Rating: G
Summary: Filler for Service Above and Beyond
Disclaimer: "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" is copyrighted to Warner Bros. and Shoot the Moon Productions. No infringement is intended. Names, places, situations and dialogue are borrowed from the series, specifically the episode "Service Above and Beyond", This story is intended for entertainment purposes only.
Author's notes: This is my first (probably only) attempt at a story. I started it over a year ago and after I started, someone's 4 year old accidentally taped over my SAB episode and So much of this is from memory. I have included some transcript from the show. Also, there was no beta. hope I proof read ok, but it was now or never.
by: Singlds

A Change of Pace

Filler for Service Above and Beyond

The small book lay open on the coffee table. pages of names with little checks by them. He reached down and crossed another name off the list. "No, no, no," he said going down the list. "Ah ha!" he said, "that's the one." He started to reach for the phone. "No!" geez what is going on? he thought. Any one of those girls would normally be a great date for the evening. So why was he having such a hard time deciding on someone to call. All he needed was someone to show up with him, have a dance or two and then ... His mind trailed off to his usual evening endings.

For the last few weeks Lee Stetson had been fumbling over some odd feeling in his head. Something he just couldnít put his finger on, but he was getting tired of his usual fun and fancy free style. "I just need a change of pace for a while. No giggles, no goo goo eyes. Just some good company and a nice smile. Maybe even someone who I could have a conversation with." Lee laughed out loud. "Man, what is going on with me? Oh well, now who can I call.... Celeste, Julia......" Lee went into the bedroom to start getting ready.

"That's it!" Of course, Lee thought as he stepped out of the shower. "Amanda King, she won't be all clingy and she can help me keep my cover if needed. Although, that won't be necessary. She does have a nice smile," he paused mid hair comb, "and she certainly knows how to talk. Of course I can't just call her up and ask her out on a date, . . .it is really work. . ."

*****

"Billy Melrose."

"Billy, hey, glad I caught you still at work."

"Well with the new fiscal year and all, I have some loose ends to tie up."

" I need the phone number for Amanda King."

"Oh?"

"Ya, well, I need to check out a lead and thought it would be helpful to have someone to, ah, help with my cover. I can't seem to find it. Uh, Amanda's number that is."

"Uh huh." Billy chuckled to himself. "I thought you hated working with Amanda. You sure you don't need on of our more seasoned agents?" Billy tried to sound very serious. " I could get you Francine's number..."

"No, no." Lee coughed, "I don't want to, uh.. stay long, you know how Francine gets when she is around power and money. I think Amanda will do ok, she wont go getting herself involved with any of the big wigs or anything."

"Well, if you insist Scarecrow" Billy gave Lee the number and hung up. He smiled. "Yes sir," he thought "I think the great Scarecrow is starting to get that brain."

***
Lee picked up the telephone while he was still getting his shirt buttoned. "No time like the present." he told himself.

"Hello." Amanda picked up the receiver her mother handed her.

"Hi. What are you doing tonight?" asked Lee still buttoning his cuffs.

"Tonight? Well, I can't, I have plans tonight."

"Oh, no problem. You should be able to break them by nine o'clock."

"What do mean break them?"

"This is a priority situation." He was beginning to believe his own story. "Meet me by the mall. I'll explain then."

"Oh. Oh! ... Oh! All right."

"I have to make a stop on my way into the district. Why don't I meet you, uh, by the reflecting pool, at 9:00."

"Uh, reflecting pool, nine o'clock . . ."

"Oh Its a dressy Party. Do you have a nice dress to wear?"

"Well, yes, of course I have a nice dress!"

"Thanks Amanda"

"Sure,"

"Alright, I'll See you then."

"See ya."

"Okay, Nine O-clock."

"Okay good night."

Lee hung up and finished getting dressed. He didnít want to come home after dinner to get ready. That was too much of a hassle. He checked his equipment, grabbed his keys and headed out the door "lets see, where will I eat tonight. . . ? he left thinking of his growling stomach.

***

Lee stood by his Porsche waiting for Amanda to show up. He was feeling kind of fidgety, for some reason. Must have been the coffee I had with dessert, he thought. Maybe I shouldn't have bothered Amanda, he began in his mind. It's not like I needed a cover or anything. He glanced at his watch. She should be here just about. . . His thoughts trailed as he caught sight of Amanda hurrying his way. Well, he thought looking her over, she does have a nice dress.

"Sorry I'm late. Do I look all right?"

Lee looked from her head to her feet. He was momentarily distracted with the thought that he was having of Amanda as anything but the bungling housewife. "Huh?"

"I said "Do I look all right?"

"Yeah, fine, just fine."

"I probably should have called Celeste." he said to himself.

"Thank you. It would have been a lot easier to dress if I'd known where we were going."

"She probably wouldn't have been busy tonight." his thoughts continued.

"Well," She said interrupting his thoughts, "Where are we going?"

"And she probably wouldnít have asked any questions." Lee tried to shake the thoughts out of his head and said out loud "We are going to a reception for the Quickie Chickie Snack Shack backer."

"Oh, my boys love Quickie Chickie Snack Shack. You know, they have the best French fries and they have the only cole slaw that doesn't. . . ."

Lees mind started to wander again. He needed to get out of this town he thought as he watched the tourists walking around. At least it was off season.

"Why are we going to this?"

"Because I'm going to be slipped some information."

"Oh. What's my assignment?"

"To have a good time."

"Well, why didn't you just go alone?"

"On a Friday night at a party? Do you know how depressing that is?" Lee quickly pulled himself together. "I am with a pretty woman, who I donít have to keep this assignment a secret from and I am going to enjoy myself this evening." He chided himself. Besides, Celeste probably wouldn't leave him alone long enough to get his job done.

***

Lee waited a few minutes in the lavatory after Harry left. He looked himself over in the mirror, ran his fingers through his hair and straightened his tie. "Now, a little dance with Amanda and then I can go home and get some rest." Lee had planned on sleeping in the next morning. He could do with some rest.

Lee started back towards the table where he had left Amanda. She wasn't standing there and he scanned the room. " What is that woman thinking with that incredibly ugly gold hat?" Then Lee's face fell. there was Amanda on the dance floor with another guest. Now why should he be bothered by that? "I suppose I did tell her to have a good time. " Still it was a bit dis-heartening for him to see his date with another man. Then again, she thought this was an assignment not a date. And it wasn't a date. Amanda is not even close to my type. Amanda is the type of person you call to feed your fish while you go on a trip, collect your mail, things like that. You don't 'date' Amanda.

Suddenly Lee recognized who Amanda was dancing with. James Delano! Lee screamed in his head Aaaiihhh! He should have know. If anyone could get themselves in a predicament, it was Amanda. "Oh man," he thought, "I hope she doesnít go blabbing about why she is here." Lee reprimanded himself, "Come on, Amanda is smarter than that. What is your problem tonight?" This wasnít about Amanda. She was not doing anything wrong, nothing was wrong, except with himself. " I gotta take a vacation." he thought. "take a break, maybe a little sun, some women. . ."

Lee noticed Delano taking out a little book and writing something down. "Oh, no. What is she telling him?" Lee decided it was time to intervene. He walked over to Amanda.

"May I have this dance?"

"Aahh," She glanced at Delano, He nodded. "thank you." she said taking Lee's hand as he led her to the floor and away from James Delano.

"Amanda!" he hissed. "Do you know who that was!?"

"James Delano."

"Yes," he said flustered that she had answered his question. "Mr. Quickie Chickie!" he did his best hole drilling stare.

"What?" she hissed back. "You said to keep having fun. Well I was just doing what you told me. Seems you would be happy that I obeyed your orders."

Lee opened his mouth to snap back but nothing came out. His eye brow raised, "How does she do it?"

"Come on. " He said dragging her out of the building.

"Now what?" Amanda asked.

"I need to take you home. You can tell me all about it on the way."

The walked to the car, Amanda in confused silence. As soon as they were on the beltway Amanda asked "Lee, I don't understand, you told me to keep having a good time, I was having a good time. Mr. Delano gave his little speech and then came over to me, I mean I was a little surprised, some big whig like that asking me to dance...."

"Whoa whoa, back up. What little speech, what did he say."

"Well that they were opening up stores on both sides of the berlin wall."

"Well that jives with what Harry was saying."

"Who is Harry?"

"He is the informant I was meeting with. Apparently Delano is in over his head and turning to some pretty lousy sources."

"Ohh." Amandaís face got serious.

"I need to know what you talked about to him, did you tell him who you were?"

"Oh nothing, he told me he wouldn't abandon me. . ." Lee got a puzzled look on his face. "And he told me his name and asked who I was, Oh!, but I didnít give him my real name."

" What name did you give him?"

"Victoria Greenwich."

"What?"

"Victoria Greenwich. She's the heroine of a novel that I am reading, She's an English noblewomen and she lives in a castle and her husband is awaiting execution. . . it just popped into my head." Amanda looked down a little embarrassed.

"Uh huh." Wait till Francine hears this, he thought, "And what was he writing down?"

"My phone number."

"He asked you for your phone number!?" All those women in the room and he picks Amanda King.

"Well I made one up. I figured I didnít know what we were doing, but I knew it had to do with Quickie Chickie and well he is like you said, MISTER Quickie Chickie and so I figured I better not tell him who I really was and of course I couldnít have him call my house, I mean real people live there and what would mother say?"

What would mother say? They pulled into the parking lot by the Lincoln Memorial. "Amanda, I think we are going to have to make that number ring at your, Victoria's, house, just in case he calls. At this point we can't afford to raise suspicions. I mean he probably won't call, but just in case. Just keep the cover and let me know if he calls. Immediately!"

Lee let Amanda out of the car and walked her to her wagon.

"Well goodnight. Sorry I messed things up." Amanda smiled sheepishly.

"Hey, you didn't mess things up. It could have happened to anyone. Nothing is going to happen. Delano has beautiful women on every continent, I mean don't take it personal if he doesnít call, ya know, it was probably just a line. . . "

"Um, I am not sure whether to take that as a compliment or not."

"Mmm." Lee cleared his throat. "Ya, well, you drive safe and get some rest, put your foot up." Amanda got in to the car and started it shaking her head. Lee watched her leave the parking lot before he headed back to his car.

"Beautiful women. . ." He had to admit, tonight, Amanda did look beautiful. "I hope Billy is still in the office." he muttered as he headed back to his car.

***

Lee lay back on his pool side lounge. He glanced at the exotic women surrounding him. Behind him one of those women was riding a bike along the beach with a basket on the back, was that a dog in the basket?. . . , ringing the little bell, cha-ching cha-ching. Lee suddenly realized his phone was ringing. Rolling over he grabbed the receiver. So much for sleeping in.

"Stetson."

"Lee!" he heard a loud whisper.

"Amanda?" Lee glanced at the clock, 10:38.

"Lee, he called me this morning."

"Who called? what?"

"Mr. Delano. Mother answered the phone and almost hung up on him. good thing I was right there and figured out who she was talking to, or the whole thing might have. . ."

"slow down. " Last nights escapade came rushing back to Lee's mind" Ok. Ok. Meet me at the office at 12:00, I'll call Billy."

"Ok, see you later."

"bye."

Lee grabbed his robe and worked his way to the kitchen to start some coffee. "Seems our little housewife has some work cut out for her. " Lee let his mind wander to the previous night watching Amanda dance with Delano. Innocent really, why did it bug him so much? Because he's the bad guy of course, he told himself. But try as he might he still had a hard time imagining her as exotic and mysterious, although he had to admit trying to figure out what she was saying half the time certainly was a mystery. Victoria Greenwich on the other hand. . .

***

Amanda sat in the bullpen waiting for Lee to finish his phone calls.

"Alright, let's go." Lee came up to Amanda.

"Where are we going?" she asked as she stood up and gathered her things.

"For a little ride." Lee guided Amanda out the glass doors past the guards and to the elevator.

Lee nodded to Mrs. Marsten and handed her their badges. "it's such a nice day I figured we could use some fresh air."

"Well thatís fine Lee, but shouldnít we get working on a cover for me..I mean Victoria Greenwich?"

Lee just smiled. He was enjoying this. Amanda never got much thanks for all her work, and he had to admit she really had been working hard and was even, *gulp* good? well at least she did show some pretty good instincts sometimes. His smile grew as he thought back to the few times they had worked together. She had a bumbling yet endearing quality which always seemed to make him smile. Man, was he admitting he actually liked working with Amanda? Well at least for the occasional assignment. She was a nice change from the usual dull faces Billy put him with. If he never had to do another surveillance with Fred Fielder it would be too soon for him. And Francine could be very pessimistic, not to mention very uppity. Anyway, he was going to enjoy helping Amanda play Cinderella.

*****

"I thought that you might enjoy seeing one of the houses on this street."

"Lee, I hardly think this is the time for sight seeing.."

"Here we are!" Lee pulled in front of a rather stunning colonial house.

"It's gorgeous."

Lee led Amanda out of the car. "This is where Victoria Greenwich lives."

Amanda nodded. "Well, she has the prettiest house on the whole block."

Lee looked over at her and smiled at her obvious approval. "Yeah, that's not all she has. Come on."

***

Lee sat in the surveillance van listening to Amanda extol all her, ah, Victoria's virtues to Delano. She really liked that house and all the dress up. She was doing pretty good for not even having any training. Lee laughed to himself at the thought of what might have happened had Celeste been the one he found dancing with Delano. None of this would be happening he thought. I would probably be trying to find some way to get into the house and find some more information and probably not getting very far. This was much more fun. Funny more like it he thought listening to Amanda trying to get out all the information he had given her on the life of Victoria. He was sure that Delano wasnít dangerous and certainly not a threat to Amanda, but still sitting here listening to him was making his skin crawl. Suddenly he wished it was him having dinner with Amanda. Aw its just my own lame dinner making me say that he told himself.

"Can you believe him?" Lee suddenly burst out to the surveillance agent, "I had a better line in high school." Lee was starting to get that fidgety feeling again. Oh no. he thought She's starting to babble. "What is she talking about?" He asked out loud.

I knew this wasn't going to work he thought. as he listened to the next bit between Amanda and Delano. Suddenly there was a loud thud. "What was that?"

"She dropped it." the agent said.

The continued to listen to the fumbling. Lee laid his dinner aside, intent on hearing if Amanda got the brooch back on he leaned into the speakers. He was suddenly thrown back by the sudden and LOUD sound from the speaker. "To the ladies room fast!" he heard Amanda say, obviously to him.

Lee's hand began to slowly slump down his face. He gave the other agent a look and left the van with his hands up in hopelessness.

"Well, you could at least give me equipment that works."

"Who told you to drop it?"

"I didn't drop it, he tried to look at it and it fell on the table."

"If you'd spend more time paying attention to what you're supposed to be doing..."

"What is it I'm supposed to be doing?"

Lee sighed, She was right, she hadnít done anything wrong.

"I'm running out of things to say out there."

Irritated again Lee retorted "It didn't sound like that to me. Look, all you have to do is keep him mildly distracted while we sweep his house. As Amanda sighed Lee continued, "And by the way, you're not falling for that guy's line, are you? I mean, talk about obvious!" Now why had he said that? He didnít care about other men and how they came on to Amanda.

"What line? Look, you may think Jim's no good, but I think he's charming and I think he's sincere."

"Jim?" Oh that was just too much

"Yeah!"

"Do you have any idea how many women "Jim" has been sincere with?"

"I don't believe it."

"Dozens!" Lee spat.

"No, you!"

"What about me?" How did the subject suddenly come to him?

"You're sounding like a jealous person!"

"I am not j--"

"You have no right to act like a jealous person!"

"What are you --" He stopped stunned as she grabbed the brooch, took out the microphone and thrust it into his hand.

"Here. Look. You just take this little thing, get it out of my life!" She turned to the mirror to touch up her hair. "Go back in your truck and do whatever you're doing and don't eavesdrop on me!"

"Now, wait a minute. Just. . ." Lee stood stunned looking at the equipment in his hand. Whirling around to call after her, "Amand. . ." Suddenly the door opened and a lady entered. Remembering where he was he quickly stammered the first thing that came to mind and exited.

***

Lee paused outside the Restaurant before returning to the van. Did I really just say I was duped? I hope I never run into that woman again. and what was that with Amanda telling me I was jealous. Me, jealous? Of what? "humph, Jealous." he just couldnít shake the thought. "I'll tell you what," he said to the bushes, "sorry is the word, sorry is what I am that Billy ever sent you to do an agents work!"

Lee stepped into the truck and flung the microphone on the desk. He couldn't help but notice the agent trying to keep from laughing. "Guess you get to go home early tonight." he told the agent. "Just drop me off at the house."

"Alright!" the agent whooped "I don't remember the last time I had a Saturday night to myself."

***

Sitting in the parlor of Victoria Greenwichís house with the lights off so he could see outside, Lee sat waiting for Amanda to return. "It's my fault," he reasoned. " I got her into this mess. Why oh why didn't I call Celeste. Or better yet just go to the Quickie Chickie party by myself. Then none of this would have happened. And. . . if none of it had happened then we wouldnít be any closer to figuring this case out. . . . . . . Jealous! What was Amanda thinking?" It's just that he got her into this and he felt responsible. "Where is she? what could they possibly be doing this late. . . If that Delano tries anything tonight. . ."

Lee's thoughts were interrupted by a Limo pulling up outside.

"Hey you guys, Looks like Cinderella finally decided to leave the ball." Lee woke the other two agents posing as Victoria's servants who had fallen asleep on the couches.

Lee Watched outside frustrated that he couldnít see what was going on inside the limo. Here she comes, he watched her get out of the car. "NO, no don't let that fink walk you to the door! oh good. Wait, what is she doing?" he watched her start to turn around. " Oh how cheesy!" he watched as Delano blew her a kiss. Lee continued to watch, making sure the limousine drove way away. Then he poured himself a drink. He needed to calm down. Why is it that he could look down the barrel of an Uzi with KGB behind it without flinching, but he couldnít face this Suburban house wife without his nerves getting on end. Half the time he wanted to just strangle her. the other half. . . well he wasn't exactly sure, he just wasn't going to go there, It was just too inconceivable. but something told him deep down that he would make sure nothing or no one ever hurt her. Lee took his glass and went to the foyer. Well at least her job was done. Now she could go home and he wouldnít have to worry anymore. But first she needed to tell him any information she may have found out.

He watched as 'Frederic' and 'Mary' dismantled Amanda. Just like Cinderella at midnight he thought. Only this Cinderella seemed to be just as radiant without the jewelry. Once again Lee found himself admiring just how lovely Amanda was.

He stepped forward as Fred and Mary left. "It's way after midnight Cinderella." . . . . . .

****

Lee hung up the phone and retrieved his glass from Amanda. "So what happened after you left me in the Ladies Room?"

"We talked, we ate, Oh Lee they have the most delicious dessert at that restaurant," Amanda's hands started flying as she was describing, "the bottom is a thin layer of chocolate and Almonds topped with a dark Fudge mousse, topped with a lighter layer of mousse, and then another layer of very light chocolate whipped cream stuff and topped with raspberries, oh they must have placed each little tiny raspberry by hand in a little pyramid formation and the whole thing was presented over a drizzle of the raspberry sauce and. . . . "

"Amanda! your completely avoiding the question." Lee calmed Amanda down waving his hands in front of his face as if warning off a racing locomotive.

"I am not - a-void-ing the question Lee, there simply isnít anything to tell you about, James didnít say anything about anything that might be anything you would want to know. " With that Amanda turned and went upstairs leaving Lee to watch her behind, er uh, from behind disappear in the upstairs hallway.

Lee shook himself out of his stupor. "I need some sleep" he said to himself. He was feeling put out, no left out was more like it, that Amanda had spent the evening dining and who knows what else with that playboy. "No," he shook his head "Amanda wouldn't have allowed Delano to come on to her." He just couldn't see her being that, comfortable, with another guy. "What do I mean with another guy?" he said and just who is THE guy if there is supposed to be ANOTHER guy? Oh man." he said as he finished his drink. "I need some sleep!"

Just then Amanda showed up at the top of the stairs in her regular clothes. Lee just stared up at her. She slowly descended the stairs and stopped next to him. the same spot she had just left moments before.

"Lee, Lee!" Amanda said waving her hands in front of his eyes to break his stare. "Lee, I think I better get home to bed."

"Ya, ya," he snapped out of it. He placed his hand behind her back and began to guide her to the front door. "Let me take you to bed." He stopped walking and lowered his hand from her back "Home, home, I meant home!" He rubbed his hand down his face rubbing his tired eyes. Amanda just cocked her eyes but continued out the door without comment.

***

Lee glanced in the rear view mirror. Seeing that Amanda was looking out the window he took a second to watch her. She looks beautiful tonight. He found his mind wandering to earlier in the week and their discussion about fantasies. "I wonder if she ever had any about me? Oh come on Lee," he told himself. "Amanda wasnít a teenage girl anymore." All the same he was glad he had approached Amanda about her relationship with James Delano, and that she seemed firmly grounded in reality. He had to admit, it was fun once in a while to pretend to be someone else. Still, he had found it difficult to shake Amanda from his mind this past week. "It's just the case and all" he told himself.

They arrived at the Delano Mansion and Lee let Amanda out of the car. He put on her wrap.

"Thank you" Amanda said

"Hey. You look fabulous." Lee said smiling and he really meant it. And he could tell that Amanda knew he did. He smiled even brighter, Then she walked into the party.

Lee parked the car where he could get to it quickly and waited for his que. "I wish I weren't sending her in there he thought. Just like a little rabbit into a den of wolves." He shuddered. He mentally went over the house layout in his mind in order to get in and get out as quickly as possible. The entertainment began and he knew this would be Amanda's best chance so he turned to see the library doors better. When he saw the lights flash, he started toward the side of the house.

Lee entered the library and was mildly surprised not to see Amanda. "Surely Amanda would have stayed in here." he thought. "She always seems to want to be where she shouldn't. Just as well, she needs to keep her cover."

Just as quickly as he entered, he was seized upon by what was probably one of Hollanders henchmen. Lee had no choice but to start into the all familiar struggle. He couldn't risk getting his gun and firing a shot, that would be too loud and then he might as well kiss the whole thing goodbye.

The struggle ended and Lee cautiously made his way down the hallway to get to the Offices. Scanning the crowd quickly he didn't catch any sight of Amanda. He glanced up the stairway and immediately sighted a purse hanging from the upper banister. Amanda's purse! Having picked it out and handed it to her to go with her ensemble, he was absolutely sure it was hers. "Hollander must have found her out." He decided as he quickly made his way up the staircase. A scream just as he had reached the first door in the upper hallway confirmed his suspicions.

Bursting into the next room down the hall, he barely had time to catch a glimpse of Amanda sprawled on the bed with that rat Hollander beside her. Lee raced toward him, as he reached for his gun on the bed. Once again the struggle began as Lee tried to wrestle the gun from Hollander. Hollander was older but strong, and had his gun. But Lee was younger and undoubtable had more experience in hand to hand. A thought of Amanda hurt and possible dead on the bed flooded Lee's mind and suddenly Lee was able to cut a mean backstroke to Hollander with his right, followed by an immediate punch in the abdomen. Hollander slumped against the display case and dropped his gun. Lee quickly picked it up, and pointing it at Hollander backed up to the bed and felt for Amanda's pulse. She was alive!

Then he noticed the syringe laying by her arm. He picked it up and went back to Hollander. It didn't smell like anything he was familiar with.

"All right, what's -- what's in the injection? You tell me what's in the injection or I'll blow your brains all over this room."

"Be my guest. You know I won't talk. We're both in the same business."

Shaking, Lee was ready to do just as he threatened. He knew the Agency would want Hollander for questioning etc. and not wanting to cause a panic at the party with any more noise and brawling, he gave Hollander a good whack instead. "If she isn't alright, I will take care of the scum latter." he told himself as Hollander slumped to the floor.

Going back to Amanda, Lee knew he needed to get her help fast. Delano! He would know Hollanders tricks. Brushing Amandaís hair from her face he told her, "You just hang on Amanda, you just hang on!" He reached for the phone near the bed and made two quick phone calls. The first to Billy at the Agency, telling him there was some "trash to pick up at James Delano's mansion. The second was to 911. Whatever it was Hollander had given her, she needed help fast!

Scooping her light frame up in his arms, Lee carried Amanda downstairs. He didn't notice all the stares and glares from the various guests and help. Glancing around the room he spotted Delano and still carrying Amanda made his way to him. Delano needed to see the pain he caused by his scheming.

Practically shaking Lee confronted Delano. "All right, what did he give her? You tell me, because you know she doesn't deserve this."

"I'm sorry. I'm really very sorry."

"Don't you apologize! If anything happens to her, I'll swear to you'll do your time in a wheelchair, now you talk to me, fast!" Lee was beginning to feel the exhaustion of the evenings activities. But he wasnít about to put Amanda down or give anyone involved in hurting her any mercy.

"It was Muscalli. Ten cc's." He looked genuinely sorry.

Lee turned and walked out of the room. Billy and the Ambulance would be there soon. Lee would meet them outside.

Lee stood outside near the railing waiting for the ambulance. Oddly his mind was blank, his eyes staring straight down the driveway. The siren from the Ambulance roused him and he looked down at Amanda. Her breathing had slowed way down and he silently urged her to hold on matching his breaths to her as if that would help her.

Lee tightened his hold when the EMTs tried to take Amanda from him. When he realized who they were he lowered her onto the gurney.

"Sir, we need you to stand back now." the paramedic told Lee.

"You just take good care of her. She was given 10 cc's of Muscalli. The N.E.S.T. team at the hospital should be able to help you with that." Lee had seen dozens of agents hurt, wounded, and even killed in the line of duty. But not Amanda. This was different. Oh why didn't he get into the house sooner? A thousand thoughts of 'what ifs' flooded his mind.

"Yes sir. We will take good care of her, thank you."

Lee backed away as the EMTs put an oxygen mask over her and went about their business. He caught sight of Billy and waved to him.

Billy drove up behind the ambulance and watched the scene briefly taking in what he saw. What he saw was an Agent he was unfamiliar with. Oh, it was the Scarecrow, but not the one everyone thought they knew. Billy pushed the thoughts to the back of his mind and seeing Lee wave to him motioned for the other agents to head up to Scarecrow and begin the cleanup process.

Scarecrow quickly briefed Billy, told him where he could find Hollander and then excused himself to head back to the ambulance. He needed to be sure Amanda was alright. and he didnít want her to wake up at the hospital alone. He had made her come to this party tonight and he was going to see that she got out of it all right.

"She is stabilized, Mr. Stetson. She'll be all right." . . . . .

****

Lee waited until Amanda had gone back into the house. Then he crept back to the window to watch her helping Jamie with his fractions. He didnít want to really spy on her, just double check that she really was feeling ok he told himself. She was very nice looking he thought, but seeing her with her family, that just wasnít for Lee Stetson.

Driving down the highway he thought, "first thing tomorrow I am calling my travel agent. I ought to be able to tie up some loose ends in about two weeks. Yes sir, Bermuda sounds just right. A little sun, some beautiful women . . ., Oh man! what am I going to do about my fish?"

END