Miami Heat

Chapter 1

Detective Kate Beckett, NYPD, slid her sunglasses onto her face as she stepped out into the Miami heat, her small suitcase pulling along behind her. She grinned widely as her best friend linked her arm through Kate's, both of them almost giddy.

"Girl, you need to become the main squeeze of more rich men," Doctor Lanie Parish said, her own sunglasses hiding her dark eyes. "Miami!"

Kate laughed with an affectionate shake of her head. "I had nothing to do with this," she told her best friend. "The premiere was supposed to be in New York."

"But Miami is hot," Esposito spoke up from behind the two women, not far behind. "Castle was right, it makes more sense to have a premiere for a movie like Heat Wave in a place like Miami."

It had been quite the road to get them where they were. Castle had announced the movie almost two years ago, theoretical seconds before the case that had forced Kate to question almost every skill she'd thought she excelled at. But that was then. Now, it was time to show the world what Nikki Heat looked like immortalized on the silver screen.

And it was for that reason that Kate, Lanie, Esposito and Ryan were all currently in Miami. There had been absolutely no doubt in Castle's mind about who he definitely wanted to be in attendance at this particular premiere. He'd been utterly sweet when he'd confided to Kate that he felt it was only appropriate that those responsible for the book's existence to begin with be there for the unveiling of Heat Wave.

"There you are!"

Kate's smile grew wider as she felt Rick's arm wrap around her waist, pressing a kiss to her cheek. She rolled her eyes as he relieved her of her suitcase, but took his hand when he extended it towards her. She was much more comfortable with public displays of affection since Alexis' debutante ball two months ago though she definitely appreciated the fact that he kept it to the little things. She was okay with holding his hand, with letting him wrap his arm around her, even short, sweet kisses, but that was about as far as she felt comfortable with. He'd been good about it, not going overboard, and sometimes, Kate actually suspected that he preferred things that way.

"We're right this way," Rick told them, tugging her along with him. They chattered amongst themselves as they made their way through the bustling airport.

"Holy crap!" Lanie exclaimed suddenly, stopping in her tracks.

Rick smirked. "I guess Kate forgot to tell you that while you're here, you'll be travelling in style?"

Lanie outright squealed, grabbing Kate's arm. "You didn't tell me there was going to be a limo!"

"And you two lovely ladies will be spending the afternoon at the spa before tonight's party," Rick informed them, kissing the side of Kate's head.

"Rick," the brunette started, a warning note in her voice. She was still terribly uncomfortable when he flashed around his wealth. More than that, she didn't need to be taken care of, even as much as he truly seemed to enjoy doing it. There were times she let him have his way, let him take her out to some ridiculously fancy restaurant, but she only ever agreed to spa days when Alexis all but begged her.

"What better reason to spend the day at the spa than for a party?" Rick responded, squeezing her hand in his. "Plus, Alexis will meet you there. You don't want to disappoint her, do you?"

Kate shot him a look. "When are you going to stop using your daughter as bribery, Castle?"

"When you stop protesting to days at the spa," he responded promptly. "Is it so difficult to accept that I like seeing you relaxed?"

She raised an eyebrow at him. "Since when have you known me to spend my days in a spa?" she replied. "Now spending them at the gym…"

He chuckled lowly, holding her back as Lanie, Esposito and Ryan climbed into the limo. "That's so hot," he whispered against her lips, kissing her hello properly. She hummed into his mouth. Allowing her tongue to touch his before pulling away. He released a sound of protest and she grinned.

"Come on, Castle. Can't keep Alexis waiting now, can we?"

Alexis greeted them at the front doors of the hotel, bouncing on the balls of her feet. Alexis had been able to take the week off of school and accompany her father down for his week-long press junket before the premiere. Kate, however, had felt guilty at the idea that she could take more days off than her colleagues and elected for the same four days as Lanie, Esposito and Ryan.

"I'm so happy you're here," Alexis said wrapping her arms around Kate quickly before doing the same to Lanie. Then she linked arms with the ME. "Come on! We have to get you all checked in before we can go spa-ing!"

"Girl, you are my kindred spirit," Lanie replied with a wide grin, easily falling into step with the teenager.

Rick held Kate back slightly, looking sheepish. "I didn't want to make assumptions," he told her in a low voice as everyone else walked ahead. "You have your own room."

She was a little surprised at that. Touched, but surprised nonetheless. Staying the night wasn't anything new or different between them and they'd actually done it quite often. She definitely wouldn't have been surprised if they were sharing a room. "Oh," she said quietly, unsure of what her response was supposed to be.

"Changing it is an option," he replied, his hand rubbing her lower back. "I just wanted to give you the choice."

"That's sweet," she smiled.

"There is a but," Rick went on.

Kate rolled her eyes. "Of course there's a 'but'."

"It's a good 'but'!" he protested. "You have your own room but there is an adjoining door."

Kate couldn't stop the laughter from bubbling out of her mouth. "So, just so I understand, you didn't want to make assumptions, but you wanted access to me whenever you wanted?"

"You can lock the adjoining door," he said, defending himself. "It would be so much more complicated to move you out."

"What makes you think I would be the one moving out?" she quipped with her characteristic snarky upturn of the lips.

He looked down at her. "Oh, ouch!"

"Are you two love birds comin'?" Lanie called. "I get you haven't seen your boy in a few days, Girl, but I want to make the most of this spa thing while I've got it."

"Never let it be said that our Doctor Parish looks a gift horse in the mouth," Esposito said with a smirk at Lanie.

Lanie arched an eyebrow. "Oh, you're going to eat your words tonight, detective."

"God," Rick whispered in Kate's ear. "They're like... us."

Kate's fond thoughts about having her family together stuttered to a halt as she watched Lanie and Esposito with new eyes. Kate knew she wasn't the only one who largely buried herself in her work – and Lanie always said that no one wanted to date a girl that dealt with dead people daily – and she definitely understood how difficult it was to find someone who understood what kind of work they did. Yet watching Lanie and Esposito now, her best friend and a guy she looked at like her brother...

"Nah," she said, shaking her head. "It's just Miami. And the fact that you haven't been laid in five days."

"Does that mean you'll be sneaking through the door tonight?" he asked, his hand sliding around her hip, thumb slipping under the t-shirt she'd worn for flying.

"Assuming you let me go long enough for me to make it to tonight," she replied, stilling his thumb as it rubbed against her skin. Her hipbones were sensitive, a secret he'd found out and exploited on a number of occasions.


The detective popped up on her tiptoes to kiss Rick before turning back to the impatient ME and redheaded teenager. "Coming!"