Page 32 of Claiming Cinderella

She raked her hand through her long blond hair and sat forward to rest her elbows on her knees. “I want to believe that.”

“You can, Ella. It’s the truth. I swear you’re the only person I wanted to spend my night with. I wanted to get to know you.”

“Are you sure the Twins didn’t put you up to all of this? As a way to get to me. If they did, just tell me. I’m tired of games.” She met my eyes, and I felt so bad for her.

“They’ve done quite the number on you, haven’t they?”

“You have no idea. They are awful.” She leaned back and seemed to relax a bit.

“I didn’t even know you knew them until everything went down tonight. Which reminds me, you’re the girl from the club. You spilled your drink on me, why didn’t you say so?”

Her cheeks turned bright red. “I’d hoped that with the mask you’d not remember me from that night. The twins had me so frazzled. They’d taken my contacts earlier that day and hid them, so I couldn’t see anything, and then they hid my flat iron so that I couldn’t get ready. They’re a real treat to work for.”

“Oh no. Well, it’s obvious why they’d be that way. They’re jealous of you.”

Her eyes met mine with a look that told me she might think I’m full of shit. “Why would they be? They’re the Blue Twins. They have their own reality show, they get to live in this palace, and they can have anyone they want.”

“Not me. Besides that, you’re ten times prettier and an all-around better person than either of them.”

“You say all the right things, but I don’t want just another rich guy player. If that’s all you are, then don’t waste your time with me.”

The twins had done a number on her for sure. She was going to have trouble trusting anything from me if I didn’t take drastic measures. I wasn’t letting them take her from me. “How about we go for a drive and give me a chance to show you who I am?”

She took a deep breath and glanced away as if she wasn’t sure, and when I thought she’d refuse me and send me out the door, she nodded and released the breath. “Fine. I’ll go for a drive, but only because I don’t want to be here when they get home.”

I stood up and offered my hand, and she took it, letting me pull her up from the couch. She didn’t say a word as she led me out of the house and I stepped ahead of her to open the car door for her. She seemed to hesitate again before sliding into the passenger seat, so I hurried around the car to get us on the road before she could change her mind. I wanted to take her someplace where we could be alone, so I headed out to the beach. I had a house there with beach access and thought it might be just the place where we could take a private walk and spend some time getting to know one another.

I was fascinated with her life and talent and wanted to hear more, but I was also fascinated with her body and wanted to learn more about it as well. I’d take things slow if she needed, but I was at the very least hoping for another kiss.

I headed out on the main highway and took a few turns into the neighborhood to get to my house, and that’s when I noticed her leaning forward in her seat, looking out the window with narrowed eyes as if focusing to see in the dark.

“I used to live on this street,” she said.

“I bought a house here a few years ago when I thought I was going to be moving away from my parent’s home. My father was furious because I didn’t let him find it for me, but I had wanted to do things on my own then. I guess at some point we were neighbors and didn’t know it.”

“There’s my house.” She pointed to a lovely two-story house that was painted such a bright white it seemed to glow in the dark. There was a for sale sign out front, and I noticed my company logo on the top of it. “Looks like it’s for sale.” She sank down in her seat and looked forward as I drove to the other end of the street where my own house sat.

“Maybe one day I can buy it back. For my mother. It would make the perfect place to work like my mother did. She made her studio in the garage.”

“Why did she sell it?” I wondered if there had been any issues that maybe she didn’t want to deal with like housing regulations or repairs.