Two's Company, Three's A Steele
By Ilsa Lund

Summary: This is my fifth piece of RS Fiction. It takes place shortly after `Maltese Steele' but just before `Second Base Steele' episodes from the 3rd season. Remember, this is set during the so-called `strictly business' period (hah!) in the relationship of Laura Holt and Mr Steele. I've tried to capture the spirit of the person he was at that time (ditto with Laura) but naturally, I've gone with the flow in places!
*Americans may notice odd words/terms (e.g. grey rather than gray) I'm English and that's how we Brits spell!
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction for entertainment purposes only. I am not attempting to make a single penny or profit from this. I do not own the rights to any of the characters from the television series "Remington Steele" and am not affiliated in any way to MTM productions or any television network screening the show.
Rating: NC17 for adult content and sexual innuendo so if you are easily offended please do not read on.

Private investigator Laura Holt closed her eyes and rocked her hips backwards and forwards. They were still joined as he sat up, rolled her over and delicately placed her beneath him. She thrust her hips upwards so that he could penetrate as far as it was possible to go. Madly they moved in sensuous rhythm, caught up in a relentless frenzy. Excruciatingly inflamed, he rammed into her body as she locked her legs around his back. Laura felt her orgasm growing with each plunge. Eyes screwed tight she told herself, just a little more, just a little more, just a little more.

"Oh Laura, oh God, oh Laura!" he moaned repeatedly.

She was floating on a cloud. It was a big, fluffy, white one taking her higher and higher. Concentrating entirely on the feeling of him moving in and out, in and out, in and out, she squeezed tighter and cried out his name.

"Oh, Mr Steele!"

He rolled off her.

Disoriented, she reached for him and opened her eyes.

"Why have you stopped?"

"You know Laura, you're good. You're very good. But as good a lay as you are, my ego prefers it when the women I'm with remember my name. For the record, it's Marty West."

Her eyes widened in shock and embarrassment. "Wh-what name did I call out?"
"Mr Steele. Again."
"I think I should go home now." She pulled the sheets back, got out of the bed and retrieved her clothes from the floor.
He reached for his cigarettes. The room became suffused with tobacco.
"Urgh! That's a nasty habit you've got there."
"I could say the same about you. It's not the first time you've called me that you know. Don't you work for a guy named Reming -"
"Look! I'm sorry, alright? Let's call it a night." She struggled into her panty hose.
"Let's call it `the end.' There's no point carrying on with this."
"Don't get sentimental on me Marty!" Laura snapped.
"Now she remembers my name." Sarcasm permeated his tone.
"This is an arrangement. There's nothing emotional going on here. We're both adults and we went into this with our eyes open. Mutual need, remember?"
"Who are you to lecture me about remembering things? It's not exactly your forte at the moment, is it?" He inhaled deeply, exhaling smoke rings.
She zipped up her skirt. "There's no need to get testy and take this so damn personally!"
"Oh yeah? Well, how would you feel if I screamed out `Princess Leia' just as you were about to come?"
"Princess Leia!" Stunned, she paused in mid-brush stroke.
"You've got your `Mr Steele' fantasy going on there, I've got Princess Leia. Actually, it's the semi-nude Princess Leia of `Return Of The Jedi' that really does it for me. Y'know the bit I mean? When she's held captive by Jabba the Hut? In that bikini outfit? Oh man, that gets me horny every time! The Princess Leia of `Star Wars' doesn't do much for me although she's still very nice: white clothes, virginal, innocent, cherry ready to be popped. But that donuts-on-her-head hairstyle turns me off."
"Good lord! I've been sleeping with a depraved, arrested adolescent!" She returned to her grooming in disgust.
"Who are you calling depraved? Just because my fantasy is a character from a movie and yours isn't? You forget my name three times now - and then take the moral high ground with sexual fantasies?"
"Marty, there really isn't anything more to say."
"Yes there is. Just tell me, out of curiosity, what's he like?"
"I beg your pardon?"
"Remington Steele. The guy you've got the hots for. What's he like?"
"I'm not having this conversation with you." She checked her purse.
"Why not? I've been busting my balls on you and you haven't even paid me the courtesy of pretending I was rocking your world! I do all the work and he gets all the credit."
"Believe me Marty, I'm very familiar with the concept!"
"C'mon Laura. Give. I'm hurting here." He pulled on his cigarette.
She straightened her clothing. "I said I was sorry. What more do you want me to do?"
"Don't you think you owe me? Just a little bit? I've heard of guys who've jumped off buildings because this happened to them. And you've done it to me for the third time!"
"I've said all I'm going to say on the subject."
Marty scratched his stomach. "I've seen his picture in the paper. Looks a real smoothie. Bet he drinks tea with his pinky sticking out, right? Is that what you're after?"
Tight-lipped, she glared at him.
"Yeah, I know his type. I serve them in my bar all the time. They think domestic beer is a dirty word! He gets his suits made for him by a foreign tailor, drives a flashy car, has a swanky apartment and a different woman every night, right?"
"He does not have a different woman every night! He's very forget it, alright? I'm not discussing Mr Steele with you."
"Hit a raw nerve when I mentioned him with other women didn't I? That rankles doesn't it? The thought of him doing to them what you do with me?"
"You're wasting your breath. Save it for your cigarettes." She sprayed on her perfume.
"Bothers you, doesn't it? You think of him as yours and yours alone but the reality is that he's out there screwing other women and it's not you. Now, y'see, Princess Leia doesn't do that to me. That's the advantage of choosing a movie character to get off on."
"For your information, I could take my relationship with Mr Steele further if I choose to, got that? Me. Moi. So keep your quack philosophising to yourself!"
"Still don't want to talk about it huh?"
"Marty, I hate to shatter your illusions -"
"Feel free. You've wrecked my ego, sure you don't want my self-esteem while you're at it?"
She paused for a brief second before continuing. "I hate to shatter your illusions but you are not Sigmund Freud and I am in no talking mood. But even if I was, rest assured that you are the last person I would discuss this with."
"Well it's not like I'm gonna pick up the phone and say, `Hey Steele? Guess what? I'm banging your secretary and she's a real goer but every time she's about to come she -' "
Incensed, Laura cried, "I am not a secretary buster! I am a licensed private investigator and you are the most foul-mouthed, the most -"
"Whaddaya expect? A poet? I own a bar; I schlep alcohol for a living! But I can do the sympathy thing y'know. It's what I'm good at. Apart from giving head, that is. Total strangers unload on me every night. They sink a few beers and tell me their deepest problems."
"I don't have a problem."
"You call out your boss' name when you're sleep with someone and you don't think this is a problem?"
"Okay, fine. I don't have a problem that I'm prepared to share with you." She applied her lipstick.
"Is there something between you two? Or do you have some kinda unrequited lust thing going on? Visions of him in the buff? Daydreams of him coming over to fix your TV, if you know what I mean?"
"Let's leave it at this okay? I'm sorry, I know I must have wounded your male pride but don't take it personally. It was completely unintentional."
He shrugged. "Easy come, easy go but you oughta sort out this problem of yours. Once is an oversight but three times? Come on, that's some serious shit! He's got you steamin' under your silks! Admit it."
She stared at him. Dumbfounded. "Marty, it's been an experience knowing you."
"Laura, I've been thinking that -"
"We won't be seeing each other again but don't dwell on this too much. It wasn't anything you did or didn't do."
"Well, if this `Mr Steele' makes you scream like that and you're with another guy, imagine sex with the real thing. That's my pearl of wisdom to you Laura, my parting gift. And you didn't spend more than five dollars in my bar to get it!"
She put on her jacket and strode quickly to the bedroom door. "Goodnight and goodbye Marty."
"Hey Laura, if it doesn't work out with that Steele guy, I'm always available. And if you wear a bikini like Princess Leia's we'll call it quits! Okay? Okay Laura?"


At a set of traffic lights, Laura exhaled exasperatedly.
"Damn! Damn! Damn!" she cried banging her steering wheel with each protestation. A war was raging inside her body as various components fought for superiority: hormones raged due to sexual frustration, feelings were divided between chagrin caught screaming out his name-again!-and indignity. Who-the-hell did Marty West think he was? To demand an explanation and compound it by insisting he could solve the problem? He was a channel for sexual release only. Full stop. His job? To put up and shut up.

Logic? Laura ignored it. It was telling her that this behaviour was far from her usual rational self. Deep down in her subconscious, where it lay unacknowledged, Malta had kick-started it all off. Or more specifically, seeing him semi-naked with that treacherous blonde Margaret. She'd lain awake while Mildred slept, trying to resist the urge to go to him and all that time he was with someone else anyway. They'd nearly been attacked in their beds and he was next door sating his lust. The selfish pig. Blondes, always damn blondes! Felicia and Anna women that had shared his past. Even that ditzy, distraction Millicent Fairbush - blondes, always blondes.

Had it all meant so little to him? Had their time together but not quite together been so forgettable? He seemed to have discarded it too easily; barely a few weeks since the Cannes decision and he was already looking at other women. The lousy ingrate! So, okay, he'd stayed around. He hadn't left just because of the business only decree. He still turned up each morning to play Remington Steele, to help keep the façade going in his own inimitable way.

But it wasn't the reaction she'd anticipated. She hadn't expected her appeal for a platonic friendship - made in a moment of pique - to be so keenly respected. She hadn't expected him to seek out the company of other women and she hadn't expected it to bother her so much. Finally yielding to her own bodily needs had proved a disaster but Marty West had given her food for thought. Imagine sex with the real thing? She'd done nothing but that for nearly three years now.

Laura glanced at her watch. It was still early: just coming up to eight o'clock. She could go home and shower and then swing by the office, grab a couple of files as a pretext to going up to his apartment, steer the conversation towards them their relationship. No doubt he'd argue yet again that his actions proved his commitment and maybe this time, he'd be able to convince her and she'd be able to allay her fears long enough to let it go further. This time he could touch her, caress her, fully explore her body with his mouth and hands and tongue. This time she'd be able to sleep with a man knowing that she'd call out the right name and hear him cry out hers. At last she'd run her hands through his chest hair, feel him moving inside her and -

"Hey lady get a move on!" someone called out. The lights had changed and horns were furiously blasting. Laura put her foot down.


Outside Rossmore, the occupants of a green Buick sipped their coffee as they stalked their prey.
"Are you sure she's checked out of that hotel?"
"Yeah, She booked a room for last night only. This morning she ordered a taxi but it wasn't for the airport. That's all I could get out of the girl on the front desk."
"How do we know she'll come here?"
"This is where the geezer lives. Bit of a celebrity in this town. Wasn't hard to find out his address."
"So. He's in on it too."
"Good of Jimmy to lend us his car."
"Jimmy owed us a favour."
"Bleedin' Los Angeles! Can't get a decent cup of tea, can't get decent biscuits to go with it and can't get an edible fry-up. You should see what that waitress brought me when I asked for biscuits. `What the bleedin' hells that?' I says to `er. `I didn't order a sponge cake, I ordered biscuits for me tea!' Then she tries to tell me that they are biscuits so I says, `No they ain't luv. Where I come from, a biscuit is what you dunk in yer tea.' And as for the tea? Gawd `elp us! A cup of the Thames would taste better! Give me London any day!"
"We'll be back in London very soon. Just one little detail to take care of before we go."


The sound of the buzzer proved a real surprise. Remington Steele checked his watch and eased out of the couch leaving Ben Quick and Clara Varner to another round of their incessant bickering. He opened the door and couldn't suppress his bemusement.
"Laura! I see you, ah, still remember where I live."
"Good to see you too Mr Steele. Can I come in?" Wordlessly he stood aside and she entered.
"What brings you here so late in the evening? Extended company hours without telling me?" He flounced down on the sofa, arms crossed and concentrated on the television screen.
She ignored his trenchant reference to Cannes. "I'm sorry to disturb your evening Mr Steele but errrm, there's a small matter which requires I mean I'd appreciate your input on something."
"And this couldn't wait until tomorrow at the office because ?" He motioned with his right hand, leaving the question hanging in the air.
"Could I go into it over a cup of coffee?"
Steele looked at her quizzically but complied. He walked into the kitchen and filled the kettle with water. As he came out, Laura seized the opportunity to settle her nerves.
"What film are you watching?"
He sat down. "The Long Hot Summer. Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward. Twentieth Century Fox, 1958."
"I don't think I've seen this one. Did you ever take me to see it? I can't remember." She joined him on the sofa.
"We didn't see this one together. We saw `Cat On A Hot Tin Roof' that's Paul Newman again but his love interest is Elizabeth Taylor. MGM made it in the same year. I can see why you've confused the two movies: apart from sharing the same star, they share similar themes steamy, Freudian tales of family intrigue and domineering patriarchal figures set in the deep south."
"Isn't that man wha'cha-ma-call-it? He looks familiar."
"Which one Laura? The old one, the young one or Paul Newman?"
"Him," she pointed.
"Orson Welles. Credited with making and starring in one of the best films Hollywood has ever seen:
`Citizen Kane' RKO, 1941. You fell asleep through it, remember?" He smiled at her and she smiled back.
"No, Mr Steele. I don't."
"I do. While I was convalescing here broken legs and terminal boredom courtesy of that bachelor's case? We watched it together on my bed and you drifted off to the land of nod. In my arms I might add."
"I did?"
"Hmmm. I like to think it was the length of the movie and not my company. You wounded my fragile ego that night Laura!"
"Sorry. It was the film, not you." Her mouth lifted at the corners as she reminisced back to those carefree, halcyon days. "Y'know, you were a terrible patient. Always complaining that your legs itched, that your tea didn't have enough lemon, that I bought you the wrong magazines, that you hated taking your pills. Your petulance put a two-year-old in the shade! Typical man, really."
"A little T-L-C would have gone a long way towards easing my discomfort but as usual you wouldn't indulge me."
"That's because you weren't after T-L-C Mr Steele, it was S-E-X if memory serves correct!"
"My suggestion that you nurse me naked while I lie nude in bed qualified as being after sex?"
"Actually, it made a nice change for me. It was the only time since we've known each other that I could be absolutely certain of your daily movements."
"If you'd stayed the night Laura, you'd be personally acquainted with my daily movements by now. Very personally acquainted."
"Your comings and goings?"
"My ups and downs too."
She met his eyes - blue, warm, amused. "I haven't forgotten the shameless way you had me and Mildred running around after you Mr Steele. You took full advantage of your infirmity. When it's my turn," she poked his chest, "you won't have time to breathe. I'll have you waiting on me hand and foot!"
"That's your idea of punishing me?" He chuckled and then added, "Y'know, I misplaced an agency pencil last year. Nothing less than your fan dance will do for such reprehensible behaviour!"
"Mr Steele -"
"And then there was the time I read my newspaper after midday. Now that's got to be worth severe castigation. You, me, a Jacuzzi and a -"
"All joking aside, I meant what I said."
"You'll insist I be at your beck and call Miss Holt?"
She placed her files on the floor. "At least I'll know where you are."
"Under your watchful eye, eh?"
"Under my concerned eyes, Mr Steele," she acknowledged with a smile.
"Just one thing Laura."
"There will be a crucial difference when you're convalescing."
"Hmm. I will nurse you naked!" he wiggled his eyebrows.
She smiled wryly and returned her attention to the television. "That Welles guy. He had a famous wife, right?"
"Very good. Not bad for a beginner! He was married to Rita Hayworth. Gilda herself. Now that's another classic. Colombia 1946."
"You and your knowledge of movies. A walking, talking cinematic encyclopaedia. It never ceases to amaze me."
"Then we have something in common Miss Holt."
He turned to face her. "You never cease to amaze me either."
Unconsciously, their heads moved in a little closer.
"Michael darling what's taking you so long? I'm getting lonely in the bedroom without you. Oh I'm sorry I didn't realise you had company."
Shocked, both occupants shot up off the couch and surveyed the scene before them.
A short towel, and nothing else, was wrapped around her body. She slunk over to a stunned Steele and pulled him into a deep kiss.
"F-F-Felicia!" he managed to stammer when she released his lips.
She looked over. "Lisa, wasn't it?"
"It always has been and still is, Laura. Excuse me Mr Steele. I won't hold up your evening. I'll discuss this with you in the morning." She picked up her files and strode furiously towards the front door.
"Laura wait!"
"Goodnight Mr Steele!" she snapped without a backward glance.
Stunned by the twists and turns of the entire evening, he lost a few seconds trying to take it all in. What the bloody hell was going on? First Laura, then Felicia. He dashed to the front door but luck wasn't smiling on him.
"Laura!" he called out but she was already in the lift and on her way down. Sighing he stepped back into his apartment and stared at his visitor.
"Wonderful inventions these things. Doors, I believe they're called. You really ought to give them a try Felicia."
"How ordinary darling. You know how much I adore dramatic entrances!"
"To what do I owe this, ah, dubious honour? Dice let you down again, eh?"
"Must we take our discussion down that road so soon? That's so tacky. Now that we're here alone, we can take a pleasanter journey together."
Felicia pulled the towel away and let it drop to the floor. Walking towards Steele, she drew him into another kiss.
One part of his anatomy responded involuntarily to the nude, attractive woman he was holding. He considered a quick romp with her but promptly dismissed the thought. Better to stick with his sexually accommodating and uncomplicated dates. Life was tempestuous enough already. No point adding to it.
"I've missed you so much Michael," she breathed. "Haven't you missed me at all? Not even a teensy-weensy bit?" Felicia scanned his countenance and found the answer in his eyes. "Surely you're not still having fun being Remington Steele? Where's the excitement darling? Where's the adrenaline rush of illicit behaviour? Where's the buzz from procuring works of fine art, precious stones and the like?"
"It has its own unique charm," he loosened her arms from around his neck and retrieved the towel. Pointedly, he held it out to her and she reluctantly put it back on.

"The last time we met, that lovely, little associate told me that your relationship was strictly professional. Is that still the case?"
"We have our moments."
"I see. And did I walk in on one darling?"
"You always had exquisite timing Felicia. Exquisitely - ill - timing," Steele wryly enunciated each word.
She laughed and surveyed his apartment. "You should be grateful. I dared you to steal the Royal Lavulite so in a way you owe all this to me! I threw you into her path," she shook her head. "I still berate myself about that. Ironic isn't it?"
"Positively side-splitting."
"But what an ordinary, plain, petite, thing she is! It saddens me to see how your tastes have taken such a provincial turn! Where on earth is the attraction sweetheart? What do you see in her?"
He placed his hands in his pockets. "Did you by any chance, swing by a hotel on your way here?"
"I'm feeling generous so I shall allow you to change the subject but it's not forgotten. We'll return to it later." She sat down on the couch. "Why would I need to book accommodation elsewhere when I have you?"
"I suppose it didn't occur to you that I may have moved? That it may not be convenient? That I may be involved with someone? That I may be married even, for example?"
"Don't be silly darling! I know you, remember?"
"You knew someone else."
"He's still there," she insisted. "I know he's still there."
Steele looked at her for a few seconds before saying, "I'll get some sheets and a pillow. I'll sleep out here."
"And if I'm a good girl, will you give me a big reward? A very big reward? The biggest reward I've ever had from any man?"
"Just be thankful I'm giving you my bed, eh?"
"You don't have to sleep on this sofa. There's room enough for both of us in there darling," she inclined her head in the direction she meant.
"Ah Felicia, you always had a way with words!" Steele held out his hand and she allowed him to lead her out of the living room and into the bedroom.
"You know Michael, no one's come close to you, no one measures up. Your little associate doesn't know what she's missing. She hasn't had - how shall I put this darling? - the pleasure yet, has she?"
En route to the wardrobe, Steele paused for a second. Then he continued towards it.
"You don't have to respond to that. I got my answer when little Lisa threw her callow, childish, strop. If there was something between you two I'm sure she would have taken great pleasure in throwing me out. I took a huge risk coming here but it paid off."
"It's Laura."
"What is?"
"Her name."
Felicia sat on the bed and watched him intently. "Little Lisa, Little Laura what's the difference? She still hasn't had you yet and that, dear Michael, is my material point."
Steele slid open the wardrobe doors and began the task of removing bedding items. "Any news of our mutual acquaintances in London?"
She continued as if she hadn't heard him. "Purely professional relationship. That's what you both repeatedly told me. So professional that you stood me up to steal `The Nudes' with her instead."
"Guttman, Felicia. Remember him? Loathsome man, dreadful tailor? As I recall, we saved you from a rather nasty spot of bother."
"Is that my cue to be grateful darling? How bourgeois! It's never been my strong suit."
"You really should bottle that charm and sell it." He grabbed a pillow.
"You wouldn't have me any other way Michael. But you can have me any way you want."
He pointedly yawned. "It's been a long day and -"
"You know darling, while I'm here, I shall do you a favour and brief Lisa. Intimately. Give her a précis of your innumerable talents. Let her know exactly what she's missing - to the nearest inch."
"That wouldn't exactly be my recommendation."
"All these years in your company and she hasn't succumbed? Maybe she likes her men prefixed with the letters, `wo.' It's very common nowadays. At my Swiss Finishing School there were two. Very sporty types as I recall. Always trying to get me to play hockey with them. Forgive the question, but are you sure she's not a dyke?"
"You're a credit to your family Felicia. The felines of South Kensington, wasn't it?"
She laughed. "Touché darling! You know you look better now than you ever did. I can safely say that your associate is blind or insane. Don't worry Michael, it's not you - you're not slipping."
"Back-handed compliments always were your speciality."
She stretched out invitingly on his bed. "I should tell her about that day we went punting on the Thames in Oxford. You fed me strawberries and Bollinger champagne under a beautiful Oak tree. Then you gave new meaning to the words, `sweet torture' with your wonderfully dexterous tongue as we made love under the warm, summer sun. I've never felt like that before or since. This is all such a chronic waste of your talents! Why don't you come back to England with me darling? We can plan huge capers across Europe, more feckless purloining again. Just like old times."
"Old times indeed Felicia. Old times indeed. Tomorrow, you're going to tell me precisely what it is that's brought you here for this, ah, impromptu stroll down memory lane. Good night."
"Good night darling. Remember, if the urge to relive our wicked tryst in Rome takes you, then take me! I'm not going anywhere."
"Thank you for the timely reminder," he responded sardonically shutting the door behind him.

What a night! Steele pulled on his pyjama bottoms and lay back on the sofa, arms clasped behind his head reflecting on Laura's unexpected social call. The Cannes ruling. Emotions were conflicted still: relief that she hadn't sent him away tempered with frustration at the decision itself. Admittedly, he'd made a mess of things but helping Henri was an extenuating circumstance, couldn't she see that? Bloody ridiculous woman! The most infuriating, the most stubborn, the most annoying, the most contrary - she irritated the living hell out of him! God how he wanted her.

It wasn't just sex. The question of conquest, of finally winning his impossible challenge, went out the window a long time ago. No, this was about well, it went deeper than that. They were already business partners and good friends so why the bloody hell wouldn't she give in to their mutual attraction? Nearly three years of dodging bullets alongside her, heart-to-hearts, tip-toeing around sex and enduring all her stupid little tests and trials including this latest one. For what else was the Cannes edict other than yet another tedious behavioural examination?

Steele slapped his forehead and groaned. How would he explain Felicia in the morning? There wouldn't be a - wait a minute! Technically, she wasn't owed an account. Her absurd dictum that they shouldn't see each other after working hours was his get-out-of-jail-free card. Bringing up Felicia would be an own-goal. Any reference to her being in his apartment would only serve as the proverbial self-inflicted wound.

He considered the options: there were valuable brownie points to be gained by telling Laura that nothing had happened. But what else? Would it give him what he most wanted, a change of heart about Cannes? Not bloody likely. She was determined to punish his faux pas even if it meant punishing herself in the process. He sighed. Where would the breakthrough come? Could it possibly be through Felicia's reappearance?

He brightened as he repositioned himself on his makeshift bed. If he knew his Laura - and he did - she would rather die than make some kind of allusion to Felicia's reappearance. But it would absolutely kill her not to! Steele let out a small, evil laugh as he anticipated the fun he'd have with her in the morning. The perfect opportunity to enjoy some form of payback for the post-Cannes situation.

Let her stew for a while under the misapprehension that something had happened between them. Of course, he'd come clean and tell her the truth eventually but Steele chuckled again. He reflected on Felicia's question. His attraction to Laura? Apart from everything else, she was the only woman he'd ever met who made mind games as big a turn-on as sex itself. He fell asleep with a beatific grin on his face.


Laura pulled the door to her loft across and locked it. Then she threw her shoes across the room. That creep! That slimeball! That lousy ingrate! How dare he make derogatory remarks about the Cannes decision when he had a woman in his bedroom the entire time! And of all women, that one! That blonde witch! That devious creature! She let out a yell of frustration and headed for the shower.

As the water beat down on her, she reflected on an utterly disastrous night. Her rampaging hormones had wrecked her peace of mind: she should have gone to aerobics class instead of seeing Marty West and she should have stayed at home instead of driving to Mr Steele's. She'd struck out, big-time. If only a fat, bald, uncomplicated man had bombarded his way into her life all those years ago. Laura sighed. Who was she kidding? A fat, bald impersonator would have been handed over to the police the minute his cover had been blown.

But a charming, Irish, blue-eyed, dark-haired man with five passports and a mysterious past? What a lethal combination. She'd wanted her handsome stranger from the minute he'd presented her with that magnum of champagne. That first tête-à-tête and his declaration of being aroused - with curiosity. The boldness, the audacity, the cheek of the man! It had intoxicated her. She'd never met anyone like him. Poor Murphy. He was the first to realise what was happening and - Murphy. Laura made a mental note to call him and find out how his business was progressing. Now there was a great guy, a wonderful friend: no kinks, no curves, no shady edges. Why couldn't it have been him instead of that weasel! That irresponsible, devious, enigmatic - Laura sighed. God how she wanted him.

And yet, the longer she knew him, the less she felt she really knew him and all it did was fire her fascination further. What was this? Obsession? Love? Addiction? Who was he really? What made him tick? How did he feel about their relationship, such as it was? Why was he staying around? Godammit! And now that woman had returned to haunt her. First Cannes, now the blonde witch. What next? Laura groaned. Surely it was just a matter of time before her mother strode through the doors of Suite 1157!

As she reached for a towel, an awful realisation dawned: Cannes. It was her idea. It gave him a licence to screw the hellcat! It gave him a licence to screw anybody for that matter and there was nothing she could do about it. Not without losing face. What could she say? `Look Mr Steele, although I want our relationship on a strictly business basis, I don't want you to sleep with other women either.' Damn. Damn. Damn.

If she knew her Mr Steele - and she did he'd be waiting, willing for an interrogation so that he could throw Cannes back at her. She could see it now: he'd flash that lopsided grin of his, add a huge dose of conceit and mix in a little egoism to boot. Well not this time buster! Hell would freeze over first before she'd ask, hint or allude to that woman in any way. Laura inhaled deeply and squared her shoulders.


The steady flow of Steele's even breathing was the only sound coming from the couch. Felicia stood over him surveying the scene. He'd filled out since their last meeting and the change suited him. He'd always been good looking but now that visage belonged on the cover of a magazine: dashing, debonair, urbane, suave and on and on. The total package was irresistible. How had that little thing managed to keep her hands off such a splendid paradigm of the male species? Nearly three years of close proximity but no sexual intimacy? It defied logic. Felicia shook her head. Why was he wasting his time playing detective in this godforsaken city? She sighed.

The man she knew as Michael O'Leary had never tied himself down to one of anything: not one name, not one identity, not one place, not one woman. It wasn't for lack of effort either; she'd tried but failed to keep him past the point where he wanted and needed to be kept. So how had little Lisa done it? And without sleeping with him too. What was her secret? Michael virtually domesticated? Seemingly, on the straight and narrow? Repeatedly turning down easy sex? What she wouldn't give to have been the one to achieve that feat. Not the straight and narrow part - of course - but the house-trained aspect. If the truth be known, it was something to be jealous about.

Movement stirred her from her reverie: the sheets were now around his legs. Feasting on his torso, she let her eyes follow the path of his chest-hair down to his abdomen: black underwear hid the part of his anatomy she most wanted to see. Momentarily, she closed her eyes and it all came back to her. Where they did it, when they did it, what they did and how often. Naughty, sweet memories.

He was sleeping the sleep of total exhaustion so Felicia gave in to the rush of desire for him that always overwhelmed her. Kneeling down, she reached out and lightly stroked him: delicate, feathery touches. Her patience was rewarded as he steadily grew harder. Steele sighed deeply in his slumber.
"Laura," he murmured.

Felicia sharply withdrew her hand and stood up. He turned over and repeated the name into his pillow although it came out sounding like `Nora.' She watched him for a few minutes more as various emotions raced around her body. Then she tiptoed back to his bed and buried herself under the duvet.


The real head of Remington Steele Investigations pushed open the doors of Suite 1157 and mumbled a greeting to the ever-efficient secretary.
After nearly two years, former IRS operative Mildred Krebbs could read the mood of her boss' associate by now. However, keeping up with the protracted course of the on-again, off-again love affair between the two was another matter. It would be easier finding a needle in the ocean blindfolded. A romantic at heart, Mildred rooted for a happy ending and did all she could to ensure it moved that way. Concern compelled her to venture a question.

"Beautiful day Miss Holt. Warm, sunny, relatively smog-free. Doesn't look like it's had much of an effect on you though. Did someone get out of bed the wrong side this morning?"
"Bed is a sore subject Mildred. Is Mr Steele in yet?"
"No but he called and asked me to pass on a message to you. I wrote it down, let me see if I can aha! Here it is. `Apologies Miss Holt. Something's come up and I shall be unavoidably detained. Please commence the business of the day without me and I shall join you as soon as I am free to do so.' The boss told me that he wanted you to be in no doubt of his daily movements. He stressed that implicitly when he called. `Mildred' he said, `Make sure she's in absolutely no doubt of my daily movements.' Those were his exact words."
Laura clenched her fists. "His daily movements? I see."
"Isn't the boss something else?" her secretary enthused.
"He's something else all right! I'll be in my office." Laura stormed towards the door and slammed it.
Mildred raised an eyebrow. What were those kids up to this time?


Steele whistled happily as he selected a suit from his wardrobe.
Felicia stretched and yawned. "Must you sound quite so ebullient first thing in the morning?"
He tapped his watch. "It's five to ten. That's not exactly sunrise my sweet."
"When did you become such a paragon of time-keeping?" She pulled the duvet back over her.
"It may have escaped your notice but Remington Steele is also a paragon of crime solving. Speaking of crime that reminds me, what brings you here this time Felicia?"
"Darling, I'm shocked! Does there have to be an unsavoury ulterior motive for my visit?"
"I don't know. You tell me." He chose a tie then turned to face her.
Felicia sat upright on the bed and sighed. "The truth is that I've missed you Michael. Very much. Life is so empty without you! Last month, I was in Venice, at La Galleria D'Arte Ranieri, but purloining just wasn't the same without you. I want you back. That's why I've come to Los Angeles. To fight for you."
"Hmm. Amongst other things, are you also here to audition for `Dynasty?' That affecting little speech belongs in a soap opera Felicia."
"But darling, it's true. Is it so unbelievable that I would want back the only man I've ever loved? That I'd yearn to rekindle our romance? The good times we had?"
" `Had' being the operative word. Now really, just why are you here?"
"I see now that I shall have to convince you via my deeds. You were never one for judging people by what they say - always by what they do. Such an endearing trait Michael."
"Judging by deeds? Let me see a couple of years ago you show up here and attempt to blackmail me into stealing `The Nudes' to get yourself -"
"That was then, this is now. You keep telling me that you've changed. Why do you find it so hard to believe that I have too?"
Steele inhaled then exhaled deeply. "We'll discuss this later but one way or another love, I want the real story."
She stared at him, incredulous. "Aren't you going to stay with me today?"
"I own nothing that you'd want to steal so I'm perfectly content to leave you here until I return this evening." He grinned widely, "You know what I've always admired about you?"
"What, darling?"
"Your undoubted ability to cope with life's and I think Shakespeare puts it best `slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.' "
"Does she have her claws in you that deeply?" Felicia snapped.
"Be careful darling," he pointed, "yours are showing." Steele began whistling brightly again and headed towards the shower.


Inside the Buick, the two men watched in wonder as a limo pulled up. The driver got out and opened a door for the immaculately groomed man.
"Shall we follow it?"
"No. We know exactly where to reach him. Right now, I'm more concerned about that snooty cow."
"I warned you about `er, I told you we shouldn't have brought her in on it. It's the first rule of business: never trust a woman especially if you're sleeping with her. She turned your head with `er body mate. Oldest trick in the book. The devious tart."
"Let's give it a couple of minutes more, than we'll search his place."
"What do we do with `er?"
"Don't worry about Felicia. She'll be properly dealt with for her transgression. Then we'll deal with him."
To Be Continued...
To Part Two
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