Disclaimer: "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions. We retain rights to the plot, but not the characters. this story is meant for enjoyment purposes only. No infringement is intended.

Author's Note: This is an idea that has been rattling around in my restless mind for a long time. The title came from Francine's crack in "All The World's a Stage" asking when opening night was, although I decided to make it an opening weekend instead. I may be playing with the timeline a little, but for the purposes of this tale, I'm making the tag from take place on the following Friday after the play. I debated on posting this since I have other unfinished stories, but I already have four chapters of this completed and I don't intend for it to be a very long story like the other epics I'm writing. I hope you enjoy.

First Read-Through

Friday Morning, 10:00AM

After hearing Billy and Francine in the hall, Lee firmly clicked the lock into place before he and Amanda could be interrupted for what felt like the millionth time since they'd first started seeing each other outside of work. "No, not this time," He said as he walked purposefully toward her. When he reached her, he placed his hands on her waist and she responded by slowly sliding her arms up his chest to rest lightly on his shoulders inviting him in. He smiled nervously at her with a look in his eyes that told her this was a moment he'd been waiting a long time for. He let out the breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding.

"Yeah," she said giving him back a nervous smile of her own.

God, how he loved her smile. He didn't hesitate a second longer as he leaned in to kiss her delighted to find that she'd met him halfway. He lightly brushed his lips against hers a little startled by the jolt of electricity that passed through him at the contact. He then pulled back to look at her trying to gauge her reaction praying with all his might that she'd felt it too.

Amanda looked at him and seeing the hesitation in his eyes she edged closer to him to kiss him again and found that he was already leaning in for a second kiss moving his hands to her back to pull her closer while she linked her hands behind his neck teasing his lips with her tongue in open invitation. She moaned as he took the hint parting her lips with his own tongue.

Hearing her eager response, Lee became bolder. He probed her mouth with his tongue as he scooted closer to her, pressing his body against hers edging her backwards until she was half leaning against his desk. he couldn't help the low groan that escaped him at finally feeling her this close to him. They kissed like this for what felt like an eternity until they were both too out of breath to continue.

"Amanda,' he said breathlessly. Just her name was all he could manage to spit out but there was so much more he wanted to say. He just couldn't find the right words. Kissing her, really kissing her had affected him in a way that he couldn't describe. He'd never felt this much desire rising up within him from just a kiss.

Her name on his lips after the kiss they'd just shared felt like the most intimate caress to Amanda. She lowered on hand to softly stroke his face before lightly brushing her lips to his again, longing to have more of him. She wove her fingers through the hair at the nape of his neck pulling him back in. She moaned low in her throat as he possessively captured her lips with his own his hands pulling her in to press her tightly against him again. She gasped as she felt the evidence of his desire for her. She had wanted this man for so long and now he was here in her arms kissing her like there was no tomorrow. She broke the kiss and began to nip lightly at his neck testing the waters. When he sighed in response, she continued her exploration which was halted by the feeling of his lips on her own neck. "Oh, Lee," she cried out at the exquisite sensation.

Hearing Amanda calling out his name spurred Lee on. He began to ravage her neck in earnest, nipping at the tender skin there amazed that not only had she not stopped him, she'd thrown her head back to give him better access. His hands already on her lower back were quickly moved to her bottom as he lifted her onto the edge of his desk. He was delighted when she didn't put up a fight. Instead she grasped his own bottom pulling him tightly against her. He'd waited so long for this, wanted her for so long, it was taking all the strength he possessed not to just take her completely right there. That thought sent off alarm bells in his head as he abruptly pulled away from her. He took a deep breath trying to calm himself, but seeing her looking at him with passion-glazed eyes, her lips swollen from their kisses was too much. He forced himself to turn away from her. When he was a safe distance away from her he turned back around. "God, I'm sorry, Amanda. I guess I got a little carried away," he said.

"You're sorry?" she said looking hurt as she hopped down from the desk. "Sorry you kissed me? I thought this was something we both wanted."

"No, I...I didn't mean it like that," He stammered. "I'm not sorry I kissed you," Lee walked back toward her taking her hands in his but still keeping a little distance between them to maintain his control. "You have no idea how long I've wanted to kiss you like that, a real kiss, I mean. One that wasn't part of a case or a cover, but was about just you and me."

"I've wanted that for a long time too, and guess what? You're not the only one who got a little carried away. If you recall, I wasn't objecting to anything you were doing. I was rather enjoying it as a matter of fact."

"I know that, Amanda. I was too. Too damn much in fact. I had to stop or things would have gone too far too fast."

"In my opinion, things haven't gone far enough or fast enough," Amanda said boldly.

"What are you saying," Lee said surprised by her candor.

"Come on, Lee. Don't you think we've wasted enough time? I mean, we've done this all backwards from how things normally go. Usually, two people who are attracted to each other are all over each other from the start and then do all the getting to know you stuff afterwards, but ..."

"...not us," he finished for her. "I know, but I want you to know that I have been trying this last year to really figure out where we stand, what my feelings are..."

"And what have you figured out?"

"That I care far too much about you to risk messing this up by moving too fast," he raised one hand to caress her face as he gazed into her eyes. "Then I would have lost my best friend, my partner...I would-."

Amanda reached up with her now freed hand and placed a finger to his lips to silence him. "Did you ever stop to think you could mess it up by moving too slowly too?"

"I...I guess I just want you to know that I don't want to rush you into anything that you're not ready for. I have too much respect for you, for our partnership, our friendship. Our..." he hesitated unsure of what her reaction would be "...relationship?" he said questioningly.

"Lee, I appreciate that, really, but stop! Stop thinking so much. We're both adults and it's not like this is my first rodeo. I do have two children, remember?"

"Yeah, I know, but that was different. You were married."

"Uh-huh," Amanda said. "When the boys were born, yes, but I wasn't some blushing virgin when I married Joe."

"You weren't?" Lee said his eyes widening in surprise. "He wasn't your first?"

"No, he wasn't even the second, nor was he the last," Amanda said. When she noticed Lee's somewhat agitated reaction. "Look, you just said there were things about me that you didn't know. This is one of those things, I guess."

"Wow, I guess, I had you pegged all wrong. I just thought of you as the type who would wait until you were married."

"Now, I'm not the kind who just jumps into bed with a man lightly. I do take intimacy very seriously, but that doesn't mean I have to be married." She was having trouble believing what she was hearing. Not five minutes ago, she was sure he felt the same way that she did, now he was backpedaling. She couldn't resist having a little fun with it. "Why, are you proposing?"she teased.

"What?" he said startled by her question.

"Relax, Lee, I was teasing," she said as she kissed him softly. "I'm not expecting a marriage proposal."

Lee looked at her earnest face and realized he'd been handling this whole thing wrong from the start. While her wisecrack had thrown him temporarily, it had gotten him thinking. Even though he hadn't quite gotten up the nerve to tell her yet, he'd known for a long time that she was it for him. There's no way any other woman could make him feel the way that she did. He took a deep breath and decided to take a chance. "What if I were," he said softly never breaking his eye contact with her as he moved his hand into her hair and lightly kissed her then gazed into her eyes again. "What would you say?"

"Wow," Amanda said. This time it was her turn to be startled. Her heart jumped in her chest. That was the last thing she'd expected to hear. There was no denying that she loved him, had loved him for a long time, but was he really serious or was it a hypothetical question? Was he just teasing her because she'd teased him? Her little attempt at humor had completely backfired on her.

"Well?" Lee said waiting for an answer.

"It doesn't really matter what I would say since you're not really proposing..." Amanda said trying to convey more calm that she felt. Her heart was racing at this surprising shift in their conversation. "...are you?"

"But what if I were?"Lee asked again.

"But you're not," Amanda replied.

"But what if I were?" He repeated.

"But you're not," she argued again.

"You wanna go another round or do you wanna' give me an answer?"Lee said his eyes dancing in amusement.

She couldn't help but laugh."I think that I would have to say that I would need some time to think about it. I mean, my family hasn't even met you yet."

"Well, then I propose that we change that," Lee said with a smirk.

"What did you have in mind?"Amanda said

"It's simple. We already had a date planned for tonight, didn't we?"

"Yes," she said. She'd been looking forward to it all week. Joe would be picking up the boys and keeping them for the weekend and her mother had a date so she wouldn't have to worry about how late she'd be out.

"Then I suggest instead of our normal habit of meeting someplace or you coming to my place and us driving somewhere together, I'd like to do this right. Drive to your house, pick you up, be introduced to the family, take you out and bring you back home again. Maybe even a real good-night kiss on the front porch?"

"That sounds wonderful," Amanda said. "What brought that on?"

"To tell you the truth, it was Francine."

"Francine?"Amanda asked in confusion.

"Yeah, the crack she made the other day when she walked in on us about opening night?"

"Oh," Amanda said.

"It got me thinking. We've been on several dates yet we've never had what feels like a real one because we always get interrupted and I thought..."

"...you thought that we couldn't get to our opening night if we never got to finish a date?"

"Something like that," He said. "Ok, our dinner reservation is for seven, so I'll pick you up at six?"

"Yeah, you did say dinner and dancing the other day, right?"

"Mm-hmm," Lee said as he brushed one more soft kiss against her lips. He couldn't wait to get her on the dance floor tonight just to feel her in his arms again. While he was holding her hand now, he was still a little nervous about getting too close for fear of losing control like he'd almost done earlier. "So, six?"

"Yeah, six it is," Amanda said with a smile.