TEMP GIRL: A NEW Daily Serial

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Change is good...but not great.


Hey, there.   It’s me, the girl you probably hate—you know, the tall skinny blonde at the gym, the one who disses you at the water fountain?  I’m here to tell you everything you suspect about me is true:

Yes, I have an easy job making ridiculous money.

Yes, I turned the extra bedroom in my fab Atlanta condo into a closet for my designer wardrobe.

Yes, I have a personal assistant.

And yes, as a matter of fact, my gorgeous boyfriend is a doctor.

My life is beyond amazing and more than I could’ve dreamed of when I was growing up.  My mother might say I’ve “gotten above my raisin’.”  I guess that’s why I’ve become such a diva…and why a part of me has always been waiting for the other shoe to drop.

As much as you dislike women like me (rightfully so because admittedly, even I kind of hate me), you’ll be happy to know when the shoe finally dropped—Christian Louboutin, of course—it landed with a giant, life-changing crash.

I'm Della, by the way.  Della Culpepper.  And trust me—you won't want to miss my freefall into reality.

The TEMP GIRL daily
 serial will run July 1 - December 31.  The daily episode will be available only for 24 hours (approximately 4am-4am Eastern), so set a reminder on your phone, computer, or fridge to get your free TEMP GIRL fix every day!

Need to catch up?  Buy the July novella, then pick up reading the August daily serial for free!



August 18, Friday

“HERE YOU ARE, ladies,” the hostess said.  “Table for three.  Enjoy.”

“Guess the chef’s table was reserved tonight,” Sabrina teased me.

“We don’t have anything to celebrate tonight,” I muttered.  Although we hadn’t that night either.  Charlie had just played along when the girls said we were celebrating my promotion.

“How’s your new job going?” Susan asked.

“It’s… varied,” I said.  “Some days are more interesting than others.”

“I never see your SUV parked in your spot,” Sabrina said.  “You must be traveling all the time.”

“I’m all over,” I agreed.

But it felt good to be out as Della instead of being worried someone would recognize me.  I’d taken pains with my hair and makeup, and, as Casey had suggested for my coloring, pulled a pale green wrap dress from my closet.  That said, I was going to have to mind my budget tonight.

So when the girls ordered drinks, I stuck with water and endured their protests.  “I’m watching my sugar intake.”

That, at least, wasn’t a lie.  I had to get the scale going back down.  Two days of working in the diet center had scared me straight.

The girls chattered about their jobs and the guys they’d met on dating sites.

“You’re so lucky you have Kyle,” Susan said.

“Amen,” Sabrina said.  “Hey, did you ever tell Chef Charlie about our offer of a three-way?”

“As a matter of fact, I did.”

They guffawed.  “What did he say?” Susan demanded.

“I said I prefer one woman at a time,” Charlie said.

I turned to see him standing next to our table in his chef’s attire.  He was looking at me, but he encompassed the girls in his amused smile.

“We could take turns,” Sabrina said, only half-joking as she sucked on a straw.

Susan kicked her under the table, then nodded subtle agreement.

“Girls,” I chided.

“Oh, hush, Della, we don’t have a Kyle.”

“Right,” Susan added.  “Someone who keeps us so satisfied, we don’t need anything else.”

I felt Charlie’s gaze on me, saw his mouth twitch.

I cleared my throat pointedly.  “Chef, do you have any recommendations for dinner?”

His eyes twinkled.  “I do.”  He rattled off his top three choices, then nodded to my water.  “Would you like some of the wine we had the other night?”

“She’s watching her sugar intake,” Sabrina said.

“Ah.  Well, I’ll leave you ladies to enjoy your evening.  I hope to see you again very soon.”  But again, he was looking at me.

I dropped my gaze until he left.

Susan poked me.  “I think he has a crush on you.”

I gave a dismissive wave.  “No, he doesn’t, and besides, I’m not available.”  To change the subject, I reached into my purse and pulled out the silver earring Charlie had found in my old couch.  “Does this belong to either one of you?”

They each looked at it, then shook their heads.


“It’s not mine, either.”

A waiter arrived to take our orders, so I slipped the earring back into my purse.  To save money, I ordered a salad and an appetizer as an entrée.  When Portia rehired me, I would never again take my expense account for granted.

The food was delicious, and the mood was festive.  But the more the girls drank, the more I was glad I’d stayed with water.  In my purse my phone vibrated, signaling the end of my eBay auctions for the week.  I was eager to see what the bids were.  I signaled the waiter to bring our checks.  As I turned, I caught a familiar flash of color across the room.  It was Casey, talking to another woman, laughing over a drink.  I jerked back and held my hand in front of my face.  The last thing I needed was for her to recognize me and start talking about the temp agency.

Sabrina, now a bottle of wine into the evening, glanced around the room, then turned back to us.  “Get a load of that hippo over there in the bright yellow dress.”

Susan looked, then winced.  “Oh, my God.  You’d think she’d be wearing camouflage instead of drawing attention to herself like that.”

When I realized they were talking about Casey, I sank low in my seat.

“Can you see her, Della?” Sabrina asked, expecting me to chime in.

“Come on, girls, cool it.  She’s just minding her own business.”

“That dress is a frontal assault,” Susan said, and Sabrina cracked up.

I looked through my fingers to see if Casey had noticed we were talking about her.

She’d noticed.  I knew that body language.  Then she squinted at me, craned her head, and mouthed, “Mae?”

Oh, God.  I twisted in my seat to be turned away from her.

The waiter came back with our checks—and three pieces of cheesecake.  “Compliments of the house.  Chef sends his regards.”

The girls dove in, but I didn’t touch mine, although it smelled heavenly.

“I’ll bet the hippo would eat it,” Susan said loudly, and they laughed, rocking together.

“I need to take off, girls,” I said, standing.  “I have to work tomorrow.”

They pouted, but said goodnight with sloppy hugs.  I had a feeling they would be out for several more hours.  As I strode through the restaurant back to the entrance, I kept my head bowed and my hand up to avoid looking at Casey.

When I reached the sidewalk, I exhaled into the muggy night air, then muttered a curse aimed toward Charlie Graham and walked toward my condo.  He knew I was trying to watch my sugar intake, yet he’d deliberately tried to sabotage my diet by sending out the cheesecake.

It was disrespectful.  And sneaky.

On the way, I remembered I needed eggs, so I stopped by the supermarket.  But to get to the eggs, I had to walk past the bakery case.  I stopped for a quick look, then wavered, then surrendered.

The woman behind the counter wordlessly reached into the case and boxed an entire cheesecake, then handed it to me.  ~

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