Hey everybody, I’ve been busy writing! Here’s a little sneak peek into the sequel to Me, Cinderella? which should be finished in the next month or two.
Snow covered the trees and made them silent, the sun filtering through the branches thinly to the frosted ground. The only sound in my dream was the call of a bird echoing through the forest. It faded away. I heard a branch break and turned around, but there was nothing there.
I looked down and saw my shadow, the tracks from where my shoes had marked the ground coming through the woords. Footsteps in the snow do not leave a permanent trail, I thought to myself, no more than breadcrumbs. Eliot would not be able to follow me.
A chill ran through my arms and I rubbed my finger against my palms to warm them. I looked down again and there was another shadow, bigger than mine, from something just behind me. I tried to spin around but I was frozen in place. In dreams, that is always the most frightening part—not being able to control your own body. Not being able to move a muscle, your limbs sluggish and limp, your whole being aching to move but not being able to.
As I watched the shadow grow larger, the entire forest seemed to darken. The footsteps I had left began to turn darker, and I realized that they were full of blood, blood that seeped up from the ground and overflowed, turning into a stream that ran scarlet over my feet. I felt the blood soaking into my shoes, and then I heard my mother scream.
It was her voice, it was the thing I remembered most clearly. Her voice that always used to tell me stories and sing me to sleep.
From behind me, a hand grabbed my arm, and I shrieked. My arms lashed out at the dark figure above me.
“Brynn,” Eliot said. His shirt was undone, his hair tousled. His hand wrapped around my wrist, holding it gently but firmly.
“Ahhh!” I cried.
“You had a nightmare. It’s okay,” he said.
“Eliot? Eliot?” My thoughts were a jumble. At first my instinct was to flee away, into the woods, but then I blinked and I was back in the dim light of my room, the canopied bed over me.
“I heard you cry out,” he said. “I was working in the study. Are you alright?”
I sobbed as he pulled me against his chest to soothe me. My nightshirt was soaked in sweat, and even in the summer heat I felt the chill of the snow in my dream.
“It was her,” I said. “He got my mom. He got her again. And I couldn’t see anything, not even who it was.”
“Shhh,” Eliot said, pressing kisses top my head. His lips were as light as sparrows. “It’s okay now. I’m here. I’m with you.”
“I don’t want to dream again,” I said. He rocked me slightly as I murmured the words against his bare chest. “I don’t ever want to have those dreams. I want it all to go away.”
“It will,” Eliot said consolingly. “It just takes time. It will always take time for things to go back to normal.”
“Let me sleep with you,” I blurted out. “I mean, in your bed.”
Eliot seemed taken aback.
“Of—of course,” he said. “I just thought you needed your space.”
“I’m scared,” I said. I felt foolish, stupid. Like a small child, needing to be comforted. I hated this feeling. I wanted to be strong, like the goddesses of legend. I wanted to be independent. I didn’t want to have to lean on anyone for comfort. But here I was, leaning against Eliot yet again. He was always my savior.
“Anything you want,” Eliot said. He brought my hands up to his lips, kissed my fingers. “You’re my princess, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” I whispered. “And you’re my prince.”
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