Home > Until Harmony (Until Her/Him #6)(12)

Until Harmony (Until Her/Him #6)(12)
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds

“Harmony,” he greets me, coming around the counter toward me. Taking hold of my upper arms, he kisses both my cheeks. “How are you, gorgeous?”

“I’ve been really good. How are you?”

“Good.” He smiles then looks through the small opening in the wall to the back of the shop. “Ellie is just finishing up with her last client. You don’t have a long wait, but you do have time to get a coffee if you want one.”

“I’m having lunch with my dad across the street after this. I don’t want to ruin that by drinking too much coffee.”

“Got it.” He grins then his eyes go past my shoulder when the door chimes, and I turn to watch a woman walk in. “Jenna.” He lets me go then greets her the same way he did me, with the arm hold and cheek kiss. “I’m all set up. Are you ready?” he asks her.

“Ready.” She smiles at him.

His eyes come to me. “Make yourself comfortable. Ellie will be out soon.”

“Thanks, Frankie.” I take a seat on the purple couch in front of the window and drop my purse to my side. Pulling out my cell phone, I send a text to my dad reminding him about lunch today, and then I reply to a text from Willow who wants to go get dinner next week. I send her back a text saying yes then I send my mom a message asking if she wants to go with me to have dinner with Willow. When she responds with a yes, I send Willow another message letting her know that mom is coming along.

“Hey, girl,” Ellie says, and I shut down my phone and drop it into my bag looking up at her.

“Hey.” I stand and skirt the coffee table, giving her a hug.

“You ready?”

“Totally.” I smile at her as she takes my hand and drags me with her to the back of the salon to her station.

“I have to show you a photo. I came across it the other day, and I swear the second I saw it, all I could think is Harmony needs this haircut and color.”

“Show me.” I sit in her chair then take the photo she hands me.

“Am I right?” she asks, and I study the woman’s hair. It’s shorter than my hair is now, just below her shoulders, with lots of layers and highlights.

“I love it.” I lift my head and smile at her in the mirror.

“Do you?”

“Yeah, it’s hot. Can you do this today?” I lift the photo in my hand.

“Heck yes!” She grins at me, and I grin back.

“Then make me pretty.”

“Please, you’re gorgeous. You don’t need any help with that.” She pulls out a hot pink cape, drapes it around my shoulders, and spends three hours highlighting, lowlighting, cutting, blow-drying, and curling my hair. When she’s done, my hair doesn’t look like the woman in the photo’s hair. It looks better. The cut makes me look like the kind of woman who lives her life wild, the kind of woman who takes risks and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.

“You are amazing.” I look from my reflection to Ellie in the mirror and smile.

“I think this is the best cut and color I have ever done.” She runs her fingers through my hair, watching the choppy layers fall into place.

“I love it, thank you.”

“No problem.” She takes off the cape, and I pull my card out of my wallet and hand it to her. “You wanna meet me in the front to sign?”

“Sure.” I pull out cash for her tip and set it on her station, knowing from experience that she won’t take it if I try to hand it to her. Going to the front of the salon, I sign the receipt she hands me.

“Do you want me to set up your next appointment now, or do you want to wait?”

“I’ll wait. I’m not sure of my schedule right now, but I’ll call.”

“All right.” She comes around the counter to give me a hug. “Tell everyone I said hi.”

“I will. Do the same and kiss Hope for me.” I say, referring to her daughter, and wave at her over my shoulder as I leave then head across the street. I sent my dad a text when Ellie was almost done, so I’m not surprised when I spot him through the window at the restaurant, already seated in a booth.

“Hey, Dad.” I slide into the seat across from him and his eyes widen.

“You changed your hair?”

“I did.” I run my fingers though it, loving how soft and light it feels.

“It looks good.”

“Thank you.” I drop my bag next to me.

“Ordered you a Coke with your usual Monte Cristo sandwich and fries,” he says, and my mouth waters. A Monte Cristo is ham and Gouda cheese between two thick pieces of Texas toast, which is then dipped in egg batter and fried to a golden brown. Then they cover it in a drizzle of raspberry jam and powdered sugar. I probably wouldn’t want to know how many calories are in the sandwich, but it’s one of my favorite things to eat whenever I come here, and totally worth taking the stairs at work.

“Thanks, Dad.”

“You’re welcome.” He smiles. “So how are things with you?”

“Things are good,” I tell him, then I smile at the waitress when she drops off our drinks.

“Yeah, what about you and Harlen?”

“Dad,” I sigh. This happens every time I see him lately. Really, it happens every time I see anyone in my family. They always ask what’s going on between Harlen and me, making me feel like a broken record.

“What?” he asks, and I shake my head.

“We’re just friends.”

“You keep saying that.”

“I keep saying it, because it’s the truth. He’s my friend. I like him. If I was with him, I would tell you that we’re together, but that’s not the case.”

“Hm,” he grunts, rubbing his jaw, and then asks, “Did you hear back about the class you wanted to take?”

“Yeah, they didn’t accept me this time, so I’m going to try again when it comes back around. And if that doesn’t work, I found an outside school that has the same program. I’d just rather not have to pay for the class if I don’t have to.”

“Your mom and I will pay if you need us to.”

“I know,” I agree with a noncommittal shrug, and then I move my hands off the table when the waitress comes over with our food.

Setting my sandwich and fries down in front of me, she places my dad’s burger and fries in front of him and asks, “Do you two need anything else?”

“I think were good,” I answer, and she nods before wandering off to another table. Picking up a fry, I pop it into my mouth, chew, swallow, and then ask, “What’s going on with Bax and Talon? Are they still planning on moving home?”

“Yep, they’re getting things sorted out now. Hopefully it won’t be long before they’re here.”

“It will be nice having them around.” I know both my parents want all their kids close, but Bax and Talon, just like Nalia, had other ideas about what they wanted. After the boys both graduated, they decided to move to Alaska. First, they bought a fishing boat, thinking they could run it in the summer and make enough money to get them through the rest of the year. Unfortunately, their first and second fishing seasons sucked, leaving them broke. They ended up selling their boat and moving to Montana, where they began working for a log home company. They both ended up loving it so much that they started their own side business building tiny hunting cabins in Alaska in the middle of nowhere during their time off. That business took off, so they have been traveling between Alaska and Montana for work. They now have a plan to start a similar company in Tennessee, which means they need to be here, at least for a little while.

“When they get home, I want to get Nalia out for at least a week,” he says, bringing me out of my head. I study him, trying to read his mood, the same thing I do when he or Mom talks about her. My sister Nalia and my brother Sage were both adopted. I don’t recall when it was, since I only ever remember them being a part of our family, but I know they were young, maybe around two years old. Not long after Nalia turned eighteen, she decided to get in touch with her birth mother, and now she lives in Denver not far from her. My mom and dad have both been supportive of her relationship with her mother, even if it hurts them to have her so far away. But Sage hasn’t been supportive. He won’t even speak about the woman who gave birth to him, and that has taken a toll on his relationship with Nalia.

   
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