"Steele Stringed Hearts"© 2016
Chapter 8
by NorahBolt56

When Remington couldn't reach Kate by phone in her hotel room the next day he decided to go to the hotel. He wanted to talk to her - he felt bad about how they had left things the other day and they hadn't had an opportunity to talk alone since. After their somewhat heated exchange in Gaelic the day before he knew she was still angry at him. He felt he owed it to her to try & explain. When he got to her room he found one of the hotel maids just coming out of it. "You after Miss O'Casey?" she asked as he nodded. "She just went for a swim in the hotel pool - it's on the third floor," she informed him as he thanked her.

"A swim? Kate?" he thought curiously. He didn't even know she could swim.

Kate was so engrossed in her laps that she didn't notice him come into the pool area. She had the pool to herself and that was how she liked it - swimming laps helped her relax and allowed her time to think, and she had a lot of thinking to do.

He stood there watching her for a while wondering if she was ever going to stop, thinking to himself 'Is she training for the Olympics or something?'.

Finally she stopped at one end, pulling her goggles off and looked up with surprise to see him standing there holding her towel out for her. "Harry? What are you doing here?" she asked as she hopped out of the pool.

He couldn't help but admire her somewhat curvaceous body clad in a wet, figure hugging swim suit. He handed her the towel whilst trying to avert his gaze as she wrapped it round herself. "I didn't know you were a swimmer Kate," he stated with a grin, trying to keep it casual.

"Oh there's a few things you don't know about me Harry," she replied somewhat cryptically. "I never had much need for it back in the day. It helps me think," she added as she looked at him.

"And what were you thinking about?" he asked.

"Wouldn't you like to know," she retorted a little testily.

"Yes I would actually," he shot back, his blue eyed gaze fixed on her.

"You haven't answered my question Harry - why are you here?" she demanded in an attempt to change the subject, starting to get a little angry. She had been mulling over the events of the past couple of days as much as Laura had, and one revelation in particular had got her thinking and as a result had got her somewhat riled.

"I didn't like the way we left things the other day. I wanted to talk," he admitted.

Kate sighed, a trace of bitterness in her voice. "What do you want me to say Harry? Thanks - it was fun?"

"Kate I'm serious," he stated in a frustrated tone.

"So am I," she retorted. "Laura let me in on an interesting little tidbit the other day - the fact that you two haven't slept together yet."

He looked at her with shock - he couldn't believe Laura had revealed something so personal to none other than his old girlfriend! "What the bloody hell didn't you two talk about during your little binge session?" he demanded, starting to get a little angry himself.

"Not much" she shot back at him. "So tell me Harry, was I just in the right place at the right time the other night? You haven't been getting any from her so you were feeling horny and thought oh good ole Katie will do for a shag?" she threw at him, her hurt fuelling her anger.

"No, of course not.." he protested but she was on a roll.

"How long has it been then - since you slept with someone? I gather you've had no shortage of female company - even if Laura hasn't shared your bed I'm sure plenty of others have."

He avoided her gaze, looking rather uncomfortable. "I've dated here and there and had plenty of offers believe me, but I haven't slept with anyone for around two and a half, almost three years I guess .. well except for the other night of course," he stated honestly.

"Are you kidding me? You Harry?" Kate said in disbelief, remembering what his libido had been like when he was younger. Granted he wasn't a teenager anymore but a good looking man like him with his obvious sex appeal, to not have slept with anyone in that long? It was unbelievable! "What, have you taken a vow of celibacy or something?" Kate asked incredulously.

"Something like that," he muttered between gritted teeth "and a lot of cold showers," he added ruefully.

"God you have got it bad for her don't you," Kate observed, shaking her head.

He suddenly felt uncomfortable - she was hitting too close to the mark. To deflect attention away from himself he said "Well unless you've taken up acting as well as singing I was under the impression that I wasn't the only one who enjoyed the other night - you were the one who came to my door remember" he pointed out, giving her a meaningful look. He had her there & she knew it.

"That's not the point," she went to argue.

"Isn't it?" he countered. "How about I ask you the same question Kate?" he threw at her, angry that she had more or less accused him of just using her for sex. "How long has it been for you? I suppose that's a silly question - you're a rock star after all. I guess you've got no shortage of men hanging around, fawning all over you," he said a little bitterly, realising with some surprise that the thought made him a little jealous, after all he had been her first.

A wry smile crossed Kate's face. "Not as many as you might think," she replied ruefully. "Not ones I'm interested in anyway. Oh there's plenty interested in the image or the fame & fortune but interested in me for me, not so many," she said as a somewhat bitter look momentarily crossed her face.

"So are you saying there haven't been other men in your life Kate?" he asked curiously.

"Oh there's been a few - no one recently though."

"You didn't answer my question - how long has it been for you then?" he pressed her.

She looked a bit uncomfortable then replied quietly, "Three and a half, almost four years I guess."

Now it was Remington's turn to be shocked, finding it hard to believe coming from an attractive, passionate woman such as Kate. "Seriously?" he asked.

"I've been busy," she replied a little defensively.

"What - too busy to have a personal life? What is it with you women and your careers - putting that above everything else!" he retorted in exasperation, as he suddenly wondered if he were talking about her or Laura and realised he could be talking about both of them.

At this Kate bristled a bit, a wave of anger & resentment towards him washing over her as she thought of how different her life may have been if he hadn't left her 14 years ago. "I haven't put my career above everything else, quite the opposite in fact. I've been busy rai…" she exploded but stopped herself before she finished the sentence, not ready to reveal all her secrets to him, not like this, in the middle of a fight.

He looked at her puzzled, getting the distinct impression that she was keeping something from him. "What were you going to say?" he demanded.

"Forget it," she mumbled. "Look I don't want to fight with you Harry," she sighed.

"I don't want to fight either Kate," he relented.

"I guess I just needed to know if the other night meant anything to you," she said, her voice barely a whisper, focusing her gaze on the ground as she couldn't bear to look at him.

He gently lifted her chin up to face him. "Of course it did," he said softly. "I don't think it was a coincidence that I chose to break my 'vow of celibacy' as you put it with you eh?" he said, his crooked grin crossing his face.

She nodded silently, blinking back her tears. "Even though it's been a while for me too it wasn't just physical for me either Harry - not with you," she admitted as she looked at him intently. "But even so, it's not enough is it? For either of us," she went on, resigned to the fact. "I won't be someone's second choice - not even yours Harry," she stated adamantly.

"I wouldn't expect you to," he replied with a wry smile as he ran a hand through his hair. "Oh Katie.. if our paths had crossed again four or so years ago things might have been different," he admitted with a sigh.

"But they didn't and maybe that's for a reason Harry," Kate started perceptively. "Maybe so Katie, maybe so," he agreed with a smile.

"Why didn't you tell me about Laura the other night Harry?" Kate asked.

He sighed in exasperation. 'To tell you the truth, I didn't really know how to explain our relationship. It confuses the hell out of me most days so I didn't even know where to start" he confessed. "I guess we're more than friends or business partners, but exactly how much more I don't really know sometimes. A few months ago we were in Cannes and it was just one disaster after another relationship wise and then Laura suggested we step back from our personal relationship and just have a professional one which I rather reluctantly agreed to."

"Seems like that's not what either of you want," Kate stated, giving him a knowing look as he nodded. "Looks like you & Laura have some things you need to work out Harry," she added sincerely. Despite everything, at the end of the day she wanted him to be happy.

"Don't I know it," he admitted ruefully. "But, well .. this is my life now...Laura's my life now," he added, his eyes searching hers for understanding.

"I know," she stated her voice barely a whisper.

"I'm sorry there can't be more between us again Katie," he said sincerely.

"Me too," she replied with a half-hearted smile..

"To be perfectly honest there was another reason I didn't tell you about Laura - I guess I just wanted to remember for a moment what it was like back when we were those two kids in London. For what it's worth, part of me doesn't regret the other night," he admitted with a smile.

"Part of me doesn't regret it either," Kate echoed his sentiments, as despite herself a smile crossed her face as well.

"So…still friends?" he asked hopefully. They had been friends before becoming lovers and that bond was strong.

"Always," she confirmed with a smile. "I'm sorry I told you to kiss my ass yesterday," she apologised with a laugh as he laughed as well, in reference to what she had said to him in Gaelic.

"And I'm sorry I told you to piss off," he replied with a grin.

They gave each other a quick hug then Kate said, "Anyway I've got a sound check to get to and I'm sure there's somewhere you need to be," she added, trying to sound casual while she swallowed the lump in her throat, knowing it wasn't with her.

"So I guess we'll be seeing each other around while you're still on the case," she said.

"Yes I guess we will," he replied with a smile as he planted a kiss on her cheek & then they bade each other farewell and went their separate ways.

Unbeknownst to either of them a press photographer had snuck into the pool area unseen by either of them while they had been talking. While he hadn't been able to hear their conversation from his hiding spot, his telephoto lens had allowed him to zoom up on them. Despite Kate's best efforts to remain anonymous the photographer had managed to track her & some of the other artists appearing at the festival to the hotel. He had managed to find out which maid was responsible for making up her room every day & had promised to pay her handsomely if she tipped him off to any possible 'photo-worthy' opportunities involving Kate Kelly. The maid had recognised the man who had come to Kate's room earlier looking for her as the famous detective, Remington Steele, and she had quickly found the photographer down in the lobby where he'd been hanging around trying to look inconspicuous. "Ooh these shots are going to make me a pretty penny," he thought to himself as he snuck back out of the pool area after Remington and Kate had both left. He'd been thinking there might be some case Kate Kelly was involved in that the detective was investigating but he had discovered something else entirely - were they involved with each other? he thought to himself, wondering if he'd just uncovered the scoop of the year!

To Chapter 9

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