Republisher’s Note: Starting today Evil Bill kicks into full swing I’m sorry to say. Manny face many difficulties, but don’t lose faith.
Something About You – Part 25 by ShellyLynn
Danny continued to hold Michelle’s hand, softly rubbing his thumb back and forth across her cool skin as Bill walked determinedly into the room. “I said, get your hands off her!”
“I seem you remember you mentioning something about your fiancee. I thought a woman got a chance to accept or refuse a proposal before receiving that title,” Danny argued, not moving an inch. “Isn’t that what you thought?” he asked, turning to look at Michelle.
“Bill,” she exclaimed, stopping his words. “What has gotten into you?”
“He’s got more guts than brains,” Danny remarked under his breath, trying to contain a smile as he watched Bill Lewis try and control his rage.
Michelle gave him a stern look of warning before looking back at Bill. “Can we please have a few minutes alone?” she asked Danny, looking into his eyes and kissing his hand. “I think we have a few things we need to straighten out.”
“Are you sure?” Danny asked hesitantly, not wanting to leave her alone with him. “I can stay if you want.”
“I’m positive,” she said, nodding for emphasis. “I’ll be fine. You can come back in as soon as we’re finished talking. I promise it won’t be long.”
“If that’s what you want,” he whispered, “I need to check on Mikey anyway.” He gave her a soft kiss before turning and glaring at Bill. “You better not try anything,” he whispered harshly as he walked past him to the door. “I’ll be right outside.”
As soon as the door closed, Michelle’s smile faded and was replaced by a look of anger and disbelief. “What the hell were you thinking proposing to me like that? Where would you get the idea that I would even consider marrying you?”
“Don’t you dare honey me. You know that I only have feelings for you as a friend. I love Danny, you know that. I’ve told you how much he means to me,” she seethed, trying to control her anger. It was like she could feel her blood pressure rising with every word and that was not a complication that she needed to add right then.
“Look, Michelle. I know that you think you are in love with the guy, but you’re wrong. We belong together, you and me. You know that it’s always been planned this way. It’s what your father wants, it’s what your mother wanted, hell, if you would quit acting like a child, it’s what you would want as well. Please stop making this harder than it is. Don’t throw what we could have together away for love.”
“Ugh,” Michelle groaned, making fists at her sides. “Why does everyone else always presume to know what I want or should want? I’m the only one who knows that, and I want Danny. I need him.”
“Michelle, be reasonable here,” he sighed, acting like he was scolding a small child which only served to infuriate her further. “What kind of life could that bum possible give you?”
“A life full of love and happiness,” she answered, trying to make him understand. “You know I don’t care about the money, I never have. I want a man who cares about me, not my money, who loves me and takes care of me and puts his family above everything else, including his job. I want Danny Santos.”
“Okay Michelle, I’m done trying to make you see what a huge mistake you are making, so I’ll play this your way. I think you need to seriously consider this decision before you say anything. If you love him so much, then why would you want to hurt him?”
“What are you talking about?” she asked apprehensively. She was well aware of the power that Bill Lewis held and with her father on his side, she knew he was capable of doing just about anything to force her into making the decision he wanted.
“You would practically be killing the guy,” he continued, loving the effect his words were having on her. He was aware that she didn’t love him. In fact, after what he was about to tell her she’d probably hate him, but he didn’t care as long as he got her hand in marriage and everything that went along with it.
“It would kill him to lose me. There is nothing you could do to hurt him more than that,” she fired back. “He loves me just as much as I love him.”
“Oh really?” he said, rubbing his hand across the stubble forming on his chin. “What about that nephew of his that he loves so much?”
“What about Mikey? Danny takes great care of him. There is no way you could make him lose custody,” she said defiantly, her mind rapidly considering what her mouth had already said. She knew that with the power the Lewis and Bauer names yielded and some good luck, he could pull it off.
“Oh really? What if there were another family member of the boy’s that was willing to fight for custody? Do you want me to tell you a little secret?” he asked conspiratorially.
She nodded her head, unable to find the words to speak. She was terrified, but she needed to know who or what they were going to be up against.
“It’s me. I’m Michael Santos’s father.”
“What?” Michelle asked in a hush, her shoulders slumping in disbelief. “That’s not possible. It can’t be possible…”
Bill turned his back, glad that his statement had achieved the desired effect. “Years ago, I had a relationship with a girl named Pilar. I didn’t know much about her, but I really cared about her,” Bill began, to which Michelle gave a derisive snort and turned her head. “I did, but there was no way for us to be together, so I broke up with her. A couple weeks later, she told me she was pregnant. At first, I didn’t believe her, I thought she was only trying to rope me back in, but when she showed me the test results, I had no choice. We were young, I was only a freshman at SU and I wasn’t ready to raise a child or to give her the help that she needed. Besides, I knew what that would do to my opportunity to be CEO of Lewis. It would kill my reputation and ruin my chances. I couldn’t risk it.”
“You put your job before your child? What kind of man are you?” Michelle asked angrily. “You don’t deserve to have Mikey in your life. You abandoned him.”
“I gave her money and told her to have an abortion, which until a few days ago, I thought she had done. I didn’t abandon him, I didn’t know he even existed,” Bill began to make excuses.
“You’ve known about him for weeks. Why are you only telling me this now?” ”
“I didn’t know the boy out there was ours. When we dated, she told me her name was Silva, not Santos, so I never put the two together until I started digging around in Danny’s past,” he responded evenly, as if he was simply getting bored with the conversation. “Besides, I thought the baby was long gone.”
“You wanted her to have an abortion and she disobeyed you?” Michelle sighed. “So that makes what you did all right?” How could someone she’d always known be so different than she thought? How could a man order his own son to be aborted and then later claim it wasn’t his fault that the boy wasn’t in his life?
“People have abortions all the time,” Bill shrugged nonchalantly. “It would have solved all our problems.”
“But she didn’t do it. She gave birth to a beautiful baby, a baby that Danny has raised and nurtured to be a great boy. You have no right to take that away from him,” she said defiantly, “Besides, you wouldn’t risk jeopardizing your precious honor by claiming an illegitimate child. What would your mother say?” she gasped, acting horrified by the thought of his mother’s wrath.
“He’s my son,” Bill stated calmly. “She would be upset, but she would support me in bringing him home where he belongs.”
“He’s already where he belongs,” she countered. “What would you do with him? Huh? Send him off to boarding school? You know you have no desire to raise children right now. I think you’re bluffing. Besides, if you wanted him so badly, you wouldn’t be telling me this. You would fight for him whether I agreed to marry you or not. ”
“Maybe, but the court doesn’t know that. I have very good sources that have informed me of several indiscretions on Danny’s part that would help my case, and you know I can either find or manufacture more… I will not let Danny have my son and my wife. I always protect what belongs to me.”
“Bastard…” Michelle seethed, turning her head away in disgust. “Get out of my room.”
“I expect an answer soon Michelle. Don’t think I’m not serious about this,” he told her, turning to exit.
“Get out…” she breathed, trying to control her emotions. “I want you gone. I will not let you blackmail me.”
“You have two days, Michelle. After that, I begin the process of filing for custody,” he recites as his hand reaches for the doorknob. “ If you really love Danny like you say you do, you’ll spare him this pain and agree to marry me. If not, then you can sit by his side and watch as he loses the only family he has left. It’s up to you.”
As soon as she heard the door click shut behind him she burst into tears. “What am I going to do?” she cried, thinking back to Danny’s words to her earlier. “After everything that’s happened, I’m really protective of him. He’s the only family I have left and I don’t think I could bear to lose one more person I love.”
“If Bill’s telling the truth, then I guess he’s going to lose one of us no matter what I do. I just hope if it comes down to it, I’ll be strong enough to take that decision out of his hands. I need to do the right thing, for him of course, but especially for Mikey,” she said aloud wiping the tears from her eyes as she heard a soft knock at the door. “Come in.”
Danny paced back and forth down the hallway outside her room. He’d heard her raise her voice a couple of times, but each time he headed for the door, her voice resumed its normal tone and he’d backed away. She wanted to do this on her own and he trusted her enough to allow her the privacy to do that. His only fear was how Bill would react to the news.
He wondered where her father was. He had ventured off with Lewis a little while ago, but Bill had returned alone. He couldn’t help but assume that Mr. Bauer was once again putting his other obligations ahead of his daughter. He wondered why the man didn’t seem to want what most fathers desire more than anything, their child’s happiness.
He sat down in the orange chair next to Mikey, moving the boy so his head rested on his lap. He brushed a loose curl out of his eyes, making note to cut his hair the next day. He was such a precious child, so strong, so beautiful. Most people said he was the spitting image of his Uncle Danny, but when he looked at him, all he saw was his mother. His eyes were a shade lighter, just as his mother’s had been and he had her infectious laughter that made everyone around want to join in. Danny sighed as he remembered. They had been so close growing up and he missed her so much. He could still remember his Abuela sitting them on her lap and telling them that their eyes reminded her of chocolate, his dark and hers milky. They would always giggle and ask her if that meant she was going to eat them, to which she would tell them “Only if I don’t get a kiss before dinner.”
Mikey stirred and sat up, wiping his tired eyes as he looked into Danny’s eyes. “Is ‘Ichelle otay?” he asked tiredly, remembering why they were still at the hospital.
“She’s going to be fine,” he said, watching as Bill Lewis exited her room and walked down the hall in the other direction. “Let’s go see her, okay?”
Mikey tiredly nodded his head and Danny lifted him up against his chest, carrying him inside the room as he began to nod off again.
“How did it go?” Danny asked quietly as he walked toward Michelle’s bed.
“He looks worn out,” she says, reaching up to touch Mikey’s back as Danny sat in the chair by her bed, allowing Mikey to sit on his lap and sleep against his chest. “Yeah, he’s pretty tired, but you didn’t answer me. How did he take the news?”
“Well, no one died did they?” she joked humorlessly, “He understands exactly how I feel about you.”
“I’m glad,” Danny smiled, trying to figure out what she was hiding. “Did he upset you?”
“A little. Hey, don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine,” she tells him, reaching for his hand. “They want to keep me overnight to get some more fluids into my system, but it looks like you need to take Mikey home now.”
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Danny tried one more time.
“I’m fine, I just need to rest,” she said, leaning in for a kiss.
“All right. I’ll come pick you up tomorrow?” he asked hopefully.
“Sure,” she forced a smile. “I’ll see you then.”
“I love you,” he whispered, happy to finally be able to say the words he had still yet to hear from her.
“I love you too, so much…” she choked out, holding back her tears. “I love you more than I ever thought possible. No matter what happens, always remember that.”
“I plan on keeping you around to remind me for the next fifty years or so,” he grinned, elated and relieved at her matching revelation. He kissed her forehead as he stood up, adjusting Mikey’s weight in his arms as he prepared to go.
“Goodnight baby,” he said as he began to leave, pausing at the doorway to blow her a kiss and mouth “I love you,” one more time.
“I love you too,” she replied as the door closed and her tears fell. “How will I ever live if I have to give you up?”