Disclaimer: I do not own this song, Alabama does though. I also don't own these characters, Andrew Marlowe does, and I will never own either.

A/N: I don't know how I didn't think to do this as a song fic before! I vaguely heard the first line on my iTunes while reading a Caskett fic and the idea came to me in a flash. In fact, I even thought of how to end this with the title of the song (as I do for all song fics) very fast as well, and that usually takes some thinking. I chose to look at that as a sign telling me this was a perfect song. I hope you agree and I hope you enjoy!

I once thought of love as a prison
A place I didn't want to be
So long ago I made a decision
To be footloose and fancy free
But you came and I was so tempted
To gamble on love just one time
I never thought that I would get caught
It seemed like a perfect crime

Richard Castle had never believed in love between a man and a woman. Sure, he had a love for his daughter and a love for his mother, but he knew that wasn't the kind of love people spoke of when talking about their "soul mate." He thought he had been in love, twice in fact, with Meredith and then again with Gina, but he wasn't sure he had. In fact, if that's what love was, he had convinced himself he didn't want to be in love. His relationships with Meredith and Gina caused nothing but problems from the first few months on and after he divorced Gina he made up his mind. He decided that he would never fall in love again, no matter what. He would give all the love he had to his mother and his daughter and that would be it.

Detective Kate Beckett made him question his decision. She was beautiful, smart, witty and didn't fall all over herself when he turned on the charm like so many other women did. In fact, he had a hunch that she would be appalled to know the way he most frequently gave autographs was on women's chests. He decided he would call in a few favors from the mayor and get permission to follow her around on a few cases. This way, he could tell if she really was worth giving up his hard and fast decision on love and maybe falling for someone again.

Baby, you left me defenseless
I've only got one plea
Lock me away inside of your love
And throw away the key
I'm guilty of love in the first degree

It hadn't taken long. At the end of the first case Castle knew he was done for. He had to fall for Kate Beckett, if only to get a taste of her in bed, since she thought he had no idea. He knew there would be no way to stop him from falling for her and he hoped that one day he would be able to find out just how amazing she would be.

I thought it would be so simple
Like a thousand times before
I take what I wanted and just walk away
But I never made it to the door
Now babe I'm not begging for mercy
Go ahead and throw the book at me
If loving you's a crime
I know that I'm as guilty as a man can be

He really didn't think it would be all that hard. He decided he would continue flirting and bantering with her until she caved. After she caved, he knew their relationship would be over, like so many had been before and he could walk away from her, no worse for wear. Castle never thought it would be harder than that.

The thing was, Kate Beckett seemed to be immune to all his charms. She rolled her eyes at his flirting and was able to banter right back at him and she had some pretty good come backs. Before he knew what had happened, following her around became less about trying to get her in bed and more about the fascinating woman that she was. Once he realized some of the great things about Beckett, Castle also realized he was falling in love with her. He wondered if falling in love with her, after being so set on never falling love again, was a crime. Castle decided that if it was, he didn't care. He was already guilty, so there was nothing he could do even if it was.

Baby, you left me defenseless
I've only got one plea
Lock me away inside of your love
And throw away the key
I'm guilty of love in the first degree
(Love in the first degree) Oh yeah, oh yeah

The more Castle thought about it, the more he discovered he never really had a chance when it came to Kate. From the beginning he was defenseless against her. He also knew there was no chance of Kate ever feeling the same way towards him with the way he was. He decided to clean up his act a little and stop being such a playboy. Maybe after that happened Kate would little by little begin to see him as a good person, a good father and a potential boyfriend, and wouldn't think of herself as just another notch on his bedpost. After meeting her and after knowing her, Castle knew that was no longer a possibility. If she ever let him inside her walls and if she ever loved him, he would be locked inside forever. He would never be able to get out, nor would he really want to.

Baby, you left me defenseless
I've only got one plea
Lock me away inside of your love
And throw away the key
I'm guilty of love in the first degree

Love in the first degree oh yea
Love in the first degree

Castle had been arrested before. In fact, both times he had managed to get arrested, Kate Beckett had been the one to do it. The first time he was arrested it was because he had stole evidence. He insisted he hadn't stolen it, he was definitely planning on returning it, but she had still arrested him. The second time he was arrested, it was because he was a suspect in a case. He again insisted he didn't have anything to do with it; he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time…twice. She didn't necessarily believe him, but as it had turned out, he was innocent.

After those first couple of years, after he had cleaned up his act and after she had finally admitted she had fallen in love with Castle as well, she hadn't had to arrest him anymore. That didn't mean though that Castle still didn't steal things from her and one night he had stolen her handcuffs. In a rare moment when Castle was able to sneak up on her (she was in the bathroom facing the mirror and had not expected it) he had managed to get her hands behind her back and the handcuffs secure on her wrists before she had registered what happened.

"Castle, uncuff me this instant!" Kate demanded.

"I can't do that, Detective," Castle told her with a teasing lilt to his voice and suggestive smirk on his face.

Kate knew in that moment what he was cooking up and while she didn't like that he was using her department issued handcuffs for this particular activity, when he began to kiss, nip and suck along her neck, she just couldn't bring herself to care as much as she did a few moments ago.

Castle suddenly stopped his ministrations on her neck and she gave him a glare in the mirror. "I'm sorry, Kate, but I think you are enjoying yourself far too much. You see, I am arresting you."

Kate had to try very hard to hold back her laugh at that. As much as she tried to hold it in, the corner of her lips turned up into a smirk. "On what grounds? What crime have I committed?"

Castle spun her around to face him, cupped her face in his hands and gently kissed her. When she began to respond by deepening it, Castle indulged her for a few seconds and the pulled back to answer her question. "You are guilty of love in the first degree."

Do you love it, hate it, think it's incredibly cheesy? If so, I'm sorry, I just had to write it though, it was too perfect to pass up. If any of you readers out there were disappointed to find out this was not another chapter of The Choice or Consequences I'm very sorry. I'm trying very hard to work on those two, but the dialogue is just not cooperating with me at the moment. I promise I will try to have a chapter up of each by the end of the month. Don't hold me to that, but I promise I will try my hardest. In the meantime, why don't you review this one? Deal?