With Steve and Nate dressed and ready for their decoy transport, wearing identical clothing and sitting in identical wheelchairs. Ziva, Steve and Sam were making their way carefully down to the basement to leave the hospital through a windowless M.E. van driven by Callen. While Deeks, Joe, Danny and Nate headed for the van parked near the hospital’s main entrance which was to be driven by Kensi.
Pretty soon, both vehicles were on the road heading for their destinations. With the decoy van en-route for a warehouse district and the van carrying Steve taking an indirect route to the private hospital.
“So far, so good,” Sam grinned, checking his mirror for anyone tailing as Callen did the same.
“Keep an eye out for tagging cars trading off,” Ziva called out from where she sat in the back with her beau.
“Ziva, relax,” Steve said squeezing her hand gently. “They know what they’re doing, so don’t worry.”
She smiled at him apologetically. “I know. I cannot help it. I just wish we were there already. Only then will I be able to relax.”
“It won’t be much longer now,” Sam said, looking over his shoulder. “How are you feeling buddy? Pain meds still doing their job?”
“I’m okay, so long as I don’t have to stay sitting like this for too long,” Steve replied. “Have you heard anything from the others?”
“No signs of a tail on them yet. I’m thinking both teams gave Hesse’s people the slip,” Sam explained, checking his phone for messages.
Ziva didn’t want to say what she was thinking about the man’s ability to get close. She only held onto Steve’s hands tightly for the duration of the trip and breathe deeply to calm herself and her own agitation.
Finally much to Ziva’s relief, they arrived at the private hospital and were greeted by a doctor in a white coat and several members of his staff. “Commander McGarrett, it’s good to see that you all made it here safely,” he said as Sam and Ziva helped Steve into a wheelchair. “Everything is ready for you and your friends here, as per Miss Lange’s orders.”
Ziva only nodded at them as she stayed close to his side. When all was done upstairs, laying beside him in the darkened quiet room as Danny watch the local television news did she let herself relax.
“It has been a long day,” she sighed softly.
“You’re telling me,” he said, grateful for the fresh dose of pain meds and the ability to stretch out and still be close to Ziva. “Now will you promise me that you’ll get your rest? Hetty has vetted every security officer, doctor, nurse, orderly and staff member in the place. You don’t have to worry anymore.”
“Is that not what I am doing now? This bed is large enough for the two of us to rest comfortably.”
“It is that,” Steve smiled, kissing her forehead. “But what I mean is, you’ll really rest. I don’t want you on edge all the time. When you sleep, you don’t doze in case something happens and you’re needed, you isleep/i.”
Ziva rolled her eyes as she curled up against him on her side of the bed and laid her head down on his good arm. “Yes iDad/i. I promise to sleep fully as I did that night after you and I -”
“If you make a reference to one of your sexual escapades, please at least give me a warning to turn the volume up or leave the room,” Danny mumbled into his chest as he had started to nod off himself but evidently was still awake enough to be hearing things around him.
“We will,” Steve grinned. “But you better be quick to take action once we do.” He then gently reached for the pain med controls and dosed himself to see him through the night and began to drift off to sleep.
“Goodnight you two… and thanks.”
“Night,” Ziva let out as she was nearly done for herself after everything the group had gone through over the last two days. Her fingers curled over and clung to Steve’s shirt, unwilling to let go of him even in her dream state.
Their bodies writhed together in pure ecstasy as Ziva straddled his hips. She took his hands and placed them upon her naked breasts, encouraging him to squeeze them roughly as she slid down his member once again. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head every time he hit that sweet spot that always made her entire body shake uncontrollably.
He called out her name as she pushed him back down into the tall grass and simply took charge of their lovemaking. Now it was his turn for his eyes to roll into the back of his head as her muscles began to work their magic.
When he finally composed himself long enough to focus on her beauty, he looked into her eyes as her lips mouthed, “Commander McGarrett.”
He frowned and gave her an odd look as she did it again. “Commander McGarrett.”
Then an unbelievably bright light surrounded them both and he was torn away from her embrace…
“Commander McGarrett! I know you’re recovering from gunshot wounds, but sleeping until noon does seem to push it,” a smirking Hetty Lange said as his eyes fluttered open.
Steve looked at her and yawned, his mind processed where he was and how he got there and he instantly looked to the empty space beside him.
“Relax Commander, Miss David and Mr Williams are taking advantage of the visitors facilities. I told them that they weren’t to return until they showered and got something to eat. Well, I had to order Ziva… even had to threaten to call Agent Gibbs before she’d go,” Hetty smiled. “She’s a stubborn one, but I can see why you love her.”
It was Steve’s turn to smile. “Thank you. I doubt she would have gone if I had told her.”
“Because she’s worried about you, Commander. And with good reason I fear,” Hetty’s smile waned. “My team’s search for Victor Hesse has uncovered something quite disturbing.”
Steve swallowed, knowing the lengths that Hesse would go to. “Go on…”
“It seems that after having you shot, he killed the men that were involved and left them as a message for us in an apartment building we traced him to,” she explained. “Each man received two to the head and two to the heart before leaving his weapon at the scene for us to find.”
“Was there anything else at the scene? A written message? Or a clue as to where he’s going next?” Steve asked hopeful.
Hetty reached into her purse and retrieved a clear plastic evidence bag. Inside there was a single flower that Steve knew very well. “This is the second time in as many weeks that I’ve had to deal with these flowers. How does he know?”
“Director Vance is looking into that. As a precaution I’m bringing in some extra help. It could be that Hesse knows about this flower because of the recent case you worked on, or it could be that he’s trying to exploit the link to your mother. Either way I have asked Agent Gibbs and Miss Sciuto to join us here to assist with the search,” Hetty explained. “They should be arriving tomorrow morning after they settle what they need to with their current case.”
“Well if anyone can help find that bastard, it’s Gibbs and Abby,” Steve replied. “Could I ask though… how does Gibbs feel about all this?”
“Well he’s not happy you’ve been shot if that’s what you mean,” Hetty smiled again. “But no, he’s not angry with Ziva, or you for that matter. He is upset, however, that we had not notified them before now.”
“Oh great, that’s going to be a fun conversation…” Steve sighed.
The woman shrugged a shoulder nonchalantly. “Tell him what you wish to tell him. Simply reply with his stare by quoting rule number four. He will back off then.”
He couldn’t help but be confused at her statement. He recalled the mention of the man having rules but he had to ask. “What’s rule number four?”
“The best way to keep a secret? Keep it to yourself. Second best? Tell one other person – if you must. There is no third best,” Ziva said from the doorway as she appeared with two cups of fresh hot coffee in her hands before making her way back to Steve’s bedside to hand him his cup and climbing back up to sit beside him.
Smiling he sipped the drink before placing it down on the bedside table and giving Ziva a quick peck on the cheek. “Wait, how do you know about Gibbs rules, Hetty?” he asked.
“I wasn’t always head of OSP, Commander,” she smiled cryptically. “I’ll keep you both informed. Call if you need anything further.”
“Thank you,” Ziva replied with a nod to her offer. She remained quiet until the woman left the room, closing the door quietly behind her before she turned back to Steve. “Did you sleep well?” she asked with a smile.
“Very,” he smirked before kissing her lips softly. “What about you?”
She hummed and licked her lips to taste him again from the kiss. “I did. I was tempted to stay in bed with you for the sake of it however I was threatened to leave otherwise I would have had to hear it from Gibbs.”
“So I heard,” Steve smiled. “Did you enjoy your shower? And did you have lunch yet?”
“My shower was – good. Warm but very alone. And no, I have not eaten lunch. I had a small breakfast with Danny but he decided to check out the pool they have downstairs afterwards.”
Steve nodded. “Good, you both need to relax. I’m just sorry that I couldn’t shower with you,” he replied with a soft smile as he pulled her closer to him. “Did you hear about Gibbs?”
She was busy settling back in beside him, her one leg draped over his before leaning back and looking up at him. “What about Gibbs? His rules?”
“He’ll be here by tomorrow morning. It seems that Callen’s team found something that connects to my past and the case we worked on together a few weeks ago when they were checking out an address they managed to trace Hesse to. They found those that shot me there… they were uh… taken care of,” Steve explained.
Ziva let out a sigh as she let her head fall back to the pillow. “How in the world does the DC case connect here though? Nothing in any of the backgrounds that we ran had anything to do with California. Unless this guy decided to be random because it happened to be the case we were working while you were there. But the flower – it’s very specific. Tony texted me at some point that it ended up being someone they interviewed early on. I do not recall the details though.”
“It might not have any connection to the case at all… it might be Hesse’s way of pushing my buttons. Using the memory of my mother against me to throw me off,” Steve explained. “But Hetty’s being cautious and covering all the angles. To be honest, the way I am right now, I’d rather have Gibbs here helping. And Abby’s forensic skills could lead us to Hesse sooner.”
“Perhaps once he has a run in with Gibbs he will finally leave you alone,” she teased with a smile. “In either case, we need to let them handle everything as much as we wish to be involved. Focus on your recovery now so that we can go home and not worry so much.”
“Yes ma’am,” he grinned before kissing her again. It was only intended to be a light peck, but it soon turned far more passionate. Before long, their tongues were duelling for dominance within their mouths as their hands explored one another for what they could accomplish with his limited motion of his left arm.
Ziva moaned out into his mouth when his hand brushed over the outer curve of her breast. Pulling back for a breath, she grinned against his lips. “Did you have a nice dream during the night?” she asked, almost knowingly as his arm had slipped under her shirt in his sleep as she was waking up.
“Oh yeah…” he grinned. “Several in fact… all of them involved you.”
“Did any of them involve my being naked because you kept sliding my shirt up under the blankets,” she whispered, her face close to his as she had hovered over his neck with her lips.
“They all involved you being naked,” he grinned as he slid her shirt up once again and cupped her left breast in his hand. “Plus, I enjoy holding you like this.”
Ziva smiled at him, her eyes sparkling with mischievous thoughts. She sat up more, leaning in to both kiss him roughly and set her coffee on his rolling tray on the other side of the bed from her before pulling back and leaving the bed to make her way over to the door.
“Hey… where are you going?” he asked with a small smile, already missing the feel of her skin against his.
She did not answer him as she peered out of the door and closed it, locking the handle and pulling the blinds on the window of the heavy door. Slowly, she turned to look at him and his expression as he watched her and smiled more saucily.
“Ahh, you’re being cautious. It makes a change,” he grinned as his blood began to pump faster. “But we are in a hospital after all, so I guess we should.”
Ziva moved slowly to get back on the bed, raising one leg up before stopping as she reached down to grip the hem of her shirt to pull it over her head to reveal her naked self underneath. “We would have to be quiet. Do you think you can do that?” she asked softly as she continued back onto the bed and crawled over to him, her hand running over his body that was covered by the linen, from his knees upwards before grazing over his clearly growing bulge to his stomach and back down.
A soft growl escaped his lips, “So long as you’re gentle with me.” He then reached out for her breasts once again, squeezing and kneading them as she moved to straddle his hips.
“I can be gentle when I wish to be,” she replied, tugging on the linen to get to his body. She grinned down at him once she finally reached her target and pulled him out of his shorts, giving his length solid, firm strokes as she rocked her hips over him.
“Good,” he moaned as he pinched and pulled on her nipples softly. “Now get me inside you before I really do start making a racket.”
Ziva laughed as she ran her hand over him again before raising herself from him to work her pants off, relieved that she had put on loose yoga pants that morning. Once she was fully undressed, carefully standing over him on the bed as she dropped the articles to the floor she returned to her previous position as she kept her eyes on his. Reaching down to her center, she fingered herself with one hand and stroked him with the other as she worked herself to be able to comfortably take him inside her.
“I’ve missed this,” he moaned as she worked his shaft while he squeezed her breasts roughly once again. One hand moved down to help her at her center, his thumb seeking where her fingers worked. She lifted them just enough to allow him to press over the sensitive skin and she guided him the rest of the way so that he knew what she had needed in that moment.
It did not take long with Steve’s help that she pushed his hands away and took her dampened hand from her body’s fluids to run it over his length before moving to lower herself onto him. Ziva’s head fell back and her eyes rolled closed as she felt him fill her again. No matter how many times the two were intimate, she never got over the incredible feelings he managed to ignite in her body.
Steve sighed happily as he was wrapped in her warm embrace, his own eyes clamping shut in an effort to prolong their intimacy. A simple touch, even a look from Ziva could illicit an endgame to their love making and it became even more of a challenge to perform for her when they haven’t been together for several days.
Ziva could hear the soft jingle of the tubing from his IV line as he tried to reach his one arm out to her, making her open her eyes and look down at him as she rocked her hips. She reached out to stop that arm but pulled his other to her waist where she knew he wanted to touch. Once she was sure he wouldn’t use the arm he shouldn’t to avoid an untimely visit from the nursing staff, she reached up to raise the head of the bed more so that the distance between them was shortened, his lips coming closer so that she could easily lean forward to capture them in his, biting down lightly.
Her teeth enticed a low growl from him as well as a jerk from his hips while his tongue filled her mouth to seek out its companion for yet another bout of dominance. He opened his eyes briefly in order to enjoy the look of pure bliss that was spread across Ziva’s face. He never got tired of seeing her like this, so content and at peace with herself.
She looked at him, her eyes glazed with her desire for him. They dropped their gaze from his eyes to his lips and down to his chest where the patches of gauze covered the holes inflicted on his chest. Her own thrusting over him slowed down as she reached to touch over the one closest to his heart. “Are you in much pain?” she asked softly, her voice barely above a whisper.
“No…” he moaned as she rode him gently. “Right now I feel great.”
Ziva kissed him again as she pushed herself back down as far as she could before grinding herself over him in gentle circles. Pulling in a breath, she moved her lips over his languidly. “As soon as you are 100% again,” she started to say as rolled her neck as a small wave coursed through her as she could feel herself slowly approaching her high. “When you are better and I do not have an active case, I am coming back out for a visit.”
“Something to look forward to,” he smiled as he began to kiss her neck, shifting his hips in the hope of drawing out Ziva’s pleasure as well as his own. “But you know, if we carry on like this, we’ll use up all our leave time too quickly.”
“Perhaps but I have plenty of overtime credits that I can use and if the team is not on call for the weekend I can come out even for just the short time,” she replied before stopping completely for a moment. “I have been thinking about your offer. I am not ready for that just yet…but it is an option that is enticing.”
“Take your time,” he replied with a sincere smile. “I don’t want you feeling pressured to make the decision after everything that’s happened. Yes we’ve fought, yes we almost lost each other… yes, right there… keep doing that. But… but we’ve gotten through it. And I think we’re both still in this for the long haul. So there’s no rush.”
She smiled lovingly at him as she continued her rocking and allowed herself to thrust a little harder on him that she would be comfortable with in his condition. Sitting back up on him, she continued on, her hand coming up to his on her waist, her nails digging into his flesh as she shifted her focus to working them both to climax.
Her breathing sped up as she ground herself hard over him with each downward thrust she made. Her legs tightened along his sides as she felt herself ready to burst. Falling forward, her hands landed either on the bed tucked between his left arm that had taken a bullet and his body, the other on his well toned bicep of his right arm. Fingers flexed and squeezed, nails digging into his flesh as she bit her lip to restrain her desire to cry out as the tightly wound knot in her belly released itself.
Steve’s own orgasm quickly followed her intense moment of bliss. Every muscle in his body tightened as he filled his mouth with her left breast to cover his own cries of pleasure. And when he finally regained some sort of composure, he found her smiling down on him. Releasing her breast from his mouth, he licked his top lip which only served as an invitation for her to kiss him once more.
Ziva chuckled as she pressed her lips to his, allowing themselves to wind down. “Feeling better?” she hummed, dropping another kiss before reluctantly pulling themselves apart to clean up and redress.
Steve simply smiled and nodded. Yes he’d been shot, yes he’d almost lost her and Hesse was still at large, but at that moment he felt nothing but love for the woman who was taking such good care of him.
She grinned at him as she hurried into the bathroom to freshen up before coming back with a wet washcloth to clean Steve up and pass him a fresh pair of underwear that was not covered in their joined fluids. She heard Danny mumbling outside the door, seemingly on the phone and hurried around the bed to pull on her shirt, sans bra, and her pants before shoving everything else she could find in a bag to set aside. “You okay there? Need a hand?” she whispered, eyeing their friend’s shadow crossing the door before letting out a breath of relief when he walked away again.
“That was too close,” Steve breathed a sigh of relief before chuckling at the thought of his partner catching them in their former state of semi-nudity. Having unlocked the door, Ziva returned to her place on the bed and the pair were snuggling once again as Danny re-entered.
“Rachel and Grace send their love,” he smiled as he settled back in front of the small TV. “And Grace asked when we’d be coming home.”
“Danny, if you’re needed at home, you should go. Ziva, Sam and his people can take care of me until I’m well enough to find Hesse,” Steve explained.
“Oh no… it seems like every time I leave the two of you alone, something bad happens to one of you. You’re not leaving my sight until you either go back to DC or come home,” Danny protested.
“It’s nice to know you care,” Ziva smiled, her finger tracing circles on the inside if Steve’s elbow. “Did you have a good swim?”
“I sure did. And I didn’t have to worry about sharks, or jellyfish or anything else that might want a piece of me,” Danny replied.
She only chuckled in response as she worked to settle back in more comfortably, feeling the need for an early nap but simply wished to relax. “Anything happening in Hawaii? Have you talked to Chin or Kono?” she asked curiously.
“HPD found the body of a Marine in a motel room, your Director asked for some support on the case so Chin and Kono are working on it while Vance gets some agents out there,” Danny replied. “She’s going all out to improve the relationship between the police and NCIS isn’t she?”
Ziva shrugged. “As long as they do not think about sending me there for this one, they can do whatever they wish. I am staying right here in bed with Steve. I am not going anywhere,” she said as she looked up and smiled at Steve.
“Damn right you’re not,” he smiled back before kissing her forehead.
“You two carry on like this and I’m either gonna have to hose you both down or leave the room again,” Danny shook his head as he flipped through the TV channels. “Can’t keep your hands off each other even when one of you is pumped full of bullet holes…”
“It’s not like we’re naked or having sex in here. Or would you rather us be doing that?” she asked in turn innocently.
“Did you seriously just ask me that?” Danny asked. “Did she seriously just ask me that. Do I want to watch you two bump uglies? Hell no!”
“Then be quiet and watch TV,” Steve smirked. Under the cover of darkness that had encased the room, the SEAL stealthily slipped his hand into Ziva’s shirt and began to massage her breast, flashing her a devious smile as he did so.
She dropped her jaw as she looked up at him, glancing over at Danny before rolling her eyes and swatting his hand away. She mouthed out ilater/i to him, letting him know that she may be up for another round if they had the opportunity but they really needed to behave themselves in the company of others, especially their very single friend.
Steve kissed her forehead once again and simply closed his eyes. They didn’t have to talk, just holding her was enough for him. They could only wonder just how Gibbs was going to chew them out for the trouble they found themselves in this time.