Disclaimer: Not mine. I'm finally okay with that, since AWM is taking such good care of them.


He can't keep his eyes open. His mouth is at her neck again and he feels her strong swallow against his tongue. Her gasps and his harsh breaths are filling the air around them and he's sure he's never been more aroused in his entire life. She's escorting him through his loft by the open ends of his shirt as he blindly unbuttons the rest of hers, and he must be doing a pretty good job because he can feel more and more flesh brushing against his chest and stomach when his body propels into hers.

He's afraid to open his eyes. That's the crux of it. Normally when she's peeling off his shirt, sucking at his shoulder, unbuckling his belt, sighing his name, it's all a wonderfully erotic dream and when his lids rise, the action ends. She's doing all of that now and it feels so damn good, better than anything he's imagined previously.



"Everything okay?" Her voice is soft, and he barely hears it over the booming rumble of thunder. She jolts in his arms a little and her lips are back on his, pressing a series of quick, wet kisses there. He wants to deepen them, but can't catch the lungful of air needed to take her mouth. "Look at me," she whispers.

"Can't. I'm dreaming."

"You're not dreaming," she huffs out in a laugh. She licks into his mouth and he does then take the opportunity to suck on her tongue, pull her hips to his. Sweet agony.

"I've had this dream before." He's mumbling into her skin, his lips crawling down her chest, then back up the path of her bra strap—he can't get enough, wants to be everywhere, needs to get it all in while he can. "Ow—what?"

He cracks one eye open, then the other, sees her leaning against his desk, so hot, grinning, all teeth and wide lips. "Do I step on your feet in these dreams of yours?"

"More like stomp, and no. Dream Kate is much nicer," he mock-glares her way, wiggling his toes. "She strokes my ego."

"Is that all she—"

He groans. "Do not finish that," he warns, pressing his mouth to hers to shut her up and because he just can't stop his need to taste her.

"You don't want to finish?" She's murmuring the tease around his lips.

"You're killing me here." He pulls her into a tight embrace, needs to slow this down a little. "You're shivering," he whispers into her neck.

"Your fault."

"Hmm," he acknowledges the accusation, likes the implication. But she has got to be freezing, really. The front of him is still damp and cold where her shirt had been pressed against his bare chest, not that he's complaining. No, not complaining at all. "Nothing to do with the fact that your clothes are soaking wet?"

"Nope." She tugs on his fingers again, pulling him the rest of the way through his office and into his bedroom.

"I don't believe you."

"You're awfully chatty all of the sudden." His dresser rattles as she pushes him against it, steps between his legs.

"Well, maybe we should talk. About, you know…stuff. This." He wants to kick himself. He has a beautiful woman, who he is totally in love with, kissing and touching him and he pours ice water on the moment.

She draws back, runs her fingers over his frown. "Not right now. Plenty of time for that later." She doesn't look fazed or soured by his interruption; she just looks determined. "Help me take these off." She takes his hands in hers and moves them to the waistband of her slacks. "To warm me up."

The true implication of what they're doing is hitting him hard (no pun intended, but it does work here). She wants him, said so herself. She loves him? Maybe. Something close to that, at least, for all she's giving up.

He doesn't want her to regret any of this, regret him. He couldn't survive having a taste of her and her taking it back. This is too fast, isn't it? Four years of foreplay, his body reminds him and his fingers take note and pop the button and slide her zipper down. Moving back to his chest, she rests her lips over his heart, but skates her fingers down to his dress pants and undoes them, the combination of love and lust making him dizzy.

She shucks her blouse and throws it towards the foot of his bed. His eyes sweep over her revealed skin, marred with various shades of bruising. "Jesus, Kate." He steps back, but reaches to run a finger along her ribcage and meets her eyes. He can see her trying to school her features, but a hint of pain flashes there.

"It's fine." She grabs his hand and brings it to her lips. "Really. Worse than it looks."

"When the adrenaline wears off, it'll hurt like hell."

"Well, then we'd better take advantage of it, huh?" She takes a step closer to his bed and he follows, body and brain not on the same page with his reservations. It would kill him to hurt her in any way and crawling on top of her and pinning her to his mattress probably isn't the best course of action right now. "Do you know what I want, Castle?"

"Bath," he blurts out.

She looks up at him and raises an eyebrow. Yeah, totally not where her mind was going. His either, if he's being honest. "What?"

"Let me run you a bath." He's pulling away and already heading to his bathroom and turning the faucet on.

"I don't want a bath." She's in the doorway and leveling him with this sexy as hell look that makes him weak in the knees and want to push her against the wall and—no, no. Geez, when he slammed her against his door earlier, that had to hurt. Why didn't she say anything?

"You'll change your mind once you're in it." He shuffles a few things around under the cabinet until he finds some Epsom salt and sprinkles a little into the running water. "It's big and comfy and has these jets that hit you in all the right places. So soothing. You'll love it."



She looks frustrated and aroused, and is biting her lip while she stares temptingly at the steaming water flowing into his tub. She wants it, he can tell. He smiles and waves the bubble bath (vanilla isn't too girly, he maintains) enticingly, tilted almost ready to pour. She shrugs a shoulder and he tips the bottle the rest of the way, watches as the suds immediately start forming where the jets are stirring the water.

He sloshes his fingers around to test the temperature…hot, but not scalding. Perfect. When he spins back around to explain to her which knob is which, he sucks in a deep, stuttering breath. She's removed her bra and is shimmying her pants and panties down her legs.

She's got this shy, yet determined, look on her face as she approaches him, climbs to her tip-toes and presses her mouth to his. He doesn't know where to put his hands because skin, skin, skin is everywhere, and oh my, this is dangerous. He's going to make love to her on the floor of his bathroom, if he doesn't stop it now. "Kate," he begs around her tongue, presses his own into her mouth out of want and reflex. He palms her shoulder blades, because that seems like the safest place, but now her breasts, taut nipples, are pushing at his chest and his groin has tightened so painfully-even with his button and zipper slackened—that he finds himself thrusting lewdly against her belly. "Tub, tub, tub," he mutters, coming back to his senses, shoving at her shoulders and holding her at arm's length. "I'll, um—I'll be back in a minute."

He turns and leaves the bathroom, clicking the door shut behind him and sinking against it to catch his breath.