One Direction fan-fic writer Anna Todd shares an excerpt from her upcoming release, After.
There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER… Life will never be the same. Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.
But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.
But he’s also rude – to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does — until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.
He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.
Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?
Unless…could this be love?
Why am I even here? Noah is back in my room waiting for me, and here I am wasting even more time on Hardin. “I should go.” I stand up and head for the back door.
“Don’t go,” his voice says softly. And my feet stop in their tracks at the pleading tone. I turn around to find Hardin less than a foot from me.
“Why not? Do you have more insults to throw in my face?” I shout and turn away. His hand wraps around my arm and jerks me back.
“Don’t turn your back on me!” he shouts even louder than I did.
“I should have turned my back on you a long time ago!” I scream and push against his chest. “I don’t know why I am even here! I came all the way here the second Landon called me! I left my boyfriend—who, like you said, is the only one who can stand to be around me—to come here for you! You know what? You’re right, Hardin, I am pathetic. I am pathetic for coming here, I am pathetic for even trying—”
But I’m cut off by his lips against mine. I push at his chest to stop him, but he doesn’t budge. Every part of me wants to kiss him back, but I stop myself. I feel his tongue trying to pry its way in between my lips and his strong arms wrap around me, pulling me closer to him despite my attempts to push away. It’s no use; he is stronger than me.
“Kiss me, Tessa,” he says against my lips.
I shake my head and he grunts in frustration. “Please, just kiss me. I need you.”
His words unravel me. This indecent, drunken, terrible man just said he needs me, and somehow it sounds like poetry to my ears. Hardin is like a drug; each time I take the tiniest bit of him, I crave more and more. He consumes my thoughts and invades my dreams.
Anna Todd is a first-time writer spending her days in the Austin area with her husband, with whom she beat half the statistics by getting married one month after graduating high school. Between her husband’s three deployments to Iraq, she worked odd jobs from a makeup counter to the IRS processing counter. Anna was always an avid reader and boy band and romance lover, so now that she’s found a way to combine the three she’s enjoying living a real-life dream come true.
Find her at AnnaToddBooks.com, on Twitter at @imaginator1dx, on Instagram at @imaginator1d, and on Wattpad as Imaginator1D.