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

She turns away from me and starts to walk up the snowy driveway toward the house. Dammit. I’m shit at apologies.

“I know it’s not your fault. I lied to you and I’m sorry!” I shout, hoping she’ll turn around.

She does. “This isn’t only about you lying, Hardin. There is so much more than that,” Tessa says.

“Then tell me, please.”

“It’s about you not treating me the way I should be treated. I never come first with you—it’s always about you. Your friends, your parties, your future. I don’t get to make any decisions about anything, and you made me feel like a fool when you said I was being crazy about marriage. You weren’t listening to me—it isn’t about marriage, it’s about the fact that you haven’t even thought of what I want for myself and my future. And yes, I would like to be married someday, not anytime soon, but I need security. So stop acting like I’m into this relationship more than you. Let’s not forget that you were drunk and stayed out all night with another woman.” She’s out of breath by the time she finishes speaking, and I take a few steps toward her.

She’s right, and I know she is. I just don’t know what to do about it.

“I know, I thought if it were just the two of us there, you would . . .” I stutter.

“I would what, Hardin?” Her teeth are chattering, and her nose is red from the cold.

I pick at the dried scabs on my knuckles. I don’t know how to say what I feel without sounding like the world’s most selfish asshole. “You would be less likely to leave me,” I admit . . . and wait for her horrified response.

It doesn’t come.

Instead she begins to cry. “I don’t know what else I could have done to show you how much I loved you, Hardin. I kept coming back every time you hurt me, I moved in with you and I forgave you for every unthinkable thing you did to me, I gave up my relationship with my mother for you, and you’re still so insecure.” She quickly wipes her tears away.

“I’m not insecure,” I tell her.

“See?” she cries. “That’s why this would never work. You always let your ego get in the way.”

“I don’t let my ego get in the way of shit!” I snap. “If anything, my ego is pretty fucked right now because I just found you in Zed’s bed.”

“You’re really going to go there right now?”

“Hell, yes I am, you’re acting like a . . .” I stop myself as she flinches from the words that she knows will follow. I know it’s not her fault that he got under her skin—he’s good at that—but it still fucking hurts me that she stayed with him.

She throws her arms out in challenge. “Go ahead, Hardin, call me names.”

She’s the most infuriating woman in the entire world, but fuck if I don’t love her even at her most difficult. When I stay silent and try to tamp down my anger, she clicks her tongue. “Well, that’s some improvement, but I’m going inside. I’m cold and have to be up in an hour to get ready for school.”