Ah, what the hell...I'm not sleeping or eating much anyway these days, so here goes nothing.
Thanks to Neeners and Mickey Boggs for Beta-ing. And thanks to the many friends I've made in the RS groups for your suggestions, support and encouragement. Hope you like my first foray into season one fanfic.
Disclaimer #1: Characters from RS used without permission and strictly for fun.Lots and lots of fun!
Disclaimer #2 (for Elin
and Ace): No stand-in hairy hands were envisioned during the
writing of this fanfic.
Steele More Vintage Steele
<<Laura kissed Wilson Jeffries goodbye before he got in his taxi and left. Mr. Steele approached her.
"Laura, I've been thinking about this fan dance you did in Acapulco."
"I mean, just how. . . *fanny* was it?" he smirked.
Laura laughed. "You really want to see it, don't you?"
"Well, uh, being a connoisseur of exotic dancing, I always like to explore new forms," he teased, looking down at her body, trying to picture her in those fans.
"Uh-uh." She laughed again. "Maybe some day."
"Ah, I see," Remington nodded.
"Mmm " she agreed.
"Everything in its own time and place, I suppose."
"Well, not everything," Laura replied.
Remington shook his head and mouthed a silent "no" as Laura shook her head, too. Their lips touched softly as if testing the waters. They pulled apart briefly before deepening their kiss.>>
Her lips felt incredible on his, but he was more than a little distracted. His mind was preoccupied with graphic images of Laura dancing seductively, wearing nothing more than three incredibly small fans. But she wasn't on a bar in front of Wilson's banker buddies. She was standing on his bed, straddling his legs, gyrating and grinding her hips as sleazy stripper music pulsated in the background. He reached out to remove a fan and expose that part of her he most wanted to explore. . .
"Mr. Steele," Laura said in a husky voice, breaking their kiss.
Damn. Even in his fantasy he couldn't get her naked.
As much as she would have liked to continue kissing him and feeling his body pressed against her, this truly was not the time or place. Yet her mind reeled back to that kiss in the wine cellar. . . that wonderfully passionate, all-consuming kiss. She had never kissed him like that before, nor he her. His soft, warm lips hungrily devoured hers and their tongues met for the first time. The sweet sensation sent a shock wave that rippled through her entire body and made her toes curl. She wondered just how far they would have gone had that monk not showed up. Would she have finally succumbed to his charms, giving him what they both were longing for?
Maybe finally having closure with Wilson was just what she needed to jump-start a new phase in her and Mr. Steele's relationship. It's not like she didn't think about having a sexual relationship with him. She thought of it often. Too often. She was definitely in too deep. . . and she was itchy.
Mr. Steele was the last thing she thought of before drifting off to sleep and the first thing she thought of in the morning. She had always loved going to work, but lately she couldn't get there soon enough. Of course, he wouldn't arrive until much later in the morning - and sometimes not even until the early afternoon - but being in the office somehow made her feel closer to this man she called Remington Steele.
"Shall we what, Miss Holt?" he inquired in a most seductive fashion, raising his eyebrow.
"Throw caution to the wind and make mad, passionate love until we're utterly spent," she wanted to say. "Go home, Mr. Steele," was what came out.
Home. For someone who never stayed in one place long enough to call home, he certainly was surprised by how comfortable and settled he felt living this new life of his in Los Angeles as Remington Steele. He suspected it had more to do with a certain beautiful brunette than anything else. But whatever the reason, his apartment on Rossmore was beginning to feel like his home now.
"Indeed, Miss Holt. . . Home."
They walked to the Rabbit, his hand resting comfortably on the small of her back.
"Mind if I drive?" he asked. "I think we could both use a bit of a reprieve from your. . . exuberant driving."
As she handed Remington the keys, he couldn't help but wonder if that exuberance would carry over into the bedroom, too. From what Wilson had said, he gathered he wouldn't be disappointed. Impulsive. . . Uninhibited. . . Absurdly passionate. He knew it wouldn't be long now before she was in his bed. . . not after that kiss in the wine cellar. How much longer could she possibly hold out? A week? A month, tops. But she'd be his soon. Definitely soon, he thought. And he couldn't wait.
They spent the long ride home discussing the ins and outs and the twists and turns of the case, both careful not to talk about what they most wanted to talk about - that kiss. . . and what would happen next.
"I'm just glad everything worked out for Wilson's sake," she concluded.
"Ah, Laura. . . About Wilson. . . "
She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. "Yes?" she asked tentatively, not knowing where this was heading.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Should she tell him about how they met while she was still working at Havenhurst? How she and Carl Wallace were assigned to go undercover as tellers at Wilson's bank and how Wilson couldn't take his eyes off of her? Should she tell him about how they fell head over heels for each other and moved in together after only two weeks? She didn't want to tell him anything and yet she wanted to tell him everything.
"Not much to tell," she began. "We met, we dated. . . moved in together. . . " She paused, looked out the window and started twirling her hair with her finger. ". . . And then we went to Acapulco."
The fan dance. The beginning of the end. No. . . It was more like the end of the end actually. The newness of their relationship was wearing thin and the tedium of day-to-day life was setting in. They found they were different - very different - from each other. . . Something that didn't seem to bother her as much as it did him.
And then came Acapulco and that blasted fan dance. They were at Pepe's - the nightclub where every night was New Year's Eve. All of Wilson's superiors were there, too. Wilson was just a Personal Banker at the time, but he had drive and determination and was destined for banking greatness. He was sure of it. And this convention was just the chance he needed to prove that to his boss, Mr. Harcourt.
Unfortunately, Harcourt and the boys had a tad too much to drink. And what started out as an innocuous social gathering among co-workers quickly turned into a raucous, no-holds-barred blow-out, culminating in Laura doing a fan dance on top of the bar. She was an all out hit, shimmying and slinking seductively while "Love To Love You, Baby" was blaring over the sound system. Everybody was having a grand ol' time. . . except Wilson.
The rest of their stay was awkward and strained between the two, as was the plane ride home. They hardly spoke. Well, *she* spoke. . . and apologized often. But he didn't want to hear it. Why couldn't she keep her terminal flights of frivolity in check?
The next morning, they got ready for work, ate breakfast together and kissed each other goodbye. That was the last time she saw him. Laura came home from work and Wilson was gone, as were most of his things. He left behind a few odds and ends - a few toiletries, a pair of worn shoes, his white belt, the "Bankers Do It With Interest" t-shirt Laura had given him and whatever clothes happened to be in the laundry hamper. He didn't even bother to leave a note.
"We came back home and the next day. . . " her voice became quiet and tears welled up in her eyes. ". . . it was my father all over again."
Laura didn't talk much about her father, but from what Remington had gathered, he figured Mr. Holt had abandoned their family when Laura was about ten years old or so. . . maybe a little older. He knew that it had wounded her deeply and left lasting scars. And now that he knew what had happened with Wilson. . . Well, it was no wonder she was so wary of men. . . especially of him. What with his checkered past and less than forthrightness about his feelings, it was amazing she hadn't given him his walking papers long ago.
He didn't mean to be so elusive or enigmatic. It's just that there were certain parts of his life that he didn't want to dredge up again. . . Memories and experiences that were too painful to talk about. Like the desolate orphanage with the sadistic house master. Like being cold and hungry and not knowing where his next meal was coming from. Like Anna.
Anna. It was a long time ago. . . A different lifetime. He was barely 20 years old then, working a con in Monte Carlo when she swept in and turned his world upside down. She was quite a few years older than he, but sparks flew between the two immediately.
And it turned out she knew a thing or two about cons herself. They planned and pulled off an ingenious job at a local casino, relieving the establishment of several thousand dollars. She took the money and fled one way while he acted as the decoy and went the other. He and Anna were supposed to rendezvous later on at the pier and run away together. He waited and waited, but she never showed. Then he read in the paper that she had drowned. . . and that she was married. He felt hurt and angry and sad and betrayed. . . Probably much the same way Laura felt after Wilson had left.
"I'm sorry he hurt you." His voice was soft and sympathetic. "I'd never hurt you," he wanted to say. But he couldn't, instead stating, "But it never would have worked out between you two. . . You know that."
"What?" She was taken aback by his bluntness.
"It never would have worked out," he reiterated. "It's the same reason why you and Murphy would never work out."
Murphy. Dear, sweet, wonderful Murphy. Laura was a mess after Wilson abandoned her. Couldn't eat. Couldn't sleep. Unfortunately, she sought solace in the arms of Clay Platt, a fellow detective at Havenhurst. No. . . Actually, she sought *sex* from Clay. She sought solace and comfort from Murphy.
It was a dark time in her life. . . and she did some things she was ashamed of and didn't want to talk or even think about. She was not sure what drove her to Clay's bed. He was smarmy and slimy. . . and she couldn't trust him any further than she could throw him. But there were no strings attached. . . no emotional ties. It was just sex. And when they were done, she'd go over to Murphy's place and cry on his shoulder about Wilson. Such a wonderful friend Murphy was. . . always there for her no matter when she needed him.
And then came the night that Murphy went over to her place to keep her company only to find Clay buttoning up his shirt and heading out the door. It was awkward, to say the least.
Laura did some much-needed soul searching that night and concluded that she wanted a relationship that went beyond just friendship or sex. She wanted a relationship that involved true intimacy on every level.
The next day, she tendered her resignation at Havenhurst. It was time for her to write a new chapter in her life. Shortly thereafter, she opened Laura Holt Investigations and threw herself into her work, swearing off anything and anybody who might interfere with her new-found independence. But she kept in touch with her good friend, Murphy.
"And why is that? What makes you so sure it would never have worked out?" she challenged.
"Because of you, Laura."
Laura was unlike any other woman he had known. And he had known a lot. Thinking about his seemingly infinite bevy of inamoratas, he usually was drawn to the glamour girls - all primped and preened and primed for a wink and a tumble. Laura certainly was not that type of woman. She didn't need all the make-up and fancy clothes. . . And she was anything but an easy lay. The girl next door perhaps? No. He never wanted to do to the girl next door what he wanted to do with Laura. Uh-uh. Laura was different. She had a loveliness within that radiated out in everything she did. She was a true natural beauty through and through.
And she was most definitely smarter than the vast majority of the women he dated. Occasionally he would discover a buxom beauty who was also intelligent - like Felicia or Shannon. . . But they were also devious, cunning, deceitful and manipulative - words that would *never* be used to describe Laura. No. Laura was one of a kind. . . and someone he could never get enough of.
"You don't need a man who's safe and mundane. Too boring. Not enough mystery. You need a man who's exciting, intriguing. . . dangerous."
"And I suppose you're just that man?" she asked wryly.
He didn't answer. He didn't need to. He just smirked that irritating smirk that made Laura want to kill him and pounce on him all at the same time.
How did he know so much about her in such a short amount of time? Was she really that transparent? Deep down, she knew he was right. But it took her years of soul searching and a discussion with Wilson in the car outside a monastery to come to that conclusion. How could he have figured that out after only a few short months together?
He was right about her. . . And he was right about himself, too. Excitement? Intrigue? Danger? He could provide that in spades. But there was more - much more - that attracted her to him. There was the physical, of course. Who wouldn't be attracted to Mr. Steele? Bernice had once joked that if you looked up "tall, dark and handsome" in the dictionary, his picture would be there. Yes. . . The physical was a given.
But there was also his heart and his mind. For a man who made his living as a con man and thief, he certainly had a big heart. Mr. Steele was such a kind and caring man. He proved that in case after case. . . always willing to stick his neck out for the underdog and the little guy. . . and always there for a friend in need.
He was also very intelligent, which was always a turn-on for Laura. The fact that he could be so smart as to plan and successfully pull off heist after heist made her pulse quicken. But she was glad he was on the right side of the law these days. Still, the night they broke into the museum to purloin the Five Nudes of Cairo was the most exciting time she ever had. Maybe in another life she, too, could have been seduced by the thrill of the steal.
"Well, you probably won't understand this, Mr. Steele, but sometimes the things we want most are the things that scare us the most."
Unfortunately, he knew that feeling all too well. When he was just a lad being tossed around from orphanage to orphanage - before breaking out and living on the streets - all he wanted was to have a home. . . A nice, warm place filled with love and laughter. But the streets changed him. And the older he got, the more he became gripped by wanderlust. New faces, new places, new adventures. That's what he wanted. Not the confinement and domesticity of living in one place for an extended period of time. Still, the thought of having an actual home loomed in the back of his mind.
And then there was Laura. He had never forged this kind of relationship with a woman before. Not one like this, anyway. One that was built on respect, trust and honesty. Well, they were still working on the trust and honesty part. . . But they were on their way, slowly but surely. And he truly valued their friendship and companionship. Of course, that didn't mean that he wouldn't stop wanting her or trying to get her into his bed. But once he got her there, then what? Laura wasn't exactly the type of woman you love and leave. . . And that frightened him.
Time passed quickly and they soon found themselves outside his apartment building.
"Well, Miss Holt," he said, glancing at his watch. "What say you and I order some take-out and watch a movie, eh?"
"How about some Chinese?"
"You read my mind, Miss Holt."
Remington reached back into the footwell of the back seat and pulled out a bottle of the monks' prize-winning cabernet. Laura's eyes widened.
"You didn't. . . "
"Steal it? Heavens, no. Our monk friend gave it to me. Said we should drink it together."
"He *said* that, did he?"
"Well, not in so many words," he said, raising his eyebrows as the corner of his mouth turned up. "But that's what he meant."
Remington opened the door to his flat and let Laura go in first. He tossed the keys on the table, set down the wine and proceeded to take off his suit coat.
"Make yourself at home, Laura," he said as he stepped off his shoes and rolled up his sleeves. He took his tie off next and proceeded to unbutton the top three buttons of his silk shirt.
Must he always do that - tempt her by revealing that sexy chest of his? Laura bit her bottom lip. God, she hoped he didn't know what that did to her.
"What are you in the mood for tonight, Miss Holt?"
"What?" she asked rather flustered.
"For dinner. . . Chinese, remember?"
"Oh, um. . . How about some Moo Goo Gai Pan?"
"Excellent choice, Laura. Think I'll have beef with oyster sauce tonight."
He grabbed the wine and headed towards the kitchen. Laura took off her blazer and kicked off her heels. She really wanted to take off her pantyhose but decided against it. Best not to get *that* comfortable. She sat down on the couch.
"The food will be here in about 20 minutes," he said, returning from the kitchen. "In the meantime. . . "
He extended his arm. A glass of red wine was cradled in his hand, the long stem between his middle and ring fingers. Laura usually never paid any attention to men's hands. But his were so beautiful with those long, slender fingers and well-manicured nails. . . except for his thumb nail, of course - the one he always chewed on when a case was puzzling him. Oh, the things she imagined he could do with those hands if she'd only give him the chance. Why did she notice all these things about him? And what made her want to know more?
"Thank you, Mr. Steele," she said, taking the glass from his hand.
He loved the sound of her voice. . . especially when she said his name. Well, the name she gave him, anyway. The one he was still settling into but coming to like more and more with each passing day. Now, if he could only get her to call him Remington instead of Mr. Steele. The thought amused him. Such a challenge, she was. . . And he was not one to back down from a challenge. Especially one as captivating as Miss Holt.
He would love to hear her sing some time. . . when she wasn't drunk. He thought she had sounded so cute singing "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" that day in the office. He bet she really could carry a tune when she was sober. He also loved her accent and how she seemed to caress her words. And her words weren't the only thing he wanted her to caress. Some nights while lying alone in bed, he swore he could hear the soft lilt of Laura's voice in the room. Soon, he thought. Very soon.
Remington set his glass down, lit the fire and turned the stereo on.
"Care to dance, Miss Holt?"
She took a sip of wine and set her glass down. "Love to," she practically purred.
Laura thought about the girls on Four East and how they would always say that you could gauge how good a guy would be in bed by how he danced. She snickered to herself. Somehow she couldn't picture Mr. Steele doing the latest dance craze. . . But she'd pay good money to see him salsa.
He pulled her close and wrapped his arms around her waist. She slipped her hands around the nape of his neck, barely touching the gorgeous thick hair she longed to tangle her fingers in. Azure blue eyes met sepia brown eyes. She tried to look away, but he held her gaze.
What was going on in that pretty little head of hers? Was she thinking about that kiss in the wine cellar? Would tonight finally be the night?
He leaned in and kissed her tenderly on the lips then pulled back and searched her face. The soft glow of the fire danced in her eyes as he lightly touched the beautiful chestnut hair that framed her face. He desperately wanted to ask her to spend the night.
"Laura - "
"Yes, Mr. Steele?"
*BUZZ-BUZZ* Figures. Yet another missed opportunity.
"The food is here," he sighed.
"Great. I'm famished."
"Me, too, Miss Holt. . . Me, too."
Remington paid the delivery boy, then he and Laura settled in on the couch.
He loved watching her eat Chinese food. There was something very visceral about watching her manipulate those long chopsticks and wrap her lips and tongue around the food on the tip. He especially enjoyed feeding her some of his. . . placing the meat in her mouth. . . watching her savor the taste. It sent an electrifying jolt through is body that finally settled in his groin.
"More wine, Miss Holt?"
They finished dinner. . . and the cabernet. Remington cleared the containers off the coffee table and Laura flipped through the TV Guide.
"'North By Northwest' is on PBS, Mr. Steele," she called to him.
He came through the kitchen door looking positively thrilled.
"'North By Northwest'. . . Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint. MGM, 1959."
What luck! A great Hitchcock thriller. . . Memorable performances. . . And one of the most electrifying kisses in cinematic history. It could almost rival the kiss he and Laura had shared in the wine cellar. Almost.
He sat down in the middle of the couch and pulled her next to him, putting his arm around her shoulder. She snuggled comfortably against him and curled her feet up on the couch. They watched the screen, though Laura found it very hard to concentrate on the movie.
She was feeling a little less inhibited now because of the wine and she couldn't stop thinking about the man sitting next to her. Was it really that important to know his real name? Did it truly matter what he had done in the past? Was he wearing boxers or briefs? Hmmm. . . She must have had more to drink than she thought.
Laura felt so good resting against him. Her hair smelled good, too. Was it lavender? He placed a soft kiss on her temple and then began to nuzzle her neck.
"Mmmmm. . . " Her desire betrayed her.
He reached over and pulled her legs over his lap. His lips found hers in a sensuous kiss. She wove her fingers in his hair as he slowly lowered her onto her back and stretched out alongside her. He maneuvered his leg in between hers and continued his onslaught of kisses. . . each one deepening in intensity. His hand wandered down to the top of her skirt and he pulled her blouse free. Laura slipped her hand into his open shirt and caressed his hairy chest, causing him to moan in pleasure.
"Laura," he groaned before nibbling on her ear.
Remington ran his hand slowly up her torso. His touch felt like velvet on her naked flesh.
"Oh, God," she whispered as his hand finally made its way up and cupped her lace-covered breast. She drew in a sharp breath. "Stop."
Did she say 'stop'? Women never said 'stop' to him. . . unless, of course, it was preceded by 'don't'. But he had never forced himself on a woman before. And he certainly wasn't about to force himself on Laura. Not on the woman he lov- cared for very deeply. He pulled his hand out from under her blouse.
Oh, God. What was wrong with her? Everything was going so well. He felt so unbelievably sublime. And she wanted him. Lord knows she wanted him. More than she had ever wanted anyone in her entire life. But then Wilson popped into her mind. And then her father. What was wrong with her?
He looked into her eyes. "Too much, too soon?" he asked.
She nodded and her eyes filled with tears. "I'm sorry."
He saw so much pain in those beautiful eyes of hers. He wished that he could take it all away, but he didn't know how. "It's okay. I can wait."
He sat up and helped her up, too.
"I better go."
She grabbed her blazer and slipped her shoes on. They walked over to the door.
"Good night, Mr. Steele."
She gave him a quick peck on the cheek, turned and opened the door. He pulled her back into his arms and gave her a long, passion-filled kiss.
"Good night, Miss Holt. . . Sweet dreams."