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

“Well, your son is ruining and corrupting my daughter,” my mother fires back.

“Both of you—get out,” Hardin says and stands up from the bed.

My mother shakes her head and gives a toothy smile. “Theresa, grab your things, now.”

Being ordered about makes me snap, “What part of I am not leaving do you not understand? I gave you the opportunity to spend the holidays with me, but you couldn’t get over yourself long enough to allow it.” I know I shouldn’t be speaking to her this way, but I can’t help it.

“Get over myself? You think just because you bought a few slutty dresses and learned to put on makeup, you suddenly know more than I do about life?” Although she’s yelling, it’s like she’s laughing, too. Like my choices are a joke. “Well, you’re wrong. Just because you gave yourself to this . . . this filth doesn’t mean you’re a woman! You are nothing but a little girl. A naive, impressionable little girl. Now grab your things before I do it for you.”

“You will not touch her things,” Hardin spits. “She isn’t going anywhere with you. She’s staying here with me, where she belongs.”

My mother wheels toward him, all humor gone. “ ‘Where she belongs’? Where did she belong when she was staying in a damned motel because of what you did to her? You are no good for her—and she will not stay here with you.”

“Mrs. White, these two are adults,” Trish interjects. “Tessa is an adult. If she wants to stay, there is nothing—”

My mother’s enraged eyes turn to meet Trish’s equally hardened glare. This is a disaster. I open my mouth to speak, but my mother beats me to it.

“How can you defend this sinful behavior? After what he did to her, he should be locked away!” she screams.

“She has obviously chosen to forgive him. You need to accept that,” Trish says coolly. Too coolly. She looks like a snake, one that slithers by so slowly you never see its attack coming. But when it does, you are done for. My mother is the prey, and right now I can’t help but hope that Trish’s bite is venomous.

“Forgive him? He stole her innocence as a game—a bet with his friends. And then bragged about it while she was here playing house!”

Trish’s gasp overrides all sound in the air and silences everything for a second. Mouth agape, she looks at her son. “What . . .”

“Oh, you didn’t know? You mean—surprise—the liar lied even to his own mother? Poor woman, no wonder you’re defending him,” my mother says, shaking her head. “Your son bet his friends—for money—that he could take Tessa’s virginity. He even kept the evidence and flaunted it around the entire campus.”

I’m frozen. I keep my eyes on our mothers, too afraid to look at Hardin. I can tell by the shift in his breathing that he hadn’t thought I’d told my mother the details of his deceit. As for his mother, I didn’t want her to know the terrible things her son has done. It was my embarrassment to share or not share with people.