Monday, August 13, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 158 - Edward

~oOo~

Forks... Friday, October 15, 2010 at 3:23 P.M.

"Oh, it is so on, Bellybutton!" Emmett crowed, playfully shoving Bella once we'd all piled out into the shooting range parking lot. "Full clip, fifty meter range, best score. Loser buys the beer."

"Done. And I don't want to hear any whining about it when you lose," Bella barked back with a smug but sexy-as-hell grin.

"I hope she turns the gun on him," Jasper sighed wistfully. "That would be worth...I don't know...at least two pitchers down at the lodge."

Charlie cracked the fuck up, as did I. We were still laughing when we stepped inside the building.

"Charlie!" an older man greeted with a smile, coming around from behind a large counter. "I hear congratulations are in order, Chief. I believe Sunday is the big day, yeah?"

"Yeah, Dave," the chief confirmed with a chuckle, his cheeks tinging pink. "Umm, you remember Bella, Emmett, and Jasper. And this is Edward."

We all waved in greeting.

"The kids are here to get me away from colors, flowers, and cake. If I hear one more thing about seating arrangements, I might just snap."

Dave laughed, slapping Charlie's shoulder. "You got it. Anything you need."

"Pistol ranges...and I believe an outdoor rifle range," Charlie told him, turning to eye the case hanging on my shoulder like a kid waiting to open presents on Christmas morning.

Bella had told me that her father loved his guns, so I'd brought the two I'd bought in Afghanistan – a sniper rifle and my handgun, both Russian. He'd only caught a glimpse of them, so I knew his curiosity was about to get the better of him.

"You'll want at least three hundred meters, Charlie." I chuckled as his eyes grew.

"Scope?" he asked, his eyes wide and his smile even wider.

"Yes, sir," I answered with a nod.

Bella's father rubbed his hands together, making her giggle and roll her eyes. "We'd better hurry before he explodes," she teased, ducking his hand before he could ruffle her hair.

"The place is yours," Dave said graciously. "I'm dead today. Consider it a wedding present."

Charlie thanked him profusely, but the guy wouldn't hear it. He just led us down the back hall out into the pistol ranges. There were several booths, not to mention a door that clearly led to the outdoor ranges.

"Let's go, Bellsy," Emmett ordered playfully, pointing to two spots. "I wanna see if you still got it or if those third graders have made you soft."

"You're gonna want to watch that," Jasper muttered, wearing a wry smirk. "Seriously, Sarge."

"Okay." I laughed, shaking my head. "Then I'll let you and Charlie take this," I said, laying my rifle case down on an empty table. I assembled it quickly, attaching the scope to the top. "You might want to adjust that. It could've gotten bumped around in shipping."

"I'll handle it," Jasper chuckled. "Ready, Charlie?"

"Absolutely," he replied, picking up my rifle and testing the weight, the sight, and the feel of it against his shoulder.

"I want..." Bella started, suddenly at my side. She glanced up at me. "I want to try that."

I chuckled, kissing her temple as the two of them left out a side door. "First things first, sweet girl. Show me what you can do with your own, and then we'll go outside. I want in on this bet."

"Sweet!" Emmett crowed, setting up another paper target and sending it down to fifty meters.

I really just wanted to see her shoot that weapon she was currently checking. It would be worth any amount of beer just to see her fire it.

"Test rounds first," she said with a giggle. "It's been weeks for you two. It's been months for me."

"Whatever you want, Bellsy," Emmett chuckled, laying his gun down. He had one identical to mine. We'd bought them at the same time.

We stepped back, leaning against the table behind her, all of us pulling protection over our ears. Her stance, her posture, and her aim were fucking perfect. Charlie had taught her well. Her arms flexed as she went with the slight kick of her gun.

When she was finished, Emmett and I raced to the button to bring her target forward. Shoving him out of the way, much to Bella's amusement, I tugged the paper down.

"Damn," I murmured, shaking my head. For a test round, she was fucking on-target with almost every shot. The cluster was mostly around the center of the silhouette. There was one stray in the middle of the forehead. "She shoots better than some of the men we were with."

"No shit," Emmett snorted into a loud laugh. "I told you, man! Now...let's do this!"

Emmett was readying his weapon, but I turned to Bella. "That's really..."

"What?" she snickered, raising an eyebrow up at me.

"Fucking sexy," I growled low, shaking my head. "We're so doing this again when we get back to Seattle."

"Sounds like a really romantic date, Sarge," she teased, pushing me out of her booth. "Go!"

The rather large room was filled with shots from our three guns. I was pretty happy with my target when it came time to compare. In fact, we were all damn close, though Dave declared Bella the winner before it could end up a big bickering session between me and Emmett.

Bella finally settled it herself. "I'll buy a round of beer...if you let me try that," she said, pointing to my handgun.

"C'mere," I chuckled, setting up a new target. I placed her in front of me after reloading and then put the weapon in her hands. "This has a stronger kickback than you're used to with the Glock, beautiful," I said softly in her ear, running my hands down her arms to make sure she was relaxed. "Fire off one round so you can see, okay?"

I took a small step back, but I braced her hips. Bella fired off one round, nodding almost imperceptibly to herself.

"That is different," she murmured, but she brought the gun up and fired a few more rounds. "I like it, but it's different."

"How'd you do?" Emmett asked, bringing her target forward. "Not bad, B. Not bad at all," he praised her.

The shots weren't as clustered as they were with her own weapon, but every shot was inside the silhouette of the target. They were right; Bella was a natural.

"Nice job, love," I purred.

After a little bit more playing around – because I absolutely had to try her Glock – Bella insisted that we go outside. I knew she wanted to try the sniper, but I was pretty sure she just wanted to watch her dad enjoying himself – which he was, tremendously.

I had to grin at how well Charlie was handling the sniper. It looked like ten years had fallen off of his face with the smile he was sporting, not to mention the ribbing Jasper and Emmett were giving him.

"C'mon, Chief," Jasper chuckled. "You gonna apply for transfer to S.W.A.T.?"

"Bad ass, Charlie!" Emmett laughed. "You should just start one here."

"In Forks?" Bella and Charlie both asked at the same time.

"Emmett, you've been here enough to notice that there isn't exactly any hostile hostage situations," Bella huffed, rolling her eyes.

Charlie grinned but stood up straight at the sound of her voice. "So...who buys the beer?"

"Edward and Emmett do," Bella said smugly, squeaking when I tickled her sides. "But I'm buying a pitcher, too."

"What? Why? Did you miss?" he asked her.

The whole thing made me laugh. "No, sir. She did it in trade to try my Makarov pistol."

He grinned. "How was it?"

"Different." She shrugged and pointed to the rifle. "He's going to teach me this thing."

"Careful, Bells," he sighed, looking to me. "She's never fired a rifle. She never wanted to go hunting."

"Got it," I told him. "Bella, come here," I instructed, pulling her between me and the table Charlie had been using. I lined her up behind the high-powered weapon, bracing my hands on either side of her. "This is different. It braces against your shoulder, so you have to really relax with it." I tapped the scope. "Aim the cross-hairs up with your target, but don't rest your eye on the eye-piece. Got me? You'll end up with a black eye."

"Well, that would look fantastic for the wedding," she muttered wryly, making us all chuckle.

"Right, so focus, but don't rest on it. Aiming this is different," I said softly. "The distance plays a big part, and then you have to take the wind into consideration. Anything can happen to knock the bullet off course between here and there. Okay?"

She nodded, looking at me out of the corner of her eye nervously.

"Relax, sweetheart," I said, resting the butt of the gun at her shoulder. "You'll be fine. Just go with the kick."

She took a deep breath, lined up her sight, and then pulled the trigger. The result was an adorable look of pride all over her face when she at least hit the target. I suddenly wanted to just kiss the ever-loving shit out of her. And had we been alone, I might've done just that, which only made me damn sure we were doing this again.

Charlie, Jasper, and Emmett whooped in praise, but I tugged her ponytail, giving her a wink.

"Try it again," I told her, leaning down to her ear. "This time, look at the flag over there. Counter the wind." I clicked the sight a little for her. "You want to almost be off target...into the wind. Okay?" I verified, and she nodded, but I could read my girl like a damn book. The darkening of her eyes, the slow lick of her bottom lip only to latch onto it with her teeth told me everything – that I wasn't the only one that thought this shit was fucking sexy. "Later, sweet girl," I vowed so very softly, nudging her. "One more time, baby."

Bella nodded fervently this time, wearing a silly, sweet smile as she aimed. She was much more relaxed for her second try, the shot going off loudly. Her grin said it all as she looked through the scope to see where she'd hit.

"Let me see," Charlie chuckled, peeking through the scope himself. "Well, hot damn... Nice job, Bells."

We spent another hour or so playing around, both inside and out. Bella's shot only got better the more she practiced with my guns. We made more bets, talked more trash, but in the end, we just ended up having an amazing time. Not only was it something I'd never done outside of the service, but it was nice to watch Charlie interact with his daughter. They respected each other, almost spoke their own language.

By the time the sun was starting to set, Dave was ready to close up. We thanked him for everything because he still wouldn't hear of payment. He merely gave Charlie best wishes for the wedding and gave Bella a hug, congratulating her on a job well done.

"Beer time!" Emmett boomed as we made our way to the car.

"Sounds good," Charlie agreed with a nod. "I think we have time before Sue starts dinner. Come on...first pitcher's on me."

"Not too many," Bella said, sounding like the voice of reason. "Don't you boys have to be up before the butt crack of dawn tomorrow?"

I laughed but looked to Charlie because, in all honesty, he was leading this show.

"Yeah, yeah," he sighed, rolling his eyes. "I hear ya, Bells. But one or two won't stop us from fishing tomorrow. Come on."

"Bye, bye, bachelorhood," Emmett said sadly, wiping at a fake tear. "No more late nights, beers with the boys, or weekend fishing trips. Now it'll be honey-do lists, holding purses while shopping, and the Food Network on TV."

Charlie's smile fell just a little, causing Bella to smother her giggle with her hand.

"Now you really need that beer," I snorted into a laugh.

"Um, yeah," he agreed. "Let's go. We'll decide what time we're heading out in the morning."

I'd been worried about go out in a boat with Charlie ever since he'd mentioned it on the phone, but after the time spent at the shooting range, I could see why Emmett and Jasper sang his praises. He went from a straight-laced police officer and the father of a beautiful girl to just...one of the guys. Now, I was actually looking forward to going fishing tomorrow.

~oOo~

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