Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 276 - Casual Closeness

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:16:25]
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After running into Graydon Meyer, Keeley was afraid to leave the house for a while. Not knowing who she would meet in the streets was nerve wracking. It was safer to stay at home. The doctor wanted her to get proper rest once the semester was over anyway.


She ended up ordering all of Aaron\'s Christmas presents online. He had always been a tricky one to shop for since he could technically buy anything in the world he wanted. She got him a few ties (always a solid standby) but also wanted to get something more meaningful.


If she wanted to be unoriginal, she could get him a watch with their new wedding date on it like she had their first Christmas in their past life. He would probably appreciate it. She could do that but she really wanted to do something new and different as well.


Cheesy homemade gifts seemed to go over well with him. That gave her an idea. They still hadn\'t completely decorated the house yet. There was definitely a blank space where they could hang some pictures.


The photographer had sent over a disc with the wedding photos a few days earlier. It might be fun to put together a photo collage frame.


Keeley didn\'t have a ton of pictures with Aaron because she hadn\'t taken very many in this life. There were the ones from Christmas Eve last year, Jennica\'s wedding, the time she did his makeup in his sleep, holding up their ultrasound image at the doctor\'s office, and their own wedding. That was it.


Searching online, she found a frame that had five slots in it. She could choose one picture from each event and would be good to go.


It took her a while to pick the best ones. The wedding photographer at Jennica\'s wedding happened to get a picture of her and Aaron dancing so she picked that one. It was taken from an angle where you couldn\'t even see his black eye.


From their own wedding there were way too many to choose from. Eventually she settled on the picture where Aaron was joyously lifting her hand in the air to show off and she was laughing out of embarrassment. There was a whole lot of personality in that picture.


Come to think of it, there was a whole lot of personality in all of the pictures she chose. They looked like any other couple in love. Like they were each other\'s favorite people in the world.


Keeley smiled a bit wistfully. That was how it should have been all along. Neither of them should have been hiding themselves the way they did. Aaron wasn\'t the only one at fault there.


After choosing her photos, she sent them off to a one-hour photo printing service and asked the driver to pick them up later. The rest of the presents had been ordered and were on their way.


With nothing else pressing to do, she set to work baking more Christmas cookies. She needed to have the usual treats all made or her dad would be disappointed. Aaron probably would too. For some reason he really loved her baking.


The sugar cookies and mint brownies were already in the freezer but she hadn\'t made anything else yet. She set to work on the M&M cookies since they were fairly easy. She was still working on them when Aaron came home and snitched a bit of cookie dough from over her shoulder.


"Hey love," he said with his mouth full, making her laugh.


He had been less and less formal lately and it was really nice seeing him come out of his shell. Back in the day she used to wish for this kind of casual closeness.


"Hey. How was work?" she asked, twisting around to try and give him a hug. It was a bit difficult with their babies between them.


"My father won\'t stop bothering me about going to my mother\'s Christmas party but aside from that it was fine."


Keeley felt sorry for him. He tried being nonchalant but she could tell the whole thing was upsetting him somehow. He told her he wasn\'t going to go because he wanted to spend the holiday with her and her father.


It must be hard for him having such a cold, businesslike family. She hadn\'t realized how much it affected him for the longest time because he always acted like it didn\'t matter. But seeing how much he enjoyed simple things like goofing off with her dad…it got to him more than he let on.


Feeling a bit sentimental, she hugged him again, tighter this time. He wasn\'t alone anymore. Albeit somewhat unwillingly, he had her. She would give him the family he always wanted.


Aaron soaked up the affection like a sponge. "Someone\'s feeling huggy today," he remarked with a smile.


"Is it not allowed?" she teased.


"Oh, it\'s definitely allowed. In fact, feel free to do it even more."


She rested her head against his chest and heard the steady beating of his heart. It was relaxing somehow. It made her feel safe.


Safety was never something she had equated with Aaron before. For the longest time he was a source of fear. Not anymore though. So gradually she hadn\'t even realized it, Aaron had become the most consistent part of her life.


Keeley was tempted to kiss him but decided against it. At this rate it might be possible for her to fall back in love with him someday but she didn\'t want to get his hopes up unnecessarily more than she already had.


Instead, she asked him if he wanted to help her scoop the cookies. He did so she patiently showed him how to operate the cookie scoop and space them out on the baking sheet. Once that was done she taught him how to dip pretzels in melted white chocolate using a double boiler, which was her other project of the day.


Aaron radiated contentment as they worked side by side. He frequently paused to kiss her cheek, rub her protruding belly, or play with her hair. He seemed particularly touch starved today. It made her heart ache.


As they went to bed that night, Keeley made sure to snuggle extra close to him. His face was buried in her neck as he breathed evenly; falling asleep almost the moment his head hit the pillow. She used his arm as if it were a teddy bear and it was so comfortable that she fell asleep quickly too.


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