Remington Steele sighed softly as he turned off the television. It was still so hard to believe that Daniel was gone. There was so much left unsaid, so much left undone. He looked down at Laura, lying in his lap. How did that old saying go? When one door closes, another door opens. That was it. Losing Daniel had closed the last door linking him to his past. Laura was his future. It was time that he made sure she knew it.
"Only Daniel could end up being buried as a national hero in both London and Moscow," she said with a soft laugh.
"It's the ultimate con," he replied. "He deserves nothing less."
"You're a good son."
"Ah, I only wish I could have spent more time with him."
"On the other hand, you spent twenty years with him," she said softly as she rubbed his hand.
He tossed the remote and wrapped his other arm around Laura. "Well, one thing's for certain," he said, leaning in closer to her, "I'm not going to waste precious time showing the people who are close to me how I feel for them."
Their kiss was tender, but full of the promise of their future.
Laura stood from her husband's embrace and held her hand out to him. "Care to elaborate, Mr. Steele?" she asked.
He took her hand. "Well, we have the castle to ourselves," he answered, sweeping her up off of her feet and into his arms, "Mrs. Steele."
"Where are the servants?" she asked.
"Out celebrating. I decided to give them the castle."
"That was awfully generous of your Lordship."
"The act of a desperate Lord, I assure you," he confessed.
"Where's Mildred?" she asked.
"I decided to give her Mikeline."
"There's nothing between us and the bedroom door?" she asked as the phone began to ring. She slid out of his arms and on to her feet. "I'll get the phone, you turn down the covers," she said, reaching up for a kiss before he disappeared up the stairs.
"Hello," Laura said, answering the phone.
"Well, they finally released me," Tony Roselli said on the other end of the line.
"I never doubted it for a moment," she said, her voice full of pride in Remington's plan.
"I still think Steele's plan was a little risky."
"Kemadov cleared you, didn't he?"
"Laura, listen. What we talked about earlier still stands."
"Laura…" Remington called out to his wife from upstairs.
"No, Tony. I'm sorry. I was wrong to let you think there could be anything between us."
"…the bed's turned down!" Remington called.
"Laura, I'm not going to give up on you," Tony insisted.
"I'm with my husband. That's where I want to be and where I plan to stay," she told him. "And I have to
She hung up the phone and raced up the stairs to Remington, who was coming back down to her. They met on the first landing as the phone began to ring again.
"Let it ring," she said, throwing her arms around his neck.
Their kiss was passion-filled as once again Remington took his wife into his arms and carried her up the stairs to the master bedroom. As the door closed behind them Laura slid to her feet, never leaving Remington's embrace. As their kiss ended, she took a step back and looked around as if waiting for something.
"What is it?" he asked, pulling her back into his arms.
"Just waiting for the interruption," she said with a smile.
"Not tonight, Mrs. Steele," he assured her. "Not tonight."
He bent his head to hers and once again, they kissed. It was a kiss full of longing and full of the promise of fulfilling their long-awaited "magical moment." There were so many things they wanted to say, so many things they needed to say, but that could wait. Now was not the time for words. This was a moment that had been in the making for four years and they would savor every bit of it.
As the kiss ended, Laura stepped from Remington's embrace and turned toward the wardrobe. He held her hand to keep her from walking away.
"Where are you going?" he asked quietly.
She looked up at him, smiling. "To change," she answered. "I'll be right back." She went to the wardrobe and took out a package wrapped in tissue. He watched as she disappeared into the private bathroom.
By the time she returned, he had changed into a pair of silk pajama pants and was standing beside the bed. She would have laughed if she had seen him trying to decide if he should wait for her in the bed or next to it. She'd be surprised to see how nervous her man of mystery had been over their impending union.
All thoughts of nervousness were forgotten, however, when the bathroom door opened. Laura stood before him in an exquisite soft pink gown with lace in all the right places. The matching robe hung open and Remington was in awe of how beautiful she looked.
He held his hand out to her. "I've never seen a more beautiful sight," he said, taking her in his arms. He felt her tremble slightly as he held her close. She had been nervous, as well.
"Not even the Bordeaux Triptych?" she asked, her eyes dark with passion but twinkling with joy at the same time.
"Doesn't even come close," he assured her with a searing kiss. "Now I'm finally holding the woman I've waited for all my life."
"I don't see any reason to continue waiting, Mr. Steele," she said softly, leading him to the bed. "In fact, I'm tired of waiting."
"Indeed, Mrs. Steele," he agreed, as he laid her down on the bed, nestling his own lean frame down beside her.
No more words were spoken as they began their dance anew. This time no one was going home and no one was going to interrupt them. This time, they would both be completely fulfilled.
As the morning sun shone through the windows of their Irish castle, Laura Holt-Steele slept peacefully in her husband's arms. He stroked her hair gently as her head rested on his chest. This was something he'd dreamed about… waking up with Laura in his arms; waking up with Laura in his arms after a long and satisfying night of lovemaking.
He smiled as he watched her sleep. She was so beautiful. His heart swelled with the love he felt for her, that he'd always felt for her. Everything they had been through had been leading up to this, and it had been well worth it all. Laura was definitely worth waiting for. He resolved not to let another day go by without telling her how he felt about her. . . about their marriage . . . about everything. Laura needed words and he was ready to give them to her.
Laura smiled contentedly and snuggled closer to Remington. She wasn't ready to open her eyes. She'd waited so long to wake up in this man's arms. Last night had been more than she'd even dreamed it could be and she was going to delight in every moment of this morning. She wanted her husband to know how very much she loved him and trusted him. But for this moment, she wanted nothing more than to lie in bed, luxuriating in the warmth of his embrace.
Laura stirred and Remington smiled down at her. She opened her eyes and looked up at him.
"Good morning, Mr. Steele," she purred, smiling as he leaned down for a kiss.
"It is a very good morning, my love," he said, fingering the thin silk strap of her gown. "But don't you think 'Mr. Steele' is a bit formal, given the situation?"
She felt the blush rise to her cheeks as she ran her hand over his chest. "What should I call you?" she asked. "Harry?"
"I prefer the name you gave me," he answered, sitting up against the headboard and pulling her with him.
"Remington," she said, her voice barely above a whisper.
She had always felt awkward calling him by the name that made her think of her typewriter, but now something was different. Remington Steele was more than an imaginary figurehead named from a typewriter and a football team. He was flesh and blood. He was the man she loved. He was her husband. Looking into his blue eyes which were shining with the love she knew was for only her, she realized that he was indeed Remington Steele.
She wanted to tell him how much she loved him. She'd been so afraid, but now it only seemed right. She opened her mouth to say the words, but stopped short when there was a knock on the door.
Remington looked down to make sure they were both presentable, but he had no intention of getting out of bed.
"Come in," he called out as he pulled Laura close.
"Mornin', your Lordship," Mikeline O'Flynn said as he stuck his head into the room. It took a moment for the rest of his body to follow. "Will you and her Ladyship be takin' your breakfast in bed?"
Remington looked at his wife before answering. When she nodded, he turned back to Mikeline. "Yes, I think so. And Mikeline, will you make sure we're not otherwise disturbed?"
"Yes, your Lordship," Mikeline answered, leaving the room and closing the door behind him.
"I could get used to this," Laura said with a sigh as she snuggled up against Remington.
"Being the lady of the manor?" he asked.
"No," she answered. "Spending our mornings like this."
"That can definitely be arranged," he told her.
He could think of few things he'd like more than serving her breakfast in bed every morning. Laura had never needed protecting and she'd never wanted anyone taking care of her. He understood that and he respected it, but he was going to enjoy pampering her.
After breakfast, the Steeles decided to go for a walk on the grounds. Since they'd arrived at Ashford Castle, they hadn't been able to spend much time together and Remington wanted to share with Laura the beauty of his homeland.
Now that they had been intimate, they were having a hard time keeping apart. As a result, they were in no hurry showering and dressing. By the time they emerged from their room, it was well into the afternoon.
They walked through the gardens and down to the stables. They thought of going for a ride, but decided to continue walking. When they approached a rolling meadow, Laura thought of a long ago picnic in McCullum Park. She took her hand from Remington's and began to run. She was laughing as he chased after her, but this time she didn't intend to keep running. She allowed herself to be easily caught.
Remington, too, was laughing when he caught up to her. "Oh, Laura," he said breathlessly. "I thought your days of running from me were over."
"They are, Mr. Steele," she answered, wrapping her arms around his neck. "But I don't want you to think I'm easy," she said with a laugh.
He pulled her close for a long kiss. "There's not much chance of that, Love. Come on," he said, taking her hand.
He led her down to the edge of a rippling creek. It was a beautiful setting and the perfect place to say the words he'd been waiting to say to her. They walked over to the stone wall that ran along the bank of the creek and sat down. He took her hand in his and looked into her eyes.
"Laura," he began, "I know that words are important to you. And it's been hard for me to say what you needed to hear…"
"You don't have to…" she said, interrupting him.
"Sshh… please," he said, bringing her fingers to his lips. "Let me finish. I have always judged people by their actions because it's too easy for some people to say one thing and do another. I could never trust the words. Laura, Love, I've tried so many times over the years to show you how I feel about you." He paused and looked deeply into her eyes. "I love you, Laura," he said, his voice soft.
Tears brimmed in her eyes. He'd said the words just as she realized she no longer needed them. He had proven by his actions and his commitment that he did indeed love her. She knew it as surely as she knew she loved him, and it was time that she told him. She needed to say the words.
"I think . . ." she said softly, still looking directly into his shimmering blue eyes, "I think I have loved you since the day that Special Agent Ben Pearson walked into my office."
He smiled, realizing she already loved him while he was trying so hard to pursue her. He supposed he already loved her then as well, though he really didn't even know what love was back then. Thinking back to those days, his smile brightened as he thought about Murphy Michaels. What would he have thought of this revelation? He suspected Murphy already knew and that was why he had left. Murphy loved Laura and couldn't bear watching her fall for a two-bit con man.
"What are you thinking about?" she asked him.
He laughed. "Murphy."
"Murphy?" she puzzled. That was the last thing she'd expected to hear.
"I think he knew before either of us did."
"That's why he left," she confirmed. She sat closer to him and looked out over the creek. "He told me that he loved me. When I told him I couldn't return his feelings, he told me he couldn't stay. He said he couldn't sit back and watch me fall in love with you. He didn't trust you."
"He was right," he said, rubbing her hand between both of his. "I wasn't to be trusted, especially with your heart. Back then, Laura, I didn't know a thing about love. You taught me what it means to love and be loved."
"I don't think I knew what it meant, either," she told him. "That's why I was so afraid. Daddy said he loved Mother. Wilson said he loved me…"
"Wilson Jeffries had no idea what he was losing," he said sternly. "But I thank my lucky star that he didn't. Where would I be today if you had married him?"
She shivered at the thought, but then smiled at him before answering. "Cannes? Paris? Sipping champagne with some leggy blonde, plotting to steal the Crown Jewels…"
He stopped her with a kiss. "Another life," he said. "A life I've long since left behind. And I wasn't in Los Angeles a year when I could no longer look at any woman but you."
"You sweet talker," she teased.
"I'm serious, Laura. Even when I went through that momentary lapse with Anna, I knew there could be no one but you."
She sobered at the sincerity in his voice. She didn't want to continue with any secrets between them.