Freaky Friday! I hope everyone’s ready for a great weekend.
Roy is acting suspicious and Conor doesn’t like it. But Charisse is no help when he calls.
Conor had been reading over small business and salon information for about an hour when there was a knock on his door. He growled, “What?”
His assistant opened the door a crack. “Roy LaRouche is here to see you.”
Conor groaned in his mind but said, “Send him in.” He’d forgotten his appointment with Roy.
Roy appeared buoyant. Conor recalled the shipping stock had opened big yesterday and continued to rise. That was probably why Roy seemed so happy.
“Finally,” said Roy. “You’ve been a hard man to get an appointment with.”
Conor closed his laptop screen and frowned as he tried to push out visions of Charisse in his arms. “I own other companies than yours. What do you want?”
“I flew in the captain of the third ship and a few of his officers. I decided to throw a banquet in their honor. They deserve praise, and it’d be a good morale booster for the company. I’m hoping you’ll attend and say a few words.”
Inwardly Conor was sighing in relief that the visit with Roy was about something so simple. No need to talk about Charisse at all. He said, “Excellent. When’s the banquet?”
“Friday night at the Waldorf.”
“Fine. Arrange a lunch for me to meet with them sometime this week. Today is good if you can do short notice, otherwise I have lunch available on Friday.”
Roy’s face reddened, a sure sign there was something he didn’t want to tell Conor. Roy said, “Friday should be fine; I have lunch plans today.”
Whatever. Conor didn’t feel like digging. He said, “Friday it is. Are they staying at the Waldorf? We could just meet there.”
Conor expected Roy to get up and leave, but he sat there, his face darkening to the shade of an Oklahoma Rose. Conor narrowed his eyes and said, “Is there something else?”
Roy fiddled with his tie. Conor definitely needed to invite him to poker night. Roy said, “The stock is continuing to rise. We should be back to where we were before pirates attacked the ships. You said you’d give the salon back to Charisse.”
Conor placed his hands flat on his desk. “I’ve already offered it to her. Multiple times.”
“What do you mean, multiple times? She didn’t take it?”
“Despite being your daughter, she seems to run by some sort of ethical code. She feels it’s her fault that I ended up owning it and wants to buy it back from me.”
“Buy it back? Are you fucking kidding me?”
Conor stared at him and said nothing. Roy was about to boil over in his office once again.
Roy continued to spout, “Well don’t give her a say in it. Just sign the papers and turn it over to her.”
“She won’t take it. She’s being extremely stubborn about the whole thing.”
“Jesus Christ. I’m having lunch with her today. I’ll see what I can do.”
Charisse was having lunch with her dad. She hadn’t talked to him since she found out Roy controlled her salon, and now she was having lunch with him. She said she was spending the day getting the loan together. She wasn’t going to ask him for money, was she? Conor couldn’t stand the thought of her borrowing the money from Roy when it was Roy’s fault from the beginning.
Conor said, “Why don’t I join you? I can bring all the papers, and maybe together we can get her to accept it.” Conor didn’t want to work with Roy, but he wanted to be a part of Charisse’s life. He got the feeling being in the same room with her dysfunctional family would be important to her.
“That’s not a good idea,” said Roy, fidgeting with his tie again. “She hasn’t talked to me for a couple of weeks. This should be just a father daughter lunch. You know how it is.”
“Sure. I’ll give you guys some time by yourselves and then come at the end with the papers. Where are you meeting?”
Roy stood up. “I think that would just make her mad. I’ll call you after the lunch and let you know what she said.” He dashed out of Conor’s office before he could protest.
Conor still had the feeling that something was going on that Roy didn’t want him to know. He pulled his smartphone out of his pocket and called Charisse. To his surprise, she answered right away.
“Hey,” she said.
He paused. He hadn’t thought through what he was going to say to her. She really had him off balance. “Hey, Roy was just in my office. He’s having a banquet for the captain who saved the third ship. Would you go with me?”
“I hate those kind of things.”
He’d expected a yes or a no. Her statement threw him off even more. “I just need to share a few drinks with them and say a few words, and then we could leave.”
“And while everyone’s admiring you because you’re the billionaire owner with amazing genetics, they’re simultaneously ripping me to shreds and thinking how someone like me shouldn’t be there with someone like you. I’m not up to pretending that doesn’t matter to me.”
Conor immediately thought of Raul saying her mother hadn’t been able to be the perfect Manhattan housewife. It seemed Charisse felt the same way. “Sweetheart, everyone’s going to think I’m the fucking luckiest guy in the room.”
“Not the women.”
He decided not to press her. An invitation to lunch was more important. “Roy also said you guys were getting together for lunch. I was surprised. Would you like me there for moral support?”
Her answer wasn’t as quick this time. “I appreciate the offer, but I think we need to reconcile privately. I’ll call and let you know how it went.” She hung up before he could respond.
Shut out. He hated waiting, but it looked like he had no choice. He opened up his laptop and got back to research.
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