Rachel gripped the armrest as tightly as possible. Her heartbeat was rapid, her mouth went dry as she licked her lips, and when Gabriel put his hands on her shoulder, she almost jumped up.
“Shh. Relax, Rachel,” Gabriel coaxed, massaging her stiff muscles. He stood right behind her and leaned down slightly to feather sweet kisses on her exposed neck. Rachel closed her eyes and bit back a slight moan. He brought his lips against her ears, whispering, “It’s okay. I will be standing right here.”
Rachel slowly opened her eyes, sucked in a breath and nodded at his reflection on the mirror. He finally stepped back, giving enough room for John to resume her haircut. Once Rachel’s short hair was washed and dried, John combed the hair with his fingers—assessing the grown length.
Just like the last time, the Clippers starting plowing into her somewhat grown length on her nape and towards the crown. Instead of panicking, Rachel closed her eyes while other senses in her body aggravated. She felt the snippets of hair tickling down while the vibration of the clipper rippled between her legs. Last time she was too scared to feel anything but this time she let herself go.
Once her beautiful nape was effectively and quickly reduced to the same five-eighth of an inch, John moved to her sides. He ran the clippers precisely around her ears, bending them slightly, to clip down every section. Rachel opened her eyes for a split second and met with Gabriel’s intense gaze on hers. She saw a flash of admiration and approval in his eyes that sent a fluttery feeling in her stomach. He was enjoying the haircut as much as Rachel.
The only part remaining was the top and front portion to be snipped. John used a fine-toothed comb to brush and lift small sections of the hair and snip it off. This precise scissor over comb technique seemed to one of the mater skills of John. He held the comb at different angles—horizontal, vertical and diagonal—lifted a section and simply trimmed away. He frequently went over each section, again and again, blending the sides and nape as well.
It hardly took around thirty-minutes to give her the trim. Once finished, John stepped aside inviting Gabriel to inspect the haircut. This time Rachel’s eyes were neither moist nor did she look devastated. In fact, she was unusually courageous even though she didn’t admit to herself. When Gabriel’s fingers explored her shorn nape and sides, trailing around her ears, he felt her pulse quickened below her jaw-line.
He smiled slightly.
“John,” Gabriel called out, without taking his eyes off Rachel’s on the mirror. “Do you think we can go shorter?”
“Absolutely!” John voiced from behind as Rachel gasped.
Gabriel leaned down slightly, whispering in his signature rich, silky voice, “Rachel, we are going a bit shorter this time. Sit tight, okay, sweetheart?”
Rachel was speechless. She was nervous, scared and excited in equal measure but somehow she managed to nod once again. Gabriel smiled, giving her another quick peck on her sensitive neck and praised, “That’s my brave girl.”
Gabriel turned to John. “Can you please turn the chair away from the mirror, please?”
“Sure, if that’s what you want,” John agreed with a smirk. Then he simply whirled the chair away from the mirror so Rachel would face Gabriel, without being aware of how shorter her new haircut was going to be.
She braced herself for what was coming next. As John picked up a clipper and this time without a guard, Rachel, once again, held her breath. Gabriel stepped closer to her while her head was gently pushed down. The moment the clippers came in contact with her skin, she yelped a little. The snipped hair started prickling her neck, making her squirm involuntarily. Gabriel immediately grabbed her shoulders firmly with his hands to steady her.
After some time, her face was pulled up. John attached a smaller guard on the clipper this time and mowed the hairs on top. While the back of her head was completely shorn, the top and front were going to hardly fuzzy. Rachel was completely oblivious of the fact that she was receiving a military-style haircut. A lone tear flowed down her cheek at the thought of being buzzed to nothing. Gabriel swiped the pad of his thumb to wipe it away.
The sound of clippers finally ceased. John picked up the shaving foam and spread around her sides and nape while Rachel widened her eyes. Short haircut was one thing but shaved sides? She was definitely not prepared for this as she frantically started to get up from the chair.
“Rachel, calm down.” Gabriel tightened his hold on her while she looked up at him.
“No. No. No. No…” That was all she could utter.
“Gabriel, I am going to use the razor. Please hold her tight,” John requested from behind the chair.
Rachel knew she couldn’t escape the shaving so she submitted to her fate reminding herself to enjoy the process, like that girl on the chair earlier. On the other hand, Gabriel knew he was slightly pushing her limits but the way she submitted herself to his chosen haircut, he was proud.
The sharp razor blade touched slightly above her nape was slowly pulled down, making a rough scraping sound in its wake. Rachel felt each and every tiny hair was completely shaved off from her back and sides. Her ears were already exposed but now she felt even more vulnerable.
After what felt like an eternity to Rachel, the haircut finally ended. John brushed off the trimmed hair from her face and removed the cape. She was positioned away from the mirror and had no idea how she looked like.
“Are you ready?” Gabriel asked her.
“I think so,” she muttered tensely.
Gabriel took her hands and helped her on her feet, and slowly turned her toward the mirror. She clamped a hand over her mouth and gasped in horror. Her sides were shaved, lightly blended into the top. The hairstyle resembled with that of a High and Tight Haircut. Rachel was surprised—even shocked, but definitely not sad.
She found the whole experience extremely liberating and empowering. It made her feel slightly bolder.
“What do you think?” Gabriel asked her.
“It’s…It’s very, very short…Gabriel.”
“I am sure you were not expecting this, but it makes you look so striking. Your hair is not the only identity you have. Look at yourself in the mirror, Rachel. Lose your inhibitions and embrace what you want.”
Rachel smiled as his words slowly started sinking in.
While Rachel’s wicked stepmother, Olivia, searched hell and heaven for her, Rachel was living with Gabriel. Neither of them had intended to fall for each other but the inevitable did take place. Within months, both Gabriel and Rachel, unknowingly, preferred each other’s company more than they had realized. While Rachel continued her education in order to take over her father’s business, she did learn a great deal from Gabriel regarding business conduction.
For a shy, naive girl who had been locked in her house most of her life, Rachel was blooming into a gracious and bright woman day by day. Her inhibitions and fears didn’t pull her back anymore as she boldly conducted herself in life.
With the passage of time, her short haircut grew on herself. She was no longer afraid to sit on the chair to be shorn. In fact, one summer came when Gabriel offered to give her a buzz cut himself, she obediently sat on the stool, wrapping a towel around her body. One of his firm masculine hands gripped the slope of her neck gently while the other held the clippers. The moment he turned them, Rachel unquestioningly bowed her head for him.
Gabriel made several passes all over her head—again and again, pushing her head left or right as per his convenience. Rachel felt his dominating touch and the precision of shearing extremely captivating and she craved nothing more than being shorn by him. And the fact that Gabriel loved to stroke her freshly buzzed hair was an added bonus.
On her twenty-fourth birthday, Gabriel finally professed his love for her while she blinked away the happy tears.
And when the time came, Rachel confronted her step-mother, Olivia, after she turned twenty-five to claim back her rights. Olivia was livid to find her alive and demanding. However, Rachel threatened to expose her with all the proof Gabriel had provided. Ultimately, in exchange for walking out free with her dignity intact, Olivia agreed to give up her rights.
It took almost a year for Rachel to settle down in her position as the head of the business. By now, she no longer required the need to crop her hair every month to hide her identity but she never gave up her monthly shearing session. Sometimes Gabriel took her to John’s Barbershop and instructed her hair to be shorn in a certain fashion, while the other times he would decide to buzz her hair himself. There were also times when he instructed her haircut without a mirror until it was completed.
Rachel was, undoubtedly, a strong, independent woman on her own but she always allowed Gabriel to choose her haircut. The thrill of being shorn under his command was proof of her blind trust in him. Gabriel, in turn, loved her compliance and respected her courage and adored her with all his heart.
And they lived happily ever after.
Author’s Note: Please let me know what do you think of the story in the comments below.