Chapter 2: End of Service

Dominic Drago turned in his badge and his gun, and walked home that night, now a former employee of the Department of the Treasury. He walked into his home and sighed, his steps heavy, and his thoughts even heavier. He figured he could just get back into detective work, and work from the upstairs of his home until he got better accommodations. He kissed his wife's cheek. "Evenin', Lorelei." He smiled at her, his smooth Texan drawl rolling out of his mouth slowly.

"Evening…" Lorelei held him around his waist. "You're home early?"

"I quit." Lorelei gasped. "You what!? How are we supposed to pay bills, i-"

"Easy, easy, I have money to put an ad in the paper, a P.O. box and years experience."

"As a detective…"

"Yes. I'm running something out of the house for now until I can afford an office." Lorelei sighed. She leaned on the counter. "Dom...you know I married you because I thought you'd be around, right?" Dom drooped and walked over to her. "Lorelei, I promise things will be different. Lyla and Elias might actually know they have a father, the rate things'll be goin'."

"You PROMISE me, Dominic." Lorelei looked him dead in the eye. Her eyes shone brown and dark, like little pots of honey, but this particular expression made them tense and even a little intimidating. "Unless you have to 'meet' someone in an alley or something of the sort you're back home at a reasonable time. At the very least you're home for more than 30 minutes and 8 hours of sleep." She kept her gaze fixed on him. "Promise me."

"I promise, Lorelei." Lorelei kissed him gently and sighed, mostly with relief. "Maybe I'll get to enjoy having a husband for a while."

"That's no maybe." He kissed the top of her head. "Where are the kids?"

"Still at school. They'll be coming home soon, though." Dom nodded and kissed her head again, walking upstairs to his wardrobe. He grabbed an old business card and changed the P.O. box number. He would put it in the papers tomorrow, he figured he could wait on it. He looked at his desk and saw a picture of his Father. He ran a hand over it gently. "One day, dad. One day." He looked into his dresser. On top of it was his hat; a light colored Stetson, his father's old one. It was still in good condition. He opened his desk drawer to reveal his revolvers. Large than the government issued .38, thus prohibited. That restriction didn't exist anymore.

If Dominic Drago was going to be a detective, he was going to do it privately, and on his own terms. Big irons and an intimidating look would serve him well. He was sort of excited to get back into it...but for now, he sat back, lit up his pipe, and waited for dinner.

"How was work, dad?" Lyla, 7 years of age, asked. "Yeah, was it exciting?" Elias, her twin, added. The two smiled up at him, happy to actually see him at the table.

"It was alright...I'm starting a new job soon, though."

"Oh? What are you gonna be?"

"Are you gonna be a ranger like Grandpa was?" Dom shook his head and smiled. "No, not quite. But I am going to be a private detective."

"Private detective?" Asked Elias.

"Yes. Just a plain old problem solver, really. Not much to it, someone comes to you with a missing person or a case, you solve the problem."

"Is it dangerous?" Lyla spoke with her mouth full. "Ofv cowse it's dangewfous!"

"Lyla, swallow first." Lorelei said. Lorelei also added, "And yes, it is dangerous. But if any man can do it and be okay it's your father."

"Does this mean he'll be home more?"

"It certainly does, now that I set my own hours. A few late nights here and there but nothing like being a revenuer." Lyla and Elias smiled. "Yay!" It was only a few hours after he'd left that job and already he was a much bigger hit with his family. How awful could one job be that just a few hours after leaving things seemed right? He even got to bed at a decent hour...well, he tried. He was in bed, certainly, with Lorelei. He looked over at her, sitting up. Lorelei started back for a moment, then cocked her head to one side. "Is everything alright?"

"I forget how pretty you are when you're awake."

"Oh, you...stop that."

"I mean it, really do." Lorelei caressed his cheek with her hand. "It's the eyes, isn't it? Boys always liked the eyes." She batted them playfully. He grinned, and took her hand from his cheek, kissing it gingerly and placing his other hand on top of it. "Well, those and the fur. People always get upset with calico."

"It's hard to find matching dresses." She said. Dom shook his head. "Any dress matched when it's on you."

"Because I've got all the colors already?" She crossed her arms, having heard that one a million times.

"No, because you could wear a potato sack and still manage to carry it like a weddin' dress made of silk with gold trim."

"Oh, Dominic….you need to sleep, you're starting to get a little too soft. Detectives aren't supposed to be like this." She cooed.

"Well, maybe I'm not like most detectives." Dominic moved a little closer to her.

"Aww, c'mere." She kissed him deeply, wrapping her arms around him. He pulled away. "It'll be a hard job."

"You've done it before."

"Not with a wife and kids."

"We'll, at least you don't need to hire a secretary." She winked.

"And just make you work for noth-"

"Any time spent with you is time well spent, Dom, make no mistake...besides, you'll still be compensating me, just in lump sums when I want something." She playfully kissed his nose and nestled into him. "Dom, I'm just happy to have you back."

"I'm happy to be back."