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"Sure, sounds good. Let's see how this baby works," I said, winking at David.

I hadn't taken into consideration that this young, strapping man was a lot stronger than me. Once the "chest-to-wrist restraint" was on right-side-up, he pulled on the straps so hard that David's entire body jerked toward him. "Here, I'll hold him steady," I offered, earning myself an appreciative flash of perfectly straight, sparkling white teeth.

Once finished, the man stepped back to survey his work. With his wrists bound to his chest and his hands hanging free, David kind of looked like a miniature T. Rex. He waited patiently while I laughed, although it's not like he had other options.

"Looks good! Let me know if you need anything else," said our helper, before returning to his post in the middle of the main floor. Behind me, two women (in the Madame S section of the store) organized strap-on accessories and chatted with each other, as relaxed as if they had been stocking shelves at Bed Bath & Beyond, rather than shelving stocks at Bits, Ball-Gags & Bondage.

David looked helpless. I took pity and unbuckled the many straps that contained him. But, before I unbuckled the final straps that held his wrists, I was struck by an excellent idea.

"I'll let you out, if you carry my books back to San Diego," I said. He laughed at me, which didn't get him anywhere. I waited for a proper response. I even left him for a few minutes while I investigated the ladies' half of the store.

Finally, acknowledging his predicament, David gave me his word -- he would carry my books. Triumphant, I set him free, and handed over my shopping bag.

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