Friday, January 21, at 9:00a.m.:
Billy is in his office and he is talking to Amanda.
"Amanda, are you sure you want to do this?" Billy asks her.
"Sir, I have to do something. I have waited three years for Lee to realize but he hasn't." Amanda says, "I need to take some time away from him."
"I understand, Amanda." Billy frowns and says, "There is a case that you could help with if you are willing to spend a little time in North Carolina."
"That would be fine. Mother and the boys are going to be out of town visiting my Aunt in New York for about a month, so I am available." Amanda answers.
"Here is the file. You will be working with Paul Barnes." Billy said,
"Lee knows him but I think you would do better with this
"How does Lee know him?" Amanda asks.
"Paul Barnes is known as the Wizard and he recruited Lee for the OZ network a long time ago. He gave Lee his code name." Billy answers, "You can meet him in Conference Room 4."
"Thanks, Billy." Amanda exits and heads to the Conference Room.
Later around 3:00p.m. Lee is exiting the airport terminal when he sees Billy waiting for him.
"Did you have a nice vacation?" Billy asks.
"Yea, but, Billy, you didn't need to come pick me up. You could have sent a driver." Lee smiles.
"We need to talk." Billy gets in the car and Lee does the same.
"I thought that Amanda would be picking me up." Lee tells Billy.
"Amanda is what I want to talk to you about." Billy solemnly says.
"Is she alright?" Lee asks as he starts to imagine things that might have happened to her.
"Not until we get to your place." Billy says thinking to himself "Let him think something is wrong for a little while. It might get him to thinking."
Fifteen minutes later, they arrive at Lee's apartment.
"Okay, Billy. Out with it." Lee says as he shuts the door behind Billy.
"Lee, Amanda is just fine physically. It's her emotional state that
I am worried about, but before I go any further, I must ask a
question." Billy leans against the desk.
"What? Billy?" Lee asks as he realizes that Billy was watching him very closely.
"How do you really feel about Amanda? Now don't give me that bit that you care about her, and that you consider her, your best friend. I want the truth." Billy seriously asks him and notices that he is acting nervous.
Lee stands up, stares at Billy for a second, and then starts pacing.
"To tell the truth, Billy, I love Amanda more than I thought possible.
That is one of the reasons I took this trip, to get my
thoughts straightened out." Lee says this and stops in front of Billy, "Why do you ask?"
"Because Lee, Amanda has become tired of waiting for you to realize how you feel. She has been in love with you for quite awhile now. She has asked to be transferred." Billy answers.
"Oh, no." Lee sits down while he says aloud, "Is it too late? Have I lost her?"
"Not yet, but if you do not do something soon, you will." Billy says.
"Is she at home?" Lee asks.
"No. She decided she needed some time away, so she is working with Paul Barnes on a case. They're in Conference Room 4 with Francine discussing the case." Billy answers, "The case is going to be in North Carolina. Banner Elk, N.C. to be exact. They're suppose to be meeting a contact that has some top secret information to give us." Lee is heading toward the door.
"Lee?" Billy said.
"Yes, sir." Lee looked at him.
"I've told Francine to be ready to step in for Amanda if she changes her mind about the case. Paul also knows that there might be a change of plans at the last minute. I haven't told them why?" Billy tells him.
"Thanks, Billy." Lee smiles at him.
At 5:00p.m.: Lee walks towards the Conference room and knocks on the door.
"Come in." Paul yells.
"Hey, Paul." Lee smiles at him.
"Lee, how are you?" Paul stands up, shakes Lee's hand, and sits back down. He notices that Lee keeps looking at Amanda.
"Paul, I need to talk to Amanda. It's very important." Lee says.
"Oh, of course." Paul says, "We need to take a break anyway."
"Thanks, Paul." Lee says, while all this is going on, Amanda stands up, smiles, and nods her head in welcome.
She thinks, "What is going on? He has never looked at me that way before."
Paul and Francine exit the room.
Inside the room, Lee walks up to Amanda, takes her hand, and looks deep into her eyes.
"Amanda, why don't we take a drive? There is something I need to tell you but I don't think it should be here." Lee says.
"I've a better idea. How about we have dinner at my place? Mother and the boys aren't going to be coming home for about three more weeks." Amanda says.
"That's a great idea. Amanda, before we do anything else, there is something I need to do." Lee tells her.
"What is that?" Amanda asks and looks up at Lee.
"This." Lee slowly puts his hand against her cheek, leans down, and kisses her. Lee thinks, "Why did it take me so long to realize?"
As Lee pulls away, Amanda reaches up, pulls his head down, and kisses him again.
Both, pull away, and with hands clasped together walk out of the room.
Later, around 7:00p.m., Lee and Amanda have just finished dinner.
"Lee, what did you want to tell me?" Amanda asks as they have finished cleaning up the dinner dishes.
"Amanda, I realized something while I was on my vacation." Lee says this, takes Amanda's hand, and pulled her over to the couch, where they sat down.
"And what was that?" Amanda asked as she turned to face Lee.
"I realized I have been a fool. Do you want to know what I did most of the time?" Lee reaches out and takes her hand in his.
"What did you do?" Amanda asks, while getting curious about where Lee was taking this conversation.
"Thought about you and missing you." Lee watches Amanda's eyes as he said, "I've discovered that I have broken one of my own rules."
"And which rule is that?" Amanda urges him to continue.
"The one where an agent does not become personally involved with someone you work with." Lee says.
"And how have you broken that rule?" Amanda smiling at him.
Lee leans toward her and says, "By falling in love, with my partner." He kisses her gently on the lips, pulls away, and watches for her response.
When Amanda did not say anything for a few minutes, he hung his head, and thought, "It is too late."
All of a sudden, Amanda puts her hand under Lee's chin to get him to look at her.
"Lee, when it comes to breaking that rule, I broke it a long time ago." Amanda whispers next to Lee's lips, leans in, kisses him with passion and thinks to herself, "It is about time. Your time was almost up."
Lee pulls Amanda onto his lap, and they stayed that way for a while as they both realized that they almost ran out of time.
"Oh, Amanda, I've a message for you from Billy. He said that you just have to let him know and he'll send Francine in your place." Lee told her.
"Well, then, let me call him." Amanda gets up, goes to the telephone, and Lee follows her.
"Billy Melrose, please. Amanda King." Amanda feels Lee behind her and leans against him as his arms goes around her waist.
"Hello, sir." Amanda answers and says, "Sir, I hope you do not mind, but I've changed my mind about the case. Why don't you send Francine in my place?" Then she giggles as Lee starts kissing the back of her neck.
"Yes, sir. Oh, sir, I want to thank you for what you did this afternoon. Yes, he is here. Okay, here Lee, Mr. Melrose wants to talk to you. I'm going upstairs for a minute" Amanda says, as she heads up to her bedroom.
Ten minutes later:
Amanda slowly comes down the stairs, "Lee?"
Lee turns around from where he is standing. He has trouble catching his breath. Amanda was standing there, dressed in a beautiful negligee the color of the sky.
"Lee?" Amanda says as she reaches out her hand.
Lee slowly takes it, moves toward her, and asks, "Are you sure, Amanda? Are you ready for this step?"
Amanda puts her fingers against his lips to silence him and says next to his ear, "I think we should've made this step a long time ago. I love you, Lee."
"I love you, Amanda." Lee says as he picks her up in his arms and head upstairs.
Then all you hear are the tick, tock, of the clock as time goes by.