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    Chapter 7 – A Talk…And The Townhouse

    Tina ran hard. She was in good form, pushing her body at a fast, steady pace. It felt good. Her anger alone had propelled her for the first 20 minutes. Now she just laid back into it.

     

    She had put on a femme rock playlist and was listening to Pat Benatar belt out Love is a Battlefield.

     

    She tried to put Bette Porter out of her head, but it was no use. The more she thought about it the more she realized what a fool she had been. She would probably never see Bette again. And as hard as that might seem, she would have to be ok with that.

     

    Tina ran harder, impressed with her time. She was feeling the heaviness in her legs as she got closer to her neighborhood, but she was going to clock in 10 miles in just over an hour.

     

    Tina pulled onto her street. She had backed off to a fast jog but was still breathing hard. She noticed the car before the woman. It was a metallic blue Tesla Model Son wide tires, parked diagonally across the street from her townhouse. She saw the dome light come on as the door swung open right into her path. She slowed up a little more when she saw the slim upper body in all black lean out and vomit into the gutter.

     

    She was almost bewildered by it. Like a mirage. It couldn’t be real.

     

    Bette leaned back in the car and closed the door tentatively; she was still queasy. She sent another menacing message to Shane. Why the fuck she couldn’t get satellite imaging on the streets of Los Angeles within a matter of minutes was beyond her. And it had been an hour. Tina was on the street with no protection, no tracker. She was a failure. She would have to call Tasha now. She wanted to scream. The espresso had been just one more bad idea in a string of them, especially combined with her near panic. Or maybe it was the ratio of espresso per hour on her ravaged stomach. She closed her eyes and leaned back against the headrest.

     

    “Bette? What the fuck.” Tina breathed hard into the window.

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    Comments

    1. These two need to be patient with each other. Let’s see how the funeral goes and what’s in the file and try and figure out why someone is out to kill Tina and why Dana was killed. Tina knows something about the case which she does not know is connected to the case or whoever would not be after her. Between Tasha and Bette, they need to find out what that is.

      I love it that Tina told Bette that she is not eating enough. And getting sick off expresso just sounds disgusting.

      Thanks for this chapter…. full of information on Bette… look forward to the next…

      • Hi Martha, I love your comments. Yes, these two are moving at a very fast pace and don’t seem to know what patience is at all. It’s in character for my version of Bette, as she likes to acquire what she wants as quickly as possible. And she knows she wants Tina. But Tina is caught in that whirlwind of Bette’s and in her own, too. What with the attempt on her life and losing Dana, things are moving very fast. And she doesn’t want Bette to float away, but she has deep insecurities that are popping up.

        We’ll have to find out what Tina knows.

        And yes. Remember a few chapters ago when you mentioned how you didn’t understand how these girls can drink so much while eating very little, especially at breakfast. I told you that some eating habits were addressed in a later chapter. Well, here it is. I love that you mentioned it now. Yes, Bette doesn’t eat right. Thankfully she has Tina watching her now.

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

    2. This is a very intriguing art story, I can’t wait to find out more.
      Tina seems to have some personal issues that she needs to share with Bette, which will probably help her with developing a sincere relationship her.

      Thank you

      • Thanks Bub, I agree. But Tina will need to trust Bette before she starts talking. And that trust thing went out the window in the last chapter. Haha. But Bette is honorable and trustworthy and we will see that soon. Tina will begin to let her in.

        RK

    3. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Your comment to me last chapter gave me faith and you have not disappointed. Major exhale. Bette’s backstory is quite interesting. I love that she essentially rescues stolen art. Noble and somewhat dangerous occupation. Very Indiana Jones. That she has the Venus code but has not deciphered it and may even be willing to give it to Tasha is very telling. However, from Bette’s experience, it sounds like a decision she needs to verify beforehand. Can Tasha be trusted? Bette has a small tight circle of people she does trust – Shane above all. And yet she has just shared so much with Tina. Is Bette truly ready to abandon her Venus quest? Probably not. Moreover, Tina’s life is still in danger and the villains are lurking out there somewhere.

      Both Bette and Tina seem to be quite distracted at the moment and Tina may even be in a bit of denial regarding the danger. What is Eric up to? Where is he? I have to keep remembering that very little time has passed in this story. Going out into the streets was not the wisest decision but clearly Bette is so out of her element and overwhelmed by her emerging feelings for Tina. Her team cannot help her with this. Although Shane talking to Tina and explaining a little about Bette and herself seems to have made Tina more receptive to even talking to Bette.

      There is a certain sadness and vulnerability in Bette right now and Tina sees it. And Tina clearly has issues with self esteem and trust. Both Bette and Tina seem a little broken when it comes to relationships and feelings. Plus Tina is grieving something fierce for Dana. It means a lot that Tina has asked Bette to attend the funeral. Perhaps her trust in Bette is truly on the mend. Certainly love is present. Still, neither is in a truly safe place. These are potentially dangerous distractions. Bette needs to get her head back in the game. Most likely she cannot provide the protection Tina will need – unless they go back to the fortress. And Tina really needs to be more cautious.

      Bette has been caught up in her fixation and adoration for the Venus for a very long time. It many ways it has shaped who she is. Perhaps she has found a living, breathing and hopefully permanent replacement. Great chapter.

      • Hi Billy,
        I’m so glad I didn’t lose you there in the last chapter. But I’m glad that you confronted me about what I said in my replies. It made me go back and read them and really examine how I felt about my characters. I had written these chapters months ago and have done very little editing when it comes to content. So, it made me feel good that I’m still on track. It was important for me to make Bette this badass that has all of these skills, and can be very fierce, but also have this very noble and worthy cause. I’ve always known Bette as a character who needs to believe in what she’s doing.

        As for the high emotions and the vulnerability exposed by both of our girls, yes they are very caught up in each other for sure. And it skews their decision making pretty badly. And you’re right! Time is passing extremely slowly and we can’t lose sight of that. It’s deliberate. I want them to be pretty solidly involved with one another before the real action starts.

        And yes, you perfectly captured how Bette has been shaped by her adoration of the Venus. It’s thrilling as the writer to read a comment like that. You’ll see just how deep that dive goes for her. And don’t worry, Bette’s head snaps right back into the game pretty quickly.

        Can’t wait for you to read the next chapter. I’m sure it will bring out a few gasps.

        Thanks again for sticking with it!

        RiskyKitty

    4. AWWW Risky. So many emotions. First…. YAY Tina is safe, thank you all the Gods of safety and security. Because you know running off in to the darkness when someone has tried to kill you isn’t the smartest of moves.
      Second… 7-11!! WOW. I grew up with 7-11s and wonder where you live that is a normal thing because I can tell you there isn’t one damn 7-11 down here south and I miss them. best slurpees ever. Also, their snacks when you are drunk, the best.
      Also love that Tina is beginning to see Bette is there for her and only her. She invited her to the funeral so ….that’s a step in the right direction.
      Thank you RK, lovely chapter. Can’t wait for the funeral and to read more as they navigate the hidden message. SO glad Tina is safe with B as she belongs
      BK

      • Hey BK,
        Yes, sooooo many emotions. I’ve gotta get them to a level of comfortability with each other and this new relationship before everything starts hitting the fan.

        And yes, Tina is safe! Bette’s lucky that she didn’t lose her. It’s certainly going to make her even more protective of Tina. Not just physically, but emotionally now. She is understanding how her words and actions have an influence and she won’t make the same mistake again. ….Well, hopefully!

        In regards to the 7/11. I grew up in Southern California, San Diego to be exact. And 7/11’s have always been a way of life. I mean, I feel bad for anyone who’s never pulled all the nozzles of the slurpee machine to make themselves the ultimate suicide. That’s what we used to call it when you made a questionable mix of flavors. It’s the best! And drunk hot dogs dripping with nacho cheese sauce and jalapeños. That’s living! Now I live in Boston and thank God they have 7/11’s here too.

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

        RK

    5. RiskyK,
      Never apologize for taking time to heal a friends’ anxiety. Lord we need to prefer one another in painful world. Glad you took time out to do that.

      Now to our story . . . .errr, YOUR story 😜

      I like that Tina is taking a cautious and deliberate path in trying to figure out Bette. Wanting her friendship and more, while at the same time feeling like she really should bolt from this woman who’s “secrets have secrets”🤔

      To quote you:
      “Tina dated. She had been through her share of drama and lies and even infidelity. Twice. She could always see it.” Which means Tina has a guard up! It was only when Bette started filling in DETAILS about what she’s been doing that Tina started to give her the benefit of a doubt.

      I didn’t know whether Bette would be at the funeral and you answered that question. All that is left for me in the moment is whether the shady character(s) will be there as well.

      • Hi Dumplin’

        First of all, I love how you said OUR story. It is our story, isn’t it? And I’m glad you picked out that Tina is being careful and her guard is up in that scene. Yes, Tina has been hurt. Surprise! Haha. Who doesn’t have some baggage from previous relationships. Am I right? But the answer to that is Bette. Bette doesn’t have any baggage because Bette’s never had a relationship. Doesn’t have the foggiest idea of how those work. So this is very organic for her. She’s faced with all these feelings at a moment in her life when her main focus for the last several years is now coming right at her. Timing can be a bitch. But, would Bette have been open to these feelings had she not had the Venus in her sights? Who’s to say. Whatever it is is creating this crazy uncertainty. And for Tina, she’s going through the same uncertainty but for very different reasons. She lost Dana, somebody put a hit out on her and now she’s met this dream woman who she doesn’t feel like she would have any shot with on a normal day. And she’s caught up with her in this thing. This scary, dangerous situation where the two of them have been forced to deal with it together. It’s fun to write.

        Can’t wait for you to read The Funeral. There’s definitely a few surprises ahead and a lot of explaining.

        RKitty

    6. I absolutely LOVE your story! Shades of Dan Brown; however, even better with the developing Tibette relationship. Also, Bette’s character is far more intriguing and richly developed than the professor. What a marvelous history she possesses. Thank you for giving us this beautiful, complex, personality as our main heroine. And Shane. Your wonderful story leaves me excited, anticipating each new chapter, and frustrated because it’s such a page-turner, but we must wait! I also love how you have incorporated so many of our beloved OG characters, especially my favorites (Tina, of course, Kit, Shane, Carmen, James, Helena, Peggy, even Marcus)! You, my dear RK, are definitely a talented author. BTW, I find your “nom de plume” RiskyKitty enchanting!
      “More, please”? And thank you!

      • Hey Dr. A,
        Thank you for the compliments. That’s very kind of you. I’m glad you are liking Bette’s character. I can’t tell you how important it is to me to get her right. At least the version of her I see, which is someone who is fierce, and can be frightening, but also big hearted and kind. She’s noble and trustworthy and unwavering in her commitment to do what’s right. She’s supportive and loyal….I could go on and on, but yes, you said it. She’s the true heroine of this story. And Tina is her true prize. More than worthy enough for her love.

        And Shane. Gosh, I love Shane. I’ve always loved her and Bette’s relationship in the series. I wanted to honor it here because it’s so pure and uncomplicated.

        And if you like the appearances of OG characters now, just wait! More emerge over the next few chapters. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the story. It’s my love letter to the L Word and the fans like myself.

        Oh, and as for my ‘nom de Plume’ that goes back a long way. I didn’t just choose it for this. But it has stuck with me for the last few decades. It’s actually kind of funny, and maybe one day I’ll share that personal story.

        Thanks for reading
        Risky

    7. Love this story thanks for posting.

      Really looking forward to how you are going to develop it and love the characters you have given our girls,

      Keep them talking to each other please they need to be open with each other

      Stay safe and well
      SG

      • Thanks SG,
        So glad you are still loving the story. Don’t worry, these two are going to get very solid here in the next few chapters. A few minor ups and downs, but it leads to better communication. They’re going to need it for everything that I’m going to throw at them.

        You stay safe as well,
        Risky

    8. Ah, I love this chapter. I cannot help but chuckle at Bette just throwing up because all she had to eat/drink was espresso which was to help keep her alert because she was so worried about Tina. Bette is a bit of a wreck and it’s usually when she’s a wreck that she makes progress and opens up. When she stands to lose so much, she makes sacrifices and steps out of her comfort zone. For Tina, she will do this time and again and I love that you show that. and all she wants to do is protect Tina which is very Bette. I love how we see Tina’s icy resolve start to melt with each look at Bette and her vulnerability…and with Bette’s story.

      What’s on the inscription!?!

      Very intriguing story and I cannot wait to see what happens at the funeral. I love how you ended this chapter….so peaceful and Bette is there for Tina, all cards on the table, arms wrapped around protecting what is most important to her.

      Next chapter, please! Thanks!

      betteandtina_houseofstirfry

      • Oh man, B&T_HOSF

        I love your insight regarding Bette’s character. I 100% agree that she is at her best when she is pulled out of her comfort zone. I really couldn’t have said it better. And yes, just Bette being Bette, without any agenda melts Tina’s resolve so effectively. She gave it a good effort and she might try again, but could you resist Bette Porter when she’s being so open and sincere? I sure couldn’t! I’d be wrapped around her finger. (Maybe even a couple of them 😜) Sorry! I couldn’t resist!

        The inscription! Can’t wait for you to find out and hear Bette’s story about the Venus. But first, the funeral.

        I’m glad you liked the end of this chapter. I feel like they both needed that peaceful rest. They really need each other. I’m forcing them to need each other. And soon they’ll have to give and take from each others strength.

        Thanks for your awesome comments.

        RK

    9. Risky, thanks for posting! I somehow missed the previous chapter. On the bright side I didn’t have to wait to read how Bette ate humble pie and apologized to Tina.
      Impressive how Bette was able to leave her Lara Croft/Indiana Jones-self at the beach house and honestly show Tina her true, vulnarable self. It takes a lot of trust to open up to a stranger – which Tina still is after two or three days. I guess Bette’s “I just like being around you.” explains why she is able to tell so much about herself. That and because she got it bad for Tina ;-)

      I’m sure there will be an opportunity for Tina to share details of herself. The funeral might be a time for her not only to reminisce about Dana but to open up to Bette as well.

      I’m still intrigued where the mystery of the Venus is taking us. I’m not the first one to speculate that Eric is behind all of this. Not so sure how Dana got in the middle of it all but it might sadly be the case of wrong time and place.

      Looking forward to more, I like your version of Tina and Bette very much.

      kp

    10. Risky

      Finally was able to read these chapters. Love love love the way you are unfolding both stories, the mystery and the romance.

      I love the way you had Bette self disclose, she had to, knew it but had never done it. Tines with her resolve held out until she felt comfortable with what Bette was telling her.

      Nicely done.

      K

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