AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Jennifer Ryder
Christmas with the Joneses
A Spark series Christmas 2015 special
“April?” a husky voice calls out in the distance. I squint as a tall guy with a broad chest and rounded shoulders runs up to me. He’s dressed in a white jumpsuit with a black logo on his left pec. I’m surprised I even heard the rough tones of his voice over the buzz of the airport. I just wish it was someone else on their way over. Anyone else.
This is not what I fucking need, especially when I’m walking hand and hand with Spencer. Today was supposed to be all about us, a husband and wife tackling our future head on, not running into one of the skeletons in my closet on the searing-hot tarmac.
I’d taken Kyle on at least four jumps, and resisted his advances each time … until after the epic breakup with Todd. Right before I left the country, I did one last jump with him, and ended up landing in his bed. It was one night. It was incredible. I hadn’t had that kind of primal animalistic sex before. The problem was, the morning after, he packed up and left without so much as a ‘goodbye’ or ‘thanks for the sex’. I got the message loud and fucking clear; he’d gotten what he’d been chasing, the thrill gone the next day. I’d used Kyle as a mechanism to forget Todd. I was leaving within a week anyway, not that I’d told Kyle that, but it had still hurt to be discarded. A month later, when I’d settled in to life in Spain, he’d tried to get in contact with me but I’d never returned the call. Why would I when he’d treated me like that? Besides, at that point I was in the warm arms of Casanova Nick. And didn’t that turn out well.
“Hey,” I say, trying not to imagine him naked. The way he was last time I laid eyes on him.
Even with that killer smile he’s flashing at me now, a part of me still hates him. Kyle had given me a taste of sexual freedom that I’d been yearning for for years. A very small, greedy part of me wants to thank him for that.
“God, it’s been years, April. I’ve gotta say, you’re positively glowing,” he says, casting a lusty gaze over my body. He rakes his long fingers back through his dark hair.
I tug down my tight tank trying to hide my tummy that’s not as firm as it was thanks to us gorging ourselves and lazing around on our honeymoon.
He leans in and kisses each of my cheeks before I get a chance to stop him. Settle down there, buddy.
If this guy brings up what happened between us in front of Spence, I have no doubt Hubby here will go kung fu on his arse and drop him to the ground. My man is pretty protective when it comes to me, and if Spence doesn’t swing, I will.
“Being happily married will do that to you,” I inform him, my cheeks blazing with heat as I smile at the man beside me, who’s holding my hand as if he’s seconds away from crushing my fingers to dust. Spencer is a very nice shade of green right now—not that I want him to be. Once upon a time I would’ve taken great pleasure in seeing him uncomfortable like this, but we’ve come too far, and I love this man with all my heart.
“Spencer Jones,” Spence says, cool as a clichéd cucumber, releasing my fingers and holding out his hand towards my one-night stand. Kyle takes his hand, giving it a couple of strong pumps, a good dash of male bravado sizzling between them.
“Kyle Kingston-Moore,” he says in a strong commanding voice. A shudder runs through me as that voice triggers the most intimate of memories. “I’m gonna suck on this until you beg me for mercy, jump queen.” My nipples harden of their own accord, and I instantly hate myself for it.
“Well, Kyle, I’m sure you’d love to catch up on old times, but right now my wife and I have somewhere to be.”
God, I love my hubby.
Kyle’s hazel eyes flit between us, and then his gaze rests on my face, which is as hot as a raging bushfire. He swallows hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing beneath the smooth tanned skin of his neck. “Somewhere I need to be anyway. I’m on the clock,” he says, a touch of hurt in his voice as he looks towards the hangar behind us. Huh?
“You’re working here?” I blurt out.
“Yup. Fully qualified now and running my own business.” He points to the logo on his shirt—Sensational Skydives.
I’ve heard talk of that company amongst the guys I used to work with. For all the wrong reasons.
“Congrats,” I blurt out, not knowing what else to say.
“Better get going, anyhow. Another day, another customer to please.” He raises his eyebrows up and down suggestively, and then walks between us towards a girl with long black hair pulled into a bun on top of her head, her creased jumpsuit matching his. She’s staring at him like she wants to jump him, not jump out of a plane. Instantly, I suspect the rumours are true.
“You ready to fly high?” he asks her, loud enough for us to hear.
She nods and giggles as they make their way towards the Cessna. A guy stands beside the aircraft wearing tan pants and a white polo shirt with the SS logo. I’m assuming he’s the pilot. Well, I’ll be damned. Kyle fucking Kingston-Moore is the man behind Sensational Skydives. Known for pulling in the big bucks and satisfying the—
“Could he have eye-fucked you any harder?” Spence says, slapping me hard on my denim-clad arse, firm enough for it to sting. Not that I don’t like it, because my nipples are playing up again—for the right reason this time.
“Ow,” I cry out and try to slap him back, but my attempts are thwarted by his quick hands. “Who wouldn’t want a piece of this?” I give him the nod and the hooded look that usually tells him not-so-subtly that I’m about to have my wicked way with him. Only now’s not the time for sex, but a different type of rush.
“Exactly my point,” he says, doing his best to look angry, but I know there’s nothing behind his scowl as it quickly turns to a devilish grin.
“You ready to get your blood pumping?” I ask, slipping my arm around his waist as we walk towards Tim, a good friend of mine who’s agreed to fly us up today. He’s waiting by the plane with a jumpsuit in each hand and the gear packed at his feet.
“Beautiful, it’s already pumping, but only down south.”
I clear my throat and roll my eyes at him. Our conversations always come back to cock.
“Hey Tim,” I say, taking the clothes from him, and doing my best to ignore the vision of Spencer’s perfectly hardened cock that’s just been implanted in my brain.
“Getting harder by the second,” my husband mumbles beside me.
“Shut up and get dressed, you muppet,” I say to Spence and throw a suit at him. He chuckles as he unties his sneakers, and steps into the blue outfit.
Before we know it, the plane is at thirteen thousand feet, and we aren’t far off the jump. Butterflies kick about wildly in my stomach, a foreign feeling for me when I’m up here. I’ve done this so many times before I couldn’t even count. I check that my husband is strapped securely to me, fiddling with the carabiners, just like I would with any other jump, but I’ve already done the routine procedure three times. You’re nervous.
Memories of the day we first jumped come flooding back to me.
“You trust me with your life, Spencer, and I’ll trust you with my heart.”
“So we’re really doing this again, beautiful?” he says, drawing me back to the present. There’s a familiar twinkle in his eye as he flashes those pearly whites at me.
“We totally are, pretty boy.” But you don’t know that this jump might very well be my last.
“You know I nearly swallowed my own tongue last time,” he informs me with a throaty chuckle.
I place a loud smack of a kiss on his temple. “Well, clearly I don’t want that. That muscle is one of my faves. Anyway, consider yourself lucky we’re not base jumping.”
Of course I couldn’t resist the chance to tease him about it. Not that I’m particularly keen on jumping off a cliff—too many variables for my liking—I just love riling him up about it.
“I told you that’s off-limits. I can handle this, but that? Not a chance.”
“Such a pussy,” I growl into his ear.
He twists his head to the side and curls his hand at the nape of my neck, bringing my mouth to his. My heart thrums harder when our lips connect, but it’s not a hot, steamy kiss he offers, but the stone-mouth kind that always makes me laugh when I think about the story surrounding it.
“I want your pussy,” he says against my lips, the heat of his mouth driving a chill up my spine and causing me to squirm on the metal seat. The implement in my pocket digs into my side, reminding me that it’s there. As if I’d forget.
“You don’t even have to say, Spence. That’s just assumed.”
“What’s the plan for the ground? You gonna let me take you like I did last time?” His sapphire blue eyes zero in on me, sending my pulse racing. It takes all of my willpower to say no, even though I’d love a replay of that incredible day.
“Nope. I have something else in mind,” I whisper, as I run my hand through his short blond hair. I dot soft kisses at the back of his neck and take great pleasure when he shudders and grips each of my legs just above my knee.
“April,” he groans. “Not the time.”
“You lovers ready?” Tim calls out from the front of the plane.
“Born ready,” I say, coaxing Spence to shuffle forward.
My balls shrink up into my body as we dangle over the earth, which is peeking through a light dusting of cloud.
“Love you,” April yells out, over the frantic blast of cold air into the cabin.
“Love yoooooooooooouuuu,” I say, then choke on the rush of oxygen into my mouth as we dive from the plane.
I’m here again—freefalling from thousands of feet above solid ground, strapped to the woman I adore, except this time, she’s all mine. She’s my wife. Nothing that lies ahead of us is too big to handle with this woman by my side.
Adrenaline surges through me, zinging through my veins like wildfire. The crazy intensity of the icy air against my cheeks and the pressure of it as we fall towards earth transports me to another place. A place where we don’t have a care in the world. Like the thermal pools in Turkey. When we were there, I’d desperately wanted to ask her to marry me, but it had been too soon. She’d just taken me back, and I had some shit to prove. Thank Christ she said yes when I finally asked. I’m a lucky, lucky son-of-a-bitch.
April yanks at something, bringing us into an upright position. Something flaps wildly above us. It seems like we slow down, but we’re still descending at pace. It feels different to last time.
April tugs at something and then we freefall again, our bellies facing the ground. We’re falling again? I clench my hands into fists and gasp for breath as my heart hammers with the force of a freight train. What’s happening?
The chute opens, yanking us with brute force back in the direction we came. I swallow down the mammoth-sized lump in my throat, and relax as the slapping of cold air against my face calms down to a cool tranquil breeze. I take in a deep breath, filling my lungs to capacity before blowing it out in a huff as we glide like a bird through the air.
“Wow, I forgot how incredible it is up here,” I say, as I take in the crystal blue skies and the varying shades of green below us. The way the roads weave between the fields, it’s like looking at a giant puzzle. I enjoy the view, contemplating how small we really are when you look at things from this point of view. Fucking breathtaking.
As we coast closer to one field it occurs to me that April still hasn’t said a word. I guess she’s taking it all in too.
“You okay?” I ask her, turning my head so I can get a glimpse of her.
“Yep,” April chokes out and flashes me a forced smile. My body shifts to the left as she spins us gently in one direction, and then manoeuvres us towards a giant red cross in the middle of the field. We skid on our arses, soon coming to a halt on the damp lush grass.
“Fuck me, that was intense,” she murmurs as her whole body trembles against mine.
“Says the Jump Queen,” I say with a scoff.
It takes April a good minute to unhook my harness from hers, which isn’t surprising given how much her hands are shaking. She seemed much more relaxed last time. I guess it’s been a while for her. Is she cold?
Once I’m free of the bindings, I turn and kneel over April who’s now lying flat on her back.
“I’m ready for this little surprise, wifey,” I say, cocky as always.
April moves her hands to shield her eyes from the sun. I lean down to kiss her, but stop short when a muffled cry leaves her lips. Her upper body jerks as she sobs. My heart sinks. There are few things in this world I can’t handle, but seeing April cry is like a sucker punch to the heart.
Fuck. Did she hurt herself when we landed?
“Babe? You hurt?” I rub my fingers up and down her upper arms and peel her hands from her eyes. Tears flood down her pale face. When her glistening grey orbs connect with mine, her scattered gaze cuts me to pieces. She’s scared.
“Talk to me,” I bark out.
“I … I had to cut away the main chute and, ah, deploy the reserve. I … I’ve never had to do that.”
“Fuck, I knew something felt different but ... wow.” The chute failed?
My heart thrashes wildly in my ribcage, and I swallow down the rising bile from climbing any farther up my throat. I could’ve lost her … We both could have died …
“Fuck,” I whisper.
“I really need to pee,” April says in between sobs.
“You need to pee now?” I all but scream at her, my voice is that high. Probably because my balls are still at fourteen-thousand feet.
“That’s what you’re thinking of now? Not getting naked?” I change the subject to something much lighter than how close we could have come to death. “I’m already hard,” I lie. My balls are still flying high. I’d better fucking get them back soon.
“Of course you are,” she says, a light giggle leaving her lips. “You’re so impatient when it comes to your cock. We’re not even out of the DZ and you’re ready for action.”
I stand and offer her my hand, pulling her to her feet. “Hey, I know what I want. Not apologising for it,” I tell her, and smooth back her fringe from her damp forehead. April wraps her arms around my waist and squeezes hard enough I worry that she might have bruised a rib.
“Right,” she whispers to herself and pulls away. She unzips her suit and awkwardly reaches around to the back of her shorts.
“What are you doing?” I ask her. Is she digging out a mad wedgie?
She pulls out a long silver packet from her shorts and thrusts the object in my face. I’ve seen packets like these in our bathroom.
“I need to pee on this,” she says with a smirk. Thankfully, now the colour has returned to her cheeks.
“Now? You’re going to pee now?” Always expect the unexpected when it comes to April. Love this woman.
“Yes. Now,” she demands.
“So you think you’re …”
“We both know it’s a possibility, the way we’ve been at it. Hello! Amazing honeymoon sex,” she says, with a roll of her eyes.
“True. I just can’t believe we jumped and you might be …”
She slowly tugs down the zipper on my jumpsuit and grabs each side of it at my chest, fisting the flimsy material in her still trembling hands. Her eyes flit with hesitation as they focus on my face.
“Let’s just see. Don’t get your hopes up, because it’s only early days. I’m only a few days late.”
“I know, babe. Whatever happens, you know I’m here.” Always.
We walk over to the grey building and grab our belongings from the office where we left them earlier. We walk to the side of the reception area towards the bathrooms. April gives me a huge grin and then grits her teeth before entering the single cubicle which has a faded ‘Ladies’ sign on the door.
“When I say, put a three-minute timer on your phone,” she bosses.
“Will do.” I pull my phone from my pocket and select the number two on the timer.
“Timer!” she calls through the door, only a short time later.
I start it, staring at the numbers as they countdown.
Seconds feel like minutes.
A minute feels like an hour.
I could be a dad. Pappa Jones. We’re on the verge of finding out what our future holds for us. We both desperately want a family. I’m excited for it, but fucking shitting myself at the same time. How do you raise a little person? How do you give them everything, and raise them to be kind and decent and … fuck. Get a grip.
My eyes brim with tears. I squeeze them shut, and swallow down the whale-sized lump of emotion in my throat. Think of her. I take comfort in knowing what a stellar mother April will be. I might fuck up, but there’s no doubt in my mind that April has got this. We’re in this together.
Don’t get your hopes up. We only started trying on the honeymoon. Although wasn’t that practice primo?
I’m startled as my phone blares with the sound of a fog horn. I silence it and shove it in my pocket, desperate for the result.
The toilet door creeps open. April has tears barrelling down her face. The hand holding the white stick is limp at her side; the other is trying to swipe the moisture from her cheeks.
Shit. It’s negative.
I take my wife in my arms and hold her close. “Come ’ere. It’s okay, beautiful.”
“It’s better than okay,” she says, as she sniffs and claws her wild caramel locks from her face. “Two little pink lines. We made a human.”
A tidal wave of goosebumps spill over my skin as her words sink in. Holy shit. We’re having a kid.
“Why are you crying then?” I ask her, sweeping the fresh influx of tears away with my thumbs as I chuckle.
“These are happy tears, Spence. I would’ve thought you’d know the difference by now.”
Call me a bloke, but tears are tears, unless we’ve just had a mad tickle fight.
“Aw … you know what this means, right?” she says, and giggles nervously.
I lean my forehead against hers and let out a long breath. “We’re having a baby?”
“That, and our little jumper just had its first adrenaline hit.”
A vision of a little person clad head to toe in blue, white and black Yamaha gear on a pee-wee flashes before my eyes. I can almost hear the high-pitched braap noise as I imagine the bike tearing past me.
“We are so in trouble, aren’t we?” I say and wrap my arms around her waist, pulling her body flush against mine.
“You’re not right very often, but you are so right about that,” she says and shakes her head.
I slide my hands over her arse and give each cheek a good hard squeeze.
“I’m always right,” I tell her, grinding my semi-hard dick against her hip. Success. We have movement.
April wraps her hands around my neck, teasing her fingers through my hair. “Happy Christmas, babe,” she says against my lips.
I’m in no way gentle when I slam my mouth against hers. Her lips part, and I drive my tongue against hers and kiss her with everything I’ve got. When April is a withering mess in my arms, I pull my lips away and gasp for breath.
“Best Christmas present. Ever,” I whisper. “Now, I’m taking you to the parking lot. I’ve got a present for you.” I grab her hand and take long strides towards the car. April has to jog to keep up.
She laughs as we get inside my Range Rover. We slam our doors shut at the same time. The confine of the car is filled with the sweet sounds of our heavy breathing. It only makes me harder.
“Let me guess what my present is. Cock?” she says, leaning across from the passenger seat and planting a kiss on my cheek.
I growl as I shift the car into reverse. The tyres squeal against the tar as I pull the car out onto the road in the direction of the playing fields.
“I can’t get anything past you, April.”
Jennifer Ryder is a bestselling author with five novels in the Spark Series published to date. She loves to write about boys on dirt bikes, detectives and strong females who aren’t afraid to fight for what they want.
Living on a rural property in New South Wales, Australia, she enjoys the best of city and country. Her loving husband is ever willing to provide inspiration, and her two young cherubs, and sheep that don't see fences as barriers, keep life more than interesting.
Jennifer placed third in the International Stringybark Erotic Short Fiction Award 2013.
Visit Jennifer Ryder's Website: http://www.jenniferryder.com/
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1. If money was no object what would take out the number one spot on your Christmas list?
To travel the world with my family, experiencing new countries and all the adventures that go along with it. There might also be an order in there for a fabulous study nook complete with wall to wall bookshelves (and of course all the books to fill it!).
2. What was the first book you read that made you think “wow this is what I want to do, I want to be an author”?
There wasn’t one book that did it, it was actually a movie that partially inspired me; Limitless starring Bradley Cooper. I must give credit to EL James though, because she really got me back into reading after almost a ten year reading slump (studying and babies will do that to you!).
3. What does Christmas mean for you?
Spending time with family, re-charging and getting outside! It’s my favourite time of year.
4. What’s your guilty pleasure, the one thing you hate admitting out loud?
At Christmas time, it’s definitely Christmas pudding and hot home-made custard. Every year I gorge myself on it, no matter how full I am after Christmas lunch. If there was a camera set up on watch at the fridge, you’d spring me!
5. What’s next for you in terms of writing?
I’ll be taking some time off with the family until the New Year, when I’ll be able to get back into my writing. There are a few stand-alone novels that have been patiently waiting some attention, but there will also be another book in the Spark Series, which may (or not) be the last. Time will tell! You can stay up to date with what’s next in the Spark Series by subscribing at jenniferryder.com