It's the first time Kate's woken up in his bed. In fact last time they hadn't even made it into the bed. She's feeling wonderfully warm and relaxed and it slowly dawns on her that she's spooned against him, the weight of his arm draped over her waist, their feet entangled making her feel wonderfully safe … but there's something … she turns to find him looking down at her, head propped up on his hand, blue eyes smiling, a certain look of self-satisfaction on his face.
"Creepy, Castle" she says, trying to keep the smile off her face.
"You have no idea how cute you look when you're asleep"
She disentangles her feet from his and turns round so she's facing him, "When I'm asleep huh?" she asks playfully.
"If you're going to play smart at this time in the morning, I'm going to need coffee!" he grumbles, though the kiss he drops on her lips tells the lie.
Kate snakes her arms round his neck, pulls him down to her and lets her lips part as his tongue demands entrance. His hand slides over her stomach, round her waist and finds the small of her back, pulling her body in to meet his. Her breathing is no longer even, the sensations his playful tongue are creating within her mouth, around her lips, the feel of fire as his fingers burn into her skin, her need to get even closer to him … she loops a leg over his hip, feels him against her and can't help the moan escaping her as he rolls her onto her back, his weight now pushing down against her, the hand at her back moving round to graze her breast. Both her legs are now wrapped around him, her fingernails digging into his skin as they build each other up.
Eventually they lay next to each other, spent, fingers tracing lazily along still hot skin, breathing returning to normal, small, hushed sentences being enough to convey feelings and emotions at this time of day.
"I'll go get showered and then make breakfast …" dropping a kiss on her nose, "… leave the bathroom to you" he finishes. She nods in appreciation and watches his naked form walking away from her. Soon the noise of the running shower can be heard and she rolls onto her side, letting lose a gentle sigh of contentment, eyelids drooping and eventually closing.
He wakes her up a second time, all dressed, delicious coffee wafting towards her, spiking her senses. "You'll have to hurry if you want breakfast before the vultures finish it all off"
"Why didn't you wake me?" she asks guiltily
"Me? Disturb you when you've got such a cute smile on your face … and you're snoring away .."
"I don't snore!" She denies vehemently, then realises he's winding her up and slaps his arm, trying not to spill the coffee meanwhile. With another kiss he stands up, points out towards the kitchen and she watches him leave, sure that the sappy look on his face is reflected on her own.
The look on his face when she walks out some twenty minutes later makes her stop in her tracks halfway across the sitting room. "What?"
He grins at her and she notices both his mother and daughter looking at her admiringly. He holds his hand out wordlessly and she moves round the pillar and towards the kitchen island, taking his hand and finding herself being twirled around.
"You scrub up nicely Katherine" says Martha whilst Alexis nods beside her.
Kate colours up slightly, realising that they have only ever seen her in leathers, casual clothes or in those borrowed from Castle. Today she was wearing a neat pale charcoal pants suit, blue roll neck top and dark grey four inch boots and matching bag, her hair brushed up into a chignon.
"You said something about visiting an office building? I … you need to look the part if you're intending to get information" she says a bit self-consciously.
"You look just like the smart, successful lawyer you were intending to be … on the way to becoming the first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court" he says proudly and she doesn't miss the surprised look on Martha's face at this bit of news. Obviously he hadn't told her about her intended profession. He helps her off with her jacket and she hangs it on the back of the stool with her purse.
Sitting down she gets a plate of pancakes passed over to her by Castle. In the center of the island is a bowl of strawberries, some cream, lemon quarters, sugar, syrup, chocolate. She shakes her head in disbelief and just pours some syrup on her pancakes as Rick looks on in disdain, his own concoction a multi-tiered, multi-coloured sugar rush.
Martha is the first to finish and leave, closely followed by Alexis on her way to meet Paige and some other school friends at some rally or other for saving a local park's trees. Eventually Castle can eat no more and the two of them tidy up before heading out on their mission.
The cab drops them off at the corner of West 57th Street and Eighth and as soon as they step onto the pavement Kate looks at him accusingly. "Really? The Hearst Building? We're not going to get past the lobby without an invite", but he just grins at her so she shrugs and follows him across the road.
The new Hearst Tower used the original 1928 Hearst International Magazine Building as its base, the exterior architecture very much of the period up to the sixth floor, then the diagrid steel and glass construction rising a further forty floors.
They enter the atrium which features escalators running through a 3-story water sculpture which Kate thinks is titled 'Icefall'. To reach the escalators they have to get past the turnstiles for the card-toting crowd and the security check for those who like them were not. To her surprise Castle tells the guard that he has an appointment to meet Grace Chalmers. The guard calls it through, waits for a response and then nods to them. "Miss Chalmers's waiting for you up in Café 57, sir"
The escalators debunk them onto the hollowed out and refurbished second floor which rises four stories before the new structure takes over, the glass ceiling forming the lip to the tower proper allowing a flood of light into the space. The whole floor is given over to the exclusive cafe that has famous executive chefs and celebrities in it all the time, not to mention the many movies filmed within the walls.
A petite brunette comes forward to meet them, Castle taking her hand and bending down to kiss her cheek, introducing Kate as his legal representative for the meeting and getting a panicked look from his girlfriend at the revelation. However, before she can say anything, Grace is extending her hand and giving her a surprisingly firm handshake.
"Well I'm sorry to tell you you've had a wasted trip Rick, we did send you notification that Marty was away this week and the meeting was postponed till next week" very apologetic and Kate guessed a sincere smile on the brunette's face, "Didn't you get it?"
"I'm sorry Grace, I've been up at the Hamptons and only just got back today, I've had so much to deal with that I must have missed that" ignoring Kate's raised eyebrows at the blatant lie. "Still, no problem, I can reschedule. Mind if we have a coffee seeing as we've made it this far?" he asks, his playboy smile at full blast.
Kate can almost see Grace melting under it, expecting her to become a puddle at their feet any moment. However the little brunette must be tougher than she looks, managing to retain her mass and saying "Of course, you're welcome to enjoy the facilities, though I need to get back to the office. Is there anything else I can help you with before I head up?"
They both say no, and thank you very much and see you next week and then all five foot four of the brunette's heading over towards the bank of lifts. As soon as she's out of sight Kate thumps Castle on the arm, then not satisfied, gives him a second one. He looks at her, grabbing his arm and feigning hurt.
"Just you wait Mister Castle!" she threatens him and he has to hide a grin as he says
"Yes Miss Doolittle" in a teasing voice, following her towards one of the tables.