Alexis frowned as the phone rang and Kate asked to speak to her dad.
"But he already left about half and hour ago saying you had a case and was meeting you there".
"Oh, ok Alexis I guess I'll see him at the crime scene" replied Beckett. As she hung up she tried Castle's cell once more and still it went to voice mail.
"Esposito, Ryan any of you heard off Castle today? They both shook there heads as they walked over. "Something wrong Beckett? Asked Ryan as he noticed the concern on her face. "Not sure, but it's unusual for Castle to not answer his phone, let's get to the crime scene see if he's there"
Castle at that exact moment in time was tied up in the boot of a car, out cold with no knowledge of who, where and what the hell was going on!
Chapter One. Pain
Castle slowly opened his eyes and immediately the nausea started, then the pounding headache. Then the realisation that he was bound and gagged and strung up hanging from the ceiling. He shivered from the cold as he noticed he was naked from the waist up it was only then he noticed a man sitting in a chair staring at him with total hate in his eyes.
"I see your finally awake and wondering just what the hell is happening right now aren't you Castle" sneered the man as he stood up and moved closer to him. Castle flinched as the man reached up and pulled the gag away from his mouth and then took deep intakes of breath as the nausea threatened again.
"Who are you?" asked Castle as the man walked around him.
"I'm the man that's going to end your life Castle, just like you did to my sister" the man replied as he faced Castle again.
The look of confusion on Castle's face made the man even angrier. "You don't know who I am do you?, my little sister was murdered because of you Castle and for that your going to pay"
"I've never killed anyone, I've no idea what your accusing me of, please you've got the wrong man" replied Castle as the man walked over to a duffle bag placed near the chair. "Oh I know I've got the right man, you see if you'd never of written that book then my little sister would still be alive now. It's because of your book that she was murdered. You see I'm Malcolm and my sister's name was Kendra Pitney and because of you she's dead and now I'm going to make you suffer like my family have for the last two years". He smiled as he turned and faced Castle and pointed a metal bar at Castle, "Now this may hurt a little as I do believe the voltage on this cattle prod packs a nice punch"
Castle could do nothing about what was about to happen, he tried to kick out but with his feet tied together he could not get much leverage or height. The pain was intense as his back arched out as the prod hit his ribs, he screamed out in agony as it was left there for about ten seconds. He gasped for breath as the prod was removed only to have it placed against him again on the other side, again he screamed in agony as the pain hit harder then the first time. He was hit time and time again as the man laughed at the sheer pain he was inflicting on Castle, until Castle could take no more and he slipped into unconsciousness.
2. The Hunt
Beckett was furious, there was no crime scene someone had lured Castle there on purpose and now Castle was missing. They'd found his cell phone lying by the side of the road, and a witness that had seen someone being bundled into a car but was too far away to get a licence plate. All they had was the colour of the car and a maybe a make but not 100%. She had Ryan and Esposito checking the phone call and all of the cases that Castle had been involved in looking for any clue, anything that may lead to finding him. She knew she had to let his family know, oh god how was she going to tell Alexis her dad was missing. Martha would manage to stay strong for Alexis sake but the pain will be eating away at both of them. Beckett sighed heavily as she reached for the phone and dialled the number.
Castle woke with a shock as a bucket of cold water was thrown over him to wake him. Groaning as he opened his eyes he lifted his head up to be met face to face with Malcolm, "Hey" croaked Castle "Any chance of food I'm starving?" The answer was a punch to the ribs which knocked the wind out of him and made him grimace in pain. "I guess that's a no then". Malcolm smiled and turned and to Castle's horror pulled out a baseball bat. "I've always loved baseball, so did Kendra. We used to play catch when we were kids in the back yard, and memories are all you've left me with Castle".
"It wasn't me that killed your sister Malcolm, it was Harrison Tisdale and he is on death row for it" pleaded Castle.
"But it was your book, your idea's that he used. No book, no idea equals no murder"
Malcolm yelled as he stepped back and lifted the bat and swung it with all his anger into Castle's midsection. The blow made Castle cry out in pain as his ribs cracked under the blow, and his body swing violently back and forth against the ropes rubbing his wrists raw. Malcolm laughed and swung again at his legs and then at his back, laughing all the time. Castle was struggling to breath, he just couldn't catch his breath the pain was intense but unconsciousness just would not come. Malcolm decided that the bat just wasn't causing enough pain and picked up the cattle prod, he waited just long enough for Castle to notice and the fear to show in his eyes before he placed the prod onto the now bruised body of Castle. The cry of pain from Castle made Malcolm smile so he hit him again and again it took a while for him to realise that the cries had stopped and Castle had passed out again.
Beckett was angry, so angry that no leads had come up so far, the tip off about the body was a bust it came from a phone booth on the corner of the street with no usable prints. So far Ryan and Esposito had come up empty with suspects from the list of cases and the trail was getting cold. "Where are you" she whispered as she sat staring at her computer screen. She looked up as Ryan and Esposito came running in through the door.
"We got something Beckett, turns out that the brother of one of Harrison Tisdale's victims had sworn revenge on Castle on one of the forums for Castle's books. His name is Malcolm Pitney and he's not been seen for two days. We've got two addresses for him just waiting on Swat then where hitting both at the same time" Esposito explained. Beckett smiled and grabbed her jacket as they headed out the door.
"Dam it, why can't we find him he has to be somewhere close" yelled Beckett as they came back empty handed. Both places where empty clean, no sign of Castle even being there. They'd put out an APB on Malcolm Pitney and where talking to his parents and checking every single place he'd ever been seen at. An officer walked in and put his hand on her arm and said "Castle's mum and daughter's here, they want to do a TV plea to see if that helps" Beckett stood up and turned to see Alexis and Martha standing in the doorway, tears streaming down Alexis's face. Beckett walked over and Alexis's fell into her arms sobbing "please find him Kate, I want my dad back"
5. TV Plea
"So please if you have any information please call the number below a reward of 50,000 dollars will be awarded to anyone whose information leads to the police finding Richard Castle".
"Do you think that'll help?" asked Martha as she watched the news broadcast end. "I'm sure it will" explained Beckett. The phones started ringing within a minute of the broadcast, and so began the task of checking out each individual lead. Frustration was showing on the teams face as call after call led to dead ends and no sign of Castle. It wasn't till a old homeless man came into the station a good few hours after the broadcast to report a sighting that any solid lead came in!
"You're sure it was this man" asked Beckett as she showed the man a photo off the latest Castle novel.
"Yes, I'm sure. I've been trying to tell the police about this for the last hour or two, but because they look at me with disrespect and distain no one listens" replied the man looking very angry and who could blame him!
"Well I'm listening now and I assure you I will be taking this matter seriously, now where is this warehouse"
"This is Ryan, Team one is in position and we have eyes on Castle, can't tell what state he is in at this time. But no movement from him at all, he's been tied up by the wrists and is hanging from the ceiling " Beckett willed herself to calm down as the swat teams got into position surrounding the warehouse, they would get Castle back and he was alive she was sure of it.
"Any sign of Malcolm Pitney"
"Negative, no sign of him"
"Tell Swat to keep their eyes on Castle. If Pitney comes back and makes any movement towards Castle they take him out""
"All teams are you good to go"
All teams responded and where ready to go.
"All teams go, go, go"
Swat team one went in through the back door of the warehouse as silently as they could, with team two with Beckett and Esposito through the front. Silently they checked each room for Pitney but each room was clear. As Beckett began to think he might not be here, her stomach dropped as she heard two shots ring out from just up ahead.
"Pitney is down but Castle has been hit, I repeat Castle has been hit" the radio squawked to life as Beckett and the teams rushed into the area.
"Get a medic in here now" yelled Beckett as she ran over to Castle with Esposito hot on her heels. "Oh god" she whispered as she caught sight of the damage that had been inflicted onto Castle's body. "Help me get him down" she whispered to Esposito. They gently cut the ropes away from Castle wrists knowing full well the blood would rush back into his arms causing more pain. Beckett could see nothing but ugly purple and black bruises everywhere, blood was seeping out of a cut above his left eye and nose. She could tell a few ribs where broken by the indentations left on the skin by blunt force trauma.
The medic arrived and got to work on Castle stemming the bleeding and checking for internal injuries, his breathing was very shallow and pulse weak and thready.
"He's still alive, but we have to get him to a hospital now" the medic relayed to the team. Beckett could only stand and watch as Castle was lifted onto a gurney and rushed out of the door.
"Beckett, Pitney is dead, the Swat team took him out as he pulled the trigger on Castle" Ryan explained. "Beckett, Beckett you ok"
"Yes, yes I'm fine. I'll have to let Martha and Alexis know".
Ryan and Esposito watched with concern at Beckett pacing backwards and forwards in the hall nervously chewed her nails and kept looking at her watch then the theater room where they'd taken Castle earlier. They jumped up to their feet as the hall entrance door was thrown open and Alexis and Martha came running in frantically looking around for answers.
Alexis spotted Beckett and ran to her asking about her dad and how he was.
"The doctors are working on him now; he's lost a lot of blood and has been beaten badly. Where still waiting for doc to come out to give us news, he'll be fine" she replied but even she could hear the uncertainty in her voice.
The wait was unbearable, Beckett paced the floor. Alexis was weeping silently into Martha's arms and Ryan and Esposito could only sit and watch while silently praying that Castle would be fine.
Alexis looked up as she realized that Beckett had stopped pacing and was staring at the door, she jumped up and ran to the doctor who was standing in the doorway with a shear look of terror in her eyes.
"I'm Dr McGuire, and I'm please to tell you that Mr Castle will be fine. He will need a lot of bed rest for a few weeks but will make a full recovery".
The collective gasp of relief was followed by lots of smiles and laughter as they all hugged each other. "Can we see him?" asked Martha.
"Yes, but only for a few minutes as he needs his rest".
Beckett slumped into a seat next to Ryan and Esposito as Martha and Alexis followed the Doc to see Castle.
8. The fall out
Slowly the team put the pieces together as to what had happened. Beckett couldn't believe that someone could be so twisted enough to blame a novelist for the murder of their sister. It had been a week since Castle had been released from hospital with strict orders of complete bed rest. Martha and Alexis were making sure he was doing exactly that! Castle had rang Beckett a few times this week begging to be brought back in on a case just so he could get away from all the fussing his mother and daughter where doing!
Her cell ringing brought her back to reality; she drew a sharp intake of breath when the caller id said it was Castle.
"Hey Beckett, please come and rescue me from this" pleaded Castle. "I can't take any more; I've had so much tea I feel like a tea bag and the constant fluffing of pillows is giving me allergies". Beckett couldn't help a little laugh escaping from her mouth. "Was that a laugh I just heard from you? How can you laugh at my predicament that hurts me so much" enquired Castle.
"I'm sorry" Beckett replied still laughing. "It's just I'm just picturing you with fluffed up pillows, bet you've got fluffy slippers as well haven't you?"
Castle looked down at his feet that at that moment in time where incased in fluffy bunny rabbit slippers that Alexis had insisted he wore! A small smile creased his face as he wondered if Beckett really did know…..