OK, so I was doing the Dark Brotherhood quest "Death Incarnate" where you kill the imposter emperor. I get to the courtyard in front of the tower and I leave Jordis The Sword Maiden (my follower and wife) there, as I usually go on Dark Brotherhood missions alone without followers. I'm especially not taking my wife on an assassination mission.
So anyways, I kill the poor guy, and I decided to leave Jordis where she was and just sneak out of town then head to the Santuary to finish up the quest, since she can't go inside anyway. Unless it changes during this quest, but usually they can't. So anyways, I finish it, and rather than just go back and get her, I go around doing a bunch of different small quests, and play for several more hours (so I'd really hate to load a previous save to correct this) before going back to Solitude.
I fast travel into Solitude, pay my fine to the guard who immediately ran up to me, and as you've probably already guessed, arrived at the courtyard to find Jordis missing. I've looked all over and she is nowhere to be found, not at Proudspire, not anywhere in Solitude, alive or dead. She's no longer my follower, as when I tell people to come with me they don't give me that "you already have somebody with you" dialog, they just come along.
I loaded up a previous save to see what happened. Instead of sneaking out of town I went straight to the courtyard, after paying my fine by the guard that stopped me along the way. I arrived expecting to find Jordis fighting with the Penitus Oculatus, or her recently dead body laying there, but she was just standing there not being hassled at all. So if the assassination, confrontation with Moro, or confrontation with a guard to pay the fine isn't triggering her to go hostile with those around or vice versa, then I wouldn't think she would have died as a result of the quest. None of the other quests I did afterward were all that big and shouldn't have caused any problems, I just checked out a word of power, did an animal extermination for the Companions, and a few other small things, as well as talking to Motierre for the first part of "Hail Sithis!".
Anybody have any ideas on how to correct this? I'm playing on XBOX, so no console commands or anything like that. Like I said, I played for a long time after finishing the quest, so I really don't want to reload.