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Bette had taken Tina to her bedroom and dressed her before laying her down and holding her as she slept. Bette stayed awake staring at her angelic face. Tina slept for a little more than an hour before she began to stir. Bette gently stroked the hair around her face as Tina’s eyes began to flutter. When she finally opened them the first thing she saw was Bette’s smiling face. “Hello beautiful.” Bette said with a soft kiss to Tina’s lips.
Tina yawned and stretched before returning Bette’s kiss with a kiss of her own and rubbing her nose with Bette’s. “Hi B.”
Bette runs her fingertips lightly down Tina’s spine as she speaks softly. “Are you feeling better Baby? Are you hungry? Do you want some dinner?”
Tina looks down in shame thinking back to all that transpired as soon as Shane walked through the door with food. She looks back up with tears in her eyes. “I’m so sorry Bette. I don’t know what came over me. I felt so angry and then I was feeling overwhelmed – I kept thinking about your pain and then I was thinking about my pain… I felt so disconnected to what I was doing and saying; like I was doing it, but it wasn’t me – I had no control.” Tina suddenly becomes panicked remembering that she hit Shane. “Oh my god! Bette! I didn’t… I was angry, but I didn’t mean to hurt Shane. Is she okay? Did I hurt her bad? How hard did I hit her? Oh god… I’m not… I’m not her Bette. I would never hit you; I would never hurt you. I swear Bette. I’m not Candace. I don’t know why I hit Shane – I’m not a violent person. I’ve never hit someone like that before. Please Bette, don’t be afraid of me. Please–”
Bette cuts off Tina’s panic and fear induced ramblings. “Hey, hey, hey. It’s okay Tina. I’m not angry with you and I’m most certainly not afraid of you. I know you would never hurt me Baby; and I know you weren’t really trying to hurt Shane. Your emotions are all over the place right now – it’s not your fault. You’re dealing with a hell of a lot right now; it’s okay that you didn’t have the healthiest reaction today, and I’m glad you’re with me because your safe to react however you need without fear of consequence. Honestly, it was probably selfish and stupid of me to share my past with you today. I had no intention of going through that history today, but I was thrown by Kate’s visit. I don’t regret sharing that part of my life with you; you’re the first person I’ve opened up to about it and I feel lighter already for having exposed that truth to you. However, I should have waited until you were better before I did. You have some very fresh wounds, and it feels like I’ve just poured salt on them. I’m sorry Tina.”
Tina’s soft hand caresses my cheek. “Don’t apologize Baby. I’m glad you shared with me, and I’m glad you don’t regret it. I do have very fresh wounds, and some old scabs as well, but hearing about your pain and knowing what you’ve overcome was helpful. It makes me feel like you can understand my pain, and it gives me a deeper understanding of you. Plus, it makes me feel super connected to you knowing you’ve trusted me above all others with this information. Please don’t think you did something wrong, or that you’re to blame for my reaction today because you shared. We all have demons and I think we’ll be able to help one another more now that some of them are out in the open.”
Bette smiles at Tina’s loving response. “Thank you, Baby. You’re so wise and I love you.”
“I love you too Bette.”
Bette and Tina lay in each other’s arms for several minutes exchanging soft and tender kisses. Before Bette speaks again. “Let’s go find Shane and eat dinner together. I think we could all use a little conversation.”
“You’re right Bette. I’m still angry with her, but I owe her an apology – I should have never put my hands on her. I don’t want to stay mad at her, I’ve really been enjoying getting to know her and I’m excited about working together. I’m going to try really hard to work through this anger I feel because I know how much she means to you.”
“Thank you, Tina; that really means a lot to me.”
Bette and Tina pull themselves from the bed. “Okay, you go grab Shane and I’ll set out dinner.”
Bette pulls Tina in for a warm embrace and final kiss. “Mm, okay. We’ll meet you in the dining room.”
Tina makes her way to the kitchen to plate up dinner as Bette makes her way to Shane hoping the fragile young woman isn’t too hurt to open up and join them for dinner.