Steele Connections Part 3
Date: Fri., 3 Mar 2000
By SJ <>

Mildred made a call to discreetly pump Frances for some information. Mildred admitted to herself that both of their plans were equally effective. Miss Holt arranging to get Mr. Steele tickets to the Oscar ceremony was brilliant. Likewise, Mr. Steele's "case" of tracking down an Internet predator would send Laura racing to her keyboard. The only drawback in either plan was the timing. The Oscars were weeks away and orchestrating all the players in Mr. Steele plan would be tiime consuming as well. The be started out as a amusing sideshow. Mildred watched as they playfully tormented each other, but four days into the wager it was escalating into something ugly. Mildred couldn't stand much more of their childish behavior. Their harmless bet spilled over into other aspects of their life. They became combative over everything; cases, agency spending, coffee mugs, ... you name it. When Mildred noticed they were no longer coming in together in the morning, it was time to put an end to this .

Mildred decided to work on Laura first. Walking into her office she decided to play it casual, "The boss is really hanging in there on this no movie thing."

"I guess I underestimated him a bit."

"He must really be confident that you're going to cave first".

Laura was intrigued, "Why?...What do you mean?"

"He's in his office making vacation plans for the two of you."

"I hope they are refundable"

"Oh, Miss Holt, if you knew what he was planning, I don't think you would mind losing.

She wasn't biting.

Mildred then added in a conspiratorial tone, "I know I shouldn't say anything, but its incredibly romantic."

Mildred baited one hook and went into the other office to set the second.

In an act deserving an academy award itself, she approached Mr. Steele.

"Sorry to hear about you losing the bet, Chief."

"I haven't lost, Mildred, what the devil are you talking about?"

Motioning to Laura's office, "Well Miss Holt looks like the cat who swallowed the canary. She's in there making vacation plans, I just assumed you lost."

"Nonsense, Mildred." Remington defended.

"Oh I don't know boss, from where I sit, a week on a sailboat doesn't seem like a shabby way to lose."

"Sailboat?" A hopeful grin told her that she got his attention. She strolled back to her desk confident that did the trick.

After lunch, Mildred returned to the office to administer Laura a second dose. Laura was immensely more stubborn than Mr. Steele. Convincing her to intentionally lose the bet would take more persuasion than the few remarks earlier in the day. After Mr. Steele left for an appointment, Mildred walked into Laura's office. "I thought you should know, he's planning for the week of the fourteenth"

"The fourteenth?... what's the fourteenth?"

"Mr. Steele. He's asked me to clear both your calendars for the fourteenth"

"Overconfidence is going to be his demise." Laura replied callously.

"Miss Holt, its none of my business, but if I had a man who wanted to sail away with me on a sleek, private, yacht ..." At that moment Mildred put her hand to her mouth feigning that she had said too much.

"Well that *could* be relaxing" Laura conceded with a slight smile . Mildred left Laura to consider the thought. When Laura left uncharacteristically early that afternoon, Mildred knew her scheme had worked.

Laura went straight to his apartment. Although they were in separate cars and hardly spoke at all that day, they both had imagined very similar, very elaborate and very sexual fantasies involving the two of them and a sailboat. Remington arrived soon after her. As if on cue, they fell into each other's arms and eagerly kissed. All the tension that built over the last few days vanished. They both started at the same time, " Can we just forget this bet?"

They pulled away from each other with puzzled looks.

They again spoke it at the same time, "What did you say?", .

Laura put her hand up to his lips and conceded, "You win... I want to call off this stupid bet and let you take me sailing.". She then removed her hand covering his mouth and replaced it with her lips.

Remington broke the kiss, "Me take YOU?.... I think you have that backwa..."

Before he could finish it dawned on both of them. Again, in unison, they stated,


"I think we've been conned, Miss Holt", Steele pointed out.

"Our Miss Krebs is a very clever woman." Laura agreed.

Remington grabbed her hand and led her to the bedroom,

"Remind me to thank her in the morning".

The End.