- Developing Steele
Date: Saturday, January 12, 2008
- "Lori" <LJLanham@gmail.com>
- Thanks to Lea and Brenda
for beta reading... your insight and input is
invaluable! And I have to say a big thanks to DCZinger, if it
for her.... there'd be no "Kate Universe." The flashbacks
in "Legacy of
Steele" were her idea and I've really enjoyed playing with
them for new
stories. This one starts in May of 1988... Feedback is really
appreciated... even if you DON'T like it! :-)
- Standard disclaimers
apply... and as always a big thanks to the
incredible Michael Gleason and his crew for giving us the characters
- Permission to archive.
- Developing Steele
- "Where are we going?"
- "It's a surprise, Mrs. Steele,"
Remington answered, taking her hand in his as they sat in the
back of the limo. "Hence the blindfold."
- "You know I hate surprises,"
she pouted. Pulling her hand away from his, she folded her arms
across her chest to emphasize her displeasure.
- "Keep telling yourself that,"
Remington said, with a soft chuckle. In the years that he had
known her, and especially in the two years of their marriage,
he'd learned that Laura most definitely did not hate surprises,
in fact... she loved them.
- Damn him for knowing her so well.
Wordlessly, she turned to the window. She didn't want him to
see the smile that was spreading across her face. She was actually
thrilled that he was surprising her; he always managed the best
surprises. It was a bit disconcerting to be blindfolded, especially
for someone who needed to be in control the way that Laura always
seemed to, but she was willing to let go a little and see where
the afternoon would take them.
- Truth be told, she'd been a bit
nervous lately. It had been about three weeks since they'd celebrated
their second wedding anniversary and she was waiting for the
other shoe to drop. They'd completed their obligation as far
as the INS was concerned, and a long ago crack about divorce
loomed in the back of her mind. Even though she loved him, and
she knew that he loved her, a part of her had been afraid that
it would all be over now that their two years were up. So afraid
had she been in fact, that she was putting off telling him their
news. She knew she had to tell him soon, otherwise her body would
betray her and he would see for himself. Soon, she told herself.
She'd tell him very soon.
- Remington beamed as he held a blindfolded
Laura's hand and led her into the empty room. He casually glanced
over to be sure she wasn't peeking.
- "Okay, open your eyes,"
he said. He kissed her as he removed the blindfold. Then biting
his lower lip, he watched her take in their surroundings.
- Laura opened her eyes to the most
breathtaking view. They were in a house, specifically a great
room with beautiful wood floors and a gorgeous stone fireplace.
The room was lovely, but she couldn't take her eyes off the wall
of windows. The entire back of the house was open to the Pacific
Ocean through floor to ceiling picture windows. She wandered
over to the gourmet kitchen, and ran her hand along the marble
countertop. She looked up at her husband, who was still smiling
from ear to ear.
- "What is this place?"
- "Our new home," he answered.
"If you say "yes," that is."
- "Oh," she said with a
gleam in her eye. "You mean I actually get a say in the
matter this time?"
- Laura had long since forgiven his
deception of letting her believe their marriage was fake, when
all along it had been completely legal. However, there were times
when she still liked to tease him about it.
- She looked into the face of the
man she loved. She thought about the life that they had created,
the tiny baby that was growing inside her. She thought about
her fear that he would leave now that they'd satisfied all that
was required of them by the INS. The fact that he wanted to buy
a house pushed her fears to the back of her mind. The house seemed
to be perfect, and a lovely place to raise their child.
- "It has definite possibilities,
Mr. Steele," she said, walking back towhere he stood. "I
think we should see the rest of the place."
- He took her hand and led her through
the house. It was two stories; or rather three, as there were
two large rooms on the beach level. It had four bedrooms, four
bathrooms, huge closets, and the price was right. She had to
admit, it was perfect
as was the timing. They wandered back
to the kitchen and stood together at the window, looking out
over the ocean.
- "I think we should take it,
Rem," she said, wrapping her arms around his waist. She
kissed him with all the love she felt for him, and practically
held her breath before saying her next words. "I think it's
the perfect place to raise our family." She stepped back,
taking his hand in hers and placing it flat against her abdomen.
- Remington's blue eyes grew wide
as he looked into Laura's shimmering cinnamon ones. He felt tears
well up, and swallowed the lump in his throat. His voice barely
more than a whisper, he asked, "Are you
- Tears fell from Laura's eyes as
she looked into the face of the man she loved so much. "Yes,
Love," she said. "We're having a baby."
- "When?" he asked."How?"
- When she laughed, he responded,
"Okay, I know HOW. When? How far along?"
- "A couple of months,"
she answered. "You're going to be a Daddy in January."
- He wanted to pinch himself. He was
standing in a beautiful home, holding the woman he loved more
than life itself, and she was having his baby.
- The next few weeks went by in a
flurry of activity. Laura finally gave up the lease on her loft.
They'd been using it for storage during the whole of their marriage,
much to the chagrin of Gladys Lynch. There was plenty of room
in the new house for all of their things, so it wasn't really
necessary to hold on to the loft. In fact, it hadn't been necessary
for quite some time. Laura knew she'd been hanging on to it like
a security (or was that insecurity?) blanket. As she taped up
the last of the boxes to leave the condo, she sat down on the
box next to it.
- Looking around the room, she realized
that she was sad to leave this place. She loved the house in
Malibu, it really was perfect. But this apartment held so many
memories for her. This place was Remington Steele before there
was a Remington Steele. This was where she and her Mr.
Steele would go to celebrate a case or to simply find some quiet
time to be alone. It was here that she found out he was a gourmet
cook. It was here that she'd received the bulk of her education
in the history of cinema. It was the home they'd returned to
after finally making love in Ireland. It was the home they'd
built together over the past two years, and the place where they'd
made their baby. It held so much significance in the lives of
Remington and Laura Steele.
- Remington stood in the doorway watching
Laura. He knew what she was feeling, part of him hated to leave
this place, too. It was the first real home he ever had... the
first place he'd ever been able to call his own, although it
did actually belong to Laura. It was the place where he
realized that he'd found the life that was meant for him. It
was the place where he'd held Laura in his arms so many times.
It was the home that they'd created together and the place where
they'd created the tiny little life that his wife was carrying
in her womb. His wife. The thought that this incredible woman
was his wife still amazed him, and it was almost impossible to
fathom that she was carrying his child. If only Daniel could
see him now.
- "Let's keep it," he said
- "Hmm?" she asked, looking
- "The condo," he said.
"Let's keep it. We can certainly afford both mortgages and
it seems that we always need someplace to stash a client or two..."
- She didn't need convincing. She
stood up and stopped him with a kiss.
- "I think that's a wonderful
idea, Mr. Steele," she said as they parted.
- Laura snuggled against her husband
as the room began to fill with sunlight. She'd never been one
who could sleep with a lot of light in the room, and now as she
looked out over the ocean she realized that would have to change.
With one entire wall of their bedroom being windows, she'd either
have to become a very early riser or learn to sleep in the morning
- "Good morning, Mrs. Steele,"
Remington said, stirring beside her.
- "Good morning yourself,"
she answered, reaching up to kiss him.
- "You're up early," he
- "Ah," he said. "Maybe
we should look into getting some drapes."
- "Not on your life," she
said, shaking her head against his chest. "And spoil that
view? No, I'll get used to it."
- "What do you want to do today?"
- "You mean besides unpacking?"
- "Yes," he answered, wrapping
his arms around her. "We've almost finished. But I was thinking
more along the lines of calling your mother."
- "Laura, we talked about this."
- "I'm not ready."
- "Darling," he soothed,
"you're already into your second trimester. Don't you think
it's time we told the family we're having a baby?" He held
her close and gently ran his hand over the small swell of her
- "I want to enjoy this pregnancy,"
she told him. "This is a new experience for both of us,
and I want us to be able to share it --- happily. As happily
as we can with my mood swings," she amended with a smile.
"As soon as we tell my mother, you know she'll be on the
first plane out here and spend the next five and a half months...
scratch that, the next eighteen years, telling me everything
I'm doing wrong."
- "Do you really think it will
be that bad?" he asked.
- "I know it will," she
answered. "Let's at least wait until after my checkup with
Dr. Elliott next week."
- "Whatever you think is best,
- He began to get out of the bed.
- "Where are you going?"
she asked, pulling him back.
- "Breakfast," he answered.
"Aren't you hungry?" He smiled at the question. After
last night, she should be. He was ravenous.
- "Yes," she admitted. "I'll
- "No," he said. "Stay
here. I'll bring it to you. This is our first morning in our
new home. I think that calls for breakfast in bed." He pulled
on his robe and then leaned down to kiss her soundly. As he opened
the door he looked back. "Try to get some more rest,"
he said. "I'll be back in a bit." He winked at her
and left the room.
- She stretched and felt like purring
like a cat. Her life was good, she thought as she rested her
hand against her expanding belly. Very good.
- Dr. Elliot looked at the couple
seated across from him. He'd played out this scene so many times
in his long career: a young couple still starting out, nervous
about starting their family. The scene was always the same, though
it had begun to change in recent years. The Steeles were an example
of that. Working mothers were becoming the norm, rather than
the exception to the rule.
- He'd known Laura Holt for many years
and he knew how much her work meant to her. He'd also seen how
much she'd grown and begun to change since she became Laura Steele.
But there were some things that were inherently "Laura."
He watched as she took in his every word, feverishly making
mental notes that he was sure would be put to paper as soon as
she got to the car. Laura was a planner.
- "So everything is really okay?"
- "Right on schedule," the
- "And I can continue working?"
- "Right up until your water
breaks if you feel you must," Dr. Elliott said, noticing
the look that crossed Remington's face. "But I do think
you should take it a bit easier. I'm not saying you should sit
behind a desk for the next five months, but no chasing bad guys.
Let's leave the
running and jumping to Dad for a while, okay?"
- "Okay," Laura agreed with
a sigh. She knew the doctor was right, and he hadn't really set
much limitation. He'd at least made it clear that she wasn't
an invalid. She didn't need to be chained to her desk, and Remington
was there to hear it. No excuses.
- "Now then," Dr. Elliot
said. "I want you to keep on doing what you're doing. Your
diet is good. Keep up with your exercise. Your regular routine
is fine for now. We'll need to adjust it a little as the pregnancy
progresses, but for now you're fine."
- As Laura nodded, the doctor turned
his attention to Remington.
- "Remington," he said.
"I know the inclination now is for you to take care of Laura
and the baby. You're going to want to protect and to nurture
them. And that's fine, but just remember your wife," the
doctor went on, with a wink in Laura's direction. "I've
known Laura for a very
long time, and I suspect she'll take to being overprotected about
as well as oil takes to water. It's important to keep her stress
level as low as possible, and how we do that is different for
every mother. For Laura, I suspect that means allowing her to
maintain her independence."
- "Thank you," Laura mouthed
so only the doctor could see.
- "Now, Laura," Dr. Elliott
said, "I want to see you again in three weeks. Set up an
appointment with Julie and call in the meantime if you have any
questions or concerns."
- After saying their goodbyes to the
doctor and setting up their next appointment, Laura and Remington
made their way back to the Auburn. Remington opened the door
and made sure Laura was settled in before going around to the
driver's side and getting in, himself.
- "What say we play a little
hooky?" he asked. "Go home, have a little lunch...
practice sleeping in a room filled with sunlight..."
- "Something tells me sleep is
the last thing you have in mind, Mr. Steele."
- "Ah, Mrs. Steele. You know
me too well," he said with a smile. "You know me too
- "And you know me," she
answered. "So I'm sure you know my answer to that question."
- "To the office," he said
with a sigh.
- "To the office," she repeated,
- "How was your appointment with
Dr. Elliott?" Mildred asked as her employers came into the
- "It went very well, Mildred,"
Laura answered. "He said I can work as long as I want."
- "But no chasing bad guys,"
her husband added.
- "That sounds reasonable,"
- "I thought so, too," Laura
said. "Now that we've established that we're actually working
here today, what's on the schedule?"
- "Not much. I didn't know how
long you kids would be at the doctor, so I didn't schedule much.
We do have a client coming in at three."
- "Anything interesting?"
- "Pretty routine," Mildred
answered. "Just a simple background check. One of our former
clients has been asked to fund a charity and he wants you two
to make sure they're on the up and
- "Who is it?" Remington
- "He offered more than our usual
fee, and it's a pretty straightforward case," Mildred said
- "Who is the client, Mildred?"
- "It shouldn't take much time
at all," Mildred went on.
- "Mildred," Remington said
firmly, "WHO is the client?"
- Mildred winced and closed her eyes
as she said quietly, "Bingham Perrett."
- "Oh no," the Steeles said
- "Absolutely not," Remington
- "Our insurance rates can't
take it," Laura agreed.
- "And the doctor just told us
that we have to keep Mrs. Steele's stress level as low as possible."
- "Right, my blood pressure
- Remington did a double take. It
was saying a lot for his wife to use her pregnancy to get out
of a case. She noticed his reaction and the glare she sent his
way dared him to say something. He did not take up the gauntlet.
- "I know Bing was a pain, Kids,
"Mildred said. "But this is a simple background check
and it's gonna bring in a lot of money. I didn't think you'd
want to turn down the fee."
- Laura sighed as she looked at her
- "We do have two mortgages,"
- "And a baby on the way,"
- They both turned as Mildred silently
- "We'll meet with him,"
Laura said. "THEN we'll decide whether or not to take the
- "Fair enough," Mildred
- Laura was sitting at Remington's
desk going over her notes from their last encounter with the
Prince of Caviar. Remington sat on the sofa going over his notes
for renovations on the new house.
- "What time is it?" she
asked without looking up.
- "Two fifty-five," Remington
- Laura looked up at him and then
dropped her head and sighed.
- "It's almost time," she
- "Deep breath, Darling,"
Remington said as he stood. He walked over to the desk, stood
behind her, and placed his hands on her shoulders. She sighed
as he began to rub gently.
- "Is everything nailed down?"
she asked, closing her eyes.
- He smiled.
- "The office has been Bing-proofed,"
- They both looked up as they heard
a soft knock at the door. Mildred opened the door and stuck her
- "Mr. Perrett is here,"
- "Show him in," Laura said,
as she stood up next to her partner. Together, they walked toward
the door to greet their visitor.
- Remington stepped in front of Laura
as Bing barreled through the door.