Posts Tagged ‘Bill Lewis’

Guiding Light Cast Roundup 79

September 20, 2017

This is the seventy-ninth in an irregular feature where we will report updates on what cast members of Guiding Light are doing now. I’m playing catch up on some soap magazine news. So as a reminder you can buy back issues:
https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/faq-back-issues-2014/

The January 30, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest published the Manny photo from Instagram.

Check out “The Guiding Light” pp 42-44 in Daytime TV Yearbook, no. 5 1974. It includes the cast at the time with individual photos and bios.

The November 4, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest featured an article on the effect of chaos and switching TPTB behind the scenes. They tell about what’s going on behind the scenes on Guiding Light in the mid-1980s.

I’m sure I mentioned this when this first came out, but I just came across the August 1, 2011 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth. In a feature on characters who get back together to characters after they really should know better, Manny get a page and a half and several photos.

The July 31, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest flashes back to what happened on all the soaps, including Guiding Light, in 1998. As any Manny fan knows the most important event that year was that Manny got its start. Also important was Michael Zaslow (the irreplaceable Roger Thorpe) was unceremoniously fired due to his advancing illness, Fiona Hutchinson (Jenna Bradshaw Cooper, Vanessa’s sort of sister, Buzz’s true love), Jay Hammer (long time reporter Fletcher Reade), Lisa Brown (Nola Reardon Chamberlain, of the Quola pairing), all left.

Bethany Joy Lenz (then credited as Joie Lenz) was on the red carpet for the premiere of HBO’s Big Little Lies. See a photo in the April 27, 2017 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Daniel Cosgrove (Bill Lewis #4, part of the wonderful Bizzie pairing) talks about being an introvert in the July 25, 2016 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Jane Elliot (Carrie Marler, Ross’ wife) has retired from her iconic soap role on General Hospital. Read more in the April 17, 2017 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Find a photo of Jordi Vilasuso (Tony Santos #1 of Marony fame) is given a full page photo with a discussion of his diet in the July 25, 2016 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth. His character’s departure from Days of Our Lives means that there is a feature interview with Vilasuso in the August 7, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest. Since then has done two movies. Vilasuso did a quick short spot talking about what he has learned watching Justin Deas (Buzz Cooper) and A. Martinez on Days. It’s a nice little shot of how Deas worked. Find it in the March 21, 2016 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Laura Bell Bundy (Marah Lewis #5, the one who started Marony) married TBS excecutive Thom Hinkle in Arcadia, CA at the Santa Anita Park racetrack on June 3, 2017. Read about it in the June 26, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Sonia Satra (Lucy Cooper Spaulding, part of terrific LAM pairing, victim of Marian Crane) has a featured interview about her part as Gloria Steinem in a 10 point docuseries American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story in the August 14, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Michael Tylo (Quint McCord Chamberlain) was interviewed in the December 30, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest when he first came on All My Children. He talks about his time on Guiding Light and his bicoastal marriage.

Find a feature on the play Breathing Under Dirt including Michael O’Leary (Rick Bauer #5, the adult one we know and love),  Grant Aleksander (Phillip Spaulding #2, adult Phillip), Cynthia Watros (Annie Dutton #1), Tina Sloan (Lillian Raines), and Beth Chamberlain (Beth Raines Spaulding #2) is in the August 8, 2016 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth

Chamberlain was also the subject of a feature about her career as a fitness guru in the August 11, 2011 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Find a report on the 2016 Daytime Stars and Strikes event in the July 25, 2016 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

There is a where are they now catch up feature with soap stars who’ve gone on to primetime TV success in the February 27, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest. It included is Frank Grillo (the last Hart Jessup) who now stars on Kingdom his real life wife and former Guiding Light love interest Wendy Moniz (Dinah Marler #3) played his love interest in Kingdom‘s second season. In the August 14, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest an Ask Us question explained that Moniz appeared in seasons 4 and 5 in House of Cards as Laura Moretti.

Krista Tersreau (Mindy Lewis #1) was quoted in the best quotes feature of April 15, 2013 issue of Soap Opera Digest. The quote was originally published April 10, 1984. About her screen-test experience for the soap, “As soon as I got in the limo, I felt like such a big shot. I was sitting in the back seat and I rolled the windows down, thinking when people pass they’d look in and want to see who is in there.”

Emme Rylan (Lizzie Spaulding Lewis #6, part of the wonderful Bizzie pairing) shared a photo of her family from her latest baby shower in the June 26, 2017 issue of Soap Opera DigestRylan  is having baby #3. Read all about it in the January 30, 2017 issue of Soap Opera DigestRylan and Laura Wright (Cassie Layne Winslow) are both featured in Star Shots of the Week with their children in the August 14, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Gina Tognoni (Dinah Marler #4) shared a photo of her summer tip to Graceland in the June 26, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Judi Evans (Beth Raines #1) has previously played two very distinct roles on Days of Our Lives. She had returned awhile ago to her iconic role as Adrienne Johnson, but recently they’ve brought back Bonnie Lockhart. Their runs were on separate times and when Bonnie came on their resemblance was not noticed but will play a major part in current story. Find more in the July 31, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Daniel Hall who is now Scott Granger on The Young and the Restless had several short term roles on Guiding Light including Jack/Jake/Unnamed Pickpocket. Find an interview with him where he includes his time on GL in the April 17, 2017 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth. He also discusses (and is pictured with) Saundra Santiago (Carmen Santos). They didn’t overlap on the soap, but got to know each other later.

Kim Zimmer (Reva Shayne Lewis) attended the opening night of Robert Newman (Josh Lewis)’s new production of Man of La Mancha. Check out a photo in the July 11, 2016 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Brittany Snow (Daisy Susan LeMay Cooper #2 – during Susan’s first return) appeared on the red carpet photos in the July 11, 2016 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

Back in 2011, Frank Dicopoulos (Frank Cooper) announced becoming the host of a NJDiscover show called Earth Treasures. It’s no longer on the air, but there is a photo of him with his family including his daughter Olivia who was Maureen Reardon on the show. See it in the August 11, 2011 issue of CBS Soaps in Depth.

When Maeve Kinkead was out of Guiding Light on maternity leave she was replaced by Anna Stuart best known as Donna Love on Another World. Read about it in the November 4, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Kassie DePaiva (Chelsea Reardon, Maureen and Nola’s little sister) reported she was now cancer free in the February 27, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

In the December 30, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest, a fan writes in and asks about Calla Matthews. The fan wanted to know if Calla still had syphilis. She was cured of the disease, but would no longer be able to have any more kids.

A question in the December 30, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest ask if Keith Timmons on Santa Barbara‘s cat was really his actor’s Justin Deas‘s cat. It wasn’t.

In the December 30, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest has a great 2 page photo of Grant Aleksander (Phillip Spaulding #2, adult Phillip) with a couple of cats. It’s worth finding the issue. There’s also a photo of Kimi Packs who played Dorie who India adopted.

Roger Howarth (Jory Andros, Eleni’s brother in 1992) returned to shooting his role of Franco Baldwin on General Hospital in July after a protracted contract neogiation. Read more in the August 14, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

JoBeth Williams (Brandy ???) talks about how Guiding Light‘s TPTB were kind and let her out of her contract after she hit the big time in Kramer vs. Kramer. The quote was originally from 2002, but was quoted again in the April 15, 2013 issue of Soap Opera Digest about how nice TPTB were about letting her out of her contract.

The April 4, 1986 issue of Soap Opera Digest answers a fan question about Simon Hall (the illegitimate son of Alexandra’s first husband who was also the father of Lujack and Nick McHenry). His accent was Canada and was his actor’s (Shawn Thompson) real accent.

Beth Ehlers (Harley Cooper Davidson) was quoted from an interview originally published in the June 8, 1993 issue and republished in the August 7, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest: “Actors are just normal people. I think that disappoints fans more than anything else.” Ehlers was also featured in a round up of siblings paired with Frank Dicopoulos (Frank Cooper).

Check out a casual photo of Laura Wright (Cassie Winslow #1) and her current boyfriend Wes Ramsey (Sam Spencer, Olivia’s brother) in the July 31, 2017 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Advertisements

Fair Winds and Following Seas by Phyllis Chapter 5

August 25, 2017

Republisher’s Note: I have no idea why they bothered to put in a specific address for the Bauer House when it was the wrong one. The Bauer House is located next to the Spaulding Estate on Skyline Drive. The background as Aussie gives it messes with the timeline of the original story making it seem like Manny were dating longer before they got married than they actually were.

Author’s Note at the bottom.

Fair Winds and Following Seas by Phyllis Chapter 5

Michelle removed the egg, cheese and mushroom casserole from the top oven and placed it on a warming tray to keep it warm until the remaining Santos family members arrived for a light breakfast. Danny leaned over to Michelle’s neck to lay a soft kiss on her skin. Giggling at her husband’s attention, “Hey, you are supposed to be entertaining Bethany and Gabby!”

“Honey, I am. They are sitting in their sleds with no place to go. Perfectly content.”

“Danny, you are being cruel to them. They are waiting for us to take them outside for another ride in their sleighs.”

“I’ll let Pilar and Bill have the next honor.” With one arm wrapped on the side of Michelle’s waist, “It is all your fault. I’m dragging my ass this morning because of your naughty ways last night. I bet Bill Lewis would be shocked to see what the prim and proper Michelle Bauer Santos does in the privacy of our bedroom!”

“Sweetie, you promised not to tell anyone. Remember it was in the privacy of our bedroom.”

Sipping his second mug of coffee, “I might have to invite your old boyfriend to look in your lingerie drawer.”

“Danny, I know you to well. You are teasing me. Bill and I are still close friends and we did go skinny dipping when we were ten years old at Laurel Falls. Bill can testify to the fact that there wasn’t much to see back then and it sure discouraged any future interest.”

“So my sister’s fiance has seen the diamond in the rough but lacked the imagination to see the shining diamond.”

Handing Danny the oven mitts, “Can you take the Cinnamon Buns out of the lower oven? I know this is supposed to be a light breakfast but I want be able to make it to Carmen’s for her Christmas Day Brunch.”

“Honey, I told Carmen that you have a shift to cover at the hospital. She is OK with it.”

The banging of the bags of presents on the glass panes diverted the couple to the arrival of Danny’s family. Opening the door for Pilar and Bill, Danny kissed Pilar’s cheek. “Merry Christmas, Peanut! What do you have in all these bags?”

“Presents for my niece and nephew. I couldn’t resist buying for them. Ask Bill I spent one entire afternoon shopping for your two children.”

“Danny, I can vouch for Pilar. Pilar hit every children’s shop in Chicago. Your sister can do some serious damage when turned loose in a store.”

“Oh Danny and Michelle, I found the cutest clothes and I had the hardest time deciding which to buy. You will love the cute pink and purple bathing suits for Bethany Joy and the little sundresses. They make the cutest little boy sun suits to match the sundresses. I actual caught a couple of sales and I purchased clothes for next year as well.”

Michelle counted the bags, “Pilar, are these all clothes?”

Hugging her sister in law, “No, I did buy a few toys. I saw the neatest box of make believe food for Gabby and Bethany Joy to use in their pots and pans. Michelle, the rest are for Danny and you.”

“Why are Gabby and Bethany Joy sitting in the sleighs with their fleece hats on their heads?”

Michelle punched Danny in his side, “Danny, why don’t you tell Pilar and Bill what you have in mind for them to do after we eat breakfast.”

“Peanut, Santa bought the sleighs last night and Michelle and I were out at 6am this morning pulling your niece and nephew on the snow. After we came back inside, Gabby and Bethany kept on crawling back into the sleighs and getting out and walking to the door. I gave them their hats to assure them that they were going outside again soon. They have been waiting patiently for Bill and you to take them for another ride. Did Carmen and Abuell follow you here?”

“They were stopping by to pick up Ray from the church parish. When we left the house, Dietz was packing the car with presents. ”

The front door bell rang twice before Danny opened the door to see two enormous white bears with red scarfs hiding the two small Santos women. “Why didn’t you call me on the cell phone so I could come out and help with the bears.”

“We wanted to see how Gabby and Bethany Joy react to the bears. The bears have big sunken stomachs where Gabby and Bethany can crawl on and rest.”

“Mam, I hope you are planning on keeping them at your house. We are running out of space quickly today.”

“Where is Dietz? He is gathering the remaining gifts after he helped Maria up the walkway and steps. You might want to help him. There are several heavy boxes of antique china boxes and silver serving pieces for Michelle from Maria. I have a nice contemporary painting for Michelle as my gift. The same art dealer in Boston made me a deal that I couldn’t refuse.”

Danny grabbed his navy double-breasted coat from the coat rack and went quickly down the steps to Carmen’s car.

“Dietz, did you check with Jimmy last night?”

“I did. Boss. The Spencer girl spent the evening in Chicago. The neighbor said, She is going back to Australia before New Year’s Day. Right now, the girl is in Chicago and not in Springfield.”

Shaking his head at the good news, Danny lifted one of the boxes. “Michelle has a shift at the hospital from 12noon until 6pm. You can take the rest of the day off.”

“OK, Boss.”

Back inside the house, Danny watched while the ladies opened the Christmas gifts for the twins. Carmen had Gabby sitting on her lap and Maria rocked Bethany Joy in the Boston rocker with Pilar holding the outfits up to each child. Danny poured fresh coffee in all the mugs and prepared another batch of fresh ground beans to brew another flask of coffee. The room was quickly becoming a scene of strewn boxes and colorful wrapping paper with opened gifts piling up on the floor.

Bethany Joy spotted Maria’s string of pearls and pulled the pearls up to her mouth, which prompted Danny to scream “No Bethany.”

The shock of the loud noise had Bethany crying spontaneously.

“Daniel, why did you scream No to Bethany? You have scared my baby.”

“Abuella, she was putting your pearls in her mouth. I didn’t want her to break the string and she needs to learn what No means. Yesterday, Bethany hurt her finger with a sharp needle from the Christmas tree and I was afraid of her swallowing a pearl.”

Michelle laid a present down and reached up to take Bethany from Maria. “Bethany was probably fascinated with the pearls and thought they were a toy. It is fascinating to witness the insatiable curiosity of a child-especially when a forbidden object presents itself. The battle usually begins with a parent’s gentle warning be careful or don’t touch. Initially Bethany Joy is alarmed until the overwhelming urge to see for herself takes over usually resulting in a broken vase, a broken string of Marias pearls or a hurt finger. How many times have we seen Maria and Carmen drape expensive jewelry on Bethany’s neck?”

Abuella supported Michelles statement, “Your wife is right, I have given the pearls to Gabby and Bethany Joy to play with but I watch what they do with them. Curiosity is a normal thing. They have to learn what will hurt and still keep a sense of curiosity. At High Ridge, we have had to do house keeping and put breakables up higher out of their reach.”

Giving Bethany back to Maria, “I’m sorry but I have to leave to go to the hospital. Thank you all for your generosity Please make sure the twins get a good nap this afternoon; they have a long day ahead with dinner at the Bauer House tonight. I put several new books in their activity bag.”

Pilar stood up and hugged Michelle, “I promise to read to Gabby and Bethany. Bill and I can bring you a late lunch this afternoon. We are spending the later part of the afternoon and night at Vanessa and Matt’s lake house home.”

“No, you don’t have to that; I will get a free lunch today at the hospital. Part of the deal of working a holiday.”

Scraping the ice and snow off of the Mercedes together, Danny pulled Michelle in his arm for one last hug and kiss before releasing her to go to work. “I’m going to miss you today. Last Christmas I was sick but we spent all of the day together. This sucks with you leaving to go to work.”

“Danny, there are sick people at the hospital that are never going to have another Christmas.” Flipping the snow from his dark thick curls, “But we will be together looking at the watch on his right wrist in six hours. It has always been this way at the Bauer house. Daddy often missed most of the day.”

Opening the door for Michelle to climb up in the SUV, “Please choose a specialty that will allow you to be home on the holidays.”

“Honey, you married the wrong woman!”

Leaning inside the car,” I married the right woman but she is very determined to be a doctor on call all the time.”

Giving one last kiss to Danny and remembering the odor of her husband’s body before backing the SUV out of the parking place, “One reminder Danny, no meat for Gabby and Bethany until tonight.”

Danny stood and watched Michelle drive away from him. Saluting with his hand at Michelle until the SUV was out of sight, Danny returned to his family and their Christmas celebration. In six hours, the new generation of Santoses would be sitting down to dinner at one of the most respectable families in Springfield for Christmas dinner. Miguel Santos had to like how the family had turned the corner in the social part of society.

The sun had set early in the late afternoon when Meta stood in the Bauer dining room recounting the forks, spoons and knives. She straightened the table-runner before lighting the candles on the table and the sideboard. The increased noise level in the Bauer kitchen was Daniel Santos arriving with Gabby and Bethany Joy for their first Bauer Christmas. The bells on the hallway clock were striking half past the hour, which meant if all was well with Michelle’s schedule; she would be arriving shortly.

Abbey had finished pouring the red wine after placing the last favorite, green bean and onion casserole on the warming plate. “Aunt Meta, this Christmas dinner is special for the Bauer family. We have Michelle’s two children and Rick and I have Freddie. Even Ed seems less restless and he has stayed for more than a year.”

Smiling at the inner peace that was evident in Ed and patting Abby’s graceful hand that showed the evidence of the hard work from her days spent living on the Amish farm, “Yes, we have three new grandchildren and all at once we are getting crowded in the dining room.”

Abbey sighed with the vision of seeing the three highchairs in the dining room and going through her mental checklist again, “To tell you the truth I don’t feel the spirit of adventure as I did early this morning when we invited our extra guest for dinner at the last minute.”

“Abbey, I know what is right and wrong and today, I am correcting a social injustice.”

“Now, we need one of the men to bring in Gabby and Bethany’s highchairs and warming their plates in the microwave.”

In the kitchen, the large turkey sat on the carving tray with Ed doing the carving honors on the cooked bird. “Merry Christmas Danny and Merry Christmas to Bethany Joy and Gabby. Danny, do you think Gabby and Bethany are still too young to chew on a turkey leg? This will be the last year for them to have the honor of claiming chewing rites since Freddie isn’t equipped with a set of teeth.”

Admiring his children’s outfits, “Ed, Gabby and Bethany will pass on the chewing rites. My sister Pilar went a little overboard this year with their outfits and this is their third outfit for the day. I have specific orders from her to make sure that Michelle saw the twins dressed in the red velvet outfits. Bethany’s dress with her white lace underskirt is a sure target for any grease and you saw last night what Gabby does with his hands.”

“Did they get their naps at your mother’s house this afternoon?”

“Yes, they both took nice long naps after brunch but I suspect they are exhausted and might fall asleep at the dining room table. We are fast approaching the hour when the Sandman comes and they fall asleep for the night.
Have you heard from Michelle? I called and left a message on her cell phone but she hasn’t returned my call.”

“Meta heard from Michelle a few minutes before six and she said that she was starving to death- no lunch today and a typical Bauer mode of operation for a holiday.”

The lights from a car pulling in the driveway flashed in the kitchen window. “That’s my girl and she is right on time for a change.”

Flashing her high beam lights twice to call for help, Rick gave Freddie to Danny. “You hold Freddie while I help my sister. She wants help to bring in something.”

“Rick, I can go out, I forgot all about the pile of gifts for the Bauer family.”

“No Danny, Freddie wants to get a close up view of his Uncle Danny. With our schedules, we hardly have time for a nice leisure visit.”

Catching her breath as she ran in the kitchen, “I’m almost on time.”

Danny with his free hand helped her with her coat after she dropped the pile of packages on the loveseat near the door. “Thanks, honey. What can I do to help in the kitchen?”

Meta answered, “Nothing honey, I saved the dishwashing for you, young lady.”

Michelle kissed Danny and then rubbed her cheek on Freddie’s fat chubby cheeks. “Freddie has the cheeks that you want to squeeze.”

“Michelle, did you have the heat on in the Mercedes?”

“I got here before the car warmed up, but I’m not sure if the blower is working properly. I like the car but the diesel engine is very slow in producing heat. Have you feed Gabby and Bethany?”

“Oh my Michelle, I forgot to put their water based plates in the microwave! We have been discussing your children’s wardrobe. Bethany and Gabby are cute as buttons with the matching outfits. I don’t think that I have ever seen small fur boots until today. And may I say that you look pretty nice today as well.”

“Danny gave me the black man made leather mini skirt with the red lamb’s wool sweater. I even got a few cat calls from some teens in the ER today. The clothes caught their eye. I informed them that I was the mother of twins after they called me a Sexy Lady One of the boys said, Then you are one Sexy Mama and I then got my revenge by checking for undescended testicles.” Winking at Danny, “I must show you how this is done.”

“Hey this is enough of medical shop talk, why don’t we all gather in the dining room and I’ll bring in the baby plates with their food.”

“Aunt Meta, you go ahead, I’ll get Bethany and Gabbys food. You have to be tired.”

Danny motioned Meta out of the kitchen, “Michelle and I will take care of the food for our children. Plus I want to talk with Michelle about the lack of heat in the Mercedes….Why didn’t you tell me that the heater wasn’t working in the car?”

“It happened gradually and today was the first day that the blower didn’t function. The heater wasn’t working this morning when I left our home.”

Throwing his hand up in the air, “You go ahead, I’m calling the car dealership. They are going to tow the car tonight and I want the heater fixed before we get back from Puerto Rico or a new loaner in my driveway for you to drive. Come here Michelle, baby you could get a cold or pneumonia driving in subzero weather.”

“Danny, please don’t make a big fuss of all nights. The tow driver has a family too. Did Daddy take Gabby and BJ in the dining room?”

Nodding his head and indicating YES, Danny spoke sternly into his phone in the quick Spanish phrases, which Michelle recognized as curse words.

The sight of their Mother energized the tired toddlers bodies as they almost jumped from their grandfather’s arms to the extended hands of Michelle. Gabby smothered Michelle’s cheek with his wet kisses and locked his hands in Michelle’s thick curls. “How’s my big boy? Mommy missed your beautiful face.” Turning her attention to the small replica of herself, “Miss Princess, your Aunt Pilar must have had this dress under the tree at Granny C’s house.” Bethany hooked her arm and hand tightly around Michelle’s neck. The tiny petite fingers of her left hand touched Michelle’s lips for a kiss. “Danny, you have got to come and see what your daughter has learned!”

“I’m sorry to be holding up dinner but Michelle and I are leaving town early in the morning and I wanted her car towed tonight so that they will have ample time to fix her car while we are away. What’s this with Bethany Joy?”

“Danny, watch where Bethany puts her fingers on her left hand.”

Danny bent down to the eye level of Bethany. “Do you want Mommy or Daddy to kiss your fingers?”

Switching to her Daddy’s lips, “Dada.”

“Oh Bethany, you want Daddy to kiss you!”

Answering Danny in his native language, S, s Shaking his head and laughing at his daughter’s response, “Tell Mommy what No is in Spanish.” Gabby and Bethany, both moved their heads sideways indicating their answers with a physical response and yelling “No” to their audience in the dining room.

Beaming as a proud parent would after seeing Bethany Joy and Gabby respond with their bilingual talents, Michelle asked her brother and sister-in-law, “OK Rick and Abbey, when is my nephew going to display his IQ?”

With his own joy of finally having a child and loving every moment, Rick went into his silly face routine for his son. At the right moment, Freddie smiled and laughed at his Daddy. “Michelle, this is the best that we can do this year but next year Freddie Bauer will be able to keep up with the Santos twins.”

Danny and Michelle sat next to each other with one of their children on the other side to help minimize the confusing sitting arrangement in the dining room. “Did you bring their pajamas?”

“Carmen packed the diaper bag with an extra set of PJs but we shouldn’t stay out tonight very late. We have an early departure in the morning at 10am. And I hate to wake them up transferring them from here to the car and back in the house. If it is possible, I want to leave after we open our gifts. You still have to pack and I know how long that usually takes you……Meta when I went outside to give the keys to Michelle’s car to the tow truck driver, I saw a car attempting to pull in your driveway. I think the driver went down the street to turn around or decided to wait until the tow truck was out of the driveway.”

“Hum, I thought our guest had gotten lost. Ed, will you and Rick go out the front and kitchen door and see if you see any hungry guest wondering in the backyard or out on the side street.”

Ed responded, “I’ll turn the security lights on out front since Meta has invited a lonely and evidently lost Springfield new resident.”

Abbey looked at Michelle, “How can anyone get lost finding 5 Church Street?”

Michelle hunched her shoulders, “Please hurry, I’m starving!”

Outside Ed and Rick walked out to the street. “Dad, did Meta mention to you whom she invited to dinner?”

“Dr. Heidi Rasmussen and one of Michelle’s friends. No doubt, Meta is trying to fix me up with Dr. Rasmussen.”

The tow truck backed into the Bauer driveway blocking the entrance to the driveway forcing Dr. Heidi Rasmussen to choose an alternative-parking place. And after turning at the end of the street, she stopped the car in front of the house with the #5 address.

“Wasn’t that Michelle’s car being towed? Must be urgent to have someone out on Christmas night to pick up a car!”

“Michelle’s husband isn’t exactly the patient or tolerating type of business man. You can bet that he demanded and got immediate service for Michelle’s car.”

“He has a reputation of being totally fixated with Michelle. Do I detect a little bitterness with your friend’s husband?”

“No, not really, it is his arrogant attitude. Michelle had a life and friends before Danny met her but in his mind, everything and everyone is non- existing before the time of Daniel Santos. Michelle’s life started with him and will end with him.”

“Tonight will be interesting and I thought that I was attending a routine dull Christmas dinner. Will there be fire works tonight?”

“NO not at the Bauers. They are genuine good people and have always kept an open door policy. Besides Meta Bauer is known for her reputation of being gracious and an outstanding cook.”

“I’m glad Meta Bauer invited me to dinner. I haven’t made many new friends in Springfield and the holidays can be lonely in a new setting.”

“Oh I know what lonely means and I miss seeing my friend Michelle everyday.”

“Meta told me that you had transferred to a medical school in Australia.”

“Yes, I did transfer and it has been almost two years.”

“If I may ask, why did you transfer?”

Waiting a moment before answering, “I went to Australia to help a friend. A new turn of events suddenly appeared on the horizon one day. I ran with the offer because it was the best offer on the table. Dr. Andersen, the former Medical School Director, that you replaced had ties with the mob. One afternoon, the medical staff and hospital board voted to remove him from the Medical School.”

“Are you saying that the mob had reasons to infiltrate the power base at the medical school? Very unusual activity for the mob to be active in a hospital setting.”

“Dr. Rasmussen, don’t ever underestimate their power! They can find or make friends in high places where ever they need control. They have an uncanny way of finding the right people. For all I know, you might be on their payroll.”

“Aussie, you are bitter and it might be wise for you to learn to hide your true feelings.”

“Dr. Rasmussen, I am well beyond feeling bitter. I have my life back such as it is and I have moved on to a new life in Australia. I like Danny Santos will never forget what he ordered done.”

Waiting on the sidewalk for Dr. Rasmussen to exit and lock her car, Aussie saw the front outside lights shining to light their way in the house where she had first met the single man, that had bounced into her friend’s life so suddenly. Danny Santos had come in Michelles life with the mystery and charm, which had fascinated and won Michelle’s attention. She recalled how Michelle started to disappear for dates with the mystery businessman. For the first time, Michelle took time out from her more than busy schedule to smell the roses of life with a man obviously in love with every ounce of her body and soul.

In her mind, she had replayed the events leading up to when she had connected Pilar Santos and Danny Santos. What for all purposes had seemed a giddy love story had turned sour quickly. The horrifying minutes had grown into hours while she waited for Michelle to reappear at this house. Her imagination had created every possible evil scenario and when she didn’t hear from Michelle, she knew Danny had prevented her friend from contacting anyone outside of his compound. Aussie felt the emotion of fear rising from within her stomach. Aussie wanted to run from the house but the voice of Rick stopped her response.

“Dad and I have circled the front and backyard twice trying to find Meta’s guest. Welcome to the Bauer house Heidi. Aussie, do you mind hanging Heidi and your coat in the closet? You are like family and Michelle will be glad to see you again. The gang is all in the dining room. Heidi follow me and the aromas coming from the dining room.”

Danny swallowed two gulps of wine when he saw the two guests. The last person, which he expected the least was Dr. Heidi Rasmussen with his nemesis Aussie Spencer. Danny stood up to greet Dr. Rasmussen, but ignored Aussie.

“I apologize for being late but I forgot what time it was in my office this afternoon with the early sunsets.”

Meta pointed to the place setting next to her side, “Oh, don’t give it a second thought, we have a history of serving dinner late at the Bauer hospital. Michelle arrived and her new car has a non-functioning fan for the heater. Michelle and her family are going out of town tomorrow so Danny made arrangements for the car to be picked up tonight for repair. I assume the tow truck delayed you parking the car.”

Underneath the tablecloth, Michelle placed her hand on Danny’s upper thigh in an attempt to divert his attention from Aussie’s presence. Whispering in his ear, “Do you want to leave?”

“No, I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Michelle, we have to eat dinner and I’m not going to embarrass you in front of Dr. Rasmussen. We are staying.”

Tapping her fork on the water glass to her right side, “Many Christmas dinners have been enjoyed in this dining room and each year since Maureen’s death, I have chosen to continue Maureen’s tradition of hunting for lonely people to share Christmas dinner. My choice as you can see are Dr. Rasmussen for obvious reasons; she is new in town without family and Aussie is visiting from half-way around the world. It is my gift to Michelle. Alan Spaulding has dropped the Lighthouse Restoration Project in my lap. He suggested having an Art Show with a Masquerade Ball. Alan is one person in Springfield with the taste and desire for fine art. He saw an original Jackson Pollack painting in Heidi’s office and pointed me in her direction. I met Dr. Rasmussen and issued the invitation. If we could all put our best efforts forward in producing a high powered art auction, it would provide funds rather quickly for the restoration. The Bauer family owns the property but we have kept it open for general public use. Even with the historic funding, the project must have matching funds.”

“Danny, this where you come into the equation. Michelle told me about the painting that San Core purchased and donated to the Art Museum in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Would San Core possibly be interested in co-sponsoring the Art Show with the Spaulding Corporation?”

Meta Bauer had done what no other man in the world had ever done with spreading her spider web to trap him. Had Meta connected his family to Dr. Heidi Rasmussen or how far was she willing to push his button tonight was his first concern. “Aunt Meta, San Core is a diverse company. We are always interested in listening to any good public relations project, but my company doesnt usually buy art. Our subsidiary in Puerto Rico was contacted as a source to purchase a painting that was on loan from a local artist to the Art Museum. The Museum was afraid that the painting was going to be sold on the world market. I made the decision to purchase the painting to keep it in Puerto Rico to be enjoyed by the people of Puerto Rico.”

“I’m sure you are aware that most well known art ends up in private collections and is lost to public viewing. Periodically pieces are loaned to Museums and the pieces of fine art manage to find their way out in a world market where deals are made in secret. And it is not unusual for very good copies of art to appear and the buyer has to be able to identify the fraud or loose good money on a painting worth hardly the cost of the paints. Perhaps, this explains Dr. Rasmussens Pollacks painting in her office in Springfield. I don’t think any insurance company would pay if it was loss or stolen.”

Picking up on his cue, “Mr. Santos, I can assure you that I have it insured. I have a friend in New York City, that fell on hard times and made me a very good deal. The museums staff was aware of my love of Pollack’s procedure of dribbling paint on a canvas to produce a painting instead of a brush or spatula. The painting finally made its way to my office where I think the security of the Medical School keeps it safe. And quoting your words, the painting is in my private collection and I’m sharing the fine art with anyone that visits my office.”

“An interesting point Dr. Rasmussen, I have never seen a Pollack painting. I would love to see yours.”

“I have an open door policy and I invite you to stop by anytime.”

“Michelle and I are leaving tomorrow for Puerto Rico; I’ll call you when I get back in town.”

“Speaking of leaving Aunt Meta, Danny and I must get Gabby and Bethany Joy home early. They have had a long and busy day with all the excitement of enjoying their first Christmas Day.”

Looking over the top of her glasses at her niece, “Sit still Michelle and enjoy the dinner with your family. Gabby and Bethany Joy can’t do anything but fall a sleep and we have your old baby-bed set up in your old bedroom.” Folding her napkin with the embroidered green holly and red berries, “It isn’t just the twins, I will be up most of the night packing for the trip.”

“Honey, Carmen and Pilar packed two bags for Gabby and Bethany Joy this afternoon. We don’t have to leave early. I want to talk with Meta concerning the fundraiser.”

Directing her statement to Michelle, “Your husband and his family are supportive of your career. It is a strong family that unites in a common cause and it must be reassuring to leave your babies at home with family providing care for the twins.”

“Danny has made my life at home to be almost problem free but my family has been by my side all the way.”

The noise of Ed Bauer pushing Gabby in the large orange dump truck on the hardwood floor had Michelle in stitches at the sight of Gabby trying to see who was behind his ride. “Grandpa, I dont know which person is having more fun, the pushier or the one being pushed.”

“I am daughter and Princess Bethany is going to get a ride in her white wicker doll carriage before you leave this house tonight. I’ve been thinking of getting your old doll house down out of the attic and putting a fresh coat of paint on it for next Christmas.”

“Daddy, you are rushing Bethany Joy? I know what I’m doing. Your big brown eyes that Christmas was worth all the work. It was one of our best Christmases. Maureen spent six months making the tiny furniture in secret. Rick and I built the house out in the garage under the pretense of building a table tennis table.”

Hugging her Daddy, Michelle stroked the brownish hair in the early stages of graying. “You aren’t thinking of leaving again are you?”

“Michelle, the agency called last week and I’m going to miss all this here but there are many children over in Africa that need me too. When I leave this time, I will be back. I want to see Gabby, Bethany Joy and Freddie grow up. They change very quickly. I’ll come home when my leave is due this time. Michelle, you have a husband that will be by your side always. He isn’t the man that I would have chosen for you but Danny is your soul mate. You found him and Danny found you.”

Wiping the tears on her cheek with his handkerchief, “Why don’t you stay in here with me while Danny is in the kitchen getting his spanking from Meta?”

Danny stood across from the dishwasher where Meta busied herself waiting for her niece’s husband to begin settling the score. “Aunt Meta, I understand that this is your turf and you are righting an indiscretion in your eyes. I respect your age and wisdom but don’t ever try to do this again if you want Michelle and our children spending time here at the Bauer house. Even in my line of business, the holidays are off limits.”

Closing the dishwasher and punching the start button, Meta smiled her I got you where I want you look at the handsome man standing with his arms crossed in front of her. The noise of the dishwasher hid the increase level of Meta’s voice, “Danny, I did it for Michelle. Michelle is so busy trying to be a super student at the medical school and super mom to your children. What I saw yesterday at your home was scary! Michelle was raised by a woman driven by her passion, compassion and love for her family. Michelle doesnt have a clue how to fight equally with you but I do! Danny, you are smothering Michelle. Don’t you love Michelle enough to let her dance alone occasionally without arranging or manipulating everything in her life? Trust Michelle to do the right thing. Maureen’s spirit lives through Michelle. I promise you, the spirit will be good for the Santos family.”

“You are not use to hearing people talk back to you but I have one more issue to settle with you tonight. You are slick, but I have lived in this city a long time and there are only two families in Springfield with the funds to purchase a Jackson Pollack painting, Alan Spaulding and San Core. When I learned that one of his paintings was underneath our noses in Springfield, I connected the dots from Dr. Rasmussen to your family. Heidi was good tonight in the way that she followed your lead. I don’t how your family did it but Dr. Rasmussen is another Santos stooge just like Dr. Andersen.”

Feeling her heart beating through her clothes, Meta finished her speech. “No doubt, Heidi is there at the medical school to protect your interest or investment as you see it. My niece isnt going to be used like a pawn on your family’s chessboard. Let Michelle find her own way.”

Looking past Meta to Michelle holding Gabby, “I guess we are at a checkmate.”

“Yes, we are.”

“When the right time comes and as much as it will grieve my heart, I want you to take Michelle away from your mother. If and when you do this, I will believe that you are committed to Michelle.”

Danny sat in the darkness at his desk sipping the whiskey. He had long lost count of the refills. The usual sleep hadn’t come after he watched Michelle struggle with her choices of clothing to pack. In bed, Michelle immediately fell asleep while his mind replayed Meta’s life speech. Fearing his restlessness was going to awaken Michelle, Danny left their king-size bed. He picked up the Nursery monitor in his hand and placed the monitor in front of his seat at the desk. Listening to the breathing sounds of his children, he checked the red-lighted numbers on the clock before closing his eyes again. Opening his eyes when he smelled the familiar odor of Michelle’s body, the white shadow standing in front of him sent chills down his back.

“How long have you been standing here?”

“Oh long enough to know that you are far away and something is eating away at you tonight.” Taking the glass of whiskey from his hand, “You are drinking Jack Daniels alone to erase or ease the pain.” Holding Danny’s face in her hands, “I’m your partner in life. Why can’t you share your problems with me? Haven’t you ever heard that two heads are better than one?”

“Seeing Michelle’s warm brown eyes, Why are you awake?”

Kneeling in front of Danny’s legs, “I was dreaming and the dream turned into a nightmare.”

“Michelle, you are shaking like a scared rabbit and I’ve only see you this way once before. Tell me your dream.”

“I was at the hospital and you met me in the cafeteria with a prepaid ticket to Australia. You asked me to decide if I wanted to stay in the Santos family. I was crying and pleading with you but you acted cold and detached.
The dream skipped to the airport where I was late arriving and I saw the Santos jet taking off without me and you were looking out of the window at me. I was forced to take a commercial flight to San Juan and arriving at the villa in a taxi. Everything was wrong at the villa. We shared the same bedroom but you refused to be intimate with me. Late one night, you announced that we were going out to a Casino where you danced with a beautiful Latino woman named Jasmine. Hot salsa dancing. The next night was New Year’s Eve and your family had a large party and Jasmine was there. Carmen told me to enjoy the party that my usefulness was over. I floated around the room attempting to make conversation with the guests. The guests seemed to ignore me and I had every kind of paranoia vision of you having sex with Jasmine in our bedroom. The dream was so real and I was struggling to wake up from the nightmare. When I was finally awake, I realized that I was alone in our bed. The Nursery monitor was gone and I was afraid the dream had become reality.”

Breathing in deeply to absorb Michelle’s pure essence, “Oh baby, I’m sorry. I didn’t want to disturb your sleep. You were dreaming, but what I have to tell you is worse. I have been awake all night struggling with how to tell you the truth. No that is a lie. I have been fighting my own demons. The truth or another lie.”

“Danny, what truth?”

Barely touching her face with both hands for fear of hurting her face, “Michelle, you know I would use these hands to kill anyone that was the cause of me losing my children or you.” Gritting his teeth, “I have a problem if I lose control. Apparently, I am not programmed like the social acceptable Bauers. To often, my initial response to displeasure or stress is to strike back violently against the source of my frustration.”

Michelle smelled the booze vapors coming from her husband’s mouth. “Hmm, where is this all coming from with your new insight? I haven’t heard any glasses breaking on the stone fireplace. Danny, you are drunk and on a pity-pot. When you sober up in the morning, we can talk.”

Shaking his head, “No, No, tonight Aunt Meta informed me that my lifestyle is smothering and destroying you. His breaking voice continued, I want to be truthful to you because it is a matter of time before Meta tells you what she suspects.” Rubbing both hands through his hair, “You are going to hate me! Dr. Heidi Rasmussen has been doing a job for my family. When Dr. Andersen was released from his position, we searched and found a very qualified candidate to replace him. Heidi agreed to come to Springfield until you finished medical school and in return for her services; Carmen magically arranged for a Lost Pollack Painting to become a priceless possession of Heidi’s.
Unfortunately Heidi’s greed and pride was placed on public display for your friend Alan Spaulding to recognize in her office. Alan is a very astute business man; he had to wonder how a doctor had the painting in her possession. The rest of the story, you heard tonight. Meta, Meta Bauer is one tough lady.”

Moving her head closer to hear Danny’s mutterings, “Yes, she can be tough if the situation calls for her to be tough.”

Touching the tight long curls, Danny pushed the strands back from her face hoping to wipe away the hurt and confusing thoughts showing on Michelle’s face. “Do you understand what I am saying to you?”

“I think that I do.”

“Meta was meddling where she shouldnt have been, just like Aussie! Tonight, Meta and I had a small conference in the kitchen. A light bulb went on in her head after her meeting with Alan and she connected the painting from Heidi to the Santos family.”

“Are you telling me that I’m not really in my third year of Medical School?”

“Honey, you are in your third year. Heidi implemented the process of getting the hours of your volunteering at Ray’s clinic transferred to the hours that you missed with the pregnancy and birth of Bethany Joy and Gabby. The board voted unanimous to credit the hours and they didn’t have a heavy standing behind their backs with a gun at the back of their heads. What I am telling you now has to shake any confidence that you might have had in me. Meta has issued her own ultimatum; she wants our children and you far away from Carmen and her daily influences. I brought you into the family and I am the only one that can let you go without any repercussions from the family. I have struggled with pleasing Carmen and myself and keeping you clean. Meta is right; my family will crush and smother you. There is only one solution; I’m ready to let you take our children and go.”

Standing up from the knelling position, Michelle stomped her foot down hard down on the floor. “Damn-it Danny, it’s not your decision alone to decide. I can’t imagine a day beginning or ending without you. You are my morning, my day and my night. My children aren’t going to grow up without you. And yes, I’m furious with your control issues and I do not understand why you keep repeating the same mistakes over and over. I’m here to stay!”

“Michelle, don’t you get it! I can’t ever promise you that I won’t do it again.”

Rubbing the sides of her temples on her head and trying to absorb the words that Danny had said to her, “OK Danny, for the first time, I believe you. I didn’t sign the marriage license with my eyes wired shut. I will fight with every ounce of my body to save our marriage for Gabby and Bethany Joy. Gabby and Bethany Joy are you and I. Life isn’t any fun with only one parent. I know. I’ve lived and done that and it isn’t any fun.”

Danny stood up and wrapped his arms around Michelle’s shaking body. “I don’t deserve you. You are Maureen’s daughter. Together, you and I will escape from my mother’s interference. Michelle, it is going to cost you, also. Long separations from your own family. I’m sure that you have issues with Dr. Rasmussen but she is a top notch administrator. She has suggested the Philadelphia area if you choose to do a residency in a specialty like pediatrics or research but we can go to any city in the world. If we go to Philly, I have to meet with other bosses for us to dwell safely in the city. They have to understand the reason why the Santos family is residing in their territory. They have to be courted. Other than that, we will live a normal life. No attention being drawn to our family. But you have to choose the city.”

“Last night, I listened to Gabby and Bethany’s respirations and they breathe exactly like you do when you are sleeping. Their physical traits lean to the Santos family but they are a true extension of you. I want Gabby and Bethany to grow up and show the world that they are Maureen’s grandchildren. I never met Maureen but she did one hell of a job raising you.”

The twins babbling noise on the monitor interrupted the healing moments for Danny and Michelle. The time had come to refocus on where their family would journey next. Michelle loosened her arms from Danny’s neck. “I have to go to them.”

Catching her hand in his hand, “Can you wait? I have to tell you this before the time slips away and this morning has slipped into the back of our minds. And it won’t be because of the loss of importance of today but we will move on with our dream of finding a place for our family to be the family that you deserve.”

Whispering the words, “I want to believe you, Danny. If we have been given the dream then surely God will provide us a solution to make it happen.”

“Michelle, I have to express in words what you mean to my family and most of all to me. When I was a little boy, I would stay up late at night to watch the full moon shining with its brightness lighting the dark sky. I didn’t know the moon’s light source didn’t come from its own energy source but from the sun shining on it out in space. You bring warmth and light to a fairly cold family that can and has been ruthless in the past. Your inner qualities of goodness and love shine in the darkest corners of the Santos world.”

Touching the new growth of his beard with her soft fingertips, “Once before I had decided to marry you, Father Ray tried to rationalize why I was good for your family. It is hard for me to separate where my Bauerness begins and ends with the Santos family. Your family heritage is powerful and strong. There are times when I am overwhelmed and I’m afraid for Gabby and Bethany Joy. Their heritage, good and bad, comes from both families. Danny, you have always had at least one parent in your life. My father abandoned Rick and me for years; yet he was from a respectable family where this behavior wasn’t expected. Danny, I’ve seen the good side and the bad side of the Bauers.
All I want is for my children to be free of the La Familia. What I fear is down the road that one of my children will be the chosen new leader of the families. I can’t see you designating your power to someone outside of the immediate family. Danny, you and I know the time will come and the ring on your right hand will be passed to the next generation.”

The moment of silence grew from seconds to what seemed as an eternity. Michelle locked her eyes with the dark mystery eyes in front of her face. “Your silence is yes that from our union will come the future leader.”

“Michelle, I didn’t answer because I agreed with you that neither twin would be placed in the position. We are discussing a male child that hasnt been born.”

I really had fun writing this chapter. Nice to have Danny caught in a place where he couldnt escape Aunt Meta. I wanted Danny and Michelle to mature in their relationship. The emotion of fear had to be there in their relationship even with their love always coming to unite and keep the couple together.
Thank you for all the comments and e-mails that I have received from the site where this fiction is being archived.

Fair Winds and Following Seas by Phyllis Chapter 4

August 24, 2017
Republisher’s Note: A very nice Christmas with the Santos family.
 Author’s Note: Finally we get to the funny and entertaining section of the twins first Christmas. Christmas has always been a much-anticipated holiday in my youth and older days. Our tree was never decorated until Christmas Eve and the tradition has continued in my family. The activities on Christmas Eve seemed to never finish and this is the background that I have chosen to give the young Santos family. Thank you for all the nice compliments.

Fair Winds and Following Seas Chapter 4 by Phyllis

In his heart, Danny knew how cold the words were to Ray. The words had bounced back to Danny. Michelle and Danny had danced and tipsy toed around Aussie Spencer since Thanksgiving. Less than six hours, he would face the young woman. The christening was the formality for the twins in the Catholic Church, which connected his children to the faith of the Santos family. The 5pm Mass would be filled with children and adults of all ages. They would be eyewitness as Michelle and he dedicated their twins back to God and swore to raise them in the Catholic faith. Instead of Michelle raising Gabby and Bethany Joy outside of the Catholic faith; she was allowing the Catholic Church to become influential in the future twin lives. Strange as it seemed, Danny chuckled at the thought of Aussie being a part of the final push of Gabby and Bethany Joy deeper in the Santos circle.

Danny smirked at the thought of Aussie Spencer being in the room with the very family that if she had had her way would be far today from his grasp. The official christening service had opened a door through which Jimmy and he could monitor Michelle’s communication with Aussie. The hospital with all the staff was the perfect place to hide her communications with Aussie. Michelle maintained her silence with him and never had mentioned the distant medical student till the question of the godparents
had come to be debated in multiple heated discussions.

Starting again with Aussie wasn’t going to happen when Danny heard his name being called from the direction of the end of the snow-covered walkway. “Danny, we are hoping you can use two more sets of hands; we can wrap presents or vacuum.”

Hugging Aunt Meta, then running his hands through his long curls. “I’m so happy to see Ed and you. I promised Michelle to get to the barber shop today and if you can help with the tree, I might be able to make my appointment.”

Taking the metal container from Meta’s hands, “What do you have in the cookie tin?”

“Cookies for Michelle and you. Maureen baked these every Christmas for Michelle and Ed. Today is special with Maureen’s grandbabies being baptized that I thought the cookies might give Michelle the gift of knowing that Maureen is never far from her presence. The distant days are as close as closing her eyes and remembering.”

Kissing Meta’s cheek, “Meta, you are a lady of wisdom.”

Opening the door for the two added visitors, Meta and Ed entered the Santos home. “Merry Christmas Michelle!”

“Daddy and Aunt Meta-I can’t believe you took the time to come here.

“Sweetie, we have another day to finish cooking the famous Bauer Christmas dinner. Rick has taken Abby and Freddie to the mall.” Smiling at Ed, “We were lonely and thought why are we here when we can be with Gabby and Bethany Joy. Plus I baked Maureen’s favorite sugar cookies and,” handing the tin to Michelle,” These are for you.”

“Oh how generous to share with the Santos clan.” Opening the green and red plaid metal tin container, Michelle chose the blue frosted angel cookie. Taking a bite of the soft cookie, “This will be Gabby and Bethany’s first Christmas to eat one of the best ever cookies.”

“I see where my hands can be put to quick use. Meta, you can use your careful interior decorator eye to guide my placement of the light bulbs.” Ed picked up the first set of colored lights and started stringing the lights from the top of the tree. Meta carried the untangled lights from Danny to Ed on the stepladder and pointed to spots on the tree where the lights might be placed. The trio finished the light-stringing job when the knocking of a foot on the outside door alerted the decorating crew that the twins were returning with Father Ray. Michelle ran to the porch door, “I cant wait to see how they react to the tree. Danny grab the cam recorder!”

Michelle opened the frosted glass door and extended her arms to take the twins from Ray. Rubbing her nose into their cheeks, “You have cold faces. Thanks Ray, we are almost ready to add the ornaments and I shopped wisely this year. We have gold mesh ribbon to wrap as garland on the tree and then we can add the two new boxes of non-breakable ornaments on the bottom of the tree.”

First removing his winter coat and gloves, Ray untied the hats and zipped the snowsuits on Gabby and Bethany Joy. “These two really enjoy being out in the cold and today a female cardinal ate seeds from Bethany’s hand. Do you know how unusual that is for a bird to come near an active small child?”

“Oh Ray, the birds know that you are the one bringing the seed.”

“True Michelle but the female cardinal is easily scared; she took a risk and landed on Bethany’s hand.
Michelle, there is a bucket of three eggs outside from the chicken house. While outside, we had to make the rounds and check the chickens. Mr. Rooster and Hinny are safe and cozy in the straw after I raided the nest.”

“Good, I can use them in my egg and cheese casserole for tomorrow morning.”

With one child on each hip, Gabby and Bethany Joy look at the Christmas tree with the lights. Michelle watched the Christmas lights being reflected in their dark glassy eyes. “See the pretty lights. But do not touch!”

Ed came down the stepladder. “Come to Grandpa.”

Switching from their mother’s arms to their grandfather’s large arms, “We are decorating the tree because a magical man dressed in a red suit is coming tonight to bring you presents. By the way are you two going to go along and teach about the Santa Claus myth?”

Danny and Michelle turned to each other. “Ed, I hadn’t thought much either way. I grew up with the idea of Santa existing until my older brother Mick told me otherwise. Michelle, how did your family handle Christmas?”

“We had presents and Dad dressed up in a Santa suit and passed out the presents. I knew Santa was Daddy. Well, I guess we will have to make a decision next year when the twins are older about Santa.”

Michelle broke a cookie in half. Placing the sweet sugar cookie in their left hands. “Hum, a good cookie and Aunt Meta made the cookies for us.”

Taking a bite of the cookie, Bethany moved her cookie to her right hand. The cookie lost its charm to the glowing lights on the tree with her leaning out to touch the tree with her hand. Crying in a sharp squeal from the pain inflicted on her fingers, Bethany Joy laid her head down on Ed’s shoulders and started whimpering.

“No, no Bethany Joy, do not touch the sharp tree needles.” Ed patted her back and kissed her fingers.

“I hope Bethany has learned her lesson and babbles to Gabby to stay away from the tree.” Danny moved immediately to Ed’s side, “Come to Daddy.”

Bethany raised her head from Ed’s shoulders and stretched her hurt fingers to Danny.

“You want Daddy to kiss your fingers and make the boo-boo go away?”

“Danny, I didn’t mean for her to get so close to the tree; it happened too fast to stop her.”

“Ed, it wasn’t your fault, the princess has a reputation of exploring. Bethany likes to check out her surroundings….Bethany, do you want to play with the pots and pans with your wooden spoon in the cabinet drawer?” Sitting Bethany in front of the open drawer, Danny watched his daughter hit the pot with her spoon. Next Bethany was busy trying to fit all the misfit tops on the pans and taking the plastic blocks out of one pan and putting them in the next pot. Michelle placed Gabby in front of his drawer and watched him pull the cabinet door open to gain access to his set of pots. “This is the best toys, they love to spend time with the one cabinet door and drawers where they can open and play with the metal pots and pans. Olga went to a yard sale and came home with various sizes of pans and misfit lids. They are charmed by the noise and the big spoons. The only time that we have trouble with the pots is when one of the twins takes both spoons. They haven’t figured out that you can take it back from the other twin yet but I guess that is good for now.”

Ray was the first to leave the lake house after the ornaments found their special place on the green tree boughs. Ed and Meta followed his exit. The Bauer and Santos family would next meet at the church parish where they would enter the church as a unit.

Bethany Joy and Gabby sat in their highchairs with the warm vegetable soup being spooned into their opened mouths. In between swallowing the soup, they ate the cheese fish crackers on the tray of the highchair. For dessert, they had an individual cup of fruit yogurt. Wiping their faces and hands with the warm washcloth, Michelle removed the bibs, “It is time for a nap and Daddy can run to the barber shop.”

“Oh yea baby, I almost forgot the haircut with Bethany hurting her fingers on the tree. Do you think I really need to get it cut today?”

Kissing her husband on the cheek and running her fingers at the nap of his neck, “Yes but a small trim, I like the curls. The back of your neck needs the haircut more than anything.”

“Michelle, you could do that for me.”

Shaking her head at his newest suggestion, “I don’t think so unless you want it to look like I put a bowl on your head.”

Smacking at her butt with the dishtowel, “I’ll help you put the twins down and then run to the barber shop.”

At 2:30, Michelle had the twins in the bathtub giving them their Christmas Eve baths. “Am I confusing you today by giving you your baths this early? We are going to get dressed up in our pretty new outfits and go to church where the man dressed in red will pour warm water over your hair just like we have been practicing here at home. There will be lots of children in the church with us today and my friend Aussie will be there.”

The four o’clock chime was ringing after Michelle had finished dressing Gabby and Bethany Joy in their white velveteen outfits. Gabby’s white John-Boy pants fastened on the shoulders with single S shaped buttons. The white jacket covered the long sleeve white turtleneck with a monogrammed S on the portion of the turned down collar. Rubbing baby oil in her hands, Michelle applied the oil to the short thick hair curls on her son’s head. “You smell perfect Gabriel Santos and I’m turning you over to your father to finish getting you dressed with the white leather shoes…. Honey, Gabby might keep the shoes on his feet if you put them on today.”

Standing back to admire Gabby, “I love our son with his black curls against the white suit.”

“Well, he finally did get some hair and when it came; it came in a hurry. Michelle, he took after his old man with the color but the curls are yours.”

Switching Bethany Joy back to Michelle’s arms, “Do you think Bethany will keep the hair pins in her hair with the tiny white rosettes?”

“Honey, your guess is as good as mine. I think all the white streamers on the rosettes are going to be the problem. Pull her hair back further with the hairpins and maybe she won’t feel them dangling on her neck or the side of her face.

Michelle brushed the thick long curls around her finger creating rows of curls with the white rosettes holding the curls in place. With a quick squirt of hair spray to the back of the curls, Michelle announced, “I’m finished. Your little daughter is radiant in her first white long dress. The large satin bow tied in the back with the pointed lace on the border makes the dress like a tiny gown. Carmen insisted on the white ballet slippers for Bethany. The dress is a tiny replica of a wedding dress.”

“Michelle, please do not say the words, the time will come too soon for me to give her to another man. Bethany is my little princess and going to be my girl for along time. The guy hasn’t been born that is good enough for my princess. Bethany, your granny has started you out wearing designer dresses early in your life.”

The Santos family started gathering at the Parish house at 4:30 pm. Carmen and Abuella had arrived with their large yellow manilla envelopes for their annual contribution to Father Ray’s church. Inside they sat waiting for Bill Lewis and Pilar to arrive with the gold crosses.

“Carmen, you did tell Pilar to close the shop early today?”

“Yes, for the last time Maria, Pilar is on her way with the crosses.”

The door opened and two young women with wrapped gifts came into the living room. Speaking in Spanish to Carmen, “One must be Aussie Spencer. Do you know which one is the trouble maker?”

Carmen whispered back to Maria, “The one with the Australian accent.”

Ray saw the young women entering the house. Smiling as he approached the two with the gifts, “I’m Father Ray Santos and one of you must be Aussie Spencer, Michelle’s friend.”

The young woman with the green wool suit extended her hand to Ray. “I’m Dr. Aussie Spencer, the Godmother.”

“This is a neat way to meet. I’m the Godfather to the twins. Michelle and Danny should be arriving any minute with Gabriel and Bethany Joy. I believe this will be your first time to see the two in person.”

“Actually, Michelle and I had dinner at Caitlin’s apartment a couple of days ago. I saw Gabby and BJ that night. We watched a lot of videos of the twins and I feel that I’m pretty much caught up with the toddlers. Michelle has done wonders with her career and raising the preemies till now.”

“Carmen, did you hear what that girl said to Ray, she is giving Michelle all the credit for raising Gabby and Bethany Joy! What is this BJ thing?”

“Maria, the letters are Bethany Joy’s initials. Evidently, Michelle calls Bethany Joy BJ.”

Ed Bauer, Aunt Meta and Rick with Abbey rushed inside the house. “There is a wreck at the nearest light and we had to almost bribe the police to let us get here on time. Where are Danny and Michelle?”

“They must be stuck in the traffic.”

Carmen had the cell phone in her hand and dialed the number, which she had on speed dial. “Where are you?”

“I’m parking the car in front of the parish house. We had to go back over the Nickel Bridge but it looks like we made it with a few minutes to spare.”

Carmen closed the phone down to its compact size.” Danny has saved the day again, the Santos family will be entering momentarily.”

Michelle came in holding Gabby and the traveling diaper bag followed by Danny with Bethany Joy. Father Ray gathered the group in a circle. “This is a copy of the service and where the baptism is listed in the program. The Godparents and family will approach the altar where the Cardinal Monahan will perform the baptism.” Ray immediately lined the family up to enter the church. “I forgot to mention it but this service has the young Christmas pageant and if history holds true it can be very entertaining.”

The loud organ music struggled to overcome the sounds of the joyful voices singing “Joy To the World” with the procession of the cross and Bible followed by the small children dressed as shepherds, sheep and angels with wings made of every imaginable material. The littlest angel with stars in her basket stole the show as she dropped gold stars on the floor. When she reached the front of the church, she spotted the two toddlers. Pulling a star from her basket, she handed one of her stars to Bethany Joy. Looking at her empty basket, she ran back down the aisle and picked up a star from the floor. Running back to where she left her last star, she handed the star to Gabby. Gabby and Bethany held the stars in their hands and cautiously watched the strangely dressed children. Michelle whispered in each of her children’s ears, “The angel is the star bringer angel and she is sharing her stars with you.”

Tapping Carmen’s shoulder, “Mam, I’m here with the crosses. The stupid police finally let us through the intersection with the wreck. Michelle and Danny are striking with Gabby and Bethany Joy. The white and black theme is clean and fashion forward. Bethany Joy is going to turn some eyes in the future.”

The Cardinal served as the Celebrant:
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

The people responded: And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen

With the normal responses read until Pilar stood to read the lesson and closing with: The Words of the Lord and the people responding: Thanks be to God. Then, all standing, Ray began the reading of the Christmas birth of Jesus Christ. After the conclusion of his reading, The Gospel of the Lord. The people: Praise to you, Lord Christ.

Standing, the Cardinal motioned for Danny and Michelle to come forward with Gabby and Bethany Joy.

Celebrant: The Candidates for Holy Baptism will now be presented.

Danny and Michelle together said: I present Daniel Gabriel to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. I present Bethany Joy to receive the Sacrament of Baptism.

Celebrant: Will you be responsible for seeing that the child you present is brought up in the Christian faith and life?

Danny and Michelle: I will, with God’s help.

Father Ray and Aussie: I will, with God’s help.

After reading the list of renouncing Satan, all spiritual forces of wickedness and the evil powers of this world, Danny and Michelle answered on behalf of their children.

Next the Celebrant moved to the vessel containing the warm water.
We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life.
We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit. Therefore in joyful obedience to your Son, we bring into his fellowship those who come to him in faith, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Pouring the water in the basin and touching the water:
Now sanctify this water, we pray you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, that those who here are cleansed from sin and born again may continue forever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Savior.
To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.
Leaning over to whisper to Danny, Please give me Daniel Gabriel. Handing Gabby to the Cardinal, Danny wrapped his arm around Michelle’s waist. The Cardinal held Gabby up for the audience to see and laid the toddler in his arms with his head over the basin. With the ocean shell, he poured the water onto the dark curls. “Daniel Gabriel, I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Wiping off the excess water, Gabby was returned to Danny’s arms. Turning his attention to Bethany, the priest took Bethany in his arms. Bethany reached back to Danny and called “Dada.” Puckering her lips to cry after she was lifted up for the audience to see. Bethany cried as the warm water touched her scalp. Drying the excess off quickly, the Priest smiled at the bundle in his arms. “Bethany is mad at me for messing up her curls.” Back in the safety of Michelle’s arms, Bethany cuddled into her mothers neck.

“Bethany Joy, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christs own forever. Amen.” Marking a cross on the forehead of Gabby, “Daniel Gabriel, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christs own forever. Amen.”

“Let us welcome the newly baptized.”

Carmen and Maria stepped forward and placed a gold cross on the necks of Gabby and Bethany.

The priest waited until the families had returned to their seats. “What a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season. We are here to celebrate the birth of a young child over 2000 years ago in a tiny village in a country suffering under the occupation of a foreign nation. It wasn’t until the time when the child was a grown man that we had to learn to deal with our relationship with God’s son. My homily is short tonight and in your program; you will find a poem, which I am giving to you as a present.”

The Word is born this very night:
Hail, Mary, full of grace!
A hanging lantern sheds its light
On Joseph’s anxious face.
The Word must come in human form,
In God’s redemption plan.
A Babe takes every heart by storm,
But who will heed the Man?
The Word is born this very night,
And humble is the place;
The world is dark, but hope is bright
And sinners look for grace.
The Word has come to end the war
Which Adam first began.
O bless the Babe who sleeps on straw.
And listen to the Man!

Words: Fred Pratt Green

The first Adam gave us the bondage of sin, the second Adam offers us freedom from darkness. I ask that each of you listen to the Man. Listen to what he is saying to your hardened hearts and follow the words of the Man.

The final blast from the organ pipes signaled the end of the 5pm. Service. At the different pews, the members greeted each other and many approached the young Santos family. “Mrs. Santos, I remember you reading at the Midnight Mass last year. And to see your children being baptized this year brought tears to my eyes.”

Michelle took the older woman’s hand with her one available hand. “Thank you Bethany Joy is at that stage where she won’t go to strangers. Did you hear her calling for her Daddy?”

“Yes and that was what made it special. It is evident that she is very close to her father.”

Danny spoke with many of the members after Carmen had relieved him of holding Gabby. Reaching down to pick up the diaper bag, Danny spotted Jimmy standing at the door with Aussie and Michelle. “Excuse me but I see a person that I need to speak with this evening.”

Aussie gave the two wrapped presents to Michelle. “The gifts are two Children’s Bible Stories books.”

“Aussie, you didn’t have to buy Gabby and Bethany a gift. But you can come to our home for dinner. You did promise to help bring them up in the Christian faith and life, which includes regular visits.”

“Michelle, we both know that your husband isn’t exactly crazy about me. I think we have tested his endurance.”

“Aussie, there will be a crowd at the house and I’m sure Danny and you can manage to avoid each other.”

Jimmy placed his hand on Michelles white coat. “It is time to wrap up the conversation, the Boss is ready to leave the church.”

Michelle pushed Jimmy’s hand away. “I’ll leave when I’m ready to leave. I’m having a private conversation with my friend.”

“Well Michelle, you can tell it to your husband personally. He is heading in your direction.”

Aussie hugged Michelle goodbye. “I don’t want to get you into trouble with the Boss on Christmas Eve. Caitlin and I are having dinner with her family tonight. ‘Ill see you tomorrow at the hospital when you do your shift. Go before the man in black explodes in church. Bye.”

Michelle dabbed at her eyes with the handkerchief that Jimmy gave her. “Don’t you have something else to do tonight?”

“I just saved your butt from Daniel Santos. He had that evil eye from across the room and you and I know how he can get. Aussie did the right thing by refusing to come to the house. Let’s go.”

“Michelle, we will have hungry guest appearing at the house expecting to be fed and we want be there to greet them.”

Stomping her foot, “You always have an answer and dance around the elephant in the room but I hate the way you have treated my friend Aussie. The priest should give you the poem written in stone that he read to us and make you wear it around your neck. You listen to the man inside the evil side of your heart.”

“Michelle, we aren’t going to get into this tonight. But it is time to deal with the elephant in our lives.”

The ride back to the lake house was silent with Gabby and Bethany sleeping in their car seats. Michelle watched the snowy road through teary eyes and Danny listened to a Spanish Christmas CD. Several of the guest cars had arrived before Danny parked the car in the warm garage. Michelle unsnapped the car seat on her side and carried Bethany Joy up the steps to the back hallway. From the front of the house, the sounds of the music played and the aroma of the mixed spices boiling in a saucepan greeted all entering the house.

The catering service had placed red and white poinsettias on the floor and tables with the bayberry scented candles. Carmen hurried with the help removing the poinsettias from the floor where Gabby and Bethany might crawl and pick up a poison berry.

“Who ordered the poinsettias?”

Danny answered his mother, “I did.”

“Oh Daniel, the flowers are dangerous with toddlers crawling and putting any new fascinating object in their mouths.”

“I’ll have the catering service take the flowers out to the garage. We can let all the guests take one home to add to their decorations.”

“Oh Michelle, your white woolen pant suit went well with Bethany and Gabby’s outfits.”

“Carmen, the suit was another unexpected gift from you. You have to stop all this gift giving.”

Carmen exchanged glances with Danny. “Michelle, the suit isn’t from me.”

“Honey, I had the designer in NYC work up the pant suit. It was one of your Christmas gifts from Gabby and Bethany. You evidently didn’t check the label very closely.”

Clutching Bethany tighter in her arms, “I didn’t. I assumed it was from Carmen since it came with the Christening outfits.”

“Why don’t you help Carmen with the poinsettias and I’ll get Gabby and Bethany in their pajamas.” Taking Gabby in her other arm, Michelle carried the twins into the nursery.

“OK Daniel, what is wrong with your wife? Why is Michelle so bitchy tonight? Can I guess?”

“Mam, Michelle is angry because I didn’t invite Aussie to the dinner tonight or fall at Aussie’s feet. Then again she might be having PMS.”

“Daniel, speak with Michelle in private, her behavior is out of order for tonight. The Sandovals and Machedos are here.”

At the laundry room door, Meta Bauer stood listening to the end of the conversation between Carmen and Danny.

“Where is my niece?”

“Aunt Meta, Michelle is changing the kidos in the nursery.”

“I’ll see if I can help Michelle.” Meta walked down the hallway to the nursery.

Leaving the two Santos in the laundry room, “How much did she hear, Daniel?”

“Meta isn’t the kind of lady that stands and listens for information. Carmen make sure the booze is flowing generously with the guest. Michelle and I are going to talk briefly in the nursery.”

Meta had left with the twins and Michelle was in the closet hanging up the new clothes. “Hey sweetie, you have had a lot on your mind lately. I was wrong to accuse you of not taking the time to check the label.”

“Danny, it isn’t the suit that baffles me, but how easy it is for you to apologize to me when you can’t apologize to Aussie for completely disrupting her life. You had a golden opportunity to offer her a token of peace by inviting her to dinner. Just for your information, Aussie and Caitlin had other plans for dinner and they wouldn’t have soiled your precious house or gangster buddies.”

Turning to leave the nursery, Michelle’s body was suddenly blocked by Danny’s forearm. “No Michelle, you aren’t getting off that easy. I gave you what you requested. You wanted Aussie to be their Godmother. The damn dinner wasn’t included in the deal. It maybe petty to you but it isn’t to me. If she had gotten to you in some other place besides here; I wouldn’t have a wife and two children. It is no doubt in my mind that she and her buddies would have convinced you to have an abortion.” Holding his wifes face tight in his hand, “Do you understand my contempt for Aussie?”

The voice in the room was Meta’s voice speaking, “What is going on in here? Daniel, take your hand off of Michelle’s face. I’m normally not a busybody but I have heard quite enough tonight. You both should be ashamed. This is a dinner in celebration of your children’s Christening and you are choosing to fight over water that has spilled over the dam. Michelle, you are asking Danny to do what he isn’t able to do yet in his heart. Danny, you are asking Michelle to choose you constantly over her friendship with Aussie. Aussie was right to have other plans for dinner even though it is highly irregular. You have guest waiting to see the entire family together not in shifts. I suggest that you attend to that matter.”

At the door, Gabby and Bethany crawled into their nursery to hunt for their parents. “I see Bethany and Gabriel have found their parents and want attention. And Danny, I do not ever want to see you manhandling Michelle again.”

Squatting down to their eye level, “Everything I do, I do for Gabby, Bethany and you.”

Resting her body against the door of the closet waiting to regain her public composure, “Danny, I believe you think you are always right. This is where our worlds collide and clash but it doesn’t have to be a struggle of Bauer power against Santos power. This is how I see my world today; I go to the hospital and play doctor and in our home, Carmen and you make all the major decisions with our children. I find out after when you are ready for Michelle to know even down to buying my clothes. The suit is gorgeous but white would have been the last color that I would have chosen.”

“The designer suggested the color scheme with me dressed in black turtle neck and suit and you in a white sweater and suit. Honey, you have been hunting for a fight since your talk with Aussie at the church. We have had two fights and it is interesting that Aussie has been the root of both. Michelle, what message are you sending me?”

“Danny, I don’t have any message. All I want is for you to treat her as a human being. She isn’t exactly crazy about you either.” Swallowing hard, “I admit that I did get pissed off at the church but I wasn’t hunting for a fight.”

Handing Gabby to Michelle, “Michelle, Carmen and Meta both picked up on your vibes. It was your Aunt Meta that had the nerve to approach you. I rest my case.”

Leaning to kiss Michelle’s forehead, “I don’t know how many times do I have to tell you that I’m sorry.” Checking his watch, “It is time to give Gabby and Bethany Joy solid food before they go to bed. Do you want to breast feed them before or after they eat?”

“After.”

In the kitchen, Danny pulled the highchairs to the counter while Michelle pulled the frozen packages of vegetables from the freezer. Most of the attention went to the guest watching the twins eat and their ability to handle the water in their cups. Alternating between the pureed vegetables and applesauce, Danny shoved the food in their tiny mouths as fast as they opened their mouths. In between the pauses, Bethany and Gabby held the spill proof cups up their mouths for sips of water. With their small plates empty, Danny gave them their spoons to play with and watched how they mimicked eating.

Ed picked up a silver fork and hit the tongs on a crystal glass. “I hate to interrupt my grandchildren’s show but many of you here know that Gabby and Bethany will celebrate their first birthday a week from tomorrow. Danny and Michelle will be in Puerto Rico on their birthday, which makes it impossible to share the special day with Bethany Joy and Gabby. Aunt Meta has made a birthday cake for Gabby and Bethany to share with everyone here tonight.”

Meta and Abbey carried the cakes with a lighted single candle toward the two highchairs. “Everyone with cameras and video equipment get ready! This is a moment to save on film. The cake is chocolate and the icing is a seven minute frosting, which is perfect to make a mess on their faces.”

“Oh Dad and Aunt Meta, I love the cakes and I bet Gabby and Bethany will like the frosting and cake. I don’t think they have ever had cake before tonight.” All joined in singing Happy Birthday to Gabby and then repeated the chorus for Bethany. Michelle made a wish for Bethany and blew out her candle and then Gabby’s candle. Slicing thin servings of the devil food cake, Meta placed the cake on the tray of the highchairs. The tiny fingers touched the new texture of the cake and frosting. With small segments of the cake and frosting in between her thumb and fingers, Bethany tasted the sweet delicacy. Gabby’s two hands mashed the cake into mush before tasting the cake and rubbing his frosted covered hands in his hair.

Laughing at the mess and the chocolate covered faces, Danny and Michelle watched with a lighter weighted spirit and mind. The children had done what had seemed impossible; they had cleared the air of the anger and hurting words. They were back on track with what meant the most to both parents.

The music playing in the background was from a Kenny Rogers CD The Gift. Michelle hummed along with the tunes while wrapping the books that she had carefully selected at the Corner Bookstore. Pressing the edge of the paper down with her fingers, the memories came rushing fast from the past. The special books had always been included in her Christmas gifts from Ed and Maureen. The book covers were removed when Maureen and Michelle curled up in front of the fireplace on a snowy afternoon with hot chocolate and the famous soft sugar cookies. Maureen read the magical words to Michelle and they traveled to distant real and make believe countries.

Today had been nearly perfect in an imperfect world. The empty space in her torn heart reserved for Maureen was slowly healing. The gifts of the cookies from Aunt Meta gave Michelle’s new family a piece of the Maureen history.
Danny sat the glass of red wine down on the counter in front of Michelle. “A penny for what you are thinking.”

Wrinkling her nose at Danny, “How do you know that I was in the process of thinking?”

“You have a distant look in your eyes.”

Letting the past slip back into the past, “I was with Maureen in front of the fireplace with a book. Danny, do you think that I went overboard and bought too may books for Gabby and Bethany Joy?”

Tightening his hold on her body,” You tell me how many books do you have to have to have too many books? The way, which you read to Gabby and Bethany, I would have to say the stack of books will take care of next month.”

Snuggling closer to the area behind Michelle’s ear where Danny hinted his true intentions. “If I was Santa, I would throw all the books in one big box. This year, Gabby and Bethany aren’t going to be counting presents. You can see how I handled the wrapping. I didnt wrap anything at all.”

“Danny, I think Santa purchased the right amount of toys for Gabby and BJ. You bought the action toys and I took care of the intellectual side.”

“Honey, where did you get the idea of the pull sleds with runners and wheels?”

“I saw a young father in the park pulling his son. The two Good Humor trucks were added at the last minute. I saw them at Toys R Us. I wanted to give the twins their first riding wheel toy. They can push the truck with their feet until they learn to peddle with their feet. The storage portion of the truck has make believe ice cream and I bet in the future we might find other toys stored in there. When I was young, Mick and I use to get money from Maria to buy ice cream from the Good Humor man.” Biting the edge of Michelle’s ear, “It is a wonder how we got all the aspects of Santa covered.”

“Michelle, I probably need to give you a heads up alert with Carmen’s gift to Gabby and Bethany Joy. I saw the gift being delivered last week.”

Smiling one of her OK what has the master manipulator done this time looks? “Are you ready to think big?”

“How big?”

“Carmen bought a miniature carousel. You know one of the ones that you see outside of a K-Mart or grocery store where you drop quarters in a box and ride two or three minutes.”

Turning her head to meet Danny’s dark eyes, “You have got to be kidding! Carmen is never going to sit and drop money in a machine.”

“Michelle, you do know Carmen better than I thought. Carmen had it jerry-rigged and the carousel is now Push Button operational.”

“And what is Carmen giving our children for their first birthday? Live ponies with a cart!”

“No, my mother was actually sensible with her birthday gift. An outdoor gym and swing set, which she is having installed in her backyard.”

With the last gift resting in front of her, Michelle held the bright red paper with Santas down on the box for Danny to apply the scotch tape. Pulling a large section of tape from the dispenser, Danny intentionally taped Michelle’s hand with the gift. “I couldn’t resist being a naughty Santa’s helper.”

“Interesting, I have a naughty surprise myself from Santa.”

The cry of mommy from the baby monitor moved Michelle quickly in the direction of the nursery. “It is Bethany Joy calling me. I wonder what is wrong?”

Inside the nursery, Michelle checked her daughter and found her soundly sleeping. Tracing her fingers on Bethany’s hair, Michelle waited to see if the toddler opened her eyes or if there was any indication that Bethany wasn’t feeling well. The monitors were working quietly while the toddlers traveled with the Sandman to sleepy time land.
Satisfied that all was well in the nursery, Michelle turned up the volume on the hand unit of the monitor and returned to the living room where the roaring fire burned perfect in the last minutes of the Christmas Eve.

“Was Bethany awake?”

“No, she and Gabby were sound asleep. It must be a new stage in their growth and development. Dreaming.”

“Bethany did eat a lot of the cake tonight and I’m wondering if the chocolate has affected her. Come sit with me in front of the fire before it burns down for the night.”

Lying on the floor with her feet resting on Danny’s lap, Michelle continued to ponder the mystery call from Bethany. “Danny, it did sound like Bethany and Gabby put most of his cake in his hair.”

“Honey, that is why we have the monitor and it hasn’t failed us yet.”

Danny began to massage Michelle’s feet. “How long have you been wearing the 3 in. heels?”

“Oh, I didn’t take the time to change but my feet are tired and I’m ready for bed myself. Have you ever wondered why the fire glows the best right before you have to go to bed?”

“I haven’t a clue but it is essential to be in the right place at the right time to see the burning logs. Also having good dry maple wood.”

“Danny, I am going to get dressed for bed. Our growing toddlers will be up in less than five hours and we have a busy morning to still face with the Santos family coming for breakfast.”

From behind his back, Danny pulled out an oblong box with a big red bow tied to keep the valuable gift secure until it found its home in Michelle’s jewelry box. “Then, this is the best time to give you my Christmas present.”

“You have got to stop buying me expensive jewelry but I do love the thought of you caring for me to buy them for me.”

The red ribbon fell to the floor when Michelle saw the blue sapphires and green emerald in a heart shaped setting on a gold band bracelet. “Hubby, you never cease to amaze me but my present is one of a more practical sense. I hope that you won’t be disappointed. Do you remember that next semester, I am studying alternative medicine. The use of body massages is highly recommended and I signed you up for free body massages.”

Smiling at the news, Danny winked at Michelle. “Are you going to be my masseur?”

“Certainly, I’m not crazy to allow another woman to touch the gorgeous parts that only my eyes get to enjoy.”

“I might have to classify this Christmas as my best. Actually, I’m ready for bed also.”

Kissing her husband’s wet lips, “I have another present but I have to go get dressed for bed.”

“Michelle, I get your drift. We are moving the action from here to the bedroom.”

“Maybe but Santa’s elf has to take care of business.”

After brushing his teeth, Danny waited in bed underneath the white down comforter for the young woman that increased his heart beat whenever he saw her. Michelle reappeared wearing a new short red robe, which had been tied especially tight. Michelle smiled the sexy smile to Danny. “I’m embarrassed that I thought and even bought this present for you.”

“Oh Michelle, I think we are far from being embarrassed with one another.”

Promise me that you want ever tell anyone that straight Michelle Bauer did this for you.”

Patting the bed with his left hand. “Let me see what you are hiding under the robe.”

Michelle untied the robe and watched Danny’s dark eyes grow larger. “Yea baby, this stays in the family. Where did you buy the red bra and throng?”

“It was a special at Victoria’s Secrets in the downtown mall. I thought you might enjoy seeing what Santa’s reindeer are giving Santa for Christmas. Michelle crawled in the bed beside her nude husband with the red lace bra and tiny reindeer with small buckets on each nipple with the sign Food for Santa. Embroidered on her red throng was the simple message Santa’s toys.”

Smiling with total glee, “Mrs. Santos, you have been bad and a very naughty tonight.”

Bauer BBQ 2017 by Robansuefarm Part 2

July 6, 2017

Author’s Note: Welcome to the Bauer BBQ 2017. I hope you’ve enjoyed your stay so far, but the party is just getting started. Scene numbers refer to my original outline, but have included them to make it easier for me to keep track of the story.

Bauer BBQ 2017 by Robansuefarm Part 2

Scene 5 – Moved into Scene 2

Scenes 6 and 7

The joyful chaos continue to grow in the Bauer House as more hands piled on. Bill and Lizzie showed up with baby Lily and stuff for the games. Little Billy must have heard and came running at full speed from the patio into the kitchen, intercepting and pushing by several adults, and straight into his father’s arms.

“DADDDDDEEEEEEE!”

“SUN-UN! How was the big sleep over?” He winked at Lizzie. “Did you manage to keep your big sis Sarah out of trouble? I told her you’d be watching out for her.”

Little Billy nodded exuberantly. “Uh-huh. Emma and Hope both started a pillow fight and they were both hitting Sarah, but Dani and me helped fight them off.”

Bill grinned at his son. “I just bet you did.”

Vanessa Chamberlain Lewis came sailing into the room like a queen with a throaty “Hello, everyone.” Seeing Bill with the new Little Billy and baby Lily she glided over. “Well how are my beautiful grandbabies today?” She bent down and hugged them both. She kissed Lily, but Little Billy had squiggled out of the hug before she could kiss him. Little Billy was seven years old now and kisses from your grandmother was baby stuff.

Mindy put the lid back on the pot she was stirring and looking around asked “Vanessa, where’s Daddy?”

Vanessa stood frostily. “I wouldn’t know.”

“What do you mean, you wouldn’t know? Didn’t you come together?”

“We did NOT! He likes to manage things so well I’m sure he can MANAGE to get himself here.”

“Oh no! What did Daddy do now?”

Vanessa opened her mouth to answer, but before she could, Billy himself came charging through the Bauer back door and into the kitchen.

“Happy Fourth!” Billy shouted following it up with a good old Oklahoma cheer!

He was met with a chorus of Independence Day greetings. He strode over to Mindy and picked her up. “Having a happy day, darling?”

“Always do at the BBQ, Daddy.”

After nodding and winking at Bill and Lizzie, Billy stole a piece of the celery Blake was chopping up.

“Hey!”

“You got to be quicker than that, Blake!” Billy added with a laugh.

Billy ambled over to Lizzie and Bill stood with Little Billy and Lily. “How is my little cowgirl and my big cowpoke today?” They giggled as he gave them each a quick tickle. They both laughed pushing his hands away.

He cocked his head up at Lizzie. “And where is Princess Sarah?”

“We just got here and I haven’t seen her yet, but apparently she’s outside decorating.”

Billy had seemingly ignored Vanessa since he came in and she had stood up and turned her back to him. However, he’d be strategically moving closer to her the whole time and now he suddenly moved, grabbing Vanessa and spinning her around and soundly kissing her. “Did you get over your mad fit yet, honey?”

“I am righteously angry. I do NOT have ‘mad fits.’ Let me go!” Vanessa stomped her foot.

Billy let her go, shaking his head.

Mindy interjected, “Daddy, what did you do?”

“All I did was….”

Billy was interrupted when a group came charging in from the patio.

“Grandpa Billy!”

“There’s my Princess Sarah!”

Sarah rushed over to hug Billy.

Michelle had come in with Hope and Danielle. Dani had headed right over to her best friend, but Billy intercepted her. He picked Dani up and held her on his hip. “Well now, Little Billy, have you ask this sweet little filly to marry you yet? Only reason I can see that Bill and Michelle didn’t get together after all was so that you two could!”

“Honestly!” Vanessa interrupted. She stalked over and took Dani out of Billy’s arms and set her down. “There now you two go play.” Turning back to Billy, “Do you think you have the right to control everyone’s lives?”

Billy splutter trying to get around her, but Vanessa had wrapped up in her ice shield and she walked out the door to the patio with her nose in the air. Billy followed after her chuckling.

Matt Reardon had come in at the beginning of Vanessa and Billy’s exchange and for the first time in a long time looking at Vanessa he felt hope. Matt’s second marriage to Joni, Maureen’s old art teacher, was on the rocks. Maybe it meant a fresh start was possible for him and Vanessa after all….

 

Scene 8

The crowd had been slowly growing at the Bauer House inside and out. Small groups of people were talking and on the far side of the patio Beth and Phillip were setting up for the art auction. Following in the footsteps of the auction held at the BBQ many years ago for Vanessa’s Second Chances group, this auction’s funds were earmarked for the Lizzie Spaulding Lewis Cancer Foundation.

An array of paintings already stood on easels with discreet auction numbers marking each one.

Paintings had been gifted from various artists with local connections. Jesse Blue had sent a painting. Mindy and Marah had donated fashion sketches. Trish Lewis had sent a sketch from one of her interior design projects. Reva had sent back an art photo she had taken in her travels with Josh. Beth had donated several of her own paintings and one that she had found in a corner of the Spaulding attic. On Blake’s advice Beth had built the PR for the auction around this mystery painting. What artist’s hand had painting it? Where was it from? What was its story?

While Phillip and Beth set up, Clarissa and Maureen were setting up an art project for kids. Clarissa spread out a large canvas on the patio. Maureen got the paints ready. They were going to paint a group mural and then have it stretched and framed to be hung in the children’s cancer word at Cedars to brighten it up.

 

Scenes 9 – 11

In the kitchen, Rick had gotten all the meat ready to grill. Rick looked over the people he was willing to trust with grilling. Like a drill sergeant he snapped, “OK, let’s head this wagon train out… Blake, you and Robbie are in charge of the chicken breasts and hot dogs on the normal grill. Jude, you’re helping me on the Bauer Power grill. Each group needs a pan for raw meat, a spatula for raw food, a spatula for cooked food, and done tray. Troops ready? March!”

Blake shook her head. “You get WAY too carried away with this, Rick. We’re volunteers you know.”

“Not today, you’re not, you’re conscripted.”

“I think I liked it better during the years you didn’t care.”

Rick seemed to deflate. “I was all alone those years. The family was gone. What was the point? It didn’t matter if we had a party pretending there was still a Bauer family in Springfield or not.” Rick brightened. “But then the year Danny and Michelle moved back, it started mattering again.”

Blake stepped forward patting Rick on the shoulder. “Rick, it always mattered. The Bauer BBQ is one of those things that keep this town centered, a community. That’s why people picked it up those years, but it really needs a Bauer at its head, at its heart.”

“Come on, ATTENT-SHion! Alright troops! March!”

They went out to the grills. While they set up Jude asked, “Why doesn’t Uncle Danny help?”

Robbie snorted.

Rick laughed and pitched his voice loud enough for Danny to hear him over by the hot tub. “Well, the one year we let Danny help we had neighbors ready to call the fire department from the fire ball.”

Danny headed over as soon as Rick started in on him. Interrupted, “What I THINK you MEAN, Rick, is that you were finally smart enough to put the man who had worked as a professional bartender in charge of the drink table.”

Jude looked impressed. “Really? I didn’t know that, Uncle Danny.”

“Yep, I used to work summer for my Tio Fedrico – on my mother’s side – at his restaurant in California when I was growing up. I met your Aunt Michelle after I got a job as a bartender at club she hung out at.”

“Wow, why were you working there? How you get from that to helping to run Spaulding?”

Danny’s face grew shuttered as old ghosts rolled up out of the past.

Rick saw the warning signs and jumped in putting his arm around Jude’s neck. “That’s a long story, bud. Let’s save it for another day.”

Danny blew out a long breath. He smiled at Rick’s back and headed into the kitchen to get the rest of the stuff he needed for the drink table.

Setting it up, he started his bar patter ….. “Come one, come all. We’ve got iced tea and lemonade. I can make a martini that James Bond would die for, shaken not stirred. I can also whip up a Black Russian, a Pink Lady, a Yellow Bird. I don’t just do colors I do places a Manhattan, Singapore Sling, a Cuba Libre…”

Billy walked up following Vanessa who still wasn’t giving him the time of day. He stopped to listen to Danny’s spiel. “Shoot, boy. You make a man want to fall off the wagon.” Seeing Vanessa looking back icily, Billy hastily added, “Not that I ever would, it was a hard fight to finally get sober. I wouldn’t throw that all away.” Vanessa moved off and Billy winked at Danny before he turned.

“Dylan,” Billy yelled. “There you are. I’ve been looking for you and Bridget. Mindy told me you were here….”

 

Commercial Break 2

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

The Picnic by Samj

March 30, 2017

“The Picnic” – Danny and Michelle are both college students at Springfield University at a college party. They meet over a water balloon contest and Danny’s time at the picnic Pilar drug him to is definitely looking up.
https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/the-picnic-by-samj
http://stenzmania.yuku.com/topic/995/t/Samj-The-Picnic-PG.html

Republisher’s Note: A lovely happy Manny college standalone.

Author’s Note: Setting: a picnic at Laurel Falls, Summer 2000.

The Picnic by Samj

“The next event will be the water balloon toss,” came the cheerful voice over the public announcing system.

“It’s about time!” Michelle muttered under her breath, wiping a sweaty curl off her forehead. “It must be 100 degrees out today.”

Michelle made her way through the confused mass of toddlers and parents playing tag until she found her best friend, Bill Lewis. “Come on, Bill, water balloons,” she practically sang.

Bill looked up from the barbecue grill and gave Michelle an apologetic smile. “Sorry, can’t I have to man the grill.”

“Bill,” she whined, “you promised!”

“Burgers, Michelle, burgers.”

Michelle put out her bottom lip in a pout that Bill knew all too well, but he remained firm. “I really don’t think you’ll have any trouble finding someone else to be your partner Michelle, especially in that outfit.”

“What’s wrong with my outfit?” she challenged, looking down at her simple pink tank top and khaki shorts.

“Absolutely nothing,” he replied, giving her an appreciative once-over.

“Hey, knock it off,” she giggled, “this isn’t an episode of Dawson’s Creek.

Before Bill could respond, several fellow SU students walked past and drowned out their conversation. Above the din of multiple voices they heard one rather obnoxious speaker bragging loudly, “Give it up man, Peanut and I are experts at tossing water balloons. We’ve already got this thing in the bag.”

Michelle gave Bill a puzzled glance and he shook his head, indicating that he didn’t recognize the speaker either.

“Twenty bucks,” the stranger challenged.

“You want to put twenty bucks on a water balloon toss?” Jesse Blue, Bill’s roommate, asked incredulously. “Have you completely lost your mind?”

“Hey, I just believe in putting my money where my mouth is.” The stranger grinned broadly. “You in or out?”

“In,” Jesse responded succinctly. “Bill, let’s go man,” he called, “we’ve got some business to take care of.”

With a shrug of his shoulders Bill handed the spatula to a fellow frat brother and followed Jesse to the water balloon field.

“Traitor!” Michelle yelled after him.

The stranger grinned in amusement at Michelle, who promptly stuck her tongue out at him. For a moment their eyes locked, and Michelle chided herself for the butterflies suddenly loose in her stomach.

Breaking eye contact, he peeled his tee shirt off and handed it to a girl Michelle recognized from her art history class. What was her name? Pilar, Pilar Santos. Then he turned back to Michelle expectantly.

Peeling her eyes from his well-developed chest she asked sarcastically, “Is that supposed to impress me?”

His voice came out as a low, seductive rumble. “Doesn’t it?”

Refusing to be baited she settled for, “Do you always answer questions with questions?”

He raised an eyebrow at her. “Do you?”

“No,” she answered simply, “sometimes I just walk away.”

A few minutes later everyone was positioned for the water balloon toss. Michelle had conned Drew Jacobs, Jesse’s girlfriend, into being her partner. Drew kept whining that she didn’t want to get wet.

“Well then,” Michelle explained, “you’d better catch the balloon.”

Michelle was so busy dealing with Drew that she didn’t even realize she was standing right next to the obnoxious stranger until she heard him taunt Jesse one more time. “I’m telling you, Blue, with that guy as your partner,” he nodded towards Bill, “you might as well hand me the twenty now.”

Michelle set her jaw and tried to concentrate on the game. No one mocked her friends this way. No one.

A short time later there were only four couples remaining on the playing field Michelle and Drew, Jesse and Bill, Pilar and her partner, and some teenagers that no one really noticed. The crowd of onlookers concentrated only on Jesse and the stranger.

Michelle was actually quite impressed with Drew’s ability, although she could’ve done without the constant monologue about how a broken water balloon would mess up Drew’s hair and makeup.

On the next throw Drew misjudged the distance, and the balloon broke in Michelle’s hand, splashing her with water. “Woo hoo,” Michelle exclaimed happily, “that’s the first relief from this heat I’ve had all day.”

Having safely caught his own balloon, Pilar’s partner looked over at Michelle briefly, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth as he looked at her damp clothing. Without saying a word Michelle and Drew left the field to watch the game from the sidelines. The two teens soon followed, and only the participants in the bet remained in the game.

The tension was almost as thick as the humidity. Finally Jesse threw his balloon just short of the distance and it splashed to the ground in front of Bill.

“YES!!!!!” the stranger yelled. “Victory is ours!” He practically ran over to Pilar, then lifted her in his arms and swung her around, chanting, “we’re number one, we’re number one.” She managed to convince him to release her, at which point she went scrambling for the anonymity of the crowd, embarrassed by the attention she was receiving.

Meanwhile the stranger was so busy extolling his own virtues to the crowd that he didn’t even see it coming five or six frat brothers dumped a large tub of water directly over his head, soaking him completely and causing him to fall onto his backside on the slippery grass.

While laughing uncontrollably at the sight, Michelle grabbed a towel from a nearby table and walked over to the now dripping water balloon champ.

Looking up at her from his undignified position, he bit out, “Glad you find this so amusing.”

“You…” Michelle began, unable to catch her breath enough to speak. Watching him push his sopping wet curls off his forehead, she managed to continue, “You look like a little wet puppy!” With that she broke into another fit of giggles.

She offered him the towel, which he snatched from her hand…too forcefully, in fact, causing her to lose her footing on the wet grass and tumble toward the ground. His reflexes taking over, the stranger managed to pull her into his lap so that at least she didn’t land on the muddy ground.

Before she had a chance to react, he shook his head wildly back and forth, spraying her with water droplets. “Hey,” she cried out, shielding her face with her hands.

By this time the anger had drained from his face and he was laughing as well. “I just wanted you to have the full puppy effect,” he explained.

“Gee, thanks,” she deadpanned. “I don’t suppose you’re willing to share a corner of that towel with me?”

“Hmm, you might be able to persuade me…” he offered. For a moment Michelle was sure he was going to kiss her, but instead he pulled back slightly and used the towel to gently pat dry her face. “By the way, I’m Danny Santos.”

Michelle flashed him a brilliant smile, then put her hand on his shoulder to keep her balance as she stood. “Michelle, Michelle Bauer.”

Afraid that she was about to walk away he gently grabbed her wrist and stood carefully. “Hey, I don’t suppose we could start off with a clean slate here? I know I deserved this,” he swept his arm in a circle indicating the wet grass, “but honestly I’m not usually such an obnoxious jerk.” He gave her a seductive grin. “I’m usually much, much smoother.”

“Oh really?” she challenged, raising an eyebrow at him.

“Yeah, it’s just that my kid sister dragged me to this thing and I wasn’t having a very good time.” He paused and took her hand lightly in his. “Until now.”

Her smile grew wider. “Well that’s what we like to hear.” She started to walk towards the lake. “Since you’re all muddy, and we’re both already wet, what do you say we take a swim?”

“Lead the way,” he answered, which prompted her to let go of his hand and start sprinting down the hill. Danny shook his head good-humoredly and ran after her.

*The End*

Destiny by Hannah Cho Chapter 2

March 14, 2017

Republisher’s Note: This is a great high school story. There are a couple of places that could have used a little editing, but it’s a lovely story.

Author’s Note: Thanks to those of you who posted your comments. It means so much and I hope that you all will enjoy this chapter. My confidence in writing is growing and hopefully it’ll continue to grow so I can keep writing. As always, comments are great. -Hannah

Destiny by Hannah Cho Chapter 2

“Principal Manning!” gasped Michelle.

“Indeed I am, Ms. Bauer. The question at hand is what are you doing here on a Friday night after hours and why are Mr. Lewis & Santos with you?” inquired Mr. Manning.

“Um I can explain….you see…. um…. Bill here left something in the counselor’s office and so Danny and I just came here with him to look for it,” stammered Michelle. She poked a dumb-founded Bill on his side to coroberate her story.

“Is that so Ms. Bauer? Because to me, it looks like the three of you were breaking into the counselor’s office computers. You do know that’s a federal crime and the consequences for it are quite severe?” Mr. Manning said with a stern look.

“Yes sir, but you see we weren’t breaking into the computer per se, it was more like we were scanning for information,” Michelle said trying to cover her tracks. “Wouldn’t you agree, Danny?” she said through clenched teeth.

“Forget it, Michelle. Look Principal Manning, this was all my doing. Michelle and Bill had nothing to do with it, they just came in here to stop me,” said Danny.

“Why is he covering for me?” thought Michelle. Suddenly her respect for Danny rose to a new level. She had always held deference for him because of his many talents, but now it was like she was actually starting to like the guy. Michelle flashed back to lying on top of him behind the file cabinets a few short minutes ago. The intensity, steamy atmosphere and images of Danny’s hardcore body caused her to blush. These new amorous feelings startled Michelle. She was usually the girl that every guy wanted to have, but never could get. She guarded her heart with a stone wall that she only broke down the wall and allowed access into her heart for a very few select people like Bill, her life long best friend. And now, she was slowly starting to open her heart to her sworn rival. Of all the guys in Springfield High School, Michelle Bauer was actually starting to develop a crush on Danny Santos. She shook her thoughts away and realized the serious situation she was in. Michelle knew she couldn’t let Danny suffer punishment all by himself. It wasn’t fair and she wanted the satisfaction of knowing that if she indeed became valedictorian, it wasn’t because Danny got caught breaking into the counselor’s office.

“Mr. Santos, correct me if I’m wrong, you’re telling me that you alone committed this act of breaking and entering school property?” asked Mr. Manning.

“Yes sir, that is correct,” Danny said.

“No, he’s lying!” Michelle said as she came forward. “I’m just as guilty as Danny is Mr. Manning. Bill didn’t do anything wrong.”

“What are you doing, Michelle?” Danny whispered fiercely in her ear.

“The right thing,” she whispered back.

“Very well then. Mr. Lewis, I will let you off the hook this time. HOWEVER, consider this your one and only warning. If I ever catch you doing any more stupid and illegal acts, you will suffer the consequences,” he said.

“Thank you so much, sir!” said a grateful Bill.

“And as for the two of you,” said Mr. Manning as he looked in Danny and Michelle’s direction. “Since this is the first time either have you been caught breaking school regulations, I will not suspend or expel you. However, I will sentence you to 3 months of community service. The two of you will work together, side by side, everyday after school for 3 hours and every weekend for 5 hours. I understand that there is a rivalry between you two. Know that I really don’t care if you don’t like each other. You WILL work together because you WILL do this assignment and you WILL get along. I will be monitoring your progress and personally contacting the supervisors at the community center, which you will both volunteer at. If during this time should either of you commit any act that goes even the slightest bit against school rules, you will be suspended and not allowed to walk with your class at graduation. Both of you are skating on very thin ice and consider yourselves extremely lucky that I’m letting you get away with just community service. Do I make myself clear?”

Danny and Michelle nodded in astounded silence.

“I said, do I make myself clear?” Mr. Manning said more loudly.

“Yes, sir,” both of them said quietly.

“Well then, you should all be getting home now. Let this be a lesson to the three of you. Never try a stunt like this again, because you WILL get caught,” Mr. Manning said as he left the office.

“Well, Manning sure blew some steam there,” Bill said with a sigh.

“Yeah,” Danny said. “Well, I should be going now, the state swim finals are tomorrow morning.” He grabbed his car keys and started walking out the door.

“Hey Danny!” Michelle yelled. He turned around to look at her. “Um, thanks for trying to cover for me earlier.”

He stared back at her with a new look in his eyes. No longer were they full of rivalry and competition. In place were a set of chocolate brown eyes saturated with extreme intensity, passion and desire.

“No problem,” Danny said as he flashed her a smile. Michelle smiled back at him.

“Well, I guess we better go too,” Michelle said. “Come on, Bill.”

As Danny and Michelle walked out of the school and into their cars, they both took one last long look at each other. Bill observed their faces and shook his head. These two are hopelessly falling for each otherhe thought to himself.

Destiny by Hannah Cho Chapter 1

March 9, 2017

Author’s Note: Hey Everybody, Usually I’m a lurker and just enjoy reading everyone’s fanfics, but I finally mustered enough courage to attempt to write my very own. This is my first attempt at writing fan fic so please be nice! LoL, I hope you guys all enjoy it. I guess I was inspired to write it after I watched some classic Manny montage. Feedback is great so please feel free to post your comments! -Hannah

Destiny by Hannah Cho Chapter 1

From the day Michelle Bauer & Danny Santos made their entrances into the world; they were destined to be together. They were born on the same day, in the same hospital and slept side by side in the neonatal section of the hospital. It was not coincidences that led them to having the same hobbies, passions and social standings. Destiny would take course in their lives. Forces always seemed to catapult them to each other.

The Bauer & Santos families were two of the most prestigious families of Springfield. The two families were also good friends but they were also rivals. For years, the Bauer & Santos families competed with one another in various events such as charity galas and parties. This rivalry also transcended into their children, especially Danny and Michelle.
From grammar school to high school Danny and Michelle competed for everything. From student council president to National Honor Society president to cross country captain, the competition between these two was fierce and electric.

It was now senior year and time for many memorable events such as prom, superlatives, senior party, graduation and more. For years Danny and Michelle had been competing for the covenant position of valedictorian. Both had been fierce in their academics and both were fierce to beat the other.

“Bill, come on you gotta tell me if I’m valedictorian!” pleaded Michelle.

“Michelle, you know I don’t know the class rankings!” replied her best friend Bill.

“Bill, you intern at the counselor’s office, you’ve gotta know! I mean you work right next to the filing cabinets and computers that rank everyone in our class,” argued Michelle.

“Hey, even if I knew, I wouldn’t tell you,” said Bill.

“And why is that?” asked Michelle.

“Because for one, if I told you that you were ranked first you’d be on cloud nine and go rub it in Danny’s face and my hide would be tanned because the school board and administration would absolutely all go into cardiac arrest I leaked it out to you. AND if I tell you that Danny’s valedictorian, you’d go ballistic and go slash the tires on his sweet Mustang and then go do God-knows-whatelse and knowing you, you’d probably talk me into helping you, which would make me an accessory to a felony which would land me in deep trouble which of course would not look too great on my application to Springfield U,” Bill explained.

“Damn Bill, no wonder you’re the captain of debate club and the #1 debater in the state. Oh well guess I’ll have to wait and see.” Michelle said with a michevious smile.

“Oh no Michelle! I know that smile, you always give me that face when you’re about to do something stupid and usually that involves me getting into trouble,” Bill lamented.

“Oh chill out Bill, have I ever gotten you arrested?” Michelle said with a wink.

That night while Bill was out with his girlfriend Pilar, who happened to be Danny’s younger sister, Michelle stole the keys he had to the counselor’s office. She drove her 4-runner to Springfield High and slowly crept into the school. Dressed in black, she slowly opened the door to the office and snuck inside. Cautiously, she turned on the computer and began searching for the senior class rankings.

“Ah-hah, the class rankings.” she whispered triumphantly to herself.

Suddenly there was a loud noise and a dark figure looming over her.

“Well, well, well, just what do we have here? Michelle, what the hell do you think you’re doing?!” a voice said.

Michelle quickly grabbed her flashlight and shone it at the source of the voice.

“Danny Santos! I should have known! And you know exactly why I’m here. I just want proof that I outrank you and am valedictorian!” she yelled.

“Shhh, someone could hear you!” he fiercely whispered.

“Well who the hell would come here on a Friday night?” Michelle asked sarcastically.

“Well obviously people like you who want to break the law and get caught,” Danny said back.

“If I’m not mistaken, you’re here for the exact same reason I am, which makes you just as bad as I am!” said Michelle.

“Touche, Ms. Bauer.” Danny said with an eyebrow raised. The doorknob turned and footsteps were heard.

“What was that?” Michelle said alarmed.

“Damn, it’s Mr. Patterson the night janitor. He probably heard us talking or something. Shh, get down!” Danny instructed as he grabbed Michelle’s arm.

“Danny what are you doing?” Michelle asked.

“Trying not to get caught genius! Now come hide behind here.” he instructed as he led Michelle to a narrow space behind some cabinets.

“The space is too small, both of us can’t fit.” Michelle complained.

The footsteps grew louder as they approached the duo. Danny laid down by the cabinets and pulled Michelle onto him, pinning her body on top of his.
Michelle gasped at Danny’s actions. Her breathing was labored as she laid on top of Danny’s very defined, muscular, chiseled body. Suddenly, Michelle found her temperature rising.

How can I be attracted to Danny Santos? I loathe this guy! Ive been competing against him since we were in diapers. Michelle thought to herself. But he has such a great body! And those eyes, theyre sending electric chills down my body!

Michelle and Danny stared into each other’s eyes and the heat between them began to intensify.

You gotta stop Danny! You can’t let Michelle Bauer do this to you! You can handle yourself! Danny tried to reassure himself. But she’s so damn hot!

“Well who would have thought that me and you would ever end up in this position?” Michelle said coyly.

“Yeah who would have thought.” Danny said in labored breathing. He slowly began to draw his hand from his side and up Michelle’s leg to her thigh. “And who would have thought that I would do this,” he said as he started leaning towards her face. Michelle closed her eyes and leaned forward as well. For the first time in her life, she wanted Danny Santos, who happened to be her biggest rival. Five minutes ago she would have clobbered him if he tried to touch her. Now as he started to touch her body, she wanted nothing more but for him to continue and keep sending these intense currents down her body. Just as their lips were millimeters apart, a flashlight shined in their faces.

“What the hell are you two doing?” boomed a voice.

Michelle looked up and recognized the face. “Bill?” she asked.

“Yes oh clever one it’s me!” Bill said irritably as he turned on the lights. “I was driving Pilar home when I discovered that a certain pair of keys were missing from my keychain.”

Michelle sheepishly dangled the keys in the air. “Well guess you’ve found them.” She said as Bill angrily snatched the keys away from her.

“Wait, what are you doing here?” he said as he pointed at Danny. He took a closer look at the pair and stared at their positions. It clearly looked like Bill had interrupted some kind of hot interlude between Danny and Michelle. This of course puzzled him. These two can’t stand each other so why the hell are they on top of each other like they were gonna make out or something? Bill thought to himself. “Danny, why is Michelle on top of you?” he questioned as Michelle hurriedly got up from Danny’s arms.

“We were just trying to hide. We thought you were the janitor. Bill, this isn’t what it looks like, nothing happened,” Danny stammered.

“Well it sure as hell doesn’t look like nothing happened,” Bill retorted. “Whatever, I don’t care. Let’s just get out of here before we all get caught.”

“Too late,” a voice said from behind.

Cherish Her Love by Beth Chapter 4

March 4, 2017

REPUBLISHER’S NOTE: So Manny figure out maybe they’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the newest installment of this story…so I hope you Like :)

The story is gonna be taking a Major change here in the next couple of chapters to just keep reading :)

Beth

Cherish Her Love by Beth Chapter 4

Michelle walked down the main hallway to her locker. She was not in the mood to be here, anytime Drew was around Danny she just wanted to scream. She opened her locker and was greeted with a picture of her and Danny. She remembers that summer well, the Santos family had invited her to tag along to their summer house. Danny had just turned 16 and for his birthday his father had bought him an old Mustang. Michelle smiled at the picture as she saw Danny leaned up against it, and her in the car with her arms around him. Michelle grabbed her book for Chemistry and slammed her locker shut. “Fine…he can go to prom with little miss Drew…hell if I care…”

“Michelle?”

Michelle turned her head to see Cadence. Michelle and Cadence have been friends since freshman year, they’ve become rather close and she was the only one she could really talk to about Danny. “Oh hey…”

“Um…something wrong?”

Michelle sighed, “No.”

Cadence laughed, “Yea, ok…let me guess…Danny…”

“He’s just so stupid! Everyone knows how Drew is and he’s just so…BLIND!” Michelle stood there tapping her foot.

“Look Michelle, why don’t you just ask Danny to the prom…you guys have been friends for how long and I can see the way he looks at you.”

“Cadence, he doesn’t look at me any differently then he does you…and besides…I don’t want to go to prom with him…I just don’t want him to go to prom with Drew.”

“Or any other girl for that matter…”

“Look I gotta go down to the office Bill is suppose to be down there making annoucements, I’m going to see if I can catch him.”

“Fine, talk to you in study hall then…”

“Ok, see ya.” Michelle walked away from Cadence who was standing there just shaking her head.

“And like I just thought it was the coolest thing ever ya know!” Drew flung her head out of her face. She hadn’t shut up for two seconds to even let Danny get a word in. Sure she was pretty, but she had no personality at all. Danny was starting to change his mind about asking her to the prom. He couldn’t get the image of how Michelle looked today out of his head. She had always been “pretty” but something about her today, took his breath away. He snapped out of it..

“Danny? Danny?…You’re not even listening to me.”

“Huh?..what?..”

“I asked you if you wanted to give me a ride home today..” Drew moved closer to him, “So we could…talk.”

Danny knew exactly what she met by “talk” and he just really didn’t want to deal with it. “Um…look sorry, my Mustang doesn’t really fit too many people..and I’m already taking Michelle home.”

“Michelle, Michelle…that’s all you ever talk about. Ditch her for one day…”

Before she could finish Danny was inches from her face “Look, be very careful what you say…” and with that Danny walked away. He knew who he wanted to go with and he wasn’t going to keep a secret any longer.

Michelle walked into the main office and grabbed the school newspaper and grabbed a seat waiting for Bill to come in. She flipped through the pages and stopped when she saw the poll for prom king and queen. She read threw the names, she laughed when she saw Jesse Blues name there. “Who would vote for him…” she read down farther and was no longer surprised. “Of course…Bill Lewis and Danny Santos.” She crinkled up the paper, she was just so angry that Danny would actually consider going with that…slut was the only word that came to mind. She sat there with her legs crossed and just waited. A few moments later Bill walked in, he had a blue polo shirt on and a pair of khakis. At this moment he was seeming less and less attractive. The image of Danny asking Drew flooded her mind and she built up enough courage to go over to him.

“Hey Bill.”

Bill turned around and flashed her a smile, “Hey…”

She could feel him looking her up and down, she ignored her feeling to run away and just blurted it out, “Look I was thinking…prom is really soon and if you don’t have a date then…”

“That sounds good Michelle…real good.”

“So that’s a yes?”

“Of course.” Michelle sighed…well at least I got it over with. There was a moment of awkward silence, “Well…I have class so…” Michelle just turned and walked away. Once she knew she was out of site she started hitting herself on the head “stupid..stupid..stupid.” She walked with her head down all the way to class.

Danny almost ran to the office to see if he could catch Michelle, when he got there though she was no where to be found. he did however see Bill Lewis…”great.”

He slowly walked up to him, “Um…Bill look..”

“What do you want Santos?”

Danny had to hold himself back from knocking that smug look off his face. But he remained calm, all he wanted to do is find out of Michelle had been here already. “Look, all I want to do is find Michelle, have you seen her?”

“Oh I’ve seen her…” Bill smiled a sly smile.

“OK, then she was already in here…that’s all I needed to know.” Danny turned to walk away when Bill said something that made his stomach sink.

“Yeah, too bad for you….me and Michelle are going to have a LOT of fun at prom.”

He was too late…Michelle was going with Bill. Danny walked out of the office and went to his locker. “Son of a…” he punched his locker with everything he had.

“Problems?” A familiar voice said. Danny turned around to see who else, Drew. “None that can’t be resolved…”

Danny smiled, if Michelle didn’t have the same feelings for him, he wasn’t going to just sit there.

 

Cherish Her Love by Beth Chapter 3

March 3, 2017

REPUBLISHER’S NOTE: I’ve included the author’s note although sadly it is incomplete, in fact it just sort of gets through a pretty interesting set up and BANG! literally that’s it. I hope you’ll enjoy the set up as well as.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Ok Well I hope you enjoy!..Just let me know what you think :) Beth

Cherish Her Love by Beth Chapter 3

As the days, weeks, and years passed Danny had hit his growth spurt and Michelle was beginning to become more then just Danny best friend that he could pick on. She was beginning to get noticed. She had used to hate her curly hair and always tie it back, but now she was letting her curls fall loosely at her back. She started wearing make-up as well, not so much that it looked tacky but just enough to make her stand out. She wasn’t exactly tall, she was mid-height almost short, but it had its advantages anyone she dated would be taller.

Danny had always been cute but over the years, he had grown into one of them most beautiful people in High School. All the girls in school envied Michelle in the way, that she could talk to him whenever she wanted, where ever she wanted. One girl especially always had her eye out for Danny, and that was none other then Ms. Drew Jacobs. He still had his leather jacket, it may not have been the same one he had gotten when he was fourteen, but it still made him stand out in a crowd. With his chocolate curls, and tall lean figure he was hard to miss. It was the beginning of their senior year at Springfield High, that everything changed.

Michelle was down waiting for Danny to pick her up, like he had been doing for almost two years now. Even though Michelle had her license, she felt no need to bring her car when Danny could just pick her up. Danny was late as usual, and Michelle would have his head this time because she wanted to get there a little early to see Bill Lewis in the office. Bill was, well, I guess you can say the opposite of Danny, Blonde hair, blue eyes, mid-height yet taller then Michelle, and he was the biggest prep there was, which meant another one of Danny’s rivals. Michelle heard Danny’s car horn, grabbed her books and headed outside. Needless to say she wasn’t in her regular, well, she wasn’t wearing what she would normally wear. She had on a black skirt that showed off her legs just a little too much if you were to ask Danny. Silver chain belt, with a white tank top and a matching black coat over it. It wasn’t something that Danny would expect to see Michelle Bauer in.

She walked to the car, and for some reason Danny couldn’t keep his eyes off Michelle, she saw this and automatically thought she had something on her. “What? Is there something on my skirt?”

He shook his head no.

“Then what is it, Danny? JeezYour creeping me out, stop starring at me!”

Danny snapped out of it, “So why you all dolled up?”

Michelle fixed her skirt, “I’m not.”

Danny laughed as he pulled out of the driveway, “Yeah right. Michelle, you can’t lie to me, I can see right through you.”

Michelle sighed and then smiled and got excited all in one, “Well Bill Lewis is going to be down at the office today, and well proms coming up so I’m seizing the opportunity.” She fluffed up her hair, but turned her head when she heard Danny’s uncontrollable laughter.

“You want to go to prom with Bill Lewis.”

“Yeah so what?”

“He’s a geek!”

“Oh he is not, he could kick your butt.”

“Oh, I would pay to see that happen, I would kill Bill.”

“Keep telling yourself that besides you’re just as bad with your date Drew Jacobs. Could you be anymore tacky?”

“Drew is not tacky. She just has her own style.”

“Whatever just drive.”

“What do you think I’m doing? Why do you turn everything into a fight?”

“I don’t, you do!”

“I do not!”

“Oh, just shut up.”

“Don’t tell me to shut up, or I’ll just get Bill to kick your butt.” Michelle smiled with that one.

Danny turned around, about to say a good comeback, when he saw Michelle’s smile. He chuckled and turned back to face the road, “Cute Michelle. Real Cute.”

“I thought so too. Glad we agree on something.”

They both laughed, and Danny pulled into the parking lot of the High School. They both got out, Danny only carrying one book and a notebook, and Michelle with her book bag around one shoulder. They were still laughing and talking while walking up to the front door, when Drew stopped Danny. Michelle didn’t even bother to argue, “Talk to you later.” And she kept walking, she turned away with a face that seemed hurt, but didn’t know why. She walked through the front doors to the front office to meet Bill, not knowing Danny had the same face when he saw her walk away from him.

 

Picture Perfect by LNJ

January 16, 2017

To make it easier to direct people to this story I wanted to put all the chapter links in a single post, in other words do a link roundup. This story is in the nonmob fanfic category. This is one of my favorite fanfics, but it’s missing a lot of chapters. If you have anymore of it or can find any more online, I’d really appreciate it.

This particular fanfic has Danny and Michelle meeting when they were older and each had a pre-teen daughter from previous relationships. It also starts with a bit in Walt Disney World. How can resist that?

xmas-photo-2014

Disney Cinderella Castle

Disney Cinderella Castle

Picture Perfect by LNJ

“Picture Perfect” – Michelle and Danny each have a 13 year old daughter and a broken marriage behind them when they run into each other at Disney World. They discover that Michelle already lives in Springfield and Danny will soon move there to take on a leadership role at Spaulding Enterprises. Their daughters play matchmaker and it isn’t too hard. They are forming a picture perfect family when Michelle’s abusive, estranged husband Bill Lewis returns to take back what he sees as his. Another one that ends too soon.😉

https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/picture-perfect-ch1 (Chapter 1)

https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/picture-perfect-by-lnj-ch2 (Chapter 2)

https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/picture-perfect-chapter-3 (Chapter 3)

https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/picture-perfect-chapter-4 (Chapter 4)

https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/picture-perfect-chapter-5 (Chapter 5)

There was a lot more of this I’m sorry to say that we don’t have access to. If anybody can find anymore of this I’d be very grateful. Michelle does tell Danny and he takes them over to the Spaulding Mansion for safe keeping. Judging from what happens in the last two chapters Theresa shows up and is unbalanced. Bill is killed in a car accident.

https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2011/03/19/picture-perfect-chapter-13 (Chapter 13)

https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/picture-perfect-chapter-15 (Chapter 15)

Archived Links Version

http://stenzmania.yuku.com/topic/919/t/New-Fic-Picture-Perfect.html (Chapter 1) http://stenzmania.yuku.com/topic/902/t/Picture-Perfect-Chapter-2.html (Chapter 2) http://web.archive.org/web/20020121231202/www.geocities.com/manny_fan_fiction/LNJ/picture/2.html (Chapter 2)
http://stenzmania.yuku.com/topic/901/t/Picture-Perfect-Chapter-3a-NC17.html (Chapter 3a) http://stenzmania.yuku.com/topic/897/t/Picture-Perfect-Chapter-3b-R.html (Chapter 3b) http://web.archive.org/web/20020114054035/www.geocities.com/manny_fan_fiction/LNJ/picture/3.html (Chapter 3)
http://stenzmania.yuku.com/topic/894/t/Picture-Perfect-Chapter-4.html (Chapter 4) http://web.archive.org/web/20020107103240/www.geocities.com/manny_fan_fiction/LNJ/picture/4.html (Chapter 4)
http://stenzmania.yuku.com/topic/893/t/Picture-Perfect-Chapter-5.html (Chapter 5)
http://web.archive.org/web/20010524134916/pub2.ezboard.com/fmannyacdiscussionboardfanfic.showMessage?topicID=5984.topic (Chapter 13)
http://web.archive.org/web/20020123080527/pub2.ezboard.com/fmannyacdiscussionboardfanfic.showMessage?topicID=6247.topic (Chapter 15)

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


%d bloggers like this: