Steele Holting Out For You 7/9
Date: Thursday, January 11, 2001
Breezy <>

Bundled up and ready to spy, Mildred and Abigail walked together sharing stories about Laura and Remington, and about each other as they neared the Fens at nine thirty. They staked out a bench just out of the way of where Remington and Laura were supposed to meet Mildred's supposed captors.

At quarter to ten the couple in question arrived and found a spot to sit and wait. There were a few other people around, "It really is pretty, isn't it? The bushes, the stream, and the lights and the stars, it's almost like a dream, except for the cold air," Laura punctuated her statement by exhaling and watching her breath drift away.

"Hey daddy, those two men are kissing, like Jerry and Paul! Do they love each other too?" Laura turned to find the origination of the little voice.

She chuckled quietly and was surprised at what she found.
The family had already walked over, "Hey Laura, Remington, didn't know you were going to be here. We were just wrapping up the family tour; we just saw the first Holiday Pops concert of the season.

"Ah, a bit of culture, a good idea for the kids," Remington said trying to be friendly, but also trying to ignore the fact that there were a large number of male couples walking around arm in arm. He looked down and was greeted by the two girls who flashed him with smiles that seemed to encapsulate their entire faces. He couldn't do anything, but smile back in return. He saw a gleam in the older one's eye that made him wary, but their cherubic faces softened him.

"As Harry Ellis Dixson told me, æIf you expose them to good music they will always come around to appreciate it," the father said and grinned the same smile the girls had given not that long ago, "T here, he plays the sax in the school band, hopefully someday the girls will decide to do the same."
T, the son, just blushed and smiled at Laura.

"Mommy, will you carry me? I'm too tired to walk any more," the youngest asked with her arms extended.

"Well, I suppose it's time to get going. Have a good night, and enjoy the city. The Fens are beautiful if you can get over all of the gentlemen roaming about," the father quirked another mildly devilish smile at the couple and moved his family along into the night.
"What a nice man, a bit different, but very nice," Remington offered, "when we get back we should send some sort of thank you to him."
Laura nodded her head in agreement and looked at her watch, "It's ten past, I wonder where they are."
"Maybe they're over there on the bridge, why don't we take a look," he tried to step forward and fell on his face and scowled, "I knew that girl was up to something, Laura can you help me up?"

"It's almost eleven, where could they be?" Remington was panicking and was ready to start crying, "If we don't find her Laura what are we going to do?" He swallowed hard trying to hold back his emotions.

"We'll find her Mr. Steele," she held out her arms, "Come here, we'll get to the bottom of this tonight," he walked over to her and she held him until he could find some composure.
"I suppose this really isn't the place for this, is it?" he stepped back.

"Well, we do stick out, but I don't think the guys will mind," Laura quipped.

"That's it! They're hugging, it has to be a good sign, come on Mildred! We have to go tell the kids you're ok," Abigail leapt up from the bench pulling Mildred with her.

"Are you sure this is the time to do this Abigail? I think we should wait a few more minutes," Mildred was trying desperately to put off the inevitable argument that was going to happen.

"Did you see the panic in Mr. Steele's face, I think we should go now. Laura won't get any more pleasant."

They looked past the bushes and saw two vaguely familiar forms approaching, "Laura, is that who I think it is?"
Laura focused her eyes, "Mother? Mildred? Together? I'll kill them!"
Laura stomped over towards them.
"Mr. Steele! Miss Holt!"
"Laura! Mr. Steele!"

Remington closed the gap between the group and looked at the two older women, "What in the bloody hell do you think you were doing?" He looked like his head was going to explode in anger, "I have been worried sick over you Mildred, I have been sitting here trying not to think of the different situations you could be in, what kind of animals had taken you, trying to ignore the fact that the office and your flat had been torn to such small pieces that you couldn't be in much larger ones yourself! Then you two come waltzing up like nothing has happened! Do you know how worried I was?" He paused to take a breath.

"Mr. Steele, relax for a minute and let them explain why they had us shut down the office and travel half way around the world to track down criminals who don't exist and leave us so worried that even you, Mr. Steele, were ready to break down into tears."

"Gee, thanks Laura," he straightened his tie, "I wasn't going to cry, I was just a little nervous."
Abigail smiled, "I think Mildred can explain why we're all here."
"I just thought that if, well, you and Miss Holt, and Murphy, I, you, Boston is far and," Mildred looked at Abigail for help.
"Nice out."
"What's this about Murphy? He hasn't been around in well over a year," Remington started questioning. Laura tried to retreat behind her mother, "Laura? What is it?"

"I told you Mr. Steele, I have to work this out on my own. I think we should all go back to our respective hotels and talk in the morning," Laura tried to start walking away, but her mother grabbed her sleeve.

"Laura Elizabeth Holt! What is going on? And don't try to walk away again," Abigail Holt hadn't used the tone of voice she was employing since Laura had gone off to college.

"Mother, now is not the time or the place for this conversation. It is also not a conversation I need to have with you. I can see who I want when I want. No one has a personal claim on me. If I have certain feelings for Murphy that I think I need to explore, I will. If you, Mildred, and Mr. Steele can't accept the fact that I am human and I am not sure of what I want, you can all leave. I don't need you to help. I don't need anyone! Now, I am going back to my room and going to bed. I will be catching the first flight back to LA in the morning. Anyone who wants to join me is more than welcome, but don't expect me to open up. I'm not ready to. For that matter, I might not ever be ready to!" Laura stormed through the audience she had attracted.
Remington just stood frozen. He felt like he had been hit hard. Murphy Michaels hadn't been part of the picture. He had been gone for so long, he left her. Why was Laura even giving him the time of day? He doesn't care about you the way I do. God, what am I saying?

"Mr. Steele, perhaps you should follow Laura back. When she's upset she doesn't pay attention to the rest of the world," Abigail suggested, "And when you get back, go straight to bed. You look like you've had a long day." He just started walking in the direction Laura had run off in, but his gait had no sign of hurry.
Both women followed behind him for a few blocks to make sure he was going to get back.
"That poor man is in love," Abigail shook her head, "I hope Laura realizes that. Murphy never cared about her this way. There was always a bit of lust, but he never even tried to make an attempt for her affections until now."

"Miss Holt knows," Mildred stated as they crossed in front of a line of traffic, "She might be in denial, but she's in love with him just the same."
"Laura wasn't ever one to give in easily, she was the most stubborn child," her mother smiled, "It has saved her on several occasions, I just hope it doesn't break her on this one."
End Part 7
To Part 8