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Sunday night came round again in a flash. Back from the cabin Wednesday night, then a blur of rescheduled activities and work. One of those little two- or three-day spurts when Bette felt like she was the stage manager of a longrunning Broadway show called The Porter-Kennard Family. All she seemed to do was see people coming in or going out, all of whom urgently required information or props.
‘Tee?’ Bette called, walking along the corridor to Tina’s study.
‘Can we be bothered with this thing?’
‘What thing?’ Tina looked up from her MacBook just as Bette appeared in her doorway. She’d taken the kids on a bike ride to give Tina peace to catch up on work earlier and was still wearing cycle shorts and a red tank, her feet bare.
‘The show.’ Bette glanced at the papers on Tina’s desk. ‘We don’t have to watch it now, we can do it tomorrow or whatever.’
Tina put the palm of her hand against her forehead and sighed. ‘Adunno. I have a Skype with India at eleven.’
Bette gave her a sympathetic look. ‘Your call, honey.’
‘Criminal conspiracy and fraud?’ Tina said five minutes later, rubbing Solly’s tummy while on-screen sirens and blue and red lights flashed all around Dani and her father.
‘I figured he was shady,’ Bette said.
‘Well, he backed Milner.’
‘Oh, of course. That was a red flag.’
‘Oh honey, that was red bunting.’
The next day Micah and Maribel are heading down a sunny street, in coordinated teal tops, bemoaning their love lives.
‘They’re cute,’ Tina said. ‘But really, this is pretty hard to believe.’
‘What?’ Bette asked, reaching for a piece of mango from the fruit plate she’d prepared. There was also a pitcher of iced tea.
‘Well, Maribel’s smart – she’s really smart – but she’s going to all this trouble to help him with dating when it’s obvious that the only person he really wants to be with is her.’ Bette laughed heartily. Tina looked at her, then paused the show. ‘You don’t think he’s in love with her?’
‘Uh, no . . .’ Bette said, still smiling ruefully. ‘No, I agree about Micah. It’s more . . . well, you saying you’re surprised Maribel can’t pick up his signals. You.’