Kate watches Castle as he puts the phone down after talking to the Detective. There's a pensive look on his face and then he turns to look at her and his face clears. "What were we talking about before we got distracted by phone calls?" he asks, pretending to forget her question.
She's not fooled and just pokes her tongue out at him "You know full well"
"If I have a choice in the matter, I opt for boyfriend" and there's no hesitation when he looks at her.
"Wow! You really mean I can go to one of your book signings and claim to be Richard Castle's girlfriend?" and he can tell she's laughing at him but he answers her anyway.
"If you're willing to rescue me from frenzied fans at a book signing, you are most definitely my girlfriend!" leaning in to cup her face between his hands and kissing her.
The kiss deepens and Kate, sitting on the stool with Castle standing between her knees can't help curling her legs round him ... until a clearing of a throat behind them pulls them back to reality. "Sorry Pumpkin, anything I can get you?" whilst Kate feels the blood suffusing her neck and cheeks and doesn't know where to look, Rick seems to be pretty unconcerned.
"It's just that I've been talking to Paige and she wants to know if she can come for a sleepover tomorrow?"
"Of course, just the two of you or should I expect a Lilliputian invasion?"
"Just the two of us Dad ... and with what I could tell Grams, I don't think you should be calling my friends Lilliputians ..." she says, looking at him innocently.
Kate has to gasp and hold back the laughter at his daughter's audacity and can't help but turn to look at her, then switching her eyes to the writer adds, "You're so busted Rick!"
"I'm busted!?" he says indignantly "It wasn't me wrapped all around you ..."
They two females say in unison, Alexis looking at him with a 'eew' face and Kate glaring at him in indignation. Throwing his hands up in the air in mock defeat he goes round to where Alexis is standing and hugs her "No problem Pumpkin, we'll get plenty of popcorn in for whatever marathon you're going to sit through" and watches his daughter run back up the stairs to her bedroom.
Turning to look at Kate he finds her grinning and shaking her head at him, a look of undoubted relief at the fact that his daughter hasn't had hysterics at the sight of them making out in the kitchen.
"Right, and before I forget, Espo ..." and seeing the look on her face "... Detective Esposito called to say that they've wrapped up the case they were working on and will be starting on your Mom's, Rico's and the other case on Monday, so we need to work some things out beforehand."
She looks at him with raised eyebrows and checking out the staircase he holds a hand out to her, waits till she slipped off the stool and has taken it before leading her to the study and closing the door behind them. The two chairs they'd used the other day are still in the same position and they each take one, sitting sideways and facing each other.
"Firstly we need to decide if we know each other or not" he says, "they are bound to want to talk to you at some stage. If I tell them I know you, they're going to be suspicious of the fact that I didn't say anything about your Mom's case ... if we pretend we don't know each other, then I'm going to have to behave like a stranger when they're around ... maybe make the sort of impertinent questions they might expect me to make ... and I won't be able to hold your hand or anything like that"
She has a think about it and nods in realisation "It would be easy to make a mistake if we're not careful, wouldn't it? What about if we knew each other, maybe through work, but you just didn't know about my Mom?"
Rick shakes his head, "These guys are good, they might fall for it to start with, but give them a bit of time to think about it and they'll be suspicious, maybe lock me out of the investigation. I've given it a lot of thought the last couple of days and I think we only have two choices; we admit we know each other and I say that I didn't mention your Mom's case because I didn't want to influence them ... they probably won't believe me but might let it pass, or we pretend we don't know each other ..." with a sigh he adds "I'm not happy with either case, but what do you think?"
"They're only going to want to talk to me the one time I should think? Find out what I know, what happened. So we only have to pretend we don't know each other the once right?"
"Probably, maybe a second interview later on if we ... they, find out anything. By then it won't matter so much, maybe we got together through meeting at the precinct" he grins at her.
"Not very professional Castle" she smiles back at him
"Hey! I'm a writer, not a cop ... who's worried about being professional!"
"Ok, so as and when they need to talk with me, will they want me to go in to the precinct or come looking for me at work or home?"
"If it were a live case … sorry, I mean one that had just happened, then they'd want to interview you quickly and probably at work or home, however with it being a cold case and so many things to check over and leads to follow they won't be in such a rush so they're more likely to arrange for you to visit them at the precinct … I'm only guessing here from the time I spent with them, so I could be totally wrong" he says, picking up her hand from where its resting on the arm between them and asking "You're ok with all of this, right Kate?"
She nods, gives his hand a squeeze and adds "I guess they'll probably want to talk to my Dad as well?"
"Anyone and everyone related with the case, check if their stories still match their previous declarations, see if they've remembered or thought of anything else since, find out if their lifestyles have changed radically in any way … probably a load of other stuff I can't think of right now, but at least if I'm there with them you'll know what's happening. Is there likely to be a problem with your Dad?" he asks almost apologetically, not sure if he's allowed to ask that type of question.
She shakes her head, "No, only … when I met him on Wednesday I told him I'd met someone …" she looks up at him shyly and then ducks her head, "… told him that person's name was Rick … almost blurted out Castle, but managed to bight my tongue in time. At least he didn't make the connection!"
"Why would he?" he asks curiously.
Kate colours up and looks everywhere but at him which has him even more intrigued. He leans forwards, crowding her space, grinning at her in suspicion but waiting for her to spit it out. With a huff she gives in, pushing him back into his chair and saying "My Mom was a fan of yours, had several of your books, used to joke that if she hadn't met my Dad and was ten years younger she'd be chasing you …" glancing up at him she finds to her surprise that he's not laughing at her .. or her Mom, but rather watching her in interest, a warmth in his eyes which makes her breath catch and she has to swallow before continuing.
"After she was killed I came across them on her bookshelves, they had pride of place next to her Raymond Chandlers and John le Carrés. I was curious, they were well read, cracked spines … I wondered why she enjoyed them so much … so I started reading one" she sighs, shakes her head at the fact that his ego's going to know no bounds now and continues, "I read all five of them, one after the other … they helped me escape, bury reality for a few hours … satisfied my need for justice in some visceral way. After that I started picking up your books whenever I got the chance" and with a shrug decides to leave it there. She has a feeling this is going to come back and bite her in the proverbial ass.