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

Oh no. My heart sinks. I knew his nightmares had come back, but it still hurts me to hear about it.

“I’m sorry those dreams came back.”

“No, they didn’t just come back, Tess. They were worse.” I swear that I feel his body shiver, but his face holds no emotion.

“Worse?”

How could they possibly be worse?

“It was you, they were . . . doing it to you,” he says, and ice replaces the warm blood in my veins.

“Oh.” My voice is weak, pathetic.

“Yeah. It was . . . it was so fucked up. It was so much worse than before because I’m used to the ones with my mum, you know?”

I nod and bring my other hand to his bare arm to caress it like I’m doing to his scalp.

“I didn’t even try to sleep after that. I purposely stayed awake because I couldn’t bear to see it again. The thought of someone hurting you drives me mad.”

“I’m so sorry.” His eyes are haunted, and mine are full of tears.

“Don’t pity me.” He reaches up and captures the tears before they fall.

“I’m not. It makes me upset because I don’t want you to be hurt. I don’t pity you.” It’s true, I don’t pity him. I feel terrible for this broken man who has nightmares about his mother being violated and abused, and the thought of my face replacing Trish’s kills me. I don’t want those thoughts tainting his already anguished mind.

“You know I would never let anyone hurt you, don’t you?” His eyes meet mine.

“Yes, I do, Hardin.”

“Even now, even if we never get back to where we were before. I’d kill anyone who even tried, okay?” His tone is clipped yet soft.

“I know,” I assure him with a small smile.

I don’t want to appear alarmed by his sudden threats, because I know that he means them in a loving way.

“It was nice to sleep.” He lightens the mood slightly, and I nod in agreement.

“Where do you want to go for breakfast?” I ask him.

“You said no, that you—”

“I changed my mind. I’m hungry.”

After his being so open with me about his nightmares, I want to spend the morning with him; maybe he’ll continue the open line of communication. I usually have to fight him for any type of information, but he confessed this willingly and that means the world to me.

“So easily persuaded by my pathetic story?” He raises a brow.

“Don’t say that.” I scowl.

“Why not?” He sits up and climbs off of the bed.

“Because it’s not true. It wasn’t what you told me that changed my mind, but that you shared that with me. And don’t call yourself pathetic. That’s certainly not true.” My feet hit the floor as he pulls his jeans up over his legs. “Hardin . . .” I say when he doesn’t reply.

“Tessa . . .” He mocks me in a high-pitched voice.

“I mean it, you shouldn’t think of yourself like that.”