For The Love of Kate Epilogue

A/N: So sorry for the delay on this and I hope you are all still with me. After re writing this chapter several times, I've decided to close this off.

For as much as I've loved writing this, the rest of the story just wouldn't come despite my best efforts. That being said, I've begun writing another story to bring them back and am nearly four chapters into it. I hope to finish this one and download the first chapter a few days after this one is published. Hopefully before next Friday.

There will be a time jump of a couple of days in this chapter and I think it will be a short chapter.

For those of you who have read, commented, reviewed, fav/followed this story, I am so thankful and hope you will continue with me into this next journey.

Okay. Here we go.

Beside her, there was a snuffle, a small groan and Rick unconsciously removed his arm from around her waist before he rolled onto his other side.

She waited with bated breath until she heard the soft snores and his breathing to even out again before slowly easing from the bed.

Glancing at the glowing red numbers of the digital clock beside the bed, she saw that it was 4:30 am and time to get started. It was their last day there and she wanted to surprise him with homemade cinnamon rolls and that meant kneading the dough and letting it rise and that was time consuming, but in the end, it was so worth the effort.

Yesterday, they had heard the road equipment up on the highway clearing the roads and knew that this was coming to an end, and later, Mike from the Otis General Store had come to inform them that the roads were now passable again.

Rick had called the airport and confirmed that they were indeed open again and he made the arrangements for their flight back home. Their flight left at 10:00 am which meant that they needed to be at the airport no later than 9:15.

She searched the floor on her hands and knees in the dark searching until she found her panties and the green plaid flannel shirt that she had taken off Rick just a few hours ago.

When he dressed in plaid flannel, he reminded her of Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack in American folklore only her version of him was much more handsome and sexy than the images portrayed in the folk lore. A smile graced her lips at the thought of that comparison.

She dressed as quickly and as quietly as she could in the dark, sliding into her panties and pulling Rick's shirt over her head. and made her way to the bedroom door where she turned to gaze upon him. After a moment, a shudder ran through her at the memory of their lovemaking a few hours ago and resisted the temptation to brush that errant lock of hair away and smooth his brow, kissing his temple in the process.

She resisted the urge and stepped from the door and closing it softly behind her.

Once in the kitchen, she brewed a pot of coffee and began gathering the mixing bowls and utensils that she would need and set about gathering her ingredients before going to work.

After she had the dough rising on the stove, she poured herself a cup of coffee and sat at the small dining room table, gazing out of the window watching the break of day beginning to rise on the horizon.

God! It was beautiful up here! In spite of her misgivings a few days before, she loved this place and hated the thought of leaving here, but real life called and she had to return to work.

Her mind wandered back to the snowball fight they'd had in the yard a couple of days ago when Rick had tackled her to the ground and they had rolled around in the snow like two kids, the snowman they had made in the yard the morning after the freak snowstorm, who was now slowly melting away now that the temperature had risen above freezing briefly yesterday and the house/groundskeeper two room cabin hidden in the woods that was really just a combination living, dining and bedroom with a very small separate bathroom that was just large enough for a barely there shower, toilet, and sink, and the campsites on the property at the edge of Beech Hill Pond nestled in the forest.

It was 6:15 am when she pulled the cinnamon rolls out of the oven and a sleepy, rumpled, bed headed, Rick entered the kitchen attempting to stifle a yawn behind his hand. It never ceased to amaze her how sleep rumpled and hair sticking out at different angles all over his head was so sexy, but on him it was.

"I thought I smelled coffee and something amazing down here." he said, coming up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist, sliding his hand up the front of the shirt to stroke her.

Oh god. It took every ounce of strength she could muster up not to give in to him. It would be so easy and was so tempting to let him have his way.

"God, you look so sexy wearing my shirt." he rasped against her neck, his hand still stroking her beneath the hem of the shirt. You can wear them anytime you want. I reached for you and you weren't there."

Her knees had gone weak when he first touched her and the more he stroked her, the weaker they became It was amazing how he could reduce her to a quivering mass of want and desire with just one touch.

"Wanted to surprise you." she stammered, her head tilting to one side to give him more access. Somehow, she needed to try and get her composure back before they went too far. "Babe, you need to stop." she muttered, her own voice quaking with need.

"Why? You love me and I love you I want you and I can feel that you want me, too."

He had a valid point. What the hell. Maybe they wouldn't be late.

She turned in his arms, pulling his face down and claimed his lips in a long slow kiss. "Take me to the couch."

In one smooth move, he cradled her in his arms and did just that.

Her/His shirt had remained on, rucked up, but still on her body. Her panties had been discarded somewhere behind the couch as well as his boxers and flannel pajama bottoms.

It hadn't taken them long at all. Both of them had been ready and eager.

After allowing them a few minutes to bask in the afterglow, she went into the kitchen where she popped the rolls back in the oven to reheat while he remained behind, still pulling himself together. She had just taken them from the oven when he returned from the living room.

"How long have you been up?" he asked, crossing the room and dropping a kiss to her cheek.

Smiling, she turned from the oven and wrapped her arms around his neck to kiss him back.

"Since 4:30. I thought I'd come down and have breakfast made for you. I made my mom's homemade cinnamon rolls for our last breakfast here."

"Oh. I love cinnamon rolls!" he said, grabbing a hot roll from the pan before she could stop him.

"No, Rick!"

But it was too late. He had already taken a bite.

"Oww! Those are hot!" he exclaimed fanning his mouth.

"Of course they are. I just took them out of the oven. And I haven't iced them, yet."

"These are so good! They don't need any icing. Why didn't you wake me up? I could have helped."

She shrugged. "I wanted to surprise you on our last morning here and it wouldn't have been a surprise if I had done that."

"Well, you did and it's a wonderful surprise. Thank you." he said, leaning in to kiss her softly.

She wondered if she dare bring the question up to him about his decision on keeping this place or not. Initially, she had been against the idea, not being able to see how he would manage it from Manhattan. But the fact was that he had a house in the Hamptons and as far as she knew, he had no trouble doing that, so why couldn't he do the same thing here? In the end, she ultimately decided that it wouldn't be any of her business at this early stage. Besides, he'd probably bring the conversation up himself at some point in time. Maybe he was still undecided at this time.

She poured him a cup of coffee and after breakfast, they cleaned what plates and cups they had used as well as the baking pan she had used for the cinnamon rolls as Kate had washed the dishes as she went along on cooking and then headed upstairs to prepare for the journey into the airport.

"Do you have everything?" Rick asked, nuzzling into her ear.

They were standing at the foot of the stairs preparing to leave,

"Yeah." she replied, relishing the warmth of his breath against her ear, the softness of the press of his lips against her cheek.

"Okay. I'll go and bring the car from the garage."

"Okay." She watched as he exited the front door and then she wandered a few feet into the living room.

Her gaze fell to the couch where they had cuddled together as they read 'Naked Heat' together, the couch where they'd first made love and had repeated the same just a scant half hour ago. There wasn't a flat surface in the cabin where they hadn't made love.

So much had happened since they first arrived a few days ago and she had no regrets. In spite of her earlier misgivings about the place, misgivings she no longer had, she loved this place. She wondered again what he would do with it now.

They hadn't discussed it since their first day here and she had no more idea where his head was on this than she had before.

She was so lost in thought that she hadn't heard him approach and jolted as she felt the warmth of his hand in hers.

"Are you okay?" he asked, his brow furrowing with concern.

"Yes. It's just so beautiful up here, I kinda hate to leave, you know?"

'Yes, it is." he agreed, nodding his head. "Ready to go?"

Although she nodded her head yes, her eyes remained on the couch in the living room and stood rooted to the spot after he gently tugged on her hand.

As if reading her mind, he took both her hands in his.

"Hey, you didn't think I was going to sell it, did you?" he asked, tipping her chin up to look in her eyes.

"I wasn't sure. We haven't talked about it anymore, but you are going to, aren't you?"

"You could have asked again, you know?"

"I didn't think it was any of my business."

"Of course it's your business, too. But just so you know, No. I am not going to sell. I mean, this is the first place we made love, this is where you told me that you loved me, too. This place has special meaning now. I couldn't sell after all this."

"Do you mean that?"

"Of course I mean that. I wouldn't have said it otherwise. Don't worry. We'll be back."

"Promise?" she asked.

"I promise."

"I love you!" she said, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him.

"I love you, too. Now, we'd better get going if we don't want to miss our flight."

Hand in hand they stepped out on the deck.

"Let's go." she said, taking his hand after he locked the door behind them.

She didn't know when they'd be back, but Richard Castle was a man of his word and if he said they'd be back they would be. And she couldn't wait!

A/N: Well, that does it for this one. Now, back to work on the next one. Hope you will all join me Hope to have this one posted no later than Monday and by Wednesday, have the first chapter of the next one up no later than Friday, but hopefully sooner as it is already written. If you live in the US and celebrate our Independence Day, I hope you all have a safe, fun filled holiday with lots of beautiful fireworks. If you don't live in the US, have a wonderful weekend