PART 3, SECTION 20

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I slipped out of my old bedroom, tiptoed down the stairs, and ran to the shop.

All the way there I thought about how at one point when I'd thought that Morgan was getting better, she'd only ended up getting worse. What if this time too she'd slipped back into that awful, feverish state of labored breathing? What if this time she really had died?

I ran up the rickety stairs that lead to the hayloft. I was moving so fast that one of the steps cracked. My foot broke through, and I stumbled.

But I caught myself on the next step, which held, and I peered into the loft.

Morgan was awake, sitting up, talking with Bryce. She was smiling.

I rushed to her and hugged her.

"I see you've been getting yourself into trouble while I wasn't around to watch out for you," Morgan said. She smiled at me then raised her eyebrows in Bryce's direction. "Don't even try to tell me you two behaved yourselves while I was out cold."

"Shut up!" I laughed.

I hugged Morgan again. Less than a day earlier, I'd thought that Morgan was dead. Now she was glowing. I tried not to start crying, but I did.

"I'll give you two a moment," Bryce said. He climbed the stairs and left us alone, sitting in the loose hay.

"How do you feel?" I asked. "Honestly, you look great."

Even the swelling around Morgan's eyebrow had almost completely gone away.

"I feel great," she whispered, confused. "I shouldn't feel great, I know. Not after everything that happened. But I do. I don't understand it."

"You remember what happened? Everything?"

Morgan nodded. "I think so," she whispered. "I remember everything up to Ian shooting Robert. Shooting Mr. Hershel, I mean. I remember that."

"What happened after I dropped you at your house? Did he break in?"

Morgan looked away. "Not exactly."

"What happened then?"

She took a deep breath. "Okay. So," she said. "You remember how I told you I was sleeping with someone else besides Jason?"

I nodded.

"It was him. I was sleeping with Robert Hershel. I had been for a couple weeks."

I couldn't believe it. It was true that Mr. Hershel had always been one of those classically handsome cowboy types, or at least he was before his death, but he was at least in his sixties. He had a wife and grown kids. I couldn't think of him as anything other than a sweet old man—before he cracked up and went totally insane, that is.

"You were having an affair with Mr. Hershel?" 



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Please VOTE 🌟 before continuing! Thanks! ;)  xxBailey

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