I apologize for the delay in this second chapter. We are in the midst a major family crisis, but I decided to take a break from reality and indulge in some fantasy for bit before returning to crisis mode.
This chapter takes place during Weekend and is told from Amanda's POV. It proved to be slightly difficult for me as I am more like Lee in personality...but not nearly as, um, cute. ;)
After Lee stormed out of their hotel room, quietly, of course, it would look suspicious to the other guests if the "newlyweds" had an argument that ended in door slamming, Amanda stood in the middle of the room, staring at the bed. She was neither relieved nor perturbed that she had essentially run Lee out and forced him to spend the night in a utility closet. Finally she sighed and walked slowly over to the couch Lee had just vacated; tossing her handbag on one end, she sat down with emphasis on the other.
She shook her head as she thought about their circumstances, and more specifically, Lee Stetson. He had to be one of the most complicated men she had ever known; no, *the* most complicated man; no, *the* most complicated *person.* Since the day their worlds had collided barely half a year ago, Amanda had often felt she was on an emotional roller coaster. It was a decidedly unsettling feeling for her as she was simply not a woman who was reigned by her feelings. She was a very logical person, though Lee would certainly argue that, and she preferred an even keel life to the one of extreme highs and lows brought about by working with Lee Stetson, and, she at least felt, being his friend. Not that she couldn't cope with chaos, goodness knows the life of a single mom with two boys was anything but calm, she could ride the waves easily until the storms subsided. With Lee, however, it was never just a simple storm; it was a hurricane, or a tsunami.
On the one hand, Lee could be haughty and condescending, obnoxious, even. Take the time during their first case when he had invited her to the party filled with his friends. He hadn't even told her how to dress, probably hoping to keep her off balance, she had thought later. The women that had paraded themselves before him...well, that was enough to turn anyone's stomach. He was probably upset that his charms did not have the same effect on her. Then, the more they had been forced to work together, there were the looks, rolling eyes, heavy sighing, to show his annoyance or disgust with her.
On the other hand, she had seen Lee risk his life, and his freedom, for her and for others. He could stare down the barrel of a gun without so much as raising an eyebrow, his bravado seemed to know no bounds. She had watched him throw himself in front of a charging horse, and take down a senior Stassi agent, well, she hadn't actually *seen* that as she'd been knocked out on the bed after being given a lethal injection. The rumors that had run like wildfire through the agency after that incident had taken her by surprise. Sure, Lee had told her that he had carried her out of James Delano's mansion, but she'd had no idea that he'd held her until the ambulance arrived, staring down even Mr. Melrose when he'd suggested Lee lay her down on a sofa somewhere. Not long after that he'd faced charges of treason for exchanging a KGB agent he'd spent years pursuing, for her.
Now, just when she thought she could say she'd seen the worst, and that things were starting to settle down between them, he pulled what he had for this weekend. She could imagine why he'd "neglected" to tell her all the specifics, and maybe he had a good reason. After what had happened at The Agency the last time they had played husband and wife, even she was fairly certain she would have turned down this opportunity to help. As soon as he'd said she was going to spend the weekend with him, her guard had gone up. The rumors and innuendos that still persisted even these many months later about what might have happened between a "desperate housewife" and The Agency's infamous Lothario were enough to make her want to stay out of any situations that might give new life to them. And if he spent the night with her in this room, they certainly would. Didn't he realize that all of this would probably go into their reports? Then a girl in the steno pool would transcribe it. Then...Amanda didn't want to think about what was going to happen then.
Still, she knew, that if she were to find herself in any sort of dangerous situation, even now when he was probably still incredibly angry with her, all she would have to do was call out for him, and if he heard her, he would come running, no matter the risk.
Amanda put her hand to her head and closed her eyes. She was tired of spending another evening trying to figure out the complexities of her friend. The tension she'd been feeling since Lee had slipped the wedding ring on her hand in the late afternoon was finally easing, leaving her feeling exhausted in its wake. She stood and took the few steps to the bed. As she contemplated whether she should change into her nightgown or not, he did, after all, still have a key to the room and could come in at any time, she suddenly felt a pang of guilt. In all this time he had never tried anything with her, well, except that kiss undercover at the football training camp, but that was water under the bridge. And come to think of it, he'd left that part out of his report.
Amanda felt a throbbing begin behind her eyes. Walking into the bathroom she picked up her cosmetics bag and opened it to retrieve the bottle of aspirin. She took two of the pills quickly with a glass of water from the tap, then returned the bottle to the bag and wandered back into the bedroom. Sitting down on the end bed, she tried to determine if she was more tired or more confused. Finally her body would not let her remain in an upright position and she crawled, still fully clothed, to the top of the bed, pulled out one of the pillows and lay her head on it. She was so tired she never even noticed she hadn't removed her shoes.
It was 5:30am when Lee returned to the room. He quietly let himself in with his key and gently shut the door behind him. When he looked at the bed he had quite a surprise. There was Amanda, still fully clothed, lying on top of the blankets. She'd only disturbed the bed by pulling out a pillow for her head. Lee sighed quietly. His anger had long since dissipated and he'd spent most of the night berating himself for not being more forthcoming with Amanda about the nature of the assignment before they had arrived. He had just been so afraid she'd say 'no,' and there really had been no one else.
Shaking his head, Lee pulled himself out of his reveries before they could get a chance to spiral again. He removed his jacket and laid it on the arm of the couch. Walking over to the bed he carefully pulled up the side of the bedspread and covered her, then he tiptoed over to the bathroom so he could at least have a long hot shower, hopefully before she awoke.
Quite some time later Amanda banged on the door. Lee shook his head, she probably needed in. Too bad, he thought. He might be somewhat at fault for their situation but, after a night in the utility closet, he wasn't budging from this shower until he felt like it.