——————— Prologue: How it Started ——————
It had all started out well enough.
“Let’s try switching, I feel like we have been in a bit of a rut lately.” Lisa suggested. “It will be fun to just get to follow someone else’s lead for a change. I’m a switch by nature, I’m just always Dom with you. I’m tired of always having to be in charge.”
“I guess I’ve learned enough from being your sub.” I agreed with only the slightest twinge of apprehension that I think I hid pretty successfully.
———————- Part 1: Where things went wrong ————————-
Lisa was all nicely tied up and blindfolded on our bed. She’d been pointedly pretending to be patient with me while I was carefully tying the soft rope so that it wouldn’t accidentally strangle her or leave embarrassingly hard to explain bruises anywhere visible in normal clothing, though there had obviously been more than just a bit of impatience under the surface at how slow I went. Then I was teasing Lisa with the riding crop and whispering to her about what happens to naughty girls. The door was closed and the cat’s were locked out of our room, so they wouldn’t try to play along.
She wore the thinnest pink lace bra and panties, that were easy for my fingers to squeeze past. Her shiny black bangs brushing the top of the matching pink blindfold, she hadn’t curled the thick bangs under dramatically into a Bettie Page style the way she did when she played the Dom, but instead wore them in a softer more natural state like she did for work. The ends of her smooth lob was just brushing against the soft red bamboo rope. She’d loaned me a black leather bustier with matching garter belt, and I had my long strawberry blond hair up in a tight bun.
It was going great for my first time as the top. That is until the uninvited guest showed up in our bed.
“AAAAaaaaaAAAAaaaaa” I let out the blood curdling scream in the most unDom way ever as I jumped off the bed and started slapping it off me. Of course it landed back on the bed with Lisa and scurried under a sheet.
“What’s going on?!”
“WHAT!!! WHERE!!! PINEAPPLES!!! PINEAPPLES!!!!” Lisa shouted and started wriggling trying to get out of the bonds.
“I’m not sure it went under a sheet!”
“OH MY GOD, BECKY!!!” Lisa screamed pure panic in her voice as her wriggling increased. “Get me out of this! I can’t believe you left me in the bed with it!”
“I’ll untie you, please just stop wriggling and try to hold still.” I said as I tried to work the knots while keeping an eye out for the spider.
“Fuck the knots get the safety scissors!” Lisa said, still squirming.
I’d forgotten about the safety scissors. “Where are they?”
“Windowsill behind the headboard!” She continued to squirm and pull herself into a sitting position.
I reached up and felt around for them, I couldn’t find them.
“Becky hurry,” Lisa implored me as I got up onto my knees so I could look over the top of the head board. “Where are you going Becky?!”
“I’m just getting the scissors,” I explained moments before I grabbed the blunt tipped but powerful trauma shears. The same kind paramedics use to cut through seatbelts, bluejeans, and leather jackets. “Gott’em!”
“Please stop wiggling.” I started cutting. Shnap. “Hold still!” Shnap (oops,) shnap, shnap, shnap.
Lisa sprang from the bed pulling the blind fold off.
“Where is it?” Lisa asked.
“Still in the bed I think!” I answered huddling next to Lisa. “Now what?”
“Let’s get the cats.” Lisa said heading for the door.
Bert, our slender tuxedo cat, and Ernie, our fluffy orange tabby, were a little perturbed when we first woke them from their cozy nap on the couch, but once the sheets were pulled back to reveal the scurrying spider Bert went into hunting mode. It was Bert who caught and ate the invader.
“I am not sleeping there until we change the sheets.” Lisa announced as she walked towards our bed.
“Babe,” I said nervously as Lisa began picking up the severed bits of rope out of our bed. “There’s something I have to tell you.”
“What is it Becky?” She impatiently asked, but before I got the nerve up to say it, she lifted up the severed lock of black hair that had been obscured behind the pillow. Suddenly her tone was angry, “Becky, what is this?”
“I’m really sorry babe.” I offered the completely inadequate apology.
“YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!” Lisa abandoned clearing off our bed and headed to the mirror
Lisa looked at her reflection in the mirror. At first everything looked fine in the reflection. Lisa’s sleek black lob with eyebrow grazing bangs was a little mussed, but no more than most mornings. Then she turned her head slightly and what I could see from the back became visible in the mirror. Her hand went up to inspect the damage. A rather large quite obvious chunk of hair was missing just behind her right ear, just above where I’d used the safety scissors to release the rope that had gone around her neck.
“You are SO going to pay for this.”
————————— Part 2: Lunch Time———————————-
On Monday morning, Lisa worked from home. I only had one early class to teach on mondays, and was home by noon. So I got to listen to Lisa finish up a zoom meeting as I made us lunch. Usually she had it set up so she faced her laptop straight on, today she’d carefully angled the camera so that there was no chance that behind her right ear would show. She’d set up her laptop on the coffee table instead of the desk the way she usually would have, and sat on the couch.
“Jen, hang on a second before you log off.” I heard Lisa say to her assistant, who was a friendly woman I’d met a few times when I had to stop by Lisa’s office.
**Sure, what’s up?** Jen’s voice came through the speaker.
“I had planned to be there this afternoon when Faulkner comes in to sign the contract, but I have a hair appointment that I had forgotten about when I scheduled Faulkner.” Lisa looked slightly away from the camera as she told the minor fib. “It’s very straightforward. Just make sure it gets witnessed and notarized.”
**Sure no problem** Jen said in a bland professional tone, but then added in a more interested personal tone, **Hair appointment?**
“I’m just kind of bored with it and thought I’d try something new.”
**You know I’m familiar with your salon and your schedule.** Jen pointed out. **It’s closed today and you just got a haircut the Wednesday before last. And you would never just skip out on a signing for a personal appointment. What’s really up?**
Lisa sighed and paused, “Becky was crocheting in bed and tangled the yarn around my neck, then accidently cut off a chunk of hair while cutting the yarn away. From the right side it’s super obvious.”
**So you’re getting it fixed. What are you planning, do you have pictures?**
“I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing.” Lisa said, obviously trying to sound casual. “Obviously I’m probably going to go shorter, maybe take it from lob back to bob. I had an aline bob back in college. I’m going to be asking my stylist for suggestions. You’ll get to see it tomorrow.”
**I’m sure it will be adorable. I remember back in the mid-ohs when aline bobs were big.** Jen said cheerfully. **Can’t wait to see.**
Finally off the zoom meeting, Lisa wandered into the kitchen and asked, “What’s for lunch?”
“Just making some fried rice with the leftover vegetables from Saturday, and the wild rice mix from Friday.” I said as I poured the eggs, I had cracked into a measuring cup and whisked, into the spot I had cleared in the center of the hot pan. “Crocheting?”
“Meh, close enough. Yarn and stitches are pretty much the same as rope and knots. Smells good.” Lisa said, giving me a peck on the cheek and stroking her hand over my long strawberry blond hair. “I convinced Nicky I could make it worth her while to open the shop for me this afternoon and fix your little oops. I’m going to need you to come along to make that happen.”
“I have papers to grade,” I said trying to find an excuse to not go since I was pretty sure Lisa would be telling Nicky the whole embarrassing story. “I know I agreed to pay, I’ll give you my bank card, you know my PIN.”
“You’re not getting off that easy.” Lisa stated firmly. “You can bring your papers along to do there, or you can do them tonight, but you are coming. It is part of the deal.”
“Fine.” I grumbled as I started scooping the fried rice onto two plates.
——————————— Part 3: The Price of a Haircut ———————————
“You’re going to make me sit there while you tell Nicky the whole embarrassing story, aren’t you.” I asked as Lisa drove us to Nicklas & Nichole’s Barbershop, which was normally closed on mondays.
“Oh, that’s just for starters.” Lisa replied in a tone that felt like a threat. “Getting to play with you was part of the deal for her to come in on a monday.”
“You’re pimping me out for a haircut?” I accused.
“Relax, Nicky knows we’re monogamous. You don’t have to eat her out or anything.” Lisa said. “She wants something else from you, and considering what you did to me, it’s actually a pretty fitting punishment.”
“Oh god you didn’t!” I was suddenly thinking about some of the rumors I’d heard about Nicky and her backroom.
“You owe me this, and you do not have the kind of money in your bank account that would get Nicky to show up on a day off. You have tons of hair, you can spare a little of it. You promised to pay whatever it was going to cost to fix this.” Lisa stated as she drove. “I have to show up in person for a deposition in the morning and I can’t show up like this.”
I tried to think of a reasonable argument that didn’t just sound like I was saying my hair was worth more than Lisa’s hair. The problem was, I did kind of think that way. It wasn’t an ego thing really, I didn’t think my hair was so much prettier than Lisa’s, Lisa’s lob was absolutely adorable and all, well it had been before the little accident anyway, but it wasn’t going to take nearly the same amount of time to grow back.
Sure, it would take Lisa a while to grow her hair back, and there might be an awkward growing out phase that would be especially hard to deal with since she needed to look polished at work, but compared to my hair… My straight strawberry blond hair ended just a bit shy of my butt. It was an unusual and coveted color, leaning a bit more towards red than blond, it almost looked like rose gold. It would take several years to grow back.
Admittedly as a tenured professor at a liberal arts college, my appearance wasn’t nearly as heavily scrutinized as Lisa’s was. An awkward grow out period wasn’t going to be the same kind of problem. Eccentricity was accepted, I could show up with it as messy as a department store’s try-on room at the end of the presidents day sale. I was still pretty fond of my hair though. And everyone was used to my long hair, it was regularly complimented, cutting it off was going to be treated as a huge statement I was going to be expected to have a reason for.
So I just sat there stewing till Lisa pulled into a parking spot just down the street from the shop.
Nicklas & Nichole’s Barbershop had the aesthetics of a mid twentieth century barber shop. Lots of chrome, red leather barber chairs, checkered linoleum floors, etc. It operated more like a high end salon though. Appointments were an absolute necessity, there was a full time receptionist, Mike, it was fully equipped for salon things, like I knew they offered digital perms.
Nicklas, who I went to, was a typical stylist, not a barber, he generally did the whole wash and styling thing with every trim, and seemed to be well versed in things like conditioning. I happily trusted him with my long hair.
Nichole, who Lisa went to, though was very much a barber, she generally just cut hair and that was it. It was rare that she didn’t pull out clippers during a haircut. Her clientele seemed to fall into three categories. One, those with very short hair, which was the majority of her customers, especially butch lesbians and enbys. Two, those with very precise bobs, which would be the category Lisa fell into. And three, those with undercuts or sidecuts with designs carved into them. Lisa also sort of fell into the last category, since for reasons I never really understood, she had her neckline shaved.
Then there was the special service that Nicky supposedly provided in her back room. I didn’t always understand everything I heard in the rumors, but what I had understood was rather terrifying. I’d heard that Stephany and her wife, whose name I could never remember, ended up in couples counseling over something that happened in Nicky’s backroom.
Lisa pulled the hood of her sweatshirt up over her head and stepped out of the car. Then she stood on the sidewalk looking impatient. I still hadn’t come up with an argument that wasn’t going to sound like “but I have nicer hair than you” to Lisa. Finally I had just one not very good idea come to me, I gave it a try.
“If you let Nicky cut off my hair you won’t have it to play with anymore.” I pointed out as I stepped out of the car.
“I think I can live with that.” Lisa grumbled sarcastically as she approached the locked door and rapped on the glass.
Nicky was heading to the door, still wearing her vintage leather jacket and holding her motorcycle helmet. She must have just come in the back door. She had new designs carved into her double sidecuts from last time I’d seen her, which wasn’t too surprising considering how infrequently I saw her. Lisa got her hair trimmed by Nicky every 6 weeks or so. I on the other hand got mine trimmed by Nicklas only when I noticed split ends. I was more likely to see Nicky at a party than I was to see her here, and it had been a while since the last party. Nicky unlocked the door and held it wide open.
It was actually my first time at one of those parties that I had met both Lisa and Nicky. I had been moping for a few months since I had broken up with my previous girlfriend, and a couple of my friends convinced me it would be if nothing else interesting. My sex life had always been pretty vanilla aside from the gay part, so I really was just going along out of curiosity. When we got there, I felt like I had just been tossed into shark infested water with a gaping wound. Lisa was the coast guard.
“Come in Lisa darling, and show me what happened.” Nicky said in a come to mama tone.
“Thank you so much for doing this Nicky.” Lisa said as she slipped in the door. “I brought Becky as promised.”
Once we were both in the door, and Nicky started locking it, Lisa tentatively pulled back her hood.
“Turn around darling,” Nicky ordered. “Oh my, there really is no hiding that is there. I’m going to have to take it shorter than what I had thought, it didn’t sound that bad talking on the phone. So how exactly did Becky accidently do that?”
“Well you know I’m a switch?” Lisa started explaining as Nicky walked behind the reception desk.
“Yes darling.” Nicky confirmed as she put her helmet down and started peeling off her jacket. “I’ve noticed.”
“So Becky was being the Dom, and was supposed to be keeping me safe and taking care of me, and she didn’t do a very good job of it.” Lisa complained. “I was tied up and there was an emergency. Then Becky needed to use the safety shears to get me out, and she even forgot where they were, I had to remind her.”
“Oh darling,” Nicky said in a rather chastising voice as she put on her red barber smock over the plain white tee she wore. “You should have known she wasn’t ready. How exactly did it happen? I don’t see any bruising on your throat. What was the emergency?”
“There was a spider! She left me in the bed with a spider, and when she cut the rope by my neck she did this.” Lisa breathlessly explained. “I just wanted to be taken care of for a change.”
“A spider?” Nicky looked like she was going to burst into laughter.
“It was worse for me, the spider actually crawled on me.” I tried to defend myself. “And she was wiggling while I was cutting the ropes.”
“When you’re in charge you don’t just get to scream and jump out of the bed leaving your sub behind tied up with a spider.” Lisa argued back. “You should have gotten me untied before you told me about the spider, so I wouldn’t have been panicking while tied up and blind folded.”
“Unless it was a black widow, I am judging both of you.” Nicky said between chuckles.
“I was blind folded, I had no way of knowing what kind of spider it was.” Lisa tried to defend herself, but Nicky just kept chuckling.
“Come to the back room girls.” Nicky ordered and began leading the way. “I’m signing you BOTH up for one of the bondage safety classes I host, I invite Mistress Cathrine here to instruct them. We’ll look at the schedule after I have made Lisa presentable and claimed my compensation from Becky.”
“What exactly is the game you’re planning to play that’s worth coming in on a monday?” I asked nervously as we followed Nicky through the salon towards the back.
“Oh sweetie,” Nicky chuckled. “You’re cute, but I wouldn’t come in on my day off just for a little fun with you. I didn’t come in for a game, Nicklas needs strawberry blonde extensions. He’s tried dying to match the color he needs, but it’s a very tricky color and he’s not a colorist and of course Tom, our colorist, is on vacation with his new boyfriend.
“Nicklas was considering asking you for a foot since it’s for a good cause, which I can’t divulge the details of due to confidentiality, he’s doing it pro bono though.” Nicky continued. “However, he felt it was a bit unprofessional to ask. I have fewer hangups about always being professional than he does though. So when Lisa called this morning about her little dilemma it was rather serendipitous. We can incorporate some fun and games into it though, if that helps.”
If Nicklas had asked me, I would have wanted a lot more details about how worthy a cause it was, but since this was part of my paying for Lisa’s haircut I decided to let that go. I wasn’t happy about it, a foot was a lot more than I’d accidently cut, but I supposed the impact on my appearance would be pretty similar to how much fixing Lisa’s hair was going to change how she looked. Mine would still be below my shoulders a foot shorter.
“If it really is a good cause,” I grumbled as Nicky unlocked the door to the infamous backroom, “I suppose I can spare a foot. Is Nicklas going to come in for it?”
“Nicklas had plans with his husband today, so I’m collecting. It will be a surprise for him tomorrow. He was going to ask for a foot because that was the absolute minimum he felt he could work with, but I insisted Lisa promise me more than that.” Nicky stated as she swung the door open and flipped the light switch. “I’m going to be taking what I want, at least 20 inches, and you’re not going to complain about it after you ruined the lovely haircut I gave Lisa just a little over a week ago. I don’t like when people mess up my hard work.”
20 inches sounded terrifyingly vague to me, even though it was a rather exact measurement. It was just strangely harder to visualize what exactly it meant than it had been to imagine a foot. Plus the foot request was going to be from Nicklas, whom I trust, not Nicole, whom I didn’t. How much hair did I even have?
I whimpered as I entered the room that lived up to every rumor I’d heard about it. It was indeed dark and windowless. It would indeed make an excellent victorian vampire lair.
“You owe me this.” Lisa reminded me as she passed me entering the room, then looked around, her eyes landing on the smooth black counter of the long cabinet under the main mirror. “Wow. Is that real obsidian?”
“The antique dealer wasn’t sure, but thought black glass was more likely.” Nicky said as she breezed past Lisa and I towards the antique barber chair. “Give your hoodie to Becky to hold for you darling and hop on up into the chair like a good girl while I go get a couple of things ready,”
As soon as Nicky walked through a door in the back holding a spray bottle, I whispered to Lisa hoping Nicky couldn’t hear me over the running water. “I’m scared, can we just go? I can trim your hair, or we can go to one of those chain places. They’re open on mondays.”
“Don’t you dare after what you did to me. I was scared when you left me tied up with a spider.” Lisa scolded. “Now take my hoody and go sit down like Nicky said.”
“Fine,” I grumbled, not really meaning it as I took the sweatshirt and made my way to the red velvet waiting chairs.
————————————— Part 4: Making Repairs —————————-
Lisa looked nervous and vulnerable as she sat in the big chair waiting for Nicky. Nicky, on the other hand, was the definition of confidence as she breezed back into the room with the filled bottle she placed on the counter. Lisa watched Nicky intently while her fingers nervously rubbed the short hairs behind her right ear. Nicky took what looked like a rolled up tool case out of one of the drawers, and unrolled it in front of Lisa.
Finally, Nicky went to the wardrobe. Inside the side of the wardrobe she’d opened were shelves with neatly folded towels and cloth, but just barely visible in the shadow of the half closed door on the other side were hooks from which colorful ropes and black leather restraints hung. Nicky took out a white with blue pinstriped cape.
“Sit up straight Lisa.” Nicky ordered as she approached the chair.
Lisa immediately did as she was told, sliding back against the patent leather and placing her feet flat and straight on the foot rest, her delicate hands folded neatly in her lap. Nicky walked past the chair and opened one of the drawers, taking something out before stepping back behind Lisa.
Nicky stretched out a long white strip that I assumed was the tissue I’d heard about though I had never experienced it. She wrapped it around Lisa’s long neck, and did something to make it stay. It looked a bit like the world’s plainest choker. Then Nicky started shaking out the folds of the cape. She swung the cape over Lisa with a bit of a theatrical flourish. She then pulled it up, tied it on, and folded the tissue over its edge.
“Now let’s get you all fixed up with a nice pretty pixie cut.” Nicky announced as she began combing through Lisa’s sleek hair.
“Can’t you save some of the length and do a bob?” Lisa asked sadly. “Take it up to around earlobe length, angle it a bit up in the back? Just buzz the nape?”
“Of course I can.” Nicky purred. “I just don’t plan to. I know we talked about a bob on the phone, but that was before I saw what we were working with. It would either have to be an extremely aline bob and look incredibly dated, or be a very short micro bob that you are too mature for. You should not walk out of here looking like a goth college student with a part time job at a coffee bar or bookshop, or most likely a coffee bar in a bookshop. You’re past that stage in life. Now stop fussing and be a good girl.”
Lisa blushed. She actually had been a weekend bookstore barista back when she’d been in college in the early 2000s. I’d seen pictures of her and her friends, she’d had a shorter bob that angled up in the back with baby bangs. Of course she’d mostly worn black in most of those photos, so goth fit.
“Did you know Lisa when she was in college?” I asked Nicky.
“Shut up.” Lisa hissed obviously not wanting to talk about having been a bit of a cliché.
“Did I hit a little too close to home?” Nicky teased as she used the corner of her comb to draw a line around the crown of Lisa’s head.
Lisa didn’t respond, instead just pouting as she watched Nicky sectioning her sleek black hair. I noticed that she’d also given up on voicing objections to the pixie, even though from her expression I didn’t think she was happy about it.
Nicky had the hair on the top of Lisa’s head pinned up, leaving the back and sides down. She went to the drawer and took out a rather menacing set of clippers. I thought I heard Lisa whimper as Nicky approached her. I wondered if she was beginning to regret not listening to me and sneaking out when we had the chance.
A haircut from a chain salon might not have been as skillfully executed, but they’d have done what she asked instead of insisting they knew what she needed better than she did. Of course admitting how it happened to someone outside her kink circle would be difficult.
“Now head down,” Nicky ordered when she got behind Lisa, then added in just slightly more than a whisper. “Be a good girl and do as you’re told and Mistress Nicky will take care of you.”
Lisa obediently bent her head down, tucking her chin against her chest. She looked genuinely meek in a way she never had with me, not even when I had her tied up at my mercy. I wasn’t really sure if Lisa had accepted Nicky’s opinion that the pixie was a better way to fix things, or if she had just accepted that Nicky was in control now.
Nicky flicked the switch on the side of the clippers; they clunked to life and began to hum. Nicky combed up a swathe of hair from the back of Lisa’s bowed head and combed it out a couple of inches.
When the blades of the clippers touched the teeth of the comb, a slight rattling was added to the clippers steady hum. As the clippers encountered Lisa’s shiny hair, the tone of the hum turned angry,
Hair landed on Lisa’s caped shoulder, then tumbled down to her lap. It was hard to be sure over the hum of the clippers, but I thought I heard Lisa whimper. The suddenly short patch of hair on the back of Lisa’s head was still a bit longer than the patch I had created that it lay next to, but it went quite a bit higher up the back of Lisa’s head.
Nicky combed up more hair and once again slid the clippers across the comb sending more hair raining down. It took about 4 passes for the bulk from the back of Lisa’s head to be reduced to just a couple of inches. The spot I had cut was still slightly shorter than the rest right at the bottom. Nicky ignored the slight discrepancy, and tilted Lisa’s head to the side, and began reducing the hair behind Lisa’s ear to match what she’d done on the side.
Lisa watched intently in the mirror now that the process was in her view. Her brow wrinkled at first, but turned into a full frown when Nicky buzzed away the hair above her ear.
“I didn’t think Becky cut it that short…” Lisa said a bit nervously.
“I still need to take it a bit shorter in the back to match what Becky did,” Nicky turned and gave me a dirty look. “And I’m going to have to match the bangs on top, so to connect those lengths it’s got to be at least this short inbetween. Sorry darling.”
I thought of defending myself and pointing out that she could have given Lisa the micro bob eliminating the need to match the bangs then connect the top to the bit I had cut, but since I was going to be at Nicky’s mercy when Lisa’s cut was complete, I thought just keeping my mouth shut was probably a better idea. Besides, I agreed with Nicky that the micro bob would be a rather immature look, one it was too late to achieve at this point anyway.
Nicky combed up and sliced off the last of the hair in front of Lisa’s now mostly exposed ear. Just a little hair covered the very top of it. Nicky tilted Lisa’s head to the other direction and mowed through the hair on the other side of Lisa’s head till both ears were similarly exposed.
With all the longer hair gone, Nicky tilted Lisa’s head back down and started again at Lisa’s nape, this time combing up smaller amounts of hair and carefully starting to taper it. As the clippers rattled over the comb, short bits of the shiny black hair flew away from the back of Lisa’s head and rained to the floor.
Just above Lisa’s hairline, Nicky pressed the bare blades of the clippers to Lisa’s skin, taking it down to stubble that began to blend into the short prickles of hair I had left Lisa with in one spot.
As Nicky worked the taper up around Lisa’s right ear, my little oops was finally no longer obvious. Though now, not even the top of Lisa’s ear was covered.
Watching Nicky steering the humming blades carefully around Lisa’s delicate ear, I realized how close I’d come to doing damage that would have been a lot more permanent than this very short haircut that I had to admit was going to be really hard for Lisa to grow out. If I had cut at just a slightly different angle that pretty ear would have a nasty scar. The guilt I’d felt since I’d made the little mistake kicked up several more notches as I watched Nicky cut the hair around Lisa’s left ear to match the brevity that surrounded her right ear.
Nicky finally turned off the clippers, making the room suddenly quiet, which was then disturbed as she put them down on the counter with a clunk. She picked up the spray bottle she’d filled when we came in, and began to wet Lisa’s hair. After briefly spraying the fine mist over the short hair on the sides of Lisa’s head, Nicky released the clip that held the longer hair up. The hair spilled down as Nicky continued to wet it.
Even wet, the black hair covered the shorn sides of Lisa’s scalp, except for that one spot behind Lisa’s right ear. The gap went high enough that it had left too few options. Nicky combed through the slick wet hair, adding a little extra dampness here and there, then replaced the bottle on the counter and grabbed a large pair of shears from the tool roll.
From behind Lisa, Nicky combed Lisa’s thick blunt bangs up, adding a little longer hair from the surrounding and combed it into her hand. Nicky sliced across the hair at the level of the shortest hairs from near Lisa’s hair line. Hair fell past Lisa’s face, some of it long locks , some short snippets. Lisa closed her eyes.
Nicky released Lisa’s bangs to fall back to her forehead. When they landed, even though the longest tips still brushed Lisa’s eyebrows, the bangs were no longer blunt. Lisa opened her eyes and frowned at her reflection.
Nicky combed up just a little of the hair she’d just cut and a fair amount of hair behind it from the crown of Lisa’s head, and sliced it off at the same level. Long damp locks slid down the sides of Lisa’s head to her shoulders. Nicky opened her fingers releasing the newly shortened locks, to lay on Lisa’s head, where they just blended into what had previously been Lisa’s distinctly separate bangs, but was simply becoming the length of her hair on the top of her head.
Nicky worked her way back along Lisa’s head, reducing section after section of longer hair to match the shorter new length. I had never before really thought of the black locks that didn’t quite reach Lisa’s shoulders as long, but now that they were draped over her shoulder, coiled in her lap, and scattered on the floor it was obvious that Lisa was losing 8 inches or more of hair.
With the bulk of Lisa’s hair no longer on her head, Nick was just cutting off smaller bits as she refined the shape of the new style. She repeated the way she’d cut from the bangs back, at an angle on each side of Lisa’s head, cutting off just an inch or so. Then she’d switched to a different set of scissors, I thought they looked like texturizing shears, and seemed to be sculpting the hair to sweep to the side instead of falling from the old center parting.
Then Nicky switched scissors again, and worked more on the taper. It was rather mesmerizing when she ran the comb up through the shortest of the hair on the back of Lisa’s head and snapped the scissors right against the comb to send out the very slightest sprinkle of hair.
Nicky finally gave Lisa a quick blow dry, ruffling the hair with the tips of her fingers. She began undoing the cape, and I thought the haircut was finished, but Lisa didn’t get up, and Nicky left the cape on and just loosened. Nicky walked back to the counter, and squirted a bit of gel into her hand, she took a straight razor out of the tool roll, and picked up a small towel. She placed the towel over one of Lisa’s shoulders, and spread the gel along Lisa’s hairline. Nicky gave her fingers a quick wipe, and then pulled the skin on Lisa’s delicate neck taut. Finally, she started shaving away the slight stubble leaving Lisa’s neck completely clean, the way it always was for a day or two after Lisa got a trim. The difference of course was that then it had usually been hidden under longer hair, a secret something just between the three of us, now it was fully on display.
“There we go.” Nicky said taking the cape off Lisa, bits of black hair sliding to the floor. “A nice pretty pixie.”
“It’s nice, but I don’t really feel like me.” Lisa said in a small voice.
“Change is good dear.” Nicky assured her. “It can be a bit difficult, but it’s good.”
“It’s fine for work, but how am I going to style it when the parties start up again?” Lisa sounded rather unsure. “You know how I usually do the bangs, that’s not going to work. This is rather… well vanilla. As you said, pretty, in the front anyway, it’s a bit severe in the back.”
“You can slick it back nice and shiny black. A classic wet look, it won’t feel too vanilla.” Nicky assured some more and started rubbing her hands over Lisa’s shoulders and arms. “We’ll mostly keep it this length for at least a year before we consider maybe growing it back out, so that no one questions why you did it or thinks you’re indecisive, but we can do the back a little softer at your next trim.” Then Nicky turned to me and added rather pointedly, “that is as long as Becky doesn’t have any more little accidents.”
I felt my ears burning, as Lisa sighed and rose from the antique chair. Lisa looked at me with an inscrutable expression, then back at the mirror. Nicky’s gaze, though, stayed right on me as a grin spread across her face.
———————— Part 5: Putting Becky in her place ———————
“It looks really cute,” I assured Lisa as she self consciously ran her hand over the tightly tapered hair on the back of her head, and I tried to ignore Nicky.
Lisa turned towards me again, looking like she wasn’t sure if she believed me. As she did, Nicky began to approach me. Lisa glanced at Nicky, and her expression changed to a bit apologetic. I clutched Lisa’s hoody to my breast a bit like a child with a teddy.
When Nicky reached the chair I waited in, she placed her hands on the armrests, caging me in. She leaned down, her confident smile turning menacing.
“I think you owe me something, don’t you?” Nicky asked the question in a tone that made it clear it was simply rhetorical. Her next question, though, seemed like an actual question, even with it’s built in threat. “Are you going to be cooperative about it, or do I need to ask Lisa to spank you?”
I knew the threat of a spanking had been meant to titillate, but it had a slightly different effect on me. Lisa and most of the others I’d met since she’d introduced me to the kink community saw spanking as a game, for me it just brought up bad memories. It was good that Lisa hadn’t really had much of an investment in it.
“I’ll be good,” I clutched Lisa’s hoody more tightly, ”I promise.”
“Now Becky,” Nicky asked with her face uncomfortably close to mine, “Your hair isn’t clean, is it?”
“Um, well.” I kind of hated to admit that it wasn’t really as I flushed with more embarrassment. “I mean it’s not disgusting. I used dry shampoo this morning.”
“You’re going to owe me a little extra for making me wash it.” Nicky announced, then stood back from the chair.
“umph” I squeaked my compliance.
“Come along, Becky.” Nicky ordered as she turned and walked towards the door back to the main salon. “It’s easier to wash while it’s still on your head.”
I got up reluctantly, and placed Lisa’s hoody on the chair. I started following Nicky.
At the doorway, Nicky paused and looked back at Lisa who was still petting the back of her head. “Lisa, one of the consequences of insisting that this was such an emergency I should let you come in when the salon is closed is that there is nobody here to clean up. There is a broom and dustpan behind the curtain in the bathroom, as well as a trash can and hamper for the cape. I expect that mess to be cleaned up when I get back so that I’m not slipping on your hair while I collect what I need from Becky.”
Lisa looked down at the piles of her hair on the floor that I knew she’d much rather was still on her head, and pouted at it. Being told to sweep it up, was definitely adding insult to injury.
“Yes Nicky.” Lisa said in a small resigned voice.
Nicky then led me from the vampire lair of a back room through the hall and back to the main salon. As she walked to a cabinet, she simply ordered, “go sit in front of the second sink Becky.”
I perched at the edge of the seat, and tried to convince myself to relax as I watched Nicky get out a couple of towels. Nicky hadn’t bothered to turn on any lights in the closed salon, enough afternoon light streamed in through the big windows at the front of the salon to see. The weird thing about it was that even without a single light on, it felt much brighter than the backroom even with the two big chandeliers.
“Oh Becky,” Nicky sighed as she came up to the chair I waited in, “you promised to be good and cooperative. That includes sitting properly in the chair. Slide back.”
I did as I was told. As much as I really didn’t want a haircut, Nicky had lived up to her end of the bargain, coming in and fixing my mistake. It was a bit easier to resist the part of my brain that was telling me to get up and leave, here in the familiar front area. I’d had my hair washed at these sinks several times since Lisa talked me into switching from my old salon to here. At the old place, I’d always been nervous I might accidently out myself because I was unsure how they might react.
Nicky went through the familiar motions of wrapping a towel around my shoulders and lowering my head into the sink. I soon felt the warm water on my scalp, followed by the shampoo. When Nicklas’ assistant would wash my hair, it would come with a long relaxing head massage, and questions about if the temperature was good. Instead Nicky complained about how I should have come in with clean hair, as though I had known ahead of time that this was going to happen.
Once my hair was clean, Nicky led me to her usual chair next to Nicklas’. I sat in the chair that was identical to the one I usually sat in for a trim, but somehow it felt different. More confining between the armrests, the chrome and red leather colder. I wished I’d brought Lisa’s hoody so I would have something to hold instead of just having my arms stiffly at my side trying to avoid them brushing against anything.
“Let’s get you dry as quickly as possible so people don’t look in and think we are open.” Nicky said as she lifted a hairdryer from a hook.
“You aren’t going to cut it before you style it?” I asked in confusion.
“I didn’t wash it to style it Becky.” Nicky let out a rather condescending chuckle. “It’s just more convenient to wash the hair we’re turning into extensions on a head than in loose bundles.”
Then she leaned down close to my ear and whispered, “I’m just getting your lovely hair ready to harvest.”
Then she turned on the hairdryer, ending the conversation. The blow drying, was done fairly efficiently, just smoothing the hair out straight down my back with a round brush, not bothering to work on volume at the crown like Nicklas would have. When Nicky was done, she twisted my hair up and used a clip to hold my hair against my head, and removed the towel from my shoulders.
“Come along now Becky,” Nicky ordered heading back towards the door at the back. “Let’s see if Lisa did a satisfactory job cleaning up.”
I got up and followed as I’d been told to. In the backroom, the pile of black hair had been completely swept up. Lisa was on the phone saying something about renegotiating and billable hours. She put her finger to her mouth in the universal don’t say anything gesture when she looked at Nicky and me.
Nicky silently walked over to the antique barber chair, and patted it while looking at me pointedly. I hesitated, and turned towards Lisa.
“Listen, I need to go,” Lisa said into the phone, “I have more urgent matters to attend to. Talk to your client. Bye.” Then she looked at me. “What Becky?”
“I’m sorry I disrupted your phone call.” I said, not even sure what I had expected from Lisa.
“It’s fine,” Lisa said, a touch impatiently. “It’s good for him to know how unimportant I think he and his client are. Do you need something?”
“No,” I admitted when I thought about it.
“Please don’t keep me waiting Becky.” Nicky complained.
I took a deep breath, turned from Lisa, and walked over to the ornate victorian barber chair. I sat down, and used the mirror to watch behind me as Lisa settled into a waiting chair. Nicky undid the clip holding my hair up. The silky hair spilled down around me, extra smooth from the blow out. Lisa had a tightly neutral expression as Nicky ran her hand along the length of it.
——————— Part 6: Games Are Fun, Right? ———————-
“Now Becky, I had wanted the full length. I had thought that it was a very suitable punishment to cut it just as short as possible, but Lisa is a softy and wasn’t up to promising me quite that much.” Mistress Nicky purred. “Lisa promised me I could have everything from the shoulders down, which is about 20 inches as my payment for coming in on this lovely Monday. That leaves about 12 inches that she said were between you and me to negotiate.”
“I’d like to keep the full 12,” I swiftly said, then thought to add, “please.”
“I’m sure you would, Becky, but it’s not that easy. You owe me extra for making me wash it.” Nicky teased. “You are going to have to earn every inch you keep. You need to answer 12 questions, you get to keep an inch for each right answer. But as soon as you answer one wrong, that is the end of the game, and I get to claim my compensation. Understood?”
“I guess.” I said hearing the fear in my own voice. “What is the subject?”
“The subject my sweetie is the one you thought you were ready to be a dom in.” She informed me as an evil smile spread across her face. “Ready to begin?”
“Do I have a choice?”
“First question,” Nicky began. “It’s a nice easy one to earn you your first inch so I don’t just buzz you down to stubble. What is a ‘safeword?’”
“The thing you say in an emergency.” I answered confidently, relieved that it was one I knew.
“You can do better than that sweetie,” Nicky encouraged me. “I need a more complete answer.”
“Uhm,” I wasn’t sure what I was missing. “How you let your partner know something is dangerous like one of the ropes is cutting off circulation. Right?”
Nicky sighed deeply, dropping the Dom act and looking a little frustrated. She then turned to Lisa, and said. “That’s how you explained it to her?”
“I think I said the word you say when you need me to stop.” Lisa said rather sheepishly.
“Yeah, that’s barely right.” Nicky said to Lisa in a frustrated tone. “I’m not sure Becky is really ready for this game. On the phone you said she would use the safeword if she wanted to. I think I should just call off the fun and games part of this and just skip to collecting the length I need.”
My heart pounded and I felt a bit dizzy as they spoke, I was so confused about what could be wrong about my answer. I didn’t know what extra detail Nicky wanted to let me earn my first inch. Was there some strict wording I should know? Was it because I didn’t address her as Mistress?
“Please let me continue! I’m up for the game, my answer was really close to Lisa’s. Wasn’t it?” I said while I inwardly was shuddering at the thought of what ending the game now meant. I was pretty sure it meant I left here bald. “I want to continue the game…. Mistress.”
“Ok sweetie.” Nicky said. “I’ll give you a correct, and you’ve earned your first inch, but I need you to understand that a safeword isn’t just for dire emergencies. You can use it to stop for any reason. Ok?’
“Ok.” I said nervously even though my brain was not processing the information I was getting very well, I was just desperate to earn as many inches as possible.
“You can use your safeword anytime that you are uncomfortable or you think things are about to go too far.” Nicky was talking in a simple straight forward manner now. “You can use the safeword now if you don’t really want to play this game. Do you want to use your safeword now and end this game?”
“No.” I said emphatically, not understanding why she would think I would just forfeit my chance to earn more inches. Why would I use the safe word and stop at just one inch when I might be able to earn all 12 by continuing? “I want to keep going, please.”
“Honey,” Lisa interjected. “I think now would be a good time to use the safeword. You don’t have to prove anything. I don’t think your chances of making it all the way through this game are good.”
“I can do this,” I insisted.
“Really?” The implication that I was wrong, clear in Lisa’s tone.
I knew Lisa was still a bit angry at me for what had happened, but I hadn’t thought she was that petty that she would want me to give up and just let Nicky leave me with so little hair. I thought she liked playing with my hair anyway. I wasn’t going to just stop because they thought I was going to fail. Even if I only made it halfway through the quiz, 6 inches was better than 1.
“Really!” I growled
“Ok.” Lisa said, she almost sounded confused, and definitely a bit annoyed.
“You’re enjoying playing this game with Mistress Nicky?” Nicky asked, her voice changing back to the purr. “It’s a little scary, but you’re enjoying the thrill?”
I wasn’t sure why she was insisting that I pretend to be enjoying it, but figured my best chance to keep more than just the 1 inch I had earned so far was to play along. I bowed my head contritely.
“Yes, Mistress Nicky.” I said meekly. “Can we please continue the game.”
“Second question,” Nicky announced. “I’ll be nice and let the next couple of questions be about wax play since I know it’s one of Lisa’s favorites, so I’m guessing you’ve done it more than just a few times. What is the biggest danger you need to be careful to prevent during wax play?”
“Not setting the sheets on fire?” I said, no longer confident in my answers considering how close I had come to not even getting the first one.
“Correct. You’ve earned another inch.” Nicky stroked my hair. “Third question. What is the safest type of candle to use in wax play?”
“Uhm.” I couldn’t remember at all. Sure Lisa had told me what she was using the first time before she’d dripped the hot substance on my back then rubbed it in like lotion, but I was more focused on being first terrified and then actually enjoying the sensation to remember the details. And remembering what Lisa had used would only help if it had been the safest, and not like the second safest. It must have been something natural right? I could only think of two kinds of natural candle wax, and bayberry didn’t make sense. I made a guess…”Beeswax?”
“No my sweetie.” Nicky grinned like the devil as she looked at me through the mirror. “Beeswax burns too hot, it is not considered safe for wax play. And that ends our little game. You’ve earned a cute little 2 inch crop.”
2 inches! I shuddered inside. I looked at Lisa’s reflection, she didn’t look happy. Her own hair was maybe about 2 1/2 inches on top and much shorter in the back. Maybe she was upset that mine wasn’t going to be shorter than hers had ended up.
“Nicky,” Lisa grumbled, “we had a deal.”
“Which included games, if Becky was up for it.” Nicky said as she walked over to the armoire and pulled out a new cape. “She wanted to play.”
“Fine!” Lisa conceded in a tone that made clear it wasn’t really fine as she scowled at me.
I was so confused as to what she felt I had done wrong. Had she expected me to just tell Nicky she could have it all after I saw how short Lisa’s hair had to be cut? As Nicky came up behind me with a folded up cape with subtle black on black stripes, I considered telling her she could just have it all, but between just being terrified and not being sure that was what Lisa wanted, I just stayed silent.
————————- Part 7: Harvest time —————————-
Nicky swung the cape over me, the black fabric billowing as it settled down on me. She didn’t fasten it right away though, first she twisted my hair into a long bundle and placed it in front of my shoulder. Then she went and got a strip of tissue from the drawer just like she had for Lisa.
I closed my eyes as Nicky arranged the tissue around my neck, I didn’t want to watch, I just wanted it to be over. I felt her glide her hand behind my twisted hair to smooth it along the side, and her fingers twisting it in the back. Then she pulled the cape up and fastened it tightly over the paper. It wasn’t really scratchy, but it felt stiffer than just fabric did.
I then felt Nicky untwist my hair and let it fall loose around me. I heard her walk over to the counter, do something at it, then come back behind me. She placed a hand on each of my shoulders, then she bent forward.
“If you keep your eyes closed,” Nicky breathed into my left ear, and punctuated her words with a snap of the scissors right next to my right ear, “how are you going to make sure I leave you the 2 inches you earned instead of just taking it all?”
Every muscle in my body clenched as I forced my eyes open just in time to see the scissors snap closed again. Nicky gave me an evil grin in the mirror. She casually stood up, transferred the comb she held from her left hand to her right hand while still holding the scissors, and seemed to be ready to begin.
Nicky lifted a large lock of hair from the top of my head, straight up. She ran the comb through it briefly, then grasped it tightly with her left hand about 3 inches from my head. She looked me in the eye as she opened the scissor and placed the open blades about 2 inches from my scalp. She just held them there for a long moment while I didn’t breathe, then she looked down and began to close them.
Nicky held tight to the severed bundle as the short hair flopped down onto my head. Nicky walked over to the counter, and ignored me completely as she put down the comb and scissors. She hurriedly grabbed a rubberband from a bag of them I hadn’t noticed earlier and began twisting it around the severed end of the hair that no longer belonged to me.
I slipped my hand out the bottom of the cape, and reached up to feel the short tufts of hair. I’d never had short hair before. Well I guess I’d been born with it short or nonexistent hair, but it’s not like I remembered that. It felt so strange as I ran my hand along the abbreviated length. I was used to feeling slight tugs against my scalp as my fingers would encounter the inevitable little tangles in my long hair, but my hand just drifted through the short strands with no resistance.
I looked into the mirror over at Lisa who just pouted at me. My view of Lisa was soon cut off by Nicky returning behind me.
“Be careful not to tangle what’s mine.” Nicky warned me.
Nicky began to comb out another long lock of hair straight up from my head. Though she hadn’t told me to stop feeling the short hair, and was working on the side of my head opposite from the side I had stuck my arm out from, I pulled my arm back under the cape and let it fall back into place as I watched Nicky once again grasp the smooth lock and line up her scissors.
I turned my head side to side contemplating what I was going to look like once all my hair was the same length as the newly shortened tufts that were kind of sticking up on the top of my head. It was hard to picture, so much hadn’t been touched yet, I still had the curtains of long hair that draped down the sides of my face, the bulk of it still covered my shoulders like a shawl. What was it going to be like without that?
I looked over to where Nicky was just finishing up putting the elastic around the second bundle of hair. She placed it carefully on the counter next to the first one, right in front of the ceramic phrenology head. She grabbed up the scissors and comb from the table and was back behind me again. She grabbed and combed another thick lock.
Nicky kept repeating the process, cutting off a thick lock then carefully bundling it up for Nicklas. The actual haircut was going pretty fast, but the overall process felt like it would take forever. Nicky was definitely putting more time and effort into tying up the hair than she was into cutting it off.
I had to sit there during each long pause. Looking in the mirror to see my gradually disappearing mane; reaching to feel the short tufts left behind; watching Lisa pout at me angrily. Watching the care Nicky put into her growing collection.
There was one moment when she did actually seem to be thinking about what she was leaving me. Instead of going behind me, she stood in front of me and gathered up what was about to become banges in the front, and she did take a bit of extra time estimating where they would fall against my face. She adjusted her grip and angle a couple of times. She cut that bundle a bit more carefully.
Then there were just two more small bundles from the back.
And she was done.
————————— Part 8: Where do you think you’re going?————-
Nicky was taking care of the last bundle of long hair with her back to me. The comb and scissors casually forgotten on the black countertop.
I sighed and ran my hands up into the short messy tufts of hair. It was a bit uneven and very hacked off looking. I reached back and started taking off the barber cape that seemed like it had been pretty unnecessary. There were maybe two or three strands of long hair on it, and I suspected they were just loose ones that landed there when Nicky had combed it out and not from the cutting. The strip of tissue I removed had been beyond overkill.
I think it was the sound of the tissue crinkling as I balled it up that got Nicky’s attention. She turned and looked at me folding the cape in my lap then lifting it off.
“Where do you think you’re going, young lady?” Nicky chastised me in a rather disapproving tone.
“Home,” I stated flatly. “You’ve taken all the useful length, so we’re even now.”
“Stay put, you aren’t finished.” Nicky ordered then returned her focus to twisting the rubberband around the bundle.
“I don’t want it any shorter,” I said as I got up out of the chair and placed the folded cape in the seat.
“It’s only half done.” Nicky ordered as she put down the secured bundle of hair and turned back towards me. “Sit down so I can finish the haircut.”
“I’ll get Nicklas to fix it.” I said turning away.
“Nicklas is fully booked for over a week.” She pointed out. “And I have a reputation to protect.”
“I’ll go to a chain salon and have them even it out.” I grumbled, not sure if I meant it or if I would just wear a hat till Nicklas was available.
“And tell them you had to let a real Dom cut off your hair in exchange for fixing your little accident when you tried to play pretend dom?” Nicky chuckled. “Now sit down Becky, and be a good girl before I get the ropes out.”
I hesitated and looked at Lisa, hoping she would back me up. Instead she frowned at me.
“Becky, you can’t go around like that,” Lisa argued. “I’m not taking you home till Nicky finishes. I’m sure she’ll make it look good.”
I contemplated walking the 3 miles home or calling an uber. My eye caught my reflection in the mirror hanging behind Lisa. I sighed and turned back to the waiting barber chair.
Nicky lifted up the cape from the seat as I approached. I sat down and crossed my arms across my chest. I scowled at Nicky.
“You don’t look like you’re planning to be a good girl.” Nicky chastised some more.
“I’m not.” I said out of annoyance.
“Hmmmm.” Nicky melodramatically tapped her bottom lip like she was thinking. “I’ll be right back”
She went off to the armoire. A new cape seemed rather unnecessary, but I didn’t feel like arguing about it. When she came back though, she wasn’t carrying another cape. She was carrying a pair of well worn brown leather restraints.
“Seriously?” I asked as Nicky tried pulling one of my arms towards the armrest. “Lisa?”
“Is Nicky going to need my help?” Lisa asked me with a smirk, obviously enjoying the show.
Though I didn’t exactly cooperate, I stopped fighting as Nicky put the padded cuff around my wrist and strapped it down to the armrest. I didn’t want to be strapped down, but I was more worried about having hard to hide bruises, so I just went along with it. Once she had me secured, Nicky went to the drawer and got out a new strip of tissue.
“Now Becky, you still have the 2 inches of hair you earned earlier playing our game.” Nicky warned as she secured the tissue around my neck, “I can either carefully even out and shape up that hair preserving the length, or I can cut it shorter, much shorter. Which I do all depends on how good and polite you are. Am I understood Becky?”
“Yes.” I squeaked out as Nicky unfolded the black cape.
“Yes what?” Nicky demanded as she gave the cape a dramatic crack before swinging it over me.
“Yes, Mistress Nicky.” I said contritely as the cape settled over me.
Nicky pulled the cape up and fastened it over my neck again, it felt tighter this time. She then began to wet my hair with her spray bottle. I tried to not shiver as the cold water seeped down to my scalp, then began to drip down my neck.
Nicky went back over to the counter, and allowed her fingers to dance over the tools. She kept looking back at me, I suspect to guage my reactions to the possible options. She paused for a long moment over the clipper, then moved on. Finally, she lifted up the straight razor and turned it to glint in the light. She smiled when I shuddered.
“Now you’re going to hold very still for me,” Nicky purred, “aren’t you Becky?”
“Yes Mistress.” I would have even if she hadn’t told me to.
I felt Nicky comb up hair from the back of my head, and her hand began flicking the razor blade through it. It was hard to tell exactly what was happening looking in the mirror. I only got occasional glimpses of the pale damp clippings that collected on the tops of my shoulders.
Nicky did actually seem to be simply focused on the haircut instead of torturing me finally. Maybe she’d actually picked the straight razor because it was going to achieve the look she wanted, and not just because I’d shuddered.
She eventually started working her way around to the front, and I could see what she was doing. Flicking the tip of the razor through the hacked off ends and leaving behind a soft texture. I was obviously losing some length to the process, I resigned myself to the idea that that had been inevitable no matter who was going to even it out and make it look decent.
It was hard not to say anything as the hair kept raining down. Nicky hadn’t consulted me, or even Lisa about what kind of style I might want. No questions even about things like if I was up for daily styling or wanted it to be wash’n go. I feared any attempt to voice an opinion was going to be seen as not being good though, which would result in Nicky cutting off more
When she got to the front, it took no theatrics to make me nervous as she wielded the sharp blade right in front of my face. I was suddenly much more terrified of something other than losing length. I sighed in relief as Nicky moved on.
She rustled my hair back and forth, and swiped at it here and there with the tip of her razor. When she seemed satisfied, she put down the razor and picked up the hair dryer, She pointed it at my head and turned it on really briefly while simply rustling my hair, not styling it.
When she put down the dryer, I hoped she was done, but she came back with gleaming silver scissors and started trimming off more. The hair she cut floated down through the air around me and settled on the cape like rose gold glitter.
Nicky walked back to the counter finally, and I really wished my hand was free so I could reach up and feel the crop that she’d given me. I turned my head looking in the mirror. The top was at least as short as Lisa, maybe a bit shorter, but longer on the side and what little I could see of the back. It wasn’t tapered like Lisa’s but trimmed into a soft line. Though Lisa and I were going to both have very short hair the styles were different enough that it wouldn’t look like we tried to match them.
Nicky picked up the clippers, and I wondered if it was about to be tapered. I tightened my shoulders and shrunk down as she came behind me with them.
“If you’re a good girl and keep your head down till I tell you I’m done, I will just clean up your neckline.” Nicky promised. “But if you try to move these can just as easily go all the way up the back of your head. Understood?”
“Good.” Nicky added as her hand pushed my head down till my chin pressed into my chest.
I heard the cluck of the menacing machine being turned on, then the buzzing blades started creeping up my neck. I pressed my head down, my eyes closed tight, my heart pounding as I felt the bare blades getting ever higher and praying for them to stop. She finally did pull back at the point that felt like right around where wispy neck hair gave way to thicker scalp hair. Nicky made several passes, I was relieved each time the clippers stopped instead of going up the back of my head.
Nicky turned off the clipper. My muscles finally relaxed.
“Usually, I would shave that smooth,” Nicky mused as she put down the clippers then began to unfasten the cape, “but I want to leave you with some stubble to feel and remind you that you could have had that all over your head.”
Nicky carefully removed the cape and let the clippings from it pour to the floor. It was a fair amount of the hair I had supposedly earned to keep. She tore off the tissue, crumpled it up, and dropped it to the floor. Almost as and after thought, she unfastened the wrist restraints.
“Now you need to go get the broom and sweep up the mess you made Becky. Do not touch the extensions.” Nicky ordered as she put the restraints away in the armoire. “Come to the office Lisa, and I will make you a copy of the contract you promised to go over.”
I looked in the mirror, barely recognizing myself as Nicky and Lisa walked away leaving me with my hair scattered around the chair to clean up.
————————— Part 9: Obligatory happy ending ————————
“What’s that?” I asked as Lisa met me by the door with a stack of papers.
“The part of the deal to get Nicky in on a monday that unfortunately you can’t fulfill.” Lisa explained a little grumpily as we walked down the street. “It’s a contract she wasn’t sure about and wants gone over by a lawyer. Geeze the back of my head is cold.”
“I’m sorry honey.” I offered the millionth apology I knew still wasn’t enough.
We climbed into Lisa’s car, and Lisa turned to me.
“You may think you taught me a lesson by letting Nicky do that to you, so I wouldn’t have anything to play with anymore.” Lisa said in her gotcha tone, “But jokes on you. I think it’s pretty cute.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked. “I thought you were annoyed that my hair was still longer than yours in the back. This whole thing was my fault.”
“I’m not happy about what happened, but I know it was an accident and I’m not petty. Besides, you know I really did enjoy playing with your hair. You’re the one who warned me that I wouldn’t have it to play with anymore if Nicky cut it all off.” Lisa said. “I just didn’t think you would actually let her cut it that short, I expected you to only let her cut it to your shoulders. But you went and let her cut it almost all off.”
“What the heck do you mean let her?” I asked. “It’s not like she gave me a choice. She literally strapped me to the chair at the end when I tried to walk out.”
“You’re the one who insisted you wanted to play the game then didn’t use the safe word.” Lisa said as though that made her point.
“Of course I insisted on continuing,” I said. “I wanted to earn as many inches as possible. I didn’t want to end it before I’d earn a single inch. This haircut could have been so much worse!”
“What did you think was going to happen if you didn’t insist on playing the game?” Lisa asked with a wrinkled brow.
“If I hadn’t played the game Nicky would have just cut all my hair off right down to the scalp,” I stated what I felt like Lisa knew already. “You were there when she said that if I didn’t get the first question right she was going to buzz me down to stubble.”
“That was just part of the game!” Lisa said with exasperation. “Why didn’t you use the safe word like I suggested?”
“I’d only earned 1 inch at that point I wanted to try for all 12.” I said back, matching her exasperation. “What good would stopping have done?”
“Oh Becky.” Lisa sighed, leaned back, and chuckled. “I’m going to be marrying an idiot.”
“What?” I asked, a bit annoyed at being laughed at. “Why am I an idiot?”
“I’m sorry.” Lisa said, ending her chuckles and turning to stroke my face. “Nicky was right that I did a really bad job explaining things to you. I’ll try to do better when we get home, and hopefully the class she made us sign up for will help.”
I sat in silence trying to figure out what I had missed. I had a really sinking feeling that if I had understood something better, I could still have enough hair for a short ponytail. I started thinking harder about what Lisa had said.
“What did you mean by ‘I’m going to be marrying’?” I asked, as Lisa’s hand went from my cheek into the short hair around my ear tucking it back.
“Oh ummmm.” Lisa sat back up, looking nervous. “That was just a slip of the tongue.”
“It meant something didn’t it?” I pressed.
Lisa sighed deeply, and turned to look at me. “Open the glove compartment.”
I did as I was told, on top of the neat pile of the car’s paperwork sat a small black velvet jewelry box. I lifted it out and opened it up, the simple ring inside sparkled up at me.
“Rebecca McMillian,” Lisa spoke as she took the box gently from me, removed the ring, and started to tenderly slide it onto my finger, “would you do me the honor of giving me your hand in marriage?”
I looked down at the colorless stone on my finger, then up into Lisa’s loving eyes. I felt my bottom lip quiver and my eyes fill with tears as I was suddenly too overwhelmed to speak.
“I’ve been trying to set up the perfect moment for weeks, and it keeps going badly.” Lisa explained. “Like when we hiked up to the top of the mountain that was supposed to have the great view, but it was all foggy when we got there. The weather report said the fog was supposed to burn off by noon. Then the night at the nice restaurant with the rude waiter wasn’t going at all the way I planned. Of course this last weekend was a disaster. This is so not how I planned to ask you.”
Lisa stroked down my short hair, looking nervous with a tight smile. I was suddenly all choked up.
“Please say something.” She finally implored me.
I still couldn’t quite form words, but I started nodding vigorously as tears ran down my cheeks and managed a small “umh-hm.”
“Thank you.” Lisa said as she started kissing my teary cheeks, and then added between kisses. “I love you so much.”
I settled down into Lisa’s warm arms, feeling safe again as she stroked her fingers through the short tufts that were what was left of my once glorious hair.
I finally felt calm enough to speak. “Can we have a long enough engagement for my hair to grow out enough to put up?”
“Oh Becky,” her fingers gently separating out one of the short tufts, “I really don’t want to drag it out that long, can we just wait for it to be long enough to curl and put flowers in it?”
I sighed, knowing she was right.