By Katie 59
Alex Cahill questioned her friend "Susan Blaine why are you so interested in getting me to go to the rodeo with you? It's not like you haven't gone to one by yourself before. As a matter of fact you go nearly every time one's in town without asking anyone to go with you. You've never asked me to go before, so why are you asking me to go now? What's in it for you?” Susan replied, "I know that I always go by myself Alex but I think that you are in need of some fun for a change. I know that your mother's death was very hard on you but you're still young enough that you should enjoy life instead of acting like an old maid. You are missing out on so much by always burying yourself in those law books. Why don't you just have some fun once in a awhile, what can it hurt? Please come with me Alex. I'll even pay your way if you're worried about money."
"Okay Susan now do you want to tell me the real reason that you are all but begging me to attend the rodeo with you? You know it would be nice to know the name of the guy that you're trying to fix me up with. So just cut to the chase and tell me his name and why you don't want to go out with him yourself.” Alex told her friend who answered "Okay, okay I should have know better than to try and pull one over on you Alex. His name is Jethro Dwayne Robertson and he's the cousin of my date, Trebor McDane. Trebor happened to mention to me that his cousin never seemed to have any luck with his dates and asked me if I knew someone nice that Jethro could have dinner with after the rodeo was over, he'll be leaving town shortly after that. I then told Trebor all about you and he suggested that I ask you if you would be interested in an evening out. Now before you answer me Alex I all but grilled Trebor about the character of his cousin. By the time I was done I knew all there was to know about one Jethro Dwayne Robertson. He's really a nice guy; just had some bad luck in the dating department is all. So what do you say Alex?"
"I have no intention of sleeping with a man that I just met. Did you point that out to Trebor?” Alex pointedly questioned Susan who laughed “I know that you're still a virgin so I told Trebor to make it very clear to Jethro that you don't put out on the first date or any other date for that matter. Trebor assured me that his cousin just wanted to relax a little bit with a nice lady, that if he was just interested in sex he would hire a hooker.” Alex nodded okay.
After the rodeo was over with Alex and Susan met Trebor and Jethro at a nearby bar. The foursome ate a nice quiet dinner and after it was over with Susan put some money into a jukebox and urged Alex to dance with Jethro, a reluctant Alex agreed. As they were dancing Jethro tried to kiss Alex but she told him “Please don't do that."
“I'm sorry I didn't mean to upset you. Would you like to go back to the table?” Alex agreed and they went back to the table where Susan asked her to go to the ladies' room with her. Once they got back from the ladies' room Susan and Trebor made an excuse and left the bar leaving Alex sitting there with Jethro who offered to get Alex a drink from the bar but she said to him “I would really prefer a diet soda instead."
“Okay one diet soda coming right up.” Jethro responded and went to the bar where a group of riders from the rodeo were sitting there drinking beer after beer. He told them “I'm getting lucky tonight.” One of the riders teased “I don't know Jethro she doesn't look all that interested in what you have in mind."
“Yeah well why do you think I have my little helpers here? See you tomorrow fellows, if you want me to I'll tell you how hot she was in bed.” Jethro told the rodeo riders as he doctored Alex's diet soda. After Jethro walked away the other riders just shook their heads over Jethro's tactics in getting lucky. Another rider approached the group and questioned them “What's going on?"
“Jethro there plans to get lucky tonight, by hook or by crook. Next round is on me fellows.” The rider answered and the group began to down more beers including the one who had approached the group and asked what Jethro was up to. When that rodeo rider saw Jethro leading a drugged Alex out of the bar he followed them.
The next morning Alex awoke with a blinding headache and felt as though she had been assaulted but before she could follow through on that thought Alex got very sick to her stomach and went running to the bathroom where she became violently ill. When she was taking a shower Alex realized that she was no longer a virgin. She also realized that she had no idea what had happened at the bar after Susan had left her there with Jethro. Returning to the bedroom Alex started to pick the phone to report being assaulted but quickly realized that she didn't know for a fact exactly what had happened to her last night and more importantly she had no memory of who had done it so Alex hung up the phone and went back into the bathroom where she took another shower, this time scrubbing herself all over.
At law school when Susan brought up the date with Jethro Alex informed her “I don't want to think about it let alone talk about it. I intend to forget last night ever happened. I will never go on a blind date again, as a matter of fact I have no intention of ever dating again.”Susan shrugged her shoulders as she said “Okay, if you want to become an old maid that's your business not mine. But if you ask me.” When she saw the look on Alex's face Susan stopped talking. Alex and Susan's friendship came to an end shortly thereafter.
C.D. watched a beautiful blond woman enter his bar with a group of people from the D.A.'s office, after they were seated he went over to the table and introduced himself to the blonde “Hi there, I'm C.D. Parker and you must be the newest A.D.A., I hear that you'll be working some of the cases that the Texas Rangers bring to the Tarrant County D.A.'s office. So how do you like working with the Texas Rangers? Miss?” Alex replied, “My name is Alex Cahill and the Texas Rangers seem okay to work with."
One of the group at the table joked “I don't know about that Cahill, not with the way that you were muttering to yourself after Walker was your witness in your first case.” Alex answered in her own defense “I didn't say that I liked all of them, as a matter of fact the only one I have a problem with is that mule-headed Walker. He's insufferable. That man has the biggest ego that I've ever seen and he really needs to learn some manners at the very least. A haircut wouldn't hurt him either. How did someone that stubborn get to be a Texas Ranger anyhow?"
C.D. told her “Walker can be a little hard to get along with but he's the best Texas Ranger that there is. As for how mule-headed that he seems to be, that comes from a lot of things that you don't know about the man. But Cordell Walker is not egotistical, when he says that he did something he did. Cordell doesn't brag, he never has and I don't see him starting anytime soon. Listen Alex is it all if I call you Alex?” After she nodded that it was okay to call her Alex C.D. added, “When you get a minute how about you come over to the bar and I'll tell why I think that you should give Cordell a second chance. He really is a good man once you get to know him."
Alex got up from the table as she said “I'll just go over to the bar with you right now and while I'm ordering dinner you can fill me in on why you think Cordell Walker should be given a second chance with me. Although you'll have to do a pretty good sales job. There's just something about him that rubs me the wrong way.” As they were headed to the bar one of the men in the group told another one “See I told you that 'Ice Lady' would make an excuse to get away from us as soon as she could. What were you thinking Perth, inviting her to come with us? Cahill is frozen inside, everyone knows that about her.” Alex who had overheard the remarks kept walking to the bar leaving C.D. no choice but to follow her.
At the bar Alex ordered two servings of hamburgers and french fries causing C.D. to ask her “Are you planning on eating all of that by yourself?” Alex laughed “No I'm not C.D., someone is meeting me here."
“Who? Is it somebody that I know? Is he in law enforcement?” C.D. questioned Alex who replied “No I don't think that you know her."
“Her? A pretty lady like you should be meeting a nice young man instead of meeting a female friend for dinner. How about I introduce you to someone that I know?” C.D. questioned Alex who asked him “Would that someone be Cordell Walker? Never mind I'll just go and wait at that booth over there for Beth to arrive."
“Hold on there Alex, I shouldn't have said that to you. Please accept my apology and wait here for your food. Remember you promised that you would let me tell you why you should give Walker a second chance? ”C.D. all but begged Alex so she sat back down at the bar. A short time later Walker and Trivette entered the bar. Noticing Alex at the bar Trivette said to her “Hi there Miss Cahill."
“Please call me Alex, it's Miss Cahill when I'm working.” Alex responded so Trivette told her “Only if you call me James.” Alex held her hand out as she said to him “It's a deal James.” After they shook hands Trivette went to introduce Walker “This is my partner Walker."
“We've already met and in my opinion the D.A.'s office could use better A.D.A.'s than what they're employing nowadays.” Walker snapped at Alex who got up from the bar and said “Beth should be here any minute, I'll just go wait in that booth for her. Nice to have met you C.D. and you too James."
As Alex went over to the booth C.D. said “I was just trying to get Alex to give you a second chance, now you've blown that Cordell.” Walker growled “Nobody asked you to C.D. besides that A.D.A. is the most stubborn lady that I have ever met. If you ask me she needs to learn some manners and soon.” When C.D. started laughing Walker asked him “What's so funny?"
“Alex said pretty much the same thing about you Cordell and other than the manners part both of you are right about the each other.” C.D. answered Walker then seeing a young girl entering the bar by herself he questioned her “Can I help you young lady?” The girl answered, “I'm looking for my mother."
Alex spotted the girl and said to her “Beth honey over here.” The girl went to Alex who stood up and hugged her. C. D. then decided to personally take the food to the booth, once there he got nosey “Hi there little lady, my name is C.D. Parker and you are?” The girl looked at Alex who proudly said “C.D. I would like you to meet my daughter Rowan Elizabeth Cahill but you can call her Beth like I do. Beth honey this is Mr. Parker."
C.D. insisted, “You can call me C.D. sweetheart, all of my friends do. I have a feeling that you and your mother are going to become good friends of mine. You two enjoy your dinner now.” He left the booth and went to the bar where he informed the Rangers “She's Alex's daughter and her name is Rowan Elizabeth Cahill but I'm allowed to call her Beth.” Perth who was returning from the men's room and overheard what C.D. had told Walker and Trivette called out “Hey Cahill has a daughter, that means she wasn't always an 'Ice lady'. Hey Cahill who was man to enough to defrost you for at least one night? Did you go native? I mean where else did she get her looks from?"
Alex ignored the man but C.D. told him “That's enough Perth, one more word out of your mouth about Alex and you'll regret it.” Perth laughed, “Then make me stop old man.” Trivette said to him “You were just told to zip it Perth, do so now.” Walker added “You do not talk like that in front of a child, now be quiet before I shut your mouth for you.” Perth nodded okay and returned to his table.
A short time later C.D. questioned his former partner “Walker have you noticed that Alex's daughter doesn't look like her at all? That she looks more Native-American than anything. I wonder if Alex adopted her?"
Alex who had just come to the bar to settle the bill while her daughter was using the ladies' room answered him “Yes C.D. I gave birth to Beth and before any of you say anything I don't regret for one minute having given birth to her either, she is my life. If the way Beth looks bothers any or all of you then we will not be friends. Do I make myself clear gentlemen?” Both C.D. and Trivette nodded okay while Walker said, “I have no intention of ever being your friend because you are the most stubborn person that I have ever met."
Alex snapped, “Like I would be interested in a friendship with mule-headed egotistical Texas Ranger with no manners what-so-ever. See you C.D., James.” As Alex and Beth left the bar Trivette teased “I do believe that Alex won this round Walker."
Over the next several months Alex began to develop a grudging respect for Walker and his abilities as a lawman although she wasn't about to admit it to him. Walker himself began to understand that Alex was a top notch A.D.A. but he too wasn't about to admit to it. C.D. decided to try and set Alex and Walker up on a blind date and tried to get Trivette to help him make that happen but Trivette objected “No way am I going to try and set Alex up with Walker, they would both try to kill each other before the date was over with."
“Come on Jimmy, Alex needs someone decent in her life and you can't get much more decent than Walker. I've never seen her go out on a date for goodness sake, that's not natural. And before you object any further have you seen the way Walker looks at Alex and her daughter when they are in here eating dinner? I'm telling you that Walker is interested in Alex and he would make a good father figure for Beth. I mean he would be able to take her to the reservation and introduce her to her Native-American heritage.” C.D. urged Trivette who answered, “I know all that C.D. and I know that Alex checks Walker out when she thinks no one is watching her. However C.D. I think that there is something in Alex's past that we don't know about and that's why she doesn't date. Also what if Beth's father isn't a Cherokee? That might make a difference when it comes to exposing Beth to Walker's Cherokee heritage. Listen why don't we try and find out who Beth's father is before we set Walker and Alex up?"
“How are we going to do that? Do we just come right out and ask Alex who Beth's father is?” C.D. questioned Trivette unaware of the fact that Alex had just entered the bar and overheard the end of their conversation. Alex said to them “Gentlemen if you want to remain friends with me you will not ask me that question."
“Alex honey we were just trying to find out whether or not Beth was part Cherokee, that's all.” C.D. protested causing Alex to ask them “What difference does it make to the two of you if Beth's father is Cherokee? You both assured me that you had no problem with the way that Beth looks and now you're acting like it's a big deal."
Trivette tried “We don't have a problem with the way Beth looks and you know that Alex, we were just wondering about Beth's father... well because we can tell that he's Native-American and you've never said who he was. We didn't mean to upset you."
“Who's Native-American?” Ray Firewalker asked them so C.D. explained, “Alex's daughter Beth is, or at least we think that she is. You should see her Ray, pretty as can be and as smart as her mother is.” Then remembering his manners C.D. introduced them “Alex, honey this is Ray Firewalker, Ray this is Alex Cahill, the newest A.D.A."
Ray said “Nice to meet you Miss Cahill. Now what's this about your daughter being Native-American?” Alex sighed then answered, “Yes she is but I don't consider it anyone's business. Now if you gentlemen will excuse me I'll just go and sit at a booth. C.D. please bring the usual for Beth and me, she'll be here in a little while."
Ray waited until Alex's food was done then he took it out of C.D.'s hands and took it over to Alex then sat down at the booth. Alex looked at Ray who sat there not saying anything so she finally said “If you're waiting for me to tell you who Beth's father is I'm afraid that I can't tell you that."
“Why not? Are you ashamed of having an Indian child?” Ray bluntly questioned Alex who shook her head no then realizing that Ray wasn't leaving the booth until she told him something stuck with the truth. “Since you have no intention of leaving me alone until I answer you, the truth is that I have no idea who Beth's father is."
Ray asked her “How can't you know?” Getting upset Alex snapped “I don't know because one night a former friend of mine talked me into going on a blind date with a rodeo rider and well to make a long story short he drugged me. When I awoke the next morning I realized that a complete stranger had taken advantage of my having been drugged. When I found out that I was pregnant I decided to keep my baby."
“The man who drugged you, is he the father?” Ray kept up the questioning.
“No because after Beth was born I hunted him down and made him take a paternity test which proved that he wasn't the father. He then insisted that another rodeo rider had taken me from him, he said that he didn't know the name of this other rider just that he only rode the bulls from time to time to raise money for some sort of charity. Is that enough information for the three of you? Because it's all you're getting.” Alex finished up.
“I'm sorry that you were taken advantage of Alex. Not to change the subject, if you ever want Beth to know anything about being Native-American you can bring her to my reservation. I'll see to it that she's treated right, if you want to you can come up there with me some weekend to talk to White Eagle yourself before you bring Beth there for a visit. At least think about it will you?” Ray was telling Alex when Beth entered C.D.'s with Walker right behind her. Beth went to the booth and Alex introduced her daughter to Ray “Mister Firewalker, this is my daughter Rowan Elizabeth Cahill but I call her Beth. Beth this is Mister Firewalker."
“Hi there Mister Firewalker.” Beth answered then turned to her mother “Mom, I'm going to the ladies' room.” Beth left the booth and Ray called out to his nephew “Washo come over here and meet this lovely young lady.” Walker answered back “We've already met Uncle Ray.” Alex then asked, “Is Walker related to you?"
“He's my brother John's son, after his parents were murdered in front of Washo he came to the reservation to live with me. You know if you want me to I can have him talk to Beth about what it means to be part Native-American.” Ray offered.
“I'd like that but I'm not so sure that Walker would like that, I get the impression that he doesn't have a very high opinion of me.” Alex responded causing Ray to laugh, “Walker talks about you all the time Miss Cahill."
“Probably about how stubborn he thinks that I am.” Alex muttered back. Ray teased her “I'd be willing to bet that you're just as stubborn as my hard-headed nephew is."
“Not by a long shot Uncle Ray.” Alex laughed then said “Oh I'm sorry, I shouldn't have called you Uncle Ray but it just seems so right."
“I like pretty young ladies calling me Uncle Ray so please keep doing it Alex, now I'll go talk with my nephew about what we talked about and you can talk with your daughter about it.” Ray stated then left the booth. At the bar Walker objected to Ray's plan but he informed Walker that he didn't have a choice in the matter. Walker then asked, “Why can't Beth's father do it?"
“Because that low-life scum took advantage of Alex when she had been drugged. Now Washo you are going to do it and I want you to be nice to the child.” Ray answered his nephew who said, “Okay because Beth isn't at fault here and neither is Alex. Did Alex have the father arrested?"
“No she didn't because she doesn't know who he was. Alex said that while on a blind date she had been drugged, that after Beth was born she hunted down the man who had drugged her. This man took a paternity test and after it was revealed that he wasn't the father he said that another rodeo rider took Alex off of him that night. Washo I want you to be nice to Alex too, she needs to learn that all men aren't such jerks. Now go and invite them to the picnic we're having on Saturday.” Ray told Walker.
Walker went over to the booth and said “Hi there my name is Walker, I work with your mother sometimes and I was wondering if the two of you would like to come out to my ranch for a picnic on Saturday? Trivette, C.D. and my Uncle Ray will be there. What do you say?” Beth excitedly asked, “Can we Mom?” Alex answered “Yes we can but only if you let us bring the dessert."
“Make it brownies and you've got yourself a deal.” Walker replied. Alex held out her hand as she said "It's deal cowboy. Beth is the world's best brownie maker.” Walker shook Alex's hand.
Alex and Beth arrived at the ranch for the picnic with two trays of brownies in hand. Walker reached for them but Beth said to him “Mister Walker you can't have your brownies until after you eat your meal. Isn't that right Mommy?” Alex laughed as she moved the brownies away from Walker “That's right sweetheart, no dessert until after you've eaten your dinner."
Walker then asked “How about I taste just one? You know to make sure that they were made right?” Alex handed them over to Uncle Ray as she said, “Nice try cowboy but if anyone is taking a taste test it will be Uncle Ray."
“Mommy can I call him Uncle Ray too? I've always wanted an uncle.” Beth questioned her mother who replied “If it's okay with Uncle Ray, it's okay with me.” Ray took Beth's arm as he said “I would be honored to have a niece like you Beth, now how about we go and take these brownies into the house before Washo forgets his manners and eats them all?” They took the brownies into the house where Beth asked, “Why do you call Mister Walker Washo?"
“Because that is his tribal name.” Ray answered as he laid the brownies on the counter and went to leave the kitchen but Beth questioned him further “Uncle Ray when I go to the reservation with you will I get a tribal name too?"
“One thing at a time child, now how about we go back outside and enjoy the picnic?” Ray asked Beth as he led her back outside.
Later after they had eaten their dinner Walker said, “Now where are those brownies at? I'm starving.” Alex got up from the picnic table and headed to the house saying “I'll go get the brownies, that way I can make sure that some of them actually get out here to the others.” Walker got up from the table too and followed Alex into the kitchen. Once there he asked her “Alex, Uncle Ray told me what happened to you. Do you want me to see if I can locate the man who took advantage of you like that?"
“Why would you want to do that for me? I thought that you didn't like me at all.” Alex questioned Walker who answered “Listen I'll admit that we got off to a rocky start but I'd like us to put that behind us. If that's okay with you? Besides there might come a day when Beth asks you about her father and you're going to have to tell her something about him. Now when were you drugged? Can you remember anything at all about that night?"
“It was in Houston just short of eight years ago. For some reasons more memories are returning from that night and I now can remember after I was drugged Jethro leading me outside and another bull-rider taking me off of him and telling him to get lost. I never saw the man's face. Then the next thing that I can remember is being placed in my own bed. And after that I remember a man sitting on my bed with his back to me, it was clear that he had no clothes on. I must have passed out then because when I awoke the next morning I was alone in my bed. When I took a shower I realized that I had been molested by someone.” Alex finished her explanation.
“How did you realize that you had been molested? I mean uhm... Well what do I mean?” Walker stumbled through his questions so Alex said “Because I had been a virgin until that night. That bastard took something from me that I had been saving to share with a man that I loved on my wedding night. Once I realized that I was pregnant I decided that I was going to keep my baby because it wasn't the baby's fault. When Beth was born all I saw was my baby girl, nothing else."
“I'm sorry Alex, no woman should ever be taken advantage in that way. Can you tell me exactly when that night occurred? I did some bull riding for charity in Houston eight or nine years ago. I might know who did this to you.” Walker offered again to help Alex who said “Okay, it happened three weeks from now eight years ago and if it helps the man might have a birthmark on his back. Beth has a Hairy Nebus and the doctor told me that they run in families and as far as I know neither my mother nor father had one so it had to have come from that man. I think he might also have a scar on his back but I'm not sure because parts of that night are still so hazy. Enough about that, how about we take these brownies outside?"
Walker answered “You go ahead, I have to talk to Uncle Ray about something. Can you tell him to meet me in the garage?” Alex agreed and left the ranch house. Uncle Ray entered the garage and seeing a very pale Walker there asked, “Washo, what's the matter?"
Walker answered, “I may be the bastard who took advantage of Alex eight years ago and fathered Beth.” Stunned Ray protested “That can't be, eight years ago you were out of your mind with grief over Ellen. Remember you were riding bulls all the time to try and forget the pain and perhaps trying to kill yourself without realizing it?"
“I was in Houston the same time that Alex was molested by a bull-rider, I was there to ride in a charity event. Alex said that she thought that the man who took advantage of her had a scar on his back but that she wasn't sure because parts of that night were still hazy to her and let's face I have scars on my back. Uncle Ray I remember one night going to the bar and getting hammered. I vaguely remember something about being with a woman but I was so drunk that I can't remember her face. Uncle Ray I don't want you to tell Alex about this until I know for sure and even then maybe I shouldn't let her know.” Walker said to his uncle who asked him “How do you plan to find out for sure? I mean you can't take Beth for a blood test without Alex knowing that something is going on. Washo maybe you were with a hooker that night."
“No I would not have betrayed Ellen by being with a hooker. I was so drunk that for a few minutes I thought that I was with Ellen again. As for Beth I may not have to take her for a blood test, Alex told me that Beth has a Hairy Nebus and that it doesn't run in her family so if it doesn't run in yours I'm not the father.” Walker explained.
“No a Hairy Nebus doesn't run in the Firewalkers Washo but your father once told me that your mother had one on her left shoulder-blade. Washo you really need to find out if you fathered Beth and if you are the child's father you have to tell Alex. She deserves to know that much. Don't you want to be Beth's father?” Uncle Ray finished up with a question for his nephew “If Beth is my daughter of course I would want to claim her but Alex will never forgive me. I don't want her and Beth walking out of my life and that's what would happen should Alex find out that I molested her. My having been drunk at the time is no excuse. Please for now Uncle Ray don't say anything about this."
“Washo I think that it's more than friendship that you're interested in with Alex so I will go along with whatever you decide to do should you find out that you did indeed father Beth.” Ray told Walker.
Walker and Alex's professional relationship began to bring them closer together even outside of work. Alex now had a standing invitation to go out to Walker's ranch and ride a filly that he had gotten for her after she had won a big case in court. Beth made several trips to the reservation with Uncle Ray but only after Walker had taken Alex there first to speak with White Eagle about what kind of reception her daughter would get at the reservation. One evening at C.D.'s Beth said to her mother “Mommy, can we stay over Walker's place tonight?"
“Beth honey you can't just invite yourself over someone's house to spend the night.” Alex objected to her daughter who replied “But Mommy, Walker said that we were going to be leaving bright and early in the morning to go to the reservation to see Uncle Ray and that it would be easier if we stayed at his ranch tonight."
“Did you say that to Beth?” Alex questioned Walker who answered “Yes I did, now before you object again Alex I have several extra bedrooms, there's even one on the first floor with it's own bathroom."
Alex looked at her daughter who was pleading with her eyes to be allowed to stay at Walker's ranch so she answered, “It looks like you're going to have some houseguests Walker. However I insist on cooking dinner to repay for you for what you've done for Beth. You and Uncle Ray have shown her so much of her heritage and I'm grateful for that. I want her to know everything that there is to know about her ancestors on both sides."
“Uncle Ray insisted upon it, he considers Beth to be his granddaughter.” Walker replied causing Beth to ask him “Does that make you my father? I want really a father like you.” Walker choked on his coffee. Alex said in an effort to change the subject matter “Beth honey, how about we go pack some things and meet Walker at his ranch? Is seven okay Walker?” After Walker nodded that it was okay they left C.D.'s
C.D. came over to Walker and asked him “So how is it going between you and Alex? Ever consider asking her out on a date?” Walker snapped “Stay out of it C.D."
“Walker Beth could use a father and in my opinion you'd be a good father for the child: just think how happy it would make Ray to have a grandchild.” C.D. said.
“Ray has a grandchild and her name is Beth.” Walker answered his former partner who questioned him “What do you mean Ray has a grandchild named Beth? Does Ray have a son that I don't know about? Because the only other way Beth could be his granddaughter were if you were the man who took advantage of Alex which resulted in Beth's being born. I know you Cordell and you would never have done something like that."
“But I may have done exactly that C.D., Beth is most likely my daughter.” Walker responded then got up and left leaving a stunned C.D. just sitting there.
Later on that night after Beth and Alex were sleeping a shirtless Walker sat in front of his fireplace thinking over how to tell Alex that he might have fathered Beth. Hearing what sounded like a moan coming from the room that Alex was sleeping in Walker entered it to find Alex reliving the night in question. Alex was begging, “Please don't, it hurts so bad. Please no more."
Not sure how to help Alex, Walker sat down on the bed with his back to her. Alex awoke to find the man who had just been having his way with her in her dream was now sitting on the edge of her bed. When Alex stifled a scream Walker turned around to see her looking at him with terrified eyes. Walker told her “It's okay Alex, it was just a nightmare."
“One that I'm still having. How long have you known that Beth was yours? Is that why you and Uncle Ray have gone out of your way to see that she knew her Cherokee heritage? What kind of low-lifes are the two of you, anyhow?"
“Uncle Ray wanted to tell you but I wouldn't let him because I knew that once you knew you would never allow us around Beth ever again.” Walker answered without attempting to defend himself. Alex snapped “You are the lowest of the low, taking advantage of a drugged woman then once you figured out that a child came from that night you use your uncle to keep the child in your life. The sight of you makes me sick. I'm going to wake Beth up and we're leaving here tonight and never returning."
“Alex I know that you have every right to take Beth and leave here tonight but she wants to go and see Ray at the reservation tomorrow. Please just let me take her to the reservation one last time. Don't punish Uncle Ray for what I did.” Walker pleaded with Alex who still looked like she had been sucker punched in the gut.
“Nothing like using your Uncle Ray, is there Mister Walker? However even though you make me sick I won't punish Beth because of you, so yes she can go to the reservation one last time with you. But let me make this very clear to you, I won't be going with you and in the event that you decide not to bring my daughter home on time I will hunt you down and kill you. I will see my daughter off tomorrow morning then I will see what my legal options are when it comes to keeping Beth away from you.” Alex informed Walker who said to her “Alex I think that I fathered Beth that night but I'm not a hundred percent sure because I was drunk so maybe we should have a blood test taken to know for sure that I'm Beth's father before you ban me from her life."
Getting up from the bed and wrapping a robe around herself Alex responded “I know from that scar on your back that you are the man who took something precious from me and I won't accept your having been drunk as a excuse. So after you pass the blood test I will have custody papers drawn up giving me sole custody of Beth and I expect you to sign them. I won't ask for child support because I don't want you being a part of my daughter's life at all. Got that Cordell Walker?” Walker left the room without a word. At the reservation Ray revealed to Walker that he had terminal cancer and that he was going to cross the river soon.
After she returned from the reservation Beth asked Alex what crossing the river meant and Alex told her that Uncle Ray was going to be leaving them. Beth became very upset about it. After the blood test proved that Walker was indeed Beth's father Alex asked him to meet her at her apartment while Trivette had Beth at a fair. After being seated Alex quickly got to the point “I know that Uncle Ray is dying and that's going to devastate both you and Beth, so I'm going to allow the both of you to remain a part of the other's life. I've decided that Beth needs a father in her life and since you're her father it should be you. I also think that she should be told that you are in fact her father. Now do you have any objections to us sitting down together with Beth next weekend and telling her that fact? We'll just skip the details of how you came to be Beth's father."
“About next weekend Alex, Uncle Ray wants me to bring Beth to the reservation, can I take her? It would really mean a lot to him.” Walker pleaded with Alex who answered “Only because he wants her there. Now another thing, I'm going to start dating in the hopes that I can meet a decent man that I can trust and since you're taking Beth to the reservation next weekend I've just decided that I'm going to the opera with the A.D.A. Brighton then.” Alex informed Walker who objected, “Alex, Brighton thinks that he's god's gift to women. You can do better than that."
“I thought that I was doing better than that with you but look what you turned out to be. The sight of you still makes my skin crawl. Walker the only thing that connects us is Beth, that's all it's ever going to be so butt out of my personal life.” Alex stated in no uncertain terms.
So that's what happened Walker took Beth to the reservation and Alex went to the opera with Brighton, after the opera was over with they went to C.D.'s where Brighton hit on Alex who turned him down. At the reservation Uncle Ray told Walker “Washo I want you to always be there for Alex, she and you were meant to be. Give me your word that you will stand by her side no matter what happens.” Walker vowed “You have my word that I will always be there for Alex, no matter how many times she tells me to get lost."
“I can die in peace now that you have found your daughter and her mother who is your other half. Good bye Washo.” Ray uttered then passed away.
At C.D.'s Brighton grabbed Alex's arm as he said to her “Hey I went to the opera with you so that means that you have to come back to my place with me and don't bother acting like you're some sort of virgin because everyone knows that you're not. After all you have a little half-breed, don't you?” Really mad Alex snapped “Release my arm now and walk away while you still can Mr. Brighton.” Brighton didn't release Alex's arm so she leveled him with a right hook to the jaw. Alex went to the bar to get her purse but Brighton got up from the floor grabbed a knife from a table and stabbed Alex in the back with it before a horrified C.D. could stop him. Trivette slapped a set of cuffs on Brighton then grabbed a towel and placed it on Alex's wound while yelling for someone to call 911.
Walker returned from the reservation with Beth and went into his house where Trivette was with C.D. who suggested “Beth, honey how about you come to the barn with grandpa C.D.?” After they left Trivette said “Alex was stabbed in the back by Brighton, she's in the hospital in critical condition. They need to notify her next of kin and someone is going to have to take Beth in. Has Alex ever told you where her father is?"
“After I see Alex in the hospital I'll go to Alex's place and pack some of Beth's things so that she can stay here while her mother is in the hospital. While I'm there I'll call Alex's father Gordon Cahill and tell him about his daughter. C.D. can watch Beth here until I get back, also tell C.D. that I will explain to Beth about her mother when I get back.” Walker replied as they headed to the door. Trivette questioned “What about Beth's real father? Don't you think that he should know that his daughter's mother is in the hospital and may not survive?"
“Trivette I am the man who fathered Beth but she doesn't know that, Alex and I were planning on telling her when we got back from the reservation. Now if you have no more questions I'd like to go see Alex.” Without waiting for a response Walker left the house.
At the hospital Walker was directed to Alex's doctor, Dr. Williams who told him “Ranger Walker I need Miss Cahill's next of kin to sign some forms allowing me to continue her treatment. Would you happen to know who that person is? Ranger Trivette and former Ranger Parker said that they had no idea other than Miss Cahill's minor daughter who her next of kin was. I really need to get started on some follow up treatment for Miss Cahill and I can't order that without authorization from her next of kin. We can't afford to delay any further treatment for Miss Cahill, as it is she's in a coma and may be that way for a while. So can you get her next of kin in here to sign the forms?"
“Dr. Williams, I am the father of Alex's daughter Beth and I'll sign any forms that you need me to.” Walker assured Dr. Williams who said, “Are you her husband? If not you have to be her fiancée in order to sign the forms. It's the law, only spouses, blood relatives or fiancées are allowed to sign the forms, no one else can."
“I'm her fiancée.” Walker lied to the doctor so that he could get started on the additional treatment that Alex needed. After Walker signed the forms he was led into the room that Alex was in. Walker went to the bed and said to Alex as though she was able to hear him “Alex I'm going to call your father and tell him about you then I'm going to your place and pack Beth some things and take her to my ranch with me until you come to. As soon as you're better we'll have that talk that you wanted us to have with her."
At Alex's apartment Walker went into Alex's bedroom and went through her papers in the hopes of finding her father's number, which he did. Walker called the number and a woman answered the phone so Walker asked, “Ma'am, can I talk to Gordon Cahill?” Slurring her words the woman said “He's busy bother him another time."
Walker tried again “I need to talk with him about his daughter Alex Cahill, it's very important that I talk to him.” The woman handed over the phone to Gordon who sounded even more drunk than the woman was “This is Gordon Cahill, what's the matter with my little pumpkin? Has she decided that she has a dad after all?"
Walker replied “Listen Mr. Cahill I think that you should know that Alex is in the hospital in critical condition. Beth will be staying at my ranch with me until Alex recovers."
“Beth? Who's this Beth person and what does she have to do with my little pumpkin being in the hospital?” Gordon questioned Walker who realized that Alex hadn't told her father that he was a grandfather. “Beth is my and Alex's daughter. If you want me to I can arrange for someone to come and pick you up this evening so that you can see your daughter in the hospital."
“Don't bother, I'm sure that she'll be just fine and besides it's not like Alex wants me in her life. My little pumpkin is all grown up now and doesn't need her father anymore and he doesn't need a daughter either.” Gordon answered then hung up the phone. Walker tried calling the number again but it went to voice mail so Walker left a message saying what hospital Alex was in. After that was done Walker packed up some of Beth's clothes, which he set on the table by the door. After making sure that nothing had been left on Walker was getting ready to leave Alex's apartment when he spotted a legal envelope which had Beth written on the outside of it so he opened it up and it was a living will which listed him as the person that she wanted Beth to live with should anything happen to her, Alex. It also went on to say that Rangers Trivette and Walker were to be in charge of her legal affairs in the event that she was unable to take of herself and her daughter. Walker took the document with him.
At the ranch C.D. told him “Beth's sleeping in one of the upstairs bedrooms. How is Alex doing? Did you get a hold of her father?” Walker answered “Dr. Williams had me sign some paperwork so that he could order additional treatment for Alex. As for her father I was able to get a hold of him but I doubt that he'll remember the conversation so I left him a message. How was Beth for you? You didn't tell her about Alex, did you?"
“No we didn't Walker but how were you able to sign the forms? When C.D. and I offered to they said that we had to be relatives or that one of us had to be Alex's fiancée. And what's this about you being Beth's father? Ray told me what happened to Alex that night. Are you saying that you were the one who took advantage of Alex like that? How could you have done that to any woman let alone Alex?” Trivette questioned Walker.
“Trivette all you need to know is that I am Beth's father and that Alex has a living will which states that Beth is to stay with me until she gets better. The living will also has you and I in charge of Alex's legal affairs should she not be able to take care of herself or her daughter.” Walker replied.
C.D. said, “There's more to it than you know Jimmy, Cordell is not that kind of man who would take advantage of anyone, he was...”Walker broke in “Not another word C.D., I was wrong that night and my having been drunk is not an acceptable excuse in my book. What I did to Alex was the worse thing that a man could do to a woman. But Alex wants Beth to know me and while I know that Alex will never forgive me for what I did to her I will always be there for Alex and our daughter Beth."
“Walker, do you want me to cover for you at work tomorrow? I assume that you're going to be spending the day with Beth.” Trivette offered and Walker accepted the offer “I'll be spending the day with Beth explaining things to her about her mother."
The next morning when Beth woke up she called out for her mother so Walker went into the room she was in and said to her “Beth honey I have to tell you something.” Beth questioned, “Do you know who my daddy is? Mommy said that we were going to talk with you about my daddy. So who is he?"
“Yes Beth your mother and I were planning on telling you who your daddy is but since she's not here right now I'll tell you. I'm your father.” Walker answered his daughter who jumped up from the bed and hugged him “I wanted you for my Daddy and now you're going to marry my Mommy and become my Daddy."
“Beth honey, your mother and I are not going to be getting married. But I am your father and you're going to be staying here with me until your mother comes home from the hospital.” Walker told Beth who started crying “Mommy's hurt? Is she going to die? I don't want my Mommy to die.” Walker wiped her tears away as he vowed, “Beth your mother is not going to die, you have my word. Now later on today I'll take you to see your mother, Okay?” Beth nodded okay.
That afternoon Walker took Beth to see Alex who was still in a coma so Beth told her “Mommy, I'm glad that you got me a Daddy like my Daddy. I'm going to be living at his ranch until you get all better and come home to us.” Walker and Beth were leaving Alex's room when a man came hurrying in and demanded, “Who are you and what's that child doing in my daughter's room?"
Walker answered, “My name is Cordell Walker, my daughter Beth and I were just visiting her mother Alex.” Gordon huffed “Now that I'm here I'll be seeing to all of my daughter's things and that includes taking care of my granddaughter. Beth is it?"
“My daughter, Rowan Elizabeth Cahill will be staying at my ranch with me Mr. Cahill, you're welcome to stay there too. Alex has a living will that states Beth is to be with me and that Trivette and I are in charge of Alex's legal affairs. We'll be waiting out here until after you've visited with Alex then you can come to my ranch so that we can discuss Alex's and Beth's future.” Walker informed Gordon then left the room. When Gordon came out of the room he said, “I plan to fight that living will you claim that my daughter left. My granddaughter will be staying with me until my daughter wakes up and tells me otherwise. So just turn her over to me right now to avoid the court fight."
Walker answered “My daughter will be staying with me according to her mother's wishes. I will do whatever I have to to keep my daughter with me until her mother recovers Mr. Cahill. Let's go Beth.” Walker and Beth then left the hospital.
It was now a month later and Gordon had had his suit to fight Alex's living will rejected by a judge. Alex was still in a coma due to complications that had set in so Walker questioned Dr. Williams “Dr. Williams when is Alex going to wake up from her coma? I know that there were complications but shouldn't she have woken up by now?” Dr. Williams instead of answering those questions led Walker to a waiting room where he indicated that Walker should take a seat, which he did. Dr. Williams then said “I have been wanting to talk to you about Miss Cahill's long term care. Now we are going to have to transfer her to a nursing home for the time being. Right now Miss Cahill's tests show that she does have brain function but given the fact that she hasn't come out of the coma I don't have much hope for a full recovery. Now since you and Ranger Trivette are in charge of Miss Cahill's legal affairs the both of you are going to have to agree on which nursing home to send her to and let me warn you ahead of time, they aren't cheap. There's also the fact that her medical coverage from her job is running out since she hasn't been able to work. We'll need the paperwork on where to send Miss Cahill by the end of next week, any questions?"
“Ranger Trivette and I will talk with her father Gordon Cahill then we'll make a decision on where Alex will be going.” Walker told Dr. Williams then went to the room that Alex was in. Opening the door he saw Gordon Cahill there visiting his daughter Alex so Walker asked him “Gordon, can I talk to you in the hallway?” Gordon followed Walker into the hallway where Gordon questioned “What do you want Walker? Are you ready to admit that Beth should be with me until Alex recovers?"
“I was just talking with Dr. Williams and he said that we needed to decide what nursing home to put Alex in, I don't know about you Gordon but I don't want Alex ending up in a place where they warehouse people for the money. Trivette said that Alex was living paycheck to paycheck so if it's okay with you I'd like to take all of Alex's and Beth's things to the ranch and stop paying rent on that apartment.” Walker explained to Gordon.
“Why are you asking me if that's okay? You have the power of attorney along with your fellow Ranger Trivette so nothing that I say matters to anyone; including that judge who dismissed my suit.” Gordon objected so Walker replied “Yes we have power of attorney but you are Alex's father and Beth's grandfather, I thought that you might like to go through her things with me so that I'll know what's valuable and what's not. If you don't want to do that just tell me."
“How about seven tonight?” Gordon asked Walker who agreed. As they were going through Alex's things Gordon found Alex's diary and slipped it into his briefcase. Several days later at Ranger headquarters Walker was served with papers for a custody suit filed against him by Gordon Cahill. A stunned Trivette who had read the papers after Walker threw them down in disgust questioned his partner “Walker how did Gordon Cahill find out about the night Beth was conceived? Did you tell him?"
“What are you talking about Trivette?” Walker asked back. Handing the papers to Walker Trivette answered “It's all right here Walker, Gordon is basing the custody suit on the fact that Beth was conceived when you took advantage of Alex after she had been drugged in a bar. The suit goes on to say that Alex loathes you and doesn't want you anywhere near her daughter. It mentions several instances of Alex writing exactly why she wanted you kept away from Beth. The suit also says that you have never taken legal responsibility for Beth either and says the fact that you never paid a penny of child support is proof of that. Walker, there's an emergency hearing tomorrow. What are you going to do about this?"
“I'm not going to lose my daughter.” Walker vowed and then left Ranger headquarters. Trivette went to see C.D. later on that day and explained everything to him, needless to say C.D. was pretty upset by Gordon’s tactics and told Trivette “I'm going to go to the hospital tomorrow and tell Alex what her father is trying to do."
“What good will that do C.D.?” Trivette asked C.D. who replied, “Maybe it will give Alex the motivation to wake up, because if that doesn't wake her up nothing will. ”Trivette just looked at C.D. like he had lost his mind.
At the emergency hearing Gordon Cahill held up what looked to be a diary and said “If it please the court I would like to admit as evidence excerpts of Miss Cahill's diary from when she first came to town and discovered that Cordell Walker had taken advantage of her after she had been drugged and fathered her daughter. They will show that Miss Cahill finds Cordell Walker to be so vile that she wanted him kept away from the minor child in question.” Taking the diary Judge Plano asked Walker “Do you have any objections to this diary being admitted as evidence?"
Walker who was acting as his own attorney replied “Your honor I think that Alex's dairy shouldn't be admitted as evidence but if you're going to admit parts of it I feel that all of it should be admitted. Not just the parts that suit the plaintiff.” Gordon objected, “Your honor, only the parts that pertain to Miss Cahill's feelings about what Cordell Walker did to her should be admitted. The rest is just private things that were written down and no one needs to know about them."
“I'll rule on that matter later, Mr. Cahill you may present your case as to why you think that the minor child in question should be removed from the custody of her father and given to you.” Judge Plano told Gordon who proceeded to present a case that may it seem like Walker was an unfit parent among other things and that he Gordon could provide a much better home for Beth.
When Gordon rested his case Judge Plano said “Mr. Walker you may now present your case as to why you should keep custody of your daughter.” Walker answered, “I should keep custody of my daughter because that it was what her mother wanted. Alex will never forgive me for that night and rightfully so but she did want me to be a part of Beth's life. The weekend that Alex was stabbed she and I were going to sit down with Beth and explain that I was Beth's father. I love my daughter and I think that she should remain with me until her mother wakes up and is able to resume taking care of Beth."
“Mr. Walker I have very serious concerns about whether or not you are able to properly take care of the minor child in question due to your dangerous job and the lack of a full-time child care provider for your daughter. What I'm saying Mr. Walker that if you are unable to provide this court with such a provider this court will have little choice but to grant Mr. Cahill's custody petition. You have a week to make that happen at which time there will be another hearing, until then Beth will remain in your custody.” Judge Plano ruled.
When C.D. heard that he decided that he was going to have a talk with Alex each day until she woke up. At the next custody hearing Judge Plano asked “Mr. Walker have you hired a proper child care provider?” Walker answered, “I'm trying to sell part of my land so that I can pay a nanny your honor. I should have it sold by next week and a nanny in place right after that."
“Not good enough Mr. Walker. Custody of the minor child Rowan Elizabeth Cahill will be...”Plano was saying when C.D. barged into the courtroom and said “Sorry to barge in like this your honor but I thought that you should know Alex Cahill has woken up and is asking for her daughter."
“This had better not be some sort of stunt to delay granting custody of the child to a fit guardian. ”Judge Plano snapped at C.D. who answered, “Your honor why don't you go see Alex yourself before you decide who to give her daughter to?"
“All parties in this case are to meet me at Methodist hospital at six this evening. I will see Alex Cahill then make my ruling on custody, court dismissed.” Judge Plano said to the courtroom.
It was now six in the evening and Judge Plano entered the waiting room Walker, C.D., Trivette, Beth and Gordon were in. After Trivette took Beth into the hallway the judge got straight to the point “I talked with Miss Cahill in length about the custody of her daughter Beth and she made quite clear that while she still had a problem with Cordell Walker's actions the night her daughter was conceived she also said that she trusted him with her daughter's well-being. That she felt it was in Beth's best interest to remain with Cordell Walker until she was recovered enough to take care of her daughter again. So Mr. Cahill custody of Rowan Elizabeth Cahill will remain with Cordell Walker until such a time as Miss Cahill is able to resume taking care of her daughter. Mr. Walker, Miss Cahill asked that you go see you right after we talked." C.D. said, “You go ahead Walker, we'll watch Beth.” Walker went into Alex's room where he found her crying so he asked, “Alex, what's the matter?"
“I'm so weak that I can't even take care of my own daughter. Dr. Williams said that I need rehab to get my strength back so I guess that means I have to go to a nursing home until I get better. Walker I can't be away from Beth that long, what am I going to do?” Alex said as she burst into tears again. Walker told her “Listen Alex we'll move you into the ranch and I'll hire a nurse to help you with the rehab."
“You can't afford that, can you?” Alex asked while trying not to hope for a better outcome than a nursing home.” Alex I was going to sell part of my land to pay for a nanny so that I could keep custody of Beth until you got better. I'll just use that money to pay for a nurse for you."
“I can't ask you to do that Walker.” Alex objected to Walker's plans but he rebutted her “You didn't ask me to do anything Alex, I'm doing this for Beth's sake. She needs you in her life. Please for our daughter's sake come stay at the ranch until you're better."
“Thank you. I'll stay at your ranch until I regain my strength then Beth and I will be moving to our own place again. Can you have my father step in? The three of us need to talk things out.” Alex requested. Once Gordon was in the room Alex stated “Dad I'm going to be moving in at Walker's to be with Beth until I'm recovered. I just want you to know that in spite of you suing Walker for custody of Beth that you are welcomed at the ranch at any time, isn't that so Walker?” Walker nodded yes while Gordon questioned his daughter “Alex what about your rehab? How are you going to do that while living at Walker's ranch?"
“Walker has offered to sell some of his land to pay the nurse but I don't feel right about that Dad so would it be possible for you to lend me the money for the nurse? I'll pay you back just as soon as I return to work.” Alex said to her father who responded, “Alex I will pay for the nurse, I just want you to worry about getting better, okay?"
“Okay Dad. Walker, could you wait outside for a minute?” Alex asked of Walker who left the room. Alex then said “Dad I know that you had a drinking problem and I want you to be a part of Beth's life but I can't have you drunk around her. I know I may have upset you but that's how it has to be."
“You get right to the point, don't you Alex? Yes I did and still do have a drinking problem so that's why I'm going to a rehab center to try and dry out for once and for all. After I make the arrangements for your nurse I'll go there.” Gordon answered his daughter who nodded okay.
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