Can you make it feel like home, if I tell you -
-Born to Die, Lana del Ray
Even though his hand doesn't stop roaming, she marshals her forces and fights back. She is not above fighting dirty either.
Kate shifts so that her body cants towards his in the booth, crosses her legs so that her foot hooks under his calf. He squeezes her leg, slides his hand up the newly exposed expanse of skin. She suppresses her reaction brutally, despite the piano play of his fingers along her outside thigh.
They're so close she can feel the heat of him coming at her in waves, radiating into her. She crosses that last half-inch slowly, hovering, prolonging the anticipation until she can just feel the starch of his shirt against her collarbone, his arm across her to clutch at her thigh.
Kate nudges his knee with her own, lays her left arm against the back of the booth, leans her head against her hand, watches him.
All she has to do.
His eyes flicker to her mouth, to her eyes; his hand on her thigh slides back, inching up to her flank. She's practically wrapped around his arm like this, but she doesn't move, doesn't let it show on her face, only watches him with drowsy, bedroom eyes.
"Castle," she murmurs, and drops her hand behind his head, thumb brushing his spine. His eyes trail up to her face, something like a blush in his cheeks. She realizes his fingers have stopped moving; his hand is heavy on her thigh, and hot, but inert.
She touches the tips of her fingers to the back of his neck, slowly spreads them out along his nape.
He jerks his eyes away from hers as if the combination is too much - her touch, her eyes on him. She bites the inside of her lip, feels her heart in a pounding echo of the pulse she feels at her fingers.
Lightly, she glides her nails out through the short hairs at his neck, draws her fingers back, and out again, back, and out, back-
His hand on her thigh squeezes sharply, curls into a fist. She feels, next to her, the stutter of his breath.
She slides closer, presses her chest against his arm and side, lays her chin on his shoulder, still stroking his neck.
His fist shifts to her lap, heavy and tense, and his head swivels to look at her, but his eyes dart away again. Kate grins darkly and leans closer, blows softly at his ear.
He jumps, clutching her knee, the table, his breath rasping.
"You nervous, Castle?"
"Good," she purrs, then puffs her breath hotly against his neck and holds her lips close, so very close to his skin. She can see his throat working, so she slides a finger under his collar and runs it around his neck until she reaches his adam's apple.
"Kate." His voice is garbled, like he can't speak past the touch of her finger on his throat.
"Hmmm. . ." she half-sighs, questioning distractedly, then leans fully against him and presses her mouth to the hollow of his throat.
That's all it takes for him to break.
In an instant, the hand in her lap flexes and grabs the back of her thigh, hikes her over and into him. She startles, but he's got his fingers tangled in her hair, cupping the back of her neck, and his mouth comes down, crushing, to meet hers.
She awkwardly half-straddles his knee, bites down on his bottom lip, swipes her tongue across the spot even as he grunts into her mouth. His thumb on her inner thigh bruises, his grip on her neck unrelenting, his mouth works at her, ceaseless and demanding.
What has she done?
She tastes like mocha, like mint, like the clinging, moist inside of need. She tastes better than he remembered, and richer, and when he finally lets up, takes a breath, she tracks his mouth with a mewl, comes back for more.
Castle wants to kiss everything, all of her, wants his hands to move higher, lower, all over, but they're in public and the jazz band is too mellow for the frantic percussion of his heart.
He pulls back again, catches her face between his hands before she can come at him again, holds her off, trying to breathe.
He has things to say; he wants to say something.
He has no idea what.
"Not here," she groans, leans her forehead against his with a crack. He winces, slides his fingers back into her hair, scratching at her scalp.
"Where then?" he questions, because it better be somewhere else, it better be soon. He's not taking no for an answer.
"I can't - there's not - we gotta get out of here," she moans, lifting her head.
Those ripe, smudged lips, that pink line of her tongue behind her teeth, the desperation leaking from her eyes. He did that to her; he made her crazy with it. Just like she's done to him for years now.
Castle leans forward and takes her mouth, pressing his lips hard to hers, forcing her open, sucking at her tongue, but she's shoving him back, climbing off of him.
He freezes, heart tripping, but she turns back to him, grabs him by the sleeve of his shirt and pulls.
Castle comes, sliding out of the booth and into her, wrapping his arms around her waist, ducking his head down beside her neck as he pushes her to the door.
"What about Molasky?" he says, stumbling as she shoves back.
"I don't care. Tomorrow. Later. I couldn't get close enough - I got too close," she says, breathless and tumbling words and a body that just won't quit. He suckles at her skin, pulling up short when she bites his earlobe and spins them around, now her body crowding his and pushing him backwards.
He can't think, can't process, can't do anything other than feel her against him, urging him to the door of the club, her hands in the back pockets of his jeans and squeezing. Too close.
Fair's fair. Castle slides his hands up her legs, hiking her skirt with it, squeezes the back of her thigh. She makes a noise in her throat and pushes on him harder. They fall apart and she's got him by the hand and pulling him to the exit.
He follows. He follows close. Too close.
She already has two of his buttons undone. Near the top. A lovely view of his chest, that place she put her mouth.
"What are we doing here?" he asks, crowding her into the taxi. He said something to the driver, she's not sure, can't think past the feel of skin. "Kate, what are we doing?"
The question doesn't cool her blood at all. Not a moment of hesitation, not a beat, not a pause.
She roams her hand up his side, a leg hooked over his knee in the back of the cab. "Long time coming, Castle."
"If you behave, I can do that," he growls back, sucks on her neck.
A breathless and clutching laugh. "I - I don't know that I can," she gasps, swallows so he can feel the movement of her throat, feel what he's done to her.
He makes a noise, licks the edge of her collarbone, trails back to the tendon, the trapezius muscle tensing under his mouth. His hand comes up to hold her still; she realizes she's been scattering open-mouthed kisses along his neck, his jaw, moving wherever she can get closer, undulating against him like she's uncontrolled, desperate.
She is, at that.
"Kate, what are we doing here?" he says again, fisting in her hair, arranging her mouth where he seems to want it most.
She breaks away, breathes, watches his hungry eyes on hers. "Is it in question?"
Oh. It is. He wonders about her. She doesn't know what more she can do right now.
"I'm doing this," she says, all the answer she has. "And you're taking me home."
He opens his mouth, shuts it; his hands are still on her, one caught perilously close to danger, the other sliding around her neck to cup her cheek. Too intimate, too gentle.
"Whose home?" he says finally.
He shakes his head, pulls on her neck to get her closer. "No. You're coming to mine."
The cab ride is muted, the throb dull and painful in her blood.
"Where's Alexis?" she says finally, breaking away from him even as he tries to press a slow, wet kiss to her neck.
He lifts his head and stares hard at her, fury or challenge in his gaze. "She'll be home later."
"We have time."
"Wait." Her heart pounds; she presses her palm over his mouth when he leans in. "Wait."
He closes his eyes; even with her hand over his mouth, she sees the cascade of desolation down his face. Her heart twists.
"No, no," she murmurs, hears her own voice breaking, tries to cradle his head between her hands. "No, wait. Wait."
His eyes open slowly; she hates herself, hates herself, oh God-
"Just, hold on. Don't - just wait a second."
"I've been waiting," he says, and there's grief lacing his voice.
She bites her lip to keep from welling up, clutches him fiercely. All she wanted to do was have him, finally have him, stop stopping herself, and now she can't undo that, can't make it right again.
There is only forward, together. That's all she has left now - there is no more waiting. Not after this.
"I know you have," she murmurs, leans in to kiss his eyelid, tender and gentle, brushes her mouth over his nose to find the other one, treat it with equal concern. "I know."
"I don't want to wait anymore," he says, and buries his face in her neck as if he can't bear to look at her. "Don't make me."
"I know," she says again, clutching at his shoulders, her heart pounding. "I'm sorry."
"Me too," he sighs and lifts away from her, tries to slide back to the distant side of the cab.
She clings, hates herself for that too but she can't let go, can't. Can't let go of him. "Where are you going?"
He turns to her slowly, too slowly, like it hurts, and she makes a fist in his shirt, pulls him back.
"Don't leave," she says raggedly.
Castle looks confused, a little trampled, and-
Mulish, and hurt, and angry with her. For leading him on. But she wasn't. She isn't. If he would just listen instead of spinning his own conspiracy theories in his head.
"Wait isn't no," she says, punching him in the shoulder. "I didn't say no. I said hold your horses, Castle. So stop looking at me like that."
She glares at him, her own indignation battling back at the broken parts, shoving it all together again.
His mouth drops open, he glances away, then back. "What?"
"Stop looking at me like I broke your heart. Can't you just listen to me?"
He blinks at her, shuts his mouth.
She huffs at him. "I just wanted to be sure-"
"I'm sure. You're not sure?"
She makes a fist, seriously thinks about hitting him much harder this time, and he shuts his mouth again.
"Does it look like I ever do anything I don't want to?"
He tilts his head, but he's wiser now, doesn't open his mouth.
"I meant you," she goes on. "I meant about me coming home with you, having Alexis there in the morning when we get out of bed."
Ah, shit. She said it, but she wasn't really thinking it all the way through. She said it, but it just now hit her exactly what it is he's asking for.
He invited her home. To his home. Where his daughter is, where his life is - sacrosanct and inviolate - his world.
She jerks her head up, meets his eyes, panic and rush and need fighting in her chest. "Yeah?"
He nods, quirks an eyebrow at her. "Can I - can I say something?"
She grins then, lips pressed tightly together. "I don't know, Castle. Can you?"
He actually thinks about it a second, and then he shrugs. "Probably shouldn't, but here it is anyway."
She actually feels her hands in fists, feels her heart bracing for the impact.
"I want you wherever I can get you; I'll take whatever you give me. But Kate-"
She waits still, tense with the dizzying arousal that spills through her when he says he'll take her, but there's more-
"Kate, I don't want to wait so long I miss it. Don't want to miss out. I don't want to wait so long that it passes me by-"
She sucks in a breath, blinks back desperation. "It won't. It can't. Not this." She wants to believe, needs to believe it won't-
Could it? Could they miss their chance? Waiting.
"Just." He shakes his head, wraps his arms around her and pulls her against him, tight and good and crushing. "Just be mine. No one else's. Be mine, Kate, and I won't worry, I won't push you, I won't ask for anything more-"
She pulls back to see his face, the relief bubbling up in her throat, wanting out. "I already am. I already am. When was I not?"
The desolation on his face burns away by the light flaring in his eyes. His hands at her back slide up to caress her cheeks, curl at her neck.
"I can have you?"
She sucks in a breath, a laugh, realizes he isn't talking about the physicality, the act, just the possession. The claim. The promise.
If that's what she's answering, then she can't - she - what else can she do?
"You can have me."
"Kate." He kisses her softly, his mouth damp against hers, his tongue at the corner of her lips, sweet and lovely and reverent. "Then come home."
She wants to go home. Aches for it. It's been years. . .
"Yes, I'll come home."
He gives a long sigh against her neck.