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(this ain't edited

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(this ain't edited. i finished this between classes and now i have to go to another one. will fix later tonight!) -mags

IT WASN'T OFTEN that Marley Acosta said no to Luke Danes. Not only was he her boss, but in the time she'd known him, he'd given Marley more than she could ever use words to sum up. She liked to think of Luke as a friend (in the way she'd call every other adult she'd made a lasting connection with that lived in the town), and when it came down to it, Marley was sure she'd come running to help if he ever called, as she knew he would do for her.

However, as Marley stared him down from across the counter, attempting to process what he was actually saying, she decided that this might be the first time that she wouldn't reply to the call.

"You want me to do what?" she said, expression blank.

"You heard what I said."

"Yeah, I heard you. I'm just trying to figure out if Ashton Kutcher's going to come through that door and tell me there's a camera hidden in the corner."

"You're serving coffee to dancers, not going to war."

Marley shook her head. "I don't take issue with that. I take issue with the fact you want me to get up at five AM on my day off."

"Yes, and because of that I'm offering to pay you for something that I'm not even getting paid for myself," Luke said.

"Why can't Jess do it?" Marley asked, nodding toward the boy wiping down the table by the window. "He's your nephew. Torture him."

"Nobody's going to want to buy coffee from Jess. Especially at six AM. They'd be afraid he'd throw it at them."

"Doesn't sound like too bad of an idea," Jess said, piping in as he walked toward her and his uncle.

Marley didn't bother to look at him. "Shut up." Her eyes narrowed as they stayed on her boss and she pointed a finger at him. "That's a weak reason and you know it."

Luke's expression now matched Marley's. "Either run the stand or you can open here and you two and Caesar can hold your own until about eleven o'clock."

She bit the inside of her cheek, still staring him down. She didn't like that option any more than the previous one. The last time she and Caesar opened on their own, they nearly burned the place down. Marley wasn't sure she was up for a repeat of that.

She played her final card. "And what if I'm signed up for the Dance Marathon?"

Luke snorted. "Please."

"No, seriously. Ryan called me yesterday and said that he put our name on the list. He doesn't like to tell people this, but he's, like, super into dancing."

Jess raised his brows, placing his elbows on the counter. "You told me yesterday he's coming back from Tampa tomorrow night."

Marley scowled at him. "Traitor."

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