Gabriel Palacios flees his abusive father’s clutches, even though he’s been warned that the mad cop will stop at nothing to control him. He lands in New York City after enduring a trip with a demented admirer, only to find that he immediately comes under suspicion for a horrible crime. Detective Alejandro Cardoza investigates this crime, but finds himself caught in a web of deceit and desire that threatens to ruin his career. He is determined to nab Gabriel, the prime suspect, but he finds his own heart under siege by love for this mysterious and tragic young man. Will he find the culprit before the true murderer finds Gabriel?
Detective Cardoza walked over to the laptop and peered at the screen. He hit a key and looked up at Gabriel. “Murder? What is this?”
“No … nothing! I’m writing a novel. It’s none of your business!”
“Have you been overseas in the past five years?” Cardoza narrowed his eyes and continued grilling him. Gabriel was frightened, and he tried to hide his shaking hands.
“Well, I visited Puerto Rico when I was twelve, but that’s not overseas. That’s part of the U.S. It’s not a foreign …”
“Alright already!” Cardoza grimaced in annoyance. “Gabriel, I am Puerto Rican, so you don’t have to convince me.”
“So never been to a foreign country? Never to South America?” Cardoza moved closer. His hand reached for Gabriel’s face and he stroked his cheek with his thumb. He bent closer. Gabriel felt his hot breath, and looked into his intense eyes until he could no longer stand it.
Gabriel stood up from the bed suddenly and backed away from him. He stepped back nervously and the back of his leg struck the leg of a rickety chair. Before he could regain his balance, Gabriel began to fall.
Detective Cardoza’s notebook fell from his hands as he dashed forward and grabbed Gabriel by both shoulders. For a moment, Gabriel’s knees buckled and Cardoza was holding him close to his broad chest. Gabriel’s arms instinctively wrapped around him and the anxiety that had been eating away at his soul overwhelmed him. He began to sob into Cardoza’s chest and he held Gabriel tightly so that he heard the steady thumping of his heart.
With his left hand, Cardoza began to stroke Gabriel’s hair, and for a moment, he felt his warm breath near his ear. They were silent for what seemed to Gabriel like an eternity. For that moment, Gabriel felt as if he had died and was floating in a place where nothing bad could touch him. His father couldn’t hurt him and the questions were far away. All he was aware of was the spicy smell of Cardoza’s skin and his strong embrace. He wanted to stay like that forever.
Cardoza held him with one arm, and with the other tipped his head back. Gabriel couldn’t stop his lips from parting in welcome as the man dipped in and tasted him. With their faces so close, Gabriel felt the soft, hot breath of the man inviting him to come closer, to join with him. His tongue, which had avoided the one being thrust into him, now had a mind of its own and it shyly ventured into the other man’s mouth, but retreated hastily.
The act seemed to fuel Cardoza’s passion. He bent in so that Gabriel felt his balance slip. He was held by one strong arm around his waist and another holding him by the back. He sighed deeply as he felt the man’s erection poke his belly. His own rubbed against the man’s thigh. For a few breathless minutes, they joined, lips to lips, and hot bodies against unwanted clothing. Gabriel felt that he would burst, and the thought embarrassed him out of the man’s spell. It was like when you wake from a good dream and you want to continue sleeping, but it’s too late. Gabriel pushed away from him and saw that Cardoza’s eyes were slightly moist. Gabriel wished that they’d met under different circumstances, but then he remembered; Cardoza was the hunting dog, and he was the frightened fox.
“Enough for now,” Detective Cardoza said in a husky voice. “I’ll see you again soon, but take care of yourself. You better …” He broke off as if he were unsure of what to do next. Then he was gone.