It's not that Beckett doesn't trust Castle. She knows him well enough to be absolutely positive he wouldn't do anything to hurt her. Well, on purpose. Or very much. Unless it had to do with marketing his next book or... no, if the chips were down, she could trust Castle. She does.
But she asked Tom to join her on this case for a reason, and when the host greets them, she's incredibly grateful she did. The host is already dressed for the evening's party: corset and leather skirt, black fishnet stockings and six-inch stiletto heels, opera-length latex gloves. Tom looks her right in the eyes--the eyes, thank you, Tom--and says, "Carolyn Isaacs?"
"Yes--Detective Demming?" Tom nods. "And Kate. God, it's good to see you." Beckett nods, too. "Thank you for coming. If we don't figure out who this sonofabitch is soon, I think all hell's going to break loose; we've all been careful, he hasn't gotten away with anyone, but if I hear one more sub's had to be taken to the hospital..."
Isaacs is livid, though she's keeping a good handle on it. Beckett nods again; she doesn't have to fake an ounce of her sympathy. She also can't blame Isaacs for being furious--there's no one new in her circle, everyone checks out, everyone has references. No one wants to let a would-be kidnapper and rapist destroy the community they've worked hard to build all these years.
And as she said, no one's been taken away, but the fact that whoever this is gets close enough to drug people means that this has gone way too far.
Beckett slips out of her trenchcoat and hands it to Tom. "If you wouldn't mind finding a place to put this..."
He nods low enough it's almost a bow and steps quietly out of the room; Isaacs turns to Beckett and raises an eyebrow. "Wow. There are two of you in the force now? How did you even find him?"
"I don't know if Tom's exactly--well, he's--we're--" Beckett gives Isaacs a tiny, sheepish smile. "We're dating."
"So he's your..."
"Not--exactly," Beckett says, and then lower, "but... we're kind of heading that way."
"Good for you." Isaacs grins. "He's hot. We really miss you around here, you know."
Beckett smiles. "I appreciate that."
"And not just for things like this--"
"No, of course not--"
"Just... you were one of us, and right now... it's hard. We're losing people. We've got people too afraid to show up, we've got people who are afraid to meet friends for fucking coffee. You've got to find this guy; I'm not sure where this is all going to end if..."
"We'll get him." Beckett reaches out and takes Isaacs's hands in hers. "I promise, Carolyn. We'll get him."
Isaacs nods and pulls herself together, drawing herself to her full height--plus six inches. With those extra six inches, she should be towering over Beckett--she was almost as tall as Tom--but Beckett's in four-inch platform boots herself. Her style's not the corset-and-fishnets look, never has been, so she's in head-to-foot black leather--tight leather jeans and a leather halter vest, tight short leather gloves, and the little holster for her work handcuffs tucked in against her hip. The jeans and boots also mean she had a place to put her gun and her badge; she hopes she doesn't need either of them, but better to have and not need than need and not have. Isaacs agreed with her on that. At least her knife is something she doesn't have to worry about concealing; she doesn't plan on getting it out and playing with it, but if someone notices the bulge in her pocket, it won't seem out of the ordinary.
When Tom gets back, he's out of his trenchcoat, too, and that means Isaacs gets to see him in full uniform. It's nothing much--black jeans, black boots, a studded belt, and a very tight white t-shirt--but there's one part of the outfit that Tom and Beckett agreed on back at home, and that's his collar. It's big, thick, and heavy, black with a D-ring in front, and it's got a padlock clasp in back. Tom has the key in his pocket for emergencies.
Putting it on him was definitely one of the more memorable things Beckett's done lately. Fortunately, it didn't end up making them late to the party.
"The coats are in the front closet, ma'am," Tom says, and Beckett feels a jolt go all the way up her spine to the back of her neck; she's tingling.
"Nice--getting into character now?" she asks.
"I thought it was a good idea. Ma'am." He raises an eyebrow. "That works for you?"
Dear fucking Christ, she thinks. Isaacs still has her hands, and she squeezes lightly; when Beckett looks back at her, she's expecting Isaacs to be smirking, but no, the look on Isaacs's face is completely innocent. "It works fine," she says. She glances back at Isaacs. "Can you give us a minute?"
"Of course. Come down when you're ready."
Isaacs closes the door behind her, and Beckett runs her fingers through her hair. "Whoo. Okay. We really should have covered more ground rules at home--"
"We did cover ground rules. I have a safeword--" Tom grins at her. "Hell, I had one before..."
Beckett can't stop herself from smiling. "Yeah. But this is different; we can't break character in front of the people here. I mean, we can break role--you can always ask to come up for a time-out, and that's fine here, nobody's going to look at us funny for that, but we can't be us, really. Not unless we're alone. Are you--are you going to be okay with this?"
"What makes you think we can't be us like this?" Tom asks softly. "I know we don't break cover, sure, but--"
"What I'm getting at is that I need to be a certain person to fit in here--I need to be the person I was when I was a part of the group--and I know it's going to be weird, I know it's going to be different, I--"
"You're going to be terrific. And professional. And beautiful." Tom smiles at her again. "And believe me, there might be a part of me that's here just for the job, but there's sure as hell a part of me that wishes the job had nothing to do with it."
Jolt. There it is again; Beckett can almost feel her knees going weak. "Really?" she whispers.
"If going down on my knees would make it more convincing..." Tom gets down on one knee, then the other, then looks up at her. "Let's just say I've never had an easier time getting into character, ma'am."
Beckett slips her index finger through the D-ring on Tom's collar and pulls him in--just a little, so he can still look up at her. "We're going to talk about this later," she promises.
"Yes, ma'am," he answers. His voice sounds breathless again. He looks amazing.
"You're still all right with me calling you my boy?"
"Baby, I'm okay being your boy." He frowns. "I probably should've said 'ma'am' there..."
"I'll let you off the hook this time," she says. "Come up on your knees." She gives his D-ring a tug, and he comes up; she has to bend over to meet him halfway, but when she gets there, his lips are parted and his mouth is ready and she kisses the rest of his breath away, her tongue taking over his mouth like she owns it.
It feels good. It feels--it feels right, it feels like so many things she's been missing--
The case, she thinks, licking her way back out of Tom's mouth. Don't forget about the case.
"Okay, boy," she says, and she doesn't miss the way it makes his eyes gleam. "Let's go back downstairs."
* * *
Tom's sprawled across the floor at Beckett's feet, and every so often she reaches down and runs her fingers through his hair. It's so good she lets herself forget they're acting, even if she never forgets why they're really here.
There are couples in various stages of dress and activity all over the room, which is pretty normal for this crowd; Isaacs herself has her girl over her lap, and while the spanking's over, the fondling has been going on for quite a while. It's lovely.
The thing that surprises Beckett is how many of the people here she recognizes; Isaacs hadn't been wrong when she said there hadn't been a lot of new faces lately. Only about four people out of the sixteen here are strangers. Of those four, three are subs, and one's a domme. She's watching them, but she keeps in mind that it could be anyone. It could be someone she knows well--someone she knows very well. The idea makes her stomach a little queasy, but she controls herself. Control is the name of the game--at least it always has been for her.
Beckett's friends have been really sweet to Tom; they've all greeted him and asked how he's doing, and when Beckett asked him to get her a ginger ale, one of the other subs took him back to the kitchen to show him where everything is. He came back smiling, a little flushed around the collar, but Beckett hasn't had a chance to ask him why just yet.
The real trick to this evening is going to be circulation, though. The subs who've been drugged have all been much like Tom--male, tall, in good shape, obedient and friendly. Beckett and Tom came into it knowing that Tom was going to have to meet people, going to have to make sure people were interested in him, and if that means he's going to have to let other tops touch him, if he might have to play with other subs, then that's all right--it's the job, and they've both agreed to it.
"Just so you know," she said, earlier, "you don't have to lie back and think of England. You don't need to hate it."
"It probably wouldn't work if I did," he pointed out. "Just so you know--I'm here with you, okay? And I'm gonna leave with the lady that brought me."
"You're damn right you are. I wouldn't let anything--anyone..." She frowned for a minute and reached out for him. "You know I wouldn't let anyone hurt you, right?"
"I trust you," he said, softly, simply, and she kissed him.
But no one seems keen on stepping on Beckett's toes. She stifles the urge to frown and waves at Isaacs, who nods; once she's reached a good stopping point with her sub, she saunters over and takes a seat next to Beckett.
"How's it going?"
"It's good," Beckett says, "but I'm afraid my boy might be getting a little lonely."
Isaacs grins and tucks her chin over Beckett's shoulder. "You've kinda been giving him this look all night like he's yours, and anybody who touches him is gonna lose a hand. I wondered..."
Beckett leans closer, nuzzling at Isaacs's ear, close enough no one else is going to hear them. "Yeah, and that's a problem. We need to get him noticed."
"I'd like that, but what's he comfortable with?" Isaacs pulls away, one eyebrow arched. "What are you?"
"I need a minute." Beckett taps Tom on the shoulder and tilts her head. "C'mon, boy. On your feet. We need to have a moment."
"Yes, ma'am." Tom grins at her, and she leads him out of the playroom, down the hall, and into a spare bedroom.
"We need to get you noticed," Beckett says bluntly. "What do you think?"
"You could fuck me." Tom licks his lips, and he draws his eyebrows together a little. "If you're comfortable with that."
"I'm not fucking you in front of--" she begins, then stops. "I can't take my jeans off anyway. I'm armed. I'd have nowhere to put the gun."
"No, I mean--you could fuck me," Tom says. He pauses, pauses until she gets it, and when her eyes go wide, he rocks back on his heels. "Unless--you don't do that at all...?"
"I..." She wants it, now, wants it so badly she can feel slickness starting to gather between her thighs. "Are you absolutely sure about that?" It would work, she thinks, it would be perfect--if he's good at being fucked, it would get every eye in the room on him. On them. Oh, God. Think about the job. You have to draw this person out. You have to make them see Tom--and want him badly enough to try to drug him and get him out of here under my nose.
"This wasn't how I was figuring I'd ask you, but yeah, I'm sure. I'm sure." He nods at her. "Do you--can you get something?"
"I can ask Carolyn. How big can you handle?" She's thinking, at first, that it's just a matter of logistics, that she's just being professional about it, but as soon as she hears herself, she knows it's anything but.
His lips part, he takes a breath, and he says--a little shakily--"Anything you want to give me. Kate, this isn't my first time around the block."
She knew that--she knew there'd been other women, other men, but--"Which block are we talking about, Tom?"
He reaches out and takes her hand in his, raises it to his lips. And then he folds her fingers over, and kisses her hand again, and she almost fucking loses it--almost grabs him by the collar and shoves him into the wall and puts her hand down his pants, jerks him off while she growls through her teeth at him, but no, no, God, the job, the case. God.
"Okay," she says, and she's pretty sure her voice is steady, but damn, it's a near thing. "I'm going to ask her for something around eight inches, then. And I'll be careful. We'll have condoms and I'll wear gloves--nitrile gloves--and--is there anything you need me to know about, anything I need to be careful with, anything you don't want me to do?"
"Physically, I can't think of anything. That part's not going to be a problem."
"Can I slap your ass?"
"Fuck," Tom says, but it doesn't sound at all like that's a bad thing. He nods. "Yes."
"Can I pinch you?"
"Ass and thighs, but that's as far as I'd go--nothing else, no other pain. I might put a hand on your shoulder to pull you back into me; is that all right?"
"It's fine, m--Kate. Yes. It's fine."
"If you need me to slow down--"
"--I'll use 'yellow'. Don't worry. I can do that."
"Okay. So mentally, emotionally? How can I help keep you safe?"
"Stay away from humiliation--don't call me a bitch, don't tell me I'm a slut, that kind of thing--and trust me, I'll beg plenty even if you don't tell me to do it."
"It--" He closes his eyes for just a second, then he's looking at her again. "It might bring some emotional stuff up for me. Are you okay with that?"
"What kind of--"
"If I end up saying 'I love you' in scene," he says quietly, "is that okay with you?"
Beckett's heart leaps straight into her throat; it takes her a minute to be able to speak again. "Do you?" she whispers.
He looks away. "I don't know," he says softly. "If I don't now, I'm falling pretty fast. But I'm probably gonna say it no matter what."
"Thank you," she murmurs. She reaches out for him again, pulls him into her arms, and he wraps his around hers, too, clinging tight. "Thank you for telling me--for being honest with me." She kisses his ear. "I can handle it if you can."
"It's the same for me," he murmurs. "I can say it if you can hear it."
She nods and steps back again, just so she can watch him while they talk. "Okay. If you say it, do you need to hear it back?"
He shakes his head at that, quick and certain. "No, it's not about that for me. I just get--I feel like I can't give enough at that point, you know?"
She doesn't, exactly, but she can understand it even if she's never been there. "I get you," she murmurs. "But speaking of giving, I don't want anyone to touch you while we do this. I mean, they need to watch, I want them watching, but I don't want them touching."
"That's fine by me." He smiles. "I'm more than fine just having you touch me."
"Good. How about after? Do you need anything special after?"
"Just a place to stretch out. Couch. Floor. Doesn't really matter, as long as I can lie down a while."
She nods. "Okay. I'm not gonna put you on the floor after something like that; I want you somewhere I can hang onto you and tell you how good you were." He grins; she grins back. "Because we both know you will be. So if it's okay with you, I figure I'll bring you up on the couch with me and I'll put your head in my lap."
"In your lap or in your--"
She shakes her head. "No, just--just lying there. I'd rather not--I don't want to come while I'm working. Is that crazy?"
"No, actually, I get it. I, uh--it's okay if I do. I mean, unless you'd rather I didn't--"
"I was going to ask you. We'll put a condom on you for that, though; safe play only at Carolyn's."
She grimaces, nodding. "Yeah. God, I hate that this is happening. And I really hate that you might have someone actually get drugs into your system before we know--"
"If we're lucky, it won't go that far. And I trust you." He reaches out and cups her face in his hands. "I trust you."
She leans forward and kisses him. "I know," she whispers. "Thank you for that."
And then she takes a deep breath and reaches up, puts her hand on the back of his collar. "Are we ready for this?"
"I am if you are."
"Okay. I'll let Carolyn know."
* * *
It's a good half-hour before they can get started--it only takes a couple of minutes to get the necessary supplies, but it takes longer for the table to be clear, for a lull in the action, for Beckett to screw up her courage. It's been a long time since she's done something like this--done anything close to this--and as much as she's missed it, as much as part of her is glad to be back, she's got a nervous flutter in the pit of her stomach all the same.
But when it's time, it's time, and she excuses herself for a moment to get the harness situated and the gloves on. She stares at herself in the mirror for a moment--black leather vest, black leather harness, black nitrile gloves, giant fucking black dildo strapped on--and it's like she's never been gone, like she never left.
There's a knock at the bathroom door, and she opens it to see Isaacs's sub--Jane--smiling at her. "Mistress Carolyn said she's keeping an eye on Tom, and not to hurry, ma'am. But it looks like you're ready, ma'am?"
"Oh, yes, I'm ready. And I miss my boy."
"I'm sure he's missed you, too, ma'am." Jane slides her hands behind her back, which makes her breasts look like they're straining to get out of their harness. "It's nice to get to meet you, ma'am, finally. If you don't mind my saying so, ma'am."
Finally? Beckett thinks. "It's nice to meet you, too, Jane." She smiles. "I think I've kept my boy waiting long enough."
When she comes back into the living room, Tom climbs off the floor--he's been sitting at Isaacs's feet, or more accurately, Beckett suspects Isaacs sat down next to Tom's patch of floor--and laces his hands behind his back. She tilts her head, and he goes over to the coffee table with her.
"Remember your safeword?"
"Yellow to slow down, red to stop," he murmurs. He glances down at her strap-on, and she's pretty sure she detects a faint amount of flush on his neck again. "But right now we're green all the way."
"Okay." She lifts a hand up and squeezes his shoulder. "Green all the way here, too."
"You look amazing."
"I always look amazing," she says, flashing him a grin, before she realizes it's not something the Beckett he knows would say--at least not so easily. "Okay," she whispers.
Voice a little louder, she says, "Drop your pants, boy. Down to the floor."
They were right about this getting attention; even the two men in the back corner stop what they're doing to watch Tom unbuckle his belt and slide his jeans--no boxers, he's commando tonight--all the way to his ankles. He's half hard already, which is somehow a relief; God knows Beckett's wet and getting wetter. If they're getting off in the line of duty, at least they're getting off together.
It's actually kind of romantic when she thinks about it that way, which is... weird.
She runs her hand down his back and gives his ass a slap. He jumps, but his cock's getting harder, and she grins at him. "You're gorgeous," she murmurs.
"Thank you, ma'am."
"Bend over at the waist and put your hands on the coffee table."
He does, and that gets his ass at just the right level and angle for what she's planning. She looks over at Isaacs, who comes over from the couch with a tub of lube and a pair of condoms; Beckett puts the one on her strap-on first, then reaches around and gives Tom's cock a squeeze. He's definitely hard enough for this.
"Nope. You stay right where you are."
She rolls the condom down his length, not the first time she's done it, not--she hopes to God--the last. It's quick and easy, and she hands the wrappers back to Isaacs, then screws the lid off the lube. It's a nice thick one, one she's always liked a lot, and lubing up the condom is easy; it's lubing up Tom that gets complicated.
His idea, she thinks. We need this. God, Tom, I hope--
She cuts herself off; she trusts him. She trusts him to be honest with her. Nothing would have worked between them if he hadn't been honest from the beginning, and there's no reason to think he hasn't been honest ever since. He's okay with this, he can take this, and--
--and they both want it. God, she wants it.
She slides one finger in at first, and she's a little startled by how easily he takes it. "Nice," she says, and she feels more than hears his soft whuff of near-laughter.
"Thank you, ma'am."
"Oh, sweetie, don't thank me yet." She grins as she twists in a second finger. "Unless you really want to."
He takes two, then three fingers, so easily that she considers adding a fourth. But by the time she's done with three, he's actually grinding back against her hand, breathing pretty hard, and she doesn't really want to wait any longer--she wants to be inside him now. "Okay," she murmurs, sliding her hand back, other hand going to his hip to hold him steady. "Here we go."
"Oh, God, y--oh, God, yes," Tom pants, as she starts sliding the dildo into him--she bites her lower lip as she watches him take it, as she watches him taking it for her, and she just keeps going, pressing in further and further and--oh, God, he's gorgeous. She glances up at his back, his shoulders, the top of his head, and she bites her lip a little harder. She's going to have to have him fuck her through the floor when they're home; this isn't going to do anywhere near enough for her.
But it's doing something for him; he's moaning and groaning and pushing back, and when he's got all of her, she puts both hands on his hips and takes a few deep breaths with him. "That's it," she murmurs. "That's my boy. God, you're so good, you're so hot--"
"Thank you," he pants. "God. Thank you. Thank you--"
"I want to fuck you now," she murmurs. He lets out that almost-laugh again, and she grins nwith him. "No, honey, I mean, I really want to fuck you now. Are you ready?"
"Hell, yes, I'm ready, ma'am," Tom says, and he shoves back hard--not hard enough to take her off-balance, but enough to let her know he's serious.
She responds with a light slap on the ass to remind him she's serious, too, and he braces himself all over again. "Sorry, ma'am."
"Don't apologize, baby," she murmurs. "Just be ready."
She starts easy--she doesn't know how long it's been since he's had anything this big inside him--but she doesn't stay that way. As he starts moving back into her thrusts, she gives it to him harder, and then harder, taking advantage of the strength in her hips and the unyielding weight of the dildo to really slam into him. He growls like it hurts, groans like it's almost too much, but when she puts a hand on his shoulder and says, "Color?", he grinds out, "Green, green, green like fucking grass, green like St. Patrick's Day, go go go," and Beckett goes. She fucks him like she hasn't been able to fuck anyone in years, like she's been dying to fuck somebody for the last year and a half, and if it weren't for the fact that she isn't going to--not in front of all these people, not while she's working, just no--she could get off this way. Could get off just fucking him, fully dressed, watching him groan and take what she's giving him.
"--love," Tom moans, and thank God for that warning of his, because it doesn't startle her out of the moment. "God, yes, love you, Kate, love you, pleasepleaseplease--"
"Close?" she asks. She slides a hand around him, gets it on his cock. Nitrile on latex is a little iffy, but she can at least give him some pressure. "How close?"
"Jesus, yeah, just like that, I--oh, God, please, Kate, please, please, please--"
Ma'am, she thinks, call me ma'am and you can come, but--God, no, not in public, not like this, not without talking about it first, and so she says, "Yes," squeezing his cock tight, pushing into him as hard as she can without knocking them both onto the ground.
And he comes, growling, growling out his pleasure between his teeth, and he's gorgeous. Gorgeous. And hers.
Isaacs is there to help Beckett with him, when it's done, to help her get his clothes off and get him settled on the couch with her, to get him a blanket and then a bottle of water, and as the room breaks into a group of people sharing the sexual energy from that encounter with their lovers and friends, Beckett slides her fingers through Tom's hair and thinks, Me, too.
* * *
Tom looks like he's completely out of it for the rest of the evening, but he's not. He notices it at the exact same time Beckett does--one of the newer subs to the group, someone who's been sweet and friendly to everyone, comes over to thank them for sharing the scene. And as quick as she is, as practiced as the motion is, as nearly-flawless--it's almost stage magic, she's so good--both Beckett and Tom see it when she slips the tablet into his water. Beckett squeezes Tom's shoulder, Tom reaches up and takes her hand, and Amy slides away, going back to one of the tops she's been scening with tonight.
"I'm going to go get dressed," Tom murmurs. "Give me a few minutes, see if she leaves, too."
Tom slips out with his clothes, and when he doesn't come back right away, Amy slips out after him. Beckett gives him a few more minutes, and then takes the bottle--if Amy's working with someone, she doesn't want to have them pour it out while she's gone--and goes after them.
She finds them in the second bedroom, where Tom has Amy handcuffed and is quietly reading her her rights; Beckett nods at him. Amy looks up, face tear-streaked, but Beckett's got very little sympathy to part with--just enough to make sure they don't do this out in public, that she doesn't have to walk through the party to get to the street. A pair of patrolmen come by--lights off--to get Amy, and then she's gone, with Isaacs and Beckett and Tom--all three in trenchcoats, bundled up against the cold; Tom's got his collar off and in a pocket, too--watching her go.
"I didn't think--" Isaacs sighs. "But then you never do, do you?"
"Not too often," Beckett admits. "It takes quite an imagination to get the jump on some people."
Tom clears his throat. "Yeah, imagination's a good word for it."
Beckett eyes him, but he looks pretty innocent; she lets it slide. "We'll definitely need to ask you some questions," she tells Isaacs, "but it can wait until tomorrow. Are you okay?"
"Am I--I'm not the one she tried to drug." Isaacs looks up at Tom. "Thank you."
"I'm glad I could help."
"Thank you, too," Isaacs says, throwing her arms around Beckett's shoulders. Beckett hugs her back, hard. "Thank you, sweetie."
"Always," Beckett whispers. "You know that."
"I do." Isaacs nods. "Okay. I need to go back in and tell people; you're probably right about getting Amy out without making a scene out of it--" Isaacs snorts, looking surprised at herself. "In any sense of the word."
"Safer for everybody," Beckett agrees. "But yeah--this is not the kind of thing you want to sit on."
"No." Isaacs shakes her head. "No. Definitely not. God. So many people considered her a friend. Why--"
"We don't know." Beckett squeezes Isaacs's arm. "We might not. That's a tough one to live with."
"It is, yeah. It's going to be."
"You've got my number; you're welcome to give it to anyone who wants to talk to me."
"Thanks. Again." Isaacs sighs. "I hope it's over."
"Won't be over until the courts have their day," Beckett points out. "But we got her."
"We did," Isaacs says firmly. She holds out her hand to Tom, and he shakes it; Beckett gets another hug. "Have a good night, you two."
Beckett turns to leave, but Isaacs stops her just before she and Tom reach Beckett's car. "Hey, Kate?"
"Don't be a stranger," Isaacs says, and Beckett grins, keeps grinning as she gets in the car, and grins even harder when she realizes Tom's smiling, too, as they drive off.