A NEW PARTNER
The next day as Amanda enthusiastically regales the team at the Agency with what happened at the Welch mansion and her not inconsiderable part in it, Billy sits attentively listening and realises pretty quickly that there is something rather special about her.
Lee, however, paces impatiently back and forth wishing that Amanda would hurry up and get to the end of her rather extensive monologue. For the first time in his career he has found himself having been rescued from a nasty fate by a housewife from Arlington and that’s really not something he wants to dwell on!
When, finally, Amanda comes to the end of her ramble, Lee is quick to cross over to her and help her out of her seat. “We’ve gotta go, Billy,” he says, hoping to cut off any chance of any further discussion on the case or Amanda’s part in it.
But Billy’s not done. “If there’s a need, I trust we can count on your help upon occasion?” he asks Amanda.
“What?” Lee just stares at Billy. Surely he isn’t thinking of letting Amanda get more involved with the Agency’s work? It goes against everything he’s been trying to do – namely to get rid of her – since he first gave her the package at the train station!
Amanda is thrilled by the offer of helping out. After all, she’s been looking for work and if she can be of any help whatsoever she is willing to do it.
“Well, Lee, we do use civilians from time to time,” Billy justifies, not mentioning that this is the second time that Lee has called upon a civilian to help him out. “She’s anonymous, idealistic, responsible…”
He has also deduced from what he has heard just how well Amanda seems to be able to handle Lee and that isn’t something that he is willing to ignore. Maybe she’s just what he needs to stop him from sending himself to an early grave.
Lee finds everything going from bad to worse when, having finally managed to hustle Amanda out of the room before anything further can be discussed about a potential job, Billy tells him that they may have just found him a new partner.
For Lee it’s a step too far. He’s not even going to entertain that idea! “Knock it off, Billy,” he warns.
Billy just smiles. After all, he knows best. Francine can’t resist a little dig of her own, having listened to and observed the pair of them together.
Having left the Agency, Lee and Amanda walk briskly along side by side in the rain. Amanda, with the prospect of a paid job before her, is already working out ways to juggle her new life as a “spy” with her home life.
“So, if I work here, does that mean I work with you? I mean, that’s what you do isn’t it? You have partners? But, you know, I might need some special training. I’m not sure I have the right skills. I mean I type, I don’t shoot, you know? But I do love this area. Oh, I’m crazy about it. All the fresh vegetables come in here and besides that the boys’ dentist is right around the block, so what I could do is, I could drop them off at the dentist, then I could go into spy headquarters and then I could pick up a fresh melon all at the same time.” She pauses, still thinking of all the opportunities before her.
Lee can only turn and stare at her. Did she really just ask him that? What sort of course did he set himself upon when he gave her that package? Whatever it is, it’s not going to be so easy to shake her with Billy on her side – although she can forget about being his partner. He works alone and that’s that!
As Amanda smiles expectantly back at him waiting for his answer, he realises that his life will never be the same again….