Author’s Note: This skydiving scene was originally part of Damon’s Dream Date, but the chapter was WAY too long (even before I wrote the bonus addition to it) so it got cut. But it is Delena going skydiving and realizing midair that they don’t know how to steer or land. Also, the name is so cheesy it is funny.
Falling in Love
“You know, the point of tandem skydiving is that you have an instructor with you. Because you don’t know how to do it,” I remind Damon again, raising my voice to be heard over the buzz of the plane.
He gives me a dirty look. “You thought the perfect date would be you strapped to another guy? Do me a favor, Elena? Let me do the thinking from here on out.”
I glance out the window, trying not to think about how high off the ground we already are.
“All you have to do is pull this cord, and if that doesn’t work, pull the other cord,” Damon says. “If I can’t manage that much, I probably deserve to break every bone in my body. Besides, it won’t kill us to screw it up. Just try not to land on a tree.”
“Yeah, but won’t it hurt?” I yell back.
“Like you wouldn’t believe,” he says with a rakish grin.
I give him a dirty look. The attendant opens the door and the sudden noise of the wind is so loud that I forget all about being mad at Damon and grab his arm, leaning away from the hole in the side of the plane. It’s crazy- there’s no rope or anything to keep us from just falling out.
He laughs at me. “Come on, Evil Kneivel. This was your idea.” He starts pulling me toward the door, and the skydiving instructor points and yells until he has both of us sitting with our legs dangling out the door of the plane. My heart is in my throat, and I bet Damon can hear it thundering even over the engine and the howling wind.
The instructor yells for me to drop out first, and I shake my head tightly.
Damon takes my hand, lacing our fingers together. “Come on,” he yells. “I’ll go with you.”
I shoot him a terrified glance. Cause yeah, I trust him, but this is a freaking plane, and we have parachutes strapped to us that neither of us actually know how to use.
He smiles at me, the picture of devilish beauty, and he jumps, pulling me out with him.
I scream for a long minute before I realize I don’t feel like I’m falling. The wind is still rushing all around us, but the ground doesn’t appear to be getting any closer. I look over at Damon and laugh breathlessly when I see how the g-forces have pushed his cheeks back, making them flap comically. He’s experimenting with moving his arms and legs, and one of his moves throws us into a spin.
I squeeze his hand. “Damon!” I scream, trying to figure out if it’s time to pull our chutes, but I can’t even hear myself, it’s so loud. He lets go of one of my hands and points at my ripcord. I grab it and pull and the force wrenches our hands away from each other. The instructor told us that it would feel like we were going up when the chute opened, but we were actually still falling, just slower.
He must be wrong, though, because I feel like I totally reversed direction. It goes quiet as the chute catches the wind and I’m floating gently above the earth.
“Damon!” I yell, twisting in my harness, looking all over for him. Oh sweet, Jesus, what if he didn’t pull in time? What if he waited too long so I would go first?
I finally see his canopy, far off to my right, and I breathe a sigh of relief and relax against the straps. It’s beautiful up here- I can see parks and trees and little cars, slowly drifting closer. I don’t even try to suppress the silly grin on my face. We did it! We totally skydived on our own, with no training at all.
The ground is close enough that I can start to make out the kinds of cars passing on the freeway underneath me.
Wait, how am I supposed to not land on the freeway? I look over at Damon, but he’s doing crazy circles that look like they’re bound to collapse his parachutes.
Okay, if he’s doing that, there has to be a way to steer. Unless he’s just totally out of control and about to crash. I push down that thought, cursing myself for trying to have a unique date. Dinner and a movie sounds so, so much better than this. I can start to see the faces of drivers through the windshields of the cars on the freeway.
I start pulling on every strap of my harness, but none of them seem to affect the direction I’m flying. I look up at the parachute, and I see two straps with big, open loops on the bottom. I grab them and pull, and the edges of my chute start to collapse and lose loft.
“Shit! Shit!” I scream, letting go of them. The fabric above me ripples and catches air again and I blow out a breath, checking the ground below me. I don’t have time to freak out now. I reach up and tug more gently on just one of the handles and I bank sharply in that direction.
I grin. “Ha!” Taking hold of both handles, I tug one, then the other, zigzagging across the sky as I scan the ground for the park where we were supposed to meet our ride. Craning my neck, I finally find it behind me, but when I turn, I just zoom over the top of it.
“Wait, where’s the down button?” I mutter to myself. If I tug on the straps, I can turn, but I can’t figure out how I’m supposed to descend when I want to. I content myself with turning circles above the park, drifting closer and closer to the ground. I can see Damon already down there, waving at me. I zoom in, almost down, and grin triumphantly at him as my feet touch down. Except that my chute keeps going.
I run, trying to keep up, and I feel the chute catch a breeze and lift me off the ground again.
Damon blurs toward me, leaping the ten feet up to catch me. His legs wrap around me like a monkey as he grabs at the handles still clutched uselessly in my hands and pulls both at once, collapsing my chute. We hit the ground hard, because I can’t run to soften impact with Damon hanging onto me. We roll, tangling hopelessly in the parachute cords and I just lay there for a minute, Damon on top of me, before I start to laugh.
He pulls back and glares at me. “You’re supposed to land, Elena.”
“I don’t know how, Mr. We-don’t-need-instructors,” I shoot back, but I can’t stop grinning. “That was amazing!”
He pushes my windblown hair away from my face and grins back, his blue eyes glowing with excitement. I catch my breath and roll him under me, squeezing his hips with my thighs.
He sneaks a hand under the back of my shirt, yanking me against him. His mouth collides with mine, all the excitement of the last few minutes feeding into a single, fiery kiss.
“Ah-hem. You folks need any help?” the driver from the skydiving school asks awkwardly. “You look a little tangled up there.”
“I always liked bondage,” Damon whispers in my ear and I blush. We sit up and scoot apart, but when I look over, he’s draped in cords like a rope store exploded all over him. I giggle and make a pistol shape with my hands, shooting it at Damon. “Phew! I shot you with my spiderman web gun!”
He flops down flat, groaning in mock pain and I raise my arms in triumph. “The villain has been vanquished. The world is safe!”
Quick as a snake, he leaps at me, tackling me into my parachute and wrapping cords around my hands and feet. In seconds, I’m trussed like a calf at a rodeo, and Damon sits back, laughing as I glare at him. “Who’s safe now, Gilbert?”
“Definitely not you, when I get out of this.”
“Guys, please, let’s not play with the parachutes,” the driver says uncomfortably. “They’re really expensive and it’s really hard to straighten those ropes back out.”
“Yeah, Elena. Behave yourself,” Damon scolds, his eyes twinkling.
“Oh man, I can’t wait for the next part of our date now,” I warn.
“Why, what are we doing?” The driver starts untangling my wrists and I peek over his head at Damon with a wicked grin.
Damon refuses to let me drive, so I just direct him through town. When we’re about two blocks from our destination, I see a sign and my eyes widen as I hold back my laughter.
“Pull in here,” I instruct.
He parks and I say nothing, waiting for him to see it.
His eyebrows snap down. “Pistol range? Elena, you know we heal, but it still hurts to get shot.”
I burst out laughing. “Just kidding. Your face was too priceless. Keep going.”
“You’re going to pay for that,” he threatens.
“Ooh, the big bad vampire is making threats,” I tease, my eyes shining. “Watch out, big guy. I’m pretty quick these days. I totally got you with the crossbow that one time.”
“Yeah, because I was fighting so hard to get you to stop straddling me on a bed,” Damon says dryly. “You got me there.”
**This is where it segues into them going to play laser tag