- Mother of Steele 3/5
Date: Sunday, May 20, 2007
- From: "Lori Lanham" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Mother of Steele, Part Three
- Mildred looked up from her desk
as the glass doors opened to find an attractive sandy haired
man with a duffle bag over his shoulder and another in his hand.
"May I help you?" she asked.
- "I'm here to see Laura,"
the young man answered.
- "Mrs. Steele is in conference,"
Mildred told him as the door to Mr. Steele's office opened.
"Murphy!" Laura exclaimed as she walked over to her
old friend, her husband close behind.
- "Hey Partner," Murphy
said. Sitting his bag down, he opened his arms to receive Laura
into a welcoming hug. When she'd stepped out of his embrace,
he offered his hand to Remington.
- "Steele," Murphy greeted
- "Murphy," Remington answered.
- "Why didn't you call?"
Laura asked, stepping into her place beside her husband.
- "We would have picked you up
at the airport."
- "No problem," Murphy answered.
"I know how busy you've been. And I needed to rent a car,
anyway-it wasn't a big deal getting here," he said with
a wink in Laura's direction. "I still know the way."
- Remington noted Murphy's bags and
asked, "No time to stop by your hotel on the way?"
- Murphy looked at Laura and her eyes
grew wide. She turned to Remington.
"I forgot to tell you," she said. "I offered him
- Murphy watched the interaction with
interest, and Remington noticed his scrutiny.
- "That's a wonderful idea, Darling,"
Remington said, putting an arm around Laura's waist. "Since
Abigail has gotten settled into her own place, it's just been
sitting empty. And after all, Murphy is here to lend us a hand,
no need to bother with paying for a hotel." He reached into
his pocket and took out his keys. He pulled a key off the ring
and handed it to Murphy. "I hope you'll be as comfortable
there as I was."
- "Murph," Laura said, "why
don't you go on over there and drop off your things, get settled
in. We've got a meeting this afternoon, and then we can get together
- "Why don't we have dinner?"
Remington offered. "At our house."
- "That's a great idea,"
Laura agreed, walking with Murphy to the door. "You have
the address, say seven o'clock? Call if you need anything."
- When Murphy had gone, Laura turned
back to Remington and an amused Mildred.
- "Laying it on a bit thick weren't
you?" she said to her husband.
- "I was simply being nice to
the man, Laura," he replied. "At your request, I might
- Laura rolled her eyes in response.
- "C'mon," she said. "We
have a meeting with Mrs. Hale at the Marina."
- Murphy shook his head as he looked
at the picture across from him. Laura was sitting on the sofa
holding her baby in her lap. Remington Steele sat next to her
with his arm around them both. This was something he never thought
he'd see. If he were honest with himself, he'd admit that it
was his greatest fear when he left a little over five years before.
He knew then that Laura was falling for Steele, but he never
expected the man to stick around. He looked at them now, they
were really a family and it was obvious that Laura was happy.
- "This is a great place,"
- "Thank you," Remington
answered. "We're still making it our own, but it's home."
- "Mr. Steele is being modest,"
Laura added. "He's been working on this place for the past
year, putting our personal stamp on it, you might say."
- "I have to admit," Murphy
said, "I'm impressed."
- "You should see my studio,"
Laura told her friend. "Remington had one of the rooms downstairs
turned into a dance studio. I was feeling a little blue right
before Kate was born
worried that I'd never lose all the
weight I gained
typically hormonal stuff," she said
with a laugh. "And one day, he brought me down and showed
me what he'd done with the room, it was amazing," she said,
looking up at her husband with eyes full of love.
"And of course, his screening room is right across the hall,"
Laura went on.
Once again, Murphy just shook his head. "I never thought
I'd see this day."
"Neither did I, Murph," Laura said, lifting the sleeping
baby up to kiss her forehead.
- "Why don't I take her up to
bed?" Remington offered. "Give you and Murphy a chance
to catch up."
- "Thank you," Laura said,
as Remington stood and took Kate from her. She kissed the baby
once more, "Sleep well, my angel."
- When Remington had gone, Murphy
- "You're really happy, aren't
you?" he asked.
- "Yes," Laura answered
simply. "I am, Murph. Happier than I ever thought I would
be. Our life is good," she said with a laugh before going
on. "I mean, we still bicker all the time," she paused
and bit her bottom lip. Looking up at Murphy through her eyelashes,
she continued, "But making up is so much more fun."
- "Laura!" Murphy exclaimed.
- "Sorry Murph," she said
amid her own laughter.
"Well," he said, "I'm glad I was wrong. I was
sure he was gonna break your heart."
- "And you'd come in and pick
up the pieces?" she asked quietly.
"Something like that," he admitted.
- "What about you, Murph?"
she asked. "It's been a while since we really got a chance
to talk. Have you found someone special?"
- He couldn't admit to her his broken
engagement or that he'd never been able to fully commit to another
woman because deep in his heart, he'd been waiting for her. Now,
he knew for certain that she was truly lost to him forever, and
what a fool he'd been. Maybe now he was ready to move on.
- "No," he answered, "not
really. You know how it is, trying to run an agency
all hours of the day and night. My life isn't really conducive
to home and hearth. "He looked at her, and around at the
home she'd built. "I guess it can be done, though. You and
Steele seemed to have made it work."
- "It's hard," Laura admitted.
"We have to work at it every day, but it's worth it. He's
become everything the public expects from Remington Steele, Murphy,"
she said, answering the question she knew he wouldn't ask. "And
he's even more than I could have asked for
" she paused
as Murphy opened his mouth to interrupt, but she held up her
hand to stop him. "He's not perfect," she went on,
shaking her head. "But neither am I. I know I'm no picnic
to live with, but my Mr. Steele-he always tries to make me feel
like a queen. He's good for me, Murphy. Good TO me, probably
more so than I deserve. I put him through a lot."
- "He deserved it," Murphy
quipped, as he stood and began walking around the room.
- "Maybe," Laura answered.
"Maybe not. But in any case, he took it. He stuck around
and took everything I dished out. He's pretty good at shoveling
it back, but the point is that he's still here. We're making
it work, both professionally and personally."
- "Kate is really beautiful,"
Murphy said as he picked up a photo of the baby from a table.
- "Thank you," Laura said
her smile full of all the pride of a new mother. "She's
- "I can't believe you're a mom,"
- "I know," she answered,
"neither can I sometimes. I have to tell you, my mother
is THRILLED. I think she finally understands what Remington and
I do; she hasn't suggested I quit work to stay home with the
baby once. She does tell me frequently that our work is far too
- "She's right," he answered.
"It was one thing for us to risk life and limb as single
people, but you and Steele are married, you've got that beautiful
little girl upstairs depending on you."
- "Yes, we do," she said.
"But if we gave up our work, then we would be giving up
a big part of who we are, and wouldn't that be doing her a disservice,
- "I guess so," Murphy said
with a nod, understanding where she was going with the thought.
- "We've just decided to be more
careful," Laura stated. "We're taking fewer investigative
cases, avoiding the ones that are blatantly dangerous. We're
doing a lot more security work, and when we can avoid it, we
don't take chances. It's working so far," she said. "But
then again, Kate's only four months old."
- An idea started to form in Murphy's
head. He'd have to take some time to really work it out, to weigh
the pros and cons, before he brought it to Laura. But it might
just work out for all of them.
- "If anyone deserves to have
it all Laura," he said, "it's you."
- "Thanks, Murph."
- Remington Steele paused as he opened
the glass doors to Remington Steele Investigations. The office
was a flurry of activity. Workmen were busy turning the storage
room back into an office in preparation for Mildred's promotion
to full operative. Laura was packing up her necessities and taking
them into Remington's office. Murphy had wandered out of Laura's
office, notebook in hand.
- Remington rushed across the office
to aide his wife as the stack of files that were piled high in
front of her face were about to slide from her grasp.
- "Allow me, Mrs. Steele,"
Remington said, taking the files from her.
- "Oh," she replied with
a start, "hi." She leaned in for a quick kiss as he
took the files from her. "When did you get here?"
- "Just now," he answered,
ushering her into his office. He walked across the office to
set the files on his desk as she closed the door behind them.
"What the bloody hell is going on around here?" he
asked with a puzzled grin.
- "Just a bit of shuffling,"
she said, moving past him to begin emptying the box that set
next to the files.
- Remington watched with interest
as she continued to answer. She was speaking very quickly and
didn't look at him. That was never a good sign.
- "The maintenance men came today
to convert the storage room back into an office for Mildred,"
she went on. "Murphy needed a place to work, so he's using
" she hedged, as she kept moving.
- Realization began to dawn on him.
- "So you're moving in here,"
he said, finishing her statement.
- She turned to look at him.
- "Just where am I supposed to
go?" Remington asked his voice low.
- "Nowhere," Laura answered,
reaching out to take his hand in hers. "Can't we share?"
She took his other hand and stepped closer to him.
- "Of course we can, Laura,"
he said, letting go of her hands and walking to the window. "There's
no one I'd rather share space with than you. But I must admit
to having a rather nasty feeling of déjà vu lately,"
he said, looking out the window with his back to her.
- "What are you talking about?"
- "There has been a sudden shift
in the dynamics around here, Laura. I thought we were partners."
- "We are," she replied,
mild annoyance showing in her voice. What is he getting at?
- "Are we really, Mrs. Steele?"
he asked, his tone matching hers. "First you send me off
to work on a security contract with Mildred. Then you bring Murphy
in to work with you in my absence. Now you're taking over my
office. Oh yes, and I don't even have a say in hiring Mildred's
replacement. Can a return functioning best in an advisory capacity
be far behind?" He turned to face her as he spoke, his voice
slightly rising with each statement.
"You're being ridiculous!" Laura replied, her own voice
- Outside the office, Murphy looked
up when he noticed the raised voices. He grinned as he turned
- "It's nice to know that the
more things change, the more they stay the same," he quipped.
- Mildred returned his grin and nodded.
- "They haven't gone at it like
that in a long time," she told him. "It's probably
- "Ridiculous?" he shouted.
"I'M being ridiculous? Laura, you've practically shut me
out of everything having to do with this case!"
- "CASE?" Laura shouted
back. "We don't even have a case! I'm just looking out for
my mother," she said, her voice softening. "My family."
- "That's right, Laura,"
he said quietly. "OUR family. So why am I running around
testing alarms while Murphy is closing in on Abigail's con-man?"
- Laura closed her eyes and sighed.
He was jealous-but there was more to it. He sounded hurt. Was
he right? Had she really been shutting him out? Maybe she had.
After all, thinking her mother had fallen for a con-man hit a
little too close to home. She liked to forget about that part
of her husband's past. And someone had to deal with the actual
clients, right? No, she hadn't done anything wrong-had she?
- Her silence was all the answer he
- "I'm obviously not needed here,"
he said as he headed toward the door. "I'll be at home if
anyone insists on speaking to Remington Steele."
- He didn't look back as he walked
out of the office, through the outer office and out the door.
- "What was that all about, Hon?"
- "I wish I knew," Laura
- Remington had calmed down considerably
by the time he reached the house. The drive from Century City
to Malibu gave him the chance to clear his head.
- "Senor Steele!" Maria
exclaimed as he walked into the kitchen. The startled housekeeper
leaned against the counter. She always reverted to Spanish when
she was excited.
- "I'm sorry Maria," Remington
said. "I didn't mean to frighten you. I decided I'd come
home early to spend some time with little Katharine. Where is
- "Sleeping," Maria answered.
"She will wake soon," she said, looking at the clock.
"It's almost time for her bottle."
- "I'll take care of her, Maria,"
Remington told her. "Why don't you take the rest of the
- "Oh, Mr. Steele," Maria
began, "I have to
- Remington held up his hand to stop
"Whatever needs to be done around here can wait," he
said. "I can take care of the baby, and I'll handle dinner
- When she would have protested, he
- "Maria, you do such a wonderful
job, and we appreciate you very much. But you deserve a break.
And to be very honest, I'd like some time to myself."
- "Si, Senor Steele," Maria
said, nodding. She seemed to understand his need for solitude.
She knew from past experience that he often found solace in his
kitchen and she didn't want to be under foot. She had wanted
to visit her son Hector and his new bride Isabela, anyway. "I
will see you tomorrow, Mr. Steele," she said.
- "Hasta mañana, Maria,"
Remington said as she gathered her things and left.
- He went about preparing Kate's bottle
and took it up to the nursery. The baby was still sleeping, so
he set the bottle down and went to the window.
- "Oh Little One," he said
quietly. "What are we going to do about your mommy?"
He knew that he was probably overreacting, but that did nothing
to squelch the fear that sank to the bottom of his stomach-the
fear that Laura was slipping away from him.
- "Okay," Murphy said with
a mouth full of Mushu Pork. "What have we got?"
- "Roger visited a pawnbroker
downtown," Laura said.
- "And he stopped off at the
track," Murphy continued. "But there's nothing illegal
with that. His associations are a little unsavory, but that could
be said of a lot of people."
- "We need to find out what he
was doing when he was out of town last week," Laura told
- "Did your mother ever say anything
about what he does for a living?" he asked.
- "Not really," Laura answered.
"She's only said that he's in acquisitions. Whatever that
- "Sounds a little shady to me,"
Murphy said, offering her a paper carton.
- "Thanks," she said, accepting
the box. She smiled. "You know who it sounds like?"
Her smile quickly faded as she made a realization. "Oh good
lord," she said. "What time is it?"
- "A little after eight, I think,"
"I have to go!" she exclaimed, jumping up from her
seat behind Remington's desk.
- "But we're just getting somewhere,"
"Sorry Murph," Laura replied, gathering her things.
"I've gotta go. Remington and I had a huge fight this morning.
I haven't talked to him all day and now I'm late," she told
him. "He's gonna kill me," she muttered, more to herself
than to Murphy. "What was I thinking?"
- "See you tomorrow, Murph,"
she said on her way out the door. "Wish me luck."
- to be continued . . .
- To Part