In Naked Heat, Nikki Heat learns that Jameson Rook has been writing romance fiction under a pseudonym. In this story, we learn what events in Richard Castle's life inspired that idea.
"Now that's better," Kate Beckett thought as she sank into her sofa, wrapped in a thick, terrycloth robe. Just two more things would make it perfect. With her left hand she picked up the tablet and with her right the large glass of Cabernet Sauvignon she'd just poured.
It had been a hard week, with too little sleep, too much coffee, and definitely too many close calls. Her latest case, as Castle had summed up with his typical dry humour, had been a real killer.
Closing her eyes, Beckett sipped the wine. It was complex, with hints of blackcurrant, oak and chocolate. Another sip, and she felt warmth and relaxation start to take hold. Beckett set the glass down, brushed her hair aside, and selected a bookmarked URL on her tablet, a site where independent authors posted all manner of stories.
Tonight was one of those nights. She required complete escape, and nothing less than erotic romance would do. The quality of the stories in that group was… uneven. Some were little more than ill-disguised smut. But you could also find the odd diamond in the rough with fleshed out characters and an interesting story, and this was what drew Beckett back time after time. Well, let's be honest, that and the hot sex.
Browsing the recent posts, one in particular caught her eye. She hadn't seen this author before, and the summary was intriguing:
The beautiful Detective Church learns that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, and finds herself guilty of nearly criminal passion.
Beckett clicked on the link and began to read.
Police training has a way of just kicking in, and really, that's the point. The police were trained to handle many difficult and dangerous situations. And this, thought Brenda Church, was definitely one of them.
She drew her weapon quickly, without thinking, held it in two hands, and positioned her body in the Isosceles stance.
"Drop your weapon," Church said. "Now."
"I don't think so," the man before her said. "I think it's you that'd better lose the piece, or this guy gets a new orifice in his head."
Detective Church had spent the better part of a week investigating multiple, related homicides, following up on one false lead after another, until a break in the case had finally led her here. Not quite in time to prevent this standoff.
The man with the gun was Franklin Beamish, an unemployed former dock worker. He had his thick left arm around the neck of another man, Peter Swift, published author of several best selling mysteries.
Tightening her grip on the pistol, Church's eyes widened slightly when she felt a gun barrel poke into the small of her back.
"Now, what do we have here?" a man's voice rasped. "A pretty girl wants to play cops and robbers. Can I play too?"
Church mentally kicked herself. She hadn't counted on Beamish having an accomplish. All the evidence they'd collected suggested he was operating solo. That thought was interrupted when a hand brushed against her bottom, then, without the slightest hesitation, moved on to caress and squeeze her cheeks. Determined not to let her face redden or show the slightest fear, she said, "Detective Church, NYPD. Stand aside and move to where I can see you."
"Oh, I'll move alright," said the voice.
The gun traveled up the length of Church's spine, to her neck, then the back of her skull. The new gunman then moved beside her, sliding the gun across her head until it came to rest on her temple.
"Now, drop your weapon," the man said.
Church considered her options. None of them were good. She let her gun drop to the floor.
"That's better. Now, just stand right there. Don't move an inch."
The man's left hand moved to the front of Church's ivory silk blouse and started undoing buttons.
"Aw, c'mon, Leo, we don't got time for this," Beamish said, his gun still pressed against Swift's head.
"Sure we do," said Leo. "All the time in the world."
Leo's hand moved inside of Church's blouse, outside of her bra, feeling around her left breast, then her right. The blood was definitely rushing to her head now, Church thought.
Leo's hand then ducked inside her bra, squeezing the warm flesh and playing with the nipple. Church considered playing along, acting like it was a turn on for her. Not such a stretch, in truth, as she had fantasized about situations like this. But fantasy was one thing; this was another. These men were cold blooded killers. And if she didn't do something, she and Swift were likely to be their next victims.
It was at this point that Swift spoke up. Church had noticed that his hand was busy in his pocket. The two criminals, distracted as they were, clearly hadn't. What was he up to?
"Well, you know what writers say," said Swift.
"Yeah?" said Beamish. "And what's that?"
"The pen is mightier than the sword, of course," said Swift.
With that, Swift touched the fountain pen he had withdrawn from his pocket and a spray of ink caught Leo right in the face. Then, while Beamish was momentarily surprised, Swift stabbed the tip into his captor's abdomen.
Church took advantage of the distraction to elbow Leo in the gut, then deliver a swift uppercut to his jaw. Then she stepped forward and kicked at Beamish's head, knocking him out cold.
Swift moved away from Beamish as Church scooped up her gun and picked up the pistol Leo had dropped.
"I've got this guy," Church said, pulling handcuffs from her pocket. "Swift, can you do the honours?"
"My pleasure, Detective," said Swift.
After applying the handcuffs, Swift said, "That was some nice work."
"I was going to say the same to you," said Church. She appraised Swift as he stood in front of her, with his thick mane of dark, curly hair, broad chest, and muscular arms shown to good effect in a white short-sleeved shirt. He was scarcely breathing hard, and seemed almost unphased by his ordeal.
"I owe you one," said Church. "I… hope you let me express my gratitude sometime."
Swift grinned. "You took the words right out of my mouth, Detective."
"Brenda," said Church. "Brenda Church."
"Well, Brenda," said Swift, stepping closer to her, "it seems this might be the start of a beautiful friendship."
As Beckett set down the tablet, she noticed she'd drained her glass of wine. Then she realized that, while she was reading, her left hand had moved inside her robe and was playing with her right nipple. She bit her lower lip and stopped, setting the glass on the coffee table.
Good story. She was anxious to see where it went next. Funny thing was, it felt vaguely familiar. Then she remembered that she and Castle had recently been in a similar situation, with him held hostage by a gunman while Beckett, also armed, tried to talk him down. It hadn't exactly played out the same but still… Well, it was a small world.
A thought occurred to her. Beckett enjoyed reading these stories once in a while. Why not try her hand at writing one? How hard could it be? Certainly, she had no experience with fiction, but she'd written more reports over the years than she could count, and had been praised for their conciseness and lucidity. Sure, why not? All she needed to do was to let a story come to her.
In the meantime, for now, a nice hot soak in some scented bubbles seemed just the thing. And it might be a good time to look for her favourite bathtub toys.
Needless to say, doesn't exist. Though perhaps it should...