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After We Collided (After, #2) by Anna Todd Read Online (FREE)

I need a moment to think about what he just said. I’ve had so many thoughts jumbled in my head that I’ve forgotten to communicate any of them to him. “I have been so confused,” I say.

“I’m not a mind reader, Tessa. What are you confused about?”

A lump forms in my throat. “This. Us. I don’t know what to do. About us. About your betrayal.” We’ve just started this conversation, and I’m already on the verge of tears.

A little harshly, he says, “What do you want to do?”

“I don’t know.”

He calls me out. “Yes, you do.”

There are a lot of things that I need to hear him say before I can be sure of what I want to do. “What do you want me to do?”

“I want you to stay with me. I want you to forgive me and give me another chance. I know I’ve asked you too many times, but please, just give me one more chance. I can’t be without you. I’ve tried, and I know you have, too. There isn’t anyone else for either of us. If it’s not us, it’s nothing—and I know that you know that, too.” His eyes are glassy when he finishes, and I wipe my tears away.

“You hurt me, so terribly, Hardin.”

“I know, baby, I know I did. I would give anything to take that back,” he says, then looks down at the bed with a strange expression. “Actually I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t change anything. Well, I would have told you sooner, obviously,” he says. I snap my head up. He brings his up and stares right into me. “I wouldn’t take it back, because we wouldn’t have been together if I hadn’t done such a fucked-up thing. Our paths would have never really crossed, not in the way that has bonded us together so tightly. Even though it’s destroyed my life, without that stupid, evil bet, I wouldn’t have had a life at all. I’m sure that makes you hate me even more, but you wanted the truth. And that’s the truth.”

Looking into Hardin through his green eyes, I don’t know what to say.

Because when I think about it—really think about it—I know I wouldn’t change anything either.

 

chapter thirty-three

HARDIN

I’ve never been so honest with anyone before. But I want everything to be out on the table.

She starts crying and asks softly, “How will I know that you won’t hurt me again?”

I could tell she was trying to hold her tears in the whole time, but I’m glad she can’t anymore. I needed to see some emotion from her . . . she’s been so cold lately. So unlike her. I used to be able to tell what she was thinking by her eyes alone. Now a wall is up, blocking me from reading her the way only I can. I pray to God that the time we spent together today will work in my favor.

That and my honesty. “You won’t. Tessa, I can assure you that I will hurt you again. You will hurt me, too, but I can also assure you that I’ll never keep anything from you or betray you again. You may say some shit that you don’t mean, and God knows that I will, but we can work through our problems because that’s what people do. I just need this one last chance to show you that I can be the man you deserve. Please, Tessa. Please . . .” I beg.