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“Thank god.” Shane nods as if that’s a good thing.
The group chuckles along with Quiara and Shane.
The friends and family talk some more about what is going on in their lives until Jason, Pierce’s assistant motions for Tina to follow him. Tina excuses herself from the group. She tells Angie she’ll be right back and walks with Jason to a small room off to the side where Bette, Dani and Pierce are gathered.
“Hey.” Tina smiles as she enters the room with Jason. He closes the door behind them. “What’s happening?”
“We just lost a big district.” Bette rubs her forehead in frustration.
“How bad?” Tina asks.
“Milner’s now ahead by 3% points.” Dani answers as she pours over reports and is refreshing the election website page.
“How much of the vote is in?” Tina asks.
“About 35%.” Pierce answers. “Still too early to call.”
“But we needed that district.” Dani waves her hands in the air. “We were counting on it. Shit.”
“Yes we did.” Bette purses her lips in agreement. “But we’ll have to win without it now.”
“What are the chances?” Tina asks, biting her lower lip.
“We still have a chance if Bette gets the support of a few more districts.” Pierce nods as he looks at the updates on Dani’s tablet along with her.
By this time Tina has made her way to Bette’s side and wraps her right arm around the brunette. Bette places a quick kiss on the side of Tina’s forehead and lops her arm around Tina also. Dani, Pierce and Jason joins Dani and Pierce as they all stare at the screen as Danio continues to update the progress.
“We’ve got a way to go yet.” Bette glances over at Tina. “Why don’t we go mingle a bit more?”
“You sure?” Tina rubs Bette’s back trying to sooth the tension she knows is underneath Bette’s cool demander. “We can stay here if you would prefer.”
“No.” Bette shakes her head. “But thank you. I can’t stand around here and watch a computer screen for another hour or more. I want to stay busy.”
“Well okay then.” Tina reaches for Bette’s hand and threads her fingers with Bette’s. “Let’s go mingle honey.”
Bette instructed Dani to alert her for any major updates and says that she’ll be back in a little while to check in. They say their goodbyes for now and exit the small room. Bette and Tina chatted with supporters as they strolled among the crowd, smiles all around. They caught up with the rest of their family and spent some time chatting again.
Angie joined her parents and stayed by their side the remainder of the evening. She and Tina wrapping arms around each other when Bette was called away. In quiet moments, Angie was starting to feel the twangs of sadness with Tina’s upcoming departure back to Toronto. Two weeks ago she had told her Mama that she missed her very much when they weren’t together and the same would be the case this time also. Like Bette, Angie would feel the emptiness in the house in and their lives with Tina away again, even if it was for only 3 weeks this time. Angie wanted to soak up as much time as she could with the time left with her Mama.
As for the election, Bette and Milner traded leads the rest of the evening. Dani and Pierce shuffling back and forth with updates and data information. Bette and Dani’s heads frequently bent over the PR manager’s tablet scanning numbers and percentages. Dani’s assistant, Riley, keeping track of districts won or lost on a large LA district map on one wall of the ballroom.
Then Jason came looking for Bette to join Dani in the side room again. Bette caught Tina’s eye and mouthed for her to follow. Tina nodded she would and suggested to Angie to stay with Shane and Quiara while she went to meet with Bette. It was getting late in the evening and Tina had a feeling that this could be the time for the final numbers to be reported. Tina met Bette in the doorway to the room and they entered together, hand in hand.
“They just said that district 7 will announce their results in a few minutes.” Pierce informs the couple as they enter the room.
Dani was already in front of the large TV scene. Riley standing to her left. Pierce and Jason huddled together and standing close by. Bette and Tina still holding hands. Both taking deep breathes and then Tina squeezed Bette’s hand in support.
Praying . . .
Up Next – Final Count