12:22 P.M.

Christina had reached her limit.

She had tried to be patient. She had tried to be calm. She didn’t want to be one of those strident, pushy wives who were always keeping tabs on their husbands. But at the end of the day, she wasn’t exactly the stay-home-and-knit type, either.

It had been hours since Ben had called her. Hours since she had heard any useful news. All she knew was what she heard on CNN, which wasn’t much. She almost pitied those poor commentators. They had so much time to fill and so little to say. A dollop of information was buried in a mountain of pointless chatter. The news had turned into speculation and gossip, and now she wasn’t sure what it was.

And now she was railing against the media when of course that wasn’t really what was bothering her. She was worried about Ben.

She pushed herself out of her chair. She had waited here long enough. She was going to get out there and do something. Shake some bushes. She’d been in Washington for a while now and, as Ben’s chief of staff when he was a senator, she had developed a pretty good rep as someone who could get things done.

So it was time she got something done.

Ben hadn’t told her his exact location-probably wasn’t allowed to tell her. But he said he hadn’t left the White House. So that was where she would start. She had provisional White House clearance. She could get to the back door. After that, she would just have to take it one step at a time. Bully her way through. She’d done it before. Granted, not at what was perhaps the most heavily guarded private residence in the entire world… but she never shrank from a challenge.

She was going to find her husband, damn it, and make sure he was safe. And she had nothing but pity for anyone who got in her way.