Broken Angel (House Phoenix Series, #1)
Author: S.W. Vaughn
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Synopsis: Gabriel is lost...
Drawn into the New York City underground in search of his missing sister, Gabriel Morgan is running out of money, options--and hope. Until a brawl in the basement of a seedy Brooklyn bar drags him deeper into the shadows than he's ever been.
Gabriel is found...
By the leader of a secret society of underground fighters, who operates a network of vicious, no-holds-barred matches where millions change hands. They have no rules. No limits. And they have Gabriel's sister.
Gabriel is broken...
Taken prisoner and forced to join the society, Gabriel undergoes a brutal training program in preparation for the ring. To earn his sister's freedom, and his own, he'll submit to the demands of his captors and take the new name they give him.
Gabriel is Angel.
And when Angel fights, he'll do anything to win. Because the price for losing is his sister's life.
“Don’t touch me.” The demand emerged a moan. Gabriel backed away and searched the room in desperation, seeking escape.
“Do not flatter yourself, boy,” Jenner said in a brittle tone capable of crushing diamonds. “I have no such intentions.”
“What are you going to do to me?”
“I have not yet decided.”
Jenner moved into the light, and what had seemed like a dress in shadow proved to be an Asian costume—Chinese or Japanese, he wasn’t sure which. Simple clasps held together a long jacket of pale gray silk. Black piping trimmed the sleeves, the straight collar, and the garment edges. Flowing pants matched the jacket. Yet Jenner’s aquiline nose and swarthy complexion marked him as East Indian, not Asian.
His hair was gray, the color of brushed steel—an old man, but the hair was the only indication of age. He was sinewy rather than gaunt. Not wizened or wrinkled, but grizzled and hard. And his eyes were pale circles of smoked glass. Glittering gray, like the rest of him. How could an Indian have gray eyes?
The cold glint in those eyes bound Gabriel more effectively than any rope. He couldn’t move.
“Your determination is admirable,” Jenner said. “Few would expend such effort to locate a mere sibling. Do you truly love your sister that much?”
“None of your business.” Anger broke the spell of Jenner’s gaze. In this snake’s mouth, a reference to Lillith sounded blasphemous.
“A shame.” Jenner placed the object he held on the floor. It was a black satchel, a doctor’s bag. “What did you intend to do when you found her, little guardian angel? Help her find a job, perhaps an apartment? It is far too late for that.”
“I...she needs me.”
“Did you ever consider that she might not want your help?”
Disgust twisted his stomach. “Lillith isn’t like you people. She wouldn’t have become a...prostitute on her own. She has a good heart.”
Jenner sneered. “While your sister’s clients do appreciate her many attributes, I am not certain her heart is high on their lists.”
“I thought you were not interested in such activities, angel. You requested not to be touched.” Jenner’s hand slid inside his robe and reappeared gripping what looked like a collapsible radio antenna. He extended it with a flick of his wrist, and waved it at him in an almost dismissive gesture.
Pain flared across Gabriel’s face. He flinched back with a strangled oath.
“Your language is appalling.” Jenner collapsed the antenna. “Apologize.”
“Go to hell.”
Jenner arched an eyebrow and leveled an unwavering look at him. He bent and reached for his bag.
Gabriel flew at him.
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