“Keep your voice down, doofus, or you’ll get us both caught,” she said without moving her lips set in a cruel smile, a ventriloquist bent on my destruction. She shoved a bottle of wine down my pants.

“Stop,” I pleaded.

“Or what, you’ll tell the clerk you’re shoplifting? Just zip up your jacket and walk out to the car. Don’t be dick and quit looking around. You look suspicious. Now go!”

I zipped up my coat as she unbuttoned the top two buttons on her blouse. My heart raced, not from the sight of her inciting cleavage, but from the realization that I was stealing from a liquor store. I walked to the front door, looking away from the clerk to avoid eye contact, and caught a glimpse of Marcia in the curved security mirror as she leaned in to the counter, smiling and flirting with the guy behind the cash register.

She had us both doing exactly what she wanted.