Welcome to the Finale of The Beautician and the Billionaire! Please go to the First Post if you’re new. And there are links along the side of this page to all of the scenes. I’ll be taking a brief break while I get Thankful Hearts ready for publication. It might be a week; it might be two. Be sure to Follow my blog so you don’t miss the beginning!
Conor stared across the desk at Roy. The air conditioner was off once again, and Roy’s face already shined like a tomato in the sun.
Roy said, “So I heard that you and Marie went out last night.”
“That had nothing to do with the lost cargo.”
Roy shifted in his chair and tugged at his collar. “Well, what did you think of the building then? Pretty shitty. You shouldn’t waste your time with it.”
“I like that building. It’s well maintained. Charisse certainly packs the customers in in her little corner of it.”
“Little is the operative word. Someone like you should have a much taller building in a better area of Manhattan.”
“It’s good enough for Charisse.” Conor waited for Roy to rip off his tie again, but he didn’t do it. Instead he put his hands on the armrests and clutched them until his knuckles were white.
Roy said, “I hear that you’re an art collector. I have several paintings that might interest you.”
Conor stared straight at him. He placed his palms on the desk and said, “Funny, that’s what I thought you’d offer me yesterday. But now I’m far more interested in this building. Have your lawyer email me the papers, and I’ll have my lawyer join us so you can sign it over to me.”
Roy shifted in his chair again. The corner of his eye twitched. “I’m afraid there’s a problem with that.”
“I don’t actually own it.”
“I know. I do.”
Roy jumped up. “You own that building? Why did you let me go on about it? And what is with the fucking air conditioner? It’s been a day.” This time he tore off his jacket and threw it on the chair instead of his tie.
“Why would you ever offer me a building you don’t own?”
“I never offered you the fucking building. You were the one who brought it up.”
“Because you said you were her landlord.”
“I didn’t want you anywhere near Charisse.”
“Which I fail to understand. I was a fine date for Marie. But it doesn’t matter. Charisse has a knack for the salon business. I want to take over your silent partner shares.”
“How the hell did you find out about that? Did Marie tell you?”
“Charisse did, though she didn’t say it was you, just that she had one.”
“The business is not for sale. You can have three of my paintings, and we’ll call it square.”
The more Roy tried to hold on to Ma Charisse, the more Conor wanted it. He didn’t know a damn thing about the beauty industry, but Charisse did. She could teach him. They could work closely together on expanding Ma Charisse into different locations throughout Manhattan. It would be a new challenge.
“No. I want the contract for Ma Charisse. You lost three ships, and then you lied to me. I want you to understand that you can never lie to me again.”
Roy grabbed his jacket. “You’re gonna pay for this. I’m gonna get my company back on top and buy you out and buy back Ma Charisse.”
“Well, until that day, I look forward to working with your daughter.”
A stream of curse words coursed out of Roy’s mouth as he left the office and slammed the door.
Conor leaned back in his chair. He’d put the disastrous date with Marie out of his mind before breakfast, but he couldn’t stop thinking about Charisse. The time at the shampoo sink still clung to him like an elusive dream. His heart wanted to stay true to Elise, but her presence in his thoughts was slipping. It’d been three years. Maybe he should try to move on.
He’d promised Charisse a dozen white roses and had not delivered. He should send her a few dozen now that they were about to be business partners.
Thanks for reading Episode 1! I’ve really enjoyed sharing it with you!
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