- Steele of My Innocence 2/4?
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000
Hello fellow fic-listers! Thanks to all who had such kind
words about part 1. Here's part 2, but before you read it, an
overdue round of applause, please, for my Beta buddies, Anne
and Jax. They leave no verb unturned!
The day began as any other, a cliche perhaps but nonetheless
accurate. Laura rose early, plodded downstairs to the kitchen
to turn on the coffee pot, decaf in deference to doctor's orders,
and headed to the shower. Methodical in her personal as well
as her professional life, she chose her clothing and dressed
with care. Applying a touch of makeup with attentiveness and
slipping on her wedding band and watch completed her ensemble.
Her husband was never one to grace the day a minute earlier than
absolutely necessary, but by now it was late even for him. Laura
decided that a bit of inducement was in order. She soundlessly
infiltrated their bedroom and tilted the wood blinds to allow
a wash of sunshine to enter. A low groan followed by wordless
thrashing was her reward. Tiptoeing to the bed, Laura glimpsed
Harry's dark head of hair peeking out from under several pillows.
She sat down and attempted to extricate him from the bed linens,
no simple task. Apparently Steele was marginally more awake than
Laura had given him credit for, as he abruptly turned over and
reached up in one fluid motion to pull her back into bed with
him. And perhaps because he was capable of charming her like
no other man could, or perhaps simply because she loved him,
she sat up a bit to make it easier for him to undo the buttons
she had so recently buttoned.
Laura scrapped the outfit she had chosen earlier that morning,
as it was wrinkled beyond repair. Her husband, meanwhile, made
short work of showering, shaving, and dressing.
"Laura! Hadn't we better get a move on?" Standing in
the foyer, Steele made last- minute adjustments to his attire,
straightening his tie, re-fastening cuff links, and re- grooming
hair, fastidiously scrutinizing his appearance in the hall mirror.
Laura practically catapulted down the stairs. "Look who's
talking! I was ready way before you."
"Really? Hadn't noticed." A slap on the arm was his
recompense for that remark.
In the car, Steele drove while Laura parsed their schedule for
the day. He had always suspected that Laura planned her life
down to the nanosecond, but even he was surprised by the level
of accuracy in this assessment. He found that this attribute
of Laura's drove him mad, especially given her desire to map
out his day as well. While spontaneity was his watchword, hers
was preparedness. Or organization. Or obsessive- compulsiveness.
Harry suddenly realized that Laura was looking at him. And in
a less-than endearing manner.
"Have you heard even a single word I said?"
Mildred hummed to herself as she readied the offices of Remington
Steele Investigations for a new day. The single most important
tasks she performed were to prepare Mr. Steele's tea and to position
the morning newspaper, just so, on his desk. Mrs. Steele's demands
were slightly more complex. Within her in-box Mildred placed
the day's mail, already subjected to a letter opener, and any
outgoing correspondence that was ready for her perusal. Open
case files were stacked at a right angle to the in-box, just
to the left of the telephone. Since today was the day to file
the business's quarterly payroll taxes, these completed forms
were prominently situated in the middle of the blotter, as the
most pressing business of the morning.
Morning, hah, Mildred thought to herself. Those two were sure
making up for
lost time. It was almost 11 AM. Although it had been a relatively
quiet day so far, that broad with the foreign accent had called
no less than four times for Mrs. Steele, and she was beginning
to get on Mildred's nerves.
". . . if I can get us a reservation at this late date."
And here were the two lovebirds now.
"Allow me, Laura. Maurice owes me a favor," Steele
said with a winning smile. "Ah, good morning, Mildred, holding
down the fort with your usual aplomb, eh?"
"Yes, Boss. Mrs. Steele, some woman has been calling you
on the half-hour ever since I got here. Wouldn't leave her name.
"Put her through if she calls again, Mildred." Pausing
to walk into her office and hang her jacket on the hook behind
the door, Laura turned her attention back to her husband. "Ok,
dinner plans are in your hands, Har--Mr. Steele. But please,
no Indian tonight, hmm? My stomach isn't up to the task."
The couple retreated to their respective offices, Mildred trailing
Steele to ensure that the tea was strong enough for him. Mildred
had heard that slip, though, and she heard it a lot these days.
As far as Mildred knew, his father, Daniel Chalmers of all people,
had died without revealing Mr. Steele's real name. Out of the
office, Mrs. Steele had taken to calling him Harry, and although
she had never explained her motivations to Mildred, it was apparent
that she considered Harry the less. . . deceitful choice. Sometime
during her five years with this pair, Mildred had been set straight
about the business. She'd even learned that Laura had invented
'Remington Steele' out of whole cloth, and calling her husband
the name inspired by a typewriter, Mildred speculated, was a
little more than Mrs. Steele could bear. Nobody clued Mildred
in on the reason she'd settled on 'Harry,' but Mildred thought
it suited the Boss all the same.
"Mmm, yes, Mildred, the tea is splendid, but it could use
a bit of warming up."
"I'll get right on it, Chief."
Like clockwork, Mildred thought wryly. At least maybe this dame
would stop calling, once Mrs. Steele talked to her. She rose
and knocked lightly on Laura's door before opening it slightly.
"Mrs. Steele? It's that woman again. I think she's French."
"Alright, Mildred, thanks." Mildred shut the office
door and left Mrs. Steele alone to deal with the caller, probably
someone looking to have her two-timing husband tailed. Meanwhile
Steele wandered into the reception area to start chatting with
Mildred over the anticipation of lunch.
Five minutes later, Laura opened her door.
"Ah, Laura, just in time. What say we close up shop for
a bit of a repast, eh?" Harry stopped when he looked closely
at her. She was pale, white as the proverbial sheet in fact.
"Darling? Are you all right? Sit down." He steered
her to the sofa and sat down beside her. "What is it?"
"Mildred, book 4 seats to Paris on the next flight."
After one look at Mrs. Steele, Mildred didn't bother to ask for
an explanation. She just started dialing. "For. . . .?"
"Mr. Steele and me. And Frances and Donald."
"Laura. . . ." in a tone that demanded a response.
"Well Mr. Steele, it looks like I've found my father. Or
rather he found me. And now I've lost him all over again."
To Part 3