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Tina frowned again. “Go on.”
“Before you and I met, I went to New York to get her to do a show at my gallery. We ended up making out, but I wouldn’t go any further with her. At the time, I felt like it was wrong to begin something with her when I was still married.,” said Bette.
“You were still married when you met me. You’re married now,” said Tina.
Bette stood and wrapped her hands around Tina’s waist once more. “You’re different. You’ve always been different. How I feel about you is unparalleled.”
Tina swallowed thickly. “Go on.”
“She and I ended up getting high together and just hanging out. Like really, super high. She agreed to do her show with me. She’ll have a spring debut at The Porter Gallery.”
“Now you’re working with her?” asked Tina.
Bette tightened her grip. “Yes. But I have stressed that she and I are just friends. She gets that. She respects my relationship with you.”
Tina just stared daggers at her.
“She came to LA for Despondent. She was with me most of the night. Kind of like….like my date.”
Now it was Tina whose anger was boiling. She pushed Bette away from her. “What the fuck, Bette?”
Bette sighed and moved closer, closing the gap between them. “You know what we did, T?”
“We hung out in the gallery. We schmoozed the guests. And then she and I spent most of the evening talking about you. She wanted me to make sure you knew about her. She doesn’t want it to seem like there’s anything going on between her and I,” said Bette.
Tina’s arms were now folded across her chest. “There’s nothing going on?”
Bette held on to Tina’s waist. “No. But….”
Tina squinted at her. “What?”
The brunette spoke softly. “I was angry with you last night. I was wrong. I jumped to conclusions.”
“What did you do, Bette?”
“We were in her limo together. That’s how I followed you.”
“And I kissed her.”
“You what?” asked Tina. She pushed away again.
“I kissed her, Tina. I initiated it. I was heartbroken and jealous after seeing you with Henry. But Carmen wouldn’t let it go any further,” said Bette.
“She wouldn’t let it go any further?” asked Tina.
“Exactly. We made out. That’s where it ended.”
Tina looked at her. “If she hadn’t stopped, would you have fucked her?”
Bette blushed and tried to swallow over the lump in her throat. “I want to say no. But honestly, I don’t know, Tina. Maybe I would have.”
Tina shook her head. “What the hell? I’m out here working to keep us together and you’re making out like a goddamned teenager. In the back of a limo no less. Like fucking prom night!”
Tina’s hands were on her hips and she was furious.
Bette tried to stay serious, but she found that she couldn’t. She felt the tingles of a smile tickling her mouth and she did smile. And then she laughed out loud. She really was a teenager. A teenager trapped in the body of an adult. Of course she was making out in the back of a limo. That’s what teenagers did.
These were the thoughts that sounded in her mind, making her laugh even harder.
“Why are you laughing?” asked Tina, her face set in anger.
“We’re both ridiculous, T. We’re a perfect match, Tina.”
This time Bette’s eyes were watering with humor and not sadness.
“What?” asked Tina.
“Baby, I’m sorry. I should have told you about Carmen. I was acting silly. I’m not going to do that ever again. I love you very much, and I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner.”
Tina was still frowning.
Bette gently took her hands and guided them both to the couch. She lay back and pulled Tina down to her. The blonde rested her head on Bette’s chest, listening to the calming heartbeat. “No looking back, right?” asked Bette.
Tina sighed, the anger dissipating, and snuggled against her girlfriend. It was hard to stay angry with the ripples of mirth Bette set forth. “No, Baby. No looking back. You and me?”
Bette kissed her forehead. “You and me, T. Always.”