A/N: This and all subsequent chapters will be a lot lighter than Chapter 1. As before, don't own any of this except the idea.


"Rick," Kate whispers, "Come on, we have to get up. There's a body waiting for us."

"Just one more minute," Rick whines, "Why do bodies always have to drop at three in the morning?"

"Already said that at least seven times. Get up and let's go. Meet me in the shower?"

"I'm up," Rick says.

Rick meets Kate in the shower and immediately wraps his arms around her.

"Good Morning, Mrs. Castle."

"Good Morning, Mr. Castle, Sleep well last night?"

"I slept quite well once you wrapped me up in those long legs and held me tight. I don't need anything else to ensure a good night's sleep other than the comfort of being cocooned with my wife all night."

"Well, then we better get to the crime scene before we have to put up with all the innuendos from Ryan and Esposito," Kate interjects.

Rick won't have any of that and immediately pushes Kate up against the cool tile wall of the shower and rains kisses down on her. She is caught off guard and almost chokes on the water she inadvertently inhales.

"Rick, are you trying to drown me?"

"Only in my love and admiration for your hotness. Wow, you really are the only woman that I have ever said that too, you know that? I have to remember that, Rook would love to hear that from Nikki. What do you think?"

"Really, the only one? I'm so privileged, huh?"

"Oh be quiet and let me love you," Rick snickers back to her. He truly does love her more than his own breath, which he would gladly give to keep her safe. He pulls her to him and she automatically wraps her legs around him and holds on for all she is worth. He slides home and they ascend to the heights of ecstasy in just a manner of minutes.

"OK, now we really need a shower," Kate says, "Here do my back," handing him her cherry scented bath gel. Rick gets a whiff of the cherry scent and has to forcibly keep himself under control if they are ever to get out of the shower, all the while Kate is chuckling at him, knowing what the cherry scent does to him, thinking back to the case of the vampire sub-culture. They finally make it out of the bath after about 30 minutes and head to the bedroom to dress.

Rick once again has a difficult time controlling his urges as Kate is standing in front of the dresser without a stitch, teasing him as she "decides" what to wear for the day. She pulls out a matching set of emerald color lace underwear and asks Rick if he remembers the first time he saw her wearing emerald.

"Of course, in the club in L.A., you were enticing in your Emerald ball gown and matching undies. I Remember You best though when you were wearing only your Emerald necklace and earrings. God you were a fantasy made incarnate then. Still are, only now I can touch you every day.

Speaking of Emerald necklace, why don't you wear the one I bought you on our first anniversary to hold your rings the next time we go out to some place upscale?"

"Good idea," Kate responds, "I really like that necklace."

The necklace Rick bought her is similar to the one from L.A. that her mother gave her, but the one Rick bought is both an Emerald and Diamond set. It is almost as beautiful as Kate when she wears it. Kate opens her lockbox where she keeps her mother's emerald necklace and earrings along with her wedding rings and gun and badge. Those things which are most important to her are in this lockbox. Rick knows the value of the items in the box and is humbled she keeps his gifts in with her mother's necklace and her service equipment. Proves he holds a spot near and dear to her heart still after all these years.

They finally make it out of the loft and head out to the body drop location. After arriving Kate exits the car and goes through her ritual to honor the dead that she does each and every time before crossing the yellow police line tape. She takes a moment to reflect on her mother and then the one who is lying beyond the tape, giving them the honor and dignity each and every one deserves. Doesn't matter who is dead, that person is still a human being and deserves the tribute.

After her ritual, Rick joins her and holds the tape for her to walk under.

"Well, good morning, you two," Lanie calls out to them, "took you long enough!"

Kate smiles and then asks, "What do you have for us today?"

"White female, mid to late 20's about 5 ft. 8 in., brunette hair, blue eyes. No ID yet. She is dressed in jeans and a pullover shirt and appears strangulation is a possible cause of death. I will know more when I get her to the morgue and on the table. She looks like she was re-dressed after she was dead. See how her clothes are not quite fitting properly. For a woman who is as put together as this one seems, I can't imagine her going out in public or anywhere else with her clothes like this. OK guys, let's get her in the wagon."

Kate asks the boys to check with the managers of the businesses that open onto the alley where they found the body to see if there are any security cameras that might have caught the drop. She also makes a note to be sure CSU does a thorough sweep of the alley and all dumpsters in it. Right now they have no idea who this woman is, how she died and how she got here in the first place. Was she killed elsewhere and dumped here, killed here and left by the perp or died here after the attack? They're not even sure where this even is, a non-descript alley behind a series of non-descript businesses that are all closed for the night.

"OK, who called the body in?" Kate asks Esposito.

"Kid over there, he was on the way to pick up his papers for morning delivery. He is pretty traumatized."

Kate then asks him, "Underage? Have his parent's been contacted?"

"Yes, on the way," Espo responds.

"So we can't talk to him until his parents get here," Kate mutters under her breath. They are going nowhere fast. This might be one where they won't get a quick or easy close of the murder, if it really is a murder.

Once the parents get there, they can finally speak to the 15 year old boy who discovered the body. Kate asks him gently to tell him everything he saw or heard.

The boy was really frightened even though a middle teenager. He was a good kid and had not experienced this level of death before. He had been to funerals, but not exposed to it in a dark, dirty alley.

"I was headed to the drug store to pick up my papers from the delivery van and always go through this alley. I almost missed her since she was partially covered with old papers and trash by the dumpster. I'm not sure why I looked over there at just the right time to see her upper body clearly. Wish I hadn't," the boys says. He goes on, "I really didn't see anything other than the body. No rats, no cats, no cars, no people. It was bottom of a cave quiet; nothing was making a sound. I don't know what I can tell you other than I called 911 as soon as I saw her. I was really frightened. What if the killer saw me and now I'm talking to the cops?"

Kate assured him that he would have nothing to worry about as he was only a passerby and not involved in the crime. If he was worried, he could come to the station after he delivered his papers and for now, she was through asking him questions so he could leave the area. He was relieved and took her up on her offer to call her if he remembered anything else. Kate gave him her card and he was on his way, eager to get the papers to the right doors so he wouldn't have irate businessmen calling the newspaper office. Kate thanked him and his father and he was on his way.

"Well, looks like this might be a difficult one," Rick says. "Unless we can identify her someway, this one will be tough with the lack of evidence at the scene. We need to find out who she is and then maybe we can put together her last timeline."

Kate agrees with him saying, "We have solved cases with this little evidence before and put the murderers behind bars for life. We just have to be sure we stay on top of any evidence or information we can muster in the investigation.'

Kate calls after Ryan and Esposito after her stomach rumbled like the Fourth of July, "Let's head back to the station and get ready for the day. We can't do much here before CSU finishes their sweep and we get some info from Lanie. Rick, I need coffee and breakfast. Feed me now!"

Rick chuckles and heads to the car to stop at Remy's for breakfast before stopping to pick up Kate's coffee and bear claw to take back to the station. He knows how cranky Kate can get if she is not kept caffeinated.

Gonna be a long day today, he thinks.