❝ we always find our way back ❞

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We are the kings and queens,
Of hearts that break.
We may fall in between the cracks,
Living life like it's just a game of blackjack.
I don't know how,
But we always find our way back.

"We are Stars" –Virginia to Vegas (ft. Alyssa Reid)

"You know where we should go?" Vanessa asked, clapping her hands together excitedly. "La Perla."

I stared at her. "For you, right?"

She grinned and half-shrugged, half-shook her head. "You should get some stuff too."

I wasn't sure how I had gotten here. No, actually I was. Vanessa had said we should hang out today, and I had asked her if we could go to the mall, since I had to finish Christmas shopping. I hadn't expected this, though, when I had suggested the idea.

"Why?" I asked, gaping at her.

"For Ashton." She paused. "Or Jacen."

"What?" I sputtered. "There's nothing going on with him! Either of them!"

She raised an eyebrow. "You paused before 'either of them'. So who is there something going on with?" She bumped me in the shoulder lightly and wiggled her eyebrows. I flushed and ignored her, turning into a small boutique instead. I hadn't meant to say it like that and I definitely hadn't expected Vanessa to pick up on it, as mean as that might be.

"Or," Vanessa started, following me through the shelves of fancy, scented lotions and perfumes in glitter bottles. "Is it both of them?"

I choked.


She continued, oblivious to my reaction. "I didn't think you were that kind of person, but you know, I won't judge."

I shook my head quickly. "No, no, no, definitely not," I told her.

"That was a quick denial," she said, raising an eyebrow. I whipped around to stare at her. She raised her arms in surrender, blinking at me innocently. "It was just a fact."

I shook my head again and lifted a small, light blue bottle with a seashell cap from the shelf. I already had most of my presents for everyone, except for Raine. I only had a small part of her gift. I had found an exclusive copy of the first movie she had been in on Amazon last week. Call Me Cupid, it was apparently the movie that had brought her and Kaden back together, one that Kallie and Brett had directed. We had a copy of it, of course, but the edition I had found included a lot of extras, like gag reels, and commentary.

I knew Raine liked organic things, and stuff that reminded her of summer.

Her and Kaden have a serious obsession over that season.

I grabbed the opened, tester bottle and sprayed a little on a small strip of paper from the pile set out on the top shelf. It was definitely summer, I think it was meant to smell like the ocean, but they had overdone it a touch. But it was still pretty good, nice and warm. I checked the label. Nope, not organic. I set the bottle back down and continued looking around.

"What are you looking for?" Vanessa asked.

I shrugged. "Something organic and summer-y."

"Oh," she said. "I know a brand that specializes in organic things." She took my arm and led me to a section at the back of the store. There was a light pink panel with the words 'Ayala Moriel' at the top. I glanced at the rows of simplistic bottles and picked one of the open, 'Try Me' bottles of lower shelf.

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