Moon In Scorpio

Chapter 42

Kate Beckett wakes to a cold October morning, the last of the month, the bedroom window clouded by condensation and blurring the cold light attempting to make its way in to the bedroom.

Its Sunday and her lay-in day and yet she's wide awake and excited and it's only eight thirty according to her clock. She doesn't really want to get out of bed, it's warm and protective and yet she's incapable of laying still. Her mind jumps to yesterday, to everything that happened from the moment she rang his doorbell. She runs through the day, step by step, trying to find alternative meanings to his words or his actions, trying to and failing as each time she remembers his look as he wiped the sauce from the corner of her mouth or his tone of voice as he told her he wanted to help her find out about her Mom, or the intimacy of his taking a bite out of the Falafel she was holding, the kiss, the look of shock on his face, the call at the end of the evening.

Unconsciously she's sat up as her mind runs through the Saturday, her arms wrapped round her knees and chin resting on them as she finds herself smiling. Then she becomes aware of the cold round her shoulders and down her back and blushes as she realises she's wearing nothing but a t-shirt and thinking of a ruggedly handsome writer … and not the one she'd jokingly mentioned.

Grabbing her dressing gown from the end of the bed she pulls it on and slips out from under the covers, wrapping it tightly around her and wishing the heating in the building was as efficient as Castle's. She pulls a pair of thick socks from a drawer and slips them on before pushing her feet into her slippers and heading for the kitchen.

Half an hour later she's on her second cup of coffee and desultorily stirring the slightly stale cereals in the bowl, impatiently waiting for the clock to crawl round to a reasonable time … reasonable as far as waking Lanie up on a Sunday is concerned.

She thinks about calling Castle … and immediately rejects the idea. Then she stands up, empties the uneaten cereals down to toilet before returning to the kitchen and rinsing both the bowl and the spoon. Kate makes her way into the bedroom, changes into a pair of pantyhose before pulling on a thick pair of tracksuit bottoms and slipping a thick hoodie over her t-shirt. She leans into the closet and pulls out a pair of trainers, laces them up and only stops to pick up some money, her phone, headphones and keys before making her way down to the street.

She heads northeast on Mercer towards Houston and swings left once she's crossed the junction, striding out as she hits the south side of the park-like area. Soon she's hit her stride, arms pumping, breath even, legs kicking as she reaches La Guardia Plaza and swings right into the tree-lined alley, moving easily round the few pedestrians she meets, acknowledging the occasional runner she crosses paths with. The trees are bare, offering nothing but skeletal branches in supplication to the glaringly grey sky overhead and no protection from the chill air but her body has built up its own heat as she burns off calories.

She dodges left at the Morton Williams marketplace and heads northeast on La Guardia towards West Third Street keeping under the trees and feeling the satisfaction of the slap, slap, slap as her trainers hit the pavement and Rihanna's Take a Bow plays through her earpiece.

She makes her way along Washington Square Village, the trees thinning out here, one every five yards or so lining the street and offering little at this time of year, though spring and summer they offer grateful shade from the soaring sun.

Soon she's back at the top end of Mercer, the trees thickening up again as she makes her way down towards Houston once again. She completes the first lap and swings right again at the corner for a second one, feeling the energy building as her body moves fluidly in a well-rehearsed rhythm.

It's almost an hour before she's heading back up to her apartment, using the stairs rather than the lift as she burns up the last of her excess energy. Once through the door she leans back against it, hands on knees, allowing her breathing to settle down a bit, the perspiration pouring down her face and body. The flat no longer feels cold, though she knows it will soon enough if she doesn't turn the heating up.

Then she's heading to the bathroom, stripping off and dropping her clothes on the floor to be dealt with later, stepping under the shower and allowing the hot water to wash away the sweat and grime and exhaustion of her run. By the time she's dressed in fresh yoga pants, ankle warmers and a big loose top it's almost ten thirty and she grabs her phone to call Lanie.

They make arrangements for the evening and then Kate goes about sorting and doing her laundry, dusting and cleaning, keeping herself busy and trying to keep her mind off Castle. She has to stop herself calling him several times, picking the phone up, running through the contacts list, she still hasn't put him on speed dial … like that would commit her to whatever it is they have … or don't have.

Castle wakes and with a lazy yawn turns to look at the clock on his nightstand. Twelve thirty, he could do with another hour of sleep, he didn't notice the time when he crawled into bed, but it must have been after four in the morning, probably closer to five. Then he smiles as he thinks of the evening, reliving all those moments in his mind as the sleepiness leaves his body and is replaced with a sense of excitement he hasn't felt for a long time. He gets up, suddenly revitalised and heads for the bathroom, a pee and a shower uppermost in his mind. Twenty minutes later he emerges from the bedroom, fresh denim shirt over a pair of worn but comfortable jeans and stops by his desk, moving the laptop from the corner of the desk where he had exhaustedly dropped it last night after writing another four chapters and editing the earlier ones.

Returning from dropping Kate … Beckett … no Kate, he prefers Kate to Beckett, off at her place and after their phone conversation, his imagination had suddenly taken over, pouring out the next sequence of events for the story, inspired inevitably by the disclosures and events of the day. Four or five hours of compulsive writing had left him exhausted and he'd just dropped the laptop on the desk and crawled into bed.

Now he needs to do several things; swallow a gallon of coffee, see his daughter and check on how her evening had gone, phone Kate and read through last night's writing, see if it hangs together in the cold light of day the same way it had done in the dark of night.

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