- Reading Steele Into It
- by Gilmoradict
- Send feedback to: 12nostalgia77 @ gmail.com (without the
- (Not the Dark Prince, but Mildred's caught up in romance
- A crashing wave broke on a sandy white beach, foam leaping
into the air, to settle once more into the crystal blue sea.
Two persistent sandpipers raced repeatedly to the receding waters
edge only to retreat each time a new wave washed the shore. The
birds' frantic escape took them within inches of four entangled
feet, twining around each other in the soft sand at the edge
of a of hastily thrown down blanket. Had the birds cared they
might have blushed at the hungry melding of bodies taking place
so close to them. Long, elegant fingers traced paths through
thick sun streaked brunette hair, pushing it back from a lightly
freckled and deeply dimpled face. The man's dark head occasionally
obscured that lovely face, as his lips explored those of his
partner, as indeed she must be. Her hands, buried in that dark
hair, showed her to be just as dseperate to know him. Remington
Steele, LA's most popular and successful private investigator,
and his associate, the beautiful Laura Holt, were oblivious to
any spectators, feathered or otherwise, as they finally allowed
the passionate love they had long denied to explode in full,
- A door slammed, and startled, Mildred clapped the pages of
the romance novel she was reading together and shoved it under
her desk as Miss Holt strode into the reception area of the office.
- "Could I have the Parker file, please, Mildred?"
Laura's voice rose sharply at the end of this request, as it
often did when she was angry.
- "Sure, Miss Holt, right away." Mildred flushed.
She hoped Miss Holt hadn't seen her reading at her desk. Meekly
glancing up at her employer Mildred quickly decided that Miss
Holt was upset with the supposed occupant of the adjoining office,
not yet arrived this morning. Gathering the papers she had finished
typing earlier, Mildred began pulling the feed dog slag from
the page edges in order to place them in a folder for Miss Holt.
- "I'm sorry Mildred. I didn't mean to bark at you."
Laura squared her shoulders and closed her eyes. "Mr. Steele
and I - had a rather heated discussion last night. I told him
not to bother to come in today, and apparently he's taken me
at my word."
- "Oh Miss Holt. You two were celebrating your birthday
last night, weren't you?" Mildred searched for something
encouraging to say. "Well, it's still early. There are lot'sa
days Mr. Steele doesn't come in before coffee break." Personally,
she couldn't understand HOW Miss Holt could be angry with Mr.
Steele. Mildred had a hard time resisting Mr. Steele's charming
smile when he turned its full mega watt power on her. He might
take a few liberties now and then, but Mildred knew he cared
deeply for Miss Holt. "Do you want some coffee Hon?"
- "No. Thanks." Laura turned to head back into her
office, then pausing, asked, "Mildred, has Mr. Steele said
anything to you about taking time off in the near future, travel
plans, anything like that?"
- "Not since we got conned into helping find that guy
Shepherd in the Mediterranean - and we all got bamboozled on
- "I know Mildred, I know." Laura resolutely resumed
walking. "O.K. Back to the Parkers."
- Mildred shook her head as Laura's office door closed behind
her. She would never understand how two people who were so clearly
meant to be together spent so much time at arm's length. Keeping
her eye on Laura's door, she bent over to pick up her book, flipping
through the dog eared pages. Miss Holt and Mr. Steele were the
couple she pictured in her stories.
- The cool weather kept all but lovers from the beach. Holding
her sweater close against the chill Laura skipped every couple
of steps to keep up with the long legged Steele's brisk pace.
- "Why, why must you leave, Mr. Steele?" The misty
rain left dewy beads on Laura's skin, her hair had long lost
it's smooth coif, and now curled with abandon around her face.
- "You know I would do anything to stay with you if
I could Laura. We have no future here though until I settle this
problem in London. But Laura, we do have a choice. You have a
choice." Steele's voice caught in his throat, knowing what
he asked was too much, too dark with unknowns.
- "What choice do I have?" Laura pleaded. "How
can I leave everything I've built here? My home, my work, my
family? To follow you on this hopeless search for a man you've
never even met? One of us has to be level headed!"
- "According to what law? Throw caution to the wind,
Love. Come away with me!" The man turned to the woman, and
roughly took her face in his hands, bruising her lips with his
as he claimed her as his own. Tears mingled with the dew on her
cheeks. A sob escaped her lips, as she threw her arms around
Steele's neck, lifting herself on tiptoe to rub a satin cheek
against his rough one, leaving a trail of damp kisses across
- "Laura!" Steele groaned, easily lifting her
into his arms. A short distance down the deserted beach was a
small cottage, and Steele strode towards it with certain steps
Mildred jumped as the agency door swung open, once more dropping
her paperback to the floor under her desk.
- "Ahh Mildred!" Steele declared warmly as he swept
in, a brilliant bouquet of wildflowers - blossoms of every color
and size - secured in his left arm. He deftly removed a large
sunflower from the group and presented it to Mildred with a flourish.
"As usual you have begun the morning without me. You are
to be commended for your diligence."
- "Oh, Mr. Steele, Miss Holt is worried sick about you."
- "Is she now? I would have guessed based on last night
that she didn't want me here at all this morning." Steele
didn't seem overly concerned, despite his words, deeply breathing
in the fragrance of the flowers. "I'm forever managing to
rub our Miss Holt the wrong way - mores the pity. But I'm determined
to make love not war this morning. Wish me luck, Mildred."
- "You got it Chief." Mildred beamed at Mr. Steele.
- Steele winked at Mildred over his shoulder, pausing to shine
each shoe on the opposing pant leg before confidently swinging
Miss Holt's door open wide. "Good morning, good morning,
good morning." Allowing the flowers and his greeting to
lead the way, Steele eased into Laura's space, closing the door
firmly between the two of them, and Mildred.
- Mildred sat as still as the proverbial mouse, hoping against
hope to hear SOMETHING from behind the closed door, to no avail.
Shrugging, she bent to pick up her book once more, thumbing purposefully
to a page with its corner turned back.
- The only light in the darkened room came from a single
candle which burned feebly from where it rested on an overturned
crate. Its pale flame revealed a small cottage, its windows shuttered;
dust thick on the few objects stored there, primarily items used
by some devoted fisherman. Only one corner of the room had been
tidied, a few rough blankets pulled from a chest, and spread
over a pile of boat canvas. Dark head bent low over tangled brown
curls; his arm warmed her, encircling her shoulder where she
lay curled against him. Their breath made tiny puffs of condensation
in the chill of the room. Steele's free hand was laced with Laura's,
their thumbs caressing each other's palms.
- "We can't stay here much longer, darling. You're
freezing" Steele said, punctuating his words with the kisses
he dropped on Laura's head; his fingers caressed her smooth shoulder
as he drew the blanket closer.
- Laura shivered without wanting to. "No, don't talk
about leaving. This place feels enchanted, separate from the
world. No obligations, no rules, nothing that says we can't always
be. I won't go back to schedules, questions, legalities."
- "No food, no drink, not nearly enough blankets to
stay warm." Steele said gently. "The only one who makes
you follow the rules out there is YOU. We can break the rules
if we choose to Laura."
- At this her tears began again, silently falling from her
lashes. "Will you come back?" she asked in a voice
so small it took up no space in the room.
- Steele's heart broke at her words. He couldn't form an
answer. How, indeed could he leave his heart, his love behind?
Did he have the strength, even if it meant life itself for them
most stubborn woman I have ever met!" Steele's
voice rose to penetrate the deep red door that separated him
and Laura from the outer office.
- "No, no it's you. Always thinking about yourself and
your infernal need to get away. Well, GO! I've got no hold on
you!" Laura's voice trembled as she shrieked at Steele.
- At the resounding BAM, the slamming of the door between Miss
Holt's and Mr. Steele's offices, Mildred winced. Waiting for
a moment, her book resting in her lap, Mildred picked up the
sunflower Mr. Steele had given her earlier. Pulling first one
petal off, then another, she recited under her breath,
- "He loves her, she loves him not. She loves him, he
loves her not." Rising with a deep sigh, and heading to
the workroom to locate a vase for Mr. Steele's flowers, Mildred
shook her head. In a few minutes she had rinsed a dusty red art
deco vase, and run clear, cool water into it. She knocked softly
on Miss Holt's door. Receiving no reply, Mildred eased the door
slowly open and peeked in. Miss Holt was no where to be seen.
The door to Mr. Steele's office was ajar. Mildred peered cautiously
into the larger office.
- The boss stood just behind the door, with his hands braced
on the wall before him. Miss Holt was captive in the prison his
arms created. She was holding two airline tickets in the hands
she clasped behind Mr. Steele's back. It seemed clear that for
the moment the two had reached a truce. Mildred backed away smiling;
quietly retrieving Miss Holt's flowers from her trash can.
- Once the flowers were happily soaking up water on the corner
of Mildred's desk, the plump blond pulled her novel from her
desk drawer, opening it to its final pages.
- The lovely young woman stood perfectly still at the entrance
to the gate, wondering if she had misunderstood his flight information,
or if his plans had somehow changed. It seemed as if everyone
had already exited the plane. Closing her eyes to stem the flow
of tears that threatened at the corners of her dark lashes, she
could hear only her own heart beat. The airport and its clutter
of noise disappeared in the sudden overwhelming pain.
- "Laura!" He called her name as he walked towards
her, trembling at the sight of the woman who had filled his every
thought for the weeks they had been apart.
- Opening her eyes as if in a dream, Laura gasped, and without
realizing she had moved, flew to cover the remaining steps between
the two. He lifted her into his arms, his tears now mingling
with hers, his hands wrapped around her slim frame so tightly
she could barely breathe. Allowing her to slowly slide down against
the length of his body, he gazed at her perfect face, smiling
foolishly, searching for words of some kind, yet unwilling to
leave this moment of joy.
- "It's done, Love." He whispered finally. "I'm
free of the past, free to plan a future for us."
- "Darling!" Was all Laura could manage as she
hungrily lifted her lips to his.
- The crowd in the terminal continued to ebb and flow around
the pair as
- "Mildred! What are you doing?" Laura questioned,
looking at the book in Mildred's hands, stopping short only when
she noticed the flowers on the desk. "When did you
- Laura's cheeks flamed, as Steele strode out of his office
with a beaming smile on his face.
- "Hold down the fort here, would you Darling? Miss Holt
and I find we have a fascinating new case to pursue in Catalina,
and we can just make our flight if we hurry."
- "No problem Chief. Is there a number where I can...."
Stopping short Mildred grinned at her employers and added "On
second thought, good luck, kids. If something comes up that I
can't handle it'll just have to wait until you get back. Now
get outta here!"
- Eyebrows arched, Steele smiled broadly as he put an arm about
Laura's shoulders and pulled his slightly flummoxed partner through
the agency doors before she could protest.
- Mildred opened a drawer and pulled out a box of peppermints.
Popping one into her mouth, she leaned back in her chair, propped
her feet up on the open drawer, and opened her book to read.
- The End
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