Hampton Morning

He wakes up to find her side of the bed empty. He's no longer worried these days when that happens …. or at least not too worried; especially here in the Hamptons. He's got to know her foibles, her tells, and he knows she's in a good place right now. So he climbs out of bed, pulls out a sweatshirt and pants from the closet, slips into a pair of canvas shoes and grabs a spare blanket from one of the shelves.

He gets downstairs and finds one of the sliding doors out to the deck slightly ajar. Slipping out, he walks across to the edge of the grass and looks along the beach. The sky is a dark, pre-dawn grey, a paleness hanging over the horizon promising the arrival of a new day. Objects are still two dimensional darker masses against the dreary backdrop of the sky but he thinks he sees her down by the dunes.

He trudges towards her, listening to the quiet shuffle of the lapping sea against the sand; the eternal symphony of this and many other shorelines. He's still a few feet from her when she raises her hand towards him, he's unsure if she heard him approaching or was simply aware of his presence …. they both have this uncanny sense of each other's proximity.

Reaching her he squats at her back, taking her outstretched hand and kissing her knuckles. Only then does she turn her head to look at him, a half-amused, half-apologetic look on her face. "Did I wake you?"

"No, your absence did" leaning forward he kisses her cheek, "I brought a blanket"

"Sweet, Castle, thanks, I … I, just woke and … and needed to see the sunrise …"

"Can I watch it with you?" he smilingly askes, running his fingers through her hair and massaging the back of her head.

"Always" is her simple answer as she rises to her feet to allow him to spread the blanket. The sand is cold and she is only now aware that her backside is feeling both chilled and damp. Trust Rick to turn up with the solution.

She waits for him to sit near the front of the blanket leaving her enough space between his legs to settle down against him before he pulls the other edge of the blanket up over his shoulders and wraps it around them. She nestles in against him as his arms enfold her from behind and seal her into his lovely, warm cocoon. With a sigh, she tucks her head against his neck and feels him brush a kiss against her temple. She sighs in contentment thinking how like Castle to come looking for her at the crack of dawn.

He feels her settle back against him and they both gaze over the sea, the expanse of sky above them already beginning to turn a paler shade of grey, the horizon still cloaked in darkness. Like a slow motion scene, the sky above them lightens, acquiring a pinkish tone close to the waterline.

The first trace of the sun appears inches above the horizon, poking out from between the distant clouds, the pinkie-orange glow which also begins to colour the clouds, painting the grey sky a washy white. As the sun rises higher in the sky the sea takes on the colour of beaten bronze, the yellow-orange sphere pushing clouds and darkness away.

A flock of seagulls mew their way across the sky, dark silhouettes against the golden background which now has, at its centre, a bright orb of light, the first faint traces of its path leading from the distant horizon all the way to the lapping shore at their feet.

The burnished bronze of sea and sky take on the paler colour of molten gold, the sun's reflected path now much brighter, pointing the way to the distant, clearly defined, joining of sea and sky.

With a sigh, Kate turns her head and kisses his chin. She twists her body slightly and runs her hand up the side of his face, traces his eyebrows then holds his jaw and pulls him down for a long, slow kiss.

"Take me to bed Castle?"

He grins down at her, his heart beating as if wanting to escape the confines of his chest. He helps her up, throws the blanket over his shoulder and sweeps her up in his arms. She is not going to get out of this one easily …

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