Fable of Happiness (Fable 2) - Page 46

We would be each other’s shadows as we prepped and prepared for a season change. We would be forever linked, and I could finally, finally relax. Finally trust that she was here to stay.

I wouldn’t have to keep her in the basement. I could harness her strength and borrow her hands in order to do the things I currently couldn’t do. All the while, she could continue enjoying sunshine and books and my twisted company.

We could walk and talk; we could learn and grow.

We could spend decades bound together, and she could never leave.

She’s truly mine.

Utterly and completely.

And she would hate me for every second of it.


I WOKE TO THE scents of carbonara ravioli. A creamy, hearty promise of a full belly and comforting warmth.

Pity it made me dry wretch.


My head pounded as more senses came back online. The light hurt my eyes. The cold floor bruised my bones. The world I’d woken in wasn’t the one I’d just left.



I was leaving—

My heart switched from slow and sluggish to fast and chaotic as I blinked and exploded upright.

Kas sat a couple of feet away against the wall, his broken arm cradling a bowl while his good one operated a fork. Stabbing a piece of pasta, he raised it to his mouth and wrapped his lips around the fork tines.

What the hell is going on?

A second ago, I’d been ready to leave. I was walking out the door—

“Don’t rush,” Kas murmured, chewing slowly. “Let your brain wake up slowly. The drop in your blood pressure probably means you’ll feel a little sick, maybe a headache, most likely jittery and confused.”

“Confused?!” I pushed off the floor, sliding my legs in front of me to sit upright. A blanket followed my motion, sliding over the marble tiles beneath me. “Of course, I’m confused. What did you do? Why am I...?” My questions drifted as my faulty attention switched from him to where he’d imprisoned me yet again.

I rubbed my eyes, focusing on the kitchen from a completely different angle.

The countertop soared above me, the door I’d tried to escape from resolutely closed against the night, and the remnants of an empty packet and abandoned pot revealed evidence that Kas had cooked one of the pastas I’d left him. A warm meal would be good for him. Carbohydrates and salts would be a bonus for his recovering system. I was glad he’d accepted my olive branch and eaten something other than raw vegetables.

But...why am I still here?

How did this happen?

My heart continued to gallop, but my emotions stayed frustratingly dormant. I couldn’t tap into fear or anger, peace or curiosity. I was numb, buried beneath a thick layer of smog that wrapped around my brain, obstructing answers that felt as if they stared me obviously in the face.

Come on, Gem.

Get it together.

You were leaving and...

I looked up, rubbing my temples and the fresh ache there, watching Kas as he took another bite. He never took his eyes off me. His gaze intense like an owl, unmoving and calculating.

“Tell me when it comes back to you.” He dropped his stare and stabbed his fork into the bowl of pasta. With his bare foot, he nudged another bowl of steaming carbonara in my direction. “Eat if you feel up to it. It’s still hot.”

My stomach grumbled with hunger but then churned with sickness.

I winced and pushed the bowl away. Dropping my head into my hands, I ran fingernails over my scalp, urging my brain to—

Oh, my God. I remember!

My head snapped up. All lethargy and wobbliness vanished as I pointed a livid finger in Kas’s direction. “You! You...you kissed me, and then...you strangled me again.”

He shook his head. “I didn’t strangle you.”

“You knocked me out!”

“I did.”

“How could you?!”

“I had no choice.” He stabbed another piece of pasta as if we were enjoying a generic conversation about the weather. “You were leaving, and I’m in no condition to chase you. Therefore, I had to stop you in the quickest way possible.”

“The quickest way possible? Do you hear yourself? I’m a person. Not an inconvenience you have to control.”

He slowly lowered his bowl, his gaze going flat and cold. “Are you coherent to do this now or do you want to wait until you’ve eaten?”

“What the hell are you talking about, you son of a bitch?”

His nostrils flared as his temper appeared. “I’m only going to say this once. I need to know you’re paying attention—that you will take what I say seriously, completely, and be ready to move forward with the knowledge that this is it.”

“What?!” I scrambled to my knees, shoving the blanket away from me. I was too hot. Everything was stifling, cloying. The sound of metal scraping on tile wrenched my eyes from his chilly ones to the floor.

To the floor where a pool of bronze chain rested between us.

Tags: Pepper Winters Fable Erotic
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