Secret Admirer

Author: PC

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King are the property of Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions.

Summary: Amanda has a secret admirer.

Feedback: Welcomed, both public and private

Author's notes: Thanks to Micki M. for helping me with this story during swim team last summer and for typing it in the first place.  Mega thanks to Lori C., my infinitely patient beta, for all her help and encouragement.  This story was started and finished last summer, but due to real life, I am just now getting around to posting it.  Please don't think that just because
it's been in the works for over 6 months, it is at the same level as what some of you guys write.  I'm just NOT that talented, but it's lots of fun.

Amanda King opened the door to the Q Bureau.  She sighed in relief to find it empty.  Not that she didn't enjoy her work at the Agency...on the contrary, she loved it.  She thought back to when Lee Stetson had first recruited her, nearly four years ago, when he was in trouble.  She had worked at the Agency on a part-time basis until she was hired to be Lee's partner, and was now training to be an agent.

At first Lee had considered her a nuisance, but the two of them had developed a mutual respect and admiration, and had become close friends.  There seemed to be deeper feelings for each other, but Lee and Amanda danced around those.  They had been to dinner together and had even kissed once or twice, but ever since their last big assignment, about a week and a half ago, Lee had been pushing Amanda away.  During that assignment, they were checking out a lead and they walked into a trap.  They had to take cover and were forced to lie very close to one other. Lee had his arms wrapped protectively around Amanda as they faced each other.

As they lay there they seemed lost in a world of their own, forgetting the danger just beyond their hiding place. Lee slowly dipped his head toward Amanda and their lips met, tentatively at first, then with deeper passion.   "Amanda."  Lee's voice was husky as he pulled away.  "I...uh..."

"Yes," Amanda encouraged. She looked up at him shyly, her eyes willing him to continue.  At that moment the spell was broken by shouts from the back-up team outside.  "Lee!  Amanda!  We've got everybody.  You can come out now." After they were debriefed at the Agency, Lee seemed distracted and told Amanda to go home and get some rest, that he would call her.

Lee didn't call that weekend, and on Monday at work he was uncharacteristically quiet. When Amanda asked him if anything was wrong, Lee snapped, "No, what makes you think anything is wrong?"

Amanda retreated to the files she was working on.
The rest of the day hadn't gone much better.  If Amanda asked Lee a question, he gave her a cryptic answer and seemed irritated with her.

All week long, Lee had been short with Amanda, even to the point of being rude a couple of times.  She turned her head to keep him from seeing the hurt and tears that showed in her eyes.  Even while they were doing routine assignments, Amanda felt like he was treating her like a rookie instead of his partner.

Fortunately, this week had been easier on Amanda's nerves.  She had spent a good part of each day in class and Lee was out of the office most of the time working on a security detail with Francine Desmond.

This morning Amanda had a class, and then she was taking the rest of the week off.  She was looking forward to catching up on things at home that needed her attention.

After her class, Amanda stopped by Billy Melrose's office.  "Here's the last of those reports you wanted, Sir," she said.

The section chief looked up, relieved to see Amanda smiling.  He knew that Lee had been rough on her, but wasn't sure why.  He was glad to see that some time away from Lee had raised her spirits.

"Thank you, Amanda," Billy replied.  "Are you taking off now?"

"Yes, sir.  Is there anything else you needed?" Amanda questioned.

"No.  Don't forget the International Documentary Awards Ball Friday night.  We need to maintain our cover, you know."  His eyes twinkled.

"Thank you for reminding me, sir.  I'll be there.  It's at the Regents Hotel, isn't it?"  Amanda asked.

"Yes, it is.  See you there."

The next two days flew by for Amanda.  She finished Jamie's costume for his school play, cleaned out closets, and helped her
mother plant her garden.  Thoughts of Lee occasionally popped into Amanda's head, but she rapidly pushed them away.  She thought of all the times Lee had reminded her that their relationship was simply business associates and friends, and nothing more.  "Well, if that's the way he wants it, that's the way it'll be," she thought to herself.
Friday afternoon Amanda came home from running errands.  "Mother, I'm home," she called as she set her packages in the kitchen.

"Oh, Amanda, since the boys are at sleepovers, and you're going to your party, do you mind if I use the car tonight?  There's a new movie I've been wanting to see and my friend, Edna, doesn't drive at night.  I could drop you by the Regents if you like."

"No mother, there's no need for that.  I can get a cab," Amanda replied.

"Thanks so much, dear.  By the way, a package came for you.  It's in the den," Dotty called as she headed upstairs.

Amanda walked into the den to find a long white box on the coffee table. She opened it to find red roses and an orchid wrist corsage.  There was a card which read: "To the most beautiful woman in the world.  Your secret admirer."

"Oh, my gosh," Amanda blinked in surprise.  Secret admirer?  She, a divorced mom of two boys, had a secret admirer?  She wondered who it could be, but she was fairly certain of who it wasn't.

Amanda put the roses in water, and noticed that there were fourteen, not the usual dozen.

"How odd," she thought. "The mystery deepens."

"Mother!" called Amanda.

"Yes?" Dotty answered, coming down the stairs into the den.

"What can you tell me about the flowers?  Who delivered them?"

"Well," said Dotty, thinking, "They came about half an hour ago and I did peek at them.  They are beautiful aren't they?  Martin's Flowers delivered them.  Who are they from?"

"The card says a secret admirer.  I have no idea who sent them," said Amanda, shrugging her shoulders.
"Secret admirer, huh?  How romantic!  I guess you'll find out tonight," smiled Dotty.

"Oh, mother!  The ball tonight is work related and I don't know anyone at work who is interested in me!"  Amanda dug her hands into her pockets and lowered her head so her mother wouldn't see her embarrassment.

"Isn't that why it's called a SECRET admirer, Amanda?" teased Dotty as she went back upstairs.

Amanda called Martin's Flowers.  All they could tell her was that the order was typed, in an envelope with cash.  It had been slipped under the door before they opened for business.

"I wonder who would go to so much trouble," Amanda thought to herself.  She shrugged her shoulders as she went upstairs to get ready for the evening.


Later that evening, Amanda chatted companionably with Billy and Jeannie Melrose, unaware that her secret admirer watched her every move.  He thought, "I've never seen her look more beautiful than tonight."  Her strapless midnight blue gown accentuated her delicate, creamy skin.  The close-fitting top hugged her slim frame beautifully.  Her soft brown curls framed the face he wanted to kiss.

As Amanda danced with several different partners, she wondered who her secret admirer could be.  So far, there had been no spark with any of them or any indication of who had sent her the flowers.

Amanda excused herself, and walked out onto the balcony overlooking the hotel gardens.  She was lost in thought and was startled when a familiar voice said, "Hi."

"Lee, I hate it when you sneak up on me like that!"  Amanda said, turning to face him.

"Hey, it's what I do.  I'm a spy."  Lee gave her a roguish smile.

Amanda couldn't help but notice how handsome Lee looked in his tux.  She quickly pushed that thought away.  Just seeing him dredged up the hurt she felt from the way he had been treating her.

"I didn't know you were here," Amanda told Lee.

"Yeah, I've been talking to Billy ."  Lee replied.

They stood together awkwardly, not knowing what to say.  Lee broke the silence.  "Would you like to dance?"

"Well, uh, yeah, I guess so," Amanda replied as she started back toward the ballroom.

Lee quickly grabbed her hand. "No, I meant out here," he said, pulling her close.
As they danced, Amanda felt herself gradually relax in Lee's arms.

"You look lovely tonight," Lee said, in a husky voice.

"Thank you," said Amanda.  "You look pretty nice yourself." She brushed her left hand across his shoulder.
As the music ended, Amanda pulled away experiencing conflicting emotions within her. Lee didn't let go of her hand.

"Would you like to walk in the garden?" he asked.

"Well..." she hesitated.  Lee took the opportunity, and led her down to the garden.  They found a bench and sat down.

"The flowers are gorgeous, aren't they?"  Amanda said, referring to their surroundings.

"Yes, they are," Lee replied.  He glanced at her wrist corsage.  "Your orchid is lovely.  Where did you get it?"

"Oh, from a secret admirer," Amanda said, trying to be nonchalant.

"A secret admirer," repeated Lee with raised eyebrows.  "Do you have any idea who it is?"

"No, I'm clueless," Amanda replied with eyes lowered.  She was feeling very uncomfortable with Lee's questions.

"What would you do if you found out who your secret admirer was?  Would you kiss him, like this?"  Without waiting for a reply, Lee cupped Amanda's face in his hands and leaned toward her. He brushed her lips gently with his, feeling the jolt of electricity that passed through him.  He pulled back to gage Amanda's reaction, and saw she was visibly affected by the kiss as well.  He kissed her again, this time with more passion.

Amanda felt herself responding to Lee's kiss.  Suddenly, the feelings of hurt from the last two weeks came surging forth.  She pulled away from Lee.

"Have you lost your mind?" she asked in a tightly controlled voice.  Her face reflected the hurt and confusion she felt.

"Actually, I've finally come to my senses, Amanda."  Lee spoke softly. "You see, I am your secret admirer."

"What?"  Amanda's voice cracked.

She looked up at Lee, who had gotten up and turned to face her.  Her eyes went wide in amazement, and she wondered what other surprises the evening held.

"Yes, I sent you the orchid and the fourteen red roses.  A rose for each day that has passed since I last held you in my arms and almost told you I love you."

"But why...?"  Amanda's voice trailed off in bewilderment, her eyes welling with tears.
Lee sighed and ran his fingers through his hair.  Revealing how he really felt had never been easy for him.  He sat down and took Amanda's hands in his.

"After we were interrupted by our rescuers two weeks ago," Lee began nervously, "I got scared about how I was feeling about you.  I was afraid that if I gave you my heart, I would lose you like everyone I've ever parents, Dorothy, Eva..."  He looked at Amanda with tears in his eyes.  She tenderly reached out and brushed one away.

Lee continued softly, "I did the only thing I knew to do...I pushed you away.  I know I hurt you deeply.  I've been a complete fool.  I realized, Amanda, that you are what I have been looking for all of my life. I love you so much.  Can you forgive me?"

Lee looked at Amanda expectantly.  She could hardly believe her ears.  Her heart was pounding loudly in her chest and she could scarcely breathe.  All of Amanda's resolve to keep Lee at a distance emotionally melted away as she looked into his eyes and saw the love reflected there.

"Oh Lee, you don't know how I've wanted to hear you say those words, but I'd given up all hope of ever hearing them. I've loved you for so long."  Amanda buried her face in Lee's neck.  He wrapped his arms around her.  Amanda felt tingles travel down her spine as Lee gently caressed her bare shoulders.  Her arms went around his neck as she lifted her face to meet his.

"Mmm," Lee murmured as their lips met.

"Oh, wow!"  Amanda said when they finally broke apart. His kiss left her breathless and shaken. "I could stay right here forever."

"I have a better idea.  I would have made dinner reservations somewhere, but I didn't know when we'd be leaving.  I've got steaks marinating and wine chilling at my place. Would you like to go there for dinner?" Lee said with a smile.

Amanda looked at Lee with an amused grin.  "Gee, Scarecrow, you seem pretty sure that this evening was going to turn out the way you wanted."

Lee traced Amanda's features with his fingers as he looked into those deep brown eyes he knew could see into his soul.  He knew Amanda was teasing him, but he had to let her know how much she meant to him.

"Amanda, the only thing I am sure of is that I love you more than anything else in the world."

"Oh, Lee," Amanda breathed, "I love you too, so very much."

He gently kissed her forehead, then her cheeks, working his way down to her waiting lips.  "Come on, let's get out of here," Lee whispered in Amanda's ear.  Standing up, he took her hand.  They walked back up the stairs into the ballroom.

"I guess we'd better tell Billy good night," Lee said, guiding Amanda with his hand at her back.  Billy and Jeannie smiled as Lee and Amanda approached.

"We just came to say good night, sir," Amanda said. She smiled shyly.

"We're going to get something to eat," Lee added. He shifted nervously from foot to foot, feeling as if he'd been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

"Well, enjoy yourselves."  Billy replied, trying to suppress a grin.

"Good night Amanda, Lee" said Jeannie.  She turned to her husband as Lee and Amanda walked away.  "What's so funny?"

"Well, it seems Scarecrow has finally found his brain where Amanda is concerned," Billy chuckled.

As Lee and Amanda drove to his apartment, she turned and asked him, "How did you know I didn't have my car tonight?"

"Uh, well...actually I called your mother and suggested she use the car tonight since I would probably be bringing you home."  He cast a sheepish glance in her direction.

"Lee!  You didn't!"  Amanda groaned as she covered her face with her hands.  "Did she give you the third degree or is she saving that for me when I get home?"

Lee grinned and took Amanda's hand.  "No, she was harmless.  She did say that my taste in flowers was almost as good as my taste in women.  I told her I didn't know what she was talking about.  She said, 'Yeah, right!' then hung up."
Amanda closed her eyes and shook her head.  "Oh, no, I may never want to go home again."

Later, after dinner, the couple sat together on the couch. Amanda leaned contentedly back into Lee's strong embrace, gently stroking his arm.  Her eyes were closed, enjoying the attention he was giving her neck.

Amanda opened her eyes. "Lee?" she said, placing her hand on his.

"Hmm?" came the muffled reply.

"You know this is going to complicate things at work."  She absently stroked his hand with her thumb.

"Yeah, I guess I'll have to make sure we keep the office door locked so I can kiss you whenever I want," Lee whispered as he nuzzled Amanda's ear.

"Lee!" I'm serious." Amanda playfully slapped his arm.

He reluctantly pulled away from her to look at her.  He wanted nothing more than to let the world know how much he loved her, but he knew she was right. Lee smiled.  "This will be our secret for now," he said as he pulled her into his arms.

"Ours and my mother's," Amanda said with a wry grin.

She reached over and picked their wine glasses up off the coffee table, handing one to Lee.

"To secret admirers," she said, raising her glass.

"To secret admirations," he replied as he leaned in for another kiss.