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(Alice) Wow, you actually answered, I’m shocked
(Bette) Hey Al, sorry I know I’ve been a bit absent recently
(Alice) Yes, well that’s an understatement. But don’t worry, you’re coming for a drink tonight and you can tell me all about what you’ve been up to
(Bette) Sorry, I have plans tonight
(Alice) Well the weekend then
Bette answers distractedly as she focuses on her laptop screen.
(Bette) Maybe, can I let you know?
(Alice) Porter, this is getting ridiculous
(Bette) Well let’s do dinner one night. I’ll text you and we can work it out
(Alice sighs) OK, but just to let you know this dinner is going to involve a lot of alcohol. I’m going to be drilling you on what you’ve been doing and I’ll get more out of you that way
Bette’s attention is drawn to James leaning his head in the doorway. She holds her index finger up to him and focuses back on the call.
(Bette) OK Al, I need to get going but I’ll text you
(Alice sighs) OK
That evening, Bette and Tina are having dinner in a busy and casual restaurant. Bette smiles as she looks around the room.
(Bette) So this is your favourite restaurant in LA?
Tina smiles and nods.
(Tina) So far, though of course I haven’t been here very long. The atmosphere is pretty similar to yours though, right?
A member of the wait staff arrives abruptly at the table, placing two beers in front of them and refilling their water glasses before hurriedly moving on without saying a word.
Bette raises her eyebrows and smiles at Tina.
(Bette) It is, yes
Tina smiles and they both have a sip of beer.
(Bette) So, filming has wrapped with that director?
Tina raises her eyebrows and nods.
(Tina) It has, thank God
(Tina) Things are returning to a usual level of mayhem now
Tina shrugs and Bette smiles.
(Tina) And how has your week been?
(Bette) Yes, fine. I have the next few exhibits booked in which is always a relief. There’s a lot to do but it’s less stressful than at other times
Their meals are placed in front of them and they smile at each other and begin to serve themselves.
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I love your writing very much!
I believe that Tina is not being honest with herself. She and Bette are seeing more and more of each other and have now agreed to allow the other to express affection in public. I don’t think either one of them will be able to keep this charade up for very much longer without admitting that they both mean a lot to each other. Most women cannot keep up a continuous sexual engagements with someone without developing feelings. And the fact that they are spending time together having meals and enjoying each others company to the exclusion of others only increases the the likelihood of developing feelings of attachment. Of course one could always deny those feelings exist. But at some point, there will be a request which will cause one or the other to have to choose whether to admit they are attached or let the other go on about their lives and not see them again. So whatever this is, it is a relationship of sorts. But with everything, with each new encounter with each other and with the more time that is being spent with each other and not someone else, the more things will change form one of an arrangement to one of an attachment. And if one or the other decides that perhaps the arrangement should end and not go forward, then one or both of their hearts will be broken. The time is coming soon when they are going to have to choose. Admit to having real feelings and have a relationship which has a future or break off this arrangement so they can minimize the heart break.
Fascinating story. What total control these two women are exhibiting on the outside. But on the inside, I bet they are a pile of mush. Thanks for the chapter… I want to read more…
Casual relationship doesn’t seem so casual I love this story. It’s exquisite pain reading them clearly falling in love and trying to fight their feelings.