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    Chapter 27 – STARTING

    “You’re welcome. Uh, enjoy.” Bette offered a slight upturn of her lips and then settled herself opposite the blonde with her own coffee cup in front of her. She took a sip as did Tina. She composed herself and folded her clammy hands on the table, waiting for the blonde to begin.

    “Thank you for agreeing to see me today.” Tina unconsciously bit her bottom lip in nervousness. One of her old habits. “I can only imagine how awfully busy you are with this conference.”

    “Yes, quite so.” Bette nodded politely, back in control of herself. “An intense two days for certain.”

    “I know it, um . . .” Tina hesitated for a second. “It must have been a . . . surprise to see me last night.”

    “Yes, certainly unexpected.” Bette agreed, her eyes softening at the memory of seeing Tina after all these years. How her heart had pounded in her chest; her head swam with dizziness; her body was alight with fire.

    “Well, thank you again.” Tina glanced at Bette, then took another quick sip of her coffee. “I appreciate your time.”

    “Of course. But uh, as I uh . . . noted last evening . . .” Bette found herself stuttering as she looked deep into Tina’s lovely hazel eyes. She could still get lost there if she let herself.

    Tina raised her brow as she regarded the brunette, waiting for her to continue.

    Bette felt her heart beat race again and her palms grew sweaty again. Her breathing grew shallow, and her lips parted.

    Why did she feel so clumsy and unprepared for this meeting?

    It was far too painful but more than that . . .  Bette was scared. That insight hit her with gale force winds.

    She was afraid.

    Afraid of what could be for her . . .  for them.

    Afraid of her own emotions should she acknowledge them.

    A kaleidoscope of images of Tina speed through her mind. Images she didn’t want to remember at this moment.

    Searing memories of being with the blonde – kissing Tina, caressing Tina, claiming Tina as her own. Flashes of the blonde’s creamy skin under her fingertips, the sweetness of the other woman’s mouth, the sensuous scent of her womanhood, the feel of . . .


    Bette screamed in her head.

    Don’t go there!

    “Bette?” Tina called out to her.

    “Huh?” Bette blinked, realizing that Tina was speaking to her.

    “Are you alright?”

    “What?” The brunette swallowed hard, her cheeks reddening under her makeup. Her train of thought thankfully broken.

    “You, um, seem . . . distracted.” The blonde noted as she tilted her head to the right.

    “What? Uh, no.” Bette shook her head slightly, retreating back to her evasive mode. It was safer there. “No, I’m . . . I’m okay. Um, just a lot going on with the conference.”

    “Yes, I assume you have a lot on your mind.” Tina offered a small smile of understanding.

    “Uh, yes.” Bette tried to smile back. “Still much to do. The Porter Corporation has a key role in this convention.”

    “I’m sure it does.” Tina nodded. “Your corporation is a powerful player in the medical field worldwide.”

    “True.” Bette had to agree proudly. She had shaped the corporation to her goals and priorities over the last decades. For betterment of medicine for the world.

    “Well, I’ll try not to keep you too long.” Tina nodded, imagining the strain that Bette must be under at this time.

    “That’s the thing Tina.” Bette tried to show no emotion on her face or in her voice. She had to stay neutral for her own survival. “I don’t think we have anything to really . . . discuss.”

    “Oh, I disagree, Bette.” Tina clasped her hands together in front of her on the table, as if settling in for a battle. She wasn’t going to allow Bette to sidestep her now that she’s come this far. Nothing would stand in her way this time. “I think we have quite a bit to discuss. I’d say we have a lot of . . . unfinished business.” . . .

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    To be continued . . .



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      • Se llama licencia creativa: el escritor puede hacer lo que crea que es mejor para su historia.

        Todavía estoy trabajando en el próximo capítulo; quiero hacerlo lo mejor que pueda.

        Muchas gracias por su apoyo.

        Feliz de que estés disfrutando de la novela.

      • I wanted to set the stage for their meeting and get the reactions of seeing each other face to face in the light of day out of the way first before delving into the guts of what Tina has to say and ask.

        Yes, I will try my best to get the fireworks right & be satisfying for everyone.


    1. Okay, Bette’s terrified of her long dormant feelings for Tina and wonders if she’ll be able to resist Tina if she gets too close. I can see Bette thinking that way. And it appears Tina isn’t going to settle for no as an answer to her request for help for Ashley.

      Waiting impatiently for the wild ride in the next chapter!

      I’m so hooked on this!

      • No, Tina has learned a bunch since those old days & won’t allow Bette to back away from her questions or demands.

        Ashley will get the attention she deserves.

        Thanks for your support & faith.

    2. I must say that the ending of the chapter was a surprise. I would have thought that Tina would have said something like: The reason I have asked for this meeting is to get your help in treating Ashley. She is deteriorating and you are our last hope. I would have thought that leading off with the indications that she needed some explanations of the events of 15 years ago would have only come up after she had achieve the goals she came for.

      This and the last chapter have opened up a lot of questions. Why does Bette think Tina is going to London? Why would she ask Helena if she were going see her when she was there? Tina has given no indication that she is going to London. And Helena tells Bette that it has been years since she had a face to face meeting with Tina.

      Due to Ashley’s condition, I would presume Tina has taken a key role in the managing of her care. So she is in New York for the specific purpose of getting help for Ashley. Tina knows nothing about Bette’s behind the scenes activities or intentions with respect to Ashley or anything else for that matter. Bette’s conversation appears to be a foregone conclusion that Tina will end up in London in the near future and yet she starts off the conversation with “I don’t think we have anything to discuss?” Really? How about discussing Ashley and all these plans of getting her into treatment before the week is out as mentioned to Helena? Where are your priorities ladies? First things first. Once a plan is in place to get Ashley the help she needs, then you can discuss what happened when and why things are they way they are, if that is what you want to do.

      After all, these two have had once face to face meeting in 15 years. From the first meeting, it is obvious to the reader that they still find each other very attracted to each other. Bette is still reluctant to talk to Tina on any subject yet set up a meeting with her for today. From the last chapter into this chapter nothing has changed. They still find each other attractive and Bette does not want to have any kind of conversation with her. Tina does notice that physically, Bette appears not to be well, but still attractive. But the way the conversation begins, there is no Ashley problem.

      It is my sincere hope that some of these loose ends will start to be resolved and answered with future chapters.
      Thank you for posting.

    3. So, a huge conversation on the horizon for them. Their attraction to one another is unmistakable and eternal. They belong together and would be together if not for circumstances beyond their control.

      Tina is pulling out all the stops by choosing that particular outfit and the addition of the jewelry. All to tug at Bette’s heart. Tina won’t take no from Bette about Ashley.

      Waiting for the fireworks that are sure to come.

      Thanks for this gift of excellent writing. I love all your stories.

    4. So, I’ve had time today to settle in and read through this update – twice!! Had to go back and take my time to get all the delicious details.

      And Tina ‘s definitely going to drill Bette about Ashley and get her to accept her sister into the program one way or the other. Go TK!

      That line – ‘Show time had arrived.’ So, so true for them both.

      Can Bette keep her promise to Helena and talk honestly to Tina and can Tina keep her cool long enough to hear what Bette has to say?

      We shall find out.

      Excellent writing as always and thank you for sharing it with us.

      • Glad that you got to rest up & relax. It’s super important to find time for yourself to do that amid all the other things in your life that seem equally important. But taking care of yourself comes first.

        Tina will prove to be unrelenting – as if we would expect anything else from her.

        Bette will be pushing back to some degree – let’s see how far she gets with that.

        Thanks for the encouraging words & your support.

    5. Wow, Bette is really unsettled by Tina and her presence – even after all this time. Makes you think that she wouldn’t have been able to leave Tina all those years ago and do what she thought she should if she had seen or spoken with Tina. Gives us a different slant on Bette’s decision to react in the way she did at that time.

      And Tina, leaving no stone unturned in her quest to get Bette to agree to help Ashley. Good for her.

      So, are we starting to see some chinks in Bette’s armor with this appearance and Tina noticing that something is off?

      I hope Tina will convince Bette to fight whatever her illness is so that they can finally reconnect and live the life they should have all those years ago.

      Thanks for the chapter!

      • Tin has really knocked Bette off her axis & she’s scrambling for something to center herself on. She will press Bette for Ashley & demand action. FIREWORKS for sure.

        I’ve got the first part of the next chapter down the way I want it to play out & now working on the Q & A part of the chapter.

        We’ll get a bit more info on Bette’s illness & of course Tina will eventually press her on that too!! More angst!!

        Thanks so much.

    6. Unfinished business…no kidding

      Collins, what excellent writing in this chapter, what a chapter. Reading it I could feel the energy, the sparks, the chemistry between Bette & Tina, just like Emma felt it. From Bette nearly dropping the phone to Tina realizing how Bette’s reacting to her still, just wow. Loved Tina wearing that jewelry.

      It seems like Tina can sense there’s something going on with Bette – “there was a fragility to her that Tina couldn’t quite pinpoint the reason for that. Was it simply the age difference from the last time they had seen one another? Or was there something more?”

      My favorite line – “Tina would sell her soul to the tall brunette if she had to save her sister’s life.” Atta girl, Tina.

      Cannot wait for the next chapter!

      • Hey, Westy,

        As I was preparing to post the next chapter update, I had a thought to change it up just a bit & decided to split the actual chapter into two parts instead of one. That’s why this chapter posted as it did.

        So, I had to create another ending for this little update & came up with the ‘Unfinished business’ comment from Tina. I think it worked pretty good!!

        Naturally, I changed some things around & expanded on other remarks to set the stage for what comes in the following chapter.

        Although some readers voiced that they thought Tina should have pressed Bette immediately that she needed her to help Ashley, I took the view that if she did that, Bette would have backed into a corner & not been open to listen to anything Tina had to say. Her stubbornness would have prevailed. So, I took this route instead & I was pleased with the results.

        Again, not to downplay the urgency of Ashley’s need , but to framework the discussion & set the mood.

        Glad you liked the outcome & my intentions came across on the pages.

        Yes, Bette will start to show some cracks in her steely facade & of course Tina will see right through it. But that’ll unfold as the chapters continue.

        Yeah, those were some of my fav lines too!!!

        Thanks pal.

        Best regards.

    7. Way too short !

      Bette is like an oyster, as soon as she feels an emotion, she closes up. I hope Tina has memorized what she had to say, at least about Ashley, otherwise it will be a disaster because I can’t imagine Bette talking about anything else given the state of mind she’s in.

      As always, please post soon,

      • Hey gal,

        I know it was a bit short this time. But next chpt is gonna be a jam packed with stuff. So, rest up!

        Tina’s gonna be like that dog with his bone – not gonna let go & hang on for dear life.

        Thanks, as always for your thoughts & continued support.

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