Farewells and Forever
Book 12 in the Untouchable Series
This series must be read in chronological order, to avoid spoilers
Beautiful, I love you. No ands, ifs, or buts. No beating around the bush. Will you marry me?
From the first proposal on the playground when we were five to the one two weeks ago, Coop has always been there for me.
Baby Girl, the only thing I’ve ever wanted is you. Forever.
Protector. Best friend. Lover. Jake’s a part of me in a way I can’t define. Even when we were apart, I knew we would find each other.
This is my love song for you, Angel.
Music is Ian’s love language. He doesn’t just wrap me up to keep me safe from the world, he pulled me into his. He shared his love and the knots that bind our hearts are beyond anything I could have imagined.
From the day I met you—you were the one, Babe. The only one.
Archie’s my hero in some ways, he pushes and he demands. At the same time, he savors and teases. He’s a builder and a fixer. I had no idea that the day he arrived was the day the last piece missing in my world would lock into place.
My name is Frankie Curtis, the four men I love more than anything else in this world want me to marry them. They want forever.
They want me.
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Farewells and Forever
Book 12 in the Untouchable Series
Farewells and Forever
Farewells and Forever
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“Hey, Frankie,” Jake called with a grin, his phone pointed right at me as we walked toward the plane. “What are we doing?”
As tempted as I was to flip him off, I just laughed. “About to jump out of a plane.”
“How are you feeling about that?” His eyes danced as he glanced at me over the top of his phone. I swore he was like a kid at Christmas. Had been since I said yes. I managed to shoot Jake a thumbs up and a laugh while I shook my head.
“Hi, everyone,” the man walking next to me said. Older than all of us by at least two decades, he’d also been our “jump” instructor. His grin was almost as engaging as Jake’s. “I’m Jake too,” he said almost tongue in cheek while holding up his own phone. It appeared that filming was going to be a thing. “Our girl here likes Jakes, apparently.”
“Hey now,” Jake called from ahead as he kept filming me. The guys were all in with sky diving, and apparently this was a big deal cause it was my first time. But I wasn’t the only virgin on this flight. “Watch the flirting.”
“Ignore him,” Jake, the instructor, said with a hand on my shoulder. He’d already gone over my rigging—twice—as had the guys. Then he’d shown me how to go over theirs with the same kind of thoroughness. “We’re going to get on this plane here.” He turned his own phone toward the plane where Coop, Archie, and Ian waited.
“Okay,” I said, trying to keep the nerves out of my voice. It was one thing to talk about this, to practice—when we were on the ground and something else entirely to get on a plane with the intention of jumping out of it.
“We’re going to go up two miles,” he said, aiming the phone back at us.
“Yay.” I summoned a smile and Jake cracked up. Coop whistled, then did a whoop whoop and I laughed. “We’re going to go up two miles,” I repeated Jake the Elder, Jake’s name for him, not mine.
“Then we’re gonna jump,” Jake the Elder continued.
“We’re going to jump out of a perfectly good plane,” I ad-libbed.
“We’re gonna fall for…” Jake the Elder trailed off, holding up one finger to me.
“One mile,” he corrected. That was a long way to fall. I swore my stomach plummeted for me. “One mile,” he repeated. “If we fall for one minute, we’ve gone too far. That’s gonna be bad.”
I would not throw up.
I would not.
“We’ll fall for one mile,” he said, raising his hand. “Then we’re going to hang out.” I high-fived him, but I was pretty sure it lacked any real enthusiasm. “Sound good?”
“I can’t wait,” I told him, laughing, even as I blinked back tears. I wasn’t going to throw up. Excitement vibrated through my system.
“You’re going to be great,” he told me, lowering his phone. “We can still do it in tandem if you change your mind.”
“We talked about that,” I said, pushing a loose tendril of hair back. I’d braided all of it, but there were wisps still escaping. “AFF works for me.”
“Okay.” This time he offered his fist and we bumped them together. “Then let’s get everyone on and airborne.”
My Jake caught me in a loose hug and a quick kiss as Jake the Elder continued on. “You good?” The caution and worry in his eyes couldn’t hide his excitement.
“I’m awesome,” I informed him. “Or so you all keep telling me.” Still, my hands were trembling.
“You are awesome,” he murmured, gripping my hands between his. “The absolute fucking best, Baby Girl. You don’t have to do this.”
I wrinkled my nose. “Don’t even start. I know I’m freaking out—a little—but I’m also excited. The more you guys keep telling me I don’t have to, the more nervous I get. So, if you want to stay here on the ground, Benton, I’ll be the blonde—up there, free-falling.”
He laughed, dragging me in for a hard, firm kiss. “As if I’d let you go up there without me.”
“Let’s go,” Archie called. “Some of us would like good luck kisses too.”
I grinned as Jake threaded his fingers with mine and we crossed the last few yards to join them. The plane was going to be crowded. In addition to the pilot, there were two professionals for each of us to jump with. They would be babysitting us. They said we would all fit, but it was still a tight squeeze.
We had to sit on the plane in the order that we were jumping. Jake was going first, so he would be the last on. I was going right after him—I won the rock, papers, scissors match with the boys—then Archie, followed by Ian, with Coop last.
I gave each a kiss before they climbed on. Jake the Elder was one of my pros, and his son, Benjamin, was the other. Benjamin was only a couple of years older than us. He offered a fist bump as we waited to climb on.
All too soon, we were all loaded into our seats. The butterflies in my stomach turned into full-fledged dragons as they waged war in my stomach. In addition to our group, there was one more guy jumping with us and he had a camera.
“Memories,” Archie declared when he hired him. “And you guys can use it for your next video if it comes out great.”
Business and pleasure. They were silly. My stomach dropped again, but I kept my smile in place cause our happy cameraman kept pointing it at me.
The guys wanted to track every minute. I got it. I might throttle them later, but I got it. I blew out a breath as the wheels left the ground and we were climbing. I actually liked flying now, but this was not first-class on some huge jet or on Archie’s luxurious private plane.
This was more like a prop plane and I swore I could feel every bump, dip, and lift we hit.
“How are you doing, Frankie?” Jake the Elder yelled, and he had to yell because it was so loud. If anyone else was talking, I couldn’t hear them over the engine.
“Nervous,” I muttered.
“Excited,” I yelled back, and his grin promised me he’d heard the earlier comment.
“You’re gonna be fine,” Benjamin yelled from next to me. “We’ll be with you every step of the way. Just relax and enjoy it.”
I’d do that once we were on the ground and I had that bottle of champagne Archie promised—provided I didn’t puke. The higher we went, the more the anticipation coiled in my belly.
“Anyone you want to say hi to?” Jake the Elder asked, holding up his phone, and my Jake glanced back at me, laughter in his eyes. I made a face at him and he grinned wider.
Waving a hand, I said, “Hi, Dad, see you soon—hopefully.”
Jake cracked up and Archie tugged my braid. I glanced back at him and he stole a kiss. “I’ll be right behind you,” he yelled.
“You just want to stare at my ass,” I called back. The guys around us laughed. Fortunately, there were a couple of women among our jump instructors, so I wasn’t going to choke on testosterone overload.
“Hell yes, it’s a gorgeous ass.” Archie winked. Behind him, Ian lifted his chin. The sheer confidence in his eyes shored up some of my own. Behind him, Coop crossed his eyes and stuck out his tongue.
God, I loved them.
“Eyes front,” Jake the Elder said. “We’re almost to our jump point.”
I tried not to grimace. There were a pair of lights on the side. One said don’t jump and it was currently illuminated. The one below it said jump.
As if summoned by my thoughts alone, it lit up.
“Goggles on,” the instructors with Jake called back, and I tugged mine on and made sure they were secured tight. We weren’t wearing helmets. But we had to have the goggles on before they opened the doors because the wind would be too much.
All too soon, the door ahead of Jake slid open. I shuddered at the rush of wind that just got louder.
Thumbs raised ahead of me as they got ready. On impulse, I leaned forward and gripped Jake’s shoulder. “I love you,” I yelled toward his ear and he twisted to look at me and mouthed the words back.
One squeeze of his shoulder, and I let go. This was insane. We were all absolutely crazy. Jake and his partners were at the door and he blew me a kiss before he jumped, with both of them going right after him.
“Here we go,” Jake the Elder said, even though the wind tore his words away. The cameraman had already jumped and I half-stood to make my way to the door.
Holy shit—gazing out at the land below—my heart fisted. Was I really going to do this? Had I lost my mind? This plane was perfectly safe. The land looked like something out of a cartoon, a fanciful patchwork quilt of green.
“Ready?” Benjamin yelled, and I glanced toward the guys. It had only been seconds, even if it felt like an eternity. They all wore grins of anticipation and Coop managed to look nervous. I wasn’t sure how much of that was real and how much of it was for me. I blew them a kiss and then jump-fell.
The wind seemed louder out here, but not. I was falling, but I spread out my arms and legs like they’d taught us. Below me, I could see Jake’s dark blue shirt.
I wanted to turn around and look at the guys, but I didn’t dare. A wild scream tore from my throat. This was amazing. Terrifying? Yes. Insane? Absolutely. But it was like flying too.
What did they call it in the movie? Not flying but falling with style.
I cracked up again. The wind pushed at my cheeks and I could feel my skin rippling even as my braid snapped out behind me.
A vibration on my wrist pulled my gaze to the watch that said thirty seconds.
Holy shit, I’d already been falling for thirty seconds. Fresh laughter exploded out of me. This was the absolute best thing ever. I moved my right hand to the cord as my wrist vibrated again.
“Now,” Jake the Elder called and I tugged. Even prepared for the way the chute would snap open and pull me upward, it was still a jerk. Little huffs of laughter escaped that sounded a lot like squeaking to me.
I glanced back up, but I couldn’t see the guys past my chute. The bright yellow-green of it seemed to almost glow. It matched Jake’s below.
Pulse racing, I kept glancing around us as we half-floated, half-glided back to the earth. I adjusted my pulls when Jake the Elder or Benjamin yelled. It allowed us to alter directions, though not like driving, but definitely like targeting.
For one minute, I’d been free-falling, and it took another three or four to travel the last mile as the wind filled my ears and a smile stretched my lips so hard, I was worried my cheeks would cramp.
The pure fountain of elation bubbling up within me was almost indescribable. All too soon, we were approaching the ground. Jake was already there, climbing to his feet.
“Relax,” Jake the Elder called. “Relax your legs, you’ve got momentum.”
The lessons replayed in my head, and even as I told myself to relax, I still found myself trying to jog as I touched the ground. But it was hard to run forward a little, when my muscles were almost pure noodles. I was falling, landing on my ass and laughing.
One of the other instructors was there to help, and I all but fell on my ass the second time I tried to stand.
“Don’t stand up yet,” Benjamin said as he pulled free of his own parachute. “Just breathe…relax. It’s the adrenaline rush…”
Oh, that was why I was shaking like a leaf and my muscles all seemed to have turned to rubber. He popped the catch on my harness to help me out of it. Jake the Elder gave me a hand up and I staggered a little. My braid was half-gone and I swore part of my hair looked blown up.
“How was that?”
“That was fucking awesome,” I swore, still laughing.
“Baby Girl,” Jake called, and I high-fived Jake the Elder and his son for real, before I staggered over to meet Jake. He let out a whoop and picked me up into a twirling hug. I laughed as I held onto him.
When he paused, we turned to watch Archie land. He did not land on his ass at all; he actually made the glide-in landing look easy and jogged to a stop.
I threw my arms up and let out a girly scream for him as I cheered.
His grin was as wide as mine felt. With swift movements, he unlocked himself and then he was striding toward us. I gave Jake a swift kiss before he set me down, and I stumbled right into Archie’s arms for a fierce hug and kiss.
“You were fucking awesome,” he declared. He high-fived Jake and then we turned to watch Ian, followed by Coop. Ian landed damn near as gracefully as Archie had. He added a slide in at the end, more like he was stealing a base or something.
Coop didn’t even try, he just lifted his legs and slid across the grass like he meant to do it. The rubbery muscles in my legs began to cooperate and I was skipping toward them. Well, not really, more like a halting run, but Archie and Jake were with me.
Giddy. I was giddy like I was still falling, and Ian caught me up in a kiss that threatened to send me flying all over again. He lifted his head and gave me a searching look. “You’re shaking.”
“Adrenaline rush,” I promised him, then nuzzled another kiss to his jaw before Coop got there.
“Gimme,” he demanded. “I risked my life and need a kiss like the action hero I am.”
The guys half-snorted and half-laughed as I wrapped my arms around Coop’s neck. “You’re always my hero,” I whispered and his grin gave me real wings. From fierce to heated to protective to playful, they were my everything. I cupped Coop’s nape as he teased my lips apart with a kiss that was a lot slower and a lot more demanding than the others.
But I wasn’t the only one shaking, so I wrapped him up tighter. Nothing said thrilling like willingly jumping out of a plane for the guys you loved or them doing it to be there for my first jump.
“Ah,” I sighed as I leaned back and Archie eyed me.
“That sounded pretty lusty and profound.”
I grinned as Coop finally put me back on my feet. I still had something of a drunken stagger, though I loved it. “It was—it is.”
Honestly, I wanted to rub my thighs together and drag one or all of them off somewhere to get naked and get them to fuck me sideways. All of them together, one at a time, or all of the above. I was not picky at the moment.
As it was, my nipples tightened as I clenched my inner muscles to try and suppress the reaction or some of it, at least while we had an audience. Light flared in Jake’s eyes and I caught Ian’s speculative look.
Yeah, I was not covering my responses well at all.
“Gonna share?” Archie asked, glancing toward our cameraman and making a cutting motion with his hand. “Thanks! Go ahead and send the whole thing over and the invoice, yeah?”
“You got it, Mr. Standish.”
Mr. Standish. It really suited him when he got that in-charge look.
“You guys did good,” Jake the Elder said as he clapped me on the shoulder. “Your girl did great. Come on up to the road when you’re ready and we’ll drive back.”
“Thanks,” Jake said to him, shaking his hand. All the guys did. They shook all of their hands, but I could feel their attention and how tightly it focused on me.
Soon as they had all moved ahead and were out of earshot, Ian gave me a look. “Angel?”
“I’m just—thrilled, honestly. I mean, that was a hell of a turn-on, and yes, I’m very fucking horny right now, so the sooner we find some privacy, the better—but…” I paused cause Archie’s jaw fell open briefly before a wicked grin spread across his lips, and Coop threw his head back and laughed.
“But?” Jake prompted, giving Coop a shove.
“But—I love that we popped our cherries on this together.” Because we had. We’d done the jump classes together and the guys could have done their first jumps earlier, especially Jake, because I’d been in Paris for a week getting Rachel moved in—but they waited for me.
“Hell yes, we waited,” Archie muttered. “You are always worth waiting for.”
Ian was closer, and he cupped my chin, tilting my head back as he chuckled. “He’s right, Angel—and you need your rings back on.” Then he opened his palm. The four rings that interlocked were waiting for me. I’d worried about losing them mid-jump, so I’d tucked them into his pocket.
I held out my hand and he slid them on in the correct order while the guys watched.
“Better,” Jake said.
“Agreed,” Coop sighed.
I lifted my hand to look at them. They were right. The lack of them had left my finger naked.
“You sure we can’t elope?” Archie asked abruptly, and we all looked at him. “I mean, I get waiting until next summer. We want graduation done and Jake’s parents are getting married at Christmas—but who says we can’t just elope and not tell anyone else. Then they can all come to that wedding and we get to have our own.”
Fuck. That was tempting.
“My mother will kill me,” Ian said. “So will Jake’s and Coop’s.”
True. I reached over to link my fingers with Archie’s. Hank and Eddie would roll with it… “The Dad Bros wouldn’t be thrilled either, and Chloe might cry.”
The last was a secret weapon. Archie growled, tugging me to him. “Fine, we can’t make her cry. But June first, Miss Curtis, and you’re gonna be Mrs.—”
I put my fingers against his lips and he made a face. “We haven’t decided on that yet,” I reminded him. “But we will. We’ll decide on everything. I promise.” Moving my fingers, I kissed him lightly. “I said ‘yes,’ remember?”
His whole expression softened and he nipped my lower lip. “Yes, you did.”
“Right. She absolutely did. Now, hand her over,” Jake said, stretching out a hand. “She said something about being horny, and we need to get on that right now.”
“On that?” I challenged and Jake grinned.
“Baby Girl, don’t even pretend you can’t wait for every single one of us to get on that meaning you. Sooner, rather than later, yeah?”
I mean—he had a point.
“Thank you,” he said when I didn’t argue and then scooped me up. “Last one to the car has to wait for three orgasms,” he said and then bolted. I whooped as he took off running.
Archie raced past him, and to my shock—so did Coop. When Ian passed us, I gave Jake a look because he slowed from running to walking. “What did you…”
I wasn’t the only one suspicious because Archie fixed him with a look. “What was the small print?”
But Jake didn’t answer until we were tucked in the privacy of the limo Archie had waiting for us. “I said; the last one to the car had to wait for three orgasms to share her. I didn’t say whose orgasms.”
But I collapsed into him laughing as Archie pursed his lips and Coop cracked up. Ian just shook his head.
“Dude, revenge is gonna be sweet,” Archie informed him,
“Bring it, Standish. Our girl likes it when we compete for orgasms.”
Yes, I really, really did. I liked it even more when they went to work on my first while we headed back to the house. Winner- winner, Jake, Ian, Archie, and Coop for my dinner.
end of excerpt
Farewells and Forever
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