DAY SEVEN - Late Friday night

"You got it all wrong, Castle..."

"Shh..." It's not that he doesn't want to talk to her, he really does. It's just- Just let them have his moment. Let him have this with her, where it's just the two of them. He's okay with walking right on into this relationship no-man's-land, even though it means he's doing so without the first idea about how the hell this is going to work.

He grabs her hands and anchors them with one of his own hands above her head, using the other to curl around each breast in turn, slipping his hand along the loosened lace and silk restraints of her bra, easing a strap down one shoulder. He hears her rapid intake of breath as he trails his mouth downward, with hungry and aggressive lips and tongue and teeth, sucking and nipping at her nipples, now dark pink and pebbling into hard peaks, and he peers up her body, watching with satisfaction as she squirms under his pinning grasp, gasping and sighing, panting out of control; a wild-haired siren with silken skin still displaying his progress down her body like a brand.

Her skin should be cold in the sea spray and icy wind, but it's burning up under his touch. Her jacket lies forgotten on the grimy concrete underfoot. He releases her hands and weaves his fingers through her hair, tugging gently, applying pressure to expose the pulse point on her neck. She must be feeling the pull, and a gentle sting in her scalp because her respiration kicks up a notch; and she whimpers, and she claws at his clothes pulling him into her - as though she'd like nothing so much as devour him herself.

There's no way he'll ever get enough of this.

Then he drops to his knees before her, swiftly tugging the denim jeans down over her hips and around her thighs, spreading her legs to encourage a wider stance, as far as she can with pants hobbling her, at any rate...and he's holding her hips immobile against that wall; he laps at her through the dark blue lace, relishing the heat that radiates from her in a heady haze, before creeping the top of her panties down with his fingertips to allow him entry. And when he does gain entry, he plays her with his tongue and fingers to the music of her hoarse cries. He looks up to meet her gaze, hot and overwhelmed with all that he's doing to her, before she lets her head loll back against the hard wall, and he can feel her knees buckle under her, as the sensory overload triggers a helpless keening in her. Soon she's flexing, banding into him, panting and tugging at his hair, and he knows that she's getting close to the edge again.

The satisfaction of being the guy to get her there twice, well, it's near-Neanderthal. But the setting, their clothes, everything that's conspired to keep them apart - tonight, or for as long as he's known her, for that matter – it's holding them back now, and that frustrates the hell out of him. It makes him want to get out of here, if he can tear himself away from her and this moment.

But as much as he wants it, he fears it too, as if taking her back to reality will break the spell and make her come to her senses; change her mind.

But surely that can't happen. If she wants him, he wants everything. He wants inside her. If he can't be inside her soon, he might actually die. He wants to strip her naked, explore her body, every inch of her, sink inside her and never leave; make her forget the world, forget everything, forget any other guy, if only for the brief time they're together. If this amnesia's temporary, yet total, he guesses he can live with that.

He pulls back and...there she is. Lips swollen and glistening with his kisses, eyes bright with want, for him; and he can hardly believe it, there's something else in her gaze, something deeper, something unreadable but something that his heart seems to recognize - the same look she gave him when she found him alive at the New Amsterdam Bank and Trust and that makes him hope...makes him believe crazy things. Despite the suspicion that he's plumbing the depths of delusion, he doesn't think he's seen a more beautiful sight in his life than this. Than her. With him.

And then she's got her hands, her mouth on him, and he's drowning again. She pulls him closer to her, and her lips on his send a hot pulse racing into him, through him, and the heat of her, and her scent of soap and jasmine and cherry blossom mix with the cold metallic tang of chain link fence; it's a strange alchemical blend that addles his senses.

"Castle-" The thing she utters is a hybrid; a groan mixed with a sigh, and as he tips her over the edge with his hands again and he gasps in her sobbing cry, the thought of what they seem to have become today fills his chest full to bursting and he holds her tight, never letting go, as she comes back to solid ground.

He's not entirely sure what they have become – but he can more than live with this turn of events. For now.

She floats down, her fingers still clutching his hair, his arms around her, a tether to this world. She settles her mouth on his, drinking long, slow, deep from him. She needs to talk with him. But God, she needs this too. She's wanted this, him, for so long. But they do need to talk. He seems content to let his hands and mouth do the talking - and she's more than okay with that – and he's showing every sign of not being the least bit interested in resolving this confusing thing that sits between them. For her part, she has so much to say, but it's all been locked up so tight, for months. Years.

Castle keeps up the pace, never lets up for a second. True to form, even while she recovers from two orgasms one right after the other, he doesn't take his hands off her; rubbing, teasing, feathering shapes on her overheated skin.

She pants and gasps with the effort to collect herself...but she has to. "Castle, just...let's just cool it...I wanna talk to you."

Castle smirks into her mouth. His smugness at what they've just done is palpable."I like it when we don't talk..." He leans in, pushing a thigh between hers, letting gravity drive him into her, and she groans, eyes hazing over, hungry hands reaching for him again.

But then Kate plants her hands flat on his chest and pushes him backward, and it's almost vigorous enough to make him stumble backward, breaking their clinch. She eases any potential for hurt with a smile, pulling up next to him again, grabbing his hand. "Castle, c'mon...let's get out of here." She buttons up her shirt, reassembles her jeans into a state of relative modesty, and then laces her fingers with his, turning them both toward the road in front of the bar.

"Yeah." He ducks his head out from behind the dumpster behind which they've been sheltered, and recoils as a blast of wind hits him. "Ow. Cold. Let's go." He leans into her, puts his lips on hers, before following as she walks ahead, pulling him back into the real world.

The moment he's got her inside the front door of his place, he pins her up against the back of it, pressing one thigh between hers, driving into her with almost frantic strokes, in time with his galloping heart and her cries that bear the heat of an arousal that seems not to have abated in the twenty minutes it took the local taxi to ply the late night streets back to East Hampton. For him, it's too much and not enough; he's burning up with want that hasn't been satisfied – yet - and it's driving him insane, her hands on him, the sounds he elicits from her and this connection that drives the two of them to unimaginable heights with every single touch. He can't take this much longer. They have got to get-

"Castle, you can't keep distracting me forever. I love that you want to. But..." Kate grasps his hands, lifting them away from her, clasping them between them. "We have to talk."

He can't help it; he utters a guttural groan. He sighs, nodding, and subsides from her, standing back, with an air of defeat.

She leads him through an impressive wood panelled entrance into a corridor leading to a huge, open-plan living area. She draws him by the hand over to an overstuffed sofa in the middle, sinking in beside him. "Castle-." Her gaze lowers, and she takes a deep breath. Now or never, Kate.

She looks him in the eye in the dull gleam of his living room's late-night mood lighting. "I need to talk to you. I've needed to tell you this for months, but I've been afraid. So I think you've guessed by now that the day I got shot, I heard you...I heard what you said."

His features darken. "I got that. You could have told me you weren't interested in me that way. I could have handled it."

"Castle, c'mon. Do you really think I'd be here with you if I weren't interested in you that way?"

He shrugs, unsmiling.

"The shooting screwed me up more ways than one. I couldn't sleep, I kept having nightmares, and I needed a weeks to get my head straight." She takes a breath, using the moment to gauge his reaction. There isn't any, but she swallows her fear and ploughs ahead anyway. "I'm trying to get better, move on from it. But I've just been waiting for something to happen. All I've done is waste my life. Maybe I'll never find out who killed my mom. PTSD could be just around the corner, or it might never be triggered. But lately, everything I've been living for - it's not enough. I'm tired of running away."

He hasn't reacted while she's been talking. Still no smile, but at least he's listening. He definitely needs to hear this. "Castle, this mojo thing. This guy..."

He feels a clenching in his gut and a fight-or-flight response all at once. He's shocked that she'd even bring this up, at a time when they're supposed to be working on the part of her life that is for him. It hurts to be slapped in the face with the reality that there's a part of her life that's not. "Kate, I..."

She puts her lips on his. And starts to undress. Unbuttoning her shirt, she pulls it away from the waistband of her pants, drops it, and it drifts to the floor.

She puts her hands on his shirt to unbutton it. What is she doing? He jerks back, for full eye contact. "Kate, I'm trying to put it out of my head tonight, and live in the right now. But you gotta admit, this is going to pretty much suck for me, at least part of the time..."

She leans in on him, shakes her head. "Castle, you need to listen to me - you don't have any reason to be jealous." She pushes him to lay back on his sofa, climbs atop him, straddling his hips.

He struggles to keep focus while her hands run all over his torso before they start on his pants fastenings. If she's trying to distract him, she's doing a fine job. "I don't-... whuh?"

"Nope." She smiles and takes a deep breath, expelling it. Then she takes on a mischievous air, and leans in to whisper in his ear. "Castle, the guy who gave me my mojo back? He's...Dr Burke, my therapist."

"Huh." Castle's brow, previously furrowed, smoothes out. "Oh...Oh!" His gaze skips to meet hers. He steadies her with a hand as he uses the other to lever himself up with the sofa back to a near-seated position. "So Lanie wasn't talking about-"

She steadies herself on her knees on the upholstery and presses him gently back against the cushions again, kisses and licks her way down his neck, flicking her fingernails across his nipples. Castle groans, and all capacity for rational thought leaves him. "Nope. Dr Burke's a way older. Got a bunch of grandkids. Really not my type. Lanie was talking about someone else." She smiles. "He's cute, smart, funny, and he's got my back." She clasps his face, hazel eyes pulling him in and he can't look away. "He's kept me going when life was kicking my ass. Her face becomes sober. "I can't imagine what would have happened to me if I hadn't interviewed him about a series of copycat murders three and a half years ago..."

"Oh. Wow!" His face is the picture of raptured awe, but then it falls. He pushes her gently off of him, and he swivels his legs around so he's next to her. "Wow. Kate..." He rubs both eyes with his hands, then looks at her again with a bleary, concerned gaze. " Kate, there's something I'm going to have to tell you about. I really misunderstood what was going on. And because of that I did something really stupid…."

Author's Note: Hey! I thought this was the last chapter bar the epilogue, but now I think it's the penultimate chapter bar the epilogue. So a total of two chapters left to go. I won't actually know what to do with myself when the time comes that I'm no longer writing this!

Big big thanks and love to Ky for another amazing beta/critique partnering/supportive asskicking. She's an amazing beta and top bird x

As always, thank you so much for reading. Let me know what you thought?