The Beautician and the Billionaire Episode 7: Scene 3

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Charisse ran along a hedge. She could hear the water gurgling on the other side. She’d saved the maze for the end of the day but hadn’t managed to get to the middle, much less out the end. Even in the fog, it hadn’t looked so complicated from her bedroom. But now in the warm afternoon sun, frustration riled her.

Ding.

She pulled her phone from her back pocket. She’d tried to call Marie but had to leave voice mail. Maybe it was her. Instead she saw Raul’s name.

“Mr. Grishin would like to have dinner with you.”

Her heart beat faster. Finally. She’d spent all day enjoying his gardens, feeling the velvet of the rose petals and wishing he was with her. He hadn’t called or texted or done anything to let her know he even remembered she was there.

She texted Raul, “I’m in the maze. I’ll try to get out now.”

“New dresses arrived for you today. Mr. Grishin would like you to wear one of them.”

Really? They were still playing this game? She gritted her teeth. She’d agreed to it, and she’d see it through.

“K.”

It took her several minutes to find her way back out and several more before she got back to her room.

Her phone dinged.

Conor himself.

“Take a shower after all that running around.”

He’d been watching her? He should’ve freaking joined her. She didn’t want to answer, but he’d probably reprimand her somehow.

“Anything else?”

“Don’t mention Elise at dinner.”

She flung her hands up in the air while still holding the phone. They were never going to make any progress if they couldn’t talk about Elise. Why did he get to worry and be protective about Josh, but she couldn’t say anything about Elise?

She yanked her closet door open and froze. It wasn’t just new dresses that had arrived, though they filled the left side of the closet. Racks of shoes were on the other side along with casual blouses, designer jeans, scarves and purses. It was like going shopping in the privacy of a hotel suite.

After taking several minutes to run her fingers along the material of the gowns and trying on a few of the shoes, she decided on a purple gown gathered in the middle with rhinestones. Louboutin glitter sandals would be the perfect accent to the dress.

Another surprise greeted her in the bathroom. The long counter had been stocked with nail polishes, cosmetics and beauty tools. She pictured Conor calling Letti to ask what would be appropriate. Well, it’d probably been Raul who’d called.

She ran back to the bed where she’d left her phone, intending to ask if she had time to do her nails. She paused. He’d been upset when she hadn’t thanked him for the flowers or the gown or the necklace yesterday, but she just didn’t think of them as hers. She imagined that when the deal was up, everything he gave her would disappear. Dropping to the bed, she grabbed the phone and stared at it. That didn’t seem right. They both seemed to be working toward a real relationship when the three weeks was up. Maybe he considered everything a gift.

She texted Conor, “Thank you for the wardrobe and cosmetics. It’s all wonderful.”

His response took longer than expected. “I have a new necklace for you too. I saved it to put on you myself.”

She held her breath, suddenly wishing she had a gift to give him. But she couldn’t leave the house, and she probably wasn’t supposed to ask Raul to do errands for her. “Thank you. Do I have time to do my nails?”

“Dinner’s in an hour.”

Hmmm. She could probably do it if she was fast. She sprinted to the shower, imagining a new design for her fingernails.

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