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

“Ready?” Hardin asks.

I nod and pull my hair back into a messy bun. I switch my phone off and leave it on the dresser, then follow Hardin out into the living room. The delicious scent of coffee fills the apartment, and we find Trish standing in front of the stove flipping pancakes.

She smiles and turns to us. “Merry Christmas!”

“It’s not Christmas,” Hardin says, and I shoot him a glare. He rolls his eyes, then smiles at his mother. I pour myself a cup of coffee and thank Trish for making breakfast. Hardin and I sit at the table while she tells us the story of how her grandmother taught her how to make this type of pancakes. Hardin listens intently and even smiles a little.

As we start to eat our breakfast of delicious raspberry pancakes, Trish asks, “Are we going to be opening gifts today? Since I assume you’ll be at your mum’s tomorrow?”

I don’t know how to answer her exactly, and I start to fumble for words. “I am . . . actually I am . . . I told—”

“She’s going to Dad’s house tomorrow. She promised Landon that she would, and she’s really the only friend he’s got, so she can’t cancel,” Hardin interjects.

I’m thankful for the assist, but calling me Landon’s only friend is kind of mean . . . Well, maybe I am. But he’s my only friend as well.

“Oh . . . that’s fine. Honey, you don’t need to be afraid to tell me things like that. I have no problem with you spending time with Ken,” Trish says, and I can’t tell which one of us she’s speaking to.

Hardin shakes his head. “I’m not going. I told Tessa to tell them we said no.”

Trish stops midbite. “ ‘We’? They invited me?” Her voice is full of surprise.

“Yeah . . . They wanted both of you to come,” I explain.

“Why?” she asks.

“I . . . don’t know . . .” I say. Honestly, I don’t. Karen is so kind, and I know she really wants to mend what is broken between her husband and his son, so that’s the only explanation I have.

“I already said no. Don’t worry about it, Mum.”

Trish finishes her forkful and chews thoughtfully. “No, maybe we should go,” she says at last, surprising both me and Hardin.

“Why would you want to go there?” Hardin asks and scowls.

“I don’t know . . . the last time I saw your father was almost ten years ago. I think I owe it to myself and to him to see how he’s turned his life around. Also, I know you don’t want to be away from Tessa for Christmas.”

“I could stay here,” I say. I don’t want to cancel on them, but I don’t want Trish to feel like she has to go.

“No, really. It’s fine. We should go—all of us.”

“You’re sure?” The worry in Hardin’s voice is evident.

“Yeah . . . it won’t be so bad.” She smiles. “Besides, if Kathy taught Tessa how to make those cookies, imagine how good the food will be.”