Remington and Laura returned from
their meeting with Dean Harrigan to
find Kate in their suite, impatiently waiting for them. She had put
her time alone to good use and had plenty to tell them.
Remington smiled as he watched their
daughter. She was taking this
case very seriously, and her intensity reminded him of Laura. One of
the things he had always loved about his bride was her tenacity. It
seemed that their daughter had inherited that trait. But then again,
he supposed he had always known that.
*****"Daddy, I know I'm just
a kid," Kate said seriously, as she paced
her father's office. "But I've practically grown up in this office,
and I've picked up a lot from you and Mom. I read the report on the
Stephens case and I think you guys are missing something."
"Oh you do, do you?" Remington said, smiling.
His little girl, barely fifteen years
old, was getting ready to start
her senior year of high school. She had already expressed an interest
in the family business, and Laura had encouraged her by letting her
spend her free time in the office and going over cases. She'd even let
her tag along when doing legwork. He wanted to hear what she had to
say. Even at her tender age, Kate showed as much promise and much more
intuition for the work than he had when he came aboard. `I guess
that's what happens when your child is a genius,' he thought, grinning
"I can't put my finger on it,"
she went on. "But something is nagging
at me. Give me time, I'll figure it out."
She was so much like her mother.*****
"Okay," Kate read from her
notes as she paced the sitting room. "Dr.
Doke is teaching summer session. I checked the class schedule, and the
best time to get into his office is between two and four o'clock.
He'll be tied up with students the whole time. Danny called, he has
arranged for the two of you to meet with Mr. Wingate, but you're going
to have to go down to San Francisco. He's having dinner at the Bay
Club and he's agreed to meet you for drinks at ten."
Remington looked at his watch. "We
don't have much time to check out
our old friend Dr. Doke. We'd better be heading over to the campus."
As the Steeles were walking toward
the Marine Science Center, Dean
Harrigan approached them.
"Steele," he said, "May I have a word with you?"
Remington glanced at his watch. They
did not have much time, but
Harrigan looked agitated. He told Laura and Kate to go on ahead. They
could search Doke's office without him. He would catch up when he was
finished with Harrigan.
"Listen," the dean said
as he looked at Remington with pleading eyes.
"I was quite concerned to find out that you had arranged a meeting
with Marshall Wingate. It is imperative that you not let on to him
that the gem is missing."
"Don't worry, mate," Steele
again tried to reassure him. "We're
professionals. Believe it or not, we know what we're doing."
Harrigan let out a long breath. He
wasn't sure how to approach what he
thought to be a delicate situation. "It's not you that I'm worried
about, Mr. Steele " he began.
Remington held his tongue; he had
long ago stopped accepting accolades
for his wife's years of hard work. Laura was the lead investigator and
he often let people know it. However, before he could expound on the
former Miss Holt's investigative expertise, Harrigan continued.
" it's Kate."
"Kate?" Remington wasn't expecting that one.
"Well," the dean said sheepishly.
"She's a lovely girl and very smart,
but but well, she's a little green "
"I assure you, sir," Remington
began to speak. He was incredulous. "We
at the Steele agency would never place an operative in any situation
for which he or she wasn't ready. Katharine is an excellent Forensic
Criminologist--- thanks, in part, to your fine institution. She
however, will not be attending the meeting with Mr. Wingate. Good day,
Remington Steele left, dubious at
the dean's suggestion that Kate
could somehow hamper their investigation.
Laura looked around as they approached
Todd Doke's office, making sure
they were not seen. There was no one around, except for her husband
who was cautiously approaching them. Satisfied that the coast was
clear, she reached for her lock pick set. Before she could snap the
case open, Kate had opened the door. Shocked, she glared at her daughter.
"What?" Kate asked, her
face the picture of wide-eyed innocence.
"Daddy taught me when I was five."
Laura moved her glare to her husband,
who just shrugged and gave her a
lopsided grin. The three of them searched every inch of Doke's office,
but found nothing to connect him to the gem.
Kate let out a long wolf whistle. "Man, Daddy you look hot!"
"I've always loved the sight
of your father in a tuxedo," Laura said,
agreeing with her daughter's assessment as she wrapped her arm's
around Remington's waist. "So dashing."
"But nothing compared to your
mother," Remington replied, taking in
the sight of his wife in a dark blue beaded gown. Laura was so
beautiful. The years hadn't changed her; her warm cinnamon brown eyes
still sparkled. She had gone back to wearing her hair in manner very
similar to the way she wore it when they first met. Though she had
matured, she was as lovely as ever. She still took his breath away. He
took her in his arms.
Kate rolled her eyes. For an old couple,
her parents never seemed to
get enough of each other. She knew that they were so caught up in each
other that they had forgotten she was in the room. She gracefully
backed out and closed the door, heading through the sitting room to
the other side of the suite and her room.
"So, Mr. Steele," Laura
said softly, looking up into his beautiful
blue eyes. "Were you able to get our favorite table at Marty's?"
"But of course, my dear,"
he said, kissing her soundly. "God I love
this city! Reminds me of the old days."
"Remember when you lured me up
here under the pretense of a case?" she
asked before kissing him again.
"Trying to get a little alone time, as I recall," he replied.
"Only to find our very lives
," she continued, as he held
her in his arms.
Again," he finished
her thought. "Nevertheless, it was all worth it,
Laura. I even look back fondly on all those years you had me chasing
after you like a love starved puppy."
"You do?" she asked softly.
She relished times like these, the quiet
romantic ones. She loved the man who called himself Remington Steele.
He was romantic and she knew that he loved her, but after more than 20
years of running a home and a business together there were times when
everything seemed so mundane, routine --- and they could bicker with
the best of them.
"Of course I do," he answered.
"Laura, I knew I wanted you from the
moment I met you. However, if you hadn't made me wait, I may never
have learned to appreciate the most significant relationship of my
life. I'm a lucky man, my love."
Laura smiled. "C'mon Casanova,"
she said. "We're going to miss our
Mr. and Mrs. Steele spent a relaxing
evening, laughing and talking
over dinner. Laura checked her watch and realized that they had to be
going soon if they were going to make their meeting with Marshall
Wingate on time. Then it dawned on her.
"Wingate!" she exclaimed.
"Let him wait," Remington
told her as he poured another glass of
"No," Laura went on, "HOW are we meeting with him."
"Darling, are you feeling all
right?" he asked. "Danny set it up,
"No, no, I know that," she
said, holding up her hand. "But HOW? Isn't
Wingate supposed to be out of the country?"
He loved to watch her when she hit
`digging her heels in' mode. When
she was on to something, Laura was a joy to watch. She still got that
gleam in her eye after all these years.
"Harrigan told us that the reason
he had the stone was that Wingate
was going to be out of the country," Laura went on. "If he is here,
four days before the gala--- why did he let the school take the stone
"Mr. Wingate," Laura said
to the elderly man who sat across from them.
"We were so thrilled to learn you had leant the Star of Karos to be
displayed at the Stanford Alumni gala. Royal Lavulite is very special
to us. My husband is well, you might say he's an enthusiast."
"That's all well and good, Mrs.
Steele," Wingate replied, staring at
Laura over his bourbon glass. "But why are we here?"
"We were just wondering if you
told anyone about the stone being on
loan to the University," Remington queried.
"Now, why in the hell would I
do that?" Wingate responded. "I didn't
even know about the gala until Wendy told me last week."
"Wendy?" Remington asked.
"My wife," Wingate answered.
"She's the one that's really involved
with the University. She spends all her time and most of my money down
there--- giving back, she calls it."
"So sorry to have troubled you,"
Laura said, standing up from the
table. "You must be tired from your trip. We'll let you go."
"Tired from driving in from Marin?" Wingate asked.
"No, I thought you "
"Come along, Darling," Remington
said, standing to join his wife.
"Let's let Mr. Wingate enjoy his nightcap."
Once in the car, Laura took out her cell phone.
"Danny, I need you to check out
Marshall Wingate's whereabouts and
travel plans for the past two weeks "
After she hung up with her nephew,
she called the hotel to tell Kate
to find out everything she could about Marshall Wingate. She hung up
the phone as they pulled up to the valet stand. Remington got out and
walked around the car to escort Laura inside.
"All those assignments, Mrs.
Steele," he said, taking her hand. "Do
you have a job for me?" he asked with a twinkle in his eye.
"You'd better believe it, Mr.
Steele," she answered with a twinkle of
Remington Steele awakened with a start.
He was not sure if it was
because of the ringing telephone or the pounding on the door. He
looked over at the woman sleeping next to him. It still amazed him
what she could sleep through. He reached across her to answer the
phone, calling out to the pounding door in the process.
"Cool it, Kate!" he called
through clenched teeth. "You're going to
wake up your mother." He turned his attention back to the phone.
"Steele, here," he said.
"Aunt Laura's still sleeping?"
Danny asked from the other end of the
line. "It's after nine, are we working or what?"
"Long night, son," Remington said with a smile.
Laura began to stir and when she was
awake, he pointed her to the
"What have you got for us, Dan?" he asked.
Laura got up and pulled on her robe.
She glanced over to make sure her
husband had done the same. She opened the door to her scowling daughter.
"What took you so long?"
Kate asked pushing her way into the room,
laptop in hand. "You're not gonna believe what I found. Our Mrs.
Wingate is quite the philanthropist. The Wingates have been the
University's primary benefactors for quite some time. But the big news
is that Mrs. Wingate was instrumental in, you might even say
responsible for, the University's hiring Dr. Doke. She threatened to
pull her funding if they didn't hire him."
Before Laura could process what she
had just heard, her husband hung
up the phone.
"That was Daniel," he told
them. "It seems Wingate never left the
country. He's been in Marin County the whole time."
Remington listened while Kate reiterated her information.
"Sounds like it's time to visit with Mrs. Wingate," he deduced.
"Let me do it," Kate offered
as her parents exchanged looks.
"Seriously," she went on. "It makes sense. She's the school's
benefactor and I'm a very recent graduate. More importantly, I'm NOT a
famous detective who just met with her husband."
"She makes a good point," Laura said, turning to Remington.
"She's making a habit of it," he replied, winking at his daughter.
He was as proud of her as he could
be, and although he had had his
reservations, he was looking forward to Kate's first case. As Laura
had already pointed out, he knew she would be brilliant she WAS their
daughter, after all.
*****Remington and Laura held hands,
they sat next to each other at
the table on the deck. Remington looked out over the ocean as Laura
began their story. Kate would be leaving for college in a few months,
and they knew that it was past time that their daughter new the truth.
"It all started the day a man
named Ben Pearson walked into the
office," Laura said. Smiling, she looked over at her husband. He was
more than a little uncomfortable. She knew he was worried about how
Kate would take the news. She had always adored her father, and he was
afraid that would change. Laura knew there wasn't a chance of that
happening. She knew her daughter. Kate loved him almost as much as she
did and knowing the truth could not change that. Like her mother,
when this was all said and done, Kate would love Remington even more.
"He was the most attractive man
I'd ever seen
" Laura continued, "
epitome of tall, dark and handsome. He had blue eyes you could get
lost in, and that accent," she said with a sigh. "He took my breath away."
Kate knew her mother was talking about
her father, but who was this
Ben Pearson? She also noticed her father was staring out over the
ocean; it was as if he didn't want to meet her eyes.
"Mr. Pearson had come about some
gems that Uncle Murphy and I had been
hired to protect," Laura went on. "He said he worked for the South
African government and he was there to retrieve the gems, which he
claimed had been stolen, and return them to his government. This
wasn't entirely true. Ben Pearson was a Special Agent with the South
African government, but the man in my office was not Ben Pearson. He
was however, there for the gems. He intended to steal, uh, retrieve
them himself and return them to the South African government, for a
finder's fee "
Kate again looked at her father, he
had always been very big on
finder's fees. She remembered an argument she had once overheard where
her father was suggesting the agency go into the retrieval business
and her mother would hear nothing of it. She so was busy putting the
pieces together, she was only half listening as her mother continued
to tell her story.
" and that's how he became Remington Steele."
Became Remington Steele? Kate thought.
"What do you mean, Mom? How
could he become Remington Steele?"
"Well Honey," Laura answered,
"It actually started several years
earlier. You see, I'd always loved excitement "*****
"Mrs. Wingate," Kate said,
approaching the woman in front of the
Administration Building. "Thank you so much for agreeing to see me."
Wendy Wingate was tall and blonde,
and if she judged correctly, not
much older than Kate herself.
"Of course," she answered. "Anything for a fellow alum."
Kate smiled. "Alum, wow. That
sounds so strange. I graduated less than
a week ago."
"Time flies," Wendy said,
and then placed her hand on her chest.
"Class of 2003, my husband was in the graduating class of 1956."
Kate tried to hide her shock. Her
parents never told her that Marshall
Wingate was geriatric.
"It's okay," Wendy told
her. "Everyone reacts that way. I met him at
the Alumni gala the year after I graduated. It was love at first sight."
Kate thought she sounded sincere.
"Will you be attending this year's gala?" Wendy asked.
" Kate sputtered.
"I hadn't really thought about it. My parents
will be there, though."
"Your parents?" Wendy asked.
"Yeah, my Mom is class of 1978."
"Oh, so you're a legacy," Wendy said, beaming. "That's great!"
Laura and Remington watched from across
the quad. Kate seemed to be
handling her own. In addition, based on Wendy Wingate's age, Laura
thought that she probably related better with Kate than she would have
with either of them. Then she glanced at her husband. Maybe not, she
thought. Women of all ages were always throwing themselves at
Remington, though she couldn't blame them. He had always been
handsome, but time had been very kind to him. Too kind.
Kate Steele and Wendy Wingate walked
around the quad until they ended
up back in front of the Admin Building. Kate thanked Wendy for her
generous support of the school, her purported reason for the meeting,
and Wendy encouraged Kate to attend the gala and get involved in some
of the Alumni organizations. Kate told Wendy that her mother was
already encouraging her to join the Alumni Glee Club. The women
exchanged air kisses and a brief hug after Wendy had declared them
"fast friends." Kate headed off toward the parking lot and Wendy into
the Administration building, where Laura Steele followed her.
Laura waited down the hall as Wendy
entered Andrew Harrigan's office.
She then advanced to the office herself, and peeked in the window.
Much to her surprise, Laura saw the dean and Mrs. Wingate locked in a