STEELE ON STEELE
By: Janice Skyers
First printed: More Red Holt Steele #9
Summary: Remington recants the tale of how he and Laura met...with a few alterations.
Disclaimer: This “Remington Steele” story is not-for-profit and is purely for entertainment purposes. The author and this site do not own the characters and are in no way affiliated with “Remington Steele,” the actors, their agents, the producers, MTM Productions, the NBC Television Network or any station or network carrying the show in syndication, or anyone in the industry.
Remington Steele and his wife, Laura Holt-Steele, were sitting in his office when their secretary, Mildred Krebs, walked in and suggested that, since business was slow, now would be a perfect time to get the story on how they hooked up. Remington quickly jumped at the chance to relate the story to Mildred. He sat in his chair with his feet on his desk, and Laura and Mildred sat down on the sofa.
“Okay, Mildred, here’s the scoop on how Laura and I met. Are you ready?”
“I’m all ears, Chief,” she replied, leaning forward and smiling broadly, quite eager to hear the story.
“I, too, am quite anxious to hear it,” confessed Laura.
“Okay,” Remington started. “I was sitting at my table in one of the finer restaurants in L.A. when the waiter came over with a magnum of champagne. Before I could utter the words ‘I didn’t order this,’ he popped the cork and poured some in my glass. He informed me that it was compliments of the young lady sitting at the table across from mine.
“On that note, I raised my glass and signaled to her that I appreciated the kind gesture. She smiled. Before I could put the glass down on the table, she got up and walked over to me. As she sat down, I couldn’t help but notice her beautiful features. My heart was pounding away and my pulse was racing. Her presence was quite overwhelming. Words had failed me. Somehow she sensed this and spoke first.
“ ‘My name is Laura Holt. I’ve been observing you ever since you walked in the door.’
“Her voice had a sweet, melodious tone to it. I gasped and then responded, ‘I am quite flattered, Miss Holt, but may I ask why? I mean, I’m not the only man to have entered this restaurant evening.’
“ ‘That might be true, but my instincts tell me that you’re different from the rest.’
“ ‘Mmmm. Be careful Miss Holt, maybe when you get to know me, you’ll change your mind.’
“She smiled and tossed her head back in an elegant and lady-like manner. I sensed that she was the type of woman that demanded honesty and straight-forwardness in a relationship.
“ ‘Forgive my manners, Miss Holt. My name is Ben Pearson.’
“She extended her right hand and I reached over and shook it gently. The waiter came over and took our orders. She complimented me on my exquisite taste. While we were waiting for our meal, we continued our conversation.
“ ‘So tell me Miss Holt, what line of work are you in, if you don’t mind me asking?’
“She hesitated, looked down, focusing her eyes on her champagne glass which led me to believe that I might have hit a sensitive area. Feeling slightly embarrassed I remarked, ‘I’m sorry for prying. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.’
“She responded, ‘It’s just that when I tell people that I’m a private detective, they get this weird look on their faces. Loosely translated it means, a female private eye? You’ve got to be joking.’
“ ‘Well you don’t see me laughing, do you, Miss Holt? As a matter of fact, I’m quite impressed. Granted, my experience doesn’t go beyond those I’ve seen depicted in the movies, but I must say, it’s a pleasure to finally meet one up close and personal.’
“ ‘I’m glad to hear that, Mr. Pearson. The truth is, I chose this line of work because I’ve always loved excitement. I studied and apprenticed and put my name on an office. But no one came knocking down my door. So I joined a large detective agency.’
“ ‘And did it fulfill your fantasies?’
“ ‘The work was rewarding. The recognition was nil. It seemed no matter how successful my efforts were, the lion's share of the credit always went to my male counterparts, regardless of their contribution. In many ways, I found it quite fulfilling, but the fact that my hard work was overlooked was more than I could bear. So I decided to leave and join Remington Steele Investigations.’
“ ‘Remington Steele. Yes, I’ve heard that name before. I think I understand what you’re getting at. Masculinity goes hand-in-hand with the private eye business.’
“The waiter brought our food over and we started eating. We continued our conversation in between bites.
“ ‘So tell me, Mr. Pearson, what’s your opinion of female private detectives?’
“I had to be careful with my response, Mildred. I didn’t want to blow it because I didn’t want to ruin this lovely evening.
“ ‘It wouldn’t be fair for me to answer that question at this time. You must admit though that it’s a rather rough and tumble trade and it’s a highly unusual profession for a woman with your looks, obvious intelligence and breeding. The female detectives that I’ve seen depicted in the movies weren’t as polished and incredibly beautiful as you, Miss Holt.’
“She smiled and blushed slightly. She was also wondering if I was being totally honest with her. But at that moment, there was something that was troubling me; her profession. I knew that any second now, she would inquire about my line of work. And she did.
“ ‘Trust me, Mr. Pearson, it requires more brain than brawn. And you, what do you do for a living?’
“I told myself that I had to lay all my cards on the table. I couldn’t afford to blow it. I decided that the truth was my best bet. I inhaled deeply, and prayed that she wouldn’t hold what I was about to impart to her against me.
“ ‘Laura, I wish I could tell you that I’m a lawyer or a doctor. Well, in a sense, I could be referred to as a professional.’
“ ‘I don’t understand.’ She gave me a probing and questionable look.
“ ‘Well, some might say my profession is a less than admirable one.’
“ ‘What exactly do you do, Mr. Pearson?’
“Her patience was wearing thin. So, I dreadfully replied, ‘I’m a professional con-man and a thief.’
“ ‘A con-man and a thief?,’ she repeated, but to my amazement she didn’t act surprised. ‘How did you get into that sort of thing?’ She asked in a scolding manner.
“ ‘An old friend of mine was into that sort of thing. As I followed him around, I observed his work, so to speak. I found it quite intriguing. He became my mentor. After a short while, we became partners. Some people are enticed into this profession because of the money, but I suppose for me, it fulfills one of my fantasies--the need for excitement. One gets a certain high knowing that you’re able to steal a rare, precious gem or a prized painting and get away with it.’
“ ‘And what about the danger? Doesn’t it concern you? There’s also the real possibility that one day you’ll be caught.’
“ ‘I suppose that’s part of my fascination with it. So far, I’ve been lucky. Haven’t been caught yet. So, are you shocked by my revelation?’ I told myself that I wouldn’t blame her if she got up and walked out the door, because she represented the law and I had confessed my wrong-doing to her.
“She thought for a second and then responded. ‘You know Mr. Pearson, you took one hell of a chance confiding in me about what you do for a living. I mean, another person sitting in my place would probably run to the police no sooner than walking out of here. But, the truth is, I am impressed by your openness.’
“ ‘Really?’ Her statement had thrown me for a loop. Rather than chew me out for my wrong-doing, she was extremely understanding. ‘Why Laura, if anything you should be putting the cuffs on me and hauling me off to the nearest police station. I’m the bad guy. I’m one of the reasons people seek your services.’ It was as though all I had confessed to her didn’t change her impression of me.
“By this time, we finished our meal and we sipped champagne as we continued our conversation. I was hoping the evening would never end and that time could stand still somehow.”
Mildred was quite intrigued by the story her boss was relating. Laura looked at her husband and thought, you’re fudging it a bit, aren’t you, sweetheart?
“How about the romantic part of the story, Chief? You did kiss her at some point, didn’t you?” asked Mildred, hoping that her boss wouldn’t throw a wet blanket on her fantasy.
“Relax, Mildred. It will come sooner or later,” Remington assured her.
Laura laughed out loud.
“Now, where was I? Yes, she was about to explain why she was so impressed.
“ ‘Mr. Pearson, it is true that your work is, shall we say, on the shady side, but it takes a real man to openly admit that he does that sort of thing for a living. I’m not going to sit here and make judgements or give you a lecture on why you shouldn’t continue in this line of work. The truth is, this is actually the first time I ever did anything like this.’
“ ‘Like what?’
“ ‘Well, approach a man that I find very attractive. I’m glad I took a chance and came over to your table. I’m having a wonderful time. You seem to have lived such a charmed life for such a young man. In all honesty, I wish we didn’t have to part company after this evening.’
“ ‘So then, we won’t. I’m not involved with anyone. How about you?’
“Her response was music to my ears, Mildred.”
“What did she say, Chief?”
“A plain and simple, ‘no.’ We sat there for a good while, exchanging small talk. I felt like a schoolboy on his first date. Since we opted not to have dessert, I suggested that we take a drive up to Malibu Beach. Laura agreed.
“When we got there, we took off our shoes and strolled along the beach, holding hands. We talked some more. Needless to say Mildred, my heart was still pounding away. I felt quite relaxed and had no reluctance about opening up to Laura. I admitted to her that Ben Pearson wasn’t my real name and that I’d used several aliases over the years, since I never knew what my real name was.
“Then it was her turn, she revealed that Remington Steele was not real. She created a fictitious boss in order to drum up business for the agency.
“Since it was getting late, I offered to drive her home. When we arrived there, I escorted her to the door. She invited me in for a drink and I accepted. After preparing the drinks, she sat down on the sofa next to me. I could tell by that crinkle in her forehead that something was troubling her. To make it easy on her, I decided to make the first move.
“ ‘Laura, is anything the matter?
“ ‘No, nothing really. I can’t remember the last time I felt so...’ She was struggling to find the right words.
“ ‘What?’ I asked softly.
“ ‘Well, this comfortable and relaxed with anyone. I’m finding it so easy to be myself around you. I feel I can trust you somehow. You seem so easy to talk to. This might sound a bit strange considering we only just met, but I get the impression that you have great powers of persuasion.
“ ‘Mmmm. Sounds like I’ve made quite an impact on you this evening. I’m glad to hear it, Laura. It seems our paths crossed at the right time. The truth is, it was actually the first time that I ever dined in that restaurant.
“ ‘Really? Me, too,’ she admitted, smiling broadly. As much as I was happy that she was being so candid with me, I had this sinking feeling that wasn’t what was really troubling her. She got up from the sofa and starting to pace back and forth. She sat down once again and turned toward me. That crinkle in her forehead surfaced again.
“ ‘Mr. Pearson, I have a very big favor to ask you, but I don’t quite know where to start.
“ ‘Tell me.
“ ‘Remember how I told you that I created this fictitious boss, Remington Steele, to drum up business for the agency?
“ ‘Yes, I remember.
“ ‘The truth is, as much as I’ve made it sound like it’s working like a charm, it hasn’t been easy. My co-workers aren’t too thrilled with the idea either. They hate every aspect of our little deception.
“ ‘Then why not just un-create Mr. Steele, if you’re growing tired of the whole charade?
“ ‘I wish it were that simple. People seek the services of Remington Steele Investigations only because they believe he does in fact exist and head the agency. There have been a few instances when clients have insisted on meeting him.
“ ‘And what did you tell them?
“ ‘I give them the old standbys—he never directly involves himself in a case, he functions best in an advisory capacity, out of town or stuck in traffic, et cetra, et cetra.
“ ‘I’m beginning to see your problem. One of these days a client just might call your bluff, eh?
“ ‘Exactly. And if they find out that he doesn’t exist, the agency’s reputation would be ruined and I would lose my private investigator’s license.
“ ‘So far, you’ve been doing a great job carrying it off. And don’t worry, your secret is safe with me. You have my word. Hurting you would be the last thing that I would do, Laura.
“ ‘Well, Mr. Pearson, keeping that in mind, here goes the favor. But before I tell you what it is, I want to emphasize that it would mean your staying in L.A. for a long, long time.
“ ‘What exactly is it, Laura?
“ ‘I think you’d make a great Remington Steele. You seem to have all the qualities that I had in mind when I created him.
“ ‘But I have no experience as an investigator. And what about my line of work? I’m a con-man and a thief, Laura. Furthermore, how can I help put away the bad guys. I’m supposed to be one of them.
“ ‘That’s where the added bonus comes in, Mr. Pearson. If you assume the role of Remington Steele, you’ll become so focused on detective work that your--profession--will eventually fade into the background and become a distant memory. This would also be a great chance for you to turn over a new leaf.
“ ‘When you put it that way, it sounds enticing. Staying in one place has always scared the hell out of me, but I can’t bloody well spend the rest of my adult life as a professional thief. Do I have to give you my answer tonight?
“ ‘No. It would be quite unfair for me to demand an answer from you immediately. Take some time and think it through.
“ ‘Okay, Laura, I will. Me as Remington Steele, imagine that. There’s also another bonus in it for me that you didn’t mention.
“ ‘What?’ she asked softly.
“ ‘We’ll spend a great deal of time together.
“ ‘Absolutely. I feel a great sense of relief now that I’ve gotten it off my chest. But I hope you don’t think it was my only reason for approaching you earlier.
“ ‘The thought never crossed my mind.’ I paused, considering my next move. ‘I guess it’s time for me to leave.
“As she followed me to my car, the urge to kiss her was building up inside me. And finally, Mildred, it happened.”
Mildred smiled broadly. The good part of the story finally arrived.
“Before I got into my car, I pulled her gently toward me and kissed her for quite awhile. After we regretfully broke the kiss, I got in my car. But before I drove away, I looked at Laura one last time to capture her beautiful smile in my mind.
“While I was driving home, I felt like my life was changing for the better, although Laura and I only just met.
“The next morning, I paid an unexpected visit to Remington Steele Investigations. I wanted to give Laura my answer in the form of a surprise. When I walked in, I was greeted by Miss Berniece Foxe, who was quite flirtatious. I inquired about Mr. Steele’s office and she pointed to it. I gave her a story about being Laura’s long lost brother and that my visit was a surprise, so I begged her not to spoil it.
“A few minutes later, I heard Laura’s voice coming from the reception area and shortly after, I saw Mr. Steele’s office door being pushed open and a client walking in. He greeted me as Mr. Steele and mentioned something about me being in San Francisco.
“Laura followed behind him and was indeed surprised to see me sitting in Mr. Steele’s chair. Her fictional detective, at long last, had come to life. And just as Laura had promised, as time went on, my past became just that, and my secret wish came true.”
“What was it chief?”
“I wanted Laura and I not only to be business associates, but to have a close and personal relationship as well. My wish came true.”
Laura added, “That it did, Mr. Steele.”
“So, Mildred, what do you think of my story?”
“It sounds wonderful, Chief. Thanks for telling it to me. Well, I guess I’ll go do some filing.”
“Okay. See you later, Mildred.”
Mildred went back to the reception area smiling and in an extremely happy mood.
Laura and Remington were alone. Laura looked at her husband and shook her head. “That’s not the way I remember it. The first time we met, you walked into the agency. The restaurant came later. And, if my memory serves me right, you walked over and approached me.”
“Laura, does it really matter? You saw how taken Mildred was with the story. The real story of how we met isn’t half as interesting.”
“Well, I guess the circumstances under which we met aren’t really that important. The only thing that really counts is that we’re together now and will be for many years to come.”
“Yes, that is the most important thing. We’ve certainly accomplished the impossible. We’re now partners not only in business, but in marriage as well. I must admit though, it was quite a challenge getting there.”
“Yes, but as I recall, you did say that you’re a man who enjoys impossible challenges.”
“Mmmm. I did say that, didn’t I? Well, Mrs. Steele, perhaps now you’re ready for yet another challenge.”
“And what might that be, Mr. Steele?”
“How about motherhood?”
“I suppose I could be talked into that.”
“Who said anything about talking?” Remington quipped, raising his eyebrows and smiling devilishly. “Seriously, though, I think we’re both up for the challenge.”
“I agree with your one hundred percent, Mr. Steele. Let’s get out of here right now.”
And with that, they bid farewell to Mildred and left the agency.
Nine months later, the Steeles welcomed their first born, a boy, whom they named Remington Steele, Jr., into the world.Two years later...
“Mildred, did I ever tell you the story about how I delivered our first born while flying an airplane?”
“No, Chief, I don’t think you did.”
“Well, why don’t you step into my office immediately and I’ll fill you in on the details.”
“Okay, Chief.” Mildred stepped into his office, leaving him and Laura in the reception area.
“Delivering your first while flying an airplane?” his wife asked incredulously.
“What’s the matter, Laura? Aren’t you in the mood for another one of my stories?”
“If it’s all the same to you, I think I’ll pass on this one.”
“Okay. But if you change your mind, you know where I’ll be.” He went into his office, leaving the door open. “Okay, Mildred, shall we I get started?”
“You bet, Chief.”
“Now, let’s see...Laura was in the ninth month of her pregnancy when we were summoned...”
Laura shook her head and smiled broadly. She went into her office, closed the door and continued with her paperwork.