A Cinderella for
The Earl of Selmore

Extended Epilogue


In the serene halls of Willow Green Manor, a decade had passed since Iris and Christian had exchanged their vows of eternal love. The stately manor stood as a testament to their enduring bond, its walls holding the echoes of their laughter and whispered endearments.

As the years went by, their love only grew stronger. They cherished the journey they had embarked upon, grateful for the strength they had found in each other’s arms. Together, they had conquered every obstacle and adversity, emerging victorious in their pursuit of a life filled with love and happiness.

Now, their love had bloomed into a beautiful family, as their children filled the manor with the sounds of innocent laughter and playful footsteps. Three little souls, each a precious gift, graced their lives with immeasurable joy. And as news of yet another child on the way reached their ears, the halls of Willow Green Manor brimmed with anticipation and excitement.

But it wasn’t just their growing family that brought contentment to their hearts. The birth of their children had served as a catalyst for reconciliation, bridging the divide that had once existed between Iris and Christian’s parents. The Duke and Duchess of Avon, now proud grandparents, had found in their grandchildren a reason to set aside past grievances and embrace the joy that family brought.

Gone were the days of icy interactions and distant manners. The Duke and Duchess of Avon now doted upon their grandchildren, their affectionate presence a balm to the wounds of the past. In their golden years, they reveled in the opportunity to be attentive grandparents, cherishing every moment spent with their little ones.

Within the opulent halls of Willow Green Manor, the Duke and Duchess of Avon relished in the joy of watching their family grow. They marveled at the love and devotion Iris and Christian showered upon their children, finding joy in the knowledge that their lineage would thrive through the generations.

In the quiet embrace of the vast library, Iris found solace among the cherished books that adorned the shelves. The room exuded an air of intellectual sophistication, with the scent of aged parchment mingling with the faint crackling of the fireplace. It was within this haven of knowledge that Iris sought refuge from the echoes of her past.

A servant entered the room, interrupting her quietude, bearing a letter that had arrived for her. With gratitude, Iris accepted the missive, her delicate fingers carefully breaking the seal imprinted with her father’s crest. She knew all too well the contents that awaited her, for her father had persistently reached out to her, eager to reconcile and establish their grandson as his heir.

As the servant exited, leaving Iris to her thoughts, she unfolded the letter and read the familiar words confirming her suspicions. The conflict within her heart stirred, for she found herself torn between the desire to secure her son’s rightful inheritance and the haunting memories of her family’s mistreatment.

Christian, sensing her turmoil, entered the library, his presence bringing a calming influence to the room. Concern etched his brow as he took in Iris’s expression. “Why the long face, my love? Are you not happy?” he inquired, his voice filled with genuine care.

Iris sighed, her gaze shifting from the letter to Christian. “I am content here with you, my dear,” she replied softly. “But I have just received a letter from my father. It is as we expected, a plea for reconciliation and a desire to make our son his heir.”

Christian’s eyes met hers, understanding and empathy radiating from his features. “Yes, I anticipated as much,” he replied, his voice gentle. “But we need not make a decision in haste. Let us give it time and consider the implications, especially for our children.”

Restless, Iris began to pace the room, her eyes drawn to the expanse of the window, where the sprawling grounds of their estate stretched out before her. Her thoughts whirled with conflicting emotions, torn between her duty to her son and the painful memories of her family’s past transgressions.

“I find myself at a loss,” she admitted, her voice tinged with frustration. “Our son does have a rightful claim to his grandfather’s estate and fortune, but I cannot forget the wrongs inflicted upon me by my family. I fear what exposure to them might mean for our children.”

Christian approached her, enfolding her in his protective embrace. His touch brought a sense of calm and reassurance, his words a balm to her troubled heart. “Do not burden yourself with these worries, my love,” he whispered. “Let us await the arrival of our child, and then, with clear minds, we shall make a decision that ensures the happiness and well-being of our family.”

And in that moment, as the soft light of the setting sun bathed the library in a warm glow, Iris found comfort in Christian’s unwavering support. Together, they would face the complexities of their circumstances, navigating the delicate balance between duty and the protection of their cherished family.

“You always know just the right thing to say,” she said.

“Anything to ease your discomfort. I promised myself I would never let your family hurt you again, and I plan to not break that promise,” he said.

He held the letter, folded it and placed it inside a drawer. “Out of sight and out of mind until we are ready to deal with that situation,” he said.

A few days had passed since Iris and Christian received a letter from Christian’s sister, Veronica, announcing her arrival with her husband, Justin. As the grand doors of Willow Green Manor stood ajar, Iris and Christian awaited the arrival of their esteemed guests. The sound of approaching hooves grew louder, signaling the arrival of the carriage.

With an air of excitement, Iris and Christian stepped forward to welcome Veronica and Justin as they emerged from the carriage. The warm embrace between siblings was accompanied by the lively chatter of their children, a delightful sight to behold. The six-year-old and four-year-old, with their innocent smiles and rosy cheeks, added an extra touch of joy to the reunion.

Once the guests were settled into their respective rooms, Iris set about orchestrating a luncheon in the splendid gardens of Willow Green Manor. The meticulously manicured lawns and vibrant floral arrangements provided a picturesque backdrop for the gathering. Tables were adorned with fine linens, gleaming silverware, and delicate china, evoking an atmosphere of refined elegance.

As the sun cast its gentle rays upon the scene, Iris took immense pleasure in witnessing the mirth and laughter that filled the air. It was a stark contrast to her past, a reminder of the deprivation she had endured under her family’s care. Now, as the mistress of Willow Green Manor, she reveled in the opportunity to lavish others with sumptuous feasts and delightful entertainment.

Under the shade of a majestic oak tree, surrounded by the blooming blossoms of the gardens, Iris shared in the company of her beloved husband, Christian, and their cherished guests. The clinking of glasses and the harmonious melody of laughter echoed through the air, creating an atmosphere of pure bliss.

In the enchanting ambiance of the luncheon, Iris found solace in the knowledge that she had found her rightful place. Willow Green Manor, with its sprawling grounds and impeccable charm, had become a sanctuary where she could create cherished memories and provide the love and warmth that had been denied to her in her past.

As the luncheon carried on, the bonds of family and friendship grew stronger, each moment filled with the shared joy of togetherness. And amidst the lively conversations and heartfelt laughter, Iris couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of gratitude for the life she had built—a life abundant with love, happiness, and the opportunity to finally bestow upon others the generosity and kindness that had been so sorely absent from her own upbringing.

As the day unfolded in the splendid gardens of Willow Green Manor, joy abounded. The sun cast a golden glow upon the scene, illuminating the laughter-filled air and the vibrant hues of blooming flowers. Children frolicked in innocent delight, their carefree spirits adding an extra layer of enchantment to the idyllic setting. Iris watched with a heart full of gratitude and love, cherishing the sight of her own children mingling effortlessly with Veronica and Justin’s little ones.

The luncheon was a feast fit for royalty, an array of delectable treats that adorned the tables. Berry preserves glistened like precious jewels, enticing all who laid eyes upon them. Game hen, roasted to perfection, released tantalizing aromas that danced upon the breeze. Custards, cheeses, and pies tempted taste buds and sparked conversations around the table. Amidst the clinking of cutlery and the sweet melody of contented sighs, Iris couldn’t help but reflect on the immense transformation her life had undergone.

Gazing upon the happy faces gathered around her, Iris’s heart swelled with a profound sense of contentment. Her journey from the humble beginnings as Cinders, with ash clinging to her skirt, to becoming the cherished wife of the most remarkable man she had ever known, filled her with a deep appreciation for the twists and turns that had led her to this point. The trials she had endured and the barriers she had overcome had moulded her into a woman of strength, resilience, and unwavering love.

In that moment, surrounded by loved ones and enveloped in the serenity of the gardens, Iris marveled at the power of love and destiny. She had found her place of belonging, her sanctuary of happiness. The path she had traveled had been fraught with challenges and heartache, but it had also led her to Christian, her soulmate and the embodiment of all that was good and true.

As she held Christian’s hand, her gaze lingering on their children, Iris’s heart overflowed with a fresh rush of love and gratitude. The memories of her past were a stark contrast to the reality she now embraced—a reality where she was cherished, cherished by a man who saw her worth and a family who embraced her wholeheartedly. No longer confined by the ashes of her past, Iris felt blessed beyond measure, for she had not only found true love but had also discovered her own strength and resilience.

In that moment of self-reflection, Iris realized that her journey was not just about finding love or rising above her circumstances. It was about embracing her true self and having the courage to rewrite her own story. The transformation from Cinders to Iris was not solely an external change, but a profound internal metamorphosis—an awakening of her spirit, her passions, and her ability to love unconditionally.

As the sun began to set, casting a warm glow over the gardens, Iris leaned against Christian’s shoulder, her heart brimming with gratitude and love. In that moment, she knew that her happily ever after had been realized, not in the pages of a fairy tale, but in the embrace of her loving family, the cherished moments shared, and the unwavering belief in the power of love and destiny. She was indeed the luckiest woman in the world, for she had found her own extraordinary love story, one that would be treasured for generations to come.


The End


I hope you enjoyed “Iris, a Cinderella for the Earl of Selmore”.  I would love to know your opinion!