"Steele Stringed Hearts"© 2016
Chapter 3
by NorahBolt56

Remington awoke just after 8 the next morning. He had dreamt of making love to Laura and he wondered for a moment if the dream had been real as he felt a woman in his arms. As he opened his eyes though he remembered it was Kate, not Laura, who was in his arms and in his bed. The events of the night before then came flooding back to him - Kate turning up at his door, how they had talked and reminisced and then how one thing had led to another. He ran a hand over his face trying to sort out his conflicting emotions. On the one hand he felt as if he had betrayed Laura, but on the other hand he felt Laura had made it perfectly clear to him that they should step back from their 'personal relationship', such as it was - so why should he feel guilty? And he couldn't deny that he had enjoyed last night - being with Kate again had brought back a host of memories of a simpler time in his life and he knew he couldn't deny he still had feelings for her. Just exactly what those feelings were though he wasn't entirely sure of, especially when he knew he also had very strong feelings for Laura.

His dreams of Laura and the fact he was holding a naked woman pressed up against him had had a marked effect on a certain part of his anatomy he realised. He briefly contemplated waking Kate up and picking up where they'd left off the night before but he then realised that wouldn't be fair on either her or Laura. You're not a hormone fuelled teenager anymore old boy, he thought to himself, realising he needed to exercise a modicum of self-control and think with what was in his head rather than in his pants. Although the thought of making love to Kate again, if for the last time, was a very tempting idea he thought better of it (for both their sakes) and instead, careful not to wake her, he got out of bed and went to take a very cold shower.

Unbeknownst to him, Kate had awoken at the same time he did but with her back to him as they slept with her against him in his arms he had not realised. What had happened between them the night before also came rushing back to her as she felt his breath on the back of her neck and his arm around her, as well as his arousal pressing insistently against her. God, it would be so easy to turn around and grab him and pull him to her and make love to him just one last time, she thought as her body yearned to do just that, aching from the memory of his touch the night before. But her heart and her head stopped her, because she knew it would be the last time they would ever be together like that, as she suspected his heart now belonged to someone else. As tempting as it was she couldn't bring herself to do it, so instead she feigned sleep, trying to blink back her tears as she steeled herself for the inevitable conversation they would have to have when he was out of the shower.

After a while Kate heard him turn off the shower and come back into the room. Knowing she couldn't put it off any longer she rolled over to face him. She almost regretted her earlier decision as she took in the sight of him, half naked, wearing only a towel and dripping wet and a particularly vivid memory of a time when they had shared a shower in their younger years sprang into her mind. She gulped a little as he smiled at her.

"Morning," he greeted her a little uncertainly, trying to read the expression on her face. Did she regret last night? he found himself wondering. "Sorry if I woke you," he apologised as he came and sat down on the bed next to her.

"Morning," she replied, suddenly feeling a little awkward. "No you didn't wake me. What's the time? I've got to get to rehearsal," she went on, trying to find an excuse to get out of his bed.

"It's almost 8:30," He stared at her intently and tugged at his earlobe as he tried to find the right words. "Kate… about last night.." he started to say. Here it comes, she thought.

Kate shook her head ruefully, not quite as prepared as she had thought she was to hear him say, 'Thanks it was fun, but there's no future for us'. "Harry I agree we do need to talk about last night but first can you get dressed as I'm finding it very hard to concentrate with you sitting there half naked," she confessed.

He smiled at her and cocked an eyebrow mischievously. "Well I could say the same to you - at least I've got a towel on," he quipped as he handed her his robe.

Avoiding his intense gaze and what it was doing to her she muttered hurriedly. "I ah.. think I'll go hop in the shower - then we'll have that talk," as she pulled on the robe and disappeared into the bathroom, glad to put some distance between them.

He stood there for a few minutes trying to focus on getting some clothes together to wear to the office that day and trying to figure out what he was going to say to Kate, when he heard the doorbell buzz. Who could it be at this time of the morning? he thought to himself, as he went to answer it, still clad in only a towel.

"Laura!" he exclaimed in surprise as he opened the door.

Laura's breath caught in her throat at the sight of him half naked, wearing only a towel. "Mr Steele," she greeted him, trying to hide the catch in her voice and trying desperately to tear her eyes away from his lean body. "Sorry to drop by unannounced," she found her voice, "but I thought we could ride into the office together. I've got some theories on the case I wanted to discuss." She walked into the apartment, catching a whiff of his intoxicating cologne as she squeezed past him, fighting the urge to grab him and kiss him and have her way with him right then & there.

"Ah yes Laura well that's all very good, but as you can see I'm not dressed yet so how about you go ahead and I'll meet you at the office say in half an hour or so," he stated hurriedly, trying to get her out of there before she realised he wasn't alone.

"It's okay I can wait for you to get dressed," she replied as she plonked herself down on the couch and thought mischievously to herself, and I can watch you parade around half naked in that towel for a while too. It was then she saw the two wine glasses on the coffee table, still there from the night before, and heard the shower running and then being turned off. The stark realisation then hit her that he wasn't alone.

Just at that moment, as she looked at him, the hurt showing in her face, and he looked at her somewhat guiltily, Kate came out of his bedroom, also clad in only a towel saying "Hey can I borrow a toothbrush?"

The three of them stared at each other for a moment, the awkward silence broken by Laura as she angrily sprang to her feet. "Miss Kelly - what a surprise," she said sarcastically, glaring at her.

"Miss Holt," Kate shot back at her in a clipped tone, glaring back at her, the woman who had stolen Harry's heart.

Remington suddenly felt very uncomfortable. "Laura.. I can explain.." he began as both women looked at him expectantly, Kate thinking to herself, this should be good.

"Save it Mr Steele - I'm obviously interrupting something so I'll leave you to it. I'll see you at the office - and for God's sake put some clothes on before you get there!" she spat at him as hot, angry tears sprang to her eyes and she stormed out, not before shooting both him & Kate a dirty look and slamming the door behind her.

Kate turned on him angrily. "Do you want to explain to me what that was all about and what exactly your relationship with your 'associate' is? And don't give me any bullshit about it being only a professional one as no woman gets that upset about seeing her boss with another woman unless they have a lot more going on than just a working relationship," she demanded.

He sighed as he ran a hand through his hair. "It's ..complicated," he admitted, not really knowing what to say.

"So what was last night then Harry - just a trip down memory lane? A romp for old time's sake?" she threw at him bitterly.

"No Kate.. it was more than that," he replied, searching for the right words to explain. He stepped closer to her but she put her hands up to stop him.

"No it's my own stupid fault. I was naïve and nostalgic enough to think we could just pick up where we left off. I should have known you would have moved on. We should have just left the past in the past - let's face it Harry, we're not kids anymore. Well it won't happen again - I can assure you of that." She shook her head ruefully trying to blink back her tears.

"You love her don't you?" she then asked, although it was more a statement of fact than a question. He couldn't look at her - he hadn't ever said it out loud and he still couldn't bring himself to say it, although he knew it was true. Kate had always been able to see through him though. "You don't have to answer - I saw it in your eyes, the way you looked at her just then. I know that look," Kate said giving him a meaningful glance, as despite her best efforts some tears slipped down her cheeks, as she realised that there was something more in the way he had looked at Laura than in the way he used to look at her. "It just confirms what I suspected last night," she went on as he looked at her somewhat surprised.

How could she have suspected he was in love with someone else when he was making love to her? he thought.

"You called me her name," Kate stated in reply to his questioning look, though it killed her to do so.

He looked at her in shock. "Not when we were..?" he asked, wondering if in the heat of passion he had been too carried away to notice.

"No, thank God," she admitted wryly. "Afterwards - when you were asleep. You pulled me to you and called me Laura," she said, her voice barely a whisper.

"Oh God… Katie…I'm so sorry," he shook his head as he slumped down in a chair, guilt washing over him again. "I never meant to hurt you," he said honestly.

Kate smiled a bittersweet half smile at him through her tears. "You never mean to Harry, but you always do. You think I'd be used to it by now," she replied, which gutted him, as she turned away from him. "I'll go get dressed and get out of your hair," she muttered somewhat awkwardly as she disappeared into the bedroom, leaving him sitting there thinking what a mess he'd made of things - managing to hurt the two women who meant the most to him in the world, as his past and his present came colliding together with a devastating impact.

While Kate got dressed in his bathroom Remington got dressed in his bedroom knowing he had to go into the office eventually, but he was dreading incurring Laura's wrath when he got there. "Ah.. can I fix you some breakfast?" he offered when she came back out, a futile attempt he knew to try and make up for the hurt he had caused her. The sudden awkwardness between them was killing him - they had felt a lot of things around each other but awkward was never one of them.

"Thanks but let's not put off the inevitable Harry. I think it's time I left don't you?" she replied as she gave him a meaningful look.

He didn't know how to respond to that so instead he said "Well can I at least drop you somewhere?"

Kate shook her head ruefully, "No, I'll get a cab - the press would have a field day if they spied Kate Kelly the rock star & Remington Steele the famous detective coming out of his apartment building together in the morning."

"Yes I guess so," he agreed.

"Do you ever wish sometimes you were still just that kid back in Brixton?" she asked wistfully.

"Yes.. sometimes I do," he admitted with a sigh.

She called for a cab then said "I'll go wait downstairs for it." He nodded, not really knowing what to say, then went to plant a brief goodbye kiss on her lips but she turned her head away from him so it landed on her cheek instead. "Harry - let's not make this harder than it has to be hey?" she pleaded with him through her tears as she turned and walked out the door leaving him standing there mentally cursing himself.

Kate stared out the window of the cab as it drove her back to her hotel from Harry's apartment, lost in her own troubled thoughts and trying to blink back her tears behind her sunglasses. The cab driver had the radio on a country music station and Kate grimaced ruefully as Dolly Parton's hit "Here you Come Again" came on. Despite herself, she found herself singing along quietly with the lyrics which she could certainly identify with that morning:


"Here you come again, looking better than a body has a right to,
And shakin' me up so that all I really know
Is here you come again and here I go.
All you have to do is smile that smile,
And there go all my defences
Just leave it up to you and in a little while
You're messin' up my mind and fillin' up my senses."

She shook her head wryly. Oh God, you've got it bad girl - singing bloody country songs, she thought to herself. Hearing her singing quietly to herself the cab driver thought he recognised the voice and looked at her again in the rear view mirror.

"Hey you're KK- Kate Kelly aren't you?" he asked with a grin.

Kate sighed, not wanting to let on who she really was. "Oh I get that all the time," she tried to deny it. "Sorry to disappoint you mate but do you really think Kate Kelly the rock star would be singing country songs?" she forced herself to laugh.

"No I guess not - my mistake," the cab driver replied, not entirely convinced.


After Kate left, Remington called for Fred to come and pick him up in the limo. "Morning Mr Steele," Fred greeted him as he got into the car.

"Morning Fred," Remington replied somewhat distracted, lost in his troubled thoughts. As the limo drove to the office, Fred put the radio on as Mr Steele was uncharacteristically silent. Remington grimaced at the song that came on as he listened to the lyrics, feeling very torn as he did between Laura & Kate.

"Torn between two lovers, feelin' like a fool, lovin' both of you is breakin' all the rules…
You mustn't think you've failed me,
Just because there's someone else,
You were the first real love I ever had
And all the things I ever said, I swear they still are true
For no one else can have the part of me I gave to you."

"Ah Fred, do you mind turning that off," he said a bit uncomfortably.

"No worries sir," Fred replied, wondering what was bothering him.

"Fred can I ask you something?".

"Sure Mr Steele," the chauffeur replied.

"Have you ever felt yourself torn between two women?" Steele asked.

Fred laughed. "Can't say that I have sir. I would imagine that would be most guys' dream."

"Dream?" Remington snorted with a trace of bitterness. "Don't believe it Fred - it's a bloody nightmare," he stated ruefully as he shook his head and stared out the window.


When Kate got back to her hotel she quickly changed clothes then headed over to the stadium for the band's rehearsal. She tried to put her troubled thoughts to the back of her mind knowing that she had a busy morning of rehearsing and a press interview ahead of her. But no matter how hard she tried, her thoughts kept going back to Harry and the night they had just spent together and then the heart breaking realisation that his heart now belonged to someone else and she had lost him again.

She was glad to be rehearsing, hoping her work would take her mind off him. "Sorry I'm late," she apologised to her band who were already tuning up their instruments. "Slept through my alarm," she offered as an explanation.

Miles, her manager & record producer, who was talking to the stage manager Janelle, looked at her curiously. It wasn't like Kate to be late to rehearsal. In fact in all the years he had known her she had rarely been late for a rehearsal - Kate was the consummate professional. Despite her rise to fame she had remained humble, never forgetting where she came from. The excesses and demands often associated with rock stars were not something Kate Kelly entertained.

"Kate," he called her over. "Everything okay? Not like you to be late," he observed.

"Yeah sorry Miles," she apologised quickly. "Everything's fine," she lied, forcing a smile onto her face.

"I tried to call you last night - where were you?" he asked, wondering what was going on with her.

"Ah...I caught up with an old friend. I got back to the hotel pretty late & slept through my alarm this morning," she replied hurriedly. In order to avoid any further questions that she really didn't feel like answering, she picked up her waiting guitar.

"I'll leave you to it then," Miles stated, not entirely convinced. He had known Kate for a long time, was something of a father figure to her, and he knew her well enough to know when something was troubling her.

Before the rehearsal started Kate looked at the running sheet for their set. One song in particular jumped out at her, one of their biggest hits in fact, entitled "Blue Eyed Boy". She closed her eyes for a moment - there was no way she could bring herself to sing that song, not now, given who it was about. "Ah guys.. I want to take 'Blue Eyed Boy' out of the set," she announced.

"Why Kate?" Ronnie, her lead guitarist asked. "The fans won't be happy if we don't play that one," he pointed out.

Kate sighed, knowing she couldn't reveal the real reason. "I just don't think it goes with the rest of the set," she replied hurriedly.

Janelle, the stage manager glared at her. "Kate it's too late to be changing your set now - we've got the lighting & effects all organised already," she pointed out angrily.

"Sorry Janelle but I'm not singing it at the concert and that's final," Kate stated adamantly. "Now are we going to rehearse or not?" she added a little tersely, as the stage manager and her band looked at her in bewilderment - this wasn't like Kate at all.

"Okay Kate you know the drill - whoever gets here last picks out the warm up song," Nat, one of her back- up singers said to her as she passed a hat to her. It was a tradition with the band that they would randomly pick out another band's song from a hat to do a cover version of for their warm up at the beginning of a rehearsal.

"Okay, okay," Kate replied as she stuck her hand in the hat and pulled out a piece of paper. "Great," she muttered under her breath as she looked at the song title - "Making Love Out of Nothing At All" by the Australian band Air Supply. That song seemed very poignant to her that morning as she wondered if that had been what Harry was doing with her the night before.

Kate took to the stage and after the first few bars of the song started singing.


I know just how to whisper
And I know just how to cry
I know just where to find the answers
And I know just how to lie
I know just how to fake it
And I know just how to scheme
I know just when to face the truth
And then I know just when to dream
And I know just where to touch you
And I know just what to prove
I know when to pull you closer
And I know when to let you loose
And I know the night is fading
And I know the time's gonna fly
And I'm never gonna tell you everything I've gotta tell you
But I know I've gotta give it a try
And I know the roads to riches
And I know the ways to fame
I know all the rules and then I know how to break 'em
And I always know the name of the game
But I don't know how to leave you
And I'll never let you fall
And I don't know how you do it
Making love out of nothing at all
Out of nothing at all, out of nothing at all
Out of nothing at all, out of nothing at all
Out of nothing at all
Making love out of nothing at all

By the time she got to the guitar solo in the middle of the song, she was fighting to blink back tears as the lyrics resonated with her troubled emotions. God, this song sounds just like my life, she thought to herself. Ronnie and Nat both looked at her quizzically as they saw tears in her eyes. They exchanged a concerned glance, Nat shrugging as they both wondered what was going on with Kate.


Everytime I see you all the rays of the sun are
Streaming through the waves in your hair
And every star in the sky is taking aim at
Your eyes like a spotlight
The beating of my heart is a drum, and it's lost
And it's looking for a rhythm like you
You can take the darkness at the pit of the night
And turn into a beacon burning endlessly bright
I've gotta follow it 'cause everything I know
Well, it's nothing 'til I give it to you
I can make the runner stumble
I can make the final block
I can make every tackle at the sound of the whistle
I can make all the stadiums rock
I can make tonight forever
Or I can make it disappear by the dawn
I can make you every promise that has ever been made
And I can make all your demons be gone
But I'm never gonna make it without you
Do you really want to see me crawl
And I'm never gonna make it like you do
Making love out of nothing at all
Out of nothing at all, out of nothing at all…

The raw emotion in Kate's voice took them all a little by surprise. She wasn't just singing - it was like she was feeling every word.

"Kate, are you okay?" Nat asked her after they finished the song.

Kate hurriedly wiped away her tears "Ah yeah I'm fine - my eyes are just watering. Allergies or something I guess. I'm not used to this warm LA weather," she said hurriedly as Nat looked at her skeptically, not at all convinced.

"Uh huh - if I didn't know better Kate I'd say some guy has gotten under your skin," she stated perceptively.

Kate forced a smile onto her face "C'mon Nat when do I have time for all that?" she retorted, then in order to get off the topic said, "So I think that'll do for the warm up - how about we go through the set then huh?"

After the rehearsal Kate changed into some gym gear and headed to the makeshift gym set up backstage in order to let off some steam.

"I'd hate to be the owner of whoever's face it is you're imagining on that bag," Miles commented as he came into the gym to see Kate hitting the punching bag with all her might.

"Just trying to keep my fitness up Miles," she replied between punches. "It's been a while since I've performed live - I want to be as ready as I can."

Miles nodded as he looked curiously at her, not quite believing her. "Janelle told me you wanted to drop 'Blue Eyed Boy' from your set - any particular reason?" he asked. He didn't know if it was just his imagination but it seemed to Miles that she hit the bag even harder if that were possible when he mentioned 'Blue Eyed Boy'.

"I just don't think it goes well with the rest of the set," she answered, trying to cover up.

Miles looked at her with concern. "Kiddo, this is me remember? Now I've seen you riled up a few times over the years like you are now, so what on earth's going on?"

"It's nothing Miles," she lied, trying to convince him. "Maybe these 'accidents' that have been happening are just getting to me or something," she offered as an explanation.

Miles looked at her, not at all convinced. ´"Kate I know you don't scare that easily - it takes something more than a few accidents to put off Kate Kelly," he said knowingly.

Kate sighed. "Miles can we please just drop it. It's nothing I can't handle."

"Okay, okay," he relented, knowing how stubborn she could be. "But if you need to talk I'm here remember?"

"I know.. and thanks," she replied with a smile as he left her to her troubled thoughts.

To Chapter 4

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