Welcome back! I have all of The Beautician and the Billionaire Episode 1: The Deal posted up above in a page. I’ve also started the links to each scene of Episode 2: The Contract on the side bar of my home page.
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Charisse paused to stare at the facade of her salon. Gold edging on beige paint immediately brought France and royalty to mind, at least for Charisse. And apparently Conor. Maybe they could work together. He’d noticed her Versailles theme right away. Working with a suit was entirely different than dating a suit. She wouldn’t care if he stayed detached all the time…in fact it would be preferable.
Above her door was a sign that read Ma Charisse, also in gold lettering. This was her salon. Her father had invested start up money, but he was just a silent partner. She ran it and would still run it. Conor and all his alpha maleness could stay quiet like her father had.
“Why aren’t you answering me?” asked Marie.
Charisse turned. The cab drove off or tried to. It had a slow start with noon hour traffic crowding out much progress. Charisse watched it, remembering her own struggles to get the salon running. Daddy had let her do it her way—never trying to horn in, and sticking to their agreement.
“Daddy wouldn’t put anything bad in our business contract. I’ve done all of this with only his initial investment.”
“You didn’t read it, did you?”
Charisse stared right into Marie’s dark eyes. Even without make-up, she looked like a beautiful porcelain doll. There was no way Conor could prefer her over Marie. Even when Marie was glaring, like now.
“No, I didn’t read it. You know how Daddy is. ‘Just sign it. I’m you’re father. I always want what’s best for you.’”
“Jesus Christ. When are you going to realize Daddy has his own best interest ahead of ours. We are secondary. Why do you think mom left?” Marie flung her arms in the air and turned away.
Charisse smashed her lips together. She didn’t have to bring mom into this. Marie was two years older than Charisse and had been a little more aware than Charisse had been at the time their mom left. Maire had always blamed their dad for mom leaving while Charisse had always felt betrayed by Mom.
Another cab pulled up and a woman got out with caramel skin and a white Chanel suit. She seemed familiar. Fortunately Charisse’s work mind was still functioning despite the personal drama. “Hi, Trisha! I’m sure Letti will be ready soon and Mei will get you some coffee while you wait.”
“I don’t mind waiting extra long if that means another cup of coffee!” said Trisha with a grin.
“Have as much as you want.”
When Trisha had entered, Marie turned back around. “If Daddy had your best interest in mind, he wouldn’t be able to just hand over his part of the contract without you signing it or agreeing to it. He’s doing this all on his own to appease that bastard over the lost ships.”
“Well, if that’s what it takes to keep Daddy as CEO I’ll do it. I still don’t understand why Conor wants to be my silent partner, but I can handle him. I had no qualms telling him off yesterday. I don’t see why I won’t do it when it’s about something important.”
Marie gave Charisse a smirk. “Well, even if you can’t stand up to Daddy, you seem to stand up to Conor just fine. Maybe that’s what he likes about you. I’m sure no one else has called him ‘douchey’. I was a simpering idiot yesterday.”
“You were just caught off guard. From the party pictures, it looked like you rocked it last night. And you said you were the one who left him.”
Marie frowned. “Just don’t sign anything without reading it, even if Daddy’s the one asking.”
“Now come in and braid my hair before your next customer gets here.”
Charisse sighed. She didn’t have time to braid Marie’s hair. But she’d do it, like she always did.
She followed Marie inside the salon and caught her breath. On all six vanities sat a crystal vase with a gold rim and a dozen white roses.
Hair dryers shut off. Women turned and stared in unison like they had yesterday when Conor had arrived. Charisse sneaked a peek at Marie. Her face glowed scarlet.
Mei jumped up from behind the antique desk. “Charisse, a note came with the flower delivery.” She passed her a small envelope.
Inside were two cards. The first one was a business card with Conor’s office address circled. The second was a card that said, “Dear Charisse, I’m looking forward to being your new business partner. Please come at five o’clock to my office to sign the paper work. Conor.”
“That fucker,” whispered Marie next to her.
“Who are they from?” asked Mei.
Everyone in the salon waited for an answer. To protect Marie from further embarrassment, she shoved the cards back in the envelope and said, “Uh, it’s nothing. Let’s get back to work.”
She turned to speak to Marie, but Marie was already at the door. Without a word, Marie yanked it open and walked outside, the bells clattering against the door as it flew shut.