Good morning! Tomorrow is the end of our time with Charisse and Conor. I hope you’ve enjoyed the story as much as I have sharing it with you.
Conor’s hand shook as he lit the candles. He’d had a small round table brought into Ma Charisse where the love seat and coffee table usually were. It was set with a white tablecloth, Wedgwood china plates with gold rims and Waterford Crystal. The sterling silverware shimmered with the flicker of the candle.
Raul was busy filling the Chihuly fountain with sparkling grape juice. Charisse slept on the couch in the breakroom with the door closed. Conor had been worried about getting her out of the salon and bringing her back, but fortunately she’d fallen asleep after her family left while she waited to close up the salon with Letti. He’d been grateful Letti hadn’t woken her.
A string quartet tuned quietly as he stepped back and gazed at everything with a critical eye. Marie had strung tiny Christmas lights through the flowers that ran along the crown molding. She’d left them flashing, but he went over and switched them to just shine. Better. All the other lights were off except for the chandelier, which had been dimmed. Darkness had already settled on the city outside, adding to the intimacy. Each vase of flowers on the stations had one crystal flower in the center of the arrangement that glowed. Perfect.
Raul finished with the fountain, walked up to him and said, “If you’d like to wake Charisse, I’ll get the food ready to serve.”
Conor clenched his jaw in sudden doubt. Every wrong move he’d made at the start of the relationship flashed through his mind. “What if she says no?”
Raul actually laughed—a rarity. “I’m glad to see some things can still keep you humble. Go wake Charisse up.”
Conor gave him a smirk, but the words calmed him. He told one of the violinists, “It’s time. Please start with Mozart.”
The violinist nodded. They started playing as Conor opened the door to the break room. He ran his hand down his cobalt tie and checked for the box in his pocket.
The music must’ve woken Charisse because she sat up and looked around in confusion. She still wore the knockout red dress he’d bought for her. Her French twist had loosened, but he liked it that way. It made her even sexier.
“Why do you have the music so loud?” she asked with a sleepy voice.
He sat next to her on the couch. He leaned in to give her a gentle kiss, but it transformed into a long one filled with passion. Despite his longing to make love to her on the couch, he ended the kiss and said, “It’s the string quartet I hired.”
Her coffee eyes widened. “For what? You already gave me the best day the salon has ever had.”
He reached up and rubbed one of the rose earrings with his thumb. “I’m glad the day went so well. I wanted it to be all about you. But you know how possessive I get. I wanted something special for us tonight too.”