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‘You can also thank me for what caused it, if you like,’ Bette said in a mock-sulk.
‘Aww . . .’ Tina cooed, drawing close to her wife. ‘Thank you, baby.’ Bette was wearing a black tank, so Tina kissed her bare shoulder and then leaned her chin there. ‘Is it really okay?’
‘It’ll be fine.’ Bette flexed her hand. ‘Pretty cool injury.’
Tina squeezed Bette’s waist affectionately and was just about to kiss her when her phone got a text. She took it out of the pocket of her jeans and looked.
‘Shit. Alan’s been delayed. Says he’ll call me after ten.’
Bette set her mouth in a line of clear forbearance. Tina looked at the floor. And then, gradually, both pairs of eyes gravitated towards the wine rack . . .
‘Well, I’m proud of us,’ said Tina a little later, pouring two cups of camomile tea as Bette got the show up on the screen.
‘We are paragons, all right,’ Bette murmured.
Solly was in between them, his paws neatly folded over the edge of the sofa. On the coffee table sat a bowl of popcorn and Tina’s MacBook with the Skype screen open. If her boss called during the show, she’d take it along to her study.
‘Ah, and look!’ Tina said a few minutes later. ‘A parable about the demon drink!’
On-screen, Finley and Sophie were leaving the local jail, where Finley had spent the night after getting busted on a DUI. Sophie, as usual, was looking for ways to establish that none of this was her fault. Tina remarked that this was all so dumb.
‘So many issues . . .’ added Bette.
She slouched down and put her feet up on the edge of the table. Tina reached out and ran her fingers through Bette’s curls. A beat and then: ‘You ever wonder what our relationship looks like from the outside?’
Bette gave her an alarmed look, then said no. ‘Why?’
‘No reason – ooh, look, here comes Fake Bette!’
Dani and Fake Bette walked along, looking very sharply suited and booted, and Dani told Bette, ominously, how much she meant to her. Fake Bette said it was mutual, but then her attention was grabbed by something in the CAC building towards which they were headed: a huge sign in the foyer – Nùñez Wing.