Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 56

Republisher’s Note: Danny is fighting for his life at the hospital.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 56

Albert watched through the pane of glass as the nurses took Melanie’s vitals and waited for a doctor to come in to examine her. He had been thankful that she was now conscious again. That fact relieved his troubled mind. Yet not enough to make sense out of all the disjointed information that he had been fed so far. He didn’t even know where to begin to put it in any kind of order.

So far the things he did know didn’t add up to anything. Danny was shot; from the best he could surmise, the mob hadn’t been responsible. If it had, the job would not have been so haphazard. He knew that he hadn’t been involved for quite some time now, but he couldn’t believe that a hit man would have left so many witnesses. That just didn’t make sense.

And how on earth was Danny admitted under the Santos name? That was the question that plagued him the most. Outside of himself and Jenny, the Santos name had never been brought into play.

Albert traced back the steps to earlier in the day. He searched for a reason for Danny to run half-cocked from the club the way he did. The shredded picture of Melanie popped into his mind’s eye, unfortunately that image further clouded what was going on. When he had talked to Melanie that afternoon, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He was just playing with the two of them knowing full well that Melanie gave as good as she got and would call right back.

What if that phone call that Danny had so eagerly picked up hadn’t been Melanie after all? They all seemed to be lulled into a state of complacency where Carmen was concerned. What if that had been their mistake? But that thought still didn’t equate to why Danny would have ripped Melanie’s picture. The one thing he was certain of was the boy’s love for her.

Could Carmen have found out about her? Was it possible that she could have been using Melanie and her safety as a way of forcing Danny’s hand? The possibility that Carmen had threatened Melanie would not have surprised him. Carmen was a cold-hearted snake when it came to getting what she wanted.

Albert’s thoughts rested on this new idea. The idea that the bullet had been meant for Melanie and not Danny. As plausible as that idea was there was a part of it that still nagged at him. Carmen would have not been so quick to react. She would have given Danny time to comply, knowing that dangling the threat was a much better way to get the desired response. Also he was sure that Dietz would not have blundered the job. So now rather then having an answer, Albert had just added another question to the already long line.

He kept coming back to the fact that Danny was admitted under the name Santos. How was that possible? Even in a state of delirium he couldn’t imagine Danny blurting out those words. Obviously there was still a crucial piece of information that he was lacking. But what?

“How is she?” Albert asked as a nurse left the room.

“Physically she is fine.”

“Thank God!”

“We gave her a sedative for the time being. It is our understanding her boyfriend was shot?”


“Well Dr. McCabe thought it would be best if she was to rest for a bit.”

“May I sit with her?” Albert questioned.


The heavy doors made a swooshing sound as they swung until finally slowing to a stop. The strings of his heart tugged at him. There was this sweet young woman, who brought light into the darkest corners of the lives around her. She hadn’t deserved this any more then Danny did. Her only crime was falling in love with his nephew.

Albert knew that he should have gotten back to the rest of the group with the information that Melanie was fine. He also needed to find out how Danny was faring as well, but he was drawn there for the moment. Somewhere in the cavity of his head, he knew that she was the key to understanding this all.

Jeremy Lucas watched as the eyes in the room came to rest on him again. The tale he had just told did little to endear him to the men at the table. By the expressions on their faces he could have given them a pot of gold and they still won’t have been pleased. He had hoped to gain a fraction of support from Agent Reynolds, but that hadn’t been the case. In all honesty he had only served to strengthen the idea that Agent Lucas had used his position to prey on his subject’s vulnerability.

“What happens now?” Jeremy Lucas finally got up enough nerve to ask.

“That depends,” Supervisor Brennan stated.

“Depends?” Lucas repeated, “Depends on what?”

“Whether the Santos man dies.”

“What????” Jeremy Lucas heard the confusion in his own voice. Weren’t they supposed to take down the bad guys? He thought that that was the primary job of the agency he worked for.

“Problem?” Brennan asked.


“Why? It’s quite simple to understand. You see, if Danny Santos dies, well then you are out of a job…..hell you will be lucky to get a job as a janitor. And if by some stroke of luck he survives, you will find yourself wading your way through the mounds of inactive files that are in desperate need of being cataloged and shipped off to the archives for storage.”

“You are kidding, right?” Agent Lucas asked in disbelief.

“Does this look like the face of a man who is joking?” Supervisor Brennan said through clenched teeth.

If it had been solely up to him, Jeremy Lucas would have been out on his ear the first time that he had disobeyed the directive regarding The Melanie Branson case. But he had been told to back off and give the man some room to do his job. But from where he stood, it looked as though Jeremy Lucas had done everything but his job.

“WHY?!?!?” Agent Lucas had the audacity to ask.

“WHY!?!?” Supervisor Brennan returned with as much tenacity.

“I WAS ONLY DOING MY JOB!!!! IF IT HADN’T BEEN FOR ME MICHELLE BAUER WOULD BE DEAD RIGHT NOW!!!!!” he had said the words so many times now he was truly beginning to believe them.

“Need I remind you that as of two months ago Michelle Bauer was no longer your concern?” Brennan’s voice boomed.

“You don’t understand………….”

“NO!” Brennan forced stopping Jeremy’s obvious rebuttal, “It is you who doesn’t seem to understand! This isn’t just some comedy of errors. This was, is for heaven sakes complete insubordination on your part. If I had my way from the get go I would have thrown you out on your ear months ago.”

“Are we forgetting the fact that Danny Santos was by all rights about to kill this girl? Or is it suddenly okay to just sacrifice someone we have sworn to protect?!?!” Jeremy’s voice rose his anger and the feelings he still secretly harbored for Michelle getting the better of him.

All he could see was Danny Santos holding her against her will and her screams still pierced his eardrums. The things that happened after that were somewhat of a blur still.

“You think that you can take the events here and twist them to meet your agenda?” Brennan’s words were rhetorical in nature, “This has nothing to do with protecting Michelle Bauer and everything to do with your lack of adhering to the protocols of this department.”

“SCREW YOUR DAMN PROTOCOLS!!!!!!!” Jeremy spat, “I wasn’t about to stand there and let anything happen to her!”

“Ahhh, I see we have finally gotten to the heart of the matter,” Brennan smiled content in the fact that Jeremy Lucas was just about to hang himself.

“You weren’t there…..NONE OF YOU WERE…..you didn’t see the fear in her eyes; you didn’t hear the terror in her screams. I did what any of you would have done given the situation!”

“You mean acting without thinking?” Brennan countered, “I highly doubt that.”

“I was thinking!” he protested.

“Yeah thinking with you dick,” an agent from across the table said.

“THAT’S ENOUGH!!!” Brennan shot a feverish look at the man only wishing that he had thought of it first.

“All any of you had to do was take one look at her to know that she was out of her league. She was completely alone and scared half to death. Come on Reynolds, even you said you knew that……..” Jeremy searched for any life preserver on his steadily sinking ship.

“All I asked to be done was a little more help in getting her settled in,” Agent Reynolds countered, “I didn’t tell you to fall in love with her.”

“Fall in love???? You’re kidding right? I wasn’t in love with her…………” Jeremy said his eyes darting around the room as all eyes came to rest on him.

Supervisor Brennan tossed a folder onto the table within Agent Lucas’ reach, “Think again.”

Jeremy looked at the pages held within the manila folder. His thinking that he had appeased Michelle, had been foolish. On the sheet before him, he read the tale of his “stalking” of her.

“Cat got your tongue?” Brennan asked seeing Lucas’ face grow paler with each line that he read, “Care to recant any of your last statements?”

“What?” he returned not really hearing himself speak.

“I asked if you wish to rethink anything you have told us so far.”

“I never meant to scare her. I just wanted to help her. I thought that we would be good together…….” His voice trailed off the full impact finally hitting him.

“Might I make a suggestion and save yourself any further embarrassment Agent Lucas?” Supervisor Brennan began, “If you tender your resignation, none of what has taken place here will go any further than these four walls, however should you choose not to do so, a formal investigation into Ms. Bauer’s allegations will become necessary.”


“Jeremy,” Agent Reynolds spoke to his longtime friend, “It’s for the best. Just take the offer. It’s really your only option.”

Jeremy Lucas scribbled his signature on the pieces of paper placed in front of him without so much as a glance at their words. One momentary lapse of reason had cost him a twelve-year career and possibly a man his life.

Jenny picked up the pay phone‘s receiver and put it down only to pick it up once more. The words she was searching for eluded her. She had barely spoken to Carmen in all the years that their husbands worked side by side and since their departure to Texas she hadn’t spoken to her at all.

Why she felt this need to inform Carmen, she just couldn’t put her finger on it, but the sensation was so strong that she had little control over stopping it.

Finally she let her fingers dial a number that in all the years hadn’t been forgotten. Pensively Jenny listened as the ringing buzzed in her ear. Absently she looked down at the diamond-crusted watch on her wrist; it was just about to strike midnight. What was supposed to have been a joyous evening had turned into a nightmare roller coaster ride of emotions.

As the phone continued to ring in her ear, Jenny wondered if Carmen was out for the evening. She found it hard to envision Carmen ringing in the New Year.

“Santos residence,” a voice finally said.

“Carmen Santos, please,” Jenny’s voice shook.

“May I tell her who is calling?” the voice asked.

“Tell her Albert’s wife.”

“Excuse me?” the voice questioned.

“She will understand,” Jenny assured.

She looked around at her surroundings knowing in her heart she was doing the right thing. She had wished that someone had done this for her that fateful night so many years ago. She craved for so many years to have the opportunity she was now affording Carmen. Jenny shook her head wondering if Carmen would even care; if there was even an ounce of motherly instinct left in her body. Somehow Jenny doubted it.

Jenny would have given up anything to have had just one more minute with Richard. Just one fleeting moment where she could have gotten to say good-bye to her son. No matter how Jenny felt about Carmen, as one mother to another she couldn’t take that chance away from her.

“Hello?” Carmen’s tone bit at the airwaves.

“Hello Carmen,” Jenny said calmer then she expected to be.

“Who is this?” the angry voice questioned annoyed that she had been pulled away from her business.

“It’s Jenny, Carmen.” The silence that met Jenny’s words was eerie.

“What is it you want?” she returned finally.

“Something’s happened…………………..”

“By something I hope you mean that Daniel has finally come to his senses and has seen you and your husband for the cowards that you both are!” Carmen spat.

It took every ounce of her resolve not to slam the phone down and say the hell with it. Not that Jenny was all that surprised by Carmen’s venom, she was a snake.

“Not quite,” was all Jenny had been able to say before Carmen was off and running again.

“I hope you understand Jenny, that Daniel still is my,” she stressed the word, “son! And no amount of play acting on your part is going to change that fact!”

“You may have borne him Carmen, but Danny stopped being your son a long time ago.”

“You are delusional!” Carmen growled.

“No more then you are, if you think that Danny feels anything more then contempt for you.”

“Daniel loves me!” she forced.

“Loves you?” Jenny did her best not to laugh.

“The relationship I have with my son is one that you would never understand. I see a greatness in my son that yours never had!!” Carmen’s words were razor sharp. “So don’t think that you can make up for his shortcomings by riding on Daniel’s coat tails.”

“You sick manipulative BITCH!!! The only shortcoming I ever saw in Richard was that he was too willing to please his father,” Jenny fought the tears as she continued to speak, “Thankfully for Danny’s sake that was one he didn’t inherit. He was smart enough to see through your ruse. So if my son’s shortcoming as you so aptly put it is he loved his father and wanted to please him then so be it! Why I ever thought you would ever put your children first I will never know!”


“Love, Carmen, is unconditional and yours my dear always comes with a price. Unfortunately this time the price might be too high for Danny to pay.”

“What???? What are you talking about?” Carmen hated to be spoken to in riddles.

“Carmen, Danny was shot tonight,” Jenny said solemnly.

Carmen stood silent the realization of Jenny’s words hitting home. Daniel had been shot? The idea was unbelievable. This couldn’t be happening, she thought, not when she was finally so close to avenging Mick’s death and reigning Daniel in all at the same time. It just couldn’t be happening.

“Carmen?” Jenny questioned.

“How is he?” she asked the thought of his threat looming large in her mind at the moment. The world as she knew it had a very real possibility of exploding around her at any second.

“It doesn’t look good.” Jenny amazed herself with the composure that she had found in her. Minutes before Carmen was taking pot shots at her son and still she found the strength to be civil. She was flabbergasted by it all.

“Why?? What’s happening?”

“Carmen, there’s a real possibility he could die. I thought you deserved to know that. What you decide to do, well that’s up to you.”

“He can’t die!” Jenny mistook Carmen’s urgency for concern, “He can’t die,” she said again as the wheels in her head spun wildly. She needed to get a handle on this and fast. If there was even an inkling of truth to what Jenny was saying she was a goner.

“I thought you had a right to know. Good-bye Carmen.”

Carmen fell back into the high back leather chair, wondering how many more trumps she had left before the hand she had been dealt would be played out. At each turn the control she had just gained was negated by but another force beyond her power. It was beyond maddening now.

Suddenly the only thing that mattered was her own self-preservation. As people she professed to care about died all around her, she was determined not to be among there midst.

A part of her wondered where the tears were for the small fraction there was that she could lose another child in a time span of less then a year. Rather then rushing to Texas to be by Danny’s side, there she sat calculating her next move; looking for the most strategic way to capitalize and hold onto what was rightfully hers.

But for Carmen that was far from out of the ordinary. It had become second nature to her and as much as she claimed to love her children she wasn’t about to change at this late date.

Michelle opened her eyes slowly letting them adjust to the bright lights that hung over head. Her present thoughts were encircled in a thick fog of confusion. “Danny,” she whispered licking her dry lips.

“Hey you,” she recognized the voice but couldn’t place the face.

“Danny,” she said again.

As Michelle’s eyes grew more focused to her surroundings, the floodgates of reality sent her memories crashing down on her with tidal wave force. The doctor’s final words regarding Danny’s condition felt like thousands of needles being simultaneously pushed through her skin.

“Melanie?” She turned to see Danny’s uncle sitting in the chair next to the bed she was laying in. “Are you feeling any better?”

She felt her heart quicken. If Danny was a Santos, then so was Albert. The wild thoughts she now entertained caused her head to spin out of control. If Danny hadn’t been able to finish the job, would his uncle now be taking up where he left off?

“Melanie?” he questioned sensing the fear that filled her posture.

“Are you going to kill me?” her voice was barely audible.

“What?!?!?” he was taken aback by her question.

“It was self-defense. I swear to God……I didn’t mean to kill him,” she sputtered doing her best to back away from this man that up until now she had thought of as a friend.

“What are you talking about?” Albert was now more confused then ever.

Before Michelle could answer him the door swung open. She jumped expecting another hail of gunfire.

“Dr. Hacker would like you to join him in the surgical waiting area.”

“Is there news about my nephew?”

“The doctor will discuss that with you momentarily.”

The nurse was gone as quickly as she had come. Albert was further drowning in all the things that he still didn’t understand. Melanie’s words had been the final lead weight forcing him to sink deeper under the water. But right now the numerous questions would have to wait.

“Do you think you are up to this?” he turned to the girl who was starring at him as if she was a caged animal.


“Are you feeling up to joining the others when we talk to the doctor regarding Danny?”


He assumed that she was still in shock from the whole incident. He certainly didn’t want to make matters worse, especially if things had gone badly, but he had seen what being left out of Richard’s death had done to his wife and he didn’t want that to happen to Melanie.

“We need to go find out how Danny is doing,” Albert said gently stretching his hand to her.

Instinctively she reached out to him. Suddenly so sure of what she was doing. It felt as if a silent revelation had taken place inside of her. The warring factions inside her head unexpectedly declared a truce and again her thoughts were centered completely on Danny and the love for him that filled her. She felt that somehow that love would be her shield; protect her in a way that no love she had had before had done.

“Melanie?” Albert said looking at the young girl who had transformed right before his eyes. To him he abruptly felt as if he had stepped into the fun house room of mirrors. Nothing was if appeared to be. With each glance in a different direction a new image emerged more skewed then the last. The effect was dizzying.
“Yes,” she said, “Let’s go. I need to see Danny.”


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