Tomorrows Dream
Chapter 18
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23

Joe Hines slunk into Denver like a thief in the night . He had made it this far without being discovered. Now he had to lay low for a few days, wait it out, and plan his next move.

Joe knew he should be sleeping and preparing for the days ahead of him. Instead, he felt inspired and rejuvenated and sleep was impossible. The thrill of the chase was on. He could smell it in the air. He could feel it in his bones.

He was just one step away from Callie Martin.

He couldn’t believe how easy it had been to find her. He glanced down at the photo in his hand. She was lovely. Gold hair, bright eyes, a dashing smile.

Joe Hines had made one big mistake when he let her through the police barricade that fateful day. And he didn’t make mistakes very often. When he did, he eliminated them. Permanently.

He was finding, that this one mistake was becoming difficult to do away with. It was like a thorn in his side. It wouldn’t go away. He’d plucked it from his flesh again and again and it kept coming back.

But Joe was an expert at challenges and Callie Martin was just a minor set back. The real target was Rus Lane himself. Rus was the kind of man Joe despised. He was too smart and to invaluable to the police department. He was everything that he would never be. Wise, dedicated and honorable.

Those were traits that Joe could never live up to no matter how hard he tried.

But it was more than that. Rus was too close to the truth. It was a pity Joe hadn’t killed the man in the first place. Then he wouldn’t have to be here now to finish the job. He was cleaning up his own sloppy mess.

That was another thing Joe didn’t like very well. He liked things tidy. Rus should have been killed with one blow to the chest. But the bullet had struck him to far to the left and missed his heart all together. Instead the bullet had lodged in his rotator cup destroying ligaments and surrounding tissue. He’d recovered nicely from the wound. A little too nicely. And Joe considered that to be another disappointment and another inconvenience. This time he’d have to finish the job once and for all.



The call came at midnight. Rus Lane was laying in bed and heard the ring before anyone else. He was throwing on his jeans halfway down the stairs, nearly stumbling as he went.

His heart was in his throat. He knew there was one reason and one reason only that the phone would be ringing at this hour of the night. The safehouse had been penetrated. They were no longer safe.

Rus’s hands were clammy as he snatched up the receiver. As he had anticipated, it was the captain. The entire staff of officers filled the room behind him, waiting for Rus to relay any messages. Callie stood at the foot of the stairs, listening with apprehension.

The conversation was stilted at best. Callie watched the display of emotions as they passed over Rus’s features. The mood in the room was strained and awkward. It was as if everyone was preparing for a funeral.

Rus clamped the receiver down in its cradle and turned to the men in the room. His face was devoid of any expression. He was in total control even while faces stared back at him as if the end were near.

"Give us the details, boss," one of the officers said.

For a moment Rus had forgotten that Callie was in the room with them and he began to relay information as he would in any ordinary staff meeting. However, this was no ordinary meeting. This involved the woman that he loved. It was personal.

"It’s Joe Hines," Rus explained as if the one word meant everything.

"What about him?" Stan Owens asked.

Everyone was awake now, alert and full of questions.

"They raided his house this afternoon. They found a one way plane ticket to Denver. They believe he may be here."

Callie gasped. Rus turned to her quickly noticing the sudden alarm that appeared in her eyes. He rushed to her side, grabbing both her arms with gentle fingers. "It’s okay, Callie," Rus assured her. "We’re going to get you out of here. Don’t you worry about a thing."

"Where will we go?" she cried out. "Won’t he just find us again?"

Rus was to personally involved in this case. He’d known it from the start. He couldn’t look at Callie and lie. He was exasperated with himself more than anything else. Tonight was going to be one of the worst nights of his life.

"Callie, why don’t you go up to your room and start packing your things," Rus recommended. "I’ll tell everyone here what they need to do. Then I’ll come up there and we can talk."

Callie stood there as if contemplating what to do. Her eyes were shadowed with fear and indecision. It was as if she wanted to trust him, but wasn’t sure she should. After a minute she turned around and headed up the stairs without saying a word, without even looking back.

Once in her room she opened her suitcases and began filling them with her measly belongings. She was in a daze. Her mind was numb with misgivings. The peace she had found here was now gone, shattered. She wondered if it would ever be found again. She didn’t think so.

Somehow Callie wanted to blame it all on Rus. She needed someone to blame and he seemed the perfect person. But she loved him to much to do something like that. He had been good to her. He’d always been honest, as honest as he could be under the bizarre set of circumstances. Now would be no different just because things had changed. She just wasn’t sure she’d like what he had to say.

It seemed at least an hour before Rus finally came to see her. Callie had finished packing and was sitting on the edge of the bed when he walked into her room.

He was fully dressed though his appearance seemed rumpled and a bit frazzled. She could see the stress lines around his eyes and mouth. She wanted to reach out to him at that moment and give him comfort. Instead she sat there waiting for him to speak. The tension in the room was thick and volatile.

"We’re planning on leaving within the hour," Rus informed her. His tone was short and brusque. Immediately Callie became defensive. "You’re heading to Albuquerque, New Mexico."

"Are we driving through the night?" Callie asked.

Rus was finding this more difficult by the minute. He was looking at Callie in a way he had never thought possible. Seeing her inner beauty, her sensitivity, and all the qualities that made her the woman that she was, Rus knew that he could not leave Callie tonight. Not without asking her the one thing that had been on his mind for a long time now.

"Callie?" Rus knelt down on his knees in front of her. His hand trembled while his eyes focused on Callie’s face. This was not going to be easy. Rus wanted to delay what he was about to say, but knew, in his heart, that he could not put off the inevitable. "I’m not going with you to Albuquerque., Callie," he told her. "Once we leave the cabin, I’m heading to the airport. We won’t be seeing each other again until this is all over. I won’t be here to take care of you."

Callie’s mouth dropped open in complete surprise and anguish. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. This wasn’t true. This was a bad dream. This was some kind of horrible joke that Rus was playing on her. It wasn’t real. It couldn’t be real.

Rus could see the tumble of emotions flickering in her eyes. Anger, hate, disbelief. Callie opened her mouth to protest, but before she could say anything, Rus interrupted her.

"If I could go with you Callie, I would." He was holding her hand now. The pressure was solid and almost painful, but Callie endured it. She wanted to cry. She wanted to lash out at Rus and ask him why he was doing this to her. She felt like she was losing him, like her whole world was suddenly falling apart and there wasn’t anything she could do about it.

"Where are you going?" she asked quietly.

"My mother had a heart attach last night," Rus said matter-of-factly. "I’m needed in North Carolina."

This disheartened Callie. She wanted to be strong. She wanted to be brave. She wanted to be the woman that Rus deserved. But how could she pull it off when she was none of those things. How could she pull it off when she needed Rus so desperately.

"How is she?" Callie inquired., putting on a brave front, pretending that none of this mattered to her.

Rus saw through Callie’s efforts. He was fully aware that she was not as brave or as strong as she wanted him to believe. At that moment, his heart went out to her.

"She’s holding her own," Rus informed her somberly. "The doctor’s aren’t sure how much longer she can hang on. Ricky needs me so I have to go."

"I understand," Callie whispered. "I will pray for you. For all of you. I will miss you, Rus."

"I will miss you too, Callie. You can’t imagine how much I will miss you."

She smiled then. It was the tiniest of smiles, but it was there.


"Yes, Rus."

"Do you still love me?"

The question came as a total surprise to Callie. She wondered what kind of question that was? Of course she loved him. Didn’t he know that already? Why did he feel the need to ask her that?

"Rus, I will always love you. Don’t you know that, by now, my love for you is everlasting?"

He nearly wept with joy. He clung to Callie, murmuring his love to her all the while kissing her neck, the palms of her hands, her cheeks and any available spot he could find.

"Will you marry me, Callie? Will you be my wife? Be a mother to my children, our children?"

Callie knew she should be happy. But the feeling wasn’t there. Rus sensed it immediately and drew away from her. He could see the glistening of tears as they slid past her lashes.

"What is it Callie? Talk to me," he demanded subtly.

"You know I can’t commit to a thing like marriage at a time like this, Rus. I’m leaving for Albuquerque tonight. Tomorrow I maybe in Oregon. Who knows where I’ll be a month from now. How can I promise to marry you, when I don’t know what my future holds."

Rus was outraged. Not in his normal fashion where he’d throw his tantrums and then he’d feel better. This outrage stemmed from something far deeper and more soul-wrenching then he’d ever felt before. There was not getting over this feeling any time soon.

"Do you love me, Callie?"

"Of course I do."

"Do you want to marry me?"

Silence. A thick, sweltering silence filled the room.

"Do you want to marry me?" Rus asked again, this time more forceful than the last as if commanding her to give him the answer he wanted.

But Callie said nothing. She wouldn’t even look at him.

Rus came to his feet. He towered over Callie menacingly. He looked at her a long time with an impenetrable gaze. Without a word he whirled around and stormed toward the door. He reached out his hand to turn the knob, then paused before doing so. He turned back one last time to face Callie. His eyes were as bleak as she had ever seen them.

"You know Callie, I had never thought of you as a coward before," Rus admitted bitterly. "But I see, now, that I’ve been wrong all this time."

The door slammed behind him as he fled the room.

Callie broke down and cried until one of the officers came and informed her it was time to leave.


The drive to the airport was interminably long. Unlike the drive up from Florida, Callie and Rus rode in two separate cars. They did not speak to each other the entire time they were waiting for him to board the plane. He hadn’t even said good-bye to her. Callie didn’t really blame him. She kept thinking over the things he had said to her. He had wanted to marry her. She had never really anticipated him asking her to be his wife. That had come as a shock.

In a way she was thrilled. She loved Rus. He would make a wonderful husband and father. He was a great provider and protector. God had blessed her when he brought Rus into her life.

But marriage was such a big step. And the two of them hadn’t known each other that long. It didn’t seem possible that they were ready for marriage. Besides . . . she was scared to death at the prospect of marriage. Like Rus said, she was a coward.

Never in her life, did Callie ever imagine herself afraid of anything. Even the prospect of Joe Hines hunting her down and killing her in cold blood didn’t frighten her nearly as much as the thought of marriage.

Callie wondered just was it was about marriage that scared her so much. Was it the actual thought of what the commitment stood for? Was she afraid that she could not live up to Rus’s expectations? Was she afraid of disappointing him? What exactly was it?

Callie began to analyze herself and the deep well of emotions that lived inside of her. She thought about the first years of her marriage to her husband. She’d been a blissful bride. She had spent most of her time trying to please her husband and, at the time, she had thought that she had been happy and content with the way things had been.

But what she realized now, was that she had never truly been happy with Reid. He had never put forth an effort to make the marriage work. He had been lazy and indifferent. Even after Johnathan had been born, he was hardly a father to the boy.

Reid had been wrapped up in his business. Success was all that had mattered to him. There had been no romance in their relationship. There had been no substance to the marriage either. It had merely existed.

Callie had done all the work while Reid had sat back and reaped all the benefits. He had been selfish and she had never taken the time to notice it before.

Rus was so different than that. He had taken the time to show her what true love was all about. He had been devoted to her in every way. He had given her a glimpse of what their life would be like if they were to ever marry.

Rus had opened Callie’s eyes to love. To honesty and trust. To Faith. He had given her all of that and she had let it all slip away. She had let him get on that plane and leave her without trying to salvage what they had built together.

Callie could not believe her own stupidity. God had given her a gift to treasure and she had wasted it on what? Foolish pride? Fear? Doubt?

She hated herself more than she ever thought it possible to hate anything. She had lost Rus, the most important thing in her life. There was no getting him back and she knew it. She felt lost and destitute. For once she didn’t care what happened to her life because Rus wasn’t there to share it with her.

She succumbed to her tears, surrendering to the pain and sorrow that raked her soul.

Chapter 19

Can a woman find love when she's lost everything? See how Callie and Rus Lane overcome the obstacles of loss and grief when two hearts are united by the works of God.

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