Rs FanFic— family steele            steele joys, steele tears      Part 14-A

By: Phaedra Phelan

June, 2005


PG Rated


Summary: It is 2003 and the Steele’s are dealing with family issues on several fronts as well as solving a mystery that involves their own family.


Disclaimer:  This “Remington Steele” story is not-for-profit and is purely for entertainment purposes. The author and this site do not own the characters and are in no way affiliated with “Remington Steele,” the actors, their agents, the producers, MTM Productions, the NBC Television Network or any station or network carrying the show in syndication, or anyone in the industry.


Early March of 2003 found Laura and Remington Steele still as vital and caught up in life as ever and bound up in their passion for one another as early middle age settled upon them.  Remington was as  handsome to Laura as when they had first met, if not more so, his physique still slender and muscled, a mystery in itself for a man who hated exercise, and obviously a gift of the Chalmers’ gene pool, and he still sent Laura’s heart racing when he stared into her eyes the way he loved to do. The only mark upon his physique was the twelve-inch long scar in his right calf from the injury he had sustained in New York that fateful day in September of 2001. 

And Remington himself was as stung by Laura as that first day when he had walked into her office more than twenty years previously, the dimples, the brown eyes with their hazel overtones. Even though the long chestnut hair that framed her youthful features now regularly streaked with a few silver strands, she was a knockout to him. The last pregnancy had left her with the slightest roundness to her belly and hips, but this only combined with her grand nursing breasts to enthrall and excite Remington.

This March afternoon during the spring school break the family sat around the pool that was in the atrium that was the center of the house. The weather had been quite warm, even for a spring in southern California, and they were glad for the respite of the pool this day. The older children were in and out of the water as Remington and Laura watched them.

Jonathan and Ileana were visiting and their happiness with each other was evident. With Jonathan adoring her, Ileana had come to terms with the scars that permanently marred her body. This day she was wearing a bikini bathing suit that showed all of the scars on her legs, arms and back that she would carry for the rest of her life; but Ileana was completely unselfconscious in the center of her husband’s family. Her hair was a thick shoulder-length mass of black curls and her long legs and exotic Amerasian features and coloring made her scars of no consequence. She was a beautiful young woman in love with her husband who could not keep his eyes off her.

Jonathan had matured rapidly with marriage and he looked older than his twenty years with the short ruddy beard that he now wore. It was obvious that the decision to marry Ileana had been a good one for both of them. They were both students at UCLA and Jonathan was also working part time at the agency.

Joanna, at seventeen, was still the quietest one in the family and today she just watched as Cassie and Chlöe, who were in their fifteenth year, played with Michael, twelve, and Harry, nine, in the pool. Tabby, seven years old, was in her favorite inflatable water toy floating around the pool under her parents’ watchful eyes.

As Laura sat dangling her feet in the cool water, the little boy twins, Rhett and Reade, toddled over and began to pull at her bosom, patting her breasts.

“Mum, Mum,” they said, the signal word and gesture that meant nursing time.

Laura tried to ignore them, but they both continued to pull at the straps of her bright blue one-piece bathing suit.

“Look at this. You are too smart.” She smiled, as she put her arms around her little boys and hugged and kissed them.

Looking up, Laura met Remington’s passionate stare as he lay on the chaise lounge by the pool, and she saw his nostrils flare and quiver. Even though he was wearing loose comfortable swimwear, he tossed his towel over himself as his flesh reacted to the sight of Laura. He closed his eyes, trying to calm his passions. At nearly fifty-two Remington was a sensitive as ever to Laura’s physical allure and his need for sensual comfort had not abated. He wanted Laura nearly every morning and every night of his life and, if they were at leisure, they generally spent part of the afternoon in bed attending to their passionate needs. Even when working together, the small room at rear of the office was still often of necessity their refuge when passions were running so high that they found it impossible to concentrate on anything but each other. Or at other times they would lock themselves in Remington’s office and literally climb all over one another till their need abated.

On this afternoon as he lay staring at his wife of more than seventeen years, the sight of his sons in her arms shook him to his very core. He never tired of looking at her, constantly intrigued with the feminine essence of Laura as it was manifested in the ebb and flow of her breasts, that presented a striking cleavage pushing up from the top of her bathing suit.

Laura reveled in her husband’s hooded gaze as she drew a large towel modestly around her shoulders and gave her young sons her breasts. She wanted Remington just as much as he wanted her and she knew that the rest of this afternoon would be spent in his arms.

After a few minutes, Remington got up and bent over Laura.

“I can’t handle this any longer, darling. When you finish with the twins, will you please come to me,” he whispered.

Laura’s response was the same dimpled smile that had melted his heart when they first met, and Remington growled softly.

Laura carried each of her sons inside and allowed them to finish nursing and put them down for their nap.  Then Laura wrapped a copper-colored robe of paper-like silk around her still slender figure and went into her bedroom where her husband was lying on their bed. The stereo system was already playing the lush strains of Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” a piece that Laura particularly enjoyed listening to as they lay in their bed on warm afternoons.

“You called, Mr. Steele?” Laura said, ever the <icoquette/i> as she lay down beside him.

Remington drew Laura to him, slipping her robe from her shoulders, lightly caressing her neck and the hollow between her collarbones. The delicate touch of his hands made Laura tremble all over in anticipation, and his eyes turned deeper and deeper cobalt as his excitement built.

“Your wee ones don’t want to be weaned, do they, love?”

“I don’t know . . . why they aren’t . . . tired of it by now.” Laura found it difficult to concentrate when Remington was like this.

“Perhaps because you still have plenty of milk for them,” Remington said, pushing her silk robe completely away so that he could see her breasts.  “They are beautiful, so beautiful.  Your sons have sucked to their hearts’ content, and now they sleep.”

“Yes . . .”

“I need you so, darling. Seeing your glorious udders like this. . . I’ll never get used to this as long as I live,” he whispered, kissing the length of her graceful neck, squeezing her breasts, and then kissing them over and over. “Do you mind taking care of their papa now, love?”

Laura nodded and sighed, holding him close, reveling in the pleasure he sought and gave as he lay in her bosom.

Remington paused and looked carefully at Laura.

“You feel rather fertile today, Laura. Are you sure your carrying days are over?”

“I can’t tell with ‘no periods.’ Nursing these twins seemed to shut everything else down. And besides, I think that I’ve used up all my eggs.”

“You can’t have used up all your lovely ova, darling. You have been pregnant or lactating for so much of our married life that I’ll wager you have a few eggs still tucked away in your ovaries. But I kid you not. I can tell. I feel it in your skin, Laura. As much as I need you today, I think we should refrain from the connection that I am wanting so much and, and wait till later.”

“Do you really believe that I am ovulating?”

Remington nodded gravely and sighed, ‘Her highs, her lows are second nature to me now, like breathing out and breathing in.’ ‘My Fair Lady,’ Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn, MGM, 1964.  A man committed to higher learning finds a woman to be the most fascinating study of all.”

Laura felt her side and remembered the dull ache she had awakened with that morning and smiled at her husband.

“You always have known my body better than me.”

“I could always tell when you were in heat, even before we ever came together sexually. I could tell by your manner and I could tell by my reaction to it.”

“And how was I? What was my manner, Mr. Steele?”

Remington smiled devilishly.

“In a word . . . combative. I used to see you like that early on and I’d say to myself. ‘Sport, that is a lass is in dire need of a good man right now.’ ”

Laura hit him playfully on his shoulder. “I wasn’t like that.”

“Weren’t you in need, love? Come now. We’re talkin’ truth here.”

Laura nodded. “Sometimes I would want you so badly that it would just make me ill . . . dizzy . . . crazy.”

“I knew it.”

“And you, how could you tell . . . from yourself?”

Remington hesitated.

“Come on, now, tell me.  I gave you my confession.”

“Before we were married I could always tell because the excitement was different when you were like that. I would feel this heaviness in my testicles, a pressure, like they were really loading up for something. Now as you know, I am a somewhat randy bloke, but, Laura, since we’ve been sexually involved, I have only felt that way when you were really ovulating. It’s like my body tellin’ my mind ‘Your woman needs you to serve her, mate.’ I’ve felt that when I sired each of our children.”

“It’s beautiful, the way how you are made,” Laura said, cradling his parts with her hand and kissing him. “I love this part of you.”

“It has been altogether yours, love, almost since the day I first met you.”

“You are like a wild stallion, a beautiful wild horse . . .”

Laura’s touched him with a skill borne from their years together.

“Dear Lord! Laura!”

Remington’s back arched and he lost ability to speak. . . helpless, eyes rolling back into his head, groaning and gasping.

“Please, woman!”

Laura stopped caressing him for a moment and Remington reached for the drawer in their night table, a drawer which he regularly replaced with fresh supplies that they hardly ever used, but Laura caught his hand in hers.

They looked at each other and they were lost in something very strong and very deep.

“Babe . . .”

“Remy . . .”

When Laura put his hand upon her partially open thighs, Remington gently closed them and kissed them. Laura looked at him, a question in her eyes.

“Laura, I need a moment . . . for us . . . for our children.”

Laura nodded and Remington drew the silken sheet up over their nakedness and bowed his head upon her breasts. Laura had never seen him pray before in all the years they had been together, but the events of 9/11/2001 had changed him in many ways and a quiet reflectiveness had begun to overlay his sensuality that only made him more intensely passionate than ever.

“What was that about, Rem?” Laura asked softly.

“I had to think about the possible eventuality of coming together with you this afternoon. We have shared so many moments of ecstasy and rapture together, Laura. But since 9/11, every time we come together I realize that it could have all been over for us on that fateful day.  So many never were to lie down with the one they loved again.  Lately I must admit that I’ve thought about the possibility of our having another wee one . . . to celebrate the fact of our life together since that day.”

“I must admit I’ve thought about the same thing.  But I thought we were finished, Remy.  I’m nearly forty-eight, you know.”

“A gorgeous fertile ‘nearly forty-eight year old woman’ whom I feel a powerful urge to impregnate this afternoon,” Remington murmured, his pupils dilating as desire for her continued to build in the pit of his stomach.

“Do we want to chance this today, love?”

Remington nodded gravely.

“My . . . Remy . . .”

Remington threw back their silken sheets again so that he could feast his eyes upon her and then . . . pursing his lips, he wooed her with kiss after kiss upon her face, neck, and breasts.

“Laura, I love you so much. Laura! Tell me you love me today,” Remington groaned, as he knelt over her.

“Yes! Yes! I do love you, Remington Steele,” Laura cried out. “More than ever . . . more than . . .”

Remington found her lips in a searching kiss that catapulted them past all the tenderness into the reality of kisses that took Laura’s breath away and thrust after powerful thrust as he took her. They shifted into a perfect rhythm as they rocked in their lovers’ embrace and when the pleasure began to escalate too quickly into rapture, Remington tried to calm Laura.

“Take it easy, old girl. Take it easy.” Remington said. “Don’t rush, babe. We have all . . . all afternoon. Laura!” But he was overwhelmed, the pressure in the pit of his belly rapidly becoming irresistible.

“I can’t hold it back, Rem! I can’t!” Laura gasped.

“Dear God!” Remington cried out in rapture, losing grip on his last bit of control, giving up his seed in spurt after powerful spurt.

They were transported, the blinding lights exploding in their brains carrying them higher and higher before releasing them to fall back to that dreamlike state that presaged the afterglow.  Remington was strong but then suddenly tender as he sensed Laura’s release and complete surrender.

“Laura, I love you so,” he groaned softly.

They began to sink into the afterglow but then Remington regained power and they connected anew. Their coupling was perfect. The climax took them again, and both Laura’s and Remington’s features contorted as they lost vision and the pink and blue lights of climax exploded in their brains.

As the contentment and peace that always followed physical connection settled down upon them, Laura held her thighs together, cherishing and holding his semen deep inside her, and Remington caught her up into his arms rocking her gently.

“Remington,” Laura murmured dreamily. “How did we find each other, love?”

“I don’t know. I love you, Laura. God, I love you so,” Remington whispered, kissing her all over her face, her lips, her neck, as she lay in his arms, exhausted. “Forgive me for wanting you so much. I was helpless today. I saw you and I . . . was overwhelmed. You looked so ripe, so gorgeous with your full teats, so ready to conceive.”

“You still stare . . . at me so. I should think you would be used to me by now. After all, I’m not young anymore, Remy.”

“Yes, but you’re such a bonnie lass to me, love.” Remington kissed her tenderly upon her mouth, tasting the essence of her, savoring her like finest wine as she yielded her open lips to his, finally brushing them gently with his, reducing Laura to trembling in his arms.

“Remy . . . Remy, you know what this does to me.”

“Your lips swell when you’ve been thoroughly kissed and they are quite irresistible.”

“My lips swell because I’ve been ‘manhandled,’ um?”

“Yes, I confess.”

“I meant what kissing me like this does to my insides.”

“I dare say I know what it does to your insides, love.”

“I think you do.”

 “I’d say so, Mrs. Steele.” Remington said, grinning rakishly at her, then turning suddenly serious. “But you are all right, darling?”

“This scares me, Remy.”

“I know. I have never been so, so unnerved. Do you think you’re somehow too old for us to even chance procreating?”

“Remy.” Laura took Remington’s hand and placed it on her flat belly and then started to weep in his arms.

“Are these tears of joy or sadness, love?”

“Joy, I think. Oh yes, joy. Oh, Rem, I don’t know. Just hold me. I feel so weak right now. I am too old, aren’t I?”

Their eyes met, and they both sensed somehow that Remington had impregnated her for the sixth time.

“Oh, my God, Laura,” Remington whispered, kissing her tenderly over and over. “I love you so much. Forgive me if I caught you today. You do feel . . . caught, don’t you, love?”

Laura nodded, her hands trembling as she took his face between them and looked into the eyes of the man she loved so much.

“I must tell you something. You remember that morning Esperanza walked in on us in our kitchen, when she said to me afterward that for a man like you a woman would have a dozen children? I didn’t completely understand what that meant then, but I do now. I understand that a man can make you so happy that you want to carry his babies again and again. When I was thirty years old, I would never have believed that bearing your children would bring me such sensual pleasure, but it has. It does. I have loved every moment of carrying and nursing.”

“Oh, God, Laura, I love you so much, woman . . . so much. I never knew that I would find anyone who would completely fulfill every dream, every desire that I could have.  I know you so completely, so intimately, everything about you, Laura . . . your hair, your eyes, every laugh line, every freckle.”

“You knew that I would want to carry again as much as you want me to, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” he said simply, his eyes spilling over.

Laura sighed and her tears flowed and mingled with Remington’s as he kissed her tenderly again and again before she finally fell asleep in his arms. Remington lay beside her in quiet reflection for a long time.  He stared at his woman, exhausted from their afternoon of lovemaking, her freckled cheeks still flushed, thick chestnut hair strewn over their pillows.  Remington drew the soft comforter up to her chin, knowing that she always slept cold, especially when she fell asleep in the buff with only the warmth of his naked body to stave off  a chill.

<i> God, I love this woman so much.  I fear her carrying again, but we were both so overwhelmed today. I needed her.  I’m helpless when I don’t have her, and she knows it. She gives me what I need . . . no games, just what I need when I need it. She gave me so much today . . . everything . . . everything I could possibly desire. I was like a wild zebra on her, and she was just as incredibly passionate as I was. I always want to give her so much. I want her to enjoy every moment. I want to know that I am giving her every pleasure she could possibly desire. Hearing her cry out to me, trembling, teeth clattering, dear God, there is nothing more perfect. </i>

Tears sprang spontaneously to Remington’s eyes.

* * * * * *

Laura and Remington did not immediately tell anyone about this pregnancy, including their children, even when Laura took a pregnancy test two weeks later and it was positive. But they were both nearly as giddy with their secret as if it was the first time they had conceived together. Then suddenly Laura blossomed in a kind of efflorescence peculiar to pregnancy, breasts swollen, coloring vivid, eyes bright and Remington grinned every time he looked at her. Their teenage children just regarded them curiously and shrugged it off.

“Mom, are you going through . . . menopause?” Chlöe asked one Saturday afternoon a month later.

“Why, no, not really . . . why do you ask?”

“Because you look different,” Cassie said. “You look pretty . . . but different.”

“Your breasts look different . . . a different color around your nipples,” Chlöe said very specifically.

Laura glanced down. She was nursing Rhett from under her tee shirt and her other breast was exposed. The areolae were brown, rather than their normal pink color. She looked toward Remington who was reading the paper in his favorite chair and met his twinkling blue eyes.

“It might be because I’m pregnant.”

“Pregnant!” The twins screamed in unison.  “You and Daddy!”

“Well, yes, of course . . . your father and I.”

“You’re too old. This is so absolutely too much!” Cassie exclaimed.

“This is wonderful! I can’t . . .”

“We can’t believe it!” Cassie finished her sister’s sentence.

The girls didn’t know what reaction to have. Finally they just sat stunned.

“Having children is a part of married life, girls. I love your mother very much. This baby . . . is just another blessing.” Remington spoke gently to his girls.

“Well, what happened? I thought you were finished having babies, Mom,” Chlöe said.

“When we lay down together, girls, this was the result.”

“But you do that all the time,” Cassie said, “and Mom doesn’t get pregnant.  People don’t get pregnant just because they have sex.”

“Yes, you know that we know what’s going on,” Chlöe said. “We know that you have sex. But she is pregnant! Our mother is pregnant!”

The Steeles had discussed these matters extensively with their teenage children and this was not a taboo subject by any means.

Remington continued, “Let this be a lesson to you. When you meet the love of your life and you’re hot to lie down with him, don’t forget that there is always that possibility. Be aware of and seriously consider all the possibilities before you let a laddie have his way with you.”


The twins took a moment to absorb their father’s somewhat graphic explanation and then, in one motion they were up out of their chairs, running to tell their siblings the news.

Laura sat staring down at her breasts, amazed that her observant children had uncovered her secret.

Remington smiled at her, tossed his paper to the floor, pursed his lips in his most engaging fashion, got up from his chair and came to her.

 “I think that it’s time we get ready for another wee one, old girl,” he said, as he bent over to kiss her.

* * * * * *

When Laura went to see Sandra Brathwaite, she was just over a month pregnant. Sandra confirmed what they already knew and chided them both.

“What you two tryin’ to do to me . . . test my abilities to the limit? Laura, you are lactating. You weren’t checking, following AML?”

“I think that we just got carried away, didn’t we, Remington?”

“That might be a good characterization of what happened, darling.”

“I am rather nervous about this one, Sandra. I’m almost forty-eight.”

“Well, we shall see. You know that any pregnancy at your age is high risk, don’t you? And with your history of twin births we could be in for something pretty scary. Women your age have a higher incidence of multiple births. And we have been extremely lucky avoiding Rh Factor with the other pregnancies. None of your children have been Rh Positive since the Chlöe and Cassie, but we have been skating on thin ice there. Even though I have given you anti-Rh serum after each pregnancy, we could run into problems with a hetero-specific pregnancy.”

“You mean babies who are Rh Positive like Remington?” Laura said

“Exactly.  Do you two realize this?”

“Yes, we know.”

“Help us, Sandra. We just know that we will need your help to get through this one,” Remington said with all due contriteness.

* * * * * *

Laura went into her usual cycle of morning sickness for the next month and Remington and the older children took over at the house and Remington took over the office. Jonathan was becoming quite useful there and this was a time that he was really needed. Finally Laura was able to take over her duties at the office again, but Remington hovered over her, worrying over her as the weeks went by and she began to show.

“You look so lovely, darling. And I am so glad to have you feeling better again. But I am concerned that you might be tiring yourself unnecessarily.”

“I’m fine. I’m just fine. I’m going into my fourth month. This is the part that is the easiest, darling. Morning sickness over, I’m not so huge that it’s uncomfortable. I’m just a wonderful baby factory here.”

“I . . . I just wondered. I need reassurance, love.”


“Yes . . . reassurance that you truly wanted this to happen to us again this late in the game.”

“Rem, it was both of us. We both wanted this that afternoon. Tell me you didn’t want to get me pregnant.”

“I did. But you know me.  I was insane with passion. We did not need another baby.  My God! ”

Remington stood behind her and let his hands wander over her body, paying special attention to every curve.

“I’m getting as fat as a little pig again, aren’t I?”

“You are incredibly beautiful like this, Laura. I am just so worried for you.”

Remington kissed his wife upon her neck and cheek and pushed up the bright green knitted sweater that clung to her rounding pregnant belly and so he could rub her bare flesh.

Remington turned Laura to face him and gazed at her. The intensity of all his emotions was in his blue eyes. The bright green sweater and skirt she wore made her appear quite radiant.

“Let’s not go home this afternoon, darling. Why don’t we check into a hotel? I need to talk to you when there are none of our children around.”

“Could we drive up 101 toward the Sensitivity Spa? There were several inns along there.”

* * * * * *

As Remington drove toward Highway 101 they were both silent, deep in thought.  Remington reached over and gripped Laura’s hand as they drove along.

“A farthing for your thoughts, love . . .”

“Thinking about me, you . . . the past, the present, the future . . .”

Finally they pulled over at a quaint inn about seventy miles north of Los Angeles. Remington checked them in and came for Laura after all the paperwork was done.

The room was charming and Laura was delighted when she saw the overstuffed furniture and ruffled curtains.

“Reminds me of that time, when we were trying to find ourselves as a couple. That was a long time ago wasn’t it?”

“That’s what you were thinkin’ about, eh?  Yes, it was a long time ago, Laura, but I remember how much I wanted you then. I still want you . . . even more than then, if that is possible.”

Remington was taking off his shirt and slacks as he talked, and then he turned to Laura to help her undress till she sat clad only in her lacy tap pants, her plump freckled belly and her full breasts proclaiming her fecundity, her womanliness.

Remington drew her up into his arms and kissed her tenderly, his hands squeezing the softness of her hips in the way that he loved to do.

“You are so beautiful like this, when your bum begins to spread.”

“Rem, I don’t know how to feel. In one way I’m happy.”

“And what is the one way that you are happy?”

“Because we did this . . . because this . . . this is ours . . . because this can still happen to us. But I am scared too. I’m forty-eight years old and I am pregnant and I don’t know what to think.”

“I think we can swing it, darling. Jonathan is taking up the slack at the office quite well.”

“And you do know that Ileana wants to start their family. She wants to carry for him.”

“Well, then I would imagine that she will soon manage to do that. She is an extremely determined young woman.”

“I just never envisioned myself pregnant when about to become a grandmother.”

“It’s a beautiful way to end your childbearing years, love.  Ever since 9/11 and that close call with death, I think that on some level deep down I wanted to have another wee one with you.” His blue eyes were serious as he stared at Laura in his arms.

“I understand. It’s strange, how we feel about this. Suddenly having a baby together again means so many special things, doesn’t it?”

“Yes, and look at you.”

“You think you’re something, don’t you? Fixing me up like this.” Laura put her hands upon her midsection. “Having another baby . . . I have twins who don’t want to stop nursing! What about the agency . . . my career? I’ll be useless for the next year.”

“You are never useless, darling. We have the computers at home. You can do so much of your work right from there. And your marvelous intuition doesn’t stop working just because you’re pregnant. And besides, the twins are practically weaned. ”

“You know we were insane that afternoon, Rem,” Laura said as she contemplated the full impact that this pregnancy would have upon her life.

“If I remember correctly, you were the one that tossed that little foil packet aside.” Remington grinned and shook his head remembering.

“I must have been crazy with the heat . . . or something.”

“It was a kind of heat, to be sure, Laura. It was us . . . together. I was in rut, feeling a bit too frisky for our own good perhaps.”

Laura looked at her adorably tousled husband and melted inside.

“Yes . . . frisky is the word. I see you like this and I have no will. That’s the problem. You realize that, don’t you?”

“Yes, I know. I know, babe. It’s just that way with us, isn’t it?”

“You’re too old to be starting over fathering another child. Look at these silver streaks in your hair. But Lord, you are still unbelievably handsome.”

Laura ran her fingers through his thick hair and then touched his cheeks and his finely shaped mouth.

“I think that 9/11 made me realize more than ever before what is really important in life. When my flesh is inside of yours and the pleasure is so intense that I can only cry out to the Almighty, I know that that is all that matters. This is what life is all about. The business, the clients, the money all mean nothing without you. Everything could  come to a crashing end tomorrow. This day is all that we have . . . the pleasures, the sadness, the chances that we take together. If God wills that we bring life into the world again, I am only thankful that I am a part of this with you. You are a gorgeous healthy woman, with a body designed as perfectly for bearing children as your mind is for crime-solving. My God! Look at you. You are four months pregnant and you are still lactating. You are a quite fabulous woman.”

Laura smiled and blushed at her husband of eighteen years.

“I thought I was finished carrying for you. I thought my moon time was over, and here I am like this again.”

“No, your moon time is not over, love, not yet.”

“I guess that I should just be bold, take this experience in stride and enjoy it.”

“Yes, enjoy being the gorgeous sensual woman that you are, darling. And tell me that you want me and much as I want you this afternoon.  Please, Laura, I will do whatever pleases you . . . for as long as you desire.”

Laura threw her arms around Remington while he continued to kiss her passionately, eyes closed, begging her, proclaiming his need for what he knew to be completely his.

“You don’t have to ask. I’m your woman, Remy. I’ve been your woman from that first day we met. Why do you still ask me?”

“Because I never take you for granted for a moment, darling.  I am so thankful for . . . for every time you take me inside your body and let me pleasure you, every time you bring me the most indescribable pleasure a man could imagine.”

Cradling her gently, Remington lay her down onto the bed facing him. Laura took him between her soft breasts, and Remington groaned her name as he touched her thighs and they parted to welcome his caresses once again. But Remington kissed Laura’s face, her slender neck, her shoulders, her breasts, courting her as if it were the very first time they were coming together.

“Remy . . . Remy,” Laura cried out as they came together.

Later as they slipped into the afterglow, Remington kissed Laura’s belly all over, feeling for the life inside her, still in wonder at the situation they found themselves in as expectant parents once again. They lay together all afternoon, talking, loving and then napping and loving again.

  Finally they got into their car and drove back to Los Angeles. Laura slept all the way home and it was nearly eleven o’clock when they got in.

They were somewhat amazed to see all the children still up. Jonathan and Ileana were there.

“Well, you guys decided to come home.  We were all worried . . . even though you called, Dad,” Chlöe’s voice registering her concern for her mother. The older she got the more she realized what her mother had done in being the complete woman that she was.

“Is everything all right?” Cassie asked.

“Yes,” Remington said. He pursed his lips, smiling wistfully at Laura.

“We saw Dr. Sandra today. The baby is growing very fast. That’s why you mother’s belly is already showing. No twins. It is just a very healthy baby in there,” Laura gave her family the report.

“Harry’s blue eyes filled. “But, Mom, it’s gonna really hurt!”

“I know, but your father will be with me . . . and all of you.”

Laura hugged her thirteen-year-old son.

“We will need the help of each of you,” Remington said, his arm around Laura’s waist.

“Oh, dad, by the way, Ingrid got out today and she got with that big Lab up the street.  You know what I mean?” Harry flushed.

“You mean that they connected sexually, son. Be specific in matters such as this.  Weren’t you and Michael to make certain that Ingrid did not get free while she was in heat?”

“Yes, but, the gate was open . . . and it happened. And then we couldn’t stop them.  They just hooked up and all we could do was watch.”

“I am sure that you watched every minute of it,” Remington said wryly.  “I hope that you will be as diligent to watch the litter of pups Ingrid will give birth to in approximately sixty days.”

“I’m tired, Remy. I need to lie down,” Laura said. “All this talk of giving birth is making me weary.”

“Mom, Rhett and Reade are still awake. Can I bring them in to nurse?” Joanna asked.

Laura felt her milk come down at just the suggestion that her toddlers might be hungry.

“All right, bring them to me in about ten minutes, Joanna.”

Remington took Laura’s hand and led her to their bedroom and there he kissed her tenderly as she began to cry in his arms.

“Oh, Remy, what’s to become of me? My twins are still nursing and I’m going to have another baby!”

“I sense conflict, darling. I thought that we talked this out this afternoon. Don’t worry about you’re the nursing. Let nature just take its course and everything is going to be fine. I promise you.”

“You promise me! You can’t possibly understand.  This baby will be here within five more months. I’m the one that has to wean twins! Remington Steele, you and your fabulous gonads have gotten me into a world of trouble.”

Laura just broke down and cried in earnest and Remington sat down on their bed, took her onto his lap and rocked her in his arms, stroking her flanks, trying to comfort her.

“Darling, I love you. I love all of you. I love your beautiful breasts when they are full like this. I love you carrying. Don’t you see the other women look at you, envying you? You are lush and gorgeous and so utterly female. Laura . . . I never thought I would see you like this again. Sometimes I would lie awake early in the morning and remember how you looked pregnant . . . radiant and satisfied with your swollen teats and full belly. Now . . . knowing this is the last one . . . Laura . . .”

“Don’t ‘Laura’ me like that. You know what it does to me. It makes me love you so. I do love you, Remy.”

Laura was helpless, overwhelmed with a strange mix of tenderness and frustration, her eyes welling with tears.

“I should have pushed you away that day when you suspected that I was ovulating. You are never wrong about things like that. But I couldn’t!  It’s all my fault.”

“No, it’s not your fault, love. I wanted you quite desperately that afternoon.” Remington was frustrated now, puzzled by Laura’s reaction.

Laura broke down completely in tears.

“Love, it’s all right. We’ll manage,” Remington whispered, kicking his shoes off. “Just lie down here with me.”

Laura and Remington stretched out across their bed and Laura continued to cry as Remington kissed her over and over and then pulled up her sweater and kissed her belly all over.

“This is our wee one here, love. This wee one who will comfort us when we are old and all the others have gone on with their own lives.”

Laura lifted her tear-stained face and saw the tenderness in his blue eyes.

“I love you, Laura. I wouldn’t have chosen to get you pregnant again, but we lost our heads in some kind of temporary insanity, and it happened to us. For some reason God has given us these children. Maybe he knows that we love them so very much. I don’t know.”

“But I still don’t know if I’ll have the strength, Rem. I’m too old.”

“You are powerful, Laura. You are tiny but you are strong—the consummate woman in every way. I’ve seen you carry all of our babies and I have seen you give birth to them, Laura, straining, your thighs wide open, pushing them out into the world. I will never forget the sight of our first child crowning, or of any of the ones that have followed. Do you think that I doubt for one moment that you have the strength for this one?”

Laura smiled weakly at her husband and tried to wipe her eyes.

“I’m pretty damned good at this, aren’t I?”

“Yes, darling, and you are so sensual that you drive me insane,”

 “I have to admit that I really wanted you to make me pregnant again that afternoon in December. I must have been . . . insane?”

“No, darling, but I think that we should seriously consider a tubal ligation after this baby  . . . in case you are seized by such a flight of fancy again. No more chances, eh?”

“I never dreamed that I would conceive again. How will I work?”

“Well, you can finish that book we’re working on<i>—</i>and the curriculum for that course they want us to teach at UCLA. When the baby comes, we’ll take it to the office with us like we have always done. Thank God for Esperanza.” Remington said, drawing her into his embrace.

“Rem . . .”

“Don’t worry, darling. Don’t . . .” Remington kissed Laura again and again. At that point there was a knock on the door.

“Oh, my, I’m so . . . flustered, Remy. Don’t you think that after this afternoon we should be able to calmly go to bed and sleep?”

“That’ll be Joanna with Reade and Rhett. I’m going out onto the balcony to . . . calm down, love.”

Remington kissed her again quickly and stepped out into the dark of the California evening as Laura pulled her clothes together.

Joanna brought her little brothers, one holding onto each hand to Laura and she took them up onto her bed where they clambered over her, each quickly claiming a breast and beginning to suckle contentedly.

“Mom, I always wanted to be just like you when I finally grew up and got married,” Joanna said wistfully.

“Yes, Joanna?” Laura sensed the anxiety in the heart of her oldest daughter.

“Dad really loves you. He just stares at you sometimes with that look in his eyes.”

“What look is that?”

“Like you are the most delicious thing on the face of the earth and he just wants to eat you up.”

Laura laughed softly. “I love him that way too.  I’m afraid that I am giving him a rather hard time these days.  I think that I am ready for this baby.  We talk it out together.  But then I start to worry again. I know he is frustrated.  I am just thankful that he loves me so much.”

“Mom, I don’t think it’s ever going to be like that for me.” Joanna’s eyes filled with tears.

“What’s the matter, love?”

“I’m pregnant, Mom. I’m four months pregnant.” Joanna broke down in tears.

Laura reached for Joanna.

“What happened? Who is it? You aren’t seeing anyone.”

“That’s what is so terrible and stupid. I, I . . .”

“Just a minute! I’m getting your father.”

Laura gently eased her sons from her breasts.

“Oh, Mom . . .”

“He has to know. He cares for you.”

Laura went to the door that opened from their bedroom onto the balcony. 

“Remington, can you come here, please. Joanna has something to tell us.”

Remington was alarmed to see Joanna’s tear-stained face.

“What’s the matter, Joanna?”

“I, I’m pregnant . . . four months. I’m four months pregnant.” Joanna broke down in tears in Laura’s arms.

“My God!” Remington took his daughter’s hands in his.

“Who did this?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean . . . you don’t know?” He struggled to speak calmly.

“I . . . I went to a sleepover at Cindy Morganstern’s house. I didn’t know that the party would really be at Professor Lowery’s house and that boys would be there too. The house was completely dark. The only place you could see anybody was in the kitchen where the food was. When I was in the living room, someone grabbed me and started kissing me. I’d had drunk something. It was really strong and . . . and I couldn’t fight him off. He hurt me. I heard him say ‘Damn, this one is a virgin’ and then I passed out and it was the next morning when I finally came to. I was hurting and so scared. The rest of the girls were laughing the next morning . . . about having sex with so many boys. Cindy said that I won the prize for the most . . . most different boys . . .” Joanna couldn’t go on.

Remington took his daughter into his arms and hugged her as she cried.

“We’ll get to the bottom of this, Laura. In the meantime, take Joanna to Sandra. Have her checked out. She must have the best of care.  When did this happen, Joanna?”

“It happened in March during spring break. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I just didn’t know this would happen to me. No one ever paid any attention to me, and when the kids at school invited me, I thought it would be fun.”

“We will have to deal with this as a family, Joanna, but for now, go to bed. Get some rest.”

“Thank you, Mom. Thank you, Dad.”

“Life could be a lot worse. At least you have all of us.”

“You aren’t ashamed of me.”

“We can’t be ashamed of you.  You were a victim of a crime.”

“I want this baby,” Joanna said determinedly. “I don’t care who the father is. This is my baby!”

“Yes, it is your baby, Joanna,” Remington said.

They both looked at Joanna and it was suddenly obvious that she was pregnant. She was still just a slip of a girl but her breasts were suddenly quite full, her willowy figure extremely curvaceous, and her little belly just beginning to show.

After she left their room, neither of them spoke for a long time. Remington put the toddlers to bed and came back to find Laura sitting stunned, still propped up on the pillows.

“This has truly been a day of revelations both good and bad, love. I think we should try to sleep on this and start trying to sort this out in the morning. You look quite tired, my dear.”

“I’m completely done in by this news,” Laura said, seeking the comfort of her husband’s arms.

“I am so furious, Laura. I can’t sleep. That was a crime, a rape, for God’s sake!”

“And Joanna is so gentle, even timid. The first time she decides to try to go out with her friends from college, this happens to her. And she doesn’t know who or how many.”

“I want to take this one on, Laura.”

“She’s family. We should really have another agency do it.”

“It’s personal. I have to get to the bottom of this, Laura.”

Remington sighed in distress and drew Laura closer to him.

“Before you came into my life, I never dreamed that I would give birth to any children, much less adopt more, and end up with a tribe.”

“Neither did I, love.” Remington said. “And now that they are growing up . . . the problems, the heartache.”

“Hold me till I sleep, darling. I am so keyed up now about Joanna that I won’t sleep a wink all night.” Laura’s eyes filled as she contemplated Joanna’s situation and began to cry in her husband’s arms.

* * * * * *

Laura took Joanna to see Dr. Sandra Brathwaite the following Monday morning and she confirmed that Joanna was indeed pregnant<i—/i>four months along. Remington Steele was as angry as he had ever been over what had happened to Joanna.  She, the most shy and reticent of all their children, had been subjected to this violence, this abuse. He recalled his own experience as a child, being raped by that ruthless caretaker, McGinty.

Remington’s first move was to sit down with Joanna and gather as much information as he possibly could about the party. He and Laura spent a whole afternoon with her, taking notes just as they would have with any client.

“Joanna, whose house was this where you went? Which of the students?”

“It wasn’t a student’s house, Dad. It was Professor Lowery’s house. He teaches creative writing.”

“Well, that makes this matter quite different. An adult has sponsored a party where minors were drugged and raped.”

It was true that Joanna did not know which boys raped her, but she did know some of the people who were there. Laura made a list of all of the teenagers at the party at that house in Santa Monica.

Remington arranged to visit the home of the English professor whose son hosted the party where Joanna had been raped. Professor Lowery’s office was not hard to find, and when he welcomed Remington into the small nondescript room, Remington found himself quite at ease with the man. He seemed to be about fifty, thin and ascetic in appearance, his straight blond hair thinning and receding.

“Welcome, Mr. Steele. Have a seat. I’m always happy to receive a visit from a parent of a student.”

“I would imagine that this is not the norm. This is a far cry from grammar school.”

“True, but appreciated nonetheless, Mr. Steele.”

The two men sat down and then Dr. Lowery inquired as to the reason for the visit.

“Your daughter, Joanna is one of my best students. She is rather reluctant to speak out in class, but her reports are quite excellent. Of course I have missed her in class the past week. Is anything wrong? I wouldn’t want her to miss her finals.”

“I’m glad to know that Joanna has been doing well, Dr. Lowery. But my visit actually has nothing to do with her class work, but rather the reason for her absence from class this past week.”

“My word! I was concerned when she was not here for several classes.”

“My daughter attended a party at your house four months ago and at that time she was victim of a sexual assault by at least four or five different young men. She is now four months into a pregnancy as a result.”

Lowery blanched, shocked.

“I am truly sorry . . . I regret this. Of course I was not present at the event you refer to. In fact I was out of town. I did permit one of my students to stay at my home . . . Jack Steuben, a student I have been mentoring. His parents live abroad. I . . . I wasn’t aware that he’d had a social affair at my house while my wife and I were away on a cruise during the holiday break . . . till I returned. The neighbors . . . told me about it . . . after the fact.”

“I can appreciate your situation, Dr. Lowery, but you must realize that my daughter was drugged and raped in your house. She does not remember the event, but was told about it after the fact. I intend to get to the bottom of the matter.”

“I . . . I hope that you do not hold me responsible for this.”

“I certainly do hold you responsible. I run a private investigation agency and I will bring all of the assets of my office to bear to solve this. I will know who is responsible for this crime and bring him to account.”

“Well, you know young people will get together. I’m sorry Joanna finds herself in this situation, but . . .”

“But what? My daughter was drugged and raped in your house and I am definitely going to find out who did it.  My next stop will be the dean’s office,” Remington said calmly and deliberately

“Now, now, Steele, that won’t be necessary.”

Lowery was becoming very nervous, visibly shaking.

“I’m afraid that it <i>is</i> necessary. I will find out the identity of the insolent rake that deflowered my daughter sooner . . . or later. And you will find that you will be better off if you help resolve this matter.”

“Yes . . . yes . . . of course. What do you want me to do?”

“I want to know who was at that party in December . . . names, addresses and phone numbers. I will interview the young people and see what really happened there. When can you produce that list? Should I speak directly to this Jack Steuben?

At that moment there was a knock and a disheveled dark-haired young man with a pony tail, earrings, and baggy pants came into the office.

“This is Jack Steuben. Jack, this is Remington Steele. He is Joanna Steele’s father. I believe you are acquainted . . . from class.”

“Uh, yeah,” the young fellow said, in a vain attempt at non-chalance.

“Mr. Steele is concerned about a party held at the house while Mrs. Lowery and I were away during holiday break. Do you know anything about this?”

Jack Steuben averted his eyes.

“Well, I had a few friends over one night. I wouldn’t call it a party.”

“A hundred young adults in a house with no lights on, alcohol and drugs freely flowing, and you wouldn’t call it a party?”  Remington Steele said sharply.

“Mr. Steele is a private investigator. He will find out if this in fact happened. Joanna was apparently drugged and raped during this so-called social gathering of a ‘few friends.’ She now finds herself pregnant as a result. I am incredibly disappointed in you, Jack.”

“Listen, I didn’t rape no bitch,” Jack retorted insolently.

The moment the derogatory word left the youth’s lips Remington Steele was in his face, backing him up against the wall.

“I hope I never hear you use that word in reference to my daughter again, young man, or you will receive the thrashing you deserve!”


“Shut up! You need to learn that a man, a real man, views every female as he would his own sister, and speaks of her with the deserved respect, even if she be a common whore whose services he has just used. Do you understand me?”

Jack Steuben was shaking in his boots when Remington Steele backed away from him.

“Mr. Steele, I . . . I will get to the bottom of this with Jack.” Dr. Lowery was hyperventilating.

“Here is my card. I expect to hear from you within twenty-four hours or we move to the next step . . . the dean’s office, and the police.”

The door closed behind Remington Steele and Leonard Lowery and Jack Steuben were left facing each other.

“How could you have been so stupid, Jack? You brought ecstasy and ‘ruffies’ right into my house. I thought we were clear on how things were to be handled.”

“It ain’t no big thing, Prof.”

“You have no idea how big it is. If the dean takes this matter to the Board of Regents, I could lose my job. That’s how serious it is. Now I want to know who impregnated that girl.”

“I don’t know. It was dark and a lot was goin’ on. We passed out condoms like potato chips.”

“Did you use her?”

“Sure, I did. But I used a condom. I’m not about to be responsible for knockin’ up nobody.”

“Listen, you know who else was on her. Did you see Steele? This is a personal matter with him. And he is one of the best in that business. Did you have sex with Joanna Steele? Yes or no? No explanations.”

“Yeah, sure.”

“And who else?”

“Okay, okay. The first one was Hassan, and Wilson, and then we put George on her.”

“George? George Harrelson?”

“Yeah, that nerdy guy with the glasses. He was as drunk as a skunk. Now he may have forgotten to use a condom,” Jack laughed wickedly.

“It’s not funny, not funny at all.

“And Ziad Hassan?”

“He was all over her. He was the one gave her the drink with the ruffies in it and then she was eatin’ outta his hand. Turned out she was a virgin.”

“He raped a virgin girl in my house.” Lowery’s voice had the ring of resignation and disgust. “Good Lord!”

“Well, Ziad was okay with it, thanked me personally. Said it had been a long time since he got to break a girl in.”

“Ziad Hassan is a twenty-five year old man who maintains his student status for one purpose only, to deal drugs on this campus. It’s just a matter of time before Steele brings the police into this, and if that happens, other things will come to light that must remain secret. Find out where Steele lives.”

“What am I supposed to do?”

“You’ll think of something.” The look in Leonard Lowery’s eyes left no question as to how serious he was on this matter.

* * * * * *

Remington’s mind was racing as he drove back to his office contemplating the information he had gathered at the small college. He was determined to find out who was responsible for Joanna’s plight and bring that one to justice. He was quite subdued and reflective by the time he got back to the agency.

“Boss, you got this call from a Jack Steuben . . . a business matter he said. He wants to meet you at your home,” Mildred reported.

Remington instantly responded, “No way do I meet that rake at my house. Call him back and arrange for an appointment here at the office . . . or not at all.”

“Is something the matter, Mr. Steele?”

Mildred saw the anxiety and concern registered in his whole demeanor.

Remington drew a chair close to Mildred’s desk and was quiet for a long moment before he spoke.

“At this juncture in my life I seem to have met joy and sadness in a cruel juxtaposition and I find it quite difficult to bear. My wife, my woman . . . Laura . . . is going to be forty-eight years old and she is carrying again.”

“I’ve watched her through all her pregnancies and she is such a great mother. You old fox, you,” she teased. “I thought you two were finished.”

“I am truly unnerved at the prospect in view of her age. This is not what either of us would have planned at this point in our lives.”

“Well, you two are great parents. And Mrs. Steele is so healthy carrying.”

“She’s beautiful, Mildred.” Remington paused and then continued. “On the other hand, this past weekend Joanna came to us and told us that she is pregnant . . . a victim of rape at a house party she attended during spring break.

“Raped!”  Mildred’s hands flew to her mouth.

“She was drugged and raped . . . doesn’t remember anything about it . . . who did it . . . found out later that she had been impregnated. And she’s four months along.”

“Mr. Steele, this is awful.”

“My shy little girl was a virgin, Mildred. Some scoundrel took that from her, and I’m going to find out who it was.” Remington’s eyes filled suddenly, and he searched for a handkerchief.

“What is she going to do?”

“We’ll help her through this. She wants to keep her baby. That is her prerogative and we will support her and help her in every way that we can. Excuse me, Mildred. I must go collect myself.”

Remington went into his office and sat down behind his desk. He tried to focus on the matters at hand, but tears continued to well up in his eyes and finally he put his hands to his face and let them come. The rape of Joanna had brought back to the forefront of his mind unsettling memories of his own assault at the hands of that wicked man, McGinty, when he was just a defenseless lad. The revulsion and disgust he had felt at that moment so many years ago welled up in his throat and he was suddenly nauseous. He loosened his dark burgundy tie, unbuttoned the top buttons of his pale blue shirt and went into the lavatory between his and Laura’s office where he promptly lost his breakfast.

In that Sandra Brathweaite wanted her to have extra rest, Laura came to the office at noon these days. Remington often left her sleeping, especially if they had spent quality early morning time together as they had this day, so she was just coming to the office at this time.

“Darling, I’m so glad you’re here,” Remington said, taking in his wife in the full glow of evident pregnancy. She wore a soft periwinkle jersey dress that skimmed her gently rounding figure and stopped just above her knees. Her smooth bare legs and feet shod in simple high-heeled sandals completed the stunning look.

Remington drew Laura close and kissed her tenderly.

“Your eyes . . . they’re red,” Laura observed. “You’ve been crying?”

“Joanna . . . it got to me this morning. Children . . . you want to carry all their problems, don’t you?”

“And then you just can’t carry some of them, darling. We will find out who did this thing to her.”

“Unfortunately it brought back such terrifying memories from my own childhood.  The idea of someone forcing himself sexually on anyone . . .” Remington’s blue eyes were full of a sadness that Laura had never seen.  “I got sick to my stomach, Laura.  When I saw that bloke this morning and realized that he was one of those that pushed his filthy prick into Joanna, everything became suddenly so graphic.  He referred to my daughter as a bitch, Laura!”

“Remy, do you want to talk about what happened . . . back then?  You never have said much about it, but if you want to tell me. . .” Laura said gently as she took him by both his hands and drew him down next to her on the sofa in his office.

“Laura, sexual abuse is a terrible thing whomever it comes from. Being there with McGintys’ was a nightmare from beginning to end. And I never told you this, but it wasn’t just him. It was his wife as well.

“When I first got there, she insisted on bathing me herself, in a tin tub in a special room they had for that. I told her that I could do it, Laura, but she nearly knocked the wind out of me, threw me up against the wall. Then she pushed my head down into the water in the tin tub. I thought I was drownin’ for sure. When I knew anything she had me on her lap kissin’ me full on the mouth and rubbin’ me till I had an erection. She smelled like sweat and piss and yet I still had an erection! Then she put me in that tub and bathed me, made me kiss her again and thank her.  I was just tryin’ to stay out of her way when that bastard McGinty came after me a couple days later.  Called me a ‘pretty little fag,’ Laura.  I fought him as hard as I could.  Somehow I felt worse about him abusin’ me than his wife and I fought as hard as I could till he knocked me out.  But what she did, it was just as bad as what he did.”

“You were ten years old, Remy. What could you do?”

Laura had not seen Remington unravel so completely about anything since 9/11 and she was at a loss to do anything except listen to him pour out the details of his horrific experience.

“I should have let her drown me before I let her take advantage of me.”

“She would have killed you on the spot,” Laura said simply.

“Well, then, he wouldn’t have had a chance at me.  Do you know what stayed with me, long after my arse had healed from the rape? Those words he said . . . callin’ me a fag caused me to wonder about myself, about my own sexuality. Why would he call me that? Did I look like one?  I wanted to be as tough and ugly as I could be just to prove that I was a bloke who could take care of himself.”

“But Remy, you know that outward appearance doesn’t tell the whole story.  Look at McGinty, that bruiser was that last one you would expect to take off after you like that.”

“I know.  I know so much at fifty that I did not know at the age of ten, or even twelve or thirteen.  When puberty struck, I found out what I wanted sexually and there was no question about it. And I figured out to get it without forcing it from anyone.  I think that is one reason that I was so promiscuous.  I had to prove that I was a real man.  I wish I could take all of those days back and start over with you, Laura.”

Remington sat disconsolately, head bowed, shoulders slumped, but Laura smoothed his hair and rubbed him across his back.

“You never had to prove that to me. I knew that first day you walked into the office, and it scared my socks off. You are everything manly and strong, and courageous. You are a marvelous father who loves your children totally and completely.  You are my husband, the only man I have ever truly loved, and I am just so thankful that you survived those terrible days in your childhood, or I don’t know what would have happened to me.”

“Darling, I love you so much.”

Remington’s eyes filled and he kissed her tenderly on her forehead.

“But all this doesn’t change the lifelong responsibility that this brings upon Joanna, does it?”

Laura shook her head and swore softly. “We have to find out who is responsible for this.”

“I believe that we are at the juncture where this matter needs to be brought to the attention of the proper authorities. I just sense that there is more to this than a wild party that got out of control,” Remington said, buttoning his shirt collar and adjusting his tie as he collected  himself emotionally to face the immediate problem that confronted them.

“Did you tell Lowery that you were going to the dean and to the police?”

“I gave him twenty-four hours. Then he is to give up some names.”

“I still wish we had some inside information,” Laura said.

“Why don’t we send Hector over there . . . to scout out things on campus. Perhaps he can find out about this Jack Steuben fellow. He’s still young-looking enough to be a student. I would send Johnny, but he is too close to the situation. I don’t think that would be wise, do you?”

Laura nodded in agreement. “Let me find Hector and brief him on what we need.”

“Laura,” Remington caught her hand and, drawing her back close and simply stared into her eyes for a long moment before speaking again. “You  . . . I . . . I adore you.”

Laura flushed and put her arms around her husband’s waist under his jacket.

“I adore you too, Remy.”

“I hope I’m not tiring you too much these days. It’s as if I’m going through some kind of . . . of mid-life crisis or something. Only the woman I’m having an affair with is you, darling. I look at you like this, pregnant . . . looking like a young fertile lassie and I just want you. Please forgive me. I can’t seem to do without you these days for more than a short while.”

“I understand, darling. We can’t seem to slow down, can we.”

“I hope we will never slow down, love.  I feel now like I will still be chasing your lovely arse when I’m eighty.”

“Well, that should prove to be interesting.”

“Look at Uncle David and Jacqueline.  He’s in his eighties now and I know they are still quite active on that score. I hope that I have inherited some of that.”

“I’m just having to get enough rest these days to take care of my man properly.”

 “Oh, yes . . .” Remington sighed. “I do love being taken care of properly.”

Laura kissed him gently and Remington kissed her back before reluctantly letting her go.

“I will check on these matters, and I must speak with Jonathan about his sister’s situation.  I believe he just came into the office.  Do you want to join me?’

“No, I think that you will know how to break this news to him.”

* * * * * *

Remington went across the reception area to a small office that Hector and Jonathan shared.

“Hello, son.”

“Dad, how’s everything going today?”

“Actually it could be somewhat better, Johnny,” Remington said, as he sat down across from his son.

Jonathan was quite sensitive to his father’s moods and the sadness in Remington’s blue eyes was unmistakable.


“Your sister Joanna is pregnant, son. She was raped . . . at a party she attended a few months ago. She is four months pregnant.  She told your mother and me last Friday night.  You and Ileana were away for the weekend. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to bring you up to date on matters.”

Jonathan was stunned for a long moment.

“Who?  Who did it?”

“Now there’s the rub. Apparently there were several blokes involved. They drugged her.  She doesn’t remember any of what happened.  I’ve been over to Briarcroft to interview the professor whose house was the site of the party.  I am truly sorry, son.”

Remington clapped Jonathan upon his shoulders and they stood silently contemplating this latest turn of events for several moments before Jonathan spoke again.

“It’s strange.  Here Joanna finds herself in this situation pregnant as a result of rape and devastated, and Ileana wants to have a baby more than anything, and I can’t seem to make that decision along with her.  She does want to start a family, you know.”

“I sensed that to be the case.  It would be normal.”

“We are still so young, dad.  She wants to continue her education on line and go ahead and start a family.”

“Your situation is unique, Jonathan. You have the means to finish your education and also have a family.  I think that you and Ileana . . . it would be marvelous.”

“But Joanna . . . what is going to happen to my little sister?”

“We are family and we will support Joanna through whatever is ahead. You know that, son. I just wish that I had been able to protect her from this whole experience.”

“I’ll stop by to see her on my way home.  I don’t know what I’ll say to her.”

“Just be there for her. That is what is needed at that point.”

* * * * * *

It was nearly eight in the evening when Jonathan eased his pre-owned 1995 BMW up in front of the modest apartment complex where he and Ileana lived.  They tried to live as inconspicuously as possible, in spite of the trust fund Jonathan had received upon his marriage.

Ileana ran to him when she heard him unlocking the door.

“Darling, I missed you today,” she said as he shed his jacket and turned to embrace her.

Ileana was stunning in a black tank top and tights and Jonathan held her, letting his hands slid around to grip her hips as they continued to kiss.

“You are so beautiful, Illy, and I love you . . . so much.”  Jonathan’s voice broke.

“What’s the matter, Johnny? What’s happened?”

Jonathan sat down on the futon in their living room and dropped his head.

“It’s Joanna.  She was raped four months ago, and she is pregnant. My little sister is pregnant and doesn’t even know who is responsible.  I just came from seeing her.”

“Oh, no, I am so sorry, Johnny!” Ileana fell upon her knees in front of him and reached out to touch his crisp red hair and beard.

“Joanna, I need you.  Please, be with me now,” Jonathan’s eyes spilled over as he spoke.

Jonathan drew his wife up into his arms and kissed her over and over, seeking solace from her.  They were quickly passionately involved, but just before they reached the point of no return, Ileana stopped him.

“I’m ovulating.”

“Then, Illy, we’re probably gonna have a baby.  Do you want to have a baby with me, girl?”

“Johnny, yes! Yes!”

* * * * * *

To Part B
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