Inside Steele's apartment there remains of a candlelit dinner can be seen. Soft music can be heard and Steele and Laura can be seen slowly dancing their arms wrapped around each other.
"Not exactly a shabby day's work. Darryl behind bars for the mistaken identity murder of Arthur Shelby," he says to her softly.
"Are you sure Darryl's alibi won't hold up?"
"Hmm" he answers. "Now on to more urgent matters." Their lips brush softly.
"Pleased?" Laura asks.
"Case closed. You in my arms. What more could I ask for?" Their lips touch again deepening into a real kiss.
"Hmm, I think you just answered my question." He starts to kiss her again.
BUZZ! The doorbell sounds.
"Don't answer it." Laura whispers and kisses him again.
"Shhhh " She stifles his protest by placing her lips to his
"Laura, what if ."
"I don't care," she says quietly. "Right now, all I care about is this..." She kisses him again, "and us " another deep, passionate kiss . "and "
Without further hesitation, he surrenders to Laura's insistent kiss as it becomes deeper and more passionate, probing and searching his mouth. Suddenly, as if scared she would lose her nerve, but never breaking their kiss, Laura begins to unbutton his shirt.
"Laura " he whispers breathlessly in her ear. He is stunned by her initiative.
She has made quick work of the buttons, exposing his chest. She answers in between placing kisses on his neck, "If you would rather accept a delivery from your doorman or chase away a salesman, then "
He cups her face with one hand and cuts her off with a deep, passionate kiss that continues from her mouth down her jaw line to her neck. His other arm grabs her waist to pull her as close to him as possible. Laura's arms encircle his waist as she sinks deeper and deeper, feeling his hot breath on her neck. Her breathing is faster and harder.
Outside Steele's apartment door, Mildred raises her hands in defeat, turns on her heel and heads to the elevator. She pushes the call button and shakes her head to herself in frustration and irritation.
Leaning back slightly now, Laura reaches up and strokes his dark hair as his kisses travel down her neck to her chest and then lower and lower along the neckline of her V-neck blouse. He has never felt her surrender so completely in his embrace before, and yet he is cautious, waiting for her to retreat as she has always done in the past. Steele decides to be bold and unfastens the first couple buttons of her blouse, revealing a silky camisole. To his surprise, she does not stop him.
His heart is pounding and he is barely able to keep his passion for her in check. "Laura, are you sure you want to do this?" he whispers into her ear. "Because if we go much further, I'm not sure I'll be able to stop."
"Don't stop," she answers breathlessly, looking into his eyes. His eyes never seemed so blue - so focused and filled with such - what was it? She pulls his head down to hers for another deep kiss.
Steele nimbly unfastens the remaining buttons on her blouse and lets it fall to the floor, planting kisses on her now bare shoulder and chest. Meanwhile, she has dispensed with his belt and shirt.
Effortlessly, he lifts her into his arms and moves toward the bedroom as she lets her shoes fall to the floor.
Lying her on his bed, he lies above her, bearing his weight on his forearms and staring into her deep brown eyes. After a pause, they begin to kiss slowly and passionately.
(Pan to the ceiling and then fade to black ..)
At a payphone, we see Mildred frantically searching in her address book and then dialing a number.
Switch to Whitney in her dressing room. She is gathering her things to leave. She picks up her jacket as the phone rings.
"Whitney. Thank goodness I caught you. This is Mildred Krebs, Mr. Steele and Miss Holt's associate."
"Miss Krebs, I'm not sure what else I can do for you..."
"Honey," Mildred interrupts, I think " she stutters, "that is, the boss thinks we may have nailed the wrong guy."
"The wrong guy? Daryl killed Shelby and he tried to kill my Cr "
"Honey," Mildred interrupts again, "just do me a favor and lock your door. I've called the police already, and they're on their way."
"Lock my door, why?" Whitney asks.
"The killer might be coming after you."
"Who?" Whitney is getting irritated. "Miss Krebs, where is Mr. Steele?"
"Just lock your door. I'll explain it all when I get there," she says as she hangs up the phone. "I hope," she adds looking up for strength.
"OK," Whitney concedes.
As Whitney turns toward the door, Al Molinski walks in.
"Pop, so good to see you," she greets him with relief that someone is there to face the possible murderer with her.
"Likewise, I'm sure," he answers.
As Whitney turns away to lock the dressing room door, Molinksi grabs her from behind and attempts to strangle her. She manages to pull herself free and runs to the set full of props from her special.
From behind one of the large props she confronts him. "They'll know it's you."
"Me? Ha! A feeble old man everybody thinks can't even stay awake for Merv Griffin. And you, a young bimbo all alone here after midnight." She shoves the over-sized rocking horse at him and runs away.
Mildred's car pulls up outside and she runs into the building.
Whitney reaches a corner and stops. "Please! For Crunch's sake," she calls out.
She screams as Mr. Molinski grabs her from behind.
Mildred enters the control room as police storm the stage.
"Get the lights!" one of the officers calls out.
Mildred looks at the panel and flips a switch. "Stars and Stripes Forever" fills the studio.
Suddenly, lights come on but they're focused on one of the officers. Shielding his eyes from the blinding light he calls to her, "On the stage!"
Mildred hits another switch, and lights begin to flame on a large sign reading "WHITNEY".
Mildred, her mouth open, looks stunned.
The officers now have enough light to see Mr. Molinski hovering over Whitney, strangling her.
They run over to them and pull Molinski off her.
Mildred arrives on the stage and asks Whitney, "Are you all right!?"
Rubbing her throat Whitney replies, "I think so! Thanks!"
Whitney stands and asks, "What is going on? Where is Mr. Steele?"
"I wish I knew!" she answers, exasperated.
Back in Steele's apartment, Laura and Steele are lying in bed. Laura's head is on his bare chest and he is stroking her hair.
"Laura," he starts and then pauses, trying to find the right words. "I don't mean this to sound wrong, but why? Why now? Why tonight?"
Laura giggles and shrugs her shoulders.
"I mean," Steele continues, I guess I always thought that we would be in some far away, romatic setting, and we'd end an evening like this after a play, a ballet, a movie . I certainly never dreamed it would be a professional wrestling match that would melt your defenses."
Laura smiles. "It wasn't the wrestling match. Perhaps my defenses have just been melting slowly over time, and perhaps I've managed to melt a little bit of them on my own. You know, when you were gone for those several weeks, I realized that I was foolish to not have done this long ago. Whether or not we were ever lovers, you're being gone still hurt. Whether or not I wanted to admit it, our relationship, while still lacking the physical part, was not something I wanted to lose."
"So you came and got me back." He sighs. "Oh, Laura, I never meant to hurt you "
"I know," she stops him by placing a kiss on his lips.
"But we've been back in LA for weeks, why tonight?"
Laura looks away again, thinking of something.
"Laura?" He puts a finger on her chin and turns her face toward him.
"Well," she averts his gaze by looking down. "I was a little intimidated . I mean I'm not as ," she searches for the right words, "experienced as some of the other women you've "
"Laura," he sighs. He looks away, a bit ashamed. "Last night meant so much more to me than any other I've ever spent with a woman. I never imagined how wonderful it could be with someone you loved."
He startled himself slightly by using that word and by using it so casually. But he did mean it. He had been considering it for quite some time. And since their return from Ireland, he had been waiting for the perfect time to tell her.
He turned back to look at her face.
Laura's eyes were wide with surprise, and then they filled with tears.
"I can't believe you said that," she chokes out.
"Why? Did you think me incapable?" He flashes her a crooked smile.
"No, it's just ."
"Well, I do, I do love you, Laura Holt."
Laura forgets about trying to blink away the tears in her eyes and lets them stream down her cheeks. "I love you too," she whispers.
"And as for last night, love," he continues more lightheartedly and cupping her face, "you have nothing to worry about." He wipes the tears from her cheeks with his thumbs.
Laura smiles back at him, "I guess you could always teach me."
"In exchange for all that you have taught me over the years? Sounds like a fair arrangement. And I say, there is no better time than the present to begin your tutelage." He leans forward and kisses her deeply as he lies her back on the bed. "Lesson One "
BANG!!! BANG!!! BANG!!!
The next morning, Steele is startled awake by loud and persistent banging on his apartment door. Laura is nestled beside him, and she groans at the annoying raucous.
"I'll get rid of them," he says quickly as he strokes hair, "and then I'll make us some breakfast." He kisses her temple and quickly crawls from the bed, ready to strangle whomever it is dare disturb him on such a wonderful morning as this.
BUZZ!!! BUZZ!!! BANG!!! BANG!!! BANG!!!
"Yes, alright," Steele, tying his robe about his waist, calls as he emerges into the living room and heading for the door.
"Yes, can I help you?" he asks flinging open the door as quickly as possible to stop the awful noise.
The annoyance shows on his face because his doorman is standing in the hallway with a remorseful expression. "I am so sorry, Mr. Steele, but your mother called the security gate all night asking about you, and ."
"My mother?" Steele interrupts
"Yes, sir," the doorman answers, referencing a slip of paper in his hands "a Mildred Krebs."
"She said that your phone is out of order, and that she tried knocking on your door last night, but that there was no answer, and "
Steele recalls the doorbell that almost interrupted Laura and him the previous night. He had almost forgotten it amongst all the other wonderful memories that came flooding back to him.
"Anyway," concludes the doorman in exasperation, "she is worried sick about you and says that she needs you to call her at this number right away." He hands the slip of paper to Steele. "Sorry to disturb you, sir, but your mother just seemed worried sick that you were in some sort of awful trouble."
"No trouble, good man. Thank you," Steele answers, dismissing the doorman and looking at the message.
"Your mother?" Laura's voice comes from the bedroom doorway.
"Yes," Steele answers, "apparently Mildred needs to hear from us immediately. That must have been her at the door last night."
"Oh, no," Laura answers uneasily.
Steele picks up the phone and begins to dial.
"What are you going to tell her?" Laura asks suddenly, taking the phone.
"What?" Steele asks, confused.
"What are you going to tell her when she wants to know why you didn't answer the door?"
"I don't know. Why?"
"Well, I just don't want her to know "
"Laura," he sighs, "Mildred is a grown woman. She knows we took the limo together from the arena last night. I'm sure she suspects "
"She can suspect all she wants," Laura interrupts, "Theories she can't prove I can handle at the office. Out and out truth we slept together I'm not sure that I can."
"Laura," he says while taking the phone from her and putting it back down on the table. He pulls her into his arms. "You're not sorry or ashamed, or "
"No, no," she answers immediately. "That's not it." She stares into his eyes. "Last night was wonderful, and I am very happy. It's just that I'd like to understand our new " Laura searches for the right word, " relationship before I have to explain it to anyone else."
"Come on," she urges " 'a little bit of hype on the professional level?' "
"And on the personal level?" he asks.
"If any of last night was hype," she answers playfully, poking his chest, "I don't know if I could endure a real performance."
He groans longingly at the opportunity to top the wonderful lovemaking they enjoyed the previous night as she plants a quick kiss on his lips. "Call Mildred," she says, putting off his immediate desire for a yet another performance. "I'm going to jump in the shower." She plants another small kiss on his lips, and walks off to the bathroom.
The limo pulls up to the curb in front of the police station.
"I can't believe it wasn't Dangerous Darryl," Laura says as they exit the car, and head up the steps to the police station.
"Well, let's get the full story," Steele answers, holding the door for her to walk through ahead of him.
Mildred is sitting with an older officer in a room, both of whom are having a cup of coffee. "Well, she says to the officer with a smile, "it's not all glamorous - being a PI." The door opens, and Mildred leaps to her feet. "Boss! Miss Holt!"
Laura says, "Mildred, what is going on?"
"She saved that young girl's life," the officer answers, "simple as that."
"Oh, Arnie," Mildred chuckles and playfully jabs his arm.
"Well, I'll let you catch up with your boss, Mildred. I gotta get all this in the report anyway. I'll talk to you later." He smiles at Mildred, then Laura and Steele, and leaves the room.
"Mildred?" Steele asks.
Mildred excitedly recants her story, "Well, when I left the arena last night something didn't sit right. So I went home and I did what you did."
"I doubt that very much Mildred." Steele says. Laura shoots him a look to kill.
"I paced back and forth, reviewing every detail. Now, we eliminated Crunch's ex-wife because she was with you when Shelby was murdered. So was Whitney's manager when someone tried to turn out Crunch's lights at Whitney's rehearsal. But what about Darryl, hmmm?" Laughing she continues, "And it hit me. Darryl, too, has an air tight alibi."
"He does?" Laura asks.
"There it was on the TV. I caught the last bit of Whitney's special last night after the match. They showed her coming down on that big moon and it hit me." She punches her palm for emphasis.
"I picked up the phone and called the sound stage. Sure enough, the stage manager told me that the moon is part of Whitney's routine. The other day when Crunch Kramer came down on it, it was simply a gag."
"Which means . . . " Laura begins.
". . . that the mystery killer assumed Whitney would be sitting there, not Crunch." Mildred finishes.
"Meaning that whoever cut the cable was out to kill Whitney. Which leaves - Dangerous Darryl without a motive," concludes Laura.
"Pretty good, uh?" Mildred asks.
Laura and Steele pause a moment to absorb what Mildred has said.
"Then with Mary Molinski, Todd Myerson and Dangerous Darryl out of the picture, whom does that leave? Who would have it in for both Whitney and Shelby?"
Steele and Laura say together, "Al Molinksi!"
"Right!" Mildred confirms. "I tried calling you last night, but you're number was out of order, Mr. Steele. And I just kept getting your machine, Miss Holt. So, I went over to your apartment, Boss, but no one was there. At least, you didn't answer the door "
"Ah! Terrible migraine," Steele supplies quickly. Took a wonder pill and went right to sleep. Didn't hear a thing all night," he gives Laura a sideways glance."
"Miss Holt?" Mildred asks.
"Ah," Laura stumbles, "I, uh, I was so tired from such a long day, I went right to bed and turned off the ringer."
Mildred looks skeptical as she eyes them both. "Anyway," she continues, "I called Whitney at the studio to warn her. But before she could lock the door, Mr. Molinski nabbed her. We arrived just in time."
"We?" Steele asks.
"I called the cops." Mildred explains.
They both look at her a bit dumbfounded, and Steele scratches his head in confusion.
"I just don't see how we missed this," Laura muses. "Mildred, that was a great piece of detection. Thank you."
"Not to mention a very heroic act." Steele adds. "There's no telling what would have happened to Miss Chambers had you not followed your instincts, Mildred."
"You're welcome. I only did what I thought was right."
Laura enters Steele's office carrying a folder. He's sitting behind his desk looking at a file.
"Al Molinski's psychiatric evaluation just arrived. He may never go to trial." She slides the folder on the desk. "The poor guy." Sitting on the desk she continues, "The thought of loosing his son to show business was more than he could stand. To him, Whitney symbolized the entire industry."
"Hmmm," Steele replies looking at the report. "and he thought Shelby was responsible for Crunch's success. By killing Shelby, he thought Crunch's career would collapse."
"I just thought of that old movie," Laura says.
Looking up at her, Steele asks, "What old movie?"
"You know. A Bill of What-cha-ma-call-it with Who's-its and What's-his-name."
"Ah yes, A Bill of Divorcement." He looks up. "John Barrymore, Katherine Hepburn, RKO 1932. A mentally disturbed father tries to disrupt his daughter's marriage. Not bad for a beginner Laura." He smiles at her.
"I'm learning, Mr. Steele," she says softly and leans across the desk. She flashes her eyes at him, suggestively.
"So you are, Miss Holt," he says seductively. "So you are." Slipping his hand behind her neck he draws her closer and they kiss.