Laura Holt-Steele paced back and forth in the bridal room as her nerves jumped about. She did not hear her sister Frances, or her mother Abigail walk in, until she heard them giggling.
"Laura, calm down, dear," her mother took her by the hand and led her to the small vanity.
"You're acting like this is your first wedding," Frances commented as she took a brush and began to comb her sister's hair.
"Well… in a way, it is," Laura sighed. "Oh, Mother, are all the decorations put up where we ordered them? And the flowers! Oh, I forgot to make sure they set up the flowers! The wedding planner insisted that we use carnations, but we wanted roses." Putting a hand to her forehead, she closed her eyes. "Oh no… the limo! And the reception after the-"
"Laura!" both women blurted in unison. Seeing how nervous her youngest daughter really was, Abigail knelt down in front of her. Holding her face between her hands, as if to make sure Laura understood her, she smiled. "All the arrangements are being carried out just as you and Remington ordered."
"You better calm down, honey," Francis smiled. "I'll bet anything that Remington is standing at in his dressing room now just as calm as can be."
Little did they know that across the hall in the groom's dressing room, the same scene was being played out by Donald and Remington. "Donald, are you sure everything out there is the way it should be?" Remington asked once again as he tied his bow-tie.
"Yes, Remington," he sighed. "Now will you calm down and finish tying that tie, or Laura's gonna be the only one at the altar."
"I can't help it… I'm nervous," he rolled his shoulders.
"Remington Steele, nervous? Wow! I'll bet you that Laurie's sitting in her room just as calm, cool, and collected as ever."
"That's Laura," Remington pointed a hand toward the doorway. "She's always calm, cool, and collected!"
Twenty minutes later, the girls were just putting the finishing touches in Laura's hair. Abigail stood by the mirror and looked at her daughter with tears in her eyes. Her long white gown flowed beautifully around her, the small rhinestones glittering in the light. Even though she was nearly four months pregnant, you couldn't tell with the way the dress clung to her still normally slender figure.
Handing Laura the bouquet of roses, red to match her nail polish, Frances kissed her on the cheek and left.
"Laura," Abigail spoke up. "Honey, I know I haven't always been, well… the perfect mother… but I want you to know that I do love you, and I am so very proud of you, my dear. Of both you and Remington," she kissed her on the forehead.
"Thank you, Mother," Laura brushed the tears from her cheek.
"Good luck," she whispered as she left. Standing by the doorway, just before the entrance to the church, Laura stood waiting for Donald to come and give her away. She asked him a few weeks prior to fill in the role that her father would have played had he been there, and she had been ecstatic when he accepted.
"Laurie, everything's ready for-" he stopped in mid-sentence and his jaw dropped. "Oh, Laurie," he gasped at the sight of his baby sister in her wedding dress. Taking her in his arms, he hugged her warmly. "You look beautiful," he whispered, not being able to get over how she looked.
She smiled, and blushed a bit. "Thanks, Don."
"Well, shall we, Mrs. Steele?" he put his arm out next to her.
Smiling, she gave him a small curtsy and looped her arm around his. "We shall, Mr. Piper."
At the altar stood Remington Steele next to the priest and Mildred, who had been chosen as Laura's maid-of-honor. Hearing the music begin to play behind them, he blew out a deep breathe.
"Icy calm, as Mrs. S. would say, huh Boss?" Mildred teased.
Giggling, Mr. Steele smiled at her. "Indeed, Mildred. Icy calm." While the tune of Here Comes the Bride played, Remington nearly died at the sight of Laura walking toward him. She looked more beautiful than he had ever seen her before. Reaching the altar, Donald kissed her on the cheek, and sat down as she stood next to Remington.
"You look absolutely gorgeous," he whispered.
"Thank you," she whispered back.
"Dearly Beloved," the priest began. "We are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this company, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony, which is commended to be honorable among all men; and therefore, is not by any, to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, discreetly, advisedly and solemnly. Into this holy estate these two persons present now come to be joined. If any person can show just cause why they may not be joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace." No one spoke up, thankfully. "Now, the couple has chosen to recite their vows to each other. Remington," he extended his hand, giving the groom the chance to say the words he had written to Laura.
From memory, he recited his vows. "Laura, when I first saw you, five years ago, I thought you were the most beautiful woman that I'd ever laid eyes upon." Laura blushed. "At first, we tried to keep our relationship strictly professional, but there was no running from it. You and I were meant to be together, and not all the guns, explosions, or criminals in the world could change that. I love you, Laura, will all my heart, and I thank God that today you and I can finally be together for the rest of our lives," tears were misting in his eyes, as Laura's were now flowing freely.
"Laura," the priest introduced.
Clearing her throat from the lump in it, Laura blinked away her tears and recited her vows. "Rem… at first I saw you as just a thief who wanted to ruin my job, but then you became Remington Steele—my Remington Steele—and everything changed. I demanded trust and commitment from you since day one, thinking that our relationship would never make it… but, when you asked me to marry you, for me that was the highest degree of trust and commitment that I'd ever been given from a man. You're the love of my life, the man I've waited so long for, and I'm honored that I can now be yours forever."
Smiling at the words spoken by the young couple, the priest spoke up again. "Remington, wilt thou have this Woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?"
"I do," he answered sincerely.
"Laura, wilt thou have this Man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honor, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?"
"I do," she spoke the words she had so long waited to say. Taking the rings from Mildred, the priest gave one to Laura and one to Remington. Placing the rings on each other's fingers, and speaking the appointed words, they joined hands.
"Bless, O Lord, these Rings, that he who gives it and she who wears it may abide in thy peace, and continue in they favor, unto their life's end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Forasmuch as Remington and Laura have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth, each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a Ring, and by joining hands; I pronounce that they are Man and Wife, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
You may kiss the bride."
Pulling her close to him, Remington kissed Laura with all the love he ever felt for her. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she kissed him with just as much love and passion.
Breaking the kiss, he looked down at her and smiled. She returned the gesture.
"Ladies and gentlemen," the priest spoke up one last time as the couple turned to face the gathering of friends and family. "I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Remington Steele."
The Wedding March began to play, and much to Laura's surprise, Remington scooped her up in his arms and carried her back down the aisle, kissing her the whole time. When they got to the end of the aisle, he set her down, looked at the audience, and smiled. "FINALLY!" he yelled, causing all the guests to burst out with laughter, along with his wife.
The wedding party was off with a bang... literally. Remington had ordered some fireworks from England, shooting them into the night sky as they exploded into a rainbow of colors. The final touch was one large explosion that erupted into a large red heart.
As the music began to play, and couples assembled on the dance floor, Remington and Laura took their seats with the family.
"Why aren't you two dancing?" Frances asked with a sip of champagne.
"We're waiting for our song to come on," Remington smiled.
"Well, while you're waiting," Donald stood up and made his way to Laura. "May I have this dance, Laurie?" he bowed in front if her.
Laura smiled. "You certainly may," he took her hand and escorted her to the dance floor.
"Donald..." Laura began as they slowly started a box-step. "If I tell you something, will you promise not to laugh?"
She took a deep breath. "You know... my Dad left not long before you and Frances started dating. Of course, you and Fran were a lot older than I was, but... you've always looked out for me. Both of you. Ever since you two got married, I've kinda looked at you as my big brother, Don. Sometimes... even a father figure," she whispered.
Donald blushed a bit, and smiled. "Thank you, Laurie... and you know, I've always seen you as my little sister. And I can promise, that Fran and I are gonna keep on looking out for you... and Remington," he kissed her on the cheek.
As the two danced, at the table sat Remington with Abigail and Frances. "It was a lovely ceremony," Abigail commented.
"Yes, it was," Mr. Steele smiled.
"You know, Remington," Frances spoke up. "We're very fond of you." He smiled. "I just hope that you can look at us really as your family, not just your 'in-laws'."
Taking both Frances and Abigail's hands, Remington looked at them. "I've always looked at you as family, even before Laura and I were married. And I hope that you can look at me as a brother... and a son." Both women leaned forward to kiss him on the cheek. "Ah, Mildred!" he stood up and waved his second favorite lady over as he saw her enter the reception hall.
"Hi, Boss," she smiled as she sat at the table. "Where's Mrs. S.?"
"Dancing with her brother-in-law," he nodded toward the couple.
"Aww. She looks so pretty, doesn't she, Mr. Steele?"
"Yes," he whispered, his voice full of love for his wife. "She's gorgeous, Mildred."
Finishing their dance, the two walked over to the table. Laura smiled at Remington, and sat next to him with her head on his shoulder as he put his arm around her. "What?" she asked when she noticed Mildred staring at them with a huge smile.
"You two just look so cute together. You're perfect for each other."
Suddenly, over the microphone came Donald's voice. "Will everyone please return to their seats as Mr. and Mrs. Steele take their first dance together to the song they have chosen."
Remington smiled at Laura as he pulled her chair out for her. Putting his arm out to her, she wrapped hers around it and walked to the center of the room with him. The tune of I Will Always Love You, by Dolly Parton, a song that held special meaning for them, began to play as he wrapped his arms around her. Two years ago, Remington had nearly cost Laura her license and the agency, and after everything had been fixed, he left Los Angeles without telling her. On the same night she was to go to Mexico with another man, she changed her mind and came back, only to find his things gone and his apartment empty. Both Laura and Mildred had traveled to London in search of him, finding him in an alley wounded and filthy.
For them, the song was a constant reminder that while they were apart for that short time, they were still very much in love with each other, and now, they would never part.
"You know, Mildred's right," Remington looked down at Laura with his eyes only mere inches from hers. "We are perfect for each other."
Laura smiled. "I love you," she whispered.
"And I love you... so much." Before he could kiss her, she took his hand from around her waist and placed it on her stomach. Looking up at him, she smiled as they felt the first movements of their child. Wonder and amazement filled his blue eyes as tears sprang in the brown of his wife's. Taking her face in his hands, Remington kissed Laura with so much passion that she could feel her breath leave her.
"Would you do it again if you had the chance?" she asked him as their lips parted.
"Become Remington Steele... and would you come back to the agency with me after you left? Would you ask me to marry you?"
"In a heartbeat. I would not change anything about us since we met... except one thing."
"I would have married two years earlier," he teased.
Two months later, Remington Steele sat in his office on a late Friday afternoon. Hanging up his phone, he turned his head to the door to see Mildred walk in.
"Hey Boss, it's ten to five. When are you gonna tell Mrs. S. about the trip?"
"Splendid timing, Mildred. I've just confirmed everything and am about to tell her now," he smiled in triumph. "Want to join me?" he winked.
"You bet! I'm dying to see her re-action!"
They walked into the office to see Mr. Steele's wife, six months pregnant, on the phone. Seeing her husband and secretary enter the doorway, Laura raised her hand to them as she finished her call. "Yes, sir. Thank you very much. Bye-bye," she smiled and hung up.
"What was that?" Remington asked.
"Just our client thanking us again for finishing the case. They sent the check to the office."
"All through with you work, love?"
Laura nodded and sighed as she closed her casebook for the weekend. "All finished. Finally, I could use a quiet weekend," she sat back in her chair looking up at them, detecting the mischievous look in Mildred's eye. "What?" she asked.
Reaching into his pocket, Remington pulled out two plane tickets and bent down in front of her. "And a quiet weekend you shall have," he grinned.
"What are you talking about?" the corner of her mouth turned upward in a grin, wondering what he meant.
"Well, we did have our dream wedding... but we never had our dream honeymoon."
"Honeymoon?!" she asked excitedly.
He nodded. "Well, the baby will be along in a few more months, and we're all caught up here at the office. I figured we could do with one more vacation."
Remington grinned. "How would you like a week in Florence, Italy, Mrs. Steele?"
"FLORENCE?! Are you serious?"
"As serious as I can be. We leave in an hour."
"Oh, Rem!" she flew her arms around him and hugged him warmly.
Sitting on the plane, Mr. and Mrs. Steele looked out the window to see the Italian countryside underneath them.
"For what is an artist in this world but a servant, a lackey for the rich and powerful?," he grinned.
"Excuse me, Mr. Steele?" she cocked an eyebrow at his line.
"The Agony and Ecstasy. Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison, Twentieth Century Fox. 1965 if I remember correctly".
"I should have known," she shook her head.
A moment later the plane landed at the Italian Airport. Helping Laura out of her chair, Remington escorted her off the flight and hailed a cab. Sitting in the back seat, he turned to the driver. "Per l'hotel," he smiled as the cab took off.
Laura looked at him in surprise. "I didn't know you spoke Italian."
"I don't," he shook his head as she frowned. "You can learn a lot by watching movies," he winked as Laura laughed.
Arriving at their destination, Laura gasped at the sight of the hotel. "The Grand Hotel Mediterraneo?" she covered her mouth in shock.
"Only the most romantic hotel in theFlorence," Remington smiled. "Shall we?" he extended his arm to her.
"Indeed, Mr. Steele," she took his arm.
"If either of you need anything, do not hesitate to call," the French bell-boy smiled as he left the Steeles in their room: the Honeymoon Suite. As Remington set the bags down by the bed, he smiled as he watched Laura walk about the room with her mouth open.
"Oh, Remington," she whispered. "This is magnificent," she looked around. The room was a dark cream color, with the beds clad in silk sheets of purple and red. "Look at this view!" the yelled to him.
He walked up to her on the balcony and wrapped his arms around her. "Do you really like it this much?"
"Like it?" she turned to face him. "I love it! I've never been anywhere this beautiful in my whole life! Not even Italy was like this!" she looked at him, seeing in his eyes how happy he was that they were here together. Kissing him, she smiled. "Thank you," she whispered. "Now," they broke the kiss, "I'm going to go and freshen up before we go have lunch, okay?"
"Okay," he kissed her quickly once again as she walked away.
As she closed the bathroom door, he heard her yell, "Even the bathroom is gorgeous!"
Sitting across from Laura at the beautiful restaurant, Remington couldn't get over how gorgeous she looked. She wore a sky-blue dress that came down just past her knees with matching yellow heels. Her hair was combed down to her shoulders with her bangs dancing about above her eyes in the light breeze.
"You didn't have to order water for yourself too. You can drink wine, you know," she teased as they sat waiting for their food.
"I know," he set his glass down. "But I didn't think it fair to drink wine while you can't and we're dining together."
"I really did marry the perfect man," she smiled.
"Speaking of perfect..." Remington reached into his pocket. "The perfect man has a perfect gift for his perfect wife," he handed her a small box.
She smiled as she untied the small ribbon and opened the box. As her eyes fell upon the beautiful necklace, Laura gasped. "Oh, Rem..." she smiled. "This is... it's gorgeous!"
"You like it then?"
"Again you've asked me that question... and again, I'm telling you that I love it! Oh... help me put it on."
Standing up, Remington walked behind Laura's chair. Taking the charm he bought her, he fastened it around her neck.
"How does it look?" she turned it face him.
He looked at her, as she wore the heart charm around her neck, with the gemstone in the middle. "Beautiful," he bent down to kiss her. "Do you recognize the gem?"
"Royal lavulite, of course," she smiled. "How could I ever forget it?"
"You know," he began as he took his seat again. "I sometimes think that if it weren't for royal lavulite we would have never met."
Laura thought for a moment, then giggled. "You know, you may just be right."
They were interrupted our of their speech by the waiter who arrived with their food. "Ah, splendid," Mr. Steele grinned at the sight and smell of the beautiful Italian cooking. "Insalata Caprese," he smiled.
"One of my favorites," she began cutting her food. "May I ask you a question?"
"Certainly, darling," he sipped his water.
"How did you manage to pay for all this? I mean, a week in Italy, at the top-rated hotel, and now the first of a few meals at one of the best restaurants. This isn't exactly cheap."
He smiled. "I won't tell you," he grinned mischievously.
"You didn't steal something valuable, did you?" she teased as she cocked her left eyebrow the way she always did.
"Why, Mrs. Steele! How could you think such a thing of me, of your husband, Remington Steele?" he played like he was annoyed as his hand slapped his chest. "I'm hurt!"
"Forgive me, my love. I don't know where I got such an outrageous idea," she returned to her food, giggling under her breath.
It was late in the day when Mr. and Mrs. Steele were out walking along the beach as the sun set into the sea. As the night wore on, the sky grew dark and the stars came out in the thousands. When they came to a nice, quiet spot, Remington sat down on the sand, pulling Laura into his arms as they laid on the beach. "I love you," he said quietly.
Looking up at him, she kissed him. "I love you too," she smiled as she rested her head against his chest. "Did you ever think we'd end up like this?"
"What do you mean?"
"When you walked into my office as a secret agent from Africa," she laughed. "You said you name was Ben Pierceson, and that the royal lavulite I was protecting was stolen. Then, when you came back... as Remington Steele. Did you ever think we'd end up like this... married... having a baby?"
Smiling down at her, he placed his hand on her stomach. "No, Laura, I didn't. Especially after you refused me so many times in the beginning," he smiled. "But I'm glad we did end up like this. Because I wouldn't want to spend the rest of my life with any other woman but you. I wouldn't want any other woman to be the mother of my children but you." He kissed her, holding her face in his hands. "You're the most wonderful woman in the world, Laura."
"And I've never met anyone that I've loved as much as I love you," she kissed him again, just before they got up and walked back to the hotel for a relaxing night's sleep in that huge purple and red bed.
Remington woke up just as the sun began to shine into their hotel room off the balcony. The warm breeze blew the silk curtains through the large doorway. Rolling over, he wrapped his arms around Laura and began to cuddle with her. Taking a deep breath, she moaned as she felt him holding her.
"Good morning," he whispered next to her ear.
"Mmm..." she stretched. Opening her eyes, she smiled as she saw him staring at her. "Good morning."
"I said it once and I'll say it again... you look lovely in the morning. Especially when I get to wake up next to you," he smiled mischievously.
Laura laughed. "You just like to flatter me."
"Why not? A woman deserves flattering every once in a while."
"I'll remember that next time you tell me not to buy a new pair of shoes," she teased.
"I said flattering. Not buying."
She laughed again as she sat up and went to brush her teeth. "I'll order us some breakfast," he called to her as the door shut. When she returned, she saw him sitting on the bed in his robe with a tray carrying two plates of French toast, hash browns, syrup, sugar, coffee, orange juice, and a vase with a single rose. He poured her a cup of coffee as she sat next to him, kissing her on the neck while she drank.
"I don't know if it's me or the Italian countryside that makes you act this way."
"Why Laura! How could you question such a thing as that? What else could it be but the Italian countryside?" he burst into laughter.
"Remington!" she chastised.
"Oh, darling..." he raised his hand to protect himself from her flailing pillow in between his laughing. "I'm only teasing you, Laura."
"I bet you were," she pretended to pout.
"Oh Laura, come on," he put his arm around her. "I'm joking."
"Oh, are you?"
"Yes... come on... please..."
"Oh alright..." she kissed him lightly on the lips. "I guess you're forgiven." She didn't miss him sigh after realizing that she wasn't upset with him.
"Now, what shall we do today?" he quickly changed the subject as they ate their breakfast.
"I don't know," she began to think.
"Why don't we..." he scooted next to her, "...just stay here and..." his voice trailed off as he once again began to kiss her neck.
"We've got the whole city of Florence out there and you want to stay in the hotel?"
"Why not? I've got the best sight right here."
She rolled his eyes. "You're hopeless."
Gazing through the windows of the small shops, the couple strolled down the streets of Italy. Seeing a baby store on the corner, Laura stopped in front of the window.
"Do you want to go in?" Remington asked her.
Thinking for a moment, she smiled. "Let's just look around."
He opened the door for her, and escorted her inside. They split up, each looking at different items in the different small aisles. Reality began to set in for Mr. Steele, as he gazed upon baby clothes, toys, and other necessities, knowing that in the very near future his home would be full of the same things. Laura smiled as she walked through the section with baby blankets and quilts up to her ears. At the end of the row, hidden in the corner was one blanket that caught her attention.
It looked handmade, with a very simple, yet pretty pattern around the edges. Fingering the fabric with her fingers, she was surprised at how extremely soft it was. She didn't see Remington standing behind her, leaning against a wall. He couldn't get over it. She looked so beautiful like this. Well... she always looked beautiful to him, but there was something about her every since she became pregnant. She was so happy all the time, and looked simply gorgeous!
"Ready to go?" he broke the silence.
Laura turned around sharply, not seeing him there. "Oh, uh... yes," she smiled.
Once outside, Remington stopped her. Feeling inside his pocket, he sighed. "I seem to have misplaced my sunglasses, love. I'll be right back. They probably fell inside the store."
"Take your time," she waited patiently.
Actually, Mr. Steele hadn't lost him sunglasses at all. Walking back inside, he strode quickly to the section Laura had been in, took the blanket he saw her admiring, paid for it, and hid it inside his coat pocket. Putting on his sunglasses, he rejoined her outside.
"All set?" she asked.
"Indeed," he put his arm around her as they walked down the cobble-stone street.
After a few more days of four star treatment with each other, the Steeles found themselves packing their clothes and getting ready to go back home.
"I wish this week wasn't over," Laura sighed as she sipped up her suitcase.
"I know," Remington smiled. "We'll come back soon, I promise." Kissing her lightly on the lips, he took her suitcase and escorted her downstairs to the cab they had called. The couple arrived at the airport in a few short minutes, and sat to wait in the terminal. Sitting next to his wife while he read the paper, Remington noticed a faraway look in Laura's eyes.
"Hey?" he called softly.
She turned her head.
"What are you thinking?"
"I just realized. We're going to be a very busy couple after the baby comes," she smiled. "With the agency, and client meetings, new cases all the time, and coming home to a small baby— "
He put his hand over hers to stop her. "Having second thoughts?"
"Not really second thoughts… I mean, we're having a baby whether we want to or not at this point. It's not that I don't want the baby, it's just…"
Laura sighed. "What if I can't do it?"
Remington furrowed his brow in confusion. "What do you mean 'can't do it'?"
"What if I can't do it? I mean, balance the agency while taking care of our child."
"You sound like you're going to be doing it all by yourself."
"No! No, I mean… ach!" She raised her hand in annoyance. "Do you know how many friends I've seen get married to wonderful guys, then have a kid, and then they're left to do it all by themselves? Sure, the husbands are there, but never really there. You know? Even my own father…" she let the sentence hang at the mention of the man.
"Laura," he took her face in his hands. "It's not going to be that way with us. You're my wife, and I love you. I'd never dream of letting you handle both the agency and the house and children by yourself! I promise you, I'm going to be there to help you with everything in every way that I can. You can't do it all my yourself, love, no matter how invincible you think you are," he teased. "At the agency, we're partners. At home, we're partners. With our children," he put his hand on her stomach lovingly. "We're partners."
Leaning forward, Laura kissed him, her feelings of appreciation obvious. "Thank you," she whispered close to his face. Suddenly, their thoughts were interrupted by a loud voice on the intercom.
"Flight 430 for Los Angeles, California, United States."
"That's us!" Remington jumped up and took the luggage while they walked down the terminal. "After all, Laura," he began again. "You're in charge at work. At home, I'm the boss," he ordered in mock sincerity.
"Yes, sir, Mr. Steele," Laura raised her hand to her head in a salute, causing she and her husband to laugh as they boarded their flight back to LA.
To be continued in… Mr. & Mrs. Steele: Part III—Friends of Steele…