Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 12

Republisher’s Note: Danny and Michelle run into problems in their new lives in Texas.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 12

The quiet in her new home was unsettling. Even though the apartment was far more then she had expected it to be, Michelle somehow felt disappointed. This was the first time that she had ever been anywhere on her own. She hadn’t even gone away to college. Something about remaining in the Bauer house appealed to her. It was her safe haven yet that cocoon that she had built for herself had come unraveled much quicker then it had taken to build.

Michelle slipped off her sandals and made her way into the kitchen. Agent Lucas hadn’t been kidding when he had said the kitchen was well stocked. There was enough food in there to feed a small army. She grabbed a diet cola from the frig and headed back to the living room. The setting sun caught her attention. The fiery ball was beautiful. Michelle leaned against the sliding glass door watching as it steadily dropped into the horizon. She vaguely wondered if it had been an exquisite a sight back home as well. “Back home,” she found herself saying to the empty room. It was hard for her not to wonder what Rick and Abby were doing right now. Were they missing her as much as she did them? Michelle didn’t think that was the case. As much as she was certain that Rick and Abby loved her they were still in a place that was familiar to them. Sure a thought of her now and again most likely passed through their train of thought but the daily routine would find its way to the surface forcing her memory to the background. But for herself she had nothing familiar to occupy her time with. No mundane routine to get lost in. The only thing she had right now was a folder that contained who she now was. There weren’t any recollections of the things that were in that file. The was nothing that she could even identify with to somehow make believe that she was Melanie Branson. She found it quite laughable to think that she could just turn herself into this new person.

Reluctantly Michelle reached for the bulging file. “No time like the present,” she said aloud if only to hear some noise amidst the silence.

The only similarity that Michelle found between herself and Melanie was their major in school. Thankfully they hadn’t changed that part of her life. That was the one thing that she could hang on to. The knowledge of becoming a physician. Something that she could use to identify herself with Melanie.

There was so much information that needed to be processed and cataloged in her head. She didn’t know if she would ever be able to keep it all straight. According to the words on the pages before her, Melanie Branson had no family to speak of. Her parents had died in a plane crash. Their estate being left to their only child, her with the contingency that she transfer to her father’s alma mater……hence the University of Texas. Well that at least explained why she was there. That should be easy enough to remember she thought. Michelle continued reading all the things about herself now. She found out that she had done volunteer work back at her home town hospital, upon reading further, Michelle felt as if she had been reading about her own life only difference was the character in the story had a different name. That thought put to rest a few of her fears. Maybe it wouldn’t be so tough to step into this girl’s shoes after all. For all intensive purposes they had changed her hometown, a few things about her background and her name but they had left the spirit of Michelle Bauer completely in tact. All the time she had spent turning herself inside out trying to come up with a way to turn off the person inside of her hadn’t been necessary. Michelle sighed thankful for that. Now if she could have only had her family back this would have been a piece of cake.

Michelle pulled out the pictures that she had tucked away in secret. She couldn’t have left Springfield without them. Her eyes clouded with tears as she brought her gaze to each picture. First came the pictures of her mother and father. Pictures of them hosting the annual Bauer barbecue, pictures of Michelle with Rick and Phillip in their younger days, a picture of Rick and Abby’s wedding day, and lastly a picture of Jesse. Michelle didn’t know what had possessed her to bring that along but a part of her heart still in some way belonged to him. Jesse Blue had been her first real boyfriend. Even though she and Bill Lewis had always kidded that they would be married one day, that was nothing compared to the feelings that Jesse had invoked in her the minute that she met him. The combination of fear and exhilaration on that day was something Michelle could still feel when she closed her eyes.

They had been Romeo and Juliet in every way. They had been from warring families without even knowing it, until they met. Jesse’s father had blamed Ed Bauer for the death of his wife while she was giving birth to Jesse. The man had even gone as far as threatening to sue the Bauers, Cedars and anyone else who happened to get in the way if Jesse didn’t stop seeing Michelle. But none of that even mattered to the two star crossed lovers. Michelle had been looking for the recipient of her mother’s heart and she had found that person in Jesse Blue and she wasn’t about to give up the only connection she had left to her mother.

Unfortunately Drew Jacobs had had other ideas. Those thoughts from that fateful day came rushing back once more. The day that had fated her to the place she was right now. There it was, Mick’s face starring her down. He wore an expression of a crazy person that day on the beach. Like he was a mad man without a conscious. It was still hard to stomach what she had done. Even though she knew that if she hadn’t it would have been her body found on the beach that morning it was less than a comfort at times. She would still have to live with the fact that she had killed a man. And that was a fact that wanting to become a doctor collided with.

She took one last look at the photos resting on the glass coffee table before turning off the light and heading to bed. How she longed to be turning off the light in the Bauer kitchen after a long talk and a cup of tea with Abby. Those days were in the past and she had to find a way to deal with that fact.

Danny closed to door to the guest room. The emotionally charged situation that he had just walked away from was draining. Even though he had heard Jenny say that she wanted to try he had his reservations. The pain that she carried deep in her soul wouldn’t go away that easily, no matter how much his uncle had wanted it to.
And truly what right did he have to ask this woman to trust him? It roles were reversed he doubted that he would be all that trusting either.

Danny had been very young when his uncle and wife had left the family business. The little he did know about it he had overheard in hushed tones when his father hadn’t thought he was listening.

He did know that “The Commission” had not willingly let Albert go. They had been forced into making that decision by his father. Danny knew all too well that the only way you walked away from the mob was in a body bag. He imagined that Jenny assumed they had been living on borrowed time ever since Migel had been killed. For it was Migel who had ensured their safety. In the last ten years Albert and Jenny had no contact with that way of life, and now out of the blue here he was standing on their doorstep with an unbelievable story to tell. Of course she was hesitant. He was Carmen’s son and he was certain what Jenny thought about her. Hell, Carmen was his mother and he knew what he thought about the woman.

The last thing he had wanted to do with his coming there was upset their lives. All he wanted was a chance to make a life for himself one strain at a time.

Albert understood his need for that. It was the same need that had driven him there in the first place. A desire for a life that wasn’t filled with the violence. A life where you could walk out your door without an armed entourage. That’s all that Danny wanted. To make a name for himself in the business world. He wanted to get back to the things that he loved the best…….and killing those that stood in his way wasn’t part of that.

As he lay outstretched on the bed, Danny let his thoughts wander to Springfield. It was hard for him not think about the life he had left there. Danny hadn’t even said good-bye to those people he was closest too. Like Ray and Jimmy, he feared that they would in some way urge him to stay on and fight the good fight. Ray by nature saw good in everyone and Jimmy was certain that Danny had been the answer for the Santos Family second coming. Jimmy may have been under the employ of Carmen’s iron hand but it was Danny who had his loyalty.

Now laying alone in the stillness of an unfamiliar house, he longed for those things familiar even if that meant the baggage that went along with that familiarity. As justified as his aunt’s reaction had been unfortunately it left him feeling a bit to uneasy about his presence in their home. Danny knew that the Mafia wouldn’t be descending on them to ruin their marriage, but he had a feeling that he could do just as much damage.

Jenny sat at her dressing table looking at her reflection in the mirror. The person that looked back was one she didn’t recognize. She hadn’t seen the fury deep within her emerald eyes for years now. Danny Santos had brought it back along with the memories that she had been successful in hiding deep in her.

It was amazing how little she and Albert had actually talked about their son’s death. It was as though they hadn’t even had a son after arriving in Texas. They had left behind any shred of the life they had once lived. Maybe that’s why having Danny there now was such a strain. It forced the pair to relive what had brought them there in the first place.
Albert’s admission of his nightmares was disturbing to her. That was the first time that she had heard anything of the things he had locked inside of him. It frightened her that neither one of them had confided in the other. For their thirty-five or so years of marriage they had spent the last fifteen living together yet not really knowing one another.

She looked up to see the man she had called her one true love for the better part of half her life and now started to wonder if she ever knew him at all. He had done his best to keep her in the dark when it came to the business he conducted as under boss for the Santos family and unlike Carmen, Jenny had been content to be kept there. Seemed as though as she watched Albert and Danny together she sensed a bond that she had never truly shared with him. Now Jenny was questioning if that was what scared her the most. That Danny’s presence wasn’t going to bring the mob back into their life but that it was going to have Albert wanting it back.

Jenny knew how absurd that sounded. Losing Richard had effected him deeply, possibly in ways that she had never dreamed of, but seeing the glint in his eye when he spoke of family that evening had sent her mind racing.

“Jenny, it’s late. Come to bed,” he motioned to her, “About this evening,” Albert began.

“Can we please not do this again?” she pleaded, “I said I will do my best to accept Daniel into our home. All that I ask is you give me the time and space I need to do that.”

“Agreed,” he said drawing her body next to his, “I love you Jenny. I love you more then life itself. I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize what we had built here.”

“I know,” she whispered. Yet did she really, Jenny thought to herself.


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