Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 45

Republisher’s Note: Michelle is living under the name of Melanie Branson in the Witness Protection Program and dating Danny “Sampson.”

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 45

Dietz caught the figure of Ben Warren out of the corner of his eye. It had been almost a week and still he had not been able to locate even the remotest sign of Danny. Carmen was quickly nearing the end of her reign. Bernardo and the others would soon come knocking, and now that Dietz had armed Bernardo with the necessary ammunition all that was left to do was play the go between to a very unsuspecting Carmen.

Upon hearing the door slam, Dietz knew he could safely press his ear to the door in an attempt to further his foothold into the Sandoval operation. By the sounds of the shouts, he could have stood at the other end of the hall and still gotten an ear full.

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU STILL HAVEN’T COME UP WITH A LEAD YET???? I CAN’T BELIEVE I ONCE THOUGHT YOU WERE THE MAN FOR THIS JOB!!!!” Carmen’s venom filled voice permeated the heavy wooden door.

“I have explored every avenue that you have given me. I have left virtually no stone unturned,” Ben said growing weary of these incessant confrontations, “Wherever your son has gone, he’s gone to great lengths to keep his where a bouts a secret.”

“HE COULDN’T HAVE JUST VANISHED!!!!!!!!”

“Funny, I thought that’s what people in your business were best at,” Ben chuckled.

“I thought you understood how much is at stake here.” Carmen did her best not to sound desperate. Yet she was exactly that, desperate. In the blink of an eye everything that she had worked for and dreamed of would be gone. Bernardo’s threat was as real as Daniel’s had been. Carmen laughed silently weighing each for it’s own merit. Either one left her with nothing.

“What do you propose that I do, Carmen? Take out a missing person’s ad?” Ben wanted to laugh but thought better of it this time.

“WHAT!?!? You think this is some kind of joke, Mr. Warren?”

“Hardly. I just don’t know what else you want me to do.”

“FIND DANIEL!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“A task that is much easier said then done,” Ben countered dryly.

“The last thing I need from you is excuses!” she spat, “I highly overestimated your talents. That’s a mistake that I won’t be making again,” Carmen said cryptically.

“Or maybe you underestimated your son,” Ben countered.

“I have worked too hard to let this slip through my fingers now,” Carmen said more for herself then Ben.

“There has to be someone or something that you haven’t thought about.”

“There is no one. Daniel would have never turned to anyone else. Especially given the threat that he levied.”

“There must be some way to buy you a bit more time,” Ben was grasping at straws.

“Nope,” Dietz hissed at the door. When he had told Bernardo that Carmen had no idea where Danny had gone, he could have sworn he heard the man jumping for joy finally to be rid of the albatross that had hung around his neck for too long already.

“Excuse me,” Rosa said tapping him from behind.

“What?”

“There is a call for Senora Santos.”

“And?”

“I asked his name but he refused,” Rosa had worked for the Santos’s long enough to know that calls like this were funneled through Dietz always.

“I’ll handle it. Hello,” Dietz said into the mouthpiece.

“Who the hell is this?” the voice from the other end growled, “I want to speak to Carmen Santos.”

“Mrs. Santos is unavailable.”

“Not for long!” the voice hissed, “I have some information that I think she will be very interested in.”


Danny watched until Melanie’s car wasn’t more then a speck on the horizon. The afternoon at Carl’s had turned out to be nothing more then a wild goose chase, which only served to heighten his feelings that Carl was not to be trusted.

He hated to see how disappointed Melanie had been in the lack of information that Carl was able to provide. She was hell bent on making this Christmas special for her friend.
Danny wished he could shake this overwhelming sense of doom that hung over his head. He had decided to trust in Jenny’s words and that when the time was right to tell Melanie everything he would know it. But he still couldn’t get past the gnawing in his gut.

“I’m really sorry about the other night. I hope it wasn’t too much trouble handling this place without me. Jackson called to say that the band would love to sign a contract to play here once a month,” Albert remarked.

“No trouble. Joe was a big help. Albert there’s something that I need to talk to you about.”

“Sure.”

“Not here. Can we go in the office?” Albert sensed the foreboding of Danny’s tone.

Danny shut the door as Albert settled into the chair behind the expansive desk.

“Thank you,” Albert started before Danny could.

“Thank you???”

“Yes. You don’t know how grateful I am for the effort you made with Jenny. For the first time I feel like we are a family.”

“I am glad, but that’s not really what I wanted to talk to you about,” Danny leaned forward in his own seat heightening the mood.

“What? What is it?” Albert couldn’t help but play out all kinds of scenarios in his mind.

“I can’t put my finger on it, but something with Carl Beck….well it’s just off.”

“Huh?”

“I think he’s trouble.”

“Carl?!?!”

“Yes.”

“Danny, he’s worked for me from the every beginning. I know he’s a bit disgruntled with your arrival…….”

“DISGRUNTLED???? I would say that’s putting it mildly. He has done everything in his power to screw things up for me.”

Albert had been noticing things about Carl as well but he wasn’t putting much stock in them. Given the fact that he didn’t trust his own judgment as of late. But listening to Danny ramble off just a few of the things that Carl had done mixed with his sudden curiosity about Albert’s family, he couldn’t help but wonder if there was more to this then just a peeved employee.

“I know you aren’t going to like this but, I think it’s time Mr. Beck looked for another job.”

“Danny, that’s a bit harsh. He’s been a loyal employee for fifteen years,” Albert said knowing those were the words that Jenny would use when he told her this news.

“I know all about loyalty, Uncle Albert. But there’s something about him that I can’t shake. I just think it would be better for all concerned if he was gone.”

“So you want me to fire him just like that?”

“We can make him a good offer. Enough money that he can get by on until he can find another job.”

“What are we going to do for a manager?”

“I think Joe can handle it.”

“Joe……the bartender……Joe?” Albert countered in disbelief.

“Yes. He did a great job last night. He is a natural.”

“So what do we do for a bartender?”

“Joe can do it until we find his replacement.”

“You are full of answers aren’t you?” Albert quipped, “Then why don’t we leave Carl in his position until we have find a new bartender? Would make things a whole hell of a lot simpler. Especially since Christmas is just around the corner.”

“NO!”

“Danny? Why are you being so obstinate? A week more or less with Carl isn’t that big a deal.”

“Trust me, Albert. I don’t know why but I see Carl as the nothing more then the serpent in the Garden of Eden.”

“Don’t you think we should talk to Joe first? I mean what if he doesn’t want to be manager?”

“Already talked to him. He’s up for the challenge. Besides he and I work much better together.”

“So you do have all the answers.”

“Not hardly. It’s just a feeling and sorry Uncle but my hunches have kept me alive this long. I don’t intend on ignoring them now.”

“Danny, need I remind you this isn’t Springfield?”

“And that’s the way I want to keep it,” Danny countered knowing in his heart he was doing what was necessary.

Danny had agreed that given the animosity between he and Carl that it should be Albert that spoke to Carl. But Danny had insisted on at least being present. Something inside of him wanted the satisfaction of watching Carl’s reaction. He still had a way to go in completely freeing himself of the old way of life.

“Joe said you wanted to see me,” Carl remarked to the pair.

“Yes, please have a seat, Carl,” Albert motioned to the sofa in the room. Pensively Carl lowered his body onto the leather cushions. The tension in the room was thick and ominous, “There are going to be some changes in the management structure of the club.”

“Changes?” Carl didn’t like the sound of that and the look on Danny’s face far less.

“Yes. The direction that the club is going in leads me to believe that we are not longer in need of your skills.”

“Excuse me?” Carl asked as if he had just been spoken to in a foreign language.

“You will be given a nice severance pay. It should carry you well into your finding employment elsewhere……..”

“Let me get this straight. Are you politely trying to say that I am fired?!?!?”

“Yes!” Danny said as Albert’s eyes shot daggers in his direction.

“We just don’t think that we can utilize your skills any longer. I assure you if you need a letter of recommendation, I would be happy to provide one. Carl, you have been an asset for many years………………”

“UNTIL HE SHOWED UP TO ROCK THE BOAT!!!”

“This was a collective decision. The direction we are taking the club warrants the change. I want you to understand Carl, this is nothing personal,” Albert tried not to choke on the lie.

“IT’S COMPLETELY PERSONAL!!! Keep your damn money!!” he seethed as Albert handed over an envelope, “I don’t want any blood money!!” Carl shouted slamming the door as vacated the room.

Carl pulled out his cell phone anger still coursing through his body. “Two can play this game. You ruin mine…….I ruin yours,” he cackled.


“So you think you have information that Mrs. Santos would find interesting?” Dietz mocked. He wasn’t taking the bait. He wasn’t so easily fooled as Nino had been.

“Extremely interesting.”

“I’ll be the judge of that,” Dietz was emencly-enjoying being in the driver’s seat once again.

“I talk to Carmen Santos or I talk to no one!” the angry voice forced.

“Then it appears you will be talking to no one,” Dietz said ready to place the receiver in its cradle.

“WHOA!!! I have some news on the whereabouts of a one Danny Santos. Think she might have time for me now?” he laughed.

“Why should I believe you?” Dietz countered.

“Because if you don’t it is my understanding that Carmen stands to lose a great deal!”

This person’s candor about the situation at hand had Dietz wondering who the hell this could have been.

“Mrs. Santos’s only concern is that her son is doing well. Things between them were left quite unsettled. Her only interest is in making amends with her son,” Dietz said easily.

“Is that so?”

“May I ask who this is?” Dietz asked pulling out all the stops on the niceties.

“I don’t think who I am matters as much as the information I have to offer. Put Carmen Santos on the phone!”

Dietz pressed the hold button and laid the receiver along side the phone. He was completely intrigued by this caller. And maybe this was just the ticket he needed to show Carmen how useless Ben Warren was.

“Excuse me,” Dietz said as he entered the room, the war between the two still waging.

“WHAT IS IT, DIETZ?!?!?!” Carmen shouted.

“A phone call.”

“I don’t have time……”

“I think you should make the time.”

“WHAT?!?!?” she was stunned by the way he had spoken to her.

“It’s about Danny.”

“Daniel?”

“Apparently they are claiming to know where he is.”

“Who is this person?” Carmen asked the life being breathed back into her future.

“Won’t say.”

Carmen touched the blinking light. “Hello,” she said into the speaker, “I was informed you have some information about my son.”

“Damn right I do!”

“Well I haven’t got all day,” Carmen said annoyed by being so close to the information that she desired and still at another person’s mercy.

“Thought you might be wondering where your son has run off to,” the voice chuckled.

“If you have information on my son then I suggest that you be forthcoming with it and stop wasting my time!”

“Now I see where your son gets his lack of patience,” the voice chided as Carmen’s ire grew from the pit of her stomach.

“ENOUGH!!!”

“You don’t have to be so testy,” the voice wanted to enjoy having the upper hand a little while longer.

“I am not in the mood for games. You either know where my son is or you don’t. I am betting you don’t.”

“Well, I hope you are up for losing your shirt. I know exactly where dear ole Danny boy is……that is if you are interested.”

“What’s the catch?” Carmen asked never believing in something she couldn’t see.

“Catch?”

“Yes, the catch. How much is this little bit of information going to cost me?”

“Nothing. Just the satisfaction that I have reunited a mother and her son.”

“WHERE IS HE?!?!?!”

“Your dear son is in Galveston.”

“Texas?” Carmen questioned.

“That would be the place.”

“What on earth for?” Carmen said aloud not expecting to get an answer.

“Why don’t you ask him yourself? You can find him staying with Albert Sampson……or Santos as he was once known.”

The line clicked off dead after those words leaving Dietz, Carmen and Ben starring at one another.

“Texas,” Ben mused to himself. And the very town that he sent Michelle Bauer, Mick’s killer, to.

Carl hit end to silence his conversation. Now all he had to do was sit back and wait for the fireworks to begin.

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