Summary: This is a sequel for my story “Blue Skies”. The NCIS team is tasked to protect a high ranking Navy admiral on a gala after he has been threatened with his life. But things work out differently from what they all expected – in more than just one way…
Rating: R (Explicit Sex)
Disclaimer: Not mine, I am just using the possibilities DPB and CBS are not. ;)
Pairing: KIBBS ( Kate/Gibbs )
Category: Angst, Romance
A/N: I still don’t have a Native English beta-reader. Therefore please apologize any grammatical and stylistic mistakes. (If you’re interested in betaing my stories, please write me an email. Any help would be appreciated.)

Winner of the 2007 NCIS Online Awards

Winner of the 2007 NCIS Online Awards

 

Rating: NC-17

Sexual Situations; First Time Explicit Sex

 

Attention
This is one of my older stories written before 2009. My style in this story differs greatly, due to lack of experience. One of these days, if I get the time, I plan on revising these older stories thoroughly.

Until then, please excuse the many flaws, and rest assured, I know better now. ;) (Or at least I hope so.)

 

Destiny grants us our wishes, but in its own way, in order to give us something beyond our desires.

At that very moment she realized that there was a profound truth to proverbs like that; that there were things in life that you couldn’t deny, no matter how much you tried. Things that you had to accept just the way they were.
She couldn’t exactly say how she had gotten here, to this point in her life. But all of a sudden it all seemed to add up. For a split second she felt, that everything had a meaning – all that she had been through, all the decisions that she had made, every problem she had been faced with. Every single one of them had led her here, to this very moment. And it had been worth it.

No matter how much she had denied and tried to avoid the inevitable, her heart had made its choice – long before she had even consciously realized that there was a choice to be made.

She opened her eyes and looked at the ceiling, which was bathed in the soft, silver light that the beams of the full moon sent through the open window of the hotel room. Her breathing had returned to normal and slowly she felt the ability to move return to her limp body.

He didn’t say a word – neither did she. Regrets started to fill her mind as the voice of reason slowly regained control over her emotions.

Gone was the feeling of almost divine bliss; gone were any thoughts of that it had long been meant to be that way.

She shivered slightly, as a breeze of night wind, that blew softly through the open window, cooled her still sweaty body. Her mind, that had been lulled into the aftermath of the incredibly satiating lovemaking, sobered up and she turned her head to look at the thin curtains, that were swaying in the breeze in front of the window. Too many thoughts were going through her head, thoughts that it had been a mistake. They numbered all of the reasons why she shouldn’t have done it and eventually replaced the feeling of satiation with an uncomfortable awkwardness.

Almost shyly, she covered her nakedness with one of the thin sheets, not daring to look at the man next to her.

They were simply lying next to each other, both thinking about how they had gotten into this situation – and both searching for ways to handle it from here…

~~~ Earlier That Day ~~~

His hand was lying loosely on her back. Not that she minded it. But it distracted her to the point that she felt his warmth through the thin material of her dress as if his skin was on fire, aiming on enflaming hers as well. He didn’t even seem to notice that her thoughts had drifted away from the case; or what his closeness did to her.

Special Agent Kate Todd took a sip of the glass of champaign that she was holding in her hand. She knew that it had been four months since they had kissed in the elevator – and neither of them had ever mentioned it again. Yet, she felt as if it had happened just yesterday, the memory of it being vividly preserved in the dreams she was having every night.

She had tried everything to get him off her mind, but not been successful. She had even caught herself comparing her dates to Special Agent Jethro Gibbs – a fact that hadn’t even been clear to her in the beginning.
At first she had simply felt different when she was on a date; as if she was not seriously interested in the man she was sitting opposite to. But she had patiently listened to the stories the men told her – end eventually found a reason to avoid the good night kiss.

Only when, one evening during the last week, she had allowed one of her dates, Brian, to kiss her, it had dawned on her what the reason for the sudden lack of interest in men was. The kiss had been a complete disaster. Brian had been sweet and well-mannered, but kissing him felt as if she was kissing Tony. Not that she had ever kissed Tony – but it evoked the same feelings in her that the thought of kissing Tony did. It was something she didn’t really want to do, because she wanted more than the sweetness and superficial heat. She wanted to feel what she had felt when she and Gibbs had kissed. This split second when she had felt as if her mind melted into that of her partner – as if they were one. This deep love and at the same time erotic seduction, that was what she longed for.

Men like Brian were not able to offer her that, because – as she had realized at that very second – she couldn’t think of any other man than Jethro Gibbs anymore.

And now she was here, on a gala with him, tasked to protect a highly decorated Navy Rear Admiral.

It had started out as a rather normal murder case, until they had discovered a wider conspiracy, that aimed on assassinating Admiral Smith. The murdered Lieutenant had obviously, by chance, found out about the planned attempt on the Admirals life.

The team had been able to arrest the Lieutenant’s murderer, but then learned that he had been hired and paid by a higher ranking Naval Officer. He had had no idea about the man who had ordered him to kill the Lieutenant, though – and therefore they had no idea who had ordered the assassination of the admiral.

That fact had, much to Tony’s delight, earned them an investigation in Madrid, Spain, where the admiral had to speak on an international conference about the latest achievements in Iraq and the Navy’s plans for the last two years.
And it was their task to protect the admiral during those three days, until tonight’s gala would end the conference and every guest would return home – hopefully safely.

Initially, Tony had been assigned to act as her partner at the gala in the hall of the large hotel. But the male agent had, as usual, not been able to keep his mind focused on details that lay beyond women’s cleavages, and eventually Gibbs had ordered him to return to the room that served as their temporary headquarters two floors above them – and had shown up himself ten minutes ago.

Kate hadn’t been able to believe it, when he had entered the hall, looking absolutely gorgeous in the expensive suit that he was wearing. He had gallantly offered her his arm and she had taken it, questioning him about Dinozzo’s whereabouts.
She had laughed, when Gibbs had informed her with a hint of anger still present in is voice that he had ordered Dinozzo to stay with McGee and keep an eye on the hotel cameras. Both of them knew that being stuck in the same room with Timothy McGee for hours was one of the worst punishments for him.

And now she was stuck with Gibbs for the rest of the evening. Not that she didn’t enjoy his company – the problem was that she enjoyed it a little bit too much. Especially when they were just standing about two meters behind the admiral and he was so close to her that she could smell his after shave and feel the warmth of his body through her clothes.

“The whole evening he has done nothing else than shaking people’s hands. He seems to have a lot of friends here.” Kate informed her boss, mainly to put her mind back on focus. “Especially female ones.”

Gibbs had to smirk, when he recalled the reputation that the admiral had among his colleagues. “Yes, I’ve heard rumors.”

Kate shook her head, looking at the corpulent, bold man. He was neither attractive, nor charming, but rather slimy and disrespectful towards women. She recalled very vividly the remark he had made towards her about accompanying him to his bedroom tonight – as ‘protective detail’.

“I don’t get what women see in him,” she shivered slightly. “He’s unattractive and old!”

“He’s two years younger than me,” Gibbs noted dryly and Kate paled. Two years younger than Gibbs? That man looked like he was sixty – so either he was looking much older than he was or Gibbs looked a lot younger. She took a huge sip of her champaign and forced aside the thoughts that inevitably crossed her mind when she considered the possibility of feeling attracted to a man who was beyond sixty. Her first assignment once they were back in DC would be to find out the age of her boss. Anyway, what had she been thinking by remarking the age of the admiral in the first place?

This content is property of http://www.kimberley-jackson.com.

“Yes, but you look way better than he does,” she replied, too hastily for him not to notice her embarrassment. Then, when she saw his half bemused, half amused look, she started to stutter. “I mean, not that I find you attractive… I mean, I do…” she paused for a moment, thinking for a second about her words and how they had sounded completely different in her mind. “Wow… that came over totally wrong. I mean… I…”

‘Shut up, Kate, just shut up before you make it worse! ‘ she thought and took another sip from her champaign and turned her head away from him as she tried to regain her composure – which she couldn’t as long as she saw the amused expression on his face. At that moment she was sure she understood why he had been married three times. There was something about him that attracted women, despite the fact that he could act like a complete asshole.

“Agent Gibbs!” The admiral approached them and Kate exhaled relieved. Saved – at least for now. What was the matter with her? Had she just told her boss that she found him attractive? She groaned inwardly.

“Where is your younger colleague?” The admiral asked and looked around, his eyes obviously searching for Tony. Gibbs shrugged.

“I had more important tasks for him.” He replied dismissively, signaling that he wasn’t willing to give any further details about Tony’s whereabouts. Instead, he took a mouthful of the scotch he was holding in his hand. “I decided to replace him myself…”

“Understandable, with the chance of such an attractive lady by your side. That’s an assignment I wouldn’t reject either.” He laughed indecently and Kate could swear, she saw Gibbs’ expression become a hint darker.

“I admire her for her extraordinary skills as a special agent, not for the factors that you take into consideration,” he informed the man gruffly and turned his head to look around. He tried to suppress the voice in him that told him what a lying bastard he was.

Of course, he hadn’t decided to pull Tony off in order to see Kate in this incredibly tight dress. On the contrary! He had assigned the younger agent against his better judgement in the first place. Just this one time, he had hoped that Tony would not turn an observation assignment into a personal dating party. His hopes had been futile – he should have known that Tony, being the casanova he was, wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation.
And then he had seen no other options than going in himself since McGee was too insecure and had already tripped over his own feet when Gibbs had just hinted on replacing Tony with him. Aside from that he needed the youngest agent in his team at the computer.

Ever since the incident in the elevator, he had kept a certain distance to Caitlin Todd. He had forced his eyes off her body when he had caught himself scanning her beautiful, slender figure.
He had tried not to look at her when she wore one of her sexy shirts. And it had worked. At least that was what he liked to believe. Because his other option was to admit that he, a man in his fifties, was lusting after a woman who was at least twenty years younger than he was. Which alone would be alright – every man did at a certain point in his life – but Kate was his subordinate. She considered him to be her mentor, her boss – and the fantasies that were going through his mind from time to time were enough to betray the trust that she put into him.

He had stopped counting the times when he had numbered all the reasons why his interest in her was a bad idea. They were from different worlds. She was modern, he was old-fashioned; she liked to go out, he built a boat in his spare time – to name just the top of it. The list would go on for several pages if he ever wrote all of the reasons down.

There had been some incidents, when one of them had made a flirtatious remark, just like it had been before the kiss. But he had paid attention not to deepen that conversation.
Still, sometimes when their eyes met, he felt as if the glances they exchanged had been a split second too long to be casual. Even if they had brushed arms or hands, when she gave something to him, the touch had been a little too prolonged to be accidental. Most likely it was just his own imagination.
It was as if he was drawn to her and it took all of his power – and bad memories of his three failed marriages – to keep himself from giving in to this attraction. Since his first marriage, he had not felt so fascinated by a woman – and it scared him. He liked to be the one in control over the situation – as well as his emotions. But she triggered something inside him, that seemed to cause a chain reaction which always started with shutting his rational brain functions down.

Even now he had to force himself not to look her up – and that was a challenge in itself. The dress that Abby had chosen for her was incredibly tight and formed out every curve of her slender body. It was black and long, and only a long slit at the side revealed the silky skin of her neatly shaved leg.
Damned, he thought silently. He would bet that she had not the slightest idea about how sexy she was looking in that dress; about how much he wanted to show her just how sexy she was by pressing her against the nearest wall and kiss her until she was panting and begging him for more.

He forced himself to stop thinking into that direction. He was, after all, her superior – and he himself had taught her that relationships between agents never worked.

Therefore he forced his attention back to the guests in the large hall. Most of them were politicians and higher ranking admirals and officers of national and international defense organizations. He knew most of them – mainly because he had studied the guest list and gathered detailed background information on every single person who would be present on tonight’s gala.
He didn’t like unexpected surprises on missions where lives were on stake.

“What do you think, agent Gibbs,” The admiral finally pulled him out of his thoughts. “Did I convince them with my speech? Or was I being too dramatic?”

“Hard to say. The decision is to be made by the committee, but up to now our president has never had any problems justifying his decisions. If you would excuse us, I want to take a look around,” Gibbs, who was not interested in discussing political matters with the admiral, replied.

“Sure,” the admiral nodded and lifted his glass towards Gibbs, “but you could leave me agent Todd? I could use company who is as charming as she is.”

Kate looked at Gibbs with what he read as an almost panicked expression written on her face, and shook his head with hidden amusement.
“No, I need her with me.” He replied in his usual tone that didn’t allow any kind of discussions. Softly, he placed his hand on the small of her back and led her away from the admiral.

“Thank you,” she murmured, once they were out of reach. “One more second alone with him and I would kill him myself.”

Gibbs chuckled and looked around, quickly scanning the faces of the persons around them. His years of experience, not only as an agent, but also as a marine, had taught him to recognize persons with one quick glance.

“If the assassin is here already, he must be among the guests – or the personnel,” Kate said lowly, her eyes also wandering around. “They don’t allow any more guests in, but closed the doors around twenty minutes ago.”

“Most assassins show up only seconds before the attack.” Gibbs informed her. “But since we have not the slightest hint on the identity of the person, who wants to see the admiral dead, we have to expect that the person is among us – that maybe we have already talked to him.”

Kate thought a moment, then suddenly a question formed in her head, something that they hadn’t taken into consideration yet.

“Gibbs, how do we know it’s a man?”

“Because there are only very few female assassins – most of which are standing on FBI’s or CIA’s most wanted list. None of them is present tonight. And the person who hired our first killer was definitely a man,” he noted.

“Yet,” Kate replied thoughtfully, “the admiral seems to have the quality to enrage especially women. Do you seriously think that I am the only one who ever felt insulted by his behavior?”

Gibbs shot her a thoughtful look, then he activated the small microphone that was pinned to his suit. Although he didn’t think that her theory was right, he knew better than to leave that possibility open.

“Dinozzo!” Gibbs said into the small device and static filled his ear. Then the insecure voice of McGee answered.

“Um…McGee here…boss…”

“McGee, where is Dinozzo?” Gibbs asked, the threat eminent in his voice as he, quite rightly, assumed that Dinozzo had decided to spend his evening with something more interesting than staring onto a screen.

“He is…um…getting food for us…” The agent stuttered. It was obvious that he had just made that reason up and Gibbs inhaled deeply. Then he decided that now was not the time to deal with Dinozzo. He would yell at him in the morning and then make sure that, once they were back in DC, he would do nothing else than write reports for a whole week.

“Fine, McGee. I want you to check every woman who is present tonight. Wives, waitresses, maids, whoever. Understood?”

“Yes, Sir… um… boss… when do you need…” The youngest agent stammered almost panicked – as he always became when Gibbs addressed him.

“One hour!” Gibbs interrupted him impatiently. “Look for any hints of a past that is connected to that of the admiral and might be the reason for some kind of rage against him.”
With those words, he turned off the microphone without waiting for an answer. Just as he had the habit to hang up the phone in the middle of a sentence without listening. Kate raised her eyebrows amused, and the hint of a smile crossed her face. That did, of course not go unnoticed by him. He questioned her silently with his eyes.

“Seriously,” Kate finally explained and pointed at the microphone, “that is probably why you have three failed marriages.”

“What?” he asked, somewhat stunned and confused at the same time.

“That!” she pointed out, “Hanging up on people while they’re talking. Or not waiting for an answer. It drives me nuts when you do that. And you do it a lot!”
She was bold – as always. But they both knew that she was the only one of his subordinates who was allowed to make that kind of playful comments on his marriages. It usually ended in an ironic remark by him and them smiling at each other. He liked to see her smile – maybe that was why he let her get away with those remarks, while Tony for example had to fear for his life.

Gibbs shrugged, smiling. “Experience teaches me that those answers will either be useless information or discussions. I don’t want to hear either of it.”

“Useless information as in small talk?” Kate asked with a soft chuckle. “You know, sometimes that can be fun.”

“What?”

“Well,” Kate shrugged, “Saying hello or goodbye for starters. People on the other end don’t feel so…” She paused to search for an appropriate word, then looked into his eyes in a playfully challenge, “…insulted.”

Instead of answering, he simply held her eyes in that indefinable manner that always put her off. It worked. When she was the first to break their gaze and let her eyes wander around in the room, he knew that he had won.

“Your should know by now that I don’t care if other people might feel insulted,” he replied dryly and Kate chuckled.

“As I said… probably the reason for your divorces.” She enjoyed these kind of playful banter with him. Of course she was aware that it was a privilege that he only granted her.
She remembered the moments when she had first met this hard and distant man on Air Force One. From the first moment, she had felt a certain fascination inside. He had a natural charisma of dominance around him, even when he hadn’t said anything, but just sat there on his chair, taking notes.

She had never been a woman who had taken orders from other people, except superiors. That was why she hadn’t accepted taking his orders – although he was obviously used to people following his orders without questioning them.
Yet, although she had been outraged by his arrogant behavior, he had also attracted her. Maybe it had been just that dominance, that had fascinated her. Recently, she had read in one of those cheap women’s magazines, that women always felt attracted to dominant men – it was a genetic heritage from an earlier evolutionary state.
She didn’t want to believe that the reason for her fascination was just that plain. Rather she liked to think that it was his character, the way he stood by his principles. And that he was loyal to his colleagues. She knew that, no matter what he said or how often he slapped Tony, he would stand up for them if necessary.

On more than one occasion had she seen, that his mask of coolness and distance was just his way of protecting himself. She remembered the first time when she had seen him flirt with that redhead, who had been suspected to have killed her half-brother.
Up to then, she had thought that no man was able to top Tony where hitting on women was concerned. She couldn’t have been more wrong. Even Tony could have still learned something from watching Gibbs at that moment.

The memory brought up unpleasant feelings of jealousy, so Kate hurried to suppress it – as well as the thought about what she would give to have him flirt with her like that just once. She seriously doubted that any woman could deny herself to him and wondered for a moment if he was aware of that power. Most likely, if she considered his arrogance and self-assurance – and the fact that he had been married three times.

Lost in her thoughts, Kate followed one of the waitresses with her eyes. She was a thin, blonde woman whom she hadn’t seen before. With an amused smile playing around the corner of her mouth, she thought about Tony and how that blonde doll was exactly his type – and how she would enjoy telling him about that woman and giving him a detailed description.

And then she narrowed her eyes. For a split second, she had seen something white shimmering in the hand of the waitress when she handed a full glass of champaign to the admiral. Something like a sheet of paper – or a folded note?
With awakened interest, Kate observed the woman more concentrated, trying to see if she behaved differently from other waitresses. But neither she nor the admiral gave any sign that would indicate, that she had indeed passed the admiral a note.

Two minutes later, she decided that it had not been a note, but possibly just a serviette. Still, there was this feeling in her gut, that pressure that she had already felt back on Air Force One, if something had been wrong…

~~~

Nothing in their schedule and the way the case had developed had indicated how this day was going to end. And if it had – he didn’t know what he would have done. Would he still have let it happen?

He just lay there, next to her, not sure about what to say or what was going on in her mind. She was awfully silent, now that both of them came down from the heights of ecstasy, and she didn’t dare to look at him – and with all the experience he had with women, he knew that that was probably not the best sign. Did she regret it?

He didn’t dare to ask her – maybe because he was afraid that she would say yes. And maybe he was even more afraid that she would say no. He couldn’t say that he regretted what had happened between them – how could he, after the incredible experience that he had just had. Yet, his reason told him that it had been wrong.

If it had been his choice, this would have happened differently – for starters, he probably wouldn’t have slept with her in the first place. But at least he would have taken it more slowly.

After the four months of denial, he should have known that it was only a matter of time until the fire between them led to an explosion of heat and desire that neither of them would be able to control.
And he should have known that this was the night where it was going to happen when he had seen her in her incredibly beautiful dress earlier. He should have known – if he had had the slightest idea that she was feeling the same desperate need and desire inside, that he did. But up to now he had only allowed the possibility of her returning his feelings in the fantasies that he had banned from his mind – or at least tried to ban.

You are the greatest moron on earth, he though to himself, when suddenly he remembered all the little things that had indicated her emotions: the glances which they had exchanged; the way that she softly brushed his fingers when she handed him a file – not a long touch, but still a softness lying in it. And then, to begin with, the fact that she had never filed any kind of complaint after the incident in the elevator where he had kissed her.

And tonight? In retrospect, he didn’t know what had been going on in his mind when he had asked her to dance with him. It had seemed to be a good idea since it had been late and half of the guests had already left. Aside from that she had told him that she loved to dance, but rarely had a chance to do so – and for some reason he had wanted to fulfill her that wish with the possibility given.
He should have known that it was a bad idea when he had felt her slender, female body softly brushing against his, while they were swaying softly to the music.

That dance had started their problems – in more than just one respect. Not only had it heated his desire, it had also led to both of them losing focus and leaving the admiral out of their eyes. It had merely been a few minutes, but still it had been a stupid mistake…

~~~ Earlier That Day ~~~

Kate didn’t know why she had accepted his invitation to dance with him. She knew that, with all that she felt inside, the appropriate response would have been to tell him that she was tired or to refuse because of their mission to protect the admiral.

But instead she had taken his hand and allowed him to lead her to the middle of the room where other couples had been dancing.
At first, both of them had remained silent when he had pulled her closer and they started to move with the music.
Kate wasn’t able to look at him, although she could feel his eyes resting on her. The feelings inside her were too strong and she was afraid that they were reflected in her eyes – open for him to read.

Gibbs had always had the gift of knowing exactly, what was going on in the heads of his subordinates – and what was going through her mind was something that she really didn’t want him to know. It was enough to fill a feature length porn movie – an erotic, romantic one of course. Not one of those dirty ones that Tony most likely watched.

She had been so focused on not letting her guard down, that he had sensed her tension. Of course he had no idea that he was the reason for it – at least she hoped he hadn’t.
When she had accidentally stepped on his foot, murmuring a hasty apology and explaining that she hadn’t danced in a long time, he had eventually bend to her ear, pulling her closer.

“Loosen up, Kate. Just let me lead,” he had requested softly and just that softness in his voice was the reason why she had finally looked at him, half surprised, half fascinated by this new side of him – a side she had thought she would never see.
For a moment she had still tried to fight this feeling of drowning in his eyes, then she had surrendered to his lead and given up all her control. And suddenly it had felt so easy and natural to dance with him, to follow his steps and his directions.

She had started to chat casually with him; softly and flirtatious, the way that she sometimes did and that had made him smile. She had complimented him on being an excellent dancer and he had informed her, rather dryly, that he used to dance regularly with his first wife. She knew that it meant a lot, even if it was only a tiny piece of information. For Gibbs, who never really talked about his private life, it was a huge revelation and she gratified him with a soft, open smile.

When the music had finally stopped, she had felt all dizzy and flushed – and drugged from his scent and the warmth of his body so close to her. It had taken some time for both of them to realize, that he was still holding her close, although the other couples were already making their ways back to the tables they were seated at.

Slightly embarrassed, Kate had brought distance between them and turned around to catch herself and be able to focus on the case again.
And that was when she had realized that something was wrong. At first she hadn’t been able to determine what exactly disturbed her, but when she had sobered up from the dose of pheromones, that was circulating through her bloodstream, she had realized just what it was.

“Gibbs, where’s the admiral?” she had asked and after a short, muttered “Damned” from his part, they had separated and started to search for their protege.

In retrospect, Kate couldn’t believe that she had acted like an amateur and left the man that she was tasked to protect out of her eyes. She was angry – and every minute that she couldn’t find the admiral made her more furious. At herself – and at Gibbs, who had been the reason for her unawareness.

That was exactly why she had stopped her affair with Tim when she had still been working on Air Force One. And it was why she shouldn’t start something with Gibbs – one of the reasons at least. Yet, the best one to finally get him out of her head and her fantasies.
She was good at her job, mainly because she was a perfectionist. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well, that had always been her motto. She didn’t perform good in her job to fulfill Gibbs’ or anybody else’s expectations. Her own expectations were way higher, she didn’t allow herself one tiny slip – usually.

But since their kiss, she was unable to control her fantasies about her boss and she made mistakes. It had been tiny ones like spelling mistakes in reports, but it had been enough to disturb the usual professional routine that she performed her day’s work with.
And now she had lost the person that she was tasked to protect, because she had danced with the man that filled her dreams at night.

Caitlin Todd hurried through the darkened floors of the hotel, here and there catching outraged or confused glances from maids who passed her by in the areas of the hotel that were meant for staff members only.

After fifteen minutes of searching every inch of the ground floor, she finally activated her microphone and informed her boss that she had been unsuccessful in finding the admiral.

Grumpily, Gibbs ordered her to return to the room upstairs and see if they found something on the footage of the surveillance cameras of the hotel. Kate sighed when, again, he didn’t leave her any chance to answer but turned his microphone off.
His voice indicated that he was just as angry as she was – she just hoped that his anger wasn’t directed at her. After all it had been his suggestion to dance in the first place. And obviously she had not been the only one who had gotten distracted by the dance.

She hurried up the stairs to the second floor and entered the small room that served as their personal headquarters for the time being. Gibbs was there already, leaning on the table where the computer was standing on. Intensely he stared at the screen, where McGee replayed the footage from half an hour ago.

“No sign of him,” she informed at her entry and closed the door. “It is as if he just vanished.”

Tony, who was sitting on the bed, made her a hasty sign to shut up and gesticulated wildly. All that Kate could understand was, that Gibbs was obviously more than outraged, and so she decided to remain silent.
Instead she sat down on the bed next to Tony and stretched her legs. Her feet were hurting from the high heels that she had been wearing all evening, and she had to fight the need to just pull them off.

All of a sudden, from the corner of her eye, she noticed that Tony was looking at her. When she turned her head, she realized that his eyes were very indecently looking down her dress. Without warning, she smacked him hard.

“Ouch,” he exclaimed indignantly, shooting her one of those looks that would have made a stranger believe that he was completely innocent.

“Watch your eyes,” Kate snapped and got up to join Gibbs and McGee at the table.

Tony grinned and lifted from the bed as well, casually strolling over to the desk. Interestingly he looked at the screen, where McGee replayed the security footage and watched the scene in the hall where the admiral could clearly be seen joking with two men who were standing next to him.

“You know, what I don’t understand?” he finally informed his colleagues with an amused undertone. “How could you lose him in a hall like that? I mean, even a jerk would have…”
He interrupted himself when his eyes met Gibbs’, and instantly wondered what had gotten into his mind to even try mocking them right now when his boss was in a mood to kill.
Gibbs was looking at him darkly, slowly lifting himself to his full size and closing the space between his subordinate and himself.

“A jerk, Dinozzo? Did you just call me a jerk?” he asked dangerously low, looking down at his younger subordinate, and Tony started to stutter and grin stupidly.

“No boss… of course not… boss… I was just joking. I mean, I’m sure everybody could have lost him… even me!”

“EVEN you, Dinozzo?” Gibbs voice betrayed that he was absolutely not in the mood for Tony’s little games. It was one of those days where Tony could swear, that his boss was ready to kill people who stepped in his way. He wondered for a moment if the change in his mood had only been caused by the fact that he had lost the admiral, or if there was more behind it.

“ESPECIALLY me, boss…” he stammered hastily and Gibbs glared at him for a few more seconds, then he turned his attention back on the screen.
Tony exhaled visibly, deciding that keeping silent and not commenting on what had happened would be the best way to survive this evening.

“There,” Kate suddenly murmured and pointed at a small figure on the screen who was standing at one of the entrance doors and signaling something over to the admiral. “She gives the admiral a sign – and then, here, he looks around and leaves.”
Her eyes widened when the woman turned and Kate caught a full view of her face.
“That’s the blonde waitress. I’ve seen her before. I thought I saw her passing the admiral a note earlier, but wasn’t sure about it. Obviously I was right.”

“What?!?” Gibbs snapped out and both, Tony and McGee, started at his tone and brought distance between them and their boss. Kate turned her head to look at Gibbs, instantly realizing that now he would reproach her for her unawareness.

“I’m sorry, I thought it was just… I mean, I observed both of them and neither of them acted suspiciously. I assumed that she had just handed him a paper towel!” she justified her decision not to say anything, although inside she wanted to kick her own butt for having been so negligent to ignore an observation and leave a possible suspect unchecked.

“You assumed, agent Todd?” Gibbs asked, dangerously leveled, and approached her. “Rule Number 5! Don’t ever assume, double check! Is there anything more that you assumed and failed to inform me about?”

He didn’t wait for an answer, but checked his weapon and went to the door. Kate followed him with her eyes, shocked at his rage. Then she turned her head, when Tony approached her slowly, his expression compassionate.

“Did you drink his coffee?” her colleague asked lowly and the woman looked at him somewhat incredulously, not understanding what his question had to do with their case and the admiral’s whereabouts.

“What?”

“Well, I’ve never seen him like that – except that one day when one of the secretaries accidentally drank his coffee.”

“Kate!” Gibbs barked from the door. “Move it! Tony, stop chitchatting! McGee, I expect to know everything about that waitress within five minutes.”

“Yes boss,” the young computer freak nodded and turned to tap the keys and access the hotel’s personnel files. When his boss was that angry, he didn’t want to draw the man’s rage onto himself, therefore he hacked on his keys even more hastily than usual.

As usual, Gibbs didn’t turn around to check whether his subordinates were following his orders. He just knew they would, and so he stormed out of the room.
Kate hurried to follow him – a task that turned out more difficult than expected, since his speed was incompatible with the high heels that she was wearing. A fact that obviously didn’t concern him at all.

“Gibbs!” she requested him to slow down and when he didn’t react, louder and more aggressive, “Gibbs, where are you going?”

The man stopped and turned so suddenly, that Kate almost ran directly against his chest. “We are going to search this damned hotel from top to bottom. And this time, we just won’t assume anything, but follow every lead,” he growled, barely hiding his rage anymore. She held his glare for a moment, and was just about to open her mouth and apologize for her negligent behavior when he turned around and continued his way through the corridor towards the stairs.

He wasn’t half as angry at Kate, as he was at himself for letting his guard down during an investigation. He should have known better than to dance with her. After all the experiences that he had with women, he should have guessed that she would distract him to a point where he wouldn’t be able to think professionally anymore.

Don’t ever mix your personal life with your professional one, that had always been his work ethics.
He had acted against his better judgement. And it had led to them losing their protege. The last thing he wanted to do was to explain to the NCIS director, why a high ranking admiral had been killed while protected by two of NCIS’ best agents.

He had to push Kate away in order to regain his professionalism. Hiding his feelings behind a mask of distance and anger was the best way to do so. Aside from that, it would be easier to forget her smile and how her body had felt against his, when he talked himself into rage.

“We can’t just search the whole damned hotel like headless chicken!” he heard her snap behind him. “We would have to enter every hotel room – illegally as I might want to add and…”

“If you have a better idea, Agent Todd, I am open for suggestions. If not, any useless discussion will cost us time which we don’t have!” he replied grumpily, not slowing down. They almost ran through the corridors for the next few minutes, lively engaged in a discussion about the usefulness of their disorganized search, when they were interrupted by the sound of static that filled their ears.

“Boss,” McGee’s voice could be heard and Gibbs growled impatiently.

“What’s her name?” A glance at his watch showed him that his agents had taken more than five minutes and that didn’t serve to improve his mood.

“Anna Fuentes, boss! She has been maid in this hotel for about three months, but before that she lived in the States.” McGee informed him hastily, then he was interrupted by Dinozzo’s voice.

“Guess where, boss!”

“Dinozzo!” Gibbs barked angrily, not in the mood for one of the man’s guessing games.

“DC, boss. She lived in DC. And she knows the admiral, but he probably doesn’t know her.” Tony hurried to explain, before McGee took over again.

“Her sister was engaged to a Commander Wilson. She killed herself four months ago. I ran a background check on Wilson. He filed about a dozen complaints against the admiral, among them disrespect towards female subordinate officers and sexual harassment of females under his command. No evidence was ever found since none of the women was willing to talk. But…” The sound of sheets of paper being moved around could be heard. “…the interesting point is that the coroner, who found the body of Isabella Fuentes made a note that indicated, that she had been raped. Not at the same day, but approximately twenty-four to forty-eight hours before – which was most likely the reason for her suicide. The coroner took a DNA sample of the sperm, but never found a match. Since she had neither suspects, nor proof that Isabella had indeed been raped, the case was closed as a simple suicide by the local authorities.” McGee explained.

“So, Isabella’s fiancé Wilson and her sister Anna suspect that the admiral has something to do with it?” Kate asked, unable to see the connection between Anna and the admiral.

“I don’t know.” McGee murmured, and then hurried to go on when he realized that this was exactly one of the phrases that Gibbs never wanted to hear from the mouth of one of his agents. “But I do know that a Commander Wilson has booked a room in our hotel until tomorrow morning!”

“And how could that go unnoticed by us, Agent McGee?” Gibbs growled and the addressed started to stutter.

“Well, we focused on those guests of the hotel who had entrance to the gala room – which was not nearly all of the guests who are presently staying at the hotel. Commander Wilson wasn’t invited to the gala… he didn’t have access to any of the rooms.”

“But his ‘almost-sister-in-law’ had!” Gibbs clarified. “McGee, the room number of Wilson!”

“467, sir… um… boss…” McGee replied hastily.

“Good job! Dinozzo, meet us in front of the room!” He turned off his microphone and both agents hurried to run along the corridor to the stairs.

“You think, Anna wants to take revenge for the death of her sister?” Kate asked out of breath when they were running up the stairs.

“If the admiral played a part in it, I would say it’s a definite possibility.” Gibbs replied, checking for his weapon.
Not even two minutes later, they were approaching the room silently.

Tony Dinozzo was already standing in front of it, his weapon drawn while he waited for his colleagues to arrive. Gibbs released the safety catch of his own weapon and approached the door.

Kate fumbled with her dress to reach her own weapon, that was clipped to her upper thigh, revealing her bare legs to the men’s glances. When Tony muttered a ‘wow, Katie-girl, I had no idea’, he caught himself a slap on the back of his head from his boss and could swear that it was a little harder than usual.

Gibbs nodded at his agents, signaling them to go in. What came next was routine that they had gotten used to over the years. They pushed open the door while two of them immediately scanned the room for possible threats. Then they entered the room, guns drawn.

“Look at that!” Tony smirked at the situation which presented itself in front of them. “That man’s a tiger!” His comment was directed at the two shocked and half-naked persons that were lying on the bed, looking rather disheveled.

“Dinozzo!” Gibbs admonished, and then focused his attention back on the two persons. “Admiral, we searched the entire hotel for you – and your guest. Now would you please get up slowly? You too, Ms. Fuentes… and please keep your hands up!”

Tony’s grin grew wider when the two persons got up from the bed now and he caught an excellent view of the woman’s body, that was only covered by expensive lingerie and stockings.

“Nice,” he commented lewdly.

“I don’t understand!” The admiral noted, somewhat outraged. “Am I not allowed to enjoy my stay here with a nice company?” He was standing half-naked next to the bed, his eyes glaring at Gibbs and silently expecting an explanation.

“No,” Gibbs replied dryly and approached the woman. “Not if your company, as you put it so nicely, intends to kill you.” He glared at the young woman, who was holding his eyes, putting on an innocent and incredulous expression.

“I have no idea what you are talking about!” she denied and shook her head at his accusation. “Why should I want to kill him?”

“We know everything,” Kate explained dryly. “We know about your sister!”
She noticed that the expression on Anna’s face darkened a little. “He did it, didn’t he?” Kate asked softly and then continued, her eyes locking with those of the admiral, “He raped her and she didn’t know how to live with it, so she killed herself.”

Deadly silence filled the room, as the admiral looked incredulously at Kate, then at her superior, who didn’t make any attempt to stop her speech. “Special Agent Gibbs, this is ridiculous. Would you get your agent under control?” he stated outraged, but Gibbs didn’t move, nor did he order Kate to stop.

“Isn’t that what you did, admiral?” the female special agent asked, openly holding the man’s eyes.

The admiral shook his head. “I assure you, I never…”

“Shut up!” A voice suddenly started them. Tony spun around, but it was too late. He had already pressed a gun to his forehead. When he looked up at the man, he sighed inwardly as he recognized him as Commander Jeffrey Wilson. Of course, they should have known that he was around somewhere, after all the room was booked on his name and paid for with his credit card.

Gibbs shot Tony one of those looks where the younger agent wished, he could just vanish. It had been his task to search the rest of the suite, but he had been too distracted by the half-naked woman on the bed. Surely, that would earn him a slap from Gibbs later – if not worse…

Commander Wilson held Tony’s gaze for a moment, then he looked at the admiral. “He is lying! Every word that leaves that bastard’s mouth is a damned lie!”

“Wilson, put the weapon down!” Gibbs requested sharply, not lowering his gun which was now pointing at the Commander, while Kate kept an eye on Anna Fuentes and the admiral.

“No Sir! With all due respect, I am going to correct the mistakes that your agents did when they investigated the death of my fiancée! I told them what happened, but they declared her death to be suicide and were not interested in the reasons!” The man had now tears standing in his eyes. “He raped my girl, and then he used his position to convince the investigators that she was a liar! I want him to suffer for that!”

“Commander, the investigation was conducted by local authorities,” Gibbs explained firmly, “but I assure you, NCIS will reopen the case, if you lower your weapon now. If the admiral has committed a crime he will be held responsible for it.”

“No Sir! I already killed a man – there’s nothing you can do for me! I am going to finish it here and now.” He wiped the tears out of his eyes hastily, a split second of unawareness, that offered Tony the chance to act. He grabbed the man’s hand and turned his wrist so quickly, that he had to drop the weapon and cried out in pain.

For a moment, the situation got out of control as the commander tried to fight Tony, and Kate’s attention was turned from the young woman to her colleagues. It were only split seconds, but enough for Anna Fuentes to act. With an outcry, she pounded on the admiral, a syringe blinking in her hand. Kate shot, but missed her, and then didn’t dare to fire again because she feared to accidentally hit the admiral.

Instead she jumped forwards to grab Anna. Both women fell onto the bed, wrestling until Anna dropped the syringe. When the young woman saw, that she was on a lost cause and there was no way that she would be able to kill the man who was responsible for the death of her sister, she slammed her elbow into Kate’s stomach and pushed herself off the bed to storm out of the room.

But she hadn’t expected Kate to recover so quickly and shrieked in shock when, two meters before she had reached the door, she was pulled down to the ground by the female special agent. The two women started to fight, a task that turned out difficult for Kate since, although she was trained in hand-to-hand combat, she wasn’t used to the methods that Anna Fuentes applied now and that consisted of scratching and pulling her hair to a point that really hurt.
Every second that she was unable to overpower the woman made Kate more furious. That was exactly, why she hated women and rather enjoyed the company of men, she thought to herself, while she desperately tried to loosen the woman’s steel grip of one of the strands of her hair.

In the meantime, Gibbs and Tony had managed to press the raging commander to the ground and hold him there, now looking in disbelief at the two fighting women only three meters away from them.

“That is like one of my fantasies coming true,” Tony exclaimed enthusiastically, while Gibbs cuffed the commander’s hands on his back harshly, not reacting to Tony’s joyful comment and the way he literally drooled while watching his colleague in the elegant dress and the maid in lingerie fight.

Suddenly, Anna ended the fight momentarily by punching Kate directly into the face, then she jumped up and ran out of the room. Kate moaned, holding her head, and after a short moment that she needed to recover from the direct hit that had left the world spinning in front of her eyes, she started after the woman with a muttered ‘bitch’. When she almost fell down due to her high heels, she muttered another, very unladylike curse. Angrily, she pulled off her shoes and stormed out of the room barefoot. Tony looked at his boss.

“I’m sure you can handle the situation here… I will go and see if Kate needs help. I just have to see this!” And with a grin on his face he stormed out of the room to follow the two fighting women.

“Dinozzo!” Gibbs yelled after him, for a moment too bewildered at the younger agent’s behavior to be seriously angry. He already knew that it was futile to stop the young man the instant he yelled after him. Once Tony Dinozzo caught glimpse of a woman’s skirt, there was nothing that could hold him. And with the prospect to watch two attractive women fight, he seemed to be no longer responsible for his own actions.

Gibbs shook his head, then noticed a movement in the corner of his eye. He grabbed his weapon from the ground next to him and directed the barrel at the admiral, who was about to crawl over the bed and leave the room.

“Stay just where you are,” Gibbs ordered grumpily. “I want to know exactly what happened to Isabella Fuentes, and I am warning you. Do not lie to me!”

“Agent Gibbs, you can’t tell me that you believe this… this murderer!” The admiral laughed ironically, but his laughter died very quickly when he saw the murderous expression on the investigator’s face. “It didn’t happen as he said! That little bitch flirted with me! She encouraged me in that bar. You know how those latino sluts are…”

“As a matter of fact, I don’t!” Gibbs replied, his tone cold and distant now. “Enlighten me! What did she do that justifies a rape in your opinion?”

“I didn’t rape her!” The admiral exclaimed, but his body language revealed to the experienced investigator that he became more and more nervous by the second. “She wanted to sleep with me! Everything in her behavior said that she did!”

“She simply talked to you,” the cuffed commander at the ground hissed out. “Just as I told her to! I sent her to him, Sir,” the man now addressed Gibbs. “We wanted to prove that my accusations were true. I have been trying to convict him on the sexual harassment accusations for months! It was our plan that my fiancée indulges him in a conversation and lures him to follow her outside, where I and two other commanders would run in on them. We knew he wouldn’t comply if she told him to stop…” The commander stopped speaking, when he felt his voice break.

“I see,” Gibbs nodded, his eyes focused on the broken man who was lying cuffed on the ground. “The plan was for you to save her and have witnesses for an attempted rape at the same time. What went wrong?”

“He disappeared with her through the back exit! Neither of us could know, and by the time we realized they were gone, it was too late! We only found her fifteen minutes later in one of the backyards near the bar. That pig just raped her and left her there!” The commander fought against the cuffs, the wish to kill the admiral standing in his eyes again. “We brought her to a hospital, but the next day she ran away from there. And when I finally found her, it was too late. She just couldn’t stand the shame of having been raped and then called a liar by that man!”

Gibbs got up and pushed the admiral against the wall, cuffing his hands to his back. “Admiral, you are under arrest.”

“You have got to be kidding!” The admiral snapped enraged. “You have no right to…”

“Oh, believe me, I have every right!” Gibbs replied dangerously lowly. “And I hope for your own sake, that the DNA that was found on Isabella Fuentes body and that is already in the hands of my best analyst, won’t match yours. Because if it does, I will personally investigate every single complaint of sexual harassment that was ever filed against you. And I am going to question every woman that has ever served under you… and you can trust me if I tell you that then the view of the yard of Lavenworth out of a prison window is the only thing you will see of the outside world for the rest of your life.”

He pushed the man onto the bed and left him there while he informed McGee of the happenings and ordered him to call the local NCIS investigators to take the two men into custody.

He was just about to leave the room and search for his other two agents, when the door opened, and a widely grinning Tony entered the room. “Hey boss,” he greeted joyfully. “You have no idea what you missed!”

“No, but I have an idea about what you are going to miss while you will be writing reports for the next two weeks,” Gibbs simply replied neutrally and the grin vanished instantly from Tony’s face.

“Oh, come on boss, you can’t do that! That’s not fair!” Tony complained in a whiny tone.
Gibbs shot him an annoyed glance to prevent Tony from making nonsense justifications and expectantly asked, “Where is Kate?”

“I’m here,” a voice behind Tony answered.
Gibbs had to hide his surprise, when she pushed a cuffed Anna Fuentes into the room, then ran her hand through her ruined hair to bring it back to order. His eyes went over her outfit. She looked completely disheveled, but in a very sexy way.

“Agent Todd put very physical effort into catching our refugee here,” Tony informed him with folded arms, the mischievous gleam still standing openly in his eyes. He ducked his head in await of a head-slap, when Gibbs glared at him warningly.

Kate pushed the young woman towards the bed and then turned to her colleague. “Tony, if you ever dare to tell anybody, I am going to kill you…”

Tony smirked and approached her. “Oh, believe me Katie, what I saw there will be in my fantasy for a long, long, loooong time.”

“You are a pig, Tony!” she informed him bruskly, which drew a laugh from him.

“Oh come on, you know I can’t let it go! It would be like finding the holy grail and not tell anybody about it!”

“Ok, fine…” Kate nodded and held his eyes, her face only inches from his. “You tell this story, and the whole office will learn that you kissed a guy. What am I saying, not just the office… everybody I know. And I will make sure that every woman that you will ever date…”

“Okay!” he interrupted her, pouting slightly and lifting his hands in defeat. “I get the point!” Then, after a few more seconds, his face lightened up. “But since Gibbs already knows that I kissed a man…”

“Tony!” Kate exclaimed in protest, but to no avail. She should have known that Tony wouldn’t be able to keep it to himself – just as her tattoo and her dating life were issues that he loved to discuss with the whole team.

“Boss, you remember, how I always said Kate was conventional?” Tony started and paced around the young woman, while he grinned at his boss, not caring for the annoyed expression that crossed the elder men’s features. “Well, I could not have been more wrong. I am telling you, this dress is nothing against the underwear that she is wearing underneath… I have never seen…”

“Dinozzo, what exactly in my expression does signalize you that I am interested in hearing that story?” Gibbs interrupted him grumpily and Tony shut up at once, muttering a “Sorry boss” and catching a triumphant smile from Kate, who was glad for the unexpected support from her boss. Discussing her lingerie was nothing that she was keen to do with her colleagues – especially when Gibbs was present. His opinion of her mattered a lot to her, and she was sure, the way Tony would describe her underwear would leave her more slutty than anything else.

While Tony was still pouting, undoubtedly thinking about the limited number of people that still qualified to be told the story to, the agents patiently waited for the backup to arrive. Every now and then they had to yell at the admiral or Anna Fuentes, who had started a heavy discussion and cursed at each other.

Gibbs sighed for a moment and slowly paced to the door, silently wishing for a cup of strong coffee. The amount of caffeine in his blood had become to low over the past few hours for him to be able to stand a yelling woman – that reminded him too much of his ex-wives, a thought which he could only stand with a decent dose of caffeine in his hand, or his bloodstream.

Aside from that, he slowly felt unable to focus his mind. Tony’s indication about Kate’s underwear didn’t exactly help him there. He forced aside the thoughts and the rage that swelled up in him when he imagined how much exactly Tony had seen. He would bet that the younger agent had stood next to the rumbling women without making the slightest effort to end their fight. One of these days, Gibbs decided, he would send Tony undercover into a monastery. Even if there was no reason, he would make one up – just for one month. He had to chuckle at the thought.

When the backup finally arrived twenty minutes later, all of them were relieved. It was already beyond 10pm and they all longed to finish the reports, deliver the arrested persons into the custody of the local NCIS office at the near Naval Airbase, and at least get a few hours of sleep.

Gibbs was even more relieved when McGee showed up and handed him a large cup of freshly brewed coffee. He grabbed it out of the agent’s hand and took a huge sip, not bothering to thank the young man. But McGee didn’t take it personal. He already knew that ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ were words rarely used by his boss. Being not snapped at was enough of a reward for him.

While Gibbs gave the orders and instructions on how to proceed to the NCIS agent in charge of the local office, Kate and Tony helped the two younger agents to drag the prisoners out of the room – a task that proved harder than expected, since Anna Fuentes repeatedly tried to pounce on the admiral.

When they were finally out of the room, taken care off by the local NCIS agents, the team closed the door and returned to their temporal headquarters, too floors below.

After McGee had unlocked the door, they entered the room.
Kate let out a relieved sigh and sank onto the bed. “Wow, what an evening…” she murmured and rubbed her ankles, that were sore from the high heels that she had been wearing all evening.

“Indeed,” Tony nodded and grinned at her lasciviously.

“Damned Tony!” Kate cried out in anger and threw one of the pillows from the bed at him. “Will you let it go?”

“I will… if you tell me something!” the man said with a somewhat witty undertone, sitting down next to her and shooting her a clandestine glance. “Is that what you wear underneath every day – even in the office – or…”

“Tony!” Kate interrupted him. “I will not discuss my lingerie habits with you.”

“Why, it was just a normal question… I would discuss my habits with you!” he replied with an almost offended undertone and was just about to open his mouth to further pursue the issue and get his female colleague to give him an answer, when the barking voice of his boss interrupted him.

“I don’t think there is time to rest! We have to pack and finish our reports. We don’t want to waste our budget longer than necessary, do we?”

“Come on, Gibbs…” Kate moaned, but before she could even start to reason with him, Tony stepped in.

“You think that staying a day longer and enjoy the pool would be a waste? Oh, boss, you should learn to enjoy the good sides in life… like a pool with dozens of women dressed in sexy bikinis and…” He shut himself up when Gibbs shot him one of the looks that usually preceded a good old head slap. “Or we just pack and enjoy our fly back home…” He hurried to add and ducked away to help McGee unplug the computers.

Kate observed him, then looked at her boss who was returning her glance, silently expecting her to get moving as well. “Gibbs, do we really need to finish those reports tonight? I mean, it’s been a long day and we’re all tired and still suffering from that damned jetlag anyway. Of course you don’t feel the effects with that amount of caffeine that must be running through your bloodstream. Seriously, how can you drink that much and not start shaking!”

Thoughtfully, he looked at her a moment then nodded. “You’re right. It’s been a long day and we’ve done a pretty good job – most of us. We can still use the flight to write the reports. That will, at least, spare me from listening to Dinozzo’s stories.” He stated gruffly.

Both, Tony and Kate, gasped for air in protest – the former one insulted by his boss’ comment, and Kate outraged about the ‘most of us’ part of his statement, that had obviously been addressed at her and the mistake that she had made when she hadn’t reported the waitress.

“McGee, I expect the equipment to be packed in the morning!”

With those words, Gibbs didn’t pay any more attention to his subordinates, but took a sip of his coffee and left the room. They had booked three separate rooms. One double room, the one that served as their headquarters and was shared by McGee and Tony, and two single rooms, one for Kate and one for himself.

He was already on the corridor, walking towards his own room that was on the other end of the floor, when he heard somebody follow him hurriedly.

“Gibbs,” Kate addressed him, still a few meters behind him. She was wearing her shoes again, and silently promised to herself that she would throw them into the next waste container that she passed, once they were back in D.C. Although they locked beautiful, they killed her – and aside from that, she was annoyed by the fact that she couldn’t keep up with the speed of her boss while she was wearing them.

She wanted to settle their discussion now, before he would blame her for another week for having been distracted on a mission. She knew that she was a professional, and aside from that, neither of them had paid attention to the admiral, therefore to her it seemed unfair that he blamed only her.

Since he didn’t slow down, she had to catch up with him. “About earlier…” she started, “I’m sorry… I know I should have reported to you and…”

“Yet you didn’t!” he interrupted her matter-of-factly. “Which could have killed the admiral.”

“Okay, this is just unfair!” she snapped out, her voice betraying her anger, while she ignored the threatening expression that crossed Gibbs’ features. “I made one tiny slip, but I had my reasons! I didn’t consider Anna Fuentes a thread at that moment. If I had…” She stopped. The point was, that she should have checked, and she knew that she failed to do that. Instead she had relied on an assumption. “You are right, I should have checked her, but I can’t undo that mistake. Are you going to blame me forever, or can we now agree that I learned something, and just let it go?”

They had reached their rooms by now and Gibbs shot her a look that would have made McGee back off at once. He fumbled with the keycard, that served to unlock the door to his room – or at least should serve. He pulled it through the reader repeatedly, but the small lamp that signaled the status of the lock was still red instead of turning green.

Kate sighed and turned to her own room that was opposite to his. Her door unlocked at once and she was about to enter, when she heard him mutter a curse. She turned and saw that his door still wouldn’t open. Hiding a smile, she went to him and took the card out of his hand.

“These machines really seem to hate you!” she murmured, the hint of amusement present in her voice, and he growled with hidden anger.

“That feeling is mutual. What was wrong with the good old keys?”

Kate gave a soft laugh and pulled the card through the reader. The door unlocked at once. She turned around, holding up the card with a half-amused, half-triumphant smile.

“You should try to think a little more positive! Abby once told me that computers can sense it if you hate them!”
She wanted to hand him back his card, when she realized, how close they were standing to each other. “Here,” she somehow managed to murmur, her eyes locked with his. He didn’t say anything, just returned her look in this mysterious way that made her feel nervous.

She waited for him to move aside, since she was standing in the frame, her back touching the wood of the door to his room, and he was blocking her way out.

“Okay, what is it? You are making me nervous. Are you going to fire me for what happened today?” she finally started, the nervousness openly displayed in her voice. “Because if you are, let me point something out. Me not reporting the behavior of Anna was not the reason why we lost the admiral. It was just a minor slip. If I may remind you, we were both distracted, otherwise it wouldn’t have happened.” When he didn’t answer, she became even more nervous. “So, technically, it was just as much your fault as it was mine!”

What are you doing here, she wondered for a moment, shocked when she realized that she had just reproached him for losing the admiral. What really put her off, though, was the fact that he still didn’t move, but kept looking at her in that indefinable way. He had already done this once before, when he had come to the café where she bought her coffee every morning, questioning her about why she hadn’t stabbed Ari when given the chance.

Before he could seriously lecture her – if that was what he intended to do, a fact which she wasn’t entirely sure of – she hurried to add “I’m not blaming you… I’m just saying that it wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t proposed to dance, because then I wouldn’t have been distracted and…”

“Why?” he interrupted her all of a sudden, leaving her staggering for a moment, before confusion was clearly written on her face.

“Why what?” she asked, shaking her head in puzzlement, put off by his question.

“Why were you distracted?” he asked lowly and stepped closer into her personal space.

“I…” Kate started and turned her eyes away from his. Somehow this conversation had taken a direction that was very unwelcome to her. “I… You were just as distracted as I was,” she replied instead of answering his question. Offense was the best form of defense, and right now she needed a really good defense. After all she couldn’t just say, that she had been distracted because she always was when he was standing close to her – because his closeness provoked thoughts inside of her that would be wild enough to fill one of Tony’s porn movies.

Gibbs smirked slightly. “Well, I already know why I was distracted. But I want to know why you were.”

Slowly, she ran out of options. Not only mentally, but also physically, for she was already pressed with her back to the door, and he was still so close that she could smell the scent of his after-shave and feel the warmth of his body through the thin fabric of her dress.

“Kate, tell me…” he insisted, a determination underlying the softness in his voice, that told her that he would not let her go until she had given him a plausible answer.

“Please don’t ask me that…” she pleaded softly, her eyes begging him to just let her retreat to her room. “Just believe me when I tell you that it won’t happen again. I’ve learned my lesson!”

How did it happen that they were having this conversation, Kate wondered for a moment? All that she had wanted to do was resolve things with him and go to sleep. And now she was trapped between the door to his room and his body, and could not come up with a reasonable answer that would satisfy him. Her mind seemed to have shut down. Of course there were dozens of possibilities. People got distracted while dancing – even people who didn’t feel attracted to their partner could lose focus. But with her initial hesitation, that was a reason he would no longer buy.

She couldn’t just tell him the truth either – yet, it seemed to be the only way to make him let her go. And the way to be in need of a new job by Monday, she added silently.
She knew he reproached her for having had an affair with a colleague on Air Force One. Confessing that she felt attracted to him would only serve to convince him that she was unable to remain professional when she had to work with other men – which was just not true.

Gibbs looked at the beautiful woman in front of him, intoxicated by her closeness and the scent of her discreet, female perfume. The voice of his reason asked him for a moment what he was doing, but he didn’t listen. When she had admitted to him that she had been distracted, he had been interested in the reason – merely as one of his little games. But her hesitation to tell him and her obvious embarrassment at his question now made him curious. Could it be that she had been distracted for the same reasons that he was?
He knew that, even if that was the case, it would still be wrong to pursue anything that went beyond friendship with her. Still, a small part inside of him wanted to know…

“Tell me,” he requested again, still softly, but with the hint of a bossy tone in his voice.

“You really want to know why?” she finally snapped angrily, when her attempts to get pass him on the right side of his body were effectively prevented by his arm. Softly she hit his chest. “You want to know why I get distracted when I am close to you? Or why I sometimes have to force myself to stop looking at you in the office?” She cut herself off, muttering a soft ‘Damned’. Her expression was desperate, because inwardly, she expected to get fired instantly – a fear that was clearly standing in her eyes, along with the anger at herself for having lost control.
He just returned her look for another moment, then opened the door of his room.

“Inside!” he ordered somewhat gruffly and Kate gasped when he softly pushed her into the darkened room. She awaited to hear a lecture about her incompetence and unprofessional behavior – in the best case.
Worst case scenario was that he would throw her out of his team right there at that very moment.

“Gibbs, I shouldn’t have said anything,” she explained desperately, while she entered his room, trying to keep her voice from shaking, “I know what you think about that kind of relations between colleagues and I assure you I can handle it. Contrary to what you might think of me now, I am a professional! You should just forget about…”
She gasped when she felt his hand grab her wrist the instant the door shut with a click of the lock. She had no opportunity to say another word, because the next second he had her pressed with her back against the cool wall and his mouth closed over hers in a devouring kiss.

Her surprised shriek was muffled by his lips, that were tasting and nibbling, softly seducing her to open her mouth to him. She was too overwhelmed to react, the assault on her mouth having happened too quickly for her to think reasonable, therefore her body intuitively responded to his caresses without resistance.
Her hands ran up his chest while she opened her mouth to him willingly, allowing him to deepen the kiss and sighing longingly when she tasted the intoxicating mixture of coffee and scotch on his lips.

Her eyes fell close when she felt his hands move down her back, pulling her closer into him. Shivering slightly at the contact with his body, she clasped the material of his jacket with her fingers, while he devoured her mouth fiercely.

For a split second he wondered what he was thinking, pressing his subordinate to a wall and kissing her – but the thought vanished almost the instant that he felt her body move against his and a soft moan escaping her lips. He wanted her, she wanted him. It was just that simple.

No, actually it wasn’t and they both knew that.
But right now he didn’t want to think about the reasons that were against him kissing Caitlin Todd, not when she was pressed against him and returned his kiss with the same need and desire that he felt inside.

He broke the kiss and let his lips wander over the silky skin of her cheek and her chin to her neck, her initial protest turning into an erotic moan.
When she felt his lips at her neck, Kate softly tilted her head to reveal more of her delicate skin to him. She would have never thought, that he would turn out to be a seducer, but nothing else did he prove by this soft assault on her neck, his lips eager to discover every inch of her already over-sensitive skin.

She couldn’t believe that this was actually happening, that she was making out with Gibbs and that it was better than it had been in any of her fantasies. Gibbs – her boss.

She moaned and all of a sudden pushed him away softly, her eyes, clouded with desire, locking with his.

“We can’t do this…” she whispered, reconnecting their lips in another brief, but hot kiss, before she shook her head again. “I should go.”

He would have let her, if her body language had supported the words that left her mouth. But everything in her eyes told him that she wanted him as much as he wanted her.

She made a weak attempt to turn around and leave, but he melted their lips in another kiss, holding her arms to effectively prevent her from turning away. She didn’t really mind – at least her body didn’t. The conscious part of her reason predicted that, if they went through with this, they would both be in trouble the next morning.
Unfortunately the voice of her reason was silenced by the desire that pulsed through her veins and caused her legs to turn weak. Part of her was scared that he had this much power over her body – the other part felt thrilled by it.

“You want me to stop?” he whispered huskily against her skin, enjoying the erotic little sighs that she made while he nibbled at the sensitive spot just below her ear. In fact, he wasn’t entirely sure he would be able to stop if her reply would turn out to be affirmative.

“No…” her voice was shaking and her hands grasped his shoulders tighter, as if afraid that he would break their body contact. “Don’t…”

He knew that this was his downfall. Part of him had hoped, almost prayed, that she would say yes; that she would push him away and ask him what the hell was wrong with him. She was his co-worker, at least twenty years younger and they were as different as day and night. Kissing her, not to mention sleeping with her, would cause so many problems – problems that were beyond his control. And he hated not to be in control of his life. But then again, when he tasted the sweetness of her lips and felt her soft body pressing into his, all that seemed to become unimportant. A higher part of his soul seemed to whisper that it was worth losing control – that she was worth it.

“If you still have doubts you should go now, because later I won’t let you… and we both know where this is going to lead,” he rasped huskily into her ear, the gentleman inside him giving her one last opportunity to escape, part of him knowing that sooner or later he would cause her pain. A last attempt to protect her from becoming a hurt and broken woman – as he had seen all three of his ex-wives turning into.

Kate moved her lips over his cheek and ran her hands through his short, silver hair before devouring his lips in a fiery assault. “Good,” she whispered in between two kisses, “I’m all yours.”

She shrieked softly when all of a sudden he lifted her up as if she weighed no more than a feather, and carried her over to the large bed, where he dropped her onto the soft sheets, immediately reconnecting their lips while he pulled off her shoes and dropped them to the floor carelessly.

Her hands were trembling when she desperately fought with the buttons of his jacket, and finally managed to pull it off his shoulders.

All of those nights that she had been lying in bed alone, she had often thought about that one kiss they had shared in the elevator – and she had imagined whether he was a skillful kisser or not, which was hard to determine by just one kiss, shared in the heat of a moment.
But even in her wildest fantasies didn’t she imagine just how much of a seducer he was. She should have assumed it probably – considered that he had been married three times, although most of the time he behaved like a bastard – but still, she hadn’t believed it.

Gibbs softly pushed her into the mattress, while his kiss became more languid, before he moved his mouth down her neck and over the soft skin of her cleavage, cherishing every inch of her skin with soft caresses with his lips.
Kate closed her eyes to the overwhelming heat that consumed her body. Her hands moved through his hair and over his shoulders, and she gasped for air when his lips closed around one of her nipples. Although the material of her dress still prevented him from tasting her skin, she felt as if his touch burned her from the inside. Her breath became erratic and she arched her back intuitively, silently asking him to take more of her.

Taking time to discover every part of her, the man let his mouth wander further down her body, still making no effort to get rid of her dress. He couldn’t believe that he was going to make love to Caitlin Todd, the woman which he had so often secretly admired in the office.

A lusty moan from her betrayed to him that he had found another one of those spots that made her shiver with lust. His mouth wandered over her lower abdomen while his hands played at the back of her knees, the only bare skin he could reach by now.

He pushed the silky fabric of her dress up the smooth skin of her shaved legs and grabbed the hem of her dress. She lifted willingly from the bed to help him to get rid of the disturbing barrier that prevented them from being skin to skin.

When the dress landed a few meters away from the bed in the corner of the room, their lips reconnected hungrily.
Kate pulled impatiently at the shirt that he was wearing, while she spilled playful kisses on his mouth, immediately bringing a few inches of distance between their lips when he wanted to deepen the kiss. She had always liked to challenge him and question his control, and he had always loved her doing so.

Once she was finished opening the buttons of his shirt, she pushed it down his shoulders, her fingers running appreciatively over his still well-trained muscles. When the fabric had joined the dress in the corner, she resumed her task of teasing him by grazing his lips with hers in soft butterfly kisses, while her hands moved explorative over his arms and his chest.

When she again evaded his attempt to capture her mouth in a deeper kiss, he growled lowly, which drew a soft laugh from her – a laugh that turned into a half-shocked, half-thrilled gasp as soon as he grabbed her wrists and pinned them above her head, only to unify their lips in a wild exploration of her mouth.
Enjoying her prolonged moans and the way she desperately tried to increase their body contact, he took his time, shifting the kiss from wild to seductive and then devouring again, until she had to break free from his mouth due to a lack of oxygen, panting for air.

He let go of her hands and possessively moved his fingers down the exposed skin of her slender body. She lifted her hands to his hair, and closed her eyes, reveling in the so-long awaited feel of his touch on her skin, his body pressed against hers.
Her fingers moved to play at the base of his neck, and then, all of a sudden and without warning, she flipped them around in one of her best Secret Service moves, her back stretching, while she seductively straddled his hips and pinned his hands next to his head.

“If you think that you will be the only one in control here, you are wrong,” she whispered against his mouth throatily, before teasing the skin of his neck with her tongue, provoking a groan from his throat.

“Maybe me being in control would be fun for you,” he rasped in her ear, aware that, if he had wanted to, he could have freed himself. His hot breath on her skin provoked a sigh from her, when he continued to murmur, “you have no idea what I could do to you.”
His voice was throaty as he gave her some very detailed descriptions of just what exactly was going through his mind, interrupted by soft kisses and biting to her earlobe. By the time he was finished, their heart-rates had increased by several frequencies and Kate’s breath was coming fast and shallow.
Damn, she would have never thought him to be that good of a dirty talker – neither would she have thought that it would drive her this crazy.

“Later,” she whispered, pulling all her control and strength together, while nibbling softly at his chin.
She let go of his hands and ran her fingertips over his chest, playing with the soft silver hair there. The small, round scar near his shoulder caught her attention and softly, she grazed the spot with her fingers. For a moment, a shadow clouded her expression, for she felt responsible for his pain. If she had stabbed Ari when she had the chance, he wouldn’t have had to suffer. Yet, she hadn’t, and that had been a betrayal in more than one way. She had never told him what she had felt for Ari, a man she had never seen before in her life. She had known better than to tell her colleagues how much she had felt attracted to him against all her reason – some part inside of her had been drawn to him like a moth to fire. A dark fascination with the devil.
Her eyes met his in the darkness of the room and all of a sudden she was sure that he knew. She leaned over and pressed a long, deep kiss to the mark on his skin, silently assuring him that everything was okay – that Ari was no longer a threat to her heart.

His hands ran through her long, silky hair, then over her shoulders and her back. She moved her lips down his chest, allowing him to guide her. Then, after some time, she sat up.

With shaky hands, she unbuckled the belt of the black pants that he was still wearing and that made her aware that she was already half-naked, while he was still considerably dressed.
Foreseeing that this might take some time if he left it to her, he sat up and pulled her lips to his own in a soft kiss before standing up and getting rid of his shoes, socks and pants himself – just to avoid complications like getting entangled in his pants.

Appreciatively, Kate let her eyes wander over his trained body. She realized that his eyes were traveling over her appearance as well and returned his soft smile, for a moment feeling insecure. It had not only been a while since she had last slept with a man, but it had also not really been good, to express it nicely.
And this was Gibbs, who meant so much more to her than any of her former dates. She didn’t want to disappoint him.

Scared at the thought, the expression in her face suddenly reflected her insecurity. He moved up close to her from behind and pulled her back against him, urging her to lean fully against his chest and into his embrace, while he moved her hair away from the back of her neck and placed a hot kiss on the nape.
She moved her hand behind her into his hair, holding him in place, while she relaxed into his caresses, all thoughts dissolving with his burning touches.

His hands moved over her bare arms while he changed between nibbling and biting at her skin. He had seen the expression in her face, and he was determined to replace her nervousness with something else, something much more pleasurable.

With skilled fingers, he unclasped her strapless bra and before she had even noticed, it was gone, exposing the delicate skin of her breasts to his exploring hands.

She arched her body towards his hands, her eyes falling close at the sensations that pulsed through her. “Gibbs…” she whispered in a plea, and the man smiled against her skin, enjoying the soft needy moans that escaped her throat, while he fought to control his own breathing.

After some more endless moments, that he spent just enjoying the feel of her soft skin under his hands and lips, he pulled her down into the sheets again and leaned over her, capturing her lips in a short kiss, before making his way down her body with tender caresses.

The instant she felt his hot lips closing around one of her nipples, an electrifying wave of pleasure ran through Kate’s body, causing her to tremble. How much she wanted this man, how long had she dreamed of this – and how long had her body not reacted this strongly to a man’s touch. She felt as if she was waking up from a long sleep, as if finding something, or rather someone, that she was destined for.

“God, I want you…” she moaned, when he increased their skin contact, by parting her legs and settling in between them.

“Good,” he hissed hotly against her skin, not ceasing to pleasure her with his mouth. This was more than he had ever dared to hope for in his wildest fantasies, and one childish part inside of him felt foolishly proud of the fact that he could do this to her; that he could drive this so controlled and perfect woman crazy and make her give up all her control to him.
His lips moved further down her body. “I want to see you come for me.”

If she had any protest in her mind, it was immediately silenced by his lips that pressed to the very core of her desires, the material of her black lace panties forming a very thin, yet still disturbing barrier. Dinozzo was right, Gibbs mused silently, some part inside him still angry that the younger agent had been indecent enough to catch a glimpse of the underwear of his female colleague. Kate’s lingerie was definitely sexy and suiting her. Damn, how should he ever be able to work with her again, when all he pictured was what kind of underwear she was wearing underneath?

He decided that he would handle that problem later – way later, because her underwear would most likely be his slightest problem anyway then.
Softly, he pulled the thin material down her legs and discarded it, exposing her wet core to him. He grabbed her hips to hold her in place and placed a kiss to her softness, enjoying the desperate whimper that his intimate caress drew from her, and thinking that it was the most beautiful sound that he had ever heard coming from a woman. One thing was for sure, he liked her like this, fragile and female and reduced to her most primal desires.

Not that he had anything against the tough, hard-ass agent – as long as she was like this in bed for him. Only for him!

Kate closed her eyes when his mouth descended on her again, and his tongue moved over her clit in a long, thorough stroke. She bit her lips and her fingers clutched the sheets. When he repeated the move, she pushed up against his mouth with a soft scream, trying desperately, but failing to control her reactions.

“You like that?” he whispered, more matter-of-factly than an actual question, his hot breath tickling her over-sensitive skin while his fingers grazed the skin of her stomach and the sides of her body sensually.

“God yes…” she managed to reply, although she wasn’t sure how. All thoughts dissolved from her mind when he resumed his erotic, pleasurable caresses, pushing her higher and higher towards oblivion.
Somewhere in the back of her clouded mind, she realized, that the soft screams that filled the room were coming from her, but she was unable to stop them. She wanted him, she needed him with a desperation that was totally unknown to her and she wasn’t sure whether she would be able to stand his sweet torture just one second longer.

As if knowing what was going through her mind – or had she said it outloud? She couldn’t exactly recall – he stopped his assault on her clit momentarily to move her legs, so that they were resting on his shoulders, this new position opening her wider to him. At the next touch of his hot mouth to her over-sensitive clit, she pushed up against him, overwhelmed by the intensity of the feeling. Her moans became more urgent.

He could feel that she was close and that it wouldn’t take much more, therefore he intensified the contact by stilling her hips again with his hands. Relentlessly, he alternated his teasing between licking and sucking, enjoying the way she lost more and more control over herself.

It only took a few moments longer, moments that seemed like little eternities of pleasure to her, to send her tumbling over the edge, leaving her breathless and gasping for air in silent desperation. He drew out her momentary bliss as long as he could, before slowly moving upwards, his lips grazing in the slightest of touches over her abdomen and her navel. Her skin was glistening with sweat and one of her hands leisurely moved to his head and ran through his hair in the most tentative gesture.

Tenderly, Gibbs kissed his way up to her breasts and then captured her mouth in a long, deep kiss, swallowing her soft sighs and enjoying the feeling of her hot, naked breasts pressed against his chest.

Kate had been afraid to not be able to let herself go, just as it had been with the last man that she’d slept with, and now he had her climaxing before they were even really started. This man was amazing. He seemed to already know her body as well as her mind perfectly.

“Wow…” she whispered, her eyes still closed, when he disconnected from her lips to take in the sight of her face and her sexily disheveled hair.

He had to smirk softly at this comment. “Yeah, that’s what they all tell me,” he murmured against her cheek teasingly and she hit his chest playfully, her lips forming a slight smile.

“Arrogant…” she replied, still out of breath.

He stopped her insult with another hot open-mouthed kiss and grind against her, letting her know just how much exactly he still wanted her and that they were far from being finished. Feeling the heat return instantly, Kate let her hands wander over his back, scraping his skin softly with her nails which drew an aroused moan from him.

She flipped them around, so he was lying on his back and she was covering him, before using her tongue and teeth to explore his chin and neck, alternating between soft biting and licking. Her long hair was tickling his skin when she moved down his chest, all the while running her fingers in butterfly touches down the sides of his body.

Ever so slowly, she removed his boxers and tested his patience to an almost unbearable point, enjoying the way he tried to urge her on. The cloth hit the ground somewhere in the darkness, and Kate took his hardness in her hand. Before she could take him in her mouth, he pulled her up to his face, swallowing her protest in a short kiss.

“Don’t,” he simply rasped close to her skin. “Or this would be over too soon.”

“So little control?” she teased softly, moving her hips against him seductively, and a mischievous gleam filled her eyes. “Very impressive…” she murmured softly and then chuckled, “for a man your age.”

His eyes snapped open and he saw the playful challenge standing in her eyes, before her lips moved over his and bit his lower lip, a tender declaration of war. She was bold, and cheeky, a streak of her personality which he had only seen when they had not yet been working together. He enjoyed it. With a low growl and not much effort, he turned them around, so that she was lying under him again.

“I’ll show you what else a man my age is still capable off,” he murmured against her lips hotly.

His hand moved down her flat stomach and between her legs. One of her hands grabbed his arm tightly to hold him in place and she moaned in anticipation, all thoughts of challenging his control instantly vanishing from her mind. When two of his fingers parted her folds and finally slipped into her wetness, she broke away from his lips to gasp for air, and her fingers clutched his arm even tighter.

“God yes…” she turned her head to the side and bit her lips while her body bent to increase the contact. His lips brushed her cheek and then her ear and she could feel him just as breathless as she was.

“You are so beautiful, Katie,” he murmured throatily into her ear, and she whimpered, when his fingers hit her g-spot. “Look at me…” he demanded, and she didn’t know how she gained enough control over her muscles to comply. She had no idea how he had been able to rekindle the fire in her body that strongly after she had just had an incredible orgasm.
With her vision blurred and her mind clouded from need, she turned her head to look into his eyes.

“Don’t tease,” she breathed against his lips in a soft plea. “Please… I need you!”

Her soft moan of protest filled the air when he removed his hand from her center, a moan that soon turned into one of anticipation, when he settled in between her legs. Not ceasing to deeply look into her eyes, he entered her with a swift, deep thrust, stilling instantly when he felt her fingers grip his shoulders.

“God, how can you be so tight,” he groaned against her cheek, and she gasped for air and tried to ease her initial discomfort by stretching her back to fit him.

“It’s been a while,” she explained, sighing when he flicked her neck with his tongue. Her words confirmed his suspicion, for he had felt her body tense the moment he had entered her. Patiently, he continued to intimately caress the sensitive spots that he had discovered earlier, until he felt her relax against him.
The familiar burn of lust soon replaced her initial uneasiness, slowly turning into need. Her hands ran impatiently over his back, and intuitively, she thrust up against him, gasping at the desire that started to pulse through her veins anew.

Slowly, he started to move inside her, pulling almost completely out only to thrust even deeper into her. She moaned loudly and tilted her head back in upcoming ecstasy. He buried his head at her exposed neck, softly biting her sensitive skin. Some childish part of him wanted to mark her his own, a primal instinct to show everybody whom she belonged to. The thought that she was his – and his alone – turned him on even more.
She groaned, when she felt his teeth softly biting and sucking on her neck, burying her hand in his silver hair and urging him on by her soft outcries of pleasure.

He bit her earlobe, a little harsher than intended, but that only served to turn her on. On the brink of losing control again, she turned her head to spill kisses over his cheek, her breath coming hot and fast.

He moved one of his arms down her body, while he kissed her open-mouthed, and, his hand on the back of her knee, he lifted her leg. “Move your legs around my hip,” he ordered her softly, and she complied, gasping at the sensation of the new angle, which allowed him to hit her g-spot with every stroke. Her moans turned into needy whimpers.

Grabbing one of her wrists, he entwined his fingers with hers and pinned it over her head to the mattress, his breath coming short and shallow while the room was filled with the sound of their increasing moans.

“Oh, Katie…” he managed to say close to her lips, groaning when her thrusts against him became more forceful.

“Jethro…” she whispered, and the grip on his hand tightened.
He was beyond reasonable thinking, but somewhere in the back of his hand he realized, that she had just very intimately used his forename, and the sound of his name from her lips seemed to be the most natural thing in the world – so beautiful that he could live from listening to it for the rest of his life and beyond.

He started thrusting into her faster, way beyond the point where he would be able to control his body. But the way her breathing hitched and she pushed back against him and tried to increase the skin contact, told him that it was just what she wanted – what they both needed.

“Faster…” she demanded frantically, her voice almost begging. He was more than willing to comply and buried his head at the crotch of her neck, breathing in her scent. He was close, but didn’t want to let go just yet.

“God Katie…” he groaned against her skin, when he felt her fingers dig into his back to an almost painful point – just the right amount of pain to increase his lust to an unbearable point, “come on… come for me again. Let it go…”

His voice was enough to do it for her, and with a soft scream that was muffled by his lips covering hers, she came for the second time that night. Feeling her spasm around him, he wasn’t able to hold back any longer. With one last thrust, he came inside of her, filling her with his life-giving essence.

Both of them were panting heavily and desperately trying to come down from the heights of ecstasy, their lips merely an inch apart. Kate’s hand wandered from his hair over his cheek in the softest caress, her eyes still closed.
Slowly, their moans subsided and their heart-frequencies slowed down.

Afraid to crush her slender body with his weight, Gibbs rolled over to lie next to Kate, his eyes closed and their fingers still entwined.

“That was…” the woman whispered out of breath and unable to come up with an appropriate expression that would come even close to describe the wonderful feelings that were pulsing through her whole body. He chuckled softly at her lack of words.

“Yeah, definitely…” he agreed hoarsely.

Kate refused to open her eyes, afraid that the almost divine feeling of bliss would slip away. She felt as if she had caught glimpse of heaven and feared that once she let it go, reality would set in with overwhelming power and drag her into the depth of darkness.

Slowly her breathing returned to normal and she broke the contact with his hand to brush a stand of hair out of her sweaty face.

Then she opened her eyes. The room was bathed in the pale, silver light of the moon and the slight breeze that blew through the open window cooled her body – and her heart. In the distance she could hear the ocean, mercilessly crushing its waves to the shores; a sound that, for some reason, triggered a deep feeling of loneliness inside of her.

Slowly, the joyful enthusiasm that she had felt was replaced by a mixture of sadness and awkwardness. Now that her reason set in again, she felt the inevitable question about how things should go on raise inside of her. She had just had sex with her twenty-years-older boss – incredibly good sex, but still, Gibbs had made very clear to her that he would not accept relationships between agents. And she was sure that he would make no exception where himself was concerned.

With her heart torn between fear, desperation and confusion, she waited for him to say something. Anything.
When he didn’t, her insecurity became unbearable and almost ashamed she covered her nakedness with one of the sheets from his bed.

Leroy Jethro Gibbs didn’t know what to say – or what to do. He had made love to Caitlin Todd, the incredibly sexy woman whom he had wanted since he had first caught glimpse of her on Air Force One.
Make love, he mused silently. It was a weird term for what they had been doing, since, up to now, neither of them had spoken of any kind of emotion aside from desire. He didn’t know what she felt for him. Neither did he know what he felt for her. He had loved more than one woman in the past – at least he believed that he had done – and it had always ended in betrayal or disappointment.

So for now he wouldn’t admit to more than a certain affection for her – and physical attraction obviously.

Yet, he could truly say that he had never been in a comparable situation in his whole life. Surely, he had had affairs and one night stands – he even had an affair with a co-worker once, but all of those experiences had not ended very pleasantly.
And now he had slept with his subordinate, a woman who was young enough to be his daughter – maybe not quite, but the age difference was still considerable enough to have people talk about it. The fact that he was her superior would add to the rumors.
He had violated his own principles in two ways – he was sure he could even come up with a third way if he gave it enough thought.

He hated himself for that feeling of insecurity, firstly because he didn’t know how Kate felt or what she was thinking. And secondly because having sex with her had turned his whole life – and not only his private life, but even more his professional life – upside down.
That was exactly why his reason had told him that this was a bad idea from the start, yet he had decided not to listen. And now here he was, having lost control of his life and unable to come up with anything appropriate to say to the woman he had just had the most incredible experience of his life with. He had never been good with words – especially not where women were concerned.

When she covered her body, he realized he should say something to ease the upcoming tension between them, but what could you say to your subordinate in a situation like this? Their professional relationship was officially ruined, that much he could determine. Taking it more slowly would probably have erased that problem in the first place, but since they had completely skipped the dating and getting to know each other better parts, they would have to deal with it now.

The kiss in the elevator had been one thing – they had been able to maintain their professionalism and not ever talk about it again. It had been some kind of silent agreement between them. Sex was on a completely different level though. There was no way they could just not talk about it. But there was also no way to talk about it and remain professional.

That, he thought grumpily to himself and sighed, is exactly the reason for rule number twelve!

Kate, who had of course heard his sigh and interpreted it as a sign of regret on his part, cleared her throat and then hesitantly sat up. All the possible consequences of the moment that they had given in to passion dawned on her at that very second. From having to transfer to having to leave the NCIS altogether; not to mention the worst of all which was that, in any case, she would have to part from her team.
Most likely Gibbs would refuse to continue working in the same team with her. He was too professional to do otherwise, because every kind of relationship between them could lead to a distraction during work.
That was why she had ended her relationship with Tim when she had still been with the Secret Service.
In their job, distraction could easily cost either their own or another person’s life at one point or the other.

The desperation of her situation became unbearable to her. The feeling of bliss had turned into an increasing need to cry, and that was the last thing that she wanted to do in front of him. She knew from the few personal things that he had said during investigations that a crying woman was probably the last thing that he wanted to have next to him in bed.

Pulling all her strength together, she got up and, with still shaky legs, collected her clothes that lay spread throughout the whole room. Unable to find her panties, she finally raised to her full height, not daring to look at her boss.

“I think I should go…” she explained as calmly as she could manage.

He didn’t answer.

‘Say something’, she begged silently, ‘Ask me to stay.’ One word of him, one assurance that everything was okay, and she would do anything for him.

He looked at her, although he could barely see her in the shadow.
She wanted to leave – just like that. He couldn’t take her sudden retreat as anything else but a sign of regret on her part.

“Where are you going?” he asked, more gruffly than intended. He actually wanted to ask her to stay, to sleep here next to him and wake up with him in the morning. But then again, he thought bitterly, maybe that’s too much to ask. Maybe all they had shared had been plain, hot sex – nothing more.

“I…” Kate started, fighting to keep her voice from shaking and betraying the tears that were swelling up in her eyes. “I should go to my room. We have to be up early tomorrow, the plane leaves around noon.”

Silence. Again he preferred not to answer. The connection they had just shared only moments ago seemed to have completely broken down, and had left behind nothing but a feeling of emptiness and disappointment. Emotions that were based on misunderstandings caused by their inability to tell each other what they felt deep inside.

When he simply nodded and dismissed her with the word, “Alright,” Kate turned. She didn’t care that she almost fled the room, only dressed in one of the sheets that she had carelessly wrapped around herself to shield her naked body from looks. She needed to get out instantly. It was too much for her to bare.

She hadn’t completely closed the door to her room, when the tears started to flow down her cheeks and she broke down in sobs. Not caring for where she was, she dropped to the ground, her back touching the cool wood of the door while her body was shaken by her helpless crying.

How could her life have turned into a disaster from one hour to the other, and most importantly by something that had been so wonderful.

“Damned,” she exclaimed, unable to stop the tears from running over her cheeks, and hit the ground with her fist. She had known the consequences of an affair with a colleague, not to mention her boss.
She had known his opinion of it. But how could he be such a bastard to dismiss her just like that – as if he didn’t care at all. As if she had been nothing more than a nice pass-time.

“That’s what you get from sleeping with your superior,” she murmured to herself bitterly and forced herself to lift from the ground. She was strong enough to handle this – to handle him. She had to be…

<3<3<3<3<3<3

Leroy Jethro Gibbs simply stared at the point from where she had vanished – just like that. No, not just like that, he reminded himself and closed his eyes with a groan. What had he been thinking to dismiss her? Couldn’t he just for one single time in his life act like a caring person and not like a bastard?

There it was – he was already starting to push her away. Because he was afraid of her, or rather of himself. She threatened everything he believed in, shattered every principle that he had lived after. And the worst thing was that, the more he pushed her away, the more he seemed to want her.

Anger started to build up inside him. She was a hard-ass, why had she just left. Of course, he had told her to go, but an order from him had never prevented her from contradicting him.

“Idiot!” he growled to himself. What did he expect? He was her boss and he had shown no sign that he wanted her to stay. Their professional relationship put him in the position to act, he should have given her any indication that he wanted her to stay.

He growled. He would not just let her leave like he let his ex-wives. If she thought she could just run out on him after what they had shared, and pretend nothing had happened, she was wrong.

In the morning, they would have to face each other and then he would make very clear to her that he would not accept to be nothing more than a one-night-stand to her.

<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

“Time and time again
Patiently I’ve waited
For this moment to arrive

After tonight
Will you remember
How sweet and tenderly
You reached for me
And pulled me closer
After you go
Will you return to love me
After the night becomes the day

After tonight begins to fade.”
(Lyrics Taken From Mariah Carey “After Tonight”)
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-Ofpbo4NZQ)

<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

It was probably the third or fourth time that morning, that Special Agent Caitlin Todd checked her appearance in the mirror. Just like the previous times, she found nothing to criticize. The cover stick and the make-up managed to perfectly hide the dark rings under her eyes, and a light scarf around her neck helped to conceal the revealing red mark.

She put on her light perfume and ran her hands through her hair, then she made a weak attempt to smile at herself at the mirror. It failed and she sighed. Her theory of feeling better after a long shower had proven wrong. The hickey and the slight soreness she felt made her awfully aware of what she had done the night before. She couldn’t really say that she regretted that it had happened; what she regretted was, that Leroy Jethro Gibbs was her boss, and that they couldn’t have met under different circumstances. That way her life would have been way easier, instead of having turned into this complete mess that she had to deal with now.

Repeatedly, Kate made sure that there was no way for the scarf to shift its position and accidentally give away the secret it covered, then she took a deep breath. She had hardly slept more than four hours during the previous night, and while asleep she had been haunted by dreams that shifted between erotic and threatening.
All she longed for was to go home, take a long hot bath and ban the outer world away from her consciousness for at least twenty-four hours in order to come up with a plan to handle the situation.

Kate turned and looked at her bag, which was standing fully packed on her bed. After having closed it she sat down on the bed with a prolonged sigh. It would have been a lie to claim that she wanted to go down to the hall and have breakfast, for it meant to see Gibbs. And right now she still had no idea how to face him. What do you say to your boss with whom you had sex the night before, she asked herself bitterly, and then mused that this was probably a question which Tony would have an excellent answer to – right after asking her what the hell was matter with her to sleep with a man who was beyond fifty.

Resolutely, she got up, determined to face up to the situation. She took the key card for her room and left then, quickly making her way downstairs. Silently she prayed, that at least Tony or McGee would be there already, because worse than facing Gibbs was having to face him alone.

During countless moments, she had tried to recapitulate what exactly had caused the shift in their moods. How had the atmosphere turned from the light and cheerful banter, that they had exchanged before and during their intimate encounter, into a cold and awkward distance?

Checking for the last time whether the scarf was in place, Kate stepped outside the large glass doors on the terrace of the hotel where the breakfast buffet attracted the hotel guests. From the high point the hotel was placed on, they had a beautiful view of the ocean in the morning sun. A soft warm breeze played with the strands of her hair and she looked over the balustrade at the horizon. A few yachts were lying on the water and in the distance she could recognize a cruiser, which seemed to crawl along the water as if it had all the time in the world. She inhaled deeply, enjoying the feeling of peace for a short moment, then she turned around.
It took only a quick glance around for Kate to spot her colleagues, who were already heavily discussing. She arrived just in time to witness Tony slap McGee on the back of his head.

Thank God, Gibbs wasn’t here yet – or anymore, she wasn’t sure.

“Good morning,” she addressed her colleagues more relaxed than she felt inside and sat down on a chair.

“Hey,” Tony returned her greeting, a little bit too cheerful for her rather depressed mood, “could you please explain the difference between a tankini and a bikini to the probie?”

Kate shot him an annoyed look. She wasn’t sure she would be able to take his jokes today.

“Whoa, somebody really slept of the wrong side of the bed,” Dinozzo muttered to himself and took a bite of the apple he was eating while he observed her with obvious interest. Kate poured herself a cup of coffee and took a huge sip.
“And,” Dinozzo continued, smiling mysteriously and winking at McGee, “somebody also had sex last night.”
He almost fell backwards from jumping in his chair, when Kate choked and nearly spewed the coffee over the table. The woman coughed and then looked at him incredulously.

“Excuse me?”

Tony grinned and smiled at her triumphantly. “See, probie, that’s the quality of a good investigator. Accuse and see how the accused will react.”

“Tony, what makes you think…” Kate started angrily, both of them ignoring Timothy McGees attempts to answer to the comments they directed at them. It made him feel that he, although he was addressed, was not really part of the conversation.

“The scarf,” Tony explained casually, taking another bite of his apple and leaning back coolly.

“It’s fashion!” Kate explained and the male agent laughed amused.

“Oh yeah! It is indeed! But not in Spain when it’s beyond one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. That, my dear Katie, is a typically female way to hide a hickey.”

One of these days she would shred those damned porn magazines of his and feed him with them. There she had been, thinking that the scarf was a safe way to hide the hickey from her colleagues and instead it had betrayed her right away. Well – most likely it would have worked if Tony hadn’t been present, for McGee looked as if he didn’t understand one single word.

“Katie, Katie,” Tony said, while shaking his head with a lascivious grin on his face, “who is he?” He folded his arms and his position made clear that he enjoyed the situation. Finally he had caught his female co-worker in a compromising situation and he wouldn’t let it go.

“He’s nobody Tony,” Kate answered, for she realized that any kind of denial was futile. Damage control was the better tactic here.

“Does Gibbs know?”

“Know what?”

“That you went to the bar yesterday after he had ordered us to go to sleep?” Tony guessed, the grin still present on his face.

“Tony, I didn’t go to the bar. Stop your tactic of guessed and seeing how I react!” Kate snapped angrily, then shook her head, the lady inside her offended at his accusation. “What, you think I’d go to the bar and just sleep with the next best man?” Like practically throwing yourself at your boss was less slutty, her conscience reminded her; a thought which she hurried to suppress.

“I don’t know… it’s a hot image though!” The man grinned and closed his eyes, making clear that he was picturing his female co-worker in that situation. When he laughed dirtily a few seconds later, Kate smacked him hard. Then she sighed and shook her head, incredulous about his indiscretion, while taking another sip of coffee.

“Well, where did you meet him then?” Tony continued, ignoring her murderous glare. “And what’s his name?”

Kate rolled her eyes, then she smiled at him sufficiently, knowing that he wouldn’t believe her anyway. “Gibbs… I slept with Gibbs last night.”

As expected, Tony broke out in amused laughter, and smacked McGee’s arm. “Did you hear that probie? Nice try, Katie, but if you needed it that badly, why didn’t you come to me first?” He stopped laughing and his face became curious again. “Seriously, where did you meet him?”

If the situation hadn’t been anything but amusing, she would have broken out in whole-hearted laughter. But at that moment she didn’t feel like laughing at all. She just wanted Dinozzo to shut up.

“Listen, I don’t know his name,” she exclaimed angrily and sighed, deciding that agreeing with Tony would end this discussion faster than contradicting him would do, “we met in the bar and I got drunk… that’s it. Can we drop it now?”

“Drop it? No way…!” Tony laughed and then looked up. “Hey, Gibbs, Kate hooked up with a stranger in the bar last night, and I’m not even allowed to visit the pool! That’s unfair!”

Kate tensed and looked up. Her boss approached the table slowly, in his hand a large cup containing strong coffee which he had gotten from the hotel café. It was not as strong as he normally had his coffee, but it was better than the coffee-like broth which the hotel offered to their guests during breakfast.
Nothing in his appearance betrayed what had happened between him and Kate the night before.

For a moment, Kate let her eyes wander over his body. He looked more casually dressed than usual, most likely due to the heat. The first two buttons of his shirt were undone, allowing a perfect view of his tanned neck and his chest with the soft silver hair curling on it.
All her hope that her attraction to him would fade now that she had slept with him, vanished at that instant, because she had to admit to herself that he was the most sexy man she had ever seen.

She scanned his face, but his expression didn’t signal that anything was different from usual. He took the seat next to her and sipped at his coffee, while he shot Tony an annoyed glance.

The young man grinned. “I am telling the truth, Kate confessed! She picked up a guy in the bar, whom she doesn’t even know the name of and…”

“Tony!” Kate warned and was close to kicking his leg hard under the table. Then she looked at Gibbs. “He’s lying, Gibbs! I didn’t…”

His eyes held hers and for a split second, a hint of amusement crossed his features, then his expression returned to indifferent as usual. The young woman wondered what was going on with her.
Of course he knew that it was a lie.

Gibbs’ eyes went to Dinozzo and again he took a mouthful of his coffee.

“Is all of our equipment packed?” he asked with the usual annoyance in his tone, without reacting to Tony’s accusation.

“Yes, boss… all packed and ready,” McGee affirmed and for a short moment, silence set in.

Then Tony, unable to let it go, leaned over to Kate. “Hey, does he know your name?”

“Who?” the woman asked confused.

“Your mysterious lover? Or did you seriously just have a passionate, meaningless one-night stand? I wonder what Brian has to say about that… I remember him calling two days before we left. Aren’t you two still in a relationship or something like that?” The man grinned and it was obvious that he had fun teasing the young woman. His grin vanished instantly, when Gibbs put his cup down and pinned him with his eyes.

“Dinozzo, you want to swim back to DC?” he asked friendly, and McGee automatically ducked his head. Friendly Gibbs was more dangerous than grumpy Gibbs, he himself had experienced that.

“No, boss… but…” Dinozzo started defensively, gesticulating at Kate.

“Then stop going on her nerves… and mine!” he emphasized and Tony nodded humbly, and then sat back in his chair, pouting.
Kate gave Gibbs a furtive look, amazed at his behavior. He had actually defended her – he had never done that before. Although she was a very self-dependent woman, it would have been a lie to say that she didn’t feel flattered by him stepping up for her. An odd feeling of warmth started to grow in her stomach.

“Well, didn’t you want to ask Gibbs something, McGee?” Tony finally broke the silence after two minutes.

“What? Me?…” the young agent looked at his colleague with big, questioning eyes, then some kind of realization obviously dawned on him and he shook his head. “No, I didn’t!”

“Yes, you did!” Tony emphasized with a growl and kicked his leg under the table, which caused McGee to grimace in pain.

“Well… boss, we thought that since… um… obviously the equipment is packed and… and… and… we still have like four hours before our flight goes… if we… um… could use the rest of the time for like… um…”

“Using the swimming pool, boss,” Tony stepped in, fearing that the four hours would have passed before McGee had finally finished his sentence. The prospect that the stuttered explanations of the probie didn’t help to improve Gibbs’ mood added to his decision.

Gibbs looked from McGee to Tony, the former one obviously embarrassed and not really eager to go to the pool and the latter one grinning stupidly.

“For God’s sake go!” he finally barked, knowing that once Tony was at the pool, he wouldn’t annoy him anymore – at least not for the next four hours. Tony jumped up like a school boy, pulling McGee off his chair.

“Come on probie, hurry up! Every minute is worth a hot Spain chick in a sexy bikini!”

“Tony, I don’t really…” McGee started and his tone implicated that he was not really fond of spending the next hours at the swimming pool, but Tony didn’t even let him finish.

“Shut up and follow me. I will teach you a worthy lesson in hitting on women.”

“Hey!” Kate yelled after them when, instead of hurrying inside to change in their rooms, they hurried straightly for the pool area. “Didn’t you forget something?” She pointed at their clothing. “Like changing?”

Tony gave a triumphant laugh. “We’re already wearing our trunks underneath! I know you would let us go, boss…” Then he hurried to turn and get away from Gibbs before the man could change his mind again.

Kate had to suppress an amused smile and when she looked at Gibbs, she noticed that he was hiding a soft laugh, although he would never show that to Dinozzo. It was incredible how inventive the young man could become where women were concerned.

She took another sip of her coffee, suddenly realizing that now she was stuck alone with Gibbs, and a conversation about last night hung inevitably in the air between them. Yet, he didn’t seem eager to start it, considering that he concentrated on drinking his coffee and stared into some Spanish newspaper that was lying on the table. She was sure that he could neither understand the language, nor read a word with his eyesight, but decided not to comment on that.

From the corner of her eye, she observed him while she pretended to be looking at the ocean in front of her. His skin looked more tanned than it looked in the office they were normally working in and she shifted uncomfortably when she realized that her body responded to the thoughts that were inevitably crossing her mind: memories of the night before.

In her rational mind, she had tried to convince herself that, now that she had slept with Gibbs, her fascination was gone due to the fact that she had tasted the forbidden fruit, metaphorically spoken. The contrary was the case.
She realized that having to transfer wouldn’t be that bad – if she had this man in her life. Having been so lost in her thoughts, she didn’t even realize that she had been openly staring at him for quite some time.

He felt her eyes resting on him and looked up, his ice-blue eyes melting with hers. She wanted to say something to him, but everything she could come up with were banal phrases like “Did you sleep well”. And those just didn’t sound right to say to this man after last night. Therefore she just returned his look thoughtfully, before finally turning her eyes back on the ocean.

“Who is Brian?” Gibbs broke the silence all of a sudden, his voice having a somewhat dangerous undertone. Kate wished to kill Tony at that very moment for his inability to keep his mouth shut. Brian – she had completely forgotten about him. Since he had kissed her on a date two weeks ago, she hadn’t called him anymore, but unfortunately, Brian hadn’t gotten the message. Tony had been there a few days ago when her cell phone rang, and being the spy he was, he had grabbed the phone before she had.

“Brian is nobody,” she explained, her voice firm, when his eyes pierced her almost accusingly. “It’s the truth!” she explained, not caring for the fact that he was obviously making a claim on her although he had absolutely no right to – at least not as long as they hadn’t talked about last night and how to proceed from here.
But she wanted to make sure that he understood that she was free for him to have – if he wanted her – which was why she decided on answering his question more detailed. “He took me out on a date two weeks ago, but I broke up with him and he didn’t quite understand that I was serious and not just playing hard-to-get. Dinozzo stole my phone when he called. You know how he is! That’s it.”

Obviously satisfied with her explanation, he lowered his eyes to the newspaper again. Anger started to build up inside her. So he had the right to make a claim on her but she didn’t? No way.

“Who is the redhead?” she asked, unable to hide the jealousy from her voice. Before she made a fool out of herself by practically throwing herself at him, she wanted to make sure that he was worth the risk. If he was just a man who had looked for a one night stand with a young woman to prove something to himself, she could as well kick his ass and move on to the next man without considerations.

“What redhead?” he asked and looked up, the undertone in her voice having caught his interest.

“The one with the fancy car. She waited for you when you offered me the job. And she was in the office several times. Did you think I wouldn’t notice?” She cleared her throat when amusement crossed his features. So much for adding to his already oversized ego, she thought, angry at herself for the revelation that she had been paying attentions to the women he met. “Dinozzo told me that she still meets you on a regular basis.” She hurried to continue in a subtle accusation – just the tone he had used before.

Gibbs held her eyes in this indefinable way, but she wasn’t willing to back up. Instead, she leaned forward, underlining her request for an answer.

“Did Dinozzo say who she was?” Gibbs simply asked and Kate shook her head.

“No,” she replied, feeling almost foolish to rely on information that was based on rumors that she had heard from Tony Dinozzo, “but he assumed that you and her…”

Gibbs chuckled softly. “He assumed? Assumptions, Kate. Always double check! And for your question, she’s a friend. Nothing more.”

Satisfied she leaned back in her chair, nipping at her coffee. “Double check is what I just did!” she commented dryly, her voice not giving away any hint on what she felt inside. Her eyes were fixed on the ocean again. Gibbs didn’t cease to look at her, an almost invisible smile playing around the corner of his mouth.

She had obviously regained her courage. After she had left last night, he had spent endless hours reproaching himself for having given in to his desires – and for having let her leave. Ruining the friendship they had built up over the last one and a half year had been the last thing that he had wanted to do, but when he had considered the way she had fled the room he could only assume that she would avoid him from now on. Her reaction now, though, made him hope for the contrary. Usually it bothered him when a woman started to become possessive about him, but when he had heard the streak of jealousy in the young woman’s voice, he had been strangely pleased.

His eyes moved over her beautiful face and her soft brown hair, which shimmered slightly red in the morning sunlight. Then his eyes fell on her neck.

“By the way… sorry for that,” he suddenly stated and hinted at her scarf which he assumed to be the reason for the comments which she had been forced to endure from Dinozzo.

“What?” Kate asked, stunned that he had apologized and confused because at first she didn’t understand why. Then she realized that he referred to the hickey. “Oh… that. Is it that obvious?”

“You’re wearing a scarf when it’s like one hundred degrees out here…” he started, but was interrupted by her low growl which caused him to smirk slightly.

Kate nipped at her coffee, making a mental note to never ever cover a hickey with a scarf again.

“Don’t feel sorry,” she then murmured, “I’m just as much to blame as you. I could have stopped you.”

“Why didn’t you?” he asked and her head turned to look at him. Her eyes burned into his and she sighed softly, her chin resting on her hand.

“Because at that moment we were both enjoying what we were doing,” she replied and then looked away. “Gibbs we need to talk about it.”

Without answering, he leaned back in his chair not ceasing to look at her as she continued.

“Quite frankly, I am not willing to leave your team. The chance to work at NCIS has been the best thing that has happened to me in my whole life. I am not willing to give that up – and I am not willing to transfer to another team. I know what you think about relationships between agents.” She sighed, finally looking at him to get any kind of reaction from him. Disapproval, agreement, anything – but he remained neutral. “But technically last night would not qualify to fall under rule number twelve since we don’t actually have a relationship, and I think we can both move on without it affecting our professionalism. What do you say?”

His eyes narrowed slightly, then he simply shook his head. “No.”

“What?” Kate’s voice didn’t hide the upcoming panic. “Gibbs, I can be absolutely professional and I really want to remain a member of your team.”

He sighed and turned his head away from her. Didn’t she understand that he was not referring to her remaining part of his team? He would never even think of letting her leave, she was just too good for that. But he wasn’t willing to let her get away with her feelings just that easily either. If he didn’t know better, he would say that she tried to run out on him. Last night she had done it physically, and now she was trying to do so emotionally. And there was no way he was going to allow that. He himself was a master on hiding emotions and he knew that it didn’t do any good – at least not when people you cared for where concerned.

“Kate, I want to keep you in my team!”

She had just been about to open her mouth and continue arguing with him, but this statement put her off and turned her arguments into a soft, surprised “Oh” sound. He chuckled slightly and folded his arms.

“You thought I would throw you out of my team?”

“Well… I… you said when you hired me that if I pulled something like that at NCIS, I wouldn’t get a chance to resign.” She defended herself, suddenly feeling incredibly stupid. “Anyway, I’m glad we talked about it.”

“We didn’t actually,” he responded, intending on making clear to her that she was assuming falsely if she thought that things were settled between them and they would move on as if nothing had happened. With a determined expression on his face, he lifted from his chair. “And we will not do that here with dozens of strangers sitting around us.”

“Gibbs,” she started to contradict, but he left the table and crossed the terrace without even looking back at her. Kate shook her head in disbelief. “Great,” she muttered and emptied her cup of coffee before folding her arms and looking at the wide ocean again. She had absolutely no idea what to expect from him. He had just practically told her that he would not throw her out of his team, but that he didn’t tolerate relationships between agents either. And yet he said that things between them weren’t completely settled.
They were as far as she was concerned.

She was an emotionally strong woman. Sure, she liked Gibbs, and yes, she still couldn’t stop looking him up and down without picturing the hottest scenes before her inner eye – especially now that she had a detailed memory to refer to. But she had been able to live with that for the past months, she would be able to continue doing so.

During the previous night, she had thought a lot about her past – about Gibbs’ past – and she knew that most likely he wasn’t eager to add a fourth ex-wife to his collection, therefore she had accepted the fact that she couldn’t expect to have a serious relationship with him. She had ignored the pain deep in her heart when she had made that clear to herself. Instead she pretended that she was alright with it; that it was better that way.

‘Who do you think you are kidding?’ a tiny voice deep inside her whispered, but she suppressed it. In her training she had learned to control her feelings, to sacrifice her own personal luck to her country. This was not much of a difference. It was all about learning to deal with and bury feelings deep inside… no matter what the cost.

<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

~ Nine Hours Later ~

Kate’s eyes snapped open from the tickling feeling in her stomach that amde her feel as if she was falling and resulted from the slight turbulence the plane was obviously flying through. She moaned and sat up, realizing that she had fallen asleep, while working on her report, her notebook lying on her knees.

“Seems, somebody had an exhausting night,” Dinozzo, who was seated next to her, commented with a sly grin on his face. She gave another weak moan and although it was meant as a protest, it sounded more like a tortured sigh.

“Shut up, Dinozzo,” she muttered and reached for her purse which she started to search for her small mirror. “How long did I sleep?”

“Almost four hours. I could have sworn you would only wake up after we land!” The young man teased, while Kate was busy putting her disheveled hair back to order and refreshing her face. Her eyeliner had repositioned itself to the place under her eyes, which made her resemble to a zombie or a very sick person, in her opinion. Grumbling, she fumbled for the cosmetic tissues that she alwas carried for situations like this.

“You could have woken me. We were supposed to finish our reports until we get back to DC,” Kate murmured accusingly, while she removed the dark shadow under her eyes, and Tony leaned slightly towards her.

“I was thinking, after last night, you could possibly need every minute of sleep you could get.” He bent closer until he was only inches away from her ear. “Seriously, just between you and me, who is he? I want to know who the man is that makes this perfect and controlled agent fall asleep during work.”

“Dinozzo!”

The young man flinched at the sound of his boss’ voice right next to him and ducked slightly in await of a head-slap. But instead, Gibbs’ signaled him to get up.

“Get yourself a cup of coffee from the stewardess – and a big one for me!” he ordered slightly grumpily and Tony jumped up, part of him glad that he had escaped the slap, the other part of him confused.

“Yes boss…”

When the young man had left, Gibbs sat down next to the young woman, who, slightly embarrassed, dropped the tiny mirror back to her purse. Luckily she was almost finished. Interestingly, she suddenly cared enough for Gibbs to not want him to see her outer appearance completely ruined.

“Sorry I fell asleep,” she murmured, her voice still a little sleepy, “I assure you the report will be…”

“Forget the damned report,” he interrupted her in his usual dominant voice and she shut up, waiting for him to reveal the reason for why he had sent Tony away.

“Tired?” he asked, a hint of amusement present in his voice and if she didn’t know better, she would have said that a flirty smile played around the corners of his mouth. His question had of course been more a rhetorical one, and he didn’t wait for her to answer but leaned back in the seat. “What are you doing on Friday?”

“Um-“ she started, and shook her head in confusion, trying to remember her schedule for Friday. “I’m not sure yet, I don’t have…”

“Good,” he interrupted her with a nod. “My place, 8pm.” He leaned in closer when she stared at him, her face reflecting total bewilderment. “That’s 20.00 Zulu.”

“I know what time eight is…” she clarified, not sure whether her mind was still too dazed from his sleep to interpret his words correctly.

“Alright,” Gibbs nodded and got up to return to his own seat. Just like that.

“Hey,” Kate looked up at him, her eyes gleaming with curiosity. “Does that mean you are asking me for a date?”

He returned her look and then, all of a sudden chuckled mysteriously in this way that he always did when he wasn’t willing to give any more information. Kate watched him in disbelief as, still smiling, he turned to go back to his seat, which was two rows behind them right next to Timothy McGee’s.

Kate followed him with her eyes, then a soft smile formed on her face. Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs had just asked her out on a date. Well, he hadn’t actually been asking, but more ordering, but hey, who was she to complain?
She liked that bossy side on him. It challenged her. She had been going out with enough considerate, soft men to know that they triggered no other feelings than annoyance and boredom in her after a certain point. A date with Gibbs would definitely be a very welcome and nice distraction and, she was sure of that, prove very interesting.

“Um, boss! Your coffee!” Anthony Dinozzo interrupted her thoughts loudly and crossed the last meters to their seats, holding a large cup of coffee in front of him.

“It’s for Kate, Dinozzo. She looks like she needs one to finish that report in time!” Gibbs replied and when Tony looked at him with wide eyes, feeling slightly abused by having been tricked into fetching a cup of coffee for his female co-worker, the elder man shrugged his shoulders. “What, you think I would even take a mouthful of that weak stuff they offer here?”

Tony looked down at Kate, anger displayed on his face, when he handed her the cup.
The smile hadn’t left her face and his anger immediately turned into interest in why she was smiling all of a sudden. He sat down next to her again.

“What?”

“Nothing!” she replied, taking a sip of her hot coffee. Just what she needed now.

“Nothing? The last time I fell asleep during work I had to search a huge pond of mud for a murder weapon, and you get a cup of coffee and are smiling after a talk with the big boss!” He looked back at his boss who was sitting in his seat and reading in a file. “I wonder what’s the matter with him. He looks different from usual.”

“Really?” Kate asked, her mind too distracted to really listen to him. The only thoughts that were going through her consciousness were ‘I-have-a-date-with-the-most-sexy-special-agent-in-the-world’-related and the familiar tickle in her belly did no longer originate from flight turbulence. She knew that she was well on the way to falling in love with her boss – and there was nothing that disturbed her about it anymore, now that he had indicated that he was at the same place where she was.

“Yeah… he didn’t slap me! He always slaps me!!” Tony hissed back, still spying on his boss.

Kate forced her attention back on the report she still had to finish. She was sure that, although Gibbs had asked her out on a date, he would still not accept it if she didn’t hand in her reports in time. She was more and more convinced that he was capable of perfectly separate personal and professional life – and she was also certain that she would learn how to do so.

When Tony poked her slightly, she looked up, about to snap at him to leave her alone, but the puzzlement on his face shut her up. Tony was shaking his head in disbelief. “I have never seen him that way.”

“Seen him how, Tony?” Kate asked, a certain annoyance displayed in her voice, and the young man sat back in his chair, looking at her as if he had just made the most revealing discovery in earth’s history.

“Happy.”

– The End (May 08, 2007)