Page 30 of Claiming Cinderella

“So, she let it go, let Nola have him even though they were in love and Scott didn’t even fight for her?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but even more than that what it all meant.

“Don’t be angry with your father, Ella. He’s loved you since the day you were born, and he’s looked after you. That’s why he wanted to take you in, and of course, Nola agreed. She doesn’t know you’re his, Ella. She and your mother were friends. Best friends, and even though your mother and her had your disagreements, she’d do anything for you.

“She doesn’t know?”

“No, it’s the reason Scott and I have kept this all a secret. She’d try to ruin us, Ella. You mustn’t tell her.” I stared at Millie and realized something that hadn’t dawned on me before.

“Millie, you’re my—

“I’m your grandmother, yes.” She nodded her head and pulled me into her arms so tight I felt like I’d break. “I’m so sorry, Ella. So, so sorry.” Millie wept and I held her for a moment thinking of my eyes and how much like Scott’s they were, how familiar he’d always been and how he always had looked at me with fondness and told me how much I reminded him of my mother. He’d loved her.

“Nola is going to be mad. She’s going to want to kick me out when the twins come home.” I pulled away from Millie and was suddenly dizzy. “The twins. They’re my half-sisters. I’d never noticed any resemblance with the two girls and myself, but then they’d been perfect little carbon copies of their mother, and I’d looked like mine, save for the eyes, which were so clearly Scott Blue’s.

“I’m sure it’s all quite a shock, but I want you to know something. This is my house. Mine and my son’s. I put the secure loan on it long before he and Nola ever became a thing, so you may stay here as long as you like.”

“Will he ever tell Nola?” I thought it only fair to let her know about me, and then she could make her own decision about what to do. “I mean, I was here first, my mother had him first, right?”

“He was with Nola when you were conceived if that’s what you’re asking. It’s a strange relationship, designed to give Nola her way. I’ve promised Scott I’d never tell, so if you want her to know, you should talk to him.

“This is all a bit too much.”

“I know, and I’ve wanted to tell you a million times. I’ve always known I’d slip up one day. I am getting older and am not as sharp minded as I used to be, and well, quite honestly, I’m glad it happened. You don’t know how long I’ve wanted you to know.” I wanted to be angry, but it had been a long night, and I loved Millie so much, I could never hate her.

My mother hadn’t ever told me either, and though I felt a touch of bitterness from the situation, I just wanted to let it process—let the whole night process, but then as I headed upstairs, I heard a car out front. I gave her one last hug and turned to go upstairs.

“I need to be alone.”

I walked upstairs to my room and then stepped out on the small balcony to peer up to the stars. It seemed like only minutes ago I was with Aiden on his own, looking up at the stars and hoping he’d kiss me again, and now I’m back home, sister to the two twin brats, with my father downstairs somewhere playing his guitar.

I leaned my head on my arm, resting an elbow on the railing when I saw car lights approaching. I wondered if it were the twins returning home in the limo, but it wasn’t. I didn’t recognize the car, but then it stopped, and Aiden got out.

I leaned over the railing. “What are you doing here?” I snapped.

“Please come down, Ella. I need to talk to you!”

“Go away, Aiden. I’ve nothing else to say to you!”

“There’s been a misunderstanding. Would you let me come in and explain?” He peered up at me and I glared down with my arms crossed in front of me like my guts were going to fall out if I didn’t hold myself together. “Please, Ella. I have your ring.”

Knowing he had my ring, I wanted to run down, but instead, I took my time responding. “Fine, but only to get my ring. I have nothing to say to you. It’s been a really shitty night!” I couldn’t even tell him why.