Title: Little Help Here - Part 7
Written By Lizzie – Summer 2009
On the flight back from Boston, Castle excused himself from Stephanie and wandered up to the airplane 'kitchen' to use the air-phone. The in-flight attendants in First Class were always no nice to him. He often wondered why people didn't like to fly – he loved it. They poured him another drink and left to give him some privacy. The idea that Moore had gone to see Kate without his knowledge had been bothering him since he discovered her card. Maybe something she said got Kate so … so off. Their relationship could go a number of different ways. He was just barely hanging on. If pressed he wouldn't be able to say what exactly he was hanging on to or for, but he didn't want to jeopardize whatever it was or could be. He needed to do damage control and information gathering was in order.
"Les is Moore," he said jovially when Lesley Moore picked up, "Rick Castle … of course you do … you are getting pretty familiar with everything about me aren't you?" His joviality was turning a bit harsh. Moments before the call was answered, he made an impulsive decision to take a page out of Beckett's book – for a change – and put his new editor on her heels. "I see that you made a visit to Detective Beckett," he said snappishly. "A courtesy call??? What prompted that? … I think I have a right to be put out as she is my resource. … The book! … Who suggested that you do that? … Took it upon yourself, did you? … You didn't think to run this past me? … You didn't think that maybe it should come from me? … Or that maybe I didn't want her to read the book as yet? … Ms. Moore, I am sure there are a ton of things about me that make your job harder, so let this be one more: if you ever contact one of my sources again without my knowledge, my permission – without me asking you to, the closest you will get to a book of mine will be buying a copy at a Barnes & Noble. … 'Kay?"
She agreed and he hung up; immediately feeling badly. He was never that hard on people. He didn't like it. It made him feel mean and Castle was anything but mean. It gave him a new appreciation for PRE-Detective Beckett vis-à-vis POST-Detective Beckett. Kate was probably not mean either in her youth. She was probably a sweet, nice, fun loving girl - young woman; not guarded and suspicious. She probably had friends and dates and a future to look forward to that didn't involve death and murder. She could have gone through life oblivious to the dark ugly side of the city that turned otherwise happy people hard, suspicious and mean. She had family who loved ---
At that Castle stopped his assuming. Kate's Family! Did he know anything about her father or her mother other than what he read in the case file? What was their family like? Her home life from zero to thirteen, seventeen, twenty-one, the day before her mother was murdered? The day after? Her father was a drinker but did he drink before? Was he a drunk or just a self-medicator? Was he mean when he drank? Belligerent? Violent? Or did he just fall asleep? How did her mother react? Was she a nag, a shrew, or did she drink with him? Did the parents love each other or were they staying together for the kids? Kids? Right – there were two kids in the Beckett household. Where did the brother come from? Where did he go? He was older than Kate, but there must have been a reason she hadn't mentioned him before. Or not – Kate hadn't mentioned much of ANYTHING about her past. There was so much he didn't know about her and as he thought about it Nikki was really nothing like her. A bare bones skeleton was all they really had in common. Kate was so much more interesting; more mystery than he had written. She was a real mystery that he had to - nay, wanted to unfold – unfold without the guise of the next Nikki Heat novel. That would be a bit tricky.
Before he sat back down to muse on his muse he called Lesley to apologize. She took it like a pro. One would have thought she had been working with temperamental writers for years. "No, just teenagers," she commented before she hung up.
Jeff Beckett was ushered into Pavlos "Papa" Papadakis' office and stood anxiously waiting for the man to turn his attention toward him. He shifted his weight from foot to foot looking out over Biscayne Bay hoping that the interview would be quick and easy. It was hard to tell with Papa. Jeff was a 40 year old man who never felt older than 17 in the presence of Papa.
"How was your flight?" his voice thick with cigar smoke. He was a small man with large hands that had seen hard work many years ago but now were manicured and soft. He had thick wavy hair that was a little too long for a man his age, a thick mustache with more gray than black, and a broad toothy smile that always made Jeff think of Jaws. His dark eyes were set deeply into his bronzed face and could bore holes in a person's soul. "I am sorry to pull you away from Philadelphia, but a trip to Florida is always a bit of a vacation, yes?" He got up to pour two glasses of Ouzo.
"Yes, sir," Jeff agreed quickly.
"When your father is well again," he handed Jeff a glass, "you must come back for an extended vacation … take the boat out … do a little deep sea fishing … enjoy a bit of the Miami nightlife, yes?"
"Thank you sir, my father would really enjoy that." Jeff had no idea what his father would enjoy; they hadn't spoke in years.
"Long Life," Papa said and drained his glass. "Family is very important, Jeffrey," he said cryptically. "You know I have always looked on you as another son … even before the accident."
Jeff controlled his shuttered at the use of the word accident. "Yes sir, you have been more than generous and kind to me."
"You deserve it, you are a good and loyal son," he placed a meaty paw on Jeff's shoulder. "But you also have a real family … a blood family … to whom you must also be loyal. I understand that. I appreciate that. If you did not love your blood, it would … concern me."
Jeff remained silent. He knew where the conversation was going and didn't have anything new to add.
"Sometimes loving your blood is very hard," Papa said cryptically. "Your sister is still a cop in New York?" Papa walked back around the other side of the desk. He was so much more imposing behind his desk.
"Yes sir, a detective," Jeff said reluctantly.
"You and she do not talk much, I understand."
Jeff hesitated. "We are 11 years apart and didn't really spend too much time together growing up," he lied. "We have different interests."
The older man let out a deep belly laugh that was more than a little forced. "Ha, Ha … yes, different interests. Well, I do not always find common ground with my sisters either – they are women after all. Maybe you could bring her with you … when you come back for your vacation with your father."
"Of course," Jeff said quickly. Papa didn't need to say more. The message was subtle, it was non-confrontational and it was very, very clear. Get your sister under control. There was no 'or else.'
"Business is good, yes?" Papa changed the subject as he was sure his message was received.
"Business is very good. You will be receiving the monthly … statement today or tomorrow."
"Of course, of course ... Trust, Jeff … that is what you and I have … trust … built on a decade … more than a decade of history. It heartens me that we were able to build such trust out of such a tragedy."
"Yes, sir," Jeff agreed.
"Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong," Papa repeated. "Gandhi … very wise man."
"Stay for lunch," Papa ordered. "You can catch the next flight back."
"Thank you, sir."
Beckett walked into the bullpen to see Castle sitting at her desk with a blonde in the guest chair. He was leaning in and they were laughing easily with each other. Kate wasn't sure why, but it bothered her. Pretty much everything about Castle was bothering her that day but particularly his unaffected joie de vivre. Nothing seemed to bother him, nothing seemed to get to him, nothing seemed to ever knock him down. Nothing affected his – good or bad. What really bothered her was that nothing seemed to stick with him. He was all about whatever or whoever was in front of him at the moment – toys, games, men women -- love the one you're with, the rest were out of sight, out of mind. Talk about opposites attracting. Not that she was ATTRACTED to him. Well, she was in a way; he was infectious – like the flu. Something she did not want to catch but despite best efforts it was unavoidable. She wondered if there was a pill for that.
Castle leaned back upon seeing Kate, and the blonde followed suit. Then they stood in unison. She was tall – as tall as Castle, taller with the 3" heels she wore. She was stunningly beautiful the kind of beautiful that both men and women turned to admire when she walked into a room. As Beckett got closer she saw noticed her sparkling blue eyes, her perfect complexion and a smile that would melt the polar ice caps. The woman stepped closer to Castle; it was hard to deny that they were a perfect match -- physically. Their children would have the crème de la crème of the gene pool. He left this beauty for his 'deep fried twinkie' of a wife? 'Love the one you're with,' she repeated to herself.
"Detective Beckett, allow me to introduce you to Stephanie Hill," he said formally. "Steph … the detective I was telling you about."
"Stephanie Mulligan, now," she said reaching out her hand. "Detective … I can see why Rick is using you as fodder for his next book. You are lovely and so … uncoplike. I have to believe that you are as good at your job as Rick tells me you are because he never gushes – at least not over women."
Beckett wanted to be offended, but forced herself to believe that this stranger meant no disrespect. "Thank you?" she queried.
"Is there some where we can talk?" Castle asked. "The conference room, maybe?"
"Sure," Kate should have been a little bit more prepared for the interview, but she wasn't. In fact there weren't any questions she had. As far as she was concerned Jason Thomas Riley's death was suicide either accidentally or on purpose it didn't really matter to homicide. She led the way to the conference room (aka the Interrogation Room), offered coffee or water to her 'guest' and let her instincts take over. "I am sorry for your loss, Mrs. Riley."
"Mulligan," she corrected. "JT and I haven't spoken in more than a year and haven't seen each other in five." She crossed her long legs allowing her skirt to slide up a bit and glanced at Rick. He clearly admired the view, but turned to Beckett. "There was no love lost between us," she went on. "The divorce was final about a year after I left. I am remarried and have completely moved on with my life."
Beckett looked at Castle with a quizzical look asking 'where am I supposed to go from that?' "And what do you know of your sister's relationship with your ex-husband?"
"Carroll and I had a falling out about the time I left JT. I could say that Carroll caused our final break up, but in reality she was just a good excuse. JT was … how shall I say this? … indiscriminant. I knew that before I married him – my bad." She faked a smile. "But when he turned his attentions to Carroll – who clearly had moved to New York to be closer to him, not me – I had had enough. I don't fault JT entirely. He was a dog and Carroll … well Carroll needed to be abused by a good looking, smooth talking, scoundrel … apparently. She has self-esteem issues."
Beckett forced herself not to really dislike this cold bitch. She could only imagine what self-esteem issues a younger sister of that woman would have suffered in life. "I understand your current husband is defending Ms Hill," Beckett observed.
"Family is family, detective," she observed. "I don't have any idea if Carroll had anything to do with JT's death, but she deserves the best defense money can buy. Or in this case … family connections can afford."
Beckett stood up. "Castle, may I speak with you?"
Castle smiled at Stephanie and followed Beckett out and into the observation room so they could speak in private.
"What are we doing here Castle?"
"You aren't asking the right questions?"
"And what questions am I supposed to be asking?"
"How much did you read of the Forensic Accountant's report?" he asked.
"None … this is not my case … this is not a homicide," she protested.
"Well, I did … cover to cover. Jason Thomas Riley and Carroll Hill have perpetrated that largest most involved identity theft that Agnes has ever seen in all her 35 years on the force."
"It wasn't just credit cards and loans, they had multiple businesses … online businesses selling everything from the next miracle diet pill to dog food to a dating service all listed in Stephanie's name or at least using her ID. They made millions. That was the reason for the apartment in her name, and Carroll pretending to be Stephanie. None of it could lead back to them. If pushed JT could say they were divorced and Carroll Hill was never LEAGALLY in the picture. She didn't live with him; she didn't work with him. If we weren't standing there when she walked into that apartment, we never would have known she existed. Of course it was all closing in on him – well actually closing in on Stephanie. I am sure Mulligan didn't need to have that kind of scandal hit the newspapers."
"Wait … I thought Riley was a Broadway producer," Beckett said.
"He did that too … and he used the money to help fund some of his shows and to convince other investors to invest. The accountant also came up with a list of investors and the list is pretty colorful … not the kind of people you want to take money from on a good day."
"So there is motive … apparently a lot of motive … but that doesn't change the fact that there is no physical evidence to prove that Jason Riley was murdered."
"Very true," came a voice from the door. Beckett and Castle both turned to see a fancy suit with a shiny briefcase and a sparkling white grin. "David Mulligan, you must be Detective Kate Beckett," he extended his hand. "Castle, good to see you again," he said not looking at him. "Keeping fit. You still want to be a writer?"
"Or an ambulance chaser," Castle quipped. "How's that working out for you?"
"I'm comfortable," he finally glared at Castle. "So you see … I got THE GIRL," he nodded to the stunning Stephanie waiting patiently in the interrogation room.
"Best man won," Castle agreed. "Of course you could say you were the last choice."
"You two know each other?" Beckett asked. "Is there anyone you DON'T know Castle?"
"Why did you bring MY WIFE to New York, Castle? She has nothing to do with this?"
"On the contrary, I think she has a lot to do with it."
"We have an alibi for Sunday."
"I am sure you do … and I am sure there were 30-100 people will corroborate it."
"About that … it was our anniversary."
"Congratulations," Castle said sarcastically.
The pissing contest continued. Kate was trying to find a quick and quiet exit when she noticed that Carroll Hill was directed into the interrogation room. She watched as the sisters greeted each other like alley cats. The boys didn't notice; too busy measuring. Kate wanted to turn up the sound so she could hear what was going on in there, but couldn't get to the equipment. The women were circling around each other; it was getting heated. They were seconds away from turning physical. She slipped from the observation room to find Esposito and Ryan taking bets.
"We got Castle at even money, but the leggy blonde is getting 2:1," Esposito stated.
Beckett was not amused, but she would have put her money down on Hill. She was a dirty fighter. Beckett gestured for the Ryan and Esposito to follow her and entered the interrogation room. As if a bell were sounded, both women flew at each other: scratching, hair pulling, arm bending, all while screeching words that no one understood. Ryan and Esposito watched for a moment until Beckett forced them to pull the wild cats apart.
"We need a bucket of water," Ryan said.
"More like a hose," Esposito counter as he grabbed Stephanie's arms and pulled her off Carroll.
"You bitch!" she shouted. "He was my husband."
"He hated you," Carroll countered back.
"You think he loved you? He used you."
"Not like he USED you … at least your name."
"I should have killed him years ago."
"I saw you … I saw you shoot him," Carroll yelled.
"You were there?"
"I wish I had a camera … what a joke … you think you are such a bad ass … shooting a man who is already down."
"I shot him. I would shoot him again. It was self defense … he stole my life."
It was then that David's attention was drawn back to the interrogation room. He blasted out of the observation room and into the interrogation room. "SHUT UP, STEPHANIE!!" he shouted. "JUST SHUT UP! I told you I would take care of it."
"Take care of it? Take care of it? You should have TAKEN CARE of it years ago. You call yourself a husband? You call yourself a lawyer? You are nothing … you are less of a man than JT was."
"You just couldn't leave well enough alone!!" he countered. "It was suicide, why did you have to shoot him? It was taken care of," he glanced at Carroll.
"OH MY GOD!!!" Stephanie shrieked. She looked back and forth between Carroll and David. "You spiked his Tequila … you two were in on it together."
Carroll freed herself from Ryan's grasp. "It was a great plan until you screwed it up." She crossed her arms.
"He was destroying our life," Mulligan protested. "Do you know what it was going to take to get us out of that mess he created … I wasn't about to let him take me down. I worked too hard."
"Would have been a tidy payday for me too," Carroll added.
"Payday?" Stephanie turned to her husband.
"You're sleeping with her," she accused.
David looked down pointedly not denying it.
"YOU BASTARD!!" Stephanie flew at Mulligan but was held back by Esposito.
Kate whistled loudly. "I've heard enough," she shouted. "Book them."
"All of them … murder, conspiracy to commit murder … hell I don't care if you book them for adultery, just get them out of here."
The suspects were ushered out and Kate was left with Castle looking smug and righteous. "Oh please," she walked passed him. "Tell me you had that all figured out."
A smiled washed the smug from his face as he followed along after her. "Not every detail … but I had a feeling getting the sisters in one room would net us something – getting Mulligan was just gravy."
"Well arresting one of the top criminal lawyers in the country for murder isn't going to play well. Going to be getting more than a few phone calls from your Gotham City Crew."
"No, me," she corrected as her phone rang. "You were not part of this, OK Castle?"
"But?" He was hurt.
"For your own good," she warned. "For the good of the department and the city you love." She picked up the phone, "Beckett … yes sir … yes sir … yes sir … right away." She hung up. "And so it begins."
Castle walked into his apartment and tripped over seven suitcases packed and ready by the door. "Mother?" he called.
"You're home … good … Alexis called … she's in trouble."
"Meredith is taking off for a location shoot and leaving Alexis alone out there."
"What are you talking about?"
"If you answered your phone once in a while you could stay in the loop," his mother scolded. "I am flying out there and bringing her back."
"With five … six … seven suitcases?"
"There are two more upstairs," she said checking her watch.
"I thought we could make a little vacation out of it … just me and Alexis. Do a little shopping … take in some sights … San Diego, San Francisco, Wine Country."
"Of course, why not? Try not to break the bank; the new book isn't out yet."
"Well this will give you time to start working on the next one." The door bell rang. "That will be the limo … I think I have everything," she looked around.
"Did you leave anything here at all?"
"Call your daughter, son. Tell her Grandmother is on her way to the rescue." She headed out the door. "We are booked at the Four Seasons," she tossed over her shoulder.
"Naturally … where else?"
Beckett had been put through the ringer by everyone from the mayor down to the DA. The only person that had her back was Captain Montgomery. At least he knew that Castle was involved and didn't hold Beckett completely responsible. It was a good collar, but they needed to make it stick and with someone like David Mulligan nothing was cut and dried. This case was going to shed a very BRIGHT LIGHT on New York's Finest.
"Kate," a gentle voice called from the other side of the office.
"Jeff, what are you doing back here?"
"We are moving Dad tomorrow and thought maybe you wanted to come up to New Haven. Say goodbye, help pack, maybe drive fly down with us to Philadelphia."
"Look Jeff, I don't know what you are trying to accomplish … but we are status quo, OK? Nothing more, nothing less. Is that enough for you?"
"If it has to be."
"Yes, it does."
"I will call Dad in a couple of days … make sure his cell phone is charged."
"I should leave you my number."
"Status Quo!" she stated again.
Jeff was frustrated and annoyed, but knew the tenacity of his sister. "Fine, Kate," he snapped. "But you better learn a little forgiveness or you will be alone and angry all your life."
When he was gone, Kate leaned back in her chair to consider her choices. She reached into the back of her bottom drawer and pulled out some files. The first one read "Lupinsky, Henry - DESEASED". She opened the file and read the highlights that she knew like the back of her hand.
Cause of Death: Stabbing (6)
Under "Known Associates" third from the top was a name circled in red maker: Pavlos Papadakis, the last one highlighted in yellow read: Jeffrey Beckett.
She closed the file and scanned the next one:
Name: Johnson, Leroy – DESEASED
Cause of Death: Stabbing (4)
The "Known Associates" also listed Pavlos Papadakis and Jeffrey Beckett.
She closed the file and scanned the next one:
Name: Marcus, Walter – DESEASED
Cause of Death: Stabbing (5)
Known Associates: Pavlos Papadakis & Jeffery Beckett
She closed the file and scanned the next one:
Name: Campbell, Aaron – DESEASED
Cause of Death: Stabbing (3)
Known Associates: Pavlos Papadakis & Jeffery Beckett
She closed the file and opened a thick one. The last one she had.
Name: Beckett, Jeffrey
Known Associates: Pavlos Papadakis, Aaron Campbell, Walter Marcus, Leroy Johnson.
She closed the file and stuffed them all back in her drawer. "Status Quo," she repeated to herself.
"What's STATUS QUO," came Lanie's voice.
"Castle," she said quickly trying to cover what she was really thinking about.
"And that is bad?"
"What do you want from me, Lanie?"
"I want you to have a little fun, go on … call the writer-boy and see what he's doing tonight."
"Well he did solve a case for you … a case that you didn't even know was a case."
"He didn't solve it … he just rounded up all the likely suspects and let them hang themselves."
"Still," Kate agreed. "Fine, Fine."
"Why don't you just stop by there on your way home," she prodded. "Maybe with a bottle of wine … or Jack Daniels."
"I am just saying."
"Not sure I want to do that."
"Think he might be … busy?"
The thought had crossed Kate's mind. The last thing she wanted to do was catch Castle with another woman … not ANOTHER woman, any woman. Not that Kate was a woman, well she was, but not HIS woman. "I'll call him … later," Kate stood. "Want to go for sushi?"
"I have a date," she said proudly.
"Good for you," Kate said. "Details over coffee in the AM."
"You got it."
Kate pushed her bottom drawer closed with her foot. "Status quo," she said again. Well if that were the case, she needed to cut someone off at the pass. Threats didn't work; maybe a direct, honest request would.
"Why Detective Beckett … lovely to see you, as always," Castle stepped back allowing Kate to enter.
"I am not interrupting --."
"Nothing, have the place to myself it seems."
"Yes, mother made and emergency trip to LA to keep my daughter company. I have just spent three hours on the phone with my business manager moving money around to pay for it," he smiled. "Think I might have to sell something. Want to buy a slightly used Laser Tag Game … top of the line? I can get you a good deal."
"No thanks, I'm good."
"May I offer you a drink?"
"No thanks." She noticed the poker table set up. "Game tonight?"
"Cancelled, apparently the mayor, your captain and the Judge are busy with a very high profile case. Something about damage control and crossing 't's and dotting 'i's."
"Part of why I am here," she turned to him. "Thanks, Castle."
"Glad I could help," he dismissed.
"I'm still glad I could help." He sat down on the edge of the couch, "So what was the other part?"
"You said it was part of the reason you were here, what's the other part?"
"It seems like a really long time ago, and I am kind of leery about bringing it up."
He knew exactly what she meant. "You want to talk about your mom's case?"
"No," she said quickly. "I mean, yes. I mean … it is about that yes, but there is no case … I need you to understand … to appreciate …"
"Kate, just say what you have to say," he said calmly.
"I am asking you this - as a friend - to let it go. Seriously … let it go. More damage can be done if the case is reopened."
"I need you to trust that I know what I am talking about … what I am asking."
He thought for a moment. "Ok," he said quickly.
"Yes, I get it. I will leave it alone."
She nodded; a little unconvinced, but relieved. "Thank you."
"But if you want to talk about it … as a friend … I am here. Just to talk."
"I can't … not yet … maybe not ever," her voice cracked.
"You are not alone, Kate."
Her brother's warning came back to her. She cocked her head. "Why did you say that?"
"Because you seem so sad … so alone," he commented. "You aren't you know … alone. You shouldn't be – sad that is."
"Yeah … well … wishes and horses," she dismissed. "I should get going."
"Or not," he offered. "My game was canceled and mother and Alexis are out of town … I play a mean game of Scrabble."
She smiled warmly. "No thanks, not tonight." She moved toward the door.
Castle followed her. "We can order pizza … or Thai … or Chinese," he prodded.
"Been a busy week for me, and I need to be at the office early tomorrow."
"Another time," he said.
"Another time," she confirmed wondering if she really would find another time, another opportunity to spend time with him as conveniently. "Night," she called over her shoulder as she made her way down the hall. He watched for a moment until she turned the corner and then closed the door. Kate rang for the elevator. She had nowhere to go, nothing to do. Sure there was an open case on her desk, and work to be done on the Riley investigation, but none of that was pressing. She didn't really need to be at the office THAT early. Lanie was out - on a date no less. There was nothing for her at home, not a cat, not a dog, probably not even a frozen dinner or movie from Netflix. She looked back down the hall, and thought 'what the hell.'
Castle opened the door and was clearly pleased. "A dollar a point," she challenged as she walked past him.
"You do know that I am a writer, right?"
"You think you are the only one with a vocabulary?"
"Fine, a dollar a point," he accepted. "Pizza and Beer or Thai and Vodka."
She looked at him like he was crazy, "Thai and vodka."
The moments between sleeping and waking were typically the worst part of the day for Kate Beckett: the anticipation of the alarm or the dread of the phone call or the nag of a murderer who eluded her. That morning however she was eased into to waking by warm gentle caresses. Adoring finger tips moved slowly over the curves of her back, waist and hips. She moaned her appreciation but did not move fearing that the caress would stop. Finger tips were replaced with lips that kissed up her spine to the place behind her ear which never seemed to get enough attention. She leaned back into him feeling the full length of his body against hers. Damn, it had been a long time since she woke with a man in her bed, or she in his.
"You were right," he whispered pulling her close. "I had no idea."
She smiled at his delight.
"I should have," he resumed his attentions. "Just like you to be: methodical, thorough, exhaustive (in more ways than one) … and extraordinary."
"I wasn't in this bed alone," she turned to him accepting and returning his kiss.
"I take direction well," he grinned.
"Not usually." The buzz of her phone vibrating interrupted them. "Beckett," she said gruffly into the phone. "I'll be there in ten. … What? … Sure." She ended the call. "You will be getting ---"
His phone vibrated. "Now who would be calling me at this hour?" He reached over her to grab it. "Detective Ryan … how did I know it would be you?" He grinned down at Kate who was still in the crook of his arm. "Well I'm kind of busy right now … can I call you back? … Oh you did? … She did? … well then I guess I've just freed myself up … see you shortly." He ended the call. "You told him to call me?" he played. "I'm hurt … I'm offended … I'm a secret."
"Need to know," she corrected. "And they don't."
"They won't hear it from me," he kissed her again. "Besides, my pool date is not until the night of the book release party."
"Really?" she said. "Funny … I had last night … guess I win."
"They call that something … It will come to me --."
"Stacking the deck? Insider trading? Cheating?" she offered. "Come on, Castle, we have work to do," she slipped away from him to get dressed. "Unless you want to stay here … in bed … and I will brief you later."
"Oh … I like the sound of that … but I think I will tag along." He leaned back and watched her dress.
"Castle? Crime Scene? Dead body?" she urged.
"Not how I would have written this morning … of course I never would have come up with last night."
She shook her head. "Not that creative?"
"Yes, strip Scrabble is a new one even for me."
"You need to get out more," she said.
"Or stay in more," he corrected. "So?"
"So what?" she was moving into her detective mode.
"Nothing to say?"
"About last night … this morning … the past 6 hours?"
"Was it really six hours?" A slow smile spread across her face, "do you really need me to say something?"
"Call me insecure."
"You are anything but," she headed for the door.
"Kate?" he sat up.
"Gotta go, Castle."
"You're an interesting woman, Detective," he observed.
"I'm glad I can keep you guessing."
"Can I?" he asked. "Can I keep guessing?"
Her smile was nothing short of enigmatic. She liked that she had intrigued him and it was more flattering that he was STILL intrigued after; but who knew how long it would last. She didn't think of Castle as a one-night-stand, nor did she expect that they would be a "couple." On the other hand, if he were only sticking around until they crossed that line (intrigued or not), she would be rid of him soon and that would be OK too. With any kind of luck at all, it would be a torrid affair that would end as abruptly as it started – no hard feelings. But she had no real expectations at all. It wasn't planned and she had no regrets. It wasn't a surprise and she wasn't seduced against her better judgment. And it wasn't due to over indulging in the martinis. She was a responsible adult woman with wants and desires that she got attended to by a man who had similar wants and desires. They were consenting adults – very consenting, more than consenting … they were downright enthusiastic. "See you there, Super Stud," she said over her shoulder as she slipped from the room knowing that he would feed on a comment like that for days. What was that about "well timed compliments"?
"Curiouser and Curiouser," Castle said after she was gone. He quickly dressed. Funny, he had thought she would be less mysterious after…. He was wrong. There was a lot more UNFOLDING to do with Kate Beckett and he would enjoy every minute.
Thanks for playing along.
Comments welcome and very much appreciated.
Here's to Season 2. Bring it on Kids!!!!