Author's Note: I'm taking a little liberty with this episode, giving them just a bit more time before the Russians show up to take them away.
Chapter 8-Is There Something Between You and Amanda?
"Saved By the Bells"
After being the bearer of bad news, Dirk had left as quickly as he could, leaving Billy and Lee alone. Billy couldn't help noticing the pained look on his agent's face and how he turned away from him He frowned, then cleared his throat and reminded him, "Lee, we're...uh...not supposed to take this personally. It's our objectivity that which makes us effective." He was worried about him. He had begun to see a real change in him since he'd been paired with the exuberant, bubbly housewife. He was far less reckless, both on the job and in his personal life. He'd even started to come out of his self-built shell a bit; was less guarded. The fact that they weren't allowed to become involved in a rescue attempt for Amanda was a blow on more than one level.
Lee turned just slightly and countered, "Amanda is dying in my place. That's as personal as it gets." He felt incredibly guilty and selfish. He'd only wanted to take a vacation to get away from her and his increasingly intense feelings for her, figuring that he could lose himself for a while in some nameless, faceless beauty. He figured something like that would help him temporarily forget the confounding woman who'd captured his heart. During their last sexual escapade, she'd reminded him bluntly that they were not a couple, that the things she'd done in other relationships, such as wearing sexy lingerie, were off-limits to him; her heart was off-limits to him.
"If it were another agent, would you feel the same way," Billy questioned pointedly. He'd suspected for a while now that his two charges were falling for each other...and hard. He'd believed that it had not been acted on with the way that Lee behaved around Amanda, treating her as if she were a pest. Upon seeing the aguish in Lee, he wondered now if there weren't more to it; if they had become involved on a personal and more intimate level.
Lee whipped around and answered, "I don't know." He'd just lied to Billy, when in reality he did know. He knew that he'd never be able to live without Amanda in his life not after...
"Is there something between you and Amanda?" He knew that he probably shouldn't ask, but he had to know. He had to determine if Lee was headed for another mental collapse over yet another loss of someone that he cared deeply for.
"Oh," Lee shook his head with a sigh, as he tried his damndest to keep his emotions in check in front of his boss and long-time friend.
"Well, why was she at your apartment?" Billy probed further at Lee's non-answer. He was thinking that it was a perfectly reasonable question with the way that Lee was reading to Amanda's abduction. He'd sensed since meeting Amanda, that there was something simmering just below the surface between the pair. And threatening to boil over, he mentally added.
"She was feeding my fish," Lee responded argumentatively. That part was indeed true, but there was so much more there that he knew he couldn't tell Billy about. How could he tell Billy that the one woman he wanted more than anything was the one he couldn't have, the one who wouldn't have him?
"This one isn't easy," Billy attempted to console him as he realized that Lee wasn't being entirely truthful with him. He hadn't gotten to the position that he was in without being able to tell when someone wasn't being completely honest. He hoped that someday, the younger man would confide in him, but he knew today was not that day. "Give it some time."
"I can't live with this one, Billy," Lee said. In truth, he couldn't live if Amanda were to die. He'd die himself and he knew it.
Lee watched warily, weapon still trained on the retreating golf cart containing the Soviet agents, making sure they were heading far away from them. He only lowered it when he heard Amanda's shaky voice beside him.
"They were gonna' kill me," she rasped as the tears flowed down her face while Lee dropped his gun into his lap and worked quickly to untie her bound hands. "They thought I was you. I told them that I wasn't, but they wouldn't listen to me. They stuffed me in a crate." Her voice grew more hoarse as she poured out all of her fears to him. She knew that he hated crying, but she couldn't help it. She'd been terrified that she'd never seen her family...or for that matter, see him again. Not to mention what would have happened to her children. With Joe running around the world, they'd basically be orphans.
"I know, I know," Lee crooned in a soothing tone as he worked on the knots.
"I don't know how anyone could mistake me for you. You're so much taller,' she whimpered in a frantic voice.
"Hey," he whispered as he worked the last of the knots free, pulled her against him, and wrapped his arms around her in a comforting embrace. "I'm sorry," he apologized guiltily. He knew that her fear was entirely his fault. If he hadn't been stubbornly determined to try to bury his feelings for her, she'd have never been at his place to feed his fish while he was away and would never have been in the position to be mistaken for him. "Take it easy, take it easy," he chanted like a mantra in a soothing voice. "It's all over."
"I was...I was scared," Amanda said in a soft voice as her tears abated in the shelter of his protective arms. It felt so good to be held by him again...safe.
"I know, I know. So was I," Lee admitted. In fact, he'd never been so scared in his life. While he was terrified to admit it to her, Amanda had become his lifeline. His fear for her life had also become fear for his own without her. He glanced briefly backward to see the other cart disappearing down the cart path over a hill then pulled her tighter to him and said, "It's all over." When he realized that her terrified shaking had stopped, he gazed down at her to find that she was now just nestled comfortably against his shoulder. He reached with one hand to brush the tears from her face. This motion caused Amanda to look up at him, her lips mere inches from his.
Amanda, at Lee's kind gesture of wiping away her tears and at seeing the look of worry on his face, was deeply moved. She lifted her hand to caress his face softly and said, "Thank you...for saving my life."
"Just demonstrating my loyalty to my partner," he shrugged as he echoed the words he'd spoken to her before this whole mess had begun. He became a little unnerved by how she was looking at him as if her were her hero when it was his own selfishness and stupidity that had led to abduction. His discomfort grew when she used her hand on his face to pull him closer and became even worse when her lips met his in a soft kiss her tongue lightly teasing the corner of his mouth.
Amanda reached her other hand to the back of his neck in an attempt to pull him closer. She then slid her lips to his neck, then his earlobe and whispered in a still-shaky voice, "Lee, make love to me." After being faced with death, she desperately needed to feel alive and no one could make her feel more alive that Lee.
Lee pulled back awkwardly, removed her hands from his face and neck, clasped them in his and shook his head, saying, "Hey, now's not the time for that." He reflected back on Billy's question to him about there being something between them. He had to acknowledge, at least to himself, that there was. If it were any other woman, throwing herself at him, he had no doubt that he'd give into the temptation in a heartbeat, but this...this was Amanda and she was...different...special.
Amanda, feeling a little hurt by his actions, swallowed hard and tried to justify her actions, "Lee, I...I...I just wanted to express my gratitude."
"No, Amanda, not like that," Lee stated adamantly. He was unwilling to take advantage of her while she was still vulnerable. He gently squeezed her hand and said, "The only gratitude that I need is to know that you're safe."
"That...that's really very sweet," Amanda responded with a warm smile, her frayed nerves slowly becoming normal again with his kind support.
"What do you say we get out of here, huh?" he suggested to get out of the awkward situation he found himself in. While he would like nothing better than to make tender love to her to ease her fears and offer her the comfort that he knew she was really after, he couldn't use her that way.
"Yeah, good idea," Amanda replied with a nod.
"Think of something, think of something," Amanda insisted frantically as she watched him nervously pacing in the tight quarters they were being held in.
"I am thinking," Lee grumbled. "Just relax, will ya'?"
"Oh, sure, easy for you to say. You're not the one they're gonna' stuff in a refrigerator and ship off to Moscow."
"No, I'm the one they're gonna' put up against a wall and shoot," Lee fired back angrily with a roll of his eyes. Didn't she get that they were both in danger? He grabbed the chair at the end of the table and sank into it, running both hands through his hair in frustration.
"I'm sorry," Amanda said apologetically. She knew she had not been thinking about what the Russians would do to him. This was just as scary a situation as she'd been in when they'd first taken her, but somehow, it didn't quite seem so now that she was not alone. Having him here with her made her feel that no matter what might happen, somehow, they would find a way to make it out of this...together.
"No, it's okay." Lee nodded and placed a comforting hand on her arm in acceptance of her apology. He knew that she was just as worried as he was. He glanced down for a moment as the simple contact jolted him, and then looked back at her wondering if she'd felt it too.
Amanda looked at him in wonder for a moment at how much such a simple, comforting touch could make her feel. She knew that's what he'd intended by it, but it felt so much...more, like touching a live wire.
Before either knew what was happening, they were locked in each other's arms, Amanda in Lee's lap, kissing fiercely, tongues dueling as they tugged at each other's clothing, both trying to get as close as they could to each other one more time, knowing that it may be their last. Lee had yanked up the tails of Amanda's blouse and was frantically working to open her pants while Amanda had pushed his jacket to the floor and was tugging at his shirt under the vest he wore. She tore her mouth from his and said, "What is it with you and these stupid vests," Amanda grumbled because she couldn't seem to touch enough of his skin and if this was going to be it for them, she wanted to touch him...all of him.
"What about you and the skirts? These pants are a pain," he fired back as he lifted her up with one arm, using the other to sweep the contents of the table onto the floor before lowering her to it to lie on her back. Amanda took a moment to toe off her sneakers, giving Lee room to slide her pants down her legs while she tugged upward on his vest again. "Let me," he said as he hurriedly yanked the offending garment over his head before resuming his task of undressing her, making quick work of the buttons on her blouse, it, and her bra and panties soon hit the floor.
"Pants too," she told him with a nod as she sat up and unbuttoned his shirt. She was soon tossing it and his tie aside while Lee slipped out of his shoes and discarded the rest of his clothing before returning his attention to Amanda. He kissed her feverishly, one hand caressing her bare back, the other sliding between her legs to stroke her while her hands roamed up his chest, teasing his nipples. "Lee," she gasped tearing her mouth from his when he touched her and threw her head back as she hooked her legs behind his.
"Like that, do you?" he teased as he exerted more pressure.
"Oh, yes," she replied with a deep sigh of pleasure.
"Well, you could have had it sooner if you'd been wearing a skirt," he reminded her with a mischievous grin.
Amanda grasped his butt firmly and demanded in a husky voice, "Enough foreplay. We may not have much time."
"No, we may not," Lee agreed as he gripped her hip with one hand and guided himself into her with the other. He emitted a loud groan as he did so, thrilled a feeling how wet she was for him already. Was it possible that she felt the same way he did?
"Oh, Lee," Amanda cried as he entered her, amazed at how she only felt truly complete when he was inside her. She raised her hips up to meet his as she lay back on the table, arching her back to draw him in deeper.
"Amanda," Lee growled as he began to rock against her, never fully withdrawing from her. He reveled in the feeling of her rising up to meet him, her eagerness for completion rivaling his own. He placed on hand on each of her thighs to drive himself into her deeper and harder. If they were going to die, this is how he wanted to remember her, willingly giving of herself as well as taking from him. "I love being inside you," he murmured as he relentlessly thrust into her, elated that she was there to meet his thrusts every time.
"Feels so good, so, so good," Amanda cried as she was catapulted over the edge. She gripped the side of the table, crying out his name as her climax sent her on a roller coaster ride. She bucked against him as wave after wave of pleasure overtook her.
"Ohhhh," Lee groaned one final time as Amanda's spasms sent him on a roller coaster ride of his own and he erupted within her. He rode out the wave of his release, trying to give her everything he could until he had no more to give. He tugged on her hands and pulled her into his arms, peppering her face with kisses. He cradled her to him and in that moment, wanted nothing more than to tell her how he really felt about her in case he never got another chance. He pulled back for a moment and was about to do just that until they were both startled by the sound of voices. "Shit!" he cursed as he scrambled to retrieve their clothing, both of them hurrying to get dressed again while he sighed in frustration that the moment was lost.
Lee took a deep breath as the guy on the other side of the door gaped at him in disbelief. He couldn't believe that he was doing this himself, but he figured if he couldn't work up the nerve to tell Amanda how he felt about her, he could at least do this small thing to show her what his true feelings were.
"Are you serious?" The guy on the other side of the door said staring incredulously at his ID.
"Yeah, I'm serious. Dead serious," he barked as he held his ID closer to the surly man's face. "This isn't a Cracker Jack prize, Pal. This is the federal government and let me tell you something, I've got a friend at the IRS. Now, Amanda King is a very, very good friend of mine and if you don't show up at Jamie King's birthday party like you're supposed to, I'll make damn sure you get audited all the way back to '67. You get me?"
"Yeah, yeah, I get it," the other man acquiesced as he held up his hands in surrender.
"Good," Lee stated with a firm nod and put his ID back into his pocket.
"Very, very good friend, huh?" the other man repeated. "There something between you?"
"What?" Lee was startled by the question, so similar to Billy's when he'd protested not being able to go after Amanda.
"Well, I figure there must be or why else would a fed like you give a crap about an eight-year-old's birthday party." He gave a shrug as if it didn't matter to him one way or another, but that was the only thing that he thought made sense.
Lee jabbed a finger into the guy's chest and demanded, "You just make sure you show up to her kid's party and keep your big, red nose out of the rest of it, huh?"
"Sure, whatever." He shrugged again and shook his head.
"Good," Lee repeated with a firm nod as he sauntered away with a satisfied smile on his face. It was rather funny to him that this was the second time he'd been asked if there was something between then this week. As he walked away and thought of the events that had occurred over the past few days, he had to conclude that, yes, there was something between him and Amanda. What that something was and what it might turn out to be in the future... Well, he didn't yet know that. Only time would tell, but he could no longer deny that there definitely was...something between them...something that kept him coming back for more.