Here is part two to my thriller/barbershop series, The Barbershop Assistant. Below is the link to the first part. If you enjoy this, check out my profile to see my other series and stand-alone stories!
A New Life
Her short brown hair dampened with sweat, Cara brushed the wet bangs away from her tanned forehead. Sweat glistened on the short stubble of her nape as she ran her hand upward, causing a fine mist to spray into the air. Never before had she worked this hard. But she loved it.
Cara Thompson, who had formerly been known as Caroline Woodwick, was lugging trash bag after trash bag of hair into the dumpster in the back. The hot, humid Alabama day seemed to suck every bit of energy and moisture from her body as she worked. She had never truly worked before, being the daughter of wealthy parents and then the recipient of a large inheritance when her rich parents had passed. But in her new life, Cara worked long hours for low pay. And still, she loved it.
For the first time in her life, Cara felt free. She freely walked outside without sunscreen, allowing her once perfect porcelain skin to freckle and tan, her face now covered from forehead to chin in a splash of freckles. Her long red hair was gone, replaced by a short, masculine style that was re-dyed brown weekly. Privileged no longer, she earned every dollar she made.
Cara and her boss, Rick, had grown close over the previous few weeks. Not as close as she hoped as she had developed strong feelings for him. Maybe it was the fact that he was so strong and reliable and that he cared for her. Or perhaps it was the fact that she was the survivor of abuse and latched onto anything that felt safe. It was also likely that it was due to the fact that he was the man who had taken her long hair and awakened a powerful fetish within her. Whatever it was, she liked the man who was nearly fifteen years her senior. And she was pretty sure that he liked her back.
“Are you done with the trash yet?” Rick asked through the opened back door of his barbershop.
”Almost, just these two bags,” Cara said, slinging the bags into the dumpster.
“Let’s go, assistant! I’m ready to get out of here. If you want to run to the grocery store with me, you’ve gotta learn how to move,” he jokingly shouted at the short haired young woman.
”Yes sir!” Cara said, scurrying in through the door that her boss held open for her.
Once inside, Rick threw a towel at his short haired assistant’s head. She pulled it off and looked at him with a confused smile.
”Wipe sweat off so I can put some more product in your hair. I can’t have you going out in public with me if your hair is a mess. What would that say about me as a barber?” he said, with a smirk on his chiseled face.
”Why yes, we can’t have that, but why not just buzz it all off so I don’t have to mess with styling it anymore?” the young woman on the run asked with a giggle.
”Not yet,” the tall Army veteran replied with a wink.
Towel drying her short hair, Cara could hardly believe that she had so willingly asked to have her hair buzzed off. Just a month and a half ago, she had beautiful long red hair, perfect porcelain skin, stunning blue eyes, and always perfect makeup. Although technically under her brown colored contacts her eyes were still blue, none of the other things were as they were. Nothing in her life was either.
Caroline Woodwick, the young socialite turned battered girlfriend to a wealthy young man with connections to the criminal underworld had fled. After she shot and wounded her abuser. She had been taken in by the town barber, Rick, in a small Alabama town hours away from the big city she had fled from. An ex-Green Beret, Rick had immediately picked her out as a fugitive but believed her story. Now helping her live a life in hiding, he had completely transformed her look. He had also completely transformed her life. It might be difficult and monetarily poor but, it was better.
Now, Cara Thompson, the drifter brunette with a perfectly barbered faded undercut stepped in front of the man she was growing to love so he could slick her short hair back with a heavy dose of product and a comb. He massaged what she always thought of as hair goop into the short hair of her crown. Taking a comb he pushed her dark hair back, revealed her tanned and freckled forehead.
Sufficiently plastered into place he nodded in satisfaction. “All better. Let’s go get you some food. And maybe you should buy some extra clothes, yours are getting pretty worn out. Three outfits from a thrift shop does not a wardrobe make,” he jokingly chided the younger woman.
“Well maybe if you didn’t work me so hard my wardrobe wouldn’t get worn out so quick,” she said, nudging him with her shoulder as she passed.
Six weeks ago, she would have been emotionally wrecked if a man she was interested in had locked her clothing like that but not anymore. Gone were the cares and worries of always looking perfect. Looks and appearances were not a worry in her new world. She rarely wore any makeup beyond mascara and eyeliner and that was only to remind people that she was a girl. With short hair and loose fitting clothing that concealed her womanly curves, it was an easy mistake to make.
Climbing into the passenger seat of his old pickup truck, she used the hand crank to roll the window down. No air conditioning for the old fashioned man who drove her to the local Walmart. Old fashioned except for his sexual desires. Rick loved a woman just like Cara. Short, masculine hair, complete submission in terms of hair and style, and a perfect body hidden under imperfect clothes.
”So, when are you planning on finally asking me out? We’ve been flirting for weeks and I see that hard on that you get every time you do my hair,” she asked him, putting a hand on his thigh.
He looked down at her hand and she saw the all to familiar bulge form in his shorts. She craved what was underneath the fabric but he always seemed to keep it just out of her grasp. This time he didn’t push her hand away.
“Caroline, I just-,” he said before halting.
She cocked her short haired head to the side as she looked at him. He never called her by her real name, forcing the two of them to never accidentally slip up.
”You mean Cara?” she suggested.
”Right, Cara, sorry. Cara, I just don’t know if I’m ready yet. It has nothing to do with you. I actually like you a lot but-,” again he hesitated.
“It’s ok, Rick. Just know I’m waiting. Whenever you’re ready, I’m ready. Like I’m really ready,” she said with an exaggerated nod of her head.
He chuckled and looked at her fondly, “Thanks. Now let’s go get you some clothes. Maybe even some stuff that actually fits you. I think more guys would come see us if they had something good to look at.”
Her mouth dropped open in mock shock, “Rick!”
He winked at her affectionately, “Oh you know I’m joking.”
She smiled at him as they pulled into the parking lot. They got out of the truck and walked in through the entrance.
”I’m going to get you some essential groceries, why don’t you go find some clothes. And maybe find an outfit for a date. Nothing too fancy but get something girly,” he said, taking a shopping cart and walking toward the grocery section of the store.
Cara smirked and wrinkled her freckled nose at him before walking into the clothing section. At one time she would have been horrified at the prospect of even entering a grocery store like this one but now she actually found that there were clothes she liked. And not just for their ability to conceal her appearance.
She picked out several graphic tees, a couple pairs of blue jeans, and a flannel shirt. Then, though, she was drawn to a rack of sundresses. She found one, sleeveless with yellow flowers on a white background. Picking up the first she could find, it was miraculously her size. Placing it over her arm she saw something that shocked her.
Standing in the clothing section was a young woman in expensive clothes with long wavy brown hair that hung down to her waist. She had an expensive bag on her arm but for some reason, she was looking at the same kind, plain, inexpensive clothes that the short haired barber’s assistant was shopping for.
Cara was even more shocked when the young woman turned around. Seeing her face, Cara immediately recognized her. It was a girlfriend of one of her ex-boyfriend’s close, criminal friends. Jacqueline something.
The girl in hiding knew that Jacqueline had been in a similar situation to her. They had never spoken about it but she had been able to recognize all of the signs. Throwing caution into the wind, she walked by the lost looking brunette woman.
”Meet me by the old baby blue Chevy in the parking lot in twenty minutes,” she muttered as she passed her.
”Wait, who are you?” Jacqueline whispered after her.
Cara hurried to find Rick who was picking out frozen meals that he knew his short haired assistant enjoyed. Still clutching the clothes she had picked out, she grabbed him by the arm.
”Rick, I need your help,” she hissed as she nervously looked around.
Instinctively the former soldier placed a hand over the pistol that he always kept concealed in his waistband.
”What is it? Did they find you?” he hissed, eyes darting around the frozen food aisle.
”No, not that,” she said, pulling his hand away from his weapon.
”Don’t scare me like that,” he sighed.
”I found somebody who I think needs help. Someone like me,” she whispered as she did her best to casually look at the food options in front of her.
”What did you do?” he asked suspiciously.
”I may have told this somebody to meet me at your truck in twenty minutes,” she admitted with an apologetic grin, trying to win him over by being intentionally cute.
He rolled his eyes, “Is it somebody that would recognize you if you looked like you used to?”
“I think so. She didn’t see me though. But she looked desperate and I know she was in a relationship like I was,” she said, hoping to convince the practical man to help.
”Fine. Act natural. Put your clothes in the cart. If this looks good to you, we’ll go check out and we should be out at the truck in time to meet up with this person,” he said, pointing into the shopping cart.
Cara smiled innocently and kissed him on the cheek, “Thank you, Rick.”
”Whatever,” he said as he smirked and rolled his eyes.
“Oh and I like the sundress,” he said as they walked to the front.
Her freckled cheeks were still blushing at his compliment as she purchased her groceries and new clothes. Walking out to the truck, they saw the fancily dressed brunette sitting on the tailgate, clearly uncomfortable in the hot sun.
”Who are you?” she asked as the two shoppers approached her.
”We’re people who want to help. You’re running from something, aren’t you?” Cara replied with a question.
“What? No-,” the long haired woman answered before hesitating.
”Cut the bullshit,” Rick said, firmly interrupting her.
The woman held her mouth open as if she was going to say something but couldn’t seem to find the words. Cara finally spoke up.
”You probably don’t recognize me but I’m running from something too. I knew you before I left,” the former redhead said.
”Oh my god! You’re-,” Jacqueline said but was cut off by Rick.
”Don’t say any names!” he said hurriedly. “This is Cara and she has asked me to help you like I have been helping her. Get in the truck.”
Nodding, the trio entered got in the truck and drove back to Rick’s barbershop as the sun began to set.
Another Runaway’s Transformation
“What happened to you? You don’t even look like the same person!” Jacqueline exclaimed as they drove into the parking lot of Rick’s shop.
”Exactly what is about to happen to you. I know you’re running from the same problem I did and if you’re going to escape, you can’t look like you,” Cara said as she got out of the truck.
”Wait, what? You’re going to make me look like a man? I mean, no offense,” the vain young woman stuttered.
Rick spoke up as he opened the door and guided the woman inside, “Now you don’t have a choice. You know that she’s here. If somebody from y’all’s old life finds you, she’s at risk. I won’t let you do that. So you’re going to sit in that chair and you’re going to gratefully take whatever I give you and whatever help I can find you. So sit.”
Cara felt her heart flutter watching the strong man take charge the way he did so well. He walked into the back room where she slept, pulling out a cell phone to make some important call.
”Is he always like that?” Jacqueline asked snidely.
If a person could have hearts over their eyes, Cara would have. “He is,” she sighed longingly.
”Oh my god, you’re into him aren’t you?” the woman who would soon be losing her long locks asked.
“So what if I am? He’s a lot better than what I left,” the smitten ex-redhead defensively said.
”You’re what gave me the courage to finally leave,” Jacqueline said, now serious.
”He was going to kill me. Maybe not that day but some day. I’m glad you saw the light too. I know that changing your look like I have is scary but the freedom is worth it. Rick will know what to do,” Cara said reassuringly.
Rick emerged from the back and immediately began to work on Jacqueline. He gathered her long hair up in a clip and placed a tissue paper strip around her neck. Cara recognized this as a sign that her former acquaintance turned runaway was going to be losing a lot of hair. He then draped the same black cape across her body that he had first used on Cara back when she went by a different name.
“I have a friend who can take you in. He’s got a job for you in a tattoo parlor as a receptionist. He just has one condition, you need to fit the part,” Rick said, sectioning out a two inch wide section down the middle of Jacqueline’s head.
“What does that mean?” the young woman in the chair asked nervously.
”It means you’re getting a mohawk. I’ll leave it a few inches long and I’m dying it black. You’ll have to start doing goth style makeup and you’ll be getting some tattoos and piercings too. But that’ll be when you get there. I’m just changing your hair, Cara is doing your makeup and we’re sticking you on a greyhound bus,” Rick said casually but firmly.
“A mohawk? Piercings and tattoos? This is too much!” Jacqueline said, trying to stand up just as Cara had just a few weeks prior.
”Sit down,” Rick commanded with his best Sergeant First Class voice as he pushed her shoulder down.
”Yes sir,” she squeaked.
”Your friend was nice enough to offer to help you, at great risk to herself. You will not put her in danger by not committing to this,” he said as he grabbed his clippers.
Cara found herself growing aroused at the sight of Rick’s steadfast response. Nobody had ever protected her that way. And it was something about how he was about to take this pretty young woman’s hair away, forcefully if need be. It awakened feelings in her that were similar to what she felt when he cut and dyed her hair. She moved behind the counter and sat on a stool to watch in a place where she could hide her hands.
Tears quickly began to run down Jacqueline’s cheeks as she sat for her shaving. Rick started on her left side, shaving up from under her long locks with his guardless clippers. They came up through the hair just as he reached the edge of the mohawk, right at the front of her hairline. Left behind was pale skin and a shadow of stubble.
Cara slipped her hand into the waistband of her loose fitting jeans, reaching her clit which she began to massage with her middle finger as she watched. Chocolate brown hair cascading down onto the ground made her pleasure increasingly difficult to hide but she did her best. Jacqueline was certainly focused on other things.
She did a good job keeping herself from sobbing but tears streamed down her face, taking mascara with it. A few long hairs stuck to her face but Rick casually brushed them away. This was just another day at work for him while it was the end of her whole world. At least it probably looked like that to the girl in the chair. But the girl behind the counter knew that he was enjoying the process as much as she was. Well maybe a little less because the watching young woman got to help herself along as she observed the huge change occurring.
Rick folded Jacqueline’s ear down and shaved around it, making sure he took away every trace of hair from the left side of her mohawk. He finished and moved over to the right side and begun shaving it in the same way he started shaving the first side. Mouth open in awe, the brunette with a half shaved head reached up and felt the stubbly skin of her scalp as Rick finished his first strip.
“Oh god,” she whispered softly as her fingers felt what would be her new style for the foreseeable future.
Cara delighted in her shock and swallowed down a moan as she reached climax. Rick looked up and smirked at her knowingly. Her face flushed as she hastily pulled her hand out of her pants. Bowing her head, she continued to watch, still feeling the throbbing in her crotch.
Rick finished Jacqueline‘s right side as swiftly as he finished the first. She now had a waist length mohawk that would soon be cut down to size. How long it would be, only Rick knew. He unclipped the long hair and let it fall down. It hung down the right side of her face as she stared at herself in the mirror.
”I can’t believe that’s me,” she said shakily.
”Well you’re not done yet,” Rick said as he took a spray bottle and began to wet her hair.
Crestfallen, she could only utter a soft, “Oh.”
Taking his razor sharp scissors, Rick began pulling hair up and snipping it off. It looks like he was going for a fairly long mohawk. Maybe six inches long everywhere. All around her face, hair cascaded down. It stuck to her cheeks, fell in her lap, rested on her shoulders as though her hair itself was intentionally trying to hammer home the fact that it was being cut off.
Finished with her cut, Rick began to apply a deep black dye to her hair. The dye was darker than any night Cara had ever seen. It completely washed out any color that Jacqueline had in her skin, making her look pale and gothic, even without the makeup that the assistant would apply.
Finishing his application of the dye, Rick looked to his assistant and gave her a nod. Cara emerged from behind the counter and, after washing her hands, removed the remaining makeup from the newly mohawked girl’s face. She then began to apply heavy makeup, using a foundation that was a shade too light, pencilling in her brows with a black shade. Next was a dark, heavy eyeliner, with smoky eyeshadow. Finally she applied black lipstick, completing her transformed look. Mostly.
Cara looked up from admiring her work with a puzzled look on her face. “Rick, what about her clothes?”
Rick looked up from his cell phone which he was using to buy bus tickets. “You’re right. Give her a set of your grungiest looking thrift shop clothes. We’ll sell what she’s wearing now at a resale shop and send the money to her when she gets to Atlanta.”
Jacqueline was too stunned looking at herself in the mirror to even hear the barber say where her new home would be. “So your friend is in Atlanta? Will she be safe there?” Cara asked.
”She’ll be fine. He was a team leader with me. He’s squared away. She won’t have a chance to slip up under his watch,” Rick said confidently.
He then turned to Jacqueline who only sat slack jawed staring at her new appearance. “Hey, let’s rinse this dye out. Oh and what’s your new name? You can’t be Jacqueline anymore.”
The goth girl in expensive fashionable clothes stood up, still in a haze, “Huh?”
”What are you going to go by? You’ll need a new name,” Rick said, loud enough that she would be able to hear him.
”Oh, maybe Lyla. I like that name. I don’t know if it matches the new me,” she said, sitting in front of the sink in the shop.
Rick carefully rinsed the girl now known as Lyla’s strip of black hair, turning the water in the sink black. He towel dried her hair before using a round brush and blow dryer to give it volume as he brushed it to her right side. The hair and makeup complete, she was now sent into Cara’s room to change into her new clothes, completing her disguise.
Cara felt a sense of satisfaction as she looked at the hair on the floor. Not only did she get to see a major transformation but she also had helped someone just like her.
”Rick, can we do this for more girls?” she asked meekly.
”More girls?” he asked, raising an eyebrow at her as he packed up a backpack with some meager supplies for Lyla’s new life.
”Yeah. There have to be other battered women on the run that need help. And women from human trafficking. We can give them new looks, disguises, and find safe places for them to hide,” the attractive but plainly dressed young woman said.
Rick smiled at her as he stood up with the backpack in his left hand, “Absolutely. But next one comes out of your paycheck. I can’t run a business if I keep giving away all of these transformations for free.”
Cara smiled up at him before stretching up to kiss him on his stubbly cheek, “Deal.”
”Hey Cara?” Rick said questioningly.
”Yes Rick?” she answered happily, Alabama twang as thick and sweet as honey.
”After we take her to the bud station, how would you like to have dinner with me?” he asked with a smile.
”Only if it’s a date,” she replied, smile stretching across her tanned, freckled face.
”Oh it’s a date,” the ex-soldier said, leaning down and kissing her on the lips.
Leaning into the kiss, the runaway felt his strong fingers wrap around the back of her buzzed nape, rubbing softly and gently. This new life really was great.