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

I lose my breath again, but remember how good he is at twisting things around. I turn away. “Sure you do.”

Despite the whirlwind of my emotions, I won’t allow myself to come undone any further in front of him.

“I do, Tessa. I know I fucked up big-time—but I love you. I need you.”

“Just stop, Hardin. Save yourself the time and energy. You aren’t fooling me, not anymore. You got what you wanted, so why not just stop?”

“Because I can’t.” He reaches for my hand, but I jerk away. “I love you. I need you to give me a chance to make this up to you. I need you, Tessa. I need you. You need me, too—”

“No, I don’t actually. I was fine before you came into my life.”

“Fine isn’t happy,” he says.

“Happy?” I scoff. “And what, am I happy now?” How dare he try to claim he makes me happy.

But he did make me happy. So happy, once.

“You can’t sit here and tell me that you don’t believe that I love you.”

“I know you don’t, it was all a game to you. While I was falling in love with you, you were using me.”

His eyes well up with tears. “Let me prove to you that I love you, please. I’ll do anything, Tessa. Anything.”

“You’ve already proved enough to me, Hardin. The only reason I’m even sitting here right now is because I owe it to myself to listen to what you have to say so I can move on with my life.”

“I don’t want you to move on,” he says.

I let out a harsh breath. “This isn’t about what you want! This is about how you hurt me.”

His voice sounds small, and cracks. “You said you’d never leave me.”

I don’t trust myself when he’s like this. I hate the way his pain rules me, making me irrational. “I said I wouldn’t leave you if you didn’t give me a reason to. But you did.”

Now it makes perfect sense to me why he was always worried about me leaving. I thought it was his own paranoia about being good for me, but I was wrong. So wrong. He knew once I found out I would run. I should be running right now. I made excuses for him because of the things he went through as a child, but now I’m beginning to wonder if he was lying about that, too. About all of it.

“I can’t do this anymore. I trusted you. Hardin, I trusted you with every fiber of my being—I depended on you, I loved you, and you were using me all along. Do you have any idea how that makes me feel? That everyone around me was mocking me and laughing behind my back, including you, the person I trusted the most.”

“I know, Tessa, I know. I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am. I don’t know what the fuck was wrong with me when I brought up the bet in the first place. I thought it would be easy . . .” His hands shake as he pleads with me. “I thought you would sleep with me and that would be the end of it. But you were so headstrong and so . . . intriguing that I found myself thinking of you constantly. I would sit in my room and try to plot ways that I could see you, even if it was just to fight with you. I knew it wasn’t just a bet anymore after that day at the stream, but I couldn’t bring myself to admit it. I was battling with myself, and I was worried about my reputation—I know that’s fucked up, but I’m trying to be honest. And when I told everyone about the things we did, I didn’t tell them what we were actually doing . . . I couldn’t do that to you, even in the beginning. I would just make up shit that didn’t actually happen, and they bought it.”