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    Remember Who You Are 33

    Bette loved mornings.

    Well… to be honest, she was not a morning person per se… but she loved mornings with Tina. Early mornings, sleeping in mornings, rainy mornings, mornings where the air was crisp and cold or hot and sweaty. All the mornings if Tina was there beside her.

    Before Tina, there was never an opportunity for a morning with someone. Bette considered that too much… closeness, too personal. Something she could not, would not allow.

    So, her conquests never stayed the night, were always asked to leave or, more likely, Bette did the leaving… so she would always wake up the next morning in her own bed, alone. By design and yet, always…

    … painfully, inescapably alone.

    Hungover… cotton mouthed… with empty sheets next to her. More importantly though, she would wake up full of regret, guilt. Lonely. Dissatisfied.

    Empty.

    The first night Tina stayed, she already filled a place in Bette’s heart that overruled her head. Bette was already helplessly in love. She just refused to accept it.

    Bette remembered that night. She remembered standing in front of her bathroom mirror debating with herself, her head falling into old patterns of sending Tina home but her heart… her heart laughing at that silly notion. Her heart knew better.

    Her heart knew that Bette would not be kicking Tina out of her bed anytime soon. And Tina… Tina effortlessly ended any internal debate Bette had with a simple, sweet kiss in the middle of Bette’s back that ignited what the heart already knew. And Tina did not even know she was doing it.

    Bette woke up that morning, long ago, feeling… content, for the first time ever. Could it be?
    Relaxed even.

    It was a lovely, warm feeling and not in the sense that she had blankets and coverings but warm in that her heart was happy. Full.

    It took a minute to recognize the difference, and when the blonde head next to her stirred then lifted… and when the cornflower blue eyes opened, the lazy smile played across a sleepy face… Bette Porter was done for.

    She would never forget the drowsy way Tina pulled herself closer, the sweet way she cupped Bette’s face and the cuteness when she shyly whispered in her ear.

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    Comments

    1. No Tina. You cannot be swayed by this!! Look at the magnitude of what has taken place. Eric is a psychopath who must be locked away forever. Donna is a homophobic nut case and Tina needs to be away from her. Given Eric’s illegal dealings the business and everything else is gone regardless of what Tina does. Eric could have killed Aaron. Is he being charged with that crime? I love this story very much. But please make sure to tie up these loose legal ends. Eric has committed a lot of crimes against a lot of people. This is not on Tina. Regardless of what Donna says. These so called parents essentially prostituted their daughters to Eric and that is disgusting. Tina and Bette are in a good place. I assume that future Bette thinking back on this day hopefully means it all works out for Tina being done with these people.

      • Thank you for your passion and comments, Billy. I love love love this. There does seem to be quite a few legal loose ends to tie up. Eric has been very busy and created a trail of destruction behind him! THank you for reading, I appreciate your insight!

    2. Amazing chapter BK!!!

      Such a wonderful and loving start to end with Tina’s dad pleading for help. Please Tina, don’t fall for it. They sold you out to Eric who they consider as son.

      Sick or not, they don’t deserve the help, they are disgusting horrible people and Donna is a nut case who should pay for her crimes as a mother who let hurt Eric both her daughters.

      Eric is a criminal who deserve to spent the rest of his life in jail and i hope he will be charged for almost killing Aaron now that there is evidence due to the blood work. He is involved with so many crimes, make sure that he will be locked behind bars. I beg you BK!!!!

      I absolutely loved how Bette presented the evidence and how Donna for a instant thought she would help them. She was fabulous!!!!

      Like Billy already commented, please make sure to tie up these loose legal ends. And i completely agree with these lines “This is not on Tina. Regardless of what Donna says. Tina and Bette are in a good place. I assume that future Bette thinking back on this day hopefully means it all works out for Tina being done with these people.” (Well said Billy)

      I think Tina should also ban Lucy from her life. She has done so much behind her back, cheating with Eric, not being honest, lying and how dare she compare what she did with Eric when Tina was with him and Bette’s cheating. Fortunately, Tina immediately spoke to her that this is not comparable. How can Tina ever trust her again? I couldn’t do that, too much has happened.

      I hope Tina won’t fall for their pleas. She is not at all guilty of what they have done to them self and her by selling their souls to Eric. It’s her family, but this is not a family you want to be part of. As she said, Bette is her family.

      This is a terrific story BK!!! A absolute joy to read!!! Thank you!!!

      Stay save and healthy 🙏

      • Thank you BiBIi. I always look forward to your comments. This chapter has launched a very lovely debate that i am really enjoying reading. I would hate to be the author of this…. oh wait… :))
        Everyone has been so well spoken in their arguments and quite compelling in their viewpoints.
        Tina and Bette will have to trust each other and allow each other to process and muddle through this quagmire together, I do not envy them the pain this rift has cause. I love your comments and enthusiasm for this story, really you have no idea,
        Enjoy your Sunday, stay safe, healthy

    3. I guess if I were in Bette’s and Tina’s shoes, I would handle it this way. First, Tom would have to give Bette and Tina access to his medical record to prove that he was actually sick and what his prognosis was. He could be lying. It is entirely he is suffering from stress due to the fact that he is about to lose everything he has. If he’s not ill, I’d tell them good bye and get lost. Second. I would insist that they see a lawyer and cooperate with the Prosecution of Eric for all crimes from the assault of Tina and Aaron and the drug trafficking he has been involved in. No cooperation with the prosecution, no help. Third. A lawyer can look at the documents which bind the Kennards to the loan. Usually there is a cause which can make the contract unenforceable if fraud or illegal activities were used to induce a contract. They may be able to reverse the contract without having to pay back the money. If this didn’t work, then maybe the lawyer has a better idea. Fourth – They are to return to North Carolina and with the exception of a Christmas card or a phone call announcing one of their deaths, Tina will call them, they are not to call Tina. Good luck with treatment. Sorry about having a fatal disease perhaps their church friends can help them out. They couldn’t pray away the gay, maybe they will have better luck praying away the cancer. Should further assistance be needed, they would consider it depending on if they fulfilled all the conditions set forth before. And as a bonus, they would help them find a lawyer. They presumed that they were getting good health care. Meeting over!

      Bette and Tina then have an emotional problem. How do they cut off all contact with parents even though they have a miserable relationship with them both past and present? That is easier said than done. No matter how bad the relationship or how abusive, people want reconciliation in some form. They want a recognition of the inappropriate behavior and a sincere apology and possibly forgiveness. Where Tina owes nothing to her parents, she is bound to feel some guilt if she completely walks away in their hour of need. And if they make some effort to make things right, then she should consider helping them where she can. Donna may never admit her errors and mistreatment of Tina, but Tom may. So Donna will have to decide if a relationship with her daughter is worth changing her views on her daughter’s sexuality and of Eric. If she is obstinate, then she makes her choice and then the relationship ends.

      As of this meeting, there is nothing to do with Lucy except that she is trapped in Eric web of fraud and deceit. So dealing with Lucy is going to be a different matter. Tina has already drawn the line in the sand – Lucy must show evidence that she is sorry is the only path to a relationship with Tina. If Lucy continues to make excuses for her behavior, that is not evidence for her bad behavior. Time for Lucy to grow up. Looks like she is another one of those who use the “whatabout X” in her world to justify the inexcusable. That is not owning her misbehavior.

      Fantastic story…. I did not expect this. I find Donna absolutely a dunce. Her methods have not worked in the past. Why would she think they would work now? Tina has not lived at home for ten years now. Why would she consider moving home just because her parents ask her to? What would motivate a self sufficient happy adult child to move home? Nothing!!! Donna acts like she is rescuing Tina when its Donna and Tom who needs rescuing. If she had started on that premise, she may have gotten somewhere with Tina. But alas, that’s not what happened.

      Please keep it coming…..I live for the stories…

      • Sorry Martha but I cannot agree. Tina needs to end this as fast as possible. Eric needs to be sent away for kidnapping, attempted rape, attempted murder, extortion, and all of the crimes he has committed. For how Donna and Tom have literary condoned rape and other unspeakable crimes there can be no excuse or future. These people have no remorse. There is no gray area. As a matter of fact Donna may actually be an accessory and subject to prosecution herself. Anything other than a full accounting for their collective crimes will be a disappointment of the greatest magnitude. Tina has her loving chosen family. She has Bette. Be done with them forever.

        • Tom and Donna have been contacted by Eric’s attorney to assist him with his defense. If you could convert them to the prosecution side, then why wouldn’t you? And if there is a legal way to get Eric out as holding liens on all their property, short of paying off Eric, why wouldn’t you do that? That would accomplish what Tom wants -preservation of his home to leave to his wife when he is dead. And all of this could be done without Bette or Tina dealing directly with the Kennards at all. The probability of Donna being prosecuted from the way the story is written is slim chance. However Tom could be charged for drug trafficking as the owner of a business that is doing exactly that. But if he is dying they probably would rather get him as a witness rather than prosecute. Tina is angry and hurt from her family and prefers not to deal with them. But she also has a big heart. And if they can turn this situation into a win -win, then part ways, then why waste an opportunity? In most cases – hate and vengeance only hurts the one who hates and carries it out. Remember Eric has scheduled them to testify on his behalf. What happens if they testify on behalf of the prosecution instead? Stronger case that Eric will be put away.!

          Perhaps the older Kennards should be reminded that Eric is claiming that all this is a result of Tina and she stands a chance of being charged with assault on Eric. If that happens, she would be in no position to help the Kennards get what they want – a home for Donna after Tom is gone. If that happens, Eric will still be in a position to fire Tom at will and take their home and he will have been assisted by Tom and Donna’s testimony. If Eric get’s off, the older Kennards will be homeless no matter what..

          Bette and Tina need to keep their eye on the ultimate goal – put Eric away and live a peaceful happy life. The older Kennards would not be there at all if it weren’t for the fact that they are about to lose everything. This is their last choice. They really do not want Tina back. They just want to maintain their way of life. And once Eric is put away, Tina will never have to deal with her parents except when she gets news of their deaths. But there will always be a part of her which will yearn for the loving comfort that her parents gave her during the early part of her life. That part of her relationship that died when she became dating age and they met Eric. She needs to have closure for that part of her life and this is the opportunity for that.

          The reason to assist the Kennards would be to put Eric away and to have a clear conscious to do the right thing. And to do the right thing does not mean establish a relationship with the older Kennards nor to pay off their debts and make them whole.. Slamming the door in their face accomplishes nothing. In fact it could be detrimental. They could help Eric get off.

          • Donna Kennard should go to prison. Let her try to help Eric. Go for it Donna! Give Tina some self respect. Helping those people – I can’t even refer to them as parents – as they are beneath contempt – is such a bad idea. I am not sorry to say that I have zero compassion for a homophobic woman who is complicit in her daughter’s attempted rape. Her contempt and hatred for “Beth” says it all. Bette has more than enough to put Eric away. Aaron can help with that. If Tom is dying in a few months then he will be dead before Eric goes to trial. Donna and Tom Kennard are on their own. Not sure about Lucy. The emotional toll on Tina of getting involved and ‘helping’ such despicable people has no upside. And will only further damage Tina. Tina needs her involvement in this to be over as quickly as possible. You read what Tina said to her parents! They never made her feel welcome or loved. They prostituted her to Eric, and are trying to do it again. Donna would never feel any gratitude. Do you honestly think that helping those two who were complicit with Eric is good for Tina? No way.

            • Donna is definitely coo-coo for cocoa puffs. Crazy. She is beyond listening to what anyone else has to say.
              Love that mentioned her use of the name Beth instead of Bette, so intentional and demeaning… Thanks Billy!

          • Thank you Martha. You always present a thoughtful, well reasoned viewpoint that motivates me as a writer and reminds me that there is a buy in to the story and the outcome. There is so much at stake in this story for all parties – add money, greed, family history and love into the mix and it is combustible! Please keep reading and commenting, I look forward to seeing your comments each and every chapter.

    4. What an exceptional Chapter in a truly superb story!
      Thank you so much for sharing your talents of both writing and story telling.

      Referring to the comments above, which for me are an essential part of my enjoyment, on this occasion I am with Billy, sorry Martha, Tina has to be done with these people as soon as possible. Having said that this is, of course, your story and I await, impatiently, the next Chapter!

      Please post soon, stay safe
      SG

    5. BK.
      What to say that has not already been said?

      Hmmmmm . . How about I’m lovin’ Alice in this fab story!! She has been gr8 at putting ‘ol Luce on the spot and making her own up to the shit she has been doing, and has really helped break the tension of this critical meeting to keep the girls focused!! The way she & Bette have been bantering like lawyers has been the perfect approach!😂😂. Loved that she was there to document the discussions so that Donna&Tom don’t misquote Tina’s words. Can only imagine what Alice’s article/podcast/whatever will be like should she be forced to defend her dear friends 😜.

      Tina MUST hold her ground concerning Daddy’s plea for HER to “save” the family. Tina had NOTHING to do with the decisions that her parents made and kept making bc they were such gutless, chickenshits. Those two knew full well what they were doing.

      My thought is that Bette has some more cards up her sleeve to play . . . haven’t decided what yet 🤔 Bette & James have been having too much fun too! He really is the ying to Bette’s yang when it comes to collaboration. And he loves getting to help Bette with a project that is not related to work.

      • DT
        I loved Alice in this chapter too, she really came to life and added some comic relief as well as much needed balance for Bette in this chapter. Can you imagine being Bette? Walking the tightrope that is the love of her life and that love’s crazy family – coming off a separation no less? I think she has more to say and reveal as well, James is like a super sleuth and he enjoys knowing info before Bette does!
        Thank you for your comments, keep them coming!

    6. Superbly written chapter! I say Tina should be done with her parents once and for all. For them to side with a maniac like Eric and condone rape or potential rape would be unforgivable. I don’t care that they are her parents. It’s for that reason that this would be unforgivable. I know Tina is torn because at the end of the day, these are her parents. However, if she gives in and helps them, she will live to regret it.

      Don’t fall for it, Tina!!!

    7. Donna and Tom Kennard are self absorbed tone deaf bottom feeders. No matter what Tina says to them their personal agenda, disdain for Tinas lifestyle and contempt for Bette seeps through their disgusting pores. Tina would have to deny her principles and sexuality and her relationship with Bette in order to help them. No no no.

    8. What a beautiful, beautiful, description of Bette’s love for mornings with Tina! I was melting, BK. Loved Bette’s thoughts of their first night in one bed, of Tina’s sweet kiss on her back.

      Great how they gave each other strenght for the confrontation with Tina’s parents. It’s like they are feeding each other with energy and calm.

      Bette’s presentation with Alice as a sidekick was superb. Showdown at OK Corral. :-)
      Oh thanks for the evidence of attempted murder of Aaron as well. It’s all needed for a strong case against Eric. Drugs at the Kennard’s business? Wow. Bette is right. Get yourself a very good lawyer before cokehead Eric puts all the blame on you!

      As for Pa Kennard’s illness. Well, Eric did get rid of his grandfather, didn’t he?

      On the edge of my seat again, BK!

      • Thank you KP
        Yes, Eric did get rid of the rich Grandfather, so he is certainly proving to have no boundaries or regard for anyone in his path. I love that you appreciated Alice, she is really fun to write.
        Looks like the noose is tightening around the ole boy’s neck, one reveal at a time!
        Love your comments, you always notice the details of the friendships and banter between people, which I appreciate. :))

      • Kiwipit,

        I 🤣🤣🤣 when Alice said they needed to eat breakfast b4 they slayed the Kennards!!! Thing is, she was SERIOUS!! They ARE fighting a fire-breathing dragon in Donna, and man-pup dragon in Tom.

        • LOL, DT! Yeah, I was laughing at that one too :-)
          But Alice certainly is serious. All comic talent aside she often hits the nail right on the head. Gotta love her for the impromtu court session with Bette.
          Still grinning when I think of her “I’ll allow it..” when Bette started to present “the case”.

          Can’t wait for the next round of the fight of the Dragon Hunters aka Bette, Alice and Tina against Mama K and Pa K.

          • I hope Alice has some influence in the court case somhow. She definitely needs to “allow” Bette or Tina to reveal some ” U gotta be kidding me/ I didnt see that comin'” info!

    9. The toxic combination of Tom and Donna Kennard needs to be flushed down the toilet. The cancer will give Tom an easy exit. Donna needs to be left to reap the pain she inflicted on her children. Lucy has to earn any contact allowed with her sister. She has had an opportunity to totally come clean about her part in this travesty. When dealing with toxic family (personal experience), the break has to be clean. No measured approach works. Tina needs to let them go. Bette and others can support her along with professional help. But the Kennards gotta go!

      • Magic
        I have had to make some break with toxic people as well. Not immediate family but the in-laws (or out-laws as I call them) have required me to make some real self-savings steps and it can be a terrible push and pull on emotions. I am glad you brought that up. The break does have to be clean, no hesitation, no waffling. And really really hard to do. Thank you for this insight.

        • BK,

          In this story, there can be no clean break if the Kennards are going to testify on behalf of Eric at trial. Bette & Tina will have to sit there and listen to what ever they say and it may mean the difference in whether Eric goes free or not. They can certainly walk away today and say to them you are no longer parents to Tina and I never want to see you or hear from you again. You no longer have a daughter named Christina Kennard. They can be as clear and decisive as they wish, but will the Kennards honor that declarations? I doubt it. As long as Cocoa Puffs Donna is alive and Eric holds the influence she will not leave Tina alone. Only when the two parties agree to a break with there be a break. So as long as Donna continues to support Eric and Eric is not convicted, she is going to be a problem. The only reason she is interested in Tina is to aid and assist Eric. Only when Eric is no longer a factor, will Bette and Tina be able to make a clean break with the Kennards.

    10. BK,

      How much time has passed since Chicago? Isn’t Tina supposed to be taking a job with Peggy? I know her bruises have not entirely healed but where are things on this time line?

      Also I had to make a break with a homophobic brother after years of judgmental diatribes. It had to be clean and permanent. Split the family but I never looked back. Tina has endured way too much.

      • Billy
        Great questions. Only a couple days have passed since her release from the hospital. She delayed her phone call to Peggy until the following monday which is coming up. This story, so far, is very slow moving because I get caught up in the dialogue and sexy time. LOL. I admit to not being always so careful with the time line – I made a major error in an earlier chapter where I was writing like they were in LA but they hadn’t left the hospital in Chicago yet. But it has been less than a week since they have been home.
        I am sorry about your break with your brother and I have had to do my own healing from toxic relationships so I get that part of it. Proud of you for making the split, that is harder than people realize. Love your comments, thanks

    11. Sweet BK,
      I too love reading the “comments” bc they are passionate, measured, articulate and funny! 🤣🤣. And comments spring forth from the most compelling storytelling I’ve had the pleasure to experience. We sometimes agree to disagree, but always with respect.

      Hmmmmm . . . Sounds like D&T have not taken advantage of Obamacare which would cover Tom’s pre-exhisting health condition. But OCare would not help with the continued disrespect and heartLESS relationship that Tom has perpetuated toward his daughter, Tina. If he loved Tina, he would have been sneaking calls, cards, gas money for the car, SOMETHING to Tina over the years. I figure he just wasn’t strong enough to overcome his bullying wife.

      Greedy bastards like Eric always have a stash of ill-gotten loot somewhere offshore 🤨🤔. He had planned to wisk Tina off somewhere (Vegas maybe) since he had a ring in the hotel room, so he had to have plans to further wisk her off overseas to make her be his “wife”. Maybe Bette’s FBI friend, Jennifer can find that money. And maybe still, that money would be awarded to Donna&Tom as compensation for the illegal activities of Eric.

      One more comment on Alice. She seems to be getting a more finely tuned gaydar for exactly when B&T are hooking it up bc there is no more busting in on them like in her earlier mishaps 😜🤪. HeHeHe.

      Tibette’s intimate moments do so much in giving the strength to challenge their individual fears. Tina stood UP to her Lucy, her Mom, and hopefully her Dad

      • DT
        So much truth in your comments. I did not anticipate the response this particular chapter would have and have really enjoyed the conversation and hearing everyone’s different take on family, toxic people and thoughts about the characters. So much fun!
        Tom is an enigma for sure, not sure where his head is at but Donna is such a strong personality that I guess I envision him being beat down and allowing her to do what she wants because its easier. We will learn more about his relationship with Tina in the next chapter…. :)

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