Changes 3 2/4
Date: Sunday, April 02, 2000
Tracy E. Aiken

The drive back to the office was even quieter than the drive over, if that was possible. Her thoughts were interrupted by his question, "do you have any idea where to start?"

"We can try to locate him through his credit cards, see if there is a trail. It's not going to be as easy, we don't even know if he's using his name or going under an assumed name, if he's in this country or another? It's not hopeless, just a long shot."

"If he's out there, Laura, we will find him."

Once they had arrived back at the office building, they stopped by the vending machines and grabbed a snack, then headed up to their office. Their first call was to Mildred, who answered as soon as the telephone rang. She explained that she'd had a bad feeling all day and thought something had happened. She said she would be at the office within the half hour.

The call she didn't want to make was to her mother. "I'll call her, if you'd like," he offered.

"No, I need to do it, I'm just not sure how."

"Should I make her flight reservations before your call? It may make things easier."

"That's a good idea, it will give her one less thing to worry about."

Laura sat on the couch in his office while he made the reservations for Abigail Holt. After a few minutes he was able to get her on a flight that left at 11:55pm her time, with a couple of layovers, she'd get into LAX about 5am their time.

When he hung up with the airline, he noticed Laura had fallen asleep. Instead of waking her, he placed a blanket they kept for just these types of situations over her and went back to the telephone to call Abigail. Thankfully, Mildred had programmed all the important numbers into their phone's speed-dial; otherwise he would have had to wake Laura.

He placed the call and waited for Abigail to answer. When she did answer he could tell he had woken her up. "Abigail, it's Remington, I'm sorry to wake you."

"It's Laura, something's happened to Laura, oh god…."

"Just breathe slowly Abigail, it's not Laura, it's Frances. I've made reservations for you on a flight tonight. Laura and I will be at LAX to pick you up."

"What's wrong with her," she cried.

"We found out today she has Leukemia."

"Oh, God, no, not my baby." He could tell she was getting hysterical again.

"She's comfortable and resting right now. They are going to be starting chemotherapy, but they also need to do a bone marrow transplant. You are going to be tested when you arrive. But I need to ask you about Frances and Laura's father. If he's alive we have to find him. Do you have any idea where he may be, or any friends he may have contacted?"

"Um…I've not seen him since he left, but I did get a letter once, I'll bring that."

"Thank you, anything you have or people he may have known that you can think of would be of great assistance. If I can do anything, please let me know, Abigail."

"Is Laura okay?"

"As well as can be expected, but I'm keeping a close eye on her."

"Tell her I love her, please."

"Of course. Your plane reservation is for 11:55 tonight out of
Hartford. It does have a couple of layovers but it was the fastest way to get you here."

"I'll see you in a few hours and I'll bring all the information I have on Jeff. Thank you for calling."

"Take care, and I'll see you soon, love."

Instead of hanging up the telephone, he let it rest against his chin and sat staring at Laura. He had to find Jeff Holt. His thoughts were interrupted by Mildred; calling his name. He quickly went out to the reception area.

"Mildred, thank you for coming back in tonight," he said kissing her cheek.

"Boss, is everything okay?"

"No, Mildred, about as far from okay as you can get. Sit, and I'll explain what's going on."

"We have to locate Laura and Frances' father. Frances was admitted to UCLA's medical center today with Leukemia."

"Oh, no, boss."

"They are going to do chemotherapy and they need to do a bone marrow transplant, but they have to find a match. That's where you come in. We need your help in finding Jeffrey Holt. Abigail is flying in early tomorrow morning, but if she doesn't match he may be her best hope."

"How's Miss Holt?"

"Thankfully, right now she's asleep. I'm going to have some food delivered, any preferences?"

"She's not going to want to eat, boss."

"She has to, she's not eaten all day really."

"Why don't you order Chinese and get her some soup, you might get her to eat soup."

"Thank you again for being here, Mildred."

"This is where I belong. Now you go order us some food and I'll start digging into Jeffrey Holt."

Remington ordered their food and then went back into his office where he found Laura in the bathroom being sick. He was immediately at her side, holding her. When she was finished, he flushed the toilet and pulled her back to lean against him.

"I feel miserable," she complained.

"I'm sorry, love."

He sat there holding her, until Mildred knocked on the door. "Do you feel like going back to lay on the couch?"

"If I move I'm going to be sick."

"We'll stay right here, don't worry."

Mildred by this time had come into the office and heard their voices in the bathroom. She peaked her head in and saw Laura collapsed against Remington. "Can I do anything, hon?"

"Hi, Mildred. Thank you for coming back."

"Glad to help, but I've not found anything yet. Can I get you anything?"

"In the refrigerator is ginger ale, will you bring me a glass with ice?"

"Sure thing. I have some pepto also if you want?"

"It's not that kind of sick, Mildred."

Mildred smiled, "I gotcha hon, ginger ale it is. I may have some saltines too, let me check."

"Thanks," Laura said snuggling back against Harry.

"I love you, Laura."

"Oh, Harry, I love you so much. I'm so glad you were with me today."

"I called your mother, she'll be arriving early in the morning. I told her we'd pick her up."

"She doesn't know. Nobody does other than Mildred."

He was confused and she could tell she needed to explain her reasoning to him, from the way he'd stiffened up.

Sitting up, she turned to face him. "I love you and want everybody to know we're together and are expecting a baby," she said touching her stomach. "But I've not found the right time to tell my mother…that's not true, I don't know how to tell her, so I'm avoiding telling her. But now we need to be focused on Frances."

"She doesn't know we're together, does she?"

Laura wouldn't look at him.

"Why?" Is it because of me, he thought, my past?

"No, it's not about your past," she said, as if reading his mind. "It's because the minute I tell her, she won't leave us alone."

"Laura, she is your mother and she worries about you, it's her right, she did give birth to you. The same way you are going to worry about this little one," he said placing his hand over their child. "Perhaps it's time we told her the whole story?"

"My mother and I have always had a hard time communicating, even when I was a child. If I needed to talk to somebody, I went to my father. He was everything mother wasn't. He accepted me for who I was and didn't try to change me."

"And you've not had that support. I know you love your mother, Laura, but she won't ever be able to take your father's place. It sounds like they were complete opposites, with a only two little girls in common."

"I've often wondered how they stayed married being so opposite."

"Have you ever tried to find him?"

"Sometimes I'd want to, then I'd remember how he left, without a word and then I'd decided that if he didn't want anything to do with me, why should I even try?"

"Maybe he didn't have a choice, love. Maybe he had to leave."

"Then he should have told me. I was grown up enough to be able to understand sometimes you have to do things you don't necessarily want to do. It wasn't like I was a baby, I was 15 years old."

He wiped the tears from her face as Mildred appeared in the doorway with Laura's ginger ale. "Here you go, hon," she said handing Laura the glass. "I'll be in my office if you need anything."

"Thank you, Mildred."

"If we find him, are you going to talk to him?"

"Harry…I don't know."

"Maybe you don't know the whole story? This may be your one chance to find out why he left. Just think about it, okay?"

"I promise, I'll think about it."

"Smells like out dinner is here. Do you think you could eat something?"

"That depends on what you ordered," she said smiling.

"Chinese, and I ordered you some wonton soup."

"I think I can manage soup," she said getting to her feet. When he was standing in front of her she hugged him and said, "I didn't mean to hurt you, I'm so sorry."

"I love you so much, Laura."

"I love you."

"Come, dinner's getting cold," he said taking her hand in his.

They sat down on the couch and began their dinner. Mildred joined them a few minutes later with some printouts she wanted Laura to look over.

"I've not been able to dig up much, but what little I found ends over ten years ago."

"Did you just check under Jeffrey Holt, Mildred?"

"Yea, is there an alias?"

"Try Allan Holt, Allan is his middle name, I remember some people used to call him Allan, while his work friends called him Jeff. Maybe Mother knows why?"

"I'll get on it," she said taking her plate and walking over to the computer in his office.

Laura could feel his eyes on her. He was in full mother-hen mode and when he got this way there was no getting him out, easily. It was best to just let him be the mother hen and eventually, he'd get back to normal. It was a matter of time she was learning, the hard way.


Laura was immediately on her feet walking toward the computer when she felt dizzy. Luckily, he was there to steady her.

"Okay, love?"

She always felt better when she was in his arms and now was no exception. "I will be in a minute."

"Just relax, I'm right here," he said, tightening his arms around her.

Mildred was feeling like a third wheel. Like she was intruding on a very private moment. "Can I get you anything, hon?"

She just shook her head no, "I'm okay, thanks, Mildred. Now what did you find?"

Turning back to the computer, she began reading off what she'd found. "There is a credit trail beginning right where the one for Jeff Holt left off. But it stops a few years ago with the last known residence in San Francisco…oh, in a very nice neighborhood."

"Any idea what he was doing there," Laura asked?

"Nothing yet, but I've just scratched the surface, give me a little while."

"Thank you," Laura said, leaving Harry's arms and went to hug Mildred. "I appreciate all you're doing and I don't know how to thank you."

"Oh, sweetie, I'm happy to help," Mildred said, hugging Laura.

"Laura, please finish your dinner, Mildred and I will work on this."

He could see the protest behind her eyes, but then she gave in and went back to the couch.

Mildred gave him a secret smile, which he returned and kissed her cheek.

He had Mildred print out what she'd found so he could look at it with Laura, over on the couch, but when he looked back, he found her asleep. So they wouldn't disturb her, they took the files out to the reception area, so they could spread out and hopefully see a pattern in order to find Jeffrey Allan Holt.

After searching the rest of the night, they were no closer to finding him than earlier. It was time to go pick up Abigail at LAX and hopefully she would have some further leads.

The whole ride to the airport, Laura was in his arms. When they pulled into the parking lot, she seemed to snuggle further into his arms.

Kissing her temple, then nuzzled his cheek against hers, he felt her relax just a little. "It's going to be okay, love."

"I hope so."

"Abigail said she was going to be bringing a letter she received from your father, it may give us a clue. We may have to go to San Francisco and knock on some doors."

"I have such mixed feelings about this, Harry. I need to find him in case he's the one match, but with that I have to see him and talk to him."

"You don't want to find out about why he left," he asked?

"Sometimes I do, then I remember all the pain his leaving caused, not just to me, but to the entire family. Even the dog was depressed."

He chuckled and hugged her. "It may give you closure. But if you don't want to see him, you don't have to, I'll find him for you."

She turned and looked into his eyes, and caressed his cheek. "You are an incredible man, Remington Steele."

"You made me this way, love."

"I may have created your identity, but the soul is all yours," she said and leaned in to kiss him.

To Be Continued---
To Part 3