Rs FanFiC—fAMILY sTEELE           Steele Still Searching Part 13- B     

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.



The next morning the Steele entourage prepared to leave for Milan.  Laura had booked a flight for them from Lyon and she was more than thankful that she had Esperanza along to assist with the twins. She was tired physically from their constant lovemaking, and yet she could not get enough of Remington after their forced separation.

Remington bounced into the bedroom, full of energy, dressed and ready.  He seemed to thrive on passion whereas Laura simply smiled languidly from her pillow.  He had come to bed very late and in the early morning hours they had turned to one another again and Laura was clearly still under the influence of those intimate moments.

“Darling, we have just enough time to get ready for our early afternoon flight. I didn’t want to waken you till it was absolutely necessary. Esperanza has the twins ready.  Do you want to nurse them now?”

“Yes, I am just tired this morning, Rem,” Laura said, yawning sleepily. “I must be getting old.  I still enjoy overdosing on you, but it takes its toll.”

“Darling, forgive me, but I find you so stimulating. And I missed you so much when you were half a world away from me.”

“You seem to thrive upon <iit/i>, bouncing in here like you’ve had a dose of some miracle tonic,” Laura said wryly.

“Yes, I do,” Remington said, winking seductively at her as he bent to kiss her ‘good morning.’  “I’m still thinkin’ about yesterday in that lovely glen.  I couldn’t believe it when those blasted cows surrounded us, mooing.”

“It was like that time we were trying to kiss on Los Amantes Lookout in the Auburn a long time ago and that poor deranged man, Berkholtzer, started shooting at us.”

“Actually we were trying to do much more than that.  I always look back on that as a ‘lost opportunity’ of a special kind.  We were coming so close, and it took us a long time to get back to that place in our relationship, didn’t it?”

“Yes, I was ready.  I guess my hormones were going at full tilt. And then I came back to my senses and I was so scared that we had come that close.  And yet, deep inside, I wished that we had not been interrupted up on Los Amantes that night.”

“I never got to make up for that.”

“Till yesterday. I wonder what that cow herder thought.”

“He thought that a man and a woman were simply doing what men and women do.  You will find the French quite understanding when it comes to matters of love, darling.”

Laura giggled girlishly.

“Bring me my babies.  I know they are hungry.”

Remington’s blue eyes widened as she sat up in bed and the sheet slipped away revealing her swollen breasts. Laura drew the sheet up and Remington caught her hand so that the sheet fell away.

“Let me look at you. You know that I love the sight of you when your breasts are full.”

Remington bent to gently kiss her breasts with his pursed lips and then smiled the slightly lopsided smile Laura knew so well, his nostrils flaring as he inhaled the scent of her.

“I’m helpless, Laura.”

“Yes, you are,” Laura said, reaching to stroke his hair. “But don’t ever stop being the man you are.  You know that I am always here for you . . . whenever you need me.”

“Thank you, Laura,” Remington whispered hoarsely, struggling to gain control of his passions. “I’ll go get our sons.”

 * * * * * *

The flight to Milan was smooth and uneventful.  Laura dozed on Remington’s shoulder for most of the trip.  The twins slept as well and Esperanza had an easy job managing them on the flight.  They arrived in Milan in late afternoon and took a taxi to their hotel, the Grand Hotel et de Milan on Via Manzoni, a luxury hotel, but one noted for its amenities for families traveling with children.  

By the time Remington and Laura checked in and were ensconced in the Guiseppi Verdi suite with Esperanza and the twins it was late afternoon and the twins were fretting.  After Laura nursed them, they promptly fell asleep and Esperanza put them to bed.

“Well, these are some really fancy digs, Remy,” Laura said as she surveyed the rooms with their ornate furnishings and gleaming parquet floors.

“What does it remind you of, darling?” Remington queried with a wink.

“The castle in Scotland . . . the master bedroom,” Laura responded immediately, turning to embrace him.

“That night you comforted me in that . . . special way. Unforgettable, almost as unforgettable as that first night at the Downtowner Motor Inn. Do you remember, Laura?”

“Yes, I do. I remember every time I see the look in your eyes that I see now.”

Remington drew Laura close and kissed her carefully and thoroughly, letting his hands wander up and down, cupping and squeezing her hips in his hands, pulling her up close to him so that she could feel his need for her escalate.  

“Laura . . .”

“Rem . . . Rem . . .”

“Let’s . . . let’s get into that beautiful sunken marble tub and relax a bit. Then I want to take you to one of the great restaurants of the world not far from here.”

Laura nodded and they shed their travel clothes and went into the bathroom together.

* * * * * *

Remington and Laura sat at a linen-covered table at Nino’s on Montenapoleone Street dining on veal piccata and tiny handmade ravioli and basked in the warmth of the early spring evening.

“So, did it live up to your expectations, darling?”

“Umm, yes,” Laura sighed.  “I can’t imagine that we are really here on business.  Are you sure?”

“Yes, unfortunately, I am sure.  I think that tomorrow morning is soon enough to begin to deal with that.  I have other plans for this evening.”

“Which are?”

“La Scala is just a couple hundred meters away. Would you walk with me a while, and then we can go back to our suite at the hotel. I have some rather specific plans for us then, darling.”

Laura smiled and sipped her wine.

“You look stunning tonight, Laura.”

Remington absorbed Laura with his eyes.  She wore a simple navy silk dress, long-sleeved with a wide v-shaped neckline that showed plenty of freckled cleavage.  Her hair was pinned up in the manner that still tantalized Remington, making it difficult for him to resist the urge to remove the pins and let it fall to her shoulders.  She was radiant with the peculiar radiance she always had when they were on a sexual marathon and she knew it. No face cream or makeup could bring that glow.  She felt good and she had been ready for Remington every time that he reached for her.

“I think that you must take responsibility for that, darling.  I am forty-six years old.”

“You don’t look it.  You look thirty-five,” Remington countered.

“Then you’d better keep doing what you’re doing for me, baby.”

“I plan to.”

Remington smiled and drew her hand to his lips and kissed it.

As the handsome Remington with his silver-streaked dark hair and his woman left the restaurant, they turned the heads of even the jaded Milanese.

* * * * * *

The next morning Remington wakened early, anxious to continue the search for his long lost cousin.  Although he was ready to finish the chase, so to speak, he was distracted by Laura, snuggled under his warmth as she continued to sleep soundly. He adjusted his position so that he could encircle her in his embrace. As desire for her surged in him again, he buried his face in her thick hair, groaning softly as the hard length of his body sought congruence with her soft curves.

“Remy . . .” Laura murmured as she gradually gained consciousness.  “Isn’t this where we left off last night?”

“Forgive me, darling. I don’t know when I’ve been quite so randy.  I don’t wish to tire you unduly. When I wakened, my mind was on the case, but,” his mouth sought hers, “I’m finding myself quite distracted.”

Laura looked into those blue eyes and saw that familiar hangdog look and knew that he was helpless.

“My poor baby,” she purred.

“In all these years I’ve never become accustomed to waking with you in my bed.  You are my weakness, Laura.  You could make me do anything . . . just to have you.  Do you realize that?”

“I don’t want to take unfair advantage of you.  I don’t have to dominate you.  I enjoy the surrender too much,” Laura said as she succumbed to his blandishments once again.

It was nearly ten when Laura wakened again. Her little boys were in bed with her enjoying their morning feeding and Remington was sitting at the antique desk poring over his notes on the case, fully dressed for the day.

“Darling, you’re awake.  I have <icappuchino/i> and some delightful pastries on the way.  The twins have been nursing for half an hour . . . should just about be finished.”

Laura saw her softened breasts and the contentment on the faces of her sons and knew that it was true.  She was always amazed when her babies nursed while she was sleeping. 

Remington came and sat on the side of the bed and watched her cherish their chubby little boys at her bare breasts, patting them, kissing them tenderly, as she gave them what only she could give them.

“I love to watch you . . . mothering.  You are quite beautiful with your children.”

Laura smiled, but said nothing.  She knew that she was a very good mother. Successful mothering had given her a confidence in herself that she would never have imagined in her single days.

“So where do we start today, Remy?  You look as if you have a plan.”

“Well, I thought that we might first visit that mutual friend of Aunt Chlöe and get the latest information on Sergio and his son.”  Remington paused for a long moment.  “Actually I believe that I know this woman.  The name fits and the occupation as well.”

“Who is it?”

“Constanza DiGregoria, the super-sized diva I was involved with back in my wild days before I met you.  I am sure you have not forgotten any woman that I have ever confessed to.”

Laura’s eyes flashed in response momentarily, and then she regained her composure.

“I saw that, darling. We are talking about a woman who is seventy years old.  She was twenty years my senior when we were involved.”

“And how many times would you say that you had intercourse with <iher?”/i> There was a hint of sarcasm in her tone.

“I don’t really know, Laura. I was somewhat at her beck-and-call. Probably thirty or forty times at least.”

Laura fell quiet.

“You’re still jealous of all those women, aren’t you?”

“I have a right to be jealous if I want to be.” Laura wrapped her robe securely around her as she got out of bed and prepared to go to shower and get dressed.

“Well, Constanza is our first stop. You need to meet her.  It was a business arrangement for me, Laura.”

“One that you enjoyed I am sure.  That was you once who described her with ‘breasts like towers and thighs like the Colossus of Rhodes’ or something like that?”

“I was not in love with her, Laura. Yes, I did enjoy the carnal pleasure of screwing her. That is all that it was.  Do you want me to lie to you?  You would know it if I did.  And I am not going to start lying now at this late date.  Now will you please get dressed so that we can go get this over with?”

Laura snatched up her lingerie and went into the bathroom slamming the door behind her.  She was inexplicably angry, so angry that she was crying as she stood under the warm water of the shower. 

I hate it when I meet one of those women from his past.  I just hate it. I just can’t bear the thought of it. It has been a long time since one of them cropped up, but I still feel the same disappointment.  I try to let go of these feelings, but it is so hard for me.

“You look lovely this morning, darling,” Remington said when Laura presented herself ready to start the day in a moss green pantsuit that showed off her slender, yet now full-breasted figure.  “The <icappuchino/i> just arrived.  It is fantastic.”

“I don’t care for any.”

“No pastry?”

“Not hungry.  Are you ready to go?”

“You will regret not eating, love. Your lovely lactation machines need priming with food.  I guarantee you will be ravenous by noon.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’m going to speak to Esperanza about the twins.  Let me know when you are ready to go.”

Remington watched Laura march away from him. She was completely changed from the amorous woman he had been having his way with non-stop for the past several days, and he was at a loss as to what to do to calm her ruffled feathers.

Remington hailed a taxi in front of the hotel and in just ten minutes it dropped them at the address of Constanza DiGregoria’s studio on a narrow side street not far from La Scala.  The studio was really an apartment in a chic building.  Remington and Laura got into the tiny elevator and went up to the sixth floor and found apartment number 12.  There was the sound of someone doing vocal exercises inside, and a sign welcoming entry.

Remington opened the door and they found themselves in a small waiting room with a couple of comfortable chairs and several Italian magazines and newspapers.  Just as they were about to sit down, the student inside finished and was escorted out by a large stately woman with thick black hair streaked with wide swaths of white.  She weighed at well over two hundred pounds and her huge unfettered breasts rested comfortably on her belly.  She wore a black knit sweater and long skirt and several bright coral and silver necklaces and long silver earrings that emphasized her strong cheekbones and huge dark piercing eyes.

<i“Mios Dios! Paolo?”

“Si, Constanza,”/i> Remington replied as Constanza grabbed him in a bear hug.

Laura watched the whole encounter in disbelief. 

“I think I never see you again, Paolo. You still are very beautiful man, as beautiful as any Italian man I ever had.”

<i“Grazie,/i> Constanza.  I have someone I want you to meet . . . my wife, Laura,” Remington said, drawing Laura to them.

“You . . . married? Paolo!  <iFantastico!”/i>

Constanza took Laura by the shoulders and looked at her intently.

“Laura, you know what man you got here?  The best!”

“I . . . I know.”

Constanza stood back and surveyed Laura from head to foot and nodded in approval to Remington.

“Paolo . . .”

“I am Remington now, Remington Steele.”

“Rem-ing-ton Steele,” Constanza formed the words carefully, rolling the ‘r’ in ‘Remington’ as if she were singing it. 

“I am a private investigator . . . in California . . . Los Angeles.”

Constanza began to laugh, her bosom and belly shaking.

“I have children . . . seven children, actually nine. We adopted two of them.”

Constanza continued to laugh in disbelief.  She had to sit down as she saw the man who had been her favorite dressing room lover completely domesticated right before her eyes.

“Constanza, I came to see you today because I need your help.”

<i“Si, si,/i>  what you want me to do, <icaro?”/i>

Remington sat down and let Constanza collect herself while Laura watched both of them intently.

“There is someone you know . . . actually a relative of mine . . . my aunt, Chlöe Chalmers, from London.  You have been friends many years.”

 “Chlöe Chalmers . . . your aunt?” Constanza looked at Remington in amazement.

“Yes.  And she is now looking for her son.  Her health is very poor. Actually she is terminally ill.  She says that you knew the man . . . the father of her child.”

“Marco DiStefano.  I do have such knowledge.  I have kept this knowledge myself for many, many years, Paolo.”

“And you know her son, Sergio?”

“Si, but Marco does not know that he has son from Chlöe.” 

“I believe that he has a right to know this.”

“He is alone these days.  His wife died two years ago.  He is craftsman.  He make violins.”

“Do you know where his son, Sergio, is now?”

“Yes, he was student of mine when he was nineteen, twenty years old.  Sergio Montopoli. He was adopted by Montopoli family.  We were . . . close.” Constanza gave Remington a significant look and shrugged her shoulders. “Then he went on to become understudy at La Scala.  Now he is voice coach.  Even Bocelli work with him.”

“You were involved with him,” Remington stated it as a fact.

“I was involved with many beautiful young men.  I was involved with you, yes?  I did not know he was son of Chlöe until much later.”

“Is he married . . . children?”

“He has had many women.  No marriage.  No children. His studio is nearby, Paolo.”

“I think that I want to speak to his father before I confront him.  Sergio always wanted to find his birth parents.  He wrote the nuns who ran the orphanage and asked for the information twenty years ago.”

Constanza turned to Laura and scrutinized her carefully.

“You must be good woman to keep this man.  He look very satisfied, si?”

“I think I know what he needs and I see that he gets it, Constanza,” Laura said directly.

“He always needed very much woman,” Constanza said with a sly wink.  “He never get tired.”

“Nothing has changed,” Laura said, trying to keep from smiling.

“Eh . . . is it necessary for you two ladies to analyze me in my presence? I will gladly leave you two to yourselves to have a cup of <icappuchino/i> and go search for my lost cousin.” Remington flushed, unaccustomed to facing two women discussing his sexual prowess right in front of him.

“It’s not necessary for you to go off on your own, darling,” Laura said to Remington, smiling sweetly as she took him by his arm, and then to Constanza, “I don’t dare leave him off on his own.”

<i“Si,/i> take care of your man, <icara,”/i>  Constanza said with a chuckle, writing down the information they were seeking on a slip of paper and handing it to them.

<i“Grazie,/i> Constanza,” Remington said.

<i“Ciao, Paolo.”/i>

“You and your cousin both were screwing the same woman,” Laura said bluntly as they walked away from Constanza’s studio.

“Laura, crude language does not become you.”

“Well, maybe I just don’t like to have to stand by and watch a woman that you were once involved with flirt with you.  Has that occurred to you?”

“She is seventy years old. That was a long time ago. You know all this.”

“She’s huge . . . and . . . she looks like a gypsy with all that makeup and jewelry,” Laura said, lashing out in frustration.

“Laura,” Remington stopped in front of her, effectively pinning her to the wall. “Do you want me to tell you that she was so passionate that I forgot how huge she was when I was on her, that the scent of her perfume and the sound of her voice when she made love to me was the most unforgettable experience in my life up till then.  Do you want me to tell you that she taught me the glory of big breasts, that she was so strong that she could handle all of me as often as I wanted her?  Then I tell you that it is true.  Now, are you satisfied?”

Remington was angry, and wished immediately that he had not spoken so bluntly to the woman he loved when he saw the look of pain on her face, but he resolved not to turn back. 

“You are so . . . so awful!”

“No, I am not awful, Laura.  I am good for you and I am good to you.  You lust after me just as much as I lust for you, and as soon as I get to back to the hotel I will prove that to you.  Now are you going to just stand there fuming about something that happened twenty-five years ago or are we going to find the people we’re looking for?”

Laura gritted her teeth and fell into step beside Remington without another word, even though her eyes were brimming with tears. When Remington glanced at her and saw that she was crying, he stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and caught her hands in his.

“Laura, I’m sorry.  Forgive me.”

“Remy, I . . . I can’t help it.  I try to absorb it all . . . but I . . . just can’t.  I am so insecure sometimes.”

Laura broke down completely in his arms and Remington just held her, smoothing her hair, trying to calm her.

“It’s my fault. My formerly reprobate ways seem to always rear their ugly head at the most inopportune time, don’t they?”

Laura nodded, trying to fight back tears, trying to regain her composure.

“It’s me too.  I’m so silly to think that a man I met at thirty wouldn’t have some kind of history.  I’m sorry, Rem.”

Remington bent to kiss her hands and then hugged her close.

“We will have to continue this later.  I think this is where we will find Marco DiStefano.”

They were in front of a small shop with violins on display in the window.  On entering the shop, it became evident that it was the entrance to a small factory actually.

A slightly built still handsome man in his mid-seventies came to greet them.  His hair was full and mixed with grey and his brown eyes were still able to give Laura an admiring appraisal.

<i“Buon giorno.”/i>

<i“Buon giorno.  Parle inglese?”/i>

“<iSi/i> . . . yes, I speak English. How may I help you?”

“My name is Remington Steele and this is my wife Laura.  We live in America . . . Los Angeles, but we are here looking for someone who was a close friend of my aunt who presently lives in London.  We thought perhaps that you are the man we are looking for.  Is there somewhere we could talk privately?”

“I don’t know anyone in London these days, Mr. Steele. I don’t really do any traveling these days . . . since my wife died.  My life is in this business . . . with the violins and violas we make.  But come, into my office.”

“My aunt is Chlöe Chalmers and she would have known you in the early 1950’s, 1952 or thereabouts.”

“Ah! Chlöe . . . of course I knew Chlöe. I think I have found love of my life when I meet her.  We spend time together.  I think that we have future together and then I come back to Milan that summer and never hear from her again.  She returns my letters . . . all of them.  I could not understand.  She is well?”

“Not at all.  She is quite ill with lung cancer, not expected to last more than a couple months.  At this point in time she wanted to resolve certain matters and that is why I am here.  She gave birth to a son in the spring of 1953.  That was your son.  She called him Sergio.”

The man blanched and reeled upon his feet for a moment.

“I must sit. This news . . . this incredible news.  She did not tell me.”

“She did not want you to feel responsible.”

“But I was responsible.  We . . . we were intimate without a care in the world, madly in love.  I loved that woman. Do you know where this child is?”

“He is a man, nearly the same age as I, and he lives here in Milan. He was adopted by the Montipoli family.”

“Dear God!”

“He wrote to my aunt twenty years ago asking to see her, wanting to meet his birth parents, but she did not have the strength to face him.  Now she wants to see him, wants you to know about him.”

“Have you seen him?”

“No, not yet. I wanted to give you the opportunity to be a part of this if you wish.”

“Of course.  A son with Chlöe. She I loved more than any other woman I have known.”

“Do you have children, Mr. Steele?”

“Yes, my wife, Laura, has given me seven children and we adopted two more.  I know what it means to be a father.  I also know what it means to be without a father and then to find him one day.”

“Give me a moment, please.”

Marco DiStefano left them in his office and retreated into a small lavatory that was nearby for several minutes. 

“Well, it appears that you have found what you’re looking for,” Laura said quietly.

“Yes, and I feel for this man.  It is fairly obvious that Chlöe was the love of his life.  A man knows when he finds that one woman, Laura, the one that makes him forget all the others. If I had lost you, after finding you, I should never have forgiven myself.”

Remington’ nostrils flared gently as he reached for Laura’s hand and held it.

When Marco DiStefano returned, he was red-eyed and wiping his nose with a white linen handkerchief.

“Mr. Steele, who directed you to me, if I may ask?” Marco asked as he put on a finely tailored jacket.

“Actually it was an old friend . . . of Chlöe and of me, Constanza DiGregoria.”

“Ah, Constanza, I do know her well. She has given me much comfort over the years.  You understand.”

“Yes, I understand.  Many have been recipients of her gracious gifts.  Suffice it to say that I knew her when I was a young man.”

Laura raised her eyes in mock disbelief as yet another man was added to Constanza’s ledger.

“That was before I met Laura, my wife, and the love of my life. I have never felt the need to turn elsewhere since the first day we met.” Remington said the words to Marco, but he was looking at Laura, his cobalt eyes speaking to Laura who blushed in response.

Marco realized that there was some subliminal communication going on and smiled knowingly.

They left the violin shop and headed to the studio where Sergio Montipoli coached his students.  It was nearly time for siesta and shops were closing as they approached the door.

“Sergio? Sergio Montopoli?” Remington found himself looking directly into blue eyes not unlike his own.  They were the eyes of the Chalmers gene pool.  The extremely handsome man he faced was of similar build with coal black wavy hair and Florentine features.  There was also a certain world-weariness in his eyes that told volumes about his state of mind.

<i“Si,/i> I am Sergio. You are?”

“I am Remington Steele.  I am the nephew of Chlöe Chalmers in London.  I believe that you wrote to her nearly twenty years ago in search of your birth mother.”

Sergio stopped in his tracks. 

“She never answer my letter,” he said bitterly.  “She does not want to see me.”

“She wants to see you now. That is why I am here.  She wants to tell you herself why she did not answer your letter.”

<i“Che diavolo!/i> I’m going to be sick. Excuse me.” Sergio went pale with nausea and disappeared into his studio for several minutes.

When he reappeared, Sergio was composed, but still pale.

“I know this is quite a shock, Sergio, but I knew no other way to tell you this news.”

“And I will tell you this thing.  I do not want to hear it.  She never want me.”

“Listen, man, I know how you feel.”

“You cannot know,” Sergio said bitterly. “Do you know how hard for me it was to write letter twenty-five years ago, to ask for my mother?  She never answer me!  Never!  My mother never answer me!” Sergio sobbed.

“I too am an orphan.  I understand the hell you’ve lived through.”


“My mother died when I was born and I never found out who my father was till the day he died.”

“The day he die?”

“And not knowing he was at death’s door, so to speak, I wasted precious moments being angry with him for not revealing himself sooner.  By the time my anger had cooled, it was too late.  Yes, we reconciled, but that hour of anger I could not retrieve.  Do you understand me?  Your mother is dying!  She wants to see you.  That is all that is important at this point in time.”

Sergio looked at Remington as if really seeing him for the first time.

“Man, your father is here as well.  His name is Marco Sergio DiStefano, a violin maker from here in Milan.  He is outside with my wife.  He also only found out about your existence this very day.  And he wants to see you.”

<i“Mio padre?”/i>  Sergio was stunned at this additional news.

<iSi/i>, your father.  Can you handle this, Sergio?”

“I never thought that I would find my parents.  <iMio genitori addotivo/i> . . . were good to me, but they die when I am just a boy in a boating accident.  I have been on my own since then . . . wanting to know.  I found the records of my adoption after death of the Montipolis. And you would be ‘cousin?’ ”

“Yes, and my story is like yours in many ways.”

“Remington . . . cousin.”

“Are you ready to meet your father?” Remington’s voice was husky with emotion.

“Yes, I am.”

Sergio nodded and tried to collect himself at Remington went to the reception area of the studio and signaled for Laura to bring in Marco DiStefano.

As the two men caught sight of each other their connection was immediately apparent.  Sergio looked at him with the recognition of a blood relative, hugged him, kissed him on both cheeks and fell into his arms.

  The two men cried together, overwhelmed by the impact of this emotional meeting.  Remington and Laura left the men in the studio and went back into the reception area to give them privacy.

Remington was visibly shaken and Laura just caught him by his arm and held it tightly.

“It brought it all back, didn’t it?”

“Yes, I realized how much I wished that I’d had just a bit more time knowing Daniel as my father before he died.  After all these years, I still miss that man so much, Laura.”

“I know that you do,” Laura said, kissing him on his cheek, “I’m sorry that I was . . . difficult earlier today.  I love you so much.”

“You are my strength, Laura.  You were the first thing in my life that was absolutely true.  Do you know that?  Daniel was not who I thought him to be, but you were reality.  You are reality to me.  You brought reality into my life that first day when I walked into your office, and that truth sustains me every day of my life.”

Remington lifted Laura’s hand to his lips and kissed it as Laura stroked his thick sliver streaked hair.  That is how Marco and Sergio found them when they came out from the studio some minutes later.

“Thank you for coming today, my cousin, and for bringing my father to me.  I am ready to meet my mother.  I cannot change the past.  Come, we must celebrate this good news.” 

They all went into Sergio’s studio where Sergio got out wine, part of a huge wheel of provolone, a <imortedello/i>  and a long loaf of Italian bread and they ate and drank together, all the while talking, collecting information, bonding together for the rest of the afternoon.

Finally Remington and Laura took their leave, after arranging for the two men to meet them for dinner later at the hotel. Laura was quiet, pensive as they rode a taxi back to the hotel.  Finally she simply reached for Remington and he drew her close into his arms.

“Did you see those men . . . each one needing so badly to be loved . . . so far apart and now finally . . . together.  God, that was beautiful, Laura.”

“Yes, it was.  I thought about my own father, how hard it was to accept him leaving when I was a teenager, and how hard I wanted to be when he came back after all those years.”

“But you couldn’t stay angry with him, could you?”

“No, no more than Sergio can hold resentment for Chlöe.  And Marco . . . not having a clue that he had a son by Chlöe all these years.”

* * * * * *

Laura found her little boys waiting for her to attend to them.  He never tired of seeing his tiny woman with her breasts swollen full, her mature nipples erect and ready to be suckled.  Remington sat and watched her shed her clothes down to lacy panties and then slip on a robe.  All of her freckled shoulders and breasts were revealed as his sons clambered onto her for their evening feeding. Laura met the heat in his eyes and seduced him completely with her own eyes before turning her attention to her sons, cherishing them and talking to them as they nursed.

When the little boys were sated and falling asleep, Remington picked up the boys one by one and carried them to the adjoining rooms where Esperanza would care for them for the balance of the evening and went back to attend to Laura.  There was still some amends to be made after the tiff over Constanza.  There were several hours before they were to meet Sergio and Marco and he intended to use them well.

Lord, my woman never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think we are so settled into our relationship that nothing can rattle her, she is upset at the sight of a seventy-five year-old former paramour.  Constanza must weigh nearly three hundred now. If Laura knew the things Constanza taught me, she would jump out of her skin for sure.  Some things are best not said for the sake of peace and harmony.  Laura’s imagination is powerful enough as it is.  Now all I want to do is lie between her beautiful breasts.  And she knows it.  She has pushed all my buttons this afternoon.

Remington opened the door to the bedroom and saw Laura waiting for him.  She was wrapped in her robe sitting on the brocaded couch.

“Laura, I think we have a personal matter to take care of, don’t we?”

“What matter?” Laura was intentionally making him suffer.

“You need me, darling.  You need me to need you right now . . . to reassure you that you are the only woman in my heart and in my thoughts.”

“I don’t need you. I’ve had enough. You are the one that is always so . . . randy.”

“We are two of a kind. You are so hot now that you are about to melt.”

“No . . . I’m not.  I’m just fine.”

Remington came to her and sat beside her. He had shed his clothes in favor of a dark navy silk robe that fell open, revealing him at full tilt.

“I want you, Laura.  Look at me.  This is yours. You know that this belongs to you.  I don’t ever pretend that I don’t need you to take care of me. You don’t have to worry about anyone else ever touching me as long as you live.  If I touch you, Laura, I will know the truth.  But I know the truth about you and me already . . . before I touch you.”

As Remington’s hand slipped up her thigh, Laura gasped and capitulated, unable to resist him.

“Remy . . . Remy. . .”

“Just tell me how much you need me and we will resolve this problem, darling,” Remington said as he caressed her intimately.  “I need to hear you say the words.”

“Yes! Yes!” Laura moaned helplessly.  “I just don’t want anyone else to ever have had you.  Remy, I’m sorry. I can’t ever get enough of you. Please, don’t torture me like this.”

“Then we’re even, darling. Forget Constanza, forget every other woman I ever had, because I have forgotten them all.  When I think of woman, I only think of you, of what I am touching at this very moment. Do you believe that?”

“Yes, Remy!”

“And this?” Remington turned his attention to her breasts, kissing and suckling them over and over, taking his time to woo her.

“Your breasts are so lovely, Laura. You have no idea how lovely.  And you enjoy this pleasure, Laura.”

“Remy, don’t talk to me. Just make love to me right now,” Laura said, planting a passionate kiss upon Remington’s lips. “Don’t wait another minute!”

Remington picked her up in his arms and carried her off to bed.

* * * * * *

          At ten Remington and Laura were to meet Marco and Sergio for a late evening supper; but by eight-thirty Remington and Laura had hardly slept.

“Remy, I am so tired. I think that I am not in any shape for any company tonight.”

“Forgive me, darling, for exhausting you, but . . .”

“You couldn’t help yourself.”

Remington nodded and drew her close.

“I couldn’t stop, and you . . .”

“You make me crazy, Remy.  I love you so much.”

“And I love you, babe. Why don’t you sleep this off? I’ll get dressed and go to meet my new found cousin and his father.  I’ll make the appropriate excuses for you.”

Remington went in to the shower and when he came out, Laura was fast asleep.  She was still flushed from their evening of lovemaking, her thick chestnut hair loose upon her pillow, and Remington knew that he had never seen her more beautiful.  He fought the urge to get back into bed with her and finished dressing.

Remington, Sergio, and Marco met shortly past ten and immediately began a conversation that lasted well past midnight.  Sergio and Remington could have passed for brothers, they were so strikingly similar in appearance.

“Remington, you must tell me how you manage to find woman like Laura.  You seem to be real family man,” Sergio said.

“I guess that I am . . . a family man. It didn’t come easily, but Laura and I, we work at it.”

“You look like you would not be easily a family man, Remington,” Marco said.  “I wanted to be family man, but that one woman was the woman I lost in France that summer long ago.  I married, I had three children, but I was not good husband.  It was difficult . . . being faithful to one when that was not the one.  Sergio, I hope that your life was good with the Montipoli family.”

“Everything was good till my, my . . . parents . . . die when I was only fourteen.  I find the papers saying I am really adopted and everything change for me.  I was very wild boy . . . many women.”

“Constanza DiGregoria mentioned you in that special way, Sergio,” Remington offered with a wink.

“Si, she taught me many things when I was a young man.”

“Me also, cousin.  I knew her very well when I was here in Milan nearly thirty years ago.  I think we may have been dipping into that well at the same time.  She was quite fantastic in her day.”

“Her day is not finished yet,” Marco DiStefano added with a slight smile. “She is a woman who still gives much comfort to an old man.”

“Well, it seems that we have had other things in common, haven’t we?” Sergio said wryly.

“Yes, apparently we have.  I was thirty-four years old when I found my father. Actually I had been around him since I was fourteen, but I did not know him to be my father.  Consequently things happened that would have never happened, had I known he was my father.  Things such as being involved with the same . . . generous . . . woman.”

The men chuckled knowingly.

“How did you find Laura?” Sergio asked.

“Quite by accident.  I was quite a rake in younger days, supporting myself in a life that was not exactly on the right side of the law.  I went to America on a . . . mission and Laura was involved in it.  I saw her and I fell in love with her.  But I couldn’t get her.  She knew I wasn’t serious, that I was just a ‘Langston Drewes.’ ”

“A ‘Langston Drewes?’ ” Marco asked.

“Yes, a name we use for a man who cuts a swath through a woman’s life and then leaves her in the dust. That was what I had been with every woman I’d been with.  But Laura made me wait for her . . . nearly four years, before she let me have my way with her.  By that time I was hers completely.  I couldn’t think about another woman.  Now after nearly fifteen years of marriage and seven children, I am as passionate for her as the first day we met.”

“Amazing!” Sergio whispered. “I was going to take you with me to celebrate in some place I know.  Beautiful girls, you know?”

“Not for me, cousin,” Remington said. “I’m strictly monogamous.  I found Laura and that was the end of my tomcatting about.”

“Tom-cat-ting?” Sergio tried the unfamiliar word.

Remington explained with a descriptive gesture that they all understood.

“Amazing!” Sergio whispered, almost in awe at the import of Remington’s words. “What you have is either very special woman or you are a man who does not have great need.”

“I do have great need, Sergio.  Actually great need is a hallmark of the Chalmers men. But Laura is very special.  Before her I had easily been with a couple hundred women in my life, women from every place on the globe, but I had not found the happiness I was seeking.  It was purely physical.  With Laura I discovered that physical satisfaction can still leave you missing something.  I hope that you find that one day.”

“You are young man still, but I know it is true, Remington,” the older Marco said.  “This is why I must see Chlöe once again.”

* * * * * *

It was very late when Remington got back to the hotel and Laura was fast asleep.  Remington simply shed his clothes and crawled into bed beside her, kissing her cheeks and rubbing her thighs till she wakened.

“Remy . . .” Laura murmured sleepily.

“I just want you to know how much I love you, darling.  I had to tell you . . . now.”

“I know,” Laura whispered as her exhausted husband fell asleep in her arms.  “I know.”

* * * * * *

The next morning Remington awakened to the sight of Laura bustling about their room, sorting and packing.  Much to his chagrin, she was wrapped in her long silk robe, her long hair down on her shoulders.

“Darling, there’s no need to rush about.  We’ve solved our case. Don’t you want to come back to bed?”

Laura stopped and regarded her husband, his hair tousled from sleep, his overnight’s growth of beard, his naked body only barely covered with the sheets and caught her lower lip in her teeth as she sensed her flesh warming involuntarily at the sight of him.

“Remy, darling, I would love to come back to bed, but we have to get ready to go.  Our work is finished here.  We must get back to London with Sergio and his father.  His father is still going, isn’t he?”

“Er, yes, he wants to see Chlöe.  It is quite amazing, Laura and quite tragic . . . my father Daniel and Margaret, Aunt Chlöe and her Italian violin maker, Marco . . .  people doomed to a few passionate weeks or months and then loss, terrible loss. If that had happened to us, if somehow we had not ended up together . . .”

Remington’s eyes revealed a certain melancholy, and Laura came and sat on the side of the bed.

“Did you mean it when you said that you would love to come back to bed with me?”

“Yes, I was hoping this morning . . .” Laura could not continue.

Remington took her hand, kissed it and placed it on his bare chest so that Laura could feel his heart beating.

“Do you know how much I love you, woman, how thankful I am that I found you and that you were willing to have me? I don’t take you for granted, darling, when I am on you making love to you, when you give me that marvelous gift that you give me each time. You are never just flesh to me. I want you to know this.”

 “You told me that once before a long time ago and I know it’s true. Sometimes I find it difficult to handle your past . . . activities . . . but I never forget for a moment that you are the man I love more than life.”

Remington caught her other hand and drew her down into the bed with him to kiss her. His hands tangled in her long hair as the kiss went on and on, as first she was on top of him, and then continued as he rolled over so that she was under him.

“May I, darling?” Remington groaned as his lips claimed hers again and again.”

“Yes . . . yes . . . oh, yes!”

They were completely involved, Laura losing her robe as they caressed each other till suddenly they came together with jolting force under the satin sheets of the bed in the Guiseppi Verdi suite.  The union was perfect, overlaid as it was with the realization that they could have ended up without one another if they had not finally come to terms with their feelings so many years before.

“Babe, babe, I . . . love . . . you!”

“Yes, Remy, yes, I love you too . . . so much!”

They both cried as the rhythm of coitus carried them along. And then there was no more intelligible speech. The climax struck them powerfully, simultaneously just like flashes of a bright kaleidoscope in front of their eyes,  Laura wailing softly and Remington grunting with each pelvic spasm that delivered his ejaculate deep into her.

“Laura . . . woman . . .”

Remington felt her trusting him completely as she gave in, surrendering in his arms, overwhelmed by the contractions in the pit of her own belly, trembling helplessly, teeth clattering.

“I don’t think we will be ready to go anytime soon, do you, love?” Remington murmured, as he smoothed her hair back and kissed her tenderly.

“I guess . . . not.  You always know . . . what we need . . . what’s best . . . don’t you?”

“This was what you needed, darling, wasn’t it?” Remington asked, his languid blue eyes looking into her very soul.

“Yes, I think it was.”

“There is no time like the present, nothing more important that we could do this morning than be together, me inside of you, you bein’ my woman, my wife.”

“Rem . . . Remy, darling,” Laura moaned, fluttering helplessly as she felt his power reasserting itself deep inside her.

“Take it easy, old girl.  It’s all right . . . all right. Babe, we’ve got all the time in the world.”

* * * * * *

It was nearly noon when Remington, Laura, and their toddlers met Sergio and Marco for late breakfast at the hotel. 

Marco and Sergio smiled at one another knowingly as Laura and Remington shot passionate glances at one another between managing their energetic young sons.  Remington was obviously distracted by his petite full-bosomed woman, his unabashed stares making it clear that she was the focus of all his passionate energy; and Laura smiled the secret smile of a woman who has been completely satisfied. Both of them had the radiance that these two men of the world knew came from only one thing and they envied Remington for it.

“So it looks like we could leave as early as tonight for London.  The tickets are all arranged.  I’ve contacted my uncle in London and they will be expecting us at 10:00 p.m.  Remington said as they consumed the hearty breakfast.

“You don’t think that it will be too much for Chlöe . . . seeing me, Remington?” Marco asked.

He was in some trepidation at the prospect of seeing his former lover <iin extremis./i>

“Actually she is completely lucid.  I spoke to Jacqueline last night and she said that her condition has seemed to stabilize at the prospect of seeing both of you again,” Laura said encouragingly.

“It is certainly good to see you with your children, cousin,” Sergio said.  “Hard to believe you were such a bad boy in the old days, but Constanza says that it is true.”

<i“Si,/i> and that is why I do not wish to overstay my time here in Milano.  Paolo Fabrini was a completely different man from what I am now and I don’t want anyone from my past to confuse the issue.  No need to attract too much attention.  I have too many responsibilities to be careless.”

“It is true, my son,” Marco agreed.  “We will be ready to leave for London tonight.”

Rhett and Reade were climbing onto Sergio, curious to examine this newest member of the family.  Sergio was obviously overwhelmed by the sturdy little boys with the blue eyes of their father and the chestnut hair of their mother and Remington reached to retrieve them from him.

“No, it is good.  This is family, yes?  They will always know their father and their mother.  That is what family is all about.  You must know who you are to be anybody, yes?”  Sergio’s eyes filled as he let Remington’s toddlers climb over him.

* * * * * *

 By six-thirty in the evening Remington and Laura, their children, Esperanza, along with Sergio Montipoli and Marco Feruzzi were boarding the British Airways flight from Milan to London.   As they went through the final check point, the security agent looked hard at Remington’s passport and then back at him.

Remington gave him a blank look and smiled.

“Is there something?”

<i“Parla Italiano?”

“Parlo un po,”/i> Remington replied.

“You look like someone I know many years ago, very much.  But he was something else, not man with wife and children.  Not that man!”

“I guess not,” Remington said, meeting the man eye-to-eye as he held Reade in his arms and Laura held Rhett in hers and tried to maintain some control of the extremely active little ones while Esperanza attended to checking the paraphernalia they carried with them.

When they were finally settled on the plane and it was taxiing out to depart, Laura turned to Remington, but when she saw the anxiety in his face, she simply caught him by the hand and said nothing.  They were an hour into the flight when she saw him begin to finally relax.

“That man was from your past,” she stated as a matter of fact.

“Lord, yes!  What I did when I was in Italy was highly illegal, Laura.  That man once interrogated me for several hours about some paintings that were taken from a very rich man right there in Milan.”

“Were you involved?”

“Hell, yes! He was a Fascist who had stolen the pieces from unfortunate Jews during the Second War.  I felt no conscience at takin’ his ill-gotten gain and profitin’ from it.  But that escapade could have cost me my family today.  The price was too high, the risk too great.   I was a fool then, Laura.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Everything changed in my life when I met you and became Remington Steele.”

“Why did you admit to speaking some Italian when he asked you?”

“It’s an old trick of immigration agents.  Get you to lie and say that you do not speak the language.  Then they will speak to you in the language and you automatically respond in kind.  You will have ‘cooked your goose,’ as it were.  That is what happened to two escaping British war prisoners in “The Great Escape,” United Artists, 1963.  A response to a simple “Good luck” by Donald Pleasance as Lt. Colin ‘The Forger’ Blythe cost them their freedom and ultimately their lives.”

Laura took his hand and, placing it on top of hers, palm to palm, traced up and down the back of each slender finger with her other hand.

“We’ve become very comfortable with our life, haven’t we? It’s like you never were that fellow who walked into my office back in the day.”

“I know.  But you must know that I would never allow you risk your safety and security or that of our children because of my past.”

“I think that what we are talking about now is my decision to make, Rem.  Do you think that I would let you sacrifice yourself like that without fighting for you?”

“You’d take that kind of risk?”

“I’d fight like hell to keep from losing you,” Laura said resolutely. “I’m not leaving you anywhere.”

Remington caught Laura’s hand up to his lips and kissed it.  There was nothing else for him to say.  The look in her brown eyes was a look that he rarely saw.  It was the fierce look of a lioness protecting her den. Remington brought her hand across to his heart and held it there as their plane hurtled through the dark sky.

When they arrived in London, David Chalmers had two cars waiting to meet them when they cleared customs.  It was nearly midnight when they finally arrived at the Chalmers home in Mayfair and Laura immediately put her very tired children to bed.

David Chalmers did not find it difficult to connect with Marco and Sergio on a number of levels.  Chlöe was still wakeful and anxious and so they decided to bring Sergio and Marco in to meet her.

“Do you think it is wise in her state of health?” Laura asked.

“Do you think that we should risk having come all this way and then lose the opportunity that all of these people need to settle things in their minds, darling?” Remington asked.

The answer was obvious and it was reinforced when Remington and Laura brought Sergio into Chlöe’s bedroom.

“I can’t believe it. It is really you . . . my son?”

Chlöe took his face in her hands and traced all of his features.

“Yes, it is,” Sergio said as he broke down in tears and fell across his mother’s breast.

Marco stepped from behind Remington and came forward close to Chlöe’s bed. When she looked up, it was evident that she instantly recognized him. Chlöe extended her free hand and he took it without a word and kissed it and sat down beside the bed opposite Sergio.

“I think that we can safely leave them, Laura.  There is much for them to catch up on and they do not have a lot of time.”

Remington accompanied Laura back to their bedroom arm in arm.  They were both very tired, but happy that they had been able to accomplish their task.

Back in Chlöe’s room the three quickly bonded.  Chlöe just watched the two most important men in her life interacting easily as father and son.  Finally Marco turned to Sergio and Sergio knew that his father needed time with his mother.

“I think I go to bed. This day . . . so exciting that I will never forget.”

After Sergio kissed his mother ‘good night’ and left the room, Marco sat back down beside Chlöe’s bed and gazed at her.  She was still a stunning woman in spite of her illness and the years that had passed. The flush in her cheeks caused by the sickness in her lungs only heightened her beauty.

“Chlöe, did you ever know how much I loved you?” Marco asked.

“I knew that I loved you. You were my first man.  I threw caution to the wind when I met you.  That summer . . .”

“That summer I meet this English girl at the Sorbonne.  I think she must be so stiff and proper.  I do not know what to say to her. While I am trying to think of what to say, you take my hand, pull me into corner and kiss me hard.”

“I did that, didn’t I?” Chlöe said.  “I didn’t know what else to do.”

“I think this girl knows about man and woman.”

“But I didn’t know anything.  I went with you to your rooms.”

“You were virgin girl.  I was your first man.  God knows I fell in love with you, Chlöe.  When you suddenly leave Paris, I am desolate.  I do not know where you are, how to find you.  I would do anything to be with you, to be with our son, cara.”

Chlöe’s eyes filled as Marco slid from the bedside chair onto her bed so that he could embrace her and tenderly kiss her lips.

“Take your shoes off, Marco, and lie here with me for a while.”

Marco DiStefano lay beside Chlöe and held her just as he had held her so many years before when they were lovers.  It was as if all the time that had passed vanished and they were lying in bed together after making love, whispering the same passionate words again.

* * * * * *

Remington and Laura went to look in on their little boys before turning in for the night and then went to their own room to try to calm down and review the events of the most unusual day over a nightcap.

“You realize that you do look amazingly like Sergio,” Laura said. “He is not quite in such good shape as you, but the resemblance is striking.”

“Well, he hasn’t had a good woman to take care of him like I have. I owe it all to you, darling.  You helped me find myself, my identity, and you gave me our children.  We have a very good life,” Remington said as he poured a glass of Scotch for himself and wine for Laura.  “We could have been like Marco and Chlöe or Daniel and Margaret Ann<i—/i>in love, but losing one another in some way or other.”

“I got such a fright when that security agent seemed to recognize you. I tried to not react.  I know what you’ve taught me . . . about running a con.”

“You did well.  The situation was dicey.”

“I was not going to leave you there.  If they had detained you, I would have stayed behind with you.”

“You say that, Laura, but if they had detained me, you would have gone ahead with our children and I would have come later.  Please do not argue with me on this Laura.  It’s not just you and me.  You understand that.”

Laura nodded reluctantly, accepting his statement.

“I just don’t know what I would do without you,” Laura said, turning to face him and stepping into his embrace.  “I love you so much.  Just the hint that something could take you from me earlier tonight sent such panic through me.”

“Well, we survived that one.  That is all that is important.”

Remington kissed her tenderly with his open mouth, savoring the taste of the wine on her lips, exploring her with his hands, catching her hips and drawing her up close to him.

“Laura . . . when I found my cousin and took a long look at him, do you know what I saw?”

Laura waited for him to continue.

“I saw myself. Thank God he seems to have stayed on the right side of the law, but other than that, he is what I would have become . . . an aging roué, a decent looking chap who floats from one woman to another, never putting down real roots, never finding out that life is not about just finding a woman to use when you need one, but that it’s about finding the woman who completes you, makes you a whole person. Now that he has found out who he is, perhaps he will begin to resolve the rest of his issues.”

“Do you realize that you have become a very wise man, Mr. Steele?”

“Have I indeed?” Remington said, smiling down at Laura as he moved in to find her lips again.



It was two months later when Remington and Laura came back to London to lay Chlöe Chalmers to rest in the cemetery where the Chalmers family had buried their dead for three centuries.  They brought all of their children with them this time.  They wanted the children to begin to grasp the meaning of family, of life and death as well.  Chlöe’s son, Sergio, and her former lover Marco DiStefano were there as well.  They had left their affairs in Milan in other hands and spent most of Chlöe’s final weeks in constant attendance upon her. When it became evident that Marco and Chlöe had rekindled their love in those final days, even Sergio stepped back to allow them those precious intimate moments to share together.  And as Chlöe approached the end, Marco attended her as if he had been her husband for all those years, bathing her, feeding her, holding her in his arms when she found it difficult to breathe.

As the service at graveside concluded, they all stood silent for a long moment.  It was spring, a beautiful day, and yet a sober melancholy swept over them.

Sergio cried as he finally walked away from the grave, heartbroken at the loss of the mother that he had just found.

“Now, now, my son, come,” Marco comforted him, dropping into the Italian of his birth. “Be glad that we have all found each other.  I have found you, my son.  I have found again love of my life.” 

Remington was quiet, but his eyes were full, at the point of spilling over.

“Is there anything that I can do, Rem?” Laura whispered, catching him by the arm.

“Why is Daddy crying?” Tabby asked.

“Come here with us,” Cassie said, assessing the situation and taking her little sister by the hand.

Remington took a few steps away from the grave toward a relatively new marker in the Chalmers family plot and stood there, looking down at his own mother’s grave.

“It’s the first time I’ve visited this place since we laid her to rest here, Laura.  I know that it was right to move her here from Ireland.  She needed to be here, with Daniel, with everyone else.”

“Yes, it was right to bring her here,” Laura said, holding his hand tightly.

“Who is this, Dad?”  Michael asked, looking down at the elegant headstone.  “Is this our grandmother?”

“Yes, son, this is Margaret Ann O’Sullivan, my mother. She died giving birth to your Aunt Harriett and me.  Were it not for her, I would not be here.”

“Is that why Uncle Sergio is so sad?”

“Yes, he just found his mother and now he has lost her again.”

“You never got to know your mother,” Michael got the full import of the family history. “I’m sorry, Dad.  I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have Mom.”

“I don’t know what any of us would do without your mother, Michael,” Remington said, drawing Laura close with one arm and his son with the other as his tears slid down his cheeks.

* * * * * *

After Chlöe Chalmers was laid to rest, the Steele’s took all the family to Sous Une Orchidée, the family property in the south of France for an extended holiday.  It was the first time that all of the children had visited the place and since it coincided with spring break time, it worked out well for all concerned.  Managing their tribe of children had proved to be quite a challenge in the London house, but in the French countryside everyone could relax and unwind from the recent stresses upon the family.

Sergio was altogether fascinated by the rollicking family life of his cousin. He came with the Steele’s for a few days in France and watched the interaction of the children and their parents as well as the relationship of Remington and Laura with great interest.  It was impossible to be around Remington and Laura without noting their closeness, and the romance between them. And Remington’s frequent proprietary pats upon Laura’s derriere left no doubt as to what held his constant interest. 

Just before Sergio prepared to leave France and return to Milan, he went looking for Remington to pass a few final moments with him.  Lucien told him that Remington and Laura were in the caves sampling some of the most recent vintage.  Sergio heard them before he saw them.

“Darling, we are supposed to be sampling this vintage,” Laura giggled, as Remington took her hand and kissed it. “And you’re distracting me. You look . . . well the way you look.”

Laura’s good skin and mature beauty was complemented by her olive green turtleneck sweater and well-cut khaki shorts. Remington’s  jeans clung to his well-formed derriere and a soft blue twill shirt opened several buttons down revealed a generous portion of black and silver chest hair and the silver medallion that he still wore that bore Laura’s name; he hadn’t shaved since arriving in France so his beard was completely out as well.

 “Actually I’m having the same problem trying to concentrate on the wine when I’m looking at you. We can do this in the spirit of togetherness, don’t you think?” Remington said, drawing her from her chair and onto his lap where they attempted to drink from each others wine glass with limited success.

“Will we ever learn to do this?” Laura asked.

Remington took her glass and set it down on the rustic table in the tasting room.

“Actually there is something else much more interesting that I want to sample this afternoon,” Remington said, puckering his mouth and moving in for a kiss.  “You are especially fetching today. You know I love to see you like this . . . shorts showing off these knockout legs, turtleneck sweater boldly showing off these gorgeous unfettered breasts, hair down on your shoulders, no makeup or artifice, the veritable picture of an earthy countrywoman.”

 “You find me ‘earthy.’  That’s a description I haven’t heard before.”

“I have descriptions in my heart that it will take the rest of our lives to share with you.”

Remington touched her lips gently and brushed them back and forth with his.

“My goodness, darling, you are overwhelming me.”

“That is absolutely my intention, love,” Remington said, as the kiss that had started soft and tender quickly became wildly passionate.

They were so deeply involved in the kiss, frantically rubbing each other, that they were unaware of Sergio approaching.

<i“Scusi,”/i> Sergio cleared his throat, embarrassed to have stumbled in upon them in such an intimate moment, but unable to retreat.

Remington and Laura attempted to untangle themselves a bit as Sergio turned his back to them to give them privacy.

“Sorry, Sergio, we’re just a bit involved in our own mysteries here,” Remington offered as he attempted to compose himself.

“Rem, I . . . think I’ll check on the children,” Laura said, also somewhat flustered as she started to back out of the tasting room.

 “Laura, I will be along in a few minutes . . . after I bid farewell to Sergio.  You know where I will look for you.”

The look in Remington’s blue eyes left no question that this interlude remained to be finished as he caught her by the hand and kissed her lightly before she got away.

Sergio watched his cousin almost literally panting after his wife of nearly eighteen years with amusement as Remington struggled to pull his thoughts back to matters at hand before he finally poured each of them a glass of wine and sat down.

 “Yes, Sergio?”

“I see you . . .  so strong with your woman . . . your children and I wonder that you are not as me . . . no attachment.”

“I was like you before I met Laura.  Oh, I lost track of how many women.  It was just like going to a restaurant and picking out something to eat.  You eat it and you leave and you forget about it.  It was either good or bad, but you go on to the next meal.”

“Yes, it is like that.  I have not been a good man for women.  They like me, but I cannot stay with one woman.”

“Do you have children, Sergio?”

“No, I am very careful.  It is terrible to grow up without father.  I know this to be true, yes?”

“Yes, it is true.”

“But you, you and Laura, I see that it is very good still for you. There is much passion between you . . . many years  . . . many children.”

“To see your woman carrying your child is a beautiful thing, Sergio.”

“I have not seen it, Remington.”

“I want our children to know what love between a man and a woman is all about.  How will they ever find happiness or know how to make another person happy if they have never seen this with their own parents?”

“True.  This is true, cousin.”

“Is there no one special in your life?  Now that you know who you are, you need to find that special woman before it is too late.”

“I think about it.  I promise.  And now I drink to you and to your lovely Laura!”

Sergio lifted his glass to Remington’s.


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