He wants to go to her, hold her and tell her no, she's not a horrible person, but there is still much she has to tell him and he doesn't want to spook her if he's misreading the situation so he settles for a shake of the head and a "No, I don't believe it does Kate"
She wipes her eyes and gives an abrupt little nod. "Anyway, I contacted him, said I was interested in his proposition. He told me the first job was worth four hundred bucks and to meet him at a café near my work place the following day ..." she pauses and takes a deep breath, "... when we met he told me that a document would be sent by a certain local law firm using our services, that I was to request that delivery and that once I had the document I was to go to an address he'd give me, deliver the document and then take it on to the original destination, that I would only lose about five minutes and that that could be put down to traffic if anyone enquired"
"And that was what I did. Told the dispatcher that I had to do some private business in Little Italy and did she have anything for that area. She gave me the document and a package for another client. I went to a cheap hotel off Canal and dropped the envelope into a cubby hole, stood outside on the pavement until the receptionist brought it back out to me a few minutes later. I assumed it was the same envelope … looked and felt the same, then went on to deliver it to the final address"
She puts the now empty cup she's been holding in her lap on the table and looks across at him. He's got a faraway look in his eyes, the fingers of his left hand drumming on the armrest. A few moments later he looks at her, "Any idea what the law firm specialised in?"
She nods, "Yep, I also thought of that, I made what I thought were discreet inquiries and found out they specialised in corporate finances, then a few days later I had another visit from Valote. He told me I now had a credit with him of four hundred bucks and that I'd get instructions for my next 'job' in a couple of days' time … I also got a warning … if I ever tried tracing or following up again on any of my 'jobs', I'd find myself joining my Mom. It was a clear threat, they'd obviously found out about my attempt to learn about the document, and I sure as hell wasn't going to mess with the mob … assuming they are the ones running this show"
He looks at her and smiles, "Hell, I don't blame you. What happened next?"
She shrugs, "It became pretty much routine, once or twice a week they'd leave a note in my locker … I assume they had someone else in the messenger service working for them or doing them favours … I hung around, kept an eye on the lockers, never saw who it was. It got me to thinking that maybe Rico Cambrea had been doing my job until things went south. That scared the pants off me, I can tell you!"
She uncurls her legs, stands up and begins to wander around the room, picking out a book here and there, flicking through the pages before closing it and replacing it carefully. Items on the shelves are picked up, held to the light, turned to be admired or gently replaced. He lets her have her time, he hadn't expected her to be as open as she is being and it makes him wonder, does she have any friends? Does it only require someone to listen to her understandingly for her to pour out her secrets?
His thoughts are interrupted as she returns to the chair, curls one foot under her and sits down. She must have read his thought, or had the same ones herself "Why am I telling you all this?" there is a touch of fear, a touch of puzzlement in her voice as she looks at him.
He goes for light "Because I'm ruggedly handsome?"
She snorts, but the grin lightens her face and seems to dissipate some of the tension in her body. She turns to look at the sketch on the easel and cocks her head a little, her eyebrows meeting over the bridge of her nose as she wrinkles her brow.
"Let me ask you something Castle, is my nose really that long?"
He loves how her calling him 'Castle' sounds so cool ... and so hot at the same time! "No, my bad, probably down to the poor lighting that night …"
"Uh, Ok … just that it's been bugging me all day … and why keep it, I mean, on display there?"
"She's my new character … she inspires me!"
"So, what's she like, this new character of yours?"
"Well, she's not too bright... and kind of slutty"
He gets a look which should probably scare the pants off him, but he can also see the twitching lips.
"No, honestly, you'd have nothing to be embarrassed about. She's going to be … she's going to be really smart, very savvy, haunting good looks, really good at her job … and kinda slutty"
"So, nothing like me then!" she laughs
He shakes his head, returns her smile and understanding she wants to change the subject, asks her about her bike, how and why she ended up with a Harley. Over the next two hours, the conversation is lighter. He tells her about Alexis, his mother … well only those stories apt for public consumption, a bit about his books. He's pretty sure she's a fan from a couple of comments dropped, but he'd like to know just how much of one she really is. She in turn tells him a bit about her childhood, the happy memories, a bit about her time as a teenage model for a clothes catalogue. They skirt carefully around her current job, her side-line activities, her Mom's death and Dad's condition. They're both aware that one wants to hear it all and the other doesn't want to talk about any of it, but there's an unspoken agreement to lighten the atmosphere, so they do so until Rick hears Alexis in the kitchen.
"How about we go get dinner ready, my mother will no doubt be joining us shortly and the last thing I want is for you to be poisoned to death!"
"At least not till I've spilled the beans?" She was aiming for fun, but the look on his face made her realise she'd missed by a mile "Sorry, not funny"