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They were quite a different group then. Tina had already met Alice, from the gallery dinner, although she didn’t know that she was an ex-lover of Bette’s until Alice told her. But Kit wasn’t there: she and Bette were still estranged at that time. And Shane? Shane hadn’t even moved to LA – she was, what? Sixteen, seventeen? Jenny was another seven years away . . . Marina was there, Tina recalled. Dana? Nope, not yet. In fact, Bette’s friends at that time were mostly the artists and dealers she worked with. Kind of intimidating, but Bette had kept close by Tina’s side that day. Made her feel so well cared for . . .
Carrie standing up brought Tina’s attention back with a jolt.
‘I’m gonna get dressed,’ she said, going back into the suite.
‘Sure,’ Tina said quietly. Then she shut her phone and looked out over the city. She was beginning to feel a little better about the move again, and everything else. They’d gone to bed around midnight, following their . . . talk. Carrie had seemed to accept Tina’s assurances that the thing that had happened at Bette’s house, the moment they had, the kiss, was just that – a moment. Not planned, not intentional, not an indicator of any doubts or misgivings. Just a stupid blip. What you might call the death throes of a long, long romantic and sexual relationship. Almost a muscle memory.
Absent-mindedly, right then, as she often did when she wanted to remember a kiss, Tina closed her eyes and gently touched her lips. And in her mind’s eye, saw Bette’s face.
That same morning, having barely slept, Bette came to a decision. And as often happened, as soon as she stopped fighting and accepted her fate, she began to feel better.
She got up, showered and dressed in a navy Hilfiger power suit. White men’s button-down and her current favourite Lalique blue crystal cabochon cuff links. Went to her study and straight to the book she needed. As she sat down at her desk she could hear Angie somewhere in the house, singing along to music on her phone. She glanced at her desk clock, then opened the book and scanned down the contents page.