Claiming Cinderella(10)

By: Amy Brent

My face paled as I was put on the spot. “I’m sorry, Nola, I don’t think I could bear to loan out my mother’s collection.” I’d vowed not to part with it, and it was my most cherished possessions. Everything else had been taken away from me, my home, my mother’s money that was to be my inheritance, and the very thought of loaning them, where anything could happen to them, much less the thought of them draped across the vile twins—my stomach turned.

“Excuse me? I hardly think it’s too much to ask, considering.” Nola’s eyes hardened with her expression. Here was a woman who’d been like family, who’d done everything to help me. How could I tell her no?

I fumbled through my thoughts, unsure of how to refuse—if to refuse. “It’s just they are all I have, my security. It’s—

“We’ve done an awful lot for you, Ella. Invited you into our home and trusted you with our security, surely you can’t mean you don’t trust us with a few pieces that would surely be returned unharmed.” Her tone was clipped, but before I could respond, Millie stepped in.

She gave Nola a harsh glare. “It’s highly inappropriate to suggest that Ella owes you anything, much less her most cherished possessions. If you’re so trusting of your daughter’s, then perhaps you should trust them with your own valuable pieces. I’m certain you have something just as lovely that Layla designed.”

Nola’s face paled, and I could have sworn a muscle in her jaw feathered as if she’d clenched. But then her expression softened into a smile. “Of course, forgive me, Ella.”

Halle snorted. “Like we’d want to wear her cast-offs anyway. Not when we can be loaned anything we want from any designer in town.”

Sadie’s eyes met mine in the reflection, but instead of a smile, a sly cunning glare sent her head sideways. That was the look of a viper ready to strike, and I knew once she sank her fangs, the death would be just as slow.

Nola kept her expression blank, but I could tell she was sick of Millie sticking up for me, especially since after that no one spoke for a long while, and when they finally did, Millie had stepped out, and I was back to being invisible.

Chapter 6


Getting dressed up for events had never been something I appreciated when I was younger, but now that I could choose my own styles it wasn’t as terrible. Zep and I had decided that instead of going out to find something, we’d use my wealth and have the designers come to us. Doing so also meant that Zep could sleep in as long as possible and by the way he was curled up next to the sexy brunette when I peeked in on him he needed it.

I stood in the mirror while Frenchie, my mother’s recommended designer made a few adjustments on the tux. The man had done one suit for me in the past, and the thing had fit so perfectly that I hoped to have the same luck.

“Excuse me,” said a tiny voice as the girl from Zep’s bed entered the front room with wet hair and her head down. She was red-faced during her walk of shame, and because of that, I’d give her some credit. Most would stomp out unapologetically and half-dressed.

Zep entered the room shortly after, his hair still wet from his shower, and I could only assume the two had shared it.

“You’re looking good, friend,” said Zep as he plopped down in the closest chair that hadn’t been draped with garments.

“Thanks. We finally chose the right one. Now we’re making sure it fits me like a glove.”

“Are you sure we have to do the whole tux thing? Can’t I wear a tie and my boots?” Zep’s style had always been a bit edgier than the normal rich kid, but then again, my orphaned friend’s father was the same way, always wearing concert tees and ripped jeans with his biker boots.

“Yeah, you want to ask my mother that question? I’m sure she’ll give you an answer real fast.”

“Never mind, I’ll do it.” Zep leaned back and closed his eyes like he hadn’t gotten enough sleep.

“You’re dragging ass, this morning. She didn’t look like the type that usually wears you out.” The girl seemed to have a wholesome nature compared to others he brought home.

“She was a lunatic. She had me tie her up to the posts and then she wanted to be choked. I don’t mind holding a girl by the neck, but she begged me to make her pass out and then got upset when I declined.”

“Yeah, thanks for that. The last thing we need here is some girl dying from auto-erotic asphyxiation. Could you see the headlines? My mother would put us both in the ground before the police could get to us.” I shook my head. “She didn’t seem the type.”