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“Don’t worry about the wine, lady. I’m not really a kid.”

She simmers for a second, then: *Wonder*lady if you please.” She tries to stop simmering, crosses her legs, assumes a even haughtier if more subdued tone. “I’m a pro-per superhero after all. Like Superduper Man.”

“Realllly?” Billie Jean Kidd fakes, since she’s not really a fan of that genre. “Telll me mooorrr (!).” (*sip*)

“First you have to tell me something,” Wonderlady bargains, falling for the trap. “Who is that green *lady* back there on the bed. Is she sick?”

“She has a Little Bug — that’s all I’m allowed to say.” Snickering inside here from our old friend, a kid who is not a kid indeed. A lady as well: young, old, everything in-between, and then add a dog and perhaps that other thing to top it off. Shapeshifter in a word. That’s why she’s a member of the Black Lake Gang, recruited originally by gangster pals Marion Star Harding and Phillip Strevor, the *louts*. She hasn’t seen them since Rose Heaven. They promised so much; delivered so little. She had to part ways, ask for a reassignment. And here she was. With the alien. Ruby. Her *bug*.

“So not too serious a bug.” Wonderlady starts to feel the wounds forming again. She must be close to something.

“Oh it’s *serious*. But indeed Little. Little in a different way, though. Like, see, *I’m* a kid.” Billie Jean Kidd was revealing so much without revealing anything at all she had to stifle a laugh here. “But I’m really not a kid. And I’m *serious* about that.” She couldn’t help herself. She let out 3 quick laughs, like fake ones except not. The cover was still in place, as Wonderlady then said:

“I’m going to the loo (restroom). Cover for me.”

When Wonderlady went into the bathroom to check her body for new openings, Billie Jean Kidd looked over at Ruby Alien and winked at her, which was reciprocated. The game continues…

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