We left Mr. Steele and Miss Holt having just made a date of sorts (though I suspect Laura would dispute that description strenuously).
Now we see the agency limo heading down an L.A. street.
Inside the limo, Laura and Steele are – wait a minute! That’s not Fred! The agency’s usual chauffeur must have the evening off. Anyway, in the backseat, Laura and Steele are sitting rather close together. Steele is in a tux and Laura is dolled up. She wants to know who else is going to be at this party.
“Actually, it’s being held to celebrate the completion of a new manuscript by Charlotte Knight,” he informs her. This gets her attention! Apparently Laura is familiar with this Charlotte’s work.
Laura waxes lyrical. “Have you ever read any of her books? Every thigh is creamy white, every breast is full and heaving. Men don’t caress their women, they seize them …”
“…and people don’t meet and fall in love, they have zipless encounters and disappear into the night.” Hm. Laura seems a little turned on. What exactly is a zipless encounter, anyway? Mr. Steele seems a bit nonplused by Laura’s ardent recitation.
“How quaint,” he remarks. “Sounds as if you’re a fan of this Miss Knight.”
“Well, no, no, I’ve never actually read any of her books,” Laura insists, uncomfortably. Mr. Steele’s expression suggests he’s thinking …
But what he actually says is, “Of course.”
Laura clarifies that she’s only HEARD about Charlotte Knight’s work.
“Mm-hmm, reading is such a chore,” Steele smirks.
This is a short entry, but the next scene is quite long, so I thought it best to do it separately. In this little scene, we get some insight into Laura. First, she has taken some pains to dress for the occasion – which hardly seems necessary if the plan is to show up, tell Forsythe the deal is off, and leave again. She’s interested in who else will be at the soiree – I get the impression Laura is a bit excited to be moving in such glittering society. Presumably the day-to-day legwork of the detective has not afforded many such opportunities before Mr. Steele came on the scene.
We learn a bit about Laura’s reading habits, too. It seems the no-nonsense, business-before-pleasure girl has a weakness for steamy literature. Perhaps since she doesn’t allow herself the indulgence of a real-life relationship, she has to seek vicarious gratification through the pages of these bodice rippers. Does it hint at a more passionate, sensual side to Laura than we have been allowed to glimpse so far?