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    Chapter 6 – The Inscription

     

    She decided quickly to let Tina go. Bette would be pissed, but she was saving them from a confrontation on the street. If Tina saw them now, she wouldn’t be able to cope. She could be aggressive.

     

    Bette was intense, Shane admired that intensity, but it could be a little all consuming. It was better if Tina didn’t know how fierce Bette could be, even just in her protection of Tina.

     

    So, Shane looked on nervously as Tina ran fast up the street. Bette was in the passenger seat of the Jeep in a minute. She had parked a few cars behind Shane, across the street from Tina’s place.

     

    Bette noticed all of the blinds closed and nodded appraisingly at Shane. “Good”, she said.

     

    She was quiet for a minute and then glanced quickly at Shane, looking away embarrassed.

     

    “She didn’t say much, Bette”, Shane said softly, knowing what Bette was thinking. “Just hurt, you know.”

     

    Bette looked away; she didn’t want Shane to see her eyes.

     

    “We fucked up, Bette.”

     

    fucked up, Shane”, she blew a full breath out of her chest, trying to keep her emotions in check.

     

    Now it was Shane’s turn to look away. She hadn’t seen Bette truly upset since her father died. Bette was always collected, in control. Shane felt a little off balance because of it.

     

    “Bette…” she braced herself, “Tina went on a run. Just before you pulled up. She’s on the road. Shit, I didn’t follow her. I couldn’t do that to her. I had to let her go. I’m sorry.”

     

    Bette tensed for a moment, her fists clenched on her lap. Shane saw it and winced a little inside. Then Bette just shrugged and stared blankly out the window. She was completely overwhelmed at the moment. She didn’t know what to do about that. It was dangerous, yes. But she couldn’t control Tina. She didn’t dare to now.

     

    “It’s fine Shane. It’s fine. Thank you.” said Bette, resigned, her voice hoarse and low.

     

    Bette stepped out of the Jeep and got back into her car.

     

    Shane lit a cigarette and pulled away. She had the strongest need to hold her woman tonight. She drove to Kit’s club.

     

    ***

     

    Comments

    1. Bette is a mystery to be sure but pull it together woman! Tina is in danger. Someone is trying to kill her. Most likely Eric. Not sure how Bette can attend the funeral and not create a scene. Tasha is going to flip. You blew it Bette. But Shane is also a tad reckless. Never should have let Tina go on that run. Tina is out there alone and exposed. Yes, Bette has a lot of baggage and a lot of explaining to do. And she will ultimately have to choose between having a stable and loving relationship as Kit wants her to have or continue the lucrative but hollow life she is currently living. Can she do it? Does she even want to? It seems she does but she cannot meditate her way out if this or will herself to have it all. A choice will have to be made. And if she does want to change is Tina done? Who knows. But right now Bette needs to set aside her quest for the inscription and protect Tina! Because Tina is hurt and grieving Dana and not thinking clearly.

      Am I wrong to think Carmen knows too much? Can she be trusted? For very guarded and careful people Shane really talks a lot. No idea where this is headed and really like that. Not a clue. Will just hang on for the ride and hope that because it is Bette and Tina love will eventually prevail.

      • Hey Billy,

        Yes, Bette is completely overwhelmed by all of these feelings that’s she never experienced before. And it’s seriously affecting her judgment. And that only puts Tina in a very dangerous situation. And you’re right, she’s got to get herself together and figure out what her priorities are. Quick.

        And as for Shane. Bette’s instability has thrown her completely off balance. Since Shane and Bette are usually so in sync, it has completely rocked her too. She was the first one to spot the change in Bette’s focus the moment she met Tina. So much so that she had to tell Kit about it right away at the club. She wants her friend to be happy, but she doesn’t know how to help her. And she certainly didn’t know what to do when Tina ran out as Bette pulled up. She made a decision in the interest of saving Bette’s chance at a relationship, but was it the right call for Tina? No.

        And don’t be too hard on Shane or Carmen. Sure, Shane let’s some things slip, but you have to expect that in a relationship. Carmen is no fool. She knows that when Bette snaps her fingers, Shane will come. And Shane is sometimes left making excuses. So there’s a bit of a family dynamic where Carmen might not always trust Bette when it comes to Shane. But her heart is in the right place. Not after a few margaritas in the pool when she blabs about Bette’s secrets, but hey, she’s spicy.

        Everyone in this story has some flaws. I wanted to show these characters in a realistic light, because nobody is perfect. There are always consequences. And you don’t always make the best decisions, especially when you’re young.

        Don’t worry, Billy! We’re going to get these girls to where they need to be. And I love that I have you shaking your head, wondering where this is going. So happy you’re along for the ride!

        Risky

    2. I am an enjoying the mystery of your story.
      The one thing that Bette should remember from her actions is do not deceive Miss Tina Kennard. She is a strong independent woman and is not swayed by how much money and property Miss Bette Porter has.

      Thank you for the update.

      • Yep! Tina is her own woman, and she will not be controlled. She’s also got some serious trust issues, so Bette’s deception really affected her. Bette’s going to have to lay it all on the line now, because she has finally met her match.

        RK

    3. Grat story, really enjoying it and looking forward to more as soon as possible.

      Like you it’s good to immerse. In another world when the real one is as it is just now.
      Stay safe and well
      SG

    4. I definitely think that Bette should attend the funeral. She should stay away from Tina unless they get back to a speaking again. Bette needs to proceed to do what she needs to do to solve this case. Sooner or later, she and Tina will have to deal with each other. Tina is very emotional at the moment. Why would she put herself at risk by taking a run alone? Someone tried to kill her and killed her best friend. And she finds herself in a fight with someone she just met and was totally intimate with, 24 hours ago. And the basis of the dispute? Jealousy? Deceit? Or Grief? Somehow under normal emotional conditions, would Tina have responded this way? I think not.

      This is a terrific story. Look forward to seeing more.

      • Thank you Martha,
        And yes to all of the things you listed that are going on with Tina emotionally. Jealousy, deceit, grief, and also fear.

        I think she’s rebelling against the state of her life right now, and going for a run and doing something so normal to her is the only way she can think of to take back some of that control. Incredibly foolish though.

        And Bette is not in her right mind when it comes to her protection. She has put Tina into a very dangerous situation because of her deception. And the consequences of that are just setting in.

        Let’s hope that she learns something from this.

        RK

        • The deceit part is what I am having a problem getting my mind around. First – Bette was having a private conversation in her study with the door closed. Tina was not invited to participate in that conversation, therefore she was eavesdropping. And getting angry over what she overheard without getting an explanation is really a childish response.

          Further, she gives no indication that she is disturbed about it until the conversation with Tasha. So what could Bette have said to Tasha which would have made her completely honest on that phone call? Maybe: I have been in contact with my translator, she is sending me a file which is encrypted. I have not verified that the file has been sent nor do I have the password and I have not read it yet. Therefore I have nothing to to report yet. I’ll let you you when I’ve got something.”
          How close is that to “no nothing yet, my agent is still working on it, I’ll let you know something in a day or two?” I find it hard to say Bette was deceitful to Tasha. The difference is so miniscule, that there is no difference. So where is the deceit?

          • I think you’re right in that Tina’s behavior was overreactive and a bit childish. But, in the next chapter you will see that Tina has some serious insecurities. But while it wasn’t outright deceit, it was omission. And Shane and Bette were not behind closed doors. The door was open when Tina stood in the hallway to, yes, eavesdrop. Tina also feels responsible for Dana’s death in a way. So when she learns that Bette is keeping something from Tasha that might lead to her killers she is angry that she may never find the actual responsible party. In her mind, if she doesn’t find them, then she will still be the one who is ultimately responsible. And she is very emotional and feeling very alone now that the closest person to her is gone. She also finds herself having deep feelings for Bette and can’t handle in that moment that she was left in the dark about Bette’s plan. Now she’s afraid she can’t trust her.

    5. Risky
      LOVE this story. But Bette and Shane did a terrible job protecting Tina. They need to find her now. If they then decide that they are not the best people to protect her than allow Tasha to provide that help and pull out. It is an ethical necessity that they track her down. She is clearly not thinking right. Assuming she survives the night Bette should attend the funeral if nothing else to show she is there. This is like in every horror story where we watch the character go down in the dark basement or separate from the group and shout NOOOOO at the screen. I about came out of my chair when Tina decided to go running. Tina, Honey…. please stop. You are killing me here RK please fix it.
      Also Billy – you are right that Shane talks too much. Lives are in danger here.
      Ok, I will be refreshing this site every hour Risky to see your update. Please write without ceasing. Don’t let me down

      BK

      • Hey BK,
        You couldn’t have said it any better. Bette and Shane are blowing it. As I said to Billy, this is uncharted territory for both of them. Bette is Shane’s rock, her idol. Shane has never questioned her judgment because she believes Bette to always know best. And it has worked for them for quite a while. Now that Bette is off center, Shane is spinning like a top.

        And yes, she has told Carmen too much about their current situation. But, they’re in a relationship, and sometimes you tell your partner a little too much. Now, if Carmen had been able to keep her mouth shut, that would have been helpful.

        But yes, things are coming apart for Bette. And she is just realizing that her actions have created a very dangerous situation for Tina. Let’s hope she doesn’t have to deal with the worst possible scenario before she learns from this mistake. And let’s also hope that if she were to get lucky here, that she learns something from it at all. Because that, I feel, after studying her for years, is Bette Porter’s biggest character flaw.

        RK

    6. oohhh bette. let these other “ladies” go when you’ve already got the most beautiful work of art….tina. hopefully she will realize this. I think she is starting to and it’s overwhelming her. ahh. I loved the talk Shane had with Tina. basically giving Tina a glimpse of who Bette is. what a good heart she has. and that everyone can see that Bette has fallen for Tina. Tina, however, has every right to be upset! but I hope they can open up to each other through all this. you went right to the angst, didn’t you, RiskyKitty? really enjoying this story, im in it for the long haul so bring on the angst. but please let them talk soon…which means…please post another chapter soon. :)

      • Yes, she’s definitely starting to realize what she’s got in Tina. And it’s true, she is totally overwhelmed by her feelings. And heck yes, Tina has every right to be angry.

        So glad you liked Shane’s speech. She is definitely devoted to Bette and only wants her to be happy. And she was telling the truth. She knows that Tina has turned her best friend’s world upside down.

        I’m glad you are down for the angst. They don’t call them growing pains for nothing. They’re painful!

        Thanks for sticking with it!

        Risky

    7. When u’re use to always getting your way, whether by charm, seduction or force of will, you get recklessness when it comes to other people’s’ interests. Bette is use to making decisions through the lens of “I’ll work this situation out the way I want, like I always do. She’s not use to anyone who she “cares about” getting blasted with a scatter load Of buckshot. See the last page of The Crash ….& the Beach House for Tina’s reaction when she felt like Bette was leaving her out of decisions that impacted her directly. In Tina’s mind, when you’re close to someone it’s a collaboration and both persons should know what’s going on.

      Bette’s impatience with Leigh propelled her to “flirt” to “hurry” the process along. Leigh would have been less inclined to flirt back and Tina would not have had anything to “over-hear”.

      Tina is realizing that probably every time they are out in public, Bette will be drawing her “ex’s” and “wanna be ex’s” like a magnet. Never mind the ones that Bette has professional business involvement. “Someone is always gonna be making a play for Bette’s attention and Tina’s not sure whether she can keep Bette’s interest.

      I haven’t decided whether Bette will go to the funeral, but why should she? Alice and Tina will hold each other up to get through that dreadful day. I’ll be curious whether Tasha will be there to more-or-less support Alice.

      • You hit the nail on the head there, Dumplin. That’s exactly what Bette is doing. She can only draw on her own experience, and in this area she has none. So, she handles this situation as she handles every other one. Until, of course, it gets out of hand. And now all of the balls she’s been juggling have come crashing down and the destruction is all around her. Let’s hope that it doesn’t cost her too much. And as I was saying to BK, if the cost doesn’t end up being that high, let’s hope she is still able to find the value in it.

        Can’t wait for you to read the next chapter!

        RK

    8. I really hope I am wrong. I mean I really really do. In reading comments I admit to now being a little worried about where this story might go. Just want to put it out there that I for one am a huge Bette Porter fan. I also believe BP showed tremendous growth by the end of the original series. Not going to regale you with my thought process but will share that my love for Bette is partially based upon her steadfast loyalty and unwavering love for Tina and Angie. Per the original series, Bette had character flaws to be sure and so did Tina. I hope your story does not become about bashing Bette for behavior in the early days of the original show. Can’t believe I even wrote that. But you wrote that you have studied Bette for years and that she never learns from her mistakes. Yet your story has no similarities to TLW other than character names, right? So with regard to your story, ultimately Tina is responsible for her own decisions such as going on the run and Bette is not trained in providing protection, right?

      Without giving away any of the plot, what is your criticism of Bette based upon specifically and how has it factored into your story and character development? Thanks.

      • I’m sorry Billy, I really should have been more clear in my comment to BK. It was worded terribly. I really didn’t mean that Bette never learned from her mistakes. She certainly did and she paid dearly for them. And god, she grew so much over the seasons. I love Bette Porter dearly and have the highest admiration for her. And Tibette as a couple have had a huge impact on me and my own 20 year relationship with my partner. That’s why I’m writing this fanfic. Because I have so much love for both of them, flaws and all. But, Bette is especially endearing to me, because I feel that we are similar creatures.

        I was specifically trying to compare this scene in my story, to when Bette lost Tina early on in the show. So I should have said ‘was her biggest character flaw’ not ‘is her biggest character flaw’, because she absolutely overcame it. And when I said that I’ve been studying Bette for years, I meant specifically in regards to how she lost Tina and why it took so many seasons for them to get back together.

        Bette didn’t learn from the way she mistreated Tina right away. She thought she could get her back with that speech at The Planet before Tina flipped the table, knowing that Bette had spent the previous night with Candace. And she tried to control what apartments James showed her after she moved back in the first time. She also chewed Alice out for putting Tina in contact with Joyce Wishnia, even though it was the right thing to do. And then after she found out Tina was pregnant, her arrogance when admitting to thinking that she would be able to get Tina back easier if she had gained weight. Those were the things that led to her losing Tina. And by losing, I mean a true breakup where Tina then got involved with someone else (Helena).

        But she by far redeemed herself for those things eventually. And while we aren’t talking about Tina’s flaws here, they are many! I’m still upset that it was never addressed that she let Helena nearly destroy Bette’s career. That was infuriating to watch. And that’s only one.

        Have faith, Billy. The next chapter will totally dispel your fears in regards to where I’m going with this story.

        RK

          • Ok Billy, so I just posted the next chapter, but as I read it during editing, I’m not sure I did dispel your fears about where the story is heading. Not yet. But, after all of their insecurities come out, I promise that they will be on a good road forward. Bette is a queen, and they will be true equals in this story. Both of them are just very emotional right now. Bette, because of the Venus and Tina, and Tina because of Dana and the attempt on her life. And this is all happening very fast for them. I really look forward to your comments on the next chapter!

            RK

    9. Risky

      Love the vulnerable Bette, having to deal with someone else’s emotions.

      Love the strong, I don’t take shit from anyone Tina.

      Yes there is attraction, but can they find a balance and be able to communicate effectively with each other.

      Love this story

      K

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