The Past Steele Holts Its Danger
Part 2
by Wolfgang Walter

Author's notes etc.
This is a sequel to "Holt with nerves of Steele". I think it can stand on its own, but it probably helps to know what happened in the predecessors.
I can't say that all ideas I used are my own ones, but who can say that anyway? We're all influenced by things we read, hear and see. But I think I can say that the way I linked these ideas are unique. I took many liberties especially on the medical sector, so if anyone thinks the whole thing is terrible wrong I'm glad to listen and willing to avoid the same mistakes if I'm ever going to write about the same thing, but I won't rewrite it now [;-)], perhaps later. I also never have been to California, so I hope my interpretation of the map was right.
Special thanks are for Susannah who patiently answered my questions as long as I was bombarding her, Nancy for her patience (worthy of an angel) and naturally for my beta reader Jacqui who probably still has to recover from this strenuous work, and those who encouraged me to write it. I also have to thank Adriana for her criticism, both positive and negative, both were constructive.
This story was never intended to be written in parts, so maybe I didn't cut them at the most appropriate places.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of Remington Steele and Laura Holt. I just borrowed them for entertainment. Any resemblance to any existing person is purely coincidental.

Part 2
Half an hour later they had shared their *dessert*, and Laura snuggled contently up to Harry who had laid an arm around her holding her hand. He was still breathing heavily. Laura had to smile, her own pulse was still racing. Suddenly a thought ran through her head. "Have you ever thought about kids?"
She felt him stiffen immediately. 'Uh-oh,' she thought, 'tender topic.'
"Why do you ask? You are not... I mean... Are you?"
"If you're asking whether I'm pregnant, no, I'm not," she replied, but she couldn't suppress a sarcastic addition, "if I hadn't taken care of this problem I could be because you obviously haven't given any thought to it." While she was saying it she regretted this remark instantly. She felt him move away and grabbed his hand he was trying to remove. "I'm sorry, that was uncalled," she said and added mentally, 'although it's true.' She turned around to face him although they could hardly make out each other.
"You're right," he answered sadly, "I should have asked at least. I'm sorry."
Now she laid an arm around him and pulled him closer. "Well, we don't have to be concerned about it for now, but you still haven't answered."

He took his time while he absentmindedly caressed Laura's back. "You know, until some weeks ago I wouldn't even have thought about it. It seemed to be something that would happen to anyone but me.
I don't want children right now I think. We still have so much to work out, and I'm afraid that the additional distraction would be too much for us. Now that we are together I want to enjoy it. Sharing you with a child, our child, I - I don't know if I could handle that right now. Maybe later, but right now... I don't think I'm ready for it."
He fell silent still stroking her. She gave him some time. She knew enough of his little ways to know he wasn't finished yet. She had also started to caress him, to encourage him to continue.
Then he went on. "There are so many things we have to consider. How will it affect our work? How will it affect you? You have always pointed out that you are independent, you would lose a great deal of this independence. How are we going to share our responsibilities? Will we take it in turns to take care of him, her or them? What will we tell them if they wanted to know more about their father besides the fact that he's their father and the great *Remington Steele*?" The last one came with a mocking tone. "I'd hate to lie to them, but could we tell them the truth? Or when could we tell them the truth? How will they react when they find out we haven't confided them in completely?"
"And you want me to that you haven't given it much thought?" she chided mildly. 'But he certainly had his points,' she thought. She hadn't thought about it, either. She had never really considered being a mother. She hadn't spent much time with her nieces and her nephew. Only once, with little *Caruso*, she had had the irrational feeling that she maybe was missing something. But Harry certainly had surprised her. The reasons he had given showed her that once they were ready for this step he would be a caring father and a caring spouse. She had to smile. He finally had talked about *children*, not just one kid. Well, she would have something to say about this.
She felt him rolling on his back, and he was taking her with him. Her head rested now on his bare chest. He started to play with her hair tousling it. She grimaced. What would she look like in the morning? But then again, she really enjoyed the feel of it.
His question snapped her back to their topic. "And what do you think about children?"
"Well, I haven't given it much thought, either. We still have to deal with too many other things before we could take on the additional responsibility, but maybe later... although I'm not sure if I will ever fit the mother role -"
"Nonsense, Laura," he instantly interrupted her. "The determination that made you the best PI of LA and made me stay here will make you the best mother a child can imagine. Just because you want to be it you will be it. That's one of the things I love about you." His left hand kept rearranging her hairdo while his right slid to her back and pressed her reassuringly against his torso. He started to plant soft kisses on the top of her head.
"I hope you're right," she whispered, barely audible.
With a smooth motion she felt herself being rolled on her back, he was on top of her laying his weight mainly on his elbows, then he cupped her face gently with his hands. "Of course I'm right. You will see!" She felt him leaning closer, how he shifted his weight until she supported all of it, then she felt how his mouth covered hers, and all she could do was to give in to the kiss and to embrace him.

It had been a gruesome week. Some of their cases had turned out to be much more time-consuming than they had expected, then there had been two meetings Harry had to attend to, and there had been nine phone calls from Abigail which had driven Laura almost over the edge. Their meeting with the minister who was supposed to conduct the ceremony hadn't lightened their mood in any way. On the other hand they had closed a handful of cases, the preparations for their wedding had shifted into much higher gear now that Abigail practically taken over command over the whole affair - though she wasn't happy about the restrictions Laura and Harry had laid upon her - and the invitations had been sent out - finally.
Friday evening when their work had been almost done both had seriously toyed with thought of leaving the plane and letting Fred drive them to San Francisco so they could nap before they met Daniel, but then they had decided to fly. Laura had managed to take a snooze during the flight, but Harry had been much too nervous.
He wasn't sure what Daniel was up to. He trusted him, but Daniel certainly liked mixing business with pleasure, and on different occasions it had come at the most inopportune moment. They were on their way to the hotel Daniel had chosen to stay for this weekend. Although Laura still was quite sleepy she looked at least a little bit refreshed. Unfortunately their flight had been delayed for around an hour, so they wouldn't have much time to make themselves presentable for dinner. He had hoped that he could exchange some thoughts with Daniel alone, but that seemed to be quite unlikely now. Daniel had made it quite clear that he had a timetable to keep up with. They could spend some time together on Saturday and Sunday morning and Saturday evening, and he wanted to introduce them to some of his friends, he had said it was never wrong to know people with connections. He had obscurely indicated that more people than they both were aware of knew about "Remington Steele Investigations" or had become suspicious about the lack of information available about Mr. Steele. This had disturbed him significantly, and it was only because of their strenuous week that Laura hadn't noticed it. Or at least he hoped that this was the case, he couldn't always be sure about Laura.
After dealing with the usual stuff at reception they were both guided to their room and reminded about the dinner arrangement. Daniel had given them the option of two separate rooms, but after it had already been public knowledge that they both were engaged - much to the disappointment of the press they hadn't denied it and acted quite professionally in the public enduring the short-lived sensation that one of the most eligible bachelors of LA was no longer available - they didn't see any sense taking this option.
It took Laura only fifteen minutes to make herself presentable and to wipe away any traces of the hardship she had endured during the week. Most of his former female acquaintances would have asked for at least an hour. He really liked this practical trait of Laura, but, he grinned inwardly and had the grace to blush slightly because of the thought, he liked it most when she was completely undressed and natural.
They headed for the restaurant of the hotel and found Daniel immediately. He was waiting for them, and there was - a magnum of Champagne. Laura rolled her eyes. 'Now he only has to greet us with "you look thirsty",' she thought sarcastically. She took her time to scrutinize Daniel. Harry had been right, they didn't look much alike. If he resembled anyone, it was her father, she stated in surprise. Perhaps that was the reason her mother felt drawn to him - beside the fact that he was very charming.
"Harry, my boy, it's good to see you again," Daniel greeted his former protégé. Then he turned to Laura. "Lin- ah, Laura my dear, beautiful and enchanting as always," he took her hand and planted a kiss on it.
Returning some pleasantries to Daniel Laura thought to herself, 'he has progressed to realizing that my name is Laura.'
Harry looked at his mentor with a hint of concern. His once dark hair has turned into white and he certainly looked much older. After Laura and Daniel had ended their small-talk, he returned his greeting.

They seated themselves and waited for the maitre d' to take their orders. Daniel brought Harry up to date about some of his former friends and partners wisely avoiding any word of Felicia. He knew about the bad relationship between Laura and her. He would also avoid mentioning Anna Simpson's final death as long as Laura was around. He who had conned dozens of people could see behind her cheery facade. She was almost down with her nerves and she needed a rest, he observed.
Harry had told him about their encounter with Anna, and he wasn't sure they would handle it well. Harry also looked very exhausted, but Daniel wasn't sure if he had noticed it not knowing him so well. He contemplated delaying his task for tomorrow, but he decided that time was too precious. He didn't have much time on this trip, and the things he wanted to give Harry were far too important. He would need time to think them over.
He had to ensure that Harry wouldn't make any mistakes. This probably was his only chance to live a life that was not always threatened by his past, and Laura had to know about it, too. They both had to be aware of the risks they both were going to run. But he silently added that there was no need for them to know the complete story. Why should he bother them about Harry's father who started to prove to be a loose end? In anguish he remembered his former friend and partner who had become aware that his abandoned son was going to make his own remarkable way - with the aid of a very remarkable woman, he mused. Some part of him still regretted that Laura had turned down his offer to take Europe over by storm, and he also regretted the fact that Harry wouldn't join him anymore, he had always been a reliable support in a business where loyalty never had been a trademark. But he admired the way Harry has turned his life around and he was proud of the fact that he, Daniel, had provided Harry with the possibility to take this option.
Daniel could retire if he wanted to, and he had been sincere when he had told them about his plans three years ago. He had tried it, had invited Abigail Holt to spend some time with him there and had taken the opportunity to learn as much about Laura as he could. But after some time he had become bored, and observing bikini-beauties with and without tops hadn't given him enough distraction.
He remembered Kevin Masters, le Renard, who still was planning this or that heist, and he felt a certain kinship. Like Masters he was too old now to pull something off, but he still could plan. He remembered the time when he had made the acquaintance of this noteworthy man and his long-time rival. Harry had provided him with the necessary information to get the address, along with the news of Anna Simpson's resurrection. They had chatted about some of Master's heists, and he had found it refreshing to meet someone like him.
He had wondered how to keep himself busy when he had realized that the Earl of Claridge was dying. He instantly had remembered all his plans concerning Harry, but he had had strong doubts. Laura and Harry had become very close, and he wasn't sure if Harry would play along, or rather he had been sure that he wouldn't. Some time later Harry told him of the fiasco in Cannes concerning the Hapsburg dagger and the radical turn of his relationship with Laura. But unlike Harry he knew much more about Laura thanks to Abigail. Her habit of talking about her family, especially her problem child, had given him much insight, insight Harry didn't possess.
So he had planned out the whole affair as a test, a test to probe Harry's determination to keep on the straight and narrow. Unfortunately Laura showed up much too soon, but at least it showed her determination to keep Harry - and as a welcome side-effect he had stayed alive. He had to admit that he had underestimated the old nanny. He had been too sloppy in that affair. It has also been his fault that Laura had turned up early, but he had learned his lesson. He immediately started another scam to ensure that Harry was taken care of safely later. It was bad luck that this also failed, but it was some absolutely insignificant detail he couldn't have taken care of, even if he had wanted to.
After that fiasco he tried it from a different angle, if he couldn't provide Harry with a new and secure identity he had to do everything to protect his identity as Remington Steele. The fact that he had a false American passport was one of the weak points. The missing documents about his birth were also something he had to look after. Though he didn't necessarily have to worry about the PI license - Laura could give him one anytime she liked - it would have been bad publicity if anyone found out about the real situation concerning RSI. So he started to work out a plan that would cover every possible weak point. There were times when he shook his head in despair when he stumbled over a hole Laura hadn't covered. He had to reset dates in an imaginary curriculum vitae several times when he had gained knowledge of Laura's sometimes very weak excuses for a missing Mr. Steele. Steele's 'official' biography had had more holes than a ton of Swiss cheese and only complicated things because it contradicted itself in some points. It was a miracle that nobody seemed to have read it - or wondered about the mistakes.
To his chagrin he had learned during his small manipulations that there were people who knew that Mr. Steele wasn't what he seemed to be. He had started to get rid off those loose ends partly by bribing, partly by threatening and partly by blackmailing. When he was starting to eliminate the last major menace to his former protégé's happiness the bomb dropped that he was going to marry Laura. Now he had been forced to accelerate things. He had wondered what had caused that sudden turnaround, after all those deadly situations they both had encountered he had assumed that he would have to manipulate both of them to finally come together. It seemed that Laura had had one of her unpredictable mood swings, or how had Abigail called it?
But now he was sitting in the restaurant, giving the maitre d' his orders and anticipating the moment he could give Harry the papers. After the maitre d' was gone he handed a large envelope to Harry and said, "I want you to read these papers carefully. In case you want answers, you have two days. After Sunday I have to do a little journeying and won't be around until the wedding. I will call, but this is only for emergencies."
Both Harry and Laura were more than astonished. They didn't know how to deal with Daniel's cryptic way, so Harry finally opened the envelope. First he took out the most solid thing, it was an Irish passport. He opened it and gasped, then he filed through it. Then he gave it to Laura without a word.
Her eyes grew wide as she realized what she was holding in her hand.
Meanwhile Harry looked incredulously at a birth certificate and a document stating the legal renaming of Harold Connor O'Kenneth to Remington Harold Steele. He handed both documents to Laura. The visa and the PI-license followed along with some other documents. In the end he was holding the curriculum vitae and started to read it immediately, frequently frowning.
Daniel observed everything with silent satisfaction. When Laura looked as if she wanted ask about this he simply stopped her by saying, "I'll give you all your answers tomorrow. You both have to go through all the papers, maybe then everything's more clear."
Laura simply nodded and read all those precious documents again. When the maitre d' appeared with their meals Laura put all things back in the envelope.
They enjoyed their meal. Daniel asked about their plans concerning their honeymoon. They spent almost 30 minutes discussing them, and Daniel advised them about some places worth a brief visit.
It was almost midnight when Daniel excused himself that he was awaiting an important call, but he would return after he got it. When he arrived his room he could hear the soft ringing of the phone. Hastily he opened the door and didn't close it properly when he tried to reach the phone. "Chalmers!" Yes, it was the awaited call. It provided him with some information he found very useful to accomplish his plans, but also with a very serious piece of news. There were people who had asked about him - Daniel - and it seemed that their reasons for doing so hadn't been honorable ones. His only relief was that this probably ruled out any official investigation. It really would have been a pity if he had to spend some time in prison after he had managed to avoid it all these years.
He was still sorting out different possibilities of this newly arisen complication when the phone rang again. "Chalmers... Jack? This is a surprise." He managed to keep his voice neutral. "What gives me the pleasure of hearing from you again, after all this time?"

To Be continued...

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