Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 401 - Going Into Battle[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:17:14]
The day after the recital Aaron had a very important business function he couldn\'t miss (he only went when it was absolutely necessary because he hated those things) and he begged Keeley to come along. She hated those things even more than he did because they brought back bad memories but at the same time she didn\'t want to leave him to suffer alone.
He had come to her work\'s Christmas party even though everyone gawked at him so she felt the need to return the favor. She had fussed over what to wear for a solid week. As much as she hated it; she went shopping in the expensive shopping district for a dress, shoes, and jewelry specifically for the event.
Aaron told her that wasn\'t necessary and she could wear what she wanted but she was having war flashbacks at the thought of being mocked by his associates\' wives. Dealing with all of those sharks definitely felt like going into battle in her first life.
Despite how long ago it had been now, Keeley still remembered how to handle herself at such events. Nobody was going to mess with her this time.
His jaw dropped when he saw her come down the stairs in her designer dress. "You look like…"
"I know," she said flatly.
She looked like she had as the wannabe socialite Mrs. Hale who never quite fit in. She wasn\'t that person anymore but she needed to act like she was tonight.
Aaron sighed and shook his head. "Go back upstairs and get changed into something you\'re comfortable with. Nobody will dare say anything to you since I don\'t intend to let you leave my side all night."
"Do I look that bad?"
"No, you look stunning. But I want you to look like you."
Her heart fluttered at his words. Somehow he always knew the right thing to say since they got back together. Keeley decided to tease him.
"Are you saying I don\'t normally look stunning?"
"Don\'t twist my words. You know I think you\'re the most gorgeous woman ever to walk the earth. Now go. We\'re going to be late," he urged, shooing her back up the stairs.
Keeley came back down in a simple three quarter sleeve ice blue cocktail dress. She got rid of the pearl necklace—she had always hated pearls because they reminded her of darker days—but kept the diamond earrings she had bought for the occasion. She put on a more comfortable pair of nude pumps too.
"That\'s my girl," Aaron said sweetly before kissing her cheek. "Come on, we need to go downstairs."
This particular business function was celebrating Hale Investments\' 100th anniversary. It was a pretty big deal. All of the employees were invited.
Because of this, all of their friends had to find babysitters. But the Hale and Singleton children had been so insistent on having a sleepover this exact night (their parents promised weeks ago without remembering what day the party was) that they hired someone to watch them all over at Cameron\'s apartment.
Keeley offered to use their place since it was bigger but the kids wanted to go over there because of the dog. Aaron had relented about kittens but he refused to get a dog, claiming they were too much work. His argument was that they already had four kids and didn\'t need another one with fur.
The party was held in one of the banquet rooms of the Plaza Hotel since Hale Investments\' building didn\'t have enough space for this kind of event. Aaron, as the CEO, was in high demand but he didn\'t let the vultures descend on Keeley.
Their elbows remained firmly hooked together until she spotted Alice. She politely excused herself and slipped away to chat with her friend. Jennica was tied up as well since she was the vice president\'s wife and Keeley hadn\'t even seen anyone else she knew.
She hugged her friend warmly. "How are you? I feel like I haven\'t seen you in ages."
"It has been a couple of months. I\'ve been pretty busy between taking care of the kids and providing French tutoring. What about you? How did the recital go? I saw the pictures you posted," Alice replied.
"Violet did amazing, as expected. She\'s always loved to sing. I\'m just glad I was actually able to watch her solo since the little ones were all over the place. We should have just gotten a babysitter."
They ended up chatting pleasantly about their children for a while until it was time for Aaron\'s big speech. Keeley knew the drill; she had to stand next to him, smile, and look pretty while he talked.
The first time she ever had to do this shortly after they were married she felt like a Miss America contestant smiling and waving like that as everyone stared at her. That feeling never fully went away throughout her years serving as his arm candy.
She actually paid attention to Aaron\'s speech despite not understanding a lot of the business jargon. She got the basic gist though; Hale Investments was doing better than ever and he had the hard work of the employees to thank for that.
It was really hard not to laugh knowing how insincere most of the speech was. Aaron told the people what they wanted to hear even though he didn\'t believe it. Just the other day he had been complaining about slackers after talking to the head of HR.
People clapped following the conclusion of the speech and they were able to step slightly out of the spotlight. She thought she was doing alright until she happened to spy her in-laws in the crowd.
Alistair was still a shareholder but she didn\'t think he would dare to show his face here tonight. He barely even went to the meetings anymore!
Roslyn\'s presence was even more surprising. She looked around the room haughtily with her arm tucked into her husband\'s as if everyone here didn\'t know she had been cheated on. She had awfully thick skin to go out with him at a public event where people knew her.
It had been ten years since the news broke but people still talked about it whenever the name \'Hale\' was brought up. Old gossip could still circulate alarmingly far, especially when high profile people were involved.