Can you read one more Always cover? That is where the series left us so it is hard to ignore. I'm trying to take it in a different direction than some of the other stories I've read. Hopefully you will enjoy it.

Castle awoke with a start lifting his head up to look around. My God, Kate Beckett was lying next to him in his bed. It wasn't a dream after all! They had pulled apart during the night. Kate was lying on her stomach her head turned away from him. Her left arm was stretched out across the bed. Her right arm was closer to her side but her hand still brushed up against his side. He glanced at the clock. It wasn't even 5 o'clock yet.

Castle rubbed his eyes. He should be ecstatic this morning but everything felt off. His mind started replaying the emotional roller coaster he'd been on the past few days. He was so afraid the case was going to lead them back into her mother's case. When it did, he watched as Beckett spiraled out of control. She wouldn't listen to reason and Esposito was going to have her back no matter what because he knew if he didn't she would go in alone. Ryan and Castle both knew that it was insane, but she was determined to take Maddox down and didn't want anyone getting in the way.

Castle knew he had to stop her. He went to her and told her everything. He told her about Mr. Smith and how he had struck a deal to keep her safe unless she went after them. All Beckett could see was that Castle had lied and betrayed her. He begged her to give up the case. He told her he loved her and begged her to choose him over certain death. She was unstoppable though. Castle knew he couldn't watch her die again and he was certain this time she would die. He set his jaw and told her they were over and walked out of her life forever.

It was Alexis' graduation and although she would be giving the valedictorian speech, Castle was the one giving the performance of his life. Castle was determined that nothing would spoil his daughter's big moment. When he returned to the loft, his emotions ran the gamut but the key one was anger. He could work with anger. Anger could propel him forward. He could disguise anger. It was the despair lurking beneath the anger that he was afraid of because he knew if it bubbled to the surface his mother and Alexis would read it in his eyes and he was determined that wasn't going to happen. He focused on the excitement of his little girl graduating and he focused on how truly proud he was of her. This evening was all about her and he wouldn't let anything spoil that. No one suspected that he had a care in the world. He had to smile a little as he thought about how his mother would have applauded his performance had she known.

Then afterwards, Kate showed up at his door. Castle wasn't pleased, didn't even invite her in, but she pushed her way in. She said she was sorry. She kissed him but Castle didn't respond. He caught her wrists. He had to know what had happened. She said she almost died and she could only think of him. She said Maddox got away and she didn't care – she only wanted Castle. Then she kissed him again. He was still wary, but the desire and need of 4 years overwhelmed him. He kissed her back, his bottled up passion finally unleashed. As they kissed the overwhelming sensations of her lips, her tongue, even her hands in his hair turned his brain to mush. He couldn't think about anything except taking her to his bed.

Castle had fantasized about sex with Beckett for years. Some of those fantasies made their way into the Nikki Heat books. Their first time though he knew would be special. He visualized it being slow and sensual. They would lovingly explore each other's bodies. He had even pictured making her laugh or at least smile as they satisfied each other's every desire.

Of course, it didn't happen anything like that. Once they got to his bedroom, they continued kissing each other with a fervor neither had experienced before as they ripped each other's clothes off. When he couldn't immediately undo the button on her pants, he jerked them open, the button flying off. When the offending clothing had been dealt with, they fell into bed and attacked each other with a need and desperation that only years of sexual tension could produce. Soon Castle was on top of her. He had a frantic need to be inside her and he thrust himself deeply into her again and again. Suddenly, he realized her whole body was trembling – no shaking - beneath him. He immediately stopped suddenly terrified that he was screwing this up and she wasn't ready for this or that he was hurting her.

"Kate, what's wrong?" he asked his concern showing in his voice.

"I didn't know…" her voice trembled as though she was crying or getting ready to cry. Rick reached up and gently brushed his fingers along the side of her face. He could feel the dampness of her tears. "I didn't know how much I wanted…needed you." Rick stroked her face again and then kissed her. He was so overwhelmed to hear her say that. "Please don't stop," she said rocking her hips into him. He didn't need any more encouragement than that. He was sure his need for her was greater than anything she was feeling.

He collapsed on the bed beside her when it was over and collected her into his arms. She laid her head on his shoulder and molded herself into the side of his body. He clutched her to him still desperately trying to prove to himself that this was really happening. Maybe if he held on tight enough she wouldn't somehow disappear into the night. Their ragged breathing and pounding hearts were slowly returning to normal. There was no talking. They were both exhausted emotionally and physically. "I love you," he finally whispered into her hair. There was a small sigh of acknowledgement. It was only a few minutes later that they both fell asleep.

Rick rubbed his hand over his face. What they had last night was raw, desperate sex. He looked over at her. It was still too early to really see more than her shadowy figure. He wanted to wrap himself around her. He wanted to make love to her the way she deserved.

Frankly, he was afraid to wake her up. Now that his brain was back in working order he could analyze what had happened last night. He knew they should have talked before they ever had sex. He needed to know exactly what happened yesterday. Kate's MO was to run from things that overwhelmed her. She admitted that she had almost died yesterday and she came running to him. Was her whole purpose to have sex so that she could feel alive or did she really have an epiphany and realize that she loved him and that was more important than even her mother's case? Castle sighed. She didn't say she loved him. He was afraid that once she woke up and realized that she had impulsively had sex with him that she would be off and running again.

He glanced at the two piles of clothes on the floor. He knew her clothes were still soaking wet. He eased himself out of bed so he wouldn't wake her. He threw his clothes on the bench at the end of his bed. He gathered her clothes up and took them to the laundry room. If she was going to run, she might have to think twice if her clothes were in the washer.

If you like it let me know. If you don't like it please tell me why.