Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 59

Republisher’s Note: Everything is converging at a Galveston hospital.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 59

Sarah glanced back over her shoulder to see Michelle stoically gazing out the window as the sun began its climb high into the morning sky. The facts as they had been presented were still circling in her head. Suddenly things that she had thought strange about her friend were now making perfect sense. All the times that she watched Michelle in public pace like a caged animal; the reason for it was now crystal clear. She lived in constant fear of being discovered. Sarah couldn’t imagine what that must have felt like. She couldn’t fathom the horror that Michelle must have experienced the night that Danny’s brother attacked her. The final incomprehensible fact for Sarah was that Michelle, this loving caring wonderful person had killed someone. She just wasn’t able to reconcile those two things.

When she looked at her friend, the only image that looked back at her was one of a sweet caring person who went out of her to make all those around her happy. To suddenly have the image changed was something that Sarah couldn’t deal with.

“Let’s go,” Matt said tugging at her arm. He wanted to be as far away from this fiasco as he could be.

“Yeah,” Sarah’s voice trailed off as she hesitantly followed him. As scared as she was at all she had heard, that’s how much she wanted to stay and support her friend.

“Can you believe all of this?” Matt asked as he slid behind the steering wheel of his car, “It’s like we stepped into a scene from The Godfather or something,” Matt added.

“It is kinda surreal,” Sarah offered.

“Surreal?!?!?” Matt turned to look at her, “I would say more along the lines of terrifying. Do you have any idea what the Mob is all about? Do you know what Danny’s family is going to do to her when they finally get her?”

“Albert is Danny’s family and from the looks of it he intends to protect her,” Sarah countered, “He has everything under control………”

“You’re kidding right?!?!? Were you listening to him?!?!? Did you hear anything he said?!?!?!” Matt gasped cutting her off.

“Yes….yes I heard him,” she returned annoyed by the fact that suddenly people who had been their friends hours ago were now to be thought of as the enemy. She had to admit she had some reservations but totally eradicating them from her life wasn’t an option, “I saw a man doing his best to keep us all out of danger the best he knew how.”

“Yeah, like that’s going to happen,” he quipped.

“Matt, what’s your problem?!?! Danny and Albert are your friends. They have been good to you. Why all of the sudden doesn’t any of that count?”

“Sarah, who has mobsters for friends?” Matt returned shaking his head.

“Sounds to me like you were the one who wasn’t listening.”

“How so?”

“Both Albert and Danny have walked away from that life.”

“Come on, Sarah,” he sighed, “You don’t walk away from that life you get carried away in a body bag!” Matt stated.

“That’s a cruel thing to say, Matt. Especially knowing there a good possibility that Danny could die. Do understand what that’s going to do to Melanie…I mean Michelle?”

“And that’s another thing,” Matt started.

“What?” she questioned.

“Your best friend killed a man!”

“In self-defense,” Sarah countered with as much force as he had.

“Like that matters.”

“Of course it matters! Did you by chance even hear the same story I did. I can’t even begin to imagine what that ordeal must have been like for her. And then the icing on the cake is finding out that you are in love with the brother of the guy you killed.”

“You really think that love makes a damn bit of difference? That’s not the impression I got from Albert’s account of what happened with his friend.” It was obvious that both had only heard what they had wanted to.

“So you are trying to tell me that you think that Danny was really going to kill her?!?!” she gasped.

“I don’t think we will ever know the answer to that question. But what I do know is that you don’t kill one of theirs and not have to pay the price. And surely if Danny doesn’t make it Michelle is as good as dead.”

“Don’t say that!” Sarah cried, “I can’t lose her, too.”

“What on earth would you want a friend that has spent the entire time you have known them lying to you?!?” he questioned.

“That’s all you can see, isn’t it?”

“It’s difficult to miss.”

“How convenient for you to so abruptly forget all of the things that Michelle and Danny too, have done for us,” Sarah fingered the golden heart that hung around her neck knowing that it had been Danny who had helped Matt in picking out her gift. As much as she loved it, she yanked it from her neck breaking the clasp in the process.

“What……what the hell are you doing?!?!” he said flabbergasted by her actions.

“Returning this to you,” she offered as she reached for the door handle.

“What the hell for?” confusion was getting the better of him again.

“It’s obvious that we don’t see this situation eye to eye and rather sit here and argue a point you are never going to understand, I feel my time would be better spent in serving my friend in her time of crisis,” Sarah said removing her body from his car which was still resting in the hospital parking lot.

“I don’t understand!!”

“It’s simple really. I don’t give a damn about who Danny’s family is or isn’t; I don’t care that I now have to call Melanie Michelle; all I care about is the fact that a person who didn’t even know me six months ago went out of her way to make my life better and I think it’s time that I returned the favor! Good-bye, Matt.” That being said she left him alone holding the broken necklace in his hand and to think about her words.

Michelle watched as the morning wore on the streets below them came alive. The previous night’s celebration had people moving in slow motion but she thought that they were at least moving. She felt like the hands of her clock had stopped the moment that Danny had been shot forcing her to replay the events over and over again.

Here she was again stuck in a horrendous nightmare with no hope of waking up to find it gone with the bright light of the day.

“Michelle,” Jenny’s soft voice came from behind as the woman gently rested her hands on her shoulders. Easily Michelle reached to return her touch never turning to meet her eyes. There was still a part of herself that feared, not them as people, but the reaction to her for the pain that she had caused them.

“Would you like some coffee?” Jenny asked.

“Sure,” Michelle returned.

“Joe, would you mind going to the snack shop and getting us some coffee?” Jenny asked the man who had never moved away from the door since Albert’s departure.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. Albert told me not to let the two of you out of my sight.”

“I understand that and I’m grateful for it as well, but I think we will be fine,” Jenny said wanting some time alone with Michelle.

“I really think Albert would be upset to know that I……..”

“Joe, you let me worry about my husband’s reaction. One cream and two sugars for me, Michelle?” she questioned.


“Thank you, Joe.” Jenny added as the man stood before her looking hesitant to leave them.

“You have them page me if you need me. I will be back in a few.”

“We will be fine,” Jenny offered, “Michelle, come sit please.”

Michelle did as she was asked but still found the words eluding her.

“I want you to know something. I want you to know in your heart that Daniel loves you. Know that he struggled with telling you who he was. It was Albert and I who dissuaded him from doing so. We naively thought that the past was just that……”

“That was until my past was added to the mix,” Michelle said.

“Yes,” Jenny slightly smiled, “That was quite a bomb that you and Albert dropped on us.”

“You have to understand that I didn’t lie to you intentionally,” Michelle cried, “I was doing what I was told to do. I hated it. It was like I was walking around in a costume that I couldn’t get out of……..”

“Until you met Danny,” Jenny interjected.

“Yes,” Michelle whispered.

“I don’t know all the details and frankly I don’t want to. What I do know is that my nephew is head over heels in love with you………”

“That was then and this is now,” Michelle said not believing that after all he knew about her that that sentiment would still ring true.

“Nonsense! Love isn’t something you can turn off and on like a faucet. When you have feelings, deep-seated feelings like the ones I know that run through both you and Danny there isn’t anything that you can’t conquer together.”

“I MURDERED HIS BROTHER FOR GOD SAKES!!!!” Michelle’s voice echoed off the walls.

“Yes, yes you did.”

“I highly doubt that that will something that Danny is so willing to forgive.”

“Don’t be so sure about that.”

“You are kidding right?” Michelle gasped.

“No. As Albert said, Mick was a loose cannon and all those around him knew it, including Danny. Danny is loyal but he is not so naive to be oblivious to the things that his brother was capable of.”

“That still doesn’t mean he has to accept it, accept me….” she whispered.

“Michelle,” Jenny reached for her hand, “Danny does more then just accept you…..that boy is love with you.”

“Was in love with me,” she corrected.

“That’s where you are wrong. He STILL is very much in love with you.”

“Jenny you didn’t see him. You didn’t see the look in his eyes or hear the sardonic tone of his voice when he asked me if his brother suffered. His days of loving me ended right then and there.”

“I doubt that.”

“Why is it you are so confidant that I am wrong and you are right?”

“Because,” Jenny sighed, “You and Danny are a mirror image of Albert and I. And I know that given everything that we went through during Richard’s death and the years following it, it was our love. No matter how hard we tried to deny it or bury it our love held us together when we should have self-destructed.”

Had Jenny had to say these things even three or four weeks ago, she doubted that she could. Yet she knew that even in the darkest hours of their marriage it was the threads of love that kept them going just as the seeds that Danny and Michelle had sown would as well.

“Maybe so,” Michelle began, “But Albert wasn’t the person responsible for your son’s death.”

“Yes, ultimately someone else fired the shot that killed my son, but it was Albert’s need to bring his son into the fold; his need to teach him what had been being taught generation after generation that had enabled it all to take place. So for a long time I held my husband accountable for my son’s death. It wasn’t until I understood that Albert did as well that we finally were able to break through the barriers that caged us.”

“So then how do you think that this great love that you talk about helped?” Michelle questioned.

“Underneath the rage and maybe even hate that I felt for Albert’s part in Richard’s death, there was the love that I couldn’t deny. Every time I looked into his face I could still see the man that I fell in love with…………………”

“You knew then?”

“If you are asking if I knew what the Santos Family was all about before I married Albert, yes…yes I did.”

“Then why did you still marry him?”

“You know the answer to that question already.”


“Have your feelings for Danny changed now that you know he is Danny Santos rather then Sampson? Does that suddenly negate the things that your heart holds dear about him. You of all people should understand that your name doesn’t define you.”

Michelle mulled over the words. They reminded her of the things that Ross had said so many months ago. As true as she knew them to be she didn’t know if any of it would make a difference where Danny was concerned.

“Michelle, know this,” Jenny began, “In life you don’t get many chances at love. And those you do get you need to grab and hold on tightly no matter where the ride takes you. I promise you this; the end result will be worth any potholes you encounter.”

“I hope you are right.”

“I know I am.”

“Hello Jenny,” a voice permeated their private conversation.

As he continued in his forward motion all the while in his mind thinking he was standing still, caught in some bizarre time warp. Albert had been tossed back to a place that forced him to transform into a man he hadn’t been in years. The sudden ease of it all shocked him. It was as though the past fifteen years had only taken the matter of a blink of his eye to pass rather then the long slow healing process it had truly been. The wheels in Albert’s mind were turning formulating his plan of attack if indeed all he had been told were true. Deep down there were no doubts about its authenticity. Again the anger seized him making every muscle in his body taught. He took a ragged breath as the car came to a halt in front of The Two Step. The past twenty-four hours had been nothing like any of them expected; most certainly not for Danny. He couldn’t even begin to fathom the range of emotions that must have been present in him. The idea that the girl who owned your heart and soul killing your brother and having your mother wanting revenge none the less. It was surreal.

Albert swallowed hard around the lump that sat in his throat and did his best not to think the thoughts that had formed a parade in his mind. The thought that there was a strong possibility he could lose Danny in the same way he had lost the others. And just when his nephew had everything within his grasp. It was all unthinkable to him.

Albert turned the key on the door and entered the club. The remnants of a celebration that never came to pass looked back at him. Before he knew it a wave of tears and then full-blown sobs overtook him. This had been the first time since this entire ordeal began that he let his emotions run free. Knowing how frightened his wife was Albert couldn’t afford the luxury of breaking down in front of her, or Michelle for that matter. He needed to appear strong and in control even if inside he was anything but.

Absently he tipped over a party hat on each table as he made his way to the office. There were still several missing pieces to this puzzle. There was the question of just how Danny found out who Michelle really was. There was no doubt in his mind that Carmen had somehow been the one able to deliver the news. Even though Albert hadn’t any idea just how she had managed that feat. Had she known just what Michelle had come to mean to her son; had she once again found a way to test his loyalty? Loyalty…..Albert did his best not to snicker at the word. Carmen Santos hadn’t a loyal bone in her body unless you counted the ones were reserved for herself. In that aspect she had plenty.

Albert flipped the light switch on the wall and looked at the mess around him. Suddenly images emerged in his mind’s eye of Danny’s reaction to the news. His erratic departure made perfect sense now. He was a man on a mission. One to prove that his mother was doing her best to dupe him again. Unfortunately what he found was for the first time in his life, Carmen had been telling the truth. What a sobering fact that must have been, to all of a sudden have everything in your life that you knew to be true thus far; have it turned upside down by one awful truth you wanted to be false, Albert thought as his eyes came to rest on the photo of Danny and Michelle that sat on the corner of the desk.
He stared intently at the happy couple that looked back at him. He wasn’t about to give up on this. He wasn’t going to let the monster Danny had for a mother stand in the way of something he knew in his heart was unstoppable.

In the months that he had come to know Melanie….Michelle, whatever her name was, he had also watched his nephew transformed into a full and rich person. That in and of itself was a great blessing. Albert was thankful that Danny had been taught what real love was and found the half that would make him complete. Those weren’t things that came easy in this life. And Albert knew from his own experience that if you were lucky enough to find that person, the one who completes you, well then you hold on for dear life no matter the hellish ride.

He and Jenny had done that. Lucky for them rather then leading lives on two parallel paths, the roads converged again offering them the opportunity to walk hand and hand again. He wanted that for Danny and Michelle. He didn’t want Mick’s death to be a chasm that they couldn’t bridge. Albert’s only wish now was that Danny would pull through this and he would have the opportunity to make him understand it all.

Finally Albert looked in the direction of the fax machine that sat quietly on the credenza all the while holding the facts that would make or break him. Slowly he reached for the pieces of paper that lay within the tray. His hands shook slightly as he brought the text into focus. Fingers gripping the bright white sheets of paper before him, Albert’s breaths came out in hard bursts. The tale he had been told earlier was now starring at him in black and white. His eyes widened as he continued reading, each page more horrific then the last. There was no way for Albert to wrap his mind around the facts before him. As much as he knew the answer all he could do was repeat why…..why……why……over and over. How had this all happened right under the others noses, and even his own for a while without it ever being detected?

Albert reread the things about Richard. He seethed seeing the intricate detail that went into the plan to rob him of his only son. All these years he had been punishing himself for his own greed and that hadn’t been the case. Someone else’s need for the brass ring had been to blame.

Albert’s tortured screamed echoed throughout the empty club. Those images of Richard bleeding, dying in his arms that had been so neatly tucked away in the outer corners of his mind descended on him as if floodgates had been opened releasing their pent up waters.

In all reality his son had been needlessly sacrificed. Albert felt his fingernails digging into his flesh as his hands clenched into tight fists. The only thought he was able to focus on was revenge. The sweet taste of it filled him. In all the times prior his had done what needed to be to preserve ‘la familia’, this time was different. It was much more personal. So much so that he would take pleasure in the pain he would bring down upon the masses.

Albert toyed with the idea of what exactly to do with the individual who had furnished him with this information. Knowing the role he had played in this all made it so easy to add him to the fiery depths of his mind. There would be no mercy for there had been none for his son nor his brother and in the end none for Daniel either. For Albert this was where the destruction was about to come to an end.

“Hello?” he questioned gruffly into the mouthpiece of his cell phone.

“Did you find everything to your satisfaction?” the shaky voice answered still unsure he hadn’t thrown himself in the lion’s den.

“Quite satisfying,” Albert said through a clenched jaw.

“Well then I expected to be handsomely compensated for my efforts,” the voice said gaining some strength.

“And that you will,” Albert said holding his voice even as not to reveal his true agenda.

“Glad to see that we are understanding one another.”

“Oh yes I am finally understanding everything.”

“So we have a deal?” the man asked.

“Deal, well you could call it that……………..”

“I provided you with the proof you wanted and now I expect you to hand over the money I want!”

“Greedy…greedy aren’t we? I am a man true to my word. I assure you that no one from the business will be able to find you. That’s what you wanted isn’t it?”

“Yeah…….” the man hesitated unsure that he and Albert were on the same page.

“Where are you?” Albert inquired.

“A small dive hotel outside of Tucson.”

“Well you sit tight there. I will make sure you get what’s due to you. Just remember one false move and the deal’s off! ARE YOU UNDERSTANDING ME?!?!?”

“Don’t make me wait forever!” he countered.

“Not to worry. I plan on making this all swift and painless,” Albert ended the conversation without leaving room for the man to react to the remark.

“One down……one to go,” Albert cackled in a manner he hadn’t in quite some time,

“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT NOW!?!?!” he growled into the ringing phone again.

“Albert,” Joe’s voice met his ear as his mouth suddenly went dry terrible thoughts firing rapidly in his brain, “I think you need to get back here pronto.”


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