Disclaimer: The only part of Castle that I own is the TV on which I watch the show.

A/N Just a bit of summer weekend fun to take us away from everything that's going on in the real world. The rating will most definitely go up to an M in the next chapter.

They've been back on the job for only a couple of weeks, and so far have managed to hide their relationship from their colleagues–primarily because she routinely threatens him about keeping his hands to himself and not looking at her while they're at work.

"What do mean I can't look at you?" he'd asked in bed the morning after she'd first issued the warning. "Won't everyone think that's"–he'd stopped to nibble her earlobe–"strange?" He'd licked the sweat from between her breasts. "Odd?" And then he'd stroked her hip seductively, and made her twitch. "Peculiar? Because seriously Beckett, I've been looking at you for years."

"Castle," she'd said, rolling quickly out of bed and standing up before things escalated and they were late to work. "You can look at me, just not like that."

"Like what?"

"Like you're about to ravish me."

"It's not my fault that you look so ravishing."

"Come on, promise me."

He'd looked her up and down, slowly and erotically. "I guess it'll be easier for me to do when you're not naked."

Since then he really had been trying, and mostly succeeding. But today? Today is the third day in the row with no new case, and he's been driving her insane since five minutes after he showed up at the precinct with coffee, which was only half an hour after she'd gotten there. He claims that he can't stand being at home without her. All day long he has been teasing her with innuendo, mostly when the boys can't hear. He sends her text after text, the most recent being, "Here are five places in the city where I want to have sex with you." He'd sent five photos with it: the main reading room of the New York Public Library; the dugout at Yankee Stadium; a Broadway theater; a water taxi, and the mattress department at Macy's.

It's a little after 2:00 when she goes to the break room to make an espresso, and while she's standing at the machine he crowds behind her. "The bullpen's empty," he whispers in her ear. "So I'm just going to take the opportunity and"–before she can say a word his hand is under her blouse and over her breast–"feel a cop." He withdraws his hand and takes a step back.

"Oh, you're so proud of yourself, aren't you?" she mutters, only half indignantly. "How long have you been saving up that little bit of word play?" She tugs on her blouse to straighten it and pushes him lightly out of her way.

"Foreverrrrrrrrr," he says, trailing her back to her desk.

"You know what, Castle?" she asks, sitting primly on her chair just as Esposito and Ryan return to theirs. "You're bored."

"Not really."

"I have a suggestion."

"Hey, guys," Castle calls out. "Beckett has a suggestion. I love it when she's suggestive."

For the sake of the other detectives, she gives him a withering look. "My suggestion is that he go home because he's obviously bored and he's driving me crazy. Unless you two would like to entertain him while I do some actual work," she adds, slapping her palm on a stack of files.

"Yo, Castle," Espo says. "You know what would be entertaining? If you went and got us some cannolis. A new Italian bakery opened a couple of blocks from here while you were off at the beach all summer."

Except when he wasn't off at the beach, she thinks. Except when we were getting each other off in his bed or mine for hours on end. She's afraid she just moaned. She glances at Castle, who has just arched one eyebrow. Oh, God, yes, she had moaned, no matter how softly. She really has to be more careful when she's here, has to censor her thoughts.

"How 'bout it, bro? You know, since we welcomed you back with open arms and everything."

You should see what I welcomed back with, she thinks this time, before she can rein in her subconscious.

"Okay," Castle says, shooting her a look as he gets out of his chair. "Just tell me where the place is and the treats are on me."

"You don't have to do that," Ryan says. "Javi's just being a smart ass."

"Yeah, well, he's right. I'll be back in a bit."

He must be texting her from the elevator, because her phone chirps less than 30 seconds after he leaves.

"You moaned, Beckett. Don't deny it."

"Fine," she types. "Here's the deal. Go home after you make your pastry delivery and I promise to play an incredible board game with you tonight."

"What board game?"

"Not going to tell you."

"I know every board game on the planet. Just tell me so I can start planning."

"You don't know this one."

"Don't be too sure."

"Oh, I'm sure."

"Is that a challenge?"

"Damn right. Bye."

He must have run to the bakery and back, because he's gone less than ten minutes and is almost breathless when he returns, bearing a white cardboard box tied up with green-and-white string.

"Gentlemen," he says, dropping the pastries at the edge of Espo's desk and bowing. "Thank you for welcoming me back." He makes a half turn and says, "You, too, Beckett. Would you care to join me in a creamy confection?"

She'll kill him. Just not here. Not kill, but punish. Definitely punish. "No, thanks." She flips open a folder and prays that he leaves very, very soon. She's trying to ignore them, but hears the faint buzz of voices, and after a short while a not-so-faint baritone only inches away.

"Night, guys."

"Night," Espo says.

"Thanks again," Ryan adds.

"I'm just going to text my daughter and be on my way."

"Night, Castle," she says, watching his fingers race across his phone and wishing she could change places with it. His fingers are miracles of nature.

"Night, Beckett."

Texting Alexis? Total bull. He was texting her. She gets the alert before he's even completely out of sight.

"Can I have a hint about the game?"



"Okay. The name is 3 words long. That's all you get."

It's some time before she hears from him again. "Hare and Hounds? Shadows in Kyoto?"

"Not even close."

"There aren't many games with 3 words that are for 2 people."

"Told you you didn't know it. See you at 5."

She's as anxious to see him as he is to see her, and she unlocks his front door at 4:49.

"Oh, thank God, you're early," he says, grabbing her around the waist and kissing her for as long as he can.

"Strip, Castle," she says, after she's recovered.

"Strip? Is this strip poker? Not a board game. Just saying. But what about you?"

"What about me?"

"Are you going to strip, too?"

"Of course I am. Hurry up."

"I love it when you're bossy. Where are we playing this alleged board game?"

"Dining room table," she says, unbuttoning her blouse.


"Won't be the first time we've been naked there."

"True. Do I get to strip you?" he asks hopefully.

"No. Take your own clothes off, and I'll take off mine. Otherwise no game."

"You drive a hard bargain, Beckett."

"Hard? I should hope so." She unhooks her bra, dangles it over her wrist, arches her back, and retreats to the bedroom.

As soon as she's undressed she goes into the bathroom and brushes her hair out so that it's wild. She removes her makeup and gives her eyes a new cat-like look with dark liner and smoky shadow. Her lips are now dark pink, and she dabs perfume behind her ears, on her wrists, and between her breasts. She looks appraisingly in the mirror. "This should do it," she tells her reflection.

He's not staring at her, he's ogling. He's also almost drooling as he watches her stride towards him. "Jesus, Beckett, what are you wearing?"

"Wearing?" She feigns astonishment, because she knows exactly what he's saying, and why. "Is something wrong with your eyes? I'm not wearing a thing."

"The perfume. Your perfume. What is that?"

"It's called I'm Coming. Cost me a week's salary, so you'd better like it."

"Like it? I'm gonna buy stock in it. How can I not have heard of it?"

"Let's just say it's a specialty item," she purrs. "Not found in anything but a very…special shop. Now sit down at the table while I get the board."

"The board's here?"

"Yes, it is." She bends over to open a cabinet door, retrieves a battered maroon box, and carries it to the table.

"I thought you said this was a game I don't know. Sure looks like Scrabble to me. Which by the way is also only one word."

"This isn't ordinary Scrabble, Castle," she says as if explaining something to an inattentive child. "This is Dirty Word Scrabble. Every word has to be filthy or be a part of the body that can be involved with sex. If you play a word that's neither, your opponent gets the points."

"Oh," he says, eyes widening. "Oh. Have I told you lately how much I love your mind?"

"Not lately enough." She opens the board and places it between them, puts out two tile racks, and hands him the bag. "You draw first."

He makes a show of rattling the bag before finally pulling out one tile. "This is a good omen. I got R. For Rick."

"We'll see about that." She quickly removes a tile. "Ah, D. For Detective. I go first."

She takes seven tiles, arranges them on the rack, and briefly studies them. Smiling happily, she puts five on the board. "QUEUE. That's forty-eight points." She records her score neatly on the small pad next to her. "Your turn."

"First of all," he says peevishly, "I can't believe that you drew the Q already. And second, I get those twenty-eight points because queue is not a dirty word."

"Of course it is."

"Says who?" He tries to pull the score pad over to his side of the table.

"Says I," she answers, putting her hand over the pad. "And millions of other French-speaking adults."

"Whoa. You can't use French words. It's not fair."

"Why isn't it? I didn't say that the rules specified English only."

He's pouting. "But you speak three languages, Beckett. You'll beat the pants off me."

"Your pants are already off. But if you're interested in beating…" She licks her lips. "Besides, wouldn't you like to expand your naughty-word vocabulary, no matter what the language?"

His eyes, so dilated that the pupils have almost obliterated the irises, are glued to her. "You have a point," he says.

"So does queue."

"Queue has a point?"

"Tip, you might say. Or head."

"Oh. So queue is…?"