Strings Attached

Part Two

By Inyx

Chapter 3

Lamaze and Childbirth

Who deserves the epidural more?

Or why you should never let an expecting mother listen to Sarah McLachlan

Lamaze, Jessie was insistent on going there, and she was more insistent that I was too. She needed a partner and she had elected me. Not that I wasn't honored. She could have chosen her mother who would have been more than excited to do it. But Jessie felt that if I was going to be a part of this child's life then she wanted me there for the whole thing. And that included learning how to breathe. Oh, excuse me, breathe correctly. They tell you when to breathe and how to breathe. I'm surprised they don't tell you what to breathe. I was going to ask that but I think Jessie knew I was up to no good and elbowed me in the stomach.

So there we were... breathing. All the men looked about the same as me as we learned to breathe with our partners. Breathe in, breathe out... wax on, wax off. Mr. Miyagi would have been so proud. So I breathed. Then we watched a video once the midwives were happy with our breathing. It was 'The Miracle of Life', it's about the same thing they show you in high school biology in the reproduction chapter. I amaze myself that I was there for that one. Only 'The Miracle of Life' went into much more detail and I found myself embarrassed after a while, while Jessie embarrassed me all the more as she pointed things out to me. The breasts get tender and enlarge. The stomach swells and the expectant mother goes through mood swings. I knew that wasn't going to be pretty at our place since both of us would be in a mood. I vowed I would try to be better. And I want to know why she keeps mentioning stuff about the female anatomy. What part of it don't I know already? I came equipped with everything female anatomy has...

"What's she doing?" Kelly asked as she tilted her head a little watching the midwife with a furrowed brow.

Jessie looked to her friend who sat behind her with her arms wrapped around her. Kelly had almost lost it during the birthing process on the video. She patted her arm. Kelly had gotten more huggy as the months into her pregnancy slowly progressed. Jessie found it was a nice feeling to have the strong arms wrapped around her. "Don't worry about it."

Kelly looked down at her then back. "What?" Jessie shook her head and shushed her. Kelly's brow furrowed. 'What?' She thought to herself. She lived through the video... barely. What was so diffe.... She watched.

Jessie felt Kelly's limbs go slack and caught her right before she felt to the floor.


Jessie held a cool cloth on Kelly's forehead. It wasn't long before she woke up. The beautiful baby blues opened, blinking rapidly for a second or two then focused on her. "Kel, I think you were right about staying away from diapers."


Jessie drove home as Kelly slouched down in the seat of the car with the window rolled open. "Maybe your mom should go, Jess."

Jessie glared. "Don't you start that, Kelly. You're doing this."

"I'll throw up."

"No you won't. You don't have to go to that end. You can stay up with me."

Kelly looked up at her. "That would be all I need. Throwing up on you."

"You'll be fine."

"How do you know that?"

"Because I said so."

Kelly rolled her eyes. "That is so mother like."

Jessie chuckled. "Just remember the breathing. Coach the breathing and let me squeeze the hell out of your hand and swear at you."

Kelly gave a short smile before she snorted in disgust. "You plan on calling me a bitch too?"

"Ahh... I don't know. You'll have to wait and see."

"Oh goody. Surprises," Kelly replied dryly.

I knew I could have talked until I was blue in the face about how big of a mistake it was letting me in there with her. But Jessie wasn't having any of it. God, she's so stubborn! I don't know if that's a good thing or not. It's not like she wasn't this way before. But now everything we say or do is more intense with her swelling abdomen around. If we laugh about something, it all the sudden has deep meaning. If we argue, it hurts more. And if push comes to shove, Jessie would shed a few tears and I'd give in. What's up with that anyway? I'd be the first to admit, the only person I would ever back down from is her. But I actually feel guilty when tears well up.

And I find myself hugging her more... Before it was a pat on the arm or a quick squeeze when she was upset. That's my limit to normal human contact. Or it was...

Kelly woke up in the middle of the night, a little startled to find Jessie tucked into her bed next to her. "Jess..." she whispered softly as she tried to put a little space between them on the small bed, raising herself up on her elbow. "Jess, you're in the wrong bed."

Jessie grunted slightly as she snuggled closer. "Nope, right bed." She opened her green eyes a little and peered up at her. "I didn't want to be alone."

Kelly blinked in surprise at this. Seven years and she never had this problem before. "It's the baby?"

Jessie nodded. "I think my emotions are getting more out of whack."

Kelly sighed and laid back down. She watched as Jessie closed her eyes and fell asleep. Gently Kelly tucked back a lock of hair from Jessie's cheek and smiled softly. Then she leaned over and gave her forehead a soft kiss before she leaned back on the pillow they shared. 'You're going soft,' she muttered in her mind. 'Shut up.' She told herself and drew away a little from her friend and went back to sleep.

Breathe. I did it in my sleep now.

Breathe. That's it, take a long, deep breath.

Jessie had taken to sleeping in my bed every night from that point on. It wasn't that it was a bad thing. But the bed was sort of small and I'd wake up from a nightmare of these hideous things in doctor's masks and gowns yelling at me to breathe, only I find Jessie wrapped around me and mumbling something in my chest as she sleeps on.

A part of me wants to untangle my little blond friend and move into the living room to keep my distance. And the other wants to hold her closer... Soft breath on my neck. A warm, firm body in my arms. I can feel the unborn child move when Jess gets in really close. I touch the rounded stomach in awe sometimes. It has to be the most terrifying and exhilarating feeling imaginable.

Moonlight scatters throughout my room from the slats in the venetian blinds. A halo of light and Jess is illuminating. I gently thumb her cheek as she sleeps on. I realize that I would do anything for her, and her child.

Yeah, total mush for brains.

I start the baby talk and you have my permission to shoot me.

"Jessica, Hilary is a beautiful name," her mother told her.

Jessie looked up as Kelly made her way past the door into the kitchen giving her a disgusted look at each name suggested. Ever since her mother had shown up that morning with wallpaper and carpet swatches for the spare bedroom that was going to be a nursery, Kelly had avoided them. It looked like Kelly wanted to strangle her mother a few times but Jessie was proud of her for not acting on it. And her mother... well, her mother just ignored the fact that Kelly was there at all.

"I don't know, Mom." She looked back to her mother. "We still have three months to decide."

Farah's brow creased. She still was not fond of the idea. That woman sharing custody of her grandchild. It wasn't even hers for god's sake! They had a truce though. And with her youngest daughter so far away, she knew this would be the grandchild she'd get to spoil. She huffed out a little breath of displeasure and she immediately regretted it when she saw Jessie's eyes harden briefly. What did her daughter see in her? She's never know... And now it seemed as if the two were really a couple. The younger women stayed in close proximity to each other. Jessie would casually touch her tall, dark companion. But the hand would stay and it wasn't long before a bigger hand covered Jessie's and held it.

Even now she could feel the protective streak emanating from Kelly as she roamed about the apartment. Farah didn't like the feeling in the pit of her stomach. She had thought about it when the two first became friends, but realized there really wasn't anything to it. But now... Now there was. She watched as her daughter lit up in Kelly's presence and the cold blue eyes softened for her daughter.

She wondered how long she could hide this from her friends and the important people of her community. Her daughter. Young, bright, beautiful, and gay. She wouldn't be able to bear the looks of pity or disgust that her daughter was doing something so many people considered vile and perverted. She herself thought the same way. But to see the look in Jessie's eyes. That love didn't look any different from anyone else's. Dammit! If only she hadn't met... her. her thinking cut off as Kelly strolled into the room.

Jessie smiled at her. "Kel, look at these swatches. Don't you think they'd look cute?"

Kelly looked at the pastel colors and the decals of children's toys on the small panel. "I thought we could do something in black leather."

Jessie almost laughed at the outraged look on her mother's face. Kelly had said it seriously, but she knew her friend really did have a soft side. "She's kidding," she told her mother. Her mother did not look amused. Jessie ribbed Kelly. "Tell her you're kidding."

Kelly looked down at the two, then at the pastel paper sample. Then she locked eyes with Farah and a dark brow lifted. "Do they have a motorcycle theme?"

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a hardass. That had been fun. Even though Jess was a little put out with me. But she was amused too, she just won't admit it. And it didn't hurt that her mother left soon afterwards either.

I'm not the most unfeeling human being in the world, since that would be most of the entire male species, I'm still sensitive to others... Sometimes....

Now that Jess is over halfway through her pregnancy into what the midwives at Lamaze call her third trimester I find I'm more so to her. My mom says she's carrying well. Whatever the hell that means. Jess is going through little spurts of anger and crying lately and she was bound and determined we were going to go out and do something so she didn't have to think about how fat she was getting. I tried to argue the point that she wasn't fat....

Yeah, I know, if looks could kill... hers would have melted buttah.

So, to make her happy we went to the Cheshire Club over on West 57th to meet a couple of our friends....

Yes, I do have more friends than just Jessie, so don't give me that look. Colleen and Denise, they've been together for about two years and in their own roundabout way they've been encouraging us to do the same. Even they believed I was the father of this child too. I finally just gave up and let the rumors fly, since Jess wasn't doing anything to deny them.

Colleen looked up from where she shot at the pool table. She was a little shorter than her dark headed friend and her short hair was a nice chestnut shade. Her partner who was with Jessie at the table was a little more brown headed than blond and the two were close to the same height. The white ball she had hit nicked the edge of the intended target and moved it about an inch. She glanced at Kelly who was watching from the end of the table with both eyebrows raised high and her lips tight. The blue eyes looked her way. "Nice shot," she finally commented.

Colleen snorted as she moved out of the way. "Liar."

Kelly smiled as she moved around to set up her own shot. She looked over to see that Jessie and Denise were still talking. Jessie looked a lot happier out in the crowd. Kelly glanced past them to see a group of unknown males in the back corner drinking beer and laughing. They were not regulars and everyone could tell that they were half tanked and very straight. Not that it ever bothered her before, but a few of them were looking to Jessie and she could tell the comments passed between them were not kind. That made her defensive.

"Are you going to shoot? Or look at the girl of your dreams all night?" Colleen asked amused from the corner nearby.

Kelly glanced over at her then to her shot. She smirked as she tapped the ball and sank a striped ball. "You're just full of it tonight."

Colleen smiled. "Yeah. You'd be full of it to, if you'd do something about it."

Kelly's brow furrowed. "So tell me," she started as she moved around the table for another shot. "How is it I can be the 'father' of this child if Jess and I aren't an item?"

Colleen grinned wider. "Oh, you are. You just don't know it yet."

"And what does that mean? Jess's kid is an immaculate conception?" Kelly asked as she coated the tip of her cue with blue pool chalk.

Colleen covered her mouth as she laughed out loud. "Didn't realize you thought so highly of yourself?"

Kelly looked at her just before she bent over the table to shoot. "Well, she was calling me god the next morning." She shot and sunk another ball as Colleen's eyes went wide. Kelly laughed as the jukebox switched songs. She closed her eyes briefly as the music began to play. "Not this fucking song," she muttered.

Colleen's brow furrowed as she listened. The slow, sweet melody of a piano played and soft, clear tones of Sarah McLachlan drifted through the club. "What's wrong with this song?"

Kelly grunted as she nodded slightly towards Jessie who was listening and tears began to well up in the gentle green eyes. "Every time she hears this song she starts to cry."

Colleen blinked as she watched Kelly's prediction come true as the song played on. '...oh this glorious sadness, that brings me to my knees... In the arms of the angels... fly away from here...'

Kelly nodded. "There she goes."

Colleen looked as Jessie excused herself and headed for the bathroom with tears trickling down her cheeks. "Every time?"

Kelly nodded again as she watched Jessie disappear from view. "I finally had to hide the damn CD at home so she wasn't crying all the time."

"Just that song?"

Kelly sighed. "Nah, she does it with that McKennitt singer too. Some song about a highway or something like that."

She set up her shot and missed slightly as the ball bumped the corner to the right of the pocket and settled back. She looked up to watch the area for a moment as the song ended and Colleen moved around the table. Two of the men were gone from the back corner table. She glanced over at their own table, Jessie wasn't back yet... She didn't like the feeling in the pit of her stomach.

"I'll be back in a minute," she said absently as she handed her cue off to her friend and headed for the bathrooms.


"Goddamn dyke," was heard in the back corner away from the noise and the crowd of people.

Jessie swallowed hard. She had come out of the bathroom to be cornered in by two very drunk men. "Listen, I'm not..."

"Shut up, bitch. You make me sick," the taller of the two men spit at her. "We seen the way you was looking at that woman! We're going to show you a thing or two about men."

Jessie shivered in fear as her bladder threatened to let go. So did her stomach.

"From what I see God should have gotten rid of the fucking prototype and kept with the later model," came a very cold voice from behind them.

The two men turned to see a very tall, very angry, and very dangerous woman bearing down on them. One of them opened his mouth and Kelly replied by driving her fist into it. Jessie couldn't handle it and dove back into the bathroom to give up everything that threatened to leave her.

"You're a goddamn dyke too, arencha?" the other man that wasn't spitting out teeth said. "That your girlfriend? To bad. That's a nice..." Kelly's hand closed about his throat and slammed him back into the door of the men's room.

"Do not say another fucking word about her or any other woman, asshole," Kelly growled angrily.

The man with the bloody mouth and missing teeth ran back into the main room. The man in her grip smiled. Kelly smiled back, evilly. "You think you and your little friends can kick my ass?" She smiled as she shoved him towards the back door and the alley. "Let's find out," she muttered.


Jessie came out of the bathroom to find that most of the club was deserted. She looked about to find Denise waiting for her near the back door. She motioned her over. "You've got to see this."

The two headed out back where most of the club had moved to. The crowd parted slightly as Jessie looked to two men standing on either side of Kelly. All the rest of the men were out on the ground. Neither of remaining men looked well, and Kelly looked... amused. A fast fist connected with one man's jaw and he stumbled back, his green baseball cap was knocked off with the force of the blow.

Denise leaned in closer to talk to her shorter friend. "I know Colleen would defend my honor, but Christ! She's been beating the shit out of six men, and been swearing at them nonstop about leaving you and every woman on the planet alone."

The other man moved in but Kelly used the movement from her blow at the man in the green cap to bring her elbow back hard and hit the man behind her in the chest. He went down as he clutched his solar plexus and moaned in agony.

Kelly looked to the last standing man. "See?! That's what you get for picking on my girl!" She swivelled about and drove her right foot into his knee and the man crumpled to the ground as he grabbed his kneecap. "If I see any of you back here again I'm not gonna be so nice!"

She looked up as the crowd, mostly women, as they cheered. She saw Jessie watching her in shock. Kelly looked to the ground a little embarrassed over what she had done, but her blood was pumping and the thrill of the fight had her in overdrive. It had been nice to teach them a lesson they wouldn't forget. Moving over she stood near her friend and Jessie lifted her hand and looked to the bruises on Kelly's knuckles.

"I'm sorry," Kelly apologized, knowing that Jessie was against violence.

Jessie looked up at her. "Did you mean it?"

Kelly looked into the curious green eyes then noticed that everyone was watching them. "Come on," she muttered softly and led Jessie out to the sidewalk. Kelly wrapped an arm about Jessie's shoulders as they walked down the street. She didn't mind the closeness now. They were almost always together. "You want to get something to eat?" Kelly asked softly, not really knowing what else to say.

Jessie shook her head. "Not after I threw everything up. I'm just tired."

"Did they hurt you?" came the concerned reply.

"No. Only scared me." She looked up at her friend. "Thanks for the rescue."

Kelly nodded with a short smile. "Anytime."

Jessie nodded in response. Slowly she brought them to a stop on the semi darkened street and she faced her friend. "Kel, did you mean what you said back there?" she asked softly.

Kelly's brow furrowed as she thought back. "Yeah, he's an asshole."

Jessie gave her a slightly impatient smile. "I meant about the other part. That I was your girl."

Kelly glanced her way briefly, then nodded slowly. "Yeah... I think I did."

Jessie watched her face and saw that Kelly was serious. "Did you mean it like 'you're my girl but we're just friends' way? Or the 'you're my girl but we're lovers' way?" She looked up at her sort of holding her breath.

Kelly blinked. She hadn't really thought about that. She just all around loved Jessie. And from the look Jessie was giving her... The blood from the fight was still rushing through her system as she slowly grinned with a wicked gleam in her eye. "I guess we should find out."

Jessie frowned, knowing that look, which meant Kelly was going to do something wild. "What do you mea..." She didn't get to finish as Kelly cupped her face and kissed her long and hard. Jessie felt all the tension drop from her body as she was startled, but returned them. She felt her body go limp and Kelly's strong right arm wrapped around her and held her close as the left tangled in her hair and the taller woman slightly tilted her back as the kiss deepened.

Finally Kelly let her go, both of them out of breath. Jessie was flushed pink. "Well?" Kelly asked.

Jessie opened her eyes and stared bewildered at her. "What?"

"Do you think my mother was right about us?" Kelly said watching her closely.

Jessie hummed lightly in contemplation. "Could we try that again? I'm not sure."

Kelly chuckled as she moved her smaller companion three steps back to a storefront into a darker and more secluded area and held her like before and they kissed. This time Jessie laced her fingers about Kelly's neck.


Kelly watched carefully as Jessie entered what was now basically their bedroom since Jessie slept there every night. The only thing they hadn't done was get a bigger bed since they figured once the baby was born Jessie would be back in her own room. The adrenaline rush was gone from the drive home and now she wasn't so certain anymore. Those kisses had blown her away. It was like nothing she had ever experienced before. Jessie wasn't demanding or brutal. It was exploring and sweet and heart felt. Her only problem now, was where it was all heading?

Jessie came back out and looked at her stunned friend. "Kelly?" The dark headed woman looked up at her. Jessie held out her hand. "Come on," she said softly. Kelly looked past her into the softly lit bedroom then back at her.

Kelly rocked a little on her feet in contemplation as she looked to her friend. "We can't go back if this doesn't work," she whispered nervously.

Jessie smiled gently. "What makes you think it won't work?" She came out from the doorway a little and rested her hands on Kelly's flat stomach. "All we're doing is broadening our friendship into a more special one."

"There are strings attached, Jess." Kelly said quietly as she looked down at her blond companion.

Jessie nodded. "Strings are attached to any relationship that's worth having." She laid a hand on Kelly's sternum. "Almost every string I have, is attached to you." She glanced up at her. "Whether you like it or not." She raised her eyebrows as she gazed into the blue eyes as she slid her hand up and cupped the back of Kelly's neck. "And I know almost all of yours are attached to me." She put a little pressure on Kelly's neck and the taller woman lowered her head and they kissed deeply. Jessie grinned slightly as they parted only inches from each other. "Now, we'll just have more. Only they go much, much deeper."

Kelly looked into the beautiful green eyes and saw that the love she felt herself was there. How in the hell had she missed it for so long? How had they both missed it? She smiled a little as she cupped Jessie's face and kissed her again. Jessie hummed in pleasure as the kiss broke and she took Kelly's hands from her face and gently led her into the bedroom.

Ahem, the rest of what happened is private. But I think you get the idea of what we did. It was... the most emotional and spiritual moment in my life. And for me, that's saying quite a bit. With men it's how fast, how hard and how long. Then they're gone back to the realm of where the stinky teenage boys live.

I thought I knew everything there was to know about Jessie. I was wrong. She's the most beautiful creature on the face of the earth. Loving, tender, kind and she has a ticklish spot right behind her ear when you kiss her there.

Kelly woke up to feel the normal pressure of Jessie on her. Only this time it was different. They were both very naked. Jessie's round stomach pushed into her hip and she shifted slightly only to have Jessie move and bury herself closer into Kelly's form. Kelly smiled and gave up trying to get comfortable. This was too nice to move away from. So she watched as the sun rose over the horizon and Jessie slept on.


"Jess? I've got to go to work."

Jessie grunted as she opened her eyes to the bright morning sun. She saw soft bare skin beneath her and the night before came rushing back. She kissed that spot and laid back down. "Call in sick," she muttered.

Kelly chuckled silently. "Uh huh, every morning?"

Jessie sighed and looked up at her. "So you're okay with this?"

Kelly gave her a stern look. "If I wasn't, would I still be in bed with you?"

Jessie thought about that. "Good point."

"Thank you."

Yeah, you guess it. I stayed home. What woman in their right mind wouldn't? The morning after... Even seven months pregnant and you wouldn't believe how agile Jess can be... Um, I think I'll skip that part. We did, however, get a bigger bed.

Breaking it to our parents. It was easier than expected. My mom just rolled her eyes as if it took long enough for us to figure out what she already knew. But I asked her not to say anything to Travis for a while. I couldn't take his teasing right now. Jessie's parents. Well, neither of them were pleased. But what were they going to do? 'Farah' did make it somewhat clear to both of us that she would prefer to keep it, 'in the family', if you get my meaning.

Jess did her lamaze every morning. I'd do the breathing with her before I couldn't stand it anymore and she let me leave. She was into her eighth month and she was getting pretty big. It was getting to where I'd have to help her with everything. Standing up, lying down. Using the bathroom, well after a few showers together it wasn't that embarrassing.

Jess had an okay job. It didn't pay as well as mine, but she never said a thing. I mean her boss seemed liked a sort of okay guy. He was a skinflint, that I WAS sure about. He didn't pay his people enough to live on. Maybe he had too many white sheets running through his bloodline, but I never thought it was a problem. Until Jessie called me at work and asked me to come and pick her up. I couldn't believe the baby was coming! Why didn't she call the ambulance? Jessie just told me to come now.

I did.

I never drove faster in my life.

The door of the accounting firm slammed open and Kelly came storming in looking like the nightmare goddess of all wet dreams. Leather jacket flung open, worn jeans, snug t shirt and the menace of fury and panic in the ice blue eyes. Kelly gave the receptionist a look as she passed by for Jessie's desk. Kelly didn't know what to make from the confused and odd look she gave her.

Rounding the corner Kelly found Jessie wasn't at her desk. She spun around to face Jane Torvill. One of Jessie's friends there at work. "She's in the bathroom," Jane whispered.

Kelly looked at her for a moment, then at the other people in the office staring at them. She grasped Jane's arm. "What the fuck is going on?" she asked as much as she could rein her temper in.

Jane licked her lower lip like it was dry and motioned to the bathroom with a slight tilt of her head. Kelly followed as Jane talked quietly. "Word got around." She glanced up at her. "Mr. Hadley canned Jessie for the rumor about the two of you."

Kelly shook her head. "That rumor's been goin' on for some time!" she hissed back.

Jane stopped just outside the door and looked back to see that no one was in listening distance. "Jessie blew up at him! She told him that her love life was of no concern to him or any other guy in the place."

Kelly's brow furrowed. "Jane, she wouldn't do that."

"She's eight months pregnant. What do you think?" Jane said a little sarcastically.

"That's no reason to can her." Kelly said a little more nicely.

Jane bit her lip this time taking most of her lipstick with it. "Everyone's seen you. All the guys talk about you for days after you come by, about your body and all that shit the guys go on about. Tony heard something from one of his friends about the bar the other night and how you took them all out and you and Jessie had some big 'thing' going on. They all began razzin' about you and Jessie just blew it. I've never seen anything like it before."

Kelly jabbed her thumb at the door. "She's in there?" Jane nodded. Kelly knocked on the door. "Jess?"

"Kelly?" a sniffle came through the doorway.

Kelly leaned lightly against the door. "Let me in, Jess." She heard the door unlock and Kelly let herself in, to see her one true love look like she had been to hell and back.

I interject again. I thought I had seen the worst in my life before this. My dad dyin' when I was a kid. The shit growing up with my brother. Jess' mother, which goes without saying. Nothing slayed me more than the look in Jessie's eyes. She was trembling slightly and there were tear stains on her cheeks. I was split in two directions.

One to go rip Mr. Hadley to shreds or boil him in oil. On the other I wanted to protect and care for Jessie. I slid to my knees and slowly wrapped my arms about her. Jess tightened for a minute then melted into my arms and cried some more.

Boiling in oil was too good for the man that did this to her.

"You okay?" Kelly asked.

Jessie nodded into her hair. "Yeah, sorry about that." She sniffed back some tears and sat back. "Guess I don't have to worry about maternity leave, do I?"

Kelly almost rolled her eyes as the tears came back full force. "I'm surprised the asswipe has maternity leave," she muttered. Slowly she rubbed Jessie's lower back where she knew she hurt a lot from carrying their child. Jessie hiccuped into Kelly's neck. "I'll take care of everything Jess, don't worry about it."

Jessie looked up at her as she wiped the tears away again. "I don't want to be dependant, Kel. I can take care of myself." She looked around the tiny bathroom. "Not that I'm proving it very well right now..."

Kelly gave a small smile. "Jess, don't worry," she repeated. "Not until you're ready to handle it, then you can decide what you want."

Tears welled up as Jessie kissed her and leaned back into her. "God, Kelly. What would I do without you?"

Kelly gave the wall a curious look. "From what Jane told me, you would have kicked Hadley's ass."

Jessie snorted and she gave a small chuckle. "I was so tired of it, Kel. They were talking about you like you were a piece of meat. They do that to all the women they think are pretty."

Kelly smiled. "Guess they talked about you a lot then."

Everything began to get better until they left the bathroom. No one said a word once the cold, fierce blue eyes met theirs. All but one. An older man leaning in the doorway of the biggest office nearby. Kelly knew him. And now she wanted him dead. He was pretty good looking, and he seemed to know it. Only he had a toupe to cover his balding spot and it didn't look too convincing.

"So it was more than just living together. Thought so," he sneered a little as he chewed on some gum. "Nice legs," he commented. Then looked at her chest. "Better ti..."

Kelly stabbed a finger in his chest and he looked in pain. "You know," she spit out at him just loud enough for him to hear. "Guys that get it off on talking about women's tits and legs usually don't have anything to back it up that they deserve to have it in the first place!"

Mr. Hadley looked at her. He was stunned, scared and mad. "Like you'd know."

Kelly curled up one side of her mouth in a wicked smile and looked pointedly between his legs for a good long moment until the man began to turn red. She looked back up. "Bet your dog does you a lot of favors."

A titter of chuckles made their way around the room. Kelly moved Jessie away from him towards the doors. "Don't expect to win any harassment cases against me, Jessie! You'll lose, you bitch!" Mr. Hadley yelled.

Kelly set Jessie down in a chair and stormed back towards him with a gleam in her eye for blood. "Don't hit, I'll sue!" Mr. Hadley said as Kelly slammed him back into the wall and he put up his hands for a fight.

Kelly snorted as she looked the sorry man over. "You aren't worth it."

"Then what are you going to do, dyke?!"

Kelly smiled. "You don't know what I do. Do you?"

He snorted. "Why the fuck should I care?!"

"Because," she replied as she went back to Jessie and helped her up. "I have connections that you don't!" She pulled on the office door, opening to the outside world with an angry jerk. "And one day, when you least expect it! You'll find yourself dead!"

Jessie was stunned to hear her lover talk that way. She could tell that Kelly was serious. Kelly put Jessie's seatbelt on for her once they were at the car, but Jessie grabbed her arm as Kelly tried to back out. "You weren't serious, Kel. You aren't going to have Mr. Hadley killed. Are you?"

Kelly smiled and cupped her cheek. "Jess, no one knows when they're going to die. I won't know it, you won't, neither will he." She gently removed her arm and shut the car door.

Jessie watched as her dark lover moved to the driver's side. She looked at her for a moment as Kelly settled herself and slid the key into the starter. "What?" Kelly asked looking her way with an arched eyebrow.

"You didn't threaten him at all," she stated in awe.

Kelly smiled. "But he doesn't know that. Does he?"

The car started and they were on their way home as Jessie thought about it. Mr. Hadley would be in fear the rest of his life thinking someone was around every corner waiting to get him. For some reason, she didn't feel bad about it.

So now Jessie was home until the baby was born. One month to go. Farah came over more often, but usually when I was away at work. The nursery was done, with an equal amount of pastel and plain colors so that the IQ senses didn't nose dive. My mother would call every so often and visit. And Jessie decided we were going to go visit while she was still somewhat capable before the baby came. I look back on that day and I wish I had put my foot down and said 'no.'

The Low Rider was out of the question when I took Jessie anywhere anymore. And she usually talked me out of it too, when I went off by myself. So I drive a Saturn. Midnight blue, same color as my bike. The only thing I hate about it. You feel like you're sitting on a piece of wood. They are the most god awful uncomfortable seats in the universe. Don't laugh. Saturn's are safe. I've seen the commercials. They just need to give it more options. And a damn spoiler and fog lights don't count.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, my home tribe. My mom was cooking something for dinner. She wouldn't tell me what she was making, so I ate a bowl of raisin bran before we left, despite Jessie's protests that I didn't need too.

Don't get me wrong. My mom can cook. But when she doesn't tell you what it is.... it's most likely you don't want to eat it.

Kelly easily cornered her mother into a spot in the kitchen away from everybody. "Just don't tell him that Jess and I are an item, Mom." Kelly pleaded as best she could.

Dora Jean hugged her child again with sheer joy. Kelly fidgeted. "Please, mom."

Her mother let her go and held the beautiful face in her hands. "I knew you'd do the right thing, honey." She kissed her on the forehead and left to find Jessie leaving Kelly stunned in the same position.

"I hope that meant she was going to keep her mouth shut," she muttered. She smiled a little as she heard Jessie chuckle in excitement, but the voices were hushed. Kelly nodded that it was as good as she was going to get. Then she spotted the pans on her mother's stove. God, she had to see what weird thing her mother had created.

She snuck over and lifted off the cover to one pan and held her breath after a second. Dear god! What was it?! She peered inside while breathing through her mouth. It had things in it she'd never seen before. She jerked back a little. Was that a miniature tentacle?! She put the lid back down and was grateful she had her raisin bran before she came. Knowing Jessie and her eating habits of late, she'd probably love the stuff.

It wasn't long before they sat down to dinner. The kids vetoed the 'adult' food right off. Dora Jean gave them each a corn dog. Kelly could have gone for a corn dog right then. She pushed her spoon around in the stuff in her bowl. She glanced to see that Travis was thinking the same thing as her and Monica nibbled on it. Jessie speared one of the tentacle looking things and bit it in half. Kelly shuddered. Jess was going to have to brush her teeth before she'd kiss her tonight.

"Don't you like it?"

Kelly looked to her mom. "It's different, mom."

Dora Jean smiled. "It never hurts to try new things, honey."

Kelly frowned and Travis looked suspicious. Dora Jean always saved 'honey' for Jessie and Monica. "What's in it?"

Travis nodded to this. Dora Jean just smiled. "It's good for you."

Travis sat back in his seat. "No way I'm eatin' it." Giving his younger sister a dare of a look. Just for that Kelly tried it.


Jessie laid her hand on Kelly's forehead as her dark companion wretched into the toilet again. "Oh god," Kelly groaned.

Jessie smiled gently. "Don't tell me you're pregnant too?"

Kelly looked over as she wiped her mouth off with a wad of toilet paper. Jessie extended belly was right next to her shoulder. "If I am. Shoot me."

Jessie chuckled lightly. It was amazing that one as tough as Kelly was a wimp with bodily functions. Throwing up, dirty diapers, you name it, except bleeding for some reason... She handed her a glass of water. Kelly took a mouthful, rolled it around in her mouth and spit it out then drank the rest of the glass.

There was a knock at the door. "Jessie?" Dora Jean called through the door. "Is everything okay?"

Kelly just laid her head on Jessie's stomach and groaned as she thought she was going to vomit again. "Everything's fine mom, thanks!" Jessie called back.

Kelly looked up at her. "Next time I'm eating a damn corn dog."

Jessie chuckled as she stroked back the long black hair. "I'll make sure you get one."

Kelly smiled as she rested again Jessie. Suddenly it felt like her head had been lowered two inches and Jessie took in a breath. "What was that?" Kelly asked.

"I don't know," Jessie whispered painfully.

Kelly got up and looked to her lover. "Are you okay?"

"I..." Jessie started as water rushed from between her legs to the floor. "Oh my god."

Kelly turned pale. "It's not nine months yet."

Jessie opened the bathroom door. Dora Jean was waiting. She saw what was going on. "It's coming."

Kelly stood there is shock as Dora Jean helped Jessie up. "But it hasn't been nine months yet," she repeated stubbornly.

Dora Jean took in a deep sigh. "It doesn't come at exactly nine months, Kelly! Help Jessie to the car."

Kelly looked to her blond friend who was breathing funny. It was strangely familiar. Mr. Miyagi taught her that. No, she shook her head. Someone else did.

"Kelly!!!" Dora Jean yelled at her daughter. It snapped Kelly out of her shock. "Car, hospital, now!"

You know, mothers think they have it hard. And they do. I admit that. But I honestly realized as I drove Jessie and my mother to the hospital that fathers or companions of women in labor had it harder for a part of this process of childbirth. There was nothing I could do to help Jess with this. Except watch, and wait and let her crush all the bones in my hand and swear at me. I admit... I taught Jess well.

"GOD DAMN SON OF A BITCH!" Jessie screamed as she panted hard, sweat pouring off of her forehead.

Okay, for Jess it was very good. Dr. Moreno was there. I never really mentioned her. Did I? Oh well, she's a smart woman and that's enough for me. Jess was in so much pain the doctor gave her an epidural even though Jess wanted it natural. My hand thanked her for saving it's life.

Jessie lessened the squeeze on Kelly's hand as the drugs hit her system and the pain subsided. "Oh god," she moaned. "I feel like my insides are being shredded apart."

Kelly flexed her hand. "Maybe it's an Alien."

Jessie looked to Kelly. She still didn't look good. She was even whiter than before. "You made a joke... does that mean you're feeling better?" Jess asked.

Kelly looked at her. Then at the group of people down at the other end of Jess. "Either that or they should have given me an epidural too."

Jessie smiled. "A needle stuck up your tailbone?"

Kelly waned and Jess gripped her hand. "Don't pass out on me, Kel. I need you!"

Kelly nodded. "I'm not going anywhere."

Jessie nodded. "Okay, then."

Kelly nodded more slowly as everything spun a little. "Something to make the room stop spinning would be nice though."

A sharp pain drove through Kelly's brain as the room straightened out. She felt a throbbing pain in her cheek and she looked down to see Jessie shaking her hand. "You slapped me?"

"Did it work?" Jessie asked as she shifted and bent over a little. The contractions were starting to build up again.

"Yeah," Kelly said softly as she held Jess as they worked on their breathing for the next big push.

Jessie swore as the pain came and the medical personnel scrambled about as Jessie began the final journey to having her child.

Continued in Part 3

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