The Sniper

by Doreen

I had always dreamed of becoming a sniper. This may seem a bit odd, but my dad had been a sniper and had always told me and my brother great stories. He had also taught us how to use a sniper rifle and we had spent entire weekend shooting cans in the backyard of our farm.

My brother Matt had been keen to become a sniper and we decided to join the force together. My brother, however, did not become a sniper. He failed the required vision test and they would not take a sniper who did not have 20/20 vision. To my brother it had never occurred that there might have been something wrong with his eyes. I had always been better, but he was quite good too. Matt got glasses and dropped his original plans of becoming a sniper. At least one member of our family would become part of the force. Matt went back to university to get a degree. He had straight Aís now that he did not get any headaches from reading anymore.

Matt was rather successful and my father was proud of him, but he was even more proud of me. A girl at the sniper commando - what a rare job? I did never mind being the only female sniper of the whole police force. My colleagues soon accepted me as one of them and I was pretty good at my job. My father had retired before I started, but he was still quite famous among older colleagues. He must have been really good. I hoped I would not disappoint them.

I really loved my job quite a lot and Matt and I were still quite close and I told him everything about my work. He became an attorney and was glad that he had a job where he could still make sure that criminals would not take over our city. He married at the age of 28 and I was always welcome at his house. Being slightly younger than Matt my parents soon wanted to know when I would finally be getting married. I told them that there was not even the slightest sign of a possible candidate. However, this was not quite accurate.

My last boyfriend and I had split up some time ago. I had left him because he had been drinking a lot over the last few months of our relationship and had become really brutal when being drunk. Had I not been very well trained in martial arts, I might have got a few bruises. Since he had not kept his promises to become a better person, I had left him and did not want to hear anything from boyfriends.

Being the only female sniper, my colleagues regarded me as a friend and buddy, but I had never had someone at the force as a boyfriend. We were a great team at work and many of my colleagues confided in me and asked me for advice concerning their relationships. Most of the time it was fun and I was glad to be of help. Only sometimes I wished I had a nice boyfriend myself who would understand my needs.

Whenever new recruits came to our team, they were impressed to see a woman in the team and some of them tried to flirt with me. Usually I was not interested and my colleagues made clear that they would not tolerate any nasty remarks towards me. Normally we tested new members, a rather male thing, but I had gone through it too. The standard procedure would be that we met at our training centre under the pretence of practise. The newcomer would have to shoot at beer cans. If his shooting proved not to be as accurate as needed, he would be sent back to the training camp. If his shooting skills were sufficient, he would have become part of our team, but only after a bungee jump from the cityís highest tower blindfolded without knowing what was going on. After a successful jump Ė no fear was to be shown Ė he would become an official member, but would not be considered for the most difficult tasks. If his skills were extraordinarily good Ė like me Ė the others would bring you to the policeís swimming lake, which was rather big and steep. You would be blindfolded and it would take place late at night. Then, in a small boat, youíd be taken to the middle of the lake and you would be thrown in fully dressed in our uniform. Then you the others would be watching you through night vision goggles and you would have to reach the end of the lake.

I had managed much faster than the average sniper, but then again hardly anyoneís shots were extraordinarily good. In our team there were, well, had been only four. One of our colleagues had died recently while trying to catch a group of criminals. We had been spotted and he had been killed. He had been one of our best and a good friend of mine. For some months we had remained only three, but we had been told that a sniper from another state who had wanted to move to our city would become part of our team. We were rather sceptical. Nobody would be able to replace our colleague, but we did not want to show our grief to the newcomer.

On the first day of the newcomer I already met him in the parking lot. I was rather surprised that he seemed about my age. I would have expected someone older than that, but I was glad he was not. I had to admit that Daniel was good-looking and he seemed okay. We welcomed him and after the first two days we invited him to our test.

Daniel came and his shots were extraordinarily precise. He hit all the targets in the indicated area. Good for him, better for us.

He seemed proud and said, "Well, I could have done better, if I had not been distracted by the beautiful lady."

I did not laugh at his joke and neither did anyone of my colleagues.

"Well, congratulation, Mr. Know-it-all! Since your shots were quite good, we have a little surprise for you. Come on, guys."

"Hey, whatís going on? What are you doing? Stop ÖdonítÖalright then."

"Well, this was only one part of our test, the tougher part is only about to come."

We led Daniel, who had been blindfolded to one of the cars and drove to the lake. Of course, we did not take the shortest route. Once at the lake we got onto the boat. In the middle of the lake we took Daniel and threw him into the water. Then we quickly moved the boat out of his reach had our night goggles at hand.

Daniel surfaced immediately and gasped.

"Are you crazy?" Where am I? Thatís not funny!"

We were completely quiet and watched him in silence.

"What am I supposed to do? Could you tell me?" He shouted towards us.

"Reach the shore!" One of us shouted after some time.

"Itís dark. I canít see the shore, thatís not funny! Oh, fuck!"

We continued our watch in a safe distance, but close enough to help him if he should he be in trouble.

Daniel slowly started swimming towards where he thought the shore was. Well, there was a shore, but he had chosen the farthest way. Probably he had been thinking that we had been back at the shore when shouting at him. He had been wrong. Usually we would give the one swimming about 30 minutes of time and then we would lead him to shore. I had managed to reach the shore in 15 minutes, but everyoneís different.

Daniel seemed to have serious problems finding the shore despite swimming at a reasonable pace considering he was fully dressed.

It was really windy and from where I was I could barley hear him. I simply saw his lips moving and he seemed to be cursing us, I supposed. After 30 minutes Daniel was quite close to the shore. So we came towards him in the boat. He was exhausted. I took his hand to help him out of the water.

"Come on! Letís get you out of here! Iíve good news for you. Youíre part of our team now."

"Great. Do you do this to everyone?"

"No, some have to bungee jump blindfolded from the highest tower of the city. Would you have preferred that?"

"Maybe, I guess so!"

"Iím sorry, but your shooting was too good for that." I smiled apologetically.

"Thanks, I take it as a compliment then." Daniel looked at me and smiled with an indistinct look on his face.

Back at our headquarter Daniel got changed and wanted to go home. I was surprised when he approached me.

"Iím sorry to bother you, Yvonne, but somehow I must have lost my car keys when swimming. Could you drive me home because I donít think I have enough money for a taxi on me either?"

"Alright, just tell me where you live and Iíll drop you off."

"Great, thanks."

Although I did not really want to drop him off, I did not want to seem too reluctant either and he seemed okay and was a handsome man. Furthermore he was one of our team now.

So we got into my car and he told me where he lived. It was surprisingly close to my home. I had half expected a drive through the entire city. We chatted quite nicely along the way. When we reached his home he asked if I wanted to come up, but I declined. It was already about 4 in the morning and I was really tired and did not want him to take advantage of that.

"Yvonne?"

"Yeah?"

"I just wanted to tell you that I Ö"

"What?"

"Well, ehÖ I know you lost a colleague recently and I want you to know that I donít want to replace him, I never could, but I really want to live in this city; and be part of the team. This is where I grew up and Iíve spent such a long time abroad and I really want to work with you."

"Itís fine, I know. IÖ welcome to the team. I know our tests are hard, but everyone has to get through something like this. I had to swim as well, but I was faster Ė I swam into the other direction. That would have been shorter."

"Iím glad you tell me now. Okay, well Iíd better go up now. Thanks again for the lift."

"No problem. Um, I live rather close by. Shall I pick you up tomorrow morning?"

"Thatíd be fantastic, but I donít want you to feel obliged to do it."

"Donít mention it. Tomorrow at 10, after this night you deserve to sleep."

"Thanks, goodnight!"

"See you!"

I went home and I was not tired at all. Daniel was a nice guy with extremely good looks. When I woke up I felt strangely refreshed despite the obvious lack of sleep. I had breakfast and at ten I parked my car in front of Danielís flat.

He came out wearing sunglasses, probably to conceal the dark rings under his eyes.

"Hi, ready for another day in paradise?"

"Of course, letís go."

There was not much work for us that day after the night before and we chatted most of the day cleaning our rifles and jogging around the lake to show Daniel what had been going on during the night. We did not do any shootings that day and I went home rather early.

That evening my doorbell rang although I was not expecting any visitors. To my utter surprise Daniel was standing in front of my door holding a bottle of wine.

"Hi, I was in the neighbourhood and thought Iíd pay you a visit to thank you for the ride again! I hope Iím not disturbing, but your colleagues said it was likely you would be at home."

"Well, come on in. Youíre not disturbing. Who told you Iíd have time? Just kidding, I know them."

"Great, thanks."

"Take a seat. Iíll get us glasses for the wine."

"Yeah, right."

We sat down in my living room. I felt surprisingly comfortable in Danielís company. We talked about this and that Ė the job, our training, hobbies and stuff like that. However, we did not talk much about ourselves at the beginning. I was glad it was Friday night and I did not have to work on the next day.

Later in the evening, after two bottles of wine, our conversation turned to our private life and we talked about our past relationships. Daniel had been divorced some months ago and did not seem to regret it. Nevertheless he had wanted to move to another city, his home town, to get some distance and spend more time with his parents.

I knew Daniel had drunk too much to drive home, so I offered him my couch, but he said that he had walked to my place and would not mind going back. Whatever, it was probably better anyway. Who knows what might have happened?

We said goodnight and I went to bed. On the next day I met my parents at Mattís place where we had lunch and Matt told us that his wife was pregnant. I was really happy for him, but I could feel that my parents would have loved to get a son-in-law as well. I did not tell them about Daniel, but I confided in Matt after my parents had left.

"Itís so weird, I mean, heís a colleague."

"So what? Sara and I are colleagues too."

"Yeah, but being a sniper is a different job. Iím the only woman. The other guys might notÖ"

"Stop it, Yvonne. The others told him where you live. If they didnít want you to be happy, they wouldnít have told him, would they?"

"Well, youíre right, but somehow Iím notÖ I donít know. Maybe thereís something wrong with me."

"Youíre great, okay? Youíre afraid of getting hurt again, I can understand you pretty well, but you have to give it a try. Especially if this Daniel is as nice as you say he is."

"I guess youíre right. He can be really persistent anyway. I think I would have a hard time ignoring him."

"Promise youíll give him a try?"

"I promise, but only if you donít tell Mom and Dad right away!"

"Deal."

"Okay, letís go shoot some cans!"

It had always been some sort of habit that Matt and I did some shooting practise in the afternoon, even though he had not become a sniper. His aim was still very good despite his glasses and I often wondered if the regulations concerning glasses were too strict and even slightly unfair. But there was nothing I could do.

That day Mattís aim was not so accurate and I teased him about it.

"Oh, come on, nobody except you can aim better than me!"

"Yeah, but you could have done better."

"I guess so, but Iím due for new glasses and this may be affecting my aim."

"Bloody excuses. Iíve been drinking a lot and my aimís still better."

"So what would it be like if you were sober?"

We always had this sort of hick hack and really loved it. Most others thought we were having an argument, but it was our game.

Matt took me home and before I got out of the car he said, "Tell this Daniel that if he doesnít treat you right, Iíll come and shoot at him and he wonít even see me."

"Alright, but if youíre aiming like today this doesnít seem like a serious threat."

"I wish youíd be more serious sometimes. Take care!"

"You too, bye."

Back home I had a message on my answering machine. It was from Daniel asking if I wanted to go jogging with him. We had to be in good shape as snipers so I could hardly find any plausible excuse. I called him and agreed to meet him Sunday morning for some exercise. I spent most of the evening wondering what I should do about Daniel. He was a really nice guy and had good looks, but he was a sniper just like me. I had never heard of a sniper couple, but there were hardly any female snipers in the whole country. Later I watched a romance on TV and felt extremely lonely and once again my thoughts kept circling around Daniel. Maybe it was good that he was a sniper. There had always been a common link between snipers, had it not.

In the morning Daniel picked me up and we went jogging in the forest. It felt great and we were running quite fast so there was not much time to talk or to think. As I was running behind Daniel I noticed his cute butt and nearly tripped while watching his muscular body. After our run we did some stretching and then we sat down on a trunk. We were exhausted, but happy. From where we were sitting we had a great view of the city.

"Iím so glad Iíve come back to this city. Itís so beautiful, isnít it?"

"Iíve spent nearly all my life here, but Iím still surprised at its beauty."

"I can understand that you stayed here, but sometimes you have to see other things to value the beauty of some place."

"Yeah, I know what you mean."

We were just sitting there admiring the city. I wished this moment would last forever, but it was obvious it could not. My phone started ringing and I had to pick up. It was my dad saying that my mum had been taken to hospital. She had fainted during breakfast and he did not know what was wrong with her. I told him I would come as soon as possible. He said that Matt was already on his way.

"Whatís wrong, you look worried."

"My mumís been taken to hospital, but they donít know whatís wrong with her yet."

"Shall I take you there?"

"Thatíd be nice" I said absently.

Daniel took me to the hospital and Matt arrived at the same time. I thanked Daniel for the ride and went over to Matt. We hugged and then we went to the main entrance.

We found my dad waiting in the aisle. He looked worried, even though he tried to conceal it. The doctors had not told him anything yet, but he had not been allowed to see her. We spent some time waiting until finally a doctor came to see us. He told us that she had had a light stroke and they would have to keep her for some days, but everything was going to be fine and that we could see her now.

She looked extremely pale, but she seemed to be okay. Matt and I did not stay very long because our mum had to rest. My dad stayed and Matt and I left for the car. We had calmed down a little. Our mum seemed to be better; at least we hoped she would be. Inside the car Matt asked me whether the guy who had taken me there had been Daniel.

"It was nice of him to take you here."

"Yeah, we had been jogging when dad called."

Matt took me home where I took a shower. When I got out my phone was ringing. I was somehow relieved that it was not dad. It was Daniel who wanted to know how my mum was. I told him what I knew and then he surprised me by inviting me for dinner. I was caught off guard and had no other choice but to agree.

At seven I was still thinking what to put on, but then I told myself to stop it. I put on jeans and a blouse and left for Danielís place.

Daniel was a great chef, the food was delicious, but somehow I knew everything was leading towards something deeper than friendship. Everything happened so naturally, though. We sat down on his comfortable couch after dinner and when he put his arm around me I leaned onto his strong body and it felt right that we eventually kissed. Daniel even asked me if I was sure I wanted it. I nodded in agreement before we kissed again.

I agreed to spend the night at Danielís place since my flat was not far away and I could pass by to get my stuff on the way to work. We had a great night together and I had not felt so comfortable with a man for a very long time. Daniel was gentle and cute and simply incredible.

In the morning Daniel and I woke up at the same time, when his alarm clock rang. While I was in the bathroom Daniel prepared breakfast before he went to the bathroom himself. I finished breakfast and went to the bathroom door.

"Daniel, Iíll go to my place to fetch some clothes. See you at work!"

"Okay, wait! Is there time for kiss?"

"Depends on how soon Iíll get it."

"Just a sec."

I waited until the door opened and in boxer shorts he came out and we kissed. Then I left and I was looking forward to seeing Daniel at work. I got changed in no time at all and was floating on my way to work.

Monday was training day. Usually we had to go through an obstacle course and then we went shooting unless there was an assignment. This Monday was about the same apart from the fact that Daniel was with us. He had never experienced one of our Mondays and I had never had a boyfriend among my colleagues which added some excitement on my side.

In the afternoon we were called away for a job. We had to go there by helicopter. It was up in the mountains and the wind was quite strong Ė a challenge for every sniper. On top of one of the hills we were dropped off and went to our designated position. We only knew that a really important politician was mountain biking and we had to make sure he was not attacked. We had assignments like this particular most of the time; really exciting or dangerous assignments were not so common, but much more exciting and dangerous. We spent most of the day watching the area. We were not only snipers, we were trained in combat and martial arts and sometimes we had other assignments, if the other departments were short of staff.

The day passed and nothing happened. We were picked up by the helicopter after the VIP had left the area we were responsible for. The chopper took us back to work and our shift was over by then.

Some weeks passed and Daniel and I saw each other regularly and spent some evenings and nights together. Usually I slept at his place since he had a king sized bed and I did not really mind. My mom recovered and was allowed to go home.

As soon as she was better I decided to introduce her to Daniel who agreed to accompany me to one of our family lunches at Mattís. My parents took an immediate liking at Daniel and my mom told him everything about me and how proud they were that I had been able to follow my dadís footsteps whereas Matt could not. My brother did not regret not becoming a sniper and was a rather successful attorney now.

In the afternoon Matt and I took Daniel along to our shooting practise. I had noticed Mattís new glasses and his aim was a lot more accurate that day. He was nearly as good as Daniel and I.

"Well, with those new glasses your threatís becoming more serious." I teased.

"Yeah, theyíre great. Itís been a long time since I was this good. I nearly beat you."

"Well, I should tell the chief about it and recruit you immediately."

"Donít you dare! Iím done with that, but Iím always willing to defend you."

"Great, letís go shoot someone!"

We ended up laughing and Daniel who had been listening curiously joined us.

"The two of you are unbelievable!"

"Thatís why our parents have given up."

"They could not take it any longer."

We had a great time and Matt and Daniel seemed to get along quite well. The day passed far too quickly and I was glad that Daniel and I would be spending the night together. I was looking forward to that. Back at Danielís flat we ended up in bed and spent the whole evening there talking, hugging and kissing. Daniel told me we could visit his family on the next day. I agreed.

"How come you donít have a TV in your bedroom? It would be nice to watch some sports." I wanted to know.

"Well, before I met you I didnít spend that much time in the bedroom except when sleeping and I always watched TV in the living room."

"Do you want to get up and watch TV now, thereís a tennis tournament at the moment. Iím sure theyíll show some matches."

"If you want to we can."

I got up and found the sports channel. There was a match of Andy Roddick, one of my favourite players and I sat down on the couch. Daniel came and pulled me towards him. Leaning onto him I watched the match which was really exciting. I did not even notice that Daniel fell asleep until the match was over and I switched off the TV.

"Time to go to bed, sleepy."

"Is the match over?" he said blinking the sleep out of his eyes. "What time is it?"

"Yeah, Roddick won. Itís quite late, nearly midnight."

"Alright, letís go to bed then."

I went to bed and Daniel went to the bathroom before he joined me. We cuddled and fell asleep. I was woken by the loud roaring of thunder. It was completely dark; the street lamps were off too.

"Did you hear that?"

"Yeah, I havenít heard such a loud thunder in ages."

Then I heard my phone ringing. I jumped out of the bed and found my phone thanks to the blinking display.

"What? Yeah. Shit. Heís with me. Okay. Bye."

"Who was that?"

"The chief. We better get to the station pronto. Whole parts of the city are completely dark and thereís been a robbery. We have to go there."

"Now?"

"Of course now. Weíre special force and weíre needed." I said while getting dressed. "What are you waiting for?"

"Nothing, Iíll be right with you." Daniel jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom.

"Hurry up, the chief expects us in 15 minutes Ė the sooner the better. You donít need a shave now!"

"I said Iíll be right there!" He shouted from the bathroom. "Go get the car."

"Okay, see you downstairs."

I ran down the stairs since the elevator was not working and I was glad that we had parked the car right outside the house. It was pouring and I was completely wet when I reached the car. I started the engine and reversed because the chief had told me where to go. After what seemed like an eternity Daniel came and jumped into the car. We met the chief and the others of the team next to where the robbery had taken place. It was one of one of the cityís banks and there was fear that other banks might be robbed as well. So in teams of two we were sent to the other important banks in case anything happened there.

Daniel and I went to one bank. We had to go to the top of the roof of a building facing the bank. This was not so easy since the elevators did not work and we had to take the stairs. On the roof we lay there watching. We were completely wet, but there was nothing we could do about it, but watch. Nothing happened for over an hour until suddenly a brown van approached the building. I saw four men getting out of the van. They forced the doors open. I told the chief and he gave permission to shoot when they came back. As soon as they came out I focussed on them and hit two of them. Daniel only hit one of his targets. The van was about to drive off.

"Tires", I shouted and aimed for the tires. In the mean time police cars had arrived and the van could not drive off having two flat tires.

We left the roof and when we reached the street the lights suddenly went on again. Two of the robbers were dead, one seriously wounded. Since the electricity was working again, the chief gave us permission to go home. We did not talk much on the way. I was thinking about the events of the night. So was Daniel, I assumed.

Back at his flat it was already close to morning. Since we were both still wet we decided to take a hot bath together. This was really relaxing and I soon felt better, but in my mind I was reliving the shooting. I had killed two people and I knew that I had hit the vanís tires. The chief would find out as much by analysing the bullets. Danielís performance could have been better. I knew he was usually aiming very well.

We decided to go to bed for some more hours before we would visit Danielís family. I did not sleep well and I woke up only an hour later knowing that I would not be able to fall asleep again. So I got up and trying not to wake Daniel I went to the living room and watched TV. Daniel did not sleep much longer. I heard him call my name. "Yvonne?" He sounded worried.

"Yeah?"

"I had a nightmare and I thought you were gone."

I went to him and kissed him.

"Iím here. Are you okay?"

"Uh hu, but my dream felt so real."

"What happened?"

"It was just like last night only that you were taken hostage and I had to shoot at the one who held you without hitting you."

"It was just a dream."

"Yeah, but Iím sure it has a meaning. Anyway, letís forget about it. Are you ready to meet my parents?"

"I hope so. Last night wasnít the best preparation, but Iím convinced itís going to be fine."

"Great."

We had breakfast and then we left for his parentsí house in the hills.

At the house his mother and father welcomed me as if I were an old friend and also his sister seemed really nice. I felt comfortable and they showed me around the house. The house was huge and the view was fantastic. Before I had seen every room lunch was ready. Danielís parents tried to impress me by telling me plenty of stuff about Daniel. He did not seem too comfortable when it turned to embarrassing stories about young Daniel and he managed to change topic. His sister who was wearing glasses told us about her new job as a flight attendant. "Iím so glad Iím within the tolerance limits because my visionís really close to being borderline."

I told her about my brother who had been denied the possibility of becoming a sniper and how it had turned out really well for him.

"Well, not everyone can be that lucky, can he?" His sister said.

The food was great and his parents wanted to know as much about me as possible.

After lunch David and his dad went out into the garden, while his sister and I helped his mother in the kitchen. I went to the living room. Next to the fire place there were plenty of photos of Daniel and his sister when they were younger. On some photos there was a really strange look on Danielís face, blank I would say.

"He didnít tell you, did he?" I turned around and I must have looked puzzled.

"I knew it. Itís always been the same. Heís so stupid."

"He didnít tell me what?"

"You better ask him yourself. But just pay close attention to the details and youíll know. His eyes will always tell you the truth."

"He didnít tell me what?"

"I mustnít tell you. Anyway I think youíre nice and you wonít care much about it, but one should be honest, shouldnít he?"

"I donít know what youíre talking about."

Then Daniel and his father came back and his sister returned to the kitchen for tea and coffee.

The afternoon passed quickly and we did not stay too long since we the night had been exhausting. I kept thinking about what his sister had tried to tell my. He was not telling me the truth about something, but what was it?

Back home I asked him, "Have you ever lied to me? Do swear youíll always tell the truth, be honest?"

"Of course Iím honest with you, what are you talking about?"

"Is there anything I should know about you that you havenít told me?"

"Whatís this all about?"

"I donít know, but I have the feeling that youíre hiding something from me."

"Oh come on."

"Thatís not an answer." I pulled him towards me and looked right into his eyes and suddenly it dawned me. His sister had given me a hint I just hadnít figured it out right away.

"I donít know what youíreÖ"

"Daniel, why didnít you tell me you wear contact lenses?"

"You know?"

"Yeah, I can see them in your eyes. So?"

"Well, I guess, I should have told you a lot earlier, I really wanted, I tried, but I didnít have the guts."

"Because youíre a sniper and there are tests which you shouldnít have passed?"

"Yeah, among other things."

"Now I want to know everything."

"Alright, ehÖ as youíve seen both my parents and my sister wear glasses and, well, my vision had always been slightly weaker than 20/20, but I could manage fairly well without glasses most of the time. I had them, but I hardly ever wore them; only when I needed them. But I had always wanted to become a sniper and, yes, I cheated to pass the eye test. I was wearing contact lenses and got the tip to go to a doctor who was very old and had never even heard of contact lenses. So I passed. I always wear them on the job and most of my spare time. By the time my eyes got worse, but I can manage without contacts if I really have to, although itís become more difficult."

"Donít you have glasses?"

"Not in my actual prescription. I do have prescription sunglasses which you have already seen. I wore them the day after my test. I lost one contact lens in the lake."

"Oh, Iím sorry about that. How did you manage? I didnít notice it!"

Well, I could still see with one lens only, but not good enough to drive. So I asked you for a lift, which was also a great excuse to get to know you better. On the next day I wore my prescription sunglasses and no glasses at all when sunglasses would have seemed odd. I had new contact lenses back home, but didnít put them in that day since I had been wearing them for such a long time including the test. Later on I went over to your place."

"I still donít see why it took you so long to tell me."

"Cowardice. I was vain. Only when I met your brother and heard his story I knew you might accept the fact that my vision is not what they say a sniperís vision should be like."

"The most important thing for me is to know that you are a good sniper with correction. But did you wear contact lenses last night?"

"Yeah, I did, but I had a hard time to put in the contacts since it was completely dark. Thatís why it took me so long."

"I see. But your aim wasnít that accurate."

"Yeah, well, I guess my eyes have worsened and I need stronger contacts."

"You better get them soon. The others might notice when training."

"Youíre right, but in the dark itís always been more difficult for me to see that clearly."

"Well, make sure you get new contacts as soon as possible."

"Iíll try to get an appointment for tomorrow. I think I have to take out my contacts now. Theyíre bugging me a bit. Last night was long, especially because I had them in to watch TV and fell asleep."

He went to the bathroom and I was standing in the kitchen thinking about what I had just found out. I still could not believe it. On the one hand, I thought that the regulations had always been too strict and I knew Danielís aim was excellent. On the other hand, I was angry that he had not told me. I could understand his reasons for not telling me, he had a lot to lose. I knew I could not tell my colleagues, they would not tolerate it, I thought. I hoped they would not find out. If they did, Danielís job was put at risk.

Daniel came back squinting to see me. This kind of turned me on and I went to him and we kissed.

We did not watch TV that evening, Daniel would not have enjoyed it unless he put on his sunglasses and then it was too dark. I kept wondering what he could see and what he could not. Inside his flat, I assumed, it was fine since he knew what everything looked like and where it was, but outside he would be in trouble.

"Daniel?"

"Yeah?"

"Is this also one of the reasons why you preferred to stay at your place? Do you feel more comfortable here without contacts?"

"Yes, thatís right. Besides, I would have to carry my contact lens paraphernalia to your place every time I stayed the night."

"I see. Iím glad I know now."

"Me too, it wasnít easy to conceal that I couldnít see certain things without contacts although I usually kept them in until we went to bed and I hid all the paraphernalia so you would not find out."

"Donít you think it would be good, if you had glasses in you actual prescription? Just in case or if you want to take the contacts out in the evening."

"Youíre right, but Iíve always hated the way I looked in glasses."

"Iíll help you choose frames, which will make you look great and incredibly sexy, okay?"

"Thatís so sweet of you, although I doubt that I could ever look hot in glasses."

"Donít be so pessimistic."

We went to bed early and slept really well. In the morning Daniel phoned his optician and got an appointment for later in the day. We decided to go to work in two cars. Daniel would have to leave earlier for his appointment and I would meet him after work and then I would help him choose frames.

The day passed quickly like Mondays usually did. We had training and since there was no assignment, we reviewed the events of Saturday night. The two robbers who had survived had confessed and the chief congratulated us on having done a good job. After Daniel had left I spent the rest of the day wondering what he would look like in glasses. Somehow I was excited. I did not know why.

When it was finally time to leave work I called Daniel, but he did not pick up. Probably his appointment had taken longer than expected. As I knew where the optician was, I went there and when I came in I saw Daniel who was just leaving the examination room.

We kissed and then I wanted to know how it had gone.

"My eyes have become a lot worse; no wonder I didnít aim well the other night."

"You had suspected it anyway."

"Yeah, the doc also suggested getting a pair of glasses to give my eyes some rest. Iíve been wearing contacts quite a lot lately and my eyes didnít seem to like that."

"Letís take a look at the frames."

The optician offered to help us and brought us various frames. Daniel tried all of them and after a very long time we decided on silver wire rims in a rectangular shape. They looked decent, but nice and were not to obvious. We were told to pick them up on the next day. I felt really excited, but Daniel did not seem thrilled. His new contacts would be ready by tomorrow as well and he seemed to notice that his vision was not that good anymore.

I invited him to a fancy restaurant and that seemed to cheer him up. We did not talk about his eyes that evening or on the next day. After work I went to my place. We had decided to have dinner there and Daniel would spend the night at my place.

I did not know whether he would come in contact lenses or glasses. When I opened the door he was not wearing glasses.

After dinner I asked whether he would put on his new glasses for me. He agreed and went to the bathroom to take out the contacts. He came back bare-eyed and started to look for his glasses. Once he found them he took them out and put them on. Seeing him in glasses caught my breath. He looked really gorgeous and incredibly hot. Daniel checked himself out in the mirror.

"Wow, thatís quite a difference to my old contacts. These are quite strong."

"And they really suit you."

"Thanks and thanks for helping me pick these. I have never liked the way I looked in glasses, but these are okay."

Daniel kissed me and I felt my heart beating slightly stronger when his glasses touched my cheeks.

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