Moon In Scorpio

Chapter 14

She sits there, eyes closed, waiting for him move away, to release her so that she can fade away into the darkness. She doesn't know what's happened, how or why he's waiting here in the car or what makes him shelter her from the police. She had supposed he was playing cat and mouse, especially when the unit had reversed back towards them … expecting any moment to have him turn to them and say Yes, it's her Officer or words to that effect. He hadn't. In fact he's done his best to hide her from them. She needs to get away, she's hurt and unable to think clearly but she does know she can't risk staying here.

She feels him pull back, hears him settle back in his seat, the warmth from the closeness of his body that had strangely comforted her no longer there. She opens her eyes and sees him watching her, face inscrutable though there's nothing menacing either in his posture or expression.

She nods at him, mumbles a "Thanks" which she knows isn't enough but is all she's willing to offer right now, before turning to swing the door open. She's not sure what happens next, but the combination of her twisting round to climb out of the car, his grabbing at her arm to stop her, the cold night air … there is a shooting pain through her lower back and she suddenly feels sick and giddy, stumbling to her knees on the pavement as she hangs onto the door to keep herself upright.

A gasp from behind her has her twisting her head to look back at him. He's staring down at his hand which he's holding in the empty space between them. He flicks the roof light on and they both stare at the red covering his fingers, it's enough to worry them both. He turns the light off, checks the mirrors and is soon out of the car and moving around to her side. She's still on her knees holding onto the door and unable to think of what to do next. There is no way she can ride her bike in her present state, it's probably just shock, but her shoulder feels like it's been mauled in a mangler and she's obviously done something to her back.

She stares at him hopelessly and in fear as he crouches down next to her. "Ok, let's get you into the car and to a hospital …"

"No! No hospital!" it's a half command, half begging tone in her voice. No doctor would believe her injuries came from a domestic accident; they'd be bound to call, or at least inform the cops. Her blood would be traced to the scene and along with the cap she's lost and it wouldn't take them long to put two and two together. She needs to get away … why the hell won't her legs obey her?

"Ok, no hospital just yet, but we need to have a look at that and this isn't the place, come on, let me help you get back into the car"

She doesn't understand why she lets him, why she doesn't just tell him to go take a running jump … well maybe she does, but she doesn't want to think about that just now, so she lets him help her back into the seat of the car. His foot kicks something and looking down he sees a backpack half under the car. Assuming it's hers, he picks it up and places it on the floor by her feet before leaning in to buckle her up. For a moment, before straightening up he looks at her. She has her eyes closed, head back against the headrest and her hands fisted in her lap. His lips twitch at her stubbornness, but he straightens up, closes the door and returns to the driver's seat.

She opens her eyes as the car dips its nose downwards and she finds herself being driven into an underground car park. For a few seconds she's disorientated, panic welling up, then she sees him at the wheel and tamps it down. She's not too clear on how she's reached this place, not just the geographical one but the sitting in a car with Richard Castle … but right now she's in too much bother to worry about it.

He's helping her out of the car, steadying her with a supporting hand under her arm and leading her towards the lift. She leans her good shoulder against the side of the cabin, making sure to keep her injured side away from it. He's looking at her, a look of concern in his eyes which she can't understand, she notices him leaning round to look at her back now that the lighting allows him to see something. He tries to keep his face expressionless but he's not very good at it. She bites her lip, not just because of the stinging sensation every time she moves, but also because he's behaving like a concerned friend … not someone she's stolen from.

As they approach his front door he tells her "My mother and daughter live here, but I'd like to keep them out of this for the moment ok?"

She nods, unsure what he's aiming at here, but mentally identifying his mother as the occupant of the room she'd found the jewellery case in and remembering the girl in the bed of the second bedroom she'd entered.

He pushes the door open and indicates she should precede him. She walks in and looks around. She recognises it from her previous nocturnal visit, but as he moves around turning on some lights she's able to take in the details previously lost to her.

He stands there observing her as she slowly turns her head to look around her. She's magnificent in spite of her somewhat battered appearance. The short auburn hair cut close to her head highlights her high cheekbones, the soft curve of her lips and those incredible eyes which he is now able to observe are neither hazel nor green, or rather a mix of both. Her slim figure is encased in a tight-fitting dark blue polo neck under a short black leather jacket and leg-hugging navy blue pants. She has climbing shoes on her feet and a glare in her eyes so he hastily points towards the office "Maybe we should go in there in case anyone comes downstairs …" he suggests, tentatively taking hold of her arm and leading her there..

Once in the study he throws "I'll just go get the first aid kit" over his shoulder, turning on the desk lamp and disappearing through the door he'd appeared from the last time she was here. She can make out the bed in the next room and her eyebrow arches. He'd best not be getting any ideas. She can hear him opening cupboards or drawers somewhere beyond the bedroom and turns to look around her, suddenly standing stock still, eyes wide as she notices it.

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