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Waking up on Sunday morning, Tina realised that this was the first time in a very long time that she didn’t feel burdened. Or rather, she was aware that she finally felt her burden clearly. And she knew what she had to do to try to free herself from it.
She picked her phone up and saw that she had a missed call and a text from Bette.
Yes. A trillion times, yes. x
She put her hand over her mouth. ‘Oh God,’ she whispered. ‘Oh, thank God.’ Trying to steady her trembling, she sat back on the bed. She closed her eyes. This is it. This is my chance at fixing it. She stayed still for a long moment, focusing on her breathing to try and stem the jumble of thoughts, ideas, feelings, hopes, dreads, everything that rushed in. Then she looked at the message again. Screencapped it, as she often did with messages she treasured, and texted back: I love you so much. Speak soon. x
Aware that it was almost eight-thirty and she’d have to be on the road by ten, she showered and dressed casually in a sky-blue summer dress with sandals before going downstairs to Helena’s private kitchen for breakfast.
In Oregon, Dani Nunez could not believe her ears: Bette Porter, hot ex-boss and all-round general alpha goddess, was snoring. Admittedly, it was quite light, and sort of vaguely musical, but really what was irritating Dan most about this situation was that Bette was asleep at all.
She turned over in her bed for about the hundredth time and pulled the fluffy duvet tight around her ears. It was broad daylight. They’d arrived around four a.m., in darkness, and what Dani had thought was silence, but since then she’d come to realise that nature is a noisy bastard when it gets going. Owls, a deer, something that scratches, more birds, a clicking thing. And Bette sleeping and snoring through the lot.
Of course, the real problem was Sophie. Dani’s brain would not switch off the perpetual showreel of their entire relationship. In particular, it wouldn’t switch off the look on Sophie’s face when she’d finally let Dani persuade her to just go get married in Hawaii. But how . . .? How could she not have noticed that this Sophie-person saying yes was not the Sophie she knew? That something was really badly wrong?