Steele in The Dumps 2/2
Date: Saturday, September 07, 2002
notunagirl <>

Steele in the Dumps 2/2
J. Evans

Standard Disclaimers about these characters, who aren't mine.
Thanks to Robyn for beta reading long ago.

Laura and Remington arrived in London late in the evening. Mary met
them at the door of Daniel's flat and hugged Remington with tears.
"Ahh Laddie, `tis a sad day without him. Welcome home, come in, come
in. And you too lass, I'm sure you're tired after all your travels."

They made their way inside and Remington stood as Laura watched him.
He looked around the room toward the stairs. *Daniel old boy, it
won't be the same without you.*

"I've made your room up and it's ready. I'll get your things settled
and you can rest a bit. Would you care for a bit t'eat before you
turn in?"

"Hmmm? No, Mary, you've done more than enough. I think we'll just
rest a bit, sleep in tomorrow. Don't worry about breakfast. We'll
talk more in the morning. Okay?"

Mary moved toward the stairs to walk them to their room. Laura
started upstairs with their small case and Remington stood there.
"Coming Mr. Steele?"
"MmmHmm, Laura. I'll be up in just a bit. Mary be a good girl and
show her the way, eh?"
Remington moved toward Daniel's office and out of their sight.

"How long has he been like that?" Mary asked Laura.
"So you noticed it, too? He's lost a very good friend. I suppose
it'll take some time to adjust. Daniel was a very important person in
his life."

"Aye, that he was as are you. I don't suppose finding out that he was
his son so late helped him much either." Mary said.

Laura gave her an astonished look, "You knew?"

"Aye, lass. Known for some time. Daniel called to tell me you knew
and were pressing him to tell it. So, I suppose he finally did it.
You were right to insist, you were. Better to have heard it from his

"Perhaps he can find some answers here. He seems so lost."

"Aye, lost he's been for some time, lass. But, I think he's found his
way fair enough especially when he found you."

"Oh thank you Mary for the confidence. He's got a hold on my heart. I
owe a great deal to Daniel."

Well, I'll leave you to your rest and see you in the morning. G'night

Laura leaned over for a hug. "G'night to you too, Mary"

Laura showered and changed her clothes. She was more tired than she
realized and fell asleep on the bed waiting for Remington to come up.
She awoke with a start as she realized she was getting cold.
Remington still wasn't in the room and she was about to go look for
him when the door latch clicked and he walked in.

"Mr. Steele û"
"Couldn't sleep without me, Mrs. Steele? I'm sorry Laura; I just
needed some time with my memories of Daniel. Forgive me?"

"Of-of course. I just wondered if you were tired or needed anything."
"I need you." He took two steps and Laura was in his arms. Remington
held her tight, hardly letting her breathe. He kissed the top of her
head and her face and neck. As his lips touched her skin she felt
moisture. He seldom cried and she thought it was a beginning to
letting her in.

"It's alright, Mr. Steele. I'm here. I'm not going anywhere." Laura
held on to him and rubbed his back returning his kisses.

His response was a deepening kiss as he pulled her closer to him.
They shared the steps of intimacy in new ways each time they kissed.
Although they had kissed before, each kiss was like new between them.
He could explore her mouth knowing that he could finish what they'd
started. He gently pulled her to the bed with him and proceeded to
press kisses to other parts of her body while she touched him in
places that gave him utter delight. This was what he had waited so
long for, to be free to explore and express his love to her and with
her as she found release and peace in his arms.

Laura and Remington had spent the day touring London. Remington had
planned a picnic lunch for them and pulled the basket out of the boot
at a small park not far from the house. He smiled inwardly at Laura
as she leaned back in the Porsche. He loved that impish smile she got
when she was having fun in spite of her self. Her hair was loose over
her shoulders and he thought she seemed so free and light hearted
much like another picnic they'd had in the park. He'd enjoyed showing
her his favorite places in London and especially sharing the Bogart
retrospective. He opened the door for her and kissed her cheek as he
helped her out.

"What a lovely park! Is this someplace you've visited often?"

"Laura, love, I've planned a light repast and if you will indulge me,
I promise to answer any questions about the past you were so willing
to put behind us only a few days ago."

Laura knew an evasive maneuver when she saw one. But she wasn't about
to give up. "I wasn't bringing up questions about your past, Mr.
Steele, I just thought you might have spent time here contemplating
the error of your ways. Beside, I haven't asked any questions about
your mysterious past. Of course if you're inclined to tell me

"Not quite willing to give up easily are you Laura? Well, for the
woman so dear to my heart, my life is an open book. I promise to
share a story with you. Here sit." He had spread out a throw for her
and began to unpack the lunch. As he opened the wine he began the
story of a young man under Daniel's tutelage who decided it was time
to strike out on his own. She loved his flair for telling stories. He
ended with the flourish of remembering Daniel's admonishments and
grace when he'd had to return admitting his mistake. Laura smiled as
he lit up with his remembrances of Daniel.

"You have so many good memories of Daniel."

"Hmmm. Yes, too bad I hadn't more of him as my father. We had so much
time and yetà" his voice trailed off.
Laura decided it was time to venture into her concern.

"Umm, Mr. Steele, it will take some time to get over the loss of some
one so special to you. Of, course the loss of your father so soon
after finding him may just bring up other issues. Perhaps you should
consider taking time to examine your feelings."

"Thank-you so much Dr. Laura! I hadn't expected to turn our lunch
into a therapy session. Really Laura, you must know I am completely
capable of working through my own feelings about Daniel."

Laura was stunned at his response to her attempt to help. She
stammered, "I-I was only trying to help."

"Yes, Laura, I appreciate your attempt to help." He answered her

She couldn't understand his quick change. They sat silently as he
began to pack up their lunch.
Laura was miffed and refused to speak. Since he'd quickly stored the
remains of their lunch away. She stood up moving toward the car.
Remington began to feel badly about his cold response to her show of

"Lauraà" he started, but she cut him off.

"It's quite alright Mr. Steele. I realize our relationship gives me
no right to intrude on your personal grief process." With that she
stalked off. Remington was even angrier now that she had shunned his
attempt to apologize. Why were the simplest things so difficult with
this woman?

They rode in silence back to the house and Laura slammed the car door
as she got out. Remington began to think that maybe she was right; he
needed to examine his feelings about losing Daniel. Maybe he needed
some time alone. He went upstairs to find Laura.

He entered the room quietly. She almost didn't hear the door. She was
standing at the window looking out. She turned to look at him, but
didn't speak. He looked like a lost puppy. Her heart ached for how he
must be hurting. But she couldn't forget how infuriating he could be.
How could he hurt her so easily? Why couldn't he just let her in?
They had finally crossed the line and were really together. She had
expected to be let in all the way. She wasn't prepared for being held
at bay.

"Ah,--- Laura, I'm sorry." He hesitated. Should he do this now? It
was her suggestion. He was just following through. "You might be
right, though. Perhaps the situation concerning Daniel requires
further examination. I think I just need some time alone to
contemplate it." There, he'd said it. Maybe she wouldn't explode.

"I understand." She couldn't believe she had said that. Here he was
leaving her out of it again and she'd agreed. Somehow she understood,
wanted to understand, but the pain of being pushed away was like a
layer of ice clouding her heart. So now he was ready to be rid of
her. If it was space he wanted she'd give it to him. He had waited
for her for four years. She had to believe that if he wanted her he
would come to her. That he would find his way, if they were really
going to be together after all. "Perhaps, I should head on to LA
while you wrap up the arrangements with Daniel's solicitor. Maybe in
a few daysà I mean maybe, the sooner we can get back to a normal
life, the easierà., " her voice trailed off.

He simply nodded his head and closed the door again. He loved this
woman, but she didn't make things easy. There was no point arguing
with her. Giving them both time might help after all.

Laura packed her bags and made arrangements to go back to LA.
Remington drove her to the airport with little conversation. Before
she boarded the flight he held her so tight she wanted to cry.
"I love you Laura." He whispered in her ear.
"And I love you." She choked out. They kissed hard and long and said

Remington stood there staring as the plane flew off. He must have
been crazy to let her go. Maybe he should get on the next flight. No,
Laura was right. He had to face his memories of Daniel. He things to
do. It would be easier to put his sadness over Daniel behind him if
he could just finish and get away from London for now. Still he
regretted letting her go. Part of him went with her.

He spent the next morning in meetings with Daniel's solicitor going
over the arrangements he'd made in the event of his death. The
solicitor Mr. Stuart had provided him with copies of all of his birth

"Mr. Chalmers made these arrangements sometime ago, Mr. Steele.
Apparently he wanted to have things in order is spite of your not

"How long have you known I was his son?" Remington asked.

"Only a few years ago. I understood you two were close, but didn't
know how close until he asked me to make these arrangements."

Remington was quiet as he studied his birth certificate. "Male child
Harrison, father Daniel Chalmers, mother Rhea Harrison Chalmers."
His mother. He could barely speak.

"Well, thank-you. I've a few things to settle for Daniel and I need
to return to the states. I will be in touch." He managed to make it
out of the solicitor's office without tears in his eyes. He finally
knew who he really was. Now wasn't time to sell the estate. Mary
hadn't decided what she would do just yet and he wanted to give her
time, so he'd merely completed transfer of ownership papers. He'd
need Mildred to review a lot of it anyway.

He visited some old haunts and had taken care of several of Daniel's
wishes. He could come back with Laura when it was time to finalize
things. Laura. He'd been wrong to send her away. He was lonely
without her. His bed was cold and he couldn't sleep. Funny how he
slept without her for so long, but now she was vital to his
existence. He'd called her, but it wasn't the same.
"How are you?" he asked trying to sound cheerful and normal. God he
missed her.
"I'm fine." She lied. She wasn't fine; she was awful. She missed him
"I suppose you're knee deep in work."
"I have been keeping busy. There's been a lot of paperwork to
"I miss you Laura." He'd wanted time alone, but it wasn't Daniel he
was thinking of. This wasn't working.
"How are things going there?" She ignored his comment.
"I've got things wrapped up. I can't do much more. I'm coming home."
Did he say that? Home? It was a new concept for him, but Laura was
his home now.
"I can have Fred meet you at LAX? What time?"
"My flight should arrive about 4 p.m. Laura?"
"Yes, Mr. Steele?
"I love you. I want to feel you next to me."
"Soon, Mr. Steele, soon." He was coming HOME. She could hardly
contain her excitement. Why hadn't she admitted it to him? She donned
her fedora breezed out of the office.

"Mildred! Mr. Steele is coming home! I won't be seeing anyone
tomorrow, so clear the calendar for the next couple of days."

"Oh, Miss Holt. It`ll be good to see him. You want I call you if
anything comes up?"
"Mildred, if I get a call, it should only be because you are having a
serious medical emergency. Capice?
"Gotcha, Ms Holt, I mean Mrs. Steele." Mildred smiled. She couldn't
keep up with what was going on between those two. It was a shock to
see Laura return from Ireland alone. She could tell Laura was just
holding the fort but she was in full action now. Of course, they
needed some time alone.

"Oh and have Fred pick me up at the Rossmore apartment in the
morning? Thanks."

"Give the boss my best, honey." Mildred was too late, Laura was
practically at the elevator.

Laura had decided to meet him at the airport. She had spent the day
preparing for his return. Her heart was racing and she was
breathless. She waited at the gate and searched through the throng
of people for a glimpse of him. He saw her first and rushed to where
she stood. He gently hugged her and kissed her cheek. They were loath
to let go of each other.
"That's a promise of things to come Mrs. Steele," he whispered in her
"Indeed Mr. Steele, promises, promises." The easy banter wasn't hard;
it was admitting to herself what a difference having him in her life
They held hands and walked to the car, talking little. Just being
this close to one another and they were both giddy. It all felt
right again. There would be time to discuss whatever was needed, but
for now they were together.

They spent the next 24 hours catching up on lovemaking and little
things. The apartment at the Rossmore had become home for the both of
them. Laura decided to sublet the loft and the papers had come from
Immigrations that everything was cleared up and they would only be
required to file the obligatory papers. Things seemed on track, but
there was still so much uncovered territory like Laura's family. They
were sitting in the living room after dinner when he brought it up.
"Laura, how was your conversation with your mother and Frances about
our nuptials?"
She went still. " Well, to be honest I've been so busyà that umm I've
just. I really haven't found time to talk to them."
"You mean they haven't called?"
"Well, yes they've called but like I said, I've just been so busy
pulling things together at the office and wellà "
"That's it Laura get it out."
"I just really didn't know what to tell them, Mr. Steele I've managed
to avoid their calls."
He took her hand and began to plant kisses up her arm to her neck. "
You mean you can't just say that you've found the love of your life
and you're deliriously happy and we've made it official?"
"Well, I can't exactly say that."
"Please, let's just drop it."
"Oh. Like I wanted you to drop me dealing with my feelings about
There it was again. They hadn't solved anything. But now they were
together. If they were going to make it any further, they'd have to
come to terms with their emotional boundaries.

"Fair is fair, Laura. We love each other and need to be together. I
know you need to be with me as much as I need you. I feel it. We
can't just be together physically and ignore the emotional side of
this union."

"You started it Mr. Steele, remember? Time to contemplate your future
without Daniel? Wasn't I in this future, didn't I need to be a part
of that contemplation. Didn't you need me then?"

There was a long silence. Finally Remington took her hand and quietly
said, "I admit it Laura, it was a mistake. I came home quickly. I
couldn't bear to be without you. I don't plan to ever be apart from
you again. I want to know only a life that includes you in every part
of it. Let's just navigate these storms together, eh?"

She warmed to his admission. She knew he loved her. Why couldn't she
get past the hurt? She'd been miserable without him. It felt better
to argue with him here than be apart. But she wanted to meet him
halfway. Hadn't he paid his penance?
"I'm sorry. I was miserable without you as well." She admitted. He
was forgiven. She had to make some concessions if they were going to
really grow in this relationship.

"I've got an idea. How about I let you help me with my memories of
Daniel and you let me help you with your family? Deal? I don't have
plans to go anywhere without you, Laura."
She got that frown in her brow when she couldn't think of a way out.
After a moment, she held out her hand to shake on it. "Deal."
"Now Mrs. Steele, what's say we make a phone call?"
"Later, Mr. Steele, first we have to seal the deal. That handshake
was just the beginning."
She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him passionately.
"Umm, I like the way you do business. Mrs. Steele."

the End....maybe