Date: Thursday, June 01, 2000
sue hantak <hantaks@mtco.com>


by Suejue

The lights flickered twice before going out completely. It was rare for LA to have window rattling thunderstorms but weather anomalies happened from time to time. Remington went in search of candles while Laura sat back on the sofa hugging a pillow. He returned with two lit candles that he placed on the coffee table. A soft glow cast distant shadows on the wall.

"This reminds me of slumber parties when I was a girl. We would turn off all the lights, get in our sleeping bags, tell spooky stories, eat pizza, play truth or dare..."

"What's truth or dare?" Remington inquired as he sat on the opposite end of the sofa and held a throw pillow in much the same manner as Laura.

"It a silly game in which you challenge someone to pick a 'truth' or a 'dare'. If they pick truth, you ask her some vitally important question like, "Have you ever kissed Robbie Howell?" and she has to answer truthfully. If she picks a dare, you make her do something highly embarrassing in front of everyone."

"And this is fun?"

"It is to a 12-year-old."

"Okay, I'm game."

"Mr. Steele I'm not 12 anymore."

"Then we'll just have to play a more adult game like spin the bottle."

"You really want to play truth or dare?"

"Sounds intriguing" he arched his eyebrow in a flirty manner.

"Okay, you first Mr. Steele... truth or dare?"

He pondered for a moment. He had an idea what kind of truth she'd be after. Curiosity about what kind of dare she would dream up got the better of him, "Dare".

She reclined on the sofa with a smug expression. This man seems to have little or no shame. What would it take to embarrass him? She did remember his uneasiness when she overheard him singing to Baby Joey several years ago. She interlocked her fingers behind the back of her head, "You have to sing to me."

"Sing?" that uneasy look returned.

"And I get to choose" a devilish grin spread across her face, "Mmmmm ... my request is ...that goat song from the Sound of Music."

"Sound of Music? Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, 20th Century Fox, 1965."

"Laura I know the movie, I don't think I remember that song"

She was enjoying watching him squirm, "Oh sure you do....the scene with the marionettes...the yodeling...High on the hill was a lonely goat..." she started him off.

He sat there wishing he'd never suggested they play. "I really don't know that one."

"You're stalling" she scolded.

"I really would do much better if I had the puppets."

"You're not playing right"

"Would you accept Edelweiss instead?" he caved realizing she would not let go.

She nodded indicating for him to go ahead. He cleared his throat and sang it surprisingly well.

He bowed as if he were on stage and said, "Your turn, Laura, truth or dare?"

She was certain any 'dare' he had in mind involved his bedroom or that fan dance. She naturally chose 'truth'.

Laura had always been brutally honest with him. Is there anything she would be hesitant to tell him? Sure there were plenty of sexual questions. However, she would be expecting that line of interrogation and he would rather discover those preferences in a more "hands on" manner.

He tapped his index finger repeatedly against his lips contemplating the perfect question. Laura grew impatiently nervous at his prolonged delay. "Come on, Mr. Steele...Do you want to know if I ever kissed Robbie Howell?"

"No, but I do want to know where you think our relationship will be five years from now."

This game just turned unexpectedly serious. Laura tried to wheedle out of it, "How am I supposed to know that?"

"Okay let me rephrase. Where do you want our relationship to be five years from now?"

"In Los Angeles..." she replied literally answering his question.

"Now who's not playing right, Miss Smart Ass?" he tossed the pillow at her.

"I don't know what you expect me to say"

"Well for instance,... are we still together?...More together, perhaps?" he hinted hopefully. He even subtly thrust his pelvis upward accenting what he meant.

"Yes we're still together... yes we're MORE together." Laura admitted praying that was the end of his query.

"Living together?... Married?...Children?...the whole It's-a-Wonderful-Life-package?"

"Okay, before I say a word, I need your assurance that what I say can never be used against me. Just because I've thought about some of this doesn't mean I sit in my office secretly pining for you ."

He nodded, accepting her terms.

"Five years from now...Well, first of all you'll be relieved to know that we can't keep our hands off each other and we fool around ALL the time."

He smiled at her, wondering if she was just mocking him, "Seriously?"

"More or less...Five years from now, were as close as two people can possibly be. As far as married and children, I don't think so" Laura wrinkled her nose,

His heart sank. He was certain when he asked, she would admit to wanting those things. He tried to hide his disappointment, "May I ask why?"

"I answered your one question, can we just drop it?" She scooted over closer to him on the sofa to distract him. Her left hand glided smoothly through his silky hair "Are we going to waste this extremely romantic candlelight playing adolescent games?" She placed her right hand on his chest. Just as she leaned close, Remington pulled back, still troubled by Laura's response. "You said you didn't think so, that means you must have thought about it, eh?" He cocked his head and studied her reaction.

"Of course I've thought about it," Laura blurted out as she abruptly stood, "I've thought about how ridiculous, how improbable, how implausible that you would ever..." she stopped herself.

"That I would ever what?"

"I'm going home," Laura announced defiantly taking her keys from her purse.

"Your car is still at the office," Remington walked over to her, took the keys and purse from her hands and

set them on the entry table. "Please come sit back down" He led her back to the sofa. With his back eased against the armrest, Laura reclined against his chest, his chin just above the top of her head. Remington's left arm rested on the back of the sofa. His right lightly caressed her shoulder and neck. Soothed by the steady rain, his touch and the dancing candle flames, Laura finally confessed "It's a fairy tale, I'm not going to delude myself into believing it could happen...I just can't imagine you, or any man for that matter, wanting to spend the rest of your life with me... what did you call me...the most ridiculous woman you ever met?

"What about children?"

"You saw the domestic side of me at Frances' house. I just don't have any of those maternal instincts. I would love to think that I could do it all, but I can't"

"Accidents happen, Laura" Remington pointed out.

"Mr. Steele, when we cross that bridge, I'll have plenty of change for the toll"

He smiled appreciatively at her innuendo, "Sounds like you've thought about that too"

"I'm a modern girl" Laura turned to face him with a delightful grin. His left arm moved from the back of the couch to around her back. With his right he guided her chin up to meet his lips. He decided he had plenty of time to still change her mind. "Now, I'm going to get that bottle."

The End