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

“Do you want to come back to my place? I don’t mean that in a pushy or creepy way. I just have a couch you could stay on until you . . . figure things out,” he offers.

“No. No, thank you. Can I use your phone, though? I need to call Landon.”

Zed nods at the phone resting on the console, and for a moment my mind wanders to thoughts of how things would be different if I hadn’t blown Zed off for Hardin after the bonfire. I would never have made all of these mistakes.

Landon answers on the second ring, and just like I knew he would, he tells me to come right over. Granted, I haven’t told him what’s up, but he’s just so kind. I give Zed Landon’s address, and he stays quiet for most of the drive across town.

“He’s so going to come after me for taking you anywhere but to him,” he finally says.

“I would apologize for being in the middle of this . . . but you guys did this to yourselves,” I say honestly. I do pity Zed slightly, because I believe he had much better intentions than Hardin did, but my wounds are too fresh to even think about that right now.

“I know.”

“If you need anything, call me,” he offers, and I nod before climbing out of the car.

I can see my breath coming out in front of my face in hot spurts through the cold air. I can’t feel the cold, though. I can’t feel anything.

Landon is my only friend, but he lives at Hardin’s father’s house. The irony of this is not lost on me.

“IT’S REALLY COMING DOWN out there,” Landon says as he rushes me inside. “Where’s your coat?” he scolds playfully, then flinches when I step into the light. “What happened? What did he do?”

My eyes scan the room, hoping that Ken and Karen aren’t downstairs. “That obvious, huh?” I wipe under my eyes.

Landon pulls me into his arms, and I wipe my eyes again. I no longer have the strength, physical or emotional, to sob. I’m beyond that, so far beyond it.

Landon gets me a glass of water and says, “Go up to your room.”

I manage to smile, but some perverse instinct leads me to Hardin’s door when I reach the top of the stairs. When I realize it, the pain that is so close to breaking back through stirs even more forcefully, so I quickly turn and go into the room across the hall. Memories of running across the hall to Hardin that night I heard him screaming in his sleep burn within me as I open the door. I sit awkwardly on the bed in “my room,” unsure what to do next.

Landon joins me a few minutes later. Sitting next to me, he’s close enough to show concern, yet far enough to be respectful, as is his way.

“Do you want to talk about it?” he asks kindly.