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Sara pulled up and parked in front of Joyce?s Choice Hair Design salon. James? car was already parked there. She looked at her watch and swore silently. Late again. She absently tucked a wisp of hair behind her right ear and hurried into the salon.

?Well hello. There you are.? James greeted with a kiss. ?We were starting to think you were going to chicken out.?

?And let you have the satisfaction of calling me chicken? I think not.? Sara kissed back.

James? fingers swept back through the left side of her head, and caressed the short hair of her nape. Well not so short now, it had a few months to grow out now.

A four months ago James brought her here to Joyce?s salon for a makeover. He asked Joyce to cut off her long brown hair, dye it light auburn, and give her an asymmetrical style. The left side of her head had been cut extremely short. In the back, it blended into longer layers, the right side of her hair became an A-line bob, coming to a point just above her chin. The new look was a sensation at the office. A few women even approached her as to where they could get a similar hair cut. By the end of the first month, ten other women sported variations of Sara?s asymmetrical style.

Once a month, James met her here for a trim of that style. This meeting was for a new shorter style. Sara was anxious. Having had long hair for the past decade or so and changing to something so radical was quite a step for her, but James wished for her to go even shorter. Sara thought back to that day a four months ago, how strange, and delightful it had felt when Joyce had passed those clippers up the nape of her neck. How exciting and scary it was going from long to barely there. Who knew what James would have in store for her this time.

?Hello, Sara,? Joyce greeted with a smile.

?Wow, Joyce, I almost didn?t recognize you.? Sara said.

Joyce?s extremely short, copper colored, hair, was now platinum blonde, with pink highlights through out it?s spiky crown.

?It?s a lot of fun.? Joyce smiled. ?Are you ready for another change??

?No, but I can handle it.? Sara replied.

?We?ll see if you pass the test afterwards.? Joyce stated.

?Test?? Sara inquired.

?You?ll see.? Joyce led her over to her private station, towards the back of the salon. James followed with eager anticipation.

?Well, would you like to watch this time?? Joyce asked.

Sara looked to James, who bit his lip trying not to blurt out his opinion.

?No, surprise me.? Sara said.

James? face lit up like boy watching fireworks. Sara took a seat in the salon chair as Joyce spread a cape over her shoulders.

?Take one last good look before you begin your next transition.? Joyce directed.

She held the chair still for Sara to study herself in the mirror, before Joyce slowly turned the chair to face James. He sat back in a chair across from her. He smiled warmly at her and winked.

?I love you,? he whispered.

?I love you too.? Sara whispered back.

Joyce wasted no time in combing out and clipping Sara?s hair. She took out the clippers and snapped a comb attachment to it. Sara?s heart fluttered and skipped a beat as the clippers came to life. Starting with Sara?s short side, Joyce, set the vibrating machine against her cheek, and pulled the hair mowers up to where the crown began. Sara controlled a shiver as she watched small clumps of hair call to her cape and slide down to her lap.

Joyce gently nudged her head down, baring her already nape to Joyce. A shiver washed over her body as the clippers were pressed against the base of her neck and pushed up over her sensitive nape. Her heart no longer fluttered, it raced. Warmth not only washed over her face in a blush of ecstasy, but moistened her. Joyce?s expert hands lightly touched her head and guided it to one side. The layers of hair brushing Sara?s cheek and ear were about to succumb to the clippers. Joyce continued around that side of her head, while ever longer wisps of hair floated down to her lap. Finally Sara watched as the forward most and longest hairs slid from their perch across her lips and to join the rest in her lap.

Sara frowned with longing as the clippers were shut off. She looked to the side to see Joyce take off the guard and pick up a comb. She switched the clippers back on to Sara?s relief and combed her hair up while running the clippers over them. Joyce spent a wonderfully long time, using clippers over comb sometimes going over parts of her head twice.

Finally the clippers were shut off. Sara looked up to James, who smiled warmly and blew her a kiss.

Joyce took up he scissors and unclipped the remaining longer hair of the crown, and began snipping away. Long clumps of hair from the right side of her head fell to the floor around her.

?How is that?? Joyce asked James.

?Exactly. You are such an artist, Joyce.? James commented.

?Color?? Joyce asked.

?Yes. Here, let me show you.? He said getting up. ?Sara, love, I will be right back. No peaking now.?

?And no feeling.? Joyce said. ?This is to be another total surprise.?

?So I am supposed to just sit here while you two run off whispering about my hair and I can?t look or touch it??

James smiled. ?Exactly.?

Sara glared at him as he turned away. She started looking around the salon. It was almost closing, and the last of the scheduled clients were sitting in the various chairs.

?Hello, Sara.? Heather greeted, approaching with a box of miscellaneous things. ?I almost didn?t recognized you. It looks great!?

?Really?? Sara asked, unsure. ?They took off and won?t let me see it or even touch it.?

Heather?s smile grew. ?I always found it exciting doing it that way.?

?Its driving me nuts.? Sara complained.

?Hello Heather.? James greeted.

?James, are you torturing your fianc?e?? Heather accused.

?Not at all, I just want her to be surprised and pleased when everything is said and done.?

Heather leaned forward and kissed James on the cheek, before heading towards the back room. ?I?ll see you in a few moments.? She said over her shoulder to Sara.

Sara watched as the tall beautiful woman walked away. She especially stared at Heather?s hair, or lack there of. Heather was one of the many beautiful women, James had talked into loosing their hair. Heather?s nape and scalp was just barely visible through the pelt of black hair.

?Here we go,? Joyce announced setting two bowls of color agent on the counter behind her.

Joyce picked up a wide brush and began painting coloring agent into the sides of her head. The shock of the cool gel brought goose pumps up on her arms. Joyce worked all the way around her head, leaving the crown for last. She then pulled out some latex gloves and fingered the color agent in by hand, dipping from one bowl and then the next.

Joyce led the goopy headed Sara over to the dryers. The table beside the dryer already had the silver tray with tea, and refreshments. Joyce turned the dryer on and adjusted it over Sara?s head.

?No peaking, or touching.? Joyce admonished before leaving.

?How are you doing?? Sara woke her from her stupor.

?Anxious.? Sara replied. ?They said something about passing a test.?

?Ahh, the test.? Heather whispered, with a far off look in her eyes.

?I still have no idea what they are doing to my hair, other than they just about shaved it off.? Sara added.

Heather looked up at Sara and studied her goopy hair. ?Not even close. You still have quite a bit. I think you will like this style. It will be extremely easy to take care of.? Heather smiled.

Sara and Heather spoke at length while Heather gave Sara a pedicure.

?Okay, Sara.? Joyce announced approaching. ?Lets get you out of that contraption and rinse out your hair.?

Sara was relieved to be out of the dryer finally, the constant heat was starting to be a little too much. Joyce led her back to the sink and lay her back. The cool water sent waves of chills through out her body. After the heat of the dryer, the cool water felt good, as well as this was the first time, Joyce personally came into physical contact since cutting her hair. Her scalp seemed extra sensitive as Joyce?s fingers worked through her remaining hair, washing out the chemicals. When finished, Joyce wrapped her head up in a towel and led her back to her station.

James was sitting across from her again, with a smile of anticipation. Joyce rubbed the towel through Sara?s hair a couple more times, before whipping the towel away.

?Wow? James whispered with delight. ?Better than I had anticipated.?

Joyce smiled back at him. ?I think the colors work well with this style.?

?It really sets off the cut, that is for sure.? James added.

Sara cleared her throat. They were talking about her as if she wasn?t even there, or as if she were some project that they were working on.

?Sorry honey,? James apologized, ?It?s a hair thing.?

Joyce turned on the blow dryer and with her fingers lightly dried Sara?s hair. She turned off the dryer long enough to finger some kind of hair product into her hair. She snapped on the dryer again, but with her fingers styled her hair, pulling up and out on certain hairs. After a few moments, Joyce looked critically at Sara, before turning off the dryer.

?Tah dah!? She announced.

James beamed, and jumped up out of his seat.

?You look marvelous.? He said, his lips meeting hers.

?Well aren?t you going to let me see?? She asked, after James had pulled away.

?Close your eyes.? Joyce instructed as she slowly turned the chair towards the mirror.

?Okay, you may see.? Joyce announced.

Sara opened her eyes upon a totally unexpected sight. Her hair was a little lighter auburn than it was before, almost coppery. It was shaved close on the sides, and in the back, almost to skin around the ears. A spiky wisp of side burn. The crown was all spiky and texture, with black spikes mixed in with the coppery ones.

Her eyes, seemed so much larger, so blue. Her fingers sought out the short hair and felt their short length. Her fingers slid back to her nape and stroked up and down, feeling it?s silkiness, like a soft pelt. A smile, crept across her face.

?I knew you would like it!? James beamed. ?I?m so glad that you do.?

?Wow, James, you really out did yourself with this one.? Heather exclaimed as she walked by. ?Sara, you look fabulous.?

Joyce whipped off the cape, brushed off her neckline and helped her to her feet.

Sara?s fingers kept seeking out her nape. Waves of excitement washed over her each time.

Sara looked in the mirror, before turning to follow James, and noticed that she seemed to be walking taller, more confident.

James was handing Joyce his credit card, when Sara caught up with him.

?Now for the final test.? James said drawing her near.

His lips met hers for only a moment?s embrace, before caressing her just behind the ear. Sara?s knees felt weak as charge after charge coursed through her body.

?I think it passed the test.? Joyce said grinning at the two of them.

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