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

At Christian’s instruction, the car takes us to a really nice seafood restaurant, where I have the most delicious salmon and crab cakes, and where Christian tells us all sorts of hilarious stories about his days in publishing in New York. We all have a great time, and Trevor and Kimberly tease him a little, since he has a good sense of humor about everything.

After dinner, the car takes us a short distance to an all-glass three-story building. Through its windows I watch hundreds of flashing lights illuminate swaying bodies, creating a fascinating mix of lights and darks across limbs and bodies. It’s not far off from what I envisioned a club would be like, though much larger and with a lot more people.

As we get out, Kimberly grabs my arm. “We’ll go to a more laid-back place tomorrow—some of the guys from the conference wanted to come here, so here we are!” She laughs.

The very large man guarding the door holds a clipboard in his hands and is clearly controlling access to the inside. A line of expectant partygoers fills the entire sidewalk and reaches around the corner of the street.

“Will we have to wait long?” I ask Trevor.

“Oh no.” He chuckles. “Mr. Vance doesn’t wait.”

I soon see what he means when Christian whispers something to the bouncer and the big man moves the rope to let us through immediately. I’m a little dazed when I walk in, with music pounding and lights dancing across the massive smoke-filled space.

I’m pretty sure I’ll never understand why people like to pay to get a headache and inhale synthetic smoke while grinding on strangers.

A woman in a short dress leads us up some stairs to a small room with thin curtains for walls. Within are two couches and a table.

“This is a VIP section, Tessa,” Kimberly tells me as I look around with curious eyes.

“Oh,” I answer simply and follow their lead by taking a seat on one of the couches.

“What do you usually drink?” Trevor asks me.

“Oh, I don’t usually,” I answer.

“Me either. Well, I like wine, but I’m not much of a drinker.”

“Oh no, you are drinking tonight, Tessa. You need it!” Kimberly says loudly.

“I—” I start to say.

“She’ll have a Sex on the Beach, and so will I,” she tells the woman.

The hostess nods, and Christian orders a drink that I’ve never heard of and Trevor orders a glass of red wine. No one has yet questioned whether I’m of legal age or not. Maybe I look older than I am, or maybe Christian is known well enough here that people don’t want to upset his company by asking.

I have no idea what a Sex on the Beach is, but I prefer not to showcase my ignorance. When the woman returns, she hands me a tall glass with a piece of pineapple and a small pink umbrella sticking out of the top. I thank her and quickly take a sip through the straw. It ‘s really very good, sweet but with a little kick of bitterness as I swallow.