Steele Vows Part 1
Date: Monday, March 13, 2000
From: "sue hantak" <>

(This story takes place right after the Bonds of Steele. All that Shannon/Mexico/Tony/Ireland silliness did not happen. In fact Laura and Steele are in the limo alone and return to his apartment alone after the ceremony. I did happen to borrow some of the dialog though. Please excuse any transgressions)

She sat staring into space still numb by what just transpired

"Laura.........Laura ... LAURA....where were you?"

"Closer to hell than I've ever been."

He smiled weakly at her. "Ready to go?" He started the limo and drove to his Rossmore apartment.

"Can't you just take me home?"

"Laura, you saw Keyes, he'll be on our tail looking for anything to report me to immigration. We have to maintain our cover as a married couple. Married couples happen to live together."

"Why did I ever agree to this?"

"Because you don't want to see me deported" She had no reaction, "You don't want to see me deported.......... do you?"

"I'm thinking.... I'm thinking" she replied as if she were pondering the possibility.

"Laura, if you remember, I didn't want to get you involved in this charade, YOU VOLUNTEERED".

"I know, that was s always my problem, even as a child, I always had my hand up for every thankless task, every dirty little job....

They pulled into the parking garage of his building. When they opened the door to his apartment they were surprised by a congratulations banner and bountiful flowers.

The bedroom was adorned with candles and a bucket of chilling champagne. Laura looked at the display with disdain, "Impressive, Mr. Steele, I'm sure Clarissa would have been thrilled."

"Laura, I didn't do this".

"Just forget doesn't matter". Laura was sickened by the thought of everything that happened in the past few hours. He wasn't helping with the case. He was secretly getting married to hooker!. He was actually going to go through with it too. Even worse, she somehow ended up as the bride. She was so pissed at him that she just couldn't face him. Laura walked out onto the balcony, slamming the door behind her emphasizing her desire to be alone at the moment. Remington knew Laura well enough to let her stew for a while. He knew he screwed up. He also knew he had to fix this mess somehow. Remington walked into the bedroom and picked up the phone.

"Mildred? .....good, I caught you at home. I need your help. Laura needs a few things from her loft. Would you mind going over there and gathering a change of clothes for her to wear tomorrow....yes...some sleepwear, .yes, ...that too. Oh, and anything in her bathroom that you might think she might need. Thank you Mildred." Remington quickly went to check on Laura. She was huddled in the chaise lounge. She appeared as if she were ready to cry at any moment. Remington went back through the bedroom into the bath. A few moments later he ventured onto the balcony to try to get Laura to come in. "Laura, its getting chilly out here, why don't you come soak in the tub, you'll feel better."

She remained unmoved staring into space.

"Laura" he tried again, "Please come inside I have something to show you"
She finally spoke, "I hope it's divorce papers."

He tried to lead her by the hand towards the bathroom. When he grabbed her hand she quickly pulled it away as if someone had poured scalding water on her. He opened the bathroom door with a grand gesture and motioned her to proceed him. The tub was full of luxurious bubbles. He lit several scented candles. She would be the last person to admit to him that it was an enticing display. As much as she wanted to sink into the sumptuous water, she still wanted the petty satisfaction of hurting him any way she could. She walked over, blew out the candles and pulled the plug on the drain.

"I think I'll just take a shower."

She stood in the steady stream of the water letting it cascade down her body.

She was beat; mentally and physically. She finally got out of the shower. Wrapping a towel around her body and another on her hair, she wiped the steam off the mirror, looked at her reflection and scolded herself, "What were you thinking?"

Remington gently rapped on the door, "Laura? ...Mildred brought some things for you. I'll leave them on the bed. Are you alright?

When she heard him leave the bedroom, she emerged from the bathroom. Her navy business suit hung on the closet door, on the bed was an overnight case. Mildred packed some undergarments, an assortment of her toiletries and a very seductive nightgown. *Well, this is staying in the bag* she thought to herself. Laura walked over to Remington's dresser and hastily grabbed a tee shirt and sweatpants. She walked out of the bedroom straight to the kitchen. He came into the kitchen after her in an attempt to speak to her. Ignoring him, she grabbed a bottle of water and breezed passed him back into the other room. Laura reclined on the sofa with her feet tucked under her body. Her left arm was supported by the rest with her chin propped up on that side. She stared at the television as she flipped channels in a hypnotic state. Again he approached in an attempt to straighten things out. When he was ran into the wall Laura had built, he finally decided he had enough and went to take a shower himself.

It was late, Laura was still in the same position on the couch with the shopping channel droning on in front of her. Remington stood in the bedroom doorway, "Laura why don't you just come to bed?"

"I am in bed," she couldn't have been more disinterested and apathetic.

Remington closed the door behind him. Laura looked up over her shoulder. Finally breaking the stone facade she reclined back on the sofa and softly began to cry.

To Part Two