She opens the door to his knock, stands before him in jeans and a soft green sweater, hair no longer as straight as when he's first seen her, the longer it gets the more the ends curl. The room behind her is softly lit, only the kitchen area casting a brighter glow. Again he's taken by her beauty, by the large eyes looking up at him, he glances down, sees she's not wearing heels.
She stands aside, waves him in and as he enters he takes in the table in the far corner where the printer and laptop had been on his last visit, candles flickering in the current from the open door, the smell of cinnamon and something else he can't quite recognise in the air. Then he's leaning towards her, pulling her into him with one arm and feeling her willingness as she pushes herself up, raises her arms and places them round his neck, tilting her face towards him, lips curving into a smile as they meet his, parting and allowing his tongue to slide past them, touch hers, caress her, then their pulling apart slightly and she closes the door behind him, pulls him further into the room and slides an arm round his waist.
"Do you like it?" and he's surprised at how shy she sounds, so he places his arm around her shoulder and turns his head to take in the room. She has candles on every surface that will take them, and they lend a fairy like quality to the room that would probably give a firefighter a heart attack but which he thinks makes it look cosy and warm, the autumn colours of her décor adding to that feeling. There's music playing quietly in the background and he now recognises the scent of sandalwood along with the cinnamon of earlier.
Turning back to her he looks down and smiles warmly, "I think it looks great … and smells even better" and his reaction obviously pleases her. He pulls his other hand from behind his back and hands her the little present. "I was going to get you some flowers, but decided you might prefer this …" grinning down at her. She laughs as she sees he's holding out a small copper watering can, the elongated spout catching the glint of candles and bouncing the light back. She gives a pleased little nod and taking it from him leads him by the hand to the couch.
"Sit down whilst I get you something, wine? Bourbon?"
He sits down but doesn't let go of her hand, pulling her down and onto his lap as she lets out a little squeal of surprise. Then she's laughing, giving him a peck and saying, "You'll have to wait for dessert Castle, or my dinner will get burnt and I haven't gone to all this trouble just to make charcoal!"
He pouts at her but lets go and says "Wine will be great, but let me give you a hand …". She uses his shoulders to push herself to her feet, shaking her head, interrupting him with a kiss and is soon handing him a glass of red wine.
He watches her move around with confidence, opening the oven door and checking the dish, the aroma wafting across to where he's sitting and making his stomach grumble in anticipation. She quirks an eyebrow at him from behind the counter and he gives an apologetic shrug, "Too many coffee's and not much to eat".
"Won't be long now" she says and walks round to sit down next to him, setting her own glass on the table and turning towards him. "How was it? I mean … did you get anywhere?"
"You want the details now or later?" running his fingers through her hair.
"Later, let's get you fed first …" she says with a grin as his stomach makes a second complaint, "I just wondered if you'd found out anything new … you know … relevant?"
"Plenty of new info, not sure how relevant any of it is until we work through it all. Today we just read through the three cases individually, tomorrow we'll compare notes, see if one of us picked up on something the others might have missed … then we'll start chasing things down … there's a hell of a lot of missing data, none of the three cases were properly investigated or followed through … which raised a lot of red flags with Espo and Ryan … I think there's going to be a lot to try to track down and sort out …" he's interrupted by the pinging of the timer on the oven.
Kate gets up, giving him a pat on the shoulder as he walks round behind the couch, "Take the glasses and wine over to the table will you, I'll bring the food over".
Rick sets the items on the table and steps back as Kate approaches with a steaming dish carefully held between oven gloves, "I hope you like lasagne … its one of my Mom's recipes …" and standing back after setting it on the table, turns to him and bites her lip "… I haven't prepared it for a long time …"
He takes a step towards her and folds his arms around her, "I'm sure it will taste as fantastic as it smells Kate" he says, dropping a kiss to her head, and then, releasing her, turns to pull out her chair for her.
She's not sure exactly how they've ended up in here … she'd stood up to clear the dishes and get dessert, he'd grabbed her and pulled her onto his lap, next thing they'd somehow staggered and stumbled into the bedroom, dishes and desert forgotten. She can't help laughing quietly into his chest as she lay's half atop him.
"What?" he asks, fingers carding through her hair, whilst his other hand entwines itself with hers.
"Good job I decided against the Baked Alaska for dessert or this place would be up in flames by now".
"You were going to prepare a Baked Alaska?" he asks, head turning in surprise to look down at her.
"Yeah …" hesitating slightly as she looks at him, "… well, I know you like ice-cream and .." she's interrupts herself with a surprised yelp as he rolls her over onto her back and pushes himself up to lean over her, a grin covering his face.
"You can have the keys to my kitchen any time!"
And before she thinks what she's saying, her mouth asks, "Only to your kitchen?"
The look of shock on her face at what she's just said makes his grin grow even further. Then he drops a gentle kiss to her lips and pushing her hair behind her ear with a finger, he says, "You already have the key to everywhere else Kate" and lets himself be pushed over onto his back as she settles over him.
Sometime later, as they lay there wrapped in each other's arms, she asks about the day at the precinct.
"I can tell you now that there wasn't much more in your Mom's folder than you already have, at least nothing revealing, but there were too many coincidences between all three, problem is that like your Mom's file, the others were too thin, there was no background information, nothing to give us a lead in, nothing to go on. We're going to have to do a lot of digging before we can get as much background info on Perea, Rico should be easy enough to find out about, given his family connections …"
"Perea's the other victim?"
"Yes, I don't suppose he rings any bells does he?"