Steele, Inc.-Atlanta Division
 Steele for Better or for Worse
Part 4
Debra Talley and Thekla Kurth

A short time later, Laura and Remington were on their way to the office in the limo. Fred had congratulated them on their marriage straight away. Laura didn't miss the look that passed between Remington and Fred. She had suspected for quite some time that Fred and Mr. Steele had developed a special camaraderie between them. She wasn't sure she really wanted to know what that look had meant, so she chose to ignore it. For now.
"What do you bet Mildred sabotaged the Auburn?" Laura asked as the limo headed toward Century Center. "She didn't want us coming to the office today anyway."
"Remind me to give her a raise," Remington calmly remarked.
"Mr. Steele, need I remind you, we have work to do. We can't just take off at the drop of a hat!"
"You're absolutely right, Laura. We have reports to write, papers to file, paper clips to count and pencils to sort.We couldn't possibly find the time for a honeymoon, now could we?" Remington asked sarcastically.
"That's the price we pay for being the best, Mr. Steele. Business before pleasure. Remember?" Laura asked with a smile as she patted Remington's knee.
"It all depends on exactly what one wants to be the best at. Eh, Mrs. Steele?" Remington asked with a lop-sided grin.
Laura had no reply; she merely crossed her arms across her chest. Remington, watching her from the corner of his eye, did the same. And so it was that the two of them sat in silence, arms crossed, until the limo pulled up to Century Center.
"Remember, Laura," Remington reminded her as he painted a smile on his face. "Hap-hap-happy!"
Laura rewarded him with a painted smile of her own. She and Remington exited the limo and sent it on its way.
Putting his arm around her waist, he leaned close and said, "The happiest married couple in America, remember?"
"Why did I ever agree to this charade?" Laura demanded in frustration.
"Because you don't want to see me deported," Remington reminded her.
"I know, I know," Laura replied with a sigh as she put her arm around Remington's waist. "When I make a bargain, I stick to it. Don't worry."
"That's my little... trooper!" Remington said, barely correcting himself in time to save his foot from Laura's lethal stomp.
"Well, well, well. If it isn't the newlyweds!" a voice declared from across the lobby. Laura and Remington looked around and saw Grant, the manager of the lobby newsstand, motioning to them to join them.
"I certainly didn't expect to see the two of you today!" Grant explained.
"Yes, well, work stops for no man," Remington explained as he rubbed Laura's arm.
"I'm surprised you have the energy to work today. I mean, last night *was* your wedding night," Grant explained with a wiggle of his eyebrows.
"And truly A Night to Remember," Remington declared as he glanced at Laura with a smile.
"Brian Aherne. Loretta Young. 1942!" exclaimed Grant excitedly.
"Excellent, Grant!" Remington said.
"Hopefully, though, the only body you uncovered was Mrs. Steele's," Grant said with a wink.
Laura blushed.
"Suffice it to say our marriage is off to a lively beginning. Wouldn't you agree, my love?" Remington asked as he cocked his head to one side and looked at Laura.
"Absolutely, Darling. I'd always dreamed of being swept off my feet on my wedding day, and Remington certainly didn't let me down," she explained as she patted Remington's chest.
"I always was one to rise to the occasion," Remington explained, looking deeply into Laura's eyes. Placing his hand gently under Laura's chin, he leaned in for a long kiss. He knew Laura wouldn't protest in a public place, so he took his advantage while he could. He knew he'd probably pay for it later, but it would be worth it.
When Remington finally broke the kiss, he noticed that Laura was once again blushing. She wasn't used to public displays of affection.
"Ah, perhaps, we'd better go upstairs, Dear, where we can have some privacy," Laura suggested.
"Excellent idea," Remington agreed.
"Just a minute," Grant exclaimed, grabbing a copy of the Los Angeles Tribune and placing it in Remington's free hand. "You can read this in the elevator on the way up. Great picture."
Remington thanked him and led Laura to the nearest elevator. As they waited for their floor, they read about their marriage in the morning paper. The article was accompanied by a large picture of a smiling Laura and Remington outside Justice Hall's office.
They were the only passengers in their elevator, so they were able to speak freely.
"At least they spelled our names right," Remington finally commented.
"And one of us is a secretary," Laura said bitterly.
"This is no time to be petty, Laura," Remington reminded her.
"You're right," Laura admitted. "We should just be thankful that your brush with deportation wasn't reported."
"True, but this is only one newspaper. Chances are that all of the city newspapers will report on our Marriage of the Year. Even the National Whisperer And don't you just know that inquiring minds would love to know that the great Remington Steele is a fraud who stands a chance of being deported?"
Laura put her arm around Remington's waist. "Courage, Mr. Steele. They haven't licked us yet. I won't let anyone hurt Remington Steele; yours, mine or ours."
She gave him a quick peck on the cheek as their elevator came to a halt on the eleventh floor.
Laura and Remington walked arm and arm down the hall towards their suite. They heard the mayhem before they actually saw it, but it didn't register. When they arrived at Suite 1157 and looked through the glass doors, they came to an abrupt stop. Reporters and photographers filled every nook and cranny of the Steele reception area.
"Let's get out of here!" Laura whispered as she grabbed Remington's arm and they took off running down the corridor.
"There they are!" yelled a very perceptive reporter who looked a great deal like Jimmy Olsen. Mildred was nearly trampled as she made a vain effort to keep the mob away from the double glass doors.
Remington grabbed an empty elevator as the stampede headed their way. He shoved Laura inside before him and they both held their breath until the door finally closed, not a moment too soon. He then quickly punched LOBBY and then after a short wait, EMERGENCY STOP. The elevator jerked to a stop between the sixth and seventh floors. Then quickly ripping open the control panel and studying it for a moment, he disconnected two wires. A quick rescue was now impossible.
Remington, breathing heavily, turned and faced Laura. "I take it you don't want to go to work today after all. Am I correct, Mrs. Steele?"
"How perceptive of you, Mr. Steele," Laura commented.
"Yes, well, just one of my many virtues," Remington said with a smile.
"So now what? Do we just wait here until maintenance rescues us?" Laura asked.
"Well, that is a possibility. Actually, it could prove to be a very interesting wait. I can think of worse ways to spend the day than being stranded in an elevator with you. But while the wait might prove interesting, that won't solve our problem. The reporters will still be waiting whenever we are rescued," Remington explained. "But there is another alternative."
"I expected as much. You usually have a back up plan," Laura remarked.
"Actually, escaping from a stuck elevator is a very simple procedure," Remington said.
"Speaking from experience, are you?" Laura asked teasingly.
"You mean I never told you?" Remington inquired. "Ah, what an adventure! Stranded in a lift with a beautiful heiress a million pounds in precious gems and on the coldest day of the year with no heat. How we huddled for warmth! Must admit, though, she was a mite miffed that I waited seven hours to confess that I knew how to get us out of there. But oh, what memories we made in those seven hours."
"Just skip ahead to the chase. We don't have all day, you know. You can reminisce about your beautiful heiress tonight on the couch," Laura said.
Remington just grunted. "And here I thought you wanted to know about my past."
"Will you just shut up and get us out of here?" Laura demanded impatiently.
"Of course. Whatever you say," Remington conceded. "Most elevators have escape hatches. We just climb through the top of the car into the elevator shaft and open the door on the floor above us."
"Sounds simple enough," Laura admitted.
"Okay. Okay," Remington said as he bent over. "Just climb onto my shoulders so you can reach the escape hatch."
Laura climbed onto his shoulders and he managed to pull himself to a standing position. After he positioned them under the hatch, Laura managed to push the hatch through and slide it onto the top of the car.
"OK. Now crawl onto the top of the elevator," Remington directed.
Laura managed to pull herself through the open hatch into the elevator shaft.
Remington then made a giant leap and grabbed hold of the sides of the escape hatch. He crawled through it onto the top of their car, finally standing beside Laura. The door to the sixth floor was even with Remington's waist. He tried to pry the elevator doors open, but couldn't.
Taking a quick look around, he said, "Ah, hand me the metal trap door, Laura."
Laura did so and by using it for leverage, he was able to pry open the elevator door leading to the sixth floor corridor. He quickly pulled himself up to the 6th floor and gave Laura a hand.
"The back stairs, Mrs. Steele?" Remington asked as he took off quickly in that direction.
"Lead the way, Mr. Steele," Laura agreed.
It wasn't long before Laura and Remington exited Century Center by means of a side door and rushed to the street to hail a cab. Before they could do so, however, they noticed Fred and the limo approaching. That was just too much of a coincidence. They quickly scrambled into the limo and breathed a sigh of relief as Fred pulled into traffic.
"OK, Mate. Out with it!" Remington ordered.
"Out with what, Sir?"
"How did you just happen to be waiting in front of the building?" Laura asked.
"Orders, Mrs. Steele."
"Whose orders?"
"I'd rather not say, Ma 'am."
Remington started laughing.
"What's so funny?" Laura demanded.
"Mildred out conned us both! She kept us from going to work today after all, bless her romantically devious heart!" Remington noticed that Laura wasn't laughing. "Oh, come now, Laura. There's no way we can go to the office without being mobbed."
"Well, what are we going to do all day? I'm not about to return to the condo with you for the rest of the day!"
"You don't hear me suggesting that, do you? You're far more receptive to me in public these days, so I suggest we spend the day somewhere very public."
"Oh, you're impossible! Besides, aren't you forgetting that we're more likely to run into the press in a public place?" Laura asked.
"Not if it's public enough. How about Disneyland? Thousands of people, lots of hustle and bustle--the perfect place to lose ourselves in the crowd!" Remington explained.
He watched Laura carefully and was pleased when she broke into a wide smile.
"Disneyland!! Oh, Mr. Steele, I like your style! It just so happens I love amusement parks almost as much as I love circuses!"
Remington silently thanked his lucky stars. Finally, he had found a new way to lower Laura's defenses! With any luck, he wouldn't be sleeping on that bloody couch another night after all.
The day was all Remington had hoped for--and much more. He and Laura both forgot their inhibitions and allowed themselves to enjoy each other's company. Laura lived up to her end of the bargain and actually seemed to enjoy acting the part of a newlywed. Remington pressed his advantage to the limit. They convinced everyone they encountered that they were the happiest married couple in America. The scary thing was, they were even beginning to convince themselves.
Sometime after midnight they were in the limo on the way back to Remington's apartment. Both were laughing and Remington's arm was around Laura.
"I can't believe it took me over three years to find out amusement parks were a shortcut to your heart," Remington said.
"A girl can't give away all of her secrets, Mr. Steele," Laura explained. "After all, you have your secrets; I have mine."
"Maybe it's time we start sharing some of those secrets. Eh, Mrs. Steele?" Remington asked.
"Maybe it is," Laura said coyly. "You can start by telling me your real name."
"My real name. My real name. Really, Laura, you do have a one track mind," Remington complained.
"I might be willing to make a trade," Laura said seductively as she ran her fingers across Remington's chin.
"Unfortunately, that's the one item not up for trade, Mrs. Steele. But perhaps we can come up with a compromise," he suggested.
"A compromise..." Laura murmured as she leaned in for a kiss. "I think that could be arranged."
Their kiss was long and sweet. They didn't break it until the limo slowed to a stop two blocks from Remington's apartment.
"What say we finish our negotiations in bed, Mr. Steele," Laura whispered suggestively.
Remington merely grinned and licked his lips as Laura opened the door and stepped out of the limo. He followed, helping her into her jacket before slipping into his own. He then draped his tie around his neck, walked around to the rear of the limo and banged on the trunk.
"OK, Fred," he said loudly.
Fred hit the trunk release and Remington opened it, pulling out a spear gun with a collapsible grappling hook attached by a rope. He then closed the trunk and hit it twice.
The limo pulled away as Laura and Remington walked towards Remington's apartment building, keeping to the shadows.
"I'm impressed, Mr. Steele. Entering your apartment from the bedroom window so we can avoid the press stationed out front is brilliant idea," Laura smiled.
"Yes, well, hopefully you'll be even more impressed before the night is over," Remington promised.
"Indeed, Mr. Steele. I look forward to it."
The grappling hook caught on the air conditioning grate on the first throw. Laura started the long climb first, followed closely by Remington. It wasn't long until they scrambled onto Remington's fifth floor balcony. They made their way to the bedroom window, which Remington jimmied open in no time.
Once inside his bedroom, Laura lingered in Remington's arms while they shared a long kiss. Suddenly they heard someone clearing their throat behind them. Turning quickly, they were stunned to discover a stunning woman with long auburn hair and wearing an elegant dress sitting on the bed.
Laura recovered her voice first. "Goldilocks, I presume."
"Laura, I swear to you, I have never seen this woman before! I have no idea how she got into our apartment and I have no idea what she's doing on our bed!" Remington explained desperately.
Laura looked from Remington's pleading face to the strange woman's frightened one. "I believe you, Dear," she said as she walked closer to the bed.
"You do?" Remington stuttered in surprise.
"Now, just who are you and how did you get in here?" Laura demanded.
To be cont...part 5

Steele, Inc.-Atlanta Div.
This story copyrighted 1982-2005 by Debra Talley. The characters of Remington Steele
are used without permission. It is purely for entertainment purposes.