Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 43

Republisher’s Note: Michelle is living under the name of Melanie Branson in Texas dating a man she just met, Danny “Sampson.”

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 43

Danny sighed as he looked at his stubbled reflection in the mirror. There wouldn’t be time for sleep now. There were too many details for this evening’s events at the club to be taken care of. Danny knew things were in quite capable hands but he certainly didn’t like the thoughts of Carl worming his way into every nook and cranny. Just because things had turned out well with Jenny, in all actuality the exchange between he and his aunt had amazed him, he had much less faith in Carl’s lame attempt.

As Danny stepped under the pounding stream of hot water he couldn’t help but contemplate Jenny’s words. There had been justifiable questions with laughable answers. Again he was at odds with his heart and his conscious. Both of which wanted completely opposite things.

His heart would have been content in the charade that he had spun. It was simple and safe and it gave him everything he never knew he even wanted until now. While his conscious on the other hand, was throwing the faces of Bernardo, Manuel…..and not to mention Carmen before his eyes.

This was a dangerous tightrope he had concocted for himself to walk. One platform was the life he had left behind and the platform off in the distance was the life he wanted, deserved yet the canyon  between them was a bottomless pit. Danny knew it would be a free fall if he told Melanie the truth about himself.

There was no simple way to make this work. He felt as if his life was a crap shoot and he had just rolled snake eyes.

Jenny was just hanging up the phone as Danny made his way into the kitchen. “Would you mind if I caught a ride to the club with you?” she asked smiling like a giddy schoolgirl.

“No, no not at all.”

“Thank you. Just let me grab my purse and I will be right out,” she remarked racing out of the room.

“Where’s the fire?” he called to her. This was the first time since his arrival he had actually seen a genuine smile on his aunt’s face.

“No fire,” she commented checking her face in a tiny hand held mirror, “Just a long over due lunch date with my husband,” she gushed.

“Oh really?” Danny smiled mischievously.

“Yes really. Now could we go?”

“Sure.”

Jenny almost skipped the entire walk to Danny’s car. She was dizzy with excitement. She felt as if she and Albert had gone back in time to the days of their courtship. He had been a wonderful suitor. And an even better husband. He remembered the little things that slip past most men. Albert was the one to call he just to say that he loved her, or out of the clear blue give her a romantic card for no special reason. When Richard was born those things took a back seat; not that Albert stopped doing them it was that Jenny was so wrapped up in her son that nothing else mattered. Finally upon Richard’s death everything loving around the both of them ceased. But today when Jenny picked up the ringing phone, she heard the voice of Albert from days of old. He was playful and bursting with surprises for her. This was the first time in many years that she felt a yearning for the man she married. Jenny hoped that this was only the beginning of their rebuilding process.

“Aunt Jenny,” Danny began hesitantly.

“Yes?”

“I need some advice.”

“You are asking my advice?” she was puzzled. Even though they had made progress this morning, Jenny didn’t expect Danny to suddenly see her as the advice giving one of the family.

“I think that you are the only one who can answer the questions that I have.”

“I will do my best.”

“How did you react when Uncle Albert explained to you what his family was all about? I mean you still married him.”

“Well first thing Danny, he never came out and said ‘hey I am in the mob’ if that’s what you are thinking.”

“But you said earlier that you knew what went on in the family?” Danny was confused.

“Danny,” Jenny tried not to chuckle at his surprisingly naive thinking, “You said it yourself, even people who don’t know the Santos family have an idea of what they are all about. I had my suspicions. But you see, the rumors and innuendo that were thrown about the neighborhood back then weren’t anything like the man that came to my door with fresh wild flowers because he knew they were my favorite.”

“So you fell in love with him despite what you knew he was all about?” Danny wasn’t sure whether he could believe that or not.

“I fell in love with the man, Danny, not his name. He could have been named Jack the Ripper and I still would have fallen for him. He was everything I could have ever dreamed of. What’s with all the questions?” she asked her curiosity getting the better of her now.

“Well……,” Danny paused.

“Does this have anything to do with that pretty blonde? The one who is friends with Carl’s daughter?”

“Yes,” Danny was stunned that even during their arguments she knew so much about his life.

“And your problem is cause you are a Santos?”

“Well, it wasn’t until a little bit ago………”

“So that’s why you suddenly took our name?” she questioned.

“Yeah,” Danny relented.

“Are you falling in love with this girl?”

“From the moment I laid eyes on her,” For once Danny was laying his cards out on the table, “I have been fighting it from the very beginning. It’s not fair to complicate someone else’s life with my bizarre problems,” the anguish was evident in his voice.

“Does she love you?” Jenny asked.

“Yeah….yeah actually I think that she does.”

“And your afraid of what is going to happen when you can’t hide anymore? Aren’t you?”

“Yeah. Is she going to hate me for the lies? How am I supposed to explain my family to her? What are the right words to say well ‘I am supposed to be running this organized crime family’ or ‘hey you know the GODFATHER movies, well that’s me Don Santos’?”

“I’m not so sure that I would phrase it like that,” Jenny smiled understanding the dilemma he was in.

“Then how?”

“There isn’t any good answer to that question. Trust me you will know when the right time is.”

“Yeah you mean like when Bernardo or Carmen is holding a gun to her head cause they know that she’s my weakness? I can’t lose another person I love that way. My father’s gone, Mick’s gone……I would rather leave her wondering then have another person die in my arms,” Danny choked again on the tears that he was holding at bay.

Jenny gently reached over and laid her hand on Danny’s arm. She hadn’t until this very second regretted the time she spent despising him. Albert had been right about their wounds and scars. The life that they all had led was hard on them and they only way to wade through the aftermath was together.

“Danny, the only thing I can say to you is don’t do what Albert and I have done for fifteen years. Don’t shut down your heart. It’s the only thing in this world that makes you alive. It’s worth all pain if you find that one person you truly connect with.”

Danny looked up as he pulled in front of The Two Step to see Albert standing out front with the picnic basket he and Melanie had used the night before.

“So for the record you aren’t the only romantic in the family,” Albert joked taking his wife by the hand and leading her to his awaiting vehicle.

Danny smiled thinking that if after all they had been through, Albert and Jenny had found their way back to one another. Maybe there was hope for him and Melanie yet.


Michelle propped her heavy head up with her hand and listened as Professor Marsh droned on. There was still lab time to do before she was able to get out of this over heated room. A state that only hastened her need for sleep.

The thoughts of last night were the only thing that was keeping her semi-conscious. Danny’s face and the voice on her answering machine kept her thinking about the night that was to come. That was if she could stay awake long enough to get there.

“Hey, you planning on joining me or what?” her lab partner Sam asked tapping her on the shoulder.

“Huh?”

“Are you helping me with this experiment or not?

“Yeah….sure….whatever,” she said absently wondering if her and caustic chemicals were such a good mix this afternoon.

Sam finally relented to doing the mixing and measuring while she recorded the results. Not that her concentration was better at that portion but it was far less dangerous she thought.

The knocking on the door was virtually ignored by many in the room. It wasn’t until it became louder and more persistent that Professor Marsh had no choice but to acknowledge it.

“Can I help you?”

“I need to speak with Melanie Branson.”

Michelle’s head shot up at the sound of her name and the all too familiar voice speaking it.

“We are in the middle of an experiment, sir.”

“I understand that, but it’s necessary that I speak with Ms. Branson right away,” Jeremy Lucas resisted the urge to whip out his badge to get what he wanted. He still possessed a bit of reality about him.

“Melanie,” Professor Marsh called to her, “Collect your things, apparently you are needed elsewhere,” he said snidely.

“Thank you,” Agent Lucas returned thrilled as he watched Michelle make her way to him. However he missed the contempt that blazed in her milky chocolate eyes.

“WHAT THE HELL GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO PULL ME OUT OF CLASS!?!?!” she bellowed once the door was securely closed behind her.

“Why didn’t you return my call?” he asked ignoring her question completely.

“WHAT!?!?!”

“I left a message for you. Why didn’t you call me back?”

“Are you for real?” she questioned in disbelief.

“Why are you so upset?”

“WHAT????”

“I was just worried about you. You are still my responsibility.”

Michelle had grown so tired of all of this. His words were like a broken record continually skipping at the same spot over and over again. It was past wearing thin on her nerves. It was to the point of an obsession that she couldn’t take anymore.
“GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!”

“Huh?”

“This has nothing to do with your responsibility. I have been here for months now. Isn’t it time you moved on for god sakes!?!?!” Michelle knew her shouts were louder then they should have been but enough was enough already.

“Keep your voice down!” he growled.

“Why?” she countered harshly.

“You know damn well why. You shouldn’t be drawing attention to yourself like this.”

“And you just popping up whenever you want or calling me time and time again that doesn’t draw attention to me??? Who am I supposed to say you are when people ask me? What happens if one time you call I am not the one to answer the phone………………”

“Who the hell else would be answering your phone?” he asked angrily cutting her short.

“What the hell does that matter?” she shot back, “It could be anyone. And if I remember correctly, my new life, you know the one you handed me in a folder months ago doesn’t include you!!”

“Could we please not do this here?” his senses finally getting the better of him as he watched the people that walked past them stare.

“You came looking for me. So why not do it here?”

“You haven’t changed at all have you? You are still stubborn as ever. It’s either your way or no way. Well not this time,” he said tugging at her arm leading her down the hall.

“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING??” she yelled again.

“Would you just shut up and come on? We need to talk in private.”

Michelle stared into Jeremy Lucas’ eyes refusing to speak. The bar off campus that he had chosen was loud and smoky. No one was paying attention to them or much less cared that they were even there.

“So why didn’t you return my call?” he asked as if they had started over again.

“WHAT????”

“I just think it’s common courtesy to return a phone call.”

“You are unreal….you do know that don’t you?!?!?”

“Unreal why? For expecting you to return a phone call?”

“Would you get off the damn non-returned phone call!!!” she spat, “I was busy. I didn’t have to time to call you back. Besides I thought I made it clear that I would call YOU,” she stressed, “if I needed to.”

“Why were you too busy to call?”

Jeremy Lucas wasn’t about to let this go. He wanted to know exactly what it was that had taken her attention away from him.

“I do have a life!!”

“So what were you doing?”

“ENOUGH!!!!!!!!” she shouted, “I don’t know what twisted little fantasy you have going on in your head about us but get over it!!” Michelle got up to leave. She wasn’t about to be party to this any longer.

“WAIT!”

“NO! I don’t know what your game is Agent Lucas, but I am not playing.”

“I’m not playing a game. I am quite serious about this. It’s my job.”

“BULL SHIT!! And as for your job, let’s hope you still have one after I make my call to your superiors,” Michelle was being brazen and she knew it but she had little or no choice.

This wasn’t something that she could run to Danny with. How was she supposed to explain that a Federal Agent was obsessed with her and not tell him why she knew him in the first place.

Jeremy Lucas raised his hand indicating he wanted another beer to drown his sorrows in. Why hadn’t he just been honest with her from the very beginning? Why hadn’t he just told her how he felt about her rather then hiding behind the guise of doing his job. His job, he had to laugh, if she had been serious in her threat that was a bomb that no doubt would be blowing up in his face sooner then later. He left the full glass on the table and went to do damage control if that would be even possible now.

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