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Tina’s scent lingered in Bette’s nostrils. Then it journeyed through her lungs to her bloodstream which carried it straight to her heart. The fragrance of Tina circled Bette’s heart and gently squeezed. Bette finally exhaled without it hurting. The first time she’d truly breathed in nearly six months. The wall around her soul cracked a little more. Her cheek tingled from the phantom of Tina’s touch. Bette put her hand on her cheek and closed her eyes. She wiped her tears away just as Tina’s driver opened her door.
Bette nodded and said thank you as he helped her out of the car. Steve smiled and playfully tipped the nonexistent hat he was wearing atop his head. He was rewarded with a serenade of Bette’s laughter. Bette’s phone lit up with a picture of Kit’s face. She nodded at him again. Steve disappeared inside of the car and drove off.
“BABY GIRL!!!!” Kit sang.
“Baby Girl, I am so proud of you,” Kit beamed.
Bette could feel Kit smiling through the phone.
“Thanks, Kit. But whatever for?”
“For this article in LA Magazine! It is so amazing. Bette, this is big time and the photos are beautiful. Congratulations!”
“Thank you,” Bette laughed again.
“I didn’t know it was already out.”
Bette suddenly remembered the reporter asking her if she was dating someone and she also remembered not saying yes. Bette looked towards the apartment.
Shit, she thought.
“Alice got some advanced copies for us. It officially comes out next week, I think.”
“Oh,” Bette said still looking in the direction of the apartment.
“Alice had a copy sent to Tina.”
Bette’s eyes got really big. Panic washed over her face.
“You can’t be mad at Alice. She didn’t know what you said in the interview. That’s on you.”
Bette exhaled. She wondered if that was the reason why Tina was crying earlier. Bette ran her hand through her thick curls and sighed.
“I know. I know. But damn it.”
“How has it been going up there?” Kit asked.
“Uhh…I don’t know. I guess awkward…intense…familiar…nice…confusing…frustrating…so fucking frustrating.”
“I can only imagine.”
Bette looked up at the sky.
“Have y’all talked?”
“A little. Not really. Nothing significant.”