Unexpected Reunion

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Every once in a while, a story comes through the site that seems to be missing something or may not end right.  This longer story comes from one of those.

 

 

Kathy squinted through the late-morning sun, juggling a canvas tote overflowing with fresh vegetables and a precariously balanced bouquet of sunflowers. The bustling Farmer’s Market thrummed with a familiar energy – a cacophony of friendly barters, barking dogs, and the scent of sizzling sausages. As she rounded a corner, a shock of bright purple hair snagged her attention.

There, standing behind a booth overflowing with artisanal soaps, was Laura Miller, frozen mid-sentence. Laura, with the same infectious grin and eyes that still crinkled at the corners when she laughed, but with a head of hair that would put a lavender field to shame.

“Laura?” Kathy’s voice startled them both, and the stack of lavender honey soap Laura was holding tumbled to the table.

“Kathy? Oh my god, is that really you?” Laura abandoned the soap, wiping her flour-dusted hands on her apron as she rushed forward. Their embrace was a tangle of years unlived, filled with the warmth of a long-lost friend.

“It’s been, what, ten years?” Kathy chuckled, pulling back to take in Laura’s appearance. The shy, bookish girl from their small-town high school was gone, replaced by a woman radiating confidence.

“Eleven,” Laura corrected, a playful glint in her eyes. “You look amazing, Kath. City life treating you well?”

They chatted for a while, catching up on the broad strokes. Kathy, now a graphic designer in Chicago, had returned home for a weekend visit with her parents. Laura, it turned out, was no longer the aspiring veterinarian.

“Remember how I fainted every time I even saw a picture of blood?” Laura laughed, sending a customer glancing their way. “Yeah, that dream died a quick death in college. Turns out, I have a knack for making people look good.”

She gestured outwards, revealing a discreet barbershop tucked behind the soap stall. The name, “The Purple Haze,” emblazoned in neon pink above the door, left no room for ambiguity about Laura’s personality.

“I opened this place three years ago,” Laura beamed. “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had!”

Kathy, impressed, followed Laura inside. It was a cozy space, decorated with vintage barber chairs and rock posters. A faint scent of lavender oil mingled with the familiar aroma of hairspray.

“This is fantastic, Laura,” Kathy said, genuinely impressed.

Laura beamed, fiddling with a pair of silver scissors. “Want a tour?”

The next hour melted away in a whirlwind of shared memories and lively chatter. Laura regaled Kathy with stories of her wild apprenticeship in Capitol City, learning the tricks of the trade from a gruff, old barber with a heart of gold. Kathy, in turn, recounted the ups and downs of navigating the competitive graphic design world.

As the sun moved across the shop floor, there was a comfortable lull in the conversation. Kathy nibbled on a chocolate chip cookie she’d snagged from the bakery stall, watching Laura clean up.

A comfortable silence settled between them. Kathy felt a pang of something she couldn’t quite place, a mixture of curiosity and a strange sense of vulnerability.

Clearing her throat, Laura broke the spell. “Listen, Kath, I know this might sound crazy…”

Kathy raised an eyebrow, a gentle smile playing on her lips.

“There’s something I never told you back in high school,” Laura said, her voice barely a whisper.

Their eyes met, and Kathy saw a flicker of something she hadn’t noticed before – a raw honesty that made her heart skip a beat.

“I… I had a bit of a crush on you,” Laura confessed, her voice cracking slightly. “Not that it changes anything now, of course, just…”

A choked laugh escaped Kathy’s lips. The revelation landed in her chest like a forgotten memory, a flicker of warmth from a time when things were simpler.

“Laura,” Kathy said softly, “I had no idea.”

The admission hung heavy in the air. Neither spoke for a moment, each lost in their own thoughts.

“Honestly,” Kathy continued, a hesitant smile gracing her lips, “the only crushes I entertained back then were on fictional characters.”

Laura’s laugh, light and airy, filled the space. It was then, as Laura’s eyes crinkled in the corners, that something shifted inside Kathy. A realization dawned, like the sun peeking through a storm cloud.

A blush crept across Laura’s cheeks at Kathy’s confession. “Fictional characters, huh?” she teased playfully.

Kathy laughed, a warm, genuine sound. “Hey, don’t knock Mr. Darcy,” she joked.

The revelation hung in the air for a moment, a silent acknowledgment of a past neither of them anticipated. But the comfortable silence that followed wasn’t awkward, rather companionable.

“How about we grab some lunch?” Laura suggested, a hopeful glint in her eyes. “There’s this great little ramen place around the corner I know you’ll love.”

Kathy readily agreed, and over steaming bowls of spicy broth and melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, they continued their conversation. The afternoon sun painted the world in a warm orange glow as they reminisced about high school crushes (other than Laura’s, of course) and the teachers they still remembered fondly.

As they finished their lunch, Kathy’s gaze drifted back to Laura’s vibrant purple hair. “So,” she began, a curious note in her voice, “you mostly cut men’s hair, right?”

Laura nodded. “Yeah, mostly. But I did take courses in women’s cuts during my apprenticeship and have a few women as regulars. Why do you ask?”

Kathy hesitated for a moment, then took a deep breath. “Honestly, Laura,” she admitted, “I’ve been wanting to try a shorter haircut for ages. But I’ve never had the nerve.”

Laura’s eyes widened in surprise. “Really? Why not?”

Kathy shrugged. “I don’t know, I guess I’m worried it wouldn’t suit my face shape or something.”

A thoughtful look crossed Laura’s features. “Well, from what I remember,” she said, her voice dropping to a conspiratorial whisper, “you have a fantastic bone structure. I always thought you’d look even sexier with short hair.”

Kathy’s cheeks burned with a blush that had nothing to do with the remnants of spicy ramen. “Laura!” she stammered, a mixture of surprise and amusement in her voice.

Laura grinned, a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. “Just being honest, Kath. Besides, a good haircut can be life changing. It can make you feel confident, like you can take on the world.”

Kathy couldn’t deny the truth in Laura’s words. The idea of a bold new look, a change that reflected the woman she’d become, was strangely appealing.

Taking a deep breath, she met Laura’s gaze. “So,” she said, a hint of a smile playing on her lips, “what do you say? Can you convince a scaredy-cat like me that short hair isn’t a fashion disaster waiting to happen?”

Laura’s grin widened. “Challenge accepted,” she declared, her voice brimming with confidence. “How about you come back to the shop and I’ll give you a consultation. Maybe even a sneak peek of what you could look like with a shorter cut.”

The thrill of the unknown mingled with a spark of nervous excitement in Kathy’s stomach. “Alright,” she agreed, a newfound determination settling in her chest. “Let’s do this.”

Kathy’s stomach churned with a nervous flutter as she followed Laura back to “The Purple Haze.” Stepping into the familiar space, the scent of hairspray and lavender oil no longer seemed comforting, but strangely intimidating.

“Are you sure about this, Kath?” Laura asked, her voice laced with concern as she noticed Kathy nervously fiddling with her ponytail.

Kathy managed a weak smile. “Yeah, I… I think so. But promise me it won’t be a disaster.”

Laura chuckled, a warm, reassuring sound. “Hey, trust me,” she said, placing a hand on Kathy’s shoulder. “I wouldn’t dare mess with your gorgeous hair unless I knew it would look amazing. Short hair can be unbelievably sexy and beautiful, you know.”

Kathy’s cheeks burned at the compliment, but deep down, her uncertainty lingered. “Sexy, huh?” she said more to herself than to Laura.

“Absolutely,” Laura confirmed, her eyes twinkling. “Now, come on, let’s get you comfortable.”

Laura ushered Kathy to the barber chair, its worn leather the color of dark chocolate, whispering stories of countless haircuts past. Kathy sank into the chair, the weight of her decision settling on her shoulders.

Taking a deep breath, she grabbed Laura’s hand. “Okay,” she said, her voice barely a whisper, “but you have to promise. Sexy and beautiful, remember?”

Laura squeezed Kathy’s hand reassuringly. “Promise,” she whispered back, a playful smile dancing on her lips.

Picking up a pair of scissors, Laura held Kathy’s ponytail aloft, its thick brown strands gleaming in the afternoon sun. “Alright,” she said, her voice firm but gentle, “first things first.”

With a practiced snip, Laura severed the ponytail, the severed hair cascading down like a released waterfall. Kathy gasped, a wave of both relief and sudden vulnerability washing over her.

The nervous flutter in Kathy’s stomach escalated to full-blown butterflies as Laura expertly wielded the scissors, shaping and sculpting. The conversation flowed, filled with a mix of reminiscence and Laura’s reassuring commentary. But Kathy’s attention was primarily focused on the steady decline in the length of her hair.

Finally, Laura put down the scissors and picked up a pair of clippers. “Alright, Kath,” she said, her voice brimming with barely contained excitement, “are you ready for the big reveal?”

Kathy swallowed hard, her heart hammering in her chest. She could back out now, remain tethered to the familiar comfort of long hair. But something in Laura’s confident gaze, the unspoken promise of transformation, held her fast.

“Go for it,” Kathy whispered, a newfound resolve echoing in her voice.

The whirring of the clippers filled the air as Laura began her work, the short strands of hair falling like confetti around Kathy’s face. Inch by inch, the style emerged – a close-cut pixie with a playful wisp of hair framing Kathy’s forehead and the back and sides cropped short.

When Laura finally turned Kathy towards the mirror, a gasp escaped Kathy’s lips. The woman staring back was no longer the girl with the long, familiar hair. This woman was bold, confident, with an air of mystery that sent a shiver down Kathy’s spine.

Her fingers instinctively reached up to touch the short strands, the cool air caressing her exposed scalp. It was unfamiliar, yet somehow exhilarating. The reflection in the mirror wasn’t just shorter hair; it was a reinvention, a glimpse of a woman she hadn’t known existed.

Laura’s grin mirrored Kathy’s own dawning sense of wonder. “So?” she asked, a satisfied note in her voice. “Sexy and beautiful?”

Kathy met Laura’s gaze, a slow smile spreading across her face. “Sexy,” she whispered, a husky note creeping into her voice. “Very, very sexy.”

In that moment, looking at the woman in the mirror, a woman with a bold new haircut and a spark of newfound confidence, Kathy knew she wasn’t just looking at a shorter hairstyle. She was looking at the start of something new, something exciting, and something undeniably thrilling.

Silence descended upon the shop, thick with a tension that crackled in the air. Kathy stared at her reflection, mesmerized by this woman she barely recognized. It was a bold look, a statement, and a secret thrill danced in her chest.

Beside her, Laura remained silent, watching Kathy’s reaction with an intensity that sent a shiver down Kathy’s spine. Finally, Laura reached out, her fingertips brushing against the newly exposed nape of Kathy’s neck. The touch sent a jolt through Kathy, a current of electricity arcing between them.

Kathy turned, her eyes meeting Laura’s. Laura’s gaze was warm, filled with an unspoken admiration that left Kathy breathless. “So,” Kathy began, her voice a husky whisper, “does this new look change your mind at all?”

A ghost of a smile played on Laura’s lips. Her hand lingered on Kathy’s neck, her thumb tracing a gentle circle against the soft skin. “About what?” she asked, her voice barely a murmur.

Kathy swallowed hard, feeling the heat rising in her cheeks. “About that crush you had in high school,” she admitted, the words tumbling out before she could stop them.

The smile on Laura’s face bloomed fully. “As a matter of fact,” she said, leaning closer, her voice dropping to a breathy whisper, “it seems to have gotten considerably stronger.”

Before Kathy could respond, Laura’s lips brushed against the sensitive skin of Kathy’s nape, sending a wave of shivers cascading down her spine. A gasp escaped Kathy’s lips, a mixture of surprise and a delicious rush of desire.

Laura leaned in further, her breath warm against Kathy’s ear. “Do you still have room for a fictional character in your heart, Kath?” she murmured, her voice laced with playful seduction.

Kathy closed her eyes, her body tingling with a newfound awareness. Turning in the chair, she met Laura’s gaze, a slow, seductive smile gracing her lips. “Maybe,” she whispered, her voice husky with desire. “There might be room for a very real barber.”

The space between them evaporated as Laura cupped Kathy’s face, her touch sending shivers down Kathy’s spine. Their lips met in a kiss, hesitant at first, then deepening with a sudden urgency. The kiss was a whirlwind of emotions – long-suppressed desires, newfound confidence, and a surprising spark of something real and exhilarating.

Their hands explored, Laura’s fingers tracing the newly shorn hair at Kathy’s nape, while Kathy’s hand ran down Laura’s arm, sending goosebumps erupting in their wake. The air crackled with unspoken desires, a silent negotiation that needed no words.

As the kiss deepened, the world around them faded away. There was only the feel of Laura’s lips against hers, the scent of lavender oil mingled with Laura’s familiar perfume, and the intoxicating realization that this wasn’t just about a haircut. This was the start of something entirely new, something exciting, and something that left them breathless with anticipation.

The kiss broke with a gasp, both women breathless and flushed. Kathy’s eyes sparkled with a newfound confidence as she met Laura’s gaze. A low, satisfied purr rumbled in Laura’s chest, her hand still cupping Kathy’s cheek.

“That,” Laura murmured, her voice husky with desire, “was definitely worth the wait.”

Kathy laughed; a breathy sound laced with a hint of nervousness. “Tell me about it,” she agreed, her fingers trailing down Laura’s arm, sending a spark of heat shooting through both of them.

In the charged silence, a stray thought flickered across Kathy’s mind. “You know,” she began, a hint of a smile playing on her lips, “the clippers… on the back of my head… that actually felt kind of amazing.”

Laura’s eyebrows shot up in surprise, a mischievous glint entering her eyes. “Amazing, huh?” she teased, her thumb gently tracing the curve of Kathy’s jawline. “Would you like to feel a little more of them?”

Kathy’s breath hitched. There was a delicious danger in the question, a hint of something forbidden yet undeniably thrilling. Her gaze drifted to the clippers Laura had set down on the counter earlier. The chrome glinted in the afternoon sun, an almost hypnotic allure.

Looking back at Laura, Kathy’s smile widened, a flicker of daring in her eyes. “Maybe,” she whispered, her voice husky with a newfound boldness. “Just a little more.”

The air crackled with unspoken desires. Laura’s grin mirrored Kathy’s, a silent promise hanging between them. This wasn’t just about a haircut anymore. It was a game of exploration, a dance of pushing boundaries, all fueled by a potent mix of long-suppressed desires and a head-spinning rush of newfound attraction.

With a slow, deliberate movement, Laura reached for the clippers, her eyes locked on Kathy’s.

A slow smile spreads across Laura’s face. With a low hum, she plugs the clippers in, the sound a familiar thrum in the quiet room. Kathy shivers, a mix of anticipation and nervousness prickling her skin. Laura picks up a guard, its teeth clicking softly as she snaps it onto the clippers.

“Ready?” Laura asks, her voice a teasing murmur.

Kathy swallows, her throat suddenly dry. “Yes,” she whispers, the word laced with a thrill.

Laura starts at the nape again, the familiar buzzing a counterpoint to Kathy’s ragged breaths. This time, though, Laura goes higher, the clippers whispering against Kathy’s soft skin just below the crown of her head. Kathy lets out a soft moan, arching her back slightly. Laura smirks, the sound barely audible.

With each pass of the clippers, a cool breeze dances across Kathy’s exposed scalp. The sensation is oddly arousing, sending goosebumps erupting across her skin. She can’t help but squirm in the chair, a whimper escaping her lips every time Laura grazes a particularly sensitive spot.

Finally, the clippers fall silent. Laura sets them down with a soft click and gently turns Kathy’s head to face the mirror. Kathy holds her breath, her eyes squeezed shut. Then, slowly, she opens them.

Her reflection stares back, a stranger with a head of close-cropped hair. It’s not quite a buzz cut, but definitely shorter than Kathy ever imagined herself going. The sides are tapered clean, following the curve of her head, and the top is a uniform length, just long enough to brush her fingertips.

For a moment, surprise holds Kathy speechless. Then, a grin splits her face. It’s not nervousness or apprehension, but pure exhilaration. The feeling of the cool air on her scalp, the lightness of her hair – it’s oddly freeing.

“Wow,” she breathes, tracing the line of her hair with a trembling finger. “I love it.”

Laura leans in, her lips brushing Kathy’s ear. “I knew you would,” she murmurs, her voice husky with satisfaction. Her fingers skim the newly exposed skin, sending a jolt of electricity down Kathy’s spine.

The air crackles with unspoken desire. Kathy meets Laura’s gaze, a newfound confidence sparkling in her eyes. This wasn’t just a haircut – it was a transformation, and Kathy couldn’t wait to see where it took them.

A playful tension crackled in the air as the two returned to Kathy’s hotel room. The city lights shimmered outside the window, casting a warm glow on the plush interior. The playful mood from the shop lingered, and with a knowing glance, Kathy reached for Laura’s hand. Their fingers intertwined, sending a jolt of electricity through Kathy.

They sank onto the soft bed, the silence punctuated only by the rhythmic hum of the air conditioner. Laura leaned in, her lips brushing against Kathy’s ear. “So,” she whispered, her voice husky, “did you have any other hidden desires for me to fulfill tonight?”

Kathy chuckled, a shiver running down her spine. “Maybe,” she said, her voice barely a whisper. “You know, back at the barbershop, I thought maybe you were gonna shave my head or something.”

The playful glint in Laura’s eyes intensified. She cupped Kathy’s face, her gaze turning serious. “Would you like that, Kathy?” she asked, her voice a low rumble.

Kathy hesitated, then met Laura’s gaze head-on. A slow, deliberate nod escaped her lips. The idea, once a teasing fantasy, now held a strange allure. The vulnerability, the intimacy, the complete trust it implied – it was intoxicating.

Laura’s lips curved into a knowing smile. “I thought you might want more,” she said, her voice a husky purr. “So,” she reached into her purse, pulling out a sleek pair of clippers with a slight flourish, “I brought my clippers with me.”

Kathy’s breath hitched. Surprise battled with a thrill of anticipation that danced in her stomach. She sat up in bed, her eyes glued to the clippers. “Really?” she breathed; her voice tinged with a nervous excitement.

“Absolutely,” Laura replied, her gaze unwavering. “Are you sure?”

Kathy met her gaze, a newfound determination settling in her eyes. “Go for it,” she said, her voice firm.

Laura’s smile widened. With practiced ease, she plugged the clippers into the outlet and switched them on. The gentle whir filled the room, a counterpoint to the pounding of Kathy’s heart. Laura moved closer, her touch feather light as she began mapping the contours of Kathy’s head with the clippers.

The cool metal grazed Kathy’s scalp, sending goosebumps erupting across her skin. The familiar buzz cut hair began to fall, a fine cascade settling on the sheets. A strange sense of liberation washed over Kathy. With each passing moment, she felt a layer of self-consciousness melt away, replaced by a raw vulnerability that both terrified and exhilarated her.

Finally, Laura switched off the clippers, the silence ringing in Kathy’s ears. She reached for the hand mirror on the nightstand, her heart pounding in her chest. Laura gently held the mirror back, her eyes sparkling with a mix of amusement and something deeper.

Kathy took a deep breath and met her own reflection. Gone was the familiar buzz cut, replaced by a close shave that left just a fine layer of stubble. It was a stark look, a total departure from her usual style. And yet, as she traced the smooth surface of her head with trembling fingers, a surprising sense of empowerment washed over her. This was her, raw and unfiltered, and in Laura’s eyes, she saw nothing but pure acceptance and desire.

A slow smile crept across Kathy’s face. “Wow,” she breathed, her voice filled with a newfound confidence. “I… I kind of like it.”

Kathy and Laura melted into each other’s arms, a tangle of limbs and unspoken emotions. The tension in the room had morphed into something deeper, a shared vulnerability that both exhilarated and terrified them. Kathy, her heart still pounding from the experience, leaned back slightly, her eyes tracing the outline of Laura’s face.

“You look incredible,” Laura whispered, her voice husky with desire. She cupped Kathy’s face, her thumb gently stroking the newly shorn scalp. “So raw, so beautiful.”

A blush crept up Kathy’s neck. This boldness, this new side of Laura fueled a fire within her. In a move that surprised even herself, Kathy leaned in and captured Laura’s lips in a searing kiss. The kiss was filled with a newfound urgency, a desperate exploration of this newfound intimacy.

When they finally broke apart, breathless and flushed, Laura’s eyes glittered with a mischievous glint. “Your turn to return the favor,” she murmured, a playful smile tugging at the corner of her lips.

“Do mine now.” she continued, tilting her head playfully. The challenge in her voice was laced with a hint of vulnerability.

A surprised laugh escaped Kathy’s lips. “Are you sure, Laura?” she asked, her voice laced with a playful concern. The idea of Laura, with her cascading dark hair, bald, was both shocking and strangely arousing.

Laura met her gaze, a determined glint in her eyes. “Positive,” she said, her voice firm. “Honestly, I’ve always secretly wanted to shave my head, but never had the guts. Now…” she trailed off, a blush creeping up her neck, “now I have the perfect excuse.”

The weight of Laura’s trust settled on Kathy’s shoulders. This wasn’t just about shaving hair; it was about a shared vulnerability, a complete surrender to each other. Taking a deep breath, Kathy picked up the clippers, their familiar weight a grounding presence in her hand. She met Laura’s eyes once more, a silent communication passing between them.

Laura leaned in; her eyes fluttering closed as the clippers whirred to life. Kathy began with slow, deliberate strokes, mirroring the gentle touch Laura had used on her. The dark hair fell in soft waves, a stark contrast to Laura’s pale skin. With each passing moment, a sense of ownership, of creating something new and exciting together, bloomed in Kathy’s chest.

As the final wisps of hair fell away, Kathy switched off the clippers. The silence in the room held a new energy, a shared intimacy laid bare. She held the mirror up, her heart pounding in anticipation.

Laura’s eyes flew open, a mix of surprise and exhilaration washing over her face. She ran her fingers across the smooth surface of her head, a hesitant smile spreading across her lips. It was a bold, unexpected look, but on Laura, it radiated a quiet strength and beauty that left Kathy breathless.

“Wow,” Laura whispered, her voice filled with awe. She reached out and cupped Kathy’s face, pulling her into a kiss that was both celebratory and deeply emotional. In that moment, under the soft glow of the nightstand lamp, they were two women, shorn of their societal expectations, bound by a newfound trust and a connection that transcended the physical.

 

 

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