"We need to do something," Becca said, pacing around the solarium in her slippers and nightgown.
Her father nodded, "Like go on a holiday in Bruges?"
Becca turned ever-so-slightly and gave her old man a devilish grin, "No, I was thinking more along the lines of investigating the evil, gun-toting maniac who tied you up and threatened to kill us all."
"Yes, but umm... I heard Bruges is wonderful this time of year."
Becca watched her father sink into a tattered old loveseat with his hands clasped before him and his elbows resting on his knees. He was the picture of pitiful. She strode over to him and placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder, "Dad, you were never really comfortable with Mum's line of work, were you?"
"How could I be? Always placing herself in danger like that? I guess it finally caught up with her, at the end. I now I fear that you will follow in your mother's footsteps! What's a father to do? I suppose I could put my foot down and forbid you to continue on with your mother's work, but I also know how headstrong you are -- just like your mother in that regard too -- and telling you 'No' is almost like giving you an engraved invitation. Besides that you are fifteen, not exactly small enough to lock in your room and take you over my knee if you misbehave."
"So you'll help me then!"
He sighed heavily, his shoulders drooped even more, "I don't think I would be much help to you, Becca."
"That's because you are not a man of action, Dad, but I am!"
He gave her a quizzical look, to which she responded, "Because 'Woman of Action' doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, now does it?"
He sighed again, "You are a woman now, aren't you? Not the little girl who used to cuddle with me when I read her bedtime stories. You used to be about princesses and baking and ribbons, and now you're all about machine guns and dastardly men and revenge."
He looked more miserable than ever. When at last he looked up at his daughter, tears filled his red-rimmed eyes, "Promise me you'll be careful, Sweetie. I don't think I could bear losing both your mother and you."