Backlash - Rachel Dylan

Backlash
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Название: Backlash
Автор: Rachel Dylan
Добавлено: 22 сентябрь 2022
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Books by Rachel Dylan

CAPITAL INTRIGUE

End Game

Backlash

ATLANTA JUSTICE

Deadly Proof

Lone Witness

Breach of Trust

© 2020 by Rachel Dylan

Published by Bethany House Publishers

11400 Hampshire Avenue South

Bloomington, Minnesota 55438

www.bethanyhouse.com

Bethany House Publishers is a division of

Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan

www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

Ebook edition created 2020

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—for example, electronic, photocopy, recording—without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

ISBN 978-1-4934-2827-4

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, incidents, and dialogues are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Cover design by Faceout Studio

Author is represented by the Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

To Daddy.

You’re the reason I can write books filled with faith and demonstrating the amazing love of God.

I miss you so much, but the gift of faith and love you gave me will live in my heart forever.

Contents

Cover

Half Title Page

Books by Rachel Dylan

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

Epilogue

Author’s Note

About the Author

Back Ad

Back Cover

CHAPTER

ONE

The incessant knocking on her condo door made Layla Karam grumble as she threw off the covers. She had no idea who would be so insistent—especially at two in the morning. Over five years at the CIA had made her cautious, so she grabbed her gun from the nightstand and went to the door, ready for anything.

She looked through the peephole and let out a sigh of relief, then disarmed the alarm system to let in DEA Agent Cassandra Ruiz.

“Cass, what’s going on?”

Cass’s dark brown eyes were bloodshot, and she was shaking. “I should’ve shot him.”

“Shot who?” The dread Layla had felt when she first heard the knocking returned.

“A man was in my house. I hesitated instead of pulling the trigger, and he got away.”

“Have you called the police?”

Cass shook her head. “No, because I think it might be connected to our DEA op.”

How could that be possible? “Come sit down, and let’s go through this.”

Layla led Cass into the living room and sat down with her on the couch. She’d never seen Cass frazzled, but right now the agent was a mess.

“Let’s start at the beginning,” Layla said. “Tell me the entire story. Take your time.”

Cass took a deep breath. “I worked late. When I got home, I immediately noticed that someone had been rummaging through my house. Things were strewn everywhere. He was definitely looking for something. As I was surveying the damage, a man jumped me from behind. I was able to fight him off. I fired a warning shot, and he started running. I could’ve taken him out, but I didn’t.”

“Did you recognize him?” Layla had shaken off the cobwebs of sleep and was now fully awake.

“No.” Cass’s hands shook as she clasped them in front of her. “But he had Mejía tattoos on his arms.”

The Mejía cartel was the most dangerous and brutal cartel in Honduras. The DEA had recently performed an operation in Honduras, and Layla had been brought on to the team to give her more field experience—something the Agency was pushing her hard on. “There’s no way that could be a coincidence.”

“Exactly. I’m sorry to barge in on you in the middle of the night, but since you’re only a few minutes away, I thought I needed to warn you ASAP in case he decided to head here.”

“You did the right thing. Have you noticed anything before tonight? Anything out of the ordinary?” Layla had, but she didn’t think this was the time to bring it up. Cass was agitated enough, given her harrowing night.

“No. It’s been business as usual since we got back stateside. Everyone at the DEA was satisfied with the outcome, even if we didn’t get all the way to the top of the cartel.”

“I assume you don’t bring work materials home?” Layla had to put that out there.

“You know I don’t. That would be against all security protocols.”

“Could you have been mistaken about the tattoo? Could he have just been a thief?”

“None of my jewelry was taken.”

“Electronics?” Layla questioned.

“He did take my tablet, but there won’t be anything work related on it. But I’m pretty certain about the tattoo.”

“We got a boatload of cash from the op. Maybe he thought you might have some of it.”

Cass groaned. “If he was looking for confiscated money, then he had to think I’m a dirty agent.”

Layla lifted her hands. “I’m just throwing out possibilities. I’m not saying that about you. But I’m wondering whether the cartel could have a reason to think that.”

“I’m sorry, I’m just on edge. But no, I play by the book.” Cass’s voice became steadier.

Layla didn’t know Cass that well, but she didn’t have any reason to suspect she was playing both sides. Although, Layla had heard rumors that the DEA had their fair share of dirty agents. “Have you reported it to the DEA?”

“Not yet, but I will. I wanted to make sure you were safe first. I sent a quick text to Zane and Diaz to warn them, too, just in case.”

Zane and Diaz were the other two members of the DEA team Layla had been assigned to. “Whatever you need from me, just say the word.”

“Can I crash on your couch for a few hours? I’d rather not go home until light.”

“Of course.”

“Thank you.” Cass paused. “I can’t help but think trouble followed us home from Honduras.”

Layla had woken early the next morning to find a kind note from Cass. She must have left right at the crack of dawn. They’d exchanged a couple of texts, and Cass had said she would call DEA, which Layla felt was the right move.

Now Layla weaved quickly through the Saturday crowd that had gathered for the fall street festival in

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