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As soon as they were out of the store, Tina was quick to explain herself. ”Babe, I’m sorry. I didn’t think you would… I didn’t–”
”You didn’t think I was able to pay for myself?” Bette retorted, sarcasm dripping off her tongue.
”No! No, of course I didn’t think that, don’t be ridiculous,” Tina said with a frown, however, the frown disappeared from her face as fast as it emerged. ”I don’t know… I guess I’m just used to pay for people, so–so I had this reflex to pay for you. There was no back thought in my head,” she offered, watching her girlfriend imploringly, seeking for understanding.
Bette sighed and looked at her. ”Well, you need to get rid of this little reflex of yours. I work and I earn money, just like you do, so I’m capable of paying for myself. I don’t want any more embarrassment such as this, do you understand me?”
They walked out of the mall and were strolling down the parking lot toward Tina’s car when the blonde couldn’t fight the urge to ask, ”So, I never get to pay for you wherever we are, is that right? What’s so wrong about it?”
”Nothing is wrong about it, Tina. I’m capable of paying for myself, it’s that simple.”
They both climbed into the car and looked at each other.
”But WHAT is wrong if I pay for you once in a while, at a restaurant, for example? Or if I buy you a bottle of water? Would it be wrong as well?” Tina was insistent to find the root of the problem.
Bette broke eye contact and turned away, staring straight ahead, her jaw muscle twitching. ”I already told you everything you need to know. End of discussion. Now, let’s go have dinner. I’m hungry.”
Tina narrowed her eyes, but decided to let it go for now. She set the car in motion and drove a couple miles to one Italian restaurant, a trendy place just off Sunset Boulevard. Over dinner they talked easily, flirted shamelessly with each other and discussed anything and everything except for what had happened in the mall.
When they were done and both were finishing their drinks, which was wine for Tina and tea for Bette, the waiter brought over the check. Tina watched calmly as Bette gave her a pointed don’t-you-dare look and proceeded to take care of the check.