Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 55 - Aaron's Research

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:15:01]
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Aaron had to appreciate the irony of how things played out at graduation and afterwards. He was caught off guard when she summoned him from across the field, so similar to the way she did it before.


He definitely wanted to talk to her one last time before they went their separate ways for a while but wasn\'t sure how to go about it so having her come to him first was a relief. Then he found out it was just because she needed someone to take pictures of her with her father.


It was stupid of him to get his hopes up. Seeing her smile like that, in a way she refused to do for him now, was a punch to the gut. Where had things gone so wrong this time?


He made mistakes with her before but at least back then she loved him. He figured it would be easy this time to accept her love more fully and properly love her in return; Keeley disliking him from the get go had never been factored into the equation.


Robert Hall could be a surprisingly astute man; he hadn\'t noticed that in his first life. Somehow he knew that Aaron wanted a picture with Keeley to remember her by and got her to comply.


He was grateful. That sneaky photo he took in class didn\'t have a full view of her face. At the same time, it was a bit depressing because her smile was perfunctory—it lacked the joy that was prevalent in their old graduation photos.


Aaron wondered if he could use Robert\'s trust of him in his favor someday when he was able to work on winning Keeley back but didn\'t expect to have it happen so soon.


The dinner invitation came as a surprise. As much as he wanted to spend more time with her, Keeley\'s obvious discomfort was made him pause before accepting.


Robert kept the conversation flowing at dinner since his daughter was uninterested in anything but the food. Aaron truly won him over by saving Keeley on her birthday.


He was extra grateful in that moment that he was able to resist temptation; if he had given in, he would have lost her forever.


At least her father liked him. Winning over parents was half the battle in a marriage, which was a big part of Keeley\'s problem initially. His parents never accepted her.


At the end of the night, their goodbye left much to be desired. She was so formal with him.


That last hug and the photo of the two of them that Robert took would have to be enough to sustain him until he accrued enough power to pursue her openly without fear.


The next few years without her were going to seem very long.


Thankfully, it was a bit different this time; he would know she was still out there and would see her again as opposed to her being gone forever. With other things to focus on, hopefully he wouldn\'t miss her too much.


He stared at his computer screen. Shortly after being reborn, Aaron had created a file that consisted of everything he knew from thirty-five years of working in his family\'s company before he could forget.


In his first life, he became the vice president of Hale Investments at age twenty-two, not long after getting married. He needed powerful people on his side but more importantly he needed to get the shareholders in his pocket.


His father currently held 52% of the company\'s shares. Aaron\'s monthly allowance was large but even that wouldn\'t be enough to buy up shares. Besides, Alistair would be highly suspicious if Aaron suddenly acquired a bunch of shares out of nowhere.


He would receive 10% of his father\'s when he turned eighteen but wouldn\'t get any more until he married advantageously (which he didn\'t).


It took over a decade of business acumen and scheming to wrestle enough shares away from his father to boot him out of the company a few years after Keeley\'s death.


Aaron refused to marry anyone but Keeley so getting shares through marriage was out. What he needed to do was buy up shares in the name of a dummy shareholder or even multiple dummies that were completely loyal to him. Unfortunately, he would need capital for that.


His parents would pay for all of his school needs since they were the ones who wanted him to go to Harvard in the first place. That would cover tuition, food, textbooks, and housing.


If he invested his monthly allowance wisely rather than spending it, he might be able to triple or even quadruple the amount.


At minimum, Aaron needed twenty percent of the shares to get a foothold in the business. The second highest shareholder after his father was the current vice president, Samuel Shelton, with 12%. He highly doubted he would be able to get anything from Samuel, who was loyal to his father because they had gone to school together.


The remainder of the board consisted of Alexander Lesnick with 10%, Carol Goodwin with 6%, Emilio Sandoval with 5%, Bruce Astor and Parker Mendelson with 4%, Stephen Black and George Carmichael with 3%, and Maria Andrews with the final 1% of the shares.


Aaron compiled his research on the other board members in the encrypted file because it was easier to keep it in one place than try to remember everything.


Carol\'s son was a compulsive gambler and in about a year she would sell half of her shares to pay off his debts so those would be easy enough to acquire.


Maria wasn\'t terribly invested in the company because she hated dealing with the board; Aaron could convince her to sell at the right price and invest elsewhere.


Bruce had desperately clung to his shares until the end because he worked for the company over twenty years and wanted a promotion. He would be swayed with promises of advancement.


As for everyone else…Parker was staunchly in his father\'s camp and would be a major obstacle. The others were wild cards. He would need a more solid plan to get even part of their shares away from them this early on.


Aaron was confident that once he was the second largest shareholder and had other members of the board on his side it would be simple to reduce his father\'s power. After all, he had nearly as many years of experience running the company as Alistair did.


He knew everything there was to know about Hale Investments, both now and in the future. With the power of prediction on his side, taking his father down a peg would be simple once he had enough resources.


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