A Very Little Something (Tiny AU Filler for Murder Between Friends)

Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King belong to Shoot the Moon Productions and Warner Brothers and I'm making absolutely no money for this writing! I've borrowed ideas from the Murder Between Friends ep (witten by Mark Lisson and Bill Frehlich) and the book Jane Eyre (by Charlotte Bronte).

Setting: AU and possibly out of canon for Murder Between Friends

Background: What if it was one whole week from the time Amanda left the Agency until Byron Jordan was killed? (Amanda would have worked for Jordan that whole time and would not have seen Lee for an entire week)

What if there was a trial run at Nabuti's Safe House in the form of an Embassy Party and Byron took Amanda...

Act 1: Embassy Party

Setting: Special Diplomatic Mansion

Byron Jordan led Amanda from outside the cool, dark evening air into the warm, bright, festive foyer of Nabuti's mansion. Billy had requested that Byron's security firm perform a trial run to detect any bugs in the safe house's security system. Word had it that there was a plot to abduct or assasinate the African president. This Embassy party sans Nabuti was the perfect test.

As Byron guided Amanda through the door, Amanda thought 'I wonder if Lee will be here?'

Byron looked affectionately at Amanda. She looked lovely in her sky blue evening dress. The blue really set off her stunning brown eyes. Yes, Byron could hardly believe his good fortune. He had found the best Executive Assistant in Arlington, and the most beautiful!

How he enjoyed going to work every day. Seeing her smiling face, listening to her quaint stories about her Mother and boys...

Byron thought to himself, 'I think I'm falling in love.'

Amanda tried to ignore the look on Byron's face. He was such a nice man. How could she tell him that everytime she saw him, she thought of Lee?

She constantly wondered what Lee was doing. What was Lee thinking? Was he getting enough rest? Was he eating right? Did he miss her?

Amanda had to wonder if Lee missed her. She hadn't seen him in a whole week. He had not stopped by her house even once since her last day at the Agency. He acted like they were strangers.

Amanda had thought they were just now becoming good friends...

"Care for some champagne?" Byron broke Amanda's reverie.

"Oh! Why yes, that would be..." Amanda stopped. Her heart was in her throat... she just saw...Lee.

"Amanda?" Byron looked at Amanda then turned his gaze to what could have possibly captured her attention. It was none other than Lee Stetson, man about town, surrounded by a bevy of buxom beauties.

Each one had long, cascading hair. Amanda cringed despite herself. She wasn't really thrilled about that haircut she had received a few weeks ago and now she really felt self-conscious. Lee didn't even acknowledge her. He was too wrapped up in Kelli, Elli, and Nelli!

"Uh, yes, Byron...Let's go get that glass of champagne" Amanda said as Byron led her past Lee and his harem.

'Lee never once acknowledged my presence!' Amanda thought and ...stewed. 'Who does he think he is!? I saw him practically every week at the Agency for these past two years! I took his package, watched his back, kissed his lips, baked him a cake, and now he acts like I'm a complete stranger!' Amanda was indignant.

"Shrimp, ma'am?"

"What!?" Amanda caught herself before she took her anger out on the poor, innocent waitress. "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm steamed enough already, I mean, no, I don't want the steamed shrimp! Thank you, though..."

Byron gave Amanda a funny look. He had never seen her get so flustered. He wondered why he had never evoked such a response from Amanda. What was it with that Stetson fellow anyway?! Couldn't he leave a few untainted fish in the sea? Byron struggled to keep his cool as he escorted Amanda unto the dance floor.

Byron led Amanda masterfully as the orchestra played the 'Viennese Waltz' . Amanda swayed with the music and thought about the man whose arms were wrapped around her. Byron was a kind man, a terrific boss, and a graceful dancer but...there was just something missing. Amanda couldn't put her finger on it. Dancing with Byron seemed...mechanical, lackluster. No sparks. At least not for her.

She really didn't like that look Byron got in his eyes everytime she spoke. 'He's fallin' too hard for me, too fast!' Amanda thought and wondered how she was going to break it to Mr. Jordan that she didn't feel the same.

*****

Act 2: The Inquisition

"Amanda, will you excuse me?" Byron asked as he loosened his hold on her, "Time for me to discuss some business with Billy."

"Oh, sure Byron." Amanda replied as she watched Byron walk away and nodded a 'hello' to Mr. Melrose. It seemed so odd to her that she would never work for Billy again.

"Well, it's a shame to see such a beautiful woman left alone at a party."

Amanda turned and smiled, hoping to see Lee, and...did her best to conceal her disappointment. Instead of Lee, she was greeted by none other than Glen Tucker, Byron's friend and partner. She found it strange that he looked so much like her ex-husband. 'Everybody's got a twin' she thought.

"Care to dance?" Glen asked as he put his arm around Amanda.

"Oh, no thank you" Amanda said as she looked around for Lee, "I just thought I'd, uh, take a little walk and get some fresh air." Lee had not yet acknowledged her presence.

Unfortunately for Amanda, Mr. Tucker took her at her word.

"Oh, that would be very nice." Glen said as he led the reluctant Amanda past the other dancers and out through the french doors. They exited unto the stone patio which led to the breathtaking grounds of the Mansion.

A gentle breeze wafted the fragrance of the evening blossoms and tickled Amanda's face. As Glen led her through the garden, she gazed at the silhouette of the towering trees now made visible in the light of the moon.

'How romantic' Amanda mused. She longed to enjoy this stroll with someone else right now. Someone else to hold her arm. Someone else to walk her down this winding path. Someone else. "Lee" she said under her breath.

"What?"

Amanda just smiled at Glen's question and continued to stroll alongside him down the path.

Glen Tucker thought 'This is going to be easier than I thought!' He looked at his gullible prey. She had no idea. Tucker stifled a smirk. "So, how are the plans going so far Mrs. King?" Tucker asked.

As they continued to walk along, Amanda wondered why Glen Tucker was asking her so many questions. She was trying to enjoy the beautiful grounds but Glen just wanted to talk. She almost felt like she was being pumped for information. She was beginning to feel...creepy. "Shouldn't you know all this?" Amanda asked. "After all, Byron's your partner."

"Yes, well, I'm just making sure that you had all the details down." Glen craftily replied.

Amanda nodded as Glen said, "Please excuse me, there are things I must attend to." He released his hold on her elbow and made his way back to the festivities.

Tucker did not yet have the information he wanted about the security codes. 'Just as well' he thought, 'tomorrow is another day.'

Amanda watched as Glen walked away and sighed. She was glad for the solitude. As she ambled along in the cool air, she thought about the past week.

When she had accepted this job with Byron, she had not really taken into account all the consequences.

Yes the money was fantastic, but...well, Byron was no Lee.

Lee.

Amanda had not factored in Lee, or the lack of Lee, when she had made her decision. Seeing him tonight, watching him with those other women. She wondered why it hurt so much and why she even cared.

Amanda continued to meander in the moonlight, enjoying the fragrance of the cherry blossoms. As she wandered past a gazebo overshadowed with trees, she felt a hand on her back.

That touch was electrifying.

Before Amanda could turn around she heard Lee say, "Amanda what are you doing out here?" Lee grabbed Amanda's arms and turned her to face him. He didn't let go as he asked her, "Are you feeling alright? You looked pale back there in the ballroom."

Amanda just stared at him. 'Funny you noticed!' she thought. He had certainly not given any indication that he even knew she was alive back at the Mansion. "I'm fine Lee, seems like you had your hands full..." was all she could mutter.

He looked so dashing in his tux. Almost as good as he looked that last day she had seen him at the Agency wearing that black jumpsuit. Amanda pulled herself away from Lee's gentle embrace and continued to stroll.

Gravel crunched on a nearby path. As Lee heard Byron approach he pushed Amanda into the darkened gazebo.

"Hey, what the...!" Amanda couldn't finish that thought as Lee shushed her.

Amanda had had just about enough.

"What do you think you are doing Lee Stetson!" she whispered loudly.

"Amanda!", Lee said as he looked out for Byron's approach. "There are some things I've got to ask you and, let's just say, Byron does not need to know."

Amanda retorted, "Oh, no! You've got it all wrong Lee, Byron is a nice man..." Was he inquiring about Byron because he was jealous? Amanda wondered...

'A nice man!' Lee did not want to hear that. "Amanda! Someone is out to kill Nabuti and we think it's an inside job!"

"Oh" Amanda replied. She now understood it was business that Lee was talking about, not their relationship. She was not successful in concealing her disappointment.

Lee couldn't believe that Amanda would defend a man she hardly knew. 'How could she not believe me?' Lee thought as he proceeded to ask Amanda an endless amount of questions.

'Why does this feel like the inquisition?!' Amanda seethed.

***

Act 3: Oh Shelli!

Without warning, Lee heard a very close Byron ask other nearby guests, "Have you seen my date Amanda?"

Lee pushed Amanda further into the refuge of the gazebo.

"Hey, what are you doing!"

Lee did not respond to Amanda's question but kept looking out at the path waiting for Byron to pass by.

"Look Amanda," Lee whispered as he kept his eyes on the path, "Byron is a prime suspect in this assassination attempt..."

Byron snapped a twig under his feet and almost tripped. He had now come upon the gazebo.

Amanda watched Lee in action. She studied his determined chin and strong jawline as he kept his gaze on Byron's every move. Lee unwittingly held her tighter as he watched Byron approach.

Amanda could feel Lee's heart beat from where her hand laid on his chest. She hadn't moved that hand since he had shoved her into the gazebo. She wondered what he meant when he said that Byron was a prime suspect.

"Oh Shelli, you little devil! I didn't think I'd see you till Tuesday!" Lee said a little too loudly."Why, I haven't seen you since that ski trip in Prague!"

"What are you doing?!" Amanda whispered.

"We've got to get rid of him..." Lee whispered back.

Lee finally turned to face Amanda and looked her straight in the eyes. Until now, he had not looked into her soulful eyes once all night. Those alluring eyes caught him off guard.

As Amanda looked up at Lee, she spotted Byron and slipped out "oops!"

Byron had just entered the gazebo.

"Uh, hey there!" Lee said as he shielded Amanda from Byron's vision. "Shelli and I were just looking for a little privacy."

Byron stared at Lee. He swore that was Amanda's pale blue dress he could see past Stetson's form. "Oh, I was looking for Amanda." Byron said as he peered around Lee.

Amanda remained hidden in the shadows and didn't utter a word. She wondered why she was playing along with Lee's cover. Afterall, she didn't work for the Agency any more.

Byron turned very slowly to make his exit. He wasn't satisfied. He didn't quite believe there was any 'Shelli'. As he walked away, Byron continued to scrutinize Lee's every move.

Lee turned again to face Amanda and whispered, "Is he still there?"

"Yes, he's still watching" Amanda replied as she watched Byron from the shadows.

Lee said again a little too loudly, "Oh, Shelli! It's just so good to see you!" As he hesitantly plunged his lips down on Amanda.

"Umph, umph!" Amanda half-heartedly attempted to push Lee away.

Of course it was no use. She was lost in his kiss after the first second. "Oh!"

Lee whispered, "Is he still there?"

Amanda couldn't speak so she timidly nodded "yes".

Lee stole a sideways glance and noticed that Byron was still standing there, next to the gazebo, staring at them.

Lee knew his reputation was on the line so he whispered "I'm sorry" and pulled Amanda even closer to him as he once more crashed his lips down on her own.

'Man, she never kissed me like that in San Angelo!' Lee thought.

"Hmmmmmm" Amanda thought, 'If he kisses Randi like this all the time, I don't think they'll ever break up!'

Lee continued to think, 'I've never kissed anyone like this my whole life! Is this the way she kisses Byron?' Not to be out done, Lee decided that this was a kiss he never wanted Amanda to forget. He grabbed his hand behind her head and dipped her back...

"Whoa!"

Byron stood outside the gazebo and thought 'That couldn't be Amanda. She doesn't kiss on the first date.'

:)

Long after Byron walked away, Lee's 'I'm going to show you!' kiss turned into the real thing. Unfortunately, as soon as Lee realized that he was hooked, he abruptly ended their embrace.

Amanda stood there stunned. She quickly wrenched herself from Lee's arms and turned her back to him. She didn't want him to see her reaction.

Lee also turned his back on Amanda and loosened his tie as he muttered "It's just business."

They both acted cool to each other as they made sure the coast was clear. Byron was no where in sight.

Lee asked Amanda a few more technical questions then made his way to rejoin the party.

Amanda stood there staring at the moon then hesitantly made her way back to the ballroom.

***

Act 4: Back to Reality

Byron noticed the guilty look on Amanda's face as she joined his side in the ballroom. There was also an unmistakable glow on her face. Byron noticed that same glow on Lee's face too. He found it odd that Lee did not acknowlege him or Amanda the rest of the evening.

No, Lee seemed preoccupied with the triplets as they fawned over him.

Amanda shook her head in disbeleif. The same man who had been kissing her in that gazebo now acted like she didn't exist.

Maybe she had made the right decision. Maybe being Byron's Executive Assistant was the best decision she had ever made. Maybe Byron wasn't such a bad catch afterall. He was attentive and he obviously adored her.

After this sucessful trial run, Byron took Amanda home.

As they stood outside her front door, Byron softly said "I'll see you tomorrow" and kissed Amanda's hand..

"Everything went well tonight." Amanda interjected. Maybe she had written Byron off too soon.

"Yes. Oh, Amanda", Byron started, "How about you coming over to my place tomorrow night. We'll have a steak dinner...and ..."

"I'd love to" Amanda replied.

"Great! I'll send my limo for you. I promise it will be a night you'll never forget!" Byron said as they made their farewells.

Little did he know the truth to those words.

As Byron drove away, Amanda did not notice that pensive man sitting in a silver corvette only yards away...

ok, now back to the original script...