scurrying around in the bedroom area of the house and he called out to her to let her know he was inside. “Just a second!” she called out from what used to be their bedroom. He was somewhat surprised that she still used that bedroom as her own. If it were he, he would have changed rooms a long time ago.

He began to study the house and noted how familiar everything still was. The computer desk in the study seemed to be the only thing he noticed that appeared to be new. He walked around the house until he was in the hall leading into the bedrooms. Knowing it was going to hurt like hell, he walked down the hall and turned the knob that led to the bedroom that they had fixed up for Will.

Everything in this room had changed. The paint color was different as was all the furniture. The only thing that remained that he remembered was the rocking chair where Michelle had been sitting and cradling Will when he had died.

The room had changed so much that it could easily be converted into just about anything from a spare bedroom to a sitting or sewing room. He exited Will’s room and closed the door behind him. He heard Michelle call out from the master bath for him to make himself comfortable and she would be out in a minute.

He should have gone back into the living room to wait but instead he found himself walking into the room that they had shared as husband and wife. Nothing in this room had changed a bit. Everything looked just as it had when they had both slept together in the oak four-poster bed. He noticed all of the little things were still in place just as he remembered. Her peppermint candy dish was still on her nightstand for the occasion when her mouth became dry. She probably still had those hopelessly romantic paperbacks in her nightstand too, he thought as he opened the drawer to test his theory.

He didn’t see the books that he expected but rather he saw the picture that she had taken of him holding Will on the day that he had died. It was placed in a delicate silver picture frame. He was very surprised to see that she had framed and kept the one of him and Will instead of the one she took of Will by himself.

He placed the treasured item back into the drawer and closed it. Michelle came out of the bathroom at that moment looking refreshed and not at all like the woman who had fainted in his arms scarcely an hour ago.

“Do you want some coffee or something, Danny?” Michelle asked.

“No thanks,” he answered. “Don’t you think we need to be going if we are going to get you to the hospital?”

“In a little while, Danny,” Michelle said. “Besides, I feel great right now. No dizziness or nausea at all. You know, it could have been that turbulence we hit over the Atlantic Ocean that made me so ill,” she surmised. “I promise to keep my word and go for those tests but you said you wanted to talk and I thought now was as good a time as any unless you are too uncomfortable here,” she added.

“No, Michelle, I ‘m okay. Really I am. It was just like walking into my past and I wanted to run to Will’s room so badly and see him. It was just kind of strange to see the changes and to remember that Will isn’t here but I think I will be okay,” he said reassuring her.

“Okay but if it becomes too hard, tell me, okay?” she said and he nodded. “I know what you mean about Will though” she said “but the only way I could put him to rest was to make the changes in his room and move on. But he is always with me, Danny. He is always with both of us,” she said.

“You’re right,” Danny said swiping his forearm across his face to dry the sudden moisture that had collected. “Where do you want to talk? The kitchen?”

“Yes that will be fine. I have some of that hazelnut coffee that you used to like so much,” she offered and his face lit up and proclaimed “sold.”

Five minutes later, the coffee was poured and they were seated across the table from one another as they had in the past. Neither of them knew how to begin the conversation so there was a period of awkward silence until Michelle took the initiative and repeated the question that she had first asked in the airport terminal. “Danny,” she began softly, “where is Amelia?”

“She’s dead, Michelle,” he answered flatly.

“What? “Michelle said incredulously “When? How?”

“She committed suicide by jumping out of her hospital room window in the Dominican Republic. I found some birth control pills she had been taking and when I confronted her with her phony pregnancy attempt, she freaked out and threatened to hurt herself. I didn’t realize she was serious. In retrospect, I realize I should have because she stepped out in front of that taxi when I insisted she take a pregnancy test when she informed me that she was pregnant,” he said. “I told her I was coming back to you and when I left the room, she jumped. I found out about it when I got to the main floor,” he said recalling those nightmarish moments in that emergency room. “Her sister Amy told me recently that Amelia had a history of these kinds of problems but didn’t tell me. They shoulder the blame of her suicide as well but ultimately; it was Amelia herself who did it. She had a lot of people fooled Michelle and she was ready to play on my guilt to tie me to her for the rest of my life if necessary,” he said.

“Danny, I don’t know what to say. That must have been awful for you. I wish I had been here for you,” she admitted.

“Me too, baby, but is was better that you were away. I needed to work all of this out without dragging you into it,” he answered.

“I know but I still wish I had known you were in pain,” she said her soft brown eyes meeting his more intense ones.

“I appreciate that so much, baby, but you are here now and we can have our second chance. I love you, baby, and I know you love me. If I didn’t believe it before today, seeing that picture you keep in your nightstand drawer would have convinced me,” he said and he saw her blush like a kid getting caught doing something naughty.

Danny smiled at her embarrassment and reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet and shower her the dog-eared, worn picture he was never without of her and Will. He took it out at looked at it at least once a day since their divorce. He smiled sheepishly which coerced a smile from her.

“Looks like we both had the same idea,” he said. “I don’t know about you but it’s my favorite thing in the world” he admitted and she began to cry and he jumped out of his chair and knelt before her and took her in his arms.

“I love you, Danny,” Michelle said between sobs. She sounded like she was laughing and crying at the same time.

“Don’t cry, baby,” Danny plead, “Everything is gonna be okay. We have our second chance and I am never letting you go again, do you hear me? This last year without you has been the worst kind of torture for me,” he said.

“But Danny,” she cried, “This time we really are divorced. I am confused about something. Why did you call Mr. Wallace and cancel our appointment with him if you were still going to get the divorce?” she asked. “If Amelia has been dead for two months, why did you wait until now to file the papers? Why didn’t you try to get in touch with me first?” she said sadly.

“I didn’t file those papers, baby, Carmen did. I just found out about it today as a matter of fact. When I came back to the States, I found out that you had gone to Europe to see your dad and I was so full of guilt thinking that it was my fault that Amelia died that I didn’t think I could come to you until I had dealt with all of that. As far as canceling that appointment with Mr. Wallace, I am not sure of what you are talking about. It was barely an hour after Amelia caught us together in that hotel that she was hit by that taxi. When would I have had time to call and cancel the appointment? When I went downstairs to confront her, I was already under the impression that he wouldn’t be back for a few days and that we would be getting back together, so calling him wouldn’t have been on my mind at that point. If you recall, we never really got a chance to talk since Amelia and Ben barged in on us,” he said and her face lit up with recollection.

“You’re right,” she admitted, “But someone called him. Mrs. Wallace said a man called him and told him we wouldn’t need his services after all,” she said.

“A man?” Danny queried.

“Ben!” they both said in unison.

“But why?” Michelle asked. “Why would he want us to stay together if he was working for your mother? ”

“He must have wanted Amelia for himself and with us back together he could have thought the path would be clear for him to put the moves on her. A woman is never more vulnerable as when she has been rejected,” he surmised.

“Of course,” Michelle agreed, “That makes perfect sense. So Carmen sent those divorce papers to me with your forged signature on them. She warned me to stay out of your life and I guess this was her way of making sure that I did,” Michelle said.

“When did she say that?” Danny asked.

“One day at Will’s gravesite. She said a lot of things, none of which I care to recall but the bottom line was that you were happy with Amelia and I was to stay out of your life,” she answered.

“That bitch!” Danny seethed.

“No Danny, don’t waste any emotion on her right now besides, she could never stop me from loving you and even if you had married Amelia and stayed with her, I knew in my heart that I was the one you loved and that knowledge would have gotten me through the rest of my life,” she said.

“So you signed the divorce papers thinking that I had signed them first. I am sorry for that baby. I didn’t sign them and when I saw them with my signature on them, I was livid. I still have an axe to grind with Carmen over that but first I think it is time you let me take you to the hospital, okay?” he said.

With a promise that they could go to dinner that night and resume their talk, Michelle agreed to go. They went outside and Michelle opened the garage door and Danny smiled when he saw that she still had the silver BMW he had given her on her graduation from medical school.

She tossed her keys to him and he maneuvered the car out of the garage with the skilled hands of a man who had driven this machine many times before. When they arrived at the hospital, Michelle took him to her office while she got a medical student to draw her blood to run tests on. She phoned Rick and told him she was here and to call her with the results of her tests. She then tagged her blood sample and told the eager med student to take her blood to the lab. Now all she had to do was wait.

“I need to go and see Jan and tell her I am back. Do you want to wait here for me?” Michelle asked.

“No, I saw Carmen’s car out in the parking lot. I want to go and find her. I have a few things to discuss with her. I will come back here for you when I am done okay?” he said and kissed her on the nose.

“Sure thing,” Michelle said and smiled.

Michelle tracked down Jan and filled her in on all that had transpired and Jan told her she would put her on the schedule over the next few days. With a hearty, so glad you are back hug, Michelle exited her office. Her pager went off and she was relieved to see Rick’s number displayed.

She called him promptly and he told her the test results were in and to come to his office. Rick pulled her to him upon seeing her for the first time in months. The smug expression on his face wasn’t lost on her and she told him to spill it.

“Come on Rick, let’s hear it. What do I have?” she said. “What strange bug did I pick up while I was in Africa and when can I expect to get better?”

“Well, Michelle,” Rick began, “Sometimes we can be so smart that we are stupid.”

That made Michelle frown and say “Out with it, Bauer.”

“Okay, Michelle”, he said. “You didn’t pick up your bug in Africa and I’d say you should start feeling better in around seven months or so.”

“Seven months? Good God Rick, what the hell did I catch? What kind of bug makes you sick for………..oh,” she said as realization set in. She was pregnant with Danny’s child. Again.

She burst into tears at upon hearing the news, which was not exactly the reaction Rick expected. “Michelle, what’s wrong? I thought you would be happy?” he said

“Where’s Danny?” she whimpered.

“I’ll see if I can find him. Michelle…” he said “Is he?”

“Of course he is Rick!” Michelle said.

Rick put his hands up in a mock gesture of self-defense. “Okay, okay!” he said. “Just asking. I will go and find him Michelle and everything will be all right. Don’t worry.”

Rick searched three floors of the hospital before he located Danny about to get into an elevator. “Hold that elevator!” he shouted to Danny who put his hand between the doors to keep them from shutting.

“Hey Rick!” Danny said. “Where’s Michelle?”

“She’s in my office,” Rick answered.

“Did you get the results of the test yet?” he asked.

“I did,” Rick answered.

“Well?” Danny said impatiently. “Is she going to be okay? Tell me Rick.”

“I think Michelle should be the one to tell you Danny” Rick said cryptically.

“Cut the bull, Rick!” Danny shouted. “Tell me now!”

“It really isn’t my place,” Rick said and was surprised to find himself being grabbed by the shirt collar and pushed to the back of the elevator by an irate Danny. “Tell me Rick!” he said and Rick couldn’t contain his laughter.

“What the hell is so funny? You have two seconds to tell me, Rick!” Danny threatened.

“Okay, okay, Danny,” Rick said “Or should I say Daddy?”

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