To all of you who haven't given up on me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know this update has been a long time coming, and I apologize for the lengthy delay. It's been a struggle, and I honestly didn't know if I would be able to get back to this world. In fact I'm still not sure I do it justice. But I am certainly going to try. Thank you again, for everything.
For Evan. My beautiful friend. You have truly gotten this written. Your constant support and belief that there was still magic in this story helped me believe. Thank you for everything, you truly have no idea how much you mean to me.
Probable Cause, with Beckett's own feelings about Tyson's set up and the ramifications of that.
Beckett stared down into the murky water, eyes' scanning for any signs for life that she knew was impossible.
He's dead. You killed him.
Her own words mocked her as she stood in the dark. She'd left Castle sleeping, the events of the week and their ordeal with Tyson finally catching up to her fiance. The idea of waking him to accompany her on her trek seemed too much after Castle's own frustrations.
The question he'd posed to Kate mere hours ago now as they'd walked through the door of the loft haunted her. He'd been exceptionally vague about Tyson's break in to holding, Castle averting his gaze when she tried to press for more details.
Because I'm happy. He wants to create fear, Kate. And I'm not going to let him.
The cold October wind batted at her, forcing Beckett drew her coat around her slender frame tighter, the detective instinctively clasping her hands and twisting the stunning diamond around her ring finger. The fear that had plagued her with Castle's sudden break out from holding has just begun to dissipate, leaving her anxious. She let the memory of holding him in her arms, finding him alive in the New York Public Library, loosen the knot that had settled in her stomach.
I'm so glad you're okay.
She couldn't remember a time she had been more scared. She hadn't bought the setup, despite the evidence stacking up against her fiance. The few weekends they had spent apart she had never questioned, too busy trying to figure out the puzzle before Tyson could win.
Thank God he hadn't.
The breath she hadn't realized she was holding escaped at the sound of his voice, the warm hand sliding along her waist familiar as Castle pulled her back into her chest. The well-known weight of him comforted her as he pressed a tender kiss to the shell of her ear.
"What are you doing out here?"
She turned in his arms, burying her face in the crook of his neck. He stayed quiet as she breathes him in, fingers skimming over the ripples of muscle under his tee-shirt. She takes her time touching every plane of his face, arms, and chest, memorizing the contours of his body through his clothing.
"I couldn't sleep. I didn't want to wake you. I just…"
She trails off with a shake of her head, unable to complete her tortuous thoughts. I just needed to see where we almost died. As her hands find his, fingers skimming over his knuckles, Castle grasps hers and whispers against her hair, tugging her into the shell of his body with ease.
"We're okay, Kate. We're okay."
The sob caught in her throat as his broad hand cups her neck, lips claiming hers in a soft kiss. Kate moved him to him as she slicks her tongue along his, the distinguished taste of him intoxicating. He touched the bruise on her cheek that had formed as she breaks the kiss, Kate's wince at the mere contact drawing a deep frown from Castle. She felt his gaze as she quiets, turning her attention back to the water below.
"What happened, Castle? What did he say to you?"
"It doesn't matter."
"Yes, it does. We're in this together. Partners, remember?"
She feels the heat of his gaze at the word, Kate purposefully keeping her eyes averted as he
"He's...watched us, Kate. He knows my life better that I do. And it scares me. It makes me question every move I make. And I hate that, I hate that he's taken this from me."
"Oh babe, he's taken nothing from you. We're not going to let him win, remember?"
She thought of the wedding they had spent the past few weeks planning, the details slowly coming together as she worked through her own doubts about their impending nuptials.
You're the bestselling author and I'm just this cop and I don't know how I fit in this world, Castle.
You're never just some cop to me, Kate. You're my…muse, my inspiration, my life. None of the rest matters.
The words he'd uttered mere days ago as he climbed into bed now echo in her mind as the silence engulfs them. She says them aloud as the truth settled over her, the simple knowledge that she gets to have this man for the rest of her life stunning her with awe.
"None of the rest matters."
Confusion lines his features, Castle's eyebrows darting up as he stared down at her. Placing her hand over his heart, the steady rhythm reminding her of her future.
She had almost lost him today.
She couldn't lose him having never been married to him. The thought too much too bare, the words tumble out before she can readily stop them, hazel eyes holding soft blue ones.
"Marry me, Castle."
He stills at the sudden declaration, Castle's fingers pressing into the tender dip at her waist as he smearing his lips against her forehead. His sigh is felt more than heard over the silence, fingers fisting in the soft material of her tee shirt as he murmured,
"Kate, I don't think now is the…"
She steps out of his embrace, lacing her fingers through his as she drags him to the edge of the bridge, his voice trailing off as she shakes her head. He doesn't press her to speak, his eyes drawn to the water below just has hers had been for hours.
She lets her gaze slide over him, takes in the heavy droop of his shoulders and the unfamiliar pain in his eyes. She knows him, this man who has so completely captured her heart. She skimmed her left hand through his hair, drawing his attention to her. The uncertainly in his gaze brought a sad smile to her lips, Beckett finding the words she'd been searching for.
"This isn't about fear, Castle. You were right; he's trying to create that. And we shouldn't let him win. We won't. You once said we will figure this out, and we will make them pay, just not today. The same thing applies here, Castle. We'll beat Tyson, and we'll do it right."
"What does that have to do with us getting married, Kate?"
"Nothing, at all. That's the point. All today did was show me how much I love you, and how if something did happen to you or me, I'd want to be your wife when it did."
He shakes his head, trailing a soft finger down the smooth column of her throat as he asks, the hesitance in his voice giving way to slight hope with the smile growing on her face.
"What about the wedding we've been planning? I want you to have that dream wedding."
"The wedding I want is the one where I get to marry you. That's it. Let's not wait anymore. This isn't about him. It's about the fact that I don't want to spend any more time not being your wife."
She surged into him, framing his face with her palms as she meets his eyes. He smiled softly and swiped at the tear that slipped down her cheek, her words loud in the quiet around them. She takes a moment to look around the spot where she admitted things had never been easy between the two of them, her voice growing in confidence as she laid out the desires of her heart.
"Marry me, Castle. We'll get Alexis, and your mom, and my dad. Lanie and the boys and we'll go to the courthouse tomorrow. I just want to be your wife, Castle. That's all I want. This. You."
His kiss cut of her off, the man of words stealing Kate's and becoming a man of action with her request. His soft answer "yes," accompanies an even softer kiss, the moment easing the horrors of their day. They were together. They were getting married. Nothing else mattered.