Garnet added, “I bet if you loosened up you’d get to see a lot of different penises.”

“Garnet, can you head to the dryers?” Bernice called out.

Tilda tottered by, snagging a silver fox fur coat from a rack that’d been fashioned out of animal horns. After Tilda paid and admired her hairdo in the big mirror behind the cash register, she turned and addressed Pearl, Maybelle and Vivien. “You’re coming over at five?”

“Wouldn’t miss it for nothin’,” Pearl replied. “Don’t forget the nondairy whipped cream for the pie. Milk gives me gas.”

Bernice shut the cash drawer and stopped in front of Tierney. “You’re next.”

“But what about her?” Garnet’s mouth hung open and she appeared to already be asleep beneath the hair dryer. “Is she okay?”

“The white noise resets her brain, and after the penis discussion, we all needed our brains reset.”

Tierney ditched her glasses and followed Bernice to the rinse bowl, allowing herself to relax as her head was massaged.

Back in the chair, Bernice combed out her wet locks. “So just a trim?”

“Yes, please.”

Bernice paused. “Look, Tierney, I don’t know you, and maybe it’s none of my business, but how long have you worn your hair in this style?”

“Since . . . well, since always. Why? Do I have split ends?”

“No, sugar, you have such pretty hair. Usually this beautiful sable color only comes out of a bottle. I’d like to showcase it in a style that is more age appropriate.”

She didn’t know what to say. Her hair was brown. It’d always been . . . just boring brown. “But I don’t have time to fuss with my hair. I keep it one length because it’s easy.”

“If I could give you a style that’s easy, but will make you look like the hot, young executive you are, would you be willing to try it?”

“It’d still need to be long enough to pull back in a ponytail.”

“I was thinking long layers.”

“Nothing I’d have to straighten or curl?” she asked skeptically.

“I have a cut in mind that’ll allow you to go right from the shower, to putting product in, to a little finger fluffing and . . . hello gorgeous.”

Tierney squinted at herself in the mirror, not that she could see anything without her glasses. It was only hair, right? And if Bernice did a hack job, well, she could wear it back and no one would probably notice. She inhaled a deep breath. “Let’s do it.”

Snip snip snip. Chunks of dark hair started to fall around her. She closed her eyes and mentally chanted, it’s just hair.

An eternity later, Bernice said, “Put your glasses on and have a look-see.”

Quelling her nerves, Tierney slowly lifted her head. Her mouth dropped open. Holy cow. The person staring back at her in the mirror . . . looked like her. But a better version of her. Hipper. Younger, yet more polished.

“Well? You like it?” Bernice prompted.

“I love it!” She angled her face side to side. Her hair was so swingy. So shiny. So . . . cool.

“Check out the back.” Bernice spun her and handed her a small mirror.

It even looked great from behind. “It’s perfect. Thank you so much!”

“My pleasure. I will caution you this type of precision cut requires maintenance. You’ll need to come in for a trim every four weeks.”

“On top of being a magician, you’re a shrewd business woman. I admire that.”

Bernice grinned. “I haven’t even pitched the styling products you’ll need yet.”

“I’ll buy them all if I can look this good every day.”

As soon as Bernice swept up the hair, Vivien, Pearl, and Maybelle surrounded her.

“You look fabulous,” Vivien gushed.

“Sophisticated,” Maybelle added. “Perfect for a financial overseer.”

“Girl, you look hot,” Garnet yelled. “You’d better slip on sexy duds to match your smokin’ new look, because when the men in this town get an eyeful of you? You’ll have more penises to choose from than you can shake a stick at.”

Tierney laughed. “And to think I’m finally getting what I always wanted—a plethora of penises.”

She decided to take their advice as soon as she got back to her cabin, taking her time to get ready and playing with her new look.

Her eyes watered like a fountain and she blinked repeatedly at the reminder of why she rarely wore contact lenses. She smudged black eyeliner along her top and bottom lashes. A shiny berry-colored stain gave her lips the illusion of plumpness. A darker shade of blush emphasized her cheekbones. She used concealer to cover up the dents on her nose from her glasses. She adjusted the low-cut peasant blouse with swirls of orange and brown. Harper insisted the vivid pattern would showcase Tierney’s coloring, and once again, she’d been dead on. Turning sideways, she scrutinized her new Western jeans. The dark denim was tighter than she normally wore. Hopefully she could hook a cowboy and entice him into taking her for a ride.

Don’t you mean take you on your maiden voyage?

Tierney shoved that niggling thought aside, refusing to put pressure on herself tonight. It’d happen when it happened. Still, she checked the expiration date on her unopened box of condoms just in case. She slipped on the four-inch lace-up half boots, grabbed her keys, and went honky-tonking.

Whatever that meant.


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