All characters are the property of CBS Entertainment and I refuse to accept any responsibility for them. This story was written solely for my entertainment and I claim all the usual legal disclaimers.

Dallas, Texas

December 25, 2009

It was Christmas morning and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. That saying wasn’t exactly true. At least not in the Cordell Walker and James Trivette households. Alex Cahill-Walker was already up and sticking the turkey in the oven despite the fact that it was six-fifty a.m. Erika Trivette was putting a turkey in the oven at her and Trivette’s house, this was their first Christmas as a married couple and she wanted to make it special. Alex was trying to make her Christmas special too, having just woken up from a coma a few months before. Rangers Rhett Harper and his wife, Kay Austin Harper, were celebrating their first Christmas together as well, having just gotten married a few months before. Kay was up trying to figure out how to cook a turkey and getting instructions from Alex over the phone.

At the Francis and Sydney Gage home it was quiet. Gage was still asleep, his snores filling the bedroom while Sydney sat in the bathroom on the edge of the bathtub, impatiently tapping her foot. She had looked at the calendar and done some calculations and had scared herself so badly she had gone down to Wal-Mart and gotten a home pregnancy test. Just then the test beeped and Sydney jumped, then she looked down at it and her face paled. Quickly she threw the test and box into the trash can and stood up, her gray nightshirt just barely brushing her knees.

She went into the bedroom where her husband slept on, oblivious to the drastic change their two-month marriage was about to undertake.

“Gage,” she said but he didn’t stir. “Gage,” she repeated louder but no response. She sighed. When her husband was asleep he was impossible to wake up. “Gage!” when he still didn’t move she said, “I hate to do this but desperate times call for desperate measures.” She pulled back the comforter at the same time an icy draft moved down the hall and Gage was hit with a blast of cold air.

“What is it?” he demanded waking up rather abruptly. “Syd, what’s wrong?”

“I want to give you your Christmas present,” she told him.

“At seven in the morning.”

“Yes, now sit up,” Gage sat up and pulled the blanket back up to his waist. Sydney sat in his lap and he looked at her.

“Are you my Christmas present?” he asked teasingly.

“No. Gage, you want to have kids don’t you?” she asked hesitatingly.

“Of course, I do. I want a bunch of kids but why are you asking me that?”

“I’m pregnant,” she said simply and watched his face. Shock was the first expression and finally happiness.


“Would I wake you up at seven in the morning on Christmas day for a false alarm?” she said indignantly. “I took a home pregnancy test and it was positive. We’re having a baby.”

“A baby,” Gage repeated and a faraway look filled his eyes. “Syd, I’m so happy.”

“I’m happy too,” she said but just then a wave of nausea swept over her and she jumped off the bed and rushed into the bathroom, Gage right behind her. Sydney threw up then moaned.

“It looks like you’re one of those people who get morning sickness,” Gage said with a sigh.

“Shut up and hand me a wet washcloth,” Sydney told him.

Alex looked up as a knock sounded on the front door. She opened it to find Gage standing there.

“Gage, shouldn’t you be with your wife?” Alex asked as she moved aside to let him enter.

“Syd’s not feeling too well and wants to borrow some Saltine crackers,” Gage replied.

Alex’s eyebrows rose but she gave Gage a box of crackers. “Tell Sydney I hope she feels better soon.”

“She should,” Gage assured her. “In about six months.”

Alex watched as Gage walked down the sidewalk to his car and got in. Sydney was having a six month sickness? It certainly looked like they were going to be throwing a baby shower soon.

“I’m glad you’re excited,” Sydney said as the two sat in their bed. She with her crackers and some Sprite, while Gage was devouring a piece of burnt toast.

“Why wouldn’t I be excited? I mean, I’m going to be a dad.”

“Well, I wasn’t sure if you wanted to wait a while or,”

“Syd, we’re forty-one. There’s not much time left if we want to have grandkids. Besides, if I wanted to wait I wouldn’t have asked you to marry me,” he said.

“Just as long as you know what you’re in for,” she said.

“I do. Believe me; I know what I’m in for. And right now I would like to be on your side of the bed,” Gage said with a suggestive smile.

Sydney sat her plate and drink on the bedside table and smiled at him. “You don’t have to ask. Now get over here so we can start discussing names.”

“Not Francis,” he warned.

“What’s wrong with your name?”

“You mean, besides the fact that it’s a name for a girl? I don’t really want to saddle this poor kid with being Francis the sixth. Five generations of Francis are enough.”

“How about middle name if it’s a boy?”

“I guess that’s fine with me but we have quite a few months left to wait. How about we do something more important?”

“Like what?” she asked.

“You know,” he replied, scooting closer to her.

“Merry Christmas, Gage.”

“Merry Christmas, Syd.”