Felicia counted her lucky stars.
She never dreamed she'd get be able to enter the bedroom
undetected if Remington were in the room. She noiselessly crossed
the room and leaned over her former lover's sleeping form. Putting
his leg back under the covers, she lowered her face to within a
millimeter of his and began placing little kisses all over his
Remington was aroused out of his
slumber, but just barely.
"Uh, Laura...,"he mumbled. "Mmmm,
no fair...they'll hear...hmmm." Without opening his eyes, he put
an arm around Felicia's neck and gave her a sleepy, half-hearted
His arm dropped limply. "Ah, Babe
- it's too bloody early," he mumbled, barely opening his mouth,
which was buried in his pillow. After a beat, he muttered, "What
time is it?"
"It's the right time, honey,"
Felicia purred seductively as she ran her fingers through his
"Hmm. Dark at the Top of the
Stairs. Dorothy McGuire,
Robert Preston. Warner Brothers, 1960," Remington mumbled into his
pillow. "Go back to sleep, Luv."
Felicia captured Remington's face
between her hands and gave him an extremely passionate kiss. He
slowly dragged himself back into consciousness as Felicia's
passion increased. His passion rose, also, as he once again put
his arms around her neck.
Then suddenly he knew that the
soft creature in his arms was not Laura. Suddenly wide awake, he
sat up and found himself staring at a very smug Felicia. She
started to speak, but Remington clapped his hand over her mouth.
After reassuring himself that Laura was still asleep, he angrily
flung back the covers, grabbed his robe from the foot of the bed
and literally dragged Felicia into the bathroom. After closing the
door, he reached blindly for a towel and stuffed it beneath the
crack under the door to insure their privacy. Then flipping on the
light, he quickly scrambled into his robe.
"Oh, must you?" Felicia asked
disappointedly as she caressed Remington's bare chest.
He slapped her hands away, tied
the belt and crossed his arms angrily over his chest.
"What exactly are you doing
here?" Remington demanded in a whisper.
"Oh, I just dropped by for a
little visit. It was awfully thoughtful of you to leave the rope
out for me," Felicia explained as she ran her finger across his
He stopped her by taking hold of
"Really, Michael, you hardly seem
glad to see me at all."
"You always were a sharp lady,
Felicia," Remington said, adding extra emphasis to the word
"Really, Michael; I don't know
why you're so upset. I obviously wasn't interrupting a passion
filled evening between you and your blushing bride Nora."
"Whatever. The fact is, there
were miles between the two of you in that bed. Hard to believe,
since you're still on your honeymoon. Trouble in Paradise
"Quite the contrary. Everything
is perfect- except for a couple of details- which, incidentally,
are none of your business," Remington warned, pointing a finger in
"Michael, Darling, they hang
people for a couple of details," Felicia said with a grin.
"I see you're still playing the
movie game, Felicia," Remington noted.
"I had an excellent teacher,"
Felicia explained seductively, stepping closer to Remington. "And
the movie game wasn't all we studied together, was it? Surely you
"Now that I'm married to Laura, I
have no reason to remember those old days. I'm far more concerned
with my present and my future than I am with my past," Remington
"Really, Michael, you disappoint
me. You never struck me as the marrying kind. I mean, getting
married is serious business. It's kinda formal, like funerals or
playing stud poker," Felicia explained with a pout.
"William Gargan to Charles
Laughton. They Knew What
They Wanted. RKO, 1940,"
Remington quoted. "And you'd be surprised how stimulating stud
poker can be. Now enough pussy footing around, Luv. Why are you
"Actually, Michael, I'm in
desperate need of a loan and I was hoping you would find it in
your heart to help me out, for old times sake," Felicia
When Remington said nothing,
Felicia was afraid he was going to turn her down. Instead, he
asked, "How would you like to earn the money instead?"
"It depends on what you have in
mind," Felicia explained.
"Oh, it's perfectly legal,"
Remington insisted. "In fact, you'd be helping put a jewel thief
"Sounds stimulating, but it
couldn't begin to compare with the thrill I felt when I caught my
first jewel thief," Felicia said suggestively.
"Yes, but that one got away, my
dear, whereas this one won't. Not if you want to be paid, that
is," he explained.
Felicia sighed. "You drive a hard
bargain, but what choice do I have?"
"There is one condition,
however," Remington told her.
"And what would that condition
"That you behave yourself. That
means you stay away from Laura and keep your distance with me.
This is purely business."
"As you wish," Felicia conceded
with a sigh. "But I do hope that on occasion you're reminded of
our times together and find yourself smiling. Is it a crime to
want to be remembered?"
Remington smiled and lifted
Felicia's chin tenderly. "No. The pharaohs built the pyramids for
"It's always a movie quote with
you, isn't it?"
"What did you expect?" Remington
asked with a lopsided grin. "Friends?"
"Friends," Felicia said rather
unenthusiastically. "I suppose I'll just have to make do with
that, won't I?"
"Like I said, you always were a
sharp lady. Now come on; we better set this plan in motion. First,
we've got to go and locate an old mate of mine and sell him on the
plan. The rest will have to wait till the light of day. "
Remington instructed Felicia to
stay in the dark bathroom while he quickly dressed in basic black
in the darkened bedroom. He then led her to the bedroom door and
opened it. After taking about two steps into the living room, he
suddenly stopped dead in his tracks. Turning quickly, he pushed
Felicia back into the bedroom and closed the door.
"Can't go that way... Mildred or
Clarissa might hear," Remington explained.
"Got them waiting in the wings
already, Michael, dear?" Felicia teased.
Remington shot her a dark look
and motioned to the window. Felicia grabbed the rope first and
began her descent. After one long last look at Laura and a silent
prayer for her understanding, Remington quickly followed her. With
any luck, he could find Monroe, explain the plan and be back in
bed with Laura before she realized he was gone.
Unfortunately, however, Lady Luck
was not smiling on Remington this night.
As soon as he and Felicia
disappeared into the dark LA night, a very angry Laura sat up in
bed, grabbed her husband's pillow and flung it across the room.
How dare he sneak out the window with Felicia! That man! And to
think she'd come *this close* to giving in to him! Well, he
certainly had another thing coming if he thought he was going to
climb back into her bed.
Remington silently scampered back
through the open window of his bedroom just as dawn was creeping
over Los Angeles. He was in luck; Laura was still asleep! As he
quickly changed back into his pajama bottoms, he noticed his
pillow lying in the middle of the floor. Puzzled, he picked it up
and turned it over several times. Then shrugging, he crawled back
into bed and settled the covers under his chin. He was overwhelmed
with the temptation to take Laura in his arms, just to hold her
close, to feel her body against his. But Laura was the early
riser, not him, and she might be suspicious. So he waited quietly
for the alarm to go off .
Minutes later, the alarm
insistently signaled the start of the day. Laura turned it off and
lay back down for another quick 40 winks--or at least that's what
Remington thought. Actually, she was trying to decide the best way
to confront her philandering husband. After weighing her options,
she decided to let him make the first move.
She didn't have long to wait.
Remington yawned several times and lazily stretched. Then rolling
over beside his bride he took her in his arms, burying his face in
her hair. "Mm--finally--l wake up with you in my bed. Hopefully,
tonight it will be just the two of us--alone," he said dreamily as
he placed little kisses on Laura's neck.
Puzzled, he felt her
"You seem awfully chipper this
morning, Mr. Steele. I thought it took you hours to wake up,"
"Yes, well, actually I've already
been awake for quite some time now," Remington admitted.
"Really?" Laura asked, using a
tone of voice which dared to explain.
"Couldn't sleep. I was distracted
by the beautiful warm body just inches away from me," he
explained, nibbling on her shoulder and slowly easing the strap of
her nightgown off her shoulder with his teeth.
"How dare you?" she declared as
she scrambled out of bed and stood glaring at him, hands on her
Remington was shocked; he just
sat there in silence, rubbing his stinging jaw. What had happened
to the warm receptive creature he'd gone to bed with just the
"How dare you sneak out the
window with Felicia for an evening of fun and games and then crawl
back in our honeymoon bed as though nothing had happened!" Laura
declared indignantly. Then grabbing her pillow, she hit him with
it full force across the chest .
philandering, two-timing, deceitful, conniving snake in the
grass!" she yelled as she repeatedly hit him with her pillow,
ignoring his protests.
Finally, he grabbed his own
pillow and jumped off the bed, anger blazing in his blue eyes.
"You spy on me and then call me deceitful?" he accused.
"What was I supposed to do?
Invite myself along for the fun and games? I assure you, that's
too kinky for my blood!" Laura declared.
Remington slapped his pillow
across her chest and she retaliated.
"I don't believe what I'm
hearing, woman! You really think I'd jump out of bed with you and
into bed with another woman?" Remington declared.
"What else was I supposed to
think? I saw you leave with her! And then you had the nerve to
climb back into our bed and
act as though nothing had
"That's because nothing did
happen!!" Remington said, popping her with his pillow.
"Hah!!" Laura screamed, slapping
him across the face with her pillow.
Remington grabbed her pillow and
flung it to the floor. Then he dropped his own and faced Laura
with a look in his eyes that frightened her.
"You still don't trust me,"
Remington stated in clipped tones. He was breathing heavily now,
as was Laura.
"Well, you've certainly never
given me much reason to trust you, have you? Our entire
relationship has been based on deceit--the most recent example,
before tonight, being Cannes," Laura spit out bitterly.
"Cannes, again! I'm beginning to
think we'd have been better off if we'd just ended it then and
there!" Remington declared.
Laura continued to breath
heavily, but did not speak.
Remington said nothing, either.
He just walked to the closet and grabbed some clothes. With his
back to Laura, he couldn't see the look of panic on her face.
Clothes in hand, he turned to face her.
Laura squared her shoulders. She
wasn't about to let him see how scared she was.
"That's it--take your clothes and
just get out!" Laura yelled bitterly. "All you've ever wanted from
me anyway is a roll in the hay. I should have given in to you
years ago just to get rid of you! We've done nothing but bring out
the worst in each other. I swear, if you existed, I'd divorce you!
It'd serve you right to be deported! You've been nothing but
trouble since the minute I met you, and I was better off without
Remington breathed heavily,
stunned and hurt by what he'd just heard. "You mean that, don't
you?" he said quietly.
"Just get out! Get out of my
life!" Laura yelled as she shoved his shoulder.
He forcefully grabbed her wrist,
causing her to grimace. He was so stunned by what he'd just heard
that he failed to realize the strength of his grip. When Laura
began beating her fists on his chest, he dropped his clothes and
gripped her shoulders.
"Let go of me, you miserable
swine!" she demanded.
Abruptly, Remington released
Her eyes stinging, she bent over,
gathered up his clothes and flung them in his face. "Just take
your clothes and get out of here! I can't believe you've stayed
around this long!"
Remington silently snatched his
clothes. He gave Laura a look so full of hurt and pain it sent
shivers up her spine. Then he quietly turned and walked to the
His hand on the knob, he slowly
turned and faced her. "I stayed around because I thought we cared
for each other," he explained softly. "Perhaps I was
He opened the door and left,
closing the door softly behind him.
Laura backed up against the
mirrored closet door and slid slowly to the floor. Burying her
face in her knees, she cried.
Remington went through the day in
a daze. His plan to bust Keyes, set in motion the night before
with Monroe and Felicia, had worked to perfection. Having realized
that Keyes had seen him with Clarissa at the jail and would be
suspicious, Remington had convinced Monroe to take his place at
the poker game. Monroe was one of the best. He and Remington had
once spent countless days on Barbados playing poker while
recovering from injuries they received in a scheme gone bad.
Remington was relieved to see that Monroe hadn't lost his
Felicia definitely had not lost
her touch, either--a fact of which Remington was only too recently
aware. She had, however, kept her word. She had played up to Keyes
admirably and kept him distracted. He hadn't even noticed that
Monroe was cheating. Monroe busted him at the table, Keyes
retrieved the gems to pay off his losses and Vigilance Insurance
and the Police nailed him.
Finally, Clarissa's problem was
Remington couldn't help but think
of the irony. Now that he and Laura could have an uninterrupted
evening together, he doubted she'd let him within 10 miles of her.
He had never felt so despondent. His whole reason for living had
Monroe could tell something
serious was bothering him. He'd never seen Mick so withdrawn and
preoccupied; he was just a shadow of a man. Monroe wanted to help,
but Mick wouldn't let him get close. Having no choice, he watched
Mick settle into the Agency limo and head for who knew
Remington wasn't ready to return
to his condo yet; indeed, he wondered if he'd ever be ready.
Instead, he had Fred drive him to the Agency. With sagging
shoulders, he shuffled into the Agency lobby, walked right past
Mildred without a glance and headed in the direction of his
Mildred's heart ached at the
sight of him. She had heard every word of his argument with Laura
in the wee hours of the morning. As a result, she'd spent the
morning comforting a repentant and guilt ridden Laura. Laura was
sure she'd never see him again, that he'd been hurt once too
often--that she had finally driven him away.
Remington was as big a wreck as
Laura was, Mildred noted.
"Boss, you look awful!" she said
as she walked over to him. "You're all haggard and pasty; your
right eye is twitching."
Remington just stared at her with
bleary eyes. With no comment, he walked around her to his office
"Uh, Boss, you have company,"
"Get rid of them, Mildred. I'm
not in the mood for company. I'll wait in Laura's office."
"Uh, Boss--it's Estelle Becker
from Immigration. Remember her?"
"I remember, Mildred; only too
well," Remington sighed sadly. Taking a deep breath, he entered
"Good afternoon, Miss Becker,"
Remington said blandly as he took a seat behind his desk. "What
can I do for you?"
"Something's come up, Mr. Steele.
Our routine investigation of Justice Bailey has uncovered a slight
"A problem?" Remington
"Well, nothing that can't be
easily taken care of. But, yes, a problem," Miss Becker explained.
"It seems that the Justice's license expired the day before he
performed your marriage ceremony. He's since received a new
license. Immigration understands that these things happen, Mr.
Steele, but it will be necessary for you and Miss Holt to get
married again as soon as possible. We're willing, however, to give
you a few days if you'd like to plan something special."
Remington was lost in thought. He
could still hear Laura's voice: 'If you existed, I'd divorce you!
It'd serve you right to be deported. You've been nothing but
trouble since the minute I met you, and I was better off without
"Mr. Steele? Mr. Steele? Are you
all right?" Miss Becker asked, concerned. "You don't look
"You're very perception, Miss
Becker. But I'm afraid you'll have to excuse me; there's a
personal matter I must attend to that simply cannot wait." With
that, Remington stood and escorted Estelle to the door.
"Are you sure you're all right,
Mr. Steele?" she asked, truly concerned.
"That remains to be seen, Miss
Becker. Good day," Remington said as he opened the door.
To everyone's surprise, Mildred
tumbled directly into his arms.
"0h, Mr. Steele, I'm so sorry. I,
uh, I tripped," she explained lamely.
"Of course, you did," Remington
said, knowing full well she had been eavesdropping.
"You heard?" Remington asked as
soon as Estelle said her farewells and left.
"Every word. Listen, Boss, I can
call Justice Bailey right now and schedule a time for another
marriage ceremony ASAP," Mildred offered.
"No," Remington stated
"What do you mean 'No'?" Mildred
asked in disbelief.
"Mildred, unless you suddenly
went deaf, I'm sure you heard our little domestic confrontation
this morning. Perhaps the best thing I can do is to just leave. As
of this morning, I seem to have no reason to stay."
"But, Boss, all newlyweds have
little spats!" Mildred explained sympathetically.
"Perhaps, but I think our
confrontation this morning far exceeded a little spat," Remington
explained dejectedly, walking past Mildred and heading for the
"Where are you going?" Mildred
asked, suddenly afraid.
"I'll call Fred," Mildred offered
as she grabbed the phone.
"I think I'll walk," Remington
explained. "Goodbye, Mildred." Leaning over, he gave her a kiss on
"See you tomorrow, Chief?"
Mildred hopefully asked.
Remington just looked at her with
pain filled eyes, turned, and walked away.