"Steele Stringed Hearts"© 2016
Chapter 2
by NorahBolt56

Kate sat in her hotel room thinking about the events of the day - in a million years she never would have dreamed she'd bump into Harry again in LA of all places. God he still looked good, she thought to herself with a rueful shake of her head as a host of memories came back to her. She got her purse out of her handbag & pulled out the folded up photo booth strip that she kept there. It had faded somewhat over the years but the memories it brought back hadn't. She looked at the young teenage boy & girl in the photos, almost unrecognisable now, pulling silly faces and mucking around, and in the last photo on the strip they were kissing. She stared at that photo for a moment and blinked back a tear as she folded the strip back up and put it back in her purse. She then looked at another photo in her purse that brought a smile to her face. With a sigh she put her purse away then reached for the phone. "Yes I'd like the number for Remington Steele Investigations please," she said to the operator.

Later that night Remington was sitting in his apartment mulling over the day's events. Coming face to face with Kate O'Casey, his first love, again had stirred up all sorts of memories that he had long hidden as well as a lot of conflicting emotions. He had carefully evaded Laura's questions as to whether he knew Kate or not, as well as not divulging the real reason he had come out of her dressing room with a red cheek, where Kate had slapped him. He knew it was only a matter of time though before Laura uncovered the truth - she wasn't a top private investigator for nothing!

The buzzing of his doorbell interrupted his thoughts. Wondering who it could be at that time of night he got up to answer it. It's probably Laura, he thought to himself, come to drill me for answers. She's like a dog with a bone when it comes to finding out about my past he thought wryly. It was not however Laura at his door. "Kate?" he greeted the woman standing there with some surprise.
"Hi Harry," she greeted him with the only name she'd ever known him by.
"Haven't had second thoughts about giving me that right hook of yours have you?" he asked somewhat warily.
"No," she laughed as a rueful grin spread across her face. "I thought I might find someone here I used to know. I brought a peace offering - wine & Bogart," she stated as she lifted up the bottle of red she was holding and a video of The Maltese Falcon. "I got your address from your secretary," she explained with a smile.
He smiled back at her, which after all those years still had the same effect on her. "You always did know how to get me in Kate - you remembered I'm a sucker for Bogart," he said as his crooked grin crossed his face.
"I remember a lot of things Harry," she replied, giving him a meaningful look. "And we need to talk," she added.
"Yes indeed we do," he agreed as he showed her in. Unlike earlier in the day when they had first come face to face, he was now dressed in jeans and a casual blue shirt, more like the young man she used to know.

"Nice digs," she remarked as she looked around his luxurious apartment. "Certainly nicer than some of the dives we lived in in London."
"Yes well being Remington Steele does have its advantages" he quipped. He opened the wine and got a couple of glasses for them. "Good vintage," he remarked as he looked at the label. "Much better than the stuff we used to drink back in the day eh?" he added with a laugh as he put the video in his VCR and sat down next to her on the couch, handing her a glass.

"Just look at us hey? Who would have thought it? Two kids from the streets of London - one a successful private detective…" Kate commented.
"And the other a famous rock star," Remington interjected. "I'm proud of you Kate - you achieved your dream," he stated affectionately.
"Thanks, that means a lot to hear you say that. I guess I did - well part of it anyway," she confessed and from the look she gave him he knew what she was getting at. "I would have given it all up for you, you know," she stated simply her eyes searching his.
"I know," he confessed, "and I couldn't let you do that. I didn't want you giving up your dream for me."

"Is that why you left Harry?" Kate asked, tears suddenly springing to her eyes.
He ran a hand through his hair, feeling the guilt and regret again that he had always felt over the way he had left things between them. "Partly," he admitted then coughed a little nervously and went on. "I guess I got scared."
"Scared of what? I know things got a bit crazy when I got the record deal - did I go overboard with the whole planning our future life together ?" she asked the question that had haunted her for fourteen years. Had she driven him away?
"No, no" he reassured her as he shook his head. "I guess I got scared that once you found fame and fortune you wouldn't need me anymore and that you'd leave me,' he confessed, the vulnerability in his voice touching her.
She looked at him with shock. "Did you really think I would have done that to you?" she asked.
He shook his head ruefully. "Looking back now I know you never would have done that to me. But back then ..I guess I let my fears get the better of me. Everyone in my life that I cared about had always left me - I suppose I thought history was going to repeat itself," he admitted.
"Why didn't you tell me this fourteen years ago Harry?" Kate asked softly, trying to understand his actions of long ago.
He looked down at the floor, searching for the right words to say. "I..I guess I didn't know how to," he confessed. "As I said this afternoon, I'm sorry I hurt you Katie - I was a coward to leave you like I did," he added sincerely as she tried to fight back her tears.

As the movie played on they talked - a conversation fourteen years overdue. For a moment, he wondered if he should tell her about his relationship with Laura - but how to explain it? He didn't fully understand it himself - more than colleagues or friends, but not quite lovers? Plus Laura had made it very clear in Cannes that they should only have a professional relationship. So he stayed silent on that topic.

As they talked & reminisced & eventually laughed again together, Kate felt herself falling back into the familiar warmth of his company. As well as his love she had missed their friendship. She rested her head on his shoulder as he automatically draped an arm around her. How many times had they watched movies together in the exact same position in the past, they both mused. As the movie credits rolled an amused chuckle escaped his lips.
"What's so funny?' Kate asked.
"Oh I was just remembering the last time we watched this movie together."
A smile crossed Kate's face as she remembered it as well. "As I recall, I don't think we actually watched that much of it," she remarked with a grin.
"No we didn't, did we? Oh it's a rare woman than can come between me & Bogart, Katie" he quipped. "I do recall us getting thrown out of that fleapit for 'inappropriate behaviour' though," he added, his eyebrow going up in a devilish fashion as they both laughed. "Ah good times, good times," he sighed wistfully, his voice lapsing somewhat back into the Irish brogue of his youth. He didn't know if it was the wine or the memories but he felt more relaxed than he'd done in ages. The whole 'maintaining just a professional relationship' that Laura had insisted on and her apparent inability to trust him had put him on edge more than he realised. He closed his eyes for a moment, thinking back to his younger, more carefree days that he had spent with Kate - when he didn't have to pretend he was someone else, and suddenly part of him longed for that again.

Meanwhile Kate was fighting an internal battle with herself. Don't go there, a little voice inside her head warned her, trying to protect herself and her heart. But another voice said, what the hell? This is Harry. With some reluctance she said, "Well I guess I should go." He opened his eyes and looked at her and she knew she was a goner. She'd always been a sucker for those gorgeous blue eyes of his.
"I guess you should," he murmured softly, but his body was acting in direct contrast to his words as his face inched closer to hers.
"Harry I don't think that's a good i .." Kate half-heartedly went to protest as his lips brushed hers. Oh God, she thought to herself, they're still as soft as ever, and despite her best intentions she found herself responding to him.

When she finally managed to regain some self-control and pull herself away from him she whispered with a wry smile "You're making it very hard for me to leave."
"So don't," he replied, his eyes holding hers intently, and then added with a devilish grin, "You're making it very hard for me too," as he gave her a meaningful look which left her in no doubt as to what he was referring to .
"You always were a cheeky bugger Harry," she laughed at his innuendo. "Come here tiger," she murmured huskily, using her old pet name for him as she pulled him to her and his lips claimed hers again, but this time with a renewed fervour, the passion they had shared in their younger years roaring to life again.

As his hands wandered over her body she gave into the feelings he had always evoked in her. "Oh Harry I've missed you, missed this," she breathed. He remembered all the places she liked to be touched as she did for him, the places they had first discovered when they had lost their virginity to each other all those years ago. He ran his hands up from her waist to tenderly cup her breasts, a bit fuller than he remembered, as she unbuttoned his shirt and ran her hands through his dark chest hair, a bit thicker than she remembered.
"As much as fooling around on a couch brings back fond memories of when we were kids, perhaps we should move this into the bedroom eh?" he whispered seductively in her ear after a while, his voice thick with passion.
"Good idea," she murmured back with a grin, her voice husky, as he got up and taking her hand led her into his bedroom.

Despite their growing need for each other and the fact it had been quite a while since either of them had been with anyone, they started undressing each other slowly, taking their time. Kate still felt a bit hesitant but with each passing moment she found those hesitations disappearing as she gave into the memories he was stirring in her.

He pulled her black tank top out of her jeans slowly as his kisses ran down her neck finding that particularly sensitive spot he remembered she had, and she pushed his shirt off him, running her hands over his chest as they fell back onto his bed together. Needing to feel her body against him he yanked the tank top off her with a grin.
Kate grinned back at him then turned around "Ah can you give me a hand here?" as she nodded towards her bra.
"My pleasure," he quipped with a devilish wiggle of his eyebrows and as he started to unhook her bra he noticed with some surprise the tattoo on her left shoulder - a small Irish harp with some music notes around it. A slow, sexy grin crossed his face - oh she was full of surprises. He had never really been a fan of tattoos, especially on women, but on Kate they seemed to add to her allure and suited her somehow. "I don't recall you having a tattoo Katie and I certainly thought I had discovered everything about you," he whispered in a seductive voice as he gave her a meaningful look and he gently traced it with a long, slender finger.
Kate looked over her shoulder at him with a smile of her own. "Well a girl's got to have some secrets doesn't she?" she quipped cheekily. "And there's more than one," she added, giving him a challenging look.

"Really?" he asked with a boyish grin. "Where?"
Kate laughed then whispered in his ear, "Why don't you see if you can find the others," as she planted a kiss on that spot just under his ear that she remembered always drove him a little crazy.
His grin got wider as he divested her of her bra and then gently pushed her down on the bed, running one hand up her leg and the other finding a breast. With a little more urgency he started undoing her jeans as she did the same to him, As he pulled her jeans down he noticed the shape of a tiger along one hip . "A tiger?" he asked with a grin as he cocked an eyebrow at her.
"I like tigers," she replied with a grin of her own.
"Hmm.. now that I remember," he laughed as he playfully growled at her and started trailing kisses down her body until he reached the tiger tattoo. He slowly pulled down her underwear, his blues eyes never leaving hers as he tenderly kissed the image inked into her skin, leaving her trembling with need.
"Harry,," she breathed as she ran her hands through his hair, needing his touch.
"I can't see anymore," he murmured against her, his breath tickling her skin as his eyes roamed over her.
"Keep looking," she urged him with a husky laugh.
Always up for a challenge, he playfully flipped her onto her stomach and found her final tattoo on her lower back - it was a symbol he didn't recognise, although he was fairly certain it was some sort of Celtic design. Underneath it were the following words in Gaelic 'Mo chroi, mo shaol'. He had to admit his written Gaelic was a bit rusty so he didn't immediately recognise the words.
"What's that mean and what's the symbol?' he asked as he traced the outline of it, first with his finger and then with his lips.
Kate was reluctant to tell him what the symbol and words meant so instead she rolled over and pulled him down to her with a grin. "Will you shut up about my tatts already Harry and kiss me!" she exclaimed.
"Oh I can do better than that," he quipped mischievously.
"Oh I'm sure you can," she replied with a laugh as he proceeded to do just that.

Although in some ways it felt like their first time again, in other ways it was very, very different. No longer was he that inexperienced young boy fumbling and rushing to the end result. He had learnt through his experiences with women over the years that the journey to that end point was half the fun. He made love to her as an experienced man, taking his time to enjoy her and to make sure that she was experiencing as much pleasure as he was. And when their bodies finally merged together they fell into a familiar rhythm that felt to both of them as if time had stood still and no years had passed between them. They both found their release at the same time, a bitter sweet moment that left them both breathless and brought back memories for both of them. As he propped himself up on his elbows so as not to collapse on top of her and closed his eyes for a moment, an image came unbidden into his mind - Laura. He shook his head as if to dispel the image and the sudden stab of guilt he felt.
"You okay tiger?" Kate asked as she reached up and brushed a stray lock of hair off his forehead.
"Of course," he lied as he smiled down at her then rolled over, pulling her with him and putting an arm around her.
"Just getting my breath back," he explained hurriedly as she smiled at him.
"I know what you mean.. that was..", she couldn't find the right words to describe it. Amazing, wonderful , didn't even seem to do it justice. "You haven't lost your touch Harry. And you've certainly learnt a thing or two," she murmured huskily as he smiled.
"Well maybe here & there," he quipped with a mischievous grin. He pulled her closer, trying to enjoy the moment, desperately trying to push thoughts of Laura to the back of his mind, as he battled with his conflicting emotions.
Kate rested her head on his chest, the two of them silent for a few minutes, content to lie there together as they had done many times in the past.

Kate hesitated for a moment, trying to work up the courage to do what she knew she needed to. "Harry..there's something I need to tell you." When he didn't respond she said his name softly again. "Harry?" As she did so she lifted her head to look at him to find him fast asleep. A rueful grin crossed her face as she shook her head. "Another time then," she whispered as she gently kissed him and watched him as he slept. She had always loved watching him sleep - he looked so innocent and vulnerable. She fell asleep in his arms eventually as well but woke up momentarily during the night when he moved in his sleep, pulling her closer to him.
"Oh Laura," he murmured in his sleep as Kate looked at him in shock and felt her heart shatter into a million pieces all over again, just like it had done fourteen years ago when he'd left her.
To Chapter 3

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