Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 52

Republisher’s Note: Michelle is building a new life as Melanie in the Witness Protection Program, but Carmen is moving in on Danny.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 52

Ben walked through the door to Carmen’s office; his days of knocking before entering had long since past. He needed an answer regarding some holdings that the Santos Family, held mind you under a fictitious name, had with Spaulding Enterprises. Those were something that was of great interest to him. Alan Spaulding was high on his list of those requiring payback for misdeeds done. Now that Ben carried the weight of Carmen Santos behind him, surely it would be a simple task to exert his pound of flesh from the good Mr. Spaulding.

Ben stopped short seeing the angry lines embedded in Carmen’s brow. He raised his own as if to ask the question what was going on. Carmen’s non-verbal response came in the form of her turning the back of her leather chair on him. Instantly Ben felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. As deep as he had gotten into this organization, it was still only as deep as Carmen would let it be. Ben’s over inflated sense of himself had been seriously bruised by her actions.

“Exactly what do you expect me to do!?!?!” He could her the strain in her voice to keep her rage in check. “I have explained this to you…..all of you more times then necessary!!!……..I don’t have to justify anything I do to you….any of you!!! Daniel is handling our problem,” with those words said Ben’s question had been answered. He was certain the man on the other end of that phone line was Bernardo, “When it has been taken care of to my satisfaction, that’s when Daniel will be back. And not a moment sooner!!! Am I making myself,” she stressed that word, “CLEAR?!?!”

“Anything I can do?” he asked as Carmen slammed down the phone in its cradle.

“What is it you want now!?!?” she spat. Her fuse was growing shorter with each day that there was no word from Danny. She had laid the bait fully expecting him to run with it, but nothing. She was finally coming to the realization truly how little control she had.

“A bit testy aren’t we?” Ben continued to chide.

“I don’t have time for this. Make your point or be gone!”

“Well the reason I originally came in here can wait, what seems to be more important at the moment is Danny or should I say the lack of Danny.”

“Very funny,” she growled at the grin that Ben couldn’t remove from his lips.

“I can’t help you, Carmen, if you don’t tell me the game plan.”

“I am handling it!” she forced.

“Apparently not,” he countered, “Obviously the boys don’t see it that way either.”

“I just need a little more time…..a little more time for Daniel to come to his senses. Lord only knows what kinds of things Albert and that wife of his have been filling his head with.”

“I beg to differ, time isn’t on your side here, Carmen. The sand in your hourglass is damn near ready to run out.”

Carmen sighed and reached for the drink that sat in front of her. How had she let things get so far gone? Why hadn’t this played out according to the nice neat plan she devised all those years ago? She knew the answer to that question better then anyone. Her son had been the reason, actually both of them. Mick, the hot head that he was, couldn’t accept the place that had been carved out for him, nor did his brother.

Carmen and Mick were one in the same. Neither of them had ever been satisfied with the scraps that had been fed them. While Miguel and Daniel hadn’t any idea what they held beneath their fingers. And now that ignorance on her son’s part was about to cost her everything.

“Carmen,” Ben’s voice forced her to look at him.

“What?”

“Exactly what is going on here? I gave you enough ammunition to bury the Bauer girl for Mick’s murder and as far as I can tell you have done nothing. I was under the impression that she would have been dead by now, by Danny’s hand, in turn forcing him to have no choice but to come home. So where the hell is he?”

“All in due time,” she remarked.

“Due time?” he echoed, “Exactly what is due time to you, Carmen? When Bernardo and the others are about to dispose of you, hell and me for that matter? Cause personally I am not too keen on that idea thank you!” he forced.

“There is no need to worry. It will never get that far!”

“The hell it won’t. It already has. If I hadn’t threw my wild card on the table that night, we’d both be swimming with the fishes,” Ben said using the cliche mob phrase for emphasis.

“That’s a bit of an over exaggeration don’t you think, Counselor?” she eyed him cautiously knowing how true his words were.

“Not from where I was sitting.” he stated flatly.

“That was just Bernardo’s way,” she shrugged off Ben’s words.

“Carmen, you really expect me to believe that you didn’t think the same thing I was thinking?”

“And exactly what were you thinking?” she played him.

“That your number was up!” he said as if it had been obvious.

“That would never have happened. Not without there being dire consequences for them all.”

“FROM WHO CARMEN?!?!? Danny‘s gone, Mick‘s dead, your daughter hasn‘t been in the states in years. Who Carmen who????” he countered bewildered by the fact that more and more it appeared that Carmen Santos only lived in a fantasy world of her own creation.

“Daniel and I may have had our differences but he would certainly not stand for my murder!”

“Why is it that you don’t sound like you believe yourself anymore then I do?” Ben stated hearing the uncertainty that Carmen tried to hide in her tone.

“What is it you wanted in the first place?” she questioned no longer wanting to discuss her son.

“I think I deserve an answer to my question, Carmen,” Ben returned not budging from the topic at hand.

“YOU DESERVE!?!?!” she bellowed.

“Yes Carmen, DESERVE!” Ben said not backing down, “I have as much at stake here…………..”

“Hardly,” she cut him off.

“You don’t think so?”

“NO! Everything I have built in the last ten years is at stake here. I have a greater investment in this then anyone realizes.”

“To hell with your investment! I am talking about my life. I think I have a right to know what the hell it is you have up you sleeve!” Ben seethed knowing the Carmen had backed herself into a corner and he had no intention of joining her there.

“Ben, you have nothing to worry about.”

“Nothing to worry about?” his voice repeated her words.

“Daniel will come through for his family. I know my son.”

“Know him? You are joking right?” Ben heard the hysteria in his voice. He couldn’t stop it. For all the power that the Santos Family held, he was beginning to have serious doubts about the sanity of the woman sitting before him, “Carmen, get real. You didn’t have a clue where you son even was for god sakes!! And you are expecting him to ride in here guns blazing and save the day??? I highly doubt it! So might I suggest that we go with ‘plan B’? Please tell me there is a ‘plan B’” Ben asked looking into her blank eyes.

“’Plan B’ won’t be necessary. I know that once Daniel understands that his brother’s killer is within his grasp he will not hesitate to act on it.”

“Aaahhhh,” Ben groaned throwing his hands in the air any further conversation was fruitless. He knew that it was time that he padded his bet in getting ready for the inevitable fall out.


Danny looked at the phone longingly willing it to ring. He had told Melanie that he had to get some work done for the New Year’s Eve party that was to be held at the club, but at the moment all he wanted to be doing was whatever it was she was doing.

They had spent every waking moment together for the past week. There had been bands to check out for the night’s celebration, they were movies to be seen and ice skating to be done. All of which were things that once had been so foreign to him but yet so easily incorporated into the person he was becoming.

As much as the shadow of his mother hung over his head, he still was able to revel in the peace that he found when he was with Melanie. A sense of himself that evaded Danny before encircled him now.

He couldn’t do more then just push the stacks of papers, folders and mail around on the desktop in front of him. His body may have been in the room but his mind; well it was fixated on the image of Melanie that he held in his brain.

“Danny,” Joe said.

“Huh?”

“Looks like you got a lot accomplished this morning?” Joe laughed.

“I can’t concentrate.”

“Obviously.”

“Joe, can I ask you something?”

“Sure…..but if you want me to work for you tonight my wife will have my head. She has been planning this party of hers for weeks now. She expects me to be there,” he joked.

“No….no,” Danny assured, “But this involves your wife sort of…..I guess……..”

“My wife?” he questioned.

“Yeah, how did you know when she was the one. I mean like you knew that you wanted to spend the rest of your life with her?”

“Thinking of proposing to Melanie aren’t you?”

“NO!” Danny said too quickly.

Joe smiled knowingly. The way Danny felt about Melanie was written in his every action not to mention every feature on his face, “Okay…..whatever you say. So when did I know my wife was the one, huh?”

“Yes,” Danny returned anxious for his answer.

“I would have to say it was when my father died. We weren’t all that close. See my parents were divorced when I was young and didn’t see him all that much. So I had a lot of anger when it came to him. I never really got to vent that to him before he died. She took the brunt of most of it really. I was such a bastard to her. But she hung in there through it all. Helped me come to terms with things that I hadn’t thought about in years. It was then that I knew I couldn’t live without her. And I sure as hell wasn’t about to let another guy scoop her up.”

“So she stuck by you?” Danny wondered if Melanie would do the same for him.

“Oh yeah. To this day I still think she was an angel sent to me. No one should have put up with what I put her through.”

“Thanks, man.”

“Thanks for what?” Albert asked joining the men.

“Danny was just wondering when it was I realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Jessica.”

“Oh really?” Albert said a playful lilt to his voice, “Thinking about marriage are we?” he grinned sheepishly.

“NO!!!” Danny asserted again.

“Your mouth says no but your eyes….they say yes,” Albert laughed enjoying watching his nephew squirm.

“Albert!” Danny groaned.

“On that note, I think I am outta here. Just wanted to let you know that the band is here and they are getting set up, Danny.”

“Thanks Joe,” he said shooting another look in Albert’s direction.

“What son, we hit a nerve there?” Albert wasn’t letting this drop.

“Enough! You know marriage for me isn’t in the cards.”

“You aren’t serious?”

“Dead serious!”

“Danny, come on you know that that’s foolish on your part. I have seen the two of you together. You are the most well suited two people I have ever witnessed. Jenny sees it too. She even commented how much like us the two of you are.”

“No offense uncle, but have you forgotten the hell you have been through?”

“No not at all, but at the heart of it all I had the love of my life. Why do you think that we were still together even midst the dysfunction of the life we lived? Cause ultimately we loved one another.”

“I can’t do that to her. She deserves so much more.”

“That’s really not your decision to make Danny. It’s Melanie’s.”

“No, it’s mine.”

“You are a bigger fool then I thought.”

“What?”

“You heard me. You are a fool. I know how that mind of yours works, Danny. You think that by never making the commitment it will somehow make it easy to walk away if you think you have to. Well, let me tell you something, it’s going to crush you either way you go.”

“I know,” Danny said falling back into his chair as if admitting defeat.

“Then what’s the point of postponing the obvious?”

“Carmen and the gang,” Danny sighed.

“I told you not to worry about that.”

“I am worried about it. I try like hell to push it to the back of my head but in my silent moments it comes around to bite me again.”

“I told you that Carmen isn’t going to rob you of anymore then she already has. I give you my word on that.”

“But see you don’t understand. I can’t let you fight my battles for me. I can’t let you put you and the life you have here at risk. I have done that already. I couldn’t live with myself if this were to end badly. And everything ends badly when my mother is involved.”

“The point you are missing is, you can’t stop me, Danny. I owe your father enough respect to see that his only remaining son gets the opportunity to live out his life on his own terms.”

“I bet my father is turning over in his grave.”

“Why?!?!” Albert was stunned by those words.

“Why?” Danny returned with the same astonished tone, “I am not the man he expected me to be. I am supposed to be sitting at the head of that damned table, but rather then doing what was expected of me I ran. Ran away from everything that I was groomed to be.”

“So?”

“I find it hard to believe that he is all that proud of me.”

“Don’t underestimate the love your father had for you. It wasn’t tied to the place that you held within the organization. If that had been the case Miguel would have cut me out the minute I asked to be cut loose.”

“But Carmen has been drumming what my father wanted for me since the moment that he died.”

“Consider the source.”

“That’s what I am afraid of.”

“Carmen isn’t a problem. I will make sure of that………….”

The bell of the ringing phone interrupted Albert’s words. “Hello?” Albert said into the mouth piece, “Why hello Melanie, we were just talking about you…….of course it was only good things…….yes he is here, but I don’t think he is available,” Albert said as Danny reached for the phone, “Well you know he is supposed to be a partner in this club…….and lately I haven’t seen hide nor hair of him……..and since tonight is the big holiday party don’t you think you could give an old man a break an let me have him one day????” Albert pleaded mockingly.

“What did you do that for?” Danny asked in horror as Albert replaced the phone in it’s cradle without so much as even offering to let him speak to her.

“We were having a conversation, weren’t we?” he asked in all seriousness.

“Albert!” Danny whined like a spoiled child.

The phone rang again. Danny grabbed it before Albert had the chance to. “I’ll be there in five minutes,” Danny said fully expecting it to be Melanie on the other end.

“Now that’s what I have been expecting to hear for days now,” Carmen’s cunning voice traveled through the line meeting Danny’s eardrum, “Hello Daniel. I expect it’s safe to assume you received the information that I sent you, however I am disappointed that I was the one who had to contact you.”

“Information? What information?” He questioned his blood running cold.

“I will go check on the band,” Albert said not realizing the importance of the call Danny had just taken.

“Sure I’ll be there as soon as I finish up with this,” Danny offered not wanting to let him in on the caller. He still had every intention of handling his mother on his own.

“Take your time. And tell Melanie hi for me. I knew she couldn’t resist calling back,” Albert laughed shutting the door behind him.

Danny covered the mouthpiece in hope that he had done it in time so that Carmen hadn’t been able to hear Albert say Melanie’s name. She certainly didn’t need any further ammunition about his life.

“Daniel,” she said.

“What is it now, Mother?” he growled knowing this was why he couldn’t buy into Albert’s version of his life.

“There have been some developments as to who killed your brother.”

“So? I told you that I am out!”

“You’ll never be out, Daniel,” she snarled angered by his attitude, “Don’t you want to see Mick’s killer brought to justice?”

“That’s not going to bring him back!”

“DANIEL!!!”

“You do what you feel you have to do mother. But I want no parts of it.”

“YOU ARE A PART OF IT!!!”

“No, Carmen, I am not!”

“What about what your father expected of you?”

“That’s not working anymore, Mother!”

Carmen fumed on the other end of the phone. She was well past desperation when it came to dealing with her son, “Daniel, we don’t have time for this. The longer you sit on the information I have for you the greater the chance that this person will be gone again.”

“What are you talking about?”

“The person who killed Mick is in Texas! In Galveston as a matter of fact.”

“WHAT!?!?!?!” Danny’s mouth went dry. He had closed that chapter of his life when he walked away from Springfield but hearing that he was in the same city as the man who killed his brother made the blood freeze in his veins.

“That’s right, Daniel. Galveston, Texas, the place you thought you could run and hide. So you see there is no denying now that you are the destiny of the Santos Family. No matter what you do or where you go it will always be there waiting for you!” she remarked with renewed confidence that things would work out to her original expectations.

“What is this some kind of joke?” he asked never putting anything past his mother when it came to her manipulations to get what she wanted.

“No joke, Daniel.”

“How?”

“That’s not important right now. All that matters is that you take care of the situation. The way I intended you to do in the first place.” Her words were met by Danny’s heavy sigh, “You should have received the information I sent you days ago……I sent you an envelope with all of the information you would need to handle our little problem.”

“Envelope??? What’s this information you keep talking about????”

“I sent you a package several days ago. I thought you would have received it already. It has everything you will need to find Mick’s killer.”

Danny looked at the piles neatly stacked on his desk wondering if the envelope she was talking about was somewhere in all of them. His curiosity getting the better of him, Danny began rifling through each pile. He had almost stopped but the glimpse of his mother’s sprawling handwriting propelled his hands forward.
“You are serious about this aren’t you?” he questioned the manila package in hand.

“Did you find it?”

“That I did.”

“Well then I expect you to handle this and be on the next flight out of Texas the minute you have completed the job!” Carmen’s authority pierced Danny’s ears.

“And if I don’t?” he spat back.

“You will. I know that you will just as much as you know it!!” her confidence angered him. The thought that she expected him to ask how high when she said jump triggered his disgust for his mother all over again.

Before he had a chance to say anymore the line went dead. Danny sat there and toyed with the envelope. He was mad at the fact that no matter how hard he didn’t want to open this Pandora’s box, he couldn’t stop his fingers as they easily slid under the flap. Next came the blue folder, Danny laid it down on the desk running his hands along it’s cool surface. Right now his body was acting with little regard to the things that his mind was screaming. Before he even realized he had done it. The folder lay open before him and he was aghast at the picture he saw.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: