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He put his palms together like a prayer. Tina smiled at his innocence.
In the lot, Tina’s car was closer to the clubhouse than Bette’s, so they stopped there first. She put her bag on the passenger seat and closed the door on it before coming back round to say goodbye.
Bette remarked that it had been a strange day. Tina murmured a vague agreement, but found it hard to meet her ex’s eye.
‘Would you like to do it again?’ Bette asked.
‘Oh, I don’t know. I don’t . . . I don’t know.’
They stood for a moment, Bette looking at Tina, Tina looking at the ground.
They both stopped, then Bette gestured for Tina to go first.
‘I just want to say that you shouldn’t put any store in anything I said last weekend. I was tired and stressed and the truth is Carrie and I are making progress, so I think I . . . I think we should consider everything to be exactly as it was.’
Bette said nothing. Tina went into babbling mode.
‘I just think – well, worry really – that one of the reasons you seem so happy right now is because you think we’re on the outs, me and Carrie, and we’re not, so . . . And it’s not like you’re available either, so . . . wow, this is not I wanted to say!’ She flushed deep pink. ‘Look, I just want to be clear that what I said isn’t true.’ She held up her hands. ‘You’re happy, I’m happy, Angie likes our partners . . . Let’s celebrate the wins!’
She made a fist and laughed. Bette watched her, her head slightly on one side, a move so familiar, so lowkey sexy, that Tina felt her knees turn to vapour.
‘I had a good time today,’ Bette said. ‘Even before you got here, with your terrible foul language, which I of course find shocking . . .’ Tina smiled. ‘But I don’t know, I – I feel like I could like this.’ She looked round at the lush, green surroundings, the sleek glass clubhouse, the expensive cars. ‘I mean . . . how about that?’
Tina laughed. The fact that Bette was using almost the exact same words that she’d used earlier was striking. The hint it gave that they were both open to discovery. That neither of them was quite who they thought they were.