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“Tina, I feel nothing for Dani except a friendship. She’s young enough to be my daughter for Christ sake. She’s engaged to a producer from Alice’s show.” Bette laments. “I guess I can relate to her at some level because she lost her mother when she was a child as I did. She’s got an overbearing father just like Melvin. So, I get her insecurity about her parents.”
“Yes, your father was definitely a challenge,” Tina remembered all too well. In that regard she was empathetic towards Dani. “You still might want to be careful around her.”
“I will never get involved with anyone else that I work with or who works for me.” Bette says determination evident on her face. “Truthfully, by this point in my life, I’m beyond that.”
“I hope so for your sake.” Tina thinks back to all those women over the years that have looked longingly at Bette – wanting Bette – wanting to fuck Bette – wanting Bette to fuck them.
“Christ, I have paid my dues over and over again and finally learned my fucking lesson.”
“You might want to tell Dani that.”
“I will. Besides,” Bette’s expression turns serious as she gazes at Tina and softly speaks her next reply. Her hands now folded on top of the table. “Tina, after I meet you, I never noticed other women. I only had eyes for you.”
Tina snaps her head in Bette’s direction, stunned by her admission. She takes a minute to let Bette’s confession settle between them. By the expressive look on Bette’s face Tina knows she’s telling the truth.
“Bette, I…I” Tina starts.
“It’s okay.” Bette reaches out to touch Tina’s hand. “I don’t expect you to say anything. I know that now is not the time to discuss our personal problems. I’ve got this campaign to concentrate on right now.”
“Yes.” Tina agrees. “We, um… we need to stay focused.”
“You want to tell me your plan on how to handle this latest crisis?”
“Actually,” Bette begins, not wanting to upset Tina with more personal admissions at this time, “there are many different options ……”
Backstory on the Peabody’s’
Years ago, Bette had met the extremely wealthy businesswoman and philanthropist Peggy Peabody when Bette was Director of the CAC in LA. At that time, Bette was attempting to secure the right to display the Provocations Art Exhibit that Peggy controlled. Although Bette wasn’t initially successful with her first request to procure the exhibit, Peggy was instantly impressed with Bette’s knowledge of the art world and her determination to succeed. They clicked intellectually. Peggy came to regard Bette as a successful business woman in her own right and took her under her wing for career guidance. Peggy had intervened with the board of the CAC when they first tried to remove Bette from her directorship. Later, she assisted and mentored Bette in her career when needed often offering advice and suggestions.