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They draw back but remain close, Bette running her fingers lightly down Tina’s arm. Tina’s eyes remain closed and Bette smiles as she takes her in, kissing her gently on her chin and her jawline between glances. Tina smiles and keeps her eyes closed as she speaks to her softly.
(Tina) Can we do that again?
(Bette smiles) Yes
Bette runs her fingers through Tina’s hair, placing her hand on the back of her head and gently pulling her towards her as she leans in and brings their lips together again. Tina smiles into the kiss as she reaches towards Bette, taking a handful of her shirt and pulling her body into hers as she leans further back into the couch.
The following Saturday morning, Tina and Helena are wandering through a market together.
(Helena) If I’d known you moving here would mean spending so much time at bloody markets I wouldn’t have tried so hard to convince you
The stall owner looks at her and frowns and Helena smiles at them as she places a ceramic mug back on the table.
(Helena) It’s lovely, thank you
Tina smiles and shakes her head as they move to the next stall.
(Tina smiles) Hel, you called and asked what I was doing and this is where I was. You didn’t have to come
Helena sighs as she casts her eyes over the tables at the next stall.
(Helena) Well I’ve barely seen you recently, so I have to take my opportunities
Tina smiles as she runs her hands across a rack of clothes, and Helena looks over at her.
(Helena) What have you been doing with yourself anyway?
Tina looks back at her.
(Tina) Um, nothing exciting. Work has been pretty intense
Helena raises her eyebrows.
(Helena) When is it not?
Tina shrugs as she moves towards a table of aromatherapy diffusers and essential oils, and Helena watches her for a moment.
(Helena) I actually did have a sighting of you during the week as it happens, I saw you out having a drink
Tina looks up at her.
(Tina) Really? Why didn’t you say hi?
Helena smiles at her.
(Helena) Well, you were somewhat… preoccupied. I didn’t want to interrupt
Tina raises her eyebrows and they hold each other’s gaze for a moment. Tina clears her throat and looks away, busying herself with a display of candles arranged on the next table, and Helena smiles as she watches her.
Helena moves alongside her, also turning her attention to the candles. She picks up a candle and smells it, pulling a face before returning it to the table. She picks up another and addresses Tina without looking at her.
(Helena) So what’s going on there?
Tina answers while also remaining focused on the table.
(Tina) Nothing is going on, obviously. We have an arrangement
Helena nods, still smiling. Tina looks at her out of the corner of her eye and catches Helena’s amused expression. Tina stops and stands upright and looks over at her, and Helena looks up and meets her eyes. They hold each other’s gaze, both struggling to suppress their smiles. Tina gives a small laugh and shakes her head.
(Tina) Do you have something to say?
Helena raises both hands.
(Helena) No, nothing
Tina raises an eyebrow and Helena smiles back at her.
(Tina) Well then, let’s talk about something else?
Tina gives her a look before continuing on to the next stall and Helena smiles as she follows a couple of paces behind.
(Helena) No problem
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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.