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We have a license to sell firearms at the club and what do you know?  She asked me about defense weapons and then picked herself out a .22 caliber last night.  It’s a real beauty she got herself.  Now don’t get me wrong; I’m no male chauvinist, but women with guns make me nervous.”
    Jerry grabbed a heated blanket from the warming closet and draped it over Sage’s upper back.  “I told that friend of yours right off to put that baby away in a safe place and not to handle it until I say she’s ready to handle it.  Not that there’s much to shooting a gun anyway if you need to; you just aim it and pull the trigger.”


    Why would Dara need to shoot a gun?  A blur of scenarios flashed through Sage’s head in the course of a second, each one more chilling than the next.
    “Anyway,” Jerry continued, “she said that if it would make me happy, she’d tuck it away high up on a shelf in her linen closet, maybe she’d even wrap it up in a pillow.  She said that way she could get to it in an emergency.”
    Sage flinched.  She had seen that closet.  It was up seven stairs, right on the landing.
    “Are you okay?” Jerry asked.  “I’m not pressing too hard, am I?”
    “Oh, no.  I’m actually starting to feel some relief,” she reassured him.
    “Good.  I’m glad to hear that.  Most women who come to the club for a gun are worried about intruders,” he told her, “but your friend seems to be extremely concerned about terrorists.  I actually tried to dissuade her from joining our club, she seemed so agitated.  But she kept insisting that no one should have to live in terror all her life.”
    Now Sage had an explanation as to why her physical therapist, who said he was born in Brooklyn, would often lapse into a western accent whenever they talked about anything other than physical therapy.  


But there was nothing to explain why Dara had become so interested in guns.

       THE GUN 
     Sage groaned as he hit a tender spot.  “Sorry,” Jerry said.  He moved his hands onto the area of her spine that had been fused with bone from her hip.  “So, I met the woman you work with last night,” Jerry said offhandedly, as he rubbed her aching lower back.

    “Really?  Where was that?” Sage asked.  She had mentioned Dara in the course of the friendly conversation that makes a physical therapy session go faster.  She never imagined that Jerry and Dara’s paths would ever cross.
    “It was at the gun club I preside over.  We meet once a month down at the county police firing range.  Had a new member meeting last night.” 
    “Anyway, as soon as she told me about her position with Mirror Image, and with her blue eyes and blonde hair, I knew she was your partner before she even told me her name was Dara Devon.   She sure took to shooting straight away,” Jerry said.

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