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Bette stepped back to appraise the large painting; her hands on her hips. Something about the painting was off. She couldn’t tell if it was the lighting or the angle or the painting itself, but it didn’t look right. The entire section of the Gallery was repainted after the roof collapse and she loved the soft, edgy look it gave.
It made the work pop, helped cast small shadows where needed and would accentuate the upcoming show perfectly. But this painting was not gelling with the others, which were already hung. Unless she could get this space to work, she would have to rehang the entire collection and she had neither the patience nor the inclination to do so.
This piece had to work and had to work here. She climbed the ladder, her bare feet gripping the cold metal and readjusted the lighting then, on a whim, turned off a couple bulbs on the strip before climbing down to look at it again.
Less light pulled the viewer in, creating intimacy and finally she was satisfied. The painting was better suited viewed up close, she had been standing too far away to appreciate the subtlety, a rookie mistake. Now, she could turn to the other thousand things needed to be completed before the show… flowers, catering, wine deliveries, set up and break down, valet drivers. She checked her watch, it was close to 2:00. On a Saturday.
She had left before eight that morning, Tina still asleep. And even though she was getting a lot done, her mind was on the blonde. Several weeks had passed since their conversation about having a baby and Tina seemed to be undergoing some sort of a… what, exactly? A backslide? A regression? It was a roller coaster at times.
She frowned, maybe she should go home, call it a day. Tina was clearly not doing well today, and she had not planned on staying so late as it was.
She heard the bell on the door and turned to see Shane entering the Gallery, slouchy and leathery and scruffy… and so delightfully Shane.
Bette smiled wide, happy to see her young friend. “What are you doing here?”
“Better question is, what am I doing awake?” Shane replied, looking for somewhere to throw her cigarette.