Author: Taya Johnston (tjsmklvr)
Disclaimer: "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" and the characters of Lee and Amanda are the property of Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Enterprises. The story belongs to me and is for entertainment purposes only. Please do not redistribute or reproduce without my permission. Excerpts used from "The First Time" written by Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner. Excerpts used from "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" written by Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long.
Timeline: September-October 1983. Completely AU. If you don't enjoy Alternate Universe stories, stop reading now. What are you doing? I said stop! Okay, don't say I didn't warn you.
Feedback: Yes, please, on list or off. Flames will be used to make Smores.
Summary: Will Lee win or lose when he bets on love?
Author's Notes: A heartfelt "thank you" to my beta team (Barb, Cheryl and Rita). Thank you so much for all your hard work in fixing my mistakes and in-turn making this a much better story than it started out. Also, thanks to Chanda, for helping me flesh this story out in the early stages.
"How To Get A Girl In 10 Days"
"Don't get us wrong, Amanda. It's just that you've been divorced for over a year now. You need to get out and let yourself experience life…as a single woman." Amanda looked around the crowded Georgetown bar and shook her head at her friends, sitting at the round wooden table. How had this night become about her personal life?
"I have two boys at home who need me. I don't have the luxury of living a single life, Mary Ann. Besides…I've dated."
"Now, Amanda, a few platonic dates with the local weatherman doesn't count. We're not saying you should start dating every man you meet, just that perhaps it's time to let loose a bit, enjoy life. You're so young yet. Have you ever even had a one-night stand?"
All eyes were on her--Amanda King--and she started to squirm. But they were right. She was a newly divorced woman, with two small boys and a live-in mother. Between running the boys back and forth to their extracurricular activities and helping her mother with the daily duties of running a house, she barely had time to breathe, let alone have time for herself.
After the divorce, she'd closed herself off from the opposite sex. Amanda had thought she and Joe would always be married and raising their two sons together. When it didn't happen, she'd never felt so much like a failure. Unfortunately, Joe had other ideas, other dreams that didn't include her, or their then very young sons. She had always dreamed of becoming a wife and mother. Granted, that dream had come true, albeit for a short time. But how could she have a fling? Feeling the tense stares upon her, she pulled herself from thoughts of the past.
"A one-night stand? You're kidding, right?" she asked, incredulously. The look on her friends' faces told her they weren't. "How could I just go home with some stranger? You've all done this?" Looking around the table at the exuberant nods, she couldn't believe these women, these fellow den mothers, neighbors, and close friends. Had she known them at all?
"Amanda, just try it once. We're not advising you to do it every week. Just let go for one night. You'd be amazed at how exciting it can be." Did that really come from Suzanne? The same Suzanne who was crying on her shoulder, just barely a year ago, over her failed marriage?
"I get enough excitement playing taxi to Phillip and Jamie and listening to my mother's latest escapades. Going home with a man I just met is not the kind of excitement I'm looking for, Suzanne." Amanda needed a break from the onslaught of advice. "I'm gonna go buy the next round. I'll be right back." Seeing the look of pity on her friends' faces, she rose and made her way toward the bar. I'm perfectly happy with the way my life is going. I have two beautiful children and a wonderful mother. Sure, I get lonely sometimes, but who doesn't?
She was almost to the bar when she bumped into a man sitting at a table with two other men. "Oh, excuse me." The man jumped up, grabbed her forearms, and braced her.
"I'm sorry. Are you okay?" Their eyes met for a brief moment, before she felt the heat rise in her cheeks and lowered her head.
"Yes, I'm fine. I'm sorry. I didn't see your chair there." She pivoted and hastened toward the bar, feeling the warmth of a flush still burning her cheeks.
SMK SMK SMK SMK SMK SMK
He observed her every move as she walked toward the bar. The woman's brown hair was swept up on top ofher head, with small tendrils gracing her slender neck. She wore a white silk blouse and black slacks, which accentuated her slim figure. She wasn't dressed provocatively like most women who attracted him. There was something about her eyes. They were dark and intriguing. At first, he didn't even hear his friends calling to him.
"Earth to Lee!" Mark and Fred were laughing and shaking their heads, apparently at how distracted Lee could become by the mere sight of an attractive woman.
"See, that is exactly my point." Mark said, emphatically.
Gathering his faculties, Lee turned to meet the grins on his co-workers' faces. "What point?"
"You! I bet you couldn't last two weeks in a real relationship. You wouldn't know what to do with yourself, if you actually had to speak to a date the next morning."
"You're crazy, Mark! I've had serious relationships before. Haven't I, Fred?" Looking to his buddy for support, he was greeted with a snicker.
"When? In 1978?"
"Ha ha! Very funny, Fred. I could be in a relationship, if I wanted to. I just prefer to have a bit of variety."
"Variety is dating one or two ladies at a time. You date a new woman every night. That isn't variety, my friend, that's being afraid of commitment." Mark pinned Lee with a pointed stare.
"We're just giving you a hard time, buddy." Fred appeared to be feeling sorry for him.
"I could do it."
"Uh-huh, put your money where your mouth is."
"Oh, boy." Fred apparently didn't like where this conversation was going.
"What do you mean? Like a real bet?" Lee raised his eyebrows.
"Yeah, why not? I bet you a hundred dollars that you couldn't last a month in a committed relationship."
"Guys, we're just here to have a good time. We don't need to be betting like this. Lee works hard for his money. I'd hate to see him lose it on something so trivial."
"So, you don't think I can do it either, eh, Fred?" Fred shrugged his shoulders and seemed to find the stain on the table mesmerizing. "Okay, you're on, Mark. But let's make it a real bet. Say, five hundred dollars?"
"Your loss! Okay, five hundred dollars that you can't commit to a serious relationship for a month. Now, it's got to be with a new woman, no old girlfriends, Stetson. We'll give you…say, ten days to find the 'right' woman."
"Lee, we're just giving you a hard time. You don't need to do this."
Lee took a gulp of his beer and realized he was due for a refill. "Yeah, yeah! I'm a good sport; I'll even buy the next round." He grabbed the empty pitcher and headed for the bar.
To Be Continued...