The next morning, Beckett awoke with the sunlight streaming in on her face, her cheek pillowed against her husband's chest as it rose and fell with sleep. She looked at her rings, now both on her left hand and smiled. Richard Castle, my husband, she thought as her heart fluttered wildly with love for him. Who'd have thought it?
Cuddling against him, she felt his arm around her body keeping her close. Usually Castle liked to sprawl when he slept, but on those rare occasions, he was snuggled up like a champion cuddle-bug against her and their wedding night was one of those rare and special occasions.
Her stomach gave a loud gurgle; glancing at the clock, she saw it was nearly ten in the morning, though she wasn't really surprised. They hadn't fallen asleep until nearly five in the morning. After the first time together, they'd sipped champagne and eaten fruit, thought about all the funny and romantic things they'd seen over the course of the dance - Meredeth and Esposito embracing sweetly, Ryan trying to show Honey-Milk how to waltz, Lanie and Dave taking turns holding Carey while the other danced; Beckett had held him close so that the new parents could have a dance or two together. Alexis and Sloan had shown Tim and TJ how to two-step in the sand, and they'd watch TJ experience his first crush when Sloan gave him a hug for being such a gentleman and not stepping on her toes. Even Dapper Dell, as Castle had taken to calling him, had gotten in on the romance of the night and kissed little Rosie on the cheek. Once finished with their fruit and giddy on champagne, they'd wrapped themselves in their towels and making sure no one was left on the beach, they'd sneaked out of the house and made love on their bride and groom towels, in the exact same spot where they'd said their vows.
Becket thought about trying to sit up when Castle's sighing breaths turned into a small groan; he stretched and blinked, smiling at his wife. Who knew when she'd hauled him in for questioning they'd end up here? 'Morning, my lovely wife,' he said with a smile.
'Morning, my handsome husband.'
'You been awake long?'
'No. But I'm glad you're up now. I have something for you.'
Castle watched her scamper out of their big comfy marital bed, over to her luggage on wheels; she knelt in the bed beside him, offering him a small wrapped package. 'I hope you like it. I don't have the personal funds for the big and over the top like you sometimes do with the gift-giving but-'
She was cut off when he held a finger to her lips. 'If it's from you, it's already worth its weight in gold.' Castle ripped into the paper, lifted the lid of the gift box and felt his heart melt. It was a silver tie pin with a replica of an NYPD badge on it, the numbers one-one-two-seven-three engraved below the crest. Her initials, he thought, K and B, along with their anniversary - July third.
'I figured being married to a cop, and doing the work you do with us, you deserve your own badge and badge number,' she said, a little bashfully.
'It's the best gift I've ever received. I love it,' he told her honestly and earnestly before kissing her. Setting the box down and wishing he had an excuse to wear a tie today, he reached over in his bedside table and pulled out her gift. 'Your turn.'
Beckett untied the ribbon around the blue Tiffany box, wondering just what he'd picked out for her to wear. Some ridiculously expensive rope of sapphires, or pearls, she imagined, maybe rare sunstone earrings. She'd taken to wearing earrings more often lately.
Or not jewelery at all, she realized, pulling the engraved silver frame out of the tissue paper. It was a black and white photograph of them at Ryan and Honey-Milk's wedding reception, smiling at each other. Beckett remembered the moment exactly - she'd been trying to teach Castle how to two-step and he'd finally gotten it right; she'd been so pleased he hadn't trampled her toes, she'd nearly leaned in and kissed him. Even in the photograph, she could see the sparkle in her eye, and in his, that sizzling chemistry that was so uniquely theirs.
'This was the moment I knew I couldn't wait any longer to kiss you,' he told her simply. 'But I wanted our first kiss to be just you and me alone together, which was why I waited until the end of the night.'
Beckett brushed her fingertips over the glass protecting the photograph, saw the engraving on bottom of the frame - For Dancing Soon Becomes Romancing, a line from a song in her favourite movie of all time, White Christmas. 'I love it, and I love you.' She kissed him sweetly once, twice. 'You know what else I love?'
'Bacon. And toast, and coffee, and Meredeth's cinnamon sugar pancakes.'
'There are few reasons a man will leave a naked woman in bed, but bacon is one of them.' Castle tossed back the covers, headed for the shower. 'You joining me?'
Surprisingly, they were not the last ones to the brunch table - that honour belonged to Lanie and Dave, though with a newborn, it wasn't hard to fathom why. As they'd thought they'd find, Meredeth was indeed directing her kitchen monkeys to finish up their dishes - Esposito had the place of honour attending to pancakes while Ryan babysat potatoes and Honey-Milk sliced fruit while keeping an eye on Dell to make sure he didn't torture poor Arturo, back from the kennel in town. Meredeth herself was nudging bacon and ham around on the griddle and giving hints when asked how something looked; the woman had a way of naturally commandeering any kitchen.
'Morning, newlyweds,' she grinned. 'Guess being hungry outweighed being horny, huh?'
Beckett thought of the quickie they'd fit in between shampooing and soaping. 'Not necessarily. Want a hand with anything?'
'Just setting the table. Lanie's finishing feeding Carey, and then she and Dave should be down shortly. Everything else is well in hand. Oh, we're thinking of a little beach volley-ball this afternoon before we get some of that rain they've been yakking about on the radio.'
'Sounds great,' Castle said, watching Beckett take plates into the dining room.
When everyone had gathered and was ready to eat - in addition to breakfast, a pitcher of mimosas had been made as well for toasting - Castle stood up, holding Beckett's hand in his. 'I know we kinda pulled the rug out from under you all yesterday, but honestly, I could have asked for a better wedding to the woman of my dreams, surrounded by friends and family, and I hope if you are half as happy as I am right now, you count yourself the luckiest person in the world.'
He looked over at Beckett, his beautiful bride. 'I know I am.'
They all clinked glasses and dug into the meal with gusto; because it was Meredeth's home-cooking, they not only had maple syrup and whipped cream for their pancakes but also homemade raspberry syrup and peaches pickled with ginger.
Beckett waited until she saw her new husband had his mouth full of pastry to lean over and whisper playfully, 'So when do you want to get started on that 'some'?'
He coughed and spluttered a little. 'You mean like, now?'
'No. God you're still so easy.' She grinned. This marriage thing was going to be a blast.