Castle looked at his watch. He was getting nervous. He had paid out the ass for a weekend in the Rockies. She was late. If Captain Montgomery couldn't make his end of the bargain work he could miss his opportunity to make things work. He hoped they didn't catch a murder. Its New York of course there was a murder.

"Castle!" Lanie came up behind him carrying two bags. "If Beckett calls you haven't seen me."

"Lanie are you playing hookie?" Castle smiled taking the bags from her.

"Look I haven't had a vacation in two years. I'm not missing this." She smiled up at him.

"How did you escape?" He asked carrying her bags to the attendant.

"I hid out with my cousin in Jersey and shut my phone off. When I got in the cab this morning Beckett started blowing up my phone. I told that girl before I do have a life. My vacation started at five o' clock yesterday." Her phone rang. "Beckett." Lanie rolled her eyes. She hit ignore. Castle's phone rang a minute later. "You haven't seen me."

"Castle." He winked at her.

"I know she's there." Beckett seethed.

"Who?" He said sweetly.

"You know who, Castle. Put Lanie on the phone."

"I haven't seen her and I'm about to board the plane." He said smiling at Lanie.

"You're leaving without us?" Beckett asked incredulously.

"I only have the plane and the cabin for the weekend. I need a vacation while Alexis and Mom are in California."

"I can't believe you Castle. You said this was a bonding weekend." He heard Esposito yell in the background.

"Beckett I've got to go, tell the guys we'll bond when I get back." He closed the phone with a smile. "I hope you like skiing."

He held his arm out to Lanie leading her through the terminal he waved at the security camera where he knew Captain Montgomery was watching from the security room.

"How can you afford a private plan?" Lanie asked sipping her champagne.

"I can't but the publishing house can. They own the cabin too. Here try this." Castle fed her some caviar with cream fresh on toast.

"Oh, that is good." She sipped more of her champagne.

"Stick with me kid. I know all the hot spots." He stared out of the window at the thick clouds that were building up in the skies. "I hate flying."

"I love it but I understand." She grabbed her purse. "O.k. I brought a game I guess we can play it now."

"Does this game involve hand cuffs?" Castle asked suggestively.

"Not for you." She passed him a piece of paper. "I played this game with my ex-boyfriend."

"Is that why he's your ex?" Castle quickly went over the list of questions.

"No, his sleeping with my best friend is." He caught the flash of pain. "O.k. fill it in and then we trade."

Castle was so intent on filling in the questionnaire he didn't notice when they landed. Lanie did. She smiled out of the window at the soft even landing. Her last vacation had been two years ago with Adam. It was then that she learned he was having an affair with Sarah.

"Lanie? You alright?" She gave Castle a soft smile.

"Just reminiscing." She took the hand he held out. "I'm counting on you to erase those memories."

"I can do that. Step into my home said the spider to the fly."

"Um huh, I know where you what to spin your web." She slapped his arm. He stopped her in the aisle.

"I told Beckett how I felt. She said she had feelings for Demming." Lanie looked shocked.

"When did this happen?"

"A few months ago." He took her hand again. "Looks like we both have something to get over."

Castle led her down the planes stairs. Lanie gasped at the view from the small airport. It was built near the mountains. The clouds were heavy with snow and hung low over them. It looked like a waterfall spilling over the sides. Trees with red, orange and yellow leaves spotted the landscape.

"Wait until you see the view from the cabin."

"Tell me about the cabin."

"It has four bedrooms, three bathes, a large kitchen, separate dining area, a fireplace in the living room and master. Ohh, and a hot tub on the deck that overlooks the lake."

"It sounds amazing." He helped her into the Humvee. "Castle you drive?"

"Since I was twelve." He closed the door. Lanie sat silently watching the passing scenery as Castle carefully navigated his way up the mountain. "I have a proposal for you."

"What?" Lanie asked still staring out of the window.

"Whatever happens this weekend happens." He didn't take his eyes off of the road.

"Castle I won't be your rebound girl."

"Hear me out. If you were here alone with anyone else you would be open to something more right?" Lanie thought for a moment before nodding her head. "Then let's be open to having a good time. Whatever happens, happens."

"What are you expecting to happen?"

"I expect to charm you into my bed or any surface you want." Lanie laughed out loud.

"This is an expensive way to get me into bed." She looked at him. He was smart, funny, and really handsome. Lanie would be lying if she said she had not thought about it and Beckett didn't want to give up Demming. She had said that much but Lanie didn't think she was serious. "So what happens in Colorado stays in Colorado?"

"Unless you don't want it to, I'm open to anything." It was dark when he pulled into the drive. He cut the engine and looked at her. "You are an intelligent, beautiful woman and you haven't tried to shoot me yet. I think we can have fun."

"Alright. Let's see what happens."

Castle gave Lanie the master suite and took the room next to hers. She carefully unpacked her clothes looking at each individual piece. She had not packed for romance but as always she had invested in nice lingerie. She was wearing her black and gold bustier with matching thong. It wasn't like they were going to hook up tonight besides she had just changed before she left for the airport. She decided to go as is and not appear too desperate. She quickly changed into her pink and purple snow suite.

"Wow." He stood at the bottom of the stairs. Castle looked her up and down. The snow suite was figure hugging and on Lanie it was hot. It wasn't like this was the first time he had noticed. Any man with a penis could be hypnotized by her enormous breast and smallest. Well they looked enormous to him. All the other women he dated had flat chests or implants. God he hoped they were real. He helped her on with her coat placing a kiss on her neck. "Nice."

Lanie shivered.

"I thought we could get in an hour of skiing and then come back for dinner."

"Sounds great." He led her to the car.

"Pink is your color." He whispered in her ear as she slid in. What the hell is wrong with Beckett? This man defiantly knew what he was doing. He nearly strutted in his all black ski suite.

"You really think you have a chance don't you?"

"Oh, Lanie, I've got more than a chance." He snickered.


They spent most of the afternoon skiing before walking around a nature trail so she could take pictures. Castle took her gloved hand as he led her from one spectacular area to the next.

When they stopped to pick pine cones he kissed her again. His kisses were soft and passionate but not at all demanding.

His large body engulfed hers. There wouldn't be any cold nights lying next to this man. He pressed her body against a tree and kissed her until she was breathless. Lanie leaned into him and let herself be carried away by the sweet sensations.

"Damn." She muttered when he broke the kiss. "Are you trying to recreate one your love scenes?"

"This man has skills." Castle whispered.

"Yes he does." She said taking shaky steps to the car. Once inside she took off her gloves and watched him run around to the driver's side. Castle grabbed her hand in his and squeezed it. Lanie cleared her throat. "Well, I'm starving."

"For what?" He smiled that boyish grin that had always made her knees weak. "Whip cream, chocolate sauce or me?"

She laughed and swatted his arm. He had referred to her comment of preferring chocolate and whip cream bikini to caramel sauce.

"No really. Which do you want?" He leaned into her and placed a kiss against her cheek.

"I'll let you know." She tilted her head giving him complete access to her neck.

"You can have all three you know." He teased. Lanie was stunned silent at the thought of Castle licking chocolate and whip cream off of her body. "Have you ever noticed how freakishly long my tongue is?"

He stuck his tongue out for her to inspect.




"Everyone calls me Castle. I want you to call me Rick." She was surprised by his request. "I thought we could pick up dinner and make it something special tonight."

"Special how?"

"Like a dress and suit, a little wine, a little dancing, a little romance, and then see where that takes us." He kissed her hand.

"Sounds nice but I hope you're packing because I'm not." He frowned. "Condoms Castle… Rick."

"Oh, so it's a sure thing?" He rubbed her hand in his.

"Nothing is a sure thing. I just like to be prepared."

"There's a small store on the way back. We'll stop." Castle drove, faster than necessary, a few miles to pick up their dinner before heading to the general store. Castle looked over his shoulder several times as he got in the car.

"What's wrong."

"I think the old man disapproves of what I'm planning."

Lanie looked at the silvered headed man who was staring at them from the window.

"I think he was waiting for an invitation to join us." Castle laughed a little. He wanted to say something witty but if he were to be honest with himself all he wanted to do was let her see how smart he was. Sexually charged remarks were easy for him when he was speaking to Beckett but Lanie it had always seemed off. He wanted her to take him seriously. That's not to say he didn't want her because he did. Once he mentally stopped chasing Beckett his encounters with her best friend changed.

Alexis was the first to notice he never quite looked Lanie in the eye when he talked to her. She had compared it to the way she looked at her boy friend Owen when they went from being just friend's to something more (not too much more). Castle tried to blow it off but when she showed up unexpectedly at a play Martha was starring in he found himself tripping over his words.

He wanted her near so he invited her to the after party. When a drunken actor tried hitting on her Castle was able to play hero. Well, he stood between Lanie and the man until security came. He spent the rest of the after party by her side and she let him take her home.

"Hey, are you alright?" She touched his arm. "Where were you?"

"Do you remember that play? The one you came to with the gang." She nodded. "I think that's when I realized…I realized I wanted you to be more than just my friend."

"Cas…Rick, you were still head over hills in love with Beckett." She crossed her arms over her chest.

"No, even Alexis noticed it but I kept blowing it off." Castle looked ahead of him. Lanie wondered if he had forgotten she was even there. "I did what I always do. I went hit on Beckett because that is what people expected me to do. Do you know I have never asked either of my wives to marry me? Gina and Meredith proposed to me."

"Are you serious?"

"Gina launched my writing career we are a great team. She suggested we could make a better one if we were married. Meredith was pregnant with Alexis."

"It's alright. You don't need to justify wanting to sleep with me."

"I'm not trying to justify anything. What man wouldn't want to sleep with you? I'm just saying I realized I was attracted to you long before I knew it."

"O.k. alright I'm flattered, now will you feed me before I starve."

"Fine but you have to change first."

"Into that burgundy dress you liked so much?"

"The one that shows off the girls?" She nodded. "Oh yeah."