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

“No. If you want to, you can, but I’m okay,” I answer.

I wish that I had grabbed my e-reader so I could read until I fell asleep. Maybe observing the ruination of Catherine and Heathcliff’s lives would make mine seem easier, less traumatic. Catherine spent her whole life trying to fight her love for that man, on and off until the day she begged for his forgiveness and claimed she could not live without him—only to die hours later. I could live without Hardin, couldn’t I? I won’t spend my entire life fighting this. This is only temporary . . . Right? We won’t bring ourselves and others misery because of our stubbornness and hard heads, right? I’m bothered by the uncertainty of this parallel, especially since it means I start comparing Trevor to Edgar. I don’t know how to feel about this. It’s awkward.

“Tess?” my very own Heathcliff calls, wresting me away from my thoughts.

“Yeah?” I croak.

“I didn’t fuck . . . sleep with Molly,” he says, as if correcting his foul language makes the statement any less shocking.

I stay silent, partly stunned by him talking about this, partly because I want to believe him. But I can’t allow myself to forget that he’s a master of deception.

“I swear it,” he adds.

Oh, well, if he “swears” it . . . “Why did you say that, then?” I ask harshly.

“To hurt you. I was just so mad because you said you kissed someone, so I just said the thing that I knew would hurt you the most.”

I can’t see Hardin, but somehow I know that he’s lying on his back, his arms crossed, hands under his head, staring at the ceiling. “Did you really kiss someone?” he asks before I can respond.

“Yeah,” I admit. But when I hear the suction of a deep breath, I try to soften the blow by adding, “Only once.”

“Why?” His voice is cool yet heated. It’s a strange sound.

“I honestly have no idea . . . I was mad because of how you were acting on the phone, and I had way too much to drink. So I danced with this guy, and he kissed me.”

“You danced with him? Danced how?” he asks.

I roll my eyes at Hardin’s needing to know every detail of what I do, even when we aren’t together. “You don’t want me to answer that.”

His words thicken the air between us again. “Yes, I do.”

“Hardin, we just danced like people do at a club. Then he kissed me and tried to get me to go home with him.” I stare at the blades on the ceiling fan. I know that if we keep talking about this, they will eventually be forced to stop, unable to cut through the tension.

I try to change the subject. “Thank you for the e-reader. It was very thoughtful.”

“He tried to get you to go home with him? Did you?” I hear him shuffling, giving me an indication that he’s now sitting up.