"Are you hungry, Laura?"
"No. I just want to get this over with."
He shook his head, understanding what she was going through.
They took a cab into the city and were let out in front of a large town house on one of the cities seven hills, overlooking the Bay. They could see Alcatraz clearly. If they hadn't known from the check, the location of the house led them to know Jeffrey Allan Holt was very well off.
After ringing the doorbell, they stood in front of the double oak doors. They were greeted by a butler who asked how he might help them.
"Laura Holt and Remington Steele to see Allan Holt."
"Is he expecting you, miss?"
"No, but once you tell him I'm here, he will see us, I guarantee," Laura said.
The butler didn't seem to believe her, but left them waiting in a study while he let Allan know he had guests.
Laura and Remington were admiring a painting when the door opened. "Mr. Steele," he started, and then he saw Laura. Evidently, the butler had only announced Mr. Steele. "Oh my god Laura?"
"I can't believe you're here," he said coming closer to them. "Jackson just said a Mr. Steele was here to see me. Please sit," he said, motioning to the couch. Laura and Remington sat next to one another, with Allan still standing.
"Can I get you anything? Something to drink?"
"No, thank you," Laura said.
"Remington, please, Mr. Holt."
"Allan," he said.
"Allan," Remington said, "no thanks, we're fine."
"Forgive me, I'm not sure what to say."
"Will you excuse us," Laura said to Remington, standing and walking back to the painting they were admiring.
"Of course," Remington said, walking out of the study.
"Tell me why you left?"
"I was lost."
"A mid-life crisis? Most people don't run away and leave their family?"
"I deserve that, and much more, I know. You've turned out to be a gorgeous woman, very strong."
"I had to be, there was no choice," she said.
"I'm sorry, sweetheart."
"Don't," she said.
"Why did you come? After all this time?"
"I just found out where you were. Luckily, as it turns out."
"What's wrong," he asked immediately worried.
"Frances is ill."
"Does she need money?"
She laughed. "No, she needs
something more important. She needs you, and
I'm here to find out if you're willing to help her."
"She has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. She needs you to see if you're a match."
"Of course, do I need to see a doctor here?"
"No, we need to go back to Los Angeles, she's in the hospital there."
"How long has she been sick, Laura?"
"Not too long. She hadn't been feeling well and when she saw her doctor yesterday, he admitted her immediately. She's currently undergoing chemotherapy."
"Oh my god, I'm so sorry. Is your mother with her?"
"Yes, and her husband Donald and their children."
"Children," he asked with a smile?
"They have three children."
"I have grandchildren?"
She smirked, "that, I believe, is up to you, at least partially."
"When will we being flying back L.A.?"
"Tomorrow morning, if that's possible?"
"I'll have my associate take over my appointments. If you'll excuse me, I'll get that started."
Laura just shook her head.
A few minutes after Allan left, Remington came back into the study. "Laura?"
"Hi," she said turning to look at him.
He walked over to her and took her into his arms. "You okay?"
She just nodded her head against his chest. They remained in that position until Allan came back.
"Excuse me, Laura," Allan started.
"Yes," she said, not leaving Remington's arms.
"Do you have a place to stay tonight?"
"We'll find a hotel this afternoon."
"Please stay here," he almost begged. "There's plenty of room, I live here alone please?"
"That would be nice, thank you," she said.
He smiled and said, "thank you. I'll have a room prepared," and left them alone, once again.
"He's happy to see you," he said.
"It's good to see him. We have a lot to talk about, but at least now I have that chance."
"Good for you, love," he said kissing her.
Allan coughed and they moved away from one another. "I can show you your room, if you'd like. Then we can have lunch I mean, if you want to."
She saw he was trying so hard to make himself available and to make up for what had happened in the past. "That would be nice, thank you, Daddy."
His smile was radiant at hearing his daughter call him daddy. "I know we have a lot to discuss, but I'm so glad you came and I will do anything I can to help Frances, you have my word."
"Shall we," he asked, motioning for them to ascend the stairs?
Laura held onto Remington's hand and began up the stairs.
"You'll be in the first room on the left," Allan said from behind them, with the butler following with their bags.
Allen showed them their room and the connected bath. "If you'd like to rest a bit, I'll come get you for lunch," he said and left them alone.
"I'm glad we're staying here," Laura said.
He smiled at her. There was a new light in her eyes. "Me, too, love. Me, too," he said sitting on the bed. She moved to sit next to him and when she was seated, he pulled her against him. They rested on the bed for a while and the next thing he knew, she was asleep against his chest.
About an hour later, there was a soft
knock on their door. "Come in,"
Remington said, trying to not wake Laura.
Allan was standing in the doorway, leaning against the frame, watching Laura. Then he smiled at Remington. "Lunch is ready when you are," he said and turned to go back down the stairs.
Remington gently woke Laura with a kiss. With her eyes still closed, she smiled and snuggled against him.
"Okay," she said, but didn't move to get up.
"Do you want to rest I can join your father for lunch?"
"No, I'm okay."
"He's so excited to see you. He stood in the doorway and just watched you like he really couldn't believe you were here, in his house."
"I'm glad I have the chance to talk to him. I may never fully forgive him for leaving, but, I really want to have a relationship with my father."
"You will, love, you will," he said, easing her into a sitting position.
She stretched and stood up. He followed her lead and then together they walked down to the kitchen.
"Something smells good," she said, then realizing what was for lunch, "that's vegetable, vegetable soup," she said with a smile.
"I hope you still like my soup?"
"It smells heavenly," Remington said.
"Please have a seat," Allan said motioning to the table, which was next to a bay window that looked down onto the bay.
"You have a great view," Laura said.
"Wait until you see it at night with all the lights, it's simply gorgeous," he said dishing each of them bowls of soup. "What would you like to drink? Beer, wine, I think there's soda."
"Water, please," Laura said.
"Whatever you're having," Remington replied.
Allan smiled and poured Remington
and himself a glass of wine and then got
Laura her water.
"Are you sure you don't want some wine," Allan asked Laura.
"No, thank you, water's fine."
"Can I ask you some questions, Laura?"
She just shook her head, agreeing to his questions.
"You've grown into such a lovely woman, will you tell me about your life, what you do, where you live things like that?"
She smiled. "I am a private investigator with Remington Steele Investigations."
Allan smiled and said, "I knew you looked familiar," he said to Remington. "I've seen your picture in the paper."
"A private investigator, that sounds exciting."
"Your response was much better than Mother's."
"I'm sure she just worries about you, Laura."
She smirked and shrugged her shoulder. "It's more disapproval than anything. I'm supposed to be married and have several children, not out chasing bad guys."
"Why, if you're happy doing what you're doing? You have to be happy in whatever you do, believe me, I know that and learned the hard way."
Putting her hand over her father's, she squeezed and smiled at him. "You were always more accepting than Mother. Don't get me wrong, I love her, but we are about as opposite as two people could be. We can't stay in the same room more than a few minutes before we begin fighting."
"Where did you go to school?"
The rest of lunch passed with Allan catching up on his daughter's life. When they finished, Remington excused himself, saying he was going to be upstairs if they needed him. He wanted to give them some time to themselves.
Laura helped Allan clear the table and do the dishes. He washed and she dried. While she was drying a bowl, she chuckled.
"What," Allan asked?
"I didn't think I'd ever be here again, with you."
"Do you think we could talk a bit more, when were finished here?"
"Sure," she answered.
Once the dishes were done, he showed her out to the patio. They sat and she shivered from the breeze.
"Here," he said giving Laura his jacket.
"Thank you. How long have you lived here?"
"I bought the place in mid 80's and redecorated and finally got to move in a few years ago. Can I ask ?"
"You can ask me anything, you don't have to ask permission."
The shock was evident on his face. She smiled and leaned toward him, "I'm still your daughter, that hasn't ever changed. We may not know each other very well anymore, but I hope we can change that, starting here."
"Don't take this the wrong way, Laura, but you're being awfully calm about this. I was expecting a raking over the coals."
She leaned back and laughed. "Perhaps a few years ago but life is too short to waste. I've had to learn that lesson the hard way."
"Are you referring to Remington?"
"Yes, we wasted a lot of time, because of fears and being hurt in our past."
"Have you been together long? From the way you interact, I'd guess yes."
"We've been partners for a long time, but we've only been together a little under a year."
"I can see how much he means to you. Your eyes light up when you talk about him."
She smiled and laid her hand on her abdomen. The motion wasn't lost on him. "What I want to know more than anything is why you didn't tell me, or say good bye."
"Walking away from you, and our family was the hardest thing I ever did and the most cowardly. I found myself at the cost of walking away from my family. I want to tell you why I left."
"I've read the letter you sent Mother, well, it was read to me."
"Then you know I was lost. I woke up one day and realized I didn't know myself anymore. Your mother and I were playing house, but what you probably don't know is that we hadn't gotten along in many, many years. We were miserable apart and even worse when we were together."
"You stayed together because of us," she asked?
"Yes. Until one day I couldn't even do that. I'm so sorry, Laura. You'll never know how much it hurt to leave you and Frances."
"As much as it hurt us," she replied.
"Touché. I deserved that, I know."
"No you didn't, I'm sorry."
"Hey Runner, how about we make a pact."
She smiled, "no one's called me that since you left. What's your pact?"
"We stop walking on eggshells around one another. We both know what I did and I want to prove to you that you can trust me again."
"I want that, so much, you don't even know," Laura said.
"Maybe as much as I want you back in my life."
She held her hand out and they shook on their deal.
"Thank you for going with us back to L.A."
"You don't have to thank me for that. I'd do anything for my children."
Changing the subject, she said, "you've done very well for yourself."
"It's a hollow experience though. I've not had a family to share this."
"Surely you have friends ."
"Yes, lots, and colleagues, but it's not the same. I want to see little ones playing inside and on the patio here."
She chuckled, "Frances' kids aren't very little, and haven't been for a long time. Laurie Beth, she's the youngest, and is almost a teenager."
"How far along are you?" Laura sat back quickly, with her eyes wide. "You're pregnant, aren't you?"
She smiled and said, "I never could get anything past you. You can't say anything, Mother doesn't know yet and if she knew that you found out first, I'd never hear the end of it; promise me?"
"I promise," he said laughing. "Congratulations. You're glowing, you know."
She smiled shyly, looking at her lap. "Thank you."
They heard the door close behind them. "Excuse me, Allan, I don't mean to interrupt," Remington said.
"Not at all, my boy. What can I do for you?"
"I need to make some calls, may I use your telephone?"
"Certainly. Please help yourself."
"Thank you," he said turning and started to go back inside.
"You can join us, if you want. From what I can tell, you're already part of the family. You're welcome to stay."
He watched Remington and Laura hold a conversation without saying a word. Remington smiled and walked over and sat next to Laura.
"I can tell you love my daughter, very much. I'm glad she has someone in her life, like you. And my congratulations on the baby."
He smiled and said, "thank you."
"I was telling Laura about feeling lost and not knowing where I belonged, before I left. When I left, I didn't have any idea where I was going or what I was going to do. I wandered around the states a while and found myself in a group of people who were then art students, but some are now known artists. I certainly appreciated their talents, but they had no business knowledge. I began working with them and eventually became a business manager and now I'm a gallery owner and I work with museums and individuals, helping them to acquire the pieces they want. Do you know what it's like to not know where you belong, Remington?"
"More than you could know," he replied.
"You've had great sorrow in your life," Allan stated.
"Until I met, Laura."
"I don't mean to pry, my boy. I apologize."
"No, no need, at all. I've made my peace and I can see you're about to make yours. It won't be an easy road, mate, but I guarantee, it is worth so very much, you just can't know."
"I know I won't be welcomed with open arms. I gave up that right long ago."
"You just take it one set of arms at a time," Laura said, standing up and moved to hug her father.
"I love you, Runner."
"I love you, too, Daddy."