Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 55

Republisher’s Note: Bad things have caught up with Danny and Michelle.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 55

The silver lame fabric of Jenny’s evening gown whispered as she walked through the swinging doors of the Emergency Room. Instantly her eyes were drawn to the distraught group sitting across the lobby. Jenny held her breath as she saw the blood; Danny’s blood spattered about Melanie’s clothes. She closed her eyes tightly and did her best to gain the inner strength necessary to stop the demons from her past from taking over her every thought.

It would have been so simple to be drawn back to a night similar to this fifteen years ago. The players may have been different, but she feared the outcome would be the same none the less.

At the moment she had felt as if her feet had taken root. As much as Jenny willed herself to move forward, nothing happened. She had thought that she would be able to handle this alone, but now being in the thick of it she was less then sure of her resolve.

The ambulance sirens and the monotone voices overhead served as staunch reminders of a night she would just as soon forget. She found it funny that even though she and Albert had finally brought Richard’s memory into present day, there were still portions of that memory that she compartmentalize as to deal with the pain. Her current surrounds were quickly stripping those compartments away and that frightened her…………………

She could hear the muffled voices from the study.
They were sounds that she had grown accustomed to, so much so that most times she barely acknowledged them. However on this night something about the strained sounds set her instincts in motion.
Her husband and son left the house that night but only one would be returning. If Jenny had known that then she would have not let them sneak away without as much as a good-bye.
As the clock struck midnight, Jenny sat up straight in bed, her heart racing, mouth dry. Every one of her nerve endings was on fire. Without thinking she reached for the phone as it rang beneath her fingertips.
“Hello,” her raspy voice said.
“Jenny, it’s Miguel.”
If she had not already been sitting, she was certain that she would had fainted at the sound of her brother-in-laws voice.
“What…..what is it?” the tears pooled in her eyes as she waited for the words she already knew.
“It’s Richard……..”
“Richard?!?!” she was stunned. This was not the revelation she had expected. “What?!?!”
“I’m sorry. Richard is dead,” Miguel said flatly.

“Jenny,” Albert’s voice startled her.

“Oh Albert,” she cried falling into his arms, “This can’t be happening…..not again,” she gasped.

“Joe, give us a minute please?”

“Sure. I’ll go see what I can find out.”

“Thank you.”

“Albert, what happened? Do you think that Carmen or one of the others is responsible for this? I thought you had this under control?”

Albert resisted the urge to jump at the sounds of her remarks. He did his best not to let her words anger him; make him feel as though he was again responsible. Even in his heart that was how he felt. He was kicking himself for not just going to Bernardo and taking care of the problem the minute he saw it unfolding.

“Jenny, calm down. We don’t even know what happened yet. One thing might not have anything to do with the other.”

“Do you really believe that?” she questioned.

“Right now I don’t know what to believe?” he sighed heavily.

“Albert……..” Jenny’s tears fell again.

“I know…… I know,” he said wrapping her tightly in his arms knowing this was too much hell to live through twice in one life time, “Let’s go see what we can find out?”

“Look at her,” Jenny said as she motioned to Melanie who still wore a look of shell shock on her face.

“Poor girl,” Albert turned away sorry now he had pushed Danny to be with her. Maybe his nephew had been right all along. Right in the fact that there was no getting away from their life. And those that entered were taken hostage.

“Any news on Danny?” Joe asked as the two approached.

“We wanted to talk to Melanie first,” Albert said kneeling before her, “Melanie honey, can you hear me?” There was no response. She starred blankly at the wall across the room.

“She’s been like this even since we got here,” Sarah said.

“Does anyone know what happened?” Albert asked.

“Not really,” Matt and Sarah said together. They did their best to relay what little information that they did know. It was sketchy at best.

“Well, I better check on Danny’s condition,” Albert turned heading towards the admitting desk.

“There’s one more thing,” Matt said, “He’s been admitted under the name Danny Santos.”

Those words froze Albert in his tracks. Danny Santos…….the name bounced around in his brain. This only complicated further the abstract story that they had just been told.

“What?” he returned his voice barely a whisper.

“I know what you are thinking, cause I thought it too. But that’s the name that they have for him,” Matt assured.

Albert walked away with Jenny in tow, “Danny Santos?’ she questioned, “How……what on earth is going on here?”

“I wish I knew,” he returned, “Excuse me,” Albert said to the young woman behind the desk, “I’d like to speak with the doctor in charge of my nephew, Danny Samp……Santos, Danny Santos.”

“That would be Dr. Hacker. He’s still in consulting with the cardiologist and the other surgeon.”

“Cardiologist…….surgeon?” Jenny’s high-pitched voice rose further with those words.

“I would like to see my nephew.” Albert forced.

“As soon as the doctor’s know anything I am sure they will be out to discuss it with you. If you’d like to have a seat,” she motioned to the many chairs in the lobby area.

“Listen,” Jenny said hysteria getting the better of her, “I want to see him. And I want to see him now! Do you understand?!?!” she yelled.

“That’s the best that I can do for you right now,” the young girl said.

“Please let us know when the doctors are available,” Albert said leading Jenny back to their group.

“He can’t die, Albert. He can’t die without me getting to tell him that………………”

“Easy,” Albert whispered into her hair. He didn’t know who she was thinking of right now. It could have been Richard, it could have been Danny. He was almost certain it was a combination of both.

“What’s the word?” Joe jumped up anxiously upon their return.

“Nothing yet,” Albert sighed, “Apparently the doctors are still in with him. As soon as they are finished they will be out to let us know.”

Jenny walked over and took the vacant seat beside Michelle, who’s body was physically there but mind was off in another time and place.

Silently she sat replaying the events that led up to now over and over again. She couldn’t grasp that Danny was Mick’s brother. That she was responsible for killing the brother of the man that she loved most in this world. In her fragile state she couldn’t wrap her thoughts around that concept.

Would Danny have killed her? Could he have enacted the revenge that she feared from the very beginning; that had brought her to Texas in the first place?

Her heart told her no but her mind kept seeing his cold black eyes looking right through her. The likeness to Mick’s eyes is what had frightened her the most. It was like he wasn’t really seeing her. He was only seeing what he had been taught to.

In a flash Michelle’s memory forced her to relive all the moments that she had shared with Danny. The times when they had share their feelings and emotions. She couldn’t let herself forget how instinctively they fit together. That had to count for something. She knew in her heart that neither one of them could have pretended those things. It was possible but not highly probable.

“Melanie,” Jenny’s soft voice poked at her thoughts, “Melanie, honey are you alright? Have you been checked out by a doctor yet?” Jenny was trying to occupy herself with anything other then thinking about the possibility that Danny could die. She was certain as well that Danny would be beside himself if he thought that Melanie was hurt and not getting the proper care.

“I’m fine,” she said never averting her gaze from the wall.

“Honey, I really think we should have a doctor check you out.”

“I’m fine really.”

“Dr. Hacker?” Albert said as a man in a white lab coat exited into the lobby.

“Yes, you are Danny’s relatives?” he questioned.

“Family and friends,” Albert returned as the others came to gather around, “So how is he?” Albert asked hesitantly wrapping his arm around his wife and Michelle.

“Right now I wish I had better news,” Dr. Hacker’s voice foreboding.

“Is he going to make it?” Jenny asked.

“That all depends on where the bullet is, and we won’t know that until after surgery.”

“Where the bullet is?” Joe questioned.

“Yes, there was no exit wound. By the location of the entry it’s safe to assume that it’s lodged somewhere next to his heart.”

“Oh my god,” Sarah cried, “Mel said she couldn’t find an exit wound. She was really freaking out about it.”

Michelle found it amusing to think that she was being talked about as if she wasn’t even there.

“So what exactly does all this mean?” Albert asked again.

“It means for the moment he’s as stable as he can be. We will need to do some x-rays and then on to surgery.”

“What’s the worst case scenario?” Albert asked not really wanting an answer.

“Depending on its location…….” the doctor searched for the right words say what he knew by the looks on these people’s faces that they already knew, “There is a good chance he could die on the operating table.”

The silence that filled the corridor was deafening. “NO!!!!” Michelle’s tortured voice cried before she fainted into Albert’s arms.

Jenny watched as Albert helped the nurses place Melanie on a gurney. Her own hands were clammy and her body was chilled to the bone by the words that the doctor had spoken. There was a good possibility that Danny might never make it out of this.
Jenny wanted to cry but there were no more tears. The only thought that marched through her head was that the mob had claimed but another victim. Another innocent that wanted nothing more then to live a life free of the violence.

She looked on as Albert followed Melanie down the hall. She wanted to go with them but the mother in her forced her to do what she had never gotten the chance to do with her own son.

“Doctor,” Jenny gently tapped the man on the shoulder.


“I understand time is of the essence, but please I would like to see my nephew before………” the words caught in her throat as the realization of what she was about to say hit her.

“You have a few minutes while they are setting up for the x-rays. He’s been sedated. So don’t expect too much.”

“I won’t. Thank you.”

Jenny stood perched outside the swinging door of the trauma unit. Through the thin strip of glass she saw Danny lying there completely helpless. She closed her eyes breathing deeply gathering the courage needed to enter. Finally pushing the door open she walked to his side. The tangled mass of tubes and machines were loud and ominous in the tiny 6×6 room.

Jenny brushed his hair away from his forehead the way she had done so many times for her own son when he had been a boy. Her heart ached for Richard. She couldn’t help wondering if he had clung to life the way that Danny was right now.

Jenny reached out and took his hand in hers. It was difficult to tell whose was colder.
“Danny,” she soft in a hushed voice bringing the back of his hand to her lips, “I want you to know that we are here for you. All of us are out there pulling for you; praying for you. Son, I love you like you were my own. I know I was a stubborn old woman who wasted so much time upon your arrival. I’m sorry for that.”

She now looked up to the sky, “Dear Lord, please grant us another chance. We have sinned, father but I want to believe that we have paid dearly for those sins. Please keep Danny safe and bring him back to those that he loves and those that love him.”

“Excuse me,” a nurse said, “X-ray is ready for him.”

Jenny left the room slowly, watching as they wheeled Danny out the other door. As much as she despised Carmen, she had a right to know that her son might die. The goodness in Jenny couldn’t stand idly by and let what happened to her happen to another mother.
Carmen had a right to know and what she chose to do with the information was her call.

Agent Jeremy Lucas sat alone in the conference room. His mind raced for the right words to make his superiors understand the way things had happened. Why he had acted on impulse. He had been doing his job. That was his only line of defense. The women who had been left in his charge was in danger. What other options did he have?

Jeremy had called the hospital and the update he had received on Danny Santos was far from promising. That fact wasn’t going to help him in the least bit. No matter what way he rationalized his involvement, he wasn’t about to slip through the noose unscathed.
By all rights he was to have dropped the Michelle Bauer/Melanie Branson case months ago. On numerous occasions he had been reminded what office protocol was but he had chosen to ignore it. That ignorance was now about to cost him.

He watched them file in one by one and take their respective seats. He shifted uneasy in his, especially at the sight of Agent Reynolds. They wasted no time in getting him here from Illinois.

“Lucas,” Supervisor Brennan began as he closed the door.


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