Kate glances up from her book to look at her boyfriend. No. Wait. Fiancé. He's her fiancé now. Which is good, since really, she's always hated calling him her boyfriend. Partner, yes - in every sense of the word. Boyfriend...ughh.
"What are you doing?" she asks, taking in the all too devious expression on his face. He's up to something. "Castle?"
He shushes her with a finger pressed against his lips and she glares at him, opens her mouth for a retort, but he lowers an eyebrow at her in warning.
"Just watch," he mouths, and she rolls her eyes, fully intending to go back to her book. It's just getting exciting too.
But the man has other ideas - and possibly a death wish - and he kicks her lightly in the shin, enough to get her attention without actually hurting her. Her eyes dart up to his, meeting the imploring blue that she can never resist these days.
"Fine," she grumbles, setting her book on the nightstand.
She shifts until she's settled comfortably, back against the headboard, braced by a pillow. Castle, who kneels on the mattress next to her hips, gives her a quick wink before sinking his hand into the pocket of his loose pajama pants.
"Castle, what are you-" she starts, but he shakes his head.
"Shhh..." he hisses. "Just watch."
Kate can't see what he holds when he pulls his hand out, but he keeps it close to his side.
Then his thumb twitches and the small cat - who had been happily washing - at the end of the bed jumps, startled.
"Castle, what-" she repeats, but then Minnie's gray ears tilt forward and the little body flattens against the bedspread.
The detective turns to the writer just as he glances at her, blue eyes sparkling with mischief. He gives a slight nod toward the cat, and then she sees it-
a red dot shimmering against dark fabric just a few inches from Minnie's left paw.
The little creature slides a paw forward slowly, inching toward the mostly still spot. Just as she unsheathes her claws though, Castle's hand jerks against his thigh and the dot darts away, Minnie's eyes following eagerly.
He halts it again, a foot away, and the cat somehow settles even further into the thick covers, ears flipping back to lay flat against her head and eyes narrowing to thin slits that glow in the dim light of the bedroom.
Kate leans forward, resting her elbows on her knees. One gray ear pivots slowly toward her at the movement, turning back when the detective stops shifting.
She watches as the animal slinks toward the dot of light at an achingly slow pace. Castle moves the laser pointer in his hand little by little, drawing the cat's attention and leading her across the foot of the bed and toward a pair of freshly shaven legs.
"Castle," Kate warns, voice low. He just smirks.
But he does direct the light away from her legs, perhaps sensing rightly that bared claws on bared legs would not be a pleasant sensation.
He guides Minnie along the edge of the bed, wiggling his hand to make the dot bounce back and forth. Kate laughs - can't help it - as she watches the quick turns of the cat's head as the little creature tries to keep up.
Castle stills, lets Minnie sneak up on the dot, ears back, rump lifted slightly in the air. And then, just before she can pounce, he flicks his fingers up, and the red dot disappears from the bed, reappearing on the floor next to his dresser.
Minnie wastes no time, launching herself into the air - a flying leap that lands her exactly on top of where the dot should be. She crouches there for a moment, as if to make certain that it doesn't escape.
Kate glances over at Castle, sees that he's lifted his thumb away from the button on the side of the pointer.
"Watch," he whispers, grinning at her, and she looks back to the floor.
Minnie steps carefully away from the spot where she landed, backing up and keeping her eyes on her front paws.
Finally, she lifts her left paw. Then the right. And then she looks up at the pair on the bed, cocks her head. "Mrow?"
Kate lifts her hand to her mouth, laughing. The little thing looks so confused. Oh, it's probably not nice to tease her like this.
But it is adorable.
Castle waits for a moment until Minnie moves, until she begins heading back toward the bed, and then he presses down with his thumb again. The dot reappears just in front of the cat. She lunges at it.
And the writer jerks his hand.
Minnie skids across the smooth floor, legs akimbo until she slides to a stop just next to the bedpost closest to Kate's side.
The detective turns her head to look down at the small creature, wonders how she'll react to the defeat.
Sitting back on her haunches, Minnie begins washing her back, rough tongue scraping across the gray fur.
"Always the same," Kate murmurs as Castle leans over her legs to see what's going on.
He laughs, bracing himself with a hand on her thigh. "Like you don't pull back and try to be nonchalant when you miss the mark?"
She pushes on his shoulder, sends him sprawling across her knees. "At least I don't sit down in the middle of the floor and lick myself when I get embarrassed."
He stares up at her, jaw slack and eyes twinkling.
"Oh, shut up," she groans, smacking his arm.
He catches her fingers before she has a chance to retreat, lifts them to his lips. "I didn't say a word."
She rolls her eyes. "Yes, but you were thinking something."
Pushing himself up on his forearms, he leans toward her, hovers just a breath away from her mouth. Speaks in a dark, rich, seductive voice. "When it comes to you, Katherine Beckett, I'm always thinking something."
She closes the distance between them, drawn in by his nearness, by that provocative quirk of one eyebrow, by the alluring way his midnight eyes flit to her lips.
He chuckles against her mouth, opening to her invasion, his hand sliding to curl around her hip as her own fingers lift to clasp around the back of his neck, pull him closer.
Unable to hold back, she groans, and then he's poised above her, pressing her down into the nest of pillows at her back, his lips drifting from her mouth to her jaw, to her neck, to her collarbone and down.
He groans and rests his forehead against her chest. She feathers her fingers through his silky hair, her breath quickening as he presses a kiss to her sternum.
"Has Alexis seen how Minnie reacts to the laser pointer?" she asks, pursing her lips when he lifts his head to meet her eyes.
"No," he says, shaking his head as he heaves himself off her and over the side of the bed, nearly losing his balance in his haste. "But I bet she'd love it."
He scoops up the little gray cat from where she's perched herself in Kate's lap in the brief window of opportunity the creature had seized and plucks the laser pointer from the spot next to the detective's hip, running his fingers along her side and making her squirm.
"I'll be back," he whispers as he leans down to brush his lips across hers once more.
"Castle," she calls as he steps away. "I think there are extra batteries in the kitchen."
He tilts his head to the side. "For what?"
"For the laser pointer, so Alexis can keep Minnie entertained," she explains, lifting one eyebrow. "For a long time."