Home > Indebted Epilogue (Indebted #7)(14)

Indebted Epilogue (Indebted #7)(14)
Author: Pepper Winters

She shrugged. “I don’t know. But whatever it is, I know you’ll love it and me, and we’ll fill Hawksridge with the sounds of laughter.”

I couldn’t stop myself.

Clambering to my feet, I swooped her into my arms. The train of her dress rippled over my arm as I stood in the centre of the stage with so much fucking pride I could fly.

Glaring into the ever-invasive cameras, I announced, “My wife is pregnant.”

The theatre erupted into applause.

I didn’t care.

All I cared about was getting somewhere private so Nila and I could have our own celebration.

Turning my back on the world, fading out the claps and happy conversations, I kissed my wife. “I love you. I love you so fucking much.”

Nila laid her head on my heart, making me wondrously complete. “I know.”

Three Years Later…

“GOOD NIGHT, GOOD NIGHT, DON’T let the bed bugs bite.”

The squeal echoed merrily around the room as Jethro blew raspberries on the belly of our child. Our firstborn. Part Weaver, part Hawk.

The past few years had gone by so fast. We became a true family—working together, loving together, learning and evolving and laughing.

My pregnancy had been easy. Thanks to my fitness from running, I remained supple and able to work until the day I delivered. Jethro would often find me in the Weaver quarters, sewing and sketching with my belly ballooning as the days stretched on.

He never told me to stop. He supported whatever I wanted to do. He held my hand when I walked the estate and commandeered the kitchen at all hours to concoct my ridiculous cravings.

He absolutely doted on me, and I fell deeper into love with him. I hadn’t known there were so many layers to love. Sweet and sparkling then lusty and desiring, evolving into bone-deep and endless as the years slipped by. And the longer we lived together, the more we became soul-mates in every sense of the word.

He knew my thoughts without me verbalising.

I knew his concerns without him having to speak. We became in-tune with body language and heart-code…listening with more than just ears.

The further I progressed in my pregnancy, the more my father visited. His fear for my health grew until I resembled a blimp, soothing the scars of our past. He begged for the right to help decorate the nursery and almost singlehandedly bought London out of every nappy, cuddly toy, and cute baby clothes.

My twin was less impressed. He ribbed me constantly of the weight I’d gained—taunting me like a brother was allowed. On the nights he came to visit, he’d pat his washboard stomach and poke my humongous one, laughing good-naturedly. He even joked he’d buy me a few lessons with a personal trainer once I’d popped to get back into shape.

Jethro had not been happy. His eyes flashed with jealousy as Vaughn played up the angle of some beefed-up jock helping me stretch and train.

The night had ended with drinks for the boys and giggles for me.

I’d never been so contented.

And the day I’d given birth had once again changed my life. I’d been terrified—not that I told Jethro. My heart bucked and the fear of dying in labour stole all enjoyment of bringing life into the world.

But Jethro had been my prince, keeping me anchored, rubbing my back when vertigo struck and driving me calmly to the private hospital we’d arranged for the delivery.

The birth hadn’t gone perfectly. I’d been in labour for twenty-four hours. The baby had turned the night before and faced the wrong way. An emergency caesarean had to take place after Jethro roared for the doctors to take away my pain.

For every one of my contractions, Jethro felt it. He sweated beside me. He trembled in sympathy. He almost threw up when the agony threatened to rip me apart.

But when the first screams of our child shredded the operating theatre, Jethro had slammed to his knees. His shoulders quaked in silent sobs as he let himself feel another conscience for the first time.

Not mine.

Not the doctors and nurses.

Our baby.


Our son.

The moment the doctor cleaned up the newborn and swaddled him in Jethro’s arms, he’d irrevocably changed. He became more than lord and master of Hawksridge. He became more than lover and friend.

He became a father. A protector. A single piece in a jigsaw of never-ending history. The look on his face when he stared into the eyes of his heir fisted my heart until I couldn’t breathe.

It’d been the singular most awe-inspiring moment of my life.

And I’d done it to him.

We’d done it together.

We’d created the squalling new life wriggling in his embrace.

He’d found his peace.

His centre.

Our son cooed as I brushed his bronze-black curls off his cherub cheeks. To begin with, I’d been terrified of making a mistake—of being the worst mother imaginable. But once I returned home to the Hall, the cooks and cleaners all came to welcome their new inhabitant; granting snippets of their own experiences, and filling me with courage I could do this. I could raise this little person. I could teach him how to be moral and kind and wise. I’d been able to break the Debt Inheritance. I could raise a baby boy, no problem.

Jethro touched my hand from the other side of the cot, looping his pinkie with mine. Our son wriggled in his bed, grabbing our joint fingers and squeezing them tight.

My heart glowed as Jethro strained across the crib, kissing me softly. “I love what we’ve created.”

I smiled. “I’m rather glad about that.”

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