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Marie made a strangled sound like a cat choking. Charisse’s defense of her sister switched like lightning to mortification over insulting a client. She didn’t dare glance around the salon. She was sure everyone gaped at her. “I’m so sorry Mr. Grishin. Women all over love this cut on men. It’s only me. I’m sure Marie’s right—you must have the best stylist in New York.”
Conor seemed unperturbed by her rudeness. In fact, his business face had shifted to amusement. “I’m not sure of that anymore. Let’s see how you cut my hair.”
Charisse gaped, amazed he still wanted her to style him. Forcing herself into work mode, she tucked a towel around his collar and under the cape she’d settled loosely on his shoulders. She snapped the cape and said, “Please, follow me to the sinks.”
Still without glancing around the salon, she led him to the more secluded back area. At least it would be one on one here—no Marie, no Tanya and no other women staring and listening.
Listening…maybe she could get him talking. Listening was what she did best, aside from styling. She needed to get back in the zone.
She rifled through her thoughts, trying to remember what Marie had told her about him. Charisse kept up with celebrity gossip, but she didn’t keep up with the business world, at least not anymore. Nothing really stood out except his wife had passed away a few years ago. That was definitely not a good subject to start with. She should just go with what she knew from today.
“So how do you know my father?”
“I own his company.”
They were close to the sinks and behind the shelves of product that divided the salon. Charisse whirled around. “You’re the rat bastard who bought him out last year?”
Charisse slapped her hand over her mouth. What was her problem? Even though she’d heard her father complain over and over about being bought out, she shouldn’t have cursed at him, especially since he could fire her father for those lost ships. “I’m sorry, again. I get nervous talking to people and say stupid things, but today I’m really off.”
His face had resumed the corporate shield once again instead of looking amused. Dang it. She was really blowing it.
He said, “It’s not stupid. I am a rat bastard.” He sat down in the chair and slid back until his neck rested on the curved rim of the sink. “But since your salon is full, I’m guessing this isn’t how you normally speak to clients.”
She reddened. “No, not at all. Hang on while I rinse your hair.” Thankful for a moment to gather herself together, she pulled the sprayer out and pressed the trigger. After testing the temperature on her wrist, she washed the water over his head. His eyes stayed open, but the muscles in his face seemed to relax. She held her breath as the stupid style washed away. Money and amazing genetics—it was no wonder Marie wanted to date him. Thank goodness she’d sworn off suits. She could never compete with Marie.
Please continue on to Scene 5!
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