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Chapter 7

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As it neared noon the next day, Sean already couldn't stand being cooped up anymore, especially when the man on the local weather station said that today they'd see even warmer temperatures than they had over the weekend.

He inhaled an over-dramatized breath as he leaped down the front porch steps, sighing it out with a satisfied smile. The warm sun balanced out and even almost overtook at times, the slight chill the breeze still carried at their elevation. Aspinview was higher up than the mile-high city, so the remnants of winter took a little longer to dissipate here than it did in the foothills and valleys.

After stopping at La Petite's, Sean came out with the little handles of a paper bag looped around his forearm, and two cups of coffee.

"You know, I'm no expert here, but doesn't 'grounded' mean not leaving the house?" Trevor commented as he leaped off the bench he'd been waiting on and fell in line behind Sean.

"That's exactly what it means," Sean replied casually, looking both ways before hastily crossing the street. "But I'm also pretty sure mom knows she can't actually ground me anymore. I'm not a kid."

He pulled open the door to the salon with two fingers and held it open with his back, waiting for Trevor to pad by. The familiar smell of hair products hit Sean as he locked eyes with his mother.

She gave him a pained and frustrated look, accompanied by a sigh so dramatic that it made the woman in her chair raise her comically arched, drawn-on eyebrows.

"What wasn't clear about, 'You're not to leave this house', Sean?" she questioned, putting a hand on her hip, while Annalise tried to contain her smirk.

"I brought you and Anna lunch and coffee though," Sean replied as he stepped out of the way of the door. "And if I'm just here at the shop with you two, then I can't get myself in more trouble."

His mother let out another sigh, this time through her nose with a tight-lipped expression as she watched him set the drink, and a sandwich wrapped delicately in white paper, on a clear spot next to her workspace. "You best just make sure your butt is at home before your father gets there this evening," she warned as if she wasn't the one who'd actually be more upset.

Sean beamed, delivering the same thing to Anna. As he sat in the free chair next to his cousin, he took a better look at the two customers they were each currently working with.

"Well... clearly justice is blind to sandwiches and coffee," Trevor scoffed hopping up onto Sean's lap. He was in the process of making himself comfortable when the front door opened. Trevor's eyes fixed on the stranger who was clad in dark clothes with chains, piercings, and a pentacle belt buckle.

"Hey, Sean, get a load of this loser," Trevor remarked with a snicker.

Sean quirked a brow at the tall... Goth? ...Rocker? Sean wasn't sure which, or if there was even much of a difference, but he certainly reminded Sean of a particular one night stand... and the closer he got to the counter, Sean became sure that he was the guy who'd been with Nate at the party the night before last.

"Be with you in a second," Annalise called, doing a double-take when she first looked over her shoulder at him.

"Sean, will you get him checked in?" His mother questioned with a nod of her head, while the woman in her chair stared, mouth agape through the reflection in the mirror in front of her.

Getting up, Sean quickly moved behind the small front desk and computer with a lump in his throat. "Can I get your name?" he asked, using the opportunity to really take in the other boy's features. Nate had talked about him, but he couldn't remember if he'd said whether they were brothers or cousins. His mind had admittedly been on more pressing matters at the time.

"Manson?" His mom's customer clucked, causing her to lose her composure for the briefest moment as well.

The young man's gaze shifted downward as he smiled and shook his head dismissively towards the comment. "Actually, it's Gibson, Kaiden Gibson," he said, in a surprisingly buoyant tone that certainly didn't match what any of them had expected just from his appearance.

Sean typed in Kaiden's name and wasn't surprised to find both Irene and Jobe in the system.

"You're here for a...?" the teen wondered, staring pointedly at Kaiden's long, silky black hair. He was pretty sure he'd never seen a guy with hair that long before. Jesse seemed to put more work into his hair than Sean would ever be willing to put into his own, so he couldn't imagine trying to take care of hair like Kaiden's. It went well past his shoulders and looked incredibly healthy.

"A cut for me, and my Grandmother wanted to know how long the wait was before she came in," Kaiden explained.

Sean couldn't tell if Kaiden remembered him from the party, though that wouldn't be surprising if he hadn't. There'd been quite a few people there.

"Let Irene know I can take her as soon as she gets here--if you wouldn't mind," Madeline stated, brushing any loose clippings off the woman who'd mocked Kaiden, before grabbing her blow-dryer.

"I'll take him, Sean," Anna offered. "Just have a seat, handsome, an gimme five minutes," she added with a small smile, that Kaiden returned from across the room.

Once he'd filled in the rest of the necessary information, Sean returned to his seat after retrieving a slim oracle deck from one of the many drawers his mother kept supplies in. She didn't have to remind him to put it back before he left for the day, the look she gave him when he'd taken it had been clear enough.

After picking up Trevor, Sean reclaimed his spot, sitting back down with the cat back on his lap. He leaned over Trevor to clear the small coffee table of hairstyle reference books, watching Kaiden out of the corner of his eye.

Kaiden had eased back comfortably into the appointed chair, his gaze following Anna a moment before turning towards Sean. The other boy placed five of the cards face down on the flat surface in a clockwise circular pattern, a small smirk growing on his face when he noticed he had Kaiden's attention.

"So, are you into occult stuff, or do you just like to dress that way?" Sean wondered, earning a brief, thin frown from his mother. She didn't like that word... claimed it had negative connotations for people who weren't witches.

Sean's comment caused one of Kaiden's thin, dark brows to perk, followed by a small whimsical smirk. "I dabble," he returned leaning forward so his elbows could rest his weight over his knees.

"It's kind of rude to judge people on appearances though, don't you think?" His words sounded more contemplative than critical.

The brunette let out a short, embarrassed chuckle before shrugging. "True. Was just curious," he clarified, a smile still on his face.

"I did raise him with manners, believe it or not," His mother added from the small desk where she was taking the older woman's payment.

Her comment got a chuckle out of Kaiden who seemed to harbor no hard feelings.

"What kind of stuff?" Sean wondered, his attention now completely pulled from the cards.

What do y'all think? Would someone bringing you coffee and lunch be a good way to get them off the hook? xD It would definitely work on me

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What do y'all think? Would someone bringing you coffee and lunch be a good way to get them off the hook? xD It would definitely work on me. Thanks for reading!

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