Riley had turned around to see him already looking back, as if waiting for her specifically to look around. His eyes – blue-green, like sea glass – crinkled at the corners as he smiled at her. She had immediately whirled around, convinced that it was mere coincidence and he was really looking at Maya, but her heart still fluttered with her wishful thinking. Maya had sauntered over to talk to him, and Riley had settled back with a sigh to watch her friend work, but she had returned almost immediately, and sent Riley flying straight into his arms instead.
“Honey, even when I went over there, I could tell he wasn’t interested in me. I was the crazy New York chick, going up and flirting with random strange guys. You were the incredibly adorable little brunette that fell into his lap, twice. ”
“Riles. Think about it. If he wasn’t interested, then he would’ve caught you and sat you in the seat next to him, not held you on his lap. Or he would’ve given up his seat and moved over–or used the opportunity to come over and talk to me instead.” Maya pointed out quietly. “And that was only the first meeting. There have been plenty of moments where he could’ve just walked away. Like with Missy Bradford. The most notoriously popular girl in the school hits on him his first month here, and he turns her down to hang out with you. Not me and Farkle.”
She was wavering; Maya could see it. But she shook her head, lips compressed in a stubborn line. “But you like him.”
It wasn’t a question.
Maya sighed, resigned. “Of course I like him, Riles.”
“And he likes you. He called you beautiful. He wants you to be happy. And something happened between you in Texas.” Riley stated stubbornly.
Maya closed her eyes, not answering right away. They were talking in circles, and she was starting to realize that there was nothing she could say that would change Riley’s mind about pushing her and Lucas together. And, if she was being perfectly honest with herself, safe in the darkness, a small part of her was okay with that. There had been a spark of -something- between them, in that moment by the campfire, under the stars. Riley had been shoving them together since they had returned from Texas. What was the harm in going along with it, just for a little bit? Just to see what would happen.
“You’re right. Something did happen.” She admitted neutrally.
They fell silent, sitting less than a foot across from each other but feeling miles away. When Maya spoke again, it was a mere whisper in the darkness.
“So what happens now?”
Maya sighed, scooting closer and pulling the younger girl into a hug before resting her head on her favorite spot on Riley’s shoulder. “I guess we go and have a conversation with Lucas tomorrow.”