Fable of Happiness (Fable 2) - Page 34

She flinched. “Kas, I—”

“Don’t use that name.”

Her shoulders braced beneath my hands. “I have to call you something.”

“No, you don’t. You haven’t earned that right.”

Biting her lip, she nodded even though her eyes remained narrowed. “Give me a name, and I’ll use it. Choose anything you want, and I’ll honor your request.”

“Honour it? Ha! You haven’t honored anything else of mine.”

Fight unfurled beneath her fear. “I cared for you, in case you’ve forgotten. I honored your life. Without me, you’d still be at the bottom of the cliff. Dead.”

“Without you, I would be living an ordinary summer’s day. Safe and alone with no fucking trespassers messing up said life!”

“You could’ve let me go that first day, and none of this would’ve happened!”

“You could’ve kept your nosy business out of places where you didn’t belong and never have come here!”

“Well, you should’ve—”

“I should’ve what?” I seethed, yanking her close. Too close. So close our noses touched and eyes locked deep.

Her chest rose as she planted her palms on my pecs, pushing gently. Fire burned me. Heat came from out of nowhere, swirling between us. Arguments blazed in her stare. The same urge to strike me resided in her, but somehow, she sucked in a breath and visibly calmed. Not all the way. Just enough to murmur words instead of punishing with fists. “You could’ve just said thank you. You’re right that I’m the reason all of this has happened. I’m fully aware neither of us is happy with this arrangement. I know you’re struggling with having a guest—”

My entire body jerked at that word.

She noticed.

She knew what it meant.

She knew more about me than she had before I’d fallen, and that gutted me because just how much did she know?

“Shit, I’m sorry,” she rushed. “I didn’t mean to use that word. I’ll erase it from my vocabulary immediately.” She stood stiff in my hands, her breathing shallow and quick. “Look, I can’t seem to say anything to you that doesn’t get me into trouble. I don’t know how to do this. I understand why you can’t trust me. But you have to know my intentions are pure. I mean you no harm or have any intention of tricking you. So, please...just take a breath and listen to me. Give me two minutes, and I’ll explain everything.”

“Oh, you’re going to explain everything all right.”

“What does that mean?” She frowned.

“It means, I have a shit ton of questions, and you’re answering every single one.” Pushing her away from me, I ducked and grabbed the leash from around her ankle.

The room tipped upside down.

Buzzing returned in my ears.

My mouth went sour with the urge to be sick, and the headache that seemed to be a permanent friend swelled with pressure until I swore my brain would ooze out of my ears.

“Come,” I growled, thick and almost indistinguishable as English. “Move.” Tripping sideways, I kept my fist locked around the leash as I pulled her from the library. Each step required far more coordination than I currently had. Fables was no longer built on solid rock but on an ocean that bucked and rolled beneath my feet.

“Where...where are you taking me?” A feminine voice behind me, coming from a dark tunnel and unable to find my ears properly. I crashed against the banister, clutching at the spindles as I looked upstairs to the rooms where so much of my soul had been stolen.

Big mistake.

“Come, Kas, it’s time to play.” Mrs. Cox crooked her finger in my direction, swinging a crop in her other hand. She cocked her hip, smiling from the landing. “You’ve been a naughty boy, haven’t you? Time for some discipline.”

Storymaker’s palm shoved between my shoulder blades, making me stumble up the stairs. “You’re the one who begged to take Jareth’s place. So go...be a good boy and fuck that woman raw.”

I blacked out.

I came to.

“You need to sit before you fall.” That voice again. A voice down a well, echoey and far away.


I needed...

There was something important...

The garden!

Shoving off the banister, I tripped and stumbled the entire distance from the house to the veggie patch outside. I ignored the mess in the kitchen. Of pots used but not washed. Of knives waiting on benchtops and not in their usual home. Of crumbs—goddamn crumbs, on my pristine floor.

I didn’t let the swelling in my head overflow with anger. In keeping with her character, she’d messed up my church of cleanliness. Everything of mine she touched, she destroyed.

My heart lurched, and I fell out of the doorway, almost collapsing to my knees in the chef’s garden.

It was a massacre. A fucking massacre.

Earth lay scattered along my carefully tended pathways. Holes in the corn crop, the lettuce patch, the bean lattice—holes everywhere where mature vegetables used to be, waiting for harvest, their destiny to be jarred, dried, or frozen in preparation for months when nothing grew.

Tags: Pepper Winters Fable Erotic
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