“Cindy Reed speaking.” Cindy’s voice comes through the phone, the sound making my eyes water. I miss her. She’s probably going to kill me.

“Cindy, it’s—”

“Molly!” she barks into the phone, cutting me off. “Where the fuck are you?”

I hear someone gasp in the background. It actually makes me crack a smile. God, I really do miss her.

“I’m coming home. I was wondering if I could stay with you,” I ask, stepping off the sidewalk to cross the street in the direction of my little apartment. I’ll need to start packing things up because I know as soon as I get off this phone, Phillip will find me and show up here. Or worse, he won’t.

I barely hear the sound of the car before I feel someone grab me, slamming me down on the concrete, and everything goes black.

Chapter Four Phillip

The feel of my fist through the drywall does nothing to ease the anger pulsing through my veins and the sadness weighing heavy in my heart. I’m so fucking angry, I often feel like it consumes me, and I’m so fucking scared, but I don’t know what else to do. It feels hopeless, and then again it feels like any second, she’ll come walking through the door.

“Mr. Tanner, please understand we are doing everything we can to locate Mrs. Tanner.”

Shaking my fist out, I try to get the feeling back in my hand. It doesn’t make me feel better, but it’s all I can do. I’ve got a team of three private investigators on this, and no one has found a trace of her. It’s been weeks, and nothing.

She could be dead.

My heart stops at that thought. No, I would feel it shake my soul if she wasn’t alive. I would know deep in my bones if she wasn’t somewhere on this earth. She is the other half of my heart, and I will find her. No matter how long it takes. She’s checked in with the police and some lawyer. Both claimed not to know where she was, just that she was okay.

She ran out on me without so much as a word. She owes me an explanation, a way to make this right. I rub my face with my now beat-up hand and let out a sigh. I was going to make everything okay. I’d had it all worked out. We were going to have it all. We were just hours from getting it, and then poof!

I pace in my home office, not knowing how to respond to that. What do I say? Prove it? I’ve already yelled at everyone in this room at least once today. I stopped going to work after the night she left, waiting here in case she walked through the door. After the first night, I knew I couldn’t sit still, so I hired Carl Major and his team to find my Molly. She may need time to cool off, but she could have done that in the other room. She didn’t need to leave the house if she was having second thoughts about our marriage.

“How can there be nothing?” I scream the last word, my voice echoing off the walls.

The two men sitting before me flinch a bit, and I’m sure I’m a ragged mess. I haven’t slept in weeks, just walking around like a zombie. My old assistant, Debra, actually flew back from Florida for a few days when she heard Molly left. She made me lots of food I never really touched and left some in the freezer, too. She went back to her family last week, and her small visit was a comfort for a short time. But now I’m all alone in my grief and I can’t take it anymore. Maybe I am a madman, but I’ll be goddamned if she can leave me like this.

The investigators asked if we’d had any problems in our marriage. I didn’t know how to explain that I loved her beyond all sane reasoning, and I had to keep busy at work to stop the obsession that was growing inside me. They asked if there had been any infidelity and I laughed in their faces. No other existed besides my Molly. I was blind until she came into my life, and after that day, she’s the only woman I see. The men seemed skeptical, but I didn’t give a shit. They can think whatever the fuck they want as long as they find her.

I find myself falling between being grief-stricken and being mad as hell. I’m so fucking sad she’s gone, and I’d give anything to hold her in my arms again. But on the other hand, I’m so fucking angry she left me like this that I don’t know if I could look her in the eyes. I finally needed someone, and she was gone.

I know the last part is a lie, even as the thought flits through my jumbled brain. I would never look away from her again if I had her back in my sight. How stupid of me to waste so many nights away from her when I could have had her beneath me as we made love in bed. The thought brings a lump to my throat and I hold back a sob. I spent the last year trying to get shit in order so that I would never have to walk into another office again. I did all that I could to set our lives in motion, and it was to the detriment of our relationship.

Parts of our lives replay over and over in my brain, and I keep trying to pinpoint why she would just leave me like this. Leave us like this. I knew she was unhappy in the penthouse, but I was making strides to change that. To live up to the promises I’d made her, but maybe I took too long.

I didn’t think she was so unhappy with me and our marriage that she would just walk out. No explanation, just a note saying I can’t do this. Don’t follow me. I’d worried that note in my fingers for so many days, I wore a hole in it.

I keep pacing, trying to think of something. Even after the cops said she was okay. Maybe she was kidnapped and forced to write it. Maybe she had a fever and she was hallucinating and thought she had to go.

Both of those scenarios make my palms sweaty with fear. But when I checked the security cameras, she was alone and didn’t seem to be under any duress. She moved fast out of the building, but it wasn’t as if she was running. Then we traced her credit cards to an ATM from which she withdrew a large amount of cash. Then nothing.