Disclaimer: "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" is copyrighted to Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions. I 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 tale is set about eight months or so after the mystery marriage. I know many of my loyal readers may wonder why I'm starting a new story when I have so many others going, but this is an idea that just wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it. I promise that I am not abandoning my other tales and will keep updating them as well. Thanks to Khell for reading my rough draft of this and providing much-needed feedback.
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
Billy Melrose sat in his office becoming more worried by the minute. It wasn't like his best two agents to not show up to work and not call, especially Amanda King. She was the picture of responsibility. He knew they'd been working security the night before for the Lithuanian ambassador's reception, but the last time they'd checked in, everything was fine and there was nothing threatening on the horizon, so what could have happened? Where were they? Francine entered his office and he perked up. "Anything?"
Francine shook her head. "No answer at either place. I even tried calling Amanda's ex to see if he'd heard from her and he said he hadn't talked to her since last Sunday when he dropped the kids at the house after his weekend visitation with them."
"They were supposed to be here two hours ago," Billy said slamming his meaty fist on his desk. "What the hell is going on?"
"I wish I knew," Francine said worriedly. "If it were just Lee, I wouldn't worry so much because we both know how he can be, but Amanda..."
"Yeah, I know," Billy said. "Did you check with message relay?"
"Twice," Francine answered.
"Check again," He said.
"Billy," Francine protested.
"Here me out, Francine," Her boss replied. "This time, don't just check for messages from Lee or Amanda, but from anyone who knows either of them, her kids, her mother, his uncle, one of his contacts, anyone! Check incoming calls on the IFF line. Someone has to know something about where they are." He rose from his desk and added, "I'm going to personally check his place, then hers for any signs of foul play."
"You really think something's happened to them?" Francine queried.
"I don't know, but I'm damn sure going to find out. Now, go!"
"Yes, Sir," Francine said and hurried to follow her boss' orders. When she reached message relay, she found that Mrs West had indeed called on the IFF line to inform them that Amanda would not be coming into work as she was admitted to the hospital after being attacked and that the local police were investigating. "Billy!" she called, but he was already gone. She grabbed her purse and headed out the door to go head to the hospital to see if she could find any clues as to what had happened, knowing that Billy had planned to go to Lee's place first. She also knew that he'd be unable to go to the hospital himself without exposing the agency since Amanda's mother knew who he was. She figured they'd catch up later. Besides, Mrs. West's phone call had only told them what had happened to Amanda, but what about Lee? What had happened to him? Where was he?
Lee paced relentlessly back and forth across the tiny room, his frustration growing by the minute, his worry for his wife's safety increasing with every second. He should be by her side making sure that she was okay. Instead, he was stuck, trapped, trapped by people who couldn't possibly fathom what she meant to him. As he continued to pace the room, he ran a hand through his hair and let out a deep sigh. They'd see her hurt and hadn't really cared, had been more interested in subduing and capturing him. They hadn't even bothered to check to see if Amanda was okay other than checking her pulse to make sure that she was still alive. If he could just get his hands on the bastards who had done this to her, but no, there was no escape from his prison. He'd tried, tried to plead with his captors to see him free, tried to play on their mercy, tried to explain what she meant to him, all except for the fact that she was his wife.
Why hadn't he just come right out and said it? He heaved a deep sigh. He knew why. They'd been keeping this secret for eight months now, a secret they both now regretted keeping and they'd talked about coming clean. They'd even tried to come up with a plan for doing just that, it always ended the same way, they kept their silence because they just couldn't figure out a good way to drop the bomb and hurt everyone that they cared about.
How did he always manage to get into these messes? Maybe it was time to get out of this business altogether and shit like this would stop happening. Amanda would stop being hurt and maybe the two of them could finally live something of a normal life with their family. His tortured thoughts then turned to the family. What must they be thinking when Amanda hadn't come home yet again?
"Damn, this is a nightmare," he said aloud to nobody there as he halted in his pacing and tightly gripped the bars of the cell in which he was imprisoned. He had to do something. "Hey!" He shouted in the hopes of getting one of his captor's attentions. "Let me the hell out of here! You don't know what you're doing!" He paused for a moment waiting for a response. When none came, he began pacing again, finally throwing himself onto the cot in the corner angrily. "Hang on, Amanda. Just hang on," he whispered.
"Lee," Dotty heard Amanda mutter in her sleep as she sat worriedly by her daughter's bedside, gripping her hand tightly. She'd only just been allowed to see her a few minutes before. Until then she'd been relegated to the waiting room while the doctors examined her injured daughter and the police hovered around. She still hadn't been allowed to see her even once the doctors had finished as the police were questioning them about her condition. She guessed she could understand because they were trying to gather as much evidence as they could to find Amanda's attacker, but still it had grated on her nerves. Patience was not one of her strong suits. While she was happy she'd finally been allowed into her daughter's room, she was still irked that she didn't know what was going on. All she knew was that her daughter had been attacked, but still no word on her prognosis and she was still unconscious.
"Mrs. West," A voice behind her said. She turned to find the doctor there obviously having finished with the police. "Could I have a word with you?"
"Yes, of course," Dotty said releasing her daughter's hand and following the doctor out of the room. She hated to leave Amanda's side, but she wanted answers and she wanted them yesterday. "Does this mean you're finally going to tell me just what on earth happened?" She folded her arms across her chest and stared down the doctor waiting for his reply.
"Yes, I'm very sorry for the delay, but when a violent crime such as this occurs, it's important to preserve potential evidence so that the police can solve your daughter's case."
"I can appreciate that. I definitely wouldn't want to see whoever did this to her get away with it, but right now I'm more interested in finding out how she is, what her prognosis is-"
"I understand," Mrs. West," the doctor said, cutting her off. He's been around enough hysterical family members that he knew it was best not to let them get too off-topic or they'd never get to the point. "Why don't we got sit down?" He gestured toward the chair on the opposite side of the corridor.
"I don't want to sit down, Doctor..."she paused to read the name badge clipped to his lapel, "...McCammon. I want to know what's going on with my daughter."
"She's suffering from some severe head trauma. It appears that whoever attacked slammed her head against the passenger window of her car. We removed several shards of glass from the back of her head. She's been unconscious since she was brought it."
"Head trauma," Dotty said with a quaver in her voice. That was never a good sign.
"The good news is that her vitals are normal, but with the head injury, she may be unconscious for a good long time, while her body works to repair the damage. It's just going to take time. We've been running some tests to determine how bad the damage is and she's got a concussion..." He paused for a moment and said, "At this point, we don't know when or if she'll wake up and there's not much more that we can do to treat her for it." Dotty nodded and began to turn back toward her daughter's room, but was stopped by the doctor's voice. "Mrs. West, there's more." When Dotty turned back to face him again. "There is another reason that I spent so long with the police."
"More? What could be worse than a coma she m ay never wake up from?" Dotty queried as tears pricked her eyes.
Dr. McCammon hesitated, knowing this wouldn't be easy for his patient's mother to her. "It...Um...It appears..." He paused, a little disconcerted by Dotty's piercing glare. "There is evidence that she was sexually assaulted as well."
"Oh, God," Dotty cried her hands flying to her mouth as the tears that had formed in her eyes began to fall.
Billy arrived a Lee's apartment building to find Metro PD cars lined up outside. He quickly exited his own vehicle, extracting his badge as he did so. He approached the nearest officer and introduced himself. "I'm William Melrose. I'm with the agency. Two of my agents are missing, one of whom lives here."
"Go on in," the officer said, "You'll want to talk to detective Bledsoe."
"Thank you," Billy replied as he made his way into the building. As he exited the elevator a few minutes later and walked down the hall toward Lee's apartment, his eyes were drawn to the yellow police tape strung across the doorway. His badge still in hand, he displayed it to the officer at the door. "Detective Bledsoe?" he questioned.
The officer looked at Billy's badge and gestured with his thumb to a tall, black woman inside the apartment. Billy nodded, ducked under the tape and entered the apartment where a forensic team was assembled. The living room was a bit of a mess, Lee's tuxedo jacket and bowtie on the floor and the lamp knocked off of the end table next to his couch. Billy cringed slightly at the sight. He approached the detective, his badge still held aloft, "Detective Bledsoe, William Melrose, I'm with the agency, What can you tell me about what happened here.?"
"What's it to you?"She said icily. "This is a simple crime of passion. This is hardly agency business. Now, if I get word that somebody's trying to steal the formula for the latest biological weapon, I'll give you guys a call, so why don't you go back to your nice comfortable office and push some more papers around? That's what you guys are good at, isn't it?"
"I'm afraid it is agency business," Billy replied. "One of my agents lives here. He and his partner didn't report for work today. I'm afraid that they're missing."
"This guy, Stetson?" She said, her eyes narrowing fixing Billy with an icy glare then asked coolly, "He's one of yours?"
"Yes, Ma'am," Billy answered politely not a bit intimated by her frosty demeanor. He'd seen a lot worse in his thirty years at the agency.
"Then I suggest you get your legal team involved 'cause he's gonna' need them," Detective Bledsoe said hotly.
"I'm afraid I don't understand," Billy said.
"Your boy, Stetson. He's not missing. He's under arrest..." she replied, "...for the assault and rape of Amanda King."