Prologue

Frankie couldn't concentrate, but that wasn't anything new.

Ever since Wade left, her normally short attention span became almost non-existent—a huge problem, considering she dedicated all of her free time to finding where he'd gone. She ran her fingers over the colorful collection of pamphlets that decorated her desk, then glanced up to the laptop screen where she saw the address for the medical facility that the phone number on the business card she found in Wade's pocket was connected to.

Frankie had to admit that she did quite a bit of digging to unearth that jewel of information. But just when she thought she found a lead, it was snatched from her palm. Because upon visiting the medical facility, she found it was burned to the ground.

Frankie did a lot of research at home, but the only news stories seemed to reference the building as an abandoned outpost of some sort. No casualties. She chewed on her bottom lip, running over her options for the millionth time. If Wade wasn't in China, or Chechnya, or Ukraine (or any other pamphlet featured facility), then where did he go?

Because he couldn't have just run away from her. Yes, he was scared of the cancer and scared of letting her down, but Frankie made it clear that she was with him for better or worse. The ring on her finger—once a candy treat, now covered in rubies—affirmed this. What if something had happened to him? His mouth had gotten him into trouble on more than one occasion… maybe one of his victims came back to pay him a visit.

But if he was murdered, wouldn't she have heard? Frankie groaned, running her nails against her temple in frustration. She was at a dead end. She needed to accept that news might come later—or really, maybe not at all—but she loathed giving up control. She knew she could find him if only she was given a hint.

Luckily, her brother understood. Weasel promised to keep an eye and ear out for the man who had spoken to them… Frankie knew if she could meet with him, she could track Wade down.

She compulsively checked her phone for any notifications and came up empty. It was almost two in the morning… She needed to sleep. More than anything, she needed to rest. She couldn't help Wade if she wasn't ready to fight. And her limbs, still aching from hours on the punching bag at her martial arts studio earlier that day, screamed for peace.

Frankie sighed and moved towards her bed. Maybe later she would get lucky. She closed her eyes, and images of her fiancé flooded her mind. She tossed and turned, hoping to welcome sleep, but her mind would not stop churning. It had been months since anyone heard from Wade, but maybe… Maybe she could go back to the burned wreckage, search for more clues… she could spend another night asking around Sister Margaret's, see if anyone heard any rumblings about Wade… she could—

Her phone cried in a shrilly tone, causing her eyes to snap open. She didn't need to check caller ID to know who it'd be.

"Hey," Frankie said breathlessly. "What's going on?"

Weasel ignored her nicety. "There's a woman here who wants to speak with you," he said, his voice low. "Said she knows about Wade."

Frankie bolted upright in bed, more awake than ever despite her lack of sleep. Her anxious heart pounded in her chest. This was it… this was it… this was…

"I'll be right there."