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

“Christ.” He swallows.

“You like it?” I chew my bottom lip. I feel pretty confident in the dress, especially after Hardin’s cheeks turn pink and he shifts his weight from one foot to the other.

“Very much.”

This is such a normal couple thing to be doing, trying on clothes for him at Macy’s, it feels strange yet very comforting. I was terrified a few days ago when he found out about my dinner with Trevor in Seattle.

“I’m going to get this one, then,” I say.

After finding a pair of thick and rather intimidating black pumps, we head to check-out. Hardin pesters me to let him pay, but I refuse, this time winning the battle.

“You’re right, you really should be buying me something . . . you know, to make up for the lack of Christmas gifts I received,” he teases as we exit the mall.

I swat at his arm, but he grabs my wrist before I can connect. His lips press a light kiss against my palm before he encases my hand in his and leads me to the car. Holding hands in public is never our thing . . . As soon as the thought crosses my mind, he seems to realize what we’re doing and drops my hand. One step at a time, I suppose.

BACK AT THE APARTMENT, after I’ve declared for the eighth time that we should hang out with his friends, my nerves begin to get the best of me as I imagine the possibilities of how the night could turn out. But we can’t hide from the world forever. How Hardin behaves around his old friends will really show me how he truly feels about me, about us.

When I shower, I shave my legs three times, staying under the hot water until it is no longer warm. When I get out, I ask Hardin, “What did Nate say about tonight?” I’m unsure what I want the answer to be.

“He texted to meet them at the house . . . my old house. At nine. They’re having a big thing, apparently.”

I glance at the clock: already seven. “Okay, I’ll be ready.”

I do my makeup and blow-dry my hair quickly. My hair is in tight curls, and I pin my bangs back as usual. I look . . . nice . . .

Boring. Boring. The same as I always do. I need to look better than ever before for my comeback. This is my way of showing them that they didn’t get the best of me. If Molly is there, she’ll certainly be dressed to get attention, including Hardin’s. And as much as I hate her, she is gorgeous. Molly’s pink hair burning in the back of my mind, I grab my black eyeliner and draw a thick line across my top eyelid; for once the line is straight, blessedly. I do the same on the bottom and add more pink to my cheeks before pulling the bobby pin from my hair and tossing it in the trash.

Quickly, I retrieve the pin from the top of the trash. Okay, so maybe I’m not quite ready to throw it away yet, but I’ll skip it tonight. I flip my head down and rake my fingers through my tight curls. The reflection in the mirror shocks me. She looks like she belongs in a nightclub, she looks wild and . . . sexy, even. The last time that I wore this much makeup was when Steph gave me a “makeover” and Hardin taunted me. This time, I look even better.