Jack, aware of Jim’s return equally determined to be kept in the loop, joined the men quietly demanding an explanation.  Nathan filled him in and requested an exact location of any firearms he had in his possession or on the property should they be required.

Making an excuse to the others, he took Nathan upstairs, directing him to his den.  Inside his desk in a locked desk drawer, lay a snub nose bullets below.  On the wall even with the desk stood a curio cabinet.  He pushed a button and a hidden rifle rack with five full slots that slid out, the bullets were in the covered bench seat (a custom ordered item) that containing two more handguns, plenty of bullets, and preloaded magazines for the rifles, revolvers, and snub nose.

“That should be plenty,”  Jim remarked with an appreciative smile.  “You are more than prepared.”

“I used to own a large inventory, but it wasn’t necessary and they make my wife nervous so I sold them and kept a few here mostly for posterity.  I never expected to have to use them, not that I can’t or won’t. I’m well trained and I practice regularly, as has Daniel.  Jackson doesn’t know which end is which, so I wouldn’t count on him should the need arise.”

“Have any of the women been trained or prepared to shoot if they had to?”

“They have a working knowledge of which bullets and magazines go with what.  Revolver, shotgun, sub compact pistol.  The girls have all fired guns but it was awhile back.  Used to set up target practice out toward Snowman’s Bluff.  Haven’t done so in awhile.  Whether they could fire at someone is another matter.”

“I hear Emma’s been receiving hand to hand skill training.  She’s good, she’d use a gun if she had to and she’d fight, that girl’s got what it takes.  Jenna might.  My wife couldn’t.  Jackson can fight (he’s tough and Daniel showed him some moves), Daniel would be good in either case (he’s well trained) his wife couldn’t (her priority would be the baby) which is understandable.”

“I’m not expecting any trouble, Jake, but I need to prepare in case there’s an attempt on Emma (and failing her, those she holds most dear) her family.”  Nathan felt confident about filling Jake in on the setup and did so in detail while Jim stood and listened.  Nathan nodded to Jim who continued the explanation regarding their homes and the local police.

When they were finished Jake looked from one to the other, “Thank you.  I appreciate the lengths you’ve gone to in this matter.  I knew my daughter’s chosen career could or might get dicey, but I certainly never expected anything like this.”

“I’m sure she didn’t either, Jake.  She’s handling the situation like a pro.  Although we’ve talked about it, we haven’t touched on what could happen regarding the family as a whole.  I didn’t think she was ready to hear that yet, although knowing Emma, I’m certain she’s already considered several possibilities.”

“If this should escalate, we’ll have to explain to the rest, all the steps I’ve taken, where to head if there’s trouble and who to look for.  My men have a navy and white arm tag prominently displayed on their upper right arm with ‘Visible Army’ as the logo.”

“Nice,”  Jake responded.

Page 107                                                                                                   Page 105





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Nathan 107

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