Moon In Scorpio

Chapter 43

Walking out to the kitchen he sees both his daughter and his mother sitting at the kitchen island with their backs to him and sharing pages from his newspaper. Stepping up behind them he laces an arm round each shoulder and drops a kiss on Alexis' head.

"Morning ladies, and how was your day?"

Alexis drops the fashion section she's holding and turns on the seat to slip her arm round his waist and return the hug. Martha turns her head to look her son up and down, manicured hands carefully holding the entertainment section of the newspaper.

Alexis is first with an excited retelling of a day's shopping and spa treatment and an evening of watching Billy Elliot at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway, including meeting the cast backstage thanks to Grams.

He offers a mouthed than you over her head and Martha waves it away which makes him cringe at the probable dent in his credit card. If his mother isn't demanding some type of reward from him, even if only as a playful comment, then she's probably restocked her wardrobe at his expense, not that he really begrudges her the money, it's just their thing, the petulant comments and counter-comments.

He pours himself a coffee and leans back against the counter, letting the caffeine work through his system whilst trying to ignore the rather pointed look his mother is giving him and concentrate on his daughter chewing on a strand of hair as she reads through the latest accessories fashion.

"So Richard, how was your day, I gather Kate spent the whole of yesterday with you?"

Rick glares at his mother, aware that Alexis has dropped the newspaper sheet and is now watching him from large, blue and intrigued eyes. He's going to have to have a word with Charlie and Eduardo … no more ratting on him to Martha!

Going for nonchalant, he gives a shrug and says "It was enjoyable, she gave me a lot of ideas and pointers … in fact she even pointed out a couple of mistakes I'd made. I was able to get another four chapters written and some editing done" hoping the writing bit will deflect her. Unfortunately, Martha, once she's locked onto a subject is worse than a sidewinder missile, she'll ignore all the chaff and defensive measures you might throw out and head right for the hotspot.

"You mean, you let her read the manuscript?" eyebrows raised and eyes wide in surprise, it's well known that no-one other than Alexis gets to read his manuscripts until Gina's given it the once over.

Aware that he's had one engine knocked out and is now crabbing across the sky on one motor and an occasional puff of smoke he turns his back on them and starts getting himself something to eat in the hope that a second sidewinder doesn't finish him off for good. "She only read a bit, I needed to check that Nikki Heat's technique was correct"

He can feel the cruel smile stretching across his mother's face even with his back to her. "And did she show you any new techniques yesterday?" the dulcet voice dripping amusement at the way he'd left that gate wide open.

Turning, he glares at her, pointedly glancing at his daughter. Unfortunately Alexis is a smart kid and knows exactly where the conversation is going. "Eww Grams, adolescent present!"

Martha just shrugs, amusement on her face as she pats her granddaughter's shoulder, "Don't worry kiddo, things are bound to get worse before they get better!"

Sliding the bacon and eggs onto a plate along with a slice of toast he grabs his cup, walks round past his daughter, leans down to give her a kiss on her head and whispers loudly, "I'm going to work on the book, don't let your Grams lead you up any garden paths … she's crazy"

Both women turn on their seats to watch him disappear into the study, closing the door behind him before high-fiving. "So, you really think he's getting in over his head Grams?"

"I don't know kiddo, but the time he's spent on tracking her down and looking after her … you know your Dad, he does tend to get a bit obsessive … but with this Kate? I don't know … how do you feel about it?"

Alexis considers the question, then shrugs, "I'm not sure, she seems a nice person, though a bit closed off. She's certainly like none of the other women he's picked up at book launches or whatever … and she's the first he's brought home since Gina … I guess we'll just have to keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn't do anything crazy"

Martha watches her granddaughter with a mixture of pride and amusement. Richard isn't the only one who thinks she's the adult in the family despite only being fifteen. But she's still vulnerable and Martha isn't sure where the current situation is heading. Like Alexis, she thinks Kate is both interesting and an extremely private person. There is a lot to her which is both a mystery and contradictory and she knows how her son can become fascinated by those characteristics, she just hopes he'll know when to stop.

Castle meanwhile has turned on the laptop and enjoyed his breakfast in the relative peace of the study, away from the lurking danger that is Martha Rodgers. Picking up the phone he is about to make a call when he decides it might be better to send a message.

Kate is folding the clothes from the drier, ready for ironing, when the chirp from her phone draws her attention. Looking around she sees it poking from under a magazine on the coffee table and picking it up checks the screen. Expecting it to be Lanie with some news about their girls' night she's both surprised and pleased to see its from Castle.

Sliding her thumb across, she reads Morning beautiful, thanks for a great day!

She can't help the smile that pulls her mouth up into a curve and sitting down on the couch she drops the half-folded shirt onto the table and texts back; Its way past morning Castle

She has to laugh when he sends Way past morning beautiful, thanks for a great day!

Kate's about to answer him when the phone rings and she sees it's his number. Looking around the apartment at the amount of work still to do before Lanie arrives she lets out a sigh and settles back into the couch before taking the call.

"What are you doing today Beckett?"

"What business is it of yours Castle?"

"You always answer a question with another question, Beckett?"

"You going to wear my name out Castle?"

"No Kate, I'm still trying to get used to it, is all. And you still haven't answered my question!"

Kate pulls a foot up onto the couch and tucks it under her other leg before answering, "Housework"

"How boring! How about going out for lunch?"

"Can't, I've a friend coming for the evening; I need to get my place sorted"

She can sense the hesitation and disappointment in his voice "Oh, well then in that case I'll let you get on with it"

Now it's her turn to hesitate a moment, not sure why she should feel she needs to put his mind at rest, not used to explaining herself to others. "It's a girls' night" she says quietly, almost to herself. But he obviously hears her because suddenly he's back to his cheerful self.

"Oh, well then in that case, don't let me hold you up, have a great time Kate!"

"Thanks, I'll call you later … well maybe tomorrow"

"I'm generally up till the early hours with my writing, so you can call me later if you want" he adds quickly.

"Ok, maybe, I'll see how it goes … bye" and then she's cutting the call otherwise she'll still be sitting here saying inane nothings when Lanie arrives.

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