Jack O'Lantern

The Journey to Harvest Moon

2H- Zee Zeeamy@Gmail.com

Disclaimers: Lesbians. If you're okay with that one word, then this story is the right one for you.

Sex. Well the world seems to revolve around it, but this story is tamer than most TV.

Violence. Its all fun and games till someone gets an eye poked out then its just fun. It's a rather mellow piece.

Thanks to: caffeine. Really without it this story wouldn't be here. Also, thanks to Joanne and J. You two kick ass and make me sound like I didn't sleep through my English classes.

"You're what?"

"Come on, Liz. I know you're not deaf; you play in a band. On the other hand, that may explain it."


"So you're going to come?"

"You're getting married? With the flowers, and the cake, and, and...like a wedding?"

There was a laugh on the other end of the phone. "Yes - a wedding. So, little bit, can you come?"

Karen got concerned with all the silence coming from the phone. "Little bit, are you there?"

"Uh, yeah. I'm here. I'm just...married? How'd you get someone to want to spend the rest of their life with you?" Liz just couldn't fathom it. Her geeky, hopelessly introverted, older sister had found someone who wanted to spend the rest of their life with her. Her sister could only communicate with computers. The last time she'd seen Karen, her sister had sported a mullet, and no matter how hard she'd tried, she couldn't convince Karen to cut it off. After a moment or two she said, "You cut off the mullet, didn't you?"

More laughter. "No, I still have that. So are you coming?"

"A guy wants to marry you? Sis, give me a moment to process. This isn't some freaky robot guy you built in your spare time, is it?"

There was now a moment of silence from Karen's end of the phone. "Umm... it's not a guy."

Liz started doing a little happy dance around the cluttered room, "Oh, I so knew it! Uncle Joey owes me big. It's my birthday. It's my birthday," she chanted.

Karen groaned into the phone. "Oh my God. How much?"

"Fifty bucks," Liz replied and went back to her victory dance.

"God, I can't believe you two were making bets about my sexuality."

"Hey, it's a small town. What else were we going to do at Thanksgiving? I can't believe my geeky, shy, older sister got a girl to marry her. Oh, is she a robot?"

"What is it with the robot? No, she's not a robot."

"So how'd you do it?"

"The usual way - lots of dates; romantic dinners with candles and champagne; sappy cards; and gifts of flowers and chocolates. Then after a few months of romance, when I was certain without a doubt she was the one I wanted to love forever, I gave her a diamond ring and asked if she wanted to love me forever in return and she agreed."

"I had no idea you could be so romantic," Liz responded, clearly stunned by her sister's behavior.

"Heather gave me motivation to come out of my shell."

"I guess so."

"So are you going to come or not, little bit?"

"Stop calling me little bit and yes, I'll come. When is it?"

"We're having the ceremony on Halloween."

"Uh, could you repeat that? I could have sworn you said Halloween."

"I did."

"Ummm, normally Halloween is a day for trick or treating - not to get married."

"The date of October 31st holds a special meaning for Heather and her, uh, family. So we're getting married then."

"You aren't a part of some demon cult of religious fanatics, are you?" Liz was met with silence. "Oh my God. They are, aren't they?"

"No! Liz, they're different in their beliefs but nothing scary or harmful; trust me."

"You're marrying into a family of nuts."

"Liz, if you're going to be like that, just forget it."

"No, I'll be there. Are mom and dad coming?"

"Not really. They're okay with the lesbian thing. They just think that marriage outside their church is wrong in the eyes of God, and since I can't get married at all in the church 'cause it's a sin...well, what I'm doing is a sin."

Liz laughed. "You just got to love that circular logic."

"What's up with you and them? I had to call Uncle Joey to get the scoop on you and your number."

"Well, they wanted me to go to work at the plant and follow in Dad's shoes as plant owner and I saw myself as more the type to run off to LA to play music in a band and make it big."


"Yeah, they didn't take it so well. We haven't talked since I left."

"I'm sorry."

"Yeah, me too."

"So did you make it big yet?"

"Not really. I do play in a band called Grooved Pavement. We haven't made it big or even little yet, but I have hope."

"I'm sorry I haven't kept in better contact. Honestly, I didn't know. Every time I called home they said everything was fine and I couldn't talk with you 'cause you were out. After awhile of you always being out, I got a clue."

"It's okay." But Liz felt better hearing her older sister's love and concern.

"But you're doing okay."

"Yeah, I do odd jobs at the docks. Mainly I scrape crap off the bottom of boats. It's gross but it pays well, and you wouldn't believe how healthy I look now. Gone is the pale, skinny, band geek. I'm tan and buff."

"Wow, that's a lot to imagine. I can't wait to see you."

"Yeah, me too. How much is a plane ticket to east coast?"

"Well, the good news is I'm not on the east coast. I'm in a small town in Kansas."

"You're shitting me. They have lesbians in Kansas?"

"Shut up, little bit. It's a small, um, town called Harvest Moon. You'll have to fly into the Kansas City Airport and rent a car. It's a four hour drive from the airport."

"Yeah, sure," Liz responded while calculating her money situation. Uneasily she eyed her electric guitar and amp. She had been lying about the docks paying well.

"And do you think you could fly out sometime next week? I could use some family time with you. I want you to meet her family and you'll need to get fitted for the tuxedo."

"A tux? What for?"

"Because I want you to be my best person at the ceremony."

Liz got choked up. "I...I...really? Yes, of course, I'm honored. But I refuse to sacrifice any chickens."

Karen just sighed.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Liz stared around the apartment that she shared with four other people; she got the couch and the coat closet for her stuff. In truth she hated LA, but she was too stubborn to go home. She couldn't be the person her parents wanted her to be. She couldn't fit into Woodfill, Colorado and be the small town, go-nowhere person the rest of her classmates had chosen to be. Karen had been lucky 'cause she'd gotten a scholarship to MIT. Their parents couldn't say no to that and they'd had Liz to fall back on to fulfill their dreams of a family-owned business.

Dan would be pissed. They actually had a paying gig for Halloween, but sometimes there were more important things. She sighed and went to the phone to call the airlines to find out what a flight to Kansas was going to cost.

A few hours later she was about ready to cry; she couldn't afford a plane ticket and a car. She rested her head on her hands. In the background she heard someone come in and shut the door.

"Rough day, Liz?"

She felt a hand rub across the stubble on her scalp, and she gave a small grin at the gesture. They all joked that rubbing her head was akin to rubbing Buddha's belly; it brought good luck.

"My sister is getting married."

"This is bad? Who's she marrying - some jerky guy?"

"No, it's a good thing, and I have no idea if she's a jerk or not."

"Step back - a lesbian affair. Oh right, your sister has the mullet. So what's the situation?"

Liz grinned and looked up at her friend. Only Rowan wouldn't even blink at the words that had just come out of her mouth. "How did you end up dating pig-boy Dan again?"

Rowan just gave her a sly smile. "Dating is a strong word for what Dan and I do." She eased her lanky frame into a chair and swung her long legs up onto the counter next to Liz's head.

Briefly Liz's mind drifted to some mathematical equation; taking into account the length and width of her tongue and Rowan's height, she estimated it would take at least several hours to worship Rowan's legs properly with a tongue bath. A grape hitting her upside the head startled her. She looked over into Rowan's blue eyes.

Rowan smiled. "Is it nice where you are?"

"Uh...I was just...uh...math."

"Really? Math is never a pleasant thing, yet there was a smile on your face," Rowan teased.

"Ummm, depends. Ah, did you ask me a question?"

"The situation? What has you down in the dumps?"

"Well, I can't afford the plane ticket or the rental car. How am I going to get out there? She wants me to be her best ma... er, person. I can't let her down; she's my sister."

"When is it? I'm sure if you save you'll have the money. Plus The Pit is going to pay us big bucks on Halloween so that will help."

Liz ducked her head.


"Uh, the ceremony is on Halloween. I won't be able to play."

"Dan is going to have kittens."

"I know."

"That's only a little over two weeks away."

Liz sighed. "I know that too. No time for a second job." She put her head back on her hands.

Rowan stared at the forlorn figure of her friend sitting at the counter and weighed options in her head. She liked Liz. The girl was all right; she worked hard in the band and on the docks. She knew Dan had gotten the smaller woman the job as a scare tactic; he had wanted his buddy voted into the band, not some tiny girl from a small town. At the audition though she'd blown everybody away; the small girl from nowhere had made that beat-up guitar sing, laugh, and cry. So Dan had been outvoted two to one. When Liz had trouble finding a job, he'd said 'no problem'; he'd help her out down at the dock where he worked, hoping the men would make her life hell. The men had not failed him, but Liz had surprised everyone. She'd stuck it out and slowly the men had warmed up to her.

Rowan was pleased to see the changes that had taken place in the girl in the past year. Liz had lost the baby fat and pale complexion; working at the docks had shaped her body and given her skin a healthy glow. Now with her shaved head, Liz was quite the baby dyke with her tight T-shirts, worn jeans, and work boots. What surprised Rowan was how oblivious her friend was to how good she looked; Liz was always getting hit on and never even realized that it was happening. There was still something sweet and innocent about her that a year in LA couldn't corrupt. Rowan hoped Liz never lost it.

"If I sell my electric guitar and amp, I could probably get a bus ticket," Liz mused, breaking Rowan out of her thoughts.

"Yeah, you probably could." Then another thought occurred to Rowan. She weighed the pros and cons as Liz smiled and got up. Dan was going to be pissed. That thought just made her smile bigger. "You know what I'm thinking, Liz?"

Liz chuckled. "Mind reading isn't a talent of mine, so no," she replied as she got her guitar and amp out.

"I'm thinking road trip."

"I don't have a car."

"I do."

Liz just turned and looked at Rowan. "What are you saying?"

"You. Me. The open road to Kansas."

"What? I mean - what about Dan, the band, your job?"

Rowan shrugged. "Dan's been fun but it was never serious. We were never a couple despite what he says. The band sucks, and I can waitress anywhere. Liz, I've been thinking about making a change for some time now. This is just the catalyst I was waiting for."

"Dan is going to be so pissed."

"Dan won't have a clue, plus it's not his life - it's mine."

Liz stared at Rowan, her green eyes taking in the serious face and the jaw set in determination. "If you're sure you want to do this."

"Yes!" Rowan gave a victory whoop, picked up the smaller woman, and twirled her around.

Liz staggered, since she was slightly dizzy as she was put down. Grinning, she looked up at Rowan; their eyes caught and Liz forgot to breathe. They were standing way too close and she felt like she should move closer. For a moment she thought the best thing in the world would be to move closer until her body joined with Rowan's, joined so tight that light and sound couldn't creep between and separate them. Then the awful moment came when she realized what she was thinking about her friend. Panicked, she tried to move away, stumbled over her own feet, and to her horror, found herself pitching forward. She put a hand out to steady herself.

"Umm, Liz, you okay there?"

"Yes. Just suffering from temporary insanity, but it's gone now."

"Good. Think you could let go of my breast now?"

"Oh God." Liz felt her face turning red. Rowan just laughed. 'Maybe a road trip isn't such a good idea,' Liz thought.

Rowan just rubbed the shaved head, chuckling at the red flush to Liz's face before she went to the room she shared with Dan to pack her stuff. Liz was a cutie; she hoped the young woman found somebody that would make her happy. Rowan wasn't stupid. She knew that Liz had been exploring her interest in women since moving to LA, but other than a few dates, no one serious had emerged.

- - - - - - - - -

Liz left the pawnshop a hundred and twenty-five dollars richer. She was sad about selling her electric guitar and amp, but even on a road trip she was going to need money for food and gas. She opened the door to the Honda and slid in.

"You okay?"

She gave a weak smile in return. "Yep, time to start our big adventure."

Rowan smiled back. "Yes, first stop - the open road." They gave a whoop and drove toward the freeway.

- - - - - -- -

Liz stared openmouthed at the lights. They were all bright and flashing. "It's like a big circus. No, I take that back. It's like a huge video arcade for naughty grownup people. Are you sure we can afford to stay here?"

Rowan giggled. "Welcome to our first stop. It's Vegas. Rooms and food are cheap; it's the gambling that sucks the life out of your wallet."

"Can I even enter? I'm only 20. Isn't it illegal?"

"No one will notice unless you gamble."

Liz let out a breath. Wow, she was in Vegas. The car inched its way through traffic at the edge of the strip and they pulled up to a large pink building with an even larger purple dome attached. They pulled their bags out and an attendant took the car.

"Welcome to Circus Circus. A friend of mine told me it was one of the cheapest and most fun places to stay on the strip."

"It's, um, pink."

Rowan laughed. "Let's get a room, and get cleaned up."

At the check-in desk, the man just looked from Rowan to Liz. He smiled and gave them a room key.

Liz opened the door. "I can't believe we got a room for only 29 bucks. How cool is... there's only one bed." Liz and Rowan looked at each other.

"He must have thought we were a couple."

"A couple of what?" Liz asked.

Rowan laughed. Could Liz be that clueless? Looking at her friend's puzzled expression, Rowan laughed even harder and collapsed onto the bed.

"What? What did I say?"

"It's not what you said - more the look on your face."


"Nothing. I don't mind sharing a bed if you don't."

Liz ignored the way her heart sped up and shrugged in indifference. "Nah, it doesn't bother me." All the time she was thinking of course her friend didn't care. Rowan was very secure with her sexuality. While Liz's own wasn't that secure, her role in the lesbian dating pool was new and she wore it like a pair of just-too-tight jeans. It sometimes suffocated her and made it hard to move or think.

"I'm going to jump in the shower. Relax and then we'll go hit the town."

Liz just nodded. As the bathroom door shut, she reached for the phone and dialed the number her sister had given her.

"Is Karen there? It's her sister."

"Little bit, what's up?"

"I'm on my way there."

"Great! What airline? Heather and I decided to pick you up."

"No airline. A friend and I decided to road trip it. We'll be there in a couple of days."

"Okay. Well, let me give you directions. You guys taking I-70?"

"Uh, yeah." Elizabeth had no idea which route they were taking. She wrote down the directions as her sister gave them to her.

"So where are you now?"


"Wow, that should be fun. You should check out the Thunder From Down Under; it's a male revue. I understand it's hot."

"I'll mention it to Rowan."

"Mention what?"

"Jesus Christ!" Startled, Liz dropped the phone and then fell off the bed trying to catch it. "Ow." She sat up, resting her hands on the bed. "Don't scare me..." She gave up making a sentence and just let her mouth hang open. Rowan was standing there in her underwear going through her bag.

Rowan looked over her shoulder and smiled. "Shut your mouth, Liz, or I might get the impression that you find me attractive."

"You are hot." Realizing what had come out of her mouth, Liz stuttered, "I mean, you're very attractive in a heterosexual sort of way. Oh my God, you're wearing a thong. I mean a very, very, very heterosexual way."

Rowan turned her head again; her blue eyes narrowed and her lips moved smoothly into a smirk as she grabbed some jeans and a T-shirt, and with what Liz thought was a particularly cruel sway to her hips, she returned to the bathroom.

As she started to shut the door, Rowan asked, "Is that your sister on the phone?" "Phone?"

"That thing you dropped on the floor."

"Floor. Oh yeah, it's my sister."

"Tell her I say hi." And the bathroom door shut.

Now that Rowan was gone from sight, her brain was able to start sending messages. "Oh shit! The phone." Looking around she found it on the floor by her knee.

"Karen, you still there?"

"Hot. A thong. I'm thinking the Thunder From Down Under won't do a damn thing for you. Is there something you want to tell me?"

"Hi, my name is Elizabeth Kelly and I like girls. A lot."

Laughter came from the phone. "Well, I'll let you and Miss Thong have some fun."

"Karen, it's not like that."

"Uh huh. Bye, little bit; have fun."

She hung up the phone and lay back on the bed. Closing her eyes, she tried to get the vision of Rowan and her thong out of her head. A wet towel to her head brought her back to the here and now.

"Shower is all yours."

"Thanks." 'I'm going to sit up and she will be dressed' was the mantra playing over and over in her head. She was relieved to see that it worked.

"While you're in the shower I'm going to run down to the gift shop and pick up some alcohol. Since you're too young to belly up to the bar, we'll do a few shots here in the room."

She just nodded and grabbed her clothes; the road trip was becoming almost more fun than she could stand.

- - - - - - - -

Laughing, Liz chased after Rowan. A few shots in the room had Liz feeling warm and fuzzy. They were currently playing laser tag and they were on opposite teams.

Coming around a corner, Liz was blasted with fog; coughing, she lost sight of her target. Out of the corner of her eye she glimpsed a red vest and she fired, grinning at the sound of a hit. She ducked into the fog looking for Rowan. Several people wearing red vests and carrying red guns came at her. Turning tail, she ducked down a dark hallway and ran smack into her target. Bringing her gun up, she smiled. "Gotcha."

Rowan just quirked an eyebrow and smiled, her teeth glowing brightly under the black light. She slowly raised her hands and walked toward Liz until her game vest tapped the gun; she kept walking until Liz was backed up against the wall. She bent and whispered into a pink ear, "I dunno. Looks like I got you."

"Uhhh," was the most intelligent thing that came out of Liz's mouth. Her mind blanked out as shivers raced through her skin. Her game vest started vibrating; Liz looked down and saw a red gun pointing at her. Rowan licked Liz's ear and took off laughing.

"You. I can't believe you. You suck," she shouted at Rowan's retreating figure. "Stupid straight girl teasing the horny lesbian. It's just mean," she muttered to herself.

- - - - - - -

The blue Honda purred down the road. Inside, Pink crooned the greatest breakup song in this decade - There You Go. Rowan sang along while Liz tapped out a melody on the window with her fingers.

"Jeez, Utah is so boring."

"Yep. Just be thankful we didn't drive through the Great Salt Lake; that's enough to make you want to chew your own foot off. Well, there is the lollipop tree that brightens the trip with a touch of absurdity."

"Really? A lollipop tree growing in the middle of a salt flat? That is absurd."

"It's not really a tree. It's a piece of art that looks like a..." Rowan stopped her explanation the moment she noticed the grin on Liz's face. "You're mocking me."

"Me?" Liz said innocently.

Rowan just hit the advance button on the CD player until she was crooning along with You Make Me Sick, which just made Liz laugh.

They pulled off at a rest area and Rowan bolted out of the car toward the women's restroom. Liz laughed and mumbled, "I told you not to eat that jalapeno-dipped corn dog at that last gas station." She shut the car door and ambled over to the pop machine protected by a steel cage barrier. She idly noticed three young men exiting the men's room. As she bent over to fish her soda from the drop slot, she jumped as something pinched her ass hard. Looking up, she glared at the smirking boys.

"What's a pretty thing like you doing traveling all alone?"

She wanted to yell and berate them - ask them what the hell they thought gave them the right to touch her, to come on to her. She certainly hadn't invited it. But she just took a deep breath and told herself to ignore them. She'd turned to go back to the car when one of them grabbed her.

"Hey, I asked you a question. Don't be rude."

She shook off the hand and glared at the baseball-capped boy wearing a cocky grin. As they stepped closer, she took a nervous step back. Looking around she was slightly scared not to see anybody else.

"Hey, if I rub your head, will I get good luck?"

Liz's mouth drew into a thin line and she batted the hand away as it approached her head. "Leave me alone."

"Hey now, we're just being friendly. Why not be friendly back? We promise you a good time."

Closing her stance, she replied, "I don't want to be friendly with you." She dropped her shoulder and rammed past one of the young men, easily taking him by surprise and knocking him to the ground.

"You fucking bitch!" he shouted.

"Is there a problem?" a low bass voice asked.

All heads turned at once. A huge man glared at the young men. "I think you three should be headed away from here," he growled.

The other two just nodded, helped their friend off the ground, and sprinted for their car.

Liz rubbed her head nervously and smiled thankfully at the man. "I...thanks."

He smiled a crooked smile filled with crooked teeth. "No problem. Not all of the male species are idiots like that." His face shifted and became serious. "You know, in a perfect world you shouldn't have to worry about things like that, but it's not a perfect world so be careful." He gave another smile and tipped his John Deere hat in goodbye.

"Who was that?" Rowan asked, exiting the restroom.

"Just a friend I made."

"I can't leave you alone for a minute."

Liz just laughed on the way back to the car. "You don't know the half of it."

-- - - - - - - -

Rowan looked over at the other bed. "There's so much tension coming from that side of the room. What's up?"

"I have to pee."

"So go pee."

"I'm scared. I have no idea what's on the floor. This isn't the best of motels you know."

"There's no monster under the bed; it's not that bad of a place."

"Ugh. I knew you wouldn't...fine."

Rowan heard the sheets get thrown back and then the padding of feet on the floor. Suddenly they stopped, followed by a sudden inhale of breath. "What?"

"Just so you know, I hate you," came Liz's voice. It was light yet hard, verging on being angry. It was kind of a sexy tone.

"What happened?"

"I just...it was gross." The bathroom light flicked on then it was cut off by the shutting of the door. She heard the water run and some muttered cursing. Then later the toilet flushed and the door opened. "Turn on the light."

"Why? It's not that far to the bed."

"Just do it. I'm not stepping on another cockroach on the way back."

Rowan stifled her giggles and did as she was asked. She licked her lips as she watched Liz throw herself into her bed. As she turned off the light, she said, "You have the nicest ass. It's so firm. Is that from working on the docks?"

Liz stared wide-eyed at the ceiling. "Lalalalala, I can't hear you," was all she said in return.

- - - - - - --

Rowan eyed Liz from behind her sunglasses. Ever since they'd entered Colorado the girl had gotten oddly quiet. "Hey, you want to turn off in Woodfill? They have a SPAM plant we could see if they do tours. It would be funny." No response; she was fairly certain Liz didn't even twitch.

"And then we could top it off with me spraying whipping cream all over my breasts and you licking it off." Hmmm, that actually sounded kind of good.

Liz just grunted something that sounded like, "Fine."

"I think I'm insulted. Fine; we're taking the Woodfill exit."

As they took the exit, Liz finally came back to life. "What are you doing? You can't take this exit."

"We're exiting. You're acting funny. Plus we need gas."

"Well, Kenny is just 20 more minutes up the road. Why don't we stop there for gas?"

"We're already here and stopping, so deal with it."

"Fine," Liz huffed and slumped farther into her seat as they came to a stop at the pump.

"Okay, Miss Happy. Why don't you go get some sodas and grab me some turkey jerky?"

Liz huffed again and looked around. She figured it was safe; nobody would recognize her, especially with her shaved head. "Fine," she said and climbed out of the car.

"I thought you might see it my way," Rowan said with a grin.

Liz just stuck her tongue out in reply.

Rowan winked. "Now there's an offer."

Liz just blushed and hurried into the store.

On her way out, while juggling two Cokes and a package of turkey jerky, she was stopped by a familiar voice.

"Oh my. Liz? Liz Kelly?"

Her head shot up in horror, coming eyeball to eyeball with her old high school math teacher.

"Oh my. It is you. I almost didn't recognize you."


"Why ever would you shave off those golden curls of yours? Most young women would have killed to have hair like that."


"How is the University? You must be home for a visit, although your mother never mentioned one," the older woman mused.


A hand came down on her shoulder; startled, Liz turned and looked at the amused expression on her friend's face. She wondered how the situation could get any worse.

"Liz is taking a little break from the University; she decided to come home and surprise her parents."

Liz gaped at Rowan, not liking the evil-looking smile sitting on the woman's lips one bit.

"I'm Rowan by the way, a friend of Liz's."

"Oh my, it's nice to meet one of Liz's friends from the University. I'm Mary Larson. I was Liz's high school math teacher." The older woman turned to Liz after shaking Rowan's hand. "Oh, your parents will be so surprised to see you."

"I'm sure they will," Rowan replied for Liz, while grabbing the smaller woman's hand and dragging her to the car.

All Liz could say was, "I...I..." She got in the car with a slow sinking feeling in her gut. She just knew her day was going to get worse.

"Okay. How do we get to your folks' house?"

Yep, it had indeed gotten worse.

"Come on, Liz. Tell me how to get to your parents' house or we'll keep driving in circles around Woodfill until the police get suspicious and pull us over."

"What does it matter to you? Let's just get back on the highway," Liz snarled. She could have sworn that the clouds had just spelled out the word 'doom'. A soft warm hand took her guitar-calloused one and she started, looking over at Rowan. "It matters because something with your parents is eating you up from the inside out and I happen to think you'd be happier if you went and saw them."

"You can't make me," Liz pouted.

Rowan's thumb began making a lazy circle on her hand. "Why do your parents' think you're at the University?"

Liz sighed. "They don't think that. Apparently that's something they're telling folks so they don't have to deal with the truth."

"And what's the truth?"

"My parents and I had a huge fight and I left for LA to be a rock star."

"And here you are, a baby dyke who scrapes crap off the bottom of boats."

Liz shrugged. "Well, I could have stayed here and started work at the plant like my father wanted. There's not much difference - scrape crap off boats or play with SPAM."

"That's where you are wrong, my friend. There's a huge difference. You wouldn't have met me."

Liz looked over and smiled shyly back at Rowan. "That's true." After a moment of silence, she said, "Take a right at Avenue E."

Rowan squeezed Liz's hand and then returned her hand to the wheel.

- - - - - - - -

"Liz?" her mother said hesitantly as she stayed behind the protective shielding of the screen door.

Liz really wanted to be a smartass and say, "No, Mom, I'm a pod person that looks like your daughter." But instead she just went with, "Mom."

"Oh my goodness, Liz. You've come home, and with a friend." Ms. Kelly's hazel eyes traveled up and up taking in the lanky figure of Rowan. Then her eye's returned to her daughter's frame, taking in the shaved head, beat-up jeans, and finally the work boots. Suddenly she knew; it was the work boots that gave it away. "Oh dear, you're a lesbian too. I so wanted grandchildren."

"Mom." Liz flushed, uncertain whether to be pissed off or embarrassed.

"Sorry. Won't you two come in?" she asked, unlocking the screen door and opening it.

"Mom, this is my friend, Rowan Davies. Rowan, this is my Mom, uh, Kelly Kelly."

"It's nice to meet you," Rowan said with her most charming smile. "Kelly huh?"

"Oh, I know it sounds horrid. Just between us girls, I almost didn't marry Douglas because...well really, who wants to have a name like Kelly Kelly? But I just loved him too much not to." Her sentence finished, they stood in the foyer, looking uncomfortably at each other.

"Hungry?" Mrs Kelly asked.

"Starved," the two women replied in unison.

"Liz, are you two staying the night?"

"We couldn't...," Liz started.

"We'd love to," Rowan finished for them.

"Great," Mrs Kelly said, giving a strained smile. "Why don't you put your and Rowan's stuff in your room, Liz? I'll make us a light snack. Your father will be home soon and, well... he'll be surprised to see you."

Liz made a hasty exit.

Rowan eyed the elder Kelly, taking in the petite frame and graying blonde hair that hung in perfect curls.

"Are you a vegetarian? I understand that's a popular choice among lesbians."

Rowan quirked an eyebrow. "No, I'm not."

"Well, that's a relief. So how long have you and my daughter been dating?"

Liz paused in horror; frozen, she stood with the bags clenched in her hands. "Mom, it's not like that."

Rowan smiled devilishly. "Oh, come now, Liz. I knew your parents would be cool with us."

"Liz, I know you think your father and I are terribly unhip. However, we just want you to be happy and loved and we are totally down with your choice in... is life-partner the correct term?" she asked Rowan.

Rowan smiled and nodded.

While her mother's attention was firmly on Rowan, Liz glared and mouthed 'knock it off'.

Rowan winked back, and Liz stomped her way back to her old room.

"Are you two having a lover's spat?" Ms. Kelly asked

"Oh no. Liz was just nervous about coming home."

"Yes, I suppose she told you what happened. She and her father can be so pigheaded. Rowan, thank you for convincing her to come home." She gave Rowan a fierce hug.

Rowan stared down at the small woman. "I didn't do anything."

"Oh, I know you must have had a hand in it. She'd be too stubborn to come home on her own."

"We're on the way to her sister's wedding. We can only stay the night," Rowan said nervously, wondering if Ms. Kelly was reading more into the visit.

"Oh, how nice," was all Ms. Kelly said as she went to the fridge.

- - - - -- - --

Rowan went looking for Liz. She opened a door. Nope, bathroom. Nope, study. Ah hah! From the doorway she took in the young woman stretched out on the bed, hugging a ratty Pooh Bear to her chest.

"Liz, your mom is weird. It's like she's in reality, yet not. She's cool with lesbians and her daughters being lesbians. But when you mention your sister's wedding, it's like she goes off to her happy place."

"Yeah, before Mom married Dad she was engaged to this guy, Robert. He broke off the engagement and ran off with the best man. She still really likes him and they talk all the time, but she refuses to admit they were ever engaged. She just smiles and goes blank in the eyes if you bring it up. He lives in Seattle... and I should be pissed at you. What the hell are you thinking, giving my mother the impression that we're together?"

Rowan shrugged and sat on the bed. "It was fun. Plus it got a rise out of you."

"God, that was so mean. Ever since we started this trip, it's been like this game with you."


"Yes. Tease the horny lesbian game, but this was the last straw, Rowan." With that Liz hit Rowan in the gut with Pooh and stomped out of the room. She missed Rowan's strangled whisper of, "It's not a game."

Rowan was very quiet at dinner, not wanting to piss Liz off any more. She stared around the house at the very tasteful Halloween decorations that were up. Liz's mother had a thing for handcrafted decorations. There were a lot of folksy hand-carved jack-o-lanterns with various silly and scary expressions, and a few witches and black cats. She also watched Liz and her father avoid each other. It was amazing the way that they could tap dance around each other. Mrs. Kelly kept the conversation going by talking to Liz or Mr. Kelly, but never both at the same time.

"So Rowan, did you abandon your family to run off to LA?" Mr. Kelly asked.


"No, my parents were killed in plane crash several years ago."

"Oh," Mr. Kelly said, looking ashamedly down at his plate.

"Jesus, Dad. You act like such an ass," Liz exploded. "It's not the end of the world 'cause I don't want to stay in Woodfill and run the SPAM plant."

"What? It's a good job. You could do worse, like living in LA working on boats. Yes, I see you've reached your dream of rock stardom."

Tears in her eyes, Liz jumped up from the table and slammed out the door. Rowan looked around, confused, and started to get up. She was stopped by Kelly's hand on her arm. "Let her go; she'll be back. You've got the keys to the car so she can't go far."

Then Kelly's eyes went to her husband. "You need to stop pushing her. Or we'll never see her."

"What do I care? Both daughters have no respect for us. We raised them, took care of them, and they abandoned us and the family business." Then he too stormed away from the table.

Kelly caught Rowan's eye. "Don't worry, he'll be fine. Growing up, Karen and Liz were both daddy's girls. Their growing up and away has hurt him the most."

Rowan just nodded and went back to her dinner. "Uh, this pot roast is great."

"Thank you, dear."

- - - - - - - -

Rowan snuggled in Liz's childhood bed; she had briefly thought about sleeping on the floor. However, Liz had been the one to run off, so she figured that meant she got dibs on the sleeping arrangements. Of course, if she hadn't pushed things, they could both be sleeping in nice warm beds. Ugh, sometimes Liz could be too clueless. She realized the fact that she and Dan had been going through an on-again off-again thing when they'd met probably hadn't helped. She and Dan had been off-again permanently for the last four months despite the innuendo that dripped out of his mouth. In that four month period she had discovered that she really liked Liz. Now if only she could get Liz to take her out of that straight girl box and see her for who she really was.

Liz crept in the backdoor, knowing that her mother would leave it unlocked for her. She opened the fridge and took out the plate of food her mother had left for her. She sat at the table and grabbed the phone. "Hi. Is Karen there?"

She waited. "Karen, you'll never guess where I am? Ah, okay, I guess you will."

"What's up, little bit? It's late."

"How come when I call a different girl always answers the phone? Are you starting a harem or something?"

"Oh that. Uh, Heather just has a lot of sisters. So what's up?"

"Well, Dad and I had a fight and Rowan is acting funny. She's scaring me."

"I'm going to guess you and dad had another fight about your future running a vat of SPAM."


"Well, I have no words of advice. You could get a scholarship to MIT."

"You suck. You are hereby stripped of your big sister powers."

"Okay. Well, let me have a shot at the Rowan thing. What about her behavior is scaring you?"

"I think she's hitting on me."

"Little bit, I'm still not seeing an issue here."

"She's straight. As long as I've known her she's been dating this pig-boy named Dan."

"Maybe she's not as straight as you think."

"How do I tell?"

Karen laughed. "There's no mark that I know of. Just ask her."

"Are you nuts? I can't just go 'Hey Rowan are you hitting on me? Wanna go make some whoopee?'"

"Why not?"

"Agghh, I just can't."

"Then you'll never know."

"Thanks for nothing."

"What do expect when you wake me up at midnight?"

"Go back to your lady. I might see you late tomorrow."

"Okay, little bit. Drive safe."


She hung up the phone and dug into her pot roast.

"That your sister?"

"Gah! Jesus, Dad. Yes, that was Karen."

"How is she doing?"

"She's fine. Although I think it would make her day if you went to the ceremony."

Her dad frowned. "I will not go to some heathen ceremony. I'm a good Christian and will not tolerate such things."

"But you accept Karen and I as lesbians. Why not have a day to celebrate and validate that love?"

Her dad's face grew puzzled and then he took in the work boots. "Oh Jesus. How did I get not one, but two lesbian daughters?"

"You realize you just sounded like an even bigger jerk right now."

He just nodded and rubbed his face with his hands. "Sorry. That was a bit much to take in. Your mother didn't tell me. Can at least one of you give me a grandchild that will run the plant?"

"Well, Karen's got that mullet. I'm sure one of hers will do it."

Her father smiled. "That's all I ask. I just want to keep it in the family."

"Dad, it's a factory that makes SPAM. It's hardly something to be proud of." She saw the hurt look on his face. "I'm sorry, Dad. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings but I...it's..."

"I know. Your mother and I had quite the talk about it. You don't get why it's important to me; like I don't understand you running off to LA to play music. It's okay. It still hurts me, but it's okay. As for your sister's wedding, I will love you two no matter what, but I won't tarnish my faith or the church. It's a Catch-22, I know. Just know that you and whomever you choose to spend your life with will always be welcome here. Can't that be enough? I don't pretend to understand, but I do love both my little girls."

Liz let it go. She wasn't one hundred percent happy with the answer, but it was late and they were in a better spot than they'd been in over the past year. She was too tired to keep going round and round with him; she might say something to make it worse. "I'm going to bed, Dad." She gave him a hug and kissed his stubbly cheek.

Silently she walked into her room. Liz made small steps, not sure where Rowan was until she got to the small lamp on the desk. As she clicked it on, she scowled. Rowan was lying sprawled across her bed. She sat on the bed, unlaced her boots, and kicked them across the room. Her green eyes took in the long hair that was spread out along Rowan's back; it looked so soft, and in the light, red highlights could be seen in the dark brown locks. She reached out to touch it but stopped and sighed. She pulled her hand back and stood up. Shucking her pants, she revealed boxers with flames, and reaching under her T-shirt, she undid her bra and pulled it out an armhole.

She eyed the floor then scowled again. Leaning over, she pushed on Rowan's shoulder. "Come on, stud. Move over."

Rowan just snorted, choked a bit on some hair that she inhaled, and went right back to sleep.

"Goddamn it. Move over; it's my bed."

Rowan blinked sleepily at Liz. "Oh hey. Want me to move to the floor?"

"No, just move over. I think we can both fit."


Happily, Liz snuggled under the covers that had been pre-warmed by Rowan's body heat. Suddenly, out of the cotton depths, two arms sprang out and wrapped around Liz, pulling her body into Rowan's. It was over in a matter of moments, leaving a stunned but happily smiling body lying facedown on Rowan's breasts.

- - - -- - - - - -

The blue car sped down the highway.

"I did no such thing. I was just lying there, minding my own business, when your arms did the octopus imitation."

"You so tried to cop a feel while I was sleeping." Rowan wasn't angry; it was just too much fun to tease Liz and see her face turn bright red.

"It's not like I could help it. I was right there setting up camp between the twin peaks. Plus your grabby hands wouldn't let me go."

"Yes, and it was such torture for you." Rowan was finding it really hard not to giggle.

"No, yes, yes, it was awful. Trapped there, I was up until all hours of the morning, trying to process the horror of it all."

"Right, that's why there was a big drool spot on my shirt."

Liz gave up trying to speak and stared out the window. After a moment of silence she said, "Rowan, honest, I wasn't trying to take advantage of you."

Rowan stopped her silent chuckles, realizing that her teasing may have gone too far. Seeing Liz's slightly hurt face, she cursed her cluelessness. She reached over and gently took Liz's hand in her own. "Hey, I'm sorry. I was just teasing you; I didn't realize you didn't get it. Honestly, Liz, I don't mind that you used me as a pillow." She caught Liz's shy smile out of the corner of her eye.


"Honest. In fact, I kind of liked snuggling with you."

"Rowan, stop teasing me."

"I'm not." Rowan frowned slightly. "I wasn't bothered by us snuggling at all. I like you, Liz."

"I like you too."

Rowan sighed. Liz still didn't understand what she was saying.

- - - - - - - -

Dusk was streaking across the sky, making the sky blush orange and red, and bugs were committing suicide by jumping in packs in front of the windshield. It was becoming nearly impossible to see the road.

"Is the turnoff coming soon? We're going to have an accident if we don't clean that soon."

"Just pull over, Rowan. We'll scrape the bug juice off somehow."

"I haven't seen a stupid marker at all for the town, have you?"

"No, I can't see anything. Now pull over before we have an accident."

"It's a country road; it's not like we're going to run into anything." Looking over, Rowan caught the full effect of Liz's glare. "Okay, I'm pulling over." As she slowed down and edged to the side of the road, they suddenly dipped too far to the right.

"Rowan, stop the car! Stop! Ditch." Then there was a loud popping noise and the car jerked to a stop.

"Goddamn it. Look what you made me do," Rowan yelled, jumping out of the car.

Liz just glared and sat in her seat.

Rowan stuck her head back in the car. "I blew out a tire. Well, are you going to sit there or help me?"

Liz stuck out her tongue and let her seat recline all the way back. "I'm going to sleep. You can do whatever you want." With that, she turned away from Rowan and closed her eyes.

- - -- - - - - -

The morning light hit the bug-painted windshield and worked its way through to a sleeping face. Liz scrunched her face in distress as the sunbeam tickled the lids of her eyes. Finally she gave up on sleep and opened her eyes. Looking around, she found herself still in the car, and to her left was a disheveled Rowan who was sporting grass stains on her clothes. She slowly opened the car door and tumbled out into the grassy ditch. Standing, she twisted her head back and forth on her neck, listening with sick satisfaction as it cracked. Idly she stopped twisting, and at a slight angle, stared at the sign in front of her. In deep-pitted wood, it said 'Harvest Moon Farm'.

"You so have to be shitting me," she said to no one.

Then she noticed a figure eyeballing her from under the sign. She waved. It waved back. It started coming towards her and she thought that she may have been hasty in waving.

A large woman stopped in front of her. "Are you Karen's sister?"

Liz straightened her head so it sat upright on her neck. "Uh, yeah."

"Good. She was worried when you didn't show up last night. I drew the short straw to go look for ya. Lucky for me I didn't have to go far."

"Lucky you. I'll just get my friend and we'll follow you to Harvest Moon."

"Great. I'll send Jaz to take a look at your car."


- -- - - -- -

Karen on the floor, laughing at...well, Liz wasn't sure what. None of last night's adventure sounded at all funny to her.

"You mean to tell me that we were camped out in front of your little Amazon compound all night."

Liz flinched; Rowan was pissed.

"Yep," was all Karen said as she started to laugh again.

Heather glared at Karen. "I'll show you two to a cabin and you can freshen up."

"Thanks. I like Heather already. What I can't figure out is why she's marrying you?" With that said, Liz followed Heather and Rowan out of the main house.

As they walked down the dirt path, Liz looked around, lazily taking in all the women. "You know, when Karen said you had lots of sisters, I figured she meant biological ones - not sisters as in a lesbian compound in the middle of nowhere Kansas filled with Amazons. I've died and gone to heaven. Will you marry me?" Liz said, batting her eyelashes at Heather.

Heather just laughed. Rowan scowled.

"Sorry, Liz. I'm very happy with Karen, mullet and all. Here you two go. I hope you don't mind sharing. With the wedding, space is scarce."

"It's cool. I'm sort of getting use to sharing my personal space with stinky now." She stopped just inside the door. "Uh, Heather, there's only one bed in here. Heather?"

"She's gone. It's just me - stinky."

"Uh, Rowan, I was just kidding about the stinky thing. Rowan, what are you... no it's okay. You can use the shower first. Jesus Christ, that's cold!"

- - - - - --

"They make a handsome pair - one with no hair, the other with too much."

Rowan looked up from where she was sitting with Heather as Karen and Liz got fitted for the wedding. She smiled at her friend. Liz certainly cut a fine figure in the shirt and jacket. "Yeah, she sure does. I think the shaved head makes her more handsome in it."

Heather bit her lip and looked at Rowan. "Does she know how you feel about her?"

Rowan sighed. "Yes and no. She knows I'm hitting on her, but she thinks it's some straight girl game to play with the lesbian. She has me bagged and tagged as a straight girl."

"Well, have you given her any other way to see you?"

"I've been trying this whole trip. Other than tying her naked to the bed and having my evil way with her, I've tried everything."

"Well, if Liz is anything like Karen, you'll need to hit her over the head with a truck."

"Great," Rowan moped. "I'm already having a hard time keeping the Amazons away from her. It's hopeless. Now she'll never see me as a potential lover."

"Hmmm. Well, I'll get the Amazons to lay off the flirting."

"How are you going to do that?"

"I'm the Queen, baby. I can do anything."

"Okay, what do I need to do?"

Heather just looked at Rowan with an evil smile.

Karen shuddered. "When she gets that look on her face, be afraid."

"What look? Oh dear God. Should I be scared? Rowan's matching it with a smile of her own."

"Yes, little bit. Be very afraid. Maybe we should go change."

"Liz, you can go change. Karen dear, will you come here?"

Karen gulped and moved toward her soon-to-be wife. "Yes, dear?"

Heather smiled again as Liz made a hasty exit. "I'm going to need your help. We're going to be playing Cupid."


"Yes, your sister and Rowan need a little help - your sister more than Rowan."

"Sure, dear; what do you need me to do?" Karen said with an evil grin of her own.

- - - -- - - -

Liz, Karen, and four other amazingly drunk Amazons squinted through the bars of the cell. It was nearly four in the morning and Karen was moaning about how Heather would never let her live it down.

Liz just snorted. "You're the one who decided to take off all your clothes, paint yourself like a rainbow, and go streaking down the main street of this tiny backwards cow town. Where the hell are we again?"

"City of Dwaine," one of the Amazons responded.

The door opened and Heather came in followed by a few other women. "Here they are, Heather; safe and sound just like I told you on the phone. Sure you don't want me to keep them here until they sober up?"

Heather flashed the man a smile. "No, that's okay, Stan." She walked up to the cell. "So how did you manage to find paint?"

Liz smiled. "Well, we were at Lena's and apparently she's painting the back rooms. Karen wandered off at one point and the next thing we knew she was running out the front doors painted up like a rainbow," Liz babbled.

"And the rest of you thought it would be great fun to strip down to your birthday suits and follow her down Main Street?" Heather asked, her gray eyes flashing to each face. When no answer was forthcoming, she continued, "Pray tell - what were you doing with Liz here at the local strip joint?"

Everybody on the inside of the cell looked down at their feet.

"Unless I'm mistaken, she's only 20."

The sheriff coughed and looked away; if he didn't hear them, he didn't have to bust them.

"Come on. Let's get your drunken asses home."

As the door was opened, Karen looked up at Heather with puppy dog eyes. "Am I in trouble?"

Heather looked around and whispered in Karen's ear, "It depends. How drunk is your sister?"

"Drunk enough to streak Main Street, but not drunk enough to paint herself first."

Heather nodded. "Yes, you're in trouble."

"Honey," Karen whined at Heather's retreating back.

Liz giggled and stuck her finger in the ear of the Amazon that was sitting next to her in the car. She wasn't sure but she thought the woman's name was Mel.

Mel retaliated by trying to poke her eye out, but her move was blocked, and so the poking war began. The war was ended by Heather smacking them both in the center of their foreheads, thereby stunning them both.

Liz was giggling as she walked to the cabin she shared with Rowan. Stumbling through the door, she loudly proclaimed, "Honey, I'm home."

"Yes, I see."

It was the rich full-bodied throatiness to Rowan's voice that warned her of her imminent doom. She cocked her head to the right, then to the left, taking in the soft light coating the room. Then she saw the candles, and then she saw Rowan, and then she fainted.

Rowan just looked down at Liz. "Well, that wasn't the reaction I was going for."

She picked the prone figure up off the floor and put Liz carefully on the bed. She looked at the comatose woman and rubbed some drool off her chin. "You know, I figured when I got you in bed tonight it would be a lot more romantic. Not you passed out, smelling of beer and stripper juice." She curled her body around Liz's, drawing her into the protection of her arms.

Liz snorted, choked on her spit, and woke herself up. Cracking gummy eyelids, she was curious to know where she was. She was feeling warm and safe, with a touch of a hangover. She wracked her brain, trying to remember what happened last night. The last thing she remembered was... was... Liz's eyes got wider and she sat up in bed. "Oh my God!" she shouted and then cringed as her voice crashed and vibrated around her skull.

"Well, I'm not God, but will I do?"

"You're still wearing the...that...it...the lingerie thing, with the lace."

"Uh huh," Rowan said with a naughty smile. "Do you want me to take it off?"

Liz's head nodded yes while her mouth said, "No".

Rowan laughed. "You're giving me mixed signals, Liz." Rowan walked over to the foot of the bed, crawled up onto it, and then crawled up Liz's body, making the smaller woman lie back down. When they were face to face, Rowan licked her lips. "We need to talk, but the problem when we talk is that you don't believe the words that come out of my mouth. So I'm not going to speak, but we're going to see if you catch my meaning this time."

Liz went through every objection twice in the six seconds that it took for Rowan's lips to claim hers. In the second that flesh connected and spread out, covering Liz's lips completely, she forgot what they all were.

Rowan pulled away, looking down happily into Liz's blissful expression. "Did you like the kiss?"


"Would you like more?"


"Go take a bath." Rowan rolled off Liz and pushed the smaller woman off the bed.

- - - -- - ---

Liz pouted and leaned forward in the tub to grab the soap. She grumbled as she lathered it up. The door slowly opened, Liz's grumbling stopped, and the soap fell from nerveless fingers as Rowan's naked body was revealed.

"Move forward."

Liz nodded and immediately moved forward in the tub. The water level rose as Rowan eased in behind Liz, threatening to spill over the edge. Liz leaned her head back, resting it again in the valley between Rowan's twin peaks. Both their hearts were pounding she noted absently.

"So did you understand what I was saying in the other room?"

Shivers quaked through Liz's skin. "I think you were saying, 'Liz, shut up and pay attention to the beautiful woman hitting on you'?"

"It's about time."

"I'm a little slow but I'm not oblivious."

"Snails are faster than you, but you have all day and most of the night to make it up to me."

Liz squeezed her eyes shut and held on for dear life to the edge of the tub as Rowan's hands disappeared under the water.

- - - - - - - - -

The next day, the day of the wedding, Liz staggered into the kitchen of the main house wearing rumpled PJ's, a sumptuous smile, and a hickey on the top of her freshly-shaved head.

Karen snorted and started laughing until milk came bubbling out her nose; then she writhed around in pain for a while.

Liz just ignored her and went for a donut.

"So, little bit, I take it you were thoroughly ravished last night by a that hot woman Heather left in your cabin."

Liz just grinned wider.

"What I'm really curious about is that hickey on the top of your head."

Still eating the donut, Liz mumbled, "None of your business." She then started humming a happy but aimless tune.

"Come on, please. One little dirty naughty tidbit from your lusty night."

Liz just smiled and grabbed another donut. "I don't kiss and tell," she said, dancing around the kitchen to a tune only she could hear.

Karen pouted. "Fine. I do all that work last night to loosen you up for Rowan and what do I get in return? Nada."

"You streaked the town of Dwaine colored like a bad LSD trip. I hardly call that labor intensive." Liz laughed and hugged her sister. "Happy Halloween, ya freak. Come on; let's go get you married. Oh and I'm still not doing the thing with the cantaloupe and the chicken."

"Little bit, for the last time, it's a perfectly normal religion, and there are no rituals with a cantaloupe or otherwise."


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