"Sir, Lee " she nodded uneasily." I got here as soon as I got the message..." she was so puzzled that she did not even flinch when Lee started rubbing her back in front of Billy.
"Lee what's wrong? You're scaring me."
Billy stared at the floor with his hands in his pockets. Finally Lee spoke.
"We need to talk about Jenny..."
Amanda was confused. Was Lee crazy to mention Jenny in front of Billy?
"Jenny who?" She croaked with a trembling lip. She looked at him with pleading eyes.
"I'm gonna leave you two alone" Billy left his office to find Francine on her way in.
"Don't go in there Francine." Billy blocks the door." Lee is telling Amanda about... her niece."
"Oh my God, How is she?"
"Just then the sound of an anguished woman carried through the Bull Pen. The sound of a woman being slowly killed from the inside out.
Lee did not know any other way to tell her except straight out. When Billy shut the door he took Amanda in his arms. He smelled her hair, felt her soft skin. He was hopping she could not feel his body shake. How could he tell her he had failed her and their daughter?
"You know how much I love you and Jenny, right Amanda?"
Tears were streaming down her face. "Tell me please what's wrong with my baby! Her voice was louder now.
"Oleg Kreitzer took her from the IFF daycare this morning. He has our baby and wants to trade her for military plans." Lee felt like he has stabbed his wife in the heart. Amanda pushed Lee away and slowly walked across the room in a daze. Lee watched her closely.
"Amanda? Honey, please say something."
Amanda felt the room spin and a prickly heat started to envelop her like the wall were on fire. Suddenly a bubble swelled in her body and emerged from her mouth in tortured wail. She fell to the floor in a fit of sobs. Lee rushes to her as Billy bursts in.
"Billy, get Dr. Mcjon. I think we need to sedate her."
Billy nodded as he made his way through the sea of people that had formed to see what was going on. Amanda clung to Lee in hysterical convulsions. Lee felt helpless as her small frame trembled in his arms..Because of him.
"WHY? WHY JENNY? LEE PLEASE DON"T LET HIM KILL HER! GET HER BACK! LEE PLEASE SAVE HER! GET HER!" Amanda was screaming at the top of her lungs.
Through wet eyes she saw Billy and Mcjon had returned. In seconds Amanda was given a shot and slowly she calmed down. Lee watched Mcjon leave and Billy obviously concerned stayed in the office. He felt like crying himself.
Lee rocked his grief stricken wife back and forth. "I'm gonna get her I swear, baby." I'm here, its going to be all right." Amanda went limp in his arms. He lifted her from the floor to Billy's couch Lee glanced out the office window at the bullpen everyone stared riveted, confused, and concerned for Amanda.
Lee sat on Billy's couch with Amanda asleep in his arms when Francine burst in.
"How's she doing Lee?" Francine asked quietly with genuine concern." I can not believe that was her niece. Did someone notify her sister?"
"No, she is... out of the country. Can't be reached." Billy covered.
"We have more information though"
"What?" Lee gently released Amanda and stood up.
"Oleg called from a pay phone. He wants those plans at 4:00 at the Ocean Breeze Fun Park. The drop cite is a locker #4 at the waterslide park. He will pick up the plans and if he is satisfied, he will release the baby at 4:30."
"Did he say how?" Lee asked impatiently.
"No he said he would call with more information latter."
"Lee, why don't you go home in case Oleg calls there..."
"Are you crazy?" He spoke quietly but forcefully."I have to go over strategy, coordinate a strike plan, Keep an eye on Amanda..."
"Listen Lee," Billy cut in. "We have 30 agents plus our swat teams working on this. You can't do anything here. Oleg might call your place. Go home. It's an order."
"I won't leave Amanda. She needs me."
"Tell you what," Francine jumps in. I'll keep an eye on her here and when she wakes up I will take her back to your apartment."
Lee thinks about it for a second then agrees. Lee walks over to his sleeping wife and gingerly strokes her head. "Francine you watch her closely. She is always so level headed but I am afraid this will put her over the edge. I hate to say this but I think it might be best to keep her slightly sedated."
Billy and Francine agree. Lee took one more look at Amanda and slowly left.
At home Lee immersed himself in files about Oleg. Lee had put him away years earlier on a weapons ring charge. He was a cold-blooded killer who aligned himself with any cause that would bring in a lot of money. Oleg knew he would not need much reason to kill his daughter. But did he know she was his daughter? Maybe he thought she was really Amanda's niece. Was it a personal vendetta? It really did not matter. All that mattered was that Lee bring his family back together.
His heart ached when he thought about his baby girl. She had only been here for six months, but already he could not imagine his life without her. Jenny has Amanda's eyes and when he looked in them, he would melt. Jenny was such a gift Amanda had given him. It was his fault she was gone.
Lee was jarred by the intruding burst of noise from the phone. "Stetson here."
"You have a beautiful daughter Lee." He says over a baby crying. "She looks like your wife…lucky for you. Ha Ha!"
"What makes you think she is my daughter?" Jenny's crying is almost more than Lee can take. "I'm not married, don't have kids." His voice was trembling now.
"Cut the crap scarecrow. I do my homework. You know I discovered something. Everyone says Mrs. King is your strongest ally. She is also your weakest link. If anyone gets to her you fall all over yourself to protect her." The baby cries louder.
"What do you want Oleg" Fighting back tears now.
"You know the plan. 4:00. Do not be late." The line went dead.
Lee slowly placed the phone down, the sound of his baby's cry still swelling in his head.
By two o'clock everything was ready. Sharpshooters were in place around the perimeter of the park while agents were stationed inside. Lee and Billy would drop the plans; Francine would stay with Amanda at Lee's apartment.
It was 3:00 and Francine and Lee were going over the plan one more time when Billy arrived. They grabbed their things and headed for the door.
"Listen Francine, Lee stops "Even if Amanda wakes up, I do not want her anywhere near this.
"I know but if something happens she is the next of kin since her sister is not here."
"Hopefully we won't have to cross that bridge." Billy interrupts.
Suddenly Amanda screaming in the bedroom jars the three of them. "LEE! HELP ME! MAKE HIME BRING JENNY BACK! LEE PLEASE! I AM BEGGING!" Amanda is sitting straight up in bed when Lee enters followed by Francine and Billy who watch from the doorway. Lee grabs her in his arms.
"SHHH baby, I am right here. I am gonna get Jenny, don't worry." Lee rocks her gently. He does not care the other two are watching intently from the doorway. Lee holds her for a few more moments until her breathing is even and her whimpers subside. He places back under the covers and eases off the bed.
"Francine take good care of her." He follows Billy out the door.