Cinder Girl: Reluctant

Willow leaves her home after being fed up with the emotional abuse of her unstable mother, who has remarried since her father's death. In search of a job and livable circumstances, but a bit too proud and untrusting for her own good. She has difficulty seeing kindness for the sake of kindness itself. So, how will she react when she meets a young man who seems too quick to trust others.
A twist on the classic fairytale.


11. foolish to think you're finished

So, this was her family. Her mother. Willow was visibly uncomfortable in the presence of this woman, who was mostly... Pointy? Maybe sharp was a better word to describe her. She reminded Ben of barbed wire, and all he wanted to do was protect Willow from her.

"I want your sisters to be in your wedding?" She demanded calmly.

"You have sisters?"

Willow could only shake her head.

"Yes, she has two lovely step sisters. Willow just loves them so much. Don't you think this would be a prime opportunity for them to enter San Francisco's high society? Your wedding is all anyone at the country club is talking about?"

Country club? Come to think of it, Willow's mother was wearing very expensive looking clothing. He recognized the brands and designs from some of his mother's wardrobe.

"I didn't realize people entered society in that way anymore," Ben smiled. "Many people are self-made. I'm hardly high on the social ladder here in town."

The woman guffawed. It was a fake laugh.

"Well, if you don't put them in your wedding I will be sure to tell all of the papers about how horribly you've treated your family," she threatened. "You ran away from home when your widowed mother needed you most. Turned your back on your sisters, not even acknowledging them. Banning them from the wedding for no reason."

"You are banned from the wedding," Ben said. "On the basis of this conversation, you're not welcome in our life. As the owner of this establishment, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

"I'll make a scene," she said icily.

"And I'll call the police," Ben smiled kindly and squeezed Willow's hand. "Goodbye."

The woman stood angrily from her seat.

"This is not the last you've heard from us," she said. "Willow, you cannot deny your mother."

She left before another word could be uttered.

Ben turned to see if Willow was okay.

She definitely wasn't. She was shaking from the inside out. She had taken great efforts, sacrificed so much just to get away from this person only to have her cut into her life again. And, of course her intentions were selfish. They had very little to do with Willow. She felt powerless.

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