women like that don't become myster writers

Disclaimer: We'd like to graduate from college, please.

A co-written story from liviafan1 and FanficwriterGHC


Chapter 1:

He smiles at the photographers hidden behind flashbulbs; he's all smirk and little sincerity. A simple facade, an unwritten clause in his job description. One he can't really afford to deviate from - not since his lack of inspiration has led his fingers to seize over the keyboard, his creative brain freezing in the worst bout of writer's block he's ever had.

It gets worse with each passing day, another twenty-four hours wasted, another knot of pressure tightening around him, squeezing the creative juices away.

The innumerable phone calls from his blood-sucking ex-wife don't help, either.

Speaking of blood-sucking.

Gina slinks an arm around his waist, a glaring smile at the ready as she poses for the press. The same pose she'd stood in at their wedding. All business, even then.

"You could try and look a little less like you're at the dentist, you know," she says through clenched teeth, waggling her fingers at a photog with the toss of her head.

"You'd like that, wouldn't you?" he replies, leading them toward the bar, away from the all the hubbub.

He's gonna need a drink (or three) of something tall and stiff if he's going to survive the night. He cranes his neck to check on Alexis, who sure enough, is sitting at the end of the bar, nose in a book, blissful as she turns a blind eye to the glitz and glamour.

He's a little jealous. He takes the drink gratefully and turns back to his babbling ex-wife.

"What'd I'd like is for you to do what you've been paid to do, but since that seems to be a little out of your reach right now - "

He freezes, the cold glass of Scotch nearly at his lips. "What have you done?"

She folds her arms across her chest. "Nothing that couldn't have been avoided if you hadn't killed off Storm or handed in your manuscript by the deadline."

"You didn't sneak in a rewrite before it made it to press, did you?" he half-jokes. He's not entirely sure he'd put it past her, not with her career on the line, too.

"No. Though you might be wishing for that after I introduce you to your next project." She lifts herself to her tip toes, waves a long finger in the air, beckoning to a stranger in the crowd. He whirls around, but the crowd is too large and he has no idea what - or who - he's looking for.

"You'll thank me for this one day," she promises.

He takes a long sip of his drink. "Somehow I doubt that."

As he scans the crowd, his eyes lock with a stunning brunette, all lithe and gorgeous in a tight emerald dress that brings out the light flecks in her eyes. He chokes a little on his drink as he notices her smirking at his obvious perusal when she stalks toward him, powerful and confident in a killer pair of stilettos.

Maybe if he plays his cards right, he can sneak away from Gina and whatever plan she's cooked up. Charm the mysterious stranger and slip away from the crowd, creatures of the night.

He clumsily sits his glass down, swallowing hard as she finally reaches the bar. He opens his mouth, a smooth line at the ready, when -

"I'm so glad you could make it, Kate," Gina says, wrapping the stranger in loose one-armed hug.

But - no. She -

She was his. He wanted to -

Oh, fuck.

"And I believe you've heard of Rick?" Gina smirks at him and - yeah. He was so caught earlier. And now she's really enjoying this.

"Katherine Beckett," Kate greets him warmly, eyes sparkling mischievously. Busted.

He takes her offered hand, her long slender fingers wrapping around his palm firmly. His mind drifts to the other parts of his anatomy that he wouldn't mind -

"Kate just signed a new contract with Black Pawn this morning."

He lifts his eyebrows, distracted by her bright smile, the way the flush creeps up her neck at Gina's words. "A contract?"

"I'm a mystery novelist," Kate interjects.

She -

What?

"We snagged her from a little publishing company outside the city, her talent wasting away in limited promotions and releases."

Kate ducks her head shyly and it would be one of the most adorable things he's ever seen if he wasn't rendered speechless.

"I've never heard of you," he blurts out stupidly.

Her head lifts sharply to his, the light in her eyes dimming. "I've written ten books, Mr. Castle. The critics love me. And now that I've joined forces with Black Pawn," She shoots Gina a grateful smile, "It would probably be wise for you to learn my name." She pauses, her tongue darting out to lick her lips. "Because you'll probably be hearing it a lot soon."

Oh. So she's shy and feisty.

He likes it.

"I've set up a business lunch for the two of you tomorrow, Rick. It's really important that you get to know each other," Gina says cryptically.

Yes. Biblically, he hopes.

"On a professional basis," she adds, shooting him a knowing look. "I've sent a copy of her latest manuscript to your apartment."

"I didn't know editing was in my job description," he jokes.

"It isn't. But since you haven't produced anything remotely usable in the last few months, mentoring might be in your job description."

He scoffs. "You want me to mentor her?"

Gina sighs. "Notes. Feedback. Appealing to a broader audience. She's got the goods, Rick. And they might even be better than yours."

He doesn't miss the low chuckle that Kate tries to hide behind her hand.

Gina smiles tightly, patting him on the shoulder. "I'll leave you two to chat."

She saunters off, making great overtures to everyone she passes, playing the crowd.

He watches her go, half in anger, half in awe. For whatever she's just left him in, she's shrewdly manipulative, and damn, but it's impressive even when he wants to throttle her.

And he does. Because the Amazonian goddess next to him is eyeing him like she knows all his secrets.

Better than his. Better than his.

Yeah. Right. This woman, a famous murder mystery novelist?

"They throw a good party," she says, bringing him back to the roof and away from his surprisingly kinky fantasies.

He wonders if she'd be a tied up kind of girl.

But that would take finesse, and it seems he's all out of that at the moment.

"Yes, it's one of Gina's specialties."

"It's a little...flashy," she continues.

"Part of the sell."

"If you need that kind of thing."

He shoots her a look and finds her with her bottom lip pulled between her teeth, smug. It's irritatingly fetching on her.

"Once you get to a certain point, it's all dressing, making a great thing fabulous."

"And is that what you sell, Mr. Castle, fabulous flash?" she asks, cocking her head, a spark in her eye.

She wants to play? He can play. He can play all night. "You tell me, Miss Beckett."

She rolls her eyes and taps the bar, shooting the bartender a pretty smile. He grins and pours her a shot of whisky, straight.

Castle watches the way she wraps her fingers around it, the curve of her hand around the glass as it comes to her lips, the smooth swallow of her throat, like she's knocking back water.

It takes him a moment to realize she's asked him a question.

"Sorry?" he gets out, only to receive another one of those pleased, proud looks from her.

He really needs to find some of that blood and get it flowing back up in the other direction.

"Tomorrow. Do you have a preference or should we let Gina pick the place?"

"Oh, right. That. The mentoring meeting," he replies, feeling it trip off his tongue like acid.

Her posture changes, all that subtle openness dissolving as she straightens her spine, uncocks her hip, tightens her hold on her drink.

"If it's too much of an imposition to you, Mr. Castle, I'm sure Gina could find someone with more...time on their hands."

He opens his mouth, about to tell her just what kind of time he has, but Gina catches his eye across the crowd. That look brokers no resistance.

He really can't afford another screaming match at her office, and the money besides.

"No, no, I can make time to teach you the ropes, Beckett," he decides, plastering on some confidence, and maybe a little smarm.

She blinks something back at the sight of his "ass charming smile," as his mother put it once. She likes it. More than she wants to, apparently.

"I'm sure it won't take long," she says before taking another swig.

"Oh, I don't know. There's a lot to teach a rookie, you know."

She takes a step toward him, eyes glinting. Ooh, he's struck a little nerve then, hasn't he?

"Just how many books have you put out in the last year, Castle? Two, three? Or was it one, six months overdue?"

She signed this morning, right?

Surely Gina isn't that - well, no, she would, wouldn't she?

He narrows his eyes to cover his shock and takes his own step. She's nearly his height in those monster heels.

"Four, if you must know," he says, going for a stoic disinterest.

"Ah. My mistake. Four months overdue."

And she didn't take the bait, either. Damn.

"And how many have you put out this year with that charming little publisher upstate?" he asks.

"Two, and the third is sitting on your kitchen counter," she says without preamble.

"Impressive," he allows, giving her a nod. "That said, it doesn't mean you know anything about the big leagues."

"You'll find, Castle, that I can more than splash in the deep end. I'll be diving in a few months, swimming right by as you tread water."

"Oh you will?"

"I will."

They stare at each other for a long moment. He can feel the heat of her body calling out to him as they stand nearly chest to chest. He forces his eyes to stay on hers, no difficult task, really - but her cleavage - and stands his ground.

"Remy's, 3:30, tomorrow," she says, and he swears her voice is breathier than it was a minute ago.

"Remy's?" he asks, and he catches her as her eyes flick to his lips.

Huh. Well then.

"I'll have Gina send you the address," she says quickly. "Goodnight, Mr. Castle."

And with that, she whirls around, leaving him alone at the bar at his own book party, watching her ass as she walks away.

Damn.