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Bad Memory by Lisa Gray Read Online (FREE)

Bad Memory  Read Online

Read Bad Memory (Jessica Shaw, #2) by Lisa Gray full novel online for free here

PROLOGUE

The dream is always the same.

High summer, and the night is heavy with heat so thick you could stick a knife in it. She’s grateful for the cool air that blasts from the car vents, drying the sweat on her tanned skin. A key chain shaped like a four-leaf clover hangs from the rearview mirror and bobs and sways in the artificial breeze whipped up by the AC. Her dress is hitched up around her thighs, her bare feet on the dash, toenails painted bubblegum pink to match her fingernails.

Her feet tap in time to the song on the radio. Some British band. A power ballad. Number one a couple months back and still getting plenty of airplay. Something about dying in your arms tonight. She likes it. She throws her head back and sings along.

They both laugh at her tuneless singing, and she takes another hit from the joint and blows out smoke rings. The sweet smell of weed fills the car. She drains what’s left of her beer and tosses the empty bottle onto the passenger seat floorboard, and it lands with a thunk next to her sandals. She wipes the back of her hand across wet lips and joins in with the chorus again.

She’s drunk and high and happy and excited about what the rest of the evening holds. Fourth of July. Independence Day. Party time. Somewhere in the distance, she hears a whistle and a crash and a bang.

Fireworks.

The car makes a sharp turn and bounces and lurches beneath her, and she feels the road change as smooth blacktop is replaced by dirt. She rocks from side to side in the seat as the wheels clamber over the rough terrain. It’s darker now. The lit end of the joint glows faintly in the gloom. The lights from the highway get smaller and smaller behind them before being swallowed completely by the night. The car’s headlights switch to high beam suddenly, and she blinks. Her eyes adjust after a second or two, but she sees nothing on either side of the dirt road other than the shadowy outline of Joshua trees, their thick branches reaching out to the charcoal sky like the arms of grotesque monsters.

The song is still playing.

The mood changes.

The dream becomes a nightmare.

She hears them before she sees them.

Moaning and whimpering. Panting and groaning. She doesn’t want to see what they’re doing. Doesn’t want to face the reality. But she knows she has to.

She reaches out a trembling hand and opens the door.

The smell hits her first.

Sweat and beer and . . . something else.

Then she sees them.

He’s on top of her. His shirt is stretched tight across his back. Black-and-white plaid. Moist circles spreading under the armpits. Blue jeans are bunched around his knees. The milky skin on his ass is shockingly exposed. A pale, slender hand snakes out from beneath him and grips the sweat-matted hair on the back of his head.