thirteen

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Maya had started wearing the necklace everyday. She only removed it whenever she took a shower and went to bed. This arose suspicion from Riley.

They were both sitting in Riley's purple bedroom in their pajamas. It had been a while since they had a sleepover so Riley had taken advantage of their long weekend from school and thought a four-day slumber party would make up for the lost time.

"Wow, you must have saved up a ton for that."

Maya glanced down at her chest, grinning softly at the memory and fiddling with the charms. "I actually didn't get it myself."

"Oh. Who got it for you? Shawn? Your mom? That's so sweet!" Riley beamed.

"No." Maya's hands dropped in her lap. She wrung them together. "Lucas got it for me."

The smile from Riley's face faded, her features twisting in bemusement. "L - Lucas?" She furrowed her brows. "Why?"

"Just a token of appreciation, I guess. Like a friendship gift." Maya added, stumbling slightly with her words.

"Can I look at it more closely?"

Maya nodded. She unclasped it from around her neck and handed it carefully to her best friend.

Riley turned the necklace to and fro in her bedroom light. "Where did he get it from?"

"A random gift shop," Maya shrugged. "Said it didn't cost him that much."

It was silent for a few beats as Riley observed it. "He lied." She said after a while, her face falling blank as she gave it back to Maya.

"What?"

"It says the company name in the back of the charms. I recognize it." Riley responded vaguely.

"So..."

"So it definitely cost him a lot. I've always wanted to own something from them, I even told Lucas about it before. I know their collection pretty well and that's a customized necklace."

Maya looked at the charms. She wondered if Lucas had chosen the star for a specific reason.

"Oh," Maya chewed on her bottom lip. "Why would he lie?"

"Well, you probably wouldn't have accepted it if you knew how much it costed him."

"True."

Riley frowned, fidgeting with the bow of her stuffed toy. "Maya... can I ask you something?" She glanced up, their eyes meeting. Maya's nod was her invitation to continue. "Are you and Lucas..."

Maya gulped in anticipation.

"Is there something going on between you two?"

"W - What?" Maya scoffed, smiling incredulously. "Like romantically? Riles, I would never do that to you. And... gross." She shuddered and faked a look of distaste.

"Are you sure?" Riley questioned, staring at her skeptically.

"Yes!" Maya exclaimed. "Yes, he's... like my brother, and I'm like his sister."

Wrong. So wrong. Maya thought to herself, mentally cringing.

"Okay... that's what I thought." Riley visibly relaxed. Her usual smile was back on her face. "I just had to make sure."

"This is as clear as it's going to be. Me and Ranger Rick?" Maya shook her head rapidly. "Never going to happen."

.

.

.

"I don't get how we were given a four-day weekend, and you still managed to put off studying."

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