Shane rounds the corner absent-mindedly and grabs the phone from Lisa’s hand with a disdainful look. She watches with the same look as Lisa walks away, then speaks into the phone, “Yeah?” She looks up from the counter as she listens and her eyes fall on the brunette in the corner of the lobby. Shane only half-listens as she checks the girl out. “Right. Yeah, that’s a good time. See you then. Alright, bye.” She hangs up the phone and speaks up, “Hey Mel, I’ll be with you in a second, okay?”
The brunette looks up from her Sports Illustrated for Women magazine and blushes a bright shade of red. In a low voice she answers, “Okay.” God, she’s so cute. Shane bites her bottom lip and gives the girl a smoldering look coupled with an equally hot smile.
Mel’s too self-conscious to return the look; instead she blushes even redder and buries her face in the magazine again. Holy shit! What’s she looking at me like that for? God. Breathe Mel.
Shane heads off to prepare her booth for Mel. She sweeps and wipes off the chair. Mid-swipe, she feels a presence behind her. She whirls around and comes face-to-face with Lisa. Shane sighs and stands erect, “What?”
“How long have you been doing this with her?” Lisa’s voice is accusatory and sharp.
Shane is unfazed, “Lisa, what the hell are you talking about? I don’t have time for this.”
“You know exactly what I’m talking about. You want to get into that girl’s pants so you bring her in here for free haircuts. You’ve made her your little lab experiment. It’s sickening.”
Shane leans into Lisa, their faces separated by mere inches, “Face it Lisa, you’re just jealous.” She pulls back, “Besides, it’s none of your business,” she steps around Lisa, “who I fuck and who I don’t. Get your own life. I’m trying to get one of my own.”
Lisa turns and watches as Shane goes to get Mel for her haircut. She considers these words and rushes to grab Shane’s arm. “Whoa, whoa. Hang on a minute here.” She lowers her voice so that no one else can hear and ignores the look of disgust on Shane’s face, “Do you mean to tell me that you have feelings for this girl?” Shane turns her face away for Lisa as if that’s the most absurd thing she’s ever heard. But she doesn’t respond. “Oh my God! That’s it, isn’t it? You really like this girl. But she didn’t fall head over heels for you at first glance. So you’re doing these haircuts so that you can get closer to her.” Lisa crosses her arms in satisfaction, “This is just too good. I can’t believe this. Shane McCurrie’s finally given more than her ass away. She might have even given her heart away to that little girl.”
Shane’s eyes narrow into slits and she speaks through clenched teeth, “She is not a little girl. And I’ll give whatever I want to whomever I want, understood?”
Lisa smirks and nods, “Sure Shane. Whatever you say.”
Shane gives her only one more moment’s attention before turning on her heel and putting on a smile. Fucking bitch. What the fuck does she know about love anyway? She stands at the doorway to the lobby and calls out, “Mel, I’m ready now.” She laughs internally at her own joke. I’ve been ready since the day I met you.
Mel stands and smiles awkwardly. Shane makes her very nervous. She runs her hand through her hair and smiles, “It’s been a while, huh? It’s getting so bad.” Realizing the way Shane could (and probably did) take that statement, she adds, “My hair, that is. It’s growing so fast.” Ahhh God, shut up, Mel!
Shane leads the way to the wash room for Mel’s shampoo. Is she watchin’ my ass? She slyly turns her head to look over her shoulder. When she sees Mel self-consciously look up and blush, she shoots her a knowing smile and turns back around. Oh, it’s just a matter of time. She stops beside the second sink and motions for Mel to take a seat.
Mel takes a seat and waits for the drape. When Shane fastens it around her neck, she can smell the perfume Shane always wears. Ugh, she smells so good! Shane smiles and reaches down to take Mel’s glasses off, “You won’t be needin’ these.”
“Oh, yeah. Sorry.” Mel reaches up and blushes a bright shade of red. She takes her glasses from the woman’s hand and her fingers can’t help brushing against Shane’s. She gulps and closes her eyes before sliding down in the chair to wait for the shampoo. Just shut up and pay attention. What is it about her that drives me nuts? Who the hell am I kidding, she’s the hottest woman in West Hollywood! Just breathe.
All thought is wiped from her head as Shane’s strong fingers work the shampoo through her hair. She’s lost in the feel of Shane’s touch. She abandons herself in the smell of Shane’s body. And she surrenders to the fire that Shane’s lit between her legs.
“Perfect, as always.” Mel meets Shane’s gaze in the mirror before the both of them.
Shane grunts, “Well, it’s not hard.” She leans down and whispers into Mel’s ear as she holds her eyes captive, “You get the same thing every time. But that’s alright. That means that you’re steady…unwavering…stable.”
Mel gulps and frowns a little. “No, Shane, you mean that, in comparison to you, I’m boring.”
Her face scrunches, “That’s not what I mean at all. If that was what I meant, I’d say it.” Her voice drops, “I always mean what I say and I always say what I mean. What you see is what you get.”
As she stands and brushes the hair off her clothes, Mel answers before thinking, “What if I want something deeper than what I see?”
Shane’s caught off guard and leans forward, “Excuse me?”
With a deer-caught-in-the-headlights look, Mel back pedals, “I mean, what if someone wanted more than what you look like? What if they wanted substance? Conversation? Wit?” Shane’s face falls and she looks to the floor as if she’s just been slapped, “Oh no, that’s not what I mean.” Mel reaches out and takes Shane’s hands in hers, “What I mean is that you’re great. You’re hot and steamy and sexy and …well…you know. But that’s not all there is to you, I’m sure. I bet you’re smart and funny and snappy. I bet there’s so much more to you than most people know about. More to you than they can see from just looking at you. And I bet there are more women out there than you know who want to get to know that part of you.”
Transfixed and stunned by Mel’s words, Shane tilts her head to one side and whispers, “Like you?”
Mel drops Shane’s hands and there is a long, astonished silence between them. When Mel finally finds her voice, she loses her nerve and simply nods without looking into Shane’s face. Oh God, I’m so transparent. Please don’t let me faint right here.
A slow, shy smile grows on Shane’s face. She decides that now is not the time to seduce Mel. She wants to savor this excited, giddy feeling she gets when she knows that Mel is coming in for a cut. She wants to milk this feeling for all it’s worth. After all, if Mel truly is “The One” (assuming there’s even such a thing), she won’t feel this again for someone. She decides to take her time with this one…make it last. She bites her bottom lip thoughtfully and then says, “Alright. Well, you take care of yourself. Be good and I’ll see you in 3 weeks, okay?”
The spell broken, Mel takes a deep breath and nods, “Sure. I’ll see you then.”
As she watches Mel leave, a thought occurs to her and Shane calls out, “Hey Mel?”
Mel turns as she slides on her glasses, “Yeah?”
Shane smiles, “Why don’t you come by the Planet sometime? I’m usually there. We can sit in the corner and talk about people.”
Mel pauses, shocked. Then she nods and smiles, “Alright. I will. Soon.”
“Okay. See you then.” Shane gives a one-fingered wave and head-cocked smile.
“Yeah, okay.” Mel disappears behind the lobby door with a huge smile on her face.
Carrie, the new girl, steps up behind Shane as she watches Mel get into her truck. She whispers into Shane’s ear, “Who’s that?”
Shane crosses her arms and never looks away from the maroon Toyota as she moans, “Melinda Lee Wilson…my guilty pleasure. Only, I don’t feel so guilty at all.”