Mother of Steele 5/5
Date: Sunday, May 20, 2007
From: "Lori Lanham" <>
Mother of Steele, Part Five
"Wait a minute," Laura said, pacing the office as Remington stood in front of the window. "Are you seriously telling me that my mother is seeing one of Daniel's cronies?"

He looked at her and nodded.

"Be careful what you wish for, eh?" he said softly as he smiled at her.

"What?" she asked. She stood still and turned her whole attention to him.

"Well," he said, tugging on his ear. "Just a couple of weeks ago, you told me you regretted keeping Abigail away from Daniel."

She let out a long sigh.

"That was BECAUSE of Roger," she said. "He's nothing like Daniel. Daniel Chalmers was a lot of things, " she went on. "But he was always a gentleman."

A wide smile spread across Remington's face.

"Not always, Laura," he said. "And I can remember a time when you wouldn't have thought of him so highly."

"I know," she said, walking over to join him at the window. "So, tell me about Rudolph Wilcox-and just what my mother's gotten herself into."

"I honestly don't know much about him. He was working with Daniel during the period of time that I was running around the Caribbean with Monroe. From what I recall, he was small time. Never really reached Daniel's caliber."
"But what's his angle with my mother?"

"That's what we're going to find out," he told her. "Feel up to hosting a little dinner party, Mrs. Steele?"


"Dinner was delicious, Remington," Abigail said, folding her napkin and placing it in the table.

"Thank you, Abigail," Remington answered. "Would anyone care for coffee?"

"That would be nice," Abigail answered.

"I'd like some, too," Laura replied. "But first, I'm going to go check on Kate. Mother, would you care to join me?"

"I'd love to Dear," Abigail said, standing to follow her daughter upstairs. "It will give Remington and Roger a chance to get to know one another a little better."

"It certainly will," Laura agreed, her eyes meeting her husband's. "We won't be long."

"Don't rush, Darling," Remington said as the ladies left the dining room. "I'm sure Roger and I will find plenty to talk about."

Once Abigail and Laura were out of sight, Remington excused himself to get the coffee. "I'll be right back."

When he returned, he handed Roger a cup and settled back into his seat at the head of the table.

"So," Remington began, coolly. "What are you up to, Rudy?"

A wide grin spread across the other man's face.

"Took you long enough, Harry," he said. "You're slipping. And to think Daniel used to love to brag about his protégé, the great Remington Steele."

"I'll ask again, Rudy," Remington said as he fixed an icy blue gaze on the other man. "What kind of game are you playing with Abigail?"


"Mother," Laura began casually as she changed the baby's diaper. "How well do you know Roger?"

"As well as anyone, I suppose," Abigail answered. "Why do you ask?"

"Oh, curiosity," Laura said. "Call it a professional hazard. I mean, you've been seeing him for a while now and Frances and I barely know anything about him."

"I didn't think you were interested, Dear," Abigail replied. "What do you want to know?"

"Oh, I don't know." Laura strained to remain casual. "How did you meet?"

"Oh," Abigail answered her tone even more casual than Laura's. "Daniel introduced us."


"No game, Harry," Roger answered. "Or should I say, Remington?"

"You should," Remington said. "Look mate, Abigail is family. She's my wife's mother. I can't sit by and see her being taken advantage of."

"Abby said you'd think that," Roger said.

"Think what?"

"That I was running a con," Roger answered.

"And just why would she think that, Rudy? How much does she know about you?"
"Pretty much, everything."


"DANIEL introduced you?" Laura asked as she laid her daughter back down into her crib. She didn't trust herself to remain standing at this point, much less hold on to Kate.

"Yes, Dear," Abigail answered. "We met in Monte Carlo when I was visiting Daniel."

"But that was more than five years ago," Laura said, her confusion more than evident.

"Really, Laura. I'm disappointed."

"You're disappointed? You've been carrying on a clandestine affair for over five years and YOU'RE disappointed?"

"I haven't been carrying on anything. Honestly, Laura. I thought you were supposed to be a hot shot detective."


"Abby and I met a while back when she was visiting Daniel at the villa," Roger told Remington. "Daniel said she was off limits-in every way. I thought it was because he wanted her for himself, but pretty soon it was obvious that they weren't going anywhere, if you know what I mean."

"So you decided to go after her, then?" Remington surmised.

"No, are you kidding? Daniel would have killed any of us if Abby had gotten hurt; he was very protective of her. I never saw her again… until a few months ago. I ran into her when I was checking out the winter lines down at the Mart."

"Winter lines?" Remington asked.

"Yeah," Roger answered, handing him a business card. "I'm a buyer for Barney's. Strictly legit. After Marty Cohen bought the farm last year, I realized life is too short to be living from con to con. Besides, I was never really good at it. So, I got to thinking, next to art…what do I know best?" he asked the rhetorical question. "That's right, clothes. I'm bringing class to the masses, Harry."


"I was surprised that Remington didn't remember Roger," Abigail went on, "being that he and Daniel were so close."

"Remington was living abroad when Roger and Daniel knew each other, apparently," Laura offered.

"So you did know," Abigail said.

"Well I am a hotshot detective, remember?" Laura was slightly annoyed. "I don't believe you knew all along."

"Knew what, Dear?" Abigail asked innocently.

"Mother, the man behaved like a boor. I couldn't imagine what you saw in him… I was worried about you. I even brought Murphy out here to help me investigate, for goodness sake. And you knew about him from the beginning."

"All you had to do was ask, Laura," Abigail told her sweetly.


"Class to the masses, eh?" Remington said. "So what was up with that chauvinist pig routine?"

"Oh, "Roger replied. "That was Abby's idea. She knew it would get your wife's ire up."

"And why would she want to do that?"

"I don't know, really," Roger answered. "Something about seeing if Laura would come to her and ask her about me…"

"Or just go out and get the answers on her own," Remington finished the thought. "So this whole bloody thing was a test. Unbelievable."


"You were testing me?" Laura asked, incredulous. "Unbelievable."


"So your mother knew all about Winters' past," Murphy said, pausing to look at Remington. "It IS his past, right?"

Remington nodded, "Strictly on the straight and narrow, or so he says."

Turning his attention back to Laura, Murphy went on. "She knew about his past and didn't tell you, why?"

"We're still trying to figure that one out, Murph," Laura admitted. "I think part of her wanted to see if I trusted her enough to just ask her about Roger. But what she doesn't understand is that I didn't think to ask her because I honestly didn't think she knew. I thought she was being duped."

"I feel Daniel's hand in all of this," Remington said, walking over to wrap his arms around Laura's waist. "I mean, I know he's been gone for years now," he went on. "But doesn't this little test feel more like something HE would do?"

Laura smiled, he was right… she'd been thinking about Daniel and his endless tests of Remington's resolve and her mettle.

"Well, whatever the reason," Laura said, "everything worked out for the best. Mother reminded me not to take her for granted, and she's actually shown some respect for what we do."

"One thing, though," Murphy asked. "What about the Chicago PD?"

"That was for real," Remington supplied. "One of his old buddies had seen Roger in the area and gave up his name to save his own skin. But the kicker was that even though the heist was actually very similar to those Rudy Wilcox had executed in the past, Roger had nothing to do with it. He really was in Chicago on a buying trip for Barney's."

"I'm glad you decided to stay, Murph," Laura said, changing the subject.

"Me too," he answered. "I think the three of us will work really well together."

"Four," Remington corrected, "Don't forget Mildred."

"Right," Murphy said. "Speaking of, I need to see her. She's the one who handles the payroll and employment records, right? I need some paperwork to turn in with my loan application if I'm going to take over the mortgage on the condo."

Laura nodded, "There's no rush on that you know."

"I do, Laura, and thanks," Murphy replied, "but it's time to move into my new life, and I want to do things right this time."

"Makes sense," she said as Murphy left the office and left her alone with her husband. "I hate to think about moving," she said, quietly leaning against him. "We have so many great memories here."

"Moving? Laura, what are you talking about?" Remington asked.

"Well, there's not room for everyone here," she said with a smile. "Our family is growing."

"So it is, Mrs. Steele," he said, pulling her into his embrace. "So it is. But let's not think of moving just yet. I'm sure we can come up with some way to accommodate our growing pains and still remain here."

All thoughts and worries disappeared as he leaned in to kiss her. When she was in his arms, all was right with the world. And all WAS right with their world. She was married to the love of her life, and they had a beautiful little girl. She had her family close by and her best friend back in town. Laura Steele was a very lucky woman, and she knew it. Once again, her good fortune amazed her.
The End

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