Have I held you in suspense long enough? I was up all night working on Shifting Into Love. The style is quite hard to maintain so it’s taking a lot of rewriting individual sentences that stick out when I read it.
I can’t believe this is it for Charisse and Conor! I feel like there should be a parade or something. Thanks to all of you who have read through the story! Please stay tuned for news about Shifting Into Love. Also, drop me a comment or an email if you want to see more stories in the Beautician and the Billionaire world. There’s five other stylists to write about plus Marie, but I’m having a hard time judging if that’s where I should spend my energy.
And now, the Happily Ever After…
He held his hand out to her. When she took it, he stood up with her following his lead. When they entered the salon area, she squeezed his hand and exclaimed, “It’s even lovelier than today. The lights, the quartet…I can’t believe it.” She pushed a strand of stray curls behind her ear.
“You’re lovely,” he said. Gazing at her happiness made him want to pop the question right then, but he resisted.
She blushed. “I was just asleep on the couch. I’m sure I look…”
“Beautiful,” he jumped in before she could finish her sentence and kissed her. His fingers trailed down her arms, and he felt goosebumps erupt when they reached her skin. Tonight had to be special for her…for them. When he pulled away, he led her to the small table and pulled out the straight back chair with floral designs carved into the wood.
After she sat, he pulled out his own chair and sat down too. The galloping rhythms of Mozart filled the salon. She gazed at the quartet with a smile on her face until Raul brought their plates over.
“Crepes!” she exclaimed. “How did you know I love these?”
Conor’s heart pounded in happiness. Everything was going as it should. “I didn’t. I was just trying to go with the French theme.”
Raul set down plates of rolled crepes with lobster in a cream sauce spilling out from the middle. He took their Champagne flutes and held them in the fountain. When he put it back on the table, Conor said, “Don’t worry, it’s sparkling grape juice.”
“You’ve thought of everything,” she said, reaching across the table and taking his hand. “Thank you for today. I love you.”
His hand itched to reach into his pocket and pull the ring out right then. His confidence about her answer surged with every smile and caress. But he stayed his hand and said, “I always want you to feel cared for. You’re the most important person in my life.”
She blinked her eyes fast, and he knew she was about to cry. Even though he thought it was because she was happy, he wanted to ease the tension for her.
He smiled and said, “No crying over your crepes. The salt will throw off the flavor.”
She pulled her hand away with a grin and swiped a tear off of her cheek. “Well we can’t have that. I must say, I think all my lady luvs have secret hopes of us breaking up. A thousand dollar gift card to Marc Jacobs? How am I going to beat that at the Christmas party?”
He laughed and they eased into a conversation about everything that had happened at the grand re-opening. He steered clear of the reunion with her mom and kept things light.
The crepes had a perfect buttery flavor and the cream filling was rich just like he liked it. He was glad to see Charisse eat everything. Raul cleared their plates when they were done and replaced them with champagne glasses filled with dark chocolate mousse with ribbons of raspberry spiraling in them. A dollop of whipped cream made it perfect.
He couldn’t wait much longer. The desire to hear her say she wanted to marry him had grown so strong that his hand shook when he picked up his spoon. He set it back down and watched Charisse take a bite of her mousse.
She said, “It’s incredible. Just like everything today. You have to try it.”
But he didn’t. Instead, he knelt next to her on one knee. He pulled the small box out with his hand still trembling and flipped it open.
“Nothing is more incredible than you,” he said. “Will you marry me?”
Charisse dropped her spoon to the table and covered her mouth while nodding her head furiously. “Yes, yes, yes!”
Happiness spread throughout his body. He took the gold rose ring out, overwhelmed with relief and joy.
A bigger diamond had been placed in the center than the other roses. He’d been worried it would dwarf the rose, but it appeared to be the perfect size.
When he slipped the ring on her finger, she slid off the chair so that she was on her knees. “It’s gorgeous. When you said the set wasn’t complete yet, I didn’t think you meant you’d ask tonight. I’ve never been so thrilled.”
They kissed for a long time. Everything was coming out right. They had put the pains of their past behind them and emerged as a strong couple.
Overcome by joy and lust, he stood up, pulling her with him. Gazing into her deep brown eyes, he lifted her off her feet and cradled her in his arms. Mozart accompanied them through the salon as he carried her to the door held open by Raul.
She ran her fingers through his hair and said, “I was going to offer to shampoo your hair tonight.”
“Mmmm, I’ll take a rain check on that. Tonight your wish is my command.”