Truth or Dare
of limbs on the grass.
    “Oh my god, Cait!” Emerson rushed over to her side. Next to her,Tricia executed a flawless basket toss. “Are you okay?” Emerson gasped, helping her up. “Are you hurt?”
    “I’m fine,” Caitlin said. Her voice sounded muffled. The pill had kicked in with a bang, and she felt fuzzy all over. She held tightly to Emerson’s arm to keep her balance.
    From a few feet away, Tricia shot her a sympathetic look as she jumped gracefully to the ground. “Don’t worry about it, Cait. It happens to the best of us.” She smiled reassuringly, then, throwing her hands into the air, she dove forward into a perfect handspring. Off to the side, Jessie let out a whooping cheer.
    “She’s right,” Emerson whispered in her ear. “It could have happened to anyone.”
    Caitlin attempted a weak smile as she watched Tricia do three more handsprings in a row. Emerson whispered something about how one Angel Thomas was worth three Tricia Suttons, but Caitlin was barely listening. It didn’t matter what Emerson said.
    For the first time in her life, Caitlin had bombed.

    Saturday, 9 PM
    TENLEY FLASHED THE MIRROR HER VERY BEST pageant smile, taking inventory. Her chestnut-brown hair hung in long, shiny waves, her blue dress skimmed her butt just right, and new diamond studs glinted in her ears, her mom’s latest love-your-new-stepfather bribe. She loved the earrings, at least. The look was just what she was going for: bold enough to hold your attention, but not so bold it screamed
I’m trying to
    Noises were starting to float over from the pool house—voices and laughter and a few catcalls—but she decided to give it another minute or two before heading over. She’d hung a sign on the pool house door ( JAILBREAK PARTY THIS WAY… ENTER AT YOUR LIVER’S RISK! ), so people would know where to go. Just because it was her party didn’t mean she couldn’t make an entrance. It had been almost four years since she’d seen most of her old friends from Echo Bay, after all. She wanted to make sure she hadn’t been forgotten.
    When she and her mom had moved to Nevada, she’d stayed in touchwith only one person. A thrill raced through Tenley at the thought of seeing Caitlin again. After Tenley first moved away, she and Caitlin had written e-mails to each other almost every day. But lately Caitlin’s e-mails had grown less and less frequent. Even when Tenley wrote to her about her little
, Caitlin’s response was sweet—but short. Just a promise that she wouldn’t tell anyone about it. She was just crazed with school stuff, Caitlin had explained. And Tenley understood; even when they were little, Caitlin was always taking on a million things at once. But deep down, she couldn’t quite banish the fear that, without those e-mails, whatever ties she’d had to Caitlin—and Echo Bay—had been severed.
    Reaching into her jewelry box, she pulled out the gold anklet she and Cait had bought together back in middle school. They’d both loved it, but when they’d found out it was the store’s last one, Caitlin, being Caitlin, had said Tenley could have it. But Tenley had suggested they share it. It would be like those best-friend heart necklaces everyone was wearing: something to tie them together.
    They’d painstakingly picked out the charms together—an angel, a key, a horseshoe, and a tiny bear—and had taken turns wearing it every other month. When Tenley had broken the news to Caitlin that she was moving, she’d insisted Caitlin keep the anklet. It would be something to bridge the wide gap between Massachusetts and Nevada. But when Cait had visited her in Nevada last summer, she’d brought the anklet with her. “It’s your turn now,” she’d told Tenley. Tenley smiled at the memory. That weekend had been amazing. On their last night together, they’d told Tenley’s mom they were staying over at a friend’s house, and instead had made a secret pilgrimage to Vegas.
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