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    Out of the Flames – Chapter Seven

    San Francisco, days later…

    Working a case off-book was tricky. Not only did it take a considerable amount of time, but it also required resources and often access to restricted law enforcement files and data systems. Bette, Eric, and Tina each had to go about their daily business, working their official caseloads, while surreptitiously collecting every piece of information on Diego Rojas, Kiss, and Los Dorados. And they were about to start that slow, tedious process.

    Bette waited in her car until she spotted Eric pull into his usual section of the parking garage, then called him on his cell. “I’m in my car a few rows over. Let’s talk.”

    Moments later, Eric opened the passenger door and slid into the front passenger seat. “Are we ready to do this?”

    As much as Bette appreciated everything Eric had done and was willing to do for her, if anyone was going to risk their job to track down Diego’s burner phone, by the time she got to the parking garage at work this morning she decided it was going to be her.

    “I am, but I don’t want your fingerprints on this, Eric. You’ve done enough by holding Diego’s number back. There are a lot more rules that need to be broken, and I’ll be the one to do it. Tina and I can take it from here.”

    Eric didn’t appear all too happy about Bette’s decision, but he understood it. “Alright, but promise me you’ll bring me in when you get close. I know Tina is good, but you know I’ll always have your back.”

    Bette knew it was hard for Eric to take a back seat in this and she respected him even more for him doing it. She stared him square in the eye and said, “I promise, my friend.”

    Like many law enforcement data systems, any information search required a secure login and a criminal case number to associate the search. Each search was logged and tracked so Bette would have to be careful. She waited until Eric went into the field to make sure anything she did couldn’t be linked back to him, then sifted through the case files he had her catch up on during her first day back to work and selected one at random.

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    1. Hi, thanks for the chapter!

      Ok, last five chapters were hard to read for me, but this part i taked more easy. I like that B&T spending many time together, talking and thinking about “What if” posibilities. Yes, maybe for Bette too early to start romantic realitionship with Tina, but i like how events developmenting.

      And second, i think Bette and her ex-wife parents need to find some common ground for Reagan. Because Bette likes or not, Reagan needs to see her last grandparents. At least sometime.

      • Zhenya, glad you’ve stuck with me on this. I have plans for this version of Bette and Tina that go beyond this book, but in order to understand where they’re going/where they’ll end up, I wanted to show how they got their start. I know for a true TiBette fan, the lead up wasn’t your cup of tea, but I think you’ll be happy with what’s in store your favorite couple. Thanks so much for reading and always providing me honest feedback.

    2. Thanks for the mid week update. Loving these. Glad Bette seems to be starting to heal. The grandparents are jerks and Reagan should be the deciding factor. Hopefully judge sees that. Thanks again

      • wkm, I have some upcoming commitments, so I’m posting as quickly as I can. I once promised to never leave a story unfinished and to continuously post until the story is done. As long as I’m still ticking, I won’t break that promise. So glad you’re enjoying the story.

    3. Great chapter, CN. Great they are gettiing along so well and thinking on the same wave length. Also good they are having similiar thoughts about each other and will take it slowly, solve the case and hopefully not get hurt in the process, neither of them needs more hurt. Really hope Reagans’ comment to her grparents make them see the truth and make them back off. I’m guessing but, hopefully our girls can trace the telephone calls from Avery’s phone back to her last call with them, and that they were the ones talking to her when she said, “I can’t think about that now, ” or words to that effect. Too lazy to go back to look it up. The girls must know that they can retrieve the conversations that she had and that would probably help with the custody case. Enjoyed the chapter. Thanks for posting.

      • Dainty, tracing the calls between Avery and her parents is one thing, knowing or proving what was said is another. Bette has a lawyer to look out for her interests when it comes to Reagan, In the meantime, she’s more interested in tracking down her wife’s killer. So happy you’re enjoying the story. Thanks for reading.

    4. Thanks for another captivating chapter before the weekend.
      So Avery was talking to her parents on the phone just before she went to the crime scene? Maybe that’s what she “coudln’t deal with right now”, maybe they put some kind of pressure on her in regard of her marriage to a woman or because of Reagan. Hmmmm, interesting! But you already told us that the reason for Avery’s distraction on the day of the explosion will be revealed later.
      Impressive moment for Reagan at court! Feisty but honest teenager, that one ;)

      I like how you develop Tina’s and Bette’s friendship and work-relationship. They’re both risking their jobs to solve the case.
      Looking forward to the next part!

      • kiwipit, how could Reagan be anything but honest and feisty? Afterall, she was raised by Avery and lived with Bette for the past year. About Bette and Tina’s growing friendship, sometimes the strongest romantic relationships are ones rooted in friendship. Thanks so much for reading, and I so glad you’re still enjoying the story.

      • Bibi, When I came up with this story, knowing it wasn’t a typical TiBette story, I wasn’t sure how well it would be received on LesFan. I expected some pushback, and I got some, for which I’m actually grateful. The feedback made me rethink some aspects of the storyline and ultimately made it much better. I have only two more posts left in this story and hope you’ll like how I wrap things up. Thanks for reading.

        • CN, i think all your stories will be read! I love that you don’t do the typical Tibette stories. My only request is that at the end there will be a happy Tibette end. I read really good Tibette stories end was disapponted when it didn’t have a happy ending. I don’t reread those only because due the fact they don’t have the happy Tibette ending.

          Only two more chapters, oh that is sad, i could read many more chapters. But you give us long updates.

    5. Hey, I have been looking for a good story around TiBette that captured more than their love – friendship, trust (gotta say I love a good love triangle too) – and, having spent the whole day reading all chapters, this was like a hard, but beautiful journey for me too. I appreciate that you took your time developing their characters to the point where no decision they made was strange; time-wise – very well planned.
      I also appreciate your way with words, I have nothing to reproach you linguistically speaking.
      The only thing that was off for me was Bette’s style; maybe I expected to see something resembling the graceful, elegant Bette of the L Word, a master of the smart-casual style; just a thought. Of course, it’s subjective, what stands out to us in a person but I always saw her as the embodiment of poise.
      Finally, a good piece of writing, after cringing through so many stories with barely believable plots and laughably bad dialogue!
      Looking forward to the next chapters!

      • Sam Mann, Thank you so much for your kind words. It warms my heart everytime a new reader takes the time to drop a comment. FYI, my previous three books in my Delayed series, portray a more graceful, elegant Bette that is more reminiscent of TLW. If you haven’t already checked them out, I recommend starting with Delayed Connection, then Delayed Justice, and finally Delayed Exposure. You might enjoy the characters along with the plots. Those stories represent my first attempt at writing, so I hope you’ll forgive my amateur style. I’m an old woman, learning some new tricks and have tried to put what I’ve learned into practice with Flames. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book.

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