Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 67

Republisher’s Note: Danny’s life is in the balance in the hospital.

Mistaken Identity by Lisa Chapter 67

As the alarms still sounded around them, it was the monotone sound of death that rendered all frozen. Even as the doctors and nurses flooded the room, their actions all seemed be in slow motion.

Michelle felt her tears methodically trickle down her cheeks and drop from her chin. They were coming so quickly that there wasn’t time to wipe them away. She looked on as the crash cart was frantically pushed into Danny’s room.

She heard the tortured cries of Danny’s mother calling his name; she watched Albert cradle Jenny in his arms as she sobbed uncontrollably; she felt a strong pair on hands come to rest on her shoulders, but in some odd way it was like she was standing outside of it all desperately praying that this was all some very bad dream.

“I NEED ALL OF THESE PEOPLE REMOVED IMMEDIATELY!!!” Dr. Hacker bellowed.
The nurse’s vain attempt to empty the room only pushed the doctor’s anger further.
“GET OUT!!!! ALL OF YOU NOW!!!”

Ross was the only voice of reason in the room, “I think we better go,” he said as he made his way behind the group shell shocked by the chain of events that had just taken place.

Ben stepped off the elevator in time to hear the “code blue” page being sounded over the hospital PA system. It wasn’t until he heard the room number that he stopped dead in his tracks. The number belonged to Danny’s room.

The thoughts he entertained were extensive. Any number of scenarios could have played out. He couldn’t stop himself from wondering just who it was that was dying in that room. Given the caliber of things it could very well have been anyone.

He should have turned tail and run but his morbid curiosity got the better of him. He had come this far he couldn’t stop now. His ever-growing greed pushed him forward even when his better judgment told him to stop, so what was a few more steps? The likelihood of Michelle Bauer still being alive wasn’t very good leaving him with very little to be concerned about.

As he rounded the corner all that was about to change when he caught sight of not only Michelle but Ross as well. Instantly his mouth went dry as he tried in vain exact some, any kind of damage control for himself. As quickly as a plan of action began formulating in his mind was a quickly as it was dashed as he saw Bernardo and his son there also.

“Damn!” he hissed.

“He can’t die….he can’t die…..he can’t die,” Michelle’s soft voice repeated, “He can’t die not now. Not when we were so close to having it all……….”

“YOU WILL NEVER HAVE ANYTHING!!!” Carmen’s voice hissed.

In all that had transpired, Michelle had almost forgotten she had even been there. It was then that the true realization hit her. Carmen Santos had come within inches of killing her, but had succeeded in doing her son in instead. Suddenly a fire raged within her. The story of what this woman had done to her family left such a bitter taste in her mouth. The words circled her over and over again. She killed her own nephew and her own husband. That was something that Michelle couldn’t wrap her fragile mind around at the moment.

“NO CARMEN!!” Albert growled breaking into Michelle’s thoughts, “IT’S YOU WHO WILL NEVER HAVE ANYTHING! I think it’s time that justice was finally served. Bernardo, Nino,” Albert nodded to the two men still holding Carmen tight within their grasp.

“What you think you can just have me disposed of?” Carmen questioned as her eyes darted between the three men.

“More then can…..I will,” Albert said completely enjoying the terror that filled her eyes, “See Richard and Miguel didn’t know what was coming and for that I am glad, but you on the other hand…..I want you to feel every painful detail of your demise!” Albert said his voice full of lustful vengeance.

“Mr. Sampson, what are you doing?” Ross asked even though he already knew the answer.

“Something that obviously should have been done years ago.”

“You understand what you are saying and that you are saying it in front of an attorney no less?” Ross questioned.

“Oh Ross, always the man of the hour,” Ben said beneath his breath as he listened to what was taking place just beyond the corner.

“Mr. Marler, I don’t give a damn if you are God right now. This is Santos business. And as Danny’s attorney you are sworn to hold what happens in the Santos family as privileged information…is that not correct?” Albert asked using Ross’s own words against him.

“But……”

“No, isn’t that what you told me earlier today?” Albert forced.

“Yes,” Ross finally relented.

“Then might I suggest that if this isn’t something you wish to partake of that you find somewhere else to be?”

“I am not leaving without Michelle,” Ross said.

“She stays with us,” Albert countered, “You heard Daniel yourself. She is his family. She stays right where she is.”

“SHE WILL NEVER BE FAMILY!!!!!” Carmen seethed. “SHE KILLED MY MICK!!!!”

Albert strode forward to where Carmen was. His rage came forth in the form of a hard slap that sent her reeling back against Nino’s shoulder.

“Albert!!” Jenny gasped at his violent display.

“As you killed my son and my brother,” Albert said suddenly completely composed, “So you are not family either, if you ever truly were. And seeing as you are not family, there is no code to honor. We,” he motioned to himself and Bernardo, “are free to do whatever we feel is necessary in the face of a threat to our family’s existence. Isn’t the right, Bernardo?”

“You wouldn’t?” she said knowing full well they would. This had been a day that Bernardo had wanted for so long he could taste it.

“We would and we are. I assure you Carmen….you will get what you so richly deserve,” Albert smirked.

Ross finally had heard enough. This wasn’t at all what he had in mind when he had been pretty much forced into being Danny Santos’ attorney. As much as it pained him to walk away and leave Michelle standing amidst all of that he was powerless to stop it. Moving away from them was all he had in his mind when he ran smack into Ben who was still lurking at the corner of it all. He had a look on his face of someone who had just witnessed a train wreck and was sickly enjoying all the destruction.

“I knew that was you,” Ross said looking Ben squarely in the face.

“So you are now a Santos attorney. Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?” Ben still possessed an uncanny way of pushing all of his brother’s buttons. “I bet it was something knowing what you did and still having to be a party to Danny Santos’s little game with his mother.” Ben hoped in baiting Ross he would get the information that he had been holding for Danny. Carmen hadn’t been very forth coming with what she thought her son held over her head.

“No more so than you. I say the game you were playing will have far higher stakes then mine ever had,” Ross’s words cut to the core of what Ben already knew. That he was treading on thin ice.

“And your point is? I actually am here on behalf of Michelle. I was concerned for her safety.” Ben feigned concern.

“Did you forget who it is you are talking to, Ben?” Ross laughed shaking his head, “Who’s kidding who here? If you think that this poor attempt at twisting the events is going to help you, I might say think again.”

“Ross, your lack of belief in me stings,” Ben said in mock desperation.

“I know that you told Carmen about Michelle and exactly where she could be found. You aren’t fooling anyone, least of all me. Sad to say I know how that sick mind of yours works. You will use every angle to your best advantage. I have no doubt that you did that in this instance as well.”

“I am an attorney just as you are brother. I am well aware of what would happen to me should I have chosen to give up that privileged information.”

“Save it for someone who is buying it. Since it certainly isn’t me. And be assured that I will do my best to make sure that you never practice law again. That is if the men around the corner don’t see you as a threat as well and…………………”

“What? Is that concern I hear in your voice?” Ben stifled a laugh.

“Hardly.”

“Then what? Not to worry as you so aptly put I know how to make the best of a bad situation.”

“Apparently that’s what Carmen Santos thought as well and I don’t think that you will be wanting what she’s about to get. If I was you I would make myself scarce.”

Why Ross was giving the man who had destroyed his marriage a heads up he didn’t know. But never the less Ben was still his flesh and blood. And in the end that had to count for something.

“Not until I secure what’s rightfully mine.”

“The only thing you are going to secure Ben, is a one way ticket to hell.” On that somber note Ross left Ben standing alone to ponder his words.

“Albert,” Jenny’s soft voice came from behind, “Are you hearing what you are saying?”
All of her emotions teetered between the person she knew herself to be and the person the currents events were turning her into. She could taste the revenge she wanted so badly for her son’s death. It was a sensation that she had never been party to until now. The small voice of her conscious inched into her thoughts. All the things that she had fought those many years ago were dancing front in center in her head, but starring at Carmen was making it harder and harder not to let her husband do what he felt was necessary.

“Perfectly,” he said never removing his eyes from Carmen’s face which grew steadily more pale by the second.

“What’s all of this going to solve?” she asked as another team on doctor’s headed into Danny’s room. The thought of losing Danny too was making it more and more difficult to let her voice of reason shine through.

“Isn’t that obvious?” Albert turned and eyed his wife curiously.

“What’s one more death going to solve?” Jenny said as the word death caught in her throat almost choking her.

“It will give this family peace of mind. It will assure us and Daniel that she can never hurt anyone we love ever again,” Albert’s voice cracked the pressure of it all finally getting the better of him, “If she’s alive there will always be that possibility that she could turn up to wreak havoc on our family again. I WON’T HAVE THAT! I CAN’T LET THAT HAPPEN!!! I was too blind once but I won’t be again.”

“Albert, please think what this means for you. Think about how much all the killing has already cost you,” she pleaded.

Albert searched the sea of faces all around him. This had cost each of them so much. He watched Michelle pace between Joe and Sarah. He couldn’t help wonder how cruel could God actually be to her and Danny for that matter.

Danny had lived a lie for the better part of his life without even knowing it and as soon as he found the truest thing he had ever known his life was being cut short before getting to experience the greatness of it all. It just wasn’t fair.

Then there was Michelle, a sweet and marvelous girl who brought light to everything she touched. She had been gone through so much in the last few months and now stood the chance to lose the man she loved more then life itself.

“WHY!?!?” Albert cried looking up hoping for some divine intervention.

“Albert?” Jenny came forward and gently touched her husband’s shoulders.

“Why? I need to know why this is happening?”

“I’ll tell you why?” Bernardo offered. “Carmen! She has never been anything more then a poor girl looking to make her mark. Miguel was too naive to see it. And look what that cost him. We can’t let her get away with all she’s done,” he said through teeth clenched in anger. “It’s time to settle the score.”

Albert toyed with his words. Settling scores had always been his job. And settling this one would give him the greatest pleasure.

“Albert, you aren’t that man anymore,” Jenny said as if reading his inner thoughts, “You haven’t been in years. Don’t let Carmen rob you of all you have already gained. Don’t let her take anymore from you then she already has.”

Albert looked between his old life and his current one. Looked into the eyes of a woman who he had spent more then half of his life with then into the eyes of a woman who’s only goal in life was to further her own twisted agenda not caring about the destruction left in her wake.

“I love you, Albert.”

With those words his decision was made in an instant. “Bernardo, I am no longer a part of this organization. Miguel made sure of that many years ago. Seeing as we all know that Daniel as well has no desire to either, I am asking in the memory of my brother that you afford him the same absolution that I was.”

“Certainly.”

“Then as of today the Santos Family will no longer have any ties to The Commission. We will continue on with the life we have made for ourselves. I assure you that we will never pose a threat to your way of existence as long as you do the same for us.”

“Albert, you will always have friends should you ever need them,” Bernardo affirmed.

“Thank you.”

“And what about Carmen?” True to his nature Nino asked anxiously.

“Your father is the man in charge of things now. What he chooses to do I will not stand in his way. However I never wish to know of the action taken.”

“Agreed,” Bernardo concurred.

If she hadn’t have held up by these two men, Carmen would have fainted. She knew that Albert’s leaving her fate up to Bernardo kept his hands clean but also got him what he very much wanted.

“I’m very sorry about Daniel. He was a good boy,” Bernardo said solemnly.

“HE’S NOT DEAD!!!!!” Michelle cried at his callous lack of emotion, “We haven’t heard anything yet. We don’t know what’s been going on in there!” her hysterics had returned as Joe and Sarah did their best to calm her.

“Bernardo, I think it’s time you were leaving. I will be in touch with the arrangements.”

“NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Michelle screamed running at Albert will all she had, “HE’S NOT DEAD!!! HE CAN’T DIE ON ME!!!!”

Albert cradled her closely against his chest while an endless stream of tears fell from her soft brown eyes. “Look at me,” he finally said drawing her eyes to meet his. “I know you know there is a distinct possibility that Danny could die. And as much as none of us want to hear this the fact that no one has come out to talk to us could be a very bad sign. I know how much you love him. I know that you didn’t have enough time together but know that in the short time that you and Daniel were together…..” Albert choked back his own tears, “You gave my nephew such joy and you were the best thing that ever came into his life.”

All those around stood silent as the reality that Danny might very well be dead sunk in.

“Mr. Santos,” Dr. Hacker said finally emerging from Danny’s room.

“Yes?” Albert said his voice barely above a whisper.

“We have your nephew stable for now.”

Albert felt Michelle go weak under his grasp at those words.

“However he is going to require another round of surgery.”

“Why?” Joe asked as he and Sarah came closer.

“I am not sure what caused it but there was an aneurysm just below his heart. I need to go in and repair it and surmise how much damage it caused.”

“Can we see him?” Jenny asked.

“I am sorry not at the moment. His pulse is quite weak and breathing is very shallow. Time is of the essence here. This time I can not in good conscience let you in to see him.”

“Do what you can for him please,” Albert said.

“I will.” With that being said Dr. Hacker and his team breezed down the hallway and out of sight.

Without thought Michelle walked back into Danny’s room. It was already empty. No time had been wasted on prepping him for surgery again. She ran her hands over the sheets and pillow. Her tears blurred her vision. If she listened closely she could hear his words to her not more then an hour ago. He had loved her. Even after all that she had done he had still loved her. Michelle pressed her face into his pillow and breathed deeply. Even among the sanitary smells of the hospital, Danny’s own scent still lingered there.
In a flash it carried her back to all the times she laid next to him. She thought how she absently would wind her fingers in his chest hairs and lightly run her fingers along his side making him jump. Her mind wandered to their first time together. She recalled how he had taken her to heights that she hadn’t known existed before him. But there was more to their relationship then that. She couldn’t explain it but there was a sense of them being one with each other. And now the thought of losing him was like losing the best part of herself. Just when Michelle thought there were no more tears to cry a new wave came.

“Michelle,” Jenny said entering the room.

“Yes?” she turned to see the same look of despair she imagined on her own face looking back at her.

“There’s nothing more we can do here. Dr. Hacker’s nurse said the surgery could take hours. Why don’t we go back to our house and try to get some rest?”

“I can’t. I can’t leave him.”

“Honey, I understand but making yourself sick isn’t going to help Danny. I know my nephew and if he knew that you were running yourself ragged….well he wouldn’t want that.”

“I can’t leave…..what….what if?”

“There aren’t going to be any what if’s! You hear me and understand that! Danny is strong and the love we have for him will bring him back to us.”

“Jenny, I may only be a med student but I know what kind of surgery he’s going to undergo. The survival rate isn’t all that great,” Michelle whispered thinking if the words were soft enough they didn’t have to be true.

“I don’t live life by the numbers and neither should you.”

“Even when the numbers are overwhelming stacked against us?” she quipped angry at the world suddenly.

“Look at me!” Jenny forced. “You thought in coming here the world was stacked against you, right?” Michelle nodded, “And out of that you gained a great love……”

“Yeah to only have it taken away now,” she countered.

“Only if you let it.”

“Oh yeah like I have any control. I am beginning to think I can’t control a damn thing!” she shouted pacing the floor again. She reached for the end of Danny’s hospital bed to steady herself as the room began to spin beneath her.

“Michelle, honey are you all right?” Jenny asked concern in her tone.

“Yeah…yeah I am fine. Just a little light headed is all.”

“See you do need to rest and get something to eat. When was the last time you ate something?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Then I really think you need to come home with us.”

“I really think I need to stay here.”

“If you won’t do it for yourself then at least do it for Danny. I know he would be beside himself to know that you weren’t taking care of yourself.”

“Jenny, please understand, I can’t leave. Not without knowing that he’s going to be okay. I just can’t.”

“I’ll stay with her,” Sarah said now entering the room.

“You both look like you could use some rest,” Jenny said.

“We’ll be fine.” Sarah said taking her friend in her arms, “Come on, there is somewhere we need to go.”
Michelle let Sarah lead her from Danny’s room still clutching his pillow against her chest.

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