Kate awoke with a start to the loud buzzing of her ever-present cellular device. Next to her, Castle was suspiciously absent, but the smell of bacon in the apartment certainly was not. She was finally able to lay hands on her phone after recovering a few other miscellaneous items among the sheets and pillows. In hindsight, she probably shouldn't have used her police cuffs on him last night. Those were going to leave a mark. She glanced down at the screen, knowing already that it was the precinct. Who else would call me at 7 am? She thought.


Listening carefully, she turned to her nightstand for a pen and paper. Under normal circumstances, she would have just remembered the address, but these were not normal. These were extremely strange.

Castle sauntered into the room, his air changing as he noticed the puzzled look on his girlfriend's face.

"What is it?" he mouthed, exaggeratedly.

Beckett stopped writing for a moment to throw one of the smaller pillows at him. He jumped back, stifling a giggle.

"I'm not familiar with that area…" she said, turning her attention to the voice on the other end of the call, "Where?"

She took down the directions and made the decision to use Mapquest instead. She wouldn't find the cite simply going on what the officer was explaining.

Castle moved close to her and put his ear to the phone. As much as Beckett disliked others listening in, she was too focused on the unusual case to do anything about it.

"Okay. Thanks," she hung up the phone, "she was very helpful."

Beckett threw down the phone and notepad to kiss Castle good morning.

"Well, good morning, Miss Beckett," he said when the pulled away, "how didn't you sleep last night?" he asked with a raised eyebrow and normal Castle playfulness.

"Come on," she said taking up her items as quickly as she had dismissed them, "we caught a case."

"But I made breakfast!" he proclaimed with the hurt of a lonely puppy and the pride of, well, Castle.

"Box it! We'll have time to eat on the way."

"What?" he answered, confused, "It'll take five minutes to get to the crime scene."

"Not this time, Castle."

Kate tossed him the small notepad as she opened her closet to find a fresh blazer. He caught it and looked at her a moment before glancing down at the notepad.

"Rosewood, Pennsylvania? Where is that?"

"If I had to guess, I'd say it was in Pennsylvania," she poked.

He threw her a sarcastic look before reading on. Odd circumstances, was right.

"Why are they sending you all the way out there?" he asked

"Our team was specifically requested," she said, pulling on a pair of black dress pants, "too dressy?" she asked him, looking at herself in the mirror.

"You look great," he answered, taking the moment to blatantly admire her body, "but you know I wouldn't complain if you decided to change."

She smiled and playfully unbuttoned her trousers with a mock-seductive glance toward Castle before re-buttoning and closing her closet and walking out to the kitchen, Rick following behind, as he always did.

"Would you mind mapquesting that address?" she asked

"We can take my car. GPS included!" he said, excited to show off his new gadgets.

Kate took out the travel mugs for the coffee, some old Tupperware for the bacon and omelets Castle had made, and carefully packaged everything up nice and neat.

"If we must," she sighed, "But I want to drive."

"It's the price I have to pay, " he said, bowing.

Castle realized, then, that he was still in boxers and a borrowed robe. Looking down at himself, he lifted a single finger to indicate a moment of time. Running to his drawer- he loved that he had his own drawer- he quickly chose a nice button-down and a pair of dark jeans.

"Okay. I'm ba—" but Beckett was closing the door to the apartment as he rounded the corner.

"You coming, Castle?"

She loved him, but almost three hours in the car with Castle and his road trip games had Beckett practically jumping out of the car when they finally reached their destination. With all of the alphabets, games (of which his favorite was creatively called, "cows" – during which you point out the animals grazing when you see them.) and Lola, the navigation guide, it was enough to drive anyone a bit mad. She was happy to see that Ryan and Esposito were already talking to Rosewood PD when they pulled up to the enormous house.

"Lanie's out back, " Ryan explained before returning to the officer he was speaking with.

"Lanie, too?" she asked Espo, who had just finished speaking with his respective officer.

"Everybody," he answered before continuing.

"They must really like you," said Castle, "who calls in New York City detectives three hours away?"

"People who have the power and money to do so," said Beckett

The three of them circled around the right of the garage to see a large hole in the ground. It looked like a meteor had hit the backyard. The construction vehicles mixed with a swirl of caution tape created a carnival of chaos within the area. Scanning the yard, Beckett caught a glimpse of a teenager looking through the hedges from the house to the right.

"Espo, take her statement," she said, indicating to the girl staring on in shock, "but be gentle, she may have known the victim."

Esposito nodded and began toward the hedges.

"What do we have, Lanie?"

"Other than a lost morning?" she said with a sassy smile, "Female, around age fifteen to eighteen, head trauma, major sign of struggle indicated by the buises up and down her arms." Lanie pointed to the small bruises around the blonde's wrists and forearms.

"Those look like finger marks,"

"Could be. That would be my guess."

"So how did she end up in a crater?" Castle interjected

"Well, it's very clear her death was no accident," said Lanie, "the head trauma looks deliberate. It's all concentrated in one area."

"So she couldn't have fallen and done this?" asked Beckett

"It's very unlikely."

Beckett knelt down to look more closely. Something about this victim made her feel very uncomfortable. Something wasn't right.

Just as Beckett was taking inventory of what was making her uneasy, Ryan arrived, a tall Rosewood PD officer in tow.

"Everyone, this is Officer Wilden," Beckett reached out and shook his hand.


"Nice to meet you," Officer Wilden remarked in a way that men often did around Detective Kate Beckett.

Castle jumped between them quickly, "I'm Richard Castle," he said, offering his hand territorially.

Wilden smiled slyly and shook Castle's outstretched limb, "Like the mystery writer?"

"One in the same."

Suddenly, Wilden became even more animated, "Really?!" He exclaimed

"Really," Beckett answered for him in her 'we need to get things done' voice, "now, Officer Wilden, what can you tell me about the victim?"

"Right," he turned back to her, "She's been missing for years, disappeared about three years ago, her story has become a little bit famous here."

"Famous how?" Castle asked

"Small town, rich folks," he said, "the most excitement we get out here is who decides which private university they're going to back next. A kidnapping is a pretty big deal."

"And you're sure she was kidnapped." Beckett stated.

"Well, yeah. She wouldn't have run away. She had life made," he explained.

"What was her name again?"


Everybody turned to look at the girl Esposito was escorting to the group of congregated officers.

She spoke again, "Her name is Alison DiLaurentis."