The Best Things in Life Aren't Free


By: Kris
Summary:Will Lee lose the most important thing in his life?
Rating:R
Thanks and dedication: Special thanks to Laura who keeps me going during this. And to Amber for helping me get into character :o) This is dedicated to you guys.
 



 

Part 1

Amanda was looking outside the passenger side window as the scenery went by. There was an uncomfortable silence in the car. Lee was upset and she knew it.

"You know Amanda when I tell you to stay in the car, I mean it." Lee said angrily.

"I can take care of myself Lee. There is no need to worry about me." She responded.

He glanced at her. "I can't help worrying. Anything... anything could happen."

"You know I don't like it when you tell me what to do or when you cut me out of a case. We are partners," she said aggravated.

"We are partners, but I'm the partner with more experience so you should do what I say." His voice became louder.

Amanda shuddered in the seat next to him, for the first time, she was afraid of him. She had never seen Lee like this before, well she had, but not directed at herself.

*************


Most of the next few days went exactly as above, Lee getting upset, and taking it out on Amanda. She was at the end of her rope, something had to change otherwise she was going to be forced to make some rash decisions, she wasnít sure she wanted to make.

**************


Amanda opened the door, wiping her hand on a dishtowel. She had gotten home earlier that afternoon and changed into more comfortable jeans and a shirt. Over the last few days, Lee had been ignoring her, and pushing her away. She knew something was going on, but he wouldnít talk to her, and he was doing what he could to stay away from her. Since there was nothing needing her attention at the Agency, she left for the afternoon, came home and reveled in the quite. No one was home; her mother took the boys up to a camp about two hours west. She was alone.

With a sigh she made a cup of tea and looked out the window, silently wishing that Lee would show up and quietly knock on the window. But she knew it wouldnít happen.

Why did things like this always happen to her? Amanda sat at the edge of the sofa and curled up. She had survived being a single mother, a divorce; she was an agent, dealing with hardened criminals on a regular basis, and Amanda King could get over Lee.

Suddenly she had an idea. She got up and headed to her bedroom to pack.

**************


Lee walked into Billyís office without knocking. He was upset; he needed Amanda for something and couldnít find her. Lee was upset at himself, with his relationship with Amanda... with the way everything in his life was going. He wanted his relationship to move forward with Amanda, he needed it to; then at the same time, he was afraid that changing their relationship, making her more than just a partner and a good friend, even though Leeís closeness with his partner wasnít what got him killed.

"Where is she?" He demanded.

"Where is who?" Billy replied still looking over paperwork at his desk. As he looked up, he noticed how terrible Lee looked, "You look awful Scarecrow. What is going on?"

"Amanda" Lee let his voice rise a bit with his answer.

Billy stood up and looked at him, "She took a few days off."

"But she canít, I.. She need her here to finish this paperwork." He finished lamely.

"Well, off the record, with the way things have been between you two lately I am surprised she didnít ask for a transfer. You can finish the paperwork, then take a few days off yourself. Thatís an order."

"But, Billy." He started to protest.

"Look, Lee," Billy began in a softer tone, he reached up and shut the door, "I saw the way you were avoiding Amanda. Itís not like you."

"No Scarecrow," Billy said, sitting back down at his desk. "No arguments. I know what date is coming up, and I can understand. Take a few days, do what you have to do, but get yourself together. When you are like this, I worry about you. Especially when you wonít even let Amanda help." He smiled at his best agent. "Now get whatever paperwork you have left to do done, and get yourself on leave so youíre back to one hundred percent."

Lee returned to his office. As he unlocked the door he half expected to see Amanda sitting at her desk working. He expected to hear her greeting, but all he was greeted with was silence.

Suddenly everything that happened over the last week came hurling back at him at full force, and he rested his head in his hands, wishing for this nightmare to be over once and for all.

It had started out when he lost his partner, his one true friend, and his whole world came down around him, and so he immersed himself into his work. Nothing mattered anymore, he relied on, and lived for, his work. Then he met Amanda King, and everything changed.

Lee looked at the date book on his desk, July 17th, The day was quickly coming, what did he have to show for it? It was as if he were back at square one.

He slowly opened the bottom drawer of his desk and pulled out a photo. Lee looked at it for a long while, and then found his gaze sliding over to the empty seat across from his.

Suddenly he knew what he had to do. Lee went off in search of Billy once more.

**************


Lee knocked on Billyís door.

"Come in." Billy responded, stopping his conservation with Francine.

"Billy, I need your help with something." He stopped short when he noticed Francine was looking at him.

"Francine" Lee nodded to her.

"What did you need Stetson? Are your reports finished?" Billy asked him. "I ah..I need to find Amanda, Billy."

"Iíll leave you two alone then." Francine said, making her exit.

"Lee, I have no idea where she went. Amanda came in and asked for a few days off. She said she was going away for the weekend."

"Are you sure she didnít mention anything? Anything at all?"

"Lee, if sheíd said anything, I would of told you. I donít know anything more than she was going away for the weekend."

"Thanks, Billy." Lee sighed and walked back out of the office. He was a trained Agent, why couldnít he find his own partner? Suddenly he walked back in and shut the door again. "I just canít stand still Billy, I canít stand by and watch the best thing in my life disappear." He finished sinking down into Billyís office sofa.

"We will find her Lee." He said, trying to reassure Lee. But knowing all to well that it wouldnít help.

"Yeah." Was all he said as he walked to the door, "Thanks Billy."

ĎMaybe itís because you treated her like dirt for the last.. what.. five days, why would she want you to find her?í His conscience told him.

Once Lee made it back to their office, he sat down and he looked over to where his partner usually sat. He let out a sigh and really began to think. Images past through his mind of Amanda sitting at her desk arguing a point with him over a case, or when he had caught her watching him from her desk. ĎThere has to be a way to find her.í He thought to himself; ĎWhy did I have to be so isolated during the past five days?í he let out a audible sigh and dropped his head into his hands.
 

Part 2

Thirty minutes later, Lee found himself doing something he never thought heíd do unless there was an emergency, ĎFinding ones partner is an emergencyí he thought to himself as he started to look through her desk for clues on where she may have gone.

Lee sat back in her chair and leaned back. There were no clues there, where did she go?

Suddenly he got up and grabbed his keys, Lee grabbed his keys and walked out the door.

A little later he pulled into Amandaís drive way and shut the car off. No one was home. ĎWhere did everyone go this weekend?í he asked himself, berating himself for not paying better attention to her.

As he walked around back, he felt like he was invading her privacy, her home, and her life. Lee stopped and looked around; did he belong here? He didnít think so, and he started to turn back. But his heart wouldnít let him leave, so he stopped.

Lee walked through the back door and into the kitchen. As he put his lock pick set into his jacket pocket, he just stood there for a moment ĎCome on Amanda, where did you go? Tell me where to look?í he said to the empty house.

The house reminded him of his life, alone and empty. A sad smile crossed his face and he went to look for anything that might lead him to her.

Lee searched the whole kitchen not finding a clue then made his way to the living room. As he walked around the couch he ran a finger along the top of it. He looked at the walls. There were pictures of the boys and her mother, it was a family home, and something he didnít know anything about. The question went through his head again was if he belonged there. With a heavy sigh he went to the fireplace and looked at the picture on the mantle. It was a picture of Amanda in a silver dress. Her hair was up; it must have been professionally taken. Lee ran a finger down the side of the picture and turned around.

"Where are you?" He asked again, looking over the living room.

Thatís when he saw a number on the table next to the phone. He quickly went over to the table and reached for the pad of paper.

As Lee looked at the number, he was already picking up the phone to call Billy.

"Melrose."

"Yeah Billy, itís me."

"What do you need Scarecrow?"

"I need a trace on a number.."

"Does this have anything to do with Amanda?" Billy asked. He already knew it did, but he was waiting for Lee to admit it.

"Billy..Please?" Lee said, growing inpatient.

"Alright, Stetson, whatís the number?"

Lee gave him the number then informed him that he would call him back in twenty minutes; he really didnít want him to know that he had broken into Amandaís house.

Then he began moving around her home again, seeing things he hadnít noticed before. His eyes settled on a calendar in the den, and found the particular date on it that had started this whole thing. Lee let out a long sigh. He felt as if he had to choose between the present and the past. Was there really a way to go on with this life and still remember the past?

Lee sat there for a while before he decided to call Billy. It was answered after it had rang once.

"What do you have?" Lee immediately asked before Billy could even say ĎHelloí.

"I have an address, but you have to promise me that the two of you will settle whatever is going on, otherwise Iíll have to approve her request for a transfer." Billy finished waiting for his response of this news. It was obvious that she had not told him.

"Transfer? Billy what is going on?" Lee questioned, the hurt showing in his voice..

"Scarecrow, go to her and get this fixed, whatever the problem is between you." Billy paused for a moment, "Oh, and Lee... be honest with her about Erik. She can help you."

Lee took one last look around her home, his gaze resting in particular on the calendar, and then left through the kitchen window.

When he got home, Lee threw together a small bag, Ďjust in caseí he thought to himself. Aside from all the emotions that were floating through him, there was still the option that she might not want this, and tell him to leave. With a heavy heart, he turned on the machine and locked the door behind him.

*************************


Two hours later Amanda pulled off the main road and headed slowly down the dirt road to her grandfatherís old cabin. She had only been up here a few times with the boys since they were kids.

It had been entirely to long since she had last been there. Amanda remembered going there when she was a child, running over the dock and jumping into the pond. The water was always warm here, or at least that was the way she remembered it. She remembered fishing in a rowboat with her grandfather and catching the family dinner for that night.

She sat in her car for a moment and let the memories wash over her. The cabin was small and the wood weather beaten. The appearance blended with the old trees and the beautiful mountains. It would be peaceful here. Not a soul for miles to disturb her peace or infiltrate her thoughts.

As she got out of the car and pulled her bag from the back seat, she wandered into the house. Amanda dropped her bags inside by the front door. She looked around and saw the furniture and walls covered with dust cloths. This place was like a second home to her. She smiled and walked towards the kitchen.

She wandered towards the cabinets and refrigerator. As she opened them, she realized that she had to do some shopping.

Amanda decided to put away her things first, and then head down to the local general store for some food and essentials. She smiled, remembering the times she had made the same trip up with her grandfather.

Amanda found herself watching the scenery go by as she drove into town. It felt like her life rushing by, and not being able to enjoy the little things that were so important. She sighed as tears filled her eyes. This is not how she wanted to live to love her life, she loved the Agency, she loved even Lee, but time was going by so quickly, when would she have time to enjoy it?

Soon she realized that she made it into town. Amanda found a parking spot and pulled in to it.

Amanda spotted the general store, it still looked the same as when she had been the last time, all those years ago. As she walked into the general store, she was greeted my older woman.

"Amanda? Amanda King?" The older woman asked as she came from behind the counter.

"Mrs. Weatherfield? Oh my, is that you?" Amanda asked as she moved closer to give the older woman a hug.

"Yes dear, it is. Look at you dear. You look wonderful."

"Oh gee thanks, Mrs. Weatherfield. It is so good to be back here." Amanda replied as she reached for her hands and held them.

"Amanda, dear, what brings you here?" Mrs. Weatherfield asked her

"Well Mrs. Weateherfield, I donít think.."

"Ah itís a man Amanda, I know that look all to well." Mrs. Weatherfield said as she smiled at her.

"I am only here to enjoy myself, Mrs. Weatherfield."

"Then where are your children and your mother, dear child?"

"They went camping out west."

The conversation went on between them for a few more minutes before Amanda excused her self to do the shopping she needed to do. All she really wanted was go back to the cabin and relax, and forget all about her life at the agency, forget about Lee, forget about... everything.

"Be sure to keep in touch Amanda." Mrs. Weatherfield called to her as Amanda left the store.
 

Part 3

Lee arrived in the small town that his information had led him to, and was amazed at the size of it. Living in D.C., he forgot that towns like this existed. But as he looked around he knew that Amanda would belong to this community in some way, and that part of this community belonged to her. With a smile he went in search of a hotel. He had to gather his thoughts before he went to talk to her.

Lee looked around at his surroundings and noticed a sign down the street that said ĎBed and Breakfastí, and headed towards it. As he opened the door, Lee was immediately greeted by a woman behind the desk.

"Afternoon, what can I do for you?" She asked.

"I am looking for a room." Lee said plainly.

"Well for how long?"

"I donít know a few days I would imagine."

"Well we have one room left, itís on the top floor over looking the scenery behind it." The woman paused and looked at him, "Itís a little more expensive than the rest of the rooms, but itís all I have."

"Thatís okay."

She reached behind her and gave him the key, "Can I ask, what brings you here?"

"My heart."

"Ah, a woman, well good luck Sir." With that she smiled and turned away.

Once he was settled in the room, he sat on the foot of the bed and stared at the ceiling. He was feeling unsure, confused, and confident all at the same time.

After an hour, he grew restless. He needed to get out, do some searching, on his own, so he grabbed his car keys and headed out the door.

Around four oíclock that afternoon he found himself roaming through the park. There was definitely something about this place, a serenity and a calmness. Slowly he sat down on a bench over looking a playground. Momís and dadís were there with their children playing, laughing, and enjoying each otherís company and love.

Lee smiled at this; somewhere in the back of his mind he wanted that, he wanted the nine to five job, steady income, the safety of the workplace. He was just unsure of where to begin.

Amanda had gotten back to the cabin in record time. Her conservation with Mrs. Weatherfield was fresh in her mind; she has a distinct feeling it wasnít going to be easily forgotten.

She made her dinner in solitude of the cabin with only the crickets chirping and the soft classical music she had playing in the background. She had decided to light some candles in the dining room and living room. The rooms ere illuminated by candlelight, it made it soft and romantic.. Her mind trailed off to Lee once more, how she would for love for him to be here with her right now. But he did not return her feelings. She sighed and her eyes began to water.

To get him off her mind, she quickly put the dishes in the dishwasher. She took a glass of wine and went out to sit on the dock to watch the sun set. It was the most peaceful moment she had in a long time. As she looked out over the pond, she watched a gorgeous sunset over the mountains.

Amanda replayed the events of the past week in her mind. Where had everything gone wrong? She couldnít remember. She never remembered Lee being so angry at her, pushing her away like this before. It wasnít like him. She reached up and wiped away the tears that caressed her cheeks and she had another sip of wine.

The sun slowly set and put the land to sleep. She remained on the dock. The mid summer weather made it still warm even after the sun had fully set. She reached over and lit the bug candles and laid back against the hard wood to look at the stars.

An hour later, Amanda found herself wrapping her arms around her middle and silently wishing for something to change in her life, for Lee to come back into her life and love her. Things had to change either way.

Around eight oíclock she got up and went inside. Amanda set her glass on the counter and headed towards the stairs that lead to the bedroom. Finding her pajamas, she wandered back downstairs to sit in front of the fireplace on the couch and read her book.

Amanda fell asleep there next to the fire reading her book. About two a.m. she woke up startled. She did not know where was she was. As soon as she took in her surroundings, it came back to her and she gently set her book on the coffee table and headed upstairs to the bedroom.

ĎThank god there arenít many hours left till sunriseí Amanda murmured to herself as she lay down, only to stare out the French doors of the balcony over the pond.

Her mind drifted to a time when Lee had crept up her trellis and into her bedroom. She smiled at the memory. Why couldnít things be that easy now? She missed him terribly, not only because of her feelings for him, but because he was her best friend. Things have been going downhill for a while now. He had become angry, depressed; he had started to ditch her on cases, and ignoring her most of the time. With the recollection of those thoughts she wrapped her arms around herself and shivered.

Was the world really that cold?

Much of the next morning she spent absorbed in her thoughts. Amanda made a small breakfast and then took her coffee out to sit on the dock. The morning sun had already risen, and the fog was beginning to lift.

ĎWas this supposed to have a certain meaning? The fog beginning to lift? Clearing in ones body and soul?í She asked her self.

Amandaís mind slipped back to certain events in the past, events that made her think that Lee was interested, that he wanted more than just a working relationship, that he wanted to take their personal relationship that extra step. She remembered the time when she and Lee would flirt with each other about different thing, and when she would go to the ends of the earth to protect him. She still would do that for him, no mater what happened in the past. She still was deeply in love with him, it did not matter what happened, and that single thing would not change.

She undid her shoes and set them next to her. Her thoughts ran wild as each foot entered the water.

ĎWhen we had dinner together, he wanted to kiss me, and lord knows I wanted it as well.í

As she moved her feet around in the water she suddenly got very cold, tears slowly making their way down her face.

ĎIf I only knew what was going on, what was hurting him so. I could help, I would help.í She said to herself.

Lee had arrived earlier that morning. He parked his car off the dirt road leading to the cabin and locked it.

As he began to walk away he turned around and looked back at it, shrugging his shoulders when he realized he wasnít sure what caused him to look back, he kept on walking.

Lee came upon the cabin about thirty minutes later and he wandered around to the back. From where he was standing he could see Amanda standing out on the balcony. His mind flashed to an earlier time when he had climbed up her terrace and into her bedroom, it felt like something from a fairy tail. He was right, his whole relationship with Amanda was something like a fairy tail, and he had never experienced anything like it before.

As he watched her from where he was, he noticed the saddened expression on her face, the fact that she was crying made him all the more concerned and guilty. He had done that to her. His heart sank, for some reason he knew that she come out here to forget him.

He was going to have to change that. For the both of them.

Amanda then turned and walked inside, and he went to see if he could tell where she was going. Lee watched as she appeared to get dressed and go downstairs to make breakfast. By this time he could feel the morning sun warming the world around him and he stepped back and looked up at the sky.

ĎTo new beginningsí He said to the sky above and went to Amanda.

He watched, gathering up his courage to approach Amanda, Lee knew that she had been crying, that she was upset. He could see it in her posture as she sat there alone on the dock. But this was something that had to be done.

His soft foot falls went unnoticed as Lee made his way to her.

"Amanda?" Lee questioned softly as he reached down and softly and rested a hand on her shoulder.

She jumped at his touch. Amanda was not expecting him to be here, she wasnít expecting anyone. She tried to cover up her tears, and she cleared her throat.

"Amanda, please..I didnít.." Lee started to say, but he was at a loss for words.

As Amanda turned around she wiped her eyes with her hands and looked up at him.

"What are you doing here?" She asked coldly.

"Looking for you, you know what Amanda, you are a very hard person to find." Lee responded trying to lighten the mood.

"Who says I wanted to be found?"

Lee sat down next to her on the edge of the dock. "No one said you wanted to be found, but me."

"You? Why Lee? I didnít even think you knew I was around unless you needed something, that is."

"You know thatís not true Amanda, even if the last week has been a little rough."

"A little rough Lee?" Amanda shot back and got up and walked back towards the cabin.

"Amanda, wait we need to talk." Lee said as he followed her. He had to run to catch up.

She made it to the cabin first and walked through the patio doors. As she shut them, she saw Lee coming up to them.

"Look Lee I am not sure what we have to talk about.. I mean everything was evident last week. Sorry I messed things up for you, I will have to try and change things." Amanda replied as she walked by him into the living room.

"Amanda, I donít want you to change, I lo.." He let his sentence trail off, afraid he would reveal something neither one was ready to admit to, yet.

"Look, last week, it had nothing to do with you." Lee said flatly.

"Oh really Lee, it seemed to have everything to do with me. You did nothing but ignore me," She paused, as she got angrier she moved in front of him to talk, to get his attention, like it could be anywhere else but her. "You pushed me away when I asked you what was wrong, Lee thatís not like you, and and it hurt me." There she said it, Amanda sighed and looked at Lee once more.

"I know, I am truly sorry Amanda, I never meant to hurt you." Lee finished as he rested his hands over top of hers. This time she didnít pull away.

"You may not of meant it Lee, but you did." Amanda said reminding him that she was still upset, Amanda moved away from him and looked out the window.

"Why did you come here Amanda?" Lee asked, his voice quite.

"Why do you want to know? Why did you bother to look for me?"

"I asked first." Lee responded first.

"You really want to know?" Amanda paused and looked back at him. Lee was standing there in the living room, he didnít know what to do, stand, sit, look at her? Amanda saw that there were tears in his eyes, in her heart she knew he was sorry, but she needed to know he was, she needed the words.

"Yes, Amanda, I do." Lee said coming to stand next to her. "I really want to know."

"I came here," Amanda pointed to the cabin, "To forget, to find myself again, to get over you." She said the last part in a whisper, not daring to look up at him.

Lee was saddened at this admission, but it was the truth, her truth; and the last week had finally crashed upon him. He reached out for her, to touch her, to hold her. Any contact, any feeling of her skin and touch against him, was what he needed, wanted.

"But you know what Lee, even after everything, I canít." Amanda finally looked up at him, "I am not saying that I am not hurt, because I am, a lot. How you treated me, the way you acted, it was as if you didnít trust me, didnít respect me, and didnít love me, Lee. That hurt and still does."

"Amanda all I can say is that I am sorry." Lee paused, "I have a lot of things I need to talk to you about Amanda, things I have never told anyone before.
 

Part 4

She just looked at him, curious, even though she was hurt; Amanda knew that he was trying to apologize and from the looks of it, explain a lot of things. Amanda settled down on the couch and crossed her arms, waiting.

Lee looked at her for a moment, she wasnít going to make this easy for him. For that he was thankful, something special, wasnít supposed to come easy.

"Amanda.." He paused looked at her and started to pace, "Okay, Iíll start from the beginning. When I first started off with the Agency, I was partnered with Erik McCaffrey. He taught me the ropes basically, we became friends and worked well together." He stopped for a moment and sat down next to Amanda.

Amanda just looked at him with somber eyes, she knew that this was hard for him to talk about, it was very apparent that she was the only person who had heard this before.

"See this is why I am so reluctant Amanda. I donít want what happened to him to happen to you."

"Why Lee? What happened?" Amanda spoke for the first time since this all started.

He looked at her, at that very moment, showing all the love, the commitment, and respect that he held for Amanda, through his eyes.

With a heavy sigh he looked over at her and gently squeezed her hands, then got up and walked over to the window, letting the cool air illuminate him. Lee bowed his head in resignation; he had to get this off his chest, to share this burden with someone.

"I know this is hard Lee, I am here for you, I want to share this with you." Amanda said softly, she wasnít even sure if he had heard her.

"I know you are, through everything, you are always here for me." Lee smiled at her reflection in the window, he looked down at his hands and started again, "It was six years, Sunday, that Erik was killed." He said finally, tears threatening.

"Oh Lee.." Amanda began as she got up and went to him and wrapped her arms around him, pulling him into an embrace. Suddenly everything that happened over the past week, didnít seem to match what was going on inside of Lee.

He smiled a weak smile and held on to her for support. "He was killed in the line of duty. I couldnít get to him in time, and he was shot. Shot because of me."

Amanda looked up at him and smoothed away a few stray hairs that found their way to his face. She cupped his cheek and leaned up to gently kiss him.

They stood there for a long time before either one of them moved, not wanting to disrupt the calmness that had taken over.

Lee was the first to speak. "I am really sorry about how I acted, that I took everything out on you. I just canít lose you, and I thought that if I pushed you away enough, you would leave, and I wouldnít have to worry about anything ever happening to you." He paused and rested his forehead against hers, "But I was very wrong."

"I love you" Amanda told him as she moved to kiss him gently.

Letting those three words register in his brain, Lee reacted to the kiss Amanda had given him. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close. As he gently rubbed one of his hands up and down her back, he tilted his head, moved it closer and laid his lips across hers.

Amanda was more then expecting a kiss. She was waiting for him to react to her. And when he did, she was ready. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she ran one through his hair. But as she felt Lee deepen the kiss, she used his neck to hold on to him.

Feeling Amanda hold onto him a little tighter, Lee decided that to really apologize to her, he'd show her how much she meant to him. Not exactly ending the kiss, Lee moved his lips off hers and down her jaw line. Stopping just below her ear, he listened as she moaned in protest that he had moved his lips away from her's. But his next action, which consisted of him nibbling on her ear, produced moans of pleasure from her. He smiled to himself as he moved down and away from her ear to the nape of her neck.

Her knees were getting worse. She didn't even know how she could stand up anymore. It had been a long time since her and Lee had been this close. Although, she didn't care, it just felt so incredible. She wanted more. She wanted to feel him all over her body.

Stopping at the collar to her sweater, Lee pulled back and looked up at Amanda. He could see she was enjoying every inch of what he was doing. "Amanda."

Opening her eyes, she had closed then when he started to nibble her ear, Amanda looked into his eyes. "Yes Lee."

"You want this, right?"

"Of course, I do."

"Good," Lee replied as he took his arms off from around her and gently placed them on her hands that were around his neck. Pulling them off, he surprised her with his next move.

"Lee..."

"Bedroom?"

"I've always wanted to make love in front of a roaring fire," Amanda admitted.

"We have the rest of our lives to do that," Lee told her as he walked to the stairs leading to the upstairs. Setting her down, Lee took hold of her hand and led her up the stairs.

Following him, course she had no choice he had her hand, Amanda couldn't wait for what was going to happen. They had, had a rough week (?). This was exactly what they needed and what they both wanted. Feeling a hand on her cheek, Amanda came out of her thoughts to see Lee standing before her. "Yes."

"You okay?" Lee asked.

"Sorry was caught up in my thoughts."

"Can I tell you something?" Lee asked her. Amanda nodded and he continued "When all of this began and you left, I couldnít find you, it was like nothing else mattered, all I wanted to do was see you, to make things right. All I wanted to do was to spend time with you, to be able just to stand next to you. I know it sounds strange, but in a way I think that what we have, our relationship, both work and personal, it keeps pulling me closer. I couldn't break free from it if I wanted to, and I don't want to. I love the way I feel when I'm around you and the way you make me feel. I feel complete or whole when you're with me. I'm a better man."

"You really want this, don't you?"

"Oh ya, I've wanted you for awhile," Amanda admitted as Lee wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close.

"Good," Lee said as he captured her lips with his.

Instead of wrapping her arms around his neck, Amanda slid her hands under his jacket. 'He was way over dressed,' she thought to herself as Lee deepened the kiss.

Feeling Amanda snake her hands under his jacket, Lee let his arms drop but never broke the kiss. Taking his jacket off didn't mean for them to break the kiss. When he felt Amanda slid the jacket off, he moved both hands to her face and cupped it. Pulling back, he looked into her eyes. "I love you, Amanda."

"Love you too, Lee," Amanda replied as she took Lee's hands off her face. Holding onto his hands, she leaned in and kissed him. In some aspect, she was continuing on with the kiss he had broken. She hadn't wanted the kiss to end, she wanted it to continue.

When Amanda finally did let go off his hands, Lee moved them to the bottom of her sweater. Pushing the sweater up, he than ran his hands underneath.

Feeling Lee's hand on her stomach, Amanda shivered. His hands weren't cold, but it was the way he touched her. It was almost as if she could feel him wanting her through the way he ran his hands over her stomach and onto her back.

As the kiss ended, Lee pushed Amanda's sweater up. When she looked into his eyes, he spoke softly to her. "We have to many clothes on."

"Oh ya, I agree," Amanda said as she let Lee pull her sweater off. Watching him toss it over his shoulder, she spoke when she saw a different look in his eyes. "What's wrong?"

"You are beautiful," Lee replied as he leaned towards her and gave her a kiss. "Extremely beautiful."

Smiling, Amanda felt a few tears run down her cheeks. No one, since her ex had told her that.

Seeing the tears, Lee placed a hand on her cheek. As he wiped away her tears, he spoke. "Don't cry."

"It's not that Lee."

"What is it?"

"I haven't heard anyone tell me I'm beautiful in a very long time," Amanda explained.

"Well you are," Lee replied as he leaned in and kissed her. "Extremely."

Smiling at him, Amanda decided that Lee was now wearing to many clothes. Reaching out she pulled his jean shirt out of his jeans and started on the buttons. But before she was half way done, she was interrupted. "Oh Lee."

Lee had brushed away some hair on her neck and was now busy kissing the exposed areas. His real plan was to distract Amanda from undoing his shirt and he knew it was working. When she dropped her arms, he moved his lips down her collarbone to the front of her chest. Laying a trail of kisses, he stopped when he got to her bra. Jumping over the front of it, he bent down as he lowered the kisses.

Amanda's only response was to run her hands through his hair. That's all she could think of doing.

Stopping at her waistband of her pants, Lee undid the buttons but as he started to push them down, a pair of hands pulling him back up interrupted him.

When Lee was at her level again, Amanda kissed him before he could protest. Yes, she wanted to feel him everywhere on her body, but she also wanted to feel her hands on him, too. Placing her hands on his shirt, she undid the rest of the buttons. When his shirt was open, she slid her hands underneath and pushed it off. As the shirt fell to the floor, she ran her hands up and down his chest. Breaking the kiss, the one she had started, she leaned towards him and placed her lips on his now exposed chest. Starting from his Adam's apple, she laid a trail of kisses down to his pants.

Lee was in heaven. That's all he could think off. Here he was in a room with the woman he loved. But when he felt her undo the button on his pants, he reacted; he came out of his thoughts. Pulling her up, he then picked her up. He gave her no chance to protest. Walking to the semi made bed, he gently placed her on it and lay down on top of her.

The next morning sun came through the bedroom windows, cascading over the couple laying in the bed together. Lee wasnít sure if this was still a dream or not, he gently moved his hand over Amandaís bare back and up her arm. He let out a sigh of contentment and closed his eyes again.

A few moments later Amanda moaned in her sleep, she felt warm all over. Amanda smiled as the memories came floating back into her consciousness.

She looked up at Lee, he was still asleep, for as far as she would know. Amanda reached up and moved her finger gently down the line of his jaw; she then reached up and kissed him gently. She then settled back to look at him.

"Morning" Lee said to her as he opened his eyes.

"Hi" Amanda responded as she smiled and laid her head down on his chest.

They sit there in a comfortable silence, Lee rubbing her back and Amanda promptly drifted off into a morning nap. He leaned over and gave her a kiss on her hairline and gently tried to wake her, he had other things in mind for that morning.

"I love you." Lee whispered into her ear, his breath flowing over her ear sending chills over Amandaís and she snuggled in closer to him, if it was at all possible.

"Mmm" Amanda moved a bit, "that feels good." She admitted.

"Yeah, and how about this?" Lee whispered as he wrapped his arms around her tighter and puller her up and kissed her passionately.

After a few moments they broke apart and looked right into each otherís souls, both of them smiled and leaned in for another kiss, reliving what happened the night before.

*******************************


Around noon, Lee and Amanda wandered out of bed and sat in the kitchen table together drinking coffee. They sat on the bench to the table together, Lee was against the corner with his leg up on the bench, Amanda had nestled herself in between him and the table.

"You know Amanda," Lee paused as he looked down and interlaced his fingers with hers, "I could really get used to this." He brought her hand up and gently laid a kiss on it, "I love you Amanda."

The rest of the day went just as the morning had gone; they relaxed and spent the day in each otherís arms. It was a day that neither one would forget, it was the beginning, the foundation for their relationship that was ready to advance to the next level.

Later that evening they were settled on a blanket in the back by the pond. They were having a picnic and planned on watching the sunset together. Lee fell into a silence for the first time today. He let his mind drift to what the following day meant to him.

"Hey, are you okay?" Amanda asked quietly ad she turned around in his embrace to look at him.

Lee looked down at her in his arms and tightened his hold on her, "Did I tell you how much I love you?"

"Not this afternoon yet." She smiled trying to lighten the mood, "What are you thinking about?" She asked turning serious.

"Tomorrow, I want to go to ErikísÖ" He trailed off, but she knew exactly what he was talking about.

"Okay, I will take you." Amanda responded as she held on to him, letting him know that she was there for him, that she was never going to leave.

"Can you..can you go with me?" Lee asked her after a few moments of silence, "Iíd really need you.."

"Of course I will, I wouldnít be anywhere else." Amanda told him as she knelt between his legs and leaned in to kiss him.

"I love you Amanda KingÖ" He began to tell her before they were engulfed in a passionate kiss.

Lee opened his eyes for a second, "Hey we are missing the sunsetÖ"

"No I am not missing anything." Amanda responded and leaned in again as Lee pulled her down on top of him.

*****************************


The next day turned out to be a cloudy day. They woke up after a long night of making love and talking, tangled in the sheets and cuddled up next to one another, holding on like they would lose each other if they let go.

"We should really get up." Amanda began to say to him, as he drew lazy circles on her back.

"Yeah" was all Lee said as he reached down and puller Amanda up to kiss her.

"If you keep doing that we are never going to make it out of this bed." Amada joked.

"And that is such a bad thing?"

"Lee"

"I know, I just feel like if I let you go, Iíll.." Lee started to tell her as he started to get all teary eyed at the thought.

Amanda leaned up a rested her chin on her hands as she looked at him, "What Lee? What is it?"

"Lose you Amanda, I canít lose you."

"I canít lose you either, I love you so much." She said to him as she ran a finger down his jaw line and kissed him.

*****************************


Amanda drove to the cemetery that afternoon. Lee had gone into a quite state and asked her to drive. She pulled into the cemetery and shut the car off, as she got out and walked over to the passenger side of the car, she noticed that Lee had not gotten out. He just sat there with a face that showed so many emotions. Feelings that he needed his privacy and to take his time, Amanda leaned against the side of the car and waited. A few moments later lee opened the door and slowly got out and looked around, it was a cloudy and empty day, and it suited his mood. His gaze turned to Amanda who was looking at him, she didnít make a move. Amanda was unsure about how to handle this situation, she wanted to go to him, to hold him, but she also knew there was something that Lee needed to on his own.

Lee began to move, he took a few steps and realized that she was not following him, so Lee turned around to find her still in the same spot, leaning against his car.

"Hey.." Lee began to say as he moved back towards her, "Whatís wrong?"

"Nothing" She said as her eyes filled with tears.

"This is not nothing Amanda." Lee stated flatly.

"I was just thinking that this might be you or me one day." She said sadly.

"I know." He said and pulled her in for a hug. They both stood there for a long time, just holding each other, knowing that the other was there, that they loved each other. In the long run, that was what was going to help them through this. "I am sorry." Lee finished.

Amanda looked up at him, eyes blurred, "Why? Why would you say that?"

"I think you know what I mean Amanda, and I just wanted to say that I was sorry."

"There is no need, I know what I was getting into Lee, and this is not the time or place to discuss this." She said as she reached for his hand and took a step away.

"Yeah, come on."

They both walked towards Erikís grave together. Lee was sure about he would feel about being here, and with Amanda none the less.

Amanda bent down and put flowers on his grave. Lee smiled and held her a little tighter. They both lost track of time, and Amanda turned to Lee who had been silent for a while.

"Hey" She began as she put her hands on his collar and moved them down his chest, "Are you ready?"

Lee looked up at her and smiled, then leaned in to give her a gentle kiss, "Yeah I am ready, come on." He finished as he reached for her hands.

When they reached the car lee opened the passenger door for Amanda but stopped her from getting in. "I just wanted to say thanks Amanda, for everything. You have no idea how much this, you mean to me." He said as he cupped her face and leaned in for a lingering kiss.

***********************


Later that night Lee and Amanda were sitting in front of the fire eating dinner together. They were both taking the night slowly and easily.

Lee got up and went to the kitchen for a moment, "Where are you going?" Amanda asked.

"Youíll see, be patient." He responded from behind the refrigerator door.

Amanda laughed and turned her attention back to fire.

He returned a few moments later with a bowl of fruit. As he sat down next to her he set the bowl in between them.

Amanda looked up at Lee for a moment and rewarded him with a smile. "Whatís this for?" She asked innocently.

"Dessert." Lee said as he reached down for a strawberry and lifted up to her, "Here try this."

Much of the evening went just like that, but soon grew more intense, mostly from the daysí events and emotions. Soon they were feeding each other and taking that simple act just one step further, and they spent the rest of the night in each otherís arms in front of the warm fire.

****************************


The next morning Amanda awoke first and snuggled into Lee as she lay in bed. ĎFunnyí she thought ĎI donít remember going to bed?í

"Hey" Lee said as he pulled her even closer, "I know what you are thinking."

"You do, do you? And what do you think I am thinking?" Amanda joked.

"How you got into bed last night." He said flatly, although smiling.

"And you are going to enlighten me on this fact?"

"We both fell asleep, I woke up and well decided that we would be a lot more comfortable in bed, not laying on a hard wood floor." He nuzzled her neck.

"Ahh, and that we are." Amanda replied as she tried to turn around.

"Donít" Was all he said, "I donít want to leave this place, I want to stay here forever, here with you."

"As much as that is appealing Lee.."

"I know Amanda I know." He leaned down and gave her a kiss on her shoulder, "You know we have a lot to talk about."

"Yes we do, but not here, when we get back, we will have a nice dinner, just the two of us."

"Good, I am looking forward to it."

************************


Monday morning they arrived to work on time to have Billy call them down to his office.

"I take it everything is alright between you two." Billy says as he watched them as they entered his office.

"Yeah everything is okay Sir." Amanda was the first to speak, as always.

"Good because I have your next assignment." Billy said as he handed them a file and thought ĎItís about time.í
 

The End