Steele Snapshots
By Gilmoradict
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A slightly earlier moment in the Steele's life as a family....
No Mystery, Just a moment...

Warm applause continued as Laura stepped away from the podium and walked through the small crowd she had just addressed in the lovely Nanny Cay Resort conference center. Smiling and shaking hands as she exited the room Laura felt confident she had both entertained and educated the security firm executives with information she had accumulated through her years of work in the field, as well as with stories of some of her more fascinating cases as an associate of Remington Steele. (How anyone could prefer listening to her over enjoying the sea and sun baffled her, but she guessed they had to justify coming for their conference some way!) Breaking away from a particularly avid admirer with warm assurances that they would have to get together back in the States, Laura avoided meeting anyone else's eyes lest she be drawn into yet another conversation about her presentation, and walked with determination to the ladies lounge. Once there she quickly changed from business casual to a swim suit, covered by shorts, a floral print camp shirt tied at her waist, and a pair of espadrilles. Dark glasses and a full brimmed sun hat completed her transformation, and following a brief stop at the front desk to confer with the concierge, Laura proceeded to the pier to find the promised boat. As she walked Laura smiled and shook her head. Harry had been so excited about the invitation to address this conference set in the BVI, always happy to find an excuse to work in a balmy, exotic setting; and somehow SHE was the one who ended up doing the work. Perhaps it was just as well. Harry tended to exaggerate his exploits as Remington Steele, and she didn't really want people asking TOO many questions about Harry's background with the 'company.' It was fun to relive some of their cases, as they always seemed to do when asked to make a presentation like this, and after all, it was her present success as a security specialist that had earned she and Harry recognition in this community. The past glory was just a bonus.

The brilliant sun and pleasant breezes caressed Laura as a white shirted Nanny Cay Resort employee took her bag, and helped her into the small motor boat. She settled in for the ride around Tortola to Green Cay off Jost Van Dyke, where the great detective Remington Steele was awaiting her return. He had promised to have lunch ready for her when she arrived, and having rushed to leave Nanny Cay, her stomach was already grumbling. The weather was exceptional, and she relaxed as they motored, often closing her eyes to absorb the ocean smells, and listen to the slap of the waves against the hull and the cries of the aquatic birds that soared above. It was about half an hour before the motor began to slow, and Laura opened her eyes as they worked they way through the boats already anchored in the clear waters to pull up to the far end of the cay. She spotted Harry just around the corner of the little bit of green foliage on the island, and taking her bag stepped lithely onto the beach. Turning, Laura briefly thanked and tipped the pilot of her ocean taxi, who waved and backed the small craft back into the waves.
Anchoring her hat with her bag, and tucking her shoes into the small pile of her belongings, Laura walked swiftly across the sand toward where Harry was standing. A small figure hurled itself at Laura.
"Hello Emilio! Have you been having fun?" Smiling broadly Laura swung the dark eyed little boy up into her embrace, reveling for a moment in the sandy and sun baked little boy warmth of his hug.
"Hello, Mummy!" Harry declared with a grin, as he scooped up a second dark haired child under one arm, the third already secured under the other. He spun in a circle to the delight of each captured child, "We have lunch for you whenever you're ready."
"No rush." Laura replied, all of her needs seemed met in being now encircled by the 'men' in her life. Three sets of brown eyes danced as they looked at their mother. Remington Steele's blue eyes -identical in color to the ocean behind him - also danced as they gazed at Laura. Harry released the boys he had held, and they darted down the beach. His arms were now free to embrace Emilio and Laura, though Emilio quickly squirmed free and raced to join the other two boys, Dylan, eight, and David, who like Emilio, would soon turn six. A Nerf soccer ball landed at Laura and Harry's feet and in a blink Laura had booted it back to David. Harry took off across the sand to foot wrestle the ball away from his mop-topped son, and laughing, Laura joined all four in a rather unorthodox game of soccer in which children occasionally were lifted off their feet by teasing parents, and parents occasionally found their legs secured by the clasping arms of children, rendering the adults less able to run and more inclined to laugh.
"Dylan, when is the last time you put sun screen on?" Laura asked, panting, during a pause in the game.
"When we first got off the boat!" was the prompt and cheerful reply.
"Let's re-do, shall we?" Laura suggested, preparing to take the fair skinned, freckle faced child over to where she had left her bag. "I need to get lathered up too, or I'll be fried. Actually, how about everyone gets a new layer?"
"Come on lads, Mummy's right." Harry jovially chased the 'twins' over to their mother. David and Emilio had creamy coffee-colored skin, one having at least some African-American ancestry, and the other Mexican, and weren't as susceptible to burning as Dylan, but soon all three boys sported new coats of Coppertone, as well as t-shirts from the pile of things Harry had brought over from their bareboat charter, The TropicBreeze. The boys ran down to play at the water's edge, while Laura and Harry sat down in the shade of the island's few trees.
"Here, Love, I made sandwiches for us this morning. There's cold water, or at least cool, and grapes." Harry fussed over the cooler, gathering things for Laura's lunch, while she added her shirt and shorts to the clothes already in her bag, and leaning back against it, settled in to watch the boys as she ate. "Sorry you had to miss the morning here, Laura." Having temporarily abdicated his parental responsibilities to Laura, Harry laid back, head propped against one hand, to gaze adoringly at his wife. If there was any question as to Laura's half-lidded awareness of the three children, her quick move to get up when David started into the waves proved her detective's watchfulness still thrived. David turned, and seeing his mother point a finger at him, returned to the sand.
"No you're not, slacker!" Laura laughed, having also attended to Harry's words. "Admit it - you never had any intention of speaking at this conference. It was just an excuse to come here."
"Yes, well you must admit it IS a beautiful place, and one of us has to keep an eye on the boys. I didn't want to wear you out with entertaining them." Harry murmured softly. "Your energy has so much better uses..." Harry reached across to rest his hand on Laura's warm, well-muscled thigh.
"Have you noticed how talented David is handling a soccer ball?" Laura mused.
"Yes, well I think the boys are all capable athletes, Laura, but there are lots of things more important than football. Do you really think...?" Steele pondered David briefly, then turning to look at Laura again, saw the tell tale dimple in her right cheek that revealed her mirth. "Ahh. You're pulling my leg."
"No, I think you're pulling mine." While continuing to watch the boys, Laura slipped her hand under the one Harry rested on her leg, and then moved to grip to his middle finger, pulling on it gently.
"Laura Holt Chalmers!" Harry's blue eyes flew open as Laura's gesture registered in his mind, a shocked smile slipping sideways across his face.
Laura's laugh rang out impishly. "Mr. Steele, do you remember our trip to Acapulco? I referred to it during my talk this morning."
"Sun drenched days, romantic nights, and Mildred everywhere we went, not to mention every felonious individual south of the border thwarting my desire to further our relationship. I'll never forget how lovely you looked in the sequin covered dress you wore our first night there. I couldn't wait to get you out of that restaurant and hold you in my arms." Just then Dylan ran up spraying sand with his feet, and flopped down in the space between his mother and father, both drawing back to avoid inhaling sand. David and Emilio, close on his heels, tumbled onto the towel alongside their older brother. Harry's face fell, though his eyes never left Laura's.
"Well, I didn't give away all those details, but I have been remembering some of our more glorious and inglorious moments today." Taking the disruption in stride with her usual aplomb, Laura paused and smiled as she twirled one of David's curls around her finger, and ran a finger down Emilio's nose. "I haven't been confused in a long time now."
"Confused about what Mama?" Dylan asked.
"About what the most precious gems in the world are, Dylan. I'm looking at them right now." Laura leaned in to solemnly kiss each boy on the top of their heads, keeping her sparkling brown eyes focused on Harry's blue.
The faint wisp of an afternoon breeze lifted Laura's thick wavy hair away from her freckled face. Dimples played across her cheek and mouth as she pulled a water bottle from the cooler to pour drinks for the boys, her eyes returning to Harry's bemused face as often as she could. Harry pulled a deck of cards from a bag, and dealt hands for black jack. "All right, lady and gentlemen. Place your bets." Emilio leaned against Laura's knee as he played his hand. Dylan and David sat sandwiched between Harry and Laura, intent on the game. Laura continued to smile, as if at a secret thought, or plan, a most engaging image of contentment. The great detective Remington Steele, who had been the subject of several entertaining anecdotes this morning, bore a strong resemblance to the father and husband who sat playing cards across from her, but he couldn't hold a candle to Chalmers' accomplishments.
It would be hard to imagine a more idyllic picture than that made by the handsome dark haired man and the three dissimilar, but congenial brown eyed boys, nestled in the shade on the beautiful white sand beach of Green Cay, the sight and sounds of the incredible azure blue water rolling insistently in behind them. Laura tucked her mental snapshot of this moment away to treasure along with all the others she had shared with Harry. He shifted, stretching his legs out behind Emilio. Laura jumped when she felt something touch her thigh again, and laughed when Harry wiggled his eyebrow at her. Past glories indeed.
The End

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