Three months later
The day of the wedding dawned bright and sunny and promising. Callie stood at an upstairs bedroom, peering
out one of the windows of Rus’s mother’s house. She could see guests gathering at the edge of the beach already.
Ricky was there with his few friends. Eddie and Allison, and even Colby was right in the middle of it all.
Rus had filled Callie in on all the details of the goings on in Ricky’s life while she had been in
New Mexico. She had heard all about the misunderstanding with Allison’s father which had lead to Hannah’s heart
attach. She had heard about Eddie’s father, the beating Eddie had received because he’d been drunk, and how Eddie
had retaliated by taking a gun and threatening to rob Old Man Smitty.
Now it seemed that Allison and her mom were moving back to North Carolina to give the marriage another try,
but Allison’s mother was fully aware that changes were imminent if the marriage was going to last. Eddie’s father
had stopped drinking, at least for the time being, and the two of them were getting along much better these days.
Colby had settled into his new life quite easily. The adoption had gone off without a hitch. It had taken
only a month, once Callie had been released from the hospital. Now she was officially Colby’s mother.
She had given her resignation to Captain Lee and he had accepted it without any ill-feelings. In fact he
had been very pleased with her decision. He wished her a happy life. He was actually one of the guests at the wedding. Callie
could see his gray head in the crowd.
There was a knock at her door and Colby walked in with a dashing smile. He looked handsome in his black tuxedo.
"Are you ready, mom?" he asked. "We’re about to start the wedding with or without you."
Callie was nervous. She hoped that she would not stumble and fall on her way down the isle.
She placed her veil over her head, and arranged the delicate lace in front of her face. She looked resplendent
in her gown that swept off the shoulders. Her face was glowing , her hands sweating, and her knees shaking.
Colby took her by the hand and led her to the edge of the trees. He turned to her and glared at her through
the shadows the trees provided.
"I love you, mom."
Callie smiled brightly, hugging Colby to her. "I love you to, son."
The wedding march began and Colby led his mother down a long procession of people lined on either side of
her. All the while Rus was steadily watching her. His face was awash with pride.
Rus thought, as Callie drew nearer, that she was, undoubtedly, the most beautiful woman in the world. And
graceful, intelligent, wholesome and pure. Rus knew he was the luckiest man alive. This was, no doubt, the happiest day of
his life. He was getting a good wife. God had blessed him in a way that he never could have imaged.
Rus knew the depth of his love for Callie ran deep, that his love for her was real and would last a lifetime.
He also realized that the two of them would have their troubled times. But with the Lord to guide them, they would survive
the turmoil. And with God’s help, their love would only grow strong and the bonds between them would never be broken.
One day he and Callie would have children of their own. Then their love would be complete.
With tears in her eyes, Callie looked up at Rus with love and joy and peace. She could not have expected
a more perfect day than this.
Rus was a remarkable person. Not only was he handsome, but he held firmly to a set of values and beliefs
that he had passed on to his own son. One day he would be the father of their children. And Callie knew she’d be proud
to call him her husband. And that the children they would have together, would be a gift, a true blessing from God.
She looked forward to the many years ahead that she would spend with Rus, watching him grow as a person and
watching the spirit in him blossom.
She and Rus had already experienced so much together. Good, bad, and evil. And God had blessed them by bringing
them together. Not only as a couple, but as a family.
As man and wife they had a lot to learn about each other. It would not always be perfect. They would not
always agree on everything. There might even be a time or two when their tempers might get the best of them.
But Callie was giving the relationship over to God to nurture it and protect it. She had no doubt that Rus
was the perfect man for her. That God had chosen him for her mate. And with that in mind, she didn’t have a worry in
the world. Rus would be a fine husband, a good father and provider. She would spend all her days being the woman that he needed
The ceremony was coming to an end. Callie slipped the ring on Rus’s finger as she repeated the same
vows he had said to her. When she was done, the two of them looked toward the preacher.
"I now pronounce you, husband and wife."
Rus looked down at Callie’s face. Sweeping her up in his arms he kissed her amorously as friends and
family watched with a blissful curiosity. When the kiss ended, Rus took Callie by the hand and sprinted through the throng
of onlookers. They cried out joyfully as rice and bird seed pelted them along their short journey to the house where the reception
would be held.
It was a glorious day for all.