Married Once, Cured Forever- or Maybe Not?
Friday, October 17, 1986
Amanda was in the vault, filing some old reports, when she heard a click that meant the hallway door had opened, followed by the sound of footsteps on the hardwood floor in the office. "Amanda?"
"In here!" she called out.
A few seconds later, he stepped through the vault door.
"How did the briefing at the White House go?"
"Fine; just a routine briefing for Don Regan, the White House Chief of Staff. The president is on Air Force One on the way to North Dakota right now, but we didn't expect to see him anyway."
"Have you ever met him, the president, I mean?"
"No. Neither has Billy – that's way above both of our pay grades. Now, when Billy showed up to ask for that report, we left a little bit of business unfinished, I believe."
"Business- or pleasure?"
"Oh, pleasure, definitely."
He took the file she was holding out of her hands, set it on the filing cabinet, and slipped his arms around her waist. He bent his head as if he was going to kiss her, but he didn't. She opened her eyes and said, "Well, what are you waiting for?"
"I have a question."
"Now you have a question? Why now?"
"You and Sally Boyer were talking about marriage, you said."
"Yes, we were."
"She asked you if you'd ever get married again, and you told her, and I quote, "Maybe someday".
"That is correct. You said you had a question. What is your question?"
"Remember the Marvelous Marvin's case?"
"That's your question?"
"Then what is your question?"
"When we signed in with Carla, aka Cruella Deville, you gave your name as Amanda Keene and said, "Married once, cured forever."
"Lee, that was ten months ago, and I was establishing a cover to explain why my last name was different from yours! You were the one that booked us in as brother and sister instead of a married couple!"
"And it's a good thing I did, considering that Francine showed up."
"Is there a point to all this?"
"You could have just said, "My name's Amanda Keene. You didn't have to add that bit about being cured of marriage – unless you really have been cured of marriage, despite what you told Sally."
"Is that what this is all about? You think, based on a remark I made while establishing a cover nearly a year ago, that I'm sour on marriage?"
"I don't know. That's why I'm asking."
"No, Lee, I'm not sour on marriage. It really was just a throwaway remark. Now can I have my kiss?"
She got not just one but three kisses before Lee said, "And who was it that said that when we were at work, we had to act like we were at work, hmmm?"
"Special circumstances. Billy interrupted us before I got my kiss this time."
"Then can I invoke special circumstances anytime I want to kiss you?"
"You may not."
"Spoilsport. What are you doing tonight?"
"What did you have in mind?"
"To quote you on an earlier occasion, we'll start with dinner at Spencer's and go from there."
"And to quote myself on yet another earlier occasion, love to."
"See how easy that was?"
Saturday, October 18, 1986
"Yes, sir, may I help you?"
"I'd like to look at engagement rings."
"Of course, Mr….?"
"Stetson, Lee Stetson."
"Mr. Stetson. What did you have in mind?"
"A traditional diamond solitaire, I think, with a yellow gold band."
"Yes, sir. We have a good selection of rings in all styles and carat weights in stock, and we can also make a ring to order if you find a loose stone you like. The diamond solitaires are over here. Take your time and let me know if you have any questions. Have you bought this sort of ring before?" the salesman asked tactfully.
Lee understood the question; a man of thirty-six had usually been married, or at least engaged, before. He shook his head and smiled. "No. This will be the first time."
"Then congratulations, sir. I'll leave you to browse."