Special Agent Leo Gale is up a creek. A year and a half of deep cover is about to go up in flames. He needs help – something, someone to salvage the operation and save the lives of untold numbers of trafficked teenagers.
But he wasn’t expecting the partner they sent, or his own gut-punch of a response to the man.
Julian worked hard for that FBI Honors Internship. It was supposed to be a foot in the door. He’d never expected it to catapult him into the middle of a major undercover operation. Yet here he is, sleeping on a filthy mattress and using every trick in the book to avoid torture–and worse. He’s never felt so scared, or so alive, in his entire life, and he’s not sure if it’s the danger, or Leo, that’s making his heart race.
There’s no time to think about it, though. The operation is heating up, and Leo and Julian are running out of time and options. As choices become more difficult, they must find a way to take the traffickers down, or risk becoming just another set of organs for sale.
Leo stopped at the smoothie bar in the mall’s food court and ordered a green tea with acai and raspberries. He’d just turned thirty-seven, and according to his mother, it was time to start loading up on antioxidants. Head off those destructive free radicals before they got the better of him.
He didn’t care that she thought he was taking her advice—he liked smoothies, even if they didn’t quite fit in with the tough-guy image.
The teenager behind the counter popped a plastic top onto the cup and poked a straw through into the olive-green slurry inside. “Here you go,” she said cheerfully and slid it across the counter.
“Thanks.” He sipped, and stuffed a dollar into her tip cup.
She smiled even more brightly. “Thank you!”
Leo took his cup of mixed yogurt and water-soluble vitamins and wandered down the mall toward the lotto booth. Off to one side, a thin man with lank ashy-blond hair put down the dress shoe he was examining far too closely and drifted along in Leo’s wake. There was another as well that Leo was aware of, his usual tail, but that man was behind him now and out of his peripheral vision.
It used to be that just one would follow him on his trips to the mall or the bookie’s, but today there was a second one.
There was only one logical explanation. Leo hated to believe it, but there was no other choice—he’d screwed up, and now his bosses were suspicious of him. Not his real bosses at the FBI, but his fake bosses in this sex-trafficking ring he had infiltrated.
Leo stepped into line at the lotto booth and waited with feigned patience, sipping on his smoothie as he glanced around to locate his tails.
One of them browsed the shelves of a small store that sold knickknacks and did custom engraving. It took Leo a moment to track down the blond man, but he eventually found him standing at the cash register of the specialty candy store, holding a small brown paper bag. Leo kept an eye on both of them. When there’d only been one, he hadn’t let it bother him. He’d been nearly a year establishing the identity he wore now. The bureau had called in a lot of favors to build his cover. Criminals, federal agents, and police officers had all been involved in some fashion or other. The blinds and double-blinds almost had him convinced that he was Dale Leon. The history of Dale Leon, ex-cop and bully, was rock solid.
They’d learned their lesson after losing the first two agents.
Kate lives on the east coast of Canada, in an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. She has one horse now, who still has medical issues, and three cats, all of which still have mental issues. She still refuses to get a dog, because who knows what would be wrong with it?
Kate loves to read and write. She also likes playing with computers and is going back to school to do a programming degree, just for giggles. Or the opportunity to take over the world. (Oh, who are we kidding? Think of all the work that would mean.) She also likes pictures of pretty men and keeps many of them on her computer. (The pictures, not the men.) She would dearly love a cabana boy to mow her lawn and maybe rub her shoulders after a long day of making men fall in love with each other, then cackling evilly and raining frustration and danger on them.
Kate is giving away books she was inspired by during the creation of Flesh Market! Join the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!