Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 66

Republisher’s Note: Things heat up as Carmen Santos arrives to find Danny in the hospital and Michelle by his side.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 66

Ross did a double take at the figure that quickly passed through his line of vision. An overwhelming sensation of dread filled him. He didn’t want to believe that he had just seen Ben Warren but the knot in the pit of his stomach told him otherwise.
Ross had known about Ben’s alliance with Carmen Santos yet his illustrious brother had him over a barrel again. If Ross had pressed the issue, he was certain to arouse suspicion in Carmen, which would in turn have put Michelle in danger again. For all his good intentions it appeared that she was still very much in danger.

Ross was unable to shake the cold shroud that covered his body. Each time he thought that his “brother” couldn’t do anything to further disgust him, Ben was right there to prove him wrong again.

“Sir,” the young girl behind the counter came to mop up Ross’s spilled coffee, “Would you like more?” she gestured to the empty cup.

“Huh…..ah no…no thank you,” he returned eyes still riveted to the now empty corridor.

“Mr. Marler,” Jenny said placing her hand on his arm, “Are you all right? You look as if you have seen a ghost.”

“I wish,” Ross whispered.

“Now about this information that you are holding for my nephew,” Albert wasn’t about to let this issue die. He was more then certain that between whatever Danny had entrusted to this man and his own little bomb; everything was about to change for them all. “Have you heard a word that I have said?” Albert barked.

Ross hadn’t stopped starring out the large panels of glass that encased the coffee shop. He hoped to catch another glimpse of the person who was the identical match for Ben.

“What?”

“Mr. Marler!” Albert barked steadily losing what little patience he still possessed.

“I’m sorry,” Ross apologized gaining his bearings.

“Now again, about that envelope of Danny’s……….”

“We have been through this already……..” Ross began.

“Albert,” the sound of Bernardo’s voice startled them, “we need to speak in private.” Bernardo carefully eyed those in the room. Seemed to him that the cast of characters in this abstract play was growing by leaps and bounds.

“What is it?” Albert returned.

“Privately please,” Bernardo stressed as his eyes made their way around the room.

“Carmen’s gone. She knows about Danny……” Nino blurted out.

“DAMN YOU!!” Bernardo raised his hand to his son, “Don’t you ever know when to keep your damn mouth shut!?!?!?”

“Gone?!?!?! What do you mean by gone?” Albert’s mouth went dry with the images of Carmen making her way to Texas.

“Apparently she has found out about Danny’s being shot.”

“How??????”

“Albert, it’s been all over the papers……..”

“I called her,” Jenny whispered fearing the wrath her omission would elicit.

“WHAT!?!?!?!” both Albert and Bernardo said in unison completely taken aback by her words.

“I couldn’t help myself,” she eked out.

“You couldn’t help yourself!?!?!” Albert couldn’t do more then stare at her flabbergasted at it all.

“When I called there was a real possibility that Danny could die. I couldn’t…….” she stopped in mid-sentence not knowing how to make her reasoning make sense to those before her.

“You couldn’t what?!?!” Bernardo questioned anxiously.

“She’s still his mother,” Jenny found the words spilling from her lips unfathomable yet they continued to come forth.

“Like hell she is. She is a lying…….”

Albert stopped Bernardo before he was able to say anymore. “Jenny, really you of all people called Carmen?” Albert was still trying to grasp this concept. She nodded her response. “Why????” he echoed again.

“I told you,” she whispered looking away, “I couldn’t let what happened to me happen to another mother, even one as despicable as Carmen.”

“CARMEN DOESN’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT DANIEL!!!” Bernardo yelled, “SHE’S A CONNIVING WITCH WHO’S ONLY THOUGHT IS OF HERSELF. AND WHAT YOU BROUGHT HER HERE TO TAKE CARE OF DANIEL TOO!!!!”

“Enough man!!” Albert shot Bernardo a hard look. The events of the night Richard died, murdered actually, inundated him again. He had never even called his own wife on that fateful night. He had been too numb to think straight. Miguel handled all of it. That had been the beginning of the end for him. The guilt ebbed its way through the cracks in his soul. So much death and destruction had been laid at his feet, even though he had not truly been the reason or cause of it.

“It’s not nearly enough. Do you understand what she’s done? She might as well have led the lamb to the slaughter!” Bernardo seethed. His rage was a mixture of his own inward anger for how badly he had let himself be duped and for the having to relive the loss of a dear friend.

“BERNARDO……Jenny is my wife and you will treat her with respect! She actually might have made our job easier.”

“You are joking right?” he quizzed him.

Jenny stood silent as though she wasn’t even in the room. She wanted to scream that she knew; scream that she wanted revenge as much as they did but nothing happened. She stood not saying anything as the tears ran down her cheeks. Suddenly she felt more helpless now then she had ever felt before. In the prior years, she had been content to live her life with her head tucked in the sand, but now that she possessed knowledge, knowledge that made it impossible to continue in her oblivion she felt like she was about to explode.

“She’s got that damn suit with her,” Bernardo growled, “That arrogant son of a bitch thinks he’s in the catbird seat.”

“What are you talking about?”

“She conned us into believing this guy Ben Warren…..”

“Excuse me did you say Ben Warren?” Ross interrupted.

“Who the hell is this?” Bernardo eyed the tiny man before him.

“Bernardo, this is Ross Marler. He’s Danny’s attorney from Springfield.”

“What?”

“I don’t have time to go into this right now. Did you say Ben Warren?” Ross asked again.

“What’s it to you?” Bernardo played his mafia role to the hilt.

“More like what’s it to Danny and Michelle. If I just saw who I think I did…..Carmen is already here.”

******************************************************

Piercing black eyes met piercing black eyes. Danny felt the rise and fall of his chest as his breaths escaped in quick bursts as he did his best to gather enough of his senses to protect Michelle. It scared the hell out of him to be at such a disadvantage. Lying there virtually unable to move under his own power frustrated him. He was a prisoner to his own body at the moment.

“Danny?” Michelle’s sweet voice wafted into his ear. She immediately sensed the tautness of every muscle in his body.

“YOU!!!!!” Carmen’s voice sliced through the thick tension that hung in the air.

“Hello mother,” Danny’s voice never faltered. Never once did he show the true fear that coursed through him. In some ways Carmen had taught him well.

“SHE IS SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD!!!” Carmen’s eyes traveled the length of Michelle’s slender body. She hard difficulty understanding just how it was the waif of a girl had caused her son’s demise. She wasn’t letting herself believe the things in the folder that Ben had showed her.

“That’s only one person’s opinion, Mother.”
“YES!! The only person who’s opinion matters here! I am the BOSS, Daniel. My orders are not to be ignored!”

Michelle squeezed Danny’s hand as Carmen took a step closer to them. She heard her heart beating out loud. The sense of peace that she and Danny had just gained was about to be all washed away.

“There is a first time for everything mother,” Danny chided.

“I will not accept such disrespect from my only surviving son,” Carmen stressed the word surviving as she glared intently at Michelle.

“I don’t really give a damn what you will accept or what you want anymore. I was certain that I made myself completely clear of that when I left Springfield.”

“Things have changed. We now know who is responsible for killing your brother,” her words dripped with venom as she took another step further into the confines of Danny’s room.
“Yes Mother, we do……Mick is responsible for his own death!”

“You can’t actually tell me you are buying the garbage this little tramp has been feeding you about your brother!?!?!” Carmen was angered by his lack of loyalty.

“It was an easy meal to swallow. All of it was true. Mick played with fire one too many times and this time he got burnt.”

“How can you be so callous? Mick was your only brother.”

“It’s easy when you have had an excellent teacher,” Danny spat recalling the lack of tears that had been shed by the woman standing before him.

“I love my children, Daniel…..all of my children!”

“What a joke!” Danny countered laughing as the tightness in his chest pressed on. “Please Mother, now who is the one shoveling the garbage?”

“Everything that I have done…has been to ensure you got what was rightfully yours.”

“How many times are you going to tell the tired lie? Do you think that I am completely blind or better yet an idiot? Mother, you and your actions are more transparent then that pane of glass.”

“Daniel….I did it all for you……”

“Don’t you mean for yourself?” he pushed.

“If I hadn’t stepped in our family would have lost everything!”

“Maybe that would have been for the best. Maybe just maybe I would still have a brother and my sister would know me.” Danny choked on his words as his breathing began becoming labored.

“Danny?” Michelle said forcing him to look into her eyes, “Listen to me. You can’t do this. You have to stay calm!” Michelle turned to Carmen, Danny’s health far more important to her than her own safety. “I think you better leave. You are upsetting him. And right now that is the last thing he needs.” Michelle hadn’t any idea where her sudden outburst came from but the doctor in her sensed that Danny was teetering on the edge.

“You expect me to listen to you?” Carmen asked mockingly. “Mick can seek his own revenge!” she cackled as she pulled the pistol she had concealed under her coat.
Michelle felt the blood drain from her face as she stared down the barrel of the gun.

Danny flashed from his mother’s face to that of Michelle’s. His worst nightmare was playing out right before his eyes and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it.
“MOTHER!!!!!!!!!!” Danny screamed with all he had.

“If you won’t do what’s right to honor your blood then it looks like I will have to do it myself.”

******************************************************

Albert and the others raced to the elevator. All with separate thoughts dancing about their heads.

DAMN!!!” Albert pounded his fist as the elevator doors shut just as the group reached them. “If we don’t get to Danny now….Michelle is as good as DEAD!!” his voice had a cryptic lilt to it. Albert toyed with the idea of just what watching his mother kill the woman he loved while he could do nothing to stop it would do to Danny. He knew that that would be the end of the Danny they had once known.

“Where are the stairs?” Jenny’s voice was frantic as she had the very same thoughts her husband had running through his head.

“Whoa…hold on a second…….who the hell is Michelle and why is she as good as dead?!?” Nino piped in completely confused.

“I was wondering that myself,” Bernardo added as he watched the two of them scurry about the corridor.

“THERE’S NO TIME TO EXPLAIN!!!” Albert barked just as the elevator doors slid open.
The ride to the fourth floor was the longest of all of their lives.

******************************************************

Joe and Sarah entered Danny’s room just in time to see a dark haired woman with a gun drawn on Michelle.

“NOT AGAIN!!” Sarah gasped.

“Both of you just go,” Michelle ordered. “You don’t have anything to do with this. GO!!! Just GO!!!!” she screamed her fear finally getting the better of her. She took a sideways glance at Danny and knew that his color was far too pale….almost gray. The stress of all of this was weighing heavy on him.

“Listen,” she directed her comment towards Carmen, “It’s me you want, right??? Well then take me. But not here. If you love your son the way you said you should be able to see that this is too much for him.”

“Michelle!” Joe said watching Danny as he reached out to her. Willing her to stop what it was she was making her best attempt at.

“JOE……GO TAKE SARAH AND GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!! PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MORE PAIN!!!” her voice quivered.

“What we are just leaving her!?!?!?!” Sarah hysterically screamed as Joe pulled her from Danny’s room.

“We have to let her do this,” Joe offered not truly believing his own words.

It was then that Joe caught sight of Albert running towards him. By the looks on the faces of all those coming he was certain they knew the gravity of what was taking place.

“CARMEN!!!!” Albert’s voice roared as he burst into the room. Silently Michelle breathed as Albert stood between her and the gun pointed at her. “YOU WILL NOT DO THIS!!!”

“Get out of the way, Albert. You lost your right to make decisions fifteen years ago,” Carmen said calmly never removing her eyes from Michelle.

“That right is not yours any more either!” he countered.

“It’s very much my right!” she forced, “NOW GET OUT OF THE WAY OR I WON’T HESITATE TO SHOOT YOU AS WELL!!!!!”

With those words something in Jenny snapped, she wasn’t able to hold her fury any longer. Before she knew what was happening she lunged at Carmen knocking her to the ground.

“IF YOU THINK I AM GOING TO STAND BY AND LET YOU TAKE ANOTHER SANTOS MAN FROM ME……YOU ARE THE ONE WHO DESERVES TO DIE YOU HEARTLESS BITCH!!!!!”

Any further words Jenny uttered were drowned out by her screams of anger.
In the scuffle, Joe took the opportunity to pick up Carmen’s gun that skated across the room, “Jenny,” Albert reached to pull his wife from atop of Carmen.

“I couldn’t let her kill you. Not like she did Richard and her own husband……..”

“What?” Danny’s weak voice stopped the mass of people in their tracks.

“Danny, I didn’t mean for you to find out like this…….”

“Jenny…..what are you talking about?” Albert asked not ready to admit the things she spoke were the truth.

“I heard you, Albert. I heard you tell Bernardo everything. I know that because of her,” Jenny shoved Carmen hard into Bernardo’s waiting arms, “I lost my only son! She killed him because she thought he posed a threat to her precious power. I lost the only child I was ever going to have to her greed!”

“Jenny enough!” Albert spouted.

“No, let her finish,” Danny said gathering what little strength he had left.

“Danny,” Michelle came to his side. She put her fingers easily where she could feel his pulse. Beneath her touch she felt it racing, “This can wait.”

“THE HELL IT CAN!!!” he yelled, “I need to know everything. Tell me…….TELL ME!!!”

“Daniel, this isn’t a good time. You remember what Dr. Hacker said earlier.”

“And you must have forgotten what I said as well,” Danny’s voice was stronger with the adrenaline that coursed through him again.

“Danny, please,” Michelle pleaded kissing him gently, “I love you. I can’t stand to see you go through this. You have been through so much already. Please……” the tears stopped any further words.

“SOMEONE TELL ME ABOUT MY FATHER!!!!”

“I just found this out myself……”

“Albert, you can’t keep this up!” Michelle forced as she eyes the heart monitors beside her. The information that looked back at her frightened her.

“Michelle, you know as well as I do he isn’t going to stop until will tell him.”

She bit her tongue as to not let the thoughts, thoughts that scared the hell out of her, drop from her lips.

“What your aunt has said is true. Your mother orchestrated my son’s killing. She did an excellent job. We all believed it was the work of a rival family. That’s what she wanted. She took something Richard said out of turn as a threat and acted upon it. She never expected to get the two for one deal she did. She didn’t expect me to ask to be let go.”

“What about my father?” Danny whispered. Michelle took his hand in hers. She sensed what was about to come next. The horror of it was unfathomable.

“I’m sorry, Daniel….so sorry,” Albert searched the cavities of his brain for the words to make this reality hurt less, but there were none. This would be a tough pill to swallow.

“What?” he asked again as the tears crested his lashes.

“After I left the business, Miguel steadily lost the taste for it. Yes, he still played his role and did his best to bring you into the fold. But it wasn’t what he wanted really. It took him a bit longer then me but he couldn’t stomach the killing. He was looking into taking the business into more legitimate avenues until one day it was all legit. Carmen didn’t want that. As you already well know, she loves the power that the underworld provides her. So she took steps to make sure things stayed status quo.”

“What steps?” his voice was barely audible.

“When she couldn’t get you father to see things her way……” Albert was choking on the words that came next.

“WHAT!?!?!” Danny screamed as one of the monitors sounded.

“Danny, Carmen set your father up to be killed. She knew that the others knew nothing about his true plans, only that he was grooming you to take over when you grew old enough. She used that to her advantage to gain the power she always thought was rightfully hers.”

“YOU!!!” Danny finally looked at his mother who was cowering under Bernardo’s tight grasp, “YOU SET UP TO HAVE MY FATHER KILLED RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!! FOR GOD SAKES I WAS FOURTEEN FUCKING YEARS OLD!! WHAT KIND OF A MONSTER DOES SOMETHING LIKE THAT?!?!?!”

“Danny,” Michelle tried to use her voice to calm him down. The effort was fruitless. She understood his rage but also knew how detrimental it was for him at the moment.

“OH BUT YOU LOVE US SO MUCH ISN’T THAT RIGHT MOTHER????? YOU LOVED ME ENOUGH TO TRAUMATIZE ME WITH SUCH A HORRIFIC EVENT.!!!!”

“I did what was necessary, Daniel.” Carmen hung tight to her version of the world.

“AS WILL I,” he said his breathing suddenly taking on a painfully labored effort. “YOU ARE DEAD TO ME MOTHER!!! AS OF THE DAY MY FATHER DIED…..I LOST BOTH MY PARENTS!”

“You have to understand……I love you, Daniel. I did what was best for the family,” she tried to wrestle herself from Bernardo’s grip. There had to be a way to make him understand that she only was looking out for her family.

“What I understand is the only family I have now is Uncle Albert, Aunt Jenny and Michelle.” Danny reached for Michelle’s hand to hasten his point.

“You can’t do this to me. I won’t let you push me away. I AM YOUR FAMILY!!!!”

“You are as good as dead.”

“Daniel, please….please try to understand what it was like for me when your father died. I didn’t have anything. I couldn’t support your brother, your sister and you. I had to make sure we were taken care of.”

“TAKEN CARE OF!!!!!” Danny laughed without a trace of humor, “TAKEN CARE OF………………MY GOD YOU KILLED YOUR OWN HUSBAND!!!!! YOU ARE DEAD TO ME. GET OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Danny’s last out burst sent the remaining alarms sounding but it wasn’t until the heart monitor flat lined that the room went silent.

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