Moon In Scorpio

Chapter 73

She watches her as Kate approaches and says "So you decided to stay over then Kate?"

Not sure if she's being set up for a take down or not, a slightly worried Kate smiles at the girl and nods, "Yeah, your Dad can be quite persuasive when he wants to be, it was raining pretty heavily and well ..." a shrug is all she can come up with as she reaches the counter and unsure of what to do next, comes to an awkward stop, one hand resting on the corner of the granite, unaware of her fingers fiercely gripping the edge.

For what seems an eternity to her, but is probably no more than a couple of seconds, the blue eyes regard her intently, and she has the fleeting impression that this is no fifteen-year-old but an adult, one fully aware of what was going on and not to be fobbed off with trite phrases or lies …

Alexis gives the stool next to her a slight push, the invitation obvious and with even more trepidation, Kate pulls it out and sits down. A part of her mind is amused by how in control of the situation the young redhead seems to be, but her main thought is a repetitive mantra of 'why the hell did I come out on my own'

"Coffee? Juice?"

The question brings her back to the present and she nods, "Coffee would be great, I'd …" and she catches herself in time. She'd been about to say that she'd get it herself but didn't know how to use the machine … the sudden realisation that that might sound like she was encroaching far too much to the girl making her cut it short.

With a nod, Alexis slips off the stool and begins to prepare her a coffee, Kate watching her surreptitiously to see how she goes about it. The silence, interrupted only by the opening and closing of cupboard doors, the clicking and clunking of the coffee being prepared and the gurgling of the espresso machine is beginning to get on her nerves and she can't help but silently curse Castle for not being out here with her.

Eventually the redhead turns and hands her the coffee cup across the counter before walking round and retaking her seat.

Kate inhales the wonderful aroma of the coffee, glances at the fridge door but decides against getting the vanilla pump … she feels on very thin ice here and she's not willing to take any unnecessary steps right now.

"I'm very sorry about your Mom … I .." says a Alexis, the hesitancy as she says it making Kate realise that maybe the girls isn't as composed as she appears to be, "… I can't imagine how I'd cope if anything happened to my Dad".

Kate desperately wants to reach out and hug the girl, tell her that nothing will happen to him … instead she just sits still watching the play of emotions on Alexis' face as she pushes her glass of orange juice in circles around the granite top. Then her eyes flicker up to look at Kate and away again, the worry obvious in those innocent blue eyes. Before she can say anything, the girl continues, "He loves an adventure, a mystery … but he doesn't always know when to stop, when to take a step back and let others take over … last year he followed a couple detectives around for the best part of a month …" looking up at Kate and seeing her nod, she continues, "… I thought he would just be sitting in the precinct with them, maybe join them in the back of the car … you know, just to pick their brains and see how they did things …" again glancing at Kate to see if she was following her and seeing Kate nod, she stops pushing the glass around and turns to face her fully.

"Afterwards I found out that he didn't just stay in the background. When they wouldn't let him have a bullet proof vest so he could follow them into a crime scene, he went and got himself his own .." there's a momentary pause and a faint smile which quickly disappears " … he had writer printed across the front" and she runs her fingers across her chest in demonstration. Kate has to hide a smile as she pictures it, maybe she could get him to show it to her.

"The first time he tried following them into a possible crime scene, Detective Ryan cuffed him to the car, but he still managed to get himself loose and into trouble. The thing is, he always wants to know what's round the next corner … and now, if he's helping you with this …"

Kate's feeling both relieved and guilty, she had assumed she was going to get grilled over the relationship, but it would appear that his daughter is more concerned about Castle getting his neck into a different type of noose. "I don't know what to say Alexis, I … I've been …"

Alexis holds up her hand, cutting Kate off mid-sentence "I know you probably didn't intent to have him involve himself, I know how he is … he'll keep pushing and suddenly you find yourself doing or saying something you had no intention of doing or saying in the first place .." and can't help smiling at Kate's vehement nodding in agreement. "The thing is, tomorrow he's headed back to the precinct … and I know he's only supposed to be consulting, but what if he finds out something, what if he wants to investigate it on his own? I know his excuse; it'll be I'll just look into this and if it pans out …"

Its Kate's turn to interrupt, and she places her hand on the girl's arm, pausing a moment to marshal her thoughts before asking "Alexis, do you trust your father, I mean if he promises to do something, will he do it?" and though she's attempting to settle the girl's doubts, she also has to reluctantly admit her own are in play here as well.

There's a silence as his daughter looks at her, indignation then consideration flashing across her eyes before she nods to the woman who's still got her hand on her arm. "If he says he'll do something, he will"

Letting out a breath she was unaware she'd been holding, Kate lets go of Alexis' arm and pushes the now empty cup of coffee away from her. "Ok, good …" then not sure that came out exactly as she'd meant it to sound, quickly adds "When I agreed to let him help me …" and flashing a smile at the girl "… very much against my will, he promised he would tell me everything he discovers. So in turn, I promise you that I won't let him go anywhere near danger if I can help it, all I want is to know who and why … and I don't want him getting hurt either"

Running through in her mind what she's just said, Kate realises that it didn't sound quite as reassuring as she'd meant it to sound, but the redhead's staring at her in consideration and before she can add anything, she's shocked by the next question.

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