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Living a Lie

Part 4 in the 'A Beautiful Lie' Series

Living A Lie
by Billy

Summary: Amy needs to keep her promise. Face needs to keep busy. Set just before ‘When You Coming Back Range Rider?' Sequel to ‘One More Lie'.

Ratings: PG-13

Disclaimer: I don't own the A Team and I've not made a penny from this; I just do it for the jazz!

Copyright: August 2008

~~~

Amy sat staring at the word processor in front of her. Her hands rested on the keyboard, ready to type the next word, but it wasn't coming. The green text on the black screen in front of her was blurring. She blinked, shook her head and focussed again, the lettering becoming clearer.

It was four weeks now since Courtney's weekend visit. She'd hastily left LA after Robert's phone call. Apart from the call to confirm Courtney had arrived back in New York safe and well, Amy hadn't really heard from her since. A few days ago she'd received a card through the mail confirming Courtney and Robert's new home address. But that was it – the last communication she'd had with Courtney. Both of them too busy in work and life, like usual. Courtney was probably busy nest building in her new home with Robert. Amy was knee deep in work – although grateful for it at times. She only had an empty apartment to go back to.

Should she telephone Courtney this weekend? She'd promised Face that she would end the lie. But she just couldn't bring herself to do it. A month was realistic, wasn't it? Buried in her work the last four weeks, she'd found her excuse, hoping that it wouldn't make Face look like the bad guy in all of this. Would it be believable?

If ‘Sam' had run off with another woman, Amy felt sure they'd think she'd been a fool all along. He'd been too good for her – which she certainly felt that he was. And it wouldn't make Face look very good, either.

Damn it, why'd Face have to put on such a good act? Courtney will think she's mad, breaking up with him. A fool either way.

Okay – this isn't his fault. Don't go looking to blame someone else for your own mistakes.

Would Courtney still be on cloud nine? Did Amy want to shatter that? Or was she just overreacting here? Courtney would be upset. She liked Sam. But would it ruin the happiness that she's got with Robert?

She'd been trying really hard these last past weeks not to think about Face. His kiss goodbye... It was only a peck on the cheek – nothing to it more than that.

But Face... What would he think?

"Hey, Amy, I took a couple of messages for you while you were out this morning."

Surprised, Amy looked up to see Zack standing at her desk. He held out a cup of coffee in one hand, and some slips of paper in the other.

She smiled her thanks, gratefully taking the coffee, and then frowned as she took the messages. She sighed. "My work never ceases."

"There's only one that sounded urgent; the rest can probably wait." Zack pointed to one of the messages. "Some guy, Daniel Running Bear, called for you. Said he wanted to hire the A-Team urgently," Zack laughed, "and thought you'd be able to help."

Amy laughed nervously with Zack, hoping it was convincing. "These people! Just because I write stories about the A-Team, they all think I can contact them."

"I know. That's what I told him!" Zack chuckled back. "Anyway, it could be a good lead to a story." He winked at her.

Amy raised her eyebrows and grinned. "Damn right there." She put the other pieces of paper down and studied the message... Daniel Running Bear - an interesting name.

"He said something like he had another contact to try," Zack said, pausing, frowning in thought. "Er... HM Murdock." Amy sipped her coffee, watching Zack as he spoke. She tried not to act surprised at the mention of Murdock's name. "Isn't that the crazy pilot that flew the A-Team? You still see him sometimes?"

"Yeah," she hesitated, "occasionally, to try and get some background on the team."

Zack nodded, seeming to buy Amy's story, which was the truth really. Even Lynch knew Amy was in contact with Murdock. "Anyway, this Daniel guy asked if you could call him. There's a number of the hotel he's staying at."

"Uh, huh." Amy nodded, reading the message.

"Okay, well, I'll let you get back to work," Zack said, walking back to his desk.

Amy looked up. "Oh yeah, thanks for these," she said, watching him return to his desk.

She looked back at the message, reading the number on the paper. But she wouldn't call it – not yet. She'd talk to Murdock first; see if this guy, Daniel Running Bear, had been in contact with him. It would give her a reason to call Murdock, too. She just felt she needed to talk to him. She hadn't really spoken with any of the team over the last four weeks. She'd had the most contact with Hannibal and that still hadn't been a lot. Face had called once or twice, but it had just been business, wanting her knowledge, to look something up. He hadn't mentioned Courtney, or anything. And he'd seemed distracted... Was he embarrassed he'd kissed her goodbye that night? It had been innocent. A kiss on the cheek, like old friends would do. Wasn't it?

It seemed an unusually long time with no contact. Hannibal always said if it was quiet for a while not to panic; that was good now and then. Especially for her, just in case the military were on her tail. It would mean the trail looked cold. But now, she felt the need to make contact with one of them, so this would be a good excuse to talk to Murdock. And as she hadn't spoken to him since Courtney left, she could clear the air. Clarify a few things, just to make sure Murdock was okay with everything.

As she needed to get this current story done, she'd go out in an hour or so and find a payphone. Amy didn't like using her work phone to call any of them, even Murdock. If it was tapped, she didn't need their conversations being overheard.

~~~

Everything seemed to be falling into place.

The title of the film had been chosen, the premier scheduled, and the invitations sent out weeks ago. All those evenings spent dining clients to get them to part with their cash were long over. The days of getting the film ready, having it dubbed into German then subtitled into English - so much time spent – but boy, was he happy with the end result.

He hadn't realised producing would be so much hard work, but rewarding.

Face sat at a desk, checking off a list of last minute details in his new Beverly Hills office. He'd been so busy these past few days with the final touches, making sure his movie was getting the best coverage, it felt like the days had rolled into one, but the jazz wasn't allowing him to tire. He'd managed to get some publicity in the film business trades. ‘Variety' had a great article on him, with a photograph of him coming out of Le Sarah's, thanks to his secretary tipping them off.

Initially he'd worked hard day and night to get this thing finished up quickly, worried someone would see through it. But he'd pulled it off; they believed he really was a producer. He was already considering his next production, had his hands on the script; something that could be worth millions.

His next production? Yeah, why not? He was a producer… Jerry Johnson, Miracle Films. He'd found his niche. Big money could be made here.

He just needed to get this premier right and he was made. He was glad all he needed to do now was to get his tux from the cleaners. The rest was stuff his secretary could deal with. The premier was only a couple of days away now.

Luckily there hadn't been any real work for the team; he hadn't had time to think about anything other than this ‘production'. Cherise was old news now. After this premier he'd have them lining up to keep his bed warm – he'd have the best pickings. Although, he hadn't had that much trouble these past weeks either. Amazing what happens when an ‘actress' finds out you're a producer. He brushed his hand through his hair and continued to check his list, scribbling notes here and there down the side of the pages. Of course, he'd been choosy with whom he'd shared his bed – always was. And he didn't want to make the same mistake as with Cherise. She was a little brighter than he took her for. Possibly more attached than he realised. But...

"Mr Johnson." A young woman knocked on the door, even though it was open. Face looked up and smiled at his secretary standing in the doorway. Pretty, blond, and he had to stop looking at her legs.

"What is it, Louise?"

"I've organised all those RSVPs and checked them off against the invitation list, like you asked." She walked into the office, and stood in front of Face's desk. "Looks like you're going to have a pretty full theatre."

"Good, good," he replied, looking up into her eyes. Big blue eyes emphasised by the thick black lashes. "Thanks for doing that, honey. It'll be a great world premier with that theatre filled. My big break into show business." Face got a cigar out of the desk, clipped it, and put it in his mouth. As he did so, Louise picked up the lighter off of the desk and leaned over, her assets on show in her low cut blouse. She lit the cigar, giving Face a coy smile; something told him she wasn't that innocent.

"Thanks," Face said, smiling, puffing on his cigar.

The agency had sent her when he'd asked for a secretary, and he was happy to find out she was a want-to-be actress. He knew she wouldn't ask too many questions, with a promise of getting into acting. Oh, the girls he'd encountered over the last month, linked on clients' arms, all star-struck ‘wannabees'.

"Is there anything else you need, Mr Johnson?" Louise stood there, fiddling with her necklace, moving the locket up and down the gold chain.

"Er..." Face raised an eyebrow to the seductive tone Louise had spoken. "No, no, I think that's it, Louise."

"I'll be just outside if you need me."

Face nodded, watching her leave, giving him a glance as she walked out of the office. Oh boy. Should he? Over the last week or two, Louise had grown more confident and flirtatious towards him. Damn it – he was tempted.

He groaned, loosening his tie, and looked back down at his list - most of it checked off.

Maybe he should give Amy a call, see how she was doing. He hadn't spoken to her in a while. Just a couple of calls, made knowing she'd have the answers, contacts, that sort of thing. He hadn't asked about Courtney. In fact, he hadn't asked how she was at all... Not properly. Would she think he...? Maybe he could call to check if she'd heard from Courtney recently. He wondered if Amy had gotten around to telling Courtney that their relationship was over... as Sam and Amy. Would he mind if she hadn't? Maybe she'd want to talk about it....

Or maybe he could just call to see if she would cover the premier for him... No, don't get her involved in this. If it went wrong, he didn't want her mixed up in his scams. Not that it was going to - this was producing. But all the same... She'd probably be too busy anyway, knowing Amy. She worked too hard. He'd been keeping an eye on the papers, reading any story with her name attached to it.

Anyway, best to keep his distance, not get too close. Murdock probably wouldn't approve. Besides there'd be another job soon where he could see how she was doing.

That was his problem. When he stopped working on this project, keeping his mind occupied, he started to dwell on things he shouldn't.

Face glanced at his watch and sighed as he stubbed out the cigar in the ashtray. He walked over to the doorway, and looked at Louise sitting at her desk, flicking through some paperwork. He brushed a hand through his hair, and then rested his hands on his hips, coughing to clear his throat and make Louise aware of his presence. She swivelled her chair around to look at him, provocatively crossing her long legs. As he looked from her legs to her pretty face, she smiled, flicking her long blond hair off her shoulders.

He grinned back, fiddling with his tie. "Uh, Louise, there is one thing...."

Amy's cravings for coffee, coupled with her aching head, were good signs that she needed to take a break. As fast as she cleared her paperwork, more landed on her desk - new stories, new leads. So busy catching up with her work, she hadn't realised that over an hour had passed. Damn, why was it some weeks always seemed more hectic than others? She grabbed her purse and headed out of the office.

Glad of some fresh air, Amy walked a couple of blocks before finding a payphone. She never liked using the same one repeatedly and liked to distance it from the LA Courier-Express at times. Maybe the team had made her paranoid.

She took some quarters out of her purse and dialled Murdock's number. The telephone didn't ring for long.

"Hi, I'm not here right now. Please leave a message after the beep. Beep."

"Hi, Murdock, it's me," Amy said, trying not to laugh at him.

"Oh hi, me, what took you so long?"

Amy rolled her eyes. "Yeah, yeah. I know it's been too long but I've been really busy. Some of us have to work for a living you know." She heard Murdock laugh.

"I know, I read the papers."

Amy rolled her eyes. "Anyway, the reason I'm calling is that I got a call from a..." Amy searched for the piece of paper with the message on, "Daniel Running Bear. A colleague took the message and he said that this guy was going to try you. Has he?"

"Yeah, he called. Obviously I gave him the same old story. Bit like the one I told you." Amy chuckled. "Right. So what should I do? Should I call him back?"

"Well, it would be rude not to, but I'll talk to Hannibal first. Don't you get involved in that side of things. Hannibal will probably want to run him by Mr Lee first anyway."

"Got it." That was the usual routine. If she got a call, which sometimes happened, she would plead ignorance; tell them that she didn't know how to get hold of the team. Then she'd pass the info on to the team, and they would deal with the clients, set the ball in motion. "So how do you think he got your name?"

"Apparently he served in Nam, sixty-six till sixty-eight. So had some contacts."

"Oh, right. A friend of a friend, that sort of thing."

"Yeah, sounds like it. So, how's Courtney?"

Amy was taken aback by his bluntness. "I haven't really heard from her, other than when she arrived back in New York. She couldn't get back to New York fast enough after Robert's call. She was so happy."

"Yeah, that's what Face said. I'm glad anyway, she's a nice girl," Murdock replied. "Have you seen Face lately?"

"Not since that Sunday afternoon," she said, innocently. That was the truth. Was he trying to see if there was something going on? Did he still not believe them? "I was trying all day to get hold of him, to tell him not to worry about coming over, but couldn't reach him. He turned up late Sunday afternoon. He was starting to worry me actually - I almost called you."

"Yeah, he has seemed preoccupied lately. He's been really hard to get hold of. And today I haven't been able to reach him at all. I wonder what he's up to."

"Oh, you know Face," Amy said in a blasé tone. Murdock chuckled in agreement. Face had obviously been up to one of his scams on that Sunday but hadn't let on what. Probably more of the same today, she thought.

Amy heard Murdock sigh, as if in thought.

"So, uh, have you told Courtney about ‘Sam'?" he asked, suddenly.

"Err... No, not yet. But I'll finish it, Murdock. I promise. She seemed so happy going back to Robert; I didn't want to ruin that. I wanted to leave it a few weeks so that it looked realistic."

"Yeah, I understand that."

"I'm actually thinking of calling her this weekend. I've been giving it some thought and I've decided what I'm going to say."

"Like what?"

"Does it matter? I'll just end it."

"Why don't you just tell her he's run off with another woman?" Murdock said, so matter-of-factly.

Amy didn't like Murdock's tone. "No! I don't want to make Face look like the bad guy in all of this." Or me a fool, she thought. "He's been good to me... And I need to make it sound realistic. Besides I'll just look like an even bigger fool if I say that."

"No, you won't!"

"Yes, yes, I will. I'm sure they were all thinking he was too good to be true at the wedding. Saying that will just prove them right!"

She was sure she heard Murdock tut. "Okay, so run it by me. Let me see if your explanation is believable."

Amy took a deep breath, hesitant for a moment. This was Murdock. He had this way about him that made her open up, usually. But look what it got her into. Face coming to a wedding with her... Did she really want to open up to Murdock now? Would he think her excuse was silly? She'd thought about this excuse for Courtney more when she was at home in the evening, in bed, alone – it wasn't that silly.

"Come on, Amy," she could hear his convincing tone, "you can tell me."

"Okay, okay," Amy sighed. Murdock had started this, so he might as well hear the ending. "I was going to tell her that Sam made me choose between him and the A-Team. Because he doesn't like me chasing them around for a story," she quickly added. "He thinks it's dangerous... That sort of thing."

"Uh, huh."

"And I'll tell Courtney that I made my choice. I chose the A-Team - my career – over Sam."

That was the truth. She'd always chosen her career. Because running around after the A-Team meant she couldn't have a relationship with someone like ‘Sam'.

There was silence the other end of the telephone. Amy worried. Had he heard her?

"Murdock?"

"Yeah, yeah. Sorry, sweetheart. And she'll believe that, will she?" Murdock said, sarcastically. "She seemed quite a bright girl to me -"

"She'll have to. She knows I'm a damn workaholic. She'll think I'm nuts but it's fact, Murdock," Amy replied, trying not to sound annoyed. "I'll say he didn't like the fact that the military are hounding me. He thinks I'm in too deep, getting too close."

"Do you think it's wise mentioning the team?"

"Well, she knows I write about them. It's not like I'm admitting I hang around with you guys."

"Okay, true."

"And it is the truth - I have chosen to chase after the team." Amy waited, but there was no response from Murdock. "I'll call her... I promise. This weekend. I can't do it during the week, I'm just too busy."

"You'll feel better once you've finished this, you know?"

"Yeah, I know."

But would she? Really?

~end~


Living A Lie by Billy

 

 


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