A/N: As mentioned, this one is a long chapter, but I think you'll see why I chose not to split it up. So, get comfy and happy reading!
The first thing Ziva did after arriving at her apartment was remove her coat and other wrappings. The second thing she did was take the heart Gibbs had made her from her bag, unwrap it and place it gently on her nightstand.
She was tired, but she also felt sticky and a little … wound up, restless. She stood under a long hot shower until the water started to cool. After drying off, she pulled on a black clinging camisole top and matching flannel pajama pants decorated with white snowflakes, then tugged a loose light gray top over it in deference to the chilly temperature outside. The top didn't cover much, though. The arm holes were cut wide so you could easily see the camisole beneath and it hung off one shoulder. She left her hair to dry in its naturally curly state.
She decided to pour herself a shot of bourbon and cuddle up on the couch with a blanket and the mystery book McGee had given her. She figured she could sleep in as long as she wanted tomorrow morning as she didn't have to work, so she may as well relax for a while. On impulse she scooped up her new heart-shaped paperweight and carried it out to the living room with her. It felt stupid to want it close to her, but … she did.
She'd been home a little over an hour when a soft knock came at her front door. She immediately stilled, then looked at the clock. Who on earth would be knocking well after midnight, especially on Christmas?
Silently, she laid the book aside, slipped out from beneath the blanket, and pulled a gun from the drawer of the end table by the couch. Still without making a noise, she stepped to the door and looked through the peephole. It was Gibbs. To say she was shocked was an understatement.
She quickly unlocked and opened the door, holding her gun down beside one thigh.
"Gibbs?" she questioned, her brows drawn together in a frown of confusion. "Is everything all right?"
He nodded slightly with the ghost of a smile. When she didn't immediately offer, he asked, "Can I come in?"
Ziva blushed at the oversight and hurriedly opened the door wider. "Of course."
She put the gun away, then took his coat and hung it in a nearby closet. After folding up the blanket on the couch, she offered him a seat with a gesture of her hand and asked if he'd like something to drink. He nodded toward her still-mostly-untouched bourbon and admitted he wouldn't mind the same. She started toward the kitchen to pour him a drink. The banked appreciation in his eyes made her suddenly aware of her attire.
She blushed and said she'd just put something else on first and headed quickly toward her bedroom. She would have sworn he mumbled, "Not on my account," but decided that her ears must have been playing tricks on her.
She pulled on an oversized NCIS sweatshirt that covered her from her neck to her wrists to her thighs. She grimaced at how unattractive her outfit now looked, but shrugged and decided it was probably for the best.
She found him in the kitchen, leaning casually against her counter. From previous visits, he knew where she kept the glasses and the liquor and he'd helped himself. His eyes moved over her and he grinned inwardly at the baggy sweatshirt that now practically enveloped her, like she thought she could hide from him in that … like the image of what he'd already seen wasn't seared into his brain.
She cleared her throat gently and tucked her springy curls behind one ear in a gesture that was both nervous and shy – and completely endearing to the man in front of her.
"Why are you here?" she asked hesitantly.
"Said I'd see you soon," he reminded her with his half-smirk tugging at his lips.
"Yes, but I presumed you meant in a day or two – not within an hour or two," Ziva returned dryly. "Why did you not tell me you were planning to come over?"
"Maybe I didn't want to give you the chance to tell me not to come," he suggested quietly, glancing down at the dark amber liquid he was swirling in his glass before raising it to his lips.
"I could never do that," Ziva responded equally softly. She looked into his eyes and continued with a voice that had gone husky with emotion. "Not to you."
Something flared behind his eyes at her words, but she couldn't read it before it was gone.
"Is there something that you wanted?" Ziva pressed, trying to figure out what had brought him to her door at this hour on this night.
Oh, yeah he thought, though he kept that to himself for now.
He stared down into his glass again for a long moment, then drained the contents with a single swallow. He sat the glass on the counter beside him with a deliberate movement.
"Yeah," he admitted, though he didn't immediately elaborate. He looked into her eyes as though he could find answers there, but for the life of her, she couldn't figure out the question.
Ziva's nerves were starting to get the best of her. "What is it?" she pushed him. Part of her was pretty sure she didn't want to know, but the bigger part knew the tension within her was going to snap if she didn't get to the bottom of what was going on here.
"Was thinking about your reaction last night when you opened your gift," he started. "You almost seemed upset."
"No," she hastened to respond, though her heart was beginning to pound with panic. Surely he wasn't going to force her to talk more about that … was he?
"Something was going on," he persisted, looking into eyes, though he maintained his distance and his seemingly-relaxed stance.
She started to deny it, then looked away, closing her mouth. Saying as little as possible seemed the prudent route to take.
"Reminded me of something from a couple of months ago," he went on softly.
She remained mute and turned away from him. She gripped the back of one of the kitchen chairs until her knuckles went white with the force she was exerting.
Suddenly, he was behind her – right behind her.
His voice dropped an octave. When he spoke, the sound almost rumbled in her ear and she closed her eyes to hide her reaction. "Don't you want to know what it reminded me of?"
She started to nod yes, then abruptly shook her head rapidly no, keeping her eyes shut. He grinned.
He wasn't touching her yet, but his nose was almost brushing her hair. His body heat pulled her toward him like a moth to a flame and her traitorous body was suddenly swaying back against him until she jerked herself back rigidly upright.
"Made me think," he continued, practically breathing into her ear, "of the look on your face when you were interrogating that photographer's assistant and you were the first to realize she was in love with her boss. Remember that?"
Ziva squeezed her eyes shut even more tightly. Oh, God. He really was going to do this to her.
"What do you want from me, Gibbs?" she asked almost harshly, heartache in her voice.
What he didn't want was to cause her pain, but what was and could be between them had begun to feel too important to continue to ignore it. He smoothed a hand down her hair soothingly. Once again, she unconsciously leaned into his touch.
"Just the truth, Ziver," he informed her gently.
"Trust me – you do not want to hear this truth," she husked, trying to push him away with the tone of her voice.
"Let me be the judge of that," he murmured, not going anywhere.
She shook her head no.
"Is it really so hard?" he asked, finally giving into his urge to nuzzle his face lightly against the side of hers, leaning his head over her shoulder from behind.
She nodded, a lone tear streaking slowly down her cheek.
He turned her toward him and wrapped her in close. She gradually relaxed against him. Both of her hands came up to his waist, then slid around to clutch the back of his shirt almost desperately as she buried her head in his chest.
"Why?" he asked quietly.
"You will send me away," she whispered raggedly.
He pulled back far enough to tilt her face up to his with one hand under her chin.
"Look at me, Ziva," he commanded, though that warmth that made her belly tingle was still infused in his tone.
She slowly opened her eyes, willing the moisture in them to stay put. She tried looking at him, but couldn't hold his gaze.
"Nothing could make me send you away," he promised, his voice ringing with certainty. "And I dare anyone to try to take you from me."
The possessiveness in his tone had her eyes flying to his. Her heart began pounding even faster and her stomach flopped.
"Gibbs?" Her voice was still just a whisper.
"Why do you think I would do that?" he asked almost tenderly.
"Your rules," she replied succinctly in a low voice.
He tilted his head to the side once in that way he had of acknowledging something.
"Maybe it'd help if I told you I added one," he said enigmatically.
She looked at him in confusion. He reached into the front pocket of his jeans and pulled out a slip of paper. Without looking at it, he handed it to her. With fingers that trembled, she released her grip on his shirt and took it.
Unfolding it, she found Rule 12 written there. She closed her eyes in pain. This wasn't new; she was well-acquainted with this rule. Her stomach dropped. It wasn't like him to be cruel - not with his team and especially not with Abby or with her.
"Turn it over," he murmured into her ear, his lips brushing against the outer shell as he spoke.
Heart pounding, she did as he directed.
Rule 51: Sometimes you're wrong.
A sob caught in her chest and the tears she'd struggled to keep in check overflowed their banks as she continued to stare down at the paper even after the words were obscured by the moisture flooding her eyes. She was afraid to believe what those words might mean, but was too much in love with him not to see a glimmer of possibility.
"When I look back over the last five years," he began softly, "all my happiest memories are with you. And for the first time in twenty years I started looking forward to the holidays again and not because of the work – because of you."
Her heart was thudding in earnest now and it was hard to breathe. A spark of hope breathed to life somewhere deep inside her.
"You deserve better than me," he continued, but she cut him off, swiftly lifting her head to finally look at him.
"There is no one better than you," she defended him fiercely, her eyes flashing.
That adorable, crooked grin tugged up one side of his mouth.
"Gonna remind you that you said that someday when you feel like throwing something at me," he teased, those brilliant blue eyes of his twinkling in that manner that made her weak in the knees.
She chuckled in spite of the emotional rollercoaster running inside her and wiped at the tears on her cheeks. He bumped his nose against hers playfully and she slowly relaxed into him, her arms looping around his waist once more as her cheek rested against his shoulder. She still clutched the paper in one hand.
"God only knows what I'm getting us into here, but I need to know if you feel the same way about me as I feel about you." His tone was serious, but laced with tenderness and affection.
Ziva lifted her head to slowly lock her gaze onto his.
"How do you feel about me?" she whispered, unable to look away from him.
At her question, he allowed the feelings he'd avoided, stuffed and ran from for five years to shine in his eyes.
"I love you, Ziver," he admitted softly, certainly.
Her breath caught.
"You love me? Or you are in love with me?" she asked in voice husky with emotion.
"In love with you," he clarified with a warm smile.
"Then I do feel the same way," she whispered.
Intense satisfaction flared in his gaze.
"Tell me," he directed in a low voice.
"I love you, too," she confessed softly. "So much."
That smile of his that could light up her whole world spread across his lips, pulling an answering one from her. Suddenly she was laughing and crying at the same time as her arms shifted to wrap around his neck, hugging him close. He was laughing, too, as he lifted her right off her feet with his arms tight around her waist.
Suddenly, that sizzling awareness that always hovered just below the surface between them sprang free from the constraints they both typically placed on it.
Bending slightly, he allowed her feet to touch the floor, but he kept hold of her. Eyes on each other's mouths, their heads bent toward each other as if in slow motion. Their faces almost nuzzled at first … lips softly brushing, then meeting more firmly … clinging, savoring this first taste. Then her mouth opened beneath his as his tongue flicked along her lower lip and the floodgates of desire opened.
By the time their lips parted for much-needed oxygen and Ziva could register reality again, he had her crowded up against a wall and had pulled one of her legs over his hip. She had no memory of it, but he'd yanked the sweatshirt and loose top off over her head and now had one hand burrowed beneath her camisole to curve around her side. Her own hands had clearly not been idle either, as she discovered they were sliding sensuously up and down his long, delicious back under the long-sleeved black tee he wore.
The slip of paper she'd been clutching so desperately must be lying somewhere amid the tangle of her shirts that were now on the floor.
As she struggled to breathe, his lips slid down her throat, unable to get enough of the taste, the feel of her.
He started to step back and she tightened her grip on him.
"Do not let go," she begged in a whisper.
Then, realizing that she sounded as desperate as she felt, she pulled back herself, removing her hands from under his shirt and putting as much distance between them as the wall at her back would allow. Her emotional balance was shot to hell with this one hundred and eighty degree flip in their relationship and she was suddenly worried she'd sounded too clingy or misstepped somehow.
"I am sorry –" she began, refusing to look at him.
Her efforts were for naught, however, as he simply followed her, closing even the small space she'd put between them.
"For what?" he asked, nuzzling her neck.
Her lips parted on a silent gasp.
She honestly couldn't put into words all she was feeling so she didn't answer him.
"For wanting me to hold you?" he asked, wrapping his hands around her neck, his thumbs smoothing over her jaws. "Don't ever apologize for that."
Her hands came up to clasp his wrists and her gaze cautiously came back to his.
"And wasn't letting go, by the way. Was just thinking maybe we could move this somewhere a little more comfortable," he informed her, his eyes managing to twinkle and flirt with her at the same time.
Something inside her relaxed. Letting out a deep breath, she gave him a sweet, relieved smile.
"I am sorry –" she started again. This time he stopped her with his mouth, pressing a brief hard kiss to hers.
"Would you stop with the apologies?" he growled playfully against her lips. He pulled back far enough to look into her eyes humorously. "Just because Rule 12 is history doesn't mean the whole damn list is gone."
She huffed out a chuckle and leaned her forehead against his chest.
"Comfortable sounds good," she agreed in a voice gone husky with emotion.
Taking her hand, he led her to the couch. He ensconced himself in one corner and pulled her down across his lap so that her back rested against one of his arms and the arm of the couch. She curled into him, her face tucked into his throat and her left hand curved around his neck.
He cradled her to him, his left hand buried in her long dark curls, at last indulging himself in that. His other arm curved over her hip with his hand pressed against her back. He laid his cheek on her head and just absorbed the feeling of her in his arms. She felt like she belonged there. In that moment, he promised himself he would do whatever he needed to in order to protect this.
Ziva's mind was still reeling, so she just concentrated on breathing him in and finding her equilibrium as they held one another. Slowly she began to relax, to believe that this was real. It was a heady feeling to find something she'd longed for – something she'd been certain she would never receive – suddenly within her grasp. Her body was catching up faster than the rest of her and he felt the tension leave her as she became almost fluid against him.
"Hey – you're not going to sleep on me down there, are you?" he joked, pulling his head back far enough to peer down into her face.
She smiled and shook her head, though she didn't move from what she thought would quickly become a favorite spot of hers.
Then she glanced up at him with a teasing twinkle in her eye. "Not yet, anyway." Her tone and look suggested Maybe later… after.
He grinned and cradled her back in, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.
"How did this happen?" There was more than a little wonder in her tone as Ziva gave voice to some of what was going through her head.
"What?" he asked indulgently, wanting to make sure he answered the right question.
"This – us," she clarified. "No more Rule 12." She looked pensive, then added, "And are you sure? Not just because of work … I am not like anyone else I have known you to be with."
"I'm sure," he affirmed as he tightened his arms around her for an extra squeeze. "And this has been building since we met." He paused for some uncharacteristic reflection. "We just kept ignoring it, pushing it back … the job, my rules …"
"So what changed?" she asked quietly.
He didn't answer at first; wasn't sure he could.
"Things didn't so much change as … got my attention," he shared. "Remember how we started this year?"
"I remember," she said softly with a curve to her lips as she thought back to their visit to Stillwater.
"Best trip I've had back home since …" His voice trailed off. "Since I don't know when."
"I enjoyed that trip very much myself," she admitted.
Then he added dryly, "Not sure Jack will let me back in the house if I try coming without you."
She shook her head at that with a faint smile.
"There's always been something special between us, but this year it got harder to ignore." He looked down at her, but she was still snuggled into his neck. His voice dropped lower. "You remember when I walked you to your door after we went to see the Tall Ships?"
"I will never forget anything about that day," she husked. "That was one of the best days I have ever had."
"Same here," he shared. "Still, tried to avoid the feelings I had for you … until that day in interrogation with the photographer's assistant." He paused, thinking back. "I just couldn't get the look on your face out of my mind ... and couldn't stop wondering if that hit home for you."
He massaged her scalp tenderly with his fingers causing a hum of pleasure to leave her throat.
"Been thinking a lot over the last couple of months. Your gift this year just sorta made itself … Guess it was like telling you I love you without really telling you." He paused, considering that.
"I love that heart," she whispered. "It is so beautiful." She tilted her head to look at him and raised her fingertips to his face. "And I was not upset – not about the gift. I was just wishing for what I thought I would never have."
He lifted his hand to take hers, placed a kiss on her palm and then laced their fingers together.
"Didn't sleep last night," he admitted to her and he soothed her when she looked at him in concern. "It's okay – just thinking some more, thinking about your reaction, thinking about everything." He pressed a kiss to her temple. "I sat outside your apartment for a while, then went home. Worked in the basement. Finally made a decision that my feelings for you were real and if you could return them … it would be worth any changes I have to make to be with you."
"What do you mean – changes?" she asked, a bit worried.
"Maybe nothin'. Maybe Tony leads this team and I take another one." He shrugged lightly. "Maybe training new agents – but only the field work." He clarified the last in a firm voice. After all, being in love hadn't suddenly made him stupid. Riding a desk full time would have him ready to kill someone. He looked at her with nothing but love and certainty in his eyes. "Whatever it takes."
"You would do all that for me?" she whispered in awe.
"I'd do more than that," he promised.
"I do not want you regretting this," Ziva fretted, worry making a line between her brows.
He rubbed it out gently with a finger.
"Not gonna," he swore.
"But –" Ziva still looked anxious.
"Ziva," Gibbs interrupted. He cupped her jaw in one hand. "I've only felt like this one other time in my life and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Damned if I know how I came to be lucky enough to find this twice, but I'll let go of everything else before I let go of you, unless you make me."
She looked at him searchingly. He was telling the truth.
The last worry inside her relaxed, at least for now.
"I do not want you to let go of me – ever," she told him softly. "And if a change is necessary with work, maybe I am the one who should make it." She grinned, lightening the mood. "I would even join the FBI."
He snorted. "I'd retire first."
"And do what with yourself?" Ziva asked archly.
He shrugged with a look in his eyes that managed to be teasing and hopeful and just a little arrogant all at the same time.
"Stay home. Build bookcases." He laid his forehead on hers. "Take care of the kids."
"Kids?" she asked faintly.
"Mhm," he confirmed, dropping a quick kiss to her mouth. "What - you need time to get used to the idea?" He nodded once. "Okay. Just remember I'm not getting any younger." His eyes took on a decidedly devilish look. "And neither are you."
She gave him a look that fell somewhere between annoyed and you did not just say that, and pinched his ass through his jeans for being cheeky. Then she smirked. It was true.
After a moment, she sobered. "Are you serious? About having children … with me?"
He nodded. "I want it all with you, Ziva."
Slowly, she dared to believe and hope dawned beautifully in her eyes.
She laid her head gently against his shoulder and rested a hand on his chest over his heart.
"I do not know if I would make a good mother," she started in a voice almost too quiet for him to hear.
"I do," he interrupted, no room for argument in his tone.
The ghost of a smile tugged at her lips as she pressed a grateful kiss to his chest.
"But you would be a wonderful father," she finished in a whisper.
He took her chin in his hand and lifted her face to his. They shared a smile that said so much … and promised a future.
"We're off the next couple of days. Could we just be together?" he asked softly, brushing his fingers across her cheek. "Then we'll start figuring out work."
"I would like that," she whispered, her eyes sparkling with happiness.
Their lips came together and their kisses went on forever. Slowly their hands started wandering over bodies, under clothes … driving their passion for each other to a fever pitch. After months – even years – of longing, the pleasure in immersing themselves in this was overwhelming.
Ziva slid her hand under his shirt as she captured his lower lip between hers. He groaned as she smoothed over his hard muscles, reveling in the contrast between those and the unexpected baby-soft patches of skin she encountered here and there. When she scraped her nails gently over his nipples, he nearly growled and he deepened their kiss until he was practically swallowing her whole. She returned the favor.
His hand slid over her camisole, paying particular attention to her lovely breasts. The cotton was so thin and smooth it was practically like there was nothing between his skin and hers. His fingers played with her hardened nipples that he could feel through the material and she moaned her pleasure.
Sliding his hand under her top, he repeated the caresses without the barrier between them. She gasped and her head dropped back. He couldn't resist the sexy curve of her throat and he licked his tongue slowly up it, then pressed a row of tiny kisses all the way down. He didn't stop when he reached her chest; instead his mouth wandered over every exposed bit of skin he could reach. Her breath was coming faster and her arms wrapped around his head, the fingers of one hand thrust into his hair, encouraging him to continue.
He brought his mouth to her breast and tongued her nipple through the cotton of her top while his hand stayed underneath, learning her soft curves. She whimpered, more of a mew, really. The sound went straight to his groin.
His mouth lifted just enough that he could look up at her face. Her gorgeous features were etched in ecstasy and satisfaction slammed through him.
"Ziva," he breathed. Slowly her head came forward and she opened eyes that had gone hazy with desire.
He nudged the spaghetti strap that went over her shoulder with his chin, his eyes like brilliant blue sapphires from the passion running through him for her.
"Pull this down for me," he husked. He needed to know that she wanted this, too. Plus, he just thought it would look sexy as hell. He was right.
Looking into his eyes, her left hand came up and her thumb hooked under the thin strap. Moving with a torturous lack of speed, she pulled the strap down and kept going until her breast was bared before him. He couldn't help but look down at her and his breath caught in his throat, robbing him of speech for a moment.
"Knew you'd be as beautiful under your clothes as you are everywhere else," he finally managed.
"You have not seen me everywhere." Her eyes darkened and she added wickedly, "Yet."
He groaned and took her mouth with a possessive kiss.
"Want to," he shared raggedly when he'd let go of her mouth for the moment.
"You will," she predicted with a siren's curve to her lips. Then she cupped his jaw in her hand. "Hopefully sooner than later."
"We don't have to rush this part," he said sincerely.
Her smile took on a tender quality. God, she loved him. And she wanted to be with him.
"I do not think that five years can be considered rushing by anyone's standards," she teased lightly, the affection still in abundance.
"True – but you weren't expecting everything to change tonight." There was an earnest, genuine concern underneath his words.
"Jethro." Then she stopped to smile with wonder. She loved calling him that, loved knowing that she could, loved the intimacy it spoke of between them. "I have never been happier than I am right now. I love you. I want to be with you." She stared at his mouth as she traced her forefinger lightly over his lips, then she looked at him with eyes that had gone dark with need. "I just … want you."
As they'd talked and touched and kissed, her confidence in these feelings between them had soared. She decided to be a little more forward and wiggled her hip provocatively against his hard shaft beneath her.
"And if you try to tell me you do not want me back," she whispered into his ear in a sultry voice, "I will not believe you." She grinned against his ear as he huffed out a chuckle.
"I want you," he confirmed, watching his fingers move on her breast again, finding it unbelievably erotic.
She hummed out her pleasure and pulled his mouth back to hers for a series of soft, sexy kisses that clung to his lips. Eventually, he slid his mouth down her neck again and she pressed him to her with a hand at the back of his neck.
His head dipped even lower. His mouth hovered over her breast, his tongue darting out to wet his lips. The yearning inside her ramped up and she raised her breast toward him, presenting herself to him, silently begging him to take her up on the offer. He didn't disappoint her.
At the first touch of his tongue against her bare nipple, Ziva cried out and arched back, thrusting herself even more fully at him. He immediately took more of her into his mouth, sucking, nuzzling, kissing, licking. God, she thought she might come out of her skin at the sensations running through her.
His hand shifted to push aside the camisole that was still covering her other breast and he paid equal attention to that one, too, with his hand, his mouth. He learned her, tasted her tirelessly, indulging himself – and her.
Her thighs began pressing together tightly, trying to relieve the pressure that was building there. Her hips wiggled against him and he relished the knowledge that he was driving her crazy.
"Jethro," she whimpered. "I need …"
Her voice broke off, unable to finish.
He skimmed his mouth from her breast up to her ear.
"I know what you need," he breathed. "You need me to touch you." His hand slid from her breast, skimming slowly down her body to where she wanted him to touch her most. She whimpered again and his blue eyes sparkled wickedly as his hand detoured to glide over her hip, over her ass before unhurriedly smoothing back to the apex of her thighs. "Here."
"Yes," she breathed, desperation in her voice. "Please."
He stroked her lightly – too lightly. He grinned as she buried her face in his neck and pushed herself against his hand. He took pity and pressed a little harder.
"How's that feel?" he asked, his tongue coming out to trace her ear, lick her throat.
"Good," she managed in a strangled voice. "More."
He pressed harder. "Better?" he asked devilishly.
"Yes," she all but hissed, lifting her hips against his hand, needing even more.
Her breath was coming faster. His heart was pounding just watching her in the throes of their passion. And his dick was getting impossibly hard, but that could wait. He wanted to see her come, just like this.
He put his lips to her ear again, his voice a husky whisper.
"It'll feel even better when I put my hand inside your pants …" She moaned and then he continued, "… and my fingers inside you."
She gasped and arched again and he could feel the gush of wetness through her flannel pants. She was practically sobbing with her need for release from this deliciously unbearable tension gripping her.
"Jethro …" she pleaded.
He oh-so-slowly slid his hand inside the elastic waistband of her jammie pants, inching down until he encountered her tight dark curls damp with moisture. It was his turn to groan. She was so wet and full and warm. For him. Only for him.
Ziva made a noise of gratitude, opening her legs to him as far as her clothing would allow. He rubbed back and forth, relishing the feel of her. When he couldn't wait any longer, he slid his long finger inside her.
She arched into him again, thrusting her bare breast toward his mouth and he couldn't resist. He suckled her hard and she whimpered from the simultaneous sensual assault. The sounds of pleasure she made – a gasp, a moan, a mew, a strangled breath – nearly sent him over the edge, so he concentrated on bringing her to completion, taking satisfaction from that himself.
He slid another finger inside her. Before long, he felt her climax building. He was unrelenting as he worked her with his hand and murmured words against her skin as he continued to kiss and suckle her breasts.
"Jethro," she called out, hanging onto him for dear life.
He raised his head enough to look into her lovely face, wanting to see her as she came for him this first time.
"I've got you, Ziver," he husked. "Go over for me."
And with a last curl and thrust of his fingers, she did.
Her body tensed and arched back, her thighs clamping together to trap his hand in place, too sensitive to allow him to move at all just yet. That was okay; he had no intention of going anywhere. He watched and held her as she rode out the delicious aftershocks. Eventually, her breathing slowed and her body relaxed nearly to the point of being boneless.
Slowly he pulled out of her, causing them both lose their breath. He smoothed his hands along her clothes, righting them once again and drying his fingers.
Her head fell slowly forward, her forehead coming to rest on his, one hand coming up to press fully against the side of his face. Her other arm remained locked around his neck where it had been. Joy bubbled up inside her and she couldn't contain it. A breathless laugh left her throat as she smiled down at him.
"Well." She was finally catching her breath enough that she could speak. "Happy Hanumas to me."
That had them both chuckling delightedly, holding each other close.
Her lips captured his again, warm and soft. After they pulled apart, his hand came up to brush her hair back from her face and caress her face. She closed her eyes and pressed her cheek into his hand.
She turned and pressed a kiss there, then rested her cheek on his hand again as she looked back at him.
"I am still having a little trouble believing all this," she admitted softly, her eyes full of wonder.
"Be happy to give you another demonstration," he teased flirtatiously, bending his head to nuzzle her throat.
"Mmmmm …" she hummed. Rubbing the side of her face against his head just because she could, she allowed her mind to picture the two of them together, in her bed. "I have a suggestion about that," she murmured.
"What's that?" he asked, his lips curving against her skin.
She tugged his head back so she could see into his incredible blue eyes. Her heart tripped at the emotion she could see shining in them and all she could do was marvel at him for a moment. Then she remembered what she was going to say.
"The next time you make me come," she started in a low, sultry voice that sent his nerve endings tingling, "I want you inside me."
His chest constricted and his body hardened further as it was his turn to picture them naked.
"Oh, yeah." Then he had another thought. "Or, at least the time after next." He looked at her with desire burning freely in his gaze. "Want my mouth on you."
She gasped and pressed her body against his.
"I want that, too," she admitted in a ragged whisper. Then her eyes darkened and she breathed into his ear, "And I want to touch you with my hands, my mouth … everywhere."
He couldn't have stopped the groan that left his throat anymore than he could have stopped breathing. He captured her lips with his in a kiss that threatened to drown her senses until she gave as good as she got.
When they finally came up for air, she slid slowly off his lap and held out a hand to him.
"Come to bed with me, Jethro," she commanded softly, sensually, her voice filled with certainty and need.
He took her hand and stood up beside her.
Ziva kissed him again and then started leading him toward her bedroom. Suddenly, she stopped and turned back to reach for the paperweight he'd made her. He looked at her curiously.
"I like to have it with me," she explained softly. Then she shared shyly, "I even slept with it last night." Her eyes dropped away from his at the last admission, seemingly embarrassed.
He laid the hand he held against his chest. "You can sleep next to this one whenever you want." His eyes were shining with emotion. "It's yours, too."
Her own heart simply melted.
"I would like to start with tonight," she told him, her gaze promising him forever.
They made love with each other and it was beautiful and fun and erotic and when he slid inside her, it felt like … coming home. For both of them.
After, she was draped bonelessly over him as they lay tangled together in her bed, her hair flowing sensuously around them. Ziva murmured his name sleepily just before he reached up to turn out the light.
"You might want to start planning for next Hanumas very soon."
He cocked an eyebrow and looked down at her. She tilted her head back to gaze up at him with all the love she felt for him shining in her big brown eyes.
"You will have to work really hard to top this one."
A/N: THANK YOU for joining me in this "Hanumas" universe; I truly hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did. I am grateful to my pal smackalicious for assigning me the opportunity to write this for my friend Sarah and am thrilled with the response it has received from Sarah and from the readers here. =)
I wrote one other story related to the NFA SeSa and will post that soon in two chapters. It's a Zabby pairing. Even if you aren't a Zabby shipper, perhaps you'll give it a read. Take care and thanks for reading!