- Steele, Inc.-Atlanta
- Steele in the
- Part 2
- Debra Talley &
(This story is part of the Brendan
- Laura walked into her loft and
turned on the lights. Dropping her clothes on the way, she headed
for the shower. It was the first of many cold showers she would
take that night. Troubled by dreams and unable to sleep, she spent
the night tossing and turning in her lonely bed. Each time she
awoke she took another cold shower, hoping it would help relieve
her stress. Needless to say, she got very little sleep and what
sleep she did get was far from restful.
- She couldn't figure out what was
happening to her. She'd always been able to curb her emotions and
control her passions, reserving them for special, private moments.
But today something had been unleashed in her-- something that
knew no bounds. Today she had been absurdly passionate and the
reality of that puzzled her, disturbed her--and even frightened
- Remington returned to his
apartment, where he also spent the night tossing restlessly in his
cold and lonely bed. He, also, was forced to take a succession of
cold showers throughout the night. He awakened abruptly from a
particularly vivid dream, disappointed to realize it was just
- He smiled as he remembered his
recent, sweet trysts with Laura in the limo and in the office. Her
recent behavior was far from the norm for her. She was certainly
right when she said they had always been so discreet in the past.
Their romantic interludes had been few and far between. But today
for some reason, they hadn't been able to keep their hands off
each other. It was odd indeed, but still, it was a most pleasant
change. Remington had a feeling wild, crazy, uninhibited, absurdly
passionate Laura Holt had reemerged with a vengeance, and he was
looking forward to getting better acquainted with that enigmatic
- Remington wanted more than the
fleeting memories of Laura his dreams provided him. He wanted to
fall asleep each night and awaken each morning with her in his
arms. Why was it so hard to find the right words to let her know
how he felt? Why, after loving her for four years, couldn't he
verbalize his feelings?
- Glancing at the clock, he noticed
it was almost time for the alarm. Sighing wistfully, he crawled
out of bed and slowly made his way to the bathroom for yet another
Mildred was almost never late, but
today was the exception. Her alarm hadn't gone off. Then she couldn't
find her car keys and then when she finally did, her car wouldn't
start. She was almost ready to give up and catch the bus when the
motor finally turned over. As a result of her morning misadventures,
she and Remington arrived at the office the same time as
"Good morning, Boss. Sorry I'm late,"
Mildred said. "Everything seemed to go wrong this morning. First my
alarm, then my keys and then my car."
Remington held up his hand. "Say no
more, Mildred. Believe it or not, I've had a morning or two like that
- "Really, Boss?" she asked in
amazement as they rode up together in the elevator. After getting
a better look at him, she added, "You look like you had a rough
- "I did, Mildred," he replied, not
offering any details.
- "Oh, come on, Chief! Maybe the
rest of the day will be better!" she said hopefully, stepping off
the elevator with him and walking down the corridor.
- They found the agency door
already unlocked. Remington pushed it open and held it for
- "Miss Holt must already be here,"
- "And knowing Miss Holt, she'll
come waltzing out of her office any minute now, bright-eyed,
bushy-tailed and raring to go," Remington complained.
- "You're just not a morning
person, are you, Boss?"
- Remington just grunted. All *he*
wanted to do was go home and crawl back into bed for forty more
winks. On second thought, however, he decided the couch in his
office would do just fine.
- Right on cue, Laura came charging
out of her office. She was charged up and raring to go, but was
far from being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
- "I don't believe this!" she
screamed, waving a newspaper. "Just look at this! This headline is
- "Well, I really can't get a good
look at it, honey, with you waving it around like that," Mildred
- "Just look a that picture!" Laura
demanded. "How dare they!? Haven't they ever heard of journalistic
ethics? Or ethics, period?"
- "Icy calm, Laura!" Remington said
as he put his hands on Laura's shoulders. "Just calm down and tell
us what this is all about. Slowly."
- Laura shoved the paper under his
nose, pointing out the front page headline and picture. "This!
This is what it's about!"
- Remington and Mildred both leaned
forward to get a better view. The closer they examined the
picture, the wider their eyes became.
- Laura read the headline aloud:
Famed P.l. Rips Dress Off
Secretary's Back. Can you
believe that? Won't they ever learn that I am *not* a
- "Really, Laura, is that what
you're so upset over? That the press called you a secretary?"
Remington asked. "Actually, I'd say it's a step up from
- "That is not what I'm upset
about. Well, not that much, anyway. I'm upset that the whole
embarrassing incident from last night is printed right here in the
paper for the whole world to see!"
- "What embarrassing incident?"
Mildred asked as soon as she had a chance.
- "It's a convoluted tale, Mildred.
We'll explain later," Remington explained. "Now give me the paper,
Laura, so I can get a good look at it. "
- She handed him the paper.
- "The L.A. Inquirer, eh?" he asked, surprised. "When did you
start reading the supermarket tabloids?"
- "Since this morning, when we made
the cover. I stopped at a convenience store on my way to the
office this morning to pick up something up for breakfast."
- "Doughnuts and coffee again,
Laura?" Remington asked with a gleam in his eye.
- Laura ignored him. "Anyway, I saw
*this* while I was the counter paying for my purchases. Do you
realize how humiliating it was finding this there, knowing
everyone in L.A. would be staring at it while standing in line to
pay for their groceries?"
- "What embarrassing incident are
we talking about here?" Mildred asked again.
- "Page 4, Mildred," Remington told
her as he handed her the tabloid.
- "No!" Laura exclaimed, snatching
it from Mildred before she the secretary had a chance to see
- Then waving the paper in front of
Remington's nose, Laura asked, "What are we going to do about
this...this *trash*?! Answer me that!"
- "Will you just calm down? You're
blowing this all out of proportion," Remington said as he grabbed
the paper, carefully studying the pictures and accompanying
- Mildred unsuccessfully tried to
steal a look over his shoulder. This suspense was killing
- "The Dirt prints a picture of you
ripping my dress off, and you tell me to calm down?"'Laura
- "You're taking this much too
personally, Laura. It's not as though you are between these
pages," Remington said soothingly.
- "That's easy for you to say.
You're not the one plastered on page four catching a
- Mildred finally saw the photo in
question. She gasped in shock and put her hand to her mouth.
"Boss! You ripped Miss Holt's dress off!? In public?! How could
- "There's a perfectly good
- "There better be!" Mildred
declared. "I know the Agency can always use more publicity, but
this time you've gone too far!"
- "Believe me, Mildred; it was all
perfectly innocent. It really wasn't Mr. Steele's fault," Laura
explained, trying to get Remington off the hook.
"The best thing we can do is just
ignore it and get on with the business at hand," Remington suggested.
"It'll all blow over before you know it."
- Remington walked over to the
appointment book on Mildred's desk and flipped it around while
Mildred continued turning studying the pages of the Dirt.
- "Ah, yes. The L.A. Community
Service Awards are today at noon," Remington reminded Laura,
pointing to the entry.
- "Of all days to be presenters at
an awards luncheon!!" Laura complained.
- "Nonsense!" Remington declared.
"It's the perfect opportunity to show the press we don't give a
fig about that revealing picture. Just don't wear the same
dress--and for heaven's sake, don't wear that brooch!"
- "You gave me that brooch!" Laura
reminded him. "I have no intention of sticking it in my jewelry
box and letting it collect dust!"
- "Fine. But perhaps you'd better
not wear it when we go dancing," Remington suggested.
- Before Laura could reply, Mildred
- "What's so funny, Mildred?"
Remington asked. "We could use a good laugh about now."
- "Oh, it's nothing, Boss," Mildred
said as she started to close the rag.
- "Mildred..." Remington warned as
he grabbed the paper and tried to take it from her. "Give me that
- "It's nothing, really," Mildred
declared as she strengthened her grip, trying to jerk the paper
from his hand.
- "Well, in that case, you won't
mind if we see it," Remington explained, finally freeing the paper
from her grasp.
- Remington and Laura skimmed the
open pages together. It didn't take long before they spotted the
object of Mildred's laughter. A headline halfway down on page 14
proclaimed, Prince Of
Detectives Checks Out Ladies Room.
- Remington didn't even try to
stifle his groan as they read the sleazy article that
- "Look on the bright side, Mr.
Steele," Laura said sympathetically, patting his shoulder. "At
least there's no picture."
- "At the moment, that's shallow
consolation, Miss Holt," Remington sighed.
- "You know what they say, Mr.
Steele," Mildred reminded him. "There's no such thing as bad
- Remington just grunted and tossed
the offending paper onto Mildred's desk.
- "Suggestions, Mr. Steele?" Laura
- "Mildred," Remington said as he
squared his shoulders and straightened his tie."I want you to
visit every newsstand, convenience and and liquor store within an
hour's drive of here and confiscate every copy of this TRASH you
can get your hands on. Maybe that will at least help minimize any
- Mildred squinted her eyes and
stared straight at Remington. "Boss, life is trouble. Only death
is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and look for trouble.
- Remington's face quickly changed
from a scowl to a lopsided grin. "Anthony Quinn to Alan Bates,
Greek, 20th Century Fox,
1964. Excellent, Mildred!"
- Mildred giggled like a schoolgirl
as Remington gave her a resounding smack on the cheek.
- "I'll, uh, just have Fred drive
me around so I can swipe the incriminating evidence," Mildred
explained as she grabbed her purse and headed toward the
- "Every last one of them,
Mildred!" Laura said loudly to Mildred's retreating form.
- "Oh, and kids, better do
something with those clothes in the chair over there. We wouldn't
want to shock a client."
- Without looking back, Mildred
opened the door and was gone.
- Laura and Remington just looked
at each other and blushed.
- Shortly before noon, Laura and
Remington were in the Auburn headed for the awards luncheon.
Laura, sipping a glass of Mr. Pop-Top's cola, was leaning against
- "It was awfully thoughtful of
Fred to bring the case of cola to the office before going on
maneuvers with Mildred," Laura remarked as she dipped her fingers
in the glass and let Remington lick the cola from her
- He took Laura's hand in his and
kissed each fingertip before turning her face toward him for a
long kiss. The Auburn swerved into the oncoming lane and an
outraged motorist honked his horn. Amazingly enough, Remington
somehow regained control of the car without breaking the
- "It never fails, does it?" Laura
asked, snuggling closer to Remington and walking her fingers up
his thigh. "Someone always honks at us when we're kissing."
- "You've got that confused, love.
Someone always *shoots* at us when we're kissing," Remington
reminded her as he slapped at her wandering fingers.
- She merely wrapped both of her
arms around his neck. "It makes no difference to me whether they
honk at us or shoot at us, just as long as you keep kissing me,"
Laura purred, pulling his face close and giving him a heart
- Remington tried to keep his eyes
on the road, but the Auburn swerved anyway. He finally managed to
break the kiss and wrestle control of the car.
- "Laura, I can't drive and kiss
you at the same time. What say we find a nice secluded spot before
we have a wreck?" Remington suggested.
- "Sounds delicious," Laura said,
taking another sip of her cola and then laying her head on
- "May I?" Remington asked,
motioning to Laura's glass.
- "Of course. We're partners,
remember? What's mine is yours and what's yours is mine. Share and
share alike, eh, Mr. Steele?" She handed her glass to Remington
and began nibbling on his ear.
- Suddenly Remington swallowed
quickly and almost gagged. Laura looked up to see him pointing,
cola glass in hand, at a sign that read: McCullum Park, 2
- "Shall we, Miss Holt?" Remington
asked as he gave Laura his best million dollar smile.
- "Absolutely, Mr. Steele," Laura
agreed with a devilish smile. "What could be more
- Remington located the McCullum
Park exit and followed the tree lined road to a secluded area.
After parking the Auburn in a grove of shady trees, Remington
leaned back and took one last sip of cola. Handing the glass to
Laura, he watched as she enjoyed the last swallow.
- "I always knew that someday we'd
come to this particular moment in the scheme of things," Remington
said as he gazed longingly into Laura's eyes and caressed her
- "What do you mean?"
- "You and I, finally having a
romantic interlude in the Auburn. Of finally giving up our record
of being the only owners not to make love in this car," Remington
- "Some records are made to be
broken, Mr. Steele," Laura said as she loosened his tie and began
removing his jacket.
- "It seems awfully tight quarters
in which to trip the light fantastic," he commented
absentmindedly, easing her jacket off her shoulders
- "Where there's a will, there's a
way, Mr. Steele."
- "Indeed, Miss Holt. Indeed,"
- It was the last coherent
statement either uttered for quite a while.
Laura snuggled against Remington's
shoulder as they sped down the highway. Both were smiling and feeling
extremely content. Laura was pleasantly surprised when Remington
joined her in a lusty version of the chorus to "Afternoon Delight." As the chorus trailed off in a gale of
laughter, their eyes met in a heated gaze and once again they shared
a kiss. This kiss, however, was short; Remington was forcing himself
to concentrate on his driving.
"You realize we're already late," he
said as he began to pick up speed.
- "Oh, but it was worth it! After
all, we were making history," Laura said dreamily.
- "Yes. We seem to be making
history quite often lately--in the limo, in the office, in the
Auburn... Next thing you know, it'll be in the Rabbit," Remington
- "Surely you jest! It has less
room than in the Auburn!" Laura declared as she walked her toes up
- He reflexively jerked and the
- "Then we'll just have to be more
inventive, eh?" Remington said, wiggling his eyebrows
- "Oh! Here's our turn--Wilmington
Estates Country Club. Hurry!" Laura suddenly exclaimed.
- "I thought you didn't care that
we were late," Remington reminded her.
- "Well, I don't. But there's no
reason why we can't hurry now, is there?" she asked.
- "Certainly, Miss Holt. Business
as usual, eh?" Remington said.
- "More or less," Laura said with a
very unbusinesslike grin.
- Turning suddenly and placing her
head in Remington's lap, she dangled her legs provocatively over
the edge of the car door. They rode in comfortable silence until
they came within sight of the County Club.
- "Up you get," Remington ordered
as he pulled Laura into an upright position. "And don't forget
- She located her shoes behind the
seat and quickly slipped them on.
- "I'll let you out before I park
the car. Maybe you can make our excuses before I make my
appearance," Remington said as he slowed down and stopped at the
- Laura gave him a quick kiss and
turned to open her door. Remington grabbed her arm, however,
before she had a chance to climb out. She gave him a quizzical
- "You really don't mind that we're
late? I mean, you don't regret our little spontaneous interlude,
do you?" Remington asked uncertainly.
- "Mr. Steele," Laura said very
seriously, "as you grow older, you'll find that the only things
you regret are the things you *didn't* do."
- Remington grinned. "Ah, Laura.
Zachary Scott couldn't have said it better. Now go! Go!"
- "I'm going!" she assured him as
she rushed toward the steps.
- Satisfied that she would be able
to smooth things over, he pulled the Auburn out of the driveway
and headed to the parking lot.
- Before entering the building,
Laura took a moment to straighten her clothes and hair. Then
opening the door, she made her way to the main ballroom, where the
awards ceremony was already in full swing.
- She was standing uncertainly at
the back of the room when the coordinator of the event rushed up
to her. Laura noted that he looked like Peter Lorre.
- "Please, tell me you're Miss
- "Yes, I am. I'm sorry we're late,
but an emergency came up..."
- "I don't care why you're late,
Miss Jolt; I'm just relieved you're finally here. But where's Mr.
Steele? He is with you, isn't he? Please tell me he's with
- "It's Holt. Laura Holt."
- "No offense, Miss Jolt, but Mr.
Steele is the one everyone wants to see. If he's not here, there's
really no need for you to stay."
- Laura gritted her teeth and
forced a replica of a smile. "Mr. Steele will be right in. He's
parking the car at the moment."
- "Oh, thank goodness! Follow me,
Miss Jolt; I'll show you to your seat."
- Laura merely smiled and followed
- Five minutes passed...ten
minutes...fifteen minutes. Bored to death, Laura found herself
wishing they had been even later. Without realizing it, she broke
into a dreamy smile and began humming "Afternoon Delight."
Everyone at her table turned and looked at her. She gave them a
sheepish smile and muttered an apology. Nervously, she glanced at
her watch. 20 minutes had passed and still Remington had not
joined her. Surely it couldn't take that long merely to park the
Auburn. Even a quick side trip to the men's room wouldn't cause
that much of a delay.
- After what seemed like an
eternity, Laura checked her watch again. Twenty five minutes had
now passed. She was more than a little worried. Nervously tapping
her fingers on the table, she looked around the room.
- She jumped as the coordinator
suddenly appeared behind her. "Where is Mr. Steele?" he demanded,
none too politely.
- "I don't know. He should have
been here by now," Laura explained.
- "We can't delay your presentation
much longer. As much as I dislike it, you'll have to make the
presentation alone unless Mr. Steele arrives very, very soon. And
I assure you, Miss Jolt..."
- "Whatever... I assure you, the
press will not like it. Mr. Steele is the crowd pleaser.After all,
he's the Prince of Detectives, while you're just a mousy little
- "Now listen here!!!" Laura
warned, pointing a finger in front of his beady little
- She would have continued, but the
crowd stood and applauded as a distinguished looking woman rose to
accept an award. Laura gave a sigh of relief as the coordinator,
taking advantage of the sudden diversion, quickly disappeared.
Applauding along with the crowd, she once again looked at her
- Twenty seven minutes and still no
Remington. Deciding something had to be wrong, Laura grabbed her
purse and headed for the nearest exit.
- Laura discovered a woozy
Remington locked inside the trunk of the Auburn. Luckily, her
repeated calling of his name had roused him enough that he had
been able to attract her attention by pounding. She carefully
helped him crawl out of the trunk, a concerned arm around his
shoulder for support.
- "What happened?" she asked as she
helped him lean against the car.
- "I caught the black jack right
behind my ear. A black pool opened up at my feet. I dived in... It
had no bottom," Remington declared dramatically as he winced and
put his hand to the throbbing lump on the back of his head.
- "Sounds like a case of attempted
Sweet," Laura said as she
probed Remington's head for the injury. She knew she had found it
when he yelped.
- In spite of the pain Remington
grinned mischievously, put his arm around her waist and pulled her
close. "I'll gladly endure a whack on the head any time if it
results in such desirable terms of endearment from you."
- "What are you babbling about?"
Laura asked as she continued examining his wound.
- "You called me 'My Sweet',"
Remington reminded her. "Ouch!"
- "You know very well I was citing
your movie reference."
- Remington sighed. "Yes, well... I
can still hope, can't I?"
- Laura grinned. "Dream away, Lamb
- "Lamb Chop?" Remington asked,
disappointed. "Yes, well, hopefully someday... Laura, why are you
crawling into the trunk? Believe me, the view is nothing to write
Laura grabbed a white plastic
container. "First aid kit," she explained. "I'm going to play
"Really? Sounds intriguing, but I'm
not sure I'm up to another romantic interlude so soon after my bout
with Death," Remington explained.
Laura firmly took hold of Remington's
shoulders and led him to the passenger's side of the Auburn. She
opened the door, pushed him onto the seat, pushed his legs in and
then closed the door.
- Remington rather liked this
- "Just sit tight," Laura said as
she climbed into the Auburn on the driver's side. "I'll drive
around front and we'll go in from there. I can wash off the blood
in the lounge."
- "Blood?!" Remington asked,
gingerly feeling the back of his head.
- "Icy calm, Mr. Steele. I think
- Remington sat in an overstuffed
chair in the sitting room of the ladies lounge as Laura tended his
head wound. The awards ceremony had ended and numerous people were
milling around the lobby.
- The coordinator suddenly
descended upon them like a torpedo. "What kind of cheap stunt were
you trying to pull, Mr. Steele?!!"
- Remington held his hands up. "I
can explain, Mr. Thorwald..."
- "We waited and waited and waited,
but you never showed up! We even changed our entire program
because of your defection!" Mr. Thorwald said heatedly, his face
turning purple. "I didn't like it, but I was even willing to let
your secretary here make the presentation--and then she defected,
- "Mr. Thorwald, my associate would
have been perfectly capable of making the presentation without
me," Remington said angrily. Laura touched his shoulder, reminding
him to calm down. "Without her, there would be no Remington Steele
- "You've been uncooperative about
this whole affair from the very beginning, Mr. Steele. I didn't
even want Miss Jolt here to be your co- presenter in the first
place, but you insisted! "
Remington stood up, his temper barely
under control. "Her name is Miss Holt; at least have the decency to
get her name right if you're going to insult her," he said
"How dare you talk to me like that,
after ruining my awards presentation with your childish game of
Hide-and-Seek! I am *the* authority on proper etiquette at affairs
such as this, and I say a secretary has no business being a presenter
at such a prestigious affair as this!"
- Remington took a deep
- Laura patted his arm. "Mr.
Steele, remember your manners," she warned.
- "We are not questioning your
authority, sir---but if manners prevent our speaking the truth, we
will be without
- manners," Remington
- "John Ford to Donald Crisp,
How Green Was My
Valley, 20th Century Fox,
1971," Laura explained diplomatically. "Mr. Steele is always
making movie quotes; he is a great admirer of the movies. "
- "I assure you, Mr. Steele, this
is the last time my organization will ask you to be a presenter,"
Mr. Thorwald declared emphatically.
- "One more crack--just one--and I
will not only spit in your eye, but I will punch it black and
blue," Remington promised. He squared his shoulders and buttoned
his jacket. "Elizabeth Taylor to Madeline Sherwood,
Cat on a
Hot Tin Roof, MGM, 1958."
- Remington calmly held out his arm
for Laura. "Shall we, Miss Holt?"
- Laura took his arm and they left
Mr. Thorwald fuming.
Remington stretched out in the Auburn
the best he could while waiting for Laura to finish her call to
Mildred at a roadside phone booth. His head was still throbbing, but
not as badly as before. The pain medicine Laura insisted he take had
He jumped when he heard Laura's door
slam and watched as she took her place behind the wheel.
"I got Mr. Pop-Top's home address
from Mildred. He lives in Bel Air," she explained, brushing her
fingers across his slightly bruised cheek.
- "Ah, Bel Air! Where necking at a
bus stop is the only way to keep from getting arrested," Remington
mused with a smile. "The stuff that memories are made of."
- "I think you have that wrong;
shouldn't it be, 'The stuff that *dreams* are made
- "Perhaps, but what are dreams but
memories that have yet to happen?" he asked as he took Laura's
hand and kissed it tenderly.
- "Thank you," Laura said
- "For what?"
- "For standing up to that
chauvinist pig for me " Laura explained.
- "Well, when he insulted you, he
insulted me," Remington explained sincerely. "And thank
- "For what?" Laura asked,
- "For allowing me the honor of
defending you. Not too long ago you would have clobbered me for
that presumption," Remington said.
- "Yes," Laura admitted. "I would
have, wouldn't I?"
- Remington squeezed Laura's hand
and straightened up. "Well, on to Bel Air, where walking is a
- Laura started the Auburn and
studied the traffic for a break. "We're lucky you got a look at
that guy before he knocked you out. Hopefully, Mr. Pop-Top can
- "You realize we're grasping at
straws, Laura," Remington pointed out as a Laura pulled into the
traffic. "We have no proof that my assailant works for Mr. Pop-Top
or even that he's associated with this cola case."
- "True, but we aren't working on
any other cases at the moment. Besides, if we play our cards
right, he just might give us more cola to sample. I don't know
about you, but I'm thirsty," Laura explained.
- "Excellent point, Miss
- "We're going to need all the
energy we can muster this afternoon," Laura explained.
- "Oh? Why is that?"
- "Have you forgotten? We promised
to pick up Danny and his two friends at school and take them to
- "Ah, yes; their science project!"
Remington suddenly remembered. "And then afterwards, we have the
pleasure of enjoying one of Frances' scrumptious meals. Yes, I'm
rather looking forward to it."
- Laura gave Remington a look of
disbelief. "I still can't believe how you've taken to my family.
You really seem to enjoy their company. You even enjoy giving
Laurie Beth horsie rides and playing school with Mindy. And of
course, Danny is thrilled that he's finally found someone who
enjoys helping him put together classic model cars. I just don't
- "It's quite simple, Laura. Donald
has given me a greater appreciation for a certain freeway exit,"
Remington explained mysteriously.
- "Care to elaborate, Mr.
- "Uh, yes--and no."
- "What kind of answer is that?"
- "The best one I can come up with
on the spur of the moment," Remington explained
- "Whenever you care to fill me in,
I'm all ears," Laura promised as she patted his leg.
- "I'll bear that in mind,"
Remington promised. "Now, if you don't mind, I have a
- "Certainly, Mr. Steele. Just lay
back and leave the driving to me."
Remington leaned back and closed
his eyes, mentally kicking himself. Here he'd passed up another
perfect opportunity to discuss marriage and a family with Laura.
And once again, she'd even been the one to bring up the subject!
Four years ago, marriage had been the farthest thing from
Remington's mind. But now it was foremost on his mind. If only he
could find the courage to broach the subject with her! If only she
didn't have such a hang-up about marriage! If only he could find
the right words to express what he felt in his heart! If
If only his head wasn't
Laura and Remington said their
farewells and saw themselves out of Mr. Pop-Top's Bel Air mansion.
Their visit had yielded no useful information, but it did quench
their thirst. Remington unconsciously scratched his leg as they
walked back down the circular drive towards the Auburn sipping on
their 16 ounce bottles of cola.
"Well, at least the trip wasn't a
total loss," Remington commented, scratching.
"I'd love to take several bottles of
this stuff to dinner tonight. It's a shame we don't have any with
us," Laura sighed.
- "We've got to swing by the Agency
and change cars," Remington reminded her as he vigorously
continued to scratch. "We'll stick a few bottles in the car. Which
car are we going to use, anyway? You must admit, it would give the
kids a thrill to ride in the limo."
- Laura laughed. "That reminds
me--Mildred wanted to know why the back seat of the limo was
- "What did you tell her?"
Remington asked, raising an eyebrow.
- "Nothing. I decided to give her
something to wonder about."
- Laura abruptly stopped walking
and just stared at Remington. "Why do you keep scratching like
that!?" she asked, irritated.
- "After hearing Mr. Pop-Top
complain about his broken leg itching, I have this uncontrollable
urge to do some scratching of my own. Old habits die hard, I
- Laura edged up beside Remington
and put her arms around his waist. "What say you let me do the
scratching, Mr. Steele?" she volunteered.
- "That sounds like an offer I
can't refuse, Miss Holt. But unfortunately, Danny's school will be
out shortly and we still have to change cars," Remington reminded
- "Spoil sport," Laura
- "Just hold that feeling, Miss
Holt. If I'm not mistaken, the Observatory has the perfect spot
for a little intimate scratching," Remington said
- "Oh, Mr. Steele! You sly devil,"
Laura said admiringly.
- Remington grinned seductively as
he and Laura got into the Auburn and drove away.
Laura and Remington entered the
agency, surprised to find it was empty.
"Where's Mildred?" Remington asked,
"I don't know. She didn't say
anything to me about needing to leave early," Laura explained.
- When a thorough check of the
offices provided no clues to Mildred's whereabouts, Laura sat down
behind the secretary's desk and began rummaging through the
drawers. Remington, leaning against the desk, suddenly noticed
something they had missed earlier.
- "Miss Holt, why would Mildred
have two empty glasses on her desk?"
- "Good point, Mr. Steele. She
always uses the same glass. She wouldn't have *two* glasses on her
desk--unless she had a visitor." Running her finger around the rim
of one of the glasses, Laura tasted it and declared, "Mr.
- Remington leaned over Mildred's
waste basket and pulled out four empty bottles of cola. "Brilliant
deduction, Miss Holt," he said, reaching for his leg.
- "Stop that!" Laura ordered,
- Just then they heard a loud
crash. Each grabbing a bottle as an emergency weapon, they ran to
the closed door of the supply room. Laura stood behind Remington
as he flung open the door. They burst into the room, bottles held
- "Oh, Mr. Steele! Miss Holt!"
Mildred sputtered, straightening her clothes and hair.
- Ralph, the Century Center
security guard, nervously straightened his uniform.
- "What's going on here?" Remington
asked, scratching his leg.
- Laura swatted him. He merely gave
her an irritated look and turned his attention back to Mildred and
- Mildred flushed and stammered.
"Ah, uh...the coffee machine wasn't working, so I...I asked Ralph
to come up and take a look at it."
- "Ralph is a security guard,"
Remington pointed out.
- "Yes, but he's also a...a
handyman, in his spare time," Mildred explained.
- Remington and Laura exchanged
- "But the coffee maker was working
fine this morning," Laura reminded Mildred.
- "Went on the fritz ---just like
that," Mildred explained, snapping her fingers.
- Laura and Remington again looked
at each other.
- "Well, I guess I'll just be
moseying along now," Ralph said as he shuffled to the door. " I'll
see you later, Millie. Mr. Steele, Miss Holt..."
- "I'll, uh, let you know if that
adjustment you made did the trick!" Mildred called out as he
disappeared from view. Holding her head high, Mildred returned to
her desk, leaving Laura and Remington alone in the supply
- Laura glanced at the coffee
maker. "It's working perfectly," she hissed at Remington.
- He merely smiled and shrugged.
"I'm sure it is, Miss Holt, but we'll have to ponder this
intriguing turn of events at a later time. We don't want to be
late picking up the boys."
- "In all the excitement, I'd
forgotten all about it!" Laura explained as they walked out of the
supply room and into the lobby.
- "We're taking Miss Holt's nephew
and his friends to the Observatory," Remington called out to
Mildred as they headed for the double glass doors. "We'll be
taking the limo. The kids should get a kick out of that,
- Remington had the feeling Mildred
hadn't heard a word he had said. She was off somewhere that only
she knew and she had never looked happier.
- As he and Laura left, they could
have sworn they heard Mildred humming "Afternoon Delight."
To be continued...
This story copyrighted 1982-2002 by
Debra Talley. The characters of Remington
- are used without
permission. It is purely for entertainment purposes.