"This is why I always said we couldn't mix business with pleasure."
"Why?" he asked as his finger traced lazy circles across her bare thigh.
"We're supposed to be working."
"But Laura," he protested. "All work and no play…"
"Save it, Mr. Steele," she said as she sat up and began to climb out of the bed.
"Wait," he said, gently grabbing her wrist. "Not yet."
She smiled and leaned back in to kiss him.
"Don't get me wrong," she said. "I'm only human. I would love nothing more than to stay in bed with you all day, but we have work to do."
"Davidson's not going anywhere," he said.
"How do you know that? We've been a bit preoccupied; he could be long gone for all we know."
"Laura, he's been holed up in that room for three days."
"Exactly," she said. "And it would be just my luck that as soon as I let my guard down he'd take off." Let my guard down, she thought. That could be taken a couple of ways. "I can't believe I let you talk me into this."
"Let ME talk YOU into this?"
"Yes," she said with a finality that brooked no argument, and he knew their lovely afternoon was over. "I can just see it now," she went on as she climbed out of bed and began gathering their clothes. She tossed his pants at him without looking and they hit him squarely in the face. "Murphy's been following this guy for a week and we lose him in an afternoon because we can't keep our hands off each other."
"At least it was a good reason," he said with a grin as he began to dress.
"Not helping," she snapped.
"Oh, come on Laura," he said as he walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. She found it difficult to brush her hair as he rained kisses down upon her neck, and she found it even harder to stay angry with him. She turned in his arms and placed a loving kiss on his lips.
"Go check on our perp," she said.
"Yes ma'am," he said dutifully.
Laura laughed as she watched him leave the room. She really hoped he'd come back with good news. She didn't relish telling Murphy they'd lost their suspect because she'd initiated a nooner in a seedy motel. She went to the window and looked out at the room across the way. There didn't appear to have been any movement, but she'd be happier when Remington returned to tell her that Davidson's van was still parked out front.
Remington was thrilled when he saw the rundown utility van still parked in the front of the motel. Even though it had been Laura who had initiated this afternoon's activities, he knew he'd be the one to catch hell if they blew the case. He thought maybe a bit of extra reconnaissance was in order.
He was all charm as he entered the shabby reception area. The young woman behind the counter was all too happy to let him know that his friend in room six was indeed still checked in. He thanked her with a wink and a smile, grabbed two sodas from the machine and headed back to the room.
Laura was dutifully camped out in front of the window when he got back.
"Anything?" he asked.
"Nope," she said. "It doesn't look like he's moved."
"He hasn't," Remington confirmed.
"The van's still parked out front and according to the desk attendant, he's still checked in."
"The desk attendant, huh?" she asked, eyeing him suspiciously. "That cute little blonde?"
"Was she?" he asked nervously. This could go either way, depending on her mood.
"Good answer, Mr. Steele," she said with a smile, reaching out to accept the can of soda he was offering. She turned to glance out the parted curtain again, ensuring there'd been no movement from the other room. "Make the bed," she instructed her partner.
"What?" he asked.
"Make the bed," she said again. "Murphy's going to be here to take over in a little while and he doesn't need to know that we… uh, that we were…"
"…Lying down on the job?" he finished for her.
"Exactly," she answered, turning back to the window.
He smiled to himself as he went about the task of making up the bed. There was a time when he would have enjoyed rubbing his relationship with Laura in Murphy's face. Oh what a long way they'd come.
Laura answered the door as Remington continued to watch the room across the way. There had been no movement in hours and Laura was getting a little stir crazy and more than a little frustrated.
"Hey Murph," she said, letting their associate into the room.
"Hey," he said in reply. "Anything?"
"Nothing," she answered. "I'm beginning to think we're on the wrong track here. Let's give it one more night and if nothing breaks, we change tactics."
"Sounds like a plan," Murphy said, walking over to where Remington sat at the window. "Ready for me to take over?"
Remington nodded and stood up from the chair.
"Thanks for taking the night shift, Murph," Laura said.
"No problem," Murphy said. "With Rachel away at that symposium, I don't have anything to do anyway."
"We really appreciate it, Murphy," Remington said as Laura gathered her purse.
"I hate to be away from home at night if we can help it," she said.
"How is Kate doing?" Murphy asked.
"She's okay," Laura answered. They'd all been worried about the little girl's recent bout with nightmares, but it seemed to be getting better. "But I still want to be there if she wakes up in the night."
"Of course," Murphy said. His wife was six months pregnant and he'd begun to understand more and more whenever Laura did something that put Kate before business.
"Danny's got a night class tonight," Laura said, "but he'll be here right after. Are you sure you'll be all right by yourself?"
"I'll be fine, Laura," he said. "Go on home."
Kate ran into her mother's arms as Remington and Laura walked into the house.
"Hi Angel," Laura said as she wrapped the little girl in a mother's embrace. "How was your day?"
"It was fun," Kate answered. "After school, Maria took me to the market."
"She did?" Laura asked.
"And did you help her get all the things on the list?" Remington asked, reaching out to take Kate from her mother's arms.
"Yes Daddy," she said. "Maria said I was una ayuda grande."
"That's my girl," he praised, rewarding her with a kiss on the cheek.
He set her down on her feet and she grabbed Laura's hand.
"Come on, Mommy," she said, pulling Laura toward the great room. "We need to practice my scales."
Remington watched as his daughter scampered away, dragging her mother behind her. From the very first, they knew Kate would exhibit a strong personality. The older she got, the more like Laura he thought she was. She was brilliant and not just a little demanding. Kate expected things to be done her way, and more often than not… they were.
As Laura followed Kate into the other room to begin practicing her piano, Remington went upstairs to change clothes. In the bedroom, he picked up the phone to check on the investigation.
"Daniel," he said. "Steele here."
"Hey Uncle Rem," Danny answered.
"What's going on over there?"
"Not much," Danny told him. "For a minute there, Murphy thought Davidson was going to make his move, but nothing happened. Looks like we might have to go to Plan B."
If they had a Plan B.
"I think you might be right," Remington said. "Be careful and be sure to call if anything changes."
"Sure thing," Danny said.
"I mean it," Remington told him. "I don't want to have to face your mother if anything happens to you." Danny had begun his internship a few months prior and although he had the potential for being a great detective, Remington sometimes had a hard time not seeing him as the little boy he met when the Pipers first moved to California.
"No problem Uncle Rem," Danny said with all the confidence of an eighteen-year-old. "It's under control."
As he hung up the phone, Remington looked up to see Laura standing in the doorway.
"Danny?" she asked.
"Yes," he said. "There's nothing going on at the motel."
"That's good I guess," she said with a sigh as she began changing out of her business suit.
"Except now we're going to have to come up with a Plan B," he said. "How's our little Rachmaninov?"
Laura smiled. As much as she'd feared becoming a mother, Kate was the center of her universe.
"Pounding away," she said, walking over to open the bedroom door. "Listen."
They both listened as she played her scales with only a few minor mistakes.
"Pretty good for a five-year-old," she said.
"Laura," he said, wrapping his arms around her waist. He leaned in to her ear and said, "Our daughter is just like you. I'm convinced she can do anything."
To be continued….