Remington & Laura arrived at the stadium just before 3 that afternoon, neither of them saying much as they drove there in the Rabbit, both still smarting from their earlier argument. As they got closer to the stadium Laura couldn't stand the silence anymore.
"Look.. about this morning - don't you think we need to talk about it?"
Remington sighed and stared out the window. "I think we need more than 15 minutes to talk about this properly Laura. Let's just focus on the case for now shall we?" he replied a little shortly, the hurt her lack of trust had caused him showing in his voice.
"Okay we'll take a raincheck then - but we do need to talk. Sooner rather than later," she stated firmly, giving him a meaningful look as he thought, that's all she ever wants to bloody well do - talk!
Once they arrived they got out of the car and walked into the stadium, the outside walls of which had been adorned with huge posters of Kate and the other artists appearing at the concert that night. "Wow!" Laura exclaimed as it hit her that she was going to be performing onstage at a rock concert. Inside the place was buzzing with people running around making last minute preparations for the concert.
"Good, you're here," Miles greeted the detectives, as he caught sight of the two of them in disguise.
"Show us where we need to be Miles," Laura said as he did so.
"Keep an eye out eh? And be careful", Remington said to her as she nodded and replied
"You too," as they went their separate ways, Laura headed backstage to the dressing rooms and Remington went to find the other roadies.
"Hi Laura," Nat & Suzy, Kate's other back-up singers greeted her as she joined them in the dressing room.
"How are you? Pumped for tonight?" Suzy asked.
"Yes and a little nervous," Laura admitted. "
You'll be fine honey - just have fun!" Nat reassured her as she went back to reading the newspaper.
"Looks like Kate's been up to some extra-curricular activities while she's been in town. How did she hook up with that hunky detective? Lucky woman - she always gets the cute ones. Oh to be the lead singer!" Nat remarked as she looked at the headlines.
Laura tried to control the expression on her face. "I guess he is kind of cute if you like that suave, handsome type," she replied, trying to sound nonchalant as she thought to herself, like I do. "So who else has Kate hooked up with?" she then asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.
"Oh not many lately. She did have something going with Rick Ramirez about 6 or 7 years ago. Now that is a gorgeous man. If I was her I wouldn't have let him go," Nat stated with a cheeky laugh.
Laura pondered this information. "Rick Ramirez? That Latin heartthrob singer?" she asked.
"The one & only," Suzy giggled. "Speaking of cute guys, have you seen that new roadie, Harry I think his name is. Now he's a turn for the books - much better looking that most of the ones we have round here," she added.
At that Laura felt her jealous streak coming to the fore again. Well if she couldn't lay claim to Remington Steele the detective, maybe she could lay claim to "Harry the roadie", she thought ironically. "Sorry ladies he's taken," she stated with a grin.
"Really - you & him? Ooh you lucky lady," Suzy sighed. "What's he like .. you know?" she asked with a mischievous grin.
"Oh c'mon girls I don't like to kiss and tell," Laura laughed with a twinkle in her eye as she thought to herself wryly, that's all I could tell them - what a good kisser he is, although she knew she longed to know more.
"So what happened with Kate & Rick Ramirez?" Laura asked, trying to deflect attention away from herself before they asked her any more personal questions she really didn't have answers for.
"I don't know really - they were pretty hot and heavy for a while and then they just went their separate ways. I guess maybe she was thinking of Harry," Nat stated as Laura looked at her thinking that just confirms what I thought, that Kate had still been hung up on her first love for that long.
"Harry?" she asked, deciding to pretend she didn't know about Kate's former love.
"Yeah Harry, her.." Nat went to reply but didn't get to finish the sentence as Kate then walked into the room .
"Afternoon girls," she greeted them, neither Nat or Suzy noticing the less than happy look she exchanged with Laura.
"Hi Kate - now what have you been up to you, you naughty girl?" Nat laughed as she gestured to the newspaper. "How come you didn't tell us about your 'secret rendezvous' with Mr Steele?"
Kate tried not to look at Laura and the furious expression that momentarily crossed her face. "Nothing to tell Nat, that's why," she replied. "You know how the tabloids can be. We're old friends that's all," she added, looking at Laura as she did so.
"Sure, sure - just how friendly?" Nat replied with a cheeky grin, not entirely convinced, as she looked a little closer at the man in the photos then gave her friend a questioning look. "And just how old a friend?" she added curiously as Kate shot her a warning look which Nat knew better than to argue with - she knew Kate preferred to keep her private life private.
"C'mon, we've got a final rehearsal to do, don't we?," Kate reminded them firmly, shutting down any further conversation on the matter as Laura observed the exchange, wondering to herself what that was all about.
After the rehearsal and a quick dinner backstage the band members got ready for the concert. Kate bumped into Remington as she came out of her dressing room. He couldn't help but cast an appreciative glance at her - she was dressed in a tight fitting black leather jump suit and boots, her hair spiked up and dramatic stage make up finishing off her look. "Wow look at you Katie!" he remarked with a grin, amazed at her transformation. "Don't you look something else!" No longer was she Kate O'Casey from the streets of Brixton, this was KK- Kate Kelly, superstar.
"Thanks Harry," she replied smiling, at him, then added with a somewhat cheeky grin "You ain't seen nothing yet," as she jerked her head in the direction of the dressing room her back-up singers shared.
He looked at her, wondering what she meant as she went to walk down the corridor towards the awaiting stage. "Kate..," he called after her.
"Yes Harry?" she replied, turning to face him.
"Good luck tonight," he stated with a warm smile which she returned.
"Thanks - something tells me I'm going to need it," she replied a little ruefully as he nodded.
"You don't have to do this you know," he reminded her, his tone serious.
She paused for a moment then looked at him intently. "Yes I do Harry. I need to deal with this now. And not just for my sake," Kate stated adamantly, then wondered if she's said too much.
"I'm sure your fans would understand if you pulled out of the concert," Remington replied, not realising what she was getting at, although the look on her face intrigued him somewhat.
She shook her head. "That's not what I meant Harry," she confessed then added somewhat ruefully, "but that's a conversation for another time, not for when I'm just about to go on stage." Her response puzzled him as much as the expression on her face did.
"We'll be looking out for you," he reassured her.
"I know - thanks," she replied with a grateful smile as they exchanged a meaningful glance. She gave him a quick peck on the cheek then walked off down the corridor, leaving him both worried about her and more than a little confused.
Just then the door to the back-up singers' dressing room opened. "Oh honey - red is definitely your colour!" Nat exclaimed to Laura as the three women walked out the door. The concert costume designer had picked out a red dress for Laura which she said would suit her perfectly and she wasn't wrong.
Remington's jaw almost hit the floor when he saw her. Her hair was teased to within an inch of its life, and like Kate she was wearing quite dramatic stage makeup that accentuated her delicate features. Then he looked at the dress she was wearing - oh yes, he thought to himself, echoing Nat's words to her, red was definitely her colour! The fiery red dress was high cut at the bottom, showing off her fantastic legs, and low cut at the top, reminding him somewhat of the top she'd worn when she'd gone undercover as a hooker at that dental convention they'd infiltrated when they'd been investigating a case involving her brother-in-law, Donald. Black stilettos and fishnet stockings finished off her 'rock-chick' look. Remington couldn't take his eyes off her.
"Laura ..!" his voice was a choked gasp as she couldn't help a mischievous smile crossing her face at his reaction.
"Yes. .Harry?" she had to stop herself from saying 'Mr Steele', instead using his 'undercover' name, flashing him a look that just about reduced him to jelly.
"Ooh I think someone's getting lucky tonight," Suzy winked at her as she & Nat headed off to the stage, leaving the two of them alone. 'If only' Laura thought wryly to herself.
"You can't go on stage like that!" he practically spluttered.
"And why's that?" she retorted a little indignantly.
"Well with you in that dress there won't be a guy in the place who'll be able to take his eyes off you," he stated somewhat possessively.
"I think that's the whole idea," she threw back at him as she tossed her hair over her shoulder and sauntered off after Nat & Suzy, leaving him standing there gobsmacked.
"Five minutes people!" Janelle the stage manager announced to KK and her band and back up singers as they congregated back stage, as she gave Derek the roadie who was lurking about a pointed look. He nodded subtly at her then went to climb up the rigging while everyone was preoccupied making final adjustments to their costumes and instruments.
Miles motioned Kate over to have a word to her in private. "Are you sure you want to go through with this Kate? It's not too late to change your mind and pull out. We can say you took ill or something," he stated.
"I'm sure Miles," she reassured him, trying to put on a brave front. She hesitated for a moment then said seriously, "Miles if things don't go to plan tonight and something happens to me you'll take care of .. things won't you?" Miles looked at her.
"C'mon Kate don't talk like that - I'm sure it'll be fine," he replied with a smile, trying to convince her and himself. Truth be told, he was worried sick about her.
Kate nodded, focusing her gaze on the floor. "I know.. but please Miles promise me, just in case," she pleaded with him.
"You know I will Kate," he reassured her with a smile.
"Thank you Miles," she hugged him gratefully.
"I haven't told him yet Miles so if something does happen.. I need you to tell him," she added giving Miles a meaningful look.
Miles nodded. "I will. You take care kiddo okay? Now go knock 'em dead," he stated then immediately regretted his choice of words. "Sorry - wrong choice of words," he apologised with a rueful grin shaking his head, as she grinned too despite herself.
She gave him a quick peck on the cheek then grabbed her guitar and prepared herself to go on stage, hoping it wouldn't be her final curtain call
The lights went down in the stadium and the MC announced, "Ladies and gentlemen please welcome to the stage our last act for the night, KK and The Beat."
The crowd erupted with cheers and applause as the band started playing one of their biggest hits. The spotlight then shone on Kate standing in the middle of the stage, guitar in hand and a huge smile on her face. She had missed performing and it felt good to be back on stage. "How you doing LA? Are you ready to party?" she asked the audience who responded enthusiastically. With a grin she turned to the band and said "Let's rock!"
Remington watched from his vantage point backstage with amazement - the young girl with the guitar and good voice he had known had developed into a seasoned performer. She owned the stage and held the audience in the palm of her hand and looked like she was loving every bit of it. Her voice alternated from powerful and husky when belting out a rock song, to sultry and soulful when she was singing a ballad.
Miles came up beside him and stated proudly, "She's come a long way your girl."
"She certainly has," Remington agreed with a smile and then shook his head. "Not my girl anymore though."
Miles went to inquire further but then saw where the younger man's gaze had turned to, his associate, Miss Holt, up on stage undercover as one of Kate's backup singers, and from the looks of things, she was having a ball. "Ah I see," Miles stated with realisation as the pieces started falling into place, and he finally understood Kate's earlier comment to him that the situation between her & her former love was complicated.
Before Miles could discuss it any further, Remington looked up and saw movement up in the rigging above the stage. It was Derek, creeping along overhead, getting closer to being directly above Kate. "Love to chat Miles but there's our man," he stated seriously as he dashed off up the nearest ladder to the rigging to stop Derek, speaking into the concealed mic on his shirt to alert Laura as he did so. When she heard his voice through her ear piece she looked up momentarily to see him climbing the rigging in hot pursuit of Derek who was almost in position above Kate.
"Going somewhere sunshine?" Remington asked Derek as he snuck up behind him and grabbed him.
"You! You need to mind your own business mate," Derek replied in a threatening tone as he threw a punch at him.
"Kate Kelly is my business," Remington retorted as he blocked Derek's punch and threw one of his own, suddenly spying the gun Derek had tucked into his waistband and wondering how he could get it off him.
"Kate.. move away from the middle of the stage & keep moving," Laura mouthed into her concealed mic in between singing lines of the song so that Kate could hear her through her ear piece. Kate looked at her a little puzzled as Laura surreptiously motioned upwards.
While she sang Kate stole a glance upwards to see Harry & Derek fighting each other up in the rigging. Kate then took the microphone from the stand and began walking around the stage, making herself a moving target and therefore hopefully harder to hit. She was careful though not to get too close to any of her band members or the audience so as not to endanger them. When she could she snuck glances up above her, as did Laura, to see what was happening.
Derek had managed to pull the gun out but Remington grabbed his hand as they both struggled for it. "Come here you bugger," Remington stated between gritted teeth, his eyes flashing angrily as he tried to keep a hold of Derek's hand so he could get the gun, and threw another punch at him.
"What is it with you mate?" Derek demanded as he threw a punch of his own.
"Let's just say I don't take to kindly to creeps who treat women like you do," Remington stated with disgust.
"Oh you're a real hero aren't you?" Derek sneered at him as he managed to break free of Remington and suddenly pointed the gun at him. "I've got a few bullets in this gun - I'll take care of you and then I'll take care of your precious KK," he spat at him as he went to pull the trigger. Just then some pyrotechnic effects that were part of the concert went off in a shower of fireworks that temporarily blinded Derek. Remington saw his chance, his fist shooting out and connecting with Derek's jaw, knocking him out as he fell back onto the rigging walkway, the gun falling harmlessly next to him. Remington breathed a sigh of relief as he quickly grabbed the gun, realising what a close call both he & Kate had had.
He spoke into his concealed mic as he looked down at the stage. "I got the bugger," he stated as both Laura & Kate looked up at him, both of them breathing sighs of relief as well.
After the final song Kate took a moment to thank her band. "KK would be nothing without the Beat," she said with a smile, "so I'd like you to put your hands together for these amazing guys and girls who have given their all tonight as always." She introduced her band members one by one as they each took a bow to thunderous applause. "And filling in for Judy McIntyre tonight, please put your hands together for Miss Laura Holt," Kate introduced Laura as she looked at Laura and mouthed a "thankyou" to her which Laura acknowledged with a smile. Laura had to admit the applause was quite intoxicating as she took a bow, a huge grin spreading across her face. Remington, who was now watching from the side of the stage after handing Derek over to the security guards to deliver to the police, was a little perturbed at the enthusiastic applause and whistles Laura received from the males in the audience.
"I'd also like to thank our unsung heroes, without whom we'd be lucky to be here tonight," Kate went on. "I'm talking about our costume designers, hair & makeup artists and everyone behind the scenes, especially our fantastic road crew who have literally been life savers tonight," she stated meaningfully as she caught Remington's eye and nodded gratefully to him with a smile.
He smiled back at her as Miles came up behind him. "Good job Harry, or should I say Mr Steele," he stated with a relieved smile as he patted him on the back, glad the perpetrator had been caught and Kate was safe. Neither of them noticed Janelle standing behind them. "Goodnight LA - you've been a fantastic audience. This is certainly one concert I'll never forget," Kate stated a little wryly as she and the band left the stage.
There was an excited buzz backstage as they came off stage, everyone high-fiving and hugging each other. The audience's chants of "Encore, Encore!" started to get louder. "Guess we better get back out there!" Suzy groaned a little as she quickly downed a drink - they were all exhausted. "You guys have a rest - you've earnt it! I got this," Kate replied as she grabbed an acoustic guitar. Her band members looked at her a little puzzled. "Are you sure Kate?" Ronnie asked as she nodded with a smile then went back out on stage as the crowd went wild.
She dragged a stool into the centre of the stage and sat on it, adjusting the mic stand downwards as she did so. "Ah this is a new song I wrote recently - just this past week actually, which I'd like to play for you. I hope you like it - it's called 'The One Who Got Away'" she stated, her gaze on Remington/Harry where he stood next to Laura on the side of the stage as she started singing.
Kate finished the song to thunderous applause, fighting back her tears as she exchanged a meaningful look with Harry then thanked the audience, took a final bow and walked off the stage.
To Chapter 12