Steele a Long Way to Go(part 3)
Date: Thursday, May 04, 2000
sue hantak <>

(Part 3)

Mildred arrived at the office the next day horrified by the mess. Her desk was covered with pink slip messages and opened mail. Laura's office was buried in stacks of file folders. She ventured into Mr. Steele's office to find Laura asleep on the couch. Laura woke when the phone rang. Mildred reached for the phone on Mr. Steele's desk. "Remington Steele Investigations could you hold please?". She pressed the button and turned in Laura's direction. She gave her a disapproving look and went back to her desk to take care of business. While Mildred was still on the phone, Laura breezed by and indicated she was going to change and would be back soon.

Mildred and Laura worked together like a fine tuned machine. In no time they had the office whipped back into shape. Laura treated Mildred to a well deserved dinner that evening. Laura attempted some harmless conversation, "You know I really appreciate how hard you worked today" she barely ate her food. Preoccupied, her fork resumed pushing pasta from one side of the plate to the other. "I don't think I could get through this all by myself" She took a sip of ice tea. Mildred noticed the sadness in her eyes and her melancholy tone.

Mildred thought to herself *she's not referring to work, what exactly does she need to "get through"*

Laura gave up trying to eat, "I guess I'm not very hungry". She pushed the plate away and lay her napkin on the table next to it.

"Miss Holt, sometimes it helps to talk about it" Mildred extended (much like the way Laura herself offered just a few days before.)

Laura laughed at the irony of what Mildred just said. *I guess I would be a hypocrite if I shut her out* She bit her lip and confessed, "Mildred, I don't think Mr. Steele is coming back "

Mildred mouth dropped open, "That can't be...... he loves you"

"He told me to butt out of his life."

"Surely he didn't say THAT," Mildred whispered incredulously.

"That was the gist of certainly wasn't 'I love you'...'m sorry, I shouldn't be involving you in this...I thought you should know...If you want to look for another job, I understand."

"Miss Holt, I love my job...besides someone needs to talk some sense into him"

"Mildred, please don't..."

"What are we going to tell clients?"

"For the time being, just tell anyone who asks, that he is out of the country on personal business," Laura rubbed her brow in a pained gesture, "I'll figure something out"

Laura paid the bill and the two women left the restaurant. Fred dropped Mildred at her apartment before returning Laura to her loft.

A few weeks later Laura was house hunting. When she had him execute a power of attorney years ago, she never dreamed she would be using it under these circumstances. She masterfully played the role of newlywed wife "looking for a bigger space". The agent would show her listing after listing pointing out amenities that 'her husband' might appreciate. Laura even found herself at times thinking Remington would like a certain house or neighborhood. The house she purchased in fact, had a gourmet kitchen for which she personally had no use. She cancelled leases and hired a moving company to pack up both apartments. The master bedroom was became a glorified changing room for Laura. She used the walk-in closet for both of their wardrobes It gave the impression that Remington lived there too. She couldn't bring herself to sleep in there, though. Her bed occupied a smaller bedroom. She used the third bedroom as a home office. With a beach nearby, and work always at her fingertips, she managed to occupy her time and keep him out of her mind. Almost. His covered Auburn in the garage, his suits hanging next to hers and those damned movie posters were constant reminders. It had been almost two months. He did leave that one message. The one that said he would call again. She refused to call him. It still hurt that she came to him on three different occasions only to be harshly rejected. She also feared she made things worse with the contents of the letter.

Daniel knew he was dying and had all his affairs in order. There really was nothing for Remington to handle. His estate was all liquidated and held in a trust naming 'Remington Steele and Laura Holt' as trustees. Daniel had acknowledged him as Remington Steele and even recognized Laura's significant presence in his life. He really was Remington Steele now. The catch was that he wasn't Remington Steele without Laura. He pulled out the letter again. By now it was quite worn and tattered. He kept it with him at all times. Even though he knew it by heart, he read it again. He folded it neatly and returned it to his pocket.

It was time to go home. He reached for the phone.

"Ah Miss Krebs, so good to hear your voice."

"Mr. Steele, or should I call you Mr. Chalmers?" Mildred responded with not-so-subtle contempt.

"Mildred would you kindly connect me with Laura?"

"Do you have any idea how much you hurt her?"

She didn't give him a chance to respond, "Plenty, buster and that Tony character keeps coming around. I'm beginning to think he might not be so bad after all. At least he is here for her."


"Oh, that got your attention, didn't it?"

"Mildred, is Laura there or not?"

"I hope you're planning on fixing all of this"

"Why do you think I called?"

Mildred buzzed Laura's extension, "Mr. Steele is holding for you"


"Line two, hon"

Laura took a deep breath, smoothed her dress even though he couldn't see her, closed her eyes in a here-goes-nothing manner and pressed the blinking button.

"I was beginning to think you forgot the number," Laura stated with her familiar sarcasm.

"Laura I've been trying you at home but the number had been disconnected."

"I had to move"


"Is there something you want?" she ignored his question.

"I'm booked on a flight tonight, I was wondering if you would pick me up from the airport?"

"A called me for a ride?" Laura asked disbelieving he would have the gall to ask for a favor.

"Please, Laura...I know that I have behaved badly and...and you have every right to be angry with me" his voice softened considerably, "...just meet me...please"

"What time?" Laura acquiesced.

End of Part 3
To Finale