Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 92 - Beginner's Luck

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:15:15]
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When they returned to his apartment, Keeley informed him that it would be best to introduce Dinah to the house slowly so she wouldn\'t be overwhelmed by the large space. Aaron let her loose in the room where he set up all of the cat things. After sniffing around for a few minutes and eating a little from the food bowl, Dinah jumped up into the hammock and fell asleep.


"My work here is done," Keeley announced, clapping her hands together. "Take me home now."


Now? It was only lunchtime. He hadn\'t spent nearly enough time with her. "At least let me buy you lunch; it\'s the least I can do since you helped me out so much today."


She bit her lip, torn. "What kind of lunch?"


"Anything you want," he said earnestly.


Keeley grinned mischievously. "No take backs."


He held up a hand and made the three finger Boy Scout salute to indicate trustworthiness. "No take backs," he agreed.


Aaron wished he could take it back once he drove up to the address she navigated him to using his phone.


It was one of those chain buffet places that also had an arcade and some rides—clearly meant for nothing but children\'s birthday parties. Why on earth had she chosen this when they could have gone anywhere in New York City?


"I haven\'t been to one of these places in over a decade," she said gleefully as they walked in. "You wouldn\'t deny me my fun after I took time out of my busy schedule to help you out, would you?"


"No," he conceded in defeat.


He did say anything she wanted and he needed to appear trustworthy after her blatant lack of faith in his character earlier. He would prove himself by any means necessary. Even by going to a ridiculous place like this.


Besides, if she truly wanted to play arcade games…that seemed almost like date territory. Keeley had taken him to an arcade in high school during his first life and spent a good chunk of that time teaching him how to play Skee Ball because he was terrible at it.


She had a lot of fun that day, laughing and smiling like crazy. If this was going to be anything like that, he would gladly take the subpar food.


Keeley stuffed herself on macaroni, pizza, breadsticks, cinnamon rolls, and a bunch of other things from the buffet. Aaron got a salad and a baked potato but also got a brownie because she said they were good. They weren\'t nearly as good as the ones she made him before in his opinion.


"Aaron," she said sweetly once they were finished with their food. "I want to play games."


"Okay."


Surprise flitted across her face briefly before her expression went back to what it was before. He loaded two game cards to be swiped on various games instead of using coins or tokens. The cards kept track of tickets for prizes as well, saving paper.


The first thing she did was make a beeline for the Skee Ball machines. Keeley was fairly skilled; she usually managed to land the ball in the 30 point hole or higher.


Aaron enjoyed the look of determined concentration on her face. It was the same one she made the first time they did this. She turned to him with a smirk.


"Have you ever played this before?"


"Yes."


Her brows furrowed. "Seriously? You? Show me what you\'ve got then."


So he did. He wasn\'t nearly as good as she was but at the very least he managed to get a few shots in that were worth more than 10 points.


"How\'s that?"


"Surprisingly not bad," she said begrudgingly. "What about air hockey?"


They had played air hockey before too. Aaron surprised her by beating her on their second game even though he had never played before. He had good reflexes and was a natural talent.


Moving over to an air hockey table, they played a game and he won even though she did her best to block him. Keeley got so flustered that she knocked the puck into her own goal three times.


"Beginner\'s luck," she claimed before muttering under her breath so he could hardly hear. "There\'s got to be something here you aren\'t good at."


Aaron stifled a laugh. He understood now. She was trying to one-up him. There actually were a lot of things in the arcade he wasn\'t good at but it was more fun seeing her flounder so he wouldn\'t give any hints.


"Bumper cars!" Keeley cried. "There\'s no way you\'ve done that before!"


That was true. He hadn\'t ever been in a bumper car. But how hard could it be? He knew how to drive.


Driving a bumper car was nothing like driving a real car. Aaron stalled so many times and couldn\'t get the stupid steering wheel to cooperate. He bumped into corners and got stuck more often than he bumped into actual people.


Every so often, while he was stuck, someone would slam into him from behind and he would hear Keeley\'s exhilarated laughter. He knew it was at his expense but enjoyed hearing it nonetheless. At least she was having fun.


When the ride ended she was revitalized and practically bounced out of it. "Alright! I\'m playing Deal or No Deal next."


It was a game based on the TV show but Aaron had never watched game shows or reality TV. That was Keeley\'s guilty pleasure for the longest time.


She thought he didn\'t know because she only watched it when he wasn\'t home, but he could see the records of what was watched recently on the DVR. He wasn\'t sure why she insisted on keeping it a secret. Did she think it would be beneath her identity as Mrs. Hale?


"Pick case number ten," he said casually. He had been watching the cases on the screen shift around and he was fairly certain it was the one that held 100 tickets.


She purposely ignored that and picked case number eight. At the end of the game she was down to case number ten and the case she picked and was dismayed to discover that Aaron was right. She only won twenty tickets.


"I told you so," he said smugly. "This is why you should listen to me."


Keeley hopped off the stool angrily. "Whatever. I can beat you at the trivia quiz."


And she did. He knew nothing about pop culture so he only got two points by guessing as opposed to her fourteen.


They continued like that for a good while; Aaron was good at some games, Keeley was good at others. In the end they had a combined total of 456 tickets and enough credits to go on one more ride at her insistence.


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