A HOLT PROPOSITION

BY: xffan_2000

SUMMARY: A dab of smut. A dollop of panic. A snap decision.

RATING: Starts out as NC-17, dives to G, ramps up to PG, and (if I'd written more, which I didn't) it would end up back where it started.

DISCLAIMER: This "Remington Steele" story is not-for-profit and is purely for entertainment purposes. The author and this site do not own the characters and are in no way affiliated with "Remington Steele," the actors, their agents, the producers, MTM Productions, the NBC Television Network or any station or network carrying the show in syndication, or anyone in the industry.

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Laura reclines against the sofa cushions, her eyes closed and a shuddering sigh passing her open lips. Her hands are occupied; her right gripping a fist-full of Remington's hair, the left trapping his bare, erect penis to her thigh.

Remington arches at an awkward angle over her. His fingers pull back the silk of her bra, her blouse already unbuttoned and half-off her shoulders. His lips, teeth and tongue minister to the sensitive peak of her right breast.

The middle finger of his other hand sets a lazy pace of penetration and withdrawal; his hips matching thrust for thrust against her leg. His thumb presses and circles, sending tiny electrical jolts throughout her body.

Her fist clenches around him, pulling and pushing in response to his movements.

A moan.

A groan.

A doorbell.

A confused hesitation.

Laura holds his face to her chest and whispers, "Don't answer it."

He shakes his head, grunts his agreement, takes another mouthful and does another hard thrust both inside her and against her.

She flinches in a wonderful way.

Again, the doorbell sounds, followed by a female voice asking for Mr. Steele.

He makes several more thrusts in an obvious attempt to ignore the distraction.

A knock. The voice identifying itself as Estelle Becker from Immigration and Naturalization, telling him he'd missed his appointment.

His penis wilts in her hand; his erotic breathing is replaced by erratic breathing. A hint of fear shines in his blue eyes as he backs himself from her body.

Confused, she watches as he yanks his pants up, re-buttons, zips and tucks. She follows suit, pulling her blouse closed, lowering her skirt from its bunch at her waist. She looks for her underwear and pantyhose but can't find them.

Remington invites Estelle inside. Laura sticks her bare feet into her heels, and spots her undergarments at the end of the sofa. She quickly stuffs them between the cushions and stands to meet Estelle.

"This is my..." he pauses, looking at Laura.

She knows Remington looks suspiciously rumpled; she can only imagine she looks the same. "Laura Holt," she supplies, relieving him of having to use a term to describe her that would either not fit with their disheveled appearance or clash with his ability to identify her as anyone other than his 'associate.'

Estelle shakes her hand, then sits uninvited in the chair and plops her briefcase on the coffee table. She pulls out paperwork as Laura and Remington sit next to one another on the sofa.

Estelle pauses, looks at Laura, then Remington, then back to Laura. She explains that perhaps she should speak with Remington alone. Before Laura makes a move, Remington's hand is on her knee.

"Whatever you have to say can be said to both of us." He squeezes his fingers against her. She doesn't know if it is to reassure her or to reassure him.

Estelle nods and hands him the papers. She begins to explain about his status as an illegal alien and about deportation.

Laura tunes out, her heart pounding too loudly in her ears to hear anything. She looks to Remington who is staring helplessly at Estelle as she speaks.

She feels adrenaline release.

He can't leave her.

Not now.

Not ever.

How does an alien stay in the country?

Her mind races, but no thoughts beyond a life devoid of Remington come to her.

Nervously, she fiddles with the ring on her right hand.

Suddenly, an idea leaps forward. She glances at Estelle, who still speaks to a stunned Remington.

Hiding her hands between her knees, Laura pulls the small diamond ring -- inherited years ago from her paternal grandmother -- from her finger and transfers it to her other hand.

Unfortunately, due to her left hand being the dominant one, the fit is snug. So snug, in fact, she grits her teeth through the discomfort of getting the ring past her knuckle.

Estelle finishes her speech and asks if Remington has any questions about what she just said. He swallows, the paperwork trembling between his fingers.

Laura speaks up. "Would it matter if he were married? To an American, I mean."

Estelle looks at Laura then back to Remington. "Are you?"

"No," he answers.

"Not yet," Laura supplies.

Remington turns his head and looks at her curiously.

"Not until September," she says, leaning into Remington's side. "Right, dear?"

Remington only looks at her, his face a mask of practiced blankness.

Laura presents her left hand to Estelle as proof of their intentions. "We originally thought about July," she lies, "but summer is just too hot for an outdoor wedding. Don't you think?"

Estelle smiles. "Definitely too hot," she agrees. She looks to Remington. "How long have you two been engaged?"

His attention back on Estelle, he hesitates. "T-two," he ventures, then glances at Laura. "Two months?"

Laura smiles and leans her head against his shoulder. She holds her hand up before her and admires the ring with moony eyes, as though she'd done it many times before. She sighs. "Two months and three days," she corrects him.

She leans past Remington to speak with Estelle. "He was so sweet," she said, patting Remington's chest. "We were walking along the beach just north of Malibu...and he popped the question. Very romantic."

"Normally," Estelle begins, "a marriage of convenience isn't looked upon at all well by my office. However, it looks like you two were engaged before I even took your case. That's a good sign. And I'm very glad you have an engagement ring as proof. You wouldn't believe how many people try to claim they're engaged when they really aren't."

There is a brief, awkward silence before Laura and Remington force a laugh.

"Well, Mr. Steele, Miss Holt, let me congratulate you on your upcoming wedding. I'm sure it will be a lovely occasion." She smiles. "However, I do need for you to get married before September." She holds up her hands to forestall any complaints. "A marriage can be performed by a justice of the peace in a matter of minutes. I encourage you to still have your full-scale wedding, because no one but the three of us need to know you've been married already. I just need to see a marriage certificate on my desk in 48 hours."

Laura's mouth goes dry.

Estelle snaps her briefcase closed, rises to her feet and extends her hand. "Congratulations again."

Remington stands and shakes her hand. "Thank you."

"Just get that marriage certificate to me by Friday morning and everything will be taken care of. Okay, Mr. Steele?"

Remington hesitates. "Right." He escorts Estelle to the door and sees her out.

He turns around and Laura's eyes widen. Her gaze then falls to the floor.

"I'm sorry," she says. "I didn't mean to do that. I..." She ventures a look at his approaching form. "I just...I just panicked, I guess."

He doesn't say anything and she can't read his expression.

She swallows and looks back down, this time at her hands. "At least we bought you some time," she says as she gives the ring a tug. It won't budge. "We can come up with a real option to keep you in the country." Flustered, she pulls harder and twists. Still nothing. "That is, if you want to stay here." She doesn't want to know his response to that statement. "It's not really any of my business anyway." She spreads her fingers wide and desperately tries to yank off the ring.

Remington takes Laura's left hand both of his. The move doesn't calm her any. "Bad luck," she says, "to remove the ring from another person's hand."

Remington instead raises her hand to his lips and gently kisses it. "It most certainly is your business what happens to me," he assures her. "And I'm glad you took control of the situation."

Laura raises her eyebrows in surprise.

"Now, I think we have a lot to do tomorrow," he informs her.

Shaken back to reality, Laura agrees. "Yes. I should go. In the morning, we need to get you a good lawyer and get this whole INS thing figured out."

Remington doesn't loosen his grip on her hand. "No," he says, "I need to go out and get you a proper fitting engagement ring." He looks at the stone distastefully. "With a much bigger diamond," he adds.

Laura blinks, not sure she heard him correctly.

"Then there's the matter of wedding bands. Can't appear in front of a justice of the peace without the proper accessories," he says. He takes her by both hands and pulls her toward his bedroom. "But right now I plan to make love to my fiancÚ to thank her for saving my alien arse." He kisses her.

Pulling back from him, Laura tilts her head curiously. "You're not angry?"

"Not in the least. I don't want to leave," he says as if it were the most obvious answer in the world.

That legitimately surprises her.

"I love this country," he says with a sincerity she didn't know he possessed. "And I love you," he adds with equal sincerity.

She feels her eyes prickle with emotion at his statement. Before she responds, he scoops her into his arms and plants a kiss on her lips.

"Besides," he says, turning toward the bedroom door, "I've never been proposed to before."

Laura sputters, "But I didn't..."

He smiles at her warmly, playfully.

She sobers, feeling a compulsion to complete the task. "Will you?"

"Marry you?" he completes.

She nods.

"Yes," he answers.

END