After Chapter 57 – The bra is not the thing.

Previously: Nightmares, and not only the ones caused by this story.

Marines: Tessa wakes up and shoves Hardin off of her, but then thinks about how much more she loves him after he said her name in relief, post-nightmare. It makes her stomach flutter to think of him sharing secrets. Stuck on repeat here, but IDK what nightmare thrashing and childhood trauma have to do with falling in love. (S: To be truuuuee wuv you have to be the balm that soothes their broken soul pain.)

Tessa grabs her curling iron and the small bag of Steph’s makeup she borrowed (with permission, of course!) and heads to the bathroom. She gets ready with no interruption, but on the way back, crosses paths with three frat guys, including Logan. I literally have no idea who Logan is, but okay. Logan.

Logan asks if Tessa is moving in or something (real funny, guy) but she says she’s just visiting. Logan says they’ll see her tonight at the party then, and now Tessa is back to being sad because why wouldn’t Hardin tell her about the party? Before or after you guys were fighting and making up over nightmares?

Hardin opens the door to his room before Tessa reaches it. He demands to know where she was because he told her not to wander the hallways alone. She snaps back that she told him not to boss her around, and this makes his features soften. All his bossy anger turns into horniness (because angry and horny are his only two settings) and he starts groping Tessa. He tells her that maybe she should wear a bra in the halls of a frat house because perverts might be lurking in the calls. Perverts and rape culture, apparently.

Samantha: I know she was genuinely almost assaulted here in this frat but this also just reeks of gross possessiveness.

Mari: And she got assaulted wearing a bra, because THE BRA IS NOT THE THING.

Hardin bets he could make Tessa come just by fondling her breasts, but then Tessa’s alarm goes off so she realizes that

Hardin changes tactics and says he only needs two minutes for oral sex. He goes for “that spot” again, and fingers her, causing her to have her best! orgasm! ever! Sure, she’s had like 4 total so far, but this one was definitely the best.

Hardin gets ready in record time and off they go to Tessa’s interview. Tessa is once again astonished that Hardin knows where he’s going without being told. This time, though, it’s because he’s been to the offices previously and not because he’s a creepy stalker. The CEO of this company, Christian Vance, is BFFs with Ken. Hardin tells her not to worry because Vance is really nice, if a bit of a square, meaning she’ll fit right in. He also tells her she looks really nice. Tessa notes his good mood, which he attributes to his having his head between her thighs first thing in the morning. Tessa clutches her pearls.

Samantha: Keep your men satisfied with sex and they’ll be nice to you!

Mari: Ah, there’s the object lesson.

They arrive for the interview and Tessa admits to being a little nervous. Hardin tells her not to be because she’s really smart. They kiss and Tessa can’t believe how sweet Hardin is being. Bets on when he’ll mess this up?

Samantha: It’s a fools bet! A FOOLS. But… just before the party?

Mari: I honestly had him storming into the interview, but I think the point here is: SOON.

Tessa heads inside while Hardin waits in the car. She meets with Vance, and he asks her some questions about what she’s been reading, who her favorite and least favorite authors are and hmmms his way through her answers. And then he hires her! Wow, if anyone wants to throw money at me for my answers to those questions, check out my BookTube channel! Tessa thanks him and gets the added surprise of finding out this is a paid gig that will work around her class schedule and give her college credit. Hot damn, Ken went all out in abusing his power and paying Tessa off to be Hardin’s therapy replacement.

We cut to Tessa running back to the car. She’s gushing and grateful. Hardin asks what she wants to do for the rest of the afternoon and Tessa is like “Lit class, duh.” Hardin begrudgingly accompanies her.

After class, Tessa and Landon talk some more about this freakin’ bonfire we’ve been hearing about for 87 years, that hasn’t happened yet. (S: HOW HAS IT NOT HAPPENED YET? At one point she was going to bring Noah and we haven’t seen him for a decade!) Hardin stays quiet during the convo, so Tessa wonders if he’s going with her. As they walk out to their car, they cross paths with Nate and Molly.

Great, Molly. She is wearing a tank top and a red leather skirt. It’s only Tuesday and she’s already almost used up her skank quota for the week.”




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Mari: As soon as the others show up, Nate asks if Hardin’s ready. Tessa realizes that they pre-arranged this meeting. Hardin says he is ready, tells Tessa that he’ll “see her around” and bails, though not before Tessa sees Molly look back with a smirk on her “make-up covered face.” Which, Tessa you are wearing makeup that ISN’T EVEN YOURS. But also, Hardin is awful. So it took this long for him to get back to awful.

No one is surprised.

Next time on After: Baking lessons and party in Chapter 58.


Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

Samantha (all posts)

I'm a 25 year old graduated English major I can often be found singing too loudly (poorly) in the car or spending some time (hours) on Tumblr. I am a lover of Harry Potter, the Spice Girls, and too many other things.


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  • Alicia

    Tessa being sad that Hardin didn’t tell her about the party makes no sense. She should be getting it into her head by now that it’s a FRAT HOUSE, they have parties every weekend. I don’t know what day it is at this point, but you know. Also, she HATES parties. She always ends up sad or crying at them. So why would she care?

    Wow, if it were really that easy to get a job, someone ask me what my favourite books are and pay me for my answers. But since Tessa said her favourite books are the classics, and probably talked “passionately” about them, I’m sure it shows how much smarter she is than everyone else in her age bracket who reads about fantasy and pornos. But, since Hardin was super-nice and was the one who got this gig for her in the first place, he’s OMG the best and his earlier anger and temper tantrums can be forgotten. At least, until he’s angry with her again, or does something to hurt her, which will no doubt happen shortly.

    And well, that didn’t take long for him to get back to his douchebaggery ways. Of course he’d bail on Tessa for his friends, including Molly. That’s a sure sign of a relationship that’s going to last, and it’s giving Tessa lots of happy memories.

  • The Bad Slayer

    So, we all know Hardin (I can’t with the name) = awful, but how insecure is Tessa that her bf of like, a day, can’t just ditch class and hang with his friends? Girl, he clearly doesn’t give a single fuck about that class. I won’t lie, I did think skank quota was funny.

    • If Hardin were like, “bye Tessa! Will you call me later?” or something and Tessa were boo-hooing, I think that would be one thing, but he totally ditches her. Not that she shouldn’t be confident, but also, Hardin is the worst.

  • Joy

    Honestly, I think the thing to take away from this is that if you want your kid to be a CEO, they need to be named Christian.

    • The Bad Slayer

      I thought that was hilarious. I wondered if this is supposed to be older, future Christian. Like, Anna died (read:was murdered by her crazy husband and buried never to be found) in Europe, he met this nice couple in England where he chose to live whilst “in mourning” *don’t want to spoil anything else* and kept in touch with the nice family he met.

    • I’m sorry to any future hypothetical children but I will enthusiastically pass on this opportunity.

  • Mae

    Tessa talks about the classic novels she reads and this qualifies her to intern for an editor of modern novels? Okay. Was this how Ana Steele’s interview went? I can’t remember, but I’m just going to assume Todd cribbed her scene.

    As for this internship working around her class schedule…lol. Yeah. Todd will completely forget about this and have Tessa working all day every day for Vance and yet still miraculously getting great grades in all her classes.

    • I can’t remember if we went to Ana’s interview with her. For some reason, I’m thinking it was an off-screen thing, but that could be the brain bleach choosing to work on the small details and none of the trauma.

  • Blinvy .

    This is the chapter that made me laugh out loud in disbelief. I’m sorry but she was interviewing for a college internship and instead gets a full paying dream job that will work around her class schedule and give her college credit? Like, this is what she wants to do so why is she even bothering with college if she was able to get a job just like that? I had thought EL writing Ana getting a job like this straight out of college was laughable, then Anna Todd was like “hold my beer!”

    She spends most of her time being scared that Hardin is going to be mean, then when he’s nice, she wonders when he’s going to be mean again. Girl, dump him. You are not happy and that sounds like a nightmare of a relationship.