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    Uncharted Territory

    Bette’s POV  

    ‘And so instead I ended up changing my spare room into an atelier.’

    Mesmerized by the movement of Tina’s hands as she moistens them with hand cream I barely notice that my mother in law is probably waiting for me to say something.  Only when I meet Tina’s playfully raised eyebrow through the mirror I reply. ‘That’s amazing Diane. I want to see it, send me a picture later. You know what I just remembered I have a new set of professional brushes that I once got from an artist, apparently they are perfect for watercolor painting. If you want you can pick them up at the house, they should be in the office I think.’

    Hell, I would give Diane the gallery just to receive a similar look from Tina when I offer her mother the brushes that I would never use anyway.

    ‘That’s so sweet of you. Do you mind if I stop by the house this weekend on my way to painting class?’

    ‘Whenever is convenient for you. I can’t wait to see your work.’ I reply genuinely interested as I pick up the phone that’s on speaker and place it on the night stand next to the bowl of popcorn.

    ‘That’s so very, very sweet of you indeed.’ Tina whispers in my ear and ruffles her hand through my hair on her way to close the curtains, before she speaks louder so Diane can hear it too. ‘Mom, did Bette already tell you that she’s coming to LA soon?’

    ‘That’s wonderful. Aren’t you joining?’

    ‘No, unfortunately I couldn’t get out of work. But next time definitely.’ Tina says and I wonder if she truly minds. With my schedule that James made as tight as possible I have a feeling she wasn’t looking forward to visit everyone most of the time alone and wait for me to come home afterwards. Some scars run deep. Which I can relate to. I understand.

    ‘You have to promise me we will have dinner one evening.’

    ‘If you bring one of those sweet dessert wines from France, I even promise to cook for you and make your favorite lemon cake.’ Diane replies and Tina rolls her eyes.

    ‘What?’ I mouth at her. She just shakes her head and tries to hide her smile behind the blonde lock that fell over her face. ‘You make it impossible to resist, you have yourself a date Diane.’ I say walking over to the love seat in front of the window, whereas usually my overnight bag stands. I sigh and close my eyes momentarily as the zipper growls; the sound of Friday. Three nights and then Monday will come. I will make us coffee while she’s getting ready for work. We will share looks of lovers who spent heated nights, exchanging a sweet nothing here and there. Then she will leave for work and I will find myself in this apartment that was ours, surrounded by her stuff and my overnight bag that I can pack within a minute, before I close the door behind me. I put the DVD in the player and slip into the bed, welcoming the feeling of the soft mattress against my back.

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    Comments

    1. They’ve been through so much that even when they are doing well, a part of me worries for them. Bette taking a trip to L.A. on her own? I’ve never been happier that Tina could join her in the end. But the last part of the chapter killed me… I wish they can have the family that they want.

    2. The good news is that this was a long chapter and the sad news is that this story is almost over and the end of this chapter was so sad. I feel for both of them. I really wish and hope that one day they will have their family!

      The description of Paris, beautiful written! I visited Paris a few times and it’s such a beautiful place!

      Glad that Tina came to LA at the end, came home, the home she left to go to Paris. This is a very important step in their relationship.

      Diana, i love her!

    3. Love the longer chapter. This is such a great story. It can’t be ending, though, that is not ok. Just when they are coming back together. It needs a second verse, please consider continuing it. :)
      One things I love about your writing is that you show the connection in the dialogue you write – no easy task – but artfully done here. It’s in the shorthand way that they talk to each other and in the way they read each other so well. You don’t tell the reader – Tina missed Bette – you add them talking about Tina being in a grumpy mood because she is accustomed to hitting snooze since Bette has been with her and this morning she had a hard time getting to work on time because of it. It’s delightful and adds such depth. Thank you !

    4. I’m one of the silent readers. I absolutely loved this story and your writing is beautiful. I almost want to go to France now! I look forward to reading more of your work.

    5. Oh my fucking God! What an brilliant chapter! The way Tina was like struck with lightning when Bette told her that she loves her. The way you used content of the purse to show Tina collecting herself and then hanging up! And then the voice text and the way Tina subtly used LDR to tell Bette that she loves her too, just bc it wouldn’t do it justice to say it over the phone for the first time after such a long time. And then their acknowledgment with ‘I got your text’/‘I got your flowers’! And what an amazing way to show through Helena and Winny what divorce does to the surrounding, it’s such a heavy ballast that impacts everyone.
      The way you showed how Bette misses working but how she grew and learned what really matters! I love Bette in the gallery! And the way you used Tina starting to write again as a reference to her growing feelings for Bette (as Tina said bf ‘It had nothing to do with Paris’). Not only that you said you are about to finish the story, but you write it in so many small details, that you make it beautiful but painful obvious! (Sorry for all exclamation marks – this story makes me that excited!) And then… at the end, the twist I’ve never seen coming… I could feel how lonely Tina was without you putting too much effort in it. It broke my heart. Seeing this story and it’s tone it wouldn’t surprise me anymore if it would happen they end up with just the two of them. It would be so sad and yet it would fit this story.

      BK is right though-sequel maybe?

    6. I’ve read this stories since 2 or 3 days ago.. And finnished all 22 chapters in short time (English not my language so that rate of speed.. Is really super fast on my account lol). I even read at office in working hours… (Bad employee i am.. Hahaha)
      But your stories are just soooo good… Makes me so addicted.. Turned every emotions upside down… The chaos, turmoil because of the loving, cheating, regretting, feeling lost, it’s so mixed up..
      Can wait for the next chapter..
      Finally, thank you for sharing your wonderful story…

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