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

When I return, he’s sitting in the same spot on the couch. “Have you called your father yet?” I ask from the kitchen.

“No . . . I was waiting for you,” he replies, then wanders into the kitchen and sits down at the table with a sigh. “I’ll call now.”

I nod and sit across from him while he presses his phone to his ear.

“Uh . . . hey.” Hardin says into the receiver. Then he sets the phone to speaker and places it on the table between us.

“Hardin?” Ken’s voice is surprised.

“Yeah . . . um, look, I was wondering if you wanted to come over or something.”

“Come over?”

Hardin looks up at me, and I can tell that his patience is already wearing thin. My hand moves across the table to rest atop his, and I nod in encouragement.

“Yeah . . . you, Karen, and Landon. We can exchange gifts, since we didn’t yesterday. Mum’s gone,” he says.

“You’re sure that’s okay?” Ken asks his son.

“I just asked, didn’t I?” Hardin says, and I squeeze his hand. “I mean . . . yeah, that’s fine,” he corrects, and I smile at him.

“Okay, well, let me talk to Karen, but I know she’ll be thrilled. What time will be good for you?” Hardin looks at me. I mouth two, and he tells his father.

“Okay . . . well, we’ll see you at two.”

“Tessa will text Landon the address,” Hardin says and hangs up the phone.

“That wasn’t so bad, right?” I ask.

He rolls his eyes. “Sure.”

“What should I wear?”

He gestures to my jeans and WCU T-shirt. “That.”

“Definitely not. This is our Christmas.”

“No, it’s the day after Christmas, so you should wear jeans.” He smiles, and his fingers tug at his lip ring.

“I’m not wearing jeans.” I laugh and head to the bedroom to decide what to wear.

I’M HOLDING MY WHITE DRESS to my chest in front of the mirror when Hardin walks into the bedroom. “I don’t know if wearing white is the best idea.” He smiles.

“For God’s sake, stop it!” I say.

“You’re cute when you’re embarrassed.”

I grab my maroon dress from the closet. This dress holds a lot of memories for me; I wore it to my first frat party with Steph. I miss Steph despite all the anger I feel . . . felt toward her. I feel betrayed by her, but at the same time in a lot of ways she was right when she said it wasn’t fair for me to forgive Hardin but not her.

“What’s going on in that mind of yours?” Hardin questions.

“Nothing . . . I was just thinking of Steph.”

“What about her?”

“I don’t know . . . I miss her, sort of. Do you miss your friends?” I ask. He hasn’t mentioned any of them since the letter.

“No.” He shrugs. “I would rather spend my time with you.”

I’m enjoying this honest Hardin, but I note, “You could still spend time with them, too.”

“I guess. I don’t know; I don’t really care either way. Do you even want to be around them . . . you know, after everything?” His eyes focus on the floor.