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An Old Fashioned Boss by Roy
Logan couldn’t wait for Monday. After all, he was starting his job as a legal associate for the criminal attorney Marcus Black’s law firm—the no-nonsense lawyer whose word stood out as law in his office. He was a man of thirty-five, obnoxiously handsome with short, neat black hair with a jawline sharper than a steel sword.
Logan, on the other hand, was in his late twenties with a young, boyish look that he tried so hard to hide with grown-man stubble. His dark brown, almost curly, shining hair was quite a matter of pride to him. His hair has quite the length, reaching past his collar which he has kept back-brushed. An ex of Logan told him that his hair made him look like a man and not a boy.
When Logan was getting ready for his first day, he didn’t think his new boss, Marcus Black, would mind the length of his hair because he was young and thirty-five. Sure, he would understand as long as his hair remained neat and gelled.
On the first day itself, Marcus threw a disbelieving look at Logan and gave him a terse lecture about neatness and discipline when Logan showed up three minutes late. The rest of the week went smoothly until Friday happened.
Logan’s alarm clock faltered, making him unbelievingly late. He had no time to deal with his hair as he hurriedly combed, without gel or spray, and got out of the house. As if the whole universe was conspiring, it was raining and humid outside. But the time he reached office, he was not only late but also untidy.
When Marcus saw his associate, he could only grind his jaw silently, making it a point to deal with him at the latter end of the day. Logan couldn’t miss the stern look on the face of his handsome boss but inwardly kicked himself for messing this up. As expected, Marcus called him inside his office once everyone had left for the day.
"Close the door, Logan, and take a seat," he issued the order without looking up from the book under his nose.
"You wanted to see me, Sir?" Logan hesitantly asked.
"I told Martha to send my associate inside, and if I correctly remembered you are my legal associate, Mr. Logan Davis," he responded with his eyes still glued to the papers. "Now, do you still have any confusion?"
"Err… right. No, it’s clear, Sir. I am sorry."
This time he looked up and relaxed back against the chair, with the muscular arms crossed over his broad chest. "You should be sorry, Logan, but you are just apologizing for the wrong reason. Remind me, did we or did we not talk about my stipulation on neatness and discipline?"
"I was running late today, Sir," he admitted. "I didn’t have the time to neaten my hair, plus the rain and humidity made it worse."
"Ah! You’re blaming the weather, then?"
"No, no, Sir!" Logan swiftly corrected. "I know it’s my fault, and I am very sorry. I will make sure not to repeat such a mistake."
Marcus’s hard stare was fixated on his pleading associate. He was oddly calm today, contrary to his quintessential strict behavior with his employees.
"Okay." He nodded thoughtfully before rising on his feet. "It is still raining outside, so why don’t I drop you home? And on the way, we can take care of your ‘rain-and-humidity’ problem, so you are never late again."
Marcus grabbed his suit jacket and strode towards the door, while Logan was still contemplating what just happened. "Err…"
"Do I need to repeat myself, young man?"
The baritone of his voice sent shivers down his back. "No-no, Sir."
Logan obediently followed him into the car. After a drive of around fifteen minutes, Marcus pulled up near a shop named "Cut ‘N’ Shave". Logan already knew what was coming and realized that he couldn’t blatantly refuse his boss.
‘I might as well get a slight trim and why not!’ he thought to himself.
When Logan walked in with Marcus, he was mildly surprised at the sight. The barbershop was like any other local ones, with burly, chrome chairs, giant clippers hanging from the counters, the lingering whiff of aftershave and an old barber wearing a white apron. Logan expected Marcus to be the guy who’d go to posh salons, given his status.
"Marcus, young man! How are you today?" the old barber greeted him. Oh! So he is a regular here—Logan concluded.
"I am good, Remo. Thank you for keeping the shop open at this hour. I know it’s late for you."
"Nah! It’s not an issue at all. But didn’t you have a clean-up a week ago?"
"Yes, yes, I did. I needed your help with this situation," Marco said and pulled Logan closer, grabbing onto his forearms. "Remo, this is Logan. He is my newest legal associate. And Logan," he introduced. "This is Remo. He has been cutting my hair since my law school days."
The barber, Remo, only nodded, and closely studied Logan’s hair, making him slightly uncomfortable. But suddenly his skin prickled when a strong masculine touch feathered over his sensitive nape. Marcus’s fingers closed around the back of Logan’s head, sensually stroking the length of the hair at the collar.
"Remo, please make sure he looks like a lawyer," he instructed the barber clinically. His hand pressed at the back of Logan’s and slowly ushered him towards the chair. Tongue-tied, Logan sat down with his whole body tingling with heightened anticipation.
He was promptly caped before a strip of tissue was fastened around his neck. The barber then ran his frail, wrinkled fingers through natural wavy hair assessing its length and texture. "This young man has quite a head of hair," he muttered.
I am sitting right here! Logan wanted to yell. But he only scowled.
"I will first take down the mop here," the barber declared, directing the statement to Marcus, who approved with a nod.
Logan turned around a bit, and hesitantly told the barber, "Um… I usually get it trimmed at the end—"
Marcus quickly cut in. "It’s all right, Remo. Do what you think is appropriate." The barber shrugged and went back to grab his tool from the counter.
Marcus turned to Logan with a stern countenance. "Listen to me clearly and make sure you don't forget this: What other associates do, I don’t care. But I will not have my legal associate prance around the office like a hipster. For that, if I have to drag you in here every other week, I will do that. I want you to be a good lawyer and concentrate more on the cases, rather than spending time on this." He grabbed a chunk of his hair and gave a sharp yank to punctuate his lesson. "Understood?"
The barber clucked his tongue, coming over to stand behind the chair. "Young boys nowadays like fashionable long hair," he commented and began to comb down the back.
Marcus, instead of occupying the waiting chair, stood by Logan’s supervising the look. "Well, you know me, Remo. I am old-fashioned like that."
The old man chuckled and unceremoniously lopped off a chunk of hair at the back. And that was just the preamble. Logan couldn’t see anything except the incessant sound of scissors—Schnick, Schnick, and Schnick—filled the ancient-looking barbershop. When Logan tried to angle his head, the barber pushed his head down with a grunt.
He began attacking the hair, with scissor-over-comb and reduced them to half an inch. Logan helpless squirmed in the chair and watched big chunks of hair falling around him. Before he could steal a look, Remo turned away the chair as he sat facing Marcus. Logan saw the satisfying look on his boss’s face as the barber slid the comb into his temple and quickly snipped off a curtain of brown hair. The comb kept on sliding up and up—with the scissors snipping away at his hair.
In no time, the back and one side of his head were shorn neatly to half an inch. For an old man, Remo was surprisingly swift. The other side received the same treatment, and the cape was full of brown clippings. Deep down, Logan was clenched tight at the sight of his precious locks, lying lifeless around him.
"Remo, why don’t you give him the haircut you gave me first? You remember, right?"
"Ah! Of course, I remember." The barber smiled. "But I am not sure your boy here would like a high-and-tight."
Logan gulped. He didn't know whether he should be glad being called ‘Marcus’s boy’ or panic for the short haircut.
"I am making the call here, Remo. Go ahead, and give him the white-walls and take down the top as short as mine," he instructed. He cupped Logan’s chin, tipping it up. "You don’t have a problem, right, Logan?" he asked, rather gently.
Logan’s body pulsed, throbbed and resisted the urge his thighs, to find relief. "No, Sir. Whatever you think is best." He saw Marcus smile, a rare phenomenon, that made him so glad.
But the very next sound wasn’t very pleasing. The droning hum of the clippers sounded menacing, but the feeling of the vibrations against his neck was an indescribable pleasure. The clippers climbed higher and higher up his back, almost at the crown, leaving nothing but bare skin. After several passes, the back was devoid of any length of hair. The barber maneuvered his head, a little roughly, to the side, and ran the clippers high up his temples. Logan felt the hair clippings rolling down his cheeks, and then onto the cape.
In no time, the barber took down back and sides to nothing. Although, Logan was oblivious to the whole shorn situation.
Remo quickly dampened the hair on top and took down the length of a quarter of an inch. Again and again, the scissor sailed over the comb, snipping down any extra length of hair. There was nothing ‘wavy or frizzy hair’ left on top of Logan’s head—it was simply and plainly—‘short’.
Next, Logan saw the barber retrieve another clipper, slightly smaller with a whining sound. Instead of running it over in a single pass, Remo was working on a smaller area, and it was then he realized that the barber was doing the taper fade. When this whole ordeal was over, Logan finally breathed a sigh of relief, hoping to get out of the chair until he felt Remo smearing the warm, creamy foam around his head.
Panicking, his eyes met with Marcus’s and saw that his eyes were twinkling with an appreciation of the new haircut.
Remo titled his head to the side with a firm clamp on top, and slowly dragged the sharp blade down his temple—in small, calculated strokes. Within minutes, a brand-new hairline was carved, and the action was repeated on the other side. The back of his head was another game, altogether. The new hairline was extremely higher, almost above the top of the ears.
Wiping off any remnant of shaving foam, Logan saw the barber pump out something from a bottle. He then rubbed it into his hands, walked behind the chair, and worked on the top. Logan finally registered two things: one, it was oil and second, how short his hair on top was!
"There! He looks like a man now," the barber announced gleefully, releasing him.
Logan turned to the mirror and froze. The back and sides were all barren as only pale skin glistened—the hairline impossible higher—while the taper was nothing but grainy stubble. The only pelt of hair was on top, but one could hardly call that hair with such a short length.
To his utter disbelief, Logan’s boyish look was gone, and instead, he stood out as a man of his age.
Marcus reached out to stroke the shorn nape, the fingers caressing the smooth part, and when they climbed higher; he felt the fine grain of coarse stubble. Even the top was so short that it couldn’t be grabbed but only felt.
"I can’t tell you how good you look," Marcus praised softly, only for his ears. And Logan waged the battle to swoon at his voice.
"I like the haircut, too, although I have never gone so short…err…thank you, Sir."
Marcus’s fingers clasped even tighter as he dragged him closer and whispered. "I like you in this way, and you better not grow out that mop again. Or,"—his voice got breathy—"I will grab a clipper and shave you down."
To which, Logan could only smile.