Ryan Steel, his world recently upended by an earth-shattering secret, now faces yet another potential revelation surrounding the Steel family mystery. He no longer fully trusts his siblings or the woman he loves. He’s alone—alone and terrified and immersed in a conundrum that becomes more twisted each day.

Ruby Lee loves Ryan and desperately wants to help him. She’ll do whatever she must to see him through this troubling time, but her own shrouded past still haunts her, and she’s determined to put an end to both of their mysteries once and for all. But the more she uncovers, the more danger she’s in…and she may lose Ryan forever.

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What next for Ryan and me? Could we even have a future now?

If only I hadn’t fallen in love with him.

Clearly he wasn’t in love with me, and right now he had way more to deal with than anyone should have. Bothering him about our “relationship” was not something I’d do.

What could I do?

More research on the future lawmakers. Another visit to my uncle, maybe. Another visit to Larry Wade. At least the two of them seemed less crazy than Wendy. Still crazy, though.

It all seemed so futile now. No matter how hard I worked, I never seemed to get anywhere. Questions didn’t turn up answers. Only more questions.

What would make me feel better?

Being with Ryan, but that wasn’t in the cards.

Then it hit me. I’d call Shayna. Just check up on her to see how she was doing. Maybe she’d heard something about Juliet and Lisa.

I searched my contacts and pulled up her number. It rang a few times, and then a female voice answered.

“Hello, Shayna? It’s Ruby Lee, from Jamaica.”

“Ruby? I don’t know any Ruby.”

“This is Shayna Thomas, right?”


“We met in Jamaica. Remember? When your…friends and you went off on those Jet Skis?”

“I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about. Please don’t call me again.”

The line went dead.


I called the number again. This time I got no answer. It went straight to voice mail. “Listen, Shayna,” I said. “I’m not sure what’s going on, but I assure you there’s nothing to fear from me. I’m a friend. I want to help. I want to—” The line went dead.

I called again. No voice mail. She had blocked me.


What was she afraid of?

My nerves prickled as I eyed my glass of water on the counter above me. I wasn’t thirsty. I wasn’t hungry.

I wasn’t…anything.