Date: Tuesday, 10 February, 2004
From: "Lightfoot" <>

Well, sorry it's taken a bit to post another chapter,
but I'm a bit behind on grading, so that has to come
first...anyways, hopefully this will help along the
mystery...enjoy...ooppps...uhh...this and the previous
sent out chapter were supposed to be chapters 7 and

DISCLAIMER: You know the drill


copyright 2004 by Conner MacBride



"Alright, let's skip the formalities. What do you
want to know?" Laura Piper, attorney-at-law, crossed
one elegant leg over the other. Her self-assuredness
was altogether intimidating to Kelly, who wasn't quite
sure how to ask this formidable woman about a deceased
young woman who was proving to be as much an enigma in
death as she must have been in life.
"Well..." Kelly was at a loss for words. It seemed
she was doing this a great deal lately. "Umm...I want
to ask you about your aunt."
"Yeah, I gathered that from the rather jumbled phone
message. Why don't we start at the beginning? Tell
me everything you know." Kelly grimaced. She could
see why this woman was a lawyer. least
it gave an opener to a conversation Kelly was dreading
"Um..I did some research on Laura Holt, your aunt.
And I managed to track you down through your parents."
She looked up. "I was actually trying to find them,
but, you know-"
Laura Piper nodded. "Yeah. Dad's been dead about
three years now. Mom died nearly two years ago."
Kelly nodded. "I know. So when I saw the names of
their kids, y'all, I decided to hunt down the closest
one. I figure y'all would all have enough information
to help me out."
"So, what do you want to know? From what you said on
the phone, you were researching my aunt's murder."
"Yeah." Kelly shifted uncomfortably, not sure how
the woman felt about someone checking out the
skeletons in her family closets. "Well, it's for a
school paper and, well, I just want to know if you
could tell me anything about your aunt and," her voice
faltered. "And Remington Steele. Although, I've
figured out so far you were named after her. "
Laura Piper smiled. "Well, let's see. Yes, I was
named after her. She was my godmother."
"But not your sister and brother's?" Kelly sat
forward, hanging on every word.
"Yeah. We were all her godkids, but I *think* I was
her favorite."
Kelly finally had the nerve to broach a question.
"What about her and Remington Steele?"
Laurie Piper chuckled. "Hon, honestly, I was little
when he first came around. Six. I was thirteen when
she died."
"Oh." Kelly felt her hopes for some answers shatter.
She had been hoping that Laura Steele's niece would
be able to help her. "Can you remember anything about
them? Anything at all?"
"Well, I remember..." Laurie sat back, not quite sure
how much detail she wanted to go into with a perfect
stranger. "I remember Aunt Laura was very
uncomfortable around us. Uncle Remington was
actually, I think, better with kids."
"Yes. But as we got older, she got better. I think
he helped her a lot. I think she needed him a lot.
At least, that's the impression I got from my mother."
"Kid, did you ever have someone in your life who made
you feel this big?" She held up her thumb and
forefinger an inch apart from each other. Kelly
shrugged. "Kinda. I mean there was this teacher in
third grade who made fun of my lisp. She thought she
was being funny, but it sucked."
Laurie Piper grinned. "Yeah, well, I used to
overhear my mother and father talking late at night,
both before and after Aunt Laura was with Remington
Steele. I remember hearing her tell my father one
night that she was always Grandma's favorite and Aunt
Laura was always their father's favorite."
"Well, after my grandfather walked out on them, I get
the feeling Aunt Laura was no one's favorite." Laurie
Piper took a sip of her fragrant tea. "I remember
asking my mother why Aunt Laura never came around and
she just said that Aunt Laura was sad because Grandma
didn't understand her."
Kelly shrugged her shoulders. "That's it."
"No. I just remember Grandma, even when she being
helpful," Laurie Piper took a breath and continued,
"never had one nice thing to say about her."
Kelly was confused. "What's that got to do with
Remington Steele and her murder."
Laurie chuckled. "Aunt Laura quit caring when he
came around. Honey, have you ever dreamed of meeting
a dream guy?"
Kelly grimaced. "No thanks! I can take care of
myself. My father warned me about dream guys."
"Yeah, well, I remember they came to visit us right
after they were married. Honey, all I remember
thinking is that I hoped I would find someone to look
at me like that."
Perking up at the mention of the Steeles together,
Kelly leaned forward. "So they were really good
Laurie Piper shrugged. "I guess so. At least, I
thought so until Aunt Laura turned up dead in that
hotel room."
"But that's what I don't understand!" Kelly threw
her hands up in the air in frustration. "Everybody
and every picture says the same thing! Even Jarvis
who helped investigate! According to him, they were
like Rhett and Scarlett, born to be with each other!
Doesn't it strike you as odd that she would be found
dead supposedly having an affair! Doesn't that strike
you as weird?"
Laurie Piper stood up, bringing her empty cup to the
counter. "Sweetheart, my aunt was the detective, not
"Yeah, but-I mean, look. Remington Steele wouldn't
even talk to me. And everywhere I go, looking for
answers about Laura, it's like looking for a ghost!
Like she was a woman of someone's imagination. I want
to know about her! And I want to know how that man
that yelled at me used to be the guy I saw in
newspaper clippings."
Her brown eyes stared pleadingly at Laura Steele's
niece. "Can you give me anything? Old photo albums,
The youngest Piper pressed her lips together, not
quite understanding this college kid's interest in her
mother's younger sister and her erstwhile
uncle-by-marriage. A memory came back. She
remembered a six-year-old climbing on Remington
Steele's back playing horsey and her aunt cracking up
laughing, throwing her dark hair back as she giggled
wickedly. Laurie remembered a young Auntie Mame-type
of woman taking herself and Mindy on a shopping spree
and getting their ears pierced, much to their glee and
their mother's chagrin. She remembered the
affectionately resigned shake of the head Remington
Steele gave Aunt Laura when he saw them that day.
Funny thing was, she had a lot of memories of what
Aunt Laura and Remington Steele were both like, but
she could barely remember what they looked like. Maybe
the past had passed the whole family by when Aunt
Laura had died.
"Well," she looked at her watch. "I've got to get
back to the office."
"Yeah." She could see the defeat in Kelly Landry's
face as she followed her through the foyer. Laurie
Piper stopped in front of the storage closet. She
opened the door and pointed to a battered red trunk.
"Look, it's been so long, this thing isn't really
going to help anyone but you. Take it. It's a trunk
of Aunt Laura's things. Uncle Remington sent them
about a year after she was murdered. That was the
last time we heard from him. These things really
don't have any meaning for anybody anymore, since my
mother died. You keep it. Maybe you'll find
something you'll need."
Kelly was speechless. "But-Well, are-you sure? I
mean, she was your aunt."
Laurie Piper laughed. "Yeah, but it's been thirty
years. And it's going to get thrown out anyway. Take
Kelly bit her lip in excitement, shaking Laurie
Piper's hand. "Thank you."
"No problem."


Remington Steele signaled for his limo driver to
stop. It was time for his weekly meeting with his
broker. What a life! Hard to believe this was what
he had wanted at one be filthy rich, with
ties to no one, and able to come and go as he pleased.
What a damned ripping good joke. Everything he had
ever wanted at twenty-five and in doing so, he had
lost everything he had ever needed thirty years ago.


Kelly touched the journals almost reverently. Now
she would finally get to the heart of the matter. The
real story of Remington Steele and Laura Holt. /No
wait! That's not what I'm after! I'm supposed to
analyzed the crime! Think stupid! Stay logical!
This other stuff's just gravy!/
Huffing exasparatedly, she went back to digging into
the trunk. She found a photo at the bottom of the
trunk. /Wow./ She picked it up and smiled uncertainly.
/Kelly Marie Landry, meet Laura Steele. And Remington
Steele./ She touched the photo in wonder. She wasn't
sure who had taken the photo, but she wasn't sure it
mattered. She could tell it had been taken at a casual
moment, when they were both at eased and relaxed.
Maybe a friend had taken it. /Whoa. He was totally
hot!/ She finally took a clear look at Remington
Steele, or rather, the young Remington Steele. He
looked like a dashing Irish rogue, or like Jamie
Fraser from her guilty pleasure, The Outlander, but
with black hair instead of red. Those dark blue eyes
were sparkling with mischief and his arms were wrapped
tightly around Laura. She was leaning into his
embrace and grinning happily. Kelly ran a finger over
the young faces. From other pictures she had gotten,
Laura had seemed like a delicate waif, a young woman
more dream than real. Now Kelly was able to see the
bright intelligence and expression in her dark eyes.
It was the same look Remington Steele had; a face full
of sharp intelligence and eyes as roughish and dancing
as an elf's.
Quickly, Kelly reached for a journal. There were
about six of them. Apparently Laura was someone who
needed to voice her thoughts on paper. Kelly closed
her eyes and grabbed. She pulled out the third
journal. Her eyes scanned the date. December 28,
1990. One month before Laura's murder.
*Somebody keeps calling and wanting to only talk to
me. According to Mildred, they won't leave a message.
I don't know if I should take the call. Rem, I'm
sorry, I know I gave him the name, but I cannot say
Remington, well, except every once in a while. And
who calls their husband Mr. Steele? *
Kelly's eyebrow went up. Gave him the name?
Whatever the hell that meant. Maybe it was a marriage
thing. She flipped a few pages. January 26. Two
days before the murder.
*Okay. I'm going to San Francisco tomorrow. I
don't like it, but I can't tell Remington. I just
shouldn't be doing this. I have a feeling I
shouldn't. If he finds out, he is going to be so
angry, but I can't tell him. He's snoring! The great
detective Remington Steele snores! I have to rub this
in tomorrow since apparently I sing in my sleep.
Well, not tomorrow night. The next night when I get
back. Just that I'm going up to San Francisco and the
person wants only me involved because it involves an
abusive husband. That's all.*
Kelly closed the book, a sinking feeling in her gut.
From what it sounded like, Laura was going up to have
a clandestine meeting, but there was no mention of
Roselli. Had Remington Steele, in a desire to absolve
himself of pain, just not read the diaries? Or had he
read them and understood that last statement to mean
she was meeting Roselli?
/No! I refuse to believe this! Wait-/ This was not
the journal of a cheating wife. This was the writing
a woman who joked about her husband's snoring and
worried about keeping things from him. She looked at
the stack of journals. A long night of reading lay
ahead of her. Why had Laura Steele gone to San
Francisco? What about Tony Roselli. Tomorrow she was
going to research the guy whom Steele had told Jarvis
was his greatest fear. She put the picture of the
young couple on her night stand and plunged into the
journals of Laura.


For the millionth time, Remington Steele tormented
himself with the memory of a woman who was never his.
And then he berated himself for holding onto a memory
which penetrated every part of his life. And
somewhere in the back of his mind, he could hear a
soft, lilting voice begging never to be left behind., Anthony Roselli's involvement...