Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 45 - Neptune vs Her Glacier[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:14:56]
The room was dark but Aaron could see the vague outline of a figure on the bed curled into a ball with its arms covering its head. He flipped the light on.
Keeley was wearing a prom dress and her school uniform was folded on an armchair beneath her backpack. However she got here, they must have snatched her on her way home.
Her father must be worried sick.
"No! The sun is getting closer; it\'s going to fry me! Mercury already crashed into the vines and burned them up," she rambled deliriously, shrinking into an even tighter ball.
Aaron heaved a sigh of relief that she was conscious and able to speak even if she was completely off her rocker. What had they given her?
He turned the light back off but turned on the one in the bathroom and left the door open a crack so he could see at least a little.
Loosening his tie, which was close to choking him because he was out of breath, he slumped onto the edge of the bed next to her.
He reached out hesitantly, wanting to check if she was hurt at all.
"Keeley? Are you alright? Do you feel pain anywhere?"
She peeked out from between the gap in her arms.
"Hey, that\'s my name! Are you Neptune? You\'re so cold…brrrrrrr. Neptune is the coldest planet. Or is that Pluto? They\'re both far away from the sun! Save me!"
Keeley startled him by launching herself onto his lap, throwing her arms around his neck and giggling.
"You\'re all icy so you can freeze the sun. Haha! Can\'t get me now, Mr. Sun!"
Freeze the sun? He was certainly frozen in place with shock.
Gently extricating himself from her grip, which would put an octopus to shame, he placed the back of his hand against her forehead. She was burning up.
"Keeley, we need to get you to a doctor."
Aaron had no idea what she ingested but it might be dangerous. He tried to get off the bed so he could pick her up and take her downstairs to get some help but she had other ideas.
Keeley pulled him back down and lay completely on top of him, pressing her feverish forehead to his neck and rubbing it back and forth.
"Are doctors like clowns? The clown died…I don\'t want more clowns, just you Mr. Neptune! So nice and cold. Coooooooold." She giggled hysterically after drawing the word out.
He couldn\'t remember the last time Keeley was this close to him. They practically lived as strangers the last several years of their marriage.
Blood rushed to his head, causing heat to flood through his cheeks. He wanted her so badly but she was out of her mind; he was not allowed to react.
"Keeley, get off," he pleaded somewhat desperately.
She clung even tighter.
"Why don\'t you want me, Neptune? Am I not pretty enough? He didn\'t think I was pretty enough either."
Her voice quavered slightly and she sniffed before burrowing deeper into his neck.
Who on earth was she talking about? Another planet from her hallucinations? He tried to reassure her while simultaneously getting her to roll off of him.
"You\'re very pretty. Can you please get off me now?"
She shook her head, sliding her arms underneath his back uncomfortably.
"You don\'t mean it. He didn\'t mean it either, that jerk glacier. He didn\'t love me anymore so I don\'t need him! A planet is much bigger and better than a glacier!"
Aaron tried his best to escape and was able to sit up though her arms were still deadlocked around him. She was going to drive him insane.
Maybe he could reason with her if he played along with her fantasy.
"How about this? I\'ll carry you somewhere and you can tell me all about your glacier. Okay?"
"Why would I want to talk about my glacier? I hate him. I\'m a little penguin and he\'s all of Antarctica," she said sadly as tears began to roll down her cheeks onto his dress shirt.
"A tiny speck, that\'s all I am. I don\'t want to be a speck anymore."
He had the strangest feeling she was talking about a real person rather than a hallucination this time even though her words were nonsensical.
"You\'re not a speck. Can we go now? You need help."
"No!" she exclaimed vehemently, climbing on top of him and wrapping her legs around his waist as if she were a koala and he was a tree.
"Don\'t throw me away too! I won\'t let you go!"
A tic burst on forehead.
"Keeley, I am not going to throw you away. I\'m going to take you somewhere special."
"I don\'t want to go somewhere special. I want to stay riiiiight here with pretty, pretty Neptune…"
She lifted her head off his shoulder, her glassy eyes darkening with desire as they met his. She unwound the vice formed by her arms and began unbuttoning his shirt.
Aaron couldn\'t take any more of this, not after being without her for so long. He seized her hands in an effort to make her stop.
"Keeley Hall, if you don\'t stop this right now you\'ll regret it," he growled.
She laughed but it wasn\'t the hysterical laughter from earlier. It was bitter, cynical laughter that didn\'t match her intoxicated state. She would have seemed lucid if not for the look in her eyes.
"I\'m already drowning in a sea of regrets. One more is nothing."
That was a concerning statement that he would have asked about if he weren\'t in such a compromising position. He could always ask her later but right now she needed to get to the hospital.
He tried coaxing her again. "Kee—"
She cut him off by slamming her lips against his. He was so surprised that his grip slackened enough for her to pull her hands free and resume her task of trying to take his shirt off.
His brain short-circuited to the point that he couldn\'t even move as she kept going. It would be so easy to let her keep going and finally get what he dreamed of during all of those years alone…