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

“Karen, Mum—her name’s Karen.”

“Hey, she’s my ex-husband’s new wife, who I’m spending Christmas with. I can call her whatever I want.” She laughs and I join her.

“I’ll tell Landon we’re all coming,” I say and go to grab my phone. I’d never have imagined that my Christmas would be spent with Hardin and his family—both sides of his family. The last few months have been anything but what I expected.

When I turn on my phone I have three voicemails, from my mother, I’m sure. I ignore them and dial Landon.

“Hey, Tessa, Merry Christmas Eve!” he greets me, cheery as ever. I can picture his warm smile.

“Merry Christmas Eve, Landon.”

“Thanks! First things first—you’re not calling to bail, are you?”

“No, of course not. Quite the opposite, actually. I was calling to make sure it was still okay if Hardin and Trish came over tomorrow?”

“Really? They want to?”

“Yeah . . .”

“Does this mean you and Hardin . . .”

“Yeah . . . I know I’m an idiot . . .”

“I didn’t say that,” he says.

“I know, but you’re thinking it—”

“No. I am not. We can talk about it tomorrow, but you aren’t an idiot, Tessa.”

“Thank you,” I tell him and mean it. He’s the only person who won’t have a negative opinion on this subject.

“I’ll tell my mom they’re coming. She’ll be thrilled,” he says before we hang up.

When I join Hardin and Trish back in the living room, they already have their presents on their laps, and there are two boxes on the couch that I assume are for me.

“Me first!” Trish says and tears the snowflake-printed paper off of a box. Her smile is huge as she takes out the tracksuit I got her. “I love these! How did you know?” She points to the gray one she’s wearing.

“I’m not very good at buying gifts,” I tell her.

She giggles. “Don’t be silly, it’s lovely,” she assures me while opening the second box. After she has a moment to see what’s inside, she squeezes Hardin tight and then holds up a necklace that says Mom, just like he told me. She seems to like the thick scarf he bought her as well.

I really wish I’d gotten Hardin something. I knew all along that I would go back to him, and I think he knew it, too. He hasn’t mentioned that he got me one, and both of the boxes on my lap say they’re from Trish, so that’s a huge relief.

Hardin is next, and he gives his mother his best fake smile when he opens the clothes she bought him. One piece is a red long-sleeved shirt; I try to picture Hardin wearing anything other than black and white, but I can’t.

“Your turn,” he says to me.

I smile nervously and pull the sparkly bow off of the first gift. Clearly, Trish is better at choosing women’s clothing than men’s; the pastel-yellow dress in the box proves it. It’s a light baby-doll style, and I love it.