"Steele Stringed Hearts"© 2016
Chapter 15
by NorahBolt56

Remington visited Kate again in the hospital the next day. "Harry," she greeted him with a smile.

"Hi Katie - how you feeling?' he inquired, glad to see she had a bit more colour in her face.

"Better than yesterday that's for sure. The doctor says I should be able to leave in a day or so."

"That's good to hear," he replied with a smile. He then hesitated for a moment or two, putting a finger to his lips as he did so.

"Spit it out Harry," Kate laughed half-heartedly - she could always tell when he was searching for words.

"I should probably give you this back," he stated, looking at her intently, as he opened his hand to reveal the diamond stud earring that she had given him years ago, that he had worn when he was undercover as a roadie during the case.

Tears came to Kate's eyes - by that simple act he was telling her that part of his life, the part he'd shared with her was over, which she already knew but that confirmed it. He'd always been one for actions rather than words, Kate thought ruefully. She shook her head as she closed his hand around it. "No...I want you to keep it. Maybe when you look at it occasionally you'll think of me - I hope it's with a smile," she replied, her voice barely a whisper as a watery smile crossed her face.

He covered her hand with his other one and nodded with a smile of his own. "I will," he stated simply. He then leant closer to her.

"Harry.. what are you doing?" she asked with surprise.

"Something I should have done fourteen years ago - saying goodbye properly," he whispered, his blue eyed gaze fixed on her, as his lips found hers in a kiss both tender & bitter sweet as they both knew it would be the last kiss they would ever share like that.

Kate closed her eyes, blinking back the tears, savouring the feel of his lips on hers for the last time.

His crooked grin crossed his face as they drew apart and he rested his forehead on hers for a moment. 'We'll always have London eh?" he said softly as she nodded and smiled, thinking back to their younger days and all they had shared, and her life since then.

"Tell him!" a voice inside her head screamed, "You can get him back". But another voice silenced that one "No - I won't be his second choice. He belongs with her."

"Promise me something Harry."

"What?" he asked, his eyebrow going up quizzically. "Don't make the same mistake again and take the easy option - don't let her go," she said seriously as he nodded.

"I won't" he said with a smile. Kate forced a smile onto her face.

"Now get out of here before I change my mind," she said with a wry laugh, only half-joking.

"Before I go Katie - I need to ask you something," he stated seriously as she wondered what he was going to ask. "When Miles and I were waiting for you to get out of surgery, he said we had things we needed to talk about. What did he mean?" He also remembered what she'd said to him before she went on stage the other night, "that's a conversation for another time" and wondered what she'd meant.

Kate swallowed the lump in her throat, not knowing if she had the courage to tell him what she knew she should.

Just then the door opened and a nurse came in. "Excuse me Miss O'Casey but it's time for your physical therapy session. I'm sorry sir but visiting hours are over" she said as Kate inwardly breathed a sigh of both relief but also a little disappointment.

"Sorry Harry - I've got to go," she stated hurriedly as he nodded, wondering to himself what she'd been about to say and the look she'd suddenly had in her eyes, and if he'd ever find out.

"Another time then eh? I'll leave you be. Goodbye Katie - you take care okay?' he said, his voice tender as he squeezed her hand and got up to go.

"I will - you too. Goodbye Harry," she replied as he flashed her a grin and she watched him walk out of her life. "Again," she added, her voice a choked whisper as he closed the door behind him and she finally let her tears flow freely, as the nurse looked at her with some concern.


Kate was packing up her things getting ready to leave the hospital the next day when there was a knock on the door. "Come in," she called.

"Miss Krebs?" she said with some surprise to see Harry's/Remington's secretary standing there holding a bunch of flowers.

"Hi Miss Kelly," Mildred greeted her a little nervously, wondering how the younger woman would react to her, given Mildred's previous treatment of her.

"Kate please," Kate insisted with a smile - she wasn't the sort to bear a grudge and she knew the older woman's heart was in the right place, just protecting those she cared about. "I must admit I'm a bit surprised to see you here."

Mildred smiled a little sheepishly at her. "I'm glad I caught you before you left. These are for you," she said as she gave her the flowers. Kate thanked her then Mildred asked "How's the arm?" trying to make conversation as she looked at Kate's arm still bandaged and in a sling.

"Oh it's getting there," Kate replied with a wry smile.

"I ..ah wanted to apologise for some of the things I said to you the other day - I misjudged you and it was wrong of me," Mildred stated sincerely.

"Thanks but no need to apologise Mildred - may I call you Mildred? I know you care a great deal about Mr Steele and Miss Holt and you were just being loyal to them. They're lucky to have you," Kate replied with a smile.

"Well anyone who takes a bullet for Miss Holt is okay by me," Mildred smiled at her and then biting her lip she went on. "As well as to apologise I also came here for another reason."

"Oh, what's that?" Kate replied seemingly innocently but she had a pretty good idea what it was, as she busied herself packing her bag.

"I know it's none of my business, but that photo in your purse - is that…" Mildred started to ask but Kate interrupted her.

"I don't mean to be rude Mildred but you're right - it is none of your business," she stated in an abrupt tone that let Mildred know she didn't want to discuss it any further.

Mildred sighed but pressed on undeterred. "Honey, is there something you need to tell Mr Steele?" she said simply as she looked knowingly at Kate. As she did so she saw the faint glimmer of tears in the younger woman's eyes and guessed her hunch was correct. "You still love him don't you?" Mildred stated with realisation.

Kate blinked back her tears and looked down at the floor. "I guess a part of me will always love him in a way, but that doesn't matter now - he belongs with Laura," she stated.

"But if you have a.." Mildred went to argue but Kate put a hand up to stop her before she went any further.

"Mildred if you care as much about Mr Steele and Miss Holt as I think you do you'll drop it," she stated adamantly as she grabbed her bag. "Now if you'll excuse me I've got a plane to catch," she said as she headed for the door. "Thanks for the flowers and please.. keep your suspicions to yourself," Kate added seriously as she left Mildred standing there knowing she had uncovered the truth - the truth she had kept hidden for so long.


Mildred was rather surprised to see Mr Steele and Miss Holt walk into the agency together on Monday morning. Usually Miss Holt was in much earlier than Mr Steele - he usually sauntered in some time later.

"Morning, morning, morning," Remington greeted her in his usual fashion but he seemed even more chipper than usual, his handsome grin just that little bit wider. And as she looked at Laura she noticed the smile on the younger woman's face and the sparkle in her deep brown eyes.

"Morning Mildred," she greeted her cheerfully.

"Morning boss, morning Miss Holt," Mildred greeted them as she looked back & forth between the two of them and started putting two and two together.

They then went into their respective offices, not before Mildred observed the glance that passed between them. She sat at her desk for five minutes then couldn't contain her curiosity any longer. She knocked on Laura's office door then went in and stood there looking at Laura expectantly with her arms crossed. "Can I help you Mildred?" Laura asked with fake innocence, trying to hide the grin that was threatening to spread across her face.

"Are you gonna tell me what's going on with you two or do I have to ask the boss?" Mildred demanded.

"I don't know what you mean Mildred," Laura laughed somewhat mischievously.

"C'mon Miss Holt you said you'd keep me posted remember - gal to gal?" Mildred reminded Laura of a conversation they'd had a while back. "So is this something with you and the boss really something now?" she asked with a knowing gleam in her eye.

Laura couldn't help the smile that lit up her face as she nodded.

"Well it's about time you two kids came to your senses!" Mildred laughed happily as she hugged the younger woman." So I gather the weekend was rather 'eventful' huh?" she added with a sly wink.

Laura laughed, "You could say that - let's just say we got a few things sorted out."

With that Remington walked into Laura's office, his smile mirroring theirs. Mildred almost bowled him over as she hugged him.

"Should have known we couldn't hide anything from you eh Mildred?" he said affectionately as he hugged her back.

"Are you kidding me boss? I've watched you two dance around each other for so long I think I'm pretty attuned to both of you by now," she laughed. "You don't know how long I've waited for this day!" she exclaimed.

"Oh I think we do Mildred, I think we do," Remington replied as he shared a knowing look with Laura, a lopsided grin crossing his face that made him look like a little boy on Christmas Day whose dreams had all come true.

Mildred then paused for a moment as she looked at the man she thought of almost as a son.

"What is it Mildred?' Laura asked perceptively as she noticed the way Mildred was looking at him.

Mildred hesitated, looking at them both before smiling and shaking her head a little, not wanting to reveal her hunch to them, not now. "Nothing," she replied a little hurriedly. "I'm just so happy for you both," she added as she hugged them again - she did after all, love happy endings..

To Epilogue

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