Something About You – Part 26 by ShellyLynn

Republisher’s Note: We get a brief respite from Evil Bill today, enjoy while it lasts.

Something About You – Part 26 by ShellyLynn

Danny arrived at the hospital the next day to pick Michelle up. She had been released a few minutes earlier and she was changing into her own clothes when he timidly entered her room. “I’m almost ready,” she called out from the small bathroom, “just give me a minute.”

She’d done a lot of thinking since Danny left her room the previous night. In fact, she had herself almost completely convinced that Bill was only bluffing, just trying to scare her into making the wrong decision and throwing away what she’d found with Danny. It was too much of a coincidence, wasn’t it? It couldn’t be true that Bill Lewis was Mikey’s real father. She had to believe that for the sake of her sanity. For right now, she was going to put it out of her mind and enjoy the day that they had planned.

They’d talked on the phone earlier that morning and although it took some serious convincing and even pleading on her part, she talked him into taking her and Mikey to Laurel Falls for an afternoon picnic.

The drive down to the falls was quiet and calming as Danny and Michelle sat in silence while Mikey slept soundly in the back seat. Both of them had important things on their minds but neither of them wanted to voice their fears and disrupt the peaceful atmosphere of the day. Danny was afraid that Bill had said something to unsettle Michelle, she had seemed out of sorts since their conversation the previous night and he was well aware of how much Michelle craved her father’s love and acceptance. It wasn’t a far leap to figure that either of them could have been responsible for her sudden distance. Michelle was afraid this would be the last happy time she got to spend with Danny and she didn’t want to ruin it by thinking about the situation she found herself in. If Bill was telling the truth then this whole thing could blow up in a puff of smoke, disappearing like the illusion she had feared from the beginning that it was. She couldn’t help but wonder if it was really possible to sustain the kind of happiness Danny and she had so recently found.

They settled on a beautiful spot overlooking the falls and set down the picnic basket that Danny had strategically packed for them. They had stopped at Michelle’s for a few minutes on the way, but Danny insisted that, with the exception of her bathing suit, he had everything taken care of.

He took laid out the blanket he’d carried along and set the basket on top, opening it to reveal an assortment of foods for their lunch. “I still can’t believe that with the offer of anything in the world to eat, you chose a McDonalds Happy Meal,” he laughed, setting it to the side where she was preparing to sit down and then taking Mikey’s identical meal and handing it to him.

“Hey!” she answered indignantly, “Unlike most people, I don’t normally get to eat fast food. Is it weird that I wanted to be a normal college student for one day?”

“Yes,” he laughed as he took out his Big Mac, “Most women I know would have chosen something much more extravagant.”

“Well,” she smiled, leaning her head against his shoulder and playfully twirling a fry, “I’m not most women.”

‘You certainly aren’t,” he grinned, looking her up and down before placing a soft kiss on her lips.

They quickly prayed for their meal and began eating. Within a few minutes, Danny began laughing hysterically when Michelle dropped rather large amount of ketchup on the front of her sleeveless blouse, watching the gooey sauce leave a dark spot on her pink top.

“It’s not funny,” she said, quickly falling into a fit of laughter as well, flinging a fry at Danny.

“Food fight!” Mikey yelled, picking up his fries and beginning to fire them at Danny as well.

“Why is everyone ganging up on me?” Danny laughed as he was bombarded by the flying potatoes, “I’ll teach you to pick on me.”

He reached for Mikey and pulled him onto his lap, tickling his side until he screeched with laughter. “Help,” Mikey yelled out playfully as he tried to wiggle from his uncle’s grasp.

Michelle moved over to assist her partner in crime in his escape, but quickly found one of Danny’s arms wrapped firmly around her waist. “Let’s see if Miss Bauer is as ticklish as my nephew here,” Danny laughed as he began to tickle her as well. She began to join Mikey in giggles immediately and for a few seconds, all that could be heard was their laughter.

“Now you know who you’re messing around with,” Danny laughed as he released them and they finished their food.

“Messing around?” Michelle parried, raising one eyebrow seductively, “Now Mr. Santos, I don’t think that’s something we should be discussing in the presence of someone so innocent.”

Danny grinned, realizing the double meaning of his words. Leaning in toward her and whispering in her ear, he asked, “Is that an offer?”

“Good things come to those who wait,” she answered as she stood up and stretched her arms wide. “Patience is a virtue.”

Danny groaned at her words, but still the smile on his face remained. “It really is a beautiful day.”

“Perfect for a picnic,” she agreed, basking in the sunlight streaming down from above.

“Can I go play?” Mikey asked as he ate his last fry and picked up his baseball glove and ball.

“Yeah,” Danny told him, “just stay where we can see you.”

“He really is a great kid you know,” Michelle almost whispered, “you’ve done a wonderful job.”

“I don’t know what I would have done without him. Sometimes, I think I need him more than he does me,” Danny responded seriously. “We’ve been through so much together.”

Michelle sat down, picking up a daisy growing near by and beginning to twirl it between her fingers. “I love these. Ever since I was a child they were always my favorite. I used to run around and pick a whole bunch of them every time we came here.”

“Did you come here often?” Danny asked, sliding in behind her and wrapping his arms around her waist.

“My mom used to bring me here all the time when I was little. Dad was always working, but the two of us would come have a picnic and swim over near the falls. It was our special place, I guess this is where we really bonded. Some of my best memories are from here. As I got older, I started coming here on my own to think. It was a place where I could be alone, yet still feel close to my mom, especially after she got sick. I guess it was my way of holding on to her,” Michelle said, softly her voice becoming distant as she leaned back against Danny’s chest.

“I know how special she is to you,” he told her, gently turning her face and looking her directly in the eyes.

“Yeah,” Michelle said, wiping away the beginnings of tears. “I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but even after she got sick, no matter how bad she was when other people were around, she always seemed to be better when I saw her. It was like she could sense my presence and it brought her back to her old self.”

“That doesn’t sound ridiculous. Your mother loves you a great deal so it only makes sense that having you around would help her,” he says, wiping a stray piece of hair out of her face. “I’m glad you’ve got such wonderful memories of her.”

“She was the best,” Michelle smiled, turning back to watching Mikey as Danny rested his chin on her shoulder. “I miss her, I could really use her listening skills and advice at times.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes, watching as Mikey time and time again threw the ball as high in the air as he could and attempted to catch it. Finally, Danny spoke up. “I know it’s not the same,” he said sheepishly, holding her tighter, “but if you ever need someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on, I’m here for you. You know I would do anything for you. I love you.”

Michelle could feel the tears once again forming in her eyes and decided to change the subject. “Why don’t we go for a swim?”

“Sounds good to me,” Danny grinned as she stood up in front of him. “Mikey,” he yelled across the clearing, “You ready to go for a swim?” The little boy came running as fast as his little legs could take him. “I’ll take that as a yes.”

They made their way down to the edge of the water, finding a place where the water seemed relatively calm and smooth. “Are you sure you want to do this? That water looks really cold,” Danny asked apprehensively, taking a few steps toward the clear stream.

“Are you chicken?” Michelle asked teasingly, “it can’t be that cold.”

“Whew! Wanna bet?” Danny asked, dipping one foot into the water and quickly extracting it to return to where Mikey and Michelle stood.

“You have to just jump in or else you’ll never adjust to the temperature,” she claimed, taking off her navy shorts in preparation for their swim.

Danny took one more look at the water and began to unbutton his light green short-sleeve dress shirt. “You’re sure about this?”

“Come on Uncle Danny,” Mikey pleaded, “I wanna go swimming.”

He slipped out of his shirt and moved back to the edge, trying to muster up the courage to jump into the chilly water. “I don’t think…” he began to say when he felt Michelle’s hands push him in from behind.

“Oooohhhhhh,” he shuddered, when he came up from under the water to see her laughing face, “this is freezing. I can’t believe you pushed me in.”

“You were being a baby. Besides, it can’t be that cold,” she smiled, standing at the edge and watching.

“Oh really?” he asked, making his way over to her. “We’ll see.” He suddenly reached up out of the water and pulled her in with him, absorbing her weight against him as she fell.

They both went under and when they surfaced, she began sputtering. “It’s sssoo… ccccolddd.” Danny laughed at first, but noticing her shaking body, decided against the “I told you so” routine.

“So that’s the way you want to play it,” she said, finding her voice as her temperature adjusted. “Let’s see if you like this,” she grinned, climbing on his back and attempting to dunk him.

“You’ll have to do better than that,” he laughed, holding his ground despite her best efforts.

Mikey jumped into the water and joined them, swimming under the water and trying to pull Danny’s legs out from under him. After finally getting the best of him, they continued to play in the water, splashing and giggling like children. Neither of them could remember a time when they’d had more fun.

After playing for hours, the sun began to lower in the sky and Danny noticed Michelle was beginning to tremble.

“Let’s get you out of here,” he said, regretting his decision to take her there. She should have been resting, not out here flailing around in cold water. He helped her up onto the shore, noticing that she hadn’t taken her shirt off yet and it was now dripping wet. He wrapped a towel around her, pulling her against his chest for warmth. “Let’s get this off of you,” he said hesitantly a moment later, once her trembling began to subside. She lifted her arms and he pulled the garment over her head, leaving her in only her pink bikini top. “Here,” he said, handing her his shirt, “This should help get you warmed up.”

He felt a tightening in his groin as he gazed at her perfect body, watching her torturously slow motion as she buttoned up his shirt, slowly covering the previously exposed portions of her smooth skin. He couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to touch each of the areas his eyes had just been given access to.

“I don’t want to leave yet,” Mikey whined, looking back at the water.

“We can come back again when it’s warmer,” Michelle soothed him as she rang out her hair and stepped into her shorts.

“Pwomise?” the little boy asked, looking back and forth between them.

“Of course,” she answered, trying to keep her voice steady. Her thoughts suddenly traveled back to Bill’s words and she couldn’t help but wonder if this was a promise that she’d really be able to keep.

“Let’s go home,” Danny jumped in, sensing Michelle’s slight anxiety. “It’s dinner time anyway.”

They made their way to the car and climbed in. Danny could sense some uneasiness in Michelle’s demeanor, but was afraid to step over the line and pose the question he was dying to ask her. He knew that she didn’t like to be pushed and he hoped that given the time and space, she would open up and talk to him about it. He couldn’t shake the feeling that whatever it was, it was serious. He was well aware of what they were up against and if Michelle felt the need to hide whatever it was from him, then it must be even worse than he’d predicted. A chill went up his spine at the thought.

They loved each other and nothing could tear them apart. He was sure of that, wasn’t he?

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