Gibbs hated these conferences, even though he learned a lot from them. It could be a challenge filtering out the bull and hysterics and nailing down the actual terrorism threats growing around the world. Vance had insisted that he attend, especially in the wake of the Somalia situation. He didn't want to discuss it; hadn't been interested in revisiting that mess. He couldn't give a talk about Ziva going back to Mossad, or detail the plan that sent Tony and McGee over, none of it. It was all too raw for him and the team.
There was no way he could get out of making a talk, much as it annoyed him. So he decided to talk about the Bin Atwa case and how he'd gotten the situation resolved by sheer cunning rather than military skill or traditional interrogation. He hated making these speeches, even if these guys were his peers. Fornell and Sacks were there and Gibbs wished NCIS had the budget to have sent DiNozzo along as well. Tony could learn a lot from conferences like this one.
And at least DiNozzo would want to socialize with some of these guys. Not Sacks and Fornell for sure—Tony didn't tend to want to spend time with the men who accused him of murder. But Tony'd liked DEA Agent Kent Fuller, who they'd worked with years ago, and there were a bunch of young guys from DHS, who Tony would have had a lot of fun with. He was so much more social in these situations; much more at ease and friendly than Gibbs. Tony's friendliness wasn't forced; he was a social guy by nature. Gibbs would much rather be in his room reading or doing puzzles.
Gibbs had spent a couple of evenings with Fornell, Fuller, and a few of the other guys, but they were huge gamblers and he wasn't. He'd been eager to fly home today, but the DC area was closed down by a huge blizzard and their flights had been cancelled. Fornell and the others were looking at this as another night on the town, but Gibbs had enough of socializing with the same guys and had begged off just after eating a quick dinner with them. But he found himself wanting more than he'd find in his room. He wanted to get out and explore a bit.
It had been years since he'd been in Vegas, and the complete landscape had changed. He had no idea where a single guy went for an interesting time and he found himself turning on his rarely used work laptop, typing in a few keywords and seeing what came up.
In minutes, Gibbs had jotted down a list of places he wanted to research more. Gibbs stretched and strode into the shower, shucking off his clothes before he got to the bathroom. This was going to be an "anything goes" night and he wanted to be prepared for it. For whatever happened. Gibbs was going to take some chances tonight and he couldn't be happier about that. He'd been in a rut for a damned long time.
When in DC, Gibbs was conservative, straitlaced. He had to be; too many people knew him and there were far too many chances to get caught, no matter how discreet the club or society. But out here in Vegas, he could be someone else. He wasn't bound by anything except his imagination.
Gibbs washed quickly, running his wet/dry electric razor over his face and shaving away the slight stubble that had grown throughout the day. When he got out of the shower, he paid a hell of a lot more attention to his appearance than he usually did. Yeah, he was older, but as he'd told the team many times, older didn't mean dead. And for an older guy, he wasn't exactly bad looking.
This wasn't a polo and white undershirt night, Gibbs told himself after he dried off, brushed his hair and teeth, and put deodorant and a small splash of aftershave on. He had a few button downs here that would go well with the black dress pants he'd brought along but hadn't yet worn. Padding around his room completely naked, he pulled out a dark blue designer shirt left over from the Stephanie days when he was expected to go to corporate dinners with her every month or two. She'd always called the color "Midnight Blue," which had never made any sense at all to Gibbs. Weren't midnights black instead of blue?
He pulled on the shirt and buttoned it up, studying himself in the mirror. Cock slightly swollen—the idea and possibilities of the night just beginning to turn him on. It lay between the tails of the shirt and Gibbs knew a few seconds of fantasizing would have him completely hard, as if he was much younger than his years.
He shook his head at his reflection and pulled on some knit boxers, and then the dress pants, before slipping on socks and shoes. It wouldn't do him any good to show up at a club looking like a middle-aged predator or a horny puppy. Both would get him turned away at the door of any reputable club. And he wasn't compromising there; only a reputable club would work for him. He had to look calm, inscrutable, completely in control.
Gibbs collected his wallet and room key and slipped a sheathed ceramic knife into his sock before leaving the room. On his way out, he grabbed the piece of paper with the names of the clubs on them. He strode through the lobby, the dings and bells and whistles of the various gambling machines beginning to hurt his ears.
When he was down the strip and had passed two hotels, he ducked into a third. The MGM Grand was a huge place and the concierge would probably never recognize him if anyone ever asked. He stood patiently at the counter, trying to make himself look a little less imposing and commanding. That wasn't easy; his military training completely instinctive nowadays.
"Can I help you, sir?" a pretty blonde asked.
"What can you tell me about these places?" Gibbs asked, passing the sheet of hotel stationery over. They had suggestive names like "Whip and Boot" and "Knotted Ropes" and most were blocks—if not miles—off the strip.
To her credit, the woman flushed only for a second before shrugging. "If you want a real place—the real deal," she said slowly, measuring his expression. "Forget these places and go to The Chamber. They're one of the major sponsors of the Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball."
She scribbled down the address and directions and handed a piece of paper to him. "Enjoy your stay here, sir!" she chirped.
"Thanks," Gibbs said, amused at her perky goodbye. He made his way through the crowds of gamblers and conventioneers, dodging groups of people. His eyes fixed on a far doorway, where a woman in a red and black corset and what looked to be black leather pants leaned down, chatting with someone. He couldn't see her face, but from the split second it took for her to disappear, she reminded him of Abbs.
Gibbs pulled in a deep breath, knowing he couldn't think about Abby. There was a connection and attraction between them, but she wasn't here ... and it couldn't work. They both knew, it even if they'd never voiced it.
It was too late, though. Gibbs knew she fantasized about him, and he did her. It had taken weeks for him to get the Marilyn Monroe image out of his head and even now, thinking about her in that dress could get him revved up pretty quickly.
He swallowed hard, shaking his head. He didn't need to be going down a road of Abby as Marilyn ... or Abby in leather. That wasn't a good idea at all.
"Fuck," he muttered, trying to shake the image from his head before he fully hardened in the busy lobby. He considered forgetting going to the club and just heading back to his hotel, but he was already too keyed up. He needed something, even if it meant nothing to anyone but him.
Gibbs swallowed hard and strode to a gift shop, buying some condoms. He had a feeling he was going to get himself in trouble and he could at least do so safely. At least in Vegas, nobody gave him a knowing smirk when he made his purchase. Guys like him probably did this all the time. Maybe the club would have their own supplies, but Gibbs would go in prepared.
Was he really going to do this? He could probably charm any redhead over forty in any of these hotels into his bed. Why a club? Why did he feel the need to revisit this part of himself? It wasn't as if he was going to a member's only place and actually playing. He didn't even belong to the clubs in DC any more.
Gibbs shook his head, aware that he was getting deep into Ducky psychoanalysis territory. He didn't need to lose himself in his head. He couldn't; he had to think of this as going undercover.
It was a fifteen minute walk to the club, which was about a quarter mile off strip in a more industrial looking area. There were a few people standing around outside who watched as he walked confidently up to the door, knowing that he looked completely in charge.
"Cover charge?" he asked coolly, eyeing the massively muscled bouncer.
"For you, five, sir," the bouncer said with a nod. Gibbs realized he had to be presenting pretty authoritatively; he bet the cover charge here was at least twenty-five dollars. The bouncer handed Gibbs a piece of paper with the club's rules and watched as Gibbs pulled a five out of his wallet. "Enjoy yourself, sir."
Gibbs nodded, not at all surprised that the man had responded to his commanding nature. As Gibbs made his way into the club, he scanned the rules. It was all standard stuff; nothing he couldn't live without. This was a club for play, not for anything more serious than that.
He glanced over to the dance floor, which was enclosed with Plexiglas of some sort, dampening the sound from the bar area, where it seemed most of the hookups happened. A lot of people were in street clothes, others in more serious play wear. There were some girls dressed as schoolgirls with their eyes made up to be extra wide, others in what looked like more Victorian clothes, more than a few people in leather displaying miles of flesh and tattoos and piercings.
Gibbs slipped into an empty seat at the bar and ordered a beer, regarding his neighbors with a nod and a smile. Neither were his type, but there were a lot of fish in this sea. "Looking for anything in particular?" the bartender asked as he dropped the beer off and took Gibbs' money.
"Know it when I see it," Gibbs replied.
"Man of action, then," the bartender said with a wink. She was cute in a way, too young for him and way too made up for him.
"Yeah, I am." Gibbs took his bottle of beer and drifted closer to the dance floor. The barrier was completely see-through, doors inserted every ten feet or so. The Plexiglas allowed people to observe the dancers easily and Gibbs scanned the crowd, his eyes drawn to a very unlikely couple with their backs to him. The shorter woman couldn't have been over four feet tall and she had streaks of purple in her hair and the taller one ... Damn, Gibbs could swear it was the woman from the hotel. Same black and red corset, same leather pants, same dark hair. Something about the way she moved reminded him of Abby.
As she moved and danced, her back to him, his cock hardened and his mouth watered. He wanted her—badly. Maybe it was the Abby fantasy, maybe it wasn't. He didn't much care. But the more he watched her, the more she became Abby in his head.
Gibbs downed his beer in a few gulps, plunking the bottle onto a table. Even though he knew he was too old to take chances with women, he moved into the dance area and over to where the two were. The taller one was leaning in, talking to a man, and Gibbs possessiveness reared up. When the guy wound an arm around her, resting it on her lower back, Gibbs sprang into motion, circling around the woman and her friend in a wide berth.
He didn't look up, didn't even try to catch her eye as he worked his way through the crowd.
Abby shook her head as some loser asked her to do things to him with a whip. It was so tiring dealing with these scene wannabes. Even though this club was the place for people into a variety of different things, she found herself wondering if they were letting just anyone in. Okay, it wasn't a proper serious lifestyler club, but even so...
Abby had thought Carol had been joking when she said she'd won a three-day getaway for two, but her friend had been completely serious. And even better, Carol had chosen to take her. They'd had some fun at the casinos—Abby winning over seventeen hundred dollars playing poker—and had blown some of it on the coolest corset ever and a pair of leather pants that felt as if they were custom made for her. Abby knew she looked good—damned good.
It was just too bad that the man she really wanted to be with had flown home today. With cases at all all-time high and Gibbs so stressed, Abby hadn't even told him that she was going away. She had so much vacation time built up that she had to use, and Vance had approved her leave request directly.
Carol had tried to convince her to forget about Gibbs. What sane friend wouldn't—he'd been divorced three times. But it was different for Carol—she'd never even met Gibbs and she had no idea about the connection Abby had with him. It was electric. She'd felt that they'd been so close to taking it to another level more than once, but every time, he'd pulled back, and Abby didn't understand why. If she could have him just once—just once...
"Fox at nine o'clock, closing fast," Carol said. Abby gasped, feeling her nipples pebble in the corset, and her pussy dampen before she even looked over. Whoever this was, he had a presence, one her body wanted more of. "Don't look, Abby!"
But Abby had to look. She started low, at average shoes, black dress pants, a dark blue shirt, and...
Oh my god, Gibbs is here!