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Her vision fully adjusted, Bette could see the longing in Tina’s eyes as she held out her hand. They’d made love the night before but that was the first time in two weeks and, as it would seem lately, it just wasn’t happening often enough for Tina’s simmering libido.
‘Y’know, it strikes me there are quite a few doctors who’d be interested in how menopause is affecting you.’
‘What d’you mean?’
‘Well . . .’ Bette slipped into bed and moved to cover Tina’s body with her own. ‘You’re basically becoming a teenager again.’
‘Oh, I don’t know about that.’ Tina parted her legs so that Bette fit snugly against her. ‘I was a very chaste teenager.’
Bette snickered. ‘The twenty-year-old virgin.’
‘I was nineteen and three-quarters!’
‘And completely gorgeous.’
Tina melted a little, half-smiled then brushed her lips against Bette’s. ‘Now, how on earth would you know that?’
‘I’ve seen photos.’
‘I had very bad hair.’
‘And a smile like sunshine.’
Their mouths were barely touching, their lips slightly parted. It was a game. How long they could hover there, on the brink of a kiss, drinking-in each other’s desire.
‘You know there’s about a hundred things we still have to do this morning?’
‘Yes,’ said Tina, ‘this time could definitely be better spent, I do realise that.’
‘I haven’t picked up our dry cleaning, the lights on the kids’ landing are on the fritz, Ben told me last night that he needs a present for his football coach, there’s the food delivery, the drum kit, the treasure hunt and – oh, our costumes have some kind of fucking mildew . . .’
‘What? How did they get mildew?’
‘I have no idea. It’s on the tights. Maybe because the outer wall in that walk-in gets really cold.’
Tina tutted. The elf costumes dated from LA. Bette had wanted them so they had a defence if they were caught bringing presents out of hiding and putting them under the tree. This was useful when Angie was little but became absolutely essential after Ben and Sasha came along. They’d been spotted many times and always managed to pull off the ruse with a little dance and a finger to the lips. Sssshhh. We’re busy helping Santa! Don’t wake your sister/brother!