A/N: And so, here it is...the final chapter of this story. Please note it is Rated M for mature content; it IS their wedding night after all. =) I hope you enjoy the way it revealed itself to me.
Gibbs pulled the key card to their room from his inside jacket pocket – no easy feat given that his wife was turning his brain to mush with her tongue, swirling it over his neck above the collar of his shirt. She then stroked a hand down his back to squeeze his very fine ass, just because she could.
Their room was situated in an out-of-the-way corner and had been made spacious at some point over the years by converting two rooms into one. The irregular shape of the building in this section did not allow for other rooms nearby, which suited them both just fine.
Jethro finally got the door open and stepped aside to allow Ziva to walk into the room ahead of him. When he went to lock the door, she stopped him with a sexy glint in her eyes, causing him to raise an eyebrow at her. She wordlessly plucked the "Do Not Disturb" sign from the inside door handle and hung it on the outside. He grinned as she then locked the door herself with a heated look for him.
Grabbing his hand to take him with her, Ziva walked further into the room and laid her bouquet on the vanity. Turning to him, she tipped her head back, inviting his kiss. He didn't disappoint her. It was slow, hot, deep…tongues sliding, stroking. With their heart rates kicked up more than a notch, they came up for air, eyes darkened with need.
"You look incredibly handsome in your tux," she told him warmly, running her hands over his shoulders and chest admiringly, "but right now I would like you out of it."
"Sounds good to me," he responded with his trademark smirk, bending his head to press a string of kisses along her bare shoulder.
"Can we turn on the fireplace?" she asked in a low voice, nuzzling his throat as she tugged the knot free from his tie and pushed at his jacket.
"We can do anything you want," he responded softly. A frisson of anticipation jittered up her spine at the promise in his voice and his eyes.
After a tender kiss that tugged at her bottom lip seductively, he went to the gas fireplace, tossing his tuxedo jacket and loosened tie on a chair along the way. He turned the antique-looking brass key to bring the crackling flames to life.
A table lamp by the bed cast a soft welcoming light that revealed several special touches courtesy of the hotel staff. The bed had been turned down invitingly and a bud vase containing a red and a white rose twined together was on each nightstand. A large arrangement of the intermingled roses had been brought up from the Drawing Room where the ceremony had taken place and now stood resplendent on the low table in front of the couch in the sitting area. Their overnight bags had been moved from the rooms in which they'd dressed for the wedding to the luggage racks near the closet here in this room.
A cart was parked near the balcony doors and held champagne cooling in a bucket; various snacks of cheese, crackers, fruit and such; and two very large pieces of wedding cake. A card attached to the bottle of bubbly caught Ziva's eye and she went over to read it. Compliments of the staff with our warmest wishes was written in an elegant cursive. The post-script caused her to grin: We fully expect you to check out at your leisure tomorrow, on the house.
Jethro walked over and slid his arms around her waist from behind. She held up the card for him to read, and an anticipatory smile curved his lips. "Like the sound of that," he murmured as his head bent to find that sensitive place on her throat that never failed to raise goose flesh down her arms. Satisfaction rolled through him at the moan she couldn't hold back.
"Champagne before or after?" he queried, skimming his lips over her ear.
"After," she breathed.
Her eyes took on a suggestive twinkle as she turned in his arms and smoothed her hands up over his chest to loop around the back of his neck.
"And then…before," she informed him provocatively, pulling his head down to take his earlobe between her teeth, nipping gently.
His sexy half-grin turned up one side of his mouth. "You do remember you just married an old man, right?"
"Oh, I have no doubt that you will be able to keep up," she responded in a sultry tone, fully aware of the double entendre.
Grinning delightedly, their mouths came together until they were completely lost in the intimate touch, in the taste of each other. Ziva could feel the strong, steady beat of his heart picking up speed as their lips explored, clung. Knowing he was as excited by their connection as she was released a heady feeling inside her.
When they parted to take in much-needed oxygen, his lips moved across her jaw and down her throat. Luxuriating in the sensations aroused by his mouth, Ziva languidly reached up to remove the pearls and flowers from her hair and take down her curls.
"Let me," he husked, raising his head and taking her hands in his. His eyes smoldered with desire as he looked into hers.
With a small smile, she nodded. He led her across the room and silently urged her to sit on the seat in front of the vanity. Anyone else would find his gentle and patient removal of her hair ornaments and pins incongruous with his character, but she adored this sensual, loving side of him that he revealed only to her. As her long dark locks spilled down past her shoulders, he couldn't resist burying his hands in the silky weight of it.
Ziva took the opportunity to remove her bracelet and earrings and toe off her shoes before he pulled her back up against him and took her mouth in a soul-searching, heart-pounding kiss. As his lips slid to her neck and followed the deep V of her dress down to her chest, her eyes glazed over with passion.
"Jethro," she nearly whimpered. "I want you."
"Oh, you'll have me," he assured her in a throaty murmur, "for the rest of our lives."
"Mmmmm…" she purred on a sigh. "That sounds perfect." He couldn't agree more.
Turning her around, he oh-so-slowly lowered the zipper at the back of her gown. He then carefully scooped her hair to the side and turned his attention to the ruffle at the back of her neck. When he couldn't immediately figure out how it fastened – well, unfastened - he questioned, "Um, Ziver?"
With a captivating half-smile curving her lips, she reached back and showed him the hidden hooks in the center of the ruffle that held the straps of material together. As she watched the two of them in the mirror, he separated the fastenings at a deliberate pace. The view of them standing close to one another as he unfastened her gown heightened her craving for him.
It wasn't just his looks that made her heart race and her body need, though she loved the look of him. It was also all she knew about him and all she had yet to discover…it was the way he loved her exactly as she was and shared himself with her like he did with no one else…it was the rock-solid connection between them that she trusted would hold no matter what came their way.
Gently Gibbs pulled down the front of her dress, now his turn to gaze into the mirror as more of her was gradually revealed. His breath caught at the sight before him. Her eyes were trained on his face in the glass as she reached one arm up to wrap it around his neck. The halter-style neckline had built-in support so she wasn't wearing a separate bra, which was incredibly arousing. His hands trailed unhurriedly up from her waist to cup her breasts, and she arched back into him, her eyes closing in ecstasy at his touch.
Releasing her lovely mounds for the moment, Jethro turned her to face him. She moved closer into him, slowly, purposefully, until her body was completely molded against his, until her arms twined like silken ropes around his neck. Her lips brushed his, retreated, brushed again, then sank warm and soft against his mouth. A moan of pleasure escaped her throat…a bit of seduction, a bit of surrender, a shimmer of promises shared all bound up in the sound.
Their lips separated, clung, then separated once more. Kneeling in front of her, Gibbs pushed her dress down over her hips and off. The sight that met his eyes nearly had him swallowing his tongue. If he'd had known what was lying in wait for him under her wedding gown, he would have had her up here hours ago - even if he'd had to throw her over his shoulder and abscond with her.
Sheer white stockings with lacy tops flowed up her legs to mid-thigh, where they met the garters holding them up. The white lace garter belt stretched from hip to hip and allowed tantalizing hints of her dusky skin to show through. A tiny sky blue rose adorned the center of the top edge and the points at which the garters attached to the stockings. The tiniest scrap of white lace underwear he'd ever seen barely covered her under the garter belt, and was just sheer enough to for him to see a suggestion of her dark curls beneath.
"Happy wedding present to me," he breathed, running his hands appreciatively up her legs to rest on her hips.
"Oh, that is just the wrapping," she informed him in a siren's voice.
"I've unwrapped this before," he husked, smoothing his fingers over the silky white lace. "Takes my breath away every time."
"You get that, too," she smirked with heated promise in her eyes, "but there is more."
More? Dear God, was she trying to kill him?
Almost reverently, he unfastened the stockings from the garters and rolled them slowly down her legs and off her feet. His hands reached for the garter belt and he began to tug it down. An unexpected flash of color near her left hip caught his eye. Mystified, he focused his gaze there, his brow furrowing a bit.
Then he froze, as if the world had come to a complete standstill. Indeed, his had.
In a shade of blue that he saw every morning in the mirror as he shaved, three small initials now slanted down her hip in script letters: LJG. They were nearly enclosed by what at first appeared to be a stylized heart left mostly open on the side nearest her belly button. As he stared, he realized it was a cursive Z that started from the beginning of his L, then curved up, down and around, ending with a flourish below the G in his initials. The gifted tattoo artist had suggested the addition of Ziva's first initial shaped somewhat like a heart around Jethro's initials. She'd sketched it out and Ziva had loved it.
To say he was stunned was the understatement of the year.
With fingers that trembled slightly, he reached out to gently trace the design on her skin, possessive satisfaction slamming unexpectedly into him.
"Ziver?" he whispered past the lump in his throat, his eyes finally lifting to hers. Bewilderment warred with heated pleasure in his gaze.
"Now you have found your wedding gift," she enlightened him with an intimate smile. "Do you like it?"
All he could do at first was nod, robbed of his ability to speak. He'd never have guessed that he would feel such a sense of rightness at seeing his initials tattooed on a woman, but on this woman…he nearly growled in thrilled satisfaction. Reining in the force of his emotion, he skimmed a kiss as light as a butterfly's wing onto each letter, then traced the design with the very tip of his tongue, causing her to gasp with pleasure.
Pulling back slightly, he cupped her hip and tenderly brushed the tattoo with his thumb as he gazed up at her with a look that was clearly staggered.
"But you don't have tattoos," he observed almost inanely, finding his voice at last.
"I do now," she corrected him in a gently teasing tone. "Although, to be technically correct, I still have to get the final inking with the needle to make sure it is truly permanent. However, I did not want the healing process from that interfering with our wedding night and honeymoon activities." A sexy twinkle lit her eyes.
He looked back down at his initials on her skin, cradled by the first letter of her name as if in protection. For another long moment he was speechless.
"I want it there always," he finally admitted in a voice husky with the depth of his feelings, "but never imagined…" His voice trailed off, then he finally settled on one word in the maelstrom of emotions running though him.
"Why?" he whispered.
"Two reasons," she began softly, running her fingers through his silver hair, loving the feel of it, of him. "In my old life, it would have been too dangerous to have a mark that would identify me, even if I had wanted one." Now it was her voice that rang with satisfaction and more than a hint of wonder. "But that is not my life anymore."
Her hands moved to cup his face and turn his brilliant blue eyes up to hers, thumbs smoothing over his cheeks.
"But, more importantly, it is another tangible statement that I have committed myself to you always…forever…permanently," she continued, deep, abiding love for him shining from her whiskey-brown eyes.
"Permanently," he echoed, repeating the word that was also inscribed inside their matching wedding bands, along with J&Z.
Sliding his arms around her, he laid his cheek on her flat belly, grateful beyond words that they'd finally come to this place in their lives. With one hand against his head and the other wrapped around his shoulders, she held him to her in an embrace that was as nurturing as it was loving.
"Ani ohev otach," he whispered against her smooth skin.
This time the world stood still for her as he told her loved her in the language of her homeland.
"Jethro?" she questioned faintly, tugging at his head until she could see his eyes. "How…?"
He simply smiled mysteriously, the look on her face making the effort to learn the phrase entirely worth it. Later he would admit that he'd enlisted McGee's help to find the Hebrew translation and record it to a hand-held Dictaphone so he could listen to it over and over until he thought – hoped – he had it right. Apparently, he'd succeeded.
Elation, shock and awe chased one another across her lovely features as moisture filled her eyes. A beautiful smile curved her lips even as one teardrop overflowed and ran down her cheek.
In a breaking voice, she returned the sentiment to him. "Ani ohevet otcha."
She was too overwhelmed to say anything else, so she bent to capture his mouth in a kiss that said all the rest of what was in her heart.
Gradually, their hands and lips started to wander again, and the heat that had dialed down to a slow simmer quickly flared again into passion that could no longer be denied.
He removed the rest of her undergarments, planting kisses and running his wicked tongue over her with just enough pressure to further stoke her yearning for him, but not enough to completely satisfy her. He was driving her crazy and she decided to return the favor.
She went to work on unbuttoning his shirt as far as she could reach, sliding her fingers inside to roam his chest. His groan of pleasure emboldened her and she pulled at him until he stood in front of her so she could dispense with his shirt and get to work on removing his pants.
Their mouths came together again…adoring… inflaming…promising…uniting.
Once he was undressed as well, he picked her up and carried her to the bed, laying her down gently. He sat beside her hip for a moment, just looking at her, absorbing the moment. With a welcoming smile, she lifted her arms in silent invitation and he came down on top of her, his body gloriously hard, taunt and heavy against hers. Pleasure seared over her skin and flashed through her body as she gave herself over to his hands, his mouth … as he entrusted himself to her touch, her kiss in return.
Twice he brought her to a thrilling climax as they leisurely and thoroughly rediscovered each other. There was no pressure to rush; it was as though the rest of the world had ceased to exist and they had all the time they could possibly want.
Somehow their lovemaking tonight was familiar, yet brand-new. Surpassing what had come before between them, they reached unexplored heights and forged an even stronger connection, though neither would have believed their bond had been wanting for anything.
Finally, when they were both beyond the point of waiting any longer, he entered her slick heat, two halves forming a perfect whole.
He braced himself above her, wanting to see her and nothing else as he began to move slowly, deliberately. Her hands searched up his bare chest for his shoulders, digging in and holding fast as their pace became more urgent. Getting close to the precipice, her hands slid back down and around to his back, pressing him even closer as he bent his head to fasten his lips to her throat.
Suddenly there was blind, blasting pleasure as they found their release together, calling for each other in voices hoarse with emotion. Spent, he collapsed on top of her, both breathing heavily, blood pounding against their pulse points. Somehow she managed to wrap him in even more closely with arms and legs that had gone boneless.
"That was…" she breathed, unable to find words that would fully describe the pinnacle of ecstasy they'd attained.
"Mmm…" he agreed, the sound little more than a hum. Then she felt him grin against her skin where his face rested against her breasts. "Should'a gotten married a long time ago."
Her winded laugh rumbled lightly under his cheek.
They stayed tangled together, talking in tender murmurs…kissing…touching…savoring the feelings resonating between them. After a while Jethro rolled onto his back, holding her against his chest as he went, wanting her as close as possible.
After she'd sufficiently recovered enough to put more than a couple of words together, Ziva languorously glanced over at the clock, noting that midnight was not that far away.
"The new year will begin soon. I have an idea for celebrating that," she revealed, nuzzling his throat. "Would you like to hear it?"
"Want to hear all your ideas," he mumbled, his eyes closed to better bask in the afterglow of their lovemaking, reveling in the silkiness of her skin as his fingers skimmed over the curve of her shoulder, the expanse of her back.
"Champagne plus Jacuzzi plus you plus me," she disclosed in a tantalizing tone. Her voice deepened seductively. "Interested?"
"No sleep first?" he asked in feigned surprise, opening his eyes to look down at her.
"A wise man once said you can sleep when you are dead," she answered, reminding him of words he'd once uttered. "Besides, we can sleep on the plane tomorrow night, yes?"
"True," he acknowledged with his barely-there smile that never failed to make her heart skip a beat.
They had decided to spend their honeymoon in Hawaii, choosing someplace neither of them had ever been. Jethro had taken care of most of the arrangements for their trip, even springing for first class seats so they'd be more comfortable during the long flight. They'd consciously decided to fly overnight, figuring the time would pass more quickly if they could sleep away some of the hours in the air.
After kissing him until his brain cells went gooey, Ziva slipped from the bed and pulled on a long white silk negligee trimmed in lace that she'd purchased just for this occasion. There was a matching nightgown that she hadn't yet had the chance to put on, though she wasn't complaining. The look in his eyes as they moved over her said he heartily approved of her choice of attire.
"How about I start the water and you open the champagne?" she suggested with a come-hither look as she belted the robe around her trim waist.
"Sounds good," he agreed, content to watch her move around for a bit longer before rising from the bed himself.
"Oh, and I have another idea for afterwards," she informed him flirtatiously.
She pulled a bottle of something from her overnight bag and tossed it to him lightly. He caught it reflexively and held it out to read the label. Edible massage oil in warm vanilla sugar flavor. He raised his eyebrows in question, but the heat in his eyes assured her he approved of that suggestion, too.
"As I said, we can sleep on the plane." And with a sexy wink she disappeared into the bathroom.
He lay there for a moment longer, grinning like a fool and indulging himself in happy, satisfied thoughts of being married to Ziva. He'd never done a thing in his life to deserve this much contentment; thankfully, that didn't seem required.
He heard the tub begin to fill with water and a pleasant smell gradually wafted out. She must have added something to the water to create the tantalizing scent.
A slim hand capable of the most delicate to the deadliest of touches appeared through the bathroom doorway dangling a white silk robe which dropped to the floor in silent invitation. Gibbs needed nothing further to entice him from the bed. He poured two glasses of the bubbly wine and started to join his beautiful wife in the deep, spacious tub. He paused as inspiration struck and he turned back to scoop up a piece of their wedding cake to take along with him. A wolfish smirk curved his lips as he envisioned wickedly delicious ideas of his own. Ziva was right; they had plenty of time to catch up on sleep.
By some twist of grace that felt nothing short of miraculous, they had a lifetime.
~The End ~
A/N: Thank you all for joining me on the journey through this Zibbs universe. I am completely in love with this story and am thrilled that so many of you love it, too. All the reviews, favorites and alerts made my fluffy heart VERY happy and are greatly appreciated. Here's a special HUG to all of you who reviewed without logging in, since I couldn't reply directly to you. :o)
My heartfelt thanks goes out to my special cyber gang of unwavering support; our e-mails and messages have become bright spots in my days and I feel so fortunate to know you.
I am also blessed enough to have a real life Girl Gang of support and encouragement. Without their unfailing belief in my ability to be creative, I doubt I would have ever written a thing. Therefore, this final chapter is dedicated to you D, H, K & P. My life has been enriched beyond measure because I count you among my friends.
To both my cyber and RL gangs: Thank you for allowing me to lean on your certainty when my own confidence wavered.
Some aspects of the wedding preparations, ceremony and reception were written in broad strokes for this story. If you crave a tale with every last wedding detail, go read my dear friend iyimgrace's House/13 "Candy Canes & Mistletoe" - it ROCKS! And for a delightfully hurried yet incredibly sweet and beautiful wedding, check out another dear friend's House/Cuddy "Safety" story by Cherokee Jedi...another ROCKIN' good fic.
And finally, this is not the last you've heard from me in writing about Ziva & Gibbs. There are some completely different Zibbs stories coming, in addition to at least one more in this universe (can you say Zibblet? =D ). There's also a mischievous plot bunny whispering about a honeymoon one-shot as I write this ... perhaps that will see the light of day, as well, along with some stories involving a couple of other pairings. THANK YOU for reading! =)