Kate frowned as she noticed both Alexis and Sophie talking to a man she didn’t know. She felt the panic rising in the back of her throat until she realized that the man had a police badge on his hip and she remembered the notices the school had sent home about safety presentations taking place all week on various subjects.
"Momma!" Sophie exclaimed as soon as she saw Kate.
"Mom!" Alexis added as they both rushed to her. She greeted the girls with smiles and a hug before Sophie raced away and pulled the cop over.
"This is Detective Will," she said. "He told us what to do about strangers." Kate stood up and brushed her hand off before extending it, only she hesitated when she realized who it was.
"Will," was all she got out as she laid eyes on her ex-husband for the first time in nearly 5 years. He had a similar reaction to her and the two adults stared at each other for a long moment before Alexis and Sophie both began to ask what was wrong. "Nothing," she said quickly, giving them both the benefit of a smile. "Go get your bags and coats and we’ll go," she said, sending the girls off to where they had left their things.
"She’s smart," Will told her after a second. "And beautiful."
"Thank you," Kate replied, doing her best not to let anything slip.
"I didn’t know you had remarried."
"But it’s serious?" he asked her.
"It’s none of your business," she informed him, taking the opportunity to end the line of questioning as soon as possible.
"I’ve missed you," he said quietly, taking a step closer. "And her."
"Then you should have written back or called," she told him, doing her best not to snark at him. "She doesn’t know you," Kate told him suddenly.
"Nothing?" Sorrenson asked. He couldn’t believe that Kate had told their daughter nothing about him.
"When she turned a year old and I still hadn’t heard from you, I stopped telling her about you. I put your pictures away and I changed our names back to Beckett. As far as she’s concerned, Richard Castle is the only father she’s ever known, ever will know." Will’s face hardened when he heard that and part of her was glad.
"She’s my kid, Kate."
"You should have thought about that when you disappeared with that blond," she shot back. "Hey, are you ready to go?" she asked, sticking a smile on her face as Alexis and Sophie came back over. "Say goodbye to Detective Will," she prompted. The girls did and Kate began ushering them towards the car.
"I’m married now," he said as he grabbed her arm to stop her from going. "She wants kids and I told her about Sophie and what a huge mistake I made. Trish, she wants to get to know Sophie."
"Over my dead body," she hissed at him through clenched teeth as she pulled arm free from his grasp and sped up to catch up to the girls.
A week later, Rick came home to find the girls colouring at the coffee table and Kate pacing the length of his study while chewing on her bottom lip. She held a rather official looking document in her hands.
"Kate?" he asked quietly as he shut the door.
"Remember how I told you about running into Sophie’s father at school last week?" he nodded, remembering the whole story. "He’s suing for shared custody," she said as she held the papers out to him.