"Steele Stringed Hearts"© 2016
Chapter 12
by NorahBolt56

"We should celebrate - there's some champagne in my office," Miles stated, thinking that the case was all wrapped up with Derek being caught.

"I'll go get it," Remington offered as he left Kate's dressing room pulling off the wig and fake moustache as he did so, finally able to drop his cover.

"I don't get it though - why would Derek try to sabotage the concert and why did he have it in for me? He didn't seem the type who'd be smart enough to come up with a plan like that," Kate commented.

Laura was deep in thought - something didn't seem quite right. "I was thinking the same thing. He must have been working with someone - in which case this isn't over," she stated seriously, the realisation hitting her as the three of them shared a worried glance.

"Well done Laura, or should I say Miss Holt, private investigator. I should have known better than to trust stupid Derek to pull this off," Janelle, the stage manager announced, as she suddenly came into the room holding a gun and locking the door behind her.

"Janelle?! You? But why?" Miles asked in shock.

"What the hell are you playing at Janelle?" Kate demanded. "I don't take too kindly to death threats."

She went to advance towards Janelle, her temper getting the better of her, but Miles put a restraining hand on her arm, not wanting anything to happen to her.

"Janelle how about you put the gun down and we can talk about this," Laura tried to placate her then added in an attempt to deter her from doing anything rash, "Mr Steele will be back any minute."

"Oh I don't think so," Janelle smiled an evil smile. "I've already taken care of him - amazing how a knock to the back of the head will do that. By the time he comes to I'll be done here." Laura & Kate exchanged a worried glance, both of them hoping he was alright.

"You don't even remember me do you Miles?" Janelle went on, advancing towards him.

"Should I?" he asked, perplexed.

"Yes you should," she spat at him. "Fifteen years ago I sent you a demo tape - I even had the stage name I'd made up for myself on it - JJ, Janelle Jones." As she said this she shot a filthy look in Kate's direction. "But all I got was a 'thanks but no thanks' letter and then the next thing I know you've discovered the great KK," she went on, glaring angrily at Kate." You copied my stage name and gave it to her. Her success should have been mine - I should have been the star not her!" she yelled as they all looked at her in shock. She was clearly unhinged.

"Janelle, look I'm sorry - I got so many demo tapes sent to me back in those days. I was looking for something special," Miles tried to explain then regretted his choice of words when he saw the murderous look in her eye. "Look your beef's clearly with me so let Kate & Miss Holt go," he pleaded with her.

"Oh no..I'm going to make you suffer before I kill you Miles, just like you made me suffer. I'm going to kill your beloved star KK right in front of you so you can watch her die knowing you're responsible," she laughed maniacally.

"You're pathetic," Kate stated angrily. "You're so tough when you're holding a gun - why don't you drop it and we'll settle this fair & square?" she challenged Janelle, her hands clenching into fists.

"Why don't you shut up?" Janelle spat back at her. "Oh you think you're so great - KK ,the big star. You have no idea what I've been through."

"And you have no idea what I've been through to get where I am. Do you think it's been easy? You don't know the half of it," Kate shot back at her determinedly, refusing to back down.

"Kate - maybe we should all take it easy," Laura suggested. Having been in plenty of dangerous situations like this before she suspected it wouldn't take much for Janelle to pull the trigger.

"Good idea Kate - why don't you listen to Miss Holt? She's obviously got brains - pity I've got to blow them away. I don't need witnesses so I'm afraid Miss Holt it's time to say goodbye. You can have her death on your conscience too Miles," Janelle stated menacingly as she pointed the gun at Laura.

Meanwhile Remington was furiously trying to pick the lock to Kate's dressing room but the blow to the back of the head he'd got from Janelle, whilst only stunning him and not knocking him out completely, had blurred his vision somewhat. He had got up from the floor of Miles's office rubbing the back of his head a few minutes before, after Janelle had snuck up behind him and hit him, then realising the others may still be in danger from his (at that stage) unknown assailant he had bolted down the corridor to Kate's dressing room where he'd left them.

As he got near the door he heard voices - Laura, Kate & Miles and a particularly angry woman's voice that he recognised as belonging to Janelle the stage manager. He had tried the door then realising it was locked went to work trying to pick the lock, but the task was proving more difficult than he had hoped with his blurred vision and his hands were also shaking a bit from fear which didn't help. "C'mon, c'mon," he muttered in frustration under his breath as he desperately fiddled with it as he heard the situation inside rapidly deteriorating, but the lock wouldn't budge.

He then heard Janelle say, "I don't need witnesses so I'm afraid Miss Holt it's time to say goodbye. You can have her death on your conscience too Miles".

Fear gripped his heart as he yelled "Laura!" desperately and sprung to his feet, giving up on trying to pick the lock and kicked the door down instead. Just as he did so he saw Kate jump forward in front of Laura and punch Janelle square in the jaw, the gun going off as Janelle dropped it, reeling back from Kate's blow. With that Remington sprung into the room - there was a mad scramble as he grabbed Janelle before she could grab the gun again and Laura dove for the gun, grabbing it and pointing it at Janelle.

"Laura - are you okay?" he asked with concern.

"I'm fine," she reassured him. It was then they both saw Kate lying on the floor, bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound.

"Kate!" Remington exclaimed in alarm. "Here hold her Miles," Remington said as he roughly pushed Janelle at the older man and knelt down next to Kate.

"I'll call 911," Laura said with concern as she ran out of the room to the nearest phone.

"Katie..oh no, c'mon Katie," Remington said as he cradled her in his arms. The bullet had hit her in the right arm and she was bleeding badly, drifting in and out of consciousness from blood loss. He tore part of a sleeve off his shirt and quickly bandaged her arm to try and stop the bleeding. She regained consciousness briefly just as Laura came back into the room.

"The ambulance is on it's way," she announced, "as are the police," she added casting a filthy look at Janelle. "The only singing you'll be doing is in a cage," Laura threw at her.

"Harry..?" Kate asked weakly as she briefly opened her eyes to see his face above hers.

"It's okay Katie.. I'm here. You're going to be okay - just relax," he reassured her as she lapsed back into unconsciousness.

Not long after, the ambulance & police arrived. As the paramedics loaded Kate onto the stretcher Laura said to Remington, "You should go with her."

He looked at her with some surprise. "Are you sure?" he asked as she nodded. "She just saved my life - it's the least I can do for her," she reassured him with a smile. He nodded and then gave her a quick kiss. "Let me know how she is once you know. I'll see you tomorrow. I better hang around here for a while - the police will need a statement," she added as she gave his arm a squeeze.

He travelled in the back of the ambulance with Kate, holding her hand the whole way, with a mix of emotions running through his head.

He waited at the hospital after they rushed her into surgery while he prayed she'd be alright. He knew gunshot wounds to the arm were rarely fatal but she had lost a lot of blood and that concerned him.

After giving a statement to the police, Miles arrived and took a seat next to him in the waiting room. "Any word yet?" he asked, the worry showing on his face, as Remington shook his head. "I never should have let her perform in the concert - I should have pulled the plug on the whole thing," Miles stated guiltily.

"Don't beat yourself up mate - you know as well as I do that once she'd made her mind up there was no changing it. You weren't to know Janelle had some vendetta against you & Kate," Remington pointed out. "Kate's one gutsy lady - always has been," he added with a rueful smile.

Miles nodded then replied seriously, "You don't know the half of it." Remington looked at him curiously.

"What are you getting at Miles?"

Miles sighed, wondering if he'd overstepped the mark and given too much away. He knew Kate initially hadn't wanted him to say anything to him but given the circumstances he wondered if he should, thinking back to the conversation he'd had with Kate earlier that night just before she'd gone on stage. "There's things you & Kate need to talk about - let's just leave it at that," he replied cryptically.

Just as Remington was going to ask him what he meant a doctor in surgical scrubs came up to them. "I believe you gentlemen are waiting for word on Miss O'Casey's condition?" he said as they both jumped up.

"Yes we are - how is she? Is she going to be okay?" Remington asked with concern.

"Yes she's going to be fine. She lost quite a bit of blood so we gave her a transfusion - she was lucky, another inch and the bullet would have hit a major artery and then it could have been a different story. We managed to remove it without too much damage to her arm," he informed them.

"Thank God," both Miles & Remington exclaimed in relief. "Can we see her?" they asked.

"Well she's in recovery at the moment but once she's moved into a room you can go see her. Maybe just one at a time though - she needs her rest and she's been sedated so she'll probably be out to it for some time".

They thanked the doctor then Remington turned to Miles. "I'll stay with her if you like - you go and get some rest. It's been a hell of a night."

"It certainly has. Well if you're sure, I'll go & grab some shut eye then come and relieve you later," Miles replied as Remington nodded.

Remington stayed by Kate's bedside all night except for making a quick call to Laura to update her on Kate's condition. In the early hours of the morning Kate regained consciousness to see him sitting there by her bedside.

"Harry? What are you doing here?" she asked weakly.

"Oh Katie, thank God you're okay," he replied with a relieved smile as he ran a hand over his face.

"You look like hell Harry," she remarked, looking at his blood shot eyes and tired features, as she tried to laugh, then winced in pain as it moved her injured arm.

"Thanks," he replied with a rueful grin.

"You've looked better yourself you know. Take it easy eh? The doctor said you were lucky the bullet didn't hit an artery," he added with concern.

"Luck of the Irish huh?" she said as she smiled wryly at him.

Remington shook his head with a wry smile of his own. "What were you thinking O'Casey? Taking on a mad gun-wielding woman like that you crazy mick!" he chided her gently, his Irish brogue coming out in his voice.

"Who are you calling a crazy mick?" she pretended to be offended at his calling her a 'mick,' an often derogatory term for an Irish person.

"Hey I'm allowed to call you a crazy mick - I'm one too remember?" he said with a grin.

Kate grinned back weakly then sighed. "I know, I know. I probably just should have kept my mouth shut and my fists to myself. It was pretty stupid of me,"

"Or pretty brave," he stated seriously at he gazed intently at her.

"Well you saved my life by punching Derek's lights out - I was just repaying the favour," she stated simply.

"But you saved Laura's life not mine," he pointed out.

"One and the same isn't it?" Kate replied with a meaningful look as he realised she was right. "I made a decision on the spur of the moment - I knew you'd be devastated if anything happened to her. And I wasn't about to let her take a bullet that was really meant for me," Kate stated simply.

Remington was silent for a moment, the enormity of what she'd done for him sinking in. "Thank you," he said , his voice barely a whisper as he took her good hand in his & kissed it.

"You're welcome," she replied, blinking back her tears. "Thanks for staying with me Harry - I appreciate it. But I think there's somewhere else you need to be," she added giving him a knowing look.

He nodded, knowing she was right. "You rest up okay?" he said as she nodded then he planted a kiss on her forehead & left her with a smile,

He passed Miles in the corridor as he was on his way to Kate's room.

"Have you been here all night?" Miles asked the younger man, but by the look of him he could tell that was the case. Remington nodded with a weary smile. "How is she?" Miles went on.

"She's doing okay - in a bit of pain obviously, but okay. She just came round a little while ago."

"You go get some rest son - I'll sit with her for a while," Miles said with a smile.

Before he left Remington turned to the older man. "Thank you for being there for her all these years," he stated sincerely as he put out a hand to shake Miles's.

Miles shook his hand with a smile and patted him on the back. "You're welcome Harry," he replied, using the name he had first known him as, all those years ago.

Remington looked at him a little curiously as he noticed the look in Miles's eyes and got the distinct impression again that there was something the older man wasn't telling him.

To Chapter 13

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