Remington caught a cab from the hospital back to his apartment where he quickly showered and changed out of the clothes he'd been wearing since the night before. He quickly ran a comb through his still damp hair and as he looked in the mirror he noticed he was still wearing the diamond stud in his ear from the night before - he looked at it for a moment then took it out and left it on his bedside table. It signified a part of his life that was now over and as he was about to face his present he knew he had to leave it behind. He was very tempted to collapse onto his bed in exhaustion but he fought the temptation as he knew there was somewhere else he needed to be and someone else he needed to be with. Someone who he could have easily lost forever the night before. He'd almost lost her once before - had thought she'd been killed when he saw her lying motionless in her loft after she'd been shot that time. He remembered his words to her then as he had cradled her in his arms - there was so much he'd wanted to tell her. He knew he couldn't risk that again - he knew he had to tell her how he felt about her and he had to do it now. Time to bite the bullet mate, he thought to himself as he left his apartment.
Laura had slept fitfully during the night, her mind kept going over the events of the evening. She kept seeing Janelle's crazed face as she pointed the gun at her, and how her life had flashed before her in the moments before Kate had punched Janelle, knocking the gun out of her hand and saving Laura's life, and then she remembered seeing Kate lying bleeding on the floor from a gunshot wound. When her life had flashed before her one face had been prevalent - the face of the man she loved, and she knew the time had come to tell him. Even if he didn't want her she was going to tell him, she decided. Her close call with death as well as all of the events of the past week leading up to it had finally made her realise that life was too short to waste any more time pushing him away and letting her fears rule her life. She had finally fallen properly asleep around 3 am.
Just after 6:30 she was woken by the buzzing of her doorbell. Who could it be at this hour? she thought to herself as she pulled on her robe and went to answer it.
"Who is it?' she asked cautiously.
"Laura it's me - can I come in?" she heard his familiar voice as she slid the door open.
Remington stood before her, freshly showered & changed but he hadn't shaved and his bloodshot eyes showed he'd had next to no sleep. "Hi," she greeted him, wondering what he was doing there. "Come in," she ushered him inside.
"Thanks. Sorry to come by so early and wake you, I just " his voice faltered a bit, as he ran a hand over his face.
She looked at him in concern. "Is Kate okay? Did her condition worsen after you called me?" she thought, thinking that was the reason why he looked so upset.
He shook his head. "She's okay - in a bit of pain, but she'll be fine,"' he reassured her.
"What's wrong then?" she asked him gently and when he looked at her she saw his blue eyes were brimming with tears. The emotional intensity of the past day, in fact the past week, had taken a toll on him, as he realised what he could have lost. She had only see him cry once before - when he thought she'd been shot & killed when they were investigating that fashion industry case, she recalled.
"I could have lost you last night Laura. When I couldn't pick that bloody lock I felt so helpless knowing you were in danger and there was nothing I could do about it", he stated, his voice trembling a little.
Laura was touched by the emotion in his voice and his honesty, her heart swelling with love as she wondered how she could have ever doubted him and his feelings for her. "As I recall you did kick the door down" she pointed out with a gentle smile as she put her arms around him and rested her head on his chest as he held her to him.
"Yeah a second too late" he stated ruefully as he shook his head. "I could have lost you and I could have lost a dear friend," he admitted.
At his use of the word 'friend' in reference to Kate, Laura's head came up to look at him. "Friend?" she asked with more than just a little hope.
"Yes friend that's all, as I told you yesterday," he confirmed for her with a smile. "I think we all know what Kate and I had is in the past. But I didn't come here to talk about Kate. I came here to be with you Laura - to talk about us," he stated sincerely, his blue eyed gaze intense. "Coming so close to losing you last night made me realise that we have wasted too much time dancing around each other and hurting each other in the process," he said as he gave her a meaningful look. She nodded silently, knowing it was true. "I know now, I guess what I've always known since the day I met you, what I want, who I want in my life, and that's you Laura. I'm tired of running Laura - I don't want to run anymore," he said softly as Laura felt tears springing to her eyes. She went to reply but he put a finger to her lips. "Wait...let me finish," he pleaded with her. "If I had lost you last night without telling you how I really feel about you, what you need to hear, I never would have forgiven myself."
Laura, fighting back her tears, the dimpled smile that he loved lighting up her face, whispered softly "You don't need to tell me - you've shown me in so many ways."
Remington looked down at the floor." I need to tell you Laura so you will never doubt me or how I feel about you again." He lifted her chin so she was facing him, his blue eyes holding her brown eyes captive. "I love you" he stated simply, saying those three little words he'd feared saying for so long , that she had needed to hear for so long. But once he had said them it was like a flood gate breaking between them, washing away all the hurt and fear.
"I love you too," Laura replied, finally admitting it to herself and him as his lips found hers. The kiss was tender and sweet, full of love and promise, but also with an undercurrent of the passion that had always flowed between them. It quickly deepened as they held fast to one another, neither wanting to break away. Eventually they had to catch their breath, their eyes as they looked at each other heavy with desire but also something more, something they were both no longer afraid to show love.
Remington couldn't help the smile that had spread across his face - he was sure he was grinning like an idiot. He shook his head a little ruefully, realising that in his exhausted state as much as he wanted to take her to her bed and make her his totally he wouldn't be at his best and he wanted to be at his best for her. They had waited so long he wanted that 'magical moment' to be perfect for them. "Ah Laura I would love nothing more than to take you to your bed right now and show you just how much I love you, but as they say, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Truth is love, I'm absolutely buggered and I think I'll need more energy than I have at the moment" he stated with a rueful grin.
Laura smiled back at him, her heart soaring at his term of endearment, and nodded understandingly. "That's okay. We've waited this long so what's a few more hours? How about you have a sleep for a while and ah get your energy back. You're gonna need it - trust me" she whispered promisingly in his ear as a mischievous grin crossed her face and she gave him a seductive look that shook him to his very core.
"Miss Holt - you wouldn't be teasing me would you?' he laughed, his left eyebrow going up in the devilish fashion that she loved as despite his fatigue, he pulled her in for another kiss.
"No more teasing Mr Steele," she replied her voice husky as she kissed him back. "I intend to make good on my promises - very good. Now get some sleep." She laughed as she wriggled out of his arms & pushed him in the direction of her bed.
"On one condition," he replied as he grabbed her hand.
"What's that?" she asked with a grin.
"That you join me," he stated softly as he pulled her down next to him.
"Do you really think that's a good idea if you need to sleep?" she questioned with a smile.
"Probably not, but I need to hold you Laura," he replied and the look on his face made him look so much like a lonely little boy that she wanted nothing more than to take him in her arms and hold him and reassure him everything was going to be alright.
"When you look at me like that what choice do I have?' she relented, her brown eyes shining at him as she took off her robe.
"None I hope" he quipped with a grin as he took off his shoes, socks & shirt and scooted over to make room for her.
She hopped under the covers next to him as he wrapped his arms around her. The feel of his warm skin and his bare chest against her and the intoxicating aroma of his cologne mixed with his own male scent, made it hard for her to let him rest but she willed herself to be patient. They relaxed in each other's arms knowing that was where they were meant to be. He idly ran his fingers through her chestnut hair as she snuggled closer to him, her head resting on his chest, and then after a few minutes she could tell by the rhythm of his breathing that he had fallen asleep and she followed him into contented slumber not too long after.
Laura woke again a couple of hours later and smiled as she saw Remington still asleep next to her. After finally admitting their true feelings for each other she felt like a weight had been lifted from her. Careful not to wake him she slipped out of his arms and quickly showered & dressed, unable to wipe the smile off her face. She watched him for a minute or two while he slept, his impossibly handsome face looking innocent & vulnerable. She scribbled him a note then left it on her pillow where he'd see it then planted a soft kiss on his lips, tenderly brushing a stray hair off his forehead as he smiled in his sleep. "Sweet dreams Mr Steele," she whispered with a smile of her own as she grabbed her purse & keys, knowing there was something she had to do.
She arrived at the hospital not long after. Kate was resting after Miles had left not long before when Laura walked into the room. "Laura," Kate greeted her with some surprise.
"Hi Kate," Laura greeted her with a smile. "How are you feeling?"
"Oh getting there," Kate replied with a weak grin as she propped herself up with a bit of effort. "A bit sore - but the doctor says I should be right to leave in a couple of days. With a bit of physical therapy I should be back playing guitar in no time."
"Glad to hear it," Laura stated sincerely. She would have felt responsible if Kate taking a bullet for her had affected her ability to play guitar and hence her career. She was silent for a moment, trying to find the right words. "I wanted to thank you for saving my life in more ways than one. You made me realise a few things I guess," Laura stated simply as she gave Kate a meaningful look and a smile.
"You're welcome," Kate replied, returning the smile.
"Can I ask you something? Why did you do it?" Laura asked.
Kate sighed. "I knew Harry would be devastated if anything happened to you and he probably would have blamed himself for not getting to you in time." As she said this, Laura realised how well Kate knew him as that's exactly what he had said to her earlier that morning. "I also did it for another reason - despite the circumstances we find ourselves in, I like you Laura, and that's not the painkillers talking," she said with a wry laugh. "I guess you remind me a bit of myself - strong-willed, fiesty, stubborn to a fault,' she added with a grin as Laura nodded with a grin of her own, realising Kate was right. She had to admit that despite the situation, she liked Kate too. "You were in the wrong place at the wrong time - Janelle's grudge wasn't with you and I wasn't about to let you get hurt or worse, because of it."
"Thanks," Laura replied with a smile. "I'm sorry about some of the things I said to you yesterday at the agency," Kate apologised. "That's okay - I think taking a bullet for me kind of makes up for that," Laura replied with a laugh, then added sincerely " I'm sorry for what I said to you too - I know you were only trying to help."
"That song you did for the encore last night - that was beautiful," she then stated with admiration.
"Thanks - I meant every word of it," Kate replied. She then added with a grin, "Speaking of songs, you were pretty good on stage last night - if you ever decide to give up the private investigating you've got a job as a back-up singer anytime."
Laura laughed and replied "Thanks - I'll keep that in mind."
She hesitated for a moment than asked, suddenly serious, "Will you be okay?"
Kate looked a little puzzled at the question. "Like I said the doctor said I should be fine " she started to reply but Laura shook her head.
"That's not what I meant," she stated as she gave the other woman a meaningful look and Kate realised what she was asking.
Kate was silent for a moment then replied. "I'll be okay Laura. I've let him go once before remember - I can do it again. But I don't think you could," she stated perceptively as Laura nodded, her eyes on the floor, knowing Kate was right.
"And I don't think he could let you go either," Kate reassured her. "At least this time it's my choice to walk away," Kate added with a half-hearted smile. "He belongs with you Laura - I know that, and if you're honest with yourself you know it too. He's not my Harry anymore, he's your Remington Steele. His life's here with you now. Just do me a favour will you?" Kate asked, trying to fight back the tears.
"Of course, what?" Laura replied.
"Don't hurt him," Kate stated seriously as she gave her a meaningful look.
Laura nodded and reassured her, "I won't."
They then bade each other farewell as Laura left to go back to the man she loved, the man Kate had given up for her.
To Chapter 14