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Tina did know Bette, and she wasn’t too sure that seeing the marks caused by Carrie’s hands would be relieving for her at all, but she knew Bette would insist. Tina kissed Bette’s hand that was held in her own before letting it go to unbutton her shirt. It wasn’t a sexual moment at all. It was a moment filled with tension, anxiety, compassion, and trust. When all the buttons were undone Tina started to pull the shirt off but Bette stopped her.
”Let me.” She whispered.
Tina looked away as Bette began to pull her shirt off. Tina felt embarrassed. She was caught off guard when she felt Bette’s lips on her arms where they were now a light black and blue – sure to be darker by morning. Bette kissed the bruises gently while Tina ran her fingers through the brunette hair. Again, it wasn’t a sexual moment but one of comfort. When Bette felt satisfied that she soothed herself and Tina enough, she pulled Tina’s shirt back on and buttoned it up.
When Bette was done, she looked seriously at Tina, ”She will never hurt you again T.” Bette said with conviction.
Tina smiled at Bette’s fierce loyalty, internally chastising herself again for ever believing the lies fed to her, but she’d work through that in time.
”I want you to rest tonight, Bette. I know it’ll be hard to shut your crazy mind down,” Tina said with a chuckle as she touched Bette’s temple. ”But I want you to try. Tomorrow is sure to be exhausting and I want us both to be ready for it.”
”I’ll try.” Bette said softly before pulling her into a tender hug. ”Drive safe, okay? Are you really sure you should be staying at your house alone?”
”Don’t worry Baby, I’m staying at a hotel. Carrie doesn’t know, so it’ll be fine. I’ll text you when I get to my room and send you the info for the hotel I’m staying in, my room, and the room phone number. Don’t keep yourself worked up. I know we haven’t talked about a lot, but I promise I’m taking precautions.”
Tina pulled back from the hug. Both women looked deeply into the eyes of the other before they simultaneously leaned in for a chaste kiss. Bette walked Tina to the door when they pulled apart.
”Try to sleep in, and I’ll call before I head over. I’ll pick up some food for a late breakfast, okay?”
”Okay T, I’ll see you in the morning.”
Tina smiled as she began exiting the home to walk to her car.
”Hey T?” Tina turned back to look at Bette. ”I love you.”
Tina smiled broadly, a sweet relief filling her body not even realizing her subconscious desire to hear the words until they had been said. ”I love you too Baby, I love you too.”