Summary:Someone's building a frame around Lee, will he and Amanda survive to prove his innocence?
Rating:Umm...PG, I guess
Time Frame: Right after my story Fairy Tales and Spies. If you haven't read that story you won't necessarily be confused, but you may want to read it to see how Anna came to be and how the family and the agency found out about the secret marriage. You can find it at Amber's archive
Disclaimer:I don't own the characters (except, the mob guys, Anna and little Baby Stetson), I just like to let them out to play from time to time. Scarecrow and Mrs. King is owned by Shoot the Moon and Warner Brothers...who I hope don't want to sue me for this story, because they won't get much out of it unless they really want my tiny little goldfish...:)
Author's Notes:This story started out as an answer to my own challenge of writing a story around a song, however it had other plans...and...it became an answer to the challenge where Amanda gets a code name. Also, feedback is greatly appreciated!! The song featured in the story is Will You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone), and was written by David Allan Coe.
Special Thanks: To my wonderful beta readers, Marni, Lorrie and Sherry! Also, to Danielle for putting up with all of my fanfiction even though half the time she has never seen the show! :)
Amanda looked out her office window sadly. She was worried about Lee. He had left in the morning on a simple assignment. She had wanted to go along, but Lee insisted she stay behind. She had still been affected by the morning sickness and Lee wanted her to let her stomach calm down. Besides, he'd assured her that it was no big deal, that he'd be back within the hour. That was ten hours ago. Billy couldn't even meet her eyes and Francine was actually being civil to her. She had a feeling they knew where Lee was but they wouldn't tell her anything. It was as if the last several years had never happened. Amanda jumped slightly when the door to the Q Bureau opened.
"Amanda?" Billy asked tentatively as he entered the room and closed the door behind himself.
"Sir?" Amanda didn't know what he had come to tell her but she knew it wasn't going to be good. She could see it in his eyes.
"Do you have a minute?"
"Of course, sir." Amanda sat down at Lee's desk. She didn't know why she had done that; it was as if she were on autopilot.
Billy remained standing. Amanda could tell that he was having trouble with whatever it was he wanted to say to her. "It's about Lee."
Amanda looked down at her fingers. "Is he...is he..." Amanda couldn't bring herself to say the words. Lee couldn't be gone, not now. It wouldn't be fair. Her mother's voice saying "Life isn't always fair, Panda." Echoed in her ears.
Billy could see what was going through Amanda's head. "No, he's alive."
Amanda sighed with extreme relief. "Where is he sir?"
"First, I need to start at the beginning. Are you ready?"
Amanda nodded her head even though she wasn't so sure she was ready.
"He's on assignment." Billy held out his hands to stop her from speaking. He knew what she was going to say. "He didn't want you involved, he thought it was going to be a 'piece of cake' and didn't want to put you in the line of fire for no reason."
"Line of fire sir?" Amanda swallowed hard.
"Lee was trying to get the goods on a mob boss. It was just a simple drop."
"If it was so simple why isn't Lee here." ...with me...Amanda wanted to add.
"Things went wrong. Someone was watching the drop. They really shot up the place."
"Lee, sir, what happened to Lee?" Amanda willed herself to look directly into Billy's eyes.
"They took him. He's hurt, but they say he's ok."
"What do they want?"
"A trade. Lee for our information on their boss."
"Oh my gosh."
"We've been in negotiations since yesterday. They've conceded one point."
"What's that sir?"
"That we won't trade for Lee if he's dead."
Amanda's eyes went wide.
"They've agreed to let us send in a 'nurse' to take care of him and to report back to us his condition."
"Who?" Amanda's voice was on the verge of cracking to pieces. She was grateful that she and Lee hadn't gotten around to telling the Agency that she was three months pregnant yet. There was no way Billy would have allowed her to do this if he had known that.
"Well, I thought I want to send you in Amanda. Do you think you can handle it?"
Amanda's world was slowly coming back together. She was going to Lee; she would take care of him. "Yes, sir, I can handle it. When do I leave?"
"Right now. They won't let us follow you, Amanda. These guys are pros, be careful."
"I will sir. One thing, what am I gonna tell my mother?"
"Don't worry about that. I'll have someone call her and tell her you've been called away to take care of a friend."
"Thank you sir."
Amanda sat in the car with the blindfold over her eyes quietly. She was so lost in her own thoughts she barely noticed the car stop. She jumped slightly when the car door opened. The tall man who had helped her into the car now helped her out. Taking in her surroundings she saw only a vacant lot. There were no buildings in sight. Amanda's heart was racing uncontrollably. It was a trap, she could feel it. Her palms began to sweat and she would have started shaking if the tall man hadn't chosen that moment to reach into the stone and open a hidden door.
The door was heavy and made a loud noise as he propped it open and helped Amanda down the stairs inside. The door shut behind her with a bang. Amanda walked down the dark stairs carefully. There was no light and no railing for her to hold on to. The end of the stairs startled Amanda and she stumbled as she stepped off the last step. She reached to feel the walls for a light, but decided against it. There was no way to know what could be on those walls. Her eyes were slowly becoming accustomed to the dark and she could see shadows of objects in her path. She walked forward and tripped over something in her way. The something moaned as she fell on top of "it".
Amanda stilled as she waited to see what would happen next. As her eyes focused on the shadow beneath her she made out the shape of a man. She was lying on a man. Amanda jumped up and mumbled an apology.
"Man...Ma...Ama..." Amanda's heart stopped as the man tried to speak. She would recognize that voice anywhere. "Manda?" It was Lee.
"Lee? Oh my gosh, Lee!" Amanda kneeled down beside him and touched his arm gently. "I'm here. It's ok."
"Amanda?" Lee asked again. Amanda's hands found their way to Lee's face. His eyes were closed. Her fingers felt a sticky substance that Amanda couldn't identify in the dark. She had a feeling, though that she knew what it was.
"Lee, you're bleeding." She diagnosed.
"I'm ok." He stammered and tried to sit up. "The baby...you shouldn't have come."
"No, you aren't...and the baby will be fine. You need a doctor, Lee. We need to get you out of here. That door's awful heavy; I don't think I could lift it myself. You're gonna have to help me. Or maybe there's something..." Amanda babbled as she tore cloth from her skirt. She tied a long strip around Lee's head. Lee reached up and touched her lips to silence her.
"Shh. There's no way. I'm too weak. Just lay here beside me, that's all I need."
"Oh Lee." Tears were making it hard for Amanda to speak. "You can't leave me, Lee." She whispered softly as she kissed his cheek and laid her head gently on his chest.
Should my lips grow dry, would you wet them dear,
In the midnight hour, if my lips were dry.
Night had fallen outside, but Amanda and Lee were unaware. Amanda lay gently on Lee's chest. She could not fall asleep; the raspy breathing coming from Lee kept her awake.
"Are you awake?" Lee asked. The first coherent thing he'd said since Amanda had arrived.
"Yeah, are you ok, are you in pain?"
"I'm fine. Much better with you here. Amanda, how did you get here?"
"They brought me here. The people who did this to you." Amanda fingered the makeshift bandage around Lee's head
"To keep you alive." Amanda paused. "Lee, what's going on? Why were you after their boss to begin with? I mean other than his being very unsavory and the fact that he is in the mob and has probably killed..." Lee shifted under Amanda's weight and groaned. "Oh, I'm sorry." Amanda prepared to move off her husband.
"No, stay." Lee lifted his hand and pulled Amanda's head back down on to his chest. "I got a tip that he was behind the assassination attempt on the secretary of state. My source was going to give me the proof when they jumped me."
"Then the proof is lost?" Amanda was confused. If the Agency didn't have proof of the mob's involvement what would they use to trade for Lee?
"Lee, they won't let us go."
Lee held her tighter. "Don't worry, we'll get out of here."
"But, you're hurt. I can't get us out of here by myself."
"Hey," Lee touched her cheek with his finger. "You're not by yourself. Never." Lee felt tears fall on his finger. "I love you Amanda Stetson."
"I love you." Amanda replied tearily.
"I don't think they're watching this place."
"Of course they're watching. Lee, why would they kidnap you, throw you in a pit, and then just leave you? That would be crazy...doesn't make sense. Of course they're watching."
"I don't know. I think they're pretty sure of themselves. If there's only one or two guards we can take them."
Amanda laughed out loud. "You are in no condition to take anyone."
"I could take you." Lee smirked.
"Try it." Amanda sat up. Amanda leaned over and crawled to the stairs she had come down. It was hard to see with no light so she had to use her hands to guide her path. "Come on, try and get me, Scarecrow." Amanda's heart was racing. She couldn't see Lee now that she had left his side. She was worried that she was pushing him beyond his limits. After a few moments passed and she got no response from Lee, Amanda began to panic. "Lee?" She called tentatively. The name became caught in her throat and it sounded more like a whisper. "Lee?" She called again, a little louder than before.
Amanda jumped when two strong arms wrapped around her shoulders. "You called?" Amanda relaxed totally when she heard her husband's familiar voice. She leaned back into his welcoming embrace.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you."
Amanda just nodded and closed her eyes.
"You know you're beautiful when you're scared." Lee whispered in her ear.
Amanda smiled, though the darkness hid it from Lee. "Oh I am, am I?"
"Yup, I think I'll call you Belle tonight."
"Lee, I think you hit your head harder than I thought."
"You can't even see me. There's no light. I've been lying on the cold, damp ground for hours. How can you tell if I'm beautiful?"
"You're always beautiful."
Amanda blushed. They had been married for years and Lee could still make her blush. That amazed Amanda.
"I'm thirsty." Amanda said quietly. Lee unwrapped himself from Amanda.
"I think there's some water over there."
"Lee...I can't see where you're pointing."
"I'm not pointing. I have no idea where over there is. I'm all turned around. Sit still, I'll be right back."
"Lee." Amanda called to his retreating form. "Be careful."
"Always." She heard him call back. "Hey, Belle?" He yelled across the dark room. Suddenly the door above them opened. A man stood at the top of the stairs, but Amanda could only see a shadow.
"Belle? I thought your name was Amanda King."
"It, It is." Amanda stammered as Lee came to stand beside her.
"Aaah, Mr. Stetson, I see we're feeling better. Good, it's time to move."
"Move? To where?"
"Don't worry about that." The shadow man said as two men walked down the stairs. One man grabbed Lee and the other Amanda. Lee was too weak to fight against them and the men tied and blindfolded both. The men guided Amanda and Lee up the stairs and then led them to another pair of stairs. They were lead up the second set of stairs, which were longer than the first. When they reached the top, they were both sat into seats and strapped in. Their seats were facing each other and their knees were touching. They were both grateful for at least that little bit of contact.
Lee and Amanda listened as the men seemed to close a large door and a mechanical sound reverberated in the room. An engine started and the room began to rise.
"We're in a plane." Lee announced.
"Very perceptive, Scarecrow, now be quiet." One of the men said. The shadow man was on the ground watching as his captives left in his private jet.
"So long Scarecrow and Mrs. King...I mean Belle." The
shadow man smirked as he turned and walked away.
Would you go away to another land, walk a thousand
miles in the burning sand,
Wipe the blood away from my dying hand, If I give myself to you.
The bullpen was in chaos. The door to Billy's office was locked and no one was gaining admittance since he had locked himself, Francine and Dr. Smyth inside.
"It can't be true, Billy." Francine lamented.
"I know...but the evidence is there."
"Evidence can be planted."
Dr. Smyth chose that moment to interrupt the conversation. "Sorry, kiddos, looks like Scarecrow's gone bad." He puffed at his cigarette and then continued. "The evidence is there...and was not planted" He shot a glance at Francine. "Lee Stetson is the mob. Tsk, Tsk, Tsk. Bad boy. He killed Mr. Giavelli and was about to frame him for his own crimes. Now, kiddos, it's time to bring in the big guns. Find Scarecrow and his little ing‚nue and show him what happens to traitors and assassins." Dr. Smyth scurried out the door.
"Sir, you can't believe that."
"I don't, but this note is serious...and Lee has disappeared."
"Dr. Smyth didn't give me a chance to say. We got this note from an anonymous source this morning. It says: "Zulu blue. Scarecrow = mob boss. Killed Giavelli. Fled country. Going after him." And it's signed Belle."
"Belle? Who's Belle?"
Billy shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. The boys have run it through cipher, but haven't found anything."
"So, what now?"
"Wait? For what?"
"I have no idea...and I'm almost afraid to ask."
The plane took off and left it's passengers in the middle of nowhere. Lee and Amanda stood together and took in their surroundings. "Where are we?" Amanda asked, wearily.
"Looks like the desert."
"The desert? The desert, where?"
"I don't know Amanda, those guys didn't hand me a map when they threw us out of the plane." Lee winced when he saw Amanda's reaction to his words. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have snapped at you."
"It's ok, I understand. I probably would've snapped at you too if I had a cut on my head bandaged by a skirt and was just dumped in a desert in the middle of nowhere and you asked me something stupid."
Lee touched her lips with a finger. "It wasn't stupid. It was actually a good question. I just don't know the answer and that makes me mad." Lee grinned at Amanda and looked in her eyes lovingly.
Amanda sighed and then smiled slightly in return. "Come
on, there's no point standing here. We need to find some shelter." Lee
said as he put an arm around Amanda's shoulders.
The men on the plane watched as Lee and Amanda faded out
of their sight. One of the men picked up the phone and dialed his boss.
"It's done, sir. By the time they find their way home the world will have
collapsed around them...yes, sir, the Agency will find clues to their whereabouts
tomorrow morning. Fine, sir, bye." The man hung up the phone and laughed.
Lee groaned and sat straight up. Amanda watched helplessly as her husband 'lost his lunch" so to speak. As his retching slowed and finally stopped Lee lay back on the ground. Amanda lay on her side beside him, leaning up on one arm. Her free hand was gently caressing Lee's forehead. She brushed the hair away from the makeshift bandage around his head. A million thoughts were running around in her head and none of them made her feel at all comforted.
"We have to keep moving." Lee half-said/half-moaned.
"You're in no condition to go anywhere." Amanda insisted.
Lee sat back up and prepared to stand up. As he did so, his head felt as if it were going to fall off. He grabbed his temples and would have fallen forward if Amanda hadn't stood and caught him. "Amanda...I'll be fine. Come on."
Amanda sighed. There would be no arguing with him and he did need to get to a doctor. They began walking again, Lee leaning on Amanda the entire time.
The sun was setting quickly and both knew that things were getting dicey. They didn't know where they were and Lee's condition was deteriorating rapidly. Lee and Amanda continued walking until darkness had fallen like a blanket over their heads.
"We have to stop and rest." Amanda commanded and was surprised when Lee didn't argue with her.
Amanda found a large rock to sit up against. Lee lay down beside her with his head in her lap. Lee whispered "I love you" softly before sleep claimed him. "I love you." Amanda whispered back. She kissed his temple tenderly and lay down as best she could. Her hand never left his even after dreams had relaxed every muscle in her body. She clung to him, willing him to survive the night.
WOULD YOU LAY WITH ME IN THE STREAM OF LIFE
WHEN THE MOON IS FULL, WOULD YOU BATHE WITH ME
A cool night breeze blew across Amanda's face and awakened her. She looked at her husband and thought that he appeared to be sleeping too deep. She wasn't sure what told her that, but in her heart she knew that something was terribly wrong. Amanda moved so that she was no longer underneath of Lee. She stroked his shoulder and spoke his name. "Lee? Can you hear me?"
The secret agent who had trained himself to wake at the slightest noise never stirred. "Lee, sweetheart? I need you to wake up for me. Come on, Lee, wake up, please?"
Tears fell from Amanda's eyes like a stream as she heard a soft groan from her husband. "Amanda?"
"Lee? Oh sweetheart, I'm here."
Amanda turned away from Lee and stared into the distance.
"Water? Amanda?" Lee grabbed Amanda's arm as if to pull her attention back to him. He still hadn't opened his eyes.
"No water, sweetheart, we don't have any. We need to get home."
"Home." Lee repeated in a whisper.
"Lee, maybe we should try walking now, at night. It'll be too hot during the day." Amanda's eyes scanned the horizon and she was surprised to see what looked like water shimmering in the moonlight. "Lee, can you stand? Can you walk?"
"Hmm?" Lee was still groggy and only half-awake.
"Water, Lee! Look! Water!"
"Water? Where?" Lee's eyes opened gradually and he squinted to see the spot where Amanda was pointing. "I don't see anything."
Amanda helped Lee to stand and they walked with his arm slung over her shoulders. As they got closer to Amanda's "water", Amanda began to doubt what she had seen. Instead of shimmering water it, whatever it was, looked more like glass.
"Amanda, where are you taking me?" Lee said, suddenly totally coherent. "How are you holding up?"
"I...I...I don't know!" Amanda cried. " I thought I saw water. Oh, I'm fine. I miss Anna and the boys." She stopped moving and sat down on the ground. Amanda sat there staring at her shoes while Lee scanned the horizon.
"I know. So do I." Lee spoke softly. "I don't see any water, but I do see a building."
"A building?" Amanda lifted her head quickly.
"Yeah, look over there in the distance." Lee bent down and pulled Amanda to her feet. "It's hard to see in the dark, but I can just make out the outline and it looks like there's a light on somewhere."
"I see it!" Amanda jumped into Lee's arms and he swung her around as they both laughed.
"Come on, let's see if maybe they have some water." Lee grinned at his wife and took her hand into his. Together they walked across the sand towards the strange building hidden in shadows.
WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME, WHEN I'M DOWN AND OUT
IN MY TIME OF TRIAL, WOULD YOU STAND BY ME
Lee and Amanda stood at the large steel doors without moving. Neither was sure what to do next. There was no way to check out the building and make sure it wasn't a trap. Finally, Amanda shrugged and prepared to open the doors. Lee moved in front of her and opened the door for her. He walked in first and made sure she stayed behind him. Amanda smiled at his protectiveness.
They walked down the corridor cautiously and both jumped when a door opened behind them. Their fears dissipated when they saw Dr. Smyth walk out of the door. However, their joy at finding a familiar face soon dissipated when Dr. Smyth instructed two of his men to arrest Lee.
"What's going on?" Lee pleaded as his hands were tied behind his back. Amanda reached for him as he fell in a heap on the floor.
"Lee!" She shrieked as Dr. Smyth pulled her away from her husband. "LEE!" the scream that emanated from her small body was almost primal and sent shivers down the spines of every man in the room who had a wife waiting for him at home. Dr. Smyth held her arms tightly and she could only watch as two men who had to be Agency took her husband out of her sight. "Why are you doing this?" Her teeth were clenched as she spoke and she couldn't hear her own voice for the blood boiling in her ears.
"He's a murderer, Mrs. King. Aah...my apologies, I mean
Mrs. Stetson. Your husband is a liar. He's lied to me, to the agency and
he's lied to you. If I were you, I'd find myself a new partner...and soon.
We can't have you wandering around the offices aimlessly. Oh, by the by...make
sure you are squeaky clean or you'll end up in the same predicament as
the Scarecrow. Ta Ta." Dr. Smyth took a puff of his cigarette and disappeared
behind a screen of smoke as Amanda's world went black and she fell to the
ground where her husband had only just recently been.
Amanda awoke slowly. She was vaguely aware of a dripping sound and there was a strange feeling in her left hand. She opened her eyes and was surprised to find herself in a hospital room. The drip of the IV in her arm was almost consoling. Amanda blinked as the sunlight shone on her face.
"Aah, good. You're awake." Amanda smiled as she heard the familiar voice of her station chief, Billy Melrose. "How are you feeling this morning?" Billy walked over to her bed and held her right hand.
"I'm ok, I think. Sir, what happened? Where's Lee?"
"We got a tip to look in that building for Mr. Giavelli's murderer."
"Who's Mr. Giavelli?"
"The mob boss Lee was trying to smoke out. He was found shot to death around the same time we sent you to Lee. If we had known what was going on we never would have sent you in there."
"Sir...what exactly IS going on?"
Billy shifted uncomfortably on his feet and looked at his hands. "Well...it looks like Lee killed him."
"What!" Amanda winced as she sat up on her left hand causing pain to shoot up her arm. "Sir, you know that's impossible!"
"That's what I thought, but Amanda, the evidence, it's all there."
"Then why is Lee injured? Why was he in that pit?"
"Pit? What pit?"
"The pit they were holding Lee in. That's where I found him, with a head injury and bleeding everywhere."
"Maybe they caught him and threw him down the pit?" Billy didn't even believe his words as he spoke them.
"And then sent for someone to keep him alive? I don't think so!" Amanda was getting fidgety and her heart was racing with anger. Someone was framing her husband for murder and she was going to find out who.
"I know it seems odd, Amanda, but all the evidence is there. There is even a witness, although we don't know who or where she is."
"Yeah, named Belle..." Billy paused as he saw a strange look pass across Amanda's face.
"Umm, sir, I know who Belle is...I'm Belle...and I'm no witness to a murder my husband did NOT commit!"
"You're Belle? I don't understand."
"It was just a..a..." Amanda looked down at her lap and blushed and then whispered "a term of endearment. The people holding us in the pit heard Lee call me Belle and they started calling me that."
"Aah, I see. Then, I take it the note Belle sent saying Scarecrow killed Mr. Giavelli is not really from you?"
"No sir, it isn't."
"This is good news, Amanda, but there's more than just the note. They found Lee's gun in his desk, it had just been fired...and the bullet matched the one they found in Giavelli's body."
"But, sir. Lee did not kill that man. I know he didn't. And, besides, he's a mob boss...why all the fuss? Lee was after him anyway. Lee's killed..." Amanda's throat caught as she spoke "in the line of duty before, what's so different now?"
"Well, we have no proof that Giavelli is a mob boss. That's what Lee was supposed to be getting. Dr. Smyth is claiming that Lee killed Giavelli to hide his own involvement in the mob."
Amanda laughed heartily and Billy was inclined to smile with her. The idea did seem rather ludicrous now that he had said it aloud. "Sir, do you really think Lee is involved in the mob?"
"No, I don't, but I'm not the one he's going to need to convince."
The smiles disappeared from Amanda and Billy's faces as
they contemplated Lee's future.
Amanda walked down the agency clinic hallway distinctly aware of the guard following behind her. They weren't taking any chances of Lee escaping. Not, that Amanda would have been able to get him out of there anyway. She had only just been released from the hospital herself. She paused and touched the door that stood before her. She jumped back when the door opened.
"Amanda? Can we talk a minute?" Doc McJohn asked as he walked into the hallway. "Sure." Amanda said as she tried to look through the door that separated her from her husband. "How's Lee?"
"Actually, he's not bad at all. He has a concussion and severe dehydration. We've hooked him up to a saline IV and we had to stitch up that cut on his forehead, but he's going to be just fine. We'll need to keep him under observation for 24 hours, but there's nothing to worry about."
Amanda's shoulders relaxed visibly at the news and the lines on her forehead weren't as obvious anymore. "Thanks, Doc. Can I see him now?"
"Sure, go on in. He'll be glad to see you. He has been asking for you all morning."
Amanda smiled as she walked past Doc McJohn and into her husband's room.
"Hey sweetheart." Amanda said as she moved to stand along side Lee's bed.
"Hey." Lee said groggily as he opened his eyes and saw his wife standing so near. "Come here." He opened his arms as an invitation to Amanda. Amanda moved to lay beside him. She climbed up on the bed and gently lay down so that her head was on his chest.
"Are you in pain?" She asked quietly.
"No, I'm fine. Are you? Is the baby okay?"
"I'm fine, the baby's fine. You're sure your head doesn't hurt."
"Amanda, I told you I'm fine. Now, do you know why I'm being held prisoner here?"
"Well, I wouldn't say you're being held prisoner." Amanda sat up and looked at his face but refused to look into his eyes.
"Amanda...come on, what aren't you telling me?" Lee touched her cheek tenderly and their eyes met briefly. Amanda's eyes began to tear up. "Hey, what's wrong?"
"It's Dr. Smyth. He's accused you of treason...and murder."
Lee looked at her in surprise. "You're kidding."
Amanda shook her head no and lay back down with her face into his chest. "I don't know how we'll get out of this one." She said, her voice muffled by Lee's shirt.
Lee caressed the back of her head and winced as he could
feel her crying. "We will, we can do anything as long as we're together."
"Hey mom, when's Lee coming home?" Jaime asked as Amanda entered her kitchen where her three children were enjoying their breakfast. Phillip and Anna looked up at her expectantly.
"Soon, sweetheart, soon." 'I hope', she added to herself.
"Is Daddy still not feeling good?" Anna asked.
"That's right, Daddy needs to feel all better before he can come home." Amanda said as she kissed her little girl on the top of her head.
"I go see Daddy, I make him feel better."
"Oh, sweetie, I'm sorry but you can't see him just yet."
"Is he still contagious, Mom?" Amanda winced at Jaime's question. She was beginning to wonder if maybe it would be better to just tell Phillip and Jaime the truth. Anna wouldn't understand, but her boys were almost men now. They deserved the truth, but she wasn't sure how to broach the subject. They both had their suspicions about why Lee and Amanda had kept their marriage a secret, but no one had confirmed anything and neither had asked.
"Yes, sweetheart." Amanda looked away quickly so that they wouldn't see how hard it was for her to answer that question.
Amanda almost sighed with relief when her mother walked through the front door. "Oh, mother, you're here. Good, I'm running late. Bye sweethearts, I love you." She said as she kissed all three of her children. As she passed her mother she kissed her on the cheek and flew out the door.
"Good morning, to you too, Darling." Dotty said as the door shut behind her daughter.
"Oh, shoot, class starts in 20 minutes!" Phillip exclaimed as he ran for his books and out the door.
"Hey, wait, can ya drop me off?" Jaime called after his brother.
"Only if you can get out of here now!" Phillip called as he ran for his car with Jaime close behind him.
"Well, looks like it's just you and me." Dotty smiled at her little granddaughter. She took a glance out the window and sighed. "I still don't think it was a good idea to let him get that driver's license." She said wistfully as tires screeched and Phillip pulled out of the driveway.
"Mommy says he gives her gray hair. Is that why you have gray hair, Grandma?"
Dotty harrumphed. "No, I'm afraid you can thank your mother for that." She smiled down at the little girl and tickled her as Anna giggled and squirmed away from her.
The conference room was quiet, too quiet. The people sitting at the long conference table were obviously extremely uncomfortable. The only person who seemed to be enjoying this meeting was Dr. Smyth who sat at the head of the table smoking his cigarette.
"I think it's about time we got started." Mrs. Jarvis said. She was the head of the review board and was anxious to finish this particular review. "Lee Stetson, you are accused of committing treason and murder. If you were not an agent, the police would have arrested you and put you on trial by now. We've managed to hold off on that for now, however. The purpose of this review is to allow you to defend yourself and to decide further action."
Lee looked around the table as Mrs. Jarvis spoke, the 5 members of the review board sat flanked by Dr. Smyth, Billy and Francine. Conspicuously absent was Amanda. "Where's Amanda?" He asked.
"We thought it best if she were not involved in this review. She is after all, your wife." Mrs. Jarvis said.
"She's also my partner. She should be here."
"Mrs. Jarvis, I have to agree with Lee on this one. Amanda has a story that contradicts the evidence Dr. Smyth will be presenting. I think it is only fair to hear her story as well." Billy said with a straight face, though inside he was very worried about his friend's fate.
Mrs. Jarvis looked at her board members and picked up
the phone as they all nodded their assent. "Jenny, could you send in Mrs.
Stetson?" She asked of the woman who answered the phone. "She'll be right
Lee and Amanda sat silently at their respective desks. The review board was deciding Lee's fate, and Amanda's as well, while they sat and waited.
"What do you think they'll decide?" Amanda said, breaking the silence.
"I don't know, I really don't. Dr. Smyth can be very persuasive."
"Hey, it'll be ok." Lee stood from his desk and walked over to Amanda. He sat on the corner of her desk and leaned in to kiss her. Both jumped when the phone on Lee's desk rang.
"Stetson." Lee said as he went over and picked up the phone.
Amanda tried her best not to listen to Lee's conversation. She tried thinking of names for their new baby and her grocery list. Finally, she gave in just in time to hear Lee hang up the phone. She looked up at her husband expectantly.
"That was Billy, the review board is giving us 24 hours."
"24 hours? I don't understand." Amanda questioned.
"If we can't prove my innocence in 24 hours, they'll hand over the evidence against me to the police."
"Okay, we need a place to start. The pit, we should try to find the pit."
"Alright, did you see how to get there?"
"No, they had me blindfolded, but I'll just close my eyes
and let you drive." Amanda was out the door before Lee could protest.
The silver corvette drove along the streets slowly. Lee didn't want to chance missing a turn somewhere. Amanda's intuition had saved him many a time, but he didn't want to take a chance on her intuition missing a turn because he was driving too fast.
"Then they turned a sharp left and stopped." She opened her eyes as Lee made the turn and stopped. They were in a parking lot of some sort. There were buildings in the distance, but this lot appeared to be forgotten and abandoned. "This looks possible...I suppose."
"Mmm." Lee mumbled. "Come on." Lee got out of the car and as Amanda did the same he took her hand and they walked across the lot. Suddenly, Amanda stopped.
"Wait, Lee, what if they're here, waiting for us?"
Lee didn't answer her; he just held her hand tighter and continued walking. He stopped when he saw an abnormality in the stone. It appeared to be a large gray stone before him, but it was larger and grayer than the other stones. So, Lee touched it. At his touch the ground started moving and revealed a hidden staircase. "Why do I feel like I should have said 'Open Sesame'?"
Amanda gave him a half smile as they started down the stairs.
"Did you bring the flashlight?" Lee asked. Amanda nodded as she reached in her purse and handed Lee the light. He shone it across the floor and the ceiling. He was surprised when the flashlight found a light bulb. Lee shone the flashlight across the walls until he found a light switch. Turning it on revealed what appeared to be a file room. "Jackpot." He smiled.
"You're just full of clich‚s today aren't you?" Amanda laughed as Lee looked at her and grinned.
"Well, well, well." A voice from the shadows said. "It looks like Scarecrow and his Belle have returned." A man stepped out and held his gun so that he was aiming straight for Amanda. Lee reached for his gun in his holster, but another man came up behind him and grabbed it away from him.
"Amanda, know that question you asked earlier?" He didn't wait for her to answer him. "Well, I think we've got your answer."
One of the men prepared to tie Lee and Amanda up when half a dozen Agents came storming down the stairs. The Agents secured the two men as Amanda laughed and hugged her husband. "How did you find us?" Lee asked as he and Amanda started clearing the files out of the cabinets.
"Dr. Smyth had me following you, when I saw you go underground...well,
I thought backup might be a good idea." One of the agents replied. Lee
laughed as the realization that Dr. Smyth had just thrown his own evidence
out the window struck him as funny.
"Congratulations, Lee and Amanda." Billy smiled as his favorite agent team as they stood across from him in his office. " Those files you found are going to keep Giavelli's men behind bars for a long time."
"Did you find out who killed Giavelli?" Lee asked.
"Yeah, his heart. He had a heart attack two days ago. We also found Giavelli's hit list, not only was the secretary of state on there, but so were several Senators and a couple congressmen. Apparently, they wanted to "clean up" the current administration. Oh and, Amanda, what do you think of Lee's little nickname?"
"Sir?" Amanda was confused, so was Lee.
"Belle...well, you don't have a code name. Maybe it's about time you did."
"But, Belle, sir? I don't think..."
"I think it's perfect." Lee smiled.
"You would." Amanda mumbled.
"Amanda, it is perfect, trust me." Lee smiled warmly.
"Scarecrow and Belle?"
"Sure...two children's movie characters...perfect." Lee laughed.
"Oh, Lee! The children! They are worried sick about you!"
"Yeah, we should head home. Thanks Billy." Lee said as he stood up and shook Billy's hand.
"Anytime." Billy smiled at his friends. "Give that little Anna a kiss for me?"
"Will do. See ya." Lee said as he and Amanda left the
office and headed home.
"Daddy, you're home!" Anna exclaimed as she ran to meet her parents as they entered the house. It was night and Anna was in her pajamas, but showed no signs of being sleepy.
"Oh, thank goodness. I was beginning to worry, Amanda, you really should've called." Dotty scolded.
"Sorry mother, where are the boys?"
"Phillip's at that late night library, or so he says, and Jaime is at the Pizza Place with friends. It isn't a school night so I didn't think you'd mind." Dotty reached for her coat. "Now, I really must be going. Captain Curt has dinner waiting, I only hope he has been able to keep it warm. It's good to see you up and around again, Lee."
"Thanks Dotty." Lee said as he held his young daughter in his arms.
"Well, I'll see you all tomorrow. Bye baby." She said to Anna as she kissed her on the cheek. "Amanda...next time..."
"I know, mother, I'll call." Amanda smiled as she kissed her mother goodbye.
"Make sure she does, Lee." Dotty said as she kissed him goodbye and made it out the door.
"Goodbye mother!" Amanda called.
Lee laughed as Amanda shut the door behind her. He carried Anna over to the couch and sat down with her on his lap. Amanda came in and joined them on the couch. She sat with her head on Lee's right shoulder while Anna lay on his left. "It's good to be home." She said.
"Yes, it is." Lee leaned over and kissed his wife.
"Lee, I was thinking, maybe it's time we told the boys about the Agency." Amanda caressed the back of her daughter's head sweetly as the little girl fought sleep.
"What brought that on?"
"I don't know. It's just getting harder to lie to them, they can tell when we're lieing, you know. They aren't little kids anymore." Amanda was so engrossed in what she was doing that she didn't hear the front door open and her two sons come in behind them. Lee noticed them, but figured maybe it would be best this way. He didn't know how he'd tell them straight out anyway. "I mean, they'd understand wouldn't they? They're old enough to know what spies are. They've probably figured it out on their own anyway."
"Actually, we didn't..." Phillip spoke. Amanda looked up sharply.
"How long have you two been there?" Amanda asked as she spun around to face her sons who were standing behind the couch.
"Hah," Phillip laughed. "I thought you said you're a spy?"
"She's one of the best, actually...just a little preoccupied at the moment."
"Mom, are you the good guys or the bad guys?" Jaime asked.
Both Lee and Amanda laughed. "Good, Jaime, we're definitely the good guys."
"Cool." Phillip and Jaime said simultaneously.
Jaime yawned and stretched.
"Hey, guys, why don't you go on up to bed? I know you have lots of questions, how about we sit down and answer them all tomorrow?" Amanda proposed.
"Deal." Phillip said as he and Jaime headed up the stairs.
"They took that awfully well." Amanda said, with a mix of relief and surprise.
"Well, like you said...they aren't little boys anymore."
"We really are the luckiest two people in the world, you know that?" Amanda smiled as she turned back around.
"That's for sure. I love you, Mrs. Stetson."
"I love you, Mr. Stetson." Amanda smiled as she and Lee kissed.
"Maybe we should head up to bed ourselves." Lee suggested mischievously.
"Sounds like a good deal." Amanda and Lee headed upstairs and put Anna in her bed.
They both kissed their little girl. "Goodnight Annie girl" Lee said as they turned off the light and headed to their bedroom. "And goodnight to you too Baby Stetson." Lee said to Amanda's stomach. "Actually, Belle, I think we might be the luckiest six people in the world."