Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 22

Republisher’s Note: Chapters of a lost Manny fanfic.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa – Chapter 22

“What do you think you are doing?” Mr. Rodgers voice startled the pair. Michelle took the opportunity to pull her arm out of Jeremy Lucas’ grasp.

She tried to mask the fear that the moment had elicited in her. “Again…..I’d like to know what the hell you think you’re doing?”

“It’s okay really,” Michelle said her voice but a whisper. She wondered just how Jeremy was going to talk his way out of this one. It could prove to be rather interesting.

“No, it’s not all right!” Tony Rodgers shot back, “For him being a friend, it certainly didn’t look it from where I was standing.”

“It was just a misunderstanding.”

“Young man, there’s the door might I suggest you use it? And if you so much as think of setting foot in here again I will call security,” Mr. Rodgers left no more for argument.

“That won’t be necessary, Tony, really,” Michelle reassured him, “It really was just a misunderstanding. Actually Jeremy was just leaving.”

“I meant what I said. Don’t let me see you in here again.”

“Not much of a businessman….turning away customers,” Agent Lucas shot back angrily before he even thought about what he was saying.

“It’s my business, so you let me worry about it! Now I think it’s time for you to be going. Melanie and I have work to do,” He secured the dead bolt on the door. When he turned around the girl he saw before him was a mere shell of the happy person she had been hours before. She was as white as a ghost. “Melanie,” his voice was soft as he approached her, “Do you want to tell me what was really going on?”

“It was nothing,” her voice still shaky.

“It didn’t look like nothing to me.”

“Really, it’s okay. He was just upset that I couldn’t have dinner with him.”

“Then I would have to say his father never taught him the proper way to accept a refusal. You certainly don’t manhandle the woman until you get the response you desire.”

“It’s not like that honestly. Let’s just say it’s complicated and leave it go at that,” Michelle’s eyes pleaded with him to drop the subject.

“Fine……I will let it go for now. But you let me walk you to your car when we are through here. I don’t want there to be any unexpected run ins with that man.”
“Deal,” Michelle smiled thankful for Tony’s protectiveness and more for the fact that he had been successful in getting Jeremy Lucas to leave.

Jeremy took a long slow drag of his cigarette letting the gray haze of smoke encircle his head as he exhaled. Disbelief at his actions with Michelle/Melanie filled him. In all of his other assignments he had never lost it the way he had with her. The sad thing about all of this was she had been right. That he had hung with her too long now. Even his supervisors were beginning to harp on him about the cases he was letting fall to the weigh side. Yet he hadn’t any control over his actions. He found himself wanting to be her everything. The way it had been when she first stepped foot off of the plane. He actually hated it that she wasn’t that timid, frightened waif any longer. Despised the fact that she no longer needed him. Because he couldn’t fight his need for her.

On one hand he was happy that she had adjusted to the life that she had there. That she had found her niche in this place. That’s really all he had wanted her to do, but he just didn’t think that she would do it without him.

He couldn’t believe that he was having such thoughts. This wasn’t supposed to be how it worked. He wasn’t supposed to fall for his work assignments. The way it was to work was he was supposed to get them settled in and comfortable and move on. Michelle was settled and comfortable but he wasn’t moving on.

He was angry that he had let his need to be her hero instill fear in her again. Fear that the Santos Family could be lurking around every corner even in the state of Texas.

 

He had repeatedly checked with Agent Reynolds back in Springfield and as odd as it sounded it was as if no retribution for Mick Santos’ death was being sought. Reynolds said it appeared to be business as usual in the Santos Family. The whole thing was still a bit bizarre. It was if the murder never happened.

He tried to convince himself that was why he was still so interested in Michelle Bauer. That he was just doing his job as a good agent, but deep down he knew that it was more his desire to be with her that drove him then any official Bureau duty.

He threw the butt of his cigarette to the ground and debated whether he should go in and apologize or just leave it alone. He had to laugh at the man’s comment about calling security on him. “If he only knew,” Jeremy said chuckling to himself as he headed for his car, “If he only knew.”

Michelle was so confused by Jeremy’s actions. Nothing he did or said made any sense to her. The funny thing was he was acting like a jealous boyfriend rather then a Federal Agent. His actions were so similar to the way Bill Lewis reacted when Jesse had entered her life that she had to laugh.

Bill had been her best friend, partner in crime so to speak long before they were out of diapers. So it was natural for her to involve him in her search for the person who received her mother’s heart. Bill’s computer skills had been the instrumental in tapping into the hospital computer to obtain the recipient’s name.

It wasn’t until Michelle had actually located Jesse Blue and brought him into their circle of friends that Bill started to act strangely. It was as though he didn’t want to share her with anyone.

Jeremy Lucas had acted the very same way. That somehow her friendship with Sarah would put her new identity at risk. But there was more to it then that. It was though he wanted her to remain dependent on him for everything. She found that strange to say the least and highly unprofessional.

She walked into the kitchen and saw the light on the answering machine blinking a number three indicating the number of messages. Vaguely she wondered if they all were from Agent Lucas. Michelle hesitated as her finger came to rest on the play button. His last words played again in her mind. Could he really just drop her like a stone? Leave her hung out to dry? He had given her the impression from the very beginning that he would be there for her, but now that she didn’t need him it was as if he was backing out of his responsibility.

As she finally pressed play, the first one that sounded was the message that she had missed of his that morning.

The second was his voice again, “Melanie, please let me apologize for my boorish behavior this afternoon. It was uncalled for. You were right about everything. You are doing exactly what it is you are supposed to be doing. It’s me who isn’t. I’m sorry if I frightened you. I didn’t mean to. And I will be here if you should need anything.”

Relief consumed her at the sound of those words. She was glad to hear that he had come to his senses.

Sarah’s bubbly voice was the next sound to enter the airwaves, “Just calling to say I hope you had a nice day,” there was a lilt in her tone that Michelle just couldn’t explain, “I will be by to pick you up at eight. I want to hear all about it.”

“Hear all about what?” Michelle asked aloud. This day was getting weirder by the minute. Anything was possible with Sarah though, Michelle thought to herself. She looked at the clock on the stove. It read five o’clock. She was dead on her feet. Lack of sleep from the previous night and eight hours of pricing and cataloging books she was beat. Thoughts of slipping into a dream state were far too enticing for her at the moment. She kicked off her sandals and headed for the bedroom hoping to grab a nap before she needed to get ready. She wanted everything to be perfect, for this time she had no intentions of running away from Danny Sampson.

Danny threw the bag of food on the butcher block counter as he stormed into the kitchen. All those around him sensed his fury. It was a hard emotion to miss for it was written all over his body posture.

How he had let his guard down he didn’t know. This would have never happened to him before. Back in Springfield he was in complete and total control of all his emotions. An inconsequential thing like love would have never even entered his thoughts.

Love was for the weak he told himself. Love was for all those spineless men out there who couldn’t stand on their own two feet. It wasn’t for someone like Danny Santos………Sampson……..hell he didn’t know anything anymore. All he felt right now was a dull ache in the place where his heart had once occupied.

The picture of Melanie and that guy, whoever he was, scrolled through his mind. He was powerless to stop it. His mind toggled between the little he did know about her. She was beautiful, smart, incredibly sexy and TAKEN, he thought to himself.

“Just do what you came here to do!” he said aloud, “Don’t get yourself tangled in someone else’s life.”

Who was he trying to kid? The minute that he laid eyes on her he had been caught in her web and she done that without even realizing it. She had a man in her life so what did she need with him? Or he her for that matter. He had gotten along fine in this life so far without a woman what made him think that he needed one now?

The arguments in his head were doing little to make him forget her. He couldn’t. She was embedded so deep in him now that he couldn’t let her go. More importantly he didn’t want to.

“What happened?” Albert asked peering into the bag as he had done earlier.

“Nothing?”

“She wasn’t working after all?”

“No, she was there all right.”

“Okay what am I missing?”

“How about the fact that she has a boyfriend?”

“What?”

“B-O-Y-F-R-I-E-N-D,” Danny said spelling out the letters that made up the word, “Do you need me to put it on the marquee out front?” Danny spat.

“Are you sure? I mean I know what I saw the other night………”

“Well you saw wrong uncle. You were dead wrong about her and me. There’s nothing destined about us.”

“I don’t believe that.”

“Believe it!”

“Danny, could you have misunderstood what you saw? I mean that is possible you know.”

“Very unlikely.”

“I don’t know, Danny. I can’t shake this feeling I have about you and this girl. I think that you are wrong about this. Mark my words you are wrong.”

“You know what, I don’t’ really have time to play the dating game with you,” Danny’s words had a bite to them, “I have to go make sure everything is ready for the DJ when he gets here.”

“That can wait.”

“No Albert, it can’t. I’m done wishing for things that aren’t in the cards for me. I know who I am and I need to stop trying to be something I’m not. Maybe coming here was a bad idea.”

“Why? Because you are finally realizing that you can’t control your life no matter where it is you live? Did you really think that coming here would make your life easier to manage?”

“YES!!!” Danny’s sighed.

“That was foolish, Daniel. Life is something that’s completely and totally beyond any of our control. We,” he pointed between the two of them, “should know that better then anyone. You really think if we could control all things that go on in our lives that my son would have died in my arms, or your father and Mick would have met with the death’s they did? NO! That should have been a dead give away that you can’t control the uncontrollable. We are given choices in this life. What we do with those choices forges the twists and turns our lives take. You made a choice to stand up to Carmen and take back your life. The life that you wanted for you. I think that was a good choice but now what you do with it is up to you.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Danny shook his head trying to make sense out of his uncle’s meaning.

“I am telling you this because I see you living under the guise that things are black and white. Life is far from that stark of a contrast. There are many variations of gray in between those two colors. The grays make life an interesting journey. If you feel something for this girl don’t give up so easily. Things always aren’t what they appear to be. All I am saying is don’t throw in the towel without having all the facts.”

“But…..”

“No buts, just listen to your uncle. I know a thing or two about the ways of the world you know.”

Danny walked over to the stage area mulling over Albert’s words. He wasn’t so sure about following them. Why would he want to put himself in the position to get his ego bruised? No matter what Albert said, he knew what he saw this afternoon and what he saw was the glaring fact that Melanie Branson was spoken for.

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