Lets make this simple: the characters you recognize dont belong to me and the ones you dont are mine. I would like to thank Lorie for beta reading this story, thanks a lot Lorie. This is dedicated (as always) to my friends of the Guinness Drinking Team.
All feedback is appreciated at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Los Angeles, 2006
Keegan Steele was really nervous. He moved frantically around the house and jumped every time the phone rang. Laura could say her older child was planning something and knowing Keegan's propensity to get into trouble, she could only hope this time Keegan didn't end up in ER. When she saw Keegan running to his bedroom for the fourth time, she couldn't resist anymore.
Laura: Keegan Daniel Steele, can you tell me what's going on?
Keegan: Nothing Mom, why?
Laura: Why? You spend most of the time in your bedroom with the door closed or running frantically around the house. What are you doing?
Keegan: Oh, it is just some homework Im working in. You know how severe Mr. Byrne is and I dont want to disappoint you or dad.
Laura: Remember what you father told you. If your grades dont improve, you wont come with us to Ireland.
Keegan: I know Mom. I'll work some more before dinner, ok?
When dinnertime arrived, Remington set the table while Laura finished with the food.
Remington: Where are the monsters?
Laura: In their rooms, I guess.
Remington: Are you trying to tell me they haven't fought?
Remington: Ok Laura, I think the ones upstairs are not our children.
Laura: Go get them and see for yourself.
Remington went upstairs and looked for his children. When he opened Keegan´s bedroom door three set of blue eyes stared surprised at him.
Remington: What are you doing?
Remington stepped into the room and sat by them on the floor.
Remington: I see, and what are you talking about?
Cedric: Big children things..
Remington: So here you are talking about big children things without fighting or shouting at each other, arent you?
His children nodded at him.
Remington: OK, who are you and what have you done with my children?
The children smiled shyly at their fathers words.
Remington: Come on, mom is waiting and dinner is ready.
Morning was as usual at Steele household; Remington helping the kids to get ready to school and Laura cleaning the kitchen after breakfast. They were about to leave when the telephone rang and Keegan went running to answer it. When Laura asked his son about it, he told it was just a friend asking him for a videogame he already had in the backpack.
Arriving at school, both parents kissed their children goodbye and reminded them to wait for Aunt Frances to come for them. Now that her own children were old enough, Frances liked to take care of her niece and nephews. The children adored her and this made both sisters closer.
Once in the office each one went to their offices and began with the work. Laura was a bit upset. These last few days work had kept them so busy that children were asleep by the time they arrived home. Apart from the actual cases they were working on, Mildred had suggested they update the archives, which made them stay at the office longer than usual. Laura had decided to talk to Mildred about this.
The day at work was not hard and Remington was happy because they would go home soon. He loved spending time with his children; he was Keegan´s soccer team coach (being the only European father) and took Grace nearly every day to her Irish Dancing classes but recently he had not had much time with them so he was a bit upset.
He hadnt had any opportunity with his own father so enjoyed every time he spent with Keegan, Grace and Cedric. He took one of the pictures on his desk. In it he could see his three children smiling happily during their last stay at Ashford Castle. He put the picture back on the table and was finishing with the last report when his wife came to the door.
Laura: Ready to go home?
Remington: Yes, of course. Where is Mildred?
Laura: She had some things to do so she asked to leave sooner. She has told me that from now on she can do all the update herself so we can leave earlier.
Remington: God bless her!
They left the office together and talked about work on their way home. Arriving there, they noticed all the lights were off and Laura began worrying. They walked quickly to the entrance and opening the door, they found the house in total darkness. As soon as Remington switched on the light, both Laura and he were shocked by what was waiting for them.
The living room was full of family and friends who smiling happily at them. The whole place was decorated with flowers and big colorful balloons while a big banner with a "Happy 20th Anniversary, Remington and Laura" hang from the ceiling. Keegan with his younger bother and sister walked to their surprised parents.
Keegan: Happy 20th anniversary Mom and Dad!
Laura was so overcome by emotion that couldn't help but taking Keegan in her arms and gave him a tight hug.
Laura: Oh my God! Thats what you have been planning, haven't you?
Keegan: Yeah, but Grace and Cedric helped me.
Remington kneeled near his younger children.
Remington: You did?
Both children nodded and Remington hugged them tightly. All the people there looked at the scene lovingly until Laura and Remington came to greet them. Soon the party moved to the big backyard where the dinner was served. From the main table, Remington realized all the people he really cared and loved was there: Frances and Donald with their children, Abigail, Mildred, who was like a mother to him, and all the friends he and Laura had made along the years.
He looked for Laura among the crowd and found her dancing slowly with Cedric in her arms. Though the boy was now five, Laura thought of him as her baby and the young boy liked his mothers tender manners. Cedric had his eyes closed and he seemed to be asleep while his mother rocked with him sweetly.
Remington came near them and hugged his wife and youngest son from behind.
Remington: Hello you two.
Cedric: Hello Daddy.
Remington: I thought you were asleep.
Cedric: No, I was just dancing with Mommy.
They kept on dancing like that for a while until they heard Keegan asking people to occupy their seats. Laura and Remington went to their table while Cedric run to join Keegan and Grace in front of a projector.
Keegan: We didnt know really what to give you for this 20th anniversary so we thought about this. Mom, dont worry anymore, this is what I have been working on during these days. I hope you like it.
He switched on the projector and a picture of a very young Remington Steele appeared in the screen.
Keegan: Ladies and Gentleman, we are back in 1982 and this is my father at that time. Nice haircut Dad.
Remington: Youll pay for this, Keegan.
Everybody laughed and Laura thought about the first time she held that picture. It was a black and white picture of her husband. She remembered how Bernice and she had talked about this handsome mysterious man that was now her husband. Laura wished Bernice could see him now.
A new picture interrupted her thoughts.
Keegan: This picture was taken twenty years ago and though you couldnt tell it, this is Mom and Dad on their wedding day. Usually people choose elegant cathedrals or elegant places, let my parents doing it on a fishing boat.
The picture changed and the new one showed Remington and Laura behind a beautiful little church. Remington was dressed in an elegant dark suit while Laura wore a wonderful white gown that reminded of the medieval times.
Keegan: This picture belongs to their second wedding that took place in Ireland. Mom told me once that though she couldnt understand a word the priest said, that was one of the happiest days of her life.
Remington recalled the ceremony. The priest barely spoke English and most of the wedding was held in Gaelic so that Laura and he could only nodded at the priests words. The best came afterwards when they could spend (at last) their first night as husband and wife, which led directly to the picture Keegan was now showing.
Keegan: Here you have the most beautiful baby ever seen or at least thats what Aunt Mildred says. On September 12th, two days after my fathers birthday, I was born. As you can see in the picture, I was not very happy at that time.
The picture showed a screaming baby gently held by Laura while Remington looked at his wife and newborn son. Mildred cried remembering that time. She had gone to the hospital with her hands full of flowers and "Its a boy" balloons and Remington had taken her to the nursery to see Keegan. Both of them had looked at the sleeping baby with tears in their eyes. Mildred loved her three "grandchildren" a lot but she must admit Keegan was her favorite. The boy didnt only look like his father physically with his ebony dark hair and piercing blue eyes, but also his character was the same. She knew that that made her love him in a special way.
Keegan continued explaining some more pictures while Grace and Cedric had their eyes glued in the screen. The next picture showed a toddler looking into a bassinet where a small baby slept soundly.
Keegan: When I was four, my parents decided to give me someone to play with. I prayed for a puppy but they gave me a baby sister instead. I still cannot be sure of that was best but anyway here is my sister Grace Ingrid Steele the day she was born.
Everybody looked at the picture affectionately while Grace, being extremely shy, tried to hide herself behind her older brother. Seeing the scene, Remington came by his children and taking Grace out from her hiding place, he hugged her tightly.
Remington: Why are you hiding?
Grace: Because everybody is looking at me.
Remington: They look at you because you are incredibly beautiful.
Grace: No Im not.
Remington: Grace, you are beautiful and when you grow up, your brother and I will have to kick the boys out of your way.
That made the girl smiled so she hugged her father back while Remington kissed the top of her head. Next pictures showed Laura and Remington receiving several awards as well as with the children. They were the pictures of professional success and familiar stability.
Keegan: Everybody was crazy about the new millenium and so were my parents. As people travel to exotic places to welcome the New Year, the Steeles did it in the maternity area. On January 1st 2001, Cedric Brosnan Steele was born. What a way to begin eh Cedric?
Laura and Remington smiled seeing the picture. They remembered the fear that existed for having the first child of the new Millenium and how they had joked about it when Laura was pregnant. Little did they know that their youngest child would come two weeks sooner and in the first minutes of the year.
The last picture showed the whole family together with Mildred, the Pipers and Mrs. Holt during the celebration of Remingtons last birthday. It was ironic that that little boy that once wandered starved and alone in the outskirts of London, was now an internationally known detective as well as a loving husband and father.
Keegan: Well that is all, after more than twenty years, my parents are still together and I pray for another twenty or more.
At that moment both parents came by their children and while Laura hugged Keegan, Remington mimicked her action with Grace and Cedric.
Keegan: Did you like it, Mom?
Laura: Oh Keegan, Im so proud of all of you. This is the most beautiful gift Ive ever had.
Cedric: There is more Mommy, isnt it Grace?
Grace: Yes, we have chosen a song for you. We want to thank you for being such wonderful parents and for giving us a place where we can grow up happily.
Laura and Remington walked hand in hand to the center of the place and waited for the song to start. Remington was a bit scared knowing Keegans taste in music but when the sweet melody began, he just took his wife in his arms and began dancing sweetly.
As Remington and Laura danced, more people joined and among them, Grace with Cedric and Keegan with Mildred.
Keegan: I guess they like the song, dont they?
Mildred: Yes, they do. Its a pretty good song; I thought you would choose something from "Star Wars".
Keegan: You know, Aunt Mildred, never underestimate the power of "The Imperial March".
Both smiled and directed their gaze to Remington and Laura.
Remington: Thank you.
Laura: For what?
Remington: For the happiest twenty years of my life.
Laura: Then I guess I must thank you too. Thank you for coming into my life and showing me how to live. Thank you for being the best husband a woman could ask for and for giving me three wonderful children. Thank you for being you, Remington Harrison Steele.
They kept on dancing with the music unaware of all the people watching them. They didnt know what future might come for them but they would face everything together. And as Keegan asked for, they would live more than another twenty years.