DISCLAIMER: All characters belong to Showtime and Ilene Chaiken. I'm merely having some fun with them.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Bette looked at the ever growing pile of paperwork on her desk and sighed. She didn't really need any more pressure on her shoulders; she had enough to do with Provocations showing in a week, and the media frenzy it was causing. But no, Franklin had decided that now was the time to make her fill out a load of useless forms.
Groaning, she put her head in her hands and rubbed her temples, trying to stave off the migraine that was looming behind her eyes, waiting to strike.
I just want to go home, she whined in her head. Have a glass of wine, a bar of chocolate, a nice hot bath, then snuggle up with Tina.
"Bette!" James' voice at the door made Bette jump, and her head snapped up. "There's a call for you on line 3. It's important." Bette's shoulders slumped and she reached for the phone half-heartedly. "Or, I could tell them you're not here?" James offered, seeing her face.
Shaking her head, she took a moment to compose herself, then picked up the phone.
~Hello Miss Porter. It's Craig Johnson here, from the LA Times. I was just wondering if you could give me a moment of your time to chat about Provocations, and maybe give an answer to Fae Buckley's article published in today's paper?~
"I haven't got time for this," Bette said sternly, silently cursing James in her head. "If you wanted to know what I think of Fae Buckley's comments, then you should have watched the debate on TV."
~I did watch it. How do you feel about Buckley's comments that God took away your girlfriend's baby to punish you?~
Bette gripped the receiver so tight her knuckles turned white, the anger beginning to rise in her throat.
"How do you fucking think I feel?!" she said incredulously.
~So, would you say you are slightly upset?~
"I don't have to listen to this," Bette snarled, slamming down the phone. Fuming, she strode out of her office to James' desk just outside.
"Why the fuck did you put him through? I told you to ignore calls from the press," she raged, and was about to launch into an angry tirade when the look of utter confusion on James' face brought her up short.
"The press? He said he was from the graphics company."
"Well, he wasn't," Bette snapped, then regretted it. "I'm sorry, he said some stuff. Got me going," she apologised, her face softening as she sat down heavily opposite James. "Just try and weed out the journalists as best as you can."
"Sure." James peered at Bette, his concern written all over his face. "Are you ok? You don't look so good."
"I'm fine," Bette lied.
"Yeah, right," James said disbelievingly. There was a pause, before he spoke again. "You know, if you suddenly had to go to somewhere, and had to be there for the rest of the day, I could tell Franklin for you."
Bette smiled at James conspiratorially. She would love the afternoon off, she could ring Tina, get her to meet her at home That was it. She was convinced.
"Oh no!" she cried in mock panic, standing up. "I forgot I had a meeting with the caterers that will last for hours and hours! And I can't be disturbed, so I'll have to turn my cell off."
James laughed. "Have fun!" he called as Bette went back into her office, already dialling Tina's phone.
"Hey yourself," Bette replied, throwing some files into her briefcase. "Where are you?"
~I'm at The Planet with Alice and Dana. Why?~
"Can you meet me at home in " Bette glanced at her watch. " half an hour?"
~Uh yeah, sure. Are you ok? Has something happened at work?~
The worry was evident in Tina's voice she knew it had to be something bad if Bette was coming home early.
"Kinda. Look, I'll explain later. Please, just say you'll be there "
~Course I will. I'll see you in a bit.~
Bette hung up and, shrugging on her jacket, left the office much quicker than she had ever done.
Back at The Planet, Tina frowned as she heard the dial tone.
"What's wrong?" Dana asked, in between bites of her sandwich. "Is Bette ok?"
"I don't know." Tina looked round the table, her unease apparent. "She's coming home early."
"Maybe she's been abducted by aliens?" Alice suggested, carefully licking the jam out of her Danish pastry.
"Or had a personality transplant?" Dana proposed.
"Guys, this could be serious," Tina said distractedly, her mind already running through all the worst case scenarios. "I'll um I'll see you some time."
She was about to leave, when Alice put a hand on her arm. "Call me if you need anything," she said softly, and Tina nodded, placing her own hand over Alice's.
"I will," she told her, smiling at her friend. "Let's just hope I don't."
"Go on," Dana instructed, waving her away with her hand. "Go tend to the needs of your schizophrenic wife."
Tina waved as she left the café, wishing she'd brought her car so she could get home quicker. At least the weather is ok she thought, trying to distract herself from worrying about Bette. It was to no avail, however, and as she walked quickly home her imagination ran wild.
Even with her power walking Bette still beat her home, and as Tina made her way up to the front porch her apprehension grew. What if there's something really wrong?
"Bette?" she called as she came through the door. "Where are you?"
She walked round the corner into the living room, and was immediately pulled into a tight embrace that knocked the wind out of her. It took her a few moments for her to overcome her surprise and hug Bette back.
"Hey, what's wrong?" she asked anxiously.
Bette didn't answer straight away, only pulled Tina impossibly closer and pressed her face into her neck.
"I love you," Bette whispered eventually, and Tina felt tears on her neck. "I love you so much."
"I know," Tina whispered back, gently lifting Bette's chin and making eye contact. "What's brought this on?"
Bette shrugged, her gaze not moving from Tina's face. So beautiful
"I don't want to tell you right now," she murmured, running her fingers down Tina's cheek. "I I need "
She faltered, looking down at the floor nervously.
After a long pause, Bette looked up again, and Tina was shocked at the desperation in her eyes.
"I need you to make love to me."
Tina's heart melted, and she pulled Bette into another tight hug. "Anytime," she breathed, stroking her hair. "C'mon."
She pulled away and took Bette's hand, leading her to their bedroom. Standing in front of their bed, she pushed Bette's jacket off her shoulders and let it drop to the floor. Kissing all the newly exposed flesh, she reached down and pulled the hem of Bette's camisole up and over her head.
Bending her neck she placed small, open-mouthed kisses down Bette's collar bone to her breasts, encapsulated in black lace. She ran her tongue along the top of the bra, making Bette's breath hitch. Reaching round, she undid the clasp and let the bra fall forward, her mouth latching onto a hard nipple.
"Oh God " Bette moaned, her eyes rolling back in her head. She felt fingers drift down her stomach to undo her fly, followed by a trail of kisses as Tina fell to her knees to draw her trousers over her hips and down her legs. Pretty soon her panties had joined her trousers on the floor, and Bette stood naked in front of Tina's admiring gaze.
"You're looking very good for forty," Tina teased as she stood up. "Those sessions with Harrison must be paying off."
"Shut up," Bette smiled slightly, grabbing hold of Tina and pulling her down onto the bed. "Just because you're a sprightly thirty-two year old, doesn't mean you can laugh at us oldies."
Tina laughed and, straddling Bette, swiftly removed her jacket and shirt. Bette's smile faded as she took in the sight of her lover above her, bra-less and chest flushed with arousal.
"You are so gorgeous," she whispered, almost reverently. Sitting up she helped Tina remove her trousers and underwear, then lay back down, relishing the feel of the hair between Tina's legs tickling her thighs.
They stared at each other a moment longer, then Tina bent down and, placing her arms either side of Bette's head, brought her lips to Bette's in a passionate kiss. Bette parted her lips, allowing Tina's tongue to twine with her own and explore the softness of her mouth.
Tina let her hands wander, leaving goose bumps in her wake as they slowly skimmed over Bette's sides and up to her breasts. Gently, she massaged them, loving how they filled her palms perfectly. Shivers ran up and down Bette's spine as one hand began to travel downwards, tracing random patterns on her stomach as it moved further and further towards their goal.
Tina sighed with pleasure as her fingers ran through the patch of soft curls and slipped into the wetness she found there. She stroked Bette from back to front, just skipping her clit, making Bette groan in frustration.
"Please " she managed to say, pushing Tina's shoulders to go lower as she kissed her way down between her breasts and down her stomach. As she got to Bette's bikini line, Tina stopped and looked up at her lover.
"Tell me what you want," she commanded huskily, stilling her hand.
"Baby " Bette grimaced, writhing around in a futile attempt to get Tina to go where she most needed her.
Bette grunted, then gave in. "I want you," she moaned. "I want you to lick me "
No sooner had she made her breathless request, Tina bent her head and, spreading Bette apart with her fingers, placed her tongue flat against her clit.
"Ohhhh " One of Bette's hands tangled in Tina's hair, keeping her still, while the other grabbed frantically at the bed sheets as her back arched. Tina grinned to herself and started the rhythm guaranteed to send Bette into spasms of delight.
As Bette neared closer and closer to climax, Tina slid into Bette, feeling her muscles contract strongly round her finger. Bette's back arched again, her toes curling as if trying to touch her heels.
The sensations were almost too much; all she could feel, all she could comprehend, was the burning fire starting between her legs and spreading throughout her entire body. She felt Tina begin to rub her g-spot, and as she bit down gently on her clit, Bette's world exploded into a million colours.
When she eventually floated back down to Earth, Tina was lying on her side, one hand propping up her head as she gazed at her with love and adoration.
"Hey," she said quietly, caressing Bette's cheek lightly. "You back in the land of the living?"
"Yeah," Bette smiled, wrapping her arms round Tina's waist and burying her head in the blonde hair falling over her shoulder. "That hasn't happened in a while."
"So, are you gonna tell me why you bunked off work to have sex?" Tina asked with a grin after a few minutes of comfortable silence.
"Do I have to?" Bette whined petulantly.
"Baby, look at me." Bette lifted her head and looked into those clear blue eyes that held nothing but concern. "You can tell me anything."
"I know I can," Bette admitted, looking away. "But I'm scared."
"Come here," Tina whispered, and Bette snuggled further into Tina, inhaling her comforting scent. "Take your time."
"I got a phone call today," Bette began, stumbling over her words. "From some guy at The LA Times. Wanted to talk to me about Fae Buckley. He he asked if I was upset over what she said at the end. About losing the baby."
Tina could tell Bette was on the verge of tears, so she rubbed Bette's back soothingly, encouraging her to carry on.
"And I just I just needed to forget, for a moment, this last month. Because, I feel like I'm going mad. It all just goes round and round in my head all the time." Now Bette had got started, the words came a lot easier. "I was trying to be strong for you Tina, because I could see how much you were hurting, and I wanted nothing more than to ease your pain. But inside its like I'm pushing, fighting against everything all the time. All I want to do is let it all out " She took a big, shuddering breath. " but I don't know how."
"I can't tell you how to do that," Tina said softly. "You've got to grieve the right way for you. Whatever feels right."
Bette looked up into that beautiful face and suddenly felt everything bubble up to the surface. She was about to break down a feeling she was not used to, and one which she wasn't sure she liked. Complete and utter loss of control.
"Will you catch me?" she asked in a pleading whisper.
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