Written by Scooplet
Concept by Cheryl and Scooplet
Scarecrow and Mrs. King characters are the property of Shoot the Moon Productions and Warner Bros. Television. No copyright infringement intended. Not for commercial use. Sarah Stetson and Matt Granger are my creation, however, so please respect my right to claim ownership of them—I do not authorize permission to use them in stories not authored by me.
I Know He Watches Me, Part One
"This is more like it, my dear." Jamal was practically on top of her, his grin menacing and his intentions obvious. It was a risk. Jamal could overpower her, and she did not want to think of what he would do then. Judging by the gunfire across the street, she was lucky he had not already killed her and made a run for it. He reached for the front of her blouse, but Sarah did not give him a chance to touch her.
With all of her strength, she brought her knee up to Jamal's groin, doubling him over with pain. She waited, knowing that he would be all the more angry and come at her again. Indeed, he soon straightened, his face purple with rage. He moved toward her, one hand protecting himself. Sarah quickly kicked the hand away with her left foot and at the same time she struck his groin hard with the heel of her right boot. He screamed and fell to the floor, writhing in agony. Seeing that he was disabled, she rolled away, swung her feet off of the couch, and stood, painfully shrugging the jacket back onto her shoulders as she did.
If only she could get her hands in front of her. But they had bound her wrists too tightly to try to squeeze her arms around her legs and to her front.
Jamal lay groaning on the floor, but it would not be long before he was after her again. She kicked Jamal several times, aiming at his ribs, kidneys, and head. She was strong for her size, but she knew she could not cause him any real injury. However, he was definitely in pain, and would react like a wounded animal if he was able to get to his feet. She needed to make sure he would not follow her back down the passageway.
Kicking powerfully at the door, Matt heard it shudder. It flew violently inward after the second kick. The rifle at his shoulder, he pointed it into the room and peered cautiously inside, listening. Except for the noise from the agents in the basement of the house, he heard nothing. Looking around the room, he could see no obvious exit besides the one where he stood.
"Where's the entrance to this passageway, Phillip?" Matt felt his professional demeanor unraveling. He had been on countless operations and never lost his cool under pressure. But this was different. Where was Sarah? What had Jamal done with her? What had happened in this room? His eyes went to the belt lying discarded on the floor.
"Matt." Rene shook Matt's shoulder, helping him refocus. "Let's look for a door. One could be hidden in this paneling—feel along the chair rail."
Phillip's voice came over the Bluetooth. "Look around for a door or something. There was a back way out of the room—probably where the closet once was."
Jamal would not budge. He was deadweight, possibly having blacked out. Fighting more dizziness, Sarah pushed him with her boot one more time, but she lost her balance, falling onto the couch. A stabbing pain shot through her shoulder and upper body, but fearful of rousing Jamal, she bit her lip and did not cry out. She lay still, waiting for the pain to ebb and her dizziness to go away. Her shoulder was probably not severely hurt, but the position of her hands, bound behind her back, was aggravating her old injury. The dizziness worried her. She sent up a wordless prayer for the baby in her womb as she lay there, recovering.
After a moment, she stood and this time, managed to push Jamal up against the wall. Then she ran around the couch and shoving as hard as she could, slammed it against the wall so Jamal would be stuck behind it. If he did fully regain consciousness, he would have trouble moving at first.
Running back to the passageway door, Sarah turned her back to it and frantically fumbled with the latch. She was about to give up and attempt to move it with her teeth when she felt it suddenly release. She stumbled backward into the dimly lit passageway as the door closed after her.
"Search the inside walls, man. There's probably some sort of latch." As Matt felt along the chair rail, trying to find a break in the wall's paneling, Rene did the same.
"Take it easy, Granger." Ryan Johnson attempted to offer some kind of consolation to Matt as he helped search for the door. "Phillip will probably send a team across the street any time now."
Matt ignored the other men, trying to calm himself. He said another prayer, desperate this time. Precious minutes were ticking past, and they still had not found a door.
"Here it is!"
Matt could have kicked himself. "I was just checking that part of the wall."
While Ryan updated the bullpen, Rene opened the latch. Once the door was open, he stepped back and gestured to Matt. "You take the lead."
Sarah heard her own sharp intake of breath as the door clicked shut. The steps in the passageway were impossible to see now. Jamal had turned out the lights, but she had no idea where the switch was. She felt along the wall, but there was no switch. Where had it been? She heard a moan on the other side of the door. There was no time to waste. After saying another quick prayer, she shuffled her feet slowly away from the door, leaning against the wall so her hands could guide her. After a few feet she found the steps and slowly felt her way down them, hanging tenuously to the railing with her encumbered hands.
Matt and Rene positioned themselves on either side of the door, their guns drawn. Once the door's latch had released, Matt slowly pushed it open. Unsure who might be on the other side, he aimed his mirror through the doorway.
No one was there. They opened the door wide, and as the light from the room shown into the passageway, Matt noted a black cloth on the floor. As he picked it up and examined it, he detected the unmistakable scent of his wife's shampoo.
"It's a hood," Johnson offered.
"Yeah, and Sarah was wearing it—I can smell her perfume. Come on." Matt pulled his night vision goggles down over his eyes and raised his rifle to his shoulder once again. Rene and Ryan followed suit, each man stepping silently down the staircase.
Step by step, Sarah made her way down the staircase. Grateful for her flats, she curled her foot over the edge of each stair, carefully checking for the next step. When she tried to hold onto the railing, the duct tape bit mercilessly into her skin. After a few stairs, she stopped gripping the railing and simply used her hands for balance. Tension radiated throughout her body as she concentrated on keeping herself upright.
Coming to the landing, she stumbled and almost fell headlong down the next flight, but she righted herself and shuffled to the edge of the next stair. Soon she was inching her way down again.
"Did you hear that?" Rene whispered in Matt's ear. "There's someone out there."
"It's pitch dark in here," Ryan joined in, his voice also a whisper. "Let's hope they don't have night vision glasses. We'll have the upper hand."
"Or they could have a flashlight and blind us," Matt warned, his voice low. "Silence and hand signals now. We don't know who it is."
"Granger, the team in the house is making enough noise to cover us."
Matt imagined Ryan was rolling his eyes behind his goggles. However, he had been in similar situations in Afghanistan. They could not take any chances. "We don't know that. Shhh."
The stairs ended and soon the men were making their way down the damp passageway. They quickened their steps on the flat surface.
The staircase had seemed interminable, but finally Sarah reached the bottom. Her shoulder throbbed now, and she paused to lean against the wall. Moisture seeped through her jacket and blouse, chilling her, but the cramp in her back and shoulder eased. Now that she was on flat ground, the tension in her body began to subside as well. She listened for sounds from the house above her, but it was silent.
Ahead of her, she heard the muffled sounds of the team of agents that had invaded Jamal's headquarters. But another noise that seemed much closer reached her ears. It was a man's voice, hushed, but clearly not on the other side of the wall.
Perhaps it was someone from the Agency who was actually looking for her. Or perhaps it was one of Jamal's men. Maybe some of them had made it to the passageway. She could not risk being caught. But there was nowhere to hide.
The staircase. It was not much of a hiding place, but she could not go back to the house. If Jamal's men were coming, they would find her there. Worse, they would see what she had done to their leader.
Matt imagined that they must be drawing close to the other safe house. He signaled to the others to slow their steps. They kept their rifles poised at their shoulders, ready to shoot anyone who came into sight. But the long tunnel was empty. A set of stairs loomed in the darkness.
He came to a complete stop, Rene and Ryan just behind him. Holding up a hand, he listened carefully. He could not hear anything at first, but he sensed someone was there. The sounds from the other house had diminished. Perhaps he could hear something if he waited. He froze in place and peered into the darkness. There was no one on the stairs. But it was growing silent in the subterranean corridor. Most of Jamal's team had probably been taken from the house. Now the clean-up crew was probably doing their job, carefully dismantling the equipment.
Johnson moved impatiently, but Rene stilled him.
Several more seconds went by, and Matt knew that he was being foolish. If Jamal had Sarah, he could be doing anything to her at that moment. Perhaps he was loading her into a car and taking her away, or perhaps… He stopped the thought as soon as it entered his mind and listened again. He would make certain no one was there, and then enter the house as soon as they could get up the stairs.
She could not see them in the dark, but they could not see her, either—at least they acted as if they could not. But they were listening. Sarah held her breath. Oh, please just go up the stairs. Perhaps they would turn on a light and be her rescuers. Or perhaps they would go inside in the house and she could run to safety. She would not walk slowly this time.
Matt knew that he had to move forward. Jamal was too cocky to wait this long, doing nothing. If Sarah was in the tunnel, she had to be alone. Signaling to Rene and Ryan, he began taking cautious steps, hoping that the goggles would pick up a human form in the inky blackness under the stairs.
He was almost touching the railing with his elbow when he saw her. He could not make out Sarah's face, but he knew it was her. What he saw made him want to cry, but he knew that was not what his wife needed.
Despite her silence, Sarah knew that the men had seen her—or at least heard her. She drew back, waiting to see what they would do as she heard them approach quietly. If only they would say something. The suspense was unbearable.
Then the lead man came around the stairs. She felt his presence more than saw him. Perhaps it was the faint scent of his after shave—or just the fact that he was her husband—but she was certain of who it was. Immediately she felt the tension leave her.
They spoke simultaneously, and then he was setting his rifle on the floor as his wife was throwing herself awkwardly at him. He straightened just in time to catch her in his arms, gathering her closely against him. "Oh, thank God I found you," he breathed in her ear.
"Sarah, where's Jamal?" Rene kept his voice low.
In answer, Sarah pointed with her chin up the stairs, whispering, "Look behind the couch."
Ryan and Rene exchanged glances and then rushed silently up the stairs, their guns at the ready.
Taking off his goggles, Matt flipped on a flashlight and shone it briefly on Sarah. Reaching for his phone, he began to take photos of her. "I'm sorry, honey. But I have to do this for the report."
"It's okay." Sarah's voice wavered a little as she stood still for Matt.
Pulling his multi-tool from its sheath, he gingerly snipped the tape on Sarah's wrists. His gut clenched when he realized how tightly Sarah had been bound, but he did not say anything to her. Noting the blood on the tape, he left in place, unsure how to remove it without injuring her further.
With her hands free, Sarah was already feeling better. Her shoulders still ached and her muscles were still cramped, but Matt was with her and she knew it was all over. She reached up to hug Matt's neck. "Please just hold me for a moment."
"You don't have to ask." He gathered her close again, relishing the feel of her body against his. She was safe in his arms and Jamal was apparently disabled in the house above them. But as he buried his face in her hair, he did not pick up the fragrance of roses that he had expected—the scent he had detected in the hood they had recovered from the other house. Instead, her hair smelled like a man's after shave. Not his after shave.
He had to know. "Did anyone…did he hurt you?" His hands skimmed over her, noting that despite her disheveled appearance, her clothing, damp from the tunnel, was in place.
"No." Her answer was firm, but he pulled away so he could look in her eyes. The flashlight cast strange shadows on her face, but he could see that she was not hiding anything from him. He placed his hands on her upper arms, and she flinched. At his expression, she clarified, "He talked about doing things to me, but he never got the chance."
Matt uttered an oath under his breath and looking down, shuddered unwillingly. Capturing Jamal was a great breakthrough. But at what cost to his wife or to their unborn child? It had been too close of a call.
Sarah angled her head so she could gain her husband's full attention. "Matt. He never got the chance. I kneed him and kicked him where it counts. He was no longer in the mood by the time I shoved the couch up against him."
"Your arms are sore." He did not say anything about the baby, keeping his anxiety to himself.
"He might have left a couple of bruises, but I think I did more damage to him."
"I hope you're right."
The lights came on and boots could be heard on the stairs above them. It was Rene, and he was no longer trying to be stealthy. "Matt, Sarah. We have Jamal cuffed. You can come on up when you're ready." Rene descended a few more steps and peered over the edge. "I'm impressed, ma'am. You did a number on the jerk." He cast an unreadable expression towards Matt before going back up the stairs.
Reluctantly, Matt released his wife and picked up the rifle before taking Sarah's hand and leading her to the stairs. As they began climbing, Sarah swayed and grabbed for the railing.
Matt caught her with his free arm. "Maybe I should carry you."
"No. Please let me walk up on my own. I don't need your buddies to see me like that."
"But you can hardly walk."
"I'm just exhausted and I probably need to eat."
"Well, at least let me help you." Wrapping his free arm around her waist, Matt supported Sarah the rest of the way up the stairs.
They were nearly at the top when Sarah felt woozy again. "Oh, I don't feel so good." She began to sway, but Matt stopped and held her tightly against him.
In a hushed voice, Matt responded, "It's all this stress on top of the baby…"
Matt's words were cut off by his partner. "Baby?" Rene appeared in the doorway, his eyes as round as saucers. "You two are pregnant?" He stared at Matt accusingly. "Geez, buddy. When were you going to tell me?"
Matt rolled his eyes at his own blunder and hissed, "Not now, Rene. People can hear you. She's only six weeks along."
"Johnson's too busy talking to the NSA peeps. They want to take Jamal in. They already have that guy who impersonated Tarbet. Johnson's got Francine on the line. It's a mess."
"NSA is here?"
"Yep. They were our back up over here." Rene peered at Sarah. "Look, chiquita, you need to sit down. I've seen that face before. I might have something that will help in my pack."
Rene guided them into a kitchen where a few folding chairs had been set up. Sarah could hear Francine's voice coming over a speakerphone and the responding voice of a man—perhaps one of the NSA agents. At least she could not hear Jamal's voice and she would not have to see him again.
Matt sat down close beside Sarah and took the bottle of water and protein bar that Rene offered her. She did not have the energy to protest his hovering. In fact, her hands were trembling and her wrists were sore, so she was glad she did not have to twist the cap off the bottle or open the packaging for the snack.
But Matt was not satisfied with merely helping Sarah eat a snack and drink some water. "Rene. Are there any paramedics on site?"
"Yeah." He regarded Sarah for a moment, his eyes eventually resting on her wrists, and then glanced at Matt meaningfully. "I'll go get them."
"No. Please don't…" Sarah knew her protest was feeble. Both Matt and Rene would not leave her alone until she talked to a paramedic, so it was probably best to accept their assistance.
Once they were alone, Matt tentatively stroked her hair, helping her smooth it down. "Jamal's lucky I was more worried about helping you."
"Jamal was pretty brutal, but it could have been much worse. As usual, you came just in time."
"No, Sarah. You were the one who fought back. Although, if I had been here sooner, you might not be hurting so much right now."
"Trust me, Jamal is hurting worse."
"Thank God you were able to fight back."
"Sparrow." She closed her eyes, but the trembling that had started in her hands had spread to her entire body.
"That's right." Matt removed his jacket and wrapped it around his wife. "Hang on, honey."
Sarah still was not sure how they had managed it; she had been assessed and released by the Agency doctor without her pregnancy being discovered. The paramedics at the safe house had been able to do little beyond urging her to lie down on a gurney for a short time. Matt had said it was a miracle that there seemed to be no lasting effects from the truck ramming Sarah and Grace that afternoon. Sarah knew he had been anxious after hearing that Grace had wondered if Sarah had sustained a head injury.
The protein bar had helped Sarah feel well enough to walk to Rene's car for the ride to the Agency. The Agency's Dr. Fitzgerald checked her for symptoms of a concussion and tsk-tsked over Sarah's shoulder, but by the time he saw her, the pain had mostly diminished. Once again she was told to rest the shoulder and avoid any strain on it. She wondered if the look of relief on Matt's face was for her relative lack of injuries or the fact that only Rene had learned of her pregnancy that day.
The nurse on duty removed the duct tape using some kind of lubricant. The cuts were minor, but she used a gentle touch as she washed the area and applied a dressing to one of the worst abrasions.
While she was waiting to be released, Rene had shown up at the infirmary with another snack bar and more water for Sarah. At Matt's surprised expression, he only said, "It's long past dinner." When he handed her the snack, he leaned in and said, "Can't have you getting a bout of morning sickness while you're here."
Then he had turned on his heel and headed back the way he had come, claiming, "I covered for you at the debriefing, man."
"You can't 'cover' for me, Enriquez," Matt had to shout after him.
Rene stopped and walked backwards as he talked. "Well, since I went first, you might not have to talk as long."
Fortunately, they were debriefed at the same time in separate rooms, so an hour and a half later Sarah found herself waiting in the hallway as Matt finished his session. It was there that Lee and Amanda, escorted by a security guard, found her. The security guard did not stay, and Sarah was grateful. Her father was holding two bags in his hand and Sarah caught the aroma of ginger chicken. The second granola bar had long since done its work. Now Sarah was so hungry she was nauseous. "Oh, you remembered."
"Your father never forgets details. When we heard you were in debriefing, he called in the order at that Japanese restaurant you like and hustled us out of the house so we could be here when you were done." Amanda sat down next to her daughter, examining her wrist surreptitiously as she took her hand. "Are you okay, sweetheart?"
Tired as she was, Sarah was aware of her father, his eyes narrowed, watching her and waiting for her response. She needed to put their minds at rest. "I'm fine. He was disgusting, but I got away from him before anything could happen. Thankfully he wasn't able to go anywhere before the agents could take care of him."
Lee and Amanda's eyes met and Lee took a seat next to Sarah. He opened the bag and took out napkins, chopsticks, and a food container. "You should eat this, Pumpkin. When your mother was—" He glanced up at one of the cameras in the hallway and seemed to decide not to mention Sarah's expectant condition out loud. "Your mother practically fainted on me a couple of times back in the day, and you look a little washed out right now."
Having no trouble interpreting her father's meaning, Sarah smiled ruefully. But it was comforting to have her parents there taking care of her, and Sarah felt some of the tension ease as she took small bites of first the rice, then the chicken.
"Francine didn't have much time to talk, but she told us you gave Jamal a bit of a beating." Lee's eyes were on Sarah, but then he turned to gaze at the wall. "She said he gave you a few bruises, too."
"I suppose it has to be in the report. They aren't bad, Daddy. I guess you probably can't tell me what happened to him. There were NSA agents."
Lee turned back to Sarah. "You know we aren't cleared for that information now."
"I also know you, Daddy. If you don't know at the moment, you'll find out what happened to Jamal."
He laughed a little and eyed Amanda as Sarah bent her head to take another bite.
"Well, if it isn't Lara Croft."
All three of them looked up simultaneously to see Phillip approaching with a grin on his face.
"Um, I'm not sure I'd make that comparison, but thanks anyway, Phillip."
"Sure you could. From what I hear, you kicked Jamal's bootie."
"It was all adrenaline."
"Look, I'm not sure who Lara Croft is, but I'm just glad Sarah is in one piece." Amanda patted Sarah's knee.
"I heard you and Jamie are responsible for helping find her." Lee regarded Phillip with approval. Sarah saw gratefulness in his expression, too.
"Well, Matt and Rene had to do the dirty work—I guess Johnson backed them up."
"Still, nice job, son. Speaking of Jamie, where is he?"
"He's still working on follow up. Might be an all-nighter, the way things are going." Phillip walked over to the camera that was fixed on the wall above his head. He reached up and fiddled with it for a moment before turning back to the group, smiling. "There. Now we can talk freely."
Staring at her brother, Sarah knew instinctively that he had been evasive. Her parents probably knew why. Now that they were not being monitored, she planned to find out exactly what was going on. "Where is Jamal right now?"
Phillip glanced away, avoiding her gaze. "Oh, probably in lock-up."
"NSA lock-up? Phillip, tell me where he is."
After hesitating for a moment, Phillip grabbed a chair, swung it around, and straddling it, sat down backwards on the chair so he could face Sarah. He placed his elbows on the chair back and leaned toward the three of them. "Look, I shouldn't be telling you this, but it will come out eventually. Jamal has disappeared. Jamie is doing his best to get all the details, but he only knows the bare facts for now. He and Francine are…"
Before Phillip could finish, he was interrupted by a hushed, but angry voice. "What the hell? Jamal disappeared? NSA had him. Sarah risked her life to get the creep in custody." While Phillip had been speaking, a weary-looking Matt had emerged from the debriefing room. Now he was livid, his gray eyes blazing an almost blue color.
Turning towards Matt, Phillip put out his hand in a calming gesture. "Hang on, Granger. He's still in custody. But we don't know exactly who has him. NSA appears to have passed him off. Johnson was supposed to stick to him like glue, but NSA blocked his access to Jamal. By the time Francine could intervene, he was no longer at the facility where he and Johnson had originally gone. Francine was pretty steamed, too. She tried to reach Gil Barclay, but it took a while. Then he gave her really vague answers and told her to call Johnson back to the Agency.
Lee and Amanda had been staring at each other while Phillip related the details. Sarah guessed that this was news to them, too. She did not have to wait long to find out for certain. She watched as her father stood and began pacing.
"This is what I was afraid of. There are a handful of intelligence agencies who have been looking for Jamal since long before your mother and I retired. He was on a list. More than one of these agencies—at least the American ones—will be happy to use Sarah's abduction as further defense for their actions."
Matt had been listening silently, but now he broke in. He spoke tiredly. "As in, we won't have to worry about Jamal again—if we ever hear what happened to him."
Seeing that Matt was no longer ready to rage against him again, Phillip relaxed in his seat. "My guess is that it was the Brits. But don't bother asking Emily Farnsworth who it was. This was probably handled at the topmost level. We aren't even supposed to know that the people who were asked to take care of the guy exist."
"Oh, I think Emily will know what happened, despite what you're saying. I'll be on the phone with her first thing in the morning."
"I just wish we knew for certain what had happened to him." Amanda watched Matt as he took Lee's seat and wrapped an arm around Sarah.
Lee stopped his pacing and stood by Amanda, placing a hand on her shoulder. "I'll make it my goal to find out." He gestured towards Phillip, Matt, and Sarah.
"I don't doubt you will, Lee. For now, I'm going home to my wife and daughter, although I doubt Jessica is still up." Phillip reached down and touched Sarah's arm. "I'm glad you're safe and sound, Sis. I listened in on enough of the debriefing to hear how things went down. I'm really proud of you."
Surprised by the uncharacteristic display coming from her brother, Sarah almost could not respond. But she managed, "Thanks, Phillip. I know you and Jamie helped Matt and the others find me."
"You were the one who disabled Jamal. We were just doing what we always do." He grew sober. "But Jamie and I agree that despite your boss operative skills, we'd rather you worked in Analysis. It was a close call tonight." To ease the tension, he smiled and leaned first towards Sarah and then towards Amanda, giving each of them a kiss on the cheek. "Hopefully we'll see everyone at our house on Sunday." He turned to the camera on the wall and fiddled with it once again. He turned back to the little group huddled on the chairs. "Funny how that camera went on the blink just as I showed up here."
After he had walked off, Matt turned to the others. "Just like that, we're back to the family get-togethers?"
"Just like that." Lee smirked. "Welcome to the world of mixing spooks with family."
Matt smiled vaguely at his in-laws, but expression did not reach his eyes. "Hey, Lee. Hey, Amanda. I see you've taken care of Sarah." He turned to her. "You look better, sweetie."
Lee held out a bag to Matt. "I have a cheeseburger in this bag with your name on it, son. But it might be a little cold now. Sorry."
"Oh, this will hit the spot. Thanks." Settling into the chair, Matt leaned over to kiss Sarah on her cheek before taking a burger from the bag.
"Are you two released to go home?" Amanda grinned a little as she watched Matt demolish his food. She leaned around Sarah to get his attention. "There's a second burger in there."
Now Matt's grin was genuine. "You get the prize for best mother-in-law ever." After reaching in the bag for the second burger, Matt replied, "In answer to your question, yes. Francine says she wants us here at nine a.m. Let's hope Richard Wong doesn't call and wonder where Sarah is, because we're not coming in sooner." He smiled sheepishly. "And thanks for the burgers. I think Sarah was hungry, too." He stared down at the empty food container in her hand.
Lee took the container from Sarah and watched as her head slowly drooped. He turned to Matt. "It looks like you better take her home now, or she'll have to sleep here tonight."
Soon the four of them were making their way to the parking garage. Matt's arm was wrapped around Sarah, who leaned heavily on him as they walked. He had helped her into her seat and was about to shut the door when Lee stopped him. "Listen, Sarah—both of you—I'm probably the last person who would normally say this, but I think you should make an appointment with Kirby. What you went through today, Sarah… Well, it was your first time on a tough case and you're still a freshman agent. It might hit you like a ton of bricks at some point."
"I'm still numb, Daddy."
"And you're tired, sweetheart," Amanda chimed in.
"It was really good of you both to come see me and to bring us dinner."
"I guess it's a good thing Jamie didn't call us until it was over," Amanda rejoined.
"I'm glad he was able to find me."
"He said it was your surveillance work that helped him."
Sarah tried to answer, but she interrupted herself with a yawn.
"I'll let you two get home and get to bed." Lee shut the door to the car as Matt walked around to the driver's door.
"Thanks for the burgers, Lee and Amanda. And thanks for being there tonight."
"Good night, Matt." Amanda regarded her son-in-law fondly. "I'm glad you're both safe."
Lee glanced at Amanda and responded gruffly, "We wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else tonight. We're proud of you both."
End of Part One
Part Two coming soon!