Chapter 2

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"Brooke can you take a walk in right now?" Kristen hollers to the back where Brooke is throwing hairy towels into the washer.

Looking down at her watch she calculates how long till her next appointment is suppose to come in. "Umm, yeah I should be able to. Just a cut?"

Kristen steps around so they aren't hollering anymore. "Yes it is a guys hair so simple."

They both laugh at that. "Yeah I can do it," she offers with a smile.

"Awesome! His name is Gary, so whenever you are ready." Just she is about to walk away Kristen turns around and in a low voice adds, "Watch out he's pretty handsome."

"Oh, Kristen, stop that already!" Gary? That's interesting. She brushes it off as nothing as she slips the black apron over her head and ties it around her waist. Stepping out to her little nook she straightens up the scattered clips, scissors, and combs laying on the counter. The click of the plug-in in the electrical socket and the hum of the clippers tell her she is all set to take on this client. "Gary!" she calls without really looking up. That is until the sound of heavy footsteps come closer and closer. She turns around and has to look up, a lot. Darn, he's tall.

The overly tall, broad built gentleman has something about him that looks oddly familiar and his voice only adds to the thought that she should know him from somewhere. "Brooke, right?"

She smiles and nods, but not before cutting a narrow gaze at at Kristen. "Yes sir."

Now it is his turn to look up at her as he is now sitting in the short chair. "I'm not that old."

His quirky grin makes her giggle as she begins to oil the clippers. Oh Brooke! Get it together before you gorge his head! She scolds herself. As she begins to run the clippers over the dark brown, almost black, hair she notices that he is watching her in the mirror in front of them. If she wasn't taking quick glances at him too she would have found it a bit odd. When they make eye contact through the mirror she feels a blush begin to rise up her cheeks. The deep chuckle that can be heard only makes her blush deepen.

"I guess asking you if you work here would be a stupid question. At least I hope you work here considering you have clippers in your hand and my hair under neither them," he jokes sending a wink her direction.

Seriously, Brooke, keep the blushing under control! Blinking she tries to keep her nervous babbling, but falls short when she hears herself say, "Yes, I work here. I try not to gorge too many people a day." Oh, boy! What have you done now?

The roaring laughter that comes from his throat causes customers to look at them with curious gazes. "Well, that is good to know. I just hope I'm not the start of a new trend."

In the silence that follows Brooke focuses on the top of his head and Gary's gaze steadily resting on her reflection in the mirror. He can't help but to watch the facial expressions that cross her sun-kissed face.

"So where do you work?" Brooke asks trying to remove the awkward silence that hangs in the air.

Gary sighs and looks at the black cape resting over his chest. "I'm helping my sister at her therapeutic riding center."

She feels bad for striking a sensitive chord and only nods in response. Way to go Brooke! The finishing touches for the buzz hair cut can't be done fast enough. In effort to lighten the mood she says what's running through her mind alongside the other thoughts, "Do you mean Jaelyn's riding center?"

He raises his eyebrows. "Yeah, how did you know that?"

"Well there aren't just dozens of riding centers specializing in therapy. Besides, she's been my best friend for a long time now."

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