Title: Secrets to be told

Timeline –Season 2

Rating – Teen

Warnings: a few bits of swearing, some violence

Author – Charlie

Written in response to the August Challenge: Use the words "Roses, lace, erotic, taste, secret"

Thanks to the Gutter Girls for providing ideas throughout the writing of this story.

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.

Chapter 1

Amanda sat up in bed, instantly wide awake, her heart pounding, her breathing erratic. She wasn't sure what had jolted her out of a sound sleep; a noise outside or possibly a dream. She'd been having a lot of them lately. Very strange, very EROTIC dreams involving her partner Lee Stetson aka the Scarecrow. It was silly really. They had nothing in common beyond work and she was certainly not his type. He went more for the blonde buxom bimbo type while she was dark haired, anything but well endowed and about as far from a bimbo as anyone could imagine. A divorced thirty-something woman with two children, a live in mother, a mortgage and a dying station wagon hardly qualified one for admittance to the Stetson stable.

Still, a girl was allowed her little fantasies and as long as no one found out—especially Lee—she'd enjoy the harmless scenarios her unconscious mind created. So what if they left her vaguely dissatisfied with her solitary life and lonely bed? She ran her hand over the smooth cool sheets beside her. That side of the bed was never disturbed—not even the boys climbed in with her anymore. There was no indent in the pillow, no one to hog the covers, no one to snuggle up to on a cold night...

A little pang of self pity surfaced and she scolded herself for allowing it. Her boys needed her. She didn't have time to be running all over looking for love. Maybe one day, when they were older... But for now, she'd be content with her lot in life. She had two wonderful boys, a mother that pitched in whenever needed, there was almost enough money to go around, her job was exciting, and her partner was interesting ...

Ahh! Back to the interesting partner. Funny how a person's mind worked—always finding a way to return to the one topic it shouldn't be thinking about. Lee Stetson, with his hazel eyes and charming manners. That smile that brightened her day and the feel of his hand on her arm or back...Well, it certainly got her blood flowing. There had been a few occasions when he'd kissed her—for 'professional reasons' of course—and she'd felt the strength of his arms around her, the warmth of his lips sliding over hers. She'd inhaled the scent of him, savoured the TASTE of him, revelled in the feel of his broad shoulders under her fingers while his body had pressed hot and hard against hers...

Oh my! She was getting herself all hot and bothered again. Throwing off the covers she padded to the window, drew back the LACE curtains and let the cool night air wash over her heated flesh. Leaning her head against the window pane, she observed the scene below. The moon was bright, drenching the backyard in its silvery glow and casting an interesting pattern of shadows over the grass. Moonlight always made the backyard look magical, mysterious... The fireflies became fairies and the shadowy outline of the tree house was now a fortress while the boys' bikes changed into fiery steeds awaiting brave knights to ride them into battle.

She smiled ruefully, scoffing at the fanciful turn her imagination sometimes took. 'Reading too many historical romances again', she muttered to herself, letting the curtain fall back into place. Turning to head back to bed, she thought she caught a movement out of the corner of her eye and paused. Narrowing her eyes, she scanned the backyard searching the shadows for signs of ...what? A prowler? A cat? She wasn't sure but an uneasiness came over her and she knew something was wrong, something was...There! She saw it again. Near the ROSES Mother had planted by the gazebo. It was dark, about the size of a man and moving stealthily...well, not really stealthily. More like stumbling...Oh my gosh! It was Lee and something was definitely wrong.

She raced downstairs as quickly and quietly as possible and threw open the back door before skidding to a halt. Common sense suddenly slammed into her, stopping her head strong flight. Lee looked to be wounded and if he was, whoever had inflicted the injury could still be out there, looking for him. Biting her lip, she peered into the back yard, listening...watching. There was no sign of life except the faint chirp of crickets. Daringly, she stepped into the backyard and tiptoed toward the gazebo where she'd last seen him.

Barely five feet from the door, she felt an arm snake around her and vice like fingers clamp over her mouth. She stiffened, preparing to bite, scream, kick—whatever it took—when a voice hissed in her ear.

"Amanda, it's me—Lee."

She nodded in understanding, relaxing her tensed body and the hands that bound her loosened. Turning, she quickly took in the appearance of her partner and bit back a gasp. His face was ashen, smeared with dirt and blood. He was leaning against the wall, the grim set of his mouth letting her know that it was only by sheer will that he was still on his feet.

"Lee! What happened?"

He shook his head, and between gritted teeth managed to speak a few words. "SECRET...need to know...I'm hurt, hurt bad..." His eyes closed and she thought he was about to pass out.

"Come on, I'll take you inside."

"No...Your Mother, the boys..."

"The boys are sleeping over at a friend's and Mother took some of her headache medicine. She's out like a light."

He nodded and seemed to relax a bit, allowing her to wrap her arms around his waist as she guided him inside. Not daring to turn on the kitchen light in case whoever was after him was still around, she led him to the stairs. "Can you make it upstairs to my room? You can lie down there and I'll see what I can do. I'll call Mr. Melrose—"

"No! Don't call Billy! Not anyone...secret..."

The idea seemed to agitate him, so she soothed and crooned, offering words of encouragement as they slowly climbed each step. Manoeuvring him down the hall and through her door, she helped him ease down onto her bed where he fell back, his face as white as the sheets on which he rested. That was when she finally saw it.