Lee & Amanda: Relationship Progression Notes – There Goes the Neighbourhood (Pt6)

IN OUR COSY KITCHEN

The next day (presumably) Lee and Amanda meet up at their “house” on the Betsy Ross Estates to catch up and swap notes on the case, having settled companionably in the kitchen to talk things through.

consider1

Even as Lee is running through what they know so far out loud, Amanda is busy nailing another thing she’s brought from home to the kitchen wall – a picture of Dean holding a massive fish in front of his face!

To Wonder Why

Having finished doing that she starts to go about making herself a sandwich, bustling around the kitchen with the as much ease as she would in her own home.  Lee, meanwhile, is looking at the picture on the wall, his mind distracting from the case, a frown furrowing his brow.  Despite the picture appearing a bit strange, there’s something else wrong with it – something about it that’s not quite right.  Then he realises!

Its Crooked

“It’s crooked,” he tells Amanda, pointing.  Horrified, she rushes to straighten it and as he watches her do so, Lee cannot help but question her about it. “What is it?”

“It’s Dean,” Amanda replies, proudly stating that it was from when they were on vacation together.

The Man in the Picture

“Good likeness,” Lee quips rather uncharitably, although he can’t help being a bit curious about a man who puts a big fish in front of his face.  “You and whats-his-name do a lot of fishing, do you?”

His question, however, provokes Amanda to immediately close the shutters on any further discussion about her relationship with Dean.  She’s not about to discuss her love life with him!  Very succinctly she gives him a brief response that, yes, she and Dean do do a lot of fishing before pointedly suggesting that they return to the actual matter in hand – namely the case.  After all, that’s what they’re here for.

Personal Touch

Lee abides by her wish and duly turns his mind from Dean, only to notice as he glances up at the window, halfway through some further musings about the case, that Amanda has changed the curtains! Again he finds himself derailed from matters which should be fully occupying his mind. He can’t quite figure out why Amanda would even bother to do such a thing.  After all, what does it matter what the curtains look like?  It’s not as though it’s their actual home!

Amanda gives a casual little shrug when he asks her why she changed them.  Personally she didn’t think the old curtains went well with the rug she bought and as she prefers a cheery kitchen to work in she changed the curtains.

This isnt your kitchen speech

From where Amanda’s standing it’s all pretty simple, although Lee has a completely different idea of how things should be done.

hirered-copy2

His response isn’t really a surprise to Amanda.  She’s already worked out a few things about him and wastes no time in telling him what she thinks – namely that he’s out of touch.

People want to get through the day

He doesn’t immediately understand – or doesn’t want to.  “Out of touch with what?” he responds testily.

“The way normal people do things.”

The Distance Between Us

Irritated by her assessment of him, Lee turns from her to get back to his notes.  It’s not a conversation he particularly wants to have, but Amanda isn’t about to let it go.

To her mind, at least, Lee has no real idea of normality and from what she’s seen certainly has no wish to embrace it!  He may not want or lead an ordinary life in the suburbs as she does, but she knows that he needs to start connecting with the people they are “living” amongst by approaching them and showing an interest in their lives.  It is, after all, the only way he is going to discover things which might be relevant to the case.

Boiling Point

When, upon completely losing his patience, Lee tells her that if she’s so damn normal she can solve the case she is more than willing to snatch up the gauntlet.  And when Lee questions her as to how she thinks she can do that she is more than ready with her answer.

Shes got wet hair speech

She already has her own ideas about what has been going on and when she tells Lee he is left to wonder whether she may have a point after all.  In fact, he can’t help but be impressed with her line of thinking.  “Did you just think of that?” he asks and when she admits she has, although wonders if it is a bit too way out to have any real substance, he dismisses it, telling her it’s a good thought.

His compliment isn’t lost on Amanda – in fact, she is very happy to receive it.  As far as Lee is concerned it’s an idea he wants to run with.  The fact that Judy Wainwright is making deliveries that day spurs his decision to trail her and keep an eye on things; and so, wasting no more time, he makes ready to leave the house.  It is only when he’s gathered up his jacket and on his way out that he suddenly realises what has just happened between himself and Amanda.

Do You Know What Just Happened

It stops him in his tracks and he turns to look at her.  Does she realise it too?

She comes to stand in front of him, although she is completely unaware of what is going through his mind.  “What?”

First Fight

Amanda gives a little laugh, surprised by his words. “Right here in our cheery kitchen,” she muses.  Only a short while ago he was busy telling her that their “home” wasn’t real.  Now here he is referring to them as arguing like a proper couple!

Lee glances towards the kitchen area, remembering, before turning back to her. “I guess I’ll see you later,” he begins as though to leave her, although his gaze holds fast to hers, his feet firmly rooted to the spot.

Bound by the moment new version

An awkward, unspoken anticipation hangs between them. Gone is the cocky spy, the smooth operator amongst women, and in his place stands a man whose own words have had the power to throw him a little off-balance.

If This were Real

He’s not quite sure how to proceed, how to move forward from what he’s just said.  After all, if they were indeed a regular married couple who’d just had a fight, wouldn’t they be kissing and making up at this point?  Not that they are a couple, of course!  They’re definitely not emotionally attached or anything like that as far he’s concerned (in fact they barely even know each other) and yet he can’t walk away until he makes up with her for the argument they’ve just had.  He’s got to say something….do something…

Galvanising himself into action, he extends his hand out to Amanda as a peace offering, breaking through the awkwardness which lingers between them.

Making Up

Seeing what he is doing Amanda grasps his hand with a somewhat relieved smile and as they shake hands they give a little laugh, both of them knowing that this is their way of making up after their fight.

“Have a good…” Amanda begins as their hands part, gesturing as if to verify that she means his day.

“Yeah. You too,” he replies, things seemingly back to normal between them, even as they both turn away from each other to go their different ways.

When Leaving You is the Hardest Part of all

However, even then Lee finds that he can’t just walk away.  There’s something else he needs to tell her before he goes.

Look back at you

“You know, I like blue a lot better,” he says, referring to the curtains from which their whole argument sprung.

Amanda cannot hide her pleasure at his remark.  It means a lot to her that he appreciates her efforts to make the place feel more homely. “Oh!  Good.  I’m glad,” she replies with a bright smile as she watches him give her a little salute and finally walk away, leaving her standing watching after him.

Advertisements

Lee & Amanda: Relationship Progression Notes – There Goes the Neighbourhood (Pt5)

NIGHT MANOEUVRES

Later, with Lee having reassured himself that the coast is clear, he and Amanda set off to search the Bodine house.  It’s not the first time that Amanda has accompanied Lee on a break-in, although on that occasion they were letting themselves into an impersonal Post Office to find a parcel rather than breaking into somebody’s actual home.

Having got into the house, as they come through the french windows, Amanda’s first instinct is to shine her torch around the room to see if she can spot anything.  However this only earns her a whispered hiss from Lee to keep her light down, even as his hand reaches out to push it downwards.  The last thing they need is for someone noticing an unexplained light in a supposedly empty house!  The gloom of the darkened room and the whole fact of what they are doing certainly doesn’t make Amanda feel particularly comfortable!

Spying

“This gives me the creeps,” she whispers.

“This way,” Lee announces, having done a quick scan of the room and decided on where they should head first.  Amanda doesn’t question it and merely follows in his wake; after all, she is sure he knows what he’s doing being the experienced spy that he is. What’s more she’s going to stay as close to him as possible!

Staying Close

“We’re looking for letters, diaries, phone numbers, anything unusual,” he tells her, although as he turns to find her right behind him – and far too close for his liking – he decides on another track.  “I’ll check upstairs.”

He’s not about to have her follow him so when she asks him what she should do he tells her to just check around.  That should keep her occupied and to his mind she’ll be perfectly safe downstairs on her own, especially as they’re the only ones in the house let alone awake!

LeftBehind

Reluctantly, Amanda watches Lee head for the stairs.  She’d much rather go with him but if he wants her to check the downstairs then that’s what she’s going to have to do. But where to start?

within

She flashes her torch around and spots a closed door.  Perhaps she should check to see what’s behind it?  Stealthily she creeps towards it and even though she knows there’s no one at home she gives the door a brief knock before tentatively entering.

HairdryerHazzrds

It leads her into the bathroom – the surfaces strewn with a whole host of beauty products and, upon closer inspection, a rather blackened hairdryer.  She picks it up thoughtfully and gives it a sniff.  It smells as though it’s burnt out.

Noises in the Darkness

As she puts it down she hears the sudden startled sound of a cat.  She really isn’t comfortable with the situation and decides it’s high time to try and find Lee.  Surely he isn’t far away?  When she calls out to him, however, she gets no response.  Maybe he didn’t hear her? Venturing back into the main room she hears another noise – this time seeming slightly more ominous as though glass has been broken – and in the eerie gloom she calls out nervously to Lee again.  Fear starts to swell; something is definitely not right!  The worst thing is that there seems to be absolutely no sign of Lee.

What Lies in Wait

Keeping a wary eye out and more than a little unnerved she heads towards the kitchen, not quite knowing where she should start looking for Lee, when suddenly she feels something seize her leg.  She lets out a scream, utterly terrified, although as she sharply spins about and peers down she sees Frank Bodine lying on the floor!

When all is wrong

His very presence in the house is a shock to her.  He isn’t supposed to here at all but rather staying with Harriet and her husband for the night!  That was the whole reason why they came to check the house for clues!

“Oh! Mr Bodine!” she cries, instinctively crouching down to help him, only to find the horrifying sight of blood on her hands from a wound Frank has received after obviously being attacked.  Had it happened while she was in the other room? Is that what those noises she heard were linked to?

The Assailant in the Shadows

When she looks up after hearing the back door open behind her she finds herself confronted by a masked figure lurking menacingly in the doorway.  Alone with only a dying man in her arms, she has no way of defending herself, no weapon to use if this person should try to attack her too so she does the only thing she can – she screams at the top of her voice for Lee, praying this time that he will hear her, a move which mercifully sends the intruder running.  “Lee, they’re getting away!”

Call out to me

From the garden Lee hears Amanda’s stark cry of warning.  His first reaction is to get to her as quickly as possible; he has no idea whether she’s in danger.  He slows, however, his instincts anticipating something, reaching for his gun to protect himself as he moves towards the house.

danger-copy

The sound of a car’s engine and then, in the next second, a van coming crashing through the garage doors forces him to abandon trying to fire at the speeding vehicle when it heads straight for him. He can do nothing else but run as fast as he can to try and escape the van which seems hellbent on hitting him.

UnderThreatnew

Desperate to avoid being struck he throws himself out of its path into the shrubbery, although in the next moment, with the van having ground to a halt, someone bears over him seemingly intent on finishing him off.

deadly

Quickly reacting, he narrowly avoids being staked by a pink flamingo. He kick outs and knocks his assailant off his feet, taking advantage of the fact by scrambling to his feet and reaching for the nearest weapon to hand – another plastic flamingo!

Flamingos

He has little time to dwell on the suitability of such a weapon; the bad guy is quick to continue his attack upon him, giving Lee little option but to fight back as best he can. Flamingos clash, no longer ornaments of the garden but potentially deadly weapons.

Left for Deadnew

It is only when the van once more comes back to try and mow Lee down that he is compelled to leap aside while his assailant gets into the van before driving off into the night.

When Danger Passes

Left alone his mind switches back to Amanda.  Is she all right?  He hasn’t heard anything more from her since he heard her scream out to him.  Retrieving his gun from the ground where he dropped it earlier, he bolts for the house not knowing what to expect.

To Wherever you are

What he finds is Amanda, seemingly and mercifully unharmed, sitting on the kitchen floor with Frank Bodine cradled in her lap.

He rushes over to her and crouches down beside her.  What was supposed to be a simple break-in to find some evidence has now yielded something far more than he originally bargained for – a dying man who, even though he is beginning to fade as the life ebbs from him, has only one thing he needs to say.

As Death Stalks Suburbia

“Hairdryer.” Frank Bodine murmurs as he draws his last breath and dies.

Look to You

In absolute silence Amanda and Lee turn to each other.  Betty Bodine spoke about hairdryers before being found dead and now it seems that her husband has gone exactly the same way….

Lee & Amanda: Relationship Progression Notes – There Goes the Neighbourhood (Pt3)

ADVENTURES IN DOMESTICITY

And so Amanda finds herself faced with the prospect of posing as Lee’s wife.  For Lee too, this is something new – he’s never had to play house with a real housewife before, particularly with one who brings props for the house they will be using as their pretend home with her.

Rummage Sale

The buffalo’s head brings it home to him that, unlike for him, this assignment is something new for Amanda.  She’s had to continue to lie about where she is going and what she is up to to her mother, having fallen back on her previous invention of her new “club” to explain why she’ll be absent for at least the day.

Unchartered Territory

She throws herself into the assignment almost as soon as they arrive, telling Lee that she’s going to check that the removal men know where to put everything.  Lee can only stand there and stare after her as she goes sprinting towards the house.  Surely she’s getting a bit too involved in all this?  It’s not as though it’s even remotely real!  Certainly he’s never had to worry about what piece of furniture goes where or how everything is arranged.  That’s not his job.  Nor should it really be Amanda’s but she’s quickly taken it upon herself to sort it all, keeping busy, her own natural instincts shining through.

Suburban Adventure

Already the whole assignment is feeling a bit different from any other he has worked on before and he doesn’t like it.  He reluctantly retrieves Dotty’s offering to follow her into the house.  It’s going to be a long three days.

Not going to like this

Amanda busies herself with all the jobs that need doing to turn the house into what will be their “home” for the next few days – unpacking boxes, putting the shelf paper down, arranging flowers and washing glasses.  It might not be their real home but that doesn’t mean that it can’t look nice.

Domesticity

Lee, meanwhile, dedicates himself to the task of nailing Dotty’s buffalo’s head to the living room wall.

Messy and you look so good

As Amanda comes into the room to put a vase of flowers down on the coffee table, she notices that Lee still looks like he did when they first arrived.  Surely he’s done something while she’s been sorting things out?  She glances round but can’t really see any evidence to suggest it.

Have you done anything

Lee is surprised she’s even asked.  “Are you kidding?” he responds, pointing to his handiwork.

“Maybe you ought to take a break,” Amanda quips.  After all, she doesn’t want him getting too exhausted from the sheer exertion of it all!

Lee merely shoots her a look before going to pour himself a drink, even as Amanda assesses the furniture and furnishings.  “Who picked this stuff?” she asks, even though Lee doesn’t appear particularly bothered by any of it.

“That’s Government Issue Suburban Grouping,” he tells her. “We do this kind of thing a lot, you know.  This stuff’s been used before.”

Watching You

When Amanda discovers a mark on one of the sofa cushions she looks pointedly over at him.  He’s certainly right about that.  “Cigarette burn?”

“Bullet hole,” he tells her.

Knowing the suburbs

As Amanda absorbs this rather disturbing fact, Lee turns his thoughts to how they can get to know the people in the street.

Not that Amanda is worried about having to meet anyone.  This is suburbia after all.  As if on cue, the doorbell rings.

“That’s probably the welcome wagon now,” she says brightly, handing him the offending cushion and heading to the door.  As Lee quickly rearranges the sofa cushion and grabs his drink, forcing a pleasant smile to his lips, a whole host of people start piling into their living room.  It seems that Amanda was right – here on their doorstep are the very neighbours they need to get to know!

Visitors at the Door

They’ve bought everything for an impromptu party with them, plunging Lee and Amanda into their domestic cover head on.  Amanda quickly assumes the role of hostess to the unexpected gathering even as Lee plants himself firmly in the kitchen mixing up strawberry daiquiris.

Priorities

Somehow, however, he has to try to contrive a way to have a chat with Harriet Rosemont whose name was on the gunrunner’s body.  The question is how? He’s not going to be able to achieve very much standing in the kitchen whipping up daiquiris. He’s not enjoying himself at all, even though he sees Amanda making the best of it and being her usual friendly self.

divorce (2)

If this is what life in suburbia is like then he doesn’t want any part of it!  It’s definitely not for him!  Not that Amanda seems to be paying much attention to how he’s feeling. She wants him to light the barbecue when he’s finished mixing the drinks.

Discontent

Webp.net-gifmaker

“You’re really doing very well,” she tells him encouragingly.  “Really.”

He turns and glares at her, at which point she beats a hasty retreat back to the party. She’s not going to linger any longer in the kitchen, especially if he’s getting annoyed with her.

Disgruntled Host

Having come to the conclusion that it’s best to let him stew alone for a while she goes to offer more chips to the neighbours and give them their drinks. If Lee won’t get a chance to come out of the kitchen to talk to people any time soon then maybe she can somehow do some investigating of her own?  After all, she might be able to find out something useful that would help him with the case.

Invitations and Irritations

As Amanda goes about seeing to her guests she finds herself chatting to one of the neighbours whose more than happy to make small talk about her and Lee’s life “together” before being approached and accosted by Judy Wainwright who decides she needs rescuing.

Meeting Harriet

Excusing herself and following Judy across the room, she is introduced Karen and Harriet.  Alarm bells blare through her mind.  Harriet is the woman Lee mentioned about needing to speak to just now.

Also it appears that Lee, without her knowledge, has already had a chance to tell Judy that she is keen to get involved with the neighbourhood.  There’s no mention of Lee being as eager, of course.  By his own admission he has absolutely no idea about everyday life nor, it seems, any real willingness to embrace it.

“Well, you know, I am very anxious to become involved with the neighbourhood and I’d like to get to know everybody,” she tells them, not wanting to seem unfriendly. “But unfortunately I am looking for work.”

She notices Judy’s eyes light up at this.  She has the perfect solution: join the troupe of Connie Beth girls!

Connie Beth Girl

Harriet seems a little reserved at the suggestion, but Judy thinks Amanda would be perfect even though Amanda isn’t quite sure what that actually means.

revelations

The ring of the doorbell, however, heralds an abrupt end to the party proceedings when Lee opens the door – expecting to see yet another party guest – and finds a policeman standing there looking for Frank Bodine.

As Lee calls Frank over he listens to what’s being said, hoping that it might have some bearing on the case.

When Trouble Looms

It does…..the body of Betty Bodine has been discovered and it’s not good news.

Lee & Amanda: Relationship Progression Notes – There Goes the Neighbourhood (Pt2)

PART TWO – A NEW ROLE

And that’s that or that’s how it seems as Amanda heads off for an interview with Honeycutt Typewriters.  She’s almost resigned herself to the fact that perhaps this is what she might have to accept, seeing as the Agency – or more particularly, Lee – doesn’t seem to have any work for her.

Interrupted

However, everything is completely blown to the wind by the appearance of Lee gate-crashing the interview she’s come for.

Slyboots

Amanda is completely unprepared for his sudden appearance and not only that but for some reason that completely eludes her, he has assumed the role of her husband and has invented three children into the bargain!  It’s a complete u-turn compared to his earlier behaviour when he really couldn’t get rid of her fast enough!  In the blink of an eye he’s gone from coolly detached to attentively admonishing.

eager

For his part he can’t afford to fail with this particular little mission so he makes sure that he keeps talking, not allowing Amanda to get a word in edgeways for fear she’ll start asking questions and blow his cover completely.

deception2

If  Amanda is confused then Warren Davenport, who had been happy in the knowledge that she was safely divorced, is even more perplexed by the sudden appearance of the man claiming to be her husband.  He even starts to check his notes to see where he missed some vital piece of information.

leavewithyou

Wasting no time Lee propels Amanda to the door, effectively calling a halt to the interview.  Amanda is left not knowing quite what to say to Davenport as she’s ushered out, although she will certainly have a few choice words to say to Lee once they are clear of the office!

Only once they are alone does Amanda let rip. She is furious with Lee for not only seeing fit to interrupt her interview – which he himself previously thought was such a good idea – but for ruining any chance she might have had of being offered the job.

Samhill

She expects him to tell her precisely why he’s dragged her out of the interview, although his answer is certainly not what she’s expecting to hear.

We're Getting Married

He makes it sound so natural – as though he’s telling her they are going to the supermarket for groceries.

Unexpected Proposal

“That’s asking too much,” Amanda replies without even a second’s hesitation, deciding to cut and run. He wanted to be rid of her – well now she’s more than happy to oblige!  She has absolutely no intention of becoming his wife, real or otherwise!

Wife speech

She’s still not tempted and again she tries to bolt and again Lee grabs her by the arm and pulls her back.

Find Someone Else

There is no way he is going to allow her to walk away, not when he’s been told in no uncertain terms by Billy to get her help.  And he’s not going to lie to her; after all, he would be far happier if she weren’t partnered with him!

She realises immediately that it’s highly unlikely that Lee thinks they work well together. After all, he’s done nothing but push her away since the moment they met.  “Someone. Not you,” she responds, seeing no reason to pretend this isn’t the case.

An Order from Billy

“Billy,” he states, completely quashing any last thought she might be harbouring that he wants her involvement. “He ordered – he suggested that we enlist your services for this case, especially since it is right up your alley.”

“How so?” she asks, curious.

Lee proceeds to tell her exactly what’s going on in Central America while Amanda merely looks at him, a little confused.  She cannot for the life of her see what she would have in common with people like that!

Guns and Groceries

“Oh that sounds right up my alley,” she responds sarcastically.

The World Between Us

Lee shoots her a look, annoyed. She certainly isn’t afraid to make her point – although he should know this by now having worked with her on the Welch case.  He tells her that Billy thought it would be a good idea for them to pose as an average suburban couple in an attempt to see what’s going on and having Amanda as one part of that couple would, of course, add to the realism needed.

Authentic

He glares at her, irritated by her remark.  Without even thinking about it, he promptly regales her with the fact that the reason he’s not just a regular suburbanite is because he’s spent years travelling all over the world working. After all, the life of a spy is definitely not the life of suburbia.

Globe trotting speech

Amanda listens quietly, taking in all he’s relating to her.  These brief glimpses of his life have so far been fleeting and few, although she’s not about to tell him that she thinks it’s impressive; her curious quirk of an eyebrow is all he gets from her.

“So will you do it?” he asks, hoping that he won’t have to go back to Billy and tell him she has refused to help him.

He’s relieved when she tells him she will, although not before making sure she gets time off to see her children during the three days she will be working with him.

“And when this is all over you will never have to see me again,” he concludes.  After all, he’s certainly not planning on this being a permanent arrangement!

Not one word

He can’t help but drum home the fact that she can’t discuss anything about the case with anyone, although not being able to share the details with her family isn’t  high on Amanda’s list of priorities.

Orientation Manual

 Lee really doesn’t see why she thinks she needs any sort of special training.  It’s not going to be difficult for her to pose as a housewife when she does that every day. Besides….

Nothing bad ever happens in the suburbs

Lee & Amanda: Relationship Progression Notes – There Goes The Neighbourhood (Pt1)

PART ONE – A NEW CASE, A FAMILIAR FACE

Hot on the heels of cookery guru, Mrs Welch – and her rather unpleasant side business of disposing of agents – comes the problem of vigilantes running around Central America with US-made guns.  Despite what he said when Amanda was last at the Agency telling them all about escaping in the helicopter, Billy hands over this new case over to Lee with absolutely no mention of her assisting him with it.

suburbia copy

As for the case, there appears to be something going on in suburbia, although Lee can’t quite believe it.  After all, as he points out to Billy, it’s hardly a hotbed of intrigue.  Add to that the fact that he’s had his own brief glimpse into suburban life watching Amanda and her mother interact during his last case.  If they are indicative of all suburbanites then they’re certainly not the sort to be supplying gunrunners with arms!

Whether the Betsy Ross Estates is indeed harbouring intrigue of a more alarming nature is what the Agency have to determine and while Francine is swiftly dispatched to the bowels of suburbia to try and get some answers, Lee is left with his own little “mission” – and it has nothing to do with his latest assignment!

As for you, Scarecrow, you have a visitor

Lee has a “visitor”!  This seems odd to him because, despite what Billy tells him, he knows he’s not expecting anybody.  So who on earth is it?  Billy merely smiles knowingly, saying nothing, but pointing towards the monitors on the wall as Lee looks towards him questioningly.

bemuse

Seeing the amused gleam in his boss’s eyes he duly turns to the monitors only to discover the answer to the question flitting through his mind: Amanda King!  His heart drops in an instant.  This is the last thing he needs!  He really doesn’t want the bother of having to go and speak to her, especially when he’s just about to start on a new case.

Unwelcome Complication

“Oh no,” he murmurs, turning back to Billy.

Surely there’s someone else in the Agency who could go and see what she wants?  But one look at Billy and he knows he’s sunk. There’s no way Billy will allow him to wriggle out of this particular meeting, however hard he tries.  The only thing he can do is get the whole interview over and done with as quickly as he possibly can.  After all, he doesn’t want to get any more involved with her than he already has been.  The Welch case was a one-off and he’s certainly got no desire to repeat it!

Amanda’s reading through the file she’s brought with her when Lee suddenly appears in the doorway of what looks suspiciously like a closet, his upbeat “Hi!” making her jump.

Hi

She smiles, little knowing that he will develop a habit of creeping up on her later on down the line.

See You Again

As it is, she’s just happy to see him, particularly as she hopes that her work with the Agency will be with him.  The last case they were on was certainly an eye opener and she’s ready and willing to build on what she learnt from that.

Anticipation

Lee, however, is not about to turn their impromptu meeting into a social reunion and immediately tells her that he has other things to be doing, hoping that that will give her enough of a prod to get to the point as to why she’s dropped by.

Im sort of busy

Amanda, duly noting that her time with him appears limited, proceeds to launch into a lengthy and rather rambling account, attempting as she does so to give Lee the file she has with her, although he makes absolutely no move to take it.

give (2)

Like the time they met in the shadows so Amanda could tell him about what Phillip had found in the music box, Lee can’t deny her enthusiasm but still he seeks to trample all over it, determined to quash any sort of spy fantasy she might be harbouring.

fluke

He completely bypasses the fact that he was the one who instigated this one in a million event when he picked her out of the crowds at the train station.  As far as he’s concerned, that’s not relevant.  His total rejection of her claim that they worked together puts a dent in Amanda’s bright demeanour.  Even though she knows that Billy can see how useful she will be to the Agency,  she still finds herself confronted by Lee’s very obvious resistance.  Although she’s not going to let that deter her.  With a bright smile, she bulldozes over Lee’s less than enthusiastic response.

Amamdaramble

For Lee, alarm bells are ringing. The fact that she’s been put on a probationary period tells him that Billy is completely serious about getting her to help out from time to time and that’s really not good!  He certainly doesn’t want her trailing around after him while he’s trying to work, however handy her input was during the Welch case.

Do you need me

No, he doesn’t need her.  Hasn’t he already told her he doesn’t work with anyone?  And definitely not someone who is completely untrained!

Amanda’s smile fades.  It’s not the answer she’s hoping for. Maybe she should try a different tact?  “I guess I’m free to consider other others,” she says. “Very attractive offers.”

Lee’s enthusiastic “Sure!” is hardly encouraging.  Further suggesting that she should perhaps give Warren Davenport of Honeycutt Typewriters a call to follow up the possibility of another job, seems to have the complete opposite effect to the one she’s looking for.  Lee seems even more delighted for her!

rej

Lee himself sees this as the perfect opportunity to terminate their meeting and having completely dented all Amanda’s hopes he blithely tells her that Billy would no doubt give her a reference if she needs one.

“That won’t be necessary,” she tells him.  “My skills speak for themselves. I type 90 words a minute.”

happy

He’s done everything he can to discourage and dishearten her and she knows it. He’s not even tried to hide his determination to keep her away from him and the Agency. What’s more, she’s had enough of it!  She’s determined that she’ll be the one to have the last word though. Walking over to where Lee is standing at the door of the elevator she pokes her file into his chest, forcing him to retreat backwards before shutting the door in his face, the last thing she sees being his stunned expression.

espionage

Besides, they don’t even pay overtime!

Lee & Amanda: Relationship Progression Notes (Pt11)

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.

amandaramble1

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!

Making an Impression

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.

Shes young, idealistic

“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…”

A Partnership with promise-blog size

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.

More Careful

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.

Finally found you a 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.

She knits or something

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.

Everything will change

“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.

TheTagCollection-TheFirstTime-Signature3 copy

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….

Lee & Amanda: Relationship Progression Notes (Pt10)

AMANDA TO THE RESCUE

Even after meeting Lee under the cover of darkness and being told not to get involved, Amanda is still thinking about the case as well as what was written on the card Phillip found.  It’s while she’s doing the housework that a sudden thought hits her.  Following her hunch, she pours through her mother’s numerous cookery books looking for the recipes for Mrs Welch of TV cookery fame.

The Quest for Answers

Finally, she finds a couple of recipe cards and when she sits down with her mother to watch the show – which Dotty remembered to tape earlier that day – she knows she is on to something.

When Time Is Running Out

She knows that she cannot keep what she’s found from Lee.  This, surely, is far too important a connection to remain silent about, even though he’s already made it very clear that he doesn’t want her involved in the case? The only problem is that when she tries to get hold of Lee on the phone, she finds that he’s not there to speak to.

Into the Path of Danger

Perhaps she could do a little further investigation on her own while she waits to speak to him?  It seems like a good idea as it would add further weight to her discovery.  She duly heads to the TV station with the names of the dishes to get the dates of the programmes, taking her entire Cub Scout group with her under the guise of them getting a new badge, even as she tries to get hold of Lee again without success.

Mulit Tasking

Worst of all, upon double checking the programme dates against the murders, she is suddenly struck by the terrifying realisation that they do indeed match and that Lee may well be next: “Pilgrim’s Peach Puff today.  Lee has a mission today.”

Worst Fears Confirmed

She knows it is none of her business, but she can’t help herself.  She doesn’t want Lee to come to any harm and if she can prevent it she’ll find a way.  However, there is the small matter of what do with the children. Right on cue her mother arrives to help out just as Amanda is heading outside and after, grappling for an excuse by saying she has an emergency at her club she leaves her mother to babysit.

ihaveanemergency

Going to Lee’s aid is very much new territory for Amanda – a complete leap from the day to day life she knows so well.  She has never had to do anything like this before, much less had any training concerning how to handle herself in such situations … especially when she has absolutely no idea what she might be walking into!

When she finds the house she approaches it cautiously.  The desire to help Lee has propelled her here and now she has to decide how to go about finding him, if he is indeed here at all.  It just seemed the most logical place to look first, although she soon spots a man making a delivery of fruit and vegetables whom she needs to get past before she can do anything else.

Unchartered Territory

When she spots a rogue melon on the ground she picks it up, knowing that it was no doubt dropped by the delivery man who has conveniently opened the cellar door to take the stuff down into.  That, she realises, has to be her way in – if she can get past him…

Improvisation

“I hope I can look back on this one day and laugh.”  Certainly a few days ago she would never have contemplated doing something like this for someone who is, in effect, a complete stranger.  She takes a deep breath and approaches the man under the guise of returning the melon and selling cookies.

Excuse Me

The vegetable man doesn’t prove particularly friendly or interested and so, realising that he might not move far enough away from the cellar, she causes a distraction by tipping over a box of oranges and sending them flying across the ground.

Create a Distraction

That seems to get his attention and she quickly bolts down the cellar steps before he can see her, although it isn’t long before he comes rattling after her.

“Cub Scout lady!” he calls out as Amanda quickly hides so that he won’t spot her.  Deciding that maybe she isn’t down in the cellar after all, he heads back upstairs after a moment or two, shouting out for her all the while, leaving Amanda feeling only a sense of relief at the near miss.  What has she gotten herself into??

hideandseek

Left to look for Lee but ever conscious of running into trouble, she ventures along the cellar corridor.  Perhaps she should have told someone at the Agency what she found out rather than come herself after all?  There again, she’s here now and has to continue.  As she comes upon one particular door she suddenly finds it opening and is forced to move quickly out of sight.  However, she can hear whoever opened the door talking to another man inside – Lee!  He’s alive!

anoverheardconversation

Now she knows he’s here all she has to do is figure out a way to get him out.  However, before she can think about how to go about this the service lift she has inadvertently stepped into suddenly whisks her upward.  When it grounds to a halt Amanda finds herself peering into the kitchen where Mrs Welch is giving a private cookery class to someone. Francine!  What is clear to Amanda is that this is no ordinary lesson – Francine has been drugged and is divulging the movements of an agent that Mrs Welch has designs on eliminating.

A Shocking Revelation

For Lee, time seems to have run out.  He hasn’t managed to buy himself enough time to get himself out of the mess he’s in and instead finds himself being led to a waiting helicopter by the bad guys and Mrs Welch.  Amanda gets upstairs in time to see this happening and only knows that she has to do something.  But what?  She spies a bag of sugar sitting on top of a box of fruit and suddenly an idea comes to her.  It may not be something that a real agent would do but there again she has to do what she thinks might help…

The Need for a Plan

Having dealt with the sugar, Amanda positions herself behind a parked car.  She has a clear view of Lee and it isn’t long before she realises that he’s spotted her crouching there.  He can’t believe his eyes when he realises it’s her.  Didn’t he tell her that she should stay away from everything?  That it was dangerous?  Surely she doesn’t think that she can mount her own rescue of him without any sort of back up?  What’s more if she’s spotted he doesn’t even want to contemplate what might happen!

Peering Back at Me

The bad guy notices something in Lee’s face because he turns to peer curiously in Amanda’s direction, causing her to duck out of sight before he has a chance to see her, although when he turns back to Lee she decides to take a chance.  It’s now or never!

Freeze

Her sudden appearance is enough to cause a distraction and Lee, seizing his opportunity, reacts with a swift, decisive kick which sends the bad guy reeling to the ground.  Amanda’s only thought is to get to Lee and quickly she runs towards him, forgetting that she is putting herself at risk by being seen.

“Freeze. That’s what you say isn’t it?” she yells at him above the sound of the helicopter noise.

“Yeah.  Usually when you’re armed,” Lee shouts back. “Untie me.”  If she can extract him from his ties then he can at least do something to get them out alive.

Amanda’s heart sinks the minute she sees the knot.  She has absolutely no idea how to undo it!

Oh Lord

Unable to release Lee from his bindings and now having been spotted, Lee yells at her to get into the helicopter.  He immediately starts barking orders at her, telling her what to do.  Amanda finds herself with very little time to react, mechanically following what he tells her.

“Feet on the pedals!  Right hand on the stick!  Left hand down on the throttle!”

She turns to him, suddenly uncertain. “Why?”

We're Flying

When she set out to find Lee this is the last thing she expected to have to do!  She’s never flown a helicopter before, let alone one which is being fired upon by bad guys!  With Lee barking instructions at her all the while, she finally manages to get the helicopter in the air although it seems at one point as though she starts to fly it back towards the house and the people they are trying to escape.  The one saving grace, however, is that the bad guys’ car seems to have broken down.

“It’s lucky their car coughed out,” Lee muses, happy for at least one small silver lining, especially as his life is now in the very inexperienced hands of a housewife from Arlington!

“Lucky nothing!” Amanda responds, proving that even though she may not have any agency training she can still improvise when she needs to.  “I put sugar in the gas tank.  Phillip did it once to Dean’s car.  It’s never been the same!”

Flying Without Wings

Lee’s so unsettled by Amanda’s flying that he just shuts his eyes and prays – something she certainly doesn’t appreciate!  After all, he’s the one who told her she had to fly the helicopter!

Open Your Eyes

As Amanda does her best to keep them in the air  Lee suddenly looks at her and finds himself unable to help wonder out loud what the hell she thinks she’s wearing.  Amanda can’t believe it!  Why would he care about that??  And at a time like this??

What are you wearing

The stress of their situation makes them both edgy, their raised voices at the other belying the danger they both know they are in.  And yet,  despite making all kinds of weird manoeuvres, Amanda manages to somehow force the car carrying Mrs Welch and her sidekick into a ditch and save the day.

We did it!

Her euphoria proves short-lived though as Lee apologises about her car now currently residing in the ditch.  For Amanda, this is very much the downside of victory…

What am I going to do

As far as Lee is concerned, he’ll just be happy to be back on solid ground again.

Lee & Amanda Relationship Progression Notes (Pt9)

A Secret Rendezvous

And so for Amanda it seems that her little escapade into the world of spies and intrigue is at an end.  Dean returns from his trip away and brings a little present home  – bookends!  Of course, he has absolutely no idea about the secret life she’s been living while he’s been away and she isn’t about to tell him either. It is only when Philip confesses that he opened the package Dotty later mailed and saw what was inside that Amanda decides that the information is perhaps far too valuable to keep to herself.  That means getting in touch with Lee – after all, she still has his card.

Having made the necessary arrangements, she goes to meet Lee once darkness has fallen upon the city.  After all, meeting in dark, secret places is what spies do isn’t it?

Watching from the Shadows

The first to arrive, she positions herself behind a statue to await his arrival and when she spots him she immediately seeks to attract his attention.

A Whisper in the Darkness

Lee turns, catching sight of her standing there in her belted trench coat and he cannot help but smile.  Even after the seeming finality of their last encounter and its sombre conclusion, she is back again – presumably with some vital information.  He certainly cannot fault her enthusiasm or her tenacity, however hard he tries.

Under the Cover of Night

“You sure know the hotspots,” he quips, glancing around at their somewhat deserted surroundings.

clandestinemeeting

“Well we couldn’t exactly meet at the grocery store could we?” she fires back.  And anyway….

Isnt this where you guys meet

“Only when we wear trenchcoats,” Lee responds, unable to stop himself from having a little dig at her attire.

Trenchcoats and Teasing

Amanda catches the amusement in his voice and swiftly dismisses his comment, moving on to the matter in hand, duly taking the note she has brought with her out of her pocket to read to him.

Duck a la Nathan Hale

Lee, having agreed to meet her in the hope that she might have the much coveted information he needs to crack the case, listens attentively to what turns out to be a just a random list of weird names.  Amanda, in her innocence, thinks it will mean something to him but it turns out that they mean absolutely nothing.  Her disappointment is palpable and Lee, for once, is gracious enough to acknowledge that she took the time to let him know. That is until, in the next breath, he puts his foot in his mouth and effectively seeks to push her away once more.

You ought to stay away from all this

To be told that she could muck everything up is like putting a flame to dry wood.  After all, she’s had to make up an excuse at home to come and meet him!  For his part, Lee is not expecting her to react quite so vehemently and is again forced to listen to her, just as he did during their heated argument after the party.  She’s certainly not prepared to have him put her down without venting her own feelings on the matter.

job1

He quickly puts her mind at rest regarding his job and Amanda, immediately softening, is surprised but glad – after all, that is what she hoped would happen.  Then he drops another bombshell – there’s been another murder.

Disbelief

Amanda can’t believe it, although it seems that Lee is going to be assigned a new case in the morning.  That must mean that the case she has been helping him with is no longer something he will be involved in – which in turn means that any slim chance that he might involve her again has been completely snuffed out.  After all, he’s not likely to seek her out to help him when he’s just made it perfectly clear that he doesn’t think she should be involved in his world.

For Amanda it’s like being left at the monument again – except that this time she doesn’t seek to ask him if their paths will ever cross again.  If it hadn’t been for Philip opening the package she wouldn’t be standing here with Lee now and although things haven’t gone quite as she hoped, she knows she has to accept that this is probably the end of her brief but eventful association with him.  She forces a smile to her lips and seeks to confirm that he will take care of himself.

You will be careful wont you

He flashes her the brightest smile.  Yeah, of course he’ll look after himself. After all, he’s got his job back and, even better, he’s back to working solo again.  His unexpected and frustrating interlude with the housewife from Arlington is well and truly over….

 

Lee & Amanda: Relationship Progression Notes (Pt7)

PART SEVEN – SPY AMONGST THE TULIPS

Having found herself soaked to the skin after the unfortunate incident with the burst water main, Amanda goes home, only to find herself having to come up fast with what will sound like a plausible explanation for the state of her appearance to Dotty – after all, she can’t tell her mother what she was really doing, much less that hidden in the bushes outside listening to everything that is being said is Lee!

Sneaking Around

In fact, Amanda is now keeping secrets, just as Lee does.  She has unconsciously allowed him a little further into her life by bringing him home, even if it is to consign him to the flowerbeds outside.  Yet she doesn’t feel at all comfortable with Lee on the other side of the window while her mother is in the room with her and may possibly spot him.

spy-amongst-the-tulips

After all, how do you explain a soaking wet spy crouched in the shadows amongst your flowers?

Off the Tulips

Thankfully Dotty is busy making a hot drink for herself so she doesn’t appear to witness Amanda furtively feeding yards of kitchen towel through the open kitchen to Lee outside.

Caught Between Two Worlds

For Lee too, his unexpected involvement with Amanda also puts him on a collision course with a world he has little or no experience of.  He is drawn inexorably into the goings on of Amanda’s family life, having to listen and wait while she tries to deal with Dotty’s questions and chatter.  He finds himself standing on the outskirts of her life, looking in on it, watching the domesticity that is playing out before him.  It is a million times removed from the life he knows.

Amanda, of course, is only intent on one thing: to grab the package she has left out and to find a way to get it to Lee so that her whole involvement in the situation can come to an end.  However, things turn out not to be as clear cut as she thinks because when she finally goes to retrieve it she finds, to her horror, that the package isn’t actually where she left it.  Maybe her mother’s moved it?

Package

Dotty’s response is a complication that neither Lee, upon hearing every word, or Amanda are quite prepared for. In fact Amanda is so preoccupied with what has happened to the package that the fact that Dean has called goes completely over her head. Hearing himself what Dotty has done leaves Lee utterly dumbstruck too.  After all, how could asking a simple favour of someone lead to so much stress and difficulty??

Unwelcome Complications

Amanda, in light of her mother’s unwelcome revelation, knows that she’s going to have to face Lee.  She is well aware that he has heard for himself what’s happened but that doesn’t make it any easier. Her only hope is to try and explain what led to all this happening in the first place.

Nice safe place

Her attempt to explain is interrupted by Dotty coming back into the room briefly.  Lee is forced to dart back down into his hiding place, although Dotty herself is completely oblivious to what is going on with her daughter – in fact, she’s feeling a little put out that Amanda doesn’t seem particularly grateful to her for doing her a favour!  As Dotty leaves the room again, Amanda prepares herself for what must inevitably come. After all, her mother’s actions have made everything a whole lot more complicated!

Watching from the shadows

Lee, silenced by the enormity of the problem of seeing the package drift beyond his grasp, along with the vital information it contains, doesn’t start shouting as Amanda turns to see him looking at her through the kitchen window.  He just stares at her, her words to him in the garage earlier now beginning to make a lot more sense.

Dumb thing

Amanda, remembering too what she said, merely nods.  The trouble is that he’s not laughing….

Lee & Amanda Relationship Progression Notes (Pt6)

PART SIX – WHEN TEMPERS FLARE

And so, what started out as a perfectly civilised evening transforms into something completely different.  Having discovered that Amanda doesn’t actually have the package with her, Lee’s temper fairly erupts as they enter the garage where he’s parked his car. There is no one around to hear them argue – which is probably a good thing considering that Lee is absolutely livid.

Just One of Those Moments

It’s rather like a pendulum that has swung from one direction to another at rapid speed, their dance now a forgotten memory in the wake of Amanda’s revelation.

The Shifting Sands Beneath Our Feet

“You knew I wanted the package!  Why didn’t you bring it with you?”  He can’t believe that she would even think not to bring the thing with her.  After all, why on earth why would he ask her to meet him so urgently?

When Amanda tells him she left it at home for insurance because she had no idea what was going on or in fact who he was, it cuts no ice with Lee. “That’s how your mind works!” How on earth could she even think he was a gangster who might hurt her to get the package?  He’s spent all his adult life trying to protect civilians like Amanda from that sort of person! “Most people would be happy to get rid of the damn thing in the first place!”

He may be frustrated but Amanda is equally so and doesn’t shrink back from airing her own grievances. One act of kindness in agreeing to take the package for him at the train station has now plunged her headlong into conflict and she’s certainly not happy!

Would you mind not yelling at me

In Amanda, Lee is beginning to realise that he has found no demure housewife whom he can talk to in any way he chooses, but instead a strong, determined woman who is ready to stand up for herself and give as good as she gets.  It seems that for both of them there is a kind of freedom in the way they react to each other.  They can move from dancing to shouting in the blink of an eye.

Amanda, having drawn to the end of her rant suddenly draws to an abrupt halt.  “Where are we?”

Any semblance of control which Lee was holding onto completely evaporates.  Before he can stop himself, he launches into an entirely unnecessary diatribe about his car and the fact that he wouldn’t think of letting the valets park it for him.

Fast Cars and Frustrations

It’s only when he notices Amanda’s somewhat bemused expression that he pauses, stumbling over his words.  How he feels about his car isn’t the issue and he knows it.  He’s allowed himself to become completely unfocussed.  He quickly realises he needs to calm down and recover some sort of equilibrium if they are going to commence with any sort of communication at all.

Regret

Pressure

He takes a brief moment and a deep breath before offering Amanda both an apology and an explanation.  Amanda accepts his apology and tries to lighten the mood a little.

It hasn't been my best day either

“Let’s just be glad that we’re finally going to get the whole thing straightened out,” she says with a smile.  After all, they have both made their point and now that that’s done they can move on.

Doubt and Dubiety

Lee’s not entirely convinced that it’s going to be that easy.  After all, it hasn’t been up to now.  As he goes to walk away from her towards his car, it is Amanda’s soft laughter which causes him to pause and turn back to her.

Super Sexy Spy

“What?” he asks, to some extent sounding like he dreads the answer she’s going to give him.  Except that she only shakes her head. He tries again.  “What is it?”

Amanda’s “I almost did the dumbest thing with your package,” isn’t very comforting.

He questions her as to what that might have been, but Amanda is shaking her head and laughing still.

Laughter

“You’d just laugh.”

Danger of Discovery

He doesn’t quite know what to make of her answer and he finds himself with no time to question it further because suddenly there is a screech of tyres as a car comes into the garage.  As Lee looks round to see what’s going on he quickly surmises that this isn’t something good and grabs Amanda, forcing her to run with him for the cover of the cars before they can be spotted.

Hide and Seek

For Amanda, this is all completely new territory.  She has no idea who the men who appear to be looking for them are.  Yet where others might be thoroughly alarmed by it all, Amanda adopts a surprisingly calm approach as Lee leads her stealthily amongst the cars, keeping them both out of sight.  She doesn’t question what Lee plans to do to get them out of there, but simply trusts him to guide her.

For Lee, the one overwhelming thing is to make sure he keeps both himself and Amanda safe.  He certainly cannot let anything happen to her which might result in her children being left without a mother.  After all, he is only too painfully aware of what that feels like.

Getaway

When he spots a cleaning cart he knows that this might be their only means of escape, although it means that as soon as they make a run for it they’ll probably be seen.  His only hope is to try and out-run the men (not easy in a cart when they have a car!).  Clasping hold of Amanda still, he makes a run for the cart and jumps in, telling Amanda to do the same before making off as fast as it will carry them in the direction of the exit.  Just as he initially surmised, the bad guys quickly spot them and are on their tail in an instant and giving chase.

Escape

Erstwhile so cool in the face of danger, Amanda is more than a little unsettled by what is happening, especially as they are being shot at and being chased at high speed!  Now, more than ever, she is forced to rely on Lee to get them out of there in one piece.

With the bad guys gaining, they hurtle down a seemingly endless spiral towards the exit, only to find themselves, upon finally making it out into the street, nearly colliding with a limousine.  The near miss forces the car into a water main which promptly starts spewing water, soaking them both to the skin but also, thankfully, forcing the bad guys to back off…for the time being at least.