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Regency Men: Sebastian Forbes, the Earl by Roy



**1912, somewhere in England**


"My lord, I could take of the matter in hand at once," the head-butler, Arthur, offered.

However, 35-year-old Lord Sebastian Forbes, the Earl of Blackborne, didn’t say a word while his valet tended to him. With broad shoulders, impeccable looks, and a head full of sandy brown locks " he looked every bit of an aristocratic man as he was.

"I shall deal with Lucius myself," Sebastian decreed once he was dressed for the day. "Send for the boy."

"As you wish, my lord." Arthur bowed in curtsy and left.

Five years ago, when Sebastian found Lucius in a homeless state, he was awed by his courage, knowledge, and spontaneity. So he took the boy under his tutelage and brought him home. He was provided with food, shelter, and comfort at the Iredale Castle as the Earl’s ward. Some could even say that he was Sebastian’s favorite.

So over the years, Lucius had taken quite the advantage. His impenitent behavior and transgressions grew day by day, questioning Lord Sebastian Forbes’s authority as a disciplinarian, and it was about time he set him straight.

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Lucius didn’t bother to pay a visit that day and instead, arrived the next morning. Instead of knocking on the Earl’s bedchamber, he simply pushed through the heavy door and invited himself in. While Sebastian coolly lifted his gaze and arched a haughty brow, the barber present in the room was widely aghast. He was done tending lord of the manor and was about to take his leave.

"Did you, perhaps, forget to bring your manners with you, boy?" Sebastian asked.

Lucius shrugged. "I didn’t realize you were busy at this hour."

Sebastian’s azure eyes looked icicled. "Lucius," he said warningly. "You have tried my patience far too many times to count. Cease your behavior this instant, or you shall warrant a dangerous outcome."

The Earl’s resolve, his control, was on the point of snapping. One more audacious word from this young man, and it surely would snap. Unfortunately, the boy didn’t understand the predicament. "Did you simply summon me for no good reason, my lord?"

That’s it! Sebastian leaped from his chair beside the fireplace and grabbed the young boy by the neck. In a flash, Lucius found himself upturned on a wooden stool with a dangerous grip on his nape and at the back to keep him tethered.

"At the end of your punishment, remember that you forced my hand," Sebastian hissed for his ears.

A part of Lucius knew what was coming, even thrilled for meriting the consequences. It wouldn’t be the first time he would have his arse tanned by the Earl, or birched in certain circumstances, but this time it took an unexpected turn. Sebastian gathered his arms at the back and secured it tightly. He then pulled him upright and planted his arse on a nearby chair. A firm hand fisted the golden curls and yanked, tipping his head to meet the fierce azure eyes. "You wish to behave like a child, and you shall be treated like one."

Lucius spewed a string of profanities while Sebastian calmly turned to the barber, the only audience in the room to watch such an outrageous display. "Shear him good," he ordered the mid-aged barber. "Children shouldn’t be allowed the vanity of golden locks."

"As you wish, my lord," the barber bowed and set to task. Lucius froze in disbelief, but when wrinkled fingers combed through his precious blond curls, he began to move frantically and shook his head.

Sebastian was quick to grasp his shoulders and restrict his movements. "If you resist," he warned gravely, "I can call in the guards and have them bind you, but should it happen, your punishment will begin in front of the household. Would you prefer that?"

Perhaps, he had crossed a line with him, Lucius thought, as he stared into his determined eyes. And in all of his experiences, he knew that the Earl of Blackborne was a beast when angered. So, he sombrely nodded and accepted his fate.

Snip. Snip. Snip. The sharp sound of the steel shears against the merciless golden hairs seemed too loud. Every time a clump of hair dropped to the floor, it made the boy squirm in dismay. He had no idea how much the old barber was hacking away at his precious mane. His head was tilted to the side as the cutting progressed, and in no time, the flowing collar-length curls were bunched shorter and brought above his ears. When the other side received the same treatment, the barber hacked the front far shorter than Lucius could ever imagine. All this while, Sebastian’s stern gaze was fixed on him.

When the barber was about to pick up the duster, the deep, cultured voice spoke out. "Make it shorter."

"My lord?" the barber stuttered, glancing between the shorn head of the boy and the titled lord. When there was no reply, in turn, he merely sighed and returned to pick up another tool from his trade-box.

The little did Lucius knew that it was a tool that would ultimately seal the fate of his hair--whatever was left on his head. A hand clamped over his crown, pushing his chin down, and there began the journey of the dreaded manual hand-clippers of early times. The sharp teeth mowed upwards, divesting off the blond hair in its path. "Higher," Sebastian confirmed, and the old man had no choice but to follow.

Tears burned at the back of Lucius’s eyes, but he bit on his lips and sat there submissively, taking his punishment like a grown man from his liege. He could feel the curls rolling down his bare nape, yet oblivious to the damage occurring at the hand of the barber. An inordinate amount of time later and with the back stripped down to nothing, and the clipper found its way to the sides. If it was shortened before, it was now clippered down to nothing.

As if to accentuate his firm discipline, Sebastian grasped the young boy’s chin and pulled his flushed face up. It added to the barber’s advantage, as he click-clacked the manual clipper from his sideburn to high above the temples. Sheaves of shorn hair rioted around, and as white scalp found prominence over blond stubble.

Grabbing the steel scissors, the barber cropped down the top to match the stark back and the sides on the head. When the haircut ended, no one could say that Lucius had a head full of glorious blond hair a few moments ago.

The old barber must have felt heady in chopping the boy’s fashionable hair in a manly, cropped version--rather an extreme one, as he went on to smear the shaving lotion around the back and sides and drew the cut-throat razor in small, careful strokes. In no time, most of the boy’s head was expertly shaved to the skin. As a finishing touch, he derived a few drops of dark-colored oil and coated the shortened hair on top to add a bit of shine.

"Does this pleases you, my lord?" the barber asked with his head bowed.

"You may leave," Sebastian said as he ran his long, calloused fingers over his ward’s head. Smooth nape gave away to coarse stubble high at the back and some considerable length of the top. To Sebastian, Lucius looked more like a man of a pedigree than a common lad.

The barber scurried away, and when it was just the two of them, he untied his hands and held up a hand-held mirror to witness the aftermath. Lucius gaped with wide eyes and open mouth as he slowly took in the severity of haircut the Earl had administered in his stead. All his hair was on the floor now. Gone were the days to flaunt the curls and feel the breeze against his locks.

"Do you see the difference now, boy?" Sebastian asked in a surprisingly soft voice. Lucius was about to frown when he held up the mirror one more time and let his touch linger for a while. "It’s a man’s cut."

Lucius couldn’t disagree. With the hair out of the way, the features were indeed more prominent than ever. "And yet you still call me a boy?" he accused.

To that, the handsome Earl let out a throaty laugh. "You shall forever be my boy. But if you behave like a brat again, I will rip off these breeches and drawers and paint your arse red."

Lucius only wished how that would feel again. Shorn head, spanked rear...and wild possibilities.

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Never found a regency/historical story and thought it would be fun. I hope you guys liked it.





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