A Taste of Honey

Author: Carolyn

Rating: PG

Summary: Lee has to deal with Amanda’s sudden illness and how it affects their lives.

Timeline: About 9 years after they were married.

Disclaimer: The main characters belong to Shoot the Moon and Warner Brothers Productions. The story is my own creation.

Feedback: Yes.

Amanda crossed the kitchen to the toaster; she put the bread in the toaster but she didn’t push the lever down. She was tired this morning and felt like she was in a fog. That was the way she has been feeling lately. She made coffee and plugged the coffee pot in as her mother came into the room.

“How are you feeling today, Amanda?”

“Not to bad, a little tired but a lot better than yesterday.” Amanda tried to act cheerful.

“I don’t know why you don’t try another doctor, Amanda, I don’t want you to give up,” Dotty held Amanda’s hand, “I love you and I worry about you.”

“I know, Mother.”

Amanda poured coffee for her mother and handed her the milk. Dotty just looked at her cup. There was no coffee; it was only hot water. Dotty looked up at Amanda. Her daughter was trying to fight back the tears, “Mother, am I going crazy?”

“No, your not. You’re just tired; maybe you need vitamins.”

“Let me make some coffee before Lee comes down.” Amanda nodded to her mother, as Dotty got busy, “ The twins were up at 6:00 so I fed them. They are in the den watching television; all ready for nursery school.”

“Thanks, Mother, I didn’t even hear them.”

Lee overheard their conversation from the hall. It hurt him to see Amanda like this. The twins’ bust into the kitchen and grabbed Amanda’s legs, almost knocking her over; Lee was at her elbow lending support.

“Careful, this is the kitchen not a playground.” Lee kissed Amanda, “How are you today?”

“I’m feeling a lot better today. I was thinking of coming down to the office…”



“No! Amanda, you need to take some time off. Yesterday you were there only a few hours and you were sick again. I thought we agreed that while I was away you would stay home and take it easy.”

“Lee, I can’t just stay home and do nothing.”

“Why not?” Amanda wanted to argue with Lee but she was too tired.

Lee poured himself some coffee, “Do you want some coffee, Amanda?”

“I would really rather have tea and honey. Larry’s honey is so good; I think I’m addicted. I wish I would have brought home the jar he gave me.”

“Larry?” Dotty asked.

“He’s the janitor at the office, he has his own bee hives.”

“I don’t really care for honey in my tea, I like sugar.” Dotty said. “Sugar & Cream.”

Jamie gabbed a slice of toast and a glass of juice.

“I hope you are having more that toast and juice for breakfast.” Amanda warned.

“I don’t have time for anything else. Philip will leave without me. Besides this isn’t toast its just bread. “ Jamie drank the juice and then turned to Lee and said, “Lee, are you coming to the fencing team tryouts today? Parents are allowed to come.”

Parents are allowed. Lee liked the sound of that. Lee had started taking the boys with him to the gym and teaching them judo and kickboxing. It was just a way to get them closer and it worked. Jamie had wanted to try fencing; so Lee starting teaching him. Jamie was a natural.

“I’ll do my best. “ Lee answered.

“Great, Mom are you going to be there?”

“I’m not sure I can, but I will try.” Lee glanced at Amanda. Unless she was working Amanda never missed anything with the kids. Lee wished she would take sometime off; a vacation until she felt better. There had to be a reason that she was so sick; it can’t be just in her mind. Amanda wasn’t the type. Philip broke his thoughts.

“Hey, Dork, you want a ride to school or do you want to walk?” He was talking to Jamie. He grabbed the last slice of toast from the toaster and took a bite, “Mom, I think you better get this toaster fixed.”

“Philip, don’t call your brother a dork!” Amanda hated that.

“I didn’t mean anything by it. See you later.” They kissed Amanda and Dotty and they left. Lee followed them out to the car.

“Jamie, if we don’t make it this afternoon; well, I want you to know how proud I am of you. I know you will make the team.”

“Sure you will, squirt.” Philip knocked his brother’s books out of his hands.

Lee helped Jamie pick them up, “Will mom ever get better?” he asked.

Lee smiled “Of course she will.” Jamie returned his smile.

The boys got in the car and pulled out of the driveway. Lee waited until they passed the corvette. His car. This was his and nobody drove it except maybe Amanda. Philip would give everything for a chance to drive it, just once. Not in this lifetime.

Lee went back into the house. Amanda was at the sink, washing dishes. Lee came up behind her and dropped his cup into the water. He rapped his arms around Amanda and kissed her neck.

“I’m sorry I was so late last night. I missed you so much, I was hoping we could spend some time together.”

“I was just so tired; I couldn’t wait up.”

“What do you say, after everybody leaves, we go upstairs and….”

She put her arms around him and they kissed.

“When is your next doctors appointment?” Lee asked.

Amanda’s mood changed, “Dr. Lacey wants to see me when I have another attack.”

“You are staying home today?” Lee asked but it seamed like a command.

“I need to finish some paper work at the office.”

“Amanda, I can get someone from the steno pool to do that. You stay home.”

Lee lifted her head with his finger. Her eyes were filling with tears. “Please, I need you to get well.” She nodded, “Alright.”

Their mood was broken by a tornado entering the room. Matthew and Jennifer raced around the room with Dottie trying to tie the ribbons in Jennifer’s hair.

“Matthew doesn’t wear ribbons! Why do I have to?” She demanded.

Lee picked up his daughter and danced around the room. “Because you are my princess and I love you.”

Jennifer smiled; she loved the attention from Lee. She was daddy’s little girl. She gave Lee a hug and a kiss. “I love you, too, Daddy. Alright, Grandma.” She let Dottie tie the ribbons.

Amanda gave Matthew a hug and she kissed him on the top of the head like she always did to Jamie and Philip. “Matthew, behave today.” Lee warned him.

“Aawright.” Then he made a noise like a motorcycle and ran out the door. Jennifer raced after him with Dottie close behind. “I will pick them up after nursery school, Amanda.”

“Thanks, Mother”

Amanda was glad that she names the twins after Lee’s parents. He was so happy thatshe hadsuggested it.

The house was very quiet for a few moments; Amanda looked at Lee and smiled.

“We’re alone. When do you have to be at work?” Lee moved closer and gave her a long kiss. He loved the smell of her perfume and the feel of her close to him.

“I..” The phone interrupted him. Amanda picked it up and handed it to Lee.

It was Francine, “Lee, Billy wants you down here.”

“Last night I told him I would be late this morning.” Lee protested.

"Last night was last night. This morning is different. Your case is going out the window. Dr. Smith has been on the phone with Billy all morning. Billy hasn’t even gotten his coffee, yet.”

Lee took a deep breath. “Tell him I’m on my way.”

He turned to Amanda as he hung up the phone.

“I heard. Do you think you will be able to see Jamie this afternoon?”

“I’ll try. I’ll call you when I know what’s up. Love you. Take it easy today.” He gave her a kiss and grabbed his jacket and was out the door.

Amanda watched as he pulled out of the driveway. He was just as handsome as he was when he first approached her at the train station. Maybe that’s why she helped him; she still can’t believe she did that.

At least he had a lot more patience now than he did in her early years at the agency; of course she is a much better agent now.

Amanda went back to her dishes. She wished the doctors could find something wrong with her. If they could name it or give her some medicine; at least if she knew what was wrong; it would make her life easier. Right now she was sure she was going crazy.

Amanda was getting ready to go to her doctors’ appointment when Lee called. “I’m sorry to bother you. I hope you weren’t sleeping.”

Sleep sounded wonderful but she couldn’t sleep.

“Could you come down for a few minutes? I need something you filed yesterday. I can’t find the file on the Wedgwood House.”

Yesterday, it seemed so far away.

“Amanda, are you alright?” Lee sounded impatience.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I was trying to remember where I put the file. I’ll be right there.”

Amanda walked into the Q-Bureau. It was about the same as when they first started working together. A few more pictures of the family including Lee and the twins and a few new plants, otherwise not much had changed.

She went to the file cabinet and found the file. It was filed under Wood, House Wedge.

She was really loosing it. She changed the name on the file and made a mental note to check everything she filed yesterday. Lee came into the office.

“I’m sorry I missed filed it.”

“Thanks. I would have searched all day for it.”

Amanda had no plans of tell Lee where it was filed.

Lee dropped the file on his desk and took Amanda in his arms.

“I thought Billy needed that file right away.”

“I’ll give it to him soon but right now I have more important things on my mind.” He pulled her close and kissed her as Francine entered the office.

“Oh, I need to get something in the vault, excuse me.” Francine went into the vault and closed the door. Lee and Amanda both knew that the vault wasn’t sound proof; they would have to finish their conversation later.

Amanda made herself a cup of tea and stirred in some of Larry’s honey. It tasted so good. Amanda was typing when she realized how late it had become. She had a doctor’s appointment at noon and didn’t want to tell Lee that it was with a psychiatrist. She finished her tea as she said, “I need to go.”

“Are you alright?” Lee looked up from his computer.

“Yes, I’m fine. I have an appointment. I’ll meet you at the school. Bye.” Amanda was out the door before Lee could stop her.

“Where, with who?” Lee called after her but it was too late.

“Trouble with the little woman?” Francine asked as she came out of the vault. He ignored her remark. At one time it might have bothered him but not now. He no longer cared what she thought about Amanda or him or them.

“Tell Billy I’ll be back later.” Lee called back as he ran out of the office.

Lee was down the stair and out the door. His mind was racing. What appointment? With what doctor? She knew I wanted to go with her. He jumped into his car and raced to catch up with her. He cursed that there was so much traffic today; yet maybe she wouldn’t spot him with all this traffic. He felt bad following her but he loved her and wanted to take care of her. He remembered something she said to him, ‘When someone I care about hurts, I hurt’. Now he really understood what that meant.

Amanda pulled her car into the hospital parking lot. Lee parked in the lot across the street. He raced to the hospital just in time to see that Amanda was the only one on the elevator. He watched to see what floor it stopped on. Five. Lee took to the stairs taking them two at a time. When he reached the 5th floor, Amanda was nowhere in sight. He went to the receptionist’s desk and told her was to pick up his wife but forgot the doctor’s name.

The young girl smiled, “What’s your wife’s name?”

“Amanda Stetson.”

“Oh, yes. Her appointment is with Dr. Harris at 12:15. Second door to your left, room 523”

“Thank You.” Lee walked down the hall. When he reached the office, he stopped at the door. ‘Dr. Michael Harris, Psychiatrist’.

Lee walked into the doctor’s office. Amanda was sitting in the corner filling out a paper. She didn’t look up when he walked in. Lee crossed the room to her. She looked at him and he knew she had been crying. Lee took her hand and sat next to her. She laid her head on his shoulder and he put his arm around her.

“You followed me.” She said after a few minutes of silence.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were coming here?”

“I didn’t want to worry you any more.”

“Amanda, you have to remember that whatever happens to you happens to me.”

He lifted her chin with his finger and wiped away the tear on her cheek. “I love you.”

“Amanda Stetson.” The nurse called her in. Lee waited for her for what seemed to be an eternity. He remembered the report that he left on his desk and hoped Billy would understand.

Amanda came out of the doctor’s office and made another appointment. Lee stood and walked over to her. He put his arms around her and they walked out of the office in silence. When they reached her car Lee took her keys and unlocked the door for her.

“Lee, thank you for coming.” She fell into his arms and he held her close, he wished he could make her feel better.

“Why don’t I talk to Billy, maybe we could take a vacation. Just the two of us.”

“That would be nice.” She said. Lee could feel the dampness through his shirt and he didn’t need to look at her to know she was crying. “I think I’ll go home and take a nap before Jamie’s tryouts.”

“Want me to drive you home?” Lee asked.

“No, I’ll be alright.” She stepped back as he opened the car door. She sat down and he closed the door. He bend down and kissed her as she opened the car window.

“I’ll see you later.” He said as she started the car and drove away.

Lee walked into the agency. Mrs. Moriston handed him his ID and said:

“Mr. Stetson, Mr. Melrose has been looking for you.”

“Thanks.” Lee took the stairs two at a time to the Q-bureau and he grabbed the report that was still sitting on his desk where he threw it several hours earlier. As he stepped off the elevator Francine was coming out of the bullpen.

“He’s on the warpath.” She started but Billy interrupted her.

“Where have you been?” He shouted. “My office NOW!”

Lee followed Billy to his office with Francine at his heals. Billy opened the door and Lee walked in. Billy grabbed the report from Lee and handed it to Francine, “Take care of this.” He ordered and slammed the door.Francine had to step back otherwise it would have hit her. Billy walked around his desk as Lee stood in front of it. Neither spoke for a few minutes and then Billy said “Well?”

Lee didn’t say anything.

“Lee, I’m waiting for an explanation. Where have you been?”

Lee paced the room not sure of what he should say. He was wrong but he needed to know about Amanda. Lee looked out Billy’s window at the activity in the bullpen. This made Billy even madder and he closed the blinds. Lee ran his fingers through his hair.

“I’m sorry.”

He knew it wasn’t what Billy was waiting to hear but it was all he could think of.

“I’m sorry? I’M SORRY???” Billy shouted. He slammed his fist on his desk and Lee jumped.

“Is that all you have to say? Dr. Smyth has been on the phone every ten minutes looking for that report. What should I have said, ‘I’m sorry but Scarecrow went for a ride. He should be back soon’?”

Lee took a deep breath and flopped on the couch. He was trying to fight back his tears. He rubbed his hands together and looked at Billy.

“Amanda had a doctor’s appointment and she didn’t tell me. I followed her. Billy, it was with a psychiatrist. She so depressed, I had to be with her. I forgot about the report.” Lee stood up, “Billy I needed to be with her.”

Billy sat in his chair. He was quiet for a few minutes before he started to speak.

“Lee, you should have told me.”

“I didn’t know she was going there. Billy, I don’t know what to do. What if she doesn’t get any better? I can’t loose her.”

Billy looked at his top agent. The loner, the playboy, the independent man that he had work with when he was first assigned to DC was gone. In its place was a loving husband and a devoted father. Lee had become very dependent on Amanda and her love. He had never need anyone including his uncle, his only relative until that faithful day when he handed a package to a young mother, Amanda. Why Lee choose her Billy often wondered. He was sure that fate had played a role in it.

Lee wiped a tear from his eye as a knock at Billy’s door interrupted their silence.

“Excuse me, Billy. Dr. Smyth is on line…” She stopped when she saw Lee.

“Tell him I’ll call back in a few minutes.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Lee, you have to be strong for Amanda. Don’t let her see how worried you are.”

“Billy, it’s been over three weeks and she’s worst then ever. The doctors are at a loss. They have no idea what it is. I feel so helpless.”

“Lee..” The phone interrupted him. “What?” Billy yelled as he picked it up.

“Tell him, I’m in the john, I died, or what ever. Just hold all my calls.” Billy slammed the receiver down. He walked over to Lee and sat next to him.

“Lee, I put you and Amanda together but I never dreamed it would go this far. I was very happy that you found someone to love.”

“She’s been the greatest thing in my life. I couldn’t imagine going on without her.”

“You can’t think that way. She’s strong. Don’t let her give up.”

“I was thinking of taking some time off. Take her away somewhere to relax.”

“Lee, take all the time you need.”

Lee stood and shook hands with Billy. “Thank you.”

Billy opened the blinds and watched Lee run out of the bullpen.

Francine opened his door. “If you asked me what I would like in the whole world; I would like to have someone love me half as much as he loves Amanda.”

Billy agreed.

“Oh, Dr. Smyth is on line two. He said that unless you have a second job you better pick up now.”

Lee met Amanda at the school; he could tell she wasn’t feeling well.Jamie was overjoyed to see them both there and he was just as excited to find out he made the first squad. After the tryouts Lee drove Amanda home, she went straight to bed. Lee called the doctor but Amanda didn’t want to go. She didn’t come down to dinner.

Lee went though the motions of eating. The kids jabbered about school and what was going on this weekend. Jamie had a date to go to the movies with Melissa. Philip asked Lee to take him shopping for a tux for prom. Philip told Lee that the corvette would be a perfect car to take to prom. Jamie laughed and so did Lee.

Dottie took the twins upstairs to get ready for bed. Jamie and Philip cleaned the kitchen for their grandmother. Lee helped.

“Lee, should we see if Mom wants something.” Jamie asked.

“I’ll check on her in a few minutes.” Lee answered.

“OK, goodnight, Lee” Jamie hugged him and went up to bed.

“Lee, can I call my dad?” Philip asked, “I want to tell him about Jamie and Mom. I know he would want to know.”

Lee nodded, “Go ahead. Tell him…” Lee stopped, “Tell him she’ll be fine.”

Philip looked at Lee, “Will she?”

“I don’t know.” Lee wanted to lie but he couldn’t. Amanda hated lying.

The next morning was about the same. Amanda felt better but not great. Lee told her to stay home and to his amazement she agreed. She was tired. She was too tired to argue. She wanted to get well. Dottie told Lee to go to work; she would be home all day.

Lee was finishing some paper work when Francine came in. They greeted each other and she went into the vault. When she came out she said, “Lee, about the other day, I’m sorry I didn’t mean anything by it.”

Lee nodded, “Force of habit.”

Francine start to say something but Lee continued, “It’s alright. I think if you spend less time criticizing Amanda and give her a chance, I think you two could almost like each other. You would be surprised to find out what a good friend she could be.”

“I do consider her my friend. I must admit one thing; she makes you very happy; I like that. And she has become a pretty good agent. If you tell her any of this I will deny it.”

Lee smiled.

“Lee, would you mind if I used Amanda’s desk for a little while. I hate to work in the vault.”

“No, go right ahead. Want a cup of coffee?”

“No, I’ve had your coffee but could I have some tea?”

Lee made her a cup. “How about some honey?”

“Sure, why not.

They were working for a while when the phone rang. It was Dottie.

“Amanda is sick again. This was the worst I have seen her. I all ready call Dr. Lacey and ambulance is on its way. You should meet us at the hospital.”

“OK. I’m on my way,” Lee put the phone down and took a deep breath. He ran his fingers through his hair.

Francine looked up from the computer, “Lee, is everything all right?”

“They’re taking Amanda to the hospital. She’s really bad this time. Tell Billy I’ll call him later.” He grabbed his jacket and was out the door. Francine followed him to the top of the stairs, “Call me and let me know how she is.”

Lee got to the hospital just after the ambulance and he went straight to the emergency room. Dr. Yarns and Dr. Lacey were examining Amanda and the nurse made Lee wait outside.

He found Dottie in the waiting room. She was crying. Lee put his arms around her.

Neither one said anything for a while. Then Dottie said, “Lee, she passed out. I found her on the floor in the bathroom. I was outside with the twins. I don’t know if she called me and I didn’t hear her. I thought she was in her room sleeping.”

Lee just held her tighter. He couldn’t say anything to comfort her because he was trying not to cry.

Dr. Yarns and Dr. Lacey came into the waiting room.

“Amanda is resting. We gave her something to make her sleep. Go home I will call you if there is any change, there is nothing you can do here.”

“I’m not going anywhere until I know why she is sick!” Lee shouted.

“Lee, we are going to do some tests. We will not allow her to leave here until we have the answers. I promise, we will find out what is making her sick. Right now there is nothing you can do, so go home.”

“Take good care of her, you hear me!” Lee shouted.

Lee took Dottie’s arm. They walked out of the hospital. “Do you need a ride?”

“No, I have my car. I need to pick up the twins at the babysitters.”

“I’ll be at the office if you need me.” Lee looked at Dottie and added, “She’ll be alright.”

“I know, Lee”

Lee didn’t go to the office; instead he drove around for a while. Somehow he found that he was at the cemetery. He walked over to his parent’s graves. Lee started to speak, “Amanda told me one time that when she really misses her father she talks to him. It makes her feel like he’s still with her. So I thought I would try it. Mom, Dad you know my wife, Amanda, she need help right now. Help I can’t give her. I need you to keep an eye on her. Stay with her please.” It didn’t make him feel better.

Lee stopped at the hospital on the way home. There was no change in Amanda.She was half awake and she was talking about times before they were married. She talked about the boys as if they were 8 & 10 again.

Lee sat on the edge of the bed, holding her hand. “Amanda, I need you to get well. I’m lost with out you.”

Amanda smiled, “Lee, everyone on the train had a red had. I’m sorry I didn’t know what to do.”

Then she fell asleep. Lee went home.

Lee parked in the driveway and walked around the back of the house. He knew Amanda wasn’t in the kitchen but he glanced in the window anyway. He loved to watch her with her family. For a long time before he admitted his feelings for her, he would find himself outside her kitchen window. He didn’t know why but he liked to watch her with the boys. She gave them so much love. He never knew that kind of family life. He only knew that he wanted to be part of it. Sometimes he would watch for a while and leave. Sometimes he would make an excuse to talk to her, always saying it was Billy’s idea.

He knew he couldn’t live without her; she was his world. She was everything to him. How he has wished that he hadn’t tried to fight his feelings for her from the start. He hated himself for giving her such a hard time when they first started together. He should have had more patience with her. He knew his words hurt her sometimes, no most of the time. It was probably good that she didn’t know how to ‘hit’ otherwise he would have a black eye all of the time. She always forgave him no matter what he said or did.

“DAM IT!!!!”

He repeated it as he punched the door, then he punched again but the third time he hit the glass. It gave way cutting his hand. Lee stepped back into the side of the house. He let his body slide down the wall until he was sitting on the ground. Lee started to cry. He couldn’t hold it back anymore.

“Lee, what happened?” Dottie came running out of the kitchen. She didn’t really need to ask when she saw his bloody hand and the broken glass.

Jamie and Philip were right behind her. “What happened?” they asked.

“Lee, come inside.”

He just shook his head, “I can’t help her. I don’t know what to do. I need her.”

“Come inside, I’ll get the first aid kit. Let me take care of that.”

The boys helped Lee up. Dottie asked them to clean up the glass. She took Lee into the kitchen.

She grabbed a towel and wrapped his hand in it. She went to get the first aid kit.

Lee looked at the glass and shook his head. “That was stupid.” He said aloud as Dottie came back into the kitchen. She put the kit on the table and told Lee to sit down. She took his hand and started to work. Dottie looked at Lee. “We are all allowed to do stupid things once and in a while. Lee, she’ll be all right. I know”

“She has to be; I can’t do it without her.” He blinked his eyes trying to hold back the tears. Dottie cleaned Lee’s hand and bandaged it.

Jamie & Philip had cleaned up the glass and she told the boys to go and finish their homework she wanted to talk to Lee.

“Most of it’s done, Grandma.” Jamie answered.

“I’m done and I’m going to bed.” Philip answered.

“Good Night, Grandma, Lee.” They hugged and kissed their grandmother. The boys started to leave but stopped.

Jamie said, “Lee, we just want you to know that we’re glad the you married mom.”

“Yea, You’ve been a pretty good dad for someone without experience.” Philip laughed.

They both hugged Lee and he returned the hug. Dottie was pleased that they had gotten so close.

“Good night, guys.”

“Good night, Lee.”

Lee felt like a dad to the boys and he liked it, a lot. He had a hard time remembering that they weren’t his. “Philip, I’ve been doing some serious thinking. Provided we practice your driving, I think you might old enough to drive the corvette. Sometime.”

“You mean I can take it to prom?”

Lee nodded, “Yes, but if there is as much as a scratch…” He didn’t finish; even if he did Philip wouldn’t have heard.

“Alright!! ALL RIGHT!!!!!! Thanks, Lee.” Philip hugged him and took off out of the room.

Dottie smiled. Lee turned out to be quite a son-in-law. Amanda was happier than she had ever been with Joe. I guess you could say that Lee was Amanda’s soul mate.

He was really good with the boys: he loved them like a father. Not because he had to but because he wanted to.

“I just made some tea, let me get you a cup.”

“Thanks.” Lee was pacing the kitchen and getting into Dottie’s way.

“Lee, sit. How was Amanda, tonight?”

“She was slipping in & out of reality. She wants me to remind you to bake a cake for the boys little league bake sale.”

“Oh, no.” Dotty tried to hold back the tears.

Lee felt helpless.

“Lee, have some honey in your tea. Amanda loves it.”

Lee put some in his tea. He took a sip but it was to hot. The doorbell rang. Dotty went to answer it. It was Billy.

“Mr. Melrose, you are just in time for tea. Sit down I’ll get you a cup.

“Sugar or honey?”

“Honey’s fine.” Lee passed him the honey. Billy stirred some in. “How’s Amanda?

“She’s not good, Billy. They have sedated her so she will get the rest she needs. She’s not coming home until they find something.” Lee sounded so down.

“What happened to your hand?” Billy asked.

“Nothing,” Lee answered.

Dotty pointed to the broken glass on the door. Billy nodded.

“Lee, I just dropped Francine at her place. She got very sick this afternoon. Dr. Yarns said she had the same symptoms as Amanda. We checked what she did today. I understand she was up in the Q-Bureau for a while. Did she do anything unusual?”

“No, she was in the vault and then she did some work at Amanda’s desk. How is Francine now?”

“She’s better.”

“Billy, there has to be something in the Q-Bureau.”

Billy shook his head,“No, we went over it with a fine tooth comb. There is nothing there.”

“Don’t forget, Lee, today Amanda is the sickest she has been and she never went to the office.” Dotty added, “She never went out of the house.”

“That right, Lee. Anyway you haven’t gotten sick and you’ve been there all the time. What did they both do that you didn’t?”

Lee was looking at the bottle of honey, his eyes widen. “They both had tea with honey.”

Lee said half to himself and half to Billy. He grabbed Billy’s arm as he started to drink. The hot tea spilled on the table. Billy jumped up, “Lee, what are you doing?”

“Francine used the honey today. Amanda’s been using it for about two or three weeks now.Mom, when did Amanda bring this home?” Lee held up the bottle of honey. Remembering the bottle that was on Amanda’s desk this morning, the one that Francine used.

“Oh, she didn’t. Larry dropped it off this morning; he said he knew she loved the honey and he hopped it would make her feel better. She almost drank a whole pot of tea today.”

“What about you?” Lee asked, “Did you have tea?”

“I had tea.” Dotty put the pot on the stove and then added, “But without the honey. I don’t like honey in my tea.”

Billy and Lee stared at each other and then at the bottle of honey that Lee was holding. They each pulled out their cell phones and dialed; they started barking orders.

Lee took his cup and poured his tea down the drain. Then he grabbed the bottle of honey and started to the door. “I’ve got the lab guys starting on the contents of the other bottle. I get them on this one too. Then I have some questions for Larry.”

Billy hung up his phone. “ Larry didn’t show up tonight. I’ve got a team on their way to his apartment.” Lee stopped dead in his tracks.

“Apartment??? How can you have bee hives in an apartment?”

Billy looked confused. “What?”

“Larry told Amanda he had his own hives.”

“I’ll meet you at the agency.” With that Lee ran out the back door and Billy out the front.

Dottie stood there in the kitchen alone. She had no idea what just happened. No wonder her daughter was sick. This business was crazy.

Lee was pacing Billy’s office. It was right in front of their noses all along. Why didn’t he see it?

Billy came into the office. “Got him! He was at the airport on his way back to Russia.”

“Who is he? Why, did he try to kill Amanda?”

“He’s not talking. But we found this on him.” It was a picture of a woman and a little boy. On the back there was a name. Dorksey Pavorwich and Mastha Pavorwich.

Billy looked at Lee, “Ring a bell?”

“Wasn’t that one of the first cases I worked on. I stopped him from trying to kill half of Washington with that chemical he wanted to spray over DC. Who is the woman in the picture?” Lee asked.

“That was his mother.” Larry was standing in the doorway to Billy’s office. He had guards of both sides of him.

“Why did you try to kill Amanda?” Lee tried to get close to him but Billy blocked his path.

“You killed her.” Larry answered coldly.

“How could I have killed her?” Billy was now holding Lee back, “I didn’t even know her?”

“You killed her only child. She died of a broken heart. She couldn’t live without her son. You killed my love and yours will die soon. And I will too, I’m afraid.” He fell limp in the arms of the guards. Lee felt for a pulse, there was none. They carried him out.

“Great, now what!” Lee wanted to hit something but his hand still hurt.

“Search him and his bags for anything.” Billy yelled after the guards.

“I believe Larry is Lawrsky Torsta, he was a chemist working for the Russians but too many of his experiments went wrong. I think he accidentally killed one of the KGB’s top agents. I heard he was on the KGB hit list and then he disappeared. I thought he was dead, I guess he was in hiding.” Fred Fielder said looking up from his computer.

Dr. Thomas from the lab came running into the bullpen followed by a few other doctors.

“Mr. Melrose, Mr. Melrose, I got it.” He stopped to take a breath.

“It’s k644. It’s Russian. It’s a slow acting poison. It has no taste or odor and it doesn’t change the color of what ever you mix it with. It’s almost impossible to pick it up in a blood test. It really doesn’t work; I’m surprised they used it. It is still listed as experimental-although I have heard that they dumped it. .”

“What about an antidote?” Lee hollered.

Thomas looked at Lee and continued, “The problem with it is the way this chemical is created you can only mix it with certain things. Oh, the second bottle you gave me the dosage was more that doubled. So who ever used must have really gotten sick.”

“The antidote!!” Lee’s patience’s were almost gone.

“There isn’t one.”

The color drained out of Lee’s face. Then Thompson realized what Lee meant.

“Lee, you don’t need one. The honey neutralized it. All it would do is make you sick.

Amanda just kept it in her system by drinking it with her tea everyday. All she needs to do is stop taking it. It should take Amanda a few weeks to feel like herself again.”

“How can that be? She has been so sick.” Lee still couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

Dr Yarns spoke up, “Lee, I would say it’s like Amanda has had the flu for a couple of weeks. She is weak and dehydrated. It’s no wonder she can’t sleep. She hasn’t been eating. I can’t believe she has been able to function here at work and at home as well as she has. I’m not going to kid you, she is really sick and she needs time to recover, but she will make a full recovery. I do recommend that she stay in the hospital for at least a week. I have spoken to Dr. Lacey already and we agree.”

Lee nodded in agreement, “What ever she needs. I want her well again.”

“We all do, Lee. What about Francine?” Billy asked.

“Francine should be back to work tomorrow or the next day.”

“Tommy, thanks, I owe you one.” Lee shook his hand. “Thanks everyone.” Lee was grinning from ear to ear.

Lee grabbed the phone by Francine’s desk and dialed his number, “Mom, sorry to wake you but we found what was making Amanda sick. It was the honey. I’ll explain that to you later. The most important thing is that she is going to be fine. She is going to be just fine. I’m going to the hospital. I want to be there when she wakes up. I’m not sure what time I’ll be home. Mom, Thanks for being there for me tonight. Yea, I love you, too”

Billy smiled. Lee has a family.

Amanda woke, this was the first really good nights sleep she had in a long time.

Suddenly she realized that she was in a hospital. She tried to remember what had happened. Amanda looked around the room. The she spotted something that made her smile. Lee had fallen asleep on the couch; it was more like a love seat. His large frame made him look so uncomfortable.

A nurse came in, “How are you feeling today, Mrs. Stetson?”

“Hungry.” Amanda answered, she hasn’t felt this hungry in days.

“Well, that’s good news. Would you like to get out of bed and maybe get wash up a bit? Breakfast will be in soon.” The nurse said as she got things ready for Amanda.

“That would be wonderful.”

“Mrs. Stetson, would you like me to wake your husband? He got here about 3 this morning.”

“Let him sleep a little while longer.”

“All right, I’ll be right outside if you need me,” the nurse left the room.

Amanda started to walk to the bathroom; she was weaker than she thought.

Lee tried to turn over and fell off the couch with a load thud. The nurse hurried into the room, “Mrs. Stetson, are you all right?”

Amanda pointed to Lee, “I am but I’m not so sure about him.”

Lee was getting up off the floor.

“Lee, are you OK?”

“Just fine,” Lee took Amanda by the arms, “How are you today?”

Amanda put her arms around Lee, “Wonderful now that you’re here with me.”

They kissed and Lee held her close.

“I feel a little faint.”

“That’s to be expected.” The nurse answered. Lee picked Amanda up and laid her on the bed. He leaned over her and kissed her.

“I thought I told you that she need complete rest for a couple of weeks.”

Lee and Amanda turned to see Dr. Yarns and Dr. Lacey standing in the doorway smiling.

“And how is our patient today?”

“I’m hungry and I want to go home.” Amanda sat up.

“Breakfast is on its way.”

Amanda knew there was a but there somewhere, “But???”

“But we’re going to keep you here for a few days for observation.”

“No,” Amanda started but Lee interrupted, “Yes.”

Lee took Amanda hand as she started to protest, “Amanda, we will do as the doctor orders.” She nodded. He lifted her hand and kissed it. For the first time Amanda noticed Lee’s hand.

“What happened?” She held his hand.

“I had a fight with our kitchen door.” Amanda smiled; she knew Lee must have been at the end of his rope when he punched the door.

“Who won?” she asked.

Lee smiled, “It was a draw."

The End