“I don’t owe you shit, Cyril.” Mickey kicks herself free from the Camaro’s seatbelt and grabs for the door. Cyril grabs her wrist. The door is unlocked. All she has to do is step out. The night is stale hops in her lungs, but she wants it.

“You wanted to take a ride, baby.” He yanks her wrist once, hard. “So sit back and enjoy it.”

She twists out of her seat, wrenches her wrist away from him, and lands in a sequined heap on the pavement, her nose inches from asphalt, her new red dress danced up around her ass like a party favor.

“I don’t need this shit.” Cyril stomps on the gas. The car flies down the block, passenger door waving.

Mickey sits up and swears — nylons running, purse missing, panties in a bunch. She jumps up and runs after Cyril’s tail lights, heels spiking divots in the soft asphalt.

“Give me back my goddamn, go-to-hell purse, you lousy asshole.”

Cyril makes the corner before he realizes the door is still hanging open and slams on the brake — CD blasting, tires smoking, not hearing another thing, leans way over, grabs the door handle, pulls and Mickey is right there, pulling it back open.

“You have my purse. Give me my purse.” Panting, she plants hands on hips, thighs flashing.

Cyril leans back in his cream leather seat, adjusts to get a better view and grins real big.

“You want it, baby? You have to come here and get it.” If he’d had a hat he’d have pulled it low over his eyes. If it hadn’t been 3 a.m. he would have pulled down his shades to show her how serious he was. If this had been the first time she’d jumped out of the car, he wouldn’t have waited at all.

“Just give it to me, Cyril.” She stares ice picks into his soul. “You know I can’t get back with no money, no makeup, no hairbrush, like this.” Her voice trails off in the face of his cold, cold resolve.

“I’m not saying you can’t have it, baby,” he purrs at her. “I’m just saying you got to get in the car to get it.”

Mickey looks around. Nothing but dark houses, family cars tucked away in garages, lights off, lawns mowed, mail put away, curtains drawn. Somewhere north, the freeway. She can’t hear it; can’t hear anything but Cyril’s hand patting the Camaro’s head rest, his mouth making that smiling sound and red sequins from her dress falling in slow motion at her feet.

Her hands move down her hips to her bare outer thigh and without thinking she tugs the red stretchy material down a quarter of an inch. She places one dyed-red-to-match spike heel square in the middle of the Camaro’s black carpet, then slides her bottom back onto the cream leather car seat, right foot still out there in the night.

Cyril grabs a big chunk of the back of her long, dark hair and jerks her back against the seat hard, his mouth in her ear, his other hand between her legs.

“You know where home is now, baby.”

She sinks further into the leather, holds her breath and lets her heel drag the ground as they slowly pull away.