Kate woke up to the press of Castle lips to the nape of her neck and the first rays of dawn peering through the windows.

"Mmm, g'morning." Her voice was hoarse and scratchy from sleep and sex … wonderful, languorous, enduring sex.

"Good morning, my lovely wife." His was thick with arousal as he made a chain of kisses down her spine. "Do you know how much I love saying that?"


"Oh yeah," he confirmed. "And I love waking up to you in my bed. And I love the way the sun catches the gold highlights in your hair. And I love this dimple by your hip," he said as he pressed his mouth to the spot.

She arched in response and he slid back up her body, kissing and nipping the whole way.

She knew they had to be back in the city in a few hours, but it was still early enough for her to roll over and meet his kiss, drawing him in deeper.

Like the sunrise, they took their time, caressing and kissing, giggling and sighing. They were both playful and solemn, capricious and focused. They were the best of themselves, the partners they were meant to be, finally solemnized in law and love.

It was no easy task to finally climb out of bed and pad to the shower, despite delays for more kissing and teasing. They deserved more time, but knew it couldn't happen just yet. Kate was on call starting at 2 p.m. so they had to be back in the city before then. Not to mention, no one even knew they had gotten married.

"How are we going to tell everyone?" Castle wondered aloud as he ran his hands along her soap-slicked back.

She knew immediately what he was referring to, and felt some guilt creep into the back of her mind. "Good question. Lanie's going to kill me," she predicted.

"Maybe we should have her and the boys over when we get back. Tell them together and have a late lunch to celebrate. Pop some champagne."

Kate nodded in agreement, murmuring "Good idea," as she strategically fell back against him, thus prolonging the shower even more.

When she could speak again, she confirmed breathlessly, "We'll call them on the drive in. Have them get there around noon or so." She paused, considered for a moment, then continued, "You don't think they're going to be upset, do you? Because we didn't invite them?"

Castle thought about it as he tried to dry off, barely holding himself upright, and decided, "Nah, they'll understand."

Though still surround by the glow of their wedding, the practicalities of life began to creep in as the hours ticked by.

Dressed once again in jeans and a maroon sweater, Kate retrieved her wedding ensemble from the floor, smoothed out the wrinkles, and folded it carefully into her carry-on. She collected the make-up and accessories she'd brought along and stowed them away before regretfully placing Martha's exquisite sapphire earrings into their case.

"They looked stunning on you," Castle said from behind her.

"They'd look stunning on anyone," she demurred.

He shook his head. "Nope. They need someone worthy to bring out their full beauty."

She turned and flung herself into him. "I don't want to leave, Rick. I want this to last forever."

He tilted her chin so that she could meet his eyes. "No you don't, Kate. Just think of all the wonderful adventures that await us. Think of all the nights together in our home, vacations around the world, the holidays still to come. Maybe children," he added in a whisper.

She wrapped her arms around him again and held him tight. He was right. They had so much ahead of them, so many tender moments and lovestruck memories to share together. They might not get another wedding night, but they had anniversaries and birthdays to share, romantic getaways and surprise interludes to savor. They would hold each other tight and make love again like it was the first time. They were only just beginning to be them, and they had a lot to look forward to.

With a last squeeze and a heartfelt press of her lips to his, she took his hand and said truly, "You're so very right, and that's one of the many, many reasons I love you so much. Lets' go home, Castle."

"I love you too, Kate," he professed back, his eyes twinkling in the boyish way that had stopped her heart from the first, as he kissed her lips and ushered her out the door to whatever awaited them.

The end.