"Good morning, darlings." Martha Rodgers called out as she entered the loft just in time to see a little person streak past her, giggling with delight followed by her exasperated mother, trying to keep up with her and herself five months pregnant with twins, Jacob Richard and Reece James
"Lily Johanna Castle, stop right there young lady." Kate said as sternly as she could
Lily was across them and stopped and looked up with those big blue eyes and gave her mother that look her father used so many times. Martha did all she could not to bust out laughing at the sight. Kate still in her pajamas and Lily stark naked, Kate holding her clothes in her hand
"Now, I said it's time to get ready for preschool. So let's get you dressed, now." Kate said
"No school Mama!" Lily pouted again just like her daddy
"Lily, you have to go to school. You'll see all your friends. Chelsea, Amanda, even Bryce."
"Darling, let me handle this. You go and get ready for work." Martha said
Kate sighed, "Okay, thank you Martha."
Kate went back into the bedroom and sent a text to Javi and Ryan:
Slight issue with mini Beckett this morning. Be there as soon as I can.
Her friends knew that when Lily was referred to as mini Beckett there was no emergency and had to laugh. Kate was plenty stubborn and they had all warned her that Lily would be double. She jumped in the shower and somehow got ready in record time walking into the living room to see Lily fully dressed eating a banana at the breakfast bar as Martha poured her some juice.
She walked over and planted a kiss on her daughter's crown, "We've gotta go, baby."
"Oh, I'll take her to preschool so you won't be any later for work, Katherine." Martha offered
"But I thought you had rehearsals today." Kate said pouring a cup of coffee in the new mug Castle had given her, stainless steel that kept things hot or cold for 12 hours
"Not until three. So don't worry about a thing. I'll drop her off and as planned Alexis can pick her up and watch her until you get off work."
Kate looked at her mother in law and smiled, "I don't know what I would do without you and Alexis this week. And I think I'm going to kill Castle when he gets back."
"Oh dear, don't do that. All that blood can be messy." Martha joked
"Well, I have a seminar next month in Albany so he will get his payback."
"I think his payback is coming in about four months." Martha replied
Kate laughed, "You might be right." She looked at the watch, "Okay, I gotta go."
"And we are right behind you. Come on, Lil, let's get you to school." Martha said coming around to help her off the stool.
"I sorry, Mama." Lily said looking up at her mother
"I know, baby." Kate ran her fingers through Lily's chestnut hair, "Now, be good at school and for Gram and Alexis. I love you."
"Love you, Mama." Then she reached up trying to touch Kate's belly, "Love you Reece. Love you Jake."
As they reached the door Kate whispered to Martha, "So, how did you get her to settle down?"
"Easy, I bribed her." Martha quipped
Kate shook her head and laughed as they headed out the door.
Kate returned home about six pm, mentally drained even though the day had been relatively quiet. No bodies had dropped so mostly paperwork and she did an online tutorial of the new software that had been updated on the precincts computers. She came through the door to find Alexis and Lily on the floor playing some kind of game. Lily in her fairy princess costume.
"Mama!" Lily ran to her mother wrapping her arms around Kate's legs
"Hi Baby." She said, "Hey, Alexis, thanks so much for watching her."
"No problem. We had fun, didn't we, Lil?"
"Uh huh." Lily replied
"Good, I'm glad." Kate said managing a tired smile
"Pick me up, Mama." Lily said reaching her arms up
"I can't lift you anymore because of the babies, honey." Kate said
Lily's face fell and Kate felt a pang of guilt.
"Come on over and we'll cuddle on the couch." She took her hand and led her over and they plopped down on the couch, Lily resting her head on Kate's belly
"Babies awake?" She asked
"Yes, they are." Kate caressed her belly hoping to calm the soccer game going on in there
"You want something to eat, Kate?" Alexis asked heading to the kitchen, "I already fed Lily."
"Yeah that sounds great, thank you." Kate replied, "I almost stopped for takeout but I was so tired I changed my mind."
"Well, we have chicken casserole." Alexis said as she pulled out a plate and put a helping on it to heat up for her
"Who made that?" Kate asked
"I did." Alexis replied, "I knew you wouldn't have much time and would be pretty tired."
"Thank you, sweetheart." Kate said, "I really appreciate the help with your dad gone."
"Did you talk to him today?"
"Just text, he still should be home at the end of the week." She said as she untangled herself from Lily and walked over to the breakfast bar to eat as Lily went back to occupying herself with her dolls
Kate's cell phone rang and she smiled seeing it was Castle, "Speaking of." She said, "Hey Babe."
"Hello my love. How was your day?"
"Rough start but it got better."
"Are you okay?" he asked with concern
"Oh yeah I'm fine." She explained, "Mini Beckett was on full display this morning. Fortunately your mom showed up magically at the right time. And now I'm feasting on a casserole daughter number one made."
Castle laughed at what must have taken place that morning.
"Laugh all you want but payback is a 'you know what'." She said, "There will be two mini Castles running around here soon and you'll see."
"Well, I guess I'm due since I have two perfect daughters." He quipped
"Uh huh." She said as she took a bite of casserole
"Well, I'll let you go so you can feed yourself and my mini me times two. Is Alexis still there?" He asked
"Yeah, hang on." She handed her phone to Alexis
"Hey Dad, how's the tour?" She asked
"Hectic and I can't wait to get home." He said, "Listen, sweetie I really appreciate you helping out while I'm gone. I know Kate does, too."
"Hey, that's what family does." She said with a smile, "Besides by the time I'm done Lily will whip your butt at laser tag."
"Not cool." He joked, "Is everything okay at the office?"
"Yep, Haley's got it all under control and I'm in and out." She assured him
"Great, I love you." He said, "Let me talk to Kate again."
"Love you too, Dad." She handed the phone back to Kate
"Hey, I just wanted to say good night and I love you." He said
"I love you too, Babe." She said, "See you soon, bye." She ended the call and put her phone back on the counter
"This is so good." Kate said not realizing how hungry she must have been
"Thanks." Alexis said
"Listen, if you need to go don't worry about us. I'm hoping she's about ready to crash and we can curl up on the couch for a while before putting her to bed."
"Well, I was hoping to meet some friends for drinks in the village." Alexis said as she put the casserole away
"Go, by all means." Kate insisted
"Thanks." She said and gave Kate a kiss on the cheek, "I'll talk to you late."
"Have fun." Kate replied
Alexis walked over and grabbed her coat, "Bye, Lil. Be good for Mama."
"Bye, Lexis." Lily said still playing intently with her dolls
Kate finished her meal and washed her dish in the sink the came over to the living room, "Come on, Baby let's cuddle some more on the couch, how about a movie?"
"Beauty and the Beast?" Lily asked
"Of course." Kate said even though Lily had seen it a thousand times
She turned on the tv and went to Netflix and cued it up
Lily curled up beside her, "Happy Mama?"
Kate looked down at her daughter who's little hand rested on her belly, "Yes, baby, Mama is happy."