Thou Shalt Not Kill

By: Angel Koerkel

Disclaimers:  SMK is owned by WB and STM.

Archive: Sure, let me know where

Summary: Lee and Amanda must help protect the daughter of a senator.

Time frame: Shortly after the series ended

Notes: Only that the marriage, etc. are all still secrets.

Rating: PG-13, some suggestiveness, not too bad I don't think.

Written: Fall 2000.

The chime of the doorbell startled Amanda out of a sound sleep.  Through fuzzy eyes she looked at the alarm clock and silently wondered who would be at her door at 6:00 am on a Saturday; "whoever it is, it can't be good," she mumbled as she put on her bathrobe.  She stopped to smile at her sleeping husband before going downstairs.  Although Lee Stetson was normally a
light sleeper, they'd been up late the night before enjoying the empty house.  Their nights together were usually clandestine moments stolen between her family dinners and the boys' bedtime; but for the next two weeks they could live together as a man and wife should.  The boys had left yesterday afternoon with Joe and his new wife, Carrie, for a trip to Colorado to meet her family, and Dotty had gone to the Caribbean on vacation.

A drowsy Amanda opened the front door just before Billy Melrose rang the bell again.  "Good morning, sir.  Won't you come in?"  She greeted him as though it were the most natural thing in the world for her supervisor to be on her stoop at dawn.

Billy entered briskly and attempted to smile at Amanda, although his business attitude was apparent in his tone when he responded, "Hello Amanda.  I'm sorry to intrude so early but I really need to speak with you and Lee.  Is he here?"

"Why didn't you just call, sir?"  She tried to figure out how to cover for Lee's presence by stalling for time.

"I did call, all I got for the past hour and a half was a busy signal," Billy tried hard to hide the grin spreading across his face as he continued, "and there's no answer at all at Lee's."

Amanda's blush spread almost as quickly as Billy's grin had as she remembered taking the phone off the hook the night before.  Her attempt to cover up was a lost cause.  "Oh; I must not have replaced the receiver properly after the boys called to let me know they made it to Colorado okay."

Before Billy could respond, they both heard a voice coming down the stairs.  "Amanda," Lee called out, "I turned over and you were gone..." He came to an abrupt halt at the foot of the stairs when Billy's smiling face greeted him.

"Good morning Scarecrow.  Why don't you go back upstairs and put on something over your boxers so we can talk?"  Amanda slunk into the kitchen like a teenager who'd been caught making out at the movies.  Meanwhile, Lee turned around without another word and headed to the bedroom to put on some sweat pants.

When he returned, Billy was sitting on the sofa and Amanda was slicing a fruit danish up for breakfast while the coffee perked.  Determined to act as if nothing happened, Lee walked into the living room, only to be confronted by the reminders of their evening together.  The empty bottle of champagne, two glasses, and a mostly empty bowl of strawberries sat abandoned on the table.  The can of whipped cream was lying on the floor next to the throw blanket from the couch.

Billy shook his head and smiled as Lee entered.  "I don't want to hear some lame excuse, so don't even try.  What you two do on your own time is none of my business.  By the way, it's about time!"

"Can we get to work now that you've had your fun?"  Lee tried to sound professional, but came across instead as being flummoxed.

"Actually, yes, we need to get right on this."  At just that moment, Amanda entered carrying a tray filled with coffee, danish, plates, and cups.  She sat it on the table and began fixing Lee's cup.  As she handed it to him, she found her voice and asked, "So, Billy, what's going on?"

He had noticed her preparation of Lee's drink and the smooth, wordless exchange between them as she handed it to him.  "Whatever they're up to, they've been up to it for a while now," he thought approvingly.  "Actually, Amanda," he said, "it concerns the daughter of a senator.  It seems that Senator Williams' youngest daughter, Katherine, attends a private boarding
school and she has recently been receiving some pretty nasty threats.  They were being treated as nothing more than idle threats by her personal security, until last night."

Lee spoke up, "Why?  What happened?"

"Ms. Williams returned home after a date and found her dorm room had been ransacked and a stuffed doll was left on the bed with a knife stuck through its chest.  There was also a note that this was her final warning."

"Warning against what?"  Amanda asked, concerned for the safety of this girl she'd never met.

"That's part of the problem.  The notes never say what they want; just that she's been warned.  We don't know if this has to do with her father or her or if it's just some crazy who picked her at random.  All of the notes have been clean, and so far we don't have any usable evidence from her room either."

Lee and Amanda looked at other in defeat.  So much for their two weeks of peace.  "Alright," Lee began, "where do we start?"

"I would recommend showering and getting dressed.  After that, come on down to the office.  Vince Alberts, the head of security for Ms. Williams, wants to speak with you."  Billy stood up and Lee walked him to the door.

"You know, Billy, this wasn't what it looked like this morning."

"Yes it was, it's exactly what it looks like."

"If this ever got around..." concern was etched on Lee's face.

"Don't worry, Amanda's reputation is safe with me.  I'll see you two soon!"  Billy slapped Lee on the back and left.

The drive into Georgetown was relatively quiet.  Lee had assured Amanda that Billy would keep his discovery a secret, but she still felt uncomfortable.  When they arrived at the office, Billy was in a conference room with Mr. Alberts going over what little evidence they had.  Billy made the introductions.

"So, Mr. Alberts..."

"Please, call me Vince."

"Okay, Vince, what can you tell us about Ms. Williams?  When have the notes been received and by what means?  Does there seem to be a pattern?"  Lee poured on the questions while Amanda stood silently and unobtrusively to the side.

Vince began his short tale, "Katherine is a 17 year old senior at Jackson Academy for Girls.  She maintains a very high GPA and is involved in several activities including Drama Club and Debate.  Socially, she dates a lot of young men from the academy's male counterpart, Cooke's Academy.  She hasn't ever had a single, steady boyfriend."

"Isn't it unusual for her to be living at the dorm in June?  Isn't the school year over?"  Billy asked.

"Actually, it's just beginning.  The academies go year round, with each new year starting the first week of June.  The students get three weeks off at Christmas and in May and one week for Easter.  These schools are for serious students, they don't believe in wasting the summer at the beach."

"I see.  Please go on."

"The notes began appearing two weeks ago, the second week of the school year.  Mostly they've been innocuous enough.  The usual diatribe about minding your own business, you've been warned to stop, that sort of thing," with a wave of his hand he indicated the tabletop and the copies of notes scattered there.  "Katherine insisted we ignore them.  She refused to let someone scare her.  Until last night that is.  Now she's terrified."

"When and where have the notes appeared?"

"Well, that's the thing; they always show up the morning after she's had a date, except for last night.  So far, again with the exception of last night, the notes have all been placed in her mailbox.  The mail system at the dorm is similar to an intra-office set-up.  There's a bank of open boxes with one person assigned to each box.  They're kept in a large common room area of the dorm where anyone could walk in and put something in a box.  There must be 500 people a day through that lobby between staff, students, and visitors."

"So, in other words, we've got nothing."  Lee was disappointed.  When he'd first heard the word "mailbox" he thought maybe they could trace how many people would have the key to a private box, but if this was an open system with no doors or locks like a post office box has, it could be anyone.

Amanda had not said a word since they entered the conference room.  Vince had forgotten she was there, but Lee knew she was observing the man very carefully.  That was one of her many talents as an agent, blending into the background and watching for subtle clues.

After a few more minutes of chatting, Vince left.  Billy and Lee looked at Amanda.  Billy asked, "Well, what do you think?"

"I'm not sure yet.  I'd like to see the files on Mr. Alberts and all of her other security personnel and also a duty roster of who was guarding her for each date she had that was followed by a note."

Lee added, "Of course, we'll also need to know who she's dated and all the background we have on them.  Not to mention files on whatever her father is currently working on."

"Most of that is already on my desk waiting for you.  Francine is just finishing up some of the background work on her dates."

"Okay then, let's get busy," Lee said as he escorted Amanda out of the room and towards Billy's office.

That afternoon, Lee and Amanda were busy in the Q bureau going over the stack of files provided by Billy.  Lee began to rub his eyes as he leaned back in his chair.  "Oh Amanda, I don't think there's anything in these.  Most of these boys are simply rich kids of rich parents.  None of them seems to be linked with anything that would cause Katherine to be threatened.  Besides, she hasn't dated the same boy twice since the school year started.  She certainly seems to get around."

"Sound familiar," Amanda asked with a twinkle in her eye.

Lee stepped over to her and leaned down to kiss her.  "You know perfectly well that those days are long over."

"I'm just teasing you.  You get so defensive when you feel guilty."  She reached up and pulled him down for another kiss, this one started to get a little more passionate until Amanda broke off.  "We still have a lot of work to do," she whispered softly to him.

"I know, I know.  Okay," he responded as he visibly calmed himself down, "what've you got on the security staff?"

"Well, it seems that Mr. Alberts was hired by her father about six years ago, when she first attended boarding school.  The remaining five guards have been added over time and all of them were hired by Mr. Alberts.  Originally, Senator Williams hired Vince to be his own security while initially running for the senate, but after winning the election he kept Alberts on to take over for his daughter's care.  Mrs. Williams died in a car accident when Katherine was nine, so she has been raised by a combination of nannies and Mr. Alberts for the past eight years while her father tended to his political career.  Senator Williams is a conservative from the Midwest with a strong following of far right wing supporters.  However, recently he's been slipping in the polls after supporting some of the more liberal legislation.

"Vince's loyalty to the senator was tested when there was an assassination attempt made during his campaign.  Vince took the bullet meant for the senator and while limping on his wounded leg, tackled the shooter.  I already checked, the gunman is still behind bars in federal prison."

"Wow, that's quite a bit of work for one day.  Anything else?"  Lee asked while twirling a strand of Amanda's hair in his fingers.  His mind was definitely not on work.  He began to let his fingers lightly stroke up and down along her neck.

"If you don't stop that, I'm going to push you into the vault and have my way with you."

"Is that a promise?"  His eyes sparkled and then grew darker as he huskily whispered it into her ear.

"Lee Stetson, you are incorrigible!"  She exclaimed with a lilt in her voice that revealed her own lack of control.

"And you love it, Mrs. Stetson."  He brought his mouth to hers and was beginning to devour her lips while moving his hand slowly over her ribcage, his thumb barely touching the underside of her breast when they heard the knock.  Billy entered without waiting for them to answer.  As soon as he walked in, he knew he should've let them open the door.

"Well," he started after clearing his throat, "what have you guys got after a full day of research?"

The best team in the business was immediately back to their professional personas as they began discussing the day's findings.  At the conclusion, Lee stated clearly, "Basically, we've got the same thing as this morning, nothing."

"I don't know about that Lee," Amanda said with a question in her tone.  "I think there may be something about this Vince Alberts.  He just rubs me the wrong way."  Lee looked at her as if he wanted to make a snide remark about that, but thought better of it with Billy in the room.  Even though Billy now knew of their "affair" he didn't want to go blurting it out just because a clever remark had come to mind.  "Anyway," she continued seemingly unaware of Lee's momentary grin, "I'd like to check into him a little further.  Maybe there's something buried in his past, or something else.  I don't know yet, but it's there.  I'll find it."

"I'm sure you will," Billy said with confidence.  He knew Amanda had great instincts and if she was doubtful of Alberts that was enough for Billy to be cautious.  Lee quickly agreed.  Together they decided to call it a day, but to keep in touch if anything strange happened that night.  They would immediately pull her private security off duty and instead there would be an agent with Ms. Williams at all times, and now due to Amanda's gut feelings, there would also be one with Mr. Alberts, although more discreetly.

The next few days passed by quickly and without incident.  Before anyone realized it, it was already Tuesday.  Katherine had not had a date since Friday because she was afraid of what might happen.  So, she had cancelled all of her weekend plans and stayed alone in her room.  However, she had a study date that night that she couldn't cancel.

Mike was a good friend of hers and he desperately needed help with his English Literature class.  She knew that he wanted to be more than friends, but Katherine always wanted to just have a good time with a guy and then be done with it.  With Mike, it couldn't be that way; they were too good of friends.  So, she kept it platonic.  At 4:00 she called to see if he was still going to meet her at the library on campus.

"Of course I'll be there.  Have I ever stood you up?"  He asked with a smile in his voice.

"No, but I'm sure you've heard of what's been going on," Katherine knew she was the hottest topic of gossip on both campuses.  "I don't want you to be uncomfortable or frightened."

"Katherine, I will be there at 5:30, like we agreed, unless you don't want to meet."

Smiling at the sound of love she heard from her friend she responded, "I'll be there.  Remember, you owe me dinner if you pass this test on Friday."

It was Lee and Amanda's turn to baby-sit Katherine that evening.  So, as she left her dorm room with her backpack in hand, she nodded at them and tried to smile.  They acknowledged her and began to walk a few paces behind her.  When the trio arrived at the library, Lee and Amanda took seats at a nearby table while Katherine and Mike embraced briefly and then sat down.  While Amanda kept her eyes on the young couple, obviously in the throws of teenage love, Lee surveyed the room.

"You know," he whispered to her, "if this guy doesn't make another move soon, we may have to try and set him up."

"I know.  I can't believe that after three days of checking, I can't come up with anything more solid on Alberts.  I just know it's him, but I can't prove it.  Even the rotation schedule for the guards wasn't useful.  They rotate randomly.  I know it's there though.  I just have to keep looking."

Lee grinned at his wife's determination.  He knew she'd find it too.  Whatever "it" was.

After about three hours of studying Shakespeare, both Katherine and Mike looked exhausted.  Lee could understand that completely.  He was exhausted and all he'd done is watch.  They said their good-byes, gave each other a brief kiss on the cheek, and left for their own rooms.  Lee and Amanda followed Katherine home.

When they arrived at the dorm, the first thing they did was to stop by the mailbox.  No note.  Then, when they arrived outside her room, Amanda held Katherine to the side while Lee entered first and checked out the interior.  Nothing was out of order.  "Well, maybe this guy's been scared off Ms. Williams.  If you need anything, Mrs. King and I will be in the hallway until midnight and then a new team will be here until morning.  Goodnight."

The girl looked very young all of a sudden as she let them out and locked the door behind them.  "Lee, I'm really worried for her.  She's really got no one.  Her mother's dead, her father's too busy with playing senator to even check on her regularly, and the closest thing she has to family are the guards sent to keep watch over her.  It's very sad."

"I know sweetheart," he replied pulling her into an embrace.  "We can try to be her friends, but I doubt she'll let us.  That's probably why she goes through so many boys at her age.  She is using them to feel close to someone, without ever really getting close enough to get hurt when they leave.  She already feels abandoned enough."  Amanda knew that Lee was speaking from experience.  It was the same tactic he'd used for years to avoid being hurt or left.  It made her even sadder to hear her husband voice his own past in such terms.

They spent the next couple of hours in silence, sitting on the floor outside her dorm room, waiting for their relief to come so they could go home and sleep.  When Francine and Fielder showed up at 11:45, Lee filled them in on the course of the evening.  "She hasn't left her room since we got back from the library about three hours ago.  I haven't heard anything from in there in at least half an hour, so she's probably in bed for the night.  Have fun."

The next morning, it was Francine's job to escort Katherine to class before the next shift came on at 9:00.  On the way there, Katherine told Francine that she wanted to stop off at the bookstore to pick up a few things.  So, they went into the small shop together while Fielder stayed in front of the entrance.  What Francine didn't know was that Vince Alberts was also in the store.  He'd called Katherine the night before and asked her to meet him at the bookstore this morning.  He said he had a lead but wanted to talk to her in person.  He also told her not to mention it to the agents until after he had talked to her.

So, while Katherine looked for Vince she tried to figure out how to get away from Francine for a few minutes.  As it turned out, that wasn't a problem.  Vince grabbed Francine from behind while she looked at a display near the back of the store.  He immediately placed a chloroform soaked rag over her face and let her collapse into his arms like a doll.  He pulled her into an open storage closet full of extra textbooks and sweatshirts with the school logo.  After closing the door, he looked up to find Katherine.

She was standing near the notebooks looking around, presumably for him.  He went to her and said that he had told Francine that he needed to speak with Katherine alone for a minute and she had agreed to go to the ladies room.  Katherine didn't know the reason the agency had pulled all of her personal guards off duty was because they were suspects.  She trusted Vince and so she left with him out a back entrance that Fielder didn't know existed.

After waiting for twenty minutes, Fielder went into the store.  He looked everywhere but saw no sign of Francine or Katherine.  But he did find a second entry into the shop.  He knew that Francine would not have left without getting him, so he searched the store's bathrooms and storage rooms for either woman.  Finally, he came to the small room in the back where Francine's unconscious body lay in the dark.  As he pushed the door open it bumped into her form and she groaned.  He rushed into the room and helped her up.  Fighting the after effects of the drug, she held her head and demanded, "Where is she?  Where's Katherine?"

"I don't know.  I came in to find you guys, and noticed a back door out of the store.  She could've been gone for up to twenty-five minutes now."

"Great, just great."  The two agents headed to the front desk and after flashing their id badges, started placing phone calls, the first to Billy, the second to Lee's apartment.  When they didn't get an answer at Lee's they called Amanda's.  A very sleepy Lee answered the phone.

"Hello."  He gruffly moaned into the phone.

"Lee?  Is that you?  What are you doing at Amanda's?  Never mind.  Listen, we've got trouble, lots of it."  Francine went on to explain what had happened to the best of her ability and told Lee that Billy was already on his way to campus with a team.

"Alright, Amanda and I will be there in half an hour."  He hung up the phone and reached over to the still body lying next to him.  As he brushed a strand of hair from her face she stirred.

"Katherine?"  She asked with pain in her voice.

"Yeah.  We gotta go back to the school.  Come on beautiful, let's get moving."  Together, they climbed out of bed and got dressed.

When they arrived at Katherine's dorm room, it was sealed off and a team of agents was scouring it for clues.  They didn't really expect to find any.  The bookshop had also been searched to no avail.  It was as if she had disappeared off the face of the planet.  Lee approached Billy with a question.  "What about her phone records?  I heard the phone ring twice last night after her study date, but I couldn't hear what was said through the door."

"You know she wouldn't allow us to put a tap on the line, but I can have the phone company pull the records to see where the calls came from."  With that the section chief strode off down the hall to use the dorm administrator's phone.

"Lee?"  Amanda leaned close to him so that they wouldn't be overheard by the throng of students seeking to find out what was happening.  "What if she knew him?  If she was expecting to meet someone at the store and it was someone she trusted, she'd go with him without a fight."

"Someone like Vince Alberts, maybe?"

"Exactly my thought.  Maybe he's finally made the move that we can use to catch him.  Now if he'd only make a demand of some type, so we'd know what it is he wants."

Just then Billy returned.  He didn't look very happy.  "Well, the first call she received was at 8:55 and came from a dorm room at Cooke's Academy.  It was the guy she met at the library."

"He probably wanted to make sure she made it home okay.  He was very concerned about her last night, you could see it in his body language."  Amanda pointed out.

"You're probably right.  The next call at 9:52, unfortunately, came from a pay phone located in the school's main hall.  So it could've been anybody.  And she made no outgoing calls last night."

Lee and Amanda spent the next few minutes telling Billy their thoughts about Alberts and how he could've gotten her to leave voluntarily with him.  Billy agreed.

Lee asked about the guard posted on Alberts by the Agency.  "What happened to Agent Phelps?  He was supposed to be tailing Alberts this morning."

"Fielder found him unconscious in his car outside the bookshop.  Chloroform again."

"Oh, so much for that lead."  Lee was glad the agent would be okay, but discouraged by the lack of useful information.  "Okay then, we need to track down Alberts."  Lee stated matter-of-factly.  "How hard can it be?  Where does he live?"

"He has an apartment not far from here," Amanda responded and they were gone in seconds.

When they arrived at the apartment they were not surprised he wasn't home.  They let themselves in to see if they could find anything useful.  What they found was enough to scare both of them.

"This guy is certifiable!"  Lee was dumbfounded as he looked around the small office located off the living area of the apartment.  Every inch of wall space was covered by posters, bumper stickers, and other paraphernalia pertaining to Senator Williams's political campaigns.  There were pictures of the senator and Katherine together, some just of the senator, and some
of the senator with various supporters.

"Oh my gosh Lee, it's not Katherine he's after at all."  Amanda turned on her heel and flew out of the apartment.  Lee had to run to keep up.  When he reached the car, she already had the engine running.  She started down the road before he even got his door closed all the way.

"Amanda, darling, I love it when you get these bursts of inspiration, but would you mind sharing it with me?"

"Don't you see?  Somehow, he thinks she is to blame for the senator's recent drop in the polls."

"Isn't that stretching it a bit, even for a psycho like Alberts?"

"Obviously not."

After a few minutes of break neck driving, they arrived at the home of Senator Williams.  The silver corvette pulled abruptly in behind the compact escort that bore half a dozen Senator Williams bumper stickers.  "I hope we're not too late," Amanda said in a low voice while climbing out from behind the wheel.  Lee had called for backup enroute, but so far they were alone.  They ran into the foyer of the large home with guns drawn.

Angry voices drifted into the entryway from a den to the right of a large staircase.  The double doors into the office were pushed to, but not closed completely.  Lee and Amanda took up positions on either side of the fine wood doors and counted down.  At three, they entered the room, guns first.

Before them stood Vince Alberts with a gun pointed at Katherine's side.  She had tears in her eyes, but she was quiet.  Senator Williams was behind his desk, also standing and obviously trying to reason with Alberts.  At the rush of noise from the back of the room, Alberts turned while holding Katherine next to him.  When the agents appeared, he gripped her arm tighter.  "You have no business here!"  He stated emphatically.  "This is a family matter."

"Why don't you tell us what's going on Vince?  Maybe we can help?" Amanda tried to placate the disturbed man while hoping that their back up would arrive soon.

"I told you, this doesn't concern you.  If this little tramp won't stop screwing every warm blooded male she meets, then I'll just have to get rid of her."

Amanda, still trying desperately to buy time, both for Katherine and for the agency teams, tried to keep him talking.  "Vince, what difference does it make if she likes to date different men?"

"Are you kidding?  Don't you know who the senator's strongest backers are?  They're bible thumping right wingers, and he's falling in the polls because he can't control his daughter.  She doesn't seem to care about his career, so I've taken matters into my own hands.  I'll teach her to keep her knees together."

Lee and Amanda exchanged brief but worried glances.  Not only were they running out of time, but this guy was absolutely nuts.

"Do you think it will help the senator's standings if you kill his daughter?  He's the one who hired you."  Lee tried to use a small point of logic to get through to the mad man.

This seemed to confuse Alberts for a minute.  He adjusted his hold on Katherine while he pondered this new argument.  No, it hadn't occurred to him that the senator might be blamed for this incident.  Finally, he said, "That's crazy, who would fault the senator for my actions?"  He didn't realize the irony of his statement.  However, his momentary loss of control was enough.  While he was shifting his grip on Katherine, the senator had a chance to pull his own weapon from his desk drawer.  Since he was behind Alberts, the guard had no idea that there was now another gun aimed at him.

When Lee saw this, he tried to signal the senator to put it down.  He didn't want a shoot out to ensue with Katherine in the middle of the room, being held by an insane man.  He might even use her as a shield.  The senator either didn't see his signal or chose to ignore it because the next sound in the room was that of his gun being cocked.  Alberts started to turn around, but before he could complete the turn, the senator had fired.

Unfortunately, he was a bad aim and only nicked Alberts' arm.  Amanda saw this and since she had a clear shot, she took it.  She fired her weapon into the still turning form of Vince Alberts and caught him in the chest.  As the bullet hit him, his right hand was pulling the trigger of his own gun.  Because of the impact of Amanda's bullet however, he jerked and the shot completely missed Katherine.

Vince Alberts fell to the floor.  Katherine rushed to her father.  Amanda rushed to Alberts' body and after removing the weapon from his hand, checked for a pulse.  She found none.  Lee had gone outside just in time to see the first agency sedan pull up.  He yelled for them to get an ambulance and went back in to help Amanda.

That afternoon at the agency, Lee and Amanda sat silently in Billy's office waiting for him to return from meeting with the internal review board.  They had both given their statements along with those taken from the senator and Katherine.  Lee looked at his wife and saw how tired she appeared.  "You know they'll call it justified homicide sweetie.  You didn't have any
choice.  He was going to shoot Katherine and you had a clear shot."

"I know.  Actually, I'm okay about it.  Not that it's something I enjoyed doing, or would look forward to doing again, but I really am okay.  I did what I had to do to save her life and I would do it again under the same circumstances.  It's not that."

"What's wrong then?"  Now he was really worried about her.  He thought he knew what the problem had been, but now he was clueless again.

"I just feel so bad for that girl.  She's lost so much already in her short life, and now to have to deal with this.  Almost getting killed by a mad man because she was too easy?  That's just too much."

"The really ironic thing is that she isn't, easy I mean."

"What?  How would you know that?"

"Well, while you were in giving your statement to the board, I watched her debriefing through the double mirror.  She said that she does date a lot of different men, but that she hasn't slept with any of them.  She was hooked up to the polygraph at the time.  She was telling the truth."

As Amanda sat absorbing this new tidbit of information, Francine and Billy walked in.  They both looked relieved.  "Amanda, you'll be happy to know that the board has concluded you acted in the only means available to you.  There will be no suspension.  And, as a bonus for all the fine work you two did on this case, I'm taking you both off the active duty roster until
Monday.  Have a very nice, very long weekend."  He grinned knowingly at them from behind Francine's back."

"Thank you sir!"  "Thanks Billy!" came the immediate replies in unison.  They both started to stand up to leave when Francine stopped them by standing in front of the door.

"Oh no you don't.  I have a question, and I want an answer."  She looked so serious that the other three people in the room almost laughed aloud.

"What is it Francine?" Amanda asked mildly interested.

"I want to know what Lee was doing answering your phone," she pointed directly at Amanda, "in a clearly sleepy voice after you two had been out working until late the night before."

"Oh Francine, is that all?" Amanda almost smiled at the simplistic lie she was about to tell.  "Lee came home with me after our shift with Katherine was over."


"Yes, we went to my house to read over the files again and try to figure out how to pin down Alberts.  We finally fell asleep around 4 or so in the morning.  Lee was asleep on the couch when the phone rang.  I was upstairs, in my room, alone.  Satisfied?"

"Not really, but I guess it will have to do."  As she let them pass her and move through the door, she turned back toward Billy who was barely containing himself.  "What's so funny?"

"Nothing Francine, not a thing," he said as he gestured her out of his office.  Once the door closed behind her, she heard him burst out laughing.  She looked over toward the elevator and saw Lee and Amanda huddled close together and smiling.  Something was definitely going on there.

"You know, Mrs. Stetson," Lee whispered conspiratorially into Amanda's ear while they waited for the elevator, "you are getting pretty good at this sneaking around business."

"Enough of that.  Do you want to come back to my place and "read some more files"?" She asked him with a devilish grin.

"I don't know, I'm tired of sleeping on the couch!"  She playfully punched him in the arm as the doors to the elevator opened and they entered, kissing once the doors concealed them again.

The End