Moon In Scorpio

Chapter 4

Richard Castle is feeling frustrated, annoyed, gloomy and lost …. to list just a few adjectives. Ever since killing off Derrick Storm, he has been unable to write anything even mediocre. Yes he's glad to have ended the Storm series, he had become bored with the predictability, unfortunately he has yet to come up with a replacement. He's spent the best part of the evening and night once Alexis had gone to bed in swilling bourbon round a glass and trying to come up with some inspired writing. He'd had little luck in either department; the bourbon ended up slopping over his wrist and the white page on the laptop's screen had remained obstinately blank.

With a sigh he'd licked the spilt drink off his wrist and had then headed for his bathroom to wash off the sticky remains. Now, he's about to head back to the study to close the laptop down when he hears a noise. Thinking that maybe Alexis or his mother have come down to get something from the kitchen, he's about to call out as he steps into the office when he freezes. The figure near the sitting room's doorway is not one he recognises; tall, slim, dressed in black is about as much as he can make out initially.

"And who the hell are you?" he blurts out before he even thinks of the danger that an intruder could suppose. His fingers find the light switch and he turns the ceiling lights on. He doesn't know what he expects … he certainly doesn't expect the vision before him. She is still tall and slim and still dressed in black, but what he hadn't expected was the short cropped red hair that frames a stunningly beautiful face and what he thought were incredible green eyes before she'd scrunched them closed.

Even as he sees her begin to move he throws himself forward to try and stop her … hell, he doesn't know why, he just doesn't want to lose the vision just yet. She slips out of his grip, almost falls through the doorway and is then up and running, he, unthinkingly in hot pursuit. It's only as she races down the hall and he sees Alexis' door that he abruptly thinks of the danger and is suddenly scared stiff in case something has happened to his little girl.

He comes to a stop, pushes open his daughter's door and steps over to the bed to see that she`s safe. The slamming of the guest room door wakes Alexis up and it takes a few minutes for him to make sure she's unharmed and to tell her to phone Eduardo, down in reception. By the time he's made it into the guest room he's only just in time to see something disappearing past the top of the window. Getting it open and leaning out he can just make out a dark shape silhouetted against the sky, his shouted Hey! totally ineffective.

The uproar has even woken his mother up and by the time he's checked that both she and Alexis are unharmed and he's let Eduardo in and they've made it up onto the rooftop terrace, there is no sign of the intruder.

It's a long night with the police checking the loft for hidden intruders and clues to his visitor's identity, there's the usual tut-tutting at the lack of decent security and the barely veiled suggestion of crazy groupies and fans. It's only when Martha finds she's missing some items of jewellery that the cops actually have something which points to B&E as opposed to crazy fans. A CSU tech dusts Martha's dresser and jewellery box for prints, but the smudges indicate the intruder was wearing gloves which, when asked, Castle confirms after conjuring up her image in his mind.

With only a few items of jewellery missing and no one harmed, the cops don't seem too interested, but Rick agrees to call in at the precinct the following day … today … shit … if he can get some sleep, to have the sketch artist draw up a likeness of his intruder and to describe the missing jewels just in case they should turn up sometime in the future.

The cops don't think his intruder will risk returning that night but still advise him to find something with which to wedge the upstairs windows closed. The door to the upstairs terrace, along with the front door are the only entry points to offer decent security, which was probably why his intruder had gone for the window entry.

Eventually the police have left, his mother and daughter have gone back to bed and Rick flops down onto his bed. He feels exhausted, and yet his body is tingling, the adrenaline still running through his body in spite of the elapsed time since he had walked in on his astounding intruder. Who was she? How come someone with her body and looks was involved in burglary? He can't understand it …. nor can he get her out of his mind as he twists and turns in his bed.

It's gone eleven when Rick wakes, still feeling exhausted, unsure at first if the occurrences of the early hours had been a dream or reality. It's only when he walks out to the kitchen, buttoning up his blue dress shirt and sees the empty mugs of coffee littering the kitchen island that the early morning's events take on the veneer of reality. His shower has freshened him up a bit, but it isn't until he'd drunk half his coffee that the full implications and occurrences hit home. Placing the coffee cup on the counter he rushes up the stairs and checks in on his daughter. The room's empty, bed made, everything in order … his pumpkin has obviously left for school without waking him.

He's just pulling the door closed behind him when his mother, not quite looking her usual bright and cheerful self but still colourfully and smartly turned out appears from her bedroom.

"Oh! Hello Richard darling, did you manage to get some sleep after all the brouhaha of last night?"

"Morning mother" he answers, giving her cheek a kiss as she places her hand on his shoulder and gives him a Rodgers smile. "Not very much, but I need to get down to the police station and then sort out some decent security for this place!"

"Well I'm off for a casting session, so I don't know when I'll be back, just ask those nice policemen to do everything they can to recover my jewels will you?" she throws brightly over her shoulder as she makes her way towards the stairs.

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