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

“I know . . .” He turns away from me. “I didn’t mean to get that way. I was just so pissed off and . . . hurt . . . I was hurt. The only thing I could think to do besides kill someone was drink, so I went down to Conner’s and got the whiskey. I wasn’t going to drink that much, but the images of you kissing that guy just kept coming, so I kept going.”

I have half a mind to drive down to Conner’s and yell at that old woman for selling Hardin alcohol, but his twenty-first birthday is exactly a month from today and the damage of last night has already been done.

“You were afraid of me, I saw it in your eyes,” he says.

“No . . . I wasn’t afraid of you. I know you wouldn’t hurt me.”

“You flinched. I remember that. Most of everything is a blur, but I remember that clear as day.”

“I was just caught off guard,” I tell him. I knew he wasn’t going to hit me, but he was behaving so aggressively, and alcohol can make people do unspeakable things that they would never do sober.

He steps closer to me, almost closing the entire space between us. “I don’t want you to ever . . . be caught off guard again. I won’t drink like that ever again, I swear it.” He brings his hand to my face and traces over my temple with his index finger.

I don’t want to say anything in response, this whole conversation has been confusing and very back and forth. One second I feel that he’s forgiving me, but the next I’m unsure. He’s speaking in a much calmer tone than I expected, but his anger is just under the surface.

“I don’t want to be that guy, and I definitely do not want to be like my father. I shouldn’t have drunk that much, but you were wrong, too.”

“I—” I start to say, but he silences me and his eyes get glassy.

“However, I have done a list of shit . . . an entire book of shit to you, and you always forgive me. I’ve done far worse than you, so I owe it to you to do my best to let it go and forgive you. It isn’t fair to you for me to expect things from you that I can’t return. I really am sorry, Tess, for everything last night. I was a fucking idiot.”

“I was, too. I know how you feel about me with other guys, and I shouldn’t have used that against you in anger. I’ll try to think before I act next time, I’m sorry.”

“Next time?” A small smile plays on Hardin’s lips. He changes moods so quickly.

“So we are okay, then?” I ask.

“That’s not only up to me.”

I stare into his green eyes. “I want us to be.”

“Me, too, baby; me, too.”

Relief washes over me as I hear his words, and I lean into his chest once more. I know that a lot of things have purposely been left unsaid, but we have resolved enough for now. He places a kiss on the top of my head and my heart flutters. “Thank you.”