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    Chapter 8

    Tina opened her front door and dropped her bag in the hallway with an exhausted sigh. The house was quiet and dark. Barely seven in the evening, but she could have happily gone straight to bed.

    ‘Not tonight,’ she said as she closed the door, flipped on the lamp that sat on the hallway table and picked up a stack of mail. She flicked through the envelopes, then went into the kitchen and opened the fridge.

    ‘Damn.’

    She’d forgotten to place a food order before she went out of town and now there was nothing, or nearly nothing, for Angie and Bette to have when they got in.

    ‘Please tell me you ate on the flight . . .’ she muttered, then picked up her phone and messaged them both on WhatsApp. They replied to say they’d eaten. Tina relaxed a little, then remembered breakfast, so she ordered eggs, milk, juice and some fruit from Instacart, then dashed upstairs, stripped off and hit the shower.

    ***

    Alice . . . married . . . The shower was always Tina’s thinking place, and tonight her mind roamed towards Alice and the wedding shower tomorrow at a beach house near Redondo. Bette and Angie were flying in together from New York and they, plus Helena, were all driving down in the morning.

    She poured shampoo into her cupped palm and began to massage her hair. So much is changing . . . Before Thanksgiving, Alice had been single. Very single. Then she went to London to visit Bette and came back in love with a woman called Eleanor who worked for Apple. On New Year’s Eve, Alice proposed, Eleanor said yes, and everyone was stunned. And yet you couldn’t be with them, couldn’t look at them, and not know that they were a stone-cold match.

    Then no sooner do we get used to that than Shane and Tess are trying to adopt a baby!

    She rinsed her hair, letting it fall down her back, swishing it from side to side.

    New year, new directions, big decisions . . .

    She was proud of her friends for going after happiness with such courage.

    God knows, we’ve all had our disasters . . .

    She reached for the shower gel and squeezed a little into her palm. Orange and bergamot by Molton Brown. A hangover from living with Bette for all those years – or at least that was what Tina told herself every time she bought it.

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    Comments

      • Hi Martha! Thanks for reading and commenting. Not suprised you’re confused, lol – I don’t think this is the best chapter I’ve ever written. It’s hampered a little by being from Tina’s POV. She can’t see her problem clearly, so she might be wrong when she says the problem is Bette. But this is also just a complicated situation and I might have not done a very good job of it.

        Oh well. I hope it was entertaining in places!
        Thanks
        L

    1. I am going to go back and start at the beginning and binge read this. I too, Martha, feel like I’ve missed some of the story along the way. I like the story but I am unsure of what Tina and Bette are in their relationship??? Hopefully my read over will help. Gosh, poor Angie!

      • Hi Finn422! *waves* Thanks so much for reading this and for commenting. Your time and feedback is much appreciated. :-)

        Like I said to Martha, I think this is a complicated situation but I’ve maybe made it worse by not writing very well. I’m sorry. I hope you maybe enjoyed some of the lighter sections of this story anyway?

        Thanks again
        L

        PS – don’t worry about Angie, she’ll be fine, lol

    2. Tina saying that Bette was the “problem” didnt immediately give me a WTF rise, bc I think she’s gonna expound on that more.

      The comment about how “I felt flattered when Brian asked me. I mean, me…He asked me!” Is what raised my eyebrow. Was she talking about the most recent trip to Chicago to be apart of the new project? Or asked her to be his wife??

      Last we knew, Bette had CERTAINLY become the type of spouse that “flattered” Tina. She was heads over heals in-love with Tina!!! How on earth could ANYBODY else outshine Bette’s affections??

      And Angie??? As soon as she said that she did NOT want her morning coffee, it popped in my head that she was pregnant. And then when she immediately became nauseated at trying to eat her favorite breakfast, I was sold.

      But we’ll see when they go to the Dr. For confirmation. We’ll see . . . .

      • Hi Dumplin, my friend! *waves* How are you doing? It’s lovely to see you here. Thanks for reading this and for posting a comment! :-)

        I figured people would twig that Angie was pregnant at breakfast, so I tried not to string it out! But yeah, good that you got that.

        The thing with Brian is just business. Tina is just flattered that he – a golf pro – thought that she was the person he wanted to bring on board with his new business. She’s just insecure about what she can bring to that, so she was flattered rather than thinking ‘oh sure, that makes sense, why NOT me??’ There’s nothing romantic there.

        The thing with this story, and that I’m clearly not doing a great of, is that I’m trying to explore what needs to change with these two people so that they can go forward and be secure and happy for the rest of their lives. I also decided, maybe foolishly, to try and do that without showing either of them with a therapist!! Oh well. Maybe the next chapter will clarify things, lol

        Thanks, Dumplin. I appreciate you reading this. Take care
        L

      • Hi Bibi, my friend! *waves* Thanks for reading and commenting. :-)

        I am taking on. board that folks are confused by this, lol. It’s partly confused because Tina is confused and this chapter is from her viewpoint, so she can’t step outside her own confusion and explain herself, if you see what i mean? However, I also think I haven’t written it very well. So I’m sorry about that. I hope the next chapter might be clearer!

        Really appreciate you sticking with it! Hope you’re well! Not long till S3 and Tibette endgame!
        L

    3. Hey pal,

      Wow, I honestly don’t know what to say except that I have to go back & reread the last 3 chapters to get my head around where this story is going.

      Gotta be honest – it’s very confusing as you’ve noted.

      So, before I comment further, let me review one more time.

      Chat soon.

      • Hi Collins! *waves* Thanks so much for sticking with this story and giving me your thoughts. :-)

        I think I really made a mess of this, lol. I wonder if what happened is that, in wanting Tina’s dialogue to be realistic I’ve ended up with her not making herself clear? I didn’t want her to sound like a therapist. But basically she’s just really doubting herself, and her ability to make the right decisions. She loves Bette but she’s aware that she loved her before, and still hurt her – so that’s confusing, right?

        aaarghh….. oh well – I’ll try and make Ch9 better!

        Hope you’re well, my friend?
        L

        • Wave right back at ya!!

          Of course, you’ll always be my friend. But I think you were asking if I’m, ok?? Yes, I am.

          TBH, this story has taken turns that I hadn’t anticipated when you first started to right it. Which is ok, story twists & surprises are always good & keep the reader on their toes & on the edge of our seats at times too.

          But I don’t think you’ve got this settled in your mind yet. ???

          I think your intention was to show Tina’s perceptive & her hesitation to once again become emotionally involved with Bette in a romantic way. She’s doubting herself & if & why Bette could ever love her & maybe even why Bette loved her in the first place. ???

          But if that’s true, it’s not how it’s come across on the page. Tina blaming Bette was like a cold slap in the face!

          Again, let me read thru the last few chapters again. I know you’re on a tight time schedule, so I hope to get back to you asap.

          Stay well yourself. A bit chilly here in TX this week. WooHoo!!!

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