Run, Girl (If You Can)

Chapter 16 - This Isn't Like You

Girlfriend…what on earth had that horrible woman said to Keeley that made her think she was his girlfriend? He was furious.

She was closed off enough from him already; the last thing he needed was further interference. Especially from the woman who ruined his first life.

Lacy Knighton. To everyone else she appeared to be a perfect socialite and the epitome of grace. Only Aaron knew how much of a demon she truly was behind that pretty façade.

He needed to keep a better eye on her this time. Lacy was so set on becoming the next Mrs. Hale that she did everything in her power to sabotage Keeley.

When they were in school, it was small things like pushing her into the punch bowl at the Valentines dance, starting unsavory rumors, and tripping her so she nearly fell down the stairs. Lacy was crafty so she got away with it every time but Aaron had his suspicions.

Since she followed him to Harvard, he wanted to keep Keeley as far away from her as possible. It was better that Lacy didn't know she was in the same city.

What didn't make sense to him now was that Lacy was getting involved based on so little information. The first time around she only started causing trouble after Keeley became his rather persistent shadow at their lunch table.

She had to have seen the kiss. He cursed himself for losing control. If he was going to kiss her, he should have done it without any witnesses.

Hadn't he done everything in his power to keep Keeley hidden for the first few years of their relationship to protect her? How could he be so reckless now? Desperation could make people do crazy things.

Lacy was desperate for power, prestige, and the one man who ever turned her down. It turned her into a murderer. Aaron had to be more vigilant this time.

He wanted to clear the air immediately and explain that he had nothing to do with that crazy woman but Keeley was long gone.

Trying to pry that bloodsucker off of him had taken too much time. He cursed under his breath. Everything just had to be difficult.

With the poetry assignment behind them, Aaron had no valid excuse to talk to the taciturn girl sitting beside him. She was talented at playing cat and mouse—always somehow avoiding him while on campus.

The only time he had a captive audience was during class and she either ignored him or shut him down no matter what he said.

"What did you do over the weekend?"


"Can I borrow an eraser?"

"I don't have one."

"Do you have an extra piece of paper?"


"What did you think about the reading?"

"It was fine."

No matter what he asked, she found a way to answer in less than five words and went back to ignoring him. Aaron was at his wit's end. This sudden role reversal was really starting to get to him.

If he was this hard to get through to back then, how on earth had Keeley managed not to give up? She hadn't abandoned him then so he wouldn't give up so easily.

After yet another fruitless attempt at starting conversation, he lost his head and forcibly dragged her out of the classroom and into an empty janitor's closet.

"What are you doing?" she demanded.

Though unwilling to cause a scene in the crowded hallway at the beginning of lunch, she had no qualms about smacking his hands away now.

Aaron leaned over her menacingly, banging his fist on the wall. "Why? Why won't you talk to me?"

"I have zero desire to talk to a scumbag like you," Keeley said scathingly. "Let me out of here or I'll scream."

"What did I do to you to make you treat me like this? This isn't like you!"

She let out a small, unhinged laugh. "Isn't like me? You have no idea what I'm like!"

"I know you better than anyone, Keeley Hall," he said through gritted teeth, too incensed to remember that in this life they really didn't know each other all that well. "You aren't supposed to be like this. Why are you like this?!"

Fear shone in her eyes. "You have no idea what you're talking about. I'll let this go if you leave me alone but if you don't I'll—"

"What? Report me? You've threatened that before. It won't work. So why don't you be good and tell me the truth. What did Lacy say to you? Is that why you're avoiding me?"

She shut her eyes and tried pushing him away but he was too heavy. "I would have avoided you anyway. You're a jerk and a liar and I want nothing to do with you!"

"Shut up!" Aaron roared.

This was wrong, this was all wrong, how had this happened…She loved him. She was supposed to love him. If she didn't love him he would have absolutely nothing to live for.

All the fight drained out of him. He shouldn't be getting mad at her. She was already so afraid of him that she was shaking.

Aaron slumped forward onto her shoulder in defeat and wrapped his arms around her. "I'm sorry. Don't be scared."

Keeley sniffled and he felt even worse. So he was so scary now that she was crying.

His hold tightened. There had to be a better way to approach this. But what? She wouldn't tell him what was going on. She didn't even like him.

If only he could explain himself. Rebirth was too fantastical to believe. She would never listen if he tried to tell her they had been married before and that he loved her.

He would lose all credibility and she might become even more afraid of him. He needed to think of something nonthreatening that could convince her of his sincerity.

"Aaron, can you let me go now?" she asked in a small voice.

He sighed heavily. She hadn't been in his arms nearly long enough. After planting a gentle kiss on her forehead he released her.

Keeley didn't even look back at him as she scampered out the door. He followed after less than a minute later, unaware of the young man with the cellphone watching the door to the janitor's closet closely before sending a text.

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