Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 64

Republisher’s Note: Danny wakes up from life threatening surgery and thinks he can’t get past Michelle killing Mick.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 64

Jenny’s eyes toggled between the swinging door that Michelle had just run crying through and the angry pairs of eyes belonging to her husband and nephew. She was torn on following Albert’s orders and her own instincts. She could imagine the pain that had befallen Michelle at Danny’s very vocal explosion. Jenny was certain Michelle’s worst fears had come true in his angry words. Her heart ached for the young girl who had been caught up in a spider’s web that wasn’t even of her own making.

Against her better judgment, Jenny remained along side Danny’s bed. A force inside of her told her that she would be better served there rather than running. Since that was what she was truly doing. Comforting Michelle was easier then staying and facing the words she inevitably knew she would have to hear Albert say again. She swallowed hard and steeled herself for the next wave in this never-ending battle.

“WHAT!?!?!” Jenny heard Danny’s voice bark in her ears as he stared hard at Albert.

“What????” Albert echoed angered by the fact that his nephew was letting a code of honor, one that he now knew no longer existed, rule his thoughts and actions.

“That’s right…..what?!?!?!”

Jenny watched, as Danny’s face grew flushed at his attempt to hold back his rage.

“Daniel,” Albert sighed searching for the words to make this right for him. He knew that the truth wouldn’t serve that purpose. It would only muddy the waters further, but there was so much that Albert knew that Danny had a right to know.

“Yes uncle,” Danny spat back sarcastically.

“I understand……..”

“Oh you do?” Danny cut him off, “You understand what it’s like to be made a fool of for months?”

Albert swallowed the words that threatened to escape past his lips. Words that would have said ‘how would you feel about years?’

“Son, Michelle’s deception wasn’t intentional.”

“Wasn’t intentional???” Danny laughed yet there was no humor to its sound.

“NO,” Albert stressed again.

“I can’t believe THE GREAT ALBERT SANTOS…..once MIGHTY HAMMER for my father is so god damned gullible!”

“Daniel,” Jenny said astonished by his attack.

“No, Jenny let the boy speak. I will get my turn.” Albert reached across the bed for his wife’s hand thankful for her support. Support that had been not there for many years now.

“You expect me to just pretend that she isn’t responsible for my brother’s death? How am I supposed to ever look at her again and not know that she left him on the beach that night, blood pouring from his head? That she made no attempt to help him…..” Danny was having difficulty masking his sorrow with his anger. His voice cracked at the recollection of the events that he had read in the file folder he had found at Michelle’s apartment. “She didn’t even bother to call 911 for God sakes,” he gasped.

“All those things may be true……”

“May be true?!?!” Danny’s gasping voice cut Albert off again, “THE WHOLE DAMN THING IS TRUE!!!!”

“Yes, but so are your feelings for her. You can’t deny them.”

“Those don’t matter anymore.”

“The hell they don’t!” Albert forced, “Those are the only things that do matter,” he countered.

“SHE KILLED MICK!!!!”

“You know very well that Mick was the maker of his own demise. Michelle was only the instrument,” Albert looked Danny squarely in his cold black eyes, “There is no denying that Mick had been a loose cannon for many many years. Your father knew that and Danny if you search your heart you will know it, too.”

Albert’s truth filled words caused Danny to look away.

“So what? That gives her license to end his life?!?!” Danny wasn’t able to give into the emotions that his feelings for Michelle elicited within him.

“Why are you being so stubborn, man? Do you really know what your brother did to her?”

“Yes.”

“Then how can you not understand? She was fighting for her life that night. Come on Danny, you know what Mick was, you know what he was capable of doing. Are you telling me that you would have wanted Michelle sacrificed in that violent of a way?”

“No,” Danny’s voice was barely a whisper.

The words of what Mick had attempted to do to Michelle replayed like a bad dream that he couldn’t stop from advancing in his mind. He could see her face as she had recounted the entire experience with Mick before she had known who he was. The terror was self-evident.

He lifted the arm unencumbered by IV tubes and ran his fingers through his hair sighing.

“Danny, are you all right?” Jenny’s concern was very apparent.

“That’s what I would like to know. What the hell is going on in here?” Dr. Hacker asked entering the room with the nurse from earlier in tow, “I thought I made myself perfectly clear that he was far from out of the woods yet?” The doctor’s anger was very noticeable as he went about the business of looking over each monitor Danny was attached to carefully.

“We are sorry, Doctor,” Jenny said. The last thing either of them wanted to do was jeopardize Danny’s health in any way.

“Sorry isn’t good enough. The spikes in Mr. Santos’ blood pressure are the last thing he needs at the moment. His heart has suffered enough stress as it is.”

“Hello….” Danny said waving his hand in the air, “You know I am in this room too. I would prefer that you talked to me, not at me.”

“Mr. Santos,” Dr. Hacker said addressing his patient finally, “Right now it is of the utmost importance that you remain calm. I know that you have been told very little about your condition but the bullet that we removed caused a great deal of damage to the heart muscle. While it was repairable that doesn’t negate the fact that the injury was very serious and your recovery is far from over. Do you understand?”

“Yes, but here’s something that you need to understand,” the edge to Danny’s tone cut through the silence of the room, “These people are my family and what we were discussing is far from finished. I would suggest that you and your Girl Friday there,” Danny pointed to the nurse standing vigil at the door, “leave us so that we can continue our conversation.”

“Danny,” Jenny and Albert said together flabbergasted by the way he had spoken to the man that had virtually saved his life.

“This is family business.”

“Mr. Santos,” Dr. Hacker began as he took Danny’s chart in his hand, “please understand that I am making a notation that you have been advised of the fragility of your condition however you have chosen to ignore it.”

“Note away,” Danny returned flippantly. Dr. Hacker took no time in making his remarks and throwing the chart down. “Now where were we?” he asked as soon as the doctor and nurse had departed.

“We were finished,” Jenny said.

“Hardly.”

“Danny, please,” she pleaded.

“I will make this concession,” he began, “I will not enact the revenge that my mother expects of me, but I will not ever see Michelle again.”

“YOU ARE THE DAMNED FOOL!!!!” Albert seethed.

“Albert, please,” Jenny eyed her husband sternly, “You heard what Dr. Hacker said. Is this really worth it right now?”

“He spoke his peace, now it’s my turn.” Albert wasn’t about to stand by and watch Danny throw away the one good thing in his life because of a mishap of circumstance. A mishap, which if it hadn’t happened would have never forced them to find each other in the first place.

“Be my guest, but you aren’t going to change my mind.”

“Wake up. Michelle Bauer….Melanie Branson was the best thing that ever happened to you. Forget all that you know about her past, but remember the person you fell in love with. That person hasn’t really changed. She is still the same loving girl who went out her way to make us all feel special not more then a week ago. She cared enough about Sarah to want to make her first Christmas without her mother bearable. You mean to tell me that because she defended herself against a violent attack that she is no longer worthy of your love? If that’s the case then you are far more the fool then you think I am.”
Albert searched Danny’s expression for some sign that he was hearing what was being said.

“Danny, Michelle wasn’t the only one not completely truthful here. You too decided that playing another role better suited you. The major difference being that Michelle was doing it to save herself. She was scared to death of the retaliation that she knew would come for what she had done. You on the other hand decided to be a Sampson because you thought that would make you more favorable in her eyes. Maybe you were right because if you hadn’t she would have run right then and there. But since she didn’t that gave you the chance to fall in love with her; gave you the chance to experience something that very few in this world do. And if you are going to let that slip through your fingers without a fight then more the pity for you.”

“What’s there to fight for? I can’t be with her. Not even if I wanted to.”

“The hell you can’t!”

“Carmen wants revenge and she expects me to get it for her.”

“Carmen is the least of your concerns right now.”

“I don’t think so. How do you think I found out about Michelle? Carmen set the entire thing up. She knows who killed Mick now. She’s not going to rest until she gets her eye for an eye.” The anguish Danny felt was finally showing through on the features of his face.

“Do you love Michelle?”

Danny sat silent for a minute. His heart knew the answer without a moment’s hesitation but his head wouldn’t let his mouth form the words.

“Danny,” Jenny spoke softly, “I will only say this once. That girl is completely and totally in love with you. She had no intention of ever lying to you. She was sent here with a new identity and all she was doing was trying her best to build a life here. She fell head over heels in love with you.”

“She fell in love with Danny Sampson,” he said.

“She didn’t fall in love with a name any more then you did. She fell in love with a man. Same as I did when I fell in love with Albert. Even through all her fear of what could happen to her by telling the truth she did it. She could have turned tail and ran falling into a new life that I am sure the Feds had all set in place for her but she didn’t. Michelle stayed and faced the truth because she loved you that much and felt responsible for what had happened to you. She deserves more then you just turning her away without so much as an explanation.”

“Do you love her, Danny?” Albert asked again.

“Yes,” he breathed the word escaping in his exhale.

“Then fight for the girl for heaven sakes.”

“It’s not that simple or easy.”

“Loving her was the simplest thing you ever did in your life. You know that’s the truth. Take that feeling and run with it. You both deserve that.”

“Could you find her for me?” he asked.

“Definitely,” Albert smiled at his wife glad in the fact that from this point forward the Santos family actually had a fighting chance.

Albert stopped short as he witnessed Michelle hugging a man he had never seen before. Every instinct within him sent his bells and whistles sounding in his head.

“Michelle?”

“Albert,” she ran into his arms, “He doesn’t want to ever see me again.”

“Quite the contrary. He sent me out to find you.”

“What? I heard what he said. He didn’t ever want to see me again.”

“Things said in the heat of anger aren’t always the truth.”

Albert’s eyes were riveted to Ross’ frame still unsure of just who he was and how he fit into this puzzle.

Albert’s apprehension was quite obvious to Michelle, “Albert, I would like to introduce you to Ross Marler. He is a family friend.”

“What’s he doing here?” Albert’s protectiveness was coming through loud and clear.

“Nice to meet you…..Albert Santos is it?” Ross offered his hand as he spoke.

“Sampson. It’s Albert Sampson.”

“You are Danny’s uncle?” Ross questioned.

“Yes I am. And just what are you doing here?” he asked again.

“I am Danny’s attorney.”

“Attorney?” Albert eyed him quizzically.

“That’s right. I too found it a bit odd that he would retain my services but he said that he needed someone above reproach. So he came to me.”

“Ross is a wonderful attorney,” Michelle added doing her best to ease the tension.

“That still doesn’t explain why you are here,” Albert countered ignoring Michelle’s words completely.

“In Danny’s instructions I was to hold an envelope for him in case of his demise. I was only to open if should he die. I got word of his being shot and I wasn’t sure what to do. So I headed here to meet with Danny if that was possible. Michelle has told me that he has come through the surgery. So I am not sure what he would like me to do with his information.”

“He gave you an envelope?”

“Yes.”

“What was in it?”

“I don’t have any idea.”

“Excuse me? You are his lawyer but you don’t know what you are holding for your client?”

“He told me that it would be best for me and my family if I was to remain in the dark.”

The wheels in Albert’s mind began to turn. He had to imagine that the information that this man was holding for Danny was the leverage against Carmen that he had spoken of. It might just come in handy given the current situation.

“Right now I think it would be best for all concerned if you kept this story to yourself.”

“I understand. If Danny is recovering then I don’t think there is any need for me to be here.”

“Ross, please stay,” Michelle said.

“Yes Mr. Marler stay. I am sure that Danny would like to speak with you. But right now we need to get you up there,” he said turning to Michelle.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?”

“Yes. Trust me. It’s what you both need.”

“I’m scared.”

“Don’t be. Danny loves you just as much as you do him.”

“I hope you are right.”

“I am. Mr. Marler, why don’t you head to the coffee shop? I will meet you there after I get Michelle settled with Danny.”

“Certainly.” Ross couldn’t help but feel the same butterflies in his stomach now as he had the day that Danny Santos had showed up at his office. He wasn’t in fear for his life but he couldn’t shake the sensation that he was headed into the snake pit.

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