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

A few tears fall from my eyes and he reaches across to wipe them. I don’t move away fast enough and his touch burns my skin. It takes everything in me to not lean into his palm.

“I hate to see you this way,” he mutters. I close my eyes and reopen them, desperate for the tears to stop. I stay quiet as he continues: “I swear, I started telling Nate and Logan about the stream, but I found myself getting irritated, jealous even, over the idea of them knowing what I did with you . . . how I made you feel, so I told them that you gave me . . . well, I just made shit up.”

I know that him lying about what we did is no better than telling them the truth, not really. But for some reason I feel some relief that Hardin and I are the only people who really know what happened between us, the real details of our moments together.

Which isn’t good enough. And then again, he’s probably lying right now—I can never tell—and here I am already quick to believe him. What the hell is wrong with me?

“Even if I believed you, I can’t forgive you,” I say. I blink away my tears and he puts his head in his hands.

“You don’t love me?” he asks, looking at me between his fingers.

“Yes. I do,” I admit. The truth of my confession weighs heavily between us. He lowers his hands, staring at me in a way that makes me regret my admission. It’s true, though. I love him. I love him too much.

“Then why can’t you forgive me?”

“Because this is unforgivable, you didn’t just lie. You took my virginity to win a bet—and then showed people my blood on the sheets. How could anyone forgive that?”

He drops his hands and his bright green eyes look desperate . “I took your virginity because I love you!” he says, which only makes me shake my head vigorously, so he continues. “I don’t know who I am without you anymore.”

I look away. “This wasn’t going to work anyway, we both know that,” I tell him to make myself feel better. It’s hard to sit across from him and watch him in pain, but at the same time my sense of justice means that seeing him in pain eases mine . . . somewhat.

“Why wouldn’t it work? We were doing great—”

“Everything we had was based on a lie, Hardin.” And because his pain has given me a sudden feeling of confidence, I say, “Besides, look at you and look at me.” I don’t mean it, but the look on his face when I use his biggest insecurity about our relationship against him—though it kills something inside me—also reminds me that he deserves it. He’s always been worried about how we look together, that I’m too good for him. And now I’ve thrown it in his face.

“Is this about Noah? You saw him, didn’t you?” Hardin asks and my mouth falls open at his audacity. His eyes shine with tears and I have to remind myself that he did this. He ruined everything.