At the airport, Remington and Laura watched as the passengers disembarked. They were solemn as Catherine Winslow approached, smiling.
"Mr. Steele," she said. "Miss Holt. What are you doing here? I thought Miss Krebs was picking me up."
"Mrs. Winslow," Remington said, taking their client by the elbow. "Why don't we step over here?"
He led the ladies out of the crowded concourse an over to a small seating area.
"Mrs. Winslow," Laura said as she sat down next to her. "There's been an accident."
"A shooting," Remington clarified.
"It's Carlton, isn't it?" Catherine said softly.
"I'm sorry," Laura said, taking her hand.
"I'm afraid he didn't make it," Remington said.
Remington and Laura escorted Mrs. Winslow to the Beverly Hills Hotel and helped her settle in to a suite.
"It's best you not go back to your house tonight," Laura said, knowing the estate would still be crawling with police and crime scene analysts.
"Thank you, Miss Holt," Catherine said. "For everything."
"You're welcome," Laura answered, standing to leave. "We should let you get some rest."
"Call if we can help with anything," Remington said, following Laura to the door.
"Miss Holt?" Catherine said, stopping them.
"You said Carlton and the Kensingtons had been arguing. Was it about the partnership," she said, pausing before she continued. "Or something else?"
Laura and Remington exchanged a glance.
"I don't really know, Mrs. Winslow," Laura answered.
"Thank you again," Mrs. Winslow said, dismissing them without further explanation.
"What do you think she was getting at?" Laura asked, pacing the office.
"Who?" Remington replied, looking up from the take-out Chinese food on his desk.
"Catherine Winslow," Laura answered. "She was obviously trying to tell us something--or find out if we knew something."
She looked at her watch.
"I hope Mildred is all right," she said, still pacing.
"Laura, stop," Remington said. "You're making me dizzy. Come here."
She walked around behind the desk and he took her hand. He pulled her to him, and before she realized it, she was in his lap. She was exhausted and worried about Mildred; this felt nice, but she quickly pulled herself from his embrace. Since she'd gone to find him in London their personal relationship had progressed, but not to this degree. It might be the middle of the night, but they were still in the office. Awkwardly, Laura stood and walked to the window.
Remington watched her struggle with her emotions. They had taken some strides in their personal relationship--establishing a commitment of sorts, but they still hadn't "crossed that line." He wished she would let him comfort her, but he knew Laura well enough to know that she had to come to him on her own.
They were both lost in their thoughts when they heard Mildred come in.
"Any chop suey there for me?"
"Mildred!" Laura and Remington exclaimed in unison, rushing over to her.
"Are you all right?" Laura asked.
"What happened?" Remington asked.
"Jarvis asked some questions," Mildred answered as she sat on the sofa. "I answered them and they let me go."
"What about the Kensingtons?" Laura asked.
"They're still there," Mildred answered.
Remington and Laura exchanged a knowing glance, not for the first time this evening.
"That doesn't sound good," Remington said.
"I guess they didn't have the right answers to the questions," Mildred said.
"That sounds even worse," Laura said. "Mildred, do you remember what Kensington and Mr. Winslow were arguing about?"
"Not really," Mildred answered. "Jarvis wanted to know that, too. But from the kitchen, all I could hear were raised voices. I couldn't make out what they were saying."
"There's nothing else we can do here tonight," Remington said as Laura nodded in agreement.
"Mildred, would you like us to see you home?" she asked.
"Oh no," Mildred said, shaking her head. "You kids go on home, I'll be fine."
At the Winslow estate, things were quiet and the police had gone. No one was there to see a man approach the snarling Doberman pinscher in the driveway as he left the house with a package in his hand.
"Be quiet, Baron," the man said. "It's me, Philippe."
The dog instantly settled down as the man left the courtyard.
"Detective Jarvis wants to talk to Mildred again," Laura said as she entered Remington's office. "I don't like it. Surely she's not a suspect."
"She was one only three people present at the time of the murder," Remington said.
"But she didn't DO it," Laura retorted, exasperated.
"Of course not," Remington agreed.
"But I don't trust Jarvis not to railroad her," Laura said. "We have to find the real killer."
"How do we do that?" he asked.
"We start with the Kensingtons. They're obviously covering for each other," she said.
"But which one of them did it?"
"That's what we're going to find out, Mr. Steele."
"We can't talk to them together," he said.
"No," she agreed. "If we split up, we're more likely to catch them with different stories. I'll take Geoffrey, you take Diane."
He wasn't sure he liked the idea, and she saw that thought written on his face.
"I'm sure you'll get much farther with Mrs. Kensington than I would," she said. "And I doubt Mr. Kensington would fall prey to your particular brand of charm."
Diane Kensington sat alone at an upscale bistro on Rodeo Drive. Remington spied his quarry from the maitre d' stand. The look of horror on her face as the waiter handed her back her gold card was unmistakable. Maybe this was his "in." Slowly, he approached the table. He arrived just in time to hear the waiter confirm his suspicions.
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Kensington," the waiter said. "But your card has been declined."
"There must be some mistake," she said with a mixture of nerves and melancholy.
"Allow me," Remington said, gallantly offering his own charge card. "May I?" he asked, indicating the chair he stood behind.
"Please," Mrs. Kensington replied as the waiter walked away. "Thank you, Mr. Steele," she said, barely concealing her shame behind a mask of unshed tears.
"You're most welcome, Mrs. Kensington," he said. "I hate to see a beautiful woman in distress." He smiled at her and she seemed to become more comfortable. "I also hate dining alone," he said. "Would you mind?"
"Not at all," she answered.
"Perhaps you need an objective ear," he offered. "Hmm? A shoulder to cry on?"
It didn't take a minute for Diane Kensington to fall under the spell of Remington Steele. He smiled to himself, imagining Laura rolling her eyes as Mrs. Kensington practically swooned.
"Is it that bad?" he asked.
"Oh, Mr. Steele," she said.
"Please," he insisted. "Call me Remington."
"Remington," she said, "Geoffrey and I are spread a bit thin. With the new cars, a new house…"
Remington tried not to tune her out as she droned on about their frivolous spending. He knew conducting separate interviews was essential to the investigation, but he missed Laura already. They worked so much better together than apart.
"At the risk of being indelicate," he said when she finally stopped talking. "How did you let it get that far out of control?"
"Counting on your partnership before it's offered," she said glumly. "Carlton practically guaranteed Geoff that partnership, and then he just yanked it away."
"You seem to be taking it remarkably well," he said.
"What choice do I have?" she said dramatically. "One of us has to be rational. Oh Remington, I'm so worried about Geoffrey. I just don't know how far he'd go. He told me once that Carlton kept a gun in the house…"
"Miss Holt," Geoffrey Kensington greeted her as she approached his office. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"
"I just wanted to talk to you about the other night," she said. "I was hoping you might be able to help."
"Help, Miss Holt?" he asked. "What makes you think I could help?"
"Well," she said. "I know that you and your wife were detained by Detective Jarvis for a lengthy period of time that night. And as I was waiting to see you, I overheard your secretary mention that you'd hired Max Greenstein. He's a pretty heavy hitter, isn't he?"
"I'm not worried for me, Miss Holt," Kensington said. "I'm worried for Diane. I hired Greenstein for her."
"What would your wife have against Carlton Winslow?"
"Well, I hate to admit it," he said quietly. "But when we've all been together lately, I've felt a sort of tension between Carlton and Diane…"
"And you think they were involved?" Laura asked.
"She says it's all in my head," he told her. "But I'm not so sure."
As Remington walked into Laura's office, they spoke at the same time.
"He thinks she did it."
"She thinks he did it."
They looked at each other and spoke again.
"What?" they asked in unison.
"This is a new wrinkle," Laura said. "Let's go back to Winslow's office. Maybe we can find something there."
They took the elevator to the top floor of the tower. It was convenient that Winslow, Baker and Sloan had their offices in the same building as the agency. They stepped off the elevator in time to see Catherine Winslow coming out of her husband's office. She was carrying a box, presumably of his personal effects.
"Miss Holt," she said. "Mr. Steele. What are you doing here? Oh, that's right. Geoffrey told me you were investigating Carlton's … accident. You know, I've found something that might be of assistance to you." She looked around as if to ensure that no one would overhear them. "I think I discovered how Carlton was covering up his affairs. I found this," she said, reaching out with a piece of paper in her hand. Laura took it from her.
"A rental agreement?" Laura asked.
"For a house in Malibu," Catherine said. She reached into the box again. "I think this is the key."
This time, Remington reached out to take the proffered item.
"We'll check into this," Laura said.
"Thank you, Miss Holt."
They arrived at the house in Malibu and went inside.
"Nice little love nest," Laura said, looking around.
"Quite," Remington said, with a lopsided grin and raised eyebrows.
"Down boy," Laura replied, with a grin of her own. "We're working."
"You can't blame me for trying," he said, his hand gently brushing hers as they walked past each other.
Laura noticed an easel with a cloth over it. She pulled off the cloth and they were both shocked at what they saw.
"I guess this proves with whom he was having an affair," Remington said.
"Does it?" Laura asked.
"Laura, it's a full-length nude of Diane Kensington."
"Maybe he painted it from imagination," she offered.
"Maybe he painted it from memory."
"But not necessarily."
"Laura, it's a rather detailed likeness."
"But that doesn't mean she posed for it," she said softly as she ran her finger down his lapel. "You're something of an artist, Mr. Steele," she said. "Have you ever drawn me?" She smiled as he swallowed but didn't answer. "And that wouldn't be from memory or from life," she said and then stood on her tiptoes to place a kiss against his lips. When she tried to pull away, he stopped her.
"Uh-uh, Laura," he said softly before pulling her in for a long, slow, deep kiss.
"Mr. Steele," she said breathlessly as they parted, "we're working."
"So we are, Miss Holt," he said, releasing her. He was satisfied that he'd evoked the intended response from her.
"You'll have to show me those sketches one day," she said with a grin.
Parting, they continued to search the beach house. In the bedroom, Laura found a photograph tucked behind a box in the nightstand drawer. It was taken on the beach and it was of a couple who seemed to be in love. It wasn't the couple she expected to see.
In the kitchen, Remington found a cassette tape. They played the tape, and along with the photo that Laura found, it was pretty damning evidence that they'd found their murderer.
"Mrs. Winslow," Laura said, pacing the library of the Winslow estate. "There are only two people who could have gotten past that dog on the night of the murder: you, and your former butler, Philippe Desmond."
"Philippe has an alibi for that night," Remington added. "We checked it out. He also confirmed that you and he were the ones having the affair."
"Nice attempt to set up the Kensingtons, by the way," Laura said. "Down to making us think your little hideaway at the beach was Carlton and Diane's love nest. You even had them each believing the other had done it."
"This is preposterous!" Catherine protested. "I was in San Francisco that night. You met me at the airport."
"Yes," Remington said, "but was it the first trip that night, or the second?"
"It only takes fifty-five minutes, Mrs. Winslow," Laura said. "Your husband was shot a little after six o'clock. You killed him."
"Then you took the seven o'clock flight to San Francisco," Remington said.
"And turned around and got on the nine o'clock back to Los Angeles. You needed someone to witness your arrival," Laura said. "That turned out to be us."
"I can't believe you're accusing me of this," Catherine Winslow said, haughtily. "There are no passenger lists on those commuter flights. How do you plan to verify this little theory?"
Remington took out a tape recorder and Catherine heard her own voice.
"Sorry Philippe, darling, but the plane from San Francisco was late. We still have time to make it out to the house and be back here for the seven o'clock flight."
"Philippe was on to you, too," Laura said. "He was sure you'd dump him once you'd gotten what you wanted. You used him to get rid of your husband and once he'd served his purpose, he was expendable, too."
"So, he took out a little insurance policy of his own," Remington said, holding up the tape.
Catherine dashed toward the door, but it was blocked by Detective Jarvis and a cadre of uniformed police officers.
"Not this time, Mrs. Winslow," Jarvis said.
Laura leaned back against Remington's chest as they sat on the floor in front of the fireplace.
"It's amazing what greed will do," she said softly. "Carlton Winslow loved his wife. He even got her that beach house so she'd have a place to paint. I think he probably would have done anything for her."
"But it would never have been enough," Remington said, gently stroking her cheek.
Laura turned slightly to kiss his fingertips. She closed her eyes and leaned back into his embrace. She enjoyed these moments. She realized that they'd been doing this almost since he first arrived; celebrating the end of their case…together… alone. It was a special time for them, and they would have many, many more moments like this over the years to come. And now, she was sure that they would have many years together. She liked the feeling.
Another thought occurred to her and she felt wide smile cross her face as she turned in his arms. She reached up and put her arms around his neck. She kissed him soundly and then looked into his eyes.
"About those sketches…."