Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 146 - Valentine's Day Plans

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:15:36]
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Everybody had Valentine\'s Day plans but Aaron and it put him in a sour mood. He absolutely would have asked Keeley out if he wasn\'t going to be in Chicago that day to meet with some business contacts that would be vital for his hostile takeover.


Cameron was planning on proposing after taking Jennica to see an opera. Aiden and Nova were going to have a candlelit dinner on two different sides of the world via video chat. And he would be stuck in meetings.


If he could just get the meetings out of the way earlier in the day and find a flight…it was only two hours from Chicago to Manhattan by plane.


It was a stupid plan borne of desperation. A lot would be left to chance. One tiny delay and he would miss it, disappointing her, which was why he didn\'t ask.


Maybe instead of making plans to meet with her that might fall through he could try to surprise her instead. How though? He had an inkling that she liked him a little after Christmas but that had been almost two months ago.


Pushing romance onto her too early could backfire on him horribly. He could always just show up at her apartment as a friend, bringing some sort of sweet treat like he usually did to her school. That wouldn\'t push the boundaries of their current relationship.


Aaron triple checked his schedule and reorganized things. It would be tight but he could make it work.


He opened his phone and admired the cheesy picture of them in their matching reindeer onesies with a loving expression. He couldn\'t wait to see her again.


===


Keeley tried and failed to concentrate on her homework as Jennica practiced a duet she was meant to sing with another actress as part of an audition. They were casting for two parts that had to sing several songs together and required good chemistry so people had to audition in pairs.


The piece they were singing was \'I Know Him So Well\' from the musical Chess and Jennica\'s part was a wife and mother who had been left by her husband for another woman and desperately wanted him back.


The lyrics that resonated far too much with Keeley reverberated through the apartment\'s thin walls.


\'No one in your life is with you constantly


No one is completely on your side


And though I move my world to be with him


Still the gap between us is too wide


Looking back I could have played it differently


Learned about the man before I fell


But I was ever so much younger then


Now at least I know I know him well\'


She sighed. With the current Aaron gone so much, she couldn\'t help but think about her ex-husband more and more lately. Comparing what they had to Jennica\'s positive, healthy relationship with her boyfriend only made things worse.


Keeley had been such an idiot getting involved with that man. She had already vowed not to make the same mistake again so why did she have to miss this timeline\'s Aaron so much when she went weeks at a time without seeing him?


After thinking about it, her traitorous heart realized that she did like Aaron a little bit just like her dad thought. But as she told him, things would never work because she didn\'t fit into his world. Just like in the musical, some things weren\'t meant to be.


She couldn\'t believe that she managed to have a stupid crush on the same man in two different lifetimes even if their behavior was worlds apart.


Her freedom and dreams were more important than a tiny little crush though. She had to cut this off before it grew anymore, like a weed.


He was gone a lot anyway; she could get used to not seeing him again. At least that was what she told herself.


Even now she was itching to text him and see what he was up to. Keeley was hopeless.


What was it about Aaron Hale anyway? He wasn\'t all that great! He was cold and cynical and didn\'t have a sense of humor. Well…that wasn\'t as true anymore, which was why her feelings were so conflicted this time.


The first Aaron was a mystery she wanted to solve and she happened to fall in love along the way even though she never fully figured it out. The second one was sweet and would do literally anything for her. What girl wouldn\'t cave under those circumstances?


She was very curious where he thought this would go though. Aaron had always been his parents\' puppet—he knew his duty was to marry a girl that would bring benefits to the Hale family business.


So why did he even bother liking her in the first place? It would only end badly for both of them.


Her phone dinged with a text from Aaron that she ignored. She had to get used to ignoring him or she would never find peace.


Even acknowledging that they were two different people and this Aaron genuinely seemed to care about her and probably wouldn\'t cheat, she couldn\'t abandon her dreams for those awful socialites again.


Kaleb deserved better. Keeley deserved better too. Her life had been fulfilling enough before Aaron came back into the picture between her budding research career and her friends. All she had to do now was go back to the way things were.


Her father\'s words echoed in her ears. "You\'re going to break his heart."


Her own heart felt a tiny crack at the prospect of what she had to do but there was no other choice. If she wanted to live a normal life, Aaron couldn\'t become a bigger part of it than he already was.


He was going to be engaged to someone else soon enough anyway. He would marry a rich girl and she would pursue her research alone.


She almost wanted to cry at the thought of never having him pop by the lab unannounced again. Stupid. Why had she ever allowed herself to get attached?


She could hold onto the positive memories. She had a point of comparison now for knowing what it was like to be treated well. Maybe someday she could find someone else who was as nice to her as Aaron—someone normal.


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