Amanda sadly spends the 4th of July by herself. Written in response to the July Wicklow Challenge: Use the words: FIREWORKS, BIKINI, SAND, HEAT, and LOTION.

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.

Timeline – probably between season 3 and 4

Genre – fluff

Rating – teen

Title: The 4th of July

Amanda sat at home, alone, on the Fourth of July. Joe had the boys. Her mother was out with the Captain. Lee had said he needed her for an assignment but then, at the last minute had cancelled. She sighed and hugged a pillow to her chest, trying to lecture herself out of her melancholy.

The whole house was hers. It was peaceful. She could read or take a bubble bath without someone pounding on the door. No one would argue with her over the TV program she chose... There were lots of benefits to being home, all by yourself, even if it was the Fourth of July when everyone was having family picnics and watching FIREWORKS... A lone tear dripped down her face and she sniffed, then resolutely scrubbed it away.

That's enough, she scolded herself, picking up the remote control. Turning on the TV, she began flicking channels. Baseball, a cooking show, infomercial, golf...Finally she found an old movie, Beach Blanket Bingo starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. She went to the kitchen and looked for a snack. Pouring some Cheetoh's into a bowl she headed back to the living room. Settling onto the couch, she watched the silly antics wondering if life was really ever that simple.

Absently-mindedly she munched on her snack, frowning as she realized that they were stale. "It figures," she muttered. With a sigh, she set the bowl on the table and flopped backwards on the coach, curling her legs up beside her. Soon her eyes began to get heavy and she stretched out, pillowing her head on her arm. Maybe she'd close her eyes just for a moment while the commercial was on...

*****

The HEAT of the sun was baking into her as she laid on the SAND. The sound of laughter reached her ears and she smiled. Her friends were playing beach volleyball but she preferred to just absorb the rays. Besides, she felt a bit self-conscious in her new string BIKINI.

Flipping onto her stomach, she propped her chin on her hands and stared at the young man who was just exiting the water. He was tall and well built with sandy hair and hazel eyes. She'd heard his name was Lee.

He looked her way and she quickly averted her gaze pretending to be studying the sea gulls walking along the shoreline. Out of the corner of her eye she saw him approaching and bit her lip, wondering if she dared to say hello. While she was still debating, a shadow fell across her and she looked up to see him standing beside her.

"Hi! Mind if I join you?"

"No. Be my guest."

Dropping down beside her, he smiled and then looked over at the volleyball game. "You don't like to play?"

"Sometimes. Today I just wanted to enjoy the sun." She returned his smile shyly.

He let his eyes drift over her body and she struggled to keep from shivering as his gaze slowly moved up her legs, paused at her rear then moved up her back to her face.

"I wouldn't want you to get burned. How about if I put some LOTION on you?" he suggested, picking up the bottle that was beside her.

"All right." She felt rather brazen letting a boy she just met rub lotion all over her but there was something about him...

As the cool cream landed on her back, she gasped then sighed as his strong warm hands began to smooth it over her skin. Frisons of awareness shot through her body.

"My name's Lee. What's yours?"

"Amanda."

"Amanda. I like it. Amanda, Amanda..." His hands were on her shoulders and he squeezed them, saying her name over and over...

****

With a start she woke up and realized that Lee was kneeling beside the couch and shaking her.

"Lee! You're here! I thought you were off on an assignment."

" I was but it was a bust so I thought I'd come over and see what you were up to."

"Oh. Well, I was just watching a movie but I guess I fell asleep."

"So I see. "

"Mmm. I was having this dream about being at the beach and this handsome fellow was rubbing lotion all over me."

"Anyone I know?"

"Maybe." She smiled mischievously up at him.

"Did it stop at just lotion or did he try any smooth moves on you?"

"Smooth moves?"

"Uh-huh. Like this" Lee bent down and brushed his lips over her cheek while his hand rubbed her back.

"No—he didn't try that."

"Or maybe this?" He nuzzled her ear and his hand slid off her back and brushed against the side of her breast.

"No—you woke me up before any of the good stuff started."

"That's too bad. Maybe I should try to make it up to you." He encouraged her to roll over and she willingly complied.

"I think that's the least that you could do." She agreed, pulling his head down for a lingering kiss. 'Maybe,' she thought to herself, 'This Fourth of July would have some FIREWORKS after all.'