“Not gonna lie,” Philippe said, smirking at Kris as the two walked back outside onto the boardwalk. The door to the little barber shop made a faint dinging sound as the door closed behind the two, “I like the short look on ya. Looks more sophisticated, refined even. Much better than your long hair.”
“What was wrong with my long hair?” Kris raised an eyebrow at Bouch’s final comment as they walked aimlessly down the walkway. He liked having his hair long. There was just something about it, the way it looked, the way it blew in the wind when he skated, just something that he liked. Sure, some of the guys joked with him about it every once in a while, but that’s how it was with everything. He never really realized there was something wrong with it.
“Nothing I suppose. It just looked more, I dunno, disheveled.” Boucher shrugged, “Like I said, I like this look better on ya.”
Kris lifted a hand up to feel the back of his now short hair. The locks that once came down the length of his neck now lay on the floor of the shop. In a way he missed it. He didn’t regret getting it cut, it wasn’t that big of a deal and would most likely grow back before it really set in that it was gone, but he did feel a little bit less like himself. His hair was kind of his thing and a lot of the fans, mostly female fans, took notice to it.
“The ladies loved my sex hair.” Kris stated matter-of-factly, using the terminology the fans used for his mane.
Boucher chuckled, “They did. I can’t argue with that.”
A smile found its way to Kris’s face but disappeared just as quickly as it came when a new question came to his mind. What did Emily think? Would she be upset with his new look or happy to see the old one go? Kris racked his brain to try to remember anything she’d ever said or done to show her preference. He thought back to the times before their relationship spawned into something more than just friendship; to the times before their sexual encounter. He recalled times where she would play with his hair when it was long and others when she would ask to feel it when it was freshly cut, but no specific instances came to mind where she made her choice clear. Kris then thought to the most recent times, the ones after their feelings for each other were out there; after their sexual encounter. Once again, nothing. The last time period to search in was what came in between; during their sexual encounter. He could vividly remember her running her fingers through his hair while he was on top of her. She certainly seemed to be enjoying it then. She was one of the few girls who got to experience his literal sex hair, and as far as he could tell, she liked it.
“And don’t look now,” Boucher interrupted his thoughts, “but looks to me like they still do.”
Despite the don’t look now part, Kris turned his head to the left where Philippe was looking. Standing next to a booth selling sunglasses and handmade jewelry stood three considerably attractive women who were smiling and eyeing Kris up.
Kris suddenly felt upset and it was visible on his face. He didn’t want any other girls, no matter how pretty they might be. He just wanted his girl.
“I told ya not to look.” Bouch shrugged.
“I thought it was just an expression,” Kris replied, taking another quick peek at the girls who made it no secret that they were checking him out, “Shit. They’re coming over here. What am I supposed to do?”
“What any other guy would give to be you right now.” Bouch shook his head jokingly. But Kris’s scowl made him get serious, “Just talk to them. Maybe it will take your mind off of things.”
As the girls got closer, Kris considered making the best of it. Hell, shouldn’t he deserve to have some fun while Emily was off gallivanting with Geno? But nothing would be the same with some random chick as it would be if he was with her. So why bother?
But it was too late to turn around and leave now.
“Hi,” The sole brunette in the group of blondes cooed, “I’m Kylie.”
“I’m Erika.” The taller of the two blondes chimed in.
“And I’m Mia.” The final one added with a glossy smile.
“Kris.” He told them, figuring it was his turn to introduce himself.
“And I’m his mentor, Philippe.” Bouch interjected with a joking smile. But the girls were about as interested in him as Kris was with them; not at all. Philippe knew that, and really didn’t care, “I’m gonna go get a drink. I’ll leave you guys to, uh, chat.” He smirked and, to Kris’s displeasure, walked away.
“I’m definitely getting one of these shirts before we leave tonight.” Ashley announced. Her, Jordan, Emily and Geno were stopped at a stand with random souvenirs that, even though they said Miami Florida on them, were totally generic to any other tourist based location.
“Why? They’re so weird and cheesy!” Emily scrunched her nose in disgust as she held up a shirt that read, ‘Shit happens when you party naked,’ as an example.
“Hey, I like that one!” Jordan grabbed the crude t-shirt out of her hands defensively. Emily rolled her eyes but couldn’t help but utter a laugh.
“Really, Jordy? I took you for more of a ‘Beach Bums’ kinda guy.” Evgeni joked, holding up a pink shirt with three cats wearing sun glasses and Hawaiian shirts on the front and their rear ends on the back.
Jordan shrugged, “That one ain’t bad either.” And he took it from his hands as well.
“Babe,” Ashley turned to Jordan holding up a new shirt, “if you love me, you will buy me this right now.” The shirt was light yellow with the face of a cat wearing big blue sunglasses right in the middle. Underneath in a fancy font it said, ‘Cool Cat – Miami Florida.’
“We can match!” Jordy exclaimed with a smile on his face as he held up his own cat shirt.
“What I don’t get is how cats have anything to do with Miami.” Emily shook her head, amused by the stupidity of it all.
“You and me both.” Geno chuckled in agreement.
Jordan and Ash went to pay for their new tops. Emily stood, staring out beyond the t-shirt stand with an unreadable look plastered to her face.
“You sure you don’t want one?” Evgeni asked her, referring to the t-shirts, trying to lure her back into focus.
“Positive.” She said, offering him a small smile so he wouldn’t think she was angry at him or anything. She really wasn’t angry at him or anyone for that matter. Sure Max was getting on her nerves, but she felt too…odd to be truly mad at him for the time being. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Maybe she was just tired, or not quite adjusted to the temperature change yet. Regardless of the reason, she felt different than she had ever remembered feeling before. She didn’t know how to describe it, and she didn’t know why.
“Fireworks should be starting soon.” Geno tried again. This attempt worked better than the previous.
Emily looked up at him, “That should be nice.” She said, for lack of anything better coming to mind.
“Yeah. Once those clowns are done we can go to beach to watch them.” He took her hand in his as he spoke.
She smiled sincerely now, and the pleased look on Geno’s face showed that he could tell.
“I’d like that.” She said honestly. Maybe he wouldn’t be her first choice as the guy she’d like to experience it with, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy the sure-to-be-beautiful sight anyway.
“This shit’s rigged!” TK angrily exclaimed after failing for the third time to knock over all six milk bottles.
“Calm down, Teek.” Lauren giggled and rubbed his arm to comfort him.
“Max, why don’t you try?” Leah asked Max, who was standing and watching as Tyler was throwing the baseballs without saying anything.
Max refocused on what was going on and smirked, “I guess I could show the poor kid how it’s done.”
“Two balls for a dollar,” said the lanky man running the booth. Max pulled one out and traded him for the balls.
“Here, you take this one,” Max said and handed the second ball to Tyler, “I won’t be needing it.” He added with a wink.
TK shook his head, “Yeah right,” but he accepted the ball anyway. He didn’t want to waste all of his own cash on this silly game.
“Yeah,” Max said as he got ready to throw. He aimed and fired, knocking down every last one of the bottles in the tower, “right.”
Leah and Lauren cheered for him as he took a little bow. TK just shook his head, surprised that he actually did it.
“I’m impressed!” Leah smiled at him, trying to flirt like Lauren and Ashlen had told her to.
“Eh, it was nothin’.” Max smiled back at her.
“Here ya go, sir.” The man behind the booth said as he held out Max’s prize. It was a medium sized stuffed purple monkey.
Max took the prize and thanked the man, then turned back to a still smiling Leah. “For you.” He said and handed her monkey.
“Awe, thanks Max. I love it!” She said and hugged her new favorite stuffed animal.
“No problem.” Max chuckled.
Leah could hear her heart beating loudly in her chest. It was working; Max was flirting with her. He was flirting with her, right? She couldn’t help but think how Max had probably never won Emily a stuffed animal before. And even though he wanted to be with her right now originally, he was having way more fun with her now. Right?
“Come on, Teek. Try again!” Lauren urged her boyfriend who was clearly jealous that Max won and he hadn’t yet.
“Okay, okay. I got this fersure this time.” Tyler said more to himself than to her.
He took the ball and tried his best to imitate what Max had done moments earlier. He threw the ball and watched it hit the bottles, but unfortunately for him, only got three of them down.
“God dammit!” He stomped his foot while Max and Leah laughed at him. Even Lauren couldn’t help but giggle.
“Maybe this just isn’t your game, mon frère.” Max shrugged.
“Damn right it isn’t. Let’s try something else.” Tyler said and grabbed Lauren’s hand. “On to the next one, eh.”
Seeing Lauren laugh and smile as she held TK’s hand, made Leah want to reach for Max’s to do the same. But his hands were in his pockets as he walked alongside her. It was too soon anyway, though. But it was just a matter of time till he would finally be hers. Or at least she hoped so.