Steele Getting Even

"You're sure 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 address system.

"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 was heard.

"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 a minute!"

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 the bedroom.

"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 quickly.

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?" he asked.

"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.

"What's that?"

"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 much.

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. "NO."

"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," she muttered.

"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 my help-?"

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 some breakfast."

The End
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Original content ©2000 by Nancy Eddy