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

“Okay . . . okay . . .” Hardin groans and I giggle while imagining Trish trying to hug him.

AFTER MY SHOWER I decide to get myself all the way ready before leaving the bathroom. I’m a coward, I know, but I need a little more time before I put on a fake smile for Hardin’s mother. It’s not exactly a fake smile . . . And that’s part of the problem, my subconscious reminds me. I had a really nice time yesterday, and I slept better than I have all week.

Once my hair is curled to near perfection, I pack my toiletries back into my small bag. There’s a light tap on the door. “Tess?” Hardin asks.

“I’m finished,” I respond and open the door to find him leaning against the door, wearing long gray cotton shorts and a white T-shirt.

“Not to rush you or anything, but I really have to piss.”

He gives me a small smile and I nod. I try not to notice the way his shorts hang on his hips, making the cursive writing that’s inked onto his side even more visible under the white T-shirt.

“I’m going to get dressed, then be on my way,” I tell him.

He looks away, focusing on the wall. “Okay.”

I go to the bedroom, feeling terribly guilty about lying to his mother and leaving so soon. I know she was so excited to meet me, and here I am leaving on her second day.

Deciding on my white dress, I put on my old black tights underneath since it’s too cold without them. I probably should just put on jeans and a sweatshirt, but I love that the dress gives me a strange sense of confidence, which is something that I need today. I pack my clothes back into my bags and place the hangers back in the closet.

“Do you need some help?” Trish says from behind me. I jump, dropping the navy dress that I wore in Seattle.

“I was just . . .” I fumble.

Her eyes examine the half-empty closet. “How long are you planning on being at your mother’s?”

“Um . . . I . . .” I’m a really terrible liar.

“Looks like you’re going to be gone for a while.”

“Yeah . . . I don’t have many clothes,” I squeak.

“I was going to see if you wanted to do some shopping while I was here; maybe if you come back before I leave, we can go?”

I can’t tell if she believes me or if she suspects that I don’t ever plan on returning here. “Yeah . . . sure,” I lie again.

“Mum . . .” Hardin says in a low voice as he enters the room. I notice his frown as his eyes take in the empty closet, and hope that Trish isn’t observing her son the way that I am.

“Just finishing packing,” I explain, and he nods. I zip the last bag and look at him, completely unsure what I should say.

“I’ll take your bags down for you,” he says, grabbing my keys from the dresser and disappearing with my things.