Disclaimer: Scarecrow & Mrs. King and all related characters are the property of Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only. No infringement is intended. The story itself is the property of the author.
Timeline: Post fourth season. August 1987.
Archive: smkfanfic - anywhere else, please ask permission.
Summary: An accident leads Amanda on a trip into her past, one that she is reluctant to share with Lee.
Author's notes: I read a book recently that was about soul mates and thought how much it could be applied to our favorite spy couple. This is my attempt to explain exactly how Lee and Amanda are soul mates. A million thanks to my beta readers; Ilana, Kathy and Mac. Without you this work would be full of typos and confusing references. THANK YOU! A special thank you to Sybil for her wonderful feedback. You’re a princess, baby! (Check out the comma!)
Feedback: Any and all feedback, on or off-list, is welcomed and appreciated.
Amanda King sat at her cubicle and stared out into the open office space. She had been undercover at this office for three weeks now and had found out absolutely nothing. It was Friday and business was slow. She knew if she didn’t get something today, Billy was going to pull her off the assignment. Looking around and finding no one paying attention, she slowly stood and crept into the office next to her.
The office belonged to George Davenport, the man she had been assigned to watch. He was an executive for Martin Aerospace, a company that designed parts for the rockets NASA used to launch satellites into space. He was suspected, however, of designing something far more sinister.
His office was cool and dark. He had left almost an hour before, but had not locked his door behind him. The lights were off and the shades drawn, but there was enough ambient light for Amanda to do her task with ease. Every afternoon for the last three weeks she had done the same thing, without success. Today was going to be different.
His desk was excruciatingly tidy, almost as tidy as Amanda’s in the Q-Bureau. The only items on the desktop were his telephone, a desk blotter, a business card holder and a notebook calendar. Amanda opened the calendar. There were no new appointments scheduled since she last checked. She closed it, careful to place it exactly as she had found it. This man would know if something was even slightly out of place and Amanda wasn’t about to take that chance. She looked around his office one last time and was about to give up when a smidgen of blue caught her eye. There was something under the desk blotter.
Amanda noted the exact angle of the exposed paper then carefully slid it out from its hiding place. It was a blueprint. Amanda mentally cheered. Finally she had some success. The last three weeks wouldn’t be a total waste after all. She quietly unfolded the blueprint. The page itself was two feet wide and one foot long. She squinted at the white print, which was difficult to read with the dim lighting. What she was finally able to make out surprised her. She was looking at the design schematics for a missile.
She smoothed the blueprint out on Mr. Davenport's desk and pulled a small camera out of her pocket. She took a few pictures, folded the paper back to its original size and carefully placed it back under the blotter. She stood for a few moments, staring at the desk. Then she moved the exposed corner a fraction of an inch to the left. Now it was perfect.
She slowly walked toward the office door, put her ear to it and listened. Satisfied that there was no one waiting for her, she opened the door a crack and peeked out. The office staff continued their routine, blissfully unaware of Amanda. She walked out, closing the door behind her. She returned to her cubicle to finish out the remainder of her day. Amanda was mentally congratulating herself and looking forward to a celebration dinner with her husband.
Lee Stetson was putting the finishing touches on the salad when the clock chimed the top of the hour. It was six o'clock and he expected Amanda at any moment. He was worried about her. He didn't like the fact that Billy had picked her and her alone for the Martin Aerospace assignment. It bothered him that she was by herself and unprotected.
He had argued that fact with Billy three and a half weeks ago after Amanda had first told him about ‘her' assignment. The discussion had been over dinner and it had taken every ounce of Lee's resolve to not jump on the phone and call Billy right then and there. He instead waited until the following morning when he could speak to him in private.
They had met in Billy's office, door shut and blinds drawn. It was a late day for Amanda and she wasn't in yet. Lee immediately launched into what Billy would for years affectionately refer to as 'Lee's thousand reasons why' speech. Billy had let him go on, to hopefully get it all out of his system. Lee explained that Amanda was not trained well enough to go on an assignment of this magnitude alone. He tried to convince Billy to reconsider and send Francine instead. Billy had stood his ground. He had told Lee that Amanda was going to handle the assignment and if Lee wanted to argue the point further, it would be after his two week suspension.
Lee backed down slightly after Billy’s warning finally registered. There would be no way for him to keep an eye on Amanda if he were suspended. It would be far better for her to go it alone with him on duty than for her to do it anyway with his hands tied. He had mumbled something about any problems being on Billy’s head and stomped off. Lee had barely cooled down when Amanda arrived after lunch.
He never told her about his meeting that morning or how he had tried to have her removed from the case. That would have gone over as well as trying to dowse a fire with gasoline. He had seen only snippets of her temper and did not want to be on the receiving end of her wrath if she ever found out what he had tried to do. Truth be told, ever since their honeymoon in California, he had been coddling her a bit. He knew he was doing it even if it wasn’t a conscious effort. He feared for her safety now more than ever before. He had finally found in her the unconditional love he had sought throughout his entire life. It killed him a little each time she was even slightly put in harms way.
Lee had settled on the couch, the events of the last three weeks running through his mind as he waited for Amanda. She had been excited about her first real solo assignment and had tackled it with her usual enthusiasm. He missed her terribly though. He was so used to seeing her each day. This assignment had separated them at work and they were forced to spend less time together. Their evenings were filled with dinner and conversation, each bringing the other up to date on what had happened throughout the day, but it didn’t seem to be enough to fill the void each felt.
This past week though Lee had noticed that Amanda was growing discouraged with her assignment. The information she had hoped to find wasn’t turning up as everyone had expected and she was going to be pulled off of it today, if nothing panned out. Lee knew that Amanda considered this to be a personal failure, even if she tried to play it off as if it wasn’t. He had tried all week to reassure her that something would turn up. Secretly though he hoped it wouldn’t. Lee admitted to himself that he would feel a lot better when Amanda was back at her desk where she belonged.
The clock chimed the half hour and Lee sat up and looked at his watch in surprise. Amanda was twenty minutes late. Lee considered calling Amanda’s mother to see if she had gone home first but decided against it. It was still to early to get worried he reasoned and settled back on the couch.
Amanda finished the workday with little incident. She had put the small camera in her purse figuring she could take the film to IFF in the morning to have it developed. It was nearing five o’clock and Lee was expecting her at six. She couldn’t wait to share her good fortune with him. She shut down her computer, nodded polite goodbyes to the other employees and headed out to her car.
She had traveled only a mile when she noticed the blue Oldsmobile following her. She tried a few easy evasive maneuvers to see if they kept up. They did. “This is just wonderful.” she thought as she increased her speed in an effort to lose her tail. The Olds dutifully followed her, never gaining or losing any ground. Suddenly Amanda rounded a blind corner into an alley and ran headlong into a large green garbage dumpster. The force of the impact threw her against the steering wheel and she instantly blacked out.
The Oldsmobile came to a screeching halt behind its quarry. Several pedestrians had witnessed the accident and were crowding around the car. Steam was rising from the crumpled radiator giving the whole scene an ethereal feel. The driver jumped out of the blue Olds and ran toward the Wagoneer. He approached the passenger side telling the onlookers that he was a doctor. He opened the door and regarded the woman slumped over in her seat. ‘She’s going to have one nasty headache when she comes to.’ the man thought. He reached for her purse and discreetly extracted the camera. Hearing sirens and satisfied that he had what he had come for, he backed away from the car and was lost in the crowd.
Thirty minutes later Lee was pacing the apartment when the phone rang. He pounced on the receiver nearly knocking it to the floor. It was Billy. There had been some kind of accident. Amanda. Accident. Hospital. Lee dropped the phone and was out the front door before Billy could finish his sentence.
Amanda sat on the gurney in the emergency room. She was holding a large ice pack to her forehead and was patiently discussing with the nurse about being fine enough to go home. She was instantly relieved when Billy rounded the corner.
"Amanda, are you okay?" Billy walked up to Amanda, the concern evident in his eyes.
"Hello, Sir." Amanda replied lowering the ice pack to her lap. "I'm fine except for this nasty bump. Sir, I need to call Lee. He was expecting me." The nurse, having other patients to attend to, left Amanda with her visitor.
"I already called him." Billy patted her on her hand. "The way he reacted I'm sure he'll be here in a few seconds. Now, why don't you tell me what happened."
"That's the funny thing, Sir. There's a few hours today that I can't remember. I'm not sure why, but I can't remember anything after lunch up until I woke up here." Amanda gave Billy an apologetic smile and shrugged her shoulders.
"You can't remember anything?" Billy asked just as Lee rushed around the corner. He had caught Billy's words and a look of horror crossed his face.
"Oh dear God. Amnesia again?" Lee walked up to Amanda looking deep into her eyes. Knowing what Lee was thinking, Amanda decided to play with him a little.
"I'm sorry, do I know you?" She smiled a little at the expression Lee was giving her. Behind him, Billy had covered his mouth to contain his laughter.
"Oh no." was all Lee could get out, his eyes wide with apprehension. "Lee! I'm fine!" Amanda laughed then squinted as the action caused her head to ache.
"Amanda! That wasn't funny!" Lee scolded.
"Actually, Lee, I really can't remember anything from this afternoon. There's a big black spot from lunch until I woke up here." Amanda explained as she pressed the ice pack back to the lump on her head.
"Are you okay?" Lee was doing well to keep himself in check. Part of him wanted to take his wife in his arms and part of him wanted to tell Billy off for putting her in danger.
"Like I was telling Mr. Melrose, other than the bump on my head, I'm fine. The Wagoneer didn't make out so well from what I understand." Lee and Amanda both turned to Billy to get the full story.
"Well, Amanda's right about her car. She's lucky it was such a large vehicle or she probably wouldn't have come away with just a bump. Eyewitness reports say that you tore around a corner into an alley and ran straight into a garbage dumpster." Billy shook his head. "Unfortunately that's all we know."
"Where did the accident happen?" Amanda had a strange feeling, like a knot in her stomach, telling her that something was wrong. She just couldn't figure out what.
"Not too far from here. Just on the other side of Georgetown." Billy replied.
"That doesn't make sense." Amanda shook her head as much as her bump would allow. "I was supposed to go to Lee's after getting out of the office, I know that much. The accident happened on the opposite side of town from where Lee lives. Why would I have passed Lee's apartment?"
"Maybe you were being followed?" Lee offered, hoping to jog her memory.
Amanda closed her eyes in concentration for a moment but couldn't force the memory to come. She opened her eyes and frowned. "Maybe, I can't remember. The only thing I can pick up on is that I was very happy about something. I must have found something at Martin Aerospace. Oh! My camera!" Amanda jumped off the gurney and walked over to the chair where her purse was sitting. She carried it over to the gurney and dumped its contents out. She rifled through the pile for a moment. "It's gone." She turned to Billy and Lee. "I carried it with me everyday. I was always careful to put it back in my purse and it's gone."
Lee looked to Billy who shrugged at him in return. "It looks as if she was onto something, Billy."
Just then the nurse came back to see how her patient was doing. Lee and Billy excused themselves to allow the nurse room to do her duties. In the hallway, Billy pulled Lee to the side and looked around. Satisfied that no one would overhear, he started questioning Lee.
"Are you sure she just didn't forget the camera at the office today? And as for her 'happy feeling', she was headed over to your apartment." Billy slyly grinned at the seasoned agent and thought he noticed a slight blush tint Lee's cheeks.
"Billy, Amanda knew this would probably be her last day at Martin. I doubt she would have left anything of hers behind. And as for my apartment, she was coming over to help me with that report you wanted done by Monday." Lee hoped he sounded convincing. Billy just nodded.
"Okay, Scarecrow. Take her home but I want her to see Doc Thomas first thing in the morning. If she remembers anything between now and then, tell her to call me or you immediately." Billy patted Lee on the arm and turned to leave. "Take care of her, Lee." He said over his shoulder, smiling.
Lee smiled in return and walked back into the ER where Amanda was being discharged. "Hey you." he called out to her. She turned to face him and he kissed her on the cheek. "I'm glad you're okay."
"Okay is a relative term." she mused. "I wish I could remember what happened this afternoon."
"Don't force yourself." Lee reassured, leading her out into the cool night air. "You've been through this before. You know you'll remember everything in time."
"I know." Amanda somberly replied. "I'm sorry about dinner."
They had arrived at the Corvette and Lee paused before opening Amanda's door. He turned to face her and wrapped his arms around her. "Amanda, one ruined dinner is a fair exchange for your life." He tipped her chin up to bring her lips to his. He kissed her gently then fiercely embraced her. "I'm so glad you're okay."
"I'm fine Lee, but what am I going to tell mother about the car?" Amanda leaned in against Lee's chest, relaxing in his arms.
"Tell her the truth." Lee stated matter-of-factly.
"Lee, I don’t know what the truth is." Amanda gently reminded him.
"Oh…yeah. Well, tell her some tourist stopped dead in front of you and you couldn't stop in time. That will explain that lovely purple bruise on your forehead." He kissed the spot as he mentioned it.
"That'll have to do." Amanda sighed.
“Come on.” Lee said. “Let me take you home. I’ll help you smooth things over with your mother.” Lee stepped back and opened the door for Amanda, helping her sit comfortably. He walked around, got in the car and took Amanda home.
Amanda sat in Doc Thomas' anteroom, nervously fidgeting with the charm on her necklace. She had been waiting alone for ten minutes and was beginning to consider sneaking away. It's not that she was necessarily frightened of seeing a psychiatrist, she just didn't see how it was going to help.
Amanda smiled as she thought back to the previous evening. Lee had driven her home and come inside with her to help her deal with her mother. Dotty had been reading a book in the family room and had done a double take when she saw the bruise on Amanda's forehead. She had flown out of her chair and had instantly become a mother hen. Amanda laughed at the memory. Lee's expression was priceless as he silently stepped out of Dotty's way, lest he be knocked over.
An hour later, Dotty had calmed down and the story of the accident had been relayed. She had seemed satisfied with the "tourist cover" as Lee had jokingly referred to it and excused herself to bed. Lee decided then that he would pick Amanda up for breakfast and take her to her appointment with Doc Thomas.
Which is where Amanda now sat, alone and nervous. Lee had offered to wait with her but Amanda had shooed him away, telling him she was fine. She was fairly confident he knew she was saying that more to convince herself. She had promised Lee that she would head up to the Q-Bureau as soon as she was finished. Satisfied, he had left her there to worry and wonder what exactly she had forgotten and why.
The loud click of a door closing snapped Amanda to attention. Doc Thomas had arrived and was eyeing her as only a psychiatrist could. Finally he smiled and offered his hand to her. Amanda stood and shook the young doctor's hand then followed him into his office.
"Mrs. King, have a seat please." Doc Thomas motioned to the several chairs that were scattered about the office. When he noticed Amanda's perplexed expression. "Oh, any chair will do Mrs. King, whichever one you think you'll be most comfortable in." The doctor rounded his desk and took a seat in his own chair.
Amanda nodded and sat in the large, overstuffed leather chair directly opposite the doctor. She smiled at him when she was settled. "So, where do we begin, Sir?"
"First of all, you can call me Rick. I want you to be comfortable in here and you calling me 'Sir' or 'Doctor' isn't going to help. I‘m your friend, not a superior." He leaned back in his chair, holding a file folder in his hands. "So, Mrs. King, I see here that you have selective amnesia?" He looked up at her when he finished speaking, waiting for a response.
"Is that what they are calling it?" Amanda wryly replied. "And please call me Amanda."
"Ok, Amanda it is. Why don’t you tell me what happened yesterday." He sat forward and started taking notes as Amanda recounted her day up to the point where her memory went blank.
"And from that point on I can't remember anything. That is until I woke up in the emergency room." Amanda sighed and sat back.
"Relax Amanda, you're not being tested here. I want to help you remember what you have blocked out." He looked at her for a moment and then continued. "Amanda, I would like to try hypnosis on you. What do you think?"
"Hypnosis?" Amanda let out a small laugh.
"Sure! According to your file, you are an easy subject." He flipped through some pages until he found the information he was looking for. "Ah, here it is, in late 1984."
"Right, when the Agency was under Operation Possum. I had transcribed some tapes and I was hypnotized to remember what was said. I was surprised it was so easy." Amanda explained.
"Well, I have found that people with logical, analytical minds, like mathematicians, have problems letting go and allowing themselves to be put under."
"I have a very logical mind." Amanda interjected, slightly perturbed.
"I'm sure you do Amanda, what I meant was that people with a more…linear train of thought seem to have trouble letting go." Amanda smiled at Rick, amused by his attempt to describe her mind.
"Okay, I get your point. Where do we begin?" Amanda watched as Rick stood and walked to the door. He turned a dial and the lights in the room dimmed to a low glow. He sat in a chair next to Amanda and she turned to face him.
"Ready?" he asked.
"As ready as I'll ever be." she replied.
Rick started talking in a low deep voice. He talked Amanda into a state of relaxation, one part of her body at a time. After a few minutes, Amanda was in a deep dreamlike trance. Rick smiled and quietly turned on a tape recorder.
"Amanda, can you hear me?"
"Mmm-hmm." She spoke in a low sleepy voice.
"Do you know who I am?"
"Right, Doctor Rick. I want you go to back in time. Think back and…" Rick was interrupted by a quiet tapping on the door. He frowned at the intrusion and walked toward the door. He was surprised to see it open a crack and find the ever inquisitive eyes of Lee Stetson peeking around the edge.
“Mr. Stetson, are you lost?” Rick whispered.
“No, I just wanted to make sure Amanda made it in okay.” Lee was looking around the room now and his eyes came to rest on the figure of his wife sitting in one of the over stuffed chairs.
“Amanda’s fine. We were kind of in the middle of something.” Rick put gentle pressure on the door in an attempt to dissuade the persistent agent from entering any further.
“Oh...I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt. I’ll leave you to your shrinking.” Lee grinned at his wit and made his exit. Rick shook his head and quietly closed the door and locked it.
Amanda remained in her chair, fully relaxed. Her mind was playing over the last command it was given when Rick returned.
"Sorry about that. Where were we? Oh yes. Amanda, I want you to go back in time…"
"Already there." Amanda interrupted.
"Oh?” Rick was momentarily taken aback by her response and eyed her suspiciously. He decided to play it out and see where she would go. “Well what do you see?"
"I'm in a speakeasy. There are men all around. They are drinking and they are loud. They think I'm a prostitute. They have no idea who I really am." Amanda smiled as if proud of herself.
Rick leaned back in his seat, eyebrows raised. "Amanda, I need you to focus on your assignment. Do you remember what your assignment is?"
"Oh yes." Amanda replied. "I'm supposed to case the joint then report back to my Bureau contact with the information. They have no idea I'm working for them."
"Working for who?"
"The Bureau of Investigation." Amanda replied as if it were general knowledge.
Rick's jaw dropped. When he was finishing up his medical schooling, he had taken a side interest in the history of espionage. It was what had ultimately led him to his job at The Agency. The Bureau of Investigation was what the FBI was called until 1932 when it changed it’s name to the United States Bureau of Investigation. The name ‘FBI’ wasn’t officially used until 1935.
"What year is it?" Rick cautiously asked.
"1929." Amanda replied without hesitation.
"What is your name?"
"Katherine Duncan…but my friends call me Katie."
"Katie…“ Rick jotted this bit of information down on a notepad. “What is it that you do?"
"Well, I'm a 'helper' of sorts for the boys at the Bureau. Hoover won't allow any female agents, so I have to be content with my civilian status."
Rick looked at the tape recorder and was relieved to see that it had indeed been started. No one was going to believe this. Somehow, Amanda had regressed herself into what could very well be a past life. He had read a little on the subject and knew, in theory, how to handle a patient in this situation. The patient would relive past events but with the knowledge that they were no longer that person. The sensation, he had read, was almost as if they were in a play, acting the role of another person, but with full knowledge of the fact that they weren't really there. His curiosity got the better of him and he continued to ask questions.
"I want to ask you some more questions about Katie. Do you mind?"
Amanda dreamily smiled and sighed. "Not at all."
"It's 1929, tell me what is going on."
Amanda stood in the smoke filled room surrounded by the rowdy crowd. She knew she wasn't really there. She knew that these people knew her as Katie. She wasn't afraid though. She was very comfortable, as if she were in her element and in total control. In her mind she could hear the voice of Doctor Thomas and felt safe.
'Yes?' she responded with her thoughts as well.
'I want to ask you some more questions about Katie. Do you mind?'
'Not at all.'
'It's 1929, tell me what is going on.'
Amanda looked around the room. There didn't seem to be much happening in here and she felt that she should go meet her Bureau contact and give him the information she had gathered this evening. She made her exit and walked down the street.
'I'm in Washington and the streets are dark. There are lanterns along the road, but not like the streetlights we have today. The cars are old. I recognize a Model T. I'm walking along the street. Men are whistling at me. I am stopping to look at my reflection in a window. I'm tall and thin with dark brown wavy hair. I'm wearing a short black dress with tassels. Oh my gosh, I look like a flapper! I'm walking down the street again, headed for my meeting place. I'm supposed to be meeting an Agent named Brian. We always meet in front of the Lincoln Memorial. It's a special place for us and is our little secret. It fun to keep secrets from the secret keepers. It tends to put things in perspective.'
Amanda sat on the steps of the Memorial. She looked around, drinking in the sights as if she had been gone for years. Everything looked new and unspoiled in this time. Footsteps behind her caught her attention and she jumped to her feet, a small pistol in her hand.
"Brian! I wish you wouldn't sneak up on me like that! One of these days you're going to get shot!" Katie said. Brian just laughed and scooped her up into his arms. He spun her around and placed her lightly on her feet, kissing her soundly on the lips.
"You'll never shoot me Katherine. I know you don't keep that little pea shooter of yours loaded." His eyes twinkled as he spoke.
'Oh my gosh! This man, Brian, his eyes…he looks so familiar!'
'What is it Amanda, what do you see?'
'Brian is here now. He's tall and very handsome. He has dark brown hair. But his eyes, I've seen his eyes before. It's Lee! Oh my gosh!'
"Katherine, I really wish you wouldn't get yourself involved in these matters. I know you enjoy the excitement, but I don’t know how much longer my heart can take worrying about you all the time." They were sitting together on the steps, arm in arm, watching the city beyond.
"I can't help it if old J. Edgar won't let me be official. One of these days he'll realize that women can be just as effective in this business as men can be." Katie leaned in to Brian, her lips brushing his.
'Oh yes, that's Lee all right.'
'How can you tell?'
'I can feel it when we kiss.'
"Besides, if it weren't for my suspicious nature and my natural ability to find trouble, I never would have met you!" Katie smiled as Brian looked deep into her eyes. She returned his gaze and suddenly he was gone.
“Oh yes, that’s Lee all right.” Amanda smiled as she spoke the words.
Rick looked at her quizzically. “How can you tell?”
“I can feel it when we kiss.” she replied.
Rick smiled at this little tidbit of information. It was obvious to everyone at the Agency that Scarecrow had changed over the past couple of years, but no one knew exactly why. Although there had been rumors flying around the Agency for a year now about Scarecrow and his partner, Rick never allowed himself to get involved with the 'office gossip'. It now appears that the 'office gossip' was true - Mrs. King had indeed tamed the ‘Scarecrow‘.
"Amanda, I want you to come forward in time now. Forward to yesterday." Rick had checked his watch and noticed that nearly an hour had gone by since he had first put Amanda under. He had been so spellbound by her narrative and by the declaration that Lee was there as well, albeit as Brian, that he had lost track of time.
"Okay, I'm at the office." Amanda was still totally relaxed in the large chair.
"Good, I want you to put your memory on fast forward, just like a video tape, and see if you can find anything that you think is important. We can go back and review details in a minute." Rick watched as Amanda's eyes moved quickly back and forth under her closed eyelids. Suddenly she jumped.
"That's it!" she cried triumphantly.
"What's it?" Rick had been startled by her revelation and was trying to calm his nerves.
"There's a blueprint! I can see it clearly. It's a missile. I'm taking pictures of it now. I've put the camera in my purse and now I'm leaving. I'm driving over to Lee's apartment for dinner. There's someone following me. It's a blue Oldsmobile. Oh no!" Amanda squinted her eyes and Rick instantly recognized that she was remembering the crash.
"Amanda, it's okay. Go back a few moments to when you see the car."
Amanda relaxed again. "Okay, I see it."
"Freeze the picture with your mind. Can you see who is in the car?"
"There is one man. I don't recognize him." Slowly she shook her head.
"That's okay. You are going to remember everything we went over. You will remember every detail of the blueprint and the face of the man that was chasing you. You will remember everything that was said, vividly and clearly. I'm going to count backwards from five now. When I reach one you will wake up totally refreshed and will remember everything. 5…4…3…2…1"
Amanda's eyes flew open and she anxiously looked at Rick. "What was that all about?"
"I was going to ask you the same thing. Do you believe in reincarnation?" Rick reached over and turned off the tape recorder as Amanda looked at him with a weak smile.
Lee looked at his watch. It had been nearly two hours since he had left Amanda in the waiting room. ‘Surely they should be finished by now.’ he thought. He closed the file he had been looking over and headed out to find Amanda. He didn’t have to go far. He nearly knocked her over in his haste. She had been standing just outside the closed office door. He reached out to help her steady herself.
“Amanda? Are you okay?” Lee noticed she seemed rather distant. He wondered for a moment if she possibly had a concussion. The bruise on her forehead, both evidence and reminder of the close call she’d had the previous evening, wasn’t as angry looking as before. He reasoned that they wouldn’t have released her from the hospital without at least testing her for head trauma but that still didn’t explain the distant look in her eyes.
Amanda paused a moment before responding. Lee had his arm around her waist and she had grasped onto his neck to catch her footing. She looked deep into his eyes and was surprised by what she felt. It was as if a jolt of low voltage electricity ran through her and the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. ‘If what Doc Thomas is suggesting is true,’ she thought, ‘that would explain my instant acceptance of Lee at the train station. Something in his eyes made me feel safe.’ Now it seemed she understood why. But would he believe her? She decided to hold off explaining that part of her session to him until much later.
“Lee, I remembered what happened yesterday.” Amanda stated somberly.
Lee was trying to gauge her emotions. Something was troubling her but she didn’t seem ready to share it with him. He knew Amanda though, and no amount of cajoling would get her to share before she was ready. “That’s wonderful!” Lee pulled her close and held her tight. “I knew you would. Come sit down and tell me about it.” He stepped back and led her into the office, closing the door and locking it behind them.
They sat together on the couch in silence. After a moment passed, Lee broke the tension by pulling Amanda toward him. She leaned in to him, resting her head on his chest. Taking a deep breath she began.
“Doctor Thomas hypnotized me.” She closed her eyes as she said it. She was still trying to make sense of what the doctor had referred to as ‘the regression’ and it had her in turmoil.
“Really?” Lee rubbed her arm. She felt tense and he was trying to reassure her that everything was okay. ‘This would be a hell of a lot easier if she would tell me what’s wrong.’ he thought.
“Yeah, apparently I’m an easy subject. But then you already knew that didn’t you?” Amanda gently teased.
“I seem to remember something about that, yes.” Lee smiled at the memory. They had gone bowling while waiting for someone from the Agency to contact him. It was then that he had decided to never bet Amanda at bowling. She would have wiped the alley clean with him if they’d had the chance to finish their game. Amanda had been hypnotized at that bowling alley to help her remember the content of some wiretap tapes she had transcribed. It seemed like only yesterday but at the same time it felt like a lifetime ago.
“Anyway. He put me under and had me remember all the events of yesterday. I found a blueprint Lee. That’s what I took pictures of. George Davenport had it hidden under his desk blotter. It was design schematics for a missile. He has no business with design plans for anything. I figured that was important so I took pictures of it.“ Amanda paused for a moment and found that Lee was listening to her in rapt attention. He nodded and she continued.
“I put the camera in my purse and headed to your place. About halfway there I noticed a blue Oldsmobile following me. I did the standard evasive maneuvers but he kept up with me easily. I made the mistake of pulling into a blind alley and hit the dumpster. But Doc Thomas helped me to focus on the face of the man that was driving. I don't know who he is but if I saw him again, I’d know him.” Amanda sat up and turned to face Lee. He sat up too and ran his fingers through his hair. He was looking down at the floor, thinking about something. He seemed to make up his mind about whatever it was and stood up.
“Well then. Let’s get you downstairs. You can start with some of the mug books. I’m going to call Billy and then we’re going to head over to Martin.” He looked at Amanda who was still sitting with her hands folded on her lap, “That is if you feel up to it.”
She smiled and stood, taking his hand in hers. “Of course I feel up to it. Let’s go.” Together they headed downstairs with renewed purpose.
Amanda had been pouring over the mug books for over an hour. So far, no one had popped out at her. Lee had called Billy at home and filled him in on the news that Amanda had regained her memory. He was now sitting with her, watching as she flipped through page after page.
Amanda closed the sixth book with a snap and reached for the seventh. Lee was about to suggest she take a break when she slapped her hand down on one of the pictures.
“That’s him.” She turned to look at Lee, her eyes full of the enthusiasm Lee was so used to seeing in them. “That’s definitely him.”
Lee took the book from her and looked at the man she had pointed out. “Justin Case. He was following you? We didn’t even know he was back in the country.”
“You know him?” Amanda asked, her curiosity piqued.
“Yeah, we know him. He’s a small-time crook in a big time business. He’s a middle man for arms dealers. He hooks up potential buyers and sellers and takes a cut of the profit. If he was following you and took the camera from you, then we’re dealing with something big here.” Lee pulled Justin's picture out of the book and made a copy. He replaced the original and put the copy in his jacket pocket.
“What do we do now?” Amanda had closed the book and was arranging it with the rest in a neat pile.
“We go to Martin Aerospace and you look around Davenports office. I want you to see if the blueprint is still there.” Lee stood up and started for the door.
“And if it’s not?” Amanda grabbed her purse and scurried to join him.
Lee stopped to allow Amanda to catch up to him. “We’ll worry about that when the time comes.” He put his hand on her back and led her to the elevator.
The receptionist looked up from her magazine thoroughly annoyed by the door buzzer. She pressed the button to allow whoever it was access to the building. She hated working the weekend shift and tended to make that fact glaringly obvious to anyone who had the misfortune of having to deal with her.
Amanda walked through the door and up to the receptionists station. “Good afternoon. I worked here last week and I think I left one of my pictures on my desk. I’m from the temporary agency. Actually I was here for three weeks. I don't normally make a habit of bringing in my personal items unless it looks like I’ll be staying, but it’s just not going to work out here at all. Can you let me through? I’ll just pick up my picture and be on my way.”
The receptionist waved her through the security door and rolled her eyes.
“Thank you very much. I’ll be right out.” Amanda smiled at the grumpy woman and waited to be buzzed through the security door. “She didn’t even make me sign in.” Amanda mumbled under her breath as she opened the door and headed down the hallway to George Davenport’s office. The building was nearly deserted with it being the weekend. Amanda thanked her lucky stars and opened his office door.
His office looked just like she had left it the day before except for one tiny detail, the blueprint was gone. Amanda looked under the blotter and checked all the desk drawers just to make doubly sure that it really was not there. Dejected, she left the office and headed back out to the parking lot to meet Lee. She didn’t notice the man following her.
Lee had been sitting in the Corvette, watching the front door of Martin Aerospace in his rearview mirror. He looked at his watch. Amanda had been inside for only fifteen minutes but he was already beginning to worry. He knew of her uncanny ability to get herself into trouble even in the most routine circumstances. He looked at his watch again. Seventeen minutes had now passed. Lee had decided that he was going to give her twenty minutes before he was going to go in after her. Checking his weapon in its holster he looked at his watch again. He jumped when the passenger door opened.
“You’d think one of our government’s top agents wouldn’t let himself get sneaked up on in a parked car.” Amanda teased when she saw his reaction. She smiled when he made a face and settled back into his seat.
“Did you find the blueprint, Mrs. Bond?” Lee mocked. He was looking in the rearview mirror again. “More to the point, did anyone find you?”
“Lee, it’s Saturday. The place is practically deserted except for a skeleton crew and a gum-cracking receptionist who’s more interested in her magazine than any visitors. And the blueprint was gone.” Amanda noticed Lee’s attention was intently focused on the mirror. “Lee? What is it?”
“Justin Case was following you.” Lee started the engine and shifted into reverse. The car backed up slowly. Lee watched as Justin made a break for his car. Amanda turned in time to see him climb into a blue Oldsmobile.
“That’s him, Lee, and that’s the same car that was following me yesterday.” She turned her attention back to Lee. His eyes had grown hard and his jaw was clenched. His gaze still remained on Justin. “Lee? What are you going to do?” Amanda had seen that look once before. It was the same look Lee had given Addi Birol and it meant only one thing. Lee was holding this man personally responsible for harming her. “Lee!” Amanda lightly touched his arm, trying to capture his attention.
“What? Oh.” Lee looked at her, almost apologetically, his eyes softening only slightly. “I plan on letting him follow us for a bit. Then we’re going to turn the tables on him and find out just what the hell is going on here.” Lee shifted the car and pulled out of the parking lot and into traffic.
For the first few minutes he let their tail keep up with them. He wound around the streets of Washington, taking them down Constitution Avenue, then up 15th Street. He turned left on K Street and sped up. Lee made his move when they reached Washington Circle where the traffic was heavier. He was able to put some cars in between them and, using the Circle to his advantage, got behind Justin.
They could see him cursing and beating the steering wheel in frustration as he searched the traffic ahead of him for the silver Corvette. He had no idea that they were now behind him.
“Now what?” Amanda asked. She was relaxing a little now. The memory of her own car chase and subsequent crash were still very fresh in her mind and she had just realized that she had been clutching the door handle the entire time Lee had been driving.
“Now we follow him and see if he leads us to the blueprints.” Lee reached over and patted Amanda’s knee. “Are you okay? You look a little pale.”
“I’ll be fine. Just don’t lose him.” Amanda put her hand on Lee’s and held it tight.
Lee kept his distance following close enough to keep an eye on their quarry, but not too close. He didn’t want to tip his hand. This was their best break so far and he didn’t want to blow it by being discovered.
Amanda was being unusually quiet, watching the scenery whiz past her. They had entered the warehouse district near the wharf. She stared at the buildings trying to shake the feeling of deja-vu but was having little luck. It wasn’t that she hadn’t ever been down these streets before. Her adventures with Lee brought them to this part of town all too often. Somehow, today, it felt different. She couldn’t place just how it was different until Lee pulled over to the curb and stopped. Amanda looked at him and he pointed a block ahead. Justin had stopped as well and was getting out of the car.
They watched as he entered an old run down building. It looked as if it might have been an apartment building at one time. It was just on the outskirts of the warehouses and may have been home to some of the workers several years ago. The more Amanda looked at it, the more it became clear. That building had been a speakeasy over fifty years ago. Amanda would have bet her life on it.
Lee noticed Amanda was staring, open mouthed, at the building. “Amanda, what is it?” he questioned softly.
Amanda realized her mouth was hanging open. She shook her head and pasted on what she hoped was a cheerful smile. “Nothing, Lee. It’s nothing. I thought I recognized the building but I was wrong.” She patted Lee’s hand reassuringly, but he was still watching her with a look of skepticism. Amanda wasn’t ready to tell him about Katie just yet. She wasn’t even sure if she believed it at all. One thing was for certain though, she had another appointment with Doc Thomas Sunday morning and he was definitely going to get a kick out of this development.
Lee tore his attention away from Amanda long enough to see Justin Case leaving the building and getting back in his car. Amanda watched as Justin started the car and drove away. Lee did not move.
“Lee? Aren’t we going to follow him?” Amanda was leaning forward in her seat, willing the car to move.
“Nope. I’m going in there to see what he was up to.” He pointed to the building and opened his car door.
“Not without me you’re not.” Amanda opened her door, climbed out and stood on the curb.
Lee had shut his door and had turned around. He wagged his finger at her and calmly stated, “You are going to stay right here. You still have a bruise on your forehead and frankly you were looking a little weak a few minutes ago. I want you to wait in the car.” He rested his hands on the roof of the car, waiting for the argument he knew was coming.
Amanda shut her door a little too hard for Lee’s taste and looked him square in the eyes. “Lee Stetson, if you think you're going in there alone just because I have a little bump on my head you're out of your mind! As for staying in the car...I think we both remember what happened the last time I actually stayed in the car.” As soon as she had said it she knew she had gone too far. She saw Lee’s eyes cloud over and his lips all but disappear. He turned his gaze away from Amanda, who was holding her breath, waiting for his response.
“You think I don’t remember that every day of my life?” he whispered. “You think I don’t still have nightmares every night?” He looked up at her, his eyes red with tears. Whether they were of anger or hurt, Amanda couldn’t tell. He shook his head and looked down at the ground.
“Lee, I am so sorry. I don’t know why I said that. But, please understand, that’s why I want to go with you. I worry about you, too.” Amanda reached across the car for his hand. He didn’t move or look up for a moment. Amanda didn’t move either. What she had said was more painful to him than a slap in the face. This she knew. They had talked about it for weeks after she had come home, each trying to work it out so they could get past it. They had just recently been able to get through a weekend together without bringing it up. Suddenly Lee took a deep breath and reached for her hand, holding it across the car.
“Come on. We can talk about this later. Right now we have a bad guy to catch.” He smiled at her but his smile seemed forced. Amanda slowly pulled her hand from his and joined him on his side of the car. He started across the street, but Amanda grabbed his arm. He turned around and she leaned in and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.
“I am really very sorry.” she whispered.
Lee took her into his arms and held her close for a moment. “It’s okay. We can talk more about this tonight. Just start thinking of ways you can make it up to me.” Amanda laughed into his chest and hugged him back. “Come on, I’m itching to see what your friend has in there.” He led her across the street and up to the front door of the old building.
Amanda’s instincts suddenly took over. “Wait, there’s another way in around back.” She shrugged when Lee looked at her. “Don’t ask me how I know, I just do. Come on.” Lee was about to argue with her but decided it would be useless and followed her through the alley to a back door.
Amanda opened the door and led the way inside the dark building. Lee was feeling his way but Amanda was striding along as if she owned the place. “Amanda!” Lee hissed. “Slow down!” He caught up to her and grabbed her hand. She stopped and turned her head.
“Lee, there’s some stairs heading down to the basement behind that door.” She pointed down the dark hallway to a point beyond Lee’s field of vision.
“Amanda, I don’t see a door.” he whispered. “You need to slow down. You don’t know if this place is empty or not.”
“It’s empty - come on.” She pulled on his hand and he reluctantly followed. Lee could not imagine how Amanda could possibly know where she was going, but a few steps later a large door loomed into view. “See?” she said. “It leads to the basement.” Amanda reached forward and turned the knob. The door creaked open to reveal stairs leading below.
Amanda couldn’t explain it herself. She knew this place as if she’d been here a million times. It was more than deja-vu though. She had been here this morning. This was indeed the same building that she had been in back in 1929 when she was a different person. ‘Thank goodness Lee’s not asking questions right now.’ she thought. She had no idea how she would explain it.
They slowly walked down the steps into the darkened basement. When they reached the bottom Lee felt around and finally found a pull string for an overhead light. The light flickered to life and they both squinted against the sudden glare. Looking around, they found the basement to be empty. Lee was ready to give up and head back upstairs to see if he could find anything up there when Amanda let out a loud ‘whoop!’. Lee spun around, weapon drawn, to find her standing in front of an open doorway.
“Amanda! Where did that come from?” Lee made it to her side in three steps. He put an arm around her waist and squeezed her tight. She was smiling from ear to ear, something which Lee found infectious.
“I remembered the switch.” Amanda wiggled out of Lee’s hold and started through the doorway.
“Remembered?” Lee asked. “Amanda, have you been here before?” He followed her inside and was surprised by what they found.
“Hmmm?” Amanda was leafing through some papers that had been spread across one of the tables. She looked up when she realized Lee was standing in the doorway, staring at her. “I’m sorry, did you ask me something?”
“Yes, I did. Amanda, where are you? I asked when you’ve been here before.” He raised his eyebrows and waited for her answer. She had been acting strangely since the accident and he was beginning to have second thoughts about her bump.
“It was a very long time ago. I had completely forgotten about it but it’s all coming back to me now.” Amanda cryptically replied. “Oh! Look!” Amanda held up a piece of paper, handing it to Lee. He walked up next to her and took it from her hands. He noticed she was trembling, ever so slightly, but trembling none-the-less.
Amanda continued to fish through the papers while Lee looked at the sheet of paper she had handed to him. It was a list of names. Most of them were in Arabic. “This looks like his buyers list, Amanda. We can run these names through the computer and see what comes up.” Lee looked up when Amanda sucked in a breath. “What is it?” he asked.
“I found the blueprint and it’s not the only one.” She held up one of the blue sheets for Lee to see. Pointing to a small booklet on the table, she continued, “And I also found this. It’s a calendar with a meeting scheduled with George Davenport tomorrow night.”
“Fantastic. The pieces are starting to come together. Let’s go back to the Agency and run these names, then we can check out Davenport’s place.” Lee reached for Amanda’s hand, but she had moved away. An old picture hanging on the wall had captured her attention.
She was staring at the photo when Lee walked up next to her. “Amanda?” Lee looked at the photo too. It was of the room they were standing in, but it had been taken a long time ago. The room itself was set up as a bar. Lee guessed it was one of the old speakeasy’s from the Prohibition Era. The picture was of a beautiful woman wearing the traditional dress of a ’20’s flapper. For a moment, Lee thought he recognized the woman. There was something in her eyes that seemed familiar somehow.
Amanda reached out and reverently touched the picture. Taking hold of it, she removed it from the wall. She held onto it tightly and turned to leave. Lee didn’t ask why she was taking the picture, but followed her out of the building and back to the car. There would be time to talk to Amanda about her bizarre behavior later.
Amanda sat at her desk in the Q-Bureau, staring at the photograph. This was Katie Duncan. She had removed the photo from the frame and found an inscription on the back.
“Thanks for the memories - KD”
Lee had left her alone with her thoughts and had gone downstairs to run the names on the list through the Agency computer. She knew he was worried about her. Truth be told, she was worried about herself. She wanted nothing more than to share her discovery with Lee, but was still unsure of what his reaction might be. He was already a bit distant after her psychic scene in the basement.
She decided to wait until she had talked to Dr. Thomas in the morning. He had told her that he was going to spend the day gathering information on regressions. She was looking forward to their appointment.
The familiar sound of Lee’s footfalls in the hallway snapped Amanda to attention. She laid the picture face down on her desk and tried to compose herself. The best she could do at this point was to make Lee think that nothing was wrong. This wasn’t too much of a stretch of the truth. Nothing was fundamentally wrong, just confusing. Amanda jumped to her feet when the door opened.
Lee walked in and found Amanda standing at the edge of her desk, waiting for him. “Hi! You look like you’re feeling better.”
“Oh much. Thank you.” Amanda took a step closer and wrapped her arms around her husband. “I want to apologize for my behavior today. I’ve been a bit snappish with you and you don’t deserve to be spoken to that way.”
Lee laughed in spite of himself. “’Snappish‘? Amanda, just when I think I know you, you say something to surprise me.” He kissed her on the nose, the old twinkle back in his eyes. “So, do you want to hear what I found out?”
Amanda stepped back and leaned on the edge of her desk. Lee glanced behind her and saw the photograph she had taken from the basement face down and out of its frame. The glance lasted only a second, but Amanda noticed and shifted her weight to block Lee’s view. “Well? What did you find out?”
“All of these names...” Lee shook the sheet of paper in the air for emphasis “...are known and documented arms dealers in Syria and Iraq. We have our middle man and the buyers, Amanda. All we have to do now is nail the seller and it looks like that would be George Davenport.” Lee started pacing the office. “Of course we can’t just barge in and arrest Davenport. We have to have something concrete.”
“He does have a scheduled meeting with Justin tomorrow evening.” Amanda offered. “For that matter, Davenport has some kind of charity function he is supposed to be attending tomorrow, too. It was on the calendar in his office.”
Lee stopped pacing and picked up his coffee mug. He was bouncing it in his hand, like a baseball player might bounce a baseball. “That’s it!” he turned to Amanda. “That’s our opportunity. While Davenport is at the charity event we’ll check out his house. He’s bound to have something in his home office.” He put the mug down on his desk and began pacing again. “What time was the event scheduled for?”
Amanda closed her eyes and visualized the calendar entry. “Eight o’clock.” She opened her eyes again and watched Lee continue his endless pacing. ‘It’s no wonder he keeps so trim.’ she mused.
“Great. I’ll pick you up at seven thirty. That will give us time to get there and check things out before it gets too dark.” Lee started for the door. “Come on, I’ll take you home. You’ve got to be tired. It’s been a long day.”
“Lee?” Amanda had not moved and was waiting for him to acknowledge her. He stopped and looked at her. “Can I drive you home? I mean, I need a car to run some errands tomorrow and the Wagoneer is still in the shop.”
“Your mother won’t ask you a thousand questions about why you’re driving my car?” Lee grinned and raised his eyebrows.
“I think she’s finally gotten past that. Besides, she knows we’re ‘dating’. Would it be so unusual for you to loan me your car for the morning?” Amanda was trying to be persuasive without sounding too forceful. She needed a way to get to her appointment with Doc Thomas. She did not, however, want Lee to know that she was seeing the doctor again.
“I suppose not. Okay, but on one condition.” Lee started to hand her the car keys, but snapped them back out of her reach.
Amanda rolled her eyes. “What’s the condition, Stetson?”
“Tell me what’s so fascinating about that picture?” Lee’s eyes motioned to the photograph on Amanda’s desk.
Amanda stiffened slightly but her smile never wavered. “That old picture? It reminds me of someone I used to know. That’s all. Maybe, if you give me the car keys, I’ll tell you about her sometime.” Lee conceded and handed her the keys. “Thanks, big fella.” Amanda smiled and headed out the door leaving Lee to follow.
The heady aroma of fresh brewed coffee stirred Amanda from her sleep. Through half opened eyes, she looked at the alarm clock. Her eyes shot open wide when she realized the time. She leapt from her bed and threw on her robe. She just had enough time for breakfast and a shower before she was supposed to meet Doc Thomas at the Agency.
She headed downstairs into an ominously quiet living room. Her mind relived the events of the past forty-eight hours until it stopped on the boys. They were camping. That explained the silence. She was greeted in the kitchen by her mother’s questioning eyes.
“Good morning, dear.” Dotty pushed a coffee mug across the counter toward Amanda. Amanda took mental stock of the counter top. There were two mugs on the counter and one in her mother’s hand.
“Good morning, Mother. You were out late last night.” Amanda picked up her mug and poured herself a cup. She motioned toward the third cup with her elbow. “Are you expecting company?”
“I don’t know, am I?” Dotty smiled at her daughter with her best ‘I know what you did last night’ smile.
“Mother? What are you talking about?” She spooned in some sugar and stirred slowly, allowing the steam to creep up to her face. It suddenly dawned on her. Dotty had been out on a date and didn’t know that she had borrowed Lee’s car.
“Amanda, darling, I wasn’t born yesterday.” Dotty took a sip of her coffee and primly set the mug on the counter. “How does Lee like his coffee, dear?”
Amanda rolled her eyes. “Mo-ther! Lee is not here. I borrowed his car. I have an errand to run this morning and my car is still in the shop. Besides, do you really think we would come back here when he has a perfectly good unoccupied apartment of his own?” Amanda held back a laugh and headed upstairs for a shower.
Doctor Rick Thomas was already in his office when Amanda arrived. She tapped on his partially opened door and he motioned for her to join him. Amanda made herself comfortable in the same chair she had used the day before.
“How are you feeling today, Amanda?” Rick asked, leaning back in his chair.
“Much better, thank you.” Amanda looked at all the scattered papers and books on his desk. “Were you able to find out anything about my...um...experience?”
Rick laughed. “Experience? Yes, I was able to find a lot of information. Some which you will no doubt find very interesting.”
“Well,” Amanda interrupted, “before you get started I have some things of interest for you too.” She opened her purse and pulled out the photograph she had found in the basement. She told the doctor about the building she and Lee had been in and how she had known her way around with no problem. She also told of the secret room that she just *knew* was there. Then she showed him the picture.
“This is Katherine Duncan.” The words were spoken in a reverent whisper, the way one would speak in a cemetery or mausoleum. Rick took the photo from her outstretched hand and looked at it carefully.
“Did Lee see this photo?” Rick asked after a moment. He handed the photo back to Amanda.
“Yes, he did. He also wants to know what was so special about it that I had to have it.” Rick shrugged his shoulders and Amanda continued. “Oh no, I haven’t told him anything. I...I don’t know where to begin.”
“Amanda, you two are seeing each other, aren’t you?” Rick spoke softly and deliberately.
“You can’t say anything to anyone, can you?” Amanda asked. Rick shook his head ‘no’ and motioned for her to continue. Amanda sighed. “Yes, we are seeing each other. You should know that much after our session yesterday. I mean, I told you I have kissed him. We’ve been dating for over a year now. We’ve been keeping it quiet for obvious reasons.” She stopped short of revealing their true relationship. The doctor didn’t need to know everything, after all.
“What are those reasons, Amanda? If you don’t mind me asking.” Rick leaned forward and rested his elbows on his desk.
“Well, there’s my family. It’s one thing for us to work together, but if the bad guys ever found out that we were serious about each other they might use that as leverage. We also don’t want to cause any problems at the Agency.” Amanda sighed again and seemed to deflate in her chair as if speaking about this was releasing a bundle of pent up emotions.
“Do you think Mr. Melrose would separate you?”
“No, not Mr. Melrose. Dr. Smyth would though. That man does not like me and he likes Lee even less.”
“Amanda, don’t you think Scarecrow should know about all of this. You’ve all but confirmed that you two shared a past life.” Rick picked up one of his books and continued. “I was reading this book last night. The doctor who wrote it has an interesting hypothesis about past lives and soul mates. There’s also a good bit about fate in here. Would you like me to tell you about it?” Rick waited for Amanda to respond. When she nodded he continued.
“The doctor says that we all will live several lives, but in each one we are drawn to the same people. For example, you have a close relationship with your mother don’t you?” Again Amanda nodded. “This doctor says that in a past life she may have been your daughter or a sister. In any case, she now has, and has had before, a terrific influence on your life. On the topic of soul mates he is very specific that not everyone finds their soul mate. But when you do, it’s like magic. There’s an instant connection. What did you feel when you first met Scarecrow?”
Amanda thought for a moment. “I thought he was the most obnoxious man I had ever met, that is, until I looked into his eyes. When I did, I felt as if I had known him forever and that I could trust him with my life.”
“Exactly!” Rick smiled and put the book down. “Time and again you two are drawn to each other because you have a connection that is stronger than the bonds of death. Now, do you want to try this again?”
Amanda’s hands were trembling, but her curiosity was stronger than her uncertainty. “Sure. What have I got to lose?”
‘Amanda? Where are you?’
‘It’s 1929. I’m in the speakeasy. It’s dark and I can’t move. I’m sitting on the floor. I think I’m tied up!’
‘Relax Amanda, this is only an intense memory. Nothing can hurt you. If you need to and if it will make you more comfortable, you can float up and observe the situation like a movie.’
‘No, I’ll be okay. Wait...someone's coming.’
The door opened and light streamed in. Katie blinked her eyes and squinted at the figure looming over her. Rough hands picked her up and dragged her out into the outer room. She was spun around and shoved into a chair. He walked over to the bar and poured himself a generous shot of whiskey. As he turned to face her, blue smoke rose from the cigarette clenched between his teeth. Katie gasped as his dark, beady eyes seemed to bore a hole into her soul
“Alright, Katie. I’m getting tired of this act. I want to know what you told your Fed boyfriend.” He downed the shot in one gulp and poured himself another.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Bruno.” Katie spat back defiantly.
In one large step Bruno was hovering over her. He drew his hand back as if to slap her but held back. “Dammit, Katie. Despite what you may have been told, Bruno Silva ain’t no dummy. Now talk to me. I don’t wanna have to mess up that pretty face of yours.”
“That really won't be necessary.” The voice came from behind Katie, but she knew instantly who it was. “Brian!”
‘Lee’s here...I mean...Brian. He’s here to rescue me’
Bruno took a step back and pulled a gun from his waistband. A shot was fired and Bruno slumped to the floor. Before Katie could speak Brian had her untied and was holding her close.
‘He’s always rescuing me. Poor thing must be getting tired of it after all these years.’
‘Amanda, I want to try something. I want you to move forward in this life to the next significant event or milestone. Can you do that?’
‘Mmm-hmmm. It’s 1936. I’m getting married to Brian. All our friends are here. It’s beautiful. We’re at a reception hall now and someone, the best man, is offering a toast.’
“To Brian and Katie for finally tying the knot. We’re all breathing a sigh of relief!” Everyone laughed and cheered as the best man raised his glass to the newlyweds. Katie looked at Brian. He looked back at her, his eyes filled with love.
‘Just like Lee on our wedding day’ Amanda thought.
Suddenly shots rang out. Katie felt something hot in her stomach. When she looked down all she saw was a red stain spreading through her white gown. She looked up at Brian who was staring at her with terror in his eyes. She heard a shout from the back of the hall.
“It’s Lance Silva. Get ’em boys.”
Katie had sunk to her knees and Brian was kneeling beside her. She looked again at her dress and smiled. ‘That stain will never come out.’ she thought. She looked at Brian again and, for the first time, saw tears in his eyes. “Don’t cry sweetheart.” Katie closed her eyes for a moment, reached for his face and caressed his cheek. When she opened them again, she saw his free flowing tears mingling with her blood.
“Katie!” Brian was shouting at her now and shaking her, but she could hardly feel or hear a thing. Everything was fading slowly and she felt as if she were falling asleep.
She pulled Brian close to her and whispered in his ear. “I love you Brian. We will be together again. I promise.” The commotion in the room quieted and her vision was fading to black. The last sound she heard was Brian screaming her name.
‘I’m gone now. He’s crying for me. Oh my gosh, how terribly sad.’
‘Amanda, I’m going to bring you back now. Is that okay?’
Amanda took a moment to compose herself. Rick had handed her several tissues and she was putting them to good use. She noticed that he had used a few himself. “Well, that was refreshingly depressing.” She smiled at Rick and they both began to laugh.
The tension broken, Rick decided it was time to get back to business. “Amanda, do you think Scarecrow would be willing to come in? I’d love to try this on him and see what he remembers.”
Amanda’s jaw dropped at the suggestion. “Are you serious?”
“I’m always serious. It’s my job.” Rick stood and started to pace. “It’s not that I don't believe that these events really happened, or even happened to you. But, I would love to have a corroborating witness, so to speak. If I put Lee under and he has the same experience, it would lend credence to your version.” He stopped pacing and turned to face Amanda. “What do you say? Can you talk him into it?”
“I...I’m sure I could.” Amanda shrugged and started fingering her pinky ring. “How much should I tell him?”
“As little as possible. You don’t want to give him any suggestions.” He smiled as Amanda nodded. “It’s settled then. Can you two be here tomorrow at ten?”
“I’ll try, but I can’t make any promises. Lee doesn’t like doctors very much.” She stood and headed for the door.
Rick nodded in agreement. He had heard of the Scarecrow’s abhorrence of doctors when he had signed on as staff psychiatrist. “Amanda,” he called after her, “thank you.”
Amanda smiled and closed the door behind her leaving the doctor with his thoughts.
Amanda stood in the quiet Georgetown foyer for a moment. She had removed her badge and was ready to return it to the weekend desk clerk when she changed her mind. Clipping the badge back onto her lapel, she resolutely headed up the stairs to the Q-Bureau.
Inside their office, the door securely locked behind her, she checked her watch. It was only noon and Lee wasn’t expecting her until five o’clock. They had decided the previous evening, since Amanda had his car, that they would have dinner at his apartment and leave for George Davenport’s house afterward. She had plenty of time for what she had planned.
Amanda made herself comfortable at Lee’s desk and turned on the computer. As it was booting up, she thought back to her session with Doc Thomas. It stood to reason, if Brian worked for the Bureau of Investigation, that there would be some kind of records on file. She was desperate to substantiate her memories. If she could find some documented proof that these people existed someplace other than her mind, she knew she would feel more comfortable approaching Lee about seeing the doctor.
The computer beeped its readiness and Amanda starting typing. She had accessed the archived records and the prompt was waiting for a name. Vividly recalling the wedding ceremony, she typed ‘DiPalva, Brian‘.
The screen leapt to life as file after file was displayed in a brilliant green. Amanda scanned the many choices and found one entitled ‘Silva 1929‘. She selected it and pulled the chair closer. In her heart, she knew what she was going to find, but that fact didn’t make the reading any easier. ’Silva 1929’ documented the kidnapping of a civilian and Brian DiPalva’s rescue effort. The perpetrator, Frank ’Bruno’ Silva, was killed in the resulting shootout. The victim was unhurt.
Amanda shivered at the cold green words displayed on the screen. She knew these files held only the pertinent facts, but they seemed so very cold and impersonal. She exited the file and scanned the original list again. She found another file marked ‘Silva 1936‘. Again, she selected it and read.
‘Silva 1936’ seemed more informal than the first file. ‘Perhaps because of the personal nature of the case.’ Amanda thought. She read about the revenge murder of Katherine Duncan-DiPalva by Lance Silva, ‘Bruno’ Silva’s brother. The file stated that, although the reception hall had been filled with agents from several divisions of the government, Lance Silva had escaped. A tear slid down Amanda’s face. She could still feel Brian’s arms around Katie as she had died. Shaking the feeling off, she exited the file and continued her search.
She didn’t have very far to go. There was only one more entry. It was titled ‘Silva 1938’. Amanda took a deep breath and selected the file. She was startled to find that is was much longer than the others. She reread the header to see who had written the report and recognized the name of the man who had been Katie and Brian's best man. Rather than being about an assignment or event, this file seemed to be a biography of Brian's life after Katie's death.
Amanda became distressed as she read further. Brian had become despondent and distraught after Katie's murder and had vowed revenge against Lance Silva. Amanda read each word carefully until she arrived at the account of what became Brian's final act. In 1938, he found Lance and followed him to the wharf. Brian confronted him alone and in the resulting shootout, both men died.
At the end of the file there was a list of reprimands that had been issued to Brian during this time. Amanda shuddered as she glanced over them. Brian's clearance had been reduced, he was suspended several times for various reasons, mostly insubordination and he had started drinking.
Amanda exited the archives and turned the computer off. Brian had died avenging Katie’s death. ‘That seems so much like Lee,’ she thought. She had made up her mind. She was going to tell Lee everything...after their current case was wrapped up. Yawning she checked her watch. “Oh my gosh, it’s four thirty!” Amanda jumped out of the chair and hurried out the door.
Lee was putting the finishing touches on dinner when he heard Amanda open the front door. He quickly rounded the corner into the living room, a wine glass in each hand.
“Hello, beautiful.” He smiled and handed her a glass. She took it from him with a smile.
“Thank you. Something smells wonderful.” She tried to peek into the kitchen, but Lee moved to block her view. She made a face at him and took a sip of her wine. “Mmmm...this is perfect.”
“Have a seat, Madame.” Lee gestured to the table which was set with candles burning.
“My, this is nice. What have you done?” Amanda eyed him suspiciously.
“Now, why do you think I’ve done something? Can’t I make a nice romantic dinner for my wife who, by the way, has had a particularly rough weekend?“ He pulled out a chair for her.
“Okay, you win. Thank you.” Amanda gently placed her glass on the table and sat down. She reached for Lee’s hand. Seeing she wanted to say something, he knelt in beside her. “Really, Lee. Thank you for everything. Thank you for finding me at the train station and thank you for all the times you’ve saved my life.”
Lee looked at her, a confused expression on his face. “You’re welcome, Amanda. But you know I could say the same to you.” Amanda smiled and lowered her eyes. Lee reached up and tilted her chin to face him again. “I mean it, Amanda. You’ve saved my hide, more times than I can count. I wouldn’t be who I am today without you.” Lee stood and leaned down, kissing Amanda tenderly. “Now, if I don’t get into the kitchen, dinner will be ruined again and this time we won‘t have a car accident to blame.” Amanda released his hand and picked up her glass.
They ate dinner in silence, each stealing glances at the other throughout the meal. After the table was cleared and the dishes washed and put away Lee and Amanda settled on the couch, Lee nestled in the corner, Amanda’s head resting in his lap. She had her eyes closed while Lee gently played with her hair.
Amanda spoke, breaking the spell. “I love moments like this. I almost feel normal.” She opened her eyes and looked up at Lee. He had been studying her with a soft smile resting on his lips.
“I know what you mean.” He sighed and let his head fall back against the couch. He was staring at the ceiling when Amanda spoke again.
“Lee, do you believe in fate?” Amanda watched as Lee looked down at her. He seemed to be thinking the question over before he answered.
“I don’t know...I guess so...maybe.” He shrugged a little as he spoke.
“Spoken like a politician.” Lee smirked at her comment as she continued. “Really, Lee. When you picked me at the train station, what were you thinking?”
“I was nervous at first. I wasn’t sure if you would help me or not. But something seemed to click when I looked into your eyes.”
“As if you’d known me forever?”
Lee smiled and nodded. “More like I knew I could trust you with my life.”
“As if we were meant to be together?”
“When you put it that way, yes, I guess I do believe in fate.” Lee paused for a moment. “Amanda, why all these crazy questions?”
“No reason, just curious.” Amanda sat up and looked at her watch. “We’d better get going if we’re going to get anything accomplished tonight.”
Lee sighed. “Amanda, I really wish you’d tell me what’s been troubling you. Maybe I can help.”
“I know you can. We’ll talk later, I promise. Now is not the time. Okay?” Amanda extended her hand and pulled Lee off of the couch. “Now come on.”
“Okay...okay. I’m coming.” Lee grabbed his jacket and followed Amanda out the door.
The silver Corvette pulled to a stop outside the ornate gates of the exclusive country club community ostentatiously named ‘Monticello Estates’. Night had fallen and the gates were well lit by spotlights.
“Well? How are we supposed to get in there?” Amanda asked, pointing at the guard.
“We’ll have to see if there’s a back entrance.” Lee shifted into gear and continued down the street, following the tall, vine-covered wall.
A quarter mile down the road, the wall turned and made its way back through a wooded area. There was an unpaved service road a few yards further away. “There’s our back door, Amanda. Hold on, it’s going to be bumpy.” Lee turned the car and slowly made his way down the gravel path.
They had traveled the service road for nearly ten minutes when it abruptly ended at a small lake. Lee and Amanda got out of the ‘Vette and stared across the dark water at the twinkling lights of houses on the opposite side. Amanda pulled a small map and a penlight out of her back pocket and opened it on the hood of the car. Lee tore his attention away from the lights and turned to Amanda.
“What’s that?” Lee asked, moving closer.
“This is a map of Monticello Estates. I stopped and made a copy at the Agency before I came over for dinner. I thought it would help.” Amanda tapped the map with her fingertips. “Here’s Davenport’s house. He’s right on this lake.” Amanda turned to face the houses and pointed. “That’s it, the third house from the right.”
“Well, let’s get going then.” Lee waited as Amanda folded the map and put it back in her pocket. “By the way, smart thinking on the map bit.”
Amanda took Lee’s hand. “Thanks. I learned from the best.” Lee grinned as they made their way along the edge of the water in the darkness.
They had made their way around the lake and were standing near the edge of George Davenport’s property. The house and yard were well lit, but they had not seen any sign of movement from within.
“Are you sure he’s not home?” Lee asked with an edge of agitation.
“All I can tell you is what was on his appointment calendar. I can’t help it if he changed plans at the last minute.” Amanda replied. They were speaking in whispers, kneeling behind a row of hedges.
“Well, it’s now or never. Follow me.” Lee took off across the yard at a crouch and Amanda followed behind him. They made their way to one of the back entrances. Lee put a finger to his lips and peeked through one of the windows into what seemed to be a library.
Lee knelt under the window and pulled Amanda closer to him. “There’s no one inside and it looks like we’ve hit pay dirt.” Pointing up at the window, he continued. “This is his library. We can start looking in the desk in that room. Maybe we'll get lucky. Come on.” Lee tried the window which was open a crack. It swung open freely, giving them easy access to the room beyond.
Amanda followed Lee through the window, amazed at how people in gated communities always seemed to take their security for granted, as if no one could ever get past the guards. She looked around the room at all the books lining the walls and let out a breath. “Wow. Do you think the Library of Congress knows this guy has their stuff?” She craned her neck as she followed the books up toward the ceiling. The room was easily two stories tall with row after row and column after column of books in every shape, size and color.
“Amanda,” Lee hissed, “you can check out his collection some other time. Will you please come over here and help me?”
“Sorry!” Amanda whispered as she hurried to Lee’s side. He was rifling through one of the desk drawers when the door behind them opened. Lee turned around at the sound, pushing Amanda behind him with his right arm as he reached for his gun with his left.
“You can hand over your weapon, Scarecrow.” Justin Case stood in the doorway, his own weapon trained steadily on Lee. Lee assessed the situation and Justin’s gun trained on him and Amanda. Sighing, he lowered his gun. Bouncing it in his hand, he turned it butt first and handed it to Justin. “Thank you for cooperating. Now, ladies first. Mrs. King, have a seat.” He motioned to one of the decorative chairs scattered throughout the library.
Amanda complied, seating herself. Justin, his eyes never leaving Lee, handcuffed her wrists behind her and through the open woodwork of the chair back. He tested the cuffs and, satisfied, motioned for Lee to sit in another chair on the opposite end of the room.
“So, I see you figured out what was going on. I’m impressed.” He handcuffed Lee in a similar manner and sat on the edge of the desk, directly in between Lee and Amanda. “I’m honestly surprised you remembered anything after that nasty accident you had Mrs. King.” Lee struggled against his bonds in an attempt to break free. Justin sneered at him and continued.
“You must have followed me to my hideout. Very clever driving, Scarecrow. The government must be training their agents better these days. You know about my scheduled meeting with Mr. Davenport tonight. I have no doubt that it was your intention to stop me. I’m so very sorry to have interrupted your plans. As it is,” he looked at his watch and shook his head in mock sadness, “I’m afraid I’ll have to cut our little tête-à-tête short. You see, I have a meeting to attend. I’ll be back to deal with you two shortly.” With a snort and a laugh, Justin left the room, closing the door behind him.
“Now what?” Amanda asked. She had been struggling with the handcuffs for several minutes and had concluded that it was pointless. Lee however was still wiggling this way and that, trying to gauge the strength of his bonds..
“We get out of here, that’s what.” He struggled a few moments more, then stopped, sighing. “This is going to be harder than I thought.” He started straining the cuffs against the woodwork of the chair, hoping to break part of it loose.
“Lee, you’re going to hurt yourself.” Amanda could envision the red welts that were surely forming on his wrists.
“Better hurt than dead.” he wryly replied.
“Lee, can I talk to you for a minute?” Amanda asked.
“Now?” Lee looked up at her, confused.
“Better now than never.” Amanda pointed out.
“Go ahead, I’m listening. It‘s not like I‘m going anywhere anytime soon.” Lee started his work on the chair again as Amanda spoke.
“Look, I don’t want you to interrupt me here. I have a lot to say and some of it may sound corny, but I need to tell you. Before I begin, I also want you to know that I believe all of this is true and I have checked it out in the Agency archives.” Amanda watched as Lee opened his mouth to say something. “Lee, let me finish.” He shook his head in defeat and returned his attention to the handcuffs.
“You know that I saw Doc Thomas yesterday and that he hypnotized me to help me remember what happened before the accident. What I didn’t tell you is what else I remembered.” Amanda lowered her head and barreled straight ahead with her story. “I was regressed into a past life.” Lee’s head shot up and his eyes narrowed, but Amanda continued before he could say a word. “Before you say anything, let me explain. My name was Katherine Duncan and I worked for the Bureau of Investigation in an unofficial capacity. I died in 1936. The reason why I knew where everything was in that old building yesterday is because I was there before, in 1929.” She paused for a moment and looked at Lee. He had stopped what he was doing and was staring at her. “The picture that I took was of Katherine Duncan. Lee, that was me...before I was...well...before I was me.” She shrugged and offered him a weak smile.
“Is that all?” Lee asked, momentarily stunned by her story.
“No, there’s more. You were there too. It seems we are soul mates. Doc Thomas looked into it and told me about it this morning.”
“Is that what your errand was?” Lee was working a part of the chair loose, but had not taken his eyes off of Amanda.
“Yes, that was the errand.” Amanda whispered.
“I wish you’d have told me.” Lee grumbled.
“I know. Anyway, I checked everything out in the Agency archives. Everything I remembered is there. Now, I want to ask a favor of you.” Amanda looked at Lee pleadingly. “Will you see Doc Thomas and let him hypnotize you? We want to see if you have the same memories as I do.”
“Amanda, I don’t know...” Suddenly the chair broke and Lee was loose. He stood and made his way over to Amanda. He knelt behind her allowing her access to his shirt collar where she pulled out a half rake. He turned and took it from her and a few moments later he was completely free. Lee picked Amanda’s cuffs and she stood, turning and falling into Lee‘s waiting arms. He hugged her for a moment then motioned her to the window. They climbed out and ran around the lake to the Corvette.
Lee and Amanda sat in the Corvette outside the now opened gates of Monticello Estates. Lee had called for reinforcements as soon as they had made it back to the car. They were now waiting for them to bring out Case and Davenport.
Lee had still not answered Amanda’s request and she was starting to get antsy. She watched him as he watched the gates, keeping a look out for the leader of the team to make his report. Feeling her eyes on him, Lee turned and smiled at her.
“So, you want me to go to a psychiatrist and allow myself to be hypnotized, something I don’t think is even possible.” Lee’s eyes danced as he spoke. Amanda could see a mixture of sarcasm and amusement in them and wasn’t sure if he was arguing with her or teasing her.
“Yes, Lee. That’s exactly what I’m asking you to do.” Amanda smiled gently. “Would you please do it...for me? For us?”
“Amanda, if it means that much to you, and I can tell it does, I’ll go.” Amanda lunged toward him, planting a kiss on his cheek. He was saved by the gearshift that he had so many times in the past cursed for its ill placement. “Now, I still don’t like the idea and I even think it’s a little hokey, but for you, I’ll go.”
“Thank you, Lee. Will you pick me up tomorrow morning? We should be there at ten.” Amanda was still hugging Lee when a knock on the window startled them. Amanda sat back and Lee rolled down his window to reveal Billy.
“Hello you two. Good work.” Billy smiled at Amanda who was straightening her hair with nervous hands.
“Thanks, Billy. Did our guys get Case and Davenport?” Lee looked beyond his supervisor to the gates. Billy turned his gaze as well.
“They should be out any minute now. You don’t need to hang around here if you don’t want to. You know, in case you had plans.” Billy turned his attention back to the occupants of the small car and pointed to Lee’s cheek. “You’ve got a smudge on your face there, Scarecrow. You might want to wipe that off before someone else sees it.”
Amanda looked in horror at the obvious lipstick mark on Lee’s cheek. He reached a hand up and wiped at it, smiling at Billy the entire time.
“Thanks, Billy. Amanda was just saying how she needed to get home before her mother started to worry. When do you want us in for debriefing?” Lee was hoping that the darkness was concealing the blush rising in his cheeks.
“How about eight tomorrow morning.” Billy patted the roof of the car and turned to walk away. “Enjoy your evening.”
“Thank you, Sir.” Amanda whispered to herself. Lee grinned at her and started the car.
Lee sat in the overstuffed chair in Doc Thomas’ office, his body in a state of total relaxation. He had insisted that Amanda be there with him and she now sat in the back of the room, quietly observing. Amanda chuckled at how difficult it had been to get Lee to relax enough to allow himself to be hypnotized. ‘He must have one of those analytical minds Doc Thomas mentioned.’ she thought.
“Lee, I want you to think back to when you were twenty. Can you do that?” Rick softly asked.
“Yes.” Lee replied.
“Now, I want you to step back five years at a time until you are five. Can you do that?”
“Now I want you to visualize a large door. Through this door is your past life. When you open this door, you will not be afraid. You will step through and into your former self. You will be aware of everything around you and will be able to interact with the people and in the places you see there, as if it were really happening. You will be able to tell me what you see and feel. Are you ready?”
“Open the door, Lee. Step through and tell me what you see.”
“I’m in a dark hallway...”
‘Open the door, Lee. Step through and tell me what you see.’
‘I'm in a dark hallway. I’m making my way down the hall to a door.’
Brian walked toward the door and cautiously opened it. His contact was being held down there and he only hoped he had made it in time. As he made his way down the steps, he heard voices below.
“Alright, Katie. I’m getting tired of this act. I want to know what you told your Fed boyfriend.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Bruno.”
“Dammit, Katie. Despite what you may have been told, Bruno Silva ain’t no dummy. Now talk to me. I don’t wanna have to mess up that pretty face of yours.”
Brian had made it to the foot of the steps and had assessed the situation. He stepped forward and spoke up. “That really won't be necessary.”
“Brian!” A woman shouted his name and her captor reached for his gun. In a fraction of a second Brian had shot the man, killing him. He ran across the room and untied the woman holding her tight. Katie...her name was Katie.
‘I’m holding her now. I’m very relieved that she’s okay...that I made it in time.’
Brian held her at arms length and looked her up and down. “He didn’t hurt you, did he? God, Katie, this is why I don’t want you involved in this business. You could have gotten yourself killed!” His gaze came to rest on Katie eyes which were filled with tears of gratitude.
‘Oh my God. That’s Amanda.’
‘How can you tell, Lee?’
‘I can see it in her eyes. Her eyes are beautiful, big, brown and trusting. That’s my Amanda.’
‘Lee, I want you to move forward to the next significant event in this life. Can you do that?’
They were standing together, arm in arm, when the shots rang out. Brian felt the jolt when the bullet hit Katie. He looked at her in horror, watching the blood stain her beautiful gown.
‘She’s been shot. I don’t know what to do. There are people running all over shouting things, but all I can see and hear is her.’
Brian held her in his arms, trying to will the life back into her. The last thing she had said to him was, ‘I love you Brian. We will be together again. I promise.’. He was wracked with heartache as he stared at his bride’s lifeless body. He was sobbing and screaming her name when someone pulled him off of her.
‘My God, the pain is unbelievable.’ ‘Let’s move past this and go forward to the next event.’
Brian had chased Lance as far as the wharf. He had Lance trapped in a warehouse and was crouched behind some boxes. He checked his revolver. Only two bullets remained; he would have to make them count. He jumped up just as Lance did the same. They both fired off their remaining shots. The last thing Brian saw before he blacked out was the red trickle of blood running down from between Lance’s eyes.
‘I’ve been shot but I got my man. I feel an incredible sense of peace.’
“I’ve been shot but I got my man. I feel an incredible sense of peace.” Lee was smiling, the pride evident on his tear stained face.
“Okay Lee, I’m going to bring you out of this now. You will remember everything you have seen and felt. I’m going to start counting backwards. When I reach one you will feel completely relaxed and rested. 5...4...3...2...1.” Doc Thomas looked over to Amanda who was sitting quietly in her seat, wiping her eyes with a tissue. Lee blinked several times and rubbed his eyes. Running his hand through his hair he turned to face Amanda.
“That was intense.” was all he could manage to say. Amanda laughed and stood. She walked to him and kissed him on the cheek.
“Now do you believe in fate?” she asked him, her eyes dancing.
“Definitely.” Lee smiled at his wife, partner and, so it seemed, soul mate.
It was twilight and Lee and Amanda were seated on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The shadows were growing long across the Reflecting Pool as the sun set behind them. They had come to the Memorial after a light dinner at Emilio’s. Neither had discussed coming here, but it seemed natural somehow. Amanda was seated between Lee’s legs and a step lower. She was enjoying the feeling of Lee‘s strong arms around her as she leaned back into his chest. They had been sitting in silence for several minutes when Lee spoke.
“Penny for your thoughts?” Lee squeezed her a little, reassuring himself that she was really there with him.
"I think I'll have to charge a bit more than that, Stetson." Amanda replied jokingly.
“How ‘bout a dollar then?” Lee paused for a moment, carefully considering his words. “Seriously, Amanda, I would really like to know what you’re thinking right now.” After his session, Amanda had become quiet and withdrawn again. He knew she had a lot on her mind, but he needed her to open up to him.
“Honestly, Lee, I don’t know what to think. Part of me wants to believe that we have been together forever, but another part of me tells me to wake up and face reality.” She turned and looked up at him. “Do you really think that we are destined to be together, lifetime after lifetime?”
Lee smiled and looked at his wife. “I don’t know about you, but there’s something very reassuring about knowing we’ll be together, no matter what happens. I’m not a religious man, Amanda. I never pretended to be. You know that after all that has happened to me in my life, I find it very hard to believe in God or heaven and hell.” Amanda nodded and placed her hand on his knee. Lee continued, “But, one thing I do know is that I love you and someone or something blessed me by putting you in my life. The fact that you love me is an added bonus. If it’s because we were destined to be together, then I say thanks for destiny.”
Amanda smiled. “You’re right, you know. It’s comforting to know that, time and again, you’re going to be there for me.”
“And you for me.” Lee reminded her.
She turned back to face the Reflecting Pool, leaning into him again. “We used to come here, you know.”
“When?” Lee asked.
“When we were someone else.” Amanda laughed. “Isn’t that odd? One of my memories was of us sitting here, in this very spot, holding each other very much like we are now.”
Lee pulled her closer to him, holding her tight. He placed a kiss on the top of her head and began to rock her gently. “You’re not thinking that history is going to repeat itself, are you?”
Amanda shivered at the thought. “Oh no, we’ve already got that beat. We’ve survived six months as man and wife without any casualties. Last time we made it only a few hours!”
Lee laughed at her lighthearted response. He dared not admit to her that he was terrified of losing her. Ever since their honeymoon, he had recurring dreams about it. Now, after his session today, he felt he had a taste of what the grief of really losing her would feel like. He never wanted to experience that emotion again.
Amanda sensed the tension in Lee and had an idea what was causing it. He had watched her die today. Granted, it wasn't really her, it was Katie Duncan, but he still must have felt the very real emotions that Brian had felt at losing his wife. She knew he had been dealing with the incident in California and seemed to be finally getting over it. She hoped that this wouldn't cause a set back. His arms were still around her and she reached up and took hold of his hands.
“Lee, I’m not going anywhere. I promise. You’re stuck with me in this lifetime and probably several after.” She felt his tension lessen a little and he squeezed her hands.
“Well, when you put it that way, it almost sounds like a punishment.” She could hear the playful tone to his voice and knew he was going to be okay. “Besides, if this is punishment, I’d like to know what I’ve done wrong.”
“Why do you want to know that?” Amanda teased.
“So I can keep it up, of course!” Lee laughed out loud as Amanda turned in his arms and kissed him soundly on the lips.
‘Oh yes,’ she thought, ‘we’re going to be just fine.’