Home > Second Debt (Indebted #3)(14)

Second Debt (Indebted #3)(14)
Author: Pepper Winters

My fingers curled tighter around her wrist. I winced as something sharp dug into my thumb. Holding up her arm, the glint of metal winked through the black fabric of her jumper. “Are there needles in your cuffs?”

She tried to jerk her arm away. Unsuccessfully.

“Hardly safe, don’t you think?”

She looked at the sharp pins as I pulled them free and dropped them onto a side table.

Her lips curled. “A hazard of the occupation. It’s convenient to have them there—I misplace them if I’m knee deep in material.” Her black eyes met mine. “Careful where you touch me, Jethro. You’ll never know if a needle will stab you to death.”

I froze. Everything she said came layered with hints and metaphors.

A chill scattered down my spine. “You’re beginning to piss me off, Ms. Weaver. If I didn’t know any better, I would take that as a threat.”

“Maybe you should.”

“Maybe you should say what you mean and be done with it.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I thought I just did. I hate you. There, that blatant enough?”

Oh, my fucking God. This woman.

“You don’t hate me.”

She snarled. “Believe me. I do.”

“You don’t know me.”

“I know more than I need and I don’t like what I know.”

My heart lurched. “You’re just like them. Judging me before you understand me.” The moment the words were free, I panicked. What the fuck?

My fingers twitched to wrap around her throat, to squeeze the knowledge of my secrets from her ears. She’d cut me out. She didn’t deserve to understand.

I moved forward, closing the distance between us, unable to ignore the twinges of cuts on my soles. “Stop punishing me for what happened yesterday.”

She laughed coldly. “Yesterday? You think my repulsion of you is from yesterday?”

I frowned. “Of course, it is. Before you saw what was on the moor, you liked me. You kissed me. You wrapped your legs around me while I fucked—”

“And you fell for it, didn’t you?” Her smile was nasty. “I made you kiss me. I made you fuck me to prove a point.”

The fire in my blood suddenly snuffed out, leaving my heart blackened and charred and eager for the creeping icicles in the dark. My voice dropped to an emotionless void. “What do you mean?”

You used me.

Same as them.

You lied to me.

Same as them.

“I told you to kiss me to prove you have a soul. You have one. I see that now. But I don’t like it.” She sucked in a breath, cocking her chin with a haughty dismissal. “I slept with you because I was weak and because I believed you were different. But you’re not different. You’ll toy with me, hurt me, and ultimately kill me. And then you’ll bury me with the rotting corpses of my slain family.”

Her blood pumped thickly beneath my touch. A headache brewed from nowhere. I’d only been here for ten minutes, yet it felt like an eternity. An eternity where all my dreams had just vanished, transforming into nightmares. “What do you want from me? An apology? A fucking—”

“That’s the thing. I don’t want anything from you. All I want is to have nothing to do with you or your bastard kin ever again. I intend to stay in my quarters until each debt must be repaid. I don’t care how long it takes or what you do to me, I’m done playing your stupid games.”

My muscles locked.

Stupid games?

She thought my texts were stupid games? She thought everything that I was going through was a fucking game?

Ice turned to sleet, raining upon my soul. “What are you saying?”

Her eyes glittered with cold-hearted conviction. “I was wrong to think I had any power in this fate. I’m done. Seeing those graves made me grow up.”

“So, you’re just going to lock yourself away and wait to die?”

She nodded. “Having free roam of this place, receiving gifts, and enjoying people’s company undermines my right to feel wronged. I won’t play along anymore. I’m a prisoner and I refuse to forget that.”

I wanted to slap her. I wanted to throw her onto the bed and fuck her. Whoever this woman was in front of me, she wasn’t the Nila who’d made me unravel.

She thought she couldn’t change my family? Maybe she was right. But she sure as fuck changed me.

“Everything you just said is bullshit.”

She shrugged. “Believe what you want to believe.”

I searched her gaze, delving as deep as I could, trying to see the truth. Something about this entire exchange felt fake.

She stared right back, hinting at nothing.

We’d run out of time. Extracting the truth from her would have to come later.

“Enough melodramatics. We’re leaving,” I muttered. “Time to go.”

She scoffed. “Do what you have to do. I’m sure there’s a special place reserved for you Hawks in hell.”

“Goddammit, Nila!”

She flinched.

I didn’t have the strength to have another fight, especially when I needed to concentrate and get through what was about to happen. “Behave. Just once if your fucking life trust without having to understand.”

Yanking her forearm, I pulled her toward the exit.

In a magical twist, she somehow dislodged my grip and stalked to the door on her own.

My jaw locked as she threw me a cold glare and disappeared into the corridor.

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