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Final Debt (Indebted #6)

Pepper Winters

  Final Debt (Indebted #6)

  Copyright © 2015 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 2015: [email protected]

  Cover Design: by Ari at Cover it! Designs:

  Proofreading by: Jenny Sims:

  Images in Manuscript from Canstock Photos:


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

  Her Dark Romance books include:

  Monsters in the Dark Trilogy

  Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark #1)

  Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark #2)

  Twisted Together (Monsters in the Dark #3)

  Indebted Series

  Debt Inheritance (Indebted #1)

  First Debt (Indebted Series #2)

  Second Debt (Indebted Series #3)

  Third Debt (Indebted Series #4)

  Fourth Debt (Indebted Series #5)

  Final Debt (Indebted Series #6)

  Indebted Epilogue (Indebted Series #7)

  Her Grey Romance books include:


  Ruin & Rule (Pure Corruption MC #1)

  Sin & Suffer (Pure Corruption MC #2)

  Her Upcoming Releases include:

  2016: Je Suis a Toi (Monsters in the Dark Novella)

  January 2016: Sin & Suffer (Pure Corruption MC #2)

  2016: Super Secret Series

  2016: Unseen Messages (Standalone Romance)

  2016: Indebted Beginnings (Indebted Series Prequel)

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

  Pepper's Newsletter

  Or follow her on her website

  Pepper Winters

  If you would like to read this book with like-minded readers, and be in to win advance copies of other books in the series, along with Q&A sessions with Pepper Winters, please join the Facebook group below:

  Indebted Series Group Read



  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

  Chapter Thirty-Four

  Chapter Thirty-Five

  Chapter Thirty-Seven

  Chapter Thirty-Eight

  Chapter Thirty-Nine

  Chapter Forty

  Chapter Forty-One

  Chapter Forty-Two

  Chapter Forty-Three

  About the Author


  Other Books by Pepper

  “READY TO DIE, Nila?”

  Cut’s voice physically hurt me as he forced me to my knees. The ballroom splendour mocked me as I bowed unwillingly at the feet of my executioner.

  Velvet and hand-stitched crewel on the walls glittered like the diamonds the Hawks smuggled—a direct contrast to the roughly sawn wood and crude craftsmanship of the guillotine dais. No finesse. No pride. Just a raised podium, framework cushioning a large tarnished blade, and a rope dangling to the side.

  “Don’t do this. Cut…think about what you’ve become. You can stop this.” My voice mimicked a beg but I’d vowed not to beg. I’d seen things, understood things, and suffered things I never thought I would be able to endure. I refused to cry or grovel. I wouldn’t give him that satisfaction.

  “In five minutes, this will all be over, Weaver.” Cut bent to the side and collected a wicker basket.

  The wicker basket.

  I didn’t want to think about what its contents would be.

  He placed it on the other side of the wooden block.

  My lungs demanded more oxygen. My brain demanded more time. And my heart…it demanded more hope, more life, more love.

  I’m not ready.

  Not like this.


  “No. No more talking. Not after everything you’ve done.” Ripping a black hood from his pocket, he didn’t hesitate. No fanfare. No second guesses.

  I cried out as the scratchy blackness engulfed my face, tightening by a cord around my throat.

  The Weaver Wailer chilled me. The diamond collar that’d seen what I’d seen and whispered with phantoms of my slain family prepared to revoke its claim and detach from around my neck.

  This was it.

  The Final Debt.

  Cut pushed my shoulders forward.

  A heavy yoke settled over the top of my spine.

  I closed my eyes.

  I said goodbye.


  I waited to die.

  One Week Earlier


  I pushed back, gripping the handrails of the private jet, throwing my weight against Daniel’s incessant pushing. “Stop!”

  “Get up the fucking stairs, Weaver.” Daniel jabbed his elbow into my spine.

  I stumbled, bashing my knee against the high tread. “You can’t do this!” How had this happened? How had mere hours turned the entire universe against me? Again.

  I wanted to smash every clock. Tear out the cog from every watch.

  Time had once again stolen my life.


  Daniel cackled. “I think you’ll find we can.” He shoved me higher.

  My heart hurt—as if every mile between us and Hawksridge was a blade slicing me further from Jethro’s protection—a disharmony in an already discorded symphony.

  One moment, I’d been love-bruised and adored, tiptoeing back into the Hall; the next, I was trapped, forced to dress in jeans and a hoodie, and obey Daniel as he lurked in my doorway, barking orders to pack a few meagre belongings.

  He hadn’t left me alone.

  His eyes followed my every move. I couldn’t grab the gun I’d hidden thanks to Jasmine.
I couldn’t text Jethro to tell him I’d been caught. All I could do was run around my room with my lover’s release still damp on my inner thighs and submit to my nemesis.

  The only saving grace was beneath Daniel’s hateful stare, I’d managed to pack the clothing I’d altered a few weeks ago. The cuffs full of needles and hems armoured with tools of my seamstress trade. Those garments were my only hope. There was no loophole. No way to refuse.

  I had to trust Jasmine would get word to Jethro. That he would come for me…

  Before it’s too late.

  The desolation I’d suffered when Daniel first caught me faded to indignant anger. I’d been so close to being free. I’d been in Jethro’s arms. I’d been away from his psychotic family. My heart hardened a little toward Jethro for making me go back.

  Why? Why did you send me back?

  I didn’t know if I’d have the courage to forgive him.

  You know why. And you will. Of course, you will.

  I couldn’t hate him because I wasn’t selfish. He’d sent me back to protect all of us. Those precious few who’d accepted him and he’d accepted in return. Love was the worst enemy, winding its commitment, ensuring no freedom when it came to clearheaded thinking of adversity.

  Jethro loved too much. Felt too much. Suffered too much. And his siblings would be our downfall. Kestrel and Jasmine relied on him—just like I did. The responsibility of settling his family’s wrongs was a terrible burden to bear.

  But he’s not alone.

  I might’ve been stolen. Jethro’s plans to save me might be ruined. But I was still alive. Still breathing. I wasn’t the naïve girl who’d first arrived at Hawksridge. I was a woman in love with a Hawk. A Weaver who would draw Hawk blood.

  It’s not over…

  Pain exploded in my spine as Daniel stabbed me with his fist. “Get in the fucking airplane.”

  “No!” I threw myself backward, looking frantically at the private hangar. We weren’t at Heathrow, but a small, private airfield called Turweston. “I won’t!”

  No strangers I could call for help.

  No police or air marshals.

  When Daniel had stalked me from my room and shoved me outside, Cut had been waiting. With a victorious smile, he’d stuffed me in the back of a limousine.

  With a purring engine, we’d pulled away from Hawksridge, tyres crunching on gravel as we followed the long driveway off the estate.

  My eyes had scoured the trees, their silhouettes growing stronger as the sun tinted the sky with pink blushes. Daniel and Cut sat opposite me, toasting each other with a chilled bottle of champagne. However, I hadn’t been alone on my side of the limo—I had a guard.

  Marquise, Bonnie’s damn henchman, sat beside me; a mountain of muscle, unyielding and impenetrable.

  “Come along.” A strange voice raised my gaze.

  A man in a captain’s uniform smiled from the top of the aircraft steps. The private plane’s fuselage glinted in graphite grey. Sparkling diamonds, inlaid in the shape of a windswept ribbon, decorated the tail.

  “I don’t want to leave England.”

  Daniel laughed behind me. “Like you have a choice.”

  “I always have a choice, Buzzard.” I glowered over my shoulder. “Just like this choice of yours will not end well for you.”

  If I don’t kill you, Jethro will.

  As far as Daniel knew, his slain brother was supposedly rotting in some unmarked grave. Jethro was right. The element of surprise trumped any of Cut and Daniel’s grand delusions.

  He snarled, “Watch it, bitch. Everything you say to me here will be paid in full when we’re there.”

  “Now, now. No need for threats.” The captain climbed down a rung, holding out his hand. “She’ll get on board. Won’t you, my dear? No need to be afraid of flying. I have an exemplary record.” White hair tufted from either side of his pristine flying cap. In his mid-fifties, he looked fit and toned and impatient to take off.

  “I can’t leave.”

  I can’t be so far from Jethro.

  The captain smiled, waving at his vessel. “Of course, you can. Plus, I bet you’ve never travelled in such style.”

  “It’s nothing against your mode of transport. It’s the destination I disagree to. I’m staying here.” I dug my heels into the metal grate, fighting against Daniel’s perpetual pushing. “I don’t have my passport, visa… I can’t travel across borders, so you might as well let me return home.”


  Had Hawksridge Hall become my home?

  No, don’t be absurd.

  But Jethro had. It didn’t matter where we ended up. What we did for work. How our lives panned out. As long as I was alive with Jethro by my side…I would be home.

  “Don’t fuss about that.” The captain waved his hand in invitation. “Travel is good for the soul.”

  Not my soul.

  Travel meant my soul would become untethered from my body, thanks to Cut and the Final Debt.

  The sun barely peeked over the horizon, hidden by soupy fog and reluctant night. The world refused to warm, unable to shed the morning frost or dislodge the claws of winter. England didn’t want to say goodbye as much as I did, its reluctant dawn wanting me to stay.

  “If you don’t get on the motherfucking plane in two seconds, Weaver, you’ll live to regret it,” Daniel growled.

  I glared at the youngest Hawk. “Haven’t you learned by now your threats don’t scare me?”

  Forcing myself to stand taller, I hid the quaking in my bones, the quivering in muscles, the rampant terror scurrying in my blood. “I know where you want to take me, and I refuse.”

  Daniel pinched the bridge of his nose. A second later, he cuffed me on the back of the head. “Behave!”

  I gritted my teeth against the wash of agony.

  “Almasi Kipanga is a fucking treat for the likes of you, Weaver. Get on your knees and show some goddamn appreciation. Otherwise, I’ll rip out your fucking tongue and ensure peace for the rest of the trip.”

  “Ah, as I said, there’s no need for violence.” The captain took another step, prying my hand off the railing and tugging me upward. “Come along, my dear. Let’s get you inside. And don’t you worry about visas and things. Leave it to me. Airport control won’t be an issue.”

  Vertigo cast the world in monochromatic greys as I swayed toward the captain. “But—”

  Cut barrelled past Daniel—reaching the end of his patience. Grabbing my arse, he shoved me upward, forcing me like unwilling livestock up the final steps. “I have your passport, Nila. Get on the plane.” His breath skated over the back of my neck. “And don’t think about refusing again. Got it?”

  Gripping the fuselage, I looked over my shoulder. “My passport? How did you—”

  He waved a black binder in my face. “Everything is in here. You have no more excuses, and I won’t ask again. Get on the fucking plane or I’ll knock you out and you can wake up when we get there.”

  Daniel laughed as one last shove sprawled me up the final step and into the captain’s arms.


  “Ah, there you go.” The pilot steadied me, holding my shoulders as I stumbled with another swoop of imbalance. The sickness stole my eyesight before dumping me back into hell.

  Find an anchor, hold on tight. Do that and you’ll be alright.


  His little poem for me.

  My heart cried for my brother and father. Would I ever see them again?

  The captain led me further inside the immaculate plane. He puffed proudly. “See how nice it is? All your concerns are over nothing. We’ll take great care of you.” Patting my hand, he let me go. “Take any seat you like. Don’t forget your seatbelt.”

  My eyes widened. He spoke as if this was an innocuous vacation between father and adopted daughter. Did he not see the animosity? Not hear the pre-designed fate?

  I opened my mouth to tell him. But what was the point?

  He was owned by Cut. Just like dipl
omats, lawyers, and royals.

  He didn’t care.

  The remnants of the flu, the vertigo attack, and the fact I hadn’t slept all night caught up with me. Dropping my eyes, I padded to a black leather chair and sat. Trying to clear my thoughts, I hung my head in my hands.

  How the hell do I get out of this?

  Backing toward the cockpit to free up the gangway for Cut, Daniel, and Marquise, the pilot said, “Pleasure to fly you again, Mr. Hawk.”

  “Nice to be back.” Cut nodded, choosing a seat beside the one I’d slumped into. Placing the folder on the small table bolted to the floor, he asked, “All flight plans logged?”

  I glanced up, familiarizing myself with the black and chrome interior. Everywhere I looked, the Black Diamond logo embossed everything. From leather seats to plush carpet to window shutters and napkins.

  The plane had three zones: two black couches faced each other at the end, a large boardroom table took up the middle section with bolted swivel seats, and eight single chairs took up the front part, looking like any first class on a normal airline.

  Not that I’ve ever flown first class.

  My heart stuttered. The last time I’d been on a plane, Jethro had drugged me and stolen me from Milan to England on a red-eye. He’d allowed me to text Kite in the bar; all the while hiding it was him.

  This far exceeded that flight in luxury, but it was just another glorified cage. And the one person I’d grown to love didn’t even know I’d disappeared.

  The captain nodded. “Yes, all logged and ready to go. We’ll have to refuel in Chad as normal, but it should be smooth sailing down to Botswana.”

  I froze, gripping the soft leather armrests. “Botswana?”


  I’d be unprotected and unprepared in the middle of a lion and hyena-infested countryside, captured by men who were worse than the wildlife.

  Daniel had told me in the corridor, but I hadn’t calculated the ramifications. Now I was on a plane about to take off—about to leave England. My motherland. My safe zone.

  Oh, my God. How will Jethro get to me in time?

  He wasn’t fully healed. He needed to put whatever plan he’d organised into action. Even if Jasmine got word to him, he would still be too late to help.