Chapter 3: For Long Walks In The Sun

"Thanks," Castle said to the hotdog vendor, handing over his money and accepting his purchase. "Here you go," he added, passing one of the hotdogs to Beckett.

"Thanks Castle," she replied.

They walked down one of the many paths in Central Park before sitting down on a park bench. "It's been a while since we last had lunch out."

"It's been a while since we had an actual lunch break," Beckett corrected. "Usually we're driving somewhere and pick something up on the way."

"Yeah. But now we get to relax," Castle said slowly, stretching his arms out behind his head and making the most of being in the sun. "I haven't actually been in Central Park in a while. Not unless it's been for a case."

"You used to come here?" Beckett asked, taking a bite of her food.

"All the time," Castle replied, laughing slightly. Beckett looked at him inquisitively. "Alexis learnt to ride her bike…just over there," he said, assessing their location and pointing just over the way. "I taught her to rollerblade there as well, but that stopped after she crashed into a tree."

"Ouch." Beckett continued listening.

"That was Broken Arm Number One."

"Number one? That makes me think it happened more than once…"

"When she was eleven, we went to the Hamptons and tried to go surfing. Long story short, loading surfboards onto a roof rack can be dangerous." Castle smiled reminiscently.

Beckett liked these stories about Alexis and her father. It was like seeing a whole new person within her partner. There were several different personalities that she'd been privy to – author, playboy, father, and her partner.

Once they'd finished their lunch (accompanied with stories of Alexis learning to drive), Beckett stood up. "Alrighty, Mr Evocative, time to go."

"Calling me by such names would imply that you weren't enjoying my stories," he replied as they started walking back to the car.

"And what makes you think I was enjoying them?"

"The fact that you kept asking questions and laughing. Don't worry, Miss Beckett," he added, nudging her slightly with his shoulder. "You're being clucky. You'll get your chance soon."

Beckett stopped walking. Chance to what? she thought.