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

“What?” I ask.

He looks away quickly.

“Hardin!” Tessa groans.

“What? All I did was wonder why he was staring at me.” I shrug and turn the channel from the garbage I’d accidentally stopped on. The last thing I want to watch is the Kardashians.

“Be nice.” She glares at me.

“I am,” I say and shrug my shoulders like what’s the big deal?

Tessa rolls her eyes. “Well, I’m going to make dinner. Smith, do you want to come with me or sit with Hardin?”

I feel his gaze on me, but I choose not to look. He needs to go with her. She’s the babysitter here, not me. “Go with her,” I tell him.

“You can stay in here, Smith, Hardin won’t bother you,” she assures him.

He stays silent. Surprise. Tessa disappears into the kitchen, and I turn the television up louder to avoid any possible conversation with the rug rat, not that that is likely to happen anyway. I’m half tempted to go in the kitchen with her and make him sit alone in the living room.

Minutes pass and I begin to grow uncomfortable with him just sitting here. Why the hell isn’t he talking or playing, or whatever the hell it is that five-year-olds do?

“So what’s the deal? Why don’t you talk?” I finally ask.

He shrugs.

“It’s rude to ignore people when they’re talking to you,” I inform him.

“It’s more rude to ask me why I don’t talk,” he fires back.

He has a slight British accent, not strong like his father’s, but not completely watered down either. “Well, at least now I know you’re able to speak,” I say, kind of thrown off guard by his cheeky response and not really sure what to say to him.

“Why do you want me to talk so bad?” he asks, seeming much older than five.

“I . . . I don’t know. Why don’t you like to?”

“I dunno.” He shrugs.

“Is everything okay in there?” Tessa calls from the kitchen. For a second, I consider telling her no, that the kid is dead or injured, but the humor is lost with the thought.

“Everything is fine!” I yell back. I hope she’s finished soon, because I’m finished with this conversation.

“Why do you have those things in your face?” Smith asks, pointing to my lip ring.

“Because I want to. Maybe the better question is, why don’t you have any?” I say to turn the tables on him, trying not to remember that he’s a kid after all.

“Did they hurt?” he asks, ducking my question.

“No, not at all.”

“They look like it.” He half smiles.

He isn’t so bad, I guess, but I still don’t like the idea of babysitting him.

“Almost finished in here,” Tessa calls out.

“Okay, I’m just teaching him how to make a homemade bomb out of a soda bottle,” I tease, which causes her to poke her head around the corner to check on us.

“She’s mental,” I tell him, and he laughs, dimples showing.