Steele Holting Out For You 8/9
Date: Thursday, January 11, 2001
"Laura, I think we should talk," Remington spoke through the door, "If not tonight, maybe tomorrow on the flight back. I don't want you to be angry, but I just want to know where I stand," silence. He slid an envelope under the door, "Well, if you won't listen, please read the note. It'll explain my side," he turned and went to bed in the worst condition he had ever been in.
Laura had sat and listened to Mr. Steele plead his case. She didn't know what she felt any more. The other night with Murphy had been nice, but it was awkward. It felt like she was kissing her brother, if she had one.
Mr. Steele, on the other hand, he lit a fire in places she didn't even know about. When he kissed her it was all she could do not to go straight for another. She moved over and picked up the envelope on the floor. She smiled. If she opened this, she thought, she might as well throw in the towel. Her stomach lurched. Love was not something she wanted to feel right now. Lust, caring, those were fine, but love, she needed time to adjust to the feeling before she could share. And what did the envelope hold in store anyway? It could just be a goodbye; after all, she had put him off for quite some time. It could also say he had found someone else and he didn't need her any more, but the agency was still convenient. She wouldn't know until she opened it
and she wouldn't do it now.
She needed to devise a plan; first she would go to Murphy when they get back. From there, she had no clue of what her plan of attack would be. Taking things slowly had brought her this far. Maybe they can go back to the way things were before. There's comfort in the familiar.
Six. An ungodly hour for any respectable hedonist, but this was important. Remington slowly levered himself into a sitting position. His body protested every move he made. He had had better nights sleeping on a sidewalk in the dead of winter. Nothing was physically wrong, but that didn't much
He had to catch the same flight as Laura and have the chance to see how she reacted to his letter. The note had only been written because he hadn't been able to sleep a few weeks back after sitting in a car with Laura for several hours on a stakeout. It was the only way he could get his mind and
body to wind down from the close proximity. All he wanted then was to touch her and tell her how he felt. Nevertheless, a stakeout is not the place to try to profess or make love.
He trudged to the bathroom and automatically went through the process of washing up and packing. He went to check on Laura before he left to make sure she was still flying off and see if she wanted to share a cab.
He picked up the phone and called the desk, "Has Miss. Holt checked out yet? Thank you." He walked over to the connecting door and knocked softly, "Laura? Are you ready to get going?"
Laura snapped straight up like a shot. What time was it? Oh no! She needed to be at the airport in twenty minutes.
"I'll be ready in five minutes, you can go without me," she flew through the room, tossing everything into her cases trying to force them shot.
"Laura, I'm not leaving without you. Paying for cab fare twice doesn't make sense. Do you need any help?" He was hoping that he would have a chance to see if she even opened the envelope before he had to ask.
The door opened, but by the time it finished revealing the other side Laura was in the bathroom sliding all of her toiletries off the counter into her carryon.
"Would you mind closing the bag on the bed and checking to make sure I didn't leave anything behind?" Laura poked her head out of the bathroom, "I'll be out in a minute," she shut the door.
Remington looked around, focusing first on the wastebasket next to the bed stand. That's good it wasn't in there. It meant that she had it, read or not, she still had it.
"Well Abigail, I had a wonderful time with you, even if the mission was a flop," Mildred was waiting for Abigail to finish packing so they could check out together.
"We didn't fail yet. They haven't gone their separate ways and they're still talking, at least a little bit. My daughter is as pigheaded as they get. She will come around, but it will be on her own time. Murphy was never her type or I would have pushed much harder when I first met him."
The ride to the airport was long and uncomfortable. The construction traffic, a street festival, and a game at the Boston Garden kept things at a stop and go pace.
"Just like home, eh?" Remington chuckled, more to himself than for Laura, "Too bad you didn't grow up in the area, we might be there by now."
Laura looked over at him from the post she had been keeping by the window, "I don't think that there is a short cut here that would save us more than ten seconds. The lay out of the streets is impossible," she turned back to the window and started thinking again.
Murphy had told her how he felt. It was a bit hasty. It didn't matter though; she knew he cared about her. She knew before, now it was a public topic. She had been glad that he hung up the phone so fast. If he hadn't, she didn't know what she would have said in reply. She cared about him. She had been his friend for years. His best friend. Then there was her Mr. Steele, hers? That was a bit presumptuous.
How did he feel? The letter probably told her everything she needed to know, but opening it now with him right here would be a little uncomfortable. She had wanted to read it last night, but the fear of what might be in there stopped her every attempt. At first it was because it was a "Dear Laura"
letter, but now it was because it was a proclamation of his love. She should have torn the thing wide open while she had the chance. Now she had to wait until she was back in LA.
He was content to watch Laura the rest of the ride. He knew she was struggling with something right now. He figured she was thinking about giving him the bum's rush and running away with Murphy. They were cut from the same cloth, both were sensible, intelligent, and most of all he was never a
conman, a charlatan, or a thief. He could feel his chest crumbling with every breath he took.
"Umm, Laura? Do you mind if when we get back I take a few days off..."
Murphy looked at his watch. Laura had called him last night around 11. She had told him she would be arriving at LAX around 7:30 this morning. She sounded as if she had something important to tell him. His hopes were that she would jump into his arms when she saw him and they would live happily ever after, but a feeling in the pit of his stomach said otherwise.
She hadn't mentioned how she felt, either way. If she had given him some clue he would have prepared a little better. All of the build up from the other night had him going crazy. He wanted more of her. He hoped to have at least one more chance to be with her before she let him down. He knew that if she did let him down he would never have another chance. Laura wasn't like that. She didn't toy with men in that way. She was straightforward, sometimes, he felt, a little too straightforward. If his hopes were going to
be dashed he wanted it to be delivered with a soft blow.
When they arrived at Logan Airport Laura was going crazy. She needed to read the letter. Her life depended on what it said. She still didn't know what she wanted, but she had a feeling that if she found out how he felt she could devise a plan for her life starting when they landed.
"Mr. Steele, I have to run to the ladies room. I'll meet you at the terminal," Laura patted his shoulder and ran off.
He watched her trot through the crowd until she reached the hallway marked "women." He decided to wait for her, he figured if he was going to disappear in a few hours, the last ones he had as Remington Steele should be spent with those that Steele needed most.
When Laura was out of his view Laura tore into Remington's letter. She looked at the first line ten times. She couldn't believe what it said. The rest of it could wait. She knew her plan now. She just hoped she could handle it. She put the paper back into the shredded packet that had contained it earlier, checked her reflection in the mirror and headed back out into the fray.
"Laura, I thought I'd wait, there's a terribly large crowd and I wasn't sure of the location of the terminal," he never looked at her after he had spotted her. He knew that her demeanor had changed, but he wasn't sure of the direction it had changed in. He guessed that if she really had to go
she would be happier now, but he didn't read happiness in her appearance. It was an odd stance, he saw determination and something else. Maybe she would talk on the plane.
She nodded her acknowledgement to his comment, "It's this way. We should hurry, I'd like to boarded so I can take a nap," she picked up the pace.
"Mildred, this is a wonderful idea. It'll be great not having to depend on the girls for company in LA," Abigail smiled, "I haven't had such a good friend in years. I, um," she choked back the emotion she was feeling, "Thank you."
"Abigail, you are a wonderful person. It's a shame you don't live in the area, we could spend more time together. I'll have to come back out and visit after the kids' wedding," Mildred smiled, "I think our terminal is over here."
Both women trucked their way across the crowd and to the desk.
"Mr. Steele, when we get back, could you please meet me at the office before you go on vacation?" Laura asked as she settled back into her seat.
He thought that his quick escape would be less painful, however this was Laura this was the last time, "I suppose I can. I just need to pick a few items up from my place."
Laura smiled and closed her eyes. Things would work out just fine.
Steele sat back in his seat. This was going to be harder than anything he had ever done before.