Yay! The weekend is here! I hope you have fun plans!
Conor comes to the salon right before she’s supposed to meet the captain. Will she get caught?
Charisse shampooed her last customer’s hair and walked her back to the chair. On the other side of the salon, Letti swept up her station. Everyone else had left, thanks to the frantic scheduling Mei had done.
The customer chatted about her upcoming work trip followed by her upcoming vacation—Puerto Rico. It made her think of Conor like everything did. He’d be really mad if he found out she was going out with somebody else tonight. But she hadn’t left him any chance to argue, so how would he find out now? She could think of a dozen ways, her father being the prime suspect.
Letti said, “I’ve got a hot date tonight, but I want to hear what’s going on between you and you know who. And don’t deny it since he was with you when you got sick or whatever happened.”
“Okay, we’ll go out for drinks Friday night, and I won’t even look at it as a tax write-off.”
“That’s what I like to hear.” Letti waved and headed out the door.
The customer said, “If you’re going out with a business associate just mention something about the salon and write it on the receipt. You need those tax write-offs whenever you can get them.”
Charisse smiled at her customer’s sincerity. “Thanks, you’re right. Letti just tells me I’m too focused on the salon all the time.”
They eased back into their previous conversation while Charisse trimmed her split ends.
Bells jingled on her door. She turned around to say they were closed and froze with scissors mid-snip. Conor stood in the doorway.
“Hey,” he said. “Could I talk to you a minute?”
She frowned despite her nerves making her hands shake. She dropped the hair and lowered her arms. He’d lectured her about service, and now he wanted her to drop a customer and run to him. No way.
“I need to finish up, and then we can talk.”
She sensed he wanted to protest, but then he said, “Okay.” She expected him to go to the back and sit on the couch, but instead he parked himself in the front waiting area and stared out the window.
She glanced at her watch. 7:05. Maybe he already knew about her date. But he’d be fuming if that were the case. He appeared anxious but not angry. His-five o’clock shadow gave him the scruffy sexy look that she adored so much. His tie was even loosened at his neck. She should be seeing him tonight, not Armand.
Crap, she had to get Conor out of here or she wouldn’t be seeing him ever again.
She resumed cutting her customer’s hair while her internal temperature rose with every passing second. She was not going to finish in time to get the customer out, talk to Conor and kick him out before Armand arrived. She had to do something she never did. She put the sheers in her pocket and said in a low voice in the hopes Conor wouldn’t hear, “I’m so sorry. I forgot something. I just need to text someone.”
Standing on the other side of her customer so Conor would have a hard time seeing, she pulled her phone out of her pocket and texted to Marie. “SOS. Conor is here, and a date is arriving soon that Daddy set me up with. What do I do???”
She slid the phone back in her pocket and resumed cutting hair. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Conor still staring out the window. Hopefully he hadn’t noticed. She waited for the buzz of her phone, but it didn’t come. Reluctantly, she switched on the hairdryer and brushed through hair, turning it under as she waved the dryer over it.
7:15. She needed Conor gone. She rushed the customer over to the cash register and checked her out as fast as she could.
As soon as the customer was out the door, Conor stood up and said, “Did Josh call you?”
He walked towards her but didn’t touch her. “Please tell me the truth. I don’t want you seeing him again alone.”
“Is that why you’re here? What on earth made you think I’d talked to him?”
“You said you just needed one night by yourself and everything would be okay. What was that all about?” His sapphire eyes implored her.
This was awful. He was here trying to protect her, and another man would be arriving soon to take her out. She should just confess everything. Instead, she tried to get him to leave.
“It was about me needing time to sort things out. I was blindsided yesterday by my past. You were probably right that I should’ve taken today off, but as my dad pointed out to me at lunch, I spent a whole month in my pajamas after the miscarriage. That didn’t work either.”
Without warning, Conor took her in his arms and kissed her lips tenderly. She forgot the date with Armand, the fight with Conor, the salon problems—everything. The kiss consumed her world. Even the bells jingling on her door were lost to her. She wrapped her arms around Conor and pulled him to her body.
Behind her a man cleared his throat.
Charisse tore away from Conor and turned around. Armand stood at the door in a green polo shirt and jeans.
Unable to think of anything to say, she stood gaping.
Armand said, “I’m sorry. Did I misunderstand? I thought we were having dinner.”
Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend!