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    Decisions

    “You okay,” Bette asked.

    “Yes. I just miss this. I miss us. I hope that isn’t too forward of me to say.”

    “No, it’s not. I miss us too. I miss you.”

    Tina gasped. Then nodded.

    “I miss you too.”

    They stared into each other’s eyes for several heartbeats until Bette broke the trance and leaned back. She wiped invisible crumbs from her lap. Tina knew the moment had passed. She looked down and quickly back up.

    “Okay. Well, that was a really great end to a very interesting day. Thank you.”

    “Thank you,” Bette replied.

    “I’m just gonna clean this up and we can go whenever you’re ready.”

    “Let me help you.”

    Tina was about to protest and then she nodded. They threw out the trash. Put the floatie away and gathered their things. All in silence both in deep thought. They piled into the car when they were finished. They rode in silence. Each looking out the window. Tina had to sit a little closer to Bette because of all the stuff in one of the seats. She could’ve had Steve move it to the back, but it gave her an excuse to be closer to Bette.

    Bette looked over at Tina and she had fallen asleep already. They had only been in the car for five minutes. Bette exhaled. She scooted closer to Tina in case she needed to lean her head on her shoulder. A few seconds later, Tina snuggled in the nape of Bette’s neck. Their bodies knew what to do even when their brains were overthinking everything. Tina’s scent was intoxicating. Bette melted a little.

    Bette rested her head on top of Tina’s. And Bette sat that way until she fell asleep too. The driver meandered through the city in no rush. Tina draped her arm across Bette’s chest. It was a 45-minute drive back to the apartment.

    Bette woke up first. She didn’t realize how tired she was. She hadn’t slept that well since the last time they were cuddled together at the hotel. She stared at the blonde on her shoulder. She moved her hair away from her face and traced her cheek with her finger.

    “Baby?”

    Tina startled Bette and she dropped her hand to her lap instantly.

    “Yeah?”

    “That felt nice.”

    Bette furrowed her brow and mouthed ‘fuck’. Tina still had her eyes closed.

    “Do you want to kiss me?”

    Bette hesitated.

    “Yes” Bette whispered. “…but…”

    “But your heart can’t take it. I know. It’s nice knowing you want to though.”

    Tina lifted her head up. Placed her hand on Bette’s cheek and looked deeply into her eyes.

    “Thanks for scooting over so my head could rest on your shoulder,” Tina said.

    The car came to a stop. Bette nodded. Tina released Bette’s face. The driver opened the door and helped Tina out of the car. A tear slowly rolled down Bette’s left cheek.

    Comments

    1. I love this story. I am sooooo glad Tina spoke to Alice about the article before she said anything to Bette. And I am really glad Bette is staying with Tina and extended the visit. I can’t imagine anyone swimming 500 laps. My tired old brain tried to compute that much swimming. Obviously Bette needed it. She is so afraid to let Tina inside her heart to heal the hurt but she is making some baby steps. And Tina is not pushing, too much, which is helping. I have a feeling Tina won’t need an apartment in LA but that’s my wishful thinking. Three specific observations: Bette’s recollection of another time Tina had asked her not to go was just so hot and Tina calling Bette baby melts my heart every time. Lastly, Bette calling Tina… well…Tina is driving her crazy. She walked into the pool surprising Bette. “What the hell, Tina!” STOP CALLING ME TINA, she screamed inside.” It’s the barometer we are all keeping track of. Waiting for that first Tee. Waiting for that dam to bust. My favorite line is actually one from Alice: “Have you met, Bette? She’s so sprung over you.” No truer words. Excellent chapter.

      • Thank you so much! I’m glad Tina spoke to Alice too. It could’ve been a nightmare if she yelled at her in the pool which she almost did. LOL! 500 laps might be a tad excessive but I wanted to get the point across that Bette needed to swim long and hard. There is a crack in that wall around Bette’s heart. Tina has just got to keep doing exactly what she’s been doing and not push too hard. I think she is succeeding so far. She still has her insecurities and she still wants Bette to forgive her already. But she also knows the intricacies of Bette’s heart and it’s going to take a wall to chip away at her walls.

        Bette calling Tina Tina is driving Tina insane. I hope she can hold it together. LOL

    2. TB4EE,
      U got a prob? NO Mamm, I say nothing wrong with loving and telling a story that has much life. U’re gr8 at Tibette banter. You had me doing the deep dive into this chapter on page one.

      Neither of them speaking, yet saying so much. . . . eyes locked in on Bette’s,HOLDING her breath, W A I T I N G. H O P I N G.

      “BABY, wait. Please don’t go”.
      “You literally just told me to get out”.
      “Now,I’m telling you to stay. ASKING you to STAY”.

      . . . . What do I need to do to get you to trust me with all of you?”

      Be patient”.
      I’ve been patient,Tina snapped.
      You’ve been . . . Patient-ish
      Tina looked up at the smirk on Bette’s face and they BOTH started laughing.

      • Thank you! My hope is that we get to see them work out things in their heads, truly talk and listen to their hearts. I think we deserve to see them really work through their issues. Not sure how long it will take for them to get back together or even if they will…but it’s TiBette, ya know? They love each other so much. They feel so much. Bette hasn’t ever dealt with her triggers or traumas. It’s about time she does that.

    3. Such a joy to read this story!

      Agree with everything Billy said in her comments!

      Slowly very slowly Bette is softening toward Tina and there is a tiny crack in the big wall around her soul and heart.

      500 hundreds laps, my god, my body hurts and protest reading that!

      Loved both the conversations between Tina & Alice and between Bette & Shane! Funny and especially Alice in her advice too Tina.

      I hope to read more soon!

      • Thank you so much. I’m glad you’re enjoying the story. It’s been fun to write. And very emotional. I get so involved in the characters. Sometimes I have to take a step back and remind myself it’s a story. LOL! Bette is starting to soften. Fingers crossed neither one of them messes it up.

        • TB4EE,
          You have answered a lot of the ???? That have been rumbling around in Tibette’s heads using Alice and Shane.

          Page 20, Alice:
          1. We’ll, in all fairness, Tina, she wasn’t seeing U when she did the interview.
          2. Tee…U are in Vancouver. She was in LA . . . Y’all had not seen each other for 3 months. Bette was
          Being an asshole but She WASN’T WRONG
          3. UGH! So U think she said that to hurt me?
          No, not at all. I think she SAID it BECAUSE SHE WAS HURTING. Boy was Alice right!!!!

          4. . . . . Exactly. So I repeat, . . . And start THINKING about Bette. It’s NOT about U right now

          Page23, Shane::

          1. Bette rolled her eyes. “What the fuck am I doing, Shane?”
          Sounds like the LOVE is WINNING but u’re too STUBBORN to L E T it. (. Wow!)
          “I don’t know how to heal this hurt”. You L E T Tina help You. She’s the cause of it

          “And she’s the ONLY ONE who can step inside your heart and guide you out of this funk”

          Talk about speaking the truth “in love” and giving clear wisdom!!! GO Shaney

          “Thanks for nothing, Shane”, Bette laughed.
          “Anytime”.

    4. This is such a slow unraveling of their relationship. Bette started to trust again, Tina wanting it to move faster (like Billy said… every time Tina is said instead of Tee) but knowing she needs to let it run it’s course. These kind of stories are so hard to write because of course we all want them together but it is so delicious when all the walls come down and it happens. This is really well written, I hope you post again soon!

      • Thank you so much! It’s been torture to write…torture in a good way. LOL! I’ve had to rewrite a few scenes because I was pushing them together too quickly. I have to keep reminding myself that they aren’t there yet. And I have to keep reminding myself that it’s possible they won’t find their way back to each other. I’m glad you’re enjoying the story. More coming soon.

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