The talk with my client went better than I'd hoped. Yeah, at first she was pissed off to find out she'd been right. "Only six months he's been here and already he takes what isn't his." Then, when I told her why, and got her to admit he had only been taking items that were past their sell date, she calmed down.
"Maybe," she said thoughtfully, "I've been too interested in wringing every penny out of my business, although God only knows I need to. But still, what could it hurt to let Danny take some of the older stuff to the foodbank." She smiled to herself. "It could earn me a few points in heaven even."
"Probably more than a few," I agreed, chuckling.
"Then I'll do it. But he'll have to let me choose what, and tell the people at that place that he has my permission. I don't want them thinking bad of me anymore."
With that settled, Ricky and I headed on to a deserted farm on the edge of town that I used on occasion for some practice shooting, when I felt my skills were getting rusty. It was private, and beat the hell out of paying to go to a shooting range. While he'd never end up being sniper material, by the time we finished he could at least hit within the body I'd chalked out on the side of the old barn.
"That you can hit it at all is what counts," I told him when he sounded disappointed he hadn't hit the chest every time. "You just have to stop someone long enough to get away from them."
"If they don't shoot back," he pointed out.
"There is that, but now you stand a fighting chance of escaping."
"Speaking of fighting…"
So I taught him a few moves to defend against a knife attack. They mainly involved grabbing the wrist of the hand holding the knife and turning it away then---if he couldn't get the knife out of the attacker's hand---where to punch and how to headbutt and sweep his attacker's legs out from under him. Again, Ricky would never win a medal for his skills, but at least he got the hang of it.
"I feel…safer now," he said, panting a bit from all the physical exertion.
"The main thing is to try to avoid a confrontation in the first place," I pointed out. "But when faced with it, the next best thing it to stay alive. Wounds heal. Death is permanent and I do not want to be going to your funeral."
He smiled weakly. "Had to say that, didn't you."
"Yep. Because it's the truth. Now, how about a late lunch on me. You've earned it."
"On you?" He grinned wickedly.
"Not how I meant it, and you know it," I grumbled.
"Well damn," he replied, snapping his fingers. "Oh well, I'll still take you up on the lunch offer. At Georgio's?"