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Disclaimer: The characters from Scarecrow and Mrs. King are the property of Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions. I have borrowed the characters without the consent or knowledge of Warner Brothers or Shoot the Moon. This story, however, is copyrighted to the mentioned author. This story is for entertainment purposes ONLY. If you would like to add it to an archive, please just let me know.

Timeframe: Set after the series ended. Marriage is common knowledge.

Author's Notes: This story was written in response to a challenge where the following line had to be used: “Tell me why we’re doing this again?” Thanks to Jan for betaing this story for me.
Cooking Lessons

Seeing the perfect parking spot, Lee pulled the silver Corvette into it even though he knew Amanda was going to complain about having to walk all the way across the parking lot just so he could have an end spot. He didn’t care; it was his baby, and while being shot at was not uncommon, he could at least do his part to assist in limiting the amount of accidental dings to his car. He put the car in park and, placing his hand on the ignition key, hesitated. Leaving the car running, he turned towards his wife, his expression clearly showing the apprehension he felt. “Tell me why we’re doing this again?”

Amanda let out a long sigh. “Lee, you’ve been trying to get out of this dinner for a week now.” Glancing at her husband, she caught the slight shake of his head, and raised her eyebrow. “Don’t try and play innocent. I know you have. First you offered to drive Mother to the airport when you knew very well that Captain Kurt was going to take her. Then you even called Mr. Melrose, don’t give me that look, I know you did. I heard you on the phone, asking him if there were any new cases that needed to be taken care of… on a Saturday no less. And finally you tried to con one of the boys into going to the park to shoot some hoops this afternoon, which didn’t work because they’d already made other plans.”

“What I don’t understand is why. You were the one who agreed to go in the first place, when Francine invited us three weeks ago.” Amanda placed her hand gently on his arm. “Now I think it’s time you told me why you suddenly changed your mind, don’t you?”

Lee shrugged. “Let’s just say I have my reasons, and leave it at that, okay?”

Amanda shook her head. “Unh uh buddy. Not good enough.” Her expression turned serious. “Unless you have a really good reason, you’re going to turn the car off and come upstairs with me. Francine’s been working very hard on this dinner party.”

Lee turned the car off, but made no attempt to remove his seatbelt. Instead he leaned back against the head rest and closed his eyes. “You’re going to think I’m being ridiculous.”

“Sweetheart, just tell me. It’ll be easier if you just share your concerns with me.” Amanda ran her hand soothingly up and down his arm.

“Okay.” Lee opened his eyes and looked over at his wife. Her loving expression gave him the courage he needed to confide in her. “I know that Francine’s been working really hard to make tonight perfect. I also know just how hard. I overheard her telling you that she’d been taking cooking lessons.” He looked away from his wife, knowing how much she hated it when he eavesdropped on her conversations. Especially after the last time when he’d only heard half of the conversation. He had totally gotten the wrong idea after hearing only half of her phone call; a call she had taken into another room and had drawn the wrong conclusion that she was having an affair. The whole situation turned out to be totally innocent; apparently she’d been discussing room colors with one of the PTA mothers.

Amanda rolled her eyes, but chose not to discuss the fact that he’d been listening in on a private conversation. That topic was a losing battle. Her husband was a spy and some habits were extremely hard to break. “So what does Francine taking cooking lessons have to do with you not wanting to go to the party? I’d think that you’d be glad to be eating something edible, rather than overcooked.”

Lee opened his eyes and glanced back over at his wife. “Because I almost died the last time Francine took cooking lessons.”

Amanda stared at her husband, her expression curious, and then suddenly everything became extremely clear and she bit her lip to keep from laughing. “Lee, that was five years ago. Francine learned her lesson. She won’t ever take private lessons again. She’s been taking night cooking classes over at Georgetown.”

“Still the whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth.” Lee grinned slightly at his own choice of words. “No pun intended.”

Amanda sighed and smiled. She knew there was only one way to get her husband out of the car and to the dinner party; she just hoped Francine didn’t kill her for breaking a confidence. “If I let you in on a little secret, will you promise to get out of the car?”

Lee glanced at his wife skeptically. “Depends on what the secret is.”

Removing her hand from Lee’s arm, Amanda placed it in her lap and shook her head. “No deal. Either you agree or,” she reached over and took the keys out of the ignition where Lee had left them and placed them in her purse, “you can stay here all night, and starve.”

Although trying to get the keys back from his wife might be fun, Lee knew that, even though she was smiling now, her patience with him was wearing thin. “Fine, I promise to come upstairs.”

“You also have to promise not to let on to Francine that you know.” Amanda stared at him with a look that dared him to argue with her. “I mean it. You can’t breathe a word of this to anyone, ever.”

The look his wife was giving him was the same one she gave to the boys when she meant business, and he knew better than to go against her, which really piqued Lee’s interest. Whatever Francine had told her, had to be good. “I promise,” he replied, his expression sincere.

“Francine called me earlier, while you were in the shower. She ended up burning dinner. She was frantic. I told her not to panic, that she should just order from somewhere and then stick everything into cookware and make it look like she cooked it.” Amanda reached for her door handle. “So there, you don’t have to worry about meeting your demise tonight.”

Lee had to admit, knowing that Francine didn’t cook the food meant that she couldn’t have secretly poisoned him, but that still didn’t make his worries go away completely. “Fine she didn’t cook it, but that still doesn’t mean the whole idea of Francine taking cooking lessons will stop me from looking over my shoulder.”

Shaking her head, Amanda opened her car door and climbed out of the car. “That’s something you do every day, regardless of whether Francine takes cooking lessons or not. But you have something now you didn’t have before…”

Lee looked over towards the open door. “What’s that?”

Amanda leaned her head back inside. “Me. Now come on, before we’re late and give her a reason to really want to kill us.” She stood back up and closed her door.

Lee sighed and got out of the ’Vette. Locking his door from the inside, he shut it and followed after his wife. “By the way, where did she order dinner from?”

Amanda laughed. “If you behave tonight and don’t say anything, I’ll tell you on the way home.”

Lee put his arm around his wife’s shoulders. “You’re right. I do have you, and with you to watch my back, just like you did that day five years ago, there really isn’t anything to worry about.”

“Exactly.” Amanda leaned her head back a little and glanced down. “And a great view it is too!”

The End
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