TWENTY-NINE.

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(hi friends! it's currently midnight my time which means that it's fuCKIN ELECTION DAY DEAR GOD PLEASE GO VOTE IF YOU ARE ABLE TO AND HAVE NOT YET

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(hi friends! it's currently midnight my time which means that it's fuCKIN ELECTION DAY DEAR GOD PLEASE GO VOTE IF YOU ARE ABLE TO AND HAVE NOT YET. YOUR VOTE MATTERS SO MUCH. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE VOTE. that is all. thank you. hope you enjoy this one. it's a bit shorter than the others but it's fine. love u all tons! -mags)

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LUKE DANES STOOD at the counter of his diner glancing from the piece of paper in front of him to his employee who stood beside him. "What am I supposed to do with this?" he asked.

Marley scrunched her brow. "What do you mean? It's an application. You told Courtney to fill it out," she said. "Didn't you do this song and dance for Lane? You brought her in for an interview and everything."

"You want me to bring Courtney in for an interview?"

"The hell are you asking me for? You run this place."

Luke nodded, flipping the application over to the other side. "Well, what did I do with you?"

"What? When you hired me when I was fourteen?" Marley asked. She took a moment to think, then looked at him in bewilderment. "Holy shit. Is it bad that I don't remember how I got this job?"

Luke matched her expression. "I feel like you've always worked here."

"I know," she said. "Dude, did my mom get me this job?"

"She might have. If you were fourteen, I was definitely breaking some sort of child labor laws."

"Were we running an illegal operation for a while?"

"We might have been," Luke said. He leaned down to mutter, "Don't tell Taylor."

Marley glanced up at him. "No promises," she chuckled, grinning as Luke nudged her with his elbow. She pointed at the application. "Seriously, though. Are you gonna hire her?"

Luke shrugged. "I don't know. What do you think? Can she remember stuff? She got decent handwriting?"

"Yes to both."

"She nice to people? Polite? Patient enough?"

Marley snorted at the idea of calling Courtney polite or patient. "Please."

The ends of Luke's lips twitched upward and he held out the application to Marley. "Yeah, I think she'll fit right in," he said. Marley gaped at him, smiling wide. "I'll call her today to tell her to come in on Wednesday for a test run. You can train her and we'll see how she does. Bring that upstairs and throw it on the kitchen table for me?"

Marley nodded excitedly, grabbing the paper from him and practically running upstairs with it. To say that she was excited to not only work with but to order around Courtney was an understatement.

Her first shift at the diner had a slow start, something of which she welcomed with open arms. She'd gotten back into town late last night and had spent the early hours of the morning talking with her mom about everything that had gone on in the last week or so. Her mother was less than impressed to hear about the five-minute voicemail from overseas, but everything else she was pretty receptive to. But she didn't tell her about her sudden revelation about Jess.

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