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(Bette) All the while you were fucking me over
(Tina) Please calm down
(Bette, raising her voice) I will not calm down. You’d finish up at the end of a hard day working on this and come over and I’d rub your shoulders, make you dinner, go down on you
(Bette) And you knew this was coming? What the fuck Tina! I must be a fucking joke to you
Tina stands and looks at her fiercely.
(Tina) Stop it. We both know the conflicts that exist between our professions. Don’t act like this is news to you.
(Bette, shaking her head) You’re no longer on my side
(Tina) Professionally, of course I’m not. There are reasons why any actual relationship between us is impossible Bette, that go beyond any threat of exposure. My job is to hold you to account.
(Bette) You should have warned me at least. Do I not at least get that before you publish my name alongside this?
(Tina) Bette I can’t treat you differently because of our association. If I had told you I would have had to make 30 phone calls to 30 different Senators, Mayors, Governors.
Bette shakes her head and has a gulp of wine.
(Tina) You know what would have happened then. There would be calls and threats made well above me, and this story would have never seen the light of day. You know how these things work. Have you looked at some of the allegations in here?
Tina picks up the paper sitting on the bench and throws it closer to Bette.
(Tina) You’re asking me to also cover up each and every one of those.
(Bette) I’m not asking you to cover up anything. Mine was an oversight, and a minor one. You could have told me months ago when you became aware of it and I’d have dealt with it. I’d have sold those shares and moved on
(Tina) You’re not listening to me. Or you’re being deliberately obtuse.
Bette smiles sarcastically and mutters to herself.
(Bette) For fuck’s sake
(Tina) You wouldn’t actually want me to do what you’re saying. Did you go into this to be a Senator whose interests are covered up by being in bed with the media? Because you’re fucking the editor of a major outlet? That’s corruption Bette. I don’t care how minor the indiscretion, it is the act of cover up that is corrupt.
(Bette) You can put whatever spin on this you like, this is bullshit Tina. If you couldn’t tell me then you should have stopped seeing me the moment you decided to run with this. You can’t claim moral superiority here when your actions were so shockingly duplicitous. You had a choice. You chose to continue seeing me and so you should have warned me
They stand in silence for a moment, each looking downwards and gathering their thoughts.
(Tina) If I were to do as you ask, to bury your conflicts because of our personal relationship, and that relationship were to be later exposed, that would be it for me.
(Bette) Well protect yourself Tina, by all means
Tina goes to walk out of the room.
(Tina) I can’t talk to you when you’re like this
Bette follows close behind her into the lounge.
(Bette) You don’t get to walk away here
Tina turns to face her.
(Tina) Well then walk away. It’s pointless talking about this when you’re this angry. Go and calm down and let’s talk another time
(Bette) Who’s to say if I walk away that I will come back?
Tina looks at her for a long moment.
(Tina, speaking calmly) Do what you like. We were clear from the start with what this is and what this isn’t. What we’re doing can’t interfere with our professional obligations. If you can’t get a handle on this change in our dynamic then it’s best we don’t continue
(Bette) I can’t remember you being this fucking cold
(Tina, raising her voice) I am not being cold. I am being pragmatic.
They look at each other angrily for another moment.
(Tina) I think you should leave.
(Bette) I am fucking leaving
Bette picks up her bag and walks out the front door, slamming it behind her.