Welcome back to The Beautician and the Billionaire. When we last left off, Charisse had run into the last man to see her mother. He’s now Conor’s driver. Enjoy!
Charisse closed her mouth and tried to smile. She remembered chatting with Raul as a child when he drove her back and forth to school. They’d talked about books and sports, and he’d never talked down to her. But the betrayal by her mom, when she’d abandoned them, bled over into her memories of Raul. He’d quit his job after taking her mother away.
Conor asked, “You two know each other?”
Pedestrians walked around them and a car honked down the street before Charisse finally said, “Marie didn’t mention you were Conor’s driver.”
Raul tugged the cuffs of his black suit coat and said, “Well, I doubt Marie recognized me. She barely even glanced my way the night she went out with Mr. Grishin. Sort of like when she was a girl.”
Charisse flushed. Marie had always been dismissive of servants.
Conor held her hand. She knew she should give him an explanation, but once again words vanished from her head when they typically spilled out of her mouth.
“How is your father?” asked Raul. His eyes seemed sincere, not like he knew what was going on with her salon and jabbing a knife in. She shouldn’t blame him for her mother’s disappearance. But even his light accent reminded her of her mother.
Without thinking, she blurted out, “Where did you take my mom?”
Shock crossed his face. His jaw dropped. And then just as fast he straightened his back and slid a servant’s blank expression over his eyes.
“I’m surprised after all these years that you don’t know. But I vowed to her I would never tell you, and I must keep that promise.”
She wanted to push him or hit him or do something to make him tell her like she was seven-years-old again. Instead, she dropped Conor’s hand and rushed toward the door to her salon. Conor ran after her and caught her by the waist before she reached the door.
Tears welled up in her eyes like water brimming at the top of a glass without spilling.
Conor pulled her close with her back against his chest. He whispered, “I had no idea you two knew each other. He didn’t say a word about Marie. Do you want to go somewhere and talk about it?”
Charisse shook her head, fearing opening her mouth would cause the tears to spill. But after a moment, comfort seeped into her from his body and took away a smidgen of the tension in her eyes. She took a deep breath and said, “I just want to go work. Please let me go. I’ll see you Monday for lunch.”
“I hate leaving you like this. I’d like to help.”
“There’s nothing for you to do.”
He kissed her cheek and released her. Without looking back, she opened the door and stepped into her salon. Mozart, shampoo, coffee, customers—they were what she needed right now.
Come back tomorrow for more. Follow my blog so you don’t miss a scene!