- A Devotion of Steele
- Author's note: This is kind of a continuation of "Holt Sang to Steele". It's
brief and sweet so enjoy. Oh, and for those of you who do not
know any German: "Liebestraum" means "Dream of
- New Year's Eve 1984
Steele and Laura are taken by Fred in the limo back to Mr.
"My favorite piece tonight was Adagio from the Oboe Quartet
by Mozart. The oboe almost sent chills down my spine with its
somewhat sad tone. It is my favorite instrument as the softness
of its sound kind of mesmerizes me." Laura says, leaning
her head onto Steele's shoulder.
"So the evening was to your satisfaction?" Steele asks
in return, using his chin to lightly stroke her hair.
"Very much so, Mr. Steele. 1.5 hour of famous classical
pieces. Truly an enchanting evening." Laura says with a
slight sigh as if remembering the emotions the music has created
within her. "And how was it to you?" Laura asks, raising
her head to look at Steele.
"In your company, you know I'd do anything." Steele
begins, leaning forward to give Laura a light kiss on her forehead.
Before he is able to continue, Laura comments with concern, "You
hated it, didn't you? You put up with taking me only to please
"Oh, no. Don't misunderstand me. Even if I had hated the
music, your company would have made the concert more than bearable.
I have to admit that classical music is an acquired taste with
me but the pieces selected for tonight were indeed to my liking.
My personal favorites were Ave Maria by Schubert and Liebestraum
no 3 by Liszt." Steele explains, looking intently at Laura
"Liebestraum" Laura repeats. "Yes, that was a
wonderful piece. So full of emotion, so passionate." She
continues, looking firmly back at Steele, then leaning in for
a light, tempting kiss, a kiss evoking a glimmer in Steele's
It is somewhat after ten in the evening when they get to Steele's
apartment. About hundred candles in different shapes and sizes
light the entire apartment, the light from them giving the rooms
a golden glow. A fire is lit in the fireplace, creating a faint,
"How nice!" Laura exclaims as she enters through the
door, stopping to admire the scene. "Who
begins to ask.
"A few 'acquaintances'" Steele responds with a subtle
smile, helping Laura with her bolero. "I had told them about
us going to the concert tonight and that I wanted to make a special
evening for you and me. My instructions were very brief so I
didn't really know myself what to expect." He finishes as
he removes his dinner jacket and bow tie.
Completely taken by the scene in front of her, Laura walks up
to the glass doors leading to the balcony. Steele cannot help
looking at Laura, as the light from the candles makes her whole
appearance glimmer as a sky full of twinkling stars.
"Laura, I don't tell you often enough, but you look absolutely
gorgeous." Steele begins, causing Laura to turn around.
"The way you look tonight reminds me about the wondrous
sky we gazed upon that Christmas Day evening. The beads and sequins
on your dress and the pins you've used to set up your hair glow
in the candle light." Steele says as he walks up to Laura
and embraces her. "You truly are the woman of my admiration."
Steele finishes, placing a light kiss on Laura's hair.
Putting her head on Steele's chest, with her arms firmly placed
around Steele's back, Laura says, "It isn't the beads or
the sequins that make me glow. You do, Mr. Steele. You've helped
me rediscover myself." Her embrace tightens as she finishes.
After a minute or so of silence, Steele asks "Are you ready
for some food? Music seems to over and over find a way to fill
our hearts but it will not fill our tummies."
Releasing the grip of one another, Laura says "Yes, we'd
better not let the efforts of your friends go to a spoil."
As Laura walks over to the coffee table, where there are a number
of chafing dishes, Steele puts on some music.
"Oh, Mozart. How sweet of you. You know that's my favorite
composer." Laura says to Steele as they sit down on the
sofa, rubbing one of his arms in an act of gratitude. "Should
we?" Laura motions with her head towards the covered dishes.
"Please, let's begin. Curiosity is almost killing me. And
hunger as well." Steele responds, leaning forward to remove
the first lid.
The food is very much to their liking. There are mini-quiches
with exciting vegetable combinations, miniature sandwiches with
curried chicken, miniature salmon bagels and fresh vegetables
to dip in aioli. On a hot plate, lobster claws are resting on
a pile of saffron risotto accompanied by appropriate garnishes.
In a cooler there is a perfectly balanced white wine from the
Napa to go with the lobster. As they are finished, Laura comments
with a slight undertone of disappointment, "No dessert?"
Steele doesn't respond, but takes Laura's hand and says, "Come."
Laura gives Steele a curious look as they get up and Steele takes
her over to the fireplace. There he motions at her to wait. Then
Steele goes into his bedroom and returns shortly with his arms
full. With Laura intently following every move of his, Steele
places two sheepskins and a couple of pillows with a swift motion
on the carpet in front of the fireplace. He then helps Laura
to get seated on one of the skins. Thereafter Steele, stopping
only to put a new record on the recorder, disappears into the
kitchen with Laura's curious eyes firmly set on his back. Laura
can hear Steele opening the fridge and a few cupboards, and the
clinking sound of glass touching glass. After only a few minutes
he returns with a tray full of things. There is a bowl of strawberries,
a plate with Belgian truffles and a bottle of Steele's favorite
champagne, Dom Perignon. And there is a narrow vase with a single,
large, deep red rose.
"Mr. Steele. It's just fantastic." Laura says when
she sees what is on the tray. "Strawberries and champagne
chocolate truffles. I know you like things elaborate but this
." She continues, unable to find an appropriate
word for the delight she is feeling, her gestures though revealing
"No effort can be too much when it comes to you, my dear
Laura." Steele states simply as he sits down on the other
skin, a statement that causes Laura to lower her eyes and blush
slightly. Turning to face Laura, he picks up the rose, smells
it briefly, then holding it up in front of Laura, continuing
"Like this rose, you have added a indescribable scent to
my life. The scent of this rose may come on strong at first but
when you smell it further, you find nuances of lightness and
and fragility. And it is a smell that takes you
in whole-heartedly and that remains with you for a long time
A scent not easily forgotten. It doesn't wear on you but rather
each time you smell it, you are reminded of all its pleasantness
and you cherish it more each time you encounter its delicate
And its petals are rich in color. Not too bold,
just intense and expressing true warmth. The stem, slender and
gracious, carries the bloom with pride. It has thorns, which
may sting you if not handled with care but the rose needs its
thorns to protect itself from illicit manners. The thorns are
just part of its true beauty
Laura, my words may not have
been appropriate and I may have alarmed you with my honesty,
but yes indeed, this rose truly signifies my feelings for you."
Steele finishes, handing the rose over to Laura, who tentatively
accepts it and puts it under her nose to smell it.
There is a short silence, a silence which does not seem awkward
or uncomfortable to either of them. Then, by whispering "Thank
you." Laura breaks the silence momentarily. She then continues
to smell the rose and she reaches out with one hand to touch
one of Steele's.
Allowing Laura some time to let his words sink in, Steele opens
the bottle of champagne and fills the two glasses. Looking at
his watch, he notices that the year has almost come to an end.
"Your words don't frighten me, Mr. Steele." Laura begins
but Steele, him pointing at his watch, silences her.
Steele reaches out for the champagne glasses and gives one to
Laura. By looking at his watch, Steele starts counting down,
New Year Laura."
Raising her glass to toast Steele, Laura returns "Happy
New Year, Mr. Steele.". They then sip the champagne and
lean in for a kiss that grows in intensity as they let their
emotions loose. Upon breaking the kiss, both feel the need to
taste the remains of the kiss on their lips. When looking at
one another, they both realize that there is passion in their
"Laura, you may think I have spoken enough for tonight,
but on this night I want to make you a promise." Steele
begins, his eyes firmly on Laura's, which do not deflect from
his. "We may have our disagreements and you don't always
approve of what I do. You're stubborn and proud but you know
that I like those things about you. Overall you're caring, loving
and very good at what you do. Above all, you've made me want
to make a choice about my life, to choose a new life vastly different
from my past. This past comes back to haunt me at times and I'm
not always direct with you about it. You have a hard time trusting
me because of my past but you know by now that I continue to
struggle with coming to terms with it. Therefore I want to promise
you this, that whatever happens, I won't divert from your side,
ever. I'll be there for you whenever you need me. You know I
want more out of our relationship, but I'm ready to wait until
you're ready. I want you to be reassured that I'm totally devoted
The room is silent for a few seconds. Then Laura says, "I'm
beginning to understand that you are, Mr. Steele. I know you
care a lot about me and I hope I've been able to show that I
care deeply about you. Please be patient with me Mr. Steele as
I fight my own demons. I want to trust you
and your intentions
but I can't just yet."
"I know." Steele says gently, stroking Laura's chin
with one of his hands. This causes Laura to take his hand a place
a kiss in his palm.
"I can't however walk the full line, not yet. The guts I
had in Cannes haven't returned." Laura begins, smiling somewhat
embarrassed, then continues "But I want to spend the night
with you tonight. I need to be close to you, feel your scent,
feel your arms around me, be able to kiss and hold you, talk
to you. Would that be OK with you, Mr. Steele?"
Reaching out to hold Laura's hands, Steele responds with warmth
in his voice, "Whatever you feel comfortable with Laura.
Whatever feels right for you is right for me."
Steele then slowly moves his hands to hold Laura's head and as
he leans in for a kiss, Laura embraces his shoulders. After a
light, tempting kiss, Steele moves one hand behind Laura's back
to help her lie down on the skin. As passionate kisses are exchanged,
Laura's dress continues to sparkle in the light from the candles
and the fireplace.
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