Steeling Home
Date: Thursday, December 14, 2006
"screechmonkeys" <>
Well, I've got my courage up again (kinda), so here goes nothing.
As always, I have to thank Zinger for her wonderful input and for keeping me honest - Thanks, babe! Thanks also to Nora Bolt for her amazing dialog direction in the end scene - Couldn't have done it without you! Thanks to Mickey Boggs for beta-reading - Most appreciated! And thank you to my SteeleWatcher friends for all your encouragement (you know who you are) - I am forever grateful!
As I send this, I'm reminded of my favorite James Bond quote by my favorite James Bond (Pierce, of course) from my favorite James Bond movie (Goldeneye): "No, no, no. . . No more foreplay." If only Remington had said that to Laura, eh? (Yes, this is one of *those* stories. . . Considered yourself warned!)
Anyway, this story takes place after "Steele Alive and Kicking". "Bonds of Steele" and the fifth season don't exist. So, here it is. . . (As always, feedback is appreciated. Silence is deafening!)
"Steeling Home"
The elevator door opened on the fifth floor of the Rossmore. She walked out with her head held high, strolled over to his door and knocked. No answer. It didn't matter. She unclasped her barrette, letting her hair fall softly to frame her face. In a matter of seconds, his lock clicked open and she ventured in.
His place was dark, except for a light coming from behind the half-closed bedroom door. She approached cautiously, not knowing if he was there or not. Was *she* with him? She had to know. Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, she pushed the door open slightly until she could see his bed. It was still made. She poked her head in further and looked around. No signs of *her* anywhere. Then she heard the shower. Not exactly what she had in mind, but. . . With a renewed sense of confidence, she began undoing the buttons on her blouse.
The hot water beat down on Mr. Steele's lean body as he ran his hands through his dripping wet hair. His mind was still reeling with thoughts of what transpired this last week. Why did Felicia have to show up now? He and Laura had been getting so close lately. Hell, they even shared a bed together after Monroe's delivery boy was blown away in his hallway. Nothing sexual happened, of course. But they held each other all night and experienced a closeness that only heightened their desire to be together.
He was glad he decided to tell Laura about Felicia's predicament instead of trying to hide it from her and help Felicia on his own. From past experience, he knew Laura would find out anyway. She always did. And he certainly didn't want her to re-institute another "no mixing business with pleasure" rule like she did in Cannes. So, he told her. Laura was upset, but at least he had been honest with her and she appreciated that. Still, he worried what effect this would have on their relationship. Laura actually seemed to be fighting for him. But was she really fighting for *him* or was she just fighting Felicia?
He closed his eyes and leaned his head back as the pulsating water hit his shoulders and chest in a soothing rhythm. He was so lost in his reverie that he didn't hear the shower door quietly open and close. Small, feminine hands reached up over his shoulders and covered his eyes. Startled, he snapped back to reality.
"Felicia, I thought I made it perfectly clear. I don't want you. I'm committed to Miss Holt." He broke free from her gentle grasp and turned around. "Laura?!"
He rubbed his eyes, convinced that the water must be blurring his vision. He looked again. Laura was still there. "Laura, what are you doing here?!"
She put her finger to her lips. "Shhhhh."
Laura entwined her fingers in his hair and hungrily pulled his lips down to hers. It was a forceful kiss. . . an insistent kiss. . . much like the one they shared in the Honeymoon Suite in Mexico when he told her he cared for her. His heart raced. But he pulled back, not knowing if he could believe what seemed to be happening. He had to look again. He had to be sure. Oh, God. It *was* her - the woman he had wanted for so very long. His piercing blue eyes perused her naked body from head to toe and back up again. Their eyes locked in a fiery gaze. Almost instinctively, he switched places with her, letting the water cascade down her lovely nude form. He ran his trembling fingers though her hair as it became wet. His breathing became ragged as he ran his tongue up and down the side of her neck, attacking the sensitive spot behind her ear that drove her crazy. He lightly ran his fingertips up and down her spine, sending chills through every inch of her body. A low moan escaped from her lips and she began to quiver ever so slightly.
"Laura. . . I want you," he declared.
He rotated them around again and grabbed her wrists, raising them over her head. He pushed her hard against the shower wall, making full contact with her slick body. The contrast between the cold tiles on her back and his hot body pressed against her front made her gasp. She arched into him, feeling for the first time the full extent of his arousal. Her lips parted at his urging and their tongues darted in and out feverishly, doing a mating dance of their own. He pushed her hands together and held them with one hand against the wall. His other hand grabbed her leg and pulled it up around his hip to gain easier access to where he so desperately wanted to be. . . to where she *needed* him to be. She was ready.
"Now," she panted.
Just then, the shower door opened. "Michael. . . Lisa. . . Naughty, naughty! Mind if I join in?"
"Felicia?! Bloody hell, woman!" he barked.
"Oh my God!" Laura was mortified. There was Felicia, standing there in all her naked glory, looking like she had just stepped out of Playboy Magazine. Laura turned beet red. She slipped out from his grasp, grabbed a towel and ran past Felicia to the bedroom, leaving a trail of water behind.
"Well then, it looks like it's just you and me, darling."
"Shut up, Felicia," he hissed. "Laura, wait!" he pleaded as he pushed the blonde bombshell out of the way. She slipped on the wet floor and took a tumble, scraping her temple on the sharp edge of the counter. "Laura, please don't go," he begged as he stood in the doorway. She already had her skirt on and was hiding her breasts from him.
"Michael, help me!" He glanced back over his shoulder. Blood was gushing from the gash. He was torn. Should he go to the woman he loved or help a hurt friend? "Michael, *please*," she pleaded as a thick streak of crimson red blood trickled down her cheek.
"Oh shhhh-ugar. Laura, I'm begging you - please don't leave. Felicia's bleeding. I won't be but a minute."
He disappeared into the bathroom as Laura hastily buttoned her blouse and shoved her sapphire blue satin bra and panties into her pocket. She brushed away her tears as she made a beeline towards his front door.
Back at her loft, Laura took a shower and threw on an oversized white cotton t-shirt and cotton underwear. She should have known they'd be interrupted. They were *always* interrupted. But this time, it was worse. Much worse. She was humiliated. . . in front of her. . . in front of *him*. She had finally conquered her fears, letting the "old Laura" out - the wild, impetuous Laura that she tried so hard to suppress. And she was finally going to give him what they were both yearning for. But then this had to happen.
She opened her medicine cabinet and grabbed her toothbrush and paste. And there they were. . . just lying there. . . somehow mocking her. Birth control pills. She started taking them shortly after the Perennial case. She and Mr. Steele were becoming so close. She thought she should be prepared for the time when they finally "turned that corner", so. . .
"Dammit!" Laura grabbed the pills and hastily threw them in the wastepaper basket. "Yeah, like I'll ever need *those*," she sputtered aloud. Images of the voluptuous Felicia barging in on them filled her head. "How can I ever compete with *that*?" She berated herself unmercifully and callously, like most women do about their "imperfect" bodies, not recognizing the beauty she possessed. Deep down, she knew it didn't matter to him that she wasn't exactly "well-endowed" and was freckled to boot, but right now she needed to wallow a little longer.
Her pity party was interrupted by a knock on the door. She threw on her blue silk robe and crept quietly to the door. She knew it was Mr. Steele, but she couldn't face him. Not yet. He knocked again.
"Laura, I know you're in there. I saw your car parked out back."
Damn. She was beginning to rue the day she taught him how to be a detective.
"Laura, please. We need to talk."
It was either now or Monday at work. . . and she wasn't quite sure she wanted to have this conversation when Mildred was around. Might as well bite the bullet. She unlatched the bolt and slid the door open.
He cleared his throat. "May I come in?"
"Suit yourself."
He followed her in, closing the door behind him. "Ah. . . you forgot these," he said meekly, handing her the pantyhose she hastily left behind. She grabbed them out of his hand, unable to make eye contact. Could this get any worse? She turned her back to him.
"How's Felicia?"
"Better now. We got the bleeding to stop, but she'll have a nasty wound for a while." Dead silence. "Um. . . Laura, we ah, we need to talk about what happened."
"No, we don't."
"Laura, please look at me. I need to see you. I need to know that you're all right. . . That *we're* all right. Please."
She turned around but was still unable to look at him. He placed two fingers under her chin and gently raised her head to look at him. "Laura, what happened tonight was. . . wonderful."
"At least until *she* showed up."
"Well, actually Laura," he said, tugging at his ear, "I'm kind of glad she *did* show up."
"You are?" Yes, obviously it *could* get worse. Her heart sank.
"Yes. I mean, if she hadn't, we would have just had. . . *sex*."
"I thought that's what you wanted?!" Now her hackles were up. "Isn't that why you stuck around all this time?!"
For someone who was so obviously intelligent, she certainly could be incredibly dense at times.
"Do you think - do you *really* think - that I stayed around four-and-a-half years just for *sex*?!" He was seething. "Sure, maybe at the beginning. But not anymore." He struggled to regain his composure. "Yes, of course I want to have sex with you. . . wild. . . uninhibited. . . absurdly passionate sex," he affirmed. "But not for our first time. We've waited far too long to *just* have sex."
He was right. If they had continued, their physical urges would have been sated, but not their emotional needs. They were in much too deep for that.
"I'm sorry," she whispered, feeling rather foolish. He pulled her to him and she buried her head in his chest. He wrapped his arms around her, letting her know that everything was all right.
"Don't be sorry. Let's just postpone that for a bit, eh?"
She looked up at him and sighed. "OK."
"I should go. It's getting late."
"Where's, ah. . . Where's Felicia staying?" She tried to sound nonchalant.
"I told her she could stay at my place."
"I'm going to check into a hotel."
"You could stay here if you'd like," she ventured.
He flashed her a perfect smile. "Laura, you are truly an angel of mercy." He took off his leather jacket and threw it on the chair. "Thank you."
"No problem," she said warmly.
He walked up the stairs to where she kept his couch linens and pillow. They made up the couch together as they had done so many times before.
"Goodnight, Laura." He leaned forward and went to give her a peck on the cheek. She inadvertently turned her head, causing their lips to meet instead. They lingered a bit too long and the innocent goodnight kiss took a much different turn. Their pulses quickened. She felt a fire raging deep inside her and he was quickly becoming erect. Once again, he pulled back and searched her chocolate brown eyes. "Laura?"
She simply nodded her head. He kissed her softly, lightly licking at her lips, and carried her effortlessly up to the bed. He gently lowered her until her feet touched the ground and searched her delicate features again to see if she wanted him to stop. Her gaze reassured him that this was indeed what she wanted. He untied her belt and pushed her robe off her shoulders, letting it fall to the floor. He smirked. She could even make a simple cotton t-shirt look incredibly sexy.
It was her turn now. She yanked at his white shirt, freeing it from the confines of his jeans, and undid his buttons. He unbuttoned his cuffs and she slowly pushed his shirt off. She rested her hands on his chest and could feel his heart thumping wildly. He placed his hands over hers and slowly guided them lower. . . down his ribcage. . . over his flat stomach. . . He stopped when her hands reached the top of his jeans. What happened next was up to her.
She was breathing as hard and heavy as he was now. She looked directly into his eyes as her fingers found his belt. It unclasped fairly easily, thank goodness. She drew in a breath as she unsnapped his pants and inched the zipper down.
"Laura," he whispered.
She grabbed the sides of his jeans, tugged them down and let them fall to the floor. He quickly stepped them off and gave them a shove with his foot. His socks went next as he skillfully toed them off. He stood before her wearing nothing but a pair of black boxer briefs, which clung to him tightly, revealing just how much he desired her.
She, on the other hand, was still wearing too much for his liking. He grabbed the bottom of her t-shirt with both hands and hesitated slightly, half expecting Laura to pull back. Usually at this time, her body would be screaming 'yes' and her mind would be screaming 'no'. But not tonight. Tonight her body and mind were in perfect sync. When she raised her arms above her head, he knew for sure that she was ready. This was it. This was what she wanted. . . What *they* wanted. He quickly pulled her t-shirt over her head and flung it across the room. He looked at her as if he were seeing a woman for the first time.
"God, you're beautiful."
She looked down, embarrassed by his sincerity, and caught a glimpse of her white cotton bikini panties. She chastised herself for not wearing something a little more provocative. But, then again, she really had no idea that *this* would be happening.
Then his pure carnal lust kicked in to overdrive. All he wanted to do was take her panties off and drive himself into her right then and there. It had been so long and he wanted her so badly. He fought hard to bring himself back from the edge and suppress his urges. The last thing he wanted to do was blow this one chance he had with her. She needed to know how he really felt. He loved Laura. . . *really* loved her. And for once, it wasn't about him and the pleasure he could derive from a woman. It was about *her*. . . about *them*.
She took his hand in hers, sat down at the foot of the bed and scooted backwards towards the headboard, all the while pulling him along. She laid supine with him poised over her. After a few urgent kisses, he dispensed with her underwear. She eagerly returned the favor. Their hands and lips roamed over each other freely. . . touching. . . tasting. . . teasing each other mercilessly until Laura finally pleaded for him to take her.
Very slowly and very deliberately, their bodies became one. He knew it had been a long time since she had been with a man and he didn't want to hurt her. She closed her eyes and bit her lower lip as she brought her legs up to take him in as deeply as he could go. But then, he didn't move. Was something wrong? Didn't she feel good to him? Her eyes flew open in a panic.
Yet all her fears were put to rest when she saw those eyes - those indescribably beautiful blue eyes - looking back at her. What did she see in those eyes - acceptance?. . . love?. . . *forever*?
"Laura, there's something I want to tell you. . . something I *need* to tell you. . . something you deserve to know." His voice was low and sincere. "I, ah. . . " he swallowed hard. ". . . You know that I care for you. More than care, actually. . . Much more. . . " His voice started to shake ever so slightly. "I, ah. . . That is to say that I'm, ah. . . Laura, I um. . . "
She pressed her fingertips to his lips. "I know. . . Me, too."
She removed her fingers and gave him a torrid kiss. He began to throb and jerked inside her. The words would come, but right now there was something more urgent that demanded his attention. After a few thrusts, they found their rhythm, slow and sensual. . . Their bodies rising and falling in perfect synchronization. . . All their needs and desires being met. Then her breathing became erratic and she urged him to thrust faster and harder.
She involuntarily cried out his name in ecstasy, "Remington. . . Remington. . . ," urging him to come with her.
"Oh God, Laura!" he ground out as they rode the wave together.
Both sated and utterly spent, he collapsed on top of her, their bodies covered in a thin layer of sweat. He always wondered what she would look like at that particular moment. . . what she would feel like. . . what she would call him. Now he knew. And it was better than he imagined. They panted loudly, each trying to catch their breath. He propped himself up above her and gazed at her lovingly.
"That was incredible. *You* were incredible." It was a bit of a cliché, but words always seemed to fail him when it came to expressing matters of the heart.
"I think you might have had a little something to do with it, too, Mr. Steele," she teased.
"Come here."
He pulled her off the bed briefly so they could settle in under the covers. She crawled in first, lying on her side. He molded his body to hers and wrapped his arm around her possessively. He nuzzled her neck and whispered her name in her ear before drifting off to sleep. She soon joined him in slumber.
Laura woke up with a smile on her face. She would have thought it was all a wonderful dream had it not been for the warm body lying next to her. And not just *any* body - *his* body. The body of the man she had loved for nearly five years. He felt so good. She could definitely get used to this.
Gently and ever so slightly, she raised his arm and slipped out from under his embrace. She glanced at the clock - it was 3:42 - and padded to the bathroom. Not wanting to wake him, she closed the door quietly behind her before turning on the light. She looked in the mirror and liked what she saw. She seemed different somehow. . . softer. . . happier. . . contented. Wide awake now, she took a shower, replaying in her mind all the tender moments she and Remington shared earlier that night. . . Especially the part where he tried to say 'I love you'. She knew he loved her. Perhaps she had known all along. But now there was no more doubt. And she loved him, too. . . absolutely and completely.
Laura sighed, remembering her little outburst earlier in the evening. She fished her birth control pills out of the trash can, thankful that she hadn't flushed them down the toilet, and put them back in her cabinet.
She toweled dry and crept back to bed. Their clothes were still scattered all over the floor. She saw his shirt and couldn't resist. It was so soft. Leave it to Mr. Steele to buy even the most expensive and luxurious casual clothes. She slipped it on, brought the collar up to her nose and inhaled deeply. It smelled like him. Laura let his scent wash over her and smiled unconsciously. She slipped back into bed, this time facing him. He looked happy, she thought, even if he *was* asleep. She watched him. . . studied him. . . fantasized about him. Some time later, she drifted off to sleep.
Remington inhaled deeply and stretched lazily. His body ached. . . a good ache. . . confirming that what happened with Laura last night hadn't just been a dream. He opened his eyes to see her lying beside him. She was so beautiful. . . And she was finally his. It had been nearly five excruciatingly long years, but Laura was worth the wait. Besides, he was already looking forward to making up for lost time. When did she put on his shirt? It didn't matter. He thought she looked incredible in it. . . even though he'd rather she was naked.
It was early. . . too early. But he thought he'd surprise her with breakfast in bed. He grabbed a quick shower, got dressed in the clothes she wasn't wearing and perused the contents of her fridge. Deplorable. What did that woman live on? He looked at the time. Too early for any reputable market to be open. He'd have to visit the local grocery chain. He jotted her a quick note and placed it on the night stand.
Went for food. Be back shortly.
He put on his leather jacket and chuckled in spite of himself, thinking that Butch Bemus would approve of his new look. Just when *did* she put on his shirt anyway?
A smile crossed Laura's face. "Remington," she sighed. She reached out for him, slowly opening her eyes. "Remington?" She jerked awake, sitting up suddenly. "Mr. Steele?" she called loudly, hoping he would answer back from the bathroom.
Panicked, she flung the covers back and jumped out of bed, creating a draft of air that blew his note behind the night stand. His clothes were gone. The bathroom was empty. She frantically searched for a note. . . something. . . anything that indicated he didn't abandon her. She found nothing. He wouldn't leave her. Would he?
She plopped down on the couch and clutched the pillow he didn't sleep on last night. Tears flowed down her cheeks unyieldingly as she fought unsuccessfully to make them stop. She tried to convince herself that he didn't abandon her, but visions of her father and Wilson invaded her thoughts. If *they* abandoned her, why wouldn't *he*?
"He's not Daddy. . . He's not Wilson. . . He'll be back," she whispered, desperately clinging to the pillow and rocking back and forth. But her voice of reason was drowned out by everyone else's.
First, was Murphy: "He's not gonna stick around after this."
Then Felicia: "Strange. . . You never struck me as his type."
Her mother: "Oh, I could never tell your sister any of this. She and Donald are so incredibly happy together. She could never relate to a loser in love."
Mildred: "How much *do* you know about the boss?"
And Daniel: "The only reason he hasn't painted himself out of your life is that the two of you have yet to experience the, um. . . ultimate moment."
She was so caught up in her own anguish that she didn't even hear him come in. He dropped the groceries and a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the floor.
"Laura? Laura, what's wrong? Is everything all right? Are you OK?" He knelt down on one knee in front of her, rubbing her leg soothingly.
"Where were you?" She brushed her tears away, trying to regain control.
He sat down beside her and put his arm around her shoulder. "I went to get us some food. Didn't you see the note?" She shook her head. "Is that why you're so upset?" Then it hit him. "You thought I left you." It pained him deeply to know she could still think that - especially after everything they shared last night.
"No," she said tentatively. "Maybe," she confessed quietly, avoiding his eyes.
He pulled the pillow free from her embrace and grabbed her hand, lacing their fingers together. "Laura, you trust me with your life every day. . . When will you trust me with your *heart*?"
"I do. . . I mean, I'm trying. It's just - "
"Because of my past?" he asked earnestly.
"Because of my insecurities." Even *she* was surprised when she heard herself admit that out loud. Her honesty felt good - to both of them.
"I'm not going anywhere, Laura," he reiterated for the umpteenth time, gently kissing a lingering tear that clung to her cheek. "And I meant what I tried to say last night."
She smiled, letting him see that cute dimple he loved so much. "I meant what I didn't say, too, Mr. Steele."
"*Mr. Steele*? So, we're back to that again, eh? Seems to me, you, ah, screamed something different last night. . . 'Remington', wasn't it?"
"I might have," she answered coyly.
He laid her down on the couch. "So," he said between kisses, "What does a man have to do to get you to call him by his first name?"
"Mmmmm. . . This is a good start," she purred.
He nibbled her ear and quickly dispensed of his jacket.
"But, Mr. Steele. . . What about breakfast?"
"My stomach is perfectly satisfied from the three solid meals I ate yesterday," he answered, continuing his onslaught of warm, moist kisses.
"Are you saying that what we did last night didn't satisfy your *other* needs?"
He raised his eyebrow and gave a lopsided smirk. "Oh, absolutely not. But that. . . activity. . . was preceded by nearly five years of, shall we say. . . fasting?"
Laura had to smile. His charm was never lost on her.
"And I intend to satiate myself for an eternity to compensate. . . Assuming that you're willing to aid me in this endeavor, Miss Holt."
"Ready and willing to assist any time, Mr. Steele."
Remington positioned his knee between her legs and anchored his other foot on the floor. He grabbed both sides of the lapel on his shirt that she was wearing and pulled forcefully, sending the buttons flying and revealing her naked body.
Three hours and one heart-stopping, teeth-rattling, eye-rolling shower later, he prepared breakfast - er, lunch. She put the bouquet of wildflowers in a vase and read the card.
For Laura,
My friend. My partner. My love.
Yours, Remington
She held it close to her heart as a warm feeling engulfed her whole body.
They ate the wonderful meal he prepared - Crêpes Suzette with a side of fresh fruit and coffee (tea for him) - and talked like they always did. It appeared as though nothing had changed. . . except for the cat-that-swallowed-the-canary grins that were pasted on both their faces. After they finished cleaning up, he grabbed her hand and started toward the door.
"Come on, Miss Holt. What say you and I go get rid of the clutter in my apartment, eh?"
She grinned. "Only if you promise to store a few of your clothes over here. I mean," she tugged at his jacket, "should this happen again. . . " She kissed him ardently. ". . . and I can promise you. . . it will. . . " More fervent kisses. "We wouldn't want the great detective Remington Steele to be seen leaving my loft wrinkled and half-dressed now, would we?"
The End