Home > Indebted Epilogue (Indebted #7)(6)

Indebted Epilogue (Indebted #7)(6)
Author: Pepper Winters

“I know. Believe me, I know.”

Jasmine sat opposite, in the maid of honour position. Her eyes reflected the colour of her beautiful bridesmaid’s dress of purple and black. Nila had designed the gown, as well as my suit and V’s best man’s outfit. We all matched. A family.

The soft music stopped playing as Nila ended the procession within touching distance.

Tex wiped away a tear as he hugged his daughter. He’d lost the weight he’d carried ever since I’d taken Nila and looked like the distinguished gentleman from the night I stole her.

We’d had a private chat a couple of months ago. I’d apologised to him for what my family had done and sworn on the graves of my ancestors that Nila was forever safe in my arms.

Nila stood before me.

I blinked, drinking in her incredible perfection.

Her tiny hands slotted into mine, and I squeezed her so damn hard.

The celebrant I’d hired clasped his fingers together, looking at the small congregation. There weren’t many of us. Flaw represented the Black Diamonds. Tex represented Nila's family. There were no business partners or friends, no assistants or organisers.

Just the people who mattered.

“Do you have your own vows or would you like to repeat after me?”

Nila smiled softly. “We’ve already said what we needed to.”

I nodded, thinking about the newly framed Sacramental Pledge hanging in my office. The figurines from my boyhood and the contract for my happiness as an adult, side by side.

“Go ahead with traditional. The sooner she’s my wife, the better.”

The celebrant smiled, his dark hair catching the sunset as it kissed the ocean. England was behind us. The Greek isles and Santorini nestled us, floating on the turquoise ocean.

Our honeymoon would be spent here. Relaxing on the beach and making love in the moonlight. V and Tex had planned to source some local cotton and silk, while Flaw had meetings with jewellery shops to stock our diamonds.

Work and pleasure.

A perfect combination.

“Do you, Jethro ‘Kite’ Hawk, take this woman as your lawfully wedded wife, for now and forever, in sickness and in health, for as long as you both shall live?”

I didn’t need to think. “I do.” A thousand times, I do.

“And do you, Nila Threads Weaver, take this man as your lawfully wedded husband, for now and forever, in sickness and in health, for as long as you both shall live?”

Nila shook her head.

Shook her head?  What the fuck?

Smiling, she murmured, “I take him now and forever but not for as long as we both shall live.” She squeezed my fingers, her eyes glinting. “Far beyond that. For eternity.”

I couldn’t wait for the ‘you may kiss the bride’ part. I grabbed her shoulders and yanked her forward. My lips met hers, and I forgot about the world and witnesses. I forgot about everything but soldering my soul to this woman who’d captured me as carefully as a net captures a hawk.

Speaking into her mouth, I whispered, “Seeing as you changed the rules, I have another one to add to your vow. I swear to love you forever. You are no longer indebted to me. I’m indebted to you. My heart is in your debt. My happiness. My very life is yours.”

Nila melted, holding onto me as I dipped her and deepened the kiss.

Laughing, the celebrant spoke to the gathered crowd. “Seeing as you just sealed your vows, I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

The cheers crested, and for the first time in my life, being in a crowd didn’t hurt. The overwhelming sensation of everyone’s emotions was of happiness, fulfilment, and joy.

Tex enveloped us in a hug. “Welcome to the family, Hawk.”

I grinned. “Thank you for having me.”

Tex kissed his daughter. “I guess you’re no longer a Weaver, Threads.”

Nila sighed. “I’ll always be your daughter, Dad, but for now, I belong and have willingly become a Hawk.”

He nodded as if it made perfect sense that his daughter married the son of the man who killed his wife. It was a twisted world, but somehow, Nila and I had found a way to untangle it to the point of acceptance.

My fingertips tingled from our tally tattoos and I made a note to ask Nila if she’d like to finish the marks now we’d cemented our lives together. Ten fingers, ten tattoos. A lifetime of happiness.

Somehow, we’d found life over death.

Chosen freedom over debts.

And I would never take my future or my wife for granted.


The yacht rocked beneath our toes, sedate and savage in its sea-cradle.

The curtains had been drawn across the balcony, the bed turned down by well-trained staff, and all the guests remaining on board were a floor below.

We were the only bedroom on this level.



Swiping a hand through his slicked back hair, Jethro traversed the distance between us. We didn’t speak as the air intensified and love poured from his heart to mine.

The white gold wedding band I’d had fashioned along with a few black diamonds I’d sourced at Diamond Alley graced his finger—absorbing the light rather than sparkling—sucking its life inward, protecting its secrets.

The matching ring hummed on my finger. The large midnight stone grew heavier the closer Jethro came.

“We did it.” His voice teased with disbelief. “We’re married.”

I nodded, a little breathless and a lot nervous. “We are.”

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