Disclaimer: This story is based on characters copyrighted by Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions. This story is meant for enjoyment purposes only and cannot be redistributed without permission from the author. I retain the rights to the plot, not the characters. No infringement is intended. Dialogue and situations taken from "Utopia Now" written by Robert Bielak.
Synopsis: A scene extension for what might have happened immediately after the near-kiss and the subsequent attack by Sacker and his men.
Date Written: August 2000
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As the sounds of Sacker's men departing became more distant, Lee and Amanda each breathed a sigh of relief. But they would have to be cautious and quiet as Sacker had posted guards so they could not double back the way they had come.
"Do you think we are safe till daylight?" Amanda's voice quavered.
"Yeah, I think that's all the excitement for the night."
They stumbled back up to the grassy area where they had been reclining before the latest attack. Every movement was an effort since her right hand was bound to his left hand by a heavy chain.
Lee said, "You know, we've really got to try to get some rest. You can bet they'll be back searching for us with a vengeance in the morning and we need to be ready."
Amanda looked up at him trying valiantly to hide the fear in her eyes, and repeated something she had said earlier. "Lee, I'm really scared this time."
Lee wished they were anywhere but here. Here in the middle of a swamp. Here bound together with chains. Here being hunted by desperate men. Here where he could not take her into his arms and comfort her as he longed to do. But truth to tell, he was frightened too. He feared morning would only give Sacker's men the advantage. He didn't even know if Billy and Agency backup knew where to start looking for them. It was getting harder to keep up optimistic appearances for Amanda's sake. But he had to try.
"Hey, buck up, partner." That brought a slight smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. That beautiful mouth that he longed to feel against his. He was the senior agent with years of field experience behind him. It was up to him to keep them both fighting ready for the morning. And he did feel that they were at least safe for the remainder of the night.
Lee continued his light banter, "Let's try to get comfortable as best we can. I'm sorry I cannot offer you four star accommodations this evening, Ma'am. I promise to make it up to you the next time we are trapped alone together for the night."
Amanda's fear began to subside slightly. Lee was really the most wonderful man. That was why she loved him so much. That and a hundred other reasons. She knew he was fearful too, yet he was doing his best to keep up both their spirits. And she loved it when he teased her, although she usually protested. The accommodations may not be four star, but they were together and that rated them highly in her book. She wondered if they would ever be alone together for the night if they were not trapped. She shook her head. Not the time for thoughts like that. Daydreams were meant for leisurely moments when they were not in mortal danger.
It was Amanda's turn to tease him. "And what, kind sir, do you have planned for the next time we are trapped for the night? Perhaps a deserted warehouse with a bomb about to explode? Or maybe the ultimate luxury of a stake-out vehicle with no heater and hard straight seats that keep us uncomfortable for the entire shift? Although I admit the latter sounds pretty tempting right now."
Lee smiled and shook his head in amazement as he moved a step closer to her and kissed her forehead. "You are undoubtedly the most remarkable woman I have ever met." They stood there staring at each other for a few seconds. Lee spoke first, "Let's try to find a comfortable position over here."
They lay down on the ground next to each other. Both moved around trying to get as comfortable as their situation would permit, trying to keep the clanking of the chain to a minimum in case Sacker's guards should hear.
Lee whispered, "Amanda, this is never going to work. I like to sleep on my right side. Could we change sides?"
Amanda replied, "Well, I like to sleep on my left side. Not that I think I'm going to sleep much anyway out here in the wild. I've camped plenty of times with Junior Trailblazers, but swamps do not rank high on our list of most desirable campsites. This place is too creepy."
They worked out a compromise and laid down once again.
After a few minutes Lee asked, "Are you comfortable?"
"What do you think?"
"Me neither. Amanda, I was pretty comfortable before we were so rudely interrupted. What do you say we sit up like that again. I can lean up against this tree and you can lean up against me."
"That sounds like too good an offer to pass up. You're on, mister."
They proceeded to situate themselves as they were before the attack with Lee's arms encircling Amanda, she snuggled against him with her head on his chest. She sighed. She had daydreamed about Lee holding her in his arms. It felt even better than she could imagine. But she had envisioned them in other settings during her daydreams--settings a little more comfortable and less fraught with danger. Earlier she had almost confessed her feelings for him, but had chickened out. She had wanted him to know, in case they didn't make it out of here, how she felt. But she couldn't bring herself to say it. Then he almost kissed her. She would have liked to be kissed by Lee Stetson just once, without it being part of a cover, in case they didn't make it. She would have to be satisfied with the almost-kiss and know that the intent was there. She sighed again.
"Hey, you okay?" he asked, holding her tighter and caressing her arms. He had misinterpreted her sigh as one of resignation to their fate. "You know, I have a really good feeling about tomorrow. I'm sure the CB message got to Billy and they will find a way to get us out of here. We've got to think positive, Amanda, you with me on this?"
Amanda turned her head to look up at him with a soft smile on her face and a look of sheer trust in her eyes. "Lee Stetson, I will always be with you no matter what."
Lee's breath caught in his throat at her response. He realized he wanted Amanda to be with him forever. He felt like they had always been together. He couldn't remember what it had been like before she came into his life, or rather before he abruptly forced himself into hers. His heart took over as he tended to unfinished business. He pulled her tighter against him and kissed her gently, thoroughly, lingeringly. She responded in a way that told him she wanted the kiss as much as he wanted to give it. After what seemed like minutes, they broke apart to look at each other.
"Amanda, you know I'm not much of one for expressing my feelings. But I want you to know how very special you are to me, how very much I care about you. I can't imagine doing this job without you by my side."
Amanda reached up to softly touch his face. "Thank you, Lee. I do understand how hard that was for you to say. You mean so much to me, too. I value the friendship that we've forged. And I meant what I said. I will always be with you."
Their lips met again for another tender kiss.
Lee sighed and leaned back, marveling at how wonderful it felt to kiss Amanda and hold her close to him. He was glad he told her how he felt about her.
Amanda smiled to herself. The kiss had meant so much to her. She had loved him for so long, and now she knew that he had feelings for her as well, even though he might not fully recognize that yet. He had admitted that he couldn't imagine his job without her by his side. It was her patience with him that resulted in his realization of this fact. She could be patient a while longer. In time he would realize that he couldn't imagine his life without her by his side. Secure in this knowledge, she smiled and drifted off to sleep in his arms.