Mother of Steele 4/5
Date: Sunday, May 20, 2007
From: "Lori Lanham" <>
Mother of Steele, Part Four
The house was quiet when Laura arrived at home. She'd expected to find her husband in the kitchen or sitting out on the deck, but he wasn't in either place. She went up to check on the baby, who was sleeping peacefully. Laura was beginning to wonder where Remington could be. Surely he knew she was home by now. Even if he hadn't before, he would have heard her on the baby monitor. She went into the bedroom, and again he wasn't there. She changed into jeans and a t-shirt and headed downstairs. She stopped outside the door to his screening room. She'd been home nearly twenty minutes and he'd yet to acknowledge her presence.

She knew he was angry, but she was beginning to realize that his outburst at the office had been more about hurt and fear than real anger; she should have recognized the feeling as she knew it well. She had been running his words through her head all the way home. She couldn't get the look on his face out of her mind. Why hadn't she seen it before? She quietly opened the door. He was sitting on the leather sofa with his back to her. She recognized the movie right away; it was one of his favorites.

"Notorious. Cary Grant, Claude Rains, Ingrid Bergman. RKO, 1946," she said quietly as she walked over to the television. Stepping in front of it, she reached over to hit the pause button on the VCR. "Can we talk?" she asked.
He gestured for her to sit, but remained silent.

"I'm sorry," she offered, sitting down beside him on the sofa.

"For what?" he asked.

"Coming home late," she said her voice low. "For starters."

"Duty calls, Laura," Remington replied dryly.

"Don't do that," she said.

"What?" he asked.

"Hide behind flip answers. You're angry with me," she stated.

"You're damned right I'm angry," he told her. "I'm angry because I'm scared. I don't like this feeling, Laura."

"Scared of what?" she asked, reaching out for his hand.

"What's happening between us?" he answered her question with one of his own.

"We had a fight," she said. "Big deal. We fight all the time. It leads to making up, remember?" she said with a smile.

"It's not a joke, Laura. I know things happened fast… completing our obligations for the INS, the pregnancy, buying this house…then Kate came along. Our lives have been changed forever. There's no going back."

"Do you want to?" Laura asked, suddenly afraid herself. Was he telling her that he wanted to leave? No, she thought. She looked up, realizing he was watching her.

"Do you?" he replied. "Laura, I feel like our relationship has regressed six years in as many days. If I didn't wake up with you by my side every morning and know that we have that beautiful little girl upstairs, I would swear it was 1983."

When she didn't respond, he continued.

"You're shutting me out, whether intentionally or not. We spent the last six years, six years Laura… we spent the last six years building something together. A partnership, not just here but professionally as well. Now, I'm not an insecure man, but we've been working together less and less lately." He looked directly into her warm brown eyes. "Maybe I'm being foolish, but I miss my partner, Laura."

"I love you," Laura said softly. "And you ARE being foolish. I guess the shoe is on the other foot," she said with a smile. "How many times over the years have I forced you to say 'I'm not going anywhere Laura'? Well, my darling Mr. Steele," she went on, "I'm not going anywhere." She leaned in to kiss him.

The kiss was gentle at first, meant to be reassuring. But it soon escalated as fear gave way to longing and longing to passion.

Reluctantly, Laura pulled herself from her husband's embrace but she knew there were things that still needed to be said. "I'm sorry you felt like I was pushing you away. It wasn't intentional," she said, reaching up to smooth a lock of black hair off of his forehead.

"I'm sorry I overreacted," he said, pulling her close.

"I missed you too, you know," she said, snuggling up against him. "It's been fun working with Murphy again," she admitted. "But it isn't the same. It just worked out that he happened to be available when I needed help. And since he had some knowledge about Roger's past, it just made sense," she paused as she saw the dark cloud that passed behind his eyes. "I…" she said as she reached up to touch his face. "I only sent you to work with Mildred because one of us had to be dealing with the paying client. And you ARE the agency's security expert. We couldn't very well send Mildred out to set up a security system, now could we?"

"I suppose not," he agreed, leaning in for another kiss.


"Rachel? It's Murphy," he said into the phone. "No, I'm in LA. For a while, I think. I'm staying at a friend's place on Rossmore. Look, I was a jerk. I know that now, and I'd really like to see you…"


"That was really interesting, Chief," Mildred said as she and Remington walked into the offices of Remington Steele Investigations. "I've been writing up those security contracts for years, but I had no idea just how much it takes to put them into practice."

"There's really not that much to it," Remington told her. "Once you get the hang of it, it's all pretty routine."

They both looked up as Laura came bursting out of the office she was currently sharing with her husband.

"Great!" she exclaimed. "You're here. How'd it go with Mr. Curtis?"
"Terrific!" Mildred answered.

"Very well, actually," Remington added. "The system is up and functioning properly. Mildred did a splendid job of handling things."

"That's wonderful, Mildred," Laura told her. "We've come up with something on Roger, and I could use you both," she said, turning toward the office. "Mildred, Murphy's out for the afternoon. I need you to look into those aliases again. According to Mother, Roger went on a buying trip to Chicago last week… coincidentally, the Chicago PD are looking for a Rudolph Wilcox for questioning in an art theft."

"Rudolph Wilcox?" Remington asked his face pale.

"I think that WAS one of the aliases, Chief," Mildred offered.

"Can you go and check on that, Mildred?" Remington asked.

"Okay…" Mildred agreed as she was being rushed out the door.

"What?" Laura asked as Remington closed the door behind Mildred.

"Rudolph Wilcox," he repeated. "You're sure?"

"Yes," Laura answered. "Does that mean something to you?"

Remington rubbed his chin as he began to pace the room.

"Bloody hell," he muttered. "Why didn't I see it?"

"See what?" Laura prodded.

Remington raised his hands to cover his face and sighed.

"I can't believe I was so blind," he said.

"What are you talking about?" Laura asked, losing patience.

"Laura," he said, turning to her. "I know Roger Winters."

"Of course you do," she replied, exasperated. "He's dating my mother. He's been to our house!" She looked at him intently. "Are you feeling all right?"

"I'm fine Laura," he said. "Or I will be. What I mean to say is I KNOW Roger Winters, or more accurately… I know, or used to know Rudolph Wilcox."


Murphy looked nervously across the restaurant. His heart began pounding in his chest when he saw the raven haired beauty sitting alone at a table in the back. He took a deep breath and strode purposefully toward her. She looked up as he approached the table. She smiled at him through sad eyes.

"Hi, Murphy," she said softly.

"Hi, Rachel," he answered. "Thank you for seeing me."

She gestured for him to sit down as the waiter approached the table. When they'd given their drink orders and the waiter had gone again Murphy began to speak.

"How's the job going?" he asked tentatively.

"Very well," she told him. "I really like Cedars. It's so different from Denver…" she let her thought trail off, unsure as to how deeply she wanted to get into this conversation. She still didn't know why they were here. Murphy had broken things off with her when she'd moved to Los Angeles a year before. Why was he here now?

"Yeah," he smiled, remembering the culture shock when he'd first come to LA after college. "But at least the weather's great, huh?"

"I don't want to be rude, Murphy," she said. "But I'm not really up for small talk. Why are you here?"

"I came to LA to help a friend," he said. "With a case."

"Laura," she scoffed. She'd asked around about Laura Steele when she'd first come to town. Laura and her husband were both well-known and well liked. She'd even encountered them personally at the hospital. It was hard not to like them. She could see why Murphy had harbored feelings for his former partner. But she could also see that Laura Steele only had eyes for her husband. It hurt that Murphy had thrown away everything they had for something that could obviously never be.

"Yes," he answered. "But it's not what you think," he said, knowing how lame that sounded. "She asked for help on a case because I'd dealt with the guy in Denver…"

"So, for Laura," Rachel interrupted, "you can drop everything and rush to Los Angeles, but for me…"

Murphy shook his head. Rachel had every right to be hurt and angry. When she'd been offered the job at Cedars-Sinai, she'd asked him to move to LA with her… after all, they were engaged to be married. But Murphy balked, he couldn't face the idea of being so close to Laura… so close and still so far. When he'd said he couldn't go with her, Rachel had broken their engagement.

"Rach," he said softly. "I was an idiot in so many ways. I'm sorry I hurt you and I'm sorry I let you go. If you'll have me, I'd like to give us another shot."

"That will be kind of difficult with you living in Denver," she said.
"I know," he answered. "I'm thinking about talking to Laura and Steele about coming back to work with them."

"Do you really think that's a good idea?" Rachel asked.

"Yes," he said, reaching across the table to take her and. He was encouraged when she didn't pull away. "It's a great idea if it means I can be close to you."

"Can you really work that closely with Laura?"

"I'll be working with Laura and her HUSBAND," he answered. "And I'm not in love with Laura Steele. I'm in love with you, Dr. Marquez."

"Not so fast," Rachel said, slowly drawing her hand from his. "I hope you don't think that a after a whole year that I'm just going to fall into your arms like nothing ever happened."

Murphy felt a lump forming in his throat. He'd never considered the thought that she might be seeing anyone. "Is there someone else?" he asked, once again taking her hand.

"No," she answered honestly. "But we can't just pick up where we left off. We're going to have to take it slow," she said as she stood from the table.
"Call me."
to be continued...
To Part 5

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