Laura looked up at Remington as they
walked hand-in-hand toward the
car. He had a faraway look in his eyes and she had felt disconnected
from him all day.
"Penny for your thoughts," she said.
"Oh," he answered quietly.
"Nothing, really. I was just thinking about
Laura didn't think so, but she decided not to push.
"I really enjoyed it," she
said. "Thank you for bringing me." Laura
leaned in closer to him as they walked down the quiet street.
Remington felt Laura lean against
him and he wrapped his arm around
her shoulders. They walked back to the car, quietly discussing the
film as they went.
They drove in companionable silence
back to Laura's house. She was
surprised when he'd declined her invitation to come back in for a
nightcap, until he realized that he had to call and then wait for a
taxi. Not once did he intimate that he'd like to spend the night, and
Laura had been considering saying "yes" when he asked tonight. She
found herself disappointed and not just a little frustrated when he
gave her a quick kiss and left her standing in the doorway as he
practically sprinted to the taxi.
That night as she lay in bed, Laura
began to worry that Mr. Steele was
acting more strangely than usual. He was anxious and distracted. Could
Murphy be right? Was their Mr. Steele planning to leave just when she
was ready to let him in further? All along, she'd known it was a
possibility. A very strong possibility. That was the reason she'd
chosen to keep him at arm's length---to keep their relationship
strictly professional. Men like Remington Steele didn't stay. She had
begun to let herself forget that. She was drawn to her Mr. Steele in a
way that she'd never felt with any other man. That thought didn't sit
well with her, at all.
Monday morning, Laura sat on the edge
of Bernice's desk. They were
catching up on their weekends when Remington walked into the office.
Still wearing his sunglasses, he walked past them without speaking.
"Lunch today, Mr. Steele?" Laura asked.
"Not today Miss Holt," he
answered without looking up. "I have an
appointment." With that, he disappeared into his office.
"An appointment?" Laura asked.
Bernice shrugged. "I don't have
anything. His tailor hasn't called in
Laura stood up and began pacing the
office. "Something is going on
with him. He's been acting strangely "
"He always acts strangely," Bernice interrupted.
"Granted," Laura agreed.
"But lately more so than usual. He's been
edgy and preoccupied since Friday," she paused, thinking back to what
might be the root of the situation. "What happened Friday morning when
Murphy and I were with Mr. Stansfield?"
"Nothing," Bernice answered.
"He breezed in around noon---right about
the time I was arguing with that courier "
"What courier?" Laura asked.
"There was a kid with an envelope,"
Bernice told her. "He insisted on
giving it directly to Mr. Steele. I was trying to get him to give it
to me when Skeeziks breezed in, signed for the envelope, took it and
disappeared into his office."
"He got a package," Laura
restated. "And the courier specifically
asked for Remington Steele," she over pronounced the name.
"Right," Bernice confirmed.
"And I never heard anything else from him.
Not until after you got here."
"He did seem distracted,"
Laura said. "And he had that mysterious
errand to do before he picked me up that night " Laura went on while
Bernice followed, her eyes wide with interest. " Bernice, I
practically had to BEG him to come back to my place for a drink. And
he couldn't get out of there fast enough when the taxi showed up."
"And you were gonna "
"Exactly," Laura said, nodding.
"And he didn't "
"Nope," Laura answered, shaking her head.
"Wow " Bernice said, leaning back in her chair.
"I know!" Laura replied,
letting her frustration show. "I have to get
to the bottom of this, she announced, heading toward her office.
Remington checked his watch as he
stepped off the elevator and walked
out to the curb where Fred was waiting. He climbed in and closed the door.
"Hollywood Bowl, Fred,"
he said, not noticing the chauffer's quizzical
look in the rearview mirror.
A few minutes later, neither of them
noticed the white Rabbit
following them down Santa Monica Boulevard at a discreet distance.
When they arrived at the Bowl, Remington instructed Fred to park in
the lot opposite the area where he was to make his meeting. As he
approached the seating area, he began to look around--- not for any
person, as he was sure he wouldn't find one, but for another envelope.
Laura stopped and stood behind a column
as she entered the pavilion.
She watched as Mr. Steele approached the seating area. He looked
around and she wondered if he was meeting someone. She watched as he
picked up an envelope and sat down.
Remington sat down and held the envelope.
It was the same as the last
one. His name scrawled across the front, the back sealed with wax and
he could feel another piece of porcelain inside. He opened the
envelope and took out a third leaf. It was a perfect match to the
other two. He slipped it into his pocket and unfolded the note.
*Your parents loved each other---and
you--- very much.
There are circumstances you don't know. Come to the first box office
at Mann's Chinese Theatre before the nine o'clock showing.*
"Bloody hell," he muttered.
How long was this going to go on? He
shoved the note back into the envelope and hastily stuffed it into his
pocked before rushing back to the limo.
She couldn't tell what he was saying,
but Laura knew Remington was
agitated. Whatever was in that envelope, it wasn't good. Was it his
mysterious past coming back to haunt him them? Maybe it was one of
his old cronies trying to lure him back into "the life." She didn't
have much time to ponder the situation as she ducked back behind the
pillar when Mr. Steele came barreling by. She let him get to the limo
before dashing back to the Rabbit. She followed him back to the
office, but stopped in at the deli on the first floor before heading
up to their suite.
"Well?" Bernice asked as Laura walked into the office.
"I don't know," Laura answered,
handing her a salad and setting her
own down on the desk. "Is Murphy still with Mrs. Klein?"
"Good," Laura answered.
"No time like the present," she said as she
approached the door to Remington's office.
She knocked softly before letting
herself in. He was standing behind
the desk looking out the window.
"Hi," she said quietly.
"Hi," he answered, turning around.
"Everything all right?" she asked.
"Of course," he answered
as she walked over to lean against the inside
of the desk.
"Would you tell me if it wasn't?" she asked sincerely.
"I'm fine, Laura," he answered
evasively. "I'm sorry I've been a bit
distracted lately." He reached out and took her hand in his. He was
surprised when she didn't protest. They had been seeing each other a
little more outside the office, but Laura was still adamant about not
mixing business with pleasure. The look in her eyes touched him in a
way he didn't expect. She was hiding it, but she looked frightened,
and vulnerable. He realized that it was his distance that was causing
her discomfort. When he'd arrived home in the wee hours of Saturday
morning, it struck him that Laura had been quite flirtatious during
their evening at the cinema and he'd been too preoccupied to make
anything of it.
"If there's something going on
she began, only to be interrupted by
Remington placing an index finger to her lips.
"Let me make it up to you,"
he said before replacing his finger with
his lips and a soft kiss. "Tonight."
"Dinner?" she asked.
He nodded. "How about Musso &
Frank?" he asked. "We'll make it an old
"Sounds good," she agreed with a smile.
"Perfect," he said. "I'll
pick you up at seven." He leaned in for
another gentle kiss--- never one to pass up an opportunity, when he
was aware of it.