Author's Note: I would love to skip this one as it's never been one of my favorites. I always felt that it insults Amanda's intelligence and contradicts the skill she showed in "Magic Bus," however, just for the sake of completeness I'm including it anyway as there are a few nice interactions between our heroes that I can play with. Plus, I do like to play with Francine a bit too.

Chapter 30-Invitation to Training

"A Class Act"

After Billy had left following the conversation about the bomb in his room, Lee walked a still shaky Amanda back to her cabin, fuming that someone had tried to kill him and in the process kill Amanda. He was used to his life being on the line, but hers, no. The fact that whoever had planted the bomb in his cabin would have taken Amanda out too, that she would have been nothing but collateral damage to them, made him madder than someone gunning for him.

Amanda tried desperately to control her shaking as she and Lee walked together, his comforting hand at the small of her back making her feel a little better. She'd been elated that he'd offered to walk her back to her cabin as they were leaving his, that roguish smile of his filling her stomach with butterflies the way it always did. Now, while still scared, she was even happier that he'd made that offer. If he hadn't, he'd be dead. She shivered at that thought, the thought that his life could so easily be extinguished...and hers too. It occurred to her just then that if they'd spent just a few more seconds in his room, she'd have been dead right along with him. She thought for a moment that it was strange that her own life being in danger had only hit her as an afterthought, shivering again at the idea that he'd become such a big part of her, that his life meant more to her than her own. She glanced sideways at him for a moment and wondered if he knew just how much he was a part of her now, that even if their "relationship" never progressed beyond the frenzied tumbles they'd shared, she'd never be as connected to another man as she was to him.

"You okay," Lee said feeling her shiver beside him just as they reached her cabin and stepped onto its porch.

"'m just, you know...a little scared." He emotions were in a flurry. While startled, she had to admit, she'd gotten a little thrill out of Lee's arms around her in his cabin. She never thought she'd ever feel that way, but she was starting to get used to him sneaking up on her the way he did.

"I know," Lee said turning her to face him and sliding his hands to her waist. He would never admit it to her, but he was scared too. That explosion could have killed her, well and him too, but he didn't have anybody waiting at home for him the way that she did. The thought that Vardosk and his cronies could have just left her children orphaned made him want to hit something...or someone.

"If you hadn't..." She shuddered again.

"Hey," he said pulling her into his arms, holding her tightly to ease her shaking. "Hey, it's okay." It was far from okay. Someone was gunning for him again and she could very easily be caught in the crossfire just by her association with him. This was why as much as he loved her, he could never let her get close enough to become a target for someone else's revenge against him, just to be used as a pawn in a cruel game. Deep down, he knew that she loved him too. She knew that was why she'd been in his room in the first place, because she was worried for his safety. That was just one of the things that made him love her even more, her caring, nurturing nature.

"Oh, Lee, I was so scared," Amanda said in a raspy voice.

"I know," Lee said as he rocked her in his arms and planted a kiss to the top of her head as he felt her tears of fear soaking his shirt, "I know." He cupped one hand beneath her chin, raising her head to look at him, "but you're safe now."

Amanda let out a shuddering breath and said, "Lee, you don't understand." She gazed up into his eyes, swallowed hard and then continued, "I'm not scared for me.'m scared for you. Someone's trying to kill you."

"Amanda, I'm fine," he said reassuringly as he wiped the tears from her face. "I'm the one who's trained for this, remember? To expect the unexpected?"

"Yeah, I know, but how could you have expected something like that? When I think that in just seconds, your life could have...I mean, you could have..." she swallowed hard again, gathered her strength and said, "You could have died."

"So, could you," Lee pointed out. "When I think that you could have...just because you were trying to help me...I..." He found he couldn't form the words that he wanted to say to her.


Lee decided that if he couldn't tell her how he felt, he was damn sure going to show her. Using the hand on her face to his advantage, he lowered his mouth to hers, kissing her soundly. It wasn't intended to be like the fiery, passionate kisses that they'd shared up to now. It was only intended to show her what she meant to him, how much he couldn't live without her, but when Amanda responded by tugging on the back of his head to pull him in deeper with her tongue teasing his lips, he was lost. He grasped the back of her head, plunged his tongue into her mouth and cupped her bottom with his other hand, pulling her tightly to him.

Amanda moaned into his mouth as the intensity of their kisses, the feeling of his hand tangling in her hair, tugging at her head to keep their kiss going, his other on her butt, pulling her closer, melding their bodies together. Her pulse quickened and her heart pounded at feeling him so close to her feeling so alive, making her feel so alive when they'd both nearly died.

Lee groaned against Amanda as he felt one of her hands sliding to his ass, squeezing it, keeping him locked against her. He broke their kiss, panting heavily. He then wasted no time in lifting her up to a seated position on the porch railing, his hands on her back to steady her, sliding them under her sweatshirt to caress the bare skin beneath as he lowered his lips to her neck and felt her locking her legs around his waist her hands on his shoulders.

Amanda gasped at Lee's lips on her neck, suckling at the tender pulse point that he had learned made her crazy with need. "Lee," she hissed. When she felt him unhook her bra, she said, "Lee, not here. Let's get inside."

Lee halted what he was doing, released her for a moment, and looked at her in surprise. Was she actually inviting him into her room? Before he could ask, she had hopped down and was pushing on his chest with one hand while reaching for the doorknob with the other. He slid his arms to her waist and kissed her again as she pushed him backward. As they crossed the threshold together, their feet tangled causing them both to fall to the hard wood floor. "Oof," Lee blurted out as the wind was knocked out of him, both by the landing and by Amanda's lithe body atop his. Recovering quickly, he kicked the door closed and resumed the task he'd begun on the porch, pushing the training vest from her shoulders and pulling her sweatshirt over her head. He slid the straps of her bra down her arms, and then rolled her beneath him, capturing one breast in his mouth as his hand found the other.

Amanda moaned low in her throat, her whole body humming at Lee's touches. She toed off her shoes, then raised her knees up on either side of him and grasped his butt as she pushed her hips up against his. She delighted in feeling how hard she'd already made him and couldn't help but wonder if other women had brought out that reaction in him so quickly. She knew he'd had a lot of women in his life and couldn't help but be curious how she compared to them in his mind. She hastily tamped down that thought. He'd said he hadn't been with another woman since her and she trusted him and wanted to believe in him. She supposed it didn't matter anyway. He kept coming back to her, kept coming back for more. That thought made her giddy, as did what he was doing to her.

Lee trailed kisses down Amanda's chest, to her stomach, then tugged at the waistband of her sweatpants, pulled back from her long enough to slide the down, dragging her panties with them. He gazed at her bare form for just a moment, then dipped his head between her legs and began feasting on her like a starving man.

"Lee," she said softly as his mouth worked at her. She hooked her legs over his shoulders as he cupped her bottom to bring her closer, delving into her with his tongue. "Oh," she cried at the sensation just before he clamped his mouth down on her sensitive nub, suckling on her until she was writing beneath him, her shaking no longer of fear, but of exquisite pleasure as shockwaves passed through her body, leaving her gasping for breath.

Lee raised his head, smiled at her smugly, then rose just long enough to kick off his own shoes, shucking his own clothing as quickly as he could. He was about to join her again when her legs swept his out from under him and he once again landed on the wooden floor with a loud thud. "What the hell?" he said in astonishment.

"I've learned a few things even without formal training," Amanda said with a sly grin just before she lowered her head to take him into her mouth, wanting to give him the same pleasure that he'd just given her.

"Oh," Lee groaned at the feeling of her mouth on him, alternating licking, then suckling him, running her tongue along his erection, then sucking it fully into her mouth, pulling back to tease just the head with her lips and tongue and then repeating the whole thing. "Ohhhh," he cried again, tangling his hands in her hair as his hips twitched beneath her and he tried to get his body to behave and not thrust into her mouth. "Just where...exactly did you do...that?" he panted through his heavy breathing.

Amanda released him with a loud pop, smiled a mischievous smile, shook her head and was about to resume her task when Lee grasped her firmly by the shoulders and shook his own head. Seeing the look of fierce desire in his eyes was all that Amanda needed to know what he wanted. Sliding her body up the length of his, she kissed him softly, then pulled back to straddle him, braced on hand on his chest and guided him into her causing both of them to gasp.

"Yes," Lee hissed through clenched teeth. He raised his knees, planted his feet firmly on the floor and clasped his hands on her hips as Amanda followed his lead, leaning against his propped up knees as she began to rack against him, his hands on her hips encouraging her.

"Oh, Lee," Amanda sighed at the feeling of him being inside her, the sounds of his pleasure spurring her on. Soon, the slow gentle rhythm she'd begun wasn't enough, she wanted to hear him screaming out her name again, feeling him exploding within her. Pushing her hands more firmly against his chest, her knees locked against his side to give herself the leverage she needed, she began to ride him harder and faster, reveling the feeling of him being deeper inside her with every push of her hips, delighted to feel him thrusting upward to meet her every time.

"Amanda," Lee cried erupting into her as he thrust up while she pushed down against him soon shaking beneath her. He clasped the hands on his chest to pull her down to him, capturing her lips in a searing kiss as their danced slowed back to a slow rhythm until their movements finally stilled and they lay there sharing heated kisses as clung to each other in the aftermath of their lovemaking. Lee rand his hands over Amanda's bare back as their kisses turned into long, lingering ones. He pulled back from their kisses, tapped her gently on the back.

Amanda looked at him quizzically, but took the hint sliding her body from his and rising to her feet feeling a little disoriented by his sudden shift until she felt herself being swept off of her feet and carried to the tiny bed in the corner of the room. "What are you doing," Amanda said.

"What does it look like I'm doing," Lee said impatiently as he laid her gently on her bed, then lowered himself above her, clasped her hands in his pinning them above her head before kissing her soundly. He pulled back to look at her for a moment, and then said, "Just once, I want to make love to you in a bed." He then bent his head to kiss her again only to find his lips barely grazing her cheek instead.

At hearing his words, Amanda began to panic and turned her head at the last minute. As much as she loved the idea of sharing a bed with him, she felt that it was just too intimate. She knew it sounded stupid, even in her own head considering that they'd already shared the most intimate act that two people could, but when he wouldn't even admit that they were dating, let alone admit that he had feelings for her, it just opened up too many scary thoughts. What would happen if he closed himself off to her again, as he was prone to do, after she'd let him share her bed? The heartbreak would be too much to bear. "No," she said softly and pushed on his chest.

"What? Why?" Lee demanded as he angrily rose from the bed and glared at her. "I don't get it. You practically attacked me out there and again in here, yet you won't let me share your bed?"

"Well, for one thing, this bed's a little too small, don't you think?"

"I'm sure we could make it work. We have in tighter spots that this or have you forgotten the front seat of your car?"

Amanda sat up and said, "No, I haven't forgotten." Truth be told, she remembered in excruciating detail very second of every time they'd made love.

"Then what's the real problem here? I mean, after all, since my cabin was blown to bits, it's not like I have a place to sleep tonight." He grinned at her for a moment, but very soon, that grin turned into a scowl as he realized by the look on her fact that that wasn't going to be the winning argument.

Suddenly feeling all too exposed, Amanda leapt from the bed, hurried to the wardrobe in the corner, pulled out her cotton nightgown and pulled it over her head to cover herself. "There are plenty of empty cabins you could sleep in," she said with her back to him. "I'm sure Billy will set you up in one. Besides, how would it look if someone saw you leaving my room in the morning? We're not supposed to have known each other before getting here, remember?" she said trying to logic her way out of letting him spend the night even though her heart was screaming at her to say yes.

Utterly defeated, Lee said, "No, you're right. I'll...uh...I'll just go. I'm supposed to meet with Billy and Francine anyway." He gathered up his discarded clothes and dressed as quickly as he could as she pulled back the covers on her bed. ", hell," he said as he ran a hand through his hair. "Good-night, Amanda." He then left quickly, barreling down the steps, in his frustration and his hurry to get away, not paying attention to where he was going until he ran headlong into Francine.

"Well, well," Francine said with a leer. "Giving Amanda some extra training, are you?"

"Can it, Francine," Lee snapped. "After what happened tonight, I was just walking her back to her cabin to make sure she was safe."

"Don't even try it, Lee. Billy sent me to find you and I saw the two of you on the porch and the way you were kissing, just before she shoved you into her room. I have to admit, I didn't think she had it in her to be the aggressor. I always pegged her as the swoony Harlequin romance-type who'd let the man take the lead."

Lee chuckled slightly and said. "I told you Amanda can be very surprising. There's a lot you don't know about her."

"And you do?"Francine said archly. "What exactly are you playing at here?"

"I'm not playing at anything," Lee said hotly.


"No," Lee said.

"Well, then why aren't you still in there with her? I'm sure you could have used the excuse that your cabin was blown to smithereens as an excuse to spend the night since you're now without a place to sleep. I'm sure little-miss-swoony would have bought right into it. She trusts you a lot more than she should and hasn't got the first damn clue that you're just using her for some quick, easy sex."

"Francine, you're the one who doesn't have a damn clue, just stay the hell out of my private life, okay?" he said running both hands through his hair. In fact, he was beginning to feel as if he were the one being used. Every time that he started to feel closer to Amanda, that she was letting him in a little more, she shut him down. He glanced forlornly back at the cabin, he'd just vacated and sighed, wondering if they'd ever be on the same page at the same time.