Chapter Four

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 Caleb grinned ear to ear when he saw her. Harper smiled back, giving a slight wave and bounced over.

            “You cut your hair,” she noticed. “It looks really nice.”

            “Thanks. I'm glad that you could come. Smooth everything out with James?” he hated asking the question, but knew it would be nice to. Although he was hoping that the answer would be that they broke up and she would never be able to look at James again without contempt in her eyes. That would be a nice answer.

            “Yeah,” she answered to his disappointment “And you really don’t have to. I'm alright with the two of you not getting along, so you don’t have to pretend to be interested in our relationship.”

            “Thanks.” He opened the door for her and they stepped into the gym. They found an empty training room and Caleb pulled out his phone.

            “Watcha doin’?” Harper asked.

            “Texting Dana,” he replied, his tone distracted from typing. “And telling her which room we’re in.” He went to put his phone in his sports bag when it buzzed. “Oh, she got here before us. She’s in training room eleven,” he read.

            “It’s still weird to think that Dana’s a, ya know, a real Minder.”

            “Part Minder,” he corrected. “And you are too.”

            “Yeah, still weird.” She picked up her bag. “Room eleven, right?”

            “Yeah,” they exited and went a few rooms over. Dana was in there and throwing punches at a punching bag. She stopped when we came in and took a drink from her water bottle. She gave a wave with the cap in her hand.

            “Hey,” she voiced, whipping her mouth.

            “Hey, ready to train?” Caleb asked Dana.

            “Yeah, is Harper,” she may have been talking in third-person, but the question was directed at Harper.

            “Yeah,” she replied. “What are we gonna be doing.”

            “Just basics today. Taken any self- defense classes before?” Dana asked.

            “I took one class. Once.”

            “It will be somewhat similar to that. Do you know the sort of sweet spots? Like where the best place to hit is?”

            “Groin, eyes, throat, and knees?”

            “Basically. There are a few more you could’ve added, but you also could’ve said less.” Dana centered herself in the room. “Come ‘ere. I'm an attacker,” she pushed her arm toward Harper and stopped several inches before actually hitting her, as if throwing a punch in slow- motion. “What do you do?”

            After about an hour of working with Dana, it was Caleb’s turn.

            “If you haven’t guessed, Dana specializes in hand-to-hand combat, martial arts, that sort of thing. I may be good at it myself,” he gave a jokingly cocky smile, “Dana’s better. What I specialize in is weapons.”

            “I don’t do weapons,” Harper objected.

“You may not have a choice,” Caleb countered. “I just need you to be prepared. I want to show you that, in a life-or-death situation, you can use almost anything as a weapon. I need to show how to quickly analyze a situation and be able to figure out what would be the best thing to use to your advantage,” he explained.

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