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It was another quiet Wednesday at Cal’s Barbershop. Quiet because the owner was out with some friends for their weekly 18 holes of golf, followed by a visit to the 19th hole for drinks. But the shop was open, attested to by the presence of a young woman seated in one of the three chairs, reading a book.

Stacey knew that Wednesdays would be long and dull, which was why she always brought a book. Once in a great while someone would come in for a haircut, but not often enough to keep her from being bored to tears. Now it was the middle of the afternoon and the young woman continued to read, book in her left hand while she idly played with her chestnut hair on the long side of her asymmetrical bob with her right hand. She wore blue jeans, running shoes, and a beige T-shirt. Stacey paused long enough to glance at the watch on her wrist.

Damn, she thought, noting the time was only five minutes later from the last look. I hope someone comes soon or I’m closing early today.

With a deep-felt sigh she went on reading, until the two-tone door chime sounded behind her over the backbar. She looked up to see who came in and was mildly surprised to find an older woman closing the door.

“Can I help you?” Stacey asked, sliding out of the barber’s chair and tossing her book onto the counter behind.

The other woman was a little shorter than Stacey, but a lot older though she had very few wrinkles on her face. She looked like someone who took good care of themselves. The woman was dressed in a white linen pantsuit with matching high-heeled sandals and a peach-colored blouse. She also had a white shoulder bag hanging from her left shoulder. And her pale blond hair was swept up into one of those matronly bouffants with carefully coifed curls on top, covered by a peach scarf.

“Why, yes, uh, Stacey,” came the clear vibrant voice as the older woman removed large framed designer sunglasses, her attention shifting from over the barberette’s shoulder to her face. Clear blue eyes sparkled at the barberette.

Stacey was stunned when she recognized the other woman who had obviously read the nameplate over her station upon entering.

“Mrs. Jessica Cameron!”

Before Stacey stood the richest woman in the county; a woman not only born to inheritance, but married twice into rich families and widowed both times. The younger woman was speechless for a moment before she got her tongue back.

“Wha, wha, what can I do for you?

Mrs. Cameron dropped both sunglasses and scarf into her bag before leaving it on a chair by the door.

“Well, actually, there are two thing you can do for me, but lets talk about the first one for right now. And, please, call me Jessica.”

“And what would that be?”

Mrs. Cameron clasped her hands in front of her and paused a moment before speaking.
“I’m wanting to get my hair cut.”

This surprised Stacey as the other woman could well afford to be pampered at the most expensive salons anywhere. Yet she came here requesting a haircut.

Seeing the barberette’s hesitation Mrs. Cameron continued. “You see, I’ve just come from the one place in this whole town that has been doing my hair for well over 40 years. And they’ve always done right by me. But they seemed to have hired some bright young know-it-all, fresh out of beauty school, who thinks they know your needs better than you do.

“Well, to make a long story short, after 5 minutes of arguing with this young twit, I told the manager that they just lost their best customer. And when word gets around about my leaving, their clientele will be leaving in droves.”

Stacey was still a little confused. “How did you know about this place?”

With a smile the older woman walked up to the barber’s chair and seated herself.

“My dear, I just happened to be driving by your quaint shop and noticed you sitting by your lonesome. And like that (she snapped her fingers) knew this was the place to be. So, here I am.”

The openness of this woman made Stacey smile also, forgetting about the boredom that came before her arrival. From the counter she picked up a cape, snapped it open, and draped it across the older woman.

“How do you want it cut?” she asked, fitting a length of tissue around the woman’s neck before snapping the ends of the cape together.

“Oh, something much shorter than it is now. And turn me to face the mirror, please, so I could watch what’s happening.”

Stacey did as she was asked so that Mrs. Cameron was staring at her reflection. The younger woman began pulling the pins out of the bouffant, watching the curls slide away into wavy tresses down over the other’s shoulders. Taking up a brush Stacey began to brush through the older woman’s hair, making it shine.

“Would you like a bob?” she asked.

This made Mrs. Cameron shake her head with a violent jerk, nearly pulling the brush out of the barberette’s hand.

“No bobs, please,” Mrs. Cameron said flatly. “I’ve had to live with one until I was twelve years old. This boarding school my parents sent me to had it as a strict policy that only bobs were to be worn by the girls. So we all went around like a bunch of Louise Brooks in blue navy dresses and straw hats.”

Both women chuckled as Stacey finished her brushing. “I think I understand. That style is now called the China Doll bob, and it comes to the bottom of the ear or level with the nose, right?”

The older woman nodded.

“There other bob styles I could suggest”

Mrs. Cameron frowned. “I didn’t know there were others.”

Stacey looked at her in the mirror. “Other than the China Doll you have the Dutch Boy, the Page Boy, the asymmetrical, and the inverted.”

“Don’t think I’ve ever heard of these other bobs. Please, elaborate.”

“The Dutch Boy is like a chin length bob.” The barberette indicated on the older woman’s hair with a finger along both sides. “And you can have it with either bangs cut about the eyes, or parted in the middle or to one side. Then there’s the Page Boy. It’s kinda like a Dutchboy that comes to just the shoulders. And there’s the inverted bob.”

“What’s that one?”

“It’s like a page boy or Dutch Boy, but the back is cut high along the back of the skull and allowed to angle down the sides to the front.”

The customer thought for a moment before saying, “And what was the other one you mentioned?”

Stacy smiled. “Yes, there’s the asymmetrical bob, which is what I’m wearing.”

Mrs. Cameron thought for a moment before speaking. “Let’s go with the inverted bob, then.”

“Do you part your hair?”

This made the older woman think for the moment before answering, “I sometimes part it on the left, when I’m wearing it down. Why?”

“It affects how the hair is cut and lays. Now, if it was a center part, it pretty much mirrors either side.” Taking the comb Stacey divided the white blonde hair down the middle, carefully combing it down and away. “See, this will be quick and easy as the hair will be of equal length.” She then began moving hair from the left side of the woman’s head to the right until a part appeared there. “Now this way the hair will be longer and more abundant over on the right side of your head. But, truthfully, I like this part the best.”

“Why’s that?”

Stacey smiled to other in the mirror. “This way you draw the hair on the left side back behind the ear, like so, then bring the hair on the right over to your nose, carefully spreading it over the right side of your face to give it a mysterious look!” Stacey’s voice dropped to a dramatic stage whisper as she finished.

Studying herself in the mirror, Mrs. Cameron liked the look, liked how the hair was tucked in behind the left ear while the rest on the long side of the part was arranged over her right eye, half hiding her face. She turned her head this way and that, enjoying how it looked and how it made her look.

With a smile she simply said, “Like Veronica Lake’s peek-a-boo hair style in
the 1940’s. Let’s do it!”

Picking up a pair of heavy barber’s shears, Stacey drew the hair back in her left hand and set the shears just above it and squeezed them shut. The heavy steel blades cut through the hair, leaving the rest to fall free and swing about the older woman’s face. She got in front of Mrs. Cameron and studied her work, then stepped behind to judge. Then she changed the shears for trimming scissors and began to even the cut all around. When she was done, Stacey asked, “How’s that?”

Mrs. Cameron turned her head from side to side, admiring it in the mirror. Her hair was currently a blunt cut between her chin and the tops of the shoulders.

“Looks good,” she announced. “Looks very good.”

Excitement coursed through Stacey’s being as she picked up a styling comb.

I can’t believe she’s letting me get away with this, she thought. Keeping a straight face and concentrating on the task at hand, Stacey bent over the woman’s right shoulder again. Placing the scissors into her hair she began cutting once more, angling the cut up to the back of the head. She would pause to comb down through the hair, working any stray strands free to be trimmed. Mrs. Cameron kept still, watching the proceedings in the backbar mirror, trusting the younger woman in what she was doing.

When she was done there the barberette moved around the left side and repeated the action. She then laid the tools on the counter and picked up the small trimming clippers. Stacey snapped them to life, noting how her customer gave a little jump at the buzzing sound when they came on. Standing once more behind the chair, she gently pushed the other woman’s head down until her chin rested on her chest. Then Stacy placed the vibrating device against the older woman’s neck and slowly pushed them up in a gentle arch.

A small bundle of hair rolled up and away from the clippers when the barberette gave them a toss. She then placed the clippers to the right of where she started and repeated the action though not as high as the first. The third upward cut was on the left and the same. So it was that Stacey trimmed the older woman’s nape, tapering the cut to either side evenly until she achieved her goal. Taking up the comb again the barberette drew some hair out before running the clippers over the teeth until she had blended the sides and back together. Switching the clippers off Stacey laid them down then picked up a hand mirror. She stood behind Mrs. Cameron and showed her the results. A slender hand that bore a ring on each finger came up to brush against the clipped hair.

“Nice, dear, I like how it tapers both down the neck and to either side.” Her eyes shifted to center on the barberette. The younger woman couldn’t help noticing how those blue eyes seem to shine even more when she realized that Mrs. Cameron was becoming sexually excited from the experience. Stacey swallowed hard as memories of sapphic encounters during her days in college resulted in the same look from her bed partners.

Breaking eye contact to prevent the older woman from seeing her own arousal, Stacey set the mirror back on the counter, saying, “Now I’ll have to shave your neck.”

“Shave my neck?”

Without answering the young barberette unfastened the cape, folded it down into the woman’s lap, then tore the tissue off. Then she took up a white towel from the stack on the backbar and unfolded it. It was next tucked in under the hem of Mrs. Cameron’s blouse and the rest spread over her shoulders. Returning to the counter Stacey placed her left hand under the end of a silver device while pressing down on a button on top. There came a grinding whine as the lather dispenser put out a pile of steaming white lather into the woman’s palm.

Mrs. Cameron watched the younger woman step back behind her chair, then felt the warm cream being spread along the back of her neck. She sucked in her breath at the feel of the lather and gentle touch of young fingers. Stacey spread the lather to either side of the buzzed nape, working it into a V shape and out along the shapely neck. Her breathing picked up speed as the thought of shaving another woman’s neck aroused her in such a way that she had never experienced with a male customer.

Wiping her hands on another towel, Stacey pulled a straight razor out of the jar of barbercide and dried it off before taking up the end of the leather razor strop. The sound of steel gliding back and forth on treated leather was the only sound in the shop at the moment. Mrs. Cameron held her breath as she both watched and listened to the blade being sharpened. Stacey let go of the strop handle and stood behind the older woman, razor poised to begin. The edge came down slowly to make the first scrape. She noticed how her customer squeezed her eyes shut and sucked in her breath at the touch of steel on flesh.

She’s getting off on this, came the thought to the barberette’s mind.

When the right side of the neck was shaved the blade was directed to the other side where it slowly removed lather and hair to leave pink skin. A last swipe of the blade across the towel and the neck was shaved clean. Stacey wetted a wash cloth and cleaned up Mrs. Cameron’s neck before removing the towel. The mirror was held up for a final inspection.

“That’s beautiful,” whispered Mrs. Cameron, awestruck, as a bejeweled hand felt the freshly shaven area.

“Yes, it is,” breathed the younger woman, and so are you, was the dark thought. She was trying to be careful in controlling the still rising arousal within the pit of her stomach. She turned the chair around. “Now you said there were two things you wanted done. What was the second?”

Mrs. Cameron gave the younger woman a leveled look. “Give me your hand, please.”

A little taken back by this request Stacey did as asked. Taking those slender young fingers the older woman began to lightly rub them over her chin and along her jaw. Stacey was slightly startled by the rough, bristly feel there.

Releasing the fingers, Mrs. Cameron began: “About twenty years ago I went into menopause, and as a result I began to get very whiskery. Something or other about hormonal imbalance or some such rot. Anyway, my first husband, Albert, thought it was a hoot and as a joke loaned me his electric razor. Well, growing up with three older brothers taught me not to back down from a dare when I saw one. I took Albert’s razor, turned it on, and began running it over my face as I’ve seen him do it.”

Taking a breath, she continued. “To make a long story short, he became so excited, sexually that is, that he took me right there on the bathroom floor. And I must say it was the best sex we had in quite some time!”

By now Mrs. Cameron was laughing joyously as she told her story. And Stacey became caught up in the humor of the moment.

“What happened, then?” the barberette asked.

“Well, after that day we made it a nightly ritual: We would go to bed, take turns shaving each other with the electric razor, then cap off the night with a mad romp in the sack!”

Soon the laughter faded to sorrow. “When Albert died, I couldn’t bear to use his razor anymore. So I started using a depilatory cream. After I married Philip I tried to interest him in the same bout of fun. But he turned out to be a real stick-in-the-mud over the idea. And I continued to use the cream.”

With a sigh the older woman looked up at the younger.

“Now you may think I’m crazy for asking, but it has been something I’ve always wanted to try since I was a little girl. Ever since the few times I followed my father to the barbershop on Saturdays.”

As if coming to a decision Mrs. Cameron straightened herself up, looked Stacey in the eye and said, “The second thing I want you to do is give me a shave!”

There came a lurch in the pit of the stomach as those words sunk home in the barberette’s brain. She blinked. “Are you sure that is what you want, ma’am?” The words were spoken in a hush tone. Not so much by the b
izarreness of the request, but by the unexpected sexual implication of the act.

The older woman continued to look at Stacey as she nodded.

“And it would be appropriate for this shave if I was smoking a cigar.” And she was pointing over shoulder.

Stacey blinked again. She had heard that Mrs. Cameron was smoking cigars long before they became the trend among women today. And the woman was pointing to the shelf in Cal’s station. Turning around the younger woman remembered the box of Antonio y Cleopatra Grenadiers there. It was something Cal always kept on hand for himself and his cronies. Taking the box down, the barberette opened the lid and presented the cigar box to Mrs. Cameron. She looked in. The cigars were long, thick . . . and light green!

Mrs. Cameron’s brows furrowed and her lips gave a slight sneer.

“Candela,” she muttered, then looked up at Stacey with an apologetic shrug. “Well, beggars can’t be choosers.”

She took one out and began removing the cellophane as Stacey set the box back and grabbed the disposable lighter that was next to it. The young woman brought the lighter up and snapped on the flame. Mrs. Cameron slowly turned the cigar over the fire with her right hand; the other curled around Stacey’s as a wind block though there was no breeze to protect against. The older woman looked up, her eyes glittering as she watched the younger woman through the veil of fragrant blue smoke. The barberette felt her mouth go dry, her stomach flutter, and wetness spring between her legs, at both the touch and the stare.

Mrs. Cameron settled back into the chair, blowing a long streamer of smoke towards the ceiling, watching Stacey through narrowed eyes. Stacey placed the lighter back on the shelf then reached for the ventilator switch. A soft whirring noise came from over head as the blue-gray cloud drifted up and away.

Removing the cape, Stacey set this aside on another chair to be dealt with later. Then she lowered the back of the chair and laid a folded hand towel across her customer’s breasts. Then the young woman ran some hot water in the sink before throwing a hand towel into it. After a minute she picked it up, wringing the water from it. She turned back to see Mrs. Cameron blow smoke rings. Carefully Stacey wrapped the towel around the woman’s face, molding it to her features. Then taking the cigar she inserted it into the fold of the towel.

There came again the high-pitched `winding’ sound of the hot lather machine as the barberette filled her left hand with a mound of white foam. When she stood by the chair once more the barberette whipped the towel off and threw it into the sink. With the fingertips of her right hand Stacey began applying the lather to the woman’s face and throat.

The woman fairly purred at the feel of slender fingers patting the lather over her face then slowly massaged it over the skin as the barberette would in working the lather into a man’s stubble. Wiping her hands on a towel Stacey picked up the straight razor from the counter and opened it. She then began working the blade over the leather strop once more. When the razor was stropped to her liking, the barberette then gently laid her left hand on the side of the other woman’s head, turning it away. With the thumb stretching the cheek slightly taut, Stacey brought the blade down and carefully shaved the sideburn and patch of light hairs away. A soft moan came from Mrs. Cameron’s throat.

“God, that feels good. No wonder my father enjoyed going to the barbershop on Saturday mornings.”

Stacey smiled at this while wiping the blade on the towel before clearing another patch. She worked her way down the right side of the woman’s face, shaving and wiping, shaving and wiping, until she reached the chin. And as she did so, the younger woman realized how much more aroused she was becoming.

As Stacey turned Mrs. Cameron’s face towards her to shave the other cheek she stopped. She stared down for a long moment when the other woman’s eyes opened with a questioning gaze.

“Is something wrong?” she asked
.
Swallowing hard, the young woman tried to speak.

“No, Mrs. Camer-, er, Jessica, there’s nothing wrong. Other than the fact that you’re a beautiful woman, and, uh, very desirable. And the fact that I’m shaving you like I would a male customer has me very excited!”

The last part was blurted out until both women stared at each other for a long time. Mrs. Cameron recognized the heightened sexual arousal in the younger woman and this thrilled her.

“Thank you, my dear,” she smiled as her right hand curved up behind Stacey’s head to pull it down. Their lips brushed once, twice, then mashed together in a long, deep sapphic kiss. When they parted Stacey felt as if she would pass out from hyperventilation. After a long minute of regaining her composure she looked down at Mrs. Cameron. The older woman was giving a knowing smile. Then she held up the cigar to Stacey. The barberette was taken back slightly by this gesture. She used to smoke cigarettes in college but quit after she graduated. And now this appeared to be some offering, a silent pact being made between two women and sealed with tobacco.

Without another thought Stacey took the green smoke, placed it to her lips, and drew lightly on it before adding her contribution to the cloudy atmosphere. Mrs. Cameron smiled and took the cigar back as she said, “Come, my dear, finish my shave.”

And so Stacey drew the razor down the left side to the chin. Then she directed Mrs. Cameron to look up as she brought the razor’s edge up that shapely throat, cleaning the blade each time. There followed the compound curves of the chin, topped off by clearing away the moustache. When it was done Mrs. Cameron’s eyes snapped open again, but this time they were wet and shiny.

“Could you do it again, please!” she asked in hushed words. “It felt wonderful!”

Stacey smiled, “Of course, Jessica. Anything for you.” Thus she bent over and kissed her customer again.

There came the winding of the lather machine for the third time, followed by the slow spreading of the lather over a receptive face, the sharpening of the razor, and a second, closer shave of a very happy woman. A wet washcloth cleaned up the remains of lather, followed by a gentle towel. The chair was raised and cape removed.

Mrs. Cameron stepped down and walked to the mirror, examining the smooth shine of her face and the swing of a much shorter hairstyle. She turned and took a deep pull of her cigar, blowing smoke towards the ceiling.

“Stacey,” she said as she went towards her shoulder bag, “from now on you’re my barber. I’ll probably come in this time every week for a trim and a much needed clean-up.”

Reaching into her bag Mrs. Cameron pulled out a $50.00 bill and handed it to an astonished barberette.

“I,I,I, can’t take this!” stammered the amazed barberette.

“And why not?” the customer asked in mocked astonishment.

“It just doesn’t seem right that you should pay me so much. What would Cal say when he sees this?”

“Oh, poppycock!” the woman said in mock annoyance. “He doesn’t need to know. For all he knows you were here all by your lonesome today. And the money goes straight into you pocket. Would you do that for me, please?”

What could she do? It wasn’t often that a rich woman walks into your barbershop, asks for a shave and a haircut, and then pays you fifty dollars. Swallowing her pride, Stacey pocketed the bill.

With a smile Mrs. Cameron pulled the sunglasses out and perched them on her head.

“By the way, what are you doing tonight?”

Stacey shrugged, taken back a bit by the question.

“Probably spend a quiet evening at my apartment reading.”

With a slow shake of her head the older woman continued to smile. “No, your not! You’re having dinner with me, at my home 7:00 sharp. We’ll have good food, good wine, good company, and . . .” She paused to blow cigar smoke at the ceiling as she dropped the glasses o
ver her eyes. “Better cigars.”

So saying Mrs. Cameron set the Grenadier into her mouth at a jaunty angle and was out the door.

For a long minute Stacey stood staring at the door before rousing herself. She tossed the towels into the hamper for laundering later, swept the floor, and emptied the cape into the trash. When all the hair clippings were in the trash she cleaned and oiled the tools and put them away. Satisfied, the barberette picked up her book and was reaching for the ventilator switch when she stopped. Her eyes drifted up to the cigar box on Cal’s shelf. With a sigh she reached for it instead, taking a cigar out. Unwrapping it and lighting up, as she remembered Mrs. Cameron – no, Jessica! – doing, Stacey blew her own smoke up towards the ceiling.

Taking her place once again in the chair, book in hand, she took another pull, swirling the smoke around in mouth before expelling it. Then she stared at the cigar.

“Well,” she sighed, “I might as well get used to them. Seems like I’m going to be smoking again.”

To be continued . . .

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