Author's Note: Thursday night while I was waiting at the theater for The Hunger Games to start, the first paragraph of this little one shot appeared in my Tumblr inbox. When I got home and decided that I might as well pull an all-nighter since I had to be up early anyway, I took another look at the paragraph, and figured it must be a prompt of some sort. And, as with all good plot bunnies, it wouldn't leave me alone. So here you go. Thank you, Writer Anon, for such a lovely gift. Feel free to leave another any time. -Joy

She lets herself go, into him and into them, in a grey dress she knows he likes with her hair down so he can run his hands through it fast or slow and her mind and body open to everything he wants to give. When the door opens she watches his eyes map her face and move farther and farther south until she decides he's gaped enough for now and she steps forward into his star-studded loft, accepts a flute of champagne, and tells him to shut his mouth or put it to better use.

He chooses the latter, of course, clasping the fingers of her free hand within his own, tugging her forward until she stands in front of him, breathless with need, captivated by the desire on display in his eyes.

"You look beautiful," he murmurs as he leans in, pressing a chaste kiss to her cheek. "Absolutely stunning."

She's dressed to kill and she knows it, chose this dress specifically to throw him off his game, to force him to show his hand. And yet-

His quiet sincerity sends flutters through her chest and a flush to cheeks.

She dips her head, unable to completely disguise her shy smile. "Thank you. You look quite dashing yourself."

And he does: pitch black suit with a sapphire blue shirt open at the collar, revealing his smooth throat and a few inches of tan, well-formed chest.

She gives him the elevator eyes - frank in her appreciation - and he laughs, that rich, joyful, incredibly sexy sound that heats the blood in her veins.

"Thank you," he returns. "And thank you for coming. I wasn't sure you'd make it."

She shrugs. "It's your birthday, Castle. Where else would I be?"

For a moment, he looks a little stunned, his natural charm and wit apparently failing him. She rather enjoys leaving the writer wordless.

But it doesn't last. Wouldn't. Not with him.

He turns, slips his hand around her body to guide her into the loft with his fingers barely teasing the small of her back. "Now that you're here, the party can really get started."

She tilts her head to meet his eyes. "No karaoke."

His lips turn down in a pout.

"No fun at all," he grumbles. "And I'll bet you didn't even bring me a present."

She laughs at him, the freedom in the sound catching her by surprise. Him too, she'd wager, if the sudden delight in his eyes is any indicator. She shakes her head. "O ye of little faith."

His lips part in a surprised exhale. "You brought me a gift?"

She nods, halts their progress across the loft with a light touch to his forearm. "Mmm. Later, when your company's gone, I'll let you unwrap me."

"It," he says, raising an eyebrow. "Unwrap it."

She smirks. "I meant what I said."

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