Alexander & Jane – Epilogue

"Are you sure?"

Castle wasn't listening. His attention was focused on the ten-year-old crime scene photos arrayed before him on his desk in his office. The late afternoon light filtered through the windows, giving everything shadows. Beckett had dropped him off after lunch, before going back to the precinct to begin working on their most recent case. A man had been found in an abandon car, covered in plastic wrapping. It was gross, seriously gross… and Castle was glad to spend some time away from it. Plus, he had some other business to take care of.

Esposito had done him a favor, got him the files to look through. Though he had been sworn never to reveal that fact to Beckett. Castle knew this was dangerous. Highly volatile. It could blow up in his face if he wasn't careful. And just like a grenade, it's the shrapnel would cause far more damage than the initial blast.

But he had to do this. He felt compelled too. Not just for him, but for her. He knew she needed this… he'd known that back then, with Jane, that if this weren't put to bed, it would haunt her for her entire life. And he'd seen what it had done. It had made her into a driven, tough as nails detective, compassionate and caring… but there was also that vulnerable part of her, the part that he knew as Jane… the part that needed protection, and closure, even if she believed that she'd reached a point where she could live with how it was now.

Though now, as he glanced down at the fruits of his secret endeavors, Castle found himself conflicted.

"Yeah, Clark, what did you say?"

Dr. Clark Murray, his long time source for forensic pathological information in his books, sighed. "Rick… are you sure about this?"

"Tell me," Castle asserted, deciding he needed to know. God help him, he hoped she'd forgive him for reopening this old wound, but he just had too. It was an obstruction standing in her way, preventing her from fully embracing life. Her dad knew that. He knew that. But she didn't. It had driven her to some extremes in the past. That much he'd gathered from his separate talks with Jim Beckett and Lanie Parish.

Murray inclined his head. "You see here, how there are multiple stab wounds?"

Castle nodded.

"They're superfluous, only one blow was fatal," Murray informed him. "Everything else was added to give credence to the impression that this was a random assault."

"So you're saying it wasn't random gang violence?" Castle asked, a lump forming in his throat as he glanced up to lock eyes with his friend.

Murray shook his head. "Hardly," he said. "On a hunch, I requested additional information on similar assaults at the time."

"And?"

"There's a pattern," Murray admitted hesitantly. "All victims were stabbed multiple times, but only one wound was fatal."

"What… what does this mean?" Castle inquired, turning to look back at the photo in the file… the photo of Johanna Beckett, the mother of the woman he loved.

"It suggests that Mrs. Beckett was killed by a highly trained professional," Murray stated. "A seasoned killer, someone who had no qualms about the brutality involved in stabbing someone to death."

Castle swallowed hard and closed his eyes. This was what he had feared. He had given copies of the files to Dr. Murray on a whim, not really expecting any new leads after ten years of cold ones. He had feared just this… a lead. It didn't know why he had feared this, considering that's the reason he had looked into the matter to begin with. Kate, forgive me.

"You have to tell her, you know that, don't you?" Murray asked, sighing, his voice grave, fully aware of the implications invovled.

Castle gave a nod. "I know."

He just hoped it didn't destroy everything.


"Alexander & Jane" may be over,
but the story continues in "Alexander & Jane: Interlude"

COMING SOON