Around My Heart

Summary: Ch. 1, Reie – It all starts when he sees her looking at his lips. Caskett.
Rating: T
Disclaimer: I don't own Castle. I didn't write Carmina. I get no profit from this other than sheer enjoyment.

This is going to be a set of oneshots loosely inspired by lines from Carmina Burana, mostly anonymous texts by scholars and monks in the late medieval period (famous for their musical setting by Carl Orff; my fave recording is from Berlin, with Simon Keenlyside as the baritone soloist). It's amazing to think how human nature really hasn't changed in so many centuries.


Suzer rosenvarwer munt,
chum unde mache mich gesunt.

Sweet rosy mouth,
come and heal me.

Castle set his glass down, turned back to respond to Beckett's latest good-natured teasing, and suddenly realized she wasn't meeting his eyes.

Whatever she'd asked him vanished from his memory as he watched her eyes flick downward to his lips.

The dim lighting in the Old Haunt made it tough to tell for certain, but he could swear he saw her pupils dilate as her lips parted. His fingers tightened on the rim of his half-empty glass. Her eyes flicked back up to his, and she bit her lip, a tiny smile curving the sides of her mouth up and oh God, now he couldn't stop looking at her lips. Her cheeks were flushed, whether from alcohol or – or whatever, he didn't know.

And she just kept looking at him, staring at his mouth, her red lips parted and glistening, her eyes skimming over him like she was itching for dessert and he was pure chocolate. Her hair shone like rich gold under the lamps. He managed to stop lookingat her lips but never made it past her amazing hair.

He definitely needed to speak to the manager about getting better lighting in here. This smoky golden lamplight was entirely too dangerous. It made every woman beautiful. And it made an impossibly beautiful woman utterly irresistible.

She excused herself quietly to use the restroom, and while that in itself was nothing strange, her foot brushed ever-so-casually against his calf as she turned to go, sending a shiver through him. And the look she threw back over her shoulder made his breath catch in his throat. She disappeared down the hallway and he knocked back the rest of his scotch in one burning gulp.

As he winced and set the glass down on the bar, the bartender took it and gave him a pointed look. "What?"

"Nothing, Mr. Castle. Nothing." Twerpy little college kid with his skinny tie (where did Steve find all these guys, anyway?) just cleared his throat and stared down the hallway.

"You trying to tell me something?"

The kid shrugged and started wiping down the counter. "Hot girl's been giving you the eye all night. That last look didn't mean 'don't follow me.'"

Castle shot the kid a glare, which was studiously ignored. He rolled his eyes but looked back down the hallway.

That last look didn't mean 'don't follow me.'

He shouldn't have followed her. He shouldn't have stood outside the bathroom door in the dim hallway. He should have gone back to the bar, called a cab and gone home.

But before more than that crossed his (slightly tipsy) mind, the door opened, she stepped out, he took in a long breath, and before he could tell himself he needed to stop, he backed her up against the wall and kissed her.

The kiss was too soft, too gentle, too like that first one in a dark dangerous alley. He was still reeling, the warmth from his scotch mixing with the impossible soft sweetness of her lips and the hint of her chapstick. She didn't fight him, didn't resist, just sank into him, limp and warm and willing. Her lips opened under his and he deepened the kiss, feeling the vibrations of a whimper from the back of her throat. Her hands were pressed against his chest, her fingertips tense against his muscles.

He finally reached up and threaded one hand through her silky hair, and it was almost too much, his head spinning from the alcohol and the smoldering lights and the impossibly soft hair curling around his fingers and the warm wetness of his tongue in her mouth.

He felt the hitch in her breath a second before it ended. She pulled back abruptly, the kiss breaking with a soft pop, and he swallowed, staring back at the scared look in her big, dark eyes. She opened her soft lips to say something, but nothing came out, and with one last confused look, she walked away, through the smoky bar and out into the night.

On the cab ride home, he stared at his silent phone, trying to understand why he hadn't just blindly mauled her. Just taken her into the back office, swept off his desk and screwed her senseless before they both sobered up, instead of kissing her, just barely tasting enough to make him completely desperate with pure want, and then letting her go because they both got scared.

Somehow, that just made it worse.