Written: 10/14/15 – 1/13/17
Setting: Immediately following Season 4's 'The Man Who Died Twice' (Tag never happened)
Summary: Lee and Amanda attempt to deal with her kidnapping by Birol and the events surrounding it, each in their own way.
Special Thanks: Thank you to my beta Anne for finding all my typos and making great suggestions. A HUGE 'thank you' to my beta and sounding board, Sheila. If it weren't for her this story wouldn't be what it is.
Remember all the things we wanted
Now all the memories, they're haunted
Saturday, November 22, 1986
He absently rubbed his hand up and down her arm as she lay across his lap. The TV played before them, but neither was paying much attention. He'd stoked the fire before the sun had gone down and it was now dwindling. Only the occasional 'pop' of the remaining logs as they burned snapped the stillness of the room. This was the first time since her abduction by Addi Birol that they'd had a moment to really relax and enjoy each other's company. She'd only had a few days to recuperate before they were assigned unofficially of course, to help their supervisor Billy Melrose put the missing pieces of his weekend together. They weren't even back in the office before Amanda was given a 'letter' from The Agency. Her security clearance was stripped from her after being accused of subversive tendencies. Lee snorted quietly to himself at the thought of Amanda being a radical. The most radical thing she'd ever done . . . he stopped for a moment to think . . . well, come to think about it, she'd done a lot of radical things since he'd handed her that package on that cool, fall morning. He smiled to himself in spite of the heavy cloud that he felt hanging over them.
They had both agreed to stay in rather than go out for dinner, opting for a nice relaxing evening in. Except that Lee wasn't relaxed. His mind hadn't stopped running through the events of the past three weeks. First, his heart had been ripped out of his chest when he flew out of that warehouse and found the van that Amanda had been waiting in had disappeared. Then upon receiving the note that simply read 'Nightcrawler for the woman,' he had endured a lecture from his supervisor and the resident shrink, Quidd. 'How dare they try to tell me who I owed what to?' He knew exactly what he owed to his source and it didn't even begin to touch what he owed the loving woman now laying in his lap. He glanced down and watched the rhythmic rise and fall of her chest as she slept.
'God! How could I have let that happen?' He leaned his head back against the couch and stared up at the ceiling. 'The day I grabbed hold of you on that busy train platform changed my life forever.' He could never go back now. She made him a better man. Made him want to be the man she saw every time her beautiful brown eyes locked on his.
But how could he be so selfish? How could he keep putting her in danger? And it wasn't just her life that was in danger, was it? It was her two boys and mother too. If her kidnapping wasn't a big enough wake up call, the business with Khai and his son earlier that week should have been.
Her once relaxed form was now struggling against him and he attempted to calm her with his soft words of love and the gentle rubbing of her back. After a minute, she began to settle and he continued to soothe her until she fell back to sleep. He brushed an errant lock of hair off her brow before kissing the top of her head. "I love you, Amanda. I would do anything to keep you and your family safe," he whispered. At that moment, she snuggled deeper into him and sighed.
The next evening . . .
Amanda stood staring blankly out the kitchen window with her hands absently scrubbing a glass. She hadn't even noticed that the once hot water in the sink had gone ice cold.
She jumped, dropping the glass against the remaining dishes when she felt a hand on her shoulder. The sound of glass breaking mixed with the scream she emitted. "Don't do that, Jamie! It's not nice to sneak up on a person!" She scolded before searching for the broken pieces of glass in the murky water.
"But I didn't, Mom. I called you a bunch of times, but you were in a trance or something." His brown eyes were as big as saucers as he stared at her disbelievingly. "I'm sorry, Mom. I didn't mean to scare you. It's just . . . well, you've been washing that glass for a while now. Are you okay?"
She stopped what she was doing when she heard the fear in her youngest son's voice. Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, she dried her hands off and then lifted Jamie's chin to look him in the eyes.
"Sweetheart, I'm sorry I yelled at you. I didn't hear you and I know you weren't trying to startle me." She pulled him into a hug and rested her cheek on the top of his head. "Why don't you go on upstairs and grab a shower before your brother uses up all the hot water, huh?" She joked.
"Okay." He laughed nervously.
"Okay. I'll be up shortly to say goodnight. Go on now." She shooed him up the stairs before returning to the sink and the broken glass. Draining the cold water from the sink, she then rinsed off the remaining dishes, setting them aside, before picking up the broken shards.
She hissed when a small sliver pricked her index finger. Pulling out the offending glass, she immediately sucked her finger into her mouth. The slight taste of blood sent her stomach churning. The smallest hint of taste and smell of blood sent her mind reeling to just a few short weeks ago when Addi Birol held her captive.
Amanda's throat constricted and her stomach lurched. A feeling of pure, unadulterated dread came over her. She fought the images that flashed in her mind: a gun, a flash of smoke, and the sounds of a man screaming and shaking her by her arms.
She closed her eyes and took several deep breaths as Dr. Quidd had instructed her. 'You're safe. He can't get you. Breathe, Amanda. Breathe,' she mentally reminded herself. After a few moments, her pulse returned to normal, and she moved to the drawer for a bandage.
Finally getting the boys into bed, Amanda came back downstairs and poured herself a glass of white wine. She then slipped out the back door to sit in the gazebo. As she sipped her wine, she could feel the tension slowly leave her body. Over the past few nights, the wine had proven to come in handy when trying to sleep. Until she realized its true potential earlier in the week, she hadn't experienced much success in sleeping. But she had found that a single glass of wine before bed had allowed her a few hours of sleep. That was until she woke up in a sweat, reliving the ordeal over and over again. Each night was different. Some nights Lee got to her in time, some nights he didn't and she was raped or killed or both, and other nights they were both killed. No matter the result, sleep had been impossible to grasp.
Amanda whirled around, spilling her wine in the process when she felt arms wrap around her waist.
"Oh, Amanda! I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking." He grimaced. "I didn't . . . I'm sorry." Lee reached out to her but she moved several feet away from him to calm herself.
"It's okay, Lee. I just didn't hear you come up." 'It seems I'm going deaf on top of everything else,' she thought. Amanda attempted to blot the wine that had dribbled down the front of her blouse and forced a smile.
"I'm sorry I made you spill your wine." He gestured to her chest, but then tilted his head in confusion. "Everything okay? I mean, you don't normally drink wine this late at night, especially on a school night." His brow furrowed.
"Relax, Scarecrow. It's just a glass," she chided. "There was a little bit left in the bottle that my mother had opened the other night and I didn't want it to go bad," she lied, but was relieved when he seemed to buy her explanation.
Feeling guilty for lying, she hurried to change the subject. "So what brings you by this late, Lee?" She forced a smile when she heard the sharpness in her tone.
"Uh, I was in the neighborhood?" She could see his dimples even in the moonlit night.
"No, really. Why are you here?" She swallowed the last of the wine and placed the glass on the wicker and glass side table.
"Can't a guy come by and see his fiancé without having to explain himself?" He joked. This time he wouldn't be denied contact with her. His hands wrapped around her waist and pulled her to him. His lips immediately went to the sensitive spot just below her right ear.
Amanda smiled and could feel goose bumps forming on her arms at the feel of his tender lips on her neck. Relaxing in his arms, she closed her eyes, enjoying the sensations he was invoking.
Moments later, she jumped out of her skin at the sound of a car backfiring down the street. Lee held her tight and seemed concerned at her reaction, but she played it off. "Wow, you just about had me to sleep, I was so relaxed. Guess I should probably go up to bed," she rushed. Giving him a peck on the lips, she grabbed the empty glass as she wished him goodnight and then scurried into the house, locking the door behind her.
We were always meant to say goodbye
Tuesday, November 25, 1986
Amanda rubbed her temples. "I can't believe this is happening," she whispered to herself.
"Hey . . ." He soothed. "If you could just think about this logically, you would see this is for the best." He sat on the coffee table, his legs wedged between hers, essentially keeping her from bolting from the room.
"Logically? H . . . how?" Her voice cracked and she frantically searched his saddened eyes for answers. "How is abandoning me, what's best? You told me that you loved me, Lee. Was that just a lie to get me into bed?" She held her breath, fearing his reply. A small part of her had warned to be more cautious when it came to the giving of her heart to the man in front of her. But she had disregarded those thoughts and pressed on, not able to fight the magnetic draw that had always been there between them.
"God no!" He rushed. "I do love you, Amanda. But don't you see what knowing me . . . what being involved with me has done to your life?" His thumb gently stroked her right knee.
"You love me?" She laughed sardonically. "You LOVE me?" Her voice grew louder. "How can you say that and in the next breath tell me we can't be together anymore?" She roughly wiped the tear from her cheek and then shoved his hand off her leg in disgust before attempting to extricate herself from the couch. He blocked her way and she glared at him pointedly. "You asked me to be your WIFE, Lee! What changed in a matter of weeks?"
"I told you, I just can't . . . I can't do this to you anymore. Don't you see, you could have been sold to the Libyans or worse, killed by Birol's own hands right in front of me?"
"Lee, you're letting one incident –"
He wasn't deterred by her protests and pressed on. "I've thought about this every minute of every hour since he took you. You need to resign from the Agency. Go back to your family, Amanda. Stay away from me, from the Agency. Stay in your safe life, in your stable home where your young boys that need you to be around for a very, very long time are. I told you once before, I'm poison!"
"Oh, Lee, that couldn't be further from the truth," she pleaded.
He pulled her to him and gently pressed his forehead against hers before whispering, "You're My Heaven, Amanda . . . but I think . . . just maybe . . . I'm your Hell." He then placed a very tender kiss to her temple and held her tightly against his chest.
Amanda's eyes fluttered closed of their own volition and she breathed deeply, taking in his scent and the feeling of the deep, deep love surrounding her. Her emotions were a jumbled mess, but she needed to focus on how to get her partner . . . her lover to remember that they were better together than apart. He had to understand that her kidnapping by Addi Birol was not his fault. That what happened to Kai and his family, didn't mean certain doom for her and her family. But when she opened her eyes, he was gone. She felt the cool air from the back door that he'd left wide open and in that moment she felt as though her heart had been ripped to shreds.