Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King and its characters belong to WB and Shoot the Moon Productions. No infringement is intended. This is written for entertainment purposes only. Please do not redistribute or reproduce this story without my permission.
Title: Making the bed – 12 years later
Time line – married 10 years
Author - Charlie
Amanda fluffed up the pillows, before arranging them across the top of the mattress. She briefly traced the rosebud pattern with her finger, smiling at the memories that the print evoked. Over the years, a lot had happened on this set of bedding—she'd be sad when they were finally worn out, and the chances of ever finding the pattern again were slim. Maybe she shouldn't use them so often but then again, what was the point of having something if you never got to enjoy using it? Giving her head a slight shake at her own foolish thoughts, she resumed her task, smoothing the bottom sheet into place and then reaching for the flat sheet.
Suddenly arms snaked around her waist and pulled her back against a solid surface while warm lips tickled her neck.
"Good morning, sweetheart." She smiled and turned in her husband's arms, kissing him tenderly.
"Mmm. Good morning to you, too." He ran his hands up and down her back, then squeezed her bottom while wiggling his eye brows suggestively. "Are you sure you want to finish making that bed? You know those sheets can be very inspirational..."
"After last night, how can you even think of that? You should be all worn out." Amanda ran her hands across his chest and grinned up at him.
"Worn out? Do you think you're married to some old fogey? Maybe I should just show you..."
"Lee..." She warned him, stepping out of his arms. "You have that appointment this morning and it doesn't look good if you're late on the last day."
"Yeah – I guess you're right," he reluctantly agreed, resting his hands on her shoulders. "But," he drew her close and whispered in her ear. "Tonight I want to celebrate and I know exactly what I want to do." With a quick squeeze and a kiss on her lips, he let her go. Lee walked to the closet and rummaged around pulling out a dress shirt and tie. He held the tie up disdainfully. "I'm not going to miss wearing one of these things every day."
"Oh you'll still be getting dressed up for work. If you're running your own firm, you'll need to look respectable in order to inspire confidence in your clients."
"I thought that was going to be the job of my able bodied assistant. After all, you're the one with the people skills." Lee pulled on his shirt and began to do up the buttons.
"Well your assistant is only working part time, remember." Amanda watched her husband getting dressed, admiring the breadth of his shoulders and tight rear end. At 46, he was still in better shape than men half his age.
"Sure—I'll believe that when I see it." He half turned to face her while working the tie under the collar of his shirt. "Amanda, you'll be at the office way more than half time. I know you. You can't resist poking your nose in—"
"Poking my nose in?" She put her hands on her hips and tried to look affronted. Lee just tilted his head and raised his eyebrows. After a brief stare off, she conceded the point. "Well, I'm just concerned. This is our future. I want to make sure everything is done properly."
"Amanda, everything will be fine." He walked over and rubbed his hands up and down her arms. "The office space we rented is in the 'right' neighbourhood. The decorators did a fantastic job— with your guidance, of course. We have a client base already lined up. Stetson Security Inc is going to be a success."
"I know. I just worry sometimes..." She let her voice trail off and adjusted the ends of the tie.
"Worry about what?"
"You... Leaving the Agency... If you'll be happy..." She looked up and searched his face for answers. "Are you sure this is what you want to do? You're not just doing it for my sake? I mean, the Agency's been part of your life for over 20 years..."
"Amanda. We've been over this and over this. The Agency isn't my life. You and the kids are. I'm not cut out to sit at a desk and the field work is for a younger man without a family. Late night stakeouts, flying all over the world, being shot at..." He shook his head. "It lost its glamour long ago. I don't enjoy the work like I used to, especially," he paused and placed a kiss on her forehead, "since you decided to quit last year and stay home with the kids."
"It was for the best...having two parents in such a dangerous line of work..."She tried unsuccessfully to mask the regret in her voice.
"I know that's why you quit and it was the right thing to do for them, but you miss it, don't you?" He looked at her and she ruefully nodded in agreement. "This way, you can still work but on your own terms. We're both safer which is better for the family and we get to be a team again. It's win-win for all of us." He placed another kiss on her forehead and then continued getting dressed.
Amanda watched him adjust his tie and then returned to making the bed. Lee searched through the closet for his suit coat. "You know, the money my uncle left us really tipped the scales on this decision. We don't have to worry about money for the kids' schooling or retirement. I never knew he was such a shrewd investor."
"We're lucky he was, otherwise we wouldn't be taking that family vacation next week."
"Yeah—it's going to be great. We've never been able to take off for three weeks before and it will be good for the kids to see some of the country."
"I think you're more excited than Matthew is about this."
"Maybe." Lee grinned at her as he emerged from the closet with his suit coat. "I'm going to call the rental company at noon to double check on the cabin and the RV."
"Lee—don't bug those people to death. All the arrangements are made."
"I know. I just want to be sure..." Lee headed into the bathroom to comb his hair and Amanda shook her head. Her husband was like a big kid sometimes. She stared at the bed and tugged the comforter into place then moved to add the throw pillows.
Lee exited the bathroom and planted a quick kiss on her cheek. "I'm off. I'll see you tonight."
"Okay. Have a good day." She listened, a pillow clutched in her hand, as he went down the stairs. He was whistling jauntily. Moving to the bedroom window she hugged the pillow to her chest and watched him walk to the car. There was a spring in his step that she hadn't seen in quite awhile.
'Yes,' she said to herself, ''Lee's right. We'll be able to work together again and he's obviously happy. It was the right decision to make. Sometimes you just know that it's time to move on." She gave a satisfied nod and then finished making the bed.
(This is the end of my "Making the Bed series. Thanks for all the reviews and helpful hints from the Gutter Girls. I had fun writing these and hope you have enjoyed reading them, too.)