Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 54

Republisher’s Note: The chickens have come home to roost.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 54

Michelle’s eyes toggled between Danny, who lay bleeding in her arms, and the man responsible for the action. She had to blink to be certain what was really going on around her. Minutes ago she feared for her own existence but in a matter of seconds roles were reversed and it was now Danny whose life hung in the balance.
Michelle looked down at Danny once again as the tears welled in her eyes. It no longer mattered that he was Mick’s brother; no longer mattered that he had lied to her about who he really was; nothing but the love she held for him in her heart made a difference.

“Danny,” she whispered pushing his chocolate curls from his forehead.

“Michelle,” Jeremy Lucas’ voice boomed, “Back away from him!” he ordered still holding his smoking gun on the pair.

“What have you done?” she stated still in a state of shock.

“BACK AWAY FROM HIM!!”

Michelle paid little or no attention to his words. She feverishly went to work looking for the entry and exit wound of the bullet. She needed to do something, anything to keep her hysteria from taking over again.

“WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?” Lucas screamed again.

“With me?!?!?” she spat the venom she felt for this man who never knew when to give up, finally reached its breaking point.

“Do you even know who this man is?!?!” Agent Lucas pointed to the semi-conscious Danny, “He’s………….”

“Danny Santos,” she finished his sentence. Her revelation floored him into silence.

“Melanie?!?!” Sarah’s horrified voice came from the open doorway.

“CALL 911!” Michelle ordered not caring which one complied.

“I better do it,” Jeremy Lucas offered planning his own line of defense.

“What the hell happened here?” Sarah asked coming along side of her friend. It was then she realized the gravity of the situation, “OH MY GOD…..Danny. Melanie what happened?”

“I can’t go into it right now. There’s no exit wound. I don’t know what kind of damage the bullet may have done………” Michelle’s words were drowned out by her uncontrollable sobs. The only thought she could hold on to right now was the one that kept repeating she wasn’t going to be responsible for yet another Santos death.

“The ambulance is on its way. ETA is less then fifteen minutes,” Jeremy said standing above them.

“FIFTEEN MINUTES?!?!!?” Michelle’s voice shook, “What if he doesn’t have fifteen minutes?” Sarah reached for her friend’s arm. Michelle’s whole body trembled under Sarah’s touch.

“That’s the best I can do,” his words were so hollow now.

“THE BEST YOU CAN DO!?!?!” she repeated, “THE BEST YOU COULD HAVE DONE WAS TO STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!!!!!!!!!” she screamed.

“I saved your goddamned life,” he forced.

“By taking his?” she countered.

Sarah sat back and watched this brutal exchange between the two. Sarah remembered this man quite vividly. She had wondered a great deal about him since the day that he had shown up on the doorstep of this apartment. From all she could gather at the moment he had been the one responsible for what happened there that day.

“He would have killed you. You do know that don’t you?!?!” Jeremy continued not knowing whom he was trying to convince more, himself or her.

“YOU’RE WRONG!!” Michelle said as Danny began to moan in pain. “Danny…..Danny,” she said softly, “Can you hear me?” her soft tears fell once more. “Don’t try to move….lie still. An ambulance is on its way.”

“Mich……” he strained to speak.

“Ssshhhh. Just lie still.” Michelle raised her eyes upward in silent prayer. She had no right to call in any favors; she had long since used them up but damned be the consequence. If it meant buying Danny some time she would sacrifice herself without a moments hesitation.

She watched him slip unconscious again. She noticed how clammy his skin was to her touch. Michelle knew that shock was now setting in. Every minute wasted there was a minute Danny didn’t have on his side.

“WHERE’S THAT DAMNED AMBULANCE?!?!?!?!”

“I’ll go wait in the parking lot for them,” Sarah offered wanting to do anything to ease her friend’s mind.

“No….you stay I will go wait for the ambulance,” Jeremy said wanting to disappear into the walls at the look Michelle carried on her face for the man that by all rights was dying in her arms.

“He’s so cold……..,” Michelle’s voice trailed off as laid her head against his chest not caring as his blood soaked her honey blonde curls. She pressed her ear listening for the beating of his heart that on so many past occasions had lulled her to sleep, but now it was barely audible. Instinctively she reached down feeling for a pulse. Her breaths caught in her throat as she frantically moved her fingers in search of the elusive sensation.

Suddenly all the training that she had thus far was null and void. Even the simplest tasks evaded her. The only think that Michelle could focus on was the fact that right before her eyes Danny was slipping away.

The man that had finally taught her what real love was, was dying and there was nothing she could do to stop it. Amongst the chaos that had ensued and the revelations that had come about in the last hours Michelle still held tightly to the fact that she loved Danny. It didn’t matter if he was Danny Sampson or Danny Santos…..she loved Danny; loved the man who had told her funny stories from his childhood; the man who had taken her body to heights she never expected; the man who had healed her wounded heart.

“The EMTs are on their way up,” Jeremy Lucas said huffing from his run up the stairs.

“Excuse me,” one of them said trying push Michelle aside, but she didn’t budge. She couldn’t let go of him for fear if she did she would lose him forever. And right now that would have been a fate worse then death for her.

“Michelle!” Agent Lucas said gently grabbing her to remove her from the other man’s path, “Let the man do his job.”

Sarah couldn’t help but do a double take when she heard him call her Michelle. She chalked the mistake up to the stress of the moment.

“You mean the way you did?” she spat turning all of her anger on him again, “You’d be happy if he died, wouldn’t you?!?! It’d be a RED-LETTER day for Agent Lucas, he gets his man, right!?!?!” she fumed.

Again Sarah watched these two banter back and forth. The more they spoke the more confused she became.

“You don’t know what you are talking about!” he yelled back, “My job was to protect you. I did what I had to do!”

“Sarah…….Melanie?” the concern in Matt’s voice pierced the conversation. Sarah ran into the safety of his arms. This was suddenly much more then she thought she could handle.
“Baby, what happened?” he asked wiping away her tears, “Melanie?” he said again while his eyes rested on the men hunched over Danny’s body. He felt as though he had stepped into some bad version of a made for television movie.

“Danny’s been shot,” Sarah finally answered him.

“SHOT!?!?!” Matt countered in disbelief, “How…..who?”

“I don’t know. I can’t get Melanie to tell me anything,” she whispered.

“Who the hell’s that?” he questioned pointing Jeremy Lucas’ general direction.

“I want to say that he’s the one who shot Danny,” Sarah swallowed hard.

“What?” None of this outlandish story was making any sense to him.

“That’s all I know,” she returned as exasperated as he was.

“Where are you taking him?!?!? I’m going with you!!!” they both heard Michelle’s voice force.

“WE HAVE GOT TO MOVE NOW!!” the EMT countered understanding this young girl’s position but knowing that time was of the essence for his patient.

“I’M GOING WITH YOU!!!” she stressed again.

Matt and Sarah came forward, “Mel, honey, come on let these men do their job,” he said in the most soothing voice he could find.

“I have to…..I can’t…….”

“Sshhhh,” he rubbed her back as she fell into his chest sobs racking her tiny frame. He motioned for the paramedics to go and do what was necessary to take care of Danny. He and Sarah would take care of Melanie.

“WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” she screamed as she watched Danny being wheeled out on the stretcher.

“Easy,” Matt caught he in his arms again as she made an attempt to chase after him.

“LET ME GO!!!! I can’t let him go alone!!!”

“Melanie, let the men do their job.”

She wasn’t even listening to him. Frantically she was searching the room for where she had laid her car keys. The only thoughts on her mind were those of getting to Danny. She needed him to know that she was there, that she needed him.

“WHOA…..,” Matt grabbed her by the arm, “Where do you think you are going?”

“To the hospital!” she said as if it had been obvious.

“OH NO YOU’RE NOT!!” Agent Lucas piped in.

“Just who the hell are you anyway?” Matt asked turning to stare at him.

“That’s classified,” he returned finally into full-fledged FBI mode. Something he should have never broken from in the first place. Yet his infatuation with this girl had clouded his perception of things and had put everything he had worked so hard for all these years at risk.

“CLASSIFIED?!?!” Matt parroted suddenly as confused as Sarah had been.

“I will need to speak with Melanie,” he was careful to use her alias, “privately.”

“WHAT!?!?! What are you a cop?”

“As I said this is highly classified. Could you please leave us alone now?”

“NOT ON YOUR LIFE!!!!!” Sarah shouted, “I don’t know what the hell’s going on here. I do know you shot Danny and if you think that we are going to leave you alone with her, well buster you have another thing coming.”

“This is between she and I.”

“Not any more!” Matt said

“ENOUGH!!!!” Michelle’s high pitched shrill perforated the air, “ENOUGH……Every second longer we stand here arguing is a second that I should be by Danny’s side.” Her tears were now running in a steady stream down her ghostly white face.

“Melanie,”

“Give it up Jeremy!” she yelled, “It’s Michelle….for god sakes it’s Michelle.”

Matt and Sarah both looked at one another and back at the pair standing in front of them.

“What do you think you are doing?” he countered knowing full well that every illusion of control he thought he had of this situation was now lost.

“I’m going to be with Danny!!”

“Melanie, wait!!!” Sarah and Matt called to her as she raced away from them.

Michelle fumbled with the keys, her eyes so clouded by tears she couldn’t even see the lock. The more attempts she made the worse things got. Until Matt and Sarah arrived outside to find her crumpled on the ground next to her car bawling.

Gently Matt took the keys from her hand as Sarah helped him get her into the car. As mystified as they both were about what was truly happening around them, there wasn’t time for that now. The questions and subsequent answers would come all in due time. The most important thing for them was handling the here and now.

They rode in silence to Texas University Hospital. Michelle watched the scenery past by her much in the same way she had when she left Springfield many months before.
What had happened to her? Who was she? She didn’t even know anymore. She looked down at her hands covered in Danny’s blood; Santos blood. God forbid if Danny was to die, she would have been responsible in some way for two Santos Family deaths. There would be no where to hide. Sadly enough Michelle didn’t care anymore. Even if Danny did somehow survive he was lost to her. She saw that look in his eyes as she spoke before knowing who he truly was. The was no way he was going to understand what she had done. There would be no room for forgiveness in his heart. How could there have been? If roles were reversed and he had killed Rick could she have forgiven him? She didn’t think so. No love was that strong. It didn’t matter if the Santos Family killed her, she was already dead.

Matt barely had the car stopped before Michelle was out running for the entrance of the emergency room.

“Sarah, what the hell’s going on here?” he asked as they made a quick path following in her footsteps.

“I don’t know. And right now I couldn’t care less. I just want to be here for my friend. I think she’s going to need it.”

Sarah spoke the truth. Melanie/Michelle, whoever she was by name didn’t change for Sarah the person who had befriended her on the lonely plane ride; the person who had made her first holidays without her mother bearable; the person who showed her what love was all about. For Sarah that was her friend, no matter what her name was.
They entered the lobby to find Michelle wildly running around trying to get anyone and everyone’s attention. Matt nodded in her general direction indicating for Sarah to do her best to calm her friend.

“Excuse me,” he said as he approached the desk.

“Yes?” the young woman looked up at him.

“A friend of ours,” he stated as Sarah brought Michelle to the counter, “Was just transported to the ER. His name is Danny Sampson. He was shot.”

Sarah held Michelle tightly as he knees went weak at Matt’s words.

“The name again?” the woman asked.

“Danny Sampson.”

“I’m sorry but there is no patient by that name here.”

“What?” Matt returned confused. He knew this was the best trauma center in the entire state of Texas. The ambulance had to have brought Danny here, “Could you please check again?”

“Sorry, no one by the name of Sampson has been admitted to the ER.”

“Santos…….try Danny Santos,” Michelle eked out a response.

“Excuse me?” the woman behind the desk asked not hearing Michelle’s words.

“Check under the name Danny Santos.” Michelle was certain that suddenly Jeremy Lucas would be doing everything by the book and had given the name Danny Santos to ensure that he would be looked at as a hero.

“Danny Santos?” Matt questioned.

“Uh-huh,” Michelle nodded feeling as though her web of lies had finally succumbed to hard pelting rain of reality.

“Yes we do have a Danny Santos, in trauma #2.”

“How is he……..what’s his prognosis……when can I see him?” Michelle spoke so fast that most of those around her weren’t able to keep up.

“I must ask are you family?”

“I’m his girlfriend,” Michelle bit her bottom lip as she said the words.

“I am only able to give out patient information to blood relatives.”

“Please…….” Michelle begged. “Just tell he’s still alive.”

“Is there someone you would like me to call?” the woman questioned as she ignored the question.

“Please……………….” her uncontainable tears pooled in her eyes again.

“No thank you,” Matt offered, “We can make the call.”

“I have to see him. He has to understand why…….I have to make him understand……..”

“Understand what?” Sarah inquired hoping to get a clue as to what was going on.

“HE CAN’T DIE!!!! I can’t live with myself if he dies because of me………”

“Because of you?? Mel, you didn’t cause this to happen. It was that psycho guy at the apartment who shot Danny.”

“IT’S ALL MY FAULT!!!!! EVERYTHING IS MY FAULT………” the rest of her words were drowned out by another wave of sobs.

Matt dialed the familiar number of the club. He looked down at his watch thinking that Albert was surely missing Danny by now. In less then two hours the doors were to swing open for the gala New Year’s Eve event.

“Joe, hey listen it’s Matt. Is Albert around?”

“No,” Joe answered, “He left a while ago. Pretty pissed I might add. He tore out of here looking for Danny. He just took off this afternoon without a word to anyone.”

“Do you know where he went? It’s really important that I find him. It’s about Danny.”

“Matt, what happen?” Joe asked suddenly chilled to the bone.

“I wish I knew. I went to Melanie’s apartment to talk to Sarah and it was if all hell had broken loose.”

“Matt!!!” he said not liking the vagueness of the response he was getting.

“Joe, Danny’s been shot.” Matt heard the receiver thud against the bar. “Joe…….Joe…..are you still there man?”

“Yeah, yeah I’m here,” Joe’s voice all of a sudden thick and raspy like that of a man with a cold.

“I have to find Albert……Jenny……anyone. The people at the hospital won’t tell us a damn thing since we aren’t technically family. Melanie is going nuts here. I have to find them.”

“I really don’t know where Albert went. I would have to assume that his wife would be at home.”

“Do you have that number?”

“Sure hang on,” Joe dug underneath the bar looking for the employee phone list, “It’s 555-1987. Listen man, you call as soon as you hear anything, got it?”

“I will. Thanks Joe.”

Joe put the phone down as he felt the hairs on his body stand on end. He shivered at the thought of Danny being shot. It was unfathomable. He picked up the receiver and dialed his wife, so much for a happy New Year’s.

Matt put another quarter in the pay phone and dialed the number that Joe had given him. The instant that Danny’s aunt picked up the phone his mouth went dry.

“Hello?”

“Mrs. Sampson?”

“Yes?”

“Hi this is Matt. I am a DJ at the club.”

“Yes, Matt, how are you? Happy New Year’s Eve.”

“Thank you.”

“If you are looking for Danny I haven’t seen him all day. As a matter of fact I haven’t seen my husband either.”

“That’s what I am calling about.”

The sensation that fell over Jenny at that moment was one she recalled all too well. It was the same eerie feeling that drown her the night that her son had been killed.

“Matt, what’s wrong?” she said reaching for the table to steady herself. She knew that once Danny’s whereabouts had been revealed that anything could happen. She and Albert had talked long and hard about all the possibilities but the stark reality of them happening hadn’t come into play until now.

“Mrs. Sampson, Danny’s been shot.” Matt’s statement was met by dead silence.

Finally she found enough of her voice to utter, “Is he dead?”

“I don’t really know,” he hated himself for having to say that but he didn’t have much other choice, “They won’t give us any information.”

“Melanie?” Jenny gasped wondering if Danny’s greatest fear had come true and she had gotten caught in the crossfire.

“She’s here with Sarah and I, but she’s hysterical to say the least.”

“Then she’s all right?” Jenny breathed a sigh of relief.

“I can’t really say. I don’t know what happened.”

“Was she hurt?”

“Physically no, but emotionally right now I don’t think anyone really knows.” Matt looked over to where Sarah sat holding her in her arms rocking her gently like a mother would a small child awakened from a terrible dream.

“Where are you?” Jenny questioned looking down at her evening gown but not really caring.

“Texas University Hospital.”

“I’ll be right there.” Jenny hung up the phone and left the house without so much as a note to her husband as to what had happened.

Albert drove up to the front of the club. It was dark, not so much as even a flicker of light came from inside. His anger for Danny vanished as he was consumed by an onslaught of horrible images.

As he walked to the door, the closed sign starred back at him. This was to be one of the biggest nights for the club thus far, but it wasn’t turning out that way.

“JOE……REGGIE…….” Albert’s booming voice echoed into the darkness.

As hard as he tried to reign in his panic, it was slowly getting the better of him. The bizarre way that Danny vanished this afternoon coupled with this, had his mind thinking things he hadn’t in some time.

“JOE!!!” he shouted again.

“Over here,” Joe’s voice came from out of the darkness as he turned the over head lights above the bar on.

Albert squinted while his eyes made the stark adjustment to the light.

“What the hell’s going on? Why on earth is the club closed? Where’s the band?” Albert spouted out questions, as so he didn’t have to listen to the answers. He didn’t want to know the answers for in his heart he already knew.

“Albert,” Joe offered him a shot glass full of crystal clear liquid, “Danny’s been shot.”

“When? Where is he now?”

“Matt called about a half-hour ago. I am pretty sure they are at the trauma center at Texas University Hospital.”

“Is he alive?” Albert forced himself not to think about the past. This wasn’t Richard. He couldn’t turn what was happening with Danny right now into a bad replay of the night Richard died.

“I’m not sure. They wouldn’t tell Matt anything about his condition. Something about him not being family. He said that Melanie is freaking out. I didn’t know what else to but close the club.”

“You did the right thing. I have to go,” he said slamming the shot the hot liquid set his throat on fire.

“Albert, I’d like to come with you,” Joe stammered the effects of the alcohol getting the better of him.

“Let’s go.”

With that said both were on their feet and out the door.

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