Page 29 of Claiming Cinderella

“Fine.” He seemed to deflate as his shoulders slumped and I shook his hand before I headed out.

“Wish me luck.”

“Luck.”

I took off into the garage and wondered if the valet had taken my advice and not blocked me in. I’d always hated that, and they knew better, but the party was also a lot bigger than expected.

I knew right where the twins lived and hoped I could get to Ella before the twins called home, but I had a feeling that by the time I’d get there, Nola Blue would already know what was happening.

I seemed to remember something about Nola and Layla Ford being best friends, but I wasn’t sure about that. Sometimes the tabloids made up fake relationships and even feuds, and it was hard to tell which was which.

I opened the garage to find a couple of paparazzi waiting for someone to leave. I didn’t bother ducking the camera flash and tried my best not to run over one of the idiots who made a bad habit of standing in front of cars.

Finally, I was on my way, and I knew that if all else failed at least, I could return her ring and wish her well.

But I really hoped that I’d find her missing me as much as I missed her. It was a feeling like I’d known her my whole life and would never see her again.

Chapter 15

Ella

I hurried into the house and ran into Millie who was standing around waiting like the driver had called her. He probably had, and I wiped my eyes determined to be strong.

Millie’s voice was full of concern. “What happened?” She put her hands on my arms, and I took a deep breath, snubbing from the tears I’d shed in the car.

“The twins fired me. Aiden Prince chose to dance with me and not them, and they had told me he was off limits. Supposedly, Sadie liked him. But he hadn’t told me anything like that. We were having a lovely time, and he even kissed me. We talked about my mother and her jewelry, and then I went down to find the twins with it on.” I felt like I was rambling but I opened my purse to let her see what they’d done. Her eyes widened as she saw the jewels. “I made them give all of this back to me and threatened to involve the police. They fired me.” I knew I was repeating myself and I tried to catch my breath as I took a seat on the bench in the foyer.

“You’ll be fine. I wouldn’t worry about them.”

“I lost my ring, too.” I held out my hand and showed her the place where and should be. “There’s a part of it missing.”

“Yes, I remember when your father gave them to—

Millie stopped and pulled her lips in tight as if she'd said something she shouldn’t have. “My father?” I gave her a sideward glance.

“Jesus,” she mumbled and then she met my eyes with a soft look of regret. “I suppose I’ve been waiting for the day I’d let that slip.”

“Let what slip, Millie? Did you know my father?” She gave me a knowing look, and I started to shake. “Tell me who he is!”

“I remember the day your mother decided to make that piece. She’d taken all three rings that your father had given her and made them into one. She’d known it was finally over and thought the piece would be symbolic.” She stared off at the front door as if she didn't see it, and instead her head was full of memories.

“Who is he?” Something in the way she was acting, my suspicions started growing.

“My son met your mother a long time before she introduced him to Nola. They were sweethearts, and he even proposed to her a few times. But then Nola asserted herself in the middle and before I knew anything about it, she, Nola, and Scott had themselves a love triangle. It nearly killed their friendship, but your mother tried to step out of the way. But she was too late. And by late, I mean she was pregnant with you. Well, Scott was going through a rough time with his demons, his addictions, and she didn’t know if he could be a good father. You came, time passed, and by the time he cleaned up enough to be worthy of being your father, Nola was pregnant with the twins. He cleaned up and was in love with your mother, but by that time he wouldn’t leave Nola. Not with two little girls, not when your mother was already making money and making a name for herself. He loved her too much to bring her down.

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