Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 313 - Damaged Goods[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:16:40]
"I\'m a bit surprised you put so much faith in him considering what he\'s like but I\'m sure he could find you a lawyer. Would you like me to talk to him for you?" Keeley asked.
Alice stifled a laugh. "Are you insulting your husband?"
She chuckled slightly as she readjusted her grip on her baby. "I only meant that he\'s hard to get close to. Doesn\'t exactly give off vibes that scream \'trust me.\' Most people are afraid of him."
Her analysis was spot on but Alice was a bit surprised that she wasn\'t wearing rose colored glasses and could accurately pinpoint what Aaron was like. Most women in love only saw the good things about their significant other.
Goodness knows she had been like that about Brock until it was too late and she felt stuck. Honestly, she should have divorced him years ago. Or flat out refused to marry him in the first place.
"You\'re not," Alice pointed out.
"Not now but I was in high school. He\'s mellowed a lot since then."
Mellowed? He was practically a different person! That was the understatement of the century. Ah, that was beside the point. She should answer the original question.
"I was planning on asking him about finding me a lawyer but I don\'t want to bother him while he\'s busy," Alice admitted.
Keeley\'s expression softened. "I promise it won\'t be a bother. Aaron looks out for his people. If you want, I can hold him back as everyone else is leaving and you can ask him then."
Her initial impression of the woman was correct. She was kind. Here she was helping someone she barely met out of the goodness of her heart.
Alice gave her a grateful smile. "I\'d appreciate that, thanks."
"We should probably get heading back before Aaron sends a search party," she joked.
To Alice\'s surprise, the joke wasn\'t that far off the mark. As soon as they approached the table Aaron was visibly relieved. He kissed his wife on the cheek and asked her what took her so long.
Keeley spared Alice\'s pride by saying there was a long line in the bathroom and her already positive first impression of Aaron\'s wife went up a notch. No wonder he was in love with her!
A pang hit her when she wondered if anyone would ever think she was that wonderful. Getting a divorce at twenty-six…men would probably think of her as damaged goods.
Alice hadn\'t truly been in love with Brock for a while but it would still probably take her a while to heal enough to date again. And she wanted to—she wanted a warm and affectionate family like Aaron\'s. He had escaped the cold, cruel world of high society. Why couldn\'t she?
The problem was that her family would be furious and might very well cut her off. She had gone to college but majored in French literature. She had never held a job. How would she find one with her degree?
Life as she knew it was going to come crashing down around her. It would be better than dealing with Brock and his horrible family but only just. Alice didn\'t know how to survive on her own.
She watched Keeley easily interact with everyone at the table and wondered if she could possibly trouble her to learn how to adjust to a normal life. She had gotten through a PhD on her own; surely she knew how to do things like get a job and apartment.
"Alice, are you alright?" Roger asked with concern in his voice, noticing she was spacing out.
She put on her bravest attempt at a smile, not wanting to worry him. He had always been very kind to her during the shareholders meetings and had defended her opinion against some of the more chauvinistic members more than once.
"I suppose I\'m a bit tired. I\'ll be fine. Thank you though."
Aaron signaled for the check and insisted on paying for everyone\'s food since he was the one to gather them together. The bill wasn\'t huge by high society\'s standards but Alice needed to stop thinking that way. A normal person definitely couldn\'t afford to drop a few hundred dollars on a meal.
She had a lot of lifestyle adjustments to make. She didn\'t even know how to cook.
Everyone trailed out of the restaurant, wishing each other goodbye, until Alice and Aaron\'s family were the only ones left. He got straight to the point.
"What do you need, Alice?"
"I need a lawyer unconnected to the Kellys," she said bluntly. "Do you know anyone?"
She was more than a bit shocked when Aaron gave her a genuine smile. "I\'ve been waiting for you to ask. You deserve better than Brock Kelly. It just so happens that I have a handful to choose from. I\'ll send you their information tonight and you can look over it."
She bit her lip. She definitely couldn\'t afford a superstar lawyer. Seeing her concern, he addressed it.
"I told you I\'m on your side and I meant it. I\'ll pay for the lawyer. You don\'t need to worry about anything but what assets you want to try and go after, alright? With the Kellys\' fortune, you should be able to live comfortably if not lavishly once you\'re free."
Tears sparked in her eyes. Way back when she agreed to become a shareholder for him, Aaron used the argument that it would be nice to have a powerful person in her pocket. She never expected to actually have to use their connection in such a way.
Keeley was right. Aaron did look after his people.
"Thank you," she whispered.
"No need for that," he said casually. "You\'ve helped me a lot over the years. I wouldn\'t have been able to make it this far without you."
She gave both of the Hales a hurried nod and fled the restaurant, her mind flooded with thoughts about what she needed to do. First and foremost, she couldn\'t act like anything was wrong when she got home. Brock couldn\'t be suspicious or this would never work.
He was waiting for her on the couch, reading a magazine. That was unusual; he was rarely home at this time of day on a weekend. Usually he was out with his mistress.
"Where were you?"
His tone indicated that he couldn\'t care less. Alice held back a sigh and spoke lightly. She was used to this sort of treatment.
"I was having dinner with some friends."
"Be sure to be ready for Lacy Knighton\'s funeral tomorrow; everyone we know is going to be there and it would be rude not to show up."
Funeral?! She didn\'t even know Lacy was dead! Did Aaron know about this? He had never liked her but he still had to have had some sort of reaction to her death. They had known each other since middle school after all.
"I\'ll be there," Alice managed to get out, her head still reeling at the news.
Lacy Knighton, dead! She had crossed paths with her briefly in the shopping district less than two weeks ago. What on earth happened?