- Steele Getting
that my being gone won't be a problem?" Mildred Krebs asked
the two people with her as her flight was called over the public
"We'll be fine, Mildred," Laura Holt quickly reassured
the woman as she and Remington gently guided her toward the gangway.
"Yes, indeed," Remington Steele agreed. "You just
worry about taking care of your sister in her time of need. Miss
Holt and I will muddle along somehow."
Mildred gave them each a quick hug. "Oh. The printer is
supposed to deliver canary yellow note pads. Make SURE they send
the yellow ones and not the blue ones."
"Yes, Mildred," Laura said as the final boarding call
"You're going to miss your flight," Remington pointed
out. "Go on."
"I'll be back as soon as I can," Mildred promised before
turning toward the doorway that was just about to close. "Just
Laura and Remington watched until the airplane taxied away from
the terminal. "Where to now?" Remington asked as Laura
turned toward the exit.
"*I* am going back to the office to finish some paperwork.
YOU are going back to staking out Andrew Mierson's house."
Remington sighed. "Laura, we've been watching the man's
house for a week. He's probably in the Grand Caymans by now,
sipping on a pina colada while sitting on the beach."
"He's a murderer," Laura reminded him as they crossed
the street toward the area where Fred had parked the limo. "And
I just have this feeling that he's a LOT closer--" her brown
eyes widened as she caught sight of a short, dark little man
down the street. "There he is!" she cried, and took
off running after Mierson, who ran in the direction of a dark
sedan. "Stop that man!" Laura called out, hoping for
help from bystanders.
Remington set out on a course to try and waylay Mierson, but
he found his way blocked by another car, and was forced to leap
across the hood of the vehicle as the driver blew his horn. "Sorry,
sorry," he muttered. "Laura!" he called out, watching
as Mierson jumped into his car and slammed it into gear.
In a last ditch effort to stop her quarry, Laura leapt onto the
hood of the dark car, grasping the hood near the windshield in
a desperate move. Mierson swerved, narrowly missing another car,
sending Laura onto the pavement where she lay, still and unmoving.
"Oh my God. Laura!" Remington said, racing to her side,
making a mental note of the car's license number. Kneeling, he
brushed the hair from her face. "Laura?" He looked
up as a crowd began to gather. "Someone call an ambulance!"
Sitting down, uncaring about the dirt on his tailored clothes,
he gently lifted Laura's head into his lap. "Laura, love.
Wake up. Please. You can't leave me now."
She groaned softly. "Why is it I have to be unconscious
for you to say things like that?" she wondered.
"Thank God," Remington sighed. "How do you feel?"
"Lousy," she managed. "My leg hurts."
Remington cast a worried eye toward her left leg and noticed
the awkward angle in which it lay. "I think it's broken."
"I STILL don't understand why you brought me HERE!"
Laura complained as Remington opened the door to his apartment
and pushed the wheelchair that she was sitting in into the room.
He closed the door behind them, tossed his jacket on the back
of the sofa. "Because I don't think we could have gotten
the wheelchair up three flights of stairs- four if you count
the ones in your loft," he said, pointing the chair towards
"You can just leave me on the couch," she told him,
pointing as they passed.
"I don't think so. For the duration of your recuperation,
you'll have the honor of sleeping in my bed."
"The doctor said that I probably won't be able to use a
cane until the swelling goes down in my right ankle," Laura
reminded him, watching as he turned down the bed. "I don't
want to be any bother."
"Oh," Remington assured her, "no bother."
He picked her up and placed her gently onto the bed. "There
you go." He sat on the edge of the bed for a moment. "You
could have been killed, Laura."
"Would you have preferred to let Mierson get away?"
Remington lifted her chin. "From what I recall, he did.
It was only my giving the license number to the police that caused
them to catch up with him."
"At least he's in custody now." She looked up at him
as he fluffed her pillows. "Did you call Mr. Stevens?"
"I did. He's very relieved that the man who killed his secretary
after blackmailing her into giving him corporate secrets is behind
bars. He sent his thanks."
"That's another closed case, then," Laura said. "I
really needed to get those reports done."
"They'll wait," Remington said. "I'm going to
fix some tea- if you need anything, just yell."
Laura lay back on the pillows. He was angry with her. Angry that
she'd put herself in danger to catch a killer. She had just been
doing her job, for goodness sake. Her own anger began to grow
as she considered his coolness toward her since they'd left the
hospital. He had no right to be angry with her because of what
happened. If HE had been the one injured, he would have just
sloughed it off as nothing. The telephone rang and was answered
Her left leg was starting to itch inside the plaster cast- too
far down for her to scratch easily. And her right ankle was starting
to throb. Hadn't the doctor mentioned something about pain pills?
"Hey!" she called out. "Mr. Steele!" There
was no response.
Laura's hand fell on the remote for the television, and she pressed
the button to turn it on, then found the button to turn the volume
up as far as she could. THAT should get his attention!
Within moments, Remington entered the room, a tray in his hands.
He set the tray down on the table beside the bed, then touched
the OFF button for the TV. "Did you need something?"
"My ankle hurts," Laura said, watching as he poured
her a cup of tea.
"Oh." He found a pillow, lifted the ankle, and gently
placed the pillow beneath it. "That better?"
"Where are those pills the doctor sent?"
"It's best not to take them until we're sure you don't have
a concussion," he told her. Laura glared at him. "Let's
see if this helps, and then we'll consider it later, eh? Be right
back." Laura sipped the tea, frowning as he returned carrying
an armload of books and a box.
"Something to read," he told her, putting the books
down. "And some chocolate." Glancing at her cup as
she took the box, he asked, "More tea?"
Laura shook her head, trying to ignore the chocolate. She put
it on the other side of the bed, as far away as she could. Remington
moved to the closet, taking out some clothing, then turned toward
the bath. "Where are you going now?"
"To change." He indicated the dirt-streaked trousers.
"I look as if I've been rolling in the gutter."
Laura picked up one of the books- a murder mystery. "Agatha
Christie," Laura murmured as she heard the shower come on.
Fleetingly, she wished SHE could take a shower. But that pleasure
was going to be denied her for a few weeks, it seemed. At least
until she got the cast off. Her ankle was easing a bit- he'd
been right to withhold the pain pills, it seemed. Another reason
to be angry with him. He was enjoying all of this a little TOO
When the bathroom door opened, Laura was surprised to find him
wearing a suit. "Pretty fancy just to wear around here,
wouldn't you say?" she commented.
"Oh, I won't be around here," he told her, folding
a handkerchief into his jacket pocket.
Laura sat up. "What?"
"Mr. Stevens called earlier. He's made a list of new secretaries
and wants me check them out personally. Make sure they don't
have any skeletons in their closets that someone like Mierson
can take advantage of." He sat down on the edge of the bed.
"What about me?" she asked.
"Oh, I called your sister to ask her to come sit with you."
"Frances?" Laura questioned, her eyes wide with fear.
"Don't worry. She and Donald are away for the weekend. So
is your mother. I'm sure you'll be fine on your own. You've reading
material, the telly. Chocolate. There's water in the carafe there-"
"You wouldn't really leave me here all alone, would you?"
Remington dropped a kiss onto her lips, then rose from the bed.
"I seem to recall a time when the shoe - or lack of it-
was on the other foot," he commented. "I had TWO broken
legs, remember? And you went traipsing off to check out some
bachelors for a client?"
"But Mr. Steele-"
"I shouldn't be long. I'll call in every so often to make
sure you're all right." He blew her a kiss. "Ciao."
Laura sat there in disbelief as she heard the front door close
behind him. Why that-that- no good, -vengeful- snake in the grass!
He'd really left her here. All alone, helpless. She couldn't
even go to the bathroom without help! She stopped, deciding not
to take that one further. Picking up the remote, she pushed the
power button, then winced as the thing blared at her. Quickly,
she lowered the volume, then turned it off and picked up the
book instead. Her eyelids felt heavy. Suspicious, she reached
for the cup of tea, peering at the bottom. He'd put the pain
medicine in it. She returned the cup to the tray, and then saw
the box. Heart shaped, he must have bought it to give to her
on Valentine's day. Or maybe it hadn't been for her at all. Maybe
he'd bought them for someone else.
She reached for the box, flipping the lid up and off, revealing
the dark coated treats inside. "Will power, Laura,"
she admonished herself in a whisper as her fingers crept ever
closer to their goal. "One can't hurt," she told herself.
Heaven. Heaven was chocolate. She was firmly convinced of that
fact. She picked up the book again and opened the first page
. . .
Remington entered the bedroom with his usual stealth, gently
taking the book from Laura's hand and setting the box of chocolate
aside. He pulled the cover over her as he leaned down to lay
a gentle kiss on her lips while she slept. She stirred, eyes
opening, closing. "Mr. Steele. You came back." Her
lips curved upward in a smile.
"Always, love. Always," he told her. Waiting to make
certain she was fully asleep once more, he pulled a chair up
beside the bed, and sat down to watch her. He'd almost lost her
today. She was damned lucky to have escaped with only a broken
leg and sprained ankle. He'd gotten a bit of his own back by
making her think he was leaving her alone- but the truth was
that he was never going to be able to leave this woman's side.
Now, if he could just use this next week to make HER see that
same truth, things would work out the way they should. And he
was going to do everything in his power to see that it did.
Laura woke, and instinctively tried to stretch. Mistake, she
thought, feeling the pain in her right ankle and left leg. "Ouch,"
"Are you okay?" Remington asked.
She turned her head to find him sitting in a chair beside the
bed. From the look of his clothes, he'd been there most of the
night. "My leg and ankle hurt a little."
"Would you like a pill?" he asked.
"Another one, you mean?" she questioned.
"I wasn't sure you'd take it," he tried to explain.
"I'll go get you another."
"Wait. It's not that bad," she assured him, watching
him subside back into the chair. Laura's fingers picked at the
blanket. "Um- how did the research go?"
"It didn't," Remington confessed. At Laura's confused
look, he said, "I told him I'd start working on it Monday
morning. That I was too busy playing nursemaid to my most valuable
associate this weekend."
He reached out and patted her hand, then rose again. "I'll
go make some breakfast." He paused. "Unless you need
Laura chewed on her lower lip. "If you could- help me to
the bathroom door?" she asked in a hesitant tone. Remington
knew how hard it was for her to ask anyone for help, so he simply
bent down and lifted her into his arms. He carried her inside
the bath, then gently lowered her legs to the floor. She winced
as the cast touched the tile, and transferred her weight to the
countertop instead of his shoulders. "Thanks."
Remington stepped out of the room, his hand on the doorknob.
"I'll- wait out here to take you back to bed."
Laura nodded as the door closed. She was greatful in a way that
the hospital had left her in the gown they'd provided- but she
also knew it looked awful. Like a potato sack. And the view in
the mirror confirmed that impression. Her hair needed to be combed-
Laura sighed and slowly completed her task. . .
As he lay her back onto the bed, Remington saw her wince once
more. "I'll get the pain pills," he told her. "And
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content ©2000 by Nancy Eddy