Remington Steele took his wife's hand
as they walked in silence,
following the dean to his office. Once inside, Harrigan offered them
each a chair. When they were all seated, the dean turned to Remington.
"I have two words for you, Mr.
Steele," he said, and paused before
continuing, "Royal Lavulite."
Laura and Remington exchanged looks.
"I've heard that you're somewhat
of an expert on the subject," the
dean went on.
"Yes," Remington answered.
"Both Mrs. Steele and I have an extensive
knowledge of the gems."
"What does this have to do with us?" Laura asked.
"You've heard of the Star of
Karos?" the dean answered her question
with one of his own.
"It's the largest piece of cut Lavulite in existence," Remington stated.
"Last I heard," Laura began,
"it had been acquired by a private
The dean nodded. "Marshall Wingate.
He's an alumnus and agreed to
allow us to display the stone for a fundraiser. As you know, the
Annual Alumni Gala is next weekend."
"And you want us to provide security," Remington concluded.
"Not exactly, Mr. Steele,"
the dean corrected, letting out a long
breath. "I want you to find it."
"You lost it?" Laura said without thinking.
"I believe it's been stolen,"
Harrigan answered. "Normally, we
wouldn't even have been in possession of the Star so early, but
Wingate had to leave the country. I arranged for top security, and no
one knew the stone was on campus."
"No one?" Remington asked.
The dean shook his head. "I didn't even tell my staff."
"Obviously someone knew," Laura stated. "Where were you keeping it?"
"The Art Museum," Dean Harrigan
answered. "Under lock and key. With
the addition of armed security guards, it is was the safest place on
Laura's wheels were turning. "We'll
need a list of anyone who had
access to the museum. And we'll need to get in touch with Mr. Wingate."
"No!" the dean exclaimed.
"Dean Harrigan," Remington
said to him, "we need to know if he told
anyone the stone was here."
"He can't know it's missing,"
Harrigan lamented. "We really depend on
"We understand that, Dean,"
Laura tried to reassure him. "We'll be
They decided to regroup at the hotel
so they could go over the case
with Danny and Mildred. Donald and Frances agreed to drive the truck
full of Kate's belongings back to Los Angeles.
"Thank you, Frances," Laura
said, hugging her sister. "We'll be back
in town tomorrow. We've just got a few things to do here before we go
back to the office."
"Thanks Donald," Remington
said, shaking his brother-in-law's hand.
"You're a good man."
They had enjoyed an easy camaraderie
over the years, and became good
friends. Remington admired and looked up to Donald in his commitment
to his family, and Donald lived vicariously through Remington's
adventures. They each found the other to be a great listening post,
knowing how tough it could be to be in love with a Holt woman.
Remington helped Frances into the
cab of the truck as Donald climbed
in on the other side. As they pulled out of sight, Laura turned to her
husband. "A little nighttime reconnaissance, Mr. Steele?" she asked
with a grin.
Kate just rolled her eyes, she knew what that look meant. She was
happy that her parents loved each other so much. Sometimes she was
embarrassed by their displays of affection, but she quickly dismissed
those thoughts, knowing she had a wonderful childhood and most of her
friends' parents were divorced.
*****Laura and Remington cuddled up
on the big leather sofa in his
home theatre room, as they watched `Casablanca.' He never tired of
Bogart. Rem held his wife close as they watched the action on the big
screen. He looked over at her. After more than twelve years of
marriage, Laura was just as lovely as the first day he saw her. He
leaned over to kiss her.
"Gross!" their 10-year-old daughter exclaimed, as she entered the room.
Breaking the kiss, Remington turned to Kate and held back his laughter.
"Finished with your homework, Honey?" Laura asked.
"Yep!" she replied and climbed
in between them on the sofa. "What are
"Ah," her father answered,
kissing the top of her head. "The greatest
picture ever made "
"'The Lion King'?" Kate asked.
Laura laughed as Remington rolled
his eyes. She knew he would instill
his love of old cinema in her yet.*****
Daniel Piper walked into the newly
redecorated offices of Remington
Steele Investigations. Years ago, they had acquired the suite next
door to expand their growing business. They now had offices for five
operatives --- six actually, since Remington and Laura were now mostly
sharing an office. They had a conference room, copy room, file room
and even a small kitchen.
"Morning, Sharon," Danny
smiled as he greeted the receptionist. He
turned his attention to his favorite cousin where she sat on the
corner of Sharon's desk engrossed in a file. Her parents were looking
on from the doorway of their office.
"Hey Squirt!" he greeted her.
"Danny!" Kate protested
as he reached to ruffle her hair. "MOM!" she
yelled as Danny laughed.
"Kids!" Laura called out as her husband held back his laughter.
"I told you this was a bad idea," he whispered in her ear.
Laura was tempted, as an aunt and
a mother, to step in and referee but
they were both adults. Danny was almost 35 for crying out loud. There
weren't any clients in the office, so she decided to let them work it
out on their own.
"Danny, seriously," Kate
glared at him. "You have two little sisters.
Why must you always pick on me?"
"Because they're not nearly as
much fun," Danny answered honestly.
"Come on Kat, think about it. Mindy and LB are so much like my Mom ---
which is great, but they've never been as cool as you."
Laura watched as her daughter's angry
pout faded. Danny was good. In
all the years they had spent working together, Remington Steele had
really rubbed off on him.
"All right, all right,"
Kate sighed raising her hands in surrender, a
gesture she had inherited from her father. "I give up. But can we at
least agree to no Squirt in the office?"
"Sure thing, Kat," Danny agreed.
"Good," the young woman
responded. "And it's Kate. It was Kate for
eighteen years. Let's just consider this past year a momentary lapse
in judgment." She winked at her father. She knew how much he had hated
her adopted moniker.
"Now that we've got that settled,
let's get down to business," Mildred
said as she emerged from her office. Now in a state of
semi-retirement, Mildred was the office manager. She still worked
part-time, handling the books and lending her expertise to certain
cases. "I cross checked the list of people with access to the museum
with the names that came up in our past dealings with Royal Lavulite."
"Did you find anything?" Laura asked.
"Bupkis," Mildred answered.
"BUT I went ahead and ran the names of the
University staff, and did find something interesting. There is a new
member of the faculty in the Marine Biology department. Todd Doke, PhD."
"He's the guy who helped his
father steal the Royal Lavulite gems when
you guys were transporting them," Danny said.
Laura was impressed by her nephew's
knowledge of their past cases. He
couldn't have been more than eleven or twelve at that time. "How did
you know that?" she asked.
"Case files," Danny answered.
"I've been reading over your old case
files in our downtime. You two have put so many people away over the
years, I thought it would be a good idea to know what we might run up
"I'm impressed, Daniel," Remington said.
"You should be," Laura looked over at him.
They both knew she was thinking back
to the time they almost lost the
agency. The Board of Investigative Licensing had questioned him about
cases that the agency had taken before he had assumed the mantle of
Remington Steele. When he left Mildred to clear up the inconsistencies
the Board had found in cases from before she joined the agency, they
pulled RSI's license. To be fair, it turned out they had been set up,
but if Remington had been as interested in the agency's past cases as
Danny had been but that was long ago and Remington had managed to
regain the license.
"Earth to Mom," Kate said, trying to get her mother's attention.
Laura shook her head, bringing herself back to the present.
"Hmm? What?" she asked.
"Where'd you go?" Kate asked.
"Nowhere, Honey," Laura answered.
"You were a million miles away," Kate persisted.
"More like 23 years in the past,"
Remington said, stepping up to wrap
his arms around Laura's waist. "Perhaps we should get back to the case
"Right Chief," Mildred responded.
"Todd Doke is now on the faculty at
"How could that happen?"
Laura asked. "I know he only spent a short
amount of time in jail after that fiasco with the Lavulite. But
certainly the University has some policy about hiring ex-cons to work
"It seemed like his hiring was kind of sudden," Mildred supplied.
"Keep digging, Mildred,"
Laura said. "We need all the details we can
get on Dr. Doke's hiring. And keep working on anyone who might have a
connection to the Royal Lavulite, specifically the Star of Karos."
"I'm on it," Mildred said, disappearing into her office.
"Danny, you try to track down
Marshall Wingate," Laura said, and then
turned to her partner. "We're going back to Palo Alto. We need to have
another chat with the dean."
"What about me?" Kate asked.
"You're with us," Laura answered.
"Cool," Kate said. Smiling
she looked up at her father, who gave her a