The Surprise Party: A Stewart Realty BONUS
Greetings Liz fans and others! This month of Novel Writing sure has blown by fast! As I narrow in on the end of CONTINGENT my first NaNo novel and my 5th novel of 2015, I woke one morning this week a tad nostalgic for some of my old guard--the Stewart Realty series to be specific. I have a ton of fun extra scenes via my WatPad site for it but this one I wanted to share here, on the Liz Blog.
The Jack and Sara (and their friends and family's) saga stretches over nine novels and many decades. It's one of my favorites. The first, very sexy book, FLOOR TIME is 100% perma free on all book-buying sites so I encourage you to start there, then move on, immersing yourself in the story over the coming holiday weeks. You will NOT be sorry. Jack is, as I've claimed before, very much my male alter-ego and as such, we share a birthday in December. Mine coming up this year is a bit of a pre-milestone. A "29+20" as it were. So I was thinking about how Jack might celebrate one of his milestones, given all he and Sara have going in their lives.
I give you: "The Surprise Party: A Stewart Realty Bonus Scene"
Be sure and one click here to start at the (as I said/warned VERY sexy beginning of this tale. It's what got me started writing and I am ever grateful for the ongoing evolution of my abilities, mainly via the evolution of Jack and Sara's story that ends with GOOD FAITH, which was released 2 years ago this month).
THIS SCENE IS RATED NC17 FOR EXPLICIT CONTENT.
“You know, honey…honestly, maybe we should consider…”
“Stop. Just stop right there,” my husband insisted through clenched teeth. Sometimes I truly hated how stubborn the man could be.
I sighed, sipped my wine and dug my bare toe into the inside of his jeans-covered thigh by way of a distraction-slash-peace- offering. He grunted and shoved my foot off his lap.
Not a good sign.
“Fine,” I said mostly to myself, not willing to let emotion best me right now. I swallowed the tears that threatened, burning the backs of my eyes like fire. My spouse, the much-respected, much-desired Jack Gordon, co-owner with me of the most successful real estate brokerage in a tri-state area paced back in forth in front of the massive stone-fronted fireplace as a huge snowstorm raged outside in utter silence.
He clutched his wine glass, not drinking, his weekend stubbled face getting redder by the minute. I could sense his tension and anxiety like a sort of smoke between us. And it worried me, especially given the set of his broad shoulders and the way his jaw was working back and forth as he ground his teeth. I sipped more, in a vain attempt to relax myself, letting him stew, knowing better from a few years of experience not to interrupt him in mid-seethe.
Finally, he glared at me as if I’d run over his dog, plunked his still full wine glass on the coffee table and stalked from the room. I sighed and let myself focus on the dancing flames in the grate and the smooth, rich alcohol burn of the wine in my throat. When I woke up, neck stiff from falling asleep in the couch, the fire was out, it was nearly seven a.m. on a Sunday and Jack was nowhere to be found.
Figuring today was as good a day as any, I called Julie and arranged a lunch so we could finalize plans for Jack’s surprise fifty-ninth birthday party. After an hour on the treadmill and stationary bike I got a shower, determined not to worry about my husband’s continued absence. He was a grown man. He could do whatever he wanted, and I believed that he was probably at the gym, playing pick up basketball and risking injury with the hoards of much younger men and/or ogling the sweet young ladies and their firm young asses on the various cardio machines.
It was fine. It helped to calm him down and god knows he could use it.
“Hey, chick, I’m running late,” Julie sent by way of text message while I was showering. “But I’ll be there and I’m bringing Mo with me.”
“Ok,” I replied, already dreading how Jack’s sister Maureen would be able to read me like a book over a Bloody Mary. “I’ll grab our table. See you soon.”
I made breakfast for the kids and told Brandis to drive his sister to her indoor soccer practice, then headed out, avoiding their questions about their father’s glaring absence from our typical Sunday morning rituals. They knew things were rocky right now and spent a fair bit of energy avoiding Jack lately.
By the time our brunch concluded I’d confided pretty much everything to Jack’s sister and my friend. Julie confessed that Jack had spent a few drunken hours at her house, spilling his guts to Evan, her husband and Jack’s law school buddy. Funnily enough, that didn’t bother me like it might have. He needed the outlet and I told her I was glad he had it and used it.
“I’m worried about him,” I said, grabbing his sister’s Maureen’s hand at one point. “Really, really worried.”
“What’s the big deal anyway?” she asked, letting me clutch at her.
“It’s a major buy out opportunity. From a huge, nationally known brokerage and for a shit ton of money. I told him we should take it. He didn’t…uh…take that very well and we haven’t really been communicating much since.”
“Oh hell,” she sighed, draining the last of her vodka infused tomato juice. “Jack’s not one to think anyone can be the boss of him. You know that better than anyone.”
“It’s not like…” I stopped, biting my lip. “We need this. And I think it’s a perfect solution to a lot of our issues right now. Brandis…” I stopped, unwilling to express the exact depth and breadth of my ongoing worry about our only son. “Anyway, Jack and I both could use a break from the stress and selling out to…” I sighed. “Never mind. I know he’ll never, ever consider it. So, let’s throw the man a party he’ll never forget.”
My friends smiled and held up their glasses. We all clinked, sipped and I resigned myself to whatever Jack wanted. It was what I wanted to, I reasoned with myself. Or it had been. Before I had my second, and then my third child. We finalized the plans. Julie guaranteed her husband’s cooperation with the subterfuge. I paid the bill. We air-kissed and I sat in my car for a solid fifteen minutes, sobbing, before putting the thing in gear and heading home.
The next week was a blur of high level meetings, confrontations and stress. Jack was bound and determined not to be bullied into “merging” with a large real estate brokerage bent on folding the Stewart Realty successes into its stable of companies. I got even more lukewarm on it, still managing any number of low and mid-level crises. Plus trying to keep positive about his stupid surprise party, which I was for whatever reason determined to pull off a week before Christmas.
The morning before the big day, I woke to find Jack staring into the December dark morning huddled in his home office at 5 a.m., huge circles under his eyes, his hands wrapped around a giant mug of coffee and staring out into the snowy landscape of our front yard.
When I put my hands on his shoulders he flinched. I ignored that, rubbing and kneading, trying to work out the tight ropes of stress under my fingers. Finally, he sighed and his head dropped, giving into my ministrations. When he grabbed one of my hands and kissed it, I got that familiar, welcome thrill. I never tired of Jack’s kisses or his attention and had been missing it, without really realizing it thanks to all the workaday, ongoing craziness of parenting at least one challenging child and managing our brokerage.
“I love you,” he croaked out, pulling me around to his front and down onto his lap. As I held him close, I relaxed for the first time in what felt like months. We kissed and everything—the world, the stress, the buy out, our ongoing battle over it—all faded, replaced with an urgency I had no interest in ignoring. I rose, watching his deep blue eyes watching me and knowing I could fix this.
“Oh yeah,” I whispered, stepping back and dropping my robe to the floor at my feet. “Prove it,” I said, cocking one hip. He blinked, blew out a breath and said something I’d never heard him say, in our entire life together.
I hesitated a half second, then pulled him to his feet, wrapped myself around him and buried my hands in his unruly thick salt and pepper hair. “You mean, you won’t,” I said before slanting my lips over his. He tried not to respond. But I know my man and I know what he likes and I also knew we’d gone a solid two weeks feuding over this one, stupid, thing and I, for one, was over it.
He relaxed, held me close, kissed me back in a way that proved me right. I felt him harden, sensed his breathing quicken. “We need this Jack. This,” I said, reaching down to touch the erection tenting his sweat pants. “Not anything else but this. And now.”
He gazed down at me, his face still more pensive than I liked. “Take me, baby,” I said, running my finger over his lips. “However you want me.”
The sparkle in his eyes proved me right—we did need this.
Later, spent, sweaty and half asleep, I lay draped over my husband’s still strong chest, listening to his heart beat slow. I smiled and ran my hand through the sparse hair on his chest. I was tingly and sore in places I forget I liked being tingly and sore and knew he felt better too, just by the sound of his even breathing. But I wasn’t sleepy.
I got up carefully, covered him with a light blanket and pressed my lips to his. He grabbed my arm, surprising me and stared into my eyes. “Thanks. I needed that.” His other hand slid up the inside of my bare leg. I shivered, smiled, kissed him again. “Hmmm…” he said, letting his finger touch my bare, damp and now very sore pussy. “Haven’t tried that one in a while. Forgot how much you like it.” He smiled into my lips.
Just as I was about slide down under the sheet with him, the door slammed and the sound of our kids’ voices yelling out their arrival home from overnights at various friends’ houses made me jump back up. Jack heaved a sigh and propped his arms behind his head. I sat, watching him, my husband, my soul mate, the man I never thought I’d ever trust but who now held everything about me in the palms of his large, talented hands. I made a mistake then, and one I regretted.
“Let them have it, Jack. We don’t need the stress. We have enough. Brandis is coming apart at the seams and you know it. The older he gets the harder it’s gonna be and …”
His eyes clouded over. He turned to glare at me. “It’s mine, god damn it. How many times to have to explain that to you. It’s not…about…”
“It’s ours as a matter of fact.” I got up and headed for the bathroom, wishing I’d kept my damn mouth shut but figuring I started it, so I had to end it. “It is just as much my decision as it is yours and you’re not taking my opinion in to anything resembling consideration. I’m sick of it. You don’t have to do this alone. You don’t have to make this decision alone. I’m here too.” My voice raised. I turned to face him. He was shoving his legs into jeans.
“Yes, Sara, it is yours too.” His calm, patient, condescending tone lit a fire to my frustration, sending the flames shooting into my chest, my throat, my head. “I understand what you’re saying.”
“Fuck you no you don’t and don’t treat me like some little kid, patting me on my head then going off to do whatever the hell it is you wanted to do in the first place.”
We stood, in a staring contest it would seem, at loggerheads once again, the erotic stress-relieving, air-clearing session of bondage and orgasm denial and exquisite release gone like so much fog on a sunny morning.
He finally raised an eyebrow, about to impart some more bullshit to me I could tell.
“Dad,” our son hollered outside our door. “Do you want me to fire up the snow pusher? The driveway’s covered again.”
Jack lifted his chin, grabbed an MSU emblazoned sweatshirt from his side of the closet, jammed it down over his head and left the room without another word to me.
“I think we should cancel this,” I said the following Friday to Julie over the phone.
“No way, sister. This is gonna be awesome.”
“He’s being such a total shit head. I don’t feel like throwing him a fucking party anymore.”
“I know, I know,” my friend said. “But this will help. I swear it. Evan’s all set to pick him up from the office at four, take him to the club, pretend it’s the celebration since you guys are fighting or whatever.”
I sighed and fiddled with the heavy fountain pen on my desk. I had so much work in front of me. I had no business leaving early, two weeks before Christmas with various agents in varying stages of meltdown over deals gone bad. And of course the rumors had leaked and everyone was side-eying me like I was about to fire the entire staff right before the holidays thanks to a semi-hostile take over by a huge, rival brokerage. I leaned back, propping my feet up on my desk and let my friend convince me to stick with plan A for a while longer.
“You know, Sara,” she said, finally after we’d gone over the details one more time. “This isn’t about you. You’re taking this too personally.”
“The hell I am, Jules. He’s leaving me out, completely. My opinion doesn’t matter to him. It’s all about ‘mine mine mine’ and ‘I built this and I’m not giving it away. I, I, I, as always with Mr. Jack Gordon.”
“Well, if it’s any consolation, the other night when he got shit faced at my house and unloaded on Evan about it, he admitted that you were probably right.”
I dropped my feet to the floor and sat up straight. “What?”
“Yeah, well, he knows you guys have a lot on your plate, kid-wise and now he’s getting into that soccer team thing or whatever. But he told Evan that you were such an amazing general manager for your company he felt like giving it away to these people would be taking something away from you, more than anything.”
I blinked, unable to process this. Glancing around my large office, I let my mind dance across my timeline—what it took to get me here,
handling nearly a billion dollars in sales this year alone. Jack and I had built this together. He truly had taught me so much, had put me in charge when I didn’t feel competent but we’d grown and changed and ninety percent of the major decisions that helped us do that came directly from me. Sure I’d bounce things off Jack, let him advise but he was hands-off when it came to the daily running of…our company. I put a hand over my lips. Tears burned my eyes.
“So, just think about it before you say ‘just sell it’ to him again, okay?” My friend hung up. I sat for an hour, staring out my window, listening to the hustle and bustle of the main office of Stewart Realty outside my door. The glass was cold when I pressed my aching forehead to the window. Then I smiled.
I tapped out a quick text to him, per the plan with Julie, Evan and our friends Rob, Lila and Jack’s sister Maureen and her husband Rafe.
“Oh, I forgot to say Happy Birthday,” I said to my husband, my smile widening at his reply.
“What the fuck ever. Evan’s picking me up. We’re going to the club.”
Perfect, I thought, leaning back holding the phone to my chest. And now I’ll really surprise him.
The house was quiet when the uber driver pulled up our long driveway. I sat, nursing a glass of red wine at the kitchen island, rehearsing my speech. Jack came in the front door, muttering something under his breath. I heard keys, phone and watch drop onto their designated places on the front hall table. The lights were low. A fire blazed away in the grate.
“So, where’s the big surprise,” his low voice hit my ears, sending a shiver down my spine, strengthening my resolve. “The whooping and hollering and drinking my booze party?”
I rose, turned and faced him. His eyes widened at the sight of my full-on party gear—but not a public party. Our, private party.
“Surprise, Jack,” I said, striding over to him on my towering high heeled leather boots. The leather corset cut into my ribs but I didn’t care. This night was for him, my man, and I was going to make it one for the record books. I grabbed a candle and pushed him not too gently back into the family room. The firelight reflected in his eyes. “Strip,” I said, holding up his favorite mode of mutual pain and pleasure—the candle with the pool of wax at the center of it. “Now.”
He did, without a word. I shoved him into his large leather chair, straddled his legs and stood, staring down at him. His eyes were calm. His breathing the same. But he wanted this bad. It was pretty easy to tell. I glanced down at his rock hard cock, licked my lips, then looked back at him. “Don’t sell our company, baby,” I said, my voice catching with emotion.
Jack blinked, obviously thrown by this.
I rushed on. “I mean it. I’ve been thinking about it and you’re right. We can handle it, but only if you let me hire more admin support, close the two outlying non productive offices and fold those agents and staff into the others. Plus, we should…”
He sat up fast, forcing me to stumble back on the cursed high heels, almost dropping the candle to the floor. He rose, totally naked, put his warm, comforting hand alongside my flushed cheek and kissed me, teasing at first, then going deep as he took the candle from my hand so I could wrap my arms around him. When we broke the kiss we were both breathless.
He touched the tear on my cheek, put it to his lips and smiled. “This is not the surprise I was expecting.”
My face flushed hotter and I reached down to touch the part of him that I wanted right then, wanted inside me, as part of me, forever. He shuddered as I stroked him from base to tip. “Turn around,” he said, his voice rough and low. “I need….I….oh shit, yes.” I turned, grabbed the back of the couch and glanced over my shoulder as his grabbed my hips. He went slow, reaching around to stroke my bare clit, giving me his entire self and when I came I cried with relief. He draped over my back, holding onto me so close I forgot where I ended and he began.
“Sara,” he said, kissing my shoulder and neck and back. “I…”
“Shh,” I said, stepping forward and turning, knowing he’d held back so I could come first, and again and again. “No more talking.”
He nodded, and let me shove him back into his chair and play with him to my heart’s content with wax and a bit of bondage—just enough to make him crazy—then I lowered myself onto his lap, taking him inch by glorious inch until we were rocking together, his fingers dug into my ass, his face buried between my breasts. “Come, Jack. Now.” I held him close as he groaned and shivered all over and did what I told him.
We sat, pressed together a while as the fire flickered down and nearly went out. Finally, he lifted his face to look up at me. The depth of my contentment at that moment knew no bounds—no matter how difficult life might be with this demanding, bossy, needy man I did not want it any other way. I brushed his swollen lips with my finger. “Nice tongue work,” I said, smiling. “It’s been a while.”
I adored the way his face reddened then. “Don’t sell it. I support you one hundred and ten percent.”
“Surprise,” he said with a grin, leaning back. “You’ve outdone yourself, wife.”
“I know,” I said, flipping my hair and batting my lashes. As I was struggling back to my feet, dying to get into a hot bath and take my relaxation one step further, he grabbed my arm, stopping me.
“I adore you, Sara Thornton,” my husband said to me. “That’s all you really need to know.”
“I know that too, honey,” I said. “Now, help me get this fucking boots off before my feet cramp up.”
“Sexy,” he said, leaning forward and taking one of the torture devices in his hands and tugging. “I love it when you talk about cramps.”
“Shut up and pull.”
He did and we finished Jack’s Surprise Party together, in the large, jetted tub, sipping wine and talking about the future and the actual party that awaited us at his sister's house the next night--the one where he was expected to be surprised all over again.
Start at the beginning....when Sara met Jack...but be warned! Theirs is a hot, sexy, erotic and somewhat turbulent story!
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