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“I’m worried about Jayna,” he said. “She went to the restroom almost half an hour ago to head off a wardrobe malfunction, and now she’s not answering her phone.”

“Do you know which restroom she went into?” Emmaline asked.

“I’m guessing the bank to the north of the ballroom.”

“I’m not too far away,” Emmaline said. “I’ll check.”

Sid chewed his bottom lip as he searched the lobby, but there was no sign of her.

Barely a minute later, Emmaline called back. “She’s not in the restroom. The gemphone is pinging from inside the ballroom.”

His brow furrowed as a new concern emerged. “You’re tracking her gemphone?”

“Of course,” Emmaline said. “Those diamonds and emeralds may be manufactured, but they still weren’t cheap.”

There was no sign of Jayna in the ballroom. Emmaline entered through the opposite door and walked straight to a cluster of cocktail tables along one wall. The tables weren’t far from the spot on the floor where Sid and Jayna had been dancing earlier.

Emmaline crouched down under one of the tables. She stood and held up Jayna’s gemphone bracelet. “It looks like her dress wasn’t the only thing that gave out during that dance. Impressive, by the way.”

“Thanks,” he said, even though he was too upset to appreciate the compliment. He looked around the ballroom once again, but there was still no sign of Jayna. “What do we do now?”

“We go to security.”

Sid’s heart ached with worry as he followed Emmaline out of the ballroom and towards the resort’s security office. His mind raced through possible reasons behind Jayna’s disappearance, each more troubling than the last.

Emmaline spoke quietly to one of the security officers, and though Sid didn’t quite catch the words, the urgency in her voice sent Sid’s own concern into overdrive.

After a brief hesitation, the security guard ushered them into a small room. Images from several dozen cameras filled the display wall. “When did you last see her?” the guard asked.

Sid cleared his throat. “About thirty minutes ago.”

With a wave of the security officer’s hand, the video feeds flickered off and reappeared.

“That’s her,” Emmaline said. “Dancing with Obsidian.”

Sid’s eyes were immediately drawn to his energetic dance with Jayna, and the crowd of spectators that surrounded them. He would have been concerned at the spectacle had he not just finished his conversation with Aadesh. Instead, he felt a surge of pride—accompanied by a wave of longing as he watched Jayna.

The officer sped through the stream until he reached the point where Jayna exited the ballroom, clutching the side of her dress.

“She told Lena she was worried about that seam,” Emmaline said.

They followed Jayna as she moved from one video feed to the next until they saw her go into the restroom. The guard gestured again, and the video feed returned to its normal playback speed. Several people went in and out, including a drunken woman who strongly resembled Rosalind.

The thought of Jayna talking to Rosalind made him ill.

“There,” Emmaline said, pointing at the display as Jayna left the restroom.

The pressure in his heart eased, but he couldn’t see her expression well enough to completely eliminate his concern.

They followed her progress as she walked towards the fountain, but then she stopped and changed direction. She walked into the ballroom and passed through a curtain. Sid didn’t remember seeing a curtain when he had been in the ballroom, and his gut tightened.

“What’s behind that?” he asked.

“That’s the makai stage area. There’s one on each end of the ballroom, and the curtain comes down to screen the bands as they set up and tear down.”

She went backstage? A knot formed in Sid’s gut.

“We don’t have good coverage back there when the curtain is down.” The security guy shook his head. “I think it’s a bad idea, but management wants that area to be private so performers can change without their business ending up on the streams.”