Moon In Scorpio

Chapter 5

He clips the Visitor tag onto his lapel and although he has to go up to Robbery, he wants to make another call first. Stepping out onto the Homicide floor he looks around and spotting his targets walks over to them, a grin on his face.

Detective Javier Esposito is the first to look up and notice him, before nudging his partner and drawling "Well look what the cat just dragged in Kevin!"

Detective Kevin Ryan looks up from the file he is studying and grins before getting to his feet and reaching out to shake the writer's outstretched hand. "Hello Castle! What brings you back into our neck of the woods? Going to do some more research on the NYPD?"

"Hello boys, good to see you again. Actually I could do with some help, unofficially so to speak .."

"Castle …" said the grinning Hispanic as he shook Rick's hand "… if you've murdered someone we can't cover for you … not unless we get to drive the Ferrari again!"

It's incredible thinks Rick, he'd spent just over three weeks last year following this pair of cops around Manhattan when he was researching for the final Storm book. They'd been a great few weeks, especially with the double act they put on. Yes, he'd paid for most of the meals, got them front row seats at a couple of games and allowed them to drive the Ferrari, but he's still touched at the genuine friendliness they were offering him.

"We had a break-in during the early hours …" he quickly adds at the look of concern on their faces, "… nothing big, just a few pieces of my mother's jewellery gone. It's just that I was wondering if you guys could find out if there have been any similar cases recently?"

Javi looks at him, eyebrow quirked, "This for a story or you thinking of becoming a vigilante, Castle?"

He ignores Ryan's chuckle, already slipping into the comedy routine they'd run whilst he'd been following them. "Story, boys, story. Now that Storm's dead I need to come up with a new character, maybe a smart detective tracking down an international jewel thief?" he waggles his eyebrows at them

Neither look impressed "Been there Castle, got the T-shirt" says Kevin

"Ok, but still, could you guys let me know if you find anything? I'd sure appreciate it!"

"Like how much?" asks Esposito

"A couple of courtside seats for the next Knicks game?"

Both cops look at each other and then back at him without saying anything

"Ok, ok, courtside seats for the next three games!"

All three bump fists and Javi tells him they'll call him if they have anything "You still using the same number Castle?"

He nods and they wave to each other as he heads back to the lift.

The visit to Robbery is a bit less friendly though perfectly professional. A detective Demming takes notes of what he has to say and compares these with the report filed by the police who were called to the scene. He's uncommunicative when Rick asks him if there have been other, similar burglaries in the area, simply telling him he is unable to divulge any such information.

Castle hides his smile, he may not want to divulge any such information, but he's unwittingly informed him that such information exists. The detective then introduces him to a sketch artist and shows them to a room where they can work to get a picture of his intruder.

It takes about twenty minutes for the artist to produce a sketch based on Castle's memory. She might have been a barely glimpsed visitor, but the image of her standing there in shock, staring at him, was deeply imprinted in his mind. It's when the artist is refining the eyes, adjusting the taper of the nose that Rick suddenly begins to have misgivings. The picture emerging on the pad is an incredible likeness to the one seared into his cortex. But does he actually want the police to have this sketch? Does he want her face plastered over newspaper pages, notice boards and police station wanted boards?

This beautiful face belongs to a mystery he is dying to know more about. Who is she? What is she? Why was she in his loft? Is she in fact a cat-burglar? She certainly has the tools and technique … but suddenly he wants her to himself, he isn't prepared to share her with the rest of the world just yet … no, at least not until he's discovered who she is and what makes her tick.

With that in mind he begins to let doubt show on his face, not much, just enough, a creased brow, a slight twist to his mouth … all those subtle signs that he had unwittingly picked up from his mother and her friends … the actor coming to the fore.

The sketch artist, work almost complete, notices the look, the slight sheepishness in the man's expression. "Something not right?" he asks.

"I'm sorry, it's my fault, I must have allowed my mind to think about my daughter … and … well, the work is great, but I think I've mixed some of Alexis' features with the woman who broke in last night, do you mind if we start again, I can use that one to be more focused, not make the same mistake again .." he allowed a slight pleading tone to colour his voice.

The artist shrugs, rips the sheet off the pad and hands it to Castle who can barely contain his excitement. This time, using the incredible likeness of the intruder in his hands, he makes small alterations to his descriptions; hair a little longer, nose a little wider here a bit more curved here, the chin a little squarer, the lips a little thinner … by the time the artist has finished the second sketch any similarity between it and his unexpected visitor was minimal to say the least.

"Do you mind if I keep this one?" he asks, indicating the first sketch, "I think my daughter will laugh when she sees it"

The artist, standing up and gathering his stuff together shrugs, "Sure, no problem"

Castle rolls the picture up and after shaking hands with the artist carefully holds his jacket so that it covers the paper and hides it from view before heading back to Detective Demming's desk and thanking him. Demming doesn't offer to shake hands, just politely tells him he'll keep him informed of any developments and returns to his paperwork. Castle is quite happy to head to the lift and make his way out of the precinct.

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