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

“Anything’s possible when science is involved,” he says, his face lit up by the flowers and his smile bright.

“How nerdy of you,” I tease, and he laughs.

“You aren’t in any position to call me nerdy,” he teases back, and I laugh.

“True.” I touch the flower again and watch it glow once more. “This is incredible.”

“I thought you’d like it. We’re working on doing the same with a tree; the problem is that trees take much longer to grow than flowers. But trees live much longer; flowers are too fragile. If you neglect them, they wilt and die.” His tone is soft, and I can’t help but compare myself to the flower, and get the feeling he’s doing the same.

“If only trees were as pretty as flowers,” I remark.

He moves to stand in front of me. “They could be, if someone made them that way. Just the way we took ordinary flowers and turned them into this, the same could be done with a tree. If it was given the right type of attention and care, it could glow like these flowers, but be much stronger.” I stay silent as he brings his thumb to my cheek. “You deserve that type of attention. You deserve to be with someone who makes you glow, not who burns out your light.”

Then Zed leans in to kiss me.

I take a step back and smack into a row of flowers; thankfully none fall as I steady myself. “I’m sorry, I can’t.”

“You can’t what?” He raises his voice slightly. “Let me be the one to show you how happy you could be?”

“No . . . I can’t kiss you, not right now. I can’t go back and forth between the two of you. I was in your bed last night, then I kissed Hardin this morning, and now . . .”

“You kissed him?” He gapes, and I’m grateful for the room being dark except for the glow from the flowers.

“Well, he kissed me, but I let him before I pulled away,” I explain. “I’m confused, and until I know what I’m going to do, I can’t go around kissing everyone. It’s not right.”

He doesn’t say anything.

“I’m sorry if I’m leading you on or making you think—”

“It’s fine,” Zed says.

“No, it’s not. I shouldn’t have brought you into the middle of this until I could think straight.”

“It’s not your fault. I’m the one who keeps coming around. I don’t mind being led on, as long as you’ll have me around. I know we could be good together, and I have all the time in the world to wait for you to see it, too,” he says and walks over to turn the light on.

How can he always be so understanding?

“I wouldn’t blame you if you hated me, you know?” I tell him and sling my bag over my shoulder.

“I would never hate you,” he says, and I smile.

“Thank you for showing me this—it’s incredible.”