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Jack and Kyle decide for Gray by P.J.
For anyone here for the first time...This is a continuation of "Negotiations with Jack". This is also part of a much bigger story line merge that goes back to "That smile" , and merges the series with Jack. Hope you enjoy.
Gray approached the chair. His sunshine blonde mane glinting in the shop lights. He didn't take his eyes off of his lifelong friend Kyle though as he slid into the chair.
Lets catch you up a bit on the story line before we get to it.
I'm Pete, sole proprietor of Pete's Cuts , my one man barber shop located in far up northern New York, (I can almost see the Canadian Border from my shop windows) I had somewhat strategically located near 3 major universities and an Army base. This gave me an endless supply of clients with a wide variety of haircut needs/desires. I should also mention that I do have a same sex attraction, and am currently unattached. That has the potential to change very soon however.
Jack is a Grad student at one of the local universities doing a special research project regarding guys, haircuts/hair length, barbers, and societies male stereotype. As a result of his research we have become quite close as friends. My shop is his think tank. Jack has a plush thick auburn mane that I've just finished giving a minor trim to, with a promise of much more in depth activity later tonight.
Today he has brought two shaggy students who have befriended him and asked for assistance getting trimmed up before the Christmas break, Kyle and Gray. Kyle was first(read: IT's a Small World), then Jack took the chair, ending up with a slight trim to appease his new friends, ( Read: Negotiations With Jack) with a promise to let me go further later, when we're alone, now it was Grays' turn in the chair. The guys had agreed that Jack and Kyle together would select what I would do with Grays' mane. I believe that brings you up to the moment.
I asked Kyle and Jack , since it was their choice, "what are we going to do with Gray, guys?" I started brushing out Grays' thick sunshine blonde locks. As I understood it, his hair hadn't been trimmed since June(ish). It was well past his shoulders, full and healthy, and had a nice wave to it. It was pretty much all one length, slightly shorter in front. Kyle and Gray were haircut buddies, but had decided on a holiday treat for each other at a barbershop.
I brushed it straight down all around , obscuring Grays' vision. He hastily reached out and hooked the thick fringe around an ear, giving Kyle a concerned look.
Kyle and Jack, stood together for a moment, studying Gray. They were conspiring together in low tones, too low for Gray and I to make out what was being said. While we were waiting, Gray looked at me and said "you know Pete, if I have a say, I'd love for you to give me one of those razor shaved high and tights like the guy that left as we were walking into the shop had." I noticed he said it just loud enough that Jack and Pete could also hear. This caused Kyle to quickly step close. "dude, NO!, you are not going to be getting one of those today. Not even close man." Gray replied, "well, you thought Jack would look hot with one, so I thought since he wouldn't go through with it, I would, just for you." Oh boy, the testosterone was getting thick in here again, I thought to myself. "Do you want to hear what Jack and I have decided for you?" Kyle asked. Gray looked pensive for a moment, "You know what, I've surprised you with a lot in the last few minutes, how about you surprise me? Tell Pete what you want him to do, I don't want to know till he's done O.K.?" Gray looked hopefully into Kyle's eyes.
Kyle and Jack looked at one another and shrugged shoulders together. Kyle motioned me to step away with them. We all had a brief discussion in low tones. I told them sure, what they wanted would work fine with Grays' hair. I was sensitive enough to what I perceived as a budding "Relationship" between Kyle and Gray to ask, "Kyle, this isn't going to jeopardize anything between you and Gray , is it? Kyle gave a quick sidelong glance at Jack, and smiled, "no Pete, in fact this should be fine...with both of us. I've always wanted to try this cut on Gray, his hair is more than long enough to try it, and I can watch an expert do it for the first time, then I might be able to maintain it for awhile on him. That is if it turns out he likes it."
"O.K. I said, agreed then, that's what I'll do. Jack stepped back and sat in a waiting area char. Kyle walked up and ran his hand through Gray's mane, smiling demurely and staring into Gray's eyes he said," Babe, you're going to like this, I'm pretty sure." He turned on his heels, walked over and took a seat next to Jack. Jack and I exchanged knowing looks with one another. Gray practically melted in the chair. Clearly surprised and being referred to as "babe", by Kyle.
I now had my work cut out for me, Gray had an impressive mane for me to transform into Kyle's' new cut idea. "Gray, the first thing I have to do is wet you down man, so don't be surprised by the spray , O.K.? It shouldn't take more than a gallon or two" I said. "Sure Pete, whatever it takes man, I'm yours till you finish." Gray replied distractedly, staring over at Kyle.
I proceeded to thoroughly wet Grays' mane, no small task to be sure. I gave him a low horse shoe parting, dropped in the back, and clipped the impressive thick shank of locks on top of his head for the moment. The longest hair, in back, was just above his shoulder blades. Kyle, I was sure, was the orchestrator of the cut selection, Jack just going along with it. I'd confirm this with Jack later when I got him back in the chair, alone with me. Jack would never have allowed this much to be cut, to be sure.
I wasn't sure how Gray was going to react when I started cutting, but here goes nothing, I thought to myself.
I came in at the center of the back, sliding my favorite shears in just an inch or so below the collar line on his flannel shirt, and snipped. A goodly handful, probably 4 inches long , slid free. No reaction from Gray, Hmm, good so far. I used this as a guide, and worked my way across the back. I'd vertically sectioned just behind each ear for now too. Using this new length as a layer length guide, I proceeded to cut the back in long layers, graduating slightly longer up towards the parting. I directed all the cut hair into his lap as I went along, this was a little thing I did, in case the customer garnered any type of "special enjoyment" from a haircut session. It also let them know just what was happening to their precious locks. As the pile grew, Gray started to notice. He was turned away from the mirror, so he could only imagine what was actually happening back there. I, of course, was in my element. Long thick plush locks slipping through my fingers, comb. snip, drop in his lap, repeat. I was transitioning his hair from pretty much all one length to a gorgeous layered cut, the longer locks , up near the parting, were probably almost a foot long though to start with. I'd cut the bottom line so he had roughly 4 inches below the nape,( he had a very well defined neck, allowing for more length) the length at the parting closer to 5 or 6 inches. Still removing an impressive amount of hair though. He had wonderful thick dense hair too, this was going to look smashing on him. I moved on to the left side, creating layers here too, chin length at the front, graduating into the longer back length behind his ear. Impressive amounts of hair being removed again.
Gray never moved or gave any indication that he was distressed over having this much of his amazing mane sheared off. Moreover, he never took his eyes off Kyle. He was even relaxed in the chair for the most part, something that seldom happened when I was cutting this much hair off a young long haired lad. I could tell as I repositioned his head, this way and that throughout the cut. It was like moving the head on a mannequin, only he was much better looking. And getting even better looking with each snip.
As I moved on to the right side, Gray snapped out of his trance for a second and said, " Geeze Pete, are you leaving any hair on my head? This pile in my lap is getting huge. My head is starting to feel lighter. Kyle and I usually only trim each other's hair, He's never cut this much off, ever. This is starting to feel like some sort of a revenge sort of cut. I hope he hasn't changed his mind about how he feels about me". Hastily replying I said, "Gray, man, I'm pretty sure this isn't a revenge cut. If body language and eye contact are any indication, he's quite pleased with how you are looking. And...I know it looks like a lot of hair falling, and it is, to be sure, but you still have a lot here yet, I said," running my hands through the thick layers in the back, now drying a little and falling perfectly as I roughed them up. "ah, O.K. good I guess", Gray murmured, relaxing again. By this time I'd finished the right side too. All that remained was the clipped up mountain of locks on top. Kyle was watching me intently, and I suspected watching Gray too, for any outward reaction.
I reached up and uncoiled and unclipped the thick shank of sunshine blonde hair, letting it fall over his face. The layered locks were now a blend of bright and somewhat darker blonde, making him look like he had an expensive micro frosting job done. This was just an unexpected bonus, very cool indeed. I looked over at Kyle and Jack. Kyle was staring intently, he hadn't taken his eyes off me since I started. I know he was watching my technique. Hoping he could duplicate it later I'm sure. I had to admit, this wouldn't have been my choice for Gray. I wouldn't have dared cut this much off this gorgeous mane to start. I was glad the choice selection wasn't on me if he didn't like it. Kyle, I surmised, also realized quickly that Gray was fix focused on him. Pensively hanging on every change of expression Kyle made. I caught Gray biting on his lower lip on more than one occasion. How could this dude act so relaxed, and be so tense at the same time I wondered?
Grays' thick bangs were still damp, I wanted them to be a bit dryer for determining the initial length so I plucked the dryer off its hook under the big shelf behind the chair. Gray tensed and said" Pete, you aren't reaching for the clippers are you?" I chuckled and replied" no, just the blow dryer, relax dude, O.K." Gray replied, wait, you aren't leaving it like this are you?" I laughed again, "no, I want it just damp dry to set the length in front, don't worry. You are looking fine man." I proceeded to dry everything to just slightly damp, including the sides and back. They looked terrific. the ends just curling a bit as I'd hoped. Giving him a great casual windswept look. Very north woodsman like. With his beard, this was shaping up to be one hot looking cut.
"Now, Gray, close your eyes please. I'll tell you when it's O.K. to open them " I said quietly. " Don't squeeze em closed, just gently, like you were sleeping, O.K." "Pete, Gray replied, you aren't cutting my fringe up THAT high are you ," his voice kind of squeaking as he said it. God, I loved cutting hair on these long haired guys. They were absolutely paranoid about having it cut too short, especially those bangs. I couldn't wait to get Jack back in the chair. I was going to have some fun with him to be sure.
I combed Grays' bangs straight down. Pulling a small section of the freshly cut right side forward too, along with a small section of the fringe along the right, I set the fringe length. Yikes, it was just at his lower lip. This meant I was going to shorten his fringe by a good 6 inches. If Gray was going to flip this would be the time he'd do it. I was glad I'd told him to close his eyes.
I slowly combed and carefully snipped my way across the front. Thick locks sliding free to join the huge pile in his lap. Hmm, was the pile really that big, or was something else adding to the size? I did hope he was enjoying this cut as much as I was. Using this new length as a guide, I layered the top, gradually shorter towards the back, blending as I went along, but still all overhanging the sides by a good measure. It looked a bit unorthodox but was quite striking all the same. I had to admit Kyle had a good eye and was very creative. He also clearly wanted to keep Grays hair on the long side. This would be an easy to maintain cut, but Gray wouldn't be able to do any type of tie back any more, that was for damn sure.
I told Gray he could open his eyes now. I brushed him down to remove the stray hairs. "O.K. dude, almost finished . Just have to do some touching up, and shave your neck in back. Oh, and what do you want me to do with the sideburns, and your scruff"? I asked, running the back of my hand up his bushy sideburns. "Are you leaving the scruff?" I inquired.
"Hmm, hadn't thought much about it Pete, to be honest. Do the sideburns show much now? They were pretty much hidden unless I pulled my hair back behind my ears before. How short are the sides now?" he asked, eyes locked on Kyle though. "Kyle?, Jack, what do you guys think? You picked the cut after all?" Gray inquired. Jack looked at Kyle, and said "well, what do you think ?" Kyle walked up to the chair. He ran his hand through the thick layered left side, tucking it momentarily behind Grays' ear. "OOOH, dude, "was all Kyle could say for a moment. He studied Grays' head intently. "Hmm, do you want to keep the scruff babe", Kyle said, stroking Grays' cheek with the back of his hand and moaning softly. There it was again, the term "babe", I thought to myself. Gray smiled demurely again, "whatever you want, babe, this is your pick , remember?" He stared intently into Kyle's eyes. Kyle's eyebrows shot up, sudden recognition dawning regarding the term of endearment being exchanged for the first time. "Pete" Kyle said, "how about we taper them, starting at scruff length at the bottom of his ear, and let them get longer as they go up, keep them trimmed neat though." He brushed his hand slowly this time up the side of Grays' face. " Let's keep the scruff, if its O.K. with Gray , that is " Kyle said smiling back.
"Sure, that works" I said, nodding my head in the affirmative. "Sound good Gray"? I asked. Grays' hand appeared outside the cap, he reached for Kyle's, which was still brushing his cheek, Taking it gently and holding it still. " Sure Pete, whatever Kyle wants is fine with me", his eyes never leaving Kyle's. OMG I thought, these two might not even make it out of the shop before jumping each other, wow. Kyle slowly withdrew his hand, stepped back a bit and watched, arms crossed, warmly smiling at Gray.
I trimmed and tapered the bushy caterpillar side burns, cleaning them up nicely. I decided to take the peanut clippers and line up his scruff for him. I loved scruff on a guy but it had to be neat, not just an unshaven look. Grays' scruff was an interesting shade of strawberry blonde, contrasting a bit with his mane. I took the peanut clippers, pulled the thick layered locks in back aside and trimmed up his nape too.
Brushing him all off, his hair was still damp. I decided to dry it completely for him. "Gray, do you usually blow dry your hair or air dry it, and do you use any product in it? I didn't detect any before I started cutting today though." I asked. "I usually air dry it Pete, It is /was getting to be a bit of an issue in this cold weather though, as I don't usually wear a hat. I've thought about blow drying, we have one, but I'm usually a wash, brush, and go type of guy" Gray replied. I put a small dollop of heat protectant in my hands, worked it around , then thoroughly worked it through Grays' plush mane. " Don't blow dry without using a heat protectant first , O.K. " I said. Turning the blow dryer on, and getting once again some touch time with this gorgeous hair, I finger combed his mane as I finished drying it. Once done I stood back , next to Kyle, Jack walked up too.
'Well, I have to say, this was a great choice guys. I never would have done it this way on my own". Gray, sat, looking from one to another of us, with an inquisitive look on his face. This strikingly handsome head sticking through the neck opening in a white cape, the cape now covered in thick blonde locks. When he sat down I had noticed that he really didn't put an actual part in his hair, he just kind of flipped the fringe over ,off his face, not caring where it parted. This resulted in a cool casual look when it was long. I'd cut it pretty much the same way, making the top and fringe such that he could flip it off his face to either side, or part it right down the center if he wanted. He looked HOT, I had to admit. I'd be happy to have my way with him if I wasn't distracted by another hottie stand tight to me at the moment.
Gray piped up" a, if you all are through ogling me, can I have a look too?" He said, a pleading look on his face.
"Oops, yeah, O.K. with you two, if he sees the new Gray, "? I looked at Kyle and Jack, who were both staring at the handsome guy in the chair.
Kyle and Jack both smiled in unison. "Yeah, I guess so, sure", said Kyle. "Not sure he's gonna like it though, what do you think Jack," Kyle said, glancing at Jack. Jack replied slyly, " well, it's too late now anyway, and he's going to see it eventually, so, sure I guess so".
I unsnapped the cape, gently pulling it away, the huge mound of blonde hair sliding slowly to the floor. Confirming also that Gray had indeed enjoyed the experience in the chair too.
"GOOD God Pete!, Gray barked, looks like I got scalped if that pile is any indication" Gray barked, watching the huge pile slide to the floor. I glanced at his lower half and said, yes, and by the look of things you enjoyed it too , if I'm not mistaken. Gray started to blush a bit.
"Oh, dude", Kyle intoned, walking up behind him, as I spun the chair to face the mirror."You are far from scalped, babe, I hope you like it, cause I think you are F*&^ing HOT, babe." Kyle said quietly, starting intently at Grays reflection in the big mirror.
The room went quiet .Gray had a blank look on his face , turning his head from side to side, staring into the mirror. He reached up and ran his hands first through the top, then through the sides and back. He shook his head, bringing the fringe cascading down across his face, then flipping it back across the top with his hand. He broke into a broad grin. "wow, never thought it would look like this, guys" Gray said. "It's a lot shorter, to be sure, but wow. What a cool looking cut. Kyle came up behind Gray in the chair, wrapped his arms gently around Gray from behind, sliding his head up next to Grays, and staring intently at their reflection in the big mirror, and whispered in his ear. "Do you really like it...babe?" he murmured. Smiling tentatively.
Gray wriggled free of Kyle's grip, stepped off the chair, and stood up, reaching out and pulling Kyle into a tight embrace. Planting a big ol smooch right on Kyle's lips. He leaned back , still in the embrace. "Yes, ...babe, I think it's great. Do you think you can cut it on me next time though, in a few months.? Gray said. Kyle looked ready to swoon. "I think I can give it a shot, sure, if you'll let me." Kyle replied, reaching up and running his hands through it. That is , if I ever get tired of doing this though , he said". Smiling warmly at each other, they separated. I had to admit, even with just flannels and jeans on, they looked like a couple of north woods male models. Gray shook his head again, then ran his hand through his thick mane. "Pete", he said, thank you , this is fantastic. This has been quite an experience too " he said, glancing first at me, then Jack, his gaze finally settling on Kyle.
I noticed Jack was looking quite intently at Gray. " Gray", Jack asked politely" before you leave, may I touch your hair"? I'm not trying to be a pervert or anything, but I'm intrigued, I'd kinda like to know how it feels , with all the layers, cause it looks amazing. "Sure Jack, happy to oblige", Gray said. walking over to Jack. "You are kinda responsible for all this anyway man." Gray said. "You brought all this, and us together he said," looking longingly at Kyle. Jack ran his hands through Grays' mane, flipping his fringe back, and said "wow, this feels incredible, you have fantastic hair man. I'm jealous" . Gray smiled demurely back at Jack, "Thanks man, maybe Pete can work his magic with you too now". Gray reached up and ruffled Jacks thick mane, smiling.
Gray walked back and stood next to Kyle. Jack said " well guys, I hope you liked your first north county barbershop experience," turning and winking at me. I'm going to stay here a bit longer and follow up with Pete. Both Kyle and Gray, now holding hands, thanked me profusely for "everything". Then asked what they owed me for the cuts.
"Gentlemen, Merry Christmas, I said warmly. The first one's always on the house. And I have certainly enjoyed this first one immensely. I'm glad you're both happy. Stop back in anytime for a trim, a cut, or just to chat or get pointers on how to cut." I replied, smiling. They slipped their winter gear on preparing to leave, telling Jack they'd see him at the beginning of next term. I caught Kyle winking at Jack, nodding my way and smiling. Jack gave him a nervous smile back, and they were quickly out the door.
I walked over to the door, and flipped the lock. Walking casually back over to the chair.
"Now then, where were we, Jack"? I inquired politely, patting the chair invitingly. A Cheshire cat grin on my face.