Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 33

Republisher’s Note: Michelle is in the Witness Protection Program living as Melanie Branson. She just had a first date that ended well with Danny “Sampson.”

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 33

Danny sent his leather jacket sailing across the bedroom. The news that Albert had just delivered was swimming in his brain. This couldn’t really be happening. It was though he was sitting on aircraft that was about to crash and there wasn’t anything that he could do about it.

What had he been thinking trying to escape his life? Why had he deluded himself into believing that it could be done? There wasn’t any hope for him here. His Aunt had seen to that fact.

The rage that consumed him didn’t leave any room for logic or sympathy that he should have been feeling for Jenny’s point of view. All he could feel coursing through him was anger and fury.

In the swiftness of one moment the resolve that he had in his mind about this budding relationship with Melanie was shattered into thousands of pieces. Now that the emanate threat of The Santos name hung over his head once more he couldn’t in good conscious lure Melanie into a potential lions’ den. It wasn’t fair to her and he wasn’t about to do it.
That thought caused his heart to ache. The feeling was indescribable. It was one of utter devastation. This didn’t make any sense to him in the least bit. He barely knew this girl and yet she had come to mean so much to him that he couldn’t conceive of walking away.
Why was it that everything his life was some test of wills or a war that needed to be fought? That was a question that Danny knew the answer to all too well. All he had to do was look in the mirror. The evidence was crystal clear. He was his father’s son. He was a Santos and the one person who could have exercised that fact was dead. Danny had fooled himself into thinking that since his Uncle had broken free that he could do the same. The fact of the matter was Albert broke free because of Migel’s strength and nothing more then that.

Danny knew in his heart that the men who had left Albert alone weren’t about to do the same for him. He was certain that they expected things to play out the way Carmen had illustrated them so many years ago.

Danny found himself laughing at the thought that those men on The Commission liked his mother about as much as he did. They had been looking for a way to rid themselves of her since the day she had wormed her way into his father’s seat at the table. He was supposed to have been that answer and he was sure by now they had a pretty good idea he wasn’t about to live up to his end of Carmen’s bargain.

That fact mixed with the one Albert had just informed him of sent the wild thoughts racing through his mind. Danny could only imagine the hell that would be descending on him now. He had assured his Aunt that that wouldn’t be happening but she had been the reason for it, not him.

“DAMN YOU, JENNY!!!!!” Danny shouted pounding his hands on the dresser.

“Daniel,” Albert’s voice made it’s way though the thickness of the door.

Danny looked at the door in disbelief. The last thing he wanted to do was listen to his Uncle defend his wife. He didn’t think he could stomach it. Unfortunately Albert deserved his respect if nothing else.

“Yes?”

“I’d like to speak with you.”

Danny’s feet felt like lead weights as he made the short trip from where he stood to the door. He rested his hand on the knob yet hesitated in turning it. He steeled himself for the inevitable.

“Come in,” he said through a strained voice.

“I…..what can I say?”

“I wish I knew,” Danny returned dryly.

“I know that I’m sorry isn’t by far enough but I am,” Albert looked uneasy standing before his nephew.

“There isn’t much we can do about it now. Except maybe some damage control,” Danny said old habits reclaiming him.

“I really don’t think that will be necessary…….”

“Have you been gone from that life so long you have forgotten what it is we are dealing with???” Danny asked starring at him with disbelief.

“No…..I mean that no one was paying attention to our fighting. Jenny and I were practically sandwiched in a corner,” Albert embellished the statement a little. He could already see the walls closing in around Danny. He didn’t want him to feel as though he was out of options.

“I’m not as naive as that. Nothing in this life is that simple!”

“You needn’t be so jaded either,” Albert countered, “You said that you had Carmen under control. Was that not the entire truth?”

“Carmen, yes but the picture is much bigger then that or have you forgotten?”

“No Daniel, I certainly haven’t forgotten,” Albert sighed.

“Do you even have a clue what happened after you decided to not assume my father’s place?”

“As a matter of fact I do.”

“Then how can you sit there and say that your wife yelling the Santos name about a crowded club isn’t a problem?” Danny’s voice conveyed his disbelief at his Uncle’s trusting things would go on unchanged.

“I think that because it’s true. Even if someone did happen to over hear our conversation. Texas is a far cry from Springfield and the name Santos doesn’t mean a damn thing in this town.”

“You really have been gone too long,” Danny quipped, “Men like Manuel, Tony and even Bernardo don’t like being crossed. It’s for certain that they have been looking for me by now.”

“Why….if Carmen isn’t looking for you then what makes you think they would be. Especially Bernardo he was as much of a brother to Migel as I.”

“Carmen isn’t looking for me cause she has what she wants. She isn’t about to give that up, but the others….. they expect me to fill my father’s shoes. They want Carmen out of the picture already.”

“Daniel, you are a far cry from filling Migel’s shoes. You know very well that you would not be accepted by the others without being made.”

“I have done that already.” Danny watched as his Uncle’s eyes darted to meet his.

“What?!?!”

“You heard me. I have done that already. Seven or so years ago.”

“You told me you never so much as ordered a hit,” Albert’s voice was a hoarse whisper.

“I may not have ordered one, but I did perform one once. It was years ago. Bernardo set it up. It was something for his family. They had been itching to get Carmen out of the way. And now I have been fighting that memory ever since.” Danny dropped his body on the bed in exhaustion, “So you see now why I can’t be too careful? I am the rightful man to head The Commission and none of them care that I don’t want the position,” Danny cried running his hands along his face in frustration.

“Maybe if I spoke with Bernardo……..”

“NO!!! That would only tick you wife off all the more. I think it’s better for all concerned if I were to just pack my things and be moving on.”

“You will do no such thing. I meant it when I said you were welcome here for as long as you liked.”

“Too bad Jenny doesn’t feel the same way.”

“I will take care of that.”

“So you keep saying,” Danny replied. “Besides who was I kidding thinking that I could be Danny Sampson? It’s just a figment of my imagination anyway.”

“Daniel, you can be whoever you want to be.”

“Oh if that were only true,” he countered.

“It is! I did it. You can too.”

“Albert, you are forgetting that you were given the opportunity to walk away I was not. There is a big difference there.”

“Maybe so, but I’m not about to let you give up on yourself. And besides what about Melanie? I have seen the way you look at her. You can’t tell me that you are ready to give her up.”

“On yeah like I can’t just walk up to her and say my family kills people for a living,” Danny laughed even though there was no humor to his words.

“Daniel, that far too simplified and you know it.”

“Simple maybe, but not that far off the mark. Besides I have seen what this life has done to Jenny, hell even to my own mother I couldn’t do that to Melanie. She has had too much heartache already.”

“So what you’re telling me is that you are willing to walk away from her without an explanation?”

“If need be yes. I can’t have the fear of retaliation from those people in my past dogging us wherever we are. And I certainly can’t tell her why I’m afraid. I couldn’t bare to see the look on her face. It will be better for all concerned if I just fade into the distance.”

“Why is love wasted on the young?” Albert asked to the air around him.

“Love?” Danny echoed.

“Yes love. And if you walk away from this girl you will regret it for the rest of your life.” With that said Albert left Danny alone with his thoughts.


Carl took a detour on the way to the club that morning. He couldn’t get the names Carmen Santos and Danny Santos out of his head.

Why was it that Jenny was so upset that this Carmen had a son and she didn’t? Hell, he didn’t even know up until that night that Albert and Jenny had had a child in the first place.

When he was first hired on at The Two Step it was just a budding restaurant. There hadn’t been much time for chitchat or small talk in the beginning. Everyone’s energy had been focused on getting the place up and running and as time went on he had fallen into place with the two of them but it was never anything more then a working relationship. Come to think of it up until the time that Albert’s nephew arrived the pair kept mostly to themselves.

Carl swung his car into the library parking lot. He knew this was probably a long shot but his gut was telling him that he might find what he was looking for there.

“May I help you?” the librarian asked.

“Yes I was wondering where you keep the periodicals,” Carl responded.

“They are in the far right corner. Is there something I can help you locate?”

“I’m not really sure. I am checking for any information on Carmen Santos.”

“Something local here to Galveston?”

“I don’t believe so.”

“Let me check the database to see what I can come up with.”

“Thanks,” Carl looked around the library. It was very quiet this time of the morning. He hoped that he wasn’t on a wild goose chase here.

“Sir, I came up with a few things,” she handed Carl a sheet of paper with dates and issue numbers of various national newspapers, “I didn’t find anything directly related to a Carmen Santos, but if you want to check out these periodicals you might find something about her. Especially in the Chicago Times. The name Santos appeared a great deal.”

“Thank you.” Carl walked to where the young woman had directed. “Chicago, huh?” he said to himself. “What on earth would Jenny Sampson know about Chicago? Carl was certain that Jenny and Albert had been in Galveston the better part of their lives. At least that was the impression that they gave. Carl was starting to think that nothing was what it appeared to be.

He had stacks of papers in front of him dating back to the year 1983. He leafed through them not having a clue as to what he was actually looking for. It didn’t take long for something to find it’s way to him. It was a much younger Albert, but it was Albert just the same. However it was Santos not Sampson that read in the headline. Carl went on to read an article on how a mob hit had gone wrong leaving Richard Santos, son to Under Boss Albert Santos, dead.

In the years between 1983 and 1990 there were article upon article about the Santos Crime Family. Carl couldn’t believe that for all these years he had worked for the Mob without even knowing it. It had him totally taken aback.

When he got to the year 1990, the headline that caught his attention was “CRIME BOSS DIES IN SON’S ARMS”. The picture that accompanied it was too out of focus for him to clearly make out the faces there. It was a gut wrenching photo though. Even in black and white, it was hard to miss the blood spilling onto the ground and over this man’s young son.

Carl flipped to the obituaries for the next several days until he finally came across the name Migel Louis Santos, “BINGO!!!!” Carl said far louder then the whisper it should have been given where he was at the moment.

The list of survivors gave him the information that he had been searching for……wife, Carmen, sons, Mick and Daniel, daughter Pilar. Carl found it odd that there was no mention of Albert. Putting two and two together he had been able to surmise that Albert and Migel had been brothers. And that Danny was the Danny Santos that Jenny had spoken about.

Carl continued about his quest. The articles got more and more interesting. He skimmed them all until he came to one that caught his attention readily. It was a picture of the man he knew as Danny Sampson at a charity function. He was shaking hands with a man. Carl read the caption to the photo……………..Danny Santos, CEO of Sancorp, major contributor to homeless shelter to be constructed on Fifth Street in the heart of Springfield.

Well, there was no denying that Danny Santos and Danny Sampson were one in the same man. The wheels in Carl’s head were turning. Was Danny here to help Albert expand into more then just the club scene? The possibilities were endless. It was the last article that Carl came to that it all started to make sense. It was a smaller piece but it said so much. It was a short but to the point. It talked about Mick Santos being found dead on the beach and it was suspected not to be mob related. There was also speculation as to when and if the youngest son would take the reins of the family from his mother.

“Mother?” Carl said aloud. This was getting interesting by the minute. Even though he was a bit confused by all of it. There surely had to be more missing pieces to this puzzle. At least now he had some information to go on. And some questions of his own to get answered. If that would be possible. It wasn’t like he could walk up to either Danny or Albert and just say, “hey so about this Mob connection?” However Jenny might be another story. The things that he did know all pointed blaringly to the fact that she wanted nothing to do with her nephew. That would have to be his hook. The only problem was how to get at Jenny without arousing too much suspicion from either Albert or Danny. The plan at this moment was in the birthing stages but with any luck he would have all he needed to put this puzzle together sooner then he could imagine.

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