PART 4, SECTION 21

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We all stepped outside the silo.

There was nothing else I could do.

It was getting late. The sun was setting over the mountains. I felt completely hopeless. For a moment, I didn't see the point of going on living. What were we all going to do?

Ian quietly closed the door and locked the padlock.

"That's the thing about this disease," he said. "It takes any outpouring of emotion, even sorrow, and turns it into physical attraction. Not just love and affection, like normal, but anger, gratitude, humor—everything. It all comes out as lust."

Bryce and Chris walked on ahead. I wasn't sure, but I think Chris may have been hooking Bryce up with some weed in the middle of all this.

"We better get going," Ian said. "I registered your official residence at your parents' house, so you'll be able to stay there. It falls in the residential patrol zone that Jason's squad has, though. I couldn't do anything about that. They usually arrive at the house around noon. Your mom's even been making them lunch. But, really, they could come at any time. If you're not there, they'll put your warrant back out, and I won't be able to stop them. Morgan, obviously, has to stay here."

I nodded. "We better get going then," I said. "But first tell me something."

Ian folded his arms against the evening chill, waiting for me to speak. Way off in the distance, the Rockies were growing darker. The first stars were appearing in the sky.

"I've just had this feeling," I said. "I'm sorry to ask. I shouldn't. I know. But did anything ever . . .  happen between you and Morgan? I mean, before that night you saved her from Mr. Hershel? Ever?"

Ian sighed. For a moment he looked away.

"That night at the bar," he began, "after you and Bryce left, we went off looking for you together. I'll be honest and tell you that Morgan came on to me. She kissed me then too, but that was it. She was pretty drunk. I stopped it. Nothing else happened." He shrugged. "I swear, that was it."

I nodded, relieved. I knew he was telling the truth. And I felt awful for Morgan. It was true she slept around, but I knew under normal circumstances she wouldn't ever have come on to my brother-in-law.

I thought about my best friend alone in that silo, and how she was selflessly insisting to be locked in, just to protect other people. I would have done anything to help her.

Then, suddenly, I thought of a way that maybe I could do something. . . 



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