Red Colt Steele
Part one
By ilsa Lund

Summary: This is my eighth RS Fic story. It takes place shortly after 'License To Steele' but before 'Tempered Steele' - episodes from way back in the 1st season. Remember, this is set very early on in the relationship of Laura Holt and Mr. Steele. I've tried to capture the spirit of the person he was prior to learning of Wallace's death. What were those early days like for everyone? This is my interpretation.
*Don't forget this has UK spellings.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction for entertainment purposes only. I will not make a single penny or profit from this. I do not own the rights to any of the characters from the television series "Remington Steele".
Rating: 'R': This work contains adult content and strong language (the 'f' word).
Huge thanks to my beta reader Lauryn & all the Irreverent Steelers for encouraging me to stick with this (Holy minging writer's block Batman! For yonks, LOL!) and also to KD.


"Daniel? It's me, Harry. How are you mate? … Good … Me? I'm fine … I'm in Los Angeles and … Long story. Got ten minutes? Or fifteen even? … Good. I'll start with the first … I'll come to that in a minute. All will be revealed. Let me begin at the beginning ... Oh really? The buggers, no pun intended. In that case, call me from a telephone box. They're safe and … It's raining? Okay, I'll wrap it up. Remember that woman I was pursuing? The woman with … No, you're on the wrong track … Not Shannon … Not Barbara … Definitely not her! The father almost caught us, didn't I tell you? … He came home rather unexpectedly. Flight got cancelled. I had to hide in the wardrobe … Think very carefully about this, okay? The woman I'm talking about is unlike any other woman, precious and valuable. She's from South Africa. I followed her all around London then Paris. Now, do you catch my drift? … Good. Hold on a minute. I need to grab my wine."

Steele shot off the sofa and ran to the kitchen. On the counter was the glass of Chianti he'd poured himself earlier. Humming happily, he picked it up and returned to the couch, taking a sip before placing it on the table in front of him.

"Sorry mate. Anyway, as I was saying, that woman journeyed across the Atlantic to America. California. Then Los Angeles to be precise. I trailed after her because there … Well that's in no part due to you and your excellent tutelage. You know how I am around shiny objects. Can't resist them … I got so close mate … I'm coming to that. There's no easy way to say this, so I'll just say it - but before I do, I just need to grab the remote control. Hold on a minute Daniel."

The television was on but the volume was muted. Steele glanced at the screen. Steve McQueen and Natalie Wood were in the middle of an amorous interlude. For a split second, his attention wandered and he forgot all about the transatlantic phone call.

'Love With The Proper Stranger', a very risqué film for 1963. A one-night stand, unmarried pregnancy, abortion, promiscuity and prostitution. How did they get away with such racy themes? It's not as if - good lord. Steele unconsciously raised his eyebrows at a kiss landing very near Natalie Wood's barely covered breasts. How had he not noticed that before? Very stimulating. He aimed the remote at the TV then returned to the telephone.

"Sorry about that mate. Where was I? … Ah yes. Things didn't quite go according to plan. A woman got in my way and … No. Not that kind of woman Daniel. I mean a real woman: a breathing, walking, talking woman named Holt. Laura Holt … Dump that scepticism of yours in the Thames where it belongs. She's not my type at all: she's small, petite and non-compliant. No, she's not blonde. Does that reassure you Daniel? … We took to the floor but we … Not that! … We danced but … Not that! … The absolute truth? My mind was completely focussed on taking the South African woman, not the American one … I admit, I wouldn't say no if she was amenable to us becoming more - what's the word? - 'friendly'. You know me, I'm not opposed to wild nights of 'friend-making' and she does have an allure about her … No Daniel. She's declared some rubbish about not mixing business with pleasure and I promised to respect … What's that 'oh dear' for? … Utterly ridiculous notion. I don't see her as a challenge at all. A challenge implies a contest, a situation where one's talents are tested and in that area, we both know I'm an undisputed success. What woman could resist these matinee idol looks … I'm coming to that. Just a minute, I'm stretching for my Chianti."

Steele picked up the glass and sipped, savouring the heavy, full-bodied liquid warming his stomach. Glorious memories of its country of origin inexplicably flashed across his mind: the Colosseum, the Basilica of St. Mark's, the Sistine Chapel, the Ponte Vecchio, the Gallery of the Academy - so nearly pulled it off. If only Felicia had detained the guard a little longer. The Rialto Bridge, the Doges' Palace and then there was Rosa. Sweet, willing Rosa. What a body. What a mouth, so warm, so wet …

He replaced his wine and sighed.

"Daniel? Remind me where … Oh yes. There was a rather sticky situation with two chaps named Kessler and Neff so I took a paged call for 'Remington Steele,' a fêted private detective here in L.A ... Amazing how resourceful one becomes in situations of imminent death … No. This time it was a knife at my back ... Well, the upshot is Remington Steele saved my skin but from that moment on, everyone thought I was him ... I even helped turn those loathsome villains over to the police. Or rather, Remington Steele did. Isn't that priceless Daniel? Me, working on the same side as our law enforcement friends? Just like Peter Sellers in 'The Wrong Arm of the Law' and … Yes I'm well aware that it's one of your favourites mate but you got the year wrong. It was 1962 … I beg your pardon? Ah! And therein lies the rub. Y'see, Remington Steele didn't and doesn't exist. He's a figment of Laura Holt's imagination. She made him up … Yes, isn't it though? But it was to reassure a sexist public. They wouldn't deal with a female private investigator so she invented a male one and voilá! Bob's your uncle mate. Daniel? My apologies. This will be the last interruption."

Love With The Proper Stranger was nearing its denouement and Steele was loath to miss it. Contrary to Laura Holt's assumption, the best-kept secret in the world wasn't his real name: it was his predilection for happy endings.

Steve McQueen and Natalie Wood stood on a bustling Manhattan street. He was playing a banjo and the small bells attached to his body jingled loudly as he moved his hands and feet. She turned away from the earnest, silent plea on his face. He chased after her. They embraced then kissed passionately, oblivious to the masses of bemused people around them. All's well that ends well. Love conquers all. Roll credits.

Steele grasped the remote and turned over the channel.

"Sorry Daniel … Good question. It appears that I have the face for the job. You are now conversing with Remington Steele, famed private detective and all round bon vivant … Straight up mate. It's the God's honest truth … I've landed on my feet good and proper this time. You wouldn't believe the doors that are opening for me. The name Remington Steele buys a great deal of sycophancy in this town. Indulge a whim of mine Daniel and say 'no' to me. Been a while since someone did … Say that again mate? … I gather business is booming. The books are healthy and the public is none the wiser. Magnificent charade, eh? What a bloody con! My little Miss Holt has almost matched me in that department. To think the most prominent detective in L.A is an invention, the brainchild of a woman. And now I'm that brainchild."

Steele laughed heartily then reclined further on the couch.

"What's that? … Top-notch female companionship. I'm rather spoilt on that score. Good thing chemists open late here. Americans; they think of everything … Excuse me? … Several undertakings in the pipeline Daniel. You'd be so proud of my progress: you've taught me well. Three have already come off this week and I'm working on one now as we speak … Sonny Russell. A real player. Heard of him? … Pity. I was hoping you could give me some insight. I dare say I'll manage alone, eh? … Do Daniel. I'll look forward to showing you this swanky flat I've acquired. And my limo too. Not to mention my expense account. Oh and my exclusive seat at the best restaurant Los Angeles has to offer. When you land at LAX, ask any nubile woman you see for your young charge. He goes by the mantle of the great detective Remington Steele now. Tell her that we go back a long way. It might buy you more than just directions …" Steele chuckled and hung up.

As he mechanically zapped through the TV channels, the buzzer sounded swiftly followed by frantic knocking.

"Coming, coming!" Steele called out. He checked his watch. Lucy Jones, the current inamorata, wasn't due for an hour. Still, if the situation were reversed, he'd be eager too. It was hard not to feel proud about last night. A veritable ode to the act of intimacy. The kind of tryst Don Juan himself would be proud to boast of. Or Mick Jagger.

He pulled open the door but it wasn't the woman he expected. It was his impossible challenge. Hair hung loosely around her shoulders. Steele resisted the urge to reach out and lift up a small section caught in her collar. Instead he moved his eyes down her body. She was wearing a trouser suit. Pity to cover such wonderful legs.

Laura Holt crossed her arms and set her mouth. A thunderous expression darkened her countenance.

Trouble. Steele cringed. He injected cheer into an effusive greeting. Normally, it worked.

"Ah Miss Holt. Come in, come in!"

"I want a word with you!" She jabbed his chest then stomped into the living room spinning around to glare at him.

"A word? Rutting. Will that do?" He smiled into her eyes and shut the door.

"I'm in no mood for your sexual overtures."

"Perfect. Neither am I. What say we skip the overture and go straight to the first act?"

Laura pointed at the sofa. "Sit down. There's something I need to talk to you about."

Steele obeyed. "And you couldn't pick up the phone because …?" He left the question dangling in the air.

"This is serious. And serious means I have to see your face because I'm wondering -"

"Just my face?"

" - if you're capable of telling the truth."

He tugged an earlobe. "Couldn't this wait until tomorrow? I mean, you are aware that it's Sunday night. Aren't you?"

She stopped pacing. "And?"

"And?" Steele echoed incredulously. "To me and everyone else in the world, it's the weekend. Loosely translated, that means no work and all play. You appear to be the exception Miss Holt."

"I have a business to run and speaking of business, there's -"

"Perhaps you need someone to play with?"

"I do have someone to play with. To the matter at hand, I received -"

"Well why aren't you playing with him?"

She huffed exasperatedly, "I don't have time for your mindless -"

"Picked the wrong companion have we?"

Against her better judgement, Laura took the bait. "On the contrary. He's everything I could want in a man."

"Aha. He lets you drive."

She gritted her teeth. "Can we please get back to -"

"Tell me Miss Holt, what's an average journey with this companion of yours like? Does his engine break down just as you're getting warmed up?"

"Can you focus on the situation at hand?" She resumed pacing, her agitation all too evident.

"Or does it - what's the American phrase? - go the distance?"

"This is serious!" Laura barked. "Something's -" she broke off, distracted by the glint of amusement in his eyes. It was unmistakable. Taking a deep breath, she decided to try again. "Something's been brought to my attention, something that makes me question whether our arrangement is in the best interests of my agency."

"Ah," he tugged his earlobe. "This sounds like bad news. Y'know, we have an old custom where I'm from -"

"Do people have real names too where you're from?"

He heard her but he ignored her. "The old custom is, 'never receive bad news fully clothed.' "

She could feel the blood racing around her veins. Damn the man. He did it to her every time. Was it possible to explode from suppressing rage? "Will you please shut up and listen to me for a minute?"

"If I do what you ask -" Steele flashed his pearly whites, "- will you do what I ask?"

She slapped her thighs. "I give up."

"Splendid. And I thought I'd have to marry you first." Grinning, he made a great show of loosening his tie and unbuttoning his shirt at the neck.

"Stop this right now! Stop all your innuendos and listen to me. I mean it!" she yelled.

He held up a hand in a conciliatory gesture. "My apologies Miss Holt. You have my undivided attention."

"I spoke to Bernice today and you're in the doghouse."

Steele raised his eyebrows. "The doghouse?"

"It means she's mad at you."

"And if she's not mad at me, am I in the cathouse?"

"One word I don't have to explain to you."

"I'd pay to hear you try."

"You couldn't afford it."

"A high fee to preserve your modesty, eh Miss Holt?"

"And a bargain basement price on yours."

"Really Laura," he admonished mildly, "And here I am fully prepared to give you a free sample."

"No thanks. I'll shop elsewhere."

"For you, we open twenty-four hours a day."

"When I want groceries, you'll be the very last person I come to."

"If you come Miss Holt, you'll come again. Especially after taking in the size of my stock. Every customer leaves satisfied."

"The Red Sox will win a Series in overtime first."

"Such a colourful language here in the colonies."

She exhaled. "Friday afternoon. Think back to Friday afternoon. Murphy and I were on a case. You'd left for the day after your customary fifty-minute appearance. Two men came to the office asking for Remington Steele and poor Bernice was stuck with them, completely alone because you -"

"She's complaining about having two men to herself? And I suppose Murphy hates plaid?" He brushed imaginary specks of dust from his trousers.

Laura's eyes narrowed, "The men in question said they had some business to discuss."

"Naturally Miss Holt. I am Remington Steele after all. Super sleuth extraordinaire. Unsurpassed image to uphold and all that. What did they want? Are we to ferret out some cur involved in industrial espionage? An adulterous wife whose husband is -"

"You are not a super sleuth and you are not Remington Steele. You're playing a role for me. Remington Steele is my invention, my creation - get that straight! And if you're starting to fall in love with that figment of my imagination, my advice - no, my direct order is, don't!" She took deep breaths, eyes full of fire. The goddamn nerve of the man.

Steele watched her intently: his spirits high, his manner droll … Turned on by a tongue-lashing. Surely that wasn't normal? It was a side of her he effortlessly unleashed. Frequently. Sometimes deliberately. How he delighted in ruffling her feathers. It wasn't difficult either: any inference that he truly regarded himself as the great detective Remington Steele had her up in arms.

"Not that I'm complaining, but is this really important? Important enough to bring you here on a Sunday night?" He winked. "Couldn't resist that urge, eh?"

She clenched and unclenched her fists. "Need I remind you of what happened last week?"

"Purely a case of mistaken identity. I was nowhere near that pool hall."

"And the week before?"

"The Santa Anita racetrack is as foreign to me as my bed is to you. Still there's a first time for both of us."

Laura gritted her teeth. "And the week before that?"

"Bingo?" he queried in what he prayed was his most condescending manner. "Look around." A panoramic sweep with his arm followed. "Tsk, tsk, tsk. And you a detective too. Use that analytical brain of yours. Does all this refinement truly suggest a man who'd debase himself with 'bingo'? When I think of the hours I spent choosing the furnishings - am I disappointed."

"Murphy's legwork revealed that the inside man, the man in on the bingo racket, fits your description."

"Optometry. A booming industry here in Los Angeles."

"He had an English accent."

"Otolaryngology. The other booming industry. Come to think of it, that explains 'Rocky III.' I mean really Laura, 'Eye of the Tiger?' Dreadful song. Tsk, tsk, tsk."

Hands on hips, she refused to back down, resolving to persist with her interrogation, determined to get to the bottom of things despite the fact that he was equally resolute in not obliging her. It was a waste of time and deep down they both knew it.

"Bernice told me that the two men would only leave their surnames, Regan and Carter. They came to collect something from you. They said you knew what it was and that you'd better deliver. What are they talking about?"

"I have no idea. Truthfully Laura."

"I don't believe you. Ever since you walked into my life, it's been one unlikely story after another. Every time I turn my back, someone's looking for you. Someone's got an old score to settle. Just what have you got my agency involved in this time?"

Steele strove to maintain the confident expression on his face. Who the hell were Regan and Carter? What did he have that they wanted? Like a VCR, his mind played back all the recent schemes successfully put to bed. It had been a vintage month and the cost had only been a few toes trodden on plus two near misses in terms of his life. He stared at the riled figure before him. Oh to put something else to bed instead …

"All this fuss over some chaps who probably want my autograph."

"You expect me to believe that this is all about your autograph?"

"The travails of fame and celebrity Miss Holt."

"Spare me! We had a deal remember? I do the work; you take the bows. The bows, got that? Not, you take me for a ride."

Steele sat up. "I realise we haven't known each other for very long but you have my word, I will never knowingly do anything to harm you or your agency." He'd made her a promise once before. A few weeks back. She'd doubted it then as she probably doubted this one now. The funny thing was, despite the bloody inconvenience waiting for the Lavulite to move out of her jurisdiction, he'd genuinely meant it.

Laura meticulously scanned his features: the impudent smile, the blue eyes brightly sparkling, the expression that alternated between flirtation, mockery and sincerity. Or at least, his version of it. Combined with that lazy magnetism and the - it wasn't fair. He didn't even have to try; it was just there. The whole package was … was … what? … Mouth-watering. And what the hell was that scent in the air? That sweet, musky - it was filling her nostrils.

To trust? Or not to trust? That was the question. From the minute his cover as Ben Pearson had been blown, it set off the chain of events that took them to where they were now. And where were they? Back to square one. Weeks ago, the choice had been stark: believe him a murderer, or trust him. Now what? Kick his lying butt back over the Atlantic? Or trust him?

She ran a hand through her hair, watching as he leant forward and reached for his glass of wine. Her eyes widened at the sight of the silver chain hanging around his neck and a smattering of chest hair … rotten louse. Goddamn jerk. Low-down thief. Cheap fraud. Breathe Laura; she told herself, breathe … Strongly attracted to a crook. Was it normal to fantasise over a man that made you sick? To want to tie him up and … Oh God. Who said that?

Suspicion and lust were waging war inside her body. Suspicion won. Just.

"You'd better be telling me the truth. Or is that another word I have to explain to you?"

He sensed that she'd relented and beamed. "You won't regret this Laura."

"Why do I have a terrible feeling that I'm regretting it already? That you're still up to your old tricks?" She sat down and sighed. "My heart says you're lying, my head says you're lying."

Steele slid towards her. "Heart and head eh? Is any other part of your body talking about me?"

Irritated brown eyes locked with keen blue ones.

"If so, you're not alone. Is it possible that we're speaking the same language? Perhaps we should, ah, converse to far greater depth and find out. A little tête-à-tête … heart to heart …one on one."

She slapped her thighs in utter exasperation and rasped, "Don't you ever stop?"

"Would you really want me to?"

"You're incorrigible."

"But I wear it well, eh Miss Holt?"

Again, she contemplated the man before her. What was it about him? The conniving con artist. The lousy ingrate. The fake schemer with a mysterious past and a galling ability of making everything seem so damn exciting. Even saying 'no' when every part screamed, 'yes'.

Steele unconsciously leant towards her. Just a fraction. This one he hadn't quite figured out yet, but the friction between them was undeniable. It seemed to manifest itself in frequent rows, arguments and disagreements. In truth, it all made rather a pleasant change: a chase, a challenge, something to get one's teeth into … mmm, yes. But why the tedious resisting? Was she playing hard to get?

They gazed at each other. Unexpressed thoughts written all over their faces.

The buzzer interrupted and reality bit. "I should go. I've got filing to organise and there's -"

"Filing? Wouldn't hear of it on a weekday afternoon much less a Sunday night. I have a bottle of Dom Perignon in the fridge. Stay for a glass or four."

"Well -" she haltingly began.

"A small glass," he held up his hands. "I promise."

"I don't think -"

"Come now Miss Holt, we're partners aren't we? And we barely know each other. No time like the present for becoming more intimate. More friendly. It can only improve our working relationship," he paused in brief contemplation. "Work. That four-letter word you appear to love so much Laura. What say you instruct me in the finer points of your four-letter word and I tutor you in mine, eh?"

"That's it! I resent this."

The buzzer sounded again. Steele ignored it. "Resent what?"

"Everything. What you just said buster, I know what you're implying and you can just forget it!"

"Tsk, tsk, tsk. Such vehemence aimed at the poor, humble game of brag. Granted it's not quite poker but -"

"Brag?" she stared then blinked. "You were talking about brag?"

"Maybe I was," he wiggled his eyebrows, "then again, maybe I wasn't. But that's not what you thought. Is it?"

Hesitation. Then bluff. "Of course it was! I knew you - that was it - brag. What else could it possibly be? Could you possibly mean, I mean?"

Steele grinned broadly, "You tell me."

"That was it!" she insisted. "And you can just forget it. Whatever it was. The brag thing, I mean. And I don't gamble. I wouldn't be caught dead in a casino. You'll never get me in one of those places. Not even for work. Ever and -"

"If I didn't know you better Laura, I'd swear you were embarrassed about something."

"Don't be so cocky you -"

He laughed at her indignation. "Excuse me for a second will you? Hold that thought Miss Holt." Steele got up, strode to the front door and pulled it open to an impossibly tall, impossibly thin, impossibly blonde woman with a cockney accent as pronounced as her cheekbones.

"What took you so long? Hello sweetheart!" she announced slamming him against the wall. "Give us a kiss."

Aware that they were not alone, Steele attempted to extricate himself but all effort proved in vain. He felt hands running through his hair, eager arms pulling him closer. After what seemed an eternity, she backed away.

"I've got to fly back to London in the morning. We haven't got much time. I just had to see you again. I missed you so much darlin'. Last night was wonderful. I've never felt so -"

Desperate to cover, Steele frantically interjected. "Moved by a 'Lords of Hazzard' episode? My sentiments entirely."

Lucy laughed and shook her head. "It's the 'Dukes of Hazzard' silly."

"Dukes, lords - they're all a much of a muchness to me. But still, a quaint representation of small town America. What a show last night. I'm not surprised it had such an effect on you. I was rather stimulated myself. That Boss Dogg, a real conniver, eh?"

The ploy succeeded. Steele's companion frowned, utterly baffled. "What are you talkin' about? We didn't watch -"

Laura had heard enough. She stood, grabbed her purse and marched towards the cosy couple.

Steele wiped his mouth with a handkerchief. "Going so soon Miss Holt?"

The response was an icy glare.

A pair of hazel eyes rolled in expectation. "Who's this? Your sister?"

"Ah, Lucy Jones meet Laura Holt. Laura, Lucy is a model. She's here on an assignment," Steele flapped his handkerchief and dabbed his forehead. "Lucy, Miss Holt is my most valued assistant at -"


" - the agency which proudly bears my name."

A hand with nails painted scarlet red was graciously extended. "Hello Laura. Blimey, talk about luck. I wouldn't mind working next to this gorgeous bloke everyday. It's a wonder you get anything done, love."

"It's easy." The response was cool, measured. "I just use my brains." Laura smiled. The kind of smile that didn't reach her eyes and for good measure she added, "Love."

Steele involuntarily shivered. Why did it feel so cold all of a sudden?

"Oh you do, do you? Well excuse me love, I need to use the loo."

"Nice meeting you," she declared at the statuesque figure's departure. As soon as they were alone, she placed her hands on her hips and glowered at Steele.

He immediately began whistling. "Delightful girl, eh? Lucy is an old friend from way -"

"Skip the fairy tale," Laura frostily commanded. "I'm in no mood for a story. Besides, we have a professional relationship only. I want you at the office tomorrow. One o'clock. I need to fill you in on something. Don't leave until Murphy and I get there. Think you can manage that sir?"

The emphasis on the word made him wince. "One o'clock? Wouldn't miss it for the world Miss Holt."

"You'd better not," Laura snapped and opened the door, momentarily pausing then turning around. "I've just remembered something," she purred seductively, beckoning him to her with a finger. "Come here. There's something I need you to know. Desperately."

Steele moved nearer, mesmerised by the promise in her eyes. "Yes?" he murmured.

"It's 'Boss Hogg' you pig!" she yelled, pulling the door firmly shut in his face.

"Oooh. Somebody's got the 'ump with you, love. What did you do? Suggest a threesome?"

Steele jumped. He'd almost forgotten he had company. "Y'know Lucy, they say eavesdroppers never hear good of themselves."

"I wasn't eavesdropping. I was spying. There's a difference."

"Subtle at best Lucy. Subtle at best."

"What's with you and Miss Piggy then? Or should I call you Kermit, Harry?"

"Beg pardon?" Steele quizzically raised an eyebrow. She walked over to the sofa and leant against it. His sharp eyes discerned the lack of a bra. It wasn't a viable proposition anyway. Not with that outfit. All of a sudden, he felt overdressed.

"Your co-worker. She part of whatever scam it is you're working here? Why didn't you ask me to help you? I've never let you down. Why can't I be in on this one? And while you're at it, are you screwing her arse off too?"

"Surely your mouth could be put to better use? Bothersome questions. Tsk, tsk, tsk. And so crude too."

"Don't try and change the subject. Aren't we English girls good enough for you anymore? Is that it?"

Steele tugged an earlobe. "Are we really going to spend the night discussing another woman Lucy? Didn't you say you had a plane to catch in the morning?" He inclined his head towards the bedroom. "Shame to waste the time we've got left."

She followed him into the dimly lit room. "Can't blame a girl for being curious Harry my sweet." Kicking off her shoes, she slipped out of the sequinned dress. "So. Are you and 'er having a bit of 'how's your father' on the side?"

"Jealousy, Lucy. A trifling emotion." Steele sat on the mattress, discarded his tie and completed the task of unbuttoning his shirt. "What's more, so unnecessary too. I told you from the very outset, with me there's no beginning and no ending." He stood up and held out his hand, "There's only the moment."

She slunk over to the bed. "Does that apply to her too?"

Without a word, Steele took her in his arms and kissed her. He raised his head, "You're going back to London in the morning, remember?"

"Why do I get this feeling that it's over between us?" She pulled his zip down then removed his trousers. "Aren't we gonna hook up anymore Harry? Not just for this, but for work too."


"How long are you sticking around here?"

He felt hands exploring his midriff, fingers dancing through his chest hair. He looked into her eyes but gave nothing away.

She turned her attention to his underwear. "Harry?" When was he going to answer? She pushed him back onto the bed, drinking in the sight of his naked body. "Harry?"

Steele placed a finger on her lips. "Ssshhh"

Lucy sighed. Bloody men. They were all alike. And even though this one had spelt it out from the start, it still didn't make it any easier to live with. The whole, 'my way/my terms' thing was just a cheap cop out. A convenient way to do a runner when the going got sticky. What a bastard. Any woman who fell for - admittedly, it was hard not to. Men like Harry were hard to find. And even harder to pin down. Well the poor cow was welcome to him. From tomorrow. But tonight, he'd be working his arse off. If this was a goodbye grope, only multiple orgasms would do ...

For long minutes Steele was content to lie motionless as he felt her mouth, her tongue, licking, sucking ... he inhaled then exhaled deeply, suppressing the moan in his throat. After a short while he supported himself on his elbows to watch her. Smiling, he closed his eyes.

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