She drove, but not towards either of their buildings. She finally pulled into a parking space in a seemingly random area, opened the door and nodded for him to follow. Moving into his spot by her side, he asked, "Where are we going?"
"Don't worry. We'll get where you want to be." Well, alrighty then.
They stepped into a luxurious 1920's hotel, and she headed straight to the elevators.
"I thought you said church. This isn't a church." This didn't make sense. He loved a good mystery, but he thought with the way things were going, he might finally get lucky with Kate, and he really wasn't up for figuring this mystery out. Then a lightbulb went off above his head.
"Ooh, did you get us a room here? So I can worship your body?" He tried to sound sarcastic instead of eager in case he was way off-base.
She smiled at him in that way she does when he's being cute and goofy. Huh. Didn't look like a yes-I-got-us-a-honeymoon-suite look.
The elevator dinged and opened to a rooftop garden. It was gorgeous. It even had a pool with a fat frog fountain spitting into it. She took his hand and led him across until they could see the magnificent St. Patrick's Cathedral. "Do you know where we are?" she asked.
"I do. We're at the roof garden that Spider-Man dropped Mary Jane onto in the first movie after he rescued her."
Her laugh lines showed with her amusement. "Very true. But I was talking about the cathedral. Do you know it?"
"St. Patrick's. The setting of The Godfather 3, James Patterson's Step On A Crack, and Wilhelmina and Bradford's wedding."
"Wilhelmina and Bradford?"
"On Ugly Betty."
She laughed, so he smiled. "Only you. I point out a historic church, and you associate the mob, your poker buddy, and a screwball comedy."
"That surprises you? And you left out the superhero."
"No, it doesn't surprise me at all. And the superhero was for the garden, not the church."
"So… why are we here, Kate?"
She took a deep breath and looked at the cathedral. "The church was started as a Jesuit school, then became a Trappist monastery that took care of orphans, then the building burned and the bishop decided to build a cathedral instead of another regular church. The Civil War interrupted the construction, but-"
"Why the history lesson, Kate?" Stop evading. Just talk. It's not that freaking hard.
"They still help the poor and destitute. They would send pro-bono cases to my mother. Her funeral was there, even though she wasn't all that religious. Babe Ruth, Vince Lombardi, and RFK's funerals were there, too."
"She was among the greats." Was that what the take-away was supposed to be, or was she just ruminating?
"She certainly was."
He scratched his neck nervously, because he still didn't know why they were there. Then she looked him in the eye.
"Sitting at the cemetery is too depressing, so I come here because it's more beautiful, and I'm reminded more of her life than her death."
He put his arm around her and hugged her to his side, then lead her to a bench by the water.
"So, Richard Castle, sitting here in the shadow of New York's oldest church, after everything we've been through, after me trying to give you reminders that I was working my way to you, tell me why you thought I would kiss you out of pity?"
His mouth opened and closed, at a loss for the right answer. His eyes shifted away from her. For all their dodging, for all the things they've left unsaid, now she wants a straight answer? Fine.
"Because you flirt, then you walk away. You let me touch you, just for a moment, then you tell me to stop. You say things I know you don't mean, but I can't tell why. You pull me closer, only to push me away the next minute. I feel like a yo-yo around you."
"A yo-yo, huh?" She didn't like what she heard, but she also knew it was true.
"Sometimes when you flirt with me, it feels like you're just being a friend joking around, and sometimes it seems like you're doing it because you think it would crush me if I lost hope in us."
So… even her flirting didn't convince him she was his. He thought it was teasing, that there was no promise in it.
She hung her head. "Rick, I flirted, even when I wasn't ready, so you'd have hope. I've been working on getting better. I want to be better."
"But you still don't let me in. You still act like things are still the same. I just-"
"I brought you here. Where I go when I miss my mom. And I bought you coffee. And I got completely consumed in kissing you. After that in the car, do you still doubt my intentions?" She looked up at him through her lashes and took his hand. "I'm in this, Rick. I've been in it for a really long time."
His forehead crinkled as he absorbed what she said and tried to come up with a response. He couldn't think of anything good to say. So he kissed her.
Softly, at first. Looking for the promise and hope that she'd just spoken. She answered with sweet abandon, not caring how much of her true self she showed him. Considering how much they steamed up the car, this kiss was surprisingly unhurried. They tasted each other, felt the softness of lips, touched with gentle caresses. Her hand slipped under his shirt just to be able to touch him. God, she'd wanted to do that for so long. It was deliberate and relaxed and comfortable and such an incredible turn on.
"Get a room." The voice from near the elevator made them jump, since they didn't notice anyone else arriving at the garden.
Rick backed up but didn't remove his hands from Kate's waist. He looked at her with a devilish "I dare you" look. She answered with a "Maybe I will" look.
She pressed the pad of her thumb to her lips while her naughty smile turned shy… then happy. She stood.
"Come on, Castle. You heard the man."
Please review! They're addictive like this picture... I could stare all day.