Love, Me

By: Amber
Summary:A vignette at the end.
Disclaimer:I do not own the characters of Lee and Amanda Stetson. Those were created by more brilliant minds than mine at Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon productions. I just wanted to play with them for a little while. And the words to the song at the end of the story are from the chorus of "Love, Me" sung by Collin Raye. I don't claim to own it, either. The story, however, did come from my fertile imagination, and that is all I claim. I have not accepted money for this piece... as a matter of fact, until a few moments ago, I didn't even know I was going to write it. So, I hope no one tries to sue me, because they really wouldn't get very far.
Author's Notes:I've been feeling a little down lately, for a lot of reasons (not the least of which was the death of another NASCAR driver this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway) Anyway, while I was sitting here wallowing, my fingers started to type, and as they started to type, this short vingette is what came out. I haven't had it beta-ed, because it's one of those "from the heart" type things. But I am definitely willing to read any comments, whether they be praise or constructive criticism. So please, let me know what you think.

Lee looked down at Amanda's sleeping form. He smoothed back an errant lock of hair that was brushing her cheek and watched as she stirred slightly, but did not awake. He never thought he could know what love truly was until he met this woman. There was an unmistakable pull between them from the first moment he saw her as his savior on the train platform. But he refused to let himself realize what he was truly feeling for 3 years. As the years passed and Billy Melrose threw them together on case after case, he first came to see what a smart woman she was. Then came the realization of how special she was, followed by his growing awareness of her beauty. Almost like a shock, it came upon him that he loved this woman, and wanted to be with no one else for the rest of his life.

And what a wonderful life it was. The years of their marriage passed almost like a dream. It was never perfect, but Lee finally came to realize that very little in life was. They had their fights, but they always managed to make-up quickly. Lee hated to hurt her in any way, and he knew from the look he'd seen in her eyes that she'd felt the same way. But their love for one another was unconditional. Lee felt her love for him every time she turned her eyes toward him. It was like a warm sunshine flowing through his veins. Her touch would quicken his pulse and calm his nerves and make all right with the world. Many times, he wondered how he had gotten by without Mrs Amanda West King Stetson in his life.

As Lee looked down at her one last time, he regretted doing what he knew he must. He didn't want to leave this wonderful lady to go on without him, to see what else life could hold in store. 'You'd think that 50 years would have been enough.' he thought sadly as Amanda turned on her side, lips parted with her even breathing. The sadness filled Lee's eyes like it hadn't since his parents death. Even the numerous friends he'd lost through the years were nothing compared to this. Lee bent down to lay a soft kiss on her forehead and was rewarded with a small smile coming to her lips as she slept on. "I love you, Amanda," he whispered into the still night air.

As he turned to walk from the room into the brightness that lay before him, he was sure he heard her whisper "I love you, too, Lee." And on the radio at their bedside played a country song, popular half a century before that summed it all up perfectly.

If you get there before I do
Don't give up on me
I'll meet you when my chores are through
I don't know how long I'll be
But I'm not gonna let you down
Darlin' wait and see
And between now and then
Till I see you again
I'll be loving you
Love, Me.