Aloha, Mr. Steele 4/8
Date: Monday, May 19, 2008
From: "SusanRS" <>
Aloha, Mr. Steele
Chapter four
"Let's take a quick detour before we go to the restaurant," Remington said as they left their hotel room.
He took Laura's hand as they walked down to the beach. There was a warm, gentle breeze as the aroma of the ocean wafted around them. The sun was just setting. When they reached the sand, they removed their shoes and carried them to walk barefoot. As they got closer to the water, she could see a circle of flaming tiki torches.
"Looks like someone's having a party," Laura remarked.
Remington smiled. As they reached the waters edge, she saw within the torches, a table, set for two. A bucket with champagne was chilling nearby. Remington led her inside the circle.
"This is for us?" Laura asked, pleasantly surprised.
"I asked the restaurant manager for the finest table they had," Remington replied.
He took the plumeria lei that was lying on the table and placed it around her neck. Then he tipped her chin up towards his lips and gave her a soft, gentle kiss.
"I'll accept a lei from you anytime, Mr. Steele," she said, suggestively.
Remington smiled at Laura as he pulled out the chair for her.
"This is very nice," Laura said, as she sat down. "Thank you."
Within a few minutes, their waiter arrived. He looked at both of them and said, "Aloha! My name is Aliki. I will be your server this evening." Aliki turned to Laura. "Mr. Steele has already ordered your meal. The first course will be salad greens and fresh mango with a raspberry-mango vinaigrette. The main course will be grilled Mahi Mahi with rice pilaf and fresh vegetables."
"Sounds delicious," she replied, glancing over to Mr. Steele.
As Aliki walked back to the restaurant, Remington popped the cork on the champagne.
"Champagne, Miss Holt?"
"Love some, Mr. Steele." Laura noticed the vintage. "Dom Pérignon `76?" she asked. "Is this a special occasion?"
"Every occasion is special when you're here," Remington replied with a smile.
Laura smiled back. "Now I know what all the mystery was about."
"Which mystery is that?" he asked.
"What you were talking to the restaurant manager about this morning," Laura answered.
"You're right, Detective Holt," Remington replied smiling. "There's no getting anything past you."
The food was delicious, the conversation was delightful, the atmosphere was beautiful and the company was perfect. The sun had gone down. The only light was from the tiki torches. Laura's features were soft in the glow of the firelight. The waiter returned to take their dinner plates.
"Are you ready for dessert?" Aliki asked.
"Yes, I believe we are," Remington answered.
Aliki turned to Laura. "Miss Holt, Mr. Steele has asked us to prepare a special dessert, just for you. We hope you enjoy it."
Aliki placed the covered tray on the table and then left them alone.
"A special dessert? . . . Just for me?" Laura asked enthusiastically. "Should I be pleased or afraid?"
"You'll have to decide for yourself," he answered.
Remington reached over and removed the lid. In the center of the plate was what looked like a perfect unopened scallop shell, made of chocolate.
"It's beautiful," Laura said.
"Take a bite," Remington said.
Laura reached over and picked up the chocolate shell, which fit in the palm of her hand.
"Go ahead," he prodded.
Laura raised the sweet confection to her mouth. She could smell the richness of the chocolate before she even took a bite. She placed the edge of the candy in her mouth and bit down. It was incredible. She closed her eyes, enjoying the intoxicating feeling. As the chocolate began to melt on her tongue, the flavor overwhelmed her. It was the most delicious chocolate that she had ever tasted.
"How is it?" Remington asked smiling.
"Unbelievable," she said, opening her eyes and snapping out of her reverie. "Would you like to try it?"
"Yes, I would," he replied.
Laura reached across the table and handed the chocolate to Mr. Steele. He took a small bite.
"Mmmm, it *is* delicious." Remington said. "I especially like the filling."
Laura thought for a moment. "I don't think I got any of the filling."
"You'll have to try it again," he said. "The filling is the best part."
Instead of handing the candy back to Laura, Remington stood up and walked over to her. He reached for her hand and pulled her up to him. Remington held the chocolate in his right hand as he held Laura's right hand with his left.
"Open your mouth and close your eyes," he kindly instructed.
Laura smiled and did as he asked, trusting him completely. Remington opened his mouth and pressed his lips into hers. Laura was not expecting his kiss, but it was immediately welcomed. Their tongues danced as they savored the flavor of each other, married with the chocolate. After several minutes they pulled away, breathless. Remington could feel the chocolate beginning to melt in his fingertips.
"Open your eyes," Remington whispered softly.
Laura opened her eyes and gazed at his beautiful face.
"Was that the filling?" she asked with a smile.
"No," he said. "This is."
Remington opened up her right hand and tipped the chocolate shell towards it. Out of the opening, where they had bitten, a diamond ring tumbled into the palm of her hand.
Laura gasped.
Remington set the half-eaten shell on the plate and quickly wiped the melted chocolate off of his fingers. He took the ring from her hand and held it between his thumb and forefinger. He grasped both of her hands and knelt down on one knee.
"Laura, you are the most extraordinary woman I have ever met. I am so fortunate to have you in my life. I don't know what I would do without you or where I would be if I had never met you. I love you more than I ever thought possible. Would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"
Laura was in complete shock. She could not believe the words she just heard. All these years of wanting a commitment from him and here he was in front of her, down on one knee, proposing marriage. Her beautiful brown eyes were welling up with tears of joy.
" . . . I was not expecting this," she said, breathlessly.
"Laura, I was not expecting a week alone with you . . . But look how great that is turning out," he said with the most incredible lopsided grin.
Laura chuckled, feeling a little more relaxed. "You're serious?" she asked.
"Of course I'm serious, Laura," Remington replied, a little surprised that she was questioning his sincerity.
So many thoughts swirled around in her head. All of her doubts, her fears, her hopes and her dreams. It was overwhelming. Did she trust him? . . . Yes. Did she love him? . . . Absolutely! Laura imagined what it would be like to spend every day of the rest of her life with this incredible man. She remembered what she told him on the plane, that she was going to make decisions based on what she felt and not what she feared. Laura looked into Remington's magnificent blue eyes.
"Yes," she said smiling.
"Yes?" he asked, smiling back.
"Yes," she repeated, nodding her head.
Remington stood up and gently slid the ring onto her finger. He pulled her close and gave her a deep, passionate kiss.
Laura smiled and took his hand. "Let's go celebrate!" she exclaimed.
They couldn't get back to their room fast enough. Remington Steele was *sure* that he was the happiest man in the world.
As they lay in bed together, Remington could tell Laura was admiring her ring.
"Do you like it?" he asked.
"I love it!" she replied. "It's so beautiful."
"A beautiful ring for a beautiful woman." Remington placed a kiss on her temple. "It's a one-of-a-kind," he offered. "Just like you."
Laura knew that they had been together the whole time they were in Hawaii. She thought back on their activities since they had arrived and she knew that he had never left her side long enough to shop for a ring. "Where did you get it?" she asked.
"When I left you to go and search for my father and find my name," he answered, "A lot of my time was spent walking the streets of London. One day I came upon a quaint antique shop in Notting Hill, on Portobello Road. I ventured inside and perused the merchandise. When I saw this ring I knew it was exactly the one I was looking for. I spent many hours just thinking about you. I could not wait to get home to you. I knew when I returned to Los Angeles I wanted to ask you to be my wife."
Laura took note of the fact he said *home* to you and not *back* to you. "So you have had this ring since then?" she asked, curiously.
"Yes," he replied. "I have just been waiting until the time was right and I thought that you were ready to accept my proposal."
Laura was still curious. "Why did you bring it here to Hawaii, especially after the way I treated you this week?"
Remington smiled. "I was hoping that being in this beautiful setting, even if we *were* on a case, might give me an opportunity to ask you to marry me." Remington took her hand. "Laura, I wished I had proposed to you in London and we had gotten married before we went back to Los Angeles. Once we returned home, we got caught up in the distractions of work that always seem to get in the way of our relationship."
"London does sound like a wonderful place to get married," Laura said.
"I know the perfect place to get married," Remington said.
"Where?" she asked.
"You want to come back and get married here?" Laura thought for a moment. "That does sound nice."
"Who said anything about coming back?"
Laura was surprised. "You want to get married now? Here? This week?"
"Sure, why not?"
"Why, not?!" She let out an exasperated breath. "What's the hurry, Mr. Steele?"
"*Remington*," he corrected, with a smile and a kiss. "I *am* going to be your husband, after all."
"What's your hurry, *Remington*?" she repeated.
"First of all, Laura, I don't think that any part of our relationship has been hurried. It has taken us almost four years to get to this point. I don't want us to wait four more to be married. We've tried adapting our personal relationship into our business relationship and it hasn't worked. How much more difficult will it be to plan a wedding at the same time? I know what it will be like once we get back to Los Angeles. There will be so many distractions. I'm afraid that when we get back home WE will get lost. I want to go back and start our life together. I do not need to be engaged to you to know that we are meant to be together."
He looked right into her soul.
"Laura, I know that you know it, too."
She knew he was right. As much as she may have tried to deny it over the past three-and-a-half years, from the moment he walked into her life, she knew he was destined to be a part of it. Even though so much had changed between them in the past two days, it would be so easy to go home and fall into old habits. Laura definitely wanted their relationship to progress. She just hadn't thought they would be moving so quickly.
"How can we plan a wedding in a few days?" Laura asked, not believing she was continuing this preposterous conversation.
"I spoke with the hotel manager," Remington answered. "And he told me that they have a full-time wedding planner on staff for people just like us who come here and decide to get married."
"Of course you did . . . . Of course they do," she said with a hint of sarcasm. Laura smiled and shook her head. "What other surprises do you have in store for me?"
Remington smiled and kissed her. "If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise anymore, now would it?"
Laura took a deep breath. "What about our friends? . . .My family?. . . Mildred? . . . Daniel? Don't you think they might like to be a part of our wedding?"
"We can have a celebration when we get home," Remington replied. "This is about US, Laura. It only matters that WE are here." He looked right into her beautiful brown eyes. "Laura, I will not make you do anything you don't want to do. Let's go talk to the wedding planner tomorrow and then we can decide."
"Okay," she agreed.
Remington gave her a kiss. "How would you like to join me in a bubble bath?" he asked.
"Mmmm, sounds heavenly," Laura replied with a smile, "Just give me a minute."
He climbed out of bed and headed into the bathroom to turn on the faucet.
"Remington," she said quietly, lost in thought.
"Remington," she said again.
"What?" he said back.
"Remington," she said a third time.
He came out of the bathroom, a little annoyed. "Laura?"
"What?" She snapped out of her reverie.
"You've called me three times."
"Oh, I'm sorry," Laura said, a little embarrassed and then grinned. "I was just practicing saying your name."
Remington smiled and walked over to her. He took her hand and pulled her up from the bed. "I know the perfect way to practice saying my name." He wiggled his eyebrows. "It seems to come very easily for you." He kissed her and carried her into the bathtub.
To be continued . . .
To Part 5

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