Eric Stiles has everything to lose and no matter how hard he fights he can feel his life slipping away.
Rebecca Gailen thinks that the love of her life is dead and only the vigor of revenge keeps her fighting to survive.
When a secret reveals more than anyone expected, it changes Eric and Rebecca's lives forever. The devastating truth puts the couple at odds. Can they overcome their clashing conclusions and learn to trust each other again? Or will they let it rip them apart?
The air seemed to disappear as his arm dropped. Eric had to remind himself how to breathe. He went through the motions, his brain signaled his lungs to expand and yet still nothing happened. The absence of oxygen started to cloud his vision. He ordered his legs to move. A moment later, he stepped into the sunshine. The hot desert breeze mocked him as it curled around his neck.
His chest moved and his mind seemed to reconnect with his body. He closed his eyes, his heart processing the information from Dr. Raines before tucking it away.
Charlie pulled up and they headed out to the first address on the list of possible locations Marco Valnes could be holding Rebecca and Lucy. Along with Jorge's location, they also made a list of every location recently deserted or sold.
Eric's mind spun with the passing scenery, the clock in his brain continuing to tick. The sun rose, bringing with it the harsh light of reality. A new day without Rebecca and his heart thudded painfully in his ears. It seemed easier in the dark of the night. The blackness cushioned the raging of his heart, but now the day dawned and she was still missing.
His thoughts turned dark and he rejected them. No. I am going to find her.
Charlie's voice pulled Eric out of his head.
He did his best to push the helplessness away, shove it down and lock it in a steel trap for another time. "Left." Gulping back the pressure that surrounded his heart before, he turned his attention to the road ahead.
"Is that it?"
Charlie pulled off the road and parked the truck before reaching beneath the seat to grab Eric's spare weapon.
Charlie nodded and the pair stepped out of the truck and split up. He took the back and Eric the front.
Eric swerved through the maze of dead trees and scattered brush before he reached the front porch and climbed the steps. The place looked deserted, but there was no sense in taking any risks.
"Las Vegas Police, anybody home?"
With no response, Eric tried the door. It turned in his hand and opened without effort. He quickly cleared the door, searching each room, he found the house abandoned.
"Clear!" his brother called from the back of the house.
He pushed the air out of his lungs, heard his brother's footsteps and holstered his weapon. They investigated the entire house, top to bottom. His mind throbbed with agonizing weight, the blackness of despair hovered just a few breaths away. "This place is deserted. There hasn't been anyone here in a while."
"You're sure?" Charlie met him on the porch.
"Yeah, I'm sure. Why, did you find something?"
Eric shook his head as he took one last look. Charlie followed behind and they got into the truck, looking up the second address.
"The next address is outside Indian Springs," Eric said as Charlie pulled onto the road. Eric dialed Lug, who was heading the search from the police station, and got his voicemail. His focus went to the scenery, consciously keeping himself centered and steady.
His phone buzzed and he answered. "Detective Stiles."
"Stiles," Lug said. "They found one of the girls."
"Crystal Springs PD."