I’m sharing today from my brand-new novel, Gabriel, that released on Friday. In this snippet, Lucas’s roommate Eric has gone missing, and Gabriel and Lucas are working to locate him. Gabriel has called in help from one of his former CIA colleagues, Myles “Moose” Hadley. Lucas has been afraid to go back to his apartment so he has been with Gabriel until they heard back from Moose. Unfortunately, the news they heard wasn’t what they had hoped.
Gabriel went into the guest room and found Lucas seated cross-legged in the middle of the bed with a mess of books and papers spread out in a semicircle around him. “Get your keys,” he said without preamble. “We’re going over to your apartment to get the rest of your things.”
Lucas jerked his head up, and Gabriel could see his body go into high alert and brace for the worst. “What happened?”
“That was my contact, Moose, on the phone,” Gabriel said. “He identified the man Eric was last seen with at the bar. His name is Damien Castillo. He and his two buddies are affiliated with MS-13.”
“And that’s bad?” Lucas asked.
“It’s certainly not good,” Gabriel told him. “It means we’re not talking about small-time thugs here. This group may be small, but they have connections to a very large and very dangerous network. They’re involved in any number of illegal rackets, including suspected human trafficking. It means that not only is Eric in danger, you might be too.”
“Me?” Lucas squeaked, wide-eyed. “What have I got to do with anything?”
Aside from getting me into this mess. “Plenty. First of all, if they find out we’re looking into this, you might as well paint a target on your back. They’ll come for you, and they will kill you. Secondly, from what you’ve told me, you are Eric’s closest friend. Essentially family.” Lucas nodded. “That means even if they don’t know what we’re doing, you’re still in danger. If Eric doesn’t cooperate, they might come after you to ensure his cooperation. Make no mistake. These men are ruthless and have no qualms about killing anyone who gets in their way. They’d take you out with no more thought than swatting a fly.”
All the color drained from Lucas’s face, and his expression of confusion and apprehension morphed into one more akin to terror. Good. He needed to be scared. They were playing with the big boys, and he damn well needed to know it.
“If they’re that dangerous, shouldn’t we go to the police?” he asked.
Gabriel wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed or impressed. Even clearly scared out of his mind, Lucas was still thinking logically. That was a good sign—or it would’ve been, if the kid weren’t arguing with him. “We will, but this is bigger than a local case now. Moose has a contact with the FBI he’s going to try to get us an appointment with, and in the meantime, we just need to lie low and keep you safe.”
And he had to figure out how to do that without losing his soul in the process.
Gabriel Ingram is running from his past. It’s common knowledge at the college where he teaches that he’s a former CIA technical analyst, but no one knows the things he really did—or about the rage and bloodlust that are his constant companions. He’s holding on to his normal life with both hands, but he knows someday he’ll lose his grip.
Lucas Craig is a social worker studying to become a family therapist. For reasons Lucas can’t understand, the normally reclusive Professor Ingram takes an interest in him, and Lucas secretly hopes their friendship might become more.
Then Eric, Lucas’s roommate, disappears. Lucas is frantic. The police are no help. With nowhere else to turn, Lucas begs Gabriel for his expertise.
What starts as a simple errand to help a friend becomes a journey into a violent world of gangs and human trafficking—one that will bring Gabriel face-to-face with the forces intent on stealing his soul. But Lucas might be the one who can save him—if Gabriel can get them out alive.