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Bette was in her kitchen, dipping a camomile tea bag in some hot water and endlessly replaying what had just happened when her phone buzzed. She checked the wall clock: nine-thirty. Maybe it was Tina. Texting to say . . . well, anything. Her pulse quickened, but then she figured saying nothing was more Tina’s m.o. No, it was probably Dani. Or Angie, angling to stay over at Jordi’s.
She bit her lip as she went to get the handset, itchy again at the feelings of unease that Jordi stirred in her.
U up for a visit? x
Shane. Bette closed her eyes in relief. It was so good to have Shane back in LA. She could scarcely believe how good it was, how much she had missed her. Alice was Angie’s earthmother, and very, very dear to Bette, but Shane – Shane got her.
Christ, yes x Bette replied.
She put the phone down and quickly wondered whether to actually suggest to Angie that she could stay at Jordi’s if she wanted to, so that she could have a whisky and talk to Shane without worrying about being overheard. But then she shook her head.
‘Priorities, Mama B,’ she muttered, then took her tea back to her study.
It was a matter of days till the election and, although the poll numbers looked okay, it was undeniable that she’d harmed her campaign with the way she’d handled her affair with Felicity Adams.
That woman. That was what Tina had said. ‘Are you still seeing that woman?’
Bette stood behind her desk, sipping tea and gazing at a framed photo of her, Kit and Angie at the beach. The pain of losing Kit was a daily burden which her campaign had helped her bear. But now she was beginning to fear what it might be like if she lost.
Her mind flashed on Felicity’s face when she’d ended it. Was she wrong to do that? Did they have a future? Sometimes she wondered if she’d lost the capacity to trust anyone again. And maybe – just maybe – the whole sneaking-around thing should really be beneath her dignity by now.
She picked up the photo, touched Kit’s face and mouthed I miss you. And then she sat down to do some work. Tina shitshow or no Tina shitshow, she had to somehow get her head back in the game, not just for herself, but for Kit.