Steele Holting Out For You 3/?
(working title)
Date: Thursday, December 14, 2000 <>

The working title is Steele Holting Out For You. It may change as my ideas change, who knows. I hope that works. This is part 3, any warnings I have already given are assumed to still be in effect.

Laura snuck in the office door, looked at her watch, and scowled.

"Murphy!" She started over to give him a hug, then remembered her state of sogginess, "I'll be right back. I had a small," she gestured at her shirt, "accident. I'm just going to change." She walked into her office and shut the door just enough so she could see out, but no one could see in.

"You know, Laura, I didn't think I had a chance with you after I tried that time. That's why I left, you didn't need me anymore, and you didn't seem to want me around anymore either."

Laura stepped out of her office with a pale blue silk blouse to replace the sodden shirt. "Well, people do change and I've never," she heard Mildred laughing in the hall, "never had the chance to make sure you emptied your desk! Quick! Let's go and investigate!" He didn't have a chance to reply as she dragged him with as much force as she could muster into his former headquarters and slammed the door.

"I'm just going to go in and check on the client, Mildred," he flashed her one of his trademarked winning grins as he opened the door to his office, "Odd, she isn't in here," he checked her office too, "I wonder where she is, even she isn't that efficient. It's only been five minutes."
"I'll call Fred, Boss. You might want to check your washroom and see if she's changing."
"Good idea," he walked into his office and headed for the smaller room as Laura poked her head out.

"Miss --," Mildred started to shout when Laura bolted across the office to silence her friend.

Laura mouthed that she would explain later and pulled Murphy across the office and out the door.
"Any sign of her? She doesn't seem to be in here."

Mildred felt guilty, but knowing that Miss Holt would have an explanation later she justified her little fib, "She's in the limo, said she had to take care of the client and would be home late." What was she saying, she knew that face from some place, but she couldn't remember from where. She was positive that it was going to be trouble and had a feeling in her stomach that made her shiver.

Laura snuck a glance out of the corner of her eye at her best friend for so many years and felt her palms get warm. *Come on, Holt. This is Murphy, the guy who used to drink beers and tell you dirty jokes. Of course he's also the guy that has given you second thoughts about the man you thought was your destiny.*

Murphy was starting to feel a little uncomfortable. The silence was starting to suck the will out of him. It was giving him time to remember the rejection he felt on a regular basis with the same woman not long enough ago for the wounds to heal.
Laura chanced a quick look and laughed uncomfortably, "So, I know this must feel a little strange for you too. I'm just not very sure of what to say."
"You could start by telling me where we're going, I didn't hear what you told Fred and I don't remember you mentioning anything."

Laura smiled, "Since it's Friday, I thought we could rent a movie and order a pizza," * It's safe, we did it all the time before he showed up.*

"It sounds perfect. Would you mind watching something a little bit juvenile? I still haven't seen ET and I wanted to know where all the hype was coming from," Murphy blushed a little feeling like he was back in high school. He had already seen the movie, but he thought he'd have more of a chance to entertain the ideas he had been having for the past few weeks this way. Laura was still wondering how she could manage to avoid her Mr. Steele all weekend without him getting curious. But for now, she wanted to fall victim to Murphy's affections and see how she felt in the morning.
"Mildred, why don't you head home, the night's still young and I'm sure you have someplace to go," Remington stated, "I'm going to go home and watch a special on Betty Joan Perske on PBS." Mildred cocked an eye, but decided she needed to find out who Laura was with more than she needed to find out who Betty Joan whatever was.
"Thanks," she picked up her purse and jacket, gave Remington a kiss on the cheek and barely restrained from running out of the office.

"Odd," he shook his head, "oh well, Lauren Bacall, popcorn, me, all alone, sounds like a wonderful night." He had been planning on Laura being around for him, the entire night had been planned. He could be Mr. Adaptability, but he had been spoiled as of late. He knew something was wrong, but he didn't know how to fix it. Especially if Laura said everything was fine.

"That's the pizza," Murphy jumped up, "let me take care of this," he reached the door.
Laura just followed his form with her eyes across the room and smiled.

Tonight will be special, either way she decided. Even if it was a one shot deal, tonight was going to be for Murphy and an attempt to reclaim her sanity. Murphy came back and opened the box, "White pizza, it's great. One of the guys in the office turned me onto it."
"It's not your usual style, it looks healthy," Laura kidded.

"This entire visit isn't really my style, although I'm willing to make the change," he moved next to her on the couch. He handed her a slice of the pie, picked up one for himself, and started the movie, "I have an admission to make." Laura looked over questioningly. "I, uh, I've seen this before. It's just that I, I didn't want anything to distract me from you," he ran his thumb down her cheek, "I've been planning this for years, I just --,"

"Murphy, don't," she looked into his eyes for a minute before she moved in to kiss him tentatively.

She tried to pull back a little to gauge his reaction, but before she could he had pulled her back into a strong embrace. He whispered as he broke to take in air, "I don't want to do anything you don't want to do," he kissed her nose, "I don't want to ruin our friendship tonight, just expand on what we feel."

"You don't need to worry, I'm ready for this," she pulled him back for another curiously deep, but timid kiss.

Mildred Krebs showed up at Laura Holt's loft in time to pass the pizza delivery person wishing Murphy Michaels a good night. His smile betrayed what the former IRS bureaucrat had originally suspected. Her kids were not on easy street yet and this guy was a major roadblock. She needed to devise a plan and hope that nothing happens in the mean time. What could she do?

The rest of the weekend would not be the same without Laura, so Steele decided he would call her a little later and hope she would be in. If she wasn't, at least hunting her down would fill the hours until Monday. Until then, he decided to break out one of his Cuban cigars and settled in for a night with the warm glow of public television.
End Part 3
To Part 4 __________________________________________________________