Moon In Scorpio

Chapter 56

"I told them that I'd come across some information on a murder when I was researching the new book and gave them Rico Cambrea's name …" he's watching her carefully, but so far she seems to be keeping her hair on, so he pulls a folded sheet of paper out of his breast pocket and unfolds it, hoping he's remembered everything from the precinct, "… he was killed on September third, two thousand and two, COD was multiple stab wounds including one lethal one to the kidneys …" he pauses, looking up at her and seeing the comprehension in her eyes "… the Detective in charge of the investigation was John Raglan …" again he pauses and looks up at her, noticing that this time her eyes are fixed on the sheet of paper in his hand "… he suspected it was a drug deal gone wrong, the case went nowhere and was shelved in January, two thousand and three" Here he stops, and waits for her eyes to travel back up from the paper in his hand to meet his own eyes. "Any of that sound familiar?" he asks.

"Too much of it" she says and stretches her hand out. He passes her the paper and sits still for a few minutes watching her furrowed brow as she reads through his notes. When she hands it back to him he opens her folder and slips it in with the other items already in it. He catches her surprised look and says "Were in this together … assuming you're ok with that?"

There's a moment's silence as she stares at the folder sitting on the joined armrests and then lifts her eyes back to his, gives a tentative smile and nods. He lets out a breath he wasn't even aware he was holding.

"They found two other cases with a similar MO, one in nineteen ninety nine …" he nods towards the folder, "I'm assuming that's your Mom's case, the other was in two thousand five. Other than that the 19nd Precinct handled that case, I don't know anything else about it, but …" and here he pauses, trying to keep the excitement in his voice down, "I've been asked to consult, so as soon as they finish their current investigation and reopen these cases, I should be able to get all the info they have!"

She's staring at him from enormous eyes, mouth opened in surprise. Then there's a troubled look replacing the astonishment. "We'd still be in this together?" she asks hesitatingly.

"Of course, why?"

"If you and the cops have all the information and follow the leads … how will I know what you've found, that it's not just going to get buried again?" the forlorn voice and cast down face tell Castle just how little confidence she has in other people, and though it hurts him somewhat that she still doesn't totally trust him, he understands how the last ten years have made her like she is. Taking her wine glass out of her hands and placing both of them on the floor, well out of the way so that he doesn't kick them over, he gets out of his chair and crouches in front of her, gently takes both her hands and stares up into her face. Her hair frames doubtful eyes which are neither green nor hazel right now, rather they're dark pools staring down into his own. She's shifted her body slightly so that she's facing him, legs still tucked up beneath her in a somewhat awkward position but neither of them appears to be aware of that.

"Katherine Beckett, have I misplaced your trust at any time since we met?" he asks gently. She gives a shake of her head and he feels her hands flutter within his. "Will you believe me if I say that I will never willingly break your trust?" there's a slightly longer hesitation here but then she eventually nods. "Then trust me when I say that whatever I find out at the precinct, I'll bring back and we'll go over together so that you know exactly what is going on, ok?"

There seems to be an interminable delay before she shifts in the chair, carefully straightens her legs out, placing one either side of him and leaning forward slightly to stare into his eyes and he gets the impression she's looking into his soul. "Why?"

And there's a world of questions in that one word and tone, questions he understands, or thinks he does at any rate. Why was he doing this, and why should she trust him and why was he doing this anyway? Looking up into those large, questioning eyes he feels his breath catch, he can't explain it really, after all, he's only known her for a month … but it has been intense and exciting and frightening and exhilarating month … and what had begun as fascination and curiosity has become something else … he's not sure what, but the excitement he feels each time he's arranged to meet her or he's dropped in on her unannounced is something he hasn't felt for a long time. It reminds him of those far-off days with Kyra …

She's still looking down at him expectantly, her hands resting quietly within his and he realises that if he gets this wrong, he'll probably screw it all up, so he takes a deep breath and says "I don't know where this is going, but I do know where I want it to go. I don't know what the future holds, I can't promise I won't screw up, but I can promise it won't be intentional. I want to see you every day …" he gives a slightly rueful smile "… I guess you've probably already realised that?" and he's surprised when she gives a slight shake of her head, "I'm excited each time I'm going to meet you, each time you agree to come here, frustrated when you say you won't" again he gives a little shrug, "I guess I'm just a hopeless case" and he finishes with his little boy pouting look which he knows from Alexis doing it to him, is irresistible.

She smiles but shakes her head and he lets the pout go, instead he looks up at her, waiting for her reaction. She can't believe what he's just said, can't allow herself to believe it. Surely he can't be serious? At most its infatuation, some childlike 'I want it 'cos its new', there is no way he can be meaning what she thinks he's saying. "I'm broken Castle, I don't have any money, I'm a criminal … even though I may not have a record … yet, I have a lousy job and lousy prospects and a load of baggage you don't even know about. How can you, of all people, say you like me?"

"What's not to like about you Kate? You've been dealt a rotten hand of cards and you've done what you could with them, would you continue your illegal activities if you didn't have to?"

"Illegal activities Castle? Criminal too strong a word for you?"

"Kate, criminal or illegal, doesn't matter, you haven't answered me. Would you carry on breaking and entering if you didn't need to?"

She shakes her head, "No"

"Is your lousy job all you aspire to or is it just a means to an end?"

"It gives me the chance to find places I can hit … it's a means to an end"

"So if you no longer had to find the money to solve your Mom's case, you could look at all sorts of other options where work's concerned?"

"I can't allow myself to think like that Castle, I've spent over ten years chasing this!"

"I know, I'm just hypothesising ok? In a hypothetical world, if your Mom's case was finally resolved and you no longer had to chase phantoms, would you look at things differently?"

Kate sighs, she's trying to fight his logic but the intense look he's giving her, the comfort of his hands holding hers is draining the fight from her, all she can do is nod in agreement.

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