A Matter of Trust, Part 7

A Matter of Trust, Part 7

At Jonathan Stone's office, Jonathan is sitting at his desk looking at some papers when Francine walks in.

"Hi." she said hesitantly.

"Hello." He said, wondering what she was doing there. "What's up?"

"Well, I wanted to apologize for the things I said the other night."

"I suppose I can understand. I did leave you once. I guess I wouldn't feel too secure in your shoes either."

"But I'm the one who has the problem. Every morning, I wake up wondering if you'll still be there when I turn over. I wonder if you'll still be there waiting for me when I go home at night."

"What can I do to reassure you?"

"I want to get married!" she said as she walked around the desk to be closer to him.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, but I don't want a long engagement like last time. If we're going to do it, I want to do ita as soon as possible."

"You're on." He said enthusiastically. "What made you change your mind?"

"A wise person reminded me that if you love someone, you need to trust them too."

"Well, whoever it is that told you that is now my best friend." He said as he pulled her into his lap and kissed her.

Lee sat in Billy's office, not sure what to do. He was still reeling over Joe's visit that morning as well as Amanda's anger. He had gone to Billy, knowing that he could confide in him.

"I just can't believe Amanda threw that vase at me when I was trying to apologize and work things out. I can't believe she said she wants a divorce. We just got married six months ago."

"Lee, do you really believe that's what she wants? She loves you and she's carrying your baby. I'm sure divorce is the last thing on her mind right now. You have to be patient with her. Some women get crazy when they're pregnant what with all the raging hormones and all. I remember when Jeannie was pregnant with our first child, she threw a toaster at me because I forgot to pick up a quart of milk on my way home from work." Lee laughed.

"So, what do you suggest I do?"

"Beg. Get on your knees if you have to. She needs to hear you admit that you were wrong and that you really do trust her."

"I don't know if I can do that. She still lied to me. I can't forget that."

"Surely that's not the first time she's ever told you a little white lie."

"It is since we've been married." Billy smiled with understanding.

"Ah. I see the problem." Billy sat quietly for a moment then continued. "Let me ask you something."

"What's that?"

"When you and Amanda got married, had you ever talked about having a family?"

"No. Not really. We just talked about her kids."

"That's probably why Amanda thought it was easier to talk to her ex about it then. She most likely wasn't sure how to approach the subject with you, since you'd never talked about it. Think about what she's been going through. This creates a lot more problems for her than it does for you. She has to figure out how to tell her boys that not only is she married, but she's having another baby. Plus, this is going to affect her career. She may decide, as many female agents do, that agency life isn't for her anymore."

"No, she loves her job here."

"Yes, she does, but she also loves her family and this has got to be hard on her. Whatever decision she makes about work is going to affect you both. If she decides not to stay with the agency then you will be solely responsible for the financial burden of raising a family, plus you'll have to be assigned a new partner which I know you won't like. It took forever for you to get used to Amanda."

"That's true." He admitted. He was starting to panic. This was getting worse all the time. He couldn't imagine working with a different partner after four and a half years with Amanda.

"But, on the other hand, if she decides to stay with us, it's going to be difficult for her, because she'll be limited in the kind of work she can do while she's pregnant and you may have to work in the field with somebody else until she has the baby. Also, after the baby's born, you know she'll have a hard time with coming back to work, because knowing her, she won't want to leave an infant and this isn't exactly the kind of place that offers on-the-job daycare." Lee smiled at that.

"I guess I didn't really have time to think about all the things she might be worrying about. I was only concerned with my own fears."

"I'm glad you can admit it, but you should be telling that to Amanda, not me."

"Thanks, Billy." He started to leave , but Billy stopped him.

"By the way, Scarecrow...The next time you wanna' run off and get married, how about telling your best friend?"

"Yeah, I will." They both laughed then Lee left his office. He walked toward the elevator and punched the button. The doors opened and Amanda stepped out. "I was just coming to find you."

"I was just coming to find you." she replied. They both laughed nervously.

"Why don't we go someplace where we can talk?" he suggested.

"Good idea." They stepped into the elevator together.

"I'm sorry." They said in unison. They both laughed.

"I guess I let my jealous irrational side take over." Lee said as they stepped out of the elevator. He took her hand in his as they walked up the stairs to the Q Bureau. Mrs. Marston looked on, smiling.They both smiled at her and went on up to their office. Lee shut and locked the door behind them.

"I'm sorry that I didn't tell you the truth. I should have. I just wasn't thinking straight at the time. I had a lot of things worrying me. I mean to start off with, you and I never once ever discussed the possibility of having a baby of our own. I didn't know how you'd take the news."

"You didn't need to worry about that. I couldn't be happier."

"Really?"

"Really. Knowing that the woman I love is having my baby makes me the happiest man on the face of the earth." He said as he lifted his hand to caress her face.

"I'm so glad to hear you say that."

"I just don't know why that surprises you."

"A baby is going to change a lot of things for us."

"I know. We'll work it all out. I promise."

"I guess the first thing we need to do is talk to the boys."

"Yeah, I guess they're wondering what's going on after my outburst last night."

"They're certainly confused, I can tell you that."

"What do you say we go talk to them right now? I want them to hear the truth, the way it should have been told six months ago."

"They're at Joe's house."

"Then we'll go there. This has gone on long enough."

"It won't be easy."

"It'll be a picnic compared with some of the things we've been through in the past four years." Amanda laughed. "What's talking to teenage boys compared to being held at gunpoint and getting shot at and dodging terrorists?"

"You've got a point there."

"Great! Let's go!"

At Joe's house, Phillip and Jamie are talking to their dad.

"I just don't understand it, Dad." Phillip said in confusion. "They could've just told us. We would've understood that they wanted to get married. At least, I would have." He said as he looked at his brother.

"I would have, too!" Jamie protested.

"Oh, come on. You didn't even like Lee at first. You were so jealous of him, you couldn't see straight!"

"Hey, now. Boys!" Joe intervened. "Fighting isn't going to solve anything. The fact is that when you mother and Lee made the decision to keep their marriage a secret, they were thinking about both of you and how it would affect you."

"How do you know so much about it, Dad?"

"I've known about your mom's marriage the whole time."

"How come you never told us?" Jamie asked.

"Because it wasn't my place to tell you. I support your mother's decision. She had good reasons for doing what she did. The question is, can you bring yourselves to forgive for keeping it from you?"

"I don't know. How can we trust her again? She lied to us."

"I know that, but that doesn't mean she doesn't love you. It's because she loves you that she did things the way she did." The doorbell rang.

"I'll get it." Carrie said as she got up. Joe continued.

"Give your mom a chance. This is a difficult situation for her. She needs your support."

"I guess you're right. It just hurts my feelings that she didn't trust us." Lee, Amanda and Carrie walked into the room.

"We were just trying to do what we thought was best for you boys." Lee said.

"By getting married behind our backs?"

"Listen, I know this is a shock to you and I know it's going to take some time for you to get used to, but I want you to know that you two are very important to me. I love as if you were my own. I just hope you'll give me another chance." Amanda smiled as she noticed Jamie starting to give in. She also noticed that Phillip was just sitting there quietly.

"Phillip, how do you feel about all this?" she asked.

"I just have one question."

"What's that?"

"Well, if you and Lee are married, does that mean he's going to move in with us?"

"That's generally what happens when a couple gets married, but if it makes you uncomfortable, he doesn't have to."

"The main thing is that we want you to feel comfortable with the situation." Lee added. "I'm sorry about the way I sprung this on you the other night. I just let my emotions get the best of me."

"That's ok." Phillip said.

"Jamie?"

"I don't know." Jamie said. "I'm just really confused. I thought we were getting to be friends and then this happens and I feel like we're not friends anymore."

"Hey. Jamie, this doesn't change the way I feel about you guys. I want you to know that I love your mother and both of you very much. You guys are the closest thing I've ever had to a family and I went a little crazy when I thought I was in danger of losing that. I know you probably don't understand, but my uncle is the only family I had until I met your mom and she showed me what it was like to have a real family. I just want to be a part of that. I've been so alone my whole life and I don't want to be like that again." Jamie sat quietly for a moment, contemplating everything Lee had just said.

"I guess I understand. It's just weird to think that you've been our step-dad all this time and we didn't know it."

"I know. And to tell you the truth, I've never been that good with kids, but if you'll let me, I'll try to be the best step-dad I can be."

"I think you're already doing that, Lee." Phillip piped in. Lee smiled.

"Me too." Jamie said as he gave Lee a hug. Amanda breathed a sigh of relief.

"As far as the living arrangements go, we'll work that out later." Amanda said. "When you guys come home we need to sit down and have a family meeting, ok?"

"Ok" Both boys said.

************

The next few days were filled with excitement. Phillip and Jamie decided that it was all right with them for Lee to move in. So, they took two days off of work and helped get Lee's apartment packed up and get him settled in with the family. When he was unpacked, they sat down with the boys and told them about the baby. Both boys were thrilled with the idea of being big brothers.

When they went back to work, Lee and Amanda announced to the entire agency that everything that had been floating around about them was true. Yes, they were married, and yes, they were having a baby. The wagging tongues at the agency had found a new subject for their gossip. Francine never came back to work that day after she left to see Jonathan. She had called in to work the two days after that as well. Everyone was wondering what had happened to her. After their big announcement, Lee and Amanda went up to their office to catch up on the work they'd been neglecting.

"Boy, am I glad that's over with." Lee said as they walked in to the Q Bureau.

"Me too. I feel so much better now that everything's out in the open. I feel like a giant weight has been lifted." Lee closed the door and pulled his wife into his arms.

"But you'll be carrying around a bigger weight before too long" he teased as he lightly stroked her stomach." She smiled as she thought of their growing family and realized the happiness she was feeling was something she's waited for her whole life. She reached up and kissed Lee. He held her close to him and kissed her back just as Francine walked in.

"Well, I see you two made up." she said as she surveyed the scene before her.

"You could say that." Lee said, his arms still firmly locked around Amanda. He was glad their secrets were exposed because now he didn't have to hide his feelings for her anymore.

"So, where've you been the last couple of days."Amanda asked.

"On cloud nine!" she said as she proudly displayed the shining gold band on her left hand.

"Francine! That's terrific!" Lee said. "Congratulations!" Lee gave her a hug.

"It wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Amanda. That's why I came up here. I wanted you to be the first to know." Amanda smiled.

"I have a present for you." she said.

"For me?" Francine asked, a little bewildered.

"Yeah. It's just my way of saying I'm sorry for what happened the other day." she said as she handed her a box of chocolates.

"DeVerona chocolates. Thank you. And congratulations to both of you."

"Thanks." Lee and Amanda said in unison.

"Oh, and Amanda. I let that one slide by, but if it ever happens again, look out." she said as she walked out the door.

"So, what exactly happened the other day?" Amanda shook her head. "You mean you're not gonna' tell me?"

"Some secrets are best kept secret." she said, smiling at him, as she locked the door.

"Now, come on, Amanda. We don't want a repeat of what just happened between us."

"It's nothing for you to be concerned about. Let's just say, Francine and I helped each other. Trust me. It's no big deal, really."

"Ok. I trust you. Now, where were we?" He smiled and pulled her close, knowing that after all that had happened, he would never again doubt her word