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

“You’re saying that she doesn’t love me anymore?” I harshly remark.

Landon rolls his eyes. “No. Jeez, would you stop with the pessimism all the time?”

“I’m not a pessimist,” I bark, defending myself. If anything, this is the most optimistic I’ve been in a long time.

“Okay . . .”

“You’re an asshole,” I tell my stepbrother.

“An asshole that you keep asking for relationship advice from,” he brags with an annoying smile.

“Only because you’re the only friend I have that has an actual relationship, and you happen to know Tessa better than anyone—except me, of course.”

His smile grows. “You just called me your friend.”

“What? No, I didn’t.”

“Yes; yes, you did,” he says, clearly pleased.

“I didn’t mean friend-friend, I meant . . . I don’t know what the hell I meant, but it sure wasn’t ‘friend.’ ”

“Sure.” He chuckles, and I hear the water turn off behind the door.

He’s not so bad, I guess, but I’ll never tell him that.

“Should I ask to drive her to campus today?” I follow him down the stairs.

He shakes his head at me. “What part of nonsuffocating do you not get?”

“I liked you better when you kept your mouth shut.”

“I liked you better when you . . . well, I never liked you,” he says, but I can tell he’s teasing.

I never thought he liked me, actually. I thought he hated me for the terrible things I’ve done to Tessa. But here he is, my only ally in this mess I made for myself.

I reach out my arm and push him lightly, which makes him laugh, and I almost join him until I spot my father at the bottom of the stairs watching us like we’re an act in a circus.

“What are you doing here?” he asks and takes a drink from his coffee mug.

I shrug. “I brought her home . . . well, here.”

Is this her home now? I hope not.

“Oh?” my father says and looks to Landon.

Probably too pointedly, I say, “It’s fine, Dad. I can bring her wherever I want to. You can stop trying to play protector and remember which one of us is your actual child.”

Landon gives me a look as we walk downstairs, and the three of us walk into the kitchen. I grab some coffee, aware of Landon’s eyes still on me.

My dad grabs an apple from the wire fruit basket on the island and begins a fatherly lecture. “Hardin, Tessa has become a part of this family in the last few months, and this is her only place to go when you . . .” He trails off as Karen enters the kitchen.

“When I what?” I ask.

“When you mess up.”

“You don’t even know what happened.”

“I don’t have to know the whole story; all I know is she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you and I’m watching as you make the same mistakes that I did with your mother.”

Is he fucking serious? “I’m nothing like you! I love her and I would do anything for her! She’s everything to me—which is nothing like you and my mum!” I slam the mug down, spilling coffee on the counter.