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Bette didn’t want to be spotted meeting up with Joyce Wischnia, so she took a risk and asked the lawyer to pick a venue. Even so, Greenblatt’s deli in West Hollywood was not where she expected to find herself this Wednesday lunchtime.
‘Bette!’ Joyce was sitting in a corner of the raised seating area. Bette went towards her. The place was packed, so Joyce stood up. ‘Bette! Over here!’
Bette half waved back. She was never sure how much her run for mayor had made her recognisable in the city, but in her entire life she had never wanted to be associated with anyone wearing a lime-green motorcycle jacket.
‘Bette! Sit the heck down!’ Joyce ushered her into the seat opposite. ‘Well, well! Bette Porter!’ She pumped Bette’s hand. ‘My God . . . how the hell are you?’
‘Fine,’ Bette said, wondering why Joyce was acting as if they hadn’t seen one another for decades when in fact it had been about two months.
‘How long’s it been, Bette?’
‘About two months.’
‘It was January, Joyce.’ The lawyer looked blank. ‘My fundraiser? At the Abbey?’
Joyce pointed her finger. ‘That’s right. Wow. Y’know, I think I erased that entire campaign as soon as you lost.’
Bette decided to take that on the chin, but in any case their server had arrived. Joyce ordered a turkey club while Bette went for a Cobb salad, hold the bacon.
‘C’mon, Bette . . .’ Joyce winked. ‘Little bit of salt and fat.’
The server looked at Bette but she shook her head and the man left.
‘Well,’ Bette said, indicating the room, ‘this is an interesting choice.’
‘My band just finished a rehearsal right over there.’ Joyce pointed out the window at a recording studio across the street.
‘Your b- band?’ Bette repeated, half turning but not sure she’d heard correctly.
‘The Wischbones,’ Joyce beamed, framing a billboard in the air. ‘Five-piece all-girl rockabilly with a mariachi twist.’ She handed Bette an actual stack of business cards. ‘We’re a little rough, only been going two weeks, but spread the word.’
Bette stared at the cards and mumbled, ‘Okay . . . well, uh, thanks for meeting at such short notice. I must say I was surprised you were free.’