Dark horse


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There was something slightly unnerving about it. Or maybe she should be flattered, she didn’t know.

Sue could sense that the new stylist was always positioning herself so that she could watch what Sue was doing whenever there was the prospect of a client coming in for more than a trim. The new girl would eavesdrop if she could find a reason to get close enough, or just observe if she couldn’t. Once she knew that there was little chance of anything other than a mundane trim, she would retreat into her own territory. It was odd to think of it as that, but that was what it was, really. The stylists each had their own areas and didn’t like anyone interfering with them.

The new stylist hadn’t yet crossed the invisible boundary as far as Sue knew, but she could be seen as probing, testing the limits. Even if most of the time it wasn’t the prospect of a physical incursion, it was the almost constant surveillance that got to her. She’d thought about complaining to the owner, but decided that she was big enough to deal with it herself. She didn’t know much about the new girl, maybe she was just looking for signs of a welcome, a way to open up a conversation. That couldn’t be it. They’d had a brief chat in the break-room, she’d seemed pleasant enough, so it had to be something else.

The most notable occasion had been earlier in the day. One of the regulars had come in and said that she was going to walk one of the famous pilgrim routes, even though she wasn’t religious. It was something that she wanted to do to challenge herself. She knew that it would be arduous, conditions would be basic and everything would have to be reduced to a minimal level if she was to have a chance of success. She wouldn’t be able to carry many “luxury” items and these included many toiletries. The prospect of not being able to keep her hair clean and conditioned, the way that she normally would, led her to the surprising decision to cut it off.

She’d been coming to Sue for nearly three years and whilst she had occasionally asked for a generous trim, her hair had never been above her shoulders in all that time. Sometimes it had been down to her bra strap, sometimes it had dragged against the bottom of her collar. She was a long-haired person, through and through. Sue had struggled to contain her surprise when the woman had told her what she wanted to do in preparation. Nevertheless, once she had made sure that the woman was adamant, she had lifted the clippers from their hook and slipped on the number three guard.

The woman’s hair had tumbled to the ground in long, healthy hanks. She had smiled all the way through, not saying anything, just smiling contentedly. Sue had felt involved in the woman’s adventure, but all the while she was running the clippers, she had been aware of the close attention of the spy. Sue took her time, wanting to make the cut as perfect, as feminine as she could, even though she doubted that the woman would be going anywhere in the near future where she didn’t need to wear boots and hiking gear. Even though she would be out of her element, there was no reason for her to feel anything other than the attractive woman that she was, albeit one with a lot less hair than she had probably ever imagined. Every stroke with the clippers was weighted down by the close attention from across the salon. Sue was going to have to talk to her. Tell her that even if she had nothing to do, she needed to find something, look busy, not just stand and stare. If there was so little to occupy her time, there was little point in her being there.

Once the customer had left, Sue tried to decide on the best way to broach the subject. She hated confrontation and didn’t want to cause a scene. After running through various opening gambits in her mind, she decided that the best way was the indirect route. She would just take it slowly, try to understand her new colleague better.

Just after the salon closed, Sue went over to the new girl and suggested that they should go for a drink to unwind after a long day. The new girl accepted without hesitation, which made Sue feel a little sorry for her. There was no suggestion that she had to think how a trip to a bar with Sue would fit into her plans, whether it would affect anyone at home. It was just a straightforward “yes”. Sue started to think of her new colleague as Angie, rather than the “new girl”. She was prepared to give her a chance rather than destroy any budding friendship before it had been given the opportunity to blossom.

By the time they had finished the first glass of wine, Sue was convinced that she had made the right decision. Angie was essentially shy, was observing everything so closely because she wanted to learn, wanted to see how things were done in the salon so that she didn’t make a mistake. She was eager to please, wanted to make the right impression. Sue told her that she should just relax, told her how the other three stylists had welcomed her when she joined the salon and that maybe it was the fault of all of them for not making sure that Angie felt at home. She said that she would have a quiet word with the others and that if there was anything else that she could do for Angie, she would. It was the most useful glass of wine that she had ever bought.

Sue struggled to understand why Angie was shy. She was an attractive young woman, mid-twenties, long dark hair, good body. Everything said that she should be comfortable wherever she was. She had a disarming smile, looked like she could twirl a man round her little finger, yet she was sitting there saying that she was shy.

It wasn’t until the third glass of wine that it started to make a bit more sense.

‘So why are you so interested in dramatic haircuts?’ Sue asked, changing the subject.

‘There’s something exciting about watching their expressions sometimes. You can see the doubt, see them wondering whether they’re doing the right thing. Then you watch them go past the point of no return and see the look of resignation. They’ve just done something and they’re stuck with it, like it or not’ she explained.

‘I’d never thought about it like that’ Sue said.

‘You should try it, it’s quite an eye-opener’ she replied.

Sue paused for a moment.

‘So you’re one of those stylists that tries to persuade clients to go short?’ she asked.

‘If I think it’ll suit them’ Angie replied.

‘Doesn’t that mean that you can’t watch their faces as much?’

‘That’s why I try to watch other people doing it. I can see everything without wondering if I’m going to make a mess of the cut or not’ she replied.

‘You know, I’m so glad we came out tonight’ Sue smiled.

‘Me too’ Angie agreed.

They chatted for a while and then Sue asked the obvious question.

‘You’re in favour of short hair on other people, but not for yourself’ she observed, looking pointedly at Angie’s arrow-straight hair.

‘I suppose I’m one of those voyeurs you read about. You know, those people who’d rather watch someone else do it than do it themselves.’

‘That makes it sound so dirty’ Sue laughed.

‘Whatever turns you on’ Angie replied.

Sue looked at her, surprised. Their friendship was only a bottle of wine old and they had stumbled into territory that she wouldn’t have expected to enter for several more. She took a slow pull on her drink, putting it down deliberately.

‘Does it?’ Sue asked.

‘What?’

‘Turn you on’ Sue clarified.

‘That would be telling’ Angie replied, her broadening smile telling Sue everything that she needed to know. Sue drained her glass.

‘I’d better go’ Sue said.

‘Yeah, you’re right. I only came in for a quick one’ Angie replied. Sue left the unspoken retort where it belonged.

There was a noticeable change in the atmosphere the following morning. Angie was less “standoffish”, she was happy to exchange a few pleasantries, she clearly felt more integrated. It had been time well-spent.

Sue now understood why Angie looked over whenever she could and it didn’t bother her the way that it had. There was nothing sinister or threatening about it now, it was just someone pursuing an interest in the only way that they knew how. Sue’s first customer was a regular, a trim on long blonde hair. Sue could do it blindfolded.

The other aspect of this customer was that she wasn’t much for aimless chat, so there was little exchanged apart from the initial greeting and the final check that all was to the woman’s liking. It always was. That gave Sue time to think over the conversation in the pub the previous evening, time to think about Angie’s confession that she got more than a little pleasure from watching people get their hair cut. Not the sort of “non-cut” that she’d just done, but a proper cut.

It wasn’t news to Sue that some people found getting their hair cut to be arousing. But it was usually men and that was from having a woman standing close to them, who wasn’t a wife or girlfriend. She’d spent a couple of years as a barber, so she knew all about what went on under the gown, about hands snaking out from underneath, stroking her leg as she worked. Most of the time it had annoyed her, a couple of times it had got her laid. What she hadn’t encountered before was someone who took pleasure from watching someone else get their hair cut. Whatever floats your boat, she supposed. It was harmless enough. She was sweeping the floor after the trim, thinking what a waste of effort it was, given the small pile of off-cut that she had managed to assemble, when the receptionist told her that there was a walk-in and would she mind.

Sue disposed of the sweepings and went to greet the customer. It was a pleasant looking woman in her forties, nicely dressed, respectable, prosperous. She had a cap of blonde hair, collar length, well cut, not obviously in need of attention. Sue smiled at her and ushered her in to the salon.

‘I didn’t think I’d get in so quickly. I was just passing and thought I’d try on the off-chance. I’ve been telling myself to find a new hairdresser for ages, but never got around to it. Kept going back to the same place, kept being slightly disappointed each time, but always told myself that it was too much trouble to find somewhere else. All it took was a push on the door handle and here I am.’

Sue wondered whether the woman would pause for breath, but let her finish, which gave Sue the opportunity to get a feel for her. The first impression had been spot-on. She was a lovely, vibrant woman who eventually told Sue that her name was Eve. Sue helped Eve into a gown while she was still explaining why she was there.

‘So, are you here because you want a change of stylist or a change of style?’ Sue asked, cutting to the chase.

‘Definitely the former, possibly the latter. I’ve had the same style for longer than I can remember. I had it like this when I was still with my husband and we’ve been apart for three years now’ she said.

Sue thought that it was an odd way to measure the length of time that you’ve had a hairstyle, but then decided that it was quite an effective way to set a point in time. Sue never kept her hair in the same style for more than three months, taking advantage of the constant need for models in the salon. She’d never had anything really way-out, but she changed the colour regularly, going lighter and darker shades of brown, sometimes leaving it to hide her collar, sometimes having it taken above. It saved getting bored with one look and it seemed to go down well with most of the men that she had been out with in recent times.

‘So you like it short?’ Sue asked, stating the obvious really.

‘Best thing I did was to cut it short. My husband liked it long, but once he started to wander, I just had it chopped off to spite him and haven’t looked back since’

she said. Sue combed it through, watching it move, admiring the expert cut. She wanted to know who had done it, but didn’t want to ask. They’d done a good job, so there was little grounds for Eve to be unhappy based on the skill of the stylist who had done it for her.

‘Do we need to consider anyone else in what we do?’ Sue asked in a round-about sort of way.

‘Not at the moment, but you never know. It’s just me, on a whim’ Eve replied. She explained that she was in the enviable position of being able to live off her divorce settlement, so there was no workplace to consider.

‘Have you got ideas of things you’d like to try, things you definitely don’t want to do?’ Sue asked.

‘I did my part when I pushed the door handle, now I think it’s your turn’ she said with a pleasant smile. There was a brief pause while the junior brought coffee, but then it was back to the discussion.

‘Well, what do you think about changing the colour? Livening things up with a nice red, how about that?’

‘Maybe. Now I’m here, I think that I want to change the shape of it too. I’ve got this horrible fear of being seen as matronly, old before my time’ Eve replied.

Sue ran her hand through Eve’s hair, slowly, deliberately, before putting her hand to her forehead and holding it there for a moment. She held the hair away from Eve’s face, looking in the mirror. She could see Eve watching, waiting for an explanation. Sue looked across the salon. She saw Angie, trying to look like she wasn’t watching, but Sue knew otherwise. Sue took her hand away. She leant forward, conscious of Eve’s eyes following her hand to see what it was going to do.

‘Do you know what these are?’ Sue asked.

‘Men’s hair clippers’ Eve replied.

‘I had a customer a couple of days ago, who was going on a long walking holiday. Didn’t want to have to worry about her hair, so we cut it off, really short all over.

What do you think about that?’

‘Brave lady. On both counts, doing a walking holiday and cutting her hair off.’

‘Do you fancy giving it a whirl?’ Sue asked casually. She looked across at Angie again. The previous evening’s conversation was running through her head. Had she not

gone for that drink, she wouldn’t have considered suggesting anything like as drastic for this woman. She would have re-shaped it, worked with what was there, probably gone for a colour, but never in a million years would she have suggested a crew-cut. Not that she didn’t think that Eve couldn’t pull it off, but she just wouldn’t have considered it as an option. Maybe the walker-woman had made it easier to suggest, but the real reason that she was doing it was half-concealed behind a pillar.

Sue wanted to do it for Angie. A sort of welcome present for her. Was it fair that someone else had to bear the brunt of the sacrifice, though?

‘Trust me to come somewhere that’ll take me at my word’ Eve chuckled.

‘So that’s a “no” then?’ Sue said, leaning forward to put the clippers back on their hook.

‘You’re thinking that short, really?’ Eve asked, looking at the stooping Sue.

‘I was, but there’s plenty of other things I can do.’

‘Such as?’ she asked as Sue stood back up.

‘If you want to keep the length, I can lose some of the weight, change the shape that way. Then we can use colour to make a statement’ Sue explained.

‘But then that gets me into the colour trap and worrying about re-growth and all of that.’

‘You get used to it. I just change the colour rather than touching up my roots’ Sue said.

‘It’s easy for you though isn’t it, plenty of willing hands whenever you want them.’ Eve looked at Sue’s chin length bob, admiring the way that it sat, seemingly so casually, although there had to have been a lot of skill to have got it to look so effortless. It was a rich chestnut shade.

‘We don’t have to do the colour, I just thought it would give you a bit of “oomph”, you know, make you stand out in a crowd.’

‘I don’t know that I’ve ever thought of myself as a redhead’ Eve said pensively.

‘There you go, there’s something you could try. I’ll just get a colour chart’ Sue said and turned on her heel. She was flicking through the swatches as she came back.

‘I was thinking this one, but you might think it’s a bit bright at first’ Sue said, showing Eve a striking red.

‘Wow! That is bright. My friends’ll think I’ve become a lady of the night or something’ she chuckled.

‘I’m sure they won’t’ Sue countered, worried that she’s upset the woman. ‘Tell you what, I’ll leave you to look though those in peace. I’ll be back in a minute.’

‘Okay, thanks’ Eve replied.

Sue walked over towards Angie, motioning with her head that Angie should move out of sight.

‘I tried to get her to go really short, thought you’d like that’ Sue said.

‘What did she say?’

‘Not a lot, but she didn’t say “yes”. I’ve got her looking at swatches at the moment. Suggested a bright red for her, but she thought it would make her look like a hooker.’

‘If she didn’t say no, why don’t you just do it’ Angie suggested.

‘Do what?’

‘Clipper her’ Angie replied, as if it was the least contentious suggestion in the world.

‘I can’t do that!’ Sue said, trying to convey her objection in as quiet a voice as she could muster.

‘Course you can. Just tell her that you’re doing it and that’s it.’

‘She’s a grown woman, not a little kid, I can’t talk to her like that’ Sue objected.

‘Just take charge, that’s all you need to do.’

‘And that’s what you’d do, is it?’

‘You know me, I’d rather watch’ Angie replied with a suggestive smile. Sue looked at her.

‘Aren’t there some towels that need folded?’ Sue said with a sarcastic smile, before she turned and walked back to Eve.

Eve glanced at her as she approached.

‘I’ve narrowed it down to two or three’ Eve said, holding the card higher so that she could point to the coloured loops of hair that had caught her attention.

‘I’ve been having a think’ Sue said, ignoring the proferred card. ‘We’re going with the clippers.’ She waited a moment for the backlash.

‘Really?’ Eve said, putting the swatch card flat in her lap. ‘You really think I can get away with hair that short?’

‘Absolutely. Just think how easy it’ll be to get ready’ Sue said, astounded that her proposal hadn’t been shot down in flames. She paused for a moment and then reached forward for the clippers again.

‘If only my usual stylist could see me now!’ Eve observed.

Sue felt a flutter. She really hadn’t expected Eve to react so calmly. She thought that Eve would just tell her that she’d already said no and would be annoyed. Sue felt slightly awkward, wondered whether she was breaching the Hippocratic oath for hairdressers by even considering using the clippers on this woman, whose only mistake had been boredom with her usual hairdresser. Sue picked a guard off the shelf and clicked it into place.

‘Just pop your head down for me’ she said, touching the back of Eve’s head with her fingertips. It was just like being back in the barbershop at the end of the school holidays when most of her clients would be less than enthusiastic, even though they accepted that they had no control over what was about to happen. Eve was looking at the colour chart in her lap, taunted by what might have been. Sue glanced across the salon to the transfixed Angie. Sue’s comb lifted Eve’s hair up from the back of her neck, inviting the clippers to visit. The barber was definitely back. The clippers slid effortlessly up the back of Eve’s head, the comb in Sue’s left hand serving to speed the severed tresses on their way. A second pass let Sue appreciate the blonde bristles properly. Fortyish-woman was becoming Scandinavian boy, although it still wasn’t too late to adapt it into some sort of avant-garde asymmetric something or other. The clippers ran free again, rendering rescue attempts unlikely, before they moved to Eve’s crown and all hope was gone.

Sue got Eve to lift her head up again, which showed Eve that apparently little had changed. Sue paused to ruffle the hair Eve’s forehead. Eve wasn’t quite sure what she thought. There was a measure of excitement that she was doing something new, but that was tempered by a concern that her hair was going to be too short. She was trying to think of women that she knew with super-short hair and come up empty. She thought of women in the public eye who had cut their hair off and could only think of a couple of examples. She would stick out wherever she went. What would she tell people? It was too late anyway, all she could do was to work on a story and get it as polished as possible before she bumped into anyone that she knew.

‘I was wondering about leaving you a fringe, to soften it a little’ Sue said, looking in the mirror for a reaction. ‘On second thoughts..’ she said, slipping the blades through the longer hair and into free space before Eve had had a chance to respond.

‘Whatever else this is, it’s definitely not going to be the same old Eve that goes home today’ she said with a wry smile. ‘That’s a good thing, though, right?’ Sue asked, really hoping for a positive answer.

‘Getting out of a rut is never bad, it’s just so unexpected. I really didn’t think that I’d stumble on someone who’d do something so radical for my first appointment.

I thought that it would take some time to develop a rapport before anything this drastic would even be considered’ Eve said.

‘I thought that it was a rapport that you wanted to break away from. The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that this is exactly what you should be doing.’

‘You would say that, though, wouldn’t you?’ Eve said with a chuckle. She was still astounded that she was having all of her hair stripped away. She looked in the

mirror, looked at the exposed curve of her head that had emerged from underneath the cap of hair that had been there only moments ago. What a waste of money that last

trip to the salon had been. It was all lying around her now. She looked very different, but tried to keep an open mind in the hope that approval would make its way in.

She watched Sue carry on, looked at the contrast between the last bits of her “old” hair and the brutally short hair that she had now got. Just as Sue was making the final sweeps, she sensed a presence at her shoulder.

‘Sorry to disturb you Sue, but Vanessa asked me to ask you to pop up to her office’ Angie said. Sue was surprised to see that Angie had actually left the shadows and ventured to this side of the salon. She looked at Angie, seeing the smile that Eve wouldn’t be able to see from her vantage point. Angie raised her eyebrows, hoping to draw Sue into the deception.

‘Do you mind, Eve? I’m sure it’ll only take a moment. Angie here will look after you, won’t you, Angie?’ Sue put the clippers on the ornamental shelf in front of Eve.

Eve looked at them, looked at the gentle form, the curves and then looked into the mirror to see what they had done to her. Her eyes were drawn to the cascade of hair that littered the gown, increasing in volume the closer her gaze got to her lap. It surprised her just how much hair she had once had. Not anymore, she thought.

‘No problem, Angie replied, watching Sue turn on her heel.

‘I must say that you’re really doing the right thing. Look how your features are really emphasised already’ Angie said.

Eve smiled.

‘It’ll take some getting used to, but I think I’ll like it, even though I never dreamt I’d ever have hair this short’ she said

‘Really, you’ve made an excellent decision. I saw you come in and you look so much better already. Once the sides are taken in really close, you’ll be able to get a better idea.’

‘I think this is it. Sue was just about finished’ Eve remarked.

‘Not at all. Sue’s just cleared the decks, so that she can decide where she’s going. How short are you prepared to go anyway?’

‘This is much shorter than I would ever dare go, so this is definitely it for me. It’s all a complete surprise, I couldn’t even say that it’s on a whim. It’s just happened.’

‘But you’re glad that it’s happened?’ Angie asked.

‘It’s jolted me out of the past three or four years of familiarity, that’s for sure’ Eve replied with a chuckle.

‘Sue might be a while. I can finish it for you if you like, save you waiting’ Angie offered. She wasn’t sure whether Sue had understood, or whether she really would go and see Vanessa, only to find out that there had been no request for her to go up. That could prove awkward, but Angie would just have to make herself scarce if it came to it.

‘Wouldn’t it be better to wait and see what Sue was going to do?’ Eve asked.

‘You could, but there’s no telling how long she’ll be. I can have you out of here in a couple of minutes’ Angie said, running her fingers through Eve’s darkish bristles.

‘So you think she was going to cut it shorter?’

‘I can see where she was going.’

‘Where would that be?’

‘She’ll be taking the sides in really close, taking the top shorter.’

‘I’ll have nothing left!’ Eve commented.

‘That’s an option, too, if you want.’

Eve looked up at Angie, concerned at her enthusiasm to cut even more of her hair off. It was plenty short enough as it was and would take months to get back to where it had been when she came in.

‘It’s probably best if I wait for Sue to come back’ Eve said, a serious look descending on her features.

Angie moved to where Eve could see her without twisting.

‘Seriously, you’ll look spectacular if you just let yourself. Just imagine how stunning you’ll be if there’s nothing to distract from your face. Your eyes are already shining, but just think if we take the rest of this away and the whole focus is on your eyes and your cheekbones.’

‘I think I’d better wait and see what Sue thinks’ Eve repeated calmly, wanting the girl to lave her to her thoughts.

‘I’ll go and see what’s keeping her. Don’t go away’ Angie said with a friendly hand on Eve’s shoulder.

Eve sat and looked at herself in the mirror. She looked at the covering of bristles where her hair had been. What would Giorgiou say if he could see her now, see what they’d done to his handiwork? He’d resisted any suggestion that he might vary the style in any way, insisting that the style she had was perfect for her. Now she had two stylists whose opinions differed from his and it was too late to go back. For a good while anyway. This second stylist seemed much more sure of herself in some way. There was a hesitation about Sue, almost as if she wasn’t convinced about what she was doing, but not with this second girl. She was all for going shorter still, even though there was next to nothing left as it was. Eve contemplated her new image. She still couldn’t decide whether she liked it or whether she was just a middle-aged woman with a man’s haircut. She could see that there wasn’t a style as such, it looked like someone had just cut her hair off without any finesse, which is what it probably was. The clippers had just taken her to the same length all over and she could certainly understand now what that other girl had said about this just being a mid-way point. It needed something to finish it off. Was she ready for that “something”, if it meant that she was going to go shorter than she already was, though?

‘Eve, I’m so sorry to have kept you’ Sue said, approaching the styling station again.

‘Don’t worry. Your colleague helped me pass the time, making suggestions.’

‘I know. She came and told me.’

‘And what do you think?’

‘She hasn’t been here long, but already we’ve developed an understanding. We see things the same way’ Sue said, thinking back to the bottle of wine in the bar.

‘So you are going to go shorter?’

Sue reached forward for the clippers which had lain patiently on the shelf, knowing that their work wasn’t done. She picked up another guard, deftly swapping it onto the machine in place of the previous one.

‘I have to take the sides shorter than the top, otherwise it just won’t look right. But while I’m doing that, have a think about what Angie said.’

‘She was just talking about going shorter on the sides’ Eve recalled. Sue flicked the clippers on.

‘Head down for me’ she said, sliding the clippers up the back of Eve’s head while it was still assuming the position. ‘She probably didn’t want to say too much without me being here, but she was thinking about being really dramatic.’

‘Is that what you’re doing?’

‘This is one grade shorter than what you have already. I took you to a number three all over, now I’m doing the sides with a number two, to give it a bit of contrast with the length on top.’

‘Isn’t that short enough?’

‘You’re still fairly conservative. I’m talking about taking you down to skin, on the sides at least’ Sue ventured. She and Angie had met briefly, giving Angie the chance to convey what she’d said to Eve. Sue knew that she was just being a mouthpiece for Angie and had no idea how Eve would react to the suggestion. She carried on, blending the number two with the longer length of the top. She was comfortable doing that, but was still trying to convince herself of the wisdom of taking the guard off just to please Angie.

‘You mean bald?’

‘I want to take the top much shorter, so the sides need to be shorter than that. But I’d probably do it all over’ Sue said, trying to keep her voice even. She took a deep breath and waited, wondering if she’d overstepped the mark.

‘You’re actually suggesting that I shave my head?’ Eve asked, not quite believing what she was hearing. Sue touched her fingers to Eve’s forehead, indicating that it was time to level her head again.

‘You should definitely think about it’ Sue said, shortening the remaining hair in front of Sue’s right ear. She could see Eve looking closely at what was happening.

‘So that’s the number two?’ Eve asked.

‘Yes.’

‘And you’re suggesting that I should go shorter than that, all over?’

‘Yes.’

‘I don’t know what to say?’

‘Just think about it, that’s all’ Sue said, aware of a sensation that could only be mounting excitement that she struggled to explain to herself. Is that what Angie felt, is that why Angie liked watching things like this?

‘The answer’s always going to be a definite “no”, if I think about it.’ Eve replied. ‘I can’t believe that any woman would agree willingly. Look at me, I’ve got hardly any hair left. I look like a man as it is.’

‘You look like a very attractive woman who has the confidence not to hide behind her hair’ Sue countered. She was starting to win the battle to convince herself that there was nothing wrong in what she was about to do. She just hoped that Eve would see it that way too.

‘I didn’t think that I was hiding behind my hair before I came in’ Eve replied.

‘You weren’t hiding behind it, that wasn’t the right phrase, but it didn’t do anything for you. Look at you now. You look confident, willing to be different,

challenging the world to take you on your terms’ Sue said, wondering just how much more of this she could come out with. She’d wanted to tease Angie by giving someone a crewcut, and she’d succeeded. Angie had suggested more, and here she was, attempting to fulfil Angie’s fantasy by proxy.

‘That’s what you think? Really? I see myself as a middle-aged divorcee with no hair and you see me as some sort of symbol for women’s rights’ Eve chuckled.

‘You’re a very attractive woman, with or without hair, that’s all I’m saying. Anyway, you asked for suggestions, you’ve had suggestions from two of us, so I’ll leave it at that’ Sue said, getting back to the task at hand.

Eve watched her work, thinking about the extraordinary turn of events since she’d seen the salon this morning. She’d thought that she would try to be open to whatever was suggested, but this was just so far from anything that she would have imagined. She looked at herself in the mirror with no hair, glancing down to the pile of blonde in her lap once again, still not quite believing that it was there and not where it belonged. She watched Sue’s hand moving the clippers up the side of her head, wondering how much practice went into being able to do that to someone without them really feeling anything. She knew that there was contact, but it was like a gentle caress, rather than something harsh and destructive that she would have ascribed to the cause for her hair being separated from her head. There was little left for Sue to do now, the back and the right-hand side were done, and she was already making moves on the other side. Eve had to admit that it looked better now that Sue had gone over the sides with the shorter setting. It was hellish-short, but it looked better, more considered than it had before the little break when Sue went upstairs. Given time, she would probably agree that it looked good. Dramatic, a statement of intent, just like Sue had told her.

Sue turned the clippers off, putting the them down and picking up a brush.

‘There’ she said, sweeping the back of Eve’s neck, dislodging any bits of hair that had tried to cling on where they shouldn’t.

‘Let’s get you shampooed and then you’re good to go’ Sue said as breezily as she could. It was time to be positive, time to try to dispel any doubts that might still linger.

‘The devil in me is telling me to run down to the other salon just to see what they think’ Eve said with a broad smile.

‘I suspect that they’ll be kicking themselves that they didn’t see how beautiful you are with shorter hair’ Sue said. She wondered if Eve would think that she was trying to chat her up if she carried on in that vein.

‘You would say that though, wouldn’t you?’ Eve joked.

‘I think you’ll agree once you’ve had chance to get used to it. Anyway, let me get Angie to wash it for you, get rid of those bits.’

Sue went and found Angie, leaving Eve to her thoughts for a few moments.

‘Well?’ Angie asked.

‘I’ve just done a two on the sides, but that’s it. I thought you might like to wash it for her, or is that something you’d rather watch too?’

‘Sure, I’ll be there in a second’ Angie replied.

‘I’ll be back down in a couple of minutes’ Sue told her, heading for the stairs.

‘Hello again’ Angie said as she got to where Eve was waiting patiently.

‘Hi’ Eve replied, still focussed on the image in the mirror.

‘Sue said we’re taking the rest of this off’ Angie said breezily, ruffling a hand over the top of Eve’s head.

‘She was having you on, I’m sure’ Eve replied.

‘I was only joking. It’s me who thinks that you should go all the way.’

‘She told me that you were just going to wash it for me. Didn’t she tell you?’

‘She did, but I’m going to shave it for you instead. Won’t take long.’

‘You really are determined, aren’t you?’ Eve said, curious at this stylist’s determination to rid her of the little that remained of her hair.

‘Only because I’m right. If there was an ounce of doubt in my mind, I’d let you walk out of here like that, but you’ve just got to do it. You won’t regret it.’

‘You really think that I can walk around bald? You’re quite mad!’ Eve said, trying to humour the stylist.

‘You’re so close. If you don’t do it now, you’ll always be wondering what I meant.’

Eve looked at Angie.

‘I’m not sure that I need it washed. I’ll be alright like this’ she said. She wondered how she could get away without offending the girl.

‘Let me wash it for you at least. You’ll have all the bits falling down your neck otherwise.’

‘Okay, you’re probably right’ Eve conceded.

She followed Angie to the basin and let herself be swathed in a towel and lowered backwards to the basin. She thought how appropriate it was that her eyes were cast skywards. She would surely need help from above to steel herself to walk out of the salon and back into her life. She closed her eyes and waited for the shock of water that was bound to be too hot, but it didn’t come. She heard sounds of preparation and then felt hands on her scalp, massaging gently. It was nice, relaxing.

‘I’m just going to shave round your hairline first, just to let you get used to it’ Angie said.

Eve’s eyes opened. She slipped a hand from under her gown and touched her head, looking at the white residue on her fingers.

‘Am I going to have to ask for the manager?’ Eve said, shocked at what she saw.

‘I’m better with a razor than she is, so I wouldn’t advise it’ Angie said with a smile.

‘You’re incorrigible, you know that?’ Eve replied. ‘I can’t believe I’m letting you near me with that’ Eve said, looking at the menacing-looking razor in Angie’s hand.

‘So is that a “yes”?’

‘You seem so convinced and there’s only one way to find out’ Eve said. ‘But only around the edges.’

Angie didn’t reply. Just before she closed her eyes, Eve saw the bare blade looming. She felt Angie stroking her hairline and waited for the hardness of the razor. She felt the stroking continue and decided that Angie was just teasing her.

‘I know you’re not really going to do it’ Eve said.

‘You think?’ Angie replied. The stroking continued, progressing methodically from one part of Eve’s head to the next. Eve found it quite relaxing in a way.

‘I need you to sit up for me so that I can get at the hard to reach bits, if that’s okay’ Angie said. Eve sat up gingerly and opened her eyes. She saw Sue sitting just across from her, watching.

‘She’s really doing it, isn’t she?’ Eve said gingerly.

‘Didn’t you want her to?’ Sue asked.

‘I don’t know anymore. The pair of you have got me so that I don’t know whether I’m coming or going’ she said. Sue wondered what Angie would make of that remark. She

looked at Eve’s head, patches of white shaving foam contrasting with areas of virgin scalp. She had to admire Angie’s skill with the razor, wondering where she had

learned to use it so confidently. Even in her time as a barber, she hadn’t used a cut-throat razor very often and didn’t think that she could have the same degree of confidence with it that Angie was demonstrating. Whether she wanted to or not, Eve was going to be leaving the salon with a smooth scalp.

‘I can’t believe you’ve actually done it’ Eve repeated.

‘You can’t wait to see it though, can you?’ Angie said.

‘I’m not sure that I dare look. Hopefully, you’ve got a wig lying around that you can let me have.’

‘That defeats the point. You need to walk out of here knowing how gorgeous you look, just as you are. As soon as you look in the mirror, you’ll understand.’

‘I’m dreading looking in the mirror.’

‘No you’re not, you can’t wait’ Angie said.

‘It’s alright for you with your long hair. It’s me that’s got to go out bald as a coot.’

‘Just wait until I’ve finished and then we’ll see’ Angie said, the razor having continued to seek out whatever there was of Eve’s hair all the time the exchange had been going on. Sue continued to watch in admiration as the area of whiteness became less and less.

In a couple more minutes, Eve was reclining once again. She felt the water that was indeed too hot and was oblivious to the sly peeks from the receptionist and other stylist who had popped in to see what was occupying both Sue and Angie. Sue hoped that no-one else would come in to disturb them for a few minutes.

The water stopped, a towel covered Eve’s denuded scalp, shielding it from her view for a few more seconds at least. She sat up to let Angie’s hands pat away the wetness, her scalp enclosed in the protective layer of Angie’s hands. The towel was allowed to fall away and all eyes were on Eve as she stood up and walked to the nearest mirror. Her hands went to her head.

‘That’s not me’ she said.

‘It most certainly is.’

‘It doesn’t look like me, it doesn’t feel like me.’

‘It is you, a new, improved, sexier you’ Angie said.

Eve looked at Sue, not wanting to believe Angie. She saw Sue nod approvingly. She touched some more, wishing her fingers to tell her what her eyes wouldn’t. Was a bald woman attractive? Could a bald woman be attractive? Her hairless head felt good, maybe her fingertips wanted to tell her that she looked good, but just didn’t know the words.

‘You’re starting to like it, aren’t you?’ Sue asked, still astounded that Angie had actually shaved the woman’s head.

‘Maybe’ Eve confessed after a moment’s reflection.

‘I knew it’ Angie said, the vindication clear from her voice.

‘I suppose I’m going to have to go out and face the world’ Eve said, her hand finally coming down from her scalp.

‘Chin up, chest out, knock ’em dead’ Angie said encouragingly.

‘I’d still find it easier to take if you didn’t have all that gorgeous hair’ Eve said, heading back to the styling station to retrieve her bag. Sue deferred to Angie, letting her go to reception with Eve. After all, even the initial cut had been at her instigation, let alone the finished look. Sue watched Eve walk away, thinking how feminine and elegant she looked, even though Sue was about to sweep up all of her hair.

In a couple of minutes, Angie was back, a smile on her face.

‘I can’t believe you did that’ Sue said.

‘I did what was best for the client’ Angie said.

‘Even though she didn’t want it?’

‘That’s just it, I think that she did, she just didn’t know that she did’ Angie replied, before reaching her hand out to Sue. ‘That’s how much she hates it’ she added.

Sue looked at the £20 note that Angie was holding out. The tip was more than the cost of the cut. Sue raised her eyebrows. ‘That’ll keep us in wine for a few minutes’ she said, watching as Angie returned to her own territory across the salon.

There was no question about where they were headed after work.

‘I still can’t believe what you did. Have you done it before?’

Angie nodded.

‘And it has nothing to do with you leaving your last place?’

‘Let’s just say that there was a husband who wasn’t as open-minded as his wife, let’s leave it at that.’

‘So you mix work and pleasure?’

‘Why not have a bit of fun?’ Angie countered.

‘This won’t be the last time then?’

‘I don’t know why you’re getting all uppity about it. I seem to remember that it was you who suggested that she go for a crewcut.’

‘I suggested it because I thought it would give you a little thrill. When she said that she didn’t want to, it was the end of it as far as I was concerned.’

‘But she didn’t scream, didn’t cry. She left us a massive tip. I bet she’ll be on her back before the night’s out, wishing that she’d done it years ago.’

‘So you don’t think she’ll have any trouble finding someone who thinks she’s attractive without any hair?’

‘You know she won’t. You didn’t see the way that she strutted up the street, boobs thrust out. She was probably in someone’s bed before we closed.’ They both laughed.

They chatted for as long as the wine lasted.

‘Thank you’ Angie said as they came to say their goodbyes.

‘What for?’

‘For showing that you understand.’

Sue look puzzled for a moment.

‘Eve was your little welcoming present for me. Thank you.’

‘You’re welcome, but don’t make a habit of it. Vanessa will start to worry if her profits drop because none of her customers have hair to colour or perm anymore’ Sue laughed.

Life in the salon went back to normal for the next few days. Sue was conscious that Angie was spending less time observing what she was doing, probably because she had agreed to tip Angie off if she had a customer who looked like they were going to do anything adventurous. Sue had actually suggested a clipper cut to another woman, but the reception was frosty and she didn’t have the confidence to press the point. She was starting to wonder if Eve was just a fluke, but then wondered why it even mattered. If Angie had a thing for scalping people, then it was up to her to find her own victims.

They agreed to go for another drink after work on the Friday evening. Angie had said that they might even stumble across Eve in one of the bars, in her new guise as a bald cougar. Sue had chastised her for even suggesting it, but had to smile to herself at the thought of being responsible for the reduction in the number of frustrated men in the locality. She actually found herself wanting to know how Eve had got on once she left the salon.

The last part of the afternoon dragged. Sue was grateful for a walk-in, but could see the other stylist and Angie both sitting at their respective stations, looking bored. They were doing typical bored hairdresser things such as playing with curling tongues, blow-drying their hair even though it wasn’t wet, staring out of the window. Twenty minutes before closing time, Sue told the receptionist and the other stylist that they could go. There was unlikely to be anyone else coming in and even if there was, Sue and Angie would cope on their own. Five minutes went past and Sue went and locked the door. Anyone looking to sneak in just before closing was going to be disappointed.

Sue poured two cups of coffee from the half-full pot and took one to Angie who was sitting twirling on her chair.

‘There you go’ Sue said, placing the cup on the shelf in front of Angie. Sue placed the second cup beside the first.

‘Thanks. I’ve just spent the past hour counting down to a glass of wine and you bring me coffee’ Angie said, looking up with a smile.

‘All in good time’ Sue said. ‘I want to do your hair first’ she added, surprising Angie with a swirling cape.

‘Don’t worry, I’ve been working on it for the past couple of hours. It’s perfect’ Angie said, running her fingers through her long dark hair.

‘I know just the thing to make it even better’ Sue said, standing behind her, hair-wrapped fingers either side of Angie’s head.

‘I’ve been thinking about something that Eve said, about you having such beautiful long hair. I thought that maybe it’s time to do something about that. Maybe then you’ll have more success with your suggestions’ Sue said, taking her hands away.

‘You wouldn’t?’ Angie challenged.

‘I would’ Sue retorted.

Sue’s left hand was back at the side of Angie’s head. Angie saw a tress of her hair in Sue’s hand, but couldn’t see where it was attached. Then she realised that it wasn’t. Angie’s hand went up to the back of her head, trying to locate the source of Sue’s prize.

‘Bitch!’ Angie said, a disarming smile on her face.

‘Now, now, don’t be like that. You know you want to, just like Eve wanted you to shave her head.’

‘Eve didn’t have as much to lose as me’ Angie commented.

‘I can stop if you want me to. I’ve only cut that one bit and no-one will notice if you brush it right’ Sue said.

‘I don’t want to cut it.’

‘You don’t sound very convinced’ Sue observed. She lifted a tress from the top of Angie’s head and held it straight up. The scissors that had been concealed from Angie before the first cut were in plain sight now. Sue positioned them about half way down the length of the tress.

‘Please, I don’t want to’ Angie repeated. Sue slid the blades closer to Angie’s scalp.

‘You know, you had beautiful hair.’

‘Please, no’ Angie said again plaintively.

The scissor blades met, a fraction of an inch from Angie’s scalp. The tress hung from Sue’s fingers and then she lowered it, using the end to caress Angie’s cheek before allowing it to fall to her lap. Angie watched the selection of another tress in the mirror. She looked at Sue’s face, watching the uncertainty, wondering just how long she could hide her excitement from Sue. Angie had imagined this happening so many times in various settings, but hadn’t expected that it would be Sue who would finally take the initiative and take the scissors to her. She’d worked in five different salons, had similar conversations at each of them, but no-one had taken control like this. One or two of her colleagues had been intrigued by her confession that she was aroused by watching people, particularly women, getting their hair cut off, but until now, every one of them had been confounded by her long hair and never imagined that she would want to cut it.

She wanted to savour Sue’s expression. She wanted to wallow in the sight of her hair falling bit by bit. She wondered just how far Sue would go. Another tress was

sacrificed. Her hair still cascaded down onto her shoulders and beyond, but the hair on her crown was standing on end. She smiled. More than anything, she wanted to undo the zip on her jeans and get busy. She saw Sue look at her in the mirror. Was that Sue’s expression when she wanted to be serious and dominating? The coiled tresses in Angie’s lap were mounting and erect bristles were dominating the changing landscape of her crown.

Sue turned away to get her clippers, giving Angie the opportunity that she needed to slide her zip down and to ease her jeans down her thighs sufficiently to be able to get where she needed to. Tight jeans might look good, but there were times when they were just so impractical. Fulfilling the need for a sly stroke was just such an occasion. Sue had seemed to dither over the selection of a guard, not that Angie minded. It gave her more time to get comfortable. Sue turned back to her and paused, clippers in hand. There was no guard.

‘This is the only time that it’ll be the first time, so if you want to do that properly, don’t let me stop you’ Sue said with a nod towards Angie’s lap.

‘You saw?’

‘Didn’t need to’ Sue replied with a smile. Angie lifted her backside off the seat and slid her jeans to her ankles. With a bit of contorting, they were off and tossed onto the arm of the next chair. Sue watched the accumulated tresses scatter to the floor as Angie moved about. She was about to offer to wait a little longer when she realised that there was no need. She could see the purple material of Angie’s knickers peeping from the folds of her discarded jeans. Angie was clearly one for economy of movement. The lumps in the gown betrayed the position of Angie’s kneecaps. As far apart from each other as it was possible to get.

‘Tilt your head back for me’ Sue said, surprised at her own tolerance for another woman sitting playing with herself in front of her.

Angie’s head tilted backwards to meet the clippers, eyes closed.

Sue put a steadying hand on the side of Angie’s head, watching the anticipation on her face. She looked at the target area, the uneven bristles on the top of Angie’s head and moved the clippers closer.

‘Keep your head still’ she said, her focus changing slightly. The clippers made contact, their near-silence contrasting with the devastating efficiency when they made

contact with the short hairs.

‘What..?’ Angie exclaimed.

‘Stay still for me’ Sue said before Angie could finish whatever she was trying to say. She watched fascinated as Angie’s right eyebrow capitulated in the face of irresistible force. Angie made a sound. It could have been an over-enthusiastic exhalation, it could have been a moan. Sue wasn’t sure, but suspected that it was probably the latter. Sue went back over the denuded ridge to make sure that she had removed every last hair, wondering where the sudden urge to shave Angie’s eyebrows had come from. Was it because of the deep suspicion that Angie wasn’t actually upset at having her hair cut and had been angling for it all along? That was probably it. Angie had been prepared to have her hair cut, but losing her eyebrows would be a shock, give her a little edge. Sue paused to observe the movement underneath the gown before taking the second brow, but soon enough, it had concertinaed into a tiny clump before bidding farewell. Sue ran a finger across the newly-revealed skin, enjoying her innovation.

Angie’s head was still tilted back. Sue looked at the inverted face and placed the clippers at Angie’s forehead. She looked at the bare blades, the tiny teeth hungry.

They took their first nibble at the bristles at Angie’s forehead. The nibbles became bigger bites as the bristles tumbled. Sue watched the area of skin grow, just as Angie had when she had shaved Eve. She wondered what Eve had thought when that first pass went across the top of her head. Whatever it was, she hadn’t been as relaxed as Angie was just then, abandoned to the urges between her legs. Sue saw Angie’s leg change position slightly, trying to widen her stance even further.

‘If you’re not careful, you’ll tear right up the middle’ Sue commented.

‘Just need to be careful about anyone getting sucked in’ Angie said with a chuckle and a little moan, her fingers busy.

Sue cleared the rest of the stubble from Angie’s crown and then turned the clippers off. Angie sat upright so that she could look in the mirror.

‘You’re not going to leave it like that, I hope’ Angie said, looking at herself with long dark hair just the way it always was, apart from on the top of her head which was completely bare. She looked at her browless face, wondering why she had never done it before. It was only a little line of hair, but what a difference it made. She thought of the hours that she spent getting her pussy as smooth as she could, yet had overlooked a dramatic change that was right in front of her face!

‘I thought I might’ Sue replied with a smile. She put the clippers on the shelf. ‘While I go and see if Vanessa’s got any wine in that fridge of hers, anyway.’

When Sue came back down, Angie was animated. Sue paused at the foot of the stairs, recognising a fellow woman about to reach her destination. She felt awkward. Then she felt bold. She went to where Angie was sitting and put the two glasses on the shelf. Angie had paused fractionally, glancing at Sue as if to chide her for the interruption before realising that Sue was far from disapproving. The velcro fastening was peeled apart and the gown removed to expose Angie’s guilty fingers. Sue placed her hand over Angie’s, stopping her in mid-stroke. No words passed between them, no admission from either that they had no experience in such things. Instead, Sue’s presence served as an invitation to Angie to slide forward in the seat, presenting her glistening pussy lips to Sue. Sue considered what was on offer and worked out the best way to tackle the challenge. She knelt, assessing the scale of the task with a tentative finger, before deciding that one wasn’t enough. She repositioned herself, allowing herself the elbow room to play Angie like a fiddle, the bow-arm sawing purposefully, reaching a crescendo rapidly. Angie surprised both of them, momentarily embarrassed to have squirted down the front of her colleague’s shirt, before deciding that it was Sue’s job to have done a risk assessment before putting herself in that position. From all of the information to hand, it could only be concluded that a partially shaven-headed woman who had already done the groundwork was at risk of squirting if provoked by the application of a new set of furious fingers. She tilted her head as far back as the chair would allow her, totally shameless that her core was so exposed.

Sue looked up at her, trails of wetness forming an abstract design on her shirt-front. She stared into Angie’s browless eyes and hoped that she could do what she

wanted to do. She lowered her head, fingers probing for the perfect spot for the first taste. For Angie, there was no best seat at the table. She wrapped her hands round Sue’s head and drew her in. She closed her eyes as she felt Sue’s tongue make contact.

Sue tasted Angie’s warmth, amazing herself that she didn’t find the prospect of licking another woman’s privates to be distasteful, no more so than taking a guy’s cock in her mouth, and there was certainly less of a choke hazard in what she was about to do. An ex-boyfriend’s suggestion to have a threesome with a girl that he knew came to mind. She’d turned that down out of hand, for the very reason that she didn’t find the prospect of licking another woman to be enticing. If only he could see her now, her tongue deep in Angie’s folds, her nose moist with Angie’s appreciation. She thought about how it had been nearly three months since she had been out with anyone and longer since she’d been to bed with someone. She’d been thinking that she might have to adjust her selection criteria for possible partners, but she never thought that she’d widen them quite so much.

Angie had clumps of Sue’s hair in her balled fists, not wanting to break the newly-formed seal between Sue’s mouth and her own pussy. She doubted that Sue had done it before, but she was clearly an enthusiastic novice and was allowing her to see that it was something that she’d very much like to do again, with someone more experienced maybe. Gary refused point blank to go down on her and the possibility of him being dumped had just become a certainty. After a couple of months, the same old routine of getting bent over and humped for a couple of minutes was getting a bit tiresome. She’d hoped to teach him, but now she knew that there were much more promising rewards to be had. Sue had surprised her. She’d been amazed that Sue hadn’t objected when she was playing with herself, but now she’d joined in. Even the way that Sue had shaved her eyebrows off had been a surprise. She was obviously a bit of a dark horse under that conventional exterior.

Angie could feel all manner of sensations welling up inside her. She looked at the fistfulls of Sue’s dark hair in her hands, gripped a bit harder, pulled Sue closer, but then thought that she liked it when Sue had the freedom to switch between tongue and teeth and fingers, surprising her. She wondered how much longer Sue could keep going.

Angie released her grip on Sue’s hair and reached for the shelf, letting her fingers seek their goal while she concentrated on what was happening in pleasure central.

Her fingers curled round the familiar, smooth body of the clippers, the small switch as much a source of potential pleasure as her own button that was currently being flicked by Sue’s tongue. She felt the vibration. Her left hand stroked up the back of Sue’s head, from her neck to her crown. Her right-hand, pregnant with the insistent clippers, moved round to approach from the other side. She wasn’t sure if Sue had been too pre-occupied with what she was doing, but she hadn’t reacted to the humming. Angie stroked the clippers upwards, holding her new lover as tightly as she could. She heard muffled sounds from her groin area, but waited until the clippers were high up the back of Sue’s head before she paused.

‘Angie!’ Sue said as she lifted her face away from Angie’s pussy.

‘I didn’t want you to think I was all “take”. I wanted to give something back’ Angie said.

Sue’s hand went to the back of her head, even though she knew what she would find. Or wouldn’t find. She wanted to see how much she’d lost. The answer was more than could be concealed. There was an uneven, stubbly stripe up the back of her head.

‘Couldn’t you have asked me?’ Sue said, finding it hard to be annoyed with a woman that she could still taste so readily. She stood up to look in the mirror, realising just how uncomfortable she had been kneeling on the hard salon floor.

‘It’s okay, we’ll fix it’ Angie said, sitting up slightly so that she could slide her hand up Sue’s thigh.

‘How are you going to fix that?’ Sue said, turning her head so that Angie could see what she’d done.

‘You’ll look great with an angled bob. Anyway, what about me sitting here like a fucking clown?’ she asked, rubbing a hand across the top of her head.

Sue was distracted.

‘No. Angie, no,’ Sue said as a token protest at the hand sliding up her thigh. The hand on the outer thigh became a hand on Sue’s inner thigh and then became an irresistible object pressing against the material of her knickers. There was barely a pause before Sue’s lips were parted by the intruder. Sue showed her unwillingness by hitching her skirt up and tugging her knickers aside. Angie showed her eagerness by picking up a pair of scissors and snipping through the material on each side, letting the fabric fall away.

‘I could’ve taken them off, you know’ Sue said.

‘I know, but how boring is that?’ Angie replied. She leaned in to Sue’s belly, running her tongue over the carefully manicured landing strip that led to the marshy wetlands between Sue’s legs.

‘Pleased to see you’ve been joining in’ Angie said, holding up a glistening finger that she’d just retrieved from a quick incursion inside Sue. Sue supported herself against the edge of the styling station and widened her stance. She watched as Angie’s bald pate became an extension of her own belly.

‘This is really uncomfy, you know’ Sue said after a minute or two.

Angie stood up and looked at Sue. She leant in and the two women kissed, unsure who was tasting who. Angie drew back, breaking the embrace.

‘Okay. Do I wear a hat or are you going to tidy me up?’ Angie asked.

‘Tidy you up? What about me?’ Sue countered.

‘Let’s just say that I look more ridiculous than you do at the moment.’

‘Okay. Let’s just do what we have to do and then let’s go somewhere that we’re not going to do ourselves an injury, how does that sound?’

‘Frustrating, but it makes sense.’

‘Okay. No messing about. We’re both professionals. We’ll do this properly.’

‘We’re both professionals without knickers on’ Angie replied.

Sue adjusted her skirt. ‘At least I’m decent if anyone comes to the door.’

‘At least I’m ready if someone does’ Angie said, spreading her legs to give Sue a quick flash, before becoming demure once more. If that’s possible when sitting half-naked in a hairdressing salon.

Sue covered Angie with the discarded gown.

‘Now, where was I?’ she said, picking the clippers up again. They sprung to life and recommenced their interrupted meal. Angie compliantly dipped her head, savouring the march of the clippers up the back of her head. She’d imagined this moment, but her musings had never featured the distractions that she’d experienced while doing it for real. She wanted to stroke herself, but wondered if Sue would shout at her, given their agreement to wait. She stroked herself anyway. Angie could see tresses start to make their way to her gown-covered lap. She wanted it to last forever, but wanted it done so that she could see herself as a bald woman. A bald, browless woman, given the bonus that Sue had already bestowed. She was willing Sue to get it over with, tempted by the idea of being shaved smooth, but also wanting to get somehwhere that she and Sue coud pick up where they had left off. Her head was level now and she could watch in the mirror as each tress fell. The clippers were leaving behind a hint of what had used to be, although she was already aware that there was no sense of loss. Her hair had gone and she wanted no trace left behind.

Sue was relishing the task. There was none of the uncertainty that had taken the edge off shaving Eve’s head. Angie wanted this, she wanted to do it. Hopefully everybody would be happy, particularly once they got to somewhere with pillows and cushions and carpets. She was wondering whether she should wait before she razor-shaved it. She decided that she would. She made a final check and switched the clippers off. She leant forward and kissed the top of Angie’s head

‘That’s part one. You’ll have to wait for part two.’

‘But I don’t want to wait’ Angie protested.

‘Believe me you do. I know just how I want to do it.’

‘Intriguing. Maybe I can wait, then’ Angie said, a hand running over her barely-there stubble. Just the sensation of that was enough to make her want to cum again. Sue unfastened the gown, revealing Angie’s half-nakedness. Sue’s eyes lingered on Angie’s hairless mound. It was too far away. She wanted to kiss it, wanted to suck on Angie’s lips.

‘Come on, get up’ Sue said.

Angie stood, taking the gown from Sue and swirling it around her almost before she had settled in the seat. Sue looked at herself in the mirror and reached up to feel the back of her head. She’d only ever done one high-backed bob before, as part of a competition. She’d enjoyed the challenge of cutting it, but the thing that stuck in her mind was the length of time that it took to do. It was time that she didn’t want to spend just at the moment, so she hoped that Angie would just rough it out and she could finish it up later.

‘Don’t go all Vidal Sassoon on me. Just do the basics and we’ll tart it up later, yeah?’ she said, looking in the mirror at her dramatic looking stylist.

‘Just leave it to me. I know just what I want to do’ Angie replied.

‘What do you mean? “What you want to do”? What’s that?’

‘I want to make you look beautiful’ Angie replied.

‘I thought I was before you made your little adjustment’ Sue laughed.

Angie smiled and started to look at what she was going to do. She picked up a pair of scissors and positioned them at the lowest part of Sue’s bob, at the corner near her chin. From there it was a matter of moments before the first cut came, angled sharply.

‘Don’t you think that’s a bit steep?’

‘You’re not a very good patient, are you?’ Angie said.

‘Sorry, I’ll shut up’ Sue said, looking at Angie’s naked lower half in the mirror. She didn’t know why she was drawn to another woman’s body all of a sudden. Up until now, she’d taken no notice if in a situation where another woman was naked, but now she was marvelling at the gentle curves of Angie’s lower belly and mound, drawn in by the promise of barely visible pussy lips. She recalled how the hint of pussy lip had become a full-blown meat feast the moment that Angie had spread her legs. Who would know from the current chaste display?

Sue’s focus on fleshy delights had distracted her from what Angie was actually doing. Angie had managed to cut the guidelines for a bob, allowing Sue to see that she was in for a radical re-design of what she had. There was no attempt to minimise the impact of what had been done at the back in the height of passion. The line that Angie had cut showed that she was going to expose the back of Sue’s head to the maximum. Sue wondered just how close she was going to take it when she got round to dealing with the back properly.

Sue’s hand was free from the gown, allowing her to run it up Angie’s thigh in the way that so many of her customers from the barbershop had either done or wished to do. Sue broke the silence.

‘Why have you never shaved your head if it turns you on so much?’

‘The opportunity never arose. There’s never been anyone to do it for me.’

‘You could’ve asked, surely.’

‘It’s not the same. A haircut isn’t just a haircut for me, particularly one as drastic as this. It had to be special, and you’ve made it special.’

‘Sorry about the eyebrows, it just felt right, but you’re probably cursing me for it, aren’t you?’

‘I have a little saying: never regret anything that makes you wet’ Angie said.

‘I must have missed that one when we did popular folk sayings at school’ Sue chuckled.

‘It’s always been my favourite’ Angie replied with a laugh.

The joviality masked the transition from scissors to clippers. Sue could hardly believe that she was going to have clippers used on her again. She’d fought against the encouragement of others to try a side-cut and now here she was, about to have the “shaved” part of a nape-shaved bob done to her by a stylist with no knickers on.

The brief thud-like sound of the clippers starting up changed to the low hum almost instantly. Sue’s head was down, waiting. The anticipated touch of the clippers was Angie’s hand instead as she stroked Sue like a puppy. Sue felt a kiss on the back of her head, felt a hand trying to locate her boobs through the gown.

‘I thought it was business before pleasure’ Sue said, repositioning her own hands under the gown to thwart Angie’s search.

‘I don’t think I can wait’ Angie said.

‘Hurry up then’ Sue urged.

Sue felt clippers at last. At a guess, they didn’t have a guard. The vague hope that she would be left with some sort of pelt was receding, along with it any notion of colouring the short hair at the back of her neck a different colour. There would be contrast, but it looked like the contrast was going to be between hair on most of her head and no hair on the back. Angie stroked the clippers up the back of Sue’s head time and again. It was going to be high. It was exciting, although Sue wasn’t entirely sure that it was going to be an everyday type of style. In a way, she was fortunate to be a hairdresser, at least people expected the occasional wacky style from them. Angie was going over and over the same area.

‘I think that’s about got it’ Sue said, just wanting to get out of the chair.

‘I can’t get it to sit right’ Angie said.

‘I’m sure it’s fine. We’ll sort it later.’

‘I’m sorry, but it’ll be so off-putting if I look down while your diving and see a haircut that isn’t right.’

‘I promise not to go down on you, how about that?’

‘Not an option’ Angie replied.

‘Well just hurry up then’ Sue replied.

There was a brief pause.

‘I know’ Angie said.

The clippers were at Sue’s forehead, sliding backwards before she could react.

‘Fucking hell!’ Sue said, surprised.

‘It’s the quickest way to sort it out’ Angie said, moving in to cut the second strip.

‘You’re shaving my head because you can’t wait to get me into bed, is that it?’

‘It was, but now I’m doing it because you’re going to look so damned sexy’ Angie said. She paused for a moment. She reached for Sue’s hand.

‘Feel’ she said, guiding Sue’s hand between her legs. As recently as the day before, Sue would have resisted with all her might. Now she was compliant, almost eager to feel the effect that all of this was having on Angie.

‘You’re a dirty girl’ Sue said as her fingers slid into Angie.

‘And you’re not. I bet I’d find the same if I took a peek down there’ she replied, nodding towards Sue’s lap.

‘You’ll have to wait and see, won’t you. But just hurry up, will you?’ Sue said, surprised that she was instructing someone to shave her head as quickly as they could.

Angie helped Sue’s hand slide out and flicked the clippers back on. She was a woman on a mission, working quickly, but skilfully to strip the hair from Sue’s head in

as little time as possible. Sue watched the unthinkable, wondering just how they were going to explain their lack of hair when they came into work or met anyone they knew for that matter. She watched her hair fall, watched herself emerge from what she had been, watched herself morph into something else. Was this the transition from conventional hetero-woman into experimental woman, a woman with a taste for trying new things, a woman with a taste for women? That was probably too deep a question for the present. Her focus was on the delights between Angie’s legs, the pleasure that Angie could provide in return. Her hair was gone, it wasn’t worth worrying about for now, although she was convinced that she would regret what had just happened.

Sue looked at the merest covering of bristles where her hair had been. She looked at the pile of hair in her lap, hair severed by scissors in an attempt to fashion something from the mild damage that Sue inflicted at first and hair that had been efficiently removed by the clippers and their ruthless blades. She tried to decide if she liked herself without hair, but decided that it was too soon to tell. Whether she liked it or not, she just had to get on with things.

Angie had put the clippers down and undid the fastening on the gown, leaving Sue to free herself from it. She made a half-hearted attempt to sweep the floor while Sue surveyed herself in the mirror, her left hand sampling the slightly rough texture of her scalp. She really didn’t like the way that it felt, but took comfort from the fact that it was a work in progress. She hadn’t been convinced about Eve’s shaven head until it had been done properly, so she pinned her hope on all being well once the imminent bout of lust had subsided. When she looked round, Angie was stepping back into her knickers in preparation for putting her jeans back on. Sue smiled when she looked at the remains of her own knickers curled up on the floor. She would be leaving the salon bare-arsed, concerned about leaving a trail all the way to wherever she and Angie were going to go.

Sue picked up a packet of disposable razors and a can of shaving foam, slipping them into her bag. She looked across at the decent-again Angie and smiled. She still wasn’t sure about the more alien look that Angie sported, bald head and no eyebrows. She hoped that Angie wouldn’t do the same to her. That really would take some explaining.

‘Come on, baldie’ Angie urged, bag in hand.

They took a last look around the salon to make sure that it was reasonable, and left.

A couple of hours of unbridled passion later, they found themselves in the bath at Angie’s flat. They had untangled in the bedroom, just long enough to entwine limbs

again in the bath. Sue had got in first, allowing Angie to sit between her bent legs. Sue hugged her from behind, still not tiring of the novel sensation of cupping another woman’s boobs. She loved the way that they were so soft, apart from the hardness of Angie’s nipples that registered on her palms. Angie passed the can of shaving foam over her shoulder, sorry that Sue would have to stop playing with her boobs. She tipped her head back and let Sue smear foam over her scalp. There was no need to pretend that it was anything but an erotic act. Sue’s fingers made trails through the foam, which other fingers repaired almost as soon as the tracks were made. She cupped Angie’s boobs again in her soapy palms, before dipping her fingers into the water to rinse them off. She wanted to be sure of a good grip on the razor.

Angie’s eyes were closed while she wished that this experience would never stop. She knew that the water would cool and that she would wrinkle like a prune, but she just wanted to savour it for a long time. She knew that she was being selfish, as Sue was no doubt hoping that they would switch positions quickly. Sue had accepted her shorn scalp and could now see it only as a source of pleasure and possibilities. There had been no more talk of what other people would say, they had just caressed each other’s heads, enjoying the novelty, whether they were kissing each other or whether one of them was occupied lower down. Sue objected to her head not being as smooth as Angie’s mound, which is what prompted them to take a rain-check before they indulged further. Angie’s reverie was brought to an end by a trailing tongue on her scalp and a twist of her nipples. Angie’s hands went to her head to discover what it would feel like completely smooth.

‘I’m impressed’ she said, turning as far as the confines of the bath would allow.

‘Thank you. Maybe you’ll find a way to show your appreciation later on’ Sue replied.

They manoeuvred themselves in readiness for Angie to assume the role of shaver rather than shavee. Angie could see Sue about to settle into the water and stopped her.

‘Not quite so fast’ she said.

Sue wondered for a moment what Angie’s objection was and then realised what Angie had in mind.

‘That cost me a lot of money’ Sue said, stroking her threatened landing strip.

‘I’ve had the rough, now I want the smooth’ Angie said with a menacing look in her eye and a wave of the can of foam.

‘Do you have to? I like it like that’ Sue said.

‘I don’t have to, but I want to, how about that?’ Angie replied.

Sue perched on the side of the bath and opened her legs to sacrifice her manicured bush to her baser needs.

‘You won’t be able to do it from the inside’ Sue commented when Angie slid her fingers into her pussy. Sue stroked Angie’s baldness, while she enjoyed the sensation of Angie’s fingers. The fingers slid out of Sue and into Angie’s mouth, where they were slowly licked clean. Satisfied, Angie squirted a line shaving cream along Sue’s landing strip and made a meal of distributing it where it needed to be. Sue had been having it done narrower and narrower, so she suspected that she would have eventually reached the point where she would have just had the lot taken off herself, but she hadn’t thought that it would come quite as soon as this.

She’d started to go shorter and narrower at the request of a boyfriend who had proved to be more temporary than he had been meant to be, and she had kept it up since.

One guy had asked her to shave it completely for him, but since he was never going to be anything other than a one night stand, she declined. Now here was the latest entrant, wielding the razor the way that that guy had thought that he might. Sue was pleased that it was the same person who had cut her hair off for her. The first to shave her head was the first to shave her pussy bald too. There was something right about that.

Sue dipped down into the bath quickly and then rose back up, rinsed off, her shaved-bare mound displayed in all its glory. She ran her fingertips over it, ran a finger

down her lips, slid a finger inside. She tasted herself, all the while locking eyes with Angie. She slid back into the water gently, ready to have her head shaved.

She felt Angie’s hands squeeze her boobs, felt her warm breath on her ear.

‘You’re never going to have hair again’ Angie whispered.

‘Shave me’ Sue said breathlessly, enjoying the slightly over-enthusiastic kneading of her boobs. The squeezing subsided, the pain lingered. Sue felt the fairy-light touch of shaving foam on her scalp and closed her eyes. Angie stroked her deftly, each touch stripping away another patch of barely-there bristles. Sue moved her head at Angie’s bidding, wanting her head to be as smooth as the freshly-shaven pussy that she was exploring with her fingers. It was so different with one texture less.

Gone was the roughness of the cropped pubes. All that was there now was smooth skin, which led inevitably to skin of a more delicate nature.

As soon as Angie had finished shaving Sue’s head, they were out of the bath and drying each other with soft bath sheets. The process took longer than it ought to, due to the frequent interruptions for stroking and groping and laughing. They tumbled back to bed to continue exploring their new hairless existence.

Tuesday morning brought the need to confront their old world. They had talked about going in together or separately, discussed what to tell people. In the end, they decided that simple was best. They’d got drunk and got bored, nothing else to it. Offers of wigs were made and declined, comments were passed, some of surprise, but most of admiration. It took a while for the interest amongst their colleagues to wane, but after a couple of days, nobody took any notice. Being bald was no longer of interest to anyone but themselves. In public, it was just something that they had done, in private, it was a source of pleasure. They didn’t regard themselves as a couple, not yet anyway, they were just two friends who spent a lot of time together, willing their hair to grow back, so that they could shave again.

A week later, the receptionist led a client through for Angie. Angie had already seen the approaching figures and stood ready by her styling chair. She watched the woman’s face as she walked, waiting for the moment of recognition.

Eve smiled.

‘I see you’ve practised what you preached’ she said.

‘I couldn’t find a reason not to do it. I’d been mulling it over for a while and the time just seemed right’ Angie replied, poised with the gown while Eve sat in the chair.

‘It suits you’ Eve complimented her.

‘Thank you. I wasn’t sure I’d see you again. I thought that you’d run away in horror and tell everyone how evil we are’ Angie laughed.

‘Not at all. It was the kick up the backside that I needed, although I’m still not quite sure how it got as far as it did. You must have caught me on an adventurous day’ Eve chuckled while Angie fastened the gown at her neck. Angie looked at the dark blonde pelt on Eve’s scalp and reached for the can of shaving foam without further formality. She squirted the first blob into the palm of her hand and watched Eve close her eyes.

‘Who says that’s what I want to do?’ Eve asked.

‘Just a good guess, I suppose’ Angie replied.

‘You know, I can’t contemplate the idea of growing my hair again. It just feels so good without hair, makes life so much easier.’

‘I know. When you think of all the effort that goes into it and then if you just take it away, you can’t believe that you ever spent so much time on it.’ Angie looked

at Eve in the mirror, the white cap of foam perfectly shaped around her head. She wondered how Eve would react if she touched her up. Not that she would of course, not with Sue standing just across the salon. Eve hadn’t noticed Sue when she came in. The sight of Angie with no hair had occupied her sufficiently. Angie motioned with her head for Sue to come over and waited until Sue was close enough before she said anything.

‘Eve, can you open your eyes for me a second?’ Angie said.

Eve wondered why her enjoyment was being interrupted, but complied. She opened her eyes, eager to hold on to the sensation of Angie returning her to perfect baldness.

Eve’s eyes widened when she looked at a bald woman who wasn’t Angie.

‘Hi again’ Sue said.

‘You too?’ Eve said, hardly believing her eyes.

Sue nodded.

‘Don’t tell anyone though, it’s our little secret’ Sue said with a smile.

‘When?’

‘A few days after you. We built up to it gradually, but it was always on the cards once we’d seen how good you looked.’

‘What do your boyfriends or husbands think of it?’ Eve asked. There was no response. Eve jumped to the logical conclusion and looked at Sue. ‘You two are full of surprises’ she said.

‘It surprised me, I can tell you that’ Sue replied.

‘Pleasantly, I hope’ Eve said with that smile of hers again.

‘You could say that’ Sue replied.

‘I thought I was being adventurous with my new toy-boy, but I think the two of you getting together trumps being fuck buddies with someone half your age’ Eve said. Her expression changed. ‘Did I really just say “fuck buddies”?’ she added, blushing slightly. Sue nodded.

‘I’ve got to go’ Sue said, touching Eve on the shoulder. ‘Let Angie have your number. We can double date if you like’ she said, turning to walk away.

‘That’ll give your friend something to tell his mates, won’t it?’ Angie laughed.

‘I’d love to see the look on his face when he realises that you’re a couple’ Eve said.

Angie had been working away diligently despite the distractions and had Eve’s scalp bare once again. Eve had kept her eyes open once Sue departed, partly so that she could watched baldness being bestowed upon her again, but also so that she could enjoy the sight of a real lesbian so close to her. She was sure that she would have encountered one before, but not one that she knew was one. Every movement, every touch was subjected to scrutiny to see if she could discern anything different about it, anything suggestive.

Eve was lying back at the basin getting rinsed off and slightly aroused at the same time. All manner of thoughts were going through her mind. Was she reading too much into the way that Angie was touching her.

‘You’re not doing that deliberately, are you?’ Eve asked.

‘What?’

‘Stroking me, whatever it is that you’re doing’ Eve said, slightly flustered and wishing that she hadn’t said anything.

‘Is that what you think I’m doing? Is that what you want me to do?’ Angie asked.

She hadn’t been conscious of doing anything deliberately. She was just guiding the water where she needed it to go, helping the last traces of foam into the drain, but obviously Eve was reading it differently. Angie gave her something to really ponder, her fingertips trailing provocatively across Eve’s scalp, her earlobes, places unseen by the casual observer.

‘If I didn’t know better, I’d say that you’re not doing that for professional reasons’ Eve said.

‘All part of the service.’

‘We really must have that drink. I might not even invite Chris’ Eve said.

‘You’d have to ask Sue nicely’ Eve said, bringing the gentle torment to a close and swathing Eve’s head in a towel.

Eve knew that there was little point going back to the styling station other than to pick up her bag, but she wanted to, just to look in the mirror. She was bald again. Perfectly smooth. Underneath her sober dress, she was dressed to fuck. She had booked an appointment to get her head shaved, she’d arranged to see Chris straight afterwards. She’d not expected to be quite as aroused as she was. It was going to be a good day.

Eve allowed Angie to pat her head with the towel long after there was any need. Then she could find no reason to sit any longer and stood up, looking Angie directly in the eye. She waited while Angie retrieved her phone from her pocket and then reeled off the digits of her own phone. The connection was made. Eve looked across at where Sue was combing out her client’s hair.

‘Say goodbye to Sue for me won’t you?’ she said. ‘See what she thinks about meeting for a drink. Just us if she wants’ Eve said as innocently as she could manage.

‘Okay. We’ll be in touch’ Angie said, watching Eve walk away. The strut that she’d seen the first time Eve left the salon was very much back again. She looked across at Sue, busy with another client and headed upstairs to the break room. She took her phone out of her pocket and scrolled to the newly-added number.

‘So soon?’ Eve said when she answered.

‘I just wanted to tell you that you have a very sexy walk’ Angie said.

‘Thank you’ Eve said, pleased to get such a compliment from any quarter.

‘That young man is very lucky.’

‘Yes he is, but I’m not sure that he realises just how lucky’ Eve replied.

‘Make sure you tell him.’

‘I will and I’ll tell him that he’s got competition too’ Eve chuckled.

‘You’d be amazed at some of the services we can provide’ Angie said.

‘Maybe I’ll give some of them a try. As long as you do home visits.’

‘They can certainly be arranged.’

‘I’ll be in touch’ Eve said, smiling to herself. Just when she’d thought that she couldn’t be any more aroused before she met Chris, she was having phone foreplay with a lesbian. Chris would need to be good. Very good indeed.

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