The tawny coated Earth pony slept deeply. Her fiery red mane was spread all over the pillows and her lengthy tail emerged from the rumpled bedding. A gentle whinny of a snore sounded regularly as the bedroom door slowly opened.
"This will never do." said Sunflower Meadows as she entered her friend and employer's bedroom. "Wakey-wakey!" she called as her horn glowed. The curtains parted, letting in brilliant mid afternoon sunlight.
Pay Dirt groaned. "You're fired!" she said for perhaps the three thousandth time in their year's long partnership.
"Not if I quit first." The pale blue Unicorn said with a grin as she tossed her shimmering black mane. "Now get that rump out of bed."
"Why did Celestia raise the sun so darn early today?" Pay Dirt grumbled as she tried to focus bleary eyes on her bedside clock. "It's only three!"
"That's three PM, I'll have you know."
Pay Dirt struggled from beneath the covers to stare at her Mare Friday. "What? Why did you let me sleep so late, Sunny?"
"Somepony stayed up far too late studying the metallurgical assays from her latest mine acquisitions." Sunflower said with a sweet smile. "I thought you needed your rest."
"I hate late night paperwork." Pay Dirt said as she finally emerged from her tangled bedding. "It's about time I head out again. I need the thrill of following a seam!"
"I know. You want to be out in the wilderness, digging another hole in some dank dark cave."
"How can you call it digging a hole?" Pay Dirt snorted. "You just haven't experienced the joy of scenting out the perfect place for the first swing of the pick-axe. You never felt the thrill of following a quartz vein through warm living rock. What if my nose failed me? Will the vein taper off, or will my trusty olfactory senses lead me onto the mother load?"
"If I want gold, I don't need to smell it out. I just go to a jewelry shop."
"Sunny, you lack poetry in your soul."
"I also lack a dusty coat and dirt in my mane."
"That too." Pay Dirt laughed. "Why do you put up with me?"
The Unicorn smiled. "Maybe it's because I know all of your little secrets." Her horn glowed again, and a silver tray drifted into the room.
"Sunny, you're the best!" Pay Dirt said as she sat her rump back on the bed, and used both front hooves to pick up the large steaming mug of coffee. "When was the last time I gave you a raise?"
"Just last week, I do believe." Sunflower said haughtily. Horn glowing, her glasses lifted from her face, and a cloth polished the gleaming lenses. Replacing the glasses before her eyes, she finished quite smugly. "It had something or other to do with my attention to detail when presenting oral reports."
Pay Dirt's ears gave a twitch. "Is that what you call it?"
"Boss, you know you love my oral."
Pay Dirt giggled. "Sunny, your tongue is simply 24 karat!"
"I bet you say that to all the Fillyfoolers." Sunflower said coyly."
"Nope, just to the golden tongued vixen that drives me crazy." Pay Dirt smiled bashfully. "I've never yet found a stallion with a tongue as long and supple as yours, Sunny."
"Then I retract my last statement." Sunflower smiled happily. While she and Boss both frequently enjoyed the pleasures that only a stallion could bring, they had vowed since foalhood that all other fillies were off limits. They were the only mares good enough for each other. Her horn glowed as she adjusted her glasses. "Boss, I feel slighted. You forgot talented."
"That goes without saying, so stop fishing for compliments!" Pay Dirt took another sip of coffee, stared at the mug, and then looked up in alarm. "Sunny, do you feel okay? Quick, go get some fresh air!"
"Boss, I'm fine!" Sunflower sighed. "My morning sickness thankfully lives up to its name, and you're such a late sleeper." She looked a bit green about the muzzle but managed a smile. "I never noticed before how much that noxious brew stinks, but I can hold it down." She gritted her teeth. "I hope."
Pay Dirt gulped the hot beverage, trying to finish it fast. She glanced at her friend's tummy when the cup was finally empty. "You're starting to show now, aren't you?" She giggled. "You're getting a bit pudgy in the tummy."
"Oh, it's so nice of you to notice." Sunflower said a bit sharper than she intended.
"I didn't mean it like that!" Pay Dirt said hastily. "You look adorable."
"I look like I'm getting fat!" Sunflower whined. "My favorite winter saddle doesn't fit any more!"
"Well, it's not my fault you let yourself be topped while you were in heat. What were you thinking? You acted like a filly in her first season with that Palace Guard! I tried to get you to come home, but you wouldn't listen to reason!"
Sunflower sighed. "Then when I did get home, you lectured me for hours about how you always had self control, even back in the old days!"
"I always did!" Pay Dirt insisted. "When I was in my season, clients had to settle for hoof-jobs, oral, or even sometimes anal if they were cute and had enough bits to spend! You know what I always say! When my oven is preheating, I don't let a single drop of baby-batter in!"
"Of course I know your perverse little saying!" Sunflower said hotly. "I was your numbers pony, even back when you were turning tricks for a living! Besides, did I ever get knocked up when I took on the occasional client when you were booked solid?" She sniffed back her tears. "I just got a little carried away this time! I knew I could get knocked up, but decided it was worth the risk! Boss, I love you, but just who in Tartarus are you to make judgments about me?"
Pay Dirt was dismayed by her normally even tempered friend's outburst. Sunny was a raging sea of emotions these days as her body changed to cherish the foal within. She carefully put her mug down. Getting off of the bed, she went to Sunflower's side. "I'm sorry, beautiful. Everypony can see that motherhood suits you. You're glowing!" She said softly as she rubbed her neck against her friend's, and entwined her tail around Sunny's. "I have no business commenting on your choices in life. I love you, but you are your own pony. You know I'll support you and your foal in every way equinely possible!"
Sunflower calmed down and the smile returned to her lovely face. "Oh pooh, flattery will get you anything, Boss. You know I can't stay mad at you. It's all these pesky hormones. I don't know if I'm coming or going. Last night I think I ate my weight in ice cream as a midnight snack!"
"I know. I was there." Pay Dirt said, looking a little queasy herself. "I never saw anypony eat pickles and cocktail onions with peach ice cream, chocolate sauce, smothered in sour cream and topped with a radish before. Remember? Who held your mane out of the way when you galloped to the bathroom and whooped it back up? I thought I was gonna die when you trotted right back to the kitchen and made another nightmare sundae! I ended up having a sympathy tummy ache."
"I held down the second one. It must have been because I added hot mustard." Sunflower said with a grin. "Now I'm getting hungry! Anyway, you know I like a stallion in uniform. I just couldn't resist when one of Celestia's finest saluted me without lifting a hoof, if you know what I mean."
"Well, I did notice he was quite, uh, gifted."
"Gifted? He was hung like a manticore!" Sunflower said with a giggle. "By the way, your mom sent me another letter. She says I should strike while the iron is hot. Marrying a member of the royal guard would be a perfect way for me to move up in society."
Pay Dirt groaned. "That's Gold Digger for you! Mom thinks everypony should benefit from her special talent."
"What, getting rich ponies to pamper her?"
"Exactly!" Pay Dirt laughed. "How do you think I got my name? When daddy didn't pull out in time, mom insisted he make an honest mare out of her. The marriage didn't last long, you know how mom can be, but she knew she was financially set for life!"
"How is Filthy Rich?" Sunflower asked. "He sure is cute for an older stallion."
"Oh, daddy recently moved back to the family seat in Ponyville and remarried. His new wife just gave birth to my half sister. She's a lovely little filly they named Diamond Tiara." Pay Dirt snorted. "Mom claims he robbed the stable, just because his new mare is so young. I think she's a little jealous, but will never admit it."
"Your mom is a stubborn one." Sunny sighed. "She keeps trying to get me to tell her the name of the father."
Pay Dirt struggled to keep the grin off of her face. "But you never will ... Because?"
Ears twitching in embarrassment, Sunflower bowed her head. "In the heat of, well, my heat, I sort of forgot to ask his name."
"Willy dilly, thank you filly." Pay Dirt couldn't help a giggle after reciting the old rhyme about quickie anonymous sex. "Sorry, there's no shame in that." She gave Sunflower a gentle little kiss. "Back in the day, I never knew the name of several of my best clients."
"At least you got paid!"
"Sunny, I'd say you got paid." She continued in a much softer voice. "Who was it months ago that soaked my mane when she cried herself to sleep thinking it was too late for a dedicated career mare to start a family?" Pay Dirt smiled. "Not that I minded holding you all night long. You're a cuddly wench, even when sad."
Sunflower couldn't help a smug little smile. "Yes, you're right. He paid me in something far more important than bits" She looked down under herself at her gently swelling tummy. "Momma can't wait to meet you, sweetie!"
.... There is more of this story ...