Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 14

Republisher’s Note: Danny and Michelle finally meet.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 14

The shrill sound of the phone ringing on the night table startled Michelle from her peaceful slumber, “Hello?” she said her voice thick with sleep.

“Melanie, it’s Sarah…..I didn’t wake you, did I?” Sarah rattled off her words so quickly that in her dazed state Michelle could barely make sense of them.

“Huh?” was all she was able to muster as she sat up wiping the sleep from her eyes.

“I did wake you, didn’t I? I’m sorry.”

“No, it’s okay I had to get up in a couple of hours anyway,” she teased looking at the clock that read half past six sitting on the table beside her.

“I was just calling to make sure we were still on for today.”

“I thought I was supposed to call you?” Michelle questioned gaining most of her senses in the wee morning hours.

“You were…..but…….” she hesitated.

“But what?” Michelle prodded.

“I don’t know really. I just wanted to be sure that you weren’t going to bail on me or something.” Michelle knew all too well the feelings that Sarah was having at the moment. For she had had them as well. It was tough not to think that everyone in the world would let you down when some many already had.

“Not a chance.”

“Thank you.”

“For what?” Michelle asked as she pulled on her terry robe over her silk boxers and tank.

“For being my friend. I mean you don’t even know me and here you are saving me from a fate worse then death today.”

“Worse then death huh? Don’t make it sound like so much fun now,” Michelle laughed easily. That was the first time in months she could recall actually hearing herself laugh. The sound was so foreign to her.

“You know what I mean,” Sarah countered.

“So what do I wear to this shindig?”

“Well it’s kinda like a club I guess…..there’s a restuarant too……I don’t know really I guess dressy causal.”

“Dressy casual?” Michelle parroted trying to suppress the giggles. “That must be a style native to the state of Texas I guess,” she joked.

“What the hell do I know?” Sarah remarked, “I mean it’s not an evening gown kind of event but I doubt that jeans and cowboy boots would do either. And stop right now……”

Sarah cut Michelle off before she could make the remark that was obvious to them both.

“You were a lot of help ….. NOT!” Michelle laughed again with her new found friend,

“What time should I meet you?”

“Well the doors open at four-thirty. I’m pretty sure that’s what my dad said.”


“Yeah, is there something wrong with that?”

“Sarah, for heaven sakes it’s just a little past seven o’clock now. That’s like nine or more hours from now.”

“Yeah?” she questioned.

“Go back to bed, girl and I will call you when it’s a closer to show time, okay?” Michelle said throwing her body back down on her disheveled bed.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t even look at the clock before I called you. I was just so worried that you wouldn’t come after all that I couldn’t help myself. Please don’t be mad.”

“I’m not mad….I’m tired,” Michelle laughed again easing the tension she heard on the other end of the phone, “Besides didn’t your mom ever tell you that every beautiful woman needs at least twelve hours of beauty sleep? Get back to bed. I will call you before one o’clock and we can make the arrangements then.”

“Deal…..and, Melanie, thanks again.”

“No thanks necessary. Talk to you later.”

Before the phone was even back in its cradle, Michelle buried herself deep beneath the covers again and thought about the new friendship that she was forming and how nice it was to feel as if she had purpose again.

Danny rolled over and eyed the clock hanging on the wall in the room that he now called his own. It was only five minutes later then the last time he had looked. He hadn’t had this much trouble sleeping since he had been a young boy waiting for Santa Claus to bring his Christmas presents. It had been a long time since he had believed in the jolly man in the red suit but last night he had gone to bed with more anticipation then he had ever remembered feeling before. All his work was finally coming together. The expansion of Uncle Albert’s restaurant would be phenomenal. Not only would they have great food and drink but live entertainment as well.

As hard as it had been for him, Danny tried to keep his dreams in check. The last thing he wanted to do was over extend their reserves. He certainly didn’t need to stoke his aunt’s fire anymore then he had already done.

Danny had wanted so badly to understand his uncle’s words from the day before. Wanted to give the woman that Albert loved the benefit of the doubt, but Danny found that difficult since he wasn’t being afforded the same. Having the mother that Danny had he had trouble comprehending the depth of Jenny’s feelings for her son. Carmen had never shown those feelings not publicly or privately for that matter. Mick, Danny and Pilar weren’t really children to her not in the true sense of the word. The were more like soldiers in her army. And as Danny now well knew that in a war soldiers were expendable just like the Santos children had been.

Danny tossed away the sheet and blanket sleep was the last thing on his mind. So many details were volleying through his mind. The liquor order needed to be checked on, he wanted to check with the chef to be sure that the menu was the way they had discussed. He also needed to check with the band to be sure that everything was a go with them. It wasn’t like he hadn’t done all these things at least a dozen times prior to this moment but his adrenaline was running so high right now that he had to do something to burn it off.
He made is way to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. The house was quiet at this early hour. The silence was nice. It had been a long time for him where silence wasn’t a bad thing. Silences before had always led to the other shoe being dropped on him or worse the silence was always broken by the shrill whistle of the bullets flying threw the air.

Danny filled his mug and stood in front of the expansive wall of windows that opened up onto the grounds. The fireball that had just rose was amazing. The sun was alive with the vibrant hues of red, orange and yellow. Danny couldn’t remember there being enough time for him to actually stand there and watch the sun rise. It was a gorgeous sight to behold. The perfect synonymy for his life. The sun dawned anew everyday and now so had he. It was as if the heaviness he once carried with him was slowly getting lighter with each day that passed for him there. Now if only he and his aunt could be in the same room together without wanted to kill each other everything would have been perfect.

As if on cue Jenny entered the kitchen. It wasn’t hard to miss the change in her posture when she saw Danny standing by the windows. “Good morning, Aunt Jenny. Happy Thanksgiving. Can I get you a cup of coffee?” he asked moving towards the counter.

“No thank you I can get it myself,” she returned. It looked as though Albert had had little luck getting his wife to see the error of her ways.

“Do you think that we could talk?” Danny asked hesitantly.

“I don’t think we have all that much to say to one another.”

“Jenny….please.” She relented by pouring herself a cup of coffee and sat across the kitchen table from him. “I have said it time and time again I’m not the enemy. The last thing I want to do is come between you and Uncle Albert.”

“Like you could,” she quipped knowing full well that Danny had the ability to do just that.

“What are you afraid of?” Danny asked not really expecting to get an answer.

“CERTAINLY NOT YOU!!!!!!!!!!” she spat.

“Then what? Why can’t you cut me a break and at least try to get to know me?”

“I know all I need to know about you, Daniel.”

“Well I think you are wrong about that.”

“According to you and Albert, I am wrong about everything. Well I know what I know. I know that my son is dead. I know that no matter what you do you can never be free of the mob……………….”

“But you are free, Jenny. You have been free from that way of life for fifteen years now. My father made sure of that.”

“Danny, your father is dead or have you forgotten?…….. I’m sorry,” Jenny whispered as she saw the astonished way that Danny looked back at her. His black eyes filled with anguish. “I shouldn’t have said that. I’m sorry. But you don’t know what it has been like for me. I have been waiting for this day to come for some time now.”

“What day to come?” Danny was confused.

“The day when Albert realizes that he made a mistake leaving ‘la familia’ for me……….”

“That won’t happen,” Jenny looked up to see her husband standing in the doorway.

“I see the way you look at him. I can read the unspoken words between the two of you. You share a closeness that I could never achieve with you,” she cried.

“You’re wrong…..so wrong, Jenny. What you see between Daniel and I is not my missing the mob. It’s my missing my family. Longing for a relationship with my brother that I will never have. Longing to see my son a grown man with children of his own. Daniel is all I have left now. I want to do whatever I can to help him make something of himself that he can be proud of. It’s nothing more then that. Jenny, if I wanted to go back to the mob I could have done that when Miguel was killed. Danny wasn’t a man yet. He couldn’t take his place at the head of the table. The others confronted me……they wanted me to stand in my brother’s place. I told themĀ  NO, Jenny. Ten years ago I had my chance and I didn’t take it. So please know that this is where I want to be.”

That had been the first time that Albert had truly spoken to his wife. Actually told her the things she needed to hear. All Jenny was able to do was look on at him. His words ringing in her ears. “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

“Because it was done and over with. Carmen stepped up and took control when I wouldn’t. At the time she said she was protecting the interests of her children…….”

“Yes, but now we all know the truth,” Danny cut in, “She was looking out for herself.” The realization that Albert’s answer could have changed the course of Danny’s life left feeling a little numb. As badly as he wanted to blame Albert for the way his mother turned out in all reality he couldn’t. Danny knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Carmen would have found a way to claw herself to the top anyway she could. But it was still unnerving to hear what Albert said.

“Danny, I’m sorry,” Albert remarked.

“For what?” he said gruffly.

“For not being there for you and Mick after Miguel was killed. I should have done something.”

“Like what? Whisk us away from her. Like she would have let that happen,” Danny half laughed.

“I don’t know, something.”

“Don’t sweat it Uncle Albert. There was nothing you could have done,” Danny said that knowing it in his head but his heart had other thoughts, “Well I better go get ready. I have a lot to do before the party this afternoon.”

“Danny, wait,” Jenny called.


“I want to apologize. I mean for real this time. I was taking out my fears on you. That was wrong. Do you think that we can start over?” Jenny’s eyes pleaded with the young man standing before her.

“That was pretty quick U turn don’t you think?” Danny heard the irritation in his voice but couldn’t stop himself.

“Well….yes and no,” she faltered, “Yes I have my reservations about you. I can’t lie to you, Danny. You scare the hell out of me,” she said honestly.

“Jenny,” Albert shot.

“No, let her finish,” Danny asserted.

“I know how your mother is Danny. She’s not one to lose gracefully.”

“That’s the point you aren’t getting, Aunt Jenny” Carmen isn’t losing. She’s winning in every sense of the word.”

“How can that be she has lost both of her sons?” Jenny wasn’t understanding this at all. No matter what she thought about Carmen she couldn’t believe that she sit by and watch he son walk away from her.

“That may be true but she still has what means the most to her………..HER POWER! And Jenny, if so much as a hair on my hair is harmed Carmen and everyone in the business won’t know what hit them.”

“What are you talking about?” Albert now chimed in.

“Let’s just say that when I told you that I could take care of my mom…..that’s exactly what I did and leave it at that. Not Carmen or anyone else from your old life will be descending on you because of my presence here. So if you want to starting see the real me then I’m all for that.”

Danny walked away without giving either of them a chance to say anymore, but left them with a great deal to think about.

Michelle looked at the address that Sarah had given her. “This is the place,” she said as she emerged from her car. She was already able to hear the music that was pulsing inside the building. It was hard to believe how nervous she actually was. You would have thought that she was about to go on her first date or something. It had taken her hours to pick the right outfit. Finally Michelle had decided on a simple black cocktail dress. She absently wondered if this would fit Sarah’s description of dressy casual.
She let the weight of her body rest against the door. She hesitated for a moment, just long enough for it to be pulled in the opposite direction sending her falling into the arms of the most handsome man she ever remembered seeing.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that anyone was against the door. Are you all right?”

For the moment it was as though the world had stood still. All Michelle was able to focus her attention on were the black eyes looking back at her. She let herself get completely lost in their depths.

“Hey, are you okay?” the man asked again.

“Ah…..yeah…yes I’m fine,” the words caught in her throat.

“Like I said I’m really sorry. I didn’t expect there to be anyone on the other side of the door.”

“No really it’s my fault,” Michelle countered finally bringing herself back to ground zero,

“I am supposed to meet a friend of mine here. I was just rechecking the address.”

He couldn’t help but wonder if the friend she spoke of was of the male or female gender. He was secretly hoping for the ladder. Her skin was petal soft under the touch of his fingers and her scent was intoxicating.

“If it’s a party you are looking for I think you have come to the right place,” he said never averting his eyes from her face.

“I would have to say you are right about that.”

The silence that fell between them was awkward yet it wasn’t. Michelle would have remained in his grasp for as long as he would let her. Something about his touch was electric.

“Albert needs you,” a voice came from behind them.

“If you’ll excuse me,” and with that he was gone as quick as he came.

Michelle was still attempting to catch her breath as she made her way around the overly crowded room. She was supposed to be searching for Sarah but at that very moment the only person she was hunting was the handsome man in the dark suit. The man who in an instant had jump started her heart.

“Melanie, over here!!” Sarah tried shout over the driving base line of the band she stood beside. Michelle pushed her way through the crowd and came to stand along side her friend. “I didn’t think you were coming after all.”

“I wouldn’t have missed this for the world,” Michelle said more meaning behind her words then Sarah would have understood. “This is a great party. So where’s your dad? Are you going to at least introduce me?”

“Are you sure you really want to?” Sarah returned astonished that her friend would care to given all she had said about the man claiming to be her father.

“Of course.”

“I hope you won’t be disappointed.”

The pair made their way across the room. Michelle couldn’t help but think how much this place reminded her of Millennium back home. The music, the people it was all the same. Thinking of Millennium again forced her to think about Drew and Jesse. Made her remember that what they had done had started the chain of events that had brought her here in the first place.

“Melanie Branson, this is my father Carl Beck. Daddy,” Michelle noticed the pained way that Sarah used that term, “this is my friend Melanie. We met on the plane.”

“Nice to meet you Melanie. It’s nice to now that my daughter has someone to keep her company seeing as how I have been so busy lately.”

“It’s been my pleasure,” Michelle returned with immediate dislike for the man before her.

“Albert, have I introduced you to my daughter Sarah?”

“No, actually you haven’t, Carl. Nice to meet you, Sarah. You as well, Melanie,” Albert put his hand forth.

“This is a great party,” Michelle found herself saying.

“It’s the brain child of my nephew. He’s around here somewhere. Let me see if I can find him. Ah Daniel….over here son,” Albert called. Michelle held her breath as she watched the handsome man who had caught her in his arms earlier that evening walk towards them. “Melanie and Sarah I’d like you to meet the man responsible for this event, my nephew Danny Sant…………….”

“Sampson,” Danny smiled not knowing why suddenly he felt the need to be anything but a Santos. All he did know was that tonight he didn’t want any of the baggage that went along with his name.


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