Big Bear – Bette
I can’t keep up and I don’t want to anymore. I can’t sign fast enough. I can’t understand theirs quick enough and I can’t sit here with a smile frozen on my face one moment longer. I’m literally cracking up. I need air and I need freedom. Quickly, I find my coat and scarf, sign to Jodie that I’m going for a hike – alone – and I throw open the backdoor. I’ve had nightmares I’ve enjoyed more than this weekend.
Outside now, I hear Michelangelo’s ax split through a log. I wait and listen. His ax falls again. Good, the nosy bastard’s not following me. Cautiously, I slip into the cover of the tree line, and quietly as I can, I move farther and farther away.
All weekend long, none of my remedies to keep myself from climbing the walls have helped. I tried marijuana, then a nap. I tried reading by the lake to disastrous results. Some how, some day, and somewhere someone will pay for that! A stealthy exit is what I need to get the fuck away from here, but I’d take a noisy beating helicopter if one appeared and dropped down a rope for my rescue. With luck I’d manage to hang on until I smelled the rusty smoggy air of Los Angeles. Then, I’d release my grip, splash into my pool, only to discover this has all been a terrible, terrible dream.
But at what point would I wish to wake up? Where could I have stanched the bleeding, stopped the destruction, and saved us all? I have no idea, and that’s my problem.
Forlorn, I lean against a tree. The mossy bark is cool and pleasantly spongy against my cheek. My arms instinctively encircle its trunk, as if I’m holding onto another species for dear life. The ground below me – or is it my mind that feels slippery and quaky and so unsure – or is the earth really shaking?
My face tigthens in a grimace: Michelangelo, I’m certain in a move to humiliation me, made all of his guests at Big Bear watch Jodie and Alice’s embarrassing podcast after lunch. Smirking at me while he translating Jodi’s sexually revealing answered has finished me.
Nauseasous at the memory, I cling to the tree and consider the pallative effects of vomiting.
Surrounded by Jodie’s band of babbling idiots is not the time to end this. No, “someone” would throw me back in the lake, and I’d have to hit him with the car, or beat him with an ax to escape. It all sounds like too much trouble, and I’m far too depressed. I just want to wake up at home with Tina and Angie, as if I’ve just gotten out of the pool from a very splashy swim.
For the fucking love of everything that’s Holy? What part of “Please don’t discuss my personal life – ever,” could have been unclear to Jodie? Tina and I were together for years! Even blind drunk and tripping on mescaline would Tina have ever said, “Oh, by the way this morning Bette gave up being The Top and wanted me to fuck her?”
The answer is goddamn never. Just goddamn never.
I let loose of the tree and watch a lone hawk flying overhead. The house Tina and I love is just over the ridge, where the ground I know would feel solid again.
Can I ever get back to that fireside, to the even sounds of Tina’s breathing, until our lovemaking had made them change? Or is it too late? I’ve got to see her again and try to explain.
But first, who the fuck is Brenda? I take out my cell phone.
Text to Shane:
“Who the fuck is Brenda?”
Text from Shane:
“No idea. Brenda?”
Text to Shane:
“Tina seeing her. Busty Brenda, ring a bell?”
Text from Shane:
“Alice says ❤ Dr 2 nice 2 happy tho.”
Text to Shane:
“Could I take her?”
Text from Shane:
“Hot oil wrestling? We think in a ❤ beat 😉 get it?”
Text to Shane:
Text from Shane:
“Thght ur writing abt Kit getting robbed. 😦 ”
Text to Shane:
Text from Shane:
“Ck Ur messages. Kit OK n tried to call U.”
Bette’s Garden – Tina
When news of Kit being robbed and shaken up had reached her that was all it took for Bette to zoom back home from Big Bear to see for herself. And while I’d hoped for a quiet afternoon with no drama – just to float and think slower and slower thoughts – she’s surprisingly quiet, but anxious. I never can figure her out when she gets moody like this. God knows, I’ve tried.
But there’s a list of things that could be eating at her. Possibly, the news of Jodie’s podcast, that I’m sure didn’t go over too well, and Kit’s robbery is disturbing. Those, along with something pretty bad that must have happened up at the lake, have put her into an odd, uncharacteristically quiet mood.
And then, there’s the matter of the Love Charm I grew impatient with holding onto. Once she announced she needed me to take care of Angelica, while she and Jodie went off for a weekend in Big Bear, I’d stowed the charm deep inside a pocket in her luggage. Now, after having retrieved it from her baggage, it sits a few feet away from her chaise in my straw beach bag. I float on my raft and wait. It’s been working on her for days.
I hear the sound of a blender from her kitchen.
Bette’s poolside – Bette
I’ve heard of people poking themselves in the nose with drink umbrellas, but straws I realize can be quite painful, too. Tina floating a few feet away from me has blown out my attention. I’d sat down to “read” a magazine, but behind my sunglasses I’ve been trying to figure out the right opener for a conversation that I know must take place. All she did was unclasp her strap to knock me clear into a place that requires polarized lens and lots of lotion. I buzz and I drink my rum and want her.
I feel anxious and overly sexed and confused. Don’t I need to talk to her first? Or can I just jump in the pool now like it’s my fantastic splash down? I know rum’s been known to make me see red, and do crazy things, and be horny – but this?
I flip through the pages of Vanity Fair. God! The women in this magazine are all stunningly beautiful. The models and the ads sexier than Playboy fold-outs. But maybe that’s just me. I like to imagine the breast especially now that you’ve shown me most of it. I can take it a dozen ways beneath the silk. I telescope in on Tina’s body. I know exactly how salty she tastes. I remember the Yucatan.
It’d been cold in Los Angeles, and warm and sunny there so, we’d flown down one February. Thank God, for sex on boats and steady breezes to blow the mosquitoes away. It was a small skiff and an isolated island key, but you never know sometimes with vacation sex, it can just inadvertently happen. I tie it all back to my machete skills with the coconuts for warm but interesting drinks as we explored the little beaches. But still I was a bit surprised when she took the boat’s anchor line away from me and said, “Let’s stay a little longer.” The picture in my mind instead of what’s on the magazine page is her swimming suit falling on the deck, and then her saying, “Oops,” to me.
My tongue twitches with the memory of the salty taste of her breasts, then it stings. I drink more rum and feel it change to a throb and a want. Goddammit! No entreating, opening words of wisdom come to me, just the tastes of sex and salt, and the smacking sounds of water against a boat rock me deeper into the predicament of what I need to say. My mind hijacked with thoughts of fucking instead of knowing the gestalt of everything – the second, third and fourth poignancies that shade my future, but swim elusive like dark schools of fish that hold the meanings to everything.
It’s undeniable. What’s fogging my insights are the riddles and masquerades of Alphas. I’m ready to beg her for it, and then marry her for it, and never let her go again to keep it. This paradox between us . . .Love. . . I look up to the smoggy LA sky for answers.
Tina sighs and dips her arms in the water to cool them. If I didn’t think I’d fall face first into the pool, I’d lean down and capture her raft and make a long firm lick all the way down her back, and into her suit.
Joyce got me drunk last week and after a lot of Scotch we had solved it: There’s nothing to us but pretty gestures and seductive lines, if the women of our affections aren’t playing. It’s true. There’s no magic in my life without her. I sense that what awaits me is a piece of music I can’t quite hear, but must entrain, or all this goes away.
I lean back and pretend to study my magazine as Tina sprinkles water along her back. Does sex make any sense? Or is all of it is just a head trip since we fuck each other in our minds, as much as with our bodies? And if I could think of the right words, the “lightning words,” instead of nipples and what she says into my ear sometimes when she gets close. I shiver and flip the page. This business of my tongue kidnapping my brain is seriously sidelining me.
“Bette, I’ve got to leave. Thank you for the quiet. I really needed it, but in two hours we’re supposed to be at the grand opening of the SheBar. I’ve got a date tonight, so I really can’t miss it.”
“But would you like to?”
“Maybe a little but I’m going with Brenda, and you’ve got a babysitter all lined up for you and Jodie. If it sucks, I’ll leave after an hour.”
“Oh, it’ll suck alright.”
“We have to go. Our mission is to snoop for Kit.” Tina gets out of the pool, and drops her bathing suit top by her towel. “So, you’ll get Angie up from her nap, and feed her before you go out? Or I’ll do it. I don’t mind.”
“I’ll be right in. Do you want to shower here? We can all sit down together for dinner. Her sitter comes at seven.”
“Sounds nice. I’ll be a minute. Rinse the salt off.”
“Take all the time you need. I’ve got lamb chops and asparagus.” But what I don’t admit is how I could use some time alone.
SheBar – Tina
The room is filled with hundreds of dancing women, and by staying in the shadows – even the hint of seeking anonymity – has caused everyone’s gaze to land on her. Unbeknownst to Bette the word is out: The SheBar Wrestler’s in the House.
I’d almost given up, but after an hour of dodging and searching and pacing she finally finds me. She parts the curtain and sees that I’m alone.
For Bette who can range from argumentative pragmatism to outlandish whimsy with consequences be damned Luck is Magic to her, and years ago she’d sold me completely – the two were ours and no one else’s.
Tonight, I finally say the word that has that special fire with her, “You’re lucky to be with Jodie, Bette.” And that’s when she pulls me to her.
Why I thought when the moment the Gypsy prepared me for came Bette would have words she needed to say to me, and that her pent-up feelings would find phrases, and that those would have meanings, and perhaps some of them we’d even talked about before – I have no idea. But as she takes me like the wind into her arms I realize she’s given up any hope of language. She shows me everything with her kiss.
I open my mouth, and feel her stroke my neck as her lips ask me: ‘Did I want to remember her?’ And at first that kiss surprises me. Then, her insistent, ‘You must remember us,’ kiss has a desperate edge.
‘Are we too far gone? Am I too fucking broken?’ and her longing for me finally breaks her, and she shatters in my arms.
“Baby, I’m here. It’s okay. We can do this.” I tell her when she finally lets me speak.
“I love you so much. I’ve been so fucking lost. Tina, you have no idea.”
Bette’s House – Thursday Night 10pm – Tina
As Bette shuts the front door after paying the babysitter, I walk up behind her.
“Babe, I’ve got something I want to talk to you about.” Her eyes search me for a sign. “It’s nothing to do with us. It’s something else.” I lean in and kiss her.
“Can it wait a minute? I’ve really missed this.” She presses against me and opens my mouth wider. I lift up her blouse and in a whoosh it’s over her head. She gives me her best “come on” look, and I see the burn coming into her eyes.
“I’m glad you keep the curtains down now at night.”
“Fucking Jenny Schecter! But please, God! Let’s not talk about her.” She unzips my dress. It falls to the floor.
“Definitely not.” I step out of it and reach into her curls, pulling her to me. As we kiss, I hear a vibration coming out of her chest. “On second thought, everything I want to say can wait.” I unsnap her bra, “I’m taking you to bed.”
“Oh!” Her eyes flash at me. “You’re taking me to bed?” She unfastens my bra, and lays it across her shoulder, as we back up toward our target – the bedroom.
Pulling mine down from my legs, she asks at the doorway, “Do you remember the night I had your panties in my pocket and accidentally tried to use them for a handkerchief?”
“Actually, you’ve done that more than once, Bette. Now, hand yours over for the night.”
She smiles and a lacy chocolate colored pair flies through the air, as we fall back on the bed.
“God, I’ve missed your body.” I lean in and slowly suck her breast. Her hands on my back scratch me slowly.
“Baby, I’ve missed everything about you,” she sighs. “Where I’ve been is a terrible story. I swear to you I will never repeat.”
“What was wrong with you this afternoon? Didn’t you realize I was trying to seduce you?” I kiss her, and wait for her answer.
“I got so tangled up in the Yucatan.”
“What?” I laugh.
“I. . . I’ve been a coward.” She rubs her face. “Honestly, I’ve been trying not to… you know?”
“The irony of me being the “other woman” in your bed is not lost on me.”
“Not to break the mood, but just for the fucking record – Candace was never in this bed – I went over there. For like four days! A fucking long weekend! Years ago!”
“I know you’ll never do it again.” We take off on long kiss and somewhere in it we come to forgiveness. Bette lightly traces her tongue down my neck. The muscles of her stomach tighten, as I circle my fingers over and over on her clitoris. A long moan and another wave between us begins.
“Your body’s changed, Bette. I could see it in the wrestling ring.”
“Me? You were still milky and recently pregnant!”
“But Baby, your muscles.” I kiss down her stomach and patches of squares appear under my lips.
“I am. I’m showing off.” She leans up and makes them pop even more. It’s torture keeping them.” Then, she pulls me up to her.
“Sit in my lap. I’ve really missed you.” Wrapping my legs around her, she strokes inside my thighs. I feel her kiss, and her fingers pressing into me. For long moments, it’s only the feelings of her tongue, and the aching she makes happen inside me, and then everything syncs and beats into a vibration.
I scratch lighter then harder across her lower back, and watch as her eyes change, becoming darker. Her hand holds the back of my neck, and inside me I feel more pulsing.
“Are you here tomorrow and then the next week and the next?” She demands and kisses me hard, then breaks away. “What are you doing? I love you, and I want you back, Tina.”
“Coming home.” I grip my hands behind her back, and the electric rings inside me grow.
Bette’s Bedroom – Bette
Somewhere between her breath on my face and the smell of her, I disappeared into mists and waves of pleasure. She twitches her muscles against my fingers inside her, and my heart takes off.
I close my eyes and feel Tina fall against my shoulder, and twist my nipple. Then again harder.
I flash open my eyes. “Christ! My attention! You have it.”
“Where do you keep going?” Tina asks into my ear.
“My heart, it feels so tight, and it feels very fast.” My breath comes out hot against Tina’s neck. “Something’s happening. I might be dying.”
Tina widens her eyes in disbelief. “Bette, you’re too young for a heart attack.”
“It would be so cruel to fall dead during make up sex.” I hold my lips so they barely touch hers. “But let’s say I am.” I pull out of her as she tries to kiss me. I circle round and round on her clitoris, and feel the heat from her in my hand. Her thighs around my waist begin to shake. I lick inside her mouth, and I push back inside her. Tina cries out, and sucks my tongue.
“Baby, wait, it’s almost too much, but just right.” She moves slowly up and down in my lap. The tops of her legs continue to shake, then her hand slips between my legs, and rubs me. The pleasure spins around and around in my brain, then burns into the place I know I am inside her, where she throbs against my fingertips. I just need…
She flares a long scratch across my back. “God! That hurts!” I burst against her neck, and with her own cry she begins to shake against me. My orgasm releases like a whip, and I’m there in the waves with her.
Later – Bette’s Bedroom – Tina
Our breath slower, our sweat slick and warm against my skin, I kiss her slowly, as I open my legs, and feel Bette’s thigh rub against an ache I can’t believe I still have. I touch the wet place I’m leaving on her leg, and she rubs against my fingers and moans. I kiss her lips one by one and tease her tongue.
“I love you.” Bette says, as she kisses my breasts, and her tongue leaves a moist trail down my belly. I close my eyes and feel her lick inside me, as she makes love to me – again.
“Bette, I don’t know. I might be done.”
I open my eyes and see her shoulders rise, and feel her lift me off the bed, as she licks deep inside me. After wrapping ourselves together minutes ago in passion the feeling of her back again so quickly – it feels nearly too much.
As the twisting of her tongue slides inside me, I fight with my emotions. Everything about her need to find and toy with and then, take all the last parts of me overwhelms me.
“You did this with her? Thinking that you did our thing with your tongue – it’s making me crazy.”
She lifts up from me. “Never. Just us, only us.”
Her fingers come back inside me, and connect again all the wanting, waiting places. My body in waves again runs along the currents with hers. She sucks me harder, and then teases me lighter and lighter, and then, I’m back in her mouth. Holding her to me, I beg her not to stop.
Bette’s Bedroom – Midnight – Bette
Tina lies against my shoulder. “Scotch or wine?” I ask.
“If we drink Scotch, will you sleep? Because you can’t have me anymore.” Tina says.
“What the fuck?” I rise up on my elbows.
“Anymore tonight. I’ll get the Scotch and aspirin and going to sleep. Right?” Tina slips on my blue silk bathrobe that’s too big for her.
“Yes. Absolutely right.” I salute her from the bed, and fall backwards.
When Tina returns she hands me my drink, and lying back in bed her robe falls open. I drink a long swallow of Scotch and lie in her lap to enjoy our post coital hum
“I should have told you this a long time ago, Bette. And you promised me we’d drink this and go to sleep. Right?”
I stir around in her lap. “Is this going to irritate me? I can’t fall asleep pissed off.”
She puts her hand against my chest and rubs me. “Baby, please this isn’t about you, but I’ve held it in because it’s something that hurt me. So, please listen to me, and don’t jump up, or go for your Bowie knife.”
“That bad?” I laugh at what I’m sure is an exaggeration. “Okay. I’m listening.” I settle back in her lap, and drink my Scotch as proof of contentment.
“A long time ago when I was young my sister and I at night in her bedroom…”
I watch Tina’s lips quiver.
“The abuse was bad. It went on for years.” Her eyes become cloudy, and unmistakably sad.
“Baby, what can I do? You said stay here and listen. That’s proving hard for me. I want to book a flight for wherever the fuck she is.” Then, Tina touches my face, as she begins to cry.
I hold her chin in my hand, slowly kiss her lips, and lie back down to wait with her, as she sobs. When she quiets, I put our glasses away, and take her into in my arms.
“There’s nothing to do about it.” She rest her cheek against my neck, and holds my hand across her heart, and releases a shaky sigh.
I stare angrily at the ceiling. “I could strangle her.”
“Don’t please. It’s part of why I don’t tell you things.”
“Things?” I ask suspiciously.
“Part of coming back to you is that I wanted you to know. And there are no other things. Like that anyway.”
“Okay.” I sigh. “But wait. . .not okay. Come closer to me.”
Tina puts her leg across me, and I feel her soft strip of hair against my thigh. I’m pissed off and tired and starting to want her again, but it’s getting so late, and yet, I wonder: Should I tell her?
“T, are you still awake?”
“In college I was pregnant and had a miscarriage.”
“You what?” Tina pops up on her elbow next to me.
“It was with Coleman. We were just amusing ourselves. I never told him I was pregnant. I never told anyone, but I’m telling you.” I stop, as Tina watches me closely.
I struggle to find the words. ”When it happened to you, I felt like I knew how you felt.” I rub my forehead, and look at her in confusion. ”Then I cried and knew I didn’t know.” I wipe away my tears.
”Everything about what we had, that we were starting a family, and back then I was in college – so young! And with Coleman, of all people as it turned out! But it happened, and then in two months it was over, and it was just my secret, Tina.” I sigh and look at her.
“Secrets. They just happen like that and then, years pass. I know.” She kisses my forehead.
“And I was sad and relieved – I didn’t want to end up with men.” A sigh of sadness escapes me, and then one filled with relief. “I was twenty, Tina, and after that I was through with men. I was done.”
“Bette, you could’ve said something to me.”
“And when we go to the church sometimes to light the candle – it’s about the lost one, ours. And when I leave, and drive away the one I had – those thoughts will come back to me, but they’re only vaguely haunting now. It’s easier, when not another soul knows.”
“Is it?” Tina asks.
I cry softly to myself, and then wipe my last tear. “T, do we want more children?”
“I do, don’t you?”
“At least one more, don’t you think?” I smile at Tina, and reach behind her head and kiss her.
“Bette, that would make me really happy. After the movie’s finished, I’ll try again. Unless you. . .?”
“Me? God no! My abs, Tina, I’m much too vain about them.”
“I can’t talk about what to do about Jodie tonight, T. I need to do it where there are not expensive objects, or power tools, or microphones, or people.”
“The desert?” Tina laughs.
“Oh, Jesus. It never ends. If she pushes me into a huge cactus, that will really hurt.”
“Thankfully, she’s your problem. I’m going to sleep.”
I lean over to kiss her good night. “I’ll turn the lights off around the house, and then I’ll be back. Don’t go anywhere.”
I hear Tina laugh but I worry about things anyway.
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33. “Coming Home” http://bit.ly/comingHome
I noticed if you click Next Post -> it takes you to the first chapter of our espionage series, WET WORK. Please click this link to read the lovely story, “Coming Home” in this WeHo behind the scenes series. http://bit.ly/comingHome
1. In part of this series, there’s a story about Bette’s tongue’s radar, _Tongue Tales_ at this link on this site.
2. There is also a long love story called, _I Remember Rivers_ that has the reference to Samuel Clemens quote about lightning words versus lightning bugs here on this site.
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