Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 516 - Your Own Key

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:17:58]
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Noah didn\'t know how to make his girlfriend feel better. She refused to believe that he was okay with waiting for her.


It really hadn\'t been that long though. They had lived like siblings for twenty-four years and had only tried dating for about two months. He understood that it might take her a while to get used to the change since change had never been her strong suit.


Yet here she was, unnecessarily beating herself up again. Why did she always do that? Noah had never understood Violet\'s long-standing self-esteem issues. He knew they had something to do with Kaleb thinking she was too clingy back when they were little but that had been years ago.


He couldn\'t fully comprehend why that wound went so deep. Violet felt things more intensely than most people did but he thought she and Kaleb had worked out their issues while she was recovering from surgery.


Those two were the only ones home all day while Noah was at work so they had spent a lot of time talking. She had told him things were essentially resolved so why was feeling burdensome still her first instinct?


He supposed that she had felt that way for so long that it was ingrained at this point. Unfortunately, there wasn\'t much he could do aside from supporting her through it when she got like this.


"I wish you could see how wonderful you are," Noah murmured into her hair.


"What was that?" Violet replied sleepily.


"I said I wish you could see how wonderful you are. Come on, you\'re falling asleep sitting on the floor. At least move to the couch."


She rubbed her eyes and blinked several times. "But what about Blaze?"


The cat was still asleep in his strawberry, looking perfectly content. "He\'ll be fine," Noah reassured her.


He scooped her up and carried her to the living room where he gently set her down on the couch. There was no point staying if she was asleep so he turned to go. Violet stopped him by reaching out to grab his arm.


"Can you hold me for a bit?" she yawned. "I don\'t want to be alone right now."


Noah could never refuse that. He laid down next to her and wrapped her in his arms. After a while her breathing became even and her jaw went slack so he knew she was asleep. As comfortable as this was, he was far too wired to take a nap with her.


Being near Violet since they had started dating had been rather stressful for his poor heart. He wasn\'t used to this much physical contact so he had to work hard to keep his cool in front of her.


Even so, he wouldn\'t trade what they had now for the world. They were close—so close!—to being together forever. All he needed to do was be patient a little longer.


For years Noah had thought he would be satisfied simply being her best friend as long as no one came along to snatch her away. Not only was there no longer a danger of that, he got to cuddle and kiss her whenever he wanted.


He had meant it when he said he could wait forever. As long as she didn\'t leave him for someone else he could handle anything.


===


Violet didn\'t wake up until it was nearly dinner time and Noah was a bit cramped from lying there so long. Not that he was complaining; cuddling her that much had been great. But now he definitely needed to stretch.


She blinked at him adorably. "You stayed the whole time I was asleep?"


He nodded, the lump in his throat preventing him from speaking for a moment. Her unintentional cute attack had dealt a critical hit. As did the brilliant smile that followed.


Ignoring the fact that her boyfriend was on the verge of spontaneously combusting yet again, Violet began rummaging around in the kitchen and talking to herself as she searched for food. Ultimately she settled on ordering takeout.


Blaze wandered out of the cat room because of the noise and began exploring more of his new home as they waited for the takeout to be delivered to the lobby. Violet watched him go with a fond expression. She really did love cats.


Noah\'s family had always had dogs around but he was used to cats from all the time he spent with the Hales. They were more low-key animals, which suited Violet\'s personality. She didn\'t have the energy to chase after a dog all the time.


The handful of times over the years that the two of them had been tasked with walking or bathing the dogs had never gone terribly well. Violet enjoyed playing with dogs for short periods of time but had never desired to have one.


He knew this and didn\'t mind it. They were a lot of work. If he wanted to play with a dog in the future, all he had to do was visit his parents.


When the food arrived, Violet headed down to fetch it. She plunked the takeout bags onto the table and pulled something out of her pocket, holding it out to him. She wouldn\'t meet his eyes as she did so and seemed terribly embarrassed.


Peering at the object in her hand, Noah saw that it was an elevator key. He blinked at her in surprise.


"You\'re over so often anyway that I figured you should have your own key. You know, so you don\'t have to wait for me in the lobby if I ever beat you here," she explained.


Noah accepted it gingerly. This shouldn\'t have felt like as big a deal as it did. He had been on the \'automatic entry\' list to the Hales\' apartment for years. But things felt a bit different here because this was Violet\'s place alone. There were no family members to potentially run into.


He knew better than to think this was an invitation to move in but it showed how much she trusted him. His heart warmed and he smiled at her.


"Thanks, Vi."


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