- STEELE ON MY
- by SJ
"I wish you would see a doctor," he said as he entered
the small bathroom adjoining the office.
`A doctor in the psychiatric field possibly,' Laura thought
to herself `or a therapist that could get me out this sleepless
funk I've been in.'
"It stopped bleeding already," she answered defiantly
as she pulled the gauze away from a small gash at the corner
of her left eye.
Mildred peered into the bathroom holding an icebag and offered,
"If you like, hon, I can call your insurance or get you
a rent a car?"
"That's okay Mildred, I'll do it later." she replied.
Remington moved closer, putting his hand up to almost touch the
wound on her brow. She instinctively ducked and turned away insisting,
"I'M FINE." He was trying to be caring and concerned,
but all she felt was annoyed. `A good night's sleep is all
I need...that and a new car...I can't believe I fell asleep while
"Will you two please just let me get back to work?"
She shooed them out of bathroom and went back to her office,
closing both doors in hopes they would get the hint. Plopping
herself down in her chair, she let out a deep sigh. She wasn't
sure how long she could go on like this.
"Did you buy that story about her swerving to avoid
a dog boss?" Mildred asked while waiting for him to finish
signing a contract.
"No, not really. But one thing I know about Miss Holt is
that if she doesn't want to tell us what really happened, she
won't. I'll just have to get the truth out of her using other
Mildred winked acknowledging his none-too-subtle inference.
He waited a few hours hoping she cooled to a simmer and gently
knocked on the door, "Laura," he whispered as he opened
the door to peek in. Before he could continue, he noticed her
reclining in her chair, eyes closed, clutching a manila file
against her body. He laughed quietly to himself thinking the
file was her version of a security blanket. As he pulled the
door shut, it made a slight creak startling Laura out of her
She straightened up, gingerly touched the bump by her eye and
muttered something about being sorry.
`Why is she sorry?' he thought to himself. He knew something
was wrong. She wasn't sleeping much or eating right for that
matter. Work had been hectic since returning from Ireland, but
she usually thrived working at whirlwind speeds. It just wasn't
like her to act this way, and now she had totaled her car.
"It's almost six. I thought we could grab something to eat
and go home," he offered.
"No..." she paused, "I really should stay and
finish this." Pressing the button on the phone she asked,
"Mildred has my insurance company called back yet?"
Before Mildred could answer, his hand reached down and pressed
the button to disconnect. "Laura stop changing the subject,
you're not going to get rid of me that easily."
"What subject? I have a lot to do." She got up, turned
to her filing cabinet and opened a drawer. She was determined
not to face what she'd been avoiding ever since they became intimate.
He reached into his pocket and placed the keys on her desk. "Fine...I'll
have Fred drop me and you can take the Auburn." he said
coolly as he walked out of her office and into the reception
area. He was angry, but starting something with her right now
would do no good. Turning around he went back to her office.
With a warm smile and sincerity he asked, "You will come
home sometime this century won't you?"
She could only resist him for so long and he knew it. Walking
to the door, she reached up and gave him a brief kiss. He rested
one hand on her waist and slipped the other behind her neck.
He pulled her close to him and passionately kissed her . While
they were still close, he whispered "You will come home...
not your loft right?" He then sweetly kissed her injury
and looked her in the eyes for her response.
She felt uncomfortable calling his apartment home. True, they
spent most of their time together there . She kept a few necessities
at the apartment, but had moved all her clothing back to
the loft once Tony kept his promise to solve their problem with
the INS. After living with Wilson, she couldn't face going through
that again. So much more was at stake in this relationship.
A noncommittal "I'll think about it." was all she could
She didn't come home to his apartment. He really didn't think
she would. He had Fred stop at her loft on the way home. He left
her some flowers with a note that simply read,
"I knew you'd be here,
Get some rest.
`Not bad,' she thought. `Two and a half hours of sleep
was more than I had in long time." She gazed at the
flowers on her night stand and reached up to read the note again.
She paused and pondered the LOVE part...'Does he? Why can't
he just tell me?' The only logical answer she could come
up with was the one that scared her. The one she'd been avoiding.
The one that was keeping her up at night. Her heart ached knowing
that her instincts had been right so many other times. The reason
he couldn't say it was because he didn't.
He was hoping she would be asleep. Then he could slip into her
loft, quietly climb into bed with her, hold her close, and share
breakfast with her before going into the office. Maybe she would
finally be willing to open up. When he got to her door, however,
he heard muffled music coming from inside. He slid the door open
to find her at her computer dressed in an oversized tee shirt
and gray sweatpants.
"Mr. Steele, what are you doing here. Its 4:30 in the morning?"
"I came to surprise you," he replied. "What are
you doing up? Did you sleep at all?"
"I slept...some...a .. a.. a little," she stammered.
"Thank you for the flowers. " She turned toward the
monitor trying again to change the subject.
"Will you ever tell me what's wrong?" he begged.
"I don't know what you mean," she replied in a cavalier
Having had enough of this game, he strode towards her chair swiveling
around so that she was facing him. "You haven't slept, you
eat next to nothing, one minute we're in bed making love .. and
the next you're up; reading a book, doing paperwork, or just
GONE." Slowing down he took a deep breath and continued
in a calm voice, "Laura what is bothering you? Why are you
avoiding me? Talk to me, please."
She nudged her way past him towards the refrigerator pretending
to get something to drink. "I've just... I've just have
a little insomnia that's all... I'm not sure why." The last
part was a lie.. she knew why.
"Okay, that explains the sleep part," he started, "but
what about the avoiding me part?"
"I thought we were closer than ever," she replied
with a knowing look.
"I`m not talking about us physically Laura," Remington
said as he walked towards her. He took the juice from her hand
and placed it on the counter. He had his right hand on the open
door and his left on the counter with Laura wedged in between.
"How am I going to get out of this,' she thought,
`maybe a diversion.' Placing both hands around his waist,
she took a step closer to him. Then leaning towards him, she
started kissing him on the neck and another below the ear. Whispering,
she said, "I wouldn't call this avoiding you." Her
hands moved around to his chest, "Or this." She kissed
him just above the top button of his shirt as she unbuttoned
"I know what you're trying to do Laura, I can read you like
a book," Remington replied, trying to ignore what she was
doing to him.
"Do you want me to stop?" she asked seductively as
she undid the second button and touched her lips to his chest.
"This tactic isn't going to work Miss Holt," he continued,
trying to be disinterested.
Laura reached down to lightly run her hand along the zipper of
his pants. Her left hand closed the refrigerator door. She pushed
her lower body suggestively against his causing her hand to apply
more pressure. She could feel him becoming aroused.
"Seems to me that it's working," she whispered.
As much as he wanted her, he was still determined to get her
to tell him what had been bothering her.
He grabbed both of her wrists pulling them around to the front
of their bodies. He took a step back to further distance himself
"Laura, you are NOT playing fair," he said in a stern
"All's fair... Mr Steele...," she replied with a wink.
"Yes, but you're... you're hitting below the belt ...so
to speak," Remington quipped.
He loosened his grip as she softly giggled and walked towards
the sofa. She plopped herself down in the middle, covering her
face with her hands. She rubbed her eyes with an exasperated
sigh. Remington walked over to join her. Sitting to her right,
he put his arm around her and pulled her towards him. Taking
the hint, she rested her head on his thigh as his arm dropped
to the side of her body. He lightly caressed her ribs and began
to speak, "Laura, I don't know how to ask you this,"
he paused, uncertain if he should even breach this subject,
"but, I've been thinking about the way you've been acting
"And what? Where are you going with this?" Laura asked
as she pulled his hand around her body to rest it on her heart.
"Are you pregnant Laura?" Remington asked apprehensively.
"What!... NO. What made you think THAT?" she replied
in a shocked tone.
"Well I thought that might be the reason for your behavior,"
Laura let go of his hand. "You're making waaaaay too much
out of this," she said with some annoyance. `God pregnancy
now there's a new topic for my insomnia sessions.' She lifted
her head from his lap and turned to face him. "You really
thought I was pregnant?"
He was relieved that she wasn't pregnant, but that still left
him with no answers. "I'm just worried about you,"
he uttered as he leaned over to kiss her. In that moment, his
chest began to pound. He felt something ache deep inside. He
wanted to tell her. His heart was in his throat and he
could say nothing else. Remington held her face in his hands
and tenderly kissed her lips. He deepened his kiss, slightly
parting his lips and brushing his tongue against her teeth searching
for her tongue. Soon their hands were searching too. She reclined
to a point where he was now laying on top of her with her legs
slightly apart, allowing him to place most of his weight there.
She didn't mind that at all. His growing erection pressed and
teased her even through the thick material of her sweat pants.
With each kiss more passionate than the last and hands disappearing
below each other's clothing, they both knew they were past the
point of no return.
"Come to bed with me," she whispered gasping for air.
This time, she wasn't toying with him, her suggestion was not
a diversion tactic.
He got up from the sofa and offered to lead her with his right
hand. Hand in hand they walk up the few steps to her "bedroom".
The radio startled him. He reached over to turn the clock radio
off before it could wake her. After he hit the button, he looked
over his shoulder, but didn't see her. `Figures,' he thought
to himself, `Why would this morning be any different.' They
had been together for almost two months and she had never
awoken next to him. He always wanted to have her in his arms
stirring her from sleep with soft kisses. He even whispered an
occasional "I love you" in his fantasy. Sure, most
of his fantasies including Laura were X-rated, but sex wasn't
the only thing he wanted with her.
At that moment the large metal door slid open, Laura was already
fully dressed in business attire; suit, panty hose, makeup, heels.
`She must not have slept at all,' he thought as he reached
over the side of the bed to slip his pants on.
"Would you like some breakfast?" she offered holding
up a small bag. "Sorry, I didn't have anything in the house.
I wasn't expecting company this morning."
He walked over to the counter and poured himself a cup of coffee.
Looking through the bag he casually asked, "Do you EVER
"Oh really, we're not going to start that again are we?"
she replied as she pinched off a piece of a bagel.
"I'll drop you at your apartment to change and send Fred
over to pick you up. I need to get in early today."
His thoughts drifted while she was still speaking, `Maybe,
you won't tell me what is going on with you, Miss Holt, but I
can do something to help you get some rest."
"Morning Mildred," he said stopping by her desk to
check for messages. "Miss Holt in?"
"She went to claim her car and meet with the insurance adjuster.
She said she'd be back around lunch."
"Ah lunch. Sounds like the perfect time," Remington
thought out loud.
"Perfect time for what?" Mildred asked raising
one brow with a flirty smile.
"Not that Miss Krebs. I have something much more
mundane planned for Laura."
"Like what Boss?"
"The less you know the better, but I do need your help.
And if this works she probably kill both of us," he warned.
"I'll do anything to help."
"Call Breezes Cafe and ask for an outside table for 1:00.
I need you to call there again at 1:15, ask for Miss Holt and
hang up when she gets to the phone. That should give me enough
time to put a few of these in her ice tea," he said as he
took a small prescription vile from his pocket and slightly shook
it and then returned it to his pocket.
"What are those, boss?" Mildred inquired.
"I never finished taking these when I broke my leg,"
he started, "They were to help me rest. But I hate taking
pills that knock you out, and believe me these will put her out
"You mean you are going to drug Miss Holt?"
"I prefer to think of it as just inducing a little bit of
"I don't think Laura will call it that, but you can
count on me."
"Thank you, you are a dear," Remington replied as he
walked into his office. Soon the phone rang and Laura was on
the other end.
"Hello, Mr. Steele. Just checking in. Anything going on?"
"Nothing much... Where are you?"
"I'm just on my way to pick up a rental car. I should be
back in the office in an hour or so."
"Mildred is making a lunch reservation for Breezes at one.
I'll just meet you there. Bye." He hung up the phone quickly
before she could turn down the lunch invitation.
He saw her from behind as he walked onto the cafe patio. Laura
was filling out some insurance forms and didn't see Remington
approach her. The wind gently blew her chestnut hair about her
collar. Very delicately he pushed her hair to the side and kissed
the back of her neck. She shuddered from his touch and said,
"If you're the waiter, you're going to get a big tip for
He moved around her a little closer and kissed her again on her
lips, "Mmm and what would I get for that?" he teased.
Before she could answer a waitress approached, "Can I start
you off with something to drink?"
"I'll have ice tea," Laura ordered.
"Make that two," Remington added as he walked to the
other side of the table to his chair.
"Today's special is the club sandwich. I'll be right back
with your tea."
The waitress smiled at Remington and walked away. He again turned
his attention to Laura, "What did the adjuster say?"
"The car is a total loss. I need to fill out the paperwork,
fax it to them and they'll send me a check."
"I guess you'll have to buy a new car then, eh?"
"Another car," she corrected. "I don't
think I can afford a new car."
"Really Laura, the agency is doing well, you work hard,
you should splurge on yourself."
"I'm not using agency funds for a new car," she said
"Why not? It's your agency, you deserve it. Besides, you
use your car mostly for work. I'm sure it's a write off or something.
Mildred could fix it somehow."
"I'm not going to commit fraud just to drive a nice car."
Remington noticed she was getting rather annoyed for such a harmless
conversation. Her crinkle in her brow was beginning to show which
was a telltale sign for him to back off.
"Oh well, tomorrow's Saturday , we can start looking for
a different car for you."
Just then the waitress brought their drinks, and took their lunch
order. Again, the waitress was giving Remington an overt amount
of attention, leaning closely over his shoulder to point something
out on the menu. Laura noticed he wasn't exactly shying away
from the extra attention either. Just then a page came over the
speaker for her. Laura was grateful for the excuse to get up
and away from the table. It was difficult to watch other woman
fawning over him.
"If you'll excuse me." Standing up she went across
the table and gave him a kiss. Not a peck on the cheek, but full
force, on the lips kiss with tongue added for emphasis. Now that
would certainly send the waitress a message. Laura didn't think
she was the jealous type, but deep down there were a lot of insecurities.
`Does he really want me?' `How long before he looks for someone
else?' `Stop that Laura,' she scolded herself. `We are
together now, just enjoy it while it lasts.' As she picked
up the phone, all she heard was a dial tone. `I wonder who
that was. Mildred must have called. Who else would know I'm here?'
She dialed the office. "Hello Mildred. Did you just page
me at the restaurant?"
Mildred wasn't very good at lying, but had to think up something
quick. "Sorry Miss Holt, I was looking for the O'brien file
but I found it. Enjoy your lunch. Bye."
They both thought that was a rather lame excuse, but Laura went
back to the table. Too many things were going through her sleep
deprived mind to take on another mystery.
"Who was that?" Remington innocently asked.
"Miss Krebs?" `She was just suppose to hang up.'
"Everything all right at the office?"
"Yeah, she just lost a file."
While she had been gone he managed to dissolve two pills into
her tea. Even though she was just picking at and rearranging
the salad on her plate, he was pleased that she was actually
drinking her tea. `They should take affect within an hour.
I need to get her back to the apartment.'
As they paid the bill, Laura was pleased to see the waitress
was more businesslike. Remington held Laura's hand as they walked
out of the restaurant knowing she was probably a little upset
about the waitress' come on.
He wasn't counting on her having a car with her and he didn't
want her to drive. As she was taking the keys from her purse,
he offered, "May I?" Hopefully he could tactfully take
the keys from her and she wouldn't question his motive.
"Afraid I'm going to crash this one too?" she teased.
But she graciously got in the passenger side as he held the door
open for her. He was silently grateful that for once she didn't
take offense to his chivalry.
"Mind if I stop at the apartment? I forgot something at
home," Remington asked innocently.
"Just drop me at the office. I really haven't done any work
" Sure," Remington responded. He didn't want to raise
When they got back to the office, he got out of the car too,
not wanting to leave her alone. He wasn't sure how and when the
pills might take effect.
"I thought you were going home for something?"
"Oh that, it can wait. I've gone most of the day without
it, what's a few more hours, eh?" They rode up the elevator
alone. He was behind her and as she let out a deep sigh, she
leaned back against him. He put his arms around her and pressed
his cheek next to her neck. He whispered, "If you're tired,
why don't we just call it a day. I'll take you home and we can
spend all weekend in bed."
"If I'm tired, the LAST place I should be is in bed with
YOU," she quipped.
Remington smiled to himself thinking how remarkable she was to
be so clever, given the exhausted state she was in.
Remington quietly closed the door behind him as he went into
the reception area of the office.
"Is she asleep?" Mildred inquired.
"Like a baby Miss Krebs, like a baby," he added.
"With your help, I'll take her back to my apartment and
let her sleep..all weekend if necessary," he said. Remington
decided to get some other information out of Mildred. "Tell
me Mildred, how much do you know about all of our finances? I
mean would you happen to know what kind of assets Miss Holt has?"
"What's this about Chief?"
"Well, I mentioned to Laura about buying a new car and she
said she couldn't afford it. What exactly happens to the money
the agency takes in anyway?"
"Oh Mr Steele, I don't think I should..... I mean ...Miss
Holt ... she must have her reasons ....."
"Mildred," he said in a stern warning voice, "If
you don't tell me, I'm going to go over to that computer and
try to find it myself and I just might delete all your precious
"All right. She's already going to kill me as an accomplice
to this drug and kidnapping escapade." She walked over to
the computer and pulled up a file. "Here see for yourself."
"Mildred are you kidding me?" he started, "according
to this Laura only has a $3200 checking account." `God
I spend more than that in a month.'
"That's the way she wanted it. She only draws a small salary,"
Mildred replied shaking her head and putting her hands in the
air to signify that she really didn't know Laura's motives.
"What about the agencies assets?"
With a few keystrokes, she retrieved another file. He gazed at
the screen with a shocked look back at Mildred, asking incredulously,
"Are you telling me the agency has over $400,000 in various
accounts and Laura is living like a pauper?"
Again Mildred just shook her head not having an answer.
"So," he wasn't sure how to approach the subject, "hypothetically,
if something were happen to all of the agency's holdings..?"
"She would be bankrupt," Mildred finished his thought,
then continued on with one of her own, "In fact when it
looked like you lost the agency to that Cranston character, she
really thought she had lost it all."
"But why would she put herself in that position?' A
sly grin lit up his face. `She must really trust me.'
Mildred unlocked the door and entered the apartment first placing
Laura's purse and coat on the table near the door. Remington
was close behind holding a sleeping Laura in his arms. He walked
into the other room and gently placed her on the bed. Turning
his attention back to Mildred, "Would you like to stay for
"No thanks Chief, I'd better be going. Call if you need
me for anything else."
He walked towards the bathroom shedding his suit coat and tie
on the way. When he emerged from the bathroom he was wearing
only jeans and he turned his attention to a still sleeping Laura.
Walking over to her he began taking off her shoes. `This should
make her more comfortable.' He was talking himself into doing
something that made him uneasy. `What's the big deal mate,
you've seen her naked many times.' Somehow this was different
though. He removed her skirt, panty hose and blouse. When he
saw her in only a silky camisole, he stopped, covered her up
and left the room.
Several hours later, he returned to the bedroom, took off his
jeans and climbed into bed next to her. She was now laying on
her side facing the night stand. He took the opportunity to slide
close behind her and put his arm around her. `So, this is
spooning,' he thought to himself, recalling that he had never
really done this with any other woman. `This is nice... much
more than nice.' Soon he too drifted off to sleep.
Remington was lying on his back and Laura, surprisingly was not
only still in bed, she was actually close to him, her
head on his chest, arm tightly around his waist. `If she would
let her guard down and didn't analyze everything, she might actually
enjoy being in this relationship.' His arm that was beneath
her was tingling. He flexed it a bit and tried to remove it without
disturbing her. He slowly lifted himself from the bed. Laura
began to stir, so he moved his pillow to replace his body and
she clung to it.
Less than an hour later she shuffledinto the kitchen wearing
his silk robe draped loosely over her shoulders. Her eyes were
not much more that puffy slits. "Do you have anything for
He wasn't sure if she was even fully awake. "Why don't you
go lay back down for a while?"
"What time is it?' she asked, still in a groggy state.
"A little after 11:00," he replied. He looked her fully
up and down trying to assess her demeanor, still waiting for
the bomb to drop.
"What day is it?" She was starting to wake up
and it began to dawn on her.
"It's Saturday." He looked at her a bit more closely.
She was so calm, too calm. This wasn't the reaction he was expecting.
"Where are my clothes?" She pulled the robe closed
suddenly feeling self -conscious. "Do you mind if I take
a shower....I ...um, I need to go...home...," she muttered
as she turned away from him. This wasn't the Laura he knew. The
Laura he knew would be fuming that she was drugged, kidnapped
and stripped. She would be furious with him. Where was the fight?
Where was the passion?. He crossed in front of her to block the
doorway, just as she wiped a tear away from her cheek.
"I would just like to go home," she said very deliberately.
"Laura, DAMMIT, yell at me or something."
"I'm not.........I can't."
"What do you mean you can't? You never had any problems
before?." Just then he realized that they never really had
even a slight disagreement since their first night in Ireland.
She ducked under his arm and resumed walking away. He continued
after her, "You're so afraid that we're going to have a
big fight and I'm going to leave, aren't you?"
She stopped in the doorway to the bedroom, her shoulders slumped
as she leaned against the door frame. Finally she admitted, "That's
part of it."
He walked closer to her, stopping to sit on the armrest of the
chair. "Part of what?...just tell me," Remington implored.
"I promised myself I wasn't going to do this."
She turned around to face him but looked off in the distance
out the window. She let out a heavy sigh and began, "That
first night at Ashford Castle, after we...you know....anyway...
I couldn't sleep. I sat at the window for a long time. I thought
about our relationship and how unfair I had been to you; demanding
a commitment, wanting you to tell me. So, I decided I wasn't
going to pressure you into discussing us anymore. We decided
to "let the chips fall.. remember? "
At that point she turned away and headed into the bedroom. She
began to weep and didn't want him to see her. She could sense
he was right behind her. Laura wiped another tear from her cheek
and tried to compose herself before facing him.
"What do you want from me, Laura?"
"You see, that's the thing. I want you to know without me
telling you." "That didn't make any sense,'
she thought to herself. "It's gotta come from
you," she then said exasperated. "This is just too
hard to explain." She put on a pair of his jeans and one
of his shirts as well. Both were ridiculously large. She just
had to get out of there and running from her problems was her
way of coping with them. Even without shoes, she left the apartment.
There was a small courtyard on the side of the building. She
sat on the edge of a concrete planter. She really didn't know
what her next move was going to be. She sat there alone, wringing
her hands. Part of her wishing he would come find her, the other
part relieved she didn't have to face him.
He approached her tentatively, "Do you want to be left alone?"
She didn't even look up.
"You're scaring the hell out of me," he confessed.
He came over and sat next to her on the planter. Trying a little
levity he continued, "That's not what you wanted me to tell
you, is it?"
She laughed. This man can be so frustrating and so damn charming
at the same time. "Not exactly," she smiled at him
but quickly became more somber. "It's just that ..."
Then she found the courage to throw all caution to the wind.
`I haven't handled this very well anyway.' She took a
deep breath. "I love you." She bent her head down almost
as if she were ashamed of her emotion. He was taken back, too
stunned to say anything for the moment. Sensing the awkward silence
she looked back up at him. She nodded her head, confirming her
suspicions and said, "Yeah... that's what I thought."
She started to walk away when he grabbed her by the wrist. "What
do you mean, that's what you thought?"
" Well I always imagined that someday you might tell
me that you loved me and one night it occurred to me that maybe
you never said it... BECAUSE YOU DON'T!"
Now he was angry, "You really think I don't love
you? What do you think we've been doing the last seven weeks...HELL
the last FOUR YEARS??"
She was shocked by his reaction, "I'm not sure, I thought
you just wanted..."
Before she could finish he interrupted, "Wanted?......wanted
what?..... a roll in the hay? Isn't that what you called it once?
God, Laura, you can be so difficult. Stop thinking, what does
your heart say?"
"I'm just scared. When I mess up this relationship, I lose
you... the agency, my dreams..," she tailed off then added,
"Laura, do you honestly think I can just walk away from
what I've become... from what we have?" He now let go of
her wrist and slipped his hand into hers interlocking fingers.
He looked her straight in the eyes, blue connecting with brown.
"Laura, I do love you."
He grabbed her other hand and held it the same way. They both
stood still looking at one another. Neither was running away.
They connected in a way they never had before.
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