Title: Butterfly Kisses ("To Bleed Willingly" fic-a-thon response)
Author: Kimberley Jackson
eMail:
Website:
Pairing: Kate/Gibbs
Rating: NC-17

Word Count: 9370

Prompts: None, basically just write whatever you want, so decided to refer to an episode and combine that with an old story of mine.

Spoilers: Heavy for 1x12 My Other Left Foot, also a sequel for my story "Forbidden Fascination", but since this is a ficathon response, I tried to write it so that you don't necessarily need to have read the former story.
Summary: "It's not a rose?" she quoted him ironically, "What was that all about?"

The demand for an explanation leads to a firework of passion...

A/N: Written for LJ user silverfoxfiles. Entry to the "To Bleed Willingly" Fic-A-Thon in the Livejournal Community ncisnostalgia.

The title, "Butterfly Kisses", does not only refer to sensual kisses, but also to Kate's tattoo which I made a butterfly in "Forbidden Fascination".

A/N 2: This story is dedicated to all of my friends in real-life who recently bashed me for writing these stories, finding them slutty, pornish or just "something that you don't do". Face it folks, my author spirit is free like a bird, and nothing you say will change that, so stop wasting your breath on discussing it with me. ;)

"It's not a rose."

Those coolly spoken words, said as if there was nothing more natural in the world than the fact that he knew exactly what he was talking about, had turned her evening into hell. It was save to say that Special Agent Caitlin Todd was beyond angry. In fact, her mood was hard to determine, shifting between absolutely murderous and hurt that he had, in a way, betrayed her trust.

For those simple four words had caused her colleagues to ask her a whole bunch of (still-unanswered) questions. If her tattoo was not a rose, what was it then? And after only a few minutes, Tony Dinozzo had come up with an even more obvious question: How did Gibbs know so surely about her tattoo? Had he seen it? Was it in her file?

Of course it was not in her file, and Abby was the one who knew. Because when Kate had started her job at NCIS, she hadn't had the tattoo yet. It had been Abby's idea during one of these crazy girls nights. And Kate had been tipsy enough to say yes. Not that she regretted it now; the only thing she regretted was, that it had become the matter of discussion among her work colleagues.

And that she had to face dozens of indecent questions – which was partly HIS fault! Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

Kate left her car and her expression became even darker while she locked the car and then moved with quick steps towards the large house. She would hold him responsible and demand an explanation for his somewhat childish behavior.

He had simply not answered when she had requested him to tell their colleagues that he had no idea, and that he had just lied about her tattoo. Which he had not, of course.

He knew exactly where her tattoo was, because he had seen it one day after they had trained with the team in the training hall. Since the women's shower had been out of order, Kate had decided rather recklessly to make use of the men's shower instead, because she had thought there had only been three men left in the hall. But suddenly Gibbs had been in the shower as well, one thing had led to another and they had shared an erotic experience which she still relived in her dreams every single night. They had not gone all the way through, because neither of them had been prepared, and therefore they had had no protection. Fortunately, they had both still been rational enough to pay attention to that factor. And afterwards they had agreed that something like that could never happen again and that it should never come up again in a conversation, either.

And still, there was not one day that passed without her recalling the stolen moment in the shower.

It seemed to her like a dream she would have at night, so fleetingly had the moment been—so fast had it passed. And neither of them had ever mentioned it again. The day after, Kate had been insecure about how to act – and react – to his usual humorous remarks and flirtatious comments, but her awkwardness had quickly passed when she had forced professionalism into her mind.

Gibbs had treated her just as always. Just as if he had forgotten about what had happened between them. How his hands had run over her body, exploring every inch of her exposed skin. And how she had whispered hot words into his ear to turn him on, sweet secrets which she had actually meant to keep buried in her heart forever. She had shared them with him. They had shared some wonderful moments of bliss, before reality had caught up on them.

She feigned professionalism during the day when she was at work, but at night the memories would come back to her, and follow her into her dreams. And it would always end the same. With her telling him that it could never happen again. Sure, she had said it first, but only because she had seen in his eyes that it was what would inevitably come from him. In order to prevent herself from getting hurt, she had said it first.

And since then they had not spoken a word about it, or made any kind of indication, or ambiguous remark. Until today...

The whole case had been bewitched from the beginning. First she had accidentally betrayed towards Anthony Dinozzo that she had a tattoo. Then he had told everybody about it. And to top it all, Gibbs had behaved completely irrational and heavily flirted with a suspect.

The latter incident had enraged her the most, because she could have sworn he had done it well-aware of her jealousy. He had even complimented the tattoo of that redhead and Kate could swear that he had thoroughly enjoyed the pun. Even more, she was sure that he knew that she had overheard the whole conversation.

Kate inhaled deeply, and then knocked at the large wooden door in front of her. While she waited for the subject of her anger to open up for her, the images of the redhead inevitably crossed her mind again. She had been completely fake, and the way Gibbs had reacted to her had driven her just crazy. Afterwards, she couldn't keep her mouth shut, and that was also something that she was angry about now: she had let him know that she was jealous.

"Is it so hard to believe that a woman might be attracted to me?" he had asked her with obvious amusement and a hidden pun lying in his voice. And it had blown her off. Because she knew just as well as he knew that she was the last woman who would ever think of him as not attractive.

However, she could have lived with all that, could have just regarded it as some kind of playful mood he was in, if he hadn't made that last comment about her tattoo.

Anger returned, and she knocked again, harder this time, but still there was no answer.

She folded her arms with a slightly enraged scoff, then tried the door handle. The door opened easily...

Kate hesitated for just a moment, then she entered the house. It was trespassing – but he had trespassed as well earlier, so she didn't really see why she should pay attention.

With awakening interest, she looked around in the house of their teamleader. She had never before been in Gibbs' house, just heard some of Dinozzo's descriptions of it, but what she saw didn't quite fit the image her imagination had built.

The rooms were tastefully decorated, a fact that surprised Kate. She wouldn't have figured her older, and often so grumpy boss to pay such attention to details where living was concerned.

All of a sudden, she heard a sound from beneath her, and figured that Gibbs had to be working on his boat in his basement. She looked around and found a door which led to his basement.

Carefully, she opened it and looked down the stairs into the dimly lit basement room. She inhaled one last time, raised her chin and then walked down the stairs determinedly. When one stair creaked under her foot, Gibbs looked up from his boat. If he was surprised, nothing in his expression, nor his body language, gave it away. He simply stared at her for a few moments, then went back to sandpaper the side of the boat – or rather of what would someday be a boat.

"What is it?" he asked in tone, which made Kate doubt her motives for a moment. Was her anger really worth pissing her boss off? Yes, it was, she determined.

"That's what I was going to ask you!" she opened with a slightly bitchy undertone – more snappy than she had intended it to come out. "It's not a rose?" she quoted him ironically, "What was that all about?"

He lifted to his full size and looked at her for a moment, yet he didn't answer her question

Kate put her hands to her hips and approached him. "Did you need to tell everybody? Do you have any idea how Dinozzo is annoying me now by asking about what it is? And even worse, Abby poses the more obvious question about how you know! And quite frankly I have no idea how to explain, and you didn't really help either!"

He smirked and turned to get another tool from the table in the corner, then went to work on his boat again. Kate followed his actions with her eyes, expecting an answer or some kind of apology – or at least something that came close to it. But Gibbs continued working on his boat as if she wasn't even present.

And with every second that passed, Kate became more angry. Sure, Gibbs was her boss, but that was no reason for him to provoke her the way he did. She knew he liked to provoke. He had shown that at the very first day that she had met him, and back then she had felt unbelievably drawn to him – but also determined to remain his equal. And it was time to make this very clear to him.

"So, you think you can just work on that damned boat and wait it out?" she asked, folding her arms and taking place on one of the workbenches. "Didn't your three ex-wives teach you how patient women can be?"

Kate wasn't exactly sure, but she could swear that she had heard a chuckle from him.

"Hand me the hammer while you're standing over there, will you?" Gibbs eventually spoke.

When he turned around now and reached out his hand, she was sure that she saw a sparkle of amusement in his eyes. Was he enjoying this? Kate narrowed her eyes and took the hammer, balancing it in her hand while her eyes never left his. When she held it out for him, he took it, brushing her hand with his ever so slightly. This almost non-existent touch sent a jolt of desire through her, and she withdrew her hand a little too swiftly for him not to notice it.

But he didn't react, he just held her eyes. Feeling it hard to keep holding his deep stare, Kate finally lowered her eyes and turned around to walk back to the bench. She pulled herself up and gathered her inner balance to be able to attack again. This was going to become a hard battle, that she was sure of.

But when she looked up, she found that he had resumed working on his boat.

Her self-confidence faded a little, because she somehow felt as if she was playing his game instead of the other way around. She felt cornered, and that was a feeling the did not enjoy the least. It was time to face him with her rules.

"So, are you disappointed?"

"'Bout what?" he asked, not moving.

"That your little flirt turned out to be guilty – or at least partly guilty." There it was. Inwardly, Kate did a little dance of triumph, as he turned his head and looked at her, an imminent threat lying in his eyes. She wanted to strike back. When he didn't reply anything, she shrugged. "Well, I've heard from Dinozzo that she is your type, and besides you two were really getting it on in the house - word-wise."

Gibbs obviously decided to use another tactic, for he chuckled slightly and lifted to his full size. "So?"

Kate did not reply, instead she looked around in the large basement room. The interior could not exactly be called decorated. The large, unfinished boat was taking a whole lot of the room and was placed at the center of it. Tables and boards with tools were placed at the wall without particular order, and most of the furnishings looked as if they were self-made. The wooden surfaces of the tables and boards were covered with tools, used cups and old newspapers. Kate couldn't imagine how anybody would want to spend so much time in a room like this, but then again, her boss Leroy Jethro Gibbs had always been a mysterious man.

The young woman was pulled out of her observations, when, from the corner of her eye, she saw Gibbs walking up to her. She stared at him openly, when he came to stand only inches away from her body. She could already feel the heat of his body, insecure about what he was going to do. Was he going to throw her out of his house?

Her heart seemed to skip a beat, when he leaned in a little and his manly scent reached her nostrils. His body was still not touching hers, he was just leaning in, his arm placed on the wooden surface next to her thigh. "I was giving you time to search the house." He replied to her accusation, just as if nothing was wrong – as if her presence didn't affect him the least. "Didn't know that I had to justify that."

She didn't know what to say. It was as if her whole head had been emptied of any kind of language, all that she was aware of was his warmth, his scent and the feel of his breath so close to her skin. It was merely an inch between their bodies. All she needed to do was lean in, lift her hands to his shoulders and touch him.

And then she heard him take a tool from right behind her. With a mysterious expression on his face he pushed himself to his full size again and returned to the unfinished boat, but she could swear she could see a smirk on his face.

Kate stared at his back in disbelief. Manipulating bastard, she thought, angry at herself that she had that easily fallen for him; and at him for thinking that he could just have control over everything.

"Well, why didn't you just keep your mouth shut when Dinozzo mentioned my tattoo!" she came back to the actual point. "I mean, were you trying to embarrass me, or were you just being cocky?"

When he gave no sign that he was listening to her, Kate jumped off the workbench and went to the boat, forcing his attention by blocking the way to the part he was just working on. Only two seconds later she regretted her impulsive action, since, when he raised from the stool he was sitting on and lifted to his full size, she was caught in between him and the boat.

"You are not even listening to me, are you?" she asked, her voice sounding much more insecure now, a fact that she hated herself for.

"I am listening to you," he emphasized dangerously low. "Have you broken into my house and come down here to make a scene?"

"No," Kate almost whispered and Gibbs smirked slightly at her openly displayed sudden lack of self confidence.

"Then I suggest you tell me what you need to say, and then leave!" He let her go and was about to turn and grab his cup with cold coffee, when her next words put him off.

"That's always your solution, isn't it? You act all bossy so that you won't have to justify your actions! I respect that when we're at work! But today, you crossed the line and..." she jumped slightly, when he slammed his hand onto the wooden plank of his boat right next to her shoulder and lowered his face to hers.

"I believe to remember that the actual line-crossing was done by both of us two months ago." He interrupted her with a dangerous undertone in his voice. Desperately trying to think rational, Kate held his eyes.

"Yes, and I believe to remember that you explicitly told me that it can't ever happen again, and that we would never talk about it again!" She could feel her cheeks flush at the memories the nearness of him brought up again.

"Actually it was YOU telling me that. Is that it? Are you angry at me for reminding you?"

She couldn't think clearly as long as he was so close to her that all she needed to do was lean in and close the two inches of distance between their lips to kiss him again.

"No, I'm just angry that you—" she searched for an appropriate term, "embarrassed me in front of the team."

"I embarrassed you?" Gibbs asked and narrowed his eyes.

"Yes, because everybody keeps asking now about how you know about my tattoo! Dinozzo was teasing me anyway after I asked him about..." She shut her mouth when she realized that telling him that she had done research on his relationships and love-interests behind his back was probably not the best idea. But it was too late.

"'Bout what?"

"Your – taste." She replied hesitantly, and wanted to smack him when she saw a cocky smile playing around the corner of his mouth. Upcoming rage was openly displayed on her face, and in her eyes, which turned a shade darker. "After you had acted so incredibly irrational by flirting with our suspect, I needed to know whether your interest in her was true or fake."

"For strictly professional reasons," the man added with an obvious streak of irony in his voice.

"Yes, of course!" Kate affirmed, the fact that she was physically imprisoned between him and his boat did not help to improve her self-confidence.

"So you practically interrogated Dinozzo about my past relationships," Gibbs assumed correctly, and Kate felt herself blush.

"Well, not all of them – but basically yes. I know what this may look like, but..."

"Why?"

His interruption put her off for a moment and she stared at him for several moments before she found the words to answer his question. "Because—I mean if you had just let your interest affect your judgment—you were pretty obvious after all—I had to make sure that—" she stuttered and realized that she probably should have thought about a possible explanation to this question earlier, and not when she was practically pinned between him and his boat. "Fine," she finally admitted, "so I got a little bit jealous when I heard you talk to that woman! I realize that I have no right to..." Her voice trailed off and she just stared at him, waiting for a reaction. Was he angry at her? Confused? Amused? Whatever it was, his eyes did not give it away. The thought that Gibbs must be an excellent poker player crossed her mind briefly.

Then, suddenly, he closed the distance between them and before Kate knew what was happening she felt his lips on hers, her soft shriek at the sudden intrusion lost in his mouth. Her hands found his shoulders and she pushed at them weakly in initial shock, then she grasped the material of his shirt with her fingers. Willingly, she opened her mouth to allow him to deepen the kiss and sighed contentedly, when he did.

She allowed herself to get lost in the sensation of the intimate caresses, that brought back pleasant memories of the erotic encounter they had shared in the men's shower of the NCIS training hall. The kiss alternated between seductive and devouring, before Gibbs eventually broke it, which caused a little sigh of disappointment to slip over Kate's lips.

But only temporarily, for he dragged her away from his boat and urged her backwards towards his working bench. He stared deeply into her hazelnut eyes, before he leaned down to taste her chin and neck with his tongue. The prolonged moan that followed from her was enough to reassure him that she wanted this just as much as he did.

With little effort, he lifted her up, so that she came to sit on the hard wooden surface of the table. With a swift movement of his arm, he pushed the tools and screws aside so that she wouldn't hurt herself in the heat of their passion, before he leaned over her to capture her mouth in a new series of seductive and searing kisses.

She sighed into his mouth, her hands finding the firm material of the polo-shirt he was wearing. She tried to open it, and when she failed to do so due to her trembling hands, she clasped her fingers into the material instead, pulling him closer so that he was standing between her legs.

She could feel his growing arousal at the center of her body and broke the kiss with a soft moan to look at him through eyes clouded with desire.

"Kate," he murmured, but the young woman pulled him close to reconnect their lips in a quick kiss.

"Don't," she then whispered hotly against his mouth. "Don't tell me this can't happen."

"Wasn't gonna," he replied, nibbling her neck gently. "I was going to say that this is your last chance to back off, because this time I'm going all the way through."

"Fine by me," she murmured against his cheek, "as long as you don't tell me this can't happen again afterwards. And then I would have to see you again every day in the office, watch you flirt with redheaded bit--women."

He chuckled at her correction of her own choice of words, knowing quite well that a far more unfriendly word had almost slipped out. " 'S that what it was like for you the last two months?" he asked, biting her earlobe gently, while his hands moved over her back and down to cup her buttocks.

"Pretty much," she admitted frankly.

"Good," he simply stated, which caused her to push at his shoulders a little to get enough room between them that she could look him in the eye suspiciously. The expression she saw there left her speechless, as did his following words. "Because I'd hate to be alone in this."

"Wait," Kate held him back when he wanted to resume the playful kisses that he had been spilling down his neck. "You were jealous of me? But why then would you flirt so unashamedly with that redheaded suspect?"

He smirked in his typical way that signalized that he wouldn't give her more information than that. But that smirk was enough, for suddenly, the realization dawned on Kate.

"You wanted to make me jealous!" she exclaimed.

"Well, mainly I wanted to buy you time to search her house, but yeah. The jealous part was a nice side-effect. I needed to see how you would react. I didn't expect you to investigate me behind my back though." He pulled her closer against his body, letting her feel just how much she was turning him on, and was gratified by an aroused little sound from her. "I hope you and Dinozzo won't make a usual habit out of that."

"Of what?"

"Gossiping about me behind my back," he replied.

"No more than usual," the young woman replied cheekily, a mischievous gleam sparkling in her eyes.

Gibbs growled lowly and melted his lips anew with hers, this heated kiss leaving no doubt about where he wanted to head with this. Kate let herself completely drown in him. She had wanted to repeat kissing him for too long not to take her chance now. So after another series of open-mouthed kisses, she let herself fall back so that she was lying flatly on the table, her hands pulling him to lean over her. He groaned, settling in between her legs, as he leaned on his arms which were placed at either side of her slender waist to keep him from crushing her.

With trembling hands, she opened the buttons of her blouse, exposing the sensitive flesh of her décolletage to him, which he immediately took advantage of by spilling hot kisses down her neck.

"Gibbs... too many clothes..." she managed to whisper, and he broke contact for a moment to assist her in pulling his shirt over his head. With a soft thudding sound, it hit the ground somewhere in the room and was forgotten a moment later, as Kate pulled him down into another kiss.

While turning the kiss into a very slow, languid seduction, Gibbs' hands moved down the sides of her body, finding her thighs and the back of her knees. Softly, he caressed her smooth skin and Kate responded by wrapped her calves around his hips, smiling as he groaned into her mouth.

"God, Katie..."

Now it was her time to smirk softly at his response. It would have been a lie to claim that she didn't enjoy having that much control over him, because she did. Even more, it turned her on. It had already turned her on in the training hall when he had given her the order to leave, after he had pleasured her. She had simply ignored it, and pushed him against the tiled wall where she started a hot seduction, that she would have never thought herself capable of.

"Enjoying yourself, are you?" Gibbs growled, and the young woman couldn't help but giggle softly. "Payback is hell," Gibbs rasped against her mouth before biting her lower lip softly until she moaned in need. "Wait until I make you scream."

"Empty promises?" Kate teased and giggled again, when he kissed her neck in response. Her giggle soon turned into erotic moans when he started to alternate between nibbling and lick at her neck, softly marking her as his own.

In a rough movement, he pulled her black skirt up over her thighs, her position allowing him easy access to the core of her desire, all the while not stopping to mark her with his teeth.

He pulled the thin material of her silk blouse aside to reveal all of the tender skin of her belly, then he started to spill teasing kisses down her body to her navel, enjoying the way she started to writhe under his touch.

"Gibbs, please," she breathed pleadingly and he slowly moved up again to kiss her mouth before he looked into her eyes.

"Please what?" he asked with a slight smirk and Kate hit his chest softly.

"Tease!" she breathed and then arched her back when his hand, that had moved up and down the sides of her body, found the tender flesh of her inner thigh. Her lips formed a soft "oh!" and her eyes fell shut in expectation of the touch where she wanted it the most.

"Is that what you want?" he asked throatily against her chin and Kate sighed appreciatively. "Wasn't this one of the fantasies you told me about in the shower room? That I would just come over to your desk and take you right there?" He felt her shiver under him and smiled softly against her hair. The peachy scent of it seemed to enchant his senses, and he thought that he had never found a woman more erotic than her at that moment. "You know what?"

"What?" came her shaky reply, when she softly turned her head to caress his stubbly cheek with her lips.

"I really like your tattoo..."

At this unexpected revelation, she broke out in a soft, full-hearted laugh and peeked him on the cheek, well aware that those were the exact same words that he had used in his flirtations with their redheaded suspect.

"Shall we move this into my bedroom, or are you fond of tables?" Gibbs asked, his tone clearly mocking her, and she pushed him away playfully.

"Careful there, you wouldn't want me to leave now, would you?"

He laughed. For the first time she heard him laugh and she decided that she wanted to hear it more often.

Gibbs pulled her up softly, helping her to her feet. Quickly, Kate rearranged her skirt, just in case somebody was peeking in through the windows or the front door.

But she didn't really get to finish, before Gibbs grabbed her wrist and pulled her against his broad chest, taking possession of her lips. After a few endless moments, he broke the contact and pulled her towards the stairs that led out of his basement.

When they were up the stairs, they were all over each other again, their hands fondling with clothes, desperately trying to discard them.

Kate shrieked a little when Gibbs pushed her roughly into the nearest wall, devouring her lips with a fire that seemed to burn her up from the inside out. "Sorry," he muttered breathlessly, but Kate's mind was way too dazed to reply something intelligible.

Over and over again he closed her lips with his, tasting, licking, biting and devouring, until they had to break apart, both panting from being deprived of oxygen.

Breathlessly, Kate moved away from between Gibbs and the wall, taking his arm and pulling him further into the direction he had motioned. She was pleased to find his eyes as clouded with need as hers were.

Eventually he stopped her, when she was standing in front of the right room, and pushed the door open with his foot.

"Beautiful," Kate whispered when she entered the tastefully decorated bedroom with the large bed at the wall. She turned around when she heard the click of the door lock, and found Gibbs looking at her.

"Are you sure you want this?" he asked and Kate smiled softly. Then, without a warning she pushed him back against the door and pressed her body against him, her lips lingering with only a few millimeters distance to his own mouth.

"I am," she informed him hotly, and realized just how sure she was. She loved him. At this thought, she faltered for a moment, the expression in her eyes becoming softer, as she placed her hands on the man's cheeks and let them run over his skin. "Gibbs--"

For a moment she looked him directly into his eyes, wanting to tell him what she felt and what he meant to her. But then she decided against it. Too immense was the insecurity about his feelings and she also didn't want him to feel like he made some kind of a commitment by sleeping with her. Therefore she just remained silent.

A little puzzled, Gibbs returned her stare, feeling as if she had wanted to tell him something: something important, something deep.

But then the thought was lost as his attention was drawn back on the beautiful woman in front of him, who turned around and slowly walked to the bed. While she was doing so, she let the silk blouse that she was wearing, glide down her arms until it softly fell to the ground.

Gibbs simply looked at her, for a moment speechless at the beauty of her sight, then his desire took over and he followed her.

He captured her body with his hands before she had lowered herself on the bed. Tenderly, he brushed her hair away from her neck so that the skin lay exposed in front of him. Softly he placed his lips right behind her ear and enjoyed the way she automatically moved against him to increase their body contact. His hands traveled over her flat stomach and slender waist, then they moved down to open the zipper at the side of her skirt.

Kate gripped his arm with her hand, softly stroking up and down his skin while she was leaning back into him, completely giving herself over to the emotion that he evoked inside her with his soft kisses and caresses against her neck.

And then her skirt hit the ground, and she hadn't even realized how he had done it. She slipped out of her high heels and moved to turn around in his embrace, but Gibbs held her in place.

"Don't," he whispered, moving back a little until he could see the little black butterfly on her hip. "I was not kidding earlier, I really like that tattoo. Dreamed about it."

"You dreamed about it?" Kate asked with amusement in her voice. "So you have dreams about me? Tell me about them."

"Oh, believe me, they would make you blush," he replied with a slight chuckle and Kate cocked her head flirtatiously.

"Then show me," was her throaty answer, looking the handsome man in front of her up and down. God, he was handsome. She let herself sink down into the soft mattress of his bed and then moved backwards so that she was kneeling in the middle of his bed.

After he had closed the curtains in front of his window, he pulled off his shoes and then moved to sit behind Kate on the bed. She shivered slightly as his hands touched her arms and began to stroke up and down her sensitive skin, while his lips nibbled at her ear again.

"Lie down," he then whispered, and Kate did as he had asked, lying down flatly on her belly, her upper body leaning on her elbows.

"Feeling kinky," she asked and tried to hide the nervousness, but the slight shaking of her voice gave it away. She was not sure what to expect, until she felt his hands on her shoulder blades, tenderly caressing her tensed back. A prolonged sigh escaped her lips, when his hot mouth followed the trail her hands took.

He continued to kiss and massage her back until she was totally relaxed and reduced to mere sensation and the heat it created in her body, before he started to take it further. Softly, he let his thumb stroke over the little black butterfly on her hip.

Kate didn't need to look to know what he was so fascinated of and it brought a smile to her face.

"If I had known that a tattoo was all that's needed to turn you on, I would have decided getting one in a more obvious place."

There it was again, his soft, open laugh. "Well, I think this one is hotter than an obvious one," he informed her and kissed the butterfly in the slightest brush of a kiss. "because only I will get to see it."

Her heart seemed to skip a beat, when the deeper meaning of his statement reached her logical mind. Did that mean, he wanted to continue this-- whatever it was they had?

Before she could deepen that subject, he had started trailing sweet butterfly kisses along her spine, and slowly moved up her body, while his thumbs had slipped under the upper edge of her black lace panty. When he had reached her neck, he bend to her ear.

"Turn around," he whispered roughly, and Kate decided that she didn't mind bossy Gibbs in bed at the least. She complied and greeted his hungry lips with an equal passion of her own. Automatically she moved her body to assist him in opening her bra, while her hands moved down his broad chest, feeling up his still tight muscles.

A low moan left her lips, when all of a sudden, her naked breasts were pressed against his chest. The feeling of being skin on skin with him was almost too much for her already oversensitive senses and she closed her eyes at the sheer feeling of it.

Sensually, she moved her hands through his hair, when he started trailing wet kisses down her neck, and then reached the delicate skin of her breast with his lips.

When he pulled the pink nipple into his mouth, she cried out in pleasure, thinking that she could not bare much more. She needed to feel more of him. Unexpectedly, she gripped his shoulders and rolled them over in a move that would have made James Bond proud. Gibbs stared at her incredulously, and Kate smiled at him. "Secret Service," she whispered, her lips hovering close over his without touching. "There's much more that you don't know about me yet."

"Right," he affirmed with a smile and bit her ear roughly enough to make her gasp. "Like what it feels like to be buried inside you when you come."

"Oh..." she breathed at the pleasure that pulsed through her body at the fantasies he evoked in her by those simple words. Her hands were lying on his chest, her splayed fingers playing in his soft chest hair, while she moved to straddle his hips. Playfully, she scratched his chin with her teeth, before she sat up and moved her hips downwards to be able to open his jeans.

When she had managed to undo the buttons, she pushed the firm material down his hips and he helped her pulling it off. Carelessly, the cloth was being dropped off the side of the bed, already forgotten once lips united again.

Gibbs' hands trailed along Kate's long legs, until they found her buttocks, covering the round cheeks gently and pressing her against his erection. Unwillingly, she broke their kiss, her breath coming shallow, as she moved her hips against him.

"Gibbs,..." Whatever she had wanted to say, dissolved in a foggy cloud, when he pushed up against her core, his hands tearing softly at her delicate lace panties. "If you tear them, you'll have to buy me new ones." She warned softly and he laughed breathlessly.

"What, you think visiting a Victoria's Secret shop with you is a threat? I'm disappointed, you're really losing it." he joked and she bit his lower lip softly, then began to trail wet kisses down his neck.

"Let's see who will be unable to form coherent thoughts first," she challenged, the obvious implication that it would be him lying underneath her words.

Gibbs chuckled. "Never underestimate your opponent."

"Opponent?" she breathed into his ear seductively. "And here I was believing we were playing on the same team."

Gibbs gave a short laugh. "Rather have me in your team than against you, wouldn't you?"

"If you're implying that I wouldn't stand a chance against you, then you're wrong." she smiled and scratched her fingernails softly over his chest, enjoying his rough moan.

"Katie, if you don't lose those panties, I will have to tear them after all," he warned and Kate laughed throatily. She rolled on her side and removed the undergarment.

"What, you don't want to go underwear-shopping with me?" Gibbs asked, having removed his own boxers and now leaning over her.

"I'd love to," Kate whispered, "but not at the price to let you tear those panties, they're my favorites." They sank into another kiss while Kate pushed him onto his back again and resumed her position straddling his hips. She took her time discovering his body with her lips, allowing him to direct her with his hand that was buried in her long brown hair.

Eventually, with her lips close to his ear, she whispered "Gibbs, do you have protection?"

She hoped that he had thought of it, because she would not stand having to improvise now. She wanted to feel him inside her.

It took him a moment to process her words and give meaning to them. "Nightstand," he replied huskily. She kissed him briefly, before reaching over and opening the small drawer. She searched for what she was looking for and eventually pulled out an unopened box with condoms, accidentally pulling out something else along with it. The sheet of paper fell to the ground, unnoticed by both of them.

Kate opened the box and pulled a condom out, then she engaged in another hot open-mouthed kiss, while she ripped the package open.

"Give me," he whispered against her lips in between two kisses and took the condom out of her hand to roll it over his impressive erection. Kate was glad that he took the initiative, because she had always felt a little awkward doing it herself, especially when she was with a man for the first time.

She moaned, when, a little later, she felt his hands guide her, and stroke up and down her legs.

"Your touches drive me crazy," she breathed with eyes closed in delight, and Gibbs took the chance to bring her unexpected pleasure by flicking her clit with his thumb.

Her hips jerked a little as she gasped and grasped his shoulders.

"God," she exclaimed, and whimpered when he repeated the action. Another flick and her breathing had sped up. She couldn't take much more and wanted to withdraw from his caresses, but his other hand held her hips firmly in place as he continued to push her closer to the edge.

He made sure that she was ready for him, then he directed her onto his erection, moving to sit up so that he could hold her in his arms and kiss her, when he entered her. Her eyes widened at the feeling of him and her fingers dug slightly into his shoulders.

"You alright?" he asked shakily, and she nodded, adjusting to the size of him.

"You feel so good," she whispered, seeking his mouth in a quick kiss. It was interrupted by her own moan when he pushed up into her, enticing her to start a slow, soft rhythm with her hips. His hands moved along her back, while he bent his head to kiss a trail along her shoulder to her neck. When he bit her softly where her neck met her back, he was rewarded with an aroused whimper, and she moved her hands into his hair to hold him in place.

As sweet and erotic as their position had initially been, for it forced maximum body contact, they soon found that it limited their space to move to a minimum. So, eventually, when they were both shaking with need and wild passion, Gibbs broke the searing kiss they were engaged in.

"Relax," he advised her softly, making sure that he would hurt neither her nor himself in the process of rolling them over, and then carefully moved so that he was on top of her. This new position allowed him to slip even deeper into her wet core, which cause her to arch her body against him in ecstasy.

"Oh, yes..." she breathed, and enveloped him in her arms, her fingers burying in his silver hair. He made sure that she was laying comfortably, before he started moving. A low moan escaped his mouth, when she met his thrust with one of her own, eyes closing at the intensity of it all.

"Katie, you are so beautiful," he whispered, and nibbled seductively at her lower lip, her hot breath puffing against his skin. She wanted to say something, tell him that he was handsome, and that she loved him, but his next thrust reduced her to pure desire, and all that left her mouth was a sound of sheer pleasure.

"Wrap your legs around me," he commanded hoarsely, and she did as he had said without thinking. Her new position did not only allow him to bury himself completely in her, but also to hit her g-spot with every thrust. The first time he did so, an outcry of pleasure left her lips and her body bucked involuntarily beneath his. "You like this?" he rasped kind of cockily into her ear, more a statement than an actual question. As much as she wanted to make a witty remark, all she was able to do was breathe his name.

"Jethro..." It was the first time that she said his forename, and he thought that no other woman had ever purred it more erotically. He rewarded her with another thrust, and she grabbed his shoulders, her lips forming a silent 'oh'.

When they had been in the public shower, he had not been able to look at her as he had been standing behind her while he had pleasured her with his hands. But now he wanted to look at her, see what he could do to her, and kiss her when she came. This time it wasn't just sex, he could feel that. He had opened himself too far to remain emotionally uninvolved, and he wanted to make sure that she did too.

She held his eyes for a moment, returning his soft look, while her hand moved up his neck, coming to rest on his cheek. Then her eyes fell close again, when he thrust into her a little harder.

Her hand moved down between their bodies, flicking her clit to bring herself closer to the edge.

As he realized what she was doing, he replaced her hand with his own. His lips hovered over hers, tasting her quickly, before breaking off again. Just looking at her becoming more and more undone was a severe test for his own self-control as he had to fight to end it there and now. But he wanted her to come first, or at least with him – and her more and more shallow breath and her soft outcries of pleasure told him that she was quickly approaching the point of no return.

Soon he had her close to her own release, and moved his hand away, grabbing her wrist as she wanted to resume what he had stopped doing.

She whimpered almost desperately, when he pinned her hand down next to her head.

"Please..." She tried to entice him into a faster rhythm, and he moved along with her for two or three thrusts, then he slowed down again. "Tease," she accused breathlessly, and pressed her lips to his in a desperate kiss. He knew that he wouldn't hold on much longer.

He looked down at her, her skin glistening with a sheen of sweat, and he realized that it was him who did this to her. That he was the one who could shatter her control and make her writhe with pleasure. Tenderly, his thumb stroked the inside of her hand, before he let go of it to touch her cheek and brush a strand of wet hair away from her forehead.

"Jethro..." Only his name, that was all that it took to finally break his control. Involuntarily, he bucked against her, picking up a faster, more uncontrolled rhythm. Her soft moans of approval encouraged him to move faster, while his hand went again down to where they were joined, aiming on pushing her over the edge.

Their breathing quickened, and soon they had to stop kissing as the need for air became superior.

"Let it go, Katie," Gibbs panted into her ear. "Come for me."

It took only two more thrusts to send her flying over the edge. When he felt her inner muscles contract around him, he couldn't hold on much longer and followed her into a sweet oblivion.

For endless moments, they were just lying there, moving in a slow, sensual rhythm to draw out the pleasure as long as possible, until they eventually collapsed as all strength left their bodies.

They both lost track of time while they just reveled in each other's warmth.

It seemed like an hour, before Kate felt the power to move her limp muscles return. She turned her head and placed a soft kiss on his cheek, her hand moving softly through Gibbs' hair. His face was still buried at her shoulder, and she could feel his now steady breath hot on her skin. She continued to spill soft kisses on his cheek, his ear and his neck, her hands tenderly running over his shoulders and back, until, eventually, he lifted his head to look at her.

"Katie," was all he could mutter, before he kissed her deeply on the lips, and for the first time she felt as if their souls were touching, as if he really let go.

Endless moments later, he rolled to his side carefully, disposed of the used condom and then came to lie next to her.

Even after their breathings had evened out, neither of them moved, afraid to destroy the mood by awkward comments.

Kate felt deeply satisfied and at peace. And even more importantly, safe. She had never had that feeling of perfection with a man before. Sure, Gibbs as a person was far from being perfect, as was she, but she knew how to handle him. She knew and liked his bad sides as well as his good sides, and that feeling of truly knowing him gave her that feeling of perfection.

She loved him for what he was.

She loved him!

"I love you," she whispered almost soundlessly, but she knew that he had heard her as he moved a little.

"Kate," he started softly, wanting nothing more than to tell her that he loved her as well. But he didn't want her heart to be broken. He knew that this was what was inevitably going to happen. If not the next day or week, then maybe in a couple of months or a year, but it was sure to happen. "Don't love me. I'm not that charming knight who will do everything for you. I'm gruff, I'm insensitive, I will forget birthdays and anniversaries."

She smiled softly against the ceiling, thinking that he was just exactly what she had expected. "I know," she whispered. "But you're honest. Besides I can't help it... I've tried, but I can't convince my heart to stop having these feelings. I believe, I already fell for you when I first saw you."

"You mean when you told me that you were destined to shoot me?" he asked dryly, and she had to laugh at the memory.

For another two or three minutes they just lay silently next to each other, before Kate found the courage to speak again.

"If you just want this to be sexual, that's alright." He knew that she was trying to offer him a way out by her words, but he could also hear that it would break her heart. And he didn't want to break her heart. He wanted to see her smile at him like she had done before. He wanted to hear her laughter at the weekends and soothe her when she was sad or in pain. But he didn't trust himself to be capable of being the man she deserved.

They lay in silence until, eventually, Kate moved her head and spoke softly. "Do you want me to go? It's alright if you do."

Actually she expected to hear a "yes", followed by countless apologies such as reasons for why he was not good for her. The more surprised was she, when he said "Stay." instead.

Hesitantly, she turned her head to look at him. The security about what he had said was standing openly in his eyes.

"I'm not sure if I can give you what you want, or be the man you want me to be. But I want you to stay."

Very slowly, Kate moved her body closer to his.

"Gibbs... Jethro," she corrected, the use of his forename betraying how serious she was. "I don't want you to be a knight in shining armor, or carry me on your hands through life. I just want you to be you! It's you I love, with all those arrogant, cocky and grumpy ways of yours."

She rested her head on his shoulder and let her hand leisurely stroke his chest, feeling his heart beat under his skin. Softly he pulled her closer, reaching out to pull a blanket to cover them both. His hand came to rest on her shoulder where he drew lazy circles with his thumb.

He just didn't know what to say, or do – yet.

Twenty minutes later, Gibbs found the young woman fast asleep. Thoughtfully he looked at her peaceful face, stroking some of her hair away from her face. He loved her. He knew that he did. But for her own sake he had not said it. He knew that he was a bad influence on women. He had seen it three times.

But then again, Kate was right. She knew him. She knew the bastard side of him, and was able to stand up to him, which was something none of his ex-wives had been capable of. And most importantly, she did not try to change him.

Maybe she was right, maybe this had a chance to work out.

"I love you, Katie," he whispered to her sleeping form, placing an intimate kiss on her forehead. Only five minutes later, he had followed her into the peaceful land of dreams.

This night, for the first time, he slept through and was not disturbed by nightmares, but surrounded with warmth and by the wonderful scent of peaches.

EPILOGUE

The next morning, Kate woke up to the feeling of being wonderfully relaxed and sated. Humming contentedly, she stretched her sore muscles and lifted her head to look at the still sleeping form of her lover.

With a soft smile, she kissed him gently on his neck while moving over him to go to the bathroom, careful not to wake him. Since the small room was connected to the bedroom, she had no problem finding it. Quickly, she improvised in brushing her teeth with her fingers and a little bit of his toothpaste, and afterwards tried to put her disheveled hair back to order.

When she had completed the former and completely failed in the latter, she tiptoed back to the bed to snuggle up close again to the man she loved.

On her way, her eyes fell on the small sheet of paper that she had pulled out together with the box of condoms during the previous night. She went to her knees and picked it up, realizing, as she did so, that it was a photo.

She turned it to look at it, and found the picture of a happy family: Gibbs, a woman, and a little girl sitting proudly on a bike.

Thoughtfully, she took in every detail of the picture and moved her thumb over the image of the girl. She looked cute, blonde and beautiful and resembled the woman in the photo. Gibbs' hand was lying on her shoulder as he was obviously holding her so that she wouldn't lose her balance. It was a photo that displayed happiness and a peaceful life – something that she would have never associated with Gibbs.

After a few seconds, she decided that she didn't want to invade on his private life, and looked up to put the photo back into the drawer it had fallen out of, when, out of the corner of her eye, she saw a movement.

She turned her head to find Gibbs looking at her.

Kate returned his stare for a moment, before she felt the need to explain arise. "I'm sorry... I didn't want to... it must have fallen out of the drawer when..." Her eyes fell back on the photo, then she placed it on the nightstand. "I didn't mean to overstep boundaries here." she then concluded and moved back in under the covers.

"It's alright," he said somewhat gruffly, and for a moment he saw a slight shadow clouding her eyes, realizing that his tone had indicated that it was not alright at all. There it was. He was already beginning to push her away – unless...

It was that moment that he realized that he wanted to tell her, because this time he wanted to be honest. He knew Kate would be able to deal with it.

"She was my wife, and the girl was my daughter," he murmured softly, his hand moving through her hair.

"Gibbs, you don't have to..." Kate contradicted, but he hushed her by putting his fingers against her lips.

"I know... but I want to," he replied, and Kate looked at him, her eyes full of love and understanding. And he knew that he put his trust in the right person.

He pulled her close to him. With her hand resting on his chest, and her head buried at his neck, he began to speak about the biggest secret of his life.

"They were my family. Shannon was my first wife, and Kelly my only daughter. Then, someday...

THE END (April 26, 2008)