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Bette was clearing the breakfast plates when she received Tina’s text:
‘Angie forgot her science book. Coming back to get it.’
Bette turned to search the kitchen island, the table, and the tv room. Her thoughts were preoccupied with the thought of seeing Tina in person instead of just through the window, in the car, driving away to take Angie to school. No, now Tina was going to be there within minutes, Bette just in her short robe, her hair pulled back in a messy ponytail, and her breath doused with coffee.
Still in a hurried search for the missing book Bette tightened the tie of her robe and took the stairs two at a time to Angie’s room. She stopped to swish some mouthwash first. Just in case, she thought. Just in case of what really? She rolled her eyes at the sudden uptick in her heart rate. She went to the teenager’s desk first hoping she’d be able to just hand it to Tina outside. I need to find that book.
Bette’s inner turmoil stemmed from the fact that her and Tina had not been alone together since the night of Tina’s birthday. The night Tina knocked on her gallery window. The night they danced to their own music in a dimly lit courtyard. The night they gave in to the sexual tension lingering at their doorstep since Tina reappeared at it.
It had been a few weeks since then. Tina had gone back and forth to Toronto, and the ex-wives had only spoken or text about Angie. There was no mention of Tina’s birthday present to herself nor any times of even subtle flirting. Bette believed it to be just a one-night stand, but she could never ignore the lingering passion that still dwelled between their souls and swelled in their loins.
Tina quietly walked into her old house and locked the door behind her. She figured her ex-wife had already searched the downstairs and was now up in Angie’s room tearing it apart. She glided up the stairs while unbuttoning the top button of her shirt. She leaned against the door frame admiring Bette’s long tan legs sticking out from under their daughter’s bed.
“It’s not under there.”
Bette jumped up at the sound of the sultry yet amused greeting.