She wakes slowly, her body drifting for long minutes in the heavenly comfort of the soft sheets and heavy down comforter, the warm strength of his arms around her, his body spooned against the length of hers, solid and safe.
Kate inhales deeply, the familiar scent rising into her nose, invigorating in itself and luring her to rise, to savor that first sip of morning coffee, dark and bitter, strong on her palate. Eyes still closed she smiles, stretches in his embrace, arms and legs and back taut until she feels the pull in all her muscles, then curls back in.
He nuzzles her neck, his lips teasing the peaks of her vertebrae and the sensitive patch of skin just beneath her ear and she shivers, can’t help the giggle that rises through her when he whispers against her skin. “Good morning.”
Her eyes slowly open, blink against the opaque light crawling in through the window, the dusky grey of a rainy, cold November morning but she doesn’t care when she’s warm and cozy, curled in his arms.
“Want your coffee?” His voice is low, dark like lazy morning and latent sex, and heat flares through her, momentarily lures her with another kind of good-morning-treat. “It’s on your nightstand.”
Her eyes flick up to look, widen at the contraption sitting on her nightstand, it’s red lettering declaring it to be ‘7:12 am’.
“Happy Birthday,” he hums with a kiss to her neck and she lifts up to take a closer look.
“It’s a Barisieur,” Castle declares, clearly proud at himself for finding this unusual gift, “a coffee-making alarm clock,” and she takes in the black base with the inset alarm clock, the wooden tray with glass carafes and funnel and spouts sitting atop, looking more like a chemistry lab than a coffee maker and yet they are filled with the black liquid, the scent dark and strong and so very, very good.
“When it’s time to wake up, the machine will start brewing you a fresh cup, ready for you when you open your eyes.”
Her heart beats rapidly and she turns for him, curves her palm to his cheek, her eyes scanning his features, taking him in, the clear blue of his eyes and the laugh lines crinkling their corners, the look of sheer adoration on his face; her amazing, inventive husband who always finds new ways just to see a smile on her face. She presses her lips to his, her kiss slow yet exulting, caressing his mouth with the joy etched into her smile.
“Thank you,” she murmurs into his mouth, and “try it,” he nudges her back, and so she reaches around, pulls the glass cup off the base almost reverently and with her eyes holding his, she takes a first sip, moans at the roasted, perfect bitterness against her tongue, the invigorating warmth as it slides down her throat. She thinks her eyes might be rolling back in her head because he chuckles at her, so she hands over the cup, sharing the wonderful flavor like she always wants to share everything wonderful with him. His eyes close as he sips, the groan that races up his throat making her blood pound, her fingers tingle.
It’s one fluid motion as Kate take the cup and deposits it back on the nightstand, slides into his lap with her fingers in his hair and her lips on his, chasing the coffee flavor and everything that is uniquely his.
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(the “Barisieur” (as featured in the picture) by industrial designer Joshua Renouf.)