A Fresh Start
It had been a horrible month. I looked at my desk for the last time, having packed everything that mattered into a cardboard file box. There wasn’t a lot. I had only been with the company for six months, but in that time, I had risen to executive secretary to the chief financial officer. I thought back on where things had gone so terribly wrong.
Alex was never much of a boyfriend, but he was a good man, and not terrible in bed. So, it was with some surprise and disappointment that I had found him cheating on me. I wished it had been something as innocuous as a letter or some lipstick stains on his collar. No, I caught him red-handed in bed with one of my co-workers; in my bed, no less.
Rather than cause a scene, I had chosen to walk out. That may be where I made my biggest mistake. By not confronting Lisa Brant right then and there, I gave her permission to continue, and continue she did. Not only did she steal my boyfriend, but she had weaseled her way into my job, as well.
Lies were told, and it had all come down to a ‘she said, she said’. Not left with too many options, and not willing to take a demotion, I submitted my resignation. Lisa had stolen my boyfriend and my job, all in a matter of a month.
Sweeping my long blonde hair over my shoulder, I hoisted the box and made my way out of that chapter of my life. Taking one last look, I got in my car and drove away.
The Best Western where I had been staying for the last three weeks was less than top-notch and I was well aware of it. I deposited the file box next to three other boxes of various sizes, which basically contained everything I owned of any value.
“Is that it?” I had asked herself. “Four boxes and two suitcases?” I was depressed at how far I had fallen in so short a time. Sitting on the slightly broken-down queen bed that I had been sleeping in, alone, I surveyed my life. The only things I had going for me were my looks and the twelve thousand dollars I had stashed in a separate checking account, one that Alex was ignorant of.
And so, it was time for a fresh start. A new town, a new job, and hopefully a new Brooklyn, wiser and more alert to the pitfalls of relationships. It was a decent offer, but a strange one. The money was excellent, and the benefits seemed almost too good to be true. Along with my education and work history, the company had asked for a recent photo. It seemed like an odd request, but maybe it was just SOP for the firm.
The response had been almost immediate. A day after submitting my resume, I received an email with an offer attached. In my excitement, I had accepted the position without really investigating what the job entailed. All I knew was that it was secretarial in nature and involved some travel.
My Honda Civic was only just able to carry everything the twelve hundred miles to the remote town in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where my new job was located. I had never been to Colorado before, but as I pulled into the picturesque little town, I was more than impressed.
Just outside of town, the mountains rose up and snow-capped peaks could be seen behind those. It was incredibly beautiful. I wondered how I could have been so lucky as to land this job.
Ironically, the only hotel in town was another Best Western, and this one was a shade worse than the one in Memphis. This would be my home until I was able to secure an apartment.
“You’re room’s on the first floor, so you can park right outside the door.” The young man had told me, eyeing me up and down. I ignored the affront, breathing a sigh of relief. I wondered how I was going to manage the boxes if it had been on the second or third floors.
Once everything was in, and I was officially as unpacked as I was going to be, I ventured out into the town, to explore my new home. I had tied my hair back into a pony which just grazed the belt of my jeans as I walked down the old-time sidewalk. I desperately needed a trim.
It was certainly a charming little town, almost boutique. There were lots of little shops and restaurants that lined the main street. The funny thing was there didn’t seem to be too many houses. Beyond the main drag, the roads seem to disappear into the countryside. I wondered how difficult it would be to find a place to live.
The following day, I reported to the address I had been given in the job offer. It was well outside of the town, and up a long twisting road that climbed into the mountains. As I pulled into the parking lot, I was surprised by the modest size of the business.
A one-story building occupied the space, and was barely larger than a house. The front was lined with black glass, and it had a distinctly modern look to it.
“You must be Brooklyn.” A young woman offered her hand as I walked up to what appeared to be a reception desk.
“Yes, Hi. Brooklyn Pierce. Nice to meet you.” The woman’s handshake was firm, no-nonsense.
“Marylyn Barr. I’m the front office.” The woman was in her thirties, sporting a short, but respectable pixie. It suited her, I thought.
I looked around, but failed to see anyone else in view. I began to wonder just what I was going to be doing there.
As if on queue, Marylyn continued. “I trust you read the dossier we sent you.” she queried.
“To be honest, I was just so pleased to get the job that I really…no, I didn’t,” I admitted.
“Well then, you may be in for a few surprises.” Marylyn seemed to be eyeing my hair as I brushed it away from my face for the second time. Frowning, she indicated a hallway.
I followed her to a well-appointed office. Two doors seemed to branch off from there, neither of which was open.
“This will be your desk. Your responsibilities are to the two executives that occupy those offices. Mr. Herd and Mr. Tyler will be your immediate superiors, but I will be responsible for most of your orientation and training.” Strangely, Marylyn then disappeared back down the hall leaving me standing there.
Not knowing what else to do, I settled into the desk that was obviously my place. All the drawers were empty as I opened them, and the computer screen just flashed with a single cursor, as if waiting for me to enter something. I didn’t dare.
I didn’t hear the door open, but the voice startled me out of the strange silence I found myself in.
“Miss Pierce?” I deep baritone caused me to turn. “Come in, please.”
He was an older man, fit but certainly in his fifties, the silver hair at his temples a dead giveaway. He indicated a chair that faced a very ornately carved desk. It must have cost a fortune.
“I am Mr. Herd, and that is how you will address me.” He said formally. “I trust you failed to read the dossier that Miss Barr sent you?”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Herd, but I was…”
“No matter. It will just mean a slight delay in your training while we see to some matters that should have been dealt with before you arrived.” He wasn’t cross, but seemed almost disappointed. He reached into a file cabinet, retrieving a folder which he handed to me.
“Do you want me to…”
“You are excused for the day, Miss Pierce. Read the dossier and hopefully, we’ll see you tomorrow.” He indicated the door.
I made a hasty exit, not really stopping to speak to Marylyn; Miss Barr as he had referred to her. Making my way down the mountain, I almost stopped to read the damned papers before I got back to the hotel. What on earth could be so important in there?
Grabbing my purse and the folder, I pushed into my room in a huff, slamming the metal door behind me. “That was just too weird,” I said aloud. Despite the lucrative salary, I was ready to run. “Run to where? You idiot.” I chided myself.
Frustrated, I grabbed the folder and opened it to a single-page document.
Welcome to Herd and Tyler.
We are pleased that you have chosen to make your home with us. Over the next few months, you will discover the advantages and benefits that come with your position.
Along with these advantages, come certain responsibilities, all of which will be laid out in this document. You are expected to follow these directives carefully and to the letter.
As a personal assistant to both Mr. Herd and Mr. Tyler, you are expected to maintain a professional attitude concerning the tasks that are laid out before you each day. Some may seem odd, even demeaning at times, but your confidentiality is expected and appreciated. These tasks will be in addition to your normal secretarial responsibilities. Your flexibility concerning travel is expected.
You will be expected to dress professionally. Skirts, hosiery, and conservative blouses are expected. No slacks or suits will be tolerated. You may wear shoes of your choosing as long as they are black.
At Herd and Tyler, we expect women to adhere to a set of strict guidelines as it concerns appearance. Makeup will be conservative, but we prefer a natural look. Nails will be trimmed short, manicured to a minimal length. No polish. Hairstyles will be short. We do not tolerate longer hairstyles as it interferes with your tasks. A men’s standard short cut is preferred. You may find this request disturbing, but you will learn to appreciate the economy of a low-maintenance style.
Thank you for following these pre-employment guidelines and we look forward to you joining our team.
Herd and Tyler Associates, Inc.
It took me a few minutes to understand what was being asked of me. If I was going to escape, this was my opportunity. I could pack everything into my car and leave. The thing was, I just couldn’t. The money was too good. I wouldn’t find another job that paid this well, ever.
I slowly resigned myself to the fact that I would comply with the directives. It was going to be hard, but I was left with no alternatives.
I had the skirts and blouses, and the shoes seemed to be no problem. I looked up at my reflection in the mirror. My hair on the other hand, that was going to hurt, a lot.
Sorting through my clothes, I separated the acceptable from the unacceptable, carefully them hanging them in the abbreviated closet my room provided. I laid out three pairs of shoes that were within the guidelines.
Looking down at my hands, my nails were going to need attention. They were well past the tips of my fingers, and the red polish was a no-go. I rummaged through my makeup bag until I managed to find some toenail clippers. They would have to do.
After I had removed the polish and washed my hands, I slowly began the task of cutting off all my nails. One by one, they came off until my hands resembled a man’s, for lack of a better description.
I knew I was putting off the inevitable. The one thing on that page that was going to be the hardest for me. Parting with my hair. I threw on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, thinking that once my hair was gone, I might appear less out of place.
I must have driven up and down Main Street three times, but I could not for the life of me find a hair salon. There were six barbershops, all looking more daunting than the next. No salon. So, it was going to be a barbershop.
I looked for the least ‘redneck’ looking place I could find, finally settling on one in a strip plaza. If it wasn’t for the spinning striped pole, it could have been a salon. At least it looked clean.
My legs were like jelly as I made my way across the parking lot, stopping one last time to look at myself in the large plate glass window. I couldn’t believe I was doing this. Taking a deep breath, I pushed into the shop.
A bell tinkled above my head as I entered, but there wasn’t a soul to be seen. A pair of barber chairs sat empty, each with a cape draped over its back.
“I’ll be right with ya!” A muffled voice called out from the back.
The smells were foreign to me, but not unpleasant. There was no sour odor of perming solution or hairspray, just the sharp but clean smell of something I had yet to identify. A row of wooden chairs lined the wall opposite, and I took a seat in the one closest to the door.
A toilet flushing explained where the barber was. I only hoped that he washed his hands. Through a doorway at the back of the shop, a younger man in his twenties appeared, still tucking in his shirt.
“Can I help you, Miss?” He asked, obviously confused over why I might be in his shop.
“Um, I…” Stuttering like a fool I stood and started for the door.
“Y’all need a haircut?” He asked, stopping me in my tracks.
“I do, yes,” I admitted, painfully.
He shook his head. “I’ll be honest. I don’t cut women’s hair.”
I looked at him, and he seemed like a nice enough guy. I would probably be hard-pressed to find a barber that would be any more polite. “Hair’s hair, right?” I suggested.
“Well, what kinda cut y’all need. I mean I could probably trim the ends, if that’s all you’re needin’.” He slipped the cape off the back of the closest chair.
“I’m afraid I need a bit more than a trim.” For whatever reason, admitting that fact to this relatively attractive man, caused a stirring in my sex. It startled me enough that I needed to brace myself against something, and that something was his chair.
Misunderstanding my unsteady moment, he took my arm and guided me into the chair. This was happening, and I was seemingly powerless to stop it.
“How short do you want me to cut it, hon?” He asked, endearingly.
I looked up at his reflection, his hair just covering his ears and collar. “A bit shorter than yours.” Again, the rush of arousal was nearly overpowering.
“So, a regular cut then?” He assumed.
Thinking back on the document I repeated. “A standard short cut is what the rules say.”
“Is this some kinda game y’all are playing, like a bet or somthin’?” He asked, amused.
“I only wish it was that simple…Stan.” I sighed, noticing the name badge on his lapel.
“Well, I can give you a regular short cut, sweetheart, but I gotta tell y’all, it’s gonna be real short,” Stan warned. “I mean, it seems a shame to cut all this off like that, you know?” A note of concern in his voice.
“It’s not a choice. It’s a prerequisite for a job.” I admitted
“Y’all joinin’ the marines or somthin’?” He supposed.
“Nope. Just a firm with an extremely strict dress code.” I explained.
“Man, if the girls need this kinda cut, The guys must be shaved ‘er somethin’.” He joked.
Remembering the stylish cut that Mr. Herd sported, I disagreed. “Actually, their’s will be quite a bit longer than mine.”
“Weird.” Was all Stan had managed.
“I thought so too.” Breathing out a long breath.
“Y’all are sure now?” He asked, politely.
I just nodded, my arousal over this cut was reaching a fever pitch, and I felt my jeans over my sex for moisture.
He picked up some scissors, examining my hair. “Let’s get rid of some of this so I can work.” He slipped the scissors into my hair and began. A rain of golden blonde hair fell to the floor as he worked his way around the chair. He had started mid-ear and followed my hairline around until he reached the opposite side.
I looked like a deranged choirboy when I peered into the mirror. As awful as I looked, I was nearly coming by the time he finished.
“Well, that’s all that gone.” He said, firmly. “Now let’s get to the actual haircut.”
An almost imperceivable gasp escaped my lips as he lifted the clippers from beneath the shelf. I wasn’t sure whether my arousal translated to my face, but I wondered whether Stan might be catching on to the fact that I was enjoying this a bit too much?
The whine of the clippers was all I heard as they plowed through the hair on the sides and back of my head. The warm steel against my scalp was so foreign to me, but I knew that there was no guard. Each time Stan would carve another path he would lift the clippers away near the crown, severing the overhanging hair that hid his progress.
Gone was the deranged choirboy, replaced with something far less appealing. The sides of my head were essentially bald, leaving a haphazard tuft of blonde hair on the top. The involuntary moan that emanated from me couldn’t be misconstrued for anything other than enjoyment.
“Y’all enjoyin’ this sweetheart?” He whispered into my ear.
All I could do was nod because I knew if I opened my mouth, I would reveal just how much.
“Well, let’s not stop here, then. An’ sweetie, I can’t see what y’all are doin’ under that cape, so just go right ahead.” His encouragement was all the push I needed.
Popping the snap on my jeans, I slid my hand inside and found myself sopping, my clit pulsing as my fingers pressed into it. I watched as he worked the clippers through the only hair I had left, my scalp just protected by the thin breadth of his comb.
“Oh, Jesus, that’s short.” I gasped, my mouth open as I came closer to orgasm.
“I told y’all. But this is just a little shorter than y’all asked for. I’m figurin’ that’s just fine though, ain’t it sugar?”
I didn’t answer. I couldn’t answer, because I was having the most intense orgasm I had ever had in my life. Stan even stopped to watch as I writhed in his chair. My jeans were completely open now, and had worked down so my bare ass was pressing into the polished leather of the seat. I was suffering one delicious hit after the next as he leaned into me from behind.
“Watch this, sweetheart.”
I whimpered uncontrollably as the bare clippers peeled the top of my head clean. As if knowing I needed the added encouragement, Stan pulled the cape away. I was on full display to him as I came and came and came.
It was over. Exhausted, I was sprawled half-naked across Stan’s chair. Seemingly unconcerned, Stan was busy cleaning the clippers, my pussy completely exposed to him.
“’spose y’all want me to fuck that?” He said, meanly.
I imagined him climbing between my legs and ramming his cock into me and it was not an unpleasant thought. My hips twitched upwards, and I knew he was looked straight into my sex.
“Y’all look at yourself, hon. You walked in here like you did, I woulda paid a thousand bucks to have some. Now, well…Y’all look at yourself.”
I worked my exposed butt back into the chair and took a good look in the mirror. Not a hair. Not one. I was totally bald, and unfortunately, it was not a good look for me. I had always thought I was attractive, but without my hair, that illusion was gone. The girl in the mirror was plain, even a bit ugly. “Ugly and bald.” I sighed.
“Y’all got that right. That pretty hair, well… it was hiding the truth, hon. Ugly and bald, now, that’s the truth.” He reached for a broom and began sweeping all my hair into a pile, while I slowly put myself together.
I wanted to say something, but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what. I asked to use his bathroom to clean up, and had a really good look in the mirror. He was right.
“Y’all can leave twenty on the counter there.” He said, offhandedly.
As I sat in my car, I tried to imagine what Mr. Herd would say about this.
End of Part One