Home > Indebted Epilogue (Indebted #7)(16)

Indebted Epilogue (Indebted #7)(16)
Author: Pepper Winters

My mind returned to my secret, subtly stroking the growing bump.

The other reason why I’d kept it from him was I wanted the moment to be special. I wanted to whisper in his ear and give him a treasured present after he’d given me so much.

Spinning my black diamond engagement ring, I remembered Kes’s first week at the Hall. Jethro had disappeared for a day, telling me to rest and all would be revealed upon his return.

I couldn’t believe it when he returned with a foal.

Tears had spilled as he clutched the halter of such a delicate little pony and pranced him proudly through the Hall to Kestrel’s nursery.

There, the adorable dapple grey colt stuck his nose through the bars of the cot, snuffling at the baby, building the first stone of an unshakable bond between horse and rider.

We’d agreed to call the foal Gus—labelling the colt with yet another name from the man who watched over us. It wasn’t for a few weeks until I found out the origins of where Gus had been sourced.

Jethro had returned to the breeder who’d given his brother Moth—creating yet another circle of fate, buying pedigree from excellent stock.

My heart overflowed; I came to stop in the corridor.

Jethro raised his eyebrow. “You okay?”

“I want to tell you something.”

He paused, his nostrils flaring. “Tell me what?”

“Not here. I want to go somewhere special. Just the two of us.”

He frowned. “You’re scaring me. Tell me.” His hands latched around my hips walking me backward to the wall. Pressing me against the fancy tapestries, his mouth latched on my throat. “Don’t make me torture you to learn what you’re hiding, wife.”

I melted as his tongue and hot wetness of his mouth sent needful flurries through my core. “Perhaps a swim? I could tell you in the hot springs?” My mind filled with happy moments, splashing with Kes in the hot water and making slow love to Jethro once our son was in bed. The springs beneath Hawksridge had become a regular part of our lives. And I happened to know Jasmine took Vaughn down there a number of times to not only ease her atrophied muscles but also to indulge in…other things.

His lips kissed their way over my neck to my mouth. Tilting his hips, a rapidly hardening erection nudged my lower belly.

I moaned, accepting his invite.

His breathing quickened as his tongue danced with mine. Kissing me slowly, savagely, sweetly. The Hall swam, and my leg itched to hook over his thigh, hitch up my skirt, and welcome his body into mine.

Planting his hand by my head, he held himself over me. His voice trembled with lust. “I won’t let you distract me. I want to know what you’re hiding, and if you want it to be somewhere special…I have a better idea.”


Pushing off from the wall, he took my hand. “Yes. You want somewhere priceless. Let’s go for a walk on the grounds. The very land we own and safeguard for our son. That’s the most special I can think of.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Our fingers linked as we moved through the house, nodding at Black Diamond brothers and waving at Flaw as we crossed the foyer. It wasn’t late, about nine p.m., but the summer sky teased with dusk. The sun had gone, cooling the outside temperature, but my ankle-length skirt and gypsy blouse would keep me warm enough for a small excursion.

Our footsteps disturbed gravel and leaves as we left the Hall and meandered down the driveway.

Passing the orchard, my mouth watered remembering the juicy fruit we’d picked the day before. Jasmine did her best to teach me how to have a green thumb like her, but I wasn’t interested; not when I had baby clothes to sew.

It hadn’t escaped my notice the way Jasmine held little Kes. She wanted one. We’d had a late-night conversation once about her getting pregnant with Vaughn.

For a long time—too long—she hadn’t let Vaughn touch her. She couldn’t get over her fear that someone could love her, no matter how stupid such a notion was. They’d been together for over two years, and she’d confided it took her almost a year just to allow him to sleep with her.

“Where are you taking me?” I asked as we left the driveway and cut into the woods. Together, we followed the path where we’d been for a run, skirting past the graves of my ancestors.

My heart clenched, recalling the day we’d tended to the awful moor and made it a better resting place. After discussing the graves with my father and brother, we all decided to leave them where they were buried. However, we re-blessed the ground, had new tombstones engraved, and ensured the hilltop only held good manifestations rather than ill will.

It was fitting that both Weavers and Hawks were buried on the estate and had followed through with legalities for a personal graveyard permit, so we were fully within the law. I didn’t visit often, but had no intention of hiding any of our history from our children when the time came.

Including Jacqueline.

I’d begun to tell her about our shared lineage but hadn’t gotten very far.

We’d met five times over the past two years.

To begin with it was awkward and confusing to stare at a stranger who’d shared a womb and birthday. But slowly, we turned from polite acquaintances to pleasant friends. We had plans to take Kes to see her next month up in Cornwall.

She didn’t have children of her own and had only just married her long term partner, Joseph. She was my sister…but it would take time to become family.

“Somewhere special.” Jethro smiled in the dark. “I thought we’d walk off dinner...that okay?”

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