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

“This is never going to be fixed, is it? This is how it will always be with us. Back and forth, up and down. You want me, but when I want you, all you do is push me away,” I say, willing myself not to cry.

“No . . . that’s not true.”

“It seems like it. What do you want from me? You want me to believe that you’re trying to prove that you can change for me, but then what?”

“What do you mean?”

“What’s after that?”

“I don’t know . . . we haven’t even gotten to that point yet. I want to continue to take you out and make you laugh instead of cry. I want you to love me again.” His eyes are glossing over, and he’s blinking rapidly.

“I do love you, always,” I assure him. “But it takes more than that, Hardin. Love doesn’t conquer all, the way the novels make you believe. There are always so many complications, and they’re overpowering the love that I have for you.”

“I know. Things are complicated, but they won’t always be. We can’t get along with one another for even a day, we yell and fight and give each other the silent treatment like five-year-olds, we do things out of spite and we say the wrong things. We sure as hell complicate things when they don’t need to be complicated, but we can figure it out somehow.”

I don’t know where we go from here. I’m glad that Hardin and I are having a somewhat civil discussion over everything that has happened, but I can’t ignore the fact that he wouldn’t support me going to Seattle.

I was going to tell him, but I’m afraid if I do he’ll say something to Christian again, and honestly, if Hardin and I are going to continue trying to rebuild our relationship or whatever it is that we’re doing, it will only complicate it more.

If we’re truly able to make this work, it won’t matter if I’m here or two hours away. I was raised better than to let a man dictate my future, no matter how deep my love for him is.

I know exactly what will happen: he’ll lose his temper and storm out of here to find Christian, or Zed. Most likely Zed.

“If I pretend that the last twenty-four hours didn’t happen, will you promise me something?” I ask him.

“Anything,” he answers quickly.

“Don’t hurt him.”

“Zed?” he asks, anger coloring his voice.

“Yes, Zed,” I clarify.

“No, fuck no. I’m not promising that.”

“You said—” I begin.

“No, don’t even start that shit. He’s causing a bunch of shit between us, and I’m not going to sit back and allow it. Fuck no.” He paces back and forth.

“You don’t have any proof that he did what you say, Hardin, and fighting him isn’t going to solve anything. Just let me talk to him and—”

“No, Tessa! I already told you I don’t want you near him. I’m not going to tell you again,” he growls.