Charity Begins At Home – Part 2

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It was a couple of days later that I got a text from Ally asking me to meet her for a coffee. It made my stomach flutter just to see it on that little screen. I’d re-lived that evening over and over, although I hadn’t dared breathe a word to Paul about what I’d got up to with her. In more serious moments, I realised that what I did was being unfaithful to him, but most of the rest of the time, I managed to convince myself that where no dick was involved, it wasn’t a notifiable incident. It’s amazing how you can convince yourself of almost anything if you want to!

At first I thought that we should do it the following day so that I could dress up for her, but then decided that it was a stupid idea. We’d had a ‘moment’ together and that was it, regardless of what I’d been thinking of over the past couple of days. We’d got caught up in something and we wouldn’t be able to recreate it. Anyway, for all I knew, she might want to meet up just to swear me to everlasting silence.

We made arrangements which happened to be after work that evening. Paul was playing squash after work, so it fitted in quite well. All I had to do was to keep my breathing under control and tell myself that I was meeting a girlfriend for coffee. Simple as that. Well, as simple as it can be when the girlfriend in question has royally dined on your most private parts. I decided that it was best to concentrate on my remaining clients for the rest of the day, and just hope that there were no walk-ins close to going-home time.

I could sense the curiosity as I walked in to the coffee shop and looked around for Ally before spotting her in a corner. Bald woman seeking other bald woman. That must set tongues wagging in certain circles.

I smiled a greeting at Ally and headed towards her, happier just for seeing her. She smiled weakly at me. My mind had obviously led me down the garden path, because that was not the smile of anyone who had designs on someone else. Time to play it cool.

‘Hi you’ I said, noticing that she’d already got tea for two lined up.

‘Hiya’ she said, flashing me that under-powered smile again.

‘What’s up?’ I asked.

She sighed.

‘There’s no easy way to say this, so I’d best get it out there’ she said nervously.

That certainly killed off whatever remaining good sensations that I’d got.

‘There’s cameras in the shop’ she said.

I looked at her. I tried to process those few words. I was aware that my eyebrows lifted.

‘Why?’ was the best comeback that I could find.

‘There’s been some vandalism outside or something. It doesn’t matter. But there’s cameras.’

‘So you said.’

‘Brian saw.’

Two little words. My heart sank. My stomach fluttered, but this time it was the sort of fluttering just before you puke. That wouldn’t be a great thing to do in a coffee shop.

‘He saw?’

‘He saw.’

‘Oh fuck’ I said, covering my mouth.

I told myself to hold on to lunch as if it was the last meal that I would ever have.

‘What’s he going to do?’ I asked.

‘Nothing’ she replied. This wasn’t the most verbose exchange that two people could have.

‘Hang on. Brian’s seen video from that night and he’s not going to do anything? Why are you telling me then? There must be something? What does he want’

I could sense that I was going to have to change jobs. Change towns. How would I explain it to Paul? He liked his job and where we lived. I’d have to end it with him and just go. Ally put a hand over mine.

‘He’s not going to tell Irene. He’s not going to put it on the internet. You’re okay.’ she tried to reassure me.

‘How do you know?’

‘Because I told him that I’d have his balls if he did anything like that’ she said, squeezing my hand to emphasise her resolve.

‘Which just brings me back to why are you telling me?’

‘Let’s just say that Brian has his little foibles’ Ally said, directing my brain to create images of a colleague, one that I barely knew, hunched over his laptop watching Ally licking my pussy. I tried to picture that evening to determine just how much of me he would’ve seen. Was I prancing around with all my goods on display. I decided that he couldn’t have seen anything really. Yes, he could see that Ally had done what she’d done, but it would’ve had to be a pretty strange camera angle to pick up any detail. The camera would surely be pointed towards the street rather than at any of the chairs. That was some comfort at least.

‘And these foibles are?’

‘He liked watching me getting my head shaved.’

‘And?’

‘He wants to watch another woman get hers done.’

‘So, why doesn’t he stick an ad in the paper or on a bulletin board or somewhere’ I replied.

‘He wants one of the girls at the salon to do it.’

I knew that my eyes had just got really big in astonishment.

‘Has he thought of perhaps asking her?’

‘That’s just it. He wants us to set it up.’

‘Who?’

‘Our choice’ Ally replied. I sank back in my chair, trying to process what she’d just said.

‘Let’s get this straight. He’s going to tell on us unless we get one of our co-workers to shave their head? Is he fucking mad?’ I asked, a little too loudly. I was painfully aware of a woman a couple of tables away looking across at me disapprovingly. If only she knew what Ally had just said, she wouldn’t have looked so bloody self-righteous!

I looked at Ally.

‘And what do you think about all of this?’ I asked.

‘Exactly the same as you. I wanted to kill the little fucker. Then he used his charm to convince me that it was actually a real turn-on.’

‘A turn-on? We’re being blackmailed and you think that’s a turn on?’

‘Forget the blackmail bit. Doesn’t the idea of bringing someone into our world turn you on just a bit?’

‘Couple of things. I’m being blackmailed. I can’t forget that. And what is “our world”, anyway? I shaved my head. I shaved yours. Things went a bit far, but we’re consenting adults, no animals were harmed. That’s all there is to it and now someone is threatening us? No way’ I said, my indignation rising. I stared at her and then let my eyes follow her hand as she reached for her bag. She took out a CD.

‘What’s that?’ I asked.

‘The only copy. He gave it to me. Out of the machine.’

‘So now he’s the world’s most incompetent blackmailer, is that it?’ I asked, incredulous.

‘He’s not blackmailing us, I keep telling you. He gave me the disc and then just said that if we did that thing, it would be a sort of “thank you”.

‘I don’t get it.’

‘He wants to join our little game, that’s all. The cctv was his way in.’

‘We haven’t got a little game.’

‘Well, whatever you want to call it. We did something, he saw and now he wants to share with us.’

‘Not that I’ve looked, but I suspect that he’s got a dick in his jeans, which rather excludes him from what we did.’

‘Don’t worry about that. He knows that you’ve got Paul and he knows that I’m with the other team now, so his dick stays where it is, he’s well aware of that.’

‘And what are you going to do with that?’ I asked, nodding towards the disc.

‘We can set fire to it. Have a ceremony of some sort’ she suggested.

‘I can do without the ceremony, but I want to watch it burn’ I replied.

We fell silent for a few moments.

‘Well?’ Ally asked.

‘Well what?’

‘Who do you think is the best candidate?’

‘For what? Brian’s sick game? I’ve got to work with those people. They’re my friends. I’m not going to do anything like that for some horny fantasist.’

‘Keep your voice down’ Ally chided.

‘Sorry, but fuck him, that’s all I have to say.’

‘Okay, I think I can detect that you’re not happy’ she said before breaking into a big grin. That took some of the heat out of the situation and I took a deep breath.

‘For argument’s sake, though, who would you want to scalp?’

‘Ally!’ I said sharply, causing her to hold her hands up defensively.

‘Sorry! Only asking’ she said, before adding ‘I’d go for stuck-up Charlotte and that glossy fucking ponytail of hers.’

That made me smile. ‘I know what you mean, but I still have to work with her.’

Ally could see that she was going to get no further with me and we tidied the table and left the shop. We were about to say our goodbyes when I remembered the disc. We nipped down an alley and with a great deal of effort managed to mutilate the disk sufficiently to be happy to consign it to a dumpster. They’re tougher than they look, those discs.

Ally and I pecked each other on the cheek and went our separate ways. As far as I was concerned, that was the end of the matter.

However, that conversation kept coming back into my head over the next few days, which was probably due to the fear of my indiscretion being discovered. It was there while I was cooking dinner, while we were eating and I’m not proud to say, while Paul and I were making love. He had been holding my head in both hands as he pumped away and all I could think of was a camera watching me and Ally in that barbershop. Try as I might, I couldn’t stop the coffee shop exchange with Ally from coming to the surface.

At breakfast the following morning Paul presented me with a glass of orange juice with a grin on his face.

‘What?’ I asked brusquely, never much of a morning person.

‘Nothing. Just that you seemed pretty into it last night’ he said.

‘Meaning what exactly? That I’m a bit half-hearted usually?’

He realised what was about to happen and wisely surrendered immediately. There was no way that he was going to risk going down that road. Not if he wanted to get to work with his balls still attached, that is. He “remembered” that he needed to get an early start at work and left me with my thoughts, which quickly turned to leaning back in a barber’s chair with my legs splayed
. There’s something not quite right about sitting at the breakfast table with the gusset of your knickers pulled aside while your fingers get busy, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I was right back there in the barber shop, Ally’s tongue lapping at me, her teeth nibbling me, draining me of any hesitation. I had one foot up on a chair as my enthusiasm took hold and the events of that evening gave way to the coffee shop conversation. I would look back at that after-breakfast indulgence and marvel at myself for working my way through each of my colleagues in turn, assessing them, trying to see if any of them turned me on, wondering what it would be like to have them between my legs rather than Ally. If ever there was a betrayal of womankind, that was it! More than that, it was a betrayal of Paul.

I finished and went upstairs. I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror, cheeks flushed, and closed my eyes briefly. I smiled and jumped in the shower, glad of my bald head to compress the time I needed to get ready. It was going to be touch and go as to whether I made it work on time. I’d have to invent a phantom hold-up to explain why I was so rushed. In the end, I made it just in time, although a little later and less serenely than I would normally make my entrance. It was worth it.

I probably didn’t produce my best work in the course of the day, due to my inner turmoil at why I was spending so long thinking about what happened with Ally and the implications of what she’d suggested. Now here I was wondering if there was a little more to it when I looked to see what my colleagues were wearing. Was I really checking them out rather than just looking at their dress choices?

If I was checking them out, then I decided that I must be doing it from a male perspective, because all I could see was boobs, legs and backsides, with little to choose between the four of them. True, Shelley was the wrong side of forty, but she still filled out her blouse in a way that I’m sure that she’d be proud of. I concluded that I wouldn’t kick any of them out of bed, if I decided to indulge in that sort of thing.

I tried to change the focus away from my new-found fascination with other women’s boobs and think about their hair. My colleagues presented me with a choice of a blonde bob, billowing Mediterranean curls, Charlotte’s “diva ponytail” or a flame red crop. A client came in and I hurriedly crammed my new toys back into the cupboard in my mind.

Just as I was sweeping up after that client, Sarah appeared from the back room, sipping from a cup as she walked. I tried my hardest not to look at her in any way other than as another woman in the workplace who just happened to be passing by. I really hoped that I succeeded and that my prototype “lezzie feelers” weren’t deployed. She smiled as she took the cup from her lips.

‘Sorry, Kate. Didn’t realise you were done. Do you want one?’ she asked, raising her cup slightly.

‘No, I’m fine thanks. There is something I wanted to ask you though’ I ventured, slightly more hesitantly than I wanted.

‘Sure’ she replied.

‘You wouldn’t have a minute later on to do this for me, would you?’ I asked, touching the tips of my fingers to my scalp. The re-growth was starting to annoy me. If I was going to be bald, I wanted to be properly bald, not fuzzy.

‘I can do it now if you want. What were you thinking of doing?’ she asked, failing miserably to keep a straight face.

‘I’d rather do it once all the punters have gone, if you don’t mind. Don’t want to freak out any of the oldies, you know’ I replied.

‘No prob, just let me know when you’re ready’ she said.

‘Thanks’ I replied, watching her as she walked past. Even before the thing with Ally, I’d looked at Sarah’s 26 year-old jean-clad backside with envy. The way she wore her jeans so tight that you’d notice if she had a pimple on her arse (she never did!). She didn’t have the biggest boobs in the world, but she was trim and popular with the lads whenever we went out. Less charitable people would maybe say that she was easy. She was a young woman out to enjoy herself, so why not?

Then I let my eyes wander upwards to settle on that elfin crop of rich red hair. As far as I knew, it was natural. I’d never asked, but I’d never seen her with anything other than perfect roots and she certainly didn’t use anyone at the salon to colour it for her. She’d have one of us trim it for her every now and again, but that was as far as it went. She’d started at the salon six months or so ago with it cropped, so we’d never known her any other way. She’d said that she’d chopped the bulk of it off on holiday somewhere hot and had just never wanted to go back to having to look after long hair again. It suited her and intrigued me.

I hung back to let the other stylists leave once the “closed” sign went up.

‘Coming Sarah?’ Charlotte asked as she was door-bound.

‘No, I’m fine. Kate wants me to do her hair for her’ I heard her reply. I wondered whether there was a smile on her face. I left the kitchen and went out into the salon, thinking back to the fateful evening when Ally had tried to get me to cut my hair off and what that had led to. A shattered friendship and an amazing making up, not to forget a couple of shaven heads along the way. Now here I was, alone with a bubbly 26 year-old redhead, who had no idea what filth was coursing through my mind at that point. I told myself that I would be totally professional and respect both our friendship and the traditional client / stylist roles.

She smiled at me as I walked towards her station, picking the gown off the back of the chair.

‘So what are we doing? Going smooth again?’ she asked, as if she hadn’t grasped what I wanted after the initial query.

‘It’s gotta be smooth, don’t you think?’ I said as I sat down.

‘If you’re going to do it, then yeah’ she replied.

‘I’m not brave enough to do it myself yet and there’s no way that I’d let Paul do it’ I ventured, looking to sound her out a little.

‘You’re probably right. Probably used up all your bravery just doing it’ she replied as she opened the cupboard in search of some shaving cream. I kicked myself for not making sure that there was some handy. We definitely had some and a supply of razors too, but not every station had them, for obvious reasons. We did do some men, but Irene was trying to push them towards the barbershop in town and make ours a “ladies only” salon. She hadn’t quite got there yet. Sarah tutted and went to look in another station, before coming back, holding her prize aloft in triumph.

‘So you don’t fancy trying it?’ I asked, annoyed at the break in the flow of the conversation during her search for shaving cream.

‘This?’ she asked, placing the flat of her hand on my stubbly scalp.

‘Yeah’ I replied.

‘I don’t think it’s for me’ she replied. ‘Charlotte said that Ally had done it too, though.’

‘I think she was jealous of the attention that I was getting in the pub’ I joked.

‘Really. I thought she was, you know…’

‘I think she has a broad palette’ I interrupted diplomatically. ‘But the guys in the pub were looking at her too.’

‘And you?’

‘I couldn’t possibly say. I’ve got a young man, you know’ I said in my poshest sounding voice.

‘Aren’t you the lucky one’ she replied, with just a hint of sadness.

‘You could have one too, you know you could, if you could just make up your mind’ I replied.

‘There’s so many to choose from.’

‘Just think what it’s like for Ally, having both teams to pick from.’

‘She’s probably better off playing for the home team, rather than ending up with some shit who’ll just do the dirty on her’ she said.

‘Something you want to tell me?’ I asked as I watched her spread a generous serving of shaving cream over my scalp.

‘No, just some waster I met a couple of nights ago, who looked promising and then spent ages telling me about his wife!’

‘Maybe you should take a leaf out of Ally’s book, then’ I chuckled.

‘Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, that’s what they say, isn’t it?’ she replied.

‘Very true’ I replied, trying to concentrate on the sensations triggered by her fingers.

‘Have you?’ she asked cautiously.

‘Have I what?’

‘You know, experimented.’

Jeez, how do you answer that, I wondered.

‘You sly devil’ she concluded, not waiting for my answer. I felt myself blushing.

‘But that’s not why you did this, is it?’ she asked.

‘Not at all. I did that charity thing for Irene and then I just fancied doing it’ I said, glossing over the part with Ally.

‘Just like that?’

‘Just like that’ I repeated.

She looked pensive. I just looked, finding more pleasure than I should in watching her scrape the last traces of shaving cream from my head. Although tinged with guilt at the ideas in my head, there was much more enjoyment this time than when Jo first did it. There was trepidation that time, this time there was excitement and I must admit, a little dampness. I felt a flutter as Sarah’s shirt tightened when she reached just that little bit further, felt a rush when her fingertips danced over my scalp to check that she hadn’t missed anything.

‘How about that?’ she asked, fixing my gaze in the mirror.

‘I don’t suppose you’ve got time just to go over it again, have you, just to get it super-smooth?’ I asked, trying to put on my most alluring expression.

She ran the flat of her hand over my scalp. ‘I can, but there’s nothing there’ she observed.

‘It’ll only take a minute then’ I replied, eager for her touch again. I needed more time to think about what to do. Despite what Ally had said about Brian wanting to get someone to the barbershop for his enjoyment, there was no way that I could do that. Not to Sarah and not to any of the others.

My scalp was white with foam again.

‘You’re good at this’ I said.

‘Nothing to it’ she replied.

‘Have you thought about going to the barbershop, like Ally?’ I asked, searching for an opening.

‘What for? To work or get my hair cut?’ she asked.

‘Either. Both’ I replied, a little surprised at her answer.

‘Charlotte said that that Brian’s a bit of a lech. Hits on anyone and everyone. She said he’s weird.’

‘That would be a “no” then’ I said with a chuckle. His reputation preceded him and Sarah didn’t even know about his proposition to Ally and I.

‘Wouldn’t go near the place’ she confirmed. ‘Ally’s probably safe enough though’ she added with a wry smile.

‘So it looks like I’ll be the one to cut your hair then’ I probed.

‘I don’t mind who does it. As long as it’s not him’ she said emphatically.

I was glad that we were on the same page. I settled back to enjoy the final few moments of her shaving, which was serving little purpose, apart from arousing me.

She made the final stroke and then sought my approval in the mirror, a hand resting on each of my shoulders.

‘Better?’

‘That second go has made all the difference. Thank you’ I said, reaching up to touch her left hand through the gown.

‘Do you want me to rinse you off or are you happy to do it yourself?’ she asked.

‘Would you be an angel and do it?’

‘Sure’ she replied.

She stood back to let me get out of the chair and we headed to the basins. I sat down and let her ease me gently backwards until my neck rested on the porcelain. I closed my eyes and listened to the water, feeling it just a touch too hot, anticipating her fingers on my skin.

‘That okay?’ she asked.

‘Fine’ I replied, enjoying the slight discomfort. The urgency of the water jet was replaced by the soft sensation of her fingers and the fragrance of shampoo.

‘You don’t really need to do that, but I won’t stop you’ I said.

‘You don’t have to stroke my calf, but I won’t stop you’ she replied.

‘Jeez, I’m sorry. I got carried away’ I said, blushing.

‘Thought you were already home?’

‘I don’t know what I was thinking’ I replied, embarrassed. The strange thing was, it wasn’t deliberate. Much as I thought she was cute, I wasn’t intending to do anything. I started to wish that she would just hurry up so that I could slink away and hide my embarrassment.

Soon enough, she rinsed my smooth scalp and I was done. She used a towel to pat me dry and I sat up.

‘Sorry about that, you know…’ I said.

‘Don’t worry about it’ she said, turning to toss the damp towel in the hamper. I stood up and checked myself in the mirror. It was a barely noticeable change to look at, but a massive one to the touch. I was happy and ready to go back to prepare a little something special for Paul.

‘Any plans for tonight?’ I asked, slipping into hairdresser cliché in an attempt to dispel the awkwardness that I could sense. I wondered whether I should go somewhere else to get my hair done in future, because that was the second time that something that should’ve been simple had morphed into something else.

‘Not really. Glass of wine, a film, something like that.’

‘Surely you can do better than that?’

‘I’ve decided to give men a rest for a bit after that last one. Shower of bastards, the lot of them. Your Paul excepted, of course’ she said.

‘They’re not all bad’ I said, finding myself looking at her with more than a conversational interest. She shrugged. It was time to go. Then a thought struck me.

‘If you’re not going to date for a while, why don’t you try something different?’

She looked at me with a puzzled expression. ‘What do you mean?’

I touched her elbow to get her to turn towards the mirror so that she could see what I could see, which was a sexy little thing with a body that any woman would love as her own.

‘Why not do some modelling? Do one of those makeover photoshoot things. Get yourself a wacky haircut and some weird make-up and get a few snapshots done professionally.’

‘Knowing my luck, I’d get one of those pervy photographers who just wants me to get my kit off.’

‘There is that, I suppose. Just a thought.’

I paused for a moment and moved closer to her so that I was able to look over her shoulder. We were close, but not actually touching. I reached around her to pick up a set of clippers that were hanging from the side of the styling station. I’d noticed them as I’d moved from the basin, more for the fact that someone had left a guard on them in their haste to get home. Sloppy, I thought. I lifted the clippers slowly upwards towards Sarah’s head, watching her in the mirror as she plotted their progress.

‘You wouldn’t?’ she said.

‘I already have’ I replied, tipping the clippers towards my own smooth scalp. ‘They’ve got a guard on, so you’ll be fine.’

‘What number?’ she asked. That was encouraging. A question rather than an objection.

‘How about we find out?’ I said, touching the teeth of the guard just in front of her ear. I saw and heard her sharp intake of breath. I’m not sure whether the slightest tilt of her head was involuntary or not, but I took it as acquiescence and slid the clippers upwards. She uttered a tiny animal-like sound that was barely audible above the mechanical hum of the clippers. I paused to take stock of the clipper-width side-cut that I’d just mowed up the side of her head. There was a little pile of red hair poised on her shoulder ready to tumble. I’d actually cut her hair. I didn’t have long to wait for a reaction.

‘Fuck’ she said, turning her head to look at the damage in the mirror at the same time as raising her hand to seek confirmation with her fingertips. She laughed, probably in disbelief rather than amusement and I watched her eyes in the mirror move from her head to me and then back again. Without moving my feet, I pressed myself against her, so that her perfect bottom was touching my abdomen. I turned my lips to her ear.

‘How about we do that all over?’ I said as softly as I could.

‘No, please’ she said, suddenly all timid and vulnerable.

‘Don’t you think you’ll look really fucking sexy if I do this?’ I asked. The clippers went up behind her ear and for some reason that I’ll probably never be able to explain, my left hand worked its way over her backside, over her hip and round to slide up her body, coming to rest filled with the soft swell of her left breast. Somehow I’d gone from lying back and just letting Ally lick me without really taking part, to being the initiator this time. I was standing there like a creepy subway commuter, rubbing myself against another woman while groping her.

‘Easy, tiger! One new thing at a time!’ she said, covering my left hand with hers and removing it from her boob.

‘Let’s enjoy this one first then’ I said, pushing the clippers up the back of her head, right to the curve of her crown. Unable to resist, I planted the lightest kiss in the freshly revealed patch of skin at the back of her neck that had until moments ago been obscured by a lock of hair. I surveyed what I’d done to her. It wasn’t that radical, as it happened. I glanced at the guard to confirm that it was a number three. Not the end of the World, by any means, but enough to be unwanted by most women. She didn’t pull away, although I did feel the flat of her hand push against my thigh. Was that a signal that she didn’t want any more. Perhaps she should have been clearer. I put the clippers back to her hairline and ran them up the back of her head again. This time there was no stopping. I was on the top of her head, pushing the machine gently. Falling locks broke across her field of vision. It was too late. I felt her push her backside into me. So much for not wanting to take on too many new experiences at the same time.

I looked at her reflection in the mirror, seeing myself partially obscured by her body. Her normally perfect crop was split in two across the top of her head, a pelt of stubby hairs filling the breach. Her eyes were closed. She raised her hands to cup her own boobs and as she squeezed, I let the clippers run from front to back, clearing the top of her head. The short hair took on a more intense red hue. She seemed oblivious to my presence, even though I was so close and in the process of taking most of her hair off. She was squeezing, caressing, her index fingers tracing the point of her boobs. I worked away until her hair was a fraction of an inch all over. I couldn’t believe what I’d just done, couldn’t believe how it had made me feel. I thought of Paul and how much he appeared to like me bald.

‘Look at yourself’ I whispered into Sarah’s ear. I watched her eyes open, watched them examine the unfamiliar reflection. I watched her hands squeeze her perky boobs. ‘You’re beautiful’ I whispered.

‘Mmmm, I am, aren’t I’ she breathed.

She closed her eyes again and I watched her for a moment, immensely grateful that the design of the salon meant that we couldn’t be seen from the street. I wondered if the door was locked. I hadn’t locked it and I didn’t think that Sarah had either. I didn’t want to move, but knew that I had to.

‘Don’t go away’ I said, checking that I looked okay in case anyone happened to be passing the shop when I got to the front door. I turned the latch and flicked the sign to “Closed” and then made my way back to Sarah.

She turned to face me, hands running over her head.

‘Well, that’s the most original haircut I’ve ever had’ she said, the spell clearly broken. I shouldn’t have left her to lock the door I thought, but then I wondered what I would’ve wanted to have happened. She was a colleague, a mate. What was I thinking getting into that sort of situation with her? I should’ve been professional. Treated her as any other client. Now what was I going to do?

I looked at her, thinking how different she looked with the soft burr of a buzzcut in place of her red crop. Masculine in a way, but still supremely feminine. She looked into my eyes as I approached. I was trying to work out what to say. Should I apologise and say that I didn’t know what came over me? She didn’t look angry, but should I ask her not to squeal on me? How could I work with her again? Had I just resigned in the most spectacular fashion? I didn’t know. I stopped in front of her and looked at her for a definite idea of what she was thinking.

I reached up and touched my fingertips to the side of her head, getting a little flutter as I touched my handiwork. She still looked at me. I trailed my fingers slowly downwards to brush her cheek and in the absence of any objection, I let them continue their downward trajectory until they started to traverse the slope of her right boob. My index finger conquered the peak and then I enclosed it with my whole hand. I squeezed, she looked at me. My right hand made its way unseen to the front of her jeans where I pressed the flat of my hand against her. May as well be hung for a sheep, I thought.

‘I think you want to go shorter, don’t you?’ I asked brusquely. I could feel myself slipping into the more dominant character who had emerged in the barbershop with Ally. Sarah was silent, probably too busy processing the scene in her mind. How had she found herself shorn and in the process of being felt up by a workmate?

‘Well?’ I pressed.

She shrugged her shoulders. I squeezed her boob a bit more forcefully than was polite, surprising her almost as much as I surprised myself.

‘Anything you want, mistress’ she replied meekly.

‘I’m not your mistress’ I informed her, letting go of the offended boob.

‘Anything you say, mistress’ she said.

‘Kneel’ I said unconvincingly. It was her opportunity to tell me to “fuck off” and escape with the pelt of red hair that she had left, but she knelt down. I couldn’t believe what was happening, but started to realise why she had the reputation of rarely saying “no” when propositioned. She looked at the floor. Jeez, what was it with this girl? I almost felt bad as I ran the unguarded clippers across the top of her head. Short red hairs built up into a clump ahead of the blades as her scalp was revealed in all its whiteness. She allowed me to move her head this way and that to get the best angle and in no time at all, she’d joined me in my baldness. I placed a finger under her chin and got her to lift her gaze to meet mine.

‘Let’s get you done properly’ I said, using a little more pressure to indicate to my plaything that she should get up. She went to the same styling station where she had shaved my head so recently. Whatever was going through my head while she was shaving me, I couldn’t have imagined that the tables would have been turned in such a spectacular fashion.

She sat down and I placed a hand on each of her shoulders while I looked at her. I was still a little uncomfortable at what had happened, but that didn’t stop me from squirting a generous blob of foam onto the crown of her head. She closed her eyes as I smeared it around her scalp. Her eyes were closed, but I suddenly saw that her jeans were open. Somehow she’d undone the zipper on her jeans while I’d been distracted and now she was sitting with her hand inside. How the hell was I going to work with this girl tomorrow?

I did my best to ignore what she was doing and concentrated on making bold sweeps with the razor, starting at her forehead. This was sexy, but surreal. I was in a relationship. I was faithful. I was into guys. Yet here I was, shaving a woman’s head while she shamelessly played with herself and I was turned on by it. Talk about confused!

I put a hand on Sarah’s shoulder to impress upon her the need to stay still while someone had a razor on your scalp. Safety razor or not, it didn’t make life easy if the subject that you were trying to shave was doing their best to bring themselves off, with all that that entailed. Sarah was clearly treading a well-worn path that only had one destination, and there wasn’t far to go. I would have preferred to shave her twice, as she had done for me, but I decided that once had to be good enough. I put the razor down and wiped her head with a towel to get as much of the shaving cream off as I could.

I ran my hands down from her shoulders until I had cupped her boobs in my hands. I planted a kiss on the top of her bald head and moved my lips close to her ear.

‘Do you like being bald?’ I asked breathlessly. I licked her ear lobe. I thought back to sitting in the chair shaving Ally while she licked me. That was something that I could say was done to me. I was passive, well as passive as you can be when someone is licking your pussy. Now it was different. Now it was me who could choose to take things further. That would make it more like cheating on Paul than it had with Ally. I moved my hands to undo the buttons on Sarah’s shirt. She didn’t object, but then I didn’t expect her to. She knew where she was going and would accept any help to get there. I pulled her bra up so that her boobs were exposed.

I have never gasped at the sight of another woman’s boobs, but hers were spectacular. They were no more than a nice handful, but the thing that caught my eye was their crowning glory. They were topped off with dark areolae, probably two inches across. Her nipples took advantage of their freedom to stand tall and proud. I squeezed each one in turn to convince myself that they were real. At that moment, I realised what pleasure a guy could get from being a “boob man”. You could play with the things for hours! But I knew that I didn’t have hours. I had reached a personal fork in the road. Up until that point, my choice was predictable and traditional, but now I was looking down the other one. Was I going to see what lay that way?

I turned the chair and knelt at Sarah’s feet. Her eyes were open now. She smiled a dirty smile. There was only one thing to do. I reached forward and she lifted her backside off the chair to make it easy for me. I drew her jeans down her legs and off her ankles. She slid forward on the seat and presented me with her knicker-clad pussy. I looked deep into her eyes and pulled her knickers down to reveal a flame-red landing strip that ended at the top of her slit. Her arousal was obvious, but she parted her lips with her fingers just in case I was in any doubt. She proffered a finger to allow me my first real taste of another woman. I kept my gaze on her for as long as was practical, but then my view was narrowing until I closed my eyes to savour every moment. Her hands gripped the back of my head and held me in to her. The thought of me doing the same to Paul flitted across my mind and I wrote a mental reminder to be a little more considerate in future. Breathing is important and its not easy if someone is trying to smother you with their pussy for their own selfish satisfaction.

I came up for air, trailing my lips up her body until I got to those boobs. They were more magnificent than I remembered from only minutes ago. I kissed and nibbled, adjusting my position so that I could slip a finger inside her. I watched her expression as one finger became two and felt her contract her muscles around me. I eased my head back and looked into her eyes as I worked her to her climax. It wasn’t comfortable for either of us with me half-perched across her. I rocked back on my heels and watched her gather her thoughts.

‘I think that counts as “team building” in some circles’ she said with a smile. She wasn’t embarrassed in the slightest, slouched there in a styling chair with her legs splayed. She slipped free of her shirt and bra, cupping a boob with one hand while the other explored her freshly shaven head.

‘I think I like this haircut’ she said with a smile.

‘You could say that it opens up other opportunities’ I replied.

‘It’s more fun than I’ve had for a long time and you’d never guess how many cocks I’ve had in that time.’

I winced a little, strangely awkward at the revelation, even though I’d just been more intimate with her than many of those men in all probability. She caught me staring at her crotch. I just couldn’t get over that run of red pubes. She stroked a finger down the strip.

‘The last guy I was with called my pussy “the furnace”. He said it was because my pubes looked like flames were coming out of it and it was always so hot.’

There’s not a lot that you can say to that really, I thought. She took the opportunity to run her hands up the outsides of my thighs forcing my dress upwards until she had it where she wanted it. I closed my eyes, embarrassed that another woman was doing that to me, but excited at the same time. She reversed direction, drawing my panties downwards while somehow my dress defied gravity and stayed where it was. I could see her staring at me, there. It was weird, but then the touch of the backs of her fingers across my bare mound made me look at my situation in a different light. She looked up at me briefly and then dipped her head to plant a kiss where her fingers had been. A hesitant tongue made its way down my slit while fingers danced on my legs and backside. If this was her first time, she was an enthusiastic beginner, intent on seeing just how far she could insert her tongue into another woman.

She took me by the hand and stood up.

‘That’s so fucking uncomfortable’ she said, leading me to the staff break area at the back of the salon where the floor was carpeted. She sat down and then lay back, tracing the line of her sex with a single finger. I looked at her, wondering what the etiquette was. There were two ways to look at it. One way meant no pleasure for me, the other was a little presumptuous. I decided that we were only here because of me, so it was only right that I considered my own needs. I stood at her feet and looked at her, prone, bald, vulnerable. She looked up at me. I placed a foot either side of her and worked my way along her body without touching her. I stopped and took a deep breath. Once again, I told myself that this was someone I was going to have to work with, day in, day out. I kept telling myself that as I squatted slowly until I could no longer see much of her lower face. She took it in the right spirit, lifting her head from the floor to meet my pussy with her tongue. I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate on not over-balancing, because any injury sustained in the course of sitting on your colleague’s face would be difficult to explain in the Emergency Room. She ate as if she’d never eat again. I steadied myself with one hand and looked to the ceiling, starting to whimper and then looked down to savour the sight of her bald crown between my legs. What a “selfie” that would make, I thought.

My squeals of delight echoed round the empty salon. I eased myself up, wondering whether my knees would’ve seized up. I looked down at Sarah, still fearing an expression of disgust or anger, but there was no need. She was licking her lips, trying to hang on to every moment. I reached down to take her hand and help her to her feet, only to find that she was still interested in exploring. The fingers of her free hand lingered at my pussy lips, sliding across the soft dampness. She kissed me, her tongue probing deep. She squeezed my nipples until I let out a little shriek.

‘With a bit of practice, we could get good at this’ she said softly.

‘I’ve got Paul’ I said once more.

‘He could watch. Do you think he’d like that?’ she asked.

‘I think he’d be embarrassed to death and would freak out’ I explained.

‘I can think of quite a few people who’d like to watch what we just did’ she said.

‘Probably best that we don’t tell them then’ I suggested, starting to emerge from the excited abandon of what we’d just shared.

‘So you don’t think a sly fumble at break time is a good idea then?’

‘Absolutely not’ I said quickly.

‘So you’ve just used and abused me, is that it?’ she said with a wry smile.

‘I think we’ve used and abused each other, don’t you?’ I replied.

‘Probably’ she said, with a final tweak of my left nipple.

‘Ouch!’ I said. She smiled.

‘You know, as soon as I saw you come in with your head shaved I wondered what it would be like. Wondered whether I’d have the guts to do it. I never thought that it’s be so much fun’ she said, bending forward to plant the lightest “make it better” kiss where she’d just tweaked me. I stole a stroke of her scalp.

‘I enjoyed it too, so thank you’ I said with a final stroke of the smooth skin.

She looked at me curiously. ‘Just so that we’re clear, you hadn’t planned it, had you?’

‘Absolutely not’ I replied, wondering just how much of a lie that statement was. She looked at me intently and then turned to look for her clothes. I slipped my dress back on, but decided not to bother with underwear so I was the first to return to normal hairdresser mode and reach for a broom to sweep up. I was just herding the forlorn looking red tufts into an orderly pile when Sarah appeared at my side and ran a hand over my backside.

‘Thought not. Slut’ she said with a chuckle. I looked at her and saw that she was holding her own knickers in one hand. I smiled.

With Sarah’s hair consigned to the bin and all trace of our activities erased, we headed for the door.

‘That was fun!’ Sarah said, motioning for me to leave the salon first. We headed up the High Street impervious to any curious looks. We reached Sarah’s bus stop and paused.

‘Give me a shout if Paul’s ever away on business, won’t you?’ she said.

‘Certainly will, Red’ I replied and turned to head to the car park.

‘Not any more, thanks to you’ she called after me.

I started driving, trying to tell myself all the way that nothing out of the ordinary had happened. I was desperate to arrive home just like any other day, rather than walking through the door with a self-satisfied smile that just screamed “I just sat on a bald woman’s face”. I knew that I had to get upstairs and get cleaned up before Paul appeared. Luckily he’d decided to go for a “quick drink”, so the coast was clear.

I luxuriated in the shower, caressing my smooth scalp more than was decent and replaying what had gone on in the salon with Sarah. By her own admission, the idea of shaving her head had crossed her mind previously. She’d slipped into that way of thinking too easily for it to have been something out of the blue for her. Had it been the same with me coming on to her? She wasn’t outraged at the idea and at worst she’d been mildly surprised before entering completely into the spirit of things. Maybe it was just a combination of seeing me bald and her recent unfortunate relationship issues that had made her so receptive. Whatever it was, I’d enjoyed expanding my horizons.

I was both decent and relaxed by the time Paul got home. It was like any other evening until my phone beeped. I looked at it and saw a text from Ally. I opened it and just saw “WTF. Just seen Sarah on Facebook!!!!!!”

I thought it better to call her than have a trail of messages between us that could come back to bite me one day.

‘What about our agreement?’ she asked angrily.

‘What agreement?’ I asked, trying not to give Paul the impression that anything was wrong if he overheard me. I was pretty sure that I was far enough away from him, but you never know.

‘You know. With Brian.’

‘There wasn’t an agreement and it’s nothing to do with him what Sarah wants to do with her hair’ I countered.

‘If she’d done it in the shop, he’d have been off my case.’

‘Well now he’s got a picture of her bald so he can wank himself blind and leave us alone.’

‘It would’ve been better if he’d been there’ she said, dialling down the irritation a notch.

‘Maybe, but at the end of the day, he’s a barber in a small town barbershop, not some fucking Mafia boss, so just tell him to get back in his box.’

‘Yeah, you’re right’ she agreed begrudgingly.

‘You know I am’.

‘Maybe you , me and Sarah should go out on the town and see what mischief we can get up to’ she suggested.

Only bad things flew through my mind at that point. Ally would get Sarah to tell her what went on in the salon and would tell Sarah what happened when I shaved her head. The beans would be well and truly spilled. That would not end well. I said the only thing that I could think of.

‘Maybe you should ask Charlotte for a drink. Maybe sow some seeds. You never know…’ I suggested.

‘Now there’s an idea’ she replied, mischief evident in her voice.

We ended the call and I stayed where I was, leaning against the kitchen worktop, just thinking. Thinking back to shaving Sarah and what happened afterwards. I thought about what I’d done and wondered just how much further she’d have let me go. A hand strayed. A hand strayed when my boyfriend was in the house. That had never happened before. I was horny. Really horny, despite what I’d done earlier. I was ready to play again.

I went upstairs and stripped off so that I could dress a little more appropriately for what I had in mind. I looked at the stuff in the “special” section of my wardrobe, smiling at the dog collar that always had such an effect on Paul. Today wasn’t a dog collar day. I stood and stared, not really seeing anything that grabbed me and ended up deciding that I’d have to break out something that I’d bought for Paul’s birthday which wasn’t for a couple of weeks. What I had in mind was going to be more memorable for him than any single birthday, so it was time. I’d get him a different birthday present next time I was in town.

A couple of minutes saw me standing in front of the mirror admiring the sexiness and simplicity of what I’d chosen. I was wearing a pair of sheer black stockings and a lovely gold chain strung from a pair of nipple clamps. Nothing else. I’d thought about re-shaving my pussy, but decided that the morning touch-up was recent enough. I stared at my boobs with the chain strung between them. I’d never worn nipple jewellery of any sort, so Paul would certainly be surprised, pleasantly, I hoped. I also hoped that he’d not be too rough with them. The last thing I wanted was shredded nipples! I moved my feet apart and ran a finger the length of my slit, wanting to feel what Paul was about to feel. I thought about Sarah’s man-friend referring to the flames coming out of hers. I put on my highest pair of heels. I was ready.

On my way out of the bedroom, I reached into the wardrobe for the final prop for my performance and went downstairs, taking care as I crossed the hallway, just in case anyone was passing by who might be shocked by the sight of a nearly naked woman wandering the house.

I did my best to strut into the lounge and look slutty. Paul looked up as he sensed my approach and did nothing to hide his shock at my appearance. I stood directly in front of him, moved my feet apart and repeated the pussy finger slide that I’d done in front of the mirror.

‘Fuck’ he uttered.

‘In a minute, maybe’ I replied, looking as vampish as I could.

I flicked the drooping chain between my boobs in the vain hope that it would rattle or do something at least. I was probably the only one who got any benefit out of the action.

‘I got shaved again’ I said, tipping my crown towards him. ‘You like it when it’s smooth, don’t you? You like to fuck me when I’m bald, don’t you?’ I whispered softly. I lifted my head to look at him and touched a finger to my mound. ‘You like my bald head and my bald cunt, don’t you?’ I asked, knowing that my rare use of the “c” word would have an effect. His eyes were wide.

‘Would you like to fuck me?’

He stared at me, still wordless.

‘I want to fuck a bald man’ I said, raising my eyebrows.

‘I’ll do it if you can’t find one’ he replied with that wonderful quick wit of his.

‘I think I’m going to make myself one’ I said, raising the clippers that I’d got out of my wardrobe from the days when I did a spot of mobile hairdressing. He didn’t look quite so cocky now.

‘You let Ally clipper you, so why not me?’

‘She didn’t exactly use the word “bald”‘ he replied.

‘But you would’ve let her, wouldn’t you. You’re a sucker for a pretty face and a nice pair of tits. Well, what about these tits?’

‘Very nice’ he replied with a smile that wasn’t exactly convincing.

‘Take your shirt off’ I commanded. It wasn’t something that I’d ever done with him. Usually it was me on the receiving end, being walked around like an exhibit at a dog show. This side of me emerged with Ally and was obviously going to stick around for a while. He looked at me quizzically and then reached for his buttons. I tried to take his mind off what was about to happen by tugging gently at my chains. The clamps were a little tight, but I liked that.

Paul undid the final button and slipped his shirt off. I moved towards him, bending forward so that the chain hung loose between my boobs. He reached up, but I drew back, wagging a finger at him. I raised the hand holding the clippers.

‘Work before play’ I told him, holding out my free hand. I led him out of the lounge and towards the kitchen. Even a budding dominatrix has to be conscious of the need to clean up after a little depravity!

‘Come on Katie’ he said, knowing that I hated being called Katie. I was only ever called Katie when I’d done something wrong as a kid and I never let its use pass without comment. I would make him pay for it. I pulled out a dining chair and motioned to him to sit down.

I moved towards him again, my legs straddling his without touching them. I pressed a hand to his bare chest to push him back against the seat so that he was slouched. I’d never seen a lap dance, but I suspected that our relative positions weren’t unlike that. His head was tilted back over the edge of the settee and he had nowhere to go. He could’ve fought me off, of course, but that would have been a little extreme. I brought the clippers up to where he could see them, softening the threat by grinding my bare pussy against his growing bulge. I suspect that we would be entering “tip” territory if this was some sort of titty bar.

‘Do you want me to make you bald? Bald like my cunt? Bald like me?’

‘If it’s all the same to you…’ he started.

The clippers strangled the rest of his sentence. His right sideburn tried to repel the first attack, but fell without much resistance. The clippers advanced up the side of his head, his eyes locked on mine as he struggled for a way to extricate himself from the situation. I felt a hand on my stocking-clad thigh, waiting for the surrender tap that he wanted to avoid. I pressed myself down a little more forcefully, suspecting that his trousers wouldn’t survive the evening, what with the twin assault from inside and out. He lowered his head to inspect my jewellery more closely, which left the crown of his head exposed. Crown met clippers and there was only going to be one winner. I looked at the patch of skin across the top of my boyfriend’s head, a head that had never felt clippers until recently when Ally started him on this path. I heard a moan, but wasn’t sure if that was him mourning his hair or in appreciation of being straddled by his newly-dominant girlfriend.

‘You like that?’ I asked, making another run.

‘No’ he replied. I pressed myself into him a little more than he could possibly be comfortable with and saw him wince from the pressure on his balls.

‘I like it’ I told him, taking pity on his crotch in case it affected my impending pleasure.

He started to explore my boobs, checking out the fixings in the way that only a man could when faced with the exotic. I could see in his eyes that he was looking at the situation from an engineering perspective rather than one that should exclude any thought other than a pleasurable one. I let him play, enjoying my own game to the full. I still had the back of his head to do, but from where I was perched, I now had a bald boyfriend. I knew that it would be a shock to him when he saw it, but I liked it already. Not so long ago, I couldn’t have imagined him with short hair, let alone no hair, but now this was the only way that I wanted him.

All of his resistance was gone and I could see that he just wanted to get it over with. He let me tilt his head wherever I needed it to go and consoled himself with a squeeze of my boobs or backside, a stroke of my silky legs or an occasional caress of my scalp. He knew that his fate was sealed.

I was done, short of taking a bic to him and that was something that I wasn’t ready to do. I was only too aware that I needed to take care of myself first. I slid the clippers to “off” and leant back to look at him from a better distance. I put the clippers to one side and cupped his head with both hands, leaning forward to kiss his bald scalp. The kiss became a lick and his caress turned into two fingers sliding through my wetness. I leant right back, hands on his legs, pouting pussy proudly displayed for him. He gripped my arms to haul me back up and then eased me off him to the side so that he could stand up.

I watched intently as he slid his zipper down and freed his cock. It sprung up, ready for combat. I waited until he’d slipped his socks off and was standing there naked in front of me.

‘Kneel’ I said. That was usually his command. I watched him accept that the tables had been turned and go down first on one knee and then the other.

‘All fours’ I said, watching him looking for reasons not to do it. He did it. He looked up at me and watched me approach. I was close to him, his scalp brushing the front of my thighs. I eased myself onto him, his bald head between my thighs. I rubbed my pussy against the back of his head, moving forwards and backwards so that I could see the trail that I was leaving on his skin. I stroked his scalp, knowing that I would be arousing him at the same time as reminding him that he had to go to work in the morning and explain what had happened. I wondered what tale he’d come up with.

I slipped off him and told him to lie down on his back. He clearly liked the sound of that, imagining what was about to happen. Only he probably didn’t guess right. I looked down on him and then squatted slowly down the way I had with Sarah. This was new territory for us. Sure, he’d go down on me, but he was always in control. This time it was all me. I plotted my descent with the precision of a moon landing until I made first contact. I felt him lick me and raised myself slightly, spreading my lips for him.

‘You know how I hate being called “Katie”?’ I asked. Funnily enough, all I could think of was how pleased I was that we’d decided on a vinyl floor for the kitchen when we re-modelled recently.

‘Yeah, sorry about that’ he said.

I let go, slowly at first, but then allowed a more powerful stream. I wondered if I could look him in the eye ever again. I could hear him splutter and contracted my muscles to stop the flow, but started again once I saw that he had made no effort to get from under me. I looked upwards while I took in what was happening. I was actually pissing on my boyfriend! I hadn’t ever peed in front of him in that “coupley” sort of way that you sometimes see in the movies, with him cleaning his teeth while she use the toilet. I always thought that there were some things that shouldn’t be shared, yet here I was peeing on him. I finished and looked down to see the puddle that I had made all around him. I forced myself to look Paul in the eye.

‘I’d been intending to have shower later on, but not that sort of shower’ he said with a smile. I stood up and held out a hand to help him up too. I knew that I should have disgusted both of us, but instead I leant in to kiss him, ignoring his wet skin.

We headed upstairs to the bathroom to clean ourselves up. I wasn’t sure whether I was struggling the most to come to terms with the fact that Paul was bald or the I had pissed on him. We were in the shower, one thing led to another and that’s where I’ll leave it.

The following day, I got to work shortly after Sarah had got there. She wasn’t on the shop-floor, but the only topic of conversation was her shaved head. The place was buzzing, if you’ll forgive the pun. I smiled at the little group and headed upstairs to put my bag in my locker.

Sarah was in the break-room with a cup of coffee.

‘Good morning’ she said.

‘Good morning to you’ I replied.

‘Nice evening?’

‘Oh, you know, just a shower, then bed’ I replied, wondering if she would ever guess just how much those few words concealed.’What about you?

‘Nothing much. Lay around, soaked in the bath. Oh, and I did this’ she added enthusiastically. I watched as she slid forward on her chair, lifted her skirt and spread her legs to let me see the perfect hairless skin at her crotch. The red landing strip had gone. She ran her fingertips over her skin, seeming not to care that anyone could come in.

‘Has the flame gone out?’ I asked.

‘No, it’s burning so hot the you can’t see it any more’ she replied. I watched as she ran a finger the length of her slit.

‘Put it away, someone could come in’ I urged.

Don’t worry, I’m going downstairs now. Got something to do’ she said cryptically. With her enticing pussy safely stowed away, she got up and headed for the door. ‘Coming?’ she asked.

‘In a sec’ I replied. I put my bag away and checked my make-up in the mirror before following her. I could see her standing in front of Charlotte and Gayle, her head tilted downwards as they stroked her scalp. She levelled her head as I approached.

‘Come on Charlotte’ she said. I could see Charlotte look at her with a slightly bemused expression on her face. Sarah moved towards one of the styling chairs, her eyes fixed on Charlotte.

Was she suggesting what I thought she was suggesting? No way would Charlotte go for that. She took her hair care to the most ridiculous levels to keep it looking sleek and glossy and went mad if any of us deviated from her precise instructions when we trimmed it for her.

‘It’ll only take a couple of minutes and you’ll be ready for your first client before you know it’ Sarah said.

Charlotte still looked confused and turned to Gayle for guidance which wasn’t forthcoming. Sarah patted the back of the chair with her hand.

‘Be a dear and get a gown for Charlotte, would you Gayle?’ Sarah asked’

Gayle looked at each of us in turn and to my surprise, reached across to the rack and picked off the first gown. She held it out for Charlotte, probably in the hope that she wouldn’t be called on to put it on herself. I took a quick look at Gayle’s tumbling dark curls and could quite understand why she would want to keep well away from anything that Sarah was likely to suggest. Charlotte just stood there, but then something quite unexpected happened.

‘Come on, Charlie. At least get the ponytail cut off. You’ve had it forever, you were probably born with it’ Gayle urged.

I’d thought that Gayle was as stupefied as Charlotte, but clearly not. I looked at the slightly confused expression on Charlotte’s face as she tried to work out what was going on.

‘Dave likes my hair like this’ Charlotte said defensively.

‘Ever asked him if he’d like you to try something different?’ Gayle quizzed.

‘No, he likes me with a ponytail’ Charlotte said firmly.

‘Let’s surprise him then’ Gayle countered. Charlotte looked at her and then at Sarah and I.

‘Just the ponytail?’ she asked with a quiver in her voice.

‘I’ll do what you want’ Gayle confirmed. I looked at Sarah and could see that she too was wondering how the situation had been hijacked from her. I could see that she was reluctant to break the spell and was going to see how the situation played out. Charlotte sat down and Gayle swung the gown over her. I could see Charlotte tremble.

Charlotte reached up and touched the band holding her ponytail. She started to move it down, but Gayle put her hand over Charlotte’s unsteady fingers.

‘It’s fine there’ Gayle said. Charlotte put her hand back under the gown and waited. She took a deep breath as Gayle reached forward and picked up the clippers. It was a good choice given the thickness of Charlotte’s hair. I wouldn’t have fancied hacking though it with a pair of scissors. I watched Gayle assessing the situation, watched her concentration. She made a decision on how to proceed.

‘Head down for me’ she said, touching the back of Charlotte’s head with her left hand. Not the way that I would do it, but we each have our own way of doing things.

Gayle paused for a moment and then took hold of the luscious, bound hair in her left hand, ready to cut. I could sense the expectation in the room and kept thinking about how Charlotte took pride in her hair, conditioning it obsessively to keep it sleek. The clippers moved in and missed. Missed the ponytail that is. Gayle had positioned them fleetingly at Charlotte’s nape and moved them up the back of Charlotte’s head. She was cutting the ponytail off, but leaving nothing behind. Rather than leaving a sad looking stump, Gayle had opted to clear the field. She was true to her word though, the ponytail was coming away from Charlotte’s scalp.

‘Fucking hell, Gayle, what are you doing?’ Charlotte said harshly.

‘Cutting your ponytail like I said’ Gayle replied in all innocence.

‘You don’t do it like that’ Charlotte protested.

‘I do. It’ll be fine, you’ll love it.’

I doubted that. I looked at Sarah, who raised her eyebrows. I returned my gaze to the bald strip up the back of Charlotte’s head which was made more visible as Gayle pulled the ponytail away. She worked quickly and then held the severed hair aloft.

‘You’ve no idea how much I wanted to do that’ she said, placing a consoling hand on Charlotte’s shoulder.

‘What’ve you done?’ Charlotte asked, a hand reaching up to touch the nothingness at the back of her head. It was ragged, but a large area was effectively bald.

‘Don’t worry, I’m not going to leave it like that’ Gayle said, as if that would offer Charlotte any comfort at all. Charlotte’s hand was clamped to the back of her head in a sort of futile gesture.

‘What’s Dave going to say?’ Charlotte said, almost inaudibly.

‘If he’s anything like my Paul, he’ll tell you to get your knickers off’ I said, receiving surprised looks for my comment.

‘Just saying’ I added.

Attention turned back to Charlotte who looked shell-shocked. Her hand was still trying to come to terms with the sensation of smooth skin extending much higher from her shoulders than she ever would’ve thought.

‘I think she likes it’ Sarah chipped in. All eyes turned to Charlotte to see whether she was going to be more forthcoming than she had been so far.

‘I never would’ve sat down if I’d thought that you’d do that’ she said.

‘Let me tidy it up for you’ Gayle asked.

‘I don’t think she likes you at the moment’ Sarah observed, holding out her hand to take the clippers from Gayle. Sarah put her hand on Charlotte’s shoulder.

‘Don’t worry Charlie. Dave’ll love it. Promise.’

‘He can’t see me like this’ Charlotte said, her hand still busy at the back of her neck.

‘He doesn’t have to. He’s going to see you all smooth and sexy-looking’ Sarah said.

‘Oh fuck’ Charlotte uttered a little louder than she intended.

I watched her eyes close. The clippers seized their opportunity to advance unseen and mowed a strip across the top of Charlotte’s head. I never thought I’d see something like that; perfect Charlotte being dragged into a place that she’d never have entered voluntarily. I knew that I was wet and also knew that I was unlikely to be alone. Charlotte’s eyes stayed firmly closed. The clippers roamed unchallenged.

I caught Gayle’s eye and smiled at her. I mouthed ‘You next’ at her to see her reaction. She shook her head, although it lacked conviction. Sarah was still pre-occupied with getting every last bit of Charlotte’s hair off her scalp, so I sidled up to Gayle.

‘We don’t have to do it now. I could do it for you after work. Just us’ I said.

‘I couldn’t just sit down and let someone do that to me’ she replied.

‘You could stand’ I retorted quickly.

‘I could’ she agreed.

‘You’re standing now.’

‘I am’ she agreed.

‘So you don’t mind if I do this?’ I asked, taking my scissors out of their holster on my belt. She turned to look at Charlotte, who was by now down to the wood. It was a perfect scene; bald stylist with freshly shaven model. I reached up and took hold of a tress at the back of Gayle’s head. I looked at the long, dark corkscrew held between my fingers and reached up with the other hand. I snipped close to her scalp and waited for a reaction which didn’t come. I changed the angle of attack so that the scissors were horizontal, just below ear-length and cut roughly towards the front. Sarah happened to glance backwards just as the scissors reached the front.

‘That’s so not straight’ she commented. He attention was now on Gayle’s face. I would’ve loved to see her expression, but contented myself with a quick raid around the other side, creating a rough helmet-bob. Dark curls lay on the floor at Gayle’s feet. I shuffled round to face her. Her eyes were closed, but she looked serene rather than annoyed or anything like that.

I flicked tendrils of hair down across her face and cut the shortest of bangs for her. I could’ve worked with what there was and created a really edgy style, but that would have to wait for the re-growth. This was probably the only time that she would submit to the clippers, so I held out my hand to Sarah. She passed the baton and I flicked the switch. The clippers went instinctively to Gayle’s forehead and slid backwards. Gayle dipped her chin submissively and stood motionless as I swept her curls away. Charlotte was watching open-mouthed, no longer concerned only for herself and probably glad of a companion in the ‘I can’t believe I’m bald’ camp.

I moved around Gayle with less and less to do as I went.

‘You can open your eyes now’ I said softly, leaning in to her ear.

Her eyes sought out one of the wall mirrors and she shrieked before covering her mouth.

‘Ohmigod!’ she said breathlessly.

‘You’re stunning’ I re-assured her. I watched her run the flat of her hand over her scalp and saw her expression of distaste at the rough sensation.

‘Don’t worry. Sit down and I’ll sort that out for you and then you can be lovely and smooth.’

So it was that when Irene walked into the salon she was met with the sight of two bald stylists shaving the heads of two of her other stylists. She paused.

‘Just make sure you’re ready when the first client arrives’ she said and walked up the stairs to her office. We giggled like schoolgirls, but carried on regardless.

We had just taken the last selfies on Gayle’s and Charlotte’s phones when the first client of the day walked in to reception. She said nothing, but her expression was a picture. Sarah settled her in a chair with the gown around her and then asked ‘How about something different today, Mrs Webster?’ I walked away smiling, wondering what Shelley would think of her colleagues when she was next in the salon. Would she join us? My first job though was to let Ally have some pictures of what she’d missed. What would Brian make of it? I hoped that he choked on his tea and hit ‘Send’.

I took a deep breath, barely able to believe how much had happened in my life in such a short time.

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