Ziva rested her forehead against Tony’s. “I’m fighting for you, Ziva,” he whispered, his voice breaking. She sighed.
“I know.” She didn’t know what else to say. The tenderness of the moment hung between them like branches around them in the olive grove. She and Tony had been coworkers for years, but there had always been something more between them. The night of the car accident, she had been trying to tell him she loved him. She never had a chance that night, and there never seemed to be a good time. If she said something now, she was afraid of ruining the moment completely, afraid of losing Tony forever. Deep down, she was more afraid of what might happen if she let herself be too vulnerable with him, what would happen if he loved her back.
“Ziva,” Tony repeated, his voice barely audible. He felt frozen in time, like he was standing on the edge of a cliff and one false move would send him plummeting to the bottom of the ravine below. He had fallen hard for the Israeli beauty, but he was never quite sure how she felt about him. After the NCIS attack and their trip to Berlin the two had grown closer, but the amount of unspoken tension between them was confusing. He loved her, wanted to tell her, but he was also incredibly physically attracted to her and wasn’t sure if it was truly more than that. Spending time with her in close quarters made him jumpy, desperate to touch her. Her fighting, dominant nature turned him on, but in this moment he wanted to take things slow and gentle. He had told her she wasn’t alone, and he needed her to understand that he meant it.
“Tony.” That one word was heavy with emotion, longing, tinged with a sharp sensuality that made his heart flutter and his pulse start racing. He had been shot at, kidnapped, and tortured during his tenure as an agent but this was the most afraid he had ever been. That maybe she felt the same way, wanted him the same way. Ziva reached a hand up to his cheek, thumbing the short beard he had grown in since Cairo. Her eyes caught his in an intense stare and he tried not to blink, scared the moment would be over or that it was all his imagination.
Ziva watched his eyes, watched him swallow in anticipation. She had never been afraid of anything, but this was different. This could change everything, and she didn’t know if it would be for better or for worse. She took a breath to steady herself, then swiftly closed the distance between them.
His beard was scratchy on her face, but his lips were soft, firm against her own. He grabbed her face in his hands, not wanting to let her go. Her arms wrapped around him, pulling him toward her, kissing him with an unbridled hunger that lit his blood on fire. He shifted his hands to wrap them in her wild hair and she moaned softly into the kiss. The sound spurred him on, biting at her lower lip. Not one to back down from any kind of fight, Ziva bit back, running her tongue along Tony’s lip with a smile as he opened his mouth in surprise. His hands began to wander under the hem of her shirt, desperate for closer contact. Ziva finally pulled back, leaving her hands at the back of his neck.
“That was…” she trailed off.
“Yeah. Um.” Tony let go off her shirt. “I’m sorry.”
“No, I am sorry. I should not have done that.” Reluctantly, she let him go. “I know we no longer work together, but we should not be doing this. Not here, not now.” She sighed. “Everything is upside down and sideways.”
“It’s upside down and backwards, David,” Tony corrected quietly, smiling faintly at the Israeli. “But I know what you mean.” He checked his watch. “Are you hungry? Because I’m starving.”
Ziva chuckled. “You have not changed at all, have you?”
They walked back to the house in silence, hands barely touching. The truth was that they had both changed, but it was easier to pretend that they were the same as they had been when they first met. “There is not much food in the house, but we will make do,” Ziva informed him as she shut the front door behind them. She followed him to the kitchen, glancing out of the windows to check their surroundings. “It is all clear. I do not anticipate unwanted company, but if you can find me so can someone else.” She secured her gun back in its holster and shut the curtains at the kitchen window. Light still peaked through, but the olive grove was now a green haze through the white material. Tony was standing in front of the pantry with his arms crossed.
“You weren’t kidding when you said you weren’t planning on having company. Any chance we can order a pizza or something?” He turned to face her. She was watching him intently, taking in the strong shape of him. He looked exhausted but happy, and she felt herself relax for the first time in weeks.
“No pizza, but there is tomato and cucumber salad in the fridge. There might be some couscous in the pantry still. I need to get more supplies.”
“Sit down, I’ll cook.” Tony went back to rifling through the odds and ends in the pantry and cabinets. While Ziva watched from her perch at the table, Tony made the couscous and opened the container of tomato and cucumber salad. “It’s not much, but it’s a meal,” he said finally, placing a bowl in front of Ziva and setting one at the place across from her.
“Thank you, Tony.” She poked at the couscous with a fork. “I know that I told you coming here was a mistake, but I am glad you did.”
“I meant what I said at the airport before. You are not alone. I’ve always been here for you. I know we’ve had our moments and I know that it’s hard for you to trust anyone, but I’ll always be here for you no matter what. I promise.”
“I know,” she replied, not quite meeting his eyes. “And I believe you. But there are still so many pieces I must put back together. I buried my father months ago, but I feel as though I am still burying him. I do not know if there are still people after me, and I am tired of running.”
Tony reached his hand across the table and took hers, tracing his thumb over her knuckles. “You don’t have to run anymore. You don’t have to keep hiding and looking over your shoulder. You can breathe easy, Ziva, at least for now.”
She let out a shaky breath, finally meeting Tony’s eyes. “What about Gibbs?”
“I feel bad for lying to him, but I understand why you didn’t want me to tell him I found you yet. You’ll have to talk to him eventually, though.”
They ate their meal in silence, listening to the sounds of nature filtering through the windows. It was peaceful here, and part of Tony wanted to hide out here with Ziva forever. Just the two of them, making up for every missed moment they could have shared over the years.
“I forgot about the wine,” Ziva said finally, pushing up from the table and gathering the dishes. “Would you like some?”
“Uh, sure.” Tony got up too, running water in the sink and reaching for a sponge while she poured two glasses of red wine. “You got any movies out here in the Israel boonies?” Tony asked as he took one of the glasses from Ziva.
“No, sorry. We do not even have a T.V.” She sipped her wine, leaning one hip against the counter and watching Tony over the rim of her glass. Tony grinned at her in that way he had, the same smile he gave whenever he was giving McGee a smartass answer. “What is so funny, Tony?”
“I was going to suggest a movie, but I hear strip poker is still a popular pastime.” Ziva rolled her eyes.
“I was not aware that this was a frat house.” She was trying to read his expression, gauge whether or not he was doing his usual casual flirting or if this was a hint at wanting to continue what they had started in the olive grove earlier. It was hard to tell, but she didn’t want to ruin anything by asking about it outright.
Tony finished his wine, set the empty glass on the counter, and crossed his arms. The joking smirk was still half on his lips. “I wonder if Adam likes strip poker,” he mused, and Ziva glared at him.
“What?” she demanded, crossing her arms and clutching her glass in one hand. Her eyes were shooting daggers at him, but the intensity of her gaze sent a shiver down his spine.
“Your little, uh. Friend with benefits. Adam.” Tony took a step forward towards her. She held her ground and kept her gaze locked on his, her eyes narrowing.
“As I have already explained to you, it was one time. A moment of weakness.” Her voice was firm, but he heard a tinge of something at the edge. Regret or guilt, maybe, but that could have been his imagination. Her eyes scanned his face, and then the edges of her lips curled up into a mysterious smile. “Are you jealous, Tony?”
He almost said yes, but he kept it to himself. Instead, he shrugged. “Just confused. I was serious about what I told you at the airport before. I guess I wasn’t sure why you would turn to him when NCIS has been your family all these years.”
She sighed, her shoulders sagging a little in defeat. “I do not know, Tony. He was here, and you were not. We did not really talk about it before or after, it just happened and that was the end of it. We are all adults, so I do not understand why you are so insistent about this.”
“I don’t know, Ziva, I guess I thought that after the attack on NCIS and everything that something had changed between us.” His voice raised as he continued, starting to pace the small kitchen as he talked. “There’s so much back and forth, and I feel like we’re constantly walking this fine line between friends and something more. I know you have a hard time trusting people and I know that you’ve been hurt before, but I really though that maybe something would be different. CI-Ray was a murderer, but you almost married him for fuck’s sake. I was always there for you, but whenever you need me you pull away. I don’t get you, Ziva! I’ve been trying since the day I met you but I don’t understand you at all. Every time I think I do, you go sleep with Adam or you go rogue, and I can’t keep doing this.”
“How dare you bring Ray into this!” She was almost shouting, her tone matching his. “That was not about you! That is your problem, Tony. Everything has to be about you. Are you really that selfish?” She slammed her glass down on the counter and it shattered, shards flying and the last remnants of merlot trickling over the lip of the counter and onto the floor. Neither she nor Tony paid it any attention. “I devoted my life to Mossad and then to NCIS, to my father and then to Gibbs. Work has always been my focus and my priority, and everything else has been secondary. It is easier that way. You killed Michael, and I know you had your reasons, but I am sure that if you thought about it from my point of view for a second you can understand why that was traumatic. How was I supposed to know that Ray was a bad man? It is not always black and white, Tony, but you have no concept of nuance.” She took a breath, absently pulling a sliver of glass from the side of her hand before lowering her voice to her normal volume. “We work well together, and I trust you with my life, but that does not mean that something more makes sense or is comfortable for me.”
“Newsflash, Ziva: life isn’t always comfortable! You of all people should know that. I’m sorry about Michael, and about Ray, and that clearly you have some serious trust issues that you need to deal with. I understand all that. But it feels like you aren’t even trying, and I’m tired of feeling like a yo-yo. You pull me in but push me away again as soon as I get close.” He took another step forward, his pulse racing in his ears. It felt good to finally say all of the things he had been holding back. He didn’t want to hurt Ziva, but he was also tired of having to pretend that she didn’t hurt him right back. Not to mention that her fiery aggression was turning him on again.
Instead of stepping back she took a step forward, planting her feet and challenging him with her eyes. They were maybe a foot apart, but she wasn’t going to be the one to cave in and close the distance. “You do not have a great race record with women either, Tony. La Grenouille’s daughter, a million one night stands that you cannot even let stay in your apartment. You are a grown man that sleeps in a twin bed, Tony. That is a sign of commitment issues if I have ever seen one.”
“It’s track record, Ziva.”
“You said race record. The phrase is track record.”
“You are insufferable sometimes. Did you know that?”
“I’ve been told. But you love it.” His tone was challenging but he waited with bated breath for her reply.
“I do,” she said quietly.
“I do love you, Tony.” She reached out a hand to touch his chest, pressing her palm flat against his heart.
“I love you, Ziva David.” He mirrored her gesture, resting his hand against her racing heart. Her skin was warm through the thin fabric of her shirt. They stood like that for a few minutes, neither of them daring to shatter the fragility of the moment. “And I’m sorry about earlier, I didn’t mean to be so aggressive. It’s not all your fault.”
Ziva wrapped her fingers into a fist, pulling Tony to her by his shirt. “Rule number six, Tony. Never say you are sorry.” Her face was inches from his, her eyes daring him to close the distance.
Tony felt his anger fade into desire as he looked down at Ziva, but his eyes widened in shock when he saw her hand. “You’re bleeding,” he said, taking her hand in his. “Is there a first aid kit around here?”
“I am fine, Tony. I have endured much worse.” She pulled her hand away, wiping it gently on her pants. He caught her waist with his now empty hand, bringing her closer to him.
After another agonizing minute of heavy eye contact, Tony kissed her again. She tasted like wine and hope, a dizzying combination that Tony savored. The kiss was tender at first, but the gentleness evaporated into desire, need, and hunger. Ziva grappled with Tony’s shirt, desperate to take it off of him as he walked them backwards towards the counter. The small of her back hit the edge of the counter and Tony lifted her onto it with one swift motion, letting her pull him closer to her with her powerful legs. She eased her grip as Tony pulled back to help her with his shirt, but they found each other again quickly, the kiss all teeth and tongue and hands all over. Tony moved to nip at her neck and she moaned something in Hebrew, throwing her head back and dragging her nails over his shoulders.
Tony began impatiently tugging the hem of her shirt upward, dragging his thumbs along her toned torso as she pulled away from him again, raising her arms over her head. Her shirt dropped to the floor as she kicked off her shoes, once again seeking his mouth with hers. She shifted her weight slightly and pushed him back, sliding off the countertop and forcing him back against the wall, her hands planted on either side of him as she dragged her tongue leisurely up his torso. He bit back a moan as she bit into the flesh of his neck, sucking a deep purple hickey into his skin. “Did you think you would have the upper hand this whole time, Tony?” she questioned, her voice thick with lust as she pressed him closer to the wall. Before he had a chance to answer, she moved her hands from beside his head to his belt, her nimble fingers making quick work of the buckle and sliding the leather from its loops. She held it in one hand and leaned close to his ear, her free hand slamming back against the wall. “Since you do not have your handcuffs, I would be more than happy to make do with this,” she hissed, nipping his ear. He couldn’t hold back a moan at her words.
“I don’t even have a smartass comeback to that. That is easily one of the hottest things I’ve ever heard in my life. However, I want full use of my hands tonight.” As he finished his sentence, he dropped his hands to grip her waist and spun them around so she was pinned to the wall, knocking a picture frame sideways as he did. Before Ziva had a chance to react, he grabbed her wrists and held them over her head, leaning down to kiss her clavicle. Her moans sent a shiver down his spine as he kissed down her chest, tugging at the cups of her bra with his teeth impatiently as he reached her breasts.
She broke the hold he had on her wrists with ease and reached behind her to unclasp her bra as he slid the straps down her arms and tossed the garment back toward the kitchen. Agonizingly slowly he traced his fingers over her small, pert nipples as her back arched off of the wall and her hands found purchase in his hair. With a devilish grin he dragged his tongue over one nipple before closing his mouth over it, looking up to see her eyes shut and her mouth fall open in a delirious exhalation of his name. He used one hand to roll her free nipple, his other hand gripping her hip with a possessiveness that he didn’t know he felt towards her. He grazed his teeth over her nipple and she inhaled sharply in response, biting her lip to avoid giving him the satisfaction of another moan. Instead, she pulled his hair and dragged him back up to her mouth again, capturing his lips in a filthy open-mouthed kiss that left them both wanting more.
Tony slid his hands over her body and under her butt, scooping her up and walking slowly down the hall, stopping to press Ziva against the wall a few times and kiss her deeper as she wrapped her legs around him. He stopped again, fumbling with a doorknob behind her and almost falling forward as the door swung open. He flicked on the light, breaking their kiss again and frowning as he was greeted to the sight of a study instead of a bedroom. She extricated herself from him and gave him a playful swat on the chest. “The bedroom is the next one down, Tony, and the door is open.”
“In my defense, I was a little distracted,” he said defensively, glancing around the small room.
“You are not thinking with the right head, yes?” she questioned playfully, hooking her thumb in one of his belt loops and pulling him towards the desk.
“You could say that,” he conceded. Ziva swept a couple of books off the desk and pushed Tony onto it before straddling his lap and resting her knees on either side of his hips.
She ran a hand through her hair as she leaned down to leave a trail of kisses over his chest and up his neck, stopping to nip his earlobes again before sliding her hand between them to settle over the bulge in his jeans.
“Someone is excited,” she murmured into his ear, palming him teasingly through the denim fabric. She wanted him more than she had ever wanted anyone, but she was trying to maintain her composure as much as possible and not grant him the satisfaction of her caving first.
“Can you blame me, David? I don’t know if you’re aware or not but you’re probably the hottest woman I’ve ever seen. I could be misreading the situation, but it seems like you want to fuck me too so yeah, I would say that I’m excited.” He was speaking quickly, trying to keep a grasp on his sanity as her hand increased pressure and her mouth continued to mark him, claim him as hers. He bit his lip as she popped the button on his jeans and tugged the zipper down. He leaned up, wrapping one arm around her waist and using the other to pull his jeans down and kick them to the floor. “As fun as this is, my back is killing me and you’re wearing too many clothes. Bedroom,” he growled, once again lifting her and walking toward the door, flipping the light off as they reached the hallway.
“Next door on the left,” she muttered against his mouth, trailing one hand along the wall until she hit the doorframe. He turned, pushing her against the doorframe as he pulled at the waistband of her pants. She gripped the doorframe with her hands and arched up away from the wall as he dragged her pants down her muscular legs, letting them fall before pulling her against him again and stumbling into the room. He hit the light switch and then settled his hands under her butt again, running his thumbs under the black lace of her panties before placing her on top of the unmade bed. He stood back to admire her graceful body as she rested on her elbows, waiting for him to join her. Her cheeks were flushed, her lips swollen and red from their vicious kisses. Her gold Star of David necklace shone from the tan skin of her chest and he smirked as he watched the swift rise and fall of her peachlike breasts as she caught her breath. Her stomach was taut, her hips slim but beckoning where they met her legs under the black lace. “I need you, Tony. Please,” she said, her eyes wide as she met his gaze.
“God, you don’t need to tell me twice.” He bent down to remove his boxers and she watched his muscular form appreciatively. He wasn’t excessively muscled, but he was strong, solidly built, a form that she knew from memory after so much time with him. As he straightened up her eyes widened even further. His cock wasn’t abnormally long but it was thick and veiny, and she bit her lip thinking about how he was going to feel inside of her. With a smirk, she hooked her thumbs through the waistband of her panties and dragged them slowly down her legs, letting them drop delicately to the floor beside the bed as Tony watched with obvious enthusiasm. He climbed onto the bed, leaning over her once again with a smile and lust blown eyes. “You’re beautiful,” he whispered as his hands roamed her body, stopping at her hips just inches from where she wanted him the most. He shimmied down to settle himself between her legs, kissing his way up her calf and up to her inner thigh. He stopped when he reached the inside of her right thigh, chuckling to himself. “So this is the tattoo.” It was a small knife, the blade pointing down toward her knee. He kissed it gently.
“Yes, Tony, this is the tattoo,” she said with a sigh, mildly agitated that he had stopped what he was doing. Her skin was on fire from his touch and his mouth and she was tired of waiting. With a low, almost feral growl she flipped them over, pinning him beneath her. Biting her lip, she reached between them to guide him to where she wanted him the most. With a cry of relief and pleasure she sank onto him, letting herself adjust to his size before she opened her eyes to look at him. His mouth was slack, his fingers gripping her hips for dear life as she squeezed around him. She was so tight, warm, and velvety and he knew in that moment two things: he was never going to love anyone else the way he loved Ziva, and he wasn’t going to last very long like this.
“Fuuuuck,” he finally said. “Why the fuck did we wait so long?”
“Shut up Tony,” she replied breathlessly, holding onto his hands as she started to move. She started slowly, rolling her hips against him as he bottomed out inside her, relishing the feeling of him stretching her out. He sat up, wrapping his arms around her and burying his face in her neck. The only sounds in the room were their moans and heavy breathing, skin on skin as Ziva maintained a steady pace, her nails dragging down Tony’s back. She was desperate for friction on her clit but that could wait; he had started to buck his hips up to match her rhythm and she was a little distracted by how good he felt. His cock twitched inside her and his thrusts got sloppier, but he tightened his grip on her anyway. He didn’t want her to be disappointed, but more than that he didn’t want it to be over already. As Ziva had pointed out, he had had more than his fair share of one night stands, but this was a very different level of intimacy and experience for him. He wanted to pleasure her more than he craved his own climax, wanted to wake up with her in the morning and fall asleep with her at night not just tomorrow but every day after that. He wanted forever with her, no matter what it took.
“Ziva, I-“. A shaking moan cut him off as he came inside her, gripping her tightly and kissing her with a desperate fierceness. She slowed, riding him through his high, murmuring words of assurance in his ear. Her touch was tender as she cupped his chin in her hand. “I’m sorry,” he panted, kissing her shoulder.
“Rule six, Tony.” She smiled at him, thumbing his lower lip. “I liked it very much.”
“You didn’t cum yet, though,” he insisted, shifting beneath her to grip the back of her thighs and lay her on her back. She whined at the loss of contact as he slid out of her and he wanted nothing more than to fuck her again. However, he knew himself enough to know that he needed a break before he could go another round. He smiled in satisfaction as he watched his cum dripping out of her pretty pussy onto the comforter.
Briefly, he thought of the photo from one of her undercover assignments, the one that showed her with a prosthetic pregnancy belly. She was smiling in the picture, glowing even, despite the fact that the pregnancy was fake, and he was hit with the sudden desire for a wedding and little DiNozzos, watching his pregnant wife painting a nursery in their home. He shoved those thoughts aside for the moment; there would be plenty of time for that later.
He returned his attention to Ziva, who was watching him intensely through her eyelashes, one arm thrown behind her and the other resting on her stomach. He traced one finger up her leg, from calf to thigh, briefly rubbing over her tattoo before drifting languidly between her legs, ghosting over her clit before trailing up over her hip and then resting on top of her hand. As much as he liked her dominating personality, he liked that she was at his mercy now. He smirked as he settled his hand on the inside of her thigh, inches from where he knew she needed him to be. Her lusty expression darkened, and she glared at him.
“You are not as funny as you think you are, Tony,” she hissed.
“Tell me what you want.” It was not a request but a demand, his voice making her stomach flip and the hand not under his gripped the sheets in anticipation.
“Please what?” He tightened his grip on her leg, watching as she bit her lip. “Use your words, baby.”
“Tony, I need you to touch me. Please.” Any traces of the anger and frustration she had expressed earlier had dissipated into desire. She liked to be in control, but she wanted him to claim her, make her his however he wanted. She didn’t want to think about what would happen in the morning, about what this would mean for them both. She wanted to enjoy the moment, the feeling of bliss that came from Tony’s touches. “I thought you said I did not have to ask you twice.”
He shrugged. “I changed my mind.” He kept one hand on her thigh, slowly dragging his other hand over her hip and gliding his thumb over her clit. Her reaction was immediate, her back arching off the bed and her grip on the sheets tightening. As he applied more pressure, slowly starting to rub circles on her clit, she was struggling to bite back moans and cries of ecstasy. “You can be as loud as you want, no one but me is going to hear you. And trust me when I say I love to hear you.” He watched her face as he slipped one finger inside of her, then another as he continued to rub her clit.
“Tony!” She was very quickly approaching her climax, her mind going hazy and blank as he worked her over with his hand. His fingers curled inside of her and he relished the softness of her as he stroked her walls, the chorus of delicious moans and swear words coming from the Israeli beauty egging him on. She started to clench around his fingers and he knew she was close. He kept up his pace, watching her intently, and finally she fell over the edge with a strangled cry. Her legs shook, her toes curling and her fingers wrapping themselves in the comforter as her legs clamped down on his arm. Slowly, he slid his fingers out of her, the mixture of her cum and his coating them delightfully. As Ziva fought to catch her breath her leaned down to kiss her. To his surprise, she caught his hand in hers and brought his fingers to her mouth. He watched, wide-eyed, as she licked his fingers clean, sucking them fiercely. His cock twitched at her actions and he wrapped his free arm under her back, pulling her up to a seated position as she dropped his hand and captured his mouth with her own. He could feel her heartbeat against his chest, still racing from her orgasm. Watching her writhe under him had hypnotized him and he knew he would be replaying that in his head forever.
Despite the intensity of her climax she was not sated, and her dominant side returned with a ferocity. She pushed him back to straddle him once again, but he wasn’t ready to give up the fight either. He gripped her wrists and used his bodyweight to flip them over, trapping her beneath him as he planted open-mouthed kisses on her neck and jaw. She wrapped her legs around him, grinding against him as she found his mouth with her own, kissing him desperately and murmuring in Hebrew against his lips. He relaxed a little against her and she used this to flip them over once again, almost sliding off the side of the bed. She laughed, leaning down to kiss him softly. “Oops,” she said, nipping at his lower lip as he tightened his grip on her. She knew she would have bruises in the morning from his fingers on her hips and the thought sent a pleasant shiver down her spine.
“I always knew you were a wildcat but goddamn,” he said, halfway between a whisper and a growl. “Are we going to fight again or are you going to let me fuck you?”
“You think you are so tough, Tony, why don’t you do something instead of talking about it?” She pulled away from him, once again challenging him with her eyes, daring him to do something. Taking her by surprise, he pushed her off of him, scrambling to his knees and flipping her again so she was face down, grabbing a fistful of her hair and pulling up on all fours. She could easily have kicked back at him, pushed him off the bed, hurt or killed him and escaped into the countryside. Instead, she spread her legs a little farther apart and arched her back, her perfect, round ass in the air and waiting for Tony to make a move. She glanced over her shoulder at him, her lip caught between her teeth, and he ran his hands appreciatively over the curve of her ass before once again burying his cock inside of her. The sound she made as she rocked back against him to match his pace was unbelievable, a mix of a moan and a growl and a cry of his name.
“You’re perfect,” he muttered, grabbing her hair and wrapping it around his hand, pulling back to arch her back even farther. Ziva was completely at his mercy, once again tightly gripping the sheets as Tony pounded into her, all inhibitions gone as animal instincts took over. She snaked a hand beneath her to rub her clit as he dug his free hand into her ass, her second orgasm building quickly under her practiced ministrations. He felt her start to clench on his cock and he knew that he wasn’t far behind her. He increased his pace, panting, and her cries became an unintelligible mix of Hebrew and English as she came undone beneath him, her legs shaking and threatening to collapse. He wrapped an arm beneath her stomach to support her as he came again, easing his grip on her hair and rubbing her back, murmuring praises to her.
With a reluctant sigh, he pulled out of her and collapsed to her left, landing on his side and reaching out to brush her cheek as she curled up next to him. She was exhausted, mostly from the emotional toll the last few weeks had taken on her, and she struggled to keep her eyes open as the waves of her climax subsided. The heat that burned in the pit of her stomach, between her legs, the craving for him had lessened but still had not subsided, and she struggled to calm her heartbeat. Despite her dissatisfaction, she felt content, fulfilled, at peace for the first time in a very long time.
“You are not falling asleep on me already, are you?” she asked, playfully nudging him in the ribs as his eyes drifted shut. They flew open, surprised, and he met her gaze with a dubious expression.
“I had my suspicions that you were a hellcat in bed, but I don’t know how you have so much energy.” He rolled onto his back, one hand sliding around her and his hand tracing soft circles on her shoulder. Her skin was hot and sticky, and he could feel her elevated pulse. At his words, she averted her eyes, suddenly self-conscious. She turned over so her back was to him, tucking her legs towards her chest. He sensed her closing off again and he regretted his words. “I’m sorry, Ziva, I didn’t mean it like that.”
She sat up and crossed her legs, still facing away from him and now just out of his reach. The silence was uncomfortable and heavy for a minute before she finally spoke. “Maybe this was a mistake.” She didn’t regret it, but she worried that he did, worried that she was too much or not enough and that he would be the one with regrets. This self-consciousness was unfamiliar to her; she had experienced insecurity with her job and her abilities with Mossad and NCIS but had never felt incompetent when it came to carnal pleasures. But Tony was different, special even, and now that the initial heat of the moment had passed, she was unsure about where they stood.
“Do you really believe that?” he questioned, her doubt striking his heart. Slowly, he sat up and slid to the edge of the bed. “If you want me to leave I will. I don’t want to, but I will.” He glanced over his shoulder at her and she shifted to face him.
“I do not want you to go.” She reached her hand out to him. “And I do not regret tonight.”
“Then why do you think that this was a mistake?” He took her hand, rubbed his thumb over her knuckles.
She shrugged. “I do not know, Tony. This is unfamiliar territory for me.” She chewed her lip, trying to put her thoughts into words. “I do not want to be too much or not enough for you. In any sense, not just now. I know that I love you, and I also know that it has been a long time since I have had such a good time with someone. I do not want to take it for granted or spoil a good thing because I still do not feel entirely satisfied.” She looked at him through her lashes. “Which is not to say you gave a poor performance, because it was quite the opposite. However, I do not want you to feel pressured or inadequate in any way.”
“You are one of the most selfless people I have ever met,” he assured her. “But we’re both adults, I can handle anything you throw at me. We will find a way to make this work, in here and out there.” He nodded towards the darkened landscape outside. “I told you that I would take care of you, and I will. I promise. Tonight and tomorrow and as long as you’ll let me.” He pulled her towards him, wrapping her in a hug. “Just don’t shut me out anymore, please. I can’t handle that again.”
“I make no promises,” she replied finally. “But I want to find a way to make this work.”
He kissed the top of her head. “What do you need right now?”
“Just you.” She leaned up to kiss him again, slow and deep, drawing him farther up the bed with her. Once again, she wrapped herself around him, clinging to him desperately as the tender kisses got heavier and more desperate. She was suddenly afraid, not of being close to him but of possibly losing him after all of this. “I love you,” she whispered as he slid himself inside of her again, relishing the closeness of him, the way they fit together perfectly.
He wrapped his arms around her even tighter, resting his head against her chest so he could listen to her heartbeat, hear her quiet moans as she kept a slow, steady pace. He could sense the exhaustion she felt and he tried to tell her that she could stop, but she was determined. She shifted her position slightly, seeking friction as the tiredness took over and she chased her own high one more time.
Seconds turned into minutes and then into nothing; time no longer existed, no longer mattered for either of them. The dark countryside beyond the windows melted away, the world beyond the edges of the bed ceased to exist. The only thing that either of them were aware of was each other, the sounds of their breathing and heartbeats echoing in their ears.
Ziva felt her orgasm building slowly, the slow burn in the pit of her stomach pulling her out of her reverie. Instead of rushing toward the edge she maintained her pace, relishing the gradual building. Tony was close but trying not to throw her off her rhythm, so he held onto her and whispered praises to her. Finally, after what felt like a glorious eternity, she said his name, a drawn out moan as her head dropped to his shoulder and she started to tremble from the force of her climax. He couldn’t hold out anymore, finally letting himself cum as he stroked her back.
With a sigh he laid back against the pillows, pulling her down with him and holding her close against his chest as she finally settled down. One leg was still hooked over him, keeping herself grounded and, at least subconsciously, keeping him anchored to her. Neither one of them wanted to break the silence. Unlike earlier, this wasn’t a weighty silence but a pleasant one, a quiet intimacy that cradled them both in warm happiness. He stroked her arm, enjoying the feeling of her skin against his. He had never been more content than in this moment, never been more in love until now. “I love you,” he said finally. “I love you.”
“I love you, Tony.” She turned on her side, pulling the comforter up over both of them and snuggling against him. “Thank you.”
She was quiet for a moment. “For everything.” Those two words hung heavy between them, weighed down by all the things that they had never said to each other until now, or at all.
“I mean, you did most of the work,” he joked.
“That is not what I meant, and you know it.” Her tone was flat, unamused. He sighed.
“I’m sorry. I really haven’t been able to say anything right today,” he said quietly.
“No, it is alright.” She rolled onto her stomach, tucking folding her arms under her head and watching him. “I do not want you to go another minute without knowing that I am grateful for everything you have done for me.”
“I told you before, Ziva, I will always be fighting for you. I’m not going anywhere, and all you have to do is ask.”
They drifted off, their legs tangled together under the comforter. In the hazy morning light Ziva woke, turning to see Tony fast asleep beside her. She smiled at him, watched the rise and fall of his chest as he slept. She felt at home here, safe, and she wanted nothing more than to stay here forever with him. She wrapped herself in the comforter and rested her head on his chest. “I will be fighting for you, too, Tony. Always,” she whispered, and fell asleep once more.