Tanya opened the silver case with her red nails, and pointed the .44 Magnum down range. She squeezed-off a round. Flames came out of the barrel.

“It feels good to have a powerful gun in your hands.” She mounted the scope, and took aim, from 75 yards.

“Bulls Eye!” Gregson said.

“If we are to be working together, we need to get a few things straight.”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“Okay. I am a special agent in charge. That means that you do what I say.”

“Yes, mam.”

A ten-hour flight, and they were in a town filled with lumber jacks and waitresses. There was a colonial home with Greek columns at the far end of main street. It was white.

“I’ve seen this scene in a Clint Eastwood movie,” Gregson said.

“What happens?” Tanya asked.

“Eastwood has three drinks in the saloon and shoots 20 men—then he nails the girl.”

“Why do men use that expression?”

“‘Nail?’ Because a woman is a full-time job. The man screws and he hammers. He wants to fix a woman.”

“I thought a woman wants to fix a man?”

Before Gregson could answer, a gentleman with a receding hairline introduced himself. He had Southern Charm and a silk shirt. He wore a gold chain around his neck, with a cross.

“My name is Dubois. I own the gun club down the street.” He pointed to the black building.

“My name is Gregson. This is Tanya—my secretary.”

“Actually, I’m his boss,” Tanya said.

“A boss secretary—charmed, I’m sure.”

“Are you a religious man?” Gregson asked, pointing to his cross.

“Yes—guns are my religion. Would you like a tour of my club?”

“I would,” Tanya said, “But first, I need to change into something more comfortable.”

“The hotel is on the corner. They have satin sheets and hot water, if you want to take a bath,” Dubois offered.

“Your hospitality is second to none,” Tanya said. “You should run for mayor.”

“I am.”

“You are a man in charge. I can always tell by how he dresses.” She looked at Gregson with distaste. His cargo shorts and polo shirt were wrinkled.

When they got checked-in, Gregson lay on the bed and drank a sample scotch.

“Are you up for this?” Tanya asked in the shower.

“We’ll find out,” Gregson said through closed eyes.

“Murphy thinks highly of you,” Tanya said. “Personally, I don’t see it.”

She walked into the bedroom in the nude. Gregson still had his eyes closed.

He opened them. She was wearing thermal pants and a sweatshirt that said: Guns don’t kill people, I kill people.

When they walked into the club, it was not what Gregson expected. There were girls on poles, disco lights, pop-up targets of strippers and gangsters, a poker game, and a full bar.

Men with hairy biceps put their chainsaws on tables.

Hungry eyes followed Tanya like rabid rapists, and she flaunted her red hair like a passionate flame that stoked the fires of…

“Hello, my name is Tanya.”

“Brad.”

“Nice to meet you. I like a man with strong hands.”

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