Disclaimer: This was written for the soul purpose of my entertainment.
I lay no claim on Walker Texas Ranger or any of its characters.
Dallas Sacred Heart Cemetery
Rick Perron opened the door of his chauffer driven car, his bodyguards standing waiting to flank his sides. He stepped out of the car and turning reached his hand in extending it to Rita Mason. She looked at it in contempt but dare not take it. She slid across the seat stepping out of the car as well. She wore dark glasses and a wide brimmed hat trying unsuccessfully to hide the black eye and bruise down the side of her face. It had happened the last time she told Rick no.
“My Dear,” he smiled as she alighted from the car, still holding her hand.
She smiled back to him in acknowledgement. The chauffer had gone around to the trunk of the car and was lifting two big baskets of flowers out. Falling into line behind Rick and Rita he carried the baskets for them.
Rick stopped in front of the huge family marker staring for a minute before taking a basket of the flowers from the chauffer and placing them on his mother’s grave. He then took the second basket and placed them on his father’s last resting place. Standing back a smile crossed his face and then talking to the graves he told his parents, “You are exactly where you belong. Dead and buried.”
The party made their way back to the cars and drove off unaware they were being watched.
Sydney and Gage’s Apartment
Chris Gage splashed his feet wildly in the water shrieking in delight as his Mom gently sponged the soapsuds off of him. Sydney laughed at her son’s antics causing him to splash more and shriek louder.
“You are starting to wrinkle up like a prune,” she told the blonde cherub as she lifted him from his bath placing him in the middle of his towel and wrapping it around him. Picking him up she held him close singing to him as she walked from the bathroom to the nursery.
Another month and she would be going back to work she relished the thought. As much as she loved her son and being with him, she also missed the cases, the people and the hectic life. If the truth were to be told though most of all she missed the time with Gage.
Snapping the last snap on Chris’ outfit she scooped him up in her arms and headed out to the kitchen for his bottle, explaining to the baby Daddy would be home soon. Halfway there the phone began to ring, she picked it up just as Chris grabbed a handful of her hair.
“Owww hello,” she said into the receiver.
“Your husband is Ranger Francis Gage?”
“Yes,” she said again becoming concerned.
“This is Officer Hart from Dallas P.D. I’m calling from Memorial Hospital,” he paused a moment before continuing, “You need to come here immediately your husband has been shot and it doesn’t look good.”
Sydney didn’t say a word she just hugged Chris closer to her.
“Mrs. Gage are you there? Can someone bring you here?” Officer Hart was questioning her.
“Yes I’ll be right there,” she answered hanging up the phone sliding down the wall to the floor.
She sat there hugging their son for a moment more, he began to fuss not understanding why his mother was just sitting there not feeding him. Reaching up she pulled the phone down beside her and began dialling Walker’s number.
Walker had just walked into the office; he had been in Alex’s office conferring on a case that was just about to go to trial. The case was a slam dunk but Walker had used the opportunity any way to steal a few minutes away from his desk and spend them with his wife.
His phone was ringing Trivette was just about to pick it up when he saw his partner walk in and go to his office so he left it for him.
“Ranger Walker,” he said bringing the phone to his ear. “Sydney slow down I can’t understand you.”
Gage looked up from his desk, which was adjacent to Walker’s open door, hearing Walker mention his wife’s name.
“Sydney he’s fine I can see him from here just a second and I’ll let you speak to him,” he tried to tell her motioning at Gage to pick up the phone.
“Syd,” he said as he picked up. “Sydney what’s wrong? Say again, I’m on my way home, just look after Chris I’ll be there as soon as I can. Yes I’m fine, yes I’m sure, I’m on my way Honey.”
Gage hung up the phone both Walker and Trivette were looking at him.
“From what I can gather someone called her identifying himself as an Officer from Dallas P.D. saying I had been shot and they needed her at Memorial now. I’ve got to get home Syd’s pretty upset,” Gage, told them standing up to leave.
“Gage we’ll check from this end and see if we can find out who made that call,” Walker told him.
“Thanks Walker,” Gage called as he hurried out the door.
It was four thirty the beginning of rush hour traffic, it took Gage forty minutes to fight the traffic and get home to his wife.
She sat silently holding their son; he had finished his bottle and was now peacefully sleeping in her arms. Going to her he gently lifted Chris from her telling her he was going to tuck him into his crib. She still sat silent.
Going into the nursery Gage kissed his son and laid him in his crib pulling the covers around him. He lingered a moment more stroking his blonde curls and then went back to where Sydney still sat. Standing in front of her he pulled her to her feet and into his arms holding her close.
“I’m okay Syd,” he whispered to her.
“He said his name was Officer Hart,” she told him laying her head against his chest.
“Walker and Trivette are checking things out,” he told her holding her tightly.
The phone rang and Gage reluctantly let go of her to answer, it was Walker.
“Gage do you have your shield and ID?” Walker asked.
“Right here Walker,” Gage replied pulling it from his pocket to make sure.
Gage dropped heavily to the couch as he listened to Walker on the other end of the phone. Sydney had come over to him dropping down beside him.
“This guy look like me?” Gage asked. He listened to Walker for a few minutes more and then said good night.
Gage leaned back on the couch; Sydney snuggled into the crook of his arm lying against him. They sat in silence.
“What’s going on Gage?” Syd finally asked him.
“Walker found out why you received that phone call,” Syd sat quietly waiting for him to go on, “It seems some guy, blonde hair, blue eyes, my height and build, carrying my ID and wearing a Ranger badge was shot today in the line of duty.”
Sydney pulled away from Gage so she could look into his face, “You’re serious?” she asked.
He didn’t answer so she took it as a yes.
“For what possible reason is someone trying to impersonate you?”
“I guess we won’t know that until this guy comes out of his coma. Walker is having prints taken so they should know who he is by tomorrow,” repeating to her what Walker had told him.
Again they sat silently Sydney trying to figure out how to say what was on her mind.
“Gage I need to talk to you and this is as good a time as any…”
“Shoot, I’m all ears.” He replied happy to change the subject for a few minutes.
“I need to get back to work,” she stated.
“And you will you’re only off for a month more.”
“Gage I need to get back tomorrow.”
“What are you going to do about Chris just strap him to your back and bring him along?”
“Aren’t we funny?” she chided him, “Can you please just listen to me?”
He nodded his head and let her continue.
“After I found out you were okay I called Josie, she told me she has two openings right now and it would be no problem having Chris there earlier then we planned.”
“Are you sure that is what you want to do?” he asked he knew he was ready to have her back.
“I need to be back especially after today, I mean it really hit hard that I wasn’t there with you and you may be dying… I need to be back on the job Gage that’s all.”
Smiling he drew her to him running his hand up her back he held her head and sweeping her down in his lap he kissed her deeply. Holding her in one arm he picked up the phone and began to dial. A moment later Walker picked up.
“Walker my partner wants to come back to work with me tomorrow is there a problem with that?” Gage asked, “I was hoping you’d say that, thanks, night.”
He stood in the doorway of the room across the hall knowing what he had to do the call had just come through only moments ago. He was trying to decide on the best way to get the job done. He decided he needed to lure the police guard from the door. The target after all was unconscious it would be in and out.
The elevator doors opened and he glanced down towards them; it surprised him, yet it didn’t to see who emerged from it. “Francis Gage and your lovely Ranger wife,” he thought to himself watching them walk towards the target’s door.
He acted as if he had written on the chart he was carrying and continued down the hall, looking back to see the two Rangers show their ID and step into the guarded room.
It had been a lot tougher then Sydney had ever imagined. They both knew that Chris was in safe hands with Josie but both of them leaving him there all by himself… To make matters worse he cried pitifully when it was time for them to go.
“It’s all right Sydney they all lay this guilt trip on their Moms and Dads,” Josie was reassuring her giving her hand a squeeze. Gage had all ready gone to the car trying to block his son’s pitiful cries from his mind.
“I know Josie and I know he is in good hands, I’ll see you between five and six,” she said hurrying to join Gage in the car.
Gage put it in reverse, backed out and started down the street stopping at the corner. Turning to Syd, who was staring straight out the window he said, “You don’t have to do this today.”
“Do you think it will be any easier on any other day?”
Reaching over he caressed her cheek put the car in gear and proceeded to Ranger Headquarters.
Erika Trivette was at headquarters this morning sitting patiently in Jimmy’s chair while he checked into a couple of things. They were on their way for a doctor’s appointment. Taking a deep breath and trying not to worry about her son Sydney walked over to her friend.
“Three and a half months left?” Sydney asked as Erika looked up.
“Yeah three and a half months,” she smiled and in the same breath asked, “What are you doing here?”
“I had the need to be back that’s all,” Sydney told her. “So what are you doing here?”
“Waiting for my husband we have an appointment for a sonogram at nine thirty which we are going to be late for if he doesn’t hurry up,” she told Sydney as they glanced over where Jimmy was talking to Walker and Gage was joining them.
Smiling to herself Sydney told Erika she would prod him along and went to join the other three.
“Your wife is getting anxious.”
“I know we’re going to be late, I’ll be back shortly,” Jimmy responded hurrying back over to Erika, turning he called to Syd, “Nice to have you back.”
“Nice to be here,” she smiled.
Walker’s phone rang at that moment and he reached for it saying to Gage, “Fill your partner in.”
“Yeah let’s go sit down,” he absently said walking towards Syd’s desk and sitting in her chair.
Looking at him for a moment, she shook her head and sat on the edge of her desk again waiting for Gage to talk to her. Finally she lifted her foot and tapped him on the leg, “Are you letting me in on what’s in that file?”
“Yeah I’m sorry Syd,” he said handing her a photo, “That’s Ray Steels.”
Sydney studied the picture; from the photo she could tell Ray Steels was blonde and looked as if he had Gage’s build. His facial features were very close to those of her husband; close enough they could have been brothers.
“According to his prints this is who was impersonating me and this is who got shot.”
Gage was looking at the ID that Steels had been carrying he handed it to Sydney, the picture on the driver’s licence, the signature would pass for Gage’s.
“There is one mistake and they have all ready made it, have you caught it yet? You were fooled yesterday.”
Syd shrugged her shoulders looking at her husband.
“Look at the ID again, look at the line that says in case of emergency, what does it say?”
“Sydney Gage,” she read aloud and suddenly she knew, “Officer Hart asked for Mrs. Gage, I should have caught that.”
“You probably would have if you hadn’t been off with Chris for five months and gotten used to being called Sydney Gage,” he smiled taking out his own ID and showing her just to confirm it. Under in case of emergency she was listed as Ranger Sydney Cooke. If Gage had been injured the call would have come in for Sydney Cooke.
Sydney reached for the phone and began dialing, Gage looked at her quizzically, “Josie,” she simply said as the phone was picked up at the other end. “I’ll wait tell her it is Sydney Cooke and I need to talk to her.”
“Syd it’s only been an hour,” Gage was saying.
“I know that Gage… Josie, yes I’m sure he is fine, that’s really not why I’m calling. Gage and I don’t want you to release Chris to just one of us we both have to be there. Make sure everyone understand that, he is only to be released to the both of us.” Gage had taken her hand now as she continued to speak, “It’s just a precaution there have been a few problems around the office we just figure it is safer if we both pick him up.”
Then changing the subject Syd asked, “How’s he doing any way? I’ll let his Dad know he was worried about him. We’ll see you tonight.” Syd hung up the phone.
“Syd, Gage go check out Steels’ apartment and then stop by the hospital and check out him,” Walker directed them.
“You got it Boss,” Gage said as they both stood up to leave.
As they stood at the elevator doors, Gage asked, “Well?”
“Chris how’s he doing?”
“He quit crying as we pulled out of the driveway, Josie says he’s the happiest baby there,” she smiled almost sadly wishing she was needed just a little more by her independent son.
“Hold on, I’ll be right there,” shouted Wes Martin through the closed door. Swinging it open he found one of his tenants standing there with a lady friend. “Ranger Gage what can I do for you?” he asked.
Realizing that the super of the building thought he was Steels, Gage decide to go with it, “Lost my keys and was wondering if you can let me in to my apartment,” he simply stated.
“No problem,” he told Gage handing him a key off the board, “Get another one cut and return it to me in the next couple of days.”
“Thanks I’ll do that,” Gage replied taking the key from him.
Wes closed his door and the Rangers headed down the hall towards the apartment. The door was all ready slightly open and they could hear movement inside. Drawing their guns they went to either side of the door, nodding to Gage she was ready he kicked open the door yelling, “Freeze Texas Rangers.”
Three men were inside searching the place, one tried to escape while the other two thought they could take on the partners. A fight ensued and as Gage took on the two who had stayed to fight Syd gave chase to the one who had escaped out the patio door. She caught up with him as he tried to scale a fence; grabbing hold of him she hauled him to the ground. He quickly turned driving his fist at her face catching her on the jaw. Shaking it off she came back with two kicks taking him to the ground and putting the cuffs on him. Dragging him to his feet she marched him back to the apartment where Gage was waiting for them with his two in custody.
“Okay,” Gage asked.
“Yeah fine,” she told him.
Gage immediately recognized the one Syd brought back with her and standing in front of him Gage addressed him, “Billy it’s been a while hasn’t it?”
Billy ignored Gage as Gage continued, “So who are you taking orders from these days? I know you’re not smart enough to do things on your own.”
“I’m loyal which is more then I can say about you,” he retorted.
Syd shot a quick glance at Gage they both knew he meant Perron.
Nicky sat in the car watching Gage and his partner troop out the three of them and hand them over for transport. They not only were coming back empty handed but the three of them were in custody. He thought about calling Rick on the phone and letting him know what was going but knew that he would have to face him sooner or later. He knew his boss was not going to be happy, not happy at all.
“First case back and the Perrons are still haunting us,” Syd sighed as Gage started the car.
“Are you all right Syd?”
“I’m going to have to be aren’t I?” she asked dryly.
“Syd, you don’t…”
“Yes Gage I do I’ve had my head in the sand long enough and you know as well as I that this isn’t going to go away by itself we have to put a stop to it.”
Taking her hand Gage found himself wishing again that he had never gotten involved in this eighteen months ago.
“Let’s go stop by the hospital and check on Steels before we go back to question these three.”
Syd nodded her head in agreement.
After identifying themselves with the guard at the door Syd and Gage entered Steels’ room. Gage walked right over to the bed wanting to get a good look at Steels, Sydney hung back the whole idea of someone impersonating her husband was very unnerving to her. They had talked to his doctor before they had entered his room.
The doctor had told him that Steels had recently had plastic surgery, “to alter the looks of his face,” he said staring at Gage finding it hard to believe how much the two of them looked a like.
Standing there neither of them said a word, they were both looking to find a flaw, some way they could tell in an instant that the man lying in the bed was not Francis Gage.
Syd’s phone rang they both jumped as she reached for it.
“Ranger Cooke,” she answered it, “Josie what is it?”
Gage had turned hearing her say Josie’s name.
“Stay away from him, if anything happens to him Perron,” she was screaming, “Gage and I are on our way.”
Sydney was out of the car before Gage had come to a complete stop, he was just a step behind her. Rick and two of his associates were sitting in Josie’s office with her and she was holding Chris.
Syd went to their son, grabbing him in arms; Gage went to Rick Perron grabbing the front of his expensive suit slamming him against the wall.
“Gage, Gage, Gage,” Rick grinned at him, “we were only insuring a little private meeting with you and your partner.”
“Come near our son again and a private meeting with me will be the last meeting you have with anyone,” Gage told him his hand going around Rick’s scrawny neck.
“Gage, I just thought we may be able to work together on things, figure out who is behind the second Ranger Gage.”
His grip loosened and he stared into Rick’s eyes wondering what he knew about this whole thing. Letting go of Rick but not turning around he addressed Josie, “Could we use your office for a few minutes?” he asked her.
“Yeah sure,” Josie agreed getting up.
“Josie can you take Chris with you please?” he asked next not daring to look at Sydney.
“All right Gage,” she said walking to where Sydney stood holding tightly to her son. Standing in front of her for a minute she watched as Syd looked at her husband almost in disbelief. With her blind trust of Gage taking hold she kissed her son and handed him to Josie, who quietly left the room.
As the door clicked shut Gage, whose eyes had never left Rick said, “All right you called this meeting start talking.”
Straightening his jacket Rick looked at Gage, “You know I really like you better as Gage then Mikey.”
Gage took another step towards Rick and he began to back paddle, “All right, all right. The other Gage took a bullet trying to arrest some of our people in connection with lets say some questionable business they had taken upon themselves to be involved with. This other Gage has been sticking his nose into our business for a month now causing real headaches, shaking down our businesses.
You know what Ranger Gage I knew it wasn’t you I know you better then that, you’re a ‘Texas Ranger’, you’d never compromise your honesty and integrity or that of your office for the sake of shaking down my business. So you see we have a common enemy here who I want stopped as much as you do so if we were to come across some information that might move things along could we pass it on without the worry of repercussions?”
Gage looked at Sydney the first time since they had come into the office he knew she was leaving the decision to him.
“All right Rick we work together for the time being.”
The doctors and nurses were rushing in and out of Ray Steels’ room. The monitoring machines had begun beeping less then three minutes ago. The time of death was pronounced at three forty-seven P.M. twenty-two minutes later.
He pulled his phone and dialed, “Our little problem at Memorial has been looked after.”
Listening for a moment he smiled saying, “I’ll keep my eye on them,” and then hung up the phone.
Sydney had lifted Chris from his car seat and preceded Gage into the apartment. Gathering up all Chris’ stuff he followed his wife and son inside. Sydney was still clutching tight to Chris while she stood looking out the window into the street below when Gage came in. Stopping inside the door he stood and watched her for a few minutes.
“Gage,” she said turning and walking towards him, “think you two could manage a bath while I see about dinner.”
Taking Chris in his arms Gage held him close leaning forward to kiss Sydney at the same time. She put her hand on his face gently tracing her thumb over his bottom lip and he caught her holding her for a moment. Their eyes met and they stood silently.
“Sydney,” he began.
“I know Gage, I know how much you love us both, there is nothing you need to say, what you did today was the right decision,” and standing on tiptoes she let her lips meet his.
Chris feeling he was no longer the center of attention let out a loud squeal bringing smiles to his parents’ faces.
“You tell him Chris,” she teased kissing his little face, “Bath and then dinner Dad.”
Lifting his son against his shoulder he leaned forward and kissed Sydney continuing on to the nursery.
With the squeals of laughter and splashing of water coming from the bathroom Syd couldn’t resist sneaking down the hall to see how the bath was going. Gage had taken his shirt off which was probably a good thing because by Syd’s estimate he was probably as wet as Chris.
She stood in the doorway for a few minutes watching father and son play. Chris would lift his little fist above his head bringing it down hitting the water making a splash. Then Gage would do the same thing causing fits of laughter from both her son and her husband. Syd couldn’t have loved either of them any more then she did at that very moment.
The phone suddenly rang and she walked back towards the kitchen to pick it up yelling out to Gage at the same time that dinner was almost ready.
It was Trivette on the phone, he was calling to let them know that Ray Steels had died, the autopsy wasn’t in yet and foul play had not been ruled out.
“Syd, Walker has arranged for two guards to be present at HOPE tomorrow so Chris and Angela will be safe,” he told her.
“Thanks for calling,” she was saying as Gage appeared in the doorway with Chris.
“Things are back on schedule,” the voice on the phone was reporting in to her.
“I trust you will keep it that way Lucas, we put a lot of time and money into Mr. Steels to have to dispense with him so early,” her sultry voice replied.
“Most definitely Dominique.”
“Good we do not wish to disappoint my father.”
Her father was not who frightened him even though he had a long reach from his confines in the Federal Penitentiary, no it was Dominique herself. Her deadly sting could be much worse then any scorpions could.
“We won’t disappoint him,” Lucas assured her once again.
Sydney and Gage were sitting at their desks when the two agents came in and went directly to Walker’s office. Gage had dealt enough with Walters and Arthurs to know that the two of them were federal agents. He sat wondering what they wanted.
Syd had hardly noticed them come in. She was worried about Chris, she had been so nervous about leaving him today that she had almost stayed home. Determined not to let Rick Perron frighten her she had packed Chris’ diaper bag and they had drove to the center. Alex had been there dropping off Angela and in a lot of ways that in itself had made her feel better.
Gage had spoken briefly to the guards who had been assigned there making sure they knew all the details in the case. She knew Chris was as safe there as any place.
“Sydney, Gage can you come in my office?” Syd jumped when Walker called for them.
Trivette stood with his back against the wall, while the two agents sat waiting for the Gages to enter.
Without waiting for Walker to make the introductions the one agent began, “I’m agent Tom Reilly and this is agent Lucas Kiro.”
Gage nodded in acknowledgement and they both waited to see what the agents wanted.
Lucas Kiro continued, “It has come to our attention that you have been moving large amounts of money around between your bank accounts.”
It was true Syd had opened a new account and they had shifted some investments around because they were hoping to be able to purchase a house before too much longer.
“We have been moving some investments around but I don’t think five thousand dollars is that large an amount of money,” Gage volunteered.
“That’s impossible,” Sydney stated defensively.
“It’s all right here Mrs. Gage,” Kiro said tossing a file on Walker’s desk.
“The question is what exactly you and your husband are doing to earn this kind of money,” Reilly added.
“Walker are we suspended, fired, just what is our status?” Gage asked remaining uncharacteristically calm.
“Gentlemen,” Walker began looking at Reilly and Kiro, “this is a Ranger matter and we will deal with it, you’ll get a full report of our findings we’ll take it from here,” he told them opening the door of his office and dismissing them.
“This Ranger Walker is our case a full report of your conduct will be submitted to your superiors,” Kiro narrowed his eyes as he spoke to Walker, “And you haven’t heard the last of this either Ranger Gage.”
With the door closed behind them Walker began to explain, “Since the incident with Walters and Arthurs they have been trying to clean house over at the federal building. I talked to the Governor this morning they still feel that they have a few informants within their walls and asked if we could take a look at things. With all that has been going on around here I told him it may have to wait, then these two coming walking in here with this.”
“Kiro is definitely not to be trusted,” Gage told them.
“And how do you know that Gage?” Trivette asked.
“He made another mistake Jimmy,” Syd smiled, “He called me Mrs. Gage.”
“What do you mean the north distribution has been shut down?” Rick Perron screamed. Throwing his glass wildly against the wall shattering it, and in the same motion grabbing Marco by the throat.
Nicky grabbed his boss pulling him off the man, trying to calm him down.
“This is a ten thousand dollar a day business we are talking about here Nicky, don’t tell me to calm down,” he bellowed at Nick.
“You two had better find out who is behind it or I’ll get someone who can,” he screamed at the both of them. Drawing his gun he squeezed the trigger just missing Marco by inches.
“You got it? Get away from me. Get out of here,” he shouted again.
As Nick and Marco made a hasty exit Rita Mason brushed past them and into the room. Catching sight of her Rick didn’t give her time to speak.
“I don’t need you in her whining Rita,” he shot at her toying with the gun all the while.
“I didn’t come in here to whine,” she told him standing her ground, “Just to tell you that Ranger, you know Ranger Gage…”
She didn’t have time to finish as Gage walked into the room, “Having a bad day too Rick?” he asked.
Looking at Rita Rick told her to get out. The look alone was enough to tell her not to argue and she didn’t.
“So Gage what has made you decide to grace my home with your presence?” Rick asked managing a smile.
“Our common enemy is reeking havoc in my life and by what I’ve seen looks like yours too.”
“Maybe that’s true,” Rick answered not wanting to tip his hand.
“Word has it you are having trouble with distribution these days,” Gage continued, “And I know for a fact that no law enforcement agencies are involved with that.”
“Rival families Gage nothing we can’t look after.”
“Rival families I see that’s why you came to me yesterday. Let me give you a little update there, Rick, my double died yesterday afternoon of unknown causes. Man never opened his eyes, never uttered one word about who he worked for. Now his body before an autopsy could be preformed has completely disappeared from the morgue,” Gage paused letting Rick digest his words.
“This morning two federal agents show up at headquarters with a whole file on off shore bank accounts that are supposed to be mine and my wife’s. Next thing you know we are being asked to turn in our badges and guns pending an investigation. So you see Rick it is better that we work together against our common enemy to preserve what’s ours.”
Rick smiled laughing to himself, “What about Ranger Cooke is she all right with this?”
“You don’t worry about Ranger Cooke I can keep Ranger Cooke inline she knows to do as I tell her,” Gage answered him his grim face not changing as he spoke about his wife and partner.
“Well Ranger what’s the first step?” asked Rick playing along.
“Ranger Gage just showed up there,” Nicky hissed into the phone, “No I don’t know what he wants.”
“Who are you talking to?” asked Marco helping himself to a beer from Nick’s fridge. He had gone in the bathroom and Nick was using the time to alert his superiors.
“And don’t call me whining again,” Nicky slammed down the phone. “I sleep with her once now she thinks I’m going to marry her.”
Marco laughed at his friend’s predicament, “You better loose her,” he advised.
After spreading a blanket on the floor Sydney had placed Chris on his tummy in the middle of it and sat down with him. Chris had almost immediately tried rising up on his arms and when he couldn’t quite get any where with that he tried rolling to his back.
“You almost got it Sweetie,” she encouraged him and finally helped him as the tears and screams of frustration began.
“See he does have some of you in him,” Gage laughed joining Syd on the floor with Chris.
“Ha, ha you are so funny,” she smiled back at her husband leaning forward to kiss him at the same time. “How did it go with Perron?”
“Pretty well I think,” Gage said bringing his fingers to her lips, “Let’s go out and grab a little dinner.”
She started to protest but catching the look on her husband’s face knew something was up, “If that’s what you want to do,” she replied, “Keep an eye on Chris and I’ll have us ready in a few minutes.”
Sydney got up from the floor and Gage picked his son up holding him in his strong hands. She stood watching the two of them for a few minutes watching the look of pure joy light up her husband’s face. Kneeling down beside them once again she whispered in Gage’s ear, “Save some of that for me tonight I could use your loving touch right about now.”
Grinning he kissed her cheek whispering back, “I’ll see what I can do about that.”
He watched her until she disappeared from the room before turning his attention back to Chris knowing that the two of them were the main stays of his life.
Lucas Kiro had over looked the fact that Ranger Gage would throw in with Perron he thought as he hung up the phone from Nicky. He was going to have to be careful with this. Ranger Gage was making it hard to keep his promise to Dominique. That was something else he wondered about why it was so important to her that in the end that the Ranger and his family did not suffer.
Gage pulled the car into the parking lot at the restaurant as he finished telling Syd what had transpired with Rick Perron. They had gone to the warehouse, the police had all ready been there and the bodies removed. They knew from Nicky that everyone had been killed and the shipment had been taken, effectively closing them down for the time being.
Getting out of the car Syd recognized Walker’s ram, Gage had come around and was lifting Chris from his car seat.
“Ready for this?” he asked handing Chris to her.
“I hate this Gage, I hate being at odds with our friends,” she murmured quietly to her husband.
“You get to keep Alex,” Gage leaned down and kissed the top of her head as he spoke.
She gave him a half smile and they proceeded inside. Walker, Alex and Angela were all ready eating. Gage walked by the table as if he hadn’t seen them, Syd pulled Chris tighter and followed her husband. The waitress handed menus to them, then walked away to give them a chance to look them over.
Walker had gotten up and was moving towards their table.
“Sydney, Gage,” he began.
“Walker I think you said it all today at Headquarters,” Gage interrupted him looking down at the menu.
“Gage, my hands are tied on this,” Walker tried again.
“Your hands are tied,” Gage repeated standing at the same time, “What ever happened to friendship, loyalty and trust?”
Walker didn’t have an answer, but Gage did, “Stay away from us, stay away from me and my family.” And then turning to Sydney and saying loudly, “Let’s get out of here I’ve lost my appetite.”
Picking up Chris, Gage headed for the door Sydney following she paused long enough to mouth the words to Alex, “I’ll call you,” holding her hand to her ear imitating a phone.
Alex nodded her head yes.
The message light on the answering machine was flashing when they came in the apartment. Chris had fallen asleep in the car so his father carried him straight into the nursery and tucked him in. Sydney went to retrieve the message from the machine.
“Francis, Sydney I’m going to be in town for the next couple of days. I have an old friend I need to see and of course my wonderful new nephew. I should get in around noon tomorrow I’ll call when I do. Love you,” the message ended.
“Was that Julie?” Gage asked coming back into the room in time to hear the end of it.
“Yeah she is coming to town tomorrow.”
“Great we don’t see her in months and then she shows when we are in the middle of this mess.”
“So we tell her that Walker gave you a bit of time off but you’ll have to go if he calls and me I’m not suppose to be back anyway.”
“I guess that is what we’ll have to do,” he agreed pulling her tightly up against him, letting his hand move up her back, catching and holding her head as he passionately kissed her.
Backing up ever so slightly they fell to the couch, her arms were around his neck. Kissing her deeply again she felt his hand move up her side wandering to her breast cupping it gently.
She sighed deeply as their passion for each other took over and they made love.
“Dominique? I can hardly wait to see you. I just left a message with my brother and sister-in-law and I’m going to hook up with them around noon,” Julie Gage was saying to one of her dearest friends from college.
“I really want you to meet my brother,” Julie was saying now, “Okay I’ll call once I get to Dallas.”
Julie hung up the phone looking forward to the next few days.
Dominique Sayer hung up the phone smiling, “Perfect,” she thought to herself. She could hardly wait to meet Ranger Francis Gage and his lovely Ranger wife. Hopefully she would be able to keep them out of trouble.
Walker had just come from a meeting with Captain Brisco; he motioned Trivette to follow him into his office. Once the door had been securely closed Walker began to tell Trivette what had happened upstairs.
“Brisco is taking a lot of heat on this one, Lucas Kiro is really kicking up a fuss like he really has something against Gage. Brisco wants it wrapped up now, he is giving us seventy-two hours to do it,” Walker stated.
“And if we don’t?” Trivette asked pretty sure of the answer all ready.
“Then Kiro takes over the investigation.”
“So where do you want to go from here Walker?”
“Let’s find out everything we can on Agent Lucas Kiro and his partner Agent Thomas Reilly.”
“You got it partner,” Trivette replied moving to get to the task.
Walker’s phone rang, as Trivette was leaving he heard him say Ranger Walker, he pulled the door tight and went to his computer.
Alex Walker was on the other end of the line she had just talked to Sydney. They had taken Chris to the HOPE center and were on their way back to Steels’ apartment to have another look around.
“She said she would call me again if they came up with anything interesting.”
“Thanks Alex,” Walker told her hanging up the phone. He leaned back in his chair thinking about the faces they had seen in the restaurant the night before. One face in particular stood out to him, he knew him from somewhere; he just couldn’t put his finger on it. He decided he would interrupt Trivette and try to work up a composite and hopefully find a match.
Gage opened the apartment door and let him and Sydney in.
“Any idea at all what you hope to find Gage?” his wife asked him.
“I think who ever is behind this is too smart to have left a clue here but we can always hope Steels wasn’t,” he smiled at her as they got to work.
An hour later they were no further ahead, Gage had just sat down on the couch as Sydney dumped a decorator jar containing whisks and wooden spoons on to the counter. She came walking back into where Gage was.
“Safety Deposit box key,” she told him holding out for him to see.
“Let’s go see how well I can impersonate myself,” he smiled taking the key from her hand.
The bank was only a couple of blocks away and they went directly there. As they pulled into a parking spot Syd lightly touched his arm, “Gage how long has that black sedan been trailing us?”
“I’m not quite sure. I know that he was following us last night and was waiting for us this morning. At least if he is following us we know that he isn’t near the HOPE center.”
It was a small comfort but she had to agree. They got out of the car and walked into the bank. Sydney took a seat to wait for Gage as he proceeded to the counter. A few minutes later a small gate was opened allowing him behind the counter and back towards the vault.
He was gone what seemed like an eternity but only proved to be fifteen minutes. When he came back he held a large manila envelope. Sydney immediately got up and joined him as they made there way to the street.
Syd’s curiosity was getting the better of her and she began asking questions as they closed the car door.
“So?” she asked peering in the envelope while Gage started the car and headed for home.
“If we need a lawyer there is only about a hundred thousand in cash,” Gage stated trying to make light of it. “And that envelope.”
“And what’s in the envelope?”
“An insurance policy.”
“Yeah in case of untimely death.”
“Gage you are talking in riddles.”
“You’ll see what I mean when we lay it all out on the kitchen table,” he smiled as he turned into the parking of their apartment.
“Nicky get Gage on the phone now,” Rick was screaming.
Nick had just informed his boss that ‘The Texan’ nightclub had just sustained a damaging fire it would cost hundreds of thousands to put it back together. ‘The Texan’ was one of the family’s oldest holdings; his grandfather had owned it first. It was a legitimate business that laundered thousands of dollars daily. Someone was going to pay for this and pay dearly.
“Hey Walker I think I got something,” Jimmy said sticking his head inside Walker’s door.
Walker got up and coming out from behind his desk followed Trivette to his computer.
“That’s him all right Trivette,” Walker declared looking over his partner’s shoulder.
“His name is Paul Morello, he was trained by the marines and he learnt well. He is an expert in explosives and marksmanship, as well as many other talents. He resigned his commission when allegations of espionage came up against him, although it was never proved it wasn’t disproved. Now he kind of freelances with his home base in his hometown, Fortworth Texas. The first few years he was out of the country a lot the last couple it doesn’t seem he’s left the state.”
Walker mulled this over in his mind a few minutes. “Got a current address on this guy?” he asked.
“Right here,” Trivette replied.
“Let’s go check him out.”
Gage and Sydney looked at the pictures and notes from the envelope that lay all over the dining room table.
‘In case I don’t live to see this project completed I want this evidence to help bring the people behind this to justice.’ The note was signed Raymond Steels as well as Francis Gage.
The next was a family tree of sorts putting Dominique Sayer at the head of the family. She was a beautiful woman, dark black hair, makeup perfect, dark eyes, a Dallas socialite. Her parents it seemed were both dead.
As Gage stared at the picture he commented that he was sure that he knew her from somewhere.
“Old girlfriend Gage?” she asked.
“No Syd if she had been a girlfriend I’d have remembered her,” he teased her as she punched him.
Next was a picture of Lucas Kiro, “Well he’s no surprise,” Syd commented.
“And here is Ricky’s informant,” smiled Gage as a picture of Nick came next.
Paul Morello’s picture came next neither recognized him or any of the other pictures.
“With all this and none of it explains why Steels was impersonating you or where the money came from,” Syd stated showing her exasperation.
Their thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of the doorbell. Syd looked at her watch realizing it was Julie, hurrying to gather up everything they were looking at she sent Gage to the door. She could hear Gage greeting his sister as she stuffed the last of the papers into the envelope. A second later Julie had entered the dining room throwing her arms around Sydney.
“Let me look at you Sydney,” Julie was saying, “You certainly don’t look like you had a baby less then six months ago.”
“There’s still a couple of stubborn pounds I’m trying to get rid of,” Syd laughed.
“Where?” asked Gage wrapping his arms around her from behind.
Suddenly Julie bent down and picked up a picture that had fallen to the floor gazing at it she asked, “Where did you get a picture of Dominique?”
“That’s where I know her from.” Gage answered, as the phone began to ring.
Sydney went to answer the ringing while Gage remained with Julie, “Francis?” she asked again.
Syd had come back over to them, “Gage it’s Ricky Perron, you’d better take it he is ranting and raving over a fire or something.”
Gage took the phone from Syd and walked out of the room leaving his sister’s question still unanswered.
“Syd?” Julie asked as they could hear Gage trying to out shout Rick.
“Julie we just came across that picture concerning a case we are involved in,” Sydney tried to explain, “Gage will be off the phone in a minute.”
Julie stared at Sydney as they both heard Gage shouting into the phone, “Just hold him until I get there Rick we can’t question a dead man.”
After hanging up the phone Gage had hastily explained to Julie that they had come across the picture of her friend in a package they had acquired that morning and really didn’t know what significance it had if any.
“Julie I know you just got here but we have to go out, I’ll try to explain everything to you when we get back. Please can you trust me on this?” Gage implored.
Sighing Julie reluctantly nodded her head, “All right Francis you have until you get back,” she concurred going to the door watching them hurry down the hall. “Hey be careful,” she called after them.
Turning Gage smiled at his big sister, “Always Jules, always.”
Racing towards the warehouse Sydney had called Alex to alert Walker, then discussed how they were going to play this. They stopped in front of the place they were to meet Rick Perron and Gage reached for Syd’s hand.
“Ready Syd?” he asked.
“Yes,” she answered without hesitation.
“Let’s do it then,” he said opening his door.
They entered the warehouse by the side entrance. Rick was all ready there; Nicky was tied to a chair beaten so he was barely conscious.
Looking from Nicky to Gage Sydney pulled her phone and began dialing, shouting at Gage at the same time, “You bring us here and involve us in this?”
Before she could put the phone to her ear Gage had viciously knocked it from her hand, then grabbing a handful of her hair pulled her head back.
“I thought I told you we would do what ever it takes to clear our names,” he growled at her bringing the heel of his boot down on her phone. Still holding tight to her hair he towered over her saying, “Now think you can be good?”
“Yes Gage,” she spoke barely audible.
“That’s my girl,” he smiled at her releasing her hair and bringing his hand down the side of his face.
Rick and his pals snickered to themselves as Gage grinned and walked over to where Nicky sat. Nick looked up squinting at Gage through half closed eyes.
“Gee Nicky I like my wife too,” he smiled, “You on the other hand I don’t like at all. So maybe Nick you should just tell me all about Lucas Kiro before I let Marco and the boys finish up what they started.”
Hearing Lucas’ name made an impression on Nicky. “You have to help me here Gage, you have to make Rick understand I had no choice. You know Lucas you know I had no choice,” he began pleading.
“Tell me what you know and if it’s good enough then maybe we can work a deal,” he told him and without looking back called, “Syd come over here away from the door Nicky has something to tell us.”
She hesitated a minute and went to stand by her husband, slinging his arm over her shoulder he spoke to Nicky, “We’re all ears Nicky start talking.”
“Lucas Kiro is a federal agent.”
“Got to do better then that Nicky I all ready knew he was a federal agent.”
“He had me on drug trafficking I was going away for a long time, I thought that he was going to want me to turn states evidence, but that wasn’t it. He wanted me to spy on Rick said his boss had an axe to grind with the Perron family, that it was pay back time.”
“That doesn’t explain how my wife and I are involved, does it?”
“You’re connected with the Perrons, you put Anthony Perron and Joseph Talos in jail. That’s all I know honest, that’s all I know, please Rick, please Gage,” he was pleading again.
“Rick have Marco put Nicky in my trunk, Syd and I will look after this problem.” Then looking at Sydney smiled at her asking, “Won’t we Syd?”
Sydney was looking at Gage as if she didn’t know him, finally she meekly replied, “Okay.”
“Sure you want to do this Gage?” Rick asked.
“Don’t you trust me yet Rick do you?”
“Gage, it’s not that I don’t trust you, it’s just you’re a cop.”
Laughing Gage said, “Suit yourself.”
“No Gage this is all yours.”
Nicky was loaded into the trunk of the car with Sydney sitting beside him Gage drove west of the city to a lonely stretch of road. Stopping the car the partners unloaded Nicky who was crying in earnest now as Rick’s men watched from the distance. Gage dragged him down in the ditch and as Syd stood beside her husband he fired, Nicky falling forward dead.
Marco was not the only one watching in the distance from the other direction Walker and Trivette watched with field glasses, ready to move if Marco decided he needed a closer look. Marco had been satisfied, he drove off confident that the job was done.
Paul Morello made his first mistake he watched as Marco’s car left then followed them all back to Dallas. He didn’t see Walker and Trivette as they drove to the spot where Nicky lay and load him into the Ram for transport.
Julie was at the door when they came back in. They had stopped to pick up Chris who Julie readily took in her arms.
“Francis, he is the spitting image of you,” she cried gently kissing his cheek.
“Julie be right back,” he said following Sydney towards their bedroom. She was all ready dialing the phone when he opened the door and let himself in. Walking over to her he put his arms around her as the listened to her conversation.
“Walker and Trivette picked up Nicky and have him in protective custody,” she told Gage hanging up the phone from Alex. “Agent Lucas Kiro seems to be missing. Nobody knows anything about his where abouts.”
“And Dominique Sayer?”
“All that has come back on her is that both parents are dead and she now runs Sayer Industries, but Alex is still digging.”
Gage was about to lean down and kiss his wife as Julie knocked on the door.
“Hey even though your son is charming company I came to visit all three of you,” Julie laughed, “Besides I have something to ask you.”
“Coming Jules,” Gage replied giving Syd a quick peck, taking her hand and leading her to the door.
“I talked to Dominique this afternoon and she has invited us all over for dinner this evening. I’ve told her so much about you she is dying to meet you three.”
It was Gage who spoke, “How bout us two for now Jules, I think that I’d would kind of like a night out where neither of us has to worry about Chris.”
“What’s going on? Start talking Francis,” Julie demanded.
“Nothing is going on it’s just that…”
“That Dominique’s name has come up in a case we are investigating and although it may be nothing we just aren’t putting our son in any danger,” Syd stated.
“And you feel that way too?” she asked her brother.
“Yeah Julie I do,” Gage admitted to her.
“Maybe I should just cancel the whole thing.”
“Or maybe we should go to dinner and clear this whole thing up once and for all,” he shot back. “If you were making these accusations against Walker or Trivette we’d feel the same way as you do.”
“I wouldn’t I’d trust you.”
“No you wouldn’t not if you were in the middle of an investigation, in that way we are alike Julie and you know it.”
Julie had to agree with him saying, “All right you win, but be prepared to hear I told you so.”
“Yes Daddy, we will be hitting the key Perron operations in the next few days by the end of this week there will be nothing left of them. One way or another Rick in desperation will take his own life, avenging you and John.
Daddy trust me on this Francis Gage is going to be a welcomed addition to our family. It is going to be worth the cost to have him working for us. I’m right about him he does what it takes to preserve himself he’s all ready done murder for Ricky he’ll easily change allegiance to the Sayer/Talos family once the Perrons are gone.”
Joseph Talos smiled to himself he knew that Dominique was the strongest of his children, he known it since the day she was born. Even as he had planned the merger with the Perron family it had been his intension to eventually take over everything. He had every confidence in Dominique.
“Walker,” he said answering his phone, “Alex did you find out anything more?”
He listened to what his wife was saying to him, Trivette knew by the non-expression on his partner’s face that it was something that was piecing the case together.
“Thanks Alex,” he said hanging up and sitting silently in thought.
“Well?” Trivette finally asked being able to wait no longer.
“Thomas Sayer was Dominique Sayer’s adoptive father, her biological father was his brother-in-law Joseph Talos. It seems Katrina Ouray was Talos’ mistress and when she became pregnant he struck a deal with Sayer. That way he was able to be the head of two families. Now he is still able to run things from the federal prison through Dominique.”
“So it is just revenge against Gage then? So why didn’t they just kill him like Allen Mathews?” Trivette questioned.
“My guess it has something to do with Gage’s sister Julie being Dominique’s best friend during college,” Walker speculated.
Dinner was fun both Sydney and Gage found themselves enjoying the evening in spite of the circumstances. Sydney was just saying they had to get home to Chris when Dominique turned to Gage and asked if she could have a word alone with him.
“Julie you and Sydney don’t mind do you?” she asked, “It’s totally business,” she smiled sweetly putting her arm through Gage’s leading him towards her office.
“She does that often?” Sydney asked Julie watching the door close behind Dominique and her husband.
Julie smiled at her sister-in-law just as surprised as Sydney was.
“Gage,” Dominique began, “I’ve heard about the disloyalty the Rangers have been showing you.” She paused waiting for a reaction from him he gave her none so she continued, “I’m in a unique position to offer you a new position.”
“I’m not really looking for a new job,” Gage spoke with no emotion.
“Come now Gage let’s be honest with each other, I know that you and your wife have been suspended, I also know that you have been meeting with Ricky Perron and even taken to doing some of his dirty work.”
“You have been busy haven’t you? Gage asked again showing no emotion, “So just exactly what is the deal?”
“We need someone like you to head up our security at Sayer and to do a few unique jobs for us from time to time.”
“And how do you know I’d be the one for the job?”
“By taking care of a little problem we have with Mr. Perron. We need him taken care of and well we think that you maybe the man for the job. Let’s say a little test to see if you are up to the job I’m offering you.”
“When would you be expecting an answer on this?”
“We hope to have the Perron problem looked after in the next couple of days.”
“I’ll be in touch,” Gage smiled ending the meeting.
Julie sat at the kitchen table with her brother in total disbelief of what he was saying. Sydney had gone into the bedroom to called Alex and now came back to join Julie and Gage.
“Julie you don’t think I’d make something like this up do you?” Gage was asking her.
“No Francis I don’t,” she sighed.
Gage reached across the table and took her hand, “I’m sorry Julie.”
“It’s not your fault,” she told him wiping a tear from her eye. Getting up she said good night and headed for bed.
Going up behind her husband Syd put her arms around his neck, reaching up he pulled her into his lap and held her tight.
“I hated hurting her like that,” Gage sighed.
“You didn’t and you have to remember that, it is Dominique who has kept this away from her.”
“It doesn’t make it any easier Syd,” he sighed hugging her close.
Gage pulled up at the same warehouse they had been holding Nicky at. Rick’s car was all ready there, he took a quick look around, he had told Rick to come alone and it looked like he had.
Dominique was late he thought to himself looking at his watch and then again to the entrance. Finally her car pulled in and the door opened, Gage waited until she got out accompanied by Lucas Kiro, who was acting as bodyguard, before he got out.
“Nice to have you aboard Ranger?” Lucas greeted him.
“We’ll see,” Gage replied leading his way to warehouse.
“It’s about time you got here Gage,” Rick called out as the door opened and Gage walked into the light, followed by Dominique and Lucas. “What’s this Gage? What’s going on?”
“I’ve come to see who is the higher bidder,” Gage told them as Lucas reached for his gun. Gage was faster. “Agent Kiro we are here to do some negotiating so how bout you kick that gun over to me, nice and easy now. Ricky you do the same.” Both men complied.
“Now Dominique what is the deal you are offering me?” Gage asked.
“You know what it is Gage.”
“But Ricky and I want to know why I have to shoot him don’t we Rick?”
Rick stood silent some how not believing Gage could or would betray him.
“All right Gage since you are Julie’s sister I will indulge you this once. The Perron holdings should be mine,” she stated. “It was all set up between our Fathers except that your Father Rick was a screw up, his people turned on him, he landed in jail as well as my Father. Then your Mother thought she could take over and she wanted nothing to do with us, even after we arranged to have your Father and Allen Matthews taken care of for her. Instead she went on a killing spree and killed my brother, John, when she killed your Uncle. She’s the one who should have been locked up not you Rick. That’s why she ended up dead.
So you see Rick it’s nothing personal it’s just my Father and I need a little retribution. Your life and taking over the Perron Enterprises should just about do that,” Dominique smiled as she spoke.
Turning to Gage she spoke again, “Fail to do this for me and my Father even from inside the jail cell will hunt you down like an animal. Or worse arrange so you end up together in the same penitentiary so he can kill you himself.”
“So that’s why I have to shoot you Ricky,” Gage smiled levelling his gun at Rick while Walker, Trivette and Sydney moved into position and took them into custody.
“I knew I had you pegged right once a Ranger always a Ranger,” Rick was saying to Gage.
“Remember your words Rick it’s just a matter of time until you screw up and I’ll be right there,” Gage smiled.
With testimony from both Nicky and Lucas Kiro not to mention Dominique’s confession to Gage and Ricky she was put away for a long time. Kiro also confessed to framing Sydney and Gage so they would become part of the Sayer Organization. Joseph Talos had wanted Gage killed but it had been Dominique who had changed his mind, because of her friendship with Julie Gage.
Joseph Talos never lasted through the next day he was found hanged in his cell and not one person knew how it happened.
Julie sat holding her nephew as he stood on her lap trying to push his tiny fingers in her mouth and she pretended to bite them. She smiled at Chris then at his Daddy.
“Francis I have some old, old pictures of Dad when he was a kid that I’m going to send to you. Your son looks just like his grandfather,” she proclaimed handing Chris to her brother, standing up ready to leave.
“Can’t you stay just a little longer Julie?” Gage asked taking the baby from her.
“Wish I could but tell you what I won’t stay away as long next time,” saying that she hugged Syd goodbye.
Sydney took Chris from Gage so he could wrap his arms around his sister. Gage hated saying good-bye to her but knew she needed to get back to work.
With a quick kiss to Chris she was gone.
“Now Mrs. Gage…”
“Mrs. Gage? Are you sure that you are the real Francis Gage?” Syd teased.
“As soon as our son goes for his nap I’ll prove to you that I’m the real Francis Gage,” he laughed pulling both her and Chris into his arms.