He nodded and gestured to Drew. “I assume you chip your high-rollers like we do?”
“What are you talking about?” I asked as my head once again swiveled in Drew’s direction.
“Fuck, why didn’t I think of that?” Drew rolled his eyes in a self-depreciating manner. “We put RFID chips in the high-roller cards since they are much more likely to be stolen.” He turned to Knox—or, the empty spot where Knox had been standing.
Drew lifted his chin towards the exit. “Security,” he stated before walking away. I pulled my arm back and Zack easily let it go, then I quickly followed after Drew.
“Anything I can do?” I heard Griffith ask. I assumed Zack’s response was physical because I didn’t hear him reply.
As we reached the door, Zack spoke up. “We’ll call you about rescheduling.”
“Yeah, of course. No problem. Go take care of his girl.”
My mind focused on Lia, and I couldn’t really hear anything else above the din of the casino and the rushing in my own ears.
Drew was holding the door open to the main security office and I brushed past him, rushing up a couple of steps to an area filled with monitors and equipment.
Knox was already leaning over a computer, his fingers flying over the keyboard. When I entered the room, he tipped his head to the left, indicating a trio staring at the monitors in front of them. “Fin, Marquita, and Kevin are going through footage,” he told me.
“I’m going to look for her,” I informed him, spinning around but I was blocked by Zack and Drew, the latter putting a firm hand on my chest.
“This hotel is over 150,000 square feet, Becket. You’ll waste more time running around than waiting here to see if security can come up with something.”
I knew he was right, but I was having a hard time being rational while I was seething with anger and consumed with fear.
“Got it,” Knox announced suddenly. “Third floor. East side by the gallery. She’s…” he trailed off as he bent to take a closer look at the computer. “Is that a custodial closet?”
“What the fuck?” I shouted, not waiting another second to bolt out the door. The nearest stairwell was behind the check in desk near the bank of elevators. My hands were shaking so it took me two swipes to get my security card to unlock the damn door, then I took the stairs two at a time. The heavy, metal door banged against the wall when I yanked it open, the sound bouncing ominously off the cinderblock walls.
My feet hit the floor running, the steady thump, thump on the carpet matched my pounding heartbeat. I vaguely heard directions being shouted at me from behind and when I finally reached the door I was searching for, I grabbed the handle and wrenched. Only to have my arm almost pulled from the socket. The door was locked. “Fuck!” I roared.
Just then, Knox skidded to a stop next me, and he waved a key card in front of the reader on the left side of the door. I heard a faint click and attempted to fling the door open again, succeeding this time.
My eyes combed every inch of the closet frantically until they landed on an overturned shelf. I felt like a million-ton weight was lifted off of me when I spotted Lia lying on the ground behind it. Until I realized she wasn’t moving. I leapt over the shelf and spilled contents so I could kneel at her side. I immediately checked for a pulse and when I felt the fixed beat of her heart, I exhaled harshly. I hadn’t even realized I’d been holding my breath.
I started to look her over and that’s when I noticed the gag in her mouth and the rope around her wrists and ankles. Rage like I’d never experienced began to build inside me. I pushed it back, knowing I needed to focus on my girl at that moment. Carefully, I removed her restraints and the gag before sitting on the cold floor and gently lifting her onto my lap.
“Lia, sweetheart. Wake up, baby,” I pleaded softly, brushing her hair away from her pale face.
“Is she alright?” Zack asked. I looked up and realized they’d all followed behind me.
“I’m not sure,” I admitted, pain lancing through my chest. However, the fury was still growing, and it needed an outlet. I locked my gaze with Knox’s and my jaw hardened. “Find the motherfucker who did this to her.”
“Done.” Then he was gone.
Lia moaned and her head moved from side to side, a grimace marring her beautiful face. “Ugh.” She blinked a few times then squinted up at me. “How could you let me drink so much?” she grumbled.
“Pardon?” I was confused by her question.
“This is one hell of a hangover, Becket. Shouldn’t you have stopped me?”