Rs FanFic—fAMILY sTEELE           Steele Still Searching  Part-13 A     

By: Phaedra Phelan

PG Rated



Summary:  It is 2002 and Remington makes a sudden trip to London to attend his ailing Aunt Chlöe who sends him on an important search that will bring closure in her life and an unexpected revelation to Remington.


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 re 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.



It was in May of 2002, and Remington and Laura were totally occupied with their children and the agency. The older children had assumed many responsibilities and this made the load quite bearable and Laura felt that she had found a very comfortable balance between work and family. Of course having Esperanza as full-time help made it much less complicated than it would have been otherwise. But, like so many career women of her generation she seemed to be succeeding in her determination to ‘have it all.’

The twins, Rhett and Reade, at nearly a year and a half were extremely active and their presence at the office made for constant excitement, whereas all of the other children were in school. Usually Esperanza picked up the twins from the office in the early afternoon and then picked up Tabby from school. The older children were able to come and go to school on their own now. Jonathan and Ileana had married in March of this same year and the rhythm of the household had changed somewhat, but all was going well nonetheless.

After the toddlers left the office, it was a time for Remington and Laura to get together with a cup of tea and discuss the business of the day, the clients they had seen, the strategies that might work to resolve the cases before them. This day was no different as Remington made a pot of darjeeling, arranged it on the coffee table in his office, and sat down beside Laura on the sofa, who promptly tucked her legs under her and nestled close to him.

“This tea is wonderful . . . nice and hot.”

“And so am I, love,” Remington said staring hungrily at her, and reaching to stroke her thigh at the same time. “The most difficult thing about working with you is looking at you all day long, and building up such a ‘head of steam,’ as it were, that at times I find my mind completely distracted from matters at hand.”

“Drink your tea, darling,” Laura said, smiling coyly at him.

By now Laura knew her husband well, and it never ceased to surprise her that Remington continued to find her alluring in spite of the passage of time.

“I shall drink my tea, but I beg you to understand my plight this afternoon. Before we go home to greet our active brood, can’t we steal a few precious moments? I’ve been watching you all day<i—/i>the way the silk of that skirt falls against your flank, the swaying of your arse as you walk away from me, the way your bare thigh shows in the slit of that infernal dress when you take a step.”

“A simple green silk knit dress has created all this?” Laura said as she gazed into the blue depths of her husband’s eyes.

Remington touched the point where the dress crisscrossed her breasts with just the tip of his index finger.

“It’s much too sexy for the office, darling, if you want me to be able to focus on work. You must know that I find wrap dresses incredibly sensual . . . a bit of lovely freckled chest with a suggestion, a hint of tantalizing cleavage, glimpses of thigh always possible . . . everything.”

“Well, I will have to be more careful in the future . . . so that you can keep your mind on your work,” Laura said coyly, well aware of the effect that she was having on him.

“Not to worry. I love the stimulation. I will be eternally grateful to Diane von Furstenberg for her contribution to women’s couture.”

Laura touched his lips with her fingers and then let her hand rest on his thigh.

“Laura,” he sighed. “Have mercy on me. Please. Tell Mildred we’re in conference . . . for the rest of the day . . . no more clients this afternoon, I beg you, love. I am finding myself extremely discomfited here.”

Remington pursed his finely sculptured lips to kiss Laura gently, and, when she accepted his somewhat tentative kiss, he kissed her tenderly again and then again on her face, on the length of her slender neck, in the space between her collarbones, and at the point where a bit of the fullness of her breasts pushed up from the crisscrossed neckline of her dress. His face flushed deep and his nostrils flared as his excitement intensified, but he did not put his arms around her. He took his time, wooing her as if it were the very first time for them, giving Laura time to catch up with him and want him as much as he wanted her.

“I’ll tell Mildred to hold our calls,” Laura whispered, overwhelmed at this point by the advances of her amorous husband. She reached for the phone by the sofa and called Mildred, as Remington tugged gently at the end of the sash of her dress with one hand. The dress came undone and the soft silk fell away from her.

“Lovely, the ease with which all is revealed,” he whispered as he stared hungrily at her body and then drew her close.

Laura was left clad only in the briefest of lingerie, and when Remington released her freckled breasts from the confinement of her lacy sheer bra, he fell upon them, kissing them over and over.

“I’m intoxicated, darling,” he murmured.

Realizing that Remington was useless for anything but her complete attention at this point, Laura helped him shed his clothes, while he continued to kiss and caress her.  When Remington moved into position over her, Laura<i—/i>as excited as he at this point<i—/i>gripped his hips, and pulled him deep inside her, moaning softly as the sensation of joining overwhelmed her.

“I never . . . never get . . . used to this, Remy.”

“I never do either, darling. It’s always . . . always like the first time, babe. Babe . . .”

Late afternoon shade enveloped the office and wrapped them in shadows as they found their pace and lost themselves in the connection that pleasured them so. When Laura began to shake and tremble helplessly in ecstasy, Remington groaned and held her tightly so that she could receive the full force of each passionate thrust.

“God, woman, I need you today!” Remington murmured. “I need you. I love you . . . love you so.”

Remington was consumed, single-minded, climbing to the apogée, using his wife so powerfully that she gasped and lost vision, in rapture with him. They slid off the sofa, bumping the coffee table and upsetting the tea service in the process, sending tea in all directions, but they ignored it as they made love with abandon on the Oriental rug in front of the sofa.

When the climax swept over both of them, it had been nearly an hour since Remington first began to woo Laura. Mildred and Alessandra had locked up the office and gone for the day. They respected the ‘do not disturb’ from their employers for what it was and left quietly with a knowing wink in the direction of Remington’s office.

Remington drew the afghan from the sofa to cover them as they lay joined together.  He never rushed Laura at times like this. He understood her need to gradually come back to herself.  He loved her special soft beauty in the afterglow, a somewhat altered state when she lost all her feistiness and tendency to be combative and finally became just his woman.  Legs wrapped around him, holding his flesh in hers, loving him with words that he only heard her utter at moments such as this, she practically purred with contentment. At times Laura could be extremely aggressive herself sexually, and he found that terrifically exciting. But at moments like this, when she was totally helpless in his arms, reveling in simply being a vessel for his joy, involuntarily clasping him again and again with her warm parts, cherishing him deep inside her, Remington was often moved to tears.

“Rem, my sweet Remy . . . hold me, baby, hold me tight.”

“Yes, I . . . will hold you . . . all the days of my life. You are  . . . so . . . indescribable . . . so beautiful . . . marvelous.”

Remington kissed her tenderly upon her lips and cheeks, smoothing her damp hair from her forehead.

“We . . . we made a . . . mess . . . the tea service?”

“These moments with you were worth a thousand tea services—to see you like this, love. Satisfied, I dare say?”

Laura nodded and snuggled even closer under him.

“Darling, it was good for you when you were in exstase just now?”

“Silent firecrackers, exploding all around . . . and I just wanted to give you more. Could you tell that I wanted to give you more, Remy?”

“Yes, but you had given it all to me, old girl. When you capitulated, it was far beyond just ‘coming.’ After you climaxed . . . I felt it the moment you surrendered . . . when you melted in my arms. You simply melted, darling. Your hot flesh clinging to mine . . . giving me all that it is possible for a woman to give to a man, allowing me to take from you what only you can give to me.”

“I used to think that the ‘need’ part in needing a man had to do with the release, but from that very first time with you . . .”

“In that motel years ago . . .”

“The Downtowner Motor Inn. . . I will never forget that place . . . where you made me a complete woman, when I found myself in that marvelous free fall of surrender for the first time in my life.”

“That night, what we experienced . . . was quite amazing.” Remington’s voice caught in his throat as he remembered.

“We both cried that night, too,” Laura said, tears flooding her eyes at the memory of their first time.  “Why did you cry?”

“I’d never let my psyche be laid bare with a woman before, Laura. When it was over . . . I always turned away . . . closed up, when my flesh was relieved and I was assured that hers was relieved as well.”

“Really? You never told me that . . .”

“I know. But it’s true. God, Laura, all my life I had missed the most intimate moment that I could share with a woman . . . feeling that I dared not let anyone see how vulnerable and needy I was. And suddenly I had found it with you. I was completely laid bare and didn’t care, holding you afterward, crying like that. When I felt you let go and become totally mine like that. . .”

“Remy . . .”

“I discovered that there was something beyond mere physical satisfaction, something quite mystical and ephemeral and yet as real as the ground we stand upon.  A supreme moment of giving and receiving beyond orgasm, an indescribable moment, Laura.”

“I guess we were both like virgins in a sense, love,” Laura whispered. “You, a man of the world, letting your psyche be known intimately for the first time, and me, letting myself surrender for the first time.”

“Yes, darling,” Remington’s eyes turned cobalt as he stared at her. “Laura . . .” his voice went hoarse as his passions ran hot again.

“It’s getting late. Mildred and Alessandra have probably left.”

“I hope so.”

“I . . . I guess I’ll clean up this mess,” Laura said in reference to the broken tea service.

“No, lie here. I’ll clean it up, love, when it’s time.”

“And it’s not time yet, is it?”

“Not just yet, Laura . . . not just yet.”

* * * * *

Predawn Saturday morning Remington and Laura were sleeping soundly in each others arms. They had been very glad for this workweek to end as it had been especially fatiguing to both of them. The case had been demanding physically as well as intellectually and in the final analysis had reached a somewhat depressing and inconclusive solution for their client, a Mr. David Solomon, who was looking for his missing wife, whom he thought had met with foul play.  She turned up half way across the country in Chicago, but refused to come back to him.  Remington and Laura’s afternoon tryst at the office on Friday had been their only redemption and, when they finally got home and had to meet the demands of their children for the balance of the evening, they were thankful that they had seized that time for themselves.

Suddenly there was the sound of the phone piercing the quiet of their bedroom, and Remington, wakening from a very deep sleep, struggled to find the phone next to their bed. Laura was instantly awake, perhaps due to her maternal instincts being keenly honed to listen for any sound of distress from her children.

“What is it?” she whispered.

Remington shook his head. “It’s Uncle David.”

“Yes, Uncle David. I’ll come on the first plane. No question about it. I’ll call later to confirm the schedule. Assure Aunt Chlöe of our love and concern.”

“What happened?” Laura asked anxiously after he had hung up the phone.

“Chlöe, Aunt Chlöe has fallen suddenly ill . . . quite ill. It’s lung cancer, like Daniel. They don’t hold out much hope, Laura.”

“Dear God . . . I am so sorry.”

“They give her a few weeks or a couple months at most. She is asking for me.”

“Then you will go.”

“Darling, I want you to come with me.”

“I would love to, but what can I do with the twins. They’re still nursing mornings and nights. In this case you are going to have to go on. And come back to me as soon as you can.”

“I don’t want to be away from you for even a day. You realize that. This will be the first time we’ve been apart since those terrible events in New York last year.”

Remington still trembled uncontrollably when he remembered his brush with death on September 11, 2001.  He often awakened in a nightmare sweating and panting in fear and now Laura stroked his hair and forehead, trying to calm him.

“Darling, I know what you’re feeling, but we have to move on. We can’t let the fear of what ‘might happen’ paralyze us. There is family business to take care of, and you have to go. I don’t want to put you on a plane to go anywhere, but I have to let you do this.”

“I love you, Laura . . . so much.  Help me, darling. Give me courage to step on that plane and leave you and my children here,” Remington pleaded, dropping his head upon her breasts. “I suddenly feel quite melancholy, darling. Please give me what I need. I’ll be so very lonely in that bed at Uncle David’s without you.”

“Remy . . . Remy . . . my darling Remy. . .”

Remington drew Laura into his arms and kissed her tenderly. He smelled her, tasted her, and suddenly his desire asserted itself powerfully and the kiss became intensely passionate, searching and plumbing the depths of her mouth.

 “Take care of me, Laura.  Please make love to me till my legs are so weak that I will sleep all the way to London, darling.”

Neither of them heard the door to their bedroom open and then close just as quickly.

* * * * * *

It was the following afternoon when Remington’s flight to London took off from LAX.  As reluctant as he was to go without her, it was the only option given their family situation. The twins, Cassie and Chlöe were with Laura to see their father off.  Remington hugged and kissed each of his daughters before turning to Laura.  As Laura stood in his arms at LAX kissing him over and over, she wanted more than anything to get on that plane and go along with him to London.

“God, woman, this is very hard for me,” Remington murmured between kisses.

“I can’t even follow you to the gate with security being what it is. This is terrible.”

“If I have to be away more than a week, promise me that you will pack up the twins and come to me, Laura. You will leave the other children with Maria and bring Esperanza with you and come to me, agreed?”

“Yes, I’ll come. I’ll have to come. I’ll be frantic with you away in London.”

Remington’s arms tightened around his wife, and they were both oblivious to the people walking around them as well as their children, as he kissed her hard again on her mouth. When they came up for breath, Laura caressed her husband’s face with her fingers, smoothed his thick dark hair. It had streaked a swath of silver from front to back right after 9/11/2001, but this simply added another dimension to his mature manly beauty.

“You are going to have to let me go, Remy.”

“I know,” Remington said, his nostrils quivering as he seemed to literally inhale her before finally releasing her. He turned and walked quickly away from her to the escalator that led to the gates with hardly a trace of a limp from his injuries of the previous year.

Laura was quiet and pensive as she walked with her girls back to the parking lot.  They got into her little black Mercedes SUV and headed home.

“Mom, can you tell us about it?” Cassie asked.

“About it?” Laura dragged herself back to the moment from her thoughts of Remington.

“About sex, Mom,” Chlöe said.  “About you and Daddy.  We saw you and Daddy.  When we heard the phone so early in the morning, we got frightened.”

“We thought something may have happened to someone in the family,” Cassie said.  “So we got up and came to your bedroom.  We forgot the rule and opened the door . . .”

“Without knocking,” Chlöe added.  “It was me.  I’m sorry, Mom.  You and Dad . . . Dad was on top of you, between your legs, pushing real hard, and you were both groaning and grunting.”

Laura felt her face flushing as her daughters recounted the experience and she remembered those early morning moments.

“What do you girls want to know?  Laura attempted to be casual in her demeanor.

“We knew that you and Dad have sex, but it was so . . . wild . . . so intense . . . seeing Dad on you like that,” Cassie said.  “Is that the way it is for everybody?”

“No, I don’t think it is that way for everybody. But your father and I . . . we love each other . . . very much.” Laura’s voice broke for a moment.

“Were you groaning and crying out because it was  . . . nice?” Chlöe searched for the right word.

“Yes, it was very  . . . nice, very passionate.  We couldn’t help the sounds that we were making. We wouldn’t have wanted you children to hear.  Having sex is a very personal and private thing . . . not something you would do in front of someone else.  You caught us in a very private moment and I apologize that we were not more discreet.”

“So it didn’t hurt?” Cassie said.

“No, darling, it didn’t hurt at all.  When you have your man, and you know that he really is your man, you can’t help making those sounds that you heard.”

“So is that orgasm?” Chlöe asked innocently and with total sincerity.

“Um, well, orgasm is what happens at the most intense moment of intercourse.  It is a kind of signal between your brain and your body that it is perfect . . . complete.  There are contractions in the pit of your stomach that you can’t control and you sense that you are giving yourself completely to the man that you love.  You trust him completely at that moment and in your brain there may be bright flashing lights or colors.  The man has this when he ejaculates . . . when his penis releases his semen.  He can’t control himself either.  He may call the name of the one he loves or call on his God, or even swear at moments like that.”

“Dad shouted ‘God Almighty,’” Cassis said simply.

“And you just said, ‘Yes! Yes!” Chlöe added.

“You were having orgasm?” Cassie asked.

“Um . . . yes, otherwise we would have heard you open the door.  It was a very special moment because I knew that your father was going away for a couple of weeks and that I would miss him very much.”

“We were conceived at a moment like that, weren’t we?” Chlöe asked for verification more than as a true question.

“Yes, it was a beautiful moment just like that,” Laura stated softly.

Laura was thankful to be driving in traffic as her daughters interrogated her on this most sensitive subject.

“Mom, you really do like to have sex with Daddy, don’t you?” Chlöe stated really as a fact.

“Why, yes, I really do, girls.  Your father is wonderful.   When a man and a woman have a life like it is with your father and me, and beautiful children as well, there is nothing more important.  I hope that when each of you girls finds the love of your life, you will experience all the love and passion that your father and I have.”

* * * * * *

During the long flight to London, Remington fell asleep for several hours . . . thanks to his exertions with Laura before leaving Los Angeles. When he wakened, they were flying over Newfoundland and into the Atlantic. It was past midnight and moonlight shone through the window at his elbow.

Suddenly Remington was wide-awake, his body rejuvenated from the lassitude he’d felt earlier, his mind alive with thoughts that cluttered his mind and would not let him sleep despite the comfort of the British Airways sleeper seat.

This flight had reminded him of that fateful time in September, 2001. That was the only other long trip he had taken without Laura since their marriage, and his hands still trembled when he remembered the terror of that day when the towers fell.

So much had changed since then. He recalled his feelings when Laura came to him in that New York hospital after the tragedy. He had never been so grateful to be alive as when he wakened to find her at his bedside.

Thoughts of his children rushed in upon him. Jonathan and Ileana had gotten married and settled into life together. At fourteen Cassie and Chlöe were on the cusp of womanhood. The raven-haired girls with their father’s blue eyes were becoming very shapely, practically the image of their beautiful Aunt Harriett. At nearly twelve his son Michael was facing puberty, all gangly legs and arms, his parts suddenly growing so rapidly that he was quite self-conscious about what to do with himself. Remington had found it necessary to devote some time to helping him cope with his newly developing manhood. More often than ever Michael retreated to his room with his violin, seeming to find release for the new and intense feelings he was experiencing. This only aroused the curiosity of Harry, his younger brother, who tried to follow his older brother everywhere that he went. Harry looked like Remington had spit him out, with his finely sculptured features, blue eyes and black wavy hair. He was thin as a rail at this point, but it was obvious that he was going to be as handsome as his father one day, that in a couple more years, puberty would be poised to hit him just as hard as his older brother. And Tabby, his baby girl, going to kindergarten, was just as he would have imagined Laura as a little girl . . . freckled with long chestnut hair, just moving into that charming period of childhood between being a toddler and pre-pubescence. Now there were just Rhett and Reade to go to the office with them each day. At the age of eighteen months they were beautiful and healthy toddlers, still climbing into their parents’ bed to find Laura’s breasts early every morning and turning to her again every night before sleeping.

Remington’s pulse quickened as he visualized those freckled breasts that he loved so<i—/i> changed from the delicate breasts he had uncovered when they first began to find each other in those early days. Now they were generous and full in contrast with her still slender waist, their nipples fully developed from the years of breast-feeding their children, their rosy areolae stretched and shining when her breasts were full. Remington smiled, remembering the years before they had children when Laura was sensitive about the smallness of her breasts. There was no such sensitivity now. She knew that he needed to lie in her bosom nearly as much as her children did.

Remington turned restlessly in the large seat and tried to focus his mind away from his wife. He would have to do without her for the next week at least and mooning over being away from her wouldn’t help him at this point.

When Remington landed at Heathrow in London, David Chalmers was there to meet him. The men embraced and quickly went through customs and to the waiting car that would take them to the Mayfair mansion where his uncle lived.

“I’m glad you could come, Remington. We have someone . . . a nurse with Chlöe all the time now.”

“You should have called sooner. I would have come immediately. You know that.”

“Certainly. But Chlöe would have none of it. She didn’t want to disrupt your life  . . . you and Laura, your children, your work in California. Finally Jacqueline convinced her that she should ask you to come. Jacqueline<i—/i>she has been so good . . . not just for me, but for the family. She certainly keeps me feeling like a young chap.” David Chalmers chuckled as he spoke of his wife.

“And you’re what now . . . nearly eighty? You old dog, still havin’ a regular go at life, I gather.”

“A woman like Jacqueline . . . she keeps me going, son. I just wish I had met her years ago. It seems that our time together has been so short. And now, seeing Chlöe stricken simply reminds me of my own mortality.  I’m enjoying life much too much to be ready to sign off at this point.”

“I appreciate what you mean. When I was young . . . in my twenties, I would never have imagined that at fifty I would still be panting after my woman like a young buck in rut. Then I look at you and Jacqueline and I wonder if these urges will ever calm.”

“Not if you’re healthy, not if you’re with a healthy spirited woman, son.”

Remington grinned and shook his head in agreement.

“The passion isn’t going anywhere, Uncle David. People say that sex with one person can become dull or boring. But I think that I suffered so for the need of her for those four long years at the beginning that I will never get enough of her. I still want her as much as the first day I laid eyes on her. I never dreamed that I would ever find the ultimate satisfaction with just one woman. And since 9/11 and that close brush with death, my appreciation for life has only deepened.  When those buildings were falling around me, my only thought was that I would never see Laura or my children again.”

“That was a very dark day . . . when we had no idea whether you were alive or dead.”

They both fell silent in contemplation.

“Son, Chlöe . . . sent for you for a reason. She has a task for you. Hopefully you will be able to accomplish it.”

Remington’s face registered a question.

“No, I will leave this matter to her to discuss with you. That is as it should be. She still has all her faculties . . . is perfectly lucid. They say that when it comes, it will come very suddenly.”

“It was that way with Daniel. One minute we were talking. I turned away to pour us a brandy, and when I turned back to him, he was . . . gone.” Remington’s voice caught in his throat. “I haven’t spoken of his death for quite a while. I think of it often enough, but . . . you truly have become my father in the full sense of the word. I dare say that you know that.”

“I dare say, son,” David Chalmers replied simply.

They arrived at the Mayfair house and their driver deposited them and carried Remington’s bags inside.

Jacqueline came down the stairs to meet them. Even though in her late seventies she was still radiantly beautiful in a simple cream-colored cashmere sweater and tweed slacks.

<i“Chere/i> Remington,” she said as she embraced him and then turned to her husband, catching his hand in hers.

After Remington had put his bags in the guest bedroom that he and Laura had shared on previous visits, he made his way to Chloe’s room. Chlöe was propped up on two white lace-trimmed pillows. She was quite pale, but her hair was elegantly coifed and she had put a touch of color on her cheeks in expectation of her nephew’s visit.

“Hello, Aunt Chlöe,” Remington said.

“My favorite nephew . . . you look so handsome, my darling boy.”

Chlöe reached for him and they embraced warmly.

“Sit here, on my bed,” Chlöe said, patting the spot next to her on the side of her bed.

“You . . . how are you feeling?”

“I guess that you know my news has not been good. That is why you are here, isn’t it?”

“Yes, I am at your service. I will do whatever I can. You know that.”

“Yes, I believe that, Rem. I wanted to see you and tell you the rest of the story of my life, the part that neither you nor my brother know anything about.”

“You don’t have to reveal your secrets to me, Aunt Chlöe. You have lived a long and productive life. I don’t doubt that you have lived that life to the full.”

“That’s what I love about you. No pretenses needed. I have lived my life keeping up all the pretenses, dear boy, but now there are loose ends that need to be attended to before . . . before I die. I need your help.”

“I understand. But you will have to tell me what it is you want me to do.”

“I went away to France to study at the Sorbonne when I was twenty, Remington. Being two years older than my twin brothers, I was quite independent. Mum had died when I was only fifteen, so I just about did whatever I wished. When I was in Paris, it was the early fifties and I found myself with a rather bohemian crowd. My father back here in London had no idea what I was doing over there, and I was determined to keep it that way. It was holiday and I had a new boyfriend. He was Italian, Marco Sergio DiStefano, an art student. He borrowed a car and we decided to drive to Milan. He wanted to show me Italy. Suffice it to say that we were intimate and I became pregnant. Actually I realized that I was pregnant at around the same time Daniel got into his own difficulties and ended up in prison. Under the circumstances I did not dare come back to London and heap further reproach on the Chalmers family name. I begged my father to let me stay in France through the summer to avoid having to answer questions about Daniel.”

“He understood your position I gather,” Remington said.

“Yes, thank the Lord for that. I gave birth in January of the same year that you were born in Ireland. A son . . . a beautiful son. . .” Chlöe’s voice caught in her throat. “I named him Sergio, after his father.”

Remington pursed his lips, attempting to absorb this revelation from his aunt without noticeable reaction.

“You didn’t tell the father,” he stated simply.

“That was a different time, Remington. He never knew that he was the father. His family, wealthy, patricians, would never have accepted me with respect. I took it . . . stiff upper lip and all. It was my mistake. I took responsibility. I stayed in France and entered into a home for women in my situation run by an order of nuns in the south of France, near Marseilles. They took care of me until I gave birth.”

“And your son?”

“I gave him up for adoption. I had no choice in that day and time. My only stipulations to the nuns were that he be adopted by persons of Italian background and also that they reveal my identity to him if, after becoming an adult, he desired to know his birth mother.”

“You never heard from him?”

“I heard from him twenty-five years ago. He sent this letter to me, from Thun, Switzerland. I lacked the courage to answer, Remington. I am so ashamed.” Chlöe wept silently. “Then when you were found to us, I realized how much I wanted to connect with my own son, and I tried to contact him. I received no answer to my letters. They all were returned unopened from Thun. I don’t know whether he sent them back or just never received them. I want to see him. I want to give him what is his due. I sent him money throughout his upbringing through the nuns there to guarantee his education, his security.”

Remington sat quietly, head bowed and Chlöe gently touched his dark hair with a trembling hand.

“Aunt Chlöe, don’t you know that the most important thing you can give to someone you love is exactly what you are giving me now . . . your caress, the touch of your hand upon my head.  When I was a lad, this is what I wanted. I hungered so for affection. I needed this. And I never had it.  I still find myself like that wee lad sometimes, craving the touch of the mother I never knew, wondering what her voice would have sounded like, what she would have smelled like.”

Chlöe held her arms out and Remington fell upon her bosom as they embraced tenderly, both of them in tears.  A long moment passed before they were able to compose themselves and continue.

“I am so sorry, dear boy. Our generation made so many mistakes, some of them quite unforgivable. But I want to embrace my son before I die.”

“Where is his father? Have you kept track of him?”

“He still lives in Milan. He was an artisan, a violin maker. He was an apprentice when we met. He is a widower. He . . . and his . . . wife had five children.  He does not know that we had a son together.  I simply broke the affair off and never answered his letters. I have kept track of his whereabouts through a mutual friend from those days at the Sorbonne.”

“Does this mutual friend know about your son?”

“No, she only knows that Sergio and I had an affair.  I could not burden anyone else with that knowledge.”

“You know that I will need to know the identity of this mutual friend,” Remington stated as a matter of fact.

“Yes, I realize that.  I have that information here for you with the rest,” Chlöe said, pointing to the folder on her bedside table.

“Chlöe, has it occurred to you that this man is entitled to know about his son?  These are different times.  Do you really think it is fair to keep such knowledge from a man?”

Chlöe’s eyes filled, and Remington knew that his aunt had never stopped loving the Italian who fathered her long lost son.

“Dear Rem, do what you think is best.  I trust you.”

 “So this is all the paperwork I will need on Sergio . . . and his father.” Remington made every effort to keep his tone even, matter-of-fact, but he felt his emotions overwhelming him again.

“I’m sorry, my darling boy.  Please forgive me if you can.”

“I forgive you, Aunt Chlöe. I just don’t think you realize how much a young lad alone in the world wants someone of his own flesh and blood. When I found you and Uncle David, it was as if I had found myself. When I see my children now, I see you . . . your features, your strength. I see him, and . . . Daniel and I know where all of that came from. Uncle David tells me that my girls, my twins, look like my mother did, and when I look at them, I imagine that I am seeing her.”

Remington took his aunt’s trembling hand and kissed it.

“Thank you, Remington,” Chlöe whispered softly.

“I see that this is going to entail some further travel and at least a couple of weeks. I shall have to send for Laura. You understand my situation.  I truly need my wife, Aunt Chloe. She’ll bring the twins and Esperanza.  They are still nursing.”

“I will love to see them.  Have them come right away.”

Remington took leave of his aunt and went to go over the paperwork Chlöe had given him and also to make arrangements for Laura to come to him.  He was stunned when he looked at the name of the ‘mutual friend’ of his aunt.  It was Constanza DiGregoria, the soprano with whom he had been involved so many years before.

<i She has to be the same woman . . . a vocal coach at La Scala.  That would fit in with where she would be in life at this time.  Lord, life plays some interesting games with us. That woman . . . her passion, her hunger was unbelievable . . . for food, for sex, for excitement. I thought that the relationship with her would simply be for financial gain on my part, never imagining that I could be excited by a body like that, no matter how beautiful the face. How wrong I was! Once I was on her that first time I was lost in that mountain of perfumed flesh, breasts, belly. God! Just rememberin’ it now still arouses me in spite of all the years that have passed!  I realize I am only human, but Laura has so completely dominated my passionate thoughts for all these years . . . it’s surprising that thinking about an Amazon of a woman like Constanza would be so stimulating.

His mind was in overdrive as he tried to analyze and absorb the information his aunt had shared with him, but then thoughts of Laura kept crowding in and finally overwhelmed him.  He was missing her, and it was the most painful kind of need, the kind that would resolve itself only when he saw her face again.  Finally he put his head back and gave in to his loneliness. It was just past noon in Los Angeles. He knew that Laura would be in the office by this time, clearing up the previous day’s paper work. His vision of her was clear, sitting at her desk, deep in concentration, her hair falling forward, those lovely legs crossed so that her skirt slipped up to reveal a bit of her shapely thighs.  Remington wondered if she was missing him as much as he was missing her as he groaned softly in agony for her.

Laura knew when the phone rang that it was Remington.

“Hello, love.”

“Darling, it’s you! How was the flight?”

“Long and lonely.”

“I know. I’m trying to keep busy here. It is so difficult with you away.”

“I miss you, Laura. I can’t do what I have to do here without you.  Bundle up the twins and Esperanza and come to me, darling. Aunt Chlöe has a son who was born the same year as I was.”

“She has a son!”

“An indiscretion from her college days in France.  She wants to see him before . . . before she passes on.  I’ll have to go and find him for her.”

“Do you have an idea as to where he is?”

“In Switzerland last she heard . . . somewhere near Thun. I’m going to send you all the information I have, and Mildred can try to track this ‘cousin’ of mine.  His birth name was Sergio DiStefano Chalmers.”

“I’ll put her on it . . . and have her book my flight to London. I should be able to get there by day after tomorrow evening.” Laura’s voice softened. “Do you think you can hold out that long, darling?”

“Yes, love. I am just out of sorts without you. And traveling on a search for Sergio without you is just not an option.”

“May I tell you a secret, Remy?”

Remington simply sighed like an adolescent into the phone.

“I knew as soon as your plane took off that it was a mistake to let you go alone. I love you too much to be apart from you like this. Do you know that?”

“Yes, darling, yes. And I love you. That’s why I’m miserable here without you, aching for you like a randy teenager.”

“I’ll be there soon, Remington.”

Remington put the phone down and sat in quiet reflection in the luxuriously appointed bedroom that seemed so empty without Laura there to share it with him.

There was a knock on the door and Remington welcomed David Chalmers.

“I dare say Chlöe told you what she would like you to do.”

“Yes, she did. You knew about Sergio?”

“Not until just a few weeks ago. I had no idea. We were all distracted by Daniel’s escapades during that period. I remember thinking that Chlöe had fled to the Continent because of our family’s embarrassment over Daniel’s misadventures.”

“I sent for Laura. I can’t deal with this without my woman. I dare not expose myself to the kinds of situations I might encounter. Plus I need her mind, her intuition, if the fellow is difficult to find.”

“I understand completely. She’s bringing the children?”

“Just Rhett and Reade. She’ll bring Esperanza along. Esperanza’s aunt, Maria, will stay with our other children. They’re accustomed to her and know that she won’t put up with any foolishness. I would leave them in the care of Jonathan and Ileana, but I fear they are too busy honeymooning to keep up with that brood.”

“Their marriage is proving to be good for them? They are so young, Remington.”

“Surprisingly, yes. What they experienced together matured them far beyond their years apparently. They were both so badly burned.” Remington just shook his head, remembering that terrible time.

“She is scarred badly?”

“Yes, but we don’t notice it at all now that she is with us all the time. And from the way that Jonathan pants after her it’s obvious that he sees nothing but beauty when he sees her. The whole experience has brought him full force into manhood.  Now Ileana wants to start a family.  Actually I’m sure that Jonathan wants the same thing, but he is trying to push it off for a while, to give her time to get completely healed from that terrible experience.”

“I’ll wager he loses that one. When a woman wants to carry for a man, she usually manages to win that one, wouldn’t you say?” David Chalmers smiled.

“I’d say so. That has been my experience.”

“And that’s wonderful, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Your children have proved to be quite a blessing, haven’t they, my boy?”

Remington paused for a moment, unable to answer his uncle as his emotions overwhelmed him.

“Yes . . . yes, they have. I cannot imagine life without them now. And yet there was a time that I could not have imagined myself as a father . . . or Laura as a mother, for that matter.”

“You both have proved to be gifted . . . not just at procreating, but in parenting as well,” David Chalmers said with a chuckle.

“I dare say. And I hope that we are finished. Nine children, counting Jonathan and Joanna are enough family for anyone in this day and time.  And I fear that they are becoming much more of a challenge as they go through adolescence and into adulthood.”

“My one regret with my life is that I did not have children. At the time I thought that I was the wise one. I had lost your mother to Daniel and I felt that there would never be another woman that I would love that way. There were so many opportunities, but I let them pass me by, using women to simply satisfy my carnal urges but avoiding commitment, much less marriage.”

“There was never anyone else that you were serious about after . . . my mother?”

“Actually there was a woman that was my . . . partner . . . lover, for want of a better word, for more than twenty years.  Sybil. She worked for MI5 just as I did, and we both convinced ourselves that working in the field of espionage would not make either of us a good candidate for marriage. She was always there for me as I for her, but we never made it legal. She did not demand fidelity of me and I certainly could not demand it of her. Sybil succumbed to ovarian cancer the year before I came to Los Angeles to find you.”

“I’m terribly sorry,” Remington said softly.

“When Sybil fell ill, I realized how much I wished that we had been married. I wanted to bring her here and care for her, but she would have none of it, insisting on facing her trial alone. It was a damn shame, son.  I realized then how much I loved her and how much we had missed by not carrying our relationship all the way.”

“And then you met Jacqueline,” Remington said quietly.

“And I knew that I wanted to be with her. I was an old man already, but I knew that I had to have it all. I wanted to go to bed with her at night and waken in the morning with her for the rest of my life. These years have been the most personally fulfilling of my life.”

“You have been blessed.”

“And you and Laura are part of that. You are the son I always wanted. And your children are my grandchildren. When I met you back in 1988 and you had just found that your Laura was pregnant for the first time, I was thrilled to see the two of you. She was just a slip of a woman with the figure of a ballerina and now, when I see her, still ravishingly beautiful, but full-breasted from nursing her children, capturing all of your attention as she does, I am incredibly happy for both of you.”

Remington just nodded, unable to put his personal feelings in words as his uncle clapped him on his shoulder, before rising to leave.

“I think I need a drink, Uncle David. I just cannot bear being alone right now.  I hope you and Jacqueline don’t mind my intruding upon your company this evening.”

“Not at all, son. We should visit with Chlöe a bit before her sedative takes effect for the night. By then supper should be ready. Come along.”

* * * * * *

The next two days seemed like an eternity as Remington waited for Laura and the twins to arrive in London. He spent the afternoons with Chlöe. He wanted to fill in as much information on that time more than four decades past when she had spent that summer in France, alone and pregnant, just as his own mother had spent that same time in Ireland, alone and carrying him and his twin sister, Harriett.  He could sense that she was weakening and he wanted to get as much done as possible while she was still completely lucid before the necessary drug therapy would make it impossible for her to concentrate.

Laura’s British Airways flight landed a few minutes early but nevertheless Remington was there, waiting for Laura and his children to come through the security area at Heathrow Airport.  When Laura saw him, and her face lit up in the dimpled smile he knew so well, Remington ran to her, catching her up in his arms the minute she stepped off the escalator.

“My God, woman, you’re a sight for sore eyes,” he whispered as he hugged and kissed her. Esperanza was just behind Laura with Rhett and Reade in tow. Remington took each boy up and kissed each one soundly before they started off to collect baggage.

When they finally got loaded into two cars<i—/i>one for Remington, Laura and the twins, and the other for Esperanza and the luggage<i—/i>they were off to Mayfair.

Remington leaned to claim the kiss that Laura offered him.

“I missed you, Laura.” 

They each had a child on their lap, but they kissed and kissed, literally drinking each other.

Remington sat back and tried to let his passions calm.  The sight of Laura and anxiety for the comfort and relief that she would give him only stimulated and aroused him further.  He tried to adjust his position so as to lessen the intensity of the sensation in the pit of his belly, but to little avail.

By the time they arrived at the house in Mayfair the children had fallen asleep and Remington and Laura carried them up the stairs to the room adjoining their own where the crib that David and Daniel Chalmers had shared as little ones had been put up to accommodate them.  Chlöe’s nurse told them that Chlöe would be sleeping for at least a couple more hours and Uncle David and Jacqueline were in town for some shopping.

“This gives us a bit of time to ‘recharge our batteries, doesn’t it?” Remington said.  “Esperanza can set things up for the boys and take a nap herself.  I’m sure she has a bit of jet lag as well.  Then we can all get together for dinner in a few hours.”

“That sounds good to me, love,” Laura smiled with amusement as she watched her husband arrange ‘private time’ for them.

Remington led Laura by the hand into their bedroom and stared at her another for just a moment gathering her into his embrace and kissing with his open mouth, tasting her as he claimed her once again as  his own.

“Laura, I’m in such pathetic shape.  Darling, please need me as I need you today.”

“I do . . . desperately,” Laura whispered and took him by the hand.

“Then . . . then what are we waiting for? I fear that I cannot endure another moment, Laura.”

“Come, darling.  I’ll take care of you.”

They frantically undressed one another.  There was no need for wooing, for foreplay. They were both completely ready to come together and Laura simply lay on her back, opened her arms and thighs and gave herself to him.

“Laura!” Remington cried out, as he searched for, found his place deep inside her and locked into it. They immediately found their synchrony, both of them running quickly to the brink of complete ecstasy and then plunging over.  In just a matter of minutes they were at the apogée, seeing streams of pink and white-hot lights together, as it swept up both of them.

“Lord, help us!” Remington groaned in agony for his release.

As Remington’s pelvis jerked in spasms that projected powerful spurts of semen, Laura surrendered, giving him her soul as he rocked her in his arms. Remington rolled onto his back, holding her on his chest as she quivered and trembled, her teeth chattering, caught up in a protracted climax. 

“Remy, Remy . . . I missed . . . you so much . . . so much.”

“Not half as much as I missed you, darling.”

Laura looked into Remington’s languid blue eyes and knew they weren’t finished at all.

“Remy, we don’t do separation well, do we?”

“Not at all, love.  Not at all.”

Remington kissed Laura upon her forehead and her temples and then their open mouths met and they gave themselves to the kiss, drinking it deeply as their passions surged powerfully again.

“I thirst for you, Laura, so much,” Remington murmured, his lips searching for hers again, finding them and seeking to quench his desire to taste of the inside of her mouth.

They took their time reaching for the summit, savoring every moment of their connection.  Laura fluttered and shook as Remington made love to her, whispering to her his deepest sensual thoughts, wooing her to fever pitch, and, in the process loosening her tongue to say things that she normally kept in the deepest recesses of her heart.

“Remy!” Help me, Remy!” Laura moaned, losing control as powerful contractions seized and gripped her pelvis. She nipped Remington again and again near his collarbone, sending him into an orbit of pleasure mingled with pain that literally blinded him momentarily.

“Dear God!” Remington cried out in rapture, then lapsed into incoherence, babbling helplessly, gripping her hips tightly as he gave her his essence in thrust after powerful upward thrust.

Laura lay upon him but she felt as if she were in a free fall of rapture, her capitulation complete.

“Laura, Laura, I . . . love you . . . so,” Remington whispered as they sank into the afterglow.  “I’ve ached so . . . for you. Thank you for coming to me . . . today.” 

“Umm, me too.”  Laura was dazed and Remington cherished her in his arms, kissing her tenderly again and again, as their passions gradually ebbed and they fell into a deep sated sleep.

It was late afternoon when Remington awakened with Laura still on his breast, her thick chestnut hair strewn over his chest.  When he adjusted his position, she stirred and murmured his name and clung to him.  Remington lay watching her till she finally stirred again and looked into his eyes.

“Been awake long?’

“Not long, but long enough to enjoy lookin’ at my woman in my bed,” he said rakishly.

Laura shivered. “It’s cold. You didn’t even give me time to find a nightgown to put on.”

“English houses in February,” Remington said simply.  “And I’m glad you gave me the pleasure of sleepin’ au naturel with me this afternoon, lass.  You’ll find your long cotton nightgown soon enough.” His nostrils flared as he remembered the earlier moments they had shared.

“Are you satisfied, Remy?” Laura asked him smoothing his hair with her hand.

“For the time being.” 

Laura stretched like a cat and threw back the covers as Remington stared at her transfixed.

“I’m glad I came.” 

Remington nodded his agreement and took her hand and kissed it on the inside, inhaling the scent of her skin.

“I’d better see about the children.”

“That is why we have Esperanza along on this trip, darling. I am sure that she has matters well in hand.  Just lie here with me for a while longer.  Then we can shower together and get dressed to go down to see the family.”

“And you want to?”

“I want to look at you for just a wee while longer, love.  I’ve missed the sight of you in the worst way.”

Laura propped herself up on the pillows and basked in the heat of Remington’s stare in spite of the slight chill in the room.  When she shivered, Remington moved close to her and drew the down-filled silk covers up around them both, cocooning with her, cuddling, nuzzling nose to nose and stealing tender kisses all the while.

“Do you know that the girls came into our room that last night before you left?”

“When we were?”

“Yes, when we were in the throes of . . . um . . . ”

“Ecstasy.  My God!  I hope they weren’t too shocked.  It becomes very difficult as the young ones grow up . . . to keep this part of our life from them.”

“It seems that we were quite a picture . . . complete with sound effects.  They said that they shut the door immediately, but the ‘snapshot’ had already been taken.”

“Good Lord! They saw me on you like that.  I was . . .”

“Your backside was in full view I believe.  They mentioned that the covers were thrown back and that you were very . . . active.”

“I hope that we have not damaged them for life, darling.  Knowing that we have sex and seeing us have sex are two entirely different things.  What did you say?”

“I answered their questions?  It was all that I could do.  I hope that they understood that we were simply loving one another.”

“Then we must view it as a part of their education.”

“Yes, I explained it along those lines.  I told them how wonderful it is to give yourself to the man that you love, how carried away you can be in that moment.”

“Let your man carry you away again now, lassie,” Remington whispered as he drew Laura closer and she melted in his arms again.

* * * * * *

It was time for supper when Remington and Laura finally made their appearance to the rest of the family. Esperanza had brought the twins down after their nap and they were exhibiting normal toddler curiosity as they explored the parlor of the Chalmers home.

“You look lovely, my dear,” David Chalmers said as he embraced Laura warmly.

“Cherie, we are so happy you are here.  Your poor husband has been so, so . . . <i>triste,</i> needing you,” Jacqueline said, kissing Laura on both cheeks and hugging her.

David Chalmers smiled knowingly at his nephew.  He saw the evident relief in him after entertaining his wife for the afternoon.  Yes, Remington fairly exuded masculinity as he stood with his arm around his beautiful wife’s waist, his blue eyes focusing upon her and her alone.

They went in to have dinner together, a happy occasion, but somewhat muted because of their awareness of Chlöe’s health situation. The food was excellent . . . a succulent roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, lightened with fresh steamed baby carrots and whole string beans prepared by the Chalmers Welsh cook, Sandra. Sandra was a portly woman with a no-nonsense approach to English cuisine, plus a knowledge of French cuisine that pleased Jacqueline as well.

Laura ate heartily, nearly as heartily as Remington.

“She has to eat for three,” Remington explained when Laura realized that she was practically inhaling her food.  “She has a great appetite . . . a great appetite.”

After dinner they all went up to Chlöe’s room to visit with her.  She was elated to see Laura and the toddler twin boys, insisting that Remington put them up on Chlöe’s bed so that they could get acquainted with her.

“Children . . . are such a beautiful gift.  Look at these little boys.  Remington, I am so proud of you and your lovely Laura.”

She cupped Reade’s chubby cheeks in her now frail hands and kissed him.

“You are still nursing them, Laura?”

“Yes, mornings and evenings.  I think I will nurse them now so that Esperanza can put them to bed and try to get them on schedule for this time zone.”

Remington brought Rhett to Laura and he eagerly took her breast as Laura rocked him in her arms.  David sat with his arm around Jacqueline on the Georgian sofa in Chlöe’s bedroom and Remington poured port for his uncle and aunt and for himself and settled into an nearby reclining chair with his drink.

“I hope that you and Remington will find my boy for me, Laura. I missed so much . . . what you have now, nursing your son at your breast.”  Chlöe’s eyes filled with tears as she embraced Reade in her arms and kissed the top of his head.

“We’re going to find your boy, Aunt Chlöe. You have excellent information here, good leads. We will not come back empty-handed,” Remington said resolutely.

“I think that we should start out by going to the convent where you gave birth to him,” Laura said gently.  “They know who adopted your son.”

“They swore to never reveal the details to either party,” Chlöe said. “The only one who could receive that information was to be my son, himself.”

“Yes, but that was a long time ago. These days more and more adopted persons are searching for their birth mother. We have the letter your son sent you to use as leverage as well,” Laura said.

“Actually this convent is not far from our place in Les-Baux-de-Provence. We could start out there,” Remington said as he scanned a map.

“I’ll call Annette Presendieu and tell her that we are coming . . . or perhaps it would be better if you can call her,” Laura said, remembering her lack of proficiency in the French language.

* * * * * *

The next morning Remington and Laura left for France with their toddler sons and Esperanza along.  It would be quite an undertaking with the children, but they were going to try to make a success of it.  They would fly into Marseilles and then drive north to Les Baux-de-Provence and the villa that Remington and his sister, Harriett, had inherited from their father, Daniel Chalmers.

“What are you thinking, darling?” Laura asked when they were finally settled into their flight.

Remington sat with his eyes closed, the corners of his mouth turned just slightly upwards, as if he were having a particularly enjoyable daydream.  His blue eyes opened wide in response to her query, and there was no further question in Laura’s mind as to where his mind was.

Remington took Laura’s hand in his, brought it to his lips, kissed it, and then caught it to his chest. Laura felt his heart beating.

“Laura, it’s all about us . . . you and me . . . what we have together . . . our passion, our children.”

Laura nodded. There was no need for further words at this point. 

* * * * * *

 It was late in the afternoon by the time they arrived at L’Orchidée Noir.  The twins were fretful and tired of being confined for so long. Laura was thankful that Esperanza was with them when they began to try to settle them down after they had explored the second new environment within just three days.

They were all happy to enjoy the excellent meal that Annette Présentdieu had prepared, and to sample the latest vintage of the estate caves. Laura, Esperanza, and the little ones were still feeling the effects of jet lag and went to bed early.

Remington took the visit as an opportunity to spend some time checking the ledgers on the villa’s wine production and the receipts from guests.  The place was making a consistent profit . . . even though Édouard Présendieu spent much of his time in America since his marriage to Alessandra.  His brother had continued Édouard’s fine work producing an exceptional burgundy which had gained quite a reputation. It had brought a generous addition to both Remington and Harriett’s income ever since they became aware of their inheritance. It also was shared with Daniel, the son Daniel had fathered by Kadijah Kammisooka.  Remington knew that Daniel would have wanted that.

Laura found Remington some hours later, surrounded by ledgers in the study, shirt sleeves turned back to reveal the dark silky hair on his forearms and hands.

“Wow, and I thought you hated paperwork!” Laura teased. 

She looked around the small comfortable study. There was a French Provincial settee covered with red toile fabric and stacked with pillows on the wall opposite the desk and there were bookshelves lining a third wall.

“Darling, it’s the least I can do. After all, this place is going to pay for college for all Daniel’s grandchildren.”

“This is a lovely little room, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is,” Remington said, glancing around the study and then fixing his gaze on Laura.  She was wearing a new rich brown silk robe, her hair down on her shoulders.  “But you are the most beautiful thing gracing this room tonight.  Come here, please.”

Laura approached the desk and sat on the corner of it, but Remington drew Laura down onto his lap. 

“Now what have you been doing with yourself, Mrs. Steele?”

Laura traced across his brow and down his cheekbone with her index finger, ending finally with his finely shaped lips. As Remington’s hands slipped around to cup her firm hips with his hands, he inhaled the scent of <iJe Reviens/i> from her bosom and the crisp silk of her robe rustled against her skin, adding an auditory and olfactory aspect to the intense visual stimulation assaulting his senses.

“I have been thinking about you, love. This place makes me feel so . . . in the mood, Remy.”

Remington dropped his arms and sat back in the desk chair to let Laura have her way with him.  He especially enjoyed those times when Laura took the initiative with him. 

“Take what you want, lassie. You know that I am at your service,” he said as Laura unfastened the blue and white striped cotton shirt he wore so that she could touch his bare chest with both her hands.

Laura’s robe began to slip from her shoulders, revealing her freckled flesh to his sight. Remington gasped, his face flushing deeply, as the pressure in his loins escalated sharply.

“Babe, I hope you have locked the door. I wouldn’t want to shock Annette or Lucien.”

“It’s done, Remy.”

“Good.  I couldn’t bear for you to . . . don’t leave me for a moment like this, darling.”

Laura knelt in front of him, removed his shoes, helped him loosen and slip off the soft tan corduroy trousers he was wearing right along with his silk shorts.

When Laura began to address his need directly, Remington’s eyes first glazed over and then rolled backward into his head. He saw stars as spasms jerked his pelvis uncontrollably.

“Laura!” Remington gasped. “Laura  . . . woman!”

She climbed onto him, straddling him, kissing his open mouth again and again as their flesh joined.  It was perfect between them and it went on and on at full tilt when suddenly they were both caught up in powerful contractions that propelled them from the chair down onto the carpeted floor behind the desk.

“Lord! Dear Lord!” Remington cried between clenched teeth.

Laura clung to him, trembling, surrendering the initiative to him as he held her fast.

“Remy.  Help me,” she begged. “I need you so.”

Remington picked her up in his arms in no nonsense fashion, his blue eyes blazing. He knew how to take care of her. He carried her over to the settee, and got on top of her there.

“Is this what you need, lassie?”

“Yes, yes!” Laura saw stars as the power of his thrusts took her breath away.

 It was quite a while before Remington and Laura were able to leave the study to go up to their bedroom.

“I would love to carry you up these stairs, darling, but my legs are so weak from lovemakin’ that I fear I would not make it to the top.”

“Save your strength, darling.  I’m not finished with you yet,” Laura whispered.

“Umm . . .” Remington growled, winking down at her as they paused before going up the stairs arm in arm.

* * * * * *

 The next morning Remington and Laura got Lucien Présendieu’s aging Peugeot coupe from the garage and, armed with a map, headed for the convent where Chlöe had given birth nearly fifty years before.  It was just on the outskirts of Marseilles.

As Remington tooled along the route toward Marseilles, both of them were quiet.

“You’re remembering, aren’t you, Laura?”

“Yes, I am.  It was a special time. We conceived Michael here in France . . . our first son.”

“Yes.” No more words were needed just then.

When they arrived in Marseilles, they found the convent Chlöe had directed them to and were ushered into the visitors’ reception area.

“Well, convents have changed a bit haven’t they?” Laura said, as she observed the nuns going about with their modernized dress.

“Yes. I’m sure this was a different place fifty years ago when Chlöe sought refuge here.”

A nun modestly dressed in a street-length grey habit came and led them into the office of the Mother Superior and left them there.

“May I be of service?” The voice belonged to an elderly woman who walked with some difficulty to her place behind the desk and seated herself.  “I am Sister Maria Therese.” Her English was clear but with a heavy French accent.

“My name is Remington Steele and this is my wife, Laura. We are here seeking information about my cousin actually. He was born here fifty years ago . . . to my aunt.  She was unmarried, from London, and the boy was given up for adoption.”

“And now you wish to find your long lost relative?” The nun smiled.

“My aunt, who is terminally ill, received a letter from him twenty-five years ago.  She did not answer that letter, much to her regret, and now we seek to right that wrong.  Here is the letter that she received from her . . . son.”

The nun took the letter from Remington and read it carefully.

“I know this young man. He was one of first to demand to know the name of his birth mother. There was a time . . .”

“I realize that there was a time when you did not disclose this information.”

“Sergio has sent yearly donation here ever since we gave him name of his mother.  He is fine man.  Excuse me, please.”

Sister Maria Therese turned her chair to face a file cabinet behind her desk, opened one of the drawers and took a worn file folder from it.

“This is all of file of Sergio Chalmers, Mr. Steele.  You make copies on machine in outer office and return file to Sister Anna there.  I hope your search will be rewarded.”

Remington and Laura, realizing that they were being dismissed, rose and thanked the elderly woman.

When they were back in the car, they shook their heads in amazement.

“I think that the sister is a woman of few words.”

“Perhaps just a bit more talkative that the monks of St. Costello, eh?” Remington said, reminding Laura of their case during the early days.

“Well, we have all the information here.  Birth certificate, records of Chlöe Chalmers, photocopies of checks from Sergio Montepoli going back twenty-five years.  There is an address on the checks. He’s in Milan apparently. Everything is here, Rem.”

“Then I suggest we have a lunch of the excellent bouillabaisse to be found in Marseilles before heading back to Provence.”

Laura and Remington sat in the open air at one of the <ibouchons/i> on the main thoroughfare and enjoyed the hearty cuisine.

“It is just as good as I remember,” Laura said. 

“I wish that we had the time to spend the afternoon at the <iResidence de Vieux./i>  I think that was when you acquainted me with ‘Lorelie’ for the first time.  An unforgettable experience, darling. You were ovulating and you conceived.”

Remington winked at Laura and she felt her cheeks flush.

“You still blush before me, love, after all these years?”

“Yes, you still make me blush. I never cease to be amazed at how it is with us, how much we need each other.  But then, when you speak of it . . . I find myself suddenly shy.”

“I pray you never get bored with all of it . . . me onto you all the time, never seeming to get enough.”

“My mother had a friend when I was growing up<i—/i>Mrs. Kovacs up the street three doors from us.  She was very plain, even homely, but her husband came home for lunch every day from the hardware store where he worked.  One day I overheard my mother talking about them on the phone with her sister.  She said that he came home for sex everyday at noon.  It was hard for me to believe it. Later, when I was with Wilson, we just never came near to more than a couple times in a week.”

“Did you want more than that?” Remington knew the answer to that question, but he wanted to hear her say it.

“Yes, I did.  But he already thought that I was wild and crazy.  I didn’t dare tell him.  He would have thought I was some sort of nymphomaniac.”

Wilson was a fool.  How could you have ever thought that a man like him could meet your needs?”

“Well, I didn’t know that there were men like you, did I?”

“You forgot about Mr. Kovacs, eh?”

“You would give Mr. Kovacs a run for his money, love.”

Remington caught her hand in his and kissed it, slowing the Peugeot so that he could take the next right turn.

“Where are you going? The route is straight ahead.”

“To attend to my duties, darling. We should not miss our opportunity in this beautiful locale.”

“You don’t even know where we are, Rem.”

“We are in the countryside in the south of France, love.”

Remington turned the car into the next road which was an even narrower two lane road overhung with trees on either side. A sign indicated there was no outlet.  At the end of the road there was an abandoned barn.

“Well, this seems to be a good spot, don’t you think?”

“Remy,” Laura tried to protest, but the look in his eyes told her that it would be useless, and she felt her flesh already preparing for him.

“I dare say there is more room in this old Peugeot than in the Auburn, wouldn’t you?”

“Yes, I think so.”

Remington reached for her hand and, turning it so that he could inhale the scent of it, kissed it again, and then leaned over to kiss her cheek and then her lips as he found the release that allowed her seat to recline completely. Remington deftly unfastened her blouse and released her bra, kissing her bosom as her skirt slipped above her thighs.

“Suppose someone comes along.”

 “No one will come through here.  Help me with my trousers, love.”

 “You are so . . . skilled . . . at this sort of thing,” Laura murmured as he arranged himself over her in the narrow seat.

 “Never a dull moment, that’s my motto. I could not bear the thought of your becoming bored with our sex life.”

“Remy! I . . . I . . .”

Remington positioned himself between her thighs.

“I love you, woman.  Don’t you know how much I love you?”

“Yes, darling! Yes!”

Remington kissed her again and again, first tenderly and then with increasing urgency till all else was forgotten and Laura took him deep inside her and they made love in earnest in the shaded glen.

Suddenly they felt something pushing against the car.

“Remy, what’s that?”

“Umm, Laura,” Remington was lost in the moment.

“Remy, please, something’s pushing the car.”

Then there was a loud “moo” that did penetrate Remington’s senses and he lifted his head to meet the placid gaze of a huge white Charolais cow.

<i‘‘Viens, viens,”/i> a masculine voice boomed to his charges.  <i“Excusez-moi, monsieur,”/i>  he sang out cheerfully in retreat.

Remington and Laura began to laugh uncontrollably as the voice of the cowherd and the sound of the cowbells receded into the distance.

“You should have seen the expression on your face when you saw that cow.” Laura continued to laugh.

“Well, it wasn’t your arse that was exposed for the world to see.”

“You take a chance when you make love to your wife in the broad open daylight,” Laura teased. “But you have such a lovely bum.”

Laura patted him on his bare bottom and pinched him playfully.

“I hope that means you haven’t lost the mood, darling,” Remington whispered as his passions gathered again and he bent to kiss Laura on her cheeks, her throat, her breasts, wooing her once again.  “They’re gone, love.  It’s just us.  Take me back. Take me, please,” he begged.

“Remy, I . . . don’t know.  Remy . . . you’re hopeless. Remy . . . yes,” she sighed, forgetting about everything except the pleasure of connection as Remington came into her again.

* * * * * *

It was dark when they got back to Provence. Laura found the twins fretting for her and took them from Esperanza into the bedroom with her. She lay down in bed with them and Remington lay beside her letting first Reade, and then Rhett clamber over him while they took turns nursing.

When the twins were finished and sleeping in their arms, Remington eased them into their bed in the adjoining room and then sat up late in to the night pouring over the material they had obtained from the Carmelites in Marseilles.

(End of Part A)

To Part B

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