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

I remain flat against the mattress. “Do you even have to ask that? You know I would never do that,” I snap.

“Well, I never thought you would be kissing and dancing at a club either,” he barks.

After a few beats of silence I speak. “I don’t think you want to get started on the unexpected.”

The blankets shuffle again, and I can feel him right next to me. That voice is right next to me. “Tell me, please tell me, that you didn’t.”

He sits down on the bed next to me and I move away from him. “You know I didn’t. I saw you later that night.”

“I need to hear you say it.” His voice is harsh but pleading. “Say that you only kissed him once and you haven’t spoken to him since.”

“I only kissed him once and I haven’t spoken to him since,” I repeat, only because I know he desperately needs to hear the words.

I keep my eyes focused on the swirl of ink poking out from the low collar of his shirt. Having him on the bed soothes me and burns me all at once. I can’t stand the internal battle I’m stuck in the middle of.

“Is there anything else I should know?” he asks softly.

“No,” I lie. I am not telling him about the date with Trevor. Nothing happened and it’s none of Hardin’s business. I like Trevor, and I want to keep him safe from the time bomb that is Hardin.

“You sure?”

“Hardin . . . I don’t really think you’re in the position to be hounding me,” I say and look into his eyes. I can’t help it.

“I know,” he surprises me by saying.

When he moves off of the bed, I try to ignore the emptiness that takes me over.

 

chapter twenty-six

HARDIN

Today has been hell. A hell that I welcomed with open arms, but hell all the same. I never expected to see Tessa when I came home from the airport. I had come up with a simple lie: my girlfriend wouldn’t be available because she’d be out of town all week for Christmas. My mum had whined a little but didn’t ask too many questions or push my story. She had been so thrilled—and surprised, really—that I had a woman in my life. I think her and my father both expected me to be alone my entire life. Then again, so did I.

I find it amusing, in a twisted way, that I can’t go a second without thinking of this girl, when up until three months ago I wanted to be alone. I never knew what I was missing, and now that I found it, I can’t let it go. It’s only her, though; no matter what I do, I can’t shake her.

I tried to stop, tried to forget about her, tried to move on . . . and it was a disaster. The perfectly nice blonde that I took out Saturday night wasn’t Tessa. No one would ever be. Sure, she looked like her, even dressed like her. She blushed when I cursed and seemed a little afraid of me throughout our dinner. She was nice enough, yeah, but she was boring.