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Violet had received a lot of flowers in her life but never from anyone outside of her family or close family friends. Jeremy had certainly surprised her.
Maybe she was reading too much into it, but he brought her red roses. Red roses symbolized pa.s.sion, romance, and love. Surely someone as well-educated as him would be aware of that.
That on top of the fact that he asked her out a second time…did he like her? It had been a long time since a man had shown interest in her that way. She couldn't deny her heart raced when Jeremy held out the roses to her.
But could Violet really find her long awaited romance in her father's a.s.sistant? She supposed getting trapped in an elevator together could be considered one of those cliché fateful encounters.
Hadn't there been an old, cheesy Christmas movie rerun she saw once where that exact thing happened? Except in that movie there had been mistletoe in the elevator and the male and female leads ended up kissing.
She was getting ahead of herself. One date at a time. Putting too many expectations on the early part of a relationship always ended badly for her. n.o.body measured up when she did that.
Violet hadn't felt an instant connection with Jeremy the way that Noah's parents had with each other. He had actually been quite forgettable at first. But that wasn't the only way to fall in love. Her own parents had taken years to get there; at least her mom had.
The way her mom told the story, her dad was actually a lot like the male lead in a romance novel she read in high school called Only You. But most of the books she read focused on chance meetings and cosmic connections the moment people's eyes met.
As much as Violet wanted a cute, romantic meeting story like the Singletons' she supposed what really mattered was that she ended up with someone who made her happy and understood her.
Her parents' goofy, lovesick relationship had made her want something similar. It was obvious to anyone who saw them how much they adored each other.
Only recently had she realized how much of an effect her mom had on her dad. He was completely different around her (and by extension, their children) than he was around anyone else. n.o.body knew how to love deeper and more fully than Aaron Hale, except maybe his wife.
Their love was the kind people cooed about during chick flicks. Was it so much to want the same thing for herself after growing up around the pinnacle of romance?
Violet was still thinking about all of this as she went to meet up with Jeremy for their brunch date. She needed to stop it so she could focus on living in the moment.
They went to a place that had two halves of a menu: the healthy half and the non healthy half. Jeremy ordered an egg and sausage sandwich stuffed inside a croissant while Violet got the healthy equivalent; a sunny side up egg made inside the hole of a whole grain slice of toast.
"I wanted to ask you more about your performance last night but your friend was there so I couldn't," he said casually.
"Sorry about that. Noah can be a bit overprotective. All of the men in my life are like that," she replied before taking a bite of her toast.
Jeremy laughed. "I can only imagine, between three brothers and your dad."
"Sometimes it feels like they're competing for my attention," Violet admitted, before smiling nostalgically as she remembered the keychain incident the other day.
She ended up telling him the story and that spiraled into a bunch of other stories involving her brothers. The three of them had always been like that. Noah was overprotective but he had never gotten involved in that pointless compet.i.tion when he was around her family.
As she talked, she felt herself relaxing. Jeremy was a good listener and he seemed genuinely interested in what she had to say. Every so often he would pitch in occasional comments or side stories from his own childhood but for the most part he let her talk.
She apologized for monopolizing the conversation, feeling suddenly embarra.s.sed, but he smiled and shook his head.
"No need for that. Your childhood seems a lot more interesting than mine. Probably because I was an only child. I ran around with the neighborhood kids a lot but it's not quite the same as having siblings."
Violet couldn't even imagine how different things would have been without her siblings. There was never a time she was an only child since Kaleb was born a few minutes before her.
Were all only children alike? According to Noah, Jeremy was supposedly a carbon copy of her dad at work and Aaron was an only child as well. Her mother wasn't but she had lived as one for most of her life because her only brother died when she was twelve.
From what she had seen, people with siblings were a lot more laid back and adaptable. They learned how to roll with the punches since they were around other people similar in age all the time. Goodness knows Violet had learned that dealing with her often ridiculous brothers.
"You said you always wanted to go into business…did that start when you were running around with the neighborhood kids?" she asked.
"Actually, yes. We got a lemonade stand shut down by the cops because we didn't have a permit and I wondered why," Jeremy replied. "What about you? Did you always want to be a ballerina?"
That particular career choice hadn't come to her until she was in fifth grade. Before that she wanted to be a singer. But around that time she began to realize that a lot of people knew who she was because of her last name. People were always talking about Aaron Hale.
When she was younger she didn't realize her dad was sort of famous; he was just her dad. Violet heard him complain about it a lot because he hated being approached by random people. If she became a famous singer random people would approach her too and that sounded awful.
Ballerinas were on stage all the time but they typically didn't get famous. Most people could name a few famous baseball players or businessmen but they couldn't name ballerinas. She preferred the anonymity.
Since singing was still one of her pa.s.sions, she continued with choir all the way through high school. There simply wasn't time for it in college so her singing was limited to one-woman concerts in the car as she drove around the city.
"Originally I wanted to be a singer but I figured being a dancer would be more practical," Violet said simply.
Jeremy tilted his head, intrigued. "Practical how?"
Ah, this was embarra.s.sing to admit but if she phrased it bluntly as if she wasn't embarra.s.sed it should be okay. She put on her best neutral expression and tried not to blush because it was kind of personal.
"Dancers typically retire before the age of thirty-five. I wanted a career where I could quit to raise a family and then come back as a part-time dance teacher," she admitted.
Thankfully he didn't seem to think she said anything untoward. His expression didn't shift at all.
"You're right, that is practical," Jeremy said and left it at that.
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