They sit there for several moments, the engine ticking over, turned in their seats facing each other. Slowly he leans towards her, moves his hand to the back of her neck and gently pulls her towards him. She stares at him from huge eyes as they come together, then she closes hers, allows a sigh to escape her and feels the gentle brush of his lips on hers. It's a feather light touch, a promise of more to come, then a second harder crushing of lips and his thumb is brushing the shell of her ear and her tongue is pushing his lips apart and his is fighting back and she's short of breath and then he's pulling back, her own instinctive move to follow his lips brought to a stop by the catch of the seatbelt.
Kate opens her eyes and sees him leaning back against his door, a look of bewilderment on his face which probably matches her own. Oh my god! Then he reaches out again, takes her hand in his, turns it over and places a gentle kiss on her palm. "When can I see you again?" he asks.
She has to swallow, and she snatches her hand back, feeling the touch of his lips still tingling the palm of her hand. "I'll … I'll give you a call" she manages, "I need a bit of time to think things through …" and hesitatingly "… do you mind?"
He shakes his head, then stops "Well actually I do mind, but I understand, so take the time you need"
She nods, unclips the seatbelt and climbs out of the car. As she's about to close the door, she stops, leans in and says, "Oh, by the way, it's Beckett"
"You work it out" she adds with a smile as she closes the door and walks across the sidewalk to a doorway a few yards further down. He watches her open the door, pausing a moment to look back at him before waving and closing the door behind her. He makes a note of the building, then settles back, checks his mirrors and pulls out into the street.
He drives back to the loft on autopilot, his driving instinctive, his mind grappling with what has just happened. He knew they would be good together, but that kiss had blown his mind away, the scent of cherry and spicy Lebanese food and Kate melded into some exotic cocktail which he wants to try again … and again, and again.
It's not till he's riding the lift up to the loft that he remembers her comment as she closed the door. 'By the way, it's Beckett', what had she meant by that? What does the old Archbishop of Canterbury have to do with it … or was she referring to Samuel Beckett, the poet ... it makes no sense, neither of them make sense and right now he can't think of any other Becketts .. so, what the hell?
With a sigh she leans against the back of the lift as shuddering and jolting, it trundles its way up to her fourth-floor apartment. Unconsciously, her hand moves to her lips, remembering the silken feel of his kiss, the fire that burnt right through her soul as she'd responded to him. She can't help the smile that flitters across her face, then she frowns … she needs to talk to Lanie before she goes and does something stupid … not that she hasn't already done it. She's allowed herself to get too close to someone who could ruin her life so easily … and yet, would he? Would he have wasted so much time with her if he wasn't interested in her as a person, surely if all he wanted was to pick her brains all he had to do was to talk to her, she seems incapable of withstanding his probing questions, of keeping her natural defences up. He has no need to spend time with her aside from that, no need to prepare meals or sit with her and watch a film … or treat her injuries, and most important of all, keep her secret from the cops.
He's obviously serious about the book, after all, he wouldn't have bothered writing as much as he has if he isn't, surely? And to be honest, she's totally thrilled at being the heroine of a Castle book, especially if Rook's thoughts are anything like Castle's. But … the pinging of the lift as it comes to a grumbling halt on her floor draws her out of her reverie and with a gusty sigh she pushes herself off and makes her way down the hallway to her door.
He pushes the study door closed behind him and can't help glancing at the picture on the easel … suddenly he stops. It has to be, surely … Kate Becket … or would it be Kate Beckett with two ts? He flops down into the chair and by the desk and pulls his phone out of his pocket.
She's kicked her boots off, hung her coat on the wall-mounted rack behind the door and changed into a pair of sweats and a large t-shirt. It reminds her that she needs to get his shirt washed and returned to him before he calls her out on it. She's going round the apartment turning on lights and heating, trying to make the place warm and cosy and failing miserably when she compares it to his loft. Her phone rings. Pulling it up she sees it's Castle and with a sigh flops down onto the couch. She stares at the ringing phone for several moments, wondering if she should answer on not, maybe he's calling to say it was a mistake, that the kiss meant nothing, that he doesn't want to see her again … then with some trepidation she taps the screen and holds it up to her ear.
"Is it with one or two tees?"
She's startled by the question, "What the …" then realises he's asking her about her name and has to grin, making a conscious effort to tamp down the feeling of relief she's feeling. "… it's with two tees"
"So, Kate Beckett or Katherine Beckett?"
"Kate … unless it's for formal occasions"
"Well Kate Beckett, thank you for a most enjoyable day … when can I see you again?"
She has to laugh and then tries for a stern voice, "We've already been through that Castle, I said I'd let you know when" but realises as soon as she's finished that in spite of her best effort her voice has unconsciously dropped an octave and been much more intimate than she'd meant it to be.
She can hear him chuckling on the other end and pulls her feet up onto the couch, settling into the corner and smiling in spite of herself, then hears him ask quietly "What are you doing?"
"Why do you want to know?"
"Just curious, and you shouldn't answer a question with another one!"
"You only dropped me off twenty minutes ago, what am I supposed to be doing?"
"I don't know … having a long, hot bath … and thinking of me? Or maybe lying in bed, wearing nothing but a t-shirt …. and thinking of me?"
She has to blush at his words, butterflies making her stomach tremble as his deep voice stirs her and plants the ideas in her mind … and she has to shake her head to clear those tempting thoughts and manages to make her voice light as she answers "Why on earth would I be thinking of you Castle, plenty of others I can think of in those situations …"
She picks up on the hurt in his voice, subtle but enough to make her regret her words immediately and she changes tack, "Not that there is anyone …" shit Kate, really? "I mean no-one at the moment …" and she peters out in exasperation at herself.
"Ok, Kate Beckett, sleep well … and dream of a ruggedly handsome writer" and his voice is back to cheerful which is a relief to her though she can't help biting her lip as she realises how much ground she's giving him.
"Thanks Castle … and I'll dream of Cannell"