Topic #77: Picture Prompt
Close Shave by: Miss Raye
Do It For Me by: Cindy
To Shave Or Not To Shave... by: Donna Ree
Shave And A Haircut by: Lori
Take It Off...Take It All Off by: Dede
Close Shave
by: Miss Raye

Cody stretched like a contented cat with a belly full of milk.

"You happy, lover?"

He turned to the woman lounging beside him, her body artfully displayed amongst the linens of her bed. "Oh yeah, darlin'… it's just like heaven bein' here with you."

She turned on her side and reached over to draw her fingers down his chest, outlining the muscles as she went. "I knew when I saw you up there on that stage… that you'd be," she chuckled when he shifted from her 'explorations', "a fun time."

"And I knew," he reached off the edge of the bed and picked up one of her lacy under-things on the end of his finger, "as soon as I saw that pretty little smile of yours that you'd be a handful."

She pouted her lower lip plump and colored red. "Just a handful?"

He snaked his arms around her and they tumbled over in the sheets until he was on the bottom and she, barely balanced on top. "You know it's more, darlin'… but I was just usin' a figure of speech."

She tossed her mane of golden curls and leaned down over his smiling face. "Just as long as it's my figure you're payin' attention to, that's all that matters."

Grinning up at her he wiped a little rivulet of sweat from the side of his face. "Darlin'… that's the only thing I'm planning to do for the next few hours."

Leaning over to one side, she rolled right off him and reached for the brandy decanter. Her first attempt to pour she sloshed the rich colored liquid over the side and laughed as it fell down over her fingers onto the covers.

She gave a quick look to the clock on the wall and sighed. "I'm not sure if we're gonna have that much time."

Cody watched her take a sip before he took a swig from the bottle. "Why would you say that, sweetie? I've got aaall night."

Somewhere beneath them a door slammed.

Setting down her glass she reached out to grab her wrapper from the chair beside the bed. "I don't, Billy."

"Adelle!" The voice boomed up the staircase and into the hall nearly rattling the bedroom door.

Her fingers were deftly tying the ribbons just above her bosom. "That would be my husband. I thought he'd take longer at the saloon."

"Husband?"

Slamming one leg and then the other down into his pants legs Cody vainly tried to remember the number of steps they'd climbed to get up to the second floor, but somewhere between her teeth nibbling on his ear and the trail of her fingertips he'd been a bit… distracted.

She cringed at a distinctive 'creak' on the stairs beneath her husband's boots. "Just a few more to go."

Cody gave up trying to button his pants and grabbed up his coat and shirt in one arm and boots in the other. He ran for the window they'd opened up in their need for 'air.' He had one leg out the window when she waved his socks in the air.

"Dell? You up here?"

'Keep 'em,' he mouthed as he ducked his head under the window pane and plastered himself up against the wall just outside the window. He looked down and let out a pent up sigh. There was no way down. For a moment he considered his options for ducking back into the room… maybe he could hide under the bed and-

The door opened, bouncing against the wall. "Della, you deaf? Didn't you hear me callin' you?"

Code sank down on the overhang of the roof, his bare feet cold against the wooden roof, the wind chilled his bare chest as he listened to the couple argue inside. He shook his head and grumbled to no one in particular. "Cody… that was purty close there, son… purty close."

*A/N: Thanks to Cindy for the 'title' that inspired the fic… Jimmy went quiet, but Cody's never been afraid to talk in a pinch.*

Do It For Me
by: Cindy

SWISH! SWISH! SWISH!

Teaspoon stood in the doorway, one foot in the kitchen, and one foot out, ready for a hasty retreat. One eyebrow arched as he watched Polly skillfully sharpening the razor blade. Without conscious thought, he raised one hand to his chin, stroking the stubble that was covering it.

Polly really had her heart set on this, but…

He took one small step fully into the kitchen and cleared his throat, loudly. “You know, ain’t really no need to do this.”

She stopped the rhythmic motion of her arm and turned to look at him, a somewhat skeptical smile starting to form. “Teaspoon, we’ve been through this.”

“Well, I know that.” His fingers brushed over the stubble again. “See, folks is kinda used to me like this.” Truth was, he thought the scraggly facial hair gave him a rough, tough look – something a marshal should have. Though that might not have been the real reason he was hesitating.

Polly shook her head slowly and laid the razor on the table. “Teaspoon, we’re gettin’ married tonight.”

“Well, I know that, darlin’.”

“We’ve got nearly the whole town invited.”

“Well, I know…”

“You’re tellin’ me you can’t be shaved clean for your own wedding?”

He hesitated, knowing that she had just touched on his real reason for avoiding the razor. That seventh walk down the aisle of matrimony was scaring him more than he wanted to admit.

As if sensing his thoughts, Polly took a step toward him. “Teaspoon, do you love me?”

“Well, ‘course I do.”

“When you asked me to marry you again, did you mean it?”

“I did.”

Polly stepped closer, looking right into his eyes. “And do you still mean it?”

He held her gaze for a long moment, seeing himself reflected in the deep blue-grey of her eyes. And what he saw was a foolish old man, on the verge of losing something wonderful. “I do,” he whispered.

“Teaspoon, if you have any doubts…”

Doubts? He’d had some… but they seemed to be fading away into nothing as he continued to stare into her eyes. Seven times? Maybe so, but this was the one that was going to work.

It was the one he should have tried harder to make work the first time around.

“Darlin’, I got no doubts,” he said – and he meant it.

Polly gave him a smile that was part joy, and maybe a little bit of relief too. She reached out a hand, running her fingers lightly over the scruffy whiskers on his chin. “Then do this for me, Sugarlips.”

Any residual resistance disappeared; he melted at the nickname she had first dubbed him with so many years ago. He gave her a quick half bow. “Anything for you.” As Polly stepped aside, he walked past her to the chair she had pulled out by the table and sat down.

She draped a towel across his shoulders and reached for the shaving cup. He closed his eyes as he felt the lather start to cover his face. Her touch was gentle and sure, filled with love.

He didn’t even flinch as the razor made contact with his skin. Polly’s firm, even strokes were comforting, and he relaxed under her ministrations.

None of this meant his knees wouldn’t be shaking when they actually got to the ‘I Do’ part, of course. Even seven times married wasn’t enough so he’d gotten used to that.

But he was going to look damn fine doing it.

To Shave Or Not To Shave...
by: Donna Ree

Cody straddled the bench across from her and announced, “I think you’re lyin’ to us, Lou.”

She almost choked on her oatmeal. Trying for an innocent expression, she looked him in the eye and merely said, “Oh?”

“Yeah. Why is it you haven’t started shavin’ yet?”

Perplexed, Lou looked at Cody, not knowing how to answer.

“Leave ‘im be, Cody.” Jimmy gruffly defended the small rider.

“What? It’s just he says he’s 17 and hasn’t shaved once since he’s been here. I think Lou here is lying ‘bout his age is all.”

“Don’t talk about me like I’m not here, Cody. And I am 17…guess I’m just a late bloomer.” ‘Thank goodness for that or else I’d never be able to hide my chest from these guys.’ She thought to herself.

Rubbing his chin with his hand, Cody plodded on. “See, I don’t think so. I’ve been givin’ this some thought. You haven’t shaved and ya don’t have a speck of hair on your chest either.” Frowning, he continued, “Fact is, I don’t think any of us have seen you without a shirt on so I guess I can’t say for certain whether you have any chest hair or not.” Pausing for effect he couldn’t help but add, “Why is that, Lou? Ya got somethin’ ta hide?”

You have no idea.’ Lou retorted inside her head.

“Cody, I told ya leave ‘im alone.” Jimmy was starting to get angry at the way Cody wouldn’t leave Lou alone. “Fact is not everyone starts shavin’ at the same age, you should know that.”

Inside Lou breathed a sigh of relief at Jimmy’s efforts.

Of course Cody couldn’t let the subject drop. “Yeah, but don’tcha think 17 is a little late ta not be shavin’?”

“Cody, what is it with you?” Jimmy shook his head in exasperation. “How old were you when you started shavin’?”

“14.” He said proudly.

Jimmy arched an eyebrow at that one, but let it go.

“So how ‘bout you, Jimmy? How old were you?” Cody asked.

“I was 16. So that there shows you 17 ain’t too late to not be shavin’, so just let it go. Alright?”

“But…”

Jimmy gave him a mean look that spoke volumes and Cody finally got the message.

“So I wonder, what do ya think Emma’s makin’ for supper? I’m starved!” Cody exclaimed, even though breakfast had just ended.

Once again Jimmy shook his head and glanced over at Lou. She silently mouthed him a thank you and he briefly nodded.

Later that night as she lay in her bunk, Lou wondered how much longer she could actually keep up her disguise without drawing suspicion to herself. She had never actually thought about the not-shaving thing. She certainly never realized anyone had taken notice of her lack of shaving. Pushing the thought out of her mind for now, she remembered how Jimmy stood up for her. She had a feeling if she was ever discovered as a girl that she and Jimmy would get along pretty well together. Maybe even be something more than just friends? She was already strongly attracted to him and had a hard time keeping her eyes from straying to him whenever he was nearby. Smiling to herself she snuggled down deeper into her bunk and dreamt of Jimmy’s reaction to finding out she was a girl. And it was sweet.

Shave and a Haircut
by: Lori

“I don’t think we should be doing this.”

Seth Hickok looked up at his older sister and rolled his eyes. At nearly twelve years old, Becky had become a second mother to many of the brood. While it was certainly helpful to their mother, what with all the little ones running around home, Becky somehow also thought that she had the right to mother hen him. Considering he was ten years old and working out of the same school books as her, Seth was pretty adamant in his belief that he didn’t need his older sister treating him like a baby.

“Will you relax?” he asked her. “I know what I’m doing. I’ve watched Pa do this every morning for the past few years. I can do this.”

“I don’t see what the fascination is with shaving,” she sniffed.

“That’s ‘cause you’re a girl,” he answered back with a roll of his eyes. “Girls don’t have to shave. ‘Sides, you sure prefer it when Pa shaves instead of tryin’ to kiss you with his scruffy beard.”

Unable to deny the truth of that statement, Becky closed her mouth and thinned her lips in displeasure. He could live with her disapproval of his actions as long as his sister was quiet about it. Now that he’d been granted with her not flapping her gums, Seth was ready to get to work.

Just as he was about to set to work, Becky proved she was a worrying ninny girl and said, “Seth, are you sure?”

“Will you stop fussin’?” he hissed at her. “I told you…this is what we need to do for Ma. She’s always sneezin’ and rubbin’ her eyes whenever she’s around Hunter and if we don’t want Pa to give away our dog, then we need to find some way to help her out.”

“But shaving him?” his older sister whined. “He’s our dog. And Momma never used to sneeze around him. It was only when she was expectin’ Jonathon.”

“Jonathon’s six months old now and she ain’t stopped sneezin’. You heard her tell Pa last night, sometimes women’s bodies change after they have babies and just ‘cause she didn’t used to sneeze around the dog doesn’t mean she’ll go back to that. Plus, Jonathon’s startin’ to sneeze ‘round Hunter, too. And while Ma might put up with it if it’s just her that’s miserable, she won’t let our baby brother suffer. So…this is what we have to do.”

Becky bit her bottom lip and fretted, “But don’t Hunter need his hair?”

“If you’d get busy sewin’ together those two pieces of Pa’s old shirts like you said you would, then we can put them over him and keep the sun off ‘im.” Honestly, did he have to think of everything by himself? His sister was supposed to be helping him, not slowing him down.

“I still don’t think we should do this,” she shook her head.

“You get sewin’,” he commanded her. “I’ll get shavin’.”

~*~*~*~*~

“What in the world?!”

Jimmy looked up at his wife’s sharp exclamation. That was as close to swearing as Karen got around their children and he wondered what exactly had brought it on.

“James Hickok, get in here right now.”

He put the paper down and stood, walking towards the kitchen. He’d barely been home from work ten minutes; he couldn’t imagine what he’d done to get himself in trouble. When he walked into the kitchen he stopped short. He wasn’t in trouble, but his presence was definitely needed.

Before him stood his two oldest children, looking extremely sheepish, and what he could only assume was their dog Hunter. In an attempt to help his wife cheer up after Teaspoon had purchased a pet for their children without their consent, he’d suggested the auspicious name of Hunter for the animal. Teaspoon had not been pleased, but the name stuck and now he was faced with his namesake every time he came over to the house. The dog, though, looked nothing like it had this morning. It was mostly bald and covered with two pieces of shirts Karen had turned into rags. The poor animal was trying to get the offending articles of clothing off his body, but the shirt had been secured with a piece of rope around his middle.

Looking up at his wife in complete bafflement, he then looked over at the perpetrators of the incident. “What happened to Hunter?”

It was the only thing he could think to ask. Anything else would have been angry and shouted and questioned his children’s intelligence and he was trying very hard not to immediately jump there.

“We gave him a haircut and a shave,” Seth answered immediately. And with no small measure of pride.

Karen licked her lips, swallowed and then slowly and deliberately asked, “And why did you do that?”

“So you’d stop sneezing Momma,” Becky replied. “And Jonathon. We thought maybe you was ‘lergic to his hair. Seth said that if we shaved his hair off and you stopped sneezing, then we’d be able to keep him.”

Karen closed her eyes and shook her head. When she opened them again, her look plainly said Jimmy should take over questioning.

“While it was…nice of you to think of your ma and your baby brother,” he began. “Dogs ain’t meant to go around without fur. It protects them.”

“But see,” Becky piped in immediately. “That’s why we made the covering for him. To help protect him.”

“Sweeties,” their mother shook her head. “You just…you can’t do that to Hunter. Or any pet. We don’t know if we’ll be able to keep Hunter. We want to…we really do. But…but this is a decision for your father and I to make and…and we’ll just have to all take extra good care of Hunter until his fur grows back. For now…”

“For now you need to go to your rooms,” Jimmy said. “Your mother and I need to discuss this. And take those shirts off Hunter; he’s going to rub his skin raw trying to get them off.”

“Yes, Pa,” Seth answered glumly, trying to call the dog after him and then having to drag the dog with him when Hunter cowered away from him.

“Those two,” Karen said, rubbing her forehead wearily. “I swear they don’t have a lick of sense between the two of them sometimes.”

“They were just trying to come up with a solution all on their own,” he shrugged. Then they watched as Hunter scurried back into the kitchen without the shirts on, and hid under the table. “I just wonder what they used to shave him.”

~*~*~*~*~

The next morning Becky and Seth awoke to an angry bellow. In fact, the whole house awoke to it which did not make their mother happy at all. As they listened to their father, they knew that the tanning of their hides that they had escaped last night – instead just receiving extra chores for the next month – was going to happen this morning.

Their father had just discovered they’d used his razor to shave Hunter yesterday and they hadn’t gotten a chance to try to sharpen it.

The End

Take It Off...Take It All Off
by: Dede
To kiss/A mug/That’s like a cactus/Takes more nerve/Than it does practice

“Oh, um,” Mr. Nelson stuttered, coughing into his fist, “Marshal Cain.” He quickly hurried down the boardwalk towards his destination.

Emma watched as Sam waved to the man, unaware of the banker’s amused expression. “Sam, Sam, Sam,” Emma murmured. “What are you thinkin’?” Next, she saw Mrs. Little, with the assorted Little children, stop short and stare at Sam.

“Marshal?” the woman said, drawing out the word as she seemed to study Sam’s face.

Emma was sure Mary Little was questioning his sanity and she giggled at the thought, as well as Mary’s bewildered expression.

“‘Lo Mary,” Sam greeted, with a big smile. “How’re y’all doin’ today?” He bent down to acknowledge the five children.

Though four of them were polite and did their best not to laugh, (it looked to Emma as if they were hiding that laughter behind the wide grins they wore) the youngest, however, was not having any of it and buried her face in her mother’s skirt, whining. Mary apologized quickly, gathered her children and, following in Mr. Nelson’s footsteps, hurried down the boardwalk. She glanced back a few times, still looking puzzled at Sam.

Emma shook her head. It had been like that for the last thirty minutes. She hadn’t meant to stand there for that long but she’d been entertained with each passing person and their reactions. She’d spotted Sam as she’d walked out of the tailor’s shop and had been totally shocked at what she saw. She knew he’d been out on the trail for several days, escorting a prisoner, but that really didn’t mean he’d had to stay looking like that. And it seemed to her that the other townsfolk agreed. Everyone Sam met on the street during the time she was watching had looked at him in the same way – in utter bemusement.

Sighing, she knew she needed to do something and it had to be today. Tonight was the social and she was not going with him looking like that. She walked to the wagon, and just before stepping up, she stared at Sam willing him to look at her. It worked but the look on Sam’s face almost had her losing her control over her laughter. She shook her head again and rolled her eyes. Climbing up onto the seat, she hoped he got the hint, and snapped the reins, starting the wagon rolling.

*~*~*~*~*

When super-shaved/Remember, pard/You’ll still get slapped/But not so hard

Sam knew Emma was watching him. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. It made him feel a bit giddy inside and proved to him that his idea about growing out his beard was a good one.

It had started a few days before he’d left. He’d been so busy with the company he’d been entertaining in the jail and then on horseback. He’d had to keep a close eye on the man and in doing so, hadn’t kept a close eye on himself. Besides, he hated shaving on the trail, too messy and bothersome. Thus the beard. He’d planned to shave when he got home the night before but, after a long look at himself in his mirror, decided he looked good with one. Too, the reactions of the people he’d seen as he was walking through town, making sure everything had been okay while he’d been away, had only confirmed the decision for him.

He looked over at Emma, sure he was right, and smiled charmingly. However, the look Emma gave him wasn’t quite what he’d expected. Before he could react, she rode away.

“What was that for?” he muttered. Determined to find out why she’d looked at him that way, he decided to ride out to the station after he finished making his rounds.

*~*~*~*~*

Doesn’t/Kiss you/Like she useter?/Perhaps she’s seen/A smoother rooster!!

“Emma!” Sam called out. “You –”

“Sam,” Emma answered from the porch. She’d been expecting him. She walked slowly down the steps as he dismounted and tied the reins over the railing.

Sam turned and walked towards her, closing the gap between them. Standing in front of her, he glanced around quickly before leaning down to kiss her. He was stopped by her hand, palm flat against his lips. “Emma,” he complained, “what’s that for?”

Emma sighed. “Sam,” she said, reaching up and cupping his face between her hands, “what is this?” She rubbed briskly.

“Hey!” He pulled back and scratched at his cheeks. It was still stubble so it itched – a lot. “Why’d you go and do that?” He saw that she’d taken the stance. He hated when she stood, almost like a gunfighter, her hands in fists on her hips. It made him feel like he was in trouble. And when she did that, he usually was.

“Answer my question,” she said, firmly. “What is that?” She pointed at his face.

“What is what?” he asked, confused by her question. ‘She mean my beard?’

“All over your face.”

“My beard?”

“Is that what you call it?” she asked, an amused twinkle in her eye. “Either grow it or shave it, but make up your mind.” She relaxed her stance. After that comment, she knew it would only put Sam on the defensive. She was right.

“Humph,” Sam grunted. “It’s only been a few days. It’s still growin’.”

“Darlin’,” Emma said softly, “you ain’t a beard man.”

She looked at what Sam called a beard. To start with, it was a rainbow of colors: bright red, golden blonde, dark brown, auburn, and a smattering of gray. Then there were the bare spots, on his cheeks, more so on the right one than left, as well as a small one on his chin. It was a rather sad looking beard and Emma doubted it would grow much more.

Sam stared at the ground, his hands on his hips, wearing a sour look on his face. “So ya’ want me to shave it off,” he said, grumpily.

“No,” Emma said, stepping up to stand so she could look up into his face. They were almost touching. “I don’t want you to.”

“Woman,” Sam grumbled, glancing over Emma’s head. Her close proximity was making it hard for him to remain resolute. “Make up –”

“I want to.”

“– your…wha…” Sam’s head whipped down and he stared into Emma’s eyes. He saw the look and grinned. “Ah, well, in that case…” He scooped Emma up in his arms and buried his face in her neck. She giggled at first but then wriggled away.

“Not until that is gone,” she said, pushing gently away from him.

“So, pretty sure of yourself, huh?” Sam teased.

“If yer takin’ me to the social…” she answered.

Sighing, Sam said, “I know when I’m whipped.” He held his hand out. “Lead the way.”

She laughed and took his hand, leading him up the steps and into the house. To Emma’s barbershop.

She put/A bullet/Thru his hat/But he’s had/Closer shaves than that

A/N: The little ditties throughout this fic are all Burma Shave slogans that appeared on small highway billboards throughout most of the U.S.

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