“Get them out of there!” a man ordered. Bailey was tugged forward out of the elevator by many pairs of hands. She felt Mathews being dragged out behind her.
“Get him away from me!” Bailey yelled when Mathews roared and lunged away from the emergency crew.
“Bailey, what’s going on?” Sam’s voice could be heard over the crowd of people around Bailey.
The emergency crew leapt aside as the elevator cables snapped. The huge metal box hurtled down the shaft and fell with an enormous crash. Bailey rolled to the floor and covered her head with her arms. The floor beneath her wobbled and someone fell on top of her. A rush of heat rose out of the shaft and a burst of orange light illuminated the darkness of Bailey’s closed eyelids.
Bailey woke in one of the hospital’s beds. She was attached to a monitor, all hooked up with wires and tubes and needles. She knew she hadn’t hit her head, but she’d probably blacked out from the shock of the elevator exploding just seconds after she’d been pulled to safety. Sam was sitting next to her. She was definitely worried, but thankfully unhurt.
“You’re one lucky bitch,” she breathed when she noticed that Bailey was awake.
Bailey sat up gingerly. Nothing hurt or stung. That was a good sign. “Why am I hooked up?” she asked Sam. “I didn’t get hurt.”
“You know as well as I do that when something like this happens, we need to take all the precautions we can,” Sam lectured.
“But this never happens.”
Bailey sighed but she didn’t move her head just in case she had actually tweaked her neck and she hadn’t noticed yet. She wasn’t in a neck brace, so she was probably good. “Right,” Bailey said. “What the hell happened, Sam?”
Her friend rubbed her temples slowly. She closed her eyes and said, “Mathews had been gone all day. No one could find him. Doctor Arrington said Mathews had left for lunch and then didn’t come back for any of his surgeries. Security—”
“We had a surgery together this morning.” Bailey thought it best to be as specific as possible. Mathews disappearing was odd, especially if Bailey was the only one to remember seeing him.
Sam started. “We all asked around but no one had seen him after his Pancreaticoduodenectomy this morning. Did he ask you anything?”
“I was with him then,” Bailey accounted. "He was just checking on Ace after that.”
“Security looked everywhere,” Sam continued, shaking her head, “but—”
“I talked to him at lunch.”
“What the hell? They only found him when they reviewed the camera footage.”
Bailey raised an eyebrow. “What did they find?” She was dreading the answer. But then she held up a hand. “Wait. How do you know that?”
Sam made a face. “Dane’s in security,” she reminded Bailey. “He wasn’t technically supposed to tell me about it, but you’re my friend. I had to know.”
“What did they find?” Bailey repeated quietly.
Sam’s eyes said it all. She didn’t respond for a good while. Bailey could see her lips working as if she were trying to form words, but was unsure of how to explain it right. Finally, Sam blinked and said, “Mathews was in the elevator shaft. He rigged it to fall.”
“The cameras in the shaft caught him rigging it to fall,” she repeated, shrugging her shoulders.
“I saw the footage myself.”
“But he can’t have!” Bailey protested. What was she doing? Was she trying to protect him? “He’s not that smart!” He was plenty smart, but to do something like that he’d have to be an engineer or something.
“Well, he made that elevator fall,” Sam told her. “The hospital is going to have to have some major construction. And…Mathews injured almost everyone in the lobby.”
Bailey sunk back into her pillows. He had planned to get her alone in the lift. He had planned to trap her there because he knew talking about anything between them would rile her up. Mathews wanted her to go down with him. He was psycho enough that he’d injured and could have killed dozens of people just so that he could talk to Bailey.
“He’s locked down a few doors from here. There’s police standing outside his door,” Sam said.
Bailey started unhooking herself from the machines. They beeped and sputtered and surprisingly, Sam didn’t try to stop her. She even helped her retract the needle from Bailey’s hand. Together they helped Bailey dress—she was still pretty wobbly—and walked arm-in-arm out into the corridor.