Diamonds and Ice

All Rights Reserved ©

Summary

[ Book 1 ] Right after her father’s grave turns cold, Victoria is robbed of any opportunity by her step mother and two step sisters,turning her into the village’s Cinderella. But life is swift as the winter’s wind and changes colors like the leaves do. With the locals’ matchmaking tradition of the season taking place, Victoria catches the attentions of a regular The Boy Next Door and of a most unusual Prince Charming. So,who will win her heart? And how will Victoria reclaim her life back?

Genre:
Fantasy / Romance
Author:
Anna Reras
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
28
Rating:
4.7 7 reviews
Age Rating:
13+

Chapter 1

`


Not sure what is colder, this winter morning air or my step mother’s heart. But it’s too late to question if there’s any love for me in my family, because I fear that it all vanished long ago with the passing of my father. His death left me in the cold and with no inheritance, not even some wool so that I could knit myself a pair of mittens. It might not sound like it, but something so simple is very important when an overnight's snow blizzard comes to swallow my small village. The mountains and forest all around never do much to shield away the storms.

Just thinking about how rotten my luck has turned makes me want to cry, but I refuse to allow my sadness turn into shards of ice that would prick my irritated cheeks. My bare hands are already hurting me enough and Jack Frost keeps on nipping at my cracked knuckles, encouraging me even more to hurry up to the village’s well and fill the buckets with water. My step mother and my two step sisters are not very patient with me either. It would be better to pick up the pace and have the water heated for their morning bath. The roosters will crow soon to wake everyone up.

The fresh snowflakes snapping under my worn-out boots sounds like I’m keep stepping on firecracker duds, but no neighbor’s dog would dare to abandon their warm straw to bark at me across the fence, not in this cold. At last, I make it to my home and with a shaky push of my pale hand the door opens.

Quietly, the full buckets are lowered to the floor and I hurry to shut out the nosy snowflakes. The log cottage is still and only the inviting fire is stirring, but not for long. The roosters are crowing. As I busy myself to warm the water on the stove, my step mother steps into the kitchen to holler at me, but unlike the dogs, she’s plenty warm to come out of her bed to do the job for them.

“Hurry up!” she barks.

“Yes, step mother,” with a nod, I submit to her.

“Don’t screw this up! Don’t burn their toast and make sure the milk is still fresh for the tea,” with her feet cozy in slippers, she paces the floor. Before I even start to put on the bacon on the cast iron, she begins to feast on her fingernails.

“Don’t worry, step mother. I’ll make sure everything is perfect for your daughters’ big day,” in monotone, I play the supportive servant.

“You better! Every detail matters. I want the Matchmaker to see how wonderful and beautiful my girls are. I want only the best bachelors picked out for them,” her finger shakes at my face.

“Of course, step mother,” keeping my attention on the food, I avoid any eye contact.

With breakfast trays ready, I head down the west hall of the house to make the deliveries to my step sisters’ separate rooms.

“Good morning, Irina,” I greet my eldest and a bit surprised to see her out of bed. In her sleeping gown and wrapped in a floral shawl, she admires the lace and jewelry laid out specially for this day.

“Put my food on the nightstand and get out,” without looking at my direction, she flicks her hand.

I leave without another word that could disturb her honeymoon daydreams.

My youngest is much less calm at the thought of becoming engaged. All the drawers, big and small are pulled open.

“Good morning, Oksana. Can I help you look for something?” with a straight face, I hide my inner laugh at how flustered and all worked up she got herself.

“No, I don’t want you touching my stuff. Put my eggs down and get out,” her arms fly into the air.

“Of course,” I do as I'm told.

Truth to be told, I have no sincere desire to help her and glad to be going back to the kitchen. I have nothing better to do, but take the boiling pots of water off the stove and go fill the tubs. Besides, trying to get the temperature right will keep my mind off the fact that I will not be included into this special day. But, it’s no use. My heart and mind can’t help but hurt and wish that I too had a nice dress and beads and hot breakfast and even a hotter bath waiting for me.

How I wish that the Matchmaker would expect me too, but not because of my hopes for love with a handsome face. Getting matched to a rich and young bachelor could be my escape out of this house. Getting matched would mean that my future husband is rich enough to marry into my family and I won’t be eating leftover scraps in place of a proper meal any longer.

“Victoria!!” my name echoes across the house. Step mother’s calling.

“Yes, step mother?”

“Get some more wood and get those fires burning stronger in my daughter’s rooms. Can’t risk a chance of them catching pneumonia after their bath,” with a cup of herbal tea on her lap to ease her nerves, she rocks herself in a rocking chair.

“Yes, step mother,” I leave the lounge room.

My boots are still wet and I will never be able to get used to their damp chill, no matter how often she sends me outside to do a chore. Oh, no! Is that another hole in my coat!? I must remember to patch that up as soon as I can so that it won’t rip any larger.

The village is slowly waking up and hear someone shout at someone across the snow packed road, but can’t make up the words. The winter's windy voice that lives in a nearby forest is much louder. However, I do hear a labored panting behind me loud and clear. A neighbor’s dog must have gotten loose and smelled the splattered grease on my apron.

“Go home, boy!” a vapor cloud escapes my chapped lips as I load wood into my arms.

The canine whimpers in response.

“Go! I don’t have any food for you!”

But I can still feel its presence lingering behind me.

"I hardly get enough food for myself," my confession comes in a whisper.

Usually, I would keep ignoring the animal and hurry back inside, but there’s no way I can get past this grey beast. My hands turn weak and my heart begins to race. Gasping at the size of the animal, my back crashes against the wood stack. Frozen, but this time out of fear, I stare into its yellow eyes.

The wolf stares back. It has no owner to return to. And the breakfast it’s whimpering about is me. With only some dropped firewood between us, there’s nothing else to get in the way of this hunter. But there’s already something in the grasp of its jaws, something small, red, and fussy. The wolf drops it in front of me and takes off the second it touches the white ground.

I don’t believe this. The wolf didn’t come here to take something away. It came here to give. Not understanding a single moment of it, I blink like a dumbfounded toad and frown at what's before me – mittens. A beautiful pair of wool mittens.


Hello there and thank you for reading this story's first chapter.

What was the nicest/most memorable gift someone gave to you?!

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

HerTears14: They premise may seem cliché at first, but this story makes up for it in its execution. Characters are realistic in their motives, and the main characters have nice chemistry. The world itself is a nice modern re-imagination of “hell”, with odes to its mythological basis. Would recommend reading.

LeoLionyuki...: This story tell us not all love is like shunshine and rainbow. It teach us to heal ourswlf if we had face heartbroken. Even it hurt to face our fear we need to face it instead of running that probably not going to solve our problem and make it more traumatize. Well this story simply amazing. So r...

Sharon Hart: So far the the book is very interesting and I can put myself into the story some times the grammar bothers me but for the most part it’s all good

Nancy Cain: An amazingly intriguing story and I absolutely loved each character and heart-stopping situation! Not even mentioning the hilarious banana 😂😂😂😂! Can not wait to see where this goes? Thank you for sharing your writing with us!

Linda Bøgebjerg Hansen: Nice short story. Well written 😊

Faith: Different than what um use to, but I enjoyed it. Kinda surprised me a gay couple wanted a girl to join though. I really did enjoy it though

Maryke Le Roux: Awesome story thank you so much for the story

saadiahill55: This is Book 2 and it is just a good as the first one. In fact there was more humor here than the Book 1 One .of the best series I've read so far. I can't wait to read the others keep up the great work.

Hazel Boyd: If I could just get on with reading it ......that's how good it is

More Recommendations

Sandra Bennett: This series of books was recommended to me by my daughter. It is so intriguing and keeps me wondering how the fated mates will meet. I find that even when I put my tablet down I keep thinking about the books, I wish I didn't have to put it down

Sandra Bennett: I am so gripped with this book series. I am so intrigued to find out whose fated mate will be for the brothers and their friends

fig: Did the first one justice lol absolutely nothing I didn't like definitely recommending to anyone that'll listen

slc21225: Love the characters, and the new characters blend right in 💙

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.