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I’m looking for my brother,’ the girl repeated, for the third time. Her accent was terrible, New Jersey meets Mexico City, making her difficult to understand, but Tomas doubted that that was the problem. The largely male crowd in the small cantina weren’t interested in a gaba with a sob story, even one who was tall and slim, with slanting hazel eyes and long black hair.

Japanese ancestry, Tomas decided, or maybe Korean. There might be some Italian, too, based on the slight wave in her hair and the Roman nose, which was a little too prominent for her slender face. She was arresting, rather than pretty, the kind of woman you’d remember, although her outfit would probably have insured that anyway. He approved of the tight cargo pants and the short leather jacket. But the shotgun she wore on a strap slung over her shoulder and the handgun at her waist took away from the effect.

He’s nineteen,’ she continued stubbornly. ‘Black hair, brown eyes, 6 foot 2 – ’

The bartender suddenly snapped to attention, but he wasn’t looking at her. His hand slid under the counter to rest on the shotgun he kept there. Tomas hadn’t seen it, but he’d smelled the old gun oil and faint powder traces as soon as he walked in. But the man who slammed in through the door was merely human.

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