Remington Steele sighed softly as he turned off the television. It was still so hard to believe that Daniel was gone. There was so much left unsaid, so much left undone. He looked down at Laura, lying in his lap. How did that old saying go? When one door closes, another door opens. That was it. Losing Daniel had closed the last door linking him to his past. Laura was his future. It was time that he made sure she knew it.
Only Daniel could end up being buried as a national hero in both London and Moscow, she said with a soft laugh.
Its the ultimate con, he replied. He deserves nothing less.
Youre a good son.
Ah, I only wish I could have spent more time with him.
On the other hand, you spent twenty years with him, she said softly as she rubbed his hand.
He tossed the remote and wrapped his other arm around Laura. Well, one things for certain, he said, leaning in closer to her, Im not going to waste precious time showing the people who are close to me how I feel for them.
Their kiss was tender, but full of the promise of their future.
Laura stood from her husbands embrace and held her hand out to him. Care to elaborate, Mr. Steele? she asked.
He took her hand. Well, we have the castle to ourselves, he answered, sweeping her up off of her feet and into his arms, Mrs. Steele.
Where are the servants? she asked.
Out celebrating. I decided to give them the castle.
That was awfully generous of your Lordship.
The act of a desperate Lord, I assure you, he confessed.
Wheres Mildred? she asked.
I decided to give her Mikeline.
Theres nothing between us and the bedroom door? she asked as the phone began to ring. She slid out of his arms and on to her feet. Ill get the phone, you turn down the covers, she said, reaching up for a kiss before he disappeared up the stairs.
Hello, Laura said, answering the phone.
Well, they finally released me, Tony Roselli said on the other end of the line.
I never doubted it for a moment, she said, her voice full of pride in Remingtons plan.
I still think Steeles plan was a little risky.
Kemadov cleared you, didnt he?
Laura, listen. What we talked about earlier still stands.
Laura Remington called out to his wife from upstairs.
No, Tony. Im sorry. I was wrong to let you think there could be anything between us.
the beds turned down! Remington called.
Laura, Im not going to give up on you, Tony insisted.
Im with my husband. Thats where I want to be and where I plan to stay, she told him. And I have to go.
She hung up the phone and raced up the stairs to Remington, who was coming back down to her. They met on the first landing as the phone began to ring again.
Let it ring, she said, throwing her arms around his neck.
Their kiss was passion-filled as once again Remington took his wife into his arms and carried her up the stairs to the master bedroom. As the door closed behind them Laura slid to her feet, never leaving Remingtons embrace. As their kiss ended, she took a step back and looked around as if waiting for something.
What is it? he asked, pulling her back into his arms.
Just waiting for the interruption, she said with a smile.
Not tonight, Mrs. Steele, he assured her. Not tonight.
He bent his head to hers and once
again, they kissed. It was a kiss full of longing and full of
the promise of fulfilling their long-awaited magical moment.
There were so many things they wanted to say, so many things they
needed to say, but that could wait. Now was not the time for words.
This was a moment that had been in the making for four years and
they would savor every bit of it.
As the kiss ended, Laura stepped from Remingtons embrace and turned toward the wardrobe. He held her hand to keep her from walking away.
Where are you going? he asked quietly.
She looked up at him, smiling. To change, she answered. Ill be right back. She went to the wardrobe and took out a package wrapped in tissue. He watched as she disappeared into the private bathroom.
By the time she returned, he had changed into a pair of silk pajama pants and was standing beside the bed. She would have laughed if she had seen him trying to decide if he should wait for her in the bed or next to it. Shed be surprised to see how nervous her man of mystery had been over their impending union.
All thoughts of nervousness were forgotten, however, when the bathroom door opened. Laura stood before him in an exquisite soft pink gown with lace in all the right places. The matching robe hung open and Remington was in awe of how beautiful she looked.
He held his hand out to her. Ive never seen a more beautiful sight, he said, taking her in his arms. He felt her tremble slightly as he held her close. She had been nervous, as well.
Not even the Bordeaux Triptych? she asked, her eyes dark with passion but twinkling with joy at the same time.
Doesnt even come close, he assured her with a searing kiss. Now Im finally holding the woman Ive waited for all my life.
I dont see any reason to continue waiting, Mr. Steele, she said softly, leading him to the bed. In fact, Im tired of waiting.
Indeed, Mrs. Steele, he agreed, as he laid her down on the bed, nestling his own lean frame down beside her.
No more words were spoken as they began their dance anew. This time no one was going home and no one was going to interrupt them. This time, they would both be completely fulfilled.
As the morning sun shone through the windows of their Irish castle, Laura Holt-Steele slept peacefully in her husbands arms. He stroked her hair gently as her head rested on his chest. This was something hed dreamed about waking up with Laura in his arms. Waking up with Laura in his arms after a long and satisfying night of lovemaking.
He smiled as he watched her sleep. She was so beautiful. His heart swelled with the love he felt for her, that hed always felt for her. Everything they had been through had been leading up to this, and it had been well worth it all. Laura was definitely worth waiting for. He resolved not to let another day go by without telling her how he felt about her. . . about their marriage . . . about everything. Laura needed words and he was ready to give them to her.
Laura smiled contentedly and snuggled closer to Remington. She wasnt ready to open her eyes. Shed waited so long to wake up in this mans arms. Last night had been more than shed even dreamed it could be and she was going to delight in every moment of this morning. She wanted her husband to know how very much she loved him and trusted him. But for this moment, she wanted nothing more than to lie in bed, luxuriating in the warmth of his embrace.
Laura stirred and Remington smiled down at her. She opened her eyes and looked up at him.
Good morning, Mr. Steele, she purred, smiling as he leaned down for a kiss.
It is a very good morning, my love, he said, fingering the thin silk strap of her gown. But dont you think Mr. Steele is a bit formal, given the situation?
She felt the blush rise to her cheeks as she ran her hand over his chest. What should I call you? she asked. Harry?
I prefer the name you gave me, he answered, sitting up against the headboard and pulling her with him.
Remington, she said, her voice barely above a whisper.
She had always felt awkward calling him by the name that made her think of her typewriter, but now something was different. Remington Steele was more than an imaginary figurehead named from a typewriter and a football team. He was flesh and blood. He was the man she loved. He was her husband. Looking into his blue eyes which were shining with the love she knew was for only her, she realized that he was indeed Remington Steele.
Come in, he called out as he pulled Laura close.
Mornin, your Lordship,
Mikeline OFlynn said as he stuck his head into the room.
It took a moment for the rest of his body to follow. Will
you and her Ladyship be takin your breakfast in bed?
Remington looked at his wife before answering. When she nodded, he turned back to Mikeline. Yes, I think so. And Mikeline, will you make sure were not otherwise disturbed?
Yes, your Lordship, Mikeline answered, leaving the room and closing the door behind him.
I could get used to this, Laura said with a sigh as she snuggled up against Remington.
Being the lady of the manor? he asked.
No, she answered. Spending our mornings like this.
That can definitely be arranged, he told her.
He could think of few things hed like more than serving her breakfast in bed every morning. Laura had never needed protecting and shed never wanted anyone taking care of her. He understood that and he respected it, but he was going to enjoy pampering her.
After breakfast, the Steeles decided to go for a walk on the grounds. Since theyd arrived at Ashford, they hadnt been able to spend much time together and Remington wanted to share with Laura the beauty of his homeland.
Now that they had been intimate, they were having a hard time keeping apart. As a result, they were in no hurry showering and dressing. By the time they emerged from their room, it was well into the afternoon.
They walked through the gardens and down to the stables. They thought of going for a ride, but decided to continue walking. When they approached a rolling meadow, Laura thought of their picnic in McCullum Park. She took her hand from Remingtons and began to run. She was laughing as he chased after her, but this time she didnt intend to keep running. She allowed herself to be easily caught.
Remington, too, was laughing when he caught up to her. Oh, Laura, he said breathlessly. I thought your days of running from me were over.
They are, Mr. Steele, she answered, wrapping her arms around his neck. But I dont want you to think Im easy, she said with a laugh.
He pulled her close for a long kiss. Theres not much chance of that, Love. Come on, he said, taking her hand.
He led her down to the edge of a rippling creek. It was a beautiful setting and the perfect place to say the words hed been waiting to say to her. They walked over to the stone wall that ran along the bank of the creek and sat down. He took her hand in his and looked into her eyes.
Laura, he began, I know that words are important to you. And its been hard for me to say what you needed to hear
You dont have to she said, interrupting him.
Sshh please, he said, bringing her fingers to his lips. Let me finish. I have always judged people by their actions because its too easy for some people to say one thing and do another. I could never trust the words. Laura, Love, Ive tried so many times over the years to show you how I feel about you. He paused and looked deeply into her eyes. I love you, Laura, he said, his voice soft.
Tears brimmed in her eyes. Hed said the words just as she realized she no longer needed them. He had proven by his actions and his commitment that he did indeed love her. She knew it as surely as she knew she loved him, and it was time that she told him. She needed to say the words.
I think . . . she said softly, still looking directly into his shimmering blue eyes, I think I have loved you since the day that Special Agent Ben Pearson walked into my office.
He smiled, realizing she already loved him while he was trying so hard to pursue her. He supposed he already loved her then as well, though he really didnt even know what love was back then. Thinking back to those days, his smile brightened as he thought about Murphy Michaels. What would he have thought of this revelation? He suspected Murphy already knew and that was why he had left. Murphy loved Laura and couldnt bear watching her fall for a two-bit con man.
What are you thinking about? she asked him.
He laughed. Murphy.
Murphy? she puzzled. That was the last thing shed expected to hear.
I think he knew before either of us did.
Thats why he left, she confirmed. She sat closer to him and looked out over the creek. He told me that he loved me. When I told him I couldnt return his feelings, he told me he couldnt stay. He said he couldnt sit back and watch me fall in love with you. He didnt trust you.
He was right, he said, rubbing her hand between both of his. I wasnt to be trusted, especially with your heart. Back then, Laura, I didnt know a thing about love. You taught me what it means to love and be loved.
I dont think I knew what it meant, either, she told him. Thats why I was so afraid. Daddy said he loved Mother. Wilson said he loved me
"Wilson Jeffries had no idea what he was losing," he said sternly. "But I thank my lucky star that he didn't. Where would I be today if you had married him?"
She shivered at the thought, but then smiled at him before answering. Cannes? Paris? Sipping champagne with some leggy blonde, plotting to steal the Crown Jewels
He stopped her with a kiss. Another life, he said. A life Ive long since left behind. And I wasnt in Los Angeles a year when I could no longer look at any woman but you.
You sweet talker, she teased.
Im serious, Laura. Even when I went through that momentary lapse with Anna, I knew there could be no one but you.
She sobered at the sincerity in his voice. She didnt want to continue with any secrets between them.
Theres something I have to tell you, she said to him.
He didnt interrupt.
That phone call last night, she said. It was Tony.
I figured as much, he answered. What did he have to say?
She sighed. That he wasnt going to give up on me. She couldnt look at him.
Was there something for him to give up on?
His use of the past tense wasnt lost on her. It gave her the courage to continue.
No, of course not, she said, looking him in the eye. But I might have let him think there was a chance. She could see the hurt in Remingtons eyes as she continued. I let my insecurities get the best of me. I was so afraid of what I felt for you that Tonys attentions provided a good distraction. I told him that I was confused."
Silent tears streamed down her face and he felt his heart breaking at the implied betrayal.
Im so sorry, she said to him. I told him I was wrong to let him think there was a chance. I told him I was with you, which is where I belong. She held his gaze. This is where I want to be and I dont plan on going anywhere. She couldnt take his silence. You believe me, dont you?
He did believe her; she was honest to a fault. She couldnt have made love with him the way she had last night and this morning if she had been entertaining feelings for another man.
Yes, I believe you, he answered, pulling her close. He kissed her with a fierce intensity, as if claiming what was his.
When the kiss ended and she regained her breath, she looked into his eyes. I love you, Remington.
I know, he stood, taking her hand in his. Lets start heading back.
She gripped his hand tightly as they walked back through the meadow. He was quiet and she was dying to know what he was thinking.
He felt her grip tighten on his hand. She was hanging on for life. He knew she needed his reassurance and he wanted so badly to give it to her. He knew she loved him. Part of him was happy shed told him about Roselli; it meant she trusted him and their relationship. But there was another part of him, albeit a much smaller part, that would take some time to get over being hurt and angry.
As they were dressing for dinner, Laura watched her husband. He had been quiet since their walk in the meadow. She wanted so desperately to move past her earlier confession, but she could tell that Remington was fighting his own demons. He was struggling to keep from distancing himself from her. They needed time - - time to focus on each other and on their relationship.
Weve been away from the office for a long time, she said casually.
Do you want to go back? he asked, turning to her from where hed been looking out the window.
No, she answered, shaking her head as she crossed the room to stand beside him. I thought we could stay on a while. But maybe we could send Mildred back to hold down the fort.
I think thats a wonderful idea, he said, taking her in his arms. He was relieved that she wanted to stay. It was further proof of her commitment to their relationship. He was pleased that Laura wanted to work things out in Ireland before they returned home. With a small laugh, he realized that she was making real progress in dealing with her personal feelings. Not long ago, she would have run as fast as she could to hide her feelings behind the Agency.
Two days later, Remington stood next to Laura with an arm wrapped around her waist. They waved as they watched the car pull away. Mikeline was driving Mildred to the airport. They had decided it was best for her to get back and at least open the Agencys doors. There was plenty of paperwork to catch up on and Mildred could schedule appointments for after their return.
Alone at last, Laura said softly, leaning into Remingtons embrace.
Feel like going for a drive? he asked.
She nodded. It was a beautiful afternoon and she had been looking forward to seeing more of the countryside.
Remington went to the kitchen to ask the cook to prepare a picnic while Laura went upstairs to change and pick up their sweaters to take along. Soon, they were in the car and traveling down a winding country road. They had spent the past couple of days both ignoring and at the same time fighting the growing distance between them. It had gotten better, but it was still there. Laura knew that Remington had been hurt by what she had told him, but she knew it had to be faced. If they were going to have any chance at having a real marriage, everything had to be open and above board. She had finally let go of her fears and insecurities and given herself to him completely. Now, she could only pray that he would forgive her.
Were going to have to talk about it sometime, she said softly, not wanting to waste any more time.
About what? he asked, although he already knew the answer.
Youre angry, she said, taking a long breath. And you have every right to be. But we have to work past it. You do believe I love you. It was more a statement than a question.
Of course I do, he told her, pulling the car over to the side of the road. This conversation was too important not to give her his undivided attention.
Once the car was parked, he turned to her and took her hands in his. Laura, I wont deny that I was hurt and even angry when you told me you let Anthony think that you had feelings for him. But after everything weve been through, after everything its taken us to get where we are, I know you would never throw it all away. I, more than anyone else, know how you react when youre frightened. Just promise me you wont run or hide from your feelings.
His voice was soft and warm and the depth of his emotion surprised him. Theyd spent four years denying their feelings and in a few short days, theyd begun expressing them so candidly that it amazed him. He felt better than he had since that morning in the meadow and he knew they would be all right.
I dont want to hide any longer, she answered, hoping hed understand. Her emotional scars ran deeper than she cared to admit.
He took her face in his hands and held her gaze. I love you, Laura, he said more forcefully than hed intended. And Im not going anywhere. We CAN do this.
He kissed her softly at first, but the kiss increased in intensity until his hands were tangled in her hair and hers were wound tightly around his waist. When the kiss ended, he looked into her eyes.
Were okay? she asked.
Were okay, he answered, sliding back behind the wheel.
He thought about the two small velvet boxes hidden in the picnic basket and smiled. Everything was going to work out fine. He started the car and pulled it back out onto the road. He knew the perfect place for their picnic.
They drove for a while until they came to a road that Laura recognized, or thought she did. It was the road that led the back way onto the grounds at Ashford Castle. Shed discovered it when she followed Daniel to the Russian Embassy.
The road did lead to the back of the property and Remington stopped the car and parked it on the side of the road next to the lake.
Here we are, he said, getting out of the car.
This is beautiful, Laura replied, joining him next to the car as he retrieved the blanket and picnic basket.
They spread the blanket out on the lakeshore. Remington set the basket down on the blanket and took his wifes hand as he sat down, bringing her with him. She settled into his embrace and they sat watching the gulls glide along the waters edge. She sat in front of him, leaning against his chest. They sat quietly for a long while until Remington felt Laura shiver in his arms.
Cold? he asked.
A little, she admitted, nodding her head.
Ill be right back, he told her, rising to go to the car and retrieve their sweaters. When he returned, he wrapped Lauras sweater around her shoulders and handed her his own. He moved to the picnic basket and took out a bottle of wine and two glasses. He started to open the wine, but turned to Laura.
We have a vacuum flask of tea, if you prefer, he told her.
No, she answered. The wine will be fine. Shed never been much of a drinker, and even less since that fateful night at Pepes, but she enjoyed sharing a glass of wine with Remington, especially at meal time.
He poured a glass and handed it to her. Then he set the bottle and the empty glass back in the basket as he reached in to retrieve their lunch. Laura smiled as he set in front of her a plate of fruits and cheeses. He smiled to himself as he reached for the bread and spied the velvet boxes hidden beneath it.
Before sitting next to Laura, Remington took his sweater and put it on, slipping one of the boxes into his pocket. This move did not go unnoticed by Laura, ever the intrepid detective, but she chose not to say anything. They settled down on the blanket next to each other, enjoying the scenery and the light meal. They chatted idly, comfortably, but not really saying anything.
Laura was waiting for him to mention whatever it was that hed hidden in his pocket. She tried not to think about it, but her curiosity was quickly getting the better of her.
Remington tried not to show it, but the anticipation was getting to him, as well. He put his hand in his pocket at the same time that Laura reached into the picnic basket to refill their glasses.
She turned around with one of the boxes in her hand as Remington presented her with the other. Seeing his before he saw hers, Laura quickly hid hers from view.
Laura, Remington said slowly. You made me the happiest man on earth when you agreed to make this a real marriage. Our time together these last few days has been incredible, but I cant help thinking something is missing.
Lauras heart lurched along with her stomach and he saw the pain in her eyes. Realizing his mistake, he continued as he took her left hand in his and placed a gentle kiss on her third finger. Here, he said. Something is missing here.
He looked at her, his eyes twinkling, and opened the box to reveal the most beautiful ring Laura had ever seen. It was a perfect pear shaped diamond solitaire set in a gorgeous platinum ring.
He took it out and slipped it on her finger as tears filled her eyes. Will you marry me, Laura? he asked.
I already did, she said quietly, reveling in the moment. This was the way a proposal should be, and it certainly beat arguing next to the car on a street corner in Los Angeles.
He kissed her finger where hed just placed the ring. No, he said. I mean, really marry me. Lets do it again and do it right this time.
She opened her mouth to speak, but no sound came out. Remington just smiled. Never had he seen the beautiful Laura Holt at a loss for words.
Laura, he said, I want to give you the wedding of your dreams - - a wedding befitting the woman I love.
I dont need all the trappings, she told him honestly. Were together and thats all that really matters.
His heart sank just a little. You mean you dont want to make it official legal? he asked.
Mr. Steele, she said, taking his hands in hers and looking deeply into his gorgeous blue eyes. Its already official, right here. Placing his hand over her heart, she added, But I would be honored to be your wife legally.
Now it was his eyes that were filling with tears. Oh, Laura, he said taking her in his arms. They held each other quietly for a long time. No words were needed, as theyd said all they needed to say.
Although shed told him that she didnt need the fairy tale wedding, Laura had secretly wanted it. Shed told herself that being with Remington was enough, that she wasnt one of those girls who dreamed about her wedding day. But that wasnt entirely true. She would love to have photographs to share with their children some day. She would love to wear a beautiful gown and walk down the aisle to her man of mystery. And the thought struck her that it would thrill her mother. She smiled as she realized shed finally landed the big one. Abigail would be so proud.
She remembered the box that shed dropped into her pocket. She looked down at the ring on her finger and became even more curious about the other box. She pulled it out and showed it to him.
Whats this? she asked.
He smiled and wondered how shed come to be in possession of the box. He should have known he couldnt pull anything over on her.
Open it, he said.
She obeyed and was surprised to see two platinum bands, one of which obviously went with the solitaire now so proudly displayed on her finger. The other was a bit wider, designed for her husbands hand. She wondered why he hadnt mentioned them or suggested they put them on. She started to ask, but he answered her unspoken question before she could ask it.
Lets keep them for the wedding, he said, pulling her into his arms.
She just smiled and nodded. He was gorgeous, talented and an incurable romantic. Yes, she was a very lucky woman.
The next week went by in a blur. They spent their days exploring the countryside, driving into Dublin and seeing the sights. They took photos and shopped like tourists. Laura loved exploring the tiny shops along the main streets in the little towns between Ashford and Dublin. Shed grown particularly fond of a seamstress just outside Glen Cree. One of the locals had told her about the dressmaker who worked from her home, which was off the beaten path. They would never have found it on their own. Remington had gone with her the first time shed gone to look over the womans dresses, but Laura had insisted on going alone on her subsequent visits. He suspected that they were working on a wedding gown, but he didnt want to pry and ruin Lauras surprise.
They spent their nights making love and dreaming of the future. They both shared the sentiment that they couldnt believe theyd waited so long to share this part of themselves, but at the same time were glad they had. Everything seemed to be falling into place and neither of them had ever been happier.
It was late one evening when they arrived back at Ashford Castle to be greeted, as usual, by Mikeline OFlynn.
Good evening, your Lordship, he said as they walked into the castle. Your Ladyship.
Hello, Mikeline, Laura answered.
Ive got a message for you, sir, the man said as he turned back to Remington. A solicitor from London, a Mr. Charles Weatherford, has been calling all day. He says its urgent that he speak with you. He left a number. He handed Remington a piece of paper.
Thank you, Mikeline. Ill phone him in the morning.
Will you two be needin supper? Mikeline asked.
No, Remington answered. We ate in town. He looked at Laura before turning his attention back to the butler. Well just go upstairs. Its been a long day and I think well turn in early.
Very well, your Lordship, Mikeline responded. If youll not be needin anythin else, then Ill see you in the mornin.
Good night, Remington confirmed with a nod of his head. He put his arm around Lauras waist as they headed up the stairs.
The following afternoon, Laura walked into the library just as Remington was hanging up the telephone. He opened his arms to her and she walked over and sat in his lap.
Are you ready to leave our little Shangri La? he asked.
I thought we still had a few more days, she said.
We do, he answered. But how would you feel about spending them in London?
She didnt speak but waited for him to continue.
I have to see about Daniels estate, he told her. And our flight to Los Angeles leaves from Heathrow anyway. Well just go to London a few days earlier than we planned.
Then thats exactly what well do, she answered, kissing him softly. She began to stand up, but he pulled her back down to him and kissed her with more intensity than their last kiss.
Youre not getting away from me that easily, my love, he teased, placing tiny soft kisses all over her face and neck.
She giggled, breaking away from his grip. I have to go see Rosaleen. I assume well be leaving tomorrow.
Youve been spending an awful lot of time out there in the woods, he said, still holding on to her.
Why, Mr. Steele, she said, fluttering her eyelashes. Are you jealous that Ive made a friend?
Not at all, Mrs. Steele, he answered. Quite the contrary. But you do have my interest piqued. And you know how I get when Im aroused. . . He paused, then added, . . . with curiosity.
All in due time, she assured him. All in due time. Now, let me go so I can go take care of things. When I get back, we can have dinner and pack. Why dont you make us a reservation on the morning train from Dublin?
This time he allowed her to get up from his lap, but not before pulling her in for another inviting kiss.
There will be plenty of time for that later, she said with a wink, heading for the door. And make sure you get a private car.
With that she was gone, and he was left shaking his head. The huge smile that spread across his face lit up the room. He loved how free and spontaneous Laura had been here in Ireland. He loved seeing that side of her and only hoped shed continue to show it when they were back home in Los Angeles.
Mrs. Steele, the older woman greeted Laura as she walked into her home. I wasnt expectin ya this afternoon.
I know, Rosaleen, Laura answered. But its kind of an emergency. Theres been a change in plans. Remington and I are leaving in the morning.
Leavin for America? Rosaleen asked.
London, actually, Laura answered, but well be going home from there. How close is it to being finished?
I think I can finish it up tonight,
the woman answered. But well be needin to do
another fittin. If worst comes to worse, I can finish it
up and you can have it altered in America, if ya have to.
Ah, Rosaleen, Laura said as she smiled warmly at the woman. Youre the best seamstress in the all of Ireland, so I hear. I think once youve worked your magic, I wont need to have any alterations done. Do you have time for that fitting now?
For you, your Ladyship, Rosaleen began, causing Laura to blush at the womans use of the title, Ill make the time. Head on in to the fittin room and Ill go fetch your gown.
Later, standing in front of the full length mirror, Laura could picture herself walking down the aisle to meet Remington. Rosaleen had done an amazing job. The gown of off-white Irish lace with pearl buttons down the back was more beautiful than Laura had pictured when she described to the woman what she wanted. The fact that Rosaleen was able to create such a masterpiece in only a few short days was nothing short of miraculous.
Its exquisite, Laura whispered.
Youll make a lovely bride, the seamstress answered. Ive just got a few more things to do and it will be perfect.
Thank you so much, Laura said to her. And youre sure its not too much trouble? When the woman shook her head, Laura continued. Then Ill pick it up in the morning on our way to the train. Oh, Rosaleen, I cant thank you enough, she said, taking one last glance in the mirror.
You just live a long and happy life with that handsome Lord of yours, Rosaleen told her. And pass that gown on to your wee ones. That will be thanks enough for me.
Laura laid in Remingtons arms, her head resting on his chest. She closed her eyes and pictured the room . . . the big four poster bed . . . the roaring fire. She would miss this place. It would always hold a special place in her heart. It was the place where she and her Remington Steele finally came together and acted on the love theyd felt for so long. Yes, she would definitely miss their Irish castle, but she would miss this room most of all.
Remington stroked Lauras back as he held her close. He hated to leave this place. He hated to let the real world intrude on their idyllic happiness. He knew they would be happy outside of these walls, but once they let reality in, things were bound to change.
First, hed wrap up Daniels affairs; then theyd go back home to Los Angeles and back to work. He knew it might be irrational, but his greatest fear was that his bride would retreat back into her old fears and lose herself in the Agency when they returned to work. He would just have to make sure that didnt happen.
Youre awfully quiet, he said, breaking them both from their reverie.
Just thinking, she said.
She sighed, Our last night in our Irish Castle. I just want to soak up all its magic so I can take it home with me.
The magic was already ours, he told her. We brought it with us and well take it wherever we go.
But this place . . . she said. It has such significance for us. Its a shame we cant keep it.
He smiled and sighed. After the way youve always gotten after me about my spending, you want to keep this white elephant?
Call me sentimental, she shrugged, looking up at him.
He couldnt resist leaning in
for an inviting kiss. Youre not the only one,
he told her. Mikeline told me that theyve decided
to turn the place into a hotel. That should help it pay for itself,
and it might even bring in some income for the county.
Thats nice, she said.
But thats not the sentimental part, he went on. Theyre not going to rent out this room.
She looked up at him. Theyre not?
No, he said, shaking his head. Its ours. And it will be here for us whenever we want.
Thats nice, she said, climbing on top of him. She lay with the length of her body pressed against his and kissed him hungrily. Now then, she said. Lets make some memories that will last us until we can make it back.
Remington was quiet and held Lauras hand tightly as they walked into the flat.
So this is it, she said with some reverence. This is where you grew up.
The only home Id ever known until I met you, he answered. "I think I'd like to keep it."
In his will, Daniel had left various pieces of jewelry and art to friends, but the bulk of his estate had been left to his son, Remington Steele. There was the flat and most of its contents, as well as a sizeable bank account. Surprisingly, there hadnt been much to clear up. Knowing that the end was coming, Daniel had tied up all his loose ends before hed left for Ashford Castle.
All that Remington really had to do was sign some papers and pack up the apartment. There were a few things that he wanted to take home with him. There was also a bequest in Daniels will for Laura. What he had left to her, they didnt know. All the will said was for them to locate a pink box. Daniel had kept a few things in a small safe in his bedroom and Remington was fairly sure they would find the pink box in it. The safe was the only thing that had been off limits to him.
After showing Laura around, telling her some stories of his youth, mostly related to items in the apartment that caught her eye, he took her by the hand and led her to the master bedroom. He walked over to the small Monet that hung next to the wardrobe and took it down from the wall. Behind it was a small wall safe. He quickly and nimbly opened it and found two things inside - - a pink box and a black and white photo.
The photo was of a young woman who
couldnt have been more than twenty. She had dark hair and
eyes that danced with blue flame, even in the black and white
photo. Remington picked up the photo with trembling hands. He
turned it over and saw that it read simply, Siobhan, 1952.
He turned it back over. He didnt need any clarification
to know that he was looking into the face of his mother.
He set the photo down and picked up the small pink box and handed it to Laura. I believe this is for you, he said quietly, sitting down on the bed and indicating for Laura to join him.
She sat as close as she could and held his hand, not knowing what to say. It would be an understatement to say that she was surprised to be named in Daniels will. But the detective in her was working in overdrive. She was even more surprised to realize that the box Daniel had left for her had been kept in a safe with a picture of a woman who had to have been Remingtons mother.
Ill leave you alone to open it, Remington said, taking his hand out of hers.
No, she said, stopping him. Stay.
This is something Daniel wanted you to have, he said. He didnt leave it for me to give to you. He left it to you. Go ahead and open it. Ill be right outside.
He stood to leave, stepped out into the hall and closed the door behind him. It wasnt so much that he didnt want to see what his father had left for his wife, but he was so caught up in the photograph that he needed some time to himself.
Laura opened the box and found an envelope with her name scrawled across the front. There was a long velvet box and a small photo album underneath it. She opened the envelope and took out a letter.
My Dearest Laura,
I know we havent seen eye to eye, but the one thing weve always agreed on is that we both love my son, very much. By now Harry Remington knows that I am his father. I hope that I had the chance to explain and give him the answers that he needs.
I know Im leaving him in good hands. Ive always known that, my dear. I think thats why I always fought you so hard. Youre the only person who could ever take him away from me. But thats a good thing, because youre also the only person who has ever loved him as much as I do. Ive known it since the first time we met and we danced in Harrys dining room. You are a perfect match for him, Laura.
Inside the box youll find the only things I have that link my son to his mother. The necklace belonged to her. It was her most prized possession. I want you to wear it. The S on the locket is for Siobhan. Siobhan OReilly. But when you wear it, people will assume it stands for Steele.
Youll also find a photo album. There are photos from Siobhans childhood as well as from the summer we spent together. Inside the photo album are the letters she wrote to me in prison. Give them to him when hes ready.
Take care of him, Laura, and love
Tears were streaming down Lauras face when she set down the letter. She took out the velvet box and opened it to find a beautiful pearl choker with a heart shaped locket hanging from the front. The locket was silver and engraved with the letter S, just as Daniels letter had said. She immediately thought that it would look perfect with Rosaleens dress. She decided she would show Remington the necklace, but she would wait to tell him about the letters and photographs. Like Daniel had said, shed give them to him when he was ready.
She slipped the necklace into her pocket and then placed velvet box into the pink one and closed the lid. Then she left the room and went to find her husband. She found him sitting on the bed in a room she now knew to be his. She quietly stuck her head in the doorway, not wanting to interrupt his thoughts.
Remington smiled when he saw her and beckoned for her to join him. Hey, he said quietly.
Hey, she repeated. Are you okay?
She took the necklace out of her pocket and handed it to him.
Its beautiful, he said. Ive never seen it.
It belonged to your mother, she said, almost in a whisper.
He looked at her with wide eyes and she could almost see the ragged little boy alone on the streets of London.
She nodded as if to confirm what shed just said and then she continued. Daniel wants me to wear it. She took his left hand in hers as his right one held on to the necklace. I thought I would wear it in the wedding.
He slipped his hand from hers and covered his mouth as he closed his eyes. He took in a long breath and then sighed before he looked at her.
Thank you, was all that he said.
They spent a few days in London, where Remington met with the solicitors and signed all the papers. After hiring someone to look in on the flat from time to time, he and Laura packed up the things he wanted to take back home with him.
When his various errands were completed, he remembered something Laura had said the last time they were in London together. It was when Scotland Yard had confiscated his passports and he was literally a man without a country. He had asked Laura if she liked London and she said she hadnt hit the usual tourist spots. He knew hed have to remedy that fact.
On their last day in London, they were caught up in a whirlwind of tourist activities. Big Ben. The Tower of London. Piccadilly Circus. Abbey Road. He took her to all the big spots and to some little known ones, as well. She wanted to see some of his old haunts and he took her to the places he felt were safe for both of them. Just like their days in Dublin, they held hands, they kissed and they laughed. They were the very picture of a young couple on their honeymoon. They took enough pictures to make even Gladys Lynch a believer.
They spent the flight from London alternately sleeping and talking about wedding plans. Laura smiled when she thought of it. Of course, theyd had their fairy tale honeymoon before their fairy tale wedding. But then, neither she nor Remington had ever been traditional.
That thought made her happy. Their life would never be predictable. It would never be boring. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was exactly where she was supposed to be and she said a silent prayer of thanks that all those years ago, a sexy, blue-eyed con man had walked into her life and turned it upside down. He had become everything she dreamed of when she had created Remington Steele.
Laura couldnt wait to spend the rest of her life loving him. She was sure that even though their life together wouldnt always be easy, it would always be interesting.