Tarnished Queen (Zhukova Bratva #2) Read Online Nicole Fox

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors: Series: Zhukova Bratva Series by Nicole Fox
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Total pages in book: 118
Estimated words: 114463 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 572(@200wpm)___ 458(@250wpm)___ 382(@300wpm)
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Once he finds out what I’ve done, he’ll never let me leave.

I lied. I ran. I hid.
But Nikolai Zhukova found me anyway.
And now that I’m his again, he’s making sure I never repeat my mistakes.
He’s putting his ring on my finger and marching me down the aisle—whether I like it or not.

Tarnished Queen is Book 2 of the Zhukova Bratva duet. Nikolai and Belle’s story begins in Book 1, Tarnished Tyrant.

FULL BOOK START HERE:

1

NIKOLAI

Some pain takes a while to be felt.

I tackle the Battiato soldier to the ground just as he pulls the trigger. Heat explodes along my right side. Right now, it’s a burning sensation more than anything. But the real pain will come later, once the adrenaline and rage wears off. Once I truly realize what’s happened.

I grab the barrel of the gun, burning my hand in the process, and twist it to the side. With my other hand, I clock the bastard in the jaw. His head snaps to the side while his body flails.

It’s a reminder of how much can change in an instant. Seconds ago, he was on the right side of his gun, feeling supremely overconfident. Now, his feet scrabble across the dry dirt for purchase while we brawl over his gun.

Not that I need the reminder. My best friend rolled up to the scene on the back of his motorcycle and now, he’s deathly still in the grass behind me. I’m trying not to think about it.

That’s another pain that will come soon enough.

“There are more men coming,” the soldier gasps. “You’ll never make it out alive.”

I twist the gun and jam it under his chin. “Neither will you.”

I pull the trigger. The shot rings in my ears. The man slumps, dead. But he wasn’t lying—I hear the thunder of more men approaching.

I turn to see them ripping around the corner. As soon as a head pops up, I pull the trigger. His skull disappears in a cloud of blood.

I spin around just as another man comes from behind. This one has the Greek flag tattooed on his neck. I aim for that and fire, but he veers at the last second and the shot catches him in the shoulder instead. He drops down behind the hood, groaning.

“Fuck,” I mutter.

I’m still waiting for the soldier to stand up and advance, but instead, I see his gun rise over the hood. He squeezes off half a dozen shots blindly. Bullets ricochet off the light pole behind me and the concrete. Then, click—he’s empty.

Now is the time to move. Now, motherfucker, now.

I force myself to my feet, even though every cell of me is screaming in pain, and race around the car.

My side is burning now. A bonfire in my ribs. I haven’t taken the time to see how badly I’m bleeding, but it can’t be good.

I step over Arslan’s sprawled arm and corner the Greek cowering on the pavement. He’s trying and failing to reload the weapon. I kick the gun out of his hand.

I could say something quippy. Nice try or Any last words? or This is what you get when you fuck with the Bratva.

But I’m too damn tired for that.

And far too much still hangs in the balance.

He blinks and opens his mouth to speak. Before he can say anything, I shove the gun in his mouth and pull the trigger.

“Fucking waste of a bullet.” I give the dead man a swift kick in the ribs just as yet another Greek shows up.

I turn and slide down the side of the car, my knees to my chest. Arslan is in the grass next to me. I don’t need to check his pulse to know he’s gone. His chest isn’t moving. Even the gurgling from earlier has faded into silence.

“You weren’t supposed to die on me,” I growl through thick, unspent emotion. “If you weren’t already dead, I’d kill you for this.”

The joke feels hollow, but Arslan would have liked it.

“You always said you’d die before me. I guess you were right. But not by much.” I can hear footsteps on the asphalt, scuffling closer. “Being your friend was the closest I ever came to making vows. So maybe it makes sense that we go out together.”

I can still hear his voice in my head. Save the sappy shit for a Hallmark card, he’d say.

And he’d be right. But as hard as it is to even consider saying goodbye to Arslan, the thought of saying goodbye to Belle is ten times harder.

Death comes for us all. I’ve seen enough of it firsthand to know that when your time is up, it’s up.

But Belle is pregnant with my child. The future of my family depends on what happens in the next few seconds. On whether I can survive this attack. On whether I can haul ass out of here and save Belle from Xena or not.


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