Page 26 of Claiming Cinderella

The look on his face told me all I needed to know. “It’s not like that, let me explain.” The guy looked like he was going to be in trouble if he said much more and I could tell that he didn’t want to rat out his oldest friend out.

“Either you’re lying to her, or you’re lying to us, Zep, so which is it? Aiden did say he’d be to bed with us as soon as he’s done with his guests. Did he not?”

“Yes, but—

“See, Ella. He might have kissed you, but he’s not going to fall in love with you. He’s a scoundrel, and you’re just some poor stupid girl.”

“That’s enough,” Zep said, but the girls weren’t done.

“Aiden kissed me earlier too, by the way, so you’re not his special pet or anything. Just so you know.” Sadie’s laughter was full of acid, and I had heard about enough.

“Fine! I want to leave anyway. Give me my things, or I’m calling the police.” I practically growled the words and their eyes lit. Neither thought I’d make such a scene, and I was just pissed off enough that I didn’t care.

Halle took off my mother’s jewelry in a hurry, but Sadie took her time. “You’re so fired. You just wait until we get home and tell mother. She’ll throw you out of the house. You’ll be all alone with nothing and no one. Just like before you came to us.” Zep didn’t seem impressed with his girlfriend, and he glanced back toward the door to see if Aiden was coming. He offered me an apologetic look and shook his head like I shouldn’t believe it, but he made no attempt to deny any of the things they’d said.

As soon as I had all of the pieces in my palms, I tucked them into my clutch and hurried out. I didn’t need them to get home, not with Millie’s driver waiting. As I passed the stairs, I saw Aiden, who called out my name.

“Ella, wait!” I heard his voice high above the crowd and the music, but I wasn’t stopping. I didn’t want to meet his mother or give him another moment of my life. I ran out the front door and took off towards the parking, seeing the white Rolls which was parked across the way. It was the only one like it in the lot and hardly something you’d miss. I felt my ankle twist as I ran and then I lost my shoe. I stopped and shoved my foot into it and hobbled on my way across the rocky stretch to the car.

Millie’s driver saw me and the mousy little man jumped from the car and seemed to panic. “Are you alright, miss?” He asked as he opened the door.

I dove into the back and gave him a glance. “Hurry, please,” I commanded, and as he slammed the door and ran around the car to jump inside, I saw Aiden step outside, looking around as if he was desperate to find me.

He’d promised the twins he’d be with the both of them, and the very thought of it turned my stomach. If I had made out with him more and then left, he’d have gone right to bed with them to finish what I’d started. I had been his warm up.

I should have known that he’d be too good to be true. The moment I’d let my guard down, I was doomed. I’d even thought for sure they’d put him up to it and perhaps they had. Now they had something to laugh about while they all fucked. The idea of him and Zep in the same bed with the twins, the two of them banging each of the girls in the same way Halle had been banging that man in her room. I’d seen her with a different man every week, sometimes two and three, but I guess it was my own stupidity that led me to think Aiden would be better than something like that. But then again, I didn’t know him.

Tears stained my mask covered cheeks as I pressed my fingertips to my lips, still swollen with kisses and then I wiped my mouth as hard as I could. He repulsed me.

The memory of those final moments ran through my head as I slipped off my mask. The thing had been like a second skin, and I’d almost forgotten about it, but then it dawned on me. Aiden hadn’t even seen the real me. He’d seen the masked girl at his party and thought he could play with her. That’s all he’d done too, play. But I wasn’t a toy, and whatever his game was, it was over now. Never again.

I wiped my eyes and then went to straighten my rings when I noticed the one was missing again. I’d seen it on my hand when I’d been upstairs with Aiden. He’d held my hand, and I’d been conscious of it. Now it was somewhere between the stairs and the room where the two awful sisters were. I’d never see it again. I’d call the house and ask the staff if they found it, but more than likely someone else would spot it and realize it was gold and sell it.

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