Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 378 - Too Quiet[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:17:05]
"Are you planning on taking Violet to the meeting?" Aiden asked, changing the subject.
"Truthfully, I was hoping you or Cameron would be willing to take her," Aaron admitted.
Violet looked up in alarm once she realized they were talking about her. "No! I wanna go with Daddy! I\'ll be good. Shhhh."
She put her fingers to her lips indicating she would be quiet and looked up at him with puppy dog eyes. He couldn\'t resist that face—it was his weakness. Running a hand down his face in exasperation, he looked at his daughter seriously.
"Okay but you have to promise me you\'ll stay quiet. If you aren\'t, I\'ll send you to Cameron\'s office."
She nodded eagerly. "Okay!"
Aiden raised an eyebrow, questioning Aaron\'s judgment, but didn\'t say anything since Violet was still within earshot. He turned to go and whistled on his way out, strolling leisurely with his hands in his pockets.
Aaron checked his watch. The meeting was set to start in fifteen minutes. They should probably head down to the conference room now.
He helped Violet pack up all of her toys in her backpack and then she demanded to be picked up by reaching up for him with her fingers spread wide. That was how the CEO of Hale Investments ended up striding through the building with a little girl supported by one hand while the other held a My Little Pony backpack.
It was entirely obvious that people would be laughing at him if they weren\'t so afraid. He wasn\'t the biggest fan of people being terrified of him but at the same time it came in handy. People were less inclined to give him a hard time about things if they were too nervous to speak in his presence.
Cameron and Aiden were the only people in this office who were comfortable enough to tease him, though sometimes he wondered if Roger and Kyle were getting there. Since Alice and Roger got married a year ago Aaron had seen quite a lot of them.
The board had changed slightly since his takeover. Not only were his dummy shareholders gone, but Samuel had sold his shares six months later. Apparently he was ashamed of ever working with Alistair, especially as gossip about him got worse because of Gray\'s illegitimate child reveal.
Two different people had bought them up; a woman in her fifties named Sylvia Harris and a man in his forties named Rowan Pierce. They were both relatively easy to work with since they understood that Aaron had vision for this company that would take it to new heights.
Honestly, things had been a bit too easy at work the past few years since he had the benefit of information from his previous life. The cybersecurity department had been one new challenge and he was still considering other ways to branch out.
Sometimes he wondered if he should start an entirely new laboratory for Keeley to run but she would probably hate that. She preferred blending in and wasn\'t the type to enjoy administrative duties. She wanted to be getting her gloves dirty in the lab.
Aaron was so wrapped up in his thoughts as he walked into the boardroom that he didn\'t even register the fact that there was an extra person sitting at the conference table. He began his opening remarks none the wiser.
"Good morning everyone, today I happen to have my daughter with me. She\'s very well-behaved but if she becomes a distraction we made a deal for her to go up to the vice president\'s office."
He sat down in his usual chair at the head of the table with Violet in his lap, swiveling her head around in awed silence. A secretary handed him his laptop, which he hadn\'t been able to carry because of the little girl in his arms, and he opened it to set up the projector as people whispered among themselves.
Annoyed, Aaron glanced up to see what they were whispering about. He froze in shock when he saw a horribly familiar face sitting in the seat he used to use when he was vice president.
What on earth was Alistair Hale thinking by showing his face for the first time in over three years? And why did it have to be today of all days? He was definitely here to pick a fight and Aaron didn\'t want Violet to see that.
The children weren\'t old enough to question why they only had one grandpa yet. Aaron knew he would have to tell them he was estranged from his parents eventually but he didn\'t want it to be this soon when they were too young to understand it.
Aaron couldn\'t even drive him out. He was still a shareholder; he had the right to be here. It had been naïve of him to assume that Alistair would stay away forever. He had a vested interest in the company.
His being here couldn\'t mean anything good. Aaron was positive he was only here to cause trouble.
"Your daughter is adorable. She looks just like you," Carol commented, breaking him out of his stupor.
"She does look like me but she has her mother\'s smile," he replied.
Having expected his daughter to look like her mother before she was born, Aaron was grateful they shared that trait. Keeley\'s smile had been melting his heart since he was seventeen years old. But even if they didn\'t, he would still think Violet was the most perfect little girl in the whole world.
Violet recognized the word \'adorable\' since Keeley called her that all the time and she beamed at the compliment. The entire table of shareholders collectively smiled at the cuteness with the exception of Alistair. He remained stone cold at the sight of his granddaughter.
Honestly, Aaron was surprised he hadn\'t tried to pick a fight yet. It would probably happen later behind closed doors. The old man still had his pride.
He dreaded the confrontation. Things had been too quiet the past few years and he had gotten complacent. How could he have been stupid enough to believe his parents would leave him alone forever?