Wicked Knight 2
Diana A. Hicks
(Knight Duet, #2)
Publication date: November 7th 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Maxim Belov is Papa’s favorite son.
Like his father, Maxim is ruthless and always gets what he wants. He wants me.
He doesn’t even care that our families are mortal enemies,
or that I’ve never seen his face.
Because of him, I’m forced into a marriage with a stranger.
On our wedding night, when I finally come face to face with my worst enemy, my entire life is turned upside down.
Authors Note: Wicked Knight is book two in the Knight Duet, set in The Society World. And it’s best enjoyed if you read book one first.
Exclusive First Look!
“You’re bleeding, Maxim. Let me look.” Anatoli gestured for Maxim to sit.
Maxim raised his hand and stopped him in his tracks. “No. Let my wife tend to my wounds.”
“Ooo-kay.” Anatoli looked as confused as I was.
“Leave us.” Maxim braced his good arm on his knees and released a breath.
“Everything you need is in the bathroom,” Anatoli said to me then turned to leave. He paused when he spotted the unhinged door. “I’ll get someone to fix that.”
“Thanks.” I smiled at him.
The wife in me wanted to tell my husband to go to hell. But the doctor in me was already thinking of all the things that could go wrong if I didn’t check on Maxim. He was tired because his body was working overtime, trying to heal itself. But also, because he just cracked open a heavy wooden door with his foot.
Cursing under my breath, I strode to the bathroom and got all the essentials to wash out his wounds. When I returned, Maxim hadn’t moved an inch.
“We should rinse your wounds twice a day, then cover them. They’ll heal faster that way.” I approached him tentatively, the way one would do with a wild animal because that was exactly what he was. My gaze swept from the splint and stained gauze to the blood seeping through his white dress shirt in two different places. “I need to take a look first.”
He nodded. With a sigh, he undid all the buttons, then sat back to let me help him with it. I pulled the fabric up then pushed it over his shoulders. The soft hair on his chest bristled the skin on my arms and chest. To my surprise, the gentle exchange eased my nerves.
“Getting out of bed today was a bad idea.” I picked at the gauze and removed it.
“I had things to attend to.”
“Right. You had that illegal wedding to go to.” I shot back.
“Yes.” He chuckled. “I did.”
“This shouldn’t hurt. It’s just water.” I squeezed the squirt bottle and rinsed his entire shoulder.
Even if fear wasn’t a big part of the equation anymore, I still couldn’t get myself to look at him. Not even when he cocked his head to look at me. His hot breath left a warm trail that ran from my cheek all the way down to my hip. He gripped his thigh with long fingers as his inspection of me continued.
“Little late for that, don’t you think?” I sneered.
“I didn’t pay for you.” He took a lock of my hair. “Your hair is shorter.”
“I cut it after…” I’d cut it shortly after Luca left, but Maxim didn’t need to know that. I swallowed and bit my tongue for offering him intimate details of my life. “You were spying on me.”
“Not for long.” He squeezed his eyes shut. “Your scent reminds me of something. But I can’t remember what?”
“Probably your dungeon. I’ve showered six times since I left and I can’t seem to scrub the stench off me.” I shuffled back. “I need you to get up to get the other two sutures.”
Slowly, as if he were trying not to scream in pain, he rose to his feet. When I stepped into his circle, he bent down to whisper in my ear, “You smell fine to me.”
The jittery energy intensified and magnified my senses. I could feel the air between us shifting, his breath on my neck, and the sandalwood scent on his skin. Though I kept my head down, I could feel his eyes on me, regarding me with curiosity. He was the wounded one. But he watched me so intently, it reminded me of a predator spying on his prey.
“Stop messing with your splint. Or your nose will not heal properly.” I pointed at the blood fingerprints on it.
“It itches.” He grunted. “How long before I can take it off.”
“How long has it been. It usually takes about two weeks.” I squirted his side.
He flinched, reaching for my wrist. I froze, keeping my gaze on the stitches and the blood running down his side. And because my brain hates me, I thought of our impending wedding night. Though by now, I was sure that would not happen today. The man could barely move without wincing. As formidable as he was, and though he acted like a beast, he was still human.
His fingers slid up my arm. “This one hurts the most.”
“I bet. There was a lot of debris to clear out. I had to dig deep.” I freed my hand. “It is healing fine. I can give you something for the pain.”
“Fuck.” He made to touch his wound then stuffed his hand in the pocket of his trousers. “I don’t know if I should risk taking more drugs from you. Will you poison me this time?”
In his defense, I had considered the option. “Not tonight.”
He scoffed. “If Anatoli hadn’t come to his senses, I’d still be unconscious.”
So Anatoli was the one who foiled our plans. Coward. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I shrugged. “Maybe you too will come to your senses soon.”
I strode to the bathroom and rummaged through the medical kit Anatoli had left for me. I went through a bunch of bottles until I found a strong pain killer. Something to knock Maxim out for the night. And every night after that, until I found a way out of this place.
“For the pain.” I offered him two pills and a glass of water.
“Am I so ugly, you can’t even look at me?” He took the meds and knocked them back. “My senses are fine, by the way.”
“Right. Because kidnapping a woman for revenge is the epitome of mental health.” I turned to leave.
He wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me toward him. “You have no idea what your family is capable of.”
“You’re wrong. I know exactly what they can do.” I jerked to free myself, but he held me tighter. I was no match for his strength. I exhaled. “One day my love will find me. He will make sure you pay.”
“Your love?” He let out a dark chuckle.
“Yes.” I panted a breath. “And when he does, he will chop you up and feed you to your dogs.”
“He sounds violent.”
Luca was an erudite, a distinguished professor despite all my efforts to corrupt him. He wasn’t a brute like Maxim, punching his way through doors. But regardless of their extreme opposites, Luca would find a way to save me. I knew he would. I just had to hang on a little longer.
“He will come for me. You can be sure of that.”
“The only thing I can be sure of, princess, is that it’s time for bed. And since Prince Charming isn’t here, I guess I would have to do.”
Don’t Forget to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win an Early copy of Wicked Knight, Book #2: https://geni.us/WickedKnightBook2
Diana A. Hicks is an award-winning author of steamy romantic suspense and science-fiction romance.
When Diana is not writing, she enjoys hot yoga, kickboxing, traveling, and indulging in the simple joys of life like wine and chocolate. She lives in Atlanta and loves spending time with her two children and husband. Connect with Diana on social media to stay up to date on her latest releases.