Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 63

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

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 63

Jenny took a ragged breath as she pressed her body against the coldness of the hospital corridor wall. The thoughts and emotions swam about the recesses of her mind to the point where she felt as though she were drowning. She couldn’t face standing in Danny’s room for a second longer the ghosts of her past threatened to consume her. Yet, the relief Jenny was hoping to find outside the confines of that suffocating room never came. The knowledge that she now held tightly to only served to be an ever present reminder of her son’s senseless death. All those hurdles that Albert and she had been able to scale in the past months came back to trip her up again.

Jenny felt the tears but when she touched her cheeks there were none there. It was as if they had been turned inward to quench the burning fury within.

She watched Albert shake Bernardo’s hand before he walked into the awaiting elevator. She couldn’t help but wonder just what had been decided, suddenly torn by what she wanted to have happen and exactly what she would be able to live with. Her initial rage was now tempered with thoughts of reality. That reality being that they were now embroiled back in an existence that had cost them so much already. The one consolation was that finally the person responsible for it all would be the last causality.

“Jenny,” Albert said as he approached his wife who’s form was still hard pressed against the wall, “What is it?”

“Nothing,” she whispered.

“Is it Daniel?” he questioned.

“No, no Danny is resting just like Dr. Hacker said. It’s just this roller coaster ride we have been on these last few months……” she paused not wanting to reveal what she had overheard.

“I know it’s been maddening,” he concurred cradling her solidly in his arms, all the while thinking ‘if you only knew the half of it.’

“Bernardo didn’t wish to stay to see Danny?” Jenny asked hoping that Albert would be forthcoming with his plans.

“He and Nino had some of their own affairs to take care of. I am sure he will be back. Daniel and he have grown very close since Miguel’s death.”

Jenny bit her tongue. She fought the feelings of hurt that Albert had chosen to keep her in the dark once more that were beginning to fill her. Isn’t this how they had ended up as mere strangers for all those years? The secrets and lies that were forever present between them, “Albert, I want you to know…….,” she began as the door to Danny’s room swung open revealing a teary eyed Michelle standing before them.

“What is it?” the pair said in unison.

“He’s awake,” she returned breathless.

“What?” Albert couldn’t help but sound surprised.

“I was talking to him and all of the sudden he said Michelle,” she explained not really believing it either.

“That’s wonderful,” Jenny reached for her hand reassuringly, “I knew that he would need you.”

“What on earth are we doing out here?” Albert asked wanting to see his nephew, “He shouldn’t be alone in there.”

“I was going to get a nurse. I think that they will want to assess his condition for the doctors.” Michelle’s voice held a confidence that had been sorely lacking until now. It was almost as though the medical training that she once had found it’s way to her again.

“I will do that,” Jenny offered still a bit gun shy about entering that room again. Her nerves were raw still from the flood of information and Albert’s lack of willingness to include her in his plans.

“No, no,” Michelle said, “Both you and Albert deserve to be with him. I can take care of this. It will only take a minute.” Michelle walked away before either had a chance to object again. She needed the moment to herself. Yes Danny had called her name but she wasn’t letting herself believe that it had meant anything yet. It could have been an involuntary response. She needed the time to gather her thoughts and steel herself for the fact that Danny could realize what all she had been responsible for and turn her away. She needed to be prepared for that.

Albert and Jenny made their way to either side of Danny’s bed. To her he looked just as pale as he had earlier. “Daniel,” Albert said softly, “We’re here son……Maybe Michelle was mistaken?” he commented searching his wife’s blank expression.

“Mistaken?”

“Maybe she only thought he said her name.” He couldn’t help being disappointed at not finding Danny more coherent.

“He did just get out of surgery,” she could hear the bite to her voice returning. As much as she wanted to stop that from happening she couldn’t. She was in a sudden tailspin causing herself to revert back to all those ways of protecting herself.

“Jenny?” Albert starred at her confused by her abrupt change in attitude.

“I am sorry,” she said looking into the dark pools of her husband’s eyes. She had to force herself to remember that he wasn’t the enemy. That he had never truly been. It was time for her to direct her anger at the appropriate force.

“Uncle Albert?” a weak voice invaded Jenny’s thoughts.

“Yes, Daniel, it’s Uncle Albert. Your Aunt Jenny’s here as well.” He leaned in closer as to hear Danny’s next words.

“What happened?”

“Danny, you were shot,” Albert said matter of fact.

“Shot?!?!” he repeated astounded by the thought, yet that astonishment was quickly replaced by the recall of events that rushed him.

Instantly he was again standing holding Michelle in his tight grasp. He could almost hear her pleading her version of events the night Mick was killed. He couldn’t wrap his thoughts around the image of it all. How could this girl who was precious to him have been capable of killing his brother?

“Danny?” Albert said watching the hard mask fall across the young man’s features. “Do you remember anything that happened?”

“I remember everything,” he returned his voice cold.

“Melanie…….” Albert began not understanding if everything to Danny included the fact that Melanie and Michelle were one in the same.

“Don’t you mean Michelle?” he said as he tried to sit up however the stabbing pain in his chest kept him down.

“Easy son,” Albert reached out to him.

“NO!” he strained again to sit up, “There is something you really need to know about Melanie,” Danny gasped doing his best to control his pain.

“We know Danny,” Jenny said, “We know everything,” she looked Albert directly in the eye as she spoke hoping to make him understand that she truly did know everything.

“You know?!?! You know she killed my brother and that all this time she has been playing me for a FOOL!!” Danny couldn’t let himself remember all the goodness that they had shared. No matter what feelings he had for Michelle, he couldn’t bring himself to imagine a life with her. Not knowing what he knew. Mick’s role in it all didn’t make a damn bit of difference.

“Danny, please calm down,” Jenny asked calmly. “You need to remain still and quiet. You just had major surgery to repair your heart.” She tried to be the voice of reason but it was lost on him.

“Daniel, I don’t see Michelle as playing you for a fool,” Albert said knowing exactly where his nephew was headed. “Don’t forget that you too did not portray yourself as who you truly were.”

“So what you are saying that this is my fault?” Danny’s voice grew angry, “You expect me to just forgive and forget?!?! MICK’S DEAD!!!” With those words the alarm indicating a spike in Danny’s blood pressure sounded.

“Excuse me,” a nurse said as she pushed past Albert in effort to get to Danny, “You will have to leave now. The least stress is best for him.”

“No, I want them to stay,” Danny said eying his uncle angrily.

“Mr. Santos,” the nurse began, “Your recovery depends……”

“Do you not understand English? I said I want them to stay.”

“I am going to get doctor.”

“You do that!” Danny countered to the nurse’s retreating back.

“Danny, please,” Jenny said reaching for his clenched fist.

“What?”

“This really isn’t a good time to discuss this. You have barely been out of surgery for more then a few hours. We can talk about this later. You need to rest right now, build your strength.”

“There is nothing to talk about,” he countered, “I DON’T EVER WANT TO SEE MELANIE…MICHELLE WHATEVER THE HELL HER NAME IS AGAIN!!!!”

The harsh reality of those words stopped Michelle in mid step. As much as she wanted to believe that she was ready to hear them, she wasn’t. Any words that had formed were caught around the lump in her throat, her only action was to run from the room tears making their way down her cheeks.

“Let her go,” Albert said as Jenny was about to take off after the young woman, “We have more important things to take care of here!” Albert barked his eyes burning holes through his own flesh and blood.

Michelle tore down the corridor without a clue to where she was running. ‘I DON’T EVER WANT TO SEE MELANIE….MICHELLE WHATEVER THE HELL HER NAME IS AGAIN!!! I DON’T EVER WANT TO SEE MELANIE….MICHELLE WHATEVER THE HELL HER NAME IS AGAIN!!!!’ resounding in her head.

Why had she been surprised by his reaction? It was a normal honest reaction to what she had done. But that didn’t stop it from hurting as much as it did. She had truly lulled herself into believing that their love would be enough to get past any obstacle. What a joke that had been. Killing Mick, killing Danny’s brother wasn’t just an obstacle. It wasn’t something simple that could be explained away. It was a curse that would follow her forever.

The burst of cool air hit Michelle in the face as she rushed through the swinging doors of the hospital.

“ROSS!?!?!”

“MICHELLE?!?!”

Both individuals stood spellbound by the other never expecting to see one another again.

“What are you doing here?” they said in unison.

Ross’s mind had been racing ever since he had read in the paper about Danny Santos being shot. The true kicker was that he was in the same town that Michelle had been sent to. In his plane ride there he hadn’t let his mind entertain the thought that Michelle might somehow be in danger but now standing face to face with her he knew she was.

“Does the Santos family know you are here?” he whispered.

“Yes,” she nodded.

“What?” he as astonished to find her still breathing after that comment.

“It’s not what you think.”

“Not what I think? You are telling me that they found you here?”

“Not exactly.”

“Michelle, you aren’t making a damn bit of sense.”

“I know. What are you doing here?” she asked not really wanting to rehash her romance with Danny just yet.

“Never mind that. What the hell is going on here?”

“I think you better sit down,” she directed him to a stone bench near the entrance.

“What!?!?! Here?!?!? I think we should contact the agent in charge of your case and have them get you the hell out of here. The last thing you need is a run in with the Santos Family.'”

“The Feds cut me loose.”

“WHAT!?!?!?!”

“It’s a long story, Ross.”

“Well you certainly aren’t safe here.”

“But I am. Albert has seen to that.”

“ALBERT!?!?!” With each sentence that passed by Michelle’s lips the more confused Ross became.

“Albert Santos. He’s Danny’s uncle. He promised that I would be safe.”

“Michelle, could you please tell me what the hell is going on!” Ross barked his voice a mixture of fear and anger.

“I am trying,” she stressed.

Ross sat quietly and listened as Michelle wound her unbelievable tale of the last few months more surprised by each turn of events.

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