Republisher’s Note: I was putting together a directory post and realized somehow I missed Chapter 24 when I was republishing the chapters so here it is now. Watch for a directory post putting things in order soon if you want to read the whole thing.
Something About You – Part 24 by ShellyLynn
Danny paced back and forth along the hospital hallway. They arrived there almost an hour ago and Michelle still hadn’t opened her eyes the last Danny knew. He overheard the doctor say that she was dehydrated and suffering from exhaustion. That coupled with the alcohol in her body was able to cause her to collapse.
He shook his head back and forth as he tried to drown out the nagging voice that kept leaping to the forefront. Despite the scene that he just witnessed, he was more upset with himself than anything. He knew that she had been working entirely too hard lately, barely eating and he had considered the fact that she shouldn’t be drinking champagne on an empty stomach more than once. He mentally chastised himself for allowing her to continue. He had just been so happy, so focused on asking her to be his wife that he had failed to put her health first. If anything major resulted from this lapse he knew he would never forgive himself for his selfish actions.
He looked at Mikey, sleeping soundly in the chair across the hallway, at least he was doing well. He’d been so scared when they first arrived at the hospital, but it was past his bedtime and he was so tired that he quickly fell asleep in the plastic chair.
Danny looked down the hallway toward Michelle’s room as he brushed a stray curl out of his nephew’s eyes. He could still see Bill Lewis and Ed Bauer talking outside her door. If he listened closely, he could hear Ed comforting Bill and promising him that she would be fine and the wedding would go on as scheduled. He sighed and ran his fingers through his own hair with his free hand. Had Michelle been lying to him all along? Had she really been using him while planning on marrying Bill?
No, that wasn’t true, he assured himself. She wasn’t faking the way she looked at him, the way they were together. She had feelings for him, just as he did her. They were wrong about her answer to Bill’s proposal and she would tell them as soon as she woke up. He was sure of it.
He looked on as Mr. Lewis turned in his direction and stared him down. He knew Bill didn’t like his presence here, but he didn’t care. He didn’t blame the man for making this attempt at winning Michelle’s hand. Hell, if he were in the same position, he might have done the same thing. Michelle Bauer was the most amazing woman he’d ever met and if it took some underhanded actions to win the chance to spend the rest of his life with her, he’d be just as willing as Bill to do what was necessary.
The person Danny was truly upset with was her father. If he knew his daughter at all, if he had been there for her, then he would know that this wasn’t what she would want. He would understand that the wonderful women she had become was strong and caring, that she didn’t care about money or power. He would realize that marrying Bill Lewis would mean nothing to her because she didn’t love Bill, not the way she loved him. He knew Mr. Bauer would not take the news of their relationship easily. He would be forced to get used to the fact that his only daughter’s heart belonged to a lowly college student who only recently gained the ability to buy more expensive meals than macaroni and cheese for himself and his young nephew.
He noticed that the men were leaving, probably going to grab a cup of coffee or something and he decided this was the perfect chance to see if he could at least get a peek into her room. He needed something to assure himself that she would be all right. Even just a glimpse of her would help to set his mind at ease.
“Danny?” Michelle said, slowly opening her eyes and letting them adjust to the bright light in the room. Her eyes searched all over, noticing the machines and tubes surrounding her. “Where am I?”
“You are in Cedars hospital, Miss Bauer,” the nurse said quietly, “Your father and Mr. Lewis went to the cafeteria. They’ll be right back, I’ll go tell them you are awake.”
“Bill?” she asked, surprised. “No,” she said quickly, halting the nurse’s progress toward the door as her memory of the night’s events came flooding back. “Is Danny here?”
She prayed that he was, she had to explain that she had no idea what was coming when she walked up on the stage, that she didn’t want to marry Bill, she wanted to marry him. “Danny?” the nurse asked in confusion.
“Danny Santos… tall, dark, extremely handsome. He probably has a young boy with him…”
“Oh, yes… I think he’s here,” the nurse said, smiling slightly. So that was the reason for the lines etched into the face of the gorgeous man down the hall. He must know Miss Bauer and he’s worried about her. Maybe she would be willing to help her get a date with him. After all, he couldn’t be anything more than a friend to her, Mr. Lewis was Miss Bauer’s fiancee.
“Would you like me to get him as well?”
“No, I want you to get only him,” she stressed. “I don’t want either my father or Bill Lewis in here.”
“But… Are you sure?”
“That’s what I want,” she reaffirmed. “Please bring him in.” She had plenty that she wanted to say to the other two men, but her first concern was Danny. She knew he must be worried sick about her.
The nurse left the room and approached Danny. “Mr. Santos?” she asked. When he nodded in the affirmative, she smiled sweetly and continued, “Miss Bauer asked to see you.”
“She’s awake?” he asked in surprise.
“She just woke up a few minutes ago. She’s quite tired and a little disoriented, but she’s going to be fine. She just needs to get some rest.”
He reached for the doorknob before pulling his hand back. What was he going to say? What would she tell him? He took a deep breath and turned the knob, walking through the door. Everything would be fine. “Thank God you’re okay,” he said as soon as he saw her beautiful eyes from across the room.
“I’m fine,” she said, easing into a sitting position. “I just overdid it.”
“Yeah, and all the champagne you drank earlier didn’t help,” he scolded slightly, too relieved to be upset with her.
“I know,” she sighed, reaching for his hand. “About what happened earlier. “I didn’t have any…”
“We don’t have to talk about this now…”
“Danny,” she said, forcing his eyes to meet hers as he settled into the chair by her bed. “Let me say this. I had no idea that was going to happen. I thought I made it perfectly clear to Bill that our relationship was purely platonic. I guess I was wrong to just assume he understood. I’m so sorry you had to witness that.”
“Hey, you had nothing to do with it. Don’t apologize.”
“I have to, because it’s my fault. You warned me about him and I didn’t listen to you,” she told him, as he brought her hand to his lips.
“It doesn’t matter,” he said, shaking his head. “I just know that it’s going to make it even harder for us to explain things to your father. He seems really excited about the prospect of your marriage to Bill.”
“I didn’t even think of that,” she grimaced.
“Are you okay?” he asked quickly, not liking the look of pain on her face.
“My throat’s dry,” she said hoarsely.
He reached for the pitcher of water on the table to his left and poured her a glass. “You need fluids,” he told her, as he pointed to the IV in her arm as evidence and brought the cool liquid to her parched lips “and to take better care of yourself.”
“Yes sir,” she said with a mock salute.
He took her hand in his once again as he spoke, “When I saw you fall to the ground, I was so worried. I can’t even tell you the kind of things that started running through my head.”
“I’m fine,” she smiled, motioning for him to join her on the bed. “Come here”
He moved to sit along side her and she leaned in to give him a hug. “I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you.”
“You won’t,” she answered, “I’m going to live for at least another fifty years so get used to it.”
“She already has a visitor. Sir, she doesn’t want to see you…” the voice came from the hallway as the door burst open.
“What the hell are you doing here Santos? Get your hands off my fiancee!”