Disclaimer: Nope, if I owned, the show would never go on summer breaks…but it definitely wouldn't be as amazing as it is.
A/N: Well, here it is, the very last chapter! Wow, all my WIP's are finished…I don't believe it. If you read this story and enjoyed it, I'm so very happy that I was able to provide you with a bit of entertainment. If you left me a review at any time over the course of this story, I send you showers of thanks! And here's the last chapter…I hope you enjoy!
"Well?" Lanie asked Kate the next morning.
"I can tell it went well on your end," Kate said. "If it hadn't, there is no way you would be here, much less be this cheerful."
Lanie rolled her eyes. "I know how it went with me. I want to know how it went with you! Is Castle as good in bed as everyone says he is?"
Kate wrinkled her nose, thinking about the 'everyone' Lanie could be talking about. "I wouldn't know."
"What do you mean, you wouldn't know?" Lanie asked, slightly mocking her friend. "I know things went well, so why don't you know?"
Kate shrugged. "We didn't have sex."
"What?" Lanie shouted in disbelief. "You finally get together with Writer Boy and you don't even have sex with him?"
Kate squeezed her eyes shut. She was not about to open them and see the many eyes that were sure to be directed at their table. "Geez, Lanie, do you have to shout my business?"
Lanie glanced around and did see other's staring at their table. "Sorry, girl. I'm just surprised, that's all."
"Me too, honestly," Kate told her friend. "Castle said he wanted to take it slow."
Lanie's eyebrows raised, almost of their own violation. "He wanted to go slow? Castle!"
Kate shrugged. "That's what he said. He said he wanted to do this thing right, because it's never been real before. Besides, his daughter was coming home and so was his mother for that matter. We are never having sex in that house, unless his daughter and mother do not have the option of walking in on us."
Lanie smiled. "How do his daughter and mother feel about all this? You and him?"
Kate shifted in her seat. "Well, Martha knew about our kiss and actually encouraged me to talk to him. I think she approves…at least I hope she does. As for Alexis, well, she's over the moon. When we watched a movie last night she asked how much I liked her dad and if I was planning on making him my 'one and done.'"
Lanie barked out a laugh. "I can see Alexis saying something like that. What did you say?"
"Luckily I didn't have to say anything," Kate said. "Castle came in at that moment, and saved me from answering. I assume Alexis thought she would get to me later, but she fell asleep before the movie was over and Castle woke her up and got her up to bed after. I think she forgot."
"I expect she won't forget for long," Lanie predicted.
"Probably not," Kate agreed. "I have thought about it though. When she asks, I'll tell her the truth."
"Which is?" Lanie prompted.
"Which is," Kate repeated. "I'm not sure if I want to be with Castle for the rest of my life, but I definitely want to try being with him, and we'll see how it goes."
Lanie nodded. "Good."
Kate was getting ready to ask Lanie about her night, when the ringing of her phone cut her off. She looked at Lanie apologetically, because she had to answer. Then her eyes narrowed as the ringing of her phone was suddenly the theme song to Temptation Lane. She didn't know when or how Castle found that song, but she knew it was him.
"I'm going to kill you," Kate said when she answered the phone.
Castle ignored her threat and asked a question. "Would you be terribly mad if we didn't go out tonight?"
Kate's brow wrinkled. "What?"
"I was planning on taking you out tonight, to a very quiet restaurant where the press wouldn't find us," Castle explained. "Alexis, though, was disappointed when I told her because she said last night we ordered in, and she wanted you to try her famous lasagna."
"That's fine," Kate assured the man on the other end of the line. "We can totally stay in tonight. I'd hate to disappoint Alexis and I'm sure her lasagna is amazing."
"She learned the recipe from my mother, so we'll see," Castle said quietly.
Kate laughed when she heard a shouted, "I resent that…and so does she!" from another part of the house. She knew it was Alexis and she knew Alexis meant for her to hear it. She was also pretty sure Castle had voiced his comment just loud enough so Alexis could hear him, but soft enough so she would think he was trying to be sneaky. She loved being with that family.
"So, I'll see you later tonight at the loft?" Castle asked. "And you're sure it's okay?"
Kate rolled her eyes. "It's fine. I really have to go now, I'm at brunch with Lanie."
"Okay," Castle agreed. "Tell her I said hi."
Kate smiled. "I will. Bye, Castle."
When she hung up, she noticed Lanie was smirking at her. "What?" Kate asked.
Lanie shook her head, choosing to not answer.
"Castle says hi," Kate told Lanie. "Now, without giving me too much information about Esposito, how did your night go?"
"Well, his nosy neighbor, Miss Jo, smirked at me when I left his apartment today," Lanie told Kate. "She was out getting groceries, I'm just glad she didn't ask me to help her carry in bags. I would've never gotten out of there."
Kate laughed. She had heard stories about this neighbor. She had heard that Miss Jo was a sweet old lady, who was just a bit too nosy and talkative at times. "Well, that's very amusing," Kate said. "But that doesn't tell me anything about your night. I know more than sex happened." Kate tried not to show any discomfort saying that, although it was very disconcerting to think of Esposito and Lanie getting it on.
"Well," Lanie stalled. "He told me he loved me."
"What?" Kate cried, the same way Lanie had done earlier.
"In Spanish," Lanie finished.
"That's even better," Kate said, smirking.
"I told him to say it in Spanish," Lanie revealed.
Kate's face took on a bewildered look. "Okay, now I'm confused."
Lanie shrugged. "I knew he wanted to say it and I knew I wanted to hear it, but I was scared. I didn't want to think about what him saying this would mean, so I asked him to say it in Spanish. It didn't scare me as much that way."
Kate cocked her head in thought. "Did you ever think that maybe him saying it in English wouldn't have scared you either?"
"What?" Lanie questioned.
"Well, maybe you were just scared of being scared when you heard it, rather than being scared of the actual words," Kate mused.
"Do you even know what you just said?" Lanie inquired of her friend.
Kate narrowed her eyes playfully as the waitress brought their brunch orders. "Yes, I do. And you will too if you just think about it."
Lanie picked up her biscuit and began to put butter on it. "For some reason, I doubt that."
Kate just rolled her eyes and changed the subject. They spent the rest of their brunch talking about the outfits they had seen on the way to brunch, the shoes Kate was thinking about buying and the dress Lanie was trying to justify getting, remarking that Esposito would definitely love it. That earned another eye roll from Kate and a wrinkling of her nose, which made Lanie laugh out loud and decide she needed to get that reaction from Kate more often; it was priceless.
Lanie was sitting on Esposito's couch chewing on her lip. She had been thinking about what Kate said, and Kate was right, it did make sense when she thought about it. Was she just scared of being scared? Those three (or two, in Spanish) words didn't scare her as much as she thought they would. Besides, as she said last night, she did want to hear him say it. On the other hand though, she had never ever used those three words before in relation to a man. Then again, she had never felt this way before when it came to a man. When she heard Esposito had been hurt—
"Lanie!" Esposito called.
Lanie jumped. "What?"
Esposito studied her. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," Lanie assured him, although she really wasn't. She had been thinking all day about how selfish she had been, wanting him to tell her he loved her, when she couldn't even say it to him. After all, he was the one who was hurt. She was the one who could've lost him! Shouldn't that mean she should tell him? She had almost convinced herself of that, now she just had to convince herself to do it. She was sure it was what she was feeling…Lanie just hadn't decided how to tell him yet.
Esposito raised his eyebrows, not completely believing her, but not wanting to push it. "Well, the dishes are finished; did you pick out a movie for us to watch?"
"I thought we could watch Psycho," Lanie told him.
"Now I know something's wrong," Esposito said. "You hate Alfred Hitchcock."
Lanie rolled her eyes. "I do not. I'm not particularly fond of all the suspense he uses, especially when nothing scary even happens after all the build up, but I don't hate his movies."
Esposito didn't look convinced. Lanie turned the movie on and scooted over closer to him. He put an arm around her shoulders out of habit and she snuggled into his side and laid her head on his shoulder. She looked up at him. "See, I don't hate Alfred Hitchcock. I might even go as far to say I love watching his movies with you." Lanie wiggled her eyebrows a few times and then turned her head back to the TV.
Esposito laughed and pressed a kiss into her hair. "I may just have a new appreciation for the old guy myself."
Esposito had been right the first time. There was definitely something wrong. They had watched this movie before and Lanie usually complained. She always scoffed at Marion's stupidity in trusting Norman Bates. She always shivered the first time Norman and his mother had a conversation, that being—according to Lanie—the creepiest part of the whole movie. Then, at the end, when the mother is finally seen, Lanie always laughed, talking about the way bodies decompose and how he couldn't have had his mother there for so long and how unrealistic it was. She did appreciate the scare factor it was supposed to have, as long as you weren't an M. E.
Lanie didn't say one word throughout the whole movie and she didn't even shiver. That's how Esposito knew her mind was somewhere else and that's how he could tell something was wrong. He decided he was going to figure out what was wrong. The last time he didn't, it ended badly for both of them.
"Lanie, what's wrong?" Esposito asked, while the credits were rolling.
"Nothing," Lanie repeated, moving away from him. "Why do you keep asking?"
Esposito stopped the movie. "Because you keep lying. I know for a fact something's wrong. Your classic comments during the movie weren't made and I know you would want to get them out there if you had been focusing on the movie at all. So tell me what's going on."
"Do I have to?" Lanie questioned.
"Yes," Esposito told her.
"It's stupid," Lanie tried.
"I don't care," Esposito said. "I want to know."
Lanie chewed on her lip again, trying to think of a way to tell him.
"You aren't going to break up with me again, are you?" Esposito asked.
Lanie rolled her eyes. "No. What gave you that idea?"
"Well, you're biting your lip," Esposito said. "You always do that when you're nervous about something, and according to our conversation last night, the last time you were nervous about something when it came to our relationship was when you broke up with me."
Lanie sighed. "Well, I'm not going to do that this time."
Esposito reached for her hand. He gave it a small squeeze. "Tell me what's going on."
Lanie faced him on the couch and pulled her legs up to sit criss-cross. "I had brunch with Kate today."
"I'm assuming this has something to do with whatever's going on," Esposito guessed.
"Yes," Lanie assured him. "We were talking about her and Castle getting together—which you and I are going to talk about later—and then she asked about me and you. I told her what you said, but that you said it in Spanish. I told her why and then she asked me if I was scared of being scared or scared of the words themselves."
"What?" Esposito asked.
"I have never had a boyfriend who has told me…what you told me last night," Lanie said. "I have never said it to any of my boyfriends either. I always thought it was because I was just too scared and I figured the guy was too much of a pansy to say it if I wasn't going to say it first. I was wrong though."
"Then why?" Esposito wondered.
Lanie sighed. "It's never felt like this before, ever. When Kate called me to tell me you were hurt…God, Javi…I have never been that scared in my life. I realized I could lose you and that scared me! I wasn't willing to analyze what my fear actually meant. I think that was part of the reason I broke up with you. I didn't really analyze what my fear meant last night either. This morning, after Kate asked me what I was actually scared of, I really started to analyze it."
"Okay," Esposito said. He wanted to make sure she knew he was still listening.
"I started thinking about it, and I realized how selfish I was being!" Lanie exclaimed.
"Selfish?" Esposito questioned.
"Of course!" Lanie said. "Here you are, with rope burns and bruises all over your neck and last night you're the one who said…you know. Shouldn't I be the one to say it to you? I'm the one who almost lost you!"
"I wanted to say it, querida," Esposito reminded her. "If you're not ready you don't have to. In fact, I don't want you to say it if you don't feel ready."
"Haven't you been listening to me?" Lanie questioned. "That's what I'm saying. When I thought about what everything meant, when I actually analyzed everything that happened and how I felt…that's when I knew. It's never felt like this before because it's never been like this before. I never loved anyone like this before."
"You…what?" Esposito stuttered. He hadn't been expecting that.
"I never loved anyone like this before," Lanie repeated, a small smile tugging at the corner of her lips.
"Are you saying…" Esposito trailed off.
Lanie nodded. "I love you. I'm in love with you."
Esposito pulled her closer to him and kissed her deeply. He tried to pour all of his emotions into the kiss. He knew she already knew he loved her, but he wanted to show her how ecstatic he was that she finally said it. The only way he knew how to do that was to kiss her…passionately.
He pulled back when he finally needed oxygen. "Does this mean I can tell you I love you in English now?"
Lanie sighed. "If you must."
Esposito cocked his head, being very confused.
Lanie smiled with a seductive sparkle in her eye. "It's incredibly sexy when you say it in Spanish."
Esposito stood up and when Lanie followed, he swept her into his arms bridal style. Lanie gave a small surprised squeak, but then relaxed into his arms. He walked to the bedroom and while walking, he nipped on her earlobe and then soothed the bite with his tongue. Just before he kicked the bedroom door shut, he whispered in a low, husky voice, "Te amo, querida."
Well, that's it. The end. I hope you all liked this last chapter and it wasn't too anticlimactic (as Lanie claims Hitchcock movies are). One of my wonderful reviewers anomalymona gave me an idea to do a story where Lanie gets hurt…and I may play around with that idea a bit, if I can figure out how to spin it so it isn't repetitive of this one. Also, my inspiration kind of comes in spurts since the show is on hiatus. All mistakes are mine, hopefully they aren't horrible. Anyway, ramble over…l hope you enjoyed the story overall! Don't leave the last chapter hanging, please drop me a review and thanks for reading!