Patient. Merciful. Protective… One out of three ain’t bad.
Small time crook Gabriel Kemp is just trying to make a living when a hit-and-run leaves him for dead. Waking up in hospital to an angel at his bedside gives him a second chance, but one that comes with a condition.
Fleeing San Francisco doesn’t mean he can evade the deal either – he still manages to meet Abigail Harris, the woman he’s promised to protect. He might not believe in the psychic visions she claims to have, but he knows if there’s even a chance she can identify the serial killer terrorizing downtown L.A. then she’s in danger.
The only way to keep Abby safe is to find and stop the killer. If that means taking on the devil determined to turn the City of Angels into the City of Hell on Earth, then so be it.
“You came,” she whispered. “You really came.”
What was wrong with me and attracting crazy women lately? I frowned and picked up an angel. Male, in jeans and a tee, features blurred in a way that made my stomach clench.
“I didn’t realize I was expected,” I said sourly, putting the damn thing down again. Glancing towards her, I caught the way her hands knotted on the grubby apron around her waist.
“I didn’t…expect, but I hoped. I prayed.”
Oh, God. I pinched the bridge of my nose. “Look, whoever you think I am you’re sorely mistaken. I was just passing. On my way to the Laundromat.”
A small smile curved her lips. “You must be very new if you think that will work. Don’t you realize I can see them?”
My what, now? “Pardon?”
“Your wings.” She smiled again, her eyes fixed at some point just behind me. “They’re exactly as I dreamed them.”
I took a step away from the crazy lady. I needed to change my cologne, demand a refund or something. Why the hell had I even come in here? So much for indulging a passing ironic interest.
“Uh huh, course you did.”
She gave a high-pitched giggle and rolled her eyes. I moved back another step as she wavered closer, but her attention was on the counter and the angel I’d picked up. The creepy, featureless one that made my skin crawl.
“The wings were very clear, your face wasn’t. That was disconcerting. I usually see very clearly.”
What I saw clearly was that I needed to get out of there. Oxygen was suddenly in short supply, the walls that surrounded me solid and overbearing. An old but familiar panic crawled up my throat, choking me.
“I’m not what you think I am,” I told her, wincing at the desperation that colored my tone.
She just smiled and fondled the angel. I tried not to look at it, afraid of what I’d see.
The ironic thing was that I’d dropped everything and bussed a few hundred miles in an attempt to avoid this very meeting. I didn’t believe in fate, but something had pulled me here. The idea terrified me and I did what I always did when faced with anything that remotely resembled responsibility.
Interview With Abigail Harris from the novel Archangel
Tell us a little about yourself
I'm the youngest of three, with an older brother and sister. When I was 16, I got my first precognitive flash – I foresaw my dad having an accident and managed to persuade him to take a different route. That afternoon there was a huge pile-up on the freeway. I started seeing angels not long after that. Not that I told anyone. Instead, I used my visions to create art, then discovered people wanted that art. I moved to a studio attached to a shop and that's where I met Gabe.
What do you consider is your greatest achievement?
My first gallery show when I was just 18. That was kinda awesome.
What is your greatest regret?
I definitely regret the less pleasant visions. Living those was... 'awful' doesn't begin to describe it.
When and where were you the happiest?
I've never been as happy as I am now. Yes, there are things Gabe and I have to work out, but he really loves me and I him.
What quality do you most like in a man?
Strength of character and a good sense of humour.
What quality do you most dislike in yourself?
I hate the the visions made me needy. I'd like to be stronger mentally, but I guess that weakness is one of the costs.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Gabe, though it wasn't love at first sight!
What was your first impression of them?
Honestly? I was disappointed. I knew he was coming, and what he was, but the reality didn't live up to my fantasies. That was a rude awakening. However, he was everything I needed him to be and I quickly fell for the real man.
If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
I'd not have ridden that damn motorcycle.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?I hate my hair! I wish it wasn't so frizzy. But I like Gabe likes it, so may