Naughty Nursery Rhymes Rule #1
Don't throw stones at glass shoes. - Cinder
Cinder is the main character in From the Ashes.
From the Ashes is a Cinderfella (m/m version of Cinderella) roughly set in 16th century France.
Roughly? you ask. It's a fairy tale, all of which are roughly set in a previous era. What does this mean? It means that magic and a fairy godmother exist in my story, but probably not in real 16th century France.
Unfortunately if you were looking for a story about a 16th century laundress, you will have to look elsewhere.
If you were looking for a cute, heartwarming m/m fairy tale, look no farther.
Dancing couples parted effortlessly around them as the elegant man escorted him to the center of the floor. Cinder's cumbersome skirts swayed and swept the floor, threatening to entangle his feet past any hope of grace.
Fighting down panic, Cinder frantically searched his memories for how to waltz. He could do this. He had to do this. He couldn't risk discovery. He quailed at the punishment meted out to servants impersonating nobility. If anyone guessed, he would be beaten or worse.
Fumbling as he tried to remember which hand went where, Cinder placed his right hand on a broad velvet-covered shoulder. Strong, warm fingers enfolded his other hand and gave a reassuring squeeze. The man seemed to sense his unease. The awkward way he held himself, all tense and tight, had to be unmistakable.
Cinder corrected himself several times as he either stepped off with the wrong foot or tried to lead. How was he supposed to do this without harming either one of them? Why couldn't it have been a pavane?
The blasted slippers were so slick that Cinder had to hang on to the other man more than he wanted to just to remain on his feet. He had the distinct impression that the noble got the wrong idea from that.
The man caught his eye and smiled, somewhat more predatorily than Cinder was entirely comfortable with. What was going through the aristocrat's mind? Cinder began to feel like one of the small cakes the footmen carried on silver trays.
Did he want this man to gaze on him in that fashion? Cinder blushed and turned his face awkwardly away. He needed to concentrate on the dance. He didn't have the luxury of sharing soulful glances and chattering like a magpie.
He needed to find some way to extricate himself before he made a mistake and gave himself away. He didn’t normally have to worry so much because everyone already knew he was a girl and would ignore anything he did. But this man saw him with fresh eyes unhampered by the fiction of Cinderella. He would recognize any misstep.
The longer they were together, the more his risk increased. If he could escape quickly enough, the other man might never realize the deception. The noble might not care about an awkward woman he shared one dance with, but as the lie grew ever bigger, the duped man’s anger, if Cinder were discovered, would too.