A/N: Well, here it is ... the last chapter (I think!) in this little story that was only supposed to be 1 or 2 chapters. It is also a double birthday gift for my dear friends LauraEve24 and SexinSatin. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, gals! :p
There is a lot of ground for our happy couple to cover here, so settle in for a bit of a long one. :) I hope you enjoy it and that you'll let me know if you do. Thanks so much for joining me for this story that became so much more than I thought it would.
The heat flared and the kiss went deeper and deeper still, spinning out, filled with the need and desire and love that would always be between them.
When they pulled far enough apart to breathe, Ziva buried her face in her lover's neck. Comfortable, warm silence reigned between them for a few moments.
"I am going to miss sleeping next to you every night," she revealed in a murmur against his skin.
Gibbs leaned back far enough to look down at her, prompting her to glance up at him. He had one eyebrow lifted almost imperiously.
"At the beginning of the week, you wouldn't assume anything," he began, referring to their undetermined sleeping arrangements when she booked their rooms, "but now you're assuming that?"
His tone was one of exaggerated disbelief, but his hold on her was nothing but possessive and tender.
Her brown eyes locked on his blue ones, a myriad of emotions flitting across her face.
"You are saying we will still sleep together … " all "… most nights?" she clarified cautiously, doing her best to sound neutral rather than hopeful and failing miserably.
"Hell, yeah," he declared without a doubt. "As often as we can pull off with work and living in two separate places."
He held off telling her that he intended for them to be living in the same place soon – his, hers or a whole new place; he didn't really care – 'cause maybe she wasn't ready to hear that yet.
She watched his face for any hint that he might not be serious. When she found none, she relaxed against him almost bonelessly, a beautiful smile curving her lips. He felt her take a deep breath and then let it out in a silent sigh of relief as she laid her cheek against his chest.
"I would like that," she shared softly, squeezing him tightly.
That warm, comfortable silence returned, the invisible strands that connected them growing even stonger, wrapping around them like a protective cocoon.
"Can I tell you something else?" she nearly whispered in a voice so low it was almost like she was afraid someone else would hear and snatch it from her.
"Anything," he promised, resting his cheek on the top of her head.
"I loved holding baby Sarah this week," she shared almost shyly.
He smiled against her hair. "You sound surprised."
"I … think I am," she admitted hesitantly, still clearly slightly off-balance at her reaction to the little one.
"You were a natural," he told her with certainty. "With her big brother and the soccer kids, too."
"You really think so?" she asking wistfully, looking up at him with vulnerable eyes that begged for reassurance.
"Know so," he said firmly, looking down at her.
Ziva forced a swallow past the lump in her throat.
"No one has ever said that to me," she breathed raggedly, her emotions threatening to overcome her. "Not about children."
"Doesn't make it any less true," he affirmed with conviction.
She held onto the man in her arms with her cheek flush against his magnificent chest once more as she allowed his words, his certainty to wash over her, warming her in the best possible way.
Before Jethro, Ziva had convinced herself that having a family of her own, being a mother, was not part of her destiny. She was a soldier, had become an investigator … always someone who protected and stood for other people's families. She'd even reasoned with herself that perhaps that was for the best. After all, she wasn't sure she'd know how to be anyone's mother, despite the tender, but now distant memories of her own Ima that still lived in her heart.
However, the interactions with Sarah, Henry and the kids playing soccer this week coupled with the bond that was strengthening, even flourishing between Jethro and her had roused an unexpected yet powerful want within her to make a family with him that would indeed include children – even if she was terrified on some level that she had no skills that would apply to parenting. But Jethro … he'd be heart-meltingly wonderful and she so wanted to see that, to be a part of giving that to him.
"Know what I loved?" he questioned her just as quietly as she had him, drawing her out of her introspection.
"When Henry asked you if Marines hugged," she guessed confidently, her lips curved slightly as she blinked back tears and glanced up at him once more.
"Caught that, did ya?" He smiled, thinking back to that moment. "Close, but was thinking of watching you hold that baby girl."
Ziva swallowed hard and closed her eyes against the tears that pricked more insistently at his gentle words. She squeezed him even more tightly, unable to speak for several moments. They didn't need words for her to understand that something inside him had shifted and he was now seeing possibilities that he'd thought were long behind him. And, somehow, because of that, her own vision, her hopes for the future became more real, too.
Still, a question lingered in the back of her mind.
"Why did you not have more children after you got married again?" she asked almost hesitantly. She did not want to say anything that would cause him to withdraw emotionally from her, but she needed to know the answer to that. And, as he'd said before, talking to each other was the only way this relationship was going to work.
"Was always gone a lot, worked a lot of hours," he started superficially. Then he stopped. She deserved more than that from him.
After a meaningful pause, he dug deeper and said it out loud.
"Truth was, worked more than I needed to, trying to avoid a lot of things – including the fact that I couldn't think about having more kids then and didn't want to talk about why."
He looked at her with love and certainty, running his hand down her hair. "But that's different with you." Slowly his eyes took on a wry glint. "Okay, still working on the talking part, but do I get points for trying?"
Her loving, laughing smile took his breath away. "You get too many points to count for trying – and you are succeeding quite well."
They were both smiling as the distance between their faces closed, their noses brushing slightly, their lips meeting in the briefest of butterfly kisses and then another … before melting into each other completely, their mouths parting to deepen the kiss. It went on and on, as everything but the connection between them faded away. At long last, they pulled apart, lips clinging for a moment before separating far enough to take in much-needed oxygen.
"Dancing soccer players, hmmm?" Ziva questioned softly when she'd recovered somewhat, lifting one hand to dab at the corner of her eye.
"Mhm," he said confidently. "With dark hair and brown eyes."
Looping both arms around his neck and capturing his gaze, she thrilled at his words, but countered with, "What if I want a blue-eyed Marine? Or even more than one?"
"You can have those, too, plus this one whenever you want," he assured her, his heart in his eyes.
That smile of hers bloomed, the one that telegraphed she was already holding all she'd ever truly need.
"You should prepare yourself for the fact that I want you often … and forever," she informed him, her voice lowering on the last two words.
"Works for me. That a proposal, Ziver?" he questioned her lovingly with just a hint of teasing.
Ziva's world went completely still except for the pounding of her heart.
"What if it was?" she dared in a husky voice, her galloping pulse and breathlessly hopeful heart at odds with her light demeanor.
"Then I just became the happiest guy on earth," he answered sincerely, all joking aside and every ounce of the love he felt for her reflected in his eyes.
Her breath caught in her throat. It seemed to take an eternity before she could speak.
"How …" She stopped and shook her head slightly.
"How what?" he nudged, nuzzling his nose in her hair.
After a breath, she continued.
"How can you be certain it has been long enough for you to be sure about that?"
"Just am," he vowed clearly, not an iota of doubt in his voice.
Her brow furrowed lightly, her mixed emotions plain for him to see. The enormity of what they were not-quite-teasing about hit her and she suddenly lost her emotional footing. She wanted to believe him so badly, but was afraid to trust that she was and would continue to be all he would ever want.
"How come you're sure it's true for you, but not for me?" he asked gently, perceptively, wrapping his hand around the back of her neck, rubbing soothingly.
She didn't answer at first, clearly trying to formulate her thoughts.
"I have been dreaming about you since before I even met you," she started quietly, almost hesitantly, laying her ear to his shoulder. "You fascinated me from the moment I began researching you before I came to the States."
"After we met in person, I was even more … captivated by you, but I did not truly understand my feelings for what they were … until you left for Mexico and I thought you were never coming back." Her voice broke and her emotions tugged at his heart. "That is when I knew that I was in love with you in a way that I had never been with anyone in my life."
He tightened his arms around her, pressing a kiss to her temple as he held her close.
Ziva cleared her throat gently before she continued. "Then you came back to save me …" She turned her face to press a grateful kiss to his chest. "… and then you came back for good and the hole in my heart closed as much as I thought it ever would. I was certain you would never return my feelings, so I tried to keep a wall around them and just be happy with the closeness we did have."
She tilted her head and looked up at him. "And I was happy about that and most of the time I could make that be enough. But sometimes … it was harder to hold my feelings in."
"Like that night I came to your apartment?" he asked quietly.
"And despite the fact that I tried dating other men, I could never shake this feeling that …" Ziva stopped as though searching for the right words before trying again. "Whenever you touch me for any reason at all, even casually, my whole body reacts with this sense of … of rightness as though it recognizes you on some level that I do not feel with anyone else ..." She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, then opened them to meet his gaze. "I always feel like 'There you are,' like I have been waiting for you my whole life."
A light blush stained her cheeks and she dipped her head.
"Perhaps you think that sounds ridiculous," she mumbled.
"Nope," he denied softly, brushing his lips over her bent head.
Ziva released a silent sigh of relief.
"So you see, I have had all these years of living with my feelings for you," she finished quietly, "while you have just been even considering this for a few weeks."
Gibbs was amazed and humbled to hear just how long she'd been in love with him. The fact that he hadn't noticed spoke to her consummate skill in keeping her emotions hidden and his own ability to avoid his altogether.
But he sensed there was more on her mind that she was still keeping to herself.
"And?" he probed, with a slight squeeze of encouragement.
She didn't answer right away, but he waited her out.
"And, while I have never been happier than I have been these last two months, part of me keeps asking why me? And why did it take all this time if it is real for you, too?" she admitted. After a heartbeat, she continued, her voice fading to a whisper, "And once we are back home, will you decide that this is too complicated because of work or that I am simply not what you want beyond a fun vacation? I am not like other women, Jethro. I have moments where I honestly cannot figure out why you would choose to be with me when you could be with anyone you wanted."
There she went again, amazing him with the level to which she laid herself bare before him, shared those parts that left her feeling the most vulnerable.
Would he ever get used to that?
Could he give it back to her?
As though she could hear his thoughts, she lifted her head and cautiously found his gaze with her own.
He let out a sigh and hugged her in even closer. For her, he'd keep trying. Taking her questions out of order, he responded in a voice that was sure and true.
"It took all this time 'cause I'm an idiot," he started and shook his head when she opened her mouth to automatically contradict him. "'s true. Kept holding onto my rules and memories instead of seeing what was right in front of me – even though part of me knew."
He stared into those gorgeous brown eyes he could cheerfully drown in, wishing he could find the words that would settle her worries. "And not everything is just about time."
He firmly believed that last statement. After all, he ultimately trusted his gut more than anything else in making most decisions and time usually had nothing to do with that.
"As to why you," he continued, then tilted his head roguishly to the side. "I assume you mean besides the sex?" His eyes took on a decidedly flirtatious twinkle that began melting her inner tension. She loved the intimate humor they shared - yet another layer of connection, one that had surprised her, really.
Her lips twitched. "Besides that." Then her eyes took on that same sultry gleam. "Though it is really, really fantastic sex."
"I'll say," he murmured in smoky voice that sent delicious shivers zinging down her spine.
They shared a smile and a warm, moist, deep kiss that went a long way toward answering her questions wordlessly, easing her anxiety.
"Making love," he murmured when he lifted his head. "That's what I should have said. We make love, Ziva."
His words warmed her heart and earned him another kiss that somehow managed to be soft and sweet and yet full of desire, her lips supple and clinging under his, her tongue delving past his lips to tease and slide against his before she released his mouth to snuggle her face into his throat.
"Don't know if I can explain the 'why you' part," he admitted, "but I'll try."
This time he paused to think.
"Except with Shannon and Kelly, always kept my feelings mostly to myself," he admitted. The words came slowly, had stops and starts, but he forced himself to keep going. "Even when I got married again after they were gone, kept part of me separate. Couldn't depend on anyone else being there … so acted like I didn't need or even want that … was always the strong one … didn't let anyone in close enough to see my dark places or the times when … when maybe I just wanted someone to hold onto … to hold me back."
His feet shifted, clearly communicating his discomfort.
"Prob'ly not saying this right," he muttered, glancing back out over the water for a moment.
Turning his face back to hers with a gentle hand on his jaw and glistening moisture in her eyes, Ziva steadied him with her look, her tone as only she had a way of doing. In a voice husky with her own emotion, she assured him, "You are doing just fine."
Cupping her face in his hand, he smoothed a thumb over her cheek, grateful for her on so many levels.
"But that's different with you, too. Always has been, in some ways," he shared. "I want you because you're smart and beautiful and sexy and we just … fit together. But there's more to it than that." His voice faltered slightly as he kept searching for the right words. "You understand the dark places, even without me saying much or even anything at all … and you're strong enough to be the other half of me, to shore me up when I need it. I trust you to do that ... to let you in close enough to do it."
He paused once more and his tone shifted from hesitant to completely certain, his eyes steadfastly on hers. "You and me together – that's stronger than either one of us alone."
Happy tears stung her eyes and a lone bead of moisture overflowed to run down her cheek. He smoothed it away with his lips so gently that her breath caught in her chest. He hugged her close in silent communication and her arms tightened around him in response. Then, something that had been niggling at him crystallized and he pulled back to look at her quizzically. When he spoke, there was just a hint of challenge to his tone.
"What did you mean – you're not like other women?"
"I am not," she stated matter-of-factly. "I know more about weapons than I do about babies. I am not nice or sweet or, or … nurturing ..."
Now she was the one struggling to find the right words.
"You done?" he asked with an eyebrow raised when she didn't go on.
She lifted her shoulders and avoided his eyes. She didn't really want to see the confirmation that she was right on his face, but she needed to make sure he understood exactly what he was getting with her.
Jethro brought both hands up to frame her cheeks, his long fingers tunneling into her hair. Turning her face up to his, he gently commanded her to look at him. She did so reluctantly.
"Knowing more about weapons than babies doesn't make you less of a woman," he stated definitively. "Just means you've had different experiences. And you're wrong about not being nurturing. You're quiet about it and just do it without thinking, but you're one of the most protective, caring people I know, especially when it comes to the people closest to you."
She started to disagree, but he cut her off.
"Ziver, you even stepped in front of a soccer ball that was headed my way this week so it wouldn't hit me, acting purely on instinct - and it wasn't for the chance to kick one again." One corner of his mouth kicked up in his characteristic smile. "That was just an added bonus."
Her lips curved faintly, but her eyes moved down to stare at his chest.
"I have failed to take care of everyone," she whispered painfully, her ghost of a smile fading away.
He bent his head until he could capture her gaze again.
"Me too." He waited for a heartbeat before continuing, the silence speaking volumes. "We've both learned we can't protect everyone we love all the time. Doesn't mean you won't go down trying every chance you get – and doesn't mean you don't care enough."
He paused again, hoping his words would seep into her brain, settle in her heart.
"And you're nicer than I am," he added almost as an afterthought.
She snorted lightly and bit back the obvious. He grinned at her as he could hear her thinking That does not take much.
And she wouldn't have him any other way.
He leaned down and pressed a kiss to her forehead, leaving his lips against her skin.
"Love all the parts that make you you," he shared quietly, "including the ones you don't give yourself enough credit for."
Then he just held her close, one arm wrapped around her shoulders, the other running appreciatively down her back and over her hip, wordlessly communicating his pleasure in the side of her that sometimes liked to wear a sexy, fun strapless dress. He silently gave her time to absorb what he'd told her.
"I am not sure I agree with everything you said, but perhaps …" she started tentatively, searching for a way to make sense of his beliefs in her own head. "Perhaps these other sides you see are part of how I have changed since I have been in America."
Her brow was furrowed, her innate attempt to analyze this with her brain complicated by the maelstrom of emotions running though her. Her face suggested she wasn't quite sure what to think and her tone suggested she still wasn't completely certain that being changed was a good thing – or that she really had been.
With a gentle finger under her chin, he tipped her face up to his again.
"Being here hasn't changed you, Ziver," Gibbs disagreed. "We just gave you a place to be more of yourself."
She stared into his arresting blue eyes, searching. She wanted to believe him, wanted to so very much.
Finally, she leaned completely into him once more, soaking in his strength, his certainty, his love. Maybe he believed enough for both of them for now.
"Been waiting for you, too," he revealed after several long moments, holding her as though he'd never let her go, "just didn't think a second chance like this was really out there for me … and so I almost missed you." He laid his forehead to hers. "When I said a few days ago that maybe this is everything, I was wrong."
He felt her confusion in the way her body froze.
"This is everything, Ziver," he declared, raising his head just far enough to look into her eyes. "And, yeah, life isn't vacation every day, but my feelings for you are real and they aren't going away no matter where we are or what we do. Being worried about work, about whether this will hold up in real life, that's your issue." His gaze and tone were gentle, but his words rang true. "I understand it, just don't share it.
"If it's your turn to need some time to believe that, okay," he continued. "After three divorces, maybe you think I'm a bad risk. But at some point I hope you can trust that I mean it when I say I'm not going anywhere and don't want you to, either."
Ziva looked at him, thoughts careening through her brain at breakneck speed, colliding into each other like those little cars she'd seen at amusement parks … bumping cars? No, but something like that.
She took a deep breath and emptied her mind so she could listen to her heart.
She loved him so much and she hadn't been lying when she said she trusted him. In fact, she trusted him more than she'd ever trusted anyone. She hadn't expected him to figure out in this short time that he wanted to stay with her always, to make a family with her, but should she really be surprised? The man might stew or even brood about something while he was trying to figure it out, but he was nothing if not decisive when he knew his own mind.
On some level, she understood that putting him up on a pedestal and herself anywhere but was no way to live a relationship. Neither one of them was perfect and they each brought their own strengths to this – and they would have each other's back on the weaknesses.
Was she seriously going to let fear over her own perceived inadequacies keep her from grabbing onto him and never letting go? Was she really going to ignore her gut - and his - that said this was real and everything and always would be?
No, she wasn't.
If she didn't take this risk with him, she would always regret it. She would have no one but herself to blame for missing out on the best thing to ever happen to her, the most important, life-changing experience that ever would happen to her.
In her mind, she reached for that shiny ball of hope that had hovered just out of touch for so long, bright, beautiful and full of promise. Grasping it with both hands, she cradled it to her heart and stepped off the emotional ledge she'd been hugging precariously for the last few weeks, trusting him to catch her.
He could see it when she found her strength. There was his girl.
His half-smile tugged at his mouth as his own tension that maybe he'd left her questioning him for too long started to ease.
"Tony said that perhaps we are supposed to be 'not alone, together,'" she began in a voice that became stronger as she spoke. "I think that he is right."
"Knew I kept him around for a reason," Gibbs observed lightly, the humor mixed with love in his eyes bringing out the same in hers.
Her gaze stayed connected to his unwaveringly and gradually became more serious, more certain.
"I do trust you - completely," Ziva continued warmly, her eyes beginning to shine with all that she felt for him. "And I love you more than I ever knew was even possible."
"Love you, too," he reassured her, shifting his hand to spear his fingers into her hair and cradle her head.
"And I want you," she husked, running one hand up and down his handsome chest on top of his shirt, coming to rest over his heart. "Not just for making love …"
She stretched up and nipped his ear lobe with her teeth before soothing it with her tongue. She could feel the way he had to force himself to swallow and satisfaction flowed through her.
"Though I most definitely want you for that, too," she purred provocatively in his ear before nuzzling his neck just for the pure pleasure of it. Setting her bare heels back down on the ground, she caught his gaze again and continued, repeating some of his earlier words back to him and adding a few of her own.
"I want to go to sleep with you every night and wake up with you every morning … take walks on the beach and go see the mountains …"
They smiled at each other as her last comment took them back to when they first planned this trip.
"I want to ride to work with you, lean on each other when we need to, and make babies with you." The last was offered in a voice full of wonder and promise. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she murmured against his lips, "Maybe lots of babies."
"Many as you want," he breathed, brushing his mouth over hers.
Another wave of insecurity snuck past her newfound confidence.
"You will help me, yes?" she asked anxiously.
He favored her with a look and raised eyebrows. "Last I knew, you couldn't make 'em on your own." Then his eyes narrowed in mock warning. "And if anyone else tries to help you, there's gonna be a dead body in the room."
He thought she might chuckle at that, but he got a much more interesting reaction instead.
Her eyes went nearly black with unmistakable desire and her breath caught in her throat as a gush of wetness pooled in her panties at his possessive yet protective tone. Shifting slightly, she pressed her center against one of his thighs, riding him gently. She caught her lower lip in her teeth. His own body hardened as she melted into him.
Spearing her fingers into the silvering hair at the back of his neck, she pulled his mouth to within a breath of hers.
"Okay, that," she emphasized in a throaty voice, "was very …" She scraped his bottom lip with her teeth and he gripped her hips tightly in response. " … very …" She skimmed her lips over his jaw on her way to his ear. "unexpectedly … hot." She breathed the last word directly into his ear, sending shivers down his spine.
They shared a kiss that went beyond sensual and was completely without barrier.
When they came up for air and she could actually form a coherent thought, she teased him with an intimate grin. "Providing, of course, that the dead body will not be mine."
"Got other plans for your body," he assured her with a touch of arrogance. "Like being tied to our bed for a month." After some consideration, he added, "Maybe two."
"If that is supposed to be a punishment, I think you will have missed the mark," she confided in a sultry tone.
Now his eyes darkened with passion, unable to stop the picture that slammed into his brain.
"You wouldn't let me get away with that," he denied, even as the idea enticed him on some level. To say he was surprised by that would be putting it mildly. "Would you?"
His last question slipped out as though against his will, barely above breathing it out.
Ziva looked into his eyes for a long moment, then cupped the side of his face in her hand, smoothing her fingertips over his skin. Her voice was low and he had to concentrate to hear it over the pounding of his pulse in his ears.
"I have never done that," she admitted. "But for you, I would try, if that is something you want." The look in her eyes became even more certain, more honest. "Only for you," she emphasized. "Only ever for you."
The enormity of the trust she placed in him – solely in him - knocked his breath from him. All he could do for a long moment was tip his forehead to hers and will her to understand all that was running through him.
"Would never hurt you," he mumbled adorably, clearly struggling a bit with this side of him that could relish holding her still to pleasure her over and over exactly as he wanted. He wasn't completely comfortable knowing he might enjoy having that kind of power and control.
"I know," she whispered with a tender smile, raising her lips to his in an invitation he couldn't resist.
Finally, Ziva pulled back to look into those amazing blue eyes that were still gleaming with passion for her. He wasn't the only one who was a little off-balance; she was slightly shocked at her own reaction to the jealous, possessive side of him. Smoothing her thumb along the chiseled edge of his jaw, she steadied herself and explained her previous question.
"No one will be helping me make babies but you," she promised in a husky voice. "I just needed to hear that you will help me learn the parenting part." She paused for a moment before continuing quietly. "I had decided I was not meant to be anyone's mother, but I have discovered that I want very much to be the mother of your children."
"You'll be the kind of mother every kid wishes they had," he predicted. "The kind who'll love them no matter what, teach them what they need to know and be first in line to defend 'em or cheer 'em on."
He tucked her hair behind one ear with a gentle smile. "And you're gonna be better at it than you think, but, yeah, we'll do it together."
A sweet smile curved her lips. She curled her arms around his neck and pressed a kiss to his mouth again before she addressed one more issue he'd raised.
"And as for those divorces … they do not concern me. I think that sometimes you were weary of being alone and that you were searching all that time, even though you did not know it." She rubbed her nose playfully against his. "For me."
"Yeah," he sighed with relief, his tone full of such gratitude and certainty that her heart began to fly.
"Well then, Jethro … I guess there is just one more thing," she husked emotionally as she tilted her head back to look at him straight in the eye, her heart, all her hopes for the future – their future - laid bare in her gaze. Bringing her fingers lightly to his cheek, she asked softly, "Will you marry me?"
One of those rare, full-blown, bone-melting smiles of his lit up his face. Tightening his arms about her waist, he lifted her off the ground to spin her around and around, his rich laugh of satisfaction and happiness music to her ears. Ziva held on tightly until he came to a stop.
"That is a yes?" she breathed achingly, the depths of her brown eyes communicating beautiful, beautiful hope.
"Oh, yeah," he answered with certainty.
Now her own smile was so wide it threatened to split her face as she squeezed him tightly about the neck with a joyful noise that carried out over the water.
He buried his face in her throat as he held her off the ground, happier than he'd believed he'd ever be again … or even deserved to be.
"No one's ever asked me before," he murmured revealingly against her skin.
She pressed even more closely to him, her heart moved. She turned her head until she found his lips with hers before laying her cheek against his hair.
"And no one else had better," she nearly growled.
"Wouldn't matter if they did," he assured her.
She raised her head and locked her gaze on his.
"Ani ohevet otcha," she whispered emotionally.
"Love you back," he told her, correctly deciphering the Hebrew from the look in her eyes and the tone of her voice, making a mental note to have her teach him how to say it back. "More than I can really tell ya."
The happiness in her eyes slowly took on a decidedly provocative twinkle.
"Perhaps you could show me," she suggested, rubbing against him alluringly.
"Whadya have in mind?" he asked in a smoky voice that had her melting, stringing a row of tiny kisses down her neck and reveling in her gasp of pleasure.
She whispered wickedly in his ear.
He swallowed. Hard.
God, he loved the way she thought.
"Can start there," he agreed decisively, adjusting his arms to sweep her up in his arms bridal style. He carried her to their bed as her sound of pure, enchanting delight danced on the warm night air.
She wouldn't be wearing one of those sexy nighties tonight.
She'd only be wearing him.
And the bracelet he'd given her – soon to be joined by the diamond he'd buy her.
And some of that edible massage oil she'd seductively purchased this week, coupled with his mouth on her everywhere, if she had her way.
Which she would.
Followed by practice at making those babies. Lots and lots of practice.
Oo-rah … and all that.