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“Well hello darling…” Charlotte purred, reaching out with one hand to clasp Bette’s.
“Char… wait, what are you doing here?” Bette stammered, her hold on Tina loosening as Charlotte pulled her in for a kiss on both cheeks, all four awkwardly close. Bette’s head was reeling, what was Charlotte doing here? Here with Jodie? Oh God, the art show…
“I assume you both know Jodie Learner, the artist?” Charlotte interrupted Bette’s thoughts and let go of Bette’s hand to sign to Jodie as she spoke, looking between the two of them.
“Yes… we’ve… dated, it’s been a while… this is my wife Tina” Bette smiled graciously, good Lord would this evening be nothing but one social hell after another?
She glanced at Tina who was wearing an expression she couldn’t quite read. She tightened her grip on Tina’s waist and pulled her closer as Charlotte signed something to Jodie, too fast for Bette to read.
“Hello, Tina”, Charlotte moved in to kiss both of Tina’s cheeks, laughing. “You must be one special lady to capture such a delightful creature as my Bette…” Charlotte said teasingly, her voice smooth and European and Tina liked her immediately. Bette was relieved when Tina flashed a beautiful smile, her eyes lighting up.
“Actually, Bette captured me, almost 8 years ago…” Tina said softly, looking at Bette and smiling. She looked at Jodie, who stared back with a blank look on her face.
“Ahhh… mon dieu! What a striking pair you make…” she continued, signing to Jodie, who seemed unusually subdued. “Well, my darlings… enjoy your evening, I will see you Bette… Monday, yes? You have the painting hung I see?”
“Yes, it looks incredible. We are almost ready for the opening.” Bette was pulled into another hug with the affectionate artist who then dragged Jodie away, waving. Jodie looked over her shoulder at Tina and narrowed her eyes, shaking her head slightly.
“Come on, Baby, let’s get you some coffee and spend time with our friends. The evening is almost over, and we still have a chance to enjoy ourselves, sound ok?” Bette did not leave Tina’s side the rest of the evening. Eric kept his distance and the friend group found themselves really enjoying the evening being together.