They piled in the SUV’s and headed out in a convoy. Driving into the city, they moved quickly through the early morning traffic. Tim was a good driver and always seemed to choose the best lanes on the busy highway. They got to his brother’s range in good time.
Jason was surprised at the size of the place. He wasn’t sure what he’d been expecting, but the shop and range were the size of a warehouse perched on a cliff overlooking the river. They drove through at set of tall doors, unloading once they scrolled shut behind them.
“This is amazing! I never saw a place like this,” Jason said, his dark eyes sparkling enthusiastically as he gazed around him.
“Lloyd doesn’t think small,” Tim replied with a grin. “He made some good money over the years dealing in antique and collectible weapons. He’s also made some good investments. He built this up from nothing over the last eighteen years.”
“Crikey,” Jason murmured.
They filed down the hallway to the range. This also was huge. Rank upon rank of cubicles ran along the narrow end of a long rectangle. Targets on tracks were spaced across the room at various distances.
Jason was issued goggles and a headset. Tim explained what they were going to do. He went through a clear, efficient method for gun safety.
“First thing you always do is check the weapon. You assume that every gun you pick up is loaded. Never assume the weapon is empty, or the next thing you hear could be the sound of your own death.”
Jason nodded, repeating exactly what he’d been told. He followed Tim’s instructions to the letter. It struck the FBI team that he had a mind for details and forgot little.
Tim did initial shooting instructions, going through each drill carefully. Jason, though he didn’t like handling the guns, picked them up without fear and followed directions, squeezing off his first couple of rounds. He didn’t flinch, didn’t blink and held the weapon like it was made for him. The hand trembled slightly as he set it back down, but he didn’t lose his cool.
“Excellent. I think you’re the best student I’ve ever had,” Tim said proudly. “Taylor, you take over supervising him. You know the drill as well as I do. Greg’s got some kinks to work out and I need to practice for the expo.”
“You got it, Tim.” She turned to face Jason. “Think you can handle having me as your teacher?”
He glanced at her, grinning. “Oh, yeah. I thought they’d never leave.” He winked.
“Behave.” She jabbed him in the gut with her thumb.
“I am behaving!” He looked highly offended. “I haven’t ravished you. Nor have I made any really improper suggestions.”
“You kissed me,” she whispered.
“You kissed me,” he corrected. “And I liked it. Got a problem with it?” He lifted the weapon, checked it as he’d been told, aimed and fired several shots in rapid succession.
Taylor watched the target in awe. Her vision was excellent. He’d hit the center of the target nearly every time. He laid down the weapon.
“You sure you never shot a gun before today?”
“Paintball and airsoft, a wee bit. Real weapons, no. Scared to bits of the lot of ’em. Still not fond of them, but I can do what I must.”
“Best natural shot I ever saw,” Tim said, coming up quietly behind them.
Tim handed each of them a bottle of water and brought the target forward. Impressed, Taylor still felt she should say something by way of correction.
“Work on your grouping. You’ve a tendency to pull too far to your left. Want a clean kill, bring it to the right, don’t let it drift.”
“Yes, sir,” Jason said automatically.
Taylor set up another target. Taking her position, she scrolled it back, checked her weapon and fired. Her grouping was tight, centered, perfect.
“That’s my girl,” Tim said proudly. “Learn to shoot like that, kid, you’ll never have to worry.”
“Do my best,” Jason replied, stunned by her abilities.
His next rounds were better. Taylor made very few corrections, coaching him only enough to give him the right idea. He was quick, precise and more of a perfectionist than she. His vision was superb, his aim true. Once he learned the finer points of controlling the weapon drift, he did better.
“Now, with the left,” he said after they stopped for a picnic lunch that they had brought with them.
“Aren’t you getting tired?” Greg looked at his watch.
“Not a bit. I’m catching my second wind. You?”
Jason laughed. “Can we spend a wee bit of time on the left? I don’t have the same measure of control as I do with my right. Can’t figure that out.”
“Probably because all of us are right handed,” Tim said. “I can shoot some with the left, but not all that good. Never met an ambidextrous fellow before.”
“Comes in handy in my line of work. I can do a bit of magic with either hand.”
He held up several items he’d relieved them each of. He had handcuffs, a wallet, set of keys and Taylor’s lipgloss.
© Dellani Oakes