Chapter 16*


"Dad, are you nervous?"

"I don't know. Am I?"

Alexis observed the way Castle was fumbling with his tie. She swatted his hand away and did it up herself. "You definitely are," she answered. She stepped back to observe her handiwork.

"Did Kate seem nervous when she came by to drop Zoey off?"

"Well, she asked me what she should wear in this, kind of, panicky tone, so yeah, I'd say she was." Alexis grinned. "You know that you guys are being ridiculous right? I mean this might be your first 'official' date but you've been together for, like, a year."

"Not a year," Castle denied.

Alexis pretended to consider his answer. "You're right. More like a year and a half. Ever since you stopped dating women from parties and she broke up with that guy."

Castle shook his head and smiled. "So, you're okay with all of this?"

Now, Alexis really did roll her eyes. "First of all, that question really should have been asked a year and a half ago. Second of all, it's about time you two made it official."

"We couldn't have pulled off the 'we're just really, really good friends' bit any longer, huh?"

"Dad, you and Kate have keys to each other's apartments; she spends at least a third of her nights here; and besides, I've already been telling all of my friends that Zoey's my new little sister." At her dad's raised eyebrows, she added, "You and Kate need little pushes to make you acknowledge reality. I'm just doing my duty as a daughter."

"Uh huh. Sure." Castle glanced at his watch, "So, do you think I've given her enough time to change?"

"Are you asking me because I'm a girl or because I know Kate so well?" Alexis asked cheekily.

He grinned. "Both."


Castle knocked on Kate's door, even though he had the key. He figured this was a special occasion and he shouldn't just burst in like he usually did.

"Come in!" he heard her call out.

Castle closed the door behind him just as Kate exited the kitchen. She was wearing an off-the-shoulder silk patterned dress.

"You look…" he trailed off.

She smiled at the unstated compliment. "Thanks." She kissed him lightly on the lips as she brushed past him. "Just let me get my purse and we'll go."

Castle nodded.

Kate took no more than five steps before she paused abruptly and whirled back around. She looked at him with an unreadable expression on her face.

"What?" he asked.

"I just realised what I did," she answered.

"What did you do?" he paused. "You mean, kissing me?"

"Yeah," Kate made an awkward gesture. "Sorry."

"You're apologizing for kissing me?"

"Yes, I mean, no…" she paused again. "It's just… it felt like I did it out of habit."

Castle was still confused. "So?"

"So, this is our first real date. A first-date kiss shouldn't be done out of habit. It should be one of those awkward situations at the end of the night with you walking me to the door and me fiddling with my keys… you know, awkward."

The corners of Castle's lips twitched in amusement.

Kate rolled her eyes. "Okay. Clearly you aren't thinking about this as hard as I am… so, yeah. I'm really going to get my purse now—"

Castle grinned fully. "Hold on," he dragged out teasingly, grabbing her wrist to bring her back to him.

Kate groaned, "Don't turn this into a joke at my expense."

Castle pulled her close and kissed her gently. "I liked it, you kissing me familiarly. It's my favourite way of being greeted by you."

She smiled against his lips and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. "If I greeted you like that all the time, you'd get bored of me."

He brought his arms around her waist. "I don't think I could ever get bored of this," he said. He eased his tongue between her lips and started to kiss her more passionately. "How hungry are you?" he asked, moving his mouth to whisper breathlessly against her ear.

"Not that—" she gasped as he sucked at her pulse point, "—hungry."

They barely made it to her room, let alone her bed. Devoid of clothing, they were kissing each other feverishly, tongues tangling and hands exploring each other's bodies. He backed her up against the wall, dropping his mouth to leave searing kisses on her collarbone before moving down to her breasts.

The way he was touching her drove her crazy and she decided to return the favour by sliding one of her hands between their bodies to lightly trail her fingers down his hardened length. He jerked his hips forward when she wrapped her hand around him fully and now they were both desperate to relieve the tension that was years in the making.

Steadying her hips with his hands, he slid about an inch into her warmth. She gasped at the feeling of finally having him inside of her, wrapping her leg around his hips in order to urge him as deep as he could go. They both moaned at the sensation of being so intensely and intimately joined. Their eyes locked, full of desire but unwilling to give up this connection so quickly. He placed chaste kisses on her lips and her fingers left a delicious trail along his back.

Just as her eyes slid closed, he slid out of her and then, before she could react, had turned her around so that her back was now pressed against him. He rested one hand firmly against her stomach, whispering in her ear to trust him. She tipped her head back when he started nibbling at the spot just below her ear. Tangling his free hand with hers, she sucked his fingers – one at a time – into her mouth and felt him press urgently against her lower back.

With a last kiss on her shoulder, he pulled her left leg back over his and slid smoothly into her from behind. She jerked in surprise and then moaned at the pleasure shooting through her from his entry at that angle. He waited for her to adjust to him, continuing to pinch and roll her nipples until he felt her urge him on. Her head fell back onto his shoulder when he started to move, slowly at first, adjusting his position until… "Oh!" Kate's eyes squeezed shut.

Castle's hand pressed the front of her body as he pushed in again. "Is that where you want it, Kate?" he asked, lips trailing along her neck.

"Yes," she moaned. He increased his pace and watched her control slowly slip away as she started breathing out in quick, little pants. He slowly lowered his hand on her stomach and relished the way she sucked in a lungful of air as he began to stroke her clit. "Oh god," she gasped when he pressed the sensitive nub and rubbed her more furiously.

He knew she was on the brink, felt it in the way her body tensed and released against his. He pressed his warm lips against her ear, "Come on, Kate," he whispered. "Just let go."

He pushed in deep and she strained against him before finally, finally allowing her body that final release. Cries of pleasure broke through her lips as the heat coursed through her body and she shuddered in his hold. When her eyes finally fluttered open, Castle was still moving slowly in and out, softly caressing her.

Kate tilted her head to kiss him firmly, smiling against his lips. When she pulled away suddenly, Castle hissed at the momentary loss of her body but she was guiding him into her before he even had a chance to complain. "It's your turn," she whispered, arching against him.

He held her gaze even though her rhythmic movements were making him dizzy with need. "No," he managed to gasp out, "I want you with me." He entwined their fingers together and brought their arms up over their heads, squeezing with every thrust.

"Then you might have to take me harder," she replied in a half moan. She licked the edge of his ear and murmured enticingly, "Come on, Castle. I can take it."

He didn't need any additional encouragement. With a wicked grin, he twisted his hips to change the angle before driving into her and making her groan. She searched for his lips and kissed him deeply until they were both panting against each other's mouth. His eyes started to squeeze shut and Kate clenched her inner muscles hard in order to stimulate his release, making him grip her hands tightly as the first waves of pleasure swept over him. She pressed her hips to his one last time, making his breath catch as he felt her still and finish with him.

They fell back onto the bed, spent.

They didn't make their reservation.


Sometime later, they both came to their senses long enough to notice the time.

"Oh crap," said Kate, sitting up in bed, covers exposing her body from the waist up. Castle reached out to wrap his arms around her middle in order to pull her on top of him but she resisted. "Castle, it's eleven," she said. "When did you tell Alexis we'd be home?"

"Oh crap," he repeated. "Where's my phone?"

He leaned over Kate to fumble for his phone, remembering that it had fallen out of his jacket and onto the floor beside the bed. Kate cursed her body's reaction to his torso brushing against her nipples, which caused them to harden immediately and made the heat start to pool between her legs again.

Castle finally managed to find his phone but he stayed on top of her. His grin made her realise that he had noticed as well. As he waited for the call to connect, he brushed his tongue over the hardened points and watched as she squirmed underneath him.

Kate heard Alexis' 'hello?' float through the line.

"Hi honey," Castle answered, "How's everything going?"

Alexis answered that Zoey had already gone to bed and that everything was fine. Castle nodded. "Listen," he said, smiling as Kate inhaled sharply when his fingers crept underneath the covers and started massaging her folds. "Do you think you could hold the fort tonight?"

Alexis' 'why?' sounded more than a little amused.

"Well, we just came back to Kate's place after dinner and since it's getting late, we're just going to stay here tonight." All three of them knew he was lying.

'Uh huh,' came Alexis' response. 'What was that?' she asked when Kate couldn't stop a moan from escaping her mouth. The next time Castle pushed his fingers into her, she opted to bite his shoulder instead. 'Never mind,' said Alexis, 'I don't want to know.'

"Okay honey," Castle said, "You have a good night, 'k?"

As soon as he ended the call, Kate glared at him and said, "You're fucking evil."

"You get a little blasphemous when you're horny," he replied, already trailing his lips down her body.

"I can get a little dirty, too," she said teasingly as she bent her legs a little in order to brush up against his very obvious arousal.

She was immediately rendered speechless, however, when she felt his lips kissing the inside of her thigh. Her muscles started to quiver as his tongue snaked out to taste her, never lingering for more than a second. When he brushed his tongue, all wet and hot, repeatedly against her clit, she was gone. Her eyes fluttered rapidly as he continued to suck and dip into her heat.

"I can't," she panted, finally, "I need more."

He moved back up her body, kissing her lips and letting her taste herself, before she broke away to cry out as he slid into her. She immediately clamped her legs around his waist and he sucked in a deep breath as he found himself buried full length within her. He circled his hips as her fingers traced a delicious path up his back before trailing around to the front where she swept his nipples back and forth. At long last, he started to make slow movements above her but just as he was about to slide back in, she bucked up against him and made him falter in surprise. After that, every thrust he made was met with equal vigour from her until he wasn't sure whether it was pain or pleasure he was feeling. "Kate," he gasped.

He closed his mouth over hers as her arms tightened around his neck. It wasn't long before he felt the rush of an oncoming orgasm. Their lips parted as she let him ride it out, his eyes pressed shut, his breath stopping and starting as he spilled into her.

Afterwards, he collapsed on top of her. "You're amazing," he said, in a rush of air.

"Oh, I know."


They couldn't get enough of each other. It was like, as soon as they had done it once, that was it. The dam had been broken and there was nothing that could stop the flood of desire flowing through them. Compulsion turned into want, which turned into a need that wouldn't be sated.

They finally ordered pizza around one o'clock. It had been hard to acknowledge that kind of hunger when there were more important things to do with their time. Still, their growling stomachs made them recognize the need for nourishment if only so they could continue to use up their energy in more stimulating ways later.

They were sitting in the living room. He, on the couch with his boxers on and she, cross-legged on the floor in a robe. The pizza place had gotten their order wrong and had put olives on both sides instead of just Kate's.

"Hey, Kate?" Castle said as he studiously picked off the offensive topping from his slice.


"Why don't you ever call me by my first name?"

"I don't know," she turned her head to look up at him, "Do you want me to?"

He shrugged. "I don't really care. I was just curious."

"You're just Castle to me," she said. She finished off her pizza and wiped her fingers with a napkin. "I mean, you used to call me Kate only when you needed to catch my attention but—" she moved up off the floor, "—I can get you to obey me just by changing the tone I use with you."

Castle grinned when she started to straddle him on the couch. He threw his unfinished slice into the pizza box and wrapped his arms around her waist. "You might have to demonstrate what you mean."

She smiled seductively, sliding her robe off slowly. "For example," she said and then leaned to place her mouth against his ear, "If I say your name breathlessly, Castle, you'll get hard—" she ground down against his boxers as if to prove her point, "—and want to fuck me." She looked into his eyes innocently, "Am I right?"

"Well, if I do, it's because you're so damn hot when you say things like that," he replied, clenching his jaw as she continued to drive her lower body harder into him. He could feel her heat through the thin cloth that was separating their bodies and with one smooth motion, he lifted them both up and she helped him slide his boxers off.

He was hard against her entrance and she rubbed him teasingly, sucking at his neck until he was begging for release. She looked him straight in the eye when she sank down on top of him and he groaned at how tight and wet she was around him. His mouth searched for her breasts and she gasped when he took one of her nipples between his lips.

It was then that she started moving slowly above him, hips lifting and sinking back down in a steady rhythm. His hands gripped her sides when she began to rock faster and she moaned when he bucked up against her. He managed to flip them over in a moment of triumph and pin her underneath him on the couch. She looked a little stunned at the change in their position but quickly recovered when he penetrated deeper into her, his tongue dragging across her heated skin.

She arched her hips up and felt him jerk. "Harder," she panted.

He never could deny her anything and within seconds, he was pushing into her sharply, thrusting vigorously until he felt her suddenly still below him. "Castle," she gasped out just before he felt her convulse around him, a beautiful red flush spilling across her chest. The strong and rhythmic contraction of her muscles obliterated him as well and he felt a wave of relief rush through him until they were both left gloriously empty.


"Was it me?"

They were back in Kate's bed. It was a guarantee that one or both of them would be sore tomorrow.

Kate was resting her head on his chest and at his question she turned to peer up at him. "What?"

He repeated, "Was there something that made you not want to be with me?" he didn't sound hurt, just curious. "Why didn't you want to make us official until now?"

"It wasn't you," she answered, turning her head away again. "I mean, after a while, it wasn't about you."

"What do you mean, 'after a while'?"

"Do you remember that summer – maybe three summers ago – when you asked me to go to the Hamptons with you and then you ended up taking Gina?"

Castle nodded. "Yes. But, you said 'no'…"

"I did say 'no'." She fiddled with the edge of the comforter and tried to speak as casually as possible. "But, I wanted to say 'yes'."

"What?" he exclaimed, "You never told me!"

"I tried," Kate said, sitting up. "I broke up with Demming and then I tried to tell you…"

"…at the going away party…" he said, suddenly remembering that she had wanted to tell him something at the time.

Kate nodded.

"So, that's why you didn't want to be with me?" he asked, recognition flooding his consciousness. "You thought I would leave?"

"I'm not a sharer like you are Castle. I don't like to just throw my feelings out there for the world to see."

Castle sat up beside her and placed a hand on her bare leg. "I know that, Kate."

"It was really hard for me to let you back into my life after that," she said, "But then I did and everything was fine. We went back to getting on each other's nerves and dating other people and that was okay." Kate leaned her head back against the headboard and closed her eyes. "And even when you started taking care of Zoey, I was weary. As she started spending more time with you, I… it wasn't about me anymore..."

"You didn't want Zoey to get hurt."

She opened her eyes to stare at the ceiling. "But you never left."

"No, I didn't."

"You never strayed and you never even considered dating anyone else." Kate sighed. "But I knew you were serious when Alexis started getting attached to Zo. You wouldn't have let that happen if you had just been after me for the thrill of the chase."

"Kate, I was serious. I was always serious. About Zoey. About you." He placed a hand on her cheek and made her look at him.

Kate jerked her head away. "So, that's when it became about me," she said. She sounded embarrassed and hesitant. "You became such a big part of Zoey's life – of my life – and I just started getting scared. Because making it official? That would mean that if something did happen and you decided you didn't want us anymore – then I would really lose something." She paused to take a deep breath. "I would have lost you and my relationship with Alexis and your friendship. I would have lost all of those things, all at once, forever."

Castle heard her unspoken words. Kate had already lost somebody she loved once before and it had nearly destroyed her. Still, Castle knew that there were no promises he could make that would reassure her or lesson the pain of her haunted past. He pulled her close and wrapped his arms around her body. "I can't make you believe that I won't leave you," he said, "You just have to trust that I won't."

She let him kiss her and slide them back down onto the mattress. He hovered over her and looked into her eyes. "It's always been you, Kate," he whispered, "You don't have to worry about that."

"I still don't believe in fate or magic, Castle," she said, smiling at the feeling of his fingers stroking her bare stomach.

He grinned. "I know. You like to colour within the lines."

She responded teasingly, "And you don't even see the lines. To you, the world is just one, big, giant piece of blank paper."

"Yes, that's true. But—" he laced their fingers together, "—when I look into that world, the only person I ever want to share my crayons with is you."

A/N: I hope this lived up to your expectations! ;) The clean version is basically the same with some paragraphs and words changed/modified so that it doesn't sound awkward but feel free to read it as well and do a compare and contrast!

The next few chapters take on just a bit more of a serious/angsty tone but no worries, interspersed will be some fluff that I know you guys crave so much! :)

And GUYS, as if you could forget, ONE MORE DAY UNTIL THE EPICNESS.