Something About You – Part 19 by ShellyLynn

Republisher’s Note: A carnival comes to Springfield.

Something About You – Part 19 by ShellyLynn

Michelle sits in her chair, impatiently flipping through the cards of her rolodex as it sits on her lap in front of her. “I know I have the number in here somewhere,” she says aloud, running her fingers through her hair in frustration as her search comes up empty.

“This is not a good way to start off my day,” she groans, reaching for her cup of coffee on the table in front of her. She decides to take one more look through her desk drawers for the ever elusive telephone number, but is interrupted by a knock on the door.

“I’ll be there in a minute,” she yells, removing the objects from her lap to stand. “Hold on.”

She makes her way to the door, to find out the identity of her visitor “Who would be here this early?” she whispered mindlessly as she crossed the room. Could it be Bill already? She knew that this fund-raiser was important, but it didn’t feel like she had been out of his site for more than five minutes in over a week and she was beginning to feel cramped in his presence.

She peered through the glass, smiling when she saw that her unexpected visitor was one of the social variety. “Danny,” she grinned as she eagerly opened the door and let him in. “What are you doing here?”

“Well,” he laughed, “We came to see if you would join us at the carnival in town.” He gestures toward Mikey who is standing along side him.

“I don’t know, I have so much work to do…” she stumbles, immediately feeling selfish as she sees the look of disappointment on the young boy’s face.

“You’ve been working almost non-stop for over a week. Even slaves need a break every once in a while,” Danny tells her, sticking his lip out in a pouting fashion. “It would mean a lot to Mikey if you came.”

“Only to Mikey?” she teases, returning his playful gesture with one of her own.

“Okay,” he concedes, pretending like it’s a big secret, “I guess it would make his uncle pretty happy too.”

“I thought so,” she smiles slightly before her face falls. “But I can’t.”

“Come on,” he whines, “Just for a few hours. I’ve barely even had the chance to speak to you all week. I’ve missed you,” he contends, gently placing his hands on her waist. “In fact, I half expected Bill to already be here this morning.”

“I’m sorry,” she tells him, placing a soft kiss on his lips, “Getting this thing together is just so much harder than I remembered.”

“I know,” he admits, “I just hate sharing you with him.”

“He’s been a real gentlemen and a good friend, just the way I remembered. I don’t know what had me so paranoid before. I’m pretty sure he knows how I feel about you, and he even though I think he wishes it were different, he knows that we are only friends.”

“I have to go to the bathroom,” Mikey says, impatiently tugging on Danny’s jacket and reminding the couple of his presence.

“Okay,” Michelle laughs, disrupting the seriousness of the moment, “I’ll show you where it is.”

She returns a moment later, “I know that this wasn’t great timing,” she tells Danny as she approaches him, “but this is a big fund-raiser and you know how important the hospital is to me. I needed to help. I’m sorry though that it’s taken up so much of my time.”

“Don’t be,” he answers, pulling her into his arms. “I understand why you need to do this, but I still think you should take a break and come with us. You need some time to relax and enjoy yourself.”

Mikey returns and Danny bends down to whisper in his ear. Michelle watches as Mikey smiles and nods his head. “Puhwease Ichelle?” he responds, innocently looking up at her with his big brown eyes.

“Okay,” he sighs, “but that’s cheating.” She winks as she looks over at Danny, “you know I can’t resist those Santos eyes.”

“Yippee!” the young boy yells, clapping happily.

“Just let me change and call Bill to tell him I’m taking the day off,” she tells him.

“I think you look great,” he says, taking in her tight jeans and tight black t-shirt.

“Okay,” she shrugs, “Just let me make that call.”

A minute later, she returns and they are off, walking the couple blocks down to the site of the yearly community-wide spring event.

They talk to a few people that they each know and ride a few rides, having a wonderful time into the late afternoon. They are talking about what to have for dinner when Mikey decides that he wants to go on the SuperSnake, a ride that goes in a circular path, leaving the riders upside down for nearly half of the journey.

“No, I can’t go on that with you,” Danny tells him, getting sick to his stomach just at the mere thought of it.

“I wanna ride the snake,” he pouts, rubbing his tired eyes.

“Mikey,” Danny scolds, “You know better than to pout when you don’t get your way. You’ve ridden lots of other rides. You don’t need to ride that one.”

“I wanna ride the snake,” he repeats, this time looking to Michelle for sympathy.

“I can ride with him,” she speaks up, trying to appease them both.

“Are you sure?” Danny asks, turning to face her. “You don’t have to.”

“I’m sure. It’ll be fun,” she smiles, taking the boy by the hand and getting in line.

When they return to a waiting Danny, they are giggling and smiling, seemingly having the time of their lives.

“Ichelle said we can have ice cream,” Mikey announces, grabbing his uncle’s hand and pulling him toward the nearby stand.

“She did, did she?” Danny asks playfully, pretending he doesn’t believe him.

“Uh huh. Fudge ripple, our favorite,” he assures him.

“Sounds like a good idea to me,” Danny laughs, taking out his wallet to pay for their snack. Thanks to her help, this time around he has more than three dollars in his wallet.

They enjoy their ice cream and walk around some more before Michelle notices an adorable stuffed bear at one of the stands. Danny takes out a few dollars and goes to the stand, winning her the small bear on the third try. She rewards him with a huge smile and a kiss, happily tucking the soft animal under her arm.

“Let me show you how it’s really done,” they hear from behind, turning to see Bill Lewis.

“What are you doing here?” Michelle smiles, “I thought you’d be working all day.”

“You were right. We both needed a break and when you mentioned coming here, I thought it would be a great way to relax and have fun,” he answers, smiling at the three of them.

Mikey hides behind Danny’s leg shyly, not comfortable around the new stranger. “Anyway,” Bill grins, handing the man behind the counter a five-dollar bill. “I was going to give you a lesson on how to play this game.”

He takes the three balls from the worker’s hand and proceeds to knock down all six milk bottles on each throw. “Bill used to play baseball,” Michelle explains, not wanting Danny to feel embarrassed or shown up by his arrogant display.

“Really,” Danny asks, wanting more than anything to punch the man right between the eyes. “That sounds like fun.”

“Yeah. I was an All-American in college and drafted by the Yankees, but I decided I wanted to stay and continue the family tradition. You know, be CEO of my family’s multimillion dollar corporation.”

“Sure,” Danny answers through gritted teeth, watching as the man hands Bill a three-ft. teddy bear. He takes the bear Danny had given her from her hands, replacing it with the new prize.

“Here kid,” he says, reaching the bear toward Mikey, “Michelle has her hands full.”

Michelle attempts to say something, but he cuts her off, “No need to thank me.”

“Michelle deserves way more than you can give her. You’ll never be enough,” Bill whispers as he walks past Danny and back to the other side of Michelle. “Why don’t you give it up while you still have some dignity.”

Danny gives him a dirty look as they make their way to a nearby stand to grab some food. Both men attempt to pay for her, but Michelle refuses them both and pays for herself, upset by the seeming rivalry between the two men.

About an hour later, Danny and Michelle decide to leave, realizing that it’s starting to get too cold for Mikey to be outside. Having noticed how Michelle looks at Danny anytime he is tending to his nephew, Bill decides to get into the act himself.

“It’s been nice meeting you, Mikey,” he says, bending down and attempting to pull the boy into a hug. Mikey attempts to pull away, but Bill holds firmly to his arm, not wanting to be embarrassed in front of Michelle.

“Let go of me,” Mikey shrieks, getting the attention of nearby patrons as he stomps on Bill’s foot and scurries behind Danny who watches as Bill loses his balance and falls on his rear into the mud.

“You need to teach that boy some manners,” Bill says angrily, standing up and attempting to clean himself off.

“Mikey,” Danny says, doing his absolute best to hide a smile, “That wasn’t nice.”

“I don’t like him,” Mikey proclaims, making Danny’s mask of seriousness even harder to maintain.

“It’s still not nice to hurt him. Say you’re sorry,” he admonishes.

“Sorry,” Mikey says, not even bothering to make eye contact with the man he’d humiliated moments before.

“We need to get him home,” Danny tells Michelle, taking her hand. “It was nice to see you again, Bill,” he says politely before Michelle says goodbye and they leave. Once they’re out of Bill’s sight and headed toward home, Michelle stops walking and laughs hysterically.

“I think that was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen,” she says, trying to control herself. “Did you see his face?”

“Yeah,” Danny laughs, surprised and confused by her reaction.

“I’m really impressed by the way you handled things tonight. He was acting like a jerk, but you didn’t get jealous or let him get to you. And what’s with this thing? It’s ugly,” she says, extending the bear that takes up residence in her arms.

“I thought you liked it,” Danny says skeptically.

“He’s a friend and I didn’t want to upset him. Look Danny,” she says, setting the bear down and rubbing the side of his clenched jaw until it begins to relax. “Just because it’s more extravagant, doesn’t mean it’s better. I love the bear you got me…I can sleep with it at night and it’ll be like having a little piece of you with me all the time. That’s way better than any giant stuffed animal he uses to show off. This gift…” she says as Mikey hands her the bear and she pulls it tight to her chest, “Is from your heart.”

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