Steele Giving Thanks 2/6
Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2007
From: "Lori" <>
"So Mother wants us to have Thanksgiving dinner at her house this year," Laura said, passing the salad bowl to her husband.
"But we always have the holidays here," Kate said.
"I think she wants to give your father a break from cooking," Laura answered.
"But I don't mind," Remington replied, setting the bowl down next to his plate. "I rather enjoy it, actually."

"I know," Laura said, "and I'm sure she'll end up roping you into doing most of the work anyway."
"Mom's right, Daddy," Kate said with a grin. "You're a much better cook than Grandma, even Aunt Frances says so."
"Well, Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away. We'll see how it comes out, I suppose," he responded. "Laura, I'm sorry I never made it back to the office today. Mayor Riordan can be a little long winded."
"I remember," Laura said, nodding. There had been plenty of functions where she'd made herself scarce when the mayor started to bend her husband's ear. "We got a new client today."
"Oh?" Remington inquired. "Anything interesting?"
"Missing person. Possibly industrial espionage," Laura answered. "I'm not sure yet."
"Not sure which type of case it is?"
"Well, the client asked that we find his missing business partner," Laura answered, "but the partner isn't all that's missing. The company coffers are light about three million and the plans for a new venture have disappeared, as well."
"Sounds a bit like the case we had with that video game company," her husband replied. "What was the missing man's name? George," he said, remembering. "George Kaplan."
"I remember that one," Laura said, nodding. "Though I doubt this will be all that similar. As I recall, it turned out that Mr. Kaplan didn't exist."
"Right you are, my darling," Remington replied between bites. "But how do you know that isn't the situation with the new case?"
"Because Mr.," she paused, looking across the table to her daughter, "the client, is uh… involved, with the missing partner."
Kate rolled her eyes.
"I get it, Mom," she said. "Confidentiality is the name of the game. But you don't have to hide things from me. I can keep a secret," Kate went on with a smile, "It IS the family business, after all."
Laura laughed at her daughter's insight.
"That's true," she said. "But the client is the parent of one of your schoolmates. So I think we need to be a little more discreet with this one."
"Excellent idea, Mrs. Steele," Remington agreed. "We'll discuss business later. What else is on the agenda, eh? What about you, little Miss Steele? Anything interesting happen at school today?"
"Not really," Kate answered. "Kelsey Addison's parents are getting a divorce. She has to go to another school," she said between mouthfuls. Her parents exchanged glances, neither of them knowing exactly what to say as Kate went on. "If you guys get a divorce, I'm staying with Daddy."
"What?!" Laura exclaimed, nearly choking on her veal piccata.
"I said," Kate began, only to be interrupted by her mother.
"I heard what you said," Laura remarked quietly. Not that there was a chance of such a thing happening, but she had to admit to herself that Kate's comment hurt her. "But why did you say it? Honey, I hate that you'd ever even think about such a thing. First of all," she said, taking Remington's hand. "Daddy and I are never getting a divorce, so you needn't worry." Curiosity and hurt got the better of her and she asked the question that was weighing on the back of her mind. "But since you apparently HAVE given it a lot of thought, why Daddy?"
Remington looked on with interest, knowing what was going through his wife's mind. He knew better than to say anything, this was something that Laura had to work through on her own.
Wise beyond her ten years, Kate saw the pain her mother was trying to hide. "Mom," she said, "everybody knows that after me, the agency is your baby. For Daddy, it's this house. I just figured if you split up, Daddy would get the house and I don't want to change schools."
Remington laughed out loud as he squeezed Laura's hand.
"Mom's right, Princess," he confirmed. "No need to worry," he said, glancing at the love of his life. "I worked too long and too hard to win your mother's hand. I don't plan on ever letting her go."
Later that night, Remington sat up in bed as Laura came in from the bathroom. He reached out his hand to her.
"Come here," he said as she climbed into bed and snuggled up next to him. "You okay?" he asked, brushing the hair off her forehead.
"Yeah," she answered with a sigh as she wrapped her arms around his waist. "I've just been thinking."
"I noticed," he said, pressing a kiss to her temple.
"What's going on?" she asked quietly.
"What do you mean, Love?"
"I don't know," she answered with another long sigh. "First, there's this case. The client, a husband---and father---asking us to find his mistress. Then there's Kate's announcement about the Addisons. Kelsey is the third of her classmates whose parents divorced…"
He pulled her close as she let her thought trail off…
"Laura, I told you years ago that I wasn't going anywhere. I meant it then, and I meant what I said to Katharine tonight. I worked too hard to get you right where I want you," he said, wiggling his eyebrows before pulling her in to a passionate kiss. "I don't plan on letting you go."
"Oh, I'm not worried about you, Mr. Steele," she said. "It's been seventeen years since you walked into my life. That's a long time. I think we're pretty solid. But what kind of world are we bringing our daughter up in? When my father left, it was almost scandalous. Now, divorce is practically commonplace."
"Darling, you have to remember this is Los Angeles," he said. "Land of make-believe. And we live in Malibu. Most of our neighbors are in the entertainment business---notoriously hard on marriages. I don't think you can judge the whole world on our community."
"A veritable Peyton Place, huh?" she responded with a smile.
"Lana Turner, Lee Phillips. Twentieth Century Fox, 1957," he said. "Very good, Laura."
"I've had a lot of practice," she answered.
"Let's get some sleep, Mrs. Steele," he said, before kissing her soundly. "After all, tomorrow IS another day."
"Too easy," she said with a grin, snuggling in close.
"Mildred, any leads on Libby Wexler?" Laura asked, sticking her head into Mildred's office.
"Not really," Mildred answered. "I did get a couple of hits on her credit cards in Manhattan, but it turns out she's got standing orders with a couple of shops. So, that doesn't mean she's been there. Murphy and Danny are checking out her place this afternoon."
"Good," Laura answered. "Mr. Steele and I are meeting with Mr. Larsen at his office. Among all of us, we ought to come up with SOMETHING. It's been a week now, I don't like going to the client with nothing."
"I know, Hon," Mildred replied. "That's what you get for being the best. People expect a lot, but you always expect even more."
"You know me too well, Mildred," she said with a smile and a salute before heading into her own office.
She was barely seated before she heard a knock at the adjoining door. She looked up to see her husband entering the office.
"Good afternoon, Mrs. Steele," he said, crossing over to her desk. As was his habit, he walked around behind the desk and leaned against it. "How was your morning?"
"Good," she answered. "Mr. Martinez is satisfied with the security set up for his office and I closed out the Ferguson case. How about yours?"
"Very well, and also quite productive," he said, leaning in for a quick kiss. "I wrapped up the Bielic contracts and received final payment, had the Auburn serviced and finalized the menu for Thanksgiving."
"Oh! That's right," Laura replied. "You had lunch with Mother. I totally forgot. How was it?"
"Lovely as always, Darling," he answered with a smile.
"I'm sure," Laura replied. "So, what did the two of you decide?"
"I'm in charge of the turkey and the stuffing."
"Of course you are," she said, with a roll of her eyes. "I told you she'd rope you into doing most of the work."
"There's more," he said, a bit sheepishly.
"What?" she asked, warily.
"That means we'll have to spend the night over there."
"Oh no. No, we're not doing it."
"We have to, Laura. The bird will need to be tended to overnight."
"Can't you do that at home?" Laura lamented. "We'll just take it with us."
Remington shook his head.
"Won't work," he said. "It still has hours to cook during the day."
Laura sank down in her chair with a little whimper.
"I'll make it up to you," he soothed.
"Promise?" she asked with a grin.
"Absolutely, Mrs. Steele," he answered, taking her hand and pulling her to her feet and into his arms.
Their kiss took on an intensity Laura liked to keep out of the office, but she let herself get lost in her husband's embrace. When the kiss ended, she looked him in the eye.
"As much as I'd like to continue this, Mr. Steele," she said. "We have a meeting."
"Frankly, Mrs. Steele," Neil Larsen said. "I'm a little disappointed. You have such a great reputation… I was hoping for some results by now."
"As were we, Mr. Larsen," Laura agreed. "Unfortunately, every case is different and we can only go on the evidence we find. Your Ms. Wexler is very good at covering her tracks."
Larsen shook his head.
"That's just it," he said. "It's so unlike her to do that."
"What do you mean?" Remington asked.
"Like I told your wife at our first meeting, Mr. Steele--- Libby is a free spirit. She doesn't like to be tied down to the office. Says she works better out in the world," he paused, taking in the curious look on Remington's face. "I know it sounds ridiculous, Mr. Steele, but she's a brilliant copy writer. She can come up with a prize winning ad campaign like that," he said, with a snap of his fingers. "Honestly, it's her ingenuity that keeps this place afloat. I'm just a numbers man."
"We'll find her, Mr. Larsen," Laura promised.
"Do it fast, Mrs. Steele," he answered. "I have to present a campaign to Nike next week. They're considering us to handle their new line of women's athletic fashions."
"Don't you think it's a little odd that he's more interested in the campaign than the woman he's involved with?" Laura asked as she got into the passenger's seat of her husband's BMW.
"Not necessarily," he answered. "I mean, he did say she has a proclivity toward taking off."
"I don't know," she said. "Something just doesn't feel right."
"Once again, luv," he said, "I fear you're judging others based on our own personal experience. Some men put business first, as do some women," he said, immediately correcting himself. "Not everyone is lucky enough to have what we have, Laura."
"I'd move Heaven and Earth to find you," Laura said, and then smiled. "In fact, I have."
"A fact for which I'm forever grateful," he replied. "You know I would do the same for you."
"I know."
to be continued...
To Part 3

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