Jonathan turned his head as he heard the gentle bell of the salon door jingling- indicating the presence of a client. He perked himself up from where he sat-
"Welcome! What can i do for you today?" He called in a cheery voice, turning to see one of his usuals standing in the doorway. She walked over to him, fur slightly caked in soil and some burrs clung to her tail.
"Weeding day in the fields today, eh?" The golden pup exclaimed with a grin, giving the reddish-purple pup a helping paw towards the tubs. A small laugh came from the Saluki-Spaniel mix as she assisted Jonathan in turning on the tub as Katie was working on another grooming job.
"Yeah....Lots of work in the park today- Rocky and I were replanting trees and getting rid of the dead plants and bark...." Her smile faded a little bit as she mentioned the Eco pup, her tail dropping as she dipped her paw in the water to test the temperature.
Jonathan sighed quietly, sensing another one of her rants was going to be coming up. No matter the case though, he was always there to listen to her. He hoisted her into the water and watched as she sunk down so only her eyes were visible, bubbles floating up to the surface as her eyes closed in visible comfortability. She rose her head back up but kept the rest of her body submerged in the tub.
"That feels nice..." She murmured, her smile returning. Jonathan's grin came back around at the sight of her smile, and then he got to work as soon as she was nice and soaked. He unplugged the tub and let the water drain, then helped lather her in shampoo.
Cayenne laughed and snapped her teeth at a few bubbles in an attempt to pop them as they drifted around her nose and her face, floating freely before they popped away. Jonathan chuckled and continued to lather her fur until she was ready to rinse. He turned on the showerhead and ran it along her body, making sure every single last bubble was gone before he turned it off.
"Alright, you're all washed up-" He smiled, handing her a towel and assisting her with drying. As soon as she was dry enough to come out of the tub, he led her to his styling chair.
"Anything new today?"
"Well..I like what you did last time, so just a little trim and a curl to my tuft, please." Cayenne turned her head slightly to smile at Jonathan, and then turned her attention to the mirror in front of her.
"Rawrf- Scissors! Comb!" As soon as his tools were out of the pack he got to work styling her wet fur.
Cayenne let out another slight sight, putting a paw to her wet tuft, lifting it as Jonathan used his paws to wrap the fur around a hair curler. "I just wish he'd notice me more...."
Jonathan let out a slight grunt- an obligatory "Hm..." as he continued to work, trying his best to focus on the grooming.
"I just...He'd be so perfect....He loves plants, he loves the environment..... But I guess no matter what I try he's always gonna be infatuated with that snowpup.... I-I mean...Tundra's nice and all...and I'm glad Rocky's loyal....But I just wish it was towards me!"
Jonathan felt his throat tightening, struggling to swallow as his heart clenched in his chest. Day after day of hearing these words...How she wishes Rocky loved her, that he would notice her beauty and love her....He was getting tired of it....Very tired....
"I mean- I just wish he'd look at me....That he'd love me...."
"He'd be such a great boyfriend- we could go on dates to the park and plant flowers together.."
"But it's useless...He'll never love me the way he loves Tundra....I just someone to love me that way-"
Finally, she jolted from her rant, a bit startled by the sudden raise in volume, Jonathan had never shouted like that before. "Y-Yes?"
".......I love you that way....." He felt his heart lurch in his chest, surprised at himself for even uttering those words. Had he really just confessed? He stared at her, looking into her lavender eyes as she glanced at him with surprised eyes. She was speechless for a moment, at a loss for words. After what seemed like an eternity for both of them, Cayenne finally spoke up.
Jonathan let out a long sigh, turning from her with his eyes shutting tight. He fought to keep his voice from cracking as his emotions flowed to the surface. "I've listened for months about your crush on Rocky...But he's taken, Cayenne...And it seems like they're not going to part any time soon.....You're....You're beautiful, Cayenne.....I fell for you the very first moment you stepped paw into the salon........But you saw me as a friend...And I wanted to keep being there for you, even if it meant hearing you talk about your affections for another.....But I couldn't take it anymore, Cayenne, I couldn't! I love you...Okay? I love you......"
Cayenne felt tears stinging her eyes as she slowly got down from her chair and placed her paw on Jonathan's shoulder. "Oh...Oh Jon.....I'm s..So sorry that i did that to you.....I had no idea......Do you....Do you really think i'm beautiful...?"
"Of course!" He exclaimed as he turned back to face her, some tears glistening in his eyes as well. "Y-you're so spunky and I love that you love to play with new looks and come in to the salon....You're one of my closest friends, and i'd hate to lose that relationship with you..."
"Oh Jonathan.......I....You're one of my closest friends too...an...And....Maybe it wouldn't hurt to try something.....See where we go...." She gave a meek smile, tilting her head.
"R-Right.." Jonathan grinned back, sharing her soft smile. "One date.....If we don't feel any different, we can go back to being friends....Go slow...."
Cayenne smiled again, slipping back into her chair as Jonathan played with the fur on her ears.
"I'd like that...." She sighed gently, a small smile on her muzzle as she felt her eyelids drift closed.
"Yeah...." Jonathan smiled, feeling hope swelling within his body, staring at Cayenne's reflection in the mirror with soft affection. "Me too..."