Knight Awakening is the sixth book in Zanetti’s Scorpius Syndrome series. I am a big lover of dystopian/post-apocalypse stories. This series has never disappointed me. I love each and every character. I’m really looking forward to reading this book. Marcus and Penny are sure to be remarkable characters. I highly recommend this series to you dystopian readers. It’s amazing. We have an amazing excerpt for you!
Penelope rushed into the infirmary with the room tilting wildly around her.
“How bad?” she asked Jax, who’d fetched her from a nice sleep on her sofa, where she’d crashed after several hours with her friends. The bottle of bourbon was now, sadly, empty.
“Not too bad,” Jax said, brushing glass off his shoulder.
She turned into the second examination room, stopping at seeing Marcus sitting on the taller table, his legs extending to the door and his shirt already off. He was okay. Well, bleeding from the upper arm, but looking directly at her and breathing evenly. Okay. Her knees stopped shaking. He was alive. She pushed hair away from her face. “Bullet wound?”
“Just a cut.” Jax patted her arm and turned away. “See you two tomorrow.”
“Wait,” Penelope said. “I’m intoxicated.” In fact, her feet were numb. “I can’t stitch him up.”
Jax turned and looked at her, his eyes bloodshot and a purple bump above his right eye. “You’re the best we’ve got right now. I can barely see.”
Marcus wiped blood off his arm with his other hand. “I only need a couple of stitches. I can do it.”
Jax nodded. “You two figure it out. I want to see Lynne.” He took a step and then paused. “Let’s meet in the morning and come up with a plan, Slam.”
“Okay,” Marcus said, and Jax took off at a fast clip.
Penny pressed a hand to her throat as her heart continued to pound.
Marcus looked around the room. “Could you get me a needle?”
A needle? He’d been in a gunfight, and he was acting like everything was normal? “Are you sure you weren’t shot?” She stumbled for the drawer to take out supplies.
“Yep. Just glass from when the bus flipped over from the bomb.”
Her head jerked, and she whirled around. Heat climbed down her throat so fast, her lungs burned. “There was a bomb?” Her voice rose.
He turned away from examining his arm. “Yeah. What’s the matter?”
Oh, wrong question. Way wrong question, and the bourbon flowing through her veins prevented her from finding any sort of filter for her words. “I can’t believe you just asked me that,” she muttered, setting the needle, thread, and bandages next to him on the table. “From the first second we arrived here, it has been you and me. All the time. But it’s one way, isn’t it?” Even though anger now focused her, she was gentle with wiping more blood from his wound. “You need about ten stitches, and my hands aren’t steady.” Not even close.
“That’s okay. You’re still better than I am with one hand. What do you mean, one way?” He twisted his arm so she could get a better angle.
This broke every rule she’d ever been taught in medical school, but the pandemic had pretty much broken the world, so what the hell. She took a deep breath and expertly threaded the already clean needle, wiping blood again. She forced her eyes open and then stitched him back up, rather surprised the stitches were even. It was a sad state of the world that she could stitch up a wound while mildly drunk. She’d been stitching up way too many wounds. She pressed a bandage into place and stepped back. “Yes. One way.”
He sat there, bare to the waist, his chest an intriguing mix of raw muscle and healed scars. The fact that he’d survived such torture only made those ripped muscles even more intriguing.
“I’m not following.”
That just figured. It really figured. She put her hands on her hips. “You don’t tell me anything.”
“I tell you everything.”
Maybe she hadn’t asked enough. “What is wrong with you? You were just blown up in a bus, and you’re sitting there like you’ve had a day at the beach.”
He frowned and rubbed dried blood off his hand. “A beach? I’m sunburned?”
Oh, for hell’s sake. “Do you have to be so damn literal all the time?” And alluring? Marcus Knight without a shirt on should be illegal.
The simple response nearly made her head spin around and blow steam. “Marcus? You must be frightened sometimes. It’s okay to share that.” It should scare her how badly she wanted in. How much she wanted him to really share with her.
His face cleared. “Oh. That. I don’t feel anything, Penny.” At her silence, he shrugged. “Sorry. I’d love to tell you that I do feel a lot of things, but I just don’t. Not anymore.”
Oh. That was certainly a defense mechanism against what they’d done to him in the labs, as well as a result of surviving Scorpius. The bourbon swirled around in her blood, and her head fuzzed, but her body flashed wide awake along with her instincts. She stepped toward him, standing between his legs. “Yes, you do.”
He frowned, the sight more bewildered than upset. “No. I don’t.”
She placed both hands on the sides of his rugged face, and his shadow of whiskers scratched her palms. “Do you feel this?”
“Yes.” His voice deepened and his expression smoothed out.
Caressing down one side of his face, she traced his sharp jawline. “Do you feel this?”
“Yes.” His eyes darkened, going to the green instead of the brown. He held perfectly still, tension around him, his muscles tightened as if ready to spring.
She blinked. This was a mistake, and it wasn’t fair to him. He was still sitting on her examination table after she’d stitched him up. Her hands started to drop.
“No.” He snatched her wrist. “Don’t stop. Finish what you started.”
Her gaze lowered to his firm mouth. “I can’t.”
“Because you don’t want to?” His hold was light but his tone a low growl.
“Because I’m your doctor.” She took a deep breath and filled her lungs, trying to clear her mind.
He released her wrist, and she started to back up, shocked when he slid his hand through her hair to cup her nape. “I’m not your doctor.”
What was happening? His hand was warm and so strong, flexing against her skin. She swallowed. The energy ticked between them, enhanced by the silence throughout Vanguard headquarters at the midnight hour. Her gaze flew up to his eyes, and he was studying her like nobody ever had. Completely and with a focus that uncoiled live wires in her abdomen.
The next moment was inevitable.
He drew her near, and his mouth touched hers. Gentle and seeking.
Heat flowed through her faster than the bourbon had, and she leaned closer, putting her hands on his chest and sighing softly.
Then he ignited. He grabbed her hip, yanked her hard into him, and kissed her so hard he bent her back. Intense and deep, he took over, taking everything. She closed her eyes, overcome, her nails curling into his bare skin as he plundered. All of her.