Disclaimer: This story is based on characters copyrighted by Warner Brothers and Shoot the
Moon Productions. This story is meant for enjoyment purposes only and cannot be redistributed
without permission from the author. I retain the rights to the plot, not the characters. No
infringement is intended.
Date Written: October-November 2000
Thank you, Andrea, for the terrific title! And for your suggestions and encouragement.
Synopsis: Another romantic predicament for our beloved couple. Filler scene for "The Legend of
Das Geisterschloss." What might have happened after Lee and Amanda jumped to safety in the
lake surrounding the castle.

by Linda
(email: smkfanforever@hotmail.com)

Lee and Amanda were soaked to the skin, but at least they were safe for the moment. They had
jumped from the terrace of the castle into the lake below, fortunately without incident. Lee's
jacket hung from a branch of a nearby tree. His white dress shirt was unbuttoned and he was
removing his soggy shoes and socks. Amanda was wringing out her shoes while Lee grumbled
about the two goons who had lain in wait on the castle grounds, forcing them to make the jump to
safety. The two forlorn spies looked a little the worse for wear.

To make matters worse, they were no closer to finding Emily Farnsworth, the lettered clues she
had provided through her sketches still a mystery to them. The Brussels talks were set to begin in
less than 24 hours. They had to get back to their car before darkness set in or it was likely they
wouldn't be able to locate it till morning. A night in the dark woods dressed in wet clothing did
not sound appealing.

The castle was quite some distance from the town in a very isolated location. Lee had parked the
car off the road so as not to be noticed by anyone. That had been a wasted strategy. He and
Amanda then had hiked up to the castle grounds and rowed the little boat for a short distance in
the lake toward the ground level entrance to the castle.

Lee and Amanda were able to find the car after a short hike. Finally. It would be good to get
back to their hotel and change into dry clothing. Lee tried to start the car. Nothing. Once again.
Still nothing. He swore and slammed his hand into the steering wheel before running it roughly
through his hair. Would nothing go right today? He made a third attempt to start the car, but it
still would not engage. He knew there was plenty of gas in the tank. He exited the vehicle,
slamming the car door in his anger, and opened the hood to see if anything looked amiss. Sure
enough, there were wires sticking up where none should be. Lee looked around. He wasn't
aware that they had been followed, but that would certainly explain how their vehicle had become
disabled and why the goons were waiting for them at the castle entrance.

He looked heavenward questioningly, then turned toward Amanda who had been standing very
quietly next to him, wisely realizing that this was her best course of action for the moment. "Well,
this is great! Just great! I should be glad that this day is almost over because I don't know how
much more of it I can take. However, I'm qualifying that with a "should" because here we are
sitting in a car that won't run, miles from town, nowhere near a phone, with darkness fast
approaching. This has not been one of my better days. Oh, and don't let me forget to add that
we both look like drowned rats." He took a deep breath and stared hopelessly into the engine of
the car.

When his tirade ended, Amanda said in a soft voice, "Well it's sure good we had that terrific lunch
about mid-afternoon, because at least we aren't hungry."

Neither spoke for a moment, and then they turned to look at each other, both starting to laugh at
the same time. Lee put his hands on her upper arms, and pulled her over into a friendly bear hug.
They were laughing at Lee's tirade, which had suspiciously resembled Amanda's prattling, the
absurdity of the situation they found themselves in, Amanda's always optimistic view of the
situation, and their "wet look" appearance. If they had planned for things to go wrong, they
couldn't have done a better job.

Lee released her and they both had difficulty turning serious once again.

"Well, my dear," Lee began with mock seriousness, "I was getting a little tired of our luxurious
rooms and those comfortable beds at the hotel, weren't you? I thought it would be fun if we
could camp in the car overnight."

Amanda took up her part of the banter. "You know, you hear so much about German
engineering these days. I think it might be a good idea to see if their cars are as comfortable as
they are well-designed. I suggest we give it a try."

They looked at each other and laughed again.

"Say, Amanda, I'm really sorry about this situation "

Amanda shook her head emphatically and laid a gentle hand on his arm. "Lee, none of this is your
fault. Let's just make the best of it, and then tomorrow we should be able to get help from a
passing motorist. You know that caf‚ would've been closed by the time we got back to town.
So there really wasn't anything much more we could've accomplished tonight anyway."

"Yeah, but it would've been nice to shower and change into dry clothes."

"That's for sure. This sweater is so water-logged, it feels like it weighs ten pounds."

Lee had a sudden thought. "You know, that guy at the car rental place said there was an
emergency kit in the trunk. I wonder what's in it," he said as he headed for the trunk.

"Yeah, I remember. That was the extra fee they charged us for that you argued with him about
since you wouldn't have to use it, but he said it wasn't optional and is included with all rental
vehicles. You thought it was outrageous."

"Yes, I did. Well let's just take a look at what we got for our money."

He opened the trunk to reveal the usual spare tire, jack, and a few assorted tools. Surprisingly he
also found a blanket, a flashlight, a jug of bottled water, and an unopened box of crackers. Not
worth the extra fee they had been charged, but a welcome sight nevertheless.

Lee said, "Since it appears we're camping out tonight, we might as well get settled. Why don't
you wrap yourself in this blanket so you can take off your ten-pound sweater. It might dry by
morning if we hang it up."

"Sounds like a plan." Amanda went behind a nearby tree to remove her wet things and
reappeared minutes later wrapped in the blanket. Lee had removed his jacket and dress shirt and
hung them over a branch to dry. He hung her slacks and sweater on another tree branch. His own
pants were a lightweight fabric and were nearly dry already. Socks were next to be thrown over
the branch, and shoes were arranged to catch the slight breeze. Lee went to sit down under the

Amanda felt a little self-conscious in the blanket. Even though she was covered from head to toe,
knowing she was only wearing her underwear beneath the blanket was a bit unnerving. She was
also a little embarrassed since a totally drenched Lee was walking around without his shirt. It
didn't seem to bother him, and of course he was trying to dry off. She remembered that time long
ago when they had first posed as a married couple in the Betsy Ross Estates subdivision. That
first night together he had also casually removed his shirt while she was in the room. Even then
her feelings for Lee Stetson were beginning to blossom, and she remembered her uneasiness at
seeing his bare chest. He brought emotions to the surface that she hadn't felt since her marriage
had ended. Lee considered her a nuisance at that time, someone he was forced to work with. So
he couldn't fathom that she might have other feelings towards him. That night they had the first
of many "who gets the bed" arguments. Now she knew that Lee considered her a friend and
partner. Their relationship had come a long way. At times she found it difficult to conceal her
feelings for him. Mostly though, she was happy just to be with him and accepted the status quo.
Being with him without him returning her love was preferable to not being with him at all.

As Amanda continued to observe her handsome partner, she stifled a giggle as she noticed his
normally perfect hair sticking up every which way on his head. She knew he would think to comb
it in a minute, but for the moment it was quite amusing.

Lee must have been having similar thoughts. "We make quite the dashing pair it seems," he
laughed. "Come on, sit down over here. Were you serious about not being hungry? Because if
you are, I'm sure these stale crackers and water would be just what the doctor ordered."

She smiled and began to gingerly walk over to him. She had to be careful not to trip on the
blanket, and she needed both hands to hold the blanket closed since it was covering her entire
body. When Lee realized this, he went over to help her. After a couple of slow steps, Lee
scooped her up, blanket and all, and carried her over to the grassy spot where he had been seated.
He helped situate her on the ground next to him. Her eye make-up had run to leave little black
smudges around her eyes, and her normally curly locks were plastered flat against her head. But
her wet appearance did nothing to dampen Amanda's beauty in the appreciative eyes of her

Amanda was surprised by his action, but was grateful for his assistance. "No, I'm fine. Lunch
was extraordinary. The food here is incredible. I'll probably gain five pounds by the time I get

"That pastry you had for dessert might account for two of those pounds," he teased.

If she had a free hand, she would have swatted him. Instead she made a face at him and he
laughed. He thought how remarkable Amanda was. She always managed to counteract his bad
moods till he could look on the bright side again. She was really good for him. He had to agree
with Billy on that one.

They again discussed the clues Emily had left, trying to piece together the puzzle in hopes of
finding her tomorrow. Darkness began to descend as they talked, but neither was really aware of
it. When they came to a dead end with their discussion of Emily and the Brussels talks, Amanda
realized how tired she was. It had been a very active day to say the least. She stifled a yawn.

Lee teased her again, "I guess there's no arguing about who gets the bed tonight, huh?"

Amanda threw him a look. As her eyes fell once again to his chest, she thought out loud. "You
know, Lee, it's starting to get chilly and it'll be cold by morning. You can't sleep like that. Will
you check to see if any of the clothes are dry yet?"

Lee dutifully walked towards the nearby tree where their laundry moved gently in the breeze. She
was right. A chill had come to the air. "My shirt's dry, and your slacks are too. But my jacket is
still wet and your sweater is hopeless." He lifted the dry articles off the branch. "How about you
wear your pants and my shirt. Then we can share the blanket and we should both be warm
enough," he said as he handed her the clothes.

Amanda mentally calculated this rearrangement of clothing pieces. That would still leave Lee
without a shirt. But with her sweater still wet, that did seem like the only logical solution.

"Okay. Would you please turn your back while I change? I don't trust myself walking very far in
this blanket in the dark. With my luck, I'd trip over a tree root or something."

Lee chucked while turning his back.

She let the blanket fall and pulled on her slacks. She then put Lee's shirt around her slender
figure. Of course it was huge on her. The fabric was very thin and she knew her lacy bra would
be visible through it. Thank goodness it was nearly dark. It was somehow comforting to be
wearing the shirt that Lee had worn just hours before. Despite its rinse in the lake, she could still
detect a hint of his aftershave in the fabric. She inhaled its stimulating scent. She turned around

"All right, I'm decent now."

Lee turned back to face her. In the glow from the moon, he could see her slim figure lost in his
shirt. She looked so innocent and vulnerable. Ever since he first met her, he had always felt an
overwhelming sense of protectiveness toward her. He wanted to keep her safe from everything
always. It must be because he was the reason she was in this business in the first place. In a way
it was like repaying her for helping him that first time. That must be it.

He gently took her arms, and began to roll up the sleeves several times until her hands were
visible. He suddenly wanted to pull her close to his body, wondering how she would feel in his
arms. Holding her would be the ultimate protection. But of course he couldn't do that. She
would think he was making a move and get all prickly. He knew that only too well! He
remembered that night at the Cumberland when they were posing as newlyweds. He caressed and
kissed her as part of their cover when they were in public. But as soon as they were behind
closed doors, she made him keep his distance. He was confused about her reaction when he tried
to touch her. She had slapped his hands away with her purse. He was only trying to ease her
mind about sharing the same room; he had not the slightest intention of taking advantage of her.
He understood her moral philosophy and respected it. But she had seemed fearful of his touch.
He had been hurt by that. After all they had been through together, she should have known she
could trust him. He sighed.

They had come a long way since that time. She was his best friend and he was glad they were
partners. They had saved each other's hides more times than he cared to count. And there were
times when he felt... He wasn't sure what these other emotions were which he felt for her. They
were confusing and a little scary. There was the unaccountable jealousy he felt whenever another
man showed her even the slightest bit of attention. It wasn't like they were involved or anything.
He just didn't like other men around his Amanda.

He also found himself wanting to spend time with her outside of work whenever he could. That
might be part of the protectiveness he was feeling toward her. Wanting to know where she was
so he would be assured she was safe. His Corvette seemed to head toward her house on auto-
pilot most evenings. Sometimes he would just peek through her kitchen window to make sure
things were normal in the King household. But when she wasn't busy with the boys, he would tap
on the window and she would come outside to be with him. It was getting tougher to keep
thinking up excuses for these frequent visits. But he found recently that she didn't always ask
why he was there, it was almost like she expected his visits, so he could just enjoy these stolen
moments with her.

He took the blanket from her and they walked to the car together. The familiar nervousness set
in. The nervousness they each felt whenever new "sleeping arrangements" had to be discussed.

Lee began hesitantly, "Ah... Amanda, if we're going to share the blanket, we obviously need to sit
next to each other. Is that okay with you?"

"Perfectly. Do you think the back seat might be better? Then we don't have to worry about the
steering wheel."

"And if we move the front seat forward, that will give us more room in the back." He got into the
front seat and moved the seat up as far forward as it would go. Then they both settled into the
back seat of the car. They tried various configurations trying to get comfortable with nothing
much to support their heads. The best way would seem for them to each take a corner so they
could lean into the corner of the seat for support. The only problem with this was that the blanket
would then not reach between them.

"Amanda, we've got to try to make the best of this. Would you mind sitting right next to me? I
could lean into the corner and you could lean against me. We'll also be warmer if we stay close
together. Okay?"

"Good idea," she said with a slight unsteadiness in her voice. She would be leaning against his
bare skin. Huddled under a blanket with him. All night. She shivered a little and her heart started
to race, but she determined to get her emotions under control.

So they got settled against the back seat. Amanda put a layer of the blanket against the back of
the seat for Lee to lean against. She then sat next to him, not wanting to make the first move.
Lee gently turned her towards him and encircled her in his arms, pulling her against his chest. She
gathered both edges of the blanket around them and tucked the edges in against their bodies. She
rested her head and hands against his warm chest. She felt like they were wrapped in a cocoon.

She hesitated to relax against him since they were skin to skin. But he re-arranged himself slightly
to get more comfortable, and his arms around her felt so good. Slowly she allowed herself to
relax and leaned closer in to his body. He gently stroked her arm as if understanding her hesitancy
to let go a little more so she could rest. This was absolute heaven. She could feel his heart
beating steadily beneath her ear. After a few minutes, she was completely soothed and
comfortable and ready to drift off to sleep. "Good night, Lee," she whispered. Her hand caressed
his chest lightly and she breathed a quiet but audible sigh of contentment. As soon as it escaped
her, she tensed and held her breath, wondering if he had heard and what would he think. But he
only drew her closer into his embrace as if in response. So she let herself go again and drifted off
to sleep. She knew her dreams would be pleasant tonight. It was nice to have a friend like Lee...
he would always take care of her.

Lee thought that this was certainly a bright side to their little predicament. He would have
Amanda sleeping in his arms for the entire night. And she didn't even seem to mind. She had not
raised any objections or argued with him about it. In fact, she was snuggled against him as if she
belonged in his arms. He thought he heard a contented sigh escape her lips, and he pulled her
even closer. Lee felt toasty warm with her body pressed against his skin. He lightly kissed her
hair and murmured, "Good night, Amanda." He knew she would be safe tonight as she was right
here where he could watch over her. He smiled into her hair. He liked that. A lot.

They both slept peacefully. Lee woke with the first rays of daylight and gazed at the sleeping
Amanda in his arms. Her long eyelashes curled softly against her cheeks while she slept. Her hair
had dried into haphazard curls. Her skin was soft and dewy--she looked so peaceful and
beautiful. Her lips were slightly parted while she rested. She stirred some emotion within him,
and without thinking, Lee bent to kiss her tenderly. Amanda moved slightly in his arms and
opened her eyes to look up into his, wondering if she had dreamed this gentle awakening. His
eyes told her she had not. Instinctively she reached up to put her arms around his neck. He
pulled her closer and kissed her softly again. Her eyes held his and then closed as he claimed her
lips once more. His mouth moved slowly against hers as he kissed her thoroughly, lingeringly, as
if they had nothing else to do for the entire day. After what seemed like several minutes, they
broke the kiss, but continued to hold each other, Amanda's head resting against his neck. Neither
spoke, each a little confused and wondering what had come over them.

What had happened? They were best friends. They knew each other so well, were so
comfortable with each other. Amanda could see Lee felt the same way she did. She could see her
love for him reflected back to her through his eyes. In that instant, things had changed between
them. Or had things been changing all along and it was only at that moment that they realized it?

Lee looked at the lovely Amanda in his arms. It felt so good to hold her. Their kiss had felt so
right. Then why did he have this panic feeling running through his body? It felt like his tie was
too tight, but he wasn't even wearing one heck, he wasn't even wearing a shirt! He had lost
himself in the kiss, and from the way Amanda had responded to him, she wanted it as much as he
did. It was just the situation, right? Just two people sleeping together out of necessity whose
feelings got a little away from them. Well--maybe not exactly. But he really should clarify things
with Amanda.

"Uh, Amanda, " Lee began nervously.

She interrupted him with her fingers on his lips. She knew what he was going to say and she
didn't want to hear it again, not at this moment. If this situation was confusing for her, she knew
how he must be feeling. At this moment she simply wanted to enjoy their closeness.

"Please don't say anything right now," she whispered. "You don't need to explain anything to

Lee felt relieved. She always understood him even when he didn't understand himself. She
would give him time to sort things through. Time to figure out if things could work if they
crossed the line of friendship. Although he had the feeling that they might have tiptoed over the
line without even realizing it.

The last days being alone with Amanda here in this romantic area of Bavaria had been wonderful.
Just the two of them. On assignment, yes, and both were desperately worried about Emily's
safety. But they made a great team and Lee knew they would find her. Each hour brought them
closer to her. But each hour also seemed to bring them closer to each other as well. He found
himself on a high. True, he did frequently experience these highs while working feverishly on a
case. That was probably part of what kept him in this line of work. The excitement and danger
and knowing that he could handle both and fulfill his duty were intoxicating feelings. But this
time it was different. Working with Amanda so closely by his side contributed to that high this

He also seemed to need to touch her a lot. Holding her by the shoulders when they faced each
other. A touch on her arm. Holding hands. Putting his arm around her when they walked. He
felt a need to be near her physically. This need didn't seem to hamper his ability to plan their
strategy or carry it out, rather it seemed to enhance it. It was like they shared a connection
emotionally and he felt the need for physical contact to help sustain it. This connection allowed
them to think and plan as one in their shared goal of finding Emily.

He had just settled back to clear his mind and relish the feeling of Amanda in his arms once again
when he heard a faint sound. Singing? He didn't move, but his mind kicked into agent mode
immediately. The faint sound was getting stronger. Amanda had heard it too and looked up at

They both began to hurriedly disentangle themselves from the blanket. Lee remembered then that
he wasn't wearing a shirt. "Amanda, quick, take off my shirt. Someone's coming and they might
be able to get us back to town. I'll get your sweater." She was already unbuttoning his shirt as
he spoke. He retrieved the sweater which thankfully was dry now, and returned to the car with it.
Amanda held the blanket over her front with one hand as she relinquished his shirt regretfully.
The feel of it around her body was somehow like feeling his arms around her. He seemed to
understand, because as he took the shirt from her, his eyes held hers, then he tilted her face
towards his and kissed her lightly on the lips one last time.

As he turned away from her, she called after him. "Scarecrow, aren't you forgetting something?"

Lee turned back to her, puzzled, and then couldn't resist a tease as he saw her with the blanket
covering herself, "Oh, I suppose you'd like this back?" as he held up her sweater in front of him.
She rolled her eyes at him as she turned her head away from him briefly, and he laughed as he
tossed the sweater to her. It was dry, but stiff, and she kneaded it a few times to soften it a bit
before slipping it over her head. She then left the car and headed to where Lee was waiting on
the road, buttoning the last couple of his shirt buttons.

Sure enough, the singing was getting louder. A few minutes later, a tour bus appeared around the
curve in the road. Lee flagged it down, and spoke to the driver in German. The driver made an
announcement to the tourists who had momentarily ceased their singing when he stopped the bus.
The driver exited the bus, got a tool kit from the cargo area, and headed to their car with Lee and
Amanda. Many of the tourists waved to the pair and called out greetings to them. The agents
waved and smiled in return. Lee commented under his breath, "They sure are an energetic bunch
for this hour of the morning." They then resumed their folk song.

"Amanda, we're in luck. The driver used to be a mechanic, and he'll check out those wires under
the hood. If he can't get it going, he'll call a tow truck for us."

After several minutes and a little head-scratching, the driver figured out what parts had been
disconnected and was able to put them right again. He conversed with Lee in German. Lee got
into the car and was relieved when it started right up. Both he and Amanda thanked the bus
driver and shook his hand. The jovial fellow indicated he was glad to be of service and waved to
the pair as he headed back to his passengers.

Amanda settled into the passenger seat as Lee gathered up shoes, socks, and his jacket which was
still hanging in the tree branches. She watched this wonderful man as he went about his task and
thought how lucky she was to have met him and to work with him everyday. And she wondered
how it would feel if one day he were to love her as she had loved him for so long. She touched
her fingers to her lips, the memory of his warm mouth pressing into hers sending shivers through
her body. Of course, the kiss they had shared did not mean that Lee loved her. But it certainly
was a very special moment for her, and she could tell he felt it too. And this time there was no
way it could be interpreted as a cover kiss. She knew Lee was going to explain it away as two
people caught up in the moment. And that could have been what happened. But she thought it
was more than that. Lee was so gentle toward her. Two people in their situation caught up in the
moment might have desired more than a few tender kisses. He did not ask anything more of her
than she was ready to give at that moment. And she would not ask more of him emotionally than
he was ready for at this point in their relationship. They would travel this road together to see
where it might lead.

Lee slid into place behind the steering wheel. He turned to her teasingly. "Ready to go, my dear?
Or did you want an early morning dip in the lake before we leave?"

This time she did swat him on the arm affectionately. He winked at her, and gave her one of his
dimpled grins which always made her stomach do flip-flops. He then pulled onto the road and
headed off back to town. There would be time later to reflect on the magic of this time together.
Right now Emily was waiting for them to find her.

The End