Chapter 9 – The End

(Three Months Later)

Kathie put the last box in the back of her truck. She'd quit the force three weeks earlier and all of her money was gone. It had been three months since she'd been shot in the shoulder and though she was released to work she couldn't do it. She went back for two days but couldn't concentrate. All she could think about was Mark and the time they'd spent together. She never contacted a lawyer to get a divorce and since she was never served with papers she assumed Mark was too busy to do it. Kathie was in no hurry to have to close out Mark from her life or her heart but she knew she needed to accept that he was gone.

Randy and Hunter had received 50 years without parole for attempted murder and another 10 years for aggravated assault. They weren't eligible for early parole because they were both repeat offenders. Kathie sighed as she thought of how peaceful her life should be, if only Mark was still a part of it.

Kathie remembered the day she went to Mark's house to try and get him back.

((Flashback – 1 Month Earlier))

Kathie pushed the code into the gate and parked her car in front of the house. She removed her glass as she knocked on the front door. She was surprised when a young woman answered the door, probably Kathie's age.

"Can I help you?" She'd asked.

"Is Mark here?" Kathie stuttered, seeing Maria appear behind the young woman.

"Mr. Callaway is on the road." Maria said, smiling at the woman.

"Thanks." Kathie said, leaving, not allowing them to say another word.

((End Flashback))

Kathie returned to her house and locked the door, handing the key to the real estate agent. She was about to climb in her truck when the Chief pulled up.

"Hey Chief." She yelled, smiling.

"Hey girl." He said, hugging her. "We miss you around the precinct you know?"

"You'll be fine without Police Barbie." Kathie laughed.

"Mr. Callaway called the office, said he needed you to come see him about the divorce before you leave town." Chief said, looking at the once strong and independent woman before him. She'd changed to a weak woman dependent on a man. Mark Callaway. He just hoped this worked.

"I'll swing by on my way out of town." Kathie said, climbing in the truck and driving for his house.

She felt the tears fall, Mark wanted a divorce. She wished he could have loved her, but obviously he'd finally found time to hire an attorney. She drove through the gate and parked. When she knocked on the door the same woman opened it with Maria.

"We're just leaving Mrs. Callaway." Maria said.

"Please call me Kathie." She said, crying. She knew that after this she would no longer be Mrs. Callaway.

Kathie entered the house and found him sitting in the kitchen at the table, papers scattered. From what Kathie saw he had dark circles under his eyes and judging from the single coffee cup and the half-empty coffee pot he wasn't sleeping well. He looked tired and sad. Like he'd lost his best friend. Kathie wondered what happened to him.

"You wanted to see me?" She asked, putting her hands in her jean pockets.

"Yeah." Mark said, standing from the table and walking to stand in front of her. "How's the arm?"

"It's good." Kathie said. "And wrestling?"

"It's fine. Vince is kind of pissed at me right now but he'll get over it." Mark said. "The police force? You like being a detective?"

"I quit the force." Kathie said nervously.

She knew he could see the bags under her eyes, the puffy red cheeks from crying. The red eyes from her crying from today. She knew she looked like shit.

"So the chief said something about divorce papers?" Kathie asked, stepping in the house.

"Maria said you came by a couple months ago." Mark said. "I was staying with a friend, just got back yesterday. What did you want to see me about?"

"It's not important now." She said, fidgeting.

"Kathie.." He said tenderly, grabbing her arm and turning her to face him. She moaned in content as he captured her lips in his. "I don't a divorce. I want you to stay with me forever. No more crazy stalkers, no more ex-boyfriends, just you and me."

"Why?" She asked.

"Because I'm going crazy without you. I can't sleep, can't think, and can't wrestle. I love you." He said, pulling back and looking in her eyes.

"I love you too." She said, crying. "I came back for you. I was afraid you'd moved on."

"Never." He said, kissing her. "From now on we're married in every sense. Vince can't wait for you to come back on the road. Said something about hiring you or something."

Kathie couldn't help but laugh and she knew she'd go. Wherever Mark went she would follow for the rest of her life.

"Let's go to bed." He said, leading her to his room. "We'll unpack your truck later and I already called your mom and told her you weren't coming."

Kathie laughed. Leave it to Mark to be arrogant enough to know she'd jump at the chance to stay. As she lay in Mark's arms and prepared to have the first decent nights sleep since the night she was shot she felt at peace. In his arms she knew she was home, forever.

The End