Page 42 of Claiming Cinderella

Minutes later, Nola ended her call. Halle and Sadie were left to discuss the details alone.

“Well, at least one of us will have fun this season,” snapped Sadie. “Why is it that you get to have a relationship while I have to focus on being professional?”

“At least you get to do whatever you want. Mother will have me dating some loser I don’t even like just to get good ratings.”

“It won’t be the first time you dated a loser. I’m sure Zep Stewart wouldn’t mind being a part of the show.” Sadie cut me a glare. “You’ll have to make sure you keep a clear schedule, Ella. We’ll need you to be on call for our appointments. Things are about to get hectic while we do promos. You’ve been getting off easy lately.”

This was getting off easy? I wanted to roll my eyes, but I knew better. Instead, I nodded and went back to looking through my new planner that Nola had left on my dresser that very morning.

My phone rang, and I thought it might be Nola ready to relay a few of the promo dates and appointments to me, but one glance at the tiny screen revealed Aiden’s smile. He’d taken the selfie and added it to my contacts, a sleepy-eyed image of him with a smoldering, lazy grin from the morning we woke up at the beach house.

I tried to step away, but Halle shook her head. “Don’t run off.” My back tensed and I walked to the couch and sat on the end with my back turned to them trying to take what privacy I could.

“Good morning, Mr. Prince.” I kept my voice soft and glanced over my shoulder to see that I had both of the twin’s attention. Sadie was hovering like a hawk, while Halle sat on the back of the chair beside me perched like a vulture.

“Oh, so official, Ms. Ford. I’d complain, but that kind of turns me on.” My cheeks reddened at his words, and I remembered all too well how sexy he was while turned on.

“I’m at work and with my employers as we speak.” I was trying to hint that it wasn’t a good time, but at the same time, I wondered what he wanted.

“I won’t keep you, but I was wondering if you wanted to have lunch. I can come pick you up if you want?” The thought of having an intimate lunch with Aiden was enough to make me warm all over, but then Halle cleared her throat. I glanced over my shoulder and noticed she was still there, eyeballing me like I was wasting her precious time.

“Lunch sounds wonderful. What time would—

Halle stepped around into my line of sight and folded her arms. “We need you at lunchtime. We’re going to be talking about our schedules.”

“Lunch is not going to work today because the twins need me. They’ve been accepted for another season.”

“Then we’ll have dinner.”

“Dinner,” Halle stood shaking her head. “Dinner might not be a good idea either. Halle’s shaking her head.”

“Today is a bad day,” Sadie said stepping up beside her sister.

Aiden made a noise through the phone that made me worry how long his patience would hold out. “Then call me later when they set you free. I have a feeling anything we plan is going to be a bad time with those two.”

Halle leaned in close. “Have Aiden tell Zep I said hello.”

“Did you hear that?”

“Yeah, I’ll pass that right along. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled. The two of them are supposed to be dating.” The tone of his voice told me he wasn’t too impressed with his best friend’s choice of relationships.

“Well, that should be great for ratings,” I mumbled, and he laughed letting me know he caught what I’d said.

“Yeah, that would be right up his alley.” He let out a long breath and then I heard his car start. I didn’t ask where he was going because I didn’t want him to think I needed to know his every move. “Call me. We’ll get together as soon as you’re free.”

“Sounds good.” I was glad that he was being understanding about my situation. Coming with such heavy baggage as the Blue Twins wasn’t something that most people would put up with considering their reputations.

I hung up the phone and lifted my head to meet Halle’s eyes. “He said he’d pass along your message.” I stood and closed my hands together in front of me and tried to look as relaxed as possible. I didn’t want the two to think that they’d rattled me, but I had something to say. “I understand that you don’t like the fact that Aiden and I are seeing each other, but trying to monopolize my personal time isn’t going to ruin what we have.”

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