She dashed from the break room, precariously holding onto her mug of coffee, snatching her phone before it buzzed right off her desk. Of course it was from Castle, he hadn’t been in all day but he had been trying to sext her all morning. Except this text was the one to get her running out the door.
Kate Beckett was in the elevator before her coffee cup could settle on her desk.
She pulled up at the bookstore where she knew he would be. Another book signing for another Nikki Heat best seller. She couldn’t complain – at least he was still in town – but now that she was dating Castle rather than standing in lines like this hoping to get a glimpse of that secret smile, she understood why Gina had preferred to remain his publisher rather than his wife. She loved him, but it was easy to get jealous. It was easier since they still hadn’t gone public on their relationship. Reaching over, she removed her sunglasses from her glove compartment and pulled her hoodie up as far as possible. She looked ridiculous but she could step out of her car, and push through the crowds of Castle fanatics without being recognized – she hoped.
The crowd of business women, obsessive college kids, and cougars was unusually aggressive today. As she elbowed her way through the hoard she was met with several curses, dirty looks, and even a few shoves. She finally emerged on the other side of the perfume cloud to see her boyfriend in the middle of a cat fight between three girls all dressed in what were probably once business outfits. Two blondes were each clad in charcoal pencil skirts and white blouses that had been torn open from the obvious struggle. A brunette woman with matted hair and a black pantsuit stood on the sidelines simultaneously pulling them apart and pushing herself forward into the terrified man between them. Somewhere, a porn movie started just like this.
Castle spotted his girlfriend and shot her such a conflicted look of panic, apology, relief and maybe terror for his life. “See, my girlfriend is here. I told you I wasn’t lying.” She rolled her eyes. This was because they were keeping their relationship a secret? Please.
The brunette, obviously the leader of the cat crew released her grip on the others who fell into each other. She made a sharp turn to appraise the new competition. “So you’re the new girlfriend that no one can confirm?”
Kate pursed her lips, embracing her year abroad to try out her Russian Accent. “I can confirm it.”
One of the blondes stepped forward, leaving her dress shirt open with one button keeping her decent. “Um, I highly doubt that. Because whether or not he refuses to acknowledge it, he’s in love with me, not some foreign chick.”
Her companion quickly jumped in, folding her arms under her chest to exaggerate her rather apparent assets. “Actually, he’s in love with me.”
The women shot withering looks at each other, close to jumping into another cat fight when their leader shouted over them “ladies!” before turning back to Kate. “The point is: we don’t believe you.”
Kate had to blink to make sure she was still awake. Were these girls for real? Leaning over to peer at her boyfriend she almost burst out laughing at his terrified expression. “Why do you always attract the crazy ones?”
He offered her a wide eyed look that would have been adorable in any other situation – who was she kidding, it was still adorable. “I. Had…nothing to do with…this” he gestured to the three women who were barely acknowledging him; they had their sights set on Kate.
“Oh I know.” Her accent was thicker when she pouted, even worse when she snapped. “It is you three. How dare you try to steal my boyfriend?” Behind her, a few of the patrons who stuck around to watch the encounter – some with cameras – made ooing and ahing sounds, egging all four of them in a fight. “If you try to steal Richard from me, I will fight for him and trust me: I always win.”
The blonde duet jumped at the menacing tone in her voice, taking a step into the crowd, but the ever resilient leader just stood there, one perfectly manicured eyebrow raised. “A fake accent isn’t going to scare me off. Look at you; you’re nobody. And Rick Castle doesn’t date nobodies.”
Kate bit the inside of her cheek to keep from smacking the poor woman who had no idea who she was talking to. Closing her eyes, she prepared for the worst. “Alright, you are right; he is not my boyfriend.” She reached down the neck of her hoodie and produced a ring – her mother’s – on a chain. “He is my fiancé.” The crowd erupted around her but she made a bee line for her man and the world fell away. Her hands held his cheeks softly as she pulled him down for what they both considered their favourite kiss. It was a gentle meeting of lips and skin and breath, and electricity flowed through their fingertips, heightening even the smallest of moments. It was only a moment before they sought more and they fell into each other, arms and hips pressing firmly to each other like they couldn’t stand to be apart. It was only a need for oxygen that separated them enough to breathe each other in. They rested their foreheads against each other, falling back down to reality in time to hear the wolf whistles and groans of disappointment from the crowd around them.
Kate lowered her voice so only her could hear her. “I hardly think this constitutes a 9-1-1 text.”
“You should have been here when they took out the security guards.”
She pulled back but couldn’t hide her smile. “Yo really do attract all the crazy ones.”
“Duh.” She gave him a quick peck before prying herself away from his comforting arms.
However, he grabbed her wrist and pulled her back, completely lost to the still-gathering crowd. “Kate,” he whispered “I never gave you an engagement ring.”
“I know. We’ll be talking about that later.” She winked before sauntering through the parted crowded and getting in her car to wait for her boyfriend.
Poor Rick stood before the stunned crowd led by one very disappointed and frustrated brunette, gulping before he barely found his voice. “The, uh, signing is uh, cancelled. Pl-please talk to the front desk if I didn’t get to you.” With that, he dashed out the door and frantically searched for his girlfriend’s car.
The next morning the couple sat at Beckett examining page six of The Ledger where a blown up photo of the two of them locked in an embrace filled an entire half page. Everyone was wondering who the mysterious Russian fiancée was. Kate couldn’t help sharing a secret smile with him when they read the one line about the inciting involving three women who had apparently snapped under the pressure of a recent job loss and something about needing more love in their diet.
“Those poor women.” Castle muttered.
Beckett scoffed “admit it; you love when women fight over you.”
He shrugged “as a man I will not deny that” he leaned in closer “but I only like it when you win.”
She pursed her lips in a teasing kissing motion but was quickly interrupted from commenting by the dynamic dup approaching the couple, forcing them to fly apart.
“So, Castle,” Esposito puffed out his chest, displaying the photo “who’s the girl?”
“Just some poor woman with a crush who turned a little psychotic, that’s all.”
Ryan waved him away “no not her. The girl you were tonguing who says she’s your fiancée.”
Beckett rolled her eyes, leaning into the group. “Guys, you know it was me.”
“I don’t know Beckett.” Ryan once again displayed the paper. “Last we checked, you weren’t Russian and, we definitely would have known if you two had gotten engaged.”
The couple instinctually looked around just to make sure no one was within earshot before Beckett turned back to her partners “oh, like you knew we were together?”
Esposito suddenly grew very serious. “So does that mean you two actually are engaged?”
Kate looked over at her boyfriend who was smiling tenderly with nothing but naked love in his eyes. She smiled back “we’re thinking about it.”
They were both startled by Ryan and Esposito each taking one of Castle’s arms and hauling him out of his chair. “Then Castle, bro, we’ve got to have a long chat about what’s going to happen if you hurt our girl.”
Beckett just stared wide-eyed as Castle looked back at her with familiar terror in his eyes. As he rounded the corner, she couldn’t help but laugh as she sat back down at her desk. This just wasn’t Castle’s week.