coffee(scrap scene)
Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000
sue hantak <>

Coffee, Tea or Steele (unedited)

by Suejue

(and you thought it ended at the airport...)

"Just what did you promise her?" Laura tried yet another time.

"How about some lunch?" Remington asked evasively.

"Will lunch come with an accurate account of your negotiations with Mildred?"

"I suppose if we discuss office matters then we can write it off as an expense." Remington cheerfully replied.

(Next scene interior of restaurant)

They were seated in a high-back u-shaped booth. Remington scooted close to Laura and put his left arm around her shoulder.

Laura picked up her menu and pretended to ignore his charming advances, "What are you having?"

Remington extracted the menu from clutch and held her left hand in his right. He gently stroked her hand, running his thumb lightly over each finger. As much as she tried to remain unaffected by his touch, she couldn't help but notice that he played with her ring finger more than the others. He looked at her intently, "I want something that's not on the menu."

She couldn't decide if this was yet another shameless pass or his way of buttering her up before imparting some unpleasant news. By now she was more curious than anything. Laura placed her hand over his, stopping his distracting touch. "Mr. Steele, what exactly did you promise our Miss Krebbs?"
Now it was his turn to hide behind a menu. He let go of her hand and retracted his arm from behind her back. He opened his menu as if it would provide him some measure of protection and mumbled rapidly, "She's wants to apprentice as an investigator, get her own license, and an extra $100 a week."

He put down his menu, smiled innocently and motioned to the waitress. Laura reasoned that given his history of other underhanded and costly deceptions, this one was really quite harmless. Laura was at a crossroads. Should she quietly assent? Or should she pretend to be upset, and milk this whole Marvin/Mildred situation? Laura quickly decided that having a repentant Mr. Steele might keep him in check for a day or two and she might benefit romantically from him 'trying to make it up to her'. Laura feigned annoyance, "I can't believe you agreed to that without first consulting me."

"Laura, you know how invaluable Mildred has become."

Unable to argue because she really wasn't mad to begin with, she cast him a cold stare and sighed heavily for good measure.

"Come now, Laura, don't be mad." he soothed with his arm returning to encircle her. "Is there any way I can make it up to you?"

Laura could barely contain her delight in conning him for a change. She bit her lip to prevent a smile and curtly retorted, "Let's just finish lunch, shall we?"

When Laura returned to the office, she was still playing the infuriated co-worker. She retreated to her office with a slam of the door. Mildred felt guilty that she could be the cause of the tension between them. She followed her into her office. "Oh Miss Holt, I hope your not angry with Mr. Steele because of me."

"Don't worry Mildred, I'm just giving him Mr. Steele a slight case of contrition, I'm not really upset."

"So this is all an act?"

Laura nodded with a conniving wink.

"Oh and you think the boss make it up to you with some flowers and an elegant dinner?" Mildred surmised excitedly.

Laura leaned in close and whispered conspiratorially. "Are you familiar with the expression, 'kissing it and making it all better' ?"

Mildred blushed like a schoolgirl, "Miss Holt!"