- Steele not licensed to Steele
Date: Monday, July 03, 2000
- Wolfgang Walter <Wolfgang050972@freenet.de>
Steele not Licensed To Steele 4/4
After the police had taken care of Hunter and the paramedics
of Murphy who suffered from a concussion, Laura and 'Steele'
were standing in the waiting hall of the airport, both unsure
of what to say. Laura finally started, "I'm sorry you missed
"I'll take the next one. Thankfully everything's arranged."
He paused for a moment. "Why did you believe I took the
gems?" he asked curiously.
"What was I supposed to do? Immediately after your departure
Murphy told me that someone knocked him off and took the gems.
And you told me that you were after them," Laura replied
defensively, not sure why she felt this way.
"But I gave you my word," he reminded her, hiding the
gleam in his eyes very well.
"Do you think I would have become a successful PI by believing
any crook who gave me his word that he was innocent?" she
He started to smile. "I guess you're right." He hesitated
for a moment. "Were you serious about your remark yesterday?"
Her mind went blank. "What are you talking about?"
"You saying I was a delightful Mr. Steele."
"Oh!" she laughed nervously. "Well, I think I
was serious that moment," she evaded, then she asked worriedly,
"Are you going to steal the diamonds in San Francisco?"
"I promised I wouldn't steal them as long as they're under
your jurisdiction. I don't think that it extends to San Francisco.
Are you going to turn me in? Think about the bad publicity."
"That's something I'm concerned about. Imagine you being
caught in flagranti while trying to get them..."
"What do you suggest? Shall I wait until they're out of
"It wouldn't be the worst solution."
"But I still could get caught, but this time it wouldn't
involve Mr. Steele," he stated, then he shook his head.
"It's always risky to steal such things. If I see a chance
I will take it. All I want is your word you won't warn the authorities
"And you would take it?" she asked, amused.
"Given that you have a definite interest in me not getting
caught, yes, your word would be enough for me."
She laughed out loud. "Well, then I hope they won't get
you. And I also hope we will never stand on opposite sides. The
next time I will turn you in," she added in confirmation,
then stretched out her hand.
He took it to kiss the back of it as she had expected him to
do. "So do I." Then as if he had suddenly an idea,
"Why don't you come with me? You've got talent, a sharp
mind, imagine the things we could accomplish, think of the possibilities."
She shook her head. "I'm sorry, but I can't consider it.
I've got responsibilities here, and I can't leave them behind.
And I have built up something I can be proud of, no, as tempting
as your offer is, I have to decline it."
His smile showed her that he had expected her answer. "So
this is a goodbye. I hope your dreams will fulfill themselves,
She smiled sadly. "Yes, I think it is." They shook
hands. When he turned around to leave she added, "and take
He faced her again. "So do you!" Then he vanished in
The following morning Bernice and Laura were in the elevator.
Bernice, holding a newspaper, read the headline aloud. "STEELE
PURE GOLD," then she continued, "Remington Steele and
unidentified woman -" She looked at Laura in sympathy, "that's
you, rescue rare gems."
"Poor Mr. Hunter. He wasn't a thief. Just a man who saw
his dream going down in a sea of red ink." The elevator
doors opened and they exited as Laura continued, "he wanted
to use the gems to finance production of his automobile."
Laura shook her head sadly. "He never thought about making
the gems to money, or how difficult it would be."
They entered the office and found a man waiting. "Good morning,"
"Lester Giddons. I have a nine o'clock with Remington Steele,"
the stranger replied.
Laura heaved a sigh. "I'm afraid Mr. Steele was called away
on - urgent business in - San Francisco." Bernice only smiled
and shook her head hearing the variation of the all too familiar
lie. "But we can use his office." Giddons went to the
door of the office when Laura turned to Bernice again. "If
- anyone should call -" she began hesitantly.
"He won't," was Bernice' firm response.
Laura opened the door for Mr. Giddons and ushered him ahead of
her. She stopped dead when she heard him saying, "Mr. Steele.
I thought you were in San Francisco."
Laura glanced at Bernice, she then peered into the office to
see 'Steele' turning in his chair.
He smiled at her as he rose. "I was, but suddenly there
was nothing for me to do up there." He closed the door behind
Laura and came to stand beside her. "Now. How can I help
you?" he asked as Laura returned his previous smile.
Once the door closed behind Lester Giddons, Laura watched as
the man she had first met as Special Agent Ben Pearson, and who
now called himself Remington Steele, returned to the desk across
the room. "Okay," she asked. "What's you're angle?"
He smiled up at her, his blue eyes alight with some inner fire
that reminded her of the blue gems that had brought him into
her life. "I told you. I'm a man who enjoys impossible challenges.
What better challenge than to take on the role of Remington Steele?"
"Why?" she asked suspiciously. "So you can find
a new score since you lost the Royal Lavulite?"
"I didn't lose them. I decided to leave them alone. They
didn't even increase security measures after the last events,
obviously thinking that they're quite safe now, so it would have
been a child's play."
"That still doesn't explain why you're here."
"Well, I thought the role of Remington Steele was quite
amusing, even you agreed, so why not continue it?"
She was still suspicious as she moved to the look out the window.
Turning at last to look at him instead, she asked, "And
what do YOU get out of it?" Mistake. She knew the second
she uttered the words that they were a mistake.
Those incredible blue eyes revealed humor, and curiosity - and
desire. "That depends on what you're willing to offer, Laura,"
he suggested, his voice soft, with a hint of an Irish lilt. He
rose to stand close to her, not touching, but near enough that
Laura found herself curling her fingers into a fist to keep from
reaching out. "You've built a very impressive operation
here. But you need a front man. Someone to glad hand the clients,
to reassure them that there really IS a Remington Steele in the
background, overseeing everything."
She forced herself to take several deep breaths. Another mistake.
Her lungs seemed as full of him as her senses were. She looked
away. "I - I don't think this will work. You're not a detective.
You're a -"
"Cheap con-man?" he supplied, using her own words.
Laura turned back to look at him again. He seemed sincere as
he told her, "Laura, if you agree to this, then I give you
my word that I'll not do anything to bring disrepute or scandal
to the agency."
"I kept it regarding the gems," he reminded her.
"Only because someone else beat you to them."
He shook his head. "If I had wanted to steal them the night
before their departure I would have done so." He paused,
thinking how he could convince his stubborn vis-a-vis of his
sincerity. "If you DON'T agree to this, Laura, what happens
the next time a client like Gordon Hunter insists on meeting
your elusive boss?"
"I guess I would turn down the case."
"Like you did with Hunter?" he countered.
"That was an - unusual case. I couldn't afford to let it
"And the next one?" he asked, pressing his advantage.
"Laura, I'm not trying to con you. And I'm not asking for
much. A place to stay, room and board - a few minor expenses
She looked at him. "Minor expenses." She glanced at
the cut of his suit. "IF we do this, and its still IF, we'd
need to get some things straight. You wouldn't handle any cases.
You'd let me or Murphy handle any questions -"
"Agreed - for now. But what will happen if I ever decided
to become a real detective?"
She looked at him incredulously. "I think we could give
you the formal training, but I don't think we can handle both
you becoming the head of the agency and a real investigator right
"That's okay with me. What else?"
"You give me your word no cons -"
He held up his hand. "I promise." He took her hand
in his. "I understand how important the agency is to you,
Laura. And believe me, I would never deliberately do anything
that would cause you any trouble."
"If I found out you did I would get you - and tear you into
pieces!" She showed with her index finger and thumb how
small this pieces would be.
"Next point: Minor expenses. You may know that the agency
is not this profitable for the moment. You will get a salary
for starters and we'll have to talk about the amount. You can
use the condo we hired in the name of Steele. I think it fits
even your tastes. Sometimes it will be necessary to use you as
distraction or you will have to keep someone busy. In that case
you are allowed to use agency funds - within boundaries of course.
As soon as we find out you're too generous we will close your
"What do you consider 'too generous'?" he asked bemused.
"Well, I don't think you will be able to afford a magnum
of Champagne on a daily basis," she answered, and then shook
her head. "I can't believe I'm considering this. I must
"Not at all. You're an intelligent, capable, lovely young
"This is NEVER going to work," she sighed.
"We'll give it trial, then. Say, six months? If it doesn't
work out, then Remington Steele will again become a figment of
your imagination, and I will be on my way."
Laura considered her options. There was something about this
man - even knowing that he was a con man, a thief, and probably
worse - something that drew her to him like a moth to a flame.
It would be dangerous, she knew, maintaining the pretense of
his being Remington Steele. But would it be any more dangerous
than the tightrope she had walked for the last half year, when
there hadn't BEEN a Remington Steele at all? She wanted excitement,
didn't she? Well, this man reeked of excitement - and a lot more.
Holding out her hand, Laura made a decision. "We have a
deal. Murphy and I will do the work, and you'll take the bows
as Remington Steele. No direct involvement in a case - you function
best in an advisory capacity. Learn that by heart because you're
going to be saying it a lot."
He took her hand, smiling. "I'll remember."
"To avoid your jumping in cold, you will have to go through
our case files. I'll ask Bernice to pick out the more important
ones for a start. It's essential for you to know what you have
been working on. No slips allowed.
"By the way, there's the official bio, learn it by heart.
It's your bio from now on. Then you will have to practice your
signature, we don't want any clerk becoming suspicious from a
change of handwriting, do we?"
"This is a mistake, Laura," Murphy Michaels interrupted
her from the doorway. His eyes fell on the man who still held
Laura's hand in his. "I thought you were leaving?"
"I decided to stay," Steele told him.
Laura ran to Murphy. "And I thought you were supposed to
stay home in bed today? The doctor said you had a bad concussion."
Steele moved to sit behind the desk, watching them. Laura's concern
for her friend was no more than she might show for a brother,
he reasoned. He'd seen no sign of anything more, and that was
no surprise because she was still the girl friend of this Wilson.
Murphy was another story. Did he know something he didn't?
"I was going to, until I looked at the newspaper and saw
HIS picture in it. I wanted to remind you that if he went to
San Francisco and got into any trouble, it might come back on
"Well, I didn't go to San Francisco, did I?" Steele
said. "So you can just put that concern right out of your
head, Murphy -"
"Stay out of this," Murphy told him. "This is
between Laura and me."
"I don't think this is the place or time to discuss this,
Murphy," Laura insisted.
Steele picked up his sunglasses. "Don't let me disturb your
discussion," he told them. "I have some things to attend
to. I'll be back later -"
Laura frowned. "Where are you going?"
"I'm going to fetch my luggage. I don't think that the condo
is equipped with the right things."
"The condo?" Murphy repeated after 'Steele' had left
the room. "Laura, you're not letting him -"
"Calm down, Murphy. I agreed give him room and board as
"Room and board? What IS it about that guy? He comes in
here, and the next thing I know he's buying YOU a magnum of champagne,
convincing you to let him be Remington Steele - Laura, we KNOW
he's a con man and jewel thief - there's no telling what else
he's done. I say we cut him loose and forget all about him."
"We can't, Murphy. As you just pointed out, he's been identified
with the name. If we let him go, and he -"
"Kills someone?" Murphy suggested.
"Does something outside the law, then it COULD reflect badly
on the agency. Don't you see? If he's here, we can keep an eye
on him, make sure he keeps to the straight and narrow -"
"You're asking for trouble, Laura. He's a wolf in sheep's
clothing. And that's never gonna change."
"He gave me his word, Murphy. And it's only for six months.
If we decide it's not working out, we'll go our separate ways."
"But by that time he'll be so identified with Remington
Steele that he won't be able to make a move without it coming
back on us. Do you really think you can keep him in line, Laura?
One look from him and you seem to lose all common sense -"
Laura smiled with more confidence than she felt. "Things
will work out, Murphy. You'll see. He's really almost perfect
for the part. Handsome, charming, someone to make the public
think that Remington Steele really does exist. Think of the publicity.
You know how neither of us likes to take time to attend all those
boring luncheons and dinners - well he can." Murphy was
shaking his head again. "Don't fight me on this, Murphy."
"Look, I know it's YOUR agency, Laura, but - I just don't
want to see you hurt, okay? And I really think this guy could
hurt you. And not just professionally."
"Nonsense. I can handle our Mr. Steele, Murphy."
"I hope so, Laura." He opened the door and took a last
look at her before leaving. "For your sake as much as anything
Laura heard the door close behind him, and sat down in the chair
behind the desk. "I hope so too, Murphy," she whispered.
"I hope so too."
After two hours 'Steele' returned to the office, carrying a suitcase
and a bag.
Bernice had prepared about ten case files for him to read through,
'his' bio and some papers where Laura had written something in
'Steele's' handwriting for him to practice.
Laura had awaited him impatiently. She called Fred and they went
down to meet him. They drove to the address of the condo and
went up. Laura gave him the keys so he could open the door. After
they had entered the apartment Laura asked him if it was fine.
"Yes, I think so," he replied and inspected all the
rooms. He also opened the fridge and the wardrobes. He made a
mental list of what he would have to buy. The inspection of the
clothes was no great affair, accidentally they didn't need much
change to fit him perfectly. The shoes were another thing, they
were too small. The underwear wasn't to his taste, but that was
a minor problem. He also intended to give the rooms a more personal
style, but this could wait.
Laura was relieved to know that they could use at least some
things, so this investment wasn't a complete loss. She had some
things to attend to so she said goodbye promising to step in
"May I invite you to dinner?" he asked before she left.
She hesitated for a moment, and then she agreed. They debated
shortly for the time, than they agreed that Laura would come
to fetch him at eight while he would make the reservations.
Later at home Laura was glad that Wilson wasn't there. It would
have been hard to explain that she was going to a business dinner
in the dress she had chosen to wear. It certainly wasn't conservative,
provocative was a more apt description. During the afternoon
she had decided that she just wanted to enjoy the evening, she
was too tired to be always on the guard. She knew that she was
playing a dangerous game, but she thought the odds weren't that
bad. Her Mr. Steele didn't seem to be this conservative - like
Wilson - and it was only fair to let him know what he would have
to expect. Perhaps everything would run in her favor, and she
was more than ready for a change.
Fred fetched her on time. They arrived with plenty time, and
Laura ordered him to wait. She went up. At the door she checked
her make-up, then she rang the bell. When he opened the door
the smell caught her totally unprepared. "You - you are
cooking?" she asked in a not very intelligent way.
He also needed some time to recover from the sight she was. "Well,
I thought we could save some money this way. I don't think you
will be disappointed, though. Won't you come in?"
"Yes, yes, of course." Still shaken she entered. "Oh,
we have to call Fred, he's waiting downstairs."
"Can't we phone him?" Steele asked.
"Oh, yes, sure." While she called Fred he made the
final preparations for their dinner and put on some soft music
on the stereo.
She also took her time to inspect the condo for the changes he
had made. She was surprised about how he had managed to give
it his personal tone. She hadn't expected him to do this, but
she liked it.
Over dinner they took their time to get to know each other better.
It didn't take her long to find out that he didn't like to talk
about his past, but she also realized it wasn't because of the
things he had done. He had been quite frank about some of his
cons, and she was intrigued. She found herself more than once
wondering how one could live this way, it certainly seemed to
have its funny sides.
After dinner he suddenly asked, "Do you have some plans
for the evening?" His eyes gleamed wickedly when he continued,
"I don't think that you chose this dress just for dinner."
Laura blushed and became nervous, but then she took all her bravado
together. "Well, I thought about dancing. You do like dancing,
He flashed a smile. "Yes, I do like dancing."
She started to smile enigmatically. "Do you like exotic
That caught his attention. "I happen to be a connoisseur
of exotic dances, but I'm sure I haven't seen everything yet."
"Ever seen a fan-dance?"