Okay, here is the final chapter! I promise, a third story is coming, so be on the lookout :) For now, just enjoy the end of "In Your Arms," and please leave feedback so I know what you guys want to see (or rather, read) in the next installment!


"Kate, wake up. Wake up, honey."

Kate could feel Rick shaking her gently. She groaned and kept her eyes closed, rolling onto her stomach.

"Mhhmmm… why, Castle? It's my day off… I wanna sleep."

"C'mon, baby, I have a surprise for you." He kissed the tip of her nose. "C'mon."

Kate cracked one eye open and stared at him. She slowly turned over and sat up in bed, leaning against the pillows. She yawned and rubbed her eyes, and when she opened her eyes all the way, Alexis was standing at the foot of the bed, holding a tray full of breakfast food. She set the tray on the bedside table and jumped onto the bed as Rick pulled Kate to his side and hugged her.

"Happy Mother's Day," Alexis and Rick both yelled. Rick kissed Kate all over her face and Alexis hugged both of them.

Kate was stunned. Rick let go of her to give her breathing room and she stared back at both of them, her eyes wide.

"We've gotten so close these last few months, and I wanted to celebrate you," Alexis said. "Dad thought it was a great idea."

Kate put her hand on her heart and held back tears. "Alexis…." She reached out and hugged her tightly. When they broke apart, Kate let a few tears out.

"You're already been an amazing mom to me, and if you guys have a kid, that kid will be the luckiest in the world," Alexis said, squeezing Kate's hand.

Kate blinked back tears. "Thank you so much, Alexis. This means a lot to me."

Alexis smiled. "And I'm so happy you guys are getting married! You have a romance I would be lucky to have one day."

Kate smiled and leaned against Rick's chest. She looked at him, and he nodded, then kissed her hair.

"Alexis, we were thinking about it… and I was hoping you would be my Maid of Honor. Lanie, Jenny, and Madison are going to be my bridesmaids, but I want you to have a really special role in our wedding."

Alexis nodded and kissed Kate on the cheek, wrapping her arms around her. "Yes, thank you!"

The fact that Alexis still hadn't decided if she wanted to go to Columbia, when Stanford and Oxford were still at the top of her list, stayed undiscussed. This was their day to be a family. But Kate knew it was killing Rick, and Alexis had to make her decision in a few days.

"So…" Alexis said, snuggling up next to Kate on the bed. "I planned a standard Mother's Day for us – we have a spa appointment at eleven, and then we'll go shopping for new dresses for the engagement party tomorrow night. What do you think?"

Kate smiled and Alexis and stroke her silk red hair. "Sounds perfect."

Rick looked stunned. "What? What do I do?"

Alexis grinned at him. "You stay home to clean the house and make Kate a nice dinner while we spend your money."

Kate burst out laughing and Alexis joined in. Rick pouted, so Kate squeezed his hand.

"Sorry, honey. But didn't you say you have some phone interviews today anyway?"

"Yeah," Rick sighed. "I just would rather hang out with my two favorite girls instead of talk to book critics who already have their opinion of me and my book before they even speak to me."

"Tonight, dad," Alexis promised. "You can pick a movie for after dinner."

That cheered Rick up. Alexis got up and walked towards their bedroom doorway.

"I have some stuff to do… you guys enjoy breakfast."

"Thanks again, Alexis," Kate said. "Should we leave at 10:30?"

"Perfect," Alexis said with a smile, closing the bedroom door behind her. Rick wiggled his eyebrows at Kate.

"It's like she knew I would want to make-out with you the second she was gone."

Kate nodded. "Yep. She knew I would just want to rip –" her voice dropped lower as she pulled Castle towards her "-your-" she pulled his shirt off, running her hands up and down his chest "-clothes off."

They kissed hungrily, rolling around on the bed. It only took a few second for Kate's beloved red t-shirt and boxers to land on the floor, and Rick kissed her breasts, nuzzling her scar. She tangled her fingers in his hair and hooked her legs around his, moaning softly.

"We have to stop," she panted, about ten minutes later. "We need to eat… and I have to get dressed… and…." She was breathless as Rick kissed her, cutting of her air supply. "Damn it, I love you."

Rick stopping kissing her long enough to whisper, "Me too. You're so…" he kissed her again, passionately, until both of their hearts were racing so fast they could barely breathe. Kate sat up and ran her hand through her hair. She was still dazed.

"That was…."

"….The best makeout ever," Rick finished. He grabbed his shirt off the floor and put it back on. Kate nodded and stood up.

"I need to… um, shower. Alone."

Rick grinned. "Am I too much for you, Katherine Beckett?"

"Katherine Castle," she corrected, bending down to kiss him. She walked into the bathroom and closed the door. Rick leaned back on the pillows proudly, grabbing a scone from Alexis's breakfast tray.

"Yum."

xxxx

Kate and Alexis emerged from the spa three hours after they entered, glowing and relaxed. They walked towards 5th Avenue, chatting about the engagement party. But college was nagging at the back of Kate's mind. She wanted to be able to prepare Rick for whatever might happen, because she knew how hard it would be for him to let go.

"Hey, Alexis?"

"Yeah?"

"I hate to push… but where are you leaning, college-wise?," Kate asked, biting her lip and looking at Alexis. Alexis took a deep breath.

"It's been really hard for me to decide… I spent all morning while you and dad were eating breakfast thinking about it… I just stared at those 3 brochures, trying to decide. And I think I want to go to Columbia."

Kate smiled and squeezed Alexis's hand. "That's great, Alexis. Don't worry, I'll make sure your dad doesn't beg you to live at home."

Alexis laughed lightly. "Thanks. I really do love New York, it's my home. And I think Columbia will be a great experience."

"Good for you," Kate said proudly. "Your maturity always amazes me."

Alexis blushed. "Thanks."

They walked in silence for a few minutes, and then Alexis said, "Okay, so Zara or DKNY first?"

xxxx

"Rick, stop changing your shirt!," Kate exclaimed, walking into their bedroom. "People will be here soon."

Rick turned away from the mirror to look at Kate. In her Michael Kors ikat-print dress and high-heeled sandals, she looked like a goddess. He put his arms around her waist and kissed her.

"I am the luckiest guy in the world."

She grinned and then swatted his shoulder. "Okay, you started with the light blue."

Castle kissed her again. "Well, I have to look my best. Like the kind of guy who would be marrying someone as gorgeous as you."

Kate blushed. "Rick….."

He put a finger over her mouth. "Uh-uh. No arguing. People will be here soon." He winked.

She laughed and he took his finger off her lips. Rick offered Kate his arm and she took it, walking into the living room with him.

"Kate! Oh, darling, you look beautiful!"

Martha came twirling out of the kitchen, holding a wine glass. Rick groaned.

"Already, mother?"

Kate just laughed and hugged Martha.

"Thank you!"

"You're welcome, dear," she said to Kate. To Rick, she said, "Oh, please. You're one to talk. And you'll be singing a different tune when you hear my engagement gift to you."

"Martha, you didn't have to get us a gift," Kate said. Martha just waved her hand.

"I found my own place!"

Rick's jaw dropped and he grabbed onto Kate for support. "Mother, now is not the time for jokes."

"It's not a joke, Richard. I found an apartment – well, a penthouse – near the theater district. It's equal distance from Columbia and here, and that way you and Kate will have your own home. I move out in a few weeks."

"Mother, I… I'm speechless…," Rick said, staring at her.

"Did she tell you?"

Kate turned and saw Alexis coming down the stairs wearing a beautiful floral dress from Anthropologie and a pair of Betsey Johnson sandals.

Kate beamed. "Alexis, you look wonderful. So mature."

Alexis joined Rick, Kate, and Martha. She gave Kate a side-hug.

"Thanks. You look great too."

"Yes, dear, I just told them," Martha said to Alexis, sipping her red wine. "Your father appears to still be in shock."

The three women looked at Castle, who still looked shell-shocked. Then, the doorbell rang, startling him out of his daze. Alexis and Kate just laughed, and then Kate went to answer the door.

"Lanie, Javi, hi!"

Lanie, looking amazing in a white maxidress, hugged Kate and kissed her cheek.

"Congrats, honey!"

Kate grinned as Esposito hugged her awkwardly.

"Hey, Javi. Thanks for coming."

"I wouldn't miss it for the world."

Lanie and Esposito entered the loft, and just as Kate as closing the door, she heard Ryan yell, "Hey, hold the door!"

She poked her head out into the hallway and saw Ryan and Jenny, hand-in-hand, bright smiles on their faces. She loved how perfect they were for each other.

"Hey!"

Ryan hugged her, then Jenny.

"Kate, you look amazing," Jenny remarked as they entered the loft. "You have that engagement glow."

"Thanks, Jenny," Kate said. "You look pretty great yourself."

Ryan, Jenny, and Kate, joined the rest of the group in the living room, where Kate and Alexis had set out hors d'oeuvres. Ryan was asking Alexis about college, and she was talking about her choice with a bright, eager look on her face. Kate glanced over at Rick, who was standing next to Martha and half-listening to Esposito – who was telling the two of them about the last Broadway show he and Lanie saw - while he watched Alexis. She walked over to him and squeezed his arm.

"Everything okay?," she whispered. He started to nod, then shook his head. Kate tugged on his arm and they walked into the kitchen.

"What's wrong? Alexis told you yesterday that she decided on Columbia, and you said you agreed with all of her reasons. You said you were really happy for her, and promised to support her," she reminded him gently, keeping her voice low.

"I know," he said, running a hand through his hair. "It's just… she's my baby, you know? I haven't spent more than a few days apart from her since she was born."

"I know," Kate said soothingly, rubbing his arm. "But she won't leave for a few months. Let's just have fun for now, okay?"

"KATE!"

Kate and Rick turned towards the door. They hadn't heard it, but Madison had rung the doorbell while they were talking. Kate hadn't seen her old friend in over a year, but they emailed regularly. She looked better than ever, in a body-hugging, navy-blue strapless dress. She ran towards Kate, and Kate met her in the living room.

"I can't believe you're getting married!," Madison exclaimed, wrapping her long arms around Kate. Kate grinned and let Madison squeeze her to death. When they broke apart. Maddie looked her up and down.

"You look hot."

Kate blushed and then turned to the rest of her friends, who wall looked confused.

"Everyone, this is Madison, my best friend from high school. Madison, this is Martha, Rick's mother; Alexis, Rick's daughter; Kevin Ryan and Javier Esposito, who I work with; Jenny, Ryan's wife; and Lanie, a good friend of mine and an M.E."

"Hi, guys!," Madison waved. Everyone went back to their normal conversation and she winked at Kate.

"Told you that you wanted to marry him and make babies," Madison whispered to her before walking away. Kate laughed and watched Madison join the group, talking up Ryan and Jenny.

Rick came over to Kate and handed her a glass of wine. "Remember when I went on a date with her?"

Kate smirked at him. "You want to go down that road? I can still call Demming and invite him."

Castle frowned and put his arm around Kate's waist, hugging her close to him. "Never mind."

Kate laughed, but it wasn't genuine. She watched the very small group of their closest friends and family chat with each other. Rick sensed something was up.

"Kate?"

"My dad," Kate said, trying not to sound disappointed. "He said he would come. I know that I upset him by talking about our little Mother's Day yesterday when we talked on the phone, but I didn't think…"

She stopped when she saw the front door open. She squeezed Rick's hand as she saw her dad enter.

"Dad!"

She let go of Rick and ran towards her father, hugging him tightly.

"Hey, Katie," he said with a smile. He handed her a small bag when they pulled apart. "Sorry I'm late."

"It's okay, dad," she said, beaming at him. "You're here now, and we are so happy you could make it."

He smiled. "Wouldn't miss it."

"Jim," Rick said, coming up behind Kate. The two men shook hands and the Rick took Jim around the room, making introductions. Kate watched them proudly. Everything was perfect. She opened the bag her dad gave her. Inside was a small box. She opened the box and she saw a locket sitting on a little bed of cotton. The locket looked old, and it was silver, about the size of a quarter. Inside was a picture of her parents on their wedding day.

"It was your mom's," Jim said, coming back to the spot where Kate stood, with Rick in tow. "I bought it for her on our 1st anniversary. I thought maybe you could put your wedding picture on the other side.

A few tears collected in the corners of Kate's eyes. "Thanks, dad."

xxxx

Later that night, after all the goodbyes, Kate and Rick were cleaning up from the party. Alexis had gone out with her friends, so it was just the two of them.

"So, that went well," Rick said from the kitchen, where he was doing dishes. Kate nodded from the couch.

"Yeah, it did."

"So, now all we have to do is plan a wedding," Kate said with a sigh. She rubbed her eyes. "We have so much to do…"

Rick put the last glass away and joined Kate on the couch, lifting her legs and sitting down, placing her legs across his lap.

"We don't have to do it right away," Rick said, taking off her heels and massaging her foot. "Or at all. We can hire a wedding planner, you know."

"You got a discount, Castle?," Kate teased, her green eyes sparkling. He rolled his bright blue ones and faked a laugh.

"Oh, ha ha. Tell me, will you be here all week?"

Kate sat up and took Rick's face in her hands, shifting herself into his lap.

"I'll be here forever, " she promised, kissing him softly.

"And always?," he asked quietly, nuzzling her nose with his. She nodded.

"Always."