AN: This chapter is just what Kate wrote in the notebook, and the next chapter is Castle bringing the notebook to her. Both chapters were written at the same time, which was from about midnight to four in the morning, so I can't guarantee they make total sense. Hopefully, it's not too bad, and please review with any suggestions or comments!

Disclaimer: I still don't own Castle; what a surprise.


Dear Castle,

I feel ridiculous writing all of this down. I should be telling you this in person, but here I am, hiding in the woods in my dad's cabin. I wish I was with you, either in your loft or maybe you out here with me. I guess that's what I get for not calling. Even if I did call you, I have no idea what I'd say. It's already been a month since I told you I'd call. Maybe you don't even care anymore, maybe you've moved on. At the very least, you're probably angry. You should be angry, deserve to be.

I keep thinking back to that day in the cemetery. I was so messed up. It was like everything I knew was being ripped apart. I guess being out here has been good for me, in that sense. I'm not thinking about everything that happened with Montgomery anymore, but I guess that's because my mind is focused elsewhere.

It's almost funny how I've gotten better being out here, but at the same time so much worse. Physically, I'm better than I was the last time I saw you, which was at the hospital. God, that was so long ago. I feel like I haven't seen you in years. You've left such a big hole. I think my dad is getting suspicious. He knows I'm hurting, but he doesn't know why. Well, maybe he does and he's not saying anything. I haven't told anyone about what you said in the cemetery. Maybe if I did this wouldn't hurt so much. I know it wouldn't hurt so much if you were here, but I can't seem to bring myself to pick up the phone. I keep blaming on spotty reception, but I'm lying to myself and I know it.

I can't convince myself I don't need you. I keep trying to tell myself that I'm fine without you, but it's not working. I keep thinking back to what I was like before I met you, and even then you were affecting my life. I was so lost after my mother's death, and you were her favorite author. I've read all of your books so many times, it's almost embarrassing. When I realized I was going to have to bring you into the station that day, I was so excited. I knew I'd have to stay professional, so I did, but I don't think I expected you to be like you were. I mean I did, on a certain level, but at the same time I expected something other than what was on page six. God, this would be so much easier if I was a bestselling author, you know that?

At least I know that I'll probably never get the chance to show you this, and even if I do I'll probably chicken out anyway. Knowing that, can I tell you how much of an ass you were back then. I mean you were constantly flirting, not that you don't do it anymore, but it's not the only thing you do now. It was like your only objective was to come off as the playboy they portrayed you as on page six, and any other one was to get me into your bed. You have no idea how much I wanted to give in, how much I wanted to grab you and have my wicked way with you. But I didn't. And I can tell you why.

When we were going over those letters and you did your Sherlock thing where you figured out my story without actually knowing me, I know you saw a part of me I didn't like people seeing, and I knew you felt bad about it. That was the first hint of the real you I saw, and I'm so glad I did. Part of the reason I didn't sleep with you was proving that you couldn't sleep with anyone you wanted, but another part was that I wanted to see if you'd show me the real you, not your publicity act. You have, and you didn't disappoint.

Slowly, through these last few years, you've shown me more and more of yourself, and I wish I could say it didn't matter. That way I wouldn't be so affected by what you said a month ago. I think I've known why it hurt so much for a while now. I've known why it hurt so much to see you with other women, even if I wasn't willing to admit it to myself. Even now, I can't seem to write the words down.

I wish so much that I had gone with you to the Hamptons that summer, instead of you leaving with Gina. I guess I never actually told you when I broke up with Demming. You probably think we broke up sometime during the summer, but you're wrong. I broke up with him right before your goodbye party. I had been planning on telling you that I had changed my mind and I wanted to come with you, had the offer still been open. Looking back, I know how I felt about you by then. Maybe I couldn't say it to myself, but the way it hurt when I watched you walk off with Gina, I knew I was in…

When you came back after that and told me you were still with Gina, I can't help but wonder why you were so reluctant to tell me you were with her. It was like you were ashamed. I guess now I wonder if it isn't because of what you told me while I bled out in the grass. At the same time, I know that you being with someone else made me get together with Josh. I liked him, but in everything we did together all I could think about was what it would've been like if you were the one with me instead.

Josh being in Africa most of the time was one of the things that kept me with him. It was easy, he was gone most of the time, so we only ever talked over the phone. When he was in New York, he was still working long shifts, or I was working, so we still hardly saw each other. Don't get me wrong, I really liked him, just like I liked Demming, but he wasn't you. I cringe every time I think about the fact that I slept with him, because I know I was thinking of you the whole time, and it makes it so much worse. It's such a good thing he was gone so much, otherwise I don't think I could've pretended any longer. I know it was wrong for me to be with him, but I needed to prove to myself that I could be with someone other than you. I couldn't have been more wrong, I think.

You should know that I broke up with Josh as soon as I was out of the hospital and could actually talk to him for more than a minute. He was so protective while I was in there, and I really wish I hadn't strung him along like that. He was only a way of distracting myself from you. I was so worried that if I let you in, you'd break my heart, leave me a mess that no one could ever clean up. It's funny. I hated how much of a playboy you were in the beginning, but then I was relying on it as an excuse not to be with you. I kept telling myself it wouldn't last because you'd get bored as soon as the chase was over and we'd crash. I almost wish I'd been right. If I'd been right, you'd have left after the first book was finished. I was an idiot to keep thinking of it that way after the second book. It's almost funny how wrong I was. I was never even with you, and yet here I am, more broken than I was a month ago.

I got attached. That's the only way I'll let myself think of it. I guess I started thinking of you as permanent, and soon I couldn't think of what it'd be like without you. I so wish I didn't know now. A month without you, and even while the hole in my chest heals, my hearts breaks more every day. I'm being an idiot not picking up the phone, but now I don't think I can. I can't give you an explanation as for why I never called sooner. I don't want to go to you like this, even though I know you wouldn't care. I'm so broken, and I don't want you to see me like this, but the longer I stay away from you the worse it gets. I'm getting better at hiding how heartbroken I am, but like I said, my dad is getting suspicious.

I guess that at this point I've said enough that I don't think I even want you to read it, because it'll make you even angrier. I guess that means that since I'm at the point of no return and you'll never see this, I can say anything.

I love you. No. That's not even right. It doesn't have the weight I want it to. See, Castle, I've learned from you. Your writing habits have rubbed off on me. I'm in love with you. That's better. It captures my feelings the way I want it to. I've been in love with you since I broke up with Demming, at least that's as far back as I'm willing to admit. I don't think you understand just how far in I am, and the furthest we've ever gone was that undercover kiss.

I almost told you, once. When we were in that freezer and were about to freeze to death. I was about to pass out, and you were apologizing. I thought I was going to die, so I had nothing to lose. I was going to say that I want you to know how much I love you, but I guess I didn't get to finish. I wish I had. I wish Josh hadn't shown up. Before that, I had even told you that I wasn't happy with him. I wanted to tell you that you were the one I wanted to be with. The only reason I didn't was because I wanted to break up with Josh before I jumped you like that.

When we were in LA, I ran away to my room. I know you probably thought you scared me off, but I think I was more afraid of messing it up myself. I did go back. I opened up my door again. I wanted to say 'screw it' and kiss you like I'd been wanting to, but I opened my door just in time to see yours close. We were so close, Castle. I wanted to kiss you and make love to you while I told you how in love with you I was, but I didn't have the courage to knock on your door. I wish I had so much.

Now here I sit, barely able to move without wincing, and I don't think anything's ever hurt this much. I can't figure out if it's the pain from the bullet or the pain from you not being here that hurts worse. If you were here, this would be so much easier. My dad can take care of me, but he can't fix everything I've messed up with you. If you were here, I could tell you these things myself. We couldn't do anything, I'm not healed enough, but I could still tell you the thing that matters most. You told it to me every day with a cup of coffee, and I was too blind to see it.

In the cemetery, you told me you loved me.

I love you, too, Rick. I love you, too. Always.