Here's the epilogue. Please don't kill me...

For all his vigilance, he almost misses it.

He knows about Maratha's marriage, Richard's divorce, even Alexis' foray into California, but somehow, something as significant as the kidnapping and weeks-long imprisonment of his only son very nearly slips beneath his radar.

He needs to be more careful.

Now, his greatest fear may have been realized. His enemies are many and Richard is his only weakness, and if he has been discovered... there are some things even he has no desire to contemplate.

The more he learns, the more confused he becomes. For a week, he tails his son relentlessly. As far as he can tell, Richard seems only slightly worse for wear after his experience, and that is truly puzzling. His observations note no signs of Post Traumatic Stress, not a hint of physical disability. The kid does seem subdued, but that should pass in time.

He goes through his enemies in his mind, comparing their methods and traditions with the facts of the case, but in the end he comes up empty. It's not flashy enough to be Volkov, Richard still has all of his fingers so that rules out the Yakuza, and Jimmy Kim would never have left enough of Richard to find in the first place.

His investigation is interrupted by a moronic terrorist plot thought up by some middle class kid imagining himself a martyr. Still, it takes more time than he anticipates and it's October before he can return to his inquiries.

He gains access to the cabin by impersonating a DEA agent. The local authorities don't even ask for his credentials, which should bother him more than it does. He's far too experienced to be surprised by basic human nature anymore.

A light snow is falling as he approaches. The cottage is quaint and secluded, the perfect sort of place to hide someone. How many horrors have been committed in places just like this around the world, innocuous and bland, no hint on the outside of the horrors contained within.

What type of horrors did Richard face in this place, bound, frightened, and alone? More importantly why, for what purpose was he kept here?

And by whom?

He picks the lock, no need to be sloppy, pausing only to crank the generator. Then he slips inside.

What Jackson Hunt finds is enough to horrify even him.

This "Kate Beckett" has a lot of explaining to do.

Da duh dummmmm...

First of all, yes, there will be a sequel, but it will probably be at least a week or so before I start it. For those of you who think this story is incomplete, I maintain that it is no less complete than the episodes 3XK or Probably Cause. This story was about Castle's imprisonment and that is over. The sequel will deal with the repercussions. I love you all anyway.

Thanks for reading!