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

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

“You’re mine.”

“I’m yours.”

“There are no more debts. No more threats.”

I moved toward him, stepping onto the silver rug he stood on. Our bodies swayed as a current rocked the yacht, but our eyes never unlocked. “We’re free.”

Breathing hard, Jethro reached for me. His arms wrapped around me, gathering me toward him so the white silk of my gown rippled over my skin and floor.

Stars and moon above were the only elements invited into our room. The skylight above had a ladder granting access to the private deck. The nose of the boat was out of bounds to anyone. We could make love down here with the sky as company or make our way upside and fuck with the air licking our skin.

We could travel the world.

We could kiss and touch and never have to hide our happiness from anyone.

We have so much to look forward to.

Jethro’s gaze drifted to my collar. His tongue swept over his bottom lip as the faint sparkle of diamonds kissed his chin. “You should know something.”

I froze in his arms, my heart rate spiking. “Know what?”

He shifted me in his embrace, cupping my throat with gentle fingers. His thumb ran along the diamonds. “You admitted you didn’t want me to find a way to remove this. You’ll never wear another necklace as long as you live. No matter where you go. No matter what you do, this collar will be with you every step.”

“I know. I want it to be that way.” Resting my hands on his hips, I frowned a little, trying to understand his point. “You put it on me, Jethro. It will stay on until I die.”

His back tightened, the muscles either side of his spine bunching beneath my fingertips. “That’s how I view what happened today.”

“What do you mean?”

His forehead furrowed, shadowing his golden eyes. “I mean—marriage to me isn’t a simple ceremony and celebration. Marriage is like your collar. A one-time deal. Never to break, binding us together until death do us part. Just like there will never be another necklace, there will never be goodbye between us. No opportunity to sever what we’ve found.”

My tummy twisted as flutters entered my core. “That’s how I view it, too. It wasn’t a meaningless vow, Kite. I willingly said the words.”

“But do you fully comprehend that this is it? No other men. No flirtations or dalliances. Me. I’m the last you’ll ever have.” His head dropped. “Is that enough for you?”

I laughed softly. I couldn’t help it. “You’re seriously asking me if you’re enough for me?” My heart overflowed. “Jethro you’re too much. You’re everything I could ever hope for. Why are you feeling insecure?” I snuggled closer, pressing my cheek on his lapel, avoiding the diamond pin through the fabric. “After everything we’ve been through, everything we said today and yesterday, you’re afraid I’ll divorce you and run?”

Jethro didn’t respond. His chest rose and fell, his arms binding tighter as if he didn’t trust me not to vanish.

I let silence and the creaking of the yacht ease some of his fear before murmuring, “I suggest you remember the day I ran from you after the welcome luncheon because that’s the one and only time I’ll ever run away. I chose you with my eyes open, Kite. I know what our connection will mean for you and the struggle I’ll sometimes have to keep giving you what you need. But I’m not a little girl. I’m a woman who’s chosen her soul-mate. I’m strong enough to love you unconditionally. I’m smart enough to know some days will be good and some days will be bad. And I’m brave enough to solemnly swear that we will be together until the end.

“I don’t want anyone else. You’re my best friend, my rescuer. You’re the man I was born for as decreed by six-hundred-years of pacts. Don’t doubt what we have on the eve of what could be the happiest time of our lives.”

Jethro suddenly groaned, wrapping his arms so tight he bruised me. “Fuck, I’m sorry. I don’t know why I doubted.”

“I know why.”

He raised my chin with a fingertip. “Why?”

I smiled, loving the way the moonlight highlighted the silver in his hair, making him look part god, part majestic sculpture. “Because everything is so good now. It’s hard not to suspect it will all vanish after a lifetime of having everything you loved stripped away.”

He paused, biting his inner cheek. “You’re right.”

“Of course, I’m right.”

His lips tilted crookedly. “To this day, I don’t know what I did to deserve you, but I’m never letting you go.”

“Good.” Standing on my tiptoes, I whispered, “Now, enough talk of divorce. Let’s enjoy being married first. Stop speaking and take me to bed, Mr. Hawk.”

He jolted, a growl escaping. Letting me go, he grabbed my wrist, yanking me toward the towering mattress and turned down sheets. “It would be my pleasure, Ms. Wea—” His mouth shot closed, his eyes clouding.

I knew his thoughts. Mine had already been over the technicalities. My father had changed his last name to match my mother’s as per the rules of the Debt Inheritance. By right, Jethro should become a Weaver.

However, I had no intention of stripping the heir of Hawksridge his name. The very name he’d always strived to earn and change for the better.

Sitting on the bed in a shower of white lace, I patted the mattress beside me. “I think the term of address you’re looking for is Mrs. Hawk.”

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