Garvey, Lola, and Xuan went to the far west wing of the mansion as they were instructed by the instructions that Lexi texted them that morning.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been on this side of the house,” said Garvey.
“Me either,” Lola replied.
“You guys never been this way? I come over here all the time!” said Xuan.
“Oh yeah?” asked Garvey.
“Yeah!” Xuan replied, “It’s almost like a tiny city! You can get iced coffee, donuts, gelatos, everything on this end!”
“Really?” asked Lola, cocking her head to the side curiously, “Why you ain’t say nothin’ about it to us before, Xuan?!”
“I’m sorry, I thought you knew,” Xuan said, “They always keep me on this end, but I rarely go on the end that you guys are on.”
Drew made sure they had everything that they could think of on the premises of the estate. Today, they were going to the gun range that was situated on this side of the property.
After about 20 minutes of walking, they’d finally reached their destination.
“I’m kinda surprised that they’re including me with all of you guys training,” Xuan said, as he held the door open for Lola and Garvey, “I’m just the driver!”
“This is beautiful!” Garvey said, taking in the setup of the place.
“Well, well, well! Who do we have here?” said a voice that Lola recognized.
“Hey, girl, hey!” David responded. He then ran over to Lola and gave her a big hug.
He was a man of average height, with a stocky build. He wore his curly hair in a very short cut, tapered on the sides. His light blue shirt complimented his dark, tan skin perfectly.
“What are you doing here? I haven’t seen you in forever, stranger!” said Lola.
“I know, I know. Had some things going on, you know, but I’m back! I truly missed you in the office, woman!” he explained, “And what happened to all of that gorgeous hair? Q!!! You cut your hair off! Oh my god! I mean I love the look…but why?”
“Please don’t ask her that question,” Garvey chimed in.
David shot Lola a look, “Girl, who is THAT?!”
“THAT is mine! Hands off!”
“Oh, excuse me! I know better than to mess with you!” David responded, as he walked over to shake Garvey’s hand, “I’m guessing this is…Tray?”
“And you’d be correct,” Garvey said as he offered a fist bump.
David responded likewise.
“And this is?” David asked as he motioned toward Xuan.
“I’m the driver,” Xuan replied.
“Stop it, Xuan, you’re an important part of this team, too!” Lola said.
“Nice to meet you, Xuan,” David said as he fist-bumped Xuan’s hand as well.
“Okay, so I need you all to come with meeee…” David instructed the group as he allowed his voice to trail off as he spoke, “I am going to show you all where everything is, and then I will be giving you target practice lessons.”
“Say what?” Lola asked, “David let me find out you’ve been strapped up all this time!”
“Baby, I’m gay. I don’t play!” he responded with a sharp look at Lola. He then giggled, twirled around, and lead them into the indoor target practice area.
As David continued showing them around the place, Garvey wandered off to look at all of the guns that were displayed on the wall. There were rifles, pistols, shotguns, ARs and AKs, almost anything you could imagine.
Garvey stood staring at the wall of guns as if he were a kid in a candy store.
“Babe?” Lola called to him.
Garvey walked over to the wall and carefully took down the AR-15.
“Tray?!” Lola called to him again. “Babe, what are you doing wi–”
“Imma show you somethin’, come here…and put these on,” he said as he walked over to the target practicing area and handed her some protective earmuffs.
David and Xuan hurried and put their earmuffs on, too!
Garvey loaded the gun and stood confidently holding it in one hand aimed at the target.
He emptied the weapon in one go.
Not one bullet missed. Everything hit spot on.
“Garvey!!! Garvey, what the fuck!!” Lola shouted at him.
She didn’t know if she should be worried or surprised or proud of him.
He carefully, and politely gave the gun to David to put away.
“That was amazing!” David said, “Where did you learn to shoot like that?!”
“Long story,” Garvey replied.
He walked over to Lola.
“Remember what I told you, babe,” he said.
“You tell me a lot, but not this!” Lola said, her eyes still wide.
“I told you not to let this geeky boy look fool you,” he responded as he smiled lovingly in her face, “I will always, always, always protect you,” he said, planting a kiss on her lips.
“Awwwww! How sweet!” Xuan said, breaking the silence, “But how about showing us how to shoot like that too!”
Garvey grinned widely, and replied, “You got it!”
“Where did you learn to shoot like that?” Lola asked him.
“It’s a long story babe, I d–”
“Where did you learn to shoot like that, TRAY!?”
“Babe, please calm down, I ju–”
“WHO ARE YOU!!?” she screamed as she walked over and started attacking him.
“Q!! Stop!” said Garvey, “Q!! Please!!! Stop!!!”
He finally grabbed her hands and managed to wrap them around her with her back against his chest.
“Once upon a time, when I was really young and stupid, I was a violent criminal,” he said as he was still restraining her, “I’ve moved bricks, I’ve killed people, I’ve been to prison, I’ve seen a lot of shit, Q. When I got out after 7 years, I promised myself to find a better path and so here we are. Now, can you please stop attacking me?”
He gently let go of her hands.
Lola turned to face him with fear in her eyes.
“I would NEVER hurt you Quinita! I would never let anybody hurt you either,” he said, his eyes began to tear up behind his glasses, “I love you. I didn’t want to tell you all of that because I didn’t want you to be afraid of me,” he said, wiping his own tears away.
Everyone stood still, watching Garvey.
Garvey shook his head and made his way out of the practicing area, exiting the building.