Part Two and Conclusion. Refer to Part One for Disclaimers.


Bailey causally walked into the front office and glared at the desk clerk. Growling, she thrust the barrel of the gun in his face. He backed up nervously and stammered.

"Are you an agent?" The dark-haired woman snapped at the flustered man.

"What?" The clerk fumbled.

Bailey brought her hand up and held it in the famous Star Trek hand shape. "Live long and prosper."

The clerk laughed and imitated the blue-eyed woman. "Live long and prosper! Which are you a fan of? The old series? The Next Generation? I hate the new ones. So fake."

Bailey’s eyes narrowed. The clerk had passed the alien test. He’d known that the new series were all fake, propaganda campaigns run by the head aliens. "We’ll meet up in Montana."

"Oh, yes! Montana. I’m there as soon I’m done with my shift." The young man’s eyes sparkled and he pushed the glasses up his thick nose. No woman had hit on him before.

Bailey grinned. "Hurry. The aliens are coming."

The clerk nodded seriously, playing along with this beautiful woman. Tonight could be his lucky night. "I know but I’m ready." He leered at her.

Bailey shook her head slowly. "Thank you." Better take off now. Scowling, she darted back to Room 103.

Etain practically leaped into the older woman’s arms. "Oh, Bailey!" Her throat quivered. "He was an agent, wasn’t he?"

Bailey kept her face strong and stoic, despite her swelling dismay. "He wasn’t. He’s meeting up with us in Montana. But the aliens are infiltrating everywhere. We gotta blow this joint now!"

"Ooh! Can you be my hostage today? I’ll drive!" Etain cheerfully voiced and a visible bounce was added to her step.

The brunette snarled at her companion. "Shh! Damn. Ok, Etain listen. You wipe up this joint. Make sure there’s nothing here. No traces. No fingerprints, no bugs, nothing! I’ll go get us some transportation."

Etain shrieked. "Bugs? I hate bugs!" She hopped from foot to foot as if ants were crawling all over her legs. "I hate them. Especially spiders. I can’t stand them! Roaches, ants, you name it. Oh! I can’t. I’m sorry, Bailey Brunelle Paxton, but I simply refuse to subject myself to such shenanigans!"

Bailey growled and grabbed the younger woman’s arm. She whispered into Etain’s ear. "I meant listening devices, not insects, ok?"

Etain’s mottled face relaxed back to its natural tan shade and she breathed a bit easier. "No insects? Promise?"

Bailey shook her head.

The redhead sighed. "Ok. Gotcha. Go kick butt!" She pumped her fist in the air and grabbed a clean towel from the bathroom. She wiped down every surface they had touched and packed the soiled towels. "We have souvenirs now!"

The brunette grunted and slithered out of the room in search for a vehicle. Her blue eyes alighted upon a mid-nineties model Ford Coupe and Bailey grinned. How she would love to steal a smooth ride like that, but the low slung pickup truck next to the car would have to do. If the truck’s owner reported his beat-up vehicle missing, the cops definitely wouldn’t make finding it a top priority. The truck was missing half of its gray paint, and the other half was gradually peeling. The upholstery inside was worn and faded. Stuffing spilled out of the seats in a few places and cigarette burns dotted the truck’s interior.

The tall woman scanned the parking lot and found no sign of life. Bailey peered into the truck’s windows, finding herself in luck; the keys were dangling from the ignition. Out of curiosity, she peeked into the other cars’ windows. Most of them were unlocked and even a few had keys visibly displayed inside. Those Texans were one trusting bunch… too trusting. Bailey growled. They’re trying to trap us! Gotta dump this truck in a couple hours.

She jumped into the truck, noting that the gas tank was bursting to the seams. She started the engine with some trouble. The old mechanism sputtered and coughed, but finally roared to life, albeit like a dying lion.

The dark-haired woman pulled up to front of the motel, smiling hugely. Etain ran out of the room, duffel bag in hand, and jumped into the vehicle. "Nice truck!" she said sarcastically. "You sure have good taste, Bailey. First my van and now this car! You know how to treat a lady right."

Bailey scowled. "At least I have brains. The cops won’t care less about some ratty $500 truck. Get it?" She jerked a thumb towards the fancy Ford. "That, however, would get their attention."

Etain’s eyes lit up. "You’re so smart, Bailey. Jeffie and I are safe with you." As Bailey drove off, Etain peered at the digital display on the radio deck. The green numbers glowed four o’clock in the morning. "Ooh!" Etain settled back in her seat. "Four o’clock! Jeffie really shouldn’t be up this late." She puckered her lips thoughtfully. "Reckon he’s just up early. Maybe some music will lull him to sleep." Etain turned on the radio and tuned to a country music station, keeping the melodies low and soft.

Bailey snapped the music off. "No! Don’t want anyone to hear. Maybe in half an hour or so when we’re outta here." She navigated the vehicle through the streets of the sleepy village and onto the highway.

"All right. Be that way!" Etain gave her companion a mock glare and peered curiously at

the gun Bailey had laid on the dashboard, above the radio. Wonder what it’s like to hold a real gun. The auburn-haired woman grabbed the revolver and pointed it squarely at Bailey. "Hands up!" she shrieked gleefully. "You’re my hostage now, Bailey Brunelle Paxton!"

The blue-eyed woman whirled in her seat and yelped in surprise and fear. "Shit! Give that to me! Be careful!" Bailey’s agitated driving sent the truck screeching over the median and into the opposite traffic lane. Squeezing her eyes shut, she swerved at the last minute to avoid a collision with a huge 18-wheeler. "What the fuck!"

Bailey’s blue eyes flew open and she tried to wrestle the gun away from Etain, who was carrying on. Tears streamed down her face. "Are you okay, Bailey? I’m sorry!" The auburn-haired woman held the revolver out of Bailey’s reach, however, and grinned proudly. "So much for your phallic issues. Hehehe!" She giggled like a kindergartner.

The brunette gasped at the reckless misuse of the gun and pulled over to the side. She cut the engine and proceeded to yell at Etain. "Fuck! That thing’s loaded."

Etain rolled her eyes and swatted her companion’s thigh playfully. "You’re so silly. I know my way around guns. I certainly wouldn’t let nothin’ hurt our little Jeffie Bailey Tate. And don’t say such words in front of him! Say frick or funk."

"Oh! You—you!" Bailey was at a loss for words. She would’ve strangled Etain but didn’t dare risk her life by having Etain shoot her. The tall woman let out a fierce growl. An equally loud roar answered her. The dark-haired woman gave a blood-curling scream and whirled in her seat, startled by the newfound passenger.

The passenger opened its mandibles and exposed an even row of sharp, pointy, dangerous, carnivore teeth. Its eyes took upon a malevolent glower and the black wet nose flared. A low growl emanated from the animal’s chest and Bailey backed away from the beast, her eyes wide open with shock and fear.

Bailey gripped the door handle. "Why is it every time I steal a car there’s somebody with me?"

Etain giggled. "Next time, I steal the car. Calm down or it’ll think you’re afraid of it. He’s just a little pussycat. He won’t hurt you, I promise." A mangy gray kitten was hanging onto Etain’s every word, its ears perked to his new human company. It cocked its head and scampered over to the driver’s seat.

Bailey trembled and she kept a hand firmly on the door handle. "I hate cats. I hate cats. I hate cats."

Etain rolled her eyes and scooped the kitten up in her arms. "Hey kitty. What’s your name, you little pussycat? Looks like Miss Big, Tall, and Mean is af-raid of cats. A fraidy cat. Ooh! Hehe. I’m gonna name you Brunelle."

Bailey chuckled nervously; the gun was the farthest thing from her mind at the moment. Her voice wavered as she spoke. "Just cause I don’t like cats doesn’t mean I’m scared of them. It’s just a little thing. They’re all but two pounds of skin and fur. You’re scared of bugs!"

"What’s gotten your skivvies in a knot? Bugs, they can kill you. Kitties can’t. They’re so cute and cuddly while bugs are ugly and slimy. Right, Brunelle?" Etain clasped the feline to her chest and fawned over it. She kept the revolver safely secured in her other hand.

"You shouldn’t call it Brunelle. It’s a boy," Bailey pointed out. "See that dangling thing? Don’t tell me a pregnant woman doesn’t know a thing or two about anatomy," Bailey groused.

Etain sighed. "You’re the one with the phallic obsession, not me! Of course I know it’s a boy. I’m just calling it Brunelle because I want to," she said defensively.

Bailey shrugged. "Dump it on the side of the road so we can be on our way."

"What?!? That’s cruel!" Etain shook her head furiously. "No way!"

"You gotta. We can’t have a frigging cat! Besides, they’re another agent of Satan." Bailey tried to speak with conviction but Etain’s pleading green eyes and pout had already claimed her way. The gun in her hand didn’t hurt, either.

Etain begged. "We can’t. You’re just making that up because you ‘don’t like cats’. Please?"

Bailey narrowed her eyes and studied the pouty lips. "Fine. But the rat goes in back. I don’t want it up front in case it decides to get loose and play with the brakes. Do you know how much work it’s gonna be to take care of a rat?"

"Please! Like a little two pound cat can make a difference!"

"I’m just concerned for its safety! We can’t provide the food, shelter, or space the kitten needs right now."

Etain threw her arms around Bailey’s neck and kissed her quickly on the cheek. "Ooh! You’re so kind and considerate. You’ll be a good parent. Jeffie and I are so lucky to have you! Don’t worry. I reckon you’re right. We’ll find a good home for the kitty next place we stop at."

The mangy kitten jumped out of Etain’s grip and bounced up to Bailey. The dark-haired woman backed up against the window, trembling. "Get. That. Thing. Away. From. Me."

"Ooh. Looks like I have a bigger pussycat to worry about, eh, Brunelle?" Etain winked conspirationally at the feline and looked at Bailey reproachfully. "Calm down. He just likes you. You don’t wanna hurt his feelings."

"He’s eating me!"

"He’s just sniffing you and licking your jeans. He likes your smell, that’s all. But speaking of food, I’m hungry and I gotta go. I did go before we left but I can’t help it. I have to go again. You know...being pregnant and all?"

Bailey nodded. "Whatever. Get him away and we’ll be on our way."

"Come here, Brunelle. Come to mammy." Etain cooed. The kitten jumped into Etain’s arms and began to purr contently.

Bailey glanced nervously at the cat. "He’s snarling and growling and snapping all over the place."

"He’s just purring. He’s happy. When we’re in Montana, we’ll get a cat of our own. Ooh! I’ll name him Brunelle too. Just wait and see! Brunelle in Montana’ll win your heart over," Etain said defiantly.

While Bailey was busily focusing on the cat and willing hives not to erupt all over her skin, Etain pointed the revolver at the driver. "My turn! Let me drive! You’re my hostage now!" She giggled and waved the gun around.

Bailey threw her arms up in defeat. She got out of the truck and studied the highway. The road was dark and deserted. She slowly got in at the passenger door while Etain scooted up to the wheel, despite her hugely pregnant condition. "This is going to be fun! We’re like Thelma and Louise. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Bonnie and Clyde. We’re fixin’ to be better than any of thems!"

The brunette nodded silently, not wanting to aggravate the situation. How many bullets are left in the gun?

Etain took Bailey’s tight lips as an opportunity to expand on her future goals. "I want to be in love. I want to meet a wonderful man. I already described him to you." She stepped on the gas and swerved the vehicle back on the road towards Oklahoma. "Tall, dark, handsome, blue-eyed, sensitive, a bit macho, broad-chested, great muscles, no phallic issues. I’ve never been in love. I want to be in love with whoever becomes Jeffie’s daddy." She inclined her head dreamily and looked at Bailey.

Bailey’s brow furrowed. "Why didn’t you wait to be in love before you had kids?"

"I just wanted a baby." Etain was defensive. "I’ll know when I’m in love. My heart will beat against my chest like a bongo drum. My stomach’ll tie up in knots, and I’ll feel like I’ve never felt. Happy and delirious. How about you? Ever been in love before?"

Bailey shook her head harshly. "No."

"You can tell me. Even if it was with a woman. I consider myself open-minded. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were a lesbian, what with your phallic issues and all."

Bailey rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Stop with that phallic issues shit of yours! I do not have phallic issues and I haven’t been in love before. I just have a strange need to protect myself, hence the gun. Which you have now!"

Etain drew back, her lip quivering from the onslaught of anger, but she got over it almost immediately. Dismissively, she asked, "Don’t you want to be in love one day? Don’t you want to be a mother? Or a father, if you insist on your phallic issues." Her green eyes shone with happiness. As an afterthought, she added: "I don’t think I wanna Jeffie’s last name to be Tate. It ain’t right that he’s got his mama’s mama’s last name and not his daddy’s. I like rhyming names." Etain thought for a moment and returned gleefully with Jeffie’s new name. "Ooh! Jeffie Bailey Paxton! But that means whoever the father is, his last name will have to be Paxton to match Jeffie’s. Sure hope I can find a Paxton in Montana." She wriggled excitedly in her seat. "Don’t you want kids, huh?"

Bailey’s blue eyes shone with irritation but also with something else. Amusement, perhaps. Etain was beginning to grow on her and it was nice to have found someone who shared her political beliefs. "I guess one day maybe. I dunno. I have much more important things to worry about like the alien takeover." She set her mouth in a grim line as she considered the future.

Etain clamped her hand over her mouth. "That’s right! Gosh. That’s so horrible. I never would have thought." She shook her auburn head disapprovingly as she imagined aliens taking over the world. "Are those aliens the kind with the glowing green eyes and gray skin? Four fingers, huge heads?"

Bailey interlocked her fingers and twirled her thumbs. "I’m not sure. I think those aliens are our friends, actually. We’ll find out lots more information in Montana."

"Cool! Hey, how did you know to go to Montana? Which corner of Montana we gonna to?" Etain reached for Bailey’s hand and squeezed it excitedly.

Bailey sighed and turned to face her companion. "Well, when I went to the brainwashing facility, I found a journal from the previous patient tucked under one of the floorboards. It contained everything I needed to know: where to meet up with the others, the directions, how to ward off invasion of your body, how to id impostors, et cetera." She tilted her head gravely. "Of course, I memorized the book from cover to cover and burned it." She tapped her temples knowingly. "Never leave behind evidence that’ll help them."

"Wow." Etain’s green eyes rounded in awe. "You’re so smart and brave, Bailey." She flashed a toothy grin at her new friend.

Bailey blushed slightly and modestly cast her gaze downward. "Ah, no. I’m just doin’ what I gotta do. Same as you."

"Yeah." Etain’s voice took on a wistful tone. "I just want the best for Jeffie and my future kids. I want this world to be a great place where everyone gets along and lives in perfect harmony. No wars, no spies, no conspiracies, nothing!" Tears pooled in the redhead’s expressive green eyes and she sniffled. "You think we could do that, Bailey?"

The dark-haired woman patted Etain’s shoulder reassuringly. "We’ll certainly try and put up a fight."

Etain squirmed nervously in her seat. Bailey detected the movement and groaned inwardly. "I gotta pee, Bailey. And I’m hungry!" The younger woman spoke in an apologetic voice as she turned to her hostage. "I’m gonna pull over and stop."

Bailey rolled her eyes. "Fine. Hey, no. Don’t!" She grabbed Etain’s gun-free hand and prevented her from turning into a diner. "Stay on the road. We gotta avoid diners ‘til we’re in Oklahoma at least. We gotta get out of Texas today. Cops’ll be looking for us, definitely. For now, go to a drive-thru place and get breakfast. We can’t let anyone see us."

"But I gotta pee!" Etain bellowed.

"I heard you the first time!" Bailey growled harshly. "Listen to me. Most bathrooms in fast food places are way in the back, accessible through a side door. Cashiers probably won’t see you." Bailey glanced at the digital clock. "See, it’s almost five. Most fast food places are gonna open for breakfast anytime. Just hold on fifteen minutes and we’ll be fine." She gave an encouraging smile to her obviously distressed companion.

"If you say so." Etain’s chin trembled petulantly, but she didn’t remain depressed for long. "Ooh! How about a truce? I’ll be your hostage on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. You can be mine on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. We’ll take turns every other Saturday. Yeah?" She looked to Bailey, eagerly, seeking approval.

The brunette sighed and studied the gradually lightening morning. "Okay. Whatever."

"Don’t be such a Grouchy Gnome!" Etain patted Bailey’s thigh playfully. "Just ‘cause a woman got the better of you… Hehehehe!" She giggled knowingly.

Bailey rubbed her forehead and closed her eyes for a short nap. The flaky pregnant lady was annoying. She awoke half an hour later, missing the familiar feel of the truck engine running. Etain had pulled into a drive-thru. She was eagerly ordering everything the restaurant had on the menu and Bailey gasped at the total.

"Etain!" The older woman scooted up in her seat as her companion proceeded to the next window. "No fucking way! You’re big as a house already. What do you need with a big breakfast like that? Waste of money!" Bailey snarled.

"Oh, now! You’re so silly." Etain grinned and batted her eyelashes at her new friend. "I am a house! Jeffie’s house! And don’t use such horrendous language! And breakfast is for all three of us. Would you be a dear and take over while I use the facilities? I’ll take kitty in with me and find him a good little girl." Etain gave Bailey an air-kiss and disappeared into the restaurant, gun and cat in hand.

Bailey rolled her eyes and waited a few minutes for the breakfast to be prepared. She felt a low growling in her stomach and had to admit she was hungry… and had to pee. Etain returned just as the cashier handed Bailey ten bags of food.

"Awesome!" Etain clambered in the passenger side, no cat in sight, much to Bailey’s relief. She gulped hungrily at the food.

"Well?" Bailey pulled into a parking spot that wasn’t visible from most of the restaurant nor the highway. "Please tell me you didn’t draw too much attention to yourself when you gave the cat away."

"Mmm-numm." Etain smacked her lips together hungrily as she sampled the food. "This rules!" Returning from her momentary high, the green-eyed woman took Bailey’s hand in hers. "Now, don’t be so silly! I know we’re on an utmost mission! I just donated him to the children’s charity."

"Umm…" Bailey sighed. "Whatever. Just as long as it’s outta our hair."

"Oh, silly!" Etain let out a high-pitched giggle. "I just can’t wait to get to Montana and break you in, Bailey Brunelle Paxton."

Bailey squeezed Etain’s hand, still in hers. "Save some food for me. I’m gonna use the bathroom." She surveyed the parking lot carefully. "Hey… we need a new set of wheels. This truck ain’t gonna last long. Can you get us a new one? Prove yourself."

Etain’s green eyes lit up and she threw her arms around Bailey for a prolonged but very enthusiastic hug. "Of course! How about that nice one?" She pointed excitedly to an American-made sedan.

"Nope!" Bailey disapprovingly studied her companion. "Don’t get American cars. Umm… yeah! Get Japanese cars. The Japanese are our friends." She nodded knowingly.

"Wow!" Etain sunk back in amazement. "I’ll do that, sure. You’re brilliant!"

The two women disembarked the truck simultaneously. Bailey headed inside to use the facilities while Etain made her way around the parking lot. The redhead surveyed the parked vehicles critically. How am I supposed to know if they’re Japanese?

Hesitantly, Etain approached a green car and bent down. "Are you Japanese?" She patted the top of the vehicle reassuringly, but there was no answer. "Darn!" Etain stomped her foot and tried again with a tan sedan. The results were the same. She eyed each vehicle in the lot but was unable to discern any Japanese features. "Any of you Japanese?" she hollered to the whole lot in general. There was no answer.

Etain breathlessly ran to Bailey as soon as the gorgeous blue-eyed woman strode out of the fast-food joint. "Bailey!" Etain wailed. "I couldn’t find any Japanese cars! I asked but they didn’t answer. What do we do now?"

Bailey’s eyes narrowed into slits of lethal azure. "They know. They’ve taken over the Japanese. Frick it! Just frick it to heck! Everyone’s in on it now." Bailey swore and smashed a fist into the brick exterior of the restaurant.

Etain beamed happily despite her earlier distress. "Thank you for rememberin’ not to cuss in front of Jeffie." She gently reached for Bailey’s hand and entwined their fingers. "Don’t look so defeated. We’ll figure something out."

Bailey’s lips curved upwards in a genuine but small smile. Etain was good at improving the taller woman’s mood. The situation grew more bleak and dismal by the day, but the last thing Bailey wanted to do was disappoint the small ray of sunshine that had so recently entered her life. She had to try. "I know what we’ll do." Bailey nodded resolutely and cupped Etain’s face in her slender fingers. "We’ll show them we’re made out of steel. No siree. Bailey doesn’t give up without a fight!"

Etain grinned good-naturedly. "Me too. Bailey and Etain and Jeffie. You aren’t alone anymore." She looked into her companion’s beautiful blue eyes and Bailey was paralyzed for several moments. Etain was beautiful beyond words.

"Etain…" Bailey spoke in a low tremor. "You really are beautiful, no matter what people say. Gorgeous. Inside and out. You’ve a great heart, kind, generous and pure, and on the outside… your eyes. The way the sunlight bounces off them, your smile… I swear I’ve never seen or met anyone like you…"

Etain’s face was graced by a deep red blush as Bailey continued to murmur wonderingly. The redhead’s heart fluttered at the gentle words and at the feel of her hostage’s warm words tickling her ears. In the past day, Bailey Brunelle Paxton had paid more attention to her than anyone had in her whole life. Bailey listened to her, cared what she had to say.

"Oh, Bailey!" Etain looked away shyly. "I know that isn’t true. I’m big as an elephant, uneducated, dumb as a mule." She swallowed lightly as the intense look in Bailey’s eyes slowly dissipated. The dark-haired woman shook her head as if some sort of medicine was wearing off.

"You need to think better about yourself." Bailey smiled firmly at the shorter woman. "Now, we need to get this show on the road. We’ll keep the truck and change the license plates with another vehicle."

Bailey set to work industriously, discreetly unscrewing the tags from the truck and switching them with tags from a nearby car. She wiped her hands on her jeans. "Let’s go. You drive since I’m the hostage." Bailey winked at Etain, who practically beamed with pleasure.

Once in the truck, Bailey asked her captor about their course of action. Etain crooked her lips and furrowed her brows as she attempted three times to start the truck’s engine. It finally caught on, with a gargle and cough very similar to a long-time smoker’s.

"Well…" Etain thought carefully because Bailey’s opinion suddenly meant a great deal to her. "We’ll need to get gas soon. Disguises, too. They’re looking for a tall lady and a short pregnant lady. Maybe you could pretend to be pregnant too. That’d throw them off track. Reckon that’d work?"

Bailey’s head turned sharply to both sides. "Yes!" The dark-haired woman sighed. "I’ll dress up like a pregnant lady and as for you…we’ll dye your hair brown and cut it short. But we still gotta be careful. Those aliens can see through some disguises."

Etain grinned enthusiastically and gunned the engine, roaring down the street. "We’ll stop at Wham’s Mart. They have one in every town, even Belle Vista! Their hair dye lasts longer." She nodded knowingly and raised a fair eyebrow. "Do I have to be brown-haired though? I’ve always wanted to be a blonde. They say blondes have more fun. Won’t it be so cool? I can be Marilyn Monroe or Jodie Foster! I love Jodie Foster! This is so exciting! Disguises."

Bailey grunted and slouched down in her seat. She ended up sitting on the floor, scrunched up like a human pretzel. "Don’t want anyone to see me. There’s awful lot of cars on the road now. Be careful talkin’. You can go blonde if you wanna."

"Will I still be pretty? Mammy always said that my hair was the prettiest Possum’s done seen." Etain’s eyes were shrouded with worry.

"Yes. You’re pretty."

"I know I’m pretty. Jimmy said I was the prettiest girl in Possum. What I’m askin’ is will I still be pretty after I’m a blonde?"

"You’re gorgeous, regardless of your hair color!"

"Oh Bailey! You’re just saying that to git in my pants! Now, tell the truth, Bailey Brunelle Paxton."

"I’m tellin’ the truth but that’s a good character trait. Shows you don’t trust anyone. You shouldn’t."

"Thank you, Bailey." Etain grinned and hummed along with the country music station on the radio. Bored with the song after a few minutes she returned her attention to her hostage. "Jimmy would’ve been a good papa for Jeffie. He has a doublewide trailer. Imagine! With Formica countertops and linoleum flooring. Too bad his name ain’t Paxton and too bad he ain’t tall, dark, and handsome or I’d married him long ago. Can’t forget we might have the same daddies. That wouldn’t do for little Jeffie." She patted her stomach in pride.

"I think you’ve a lot of important things to consider. Like renaming the kid. Jeffie…like I said…mama’s boy." Bailey sneered.

"There’s nothing wrong with being mama’s boy. He is my boy, my baby! I’ll name him anything I please." Etain scowled at her companion and her green eyes narrowed into slits. "How would you like it if I named our child Dallas? Or Jean?" She raised her eyebrows in demanding question.

"Eew. Such pansy names!" Bailey scoffed.

Etain’s chin stuck out stubbornly. "If you want a say in naming our child, Bailey Brunelle Paxton, you best quiet down about Jeffie’s name."

Bailey’s face scrunched. "Wait a minute. How am I supposed to have a say in his name if I can’t complain about it?"

Etain grinned at her own cleverness. "That’s simply a catch-22. Hehehe" She giggled at Bailey’s consternation. "Isn’t it enough his name’s already Bailey Paxton? I like Jeffie and I’m sticking to it. You can volunteer a middle name."

Bailey rolled her eyes. "Fuckitall."

Etain gave Bailey a look. "That’s certainly not an appropriate middle name for our child. You can do better."

Bailey sighed and stared at the redhead’s mountain of a belly. "Whatever."

"Ooh, I like that. Jeffie Bailey Whatever Paxton. I think that’ll suit him." Etain’s mouth curved into a large smile and she started singing along with the radio. She had difficulty focusing on the road, however, because Jeffie kicked her left, right, center, north, and south. "Ouch!" she cried after one particularly hard kick. "Jeffie doesn’t like being grounded," she explained knowingly to Bailey.

Bailey rolled her eyes. "From the punches he’s throwing, sounds like you have twins or triplets in there."

Etain gasped. "Jeffie! Why didn’t you tell me you had friends over? Tsk tsk." She shook her head in disapproval. "All you had to do was ask."


Etain pulled into the parking lot of Wham’s Mart shortly before dusk. She shook Bailey’s shoulder and woke up the slumbering woman. "We’re here. I’m going to be a blonde!" Her eyes twinkled.

Bailey stared at the younger woman, mesmerized by her beautiful green eyes and easy smile. "Yeah. You go in, get some maternity clothes for us, tape, pillows, hair dye, scissors, that sort of thing." She counted out a few twenties and handed the younger woman three bills. "That should do."

Etain grinned and bent down as far as she could, her lips brushing against Bailey’s forehead. "Back in a Jeffie! Isn’t that cute? Like back in a jiffy?"

A smile tugged at Bailey’s mouth. "Go on and hurry."

Etain grinned and slammed the door, skipping happily to blonde-dom. She returned shortly and they drove around, seeking a motel for that evening. "There’s a cheap motel."

Bailey’s blue eyes skimmed over the establishment. A bright plastic yellow banner hung from the front, screaming $29.99 for a room! The parking lot was nearly empty and its black surface was faded and cracked from lack of maintenance. Weeds stubbornly pushed through the cracks of the pavement and threatened to spread like wildfire. The doors of each room, once a bright cherry red, were now a faded pink.

Bailey nodded. "This’ll do for tonight. We’ll have to get more money tomorrow."

Etain quickly registered for a room while her companion waited outside. Like the previous motel, this one didn’t care much for checking identification or verification. The clerk just grunted and belched when Etain signed in as Jolie Kendrick. Three ten-dollar bills straight up and no questions were asked.

The clerk didn’t even look at Etain. His rheumy eyes were glued on the television screen, engrossed in the latest game show. It was none of his business who rented rooms at the motel. A lot of townspeople came here for clandestine meetings with their mistresses or lovers. "Room six." He slipped the key to Etain, briefly wondering who the unlucky guy was. The redhead was as big as a house. "Have a good stay." Before Etain even stepped out of the front office, the clerk was drawn back into the world of game shows and big prizes.

Bailey and Etain walked side by side to the motel room. The dark-haired woman unlocked the door, stepped in tentatively, and scrunched her nose. Their home for the night smelled of ammonia and cat litter. A single double bed occupied the room. Its white sheets were clean but stiff and scratchy. The wooden drawers were worn and scarred from years of use. The turquoise carpet was threadbare and the curtains exposed more than they hid.

"Dibs on the toilet!" Etain yelled. She crossed the room in seconds.

The bathroom was filthy with dead bugs littering the floor. Etain screamed. "Bugs! I hate bugs. How am I supposed to use the toilet with bugs in there?"

Bailey grabbed Etain and embraced her. The taller woman pressed a finger to Etain’s trembling lips and made soothing sounds. "Hush. It’ll be all right. I’ll take care of the bugs. You sit tight on the bed."

Trembling, Etain gulped and sat gingerly on the very edge of the bed. Realization dawned upon her. "Bailey! This is a one-bed room. You better not be trying anything with me tonight!" She waggled a finger at the brunette. She was busily using paper towels to pick up and dispose of the bugs.

Bailey grunted. "Ok. Got them all down in the toilet and flushed them good. Now no bugs for you to worry about." She turned around and looked down at the redhead. "You sure have an ego, Etain Marvelle Meredith Tate. Always thinking I’m trying to get into your pants. First, I don’t wanna to. Second, you ain’t got pants. You got a dress. And our room last night only had one bed. I didn’t try nothin’, did I?"

Etain scowled at the tall woman. The redhead drew herself up to full height, but even then, she barely reached Bailey’s nose. A rather cute nose, Etain admitted. "My name is Etain Meredith Marvelle Tate! Meredith before Marvelle! M before M! You know what I mean! Why don’t you wanna get in my pants? I know I’m not a lesbian but aren’t I pretty enough for you to want to try?" The green-eyed woman stuck out her lower lip and pouted.

Bailey rolled her eyes and growled inwardly. "What makes you think I’m a lesbian? I don’t have time for carnal pleasures. I’m busy, what with the alien take over and saving the world. You’re always horny. Do you need to get laid or what?"

"Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to assume. I just thought…you with your phallic issues and all, you would be one." Etain giggled and shrugged apologetically. "I’m always horny. I need sex all the time. It’s the only thing I can think of ever since I started my seventh month of pregnancy."

Bailey shrugged and took a seat on the bed, tugging her companion down with her. "Why don’t you masturbate?"

Etain’s hands flew up and clasped her mouth. Her eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. Her face became a deep, beet-like red as she giggled uncontrollably. She couldn’t look the brunette in the eyes. Finally, she calmed down and was able to speak. Her face returned to a lighter shade of tomato.

"Egads! You said the m word! Nobody says the m word!" She burst into nervous giggles.

Bailey’s brow scrunched in disagreement. "Nothing wrong with satisfying yourself."

Etain stared at the carpet. If she didn’t know better, she’d swear her face was on fire. "I’ve never done the… the m thing before! That’s nasty! Have you? I’ve never met anyone who’s done that." She looked at Bailey and grinned expectantly.

"Nope." Bailey shook her head. "I’m too busy. I can’t let pleasures of the body distract me. That’s how the aliens take over. They wait until you’re distracted then…wham!" Bailey clapped her hands together hard and Etain jumped in surprise. "You’re a goner!" The taller woman paused for dramatic effect. "Lots of people do it. They just don’t talk about it. It ain’t hard and if you really wanna, you can. I won’t watch or nothing."

"I couldn’t! That wouldn’t be proper. Especially with little Jeffie being home and all." Etain nodded seriously and glanced shyly at her companion. "I’ll just have to wait for a man."

"That might be a long time. You think you can be keeping your mind on them aliens if your body’s screaming for attention? Besides, if you can have sex with a man you ain’t married to then you sure can go play with yourself. Couldn’t be any less proper."

Etain inclined her head thoughtfully. "Ok. Point taken but still…egads!" Shivers ran through the younger woman’s body as she imagined entering herself. Disgusting! "Back to the alien thing. They can take over when you ain’t payin’ attention. Can they get to unborn babies?"

"Yup, they sure can!" Bailey’s eyebrows dropped in concern. "We gotta make sure your baby ain’t an alien. Just ‘cause you ain’t don’t always mean he ain’t."

Etain’s eyes swelled up with tears. "I hope Jeffie isn’t infected! I don’t know how I could live with that!"

"Don’t worry. We can do a test. Find out. Hmm… how do we test babies?" She looked at Etain’s worried face. "I know! Yep. Page 45 of the journal I found in the brainwashing facility. But even if the results are favorable, we still gotta be careful. Aliens could still get Jeffie. We’ll test him all we have to. Now, drop your drawers."

Etain gasped. "What are you doing, Bailey Brunelle Paxton? I knew it! You’re trying to get into me panties! I’ll do it myself!"

Bailey sighed at the outburst. "No problem. I never said I was gonna do it myself." She nodded in exasperation. "Ok, you seen your bodily juices before? Well, if it’s green that means Jeffie’s been taken over by the aliens. You gotta go in deep and retrieve some goo. You’ll still see white on the surface even if the aliens take Jeffie over. But if you go deep in enough you’ll get true results. The closer to the baby, the better." Bailey raised her dark eyebrows at her companion.

Etain giggled again, her face mottling. "I don’t know. I don’t think I can go there. That would be…m…m…ma…you know!"

Bailey sighed and bowed her head. "It’s necessary. Go on, Etain."

Etain slipped a hand in her panties but as soon her fingers touched the coarse auburn hairs of her vagina, she pulled out disgustedly. She smoothed her panties nervously. "I can’t. I feel too weird. You’ll have to do it, Bailey. But no funny business!" She scolded the dark-haired woman.

Bailey pulled up to her full height and looked down her nose. "I’ll do my best. This is serious. Drop your drawers and sit up here near the edge. No. Maybe you should stand."

Etain complied with the dark-haired woman’s command. She stood, spread her legs as wide as possible, and squeezed her eyes shut. "Have you done this before? Mammy’ll shit her shorts if she thought I was having lesbian relations! This is fun!"

Bailey kneeled on the floor and peered up milky white thighs. They led to a delicious and gorgeous triangle of red curls. So yummy and appetizing. Suddenly fire leaped from Bailey’s groin and coursed through her body. The test administrator mentally chastised herself, forcing her breathing and heartbeat to slow down. But the tingling in her center remained as tremors inside her heated her thighs and groin. I have to focus on the mission at hand. "No, I haven’t done this before. You realize you’ll probably never see your mammy or Jimmy again."

Etain ventured a downwards peek. Bailey’s hands were nowhere near her coarse auburn ringlets. She sighed in disappointment. "I know. All I care about is Jeffie and our family. Gotta protect us from the—ooohhh!" The green-eyed woman arched her back and craned her neck back as Bailey entered her.

Etain moaned with surprise and pleasure as Bailey’s long fingers crept into her depths. They plunged deep while her other hand held onto the younger woman’s thigh for support. Bailey felt her nipples and clit swell as she was fueled by the green-eyed woman’s groans of ecstasy.

Bailey’s hand was so warm, so gentle and Etain’s body vibrated with liquid flames. After a few seconds, nowhere near enough for Etain, Bailey pulled out slowly and carefully. She examined the clear and abundant wetness on her fingers.

"Whew!" Etain’s cheeks were flushed with pleasure from the simple submersion of Bailey inside her recesses. "That’s a test I wouldn’t mind takin’ again and again," she muttered to herself. Her body felt like never before. Her nerves were on pinpricks and her center throbbed wildly with recent sexual awakenings.

The dark-haired woman chuckled and held up her slender fingers for inspection. Etain opened her eyes and stared at Bailey’s hand. It was covered with a creamy, yet transparent moisture.

"Goodness shakes, Bailey!" Etain couldn’t take her eyes off the sight. "That’s a lot!"

Bailey sniffed the material and suddenly a spurt of hungry desire spiraled through her. The scent of Etain, so pure and salty, and all woman, was unbearable. Tentatively, recovering from the shock of her eager response to the touch of Etain’s body, Bailey ran her tongue over a dripping finger. She licked and savored the delicious and addictive material. "Hmm," the dark-haired woman finally managed a breathy whisper. She peered up at Etain. Her companion was quivering because of her recent arousal and because of nervousness about the test results. "Tastes good. No strange smell or abnormal green coloring but I gotta go again, make sure."

Bailey, desperately wanting more of the sweet substance, studied Etain hopefully. She hoped she wasn’t as transparent as the green-eyed woman’s juices.

Etain grinned, relieved. "Do what you gotta do. As long as you gotta." Eagerly, she spread her legs again for Bailey’s perusal. When Bailey entered her for the second time, the redhead clutched her companion’s thick mane of raven hair, sliding Bailey’s face inches away from her aching auburn center. No matter how hard she tried, she had no control over her physical reactions or outcries of pure delight.

The smell of Etain’s arousal overpowered Bailey. The dark-haired woman brought her lips to the triangle of auburn curls and her pink tongue explored the thick forest and lapped up the dripping whiteness as her fingers moved fluidly inside Etain.

The green-eyed woman gasped in sweet agony when Bailey left her. Her companion’s hand was covered completely this time. Bailey’s tongue trailed across her fingers, relishing Etain’s smell and taste. "Good. Yum. Jeffie’s all right, but we gotta test again tomorrow."

Etain groaned and lay back on the bed, frustrated by the sudden withdrawal. "Yes! We gotta do that everyday. I wanna make sure little Jeffie doesn’t get infected." She nodded seriously and threw herself in Bailey’s arms. "Thank you, Bailey! Do you need to be tested too?"

Bailey hugged the redhead tightly, not letting her go. "No. I’m not pregnant." The mere touch of Etain’s hands through her shirt sent a warming shiver through Bailey.

"But you will be, tomorrow! You’re disguised as a pregnant woman!" Etain relaxed and sunk into Bailey’s cushioning embrace as the taller woman ran her fingers through Etain’s hair.

"But there won’t actually be a baby in me." Bailey thought about the situation for a minute and remembered the pleasure she’d elicited from Etain and the sensations she still felt herself. "On the other hand…perhaps I will be tested too, just to be on the safe side. For now, let’s prepare our disguises. You’re cutting my hair and I’m cutting and dying yours." The taller woman’s heart was thundering.

Etain broke their contact, feeling her pulse beat in her throat. "Yes." She sighed contentedly. "I’m so glad Jeffie’s fine for now."



Etain half-opened her eyes and peeked at the woman who stared at her from the bathroom mirror. Her bleached blond hair was cropped short and fell in layers around a small but perky face. "Wow!" Etain could hardly talk for a moment. "No wonder blondes have all the fun!" She glanced at Bailey’s reflection and saw her thick black hair ending in a sharp bob.

Bailey laughed scornfully. "You don’t look any better."

Etain’s face fell. "Don’t gotta rub in my nose that I’m ugly as a turtle, big as an elephant, and dumb as a rock."

"What?" Bailey grinned and snaked an arm around Etain’s shoulders. "I’ve never been good with words. What I meant was that you can’t look any better, no matter what. You were just great with your long red hair." The taller woman smiled at her own reflection. "You did a swell job. Good thing you work at the beauty salon." Bailey twirled a strand of freshly cut, silky, and clean hair around her finger.

Etain beamed with pleasure. "You think so?" Her face scrunched up. "If I couldn’t be an actress in Montana, I sure wouldn’t mind bein’ a hair stylist! I reckon there ain’t many in Montana! Them people have awful hair! Like I seen on TV." Etain gestured emphatically, imitating untamed hair and long scraggly beards. She tittered at her little joke. "I wasn’t sure what to do with your hair. So beautiful I didn’t wanna cut it off. You really like it, Bailey? You look great, if you don’t mind me sayin’ so. ‘Course, you’d look terrific bald and wearing a paper bag!"

Bailey blushed an uncharacteristic light pink. She turned and studied Etain firmly. "Reckon you could do both. Act and cut hair. You’re a valuable asset."

Etain’s green eyes became as wide as saucers and her mouth fell open slightly. "That would so great if I could do both! Ooh! This is fixin’ to be so much fun!" She threw her arms around Bailey’s neck then stepped back, jabbering wildly. "We could open our own beauty shop. Haircuts, makeup, grooming—ooh, I can do animals too!—and manicures and toenail cuttings and shampooings. Oh! Let me tell you about my first client. See, I was four years old and I just got this new critter. He was my dog. His name was BuBu. Like Bubba Bob, get it?" Etain laughed and patted her leg merrily. "We could never figure out what kinda dog BuBu was. He looked like a cross between that Taco Bell dog and the Beethoven dog. BuBu was the best animal there ever was, sure. He drooled all over the place and kept trying to hump the telephone poles but let me tell you, Bailey, he was smart. He could do math. And he always let me dress him up in this real pretty pink bib when I cut his hair. He paid me in dog bones." Etain giggled shyly. "He was a real gentleman. BuBu had gorgeous tan hair and those deep brown eyes. Not as pretty as yours though." Etain paused to catch her breath. "I had to groom BuBu every month ‘cause—"

Bailey grabbed both of Etain’s hands and held them in hers, so the shorter woman couldn’t flap her hands wildly all over the place. Her mouth clamped shut, in surprise. "Bailey! I was talkin’ to you! Jeffie needs to hear this too. Stories for his kids!"

The dark-haired woman made a shushing motion with her index finger. "Shh. You can tell me later. I just heard something and the aliens are looking for us so you better be quiet."

"Ooh!" Etain’s eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. This trip with Bailey was exciting beyond description. The younger woman winked knowingly at her companion and exaggeratedly placed an index finger over her own lips in a shushing motion then pointed to herself. She continued her story with as much gusto as before, relying on facial expressions and gestures to get the tale across. She panted and mimicked a begging dog. She pointed to herself again and imitated scissors with her hands.

Bailey studied her friend in horrified amazement. The damn girl will do anything to talk. "Etain!" Bailey interrupted with a loud exclamation. "Let’s just go to bed. The aliens have great sight, remember? We need to get under the covers where they can’t see us."

Etain grinned and whispered, "I’ll write the story down right now. Don’t worry." She tiptoed exaggeratedly to her purse and made a big show of opening it quietly and searching for writing utensils. Her fingers grasped a pen and she held it up excitedly. As she undid the cap, the pen accidentally fell from her hands and landed on the floor, making a barely audible sound. Etain jumped back in fright. Her hands flew over her mouth and her eyes widened in fear. She mouthed: I’m sorry! She began to sniffle.

Bailey shook her head. She crossed the room silently, taking the smaller woman in her arms. She whispered into Etain’s ear. "It’s okay. We just need to be quiet. Try to talk as little as possible. We should go sleep now; we have to be up early on the road tomorrow. Gotta get to Montana soon." She reassuringly stroked her companion’s short blonde hair gently until the sniffling subsided. "Mmm. You smell nice, Etain. Like baby powder." The taller woman closed her eyes and relaxed.

Etain looked up with slightly puffy eyes at her new friend. The blonde’s lips curved upward in a slight smile. "You smell very nice also, Bailey. All my favorite smells rolled into one… chocolate, perfume, honey, roses, a fresh spring morning…" Etain nodded jerkily, remembering her earlier gaffe. She looked at the bathroom door. "I’ll get ready for bed," she murmured. "I’m sorry I talk so much. That’s just how I am. Maybe I should let you go. I’m not helping your escape. You see, my mammy and all my teachers always complained that I talked too much. I was always getting into trouble at school and at home, always talking. Always talking, all the time. Nonstop. I’m like a television, never a moment’s peace from me. Mammy said I’d drive my future husband mad. She said with all my chattering I could even make a wall cry."

Etain gulped and reached for Bailey’s comforting hand. "Do you think that, Bailey? ‘Cause I like you and I don’t wanna annoy you. I like you, Bailey, really, I do. You’re so pretty and nice. The most beautiful woman I ever seen, even on TV. You have that great crooked smile and the most gorgeous and intense blue eyes. Do you think I talk too much or that I’ll drive my future husband mad? That won’t do. Not for Jeffie. He needs one daddy, forever. No divorces for me! I swear it. Jeffie needs a good proper home and upbringing and I’m going to do that for him. Gosh, I hope he doesn’t talk so much because we’d always be interrupting each other. I already interrupt myself too much. Mammy said that I have a gift for gab but that I really should learn not to run my mouth so much. It keeps on getting me in trouble but I do like cutting hair because I can talk all I want to my customers. Of course, unless they tell me to quit chattering. If they ask, then I just talk quietly, like in my mind, y’ know? Just chattering away right there in the attic and nobody knows. Except when I burst out laughing or whatever, then everybody’s liable to wonder what’s going on in my head. Mammy always said I was feather-minded and strange. Do you think that, Bailey? Gosh, I must be talking your ear off but it’s a cute ear. Anyone tell you how beautiful your ears are? They have those little fine hairs on them. Ooh! Can I style up your ears? It’ll be fun! Hoops, studs, piercings, cuffs, colorings. I know you have phallic issues but I won’t tell anyone you wear earrings. I saw a lot of men on television wearing earrings." She looked at Bailey meaningfully, conspirationally, with her eyebrows raised. She wasn’t the least bit out of breath. "I promise. From this day on! I won’t be talking too much. From this moment on! Wait a minute. If I say this moment and it’s already over by the time I say it then does it still count? Shouldn’t we all be saying from the next moment on? I think those fools saying from this second on are insane. Now, let me tell you a story from when I was a child. I was afraid of…"

Bailey interrupted the young woman once more, squeezing her shoulder lightly. Etain talked too much on occasion but the habit was endearing. Her facial expressions were cute and her voice was simply beautiful. "I’m interested in hearin’ all your stories but tonight we just need to get some shut eye. We can talk just a bit after we get into bed." Bailey’s eyes twinkled with amusement; her ears actually liked Etain’s chatter.

"Are we sleeping in shifts?"

"No. Why?" Bailey’s brow was furrowed and she puzzled over the odd question.

"It wouldn’t be proper, us sleeping together before tyin’ the knot, y’ know? And my future husband wouldn’t like it over much. But after I’m married, I’m sure it’ll be okay. You’ll always live with me! We’ll be a family. You, me, Jeffie, and Tom Paxton, whoever he is!"

Bailey raised a dark eyebrow in amusement and laughed quietly. "Indeed. Tom, is it? Well, don’t you think Tom would mind if I lived with y’all?"

"Of course not! You’re my bestest friend in the whole, wide world and Jeffie has your middle name! I’m sure if you get married and have children, we can all live together! Wouldn’t that be great! Fabulous! I’ve never had a best friend before. They all said I talked too much! Imagine!" Etain flapped her limp wrist around and rolled her eyes.

Bailey grinned widely. "You’re my best friend too, Etain. We’ll all live together and have kids. Umm… we got to sleep together. Only one bed and I ain’t sleeping on the floor."

"Bailey. You can’t keep trying to get into my panties. That won’t work. Ever heard of finesse? Style? Charisma? ‘Go to bed together.’ Gee! Can you be less original? I know you have phallic issues and all but you could do better. All the men on the soaps are so romantic and heavenly! So are the women!" Etain slapped Bailey’s arm and crossed her arms, glaring at the brunette, wondering why Bailey didn’t make a move. Egads, just one look from the intense woman set Etain’s heart aflutter and sent shivers up her spine. Not even Tom Cruise made her feel that way.

Bailey shook her head and rolled her eyes. "Ok. Fine. You can take care of yourself. I’m turning in. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks." Bailey headed into the bathroom and changed into a T-shirt. She did not notice Etain’s tapping foot and scowl. She hopped into bed and snuggled under the covers.

Etain growled and threw up her arms. "O-kay, fine. Have it your way. But you aren’t pulling any tricks!" She hastily undressed and threw on a sleeping shirt, loath to allow the dark-haired woman any sneak previews. Not until the wedding day! She slipped under the covers and slept as far away from Bailey as possible.


The next morning, Etain woke up, feeling a heavy weight on her chest. She had taken to sleeping strictly on her back after becoming pregnant so not to disturb her Jeffie. Her droopy eyelids slowly opened and she took in a tanned long arm draped across her breasts in a protective position. A long leg was firmly entangled with Etain’s own legs. Etain slowly turned her head and saw Bailey’s face, angel-like and innocent, sleeping scant inches away. The brunette’s pink lips were irresistible and Etain studied her companion for what seemed to be an eternity. A warm glowing feeling spread over the green-eyed woman’s body and she smiled lovingly. A kiss certainly couldn’t hurt and Bailey wouldn’t have to know.

Etain bent her head slowly and carefully. She gently parted the sleeping woman’s inviting lips and slipped her tongue inside. Etain closed her eyes and savored the softness of the other woman’s lips and mouth, feeling a warmth and moisture grow in her center.

Bailey’s eyes shot open and she stifled a gasp, not wanting to alert the green-eyed woman to her wakefulness. She relaxed her heart rate and gently moved her mouth across Etain’s supple lips, enjoying the sensation and devouring their softness. Etain was more charming and persuasive than Bailey cared to admit.

Bailey brought her hand up and cupped Etain’s cheek, grasping it firmly as she pressed her body onto the younger woman’s. Her lips left Etain’s and nibbled at her earlobe.

Etain felt ill, but it wasn’t morning sickness. It was a feeling she had never experienced before. Her stomach was queasy, her heart beat wildly, her lungs were short of breath, her stomach was tied into knots, and her whole being felt light and weightless. She tugged Bailey closer to her and showered kisses around her lips and along her jaw. Bailey chuckled softly and her mouth swooped down to capture Etain’s in a kiss as light and tender as a summer breeze.

Suddenly, Etain remembered what she was doing and withdrew rapidly. Quickly, panting heavily, she heaved herself out of the bed and stared at her companion in amazement.

Bailey’s blue eyes registered hurt and confusion. "I’m sorry. I thought you knew what you were doing. Guess you were just dreaming of that Tom Paxton." Her voice trembled with anger.

Etain swallowed as her stomach lurched. Morning sickness had never been like this before. This was more of a heavenly, addictive feeling…

Etain shook her head and bent down. She tilted the other woman’s chin up, meeting her pained gaze. "No! It isn’t that. I knew what I was doing. It’s just that we ain’t married all proper. Bailey, I feel so sick. I need to use the bathroom. I don’t think it’s the baby." Etain suddenly became pale and she waddled off to the water closet, leaving the door semi-open. She bent over the porcelain throne but came up with only dry heaves.

Bailey sat up in bed, conflicted. She wanted to go after Etain and comfort her, be with her. But on the other hand, she knew she had a mission to accomplish and she couldn’t be distracted, no matter what. She banged her head against the wall in frustration. "Ow! Dammit, that hurt! Fuck!"

Squeezing toothpaste onto a toothbrush, Etain heard the curses through the thin walls of the motel room. "Bailey Brunelle Paxton! Remember our fricking discussion about cursing in front of Jeffie! If I can hear you in here then he can too! Egads!" The blonde threw her hands up in exasperation.

Bailey groaned and threw her hands up as well. She growled and rubbed her sore spot. Her stomach was in jumbles. Whatever Etain had, it better not be contagious. She jumped out of bed and threw her clothes on, preparing her pregnant woman disguise. "Get dressed. We have five minutes before we gotta get on the road."

Etain poked her head out of the bathroom and stared nervously at the brunette. "Bailey, don’t be mad at me, please?" She rested her head against the doorway. "I wasn’t playing with you or anything. It was for real, the kiss. I like you, Bailey, even with your phallic issues and all." She raised her eyebrows in uncertainty.

Bailey shrugged. "It’s all right. I don’t care. I’m busy with my mission."

Etain scowled and marched over to the taller woman. She put her hands on her hips. "Don’t you give me any cow dung! That’s all you can say? Won’t you even give us a chance?" The pregnant woman sighed seriously. "I know I seem flaky and all but I know what my heart tells me, and it’s telling me that we go good together, like ice and cream. Bailey, we do." Etain stood on tiptoes and kissed her companion’s forehead.

Bailey stood there, stunned. Her jaw opened to utter some words but they didn’t come. Her eyes froze and her breathing became erratic. Etain giggled. "You look like possum caught in headlights before it becomes roadkill!"

The dark-haired woman swallowed. Her stomach clenched and she stumbled over words in her head, utterly in shock. She recovered and nodded. "We’ve known each other for a short time and already you want a relationship?"

Etain’s eyes clouded over. "You don’t like me? What was that in the bed? Were you just laying with me for the hell of it? You see how fate brought us together? You stole my van while I was still sleeping inside! You came along right when me and Jeffie needed someone." Etain poked a hard finger into Bailey’s chest. "And right when you needed someone too. Don’t you tell me you were about to bed me without…without… oh! It just ain’t right!"

Bailey gulped and started shaking. "Don’t be mad, Etain. I…I…I…"

Etain waved Bailey away. "Don’t tell me your mouth ain’t working. I can see it clear as day. You was just usin’ me! Oh!" She started wailing and crying, trembling with her fists balled up and her face mottling.

Bailey was momentarily speechless, angry at herself for causing the innocent and vulnerable Etain such unnecessary pain. She exhaled a big breath and embraced the smaller woman. "I do care for you, Etain Meredith Marvelle Tate. I do care. I’ve never been one for words and affection. I never was close to no one." Her lips curved upward in a small smile. "Do you mean it? We’re like ice and cream? That was always my favorite."

The blonde slowed her crying and relaxed her posture. "I g’durned mean it, Bailey Brunelle Paxton!" She grinned widely at her companion and wiped her tears away. "Aw, shucks, Bailey."

The taller woman chuckled, never imagining that she could feel so warm and gentle, yet so agitated at the same time. "Oh, sweetie." Bailey whispered into Etain’s hair. "You gotta forgive me if I’m rough on the edges. I ain’t no Ramon. Gimme some time, ‘kay?"

"We got all the time in the world!" Etain laughed cheerfully. "I ain’t no Juliette either, so we’s okay."


Bailey woke up from her nap in the newly stolen sedan. Her cheek was red from being pressed against the window. She stretched and cracked her back, rolling her neck. "Ahh. That was a nice nap. You ok?" She asked the driver.

Etain gripped the steering wheel and giggled. "I’m having fun! I love driving and holding you hostage. I did put down the gun on the seat." She pointed to the revolver, which was laying between the two women. "I was getting tired of holding it all the time. Anyhow, I was hoping we could stop soon."

"Sure, I don’t see why not." Bailey shrugged. Etain nodded excitedly and immediately pulled over to the shoulder. Bailey gave Etain a puzzled look. "I didn’t mean now."

"I gotta go; you know that. Hold on a second while I go over there." She grabbed a roll of tissue and started to step out of the car. Bailey moved to get out too and paused in mid-step as she saw Etain pointing the gun at a sheriff’s deputy. The deputy had parked her car behind the sedan and was now standing, paralyzed between the two vehicles.

The deputy threw up her hands and gulped. Etain smiled. This was her opportunity to play hostage/abductor. "She’s my hostage. Now you are too! Git down on the ground!"

Bailey’s eyes widened. She ran to the blonde and wrestled the gun out of Etain’s hands. "She’s joking. Nobody is anybody’s hostage."

"Bailey! Today’s my turn to hold you hostage! This ain’t fair! It ain’t!" She turned to the officer to plead her case. "We had an agreement. Three days a week, she’d be my hostage, and the other three days, I’d be hers! Then on Saturdays, we alternate! I should have put her in handcuffs!"

The deputy laughed and shook her head. "I don’t want a part in your sick little kinky games. I was just stopping to see if you all needed help. Why did you pull over?"

"I had to stretch." Spotting a smile on the brunette’s face, Etain scowled. "Don’t laugh, Julia!"

Bailey shrugged and smiled apologetically at the newcomer. "There’s no problem here. We’re just stopping for a stretch. We’ll be on our way shortly."

The deputy nodded and shook her head incredulously. "You better be careful waving that gun around. People might think it’s real." She laughed. "Have fun doing whatever it is that you are doing. Good day." She tipped her hat and got back in her car, roaring off in the dust.

Bailey turned to Etain and screamed. "Dammit! We have to be careful! Now we gotta change license plates or cars again. We’re lucky she was one of us! Not an alien." Bailey studied the landscape and sighed. "This land sure looks funny. The journal said that Montana had a lot of mountainous land. I don’t see none."

Etain shrugged. "Me either. We’re in Illinois. Maybe soon?"

Bailey paused and narrowed her eyes, releasing a tense breath. "Illinois? How did we reach Illinois? That’s on the other side of the country!"

"I took the road you told me to take. Highway 39 into Montana." Etain raised her eyebrows innocently.

"Nooooo!" Bailey wailed. "No! I said Highway 93! The alien takeover is very soon and now we have even less time to get to Montana and get ready. We might be too late to resist the alien movement!" She threw her arms out and gestured wildly. "I’m driving now. We gotta make double time."

"I’m hungry and I gotta tinkle. Can we at least stop for dinner?" Etain asked hopefully.

"No. We’ll stop at a convenience store, get a few things and eat on the road." Bailey shook her head resolutely.

Etain sighed resignedly. "Okay. But when Jeffie is born, we’re going to set a better example for him!"

"Of course, Etain. Of course. We couldn’t let Jeffie go around eating that kind of shit." Bailey grinned.

Etain raised an eyebrow and waggled her finger at the brunette. "Language, Bailey. Language."


Etain stood at the candy counter, her face scrunched with a mystified expression. "This is a tough choice." She spoke to no one but herself. There were so many options and Jeffie liked them all. "Jeffie, no candy for you. Mama’ll share with you. Hmmm….ooh. Haven’t had that in a long time! Chocolate with peanuts. I’ll get that. What do you think, Jeffie?"

Bailey stood on the other side of the aisle, studying her choices of processed foods and enjoying Etain’s one-sided conversation with the unborn child. The younger woman finally settled on her choices and joined Bailey in the refrigerated section. "I wish they had sardine sandwiches or at least cooked ham hocks. Looks like I’ll have to lower my standards for a ham sandwich. Are you going to ham it up too?"

Bailey chuckled. "I was thinking of seafood salad."

"Ooh. You can’t possibly eat all that! Eating all the food you ever seen. You’d be bloated!" Etain looked worried.

Bailey shrugged. "I’m a big girl, sweetie. I can take care of myself." She started to collect all of the sandwiches on the shelf, but was interrupted by Etain’s nails digging into her forearm.

Etain was shaking with fear and her teeth were chattering. "B…b…Bailey. The head alien."

Bailey stiffened and dropped all of the sandwiches. She turned around slowly, readying herself for a fight to the death. Indeed, the head alien had hunted her down personally. He was a tall, paunchy man with black hair and sideburns. He stood in the middle of the aisle and strolled cockily towards the two women.

"Elvis. Damn. Looks like we’ve become important enough to the resistance movement for them aliens to come after me," Bailey whispered and chewed her lower lip. She contemplated their escape. "Maybe something happened to them folks in Montana?"

Etain giggled nervously and hid halfway behind the taller woman. "What do we do? I left the gun in the car."

Bailey gulped as terror began to paralyze her. "Fu—Da—Double-darn."

"Ooh. Such upset words." Etain sniggered.

"Shh." Bailey straightened up as the Elvis-look alike reached them and grabbed a sandwich from the shelf. He was garbed in tight, white sequined clothes and dark, round sunglasses covered his eyes.

"Hi, y’all. Look like you saw a ghost. Don’t worry. I’m not really Elvis. I’m just in town for the impersonation contest. Name’s Dude Don. I’m from Helena, Montana." He swaggered to the counter and turned around, facing the two women.

Bailey breathed a small sigh of relief. "Montana, you say? So…how is it in Montana? A lot of people?"

"Yeah. A lot of them coming into Montana. Good place to settle down, raise a family. Y’all going there? Look me up. I’m in the book. Dude Don. Later, babes." He grinned, exposing a row of gold teeth. He made the Star Trek hand shape and swaggered out of the convenience store without waiting for their answer.

Etain let go of Bailey’s arm and blew out a breath. "Gosh, Bailey."

Bailey smiled. "He was one of us. He’ll meet us up in Montana. Let’s get our food." They both grinned in relief and shook their heads in tandem.

Once they were back in the car, Bailey started the engine. Etain seemed overly nervous and wound up. Bailey shot her a quizzical look. "’Fess up. What’s on your mind?" The blonde’s hands were trembling and Bailey covered them concernedly. "What? Tell me." She brought her lips to Etain’s fingers and nuzzled them softly. "I’ll try my best to make it all better."

Finally, Etain ventured to look at her companion. "Promise you won’t git scared or run off like my dog Missus Mollie did?"

Bailey grinned. "’Course not. Nuthin’ can scare me, not even them aliens or guvment agents." She stroked Etain’s cheek lightly.

Etain swallowed. "When we was in the store and I thought Elvis was gonna kill us, I got real frightened. I thought maybe we’d die or you’d git killed."

"Hey, now." Bailey gently rubbed Etain’s thigh with her thumb. "We’ll be fine, sweetie. I promise."

Etain frowned and looked concernedly into the older woman’s eyes. "That ain’t all. My heart is beating like a jackrabbit and it won’t stop. My stomach, it’s tied up in knots and I can hardly stand on my own two feet. I just feel like fainting. I’ve never felt better in my life, Bailey. I’m in love with you."

Bailey froze immediately and a strange look, a combination of shock and fear, entered her eyes.

Etain’s chin quivered. "Forget I said that."

"No!" Bailey yelped and inhaled sharply. A rush of pink stained her cheeks and tillitation shot through her veins. A silly grin appeared on her features. "No, don’t. I wouldn’t have it any other way, sweetie. I feel the exact same way… I can’t think straight. I can hardly drive or even eat! Bet I couldn’t shoot good either."

"Really? Are you going to make a proper woman outta me?" Etain resisted the urge to squeeze Bailey and instead snuck a sideways glance at her friend.

"Yeah, I will. Once we get to Montana." Bailey leaned over and took the younger woman in her arms. "I don’t wanna see you worry your pretty little face."

"You’ll raise Jeffie as your own?" Doubt peppered Etain’s soft voice.

"Of course. But we gotta work on the name. I still don’t like Jeffie."

Etain looked up impishly, grinning with sudden realization. "You sure is lucky your last name’s Paxton! If it wasn’t Paxton but was Smith or Jones or Xiangdong or Raskeshiskisha then I couldn’t marry you! Jeffie needs a proper family, with us gitting all same names and all brothers and sisters!"

"Yeah. I’m glad my name is Paxton!" Bailey played along with Etain’s logic, hoping the best dream of her life would never end.


The state of Montana is a sparsely populated, with an average of 6.1 residents per square mile for a total of less than one million inhabitors of its 147,000 or so miles. Its biggest city is Billings, with a population of about 100,000.

But that doesn’t matter, because Etain, Bailey, and Jeffie never got to Montana.

Ironically enough, they were abducted by aliens. I suppose it’s true what they say: believe in it enough, and it’ll happen.

Etain snored while Bailey drove on a deserted backwoods road in South Dakota, one of the states bordering Big Sky Country. It was night and owls hooted in anticipation of the wee hours of the morning. A great big full moon shone above in the black sky. The dark-haired woman could practically feel and taste Montana on her lips. Bailey hummed cheerfully and tapped her fingers against the steering wheel, occasionally glancing over to check on her beautiful Etain. Her ears felt empty without the smaller woman’s voice tickling them. She would much rather stare at Etain and memorize the details, the contours of her perfect face, but she had to keep her eyes focused on the road. They were going to be so happy. Bailey would have the family she never had and she would love Etain and Jeffie with all her heart.

Bailey was daydreaming about a leisurely stroll with Etain in the warm springtime. They walked hand-in-hand, and Bailey stopped every few feet or so to pluck flowers for her beloved. Etain would blush and avert her gaze shyly. And of course, the younger woman chattered a mile a minute. Bailey wouldn’t have her any other way.

Then the car broke down. Just like that, right in the middle of the road. "Frick!" Bailey yelled and angrily tried to get the sedan going again. She tried twice and pounded her fist against the steering wheel when her attempts failed.

Etain’s eyelids fluttered and she woke up, yawning and extending her limbs drowsily. "Hey-ho." She rubbed the sleep out of her face and assessed the situation. "Goodness shakes! Car broke down in the middle of nowhere, didn’t it?"

"Yes!" Bailey’s voice was a cross between a wail and a whimper. "It’ll be ok. I’ll get out and check around." She spoke more to reassure herself than to mollify the perpetually optimistic Etain. She grinned and laid a kiss on her woman’s cheek, then got out of the car.

Etain stepped out as well, needing to use the bathroom. "Bailey!" The younger woman gasped, pointing to the sky. "What’s that?" She grabbed her companion’s hand.

Bailey glanced up and her heart became cold with ice. A huge saucer swept through the cottony black sky and was descending upon them. The sphere made a grinding, clicking sound and emanated a purple glow.

Bailey couldn’t move, and neither could Etain. They could just stare and listen, paralyzed… so beautiful, the sound was so melodic… hypnotizing… Bailey and Etain joined hands as they were sucked into the saucer.

But don’t worry. They lived happily ever after.


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