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Kate decides that it’s best for her to leave; clearly Bette hasn’t dealt with whatever happened in New York and now was definitely not the time to push. “Okay Bette, thank you for talking with me. I’ll see both you and Tina tomorrow. By Shane.”
Once Kate leaves, Bette turns to Shane. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Shane moves forward. “Bette, I really think you need to talk about what happened, you know, the full story. We all have the cliff notes version, but I think if there’s a chance she could reappear again, we should know what we’re walking in to.”
Bette’s temper flares. “She’s NOT going to reappear. Kate said she didn’t respond to the alert, so there’s no way she knows I’m here. I don’t need to discuss the details; you’re not walking into anything. I can’t… she… I’m…”
Tina cuts in as she knows Shane has pushed Bette too far. “Shane, I think we should give Bette some time to process. I think she needs some rest and calm right now.”
Shane protests. “You don’t understand Tina, you weren’t there.”
Bette’s anger ignites further. “YOU WEREN’T THERE EITHER! NONE OF YOU WERE!”
Tina rushes over and pulls Bette into a tight embrace. She gently, but firmly, rubs circles into her back with her left hand as she strokes through her hair with her right while whispering in her ear. “Shh, Baby. You need to breathe. Can you breathe for me? That’s good Baby, so good. I want you to go to your room. You can lay down, pace around, take a bath, read a book, whatever you need; I just need you to take a break and relax. Can you do that Baby? Can you take a break for me?”
Tina cuts Bette off. “Don’t worry about Shane, I’ll talk to her. You just worry about breathing and relaxing. Yes, Baby?”
Bette nods her head as she quickly makes her way out of the room and into her bedroom closing the door behind her. Tina turns to Shane irritated. “Before you start about how much I don’t know I want to tell you a few things I do know. I know the Bette was deeply hurt by someone; we talked this morning about it. Bette was not ready to share, and I respected her boundaries. Why couldn’t you? She will come to us when she’s ready. Why do you need to push her to expose herself right now? I know I’ve just met her, but we can protect her even without the details. I know Bette will tell me what happened when she’s ready, and I don’t want to hear it until she is. She struggles with intimacy, trust, and feeling safe, so why would you think forcing her to expose her deepest scars would help that? I know you care a lot about her Shane, and that your response and want to help is only coming from a fear for her safety, but this is not the way. Let her come to you on her own. Give her space right now. Show her she can trust you.”
Shane looks at Tina with tears in her eyes. “You’re right Tina. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to push her. I’m just so scared.”
Tina pulls a sobbing Shane into her arms. “I know Shane, I’m scared too, but imagine how Bette feels. We’ll get her through this and keep her safe. We just need to give her time and space.”
Shane nods her head. “Okay, yeah, I can do that.” Shane chuckles as she pulls away from Tina’s embrace. “Man, you guys are really meant for each other. How you just protected her, and how she calmed under your touch, the insight you have on her… Bette was right, you are her soulmate.”
Tina blushes. “Thanks Shane… she’s my soulmate too. Now, I’m going to go check on her. Do you think you could make some dinner?”
Shane laughs. “Ha! No, trust me, no one would want a dinner I make. How about this, I’ll go pick up dinner from The Planet. That’ll give me time to calm down and give you and Bette some time to talk.”
‘That’d be great Shane.” Tina goes to her purse and grabs her wallet taking out her credit card. “Here, use this.”
“No Tina, I don’t want to take your money.”
“Listen Shane, we’re friends now, and I don’t plan on leaving Bette… ever. So, I plan on helping you and being there for you just as Bette is. I know your finances aren’t great right now, but that will change as soon as you start working on the set. Let me pay for dinner tonight, and you can buy us dinner when you get your first check. Deal?”
Shane gives Tina a quick embrace before heading out. After she leaves Tina makes her way into the bedroom. As she enters, she finds Bette huddled in the corner sobbing. She rushes over pulling Bette towards her. “It’s okay Baby. I’m here. You’re safe.”
“I’ll ne-never be sa-safe. Sh-she’ll find m-me.” Bette chokes out.
“Who Baby? Who will find you?” Tina asks softly while wiping tears from Bette’s eyes.
Bette looks at Tina, seeing the safety in her eyes she whispers, “Candace…”