The Start of Us
Chapter 17: Flowers For Your Baby

Thanks so much for the reviews and alerts/favourites on the last chapter, it means so much! :) Here goes chapter 17, hope you like it! Reviews are loved. Xx

When Kate and Rick arrived back at her apartment a large bouquet of flowers was waiting on the floor outside her door. Kate looked at Rick, her eyebrow raised.

"You didn't tell anyone yet, did you?" She asked, carefully bending down to picking up the lavish arrangement of roses, lilies, gerberas and other flowers she couldn't name. It was beautiful and, although she was no expert, Kate could tell that it must have cost a lot of money.

"No, I haven't spoken to anyone but you all day." He helped Kate comb the bouquet for a card or tag but there wasn't one. "You do work with detectives though Kate, perhaps when you called in and said you were sick they put two and two together?"

"Maybe." Kate replied, accepting the logic of Castle's words but something was still niggling at her. Carrying the flowers inside, Kate allowed Rick to steer her towards the couch and make a cup of tea for her.

"Are you hungry?" Rick asked a while later. He knew he should go home soon and talk to Alexis and Martha but part of him was putting it off. For now it was his and Kate's secret and he kind of liked it that way.

"I'll call for some Chinese take out." Kate replied, reaching for the phone and the menu.

"Shouldn't you be eating more healthily now, with the baby coming and everything?" Rick asked, but wishing he hadn't when he saw the look she was giving him. He held his hands up in mock defence, and Kate smiled in spite of herself.

"Rick, I'll be fine here tonight, you go home and talk to Martha and Alexis." She told him, knowing that she didn't imagine the tiny flash of fear in his blue eyes. It was gone as quickly as it arrived though and he leaned in to kiss her gently on the lips.

"I'll call you later, okay." He said, slipping on his jacket. "And call me if you need anything; anything at all."

Kate nodded, wrapping herself in the blanket and reaching for the TV's remote control. Locating his car keys on the coffee table, Rick headed out of the apartment.

"Rick!" She called after him, and he turned back suddenly with concern in his eyes. "I love you."

His gaze softened and he smiled. "I love you, too."

After finishing one of her favourite meals of chicken and fried noodles, Kate curled up on the couch under the blanket and watched a romantic film. She dozed off part way through, only waking up when the faint light of dawn began to shine through the curtains she had left open. Kate thought it was this that had awakened her from her sleep but then, when her eyes focused, she saw that an envelope was sticking out through the letterbox in her apartment's front door. With curiosity, Kate got up and crossed to the door, taking the stiff white envelope in her hands. It was simply addressed to 'Detective Beckett' and she ripped it open. At the time she did not consider putting on gloves or trying to preserve any fingerprints or trace on it, she didn't see any reason to.

She almost dropped the envelope on the floor but caught it just in time. Her mouth formed a perfect 'O' as she took out the photographs. She had thought that the previous photos that had surfaced of herself and Rick had simply been a deranged fan of his and his books. She had no idea that this was personal, directed at the pair of them and far more than just filling the page six entertainment section.

Kate opened the apartment door, grabbing her back up weapon from the pocket of her jacket that hung next to the door. It was unlikely that the perpetrator was still around but she had to check; all of her cop instincts were kicking in. The hallway was empty though as she expected, but when she rushed over to the window she saw a figure making their way up the block, rain splashing on their hooded form. Kate picked up the phone, meaning to call the station and to call Rick but at that moment her stomach lurched and she rushed to the bathroom, cursing her morning sickness.

Rick Castle had slept badly that night. When he had returned to the apartment he shared with his mother and his daughter shortly before dinner, words had failed him and he hadn't been able to tell them about Kate's pregnancy; that he was going to be a father again and Alexis was going to have a half sibling. He knew he was a coward but he was so afraid that they wouldn't be as happy and enthusiastic as he was. In the end his timing had been disastrous, with Alexis leaving without a word to go to her room and leaving Martha Rodgers speechless. It wasn't how he had planned it at all, and he was beginning to wish he had brought Kate with him so they could have made the announcement together.

He tried to write but the words failed him again so he sat staring absentmindedly at the 'Heat Rises' poster in his office. He must have dozed off because he awoke to find Alexis sitting in the other chair.

"I'm sorry for freaking out on you last night, but for a professional writer you handled the whole situation really badly, Dad." She said, and he was relieved to see she was smiling.

"I know honey, I'm sorry. Do you really hate the idea?"

Alexis shook her head. "No, I'll be heading off to college soon and you and Gram will need someone to look after you when I'm gone."

Rick smiled, wondering once again how he had managed to get so lucky in having a daughter as wonderful as Alexis. He often wondered if he really deserved her.

"I like Kate, too." She continued. "If it was Gina you were starting a family with..." She pulled a face and Rick laughed.

"Could you imagine?" He said.

"I've gotta run, Dad. Tell Kate I said congratulations." Alexis kissed his cheek before hurrying off to school. Rick stretched out in the chair and smiled, feeling much better already. The few minutes of bliss were shattered though when the phone rang and he heard Kate's worried voice on the other end of the line.