To those of you who are waiting for the next installment of As Good As On Paper, my apologies. It is coming, and I am anxious to provide it. That being said, sometimes a story leaps into one's head and demands to be written. Someday is one of these. I do not intend to add to this , as other stories are a higher priority, and this is just a possible moment in time for Rick Castle. This moment could be made to fit probably anywhere after Sucker Punch.
As always, these characters are not mine but belong to ABC.
A light rain was falling as the valet stepped out of the black sports car. A tall, tuxedoed man stepped up to the curb and opened the passenger door for his date. She pulled her wrap over her bare back before stepping out from under the canopy. He watched her slide in, scarlet dress rustling. He noted how the panels of her skirt fell askew, showing a bit more leg than he'd previously enjoyed. A corner of his mouth curved upward as she pushed the fabric to a somewhat modest coverage and tucked her long legs to one side. Closing the door, he shook the young valet's hand, leaving him with a delighted smile as he pocketed the tip.
"Thank you, Sir—Mr. Castle!"
Castle flashed him a half smile as he strolled around the Lexus and to the beautiful woman inside. He slid in, dropping his Ray-Bans into a hidden compartment and buckled up.
"You've worn those sunglasses all night, I thought you were going to wear them home," her dry tone held a hint of amusement. He flashed her a million dollar smile, the one he normally saved for photographers. She caught her breath; it wasn't fair of him to turn that on her when they were alone in an enclosed space. She pulled her eyes away, trying to put her thoughts back in order.
His voice reclaimed her attention, "I would wear them home, only I wouldn't want to get pulled over tonight." The car slid smoothly into gear and away from The Palace Hotel. He lowered his voice, and gave her a sideways glance, "One police escort is enough for one evening."
Her lips twitched appreciatively, "Is that what you're going to tell Esposito and Ryan when they ask; that you took an escort?" She bit off the T delicately. He chuckled as she continued, "Let's just hope we don't make page six."
"Or that they read page six." A companionable silence grew between them for a moment. He broke it. "Thank you for coming with me tonight," he gave her another quick sideways glance.
"You're welcome, Castle." She gave a half shrug and a rueful laugh, "It's not as though I had anything else going tonight." She fell into silence for a moment, watching his profile, "I'd probably have worked late otherwise."
"Then it's lucky that my date cancelled on me. The last thing you need is more overtime."
She didn't argue, just watched the city lights passing by, a smile playing with the edges of her mouth. She seemed not to notice the car slow for a red light. He glance over at her again, fascinated. What was she thinking? The light turned green and he drove on, eyes back on the road even as his thoughts lingered on the woman beside him.
"You're not taking the Viaduct?"
His lips twitched, "Are you going to be my backseat driver as well as my muse?"
"Relax, Beckett, I'll get you home." Her eyes lingered on his profile again. He turned, catching her gaze for a second before she looked away. He wondered if her cheeks were really as pink as they appeared in the intermittent street lights.
"Keep your eyes on the road, Castle." Grinning, he did as requested. For a time they were quiet, listening to the soft whup of the wipers and the spray of water from beneath the tires.
Castle pulled into the loading zone in front of her building. "Wait here," he murmured, hurrying to her door. A mischievous smile played over his lips as he extended his hand; helping her out of the low convertible.
She accepted the courtesy but instead of letting go, he nestled her hand in the crook of his arm as they strolled across the deserted sidewalk, ignoring the drizzle. "Why are you being such a gentleman, Castle?" Beckett popped her clutch open and extracted her keys.
"Because you're letting me. May I?" He took them from her and unlocked the entry. Pushing the door open, he leaned one shoulder against it.
Kate Beckett stepped onto the threshold and paused, looking up into his face. She hesitated and the moment stretched between them, both of them poised on the brink of something…. And then almost shyly, "You don't want to leave your car…" She fiddled with the clasp on the purse and he handed her keys back. She dropped them in and snapped the clutch closed.
He still hadn't spoken, his gaze roamed over her face, lingering at her lips. He smiled at her, "Thank you for being my plus one." His voice was soft, warm, as were his eyes.
"You're welcome," she didn't move, watching him.
He straightened a bit and his face grew more serious as he stepped nearer. His voice was soft, almost a caress, "Let's just pretend for a moment that this is a date like any other…" He was very close, but Beckett could not bring herself to step back. Her lips parted; he leaned toward her, giving her time to back away.
He tilted his head toward her, brushing his lips against hers. He lingered, their mingled breath sending a tremor down her spine. He pulled back, his gaze trailing from her lips to her eyes. She met his gaze without looking away or blinking. "This didn't happen," he whispered, his voice was low but utterly without regret.
"No," she breathed, stepping closer in agreement. She leaned into him, her heart thudding in her chest as his hand slipped around her waist and under her wrap, his touch sending a shiver across the bare skin of her back. Her lips brushed his, parting to suck then nibble on his lower lip. He answered her, opening so his tongue could meet hers. Without seeming to realize, her fingers skimmed over his chest, her free hand brushed over his cheek, into his hair.
Too soon, he lifted his head; his thumb caressed her cheek, tracing the line of her lower lip as his eyes wandered over her face. Slowly, she opened her eyes. For a moment they stared at each other, and when he spoke his voice was rough, deeper than usual, "Someday, Detective," he promised.
"I—" Beckett faltered, stepping back. He remained where he was, watching her, smiling. She turned and stepped over the threshold. Again, her eyes were drawn back to his, "Good night, Castle," she finally whispered.
"Good night, Detective." He let the door fall closed at last, and smiling to himself, strolled back to his Lexus.
I'd love to hear how you liked SOMEDAY. Please review. For more story and less fluff, please check out my story, As Good As On Paper.