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

Excess saliva pools in the corners of Ken’s mouth, and he begins blinking rapidly. “What was I supposed to do, Hardin? Stay around? I was a drunk, a worthless drunk—and the two of you deserved better than what I could give you. After that night . . . I knew I had to go.”

Hardin’s body goes rigid, and his breathing comes in ragged breaths. “Don’t you speak of that night! That happened because of you!”

When Hardin pulls his hand out of mine, Trish looks angry, Landon looks terrified, Karen . . . well, she continues crying, and I realize that I’m the one that’s going to have to stop this.

“I know it did! You don’t know how much I wish I could take that back, son—that night has haunted me for the last ten years!” Ken says hoarsely, clearly trying not to cry.

“It haunts you? I fucking watched it happen, you prick! I was there to clean up the fucking blood off the floor while you were still out getting shit-faced!” Hardin balls his fists.

Karen whimpers and covers her mouth before leaving the room. I don’t blame her. I hadn’t realized that I was crying until the warm tears hit my chest. I had a feeling something would happen today, but nothing like this.

Ken puts his hands in the air. “I know, Hardin! I know! There’s nothing I can do to erase that! I’m sober now! I haven’t had a drink in years! You can’t hold that against me forever!”

Trish screams as Hardin lunges at his father. Landon rushes over to try to help, but it’s too late. Hardin pushes Ken back against the china cabinet, the replacement for the one Hardin had broken months ago. Ken grabs Hardin’s shirt and is trying to hold him back when Hardin’s fist connects with his jaw.

I stand frozen, as always, as Hardin attacks his own father.

Ken manages to turn himself and Hardin around before Hardin can hit him again. Instead, Hardin punches through the glass cabinet door. Seeing the blood, I break out of my stupor and grab Hardin’s shirt. His arm jerks back, knocking me into a table. A glass of red wine topples over, covering my white cardigan.

“Look what you did!” Landon yells at Hardin and rushes over to my side.

Trish is standing by the door, giving her son a murderous glare, and Ken looks at his broken cabinet, then me, as Hardin stops his attack against his father and turns to face me.

“Tessa, Tessa—are you okay?” he asks.

I nod mutely from the floor, watching a trail of blood running off his knuckles and down his arm. I didn’t get hurt; my sweater being ruined is too trivial to mention in the middle of this chaos.

“Move,” Hardin snaps at Landon and takes his place next to me. “Are you okay? I thought you were Landon,” he says and helps me up with his one bruised but unbloodied hand.

“I’m fine,” I repeat and move away from his touch once I’m upright.