He cast a wry glance at the small beribboned box that he had placed on her desk moments before, and shook his head slightly. Of all the romantic things he had ever done, proposing to Amanda while they were in fear for their lives was at the bottom of the list. He had barely had a chance to talk with her alone this past week while she was recovering from the abuse she had suffered at Addi Birol's hands, and her discomfort in his presence had stung slightly until he realized its cause. Nothing had been said between them about his proposal, and though he knew he'd been sincere, Amanda, with her logical mind working overtime, had no doubt begun to second-guess him. Once the effect of the drugs had worn off, she had become uncharacteristically reserved around him, and had avoided him whenever possible. She was due in the office this morning for the first time since her ordeal.
Lee's gaze drifted back to the top of his desk and he smiled slightly. He lifted the first item and opened the worn cover, tracing a blunt finger down the list of names that filled the page. He waited for the pang of regret he was sure would come, unsurprised when he felt nothing but a sense of closure. He shut the book with a snap and rose, gathering in his hands the four little black books that had once held his life. He crossed purposefully to the machine in the corner of the room, and with calm, deliberate movements began to destroy the books, page by page, feeling as if he was wiping his slate clean with every group of names that disappeared into the shredder.
Taking a deep breath as he fed in the last of the papers, he brushed the remnants of his past off of his hands and straightened his tie, squaring his shoulders and taking a last look around the room. His gaze came to rest on the little square box that sat so proudly on Amanda's desk, and he reached out a reverent hand to straighten it imperceptibly. A soft smile played across his lips as he considered her reaction, unconsciously flexing the fingers of his left hand in restless anticipation.
Suddenly anxious to leave before Amanda arrived, he quickly opened the door
and checked the hallway to make sure the coast was clear, amused at his efforts
to protect his little "covert operation". As he made his way down the
hall, he felt suffused with a joyous energy, shiny and new, born from the
knowledge that his future lay with the woman who held his heart in her hands.