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The Surprise Barber by Armando94

Aidan couldn’t believe how fast the year had gone. He had just finished his freshman year of college this spring, and the last couple weeks leading up to finals were definitely stressful but also a lot of fun, getting to hang with some friends before everyone went there separate ways for the summer back home. Most kids had jobs waiting for them back home, just like Aidan who would be working as a lifeguard at the summer camp he’d been working at since summers during high school. Being home also allowed him to reconnect with old friends and his family, and also let him relax a bit. The first couple weeks back home Aidan wouldn’t get up before ten o’clock and usually wasn’t getting to bed till midnight the night before, whether he was over at friend’s or was up playing video games or Skypeing online with college friends.

The good thing about working for the camp was that he didn’t have to start working right away so for a month he’d had a break between school and work. But before Aidan knew it, it was almost time to go to work. Thankfully his uniforms from past seasons still fit him (he made sure to trim back on eating and drinking so much this past semester). But he’d let his hair grow since being in college. Not that he wasn’t already this way in high school, but in college he didn’t have anyone there to even suggest he get a trim like he would back home. Aidan hadn’t been in years to the barbershop his dad used to take him to when he was little, because by high school time Aidan would do his own thing and either have a friend cut it or he’d begrudgingly go to one of those chain places. But even Aidan was feeling irritated by its length, and he knew he ought to do something about it before it got hotter outside. A hat would only do so much for you as a lifeguard.

It was Aidan’s mom who made a comment to him about it before he could do anything about it when they were having lunch one afternoon. "You should think about getting your haircut sweetie, I know you don’t want to hear it from me though."

Aidan smirked and said, "I know, I’ll have to figure something out before I start working."

"You know, I have my hair appointment this Friday at the salon, if you wanted to come along-- "

"What?? No, no, no mom. Thanks but no thanks, its not like I need to dye my hair or get a perm or something."

"I wasn’t going to suggest those! Now I know you won’t want any of the ladies there to cut your hair-"

"Well yeah!"

Aidan’s mom blushed and paused, letting her son see she was stopping. "As I was saying, I know you don’t want a female hairdresser to cut your hair, but there’s this new stylist and it’s a guy. He’s been there a couple of months actually."

"A guy at your salon?"

"Yes honey, he works on women too and can do all the hair dyeing and perming that you don’t want," she winked. "He can’t be more than ten years older than you. And he seems pretty accomplished, so I’ve heard from other ladies who go to the salon or work there. And I’ve seen him have men in his chair so I’m sure he caters to styles like that."

Aidan wasn’t so sure about it, getting his haircut at a salon. Although, it would be a male stylist. Heck, if he was working some place like this, he probably would be the perfect option of giving Aidan a trim or even just a regular longish haircut. It might actually work out and be a win-win for everyone. "I don’t know mom, maybe he is already booked."

"Don’t worry, I’ll call them and see," Aidan’s mom jumped up from her seat and got on her phone immediately as Aidan sat there and finished eating his sandwich. He heard her on the phone in bits and pieces, "Hi Genna its me Loraine, I was just wondering, since I have an appointment on Friday, if there was any availability… no no for my son… yes…well I was wondering… actually about that gentleman who works… oh great… oh perfect! Then its settled… yes for a haircut… great we’ll both see you all then!"

She ended the call and rejoined her son at the table. "Oh it was just meant to be I guess! I have my hair color and trim at 2:00 which is great because I was able to get you an appointment for 2:45 with that gentleman, his name is Bruce. So time wise it should work out great and we’ll both be done around 3:30 I imagine."

Bruce, now the person Aidan would be thinking about for the next couple days. What he would look like, what he would sound like, and what he was like when it came to dealing with Aidan’s hair. Aidan smiled back at his mom and said, "Thanks mom. Let’s hope this Bruce does a good job."

"Oh I’m sure he will, I can’t imagine them having hired him otherwise!"


Flash forward to Friday, Aidan wakes up around ten like he has been after a late night of playing Fortnite with some buddies. His mom has left him a note saying she is out running some errands but would be home later before their hair appointments. It was all becoming real to Aidan, but he was still feeling good about this. This Bruce would probably only trim the ends of Aidan’ hair anyways, there was nothing to be worried about. So, Aidan, went to the gym (he’d been trying to go more recently since it would be tank top season next week with work) and got in a decent workout, then came home and made himself a decent breakfast before taking a shower.

When Aidan got out of the shower with his wet head, he realized how long his hair had definitely gotten. This trim was definitely over due, and maybe he needed more than just a trim. Maybe a couple inches lopped off would do. The thought of that did make Aidan shudder a bit, how different would he look? A couple inches might not sound a lot but it certainly might look it in the end. He blow dryed his hair and brushed his teeth, then changed into a t-shirt and shorts.

He sat on the couch with the TV on, paying more attention to his cellphone. He let time fly by without realizing it till his mom was back home. "Just help me with bringing some stuff in and then we’ll be on our way out." Aidan hadn’t realized that it was nearly 1:30 already. "We don’t want to be late!" his mother reminded him. So he helped her bring in some groceries and other things she had picked up while out shopping this morning. Once all that was settled, they got into her car and drove off to the salon.

It wasn’t that far away maybe a ten or fifteen-minute drive depending on the lights. It was pretty damn sunny out though, so Aidan was glad he had snatched up a pair of sunglasses from the kitchen before heading out. "I already took money out for you haircut Aidan, don’t worry this one can be on me since I was the one who suggested and booked it for you. I also have some money for a tip for Bruce." Well, Aidan wasn’t gonna pass up the opportunity of someone else paying for this, especially depending how much it could cost. "They don’t charge as much for a men’s cut actually, considering men don’t really go here, so I’m surprised more men haven’t found out about Bruce, but I could be wrong."

They finally arrived at the salon, something Aidan thought he’d never do. Sure when he was a kid he would wait in the reception area while his mom was having her hair done. But this was different. He’d be waiting for his own appointment, that’s what he’d thought he’d never ever do. They arrived five or so minutes before 2:00, always good to be early. "Hi Genna, this is my son, Aidan."

She was a young receptionist with a pretty face "So glad to see both of you! Loraine, I think Della is ready actually,"

At that moment Aidan’s mom’s stylist appeared, "I can’t believe this is Aidan! Its been so long," she exclaimed.

"All grown up now, and finished one year of college already," Loraine added.

"Time flies by so fast," Della added, "Come on back Lor, I’m ready to take you a little early."

Aidan’s mom looked back at him and said, "See you later honey," and winked too.

Aidan turned to Genna and said, "Yeah, I have an appointment with Bruce, but its not until 2:45 I think."

"Yep," Genna agreed, "just take a seat, when Bruce is ready he’ll come for you."

"Thanks," Aidan grinned back, and turned to take a seat. He flipped through some magazines, and looked back and forth at his phone. The salon had a lot of employees, Aidan did always remember that much. From where he was sitting he couldn’t even make out where his mom was, she probably was in a section where her hair was getting dyed anyways. And of course, he was trying to get a good look at who Bruce was. Having no idea what this guy even looked like.

Time began to creep up on Aidan, and now he was really beginning to wonder what would happen to him today at this salon experience. His time was getting closer and closer and there was no turning back now. He looked at his phone, saw there was five minutes till his appointed time. He’d watched a few different clients and their stylists come up towards the front and pay and say goodbye. All had been women, and at this point Bruce had not made an appearance. Of course he had to be here, otherwise the receptionist would have said something. Or would have said he was coming in right before Aidan’s appointment time. Aidan just needed to relax a bit and not be so worried, it was only a haircut after all! What did he have to be nervous about? It was just hair…

In this fog of Aidan’s brain, he blanked out everything else around him, and staring down at his phone made him look more natural so that was a good thing. He didn’t notice that Bruce’s client appeared to the front desk with his client, a girl who probably was between the age of 26 and 28. Her hair was blown out real nice, past shoulder length hair, falling into waves. And she’d had that ombre style done, she definitely looked like a model. The receptionist Genna asked, "Everything okay?"

The girl responded with a smile, "Everything was great, amazing actually," she said to Genna. "I’m so glad my friends suggested Bruce to me, he was great. I’ll definitely be back from now on."

"Great! We are so glad to hear that, Bruce hasn’t been with us for very long but we are so glad to hear he is establishing more clients since switching from his previous place to here. It is a bit of an adjustment for him I know."

"Totally, he was great, so glad he pursued further education that would allow him to work some place like here, where he’s able to pursue all passions for hair. I’ll have to try and convince my boyfriend and my brothers to come to Bruce though for a haircut, given his barber background he told me about. Really a nice guy."

"We appreciate any referrals possible! And I’m sure Bruce would as well," Genna said, helping the young lady pay for her visit and book when she would like to come in next. During that time, a young man around this girl’s age came over to the front desk, to thank her for coming in, and she gave him a great tip also stating she’d seem him real soon. Once she had left Genna then said, "Bruce, your next appointment is here, whenever your ready for Aidan," she nodded to where the boy was seated and lost in the fog and his thoughts.

"Aidan," Bruce called to him, but not loud, just in a normal speaking tone voice. This snapped Aidan out of the clouds and open his eyes to what he was seeing. Aidan himself was tallish and gawky, around 5 foot 10, but he was sitting down staring at a real man. Bruce was closer to 6 foot, wearing a pair of nice black dress pants, and a black v-neck t-shirt, which fully put his arms on display for everyone to see. He was also a bit tan, probably would get even more tan as the summer went on. He had an extremely strong jaw-line, which definitely was also highlighted by his hazel-colored eyes and his five o’clock shadow that he probably carefully took care of each day. And the black of that matched the top of his hair, gelled in a tussled but presentable way, followed by what pretty much looked like skin halfway up the side of his head and skull, gradually fading back into hair up to the top. Wow that was short was all Aidan could think, wow that is one short cut. He looked picture-perfect, he looked like he was pulled off the runway. And he was about to cut Aidan’s hair.

"Yea—uh hi," Aidan choked up from his slumber.

"Aidan," Bruce said again, stepping closer to his next client. "I’m Bruce, nice to meet you. If you could please just give me a minute to clean up my station, I’d really appreciate it man." Bruce was firmly shaking Aidan’s hand, the cologne he was wearing was heavy but addicting and quite literally breathing back at Aidan. The firm handshake also made Aidan alert and stand up to shake back.

"Sure, sure, no problem man. T-take your time."

"Thanks man, I appreciate it," he flashed back a smile so pure white you’d think his teeth were from a toothpaste commercial. "Take a seat though, I’ll come back for you," and Aidan instantly plopped back where he’d been sitting for nearly fifty minutes. So Bruce seemed nice, definitely a very handsome guy and no wonder the ladies here liked him. And if he had to clean up from his last client, then that means he must take his time meticulously and care for each person in his chair. He must know how to treat people well. Little did Aidan not know is what Genna and Bruce’s last client were discussing up at the front desk. Aidan was now going to be in the hot seat, Bruce’s seat, and he was definitely in for a surprise.

Bruce eventually came back for Aidan, smiled at him and motioned for him to follow him, saying, "Ready for you man!" Aidan jumped up from his seat and walked over to the stylist, who then carefully touched the small of Aidan’s back to guide him forward to where the chairs all were.

"Thanks for seeing me," Aidan said, figuring that would be nice to say.

"Hey the pleasure is all mine, man. Always glad to gave new clients in my chair." It turns out Bruce wasn’t stowed away in a back corner or something, he was the first chair on the right side. That means the owner definitely must have faith in him and what he could do, Aidan knew that much from any haircut experience. He was tucked in and hidden by the partition from the waiting area, which is probably why Aidan couldn’t see him that well through the glass, but it still meant something he had this station.

Aidan took a seat in the chair, and Bruce fanned out the black cape in the air before tying it around Aidan. Then he added the tissue paper thing around Aidan’s neck, which probably none of the ladies have done in the salon, but Aidan after all is a guy getting his haircut. As Aidan was all tied up and situated, Bruce put his rough hands on Aidan’s shoulder and began to massage him, relax him a bit and loosen the tension around his shoulders and neck. "Time to relax man," Bruce said to Aidan.

Aidan chuckled a little and said, "Okay, I’m relaxed."

Bruce smiled back at him through the mirror in front of them, that great white bright smile. Damn he could really massage too this guy, Aidan was definitely feeling the magic work, it was so hard for him to not want to let out a moan, he had to force it back down his throat. And he had the odd feeling Bruce noticed this behavior, hence why he was till grinning and bearing back at Aidan in the mirror. Bruce worked his hands from the shoulders to the neck, until he slowly grazed his hands up the back skull, through Aidan’s long, thick hair, and began to massage there. Now Aidan was really forcing back letting any emotion come out of him, this felt amazing, Aidan had no idea this could be possible from a haircut. He should have come to a salon years ago. But maybe it was just Bruce who was like this?

"What are we thinking of today buddy," Bruce asked Aidan, sounding a little softer and calmer as he continued to massage the skull.

It also was weird for Aidan to here himself being called "buddy", it sounded like a kid thing to be called. But he was still on cloud nine with the stylist running fingers through his hair and across his head. "Well-l-l-l…" Aidan began to say and he saw Bruce nodding his head "yes" in agreement with a sly grin across his face. "I’m home for the summer and I’m lifeguarding, starting next week."

"Ah no way man, I used to lifeguard too when I was in high school."

"Oh really? That’s cool," Aidan responded back. "Yeah, I’ve been doing it since high school too."

"Nice man, yeah, I used to lifeguard in the summer because I’d make more money that way, since I also would be sweeping the floor of shops but that didn’t pay me that well. But at least with that I started early on and was able to just maintain it on the side and during the school year when lifeguarding was over."

"Oh nice, you mean you swept here?"

"Nah man," Bruce shook his head, still smiling back at Aidan though, "I used to sweep the floor of a barbershop from when I was twelve all the way through to senior year."

"Oh wow, when you were twelve? That was a while. Did you know someone?"

"Nope, well yes. Its where my father would take me for haircuts growing up. But I knew I wanted to work in hair so I started that early on. And lifeguarding became a thing when I got older and all my friends were doing it too, and like I said, the pay," he winked at Aidan.

"Yeah, the pay is definitely good, which is why I’m keeping it up this summer."

"Nice man, so what are we thinking for your cut? Definitely looks like you’ve let it grow a bit this past year."

Bruce was still lightly massaging Aidan’s skull this whole time, easing the boy up. "Well," Aidan began to say, "I mean, I usually only get a trim… but I don’t know, maybe I could do with a couple or a few inches off, since it is getting long."

Aidan was falling right into the trap that Bruce was laying for him. "Okay, we could do that. How about we wash your hair first, sound good?" Aidan shook his head agreeing yes to this, and Bruce said, "Alright man," with one last could massage on the shoulders before he practically picked Aidan up from the chair. "Let’s take you to the back, to the washing station."

Bruce guided Aidan (in his cape, he felt silly) to the back, where he sat him down at one of the chairs and bowls. "Have a seat, and just relax your head back, I promise it won’t hurt you." Aidan settled into the lounger and put his head back. Bruce began to run the water and stepped away for a moment. Aidan was totally relaxed at this point and felt like he could almost fall asleep now that he was practically lying down. As he lay there, all Aidan could think about was Bruce’s sharp haircut, and basically his overall look. But that haircut, wow, that was a drastic contrast from someone who looked like, well, how Aidan did! There was no denying he was a very good looking man. Only Aidan could dream of ever looking that good, and his time was ticking as he got older. Bruce must have always been this good looking though, Aidan thought. He’d be surprised if he hadn’t always been this good looking. When Bruce returned, he had the shampoo and conditioner at the ready, but first began to soak and rinse Aidan’s hair through the water. The massaging came hand in hand with this, but Bruce kept very quiet this time, not talking to Aidan. After rinsing, he began to add the shampoo first, vigorously actually. It wasn’t painful but Aidan could tell that Bruce was really getting it in there, and then he followed it up with carefully rinsing it all out. And then when it came time to the conditioning, he was pretty much the same as before, really working it into the head and massaging the skull again. Followed by carefully rinsing all the product out. The is time he rinsed out even longer and was very careful with stroking his fingers through the locks of hair. Aidan was enjoying this and actually starting to feel quite warm in the face and elsewhere in his body. Thank god he was wearing this long cape.

Eventually, Bruce stopped the running water, and came back with towels, pressing one up against the back of Aidan’s head saying softly, "Lift your head please," and he came around and wrapped the towel across Aidan’s shoulders and neck. He helped Aidan up from his seat and guided him back to his station, reading for the cut to commence. He towel dried off Aidan’s hair, again very aggressively, but Aidan was sure this was all helping it. And if not, Aidan surprisingly enjoyed it.

Then Bruce slipped the towel and it fell on Aidan’s lap, "Sorry about that," he said, seeming a bit embarrassed. Aidan was a bit startled but didn’t freak out when it fell across his chest and further down. Bruce picked it up and Aidan wasn’t so sure if Bruce felt something else down there when grabbing the towel real quick.

"Now," Bruce finally smiled, it seemed like he hadn’t done that since before asking Aidan what kind of haircut he wanted. As if Aidan had said or done something to set him off, or make Bruce mad or sad. "What are we thinking of today buddy?"

There was that question again, throwing Aidan back into a position of feeling like he was a child and not a man. Aidan had to stand his ground, but almost felt like he couldn’t. "Well, I think I’d like two inches off…" leaving it open-ended.

"Hmm," Bruce moaned, "You don’t seem so sure about that though. I could always just trim the edges for you buddy, up to you though." Aidan could tell Bruce was definitely playing the guilt trick, but what was he ultimately getting at. He was trying to get something out of Aidan, but what was the better question. He was looking back at Aidan through the mirror, wide-eyed, those brilliant hazel eyes. "Up to you buddy," he said again, as if taunting now.

"I don’t know, Bruce, I don’t know," now the loose tensions let out from all the massaging were getting out of Aidan. What was he thinking of doing next? "I just don’t know."

"Don’t know what?"

"I can’t, I just, it wouldn’t look right I’m sure," Aidan was allowing himself to get ahead of his own thoughts at this point and just letting the moment take control.

"Hey," Bruce firmly put his hands back on Aidan’s shoulders, not massaging though, and said, "don’t think you can’t do something, especially if you’ve never done it before."

"Its not really that, its that," oh god, what was Aidan about to say. "I just get trims and only cut my hair a certain way because I’m sure I wouldn’t look good any other way. There’s no point in trying to change up my look, what’s the use you know."

"Lots of people are scared of changing up their look, but in my opinion, its always worth it once you’ve gone forward with it," Bruce exclaimed, still man-handing Aidan’s shoulders. He slowly asked, "What did you have in mind?"

Aidan took in a deep breath and let out a sigh, "Maybe I should totally change it. I don’t want this long hair around me, I’m not a kid in high school anymore. Just go ahead, at least cut that off."

As if Bruce knew this was going to happen, he grabbed a pair of scissors from his back pocket saying, "No problem man," and smiled again as he began his work. With his fingers, he grabbed the hair from the right side of Aidan’s head, placed a chunk between his middle and pointer fingers, and sliced the hair off at the base where the fingers met. He continued to do this on the right side. He was working on it for a real long time it seemed too though, and it wasn’t like he was working on the top at all. But after all, there was a lot to go through.

Hacks of hair were flying off onto the cape and on the ground, but mostly the cape and Aidan was sure Bruce was purposely doing that, he felt like he even saw him throw hair at the cape when it was cut. He even made sure to basically be right on top of Aidan, that way his client was also suffocated by his strong smelling cologne. "You won’t regret letting me take control man," Bruce said, as he continued to cut and moved on to the back. "No you won’t."

Aidan figured he should just relax and let it all happen, and start up some conversation with the handsome man. "So how long have you worked here?"

"Not long, maybe three months," Bruce said as he focused in on the hair. "I was really glad to have had this opportunity to be honest, I only had so little experience working with women and coloring and dying hair. But I’m glad to have this opportunity and prove myself, which I hopefully have so far."

"I’m sure you have," Aidan said, to sound reassuring, and hopefully lessen any tension that might be there. He saw Bruce grin back as he was still intent on chopping off lops of hair. "Were you at a salon before this?"

"Nope, since high school and until before this, I had only worked in barbershops. And only with male clients, that’s my expertise. But I was always interested in the other side of working with hair, so I’m glad that here I’m able to attend to women, but also work with guys like you," he winked as he continued his job. "I’m really glad to work here, for sure, but I do still love giving a guy a haircut. What I love most about my job, especially with a man, giving him a fresh cut. I still cut friends’ hair and have some buddies who I used to work with that keep me in check," he said as he graced his one hand across the side and back of his head.

"Oh, well, nice. Glad I am able to be a guy client for you today then Bruce."

"Like I said before Aidan, the pleasure is all mine man." All the while Bruce was taking off the bulk of hair off of Aidan, but not leaving him totally misshapen or looking like a mess. Methodically, he was taking the long pieces off and leaving the hair in a long cut, but still respectable looking. As if he could gel or grease it all back and it would make Aidan look really professional and ready for the board room.

Once this part of the haircut was complete, Bruce asked Aidan, "Now, what do you think of so far? Liking it this length?" he asked as he felt his hands through Aidan’s hair. The sensation of that was crazy, because there was so much less hair left now, it all was sitting around and on Aidan’s lap at this point.

Aidan was still staring back at himself, shocked at how much he had already lost. "Its definitely different," Aidan said with disbelief written across his face. This made Bruce laugh out loud. "I don’t know if I want to keep it like this or not though. Its definitely the change I sure as hell needed! But it might still be too much for the summer."

"Say no more my man," Bruce said, going to put the scissor back at his station. He turned around and looked Aidan up and down, then did it again, then continued to look at his head as he moved a little to the right in front of the mirror, in front of Aidan. Reaching out a hand to grab the locks from the top of Aidan’s head. This made Aidan hold his breath in and not try to tremble, as he eyed up the biceps and caught more wind of that enchanting cologne. Then he asked the client, "How much more off do you want?"

Aidan didn’t know what to say, he was still startled by it all, and feeling more red in the face by the second and getting all hot and bothered underneath the cape and on the inside. Bruce then quickly moved around behind his client and said, "I could give you a nice pomp, slick it all back real nice and high," he explained as he grabbed the tops of Aidan’s hair pulling it up and back. Aidan thought for sure they would just get ripped out from this gesture. "Or I could give you a nice side part with short back and sides," Bruce flopped the tops of Aidan’s hair to one side and left it there as he grabbed the side of Aidan’s hair around his ears. "Or," Bruce started to say softer as he started to graze his hands up higher and higher towards the top, "I could give you a real nice tight, clipped side, nape all bare and white," at which he released his hands and stepped back and away saying, "But, those are just suggestions, you know. If you really wanted to try something you’d never done before."

Now Aidan realized what he was getting himself into. He may be at a salon, but it was a barber who was cutting his hair today. And this barber was definitely looking to make some serious damage on Aidan’s head. And Aidan was just about to let him have his way, he was so turned on by the deception of Bruce he had no idea what overcame him. But it was enchanting and Aidan was lost in the idea of surrendering his locks to this stranger, and in the hopes he’d come out looking alright.

Aidan gulped and said, "Give me a fresh cut, Bruce."

"You got it man," Bruce said, realizing he had won this battle. He went to his station, opened the drawer and grabbed a bunch of clippers. Pulling one out and plugging it in, removing the guard that seemed to be attached to it. "Sure you want to do this? Ain’t no turning back once I get going."

Aidan was gonna let him have this moment, "Give me what you want, what you would do Bruce if I let you have your way man."

"A barber’s choice, my favorite," Bruce said as he spun Aidan around so he wasn’t facing the mirror anymore. As soon as Aidan blinked and realized this, he hear the click of the clippers, the loud ringing they made, and yet no one in the salon seemed to notice the sound. It was as if it was just him and Bruce alone in the building. As these thoughts were coming to mind, Bruce was going to town, starting at the base of Aidan’s neck and stripping away the hair with the clippers, to what felt like almost all the way up Aidan’s skull. Aidan gulped and felt his eyes bulge out of their sockets at this sensation. Bruce was making quick work of the back of Aidan’s head, stripping away the hair and leaving barely any stubble in its wake.

Once the back was complete, Bruce turned Aidan around to face the mirror. He couldn’t really tell the difference yet since only the work had begun on the back. But now that he was facing the mirror once again, he saw Bruce clip off his ride side. Sheaves of hair flying off and down, down to the ground. Aidan was in shock now, now he knew what was really going on. Bruce said, "No turning back now my man. But trust me, you’ll look good and love it. Not that you haven’t already been."

Well, looks like Bruce knew all along that Aidan was secretly enjoying himself.

As Bruce continued with the right side and then the left, him and Aidan were able to relax once again and talk as if they’d known each other and this wasn’t Aidan’s first time getting cut by Bruce. Bruce was very kind and asked Aidan where he went to school, what he was studying, what he enjoyed most about freshman year and what he didn’t. If he was staying on campus to dorm or if he was moving off campus with friends or to a fraternity house. Bruce really was a great guy, there was no denying that. He definitely took care of his clients in more ways than just with their looks. Aidan was able to get to know Bruce a little bit better, about his past work experience and how he ended up here. Everything was going find. At this point, Aidan was barely paying attention to the fact that his sides had been sheared off, that was until Bruce had gone back over all the sides and the back with a clipper that was much smaller and louder, and sounded like a million bees in a beehive. It tickled Aidan a little and also shocked him but Bruce said, "Most guys are shocked when they first get clipped this way, but once they’ve had it done they never go back. They’re always making sure they are clipped this close to the grain each and every time. Definitely gives you that fresh cut look."

Considering Bruce had cut off almost all the sides and back, he was able to blend Aidan’s hair with the scissors to the top, which was till left untouched. The fading job he did was outstanding and totally carefully done. But once that was done and it was time for the top, Aidan was nervous to see what would come next. Would Bruce just leave it? Style it a certain way. Bruce had already learned better than that at this point. He was more so curious how much would come off.

Bruce wet the top of Aidan’s hair with a spray bottle. Then Bruce had the scissors in his hands again. Throughout the cut, he was great with explaining what he was doing to Aidan, and this time was no different. "These scissors will take some of the weight out of your hair, but not too much, we need to retain some of your thickness its really good," and so he diagonally cut and this and that to the top of Aidan’s hair. "But we also need to take some length off to match it perfectly for the styling," in which case Bruce had no mercy and no problem with surrendering those last few inches of great length that Aidan once wore. No more now, his look was being totally transformed. Then Bruce added some texture to the hair on top.

Then Bruce took the blow dryer around Aidan’s head, caressing his fingers through the now tussled looking cropped top, and then laid his bared hands across Aidan’s now bare sides and back. The sensation Aidan felt from that touch was beyond incredible he was pretty sure at this point he finally exploded, as he couldn’t hold it in anymore and let out a sigh into the chair, and Bruce let out a sigh as well, as if he’d been holding himself back the whole time too.

Then what shocked Aidan most was what Bruce did next. He had took off the tissue around Aidan and laid it across the back of his shoulders, sticking out from the back of his shirt. Then in one of the Bruce’s drawers, which he opened, the barber dispensed out what appeared to be warm lathering shaving cream. He then applied it to the back and sides of Aidan’s hair, and not just around the edges. He allowed the foam to go a considerable amount up the side of Aidan’s head. Then, wiping his hands off on a free towel, he grabbed another thing from a different drawer. A straight razor, and he had a leather strap too. He applied a new blade to the razor, scrapped it up against the leather a few strokes. And then he came back to Aidan saying, "Just hold still now, and relax." Carefully and cautiously, Bruce began to scrape away at Aidan’s skin. So softly and yet with each swipe Aidan could feel its effect. Aidan never felt this way before, even when he would shave his face with a proper disposable razor and shaving cream. This was other worldly, this was like heaven. Now, he felt like he could definitely have fallen asleep.

Once this treatment was over, Bruce applied some sort of tonic or liquid to his hands, and rubbed it together before thoroughly massaging it through the areas of Aidan’s scalp he had just shave off. Then, just for fun, he gave one big smack across the back of Aidan’s head, laughing at how he shocked his client. "Almost done man."

The final piece of the puzzle was styling it all. Bruce took out a few different products and began massaging them through Aidan’s hair, twisting and turning his roots one way and then another. All the while, still explaining to Aidan what he was doing. "You got that? I want to make sure that way you can style it on your own." He also reassured Aidan that he could buy any of these products here at the salon, Bruce had made to have some in stock for any of his male clients.

Finally, it was all done. Bruce put his hands on Aidan’s shoulders and said, "Ta-da," with a laugh. "Really wish I had gotten a before and after picture."

"Well, you can still take the after picture if you want, I don’t know if you need it for your Instagram or something, if you want to tag me too."

"Thanks man, I appreciate it, I actually should do that," Bruce got out his phone from his pocket and snapped a few different photos from different angles. "Nice" he kept saying every time he snapped another pic. He touched Aidan from the back and shoulder again, snapping one more photo of barber and client together in the mirror saying, "Very nice." And in that moment, it finally hit Aidan.

Bruce cut Aidan’s hair just like his. He was his paler, younger brother.

Off came the cape, and Aidan stood for the first time in what felt like forever. They shook hands, with Bruce saying, "My man, thank you so much," letting go and grazing his hands across the left side of Aidan’s shorn head.

"No, Bruce, thank you. Thank you, I needed this," and this made the barber smile.

Back up at the front, all were surprised by the look, especially Aidan’s mom. "Oh honey, I can’t believe it! I mean, you look amazing, I just, I’m shocked!"

"All his idea mom," Bruce said, grinning back at Aidan. "But looks like we’re going to need to get Aidan here a few hair products to style with," he touched the tops of Aidan’s head. "And maybe book him for a follow up in a few weeks?" He winked at Aidan which made him blush and everyone else laughed that Bruce was pursuing a scheduling for Aidan’s next appointment. "Kidding, kidding. But definitely make an appointment man, once you have your lifeguarding schedule all sorted out."

"I will, I promise that Bruce." They shook hands one more time, made sure Aidan had the right products bought and he left Bruce with a handsome tip. After all, his mom was very pleased with the haircut. And Aidan was really pleased too, pleased that he went forward with this drastic change even if it wasn’t what he had intended when coming in to the salon today.

Later on that night he got a notification on Instagram that he had been tagged in a photo, from Bruce’s profile. It was a collection of the different angles Bruce had shot, and the last pic in the slideshow being the one of the two of them in the mirror. The caption read, "Give me a fresh cut" in quotes with the barber pole and fire emojis. Aidan couldn’t believe he was saying this, but he couldn’t wait to get his haircut again.

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