Her Coercive Tone, 01: Daily Grind

“Thanks again, Tanya.” Marco toasted the Grindstone barista with his to-go cup, letting his spare change slide from long, tan fingers into the tip jar. He winked at her partner at the other register, too. No need to go shy with the charm.

“Thank you, Mr. Pattillo!” she chirped, grinning at him before turning to stare over his shoulder at the next-in-line.

He turned on his heel and flashed his winning smile at everyone in line, then stretched his long legs in fine gabardine and strutted out of the café. It was a beautiful summer day, and Marco was feeling it. His glossy black hair was piled high atop his angular features, his eyebrows were sharp and expressive, and his puffy lips never lost their insouciant smirk. His bespoke suit and regal pose informed everyone in the coffee shop that he owned the place, he was in control, and his cologne lingered behind to make sure they didn’t forget it.

He loved the sound of his expensive Italian loafers clacking against the tiles of Acquista Plaza. He loved the echo of a beloved pop dance song playing over the center’s PA, as though just for him. He loved feeling pairs of eyes follow him around, envious and hungry, and he soaked this in before heading back to work. Yes, he leaned against the iron railing of the upper level, looking around as though enamored with life, truly open to all the universe had to offer, and held that pose before taking a dramatic sip of his coffee. “Mmm,” his face said, “this is excellent coffee. It’s everything a coffee drinker could want, and how lucky am I to enjoy this.” He nodded thoughtfully, letting the coffee really sink in, before peeling himself from the rail and moseying the escalator.

This was his gift to Greenville, these daily appearances amid high-traffic shopping times. His role at Vol-Cone LLC was very important, of course: how else would they leverage their core competency, to say nothing of interactively maintaining strategic theme areas, without their Direct Impact Representative? Marco turned sideways on the escalator, letting the gentle breeze of being drawn through space flare his blazer attractively, showing off his slender figure and washboard abs beneath his slim-fitted designer shirt. Sipping his coffee in profile for the benefit of those going up to buy stuff or whatever, he mulled what else he could do in the next hour to kill time before lunch.

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