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The Hot Smell of Manliness (Part 2) by BuzzmeHT

(This continues right where Part 1 left off, hope you all like it!)

I sat there, not sweating anymore. I could feel my almost bare sides and back. Randy put his warm hand on my freshly blocked nape and a shiver went down my spine. I liked the touch of his rough hands against my skin.

- OK, let's make this top stand right up and proud. -- He happily announced.

- Umm, could I just get a trim on top? -- My low fade had just been aggressively buzzed down to a #1, I wasn't about to let the six inches on the top of my head go down the same path. I tried my best to sound strong and commanding.

- Son, I do have to connect it to the clipper work or you'll be looking like a wet, sweaty mushroom. I must snip a couple inches to make hair this thick stand with no product. -- He racked my full mane with his fingers, casually tugging at it.

- A couple inches? It sounds too short. -- I felt powerless, not knowing how I looked after the whole clipper carnage. I was determined, I opened my mouth:

- Would you mind showing me how much you'll cut? -- I waited, hearing just the AC hum, expecting that he'd turn me to the mirror. I felt Randy's hand yanking my bangs forward and down. A wall of dense straight hair covered my eyes, reaching past my nose.

- I can start taking this much off, then I can sculpt it better once I get a nice shape going. But with this heat I'd cut at least up to here. I'd look much better with the suit, more professional. -- I felt him pointing somewhere around my eyebrows. Randy penetrated the hairy wall with his fingers, pretending they were a pair of scissors, indicating what he would cut off.

- That's way too much. Please, just take as little off the top as you can to make it look good. I like it on the longer side.

- Sure, pal. I'm here to serve. I'll give ya a nice trim, nothing radical. -- Randy carefully combed my bangs forward. I felt the scissors entering from the left side. Randy tried to straighten my hair with the comb to have enough tension. Then I heard a snip, and loud crunch as he cut through my bangs. I closed my eyes, I could sense the scissors moving across my face. He went over a couple times, trimming, adjusting. I blinked, surprised that I could see the waiting area again. I felt the scissors chasing a couple longer hairs right in front of my eyes. I peered down the cape, where about three inches of my hair were just laying. It looked like a lot of hair. He tilted my hair up, cutting a straight line across my eyes just a bit higher.

- OK, that'd do for now. Looking much better already! - Randy sounded ecstatic as he pushed back my bangs. On the other hand, I was feeling sick. I knew this cut was going to be shorter than intended, I was resigned. At least it was only three inches.

Randy kept on working on the top, combing, measuring. I could feel his hand closer and closer to my scalp.

- Nate, I'm sorry to tell ya. I don't know who’s that barber of yours back at the Big Apple. But he's a hack.

- Why? He's supposed to be the best one when it comes to skin fades.

- Maybe he is, but he’s no good with longer hair. Once comb it and section it, there are really short bits in there. Son, it's cut unevenly.

- Oh, I always ask for a couple layers on top and on the crown, maybe it’s that. I also have a cowlick there, I feel like it works better.

- Yeah, does he show you the back when he's done?

- Ummm, not really. But I trust him.

- Well, trust me, pal. It's a mess up here. I'm afraid I'll have to go shorter on the crown to tidy it up for ya. -- I thought about it, maybe Chet had made a mistake the last time I was on the shop in New York. He did seem rushed, he always had so many appointments…

- Don't worry. I'll fix it right up for you, you'll be looking great in no time. It's a quick, easy fix. -- Next I heard the Osters humming close to my head, I had no time to react when I felt the cold metal making contact with my crown, relentlessly cutting off more hair. Randy diligently buzzed my crown in all directions. I could feel the pressure of the machine, trying to cut even closer. God, I couldn't even see how short he was going! I prayed he had snapped off the #1, but. But I had no idea.

- OK, Nate, looking good. What did I tell ya? Nice easy fix, the Southern style. That cowlick won’t be troubling you anymore either.

- Randy, how short was that? Please tell me it wasn't the one you had on there. -- Randy chucked, putting his hand on my shoulder.

- Don't sweat it, I had the longest guard on. -- I sighted, relieved. Randy rubbed my head with his big strong hands. It felt bristly and real short. I got nervous again, but Randy's hand felt so good rubbing against me. He went up the sides and back, checking where the stubble met the (I hoped) longer hair on the top.

The plastic comb racked my bangs back again, he was pushing it right into my scalp. I heard the scissors cutting above it. I could feel them bumping into the comb while cutting, they were so close to my scalp. I tensed, Randy noticed it too:

- I would normally use clippers on top for this cut, but I don't want to scare you.

- Oh, thank you. -- I appreciated that. I felt Randy really worried about me feeling comfortable.

- I'm sorry I had to go shorter, pal. You should really find a new barber. -- I clenched my fists under the cape. I was terrified to look in the mirror by now.

- We're about done. So, tell me Nate, how's business going? - Randy tried to make small talk, again trying to make me feel at ease. A little too late for that.

- Quite well I must say, I’m about done and ready to head back home.

- Yeah? What do you do for a living?

- I'm a lawyer. I'm buying some land around here for my company, we're interested in prospecting some of the old ranches.

- Then you must be here too see Mr. Anderson.

- I am. Do you know him?

- Sure, he's also a client of mine. He also likes his hair on the longer side. He has a good full mane for his age. Such a shame he's always hiding it under those hideous cowboy hats. Nice hair like his, and yours, it’s intended to be looked at.

I eyed the clock on the wall. I was meeting the long-haired cowboy in half an hour. That was good, because Randy hadn't even started on my beard yet. Randy made the finish pass over the top. He pushed it down on the sides and up and back on the top. I didn't sense any tugging, just a bristly feel.

- OK, all done. Let me show you how's coming along so we can decide on the taper and the beard before I shave the outline. How does that sound?

Finally! I didn't want to see the damage, but I couldn't look away. I breathed nervously as Randy spun me to the mirror. I was shocked, it was way worse that I imagined. Oh, god...

- It's really short. -- I looked at my reflection, not really processing what I was seeing.

- I know, son. I told you it was the longest I could cut it. But I think it looks great on you, and it's standing right up, isn't it? -- Randy was so proud and happy...

I examined my reflection. I was severely scalped on the sides and back, there was only a dark shadow where my smooth scissor-cut fade used to be. I could see skin all the way up the sides, and the tanned neck contrasted with the white walls halfway up my head. I looked like a redneck that had just had a short summer cut.

I tilted my head down, the crown was sheared to what appeared to be a number #3. I stared and my short, bristly top. There were no bangs at all. I had an old fashioned, expertly crafted brush cut. I had to admit it complimented my face quite nicely, but I hated it. It wasn't stylish, I looked like a blue-collar worker out of the 60s. Hell, I could be in the army. He could had perfectly cut my top with a #4 and it would look right about the same.

My eyes darted back to Randy, he was eagerly waiting for feedback. I could tell he tough this was a masterpiece. He looked at me expectantly, I didn't want to disappoint that hunky handsome guy. I peered at his hair, realizing it was longer than mine. Damn.

- Now you look like a businessman alright. How do ya like it?

- Well, you did what you had to. It looks... good.

- You don't like it? I'm not finished yet. I got to clean it and taper it tightly. And of course, you can't see how great you look in it with all that bushy beard. It doesn't fit this style at all. And it must make you so hot down there.

I looked at my full, long beard. It was at least three or four times the length of the hair on top. It looked fricking ridiculous.

- I'd take it at least as short as the sides. But you'll look better clean shaved. I'll better fit the classic cut. " He convincingly explained, waiting for my approval.

I stared at him, still in shock with the brutal transformation. I looked again at my new, shorn self in the mirror. I looked no nonsense all right. But I loved my beard, it got so many re-posts on Insta. As did my skin fade. For a second I wondered how my 20K followers would react to my drastic Texan make over. Randy's enthusiasm brought me back to reality.

- So, tell me, son. Are we shaving this mess off?

I looked at my brand-new brush of chestnut bristles. It was about a finger's with. I wondered if I could even grab it between my fingers. I was so damn short. I hated it. I loved my long, full hair and my skin fade, and my beard was now ridiculous. I was looking younger, but somewhat manlier. I hated it so much, I was looking basic.

Randy stepped closer and gave my head a good rubdown. No hair was coming out of place.

- This will withstand the heat and the sweat like a champ. And it's cooler, isn't it?

It was. I stared at my new clean-cut reflection, enjoying the rubdown. I looked at all the hair on the cape, it had been a brutal half-hour. I hated it so much. But deep down inside, I felt excited.

Randy reclined the chair back and looked down on me, holding the trimmers on his strong right hand.

- I'll get ya looking like the best businessman of the South in no time. Trust me.

(To be continued... on Part 3)

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