- Steele Giving Thanks 6/6
Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2007
- From: "Lori" <LJLanham@gmail.com>
- "Deep breath, Darling,"
Remington whispered in his wife's ear before he reached out to
ring the doorbell.
- Laura did as she was told and plastered
a smile on her face as her mother opened the door.
- "There you are!" Abigail
said, ushering the Steeles into her home. She hugged each of
them individually and offered to take their jackets.
- "That's okay, Mother,"
Laura protested. "We got to get the rest of the things from
- "Nonsense, dear," Abigail
said. "Roger can help Remington with that. You and Kate
come in with me."
- Laura looked up at her husband with
pleading eyes as her mother practically dragged her into the
- Remington nodded for Laura to follow
her mother as Abigail turned her back to them.
- "Traitor," Laura mouthed.
- "Come on, Mom," Kate said,
taking her mother's hand.
- Remington and Roger made a couple
of trips to Laura's Jeep. They carried in a few sacks of groceries
and the Steeles' overnight bags.
- Abigail, Roger, Laura and Kate sat
around the dining room table playing Scrabble. At first, Abigail
had suggested another game, thinking this one too sophisticated
for Kate, but finally relented when her granddaughter insisted
it was her favorite and Laura confirmed that it was, in fact,
- After a few turns around the board,
Kate was winning and her grandparents were suitably impressed
with her vocabulary.
- "I think I'll sit out for a
while," Laura said, dumping her tiles into the box top with
the others. "I want to go check on Remington
he needs any help in the kitchen."
- She went into the kitchen to find
her husband sitting at the table, reading the paper and sipping
a glass of wine.
- "Ahem!" she cleared her
- Startled, he put down the newspaper.
- "Here I expected you to be
slaving away," Laura said, walking around the table, where
he opened his arms to her. "And here you are," she
said as she sat in his lap, "drinking wine," she paused,
wrapping her arms around his neck, "and reading the paper,"
she finished, punctuating her statement with a kiss.
- As the kiss ended, he pulled her
close. "I've been waiting patiently for you to join me,
- "Uh-huh," she answered.
"So, does the bird still need your attention?"
- "I think he's all settled in
for now," he said, leaning in for a kiss. "But I do
think someone else is in need of my attention."
- "I believe you're right,"
she said breathlessly as he stood and held out his hand for her
to join him.
- "What say we turn in early,
Mrs. Steele? After all, I do have to get up and check on the
bird throughout the night
and you need your rest,"
- They made their way to the dining
room and stood in the doorway with their arms around each other's
waist. They watched Kate playing with Abigail and Roger. She
was in good hands.
- "I think we're going to turn
in early," Laura said.
- "Have to be up to check on
the turkey in a while," Remington added.
- "But the game's not finished,"
- "Sweetie, you don't have to
go to bed yet," Laura told her.
- "It's a holiday after all.
But no later than ten o'clock."
- "And mind your grandparents,"
her father told her.
- "I will!" Kate said with
a smile. She jumped up out of her seat and ran over to tell her
- It was just after breakfast when
the house began to fill with Pipers. Frances and Donald arrived
first, with Laurie Beth. They brought with them a sack of groceries
and Frances' famous broccoli casserole. Next came Mindy and her
husband Mark, laden with pies. It was several hours later when
Danny showed up, just in time to join his father, Roger and Mark
around the TV watching the big football game.
- "Remington!" Donald called
out from his position in the easy chair, "Come and join
- "In a little while, Donald,"
Remington called back from the kitchen.
- "Go on, Uncle Rem," Mindy
encouraged. "We can handle this."
- "Yeah, Kate and I are very
good at basting," LB added.
- "Grandma's got the mashed potatoes
and gravy well in hand, your stuffing is baking
- "But I wanted to
Remington began and then paused, obviously looking for something.
"Oh, shhhhugar," he said. "I wanted to whip up
some cranberry relish, but I've apparently forgotten the fresh
cranberries at home."
- "Don't worry Remington,"
Frances said, "we'll take care of it."
- "Yeah," Mindy replied
with a grin, "You go on. Aunt Laura can handle the cranberries."
Before he could protest, she went on.
- "Don't worry, we'll help."
- "They're right, Remington,"
Abigail instructed, "go on."
- He looked at Laura for reassurance
and noticed a hint of blush on her cheeks.
- "Go on," she told him.
"We'll be fine."
- He wiped his hands on a dish towel
and dropped it on the counter before walking over to his wife.
He snatched a quick kiss before joining the men in the living
- When he had gone, Mindy and LB looked
at each other and burst out laughing.
- "Did you really have to do
that?" Laura asked, slightly annoyed but more embarrassed.
- "What's so funny?" Kate
- "Nothing," her mother
answered. Then Laura turned to her sister, "You put them
up to it, didn't you?"
- "I have to check on the vegetables,"
Frances said, turning from her sister. She was biting her bottom
lip to keep from laughing.
- Kate looked from her mother who
was trying to keep her composure, to her aunt and her cousins
who were trying to regain theirs, for a totally different reason.
She watched as Aunt Frances held back her laughter and noticed
that Grandma was conspicuously silent.
- "Come on, Aunt Laura,"
LB prodded, "you have to admit, it was funny
another purpose, too."
- "We HATE that cranberry relish,"
Mindy completed her sister's thought.
- "Why didn't you say something?"
- "Laura dear," Abigail
finally joined in, "No one wanted to hurt his feelings.
He seemed so excited about sharing his family tradition with
- Now Kate was giggling.
- "I don't like it either, Mom,"
the little girl said.
- Laura just shook her head. She finally
joined in the laughter as she took her daughter in her arms.
Then she looked at her sister with a conspiratorial grin.
- "Did you bring them?"
- "They're in the refrigerator,
Dear," Abigail answered out loud as Frances nodded.
- Laura smiled, looking around at
her apparently deceitful relatives. Then a thought struck her
and she wondered just how deep this conspiracy went.
- "I have a question," she
asked, to no one in particular. "How could you know he'd
forget the cranberries?"
- Involuntarily, her gaze met her
- Seeing this, LB jumped in to her
- "We didn't involve Kate, Aunt
Laura," she said, "although it sounds as if she would
have been a willing accomplice." LB gave a quick wink in
Kate's direction before continuing. "Truth is, he didn't
forget them," she said.
- "We HID them," Mindy jumped
- And soon three generations of Holt
women were once again swept up in laughter.
- Remington watched as Roger set the
turkey down on the table. The ladies were bringing in the rest
of the food. Abigail set down a huge bowl of mashed potatoes,
while Frances brought in her casserole. LB had the green beans
and Mindy the corn. Abigail went back to get the gravy as Kate
set a basket of rolls on the table. Finally, Laura came in and
set down a silver serving plate with what appeared to be three
rolls of purplish gel, in the shape of a can. He looked at them
curiously as she set it down and he looked up at her.
- "WHAT is that?" he asked.
- "All right!" Danny exclaimed.
"Aunt Laura's special cranberries! We haven't had those
in forever!" He leaned over and gave his father a "high-five."
- Apparently, this answer did not
satisfy Remington's curiosity and his confused gaze was turned
back to his wife.
- "It's cranberry sauce,"
- "Cranberry sauce," Remington
repeated, disbelieving. He poked at one of the rolls with his
fork. "Doesn't look like sauce."
- "It's jelled cranberries, Remington,"
she said, with a longsuffering sigh. As she sat down next to
him, she went on. "When Frances' kids were little, I really
wanted to help with Thanksgiving dinner. But as you know, I'm
not so good in the kitchen
- "I wouldn't say that,"
he said, taking her hand and flashing her a devilish grin.
- Her eyes widened in warning as she
went on. "
so they assigned me the cranberries. Not
much can go wrong when you're just opening a can, right?"
- Remington nodded, thinking that
a reasonable statement.
- "Wrong," she answered
her own question. "I didn't realize you were supposed to
stir them up in a bowl or even slice them. I just dumped the
gel out on a plate and took it to the table. Mother and Frances
thought it was hysterical, and it kind of became a family tradition
Aunt Laura's special
cranberries," Mindy finished the statement.
- Remington laughed along with the
rest of the family, even as he squeezed Laura's hand in reassurance.
He looked around the table at the family
his family. Their
family was growing
the kids were growing up
was working at the agency
Mindy had gotten married this
LB was graduating college. And his little Katharine
was growing by leaps and bounds. Even after all these years,
it still astounded him that he could be part of such a large
and wonderful family.
- It was definitely a time to give
- Later that night, at home in their
own bed, Remington held Laura tightly as she lay her head on
- "It's good to be home,"
- "Yes," Remington agreed.
"But Darling, it was only one night."
- "One incredible night,"
she said, with lascivious grin.
- "A man has to keep his promises,
and I promised to make it up to you that we had to stay there."
- "And make it up, you did,"
she said, leaning up for a kiss.
- "You surprised me," he
said. "I didn't think I could get you to do that
I don't think there's
anything you can't get me to do, Mr. Steele."
- "I meant, in your mother's
house," he said.
- "That surprised me too,"
she admitted. "But desperate times call for desperate measures."
- He smiled and held her close.
- "Ah Laura," he said. "We
have so much to be thankful for," he said.
- "We do," she agreed.
- "Nobody's life is perfect,"
he said. "But I think we're about as close as it gets."
- "Mmm-hmm," Laura agreed,
letting him go on. Spending time with the family always put him
in a reflective mood.
- "Life would be boring if we
always agreed," he said, leaning down to kiss her. "Arguing
is fun," he said with a smile, "because it means making
- She smiled at that, thinking of
the charge she got out of a good old fashioned shouting match.
Not that they did it so often anymore, they'd come to know each
other so well.
- "I'm thankful for our family,"
he said. "For your mother and Roger, your sister and her
family, and especially for Kate," he said, "but I don't
think I can ever express how thankful I am for you, Love."
- She smiled as she turned in his
arms and slid up to face him. He kissed her with all the love
that was swelling his heart. When the kiss finally ended, she
snuggled up to him and he went on.
- "I'm thankful to Daniel for
raising me as best he could. For giving me a life that some might
have questioned, but that ultimately led me to you."
- They kissed again, this time tenderness
gave way to passion, but before they got too carried away, Laura
managed to say:
- "Thank God for Royal Lavulite."
- The End
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