Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 21

Republisher’s Note: Republishing chapters for a lost fanfic. Michelle is in the Witness Protection Program.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 21

Michelle did a double take as she looked towards the store window once more. She wanted to be sure that her eyes weren’t playing tricks on her. The face that looked back at her was really Agent Lucas.

“What are you doing here?” she asked as she unlocked the door.

“Checking on you,” he returned moving inside the store.

“Why?”

“Haven’t you got any of my messages?” he asked with urgency.

“Yes.”

“Then why on earth haven’t you returned my calls?”

Michelle was taken aback by his demeanor, “I’m sorry. I was just busy. What’s the matter?”

“I haven’t talked to you in days. How was I supposed to know that you were all right?”

“I’m been here for months now, Agent Lucas. Isn’t it about time you moved on to your next assignment?” Michelle felt uneasy about his need to be involved in her life still.

“I will when I’m sure that you have adjusted to your surroundings.”

“And what….you don’t think that I have done that yet?”

“Well……maybe,” Jeremy said tripping over his own thoughts. Her appearance was making it difficult for him to think clearly.

“I mean I have started classes, got a job and even made a friend.”

“A friend? Who?”

“You remember that girl from the plane. The one that I wanted to pick up?”

“Yes.”

“Well it just so happens that she goes to school here. We hooked up a few days ago.”

“What?” he tried to disguise his anger, “What were you thinking? You made friends with someone from Springfield. What are you totally crazy?!?!?”

“Sarah isn’t from Springfield, Jeremy. She caught a connecting flight there. That’s all. Hell I think she’s originally from Maine or something. What’s your problem?”

“My problem is that you are supposed to lay low and gradually blend in here.”

“For god sakes that’s what I’m doing.” She didn’t understand what the big deal was all of the sudden.

“You have to understand that The Santos Family has feelers out everywhere. You don’t just kill one of them and get off scott free.”

“Tell me something I don’t know!’ she shouted, “Why do you think I let myself be talked into this stupid farce of a life in the first place? What do you want from me? Can you actually expect me to sit here and do nothing? Have no life to speak of, no friends?”

“You have me. I will be your friend. I want to help you make the best life here you can.”

“Don’t you get it? Every time I look at you I see the life I left behind! I see the family that I will never be able to speak to. How is that supposed to help me blend in here?” she cried.

“I just think it’s too soon for you to start going out….what happens if you slip up? What if you say something to arouse someone’s suspicions?”

“What are you talking about? I was under the impression that I was safe here. That this place in the middle of nowhere would be my saving grace. Are you saying that it’s all just a false sense of security?” she yelled.

“No…not at all,” he grabbed for her shoulders trying to allay the fear he saw in her eyes.

“Melanie?” Mr. Rodgers came out from the back at the raised sound of her voice, “Is everything all right?” He glanced at the man he had never seen before. The store was supposed to be closed he wondered how he had muscled his way through the door.

“I’m fine really. There’s nothing to worry about.”

“Who the hell are you?” he directed his comment to Jeremy Lucas.

“I’m a friend of Mel’s from the apartment complex. Just stopped to see if she might like to grab a bite to eat when she was finished here.”

He’s smooth Michelle thought to herself.

“So what do you say? Would you like to have dinner?”

“Actually I already have dinner plans. But thanks for the invitation.” Michelle watched as his blue eyes clouded over with anger.

“Would you mind leaving us alone?” he asked the old man standing next to the counter.

“Melanie?” Mr. Rodgers questioned.

“It’s fine.” She found great comfort in knowing that he would only be in the next room.

“What the hell are you talking about? You already have dinner plans?”

“What don’t you understand English?” Michelle retorted having had just about enough of him. She had been thankful for his kindness in the beginning but now he was beginning to make a nuisance of himself.

“Didn’t you hear a word that I said before?”

“Heard every one of them.”

“Then what the hell are you thinking?”

“I’m thinking that your job is done, Agent Lucas. I am thinking that it’s my life and it’s now or never.”

“What?!?!”

“It’s time that we broke ties don’t you think? I’m sure there must be some other wayward soul that could use your attention.”

“Do you understand what it is that you are saying? If I cut myself loose from this case you will be literally on you own. Are you getting that concept?”

“Completely!”

“You aren’t ready yet,” he stated.

“I think I am. I am building a life here. A life as Melanie Branson. That’s what I was supposed to do, wasn’t it?”

“Well yes.”

“I’m sorry that it isn’t to your liking but it is my……my,” she said finger pointed at her own chest, “life to build.”

“Melanie, you better look out. I am your only link to assistance should you ever need it. You best not burn all of your bridges girlfriend,” Agent Lucas said grabbing her arm firmly.

Danny stood in the kitchen watching as Reggie packaged the lunch that he had prepared. His pulse quickened just thinking of seeing Melanie face to face again. As frightened as he was about getting lost in someone that’s how much he wanted it to be her.

“There you go,” Reggie said pushing the overly stuffed bag towards Danny.

“Since when did we start doing take out?” Carl spat.

“Never you mind,” Danny countered calmly remembering Albert’s words about not letting Carl Beck get the best of him.

“I think I have a right to know if policy around here has changed. I am still the manger you know.”

“Carl, take your attitude and shove it up your ass. I’m by no means accountable to you. From where I stand it’s the other way around!!!” with that said Danny stormed out of the kitchen bag in hand.

“Whoa……” Albert said as Danny just about knocked him over in his haste to leave.

“Sorry.”

“Where are you off to in such an all fire hurry?”

“No where!”

“Danny, what’s the matter?” Albert saw the anger brewing deep within Danny’s eyes.

“Nothing I can’t handle.”

“Danny,” he stressed.

“Let’s just say it’s about time Mr. Beck learns his place in the organizational chart!”

“I don’t think I am liking the sound of that. What happened?”

“Nothing really. He just thought he had the right to tell me what I can and can’t do around here.”

“Like what?”

“Let me handle this all right? It’s my fight, so just let me fight it?”

“Down boy! It’s me, Uncle Albert. You can stop with the gnashing of teeth. I’m not the enemy here. Let me help you, son. Where are you going with the food?” Albert asked as he peaked into the overflowing bag.

“Not you too?”

“Me too what?” Albert asked completely confused now.

“Carl was pissed off cause he thinks that we are doing take out orders now……..”

“Are we?”

“No……yes…….”

“Well which is it? Yes or no?”

“No, we aren’t but this is something special I wanted to do for Sarah’s friend.”

“You mean the pretty girl from the other night? I thought you threw in the towel on that one?” Albert tried to hide his all knowing smile.

“I did.”

“Then what’s with the lunch service?”

“Sarah said that she was supposed to have a lunch date with Melanie but she had to cancel because she was stuck at work. So I thought I’d be nice and bring her some lunch. Nothing more, nothing less.”

“My ass!” Albert laughed.

“What?????”

“Don’t play me for a fool, Daniel. I knew you couldn’t resist that beautiful one.”

“It’s only lunch, Uncle.”

“For now.”

“I really need to be going. The food’s getting cold,” Danny took the opportunity to exit quickly. He wasn’t up for a lecture from Albert about how destiny had placed he and Melanie in the same room the night before. He wasn’t about to leave this up to a fickle thing like destiny. He would make his own.

“By the way do you know where the campus bookstore is?”

Albert chuckled as he gave Danny the directions. He waited for Danny’s car roll out of the parking lot before going to find Carl.

“Carl, I need to speak with you now!” Albert’s voice boomed over the noise in the kitchen.

“Yes?”

“I want to get one thing straight.”

“What is that?” he asked as if he didn’t already know the answer.

“Danny will be here long after you are gone. Am I making myself clear?”

“Crystal.”

“You may be the manager of this club but when you speak to Danny you afford him the same respect you would me. Daniel and I are one in the same as far as you are concerned. Got it?”

“Got it,” Carl clenched his fists at his sides as Albert walked away from him. It irritated him that Albert had spoken to him that way in front of the kitchen staff. It served to lessen his authority all the more. “What are you looking at?” he bellowed to those before him, “GET BACK TO WORK!!!!!”

Albert’s directions were easy to follow. Before Danny knew it he was standing before the building that held the bookstore where Melanie worked. The butterflies in his stomach were making him nauseous. “Get a grip,” he said to himself.

The bookstore was located on the main floor of Gilbert Hall. Danny’s palms were sweaty as he moved the bag of food from one hand to the other.

He couldn’t understand his reluctance. He had rehearsed his speech all the way over in the car. If things went well he would take credit for the idea of bringing her lunch but if she brushed him aside as she had done the night before he intended on dropping off the food saying that it was from Sarah and he would be gone. He prayed that his gift would be graciously accepted giving him the opportunity to have a further conversation with her.

Danny’s hand came to rest on the knob of the door. It was locked. How stupid of him. Of course it was locked. The store was technically closed for the holiday. Just as he was about to knock he caught sight of her. She looked more sexy then he remembered, but that vision was shattered the moment he also say the tall man standing across the counter from her. The conversation they were having was a heated one. One that looked like a lover’s quarrel. Maybe that’s why she had bolted the other night. All these scenarios played out in his head. All of them leading him to believe that she was far from available. With that thought in mind, Danny turned to go not even bothering to leave the food behind.

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