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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

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Chapter One


“Excuse me. I ordered a non-fat pumpkin spice latte. This tastes like it’s got fat milk.” The twenty-something blond across the counter looked at Ali meaningfully as she slid her half-consumed beverage across the gleaming counter. Her manicured fingernails tapped on the tall cup, making sparkles fly off the fake gems glued on her nails.

The lunch crowd had rushed into the coffee shop, and this socialite wanna-be had timed her complaint just right.

Ali gave the rhinestone princess across the counter a strained smile. “No, ma’am. I definitely used non-fat milk.” It had been a long day and she wasn’t up arguing with someone who wanted a free refill. She probably had a bet with the pair of young women seated nearby. The blonde’s friends exchanged amused looks while Ali squirmed. Ali didn’t want to reward this brat’s gall.

The rhinestone princess fixed Ali with a menacing look and glanced at her badge. “Look, Ali, you made a mistake. I want you to fix it. The customer is always right, right?”

Stumped, with a pile of customers in line, Ali forced a smile and reached for the latte. Just as her fingers touched the cup, her coworker Sue swept it away.

With a sunny smile, Sue told the blond and the equally surprised Ali, “Won’t take a moment, honey. You’ve forgotten all about the fat tester, right Ali? We’ll fix you right up,” she assured the blond. She turned her back and hummed while she did something with the drink. They saw her lift the straw and pass it through a light coming off one of the machines. It beeped, and Sue nodded happily. She turned back to the blond with a smile and slid the drink across the counter. “Nope, the machine says it’s definitely low-fat. I love technology! You have a nice day now.”

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