The Beautician and the Billionaire 7: Scene 8c

Have a great weekend!

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His phone buzzed, and he pulled it out of his pocket. Charisse.

“I discovered a tree where you tied a bouquet. I’m sure they were lovely when you first picked them.”

Even though he was sitting, dizziness overtook him. He thought he might fall out of his chair. He put the phone next to the coffee and gripped the edges of the table with both hands. She’d found where Elise had died. How much did she know? Had Raul told her about Elise? She said she’d “discovered” it so maybe not.

He let go of the table and stared at Gianna as she wrapped silverware in napkins. He had to convince her to come back and reunite with her daughter. Then Charisse would be more open and understanding of what happened with Elise. They could move on with their lives as a couple.

Gianna looked up. At first she seemed surprised to find him staring at her, but then she glared.

Fuck. That was not what he wanted.

He looked away, but it was too late. She marched toward his table.

Soon she stood in front of him with her hands on her hips. She said, “You flatter me Mr. New York hot shot with your wistful glances and coming in here for the past two days, but I’m old enough to be your mother and not on the hunt like a cougar.”

Conor wanted to laugh. She may look like Charisse, but she spoke like Marie. He knew the wrong word would blow up the situation. He forced himself to smile and wished her eyes weren’t so much like Charisse’s.

“I’m not here to ask you out,” he said.

Gianna frowned. “But you’re here for some reason other than my amazing coffee.”

He nodded to the empty chair across from him, deciding it was now or never. “I’d really like it if you joined me. Do you have a minute?”

She twisted a strand of curls without answering and walked away. He watched her pour herself a cup of coffee and then return. When she sat down, she said, “Did Roy send you?”

“Oh, God no,” he said without ceremony.

She drew her eyebrows together and wrapped her fingers around the coffee mug. “But you must know him if that’s your reaction.”

He decided he should just cut straight to it. “I’ve been seeing Charisse.”

Gianna’s face paled. “Did something happen to her? Is she okay?”

“She’s fine. She doesn’t even know I’m here.”

“She shouldn’t even know I live here.” Her voice sounded sharp.

“She doesn’t. I hired a private investigator…”

Gianna jumped up. “Get out!” Her next words were in Spanish.

Conor held his hand up. “Please, I’d just like to talk. I don’t know why you left, but I think…”

“It’s none of your business why I left. You go back to New York and forget about me. I am not your business.”

A large man with a white apron on came running out of the kitchen. He shouted in Spanish.

Conor stood up. “It’s not my business, but it’s Charisse’s.”

“Did she send you here? Did she try to find me?”

“No, but…”

“Then go home. I want nothing to do with you.”

Conor stared at her a moment before he turned and stormed out of the cafe. This fucking family. None of them made anything easy.

Outside he turned and walked back towards the beach. The resort he was staying at wasn’t far, but he didn’t want to go there. He kicked up sand as he kept marching towards the water. He should’ve fucking brought Raul. Everything would’ve gone differently then.

He should’ve brought Charisse out here and “accidentally” found the coffee shop. He’d intended on bringing her to the resort he was at anyway. It would’ve been easy.

Fuck. This was not going to be his grand gesture to show Charisse he cared about her.

He stared at the ocean for what seemed like forever. People past in front and behind him. He hated being here without her. He always hated being apart from her. He’d go home and talk to her, really talk to her. Like he should’ve done before they made the deal.

The Beautician and the Billionaire 7: Scene 8

Yesterday Conor went to Charisse’s room in the middle of the night. I won’t be posting the scene because of the sexy sex. You can read it at:

Amazon
All Romance  in Kindle, Nook, and pdf formats.
iTunes
Drive Through Fiction in Kindle, Nook, and pdf formats.
Smashwords in Kindle, Nook and pdf formats.
Barnes and Noble

I will start at the end of the chapter you missed. Enjoy!

Charisse woke up sore and frustrated. When she slipped the sheet aside, she saw small bruises where Conor’s fingers had dug into her thighs. Worth it, except that he wasn’t with her.

She sat up and glanced around the room, hoping for a sign of him. On the nightstand were two envelopes addressed to her: one in Raul’s handwriting and one in Conor’s. She grabbed the one from Conor first.

Dear Charisse,

I’ve wanted to bring you here since I first saw you, but it was a mistake. I have too much past here. I need to sort out my thoughts. The house and cars are yours while I’m gone. Raul will get you whatever you need. On Monday a therapist will arrive to talk to you as well as a personal trainer. You said you took yoga, and I didn’t want you to miss too many classes. Becca’s party is Saturday. I’m having Raul give you an invitation. I need you there with me. And then Puerto Rico.

Conor

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Cafe con Leche

In The Beautician and the Billionaire Episode 6: The Banquet Raul serves Charisse Puerto Rican cafe con leche. I love this drink, but it’s a hard recipe to find. I finally found one over at the blog Spicelines.

I honestly thought it had sweetened condensed milk in it, but actually it’s just milk and half and half! The trick is warming them together slowly, which brings out a natural sweetness. Continue reading

The Beautician and the Billionaire Episode 4: Final Scene

I know I posted that I’d be ending this Wednseday, but I just don’t like where I cut the scene into two posts, and there really isn’t a better place. So I decided to give you the final scene all together today.

Thursday is the release of Episode 5 for purchase! I’ll start posting it on the blog on Monday. Conor really takes a turn for the Beast in Episode 5 when Charisse makes a bad decision about the loan. How far is she willing to go to keep her salon? You’ll have to stay tuned to Episode 5 to find out!

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Charisse sat on Conor’s bed with her legs curled behind her. He had azure walls and a paint splash art piece hanging on the wall opposite of her. Of course, the view of the skyline was gorgeous like all views in his penthouse. What she really liked, though, were the glass closet doors with a place in the Grand Canyon etched into them. She suspected it was the same location as in the Ansel Adams picture out in the living room.

But instead of admiring any of it, she stared at the Walgreens bag next to her open overnight bag.

Conor had stopped at her apartment and asked Marie to pack one for her. Marie had refused until Conor got her on the phone. That had been a weird conversation with Marie nearly crying about how sorry she was she hadn’t interfered with Josh. It’d been too much to handle, and Charisse had gotten off the phone as soon as she could. She’d definitely felt closer to Marie recently, but they had a long way to go. However, the change of clothes were a welcome sight.

She kept staring at the Walgreens bag. She placed her hand on her belly. Her OBGYN had said there was no reason why she couldn’t get pregnant again and carry it full term, but he also didn’t have an explanation for the miscarriage. He said they just happened sometimes.

If she’d gone back on birth control pills or if Conor had worn a condom, she wouldn’t be thinking about a baby at all. But taking a pill after sex to prevent a pregnancy that could be taking place right now bothered her. What if it was a happy accident that turned into a beautiful baby with Conor? She knew he would make a great dad, even if they never got married.

She frowned and pulled her knees to her chest. He had no reason to marry her at all. And if she did get pregnant, he might think she was trying to trap him.

She shook her head. He wasn’t Josh. He was entirely different.

“Hey.”

She heard Conor’s voice from the doorway and looked up with wide eyes. His sapphire eyes appeared concerned like he feared she was having a relapse. He wore shorts again and a black t-shirt that was untucked. He hadn’t shaved, giving him the look of the perfect weekend companion. Actually, she was beginning to think of him as perfect for just about any occasion.

She should talk to him about what she was thinking. It wasn’t just her decision.

He said, “Raul made a surprise for you that’s waiting in the theatre, but I can bring it here if you’re not feeling up to a movie, or if you want to watch one in here.”

“He made a surprise for me?” She couldn’t begin to imagine what he’d done.

“Yeah, are you up for it?” He glanced over at the Walgreens bag. His face changed expression, but she couldn’t read it. “Did you take it?” He asked, looking up from the bag.

She shook her head. “I mean, I know I should, the decision just doesn’t seem that easy.” She released her legs and curled them behind her again while she kept talking. “But you probably don’t want a baby so then that should be the end of the discussion. And really, I’m in no condition to have one right now. I should be in therapy–”

“Charisse.” Conor had crossed the room, sat down and taken her hands in his.

“What?”

“Plan B is most effective the first day, but you’ve had a rough time. If you want to put off the decision a couple of days, I’m fine with that. And I’ll support whatever you decide.”

She gave a sideways frown. “But what does that mean? I don’t want to have a baby you don’t want, but I’m constantly worried I won’t ever be able to have kids. Maybe I did forget on purpose and you should be mad at me.”

He dropped her hands and held her face. His gaze was more intense than she’d ever seen it. “Please don’t compare me to Josh. I’m sure it’s hard, but he and I don’t think alike at all. I’ve wanted kids for several years now. When Elise and I got married, we agreed to start having them in our thirties. But when she turned thirty, she changed her mind. It was a big disappointment to me. I don’t think now would be the best time for you to be pregnant, but you are the one who should decide that. So either way you decide about Plan B, I’ll support you.”

Charisse practically threw herself at him and held him in a hug. She loved the feel of his arms around her and his cheek pressed on the top of her head. They held each other until someone cleared his throat. She looked up to see Raul standing in the doorway with two coffee cups in his hands.

“I’m sorry to interrupt you, but I didn’t want this to get cold. Are you feeling better, Charisse?”

Charisse nodded and said, “Yes, thank you. I’m not quite myself yet, but Conor is a huge help.”

“Come in Raul,” said Conor. “Charisse is going to love this.”

Raul stepped into the room. He wore jeans and a black button-up shirt—a more casual look than she was used to seeing him in. She was beginning to think he was more like a manservant than just a driver.

He held out the coffee cup and said, “This is the best way to drink Puerto Rican coffee, cafe con leche.”

Charisse took the offered white china coffee cup and Conor took the other. She inhaled the delicious aroma and stared at the milky coffee. When she took a sip, it was like bitter and sweet had married in her mouth.

“I love it,” she said.

“Wow,” said Conor. “You’d have to build a cafe onto your salon if you started serving that. Hey, that’s not a bad idea.”

Charisse laughed and said, “I don’t think I can brainstorm about the salon right now. Let’s go watch a bad movie.”

Conor laced his fingers in hers as they stood up. She glanced towards the Walgreens bag. She’d decide tomorrow. She could tell it was time for another valium by how jittery she was getting again. Tomorrow she’d hopefully have a clear head and not have to take any drugs. Better to decide then, but at least she had Conor on her side.

Back from Puerto Rico

I’ve been back from Puerto Rico for awhile, but I got home and immediately started working on a new project. The trip was for a much needed recharge, so success!!

But I feel bad not posting pictures of my awesome trip:

The view from our room. I still wish I was waking to the sound of ocean waves.
The view from our room. I still wish I was waking to the sound of ocean waves.

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Puerto Rico: Clothes!

I went shopping tonight for some new clothes for the trip. Surprisingly, Target had better dressing room lighting than Kohls. The lighting in Kohls showed every flaw on my skin, which in a swimsuit is harsh! Target’s lighting was much more diffuse and therefore more forgiving.

What clothes retailers need to do is go to casino bathrooms and figure out how they do their lights. Because I look awesome in the mirrors of casino bathrooms. I used to think it was the three coffee and Baileys that I already had, but I went in one time totally sober, and I still looked good. We need to start a movement for casino lighting in fitting rooms.

But I digress. Here are my findings! I’m going to Puerto Rico!

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