- Steele Holted After All These
Date: Monday, August 13, 2001
- by Alicia Huberman
- Feedback can
be sent to Krebbie,
and she'll forward it to Alicia.
Steele Holted After All These Years Part VII - CONCLUSION
by Alicia Huberman
I do not own the characters,
MTM does. I am not profiting from this endeavor.Permission to
archive, any feedback welcomed.
This part rated PG 13. Many thanks to Lauryn, my invaluable Beta
Having finished his shower, Steele emerged from the bathroom
clad in only a white towel. He noticed Laura's hair was styled
in loosely flowing waves and she was just pulling on a peach
miniskirt that matched her preppie Izod polo shirt. "Surely,
Laura you are not going to lunch with Patrick dressed like that!"
"Why not? What is wrong with the way I look?" She asked
"You look good enough to eat, Laura, and therein lies the
problem!" He came up behind her and nuzzled her neck sensuously.
"You wouldn't want him to get the wrong idea by showing
him that long expanse of lovely leg. I think trousers are just
the thing for a day like today."
Laura rolled her eyes heavenward. "But Remington, it's 85
degrees out today! I never imagined you'd be this possessive!
It doesn't become you, you know."
"I am not possessive, Laura, merely cautious!" Suddenly,
there was a knock on the door. Steele practically leapt in front
of Laura to open it after readjusting the towel. "Ahh, Patrick,
how delightful to see you again, do come in." Steele's voice
rang with false cheer.
Patrick looked puzzled. "Did I get the wrong room? I was
looking for Laura. She was late meeting me for our lunch date."
Patrick's face dropped as Laura came into his view. His gaze
went from Laura to Steele in the towel and back.
"Hi Patrick! I am finally ready, sorry I am running late!"
Laura looked uncomfortable.
"No problem, Laura, ready whenever you are," Patrick
replied through a clenched jaw. Laura grabbed her purse and headed
for the door.
"It was a pleasure to see you again, Mr. Steele," said
Patrick with sarcasm.
"You can rest assured the pleasure was all mine," Steele
"So I see, Mr. Steele, so I see," responded Patrick,
eyeing him warily.
"Goodbye, Mr. Steele," said Laura, "I will be
back in an hour or two."
"Don't dawdle, Laura, if you get back soon enough we might
still be able to make it to San Francisco in time for Tony Bennett
. . . and perhaps even dinner at Marty's."
"But Laura," Patrick interrupted, "You'd miss
the class clambake tonight."
"I wouldn't want to tear you away from your friends, Laura,"
his blue eyes were silently pleading with hers.
Laura paused for a moment and thought about how a little compromise
might go a long way towards appeasing her Mr. Steele. "Well,
I suppose I have gotten to see the whole gang. After lunch, I
will say goodbye to the girls from 4 East and we can rent a car
to go see Tony." She smiled up at him warmly.
"Great! I will make the all the arrangements, Laura. Don't
worry about a thing. Just enjoy your lunch, you two." He
was beaming as he ushered them ceremoniously out of the room.
Patrick looked very unhappy.
As they waited for their lunch, Laura's finger traced the rim
of her water goblet as she stared pensively at the table. She
lifted her head to read Patrick's questioning gaze. "Remington
and I came to an understanding last night and I finally realize
now how much he truly cares about me. I am sorry, Patrick."
"Because of me?" Patrick asked.
"No. Not entirely, anyway. I think maybe you were the catalyst."
"Are you sure this guy is serious, Laura? Why the sudden
change of heart? Are sure he just didn't say those things to
. . . "
"To sleep with me?"
"No, I don't think so. He could've tried that years ago
and he never did. I have to believe he really means it now."
"I just don't want to see you get hurt with a guy like that,
Laura. I hope you aren't the proverbial toy he has to have now
that he has seen another boy enjoying you."
"You mean he only wanted me because he felt he couldn't
"Believe me, Patrick, I have thought of that. But Mr. Steele
and I have been running circles around each other for a long
time and well, we have been through a lot together. Trust me
when I say that there is more to his feelings for me than that.
And hey, it's a two way street. I need to stop second guessing
him all the time. I need to stop letting my fear control me and
give this relationship a real chance."
Patrick knew he was fighting a losing battle. "A chance
that doesn't include me, I would imagine?" He smiled ruefully.
"I am afraid not. But you are going to make some young woman
a very lucky lady, Patrick." She smiled her warmest smile
and looked at him right in the eyes. "You are handsome,
brilliant, famous, not to mention a terrific dancer."
"Biggest mistake I ever made," he said half under his
breath, but Laura heard him.
"Letting you go."
"Oh, no we were so young and in college - we would have
grown apart anyway."
"I suppose you might have but . . ." he drifted off
and then he cleared his throat and sat up straight. "Well,
Laura, I hope he makes you very happy and if he doesn't, you
know where I live." He laughed. The tension in her released
as she found herself joining in his laughter.
When Laura got back to her hotel room after a lingering goodbye
with her friends, Remington was waiting for her. Surprisingly,
he had packed for both of them and arranged for a car. "Everything
with Patrick all straightened out?" He asked, kissing her
lightly on the forehead.
"Yes, all taken care of."
"No more lunch dates on the calendar?"
"No more lunch dates."
The drive to San Francisco was beautiful and relaxing. Fortunately,
he had been too upset at Laura on Friday to remember to cancel
the reservations that he had made for his romantic birthday getaway.
They dropped their bags off in the beautiful two bedroom suite
he had reserved at The Mark. The larger bedroom featured a king
size bed and a deluxe Jacuzzi for two. "We could try it
out, Laura. Make sure it's in full working order and all,"
Steele as his eyes darted from the Jacuzzi to the bed.
"Oh, Mr. Steele," Laura purred as she pressed herself
against him intimately and placed tiny little kisses on his neck,
"We can't. We'd miss dinner and besides I am quite confident
after last night that everything is in good working order."
"Laura, it's not good to tease a man so. It isn't healthy.
Besides, who needs food when I have you to . . . ."
"How do those baby scallops broiled in butter sound, Rem?
The tender fried calamari . . . mozzarella marinara . . . veal
parmigiana . . . a fine bottle of Merlot?" She asked in
breathy, sensuous tone.
His stomach growled audibly. "OK, Laura, you win. My own
words coming back to haunt me. First the food at Marty's and
"Oh and don't forget Tony Bennett!"
"Really, Laura, I enjoy Tony immensely but he just isn't
my type." Laura swatted him playfully.
The meal was absolutely delicious and the conversation was even
better at their candlelit table. At one point Steele placed his
hand atop Laura's and held her gaze. "I don't know about
you, but I am enjoying this trip to San Francisco a lot more
than our last one."
"Well, no one is trying to kill us. So that gives it a leg
up right there," she giggled. "On a more serious note,
yes, I am having a wonderful time with you. You really know how
to show a girl a good time." They exchanged warm looks.
Laura thought she couldn't eat another bite but when the dessert
tray came around and Steele ordered the tiramisu she heard her
own voice asking for the chocolate truffle mousse cake. Steele
had them put a candle on it for her birthday. The truffle cake
was worth it. She was beginning to think she should listen to
that voice more often.
Remington was his usual attentive self all evening except when
they first found their seats in the concert hall. He excused
himself to go to the bar for drinks and was gone for quite some
time but returned empty handed. He looked a little nervous and
"Is everything OK, Remington?"
"Sure, love." He smiled reassuringly and took her hand.
"Everything is fine."
The concert was wonderful. They marveled at how good his voice
was for a man in his 60's. Tony played all their favorites including
"I left My Heart in San Francisco", "The Good
Life", "Rags to Riches" and "I Wanna Be Around."
When he sang "Cold, Cold Heart" Steele winked at Laura
and she nudged him with her elbow when Tony started "I May
Not Be An Angel." "I think I'll string along with you
but just until an angel comes along," she whispered.
"Of course, Laura," Steele replied feigning hurt. "I
understand. Even after I have worked so hard to free your doubtful
mind and melt your cold, cold heart you are ready and willing
to throw me over for an unearthly visitor."
"You talk too damn much, Mr. Steele, you know that?"
"You started it. Ahh, "The Shadow of Your Smile,"
now that song always makes me think of you, too. Such a lovely
"OK, you can keep on talking."
Mr. Bennett's next number was "While We're Young."
"Hey, "whispered Laura, "isn't that the song we
danced to the last time we were in San Francisco?"
"Yes, when we were hiding out on the dance floor."
"I was so scared."
"But we got through it - together. Sometimes, Laura, I am
quite confident we can get through anything together. Even my
mysterious past, should that ever rear its ugly head." His
blue eyes questioned her wordlessly.
"I think you may be right about that, Remington." She
took his hand in hers as the music wafted around them:
Songs were made to sing while we're young
Every day is spring while we're young
Though it may be just for today
Share our love we must while we may
Time flies so fast
Too dear too lose
And too sweet to last
"That song really rings true for us, Laura, eh?"
"Are you saying that what we have is fleeting?" Laura
looked apprehensive." Is it your way of saying this is only
a weekend thing between us?"
"No!" He was impatient with her lack of faith in him.
"That's not what I meant at all. It's really saying carpe
diem! Life is short, you have got to enjoy it to its fullest
while you can, Laura."
"I thought that's what we were doing."
"This is wonderful. But I don't just mean this. I don't
want to waste anymore time just squeezing our relationship in
between cases. I know I have a somewhat checkered past, but I
have done nothing that should endanger you, Laura. I will do
anything in my power to stay by your side - if you'll have me."
"What are you saying?"
Just then they were interrupted by Tony Bennett's introduction
of his next song. "That last song I sang folks has a special
significance for a couple of lovebirds out in the audience tonight.
Remington is an old friend of my stage manager and I had the
pleasure of meeting him backstage this evening. He wanted me
to sing this next number and dedicate it to Laura, the love of
his life. A pretty special gal, this Laura, from what he tells
me. So here goes. And good luck, buddy."
Laura was open mouthed in shock and a blush crept up her cheek.
It only got worse when she heard the song playing.
Heaven bless people who marry young
For I guess that if you marry young
You can stumble and fall till you stand
But at least you're stumbling hand in hand.
Never mind what they say marry young
While it's spring and the song is trembling to be sung
Let it slip off the tip of your tongue
I love you, you love me, people do, why don't we marry young?
Laura's brain was in a fog as she tried to process the ramifications
of this dedication. "You can't mean . . .?" she asked.
But Steele was already kneeling in the isle adjacent to their
seats. He pulled out a jewelry box from his coat pocket and opened
it to reveal an apparently flawless one carat diamond ring set
in platinum. "Laura, I know this seems sudden but I have
been thinking about it for some time. I am not very good with
words, as you well know, that is why I had Mr. Bennett help me
out. But I do love you, Laura. And I think . . . that is I hope
that you love me too."
"I do but . . ."
"Thank God! What I am trying to say, damn it, is that I
want to spend the rest of my life loving you and would you consider
becoming my bride?" Steele looked flustered as his blue
eyes fixed nervously on Laura's.
"I . . .I . . . must admit to being utterly shocked!"
"In a good way?" Steele asked tugging on his earlobe.
"It's too soon!"
Steele sprung to his feet. "But we have been together for
three entire years now!"
"Yes but not together together," she raised her eyebrow
He sat back down in the seat next to Laura's. "In most ways
"But not all."
"If you are worried about that I think we demonstrated last
night that won't be a problem for us, hmmh?"
"I am not worried about that."
"It wasn't a problem, was it Laura?"
"No, damn it, it was wonderful, you were wonderful allright?
God, men are so insecure sometimes!"
"So, what is it then, Laura?"
"What if we can't hack a real relationship? What if we drive
each other crazy?"
"Of course we drive each other crazy. That's half the fun!
Let's give it a trial period, see how it goes. You wear the ring,
see if I meet your expectations. If you aren't happy, you can
"I might enjoy that."
"Getting me in the sack?"
"Just make sure you live up to expectations, Mr. Steele."
"Count on it, Miss Holt. A year and then we plan the wedding
if all goes well."
Laura considered this for a moment. "Done." She offered
her hand and he took it and brought it to his lips in a tender
"It is a beautiful ring," she said as he slipped the
ring on her finger.
"So it's official! We are engaged!"
"Engaged?" Laura sounded slightly panicked.
"Customarily, that is what its called when a woman is wearing
a diamond on the third finger of her left hand, Laura."
"But you said it was a trial, no fair!" Now she was
laughing at how childish she sounded.
"Allright then, a trial engagement. Everything is fair in
love and war."
"The problem is most of the time I can't tell if we are
in love or at war."
"Its a delightful mix of the two, I would imagine. Maybe
you can capture me as a prisoner of love and torture me endlessly."
He bent to kiss her. It was a soft, sensuous kiss that held tremendous
"Did you really mean it earlier when you said you . . .
." she asked in a husky voice after they broke the kiss.
"I meant every word."
"There is just one more thing."
"Well, now that we are engaged it seems silly to call you
Mr. Steele, but I still don't feel comfortable calling you Rem
or Remington - God knows I've tried. I made it up from a typewriter
for God's sake. What I am going to call you?"
"Well, hmmm, I think we should make up pet names for each
other now that we are," he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively,
"Well, I'll call you my lovebunny and you can call me .
. . irresistible." He smiled crookedly and Laura swatted
"Insatiable is more like it, I am afraid," Laura stated
A grey haired man seated next to Laura suddenly nudged Steele
and said, "Ey, paisan! Do me a favor. You two get a room
or get married already! I'm tryin' to listen to Tony over here!"