Summary:An unexpected person from Amanda's past triggers revelations for both Lee and Amanda that come from "Out of the Blue".
Disclaimer:The characters belong to Shoot the Moon Productions and Warner Brothers. No enfringement upon their copyright is meant.
Author's Notes:This is my first attempt at fiction - be it fan fiction or otherwise. I hope evveryone enjoys it. If anyone would like to include this on their website or archive, I'd be honored. Please just let me know via email. Thanks.
Lee and Amanda sat at their respective desks in the Q Bureau, both absorbed in their reports. Amanda's thoughts caused her to look off pensively. Lee, even though he was engrossed in his paperwork, instinctively felt the change in her without needing to look. He quietly closed his folder and turned his attention to Amanda. His elbows on his desk, he rested his chin on his folded hands. Without conscious effort, he watched her and knew her thoughts as clearly as if she had told him. He'd been able to do this for the last few months. At first it had bothered him that he could read her thoughts. With time, he realized that it was an asset in their cases, and eventually that it meant something more. Lee had actually started to take a quiet pride in the fact that, for the first time in his life, he had enough of a connection with another person that not everything needed to be said in order to be understood. Of course, he didn't say any of this to Amanda. He was just enjoying it, and trying to figure out what it meant for his future.
"You're right, you know," he said in response to the thoughts he knew she was having.
"Huh?…..About what?" Amanda stumbled out of her thoughts to realize Lee was all but staring at her.
"You're right. We should probably keep an eye on Roberts,even though the case is officially closed."
"Great," she thought. "I must have been mumbling my thoughts." She decided to explain her thoughts, unaware that it wasn't necessary. "I was just thinking that it hadn't taken much for the Russians to turn him. And it didn't take much for us to turn him back. Roberts is a revolving door. Turning for whoever pushes him. I doubt the Russians will just leave him be…..And sorry for mumbling about it."
Lee smirked, which confused Amanda.
"As I said, I agree. We'll keep him under surveillance…..and you didn't mumble. In fact, you didn't say anything," Lee continued and then looked away, realizing he'd let his "secret" out.
Amanda's dark eyes widened. "Then how did you…?" and let the thought trail off. Recently she had noticed that Lee often seemed to have an eerie way of knowing what was going on in her mind. It had made them better, more effective partners. She closed her eyes, trying not to wince. "I hope he can't read every thought I have," she thought painfully. "If he knows what goes through my mind whenever I look at him….whenever he smiles, or laughs….or when he looks at me like he is right now….Stop it! If he can tell what I'm thinking, now is not the time to have these thoughts."
They both looked at each other deeply and then quickly broke away to return to their reports. Neither one ready to delve into that conversation any further.
"Whoa, that was close," Lee thought as he reopened his folder and tried to refocus his attention to the matter at hand. "I let it slip that I feel without thinking what she is thinking." He shook his head and then ran his hand through his hair as he leaned back in his chair. "Too bad I can't tell what she thinks, or more importantly feels about me. Sometimes I think I get a glimpse. But then,nothing. I know she cares about me a lot. But then she's told me that much numerous times. But is it caring for me as a partner? A friend? (She is my friend, in fact my best friend. I hope she considers me a friend too) Or is it something more?"
Amanda wanted to give this incident some thought, but was afraid to do so in front of Lee. "Um…I think I need a little fresh air. I'm going to go take a short walk. Be back soon." Lee perked up. "Wait, I'll go with you." Amanda snapped her focus onto Lee quickly and with some degree of panic evident in her face. "No!….Uh,I'd prefer if you didn't." And with that she picked up her purse and left the office.
Lee, who had stood up when he offered to join her, sat down deeply disappointed and confused. Thoughts started running through his mind, eventually finding a voice.
"Great, Stetson! Great job there. You scared her off. She was obviously spooked by your reading her mind. You should have known better. She doesn't want you in her head, let alone in her heart. Now if you could only get her out of yours."
His frustration with himself caused his hand to yet again run through his hair. "Yeah, right. I think it's a little late for that Scarecrow."
Outside the office, Amanda was having a similar conversation with herself.
"What just happened in there? Lee seemed to know exactly what I was thinking as I was thinking it." She chuckled softly to herself. "Maybe I'm making too big a deal of this. He just knows me well enough and we've worked on enough cases together that he can guess what I'm thinking."
Amanda continued to walk, her heartbeat slowly down from
its original panicky pace. "Surely, he has no idea how I feel about him.
He doesn't know how my heart beats fast when he looks at me. How difficult
it is for me to breath when he stands close to me. Or how I tingle when
he accidentally brushes against me." She sighed deeply. "Don't worry, Amanda.
Lee doesn't know how much in love with him you are. And it is best that
way." Amanda turned around to go back to the office.
With a greater control over her emotions, Amanda strolled back into the Q bureau. Lee was gazing intently out the window. He spun around quickly as he sensed her presence. "Hi! Glad you're back." He took a deep breath as he prepared himself for his question. "Did I say something earlier to upset you?"
Amanda looked down, avoiding his eyes. "Um, no. The paperwork was just getting to me."
"Amanda…" they both started at once and then stopped when they heard the other start to speak.
Just then, Amanda's phone rang.
"IFF, this is Amanda King," she said as she picked up the phone – grateful for the interruption to an awkward situation.
"Oh my gosh! Dave! How are you? It's so nice to hear from you." Amanda absolutely lit up as she started the conversation. Lee watched anxiously. Who was Dave? Amanda never mentioned a Dave, but she seemed awfully happy to hear from him.
Amanda looked sheepishly at Lee and tried to lower her voice. "No, Dave. I'm not seeing anyone….No, no one special in my life" Lee swallowed hard. "Tonight? Sure, I loved to have dinner with you tonight. ……Yeah, I'll meet you there…..Goodbye `til then." And with that she hung up the phone and dove back into her paperwork.
Lee had also jumped back into his reports with a vengeance when the conversation had started to wrap up. He was shaken by this turn of events, but desperately didn't want Amanda to know that.
After a few minutes, curiosity got the better of him.
"So,….um….who was that on the phone?"
"Oh, that was Dave. We were close in high school. Mother told him where he could find me. I haven't seen him in years. It will be nice to see him again. We were close in high school." She stopped her rambling as she realized she had already said that.
Lee didn't like the sound of this. "We were close in high school." Close? How close? She said it twice. They must have been real close. Does she want to be `close' with him again?
"Old boyfriend?" he said before he could take it back.
"Yeah. I guess you could say we were high school sweethearts. But we went to different colleges. He looked me up at college, but by then I was already with Joe," she blurted out.
Lee could feel his stomach start to churn. His heart was pounding furiously in his chest. He couldn't breathe. It felt like he was having a heart attack. He kept hearing "no one special in my life…no one special in my life…no one special in my life" reverberating in his ears. His mind was whirling. Not only did that mean that she didn't consider him to be "special" but it also pointed to the fact that this Dave was interested in Amanda.
He didn't want to know, but then again….He had to know.
"So, I ….I gather you're having dinner tonight" he managed to ask with a fairly even tone.
"Yeah. You know, catch up on old times." Now Amanda was getting nervous. There was something in the way Lee was acting since she got back from her walk. And it had only gotten more confusing since Dave had phoned. Lee wasn't acting like himself. He didn't usually ask all that much about her personal life. Well, not until recently. But right now, he was almost acting jealous. But that didn't make any sense. Lee wasn't interested in her. She wasn't even remotely his type. She wasn't glamorous or exotic. She was a divorced mother of two. No, he couldn't possibly be jealous. It was just wishful thinking on her part.
"Oh, that's…nice." Lee was ready to lose it. He wanted to grab her, kiss her and beg her not to go to dinner with Dave. He didn't want her to ever go out with anyone else – ever again. Just him. Tonight, tomorrow and every night for the rest of their lives. But how was he supposed to do that? He had no idea how she felt about him. He couldn't put himself out there like that. It was just too much of a risk. Suddenly he couldn't be in the office with her anymore.
"Amanda, I think I'm going to call it a day. Have a good
time tonight," he said as he walked out the door. "But not too good of
a time," he thought as he headed down to the Georgetown foyer.
Later at home, as Amanda got ready for dinner with Dave, she couldn't keep her thoughts from drifting to Lee. "It will be nice to see Dave again, but I would rather be having dinner with Lee. In fact, there is nothing I do that I wouldn't rather be doing with Lee." She silently pulled her cardigan around herself. "But it does no good to pine away for Lee. He doesn't fee that way about me. And he never will. Just get over it and enjoy your evening with Dave." And with that she headed out to meet Dave at the restaurant.
Lee sat on the sofa in his apartment. His head lay heavily in his hands, as he looked at the now half empty bottle of cabernet sitting on his coffee table. He had been using the bottle as a refuge from something he only recently allowed himself to consciously ponder. How on earth was he going to admit to Amanda the feelings he had only recently begun to appreciate on his own? Perhaps it didn't really matter anyway. Lee knew he wasn't the sort of man that Amanda ever saw herself with. She wanted a steady home life. Like he never had. She wanted a long-term commitment. The kind he never had given anyone or anything other than the Agency. The kind of things he had never wanted. At least that's what he used to believe. A self- deprecating laugh slid out of his mouth. "It's amazing. When you don't think you have a right to something and you can never have it, you can convince yourself that you don't even want it." The problem was….he did want it. And what's more, he wanted it with Amanda.
Lee roughly pulled his hands through his hair and back around his head. Covering his eyes with his hands, he leaned back into the cushions on the sofa. His face to the ceiling he breathed sharply.
He was still amazed at just how much Amanda meant to him. That she was always there for him. Amanda always stood up for him. Was always there when he needed her, even if he didn't know that he needed her. Was it just out of friendship? Or was there more to it? He knew that she had a crush on him in the beginning. But it seemed a bit like hero worship. Over time, they had become friends. With that, the look had changed to that of caring. The kind of look that only comes with knowledge of a person. But was she romantically interested in him? Lee knew that she wouldn't be interested in being one of his "women". But then he wasn't interested in that either. The fact was, he didn't really have his "women" anymore. He had pretty much given them their walking papers. With only a minor protest for them. None of them cared for him. They were only interested in the time they spent in bed. And for Lee, that had been enough for him for quite a few years. But knowing Amanda had changed all of that. He started to appreciate the warmth of someone who actually cared for him, not just being interested in physical passion. This was emotional. Something Lee was sure he had never wanted. Never needed. He now knew just how wrong he had been. Maybe he was just maturing. But this new maturity was causing him great pain. The same pain he was trying to kill with the cabernet. He may have been emptier before Amanda, but that emptiness hadn't brought him pain. Even the loss of Dorothy and Eva hadn't brought him this kind of sorrow. And he didn't know what to do about it. What he should do about it.
Lee thought back over the past few months. During the case with Chamberlain, he had scaled Amanda's trellis in the middle of the night to talk with her about the case. Granted, it was a flimsy excuse, but he was deathly worried about her. But he had almost forgot all about that when he climbed into her room. He was fine for a while. He had told her about his concerns for her, the possible danger to her if she continued on the case. Even though he could tell she was very uncomfortable with having him in her room, she had managed to put forth a compelling argument for why she should keep her breakfast meeting with Alan. He had reluctantly agreed and they shook on it. That had been the mistake. The physical contact. As their hands touched, it had hit Lee full force where he was. It was the middle of the night. He was sitting on her bed, with Amanda under the covers. She had on a modest nightgown. Her mahogany hair was softly brushed and a little dishelved from sleep. Her smooth face was devoid of makeup. All of this showed off her natural beauty. And her elegant hand was in his. Suddenly his entire body was aware of her. There was an electrical charge building between his and Amanda's hands. They locked eyes and both became very nervous. Lee had slowly removed his hand, but not without letting his fingers lingeringly slide over hers. He had looked around in a desperate attempt to compose himself. Out of the corner of his eye, he had seen Amanda pull her nightgown around herself protectively. Huskily he had told her he should go. At that moment, Lee had hoped that Amanda hadn't heard the huskiness of his voice. Or if she had, that she didn't understand what it meant. He, however, did know. It was the sound of passion being repressed. The moment their hands had met, Lee had suddenly realized how much she meant to him. How much he wanted her in his life. How much he wanted to touch her, hold her….kiss her. It had taken nearly all of his self-control to pull back and leave that bedroom. But that late night meeting had been his traumatic. He had fought his need for Amanda with great force, and his agency training served him well. He had started dating Leslie in an effort to put his feelings for Amanda out of his heart. With effort he managed to remove the feelings and memories from his conscious mind. The way he had been trained to control his thoughts and feelings in the event of being held hostage. Of course, the feelings didn't stay repressed for long.
When they spent the night in the swamp on the Sacker case, Lee had to finally admit that there was no way he was going to remove Amanda from his deepest thoughts and feelings. She was far too entwined there. Lee had taken the opportunity after that to take a short assignment in England without Amanda at his side. It was a simple case, but he needed the time apart to try and figure out what was going on. He was just starting to notice his ability to read Amanda's thoughts and reactions. It disturbed him. And when he threw in his surging emotions, it was almost inhibiting his ability to function as an agent or a person. One night in Bradford, he stumbled across a local music group performing at a pub. Their name intrigued him – Egomania -, so he stayed to listen a while. He usually wasn't much for "modern music" but this group was different. He named their style of music as symphonic folk. One song really touched him. The lyrics, as with all of their other songs, were very poetic.
Out of the blue you walked right in
Looks like I'm falling down again
Just like a King in times of old
I feel a danger to my soul
Out of the blue I see us leave
In a drunken haze, in the summer breeze
And if I could catch that Scorpio sky
Could I live with nothing left to hide?
One stolen night
Of sweet delight
And only you
Now nobody else
Nobody else will do
We go in and out of happiness
We pay the price and nothing less
We go in and out of happiness
We pay the price and nothing less
But it's a price worth paying again
One stolen night
Of sweet delight
And only you
Now nobody else
Nobody else will do
It seemed to speak to Lee's heart. He knew it to be true. "Nobody else will do. Nobody but you Amanda, now and forever," Lee sighed to himself as he poured himself another glass of the red elixir – hoping it would do something to dull his pain.
Lee had made his decision. It was Amanda. Always had been, and always would be. The problem was Lee didn't have the nerve to tell Amanda any of this. And now she was out with Dave, while he sat toasting his sorrow in his lonely apartment.
Lee berated himself. Remembering how he used to think of Amanda. In the beginning, Lee couldn't understand what other men saw in Amanda. As time passed he realized that he understood. There was something about her. The way her eyes could never lie, never hide her feelings. There was such life in her eyes – those magnificent pools of light. The first time he really looked into her eyes, he knew that "eyes are the windows to the soul" was more than some poetic line to be used in a nightclub. Lee saw more looking into Amanda's eyes than he had ever seen looking through his own. That's why he had been so careful not to lock eyes with Amanda anymore. He just wasn't ready for that kind of vision. But despite his best efforts, it happened time and again. Each time it became harder and harder to break his eyes away from hers.
But it wasn't just Amanda's eyes. Lee wanted to protect her. He found that most men did. She brought out the chivalrous feelings in men – including Lee. Knight in shining armor charging to rescue the damsel in distress. But Lee knew something that the rest of the men didn't. Amanda wasn't just some damsel. She was also brave and courageous in her own right. Lee had seen her numerous times put herself in the path of danger for the good of the country, and for Lee's own good. She always seemed to be there when he needed her the most. No one else in his life had ever been there the way she was. Even all the way back to the first case she was involved in. He was in a no way out situation at Mrs. Welch's. He was sure that this was it. They had already gotten several agents and Lee knew he was next. That is until Amanda showed up. She saved him. As she would on many other occasions. And not only did she save him from the enemy. She also seemed to be saving him from himself. From his self- induced emotional solitude. Amanda never seemed to give up on him. Whether it was when he was pretending to have become an arms dealer or a burnt out agent. Others at the Agency had turned their backs on him. Ready to believe the worst at the drop of a hat. Not Amanda. She risked her life to prove how much she believed in him.
"What am I going to do?" he groaned. "I can't go on like this forever. I want her to be with me. So I have to say something. I can't expect her to just know my feelings. Especially not when I work so hard to keep them hidden."
Lee unsteadily rose from the sofa and started to pace his apartment. With great effort he put his greatest fears into words, hoping that would soften their impact. "But let's face it. I am terrified. What if she rejects me? What if my admission puts a strain on our friendship? I don't think I could handle it if even the slightest bit of the connection I feel with Amanda is damaged by my love for her. Of all the thoughts I can read, why can't I tell her feelings for me?"
He leaned against the window frame and gazed out into
the night. "I can't lose her."
Just as he left the window to return to his bottle of cabernet a shaken Amanda pulled up in front of his apartment building. Her hair was mussed and her cardigan pulled out of shape. As she looked in her rearview mirror, she saw her own tear-stained face and started talking to herself. "What are you doing here?" She rolled her eyes at her own ignorance. "You know dang well what you are doing here. Dave just tried to force himself on you. You're upset and need to talk with someone. You don't want Mother to know about this, so Lee was the natural choice. Now since you are here, go up and see him."
She took a few deep breaths to calm herself and fix her appearance as much as she could. After all, she didn't want to frighten Lee with how she looked. Finally satisfied that she was in control of her emotions, she got out of her car and headed up to Lee's apartment.
Lee was still talking to himself. "Well, you've come to a conclusion then. You have to tell her. Too bad she isn't here right now – while you are convinced it is the right thing to do." Just as those words finished, there was a knock at his door.
"Who can that be?" he mused as he walked over and looked out the peephole.
What he saw made him fling open the door and his arms to an obviously upset Amanda. She looked like hell.
Amanda wordlessly fell into Lee's waiting arms. He guided her into his apartment and closed the door behind them with his foot, not wanting to break the embrace he had Amanda in.
"Amanda, what happened to you? Are you okay? Here, come inside and sit down. Do you want anything to drink?" His words ran together, sounding like Amanda on one of one-breath speeches.
As much as Amanda had tried to prepare herself to be calm, the warmth of Lee's embrace brought all of her emotions back to the surface. "I'm sorry Lee. I know I probably shouldn't bother you. But I didn't want to go home until I was calmed down. I just didn't know where else to go," she choked out as she buried her face in Lee's chest. As upset as she was, she was reveling in the feel of Lee's arms wrapped tightly around her. His hand slowly stroking her hair.
In soothing tones he spoke into her soft hair. "Amanda, it's okay. I'm honored you felt you could come to me. You're safe now. No one will hurt you while I am here."
Amanda knew it was true. That's part of why she came to Lee. He always made her feel completely safe. Even when they were in danger. She needed to feel that right now. Dave hadn't hurt her. Just really scared her. He had really changed. And he harbored something of a grudge against her for leaving him when they went to college and marrying Joe. After his attempt to "possess" her, he had become very apologetic for his actions. But she was still frightened. To think that someone she had once trusted would try anything like that was quite a shock.
"Why don't we go sit down? If you want, you can tell me what happened. I have a bottle of wine open, if you would like a glass." Still not releasing her from his embrace, Lee gently steered her to sit on his sofa.
Amanda nodded her head. "A glass of wine would be very nice. Thank you, Lee."
Lee didn't want to leave her side. She was distraught and he wanted to comfort her. "I'm just going to go into the kitchen to get you a glass."
"But I'll be right back. I'm not going anywhere," he said trying to make sure she understood she had his complete support. "I'm not going anywhere….ever," he continued in his own mind as he quickly found her a glass and returned to the living room.
Lee poured her a glass of the cabernet and gave it to her. Sitting next to her on the sofa, he ran his hand up and down her arm. Finally coming to rest on her shoulder, he rubbed gentle circles on her shoulder blade. He could tell she was relaxing under his care. He softly smiled to himself, while she sipped her wine. "She came to me! Amanda was upset and came to me for comfort. *This* is what I can't risk just in order to unburden my heart. If she knew how I felt about her, she probably never would have come to me…but, My God! It feels amazing just to touch her," he thought to himself. "Stop it Lee! Now is not the time to lose your self- control. Amanda needs you, but not like that!"
Coming out of his thoughts, he noticed Amanda looking at him.
He cleared his throat uncomfortably. "How are you feeling now? You seem a bit calmer. Do you want to tell me about it?"
"Oh Lee…Dave…I can't believe he would try something like that!" she said through her tears.
"Lee, Dave tried to force his attentions on me."
"You mean he tried to…r-r-ra…" he couldn't finish the thought.
"Yes, but he didn't. He was very sorry afterwards."
Lee's world turned crimson. His blood boiled. He jumped to his feet, fuming.
"Where do I find him? I'm going to kill him!" he was so mad that he was shaking, unable to get himself to move beyond where he was stood.
"Lee…Lee!" She stood in front of him and grabbed his arms, trying to get his attention. But Lee barely registered this.
"No one gets away with trying to hurt you. No one hurts my Amanda. Not MY Amanda." Lee was still in a world of anger. He was so wrapped up in his feelings of fierce protectiveness that he didn't really notice what he had said until Amanda repeated it.
"Your Amanda? Lee!….Lee!" she cupped his face in her hands to get him to make eye contact with her. "Did you call me YOUR Amanda?"
When his eyes met hers, she quickly dropped her hands. Lee's expression turned from anger to confusion to embarrassment as his own words finally registered in his mind. "Oh my god! What did I say?" he berated himself.
He tried to recover. "Um…I'm sorry. You said something? I'm sorry, I was just very upset that anyone would try to hurt you." His thoughts were reeling. "Geez, even *I* am not buying this. There's no turning back now if she pushes for what I meant."
Amanda's own thoughts were whirling, temporarily having forgotten all about her earlier ordeal. "Lee called me HIS Amanda! His! I know that I am his. But it sounded like that is how he wants it too."
Amanda had been looking at the ground after they broke eye contact. Slowly she looked up at him through her eyelashes. She had to know the truth. She might not ever have a chance like this again.
"I thought I heard you call me *your* Amanda. What did
you mean by that?" she asked in a small voice.
Lee closed his eyes trying to focus his mind. "Oh boy, here we go. There is no way I can lie to her. She heard me. Maybe I can pass it off as not being quite as much as I meant it."
"Well, you are my partner and my close friend…" he tried to sound convincing.
"Oh" Amanda didn't want to sound disappointed but she knew she had failed to keep it out of her voice. She sank back onto the sofa. Suddenly she was overcome. She slumped forward, her face in her hands and started to silently cry.
Lee's heart was breaking. He had to do something. Apparently that wasn't the answer she wanted to hear. Maybe it was time for the full truth.
Lee gingerly sat next to her, trying to figure out how to tell her the emotions that swelled in his heart.
"Amanda, I didn't mean it like that. It's just….well…" he lightly touched her forearm. He still didn't know what to say or how to say it.
"It's okay, Lee. I understand. I know how you feel about me."
An opening! He turned her to face him. "No….no, you don't," he started slowly. But he knew that if he was going to do this, he would have to do it fast. Like pulling off a band-aid.
"Amanda, you can't know how I feel about you. If you did, what I said wouldn't have upset you."
"You didn't…" Amanda started. But Lee stopped her.
"Please let me continue. I have to say this. You have to know. You deserve to know." He took a deep breath. He had to do this, and now was the time. Amanda just nodded.
"For some months now, I've known…well it started back during the Chamberlain case…and then the Sacker case…but now…" he was rambling and he knew it. He just couldn't find the right words.
Without saying a word or breaking eye contact, he brought his hand to her face, sliding his fingertips along her jaw line until his palm lay against her cheek. When his hand stilled, Amanda leaned her face every so slightly into palm. Lee's mind was racing. He wanted to show Amanda how she meant the world to him. He sensuously slid his thumb to her lips, electrifying every cell he touched. Tracing her lower lip, he applied a little pressure and her mouth opened slightly. Unbeknownst to each other, they both quivered in anticipation.
Lee closed the last inches of space between their lips. With the gentle touch of a feather, he brushed his lips against hers. He pulled back quickly. Some part of his mind had control over his desire. He didn't know how much to push. After all, she had just been the victim of attempted rape. But he wanted to continue. He had been dreaming about this moment for so long. What if he scared her though, with the force of his emotions? Maybe she was just reacting to the fear that her encounter with Dave had spurned? Maybe she was just looking for comfort?
While Lee pondered these ideas, Amanda's mind was also racing.
"Our lips touched, not quite a full kiss, but still…my entire body is tingling just from that brush. How much more would I feel if we really kissed? The way I want to kiss him and have him kiss me? But why isn't he continuing? Did he feel nothing?…"
With that she started to pull away from Lee. His heart stopped. "I shouldn't have done that. It was too much. Or maybe she just doesn't want me." The thoughts ran fast and furious through his mind.
Amanda looked away from Lee. She was sure the look on his face meant that he was sorry he had made a move. Not because of what had just happened to her, but because he didn't want her.
"I'm sorry I bothered you. I should probably go." She started to walk past him to leave.
Lee knew if he didn't make her understand his feelings now, he might never have another chance. At least not for a long time. She would close herself off to him.
Lee reached up as Amanda passed before him. Grabbing the
hem of her sweater, he gently tugged. "Please….Amanda, please…" he didn't
know what he was going to say. But he had to make her understand. "I don't
want you ever thinking you are bothering me…And I don't want you to **ever**
think that I don't…" he took a deep breath. "…love you."
Amanda froze. Slowly she turned to look at him, not sure if she heard him correctly.
"Wha….what did you say?" she breathed.
Once he started, it all started to pour out of him. "I love you, Amanda. More than I ever thought anyone could love another person. And I have for quite some time. But I was so afraid to tell you. I didn't know if I could go on living if you rejected me. Tonight I realized I couldn't go on without letting you know," he finished breathlessly.
Amanda stood before him. Her mind was having great difficulty processing this information. Her body wasn't responding to her. Except that her heart was pounding and she could barely breathe. She could only register Lee's face. He was looking at her expectedly. When she didn't respond, the features she loved so much started to drop. Disappointment and sorrow becoming painfully evident. Lee's hand relinquished his gentle hold on her sweater and fell to his lap. She had to do something. She couldn't let him think that his love was unrequited.
Amanda took his hands in hers and pulled Lee to his feet. As soon as he stood in front of her, she stepped closer to him until the tips of their noses touched. "Oh Lee…" her voice was more breath than sound. And then her lips were on his – softly. She was hesitant at first. That was until Lee's mind registered what was happening. His love for her surged and he pressed against her, snaking his arms around her waist and sliding them up her back. He let all of his love for her pour uninhibited from between his lips as they crushed against hers.
Amanda trembled with pleasure. She couldn't believe any of this was happening. Lee loved her and he was kissing her. Her left hand slid up his back. She grasped the back of his neck, clinging to him tightly with one hand, while the other slid through the hair.
Lee's entire body was tuned to her presence – her smell, her touch, the way she felt under his touch, the very taste of her. The kisses became deeper and more fervent as they lost themselves in each other. Lee quickly stole his lips from her mouth – not giving her time to protest. But they never broke contact with her soft skin. His hands, from their position in her hair, gently tugged to tip her chin up. His lips, hot from the passion, slithered down her neck to her collarbone. Instinctively knowing where to kiss her for the best reaction, he worked along the bone, focusing on the dip between them.
"How does he know that? How does he know that is the most sensitive part of my body? He went right for it like he….oh my gosh." Amanda was unable to continue the thoughts that were going through her over stimulated mind. Lee was erasing everything but her feelings for him, and the feelings he was producing in her.
Lee was losing control and he knew it. Amanda's low groans and sighs were vibrating against his lips as they were on her throat. He wanted nothing more than to possess her completely, and to give himself to her without question or regret. But he couldn't. To go from a first kiss to complete fulfillment in such a short period of time was how he treated the other women in his past. Amanda would not, and could not, be treated the same. So he broke the kiss.
Amanda whimpered in protest, grabbing the lapels of his shirt and pulling him back to her. But Lee gently removed her hands and held them within his.
"Amanda, I love you…" he started huskily but she cut him off.
"Oh Lee, I love you too. So very much. More than anyone else ever. Ever."
Lee flashed her the biggest, brightest smile she had ever seen on him. And saw the tears of joy well up in his eyes.
"…but we have to stop. I don't want to rush this. I want to romance you and sweep you off your feet," he said almost dreamily as his mind already started thinking of ways to keep his promise.
"But I don't want to stop," Amanda pleaded, her passion for Lee very thinly disguised.
"I know. I don't want to either. Believe me, I don't want to stop. You can't imagine the self-control this is taking. But I don't want to ever give you any reason to doubt or regret anything." He continued that thought in his own mind. "No truer words have ever been spoken. In fact, I can't believe I mustered enough control to stop. I want nothing more than to sweep her into my arms and carry her to my bed and…but not yet. The wait will be worth it. For both of us."
"Lee, I wouldn't regret it. I want to feel your lips on me, your hands on me…" she protested.
"Amanda! You're not helping here," he laughed softly. "Why do you have to always argue with me?"
"I'm not," she started to chuckle too.
"Alright, alright. Point taken. We won't rush anything. But would it be too forward of me to stay for a while? Perhaps have another glass of wine?" Amanda couldn't bring herself to leave just yet. She wanted to make sure this wasn't a dream.
"I would really like that. Come here and sit down. Maybe there is a good movie on television that we could watch together for a bit," Lee said, his hormones finally starting to calm down.
They sat on the sofa in silence. Lee's arm wrapped possessively around Amanda's shoulders as she leaned against him. Her hand stealthily traveled to his chest and started fiddling with the buttons.
"Amanda! None of that now. We agreed," he stated plainly. Not sure just how much he was actually protesting her actions.
She laughed heartily, raising her hand in a dramatic gesture away from his chest. "I guess I got caught. So much for my training in being unobserved in my actions."
"Amanda, that sort of action will never go without my notice, or reaction. And I'm not sure just how much will power I have to stop myself from taking you into the other room and having my way with you."
"Lee, let me say just one thing and I promise I won't try anything else – tonight. It will never be just *your* way. It would be *our* way," she said poignantly.
Lee smiled and kissed her softly on the forehead. "Our way. I like the sound of that."
They drifted off to sleep, both content in the knowledge that – as good as this evening had meant to them – the best was yet to come.
In his dreams, Lee heard Egomania's song playing again.
One stolen night
Of sweet delight
And only you
Now nobody else
Nobody else will do
In his sleep, he murmured against Amanda's neck. "Nobody
else, Amanda. Nobody else."