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Pennies (Dollar #1)

Pepper Winters


  Dollar Series #1


  New York Times Bestseller

  Pepper Winters

  Pennies (Dollar Series #1)

  Copyright © 2016 Pepper Winters

  Published by Pepper Winters

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, including electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

  This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return it to the seller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author’s work.

  Published: Pepper Winters 2016: [email protected]

  Cover Design: by Kellie at Book Cover by Design

  Editing by: Editing 4 Indies (Jenny Sims)


  Pennies Blurb



  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen.

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty- Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  Chapter Twenty-Eight

  Chapter Twenty-Nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Chapter Thirty-One

  Chapter Thirty-Two

  Chapter Thirty-Three






  Pepper Winters is a multiple New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today International Bestseller.

  Her Dark Romance books include:

  New York Times Bestseller ‘Monsters in the Dark’ Trilogy

  “Voted Best Dark Romance, Best Dark Hero, #1 Erotic Romance”

  Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark #1) CLICK TO BUY

  Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark #2) CLICK TO BUY

  Twisted Together (Monsters in the Dark #3) CLICK TO BUY

  Je Suis a Toi (Monsters in the Dark #4) CLICK TO BUY

  Multiple New York Times Bestseller ‘Indebted’ Series

  “Voted Vintagely Dark & Delicious. A true twist on Romeo & Juliet”

  Debt Inheritance (Indebted #1) CLICK TO BUY

  First Debt (Indebted Series #2) CLICK TO BUY

  Second Debt (Indebted Series #3) CLICK TO BUY

  Third Debt (Indebted Series #4) CLICK TO BUY

  Fourth Debt (Indebted Series #5) CLICK TO BUY

  Final Debt (Indebted Series #6) CLICK TO BUY

  Indebted Epilogue (Indebted Series #7) CLICK TO BUY

  Grey Romance books include:

  USA Today Bestseller Destroyed CLICK TO BUY

  “Voted Best Tear-Jerker, #1 Romantic Suspense”

  Survival Contemporary Romance include:

  USA Today Bestseller Unseen Messages CLICK TO BUY

  “Voted Best Epic Survival Romance 2016, Castaway meets The Notebook”

  Multiple USA Today Bestseller ‘Motorcycle Duology’ include:

  “Sinful & Suspenseful, an Amnesia Tale full of Alphas and Heart”

  Ruin & Rule (Pure Corruption #1) CLICK TO BUY

  Sin & Suffer (Pure Corruption #2) CLICK TO BUY


  Tears of Tess / Quintessentially Q / Ruin & Rule / Sin & Suffer / Debt Inheritance / First Debt / Second Debt are available now on iTunes, Amazon & Audible.

  Click HERE

  Upcoming releases are:

  Pre-order DOLLAR SERIES on All Platforms

  2016: Dollars CLICK TO PRE-ORDER

  2016: Hundreds CLICK TO PRE-ORDER

  2016: Thousands CLICK TO PRE-ORDER

  2017: Millions CLICK TO PRE-ORDER


  TBA: Indebted Beginnings (Indebted Series Prequel) CLICK FOR MORE INFO

  To be the first to know about upcoming releases, please join Pepper’s Newsletter (she promises never to spam or annoy you.)

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  Or follow her on her website

  Pepper Winters

  Thank you to those who started this journey with me, for every review, every message, every glimpse into your soul. It won’t make a difference if this is my tenth book or my hundredth, I will still love every reader, every smile, and value every wonderful thing that has come into my life because of writing.

  Pennies Blurb

  “At 18, I had pennies, but money didn’t make me bold.

  At 19, I had dollars, but it didn’t dull the pain of being sold.

  At 20, I had hundreds, but then I met him and was found.

  At 21, I had thousands, but all I wanted was to be bound.”


  “At 23, I had dollars, but life changed and made me rich.

  At 25, I had hundreds, but it wasn’t enough to stop my killing itch.

  At 27, I had thousands, but my reputation didn’t set me free.

  At 29, I had millions, but I met her and could finally see.”


  Tasmin was killed on her 18th birthday.

  She had everything planned out. A psychology degree, a mother who pushed her to greatness, and a future anyone would die for. But then her murderer saved her life, only to sell her into a totally different existence.

  Elder went from penniless to stinking rich with one twist of fate. His lifetime of crime and shadows of thievery are behind him, but no matter the power he now wields, it’s not enough. He has an agenda to fulfil, and he won’t stop until it’s complete.

  But then, they meet.

  A beaten slave and a richly dressed thief.

  Money is what guided their separate fates. Money is what brought them together. And money is ultimately what destroys them.

  She was poor.

  He was rich.

  Together…they were bankrupt.


  Pennies (Dollars #1) is a DARK ROMANCE. This means there will be hard to read scenes, graphic language, and sexual content (both implied and explicitly written). Please do not read if falling in love with a man who dresses in monster robes rather than knightly armour offends you. This is not a fairy-tale. This is a black abyss that must be climbed blind before deserving the light. Along with literary darkness, this is book one of a five book series. Each subsequent novel will be released every few months (so your fingernails don’t tire holding onto the cliff-hanger), and each is full-length. Please also remember not all answers are given and not every character is as they seem. There are beasts adorned
in angel clothing and angels hiding in beast’s fur.

  Remember that.

  You have been warned.

  Don’t say you weren’t told.

  Read at your own peril.

  Fall in love with Elder Prest at your own risk.

  Are you ready?

  You sure?

  You really, really sure?

  Okay then…enter the world of pennies and dollars.


  Such a modest word.

  It carried very little importance for those who had it. But for those who didn’t, it was the most precious¸ prized, and promised hope of all.

  I supposed I was lucky to know what freedom felt like.

  For eighteen years, I’d been free. Free to learn what I wanted, befriend who I liked, and flirt with boys who passed my rigorous criteria.

  I was a simple girl with ideals and dreams, encouraged by society to believe nothing could hurt me, that I should strive for an excellent career, and no one could stop me. Rules would keep me safe, police would keep the monsters away, and I could remain innocent and naïve to the darkness of the world.


  I had it.

  But then, I lost it.

  Murdered, resuscitated, and sold.

  I lost my freedom for so many years.

  Until the day he entered my cage.

  Him, with the black eyes and blacker soul.

  The man who challenged my owner.

  And set my imprisonment on an entirely different path.


  No, that didn’t sound right. Far too light-hearted for my tale.

  Dear Universe,

  Scratch that. Too grandiose.

  To The Person Reading This.

  Too vague.

  To The Person I Wish Would Help Me.

  That would get me in trouble. And I refused to sound weak. Not if these words were the only thing a stranger would remember me by.


  Tapping the broken pencil against my temple, I did my best to focus. For weeks, I’d been confined like a zoo animal being acclimatised to its new cage. I’d been fed, washed, and given medical attention from my rough arrival. I had a bed with sheets, a flushing toilet, and shampoo in the shower. I had the basics that all human and nonhuman life required.

  But I wasn’t living.

  I was dying.

  They just couldn’t see it.

  Wait…I know.

  Inspiration struck as I came up with the perfect name to address this sad letter to. The title was the only right in this wrong, wrong new world.

  To No One.

  The moment I pressed those three words onto my parchment, I couldn’t stop the memories unfolding. My left hand shook as I kept the toilet tissue flat while my right flew, slowly transcribing my past.

  I WAS EIGHTEEN when I died.

  I remember that day better than any other in my short life. And I know you’re rolling your eyes, saying it only happened three weeks ago, but believe me, I will never forget it. I know some people say certain events imprint on their psyche forever, and up until now, I haven’t had anything stick in such a way. You see, No One, I guess you could’ve called me a brat. Some might even say I deserve this. No, that’s a lie. No one would wish this on their worst enemy. But the fact remains, only you know I’m not dead. I’m alive and in this cell about to be sold. I’ve been hurt, touched, violated in every sense but rape, and stripped of everything I used to be.

  But to my mother? I’m dead. I died. Who knows if she’ll ever truly find out what happened to me.

  The scribbling of my pencil stopped. I sucked in a ragged breath, trembling hard as I relived what I’d been through.

  My will to stay breathing had vanished. It’d taken them a while to break me, but they had. And now that they’d achieved their goal, I was nothing more than cargo waiting for the transaction to line their pockets.

  For days, all I’d had for entertainment were my chaotic thoughts, awful memories, and overwhelming panic of what lay ahead. But that was before I found the chewed up, snapped in half pencil beneath the bed.

  The find had been better than food or freedom; better because my traffickers minutely controlled both those things. I had no power to sway the regimented arrival of breakfast and dinner nor the ability to halt the fact I was being sold like meat to the highest bidder.

  I had no control over being alone in a tiny room that had once been a hotel suite before its premises were bought for more unsavoury stays. The towels were threadbare with the sigil of some decade-ago establishment, and the carpet swirled with golds and bronze, hinting the décor hadn’t been updated since the seventies.

  Was that how long the pencil had lurked beneath my bed? Were the bite marks on the wood given by a rowdy toddler waiting for its parents to stop fussing so they could explore a new city? Or had a maid lost it while tucking starched white sheets with military precision?

  I’d never know.

  But I liked to make up fantasies because I had nothing else to do. I spent my achingly boring days going over every nook and cranny of my jail. They’d broken my spirit, washed away my fight, but they couldn’t stop the determined urge inside me. The instinct everyone had—or at least, I thought everyone had.

  I’d been alone for so long now I didn’t know what the other girls processed with me would do. Did they lie star-spread on the bed and wait for their future? Did they huddle in the corner and beg for their fathers to stop this nightmare? Or did they accept, because it was easier to accept than to fight?

  Me? I ran my rubbed-raw fingertips over every wall, every crack, every painted and locked window frame. I crawled on my hands and knees, searching for something to help me. And by helping me, I didn’t know if I meant as a weapon to fight my way out or something to end my struggle before it truly began.

  It’d taken me days to go over every square inch. But all I’d found was this half-mangled pencil. A gift. A treasure. The nub was almost down to the wood, and I wouldn’t have long before I had to find a way to sharpen my precious possession, but I’d worry about that another day. Just like I’d become a master at shoving aside my worries about everything else.

  The one thing I didn’t find was any paper. Not in the drawers of the weathered desk or in the cupboard beneath the non-functioning television. The only apparatus I could write on was toilet paper, and the pencil wasn’t too keen on that idea, tearing the soft tissue rather than imprinting its silvery lines.

  Nevertheless, I was determined to leave some sort of note behind. Some piece of me that these bastards hadn’t taken and never would.

  Taking another deep breath, I shoved aside my current conditions and clutched the pencil harder. Glancing at the door to make sure I was alone, I spread out my square of toilet tissue, making it tight and writable, and continued with my note.

  I wish I could say a monster killed me. That a terrible accident caused this. And I can say that…to a degree.

  However, the real reason I’m dead and a new toy about to be sold is mainly because of my upbringing.

  That poise and confidence my mother drilled into me? It didn’t grant me in good stead for a profitable career or handsome husband. It pissed people off. I came across as stuck-up, a know-it-all, and vain.

  It made me a target.

  I don’t know if anyone will ever see this but you, No One, but if they do, I hope they forget what I’m about to admit. I’m an only daughter to a single parent. I love my mother. I do.

  But if I ever survive what’s about to happen to me, and by some miracle, I find freedom again, I’ll keep this next part to myself when I recount my time in purgatory.

  I love my mother, but I hate her.

  I miss my mother, but I never want to see her again.

  I obeyed my mother, but I want to curse her for eternity.

  She’s the only one I can blame.

  The one responsible for me becoming nothing more than a whore.

  TWO DAYS passed.

/>   In the world I’d been stolen from, two days was nothing. Two alarm clocks, two lessons at university, two evenings of talking on the phone to my friends, and two nights of wonderfully protected sleep where I stupidly believed no one could harm me.

  In this new world?

  Two days was enough for me to scratch at non-existent itches just to feel something. Two days meant I wore down my pencil then slowly picked at the wood to reveal more lead so I had something to occupy my time.

  Two days meant I continued writing my toilet paper novel, all the while not knowing that at the end of forty-eight hours, my brief stay in limbo was over.

  My processing was over.

  My sale date complete.

  They came for me at dinnertime. Instead of the usual bland rice and chicken or watery stew shoved through the hole in the wall, the door opened.

  The door opened!

  For the first time in weeks.

  I’d been so alone with only grimy mirrors reflecting my slowly sallowing complexion for company that the visit clutched my heart. When I’d first been taken, I’d been curvy with adolescent softness, perky breasts, and rounded tummy. My brown hair curled and dyed a rich chocolate thanks to an appointment with my personal groomer at my mother’s demands to look my best for her charity function.

  The same function I’d been stolen from.

  Before, my thoughts had been superficial, wondering how to lose my puppy fat and apply my makeup like models on YouTube. Despite my prissy appearance, I was smart and had just enrolled at a prestigious university to study psychology—just like my mother wanted. Following in her footsteps like she’d arranged all my life.