Chapter 1

Edward's Uber crept forward on the one-way street as if tugged by a conveyor track in a car wash. He could have crawled quicker than this slow-moving queue of limos stretched ahead and behind them down Washington Street as far as the eye could see.

He'd briefly entertained a fantasy of jumping out of the car back at the Four Seasons and walking the last four blocks, but he was good and trapped now. As the car inched closer to the Boston Opera House, the full pageantry of the red carpet came into view, and Edward realized that entering on foot would have been even more humiliating than attempting a dignified exit from the Ford Fusion.

The "red carpet" was more like a throw rug covering the short patch of sidewalk leading to the grand entrance of the historic landmark. Barricaded on either side behind velvet ropes, onlookers jockeyed for position on the narrow pavement. After the dumpster fire that was 2020, people were starved for festive events and celebrity sightings and, hell, even standing outside on a crowded sidewalk with other humans.

A sea of phones swam on arms stretched above the crush—too high to see what was frantically being captured on cameras—while a line of sanctioned photographers crouched inside the sacred ground. Designer gowns and lavish baubles would be splashed all over the internet tonight.

Hashtag: HaleBall2021
Hashtag: $5kpp
Hashtag: beautifulpeopleofboston

The Uber driver—Lucas?—swung around. "Hey, should I recognize you?"

Edward chuckled. "Nope."

The limo in front of them pulled away. Edward's driver was waved forward by white-gloved hands, then halted where Edward's door lined up with the edge of the red carpet to their left.

Edward's hand hovered near the door handle, his heart hammering hard against his borrowed tuxedo shirt. A new fantasy popped into his head: a quick slide to the right, a stealth exit out the door nobody would be watching with their cameras and spotlights, a different Uber delivering him home to the safety of his quiet, peaceful apartment in Allston.

The door opened from the outside. No turning back now.

Edward stepped out of the car. White lights popped in his eyes, momentarily blinding him. Everyone shouted at once, but they weren't calling his name. Nobody knew it.

The car door closed behind him, and his Uber disappeared into the night like Cinderella's pumpkin coach.

Author's Note: Hello, hello! It's great to be back! Hope you enjoyed the beginning of this new retelling of an old favorite fairy tale of mine. *wink* Many thanks to chayasara for the beta read in record speed!

I also wanted to share some very exciting news with all of you, especially those who've been so supportive of my writing and kindly asked me to keep you posted about my original fiction. IT'S TIME TO SPILL THE BEANS! My book, First Quiver, is now available for pre-order! (Release date: Jan. 26, 2021)

Cupid's been a naughty boy [turns out immortality's no fun when you're a 3375-yr-old virgin], and the gods banish him to present-day Earth for a taste of his own medicine.

For teasers and more about First Quiver, Book 1 of the Cupid's Fall series, visit firstquiver dot com. [Oh, you might not recognize the author's name, but it's me. Shhhh! :)] Click around the site while you're there, sign up for my newsletter if you like, follow my author page on FB, and if you're looking for more words to read, take a spin through my flash fiction (1000-word stories) posted on the blog. Hope to see you there!

Chapter 2 coming soon...