A Sequel to
"Steele in the Mood" and "Bonds of Steele"
with Thekla Kurth
Laura felt confident that her
marriage with Remington was legal. Her partner had too much to
lose to plan a scam marriage with her. Besides, if it was a phony
marriage he wanted, why didn't he just rush her back to the fake
minister at the Chapel? Why go to all the trouble of setting up a
wedding in international waters? And besides, he'd left all of
those clues for her. He had obviously expected her to stop his
marriage to Clarissa, so wasn't it logical that he would have Juan
and his crew on hold, just waiting for her to come
The more Laura thought about how she had been manipulated, the
less forgiving she became. By the time she arrived at the dock,
she was ready to rake Remington over the coals once again. She
realized her emotions had been on a roller coaster for the past 24
hours, but after all, weren't pregnant women allowed?
Laura had no luck in locating Juan or his fishing boat All of the
boats had left at dawn and would not return until later in the
day. No one she questioned seemed to know Juan. Oh, they knew
several Juans, not the one she wanted. She trudged around the pier
until her nose and stomach could stand no more. She finally
decided she'd better not press her luck--after all, her stomach
had already been pretty queasy lately.
Her new destination was the Hall of Records at the county
courthouse. She didn't have to search long. Juan had gotten up
bright and early and filed the papers on their marriage. She had
been right in her suspicions about Juan, after all.
In an underhanded sort of way, Remington was telling the truth
when he said Juan wasn't the captain. He just failed to mention
that Juan was the *acting* captain, with him all the rights and
privileges of the captain. And as if that wasn't enough, Juan was
also a licensed minister.
Laura couldn't help smiling at the degree of Remington's
thoroughness. He'd left nothing to chance.
Laura was relieved that Remington had not actually lied to her
about Juan and their marriage. She had come to trust him in the
last year, and she was glad he had not betrayed that trust. She
could accept--even forgive--his underhandedness regarding their
marriage; after all, that was partly her fault, anyway. But she
was very proud that even with Immigration nipping at his heels,
Remington had not lied to her. In fact, he had been more honest
than she had realized at the time. Hadn't he said they would be
the happiest married couple in America? At the time, she thought
they were just words, but now she was determined to make them come
As she scanned the paperwork, she suddenly burst out laughing. She
didn't even realize it until she noticed people staring at her.
Well, Remington was certainly right when he said they'd laugh
about everything some day. She wished she could explain it the
poor, confused souls within earshot, but how could she make them
see the humor in Remington Steele being married aboard a fishing
boat named La Reina Africano --The African Queen?
"I didn't think you'd be coming in at all today, Mrs. Steele. The
boss said you were feeling under the weather this morning,"
Mildred explained, surprised to see Laura breeze into the
Laura passed it off. "Oh, it was nothing. Probably just because of
all the, uh, excitement yesterday."
"Ah, Laura; I thought I heard your lilting voice," Remington said,
coming out of his office.
"I wanted to tie up loose ends here before we leave on our
"Well, there really isn't much," Mildred answered. "We've been
taking care of all of those little loose ends. But guess what,
"What?" Laura and Remington asked in unison an they exchanged a
"I've been making arrangements for your honeymoon," she explained
enthusiastically. "A driver will meet you at the airport and take
you to a secluded, exotic and romantic hideaway in a lush,
tropical, picturesque setting. It's the perfect honeymoon locale
for lovebirds like you. My travel agent has never been
"Mexico, wasn't it, Mildred?" Remington asked.
She nodded, "Oh, but this is the perfect.."
"So you've said, Mildred," Remington interjected. "But Mexico has
not exactly been one of our favorite places. It's brought us
nothing but bad luck."
"Oh, but Boss, this will be different," she insisted.
Remington and Laura eyed each other again and tried not to
Remington finally cleared his throat and extended his arm to
Laura, saying, "Yes, well, if you'll excuse us, I believe Mrs.
Steele and I will call it a day and go home."
"But I just got here!" Laura pointed out.
"Really, Laura, there's nothing more to be done here," he said.
"We'll go home and I'll prepare us a nice, romantic, candlelight
dinner. Steak oupovier, baked potatoes, green beans... a good
bottle of vintage wine."
It sounded wonderful to Laura, so she just sighed and took her
husband's extended arm. They walked arm in arm out of the agency
and down the hallway to the elevator.
"Everything but the wine. I'm getting a headache and I don't think
that would help," she lied, not wanting to tell him just yet the
real reason she couldn't have any wine.
As Remington drove them home in the Auburn, he asked,"What did you
do today? "
"A few errands," she said vaguely.
"You did something different with your hair," he
She didn't think he would notice. "I had to," she explained. "Some
of those snares just wouldn't come out."
"I like it," he said honestly.
She reacted with surprise to his compliment. "Thank you," she
finally said, brushing her bangs aside.
"You're welcome," he said pleasantly, giving her a big
Laura returned his smile and felt herself blushing. To her
surprise, she was actually looking forward to the promise of what
the evening might bring.
Dinner was for the most part a quiet affair. Laura was waiting for
Remington to make the first move. Remington, noticing her
quietness and remembering what she'd said earlier about having a
headache, thought she wasn't in the mood for conversation. About
the only thing they did commented on was the location of their
"A secluded, exotic, romantic hideaway,''Laura mused. "I bet it's
not secluded enough to hide us from all the Mexican policeman
you've rubbed the wrong way."
"Laura, just how many Mexican policemen do you think I've
She didn't answer, but went on. "I'll probably end up having to
bail you out of jail for some crime you committed in your deep
dark past. Or I'll have to rescue you from the clutches of some
authority with a long memory."
"Exotic? Romantic? If it's any kind of resort, beautiful
vacationing women will be throwing themselves at you-- n the
lobby, in the restaurant, in the bar, at the pool. They'll
probably even be in our room, hiding under the bed. You somehow
seem to attract them like a magnet."
"Laura, I'm hurt. How could you possibly even think
"Easy. It happens all the time. Here in L.A. and everywhere else
"My eyes will only be on you, my dear," he assured her.
She wondered which movie that line had come from. Surely, he
"A magnet, eh?" Remington repeated, amused.
Laura made a face. "And what do you want to bet that someone will
be shooting at us every time we're kissing?"
"If we get shot at when we're merely kissing, I wonder what will
happen when we, uh, you know, when we..."
"Lightning will probably strike us," she said ruefully, completing
his thought as she rose and began helping him clear the
They spent the next few minutes loading the dishwasher and
cleaning up the kitchen. It felt so comfortable, so right, the two
of them puttering around together in the kitchen. Laura tried to
hold onto the feeling when they returned to the living room and
sat close together on the couch.
"On the other hand, our Mexican vacation might not be so bad,"
Laura said optimistically, taking up the conversation where they
had left off earlier. "We'll be getting away from the hustle and
bustle for a few days. We'll have a change of scenery, a chance to
relax. The hotel is in a lush, tropical picturesque setting and
should have all of the amenities.You must admit, it does sound
"Around-the-clock room service and wine cellar to rival my own,"
Remington added, getting into the spirit things. "A French chef
who serves only the finest cuisine. Satin sheets, 'Do Not Disturb'
signs...and showers big enough for two."
He paused for a moment and gazed out the window, trying to gather
his courage. "Uh, Laura,"
he continued. "There's something I want to say- something I have
to tell you before we begin our honeymoon."
He reached to put his arm around her, but saw that she was curled
up against the couch pillows, asleep. The day's events had
exhausted her. Remington slipped his arms beneath her shoulders
and knees and lifted her, gently carrying her into his
She stirred in his arms. "My turn...for the couch...tonight," she
"Uh-uh," he mumbled as he placed her on the bed, took off her
shoes and tucked the covers over her. Pausing at the door, he
looked at her longingly as he whispered, "Pleasant
Laura awakened slightly and saw him standing in the doorway.
"Don't go," she pleaded. Please, stay with me tonight. Just hold
me. Tonight, I just need to be held."
He could not resist her or her uncharacteristic request. Still
fully dressed, he crawled in beside her and took her into his
arms. She snuggled against his shoulder and was quickly asleep
again, this time in his arms. It wasn't long before Remington fell
asleep as well. He was too tired to even think about Laura, about
her mood swings, about their future, or about what he had not told
her yet. He just gave into his tiredness.
The second day after their wedding, Laura again woke up feeling
nauseous. Remington was still asleep beside her, but he awoke as
she raced for the bathroom.
He stirred, still half asleep, and mumbled, "Hum? Laura? Laura?"
The sounds of her being sick caused him to come fully awake.
Instantly alert, he threw back the bed covers and raced to the
bathroom, pausing just outside the open doorway. "Laura? Laura,
are you all right?"
"I'm fine," she snapped.
"No, you're not,'' he said as he hesitantly walked to her side and
helped her back to bed. "This is the second morning in a
"You don't have to remind me," she sighed as she rolled onto her
side, fighting another wave of nausea that was threatening to
He rubbed her back consolingly. "How can I help, Laura? Can I get
"No," she mumbled into the pillow, turning her face away from him.
Suddenly it occurred to her exactly what she was doing. She was
shutting him out again. She turned to face him, saying, "Maybe
some tea and toast? That seemed to help yesterday."
"Okay. Coming right up." He bent and planted a quick kiss on her
forehead, brushing her hair back. Then he left, heading for the
He couldn't help worrying about Laura. Her sickness, her
tiredness, her constantly changing moods. What was wrong with her?
Was the idea of marriage causing her all this distress? He
continued to ponder the situation as he quickly prepared a tray
and carried it into the bedroom.
Laura was once again in the bathroom, but she walked back into the
room as he placed the tray on the bed. She sat down on the bed and
picked up a cup, sipping the hot tea. Remington studied her,
trying to figure her out. He felt uneasy, knowing what he had to
say to her. He knew it could not be delayed any longer, not with
what it was doing to her.
He cleared his sandpaper throat and tried to begin. "Umm...
She looked up, still nibbling on her toast. "Did...did you stay
with me last night?" she asked.
Her question took her by surprise. "Why, uh, yes. You fell asleep
on the couch, so I carried you in here and put you to bed. I
wouldn't have stayed, but you asked me to."
She looked down at the napkin she was twisting in her lap and
He noticed and said, "Laura, is there something wrong with our
sleeping together? I mean, it's not as if it's the first
"No, maybe not, but.."
"Laura, yesterday morning I started to tell you
"Ah, yes, your confession."
"Yes, my confession. It all started with the Temptation Cola
"Oh, my God!" Laura exclaimed, flopping onto the pillows and
holding her head in her hands. "Don't remind me of that. Days and
nights of uncontrollable passion! All of the trouble that we
encountered--all of the embarrassment!"
"But it wasn't all bad, though. Was it?" he asked, looking at
"No, it wasn't all bad," she admitted. "There were
"Yes, indeed; I remember those moments quite well," he reminisced
"Okay. I'll bite. What the hell does the Temptation Cola case have
to do with our fiasco of a wedding?" she demanded, sitting
The phone rang then and Remington glared at it.
"Have you ever thought of getting an answering service?" Laura
"The thought has crossed my mind."
"Let it ring," she said. "Now, you were saying..."
Taking her advice and ignoring the offending instrument, he
continued. "Yes, well, it all started the day that the Rabbit died
and Estelle Becker summoned me to the immigration office. She
informed me that I was an illegal alien --that I had some
discrepancies in my passport..."
When the phone continued to ring, he looked apologetically at
Laura and finally grabbed the receiver.
"Hello," he barked. "Leon?"
He looked questioningly at Laura.
Laura mouthed, "People magazine. The publicity agent"
"Oh, yes. Leon, what can I do for you, mate?... A statement
regarding my marriage to Miss Holt?... Yes, it was rather sudden.
But it is something we 'd been contemplating for some
Laura recalled Remington's recent attempted proposal and realized
he was telling the truth. She smiled at him as he continued to
give his statement over the phone.
"No, Leon. Just say we were seized by the moment and eloped...
Yes, Laura made a truly lovely bride... White dress? No, she wore
a, uh, a suit."
Laura made a face at him.
"Honeymoon? Our secretary is making all of the arrangements. We're
leaving tomorrow... Photos? Well, we never had the opportunity to
have any taken... Yes, thank you, Leon. I know we'll be very happy
together... Yes, I'll give Mrs. Steele your best"
He replaced the receiver, "Leon sends his best wishes."
"Wonderful," Laura groaned. "Now it will be all over the
"Laura, you have to expect that people will be interested,"
Remington reminded. her.
Oh, no!" she said, groaning louder. "Frances! My mother! What will
I tell them?"
"The truth?" he suggested.
"I don't even know what the truth is," she shot back. "Well, I
suppose I can come up with sort of explanation if I can just have
a few minutes of peace and quiet to think."
No such luck. This time it was the doorbell. Remington went to
"Your tux cleaned up real well, Mr. Steele," a delivery boy said,
handing a plastic bag to him
"Thank you," Remington aid, tipping the boy and sending him on his
He was just about to close the door when he saw the elevator doors
at the end of the hall open and discharge Mildred.
"Mildred," Remington asked, surprised. "What are you doing here at
"The travel agency just delivered your tickets. I wanted to bring
them by. You leave at 8 a.m." She handed him the
"Thank you, Mildred, but was it necessary to book such an early
flight?" Then ushering her inside the apartment he pulled her
aside, making sure they were out of Laura's line of vision. "But
there may be a slight problem."
"Oh, come on, Boss. You can get up early if you have
"It's not that. It's just that Laura's not feeling very well
"Yeah, you told me yesterday that she was sick."
"Well, she was sick again this morning," Remington
Mildred tried to be optimistic. "I'm sure that it's nothing. She
probably needs a rest more than anything. She's been working
awfully hard lately."
He sighed. "That, along with every thing else.These past two days
have put quite a strain on her. Maybe *too* much of a
Mildred patted his arm. "That's why a chance to get away and rest
will do both of you a world of good. It's probably just tension.
Nothing to be worried over."
"All the same, perhaps we should postpone our honeymoon for a few
days until Laura is feeling better.
"But, Boss, the tickets are non-changeable and non-refundable.
Besides, you heard what Miss Becker said about honeymooning as
soon as possible. Mrs. Steele is going to be just fine once the
two of you get away and have some time to yourselves. Now don't
worry bout a thing."
After dispensing her tickets and her advice, Mildred gave
Remington a quick peck on the cheek and headed for the
When Remington returned to the bedroom, Laura was in the bathroom
"That was Mildred," he yelled above the roar of the water. "She
brought by our tickets. We leave tomorrow morning at
"So early?" Laura asked loudly as she turned off the
"Do you really want to go? I mean, do you really *feel* like
going?" he asked, sitting on the edge of the bed.
Laura emerged from the bathroom wearing a robe and walked to the
closet. Pushing open the door, she selected one of two dresses
she'd thought to bring from the loft the day before.
"I'm fine," she stated, feeling much better than she had earlier.
Once the morning's nausea passed, she always felt fine.
"But this morning and yesterday..."
"I told you; I'm fine," she snapped. "Look. I want to go on this
trip." On his look, she quickly amended her choice of words.
"Whatever! I'm actually looking forward to it. "In fact," she
added as she headed back into the bathroom, "I thought I 'd do
some shopping for it today."
Remington tried to talk to her through the closed door, but he
soon gave up. He hated trying to carry on a conversation with a
door between them. Besides, Laura was back to changing her moods
faster than he could turn his head. It was making him dizzy. One
minute she was accepting of him and showing signs of submission,
and the next she was mad at him for no good reason. Of course, he
couldn't blame her. It was a wonder he was alive at all, much less
in the same room with her. It was a wonder she hadn't killed him.
But when she found out the truth she just might kill him, though--
especially if she was in one of her angry moods. His confession
would just have to wait until she was feeling more receptive and
"All yours." she said, relinquishing the bathroom. "I'm off.
First. I'm going shopping, and then I need to go to the loft to
"Okay," he sighed. "See you later."
As she headed to the door to the living room, he suddenly stood
and hurried over to her, saying, "Wait a minute." Then taking her
into his arms and he kissed her.
"Mr. Steele," Laura gasped, surprised when his friendly kiss began
turning into something more passionate.
"Sorry," he mumbled, breaking the kiss.
"Sorry?" she asked with a bemused look on her face. "Sorry for
"No. Yes. Like that. I didn't mean..." He tried to explain, but
Laura was glaring at him now. "Oh, forget it," he said as he
started for the bathroom.
Then turning back, he asked hesitantly, "Dinner
"No. I thought maybe a restaurant," he suggested.
"All right; it's a date," she conceded. "Make a reservation, and
call me later at the loft."
"A date, eh?" he muttered to himself after Laura left. "I have to
make a bloody date to see my own wife!"
He ruefully realized that even though he had Laura right where he
wanted her, his wooing of her had only just begun.
Laura spent a busy and exhausting day shopping. She bought several
new outfits, keeping in mind that she would be traveling to a
tropical locale. It was also her honeymoon and she shopped with
that in mind, as well. She even chose new lingerie--not too
daring, but soft and feminine.
She had high hopes for this honeymoon. She knew that once she and
Remington were alone together, away from L.A., some of her
inhibitions and fears would dissolve. They could take the first
steps in truly becoming a happily married couple. Even though
she'd had qualms about this honeymoon at the first mention of it,
she was now believing it could turn out to be a blessing in
After several hours, Laura was about shopped out. Her feet hurt.
She was looking forward to going home and soaking them. She even
suspected that her feet and ankles were beginning to swell.
"Wonderful," she groaned. If her feet could groan, they would
Her attention was momentarily distracted from her feet as she
passed by the baby and infant department. She couldn't resist
stopping to look. She picked up a tiny, adorable blue sleeper,
marveling at the smallness of the size. She held it in her hands
and offered a silent prayer of hope that in a few months time she
would have need of just such a tiny garment.
As she refolded the sleeper and set it back on the shelf,
something else caught her eye--a backpack for baby. Now that could
come in handy one day, Laura thought to herself. She thought of
all the advantage of having her baby close to her while she
worked. On an impulse, she had a clerk put the backpack on hold.
She could pick it up later, after she knew for sure she would have
a baby to put in it.
As she left the baby department and entered the maternity
department, she couldn't help thinking of all the things she would
need --a crib, baby clothes, diapers, car seat...and maternity
clothes. She held up a dress and looked in a mirror, it was
difficult to imagine herself in the full bloom of pregnancy. She
selected a blouse with a full cut; she could wear it belted for
now and, later it could be worn as a maternity top.
Her shopping completed, Laura returned to her loft to pack. She
placed the suitcases by the door and then made a mad dash for the
shower. The phone was ringing when she came out of the shower. The
hot water felt divine to her sore feet and her aching muscles, so
she splurged and stayed enjoyed a longer shower than usual. She
would have stayed longer, but the phone started ringing. Wrapping
a towel around herself on the way, she headed for the phone and
tried to ignore the puddle of water she was leaving behind
Just as she suspected, it was Mr. Steele.
"How soon can you be ready?" he asked. "Can I pick you up in an
"All right,"she agreed. "But bring the limo. l have my bags packed
and we might as well take them with us now, rather than have to
come back for them in the morning."
When Remington arrived, he carried Laura's suitcases down and
loaded them into the limo's trunk.
"Where are we going to dinner?" she inquired.
"A place that should bring back some memories. Where I first took
you to dinner."
"I thought the Huntington Sheraton was closed for
"Laura. I'm shocked that you've forgotten. We had champagne
there-- not dinner."
"We had a magnum of Champagne," she wistfully said.
He smiled. She had remembered.
The name plate was not brass. It was solid gold.
"A memento," Remington said as he presented it to her.
Laura was touched by his gesture. She was even more touched when
he excused himself to visit the men's room and, in his absence, a
magnum of champagne was delivered to the table.
Claude, the maitre'd, delivered it himself. "I once said to Mr.
Steele that you were by far, the finest lady he had brought here.
Let me offer you my best wishes on your marriage."
"Thank you," she said, sincerely touched. Her curiosity was now
piqued. "Just how many women did Mr. Steele bring here?"
Claude waved his hand in the air as if to dismiss her inquiry.
"Oh, a few. But he has never presented a solid gold name plate to
anyone but you." He bent, took her hand and gallantly kissed it.
Remington returned to the table at that point. "Claude," he said
jokingly, "if I weren't a better man. I'd think you were trying to
make time with my wife."
Claude laughed. He shook Remington 's hand and offered his
congratulations, then left the newly married couple
Throughout that evening, Laura was surprised and touched many
times by Remington's thoughtful gestures. He was doing his best to
remind her of their fondest memories together. A trio of Mexican
musicians appeared at their table to play a rousing version of
Guantanamera, followed by Feelings and then Laura. Laura thought
the evening couldn't have been any nicer, but she was
Just as she thought the evening was almost over, Remington placed
a blue velvet box on her dessert plate. Opening it, she discovered
a silver cross on a chain. Realizing it wasn't new, she waited
anxiously for Remington to tell her the story behind it.
"I was told it belonged to my mother." Remington said with a
shrug. "Whether that's true or not, I don't know for sure. I've
been told so many lies in my life."
Laura leaned over and kissed him. She was truly touched. She
lifted up her hair and had him fasten the necklace around her
neck, over the heart necklace she was still wearing. Remington had
already noticed she was wearing his heart necklace and took a
moment to rub his thumb over it. Laura captured his hand with her
own and slowly brought it to her lips for a whisper-soft kiss.
Soft brown eyes connected with eyes of lavulite blue and the
result was a fireworks display visible to no one except the two
young lovers sitting at Claude's special table.
Following their exquisite dinner, Remington surprised Laura by
taking her to an oceanside carnival and circus. They watched the
show under the Big Top and then took a ride on the Ferris
Laura started laughing as she remembered their *last* ride on a
Ferris wheel, when they were entertaining the Piper children. "How
did we ever do it?" she gasped as she looked down from the top.
"Up here? On a Ferris wheel?"
"Where there's a will, there's a way, eh? Besides, the Ferris
wheel we rode on with your nephew and nieces was enclosed. It had
wire mesh cages instead of open seats like this," he pointed
They capped the evening off with a stroll along the
"Ah, a moonlit night... A lovely pier... A beautiful woman by my
side... What more could I ask for?" Remington asked.
"Just this," Laura said as she put her arms around him, stood on
tiptoes and kissed him.
The kiss was just beginning to turn into something more
interesting when Remington murmured against her lips, "Someone's
"Arnock, Laura. Arnock. You still become flustered when I kiss
you?" he asked, a note of pride in his voice.
Laura shivered in his arms.
"It's getting cold," Remington said as he removed his jacket and
tenderly draped it around her shoulders. "We'd better
Putting his arm around her, they began strolling back up the pier
to the limo.
"You know, Laura, we really owe Emory Arnock." When she looked at
him questioningly, he went on. "After all, he was the one who
suggested we become lovers, three full years before it actually
She corrected him. "Uh-uh. *You* were the one who suggested we
pose as lovers.Emory only agreed with you."
"Why argue the semantics now?" Remington asked, kissing her once
more before helping her into the limo.
Laura fell asleep on the way back to Remington's apartment. She
awakened, however, when he tried to lift her out of the limo and
carry her upstairs.
"Sorry," she muttered. "I must have fallen asleep."
"It's becoming a habit with you," he commented as he put his arm
around her again and began helping her out of the car.
"You don't need to carry me," she insisted. "I can make
She made it, but just barely. Once inside their apartment, Laura
headed immediately for the bedroom and changed for bed.
While waiting for his bride, Remington belatedly realized he had
not even broached his intended subject for the evening. Maybe now
would be a good time, he thought. A nightcap, a roaring
fire...What could be more conducive to the truth? Being
optimistic, he lit the fire and poured out two measures of cognac.
When 10 min. had passed and she hadn't come out, he drank one of
the cognacs. When 10 more minutes passed, he drank the other one.
When another five minutes passed and she still hadn't emerged from
the bedroom, he decided to check on her.
"Laura?" he called into the partially open bedroom door, pushing
it open with a finger. "Laura?"
He found her curled up on the bed beneath the blanket, fast
asleep. He gazed down at her for a long minute. The sight of her
in peaceful, contented dreamland always touched a tender spot in
his heart. He leaned over, brushed back a lock of her hair and
lightly kissed her cheek. Then he quietly left, not wanting to
Taking a pillow and a blanket from his closet, he made his bed on
the couch. As he was putting the empty glasses in the kitchen
sink, he reflected on the perfect evening he and Laura had just
shared. It was an ideal way to begin their honeymoon. He was
beginning to have high hopes for their trip to Mexico. Mildred was
right. Getting away would be the best thing for them. They needed
a chance to relax and be alone together. Surely there would be
many perfect opportunities for him to tell Laura the truth during
the course of their honeymoon.
He went to sleep with that thought.
Things just kept getting worse for the hapless honeymooners. In
less than 12 hours, they had been squashed in tourist class and
Remington had felt the ill effects from the chunky beef. Laura had
luckily declined both the chunky beef and seafood surprise. She
had experienced the usual nausea that morning upon awakening and
the flight had only added to it. It was all she could to hold down
her breakfast of toast and tea.
And as if tourist class wasn't bad enough, their next flight
companions were chickens. That was followed by a bumpy ride in a
rickety bus, where they were shot at --and they weren't even
kissing! But the final blow was the Hotel del Amor. Talk about
adding insult to injury! After an endless climb up winding steps,
Laura and Remington collapsed on the bed, laughing hysterically at
the total absurdity of it all.
"Surely this wasn't what Mildred had in mind when she mentioned a
secluded, exotic, romantic hideaway in a lush tropical and
picturesque setting!" Remington chuckled.
"Secluded, yes; tropical, yes. But exotic? Picturesque?" Laura
swatted a mosquito. "It depends on how one looks at it, I suppose.
Romantic? I don't know about that."
"We could make our own romance," Remington suggested, his eyes
bright with passion.
"I suppose," she slowly said.
When but she made no move to encourage him, Remington decided to
change the subject. "Well, here we are."
Thankful for the reprieve, Laura took a quick look around at their
penthouse suite. "Does this place even have a bathroom?" she
"I think the locals call it the jungle," Remington said as he
walked over to a closed door on the opposite side of the room and
opened it. "Ah, it's in here, I believe. But you don't want to see
He quickly closed the door.
"That bad, huh?"
"Positively ancient, or exotic, depending on how one looks at it,"
he explained as he took the mosquito netting from her and he
tossed it aside.
Then taking her hands, he pulled her to her feet and said, "This
place is beginning to get to me. Come on; let's go for a
Laura started to protest, but then she heard a couple arguing in
Spanish next door, a baby crying down the hall, and two kids
yelling and running on the stairs below. Giving her husband a
quick peck on the cheek, she walked with him to the
Remington sighed as he pulled the door closed behind them and
followed Laura down the stairs. This was not the place he had
expected to win Laura's heart... to tell her the truth...to
consummate their marriage. How could he do any of those things
with a hotel for an audience? She deserved so much better than
that. The Hotel del Amor only seemed to intensify a cheapness and
shoddiness about their marriage which Remington was trying to
Their walk in the jungle aired out a few things, and their kiss
fired an eagerness in Laura that was becoming more and more
difficult to keep in check. Her motor was positively frenzied
hours later when she found her husband swilling champagne and
munching caviar in their Las Hadas honeymoon suite. Fighting
always fired Laura's blood, so by the she breezed into their suite
with Tony the Jungle Boy she was in overdrive.
Remington tried the knob of the door she had just slammed in his
face. Amazingly, it was not locked. He entered the bedroom behind
an angry Laura, who was in the process of removing her tattered
dress. She glared at him, wadded up the dress and threw it on the
"Still upset?" he asked calmly.
It was the wrong thing to say.
She walked over to him and looked him straight in the eye. "Upset?
After what I've just been through?"
"Yes. I believe I heard all about it Traipsing through the jungle
with 'damn attractive' Anthony, wasn't it?"
"There we were, two incredibly attractive people, alone in the
deep, dark jungle." She finished undressing and began prancing
around the room. "Don't you think he found me
"Like that?" Remington asked with a raised an eyebrow, privately
enjoying his bride's impetuous display.
Laura remembered the feelings she'd had at Claude's restaurant the
night before when Remington had showed some good-natured, innocent
jealousy.Why couldn't he have acted possessive in front of Tony?!
But no! He had to be a good sport and invite Tony to
"Don't you think Tony realizes how attractive I am?" she asked
angrily. "Don't you even care that another man has spent as much
time with me on our honeymoon as you have?"
Stomping into the bathroom, she slammed the door in his face and
Remington jiggled the knob. "Laura? Laura, now be reasonable! Of
course I can see how attractive and desirable you are. I'm not
"Too late!" she declared through the closed door.
He jiggled the knob again. "This is beginning to resemble a
honeymoon," he muttered loudly. "The honeymoon of my worst
"Good!" she screeched.
The next thing he heard was the sound of water running in the
Laura belatedly realized, when she was halfway through her shower,
that she had no clothes. She wondered what she could do. Go to
dinner in a towel? Now that would raise a few eyebrows! It might
even get her husband's attention!
Remington leaned against the wall, wondering what he should do
now. He knew a lot of things that he wanted to do--that he should
have done. To start with, he should have shoved Laura into the
pool to cool her off. Then he should have suggested Mildred's
remedy for the emotional days --a long, hot soak, a herbal tea,
and a romance novel. After all, wasn't that what Laura was having?
An emotional day?
He glanced about the room, seeing Laura's disheveled clothes
scattered about on the floor. He reasoned that since their
suitcases were still back at the ever-charming Hotel del Amor, she
obviously had no other clothes for tonight. If Anthony did indeed
find her as attractive as she continuously claimed, it would never
do to have her wear a towel or less to dinner.
So while Laura showered, Remington paid a visit to the hotel
ladies' shop. There he found a lovely ruffled white dress. He also
bought her a pants outfit for the next day and some lingerie. He
enjoyed choosing intimate apparel for her and took his time making
his selection. He wanted something that would not frighten or
intimidate her, so he finally chose articles that were discreet
and understated. The nightgown was soft cotton gauze, but not
When he returned to their room, he spread the new clothes out on
the bed where she wouldn't miss them. Then he returned to the
living room, where he sat and waited for her reaction.
Laura saw her new clothes when she emerged from the bathroom.
Remington was no where in sight, though. He figured he was keeping
a safe distance in the other room, within easy reach of the
champagne and caviar. Laura was half glad for that She was really
touched by his thoughtful gesture, but her hormones were on such a
roller coaster that she wasn't 't responsible for her
She sat down on the bed and cried.
Remington didn't know what to think when he heard Laura crying in
the bedroom. He had hoped his thoughtfulness would ease her anger,
but he had certainly not expected tears. He knew she'd been
through enough in the last few days to reduce most women to tears,
but Laura wasn't most women. He stood near the bedroom door and
tried to decide what he should do. Should he take her in his arms
and comfort her like he wanted to, or should he respect her
independence and let her be?
Before he could decide exactly what to do, Laura's sobs subsided
and he could hear her puttering around. Deciding she was okay, the
returned to his seat near the caviar and champagne. As he sat and
sipped, he allowed himself to think ahead to later that evening,
when he and Laura would return from dinner.
Their Las Hadas suite was everything Mildred had promised, but
until now his heavy heart had prevented him from appreciating his
surroundings. After all, what good was a luxurious honeymoon suite
when one had no bride to share it with? When he first arrived
after his trek through the jungle on foot, he had spent what
seemed like hours merely staring at the bed and dreading the time
he would eventually have to sleep. By the time he finally got
through to Mildred by phone, he had made his decision to sleep on
the couch. He simply couldn't stand the thought of sleeping in
that beautiful honeymoon alone.
Remington was definitely grateful to Anthony for retrieving Laura
from the Hotel del Amor, but his relief went far beyond that of a
groom merely being reunited with his bride for a night of passion.
The main reason Remington was thankful to Anthony was that Laura
He had been hesitant to leave Laura behind as collateral until he
returned with the necessary local money to pay their bill. He knew
Laura was quite capable of taking care of herself, but he worried,
nonetheless. He knew her well enough to know she wouldn't sit
calmly in their penthouse suite and wait for him to return. No, if
anything happened, she'd be right there in the thick of
Remington laughed as the now-too-late perfect solution occurred to
him. "I should have stayed have at Hotel del Amor and sent Laura
back for the money!" he said aloud.
He just wished he 'd thought of it sooner. Then there would have
been no rescue by "damned attractive" Anthony and no fight because
he wasn't have been jealous. And he wouldn't have felt obligated
to invite Anthony to dinner. Instead, he and Laura could have
stayed in their room and partaken of dessert straight
Remington was just asking himself what type of low life would
actually accept a dinner invitation from a man on his honeymoon
when Laura emerged from the bedroom. Lost in thought, he nervously
jumped up at her appearance, choking on his champagne in the
"Ah, Laura," he coughed. "You look...well, you look
Laura smiled as she walked to him. After setting his glass on the
table, she wrapped her arms around his neck. "Thank you for the
clothes. Everything is lovely; it was very thoughtful."
Laura gave Remington a passionate kiss that promised even better
things to come.
"It's the least I could do," Remington muttered as he caught his
breath. "I couldn't very well let you meet Anthony for dinner
wearing a towel, now, could I?"
Remington could tell Laura was currently in a very receptive mood.
Within just a little encouragement, he was sure she would be
willing to experience the magical moment then and there. But he
didn't want to start something they didn't have time to properly
"Laura, love, as much as I would love to finish this, uh,
conversation here and now, I'm afraid we're on a
Laura sighed. "Yes, I know. Why don't you get ready? I'll just sit
here and dream about things to come."
"You know. I'm suddenly not very hungry at all. I suspect we
should be able to dispense with dinner and Anthony in record
time," Remington said.
"Yes. I have the same feeling," Laura admitted. "Now go get
Remington started for the bedroom, but he didn't make it very far.
He returned to Laura's side and gently kissed her again.
"Thank you," he said simply.
"For what?" Laura asked, amused.
"For marrying me. For coming on this honeymoon with me. For not
running off with Anthony and leaving me to fend for
Laura was truly touched. She felt the tears welling up in her eyes
again. Remington saw the tears and was suddenly embarrassed. He
quickly excused himself and left Laura alone with her
Laura sat on the couch and dabbed at her eyes with a near by
Kleenex. At the rate her tears where flowing lately, she decided
she'd better keep some tissues handy. After all, she couldn't very
well let Remington carry around a soggy pocket
The dinner with Tony was a disaster, to put it mildly. Laura and
Remington were at each other's throats before the appetizers were
even served. Tony was amused by Laura's attempts to make her
husband jealous, and even more so and by Remington 's refusal to
play her game. If he were in Remington's place, he would have at
least pretended to be jealous. The punishment Laura was giving
Remington's feet was vicious. Tony didn't know how the man kept
Then the wine arrived from Keyes and things went from bad to
worse. Remington could take a lot of personal insult, but he
wasn't going to let Keyes insult Laura. Without even thinking, he
knocked Keyes over the balcony into the pool. He felt a strange
sense of satisfaction as he watched Keyes scramble out of the
Laura immediately rushed to Remington's side. The time for games
was over her husband needed her now. Even though both she and
Remington knew a bit of Spanish, it took Tony to translate what
the security guards were saying. She wanted to go with Remington,
but she allowed him to convince her that he would be all
She should have known better. After all, weren't they in
Laura listened to the band along the beach play As Time Goes By and wondered what she was doing there with
Tony. She was on her honeymoon. She should be with her husband,
not with some jungle ruin-rutter. She stole a quick glance at her
rescuer. He and Remington were both were tall and had dark hair,
but that was were the similarities ended. Tony was loud, brash,
and abrasive whereas Remington was gentle, sensitive, and soft
Laura smiled to herself. No doubt about it...Remington beat Tony
hands down in every category. There simply was no
Laura politely thanked Tony for his concern and quickly excused
herself. She desperately wanted to see Remington. She would check
their room first; if he wasn't there, she would look for him in
the hotel manager's office. Her place was beside her husband,
wherever that might be. It wasn't beside some Italian
archaeologist who just happened to be in the right place at the
As Laura returned to the hotel, the strains of As Time Goes By followed her. She couldn't help thinking
of the irony of the whole miserable situation she and Remington
had encountered in Mexico. Their instincts about this place had
certainly been correct. Laura had a sudden urge to grab Remington
and catch the first plane back to L.A.
If only she had acted on that urge...
Remington sat in his lonely jail cell and chastised himself for
moving Keyes ' body. What a bloody fool he had been! His only
excuses for moving Keyes' body were that he had drank all that
champagne before dinner, and he wanted the room neat and tidy for
Laura when she returned. Clutter, especially *that* kind of
clutter, tended to put a damper on romance.
Some way to spend a honeymoon, eh? Here he was, stuck in the
clink, while his bride and her vine-swinging hero were free to do
anything they pleased. Why hadn't Laura come to visit him after
his arrest? Was she really so busy with Anthony that she couldn't
spare a few moments to console her incarcerated husband? Had his
foolishness finally pushed her into another man's arms?
Remington recalled what Mildred said to him when they were
searching Harry Cranston's condo-- that Laura had stood by him and
defended him time and time again when 99 out of 100 women wouldn't
have. He realized the truth behind those words. Laura was
definitely a very special lady. But even an angel could be pushed
too far, and Remington was afraid that this situation might
finally push her over the edge.
He lay on his cot and thought of all the other times he had let
Laura down. The list was endless, but even so, she had always
stood by him. Surely she didn't really believe he had murdered
Keyes. Or could that be the reason she hadn't been by to see him?
Common sense told him that the local police probably wouldn't
allow her to see him yet, but still he fretted.
Once again Remington had an image of Laura and Anthony together.
This time they were in the honeymoon suite. Anthony was just the
sort of low life to take advantage of a distraught bride,
Remington speculated, and Laura certainly hadn't been herself
lately. Tears twice in one evening? She just might be upset enough
to take advantage of whatever comfort Anthony would no doubt
Of course, deep down Remington knew he could trust Laura. But what
better place to think dark thoughts than a Mexican jail?
Remington chastised himself for sending Laura off with Anthony in
the first place. He should have let her accompany him to the
manager's office. Then they would have discovered Keyes' body
together and she could have decided how to handle the situation.
He was sure she wouldn't have suggested hiding the body in a tent
on the beach.
"Even the Hotel del Amor was better than this,"' he wailed. "At
least there we would have been together."
Remington drifted off to sleep, wishing they had had the foresight
to stay at the Hotel del Amor. Sleazy or not, at least there would
have been no Keyes and no Anthony. It would have just been him and
his bride. He wouldn't have been in a stinking jail cell, either.
Instead, he'd be safely tucked away beneath mosquito netting with
Remington sighed...and slept..and dreamed... Remington and Laura lay on
the bed at the Hotel del Amor and laughed hysterically at the
ludicrousness of their predicament. A few more giggles passed
before they gradually began to regain their composure. Laura lay
staring at the ceiling. Remington broke the
silence, saying, "Peso for your thoughts." "Nothing," she evasively
answered. Through the paper thin
walls they could hear a couple arguing in Spanish next door. A
baby down the hall began to wail. Laura looked at Remington
and then away again. "I was just trying to figure out why we're
putting up with all this. Why it never seems to get any
easier." "You mean why we both just
don't give up and go our separate ways, eh?" She looked at him again,
realizing he'd been thinking the same thing. "Have any
answers?" "You sure you want to get
into his?" "Try me." He paused for an extended
beat. "Why do we keep drawing the line at the bedroom
door?" Laura was slightly
surprised by the forthrightness of his question, but she wasn't
completely stunned. It was bound to come out sooner or
later. "I don't know," she finally
admitted."It just seems like the timing's never been quite right.
When one of us was ready, the other wasn't." Remington thought of all
the times in the past two days when she'd pulled away, when he'd
pulled away, when they'd been interrupted, or when she'd fallen
asleep. "But haven't we been
avoiding it, afraid of what comes after the magical
moment?" "What does come after?" she
asked. "I don't know," he honestly
answered. "That's the scary
part." "But we'll never know
unless we take the risk." Laura half-smiled. "Let the
chips fall where they may?" "Be bold." "Rise to the
occasion." "Up periscope," Remington
insinuated. "You've convinced me,"
Laura said breathlessly as she rolled over on top of him, pressing
her body against his as she kissed him deeply. "And you've convinced me,"
he said, licking his lips when she finally let him up for
air. "Maybe this honeymoon will
turn out to be a blessing in disguise after all," Laura
said. That was the last coherent
thing she said. They attacked each other with all of the rage of
their pent up passions. Without the mosquito netting, the nasty,
annoying little creatures attacked their exposed flesh, but
Remington and Laura were too preoccupied with each other to
notice. The air was charged with heat and electricity, but not
just the oppressing heat of the jungle. As a particularly ugly bug
inched up Remington's leg, Laura's foot knocked it away onto the
floor. Laura's skin was covered by a sheen of perspiration in the
heat and humidity, dampening the coarse sheets beneath her, which
had probably never been changed. Following their night of
endless passion, Laura awoke in her husband's arms. Sometime
during the night they had managed to tack up the mosquito netting
around the bed when Remington's mosquito-bitten buns became too
much for him to bear. Light streamed in through
the windows and the heat of the coming day was already baking the
room. Laura reached up to turn on the fan beside the bed. It
wheezed and clanked, but did a mediocre job of circulating the
stale air. The noise also aroused Remington. Laura poked him and said,
"I'm hungry." "Don't you ever get enough?
I know it's tradition for a man to experience a tiring honeymoon,
but... " She hit his shoulder. "I
was speaking of food! Do you think we can get something to eat in
this place?" "I wouldn't want to bet on
it," he said with a scowl. "Somehow I rather doubt that they have
any form of room service here. Besides, we couldn't call even if
they did. No phones, remember?" "So what do they do for
food around here?" "Probably catch their
dinner in the jungle," he snidely remarked. For that, he received
another punch. "Okay," he sighed, "I'll go
down and see what I can find. But don't get your hopes
up." "We need nourishment. We
have to keep up our strength," she seductively reminded
him. That was enough to get him
shaking. He left the bed and began searching for his clothes,
pushing aside the mosquito netting. "Bloody mosquitoes," he
grumbled as he scratched the back of his
thigh. "Maybe they're fleas,"
Laura suggested as she scratched her arm. "Actually, I wouldn't be
a bit surprised to find out we shared our bed with all sorts of
unmentionable creatures." Remington watched a large
bug scurry across the floor as he headed for the door. "Laura, my
sweet, I'll be right back; hopefully with some food-- and perhaps
a flea collar." "I told you, I refuse to
wear to another flea collar!" He left before she could
say another word. In the hallway, he nodded to the couple from
next door. The man grinned knowingly at Remington and the lady
studied him with more than a passing interest. Remington wondered
what that was all about He returned to Laura in
less than 20 minutes. "Good news, Love. Room service will be here
shortly." He was breathless from his climb up the stairs to their
penthouse suite. She stretched in the bed.
"Room service? Really? How did you manage that?" "I believe it's part of the
package deal. Meals come with the room." "Oh? Well, let's hope the
food is better than the accommodations," she said as she rose and
walked to her suitcase. Finding her robe, she slipped it
on. A polite knock soon sounded
on the door. Remington answered it. The desk clerk peered in
with an oily grin, announcing, "Room
service." He carried a tray covered
with mosquito netting. The clerk looked Laura over from top to
bottom, leering all the while. She held her robe closed at her
throat. Remington accepted the
tray. "Oh, and I forgot to give
you these yesterday," the clerk said, holding out two plastic
collars. "Flea collars?" Laura
stared at them, incredulous. "Every jungle has fleas."
The clerk shrugged apologetically as he handed her the collars.
"Hardly used, either," he assured her. "What?" she
muttered. Remington began pushing the
clerk out the door. "Thank you very much. If we need anything
else, I'll let you know." He closed the door, giving
Laura an exasperated look. Laura tossed the collars
over her shoulder. "Flea collars? Hardly used?" "Uh, Laura, I wouldn't be
so hasty," Remington said, scratching the back of his
neck. Laura uncovered the tray
Remington had placed on the bed. The fruit didn't look too bad,
considering, They passed up something that looked like custard,
not trusting how safe it was. Remington sampled the tortillas and
refried beans, but Laura also passed on those. When they were finished
with their meal, Remington put the tray outside the door. A stray
dog ambled up the stairs and began eating the scraps. Remington
just shook his head and left the dog to enjoy
himself. A radio was playing from
somewhere in the hotel. They could hear it as clearly as if it
were in their room. "Care to dance, my dear?"
Remington asked. "La Bamba isn't really our
song." But then a new song began.
They smiled. Remington took her into his arms and they began
dancing slowly to As
Time Goes By. Laura leaned her head
against her husband's shoulder. "Some honeymoon," she mused. "Yet
somehow I never pictured our honeymoon any other way. Things
always seem to go wrong for us." "Laura, really. Not all of
the time. Last night..." "No. not all of the time,"
she agreed and kissed him. "Last night was wonderful. You were
wonderful." The music changed again.
They stopped dancing. "This may not be music to dance to," he
said. "but while in Mexico, it is music to make love
to." She heard the strains of
Bolero and giggled as she realized the movie
reference to 10. Remington swept her off her
feet and carried her to the bed. "But first, Laura Holt-Steele, I
love you." She gazed into his eyes.
"And I love you, Remington Steele." She barely got the words
out before his lips descended on hers.
Remington swatted a particularly vicious mosquito on his neck.
"Laura, Laura," he groaned, fully awake now. "How can I tell you
that you're my wife if I'm rotting away in jail?"
"Your wife doesn't know she's your wife?" the guy in the next cell
Remington rolled over on the cot and pretended to be asleep so he
wouldn't have to answer.
To be continued...