I was suddenly aware of the night's darkness surrounding the car. I also remembered the weirdly charged rush of erotic energy I felt when Morgan's hand had been on me.
I was scared. Something wasn't right. I wasn't sure what it was exactly, but I was scared. I needed to drop Morgan off, collect myself, and get things straightened out. In fact, what I really wanted to do was talk to Ian as soon as possible. Whatever was happening, he would know what to do better than anyone.
I put my car in reverse, turned around, and started back down the highway.
"Ashley!" Morgan pleaded. "I wanted to see who that was! I couldn't even see the car."
I kept driving.
"Well, whatever." Morgan settled back into her seat. She was too hung over to put up much of a fight.
For a moment she looked at me as I drove, and I could tell she was as perplexed as I was at everything that had been happening.
She shook her head slowly. "What is going on?"
Morgan lived in a tiny rental house on the Hershel ranch, the property that had abutted my family's ranch for generations.
When we were younger, sometimes Morgan and I used to sneak into the little clapboard house to drink. Mr. Hershel was one of those old classic grizzled cowboys, but he was really softhearted. He used to tear up whenever he had to slaughter cattle. He knew we used his house, and I'm sure he smelled the scent of cigarette smoke we left behind, but he never said anything to my parents about it. He even had the place fixed up a little before he started renting it to Morgan, and he charged her practically nothing.
When I pulled up to drop Morgan off, I eyed the little house's dark porch apprehensively.
"Are you gonna be okay?" I asked her. "You can stay with me and Shawn, if you want. Maybe until everything settles down?"
Morgan slapped my knee. "You're a sweetheart," she said. "But I just want to get into my own bed and sleep. I'll be fine."
"Ash. Of course."
She opened the door and stepped out.
"Well," I said. "Call the house number if you need anything. I lost my phone."
"Oh, no," Morgan said. "Really?" Then she laughed. "What a night. I'll be fine. Call me tomorrow."
She closed the car door. I kept my headlights shining on her porch until she was inside and had the lights turned on.
The house I rent with Shawn isn't far past my parents' ranch. I was there in a couple of minutes.
None of the lights were on. My house was as dark as Morgan's.
Shawn's pickup must have been inside the garage, because the driveway was empty. I hurried to the house.
The door was locked.
We almost never locked our front door. I knocked.
I waited. I knocked again, louder, and this time I called Shawn's name.
Nothing. My husband wasn't home.
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DEAD IN BED By Bailey Simms: The Complete First BookHorror
You've never, ever read a book like this. When a sexually-transmitted plague breaks out in Ashley Young's small town, leaving its victims with a bizarrely amplified libido, everything about her life changes. DEAD IN BED is partly a suspense thriller...