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

Has he done this before? To who? Did he love her? Did she love him? He said he had never been with a virgin before, he said he had never loved anyone before. Was he lying? The angry mask he wears makes it hard for me to decipher.

“You don’t get to have a say in anything that concerns her any longer,” my mother strikes back.

But, surprising everyone in the room, even myself, I slowly pull my arm from my mother’s grip . . . and step behind Hardin. Hardin’s mouth falls open, like he’s unsure what I’m doing. Trish and my mother wear identical horrified expressions

“Theresa! Don’t be stupid. Get over here!” my mother instructs.

In response, I wrap my fingers around Hardin’s forearm and stay hidden behind him. I don’t really understand why, but I do. I should be leaving with my mother, or forcing Hardin to tell me what the hell Trish is talking about. But, really, I just want my mother to go away. I need a few minutes, hours—some time—to comprehend what’s going on. I just forgave Hardin. I just decided to forget everything and move on with him. Why must there always be some secret locked away that comes to a head at the worst possible time?

“Theresa.” My mother takes another step toward me, and Hardin brings his arm back to wrap around me. To protect me from her.

“Stay away from her,” he warns.

Trish steps forward. “Hardin. That is her daughter. You have no right coming between them.”

“I have no right? She has no right coming into our apartment, into our fucking bedroom, uninvited!” he shouts. My grip on his arm tightens.

“That’s not her bedroom, nor is this her apartment,” my mother says.

“Yes. It is! See who she’s standing behind? She’s using me as a shield to block her from you.” Hardin points a thick finger at her.

“She’s just being foolish and doesn’t understand what’s best for her—”

But I interrupt her, finally finding part of my voice. “Stop speaking as if I’m not here! I’m right here, and I’m an adult, Mother. If I want to stay, I will,” I announce.

With pitying eyes, Trish tries to appeal to me. “Tessa, honey. I think you should listen to your mother.”

The sting of her dismissal burns my chest like a betrayal, but I don’t know what she knows about her son.

“Thank you!” My mother sighs. “At least someone in this family is reasonable.”

Trish shoots her a warning glare. “Missy, I don’t agree with how you treat your daughter, so don’t think that we’re on the same team here, because we’re not.”

My mother shrugs a little. “Regardless, we both agree that you need to go, Tessa. You need to leave this apartment and not come back. We can transfer you to another school if need be.”

“She can make up her own—” Hardin starts.

“He has poisoned your mind, Theresa—look at the things he’s done to you. Do you know him at all?” my mother asks.