Home > Fourth Debt (Indebted #5)(7)

Fourth Debt (Indebted #5)(7)
Author: Pepper Winters

He’s dead.

He’s dead.

He was good where they’re all bad.

“Quit it!” Cut roared at the same time as Bonnie screeched, “Behave yourselves!”

The Hawk siblings quit squabbling like brats. We looked at Cut and Bonnie, panting hard, trapped in a cycle of idiocy.

“For fuck’s sake.” Cut dragged a hand over his face. “You’re acting like two-year olds. I have a good mind to take the strap to both of you.” His gaze fell on his children, searing and intense. “She’ll be locked up until we have a family meeting. Then we can decide who has her first and what punishments shall be divided.”

Jasmine sneered, “See, Dan. Let her go.”

“You let go first.”

“God, you’re such a moron.” Jasmine relinquished her hold. Instantly, blood seeped from the slices she’d given, trickling down my wrist.

“You’re just an invalid who’s never been laid.” Daniel threw me away. “You always had it so easy, sister. Ever since your ‘accident.’”

My ears pricked. The aura of mystery surrounding Jasmine only grew thicker. I wanted to know everything about her before I ended her. Just like I wanted to know everything about Bonnie, Cut, and Daniel. I would wear their history like a talisman. I would be the last person to know their tales before they faded into obscurity.

Jasmine sniffed. “You’re pissed that your worthless invalid sister has won. I’m the eldest now; therefore, my word is law.”

“Don’t get ahead of yourself, Jaz,” Cut said.

Daniel ignored him. “That’s not it at all.” Slamming his hands on the handrails of Jasmine’s chair, he hemmed her in. “Now I have two women on my shit list instead of one.” He dragged a finger across his throat. “I’d watch out if I were you.”

Pushing off, he deliberately shouldered Cut out of the way, scowled at Bonnie, and stalked from the room.

The moment he disappeared, my muscles quivered. Somehow, I’d avoided whatever would’ve happened. I’d slipped into shock and come out ready to murder. And I’d been given to yet another Hawk who hated me.

Cut shook his head, looking at his mother. “They never fucking learn.”

Bonnie laughed. “Neither did you, dear. Not for a long time.”

He wrapped an arm around her brittle shoulders. “I can’t imagine ever being so terrible.”

My fingernails dug into my palm as I witnessed a seemingly normal bond. How could evil have so many layers? How could it be so obvious one moment, then hidden by family ties and hierarchy the next?

Bonnie tapped her cane against Cut’s foot. “You’re not forgetting what you did, are you? Because I have news for you—you were worse. A lot worse.” Moving forward, she dislodged his hold. “But I straightened out the mess you made. I put things right. I have every faith you will, too.”

Cut nodded. “Damn right, I will.” His eyes strained but apart from a few cracks in his smooth veneer, I would never have guessed he’d pulled the trigger on two of his children.

He’s dead.

He’s dead.

All because of me.

Inching closer to Jasmine, I whispered so only she would hear. “He tried to shoot you, but Jethro saved you. Do you have no shame?”

Her eyes zeroed in on mine. Thoughts and emotions flickered over her face but she didn’t reply.

Her betrayal hurt. Jethro and Kes had loved her. They’d died for her. Who could claim to love them in return yet continue to be in the same house as the man who’d shot them?

My stomach twisted. “You make me sick.”

Her hands tightened around the rims of her wheels. Shutters slammed over her eyes, but still no response.

Tears stung but I had nothing else to say. Only one promise that she might as well hear, so she’d know who truly loved her brother. “I’ll kill you for this. Just like I’ll kill them.”

She sat taller. Locking eyes with me, she said icily, “I guess we’ll see, won’t we?” Raising her voice, she pointed at the door. “Your fate will be discussed and decreed. Go to your room. Leave us.”

I rubbed my wrist, smearing the blood she’d conjured. When I didn’t move, she herded me with silver wheels toward the exit.

“I said leave.” She didn’t stop, pushing me between Cut and Bonnie.

My skin crawled as Cut reached out, gathering me to him. He brushed aside black hair that’d stuck to my clammy cheeks. His golden eyes shone with power. “I’m afraid our timeframe has accelerated since you’ve arrived. Emma was in my control for a delightful length of time. I’d hoped Jethro could manage the same. But…I raised lacklustre sons and have to hope my daughter can do better.”

Jasmine nudged against the back of my thighs. “Let her go, father. She has to be trained in obedience.” Her legs remained covered with a rose-coloured blanket, but temper flared her cheeks. “That was her issue with Jet. She never listened. I’ll teach her otherwise.”

How did I judge someone so wrong? All this time, I thought Jasmine was half-way sane—a crutch for her brother and stronger than all of them combined. But she was just as diabolical.

“If anyone can do it, it’s you, Jasmine.” Cut released me. “I have no doubt.”

Bonnie smiled, leaning on her stick. “Jasmine is an exemplary student. She’ll rise to the challenge.”

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