- By Gilmoradict
- Send feedback to: 12nostalgia77 @ gmail.com (without the
- One possible picture of Laura and Remington, twenty-five
years after their meeting.
- Pacific waves rolled gently against the beach below the house
as Laura walked across the back yard toward her family. She stood
for a moment, watching the man who had strolled into her life
twenty-five years ago, masquerading as Remington Steele. Twenty
five years. It didn't seem possible that so many years had gone
by since her life had been upended by the handsome con man who
had danced her around the room while she fumed. Peals of laughter
interrupted her reflections. The kids. They were such vivid
evidence of the passage of time. Harry and the kids were playing
with several potato cannon they had built from information off
the internet. Typically Laura was in the middle of this kind
of fun, but she was feeling nostalgic today. She settled back
into the swaying of their hammock to watch her family, and remember.
- For nearly five years after their first meeting she and Mr.
Steele had circled one another in a confusing dance, which had
finally led at last to their ridiculous marriage on a tuna boat.
It was several more weeks, struggling through mishaps in Mexico,
London, and Ireland, and Harry suffering the loss his friend,
mentor and father, before they had finally begun a fairytale
honeymoon in Ireland. Once the barriers between them had tumbled
down, Laura and Harry had been almost desperate in their need
to touch, small finger twining and longer, lingering intimacies.
They sought one another's bodies with an insatiable desire that
insulated them from all reality but the moment, blotting out
more rational thoughts about the possible consequences of their
coupling. Dylan had been conceived in those heady days in Ireland.
Not until weeks after they returned to LA did the two finally
tumble to the meaning of the symptoms Laura had been experiencing.
Some sobering conversations followed, conversations that included
Mildred. Laura smiled, thinking of Mildred. The red-tape wrangling
ex- IRS agent had been at her best in that battle. Months of
effort had finally procured the proper documentation which identified
the great detective Remington Steele as 'Harrison Daniel Chalmers'.
'Laura Holt', and 'Remington Steele' became professional names,
used for business purposes only. It was a far less publicly
known Laura and Harry Chalmers who quietly welcomed the arrival
of 'Dylan Patrick Chalmers' just before first anniversary of
- Dylan had arrived to other changes for the Chalmers. The
familiarity of their faces had made going under cover increasingly
difficult. Laura's morning sickness, and subsequent incapacitation,
as well as Harry's concern for both Laura and the baby's safety
similarly curtailed their effectiveness as private investigators.
Brainstorming led to the evolution of Remington Steele Investigations
into Steele Security Systems. Harry's talent for circumventing
security systems, coupled with Laura's working knowledge of the
electronics made this not only a safer venue for their talents,
but a lucrative one as well. Still working as partners, and
including Mildred's always valued skills, they were able to juggle
Dylan's care with business, and even expand and hire a small
staff to install the security systems they designed. Their relative
fame brought them an upscale clientele. Holt and Steele still
attended the occasional gala and symphony fund raiser, keeping
their public presence alive. If the well known detectives missed
the danger and excitement of their previous line of work, they
consoled themselves with the knowledge that security experts
were far less likely to be shot at, safety they treasured more
than ever once their son was born.
- Those years following Dylan's arrival were happy ones. Dylan
resembled both parents. His dark, silky hair fell across his
brow, constantly threatened to hide his dancing brown eyes. A
deep dimple appeared when he smiled. His parents treasured those
smiles, his first steps and first words. He showed signs of both
parent's intelligence, as well as their athleticism. Watching
him grow was a delight. Loving Dylan made them greedy for more,
for a brother, or a sister for this amazing child.
- Laura's heart constricted as she remembered the sorrow of
three tiny lives begun and ended within months of their hopeful
beginnings. She had begun to loath the body which failed her
in its inability to nurture a second child. Grief and anger
became an unwelcome presence in their household. Harry's assurances
of his love, and contentment with Laura and Dylan as all the
family he needed or wanted failed to console Laura, and she grimaced
as she remembered her withdrawal from those who most needed her.
One night after five year old Dylan was asleep; she had been
listlessly watching the news. Harry's arms were wrapped around
her as if trying to pull her back to him. A segment about a
little boy in foster care seeking a 'forever family' somehow
penetrated the fog of her dark thoughts. Harry sensed the change
in her and softly spoke of being a boy looking for a family.
Was it possible they could help one of these little lads?
- Within a year, David had entered in their lives, filling
a space that seemed to be waiting just for him. He had survived
foster care relatively unscathed, and was a happy, sweet natured
child. Four years old, with skin the warm color of coffee with
cream, he had springy ringlets nearly the same color as Dylan's
dark hair. The two boys became constant companions, perfect
siblings, and perfect sons. Laura's heart began to heal.
- Emilio came to the Chalmers a year later, but was exactly
the same age as David, save a few days. Emilio had been born
after his mother immigrated to California from Mexico. His mother
proudly became a citizen, only to lose her life to a car accident,
leaving a bewildered, lonely child behind. Laura held him, stayed
close with gentle reassurances, and Harry worked hard to coax
the occasional smile, as did Dylan and David. Though the Chalmers
kept a framed photo of Emilio's mother on their mantle, the dark
eyed child quickly came to love his new Mama, and Dad, as well
as his two brothers. Dylan delighted in the confused look he
produced in strangers when he introduced his twin brothers.
- Some years later a caseworker, familiar with the success
the Chalmers were enjoying with their little blended family,
brought them Isaiah, hoping they might also help him. An angry
little boy of 6, who had been passed from family member to ever
more distant family member, Isaiah frequently dissolved into
furious rages that left caregivers unwilling to cope with him.
Laura was reluctant to take the child on as well, fearing the
effect his outbursts would have on Dylan, David and Emilio, especially
the latter, who had already known adversity. Harry's heart went
out to Isaiah, remembering that he too had been filled with anger
until Daniel had found him and taken him under his wing. Laura
agreed to a trial period with the boy. Isaiah was sullen and
subdued when he arrived, and although a year younger than David
and Emilio, already taller than they, and heavier than all of
the three older boys. Harry and Laura glanced at each other,
Harry reading Laura's concern that it would be difficult if not
impossible to restrain the child if he acted out. Harry invited
Isaiah to come and play on the beach with he and the boys, then
to explore the house and yard, and finally to swim in the pool.
Isaiah grudgingly participated in their activities, without
speaking a word to Harry or the boys, but was put to bed that
first night, having exhibited neither tantrums nor anger. Later,
as Laura was quietly playing a Gershwin melody on the piano Harry
had given her so many years before, she sensed a quiet presence
at the doorway. Isaiah crept into the room silently, almost
reverentially, sitting on the floor under her piano with his
eyes closed, soaking in every note played. The child remained
for the whole of her recital, until Harry finally gathered him
close and carried him back to his bed. The pattern repeated
over many nights, the child creeping out to listen to music,
eventually sitting next to Laura to watch her hands slip over
the keys. Through the years coaches would seek out the height,
breadth and physical prowess of Isaiah for baseball and football
teams. but music remained his passion, and within just a few
years of his coming to the Chalmers he was playing piano himself
- Laura watched the four boys at play with their Dad. Harry
was like Peter Pan, and she Wendy to their little band of 'Lost
Boys,' Harry was as much a part of the adventures and antics
as the boys, while Laura supplied the steady consistency of routine
and affectionate discipline into their lives. They had purchased
the prerequisite gas guzzling SUV to cart the troop into the
mountains to ski in the winter, and hike in the summer. They
spent hours playing in the ocean, learning to surf and snorkel.
There were vacations to Ireland, France and Mexico. The boys
were regulars at Wallace's Lost and Found Mission as well. Many
Saturday mornings found the family serving breakfast, playing
games of checkers and chess, and visiting with men and women
who could not quite manage the details of modern society. Harry
and Laura taught them compassion by example, and the boys accepted
and considered a wide spectrum of people their friends. Certainly
there were moments when the boys failed their parents and themselves,
but Harry and Laura were loving in their admonishment, and quick
to forgive, and the boys grew into young men their parents felt
incredibly blessed to have had part of their lives.
- As Laura lost herself in her musings, a tiny body flung itself
into the hammock next to her.
- "I'm going to be bigger than all of them someday."
a solemn little voice declared.
- Laughing, Laura tucked a wisp of light brown hair behind
an elfin ear. "You will indeed keep growing for years after
your brothers have stopped, Chloe." she assured the soon
to be six year old. Harry glanced over apologetically from where
the group was rough housing.
- At the age of 44, the boys teetering on the edge of adolescence,
Laura had found herself exhausted and struggling to keep food
down. Concerned when she couldn't even drag herself out of bed
several mornings in a row, Harry had carted her unceremoniously
off to the doctor. Shocked to find she was somehow, due to carelessness
or product failure neither quite knew, pregnant again. Not daring
to hope that at her advanced age she would be any more successful
carrying a child full term, they began none the less to walk
on egg shells. Laura spent months in bed - hardly able, truth
be told, to do otherwise. The boys, even if they didn't entirely
understand what was happening, became her devoted slaves. Mildred,
bless her, decided that it was time for her to retire from the
security business, and once again found a way to help her kids
out. She came every day to sit with Laura while the little chiefs
were at school, even managing to smooth things over when the
ever efficient Mrs. Holt breezed by to 'put things to rights'
around the Chalmers' house. Unbelievably, twenty weeks passed,
twenty-five, and then thirty.
- Finally after thirty-one weeks, little Chloe slipped determinedly
into the world. A fighter, she spent six more weeks in the NICU,
Laura and Harry taking turns sitting near her, stroking her little
arm, holding her small form close. Grateful for the gift of
this new life, Harry left much of his work at Steele Security
to Dan Piper, who was now working with them, as well as to Mildred's
nephew Bernard, who capably covered many of the business details
Mildred had handled for them. Finally Chloe came home, still
sleeping much of the time, guarded closely by her four older
brothers. Washing vegetables for a salad one evening some weeks
later Laura turned in alarm when Isaiah called out to her with
panic in his voice.
- "Mom, come look at Chloe's eyes!"
- Laura came running, taking in the sight of Isaiah locked
eye to eye with little Chloe's unblinking gaze, deep brown locked
with clear eyes that seemed to made of pieces of the sky. Gathering
the shocked boy to her as he stared Laura began to laugh. "I
have my four brown eyed boys, Isaiah; your Daddy finally has
a blue eyed girl."
- Chloe remained small for her age, but seemed otherwise strong
and healthy. Laura told herself she would return to work as soon
as she had a bit more zip, but gradually acknowledged that perhaps
as one approached fifty zip was harder to come by. She and Chloe
played and explored the beach below the house, went for bike
rides with Chloe in a carrier, and attended the boy's various
school functions, until last year when Chloe herself finally
began school. Laura now did some computer work from home, and
felt a little guilty about leaving most of the client contact
to Harry, who only laughed and assured her he was only making
up for the years she had done all the work, and he taken all
- Smiling at this memory, Laura didn't hear Harry walk softly
up to mother and daughter. Scooping Chloe up to nuzzle her neck,
Harry was rewarded with the child's high pitched laughter.
- "What are you up to over here Miss Holt and Miss Chalmers?"
Harry questioned settling himself with Chloe next to Laura on
the swinging hammock.
- "Daddy - why do you call Mama Miss Holt?" Chloe
asked seriously. "She's not a Holt anymore you know."
- "Ah, Poppet, Miss Holt is a special name for your Mama
that reminds me of the time we first met, many, many years ago."
Harry declared using one arm to hold Laura close, and the other
to run a finger across the freckles on Chloe's little nose. "Come
now, your brother is taking you to Auntie Mildred's for movie
night! Off you go now."
- "Harry! What are you talking about?" Laura questioned.
- The boys came up then, each of them leaning over to kiss
Laura as they prepared to leave, grinning and congratulating
themselves on keeping this secret from their mother.
- "We have an anniversary to celebrate, and the children
are having a party of their own with Mildred." Harry announced
with a smug grin. "I think the movie tonight is 'Evan Almighty'.
We've got everything packed in the car already. Dylan, make
sure everyone buckles up, call us when you get to Mildred's if
- "No problem-o, Dad. See you tomorrow - Have fun! Don't
let Dad make you eat snails Mom." Dylan joked as an aside,
all the children familiar with their father's penchant for French
- Laura struggled out of the hammock to hug each, lingering
especially with little Chloe, who trotted off happily with the
boys, holding Isaiah's hand as she waved over her shoulder to
her mother and father. "Harry, you are amazing. I had no
idea you remembered the date."
- "How could I forget the most important day of my life,
Miss Holt?" Harry said, pulling her back to lay beside him
on the hammock once more. A quick toot of the car horn signaled
the children's departure. "We have the house to ourselves
until sometime tomorrow morning - a rare and marvelous opportunity,
- "Harry, all things considered, you DO make a delightful
- "What suits your fancy, Miss Holt? A walk on the beach,
dancing on the patio, adult swim in the pool?" Eyebrow slightly
raised, a smiling Harry gently pulled his wife to her feet, and
wrapped both arms completely around her. As slender as ever,
since Chloe's birth Laura had a more delicate quality to her
- as if producing that scrap of a child had cost her a bit of
- Her arms trapped between her chest and Harry's, Laura looked
up at the still handsome man who for half of her life had been
her partner. His thick hair was now streaked with silver, and
his face was less angular, more Irish somehow than in their early
years together, he took her breathe away just as he had at their
first meeting. "Why Mr. Steele, I like the way you think."
- "Come, I want to start dinner, and show you something."
They walked slowly into the kitchen, arms wrapped around one
- On the island in the kitchen were two matching photo frames,
sterling silver if Laura was any judge. Picking up the first,
Laura drew a sharp breath in. The picture inside had been taken
during that first dance they had shared at Hunter's unveiling
of the JetStar 6000. They were staring at one another, or perhaps
Laura was glaring, but they were young and handsome, and though
neither had admitted it yet, already in love. "How did you
get this!?" Laura exclaimed.
- "It wasn't too hard. There were flashbulbs popping all
night - Mildred helped track it down. I had never known anyone
quite like you. I've not been able to imagine life without you
from that moment on." Harry leaned in to slowly and thoroughly
kiss his wife. And then after a long, lingering gaze, "Here,
- The second picture was even more precious to Laura. Posed
on the beach in front of their home were all five children. Dylan,
seventeen years old, only with them for one more year before
college. Laura was sure he was every bit as handsome, as his
father had been at the same age, if just a little taller. David,
fifteen, grinning cheerfully, a soccer ball balanced in one hand,
barely still even in a photo, one arm looped around Dylan's shoulders.
Emilio, also fifteen, standing on Dylan's other side, bookend
to David, twinkling dark eyes, arms crossed in front of his chest,
a cheeky little blighter, as his dad might say. Isaiah, fourteen
though he looked older, down on one knee to create a seat for
Chloe with the other, his dark skin set off by the white expanse
of his smile. Chloe, five, dwarfed by her brothers, delicate,
yet somehow secure in her ability to possess the love of these
four giants, her blue eyes shining, chin tipped up toward the
- Tears filled Laura's eyes. Her familiar dimple creased her
cheek. "It's been amazing, Harry. They're amazing, aren't
they? You're amazing. We're incredibly lucky you know."
- "I know I am," Harry whispered into Laura's hair.
- The End