One Wild Night: An Enjoying the Chase Novella (Guarded Hearts Book 3)Kirsty Moseley
One Wild Night
[An Enjoying the Chase novella]
By Kirsty Moseley
Copyright © 2014 Kirsty Moseley
All rights reserved.
The right of Kirsty Moseley to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted , in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
All characters in this publication are fictional and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.
Cover design by Mollie Wilson at M J Wilson Design. Mollie, thank you for making the stupid, vague and totally unhelpful idea I had look totally amazing!
Thank you to my amazing editors – Emily from Ruston Hutton, and Kristin and Becky at Hot Tree Editing.
For no other reason other than she was beautiful, smart, strong, and loved the occasional F-bomb, I dedicate this one to my Auntie Pauline who sadly passed away this year.
Rest In Peace, Auntie, and know that you’ll be missed and never forgotten. xx
All of my author proceeds and profits from the sale of this ebook will be donated to MacMillan Nurses for the wonderful work that they do.
[Registered charity number 261017]
I really couldn’t procrastinate any longer. After taking one last look at my girl, I forced myself to walk out of the front door and down the stairs to the lobby. Tonight was my bachelor party, but I wasn’t ready for it at all. If I was honest, all I really wanted to do tonight was lie on the sofa with my fiancée, Rosie, and watch TV, maybe catch a little early night so I could ravage her body. However, my best friend, Ashton Taylor, had decided I needed to go out and celebrate my last night of freedom.
As I stood in the lobby waiting for him to arrive, a bad feeling settled in the pit of my stomach. I had no idea where we were going or what we were going to be doing tonight – all I knew was that when Ashton had gotten married a few years back, I had taken my best man duties seriously, and of course had teased the shit out of him all night long. Tonight was probably going to be payback.
As the front door swung open and Ashton strutted in with a shit-eating grin on his face, I groaned loudly. He was wearing a black T-shirt that read: ‘Best man of the pussy-whipped party’ on the front.
“You ready for this, Nate?” he asked.
“Seriously? You’re wearing that?” I asked, pointing down at his chest.
He laughed and nodded, throwing his arm around my shoulder. “This is going to be one wild night, but don’t worry; I’ll get you so drunk you won’t even remember it in the morning,” he assured me, leading me out of the building
I sighed deeply. I had a feeling I was going to live to regret ever meeting him by the time morning came. This was probably going to be the most painfully embarrassing night of my twenty-five years of life.
When I stepped out of the door, I already wanted to cry. They were all standing there, all of my friends, waiting for me in front of the minibus we were obviously using tonight. They cheered and chinked beer bottles, grinning like morons even though it was barely past lunchtime. All of my friends were decked out in T-shirts like Ashton’s, but instead, theirs read: ‘Team member of the pussy-whipped party’ on it. My dad, Evan, was there, too; his said ‘I’m the daddy’. Even George, my soon-to-be father-in-law, wore one that said ‘Father of the bride’ on the front.
Something flew towards my face, so I caught it quickly, looking down at my own T-shirt. ‘Groom’ had been printed on the front, but they’d crossed it out and written ‘Bride’s Bitch’ there instead. I flipped it over and looked at the back. ‘It’s my last night being single, please spank me’.
I closed my eyes and shook my head. “I hate you guys,” I grumbled, but my meagre protests just made them cheer and chink their bottles again.
“Let the bacheloring begin!” Ashton enthused, grinning.
I sighed and decided just to go with it. I knew I was in for strippers, drinking, probably some embarrassing display of being tied up naked somewhere, and whatever else could come out of Ashton Taylor’s warped little mind.
My friends all started piling on the minibus, and my gaze settled on the large sign that had been hand-painted onto an old bed sheet and stuck to the side of the bus. “Son of a bitch,” I grumbled under my breath, following reluctantly behind them all and climbing on the bus. As I stripped out of my nice shirt I’d chosen for tonight and pulled on the party shirt instead, I smiled apologetically at the driver who had obviously been paid to ferry us around all night long. No doubt, he would see some embarrassing antics tonight before he dropped us all home.
I glanced down the bus, seeing everyone properly for the first time. On top of there being my best friend, dad and soon to be father-in-law, there was also eight other guys. All of whom I was close friends with; one of them I knew from work.
My eyes settled on Seth; he was grinning like an idiot. “I’m guessing you were the one who made the huge ‘pussy mobile’ sign on the side of the van?” I asked, raising one eyebrow at him. Out of all of my friends, he was the one who was most similar to what I used to be before I met Rosie and settled down. He was a player. He was the only one who didn’t understand my desire to marry the girl of my dreams. To Seth, getting married was like the death penalty.
He grinned and raised his beer bottle to me in toast. “You guessed right.”
Nodding, I looked around and immediately spotted a case full of beer on the front seats, along with various other bottles of alcohol and a couple of duffle bags. My curiosity spiked immediately. Part of me wanted to know what was in the bags; the other part, the more rational part, told me I needed to be drunk before I found out.
I plucked out a beer and popped the cap, raising it in cheers to the group who were watching me excitedly. “To getting married,” I toasted.
“To the last fling before the ring,” Seth countered, raising his bottle, too.
I rolled my eyes and George, Rosie’s dad, cleared his throat, raising a warning eyebrow.
I smiled back reassuringly. “Don’t worry, George, the only sex I’m having tonight will be some phone sex with your daughter later,” I joked, winking at him, which just made him groan and shake his head in disapproval.
I plopped down in the seat next to Ashton. He grinned and tapped his bottle against mine. “To getting so hammered that we have no recollection of this in the morning,” he said, grinning wickedly and sipping his beer.
I closed my eyes and tried not to think about what I had let myself in for with these guys. Was getting married really worth this afternoon and night of torture? Rosie’s face popped into my head, and the face of her little four-year-old son, DJ. They sure as hell were worth all this torture, worth a lot more, too. I’d literally already walked through fire for them, so this little night out would seem like a walk in the park compared to that. I laughed despite myself when everyone in the minibus – including the driver – started to sing, ‘I’m getting married in the morning’.
By the time we pulled up at our desired destination, I was already
onto my second beer and my nerves were starting to dissipate. I’d decided to roll with it; they could do their worst to me, so long as I made it to the church for 1 p.m. the following day. I was only planning to go through this whole wedding thing once anyway, so at least this night of celebrating would be a one-off.
As we pulled into the parking lot, George stood up and gasped. “I thought this was a joke! I thought when you suggested this, you were just fooling around!” he practically shouted as the colour drained from his face.
Confused, I turned to look at where we were. An airfield. Panic made me jerk in my seat. “Please tell me we’re staying in this country. If I’m late tomorrow, then Rosie’s gonna have my balls! Well, actually, she wouldn’t have my balls, and that would be worse,” I joked, looking at Ashton pleadingly.
He grinned and patted my knee. “We’re staying in this country, just maybe a little higher than usual,” he confirmed, waggling his eyebrows at me and pointing out of the window.
Looking in the direction he was pointing, a smile crept onto my face. I loved anything sporty or dangerous. I turned back to George and gave him a wicked grin. “What’s up, York, you scared of a little parachute jump?” I teased, laughing as he flipped me the finger.
“Shut up, Nate,” he answered, flopping back into his chair with his eyes closed. My dad slung an arm around his shoulder, talking to him reassuringly.
I laughed and turned back to Ashton, my partner in crime, the guy who was usually at my side when crazy stuff started happening. “This is gonna be awesome!”
It took a long time for them to run through the training stuff, how to land and what to do. Luckily, it was a tandem jump, so the guy strapped to our backs would be doing all of the work. All we had to remember was to keep our hands out of the way, enjoy falling 12,000 feet from an aeroplane, and pray the parachute would open.
Once the initial training was done, we met the people who would be jumping with us. I shook the hand of my guy – a huge guy called Blane. I looked over to Seth to see him frowning at my dad. When my eyes went that way, I spotted why he was frowning. My dad’s instructor was a woman, a pretty one, too.
“No offence, Blane, but how come I get you strapped to my ass instead of her?” I asked, nudging him with my elbow.
He laughed and rolled his eyes. “You’d be surprised how many times a day I get asked that. Anyway, tell your friend not to bother, she doesn’t bat for his team,” he replied, nodding at Seth who was now trying his luck, complimenting her on her red jumpsuit and asking her if she came here often.
I grinned and slapped Seth on the back of his head, making him shoot me a dirty look. “You lucked out, buddy. You got the wrong body parts for that one.”
His frown deepened. “Dammit, really? That sucks,” he grumbled.
“Life isn’t always fair,” I answered. I flicked my eyes over to George, who was sitting on the bench, his head in his hands. “All right, George? You don’t have to do this, you know,” I said, sitting next to him and patting his back. As father-in-laws went, I got a good one; he was an incredibly nice guy.
He took a deep breath and looked at me with watery eyes. “I don’t want to look like a punk in front of your friends. They’ll be teasing me about it all through the wedding,” he whined.
I smiled. “Just come in the plane with us. If you don’t want to jump, then don’t,” I suggested. He nodded, closing his eyes and moving his lips as if he was saying a silent prayer.
When we were all set, we boarded the aeroplane. It took a while for us to reach the right height, but when we did, the instructors came over and started strapping everyone to their fronts. George looked like he was going into a state of panic.
Rick, one of my friends, was bending right forward, theatrically sticking his head between his legs. “Rick, what you up to, dude?” I asked, laughing to myself. That looked like a weird position to be in.
He raised his head and looked at me. “Kissing my ass goodbye,” he answered, laughing. We all burst out laughing; even George had a couple of chuckles – until the door of the plane opened and suddenly the laughter died down.
I watched as we lined up into the order that we’d drawn straws for back on the ground. I was fourth, after George. He was mumbling something as he sat in front of me. I squeezed his shoulder, trying to reassure him as we watched Adam and then Wayne throw themselves out of the plane, laughing as they did it. All of my friends were thrill-seekers, just like I was. Bungee jumping, rock-climbing, car racing, we did it all.
Needing to mark the moment, I pulled out my cell phone and recorded a video of George as he waited to go. He was shaking his head, saying he didn’t want to go, clinging to the side of the door as his instructor scooted him forward so his legs were dangling off the edge. He was literally screaming like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert. The instructor looked back at me to see if he should go or not. I grinned and nodded, pushing him forward at the same time as he scooted forward and threw himself and my soon-to-be father-in-law out of the plane. I heard him screaming, and screaming and screaming. Even over the roar of the plane engines, I could hear it, and I just couldn’t stop laughing.
I looked back as Ashton as I shoved the cell phone back into my pocket. “That one’s going on Facebook when we get home,” I confirmed, slapping him a high-five.
Then it was my turn. This was a first for me. I’d never actually jumped out of a plane before. I started to get nervous. I tried not to think about my chute not opening and us plummeting to the ground. I tried not to imagine the feeling of knowing you were going to die and being powerless to stop it. I tried, but it just kept flooding my brain.
Blane tapped my shoulder. “You ready?” he shouted over the gusts of wind that were whipping around my ears. I nodded, knowing if I spoke, I would sound somewhat like George did a minute earlier. I knew Ashton would be recording me, waiting for me to scream like a pansy, too. There was no way I was giving him the satisfaction of that.
I gulped as he scooted us forward, my legs dangling out of the plane; the wind was whipping about my face making it a little hard to breathe. A quick glance over my shoulder at Ashton confirmed what I’d suspected – he was recording me on his cell phone, too.
I gulped and forced a smile, whilst silently repeating the word ‘fuck’ over and over in my head. I gave him the thumbs up and then Blane shifted us again. Then I was falling, free-falling from 12,000 feet.
The free-fall lasted for less than a minute, and the whole time I could feel the adrenalin rushing through my system. My heart crashed in my chest, but I actually loved it. Suddenly, the chute opened and the straps tightened around my body as we jerked upwards. I laughed and held onto my straps as I looked around. From up here you could see everything, the fields below, the blue sky. It was majestic.
Below us, the other guys were all coasting on their parachutes, too. George was grinning now. He was pointing out things to his partner, smiling broadly. I turned my head back and could see other chutes, too, belonging to the people behind me. I sighed happily. Maybe my bachelor party was going to be fun after all; it was definitely off to a good start.
When we hit the ground about five minutes later, I grinned and let Blane unbuckle me before I stood up and looked around. They were gathering off to one side, so we moved out of the way and watched the others land, too. George was literally raving about it, hopping from one foot to the other, suggesting we go again.
As soon as Seth hit the ground and was unbuckled, he was searching the floor, kicking his feet, looking for something, frowning. “What you lost, Seth? Your balls?” I called, laughing as George slapped my back in congratulations. Seth looked up at me, his face pure horror and I immediately tensed up, thinking something bad had happened. I ran to his side, kicking at the ground, too, looking for whatever he’d lost. “What is it?” I asked, watching as he bent to pick up a rock before tossing back down again.
“Dude, I dropped my fucking phone!” he whined, shaking his head dramaticall
y. “Do you have any idea how many girls’ numbers I had stored in there? Damn it, I had this hot little chick in there who I met last night, I was supposed to call her and arrange to take her out. Christ, she was a freaking gymnast, too!” he moaned, kicking at the ground again.
I burst out laughing. “A phone, really?” I rolled my eyes. “Why didn’t you put it in your jeans pocket?” I asked.
He closed his eyes and frowned. “I was taking a video of George screaming,” he explained, shaking his head. “It’s gone now though. I was gonna YouTube that sucker!”
I laughed and patted my pocket. “I got one, don’t worry. We’ll stich him up real good,” I assured him, winking conspiratorially. “Can’t do much about the gymnast though, I’m afraid,” I added, smirking at him as he groaned again. I looped my arm around his neck, getting him in a headlock and dragging him off to the side with everyone else. “Time for drinking now, or are we doing something else?” I asked. Ashton just smiled at me wickedly.
I stood at the mirror and winced. I looked like a dick, a complete and utter dick. “Seriously, what are we, three?” I called over the top of the dressing room curtain.
“Three-and-a-half,” Ashton called back, laughing.
I groaned and raked my eyes down myself in the full-length mirror. Black pants, black shirt with gold stitching on it, black cummerbund. I looked like a serious prick. I pulled on the mask that covered my eyes then plopped on my black hat and sheathed my sword. Zorro. I was going out tonight dressed as fucking Zorro.
I whipped back the curtain and walked into the middle of the room, looking around the fancy-dress shop that we were all situated in. Some of my friends whooped and whistled as a joke, so I did a little twirl, flicking out my cape, laughing at how stupid I felt. I seriously better not remember this in the morning!