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    Oh Deer

    But no matter how hard she worked or how many hours she logged or how exhausted she was at the end of the night, her awareness always turned to Bette. Always. It didn’t help that she slept in the Yale sweatshirt every night.

    ***

    “James!” Bette yelled from her office. “JAMES!”

    James bolted to her side. Making sure she didn’t have to yell for him a third time. “Yes, Bette.”

    “What took you so long? Fuck.”

    “Sorry. Sorry.” James said, flustered. Bette’s bark was a bit more ferocious since Tina left. James did everything he could to make things easier for her at work. He knew she depended on him. And he liked his role even when she was in one of her Tina moods…which had been more frequently as of late.

    “Where’s…”

    “Right here,” he said as he handed her a file folder.

    “Did you…”

    “Yes. It’s all taken care of. Sent you an email about 5 minutes ago with all of the details.”

    “What’s the status…”

    “Done and done.”

    Bette looked at James. Scrutinizing him. He stood his ground. Waiting. Bette softened a little. She wouldn’t have been able to survive these last three months without James. She knew that and she knew he knew she knew that.

    They were ironing out the final details for the next show. She was grateful the Bette Porter Gallery was doing so well. Provocations really put her on the map. Bette was already a force in the art world. But procuring Provocations catapulted her gallery onto another level as one of the major players. And it only fanned the flames now that Peggy Peabody gave a raving review. “Bette Porter is art in human form. Her knowledge. Her understanding. And her fortitude is venerable.” Peggy was quoted saying in the new edition of ARTnews magazine. Artists and curators were drooling to work with the beautiful Bette Porter. A good majority of them were drooling for other reasons as well. Her latest show opened tomorrow night. The new carpenter exceeded Bette’s expectations. All that was left was to light the piece hanging from the ceiling and they would be ready.

    “Anything else?”

    “Yes, a KiKi Smith called this morning? She wants…”

    “What did you just say?” Bette’s eyes were wide.

    “A KiKi S…”

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