Robert moved behind Beth, using her hands to hold the gun.
“If you’re going to stand there the whole time, it’s going to distract me,” she mumbled.
He chuckled, kissing her neck. Once he’d made sure she was holding it properly, he stepped back.
“Look down the sights at the target,” he said.
Beth did as he said, aiming at the centre of the target. She squeezed the trigger and yelped at the force of the gun as it jerked back. Thankfully, she didn’t drop it.
“Not bad,” Robert mused.
Beth looked at the target. The bullet hadn’t hit the centre, but it hadn’t missed either. She couldn’t help grinning.
“Not bad?” she asked, turning to him.
“For a first-timer,” he said, sounding serious, though the shine in his eyes told her he was joking.
Her mouth twisted as she tried to stop a smile.
“Show me what you can do then,” she said, giving in to her grin eventually.
He walked over, taking the other gun from the low shelf, as well as some of the ammo beside it. He stood beside her, his body turned completely towards her. He didn’t even look as he took aim and fired.
When Beth looked at the target, the bullet had hit dead centre.
“Show off,” she mumbled.
“We have competitions,” he shrugged, grinning.
“Last year we had a drawing competition with the M60s.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Who won?”
“Jay and I tied.”
She shook her head slightly. “You lot are crazy, you know,” she mumbled.
“We’re aware of our status as clinically insane, yes.”
She looked over at him. He was grinning wildly. Rolling her eyes, she turned back and continued practising. Robert watched silently, careful not to distract her but occasionally making comments to help her improve.
When he decided she was good enough with a pistol, he moved her onto something else. He took the Glock and put it back in the cupboard he’d got it from.
“Right,” he said as he came back, “this is an STG-44. It’s a semiautomatic assault rifle.”
He placed it on the shelf in front of her and she stared at him in disbelief.
“You trust me to fire this?” she asked, pointing at it.
He grinned. “I’ve told you, I’d trust you with anything.”
“You really are crazy.”
He laughed before loading it for her and demonstrating how to use it.
When it was pressed into Beth’s hands, it was much lighter than she was expecting it to be. She held it against her shoulder like he’d shown her. She aimed at the new target he’d put up. When she squeezed the trigger, she held her breath.
She released the trigger after a short moment and grinned at the target sheet. All the shots were dotted around the centre.
“She’s not half bad,” said a familiar voice from the door.
Beth set the gun down and looked over. Thorn was leaning against the wall by the door. She hadn’t even heard him come in.
“Hey,” Robert grinned, going over to him. The two clapped hands. “How are you?”
Thorn shrugged. “Better. I don’t know where I’d be without Mark though.”