“Sir, can I help you?” She’s smiling and has a list of attendees in front of her on a clipboard.
“Yes, actually I’m looking for my girlfriend. There’s a slight emergency and I need to get in touch with her. She’s with King Marketing. Her name is Courtney Bishop and she has blonde hair. Tall. Pretty. Was with a scrawny man.” There’s panic in my voice and the woman searches her list, but she’s not moving fast enough.
“Oh yeah, she checked in this morning. Actually, now that I’m thinking, I remember her accent. She came out here not too long ago. The guy she was with said she wasn’t feeling well.”
“Fuck,” I say under my breath and try to get a hold of my emotions. If I were a prick ass little bitch, I ask myself what I’d do. I need to make sure they’re not still here before I leave.
Calming myself as best as I can, I walk up to the check-in desk and request to speak to the manager on duty. When an older man walks up, I slide my badge across the counter. I know I shouldn’t use my position for things like this because it’s a personal matter, but I have to double-check. I have to know one hundred percent that she’s not here before I leave. And every wasted minute is a minute she could be hurt.
“I need to check to see if a person has a hotel room in their name. It’s an emergency.”
The manager looks at my badge and doesn’t hesitate. I’m thankful for that. Time is crucial.
“Courtney Bishop or Jayden Rooks.” I almost add Mia Montgomery’s name to that list, but I decide to hold off and wait for a response first.
After a few clicks on the computer, he nods his head. “Jayden Rooks booked a room for the night less than an hour ago. Fourteenth floor. Room fourteen twenty-three.”
After quickly thanking him, I tell him to call the San Francisco police and have them come to the room then jog to the elevators.
The elevator feels like it’s moving through quicksand, and every time it stops on a floor, I’m tempted to get out and climb the stairs. I try to call Courtney’s phone one more time but it goes straight to voicemail. My heart is beating hard in my chest and I can’t help but think the worst.
Once the elevator doors slide open, I rush down the hallway and almost freeze when I hear Mia’s voice followed by Jayden’s laughter. Adrenaline rushes through me as soon as I hear Courtney whimper. I back up and kick the door open with every ounce of strength I have.
Mia freezes just as she leans over Courtney with a pair of scissors pointed in her face. As soon as I see Jayden, I move toward him and grab him by his collar and slam him against the wall.
“You piece of shit,” I hiss as he wraps his hand around my wrists. “I knew you were a shady fuck.”
“Fuck you,” he spits back. Unable to contain my anger any longer, I crank my arm back and punch my fist into his face, releasing him to the floor.
I hear Mia from behind as she runs out of the room before I can catch her, but I don’t chase after her because all I care about right now is getting to Courtney.
“Oh God, sweetheart…” I say, falling to my knees to release the washcloth in her mouth. “Are you okay?”
Tears begin streaming down her cheeks just as the police—along with the hotel manager—enter the room.
It’s all commotion. More officers fill the room and they notice Courtney right away tied to a chair, mascara streaming down her face, and they immediately pull Jayden from the floor and cuff him. I untie her arms and legs, rushing to get her free. She tries to stand but stumbles and I tell her to sit back down. She looks weak and worn down, and I can tell she’s been drugged again.
“Would you like us to send her to the hospital in an ambulance?” an officer steps up next to me and asks.
Courtney shakes her head. “No,” she says urgently, but her voice is so hoarse I can barely hear her. “I’ll be fine.”
“Are you sure? It might not be a bad idea to get checked over,” I encourage, wanting to know what the hell that asshole slipped her this time.
Searching her face, I can tell she’s insistent on not wanting to go, so I don’t push it further.
“I just want to go home,” she tells me, and I nod in understanding.
Once Jayden’s been escorted out of the room, officers follow out and only a few stay behind to get our statements.
A female officer steps up to us with a notepad and asks if we can give her a detailed statement of what happened. I can tell Courtney is struggling to hold her weight. I stand up and carry her in my arms then set her down on the edge of the bed where she can lie back if she needs to. I brush her hair away from her face and study her.