The cab pulled up at the building, Alexis smiled to herself...she was finally home. The last month had been traumatic, but eye widening and it also made her thankful for everything that her father had worked hard to give for her.

As she got out of the cab, the cold hit her right away and her feet were buried in snow, it was a typical New York winter and she loved it that way.

"Here's your bags." The driver from the taxi said placing her luggage, next to her. "Thank you." Alexis smiled at him. "Have a good Christmas."

The taxi man said walking off.

"You too," She called back to him.


When Alexis walked through the front door and noticed that the loft had come alive with Christmas decorations like it did every Christmas. The smell of her dad's breakfast fest was fresh, but she couldn't see her dad anywhere the only person she could spot was.

Kate who was washing up from her dad's cooking. "I'm home," She called out to Kate.

"Alexis?" Kate said shocked when she heard her step daughter's voice. "Your dad and I weren't expecting you for an hour," Kate added while taking off her gloves and leaving them on the kitchen bench.

"I wanted to surprise you two, speaking of dad where is he?"

"Alexis, I have some news for you?"


"Two day's ago, while investigating a case we found a little girl in one of the suspects apartment, He was neglecting her and abusing her with his words and fist, what she was living in was horrible, she hungry, dirty and her dress was outgrowing her.

She has never been outside before."

"A father abusing his daughter, how's dad taking it?"

"He tried to hold back his tears, As a father he was shocked that anyone could do that to their daughter, He suggested that we should adopt her and that's what were doing."

"I've alway's wanted a little sister."

"So you're okay with this?"

"Kate, You and dad are adults if you want to start a family you don't need my permission."

"Thanks, Alexis," Kate said embracing her in a hug.

"Let's go find your father," Kate said breaking her embrace.

"No need to," Rick said walking in the front door. "Dad," Alexis said crashing into her father's arms. "I missed you, pumpkin," Rick said as he ran his fingers through her hair.

"I missed you, too."

While hugging his daughter he saw that Kate was holding Dakota. "Alexis, there's something I need to tell you."

"I know, dad," Alexis said pulling back from her dad's embrace. "Kate told me and I'm fine with it," Alexis said with a smile.

Alexis turned around to face the six-year-old who was in Kate's arms. "I'm, Alexis." She introduced herself.

"I know, I'm Dakota."

"Alright, Now that you've met how about we eat," Rick suggested.


After breakfast had been eaten and the castle's reunited with each other, Alexis told them endless amount stories about the village, the kids, the people and the culture and how eye-opening the experience was.

After hearing Alexis stories, the family needed a story to cheer them up and Dakota was the one to provide it for them. With each word, her tone got more and more excited.

She told them about the trains in the toy store display window, the Christmas tree at Rockefeller center, having her first hot chocolate at Star bucks, how Rick got tangled in the tinsel when they were decorating the tree and putting the star on top of the tree.

Once Dakota finished her story, The family parted way's once again. Kate took Dakota down to, The Rink At Rockefeller Center just like mother used to when she was six.

Rick was getting a head start and writing the first couple of chapters of the new Niki Heat book and Alexis had decided to join the crazy last-minute Christmas shoppers.


The following night, the family gathered together in the kitchen to bake cookies for Santa and decorate the gingerbread men that they had made earlier on with Christmas music playing in the background.

They danced, they sung, they laughter, they named their gingerbread men funny names and gave them unique personality's.

The fun came to a pause for a little when they had to clean the big mess they had made on the counter. But when the mess was cleaned up, the fun began again.

The Castle's then set up a game of monopoly on the coffee table and for dinner treated themselves to the gingerbread men.

Two hours later. "I can't believe this, The three women in my life not only ganged up on me but they kicked my butt," Castle said getting off the wooden floor.

"Is he always like this?" Dakota asked Kate and Alexis. "Yep." They both answered at the same time.

"Okay, changing the subject, can Interest any of you ladies in a seasonal Christmas movie?"

"Sorry dad, but I'm going to pass, I'm tired from traveling," Alexis answered. "I'm sleepy too," Dakota added as well.

"I think it's time to call it a night, babe," Kate said as she picked Dakota up.

"Fair enough, After all, Santa will be here soon."

"Santa's coming?" Dakota asked in a hopeful tone. "Yeah, of course, he is," Rick answered with a grin.

"To me or just Alexis?"

"To both of you."

"But he won't come if you're not asleep," Kate added. "So let's getting you changed into your pajamas and tucked into bed," Kate said as she started to walk towards the stairs.


Their hearts warmed, that's the only way they could describe it.

As they watched the next morning a little girl who already had so much trauma in her short life.

And they only wished that they could go back and rewrite the last six years and have her taken away and adopted her when she was a baby. But they couldn't, all they could do was make sure that the adoption went as plan and that by next Christmas she would be theirs.

And as along as she was theirs, she would always be reminded that she was loved and wanted.


One year later.

My name is Dakota Castle and I'm the luckiest girl in the world. I've got the most wonderful, loving and caring mom and dad, I got a birthday, I never knew or had a birthday before but I think I'm going to like it.

I got a room of my own, it's downstairs off the kitchen and it was the most beautiful room with pink walls, a cuddly double bed and a bathroom of my own and penalty of toys to play with.

I was also was a big sister just like Alexis, mommy found out she was pregnant with my four-month-old sister Amelia.

I love spending time with my grandpa he was the best, he would take to baseball games, he taught me to fish and skip stone last summer at the lake.

My Grandma was pretty cool and was really talented at acting, singing and playing the piano..just don't eat any of her cooking.

And then there was my best friend Charlotte, she's my best friend at school which I also enjoy also, my teacher is really smart and teaches us lots of fun and cool stuff.

But when Charlotte is not around to play with, I play with my second best friend Thunder who was my puppy, that daddy had got me for my first ever birthday party at first mommy wasn't happy but now she loves Thunder...all though she won't admit it.

Last of all was my Aunt Lanie and Uncle's Ryan and Espo, Aunt Lanie is always giving me advice on boy's which will be helpful in my teen years, where I will be more into dating boy's but now I only want to be friends with boys, which daddy is relieved about.

My Uncles are always joking around together, my mom calls them the knuckleheads. I hope that when I'm their age I will have Charlotte to joke around, Charlotte and I have made a pact that were going to be in the NYPD together and be partners and have each others back.

I also hope when I grow up that I have a husband that loves me and looks at me the same way that daddy looks at mommy.

But I'm only seven, so I have penalty of time.

For those of you that wanting to know what crimes Joe committed, here it is.

Murder- Summer, forced drug overdose.

Murder- Poisoned his mothers tea

Rape and murder- Natalie Dawson

Child abuse- Dakota

Neglect- Dakota.