~ All Our Tomorrows ~
J M Dragon
© February 2001
Dreams! Bad dreams were all around, chasing her and making her cry.
Lisa struggled to see through the mist that shrouded her. She wanted so much to be home! She wanted her family so badly now! Within her dreams, she could feel herself cry out for each of them.
Why didnt they answer her?
Why didnt they come for her?
She would wake up soon wouldnt she?
The swirling grey mist around her was cold, so very cold. She was here alone, not even Rag Doll or Blacky to keep her company. Totally alone!
Her Moms never left her alone, ever!
Walking through the mist, she thought she glimpsed a light in the darkness all around her. Was it a light or just imagination?
Words echoed in her scared mind about a poem her Mom, Jace had recited. It had been cold and wet and she was feeling so ill with the measles, she heard her mom as clear as a bright day, her voice soothing.
Lisa looked around at the light she saw in the distance, and the words became clear to her. Starting to run in her dreams towards the light, for the rainbow was there, where her family would be waiting for her. She knew it!
* * * * * * * * * *
Lt. Delaney sat at his over spilling desk in the far end of the office and chewed on a plastic cigarette. Hed been trying to give up the dreaded weed for years but had failed dismally each time, now hed even forgotten how often that was.
Staring again at the door to the office, he checked his watch and shrugged. That woman would be the death of him, he was sure. Never once had she arrived at a meeting on time. When she did, she was so condescending that you had to wonder if she really did care in her attempts to help find the victims or support the families.
He had to concede that when she was in full sail with the families, they believed everything she said. The woman had the ability to charm a snake out of a basket if she chose, he was certain of that.
Walking over to the window, looking onto the police car park, he scanned the area for her vehicle. Sure enough, it came zooming into the area marked for authorised visitors. Drawing it to a stop, the tyres screeched at the speed it was travelling, before halting suddenly.
Within seconds, the tall figure of the woman gracefully stepped onto the tarmac, negligently closing the door of the vehicle as she locked it. Walking with an easy gait over to the side entrance to the building, her long chestnut hair looked like it had hints of burnt copper as the sun shone down on her head. Doctor Thea Rosnova was certainly a beautiful woman, but cold as ice. If she ever thawed, it would flood the state of New York, in his opinion anyway
He turned back to his desk resuming his seat giving the impression that he was nonchalant about her lateness. His hands were wringing together in annoyance under the desk.
The door opened to the office area as Thea Rosnova walked in and smiled, nodding amiably. Stopping to talk to one or two other officers, she made her way to Delaneys desk ignoring the fact that she was late.
Ah Delaney, nice of you to call me. Thea remarked with a smile that did not reach her eyes, the sarcasm dripping liberally with the words.
I see you made your usual entrance, late as always. Delaney answered. This woman was a pain in the butt. He didnt care for Dusterly, but over the past two years Rosnova had become somewhat overly confident, and it wasnt anything to do with having any strong leads in that period of time.
Delaney really, its the traffic here in New York. Everyone knows its difficult to get across the city at short notice. Rosnova gave him a shrewd glance. The detective did not particularly enamour her, but he was the one who always had to take the brunt of the bad publicity she never had. After all, she was only around to soothe the grieving parents at their loss.
Yeah. Yeah, you say that everytime, even when you only have a block to travel. The Captain wants us to talk to the Mother of the new victim of the serial abductor. Delaney scoffed at her excuse.
Then lets get right to it shall we? I, for one, will enjoy that particular encounter. I hear tell shes not interested in the appeal for her child on the TV and the media generally, how interesting. Rosnova looked closely at her well-manicured hand.
Yeah, well shes not the run of the mill parent either, and we are already late. Ill call Anderson to meet us in the parking lot. Delaney moved out of his seat and unhooked his jacket from the peg that held it securely.
Oh really? Do we have to take Anderson? Hes a terrible driver. Why not let me drive? Rosnova did not like the little man who was Delaneys second, he was just so so formal all of the time.
No! Its Anderson for me. You may, of course, take your own vehicle and meet me there. Delaney looked at her squarely. No way was he riding with that bitch in control.
I think I will. Where are we going? Rosnova asked, with mock interest.
Delaney looked at her with a calculated glance. Was the woman joking? Playing him for a fool probably.
As if you didnt know. Its your apartment block. Im sure you can find your way home quicker than you find the station house. Delaney sarcastically retorted and left the woman laughing at his comment, slowly following him out of the room.
Oh Detective, you are so easy to rile. You make my job so much more pleasant. Rosnova spoke in such a low tone that it was inaudible to anyone in the office as she sauntered out after him, smiling wickedly.
* * * * * * * * * *
Kelsey had been shocked at the muted response to his news from Catherine Devonshire. He knew, of course, that she had been under strain. His previous association with her left him in no doubt that stress and extreme pressure would not extinguish the flame that swept through her in adversity, or so he had thought.
He guessed in this instance, the abduction of her child had hit home, harder than even she could possibly ever have envisioned. The kid was not even a blood relative, only some foster kid!
His mind went over the conversation as he looked over at the dozing form of James Thompson, who was residing in the seat next to him, on the way to a rather unexpected destination.
Ms. Devonshire its Kelsey, we have news. he said, excited at the prospect of informing her of the current update.
Catherine placed a weary hand over her eyes. She was tired, very tired, all of a sudden. The fact that Jace was now on a flight home had impacted far harder on her than she thought it would. They had been separated before, but this time it was different. Or was it that she was different?
Go ahead Kelsey. Im listening. Catherine replied, but even she could hear the lack of enthusiasm in her voice.
Kelsey looked around him and mentally shrugged as he heard the rather moody reply.
James here has located Clauser or Hudson, whatever you want to call her, to Athens, Greece. Kelsey said, once more excited at the news.
James Thompson had looked up from his absent observation of his coffee cup in surprise as Kelsey mentioned that he had located the whereabouts of the woman Catherine desperately wanted to see, and he would rather see in hell.
I see. Anything else? the voice was subdued and verging on desolate, Kelsey thought to himself.
No. Do you want us to make more enquiries, or go to Athens directly and make contact? The Detective knew he would have to take sick leave or something like that to follow this through and he wanted to follow this to the end now. It was just beginning to fire up, in his opinion, and he loved the excitement of the final chase.
No! Catherine answered, her mind finally digesting that she was talking to Kelsey and that he had come across a vital link, one that perhaps could lead to Hudson. It was Hudson. She had no doubts in her mind at all.
No? Kelsey repeated in surprise. Had things changed in six hours?
Catherine was silent for a few minutes and Kelsey asked if she was still there.
Yes, Im still here. I need you to go to a place called Xianspiros. she finally replied quietly.
Where the fuck is Xianspiros, and why? Kelsey asked, dumbfounded at the logic.
Thank you Kelsey for your rather dramatic request for a geography lesson. Xianspiros is a very small island in the Mediterranean where my relatives came from, and where currently my Aunt lives. That is the place you will find Hudson, not Athens. Catherine spoke mechanically, her thoughts obsessed, not by what that could possibly mean, but on her kidnapped daughter and partner instead.
Well, that sure would be a good place to start if you have family there. Any other place you have family? Kelsey asked, should that prove to be a dead end.
Catherine summoned her retreating energy levels to remain with the conversation. It was proving difficult. No! No, I have no other close relatives living. This is the only place that would be of interest to anyone with any evil intent.
Okay, we will get on the next available flight out to Greece. As soon as we reach our destination, do you want us to make contact with your Aunt? Kelsey asked quietly. The woman was definitely not with this conversation at all. Otherwise, she would have rapidly told him exactly what she wanted, and who to contact, and probably exactly what to do!
At your discretion Kelsey. Make it count! I need to go. I will expect a report. Catherine replied quickly, terminating the call before he could answer.
James Thompson looked at the puzzled frown on the detectives face and asked, Whats the problem?
Kelsey shook his head, pushing a loose lock of sandy hair from his eyes. A perplexed expression crossed his face as he glanced at the Californian. Beats me. For the first time since Ive known that woman she was incredibly vague, as if she wasnt listening or interested in the conversation.
James Thompson looked at the man in front of him and sighed softly. Some people never had a clue, must go with the badge, the indifference to peoples feelings. Shes upset Kelsey. If your child had been abducted wouldnt you be?
Kelsey considered the question and shrugged his shoulders. I havent got a clue. Who knows? He dismissed the subject as irrelevant to his views of the woman he was discussing.
James realised then, that the man had no depth of character. He was a dumb cop. At least he appeared to be a very good cop and thats exactly why Catherine wanted him. So, he would go along for the ride. After all, Catherine was family.
So, here they were on the flight due to land in Athens. They had already contacted a helicopter company that would whisk them away to Xianspiros within an hour of landing at the airport. Having access to unlimited amounts of money had proven useful in establishing flights to Athens in the first class area. Not to mention, the standby of a pilot to fly them to the smaller island. Money talks, it always had, it always would in his book. A high percentage of others also thought that way, even people you never expected.
Okay, Sally Clauser or Hudson, here we come. I know you can be bought I just know it! He spoke softly into the cabin, which was silent other than the odd movement from the galley, where the steward was preparing a beverage with ice, hearing the chink against the side of the glass.
Good idea, a scotch would go down well about now. He pressed the overhead switch for personal attention.
* * * * * * * * * *
Jace you cant be serious? Grace exploded quietly, not wanting to attract anyone elses attention to them in the lounge. The various members of the household were seated and being entertained by Jake and his insistence that they play a trivia game with him.
Jace looked at her friend and saw the concern in her expressive brown eyes. Grace I will be okay. All Im going to do is turn up and consider the proposal, which Constantia wanted Catherines help with. What could be simpler? I would be home before anyone missed me.
Grace gave an exasperated sigh. They had been over this ten times already. Catherine was going to be livid if she found out that Jace planned to leave for Xianspiros to aid some crazy plan that Catherines Aunt was hatching. If you wont listen to reason or common sense, listen to your heart. What about the children? They need you. What about Catherine too? If she knows that you are gallivanting all over the world and into a potentially dangerous situation, she would be tearing her hair out.
Dont be ridiculous Grace. How can you say dangerous? Unknown perhaps! Jace replied and smiled engagingly at Grace.
Dont you dare use that butter wouldnt melt in your mouth expression with me Jace. Im not Catherine and your green eyes dont have the same effect! Grace could not fathom this woman at all! She wanted to give and give. Taking unnecessary risks, and for what?
Never thought it would Grace, but always worth a try. Now, if I had smouldering grey eyes and that long, lean, masculine body that you cant take your eyes off when its in sight, Id win without a fight. Jace chuckled and saw the faint blush cross her friends cheeks.
Thats completely different and well, you know. Grace blustered, knowing that the blonde was right on the button with that one.
Jace placed an arm around her shoulders and hugged her briefly. I know, and it happens to me too. Except the eyes that I look into happen to be ice blue.
Im coming with you then! Grace spluttered out, and watched a look of astonishment cross her friends face.
You cant Grace! My god, Colin would kill you! Not to mention me, as well! I do not need a chaperone. Have you forgotten you are pregnant? Jace shot back a reply, concerned for her friend, but secretly happy too that she had volunteered to help.
Jace, are you saying my gentle husband would attempt murder? No, no my friend. He might think it, but never attempt it. I will talk to him and he will see the logic. Trust me on that one. As to the pregnancy, well Im four months now and the doctors are all very happy with me. To the best of my knowledge, there isnt a restriction on me travelling on flights. Im coming with you and thats the end of it! Grace reiterated and looked immovable in her decision.
Catherine isnt going to be . Jace trailed off realising what she was about to imply, and it was exactly what Grace had told her earlier.
Grace gave her a satisfied smirk at the sudden dawning of her earlier message. Catherine isnt what exactly, Jace?
Jace smiled wryly, having been caught out with the comment. She laughed lightly, drawing the attention of the others in the room.
Alison and Faith both looked quizzically at them and asked in unison. What are you two planning? Both older women looked at each other, slightly embarrassed that they had asked the identical question.
Everyone laughed when Jace and Grace answered in unison also. Nothing! Why would you think that Mom?
As Jace contained her laughter she looked at Grace, Ill book the flights for as early tomorrow as I can. You have the pleasure of convincing Colin.
Walking away she heard the barely audible reply, Why thank you Jace, that will be a pleasure. The blonde couldnt help but smile as she went over to her Mother and Faith.
* * * * * * * * * *
Catherine was staring out over the picturesque scene overlooking the park and the lake from her lounge area. Her fingers were drifting over the locket clasped securely around her neck, holding the link to her family.
She mused about her life as it was now, and what it had been like three years ago. The loneliness she knew had been creeping up over her reclusive years, and she had considered herself in a life that she had welcomed and never wanted to be relieved of.
How things change! Although each incident that had led to the place she was in now, they could be considered trivial in many peoples minds. To her, each had created an indelible mark that was to make her not only consider, but actually change her life completely. Who would have thought the cold-hearted Catherine Devonshire Warriorson would ever do that for one small blonde and two orphans?
It had been for her, a heart searching, stopping at the welcoming door of Jace Bardley, and asking to be allowed inside. The joy it brought, along with the pain, was worth anything anything at all.
To make her even more thankful that she had allowed love back into her life, two orphans had made her reflect that she could bring happiness into complete strangers lives. Jake and Lisa were hers in more ways than perhaps Lucas her own son had been, and Elena was certainly part of her. Jace had said so, that had been some conversation.
Miracles, they say, do happen. She was hoping that the very faith and love, that had created the miracle called Elena, was going to come into force and see their elder daughter returned safe to them. Just as Jace believed in that particular miracle, so would she believe in this one.
Ms. Devonshire? Serena Dusterly stood at the doorway of the room, watching the facial expressions cross over the face of the woman who had remained static, gazing at the same spot for several minutes.
Yes? Catherine turned abruptly, her mind now clicking back with precision to the matter in hand.
I have made the phone calls, which I thought may help. Serena said quietly, but with confidence. This woman would not intimidate her or she would never function adequately, and there was no time for a lack of confidence now.
Did they produce the results you expected? Catherines tone turned professional and she moved to sit on the sofa, indicating for Dusterly to sit opposite her.
Yes, I think so. Serena said and quickly sat in the indicated chair, facing the taller woman.
I think so? Thats hardly a confident answer, Ms. Dusterly! Catherine flicked her a sharp glance.
Im sorry. Yes, it has produced results far better than I had hoped, under the circumstances. Serena spoke quickly and this time, she let her eyes lock with the ice blue ones.
Now, that is information Im interested in. Want to tell me what you have so far? On the other hand, shall we wait until after the police have been over? Incidentally, you know both of them. A Lt. Delaney and a Doctor Rosnova, due anytime now actually. Catherine informed her, looking at the large clock on the wall. They were already late from the allotted time Captain Travis had given, but she would wait a little longer before she made a complaint.
I think it might be wise to wait for them. You will of course, let me know what they say. We can add more pieces to the puzzle if they have any more information. Serena said. She hated both of them for differing reasons and they disliked her. She was very sure.
Catherine scrutinised the woman closely and gave a wry smile, shaking her head. Im sorry Ms. Dusterly, but you will be part of the meeting. After all, you are my personal advisor, that being so, you need all the information first hand.
Serena drew in a sharp breath and slowly exhaled it. She could do this, she could. Okay, sounds like a good idea to me.
Glad you think so. The doorbell chimed and Stephanie called that she would see to it. I think our police friends are about to descend on us. Are you ready? Catherine stood up and looked down at the woman.
Serena glanced up into glacial blue eyes and saw a wicked twinkle in them, and she smiled up at her. Yes, Im ready.
Catherine turned away and saw Stephanie walking towards her study to deposit the police inside.
Serena looked at the retreating broad back and for some reason, she could not help but smile. The woman was simply incredible. She charmed you and you did not even know it was happening. Wow!
Slowly getting up from the chair, she followed behind the woman and into the study, to come face to face with her own demons of the past. Only this time, she actually felt as if she was on the side that believed in her!
* * * * * * * * * *
Colin Montgomery looked at his wife and smiled tenderly at her, his hands stroking the slightly swollen abdomen as he cradled her in his arms.
Colin. Grace ventured, knowing that her husband was relaxed and very content at the moment.
Yes darling? Colin bent his head a fraction and kissed the side of her neck, feeling the tremor in Graces body as she reacted to his touch.
Never a better time she hoped, and mentally crossed her fingers and toes. Jace had a message from Catherines Aunt earlier today, asking for Catherines help. And of course, Catherine cant help directly as you know.
Yeah, does Jace need our help? Colin asked, as he nuzzled the side of his wifes neck. He could hold her like this forever and never let her go, she meant so much to him.
Grace smiled at the immediate offer. Her husband was one in a million and she knew it. He did not always show it, and certainly she had her problems with his protectiveness, but he was hers and she wondered at her good fortune. In a way, yes. Jace needs our help.
Colin muffled a confirmation of his desire to help as he slowly placed tender kisses along her neck, finally reaching her collarbone. No problem, she has it.
Grace knew that at this moment, he would agree to anything and she did not want to do that to him. He needed to agree without cohesion, or at least this type of cohesion, however pleasurable it was.
Colin, will you stop for a moment darling? Grace pleaded and stroked a tender hand over his cheek to show that it was a temporary cease of activities.
Colin heard the quiet, but definite request and he moved away slightly so that they were still touching. He gazed at her lovingly to find out what the problem was.
Colin, this help that Jace wants, well well its like this you see, she is planning on that is she wants to go . Colin put a gentle finger to her lips, silencing her stumbling words.
How about Jace wants to help on behalf of Catherine, and she wants you to support her, right? Colin smiled at the look of surprise on his wifes face. Grace really did have him all wrong at times. That did not matter to him, he loved her, she was going to be the mother of his child, and she was his reason for getting up every morning. He was happy, if she was happy.
Grace shot up out of the bed and faced him, her expression filled with tenderness and love.
How did you know? I thought you would be angry. Her Aunt lives in Greece, you know? Grace pointed out tentatively. She wanted him to have all the pertinent information.
Colin chuckled and locked his grey eyes with her brown ones. I learned my lesson Grace. I dont want you rushing out of the house and driving like a maniac because you were angry with me and I stifled you. I want you to be as happy with me, as I am with you. If you need your space then I am going to be happy to stay behind and let you have it. My only wish in this life is for you to look after yourself. I want you and our unborn child back safely, so that I can love you both. Thats all I want Grace, and if going with Jace is what has to happen, I want you to know that you go with my blessings. But, I would hope you want to come back to me sooner, rather than later. He smiled warmly at her.
Grace was crying tears of happiness as he spoke words that she knew must have been difficult for him, with his family background. She was humbled at her husbands trust and understanding of her needs, knowing that to insist she stay would have been hard for her to take.
I dont know what to say, Colin. Grace said tearfully. She was emotionally wrung at the pure expression of love he had given.
Colin gently wiped the tears away and placed his face close to hers. How about You love me.
Grace threw her arms around him and placed a passionate kiss on his lips, mumbling repeatedly against his mouth how much she did love him, until they were lost in the sensuous desires of their mutual need.
Continued in Part 3
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