Goodbye Lee

Author: Carolyn

Rating: PG 13

Summary: Amanda has to be strong after Lee disappears.

Timeline:  After they were married but just before they told the family.  Everyone thought that they were just dating.

Disclaimer:  The main characters belong to Shoot the Moon and Warner Brother Production.   The story is my creation.

It is a rainy night and the streets are empty. Alone car pulls up infront of an old warehouse.   There are three men in the car and one of them is on the phone.

“Don’t worry, Billy, I’ve the micro dot in a safe place and I’m the only one who knows where it is.”

“Lee, we need that information before we can start Operation Shut Down.  Need I remind you this is Dr. Smiths pet project.  If he even thinks it is having problems he will skin me and you alive.”

“I know.  I have one more contact to meet and then I’m on my way home.”

“Keep me posted.”

“Sure.”  Lee smiled and then added, “How’s Amanda holding up.   It’s been over a month and not a word from me,  she must be going nuts.”

“She’s been trying to get information from me.  I wish I could tell her something.  She tried to use Francine’s code again but she was shut out.  Talk about mad.”  Billy smiled.

“Tell I was thinking about her.”  Lee said knowing full well that Billy couldn’t.

“I let her know you kept your check in.”  That was the best he could do.

“Talk to you later.”  Lee said.

“Watch your back.”  Billy closed off.  Lee had become careful since Amanda had become his partner.

 “Scarecrow, are you sure you want to go in alone?”

“I know the Baron for a long time.  It’ll be a quick meeting and I will be right out.”

“Still it could be a set up.”

Lee got out of the car and checked his gun.  He had known the Baron for about 10 years and he had never worried about a meeting.  Still this time he had an uneasy feeling.   Lee walked carefully up to the entrance of the building.  He opened the door and went in.  It was dark and he stopped to give his eyes time to adjust to the change in lighting.  He slowly walked around the building and then he saw the Baron.  He signaled but there was no response.  Lee walk closer, still no movement.  When he was close enough he could see that the Baron was dead.  There was a knife holding a note to his chest that read “BOOM, YOUR DEAD.”   Then everything went black.

Outside the two agents watched as the building exploded.  They raced about the building to see if Lee had exited another way.  They didn’t find him.
Amanda was working in the Q-Bureau alone.  Lee had been gone for almost five weeks and she really missed him. If only she knew what he was working on or where he was but she knew the routine. Need to know only.  She needed to know but she married not only Lee but the agency too.  She better get used to it.

 She was just finishing up when Billy came into the office.

“Hi, Mr. Melrose, can I do anything for you?  Have you heard from Lee?”

Billy was very quiet.  “Amanda, sit down.”

Amanda’s smile changed.  She knew something was wrong.  She sat in the chair in front of Lee’s desk.  Billy pulled another chair up to her and sat down.  He rubbed his hands together and looked away from Amanda.

“How bad is it, Billy?”

Billy cleared his throat, “I’m sorry, Amanda.  He’s dead.”

Amanda felt the room spin.  When she awoke, she was lying on the couch.  Billy had a cool cloth on her forehead.

“Would you like me to drive you home?”  Billy asked.

“No, I’ll be all right.  How did it happen?”

“The day before yesterday, Lee was working with two other agents and Lee went into a building to meet an informant.  He was in the building 4 or 5 minutes when an explosion happened.  Our agents searched for Lee but with no avail.  I received confirmation today Lee identification, his ISP and his gun.  They were found in the rubble.”

Amanda felt the room beginning to spin but she fought it this time.  She spoke in almost a whisper, “Where is the body?  Or should I ask, is there a body?”

Billy tried to answer but the words stuck in his throat.  All he could do is shake his head.  No. He couldn’t tell her that Lee must have been right on top of the bomb when it went off.   He couldn’t tell her that there wasn’t too much of a body left to identify.

 Amanda stood and walked around to Lee’s chair.  She ran her hand along the back of his chair.  Then she looked at Billy with a determined look.

“He’s not dead.  I can feel it.  I won’t believe it.”

“Amanda, there is one more thing.”  Billy held up his hand and opened it. “Is this Lee’s?” There in his palm was a gold ring.  It matched the one Amanda kept in her purse.  She took the ring and held it tight in her hand.  She didn’t need to examine it.  It was Lee’s.

“Yes.”  Amanda answered.  “I’m sorry we didn’t tell you, Mr. Melrose.  We didn’t tell anyone.  We thought it would be safer for my family.  I wish we had told the world.”  Amanda sat in Lee’s chair and started to cry softly.

“I loved him so much.  How can I go on without him?”  Billy didn’t know what to do.

He hated times like these.  What is there to say?

The telephone rang and Billy was relieved to be interrupted.

“Melrose here.”  Billy answered it.  “Yes, Mrs. Morriston, please send him up.”

“Amanda, I sent for Joe.  He’s on his way up.”

There was a knock on the door and then Joe walked in.  He shook hands with Billy and went straight to Amanda’s side.

“Thanks for calling me, Mr. Melrose.  I’ll take her home.”  He turned to Amanda,  “Let’s go.”

“No, Joe, I have to pick up Jamie after school.  There’s PTA tonight and … Joe, what am I going to tell everyone.  What am I going to do?”

 “Amanda, we’ll take one day at a time.  Carrie and I will be here for you.  You have your mother and the boys.” Amanda interrupted him.

“Oh my gosh, the Colonel.   I need to call him.”  Amanda opened Lee’s phone book and found the number.  She started to dial but stopped.  “How do you tell someone his whole family is gone?”

“Not completely, Amanda.  He has you and the boys.”  Billy tried to help.  “Do you want me to call?”

“I wish you could but, no I have to do it.”  Amanda dialed again.

“Hello, my I speak to Colonel Clayton, this is Amanda King.  Yes, I’ll hold.”

She took a tissue and blotted her eyes, “Hello, Colonel.  I’m not doing so well.  It’s Lee.”

Amanda started to cry.

Billy took the phone from her as Joe tried to comfort her.

“Colonel, this is Billy Melrose.  Yes, that’s right.  I’m sorry to tell you but Lee’s dead.”

“Yes, I will tell her.  Good Bye.”  Billy hung up the phone.

“Amanda, he will be here as soon as he can.”

Amanda thanked Billy & left with Joe.
On the way home, Joe and Amanda stopped and picked up Jamie. He chatted about the science project for the upcoming science fair.  He was sure he would do well with all the stuff that Lee had gotten for him.  He couldn’t wait to show Lee how much he had accomplished on his own.                                                 “When is Lee coming home, mom?”  He asked.

“I’m not sure, sweetheart.”  Amanda answered trying to hold back the tears.

At home Dotty had dinner ready.

“Hi, Amanda, your right on time.  Joe, what a surprise is Carrie with you?”  Dotty stopped,  “Amanda, what’s wrong?  Is it Carrie? Joe, what is it?”

“Mother, boys, please come here and sit down.”  Amanda sat on the armchair leaving the couch for Dotty and the boys.  Joe sat on the arm of Amanda’s chair to lend her support.

“Mother, I don’t know how to tell you. Lee and I have been married for 9 months.”

“That’s great!  Lee’s our step dad.”  The boys shouted but then added, “Why didn’t you tell us sooner?”

Dotty was very quiet.  Then she spoke, “Amanda, since you got that job and started working with Lee; everything is a mystery or a secret.   And now you tell me you two are married!  What possible reason could you have for not telling me?  Amanda, say something!”

Amanda started to cry, “I’m sorry, Mother.”  She got up and ran up the stairs crying.

“What is going on, Joe?”

Joe started to follow Amanda but stopped and turned to Dotty and the boys.

“Lee is dead.”

“NO, NO!”  Jamie yelled.

“Amanda my poor baby,” Dotty followed her daughter up the stairs.

“Dad, I don’t believe it.  How did he die?”  Philip looked at Joe.

“I’m not really sure.”  He didn’t know what to say. He couldn’t tell the boys what  Mr. Melrose had told him.  “You mother is really going to need you both now.  Please behave for her.  I will pick up Carrie and then we will pick up you’re mom’s car.  Do you have the keys?”

Philip got the keys and handed them to Joe.

Jamie hugged Joe, “Why, Lee?”

“I don’t know.” Joe put his hand on his son’s shoulder.

The phone rang and Philip answered it.

“Dad, it’s Mr. Melrose.”

Joe took the phone, “Hello, she’s not doing to well.  I’ll tell her.  Thanks.”

He turned back to Philip, “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Philip said,  “I’ll see if mom needs anything.”

“Can I go with you?”  Jamie asked Joe.

Joe looked at his youngest.  “Philip, tell your mom Jamie is with me.”
The next several days were a blur for Amanda.  She refused believe that Lee was gone even though she had a small memorial service for him.   The Colonel stayed for a few days but he had to get back to his base. She was trying to do what Joe said, take one day at a time and much against Dotty’s wishes Amanda returned to work.
She was going through the mail when Billy came into the office.

“Good morning, Sir,”

“Good morning, Amanda.  Aren’t you back too soon?”

“What is staying home going to do for me?  I need to be working. I want to clean up his office and take care of the paper work.”  She stopped.

“Lee’s not coming back.”  Billy answered.

“I know.  No, I don’t.  Billy, I just don’t believe he’s dead.  I just don’t feel like he is.”

“I know.” In his heart Billy wanted to believe it wasn’t true either.

“I can always tell when he’s in trouble.  He’s in trouble but he’s not dead.  I won’t believe it.”

 Amanda continued, “Billy, I’m not sure how long I will stay on.  I don’t know if I could work with anyone else. There is too much of Lee here.  There is too much of Lee everywhere I look, everywhere I go, everything reminds me of him.  Billy, about our wedding; we really  felt it was better not to tell anyone.  We should have told you.”  Amanda was playing with her wedding band.

Billy smiled, “I thought he would always be a loner. I’m glad you two got together.”

“Billy, I can’t stay here without Lee.”

“I know, Amanda.  You have clearance, I can get you a job at the White House or another agency.  Just let me know where and I will help you.”

“Thank you.”

Billy left and Amanda was alone with her thoughts.  “If only I could find Lee alive but I still don’t know where he died or what he was working on.  I can’t use Lee’s clearance but maybe I’ll talk to Francine when she gets back from her assignment.”   

It was a week before Amanda’s 2nd  wedding anniversary and Lee has been gone almost 4 months.  Billy was in a meeting so Amanda spoke to Francine about resigning.  She decided that she couldn’t work without Lee.

She stopped at the cemetery on the way home from the Agency.  She placed flowers on Lee’s parent’s graves.  There was no grave for Lee.  He didn’t have a funeral because there wasn’t a body. Amanda had a memorial service for Lee to please his friends.  She still didn’t believe he was dead.

Amanda stopped by school to pick up the boys.  She watched them come across the school parking lot.  How Lee enjoyed having them around once he got over being afraid of them.  He would have made a wonderful father.  Jamie had changed quite a bit since Lee’s death.  He was quieter than normal. Philip put up a brave front but he missed Lee just as much as Jamie.

“Hi, Mom.”  Philip climbed into the front of the car.

“Hi, Sweetheart.  How was your day?”  Amanda asked.

“It was cool.  Larry ate a goldfish during lunch and threw up all over the table and Emily.”  Philip was enjoying his friend’s plight.

“Oh, Philip, that’s not funny.”  Amanda frowned.

“You should have been there.  It was great!”

“I was there and it wasn’t so great.”  Jamie was getting into the back seat.  Amanda realized that he hadn’t laughed much since Lee’s death.  She remembered the phone call earlier in the week from Jamie’s teacher.  She shared Mrs. Penn’s concern about him.  They were almost home when Amanda asked, “Jamie, have you finished your project for the science fair yet?”

“I’m not going to be in it.”  Jamie answered.

“Lee got you all that stuff and the equipment and books. He helped you start it; you owe it to him to at least try.” Philip said.

“Why?  He left us.”

Amanda stopped the car in the driveway and turned to Jamie, “He didn’t leave us, sweetheart, he died.”

Jamie got out of the car, “I don’t care.  I hate him; I’ve always hated him.  Him and his stupid ideas; I wish you never met him.” Jamie ran into the house almost knocking Dotty over.

Philip looked worried, “Mom, he didn’t mean it.  We both like Lee at lot.  We wanted you to get married.”

“I know, sweetheart.”  Amanda followed her youngest son into the house.  Jamie was in his bedroom.  He was staring at his project.  “I wanted to smash it but I couldn’t.  Mom, why did he die?

“I don’t know.”  Amanda put her arm around him.  He turned and hugged his mother.  They both were crying.

“I miss Lee.  I’m sorry I was so mean to him when you started to date him.  He really was a great guy.”

“He loved you, too.”  Amanda kissed Jamie on the head.  “Let’s get supper on. OK?”

“Can I work on my science project instead?”   Amanda smiled, “Yes.”

Amanda went down to the kitchen.  Dotty and Philip were waiting there.

“Is he alright, Mom?”  Philip asked.

“Yes, I think he will be fine.  Why don’t you work on your homework until supper is ready?”  Amanda hugged Philip and gave him a kiss.

“Sure, Mom.”  Philip went up stairs.

Dotty looked at Amanda, “The question is; are you alright, Amanda?”

“Yes, I am. I just miss him so much.  You know Lee always wanted to be part of a family.  He never realized that he already was even before we were married.”

As they were about to sit down for dinner there was a knock at the door.  Philip ran to get it.

“Mom, It’s Mr. Melrose.”

Amanda came to the door, “Mr. Melrose, come in; your in time for dinner.”

“Thank you, Amanda, but I don’t have the time.  I need to talk to you about something.”

“If it’s about my letter; I think I’m doing the right thing. I can’t work without Lee.”  She led Billy into the family room.

“Amanda, I understand.  That’s not the reason that I am here.  It’s this report that came across my desk this afternoon.”  Billy held up a manila folder.  He handed it to Amanda.   She opened it and read the first page.  She held her breath and looked at Billy.

“Is this true?”

“Fingerprints don’t lie.”  Billy was grinning, “But we still need to be sure.  I need to send an agent to identify him.”

“I’d be happy to do that, sir.”  Amanda volunteered.

“I thought so.  He’s in Italy.”  Billy smiled.

“Italy?”  Amanda yelled.

Dotty and the boys couldn’t resist any longer and they came running in.

“Is every thing alright, Amanda?”

“Yes, mother.  Go ahead and start without me.”  Amanda waved them back into the dining room.  They resisted but went anyway.  Amanda turned back to Billy, “When do I leave?”

“How long does it take you to pack?  There is an Air Force transport plane leaving this evening for Aviano Air Force base.  A Sergeant Nelson will meet you at the plane in Italy and take you to the hospital where Lee is.  Amanda I’m not sure what shape he is in.  Apparently he has been living on the streets for a while and when he had an appendicitis attack they took him to a hospital.  He didn’t know who he was. They did surgery but the appendix had ruptured and they gave him penicillin.  Lee had a reaction.”

“He’s allergic to penicillin.  He will go into anaphylactic shock.”  Amanda said.

“I know and he did.  Lee was just coming out of surgery when I spoke to Sergeant Nelson. He couldn’t tell me anything else. Amanda, there is one other thing; we need to keep the agency out of this one if we can.  You’re contact will be someone from the American embassy or from Aviano Air Force base.  Just make sure you keep you check-ins.  I will wait for you and drive you to Andrews.”

“I’ll be ready in 5 minutes.”  Amanda got up and handed the report back to Billy.  As she turned to leave Billy took her arm, “Amanda, don’t get your hopes up.  I don’t know how he is or why he never tried to contact us.”

“He will always be my Lee. I’ll be right down.”  Then she called into the dining room, “Mother, will you help me?”

Dotty followed her up the stairs.  When they reached Amanda’s room Amanda turned and grabbed her mother.  She swung her around and then hugged her.  Amanda closed her door, “Mother, Lee is alive.  I’m going to get him.”

Dotty hugged her daughter, “Where is he?”

“In a hospital in Italy, near Venice.”


“Will you take care of the boys?  I’m not sure how long I will be gone.”  Amanda opened her suite case.  “I don’t even know what to pack.”

 Dotty hugged her daughter again, “Don’t worry about the boys I’ll be here.”

“Thanks, Mother.  I’ll tell them about Lee before I leave but I need to hurry.  There is a plane waiting for me at Andrews.”

“At Andrews?  Why not Dulles?” Amanda stopped and looked at Dotty.  Her mother could tell that Amanda was trying to decide what story to tell.

“Mother, you can’t repeat this to anyone.  Lee works for the government.  He is an intelligents operative.”

Dotty’s eyes widen, “You mean a spy?”

“I guess you could say that.”

“Amanda, you don’t have to make up stories to get me to watch the boys.”

Amanda picked up her purse and took out her agency ID.  Dotty took it and gave it a close inspection.  She looked at Amanda and said,  “Amanda, when you told me last year that you were a spy; were telling me the truth?”

“Yes, Mother.”

“I don’t believe it.”

“I’m sorry, Mother.  It just sort of happened but I promise I will tell you the whole story when I----when we get home.  I love you.”  Amanda gave her mother a kiss and a hug and took her suitcase and went down to talk to the boys.

“Just one more minute, Billy.”  She called out as she headed to the table with the boys.

“I have to go away for a little while but I will be back.  I will call you every night.”

Jamie looking worried.

Amanda hugged both her boys, “I’m going to see Lee. They found him in a hospital; he is sick but he’s alive and I’m going to bring him home.”

“Home here?”  Philip asked.

“Yes, home here.”  Jamie added grinning from ear to ear.

“Bye, boys.  Be good for your grandmother.”

She went to the door with Billy, “Bye, Mother.  I love you.”

“Bye, Amanda, be careful.  I love you, too”
It was about 10:00 in the morning when the plane touched down at Aviano Air Force Base in Italy.  As Billy had said Sergeant Nelson was waiting for her.

“Mrs. Stetson?”

“Yes, Sergeant Nelson.”

“I have a car waiting for you.  Would you care for something to eat before we go to the hotel?”

“I would prefer to go straight to the hospital.”  Amanda answered.

“The hotel is across the street from the hospital.  I thought perhaps you would like to freshen up before you see your husband.”  The sergeant picked up her bag and carried it to the car.

“Thank you but I haven’t seen him in over four months.”  Amanda couldn’t wait any longer; if this sergeant didn’t take her soon she might just drive herself.

He put her bag in the back seat and opened the door for Amanda.

“Thank you, Sergeant.”  Amanda got in the front seat.  It wasn’t a very long ride to the hospital and the land was very beautiful.  Someday she would return here with Lee, maybe a second or first honeymoon.

Shortly they pulled up in front a very large building.  The sergeant parked the car and hopped out and opened the door for Amanda.  She followed him to the elevator and they got off on the third floor.

A short dark haired man in a white coat walked up to the sergeant.  They shook hands and exchanged a few words.  Then the sergeant turned to Amanda and said, “Mrs. Stetson, this is Dr. Angelo Boura.  Doctor, this is Mrs. Stetson.”

“Buon giorno, signora.  Your husband is this way.   I lived in your country for many years.  I attended medical school in New York.  I learned english there.  I hope I haven’t forget too much.” He led them down the hall as he spoke.

Amanda really wasn’t interested in small talk with the doctor but she was polite.

“Your english is very good.”

 The doctor smiled, “Thank you.  This is his room.”

 Lee was in a small room. There were several rooms like Lee’s that were on one side of the hall by the nurse’s station.  The doctor spoke to the nurses and they glanced over at Amanda.  He took Lee’s chart and Amanda followed him into Lee’s room.  She walked over to the bed.  Lee was sleeping.  He had several tubes, IV’s and monitors on him.  She took his hand and stroked it.  Amanda expected Lee to wake up but he didn’t. He had lost weight and looked too thin.  Without looking at the doctor Amanda asked, “Is he alright?”

“The nurses informed me that Dr. Gambino was in this morning and found that your husband had, as you say slipped into a coma.  I’m so sorry.  Dr. Gambino will be in later but I don’t think he could tell you anymore then I could.”

Amanda held Lee’s hand tighter.  “Will Lee be alright?”  Amanda asked.

“At this point we do not know.  We can only hope.  Time is what he needs.”

“Doctor, I would like to stay here with my husband just in case he needs me.”  Amanda took off her coat.

“I am sorry but we can not give you a bed but if you care to sleep in the chair, you may.”

A nurse came to get the doctor and the sergeant came into the room.

“Mrs. Stetson, would you care to go to the hotel now?”  He asked.

“I don’t think so.  Could you take my bag and sign me in?  I want to stay with my husband for a while.”

“Yes, ma’am.  Would you care for some lunch before I return to the base?  I will bring it here.”

“That would be nice.  Thank you.” Amanda didn’t realize that she hadn’t really eaten since lunch with Francine the day before.  After the sergeant left to take care of the hotel and lunch, she went to the phone and called Billy.  It was about 7:00 in the evening in Washington and Billy was sitting down to dinner with his family.

“Amanda, is it Lee?  How is he?”

“Mr. Melrose, it’s Lee but I’m afraid he is in a coma.  The doctor doesn’t know how long before he comes out of it.  He’s so thin.”

“Keep me posted and don’t forget your check in’s.  Amanda, we found him and I know he will be fine. Call me if you need anything.”

“Thanks, Billy. Bye.”  Amanda hung up.  She hadn’t said it on the phone but she was worried.  Amanda dialed the phone and it rang a few times and Jamie answered.

“Hi, Mom.  Did you find Lee?”

“Yes, sweetheart.”

“Went are you two coming home?”  He asked.

“As soon as he feels better.  Is your grandmother there?”  Amanda waited while Jamie passed the phone to Philip and he asked the same questions.  Then Dotty got the phone.

“Amanda, how is Lee?”

“He’s in a coma.”  Amanda could feel the tears starting in her eyes.

“He’s going to be fine.  How are you?  You should have someone there with you.  Do you want me to come over there?”

“Mother, I’m fine and there is a very nice sergeant that is here if I need him. The hotel is across the street and the Air Force Base is only about 15 minutes away.  You stay with the boys; I don’t know how long Lee will be in a coma.  I will talk to the doctors about flying him home if he doesn’t come out of it soon.”  Amanda gave her mother the numbers where she could be reached and told her she love her.  She felt alone after she hung up.  The sergeant returned with the key to her room and her lunch.  He gave her a list of phone numbers and told her to call him if she needs anything anytime.  Amanda thanked him and he left.  Now she was alone.
For the next few days Amanda sat by Lee’s bedside and read to him.  She spoke often about the boys and mother.  She chatted about everything she could think of.  What color wallpaper for their living room to what types of flowers they would plant.  She talked about the horses they would have.  All the time being very careful never to mention the agency or anyone associated with it; just as Mr. Melrose had instructed her.
Amanda called the sergeant and asked him for a small CD player with some special CD’s.  One in particular was Pavarotti’s Verdi.  Amanda can still remember how wonderful the evening was with Lee when he took her to the Kennedy for the Verdi festival.  She wanted him so much that night.  I guess that was our first date.  Amanda played music whenever she was in Lee’s room.

As the days passed Amanda became a little disheartened.  She was afraid that Lee would never come out of the coma.  She worried that he would not remember her when he did.  They were so much in love and now that her family knew they could live together in one house.  Maybe they could become normal people.

One afternoon, Amanda went back to her hotel room.  She was tired.  She had been there only four days but it seemed so much longer.  She soaked in a hot bath and had room service bring up her dinner.  She dressed and then called home.  Everyone was doing fine.  The boys couldn’t wait for them to come home.  Dotty worried about her daughter being there alone.  Amanda would once again miss something the boys were doing.  This time it was Jamie’s science fair.  She wished him well.  After she finished speaking to them she started to put on her makeup.  In her bag she found their wedding bands.  She decided to wear hers, after all she was married, then she put Lee’s on her finger.  Lee’s ring was too big and ruff.  Amanda’s was smooth inside not like Lee’s.  There was something stuck to the inside his ring.  Suddenly Amanda realized what it could be.  The microdot that Billy was looking for.  The microdot that Billy didn’t know she knew he was looking for.  Amanda put his ring back in her bag but without the microdot.  She took that and put it in her locket like she did last time.  She never took that off so she couldn’t loose it.

Amanda knew it would be time for one of the doctors to visit Lee and she wanted to be there.  She had met both of the doctors assigned to Lee’s case but she like Dr. Bonura more that Dr. Gambino.  She was sure why, she just did.

After the doctor’s visit, Amanda was afraid to leave Lee alone so she used the phone just out side the room.  She dialed Billy’s number.

“Hello, Billy.  How are you and Franny?”

“Amanda, how is Lee?  Any change?”

“None at all.  He’s still in a coma.  I told Dr. Gambino that I would like to bring Lee home even if he is still in a coma.  He wasn’t very happy with me.  I will talk to Dr. Bonura tomorrow.  On by the way, Billy, I found that gift that you and Franny were looking for; for Mr. Smith’s special day.  I know you sent away for it but it never came.  I know it was the one you were looking for.   I’m sorry but I wanted to do something special for Mr. Smith, too.  It was good talking to you.  Bye.”

Amanda hoped Billy and Francine would understand her message.  She didn’t have her codes straight yet.

 Amanda settled back into her routine.  She told Lee all the things the boys had told her.  She talked about mother and how worried they were about Lee.  Oh, Joe and his wife, Carrie, are having a baby.  Would it be fun if we could too?  Imagine a little Stetson running around.  Amanda smiled.  She would love to have Lee’s baby.

 Amanda turned the CD player on and started to read to Lee.

Amanda fell asleep in the chair and when she awoke it was dark.  Checking her watch she found that it was around 9:00 pm.  That would make it 3:00 in the afternoon back home; the boys would be getting out of school.  She held Lee’s hand for a little while and spoke to him about telling the family the truth about them.  She suddenly remembered something.  Their 2nd wedding anniversary would be in a few days.  She started to cry. Would Lee ever wake up and if he did would he know her?  She went into the restroom to wash her face.  She closed the door.  A few minutes later she heard voices.

It was Dr. Gambino talking to someone.  For a second Amanda thought that they were talking in Russian.  She must still be sleeping.  No, it really was Russian.  She stayed very quiet.  Something was going on.  What were they saying?  She could pick out several of the words.  Lee, information, trouble, injection, dead.  They are planning to kill Lee! As soon as they left, Amanda went to use the phone in the hall.  She called Billy.

“Yes, Amanda?  How is Lee?”

“The same but that’s not why I called.  There is something going on here.”

Billy listened as Amanda told him about the conversation between the doctor and the other man.  When she finished, Billy assured her that as long as Lee was in a coma he was not a threat to them.  Billy said that he would have some local agents put a guard on Lee’s room just in case.  He told Amanda to stay with Lee until they get there.

She went back to the room and waited.

About an hour later an agent reported to her and started a post outside the room.

Amanda pulled her chair closer to the bed and sat there reading to Lee.  She must have fallen asleep because she woke up and it was 3:00 in the morning.  Amanda stepped out side of the room to talk to the agent but he wasn’t there.  In fact the hallway was very quiet-a little too quiet.  Amanda went back to the room to stand guard over Lee.  She wished she carried a gun with her; it would make her feel a little better now.

She heard footsteps in the hallway and they were coming closer and closer.  Amanda hid behind the door with the bedpan.  The only weapon she could find.  The footsteps stopped outside the door.  Suddenly the door opened and someone walked in.  Amanda swung the bedpan and hit the intruder, knocking him out.  She closed the door and turned on the light only to find Lee’s uncle lying on the floor.

“Oh, Colonel!  I’m so sorry.  Let me help you up.  I thought you were someone else.”

Amanda helped the Colonel up and sat him the chair.  He looked at Amanda and smiled.

“I was worried about my nephew but I guess I didn’t have to.  You pack a mean bedpan; I thought all you suits carried were guns.  Who did you think I was?”

Amanda put a cloth with some ice on his head. “I over heard the doctor talking to someone else in Russian.  I think they plan to kill Lee.  I was so scared.  The guard that Billy put on the door is gone.”

“Let them try to touch him, I’ll just hand you the bedpan.”  The colonel laughed.

He became serious. “How is Lee, any better?”

“No, wait how did you know.”  Amanda asked.

“I called you house.  Your mother told me about Lee and where I could find you.  Then I called Mr. Melrose and he filled me with the rest of the details.”

“How did you get here so fast?”

“I’m here as part of a training session at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.  It’s not too far by jet.”  The colonel was holding Lee’s hand while he was talking.  Amanda smiled.

“You know, Amanda, Lee was very sure that I didn’t love him or care about him while he was growing up.  I really did love him.  I just didn’t know how to handle a little boy.”

She put her hand over his and Lee’s.  “I’m sure he knows that now.”

“We better get Lee out of here.”  The colonel said but before they could do anything an orderly came into the room.

“”Fuori! Fuori!” he yelled.

“No, Dr. Boura said I could stay here.”  Amanda said raising her voice.

The door opened and Dr. Gambino walked in.

“What?”  The doctor spoke to the other man in Russian and then turned to Amanda and the colonel and said, “I am sorry that you are here.  I must now kill all three of you.”

“No, you’re not.”  The colonel stepped toward the doctor but the other man already had a gun pointed at him.

“If you shoot that the whole hospital will be here.”  Amanda warned trying to buy some time.

“Don’t worry, my dear lady, I will not shoot you.”  He held up a hypodermic needle, “There is enough in here to kill all three of you.”

“How would you explain three bodies?”  Amanda tried to keep him talking until she could think of something.

“By the time they find you I will be gone.”  The doctor laughed.

Something was happening behind the doctor’s back and Amanda caught sight of it out of the corner of her eye.  Lee had opened his eyes.  He lay there for a few minutes to absorb the situation and then he nodded to Amanda.  She smiled back.  The doctor took a step toward Amanda and Lee pulled on his IV tube causing the whole stand to come crashing to the ground.  Amanda grabbed the bedpan and let the doctor have it right on the head.  In the confusion, the colonel punched the man with the gun sending him and the gun flying.  Amanda grabbed the gun and shouted for everyone to freeze.  Just then the door flew open and the missing agent rushed in.  The colonel took the gun from Amanda and helped the agent with the two men.

“Where have you been?”  Amanda yelled at the agent.

“Locked in the broom closet courtesy of your friendly doctor here.”  He said as he handcuffed the two together.

Amanda went to Lee, “Hi, missed you.”  She kissed him.

Lee smiled, “Missed you, too.  Should I ask what this was all about?”

“Do you remember anything?”  Amanda asked.

“No, what day is it?  Where am I?  What happened?”

“Today is Feb. 10th.  You’re in a hospital in Italy.  You had your appendix out and you were in a coma about a week. You have been missing for four months.  Where have you been?”

“I don’t remember much after I found the Baron in the warehouse.”  Lee took Amanda’s hand and added, “I guess I have some time to catch up on.”

“We have some time to catch up on.”  Amanda corrected him.

“Amanda, you should always carry a bedpan.  You’ve got a mean right.”  The colonel said as he walked back into the room.  “Lee, you were right she is very resourceful.”

“I know.  That one of the reasons I love her.”

The colonel put his arm around Amanda and said, “Me, too.”  He kissed her on the cheek.

The ride home on the plane was very quiet.  Lee slept a lot; he was tired but happy to be going home.

“Your uncle looks good.”  Amanda said.

“He has a pretty good right for an old man.”  Lee laughed.

“I hope you two stay in touch more now.  As a matter of fact I’m going to make sure that you do.”

“You’re right.  It was good seeing him.  By the way I forgot to thank you.”  Lee leaned over and kissed Amanda.

“What for?”  She asked.

“What else, you saved my life again.”  He smiled.

“You’re very welcome.  What did Billy have to say?”

“He would meet us at the airport.”  Lee became serious, “Amanda, I’m not sure about going to your house. Everyone is going to wonder why I’m there.  I still have my apartment and..”

Amanda interrupted, “Lee, we are married.  We belong together.  We are a family now.”

Just then the seatbelt sign came on and the plane started to descend.  After landing they went though customs and were greeted by Billy and Francine.

“Lee, how are you doing?”  Billy hugged Lee and so did Francine.

“Better.”  Lee answered.

Then Billy turned to Amanda, “Do you know how long it took me to figure out your message?  Tomorrow you start learning our coding system.  Understand?”

Amanda smiled, “Yes, sir.”

Billy continued, “So, where is the microdot?”

Lee looked confused, “I forgot about it, it’s in my ring?”

“Ring!  I never looked at the ring.  I gave it to Amanda.”

“When I found it inside the ring, I called you but I was afraid I was being watched and I didn’t know enough of the agency code to send a message to you.  I did the best I could.”

“So where is it?”  Billy asked.

“In my locket.”  She took the locket and handed it to Billy.

“Amanda, thank you.  By the way how did you get clearance to get into the computer?”

“Computer?  What computer?” Amanda tried to innocent.

Lee laughed, “Billy, your not going to win so why don’t you give her a higher clearance?”

Francine laughed, “I’m glad you didn’t use my clearance.”

Billy shook his head, “We’ll talk tomorrow.”

Just then Dotty and the boys spotted them.   They rushed to them everyone talking and hugging and kissing at once.  Dotty turned to Lee and gave him a hug and a kiss, “Lee, welcome to the family.”

Lee smiled, “Thank you.”

“Lee, I won first place in the science fair.  You have to see my project when we get home.”  Jamie smiled at Lee holding up his blue ribbon.

Philip asked, “You are coming home with us, aren’t you.”

Dotty interrupted, “Of course, he is.  Dinner will be ready when we get home.  Lee, I hope you like pot roast.  Amanda’s right you are too thin.  Don’t worry I’ll fatten you up.”  Lee looked worried.

“We have a surprise for your anniversary,” Jamie informed them.

Lee and Amanda just looked at each other.

“I forgot our anniversary.  I’m sorry, Amanda.”  Lee held her close and kissed her.

“Oh I don’t know.”  She teased, “I was hoping for something unforgettable.”

“I don’t think you will ever forget this anniversary.” Billy laughed.

Dotty invited Billy and Francine to dinner but they decline saying they had to get back to the office.

“Well you need to rest so let’s go home, Lee.”

“Billy, I’ll see you tomorrow,” Lee said shaking Billy’s hand.

“Maybe.”  Amanda added.

Lee took Amanda’s arm and kissed her on her cheek.  “Let’s go home.”