Moon In Scorpio

Chapter 50

Rick wakes to the alarm set for earlier than usual. At first he's a bit confused, then remembers the amount of things he has to get through before meeting Kate for coffee. A quick shower, then he dresses in jeans, blue button-down shirt and after a look out the windows pulls a warm jacket from the closet and drops it on the bed. Next he opens a drawer and pulls out the Patek Philippe with the black crocodile strap he usually wears with his tux and slips it into his breast pocket.

Heading over to the kitchen he gets the coffee machine going and pulls a thermos out from one of the cupboards. As soon as the coffee's made he pours it into the thermos, pulls a pump bottle of French Vanilla from the fridge, something he's picked up since noticing the coffees Kate gets at Bob's, grabs a couple of spoons and carries them over to the coffee table.

Next he grabs a couple of blankets, wraps one around the thermos and the other round the vanilla bottle and slips everything into a sports bag, picks up his jacket and heads outside to walk round the corner onto Crosby. There's a young couple coming out the door of Aesa and he lets them out before stepping inside.

"Hi Ricky! Come for your Mom's jewellery?"

"Only if they're ready Mel, I was just walking down to Parisi's and came in on the off chance …"

"Well that saves me a call, I've got them ready for you here …" walking round behind one of the counters and pulling open a drawer, "… Tim checked all the settings and they're fine, he also cleaned them up as you asked, they're good as new!"

"Thanks Mel, appreciated, and say hi to Tim for me will you? I also wanted to drop this in for a new strap, it's beginning to get a bit worn" pulling the Patek Philippe from his pocket and handing over, "I'm in no rush, so I'll pick it up another day"

"No problem Rick, same strap?" and on getting his nod "Do you want me to add it to this bill or leave it till you come in for it?"

"I'll pay for it when I pick it up" he decides, wanting Martha's jewellery on its own bit of paper.

Melissa makes out the bill for him, runs his credit card through the terminal, slips everything into a carrier bag and accompanies him to the door.

He heads round to Parisi's Bakery and picks up a couple of boxed bear claws which he adds to the sports bag, his final stop for this stage of operations being the florists a few doors down from Parisi's. With everything he hopes he needs for later on in the bag, Castle steps out to the edge of the sidewalk and flags a cab down, checking his watch as he slides into the seat and pulls the door closed behind him. One hour down, one and a half to go …

He slips the cabby a note and tells him to keep the change as he pulls in opposite the 12th Precinct, climbs out of the cab and dodging cars makes it across the road and up the steps. He signs in, collects his Visitors badge and heads up to Robbery. He spots Detective Demming talking to a couple of uniforms and heads over towards the guy's desk. He's caught Demming throwing a look his way, but the Detective carries on talking to the officers for several moments before slapping one of them on the shoulder and heading over towards where Castle is standing waiting for him.

"Well Mister Castle, come to complain about the lack of progress in your case?"

Rick's surprised and it shows, not only is he highly respectful of NYPD's members as a whole given the time he's spent trailing around behind the two Homicide Detectives, the barely concealed disdain from the Robbery Detective seems to him to be inexplicable. Deciding to ignore it however, he pastes an apologetic smile onto his lips and shrugs.

"Far from it Detective, I actually came to apologise for wasting your time"

Demming throws him a puzzled look, sits down behind his desk and waves Castle to take the visitor's chair across from him. "What do you mean?"

"Well, it would appear that my mother never lost her jewels last month" he says, slipping his hand into the carrier bag and extracting the now perfectly cleaned items along with the receipt from Aesa. "It seems she took them to be cleaned and then forgot … I assume that with the shock of the assumed burglary along with her advanced age …" and he sincerely hopes Martha never hears him say any of this "… it probably slipped her mind. I went this morning to leave a watch for repairs and that was when they told me they had her pieces ready to be collected" he finishes with another apologetic shrug and holds his breath, cursing himself for giving too much information, shit Rick, never give more information than you need to, it's the first giveaway of a lie, should have just said you'd gone in to drop something in … the watch part was too much.

Detective Demming pulls a folder from a drawer, opens it up and flips the pages till he comes to the part listing and describing the items stolen from the loft. Checking the jewels he nods and then picks up the receipt.

He looks up at Castle, a frown on his face "You wouldn't happen to have the bill as well would you Mister Castle?" Rick fishes inside the carrier from Aesa and pulls out the itemised bill which he hands over. Detective Demming looks it over and then raises his eyes to look at Castle. "The bill is made out for today Mister Castle, surely if they were ready before, the bill would have an earlier date?"

Castle thanks his writer's imagination which had him running through probable scenarios on the trip to the station. "In actual fact the original bill was made out in my mother's name several weeks ago I believe, however I didn't want to add to her embarrassment, so I asked the shop to make out a new one in my name … also helps with taxes you know" he adds as a rider.

Demming's eyes flicker from the bill to Castle's face and then back to the bill again. Finally with a shrug he pushes the jewels and bill across towards Castle and adds, "If you'll just wait a moment I'll write this up and you can sign it" saying which he turns to his computer and starts hammering away at the keyboard.

Castle is both relieved and amused. Demming obviously has some issue with him … or maybe it's just with people like him, but at least he seems to have swallowed his story, reluctantly, but still.

The printer over by the wall comes to life and churns out three copies of the document which Demming gets up to retrieve. Returning to the desk he remains standing and slides the sheets over to Castle along with a pen, "If you wouldn't mind signing each copy …"

Castle checks over the two paragraphs of text which basically state that the missing items had been recovered by the owner and that the case was now a simple B&E with nothing missing, going on to say where and why the missing items had been all along. Castle could almost feel the impatience coming off the paper. He quickly signs all three copies and slips the one Demming returns to him into the carrier bag along with the jewellery, bill and receipt.

Standing up, he apologises once more to the Detective and heads off towards the lift, happy to get away from Robbery and head up to Homicide. A quick check of his watch tells him he still has just over an hour to go … he'll need twenty minutes to reach his intended destination so that gives him less than half an hour with Espo and Ryan if they are in the bullpen.

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