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.


10. it's foolish to imagine bliss

Their engagement announcement was in the newspaper. So was a trashy article all about it. Ben was irritated. No, scratch that. He was irate.

"How is this journalism?" He asked, pointing violently at the headline.

Heir To Imports/Exports Fortune, Benjamin Montgomery To Marry Unknown Employee. That was the headline. The article went on to discuss how many had seen the girl in rags, cleaning toilets, etc. The so called investigative journalist had discovered that the girl's lease was in Montgomery's name. Is she a glorified concubine? Is he buying her affections? Etc., etc.

It was all incredibly embarrassing.

Their announcement simply read: Benjamin Montgomery, 28, to marry Willow Courtney, 22, on January 9th, 2016.

That wasn't far away at all. Just a week away. Willow's heart skipped a beat just thinking about it.

"It's okay," she reminded him and took the newspaper from his hand. "We both know that I'm not your concubine."

"People talk, they always talk," Mrs. Chan said and handed a tray of food to one of the waiters. "Willow, when does your friend get into town?"

"Holly should be here at four," she told her.

"Here," she pulled Willow to the side. "I have something for you."

She placed a box in Willow's hand. Willow opened it carefully to reveal a beautiful gold hair pin with white gemstones. It was about three inches tall and formed a peacock.

"It's beautiful!" Willow gasped and hugged Mrs. Chan tightly. "Thank you so much."

"If I had ever had a daughter someday, I planned on giving that to her," Betty explained to Willow. "I never did have a daughter of my own, but you are the closest thing I've had. I am happy to give this to you."

"Thank you so much," Willow couldn't keep her tears at bay.

A knock on the wall interrupted the sweet moment between the two women.

"Willow, your mother is here," Ben smiled tensely.

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