Something About You – Part 40 by ShellyLynn

Republisher’s Note: Michelle gets another bad shock.

Something About You – Part 40 by ShellyLynn

Danny followed after her, watching her back as she ran down the hallway at breakneck speed. He mentally chastised himself for allowing her to be hurt so badly. In his defense, his mind reminded him, he had no idea that her mother was going to drop something like that on her. Everything she grew up with… believed in… loved was a lie. Her mother was the one person she had been able to count on and now that relationship was in shambles as well. He had to catch up with her, take care of her, convince her that no matter what happened, she would always have him to trust and depend on.

She disappeared through the door at the end of the hall and he followed after her, flinging the door open and flying through it, only to stop in his tracks as he found her crumbled in a heap on the floor at the top of the staircase. Her body was racked with sobs that seemed entirely too hard and too powerful to be coming from such a small, gentle woman and he thought his heart was being torn out of his chest from the pain seeing her in such a condition brought him.

“Michelle.”

It was only one simple word… one thought… but there was so much feeling behind it that it took every once of energy he had left to get it out. She turned and her red, tired eyes locked with his dark, loving, concerned ones. “Why?”

He shook his head in despair. He had no real answers for her, nothing that would make her anguish go away. Why do things ever happen the way they do? Why does fate conspire to give you the rarest and strongest of loves only to put seemingly insurmountable obstacles in your path? Why does love always seem to hurt so much?

“I don’t know.”

She nodded, turning away to look down the steps that descended to the floors below. Her mind working furiously to convince her that this was all a dream, that if she walked back through that door, it would be her father, Ed, her mind corrected, sitting next to her sick mother. She couldn’t help but wonder what else in her life had been a lie. She looked up at him, the man that made her feel such indescribable joy but also had been the source of some of her most devastating pain. Was he real? Did he really love her or was that just another in the string of lies that had comprised her life thus far?

“Why are you here?” she asked, her eyes closing as she spoke. It was as if her mind were under the impression that if she didn’t see him deny their love, it wouldn’t happen. The protection mechanisms that had been long buried in her head were beginning to resurface.

He wanted to be simple, straightforward with her. He wanted to simply tell her that he loved her and that he didn’t want to spend another minute of his life without her, but something told him to hold back. He still remembered the pain he felt when he lost his parents as a child and in a way, that’s exactly what just happened to her. If she was feeling half of what he did, then he knew she wasn’t ready to hear it. She needed him to show her the truth of their love rather than tell her about it. After what she just experienced, he was sure that words wouldn’t mean much to her. Instead he took a step forward, hoping that she would let him comfort her and help her through what must be the most devastating news of her life.

“Did you know about this?” she asked, her brown eyes opening to meet his. “Is this what you knew and wouldn’t tell me?”

He shook his head violently for a second before barely managing the word “no.” It actually hadn’t even registered to him yet that for all the startling, life shattering news she had already received, there was still more to come. Things were only going to get worse before they had a chance to get better.

Much to his relief she seemed to believe him, “Would you?” she paused in mid-sentence to lick her dry lips and wipe her wet eyes. “Would you ever do something so cruel to Mikey, or your own child? Would you let them live their whole life as a big joke, silently laughing every time they believed one of your lies?”

“I don’t think that’s what your mother was doing…” he tried, not wanting the once strong, loving relationship that existed between mother and daughter to be torn beyond repair.

“Who’s side are you on?” she asked, making her way to her feet and staring him down. Her fear and hurt had turned to anger and for once, that made him sigh in relief. It was much easier to deal with her rage than see her in so much pain.

“I’m on your side,” he stated firmly as he continued to step closer to her. “But I know that your mother loves you a great deal and that she only did what she did because she honestly thought it was best for all of you.”

“How was it best? Huh? I never even knew who my real father was! I grew up my whole life thinking I wasn’t good enough for my dad, that I did something wrong. Now I find out that it wasn’t something I did, it was that I wasn’t even his daughter to begin with,” she cried, clutching her hand to her chest in a sign of desperation. “Do you know how that feels? Do you have any idea what it’s like to think you aren’t even good enough for your own father, or wife in his case, to love you? I can’t blame him for acting the way he did.”

“No,” he said, shaking his head as he reached out and lifted her now dropped gaze. “Don’t make excuses for him. Whether you were his biologically or not, you were his daughter and he never should have made you feel the way he did. He should have felt lucky that he had such a wonderful young woman in his life and cherished every moment of it.”

“But she betrayed him…”

“Because she felt like she had no other choice,” he reminded her. “Isn’t that exactly what you were going to do for me? You were going to marry Bill, a man you don’t love, for me.”

“But Bill blackmailed me and he knows I don’t love him…”

“And your grandfather forced your mother,” he interrupted. “Ed knew that it was arranged as much as she did. He knew she wasn’t in love with him and to be honest, I don’t think he even cared. He wanted the power and money that the marriage would give him and he could live with the consequences of having a loveless marriage. There are many victims in the story, but your father isn’t one of them.”

She looked into his eyes and knew he was telling the truth. “How am I ever supposed to look at her the same again?” she asked as she stepped into his embrace. “I thought I could trust her.”

Danny paused for a moment to enjoy the feel of having her in his arms, even if she was crying, while a silent war raged in his head. He knew it was her mother’s place to tell her the truth about her disease, but he felt the need to warn her, to find a way for her to find out without completely crushing her already trampled hope.

“She loves you,” he whispered, brushing away a curl that fell into her eyes.

“I know,” she nodded, sighing deeply. “ I think I’m okay now,” she said, pulling away and wiping the tears from her eyes. “I want to know everything, all the details before I can really deal with any of it.”

She started to turn and head for the door when he reached out and lightly grabbed her arm, “Michelle,” he said, realizing that no matter what he decided about telling her what he knew, she wasn’t in any condition to hear more devastating news. “Sweetie,” he paused, waiting for her to turn around. “I think you’ve had enough to deal with today. Let me take you home and take care of you. You’ll feel better after some rest and then we can come back tomorrow when you have a clear head.”

She thought about arguing, but decided he was probably right anyway. She really didn’t feel up to hearing anything else that would upset her. Besides, she assured herself, things wouldn’t look nearly as bad after some sleep and relaxation. Cuddling with Danny always made it seem as though all were right with the world. “Okay,” she agreed, giving him a half smile. “Let’s go.”

He lead her out of the building toward his car, deciding to leave hers there until later. Each step they took brought another question into his mind. Should he tell her? Was it his place to divulge personal information about her mother? Could he let her walk in there again unprepared? Hopefully, this time he bought for himself would provide the answer that would best serve all involved. At that moment, he was glad that she was going home with him and holding her in his arms would have to be enough until they found a way out of this.

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