A Sequel to "Steele in the Mood" and
"Bonds of Steele"
Debra Talley, with Thekla Kurth
Written Summer, 1988
Remington was a contented man as
he sat in his first class seat with Laura's head resting on his
chest They had raised the arm rest between them and Laura was
sleeping comfortably against him. He kissed the top of her head,
leaned back against his pillow and reflected on the progress they
had made since take off.
Laura had given him the silent
treatment ever since they'd left their apartment. He knew when she
bought that crossword puzzle book at the airport that it was going
to be a long flight. She suffered from Bulldog Terrier Syndrome,
so that book wouldn't be out of her hands until she was finished
with every puzzle.
After 30 minutes of the cold
shoulder Remington could stand no more. Laura screaming at him was
preferable to hearing himself breathe for 6,000 miles. Surely
she'd keep her comments down to a hiss since there were other
passengers nearby, he rationalized. So gearing himself for the
worst, he bravely unplugged her earphones. Surprisingly, what
followed was actually more of an apology than an argument. They
cleared the air about Tony and Shannon and began anticipating a
real honeymoon in London.
Then Remington had teasingly
suggested they consummate their marriage on the plane. Admittedly
the rest rooms were small, but hadn't they already practiced in
the cramped confines of the Auburn? Before Laura could learn if
her husband was serious or not, however, the plane hit an air
pocket. Her face turned forty shades of green and she was lucky
Remington handed her the air sick bag before it was too late. Soon
after that she had fallen asleep in her husband's arms.
Remington decided he had better
get some sleep, also. So with Laura still in his arms, he closed
his eyes and soon joined her in dreamland.
The flight attendant walked past
them and smiled as she turned off Laura's overhead light. She
prided herself on being able to recognize newlyweds, and she
didn't need to see the stars in Laura and Remington's eyes to
realize they were newly married. The trusting way they slept in
each other's arms told her all she needed to know. She quietly
moved on and left them to their dreams.
Remington knew they had been set
up by someone when he learned that Boy with Flute was in a Moscow museum and was then forced
to run for his life from a gang of cut throats who called him a
bloody copper. It didn't take him long to figure out who that
Remington had run straight into
the arms of Immigration when he ran from The Red House. And
Immigration then led him straight to Mr. Anthony Roselli.
Remington didn't know what to think when Tony started discussing
his marriage to Laura, but he had a sick feeling in the pit of his
stomach. Something wasn't as it appeared; he would have bet on
Remington had been very careful
to file all the necessary papers regarding their marriage. He had
thoroughly checked and double checked the legalities of marriages
performed in international waters by the captain, or acting
captain, of a vessel. And then to make absolutely sure there could
be no question, he had picked a captain who was also a licensed
minister. This was one con where Remington had made sure he had
all bases covered.
So what was Tony's angle? He
obviously had done his research, which meant he knew Shannon's
sworn statement was as phony as her bad heart. And why had Tong
bothered to show him the statement in the first place if he was
then just going to turn right around and let him go? It didn't
make any sense, and it was that very senselessness which scared
He wanted answers, so he waited
in front of the American Embassy. When Tony left for the day,
Remington would simply follow him and confront him. Trying to make
some sense of their earlier meeting, Remington decided that
blackmail seemed as likely a motive as any for the Italian
stallion's behavior. Obviously, Tony thought he could intimidate
him into doing something for him. That would explain why he had
suddenly appeared in Mexico, then in L.A., and now in London. The
bloody bugger had obviously been following him and had used Laura
as a way to get to him.
But what was Anthony going to
blackmail him with? Remington wondered. He obviously knew the
Steele-Holt marriage was legal, so that was out... Or was it?
Could it be that Anthony had talked with Juan and somehow figured
out that *Laura* thought the marriage was a fraud?
Anthony certainly knew his
Spanish; it would have been a simple matter for him to have talked
with Juan before leaving for London. Even though Remington hadn't
told Juan that Laura thought the marriage was fake, it was
possible Juan had put two and two together. After all, he had made
a big deal of the fact that Laura was not to know that Juan was
acting captain; he only wanted her to know that Juan cleaned
Would the Italian rat threaten to
tell Laura the truth unless he agreed to do something for him?
Remington realized it was a bit farfetched, but it was the best
theory he could come up with. And if it was true, then Remington
knew that Tony had him right where he wanted him.
Remington couldn't take the
chance that Tony would tell Laura she had been tricked into a
legal marriage. Regardless of whether she forgave him or killed
him, *he* had to be the one to tell her the truth.
Remington's confrontation with
Tony on the archery field later that day confirmed his theory that
blackmail was indeed the motive. And because Remington couldn't
take the risk of having Laura learn the truth from the wrong
person, he agreed to Tony's "request." Tony would contact him
later with more details.
As Remington later made his way
into the St. John's Hotel to meet Laura in their honeymoon suite,
he wondered if he should just go ahead then and tell her the truth
about their marriage. That way, Tony wouldn't have a weapon to use
against him. The question became moot, however, when he saw Laura
get into a taxi with Shannon in front of the hotel.
Remington thought he had
convinced Shannon to leave Laura alone, but apparently he was
wrong. He didn't know what Shannon was up to, but he was sure it
wasn't to Laura's advantage. Hopping back into his cab, he
followed them. If Shannon pushed Laura into the Thames or shoved
her into the path of a double decker bus, he intended to be there.
Tony would just have to wait.
As it turned out, Remington
didn't catch up with Laura until later that evening at the
Flamingo Club. She was engaged in a very intimate conversation
with Tony when he spotted her, but this time jealousy never even
crossed his mind. Quite the contrary; he had seen the murderous
look in Laura's eyes and he wouldn't have traded places with Tony
for love nor money. Long before the resulting conversation was
over, in fact, Remington knew both he and Tony were carne morte.
He wasn't sure why, but he was sure he would find out
The ensuing game of "change
partners" that occurred on the dance floor made Remington dizzy.
He recalled something Mildred had once said about he and Laura
dancing a dance around each other. Now he knew exactly what she
had meant, both literally and figuratively. For four years he and
Laura had danced a dance around each other, going around in
endless circles but never really getting anywhere, just like
He wished he had more time to
ponder this new insight, but international espionage waited for no
man. He knew Mildred would keep an eye on Laura, so he tried not
to worry about her as he received his calling card from
It wasn't until he was in a taxi
and on his way to Paddington Station that Remington wondered
exactly where Mildred had come from. Hadn't he left her in
Remington and Laura made
themselves comfortable in their private compartment on the train.
They were on their way to Ireland to see first hand the castle
Remington had just inherited from the Earl of Claridge. The ferry
was four hours away and it would be just the two of them. No more
Tony. No more Shannon. And no more Mildred-- at least
Laura tossed aside her coat and
gave Remington a took which promised that there would soon be more
to follow. The honeymoon was finally beginning. With any luck,
they would be oblivious to everything but each other for four
But luck once again was not on
their side, for there in their doorway stood Tony. Remington
didn't even attempt to be civil and Laura couldn't blame him; she
just hoped the two of them wouldn't come to blows. The last thing
she needed was for Remington to be thrown in jail twice during
In a strange more, Tony turned
Shannon's statement over to Remington. He and Laura both knew the
statement was only an excuse; it was worthless and Tony knew it.
They didn't know what he wanted with them, but chances were it
A bevy of bobbies boarded the
train as it came to a sudden halt. Tony wasn't beneath begging for
help, but Remington had no intention of saving his miserable hide
this time. In fact, he was looking forward to watching the
authorities drag him away.
Laura, however, had mixed
emotions. The last thing she wanted to do was help Tony. After
all, he had made shambles out of their honeymoon in three
different countries! But if the police arrested Tony now, he might
be just low enough to implicate Remington as a sort of revenge for
their not helping him. And that would delay their honeymoon yet
Not wanting any more delays,
Laura did the first thing that popped into her head. She threw her
arms around Tony, pretended he was Remington and kissed him for
all she was worth. After all, he couldn't get them into any more
trouble if he couldn't talk, now could he?
Remington was none too pleased
with Laura's actions, but he played along with her for the time
being. He realized if he didn't, she would be arrested right along
Laura tried to pull away as soon
as she heard the bobby leave, but Tony held her fast. She knew if
she made a scene, Remington would leap to her defense and tear
Tony to pieces. So instead, she quietly bit Tony's lip. He
released her immediately and she fell back against the seat in a
She felt betrayed. She had saved
Tony's life, and he had thanked her by taking advantage of her.
And the worst of it was that she couldn't tell Remington. If she
did, they'd be scraping Tony off the tracks and Remington would be
Remington sensed Laura's
uneasiness, so he sat beside her and drew her close. He not only
realized the kiss was just a ploy, but that Tony had taken
advantage of Laura's kind heart. Obviously, Tony's promise to
leave Laura alone had been worthless. Somehow that really didn't
surprise Remington. After all, what else could one expect from a
two-timing Italian muscle man who would make time with another
man's bride while her new husband was tucked away in a Mexican
Remington tightened his embrace
around Laura and mentally threw Tony through the window. The
mental image of Tony bouncing off the tracks made him feel better
and it was a hell of a lot safer than actually doing it. After
all, no one could arrest him for mental murder. Could they?
Laura stirred in his arms,
causing fantasies of a different sort. He lost himself in those
more pleasurable fantasies as the train took them closer to
Ireland and the fulfillment of their mutual dreams.
Life at Ashford Castle proved to
be quite hectic. Remington and Laura were forced to put their
magical moment on hold one more time. This time, however, it
didn't seem to matter so much. Not that they didn't want each
other; to the contrary, they wanted each other more than ever. But
they had reached a new understanding during the flight to London,
and they no longer felt their past insecurities. While they
realized they still had some things to work out, but were
confident they could tackle any problem together.
Remington didn't like the idea of
harboring a possible murderer, but Laura assured him that Tony
would explain things to their satisfaction soon. She just didn't
expect his explanation to occur while she and Tony were locked in
the master bedroom.
When she had first seen Tony
bending over the bed in her shadowy bedroom, she had logically
assumed him to be Remington. She did the only natural thing for a
woman on her honeymoon--she tackled her husband onto the bed and
kissed him. She realized her mistake immediately and couldn't push
Tony away fast enough. Twice in twelve hours was just too much to
bear. If Tony were any sort of a gentleman, he wouldn't have let
her kiss him on a false assumption.
But then, he wasn't a gentleman.
Laura was just too flustered to let that fact sink in.
Laura was sure Remington hadn't
set Tony up. She trusted her instincts on that count. When
Remington chose that moment to knock on the bedroom door, she even
suggested they both simply ask him about it. Knowing she had
nothing to hide, she had even started to unlock the door for
Unfortunately, she let Tony
convince her she should feel guilty to have Remington discover
them together in a locked bedroom. Against her better judgment,
she helped Tony climb out the window and down the drainpipe. She
almost pushed him out the window when he tried to steal another
kiss, but decided a body beneath their bedroom window would
probably arouse suspicion. And heaven knew they had enough to
worry about without that!
She should have followed her
instincts and let Remington find them together. He had heard Tony
shimmying down the drainpipe and naturally went to the window to
investigate. He even noticed the wrinkled bedspread. Laura tried
to explain, but he shrugged off her explanation. He knew he could
trust Laura. She might flirt with Tony, but that was as far as it
would go. Besides, he had other matters on his mind at the moment.
It seemed their uninvited guest was a Russian spy.
Nothing in the honeymoon manual
had covered that development.
While Remington concentrated on
locating Tony, Laura concentrated on discovering just exactly what
their *other* uninvited guest was up to. Daniel Chalmers' claimed
he was at the castle as Ashford's chief of security, but Laura was
afraid there was more to it than that. He was obviously there to
see Remington, and the last thing she needed on this honeymoon was
for Daniel to drag Remington into some crackpot scheme!
Since Laura didn't know where
Remington was anyway, she followed Daniel and one of the maids
when they left the estate. To her surprise, they ended up at the
Russian Embassy in Dublin. Consumed with following her quarry, she
climbed right over the embassy wall--and straight into the arms of
armed guards. She should have been grateful to Daniel for claiming
she was an escapee from the kitchen, but instead she swore to get
even one day. No one deserved to be sent to the kitchen to peel
potatoes until dark.
While Laura whiled the day away
peeling Irish potatoes, Remington and Tony passed the time by
beating the living daylights out of each other in the village
square. The fight had been destined to happen since Tony first
planted his foot in the doorway of the Steele's honeymoon suite at
Up until this point, Remington
had done a commendable job of keeping his anger and frustration in
check. But something had snapped in him when Tony said he was
lower than a pimp because he had married Laura just to keep
himself from being deported. Whether Tony knew it or not, he had
insulted Laura with that remark--and that was the last straw. All
the pent up frustrations from the past week came spilling out at
once and Remington struck the first blow.
The town folks had no idea what
the fight was about, but they didn't care. A fight was a fight and
this one was a dilly. Several folks recognized Remington as the
new owner of Ashford Castle and began cheering him on. Then just
when it looked like Remington was the victor, he took a surprise
flight through the window of O'Henry's Pub.
Remington vaguely recognized the
irony of his present situation. Hadn't he fantasized about
throwing Tony through a train window just hours earlier? Could
this was his punishment for thinking such murderous thoughts?
Before he could finish his thought, however, the fight was back in
full swing again.
He got a second wind of sorts
when he realized the bystanders were taking bets. For a brief
second, he felt just like John Wayne in The Quiet Man. Problem
was, he couldn't seem to remember how the scene ended.
Their fight ended with Tony in
the water trough and Remington barely on his feet. He was too
tired to even realize he had won. Strangely enough, the fight
seemed to create a reluctant bond between them. When the house
with the red door was blown into a million pieces, Remington and
Tony decided to stick together. They may have disagreed on the
terminology, but they agreed on the strategy.
They ran for their lives!
Tony realized he had been wrong
about Remington setting him up, and Remington graciously accepted
his apology. They deduced that Tony had dug up two moles for the
price of one. Remington hated to see any innocent man suffer, so
he agreed to help clear Tony's name. Besides, he wanted Tony out
of his life for good and that seemed to be the quickest way to
Tony still thought Remington had
used Laura merely to keep from being deported, but at least he
admitted he had been out of line with his earlier remark. He still
didn't know what to make of the Steeles' fishy marriage, but he
knew there was more there than met the eye.
In spite of everything, Tony was
still determined to get to the bottom of things. He might end up
owing Remington his life, but that wouldn't keep him from trying
to win Laura. Who had ever called him a man of honor,
Remington crashed the dinner
party at the Russian Embassy that evening. He had intended to
merely kidnap Kemodav, but ended up rescuing a bagged Tony at the
same time. Remington couldn't figure how Tony had gotten captured.
Hadn't he instructed him to wait in his room? Obviously, Tony
hadn't listened. He'd probably been out looking for Laura,
Remington surmised. And if that was the case, it served him
Luckily, Remington and Tony
managed to sneak Kemodav's unconscious body out of the Embassy and
into the car. As Remington drove the long miles back to Ashford
and to relative safety, he couldn't help thinking of Laura. She
was probably worried about him; he just hoped she missed him as
much as he missed her.
Laura didn't have time to miss
her missing husband. It was already dark when she returned to
Ashford from KP duty. Upon discovering that Remington had put on
his tuxedo and left several hours earlier, she decided to search
Daniel's room. He wouldn't be bothering her, since he'd obviously
put on his tux and left also. She couldn't help but wonder if
either of them *ever* took a trip without taking their tux
Laura didn't know what she
expected to find in Daniel's room. Perhaps floor plans to the
Dublin Museum? A stolen painting? A fortune in stolen gems?
Actually, none of those items would have surprised her. What she
did find, however, took her breath away. There in Daniel's dresser
drawer were enough medicine bottles to fill a drug store--and a
pocket watch. A gold pocket watch. The very same one Remington's
father had supposedly stolen from the Earl of Claridge.
The significance of her discovery
made a great impact on Laura. Her detective's mind had already
pieced the story together by the time Daniel returned from his
night out. She had never felt so overwhelmed--not even when she
had briefly thought the Earl to be Remington's father. That had
been something out of the blue, but this was something that struck
so close to home it shook her to the very core of her
Who would have thought she'd
uncover the truth about Remington's father during their honeymoon?
And who would have dreamed that Daniel Chalmers, the man Remington
had loved like a father for 20 years, would turn out to be that
Laura thought back to all the
times Remington had talked about his past. He had shared very
little about the years he spent growing up in Ireland or of his
dark days on the streets of London, but he had always talked
freely about his years with Daniel. Well, freely for him, at
least. And every time he talked about Daniel, there was a special
tone of respect and love in his voice. At times Laura had been
jealous of Remington's feelings for Daniel; she resented the fact
that he loved the older man so freely, yet held back so much from
her. Why couldn't he experience that same closeness with
Laura had never allowed herself
to see Daniel as the decent, honorable man he actually was;
jealously and fear had clouded her judgment. She had always been
afraid Remington would leave her and return to his old life with
Daniel. She had no such qualms any more, but unfortunately she'd
never have the opportunity to make it up to Daniel.
Once the initial shock of her
discovery wore off, Laura began wondering why Daniel had never
told Remington the truth about their genetic connection. What had
happened to cause him to carry that secret for all those years?
Laura knew Daniel couldn't possibly have deserted Remington; he
loved Remington as much as Remington loved him. Something of
catastrophic proportions must have forced them apart all those
years ago, but what?
Laura had always thought of
Remington as her Man of Mystery. He had even told her once that
parts of his life were as big of a mystery to him as they were to
her. If only she had realized the truth behind that statement. If
only she had trusted him more. If only she had loved him more. If
only. . .
Laura had slowly accepted the
fact that Remington had not purposely kept his past a secret to
hurt her. Rather, he had guarded it to hide some of his pain.
Hadn't she been she guilty of doing the same thing? Hadn't she
turned her own father's desertion into an unapproachable topic? At
the moment, there was nothing Laura could do to bridge the chasm
left by her own father's leaving, but she could help bridge the
chasm that had been left in Remington's life by Daniel's leaving.
She determined to do just that.
Laura had no reason to doubt the
story Daniel told her. Yes, she supposed the entire explanation
could have been just another in his long line of scams, but it
wasn't; Daniel's eyes were too full of emotion. She urged him to
tell his son the truth; Remington deserved to know he had a father
while that father was still alive. They deserved the chance to
spend time together as father and son.
She didn't blame Daniel for not
telling Remington the truth twenty years ago --she knew what it
was like to fear that someone you loved would leave you forever.
But time was precious now and if Daniel didn't tell Remington now,
the opportunity could be lost forever.
Laura was feeling great affection
for Daniel as they walked together across the great lawn of
Ashford Castle. She no longer saw him as merely an aging con
artist. She saw, instead, a man who had overcome great obstacles
because of love. He had fathered the man she loved; he had
suffered great heartache when that son was lost to him for
fourteen years; he had diligently searched and found that son,
loving him in spite of the fact that the streets had turned him
into a bitter teenager with nothing ahead of him but a life of
crime. And last but not least, he had taken that angry young man
and turned him into a decent, honorable gentleman.
If Daniel had not found his son
on the streets of London, Remington Steele would never have been
born. The last four years would never have happened and chances
were that Laura would never have met her Mystery Man, except
perhaps in some police line-up. The man of her dreams would have
remained in her dreams.
Laura realized she owed a great
deal to Daniel. She wanted to throw herself into his arms and tell
him just how glad she was that he was Remington's father. She
wanted to, but she was afraid he wouldn't understand.
Laura needn't have worried; she
wasn't the only one feeling sentimental at that moment. Daniel was
close to overflowing with fatherly love and pride for her; he was
proud that his son had fallen in love with such a lovely,
intelligent woman. There was no doubt in his mind that Remington
would be just fine with Laura by his side.
With a kiss to his
daughter-in-law's hand Daniel was gone, leaving Laura alone with
his secret under the lovely Irish stars.
The actual realization of
Daniel's impending death didn't fully set in until Laura reached
the master bedroom a few moments later. She threw herself on the
bed and gave free reign to her feelings. The tears flowed freely
and helped her to ease her aching heart.
It simply wasn't fair, she told
herself. How could Remington's father walk into his life after all
these years, only to be whisked away by the Grim Reaper? Where was
the justice in that? The two of them deserved a chance to spend
time together. They deserved the chance to spend a Father's Day
Laura felt a great sense of loss
for herself as well; she wanted the opportunity of getting to know
Daniel as her father-in-law. She wanted the chance to love and
admire him the way Remington did. She wanted to spend time with
She put her hand on her abdomen
and thought of the new life resting here. Every child needed a
grandfather, Laura realized. Perhaps Daniel wouldn't have taught
his grandchild typical grandfatherly things, but he would have
been a loving grandfather; Laura had no doubt of that. It simply
wasn't fair to any of them.
Suddenly Laura felt a desperate
need to be with Remington. The years Daniel had been cheated out
of haunted her. She and Remington had already let too much time
pass without telling each other how they felt. And here they were,
married over a week already, and not once had they experienced a
magical moment. She didn't want to wake up fourteen years later
and find that they were still afraid to love each other. She
wanted them to love each other now.
Laura discovered Remington in the
den with Tony. She quickly dismissed the Italian stallion and
turned her attentions to her husband. She tried to speak, but
found she was too overwhelmed with emotions. How could she be with
Remington and not share what she knew? What if Daniel never found
the courage to tell him the truth? Could she live with Remington
day in and day out for the rest of her life and not tell him
Daniel's secret? Could she watch Remington with their children on
future Father's Days and not tell him about his own father?
The words to Barry Manilow's song
kept repeating over and over in Laura's mind, haunting her. She
couldn't seem to shake them, no matter how hard she tried.
All the wasted time;
All the years, waiting
for a sign;
To think I had it all,
Enough time had already been
wasted, Laura decided. It was time to heal past wounds and bring
father and son together. She would make Daniel tell Remington the
truth, one way or another.
Laura should have realized that
Daniel wouldn't have given in so easily. It just wasn't in his
nature! By the time she realized he had been telling Remington
about a deceased dog named Montague, he was already pulling his
car out of the driveway. After a quick change of clothes, she
jumped into the first available car she saw and followed him. She
was determined to win this round with Daniel if it was the last
thing she did. If this was going to be her last run-in with him,
she was going to pull out all the stops. The stakes were high, but
she had to win--for Remington's sake.
The master bedroom remained empty
that night. Laura spent the night following her errant
father-in-law, while Remington spent the night unconscious on the
dungeon floor. And so another night of their honeymoon passed with
no magical moment anywhere in sight. But passion was the last
thing on the newlyweds' minds; there was work to be done before
either could concentrate on more pleasurable pursuits.
Laura wasn't about to lose Daniel
in the Russian Embassy. She pinned on her name tag and boldly
walked right in. She grabbed a feather duster and set out to
locate Daniel. To her surprise, she found a gagged Tony instead.
Against her better judgment, she untied him and led him through
the kitchen to safety.
If they had escaped through the
front parlor, they would have run into Remington, who was
searching for a lost lighter of Italian descent. As it was,
however, they ran into Daniel as they were escaping over the rear
wall. Laura sent Tony on his way to freedom while she joined
Daniel on the ground.
It was the time for
confrontation, Laura realized. Somehow she had to get through to
Daniel. She just prayed she could find the right words.
The words she used were harsh,
but they were the words Daniel needed to hear. Whether Remington
forgave him or not, Daniel owed him the truth. For twenty years he
had been afraid to tell his son the truth, but the time of
reckoning had come. The truth could be withheld no longer.
If Daniel had known Remington was
the Embassy's unwelcome guest at that very moment, he would have
gone rescued him and any cost. Then, during their leisurely drive
back to the castle, Daniel could have pulled off the road and told
Remington the truth as they strolled beside some rippling Irish
lake. But because Daniel knew nothing of his son's involuntary tea
party, he decided to return to Ashford Castle and wait for him
there. He squared his tired shoulders and walked with purpose
across the Embassy lawn. He would tackle this final task of love
When he finally faced the Grim
Reaper, it would be with a sense of pride. Not regret.
After Laura unleashed her fury on
Daniel, she scaled the Embassy wall and promptly became sick. Her
confrontation with Daniel had drained her, both physically and
emotionally. With each cruel word she had flung at Daniel, her own
heart had ached a little bit more. The last thing she wanted to do
was hurt him, but it was the only way she knew to reach him. Like
his son, he was a decent and honorable man. By making him believe
she thought otherwise, she hoped he would be forced to prove her
She also hoped he would forgive
Laura spent the next few minutes
wandering through Dublin's fair city in search of Tony. She didn't
intend to waste much time looking for him, but she needed the walk
to calm her nerves. Her previous confrontation with Daniel still
weighed heavily on her heart.
It wasn't until she noticed a
young mother pushing her baby in a pram that heart grew lighter.
Seeing the baby reminded her that life went on. The old died, the
young married, babies were born and life renewed itself. She and
Remington were standing on the brink of a new life. In a few
months, Iife would renew itself because of their love. Daniel
would die, but Daniel's son and grandchild would live. Didn't that
somehow give Daniel immortality?
Laura smiled as she contemplated
the miracle of life and death. Her steps grew lighter as she
picked up her pace. She had a husband to hurry home to-- and a new
life to begin. If she didn't find Tony very, very soon, she was
going to leave without him. She had more important things on which
Unfortunately, Tony found Laura
and engaged her sympathies one more time. Or was it selfishness on
Laura's part that caused her to help him? After all, wasn't the
best way to get rid of him to help him? As they walked along,
Laura's mind was elsewhere. It certainly wasn't on Tony. That is,
until he kissed her.
The kiss came out of the blue.
Laura had wanted to pretend it had never happened. She wanted to
tell Tony to get lost and let her get on with her life. She wanted
to say those things, but she didn't. Instead, she heard someone
saying that maybe things would have been different between them if
they'd met a year ago.
Had *she* said that? Why, it
wasn't even true! Since the day Remington had walked into her life
four years ago, no other man had stood a chance. They had all
paled in comparison to her Mystery Man. And Tony wasn't even her
type! Whatever had possessed her to say he might have stood a
chance a year ago? Who was she kidding?
Laura suddenly no longer saw Tony
walking beside her. Instead, she saw Butch Beemis...and Clay
Platt...and Bill Smith...and Creighton Phillips... and even Paul
Dominic. All of them had one thing in common: they meant nothing
to her, but she had used them in an effort to make Remington
jealous. It was as if she were saying, "These men think I'm
attractive. Why don't you? Why don't you fight for me? Why don't
you tell me how you feel?"
Laura now saw herself in a
different light and she didn't like what she saw. She saw an
immature, insecure woman who manipulated men for her own selfish
means. Was she really any better than Shannon or Felicia or
Laura then thought of Remington's
past dealings with his various ex-lovers. In every case, they had
come to him for help. They had tried to win back his affections,
but he had remained faithful to her. He had helped them, but only
out of a sense of loyalty and friendship. Her jealousies had never
But she, on the other hand, had
betrayed Remington's trust at every turn. She had led men on for
the sole purpose of forcing Remington's hand, to force him to say,
"I love you."
Shouldn't his patience,
gentleness and understanding have been all the proof she needed?
Wasn't it more important that Remington had found the courage to
stay with her and love her for four years? Did Daniel love
Remington any less just because he had never found the right words
to tell him the truth? Which was more important? The fact that
Daniel had found the courage to spend 34 years of his life
searching for and loving his lost son, or the fact that he had
been afraid to verbally declare his love?
Laura returned to the present and
took a good long took at Tony. What she saw was the latest in a
line of men that she had used against Remington in the Battle of
the Sexes. The only thing Tony had ever made her feel was
flattered --Tony and all the others. For someone as insecure as
she was, it had been easy to let other men's admiration go to her
But it would be different now,
Laura vowed. The only admiration she desired now, or would desire
for the next 50 years, was Remington's. It was time she put
childish games behind her and started behaving like a married
woman in love with husband. So what if they couldn't say the
words? After all, words weren't everything.
Maybe words weren't everything,
but the well-placed stomp on Tony's foot spoke volumes. He quickly
removed his arms from around her shoulders. Questionable marriage
or not, Laura left Tony no doubts as to where her loyalties
Remington had no idea how long he
had been walking by the lake. It seemed like hours. Daniel's
revelation had left him angry, confused, and stunned. A tide of
conflicting emotions was rolling over him. He had never felt as
close to drowning as he did there by the shores of Lough
Remington had started on his soul
searching walk alone, but he was soon joined by a shadow from his
past. It was Johnny Todd whom Daniel had rescued from the back
streets of London, and it was Johnny Todd who now returned to help
Remington sort through his tumult of conflicting emotions.
Remington picked up a pebble and
angrily tossed it into the lake, causing a series of ripples to
spread across the surface in protest.
"Damnit, Daniel! Why'd you wait
20 years to tell me?" Remington yelled into the wind.
"And what if he had told you 20
years ago?" asked Johnny Todd. "How would that have made things
"Well, we wouldn't have wasted
the last 20 years!"
"And were the last 20 years
really wasted?" Johnny asked.
"Well, maybe not. But at least we
could have spent those years together as father and son."
"Think again. Mate. If Daniel had
told you the truth while you were picking his pocket, would you
have stuck around?"
"What kind of question is that?
Of course I would have stuck around! He's my father!"
"You're wrong, mate. Remington
Steele may have stuck around, but he didn't exist then. You were
Johnny Todd then, remember? Oh, Steele might have been hidden deep
inside that skinny, angry, street kid, but that street kid would
have run as fast and far as he could have when confronted with the
father who had deserted him. If Daniel had told you the truth
then, you would have lost him forever."
"Even if I had rejected him at
first, I'm sure I would have come around later," Remington said
"Maybe. But do you really think
Daniel would have stuck around? He'd spent 14 years trying to find
you. If you had rejected him, think what a blow that would have
been to him. As it was, he took you under his wing, provided for
you, educated you--and loved you. And believe me, you weren't very
lovable back then!"
"No, I wasn't," Remington agreed
as he walked slowly along the lake shore, kicking pebbles out of
"Just think about it, ole sport.
If it wasn't for Daniel's love and patience and self-denial, you
'd still be Johnny Todd, hustling on the streets for a quid. Harry
would never have been born, and Remington Steele would now be
trapped inside the body of an angry, lonely criminal. Maybe you
didn't know you had a father, but you did have your father's
"I used to pretend he really was
my father," Remington recalled. "Once I even made that wish at a
traveling carnival show. I never told Daniel, though; I was afraid
it would scare him off if he knew how I really felt about
"Then maybe those 20 years
weren't wasted after all, eh? You spent them with the man you
wished was your father. You spent them developing traits that
would allow you to become Remington Steele when the time was
right. You spent those years becoming the man Laura Holt would
eventually fall in love with. Sounds to me like those years were
put to pretty good use, pal."
"Laura!" Remington suddenly
thought. "What will Laura think of me when she finds out Daniel is
my father? She'll probably think I knew all along and just
wouldn't tell her! She'll never trust me again!"
"Don't underestimate that lovely
wife of yours. Remember last night when she said she had misjudged
Daniel? That he was a fine man?"
"She knew!" Remington suddenly
realized. "She knew the truth even before I did! Which probably
means that the only reason Daniel told me was because Laura
bullied him in to it! Blast it, Daniel! What kind of bloody coward
are you, anyway?!"
Remington continued to walk,
unaware that his shadow self, Johnny Todd, had vanished. Johnny
had done his part to help Remington sort through his feelings. It
was Mildred's turn now.