Regrets of Steele
Part 3
Janice Skyers

"Mr. Steele-"


"Mr. Steele-"

"Hmmm," Remington Steele slowly opened his eyes and saw a young woman who looked an awful lot like his Laura dressed in a white lab coat standing over him, smiling with dimples showing, with a stethoscope hanging around her neck. Was he still dreaming? Was the woman standing before him the image of Laura that appeared in his bedroom? Momentarily, he was confused. Then suddenly it all came flooding back to him. Oh yes. He was in the Emergency Room of the hospital where he'd brought Laura after she took a fall from the balcony. Quickly he leapt to his feet. His handsome features looked troubled.

"Mr. Steele," the doctor started off, looking concerned and thoughtful, "I'm Dr. Bonnie Whitney I'm one of the doctors assigned to Laura Holt's case. Let me assure you that she didn't suffer any internal injuries. A few bruises here and there, but nothing major. Her prognosis is good."

That troubled expression on his face faded quickly and was replaced with a bright happy smile. Laura was going to be okay. She was going to live. She's still here with him. It was all a dream. A bloody nightmare that's what it was. Laura was ALIVE. He felt like doing the happy dance. However, he stopped smiling when he looked down at Laura and saw that she was still asleep. Dr. Whitney saw that he seemed troubled so she began reassuring him again.

"She did wake up and ask for you earlier, then went right back to sleep."

"Relief suddenly washed over his troubled face, he had reason to smile once again.

"Then she's not in a coma or anything like that?"

"No, no. She took a nasty fall from the balcony but she's very lucky-

"Yes she is," he agreed, interrupting the doctor.

"She'll be fine in a few days or so, nothing major to worry about."

"Thank you. Thank you so much Dr. Whitney," he said gratefully. "I'm so glad she's going to be okay." A broad, happy smile covering his face.

"Me too," Dr. Whitney said, smiling with dimples showing. "And now I'll leave you alone with her since I expect her to wake up soon."

"Thanks again eh Doctor," he said gratefully again.

"You're welcome," she told him, shaking his hand. "If only all my cases were like Miss Holt's" she added, her voice trailing off.

She then vanished through the door where he stared after her. Uncanny resemblance to Laura, he thought again.

He'd left the room to get himself a cup of coffee and hoped that Laura wouldn't wake up before he returned. Stepping off the elevator, he was carrying a white styrofoam cup half-filled with coffee, so he opened the door with the other, entering the room. The scene before him caused his brows to knit in confusion. He finished the remains of the coffee, throwing the empty container in the garbage pail, and was now by Laura's side.

It seemed she'd been crying - but why? He began stroking her cheek gently with long slender fingers. She looked up at him, her features troubled, her brown eyes wet with tears.

"Laura," he started softly, looking very concerned. "What's the matter sweetheart- are you hurting?"

"My head hurts a bit, but the doctor said that eventually it would go away. A few bruises here and there but otherwise alright?" She said, sniffing. Then started crying again.

"That's good, isn't it?" he imagined.

"I suppose," was all she said to him.

Remington was scared suddenly. Why was Laura acting this way? Dr. Whitney assured him that she would be okay. Suddenly an idea came to him. So he sat down in the chair conveniently placed by her bedside.

"Are you upset with me?" That could be it. Maybe she blames me for the accident. And if that's it, she probably decided not to have anything more to do with me. And so figuring that's what it is, he started off apologizing. "Laura, I'm truly sorry about what happened. And believe me, if there was anything that I could have done to prevent you from taking that fall, you know that I would have done it. But it all happened so quickly."

She stopped crying, and begun wiping the tears from her eyes with the tissue that he just handed to her. "I don't blame you," she finally began explaining. "There's nothing that you could have done. And I'm going to be fine." She added, sniffing.

Then if not that, then what?
He thought mentally.

She must have read his mind because suddenly she started to explain. "You see when I was asleep, I had this really horrible dream-" she paused, trying desperately to fight back the tears, succeeding.

"Dream?" he said, recalling his dream that seemed more like a nightmare - just like hers, he's just now learned. Frankly speaking, if he had lost Laura, he wouldn't have much to live for. That dream made him realize how precious life is and nothing or no one should be taken for granted especially someone who you truly love. That dream opened up his eyes to a lot of things. "What exactly was it about," he asked. "That is of course if you want to talk about it."

"Well, it was weird," she said, sniffing again looking at him with teary eyes. "It was like I didn't survive the fall from the balcony and had become some kind of an angel and was able to watch over you."

His face took on a look of confusion. "An angel?" he asked incredulously, tilting his head slightly.

"Yes," she informed him as a matter of fact. "Believe it or not." He did believe it. So in his dream, it was really Laura that paid him a visit in his bedroom.

Laura continued explaining, staring hard at his face, wondering what was going through his mind momentarily. "You were all alone and had become this bitter, cold man and had shut yourself off from the world. You just gave up on life."

Now that she'd explained it all to him, he understood perfectly why Laura was so upset. The thought of leaving him behind to face life on his own tore her up inside. Her dream and his were right on target because the truth is he'd have a hard time surviving without Her.

I wish that I could find the courage to tell her much I love her.

But since he was not able to express these feelings of love momentarily, perhaps it would be a good idea to put her mind at ease. And so he began softly, "Luckily it was nothing more than a dream, eh. Thank God, you managed to survive the fall. And as you can see, I'm alright. I mean now that we both know that you're going to be fine, we can rest easy." There was a brief pause. Then he continued. "You know Laura, when I think about how close I came to losing you last night, it opened up my eyes to a lot of things. Taking you for granted is something that I'll never do again."

"Promise?" she said, smiling slightly, her wet eyes gleaming brightly.

He smiled, "At least, I'll try. But as I told you not too long ago, I can't give you any guarantees."

Laura said. "I understand about you not being able to give me any guarantees. And honestly speaking, I wouldn't want you to, just for my sake. My father made a lot of promises to my mother, one of which is that he would never leave his family no matter what. And as you're very aware, that promise he didn't keep. I don't want that." She suggested, "What say we take things one step at a time and see where it leads us. I mean, what we had before I took that fall, wasn't so bad, was it?"

"No," he admitted softly.

Feeling relieved that Laura would be alright and that they both seemed to accept their relationship for what it is, he took her gently by the hand, smiling warmly. She shifted brown eyes to him, rewarding him with a sweet, dimpled smile. Even with bandage wrapped around her head, in his eyes she still looked just as lovely as the first day he laid eyes on her. Perhaps one day he'd find the courage to tell her what was in his heart.

"With any luck, maybe you'll be able to go home tomorrow."

"Dr. Whitney said something to that effect well after I convinced her that I would be in good hands."

"Me," he said, preening, flattered by her statement.

She nodded her response.

"You have my word that I'll cooperate fully - follow doctor's orders-"

"Good," he said, looking half-serious. "I'll call Mildred and let her know that you're going to be alright - she must be so worried."

"Good idea," she told him, wincing. She had a terrible headache.

He lifted the receiver, he should have dialed Mildred's number, but he paused, turning back to her; his handsome features troubled.

"What is it?" Laura asked.

Returning the receiver to the hook, he looked at her with serious blue eyes. "There's something important that needs to be said-

"What?" She asked softly.

"I shudder to think what my life would have been like if you hadn't come out of this thing okay-

"Shhh," she said quietly, "But I did, and that's the important thing."

"Well while I was awaiting word about your condition, I got a small glimpse of what MY life would be like without you here to share it with me-

"And?" she asked softly.

"Well what I saw shook me up an awful lot. Maybe I'd be able to go on without you, but for how long, I'm not sure. I'd like to think no believe that you and I will grow old together." Laura tried picturing his black hair turning gray with lines and creases on his face, all natural signs of aging, and decided that he'd look just as handsome as he does now. It warmed her heart tremendously hearing his revelation because that told her that he'd planned on sticking around for a very, very long time.

"I hope so too," she said, looking half-serious.

"I'm not quite finished yet," he told her.

"You mean there's more," Laura said, her eyes widening in astonishment.

"Yes," he said, with a smiling face. He reached into his jacket pocket and like magic came out with a small box, handing it to her. "I hope you like it." He said, his handsome face, grimacing. He went on to say, "If things had worked out the way I'd planned it and the accident hadn't happened, I would have given it to you last night after we had dinner at my place."

She smiled, her warm brown eyes glowing with happiness and excitement.

It was a gold necklace with a heart-shaped pendant attached that she lifted out of the box immediately. "It's pretty." She said with a smiling face while holding it up to her eye level to have a closer look at it.

"There's an inscription on the back side of the pendant," he told her.

"There is?" Laura said, flashing a sweet smile in his direction.

"Hmm Mmm," he answered, crossing his legs. "Here-" he said, handing her a small magnifying glass.

"You think of everything don't you."

He chuckled softly.

"You're my heart and my life." she read in a very soft tone of voice. "Oh," she said, gushing, "That's so sweet." Her brown eyes moistened with tears but this time it was due to happiness.

"I'm glad you like it," he teased, smiling sweetly.

Laura returned that sweet smile. "Come here." She instructed him in a light tone of voice after putting the necklace on the bed next to her.

He obeyed. She wrapped her arms around his neck, brushing her soft lips against his, getting the message he returned the favor. The kiss was deep, passionate and lingering. "Hmm - you are feeling better." He commented lightly after they bought came up for air, licking his lips, tasting her.

Laura grinned. "There's lots more where that came from you know."

"Indeed," He said, grinning. "And now, without further delay I'll call Mildred."

And this time he chose to stand up to make the call.

As he spoke to Mildred on the telephone, warm gorgeous blue eyes locked with warm and shiny brown eyes.

You are my love and my life, their minds echoed in unison.

When Mildred answered, he turned away from Laura, his back now to her, which caused her to frown.

Mildred flooded him with an awful lot of questions all in one breath. He waited for the woman to come up for air before responding.

"Yes, yes Mildred - she's going to be fine. Hmm Mmm I'm sure. Very sure," he said, turning to the person they were discussing at the moment, smiling sweetly. "I will. See you later then." He said, turning away from Laura again but this time she didn't frown. The call ended, he returned the receiver to the hook, then turned to face Laura again, lowering himself into the chair again.

"She's relieved to hear the news I take it," Laura figured, resting her head on the pillow.

"She is," he told her, sitting on the chair.

"You look tired," he remarked quietly.

"I could say the same about you," she told him, a crease in the center her forehead.

"But I'm not lying in a hospital bed," he reminder her. Suddenly his blue eyes took on a serious look. "And the next time something like that comes up," he further went on, looking dead serious, referring to the last case they worked on. "Don't ever take a chance like that again. When I saw you take that fall from the balcony, I was almost certain that my heart had stopped beating for a second there. I don't think I'd want to go through anything like that again Laura. Now I know that our work can be dangerous and very risky at times - but gone are the days of Havenhurst when you had to prove to yourself and your male counterparts that you can be just as macho as any man. You certainly don't have to prove anything to me."

When she would have interrupted, he continued. "We're here for each other, remember. I watch your back, and you watch mine," he reminded her.

He did make a certain amount of sense, she realized so she wasn't about to argue with him.

"You're right," she said, sincerely, stifling a yawn. "That dream I had really shook me up and knocked some sense into this brain of mine. Furthermore I'm looking forward to see what you'll look like with gray hair," she said, grinning.

He chuckled softly. "Well I think it's time you got some rest."

"I am a bit tired." She admitted, letting out a yawn.

"How's the head?"

"Still hurts - but that's expected," she told him, wincing.

Rising from the chair, he leaned over, placing a soft, kiss in the center of her forehead. "There," he said with a smiling face. "That ought to help a little."

"Another one might," Laura teased.

"It just might," he said, kissing her softly on the forehead again. "I'll see you later."

She yawned again. "Hmm Mmm later- get some sleep will you," she suggested, yawning again.

"I'm going home to do just that."

She closed her eyes, her face turned toward the door. He waited a few minutes until he was sure she fell asleep. Satisfied and almost certain that she was asleep, he pulled the door open, getting ready to leave, but he turned to face her again. "Rest easy Miss Holt," he whispered. His blue eyes exuding passionate and love for her.

He turned to leave but paused when she said in a soft tone of voice. "You too Mr. Steele."

He turned to face her again - his blue eyes lit up with a smile. She closed her eyes again and this time it seems as though she was asleep.

Stepping into the hallway, he pulled the door behind him, taking a deep, cleansing breath in, then let it out slowly. His life and his heart were intact once again. He can breathe easily again.

When he'd exited the building, Fred the chauffeur, who he'd called ahead to pick him up from the front entrance of the hospital was already waiting there.

"How's Miss Holt Sir?"

He climbed into the backseat of the limousine before responding. "She's going to be alright Fred. She should be released from the hospital tomorrow if all goes well."

"That's good to hear Sir," Fred said cheerfully, smiling brightly. "Where to Sir?"

"Hmmm," he said, pondering his next move. "I suppose I should go home and catch a few winks but before I do that I'd like to go by Miss Holt's place."

"To Miss Holt's place it is," Fred said, like a dutiful employee.

And when he arrived at her loft, he headed straight for her bedroom to locate her jewelry case. Something that occurred in his dream peaked his curiosity. He just had to know - he had to be sure that she'd kept it there the way she had in his dream. Throwing the contents onto the bed, he sat down, and began rummaging throw her collection of jewelry. Locating that particular item, he picked it up from the bed, placed it in the palm of his hand, smiling to himself. She'd kept it there just like she had in the dream. After a time, he returned the key to the jewelry case, then perched himself on the edge of the bed. He was tired- so very tired and sleepy. He removed his loafers then stretched out on the bed, yawning. Not being able to fight it any longer, he closed his eyes and sleep came shortly thereafter

And this time when He dreamed of Her, it would be of good things and of the good life they'd someday share together as husband and wife.

(And that's another story, ha, ha)

The End
Author's Note: Dr. Bonnie Whitney is the name of the character that Stephanie Zimbalist played in the movie, "Jericho Fever".
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