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     "Drink any faster and you'll get a brain freeze." Sweet Pea smirked, resting his head against the wall while sitting in a dining room chair and watching Max gulp down her favorite milkshake.

     She released her lips from the red straw and smiled sheepishly. His small comments were the cutest ring to her ears. It was honestly the little things.

     "What kind is it anyways? All I had to say was 'Max's favorite' and Pop whipped it up in a heartbeat."

     Max twirled the straw around the creamy substance, "Vanilla with caramel drizzle."

     "I'll make sure to get that next time." He licked his bottom lip and stared into her complex hazel hues.

     The tension erupted butterflies in the very pit of Max's stomach, causing her to break their stare. She cleared her throat and looked over to the four friends of hers that were sprawled out on the living room floor, studying the papers like they were about to take a test. She truly appreciated them. All of them. Even the one who didn't deserve it.


     Jughead let out an exasperated breath. "Do you mind? Some of us are actually trying to work here."

     Max furrowed her brows and slurped the rest of her milkshake up, making sure it was extra obnoxious.

     "Sorry. Should I have asked for your permission first?"

     Jug officially broke his concentration. "What?"

     "You know, made sure it was okay to cross that boundary. I'd hate to ruin our friendship because I'm an inconsiderate prick with no sense of respect. OH...wait.." She snapped.

     Everyone was now slowly focusing on the argument that was about to explode, instead of the files in front of them. Betty tapped Jug on the arm and pulled him back to the case, whispering something in his ear. But that wasn't good enough. Max had the urge to be a bitch tonight, perhaps it was the lack of sleep.

     She rose from the chair and made her way to the circle of teens gathered on the floor. Sweet Pea tried to keep the situation from escalating by pulling on her arm and giving a look, but she shoved him off and continued through. Taking a seat between Toni and Betty, Max also  indulged herself in the work that was her mother's case.

     She continued to read over the same page of detail.

Body found on Greendale/Riverdale town border. Bruises, lacerations, and stab wound to chest.
Assumed Time of Death: 1 - 2 a.m.
Date: Nov. 2
Cause of Death: Suspected Foul Play

     Tears brimmed at Max's waterline and she curled into herself. Her mom was really gone. And from such a brutal way. She only hoped that she hadn't suffered too much.

     Max flinched at the warm touch on her shoulder, and noticed Betty's sympathetic eyes boring into her side. She reached up and grabbed onto Betty's hand, holding it tight for only a moment, then pushing her emotions back into a box for a rainy day.

     Sweet Pea now joined the group, squeezing himself between Fangs and Jug, directly across from Max. A perfect view in his opinion.

     "Where'd my pencil go?" Jughead muttered, searching the carpet around him frantically.

     "Wait, Jug! I think I found it!" Max perked up and reached around to her backside, pretending to grab something. "Oh, never mind. That's just the knife you left in my back."

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