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Independence Day

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Independence Day

The DiNozzo and McGee families celebrate the 4th of July at the beach. July 2026.

"Welcome to Sea Isle City," four-year-old LJ read the sign just before the bridge over the bay that connected the barrier island with the mainland. "Is this where we are staying, Abba?"

"Yep, Uncle Tim's cousin let us use his beach condo for the long weekend. I think he said there are five bedrooms," Tony replied to his youngest. "We will be three houses from the beach!"

He followed the McGee minivan across the two lane bridge into what appeared to be the main part of the town. At the traffic light, the family could see the boardwalk straight ahead. The light changed and Tony turned right on the main road to follow Tim. They passed shops, churches, and a grocery store as they drove south on the island. Businesses changed over to houses on the side streets as they neared the final destination.

A left turn on to 83rd Street, a stop sign, and then the condo was on the right. Tim pulled into the driveway in front of one of two garage doors; Tony parked in front of the other. The three story condo looked fairly new and had a modern design. A large bay window on the side facing the street and on the side facing the water caught Ziva's attention. She hoped that she could watch the sunrise over the Atlantic at least one morning while they were there. She really wanted to catch a glimpse of the fabled "green flash" that she had read about.

"DiNozzos, do not go inside empty-handed," Ziva called out to her five as Tony opened the rear hatch of the minivan. He handed each child his or her duffle or small suitcase as Ziva reminded them to bring in the backpacks with their tablets, stuffed animals, books, and other toys each had packed for the trip.

"Are we going to the beach today?" six-year-old Beth looked longingly at the path to the beach at the end of the street. "I want to build a sand castle!"

"Yup, as soon as we all get settled inside, we can change to swimsuits," her father replied. He glanced at his wife who nodded her agreement.

Tim entered the code on the keypad to open the garage door. Inside there were water toys and sand toys on the shelves that lined the two-car garage. Three outdoor shower stalls were along the east side of the bottom floor. A beach wheelchair sat in the middle tethered to an electric outlet on the side. John and Rivka ran over to inspect the device.

"Ooh, cool, Mom can go on the beach!" John exclaimed as he inspected the plastic balloon tires, plastic tubing frame, and water-proof motor.

"This is so neat; I'm glad Aunt Dee won't be left out," Rivka looked over the chair with her cousin.

"Remember that is for MOM only," Tim reminded the kids.

Tony flipped the switch to operate the elevator; when it opened, he motioned for Dee to go in. "Looks fairly simple to operate; let's get you upstairs and then I'll load suitcases in for the trip up."

Ziva led the kids up the stairs to the main floor. It had an open design with a large family room with multiple sofas and chairs, a sixty-inch TV, a table for twelve, and a fully-applianced kitchen around the central shaft containing the stairwell, elevator, and utilities. A deck ran the full length of the back of the building with sliding doors from the dining area and family room area.

The top floor had the five bedrooms; one with a queen-sized bed, one with two twin beds that had been put together to make a king; and three with double bunk beds. The boys chose the room on the southeast corner, each one claiming a bed. The four girls decided to take the southwest corner room leaving the center bedroom on the rear of the house as a play room for all of the children.

Tim chose the queen-sized bed for him and Dee. "We're used to a queen; you two take the king," he told Tony. Ziva was secretly happy that she and Tony got the northeast corner room. She could see the ocean from the windows in the corner of the room where there was also a reading nook.

"I am going downstairs to check the pantry and refrigerator with Dee, so we can make a grocery list," Ziva told her husband. "Are you and Tim going to take the kids to the beach?"

"Yep; that'll give you two time to get a shopping list made." He walked over to the kids' side of the upper floor. "Get swimsuits on; beach in fifteen!"

He could hear the kids scrambling in the bedrooms and bathrooms as he headed back to change into his swim trunks. He met Tim in the hallway; the younger man was already in a t-shirt, swim trunks, and beach shoes.

"Meet you downstairs," Tim called out as he headed down the stairway. "I'll find the beach passes that we need."

Fifteen minutes later, Tony, Tim, and Tali were sporting the colorful beach pass bracelets, for twelve and older beach guests. The younger kids didn't need passes. They were all picking through beach toys and water toys.

"Remember that if you bring it, you carry it both ways!" Tony admonished his five.

"Abba is not the pack mule," Rivka pseudo-whispered to her twin. All five DiNozzos grinned and shared looks as Tony rolled his eyes. He would NEVER live that one down from the trips to the Haifa beach in 2023.

John and Anthony chose to take body boards, Tali, Rivka, Beth, and Katie decided that they didn't need anything except towels, and LJ grabbed a small bucket for "collecting things." Tony and Tim each picked a beach blanket and umbrella out of the beach gear.

"To the beach!" Tim led the group out of the garage to the sidewalk to the beach access point. They climbed the small stairway over the dunes and the kids went running when they hit the sand.

"WHOA!" Tony yelled out as the seven kids froze in place. "Buddy system at all times!" The kids paired up; Anthony and John, Tali and Katie, Rivka and Beth. LJ looked over at the other kids and then at the adults.

"Abba, there is no buddy for me," he looked hopefully at his father. "Are you my buddy?"

"I'll be your buddy, LJ," Tim volunteered. "That way your dad can watch over everyone."

"Cool," LJ took Uncle Tim's hand and pulled him towards the water.

"Let me get the umbrellas and blankets set up with your dad first, LJ." Tim and Tony spread the two blankets over the sand and shoved the umbrella posts into the sand, creating some shade on the blankets.

John and Anthony ran into the water and started riding the waves on their body boards. The four girls dove under the breaking waves and then body surfed back to the shore line under Tony's watchful eye. LJ and Tim started walking along the tide line; LJ picked up interesting pebbles, shells, and oddities. He found several colorful pieces of beach glass, adding everything to his bucket to take back to the condo.

LJ continued scavenging the tide line as Tim sat on one of the blankets and watched the little boy making his way along the beach. He noted the boy stopped near the catamarans that were resting on the beach a few streets north.

While fathers and children were at the beach, Ziva and Dee checked out the pantry and refrigerator. They made meal plans for the three and one half days that they would be there, and then wrote out a shopping list.

"Let's go get the groceries while the others are on the beach," Dee suggested. "I saw an Acme Market back towards town." When Ziva nodded her agreement, Dee added, "I'll drive; that way we don't have to figure out how to get my chair into your van."

"Okay," Ziva replied. "Let me leave a note for Tony and Tim." She wrote a note on the message white board on the fridge and grabbed her purse to follow Delilah to the ground floor.

Forty five minutes later, the two were unloading groceries from the back of the McGee minivan when the others came up from the beach.

"Ima, I'm hungry," Anthony called out. "When is dinner?"

"As soon as Aunt Dee and I make the dinner we will eat; you may have a snack when we get the groceries put away," Ziva knew if Anthony was hungry, the other four would be as well. She turned to the group to give them choices for snacks and noticed immediately that they were one child short.

"Where's LJ?"

"He's…" Tony looked around for his youngest. LJ was nowhere in sight. "Tim?"

"He was with us when we folded up the blankets and umbrellas. I thought he followed you over the dunes." Tim looked back towards the beach.

Ziva questioned the other kids, "Has anyone seen LJ? Did you see him follow the group from the beach?"

"He was with us when we started over the dunes, Ima," Tali remembered seeing LJ adjusting his sandals near the base of the steps on the beach side.

"I'll take the kids inside and get them snacks," Delilah offered. "Go look for LJ."

Tony and Tim quickly dumped blankets and umbrellas in the garage and sprinted after Ziva who ran to the beach access. Ziva pushed her way through two groups coming off the beach.

"Move, please, my son is missing," she didn't slow down to say more as she elbowed her way through the people. She got to the top of the stairs and quickly glanced over the beach. LJ was carrying a plastic bucket and had on bright green swim trunks. She looked for anything with the green color as she descended the steps. Tony came up behind his wife at the bottom of the steps on the beach side.

"Easy, mama bear, he can't have gone far," Tony spoke into her ear. "We'll find him!"

Ziva glared at her husband, "My baby is missing; do not tell me…" She stopped mid-sentence as Tim jogged towards the catamarans a few streets north. She and Tony both spotted the bright green at the same time. They took off after their brother.

"LJ!" Tim called out as he neared the boats and little boy. "Hey, LJ!"

The little boy turned to see his uncle running up to him and his parents not far behind. "Hi, Uncle Tim. Is it time to go?"

Ziva ran over to her boy, wrapping her arms around him protectively. "Are you okay, LJ?"

He nodded and looked at his parents; he wondered why they looked so worried. Even Uncle Tim looked worried. "I'm fine, Ima. I wanted to see the boats one more time, and then there were some gulls fighting. I wanted to see why they were fighting. One of them had a sandwich and they all wanted it."

"LJ, we were leaving the beach! Why did you run off by yourself?" Tony tried to keep from yelling now that he knew LJ was okay.

LJ looked up at his father and noticed that Ima was giving him the 'Ima glare.' Abba was not looking very happy and Uncle Tim had a stern expression on his face. "I forgot that we were supposed to stay with our buddy, Abba. I'm sorry."

"LJ, it's a good thing I remembered that you were very interested in the catamarans," Tim spoke quietly. "I spotted your green swimsuit from the beach steps."

LJ hung his head and took his Ima's hand as the four walked back to the condo. None of the adults spoke on the trek back until they were in the garage.

"Time out for thirty minutes," Tony told the little boy as Ziva nodded her agreement. "No other kids around, no TV, no distractions. Think about what you did and how worried we were."

"But, Abba," LJ started to protest.

"Forty five minutes," Ziva spoke sharply. LJ looked at his Ima and nodded slowly. He knew better than to protest again. "Go upstairs," she pointed for him to go ahead of her. At the top of the stairs, she pointed to a chair in the dining area. "Sit there." He obediently followed her directions and sat on the chair with his hands in his lap.

While LJ served his time out, the other kids played games on their tablets or read. Tony and Tim helped shuck corn for dinner. Ziva and Dee cooked two dozen hot dogs, the corn, and eighteen hamburgers on the indoor grill. Katie and Tali set the table, and the family sat together to have their first meal at the shore.

After dinner, they strolled on the boardwalk in town. Ziva purchased some salt water taffy to take home and some to have for the weekend. The kids were all fascinated by the taffy-pulling machine on display at the store. John and Rivka would have stayed watching it all evening if allowed. Tim offered to stay with the two while the others checked out a few of the other stores, mostly selling beach souvenirs.

At the games arcade, the kids played video games and also played in the ball pit while the adults tried their hands at Skee-ball. Tony was pretty good at it, but once Ziva got the idea, she beat him easily. Her accuracy with the ball was remarkable. Tony was proud of his Ninja especially when she won a large amount of prize tickets with her high score. He handed her his tickets to add to her haul. She had a choice of several prizes, finally choosing a bean bag plush toy embroidered with the Seas Isle City logo for each of the kids, a pack of three five hundred piece beach-themed jigsaw puzzles, and a set of four plastic wine glasses with beach scenes.

It was dark when the group exited the game arcade; they made their way back to the vehicles as a free concert at the pavilion on the boardwalk started. The kids were all quiet on the short ride back to the condo; it was later than the bedtimes for all but Tali.

After getting the kids settled in bed for the night, the four adults sat on the second floor deck sharing a bottle of wine. Ziva rinsed out the wine glasses she got at the arcade for them to use. They could hear the surf as they enjoyed the night sounds.

"This was a great idea, Tim," Ziva commented. "Please tell your cousin thank you for allowing us to use the condo this weekend!"

The couples retired to their respective bedrooms for the night. Everyone slept well after tiring out in the salt air.

Ziva and Tony awoke at 0410, a bit earlier than their usual morning time. Afterwards, Ziva mentioned the "green flash" at sunrise while they were cuddling.

"How about a quick shower and then we can walk to the beach and see if we can spot it before the sunrise?" Tony suggested. He glanced at the clock and pulled up sunrise info on his phone. "We have about twenty minute to get down to the beach."

They showered, dressed in shorts, t-shirts, and sandals. The couple quietly slipped downstairs and headed to the beach with phones in hand, hoping to catch a glimpse of the phenomena. Ziva wanted try to get a picture as well. They walked hand in hand, fingers intertwined, to the beach access and climbed the steps. Tony pulled Ziva into his arms at the top of the stairs and fused his lips on hers.

"Ani ohev otcha, Zi."

"Ani ohevet otach," she replied. "More later…" she turned to face the ocean and watch for the rising sun as they sat side by side on the top step headed down to the beach. As the horizon began to get lighter they watched the sky.

"THERE!" both pointed and exclaimed with excitement. "WOW!" The elongated green flash was short-lived and would have been easily missed if they had not known what to look for and where. They cuddled into each other as the couple watched the sun rise over the Atlantic.

"That was more awesome than any fireworks we may see tonight could ever be." Tony was glad that he and Ziva had shared the moment.

"Oh, I am not so sure about that," Ziva teased and ran her hand over Tony's chest. "I can think of some fireworks that we could make into something special…"

He grinned at her as they entered the condo and moved up to the second floor. There were no sounds from upstairs, so the others were most likely still asleep since it was just 0600. Ziva started the coffee maker. They sat on the deck with their coffee mugs; Tony watched an episode of one of his favorite TV shows on his tablet while Ziva completed an online crossword puzzle.

"Good morning, Happy Fourth!" Dee rolled out on to the deck with a mug of coffee and her tablet.

"Morning," Tony replied. "Anyone else up yet?"

"I think the boys may be," she replied. "Tim rolled over and went back to sleep when I got up and the girls room was quiet."

Just as she spoke, Anthony and LJ appeared in the kitchen looking for food. Ziva went inside to show the boys the choices for breakfast. LJ chose a bagel with cream cheese and Anthony poured a bowl of cereal. Ziva toasted bagels for herself and Tony, and offered one to Dee.

"No thanks; I'm going to try that yogurt blend with the granola I bought." Dee rummaged in the fridge and found what she wanted.

By 0830 all of the others were awake and everyone had breakfast. They decided to go down to the beach early to beat the crowds and also to make it easier to get the beach wheelchair on to the beach. The access ramp for the chair was one street south, so Tim and Dee headed out before the others, agreeing to meet them on the sand. All of the kids chose to take body boards this time, remembering how much fun John and Anthony had the day before. Ziva carried three blankets while Tony had two beach umbrellas as the group headed out.

They spent close to two hours on the beach. As they left, the crowds were growing and the temperatures were climbing. Back at the condo, each one rinsed off in the outdoor showers and went upstairs wrapped in a towel to change to shorts and tank tops or t-shirts. Ziva and Tim made sandwiches for lunch while the others got dressed and put wet swimsuits and towels out to dry on the line off the deck.

After lunch, Dee and the girls decided to work on one of the jigsaw puzzles from Ziva's prizes. Tim, John, and Anthony played a game on the Xbox in the living room. Out on the deck, Tony watched a movie on his tablet and Ziva read a book. A sudden pop-up thunderstorm sent Tony and Ziva scrambling inside with the others about 1430.

After dinner of grilled chicken, rice pilaf, and grilled summer vegetables, the whole family headed to the beach at dusk to watch the fireworks shows from the towns along the barrier islands. Immediately north, they could see the Sea Isle City show. A bit further to the north, the Ocean City fireworks were visible in the night sky. To the south, they could view the pyrotechnics from Avalon. While the kids alternated between sitting on the blankets the adults had spread out on the beach and playing nearby, Ziva leaned back against Tony, his arms wrapped around her from behind. He nuzzled into her neck. Tim sat on a beach chair next to Dee's beach wheelchair.

"We could sneak back to the house," Tony whispered into Ziva's ear. He nibbled her ear lobe and got a soft hum of appreciation from his wife. "Or we can sneak back here after everyone is in bed for the night…"

"Reminds me of a trip to Haifa in 2012…" Ziva purred. Their remembering was interrupted by a sudden flash of light and a loud boom from the next street beach access point south. Some rather loud and apparently drunken partiers had decided to set off their own fireworks on the beach.

Tony reached into the backpack he had carried to the beach, "I guess it's time for these." He pulled out several packages of sparklers for the kids. "Remember to hold them away from yourself and each other, and that the ends are HOT after they burn," he admonished as he lit a sparkler for each kid.

Tali showed the other how to light the next one from one already burning and the seven kids were soon sporting the sparklers in each hand. Ziva had a bucket of water for them to place the spent fireworks as they burned out.

"Thanks Uncle Tony; these are cool!" Katie grinned as she and the others waved the sparklers over the sand.

By 2200 all of the sparklers were used, the fireworks shows had finished, and the party group had moved back to wherever they were staying. Tim and Tony gathered the blankets and Ziva corralled the kids to head back to the condo with the promise of root beer floats.

It was after midnight by the time all of the children were finally in bed. Tim and Dee said their good nights and headed to their room as Tony finished loading the dishes and cups from the root beer floats snack into the dishwasher. Ziva came downstairs just as he pressed start to run the dishwasher.

Tony snaked his arms around his wife, drawing her to him. "Want that 'beach at midnight,' Sweetcheeks?" He kissed her softly on the lips as she nodded. The couple went downstairs and slipped beach shoes on their feet. Hand in hand, with intertwined fingers, the pair walked towards the beach, sharing kisses as they walked.

There was just enough ambient light to see outlines and shadows on the beach. Tony suggested that they head in the direction of the catamarans, since they knew how many streets between theirs and the boats. They could hear parties on-going at the houses on the other side of the dunes as they walked, stopping to share kisses often.

Tony pulled Ziva into him and locked his lips on hers just past the next beach access area. When they needed to break for air, he whispered, "I could make love to you all night right here, right now, Zi. I love you so much."

"Save that thought, my love," she replied before putting her lips on his again. They broke apart as they heard voices from the beach access stairs. "I think we would have an audience unfortunately…" She threaded her fingers into his and they turned and headed back towards their street.

At the bottom of the stairs, the couple looked out over the ocean before heading off the beach. The stars in the night sky were incredible. Parts of the Milky Way were very visible.

Tony nuzzled into Ziva's neck, "See all those stars? I love you more than there are stars in the sky…"

"Love you more," she whispered back as she tugged on his hand to head back to their room.

The rest of the family was already up, fed, and ready for the day when Tony and Ziva came down to the second floor at 0920. Neither one had felt a need to get up early, deciding after making love when they got back from the beach that they would allow themselves the luxury of sleeping in on that Sunday morning.

Delilah looked up from the book she was reading, "There's coffee in the pot, and Tim went to that bakery we saw the other day and got pastries and donuts." She pointed to the boxes on the counter. "Not sure what the kids left for you, but I know there are a few of each left."

Tony nodded as he grabbed two coffee mugs, "Thanks, Dee. Where's everyone else?" He handed Ziva a mug of coffee as she opened the bakery boxes.

"Tim took the kids to the beach to fly kites. The breeze off the ocean is perfect for kites today, according to the local weather feed."

Ziva turned to her sister of the heart, "Thanks for letting us sleep in. We have been getting out at night or early in the morning to be alone together. If you and Tim want to get some time for just you two today, we can watch all the kids."

Dee smiled, "Thanks. I'll let you know, but I like that idea."

Thirty minutes later, Tim and the kids came in to swap kites for body boards and towels. Tony pulled his brother to the side while the kids chose their boards.

"Zi and I have the kids; go spend the day with your wife," he suggested to the younger man.

"Thanks, Tony," Tim headed upstairs to find Dee as Ziva came down in. "Thanks, Ziva."

"Have fun!" she winked at her brother of the heart.

Ziva, Tony, and the seven kids headed to the beach each one with a body board. They all had towels and Tony carried two beach umbrellas, while Ziva and Tali carted four beach blankets. The family set up an area on the sand and all of them headed to the water with the body boards. All nine played in the surf for almost two hours before heading back to the condo for lunch. Tony called in a pizza order to the pizza take-out shop a few blocks north of their street on the main road. He took John and Anthony with him to pick up the order of five large pizzas.

Tim and Delilah headed to Ocean City for the day; Delilah had seen advertising for the larger boardwalk in the city to the north. The couple spent the day visiting the various shops, attractions, and restaurants on the Ocean City Boardwalk, stopping for lunch at a pizza place that was highly recommended in online reviews. Dee commented that Tony would be jealous of their lunch.

After the pizza, they found a matinee of a movie both wanted to see.

Back in Sea Isle, Tony found an open time slot on the parasailing boats out of the dock three blocks south of the condo. He reserved the slot for all nine of them. Ziva make sandwiches for lunch and then the group walked the three blocks to the parasail docks.

Each of the kids was fitted with a life jacket and shown the safety harnesses and tethers that would be used as they rode the parasail. Ziva and Tony found life jackets for themselves; all nine boarded the Minotaur, the largest of the boats used by the company. Out on the water, the tour manager decided to group Tali with Rivka and Beth first. Ziva had her camera ready as the three girls lifted off the boat's deck. Three huge DiNozzo grins looked down at their parents from the air. After the fifteen minute ride, which included a soft touch-down to the water to get feet wet, they were brought back on to the boat's deck. John, Katie, and Anthony were up next.

"It is so awesome, look at everything!" Rivka told the three.

"Yep, I closed my eyes at first, but when I opened them, I wish I hadn't," Beth added. "You can see a LOT from up there."

Again Ziva had her camera ready as the three took off. John and Katie both let out a small scream but once they were acclimated to the sensation of flying, both were grinning as much as Anthony. He looked down and gave his parents a thumb's up. Katie spotted two dolphins in the surf and pointed them out to her brother and cousin. All three watched the dolphins from the air as the others watched from the boat.

"Abba, this was a great idea; it's so much fun!" Tali hugged her father. "Too bad Uncle Tim and Aunt Dee are missing it."

"When is my turn, Ima?" LJ wanted in on the fun. He would be riding with his parents shortly.

"As soon as the others are finished, it will be our turn." Ziva put her hand on her impatient little boy's shoulder.

"Okay, Ima." He watched the coast line zip by as the boat sped across the water.

Finally, the last three were strapped in and ready to go. LJ could barely sit still because he was so excited for the ride. Ziva handed Tali her camera, telling her to take lots of pictures.

"Remember to keep your hands on the straps at all times," the tour manager gave them the last instructions before they became airborne. As they rose, Ziva looked at Tony and grinned. He was like a kid, his grin covering his whole face. He reached over LJ who was in the middle and put his hand on Ziva's. They intertwined their fingers and met gazes. The couple moved towards each over their little boy's head and locked lips briefly, just so they could say they shared a kiss at three hundred feet above the ocean.

They parted so that they could enjoy the view; from that height they could see the curvature of the earth. LJ looked at everything; he tried to find the dolphins but they had moved on. Their turn came to an end too soon for his liking. As they landed on the deck of the boat, he grinned at his parents.

"This was the best part of the whole trip!" he declared. His siblings and cousins readily agreed as the boat headed back to the dock.

"Wait until Mom and Dad see the pictures," Katie commented. "They won't believe we were flying above the water. That was so awesome. Thank you, Uncle Tony!"

John nodded, "Too bad they missed this, but Mom couldn't have come along anyhow and Dad would have been too scared. It worked out perfectly. Thanks, Uncle Tony."

The family walked back to the condo, and once inside, Ziva noticed that she and the girls had a major case of 'fly away' hair. She laughed when Tony tried to tame her wild curls with his hand. All of them had a slightly pink color from the sun and wind and every one of them was tired, but it was a good tired. The kids got their tablets or books and settled in chairs in the living room or on the deck. LJ fell asleep on a lounge chair on the deck. Tony watched a movie on his tablet as Ziva curled next to him on the loveseat in the living room with her book. She didn't realize that she had nodded off until Tony gently woke her at 1700.

"Zi, I think we should start making dinner soon," he spoke softly, knowing better than to startle his Ninja awake. He stomach rumbled as he spoke and that's what actually woke Ziva.

She grinned and yawned as she patted his stomach, "Someone is hungry…" They went to the kitchen to make the meal together. Tony grilled the steaks while Ziva baked the potatoes in the convection oven and prepared a salad. Tony stacked plates on the counter along with silverware and called the kids to come get dinner.

Each one got a piece of meat, a potato, and salad to take to the table. Tali poured beverages for everyone. John and Anthony offered to clear the table and load the dishwasher after the meal. They had just finished cleaning up when Tim and Dee arrived back at the condo. It was nearly 1900.

The adults shared about the day's activities with each other and the kids went back to playing games on their tablets. Ziva showed Tim and Dee the pictures from the parasailing.

"I can't believe my kids were okay with that," Tim shook his head in disbelief. There was no way he would have predicted his two would even want to parasail. He certainly would have stayed on land!

After dessert using the cookies that the McGee parents had bought in Ocean City and the remaining ice cream to make ice cream sandwiches, they all decided to take one last trip down to the beach since they would be headed home in the morning. As the kids ran along the surf line and played in the shallow water's edge, the adults chatted.

"This was a great way to spend the holiday weekend," Ziva commented. "Tim please thank your cousin."

Tony agreed, "We should do this more often; it was fun and relaxing. Plus we made some lasting memories." He locked gazes with Ziva as he spoke; their shared time added to the bond the two shared. "I don't know what was my favorite; seeing the green flash or riding the parasail."

A flash lit the sky as someone launched fireworks down the beach. They all looked skyward to see the colorful explosions.

"Happy Fourth of July, everyone!" LJ shouted.