The usual disclaimers
I love `em but I don't own
`em for fun only yada yada yada
Thanks to Lea for the read.
Feedback is greatly appreciated.
(Following the night that the lights
went out in Ashford Castle
Steeles return to Los Angeles)
Steele At Home
Remington Steele woke with a smile
spreading across his face. He
reached for Laura, his wife. Just the thought of her broadened his
smile. That smile quickly faded as he was met with only an empty expanse
of sheet. He glanced at the bedside clock. It was entirely too early to
think of getting out of bed. For the past two and a half weeks he and
Laura had spent their mornings leisurely in bed, first at Ashford and
then here in his---their---apartment. He realized finally that it was
Monday and they were due back in the office. He knew Laura had been
looking forward to it. Truthfully, he had too. He'd missed Mildred
since they'd sent her back to LA to hold down the fort while they
focused on each other and having a proper honeymoon in Ireland. He had
to admit as well, that he was curious to see if life at the office would
change now that he and Laura were finally really together.
He heard the water come on and contemplated
joining Laura in the
shower. But he quickly changed his mind, knowing that if he did,
they'd never make it to the office on time. Smiling at the thought,
he pulled on his robe and headed out to the kitchen to prepare breakfast
for his lovely bride.
Stepping out of the shower, Laura
Holt Steele looked in the mirror
as she wrapped herself in a big grey towel. She smiled as she caught the
reflection of the diamond solitaire and platinum band on her left hand.
She remembered the day Remington had given them to her. They were having
a quiet picnic along the water's edge in Glen Cree. Earlier that
morning, they had finally expressed their feelings for each other.
Hearing and saying the words had been like magic, even though she
already knew he loved her. Even if she hadn't been sure before, she
could never have mistaken the love and tenderness with which he'd
made love to her. With her. She loved him, too, more than she ever
thought possible. "Get a grip, Laura," she said quietly to
herself. If she started thinking about her husband out there in that big
bed, she'd have to go back and join him--- and they'd never get
to work. Her husband. And he really was, more than any piece of paper
could declare. It didn't matter to her that their union wasn't
exactly legal. After her parents' split, she didn't much believe
in the legalities of the institution, anyway. Remington Steele was her
husband, her partner in every way that mattered. When they'd
exchanged rings, alone on the lakeshore, it was as real as any ceremony
could have been.
"Good Morning, Mildred,"
Remington beamed as he followed
Laura into the office.
"Good Morning, Chief," Mildred
beamed at the happy couple,
"Mrs. Steele. Welcome back."
"Thank you, Mildred," Laura
replied. "It's good to
be back." She picked up a stack of mail from Mildred's desk and
began to flip through it. "What's on the agenda today?"
"I thought you two might want
to ease back in a little bit
slower this time. There are a few completed security contracts on your
desk. You need to go over them and sign them. The quarterly report is
also there for your approval. And there's a stack of paperwork on
your desk, Mr. Steele." Before he could comment, she continued.
"They just need your signature."
"No appointments?" Laura sounded almost disappointed.
"Two," Mildred answered,
"After lunch. Miss Friedlander
at 1:30. I don't have any details, she insisted on speaking to Mr.
Steele. And Mrs. Wells from the Art Museum at 3:00. She's chairing
another big exhibit and wants you to provide security."
"Duty calls, Mrs. Steele,"
Remington leaned in for a quick
kiss before turning toward his office. "Lunch?" he looked back
as Laura was entering her own office.
"Mmm-hmm," she nodded, her
focus now almost fully on the
mail she'd been flipping through.
Steele turned back to Mildred. "The
Ivy at noon. Mildred, will
you make the reservation?"
"Sure thing, Chief. Coffee?"
"Tea, I think," he answered and disappeared into his office.
Laura was laughing as she opened the
glass doors. Her smiling
husband followed with his hand on the small of her back.
"Nice lunch?" Mildred asked.
"Lovely," Laura answered,
smiling knowingly at her partner.
He grinned as she led the way to his office.
in when she arrives,
Mildred," Steele told her as he closed the door behind them.
Laura sat down on the edge of the
desk. "Thank you," she
"For what?" he leaned on the front of the desk, next to her.
"This. You. Us," she looked
up at him, her face full of the
love that she was feeling.
"If anybody owes thanks, it's me," he kissed her gently.
"No," she shook her head.
"You were so patient with me.
You put up with my, what did you call them? My bloody inhibitions. You
broke down my barriers and showed me it's okay to love. Because of
you," she kissed him soundly, "I'm not afraid anymore."
"I love you, Laura," he
said simply as their associate
knocked on the office door. "Yes, Mildred?" he called out.
"Miss Friedlander to see you."
Mildred led the woman into
the office as the Steeles walked over to greet her.
"Mr. Steele," she said,
shaking his hand. "I'm so
glad you're back. I didn't know what I was going to do."
"How may we help you, Miss Friedlander?" Laura asked.
"Please, Mrs. Steele," the
woman answered, "call me
Allison." She pulled a photo from her bag and handed it to Laura.
"I want you to find my father's killer."
Laura looked at the photo. "Uncle Andy?"
"Pardon me, but isn't this a
matter for the police?"
Remington asked before Laura's words hit him. He looked at her.
"My father was the star of a
show," Allison explained.
"Uncle Andy's World," Laura
picked up the story. "I
grew up watching him."
First Atomic Man and now Uncle Andy,
Remington thought. Laura
watched entirely too much television.
"To answer your first question,
Mr. Steele, the police have
closed the case. Ruled it a cocaine overdose."
"Drugs?" Laura was incensed.
"That's what I said, Mrs. Steele,"
"But they wouldn't listen. Open and shut, they said. Will you
"Of course, Allison," Laura
assured the woman. "We will
find the person who killed your father."
Mrs. Steele, can we
caucus?" He led her toward
"We'll be right back, Allison."
Laura looked back at the
woman as Remington hustled her into her office.
"What?" she spun around as he closed the door.
"Laura, are you sure we should
do this? Another childhood hero.
This is like Atomic Man all over again."
"But Maxwell Donahue was innocent, remember?"
"Yes," he pulled her close.
"But I also remember how
that case affected you." He kissed her forehead. "I just
don't want to see you hurt or disappointed."
"Thank you," she hugged
him tightly. "But you know that
I don't need protecting. Andy Friedlander entertained and educated
children for over thirty years. If there's a chance his daughter is
right, we can't let a phony drug overdose be his legacy."
He smiled ruefully at her intensity.
"You're the boss,
"And don't you forget it,"
she winked and smiled
brightly as she opened the door back into the larger office.
"Allison," she said, "we'll take the case."
They walked around the well appointed
condo, looking for some clue
as to whom or what may have caused the death of Andrew Friedlander.
She searched the bedroom and the adjoining
bath for any apparent
sign of drugs or drug use, of course not expecting to find any.
He wandered through the living area.
There were framed photos
covering almost every flat surface. He picked one up from the piano. He
looked down at the face of Andrew Friedlander. The man had his arms
wrapped around a young blonde woman. She was attractive, in an obvious
sort of way. But there was something about her. Her smile. There was an
almost contagious joy in her eyes. He glanced around and noticed that
the young woman appeared in the majority of the photographs.
"Laura," he called out.
"I think you'd better come
"Did you find something?" she asked, rushing into the room.
He handed her the photo.
"She's beautiful," she hesitated.
"If you go for that sort of thing,"
he walked up behind her.
Wrapping his arms around her waist, he looked over her shoulder. "I
prefer a more natural beauty," he said seductively in her ear.
She smiled. He always knew what she
needed. Because of his love, she
was no longer afraid of her feelings, but those old insecurities popped
up every now and again--- the times when she'd wonder how she
measured up to the women in his past. It was then that he'd remind
her that she was the woman he'd chosen, the only one with whom
he'd ever stayed. She forced herself back to the reality of the case
"I wonder who she is?" she asked.
"It's rather obvious that they
were involved, isn't
"It does appear that way. There's
only one way to find out.
We'll ask our client." She slipped the photo into her bag.
Laura sat at her desk, across from
Allison Friedlander. She handed
Allison the photo from her father's condo.
"Who is this woman?" she asked.
"That's Kari," Allison answered,
handing the photo back
to her. "Kari Simmons, Dad's girlfriend."
"You didn't mention her when
you were here the other
"I never thought about it,"
Allison hesitated. "You
don't think she had something to do with it, do you?"
"Well, we can't rule it out.
We'll need to talk with
her," Laura answered.
"I think she really loves loved him."
"Tell me about her. How did they meet?"
"At the studio. Kari was a struggling
actress, you know the old
saw. She was working on the cleaning crew. Dad would work in his office
late at night, writing his sketches. Said he liked the solitude. They
struck up a friendship. He helped her find work "
"And they fell in love," Laura finished.
"Yes, I guess so."
"Where can we find her?"
Remington wrapped sharply on the apartment
door. He was startled
when the familiar face greeted them. She was as lovely as her photos,
but her eyes bore none of the joy he'd noticed.
"Miss Simmons," he offered
his hand. "My name is
Remington Steele. This is my partner "
"Laura Holt Steele," Laura
interrupted. Did he just say
"We're private investigators,"
Steele went on.
"We'd like to talk to you about Andrew Friedlander."
"Andy," she said softly
as tears brimmed her eyes.
"Please, come in."
Kari Simmons led the Steeles into
her living room and invited them
to sit down.
"Would you like something to drink?" she asked. When they
both declined, she sat in the chair opposite where they sat on the sofa.
"It's so sad," she said quietly. "I thought he was
happy. We both were."
She believes he killed himself, Remington thought.
She's in shock, Laura thought. She
just lost the man she loves,
she's not thinking clearly.
"Miss Simmons," Remington
broached the subject delicately---
anticipating the daggers his wife would shoot in his direction.
"Were you aware of Mr. Friedlander's drug use?"
"No," she answered as Remington
triumphant grin. Then, her face fell just as quickly with Kari's
next words. "But he was under so much pressure."
"Pressure?" Laura asked.
"Mm-hmm," Kari nodded. "That
weasel John McIntyre. He
was trying to get Uncle Andy's World cancelled. Sure, the ratings
had slipped a little. Kids don't have the attention span that they
used to " she faded off into her own thoughts.
"Tell me more about John McIntyre,"
Laura prodded. Her
wheels were turning.
"He's an executive VP at the
network. Very ambitious. He had
some ideas for cheap programming designed to sell toys rather than
teaching anything. He needed Andy's timeslot. Andy wasn't going
to back down. He still had the support of the network higher-ups, but he
knew they were wavering. These days, it's all about money, he said.
Nobody cares about quality programming. He was always going on about
Laura felt the smile returning to
her face. A man who was so
concerned with educating children would not have drugged himself to
Remington watched the look that passed
across Laura's face. This
impassioned plea for educational television had assured her that she was
right. He wished he could be so certain. Something didn't sit right
about Miss Kari Simmons. She seemed a bit too good to be true.
"He and McIntyre had some real
knock down drag outs," Kari
Standing, Remington reached for Laura
to join him. "Thank you,
Miss Simmons. We'll be in touch," he said, shaking her hand
before moving his hand to the small of Laura's back, guiding her out
the door. They walked in silence until they reached the Auburn.
"Why the bum's rush?" she
asked as he opened the
passenger door for her. He hadn't wanted to tip his hand to Miss
Simmons and he wasn't sure he was ready to share his theory with
Laura yet, either.
"I just thought we'd gotten enough
from her," he
answered as he got in and started the engine. "She gave us a great
lead in McIntyre and it's getting late. We still have to get to the
museum to check on Mrs. Wells' security system."
After meeting with Caroline Wells,
they'd telephoned Mildred to
let her know they wouldn't be back in the office. They stopped off
for Chinese takeout and went home for a quiet night.
Remington was laying out the dining
room table with china while
Laura was setting the paper containers on the coffee table.
"No, no, Mr. Steele," she
motioned for him to join her.
"Chinese takeout is best eaten directly from the carton and
preferably in front of the television." She handed him a pair of
chopsticks and picked up the remote.
"But Laura," he practically whined. "Presentation."
"Trust me," she smiled.
"It doesn't always have to
be crystal and champagne." She loved his gourmet sensibilities, but
she longed for the occasional beer and pizza. "Dig in."
Laura bit back a laugh as she watched
Remington grimace, sticking
his chopsticks into his paper carton of Steamed Ginger Szechuan Shrimp.
She dug into her own Cashew Chicken as he asked, "Can we at least
have a decent wine?"
"I think you've done enough whining
for both of us," she
answered, leaning across the sofa to kiss him. "Mmm," she licked
her lips. "Ginger." She set down her carton and stood up. "I
think we have the perfect vintage," she said, disappearing into the
kitchen. She returned with a tray bearing two glasses of red wine and a
bottle with the label turned to her. She handed him a glass and he took
"Very nice, Laura," he nodded
appreciatively. "The St.
"I thought you might approve,"
she replied, having sipped
from her own glass. She picked up her carton and settled back against
him. She curled her feet up under her as she leaned closer to Remington.
He wrapped one of his arms around her and they ate in companionable
Laura closed her eyes and sighed.
This is almost perfection, she
thought. No formalities, just a casual meal in the arms of the man she
loved. She resolved to make sure he loosened up more often.
This is nice, he thought. Daniel had
taught him that a good meal is
best served on ceremony, but he thought he could learn to love these
quiet casual meals. He knew now that a good meal was best served with
Laura by his side.
She leaned forward to set her carton
on the table and he protested
slightly as she moved from his embrace. She stood and offered her hand
for him to join her.
"Dessert, Mr. Steele?" she
placed an inviting kiss on his
"I didn't think you ordered any," he returned her kiss.
"I didn't," she whispered
in his ear as she took his
hand and led him into the bedroom.
to be continued...
To Part 2