This story has been set to a rating of PG-13. Age verification is required to proceed.
(Bette) You see, there’s no risk from her
(Tina) That is so far from the fucking point here. Her knowing is enough. More than enough. You obviously already see this – if you really thought it was fine you wouldn’t have felt the need to hide it from me
They stare back at each other.
(Tina) You may be fine with her knowing this, but I am absolutely not. We are not in the same position here Bette. The next time she needs something from me, or wants to pressure me, she can lean on me with this
There is another silent moment, each staring intently at the other. Tina is trying to maintain her composure while furious with Bette, and Bette is struggling to keep her emotions at bay.
(Tina) I don’t even know why I’m telling you this, you fucking know this
(Bette) She can’t expose you without also exposing me, which she would never do. I’m too important to her. If I thought that this would affect you or compromise you in any way I would obviously have told you
(Tina) Again, not your decision to make! This is my career Bette. This arrangement continuing was always dependent on it remaining secret, and the goddam Speaker of the House knowing is probably worst case fucking scenario for me!
They silently stare at each other once more. Tina is losing control of her composure as the conversation continues.
(Tina) My position means that if I am compromised it brings the entire editorial direction of the New York fucking Times into disrepute. Do you understand the enormity of that? I cannot be beholden to any politician, let alone to the Speaker of the fucking House
(Bette) Are you not beholden to me?
Tina stops and looks at her.
(Tina) I’m sorry is that a threat?
(Bette) Jesus, of course not Tina! I’m just pointing out that I’m not sure you can speak so righteously on this given your behaviour here has already put you in a position of a politician having something over you
Tina considers Bette’s words for a moment.
(Tina) That still sounds like a threat
(Bette) For fuck’s sake. I am clearly not threatening you. Is this again a situation where we should step away, calm down and talk another time?
They stand together in silence for a long while both looking downwards, taking in the situation and taking a moment to gather their thoughts.
Tina speaks first, almost to herself and still looking towards the floor while slowly shaking her head.
(Tina) I can’t believe you have done this
Bette stands still for a moment, continuing to look downwards with her hands on her hips and her eyes glistening, trying to compose herself.
(Bette) I thought you would end it
Tina sighs and looks up at her.
(Tina) Of course I would have ended it
Bette raises her eyes and they look at one another.
(Tina) Which is exactly what I’m doing right now
Tina gives her a long look and then turns back towards the front door.
Bette stands still, listening to her gather her belongings and the front door closing behind her.