- Collaborating Steele (1/3)
Date: Monday, July 10, 2000
- sue hantak <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Laura was setting the plates down with Remington close behind,
"And you have no idea why he called?"
Laura turned around and shot him an irritated look, "I told
you at the office, I told you in the car...I tried to return
his call, but I got his service instead. I really don't know
why he called."
"But...It's been over two years, Laura."
Laura picked up a butter knife and threatened, "Listen buster,
not another word about him or I'll be forced to use this."
"Planning on buttering me to death?"
"No I'm afraid you'd enjoy that too much,"
Laura put the utensil back on the table as Remington set the
main course down in the center. He pulled a chair out for her
before taking his seat across the table. They managed to avoid
the subject for the rest of dinner. After clearing the dining
room, he blew out the candles and took the last of the dishes
into the kitchen. He reemerged, two wine glasses in hand only
to find Laura already re-covering the dining table with the contents
from her briefcase.
He quickly set down the glasses, "Oh no you don't."
He started putting all the paperwork back in her satchel. She
tried to squeezed in between him and the table to stop him. "Mr.
Steele, hand them over." she protested as she tried in vain
to get the files away from him. Laura then decided on another
tactic. She darted to the other side of the table, but he read
her mind and snatched the entire case out of her reach.
"Ah ah ah, too slow, Miss Holt," he shook his finger
Not to be outdone, and never one to admit defeat, Laura scanned
the room for something...anything to help her cause. She spotted
it, but quickly returned her eyes to his not to give away her
plan. She took two slow casual steps toward the coffee table,
then made a mad dash for it. She grabbed the videotape, hurdled
the couch and was out on the balcony dangling Hitchcock's "The
Wrong Man" over the railing. He raced to the doorway. "Laura
this isn't funny, you know I had to special order that copy."
She joked, "It would be rather ironic if this were Vertigo
instead, wouldn't it?"
He took a few steps toward her. Without a word, he too, held
her briefcase over the side daring her to drop the tape since
her briefcase would soon follow it to the pavement.
"It appears we have a standoff, Mr. Steele... Might I suggest
"Give me the tape," he demanded.
"Give me the case," she countered.
"You first," they said in unison.
Each held out their empty hand as they slowing withdrew the ransom
items from their precarious location
He swiftly seized the tape from her hands, then took two steps
back and flung her briefcase over the side.
Laura's eyes bulged in horror as she leaned over but could not
watch when it hit.
"I've always wanted to do that," he declared with a
great deal of satisfaction.
She was furious. "I can't believe you did that!" she
shouted at him. "Do you have any idea what was in there?"
"Actually I do." He calmly walked back into the living
room. "Just a paperclip or two."
He pointed to the dining table to show her the pile of work that
had been in her case just moments before he followed her onto
the balcony. He was laughing.
"That was NOT funny."
"You should have seen the look on your face... priceless
"I'm going home." She stomped over to the table to
retrieve her work, still not amused.
"C'mon Laura, it was just a joke...where's your sense of
She didn't even look at him as she walked to the door. With her
hands full, she couldn't turn the knob. He walked over to her,
took the paperwork from her hands, set her purse on the table
in the foyer, "Wait, I'll buy you a new briefcase..."
He put his arms around her and whispered seductively, "Designer...top
grade leather." She tried to wiggle out of his hold. He
pinned her against the wall and continued, "Multiple oversize
She put her hands against his chest. Clutching his shirt, she
pulled him into her, "You know I can't resist when you talk
office supplies like that."
They kissed briefly. Remington pulled away to look her in the
eyes, "Office supplies? I've wasted all this time buying
you flowers, champagne, and candy when I could have seduced you
with pens and legal pads?"
- Laura feigning arousal played along,
"Ooh yes...say that again."
He knew she was putting him on, but wanted to see how far he
could take this, "What do the words 'post it notes' do for
She pulled him down into another kiss, this time using her tongue
in a highly aggressive manner.
He pulled back again, this time trying "manila folder".
She kissed as before, but this time her right hand reached down
to the inside of his thigh and traveled lightly up to his belt,
applying subtle pressure along its path. Remington thrust against
her hand, loving it when she touched him like that. Soon they
were both laughing on their way to the bedroom.
It's funny how people can sleep through the noisiest of storms,
doze off with the TV still on, yet the slightest sound can rouse
someone from a deep slumber. Laura quietly found sufficient clothing
and tiptoed into the other room to change. It wasn't until Laura
flipped off the bathroom light that Remington realized she was
on her way out.
He squinted in the direction of the clock on the nightstand,
"Laura, where are you going?"
She leaned on the bed and kissed him, "Go back to sleep,
I'm going home." Laura tried to retreat from the bed. He
gently grabbed her arm, "You don't have to leave."
"We have work in the morning, Mr. Steele." she reminded
Deciding he was too tired to fight her on this again, he let
go and threw the covers aside to get up himself.
"At least let me take you home."
She smoothed the covers back over him, "Don't be silly,
I can drive myself."
They had been lovers for several months. Remington always knew
Laura was worth the wait. She was passionate and playful. Remington
was, however, dismayed at Laura's lack of trust. Although they
had taken what they termed "the final step" they were
still struggling to find the balance between their personal and
professional lives. Laura's ambivalent behavior spoke volumes
that she was still uncomfortable with the current arrangement.
"Morning Mildred," Laura greeted pulling her purse
strap from her shoulder. Mildred handed Laura a stack of mail
then pulled it away just out of her reach.
"How was dinner last night, Miss Holt?" the receptionist
asked with an intentional emphasis on the word 'dinner'.
By now it was no secret to Miss Krebs that they had much more
than dinner on frequent occasions.
"May I have the mail please?" Laura asked with a sickening
sweetness purposely dodging the question yet answering it at
the same time. "Oh and I need you to try that number from
yesterday for me again."
"What could he possibly want after all this time?"
"I'll be in my office, if you reach him."
Remington came through the door an hour after Laura.
"What's with the briefcase, Chief?... Miss Holt leave it
at your place last night?" Mildred's eyes curiously gazed
at him, noting that he never carried a briefcase.
He lifted it up, "Ahh how perceptive Miss Krebs, however,
this is a new case for Miss Holt. Her old one had a bit of an
accident...She in her office?"
Mildred looked to see Laura's extension still lit, "Yes...
but she is on the phone." He took a few strides towards
his office when Mildred added, "with Butch Beemis."
He spun in his tracks and raced back to Mildred's desk. "Do
you know what he wants with Laura?"
"I don't know...Do you want me to listen in?"
"Of course not! Laura will tell me. We have no secrets.
The fact that she briefly was attracted to him several years
ago isn't bothering me in the least."
Mildred just stared at him with a "yeah-right" look.
Remington turned in the direction of his office and muttered,
"not in the least" another time.
He sat behind his desk just watching the light on the phone expecting
Laura to hang up any moment. He fidgeted, looked at his watch,
reclined, checked his watch again and continued to stare at the
phone for what seemed like an eternity. The light finally went
off and he heard Laura turn the handle of the connecting door.
He hastily straightened up and pretended to be looking through
the file on his desk.
"Ah Laura, what's on the agenda today?"
"We have the O'Neill Corp background checks to finalize.
After our three o'clock with the perfume executive, I have a
<Personal appointment? Is she meeting Butch?> he wondered
trying to keep his jealous impulses from surfacing.
He hardly kept interest in the meeting with Gigi Orleans, the
perfume entrepreneur. The rest of the morning, and early afternoon
passed without Laura saying a word about her conversation with
Butch. Time was also nearing her personal appointment which he
was convinced was also Butch-related. It was a good thing that
Laura maintained her business focus. Ms. Orleans feared that
the formula for her new fragrance would be stolen and be reproduced
by a competitor. Laura took copious notes during the meeting
and promised to stop by her company first thing the next the
morning. Laura escorted their new client to the elevator. Once
back in the office, she freshened up in Mr. Steele's washroom.
Purse and keys in hand, she poked her head into his office, "I'm
leaving, I call you tonight when I get home."
"Tonight?" That sounded so late. I'll call you later...
I'll call you this evening...either would have indicated that
she intended to have only a brief appointment with Butch. Just
the way she said 'tonight' made it sound like she wasn't going
to get in until very late. That thought disturbed him enormously.
- End Part 1
- To Part