Ms. Cinder's Prince

By: Laura Ann

A Middleton Prep Novella




DEDICATION





To my Curly Sue, who is

Always and forever pushing

Me to put my ideas to paper.

Love You Always.





Acknowledgements





Thank you to the crew at LDS Beta Readers.

Your dedication and willingness to help is what

Makes a project like this doable.

Also to Victorine at

Blue Valley Author Services

For the beautiful cover.





CHAPTER 1





Charlotte took a moment to admire the sparkly sheen on her ballet flats. Her love of shoes was well known to her friends and colleagues and these were some of her favorites. Bringing her right foot over her opposite knee, Charlotte pulled off the shoe and started to rub her foot. “One of these days, I will be smart enough to buy shoes that won’t leave me aching,” she mumbled to herself.

She set her foot down and kicked off the other shoe. Ahhh, freedom. Wiggling her toes, Charlotte relished in the feel for a few moments. Back to work. Standing up, she began to clean the mess left by her students.

Teaching at Middleton Prep was a dream come true for Charlotte. She had only been at the school for two years, but had already settled in quite nicely. The private academy taught all grade levels, K-12, but its pricey tuition meant the number of students in each class were small and manageable. Having a smaller classroom allowed her to do all her favorite crafts and activities with the children.

Her pleasant thoughts were brought to a screeching halt when she arrived at a group of desks covered in glitter. She didn’t need to look at the name tags on the desks to remember who sat there. Andrew and Jackson Tremain were some of the most difficult boys she had ever encountered. With a deep sigh, she grabbed a towel and started to brush the glitter into the garbage can. What in this world? It wasn’t moving.

She set down the trash can and her towel and tentatively touched the desk, it felt firm and smooth, and no glitter stuck to her finger. “Oh no!” she exclaimed. The glitter had been spread over a layer of glue and it was already dry. “You have got to be kidding me!” She groaned. “Now what?” Straightening, she headed towards the door. She quickly walked down the hallway, towards her friend Rory’s classroom in another wing of the school.

“Oh!” Charlotte gasped as she came around a corner and nearly collided with someone. Her hand flew to her chest, as if the gesture had the power to calm her rapid heartbeat. Looking up, she blanched when she realized who was standing in front of her.

“Sorry,” Christian mumbled. His face was fiery red and his eyes darted everywhere but directly at her.

“It was my fault, I was lost in my thoughts.” She spoke quietly, too nervous to speak stronger.

He stuffed his hands in his front pockets and Charlotte felt herself start to heat up as she noticed the lean muscles in his arms from the movement.

He nodded at her, “Okay, well, I gotta...yeah...” With a duck of his head, he hurried around her and took off down the hall.

She turned to watch him go, she couldn’t help herself. Sadness crept over her at his quick departure. He is so handsome and so sweet. But he’s always in such a hurry to get away from me. I wish I knew why. With a sinking heart, she turned back towards her original destination and continued.

After a soft knock, she peeked her head in the door of the science lab. “Rory?” Her voice echoed through the room. “Are you in here?”

“Yeah! Whatcha need?” The mid sized woman poked her head out of the closest she was rummaging through. Her golden hair had been wadded into a bun and held with a pencil on top of her head and her signature red lipstick was starting to fade for the day. “Oh! Charlotte! Hey! What’s up?”

“I need a little help. I have a mess on one of the desks that needs to be cleaned up and was hoping you had a solution up your little sleeve of science tricks.”

“Tremain brothers are at it again, huh?” Rory gave a knowing smirk.

“Well, I’m sure they...” She tried to think of a nice way to speak of them, but nothing was coming to mind. “Yes.” She finally conceded.

Rory laughed. “Those two are the bane of every teacher in this school, and their mother is just as bad. Ugh. It stinks they’re so young. We’ll have to deal with them all for waaayyy too long.

“I’m sure they’ll get better as they get older.” Charlotte said.

“One can only hope. So...what did they do?”

“Well, as best I can tell, they spread a layer of glue on their desks and then put glitter on it. Which is now dried into a sheet of glitter. It could be considered a nice piece of art if it wasn’t on the school’s property.”

“Niiiice. Well, that’s actually a pretty easy fix. Heat and water. Softens the glue and you should be able to peel it up.”

“Sweet!. So, can I use a rag with hot water? Or do I need something warmer, like a blow dryer?”

Rory shrugged, “I’d start with the rag. If it doesn’t work, try blowing the hot air over the rag to keep it warm. Something to scrape with would probably help too. Might make the job easier. So does walking around barefoot, I’m sure.” She grinned at Charlotte and tipped her head towards her feet.