Home > Indebted Epilogue (Indebted #7)(17)

Indebted Epilogue (Indebted #7)(17)
Author: Pepper Winters

“Of course, more than okay.” My mind raced with how to tell him the news.

A snuffling sound came from the undergrowth. I froze, peering into the bush, searching for a hedgehog or badger.

Squirrel came bounding out of the undergrowth, weaving around Jethro’s legs.

“Bolly, what the hell are you doing out of the kennels?” Jethro scowled. “How the devil did he get out?”

I grinned, dropping to my haunches to hug the dog. He’d adopted me on my first night at Hawksridge and was still my favourite of the foxhounds. Jethro no longer hunted, but every now and again, we would gallop across the estate with the baying dogs at our heels.

The dog yipped, coming to lick my hand. “He can come with us.”

“We’ll take him back to the stables afterward.” Jethro snapped his fingers. The hound heeled obediently.

Silence fell as Jethro and I moved further into the woods. The moon only illuminated so much, but our eyes adjusted. Following an animal path, we popped out in a little clearing where a few ferns and foxglove bowed in sleep.

I turned to Jethro to tell him my news, but his mouth landed on mine, hushing everything I wanted to say.

“Would you play a game with me, Mrs. Hawk?”

I grinned, his skin silver in the moonlight. “A game? What sort of game?”

His teeth nipped their way to my ear. “A game to replace bad memories with good.”

We’d done that with every debt. The octagonal greenhouse had become a favourite place for kinky sex and the lake shed its stigma of the ducking stool and became a prized picnic spot. We’d rechristened Hawksridge Hall with so many happy memories over the past few years.

My heart raced. “You have me intrigued. Go on.”

He chuckled. “Remember that first day? When you ran for your life to the boundary? I told you to run. That I would chase you. And when I found you…you gave me the best fucking blow-job of my life.”

I shivered. “I remember.”

“I want to chase you again, Nila.”

My eyes widened at the naughty, delicious thought of what he would do to me when he caught me. “Naked or dressed?”

His eyes flashed. “Run while you’re dressed. It won’t stop me from claiming what’s mine when I catch you.”

I panted, backing away from his arms. Already breathless, I had no idea if I’d be able to run very far. Not that I wanted to. But the sheer thrill of running from the man I loved, knowing what he would do when he stopped me, sent my blood racing. “How much head start do I get?”

“A few minutes.” He bent and grabbed Squirrel by the scruff. “I’ll have my friend here to help me. Just like I did that day.” His lips twisted into a sexy smirk. “I suggest you run fast, Needle. Otherwise, I’ll have you on the ground and my cock between your legs before you’ve gone a few metres.”

Swiping my hair into a ponytail, I secured it with an elastic. “Okay.” My nipples ached, and I grew shamefully wet. Walking backward, I smiled coyly. “Bet I get farther than you think.”

“I suggest you stop taunting me and start running…”

“Let’s see who will win.” Pirouetting, I took off. My ballet flats flew, hurtling me away from Jethro.

The intoxication of being able to play and laugh bubbled in my blood. The moment he caught me, he’d take me. And once he’d claimed what was rightfully his—what would always be his—I’d tell him my news.

Leaping over a fallen log, I darted through the undergrowth, not caring I crunched twigs or crashed through large leaves. He would find me. And I wanted him to.

True to his word, he gave me a few minutes head start before Squirrel’s howl sounded on the night sky, signalling his chase.

I ducked and parried around trees and roots, doing my best to get far. But instead of fear, I sparked with laughter and love.

“Are you running? Because I’m chasing.” Jethro’s baritone whipped through bracken.

I ran faster, my hair tie coming loose and ebony strands cascading down my back as I tore through a small everglade and into dense woodland.

I hoped I’d get farther. But Squirrel found me first.

His paws thundered behind me, reminding me he’d ruined my hiding place up the tree that fateful day. Puffing, I ruffled the dog as he ran beside me. His tongue lolling and black eyes bright with excitement. “Even when you were being a traitor, you had my back, didn’t you?”

Squirrel yipped. I’d never get used to calling him Bolly. That wasn’t his name—not with the bristly tail he had.

Breathing hard, I entered another small clearing. This one had a few saplings straining for the sky. I went to dash forward, but a hand lassoed around my wrist, yanking me back.

“Caught you, little Weaver.”

I shivered, my core clenching with need. “Unhand me, Mr. Hawk. Otherwise, I promise I’ll make your life a living hell.”

“Never.” He backed me swiftly against a tree, slamming my wrists above my head and biting his way along my collarbone. “I’ve wanted to do this all day.”

My breath turned into moans as his tongue licked its way down my throat, over my collar, to the dip between my breasts. “Do what?”

“This.” Spinning me around, he pressed my front against the tree and bent to gather my summery skirt. My skin goosebumped as the sound of his zipper coming undone sent wetness pooling.

“All day I’ve stared at you. I grew hard for you while you hugged our son. My mouth watered to lick you as you sipped wine at dinner.”

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