Elise glanced at her phone, then set it down on the dresser with its calendar for the next day staring up at her. Her reflection in the large mirror before her also stared back, her petite form clothed in only a short, terrycloth robe and a blanket of her long, lush, brown hair. Her slightly sunkissed locks, silky with just enough swirl to be considered wavy, were thick enough to almost overwhelm her, falling well down her back and in front of her shoulders, the softy curling ends slipping past the bottom of her rib cage as she brushed the natural curtain they formed aside from her leaf-green eyes.
She loved her hair… at least most of the time. In the midst of the summer, not so much. Especially in the midst of a summer when the air conditioner had broken down without any hope of being fixed any time soon.
In that instance, her hair was heavy and oppressive; an obstacle and hinderance to be dealt with in order to find comfort.
But damn if it didn’t look good.
She ran her hands back through it, then twisted them around and gathered her generous mane upward, forming a chaotic twist atop her head with tendrils fighting their way free to tease her neck and ears. Pinning them in place with one hand, she used a massive hair clip to make it a permanent fix, sighing with relief when the willful tresses stayed where she wanted them to.
She turned away from the mirror just in time to see her husband standing in the bathroom doorway, a sudsy frown forming around his toothbrush. “Aww. I wath hope-inn yewd lea it ow-in.”
She crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow as she leaned back against the dresser. “Come again?”
Jon dutifully returned to the sink to spit and rinse out his toothpaste, allowing a nice moment of posterior appreciation on Elise’s part before he turned out the bathroom light and made his way over to her. “I said, I was hoping you’d leave it down tonight.” He leaned in close, pressing his lips to hers as he leaned against the dresser, too, with one hand on each side of her slight frame. It made her feel absolutely tiny compared to his tall form, especially when he had to lean in like he did to kiss her. She loved how that stirred things inside her, like a mouse being played with by a benevolent cat.
“And I was hoping we’d have had the air conditioning fixed by now, so I guess neither of us can get what we want.”
He smiled ruefully before kissing her again, nudging closer to press her against the furniture a little harder. She was close to having to lift her ass up onto the dresser to stay comfortable, but knew once her feet were off the ground she’d lose what little playful leverage she had. She’d be completely at her husband’s mercy, completely his to do with what he pleased…
…Okay, maybe that wouldn’t have been terrible. But she couldn’t just give in that easily, could she?
She pressed her palms to his chest, somehow wanting to both be closer to him because of his heat and further away for the same reason, feeling her pulse picking up as his tongue pushed its way into her mouth. Prickles of sweat started forming on the back of her neck, reminding her what a good idea it was to put her hair up before the horny-assed, dark-haired Adonis had a chance to convince her otherwise.
His smile – that cat who got the canary smile – was back after he ended the embrace.
“Next week was the earliest appointment I could get. Want me to put it on your calendar?” Before she knew it, her phone was in his hand and he made a thoughtful sound. “Haircut tomorrow?”
She nodded, slipping her phone from his hand and dropping it down again. She traced the waistband of his boxers with her free hand. Much to her delight, he took the cue and returned his lips to hers, his fingertips forgetting about her phone as they began playing with the tie that held her robe closed.
His lips parted from hers again, and as they travelled toward her ear he asked, “Am I going to be able to ask you to wear it down afterward, or are you getting it all chopped off?”
She sighed softly as she focused on the fact that his nimble fingers had undone her robe and brushed it open. His weight pressed against her, forcing her back so her legs instinctively spread, and those amazing, incredibly deft fingertips began to tease and caress the softness between her thighs. When she finally comprehended his question, she couldn’t help but giggle.
“I don’t think you have anything to worry about,” she purred.
“Even with how hot it is?” He punctuated his question with a nip of her neck, eliciting a squeal of delight. She wrapped her arms around him, pressing herself close as the fingers of her right hand buried themselves in the back of his soft, shiny hair.
She giggled again, pressing her hips toward his probing fingers. “It’s not a matter of heat. I think it’s more a matter of guts, and my complete lack of them.”
His lips moved from her neck, grazing along her jawline before he looked at her with a furrowed brow. “What do you mean?”
She suddenly felt very small in front of Jon, and wondered how silly she might sound. She shrugged and smiled, trying to play off his suddenly somewhat serious question. “I just mean that even if I was planning on getting an actual cut, I’d probably chicken out. I always do.”
His gaze flicked up toward her hair, and his brow stayed furrowed, though it was joined by a bit of a crooked smile. “You think about it a lot?”
It was her turn to furrow her brow. She’d never have guessed he’d ever want her to cut her hair, not with the way he reacted to how it bounced and flowed around them when they made love. Hell, just when they were watching movies on the couch and his fingers played through it, or when he watched her brush it out before bed at night. “Not really… do you think I should?”
He considered the question, almost chuckling as he traced his fingers along her collarbone until they were brushing her robe back off her left shoulder. He smiled, and she could almost hear the caution with which he approached the question gumming up his thought process. “I think you would look just as amazing with short hair as you do with long hair.”
Elise smiled brightly. “Wow. Talk about splitting the uprights with that answer.”
“I thought you’d like it.” He chuckled, and seized her lips with his own again, pressing his full weight against her, teasing her eager sex with the feel of his rigid cock through his boxers.
“It’s a moot point,” she insisted as he returned to nipping and nibbling her naked, exposed neck. “I’d just ask for a trim anyway, even if I wanted more. Too many people would freak if I did anything crazy.”
She wished she was kidding, but she definitely wasn’t. She couldn’t imagine how her coworkers and friends would react if she ever decided to chop her hair; even the cuts that were barely more than healthy trims received gasps of dismay and admonishments asking how she could think of cutting her shampoo commercial tresses.
Jon kissed her again, deeply and forcefully as he pulled her robe the rest of the way down. “What if it wasn’t up to them? Or you?” he asked. His grin had turned devilish, and she found herself trembling even more within his clutches.
“What… what do you mean?”
He turned her around, letting her look at her reflection as his fingers stroked her vulnerable throat. He nipped her earlobe with his teeth, then teased her neck with more kisses as she pressed her tight little ass back against him. “Let me decide whether you get those gorgeous locks trimmed or chopped.”
She bit her lip, letting the idea of surrendering control to him like that, the same way she was surrendering control as he took her hands and placed them against the dresser, pressing his own down on top as if magically bonding her to the furniture. “A lovely thought,” she admitted, mostly because she knew there’d be no follow through, “but I’d still probably chicken out when the time comes.”
One of his feet pushed her left foot aside, and then her right. His breath was warm against her neck between kisses as he leaned down against her, one hand resting on her shoulder. “I’ll print out a picture for you to give the stylist and put it in an envelope tomorrow morning. Then, you give it to her without looking at it. So you can truly blame me if anyone complains about it being too boring or too exciting. Sound like fun?”
He smiled at her in their reflection, and she eventually locked eyes with herself, eyebrows rising in worry. She had set up a single defense for her beautiful mane – her own cowardice – and he had just knocked it aside with barely a thought.
But… but maybe he’d pick out a long, beautiful style for her, maybe one with layers and sweeping bangs to provide a drastic change from her one-length waves without shocking her too much… She looked at his reflection again, an involuntary moan escaping her worried frown as he pushed his cock into her from behind. She whimpered as he filled her, pushing his hips against her before drawing back so deliciously slowly…
She nodded, trying to murmur and affirmative response but not able to do so as he slammed himself into her. “That’s my girl,” he rumbled. One hand gripped her shoulder, tugging her back against his eager thrusts. The other hand stole the hair clip from her treasured mane, and with a simple flick sent her long, glossy waves cascading down in front of her left shoulder, their soft, shiny tips pooling on the surface of the dresser as they desperately tried to form perfect, beautiful curls, perhaps in one last attempt to whisk away any thoughts of their execution.
Elise wanted to object, wanted to complain and rib her husband for setting her hair free on such a hot muggy night. She wanted to playfully whine about how the heavy bulk would stick to her neck and back, how it’d become slick with sweat as he fucked her, but…. None of that was true. Her husband was a master tactician, and her hair wasn’t in danger of sticking to her back, gathered on the dressertop like it was. No, all it was doing was dancing back and forth, swaying with every thrust and movement her Beloved made behind her, taking that energy and multiplying it as its waves played in the lamplight, showing off its shining glory and teasing her by reminding her of what would be at stake when she handed the chosen photo to her stylist tomorrow.
Slowly it began to fall into her eyes, began to slink forward over her face, hiding how her mouth hung open in desire, pulling close to her with every deep breath and floating away on every released sigh of pleasure. She felt herself tightening around Jonathan as he dominated her petite form, claiming her as his own. She’d given him her beautiful, gorgeous mane… those dancing waves, the swaying tresses that glimmered so beautifully. The idea that she had no control over how she’d look at this point tomorrow – she bit her lip, hard, reminding herself that the broken A/C meant the windows were wide open, and the neighbors weren’t far away.
“No, no, My Love,” Jon told her through gritted teeth. “Let them hear you… let me know how much you’re looking forward to tomorrow.”
To be stubborn, Elise forced herself to stay quiet, forced herself to hold on a bit longer… but when that became impossible, Jon won out, as he always seemed to, and she let the neighborhood know just how damn good that felt.
Giddy anxiousness made the morning routine fly by for Elise, and in what felt like no time at all she was ready for work and heading out the door in her skirt and jacket. A slightly unbuttoned blouse and an impeccably twisted updo were her only consolations to the heat, and she had almost escaped her already-warm house when Jon came down the stairs in his khakis and button-down shirt, holding a small envelope out toward her.
“You didn’t think I’d forget, did you?” he asked.
She licked and bit her bottom lip, almost hesitant to reach out and take the envelope that would seal her magnificent man’s fate. When her eyes moved their focus from the small bit of paper her husband held out to his own eyes, her resolve melted. She took the envelope, running her fingers along its edge.
“No peeking,” he chided her.
She smirked, and raised an eyebrow as she asked, “What if I chicken out?”
“Then we get divorced,” he quickly replied. “Obviously.”
He waited just a beat before smiling, and then bent low for a sweet, soft kiss. “As long as you come home, I’ll be happy. But I’ll be happier if you’re happy, too, so remember this is just for fun. You can drop that in the trash as soon as you get in the office if you want.”
She smiled, feeling a low warmth building in her gut. Definitely not a sensation she needed during a heat wave, but not at all an unwelcome one. “You know I can’t do that,” she told him quietly, loving her need to please him almost as much as his refusal to ever take advantage of it.
He kissed her again, lifting a hand to stroke the naked nape of her neck. “Let your hair down at some point today. Enjoy it while you can, since you may or may not have it for long.”
His wink made her knees weak, and then, as she tucked the envelope into the outer pocket of her shoulderbag, she watched him disappear upstairs again to finish getting ready for his own day.
The mystery photo taunted Elise all day, silently peeking out of the pocket of her bag from where it hung on the back of her door in her office. Her first glances toward it happened within minutes of settling down at her desk for the day. Within a half hour, her tidy French twist was completely undone, transformed into a waterfall of dark, glossy waves that tumbled freely over her right shoulder and reached toward her lap. She found herself stroking it absently for a good portion of the morning, eyeing its reflection in her monitor as she pretended to focus on whatever contracts were the subject of the day’s meetings.
As the hours passed, she began to wonder whether she was subconsciously telegraphing her and Jon’s little game. While she was used to her brunette locks being admired when loose, the lingering looks seemed to be coming in even greater numbers than usual. And she wasn’t naive about her beauty; admiring glances from coworkers often had to be carefully navigated, but there seemed to be a greater abundance of appreciation, for instance, as she strode through the company cafeteria to eat with her friends and colleagues, her near-curls bouncing and swaying in time with the motion of her hips.
She actually had to force herself to mute the pop-pop of her stride, not wanting to make a spectacle of herself as she found her desires and needs unexpectedly riding the waves of admiration to unfortunate heights given the fact that Jonathan wasn’t around to sate them.
Compliments met her graceful waves around every corner, it seemed…
“Can’t let a heatwave get in the way of a good hair day, can we?”
“Seeing the looks you’re getting today almost make me regret my pixie-cut.”
“Have you gotten any calls to be in a shampoo commercial yet?’
“They really should just bottle your color.”
“I’d never have cut my hair if it had been as gorgeous as yours…”
“There are three constants in life: death, taxes, and that Elise is always going to have the same gorgeous, long hair.”
By the end of the day, and an hour or so before her appointment, Elise found herself holding the envelope over the circular trash bin next to her desk. Her long, silky tresses fell forward as she looked down at it, almost hiding the folded paper as if her glorious mane were trying to give her the last push to just drop the photo Jon had printed out and be done with it.
But then, even though it was madness, it felt like she would have spent the day collecting wedding gifts for a ceremony she knew would never happen. Like she would have been lying to everyone who, on some level, might have felt like they were complimenting her hair one last time.
Even the colleague who had said she would always have the same gorgeous long hair seemed to be daring her to make a change, and Elise hadn’t even said anything about her impending appointment.
Flicking her abundant waves back behind her shoulders, Elise took a calming breath. She imagined herself with sideswept bangs, and lush layers that still fell well past her shoulders in a smooth, shiny blowout that would make Hollywood denizens jealous, even if they weren’t quite as long as they were now. She looked at the envelope again and giggled, feeling foolish. It’s not like Jon would have picked a photo of the bald chick from Star Trek. She should trust him.
She did trust him.
Whatever style he picked, she knew he would love her with it, even if no one else did. And that was enough for her.
That said, she couldn’t deny that there was a weird, surprising little thrill in the possibility of everything going wrong…
That, however, was probably a topic best addressed by a therapist rather than a hair stylist.
Gathering her courage, Elise slipped Jon’s envelope back into her bag and turned out her office lights.
As she drove toward the salon and her moment of truth, Elise’s concerns shifted from what style Jon had picked to how she was going to explain the situation. Sure, Rebecca had been styling Elise’s hair for years, but still… it couldn’t be argued that this was going to be an unusual situation. How many women would be willing to take a chance like this?
In the end, she decided that Rebecca’s reaction would simply be another gateway to be navigated by Elise’s fate; if she refused to cut Elise’s hair the way Jon wanted, then that would be that and the little game would end. Maybe that would be the best of both worlds, actually – Elise would get the thrill of submission while being able to keep her beautiful hair.
Fate itself seemed to be waiting patiently just inside the salon’s entry, as one of the stylists stood behind the receptionist, her fingers playing through the magnificent, abundant black tresses that fell all the way down her back. The stylist’s own hair, in stark contrast, was a mop of wild, willful red curls that were just long enough to fall into her eyes and threaten to completely hide her ears. It was as if two of Elise’s possible futures were just hanging out, waiting for her.
Once the stylist noticed Elise, her brows rose with eager anticipation. “Hey – don’t you think Sandi here would look gorgeous with bangs? Shouldn’t she let me chop them for her?”
Elise looked at the poor receptionist with wide eyes, but quickly got the feeling the badgering she was being subjected to wasn’t all that unusual. She did have lovely eyes, even as she rolled them somewhat dismissively, and a beautiful bone structure that deserved to be shown off. But her hair was gorgeous – probably a fringe benefit, so to speak, of working in a salon – and it’d have been a shame to cut any of it off.
The receptionist batted the stylists’s hands away and tossed her hair back, letting it fall in a graceful side parting that left one eye half-hidden in what was probably a far more seductive manner than intended. Elise swallowed softly, wondering whether she’d be able to do the same by the time she left here. “Ignore her,” the receptionist insisted. “How can I help you?”
“She’s mine!” a familiar voice called from the back.
Elise smiled as she looked for Rebecca, and her mouth fell open when she saw her friend and stylist waving her back to her station. Elise’s previous visit provided the shock of seeing first-hand how Rebecca had traded her riotous, brownish-blonde waist-length waves for a short, dark brown combination of a fauxhawk and a pixie. But that style, apparently, had not been destined to last long.
“You’re blonde! I love it!” Elise exclaimed as she circled Rebecca.
The stylist obliged the implied request for a three-sixty, turning this way and that to show off her now honey blonde hair. The waves were a good bit longer than before, fashioned into a stylish mullet, with face-framing lengths and adorable bangs that teased the woman’s doe-brown eyes and kept the length in back from looking completely out of place. Elise had never, ever expected to think a mullet would look good, but… Rebecca was pulling it off.
“Thanks! The boyfriend likes change, so I figured I might as well give it a shot.”
From another of the salon’s stations, the lone male stylist, Brad, chimed in with, “The boyfriend’s a lucky guy.”
Rebecca rolled her eyes and offered to take Elise’s bag, which Elise surrendered after seizing Jon’s envelope from its pocket. Elise slid into Rebecca’s chair, her heart beginning to pound as she looked at her reflection in the mirror. In a moment, the stylist was behind her, fluffing her dark waves and pushing the forward to fall before each of her shoulders.
“So, the schedule says you’re here for a trim, but… you look kind of nervous, so…?” Rebecca raised an eyebrow expectantly, with the beginning of a smile playing at the edges of her lips.
Elise laughed, face-palming for a moment. “I would not be good at poker, I guess.”
“Not especially,” Rebecca replied, her smile full. Her fingers started playing through the length of Elise’s hair, her eyes betraying the number of ideas that were probably already bouncing around behind them. “But don’t worry about it. Lots of people get nervous when they’re thinking about a change. What did you have in mind for one of my favorite heads of hair?”
Elise flipped the envelope around in her fingers. She held it up toward Rebecca, not sure whether she wanted the stylist to actually take it. “My husband had an idea.”
“Okay.” The stylist took the envelope, her brow furrowing as she started opening it. “They often do. It’s just a matter of whether it’s a good one.”
“The thing is,” Elise added hurriedly, “I don’t know what it is.”
One of Rebecca’s eyebrows rose again, almost disappearing under her bangs. She walked around the chair to stand in front of Elise as she finished opening the envelope. “You don’t know?”
Elise shook her head, letting her soft tresses brush against her cheeks. “The idea is that I’d give it to you without knowing what it was so I’d be surprised.”
Immediately playing into the situation, Rebecca pulled the photo from the envelope and covered its back with her hand, providing zero opportunity for Elise to get a clue as to what the photo was of. Elise’s heart pounded as Rebecca’s eyes flicked back and forth between photo and client. Unlike Elises’s, Rebecca’s poker face was immaculate and unreadable. After a few seconds, her lips scrunched to the left, and she made a thoughtful sound.
Elise swallowed the lump in her throat, and lifted her own eyebrows in anticipation.
“It’s a good idea,” Rebecca said. “At least I think it is. Brad! Second opinion, please? Don’t give any hints as to what it is, though. Just an approval or not.”
The male stylist appeared a moment later, receiving a brief explanation that Elise didn’t know what the picture was. He managed to keep a solid poker face as well, with his perfectly chiseled features providing nothing readable. “Yep, that would definitely work.”
And with that, he was gone again and Elise found herself under a stern gaze. Rebecca gave the picture one more look, and then said, “Now, considering my own history when it comes to changing hairstyles at someone else’s whim, this might seem slightly hypocritical, but I’m not one hundred percent comfortable with the idea of styling a client’s hair at someone else’s request when the client has no idea what the end result will be.”
Elise nodded, unwilling to speak given the tumultuous mixture of disappointment and relief wrestling within her chest. She sat silently as Rebecca moved behind her, pulling her long hair back behind her shoulders so she could spread a white cape out across her lap.
“That said, you’re my last client of the day, so I think we could have some fun with this.” She gathered Elise’s thick wealth of hair up, motioned for Elise to hold it in place, and then fastened the cape tightly around her neck. “So, what I can do is cut your hair in a couple different styles, gradually getting shorter, and if you find yourself as short as you’re willing to go, you can stop me there. Sound good?”
Here it was – the moment of truth. The exact decision she’d kind of been hoping to avoid through all of this, but it still somehow wound up in her lap anyway.
Elise took a long look at her reflection, at the shiny hair falling down over her shoulders and chest, framing her face in sweet, sexy waves.
She nodded, sending chills up and down her spine in the same way it sent rippled through her silky locks.
Rebecca smiled. “Perfect. Let’s get started, then.”
Within a few minutes, Elise’s hair had been meticulously combed and most of it was piled atop her head, carefully sectioned and clipped into place by a very efficient and focused Rebecca. Elise tried to take calming breaths, her sweaty palms squirming against the armrests of the stylist chair beneath the cape as Rebecca worked. She knew every twisted and clipped section brought her closer and closer to being cut off from the lovely compliments she’d received all day, and her pounding heart made it hard to swallow when Rebecca placed her fingertips on either side of Elise’s head from behind and gently positioned it perfectly.
“Here we go,” the stylist whispered – there was no confirmation requested, no query as to whether Elise was ready. Just the one whispered warning that barely preceded the first long “shnikt” of Rebecca’s shears. There was a short pause afterward, just long enough for a smiling Rebecca to hold up a long, silky lock of Elise’s hair that was no longer attached to her head. The stylist dropped it in front of Elise’s shoulder, letting the severed hair slide slowly toward her lap.
Elise held her breath as she tried to look at the shorn tress. She couldn’t be sure, but it seemed like it was almost a foot in length — and this was just Rebecca’s most conservative cut! She said there’d be a couple of styles, which meant Jon had picked one that was even shorter… As the shears continued their insistent journey across the width of Elise’s back, she mentally sorted through the various styles she had worn her hair in over the course of her relationship with Jon. What was the shortest she’d ever had it that he’d seen?
The list of style was quite short, she realized. She’d had it long and one-length since college… since high school, really. She’d always been a long-haired girl.
At least until today.
More and more of Elise’s hair was let down as Rebecca worked, and more and more was cut off as her shears clicked and clacked together. The weight of Elise’s thick mane grew noticeably lighter with every passing minute, and she couldn’t avoid noticing the glances toward the floor that every passing person cast, some with widened eyes and others with impressed rises of their brows.
Elise couldn’t be sure at first, but it seem like every lock of hair free from the clips atop her head was being cut shorter than the one before it, with the severed lengths floating to the floor or sliding down the suddenly suffocating cape into her lap.
Elise bit her lip as she watched that pile grow and grow – a mere fraction of the hair that was being cut away from her trademark locks, but so, so significant already. By the time Rebecca released the last of the clipped section and stepped in front of Elise, the shorn locks were almost twice as long as the first ones. The very last remaining locks were gathered together in front of Elise’s face, and with one quick, merciless crunch, left reaching barely past her chin. Again and again Rebecca’s comb ran through them, and her blades stole away a few more quick snips before her fingers brushed the new chin-length bangs back. Her fingertips then swept down under Elise chin, tilting her face upward as Rebecca gave a long, examining gaze and a muted grunt of approval.
The stylist stepped aside, motioning toward the mirror and saying, “Stage one. What do you think?”
Because of the slinky, sexy sideswept bangs, Elise could only see with one eye, but what she took in was simply stunning – the heavy one-length style was long gone, replaced with gorgeous, flowing layers ranging from just below her shoulders to about mid-chest, reaching just a bit longer when she swept the rear layers forward and over her shoulder. Moving her part from the middle to the side seemed to change her entire face shape, somehow making her petite features more prominent despite the immediate amount of hair around them kind of being the same. She tucked her silky locks behind her ears, smiling as the pure-sex bangs slid forward again, providing a femme fatale look she’d never felt she had before.
The volume and lift the layers gave her hair was unbelievable. Why hadn’t she tried this sooner?
“I love it.”
“So you’d like to stay with this?” Rebecca asked. She gathered the sides back, lifting them away from Elise’s cute little ears in a bit of a preview of how she’d look with it all swept up and just the bangs floating free. In her usual twists for work, Elise doubted anyone would even be able to tell she’d had it cut.
“It looks beautiful, and I want a couple photos for future reference, but I think we can keep going.”
Rebecca smiled and nodded, tucking her own hair back behind her ears before taking a few quick photos with Elise’s phone.
Elise sighed softly, closing her eyes when Rebecca started combing her hair out again. She thought of the pictures that were just taken, and hoped they didn’t become a source of regret in the coming days. Even though Jon hadn’t picked the style, he definitely would have loved it – the peek-a-boo bangs would drive him crazy, and the shortened length would have left her breasts almost completely naked and vulnerable to his attacks – no more teasing mermaid locks for Elise.
By the time the combing ended, Elise’s center part had returned, allowing her hair to flow evenly in front of each of her shoulders.
“Layers are nice,” Rebecca told her, “but they can be a hassle to style, too.”
Without fanfare, the stylist’s silver shears slipped into Elise’s thick locks just below her right collarbone and began to cut away. Progress was slow but consistent, sending sheaths of hair down into Elise’s awaiting lap with every crunching cut. Summer highlights collected over the years yielded to the sharp blades, deepening the lovely shades of brown left behind.
The complex fanciness and beauty of the layered style faded away with each cut, even moreso as the tumbling, wavy layers in front of her left shoulder joined those that once cascaded in front of her right. Rebecca’s comb quickly gathered Elise’s remaining hair back, and steadying hands on either side of her head prepared her for a quick, smooth, tidying cut just below where her neck became her shoulders.
Elise found herself catching her breath. Her beautiful hair… it felt like half of it, if not more, was gone – just gone. The fancy braids and twists she used to do… were only things she used to do now. She tried to remember the last time her hair was this short as Rebecca stepped in front of her again, gathering a cluster of silky locks forward to merge with the beautiful peek-a-boo bangs.
Grade school, she decided. Right before she realized high school boys would probably like long, flowing, cheerleader locks… Suddenly the sight of silver in front of her eyes snapped her back to the present, right before Rebecca’s blades snapped together, shearing away the long, sexy bangs Elise had just been given. What remained hung just long enough to softly ride Elise’s eyelashes as she blinked in disbelief.
“Something new for you, right?” Rebecca asked, carefully trimming away another half inch or so. She chipped into them with the tips of her scissors just a bit, and then carefully neatened them with her comb before stepping aside.
Elise nodded, and then gasped when she saw her reflection – gone was the sexy seductress who had been there just a few minutes ago, replaced with a sweet, innocent college girl who’d just chopped off her long hair to look more professional in interviews. It was such a simple style, without any layers whatsoever… and she never realized how much her cheekbones could stand out.
Rebecca stepped behind her. “The beauty of this is that it’ll look great wavy, curly, or straight. And the bangs really make those beautiful green eyes of your pop.”
Elise had to force herself to nod in agreement, too afraid to lift her hands to play with the remaining length for fear of making it all real. “But this still isn’t it, is it?”
Rebecca gave a teasing grin and shook her head. She gathered the thick, dark, locks back into a ponytail, one that seemed so incredibly short compared to what it had once been. Instead of teasing her waist, it could now barely tease her shoulders. “You can still get a ponytail, though, and some cute braids and updos. Want to stop here?”
A deep breath steadied Elise’s heartbeat. She shook her head.
Rebecca nodded. “Good girl.”
The stylist’s hold of Elise’s ponytail never faltered, and after a few teasing snaps of the empty shears, Elise felt them begin to chew through the base of the gathered tresses. The crunching seemed to grow louder and louder as more and more of her silky soft hair started to slide forward to tease her jawline. It went on far longer than Elise thought possible, but eventually, finally, the tension was released and she found herself staring at a version of herself who had just had her amazing, immaculate, envy-inducing mane reduced to a ragged bob that hung unevenly just past her chin.
Her brow knitted together and lifted, as she released an embarrassingly tiny whimper. She whimpered again when Rebecca set the ponytail in her lap atop the pile of previously shorn locks. It was pathetically small, but just the idea – no, the FACT – that it was the last ponytail she wore for who-knew-how-long… everything seemed so much more real now. How long would it be until she could tuck her hair back behind her shoulders again? Heck, how long until she could feel it against her shoulders again?
As Elise fought off her panic, Rebecca stepped around her and began to fiddle with more tools at her work station. “Now, I don’t want you to panic when you see these, but because your hair is so thick, I want to use the clippers to give you a bit of an undercut.”
Elise’s eyes widened at the sight of the clippers.
Just….holy crap. How the heck had she gone from the woman with sex kitten, shampoo commercial hair just last night to having clippers used on her today? How did she just give up so many YEARS of dedication to her beautiful locks?
What was she thinking? What was Jon thinking, for that matter?
She sighed softly. “Why not?”
Rebecca patted her shoulder softly. “Trust me.”
A few clips were called into action to spare what little remained of Elise’s hair until only the truncated tresses covering her nape remained free. Elise swallowed nervously when the clippers were picked up, and braced herself against their shocking roar when they came to life. Soon after, their nibbling teeth were set against her nape, launching a thousand unexpected chills and thrills down her spine, sending tingling burst toward her toes and fingers and other places as they moved upward, their pitch changing drastically when they met her generous, healthy mane and quickly sheared it away. A glance in the mirror provided a glimpse of the sheer volume of locks that Rebecca was tossing aside as she worked, each slow pass moving higher and higher up the back of Elise’s head as she nervously gripped the arm rests.
This time, when the clippers were set aside and her remaining locks were set free once more, generous spritzes of water rendered them wet and straight. Rebecca worked meticulously on the ragged ends that framed Elise’s petite features, shaping and snipping and sculpting them into a sharp, thick chin-length bob. When seemingly satisfied with the sides, she combed Elise’s new bangs forward again and again, gradually gathering more of her longer locks forward, thickening the curtain more and more until Elise couldn’t even see her reflection anymore.
“The gift of having such thick hair,” Rebecca told her, “is how amazingly thick we can make your bangs.”
Elise held her breath, and then felt the cool steel of Rebecca’s shear against her forehead. They were high, maybe a half inch or more above her eyebrows, and they moved eagerly, hungrily across her forehead. The thick, dark hair obscuring Elise’s view melted away, turning into a heavy, thick, solid and evenly cut fringe with every snip.
“Oh my god,” Elise whispered.
“I know. They’re statement bangs, to say the least. No hiding behind them at all,” Rebecca said. She took tiny perfectionist snips at what remained. “I know it’s a shock. It definitely was for me when I got the same kind.”
“I feel like I’ve seen seven versions of me so far…”
Rebecca giggled. “But it’s kind of fun, right?”
Elise managed to nod. Her hair had remained perfectly straight as it dried, maybe a result of Rebecca’s constant combing and fussing. The stylist never stopped cutting after finishing the ultra-thick bangs; whether she forgot to check in with Elise or just didn’t care anymore, Elise didn’t know. The only certainty was that more and more of her hair kept falling away–first with small, careful snips that lifted her serious business-woman bob into one that would have been worn by a flapper girls in the 1920s, barely hiding her ears and definitely not hiding her clippered nape.
Following that, generous use of the thinning shears sent clouds of beautiful brown hair floating to the floor and Elise’s shoulders, giving her a super cute, soft, layered look that was just barely long enough to tuck behind her ears. Elise couldn’t help but imagine how long it would take to get her full mane back… definitely years. But with shape-ups and trims… she’d probably be over 30 by the time she had anything close to the length she woke up with that morning.
And that was when she realized Rebecca had switched back to her regular shears – she was just blowing through any metaphorical stop signs now, not even pretending to be interested in stopping at anything other than what Jonathan had asked for.
Oh god, Jonathan had actually asked for something even shorter than a flapper bob? Elise couldn’t believe the thought hadn’t occurred to her before, but as a deafening crunched sounded next to her left ear and she watched the last measurable length of hair begin the be shorn away, she couldn’t comprehend the idea that Jon wanted her hair to be this short. He’d never hinted at it, not once…
And here she was, sitting in a stylist’s chair, and there was Rebecca, following Jon’s orders, using her comb to lift the last of Elise’s beautiful, flowing mane away from her ears so it could be shorn away practically right against her head. She watched Rebecca work, she watched her hair float away, and watched the scissors clack together as they moved round her head, first leaving her right ear completely bare, then blending the back into her clippered nape, and then baring her left ear in turn.
Jon had wanted her pixied. The doting, loving husband who she thought adored her beautiful crowning glory had wanted her to chop it all off. No more ponytails, no more braids… no more updos or twists.
No more feeling his fingers slip through her silky mane’s length.
To Elise’s relief, Rebecca no longer used the comb to capture her hair as the scissors crested the crown of her head, Instead she trapped the soft locks between her fingers a small distance from her scalp. Sure, it was terrifying to see the somehow-impressive length that remained being shorn away – would she even need a comb or brush anymore at this point? – but at least her top wouldn’t be as shorn and short as the sides and back.
She was pretty sure she’d have passed out if the clippers came close to the top of her head.
Beautiful locks of hair continued to rain down as Rebecca worked, her hands moving closer and closer to Elise’s freshly cut bangs. Elise tried to ignore the growing pile in her lap, focusing instead on how both Rebecca and Brad agreed that the chosen style would look great on her. Neither had hesitated, she reminded herself.
And neither had given her even a clue how drastic the change was going to be. She was sure whether she should credit them or curse them.
All of it. Just…gone.
The crunching and snipping just kept going and going until even her bangs, the thick, short, heavy blanket of bangs that barely hid her forehead, were lifted and shorn away. Elise gasped at the expanse of her forehead that was being bared. Rebeccas’s shears followed, directly against her skin and moving at a sharp upward angle, to clip away even more.
She looked up at Rebecca with her mouth agape – the stylist’s hair was so much longer than her own now. Hell, even Jon’s hair was going to be so much longer than hers.
Rebecca playfully closed Elise’s mouth, and smiled as she reached for the envelope. She pulled the picture out and handed it, face-down, to Elise. “I think it’s safe for you to see it now.”
Elise hesitated, looking at her pixie-wearing reflection as Rebecca added a few last touches, carefully chipping some movement into the super short locks. Elise flipped the printed photo over, smiling when she saw a short-haired Emma Watson staring back at her.
The cape loosened round her neck, and Elise held her hands out to the sides so Rebecca could pull it away, dumping an unbelievably massive amount of shiny brown locks onto the floor. The sight stole Elise’s breath again, and she struggled to get her heart under control.
“So you really had no idea he’d think of something this short?”
Elise slid from the chair, shaking her head as she stepped toward the mirror. The style wasn’t an exact mimic; it was clippered far shorter in back and Elise had been left with some really cute, curling bits in front of each ear, but there would be no mistaking what the inspiration of her new look was.
Oh god, the questions she would get at work. None of them would regard the style itself; they’d all be about the ‘why.’
“Why would you cut your hair so short? Why would get rid of such beautiful hair? What was it like to have it all cut off?”
And, as she looked at herself in the mirror, she realized she’d have to decide whether to tell them the truth. Would she say she just felt like she needed a change and it was time for something new, or would she be honest and say her Beloved had made the decision? That he would never give her an order but that every word carried the weight of a command, and she could no more ignore his request to shear away her prized, treasured hair than she could ignore the need to breath?
Her fingers slid up the back of her neck and over her nape, playing with the brutally short, thick locks at her crown and then starting again at her forehead, sliding back through the soft tresses, leaving some standing at attention while others slowly returned to gently caress the very top of her forehead, ceding any and all attention to her big green eyes and freckled nose.
Biting her lip, she looked down at the pile of her shorn, discarded hair – no, it wasn’t hers. It had become Jon’s the moment she accepted the envelope from him this morning.
And now he was at home, waiting to see what she had done with is suggestion, his command.
A soft cough behind her snapped her out of her reverie.
“Oh shit. Sorry.”
Elise looked around the salon, grateful to see that they were alone.
“I was gonna suggest we lighten up your color just a bit with some highlights, but I get the feeling you want to get home, so… let’s get you washed up and out of here.”
The shampoo had a surreal quality to it, given how little hair was actually left to be washed. As always, Rebecca’s fingers were near magical in their movements and gentle pressure, but it… it just happened so quickly! Elise felt like she’d barely gotten settled into the chair before it was all over and hair short, short hair was being towel-dried.
And towel drying was all that was really needed!
Despite the heat, Elise kept her car windows down a she drove home, giggling now and then at the unfamiliar sensation of the wind blowing across her ears and clippered nape. And having her hair wind-mussed wasn’t even a concern now.
She wondered how many of these discoveries she’d make in the coming days, how often she’d shock herself with a glance in the mirror or when she habitually tried to tuck hair that was no longer there back behind her ear.
She still couldn’t believe Jon had asked for this… he had actually asked for her to be completely shorn and cropped, to be made almost unrecognizable to anyone who knew her.
Every red light on the way home brought another glance in her rearview mirror, and another giggle and flush of disbelief. Every feature that had once been the supporting cast of her gorgeous hair was no front and center, and she guessed that it was more than likely she’d need to have her I.D. ready next time she tried to buy alcohol. No, she didn’t look like a teenager by any means, but, along with feet of her hair, it seemed like years had been shorn from her appearance. She would need to make sure she applied her make-up in the right way to be taken seriously in the office. She’d have to completely relearn how to present herself as a cutie, or a vixen, or a professional.
The feelings all of these thoughts gave her were both unreal and unexpected. By the time she pulled into her driveway and parked behind Jon’s car, she was ready to pounce him and pin him to the floor for hours. Granted, he was usually the one who took charge, but… things within her had been set in motion, and it was all his fault.
He owed her for going through with this.
He was in the kitchen when she slammed the door open, startling and almost dropping the pan of chicken breasts he was about to put in the oven. His eyes widened when he saw her, a wide smile gracing his handsome face. “Holy cow. I didn’t really expect…”
He never got to finish. Elise tossed her shoulderbag onto the couch and dropped her jacket to the floor. Her blouse joined the jacket by the time she stormed to her husband. She shoved the yet-to-be-cooked dinner aside and grabbed him by the lapels of his shirt, yanking his lips down to hers in a hungry desperate kiss. He gave into her whims willingly, cupping her ass with one hand and lifting her up as her leg lifted against his waist. His other hand found its way to her nape, caressing and exploring and holding as she squealed and moaned against his lips.
Rebecca’s teasing fingertips had been one thing, but the simplest touch from her husband against the clippered remains of her hair…. Suddenly Elise realized the lack of locks for him to run his fingers through simply would not be a problem worth worrying about.
“Upstairs, now,” she ordered. “Dinner can wait.”
This wound up being much longer than planned, so my apologies if it dragged. That said, I do hope you liked it, and if you’re new to my stuff I hope you weren’t confused by the cameos of past characters.
Anyhow, comments and critiques are welcome — I really appreciate hearing what you liked (if anything) or think could be done better. You never know what will strike future inspiration!