Amanda silently fumed as she sorted through her clothes, trying to figure out what to take with her and what to leave at home for this undercover assignment. She still couldn't believe how arrogant that man was and she'd pretty much told him so. Okay, not in so many words, but she'd let him have it when he'd dragged her out of the interview at Honeycutt Typewriter and that was after treating her like she was nothing more than a nuisance at IFF.
He'd made it perfectly clear that he still thought of her that way; that it wasn't his idea, but Billy's. She couldn't resist the crack she'd made when he'd explained that one of them should be authentic, "Well, I suppose I don't have to guess which one of us that is." She'd gained immense satisfaction at seeing the smug, all-knowing look temporarily disappear from his face.
"Who does he think he is," she muttered as she slammed her dresser drawer shut and deposited the pile of clothes from it onto her bed. What was he thinking letting that interviewer believe that he was her husband and then he'd made it even worse by pretending to be an overbearing husband who'd forbidden her to work until the fictional triplets were in nursery school. "Ha," she snorted with a shake of her head as she thought of the silly, cutesy names he'd come up with of Timmy, Tammy and Tommy. She tried to laugh it off, but then her anger just flared again at the memory of him grabbing her out of her chair and hustling her out of that office the same way he'd hustled her out of The Agency that morning.
For a guy who had all her background information, he sure as hell knew nothing about her. Yes, she was a mother and a housewife, but did he think that meant that she'd spent her life just taking orders from a man? Again, she found herself seething at his arrogance. She'd always been one to stand on her own. Didn't he read the information she'd provided about Joe in all the questionnaires she'd had to fill out explaining WHY they'd gotten divorced?
She let out a sigh and tried to shake off those nagging thoughts as she gathered up the clothes she'd finally decided on and after dodging her mother with a lie about a rummage sale, was finally on her way out the door to meet him at their "house." For once she was grateful for heavy traffic because it gave her time to cool down before she'd end up blowing their cover by blowing up at him again.
A few hours later, after finishing getting things organized in the kitchen, she breezily entered the living room outlining to him all the things she'd done to get them set up, but then paused abruptly. "Why do I look so messy and you look so good?" When he just shrugged, she gestured around the room and gave him a pointed look. "Have you done anything?" She couldn't stop herself from the flip remark that escaped her lips when he proudly gestured to the ugly animal head he'd mounted on the wall. "Oooh...maybe you better take a break."
Just when things had begun to calm down again after the way-too-welcoming neighbors had finally all departed and she was feeling somewhat civil toward him, there it was again...the arrogance. The sheer NERVE of that man, expecting her to spend the night with him. Who did he think she was? Did he forget that she had a boyfriend? The problem with Lee Stetson was that he was too cute for his own good; the worse problem was that he knew it and seemed to expect all women to swoon at his feet. Well, she was one woman who wasn't going to do that.
The following afternoon, Amanda stood gaping at him for a moment when he asked her to go have a drink with him. Was he serious? Would the man never take no for an answer? She had a boyfriend, not to mention children who needed her. What was his problem? She politely turned him down, but then as he walked her to her car, he did something that surprised her. He complimented her on her work, how she'd picked up on his cues in Bouchard's office, her quick thinking with the hairspray and how she'd helped him in barring the door so they could get away. She looked at him curiously. Was he being sincere or was this just one more of his "lines?"
After dinner that night, having had time to calm down, she'd finally managed to stop dwelling on the confounding, self-involved, smug man she worked with...that is until her mother began talking. As she listened to her drone on and on about how dependable Dean was and how you couldn't count on some men, that you might have a perfectly nice time with them, but then never see them again, she couldn't help muttering, "Tell me about it."
Stop that, she scolded herself. While there was no denying that Lee Stetson was attractive and she'd be lying to herself if she said she wasn't just a little bit attracted herself, there was no way that she could ever let herself become involved with a man like him. Her boys needed a stable male role model in their lives. She sighed and said, "Mother, I'm just gonna' run upstairs and check on the boys." As she trudged up the stairs, her thoughts continued and she hoped against hope that neither of her boys would grow up to be as arrogant as Lee.