STEELE 'O MY HEART XII: RASHOSTEELE, PART III
By: Susan Deborah Smith
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.
You really see the world, serving your country. You get to go to some interesting places. You meet some interesting people, too. (Nah, you don't just kill them that's another department!) Where was I? Oh, yeah. The people you meet. Some of them you never forget. Not the way they look, not the sound of their voice . . . It was good to hear her voice again.
I'm not saying I didn't take her by surprise. We didn't exactly part on the best of terms, if you know what I mean. But she never said no, either; she never said there wasn't a chance She even said there was a chance. Well, she said if we'd met a little earlier, before things got serious with her phony husband, there would've been a chance, but you know what that means.
She was a little cagey on the phone, probably because he was right there. When I called back, the secretary took the call I remember her, too; talk about a battle-axe! and said she was out. Think I believed that?
I wasn't in town ten minutes before I knew I had an opening. All that togetherness sure sign that somebody's worried. Like, the way they drive to work together. They've got two cars. Three, if you count the Cadillac that guy drives for them. So what's the point, except somebody thinks they have to keep an eye out, and I bet I know who.
I tailed 'em from their apartment practically all the way to the office. The surfboard's about the best disguise anybody ever invented. Tie one to the top of your car and trust me, nobody sees anything but the board. Drove right past them was shoulder to shoulder with her didn't even notice. I noticed them, though, and it wasn't like they were having a great day already.
* * *
Since I was in L.A. on assignment protecting our nation from insidious terrorists, by the way I couldn't call back till the next morning. She took my call right away, though, and next thing you know, there she was, coming into the bar, looking for me.
She looked great. It was great to see her. Sure, she was a little stand-offish at first, but I didn't expect to be greeted with open arms. (Sure woulda been nice, though . . . )
It kind of surprised me, the way she said they were still together. Really together. Like she meant it. But you can never tell with her. Sometimes she means what she says, and sometimes . . .
What's a woman like her doing with a guy like that anyway? That's what I can't figure out. And now that you mention it, what's a guy like that doing with her? She's not his type not even close. I checked had to do some background work on him that time, to get the assignment moving. He's got a girl in every port, and every last one of 'em's just like him: Shady as all get out, working every angle, ready to say or do anything, any time, anywhere.
Like that Shannon Wayne. Now there's a piece of work. Pretty good looking piece of work, now that I think about it. No lack of excitement when she's around. Except for the fact that I like my women sane, I could've gone for her myself.
Anyway, back at the bar. The whole time, she was nervous, like. She just wouldn't let herself relax. I tried to help suggested a change of venue (in case she was worried about him catching us together), reminded her of the good old days.
None of it did any good. Even a glass of Scotch wasn't enough to take the edge off. She tried hard to sound normal, talking about how things were a little mixed up when we were in Ireland. No kidding! She wasn't the one they accused of being a double agent!
Just for a second, I thought it was okay, but then she just totally tensed up again. That's what I get for being a nice guy. Since she sounded like she was in trouble, I mentioned the Immigration and Naturalization Service, where, by the way, I happen to have a few friends. If everything was on the up and up between her and him, how come just the mention of the INS makes her flinch?
I tried to let her know that my friends in high places could untangle her from whatever he'd dragged her into, no problem. All she has to do is give me the word.
She tried to make out that she loves the guy, but I saw through that right away.
* * *
This assignment wound up taking a lot of time. Which isn't surprising, since the Company didn't send me out here just to look up lost loves, one in particular. There's always some down time, though, and you have to make the most of it. If you can mix a little business and pleasure, you should, and there was a payphone handy, and nothing particularly seemed to be cooking on the terrorist front, so . . .
Probably it wasn't the smartest idea, calling her at home, but faint heart, right?
Unfortunately, he got there first, and I had to hang up. It occurred to me that I shoulda had a cover prepared "Yeah, hi, this is the electric company and if you don't pay up we're gonna have to turn off the juice!" That one works all the time, sure fire. I could've been up front and asked for her, but nah. Not worth it. Might put her at risk.
You can see how this woman's affecting me. Must be the proximity. Here we are, both in the same town. With whole continents and oceans between us, I can go a week ten days even without sparing her a thought.
Next time, I was a little luckier. She answered, and quick. Almost before I could say hello, though, she was talking about a restraining order, so I knew he was there. Too bad, too, because the Company had some new assignment lined up for me, and I had to leave town, pronto. That's what I wanted to tell her, that I'd have to take a rain check, but while I was explaining it, she had to hang up.
* * *
Sometimes you take a chance and you win; sometimes you take a chance and you lose. Other times you take a chance and you don't know what the payoff is until later.
Like now. While I was driving to the airport, I decided to take a swing past their office. No idea why I did it. It was on the way, sorta, and I had a feeling. You don't stay alive long in this business if you don't have real gut instincts and the nerve to trust 'em.
Sometimes I even surprise myself. Both their cars were down there no togetherness this time and at this hour of the night? Gut instinct, like I said.
The rent-a-cop at the desk approved of my government I.D. and waved me on to the elevators. The janitor got off at the eighth floor, and I went on up to the eleventh. I waited for a sec before I got out; reflex, gotta make sure the coast is clear. The corridor was quiet, and the door to Remington Steele Investigations (gimme a break) was unlocked, so in I went.
It sure wasn't quiet in there. They were arguing about something, didn't even hear me come in.
In my line of work, you learn to size up a situation pretty fast. Sure enough, somebody had planned to spend the night away from home. Somebody with beautiful long hair and great legs and wearing the kind of lace you can see through, at least a little.
I got a good look, and he knew it. She knew it, too, but she wasn't in any kind of a hurry to duck out of sight. (Admiration was really showing on my face.) Then he slammed the door on me, and if they think that office is sound proof, they've got another thing coming.
It would've been too complicated to get the whole surveillance kit out, but there's a lot to be said for the old-fashioned way and that goes for a lot of things. She was mad as hell at him. This I could tell because she had her voice pitched down low. She might be a screamer in the sack I'm just guessing, but it's not like I don't have experience judging that kind of thing but when she's furious, she gets kind of quiet.
It was easier to hear him. He was trying to calm her down, saying stuff like how he wasn't accusing her of anything. Oh yeah? Anybody who has to say that, well, you know what they're really thinking. Then things actually calmed down a little. She said something about going home and fighting some more. That was my cue to peel my ear off the wall and act nonchalant.
When he came out, he acted like it was all arranged between them, everything fine and dandy, and yours truly in big trouble. I was quick to beg to differ.
He said something like, "Perhaps you didn't catch my drift, Anthony."
And I'm not making this up! He really talks like that, in that fruity, phony Brit accent. You better believe I had an answer for that, really yanked his chain. Probably he should keep an eye on that blood pressure.
He can move pretty quick. He didn't take me by surprise, exactly; we've gone at it before over her, and I know his style. But he's stronger than he looks; he actually dragged me off the couch. He thought he had me, but I coulda taken him down, any time, just like that! I'm not some desk jockey over at Langley. Not that it would've done me any good, because then she came out like she was on his side or something and sort of read the riot act.
I always figured she'd be some kind of ball-buster when she was all riled up, but man! With her eyes flashing and her face all flushed and her voice still real quiet It gives a guy an idea of what it'd be like to hit the sheets with her. Like it would be worth it, taking the crap she could dish out. Worth it for sure.
He seemed to think she was throwing on the cold water. If I was him, I wouldn't be too sure. Whatever, she made a big exit and she is just fine from that angle, too, lemme tell ya and then he decided to get real intense.
Could've been for show, but no sense taking any chances. Besides, all I really wanted to do was make her sweat a little.
Him. I mean him. Just wanted to make him sweat. That's what I meant.
Plus, I had a plane to catch. You never know. Next time I'm passing through the ol' City of Angels, maybe things'll be different.