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Promises, Promises by Jack


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Promises, Promises

As Ben's roadster grazed the curb, Jake glanced down at his iPhone. He swept his hair off his forehead and made a mental note that it was exactly 11:17. After slamming the door he fumbled around trying to wedge his bag between his legs while adjusting the seat so that his knees wouldn't brush against the dashboard. Ben went to grab his shoulder, "guess we're running just a little behind. Err, just a couple of things we need to do yet. He hesitated, "still get us to the pool by 12, 12:15 at the latest. Promise.

"WE'RE not running a little behind, and WE could just head there now, and get there on time, for a change, well, maybe not on time, but not as late as usual. Then YOU could run your errands later.

They'd met at the pool just after Jake moved to San Diego a few months before. He was looking for a way to hook up and convinced himself, seeing as he could sort of swim, that a gay swim club might be a good venue. If nothing else, he figured at least the guys would be in good shape. And Ben was definitely in good shape. There'd been a mild flirtation and a few attempts at sex that never really went anywhere. Now they'd moved to that no man's land, best-friends-but-not-boyfriends, a not so magical land where they did just about everything together but there was never any sex.

Ben looked ahead at the line of cars waiting to get onto the expressway and laid on his horn. "If you're gonna be in one of those moods, he ran his hand through Jake's thick hair then yanked on it, "I guess we could pick up my dry cleaning later, but, I really need a haircut, and it's not that far out of the way. Plus they close at 2. That would be cutting it a little close.

"Right. And you're definitely not the type to cut it a little close. Jake rubbed his palm over the stubble on top of Ben's head. He rolled his eyes. "You know, the haircut could probably hold off for another week, dude.

"Probably, he yanked on Jake's hair again, "but you know how I am about my hair, bud. And it's been a whole month now. And you always say how much it turns you on just after it's buzzed.

"Like that's going to get me anywhere, Jake sighed and pulled away.

"Anyway, Ben's shifted into fourth gear and the car zoomed into the passing lane, "promise, won't take long. We'll look inside. And, if it's busy, we won't even stop. It'll be a quick in and out.

Jake grimaced, "quick in and out. Right. If this is so important to you, why didn't you start earlier this morning and get the haircut before you picked me up?

Ben's blue eyes sparkled as they pleaded with Jake. "Been wanting to take you to this place anyway. I've been going there since I was a little kid. Jim gave me my very first haircut. Used to play with his son Jimmy, he's a barber now, too. We went to grade school together. We're like family. Kind of wanted you to meet them, you know.

"Ahh. That is such a sweet, sweet story. Jake shook his head and crossed his arms over his chest, "if there's a wait, we're out of there. Promise?

Not that far out of the way, turned out to be almost half an hour, not that far out of the way. The barbershop was planted in this neighborhood Jake had never been in before, one of those neighborhoods that appeared to have been quite charming fifty years ago, but now many storefronts were abandoned and those that were still occupied looked lost in time. As Ben swerved into the primo parking spot right in front of the shop he glanced in the big window. Lucky for him there was no one waiting and one of the two chairs was even empty. He bolted through the door and introduced Jake to his old friend Jimmy. The other barber stepped over and grinned at Jake then slapped the back of Ben's head, "the kid's been coming here for over twenty-five years. Not lately though, from the looks of this mop! He swatted him again. His eyes shifted to the man in his chair as he nodded at Jake, "can take you in a couple of minutes, son. Just finishing up with this guy. Unlike his son who sported a marine issue induction cut and was wearing jeans and a tight tee shirt, Jim was outfitted in a crisp white tunic and his hair was cut into the most precise flattop Jake had ever seen. Jake watched him return to his chair and flip his clippers back on then run them all the way up the back of his customer's head. Once all of the hair on the back at sides of the guy's head had been reduced to stubble Jake took a few seconds to survey the place; definitely not like the salon he frequented, but it fit right into the neighborhood. Probably hadn't had a fresh coat of paint since Ben had his first haircut there.

Before he hopped in the chair Ben was stripped to the waist, a tradition Jake was unfamiliar with. Instead of picking up a magazine, Jake divided his time between staring at his friend's remarkable chest and watching the clippers bite away at his already short hair. When Jim called out to him, Jake didn't stir, he just sat there, eyes planted on the clippers, watching the inch and a half of hair as it was mowed down to a uniform quarter inch. He didn't appear to notice that his dick was rock hard. It got even harder when the clippers landed on the top of Ben's head and plowed straight back.

"You're up, son. Jim's insistent voice almost broke the spell.

"Ah, umm. Just here with my, umm, Ben, here, sir. Jake's voice drifted off as the older barber approached.

"First one's on the house, son. He cleared his throat, "but if you'd rather wait for my boy here, his eyes met Jake's.

Before he knew it, Jake found himself backing away from Ben and lowering his body into Jim's chair.

"You wanna loose the shirt, son? A lot of guys do.

The shop was cemetery quiet. No background music. About all Jake could hear was the sound of the clippers purring next to him. He yanked his tee shirt off then pulled at his hair and patted it back into place. It had only been a few weeks since his last haircut, and unlike Ben, he usually went at least six or eight. It was styled exactly as it had been for most of his adult life, side part, blocked back, lightly buzzed on the sides and long and floppy on top.

The barber kneaded Jake's shoulders, "you got a nice body there, son. You swim with Benji? He smacked his lips, "all the guys he brings here got these terrific bodies. His voice drifted off as he turned toward the bar and began fidgeting with a pair of clippers. "He's a good kid. Come a long way from this old hood. Knows what he wants, and figures out how to get it.

Jake stared down at his crotch, relieved that his dick wasn't stiff anymore. He crossed his legs and began giving instructions but the barber's voice drowned his out. "Yeah, that Benji, he's pretty good looking. Me and Jimmy, we sure would like to see him settle down, you know. Meet some nice guy. He squeezed Jake's upper arm. "Maybe one of the guys he swims with. Jake saw the barber wink at him in the mirror.

"So, back to the haircut, sir. Jake cleared his throat. "Umm.

"I got this one, son. His voice morphed from polite to authoritative. "I know what you want. Been doing this since before you was born. Sit up nice and straight now. The barber adjusted Jake's head. "Shoulders back. Feet flat on the footrest. Stay nice and still for me, and no talking, he asserted, "I work best when it's quiet. OK? Never gave a haircut a guy didn't like. Won't take long.

Jake scowled while the chair was being pumped up. Just as he was being spun away from the mirror Ben smirked over at him. As instructed, Jake was sitting straighter and taller than he was used to, staring directly ahead at this sign that read, REG CUTS ONLY, when a comb lifted the hair off his forehead. The clippers were humming close to his ear. They brushed his brow front and center then ripped across the top of his head all the way to the back. When he pulled away the barber bore his hand into the base of his neck, "you need to sit nice and still there, son, just like I told you. The clippers charged across the top his head again. This time a pile of hair bounded past his face and landed on his crotch. His dick lunged forward. As the hold on his neck got tighter Jake tried to speak but nothing came out. He tried again. Still nothing. The clippers continued to pass across his scalp, first straight back, in perfectly even rows, then side to side. Each time they touched his head his dick twinged. When Jim flipped the clippers off, Jake tried to look around into the mirror, but all he could see was the profile of the barber's flattop and his hands reaching for another set of clippers. Before he could duck the second pair of clippers came in for what felt like a crash landing on his left temple and skidded across the side of his head. Jim's persistent hand steadied the freshly buzzed crown of Jake's head as the clippers were repositioned at the base of his sideburn then took a joy ride around his ear. All through the attack Jake continued to sit straight and tall. His feet were almost glued to the footrest and his teeth were clenched to the point of pain. His dick was uncomfortably hard and his erection was impossible to hide, especially now that his cock was clinging to the front of his gym shorts. All he could manage to do was stare at the words, REG CUT ONLY, almost screaming back at him.

Over the hum of the clippers Jake heard Ben laughing out loud, "didn't think you'd take the time for a cut, dude. He tapped the face of his watch, "we gotta get to the pool, remember?

"Well, it was free and Jim here was rather insistent and,

"and, f***, he's buzzing it down even tighter than mine. Sweet. Didn't think you were the type for a high 'n tight, dude.

"Maybe a good week before your buddy gets even a shadow here on the side. The older barber chortled, "wanted it nice n tight. He glanced down at Jake's lap and grinned at Ben.

Jake's hand snuck up to the side of his head and he stroked his bare scalp and whined, "don't really remember ever getting to say much of anything to you, sir.

"I knew what you wanted, son. And this is what you wanted.

"R-right. Jake caught Ben's eyes as they shifted away.

Just before the clippers came back to life the chair began to slowly rotate half circle. Jake took a deep breath and let his eyes shift upward. From the right side he still he looked like clean cut Jake Newsome, but from the left he was pretty much bald and looked like some unrecognizable marine recruit. The sidewall was definitely shorter than Ben's, clipped right down to bare scalp. Just as he'd studied every move the clippers made when Ben got sheared, he studied every move again, this time with more trepidation as he watched what was left of his own hair tumble to his shoulder.

"Looking pretty good, huh, son? Wait til you hit the pool. Gonna feel like nothing you ever felt before.

Jake tried to nod his head as he continued gazing into the mirror now watching the clippers buzz across the barely discernible stubble on the top of his head and blend it into the sidewall.

"Two weeks, son. Back here in two. And bring the kid along. Understand. Jim swatted Jake across the back of the head this time, "gotta keep you looking sharp now that I got you looking so good.

When they got back to the car Ben took the time to put the top down. He rubbed his hand across the stubble on Jake's head, "guess we don't have to worry about the wind messing up your pretty boy hair any more, huh, bud? Jake shoved the hand away and turned the mirror so he could get a good look at himself. He didn't say anything all the way to the pool, he just stared straight ahead and kept rubbing his scalp and breathing heavily. When he did speak all he said was that he wanted Ben to drop him off back home and that he wasn't in the mood for a swim anymore.

"We're almost there, man. Just half a block away.

Jake kept stroking his head, "I feel totally naked. I can't believe that asshole did this to me.

"Hey. That asshole is my old friend, okay. Jim said this is what you wanted. Must have just misunderstood you, that's all.

"Misunderstood? I never got to say a word, he just grabbed the clippers and shoved them across the top of my head.

"Nothing you can do about it now. Let it go. Ben reeled Jake closer to him and kissed the top of his head. He laid his friend's hand on his hard dick. "Anyway, I think you look f***ing hot. None of the boys at the pool are going to be able to keep their hands off you.

"More like stop pointing at me and laughing, Jake pouted.

By the time Ben calmed his friend down enough to get out of the car it was almost 12:45. A new record, an hour and fifteen minutes late for their two hour practice. As they headed toward the showers Ben noticed Jake pulling his swim cap over his head. He grabbed Jake's shoulder, "not to rub salt in the wound, or, umm, hair spray onto your shiny scalp, but don't think you're gonna be needing that thing today, dude. Jake held tight to his cap and shot ahead. Ben chased after him. He grabbed him again, turned the shower on and shoved Jake's shrouded head under the spray then pinned him against the wall. He yanked the cap off, "you're going to have to take the stupid cap off eventually, okay. He stopped talking and began licking the sidewall. His hard dick rubbed against the front of Jake's speedo while his hands massaged his buzzed head. "I can't stand it. This haircut, it's so f***ing hot, bud. It's making me totally crazy.

Jake ran his palms over his slick scalp, "so, how long before it grows back, man?

Ben looked away, "Give it a chance. Once you get used to it, dude, you ain't gonna want to let it grow back, promise.

"But, let's say I do.

Ben's voice became shrill, "I don't know, couple of months, why the f*** do you care, it'll grow back when it grows back. No faster, no slower. He shoved the swim cap into Jake's gut.

"I kind of got this hunch, Jake stared right into Ben's eyes, "that maybe you don't want it to grow back.

"Never said that. I don't give a f*** what you do with your f***ing hair. Grow it down to your f***ing ass. Ben strutted back through the locker room. Jake followed. He caught his reflection in a mirror and grimaced. He grabbed Ben's shoulder, "you f***ing bastard.

Ben stopped dead in his tracks.

"This whole f***ing morning is finally starting to make sense to me. Jake's tone became accusatory, "and, like let me know if I've got this screwed up or what, but I'm starting to think that maybe, probably, this last minute trip to your barbershop for me to meet your friends didn't really have a whole lot to do with me actually meeting your friends at all. Ben headed toward the pool. Jake's voice got louder, "and that maybe, he rubbed his head and frowned, "just maybe, you set me up and your old friend Jim gave me the haircut you wanted me to get. And the three of you had this whole thing choreographed.

Ben's face got red. He swallowed hard and started inching away. Jake grabbed his friend's bicep. He slowed down and rotated his head just enough to see Jake. "Right, it was this big conspiracy. Me and Jim and Jimmy. We've been planning it since I met you. His eyes shot toward the ceiling, "get the pretty boy into the chair and shave his hair off. Get real. Why the f*** would we do that?

"F***ing look me in the eye and tell me I'm delusional, okay?
Jake was right on Ben's heels all the way to the pool deck. When Ben put his goggles on and dove into the water Jake cannonballed in and landed almost on top of him. Ben waited for Jake's high and tight to pop up. He lunged toward it, planted his hands on Jake's sidewalls and kissed him long and hard. When Jake pulled back, Ben started talking really fast, "Jim, he was just trying to get us together. Didn't mean to screw things up between us. Sometimes he worries too much about me. I didn't think he'd take you quite this short.

"What? But why?
Ben shrugged his shoulders and scratched his fresh haircut. "Well, I, I sort of thought that, you know, he ducked under water and popped back up behind Jake and wrapped his arms around Jake's waist and nestled his head into his shoulder, "I thought it would be hot, okay, and you know, his hard dick glided up the back of Jake's suit.

"and you know, you probably could have, sort of said something. This time Jake reeled Ben closer to him. His voice got lighter, "probably would have cut it if I'd known it was such a turn on for you, okay?

"I just thought, Ben stammered, "that you wouldn't, and, Jake went to kiss him just as a few of their friends noticed them and swam closer. After shoving Ben out of the way they circled Jake and started stroking his high and tight and teasing him about his shiny head. Jake swatted their hands away and started rubbing his own head and laughing. His head disappeared and surfaced right next to Ben's, "Feels awesome. Guess I finally got the haircut I really wanted.

Ben's eyes lit up. He blushed, "you mean it.

Water began beading up on Jake's shiny head. He nodded, "funny thing is, I've been into guys with military haircuts since as long as I can remember.

"Sort of like mine? Ben fondled his fresh buzz.

The other guys slowly started dribbling toward the showers. Most of them stopped by and rubbed Jake's head along the way. From the look on his face, it appeared that we was totally into it. Now that Ben and Jake were alone, Jake swam to the other end of the pool. Ben didn't waste much time getting there.

"So.

"So. Jake looked away, "I have a little confession, too. Today, you know, when I got into Jim's chair, I got to admit, I was sort of hoping he'd take charge and,

"and, f***, say it, dude, give you the haircut you always wanted. I knew it. Sometimes you just need a little push.

"Anyway, been thinking, what if, for a change, we start out a little earlier next time. Like let's say you pick me up, just to see if it's even in your DNA, at 10. And maybe, IF you get there on time, which I doubt is even possible, you and me, we go and visit your friends again.

"In a week, man, he rubbed Jake's head, "your not going to have a lot of hair to cut, okay.

"Right. So what if I get to tell them how I want yours cut?

"Guess you could have me shaved bald. And then you'll get yours cut just like this again?

Jake sort of smiled, "I might.

Ben pulled Jake toward him, "promise, you have to promise. He shoved Jake's head under water and held it there for a few seconds.

When the fresh high and tight popped back up Jake was starry eyed, "okay, I promise.

"And you'll keep it cut like this? Ben went to shove Jake's shiny head under again. "Promise?

"Okay. I promise. But maybe I'll let it grow in once in a while and then when we go back you can tell Jim how you want him to cut it.

The smirk on Ben's face said it all, but he managed to spit out a couple more words, "but, what if, let's say you invited me, and I was like maybe, I was like spending the night, you know, sleeping over at your place next weekend, he stepped back a few feet and sent a big wave of water toward Jake, "and then we could, you know, maybe stay in bed a little longer, and you know, he moved closer, "and then you could pretty much make sure I'm on time.

Jake shook his shiny head, "I got this funny feeling that we may be even later.

"Promise?












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