Home > Final Debt (Indebted #6)(7)

Final Debt (Indebted #6)(7)
Author: Pepper Winters

Everything inside went ice, ice cold. “In time for what, Jaz? What else do you know?”

I paced in the clearing, going out of my fucking mind.

“Bonnie took great pride in telling me Cut will make her pay the Third Debt the moment they get there. And the Fourth Debt the day after…Jethro…they plan on carrying out the Final Debt by the end of the week.”

Motherfucking shit.

My mind ran wild, calculating time zones and travel distance.

Even if I left now and there was a charter leaving immediately, I would still be hours behind. I would be too late to prevent the Third Debt.

My heart crumbled to ash.

How could I do this to her? After everything she’d already lived through. How had I failed her so fucking spectacularly?


Shrugging into the backpack, I vowed I wouldn’t let Nila suffer anymore. Fuck the plan. Fuck timing.

I won’t give up.

“I’ll take care of it.” My voice was a tombstone. Even as I swore I’d save Nila, I knew the truth. The awful, disgusting truth.

Kes had done what I couldn’t and saved her from the Third Debt. He’d held her. Comforted her. Been there for her while he protected her from being raped.

All of that had been in vain.

He’d been shot because of me.

He might never wake up because of me.

I wanted to slaughter my father with my bare hands. I wanted to tear out my heart because no matter what I did, I would fail Nila.

She would pay the Third Debt.

And she would hate me forever.

My knees wobbled as I gasped in agony. I’d condemned her. I was the one she would blame. How would she recover from that? Why would she ever want me again after I left her alone?

She would never be mine again, but I would never let my father execute her.

Six days.

My father wanted to kill the love of my life in six fucking days.

My plan had just escalated.

I will stop this.

Even if it meant dying alone and unwanted because of it.

“How! How will you take care of it?” Jasmine screeched. “They’re in fucking Botswana, Kite!”

My jaw locked, and I stormed toward Wings. He stood obediently, hidden in the tree line. Neither tethered nor saddled, he looked up when I got closer. His black eyes gleamed with ancient knowledge, so smart, so empathetic. He sensed my turmoil. He knew what I was about to ask him and he didn’t hesitate.

Moving toward me, the giant animal placed himself sideways for me to mount. No rope or bridle, just a bond between man and beast.

“I don’t care if they’re at the ends of the earth. I’m going after them.”

Grabbing a fistful of Wing’s mane, I tucked the phone under my chin. In a practiced move I’d done countless times, I leapt upright and swung my leg over Wing’s back.

My side bellowed, but I ignored my discomfort, focusing on the pain I’d caused Nila by making her return to the Hall without me.

Stupid. So fucking stupid.

Wing’s silky coat offered no friction against my jeans. I’d been raised riding bareback. I’d spent many nights building a relationship with my horse. He would obey and fly wherever I needed.

The minute I was seated, he burst into a gallop. I bent low, gripping with my thighs.



My rucksack slapped against my back as Wings flew toward the Hall. Wind stole Jasmine’s voice, but I caught enough. “Jethro, what are you going to do?”

The noonday sun drenched Hawksridge, mocking my choices and who I’d become. I vowed this would be over soon. That Nila would be in my arms. That my brother would wake from his coma. That my sister might finally find peace.

So much to fix.

So much unhappiness to erase.

Wings gathered more power, shooting faster than any bullet across the paddock. My legs tightened, my heart pounded, and my fury crescendoed into a breathable entity.

Cut had made his last mistake.

I’m coming for you.

“I’m going after her, Jaz. And this time, I’m going to fucking end it.”

IF DIAMOND ALLEY was the place where diamonds were sorted, raining eternal sunshine from giant spotlights, then Almasi Kipanga was the scar in the earth that’d created them.

The entire journey from the airport, Daniel kept his hand latched around my knee. I’d stewed in annoyance and repulsion but hadn’t argued or struck up conversation.

I had so much to say.

But each word would only herald more punishment.

Besides, Daniel didn’t deserve conversation. He was a lost, little boy, unable to see he was already dead. He might be a Hawk about to hurt me, but I was a viper in his nest just waiting to bite and poison him.

I had time.

I had stealth.

I’ll wait.

The driver escorted us through the silent night without a syllable spoken. His passenger-guard never rested, glaring out the window, his reflexes flinching and finger soaring to the gun trigger more than once. Especially when we stopped at red lights and drove down dirt roads.

When we traded human busyness for sparseness, he unsheathed a machete, placing it reverently across his knees. Starlight bounced through the windscreen, kissing the tarnished blade.

Hoots and howls replaced sounds of suburbia, scuttling premonition down my spine.

Inside the Jeep, we were safe…but out there…out there feasted animals far more equipped at killing than we were. Out there, they hunted; their yellow eyes flashing in the headlights.

My fatigue evaporated the deeper into Africa we drove. The driver and passenger granted me copious amounts of adrenaline as I fed off their alertness. They lived here yet they didn’t relax. They stayed on edge the entire journey.

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