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

His eyes flutter open, and I jerk my hand away quickly. “Sorry,” I say, embarrassed to be caught in the act.

“No, it felt good,” he says, his voice thick from sleep.

After gathering himself and breathing against my skin for a moment, he lifts himself up from me—too soon—and I wish I hadn’t touched his hair so he would still be asleep, holding me.

“I have some work to do today, so I’ll be going to town for a little while,” he says and grabs a pair of black jeans from the closet. He grabs his boots and slips them on quickly. I get the feeling that he’s rushing out of here.

“Okay . . .” What? I thought he’d be happy that we slept together, and that we held each other for the first time in a week. I thought something would have changed—not completely, but I thought maybe he could see that my resolve was wearing down, that I was a few steps closer to reconciling with him than I was yesterday.

“Yeah . . .” he says and twists his eyebrow ring between two fingers before pulling the white T-shirt over his head and grabbing a black one from the dresser. He doesn’t say anything before he exits the room, leaving me confused once again. Of all the things I expected to happen, him running out like this wasn’t one of them. What work could he possibly have to do right now? He reads manuscripts, the same as I do—only he has much more freedom to work from home, so why would he want to do it today? The memory of what Hardin was doing the last time he had to “work” makes my stomach turn.

I hear him talking to his mother briefly before the front door opens and closes. I plop back onto the pillows and kick my feet in a childish manner. But hearing the siren song of caffeine, I finally climb out of bed and pad out into the kitchen to make some coffee.

“Good morning, sweetie,” Trish chirps as I pass where she sits at the counter.

“Good morning. Thank you for making coffee,” I say and grab the freshly brewed pot.

“Hardin said he had some work to do,” she says, though it really sounds like she’s asking, not telling.

“Yeah . . . he said something about that,” I reply, unsure what else to say.

But she seems to ignore that and says, “I’m glad he’s okay after last night,” her voice full of worry.

“Yeah, me, too.” Then, without thinking, I add, “I shouldn’t have made him sleep on the floor.”

Her brows knit together in question. “He doesn’t have the nightmares when he isn’t on the floor?” she asks carefully.

“No, he doesn’t have them if we . . .” I trail off, stirring the sugar into my coffee and trying to think of a way to talk myself out of this.

“If you’re there,” she finishes for me.

“Yeah . . . if I’m there.”

She gives me a hopeful look that—so I’m told—only a mother can give when talking about her children. “Do you want to know why he has them? I know he’ll hate me for telling you, but I think you should know.”