The Beautician and the Billionaire Episode 1, Scene 7

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Charisse had trained too at several places in Europe, but she didn’t say anything. She held her breath for a second and said, “Well I really think the structure of your face is much more suited to a classic cut like George Clooney–”

“Are you saying I’m old?”

“No, not at all.” Sheesh, most men liked the comparison. “Chris Evans is a better example.”

“Who?”

“Captain America.”

Conor sat up a little taller. Charisse felt the muscles in her shoulders loosen. She took time to explain why his old style didn’t work for him and why the classic would be better.

“But the old one said, ‘power’,” argued Conor.

“Maybe when you were twenty you needed a cut that said, ‘power’, but you’re what, thirty?”

“Thirty-three.”

“You need a cut that’s subtle, that says, ‘I own you,’ without shouting it like an insecure little boy.”

Charisse rolled her lips together, waiting for his response. He was too capricious to predict.

“Ever thought of being a CEO?”

Charisse’s gaze shifted to Marie. Was it a subtle threat that Daddy might lose his job if she didn’t do this right? Of course Marie didn’t know Conor had bought their dad out. Daddy had never told them.

Marie laughed. “Oh, Conor, that’s so funny. Charisse hates anything to do with an office or a suit. The corporate world would eat her alive.”

Conor still stared at Charisse through the mirror. “I don’t know. I have a CEO who could learn a thing or two from you.”

Charisse ignored his bait. “Well, it’s up to you, Mr. Grishin. I’ll give you the old haircut you like or the new one I think you should try.”

“Give me the new one.”

Marie slunk back to the waiting area and sat next to Tanya. Charisse felt for her; obviously Conor wasn’t there to ask Marie out. Maybe Daddy had just sent her, hoping they would hit it off.

The scissors snipped quickly and skillfully. Charisse relaxed into her work, not even trying to prompt him to talk. He wasn’t there to tell her all his woes.

When she finished the cut, she said, “The best thing about this style is you don’t need as much finishing product. Just one run through with your fingers.” She demonstrated and switched the blow dryer on.

At last she removed the towel and cape, brushed off his shoulders, spun his chair around and offered up a huge mirror for him to check the back.

Charisse couldn’t help but admire her work. Smooth. Sophisticated. Subtle.

He put the mirror down and stared straight at her. For one moment, his sapphire eyes softened towards her, and her heart beat faster. She thought he was about to compliment her, but the moment vanished.

“It works,” was all he said.

He stood up and glanced around the salon. “You should play music. Not very loud. And it should be classical. Remember the chocolate.”

Charisse hated him telling her how to run her business, but she remained mute. At least he wasn’t growling. To her surprise, he turned to Marie. “Are you going to The Schumers’ tonight?”

Marie sprung out of her chair. “Yes!”

“My car will pick you up at seven. Good day, ladies.” He nodded his head to the rest of the salon.

The bells jangled. The door closed. A mix of jealousy and fury churned in Charisse’s gut. He shouldn’t just assume Marie would go with him. Besides, she’d been the one to relax him to sleep just shampooing his hair. Good thing she hated the corporate world.

Her anger faded when Marie flung her hands in the air and yelled, “Yes! I’m dating a billionaire!”

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