Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 34

Republisher’s Note: Michelle is living in Texas under the name Melanie Branson in the Witness Protection Program who is dating a man she knows as Danny Sampson.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 34

The hot shower had done little to clear Danny’s head. It all probability it had clouded it further. In the silence of the room, the only noise was the water’s spray beating off of the marble tile shower walls. It gave him the opportunity to let Melanie crept into his thoughts once more.

It was still so amazing to him that the emotions that she had conjured up in him were so strong. It was though a force completely beyond his control was propelling him forward with record speed. In every logical action that told him to run as fast and as far away from her as he could get there was an equally greater illogical reaction compelling him to run that fast back into the safety of her arms.

Danny was thankful to find the kitchen empty when he made his way there. The last thing he wanted was to run into his aunt or even Albert for that matter. At this point he was all talked out. Talking wasn’t about to change the facts of his life. Talking wasn’t going to make it any easier for him to make his decisions for him. Jenny wanted him gone, hell maybe even dead from what Albert had said. The thought was something that Danny couldn’t conceive of. Yes he understood her hatred of the way of life that he was trying so hard to leave behind, and yes he could even agree with the way that she despised Carmen for having things that she had lost. But her revulsion for him, it didn’t make sense. He wasn’t trying to take her son’s place; he wasn’t looking to drag Albert back into the family. All he was looking to do was find some peace. Peace that more than not Danny knew wouldn’t come.

He looked at the ornate clock hanging above his head. It was well past the time he should have been down to the markets getting the orders for the day ready. All preconceived notions of what he was to be doing that morning had flown out the window with Albert’s words. So many things had gone up in a puff of magician’s smoke that day.

He took one last swig from his mug and headed for the door. Whether he wanted to or not there was still a business to be run, and that fact pushed him forward even when his mind was standing still.

“Reggie, where is Carl?” Danny asked half expecting to see Carl doing a dance of joy that he had dropped the ball so to speak with regards to the day’s orders.

“I have no idea.”

“Excuse me?”

“He hasn’t been in yet today.”

Danny found that more then odd. It seemed as though since his arrival that Carl was waiting in the wings to capitalize on any and all shortcomings that he happened to make. Besides that fact, it was highly unusual for Carl to not be there at this hour of the day.
“So, you are saying that nothing has been ordered?” Danny questioned kicking himself for letting this day get away from him.

“Only what we placed with the purveyors yesterday.”

“So no produce, nothing for the lunch and dinner specials?” Danny said more as a statement then a question.

“I would guess no,” Reggie returned not able to read Danny’s expression. It was a mixture of anger and disgust.

“DAMN IT!!!” Danny slammed his hand against the metal prep table. This day was getting worse as it progressed. Where was the man with high hopes for his future? Where was the man who just this morning thought he had a future?

“I can get a list together right away if that would help,” Reggie offered.

“You do that!” Danny’s temper was getting the better of him. “It’s going to be close but we might just make it,” Danny said trying to regain what little composure he had left in him. In this instance he was as much to blame as Carl was. He shouldn’t have let the morning slip through his fingers the way that he had. The time spent with Melanie added to the horrors of his conversations with Albert had put him a tight spot. One that he didn’t know if he would get out of.

“Joe,” Danny called to the bartender as he made his way across the room to where the man stood.

“Yeah, boss?”

“The liquor order……..”

“Placed first thing this morning.”

“Great! I’m glad someone is on the ball,” Danny was referring to himself even though he was the only one aware of his meaning.

“It should be delivered right after the lunch rush.”

“You will have enough until then?”

“Yeah. Not much call for liquor in the early afternoon. Mostly beer and that order came yesterday.”

“Good. I am going to heading out for a bit, if Albert or Carl should come in while I’m gone let them know that I headed to the markets.”

“Sure thing.”

Danny went through the motions necessary to pick up all the things that Reggie needed for the impending lunch rush all the while his mind toggled between things he had no control over. First being the thoughts of Melanie that brought him so much comfort. Second being the life that would forever have a foothold over him. It was like an ever-present fault line that had the potential to bring everything tumbling down upon all those around him. It left him with a great feeling of helplessness. More so then he had felt when he was actually living the “life”. Back in Springfield, he had in one way or another been able to hold it together. But here in Texas that wasn’t happening. There were far too many variables that he had no control over. And to Danny control was everything. He detested the way being at the mercy of others made him feel. His Aunt’s unpredictable behavior coupled with this hold Melanie had over him left Danny reeling.

“Your order’s all packed up and ready,” the man from the fish market stated forcing Danny to remember the task at hand.

“Thank you so much. I know that it was really short notice.”

“Not a problem.”

“Well thank you again though. I do appreciate it.”

“Have a nice day, Mr. Sampson.”

Danny felt the hairs on his neck stand erect. Mr. Sampson, he still had difficulty in responding to that name, “You do the same.”

Two of the kitchen staff followed Danny to the awaiting van to begin unloading the food necessary for that day’s business.

“Has Carl made it in yet?” Danny asked the chief.

“Yes, shortly after you left, he arrived.”

Danny walked out of the kitchen in hunt of his manager. The fuel flaming his fire was burning brightly. He needed someone or thing to expend his anger on and Carl was a good any.

“Where the hell were you this morning?!?!” he spouted as he came up behind Carl, who was in the middle of some obscene joke with Joe.

“I had something I needed to take care of,” he countered looking at Danny Santos in an entirely new light.

“More important then making sure this place was up and running?” Danny seethed.

“I was under the impression that you were in charge of everything,” he countered.

“So what that means that you get your salary for doing nothing?”

“Not hardly.”

“Then I want to know what the hell was more important then you being here to do your job!!!!”

“It was a family thing,” Carl said not divulging just whose family he was talking about.

“I don’t know what kind of arrangement that you had with my Uncle but as far as I am concerned your coming in whenever it is you please….well that’s not going to fly! Are you understanding that Carl?”

“Perfectly. Is there something that you would like for me to do?” he asked in his most congenial tone. One that Danny wasn’t buying in the least.

“Nothing but staying the hell out of my way!” Danny scoffed off into the office hoping to hide from the world for awhile.

Ben watched the heavy iron gates close as he made his way up the drive of the Santos compound. It was nothing like he imagined. Ben had to laugh thinking that he had watched “The Godfather” far too many times.

He parked and walked up to the heavy wooden door. He couldn’t stop himself from peering about the area wondering exactly where the surveillance camera was hidden.
It had been a little over a week since his first meeting with Carmen at Millennium; he was beginning to think that it all had be a rouse of some sort. That was until yesterday when he had been summonsed for lunch the following day.

He rang the bell and waited. Finally the door swung open revealing a petite young woman. “Good Afternoon,” she said with a faint smile.

“I am here to see Carmen Santos,” Ben replied.

“And you are?” the girl questioned.

“Never mind, Rosa,” Dietz said coming up behind her, “I will handle this guest,” The young woman was gone as quickly as she had come.


“Mr. Warren,” Dietz returned through clenched teeth. This alliance that his boss had chosen to make with this man angered him. He had hoped that in Danny’s absence Carmen would be relying on him not bringing in some outsider, “Mrs. Santos would like for you to join her on the terrace. If you will follow me.”

Ben did just that as he took in the decor of the house. Even for him it was somber. Nothing like the dynamic woman that Carmen Santos was.

“Ah Carmen,” Ben said gently kissing Carmen’s out stretched hand.

“Ben. Please sit. Dietz, have the cook bring out the hor’dervours.”

“Yes ma’am,” he strained to keep his cool. He had been diminished to a houseboy at the moment. That was a far cry from the right hand man he had always been. It wasn’t something that he wanted to be getting used to either.

“So glad you could join me today,” Carmen said as she brought the wine goblet to her lips, “Can I offer you some wine?”

“Yes, thank you and, as for my joining you today, I don’t believe you left room for me to decline the invitation,” Ben slyly smiled as he poured himself a glass.

“I apologize if my request was rudely delivered. That was not my intention. As I said before, I see great things for the both of us.”

“So you have said. Thank you,” Ben said to the man who placed the shrimp cocktail before him.

“You seem skeptical.”

“Not skeptical, curious is more the word I would use.”

“Have you thought anymore about my offer?”

“Being your private counsel?”


“As a matter of fact I have given it a great deal of thought, but I must ask why?”

“I have already explained. I see us as a force to be reckoned with.”

“Yes I understand that however I believe there is more to it then that.”


“Well, I have done some checking of my own…….”

“Oh you have?” Carmen arched one brow as she listened.

“You wouldn’t have expected anything less would you?”

“Certainly not,” Carmen smiled knowing that she had made the right choice when she had sought Ben out.

“I am well aware of the fact that your son Danny has run away from home so to speak,” Ben smirked, “And I think you are looking for someone to help you with damage control. I am close?”

“Close enough. Yes Daniel has left the business in my charge.”

“Hasn’t it always been yours?” Ben countered knowing far more of the story then he let on.

“There are those who would disagree.”

“Ah I see. Then let’s cut to the chase shall we? And get down to what it really is you are looking for, Carmen.”

“You are quite forceful, Mr. Warren. Please don’t forget that it was I who called you.”

“My point exactly. Obviously it is my help that you are seeking. I would just like to know what it is you are looking for me to do. That is not too much to ask, is it?”

Carmen looked at the man who was so cock sure of himself sitting across from her. There was a part of her that was infuriated by the manner in which he spoke to her but in another it was that that had turned every one of her feminine instincts afire. She hadn’t felt this type of desire in so many years; she had almost forgotten how electrifying it was.
“Fair enough.” she found herself saying, “In Daniel’s absence I am in need of an ally. Someone to help me keep the many things in my business in check,” she said in the most evasive manner possible.

“And Dietz isn’t capable of doing that for you?”

“Dietz?” Carmen tried not to laugh. “Dietz isn’t the man for the job, YOU are Mr. Warren. I am very careful to capitalize on the strengths of those people in my organization. Dietz is excellent at the job he has but for the task that I am about to under take I am in need a man with your talents.”

“So again I ask, what is it you are exactly looking for me to do for you and your organization?”

“Boss,” Dietz poked his head through the door just as Carmen was about to speak.

“What is it?” Carmen said annoyed at the interruption.

“You are needed in the conference room.”

She had hoped to secure an answer from Ben before the others had arrived. She wanted to be sure that the groundwork for her plan had been laid before walking into that room.
“I will be there shortly. Make sure everyone is comfortable and I will be there when I am finished with Mr. Warren.”

“This can wait,” Ben said sensing the tension that filled Carmen’s frame. “I can see that you have other business to attend.”

“On the contrary,” Carmen countered, “I can’t start that business without your answer, Ben.”


“Yes, are you on board or not?”

“That’s a difficult thing to answer without knowing all the facts.”

“If your answer is yes then the facts will become self evident in a matter of moments.”

Ben starred at this beautiful woman and couldn’t help but wonder if he was being drawn into a black widow’s web but at this point in time he couldn’t stop himself. “I say lead the way.”


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