Something About You – Part 20 by ShellyLynn

Republisher’s Note: The evil Bill spin you find in quite a few fanfics, but what’s going on with Ed?

Something About You – Part 20 by ShellyLynn

The next few days flew by as classes continued and Michelle spent what seemed to Danny like every moment working on the final plans for the fundraiser ball. He knew that the cause they were raising money for was important to her and that he had nothing to be jealous of in way of the time she spent with Bill. She had made it clear how she felt about her friend and he was sure that she was being completely honest. It was Bill’s intentions that he doubted, even more now after their “chance” run-in at the carnival.

Danny and Michelle talked a few times on the phone over the course of the week, but they hadn’t seen each other since he and Mikey walked her home after the carnival that night. He could still feel her breath on his cheek as she had kissed him goodnight and walked into her apartment.

“I miss you,” he’d told her on the phone exactly six hours and eleven minutes ago. He knew she was probably rushing to complete the finishing touches, but he needed to hear her voice so he’d given in and called. He was right, she had been too busy to talk for long, but she did seem happy to hear from him as well. They’d only talked for a couple minutes, but he’d been able to notice the fatigue in her voice. The last time they’d spoken, she had told him she wasn’t getting much sleep and he couldn’t even remember how many times she’d mentioned to him she had skipped a meal to get more work done. He was worried about her and he was more than glad that this evening would be the end of all her hard work. Then, maybe they she would take better care of herself and they would be able to continue the relationship that they both seemed to miss so desperately.

He almost slipped as they hung up and told her how he felt. Love. He had only the previous day admitted to himself that his feelings for her were so strong. He never been in love before and he was surprised to find that it felt every bit as wonderful as he’d been told. He knew that it was fast, they’d only known each other a couple months, but he was sure she was the one for him. She was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with and someday, hopefully soon, he knew he would find the perfect way to tell her everything that was in his overflowing heart.

He looked in the mirror one more time to make sure he was prepared to go. He had picked out the tuxedo himself this time and hoped it was an acceptable choice. This was going to be the first real event they attended as a couple and Danny was concerned about how many of the people would react, especially Mr. Bauer himself. He knew how important appearances were to people of their social stature and he knew it would probably be an uphill battle to prove his worth, but if that’s what it took to gain Michelle’s hand, he was prepared for the war.

He took a deep breath and made his way to the door. Michelle was going to meet him there because she needed to go early and check on a few things, but she was sending a limo to pick him up at 6:20. He looked at his watch as he descended the staircase. It was time to go.

Fifteen minutes later, he arrived and made his way inside, immediately searching out the face of his beautiful hostess and date. He hadn’t seen her so far, but had recognized some of the people from work and the first event he had attended. In fact, it seemed as though most of the people milling about had been there.

After a few minutes, he spotted Michelle coming out of a doorway, laughing with an unfamiliar gentleman as she walked. He made his way over to her, intent on finding out the identity of the older looking mystery man. “Danny!” she exclaimed, surprised to turn and find her handsome date before her. “You’re here. Why didn’t you come find me?”

“Well,” he answered, purposefully slipping an arm around her waist, “that’s what I am doing right now.”

“Hello, I don’t believe we’ve met,” he forced, extending his free arm toward the man. “I’m Danny Santos, and you are?”

“Rick Bauer,” the man answered with a laugh. “This beautiful young lady here was just talking about you.”

“You’re Rick? It’s an honor to meet you. I didn’t think you lived around here,” Danny said as he relaxed and the men shook hands.

“I don’t,” Rick replies, “but my wife Abby and I were in town for a conference and we decided to come see some of our old friends. Besides, I wanted visit my mom and check up on my kid sister here.”

“You did a wonderful job putting this together, sis,” he told her, giving her a kiss on the cheek. “I hope I get a chance to talk to you later,” he said to Danny, “but I need to go find my wife. I know how much she hates these functions and I promised her I’d be right back.”

“It was nice meeting you,” Danny replied cordially, accepting Rick’s “Same here,” before watching as he walked away.

“You,” he answered once they were semi-alone, “Come with me.” He took her hand in his and led her into the small hallway leading to the kitchen.

“What are…” was all Michelle had the chance to get out before his lips came down on hers in a soft, yet passionate kiss.

“I’ve been waiting way too long to do that,” he grinned as they pulled apart, her eyes still glazed over.

She quickly found her voice, “What’s taken you so long?”

He laughed softly, glad that she seemed to have missed that little pleasure as much as he. “It seems to me, my lady, that you’re the one that has been too busy to entertain thoughts of such trivial things.”

“I’m sorry,” she said, growing serious, “I know I’ve been neglecting you…”

“Hey,” he stopped her, raising her dropped head with two fingers under her delicate chin. “There’s nothing to be sorry about. I’m just glad that you’ll finally have some free time after tonight.”

“Yeah,” she grinned, reaching up to smooth a stray curl of his dark hair. “I know I didn’t say so on the phone earlier, but I missed you, too.”

“Well then,” he told her smiling broadly, “I guess we’ll have to make sure we never spend this much time apart again.”

“I think I like the sound of that,” she parried, slipping her arm through his. “As much as I hate to say this though, I think we need to rejoin the party, boring as it may be.”

“As long as I get to take you home,” he replied seductively, “I can bear anything.”

* * * * *

They mingled with various people, spending a few minutes with seemingly every patron as Michelle urged each of them to give generously to the hospital. They even managed to spend a little while dancing before Michelle needed to go prepare for the guest speaker. She searched out her brother and led Danny in his direction, introducing him to her sister-in-law before giving him a soft kiss and leaving to go to the podium.

“You really care about her, don’t you?” Rick asked as he watched Danny’s eyes follow his sister across the room. “She’s pretty amazing.”

“Yeah,” Danny replied, not taking his eyes off of her. “She’s special.”

“Look, Danny,” Rick said seriously, finally drawing his attention. “I know that you’re a good man, and from what my sister tells me, you treat her well, but I know my father and it is not going to be easy for the two of you to be together. I guess I just want to be sure that you are going to be willing to fight for her and not give up when it gets difficult. She really cares about you and I don’t want to see her get hurt, so if you are going to let her down, then I think you should tell her now before it goes any further.”

“Rick, I understand how you feel, but I love your sister. I know that things aren’t going to be easy for us, but as long as there is breath in my body, I’ll do anything I can to make her happy and give her everything she needs. She means the world to me, and if I have to walk through fire to be with her, that’s exactly what I’ll do. I know that I don’t have the kind of money that she’s used to,” he said, extending his arms to show the extravagance surrounding them, “but I will make a good living and she’ll never find anyone else that can love her as much as I already do.” His gaze returned to her and made eye contact as she flashed him a brilliant smile over the microphone, causing his heart to flutter.

“I can tell,” Rick smiled, looking over at his wife and nodding as she wiped a tear away. “All I want is for my little sister to be happy and I can tell that you’ll make sure that happens.”

“I will,” Danny nodded, shaking Rick’s hand once again as the introduction began, “because I want the same thing, her happiness.”

“Well,” Rick said, looking up at her as well. “From what I’ve seen, I’m sure that she feels the same way about you. She couldn’t stop talking about you from the moment I got here.”

Danny smiled sincerely before excusing himself to get a better view of the stage continuously moving closer as he watched Michelle take bids on the donated objects before her, continually urging the people to bid higher and give more. When the last item was sold, she had raised over 170,000 dollars for the hospital, more than she had anticipated leading up to the event. Bill and another man came onto the stage and thanked the people for their generosity before Bill placed his arm around her shoulders and added, “Let’s have a big hand for this beautiful woman who made all this possible, Michelle Bauer.”

The people gave a loud round of applause and Michelle blushed profusely, to Danny’s relief, stepping away from Bill’s gesture and finding Danny’s eyes before moving to step off the stage to step out of the limelight and join him.

“You were great,” he told her, pulling her immediately into a warm embrace.

“I couldn’t have done it without you,” she answered, staring into his dark, adoring eyes. “I was so nervous up there, but when I looked at you, I knew everything was going to be fine.”

“That was fabulous honey,” they heard from behind. Spinning around, they saw Mr. Bauer had joined them. “I’m so proud of you.”

“Thanks,” Michelle said, grateful to have her father’s acknowledgment and approval of all her hard work.

“Mr. Santos,” he said, looking over her shoulder. “I didn’t know that you would be joining us tonight. How are you enjoying your new job?”

“I like it. I’ve already acclimated myself to the surroundings and I’m working with such wonderful people,” he answered, extending his hand to shake.

“That’s good to hear,” he said, turning to his daughter once again “Where’s your date? I want to congratulate him on a job well done.”

“I’m…” Danny began to say when she cut him off.

“I don’t know where he ran off to. He’s probably trying to negotiate more funds out of some of the more prominent people here,” she explained, pleading with her eyes for Danny not to say anything.

“I’ll see if I can locate him before I leave,” he said, taking off in search of Bill Lewis.

“What was that about?” Danny asked angrily, his eyes burning into her. “Why didn’t you tell him that I’m your date tonight, not Bill?”

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