“Not until you tell me how you’re going to find Trevor.”

His jaw tightened as he shrugged into his jacket. “Fucking drop it, Erica.”

Anger rushed in over the tears that threatened. “I’m not going to stand by and watch you ruin your life.”

“I’m not ruining my life,” he muttered.

“No, you’re ruining our life. Remember every decision we make affects the other. Or does that only apply to me when I don’t do what you want?”

He winced and reached for the door handle. “This conversation is over.”

Before I could find a way to make him stay, he was out the door.

Emotion burned thick in my throat. I wouldn’t let him give up this time. Every time Trevor threatened us, Blake had turned the other cheek. Not this time. Never again.

Blake’s Tesla sped down the street, and I retreated into the empty house. I sat at the island in the kitchen contemplating what to do next. I couldn’t shift gears and focus on work right now. I was too angry. Too scared that contrary to what Blake said, this situation would not simply blow over.

“Damnit.” I slammed my hand on the counter, curling my fingers around the pain. My throat tightened and tears burned behind my eyes, but something in me refused to let go. Crying right now felt like somehow I would be giving up. I wouldn’t—I couldn’t. Instead, that sick feeling came over me again. Except this time it didn’t pass. I ran to the bathroom and emptied my stomach into the toilet.

A fever rushed over me, and then my damp skin cooled. I stood shakily and wiped my mouth. The person I saw in the mirror didn’t look so good, but after several minutes, my wan complexion finally gave way to some color.

My clothes hugged my body. I’d gained weight on the trip. Weight that had replaced what I’d lost after the shooting. I traced the band of my jeans and the soft skin above.

A flicker of hope lit inside of me. An irrational and ill-timed hope.

It wasn’t possible . . .

I brushed my teeth. I tried to push the thought away, but a hundred possibilities swarmed my mind. Our love, this life we were building, Blake’s freedom, and maybe more was at stake. If he wasn’t going to protect it, who would?

Suddenly the chaos of my thoughts stilled, and I knew what I needed to do. I went upstairs into the closet and found my suitcase, ignoring the tangle of sheets and the reminder of our night of passion. Then I started to pack.



I’d spent the day at Dean’s office. Fitzgerald’s people were claiming ignorance about the whole affair, which might have been true. We ran through the timeline of the honeymoon in more detail. According to the time stamps the FBI supplied, I would have had to rig the elections on the flight from Cape Town to Malé, which would have been completely impossible since the code had been loaded by USB to the various machines, and I was thousands of miles away from those.

Beyond that, Erica had been the center of my world for weeks. Nothing had broken my focus on making the trip a memorable one for the both of us.

My mind wandered back to that simpler time. So much had changed in the space of a few days. This was anything but paradise. The honeymoon was over, and our life had begun. I refused to believe this was the beginning our future together.

Perhaps they’d turn the attention to Fitzgerald, but if he went down, he wouldn’t go alone. He’d implicate me just to spite me. He’d always believe I was behind it until someone told him otherwise.

And then there was Trevor.

If I’d ever had a desire to bring justice to his door—wherever that might be—I would have told Dean about him in the years past. But I hadn’t. And today wouldn’t be the day to bring it to light. Dean had spent a lot of time today explaining away any of my suspected guilt. Good practice for him, but I could see the wheels turning¸ the question burning in his mind. If I didn’t do it, who did?

I could hear Erica’s voice in my head, telling me to do the right thing. Tell him. Put them on the right path. But something inside me hesitated, and I stayed true to the path I’d always walked. No need to complicate matters anyway. Pointing fingers would probably only further convince Evans of my guilt. He didn’t strike me as the type of person who’d go on a hunt for someone like Trevor to save someone like me. Waste of time.

Dean searched for possible scenarios, and we agreed that the use of my code alone wasn’t a smoking gun for the case. Too many other people had access to it. Even if all signs pointed to me, it simply wasn’t enough. We had to wait to see if they could come up with anything more. That was the looming question mark. What would they find, if anything? And how long would we have to wait until all this went away?

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