Steele Giving Thanks

by Gilmoradict
November, 1987

"Thank you for dinner, and for cleaning up." Laura looked wistfully out the window of the loft. Many of the loft's contents were packed in boxes, ready for the movers, who would arrive Monday.
"You hardly ate enough to call that meal dinner," Harry said with concern, snapping the lid on a final plastic container. His voice softened and he continued with "But you're welcome. I'm not sure Frances really bought the idea that we had work to do today. I'm not terribly familiar with American Thanksgiving traditions, but I don't think paper work generally plays a big part."
"I just can't bear the smell of food right now, Harry. Especially meat." Laura looked a little green at just the thought of turkey. She closed her eyes and swayed a little. "Besides, Mother still hasn't quite forgiven us for getting married without telling her first. I'm not sure how to tell her we brought back a 'souvenir' from our honeymoon in Ireland. I'll tell her. I promise. Maybe tomorrow when Mother and I go to the ballet with Frances and the girls….there will be enough people around that she won't feel comfortable chewing me up and spitting me out."
"Darling, don't you think she's going to be thrilled when we tell her we're going to present her with a new grandchild?" Steele walked up behind Laura and drew her back against him, his hands gently cradling the baby whose presence was definitely beginning to show in the swell of Laura's belly.
"I don't know." Laura sighed, and relaxing back against her handsome husband, smiled up at him. "At least she likes you."
"Well, beguiling Holt women is my specialty." Steele's eyebrows rose and fell playfully. He turned Laura in his arms, holding her against him with his elbows, and used his long fingers to pull her hair away from her face. He leaned down to tenderly kiss her soft, full lips.
Allowing the kiss to linger for a long moment, Laura finally stepped back and crossed her arms under the other sign of the impending child: her newly rounded, tender breasts. She looked down ruefully at the comfy clothes that were her usual choice of late. "Of course I don't have ANYTHING that fits to wear tomorrow night. How do you think I'll look in a tee shirt and sweats at the theater?"
"You look absolutely perfect in what you're wearing now," Steele assured Laura, walking toward a stack of packing boxes "but since you might prefer dressing up a bit for tomorrow night, I happened to enlist Mildred's help in selecting a few forgiving dresses that we hoped might work for a few more months."
Laura took the box Steele offered her and opened it, gasping at the beautiful soft blue fabric of the dress on top, and lifting it to peek at another in black beneath that. A smile slid sideways across her face, her dimple deepening as she looked up at her husband's hopeful grin. "I'll try them on before I go to bed tonight. Mr. Steele, you -and Mildred - are wonderful. Thank you. What would I do without you?"
"Oh, I don't know about that. I suspect your life would be a lot less complicated, and more orderly were I not in it." Steele said with a trace of chagrin in his voice.
"And completely devoid of adventure, excitement, and the most entertainment I've ever had after hours." Laura set the box down and flopped back on the sofa, pulling Steele to sit next to her. She leaned in towards him, until their foreheads touched. "Mr. Steele, every morning I wake up thankful that you are lying in bed next to me; thankful that you are the father of our child, and thankful that you are my partner in life and at work."
"Is this the Thanksgiving part of the day, Love?" Steele said softly, running one finger gently under Laura's chin. "Because I can come up with a list of my own."
Steele got up to dim the lights, and grab the comforter off the bed, before sitting down against the arm of the couch, and pulling Laura back against him. He settled the quilt over the two of them and kissed the top of Laura's head as they stared out the window at the full moon.
"The view from these windows has been interesting. I certainly won't miss the stairs though." Steele confided with a chuckle. "Now, can I share my list of things I'm grateful for?"
"Like leaving the stairs behind?" Laura smiled and patted Steele's hand.
"Like not losing you when you went to Unidac alone and were nearly sucked into a wind tunnel turbine." Steele said soberly. "Like having you throw yourself from a moving car and not get hurt. Grateful you survived being chased by malvados through the jungle, and tumbling over a waterfall. Grateful you managed to avoid being ambushed by the British Bombshell, and the Russian Bears, and the Italian Stallion."
Laura snuggled closer to Harry grinning sleepily. "Just run of the mill stuff for a private investigator, Mr. Steele."
"Then I think we need to consider a new line of work, Laura." Steele fingered the ring on Laura's left hand. "I'm incredibly grateful you agreed to marry me under the worst possible circumstances, and then managed to find enough forgiveness to make that marriage real, more real each day. I'm grateful for the new home we're moving into together Monday. And for our little 'souvenir.' I can't begin to express how incredible it feels to be part of a family Laura. And to know that you're willing to go through all the limitations and unpleasantness that pregnancy has meant, so that together we can create a whole new person."
Laura went still as Steele spoke, and he thought for a moment she had fallen asleep. In a voice so low he had to lean in to hear it, Laura stated rather than questioned "Everything will be different next year, won't it?"
"Does that scare you?"
"Hell yes." Laura's eyes snapped as she twisted to face Harry. "But I guess this is just one more challenge. I've got pretty good back up these days. We'll figure things out somehow."
"Challenge, eh?" Steele smiled tightly and moved his eyes from Laura to stare at the moon once more. The couple sat in silence for some minutes.
"I think I'm your greatest challenge. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make it sound like such hard work. The house, the baby, YOU, it's all good. Really good."
"And scary. It's o.k. Laura. I will be here, for all the hard parts, and hopefully for lots of good parts too." Steele stretched and pushed Laura up, keeping one arm around her as he stood. "Let's go to bed. Since you're the only bird I'm going to be able to get my hands on this holiday, I'd like to ruffle your feathers. "
"This must be one of those good parts." Laura smiled as she allowed Harry to lead her up the stairs.
The End

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