Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 60

Republisher’s Note: Danny is fighting for his life in a hospital while Albert figures out what’s been going on.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 60

Carmen was still sitting perplexed blankly staring when Ben entered the room bottle of champagne in one hand and two crystal glasses in the other.

“I thought you wanted to celebrate?” he said gathering from the picture before him the tide had changed but again, “Carmen!” his voice resonated in her ears but never elicited response.

Suddenly the harsh reality of Jenny’s words were ringing true. Danny had been shot; Danny could die, a single tear made a track down her cheek. Ben stood in awe of the first true emotional display, other then rage, that he had been witness to. An immediate wave of cold fell over him. He couldn’t place the change but this was different and he couldn’t help but wonder just what it all might mean for him. He had wormed his way into the belly of the beast so to speak but abruptly he wondered if he would be its final meal.
Carmen sat silently wringing her hands, knowing that Ben sat on the edge of his seat wondering and waiting for her to speak but her mouth was too dry to do so. This was not the way things were to have played out.

The sweet tones of her once mothering voice took up residence in her brain. Magically she found herself thrown back in time, to the day Danny had been born. In slow motion she played frame after frame of his childhood. How inquisitive he was as a toddler always searching for something or wanting to learn something new. She had never been able to keep up with him. Carmen recalled how proud he was of himself the day he had won the elementary school spelling bee. ‘Mama, mama! I beat them all even the sixth graders!’ Carmen heard his voice as plain as if he had been standing right beside her now. ‘I know mijo, you are my smart one. You are going to grow into a smart, handsome man one day,’ Carmen even saw herself leaning in to kiss his head full of chocolate curls.
Where had that adoration she felt for him changed? Where did she suddenly see all her children as a means to an end? At the moment she couldn’t put her finger on it. It had just happened. She wanted to delude herself into believing it had taken place without her knowledge but even in her altered state her head and most definitely her heart wasn’t buying it.

“Carmen,” Ben’s voice again pricked at her.

“Yes?” she returned.

“What happened?”

“Daniel’s been shot.” The calm way she spoke startled him. There were no hysterics, no tears nothing. Her words were so devoid of any and all emotion that Ben found them eerie.

“Shot?”

“Yes.”

“By who?”

“I don’t know.”

“Carmen,” Ben said the panic that should have been Carmen’s was now his.

“What?”

“Is he alive?” Ben choked on the words.

“For now.”

“What are you going to do?”

“About?”

“ABOUT!?!?!”

“Yes?” Carmen said still lost in her dream state of days of yore. The frames had now toggled to scenes of her and Miguel bringing Pilar home and how much Danny loved his baby sister. She was still so desperately searching for the point in time when she ceased being a mother.

“DANNY’S THREAT!!!!” Ben’s voice rose an octave imagining how the fall out from all of this would ultimately effect him.

“What about it?”

“WHAT ABOUT IT!?!?!?!” Ben placed his face in hers probing her eyes for the remnants of the woman who only moments before had been Carmen Santos. Whoever had now taken up residence in her body didn’t understand the gravity of the things going on around her.

“Yes?” she said as she continued to watch the rerun of her life play out in her mind.
It was then that the scene she had waited for scrolled forward. It should have been an unheard conversation, however that hadn’t been the case. She had listened to Richard arguing with his father. Unhappy about the place that both men possessed within the family ranks. She heard the young man’s angry voice rattle off things like they should have been more then just killing machines; Miguel was using them to do his dirty work; why wasn’t it his father who had the power. Carmen could see Richard’s face as plain as day. At that moment in time was when she envisioned a threat to her family. And threats weren’t something that Carmen took lightly.

“CARMEN!!!!!!!!!” Ben’s angry voice forced her to stop reliving things that she had no control to change any longer.

“WHAT?!?!” she spat the Carmen that Ben knew had returned front and center.

“What the hell’s going on in that head of yours?!?!”

“Damage control.”

“Are you sure? For a minute there it looked like you were lost in a purple haze.”

“I was waging my plan of attack.”

“That means you have one?” Ben wasn’t so sure he was buying this just yet. Minutes ago she looked like a woman shell-shocked and now she was again the commander in charge. Ben felt as if she was walking the razor’s edge of sanity.

“Don’t I always?” she countered.

Ben raised his brows but said nothing. In the months that he had come to be a part of this organization, he had serious doubts about Carmen and her abilities. There were times he even found himself wondering if the others on the commission had the right idea about her from the get go, but for now he played along.

“That you do,” he smiled at his own private thoughts.

“We need to get to Texas right away.”

“But I thought you said………”

“Forget what I said,” she cut him short, “The rules have changed again,” she sighed, “I need to see my son.”

“More damage control, I take it?”

“Yes. I most certainly can’t have Daniel die,” Ben waited to hear any remorse at that word, but there was none, “without gaining control of the information I need.”

“What are you expecting to happen when you get there?” Ben questioned.

“I will get the information I need to put a stop all of this once and for all!”

“Oh really?” Ben suppressed a laugh.

“Either way I intend on remaining in my rightful place at the head of the table. Now pack your bag and be ready to leave for the airport in the hour!” she ordered.

“What about having someone stay behind to mind the store?” Ben said half-joking half-serious. Texas was the last place he wanted to be.

Carmen hadn’t divulged much of the story as to how Danny ended up getting shot in the first place. He couldn’t squash the feeling that the information that he had provided Carmen about Michelle Bauer had something to do with it all. He certainly couldn’t take the chance of showing up there and having her recognize him. That would lead to his head being on the chopping block as quick as hers. That was even if she was still alive.

“If we don’t get to Texas now!” she barked, “There won’t be a damn store to mind.”

“But Carmen what about what you said about Bernardo and the others. Don’t you think that it will raise their suspicions if both of us go? I mean we both know very well that none of them respect me. Wouldn’t it be better for me to stay behind?” Ben was pulling out all the stops. He would say just about anything not to have to go to Texas with her.

“Nothing will look out of the ordinary. For god sakes my son has been shot. He could die!” This was the first time that Ben heard her voice falter when she said that word. “I don’t think any of them would question my taking you with me. Now go get packed. We don’t have much time!” she ordered again.

Reluctantly Ben made his way out of the room feeling sicker to his stomach with each step he took.


Jenny looked up and was shocked at the faces that looked back at her. They were faces that she had never seen more then once or twice at meetings of the respective families that were passed off as family gatherings.

“Hello Jenny, you remember my son Nino?” Bernardo asked coming forward.

“Yes,” she said hearing her voice shake as she spoke.

“We heard the news about Daniel. How is he?”

“In surgery. Everything is pretty much still unknown at the moment.”

“We understand that Daniel was here because of some family business.” Bernardo would have preferred to speak with Albert but from the look on her face he knew that time was of the essence.

“Excuse me?” Jenny suddenly felt the panic rising into her chest.

“Carmen said that Danny’s here looking for Mick’s killer.” Nino spoke before forgetting that they were not alone in the room. The adrenaline that coursed through his body got the better of him as it always did.

“Nino!” his father growled looking directly at the timid girl who was now cowering behind Jenny.

“Sorry,” was all Nino could muster.

“Where is Albert?” Bernardo asked cursing himself for bringing his son in the first place.

“He had something to attend to at the club,” Jenny said squeezing Michelle’s shaking hand. She had no idea how much these two knew about Michelle and her role in the whole mess, but it looked like she was about to find out. She gathered her strength and continued, “Bernardo, I would like you to meet Melanie Branson. She is Danny’s girlfriend.” Jenny held her breath watching and waiting for the man’s reaction.

“Nice to meet you Melanie,” he reached for her trembling hand, “Daniel is a strong man. He will pull through this,” he said thinking that her tremors were more of fear of Danny’s condition then what was truly behind them.

“Why are you here?” Jenny finally said.

“Many reasons,” Bernardo began, “But the most important one is Daniel. I wanted to see him. Since his father died he has been like a son to me. I couldn’t think of any place I should be other then here.”

Jenny held her tongue. There were so many things that she wanted to say to this vile man standing before her, but she thought better of it. There were far too many variables and far too many lives at stake in this game.

Joe rounded the corner and nearly dropped the cups of coffee he was carrying. He knew in his gut he should have never left them alone. He had let Jenny talk him into believing that they would be fine in his absence. Currently from where he was standing that certainly didn’t appear to be the case. Jenny was doing her best to be the strong one but it was the look on Michelle’s face that troubled him the most. She was petrified. It was written over every part of her body. In haste he dropped the cups on the counter and pulled out his phone to call Albert. He didn’t know what else he could do.

“WHAT!?!?!” Albert’s voice barked at him.

“I think we have trouble,” Joe said meekly in comparison to that voice that met his ear.

“Trouble??? What do you mean by trouble? Is Danny’s mother there?”

“No, but there are two men here.”

“Men?” Albert searched the archives of his mind to put his finger on who Joe could have been talking about. For at the moment he was so over wrought with the things he had just read he couldn’t think straight.

“Yeah an older gentleman, well maybe not old. I would say about your age he looks serious in command and a young guy’s maybe a little older then Danny he seems like a punk with a lot of swagger. Michelle looks like she scared out of her mind…………….”

“And Jenny? How is my wife?” Albert’s words caught in his throat. The description was now bringing forth who was standing with Jenny and Michelle.

“She is holding her own. I just didn’t know what to do.”

“You did the right thing. I will be there momentarily. All I want you to do is follow Jenny’s lead.”

“Huh?”

“Joe, those men well the older one, is part of The Commission……..”

“Commission?” Joe questioned.

“Never mind, all you need to know is that they are part of the world that wasn’t too happy that Danny decided to form a life outside of the one that they wanted for him. Jenny knows these men, so trust me when I say follow her lead until I can get there.”

“Whatever you say, Albert. I will do my best.”

“Good man, just be sure to let Jenny know I am on my way.”

“Will do.”

Albert sat back against the cool leather of his chair running his hands endlessly over his wary face. Why were Bernardo and Nino in Texas? He couldn’t believe that they had come at Carmen’s request. He wondered exactly how much they really knew with regards to Michelle and her role in the Santos family. Then there was the ever present question did Bernardo have any clue as to the things that he held in his hands. Had he been party to the things that Dietz had been?

Albert wouldn’t entertain such thoughts. Bernardo had been like a brother to he and Miguel. He couldn’t wrap his mind around such thoughts. It couldn’t be possible. Bernardo would have never been party to such an act, but maybe his being in Texas would come in handy after all.

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