It was February fourteenth and Kate Beckett was ready to kick some serious ass. She and her boys had caught a gruesome bloodbath of a crime-scene - three roommates, all attractive single women in their late twenties and early thirties, had been found wearing nothing but white granny-panties and had arrows sticking out of their chests. Someone was not in a holiday spirit, it seemed, and it meant that all three of them had to nix dinner and other types of romantic plans with Meredeth, Honey-Milk and Castle that night as it was going to be a long day.
On top of which, Beckett had had a long at the calendar that morning when she'd be going through her bathroom routine and realized her body was a sperm-friendly zone for trying to conceive with Castle. Now it looked like that the optimum day for doing so was being put on blackout thanks to her job. What else was new?
Beckett's head snapped up from her reports on her desk and she seared Ryan with a snarling stare. 'Call me that again, Detective and I will fix it so Dell's an only child, got it?'
'Well, I called you Detective and you weren't responding.' The handsome Irishman eased a hip onto her desk. 'Got off the phone with the credit card people. Emily Stevens had a serious iTunes addiction, but neither her nor Thea Raymond had anything pop strange.'
'What about Shawna Prince?'
'She's only here on a work visa, her credit card's from somewhere in Toronto so Javi's tracking it down now. You okay, you seem a little...tense.'
'In case you didn't remember our little triple homicide this morning, on Valentine's no less, go refresh yourself.' Beckett gestured absently to the murder board she and Esposito had put together.
Ryan shook his head. 'No, that's not it. You get that charge out of an investigation the way we all do, and this one is more of a damn shame and piss off to our personal lives than anything. Castle being a jackass over the baby thing? Oh, wait, lemme guess.' Ryan did his best to keep a straight face, but to no avail. 'You and Castle were planning to make a little Cas-Beck?'
'Do you know how embarrassing it is that my murder investigation team knows that much about my personal life?'
'Haha, no. You don't get to whine to me about knowing too much personal info.' Ryan wagged his finger at his boss playfully. 'Or are you forgetting what happened at your summer place the day after your wedding?'
'How long are you going to play that card?'
'Until they make the next one,' Ryan replied instantly, then lowered his voice. He knew how excited Castle was about making a baby with Beckett, and how nervous the detective was about her body and her life changing so much. But he also knew from seeing the way she treated all the other little hatchlings of their rag-tag family she was unconsciously excited about it too. 'Kate, don't stress. It'll happen when it's meant to.'
The instinct was to tell Ryan to keep his Irish conk out of her personal life, but one look at those big blue eyes and she had a hard time following through on it. Instead she gave him a wan yet grateful smile. 'Thanks, Kevin.'
Her cell chirped at her, the Peter Gunn theme, and she picked up. 'Richard, tell me I don't have to stock up on ice cream for you being a basket case tonight.'
'No, not at all. Just wanted to tell you don't eat too heavy. I have a surprise for you when you get home.'
'You know that won't be until like at least eight or nine?'
'It'll wait. Love you.'
Beckett skid her glance over to Ryan, and murmured, 'Love you too,' before she hung up and gave her paperwork more than its due attention. She only had to hear Ryan open his mouth and she held up an index finger. 'Don't even think about it, Detective.'
'I didn't say a word.'
When she did make it home to SoHo, Beckett was ready for a cold drink and a hot shower, and if she could find the energy, hotter sex with her husband. Very hot baby-making sex. They'd turned up next to nothing on canvass, financial records and because phone companies loved them some bureaucracy, they had to wait until the judge's warrant was pushed through in the morning to get a crack at that data.
Sighing in frustrated impotence she unlocked the door and nearly wept.
The table was set to resemble a Parisian cafe, candlelight flickering over the walls as the strains of 'Le Festin' drifted softly in the air. The smell of butter and cheese and bread was rich in the air, all undercut with the scent of hyacinths, her favourite flowers. Dropping her bag by the door and tugging off her winter boots, Beckett walked in, saw the vase of them on the island along with a small wrapped gift. He did love to spoil her with bangles and sparkles.
'Welcome home, Detective.'
Beckett turned and felt the burdened-down soul she carried with her lighten exponentially. There he was, she mused, as he'd always been, with his patient eyes and unwavering love for her. He was all in black - loose pants, button-down shirt with an extra button popped and no socks, a look that always made her mouth water. He held up a single pink rose - not red, they'd had red at her mother's funeral and the link was forever forged in Beckett's mind - as she crossed to him.
'Happy hearts day.'
'And to you.'
'A rough one, huh?'
'Gory and so terribly sad at the same time.' She paused as he helped her with her coat, then turned to wrap her arms around his solid torso. 'I missed you there today.'
'Yeah. You have respect for the job, for the victims and yet you'd find a way to keep us all from getting too down about it.'
'Like saying someone's using a Bon Jovi song as an MO for murder?'
Beckett laughed. 'Exactly. And I'm done with it for today. I need to put it aside. I want something happy.'
'Then you are in luck, because we have a gourmet meal prepared by yours truly.'
'In a minute.'
She stood on her tip toes to kiss him and felt the sizzle fry away the remnants of her long and trying day. He had that power over her, the ability to give her whatever she needed to feel and though she didn't know it, she did so for him too. Her fingers went to his buttons and flipped them open so she could touch his body, warm and real.
'Oh!' Castle jumped a little at the feel of her hands on his body. 'You've got cold fingers, Detective.'
'I know where you'd like me to put them to get them warm, I bet.'
'Actually...' Castle nibbled her soft skin, caught her earlobe lightly in his teeth. 'I was thinking I'd just get you hot all over.'
For Beckett, that did it. The worry of the day was gone and there was only the two of them now, in their warm loft on a chilly February night. She shoved impatiently at his shirt so he was only in his pants and attacked his mouth with sticky, heated kisses. His hands searched for her flesh under her blouse and a few seconds later it hit the floor over his shoulder.
She was so slim and delicate, deceptively so, because Castle knew her to be anything but delicate. Fragile, certainly, as all women could be, but her skin covered a body toned and disciplined and it made him want to bite her in places that would most definitely make her squeak in delight. But that kind of love could wait. It was Valentine's and even if fate decided for them to make love on the kitchen floor, they would still make it beautifully.
Reaching behind her back, Beckett unsnapped her bra, the need for her skin against his growing with every second. He turned her so they were spooned together; her head lolled to the side as he made a path of kisses from her jawline to the curve of her shoulder, and her body responded with a shiver. God, he was so good, she thought. 'Rich,' she murmured, 'I love you.'
'I love you too, Katie.'
Beckett grinned at his use of the pet name for her, then gasped when those clever hands closed over her breasts, massaging gently before his thumbs scraped over her hardened nipples. White-hot lust burned in her chest as her knees threatened to buckle, and turning around, she fumbled with his belt and zipper, shoving at his pants until he was naked in front of her.
'Why the rush?' he murmured. 'I plan to take my time with you tonight.'
His words at her slowing down, for which he was thankful. As much as Castle loved the fast and furiously wanton coupling he knew they were capable of, it was the right thing for tonight. He pulled her close, and kissing her brow, pulled her over to the sectional couch where he lowered her to her back beneath him. The snug vee of her thighs fit against where he grew hard for her, and he tugged off her socks one at a time, then peeled her jeans down. He thought he blacked out a moment when he ran his hands up her legs, cupping her bottom and realized she'd worn a black thong to work under her clothes.
'You're not the only one who can tease,' she murmured as she saw his eyes glaze over in anticipation; hers closed in reflex as she felt him tug the fabric over her hips so they were both naked in front of the fire crackling and snapping. Then she let out a gasp those skilled hands streaked up her legs and brushed where she already was damp and waiting for her. 'Rich,' she moaned, 'more.'
'Anything for you.'
But he wouldn't just touch her tonight, Castle thought, taking one long slim leg of hers and hooking it by the ankle over the back of the sofa to give him better access. Dipping his head, he started at her ankle, kissing his way up the silk-smooth texture of it until he hit the jackpot. She'd always said he had a clever tongue and he loved demonstrating that it a very up-close and personal way. Her sighed demands, whispered pleasures turned him to granite and knew when she was this ready for him, it was only a matter of time before the animal took over.
Beckett felt her nerves dissolve under her skin, every muscle in her body loose, then tight as he laved at her, making her whimper and moan for him. He was the most exiting lover she'd ever had and had always known from that first kiss and their first night together he was it for her. Her fingers twined through his dark hair to keep him there and as she felt the avalanche of the orgasm begin to tumble into her body, then felt his hands cover hers and twine together. He moved up her body while he raised their joined hands above her head. A satisfied smile painted his lips - a look she was sure mirrored on her own face - as he kissed her and sank inside her.
'Kate, open your eyes,' he murmured, and saw those dark embers burning inside her. He wrapped her legs around his hips, then cupping her breast where he felt her heart beat, began to move inside her.
She watched him the entire time, until their mouths fused and they came together on a strangled cry of passion.
Still steeped in her, Castle rubbed his hand over her skin, pecked at her lips. 'Kate,' he huffed, 'I love you.'
'I love you too.' She smiled at him, then wriggled a little.
'And I'm freakin' starving, you told me not to eat at the precinct so I didn't.'
'Well, I've already eaten,' he started, getting a friendly smack upside his head. 'I'm kidding. I cooked you a little surprise. You want to go get a robe?'
Castle could only stare. 'Naked dinner? Now I really love you.'