Republisher’s Note: Michelle is desperate to get her father to see that he needs to help protect her from Bill.
Something About You – Part 30 by ShellyLynn
Danny exited the bathroom to the delicious smell of already cooked breakfast. Last night had been the best of his life and he was eager to continue the magic later that very evening.
“Michelle?” he asked when he arrived in the empty kitchen. “Honey?”
He walked over to the prepared meals on the counter, stealing a piece of bacon off one of the plates before noticing a note sitting next to them. He picked it up, immediately feeling a sense of dread come over him before reading a singe word.
After reading the simple message, his tension hadn’t decreased. He couldn’t help but fearing that Michelle’s sudden disappearance had something to do with the reasons she had been acting worried and distant lately. All that was erased for a while the previous night, but he had sensed a slight return this morning, something he pushed to the back of his mind in light of the glorious evening they so recently spent together.
He took a deep breath and exhaled, calming his nerves. If it were anything serious, he was sure that she would have told him by now. Either way, he was going to make it another perfect day for them. He walked over to his coat and pulled out the black box holding the diamond ring he bought for her. That very afternoon he planned to have a talk with Mikey about what was happening between them and then when Michelle met him later at the falls, he planned to do what he tried to do days ago, ask her to become his wife. He had everything planned, the picnic, the champagne, and even the words he now found flowing so easily. He would make this the best night they’d ever had, a night he was sure they would both remember for the rest of their lives.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Michelle turned her car around and sped toward the Bauer estate, her mind working furiously to come up with some way to reason with her father. She needed to make him understand how she felt about Danny. For once, she needed him to put her needs above his business and stand by her side. If she could find a way to convince him to back her rather than Bill, then Danny and she would have a real chance at making it.
She parked her car out front and walked into the house, eager to speak to him before she lost her nerve. She walked down the long main corridor, her shoes clicking on the hardwood floor with every step she took. As she got closer to her father’s office, she heard him laughing, obviously very happy about something. Probably another closed deal, she thought to herself, knowing that business seemed like the only thing of late with the ability to make him even crack a smile.
She reached for the knob with shaky hands, unsure whether or not to proceed. She wished it could be as easy as knowing that her happiness would be the most important thing to her father, but judging by previous events, she couldn’t be so sure. It had been a long time since she could remember him being her daddy, not since she was a small child.
She took a deep breath, knowing this was something she had to do, and without bothering to knock, she turned the knob, opening the door wide to enter the room and finding herself face to face with an unexpected surprise. “Bill?”
She took a step back, taking in the whole scene before her. What she saw was her father and her would be forced fiancée, rejoicing in something with a bottle of chilled champagne. She could only assume to know what was their cause for celebration and her heart dropped at the realization that she might not even have a fighting chance in this battle.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Michelle asked, her anger forcing her to face Bill first, her fists clenched defiantly at her sides. This was even worse than she’d anticipated. She couldn’t believe she hadn’t realized that Bill would come to her father first. He would want to ensure that his much-needed back up was in place. He might be an arrogant, cold-hearted man, but he was also one of the most intelligent men around. “Get out of my family’s home.”
“Is that any way to speak to your soon to be husband?” her father laughed, raising his glass in the air toward the two youngsters. “I don’t want to be privy to a lover’s spat already.”
“He’s never going to be my husband,” she shouted, looking her father dead in the eye, making her statement clear. “And I want him out of my mother’s house.”
“This house is mine now. Your mother hasn’t lived here for a long time,” her father sighed, seemingly tired with the talk already.
“Because you were too lazy to take care of her. You know I never wanted her to live in the home,” she said, another entire set of issues. She bit her tongue before lashing out further. That was a separate argument and one that right now wasn’t the most important thing she had to discuss with him. “Right now though, I want to know why you are taking an outsider’s side over your own daughter’s.”
“I thought this was a done deal, Lewis? You said you convinced her…” he looked at Michelle, moving closer to her side, “Sweetie, you’re being irrational. I’m not taking anyone’s side. Marrying Bill will be the best thing for both of you.”
“The best thing for me would be happiness. Don’t you want that for me? Don’t you want me to be happy? Daddy, I can’t be happy marrying someone I don’t love. Somewhere inside you must understand that, I know you do,” she pleaded, hoping for some sign that her words were having the desired effect. “I know that you want what’s best for me.”
“Love?” her father laughed harshly, taking another drink of his champagne, “Love is something found in fairytales, not real life. You are acting like a silly schoolgirl. NO……. Marrying Bill is what is best for you and for both families. Everything will work out, you’ll have everything you’ve dreamed of…”
“No,” she said, fighting the tears that she could feel welling up in her eyes. She wouldn’t cry though, she couldn’t give them that satisfaction. Her father had hurt her so many times over the years that she thought by now she’d be used to it, but this time it hurt more than ever. This time, it wasn’t his attendance at a school play or graduation, this time it was his insistence that he knew what was best for her and that he didn’t care at all that his “best” would make the rest of her life miserable.
“Love is real. I know from experience. Daddy, I’ve met the most amazing man. He’s smart and kind and loyal and strong. I love him and he loves me, so much. We want to have a life together, but Bill here,” she sneered, her hand sweeping wide in his direction, “is blackmailing me. He’s threatening to take custody of Danny’s nephew, his illegitimate son, away from him unless I marry him.”
Her father looked at Bill, his eyes expressionless as he thought about the situation. “Ahh, Are we talking about Santos? You are even brighter than I thought, Bill. You will be a great asset to this organization. I can’t say I commend you on getting the Santos girl knocked up, but we all make mistakes and I’m glad that you are going to take responsibility for your actions. I don’t know if I would allow a man of such low position to raise my son, but if you are willing to sacrifice that to make this work, then you are a strong, dedicated man and I respect you for it. If there is any way I can help, feel free to ask.”
“Dad? Haven’t you heard a word I said? Are you that intent on making me hate you? I can’t believe that even you would put your business over the needs of your only daughter,” she said, losing her battle and letting the tears flow. “Danny and I love that boy like he is our own. Bill doesn’t give a damn about him. All he is in his eyes is a pawn that he thinks will get him what he wants. You two disgust me.”
“I’ve heard everything I need to hear. You are being too emotional right now. In time, you will see that this is best for all involved,” he smiled awkwardly, standing up and walking to where she stood. “You’re going to be a beautiful bride.”
She shook herself free from his embrace, her tears subsiding in the face of her anger. “I will find a way out of this and when I do, I will never forgive either of you.”
She turned on her heal and left the room, making it all the way to her car before she broke down and sobbed, tears flowing from her very soul as she lay her arms against the steering wheel cried into them. She knew that her father would be a wild card in all of this, but his total rejection of her and his total insensitivity to her needs were more than she could handle. In the face of all that was happening, she needed an ally, someone she could trust, someone other than Danny who she could count on to be there for her.
She lifted her head and as soon as she could catch her breath, she turned the key in the ignition and pulled out of the long winding driveway of the Bauer Estate. She knew instinctively that there was only one other person that met that description, the one person who she had been able to count on her entire life….her mother.