Run, Girl (If You Can)

Chapter 7: Nobodys Better Than Me
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Chapter 7: Nobody's Better Than Me

Keeley was not an artistic person. Whoever put her name on the volunteer list to make and put up the decorations for the dance was going to suffer.

It would be held in a banquet hall at a fancy hotel downtown—this was a private school; they had standards—but the volunteers worked on making them in one of the art classrooms after school for a week prior.

One of the socialites only there to get volunteer hours for college admissions complained, "Isn't this a little underwhelming? It would be so much easier to just buy everything and it would look better too. A kindergartener could have made this."

She eyed Keeley's masterpiece made from two balloons taped together in the shape of a heart and plastered with paper mache with distaste.

It would look better once the balloons were removed and it was painted. She hoped. At least nobody else's looked much better.

The student advisor who came up with the idea wanted to hang the hearts upside down from the ceiling covered in glitter so they would have a slight disco ball effect under the flashing lights of the stage where the live band played. Everyone was too tired to argue.

Most participants were on the student council, didn't want to be here but needed volunteer hours, or came to goof off with their friends who fell in either of the first two categories.

Keeley was the only one who didn't personally have a reason to be there.

At least no one she was trying to avoid was on the decoration committee. That list had grown from Aaron and Lacy to the man she was certain killed her.

Looking in the student directory, she discovered his name was Maximillian Lynch. Lacy's loyal lapdog.

Just thinking about him gave her goosebumps. Every time she saw him she felt the fear that flooded through her when that car barreled out of nowhere even though he wasn't a killer yet.

Keeley absentmindedly continued pasting paper mache to her balloons as she thought about her dilemma. One of her enemies orchestrated it so she would have to attend the dance so she assumed they would be there.

Aaron even pointedly asked her about it…he was the most likely candidate based on that alone, though she admitted that it seemed more Lacy's style to make a 'commoner' do extra unwanted work. She thrived off of others' misfortunes. Aaron was too high above everyone to care.

He had acted so strangely ever since she was reborn. He was supposed to be off in his little rich heir world until Keeley barged her way into it.

She never fit in with his friends, family, or lifestyle no matter how hard she tried. She changed so much about herself for him but never got any recognition for it.

Weariness settled on her heart. This dance would be the death of her. At least she would be with Jeffrey and Lydia. Those two were normal, easy people to be around.

She might even have fun if she managed to avoid whoever was trying to trap her. Being on high alert all the time was exhausting.

She couldn't wait for the school year to end. Lacy, Aaron, and Max all went to Boston for college. All she had to do was go to NYU as originally planned and she would be free of them.

Aaron would no doubt end up with Lacy (it was going to happen eventually anyway) and she could live her life alone in peace.

Keeley's phone dinged and she washed her hands to check it in case it was from her dad.

The number wasn't saved in her phone but she would recognize those ten digits anywhere. Aaron. 'Go to the dance with me.'

'I already have a date'

She would have said no even if she hadn't. Going with Jeffrey looked like a better idea all the time.

'Who could you possibly go with that is better than me?'

Such arrogance! She huffed and in her anger she provoked the sleeping beast. 'Anyone would be better than you!'

Keeley's phone buzzed several more times in her pocket but she resolutely ignored it and went back to her balloons.

When she finally checked her phone again on the subway, the four messages she received included statistics about his net worth, accomplishments, and a spread done on his family by a financial magazine. The last one said 'Nobody's better than me' with a winking emoticon.

Insane. He was completely insane. There was nobody worse than him!

Unfortunately, Aaron wasn't a person that enjoyed being challenged. Her refusal—specifically, the words she used when she refused him—ignited a fire that she could not put out.

It started small.

A large bouquet of orchids was on her desk first thing the following day. There wasn't a card or any indication who it was from beyond the slightly smug aura radiating off of her desk mate.

He didn't say a word but leaned back in his seat with the sophistication and power of a lounging panther.

Keeley didn't want to cause a scene at school so she took them home and gave them to her elderly neighbor who loved flowers and had a tiny window box garden when the weather was nice.

The next day it was a pair of earrings shaped like bows with little rhinestones on them. Keeley pawned them off on Lydia since they were similar to a pair she saw in the mall at a standard accessory store.

Her friend shoved them back into her hands, white as a sheet, after a girl in her math class complimented them later in the day. Apparently they were from Tiffany's and cost over $7,000.

Keeley nearly dropped the little box in shock. More than $7,000 on a pair of earrings for a girl who hardly even talked to him?! What exactly was he trying to pull?

She didn't want to confront Aaron so she snuck the box back into his backpack when he bent over to retrieve a dropped pencil the following day.

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