Disclaimers: Main characters are property of MTM, any Infringement of copyright property is unintentional. All feedback is well received. (Just e-mail me privately if you want to icaro_76@yahoo.com) For the purposes of this story neither season 4 or 5 ever happened.
The Alternate Link of Steele
By Adriana

This Introduction is actually the first part of another story (Steele Missing a Link, which can be found on Nancy Eddy's site) It is posted here to make it easier for you to follow what's going on.
Steele Missing a Link
Part 1
By Adriana

Century City Towers - Los Angeles. 1987

Laura Holt sighed deeply. Her throat felt so tight that she didn't even think she was breathing.

"Please, miss Move aside"

Laura stepped aside as the movers carried the last piece of furniture out of the former office of Remington Steele Investigations. Her eyes were hot, but she refused to let the tears she had been holding to flow. Then, she felt a reassuring pat on her arm. Mildred.

"It'll be alright, hon, you'll see It'll be alright."

Laura nodded and somehow managed to smile. But Mildred too had sounded scared.
Hell. She was terrified, and she was still young- She'd find a job somewhere. Stop, Laura. Stop thinking like that! She shook her head in denial and her eye was caught by the older woman's contrite smile. Where would Mildred find another job at her age?
Mildred Krebs took Laura's arm again and led the way outside. A tear fell down her cheek as the glass-paneled doors closed behind them for the last time.

************** ************************** *********************
Laura Holt's House. 4:50 AM

Laura turned once more in her bed, her eyes landing on the alarm clock. Boy, was sleep being elusive lately, and she was rapidly running out of tears. Her mind was racing as she tried to figure out what she would do next. She must find a way out. She just had to. It was then that the phone started ringing. Who could be calling at five in the morning? She let the phone ring a couple of times before she finally got up and answered.

"Hello?" her voice sounded tired.

"Laura?" It was a male voice. A voice she hadn't heard in a long time. "Laura are you there?"

Laura swallowed. It seemed tears were fighting their way back to her once again.


"Yeah, It's me. I-- I heard--," his voice trailed into silence, he knew Laura would probably hate him for feeling sorry for her.

"Yeah, well-" She was being strong. She had to be strong.

"Listen Laura. I have to be in L.A. tomorrow. I'm on a case Let me come and see you, ok?"

"Murph, I'm alright. You don't need to-"

"Yeah, I know." Right. "So, where can we meet?

*************** ************************ *******************
Joey's Lunch-Box. 7:24 PM.

"Come on, eat up," Murphy said, "and that's an order."

Laura could tell he was worried, that would have normally annoyed her. Today, though, she welcomed the feeling. At least Murphy was here. She took a bite of her burger, and a small smile appeared on her face.

"Was that a smile?" he teased. "Did I just see a smile there, Laura?" The smile grew broader.

"I just realized that I hadn't eaten a burger in-- I don't know how long. Not since about the time you left really-" Oops. Rub it in, why don't you?

Murphy saw a glimpse of regret in her eyes, and was determined as ever to not let her withdraw now. "I think that, between those years at Havenhurst and then the years at the agency, we made those burger places quite a fortune."

They both laughed.

Good old memories will do that to you, Laura thought. But then again, somehow her taste in food had somehow, well, evolved. She frowned at the fresh memory that had assaulted her mind and looked down, hoping it had not shown.

Murphy looked at her askance. Should he volunteer to help? She looked so tired, so pale. He knew she wasn't ill, but she was thinner, and there were dark shadows under her eyes. He couldn't even begin to imagine what she would be feeling like. To have her whole world shattered to pieces. Well, maybe he could. But his wounds had healed a long time ago and now he was here for her. Still, his thoughts were hard to vocalize.

"What?" she asked. He looked uncertain about something.

"Laura, do you," he needed to breathe before pushing ahead. "Do you know what you're going to do now?" Ok. It was out now. No going back. Either she'll open to him, or she'll have his head.

Laura lowered her chin to her chest. She had been dreading the question the whole night. But it was all right. She could trust Murphy. He was just concerned.

"I don't know," she admitted, her voice barely audible, her eyes fixed on the checkered tablecloth.

Murphy's heart felt heavy, but he needed to know. He had to know if he was going to help her. "Laura, what happened?"

She looked at him with weary eyes, but there was more, there was still the harder part. "Where is he?" he finally asked, ignoring the silent plead her eyes had issued.

Laura closed her eyes shut, keeping the tears in, once control had been regained; she looked up at him.

"I don't know," her voice was nothing but a whisper. "I haven't known for two years-"

Murphy's mouth opened in patent disbelief. "What do you mean, two years?"

It was time for her to breathe deeply now. "He's been gone for two years. He's never called back. I don't know where he is."

Murphy had to smile, if only to keep him from yelling with rage. How could she not have told him? Two years, for God's sakes! The bastard had abandoned her, and she hadn't even said a word to him.

"Why didn't you say anything?"

She heard the pain in his voice and winced. "I'm sorry," she replied.

"I would have been here for you. You know that don't you?"

"I know, Murph. It's just that-"

"You didn't want me there," he finally realized.

"No. It's not that. It wasn't that at all " She reached out to him and touched his arm. He was looking at the table now. "Murph, look at me."

He raised his eyes, hurting. "Why then?"

"I didn't want you to find him."

He raised his eyebrows. That he hadn't expected at all. "What? "

"I didn't want you to find him, because if you did I knew you'd probably break his neck, or something-"

Oh. That's more like it, Murphy thought. The retched conman had dumped her, but she was still trying to cover up for him. God, how he hated that guy! If he ever found him, Murphy was thinking, he'd certainly do a lot more than just breaking his neck. He'd rip out the guy's heart with his bare hands!

"I thought I could find him myself, but I couldn't. He just- vanished"

"Sorry," he found himself saying.

"I'm ok now."

"I wish you had called me Laura. It must have been really tough."

"Yes, It was, but I still had the agency to think about. I couldn't have him missing, nor could I have him found, or dead. Anyway, Mildred was there. And we kind of slogged along together."

"She a good friend, then?"

93The best," she smiled at him, "Lucky me to have such good friends."

Laura's hart warmed as she thought of the older woman. She remembered how crushed she had been when Mr. Steele had left. She had been like a mother to him for almost two years. And well, why denying it, she had also been a mother to her as well. Mildred had tried very hard to find Mr. Steele, too. But after digging through files for over six months, and pulling more favors that Laura could have imagined possible, it had also been Mildred who had finally made Laura realize they both needed to move on.

"I don't know what would I have done all these years without her, really"

Murphy smiled; glad to know Laura had at least had someone to lean on.

"After he left", she continued, " Mildred and I devoted more than half a year trying to find him. We declined new clients; closed all current cases, and before I knew it we were back where we had been at the beginning: stuck with a fictional boss that didn't exist, but only now, people had a face to go with the name. A face everyone wanted to meet. And well, I guess it kind of went downhill from there."

"I'm sorry."

"Yeah. The toughest part was, though, not that we were going out of business, which was no picnic either, but to realize that nothing had changed, after all. That people still wouldn't believe I was a good detective."

"Well, they're all jerks!" he said.

Laura smiled a sad smile of gratitude. "To all of them I'm just Remington Steele's secretary, you know."

"I'm sorry."

"Stop saying that Murphy. It's not your fault."

He had to laugh. "Yeah. God knows I didn't believe he was a good detective!"

"Well, as a matter of fact. He did learn a thing or two-"

"Oh, Come on!"

"Well, he did."

"Could we stop talking about him, please? Just the fact that you mention his "name" makes me sick to my stomach." Oops, he'd gone too far. He could sense she was going back into her shell.

They both fell silent.

Laura shifted uncomfortably in her chair. Enough was enough. No more talking about her now. The problems would take care of themselves in due time, she hoped.

"Murph, why are you here?"

"What do you mean? You know why I'm here," he said with a smile.

"Not here with me, here in LA."

"Oh, the case-"

"Yeah, tell me about it, and don't leave anything out."

Murphy smiled, professional Laura was back in full force.

*********** ********************************* ********************
Laura's Loft. Sometime Later.

Laura opened the door to her loft to allow entrance to a very exited Mildred
Krebs. The portly woman came in with an anxious look all over her face. She
Did not even look inside as she marched right in.

"Ok hon, what's all this about a new case? Are we back on buss-"

Her speech was suddenly interrupted when Mildred caught the young man's eyes staring at her with a mixed look of bewilderment and amusement. Murphy stood up from the couch and went over to her. Mildred quickly assessed him. Tall, handsome, looking smart enough. Laura stood aside as Murphy smiled and greeted the newcomer.

"Hi. You must be Mildred, right?"

Mildred glimpsed at Laura, who was still smiling. "Yeah, and you are?"

Laura came forward and took Murphy by the arm. "Mildred", she announced," Meet our new boss-"

Mildred thought her jaw must have dropped to the floor. She had to be kidding.

"Oh, come on Laura, don't," Murphy started to protest only to be cut off by a very put out Mildred Krebs.

"What do you mean, our new boss?" she was practically yelled, "You don't expect this guy to be" she looked at Murphy before going on, "I don't mean any offense, but, I don't think he looks like Remington Steele at all!" She finished her sentence with a stern look on her face.

Laura and Murphy looked at each other in amazement. It was finally Murphy who cracked up in laughter.

"Oh, God", he said between laughs, "She thinks I Oh god, that's really something!"

Laura couldn't answer, she laughing so hard, leaving poor Mildred to wonder such surge of merriment was all about, and quite displeased to suspect she was the cause of it.

"Would one of you tell me what the hell is going on here?" Mildred demanded.

"Sorry Mildred " Laura began, as she tried to compose herself "But just the thought of Murph as Remington Steele was too much for me."

"Hey! I did it once, remember? And I as wasn't bad as all that!"

Mildred turned towards Murphy with a questioning look in her eye. "Murphy? Then, You're Murphy Michaels, aren't you?"

"Yes, he is." Laura answered, " Murph, meet Mildred. Mildred- Murphy"

They shook hands, and Laura suggested they all sat down to fill Mildred in.

"First of all", Murphy said, "I want to settle this "Boss" business, Laura. I won't be playing boss around you, I couldn't do it, really."

"But Murphy," she replied, only half seriously "This is your case, and your agency."

"That's where you're wrong, you see. I had already referred Mr. Hawkes to the
Remington Steele Agency when the case got out of hand and-"

"Wait a minute, here," Mildred almost begged, "Would one of you explain to me what the case is?"

As both Laura and Murphy were going to start speaking at the same time, Mildred raised her hand as to stop them. "Go on hon", she told Laura "You take it."

Murphy grinned, nodding his permission.

"From what Murphy's files say, Mr. Freddy Hawkes is a very wealthy man from
Texas. He's the sole heir to the estate and fortune of Frederic Hawkes Sr., owner and founder of Hawkes Oil Inc., when the old man dies. Unlike his father, who is a self-made man, young Frederic attended some of the finest schools in Europe and received a privileged education. He majored in Art History in Oxford, but never got his Ph.D. He speaks more than five languages, loves expensive cars. Loves gambling, and has a special weakness for first editions of classic literature."

"Wow, That's an impressive record Miss Holt, but What's he done?"

"Oh, Nothing much, Mildred. He just took ten million dollars from his dad's bank account and fled to Europe. His father thinks he's about to spend this, er, petty cash, and wants to find him to prevent that from happening."

Mildred looked at Murphy Michaels and then again at Laura. She was a bit puzzled.

"So, let me get this straight. Rich kid takes off with dad's money to Europe, wants to spend money. Father wants money and junior back. He hired Murphy to do just that," she looked at Murphy and made a disapproving face. "How did that exactly get out of your hands?"

Now it was Murphy's turn to feel uncomfortable. He didn't feel much like explaining his failure to the older woman, especially not when Laura had that amused look in her face as well.

"Hey, first of all, I'd like to think that I didn't lose the case, as much as I let it get lost. As I said, I referred the man to the Remington Steele Agency. That's how I found out, by the way, Mr. Hawkes made a few phone calls and was told the agency had closed, so he came back to me." He was looking at Laura.

"Go on," she said.

"Anyway, I like to think that my business was more, you know, locally based. I thought you and Steele could find your way around the Old World better than I could. Plus, I had lost track of young Fred after he switched a couple of aliases. "

"So, what makes you think we could find him now? How long has it been since the last time you heard from him?" Mildred wanted to know.

"Two months ago, I think. He was in Madrid and went by the name of Diego Aragon Luna. After that, the trail gets cold. He could be anywhere."

Laura rose. "Well, I for one, am feeling quite tired. What do you say if we call it a night? I think we'll be needing all our strength tomorrow."

Murphy also stood up, his face beaming with joy, "Laura, do you mean-"

"Miss Holt, are we-" Mildred began to rise as well.

"I don't think we have anything to lose." Laura replied with a smile, "What do you say Mildred?"

"I say I'm right behind you, hon."

"Well then," Laura said as she removed a bottle of champagne from the fridge and started pouring the sparkling liquid into three glasses, "I think we'll be needing to pack. We're going to Spain!" And on that final line, they all toasted to success.

Museo del Prado. Madrid, Spain. Two weeks later.

The main exhibit room was crowded with the finest of the finest of the European
Jet Set. Bankers, Aristocrats, politicians, and artists, all gathered to celebrate one unusual event: the unveiling of on the long lost First Edition of Cervante's Don Quixote. If Freddy Hawkes were to be anywhere in the world right now, that place would be here.

After the main event, to which none of them had had access to, the two detectives and their aid managed to be invited to the exclusive party that was taking place in one of the museum's greater halls. The celebrations had started, as they usually did in Spain, well too late into the night for Laura's liking. Murphy and she had arrived at nearly twelve o'clock, relieving Mildred of her duty. The older woman was more than tired from an entire day's watch.

"He's nowhere to be seen Laura. I guess he didn't come after all."

Murphy looked tired, and felt a little bit out of place. He took another glass of white wine from a waiter's tray. He couldn't say the same thing about Laura, though. She looked stunning. She was wearing a beautiful light blue satin dress that clung to her slim body just perfectly. She had her hair up and a light make up on. That was just like her, Murphy thought. Simple, and yet, perfect.

"Of course he'll come. I bet he was at the unveiling too. Maybe he went home for a while and will show up again later."

Murphy loosened his bow tie a bit, and took a sip of wine " Later? Would you look at the time?"

Laura smiled at him, and lifted her own glass in a mock toast. "What are you talking about, Murph? The night's still young, and we85" Her voice trailed off, as her eyes fixed in something behind Murphy's back. Laura's mouth opened just a bit, as if in shock.

"What?" asked Murphy, as he began to turn around.

Laura pointed her head to the left corner of the room where a couple was chatting rather intimately. Murphy gave them a good look. The man certainly resembled the picture of Freddy Hawkes his father had given them, only that this man seemed older, and had grown a beard.

"Is that him?" he asked.

Laura didn't answer. She wasn't even hearing what Murphy was saying. All her attention was focused on the woman. She was dressed in the most exquisite outfit Laura had ever seen, a white evening gown that made her look like an angel. Why did she have to be here? Laura wondered as she stared at the tall, elegant blonde she had once known as Felicia.

"Laura," Murphy had to shake her arm in order to get her attention, "Laura, don't stare like that, he might get suspicious."


"What the hell are you looking at? You look as if you've seen a ghost or something."

"No. No, It's just that I-"

"Is that him?"

"Yeah, I think so," she knew she should tell Murphy about Felicia, but she remained silent. If she mentioned anything even remotely related to Steele, Murphy would insist they left Spain in a flash, case solved or not. And Laura could not allow that to happen. She would not let her personal problems cause trouble for Murphy's agency as well. Felicia, she would handle on her own.

"So what do we do?" Murphy mused. "Do we grab him by the shoulder and say: hey boy, your Daddy wants you home tonight, or what?"

"I think we'd better wait and see what he's up to. Just lets make sure he doesn't see us, ok?"

"It doesn't matter Laura. He doesn't know who we are, remember?"

Hawkes did not, but Felicia certainly did. "I know, but just in case Let's pretend we're an ordinary couple. Let's dance a while and keep an eye on him when he leaves."

She took Murphy by the arm and led the way to the opposite side of the huge hall.

"Ok," he said. He could definitely go along with that plan.

************* *************************** ********************
Posada de la Corrida. 2:27 AM

Back at the hotel, Laura and Murphy said goodnight, and each went to their rooms. Laura entered her room quietly, trying not to wake Mildred, who was peacefully sleeping in her own bed. If her instincts were right, as they usually were, Felicia and Freddy would try something on that museum tonight. Laura had to be there, if not to stop them, at least to provide the police with foolproof evidence of the crime. Clad entirely in black, she packed a few ropes, a torch and a few gadgets in her backpack. She also packed her camera.

Museo del Prado. 3:48 AM

Laura stretched one leg and felt pin and needles spreading through it, she was hidden behind a statue. She had gained access to the museum quite easily, which had come as a shock. But more than and hour had gone by, and there had been no sign of Freddy, or Felicia, or anybody else. She began to ask herself whether this had been such a good idea. It was bad enough that she couldn't tell Murphy or Mildred about this, but what would they say if they had to bail her out of a Spanish prison for breaking and entering and attempted robbery? To make matters worse, a lack of sleep was rapidly catching up with her. If she didn't do something soon she was sure she would doze off.

Suddenly Laura heard a noise, far away, a shrill, piercing sound, in another hall of the museum. All her nerves were on alert. She lifted her head to try and see what was going on and saw-

Nothing. She did not hear a peep.

Fifteen minutes later Laura knew something was indeed going on. Where were the guards? Two of them should have been there five minutes ago. She began to stand up, and walking away from the statue but close to the walls, Laura headed towards the main hall, where the book had been unveiled.

If her eyes had not deceived her, she had seen a light. Laura peeked around the corner and there they were: two figures bent over the case that contained the book, carefully working on the security system. She didn't know what to do. Great Laura, why don't you just ask them to smile and take the picture? With a scowl on her face, she started moving once more when a strong hand grabbed her arm. Another hand covered her mouth.

"Shh! Don't talk, it's me," he whispered. Laura turned and saw the man with a ski mask on his head.

He still was holding her tight. "Here, put this on," he said, as he released her and handed her another ski mask. He pulled her behind the statue again.

"Murph! What are you doing here? "

"Same thing you're doing, I guess. Sticking my neck out for that old man's money, that's what."

"But, how did you know I was here?"

"I didn't. I guess we both suspected Freddy might try something" he smiled behind the wool, and then frowned. "Why didn't you tell me?" He sounded worried

"Why didn't you?"

"I asked first," he replied calmly.

"I don't know. I guess I was just trying to make a point," she lied.

"Yeah, well, now we are both stuck. They've got guns. They're holding the guards hostage in the other room. If they see us, we're dead."

"Oh, god. How many of them?" Now she was scared. What were they doing here? What would Mildred say when they returned, or rather, If they returned?

"Those two, plus another two with the guards. Maybe there are more, I don't know."

They sat beside one another, and Murphy sighed dramatically. "Oh God, what have I got us into? I should have stayed in Denver, domestic affairs and all. I'm sorry Laura."

She took his hand in hers. "It's not your fault, Murph. I came here on my own accord, remember?" She could tell he was feeling guilty.

Her words didn't convince him. "I'll go take a look. Be right back."

She tightened her grip on his hand, as not to let him go. He stopped, and tenderly caressed her wool-covered face "Don't worry," he said, and he was gone.

Five minutes later Laura saw the two figures coming out of the main hall, the taller one was carrying the book, the other one, a woman, trailed behind with a light step. Felicia, no doubt, Laura guessed as she started to follow them. Where on earth was Murphy?
Suddenly the to figures stopped walking. What now? Laura wondered. Her question was quickly answered when the guards entered the room, escorted by two other figures in black. These two were carrying shotguns, and the familiar ski masks.

"Deja de joder, hombre," said one of the guards.

The man behind him didn't move, but the other one knocked the guard over using the butt of his gun. "Callate, imbecil," the thief said in Spanish, kicking the fallen guard in his stomach.

"Stop it!" Felicia warned the thief. "Try to keep calm. It's almost over."

The other guards were also getting restless, and started babbling something Laura couldn't understand. The thief who acted as translator was getting more violent by the minute. Where was Murphy?

"Freddy, stop that!" Felicia said.

So it was Hawkes after all. She knew she had been right all along. Laura didn't dare to move a muscle, but she had to know Murphy was all right. Slowly she stretched on the floor, as low as she could and started crawling. She took a peek around the corner. Nobody. Murphy must be hidden behind some statue as well. She heard one of the guards cry out in pain, as he was beaten again in his ribcage.

"Freddy!" Felicia cried out again.

But this time Freddy had had enough. He took his shotgun and aimed it right below Felicia's chin. "Stop calling my name, dear, or I'll have to blow your lovely brains out."

One of the other thieves aimed his gun at Freddy. "Cool it, mate".

English accent, Laura thought, Figures. An international bunch this one.

"You cool it, buddy," Freddy returned. "Or after I shoot her, I'll kill you."

Felicia took the end of Freddy's gun with her hand and removed it from under her chin, as naturally and calmly as if she were removing a lock of hair that was out of place.

"We'll all stay calm, alright. We got the book. And this is almost over," Felicia repeated calmly.

Laura could tell Freddy was loosing it, for regardless Felicia's soothing words, he kept looking around like a wild dog in search for a bone.

"Where is he anyway?" Freddy shouted.

God, how many of them are there? Laura's line of thought was interrupted when Freddy shouted again.

"Well I'm tired of waiting!" he growled, and kicked the guard that lay on the floor. But now one of the other guards decided it had been enough and aimed a punch at Freddy, hitting him squarely on the jaw.

Things were really beginning to get out of hand, when a fifth person entered the room. He said nothing, just gave one of his men a sign and the man left. Felicia went after him, and then the other followed their path. Only the new arrival, Freddy and the guards remained in the hall.

"They know too much," Freddy told the silent man. "And she said my name!" He sounded frightened.

Oh, oh, Laura thought. The fifth thief just held out his hand in a silent request for Freddy to hand him his gun. He appeared to be relaxed, but there was a tension in him that belied that outward appearance. Freddy faltered a bit, and the man took a step towards him. He was tall and lean, moving with an unconscious grace that reminded one of a stalking feline. He reminded Laura of- Oh, God, Please don't let it be him! Laura lifter her eyes to the skies, nervous, and a sudden false movement caused her to drop her backpack.

The noise and been barely audible, but everybody in that room had heard it. Freddy turned in panic towards the statue and Laura froze. It was then that one of the guards, the one that had previously hit him, threw himself towards Freddy. But he wasn't fast enough, as Freddy turned to him and fired his gun. Before Laura knew could warn him, she heard three more shots. She saw the guards falling to the floor one by one.

The tall figure in black stood still, in the middle of the fire.

"Laura, look out!" Murphy cried out.

She saw him running towards the hall, and felt utterly useless as Freddy aimed and shot one more time. Murphy fell to the ground. Freddy, breathing heavily and clearly over exited, kept pulling the trigger of his now empty shotgun.

"Murphy, No!" Laura ran towards him, not caring about anything that was going on around her.

Freddy stood there in shock, the bodies of the guards at his feet. Murphy was still alive. Finally Freddy woke from his trance; he looked around with fear and his eyes stopped on his silent companion. Not able to bear the man's stare, Freddy ran away in the direction that Felicia and the others had taken.

Laura finally reached Murphy's side. He was badly hurt on his upper thigh, and he was desperately trying to reach for something. "Gun," he managed to say.

The remaining thief had heard him too. With catlike movements he threw himself over Murphy, pushing Laura away. He turned the detective over and took his gun. However, before he could stand up again, Laura jumped on him, trying to get hold of the gun. They both rolled and struggled on the floor for a few seconds, but the man was stronger. He secured the gun and straddled Laura's waist, preventing her any movement. For a moment she thought that was it. He was going to shoot.

He took a pause and their eyes met. It was only for a brief second, because he pulled
Laura's ski mask over her eyes, revealing her face to him.

The thief's heart missed a few beats. He had dreamed about her face for more years than he could remember.

"Come on. Let's go!" Felicia shouted, reappearing on the corner.

He looked up and nodded, then looking back down he removed Laura's mask with urgency. He just had to see her. Their eyes, hers brown, his deep blue, locked for a few seconds, which seemed like years.

The thief swiftly rose and ran away.

************* ************************* *******************
Posada de la Corrida. 4:15 AM

"Mildred. Mildred, get up" Laura shook the woman's arm.

"Miss Holt! What happened, are you alright?" she asked, noticing Laura's appearance, and began to stand up.

"I'm ok. But Murphy was shot," she answered in a calm voice that was ill match to the excited light in her eyes. "He's in the hospital. It wasn't serious."

"Oh, God!" Mildred cried, " What happened?"

To her surprise, Laura turned away, her back to her. "Mildred," she said quietly, "Mildred, I saw him."

"Of course, hon," Mildred replied, a bit confused. "You said he was in the Hospital"

"No," Laura said, turning to face her friend. Her face was somber and her eyes where shining with a strange light in them " I saw Mr. Steele tonight--"

************* ************************** *****************
House on the Calle del Retiro. 4:28 AM

He banged the door shut with more force than he needed to. He was confused, and tired, and all he wanted to do was hide for even a longer time that he had before. But he knew he couldn't do that. Not now. Not anymore.

"Start packing, Felicia, we have to go," he said in a quiet, controlled voice.

Felicia looked at him with a mixed look of worry and fear. "Not so soon, darling. It'll look suspicious if we run away now. There is no way they can trace that to us-"

"Felicia, please don't argue with me and do as I say, ok? We'll go to Daniel's for awhile--"

"What about Freddy?"

"Let him take care of himself. He doesn't know who we are or where to find us. None of them do, only-" he stopped himself before he said too much, "We need to keep it that way. We need to get out of this city, of this country. Fast."

Felicia looked into her husband's handsome features, and immediately knew something was really wrong. A cold chill went down her spine. It had been two years since she'd seen that look in those eyes. "Michael, what happened?"

He looked away, not wanting to face her. But she cupped his face and stared into his deep blue eyes. She saw the clouds beginning to form there. He raised his hands and removing them gently, he brought his lips to hers. He wanted to reassure her, and himself as well. He needed to be certain. This was his wife, this was the woman he had married, had planned to spend the rest of his life with. His mind told him he was doing what was right for them, but he found his heart was in doubt. A doubt planted in soul by that other face, those dimples, and those sparking eyes. Damn.

They kissed for a long time, before he finally let her go.

"What's wrong Michael?"

"Laura Holt was at the Museum tonight," he said quietly, " I think she might have recognized me." He looked up and met Felicia's eyes. He saw her reaction even before she fastened her arms tightly around him and buried her head against his chest as if silently vowing that she would never let him go.

"I'm sorry, luv," he said, and then fell silent. There was really nothing else for him to say right now. When would he have peace? Would Laura Holt's memory ever stop torturing him? But then again--Did he really want her to stop?

End Part 1
To Part 2