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Steele Chalming

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"I do not need to be carried, Mr. Steele," Laura complained.

"Mrs. Steele, unless you have forgotten, you have received a nasty gash on your head which could have some rather ill side effects. The discharge papers from that nice doctor stated you should not be traversing stairs for 24 hours in the event you do have a concussion," Remington reprimanded her as he carried her down the stairs from their bedchamber to the study.

"I don't have a concussion!" she insisted.

"Humor me, Laura, could you please?" Remington asked as he deposited her on the couch beside the fireplace. "Are you cold? I can start a fire for you."

"I'm not cold, I don't have a concussion. I just want to get something to eat, take a long hot shower to wash my hair, stretch and then crawl into bed for the rest of the night," Laura complained.

"Laura, I'll cook you whatever you wish, but again, those discharge papers state you cannot get the stitches wet, so I'm afraid the hot shower you request is out of the question," Remington said firmly. "Now, what you you like to eat."

"I don't know, something greasy and rich," Laura groaned.

"Greasy….and….rich? Laura, I'm not sure…" Remington cringed.

"All right then….fettuccine alfredo," Laura said as she crossed her arms.

"Fettuccine alfredo I can do, love. Now if you will sit here, I'll have dinner ready for you in half an hour. After that I promise you I will help you wash the debris from your hair without getting your injury wet. Then if you still require some assistance in making yourself comfortable, I'll give you a massage," Remington patted her shoulder.

"A massage? I suppose I can behave then. What time is it? Maybe I can call Mildred," Laura sighed.

Remington checked his watch, "She should be awake now, unless she had a late night with the Dragon Ladies. Give her my love, eh. I'll go get that fettuccine started." Closing the door to the study as he left, Remington walked toward the kitchen quickly. He wanted to get Laura fed and relaxed as quickly as possible, so she would hopefully sleep off any additional aches and pains that may occur in the next day or two. She was still asleep when they arrived at the Castle after dropping Pace off. He had carried her to their bedchamber, hoping she would wake feeling better than earlier. The doctor had sent a few prescription pain pills if she needed along with the supplies she would need for keeping the stitches clean.

Remington found freshly prepared pasta in the refrigerator so quickly started the water to boil it. Pulling out the remaining ingredients needed, he hummed to himself as he prepared the requested fettuccine alfredo.

Back in the study, Laura gingerly made her way over to the telephone on the table. She didn't want to tell Remington her head was hurting again. Instead she wanted to check in with Mildred, make sure there was nothing outstanding at the office. Dialing Mildred's home number, she waited as the phone rang. Instead of Mildred's voice, she heard the machine pick up. "Mildred, it's me, Laura. I was hoping to talk to you about the office and the wedding. It's getting late here so try to call from the office tomorrow when you get in. We should be here all day, bye," Laura left her message.

Hanging up the phone, Laura drummed her fingers on the table. She touched her head gingerly, wincing when her fingers made contact with the injured area. She then moved her fingers through her hair, feeling the dried blood and dirt embedded in it. She wanted nothing more than to take a hot shower but Remington was right, she had to be careful of the stitches. She hated feeling helpless, being coddled in anyway however, she knew she couldn't take care of this on her own. She would have to give in and let him help her.

She carefully made her way toward the kitchen, slightly unsteady on her feet. She found Remington stirring the heavy cream into the pan with the melted butter and cream cheese. "Smells delicious," she said, making Remington jump.

"Laura! What are you doing? You're supposed to be resting, now wandering about," Remington admonished her.

"I tried to call Mildred but I had to leave her a message. I told her to call from the office tomorrow," Laura said, leaning against the counter.

"Laura, will you atleast go sit down before you fall down," Remington stopped stirring long enough to guide her to a chair nearby. Moving back to the stove, he continued stirring, dropping the pasta into the boiling water. Taking a spoon, he tasted the sauce, now simmering. "Needs more salt, I think." Dipping the spoon once again, he handed it to Laura, "What do you think?"

"Mmmm, perfect," Laura licked the spoon.

"Well it's almost ready, love. Why don't I help you into the dining room, eh?" Remington turned the heat down for the sauce, stirring the pasta again. He helped guide Laura to the table, made sure she was settled at the table before returning to the kitchen to finish preparing their meal. Loading a tray with their plates and two glasses of water, he carried everything to the table.

"Water? No wine?" Laura asked.

"No wine. With that medication they injected you with in the hospital for the pain and nausea you were experiencing I don't think wine would be the best choice for the evening," Remington explained.

"So after dinner, you said you'd help me wash my hair. And a massage I believe," Laura said after a few bites.

"Whatever will make you more comfortable, Mrs. Steele," Remington smiled.

"You can make fettuccine alfredo for me anytime, Mr. Steele. This is simply delicious," Laura hummed.

They finished eating in near silence. Remington stood to clear the table, "I'll be back in a minute to bring you upstairs," he told Laura.

"I don't need…" Laura started.

"I will bring you upstairs. Now please, Laura, just be patient. I just want to get these dishes in the sink to soak. Then I'll bring you upstairs, help you wash your hair in the tub. Then you can have a nice soak of your own, I'll take care of the dishes then return and give you a nice relaxing massage, eh," Remington detailed everything for her.

With a deep sigh, Laura relented, "Fine."

"Thank you," Remington piled their dishes on the same tray he carried them in on. Before leaving, he leaned down to kiss Laura's cheek. Carrying the tray into the kitchen, he piled the dishes in the deep sink along with the pots he used, filling everything with hot, soapy water, before going back into the dining room where Laura waited. "You want to walk to the stairs and I'll carry you up from there?" Remington asked.

"I don't need to be…" Laura repeated before Remington interrupted her.

"Lau-ra, please. The doctor's notes say…" Remington pursed his lips.

"I know what the damn notes say, but I say I don't need to be carried," Laura said angrily, hands planted on her hips.

"Mrs. Steele, I'm not going to argue with you over this. Now please, let's get you washed up and resting," Remington said as he ran his hand across his mouth, frustrated with Laura's ire.

Laura turned and stomped toward the stairs without answering him. Remington followed, two steps behind. Just before they reached the steps, the doorbell rang. They both stopped mid-stride, looking at each other, confused.

"Are you expecting anyone?" Laura asked, eyebrow raised.

"No, are you?" Remington asked, his eyebrow also raised in question.

"No. Are you going to answer it?" Laura was exasperated.

Remington pursed his lips again, knowing she would probably try to make her way up the steps as soon as he walked away. The doorbell rang again, insistantly..

Remington pointed at Laura, "Don't go anywhere." Laura rolled her eyes at him but stopped and leaned on the bannister.

The doorbell rang again, this time accompanied with banging. "All right, all right. No need to beat the door down," Remington said as he opened the door. "Antony…. I don't believe you've been invited here."

Anthony Roselli pushed his way past Remington. "Where's Laura?" he demanded.

"Tony? What are you doing here?" Laura asked from the bottom of the stairwell.

"Laura?" Tony noticed the gauze wrap around her head, the dried blood in her hair. Turning to Remington, he slammed him against the door. "What the hell did you do to her?"