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“It varies – sometimes it’s just 6km – other times – like at weekends its longer – I like cycling as well”
“I enjoy running – it’s just you get out of the habit “
Bette nodded even though running was something that she could never imagine getting out of the habit of. But as Bette knew she was borderline obsessive-compulsive about her fitness regime. She looked at Tina
“It’s easier to get into the habit if you have someone to run with “Bette said gently
Tina smiled “I would like that – I have a few spare pounds to get rid of “
“You look fine to me “Bette replied
Tina blushed and grinned at Bette
“I know that I am lazy – well my mother tells me often enough – it’s just getting into a routine. I ran a lot at college “
Bette nodded “Well the offer is there if you want someone to train with “
“How serious are you about running?” Tina asked thinking that it wouldn’t look that good for her chances with Bette if she was utterly humiliated by her
“I am not in training for anything in particular – I had my name down for the London marathon but didn’t get drawn out – that just leaves a few half marathons and the New York marathon “
“You do the New York one ?”
“Broke my PB last year “Bette said smiling
“Don’t tell me – not if you want me to come out with you – being humiliated is not good “
“I wouldn’t I swear “Bette said honestly
Tina smiled – yes – she probably wouldn’t. Tina was torn – on one hand it was a fantastic excuse to spend time with Bette that wasn’t directly connected to their current campaign against their mothers. But Tina was out of practice
“Well maybe a little 4-5 km run sometime “Tina conceded vowing to go out running after work to see just how far she could go and whether she would need oxygen at the end of the run.
“It’s a deal – I’ll be gentle “Bette added grinning
“Oh, I wouldn’t want you to be gentle “Tina replied looking Bette in the eyes “We’d run properly or not at all “
Bette nodded in appreciation – she liked that attitude
“So, is you being lazy one of the things that your mother says about you even though it’s not true?”
“Yes – my mother has a whole collection of them “
“Mother’s do – my mother tells people that I can’t cook – I can – I am pretty good mainly because I have had to be and it would be too easy for me to eat out every night. I can’t cook the way that my mother can but my mother doesn’t believe in using anything that makes cooking easy “
“Gee – that sounds like the food your mom cooks is fantastic “
“My mother’s food has to be tasted to be believed but she’s kind of old fashioned like that. She’s adorable and I love her to death but she likes coming home from work and making a meal from scratch – this is not because my dad is too mean to take her out or anything – she prefers food the way she makes it – her meals are awesome. That’s one of the reasons I run because I eat over there a couple of times a week and I like to indulge “
Tina laughed – that sounded good
“My mom is good but dramatic in the kitchen – she likes to cook but it has to be with a musical background and a glass of red wine and usually an audience. I don’t think she bothers unless she’s entertaining “
“What does your mom do?” Tina asked
“She’s worked at New York Public Library since she was about 30. She’s a senior manager there now – she loves it. It really shaped me when I was growing up – I would go there after school and do my homework and it was like this huge playground for me – I always had someone to help me with my homework- as often as not someone who knew more about the subject than my teacher. I love books to this day and I know that so much of that is because of mom “
“What’s your favourite book?” Tina asked fascinated by this insight into Bette.
Bette shook her head “Books are like music for me – sometimes I just read biographies and books about history – cannot get enough of that. Other times I like lighter stuff or crime. I don’t think there is anything better than finding a new author who just fall in love with and you just devour everything they have read”
Tina nodded – she did understand that
“I am like that with movies – I love reading but my real passion is films “
Bette smiled at this piece of information – asking her to the movies might be a nice safe way of them starting to see one another.
“Has it always been a passion of yours?”
“I think from when my mom used to take me onwards – I love going to the movies and I love curling up in a chair watching DVD’s or just finding something that’s on cable that I have missed or have seen five times before – depends on my mood “
Bette nodded – the more she was finding out about Tina the more still she wanted to know
“So, are you not really lazy?” she asked
Tina sighed “Compared to my mother – yes I probably am but that’s because I am not driven the way that she is “
“I had a conversation with my father about your mom “Bette said
Tina chuckled “All I got from my mom is that she has tremendous respect for your dad and they used to fight like cat and dog when they were at college “
Bette laughed “That is a decent summary of what my father said about your mom – something along the lines of he didn’t see what a privileged white girl could complain about “
Tina laughed “Well he has a point – my grandfather is a retired judge in North Carolina, my grandmother still has a partnership in a law firm – my great grandfather was a supreme court nominee under Eisenhower – law is rather in my genes “
“And you weren’t interested?”
Tina shook her head “I am aware of everything that my mom says that I am privileged and spoilt and have had every advantage available to me and all because of the law but no – it’s doesn’t interest me and that is almost heretic if you have the name Kennard. It means when we go to family things like when my grandfather retired – well its hell on earth for me because all they talk about are cases “
“Dad loves the law but he doesn’t really talk about it – I know some cases affect him. Mom used to stop him from telling me about the gory ones – so he would just wait until we were alone and then he would tell me “
“Your parents just sound lovely Bette “
“They are and they are still happily married “
“How did they take you being gay? “
“I don’t think it was that much of a surprise to either of them – they are both cool and have always been great “
Tina nodded as their sandwiches arrived
“I would like to meet them “
“I am sure that you will “Bette replied “But I think what we should do is find out when they are next having one of their lunches and you need to gate crash it “
“Maybe if she doesn’t like me, she will decide that I am not good enough for her daughter “
“My mom likes everyone and she will like you “
Tina smiled “I hope so – I wouldn’t want her to stop trying to get us together “
“Me neither “
Tina wanted desperately to say something to Bette – to tell her that she wanted her but there was a voice in her head that kept telling her that Bette was way out of her league – there was no way that Tina would normally be able to pick up the likes of Bette in a club or bar . Bette was one of the beautiful people that Tina and her friends could only admire from afar. She reflected that the only one of her friends who probably would go up to the Bette Porters of the lesbian world and speak to her was Shane – but Shane had an appeal to just about every lesbian she had met. One the other hand Bette was making little attempt to hide how much she was “into “Tina. The conversations and the looks and admiring remarks all told Tina to make a move – to just acknowledge that there was something brewing between them.
Her last relationship had been bad – it had been negative and had left scars – those were the scars that were keeping her from speaking to Bette.
“You okay?” Bette asked “Tina?”
Tina tried to shake herself free from Jane’s influence but it wasn’t easy. She could hear her ex’s voice doing her down – telling her how useless and clumsy and stupid she was. If she added that to her mother’s constant litany of things that Tina sucked at – why was she even trying with Bette?
“I am okay – sorry “
Bette knew when someone was lying to her – she suspected she knew what the problems were with the blonde. She ate her sandwich for a few minutes before she looked at Tina who was sitting with her head down – the change in her mood was obvious.
“Your ex did a real number on you didn’t she?”
Tina looked up suddenly “What?”
“While we are both laughing at our parents attempt to get us together one of the drawbacks is the fact that our mother’s talk and they talk about their daughters. Your mom talks about you a lot “
Tina looked almost fearful – Bette’s instinct was to touch Tina’s hand in reassurance but that was too fraught – for now.
“My mom was talking about the daughter of a friend of hers at work who had just come out of a relationship with an actress and that the actress had really hurt the woman by being egotistical and selfish “
“Damn the old bat “Tina said
“I didn’t put 2 and 2 together for ages –not until I was running yesterday after we had been talking at lunch – you told me what play your ex was in “
Tina cursed and cursed her mother and Jane for leaving her feeling so worthless
“I am ashamed that I let her play such games with me “
Bette shook her head
“She was in the wrong – not you. You are a beautiful woman – you have a lot to give the right woman.
There is nothing to be afraid of Tina “
“I do really well the majority of the time – but when it comes to asking a woman out – asking her if I can see her “ Tina shook her head “I just get a voice in my head – and sometimes it’s my mom telling me that I am pretty but I don’t make enough of myself and sometimes its Jane telling me how grateful I should be that she has lowered herself to come over to my grotty apartment and sleep with me”
Tina knew that with every word she was uttering she was talking herself out of a date with Bette Porter.
Bette didn’t believe in fate and just knowing when you had met that special woman – but now – well Tina was proof that Bette could be wrong in her thinking.
Bette decided to take a step out of her comfort zone – she reached across and took Tina’s hand. The blonde looked up in surprise as the bolt of sexually charged electricity was felt by her – and she suspected also by Bette.
“Tina – will you come on a date with me”