She started at her legs and worked up, going over every body part in her mind's eye and trying to determine if she was seriously injured. Her legs seemed to work, even though it hurt like the blazes to try and move them, as did her arms. The point of the most pain seemed to be centered in her head.
She could tell that she was near a road because she could hear the traffic nearby. She decided that if she was going to get out of this place and back to civilization that she was going to need to move.
She tried again to get up. This time she was a little more successful. She looked down at what she was wearing and noticed that it seemed to be some sort of evening pantsuit, gold in color, but it was now ripped in several places and very dirty. She made it to her feet and stumbled along a path strewn with dead leaves and pine needles. Every step she took caused her head to pound a little bit harder. She wasn't sure how far she was going to get when she noticed a clearing up ahead. "If I can just make it to the road I'll be fine and someone will help me," she thought to herself.
She finally made it to the road and started walking in what she hoped was the direction towards some sort of town. Her body had other thoughts, though. The last thing she remembered as she passed out again was the sound of someone singing.
Country music drifted on the air as he made his deliveries. Normally he wouldn't work on Saturdays but when his friend had asked him to trade shifts with him he had agreed. It meant overtime for him, which was always welcome, seeing as how his wife was expecting their fourth child any day. They could always use the extra money.
As he came around the curve, something glittering in the sun caught his eye. As he got closer he could see that it appeared to be a body.
"Dear God!" he thought, as he pulled over to try and help. "Lady...Hey, miss, are you okay?" he asked as he knelt down by her. She was a mess. Her hair was plastered to one of side of her head with what appeared to be a combination of mud, blood, and leaves. Her face was bruised as well and her gold pantsuit was ripped in several places. He felt for a pulse as he had seen them do on TV and was rewarded with a faint yet steady sign that she was still alive. He knew, though, that she was in dire need of a doctor and that he had to get her to a hospital fast.
"Come on, lady. Let's get you into my truck and get you to the hospital," he said as he gently lifted her body from the ground and placed her into the truck.
As he raced towards the hospital, in her delirium she kept repeating, "Scarecrow, Scarecrow." He had no idea what this meant but she said it with such fervor and desperation that he knew it was of great importance to this woman. "Don't worry, lady, we're almost at the hospital. Just hold on a little bit longer."
"Lee, I can't seem to get a hold of Mom anywhere. Phillip and I want to go with Mark Hammer and his Dad to Baltimore for the Orioles game this weekend. His dad is going to take us camping and then to the game tomorrow. Do you think Mom would mind?" Jamie asked his step dad.
"No, I don't think she would mind. Just be careful and have fun," Lee told him as he hung up.
Truth be told, Lee Stetson was getting a little bit worried about his wife. He hadn't seen or heard from her since last night when she'd called him and told him Billy needed her for a job. It wasn't like her not to at least call.
He replayed in his mind the conversation that he and Amanda had had the night before. He had been upset when he found out that Amanda had been asked to courier something for Billy at the last minute.
"Oh, come on, Amanda, what do you mean you were asked to courier tonight? I thought you and I had plans, not to mention you're not a civilian courier anymore, you're a full-fledged agent. You have been for close to two years.
Why is Billy asking you to do this? Can't he find someone else to do the drop?" Lee asked his wife in exasperation.
"Lee, please calm down. I know you and I had plans tonight but the person who was supposed to do the drop is very ill and can't do it. Everyone else is out of reach on other assignments. It's a simple drop at the Ukrainian Embassy. It's a late drop, though, so don't wait up for me, okay?" she asked her husband.
"Okay, okay, I understand and I'm sorry I got upset. It's just that I had some pretty special plans for tonight. With your mother visiting her sister for the week and the boys going away tonight and staying at Mark's house, our house would be empty except for you and I sharing some quality time alone for a change. I don't know what's worse: having to sneak around like we did for time together before everyone knew or having to kick everyone out of the house so we can have some time alone," Lee finished.
Amanda softly chuckled into the phone. "I know, sweetheart. At least before everyone knew we could go to your apartment and have a nice romantic dinner with just the two of us. But I'm not sorry everyone knows now. At least we don't have to hide our feelings to anyone. I'll make it up to you, I promise. I have something pretty special I need to discuss with you anyway, Lee."
"What is it, Amanda?"
"Not on the phone, Lee, I'll tell you tomorrow night. Just hold all your special plans til then, OK? Lee, I've got to go, we're pulling into the embassy. I love you."
"I love you too, Amanda, just be careful please," Lee told her.
"Always am, Scarecrow. Bye."
With that they had ended the call. "Where are you, Amanda?" Lee wondered as a knock came at the office door.
"Lee, have you seen Amanda today?" Billy Melrose asked.
"What? You mean you haven't seen her since last night when you sent her on the assignment?" Lee asked his boss, uneasiness settling on him like a shroud.
"No, I haven't, Scarecrow. I was kind of hoping you had, but I'm not surprised."
"What do you mean you're not surprised? What's going on, Billy?"
"It's more like what didn't happen, Lee. She was carrying documents that had information on a meeting place for a Ukrainian diplomat and scientist who wants to defect. Amanda had all the documents that Dr. Petra Polinoski would need to become an American until we could get her paperwork processed and make her a legal citizen," Billy sighed.
"Dr. Petra Polinoski? Isn't she the biochemist who developed some of the world's deadliest biochemical warfare weapons?" Lee asked.
"Yes, she is. But she also created a super antidote, so to speak. It neutralizes almost any bio weapon. Give the soldiers a shot before they go into the battlefield and they are safe, at least from chemical weapons. She had a change of heart and her government didn't like it. When the doctor didn't make it to her checkpoint this morning we got worried. I was able to get Francine into her hotel room. The doctor wasn't there and we can't find any trace of her or Amanda. I've already got two teams looking for both Amanda and Dr. Polinoski."
Before Lee was able to say anything the phone rang. "Lee Stetson. Yeah, Francine, he's right here. Billy, it's for you," Lee said as he handed the phone to Billy.
"What is it, Francine? Are you sure? OK, call the doctor back and tell her that we'll be right there. I want two men outside of Amanda's room at all times! Got it? Good, get Davids and Miller over to the embassy to see if they can figure out what went wrong and I want Hernandez and Cunningham over to the sick courier's house. I'll call you later for a progress report."
Billy ended the call. Before Lee even had a chance to say anything Billy said, "Go get your car and I'll explain on the way to the hospital."
Dr. Claudia Joyce happened to be in the ER working at the time they brought the woman in. Besides being one of the resident doctors at the Agency, she helped out a couple of days a week in the ER. She recognized their new patient immediately, but wasn't sure what kind of trouble Amanda might be in. As soon as they got her stabilized, she called Billy. Unable to speak to him directly, she left a message with Francine to have Billy and Lee meet her at the hospital ASAP.
Amanda hadn't come around yet and that worried the doctor a little bit. She had ordered a CAT scan and a MRI just to make sure that there were no internal injuries. She had gotten the tests back and was just waiting for the two agents to get there.
Lee made it to the hospital in record time and found Dr. Joyce waiting for him and Billy outside Amanda's room. "Let's go down to the waiting room and talk. Then you can go in and see her, Scarecrow," the doctor suggested.
Lee wasn't the type to really to wait for anything especially if he was in a hospital, but he did want to know what they were dealing with and if Amanda was going to be okay. So he followed the doctor down to the waiting area.
"First of all, let me say that she's a very lucky lady. From all the tests I've done she doesn't appear to have any internal injuries and the baby is fine. The only thing that concerns me is the swelling on her brain. We will monitor this very closely until she wakes up. She has had a severe blow to her head and that has caused the swelling."
Lee hadn't heard anything past what the doctor had said about the baby. "Doctor, did you say something about a baby?" Lee asked.
"Why yes, I thought you knew. She came in at the beginning of the week because she hadn't been feeling like herself. I thought she would have told you by now. I telephoned her yesterday with the results. Your wife is nine weeks pregnant," the doctor finished as Lee just stood there dumbfounded.
"She told me yesterday that she needed to talk to me about something but that she didn't want to do it over the phone. I had no idea that's what she wanted to talk about."
"Claudia, who brought Amanda in?" Billy wanted to know.
"Some delivery man. His name is Larry Hodges, I think, and he works for All-Pro Deliveries. He left a number at the nurse's station where he could be reached. He said if he could be of any help to call. He would help out in any way possible."
"OK, I want a tox screen done on her," Billy told the doctor. The doctor turned to Lee before she walked out to order the test and placed a reassuring hand on his arm and said, "She's gonna be just fine, Lee." With that she left.
Billy turned to Lee. "I'm going to get this information over to Francine right now and get her over to the delivery place," Billy said to dead air. Lee was already halfway to Amanda's room.
When Lee walked into Amanda's room the first thing he noticed was her face.
Lee had known a lot of beautiful women in his time but Amanda outshone them all. She wasn't just beautiful on the outside but inside as well. But this morning her face was a mass of angry purple marks and red scratches. As he got closer to the bed he was able to make out the patch that was covering her head where she'd been hit.
"Oh Amanda, what happened to you?" he said as he gingerly touched the bandage on his wife's head. He could tell just from looking at the bandage that it was bad. The doctor had gotten the wound to stop bleeding, but he could tell from the bandages that it was a good sized bump on her head.
He didn't know who the person or persons were that were responsible for doing this to 'his' Amanda, but he vowed he would find them and make them pay.
Billy walked into Amanda's hospital room and his heart went out to Lee. He was staring down at his wife. Billy knew what was going through his mind. "There was nothing you could do about this Scarecrow. You know that. We will get to the bottom of this, don't worry."
Lee was getting ready to answer Billy when Amanda started to stir. "Amanda, can you hear me? It's Lee. Billy and I are right here. Billy, go get Dr. Joyce, please. Let her know that Amanda is awake."
"Could I have a sip of water please?" Amanda asked.
Lee got her a drink of water and helped her take a drink.
"Good. Good. Not too much. There you go," Lee said as he helped her with the cup.
"Oh Amanda, you had me scared to death. I'm glad you're okay. Do you remember anything that happened?" Lee asked his wife.
Amanda just shook her head, which Lee could see was an effort and that it hurt to do so.
"You just rest and we'll talk more later. I'll be right here. I'm not going anywhere." Lee assured her.
“I’m going to go back to the Agency and help Francine try and track this delivery man down,” Billy said as he got up to leave. "Amanda, you just rest and get better, OK?"
"OK. Thanks, I will. I have a question though. Obviously you both know me, but I have no clue who you are. Do I know you?"
The office was sparsely furnished. There was a desk, a couple of chairs, and a map of the Motherland. The obligatory pictures of Stalin and Gorbachev were on the wall and the flag of the U.S.S.R. was in the corner. He was still an officer of the Red Army--even if Russia wouldn't claim him.
The general couldn't believe he'd been banned from Mother Russia. After all, he'd been one of the best military men that the U.S.S.R. had ever had; at least in his mind. When the general had been caught by the Scarecrow for stealing weapons on American soil, the Motherland's view of the him had changed.
Instead of standing trial in the U.S. the general had been sent back to the U.S.S.R. and had been discharged from the Army immediately upon his return. The only reason he had escaped prosecution in the States was that he had been there as a military advisor to the ambassador at the Russian embassy and therefore had diplomatic immunity. He had vowed then and there to get revenge on Scarecrow. All that the general had done for the last eight years was plot out his revenge against Lee Stetson.
He had watched Lee Stetson for a very long time and he knew when the time was right to strike. He had planned on taking something away from the Scarecrow that was more valuable to him than his own life; his precious new wife, Amanda Stetson.
"Is it done?" the general asked when he heard the door open. He was not afraid of it being someone else other than his nephew Peter. The two of them were the only ones who knew about the old abandoned warehouse where they had set up their operation.
"Ah...sir, she's not dead," said the tall thin man who had entered the office.
The general straightened his uniform jacket before he spoke. In low, menacing tones he said, "What do you mean 'She's not dead.'? I hired you to do a job. Kill Amanda Stetson," the general said in a voice that made the man before him start to shake.
He knew of the consequences of failing this man. It didn't matter that they were family; his uncle was a hard man and would have have killed him long before if it weren't for the fact that he was the son of the general's much loved younger sister. The only reason he'd gone back was because he had a plan that was foolproof in getting rid of the woman and getting the great Scarecrow out of the Agency once and for all. He'd let his uncle down and he planed on making everything right.
"General Stalinski, I could not kill her at the party. There were too many people there. I was able to follow her to where she was to meet Dr. Polinoski. I had already intercepted her and gave her the shot with the drug as you instructed. When the woman showed up I hit her over the head with the butt of my gun. I then loaded her into my van and dumped her in the woods off of route 123 in Virginia. No one will ever find her where I dumped her. If the wild animals don't get to her first then she will die from the severity of the head wound," the man said.
General Vladmir Stalinski was not one who took to being disobeyed. He pulled a gun from under his uniform coat.
"Uncle!! Wait! I have a plan that will take care of everything," Peter Stalinski put his arms out to stop his Uncle and rushed on. "I will go back tonight when it is dark and I will kill her. I made a map of the place where I dumped her body. If she is still alive I will put a bullet through her head and bring her head to you on a silver platter."
The General mulled this over in his mind for a moment. This boy was his only living relative. He was his sister's son. When Tatiana had died giving birth to her son, Vladmir had vowed to first find the American pig that had gotten his baby sister pregnant and kill him, and secondly he had vowed to take care of the young boy. So he had done both. He had given the boy his name when he adopted him and had raised him as his own. "I will give you one more chance. But, any more mistakes and I'll forget we're family." To emphasize his point he pulled the trigger. To Peter's relief there was no bullet under the hammer. "Next time you won't be so lucky. I want you back in my office with the body, not just the head. I will dispose of it. Is that clear?"
"Yes sir!! I will not let you down again," Peter replied. With that he clicked his heels and was gone.
"Amanda, what did you just say?" Lee couldn't believe what he'd just heard.
"I'm sorry. But I don't know who you are," Amanda repeated.
Billy had entered the room with the doctor just as Amanda had asked Lee if she knew him. The doctor interrupted, and pushed Lee and Billy out of the way so she could get to the bed.
"Amanda, do you know where you are?"
"Well, it's pretty obvious that, I'm in the hospital but other than that no, I don't."
"What's your birthday?" the doctor questioned.
After thinking for a minute Amanda said in a very soft voice, "I'm...I'm not sure."
"Gentlemen, may I see you outside for a minute? I'll be right back in, Amanda. I have a few more questions I need to ask and I'm sure you have some questions of your own," Doctor Joyce said. She then took the two men by the arms and piloted them outside of her room. "It looks like Amanda is suffering from full amnesia. I won't know for sure until I question her fully, but right now she needs her rest. I think you two have your hands full finding whoever did this."
"Come on, Lee. We need to get back to the office with the info on the delivery guy who found Amanda. Maybe Francine can find out where this guy found Amanda. Maybe that'll give us something to go on," Billy said as he tried to get Lee to leave.
Billy knew what Lee must be going through. Finding out first of all that his wife had been dumped in the backwoods of Virginia and left for dead, then finding out she was pregnant, and now this.
"Billy, I'm not going anywhere. Amanda needs me. She has no idea who you are, let alone who I am and if I know my wife she's going to be scared to death," Lee said vehemently.
"Scarecrow," Billy said in a voice that dared Lee to challenge his boss, "I understand, but you have a job to do! You and Amanda are the best agents I have and I need you on this case. It's the only way we have of finding out who did this to your partner."
Lee hated to leave his wife, but he knew Billy was right. He needed to find out who had stolen his wife from him. "All right, but we do this my way, Billy."
At Billy's nod he went on, "Who was the courier who got sick last night and couldn't do the drop?"
"Her name is Anne Smith. She's a civilian courier like Amanda was. She was recruited by one of the agents and has been working for us for about six months or so. Come to think of it, she was kind of over eager like Amanda was when she first started working for us. All excited about doing something for the good of the country and all that. She kind of surprised me when she called last night and said she couldn't do the drop because she wasn't feeling well," Billy answered.
Lee nodded--he already knew what he needed to do. "OK Billy, I want the file on her. I'm going to go see her and see what I can find out. There's something that just doesn't feel right about this whole thing."
After Billy borrowed one of the agent's cars to get back to the office and was on his way, Lee walked back into Amanda's room. She was sleeping peacefully. "She looks just as beautiful as always even though her face is black and blue," he thought. He didn't want to wake her so he quietly went over, kissed her on the forehead, and said, "I love you, Amanda Stetson, and I promise I'll find out who did this to you and why." With that Lee went out the door.
Amanda had been awake the whole time Lee had been in her room. She was so tired and was afraid he was going to ask her more questions so she kept her eyes closed and pretended to be asleep. After what the man had just done she was even more confused. Through her tears she said to the empty room, "Who are you and what do you mean to me?"
Francine had decided she'd waited long enough to go and see Amanda. After all, she and Amanda were pretty good friends. Sure, there had been a time when she wouldn't have rushed over to the hospital to help Amanda, but times had changed.
She, Jonathan, Lee, and Amanda did a lot of things together as only married couples could do and that had only brought them closer. She couldn't pinpoint an exact time when her feelings had changed for Amanda, but her friend had been hurt and it was time to go and see her.
"Amanda?" Francine said as she knocked on the door, "It's Francine, are you awake?"
"Yeah I'm awake; come on in." Amanda didn't know who this pretty young woman was but was glad for the company. She been trying to remember anything for a long time and only had a headache to show for her efforts. The doctor had said to just give it time, that more often than not memories would come back slowly and certain places and things would trigger her memories.
"How do you feel, Amanda?" Francine wanted to know as she set a vase of mixed flowers on the ledge by the window.
"Mostly tired and I have a headache but other thanthat not too bad. The doctor wants to keep me here for observation overnight because of the head injury, but if everything looks ok tomorrow she may let me go home. Thank you for the flowers. They are lovely," Amanda finished.
"Oh, you're welcome. When everyone back at the Agency found out they all chipped in for them. You know how it is when one of ours lands in the hospital: Mrs. Marston will pick up something small and nice and just charge it to the Agency. But not this time. You and Lee are the favorites around the office. Especially you. So...we took up a collection to get these. It's amazing to see the counter-intelligence community at the office come together," Francine finished.
"Counter-Intelligence?" Amanda said slowly, not sure of what she just heard. "Do you mean spy?" she asked.
"Well of course, silly. But you know we don't like the word spy. You know you and Lee are the best team the Agency has ever had. Anyway, I just wanted to come over and see you and make sure they were giving you the best treatment possible, but I'm sure your wonderful husband already did that. I know I've told you before but you and Lee were made for each other and you bring out the best in each other. Well, I'd better get back. Billy's probably looking for me. I'll see you later." With that Francine swept out of the room as quickly as she'd come in.
"I can't be a spy!! Can I?" Amanda wondered out loud. And what was this about her husband? She was married, that much she had figured out by the beautiful wedding set on her left hand, but being married to a spy was an entirely different thing.
"Oh, I'm just too tired to sort this out. Maybe later when that nice man comes back to see me he can explain everything."
Lee had driven back to the office on auto-pilot. Today's events had almost been too much. His wife didn't remember him and to boot he was going to be a father and he wasn't even sure if Amanda remembered that little fact. Sure, they'd been in some pretty tight places before and Amanda had even lost part of her memory at one time. She hadn't remembered him at that time either. Even though he couldn't or wouldn't acknowledge it at the time, he'd been in love with her then. If she hadn't regained her memory she wouldn't be working for them right now and who knows if they would have been married.
It made him shudder just to think about it. He parked on the street outside of the Agency. He still had his badge on from that morning so he ran in past Mrs. Marston before she could even ask a question. He was in no mood to answer questions. He rode the elevator down to the bullpen and walked smack dab into Dr. Smyth as he stepped out of the elevator.
"Well, well, well. If it isn't the Scarecrow without his partner." At Lee's look of rage at his indelicately asked question Smyth changed his tone and asked, "How's she doing?"
"She's a little bruised and banged up, but she'll be fine," Lee answered guardedly. He didn't want Smyth to find out about her losing her memory.
But, as he found out with Smyth's next statement it was too late for that.
"The good doctor tells me that she doesn't remember anything. Not the Agency, not her family, not even you. Is that true, Scarecrow? Does Sherlock have amnesia?"
Lee sighed. There wasn't much this man didn't know or could find out. He had contacts on, in, and around Capitol Hill as well as snitches all over town. "Yes, Sir, that's true, she doesn't remember anything right now."
Lee expected something biting to come out of Dr. Smyth's mouth and he wasn't disappointed.
"So the great Sherlock isn't as infallible as we all think. Hmmm, well, for your sake maybe it's better this way, Scarecrow. Now you can get back to being a real agent and not have to babysit a novice agent who's more trouble than she's worth. I don't know what I was thinking when I agreed to formal training for that... that...suburban housewife."
Lee was livid and had a hard time not hitting this man standing in front of him. With fists clenched he told Dr. Smyth what he'd wanted to for a long time. "You wouldn't know what to do if a real live beating heart was found inside of you. You've been against Amanda from the start and I don't know why. Yes, I'll admit in the beginning she was a little...eager and naive, but she is one of the best agents that we have. She is logical and very good at what she does. There's something else you don't know about and that's loyalty. She has a loyalty to everyone in this office including you. She feels sorry for you. I don't know how many times she's told me to lay off of you because you act the way you do because you're a lonely man with no one to love. If you were any other man you'd be on the floor nursing some bruises of your own," Lee said. He was almost nose to nose with Smyth by the time he was done and he waited for a response from him.
All he got was a clearing of the throat, a placing of a cigarette holder between teeth and turn of the heel when he walked off.
Lee finally walked into the bullpen and over to Billy's office. After knocking, he entered the office.
"Here's the file on Anne. She's clean. She went through all the screening processes just like anyone else. Background checks, surveillance, the whole nine yards. She came out squeaky clean, Lee."
"Billy, something just doesn't feel right. I'm going over to her place."
"What are you looking for?" Billy asked. He trusted his agents' instincts; at least Lee and Amanda's. Nine times out of ten they were right. But this time he wasn't sure if Lee was on to something or just trying to find someone to blame for what had happened to Amanda.
Lee ran his hands through his hair in frustration and admitted to Billy, "I don't know, but I know she's the key to this whole thing. I'll go crazy if I don't check out everyone and everything!"
"All right," Billy said with a sigh. When he saw the light leap into Lee's eyes, he rushed on to add, "But I want a full report when you get back. I think you're barking up the wrong tree, but if I were in your shoes I'd be doing the same thing."
Lee drove to the area where Anne lived with no difficulty. It was in a part of town Lee knew quite well. It was an upper class neighborhood and he knew she had to have a side job to afford this kind of luxury. a+}was glad he'd asked Billy to get her bank records before he'd left to come over to her house.
In reading the file he'd also found out that her parents and she had moved from Moscow when she was five years old. It was that connection which bothered Lee the most.
When he finally got to the house, he looked in amazement at what he saw. He and Amanda lived in the house where Amanda had lived when he'd first met her and they were comfortable. Not overly so, but they both made decent money and had some of life's finer things. But this house made theirs look like a hovel. There was a three car garage out back and a very expensive sports car parked in front of the massive doors to the house. As he walked up to the house, he could see a swimming pool in the back of the house.
He rang the doorbell and waited for a butler or someone to answer the door.
When no one appeared, he let himself in. As he walked in he heard a shot ring out and immediately unholstered his weapon. With his gun drawn, he crept further into the house.
The door to what appeared to be a study was slightly ajar and Lee knew what had happened. He peeked into the room before entering and found the body of Anne Smith lying in a pool of her own blood. She been shot through the head and heart once. Lee went over to phone, grabbed his handkerchief out of his back pocket and wrapped it around the phone before he picked it up to dial out.
"Billy, it's me. I'm at Anne's house and she's dead." Before Lee could finish Billy heard a thud and then the phone went dead.
"Lee? Lee, what's going on? Lee?" Billy hung up the phone and walked to his office and yelled at Francine get in there on the double. "Something has happened to Lee and I need you to go to Anne Smith's house and make sure Scarecrow is OK."
Francine was out the door as soon as Billy gave her the address to the house.
When Francine got there ten minutes later, she was able to breeze right in the front door. As she walked in she heard glass breaking. She hurriedly got out her gun and ran in the direction that she'd heard the sound from.
The first thing she noticed as she entered the room was that it had been ransacked. Picking her way through the debris, Francine quickly found Anne and then looking behind the desk she found Lee out cold on the floor behind her.
Lee woke up to someone shaking him and a pain in the back of his head that made him see double. "Oh. Ughgh...Amanda? Where are you? Are you OK?" Lee asked his partner. He put a hand to the back of his head and felt the bump forming there. Fortunately it wasn't bleeding, but knowing his Amanda she'd want the doctor to check it. He'd been having the worst dream of his life.
He'd been dreaming that Amanda had been doing a routine drop when she was abducted and then left for dead in the Virginia woods. They had found her but she had amnesia and didn't remember anything. He was glad he had finally woken up. He didn't like dreams like that.
"Lee, come on wake up, Amanda's in the hospital remember? You came over to the courier's house, the one who was supposed to make the drop," Francine finished, as Lee finaly came to and realized where he was.
It all came back to Lee in a flood of memories and he groaned again. "I was having what I thought was a dream or at least I was hoping it was a dream." Lee tried to get up and staggered.
Francine was back at his side in a heartbeat. She steadied him and helped him over to a chair. "Anne's dead," he said as soon as he was seated and had his wits about him.
"Billy's on his way with a team." Francine saw what was in Lee's eyes and knew she needed to reassure him that Amanda was going to be OK. "Amanda'll be fine, Lee. I went over to the hospital and saw her before I came here. She looked really good other than the bruising on her face. Although she did seem a bit disoriented. She was a bit put off that I called her a spy; she always liked the term counter-intelligence agent better, "Francine said with a laugh.
"Francine, the reason she acted that way is because she has amnesia. What else did you tell her?" Lee demanded to know in an interrogative voice that he usually only used on suspects.
Francine opened her mouth to reply, but before she could Billy and a team walked in.
Two hours later Billy finally said, "Well, it looks like we're through here. This place is a mess. Was it like this when you got here, Scarecrow?"
"No, it wasn't, Billy. I came in, spotted the body, checked for a pulse, and then called you. I was talking to you on the phone when I got hit over the head from behind. I don't think this is a coincidence either. I think Anne knew far more than she let on to and was killed to keep her from changing her mind. What did the bank records turn up?" Lee wanted to know.
"You were right, Lee. There had been substantial deposits for the last six months. Right after she took the job from us," Billy said.
Right then one of the police officers came over to Lee and handed him a cell phone. "It's the hospital, Mr. Stetson."
"This is Stetson. What the... Is she OK? You're sure? All right, I'm on my way. Do not let that man out of your sight." Lee angrily handed the phone back and turned to Billy. "Someone just tried to kill Amanda in her room. The doctor said that one of the nurses saw a man knock out the one guard that was there and go into her room. By the time she got there the man had had the pillow over Amanda's face long enough that she passed out. They've got the man over there right now." Lee didn't give Billy a chance to say anything as he turned and ran out of the house.
"Hold on a minute, Stetson!! I'm coming with you." Billy yelled at Lee as he ran out of the house and jumped into the Corvette.
Peter couldn't believe he'd gotten caught. He knew if his uncle got a hold of him he'd be a dead man. His uncle would not tolerate another screw up.
He'd gone to the woman's house that had infiltrated the Agency for them and had taken care of her so that his uncle and he couldn't be tied to her. He was lucky because he was able to complete the job before the American scum that called himself an agent had gotten there. After he had knocked him out using the butt of his gun he had searched the office for anything incriminating against them and had gotten out of there just in time.
He'd gone back to the woods when he'd left the house. When he got back to the place where he'd dumped the body all he'd found was one of her shoes. He had back tracked out to the road and had followed it for a distance until he'd found the other shoe on the side of the road. He knew he was in trouble because she was still alive. He started calling the hospitals acting as though he was Amanda's pastor. He finally hit pay dirt when he called Galilee General Hospital. The receptionist said that yes, they had an Amanda Stetson registered there and that she had been brought in by a truck driver. She gave him the room number. He thanked her and was on his way.
It was easy to get access to the room. He had done this hundreds of times for his uncle, but never had he been caught until now. It had gone so well, too. He had been able to get one guard away from the room by calling the floor nurse and telling her he needed to speak to one of the guards. He had then surprised the remaining guard and laid him out flat. The only problem was he hadn't noticed the small security camera across the hall from Amanda's room. A nurse had seen the whole thing and alerted an agent by phone.
"If the woman hadn't have struggled, she would have been dead and I wouldn't have been caught," he thought to himself. Amanda, even as weak as she was, had put up a pretty good fight until Peter had struck her in the face and knocked her out. From there it had been a simple act of putting the pillow over her face and suffocating her.
Just as Peter was finished going over in his mind what he had done wrong, two men walked into the room. One he didn't recognize but the second man Peter did recognize, only from the picture his uncle had shown him and from Anne's house. His face told Peter all he needed to know about this man and by the time that he had crossed the room to where he was sitting, he was in fear for his life.
Lee had let Billy drive only after his boss had threatened to put him on medical leave for 48 hours due to the nasty bump he'd gotten on his head. Billy didn't go nearly as fast as he should have to get to the hospital, in Lee's mind.
Once they got there, Lee didn't even wait for Billy. He ran straight to Amanda's room. Dr. Joyce had told him on the phone that she was okay but he needed to see it for himself.
He stepped into Amanda's room and noticed that she was awake.
"Hi," Lee said to her.
"Hi, yourself," she said. She had so many questions she wanted to ask him but she wasn't sure where to begin.
"Francine told me she came up here. What did she tell you, Amanda?" Lee asked her as he came over and sat down next to her.
Here was the opening she had been looking for.
"Well..." was as far as she got when Billy walked into her room.
"Let's go get this over with, Scarecrow, and then I want you to take Amanda home and get some rest. I've already talked to the doctor and she said as long as she doesn't overdo it she can go home. Besides, you can watch her from there a lot better than from here. She also said that maybe being in familiar surroundings might help to jog her memory."
"Ok, Billy, I'll be right there," Lee said and then turned to Amanda. "I still want to know what Francine told you, so just hold that thought and I'll be right back."
He gave her hand a squeeze and was gone.
"What she told me was that you and I are spies and we're married to each other," she said in a quiet voice to an empty room. "Well, I guess we must not have any kids," she thought to herself. "I mean after all I wouldn't put my kids in jeopardy of losing both parents."
She found herself saddened by the thought. Somehow the thought of no kids didn't quite sit well.
She couldn't quite place the reason she felt the way she did. "I'll get my answers tonight, Mr. Stetson. I don't like being in the dark," she said as a nurse came in to help her get dressed to go home.
Lee walked into the doctors' lounge where they were holding the scum that had done this. It took all the strength he had not to pull out his gun and kill this man where he was sitting, but he knew that wouldn't do anyone any good. So, as calmly as he could he walked over to the man and pulled him up by his shirt front until they were at eye level. In a very low voice, Lee growled, "Who are you and who do you work for?" When he didn't answer, Lee threw him up against the wall and pinned him there.
"Should you be taking this so personally, Mr. Stetson? Where's the objectivity that you American agents pride yourself in?" Peter mocked him softly.
"It went out the door when you hurt my partner and wife. You stole her memories. Now either tell me what I want to know or the last memory you'll ever have will be my gun pointed at your head and me pulling the trigger," Lee said through clenched teeth.
"I'll tell you nothing, you American pig," Peter said as he spat in Lee's face.
Before any one in the room could react Lee pulled his gun out, aimed it at the other man's head and pulled the trigger.
Peter heard a gasp from the others in the room as Lee pulled the trigger. There was an audible sigh when nothing happened. There was no bullet in the chamber of the gun.
"Now you either tell me what I need to know or the next time there will be a bullet under the hammer," Lee said as he put a new clip in his gun. As Peter watched, Lee aimed his gun at his head again.
The instinct to survive was kicking in and Peter started telling everything he knew. "OK! Jus...Just don't kill me! I'll tell you everything," Peter said. "My name is Peter Stalinski and my uncle is General Vladmir Stalinski."
"Vladmir Stalinski? Lee, didn't you have something to do with his case back in the 70's?" Francine asked.
"Yeah. He was stealing secrets from both sides and I was the agent who caught him," Lee said with an edge that made Francine shudder. Heaven help the man if he didn't give Lee the information he wanted. He'd dared to mess with Lee's family and that was the biggest mistake he could ever make. "I thought he was in jail at the least."
"Oh no, Scarecrow! You disgraced him in front of his countrymen. When he got out of the Siberian prison that you put him in, he came to the U.S. with one thing on his mind. To kill you and everyone you love," Peter supplied. "He's been plotting his revenge against you for five years. He's watched your every move, your every mannerism. He will stop at nothing until he kills you," Peter finished.
"Where is he? I want to know where I can find him," Lee said in the most even and calm voice he could manage. His insides were twisting. He knew that if he didn't get to the general before he found out his nephew had failed here at the hospital, Amanda would still be in danger.
When the man hesitated, Lee pulled the hammer back on his gun and Billy prompted him to answer by saying, "Scarecrow's had a very trying day. Normally he doesn't have an itchy trigger finger but his wife's in the hospital and he's got a nasty bump on his head. I wouldn't push him too far, Stalinski. So I'll ask you this one more time: where can we find the General?"
Peter knew when he was had so he hastily offered more information. Lee put his gun down and backed away from the man when he started talking.
"OK, Ok but I want protection. He's a crazy man and he'll kill me even if I am family." At Billy's nod he continued, "He's in a warehouse over off of Washington St. He's in the office. If I'm not back there by 3:00 P.M. he'll come looking for the King woman. You see, Scarecrow, I screwed up. She wasn't supposed to make it out of the woods alive. If I had done my job she'd be dead right now," Peter said with a sinister look in his eye and an evil smile on his face.
Lee was back at his side in a split second. "If anything happens to my wife, jail won't be good enough for you," he said as he tried to control his fury. "You'll wish I had pulled the trigger."
With this warning issued through clenched teeth Lee turned around and walked out of the room.
Billy told the two other agents in the room, "Handcuff him and get him out of here before I do what Scarecrow didn't."
Amanda was waiting for Lee to come back. She had sent the nurse away assuring her she could dress herself. She had found a pair of jeans and a lite blue Georgetown sweatshirt. She had tried to brush her hair out but the motion made her arms as well as head ache.
Her head was still tender and the slightest movement could bring back the pain. She wished she had some makeup to do something to with her face. She couldn't believe how discolred her face was.
She was still looking in the mirror when she noticed Lee looking at her. "Oh, I didn't know you were there. I'm sorry. Am I ready to be released?"
"Yeah, I saw the doctor and signed all the paperwork for your release. Let's get you out of here and somewhere more familiar and comfortable," Lee said as he took charge of the wheelchair the nurse had brought in for Amanda.
As he helped her into the wheelchair she figured there was no better time than the present to ask him about what the petite blond lady had told her. "Ah...Lee can I ask you something?"
"Sure. What it is?"
"Well, it's about what um... what was her name? Felicia...or Francis..."
"Francine," Lee helped her out.
"Yeah, that's it, Francine. Anyway, Francine told me a couple of things and I was just wondering if they were true."
Oh boy, here we go, Lee thought. I'm gonna kill Francine. It should've have been me to tell her about our lives, not her. "What did she tell you, Amanda?"
"Well, she told me that we were married. Not only that, she said we were both spies. Tell me the truth, Lee, am I a spy?"
Vladamir Stalinski was livid. He knew something was wrong when Peter didn't come back to the warehouse at the scheduled time. He knew that meant only one thing - that Peter had once again bungled things up and had not killed Amanda Stetson!
The general started cleaning out the drawers of his desk. He was going to have to find a new operational base and finish this job himself. "If you want a job done right," he muttered to himself, "do it yourself," and that's exactly what he planed on doing. He knew where the Scarecrow and Sherlock lived and it was an easy drive to their house.
"Excuse me, but I was wondering if you could tell me if Amanda Stetson has been released," he said into the phone at his office.
"Could you please hold sir, while I check?" When the general gave her an affirmative answer she put him on hold and he got elevator music. "Mr Melrose," the receptionist called to Billy, "there's someone on the phone asking if Amanda Stetson has been released yet. What should I tell him?"
Billy thought for a moment and a plan began to form in his mind. "Tell him she's gone home. I think we can set a trap for him there."
The recepionist nodded and picked up the phone, "Sir? Thank you for holding. Mrs. Stetson was released about fifteen minutes ago and has gone home." After a brief pause the receptionist said, "You're welcome," and hung up the phone.
Billy picked up the phone and and called Francine to arrange an A-tack team to be at Lee and Amanda's.
Next he called Lee and filled him in on what was about to go down. "Lee? Good, I'm glad you're home. Stalinski is on his way over to your home right now."
"What? How do you know?" Lee demanded to know. He had just gotten Amanda home and she was resting in their bedroom.
"Well, Scarecrow, he called here trying to find out if she had been released from the hospital. The receptionist alerted me to the call and I thought 'what a better way to catch him than to be waiting for him when he got to your place.' Now Francine is on her way over to your house with a team. By the time Stalinski gets there we'll be set up. We will get this madman before he hurts anymore of your family!" Billy promised.
"All right. I think I just heard someone pull in, Billy, probaly Francine. I've got to go. I've got to get Amanda out of here and somewhere safe. I'll call you when we have Stalinski." With that Lee hung up and headed upstairs.
"Amanda? We need to get you..." he started to say after he'd gotten upstairs. She was not in their bedroom and Lee began to panic.
He checked the bathroom and all of the bedrooms upstairs and started downstairs when he noticed a piece of paper on the bed. He walked over to the bed, picked up the paper, and began to read. "You've forgotten how good I am, Stetson. By the time you read this your precious wife and I will be long gone. If you want to see her again alive bring Peter to the south end of Liberty Park at midnight. Come alone and no games. I will be watching."
Lee took the steps two at a time going downstairs nearly colliding with Francine. "Wow careful, Lee." At Lee's worried face she asked him, "What is it? What's wrong?"
"He's got Amanda!" was all Lee could say as he handed Francine the note to read.
Francine's eyes got big and she exclaimed, "Oh man. We've got a problem. Peter tried to escape our guards when we took him back to the holding cell at the agency. The guard shot him. He's dead, Lee."
It had been easy for the deranged man to get into Lee and Amanda's house on Maplewood Drive. He watched them there before and knew their coming and goings. "Foolish American spies," he thought to himself. He had gotten to the house before Lee and Amanda had and let himself into their house. "You would think American spies would have better locks than this," he said to himself as he picked the lock to the back door. He had hidden in the closet of the what appeared to be the master bedroom.
"Amanda," Stalinski heard Lee say from his hiding place, "I know you have a lot of questions and I want to answer them for you, but please lay down just for a little bit," Lee pleaded with his wife. "I have a few calls and when I'm done we'll talk. I promise."
Amanda had agreed and soon was fast asleep. It was almost too easy; chloroforming her. If she had had her full strength she would've made some type of struggle and could have quite possibly alerted Lee, but as weak as she was there was no problem.
Getting her out of the house would prove to be a little more tricky. He had brought a laundry bag with him and knew he could fit her into it and get her out to his car.
He had observed the 'Tidy Clean' company coming and going from their house several times and knew that he would not look suspicious coming out of the house with a bag of what appeared to be clothing.
He heard Lee talking to someone on the phone and knew from the conversation that he was the subject of the conversation. He got out of the house and was gone before Lee Stetson knew what had happened. As soon as he got to his car, he took Amanda out of the bag, tied her up and put her in the trunk so that she wouldn't be seen and got out of the area.
"You will rue the day you came up against General Vladamir Stalinski. You will die along with your wife tonight," he said with a diabolical laugh.
When Amanda started to wake up the first thing she noticed was that she wasn't in her house. She was in a dank, dark room that smelled musty and earthy. She tried to get up but quickly realized her arms were tied behind her back.
In the back of her mind she knew that if she had flexed her muscles when she was tied up she would have been able to untie herself. But being out cold as she was she hadn't been able to do that. So she started looking for something to cut the ropes with. How she knew all this she didn't know. She found a small rusty hook on the wall and started to cut her ropes. Soon she felt the rope around her wrists give way. She quickly put her hands back behind her when she heard a key inserted into the lock.
"Well, Mrs. Stetson, I trust you're comfortable," he said with a wicked laugh. "I have plans for you and your husband and he will be here any moment." He continued on, "He was a fool to think he could get away with what he did to me five years ago. I will have my revenge on the great Scarecrow, and you, my dear, are an added bonus. You will die first so Scarecrow can watch you suffer. Such a pity to have to kill such a beautiful woman," he said as he put his hand to her face to touch her.
Amanda didn't know what possessed her to charge the man other than she didn't want him touching her and she wasn't ready to die. "You are not going to kill me in front of anyone!" With that she got up and ran--headfirst into the metal end of a shovel and crumpled. The blow to the head knocked her out cold.
She hadn't seen Stalinski raise the shovel when she'd ran towards him.
"Don't you Americans know when to quit?" The general said to the prone form of the woman he'd just struck. Shaking his head he said, "Didn't your mother teach you not to speak until spoken to?" With that the General left the room, locking it behind him.
Lee adjusted the controls on the homing unit Billy had handed him when he had arrived at the Stetsons' house. He finally had gotten the signal coming in loud and clear and said, "Billy, I'm forever in your debt for placing Henderson outside the house as a lookout. If he hadn't spotted Stalinski's getitng out of that car around the corner from the house and placed that homing device on Stalinski's car, we wouldn't have a clue where to find Amanda. How many teams are going to meet us there?"
"There will be two teams plus Francine, you and I." He looked in the rearview mirror so that he could address Francine in the backseat. "When we get there Francine, I want you to coordinate the men." At Francine's nod, Billy continued. "The only thing in that part of the park is a gardener's shed where they keep lawn mowing equipment. That has to be where he's keeping her. We've got to be careful that he doesn't see us when we go in, plus we need to double check that he's hasn't booby-trapped the shed," Billy finished.
"Okay, but Stalinski is mine, Billy. He's taken my wife from me again and he's going to pay," Lee said with such anger that Billy knew if he wasn't with his agent when they found the General he might well kill him.
"That's fine, Lee, but I'm going in with you. I know what happens to you when someone you love gets hurt and I'm not going to risk losing two of my agents."
Lee tried to protest but Billy stopped him with a look. "We do it this my way, Scarecrow, or you can stay in the car where I don't have to worry about you. Before you even voice the thought forming in your head, I'll put a guard on you if I have to so that you stay in the car. Got it?" Billy asked.
Lee shook his head. He knew his section chief well enough to know that he would do exactly as he said he would. He couldn't blame Billy for issuing the warning though. If the tables had been turned he would've done the same thing.
"OK people, we go the rest of the way on foot." Then he addressed the rest of the team over the walkie-talkie, "Francine's on her way. When she gets there she'll give you the game plan. Be careful and be quiet. This guy will hear us coming from a hundred yards. Give us the signal when you're in place and Scarecrow and I will go in."
Lee heard Amanda groan and try to sit up and was at her side in an instant. "Amanda, don't try to move. You're at the hospital." With that he turned to his section chief and said, "Billy, would you please go get the doctor and let him know that Amanda is awake."
Amanda had woken to a blinding pain in her head. When she tried to move a little it had made it even worse. She wasn't sure what had happened, but at least Lee was there beside her and he could explain everything to her.
She couldn't remember anything past the party at the embassy and waking up now. Something must have gone terribly wrong at the party for her to be in such pain. She tried to move a again and felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Don't try and move. Just lie there and relax. Billy went out to get the doctor and he'll be here in a minute," Lee told her again.
Billy came back with the doctor on duty as Dr. Joyce was gone for the night. The doctor began by introducing himself as John Troyer.
He started asking her questions to determine how she was. "Amanda, do you know what day it is?"
"Um...not really. I just know my head feels like a freight train is running through it."
"OK. Let me run out to the nurse's station and see what I can find for you and I'll be right back."
As the doctor headed for the door, Amanda called after him,and what she said stopped both Lee and the doctor in their tracks, "Dr. Troyer, I'm sure you have it there in the chart but," she looked at Lee with an apology in her eyes, "I'm pregnant and I can't take anything that would harm the baby."
"What did you just say, Amanda?" Lee questioned his wife with hope in his eyes and a look at the doctor that said 'don't leave just yet.'
"I'm sorry, Lee. I wanted to tell you Friday night but then I was asked to do the courier job and so I had to put it off. If the doctor is going to give me something for the pain I need to make sure he knows about the baby and doesn't give me something that would harm him," Amanda finished.
Before Amanda knew what had hit her Lee had her in his arms, covering her face with kisses. "Oh Amanda, I was so scared. I didn't know if you'd ever remember me or our family..."
"Whoa! Hold on just a minute! Lee, what are you talking about? Why wouldn't I remember you or our family? I love you!"
"Doctor, could you please go and see if you can find Mr. Melrose and something for my wife's pain?" Once the doctor left Lee gave his wife another quick hug and kiss. What Lee told Amanda next almost left her speechless. "Amanda, you've had amnesia for the last two days."
"What!? Oh my gosh! I didn't know anyone? At all?" Amanda said in shock.
"No. Not me, not Billy, not Francine. No one." Lee said as he smoothed the hair back from her face and reached for the hand mirror to show Amanda what had happened to her.
Amanda gasped as she took in her face, covered with all the bruises. "Oh my. Lee, what happened? Please tell me you caught the monster that did this?" Then another more pressing thought entered Amanda's mind. "Oh my gosh!! What about Mother and the boys? Do they know? Are they okay?" she asked in a rush of questions.
"Hold on, Amanda. Just slow down and I'll tell you everything.
First of all your mother and the boys don't know. They're all out of town. Secondly, yes, we got the bastard that did this to you and thirdly..."
"Amanda, I hear you regained your memory," Billy said as he rushed into the room.
"Yes sir, I guess I have considering I don't remember losing it... er...well, you know what I mean sir," Amanda said. Her head still hurt and she wished the doctor would come back with something to help.
"Well, we're all glad you're back with us, Sherlock. Lee, Stalinki's body will be cremated and sent back to Russia. I don't know why, but the Russians want the body. Something about a hero's welcome and a burial fit for a Czar," Billy told Lee.
"Who's Stalinski?" Amanda asked.
"Well, Amanda he's..." Lee tried to answer as he was once again interupted. All he could do was stare at the nurse and shake his head.
"Here you go, Mrs. Stetson. The doctor said you needed something for the headache you have and so here you go dear."
The nurse handed Amanda two pills and a glass of water and Amanda gratefully took the pills.
"Okay now back to my question. Who is Stalinski, Lee?" Amanda asked again.
Once again before Lee could answer Francine and Jonathan swept into the room. Lee threw his hands in the air, shook his head, and looked at Amanda who was shaking her head also and rolling her eyes. This story was getting harder and harder to finish. To boot, the medicine started to kick in because she was beginning to get sleepy.
"Amanda, is it true - you remember everything?" Francine asked her friend.
"Well, pretty much. I don't remember the last couple of days, but from what I gather I had amnesia. So yes, I remember you and and everyone else." Amanda said with a yawn. "I'm sorry...just so sleepy." she said as her eyes began to close.
Lee could see that the medication that the doctor had give her was starting to take effect so he said, "Listen, everyone, Amanda's had a rough couple of days. Why don't we let her get some rest, ok?"
Everyone was filing out of the room after telling Amanda good-bye when the doctor returned.
He told them that as long as she felt up to it she could go home the next day. They thanked the doctor and Lee walked over to the bed.
"Ok Sweetheart, let's see if I can get this story out now."
"Lee, I want to know what happened but I don't think I can keep my eyes open. I'm going home tomorrow and Mother and the boys will be home the next day, right?"
At Lee's affirmative nod, she continued, "Why don't we just wait until tomorrow and then you can tell me everything, okay?"
Lee nodded and said, "Sounds like a plan." It had been a long couple of days for him as well and his lack of sleep for the last thirty-six hours was starting to creep up on him.
"I'm going to try and get some sleep Amanda," Lee told her. "I'll be right here in the chair if you need anything, okay?" With all that they had been through in the last couple of days, he would've slept on the floor if he'd had to. It would've taken an executive order from the President to have moved him from Amanda's room that night and he doubted that would've even got him to move.
"Lee...couldn't you just crawl up here and sleep with me for the night?" Amanda pleaded with her husband. She couldn't quite put a finger on what it was but she needed Lee to be with her that night.
Lee looked at this wife and his heart swelled with love for her. He was so lucky to to have found her, not just in the hospital two days ago but five years earlier when he handed her the package at the train station.
"Yeah, I think I could do that," he told her as he took off his and shoes and climbed in next to her. Gently as possible, he put his arms around her bruised body and they fell asleep in each others' arms.
Lee was glad that he and Amanda had another whole day before her mother and the boys would be home. He had a lot to tell Amanda.
The doctor had come in and woke them up at about eight A.M. He had said said it was OK for her to go home; just to take it easy for a few days. Lee had gotten her home, fixed them a pot of tea and had taken into the den where Amanda was waiting for him on the couch. Finally she couldn't take anymore and prompted him, "Okay, we're all alone. There won't be any interruptions because the phone is off the hook and if the doorbell rings we're not getting it. What happened this weekend?"
"OK, here's what happened..." Lee began as he started to tell her about General Stalinski. He told her what had happened at the embassy and how she'd been found in the woods. He told her how worried he'd been when they'd gotten the call at the office about her being in the hospital and then the shock of finding out that she didn't remember anyone or anything including himself or their unborn child.
"I finally brought you home after Peter, the general's nephew, tried to kill you at the hospital. I got you here and just as soon as you were here you were gone again. The general had kidnapped you out of the house and now wanted to trade you for his nephew. Only problem was his nephew was dead," Lee said.
"Dead? Oh my gosh! What happened?" Amanda had been pretty quiet up until this point. This story was getting more and more bizarre the furthur Lee went.
"He tried to escape and was killed by one of the guards," Lee explained. At Amanda's soft "oh" he continued.
"Billy sent over an agent and had the house on round the clock surveillance. Fortunately for us, Stalinski showed up. The agent found his car and put a tracking device on it. When the general took you, we were able to track him to Liberty Park and to the gardener's shack where he had placed you. Billy and I snuck around on either side of the shack and surprised him when he came out. He wouldn't surrender. He took a couple of pot shots at Francine when the other agents and she came out of hiding and the agents shot back and killed him. I found you partially tied up in the shack, passed out with a head wound that was bleeding, and, as they say, the rest is history."
Amanda couldn't believe what had happened to her in the last forty-eight hours. All she could do was shake her head and hold on to Lee.
She was getting ready to tell Lee how much she loved him and was glad that she had regained her memory when the front door opened and Dotty and the boys burst in the front door all excited about their weekend.
"Mother, I thought you were gone til tomorrow and you fellas weren't suppose to be home til tomorrow either, were you?" Amanda asked as she hugged her mother and the boys.
"Amanda, you know perfectly well that I can only stomach so much of your Aunt Lillian before I go mad. What happened to your face, Amanda?" Dotty said without even taking a breath.
"Mother, why don't you and the boys go get unpacked and I'll tell you all about my weekend," Amanda said as she put her arm around Lee. Dotty started to protest, but Amanda stopped her by putting her hand up and saying, "I'm fine! Really! Now I promise I'll tell all about what happened. Now go on upstairs, unpack, and I'll fix us a pot of tea. Okay?"
"I tell you Amanda, I don't know what my parents were thinking when they had your Aunt Lillian..."
As Lee and Amanda watched her mother and the boys go up the stairs to their bedrooms, Amanda kissed her husband and said, "Thank you for getting my memories back, Lee. I'd hate to explain to my Mother that I didn't know who she was."
Amanda and Lee shared a laugh as their family came back down the stairs.
Amanda looked with love at her family and knew in her heart that everything would be fine.
"Mother, boys, sit down. Have I got a story to tell you..."