She took aim and squeezed the trigger, the recoil reverberating down her arms. She smiled and took off her ear protectors.
“Closer each time.”
“You’re getting better” he smiled, equally impressed, and walked over to stand behind her. “Try not to drop your right shoulder immediately after. You’ll lose less time if you’re firing multiple times if you can maintain the position – you won’t have to keep readjusting.” He gently pushed her shoulder back up.
“Here” he made some other minor adjustments to her position. She could feel him standing closer than he actually needed to be, touching her just a few seconds longer than was necessary. “Try it again.” He adjusted her ear protectors and stepped back. She fired.
“Closer still” she beamed at him over her shoulder. He smiled. He’d missed this. It was great that she’d agreed to come out again. “All that practice is paying off.”
“At the range in town. If I do anything, I want to do it well.”
“You’re welcome to come out here and practice any time.” He tensed. She heard the change in his voice but kept her eyes focussed on the target.
“I know.” She didn’t explain further. She re-adjusted her ear protectors and took aim, firing too shots in quick succession. He was right about maintaining the position, it made a difference. “Do you want to try?” She turned and looked at him. Silent, stoic.
“Sure.” He walked over, took the gun and checked the chamber. 2 rounds left. He took aim.
“Wait a minute.” She stood behind him and pressed her body lightly against his, lifted his shoulder slightly, nudged his knee to widen his stance, put her hands on his hips and turned him just a fraction. None of it was needed. She just like touching him, being close to him. She paused, her lips close to his ear. “OK” she whispered, replacing his ear protectors and stepping back, standing off to one side. He fired, two shots, dead centre.
She came up behind him again, removed his ear protectors and wrapped her arms around his waist. “Good shot” she whispered, her lips grazing the back of his neck. He placed the gun on the stand and turned to face her.
“Do you wanna practice some more or do you want to do something else?” She hesitated, holding his gaze. He pulled her close and kissed her. Softly at first, seeing if she’d respond. She was still hesitant around him, although it was easing. She kissed him back, slipping her hands in his back pockets and pulling him closer like she used to.
“What did you have in mind?” she whispered.
“Whatever you want.” he whispered back, nuzzling her neck.
“I think we should practice some more.”
“OK.” He gently ran the tip of his tongue along her collar bone and felt her shiver. “So, how often are you practicing?”
“Couple of times a week, when I can. I was a bit rusty at first, but I had some one on one and it came back pretty quickly.”
“Who with?” He tried to keep his tone neutral.
“Toby, mostly. A couple of the others.”
Toby Marsden, smart ass ex-military, personal trainer, ladies man. Shit. He nodded, playing it cool. He knew most of the guys there. Ballistics as a relatively small world and he knew pretty much everyone in the greater Chicago area. He wondered if they knew she was his wife. He wondered if Toby….. best not to go there. She could sleep with every man with a gun in the state and he still wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.
She noticed the change in his demeanour. Jealousy? Professional pride? Not sure which, maybe both. Hopefully more of the first.
“He’s good, Toby. Very good” She watched his face for any reaction “Very….patient.” He flinched, tried to cover it. He nodded, put the gun on the table with a bit more force than he intended.
“Does he know?
“Who you are?”
“Well, yes. We talked about work. He recognised my name from the papers.”
“I mean, does he know who you are…..to me?”
“I…..I don’t know. He knows I’m married, I guess. We’ve never really talked about that.” Jealousy. She’d picked up on Toby’s reputation as a ladies man almost immediately. He flirted, she flirted back. On one level she was flattered, enjoyed being the focus of his attention. But she saw it for what it was – nothing meaningful. He was like that with all the women, a game he played. And he was the best instructor there – it was that simple. Kalinda was good, so was Kurt, but Kalinda wasn’t there and she’d always found Kurt too distracting to really focus. It was a kind of foreplay to them, their chemistry always intervening, which was great, but she wanted to be able to hold her own as it were. She might have told him this, if he’d bothered to ask. She could feel the frustration creeping in.
“Let’s go again.” She picked a few bullets out of the box and loaded the gun. He nodded. He stood behind her again, making slight adjustments. All business this time, no flirting. He put her ear protectors in place and stepped back to one side. She felt the sadness raising in her chest, took a deep breath and fired. A few more shots, a few more business like adjustments, a few more deep breaths to push the sadness away. She fired the last shot, hit the centre ring. She smiled to herself, relaxing her stance, rolling her shoulders.
“Well done. You alright?” He asked. She nodded.
“Just aching. I think I should probably head home”. He dropped his head, took a deep breath.
“Here, let me try something.” He walked over and took the gun, placing it on the bench. He stood behind her and squared her shoulders, gently running his thumb down her neck and round her shoulder blade. “Tell me where it hurts.”
“There” she winced as he pressed his thumb into her flesh. She felt it contract and resist but he maintained the pressure, small circles, and soon the knot started to ease. “Let me try the other side.” He did the same again and she felt the strain release. “Better?” he let go and she rolled her shoulders again, turning to face him.
“Much better. Thank you.” They looked at each other, neither knowing what to say. “Well, thanks for the practice.” She checked the chamber was empty and put the gun in its case, snapping the clasps closed.
“Any time. Do you want…..to stay over?” The last part was barely audible. In truth, she didn’t, not anymore. She felt sad and lonely and wanted to go home and wallow. The thought of making small talk and skirting the issue for a few hours more simply did not appeal.
“No.” She said simply. She leant in, kissed his cheek and turned to leave.
“Are you sleeping with him?” She stopped but didn’t turn around.
“Who?” She sighed.
“No. Maybe I will next time, find out what I’m missing.” She carried on walked towards the door and heard him follow her. Reaching for the handle, he caught her arm and turned her around.
“I’m sorry. I…” his voice trailed off.
“You’re what?” She sighed.
“I’m an idiot. I don’t like Toby. I don’t like that he’s teaching you. I don’t like that he’s touching you.” He sighed. “I love you, and I’m jealous, and it makes me behave like an ass.” She looked at him.
“Please, just stay a while – have a drink, maybe something to eat. Please.” She hesitated, feeling uncomfortable. Wanting to go but wanting to stay. She nodded. He gave a sigh of relief and leant forward, hesitating, before kissing her. She felt the tears rising and closed her eyes as she opened her mouth to his. She let her bag and the gun case slip to the floor as he pulled her in close. They stood there holding each other, just kissing. Gradually she felt the sadness fall away, from him too. She leant back against the cold metal door and shivered. He nudged his knee between hers and pressed his body against her, lifting his hands to cup her breasts, kissing his way down her neck. She tilted her head back and sighed softly. This was better, so much better.
“Let’s take this up to the house” she whispered. He groaned against her neck and eased away. He shouldered her bad and the gun case. Slipping his arm around her waist, not wanting to let her go for any longer than was necessary in case she changed her mind.
He set her things on the kitchen table and pulled her in for another kiss. She smiled against his lips.
“What about that wine?” He sighed and looked at her.
“You’re interrupting my attempt at seduction.”
“To be honest it would probably go quicker with wine.” He thought about this for a second.
“Good point.” He opened the wine and poured two glasses, handing one to her. “Drink it quickly” he teased as she took a sip. “Feeling horny yet?” he asked hopefully, stroking her stomach. She laughed and choked a little on the wine. She took another gulp and nodded, setting down her glass.
“OK, try me now.” She was still laughing as he kissed her, he stopped and looked at her.
“Just keep going.....keep going” she cupped his face and kissed him between giggles, feeling him smile against her. The giggles faded and they melted into each other against the kitchen counter, exploring each other, slowly working through the layers of clothing. She sighed as his fingers stroked the soft, warm, silky skin of her stomach and he pressed against her as she ran her hands over this bare chest, lingering on his nipples, stroking, teasing him. He slide his hand down to unbutton her jeans, taking each one slowly, stoking her abdomen, tiny circles, the way he would stroke her when he reached her centre. She slid her hands down to his belt, trailing her finger tips softly over the skin just above it. He moaned and nudged her knees apart. She looked good in jeans, but he preferred skirts for this kind of thing – you unzipped them and they slipped sexily to the floor or you just gently ease them up an out of the way and hey presto. Still, he liked a challenge. He finished the last button and hooked his fingers in the tops of her pocket and pulled. They slid down her hips to the tops of her thighs, taking her panties with them. He smiled and tugged again, mid-thigh this time. Perfect. She smiled and pressed herself against him as his thumb brushed gently against her clitoris, soft and warm and wet.
She pushed his jeans and shorts down too, trying to concentrate on him, feeling her own pleasure building quickly. She wrapped her finger gently around him and stroked him, making sure the tips of her fingernails grazed him gently, just the way he liked. He swore as he broke the kiss, resting his forehead in the crook of her neck, breathing hard. She smiled and kissed his ear, continuing to stroke him as he stroked her. With his free hand he gently took her wrist and eased her hand away, placing it on his hip. “Too soon” was all he managed to mumble before kissing her again. She understood, let her hands gently stroke his hips, his thighs, his buttocks – still sensitive but not as much, give him space to re-focus. She could feel her own pleasure starting to peak, rocking herself against his hand. He had slipped two fingers inside her, using length of his thumb to massage the length of her clit. She broke the kiss, breathing hard, resting her forehead against his shoulder. A few more strokes and she’d be there, one, two….he stopped, slipping his fingers gently out.
“Sorry, Ms Lockhart. Not just yet” She sighed and waited, not long and he’d be edging her back up, hopefully this time coming with her. She let her fingertips drift down the length of his shaft, felt him shiver. He slipped his hand back between her legs and started again. The pleasure built sooner, felt stronger and she knew when she came it would go deeper. She wrapped her fingers gently around him again and he didn’t resist, moaning as she traced the sensitive tip with her fingertips. She repeated the movement and he rocked against her as she rocked against him. He could tell she was close, so close. So was he. He swallowed hard and felt her body tense and she gasped.
“Now, please!” She let go and he slid into her. He gripped her hips and pushed hard and fast. He came seconds later, pumping as though his life depended on it. When it was over, they collapsed onto each other, breathing hard.
“Well, Mr McVeigh, that was really good wine” she purred, holding him close, kissing him.
“And you only had a few sips – we’ve got the rest of the bottle to go” he smiled, nuzzling her cheek and squeezing her ass. Up yours, Toby Marsden, he thought.