Fable of Happiness (Fable #3) Read Online Pepper Winters

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Angst, Dark, Romance, Suspense Tags Authors: Series: Fable Series by Pepper Winters

Total pages in book: 138
Estimated words: 134741 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 674(@200wpm)___ 539(@250wpm)___ 449(@300wpm)

I let out a small exhale, triumph filling me to have figured out who this random nightwalker was. “You’re Jareth? One of the Fable children?”

His jacket creaked louder as his arms tightened. “Never refer to me as that again, understand? Mention the word fable, and your heart will be pumping in my fist.”

I shuddered but didn’t drop his stare.

Icy silence swirled between us.

Finally, he sniffed and asked, “Where is he?” Stepping into me, he dropped his arms to his sides as his hands curled into stone. “Are you running from him? Did you think tonight was a good night to escape?”

I fought the urge to back away, standing my ground. “I have nothing to escape from.”

He chuckled black and low, his gaze dropping to the chain around my ankle. “That so?”

I dug my toes into the earth. “That isn’t what you think.”

“You so sure about that?” He swayed toward me, his breath tickling my cheek as he sniffed the air around me. He sniffed me as if a simple scent could give away my lies and secrets. “I know someone else who wore that chain, and he refused to escape too.”

I braced my shoulders as memories of Kas holding me in the bath, washing my hair, and kissing me hard filled me. “He didn’t escape because he refused to leave you.”

His face shut down. A switch from curious toying to stark unreadability. He studied me as if he couldn’t figure me out. As if the effort might not be worth his while. His knuckles cracked as he fisted tighter, shifting on the balls of his feet.

I didn’t like the look in his eyes.

I didn’t like the way my instincts went from wary to downright panic. “If you hurt me, you hurt him. Kas is mine. Just like I’m his.”

He jerked back. “So he is still here.” He tripped a few steps before his knees locked into place, his gaze locking onto the chain around my ankle. His surprise gave way to pure rage. “The day that fucking cunt buckled that chain on my brother...it was the beginning of the end for him.” His voice dropped to a husky murmur, his memories thick with fury. “His mind cracked after a month of wearing that.” He looked up, his face etched with moonlight, sharp like blades and carved with pain. His clean-shaven cheeks and trimmed dark hair were a stark difference to Kas’s heavy scruff and wild locks, but they mimicked each other in stance, in mannerisms, in blatant denial of being someone’s possession.

Stalking around me, he raked a hand through his hair, his voice like a snake wrapping around my shoulders. “Bet he didn’t tell you that. Bet he didn’t tell you a lot of things. You say you’re his, but do you know how far he’ll go for those he loves? How much fucking shit he’ll endure just so you don’t have to?”

I rubbed at a flood of goosebumps over my arms. “I know enough.”

“You know enough,” he repeated with scorn, nodding as if I’d said something ridiculous. “Bullshit.” He paced around me again, his eyes all over me. “Did you know I told him to stop volunteering? To stop trying to save us all?” He wiped a hand over his mouth, his body turning jerky with history. “Some nights, he’d shit blood for hours after they were through with him. He stopped eating. His nightmares kept us all awake. He could barely walk after the guests finished using him. Yet he never once stopped protecting us. Never once turned his back on our pain, even when his was greater.” He spat on the ground, his voice slipping to rage. “So you can understand why I’m protective of him. Why I’m not inclined to believe you. Why I will do whatever it goddamn well takes to keep him safe.”

“Well, that’s rich.” I snorted. “You left him for eleven years.”

He slammed to a stop.

Lightning-fast, he grabbed my cheeks, digging his thumbs against my cheekbones. “Do you think that was a fucking choice?!” His lips pulled back over his teeth. “You don’t get to question me when I’m finding it hard to believe a single fucking thing you’re saying, when you’re out here in the dead of fucking night, running away with a broken chain—the very same chain that broke my brother’s mind.”

I gasped and grabbed his wrists, trying to pull his hands off my face. “Let me go.”

His thumbs just pressed harder against my cheekbones, threatening to crack them. “Not until I get the truth out of you.” He bent forward, grazing his lips over mine. Dry and papery, death and destruction all in one. “I’m very skilled at getting the truth out of people these days.” He kissed me again, a fleeting threat. “So, I suggest you use these pretty lips to tell me what I really want to know.”