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Bette and Tina had made their way into the kitchen. Shane was already sitting at the kitchen table having served the food and drinks. All three women sit down in awkward silence as they begin eating. Shane decides to address the elephant in the room. “So… I know you’re expecting an explanation for why we left Bette.”
Tina places her fork down and wipes her mouth with her napkin before speaking. “Yes, I am. Look, I’m trying to keep an open mind Shane. I like you, and I can see the love Bette has for you. I want to be friends with you, and I’m excited about us working together; but I’m angry with you Shane. I promise to work on that anger, and I hope that I can get over this soon, but I need you to help me understand. Please.”
Shane sighs, takes a large gulp of her beer, and then begins. “I’ll explain what I was thinking at the time, but I want to preface this by saying that I wholly regret leaving Bette – I should have done more, and I definitely shouldn’t have left the state. You will not be satisfied with my explanation – I know because I’m not satisfied with the explanation – but I can’t change what I did. I hope I’ve showed Bette my loyalty and love since then, and I hope she knows I regret not being for her when she needed me most.”
Bette chokes back the tears in her eyes as she gently grabs Shane’s hand. “I know Shane, I know you would do it differently today. I forgave you a long time ago. I appreciate your friendship so much, and you have helped me so much over the last 8 years since I ran away. With a few minor exceptions, you’ve never pushed me for details of the trauma and abuse, you’ve never judged me and looked down on me for staying as long as I did, and when I finally got the courage to leave; you were there for me without question.” Bette looks at Tina and gives her a small smile, she strokes her thigh softly before turning back to Shane. “I understand why Tina needs to hear this from you, and I think it’s important because I want to have both of you in my life for a very long time, but I don’t want you to worry Shane – you talking about this will not bring up some unresolved resentment and anger on my part towards you. I hold no resent or anger towards you; others in the situation… that’s possible, but not you.”