“No.” He’d been living in a state of suspended animation without her. Hell, he couldn’t call it “living” at all. He’d spent his time chasing leads about her all over the globe, incapable of “respecting her privacy” the way her father had demanded. “I’ve searched every­where for you.”

He wanted answers about where she’d been. If she’d been kidnapped or if she’d left him of her own free will. His private investigators had spent endless hours chasing down fake leads for her whereabouts—it was as if she’d wanted to purposely disappear, or someone had spent significant time making it look that way.

He still had her wedding rings that she’d left behind.

But he remembered reading somewhere that chasing memories wasn’t good for an amnesia victim. And didn’t the fact that she was suffering from amnesia suggest she’d been through a trauma already? The need to protect her—to make sure nothing else hurt her—overrode everything else. He needed to keep her safe and get her healthy.

And, selfishly, he couldn’t help but see her return as a second chance.

If she’d left him, she didn’t remember.

Once she was well and whole again, Damon had a chance to rewrite history. To show her they could be good together again.

To win her back.

“I don’t know where I’ve been. My memories should come back in time.” She pulled a hand from her sweater pocket and smoothed aside the wave of hair that brushed her cheek. For a moment, he could see the old Caroline in the gesture. The vibrant, flirtatious woman who had captivated him the moment she strode into his office, demanding a position on his team. “But until they do, I’m not sure where to go. I’ve been at a shelter the last two nights.”

The idea appalled him. How long had they been in the same state while he’d been lost in alternating bouts of grief and bitterness, not knowing what had happened to her?

“You were right to come home.” He stepped closer, careful to give her space but needing to touch her.

She flinched and backed up a step, reminding him that they might be married but they were still essentially strangers in her mind.

She just needed time. Something he was more than happy to give her since he was determined to help her remember how happy they’d been together before that one stupid argument. And, hell, if she hadn’t been happy, he’d make her remember something better than that.

“You belong here, Caroline,” he assured her. “Always.”

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