First Debt Page 1

Author: Pepper Winters

Series: Indebted #2

Genres: Romance

IF I HAD known my life would change so drastically, I might have planned a little better. Strategized a little smarter, researched a little deeper.

One moment I was the Darling of Milan, the next I was a Weaver Whore.

But despite my lack of skills and weapons, I wasn’t ready to go down without a fight.

In fact, I prospered into a woman I’d always been too afraid to find.

I became more than Nila Weaver.

More than daughter, twin-sister, and seamstress.

I became the woman who would bring down a family’s legacy.

I evolved into the woman who captured a Hawk.

I STALKED TOWARD the stables and the very lodgings Nila had inhabited the night before.

The image of her bounding away—pristine naked skin glowing in the sunshine and long hair flowing like black silk—played on a loop inside my head.

Everything I’d been prepared for—every argument, every hardship I’d been drilled to expect—hadn’t prepared me for the complication that was Nila Weaver. How could I understand and keep my bearings when the bloody woman had more personalities than a Picasso painting?

Sometimes naïve. Sometimes coy. Smart, fearful, proud, gullible.

And above all, evolving.

And rapidly.

I wasn’t used to…mess. The chaos of a human psyche or the disgusting pull of emotions was not permitted in my world. In the short time I’d known her, she’d successfully made me feel something I had no fucking right to feel.

Don’t admit it.

I balled my hands. No, I wouldn’t admit it. I would never verbalize the slow burn of possession in my gut or the confusion in my mind when it came to understanding her.

Run, Nila. Run.

And she had.

Despite her nakedness, lack of sustenance, and the fact that my family had just finished abusing her, she’d glared into my eyes and bounded away like a deer bolting from a gun. A flash of vulnerability glowed on her face before she was swallowed by the forest.

I expected her to faint with her ridiculous condition—an experiment, as it were, to see what she would do when I pretended to give her what she wanted.


I never for a fucking moment thought she’d do it.

I expected her to cower. To beg. To cry for the men in her life who had let her down. But she’d done none of those things. I’d known her only briefly, yet she’d demanded more of me than any other woman ever had.

It wasn’t permitted, and now that she’d run, she’d given away more of the disarray inside her. I’d glimpsed the perplexing woman who’d become my charge, prisoner, and plaything.

Someone who had successfully confused the shit out of me.

As much as you don’t understand her, you want her. She came on your tongue, for fuck’s sake.

I stopped in my tracks. She’d fought me on every turn, yet the moment I’d claimed her in front of my brothers, she’d given me ultimate control.

She’d spread her legs and forced her hips into my mouth, giving complete authority for me to lick and nibble and drive her high until she shattered, regardless if she meant to do it or not, she’d used me for pleasure.

She’d gotten off on me fingering her.

My cock stiffened.

The taste of her still lingered in my mouth—the phantom pressure of her cunt squeezing my tongue as she rocketed skyward and detonated. Her fingernails had scraped the table, hands spread thanks to the brothers holding her down. But she hadn’t squirmed to get away from me.

No, she’d fought to get closer.

And I’d obliged.

Drowning myself in her scent, bruising my lips as I licked her harder and harder.

She’d squirmed and moaned and gasped. She’d delivered herself into my clutches, all because I knew how to make a woman come.

But she didn’t just give me her pleasure.

Christ, no.

She’d given me the briefest taste of how divine it would be to own, not just her body, but her mind and soul, too.

It was fucking addicting.

It was fucking twisting with my head.

I growled under my breath, striding onward. The bloody hard-on I’d sported since she walked into my life poisoned me, turning me against everything I knew, everything I’d embraced since I learned the meaning of survival and discipline.

Hot lust tumbled through my veins.

How could I stay the cold beast I’d been groomed to be when my blood raged for another little taste? Another little indulgence of her tight, wet heat.

Shit, I was going to make myself come if I didn’t stop thinking about her.

My cock rippled, totally agreeing.

I shook my head, breaking into a jog toward the stables.

You will remain everything you are.

You will.

There was no other choice in the matter.

I’d been taught to be the master of my emotions. I prided myself on embracing all that he taught me. One little Weaver bitch would not undermine me. This was the way of our world.

My world.

Her world.

No matter how she bewitched me, no matter how she turned my body and willpower against me, I wouldn’t give in.

She’d learn that soon enough.

The moment I caught her, she’d learn her place. The moment I had her back in my arms, she’d never run again.

That was a fucking promise.

It’s time to hunt.

The stables were empty apart from Kes’s polo pony, my father’s prized thoroughbred, Black Plague, and my ebony gelding, Fly Like The Wind. That was his show and hunting name. In private, I had another name for him.


Because riding him allowed me to fly the fuck away from here and find a small sliver of freedom.

Nila wasn’t the only one who wanted to run. Unlike my prey, I faced my demons and embraced them. I made them work for me, rather than control me, and forced them to submit by bowing at my fucking feet.

Just like I’d make her do the moment I found her.

The instant he saw me, Wings’ velvet ears pricked, his metal shoes clicking against hay-strewn cobblestone.

A stable boy appeared from mucking out the stalls. “Sir?”

“Saddle him. I mean to leave in fifteen minutes.”

You told her you’d give her forty-five.

I shrugged.

There was no point giving her any longer. Her feet would bleed from running barefoot. Her skin would bruise from whatever ludicrous illness she battled. And it would all be for nothing.

Contrary to what she thought of me, I wasn’t a monster.