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

“What you said . . . just now . . . you meant it?” she asks through her tears.

“You know I did,” I tell her.

The corners of her lips turn up, and she reaches across the small space between us to put her hand on my chest. “I need to know what you did.”

“I know . . . just promise me that you’ll try to understand . . .”

“Tell me, Hardin.”

“And that you understand that I’m not proud of any of this.”

She nods, and I take a deep breath as she leads us to the couch.

I really don’t know where the fuck to start.

 

chapter forty-one

TESSA

Hardin’s face pales. He rubs his hands over his knees. He runs his fingers through his hair. He looks up at the ceiling and then back down. He, somewhere deep inside, probably wishes these things would stall this conversation forever.

But finally, he begins. “I had a group of shitty friends back home. They were like Jace, I guess . . . We would do this thing . . . this game, I guess. We would pick a girl—pick a girl for one another, and see who could fuck their girl first.”

My stomach drops.

“Whoever won would get the hottest chick the next week, and there was money involved . . .”

“How many weeks?” I ask, regretfully. I don’t want to know, yet I have to know.

“Only five weeks went by before this girl—”

“Natalie.” I say, connecting the dots.

Hardin looks over at the windows. “Yeah . . . Natalie was the last one.”

“And what did you do to her?” I am terrified of his answer.

“The third week . . . James thought Martin was lying, so he came up with the idea of proof . . .”

Proof. That word will always haunt me. The bloodstained sheets pop into my mind, and my chest starts to hurt.

“Not the same type of proof . . .” He knows what I was thinking. “Pictures . . .”

My jaw drops. “Pictures?”

“And a video . . .” he admits and covers his face with his large hands.

Video? “You recorded sex with someone? Did she know?” I ask. But I know the answer even before he shakes his head. “How could you? How could you do that to someone?” I begin to cry.

The realization that I don’t know Hardin at all hits me, and I have to swallow the bile rising in my throat. I scoot away from him instinctively, and I see pain flair up in his eyes.

“I don’t know . . . I just didn’t care. It was fun to me . . . Well, not exactly fun, but I didn’t care.” His honesty slices through me, and for once I long for the days when he kept everything from me.

“So what happened with Natalie?” My voice is coarse as I wipe the tears from my eyes.

“When James saw the video of her . . . He wanted to fuck her himself. And when she turned him down, he showed everyone the video.”

“Oh my God. That poor girl.” I feel so terrible for what they did to her, what Hardin did to her.