Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 41

Republisher’s Note: Michelle is living in Texas with a new name, Melanie Branson, courtesy of the Witness Protection Program. She’s dating another newcomer to Texas Danny “Sampson.”

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 41

Looking in the rearview mirror until Danny wasn’t more then a speck on the horizon, Michelle licked her lips and could taste his sweet kiss.

It hadn’t taken much cajoling on her to part in getting Danny to agree on her accompanying him to the produce yards while he placed the day’s orders. Neither one was all that eager to have their time together come to an end.

Back in Springfield, she had gone with Jesse a few times when he would place orders for Millennium, but being here with Danny was totally different. He made her feel as though her thoughts and opinions mattered. Danny asked her what she thought the lunch and dinner specials should be, what her favorite things were, it was like he was running the club for her and her alone. Where as with Jesse it was just the opposite. She had always felt as if she was more in the way then anything else. Michelle couldn’t help thinking back to a time when she offered a suggestion; one that Jesse shot down without any hesitation by saying ‘That’s not what Drew wants, and she always gets what she wants’
If only Michelle had heard the trueness in his words back then, maybe she would have opened her eyes to them on her own instead of the way things had played out. Sad thing is now she was so torn by the way things had turned out. How could she in one hand remember what had brought her to Texas, to Danny in the first place and in the other be thankful for it. Those things should have been on the sides of the magnets that repelled when brought close enough. Yet that wasn’t the case. At present they were very much connected.

Michelle felt her stomach churn with the fact that she was beginning to rationalize Mick’s death and her part in it so that she could get on with her life. There was a part of her being that found that offensive and yet another that was in complete agreement.
As she turned the key in the lock, Michelle so desperately wanted to walk over to the phone and dial her house in Springfield. She wanted to hear Abby’s reassuring voice. She wanted to hear someone’s voice other then the monotone one in her head telling that it was okay to have a life. That she didn’t have to continually punish herself for an event that was beyond her control. She vaguely thought hearing those thoughts from Abby would allow her to enjoy the happiness that deep down she knew she deserved.

The last thing she wanted to be doing right now was getting ready to head out the door again. Her oversized bed was calling to her. The adrenaline that had carried her through the last twenty-four hours was no more and sleep was all Michelle wanted at the moment.

The blinking red dot on her answering machine caught her eye. She hoped that maybe it was Tony Rodgers telling her that he didn’t need her this afternoon and she would be able to grab a afternoon nap. No such luck though. The first voice to fill the room was that of Sarah.

“Mel, hey it’s me. Just checking in. Give me a buzz when you get a minute.” Michelle made a mental note to spend some more time with her friend as Christmas was approaching fast. Even in Sarah’s best attempts to sound chipper, Michelle could sense that she wasn’t looking forward to spending her first Christmas without her mom. She just wished there were something she could do for Sarah to make this time of year a bit easier.

When Jeremy Lucas’ voice filled the room next, Michelle just about dropped the carton of orange juice she was holding, “Melanie, I need to see you as soon as possible. There are some things that we ought to discuss. Call me as soon as you get this message.”
Michelle couldn’t tell if his tone was more foreboding or on the angry side. This obsession, even if that was the right word, for her was getting a bit over the top for her.
“Doesn’t he know when to give up?” she said aloud. She glanced at the clock on the stove. She had just enough time to grab a shower and head to the Chemistry Lab. Calling Agent Lucas would have to wait, for she knew that it wasn’t about to be a quick conversation.

“Hi Melanie,” It was Danny’s voice that made her stop in her tracks on the way to the shower, “I know we just left each other but I couldn’t stop myself…..,” there was a pause, “I just had to let you know that I was thinking about you,” Michelle heard herself sigh,

“Well I hope to see you later tonight. I can’t play hooky tonight but I would love it if you came to the club. Well business is calling. Love ya.”

Michelle sunk into the softness of the sofa, unable to believe her luck. What she imagined to be complete and utter hell was turning out to be heaven. As difficult as it was she did her best to bury the sneaking suspicion that this was way too good to be true.


“You look awful chipper for a man who never made it home last night,” Albert said coming up from behind as Danny replaced the receiver.

“I guess you are right about that. As a matter of fact you have been right about quite a lot of things.”

“Glad to hear you say that. There is something that I would like to discuss with you.”

“Why so ominous?” Danny couldn’t help but wonder what Aunt Jenny had done now.

“I need you to keep an open mind about this. Let’s go in the office,” Albert looked around as the employees began entering the club.

“Open mind?”

“Please, can we do this in the office?” Albert motioned in the direction of the open door.

“So she’s finally gotten to you, huh?” Danny’s mood was immediately shredded by what he expected to hear, “So what is this this big kiss off or what?” he spat not understanding where all his rage was truly coming from.

“Get your arrogant ass in that office before I drop kick it in there!” Albert said with rage to match Danny’s.

“What was all that about?” Carl asked Joe, the bartender.

“Hell if I know,” he wasn’t about to be forthcoming with any information regarding the private conversation he had been privy to.

“Seems like ever since that kid showed up…..Albert……he’s been on edge,” Carl had a feeling that Joe was loyal to Danny but it never hurt to assess the situation.

“I think you are looking for trouble where there isn’t any,” Joe countered.

“Are you blind or what?” Carl coaxed, “You mean to tell me that you haven’t seen all the tension between Albert and his wife not to mention the way that Danny and Jenny stare at each other from across the room? It’s not any normal Aunt/nephew relationship that I have ever seen before.”

“And since when are you the judge of what’s normal?” Joe asked sarcastically.

“Just what are you getting at?”

“It’s no secret around here about you and your daughter. If you are looking at abnormal relationships, I think you should start at home and leave Albert to tend to his own business.”

“Sarah and I have a perfectly fine relationship,” Carl said not understanding why he found the need to defend himself, but did it anyhow.

“Perfectly whacked,” Joe remarked.

“That’s enough! I am still your boss you know!”

“Whatever you say boss,” Joe laughed knowing full well that Carl was a fool if he believed that one.

Albert eyed his nephew sitting before him. He was about as bullheaded as his wife.

“So what is this all about?” Danny asked the edge to his tone quite apparent.

“I thought Mick was the hot headed one of the family,” Albert said more as a statement then a question.

“Exactly what are you trying to say, Uncle?”

“How about the fact that you weld your temper whenever the moment strikes you?”

“I just want to get this over. We all knew it was coming. I don’t blame you, really. Jenny is your wife.”

“What on earth are you talking about?”

“I am waiting to be told that I am not welcome here any longer.”

“That’s not what I wanted to talk with you about.”

“Then what? They way it came off was that Jenny has had enough of me and was finally getting her way.”

“My god you both have such a chips on your shoulders.”

“Huh?”

“My god, it’s finally clear to me. She hates you for all the things that she lost in her life and you hate her as much for the things she represents that you never had a chance at. What took me so long to see that?”

“What are you talking about? I by no means hate Jenny.”

“Oh but son you do. Maybe not Jenny as a person, but you do hate the fact that she possesses all the qualities lacking in your own mother.”

“That’s crazy,” Danny wasn’t about to admit that on more then one occasion since coming there he had thoughts those very things. Had wondered what it would be like to have a mother that cared more about her child and there needs rather then their own twisted agenda.

“Not from where I am sitting.”

“So if this isn’t about my leaving, then what?”

“I want you to give your aunt another chance.”

“You are kidding right?”

“No.”

“What on earth for?”

“Because maybe if the two of you could get past your own hang-ups that you would be good for the other.”

“I doubt that.”

“Please give it a chance. I mean a real chance for once. If this time around doesn’t work then I will never make mention of it again,” Albert looked into Danny’s skeptical face, “Please, do this one thing for me. It’s important for all of us.”

“Whatever, but don’t count on it being any different this time.”

“Drop the attitude and it just might be!” Albert forced.

“And did you give your wife that same piece of advice? Seeing as she had one long before I did.”

“Don’t worry about Jenny. Just keeps yours in check and all should go well.”

“What you want me to go do this now?”

“Well you certainly need to go home and take a shower. You look like you slept in those clothes. So I say no time like the present.”

“If you say so.” Danny got up to leave the room not believing that this conversation were to be any different then all the others they had had, but he would humor his uncle just to not ever have to do this again.

“By the way where were you all night?”

“With Melanie,” The smile that had faded earlier was now back in its rightful place.

“See…..I knew I was right about you two. So how did she handle it when you told her you were a Santos.”

“I didn’t,” Danny hesitated, “I thought about what you said and I just couldn’t risk it. I can’t lose her.”

“You won’t. I can feel it in my bones. There is some irresistible force between the two of you.”

“Yeah Carmen and the others,” Danny said somberly.

“You said that you have Carmen under wraps right?”

“Yeah but I can’t help thinking that maybe Carmen isn’t the problem after all. I half expect to see Bernardo and the others walk through the door. I mean they know where you are Albert. It won’t take a genius to figure out that I would come here.”

“Carmen hasn’t figured it out yet,” Albert wanted to laugh.

“She doesn’t want to. But sooner or later I think when she’s pushed she won’t have much choice.”

“That is the one thing Jenny is worried about. She doesn’t trust Carmen, as a matter of fact she never has. She thinks that Carmen isn’t done with you just yet.”

“But she does have to find me first,” Danny added, “I promise if it comes to that. I will be gone. I promised you not to upset the life you have made here. I intend on keeping that promise.”

Carl stood outside the closed door, wheels in his mind turning a mile a minute. He was actually piecing together a formidable plan. One that might actually rid him of Danny once and for all. Now the question was did he have the nerve to go through with it?

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