A/N: With all the real-world crap I'm going through, I still get lots of smiles-you guys and your feedback have been awesome. I really do appreciate all of the kind words more than you know. This Chapter is M Rated. I can't help it. I was joking with someone that my layout is a little similar from fic to fic. Angst, Sweet, Smut. I'm OCD-I like format. I like even numbers too, but all of my stories have odd numbers of chapters, so there goes that source of blame. Oh, well. :-)

Disclaimer: Not mine. But, I want them.

"Remind me to call every boyfriend Alexis has ever had and apologize for damaging them." They're less than a block from her place when one of them finally says something. It's been a nice, laidback silence, not necessarily awkward, more about reflecting side-by-side as they walk. A lot has happened today.

She huffs a nervous laugh and eyes him sideways from beneath her lashes. "He's not that bad."

"Wonderful man. Fabulous father. Intimidating as hell when he puts his mind to it," he laughs. "Did you see him giving me the 'don't touch my daughter' look before we left?" That's the same one that I give the twerps that come to pick Alexis up for dates."

"He did not." She chortles loudly and she feels light, airy, different. Who would have known secrets weighed so heavily?

"He totally did. Wants to break my fingers," he exaggerates, pulling another smile out of her. "I know those looks. I have one of those looks." He gives her a mock one of the very looks he's talking about, squinted eyes and thinning of lips, and she sticks her tongue out at him in return. He releases the expression and laughs with her.

"If you remember, he urged us to touch earlier. Your point is invalid."

"Hands, Kate. Doesn't count. That invalidates your invalidation."

"Well, we don't touch all that often. I think we're safe." She doesn't want safe with him. Their arms are swinging lightly with walking momentum, and she moves to graze her pinky along his, hooking them for a tiny tease of a second. "Shouldn't be a problem right?"

"Um, right?"

"Or, maybe if I'm the one doing the touching." She places her hand at the small of his back and runs her palm slowly up the soft fabric of his plum shirt, pausing between his shoulder blades when he stops walking. She likes the way the heat of his flesh seeps through the starched material. "That's probably okay, huh?" She feels a little dirty and a lot silly theorizing about what her dad would and wouldn't be okay with. She's pretty sure that her dad isn't naïve enough to think that she and Castle were going to declare their love for one another, then have a peck on the cheek be the extent of the physicality. Surely he expects them to—well, they're not going to do that tonight, but eventually… Yeah, awkward train of thought. Stopping now.

"That feels good," he hums at the sensation of her fingers bunching into the muscles beneath his neck.

"You're tense." Her other hand joins the first in touching him, this one running through his hair, nails grazing his scalp. He stumbles back into her a bit and she is forced to move both hands down to his hips to steady him.

"You don't know the half of it," he murmurs under his breath.

"I heard that." She pushes her forehead into his back and laughs, wraps both arms around him, hands meeting at his abdomen, where she pulls him closer. This is still a little weird, touching him freely. A really, really excellent kind of weird. She might be taking advantage of it a wee little bit. Just yesterday she was thinking about him, cursing how much she missed him, wondering how to get over that. Now, she's wrapped around him, wanting him so, but suspicious about why it doesn't feel rushed. It should, shouldn't it? All she can think about is pushing him into the lobby of her building, hoping no one's around, and moving her hands lower, lower, to find out just how tense he really is and not leaving much of what she wants to the imagination.

Too fast, right?

"Yeah, yeah. Well, here we are," he gestures grandly to the front doors.

"Wanna come up?" She's holding the door to the lobby open with one hand while the other is timidly fiddling with her hair.

"I want to."


"No, no buts. I just—Yeah, we probably need to talk, huh?"

"What on earth would we talk about?" She rolls her eyes up, as if in thought. She can torment him too.

"No idea, love." He breezes past her, through the open door with a cocky smile. The way she wants to wipe it off of his face has nothing to do with talking.



"So, how mad are you still?" he asks as they walk into her apartment, all preamble lost.

No more pussy-footing, at least.

"Mad is probably not the right word."

"Worse?" he winces.

"Different," she corrects, as she pulls a couple of water bottles from her fridge and takes a huge gulp from one. "Disappointed. I hate that you went after this alone."

"I had no choice." He shakes his head as she offers him a bottle. She sets them both down and heads back towards him, still standing just inside her apartment.

"You always have choices, but that's not the point. No more. Dad was right. Just…no more, Castle," she whispers, beseechingly. Part of her hates letting go, especially knowing there's more out there, someone who knows it all. This feels raw, open like it did when Castle convinced her to let it go the first time. It's enough for now. But, that wound healed with time and him, and this one will too.

"No more," he agrees.

"Come here." She wraps her arms around his neck and pulls him to her.

He acquiesces and she feels the rigidity in his form loosen. His arms come around her, and his hands hesitantly climb beneath her hair to rest around her shoulders.

"I've wanted to do this for a while," he says.

"Well, if we had been this close lately, it would have probably been because I was strangling you." She smiles into his neck and hopes he can feel it. There's truth in her statement, but healing in the humor.

"I've been an ass."

"You've been an ass," she agrees. "Something about 'assuming' that does that for ya."

"The whole 'you' and 'me' part of the saying would imply that you're an ass, too."

"Seems fair," she admits, the least she can do, shoulder half the blame. "I'm sorry that I wasn't honest with you."

"Why weren't you?" He's trying not to be bitter, she can tell. She can't see his face because it's buried in her hair, but she can hear the pain, the bit of him that's still suspicious of her intentions. She loves him and hashing this hurtful stuff out is good for them, what's been missing. They suck at this.

"I was scared. I'm still scared. I'm horrible at this, why I don't do it. I don't react well to being hurt."

"And I hurt you."

"You did. You gave up on me and moved on before I could blink, Castle."

"I didn't move on."

"Just because it wasn't serious, doesn't mean it isn't moving on," she says with a little more bite than she intended.

"Nothing happened." His words are adamant and she believes them. "Because I couldn't move on, Kate. I was committed to you, whether I had a right to be or not."

"Okay." She's takes a deep inhale of relief and exhales her fear and resentment, lets it all go. "But, Castle, you did have a right."

"I didn't know that."

"You do now. I usually keep people at arm's length, so I don't have to worry about commitment."

"I'm closer than arm's length right now," he reminds her. But she doesn't need reminded when she can feel him pressed against her, head to toe. It's not platonic and it's not meant to be, but she didn't expect an embrace to be this sensual, deep. She wants closer, closer, but she's not sure that's possible. Not without—yeah, not going there.

"You're an exception to a lot of my rules."

"I like that." He takes a finger and pushes her hair back behind her ear so he can talk into it. "Tell me more."

She shivers, the intimacy of the moment really catching up with her. "I don't kiss on first dates. Long time rule. Never broken it."

"Huh. Kate?"

"Hmm?" She tugs him closer, loving the heat of him around her. She jokes a lot about being able to protect herself, gun-wielding detective that she is, but he does make her feel so safe.

"Can I-? Nevermind." He nuzzles his face further into her hair and she'd normally joke, ask him if he's sniffing it, but she doesn't want to break the moment. She breathes him in, just to even the score and he smells like mint, and musk, and baby powder, and who'd have thought that'd be such an arousing mixture?

"Can you what?"

"Nothing. I'm good."

"You know, if you don't ask, the answer's always gonna be 'no'."

"Deep," he laughs at her ear and she squeezes his shoulders in reprisal. "S'okay. I can keep my pride intact this way." He leans back to show her his rich smile, then palms her head back into his neck, holding her to him gently.

"Ask me."


"What if the answer is 'yes'?" she probes.

"What if it's not?" he retorts back.

"The answer's probably 'yes'."

"Ha. You don't even know what I was going to ask. Kate, will you let me have a gun when I come back to the precinct?"

"You know better." He smacks his lips to her cheek when she pinches his side.

"See? Hmm," he hums a thought into her jaw before moving his next question to her ear, his words nipping there dangerously. "Kate, from now on can I assist you in physically apprehending suspects?"


"Kate, can I kiss y-"

Her mouth is covering his before he can finish. She hoped that's where his mind was going, but they were going to do this regardless, she'd already decided. She wasn't lying—she doesn't kiss on first dates. But, she can argue that this is their hundredth date, not a date at all, or just say the hell with it and admit that this is only the first of a laundry list of rules that Richard Castle is going to force her to break.

His tongue is pushing against her lips, shoving all rational thoughts out of her mind. All she can feel is him, soft lips, warm mouth. She has a feeling that she just opened the floodgates; she can't get enough of him, wants him on her, over her, in her. He pulls away for a second, meets her eyes, swallows hard, then moves back in, sucking urgently on her lip and then he dips into her again and she's gone, gone, gone.

They finally had to stop to breathe, time-out. They're still close, foreheads pressed together, unspoken agreement between them that this kissing thing is great and they're so set to do it again. His fingers are skirting her sides, barely bunching her shirt, still mostly chaste, but too close to her breasts for her not to want them there, need them there. Her arms are covered in gooseflesh and her nipples have already pebbled tightly with the anticipation of his touch. "Touch me, Castle."

"Mmm. Not allowed." He's teasing her again, she knows. He shoves both of his hands into his pockets and leans in to fasten his teeth to a tendon in her neck, nipping and sucking. So good.

The first four buttons of his shirt have loosened and her open mouth is pressing to the skin there, giving as good as she gets. "My dad keeps saying he wants grandbabies. I think he knows how they materialize. Touching mandatory." His breath hitches under her lips and she stills against his chest. Shit. "God, Castle, I didn't mean—"

"I know what you mean." He sounds so serious, but when she meets his eyes, they're twinkling. "You don't want my babies. But your dad wants my babies. And since you're an only child," he pulls her close and his mouth finds her jaw, small kisses blazing a path to her ear. "You're just going to have to take one for the team." He bites her lobe and she continues attacking his shirt, untucking the fabric from his pants to reach the hidden buttons.

"No babies now. Future, maybe." She should be running for the hills by now, or covering her face in shame, or kicking him out so she can figure out how to reverse the mess her big mouth has made. But, she doesn't do any of the above. Because as reckless and fast and irrational the words are now, that is exactly what she wants with him. Family.

"Maybe? I'll have you begging to dip into my gene pool."

"My, what big ego you have. How did you ever wheedle me into loving you?"

"Tantalizing charm." He claims her again, tongue pressing hotly against her own. His hands cradle the back of her head, fingers tangling in her hair, angling her where she wants be, needs to be, deeper deeper deeper. "That's genetic too," he adds into her mouth.


She's opening her own shirt now and he pants a little as he watches her expose herself to him. He closes his eyes for a moment before grabbing her rear end and hauling her up onto his leg and oh—yeah, that right there—the nice pressure. He's ushering her backwards, but the pace of their progress is sluggish because she's busy rocking against his thigh every few steps. Oh, yeah, she's gonna—soon, she's close-oof. The backs of her legs bump her coffee table and she leans to avoid it, but he jerks her back, then down, and before she knows what's happening, he's easing her onto the sturdy wood and following her down. His previously restrained hands throw caution to the wind as they finally, finally cradle her breasts, and the lace scraping against his palms is echoing in her ears. He's pressing them together so both sides of flesh meet his tongue in the middle where he laves at her scar, the normally numb patch of skin alive and tingling under his ministrations.

They're doing wicked things on top of her coffee table; she can feel a book of poetry under her shoulder and smell the cinnamon-pumpkin candle that's parked near her head, and she can't help but think 'I'm not that kind of girl', but oh hell, who is she kidding? She is so that kind of girl with him, the kind of girl that's dragging his hand down her body to press it between her thighs where she needs that pressure again.

He obeys, pushing his palm into the fabric there, groaning with her when her legs fall further apart to accompany more movement. "Kate, what are we doing?"

"If you don't know by now, it's too late to explain." She pants a smile into his mouth and scratches down his chest, broad and strong. "Just follow my lead."

"Control freak."

"You like it."

"Love it. Love you." Leave it to him to make this a tender moment. His hand is between her legs and she's busying herself undoing his belt and top button of his slacks. "You know I've never met a woman that I wanted to give everything to. But, I want you to have it all, Kate."

"All I want is you."

"You have me."

"All of you," she puts pressure where he needs her most, likes feeling what she does to him.

"Not too soon?"

"Two years too late. Help me make up what we lost being stupid?"


She probably would have regretted it later, but she was ready for him, right there in her living room. He was having none of it, told her if she had a furniture fetish, they could practice on the kitchen table later (she smacked him lightly, even though he whined like a baby), but he wanted a bed this time. He also added that he wouldn't be able to keep a straight face in her living room again if they broke her coffee table.

They undressed quickly. The sun was setting outside and dusk bled through the blinds, flickered beautifully in the room, the world's gift of romance to them.

They climbed into the bed and kissed and caressed and mumbled still-shy words of love until there was nothing keeping them from the amalgamation of that love. When he rolled her onto her back, she almost protested, but his dark, claiming eyes begged for the reins and she handed them over freely, gasping as all restraint left him and he finally joined them.

"I had this dream once." He says it straightforwardly, calmly, as if he spends every day with her legs wrapped around his waist.

"Once?" She asks, skeptically.

"Okay, more than once." He lifts her hips and it slides her closer to him, him further inside her; both catch their breath on the movement and its pleasurable consequence. "Didn't want to sound like a perv."

The muscles in his arms are twitching beneath the skin as he holds himself over her, thrusts slowly, deeply, evenly, giving her a moment to catch his rhythm. She does and claws at his biceps, likes feeling his pent up energy ripple through to her fingertips. "No, that would have been you telling me what you were doing while you were having this dream." She licks his chin, tongue catching on the tiny whiskers starting there; the rough scrape feels good, to him too if the new urgency of his hips against hers is any indication.

"We'll save that for next time." He kisses her and plucks her bottom lip from beneath her teeth, a quick taste before pushing back again to meet her eyes. She wants to keep hers open, on him, but she's forced to close them on a moan, ripple of intense pleasure.

God, this is good.

She's not surprised, but really is a little. She was sure some horrible karma-thing would have them be bad in bed together out of spite. He's not supposed to know about that spot already, or how that one thing drives her crazy, or that oh, yeahyeahyeah, right…there. She hasn't had time to explore him quite as thoroughly. And he calls her the control freak? She did find this patch of skin at the small of his back that makes him falter, hips jerk uncontrollably. She runs her nails over it again because she likes the glare he gives her when she muddles up his rhythm.

"Stop it," he says, all demanding and sexy. "I'm working here."

She wants to tell him what a damn fine job he's doing, but her breaths are coming quicker and her brain is turning into mush.

"Close, close." Music, they're making music. How clichéd. She wonders if fireworks are next. "Music," she mumbles, because seriously, it's there.

"I'd love to take the credit for that," he smiles into her shoulder as he pushes further into her. "But, I'm pretty sure that's my ringtone."

"Huh?" She looks over to the bedside table, where his phone was tossed next to hers. She smacks her hand against his phone and picks it up, holding it over his shoulder so she can read the display. "It's my dad," she groans. Her insides are fluttering around him and he's stilling inside her and she wants to throw the damn thing across the room.

"Do not answer that," he warns.

"He's calling you. I can't answer it."

"Well, I'm not answering it. I'll call him back. Hit ignore."

She presses the red button and throws her head back deep into the pillow, laughs loudly.

"Nothing about this is funny," he chides.

"A little?"

"Never say little when there's a naked man on top of you."

"I'm not stroking your ego. You know what we're not talking about. Lemme guess. You're worried about being castrated now, right?" She grins against his lips and he surrenders to her kiss.

He pulls back. "Don't say castrate when –"

"If the naked man would worry more about the naked woman, we'd be in business." She tugs on his hips to get him moving again and it only takes a moment before they're rocking frantically, back where they left off.

"I'm gonna—" She's panting now and some repetitive sound keeps leaving her throat, but she's too far gone to be embarrassed about it. Plus, he looks smug, satisfied, all sweaty above her, grinning like he's relishing in knowing what he can do to her. Well, she's pretty partial to it, too.

"Close, yeah?"

"Uh huh."

"I can't wait to feel it," he coaxes, voice deep against her ear and, at that, she's gone. Her eyes screw shut, she yelps (what?), clutches at his back, moves moves moves to embrace the aftershocks until it's just too much. Yep, fireworks.

She watches his brow furrow in pleasurable pain, feels him flexing more quickly against her, tougher because of the fresh tightness, and then his arms give way and he drops to his elbows, torso pressed to hers as he finally gives into her.


"Call him."

"I can't. I'm naked in your bed."

She's laughing at him and he wants to kiss her to shut her up, but he's pretty sure they'll end up tangled in her sheets again and he's just delaying the inevitable as is.

"If you don't call him, I will."

"Not on my phone, you won't." He snatches his iPhone from her and gives her his best mean look, but she's sitting cross legged beside him, naked, but mostly beneath a sheet and she looks all kinds of hot and innocent. How she pulls that off, he'll never know, but has no complaints. He can only manage a pout as he unlocks his screen and pulls up his recent call list, her dad's number hovering at the top of the screen.

He closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and touches the screen to call. He puts his finger to his lips to signal for Kate to keep quiet.

"Hey, uh, hi Jim. Yes, missed call. I saw that. Oh no, not too busy." He meets Kate's eyes, but closes them immediately. Irrational or no, he doesn't want I'm looking at your naked daughter to come across in his voice.

"Ah, no need. No, it was my pleasure." His eyes jerk open when he hears Kate squeak out a small giggle. He covers the speaker at the bottom of the phone and scowls at her again. "I'm pretty sure you thanked me, sir. Yes, yes, we'll definitely do it again sometime."

"Well, she's not here. Or, I'm not there, rather." Pause. "Yeah," he sighs. "Okay, I will. Bye, Jim." He tosses the phone on the other end of the bed and puffs out a deep breath as he leans against the headboard.

Kate's looking at him expectantly, eyebrows raised. "That didn't seem so bad." She crawls over to him on hands and knees to kneel between his legs. "What'd he want?"

"To thank me for signing the book and for lunch. Insisted he forgot."

"See? Not so bad." She smiles and leans in to steal his mouth.

He takes her kiss (how can he not?), and reels her into his lap. "He also said to tell you 'hi'."

A/N: Yes, I know that two out of three of my fics have Jim interrupting sexytimes with a phone call. I don't know what my fetish is with that, but I'm acknowledging it before you have to! I hope I made this one different enough. My Microsoft Word free trial ends at the end of the month, and I'm still weighing the option of buying(why did it not come on my laptop and why did I not know this until I got home?). I'm really enjoying writing again more than I thought I would, though. We'll see. Well, I hope you guys enjoyed this fic. I had a great time writing it. Feedback?