Steele Bitter Part 3
Date: Tuesday, April 04, 2000 4:17 PM
sue hantak <email@example.com>
Descoine's daughter managed to cut the power to the community
center where Laura attended her class. When Laura arrived and
found the doors locked and class cancelled, she headed home.
In her car, she reached for her cell phone and dialed Steele's
number. No answer, but she left a message that would be conveniently
erased by Devin's equipment. Devin was waiting outside Laura's
loft when she arrived home. A convincing real estate agent ID
combined with a charming lie about car problems got him invited
inside. She naturally offered the use of her cell phone first,
but not-so-coincidentally it malfunctioned. Not even the mastermind
of Descoine could have planned it any better when Steele pulled
up to Laura's address only to see the two of them disappearing
into her building.
Descoine's daughter watched from an apartment across the street.
After Devin appeared to make his call to the auto club, Laura
picked up the phone to call Remington again. This time the message
was allowed to go through. Laura's original message was,
"Sorry I missed you. Class was cancelled. Call me when you
get in. If it's not too late, we can get together. Otherwise,
I'll just see you tomorrow."
However, Devin's "magic" omitted everything except,
Sorry I missed you... I'll just see you tomorrow. He also overlaid
some tormenting background noises of soft music, glasses clanking
and his voice suggesting, "Laura, just leave it off the
hook, so we won't be disturbed."
Devin graciously left Laura's apartment satisfied that she would
stay there and wait for Steele to call back. He however did not
leave the building until close to 2:30 am. Strategically, he
left with his shirt partially unbuttoned and shirttail hanging
out; it was painfully obvious to the watchful eyes of Remington
that Laura indeed was involved with another man. When he returned
home, he replayed the message and was further sickened by the
thoughts that his overactive imagination played in his mind.
Scenes of another man touching Laura, kissing her, making love
to her ........ In disgust, he ripped out the tape in his machine.
Laura was slightly worried by eight o'clock, perplexed by ten
and agitated by midnight. She left him two messages? Where could
he be? She swung back to being worried and picked up the phone
to make sure he was alright. Again. the call was rerouted. This
time to the sweet voice of Descoine's daughter, "Remington's
apartment" she announced cheerfully
"Is Mr. Steele home?" Laura gritted through clenched
"Well, he just left the bedroom to get another bottle of
champagne from the kitchen"
A mix of shock and hurt left Laura speechless. She just hung
up the phone dejectedly.
Neither of them got any meaningful sleep. *How could he/she*,
they both wondered.
Descoine laughed heartily when he heard the news of Remington
and Laura's falling out. Video tapes and still photos provided
him with corroborating evidence of their misery. Over the next
several days, they avoided each other. They both tried to put
up a front of not being bothered by the other's suspected affair.
Whenever one would leave, the other would assume they were off
to see someone else in the romantic sense. In reality, Remington
and Laura both would go home at the end of the day sad and confused.
Although Descoine completed his original objective, he still
wasn't satisfied. He wanted a fiery, brutal break up. He wanted
to drive her completely out of Steele's life. Thinking Laura
was just an assistant , he decided that Laura needed to lose
her job too. This is where hiding her away for a significant
amount of time would constitute an unexplained and unacceptable
It was very early Sunday morning when Laura received an alarming
call from a doctor telling her of her mother's sudden illness.
Laura naturally tried to call Francis, but all circuits were
busy. Frustrated, Laura threw together an overnight bag of necessities
and headed for the airport. She no longer felt comfortable calling
Mr. Steele at home. Part of her was afraid that woman would answer
his phone again. While on a layover in Phoenix, . Laura finally
got through to Francis from a payphone. Francis informed her
that mother was just fine. There was no doctor, there was no
illness. Before Laura could turn around and make arrangements
to get back home, she was detained by airport security and held
in a small office for hours. Despite all her protests, the security
guards turned her over to the police along with her bag that
contained a felonious amount of cocaine.
By mid afternoon Monday, Mildred dropped yet another hint to
Mr. Steele that she was worried about Miss Holt, "I don't
think she's ever not come in without calling first".
" Laura is a big girl. She doesn't have to report in"
"Aren't you the least bit worried?"
*Of course I'm worried....... I'm worried she happy with someone
else....* that was the first thing that came to mind. Of course,
all he could admit was, "I'm concerned that we have work
At four, he announced that he was going to have some suits fitted
and drove to Laura's loft. It was locked from the outside. He
decided it was safe to go in and look around. It was odd being
there without Laura. He surveyed the recently rearranged room
and reminisced about their "cleaning" That Sunday he
surprised Laura early in the morning. With warm croissants and
a carafe of fresh juice, he let himself in. While she was still
sleeping, he gently placed breakfast on her nightstand and tenderly
rained kisses on her until she woke. Despite his best efforts
to persuade her spend the day indulging in irresponsible fun,
she stuck to her pledge to clean her loft. Turning the tables,
she used her charm and a fleeting glimpse of her very short nightshirt
to seduce him to stay and help her. He obligingly help move furniture.
He never imagined that stripping her bed and rotating the mattress
could give him such a cheap thrill. Once new sheets were on,
he mischievously pulled Laura down to the bed with him. He rolled
atop her. Propped up on his elbows to lessen his weight on her,
he bounced teasingly suggesting they "Give the mattress
a workout". She surprised him when she reached up to pull
his lips closer. He lowered his body and scooped his arms under
her shoulders. Their kiss intensified as they rolled to their
sides and ran their hands over each other. Laura rolled on top,
then pushed herself off . He could tell she was dazed and flustered.
She ran her hands through her hair and smoothed her shirt. She
got up from the bed, walked over to the rail and apologized without
looking back at him. Remington got up and leaned against the
rail next to her. His hand reached out to touch hers. She apologized
again, "I'm sorry......I want to....I do...........I just
don't know what's wrong with me......."
He came back to the present as he casually checked the kitchen.
A half pot of coffee sat on the counter. scribbled on a pad next
to the phone was an airline number. The message light blinking
on her machine caught his eye. He apprehensively pressed "play".
The machine voice announced the time stamp as Saturday 7:00 pm.
Devin's voice trailed behind, "Laura, I'll be there in half
hour. I hope you opened my present and will put in on... love
you, bye". It was surreal for him to hear someone else tell
her that. Going up the steps to her bedroom,, he noticed the
discarded wrapping paper. On the floor off the other side of
the bed was the "gift". He delicately picked up the
negligee. Holding it up to the light he cringed at it's translucence
and disgustedly dropped it to the bed. The bed itself was tousled.
with the pillows and covers strewn about. Descoine and Devin
left nothing to the imagination. Left in plain sight, several
torn condom packets lay discarded on the nightstand. Remington
had seen enough.
To Be Continued---
- To Part