"A New Year,

But the Same Past"

By: Crystal Ward (wtrswoopes@netscape.net) 

Entering into the Ranger’s office, Alex noticed it was empty except for one person. "Hey Walker, are you ready to go yet?" Alex asked as she walked toward his desk and took her regular place on the corner. Glancing at the papers he was filling out she saw it was for the drug bust, Trivette and him had made earlier that evening.

"Yeah, I'm just about done," he said as he signed the last line of the document confirming his part in the bust, "Done, let's go!" He put the papers in the out-going folder to be picked up later that night. The Ranger office was empty except for them so Walker quickly moved from the folder to lifting Alex off her corner into his arms. Alex was taken by surprise so she automatically threw her arms around his neck. He gave her a gentle passionate kiss on the lips as he placed her standing on the floor.

"I see you are trying to start the night out right," Alex stated.

"Well, how am I doing so far?" he asked as he led Alex out of the office and down the hall.

"I'll tell you when the night ends. I don't want you to quit while you are ahead," Alex informed him as she placed her arms around Walker's waist.

"I don't think you have to worry about that," he said smiling at her. Walker escorted her to her car. It was later than he planned, but it was Saturday so it didn't matter. "I'll follow you to your apartment and then we'll go to Ernesto's together." Alex didn't know where they were going that evening because Walker wanted to plan everything. When he replied "Ernesto's" she got a look of concern on her face. "Don't worry, I'll wait while you change. Just don't be too long."

"What are you going to wear?" she asked as she looked down at his dirty clothing.

"Don't worry, I have a suit in the truck. I came prepared. I didn't want anything to mess up this evening," he stated with a smile on his face.

"Well, I didn't know having dinner with me was so important," she said returning a smile back.

"You have no clue," he said followed by another kiss. At this rate they weren't making any progress towards the dinner reservations at Ernesto's and as much as Walker enjoyed the kiss and embrace he had to get Alex going on her way. He carefully opened the door and pushed Alex in, as she sat down the kiss ended. She looked up at him wondering why he had stopped the kiss. "Don't forget about dinner! I have made plans and I don't want you to stop them from happening."

"What are you up to, Cowboy?" she asked.

“Well, if you ever make it to your apartment you might find out!" and with that Walker headed toward his truck.

Alex had noticed Walker acting strangely today and she thought it had to do with the day. New Year's Eve! This had always been a special night for the two of them and she was sure this year would be the same. No matter what Walker had planned for the evening she was looking forward to it. This new change in Walker was something she could really get use to. 

After the short drive, the couple reached Alex's apartment. Alex was trying to gather up all her items as her car door opened. Walker offered his hand to help Alex out of vehicle. "Why thank you!"

"You are welcome, my lady," he said in his Prince Charming voice. Walker had his suit in one hand so he gentle placed his free hand around her waist and led the way to the apartment. Alex unlocked the door and led the way inside and placed her briefcase and other items on a near-by table.

"I'll change in my room. You can have the bathroom to change in," and with that Alex started for her room.

Walker followed her until he reached the bathroom and then went his separate way. As he stepped into the room Walker could smell peaches. He remembered the last time he had seen peach roses. They were in Alex's hair the day of Kim's wedding; man Alex was beautiful standing at the alter with the sun shining down on her blonde hair. That day had been planned to be the best day of Walker's life as well as Alex's, but it ended up being a day of terror that he would never forget. As Walker held Alex in his arms with blood dripping through his fingers, he knew that this lady was the woman for him and he would never hide his love for her again. The following week was hard for him. Walker hated being away from Alex's side, but Storm was still at large and Walker knew as a Ranger that Alex would want him to catch Storm instead of spending available time by her side. That was what kept Walker going. The sooner he caught Storm, the sooner he could be there holding Alex's hand and encouraging her to get better. Walker was true to his word. Soon after Alex had gotten better, he asked her to marry him. This was a question he had been pondering for sometime, but if Alex said "no," he understood. A Ranger's job was not the safest and Walker hated the feeling that something might happen to him, leaving Alex a widow. Alex didn't even think about the question, she had known for along time what her answer would be if Walker ever asked it, "Yes!" Tonight was the first New Year's Eve, Walker and Alex would have as an engaged couple and he wanted to make it just as special as their first where they had begun their relationship.

Walker finally realized he had been day dreaming for quite sometime now. He quickly snapped out of his daze and started to get dressed. There was no way Walker was going to let Alex get finished dressing before him. 

Alex was just finishing putting her hair up when she turned and looked at her dress that was now hanging on the door. As she started putting on the Nadine dress, she remember the day she had gone shopping of it. Alex was starting to leave the courthouse when she met Walker. He was curious about what she was doing so she informed him that she was going to go shopping for a New Year's Eve dress. Walker decided he wanted to go with Alex and help her pick it out. As Alex walked around the store she picked out dresses she liked. All were quite fancy and stood out. Walker started looking around the store. He found a simple red dress that was long and had spaghetti straps. He picked it up and took it to Alex's dressing room. Walker carefully threw it over the top and asked Alex to try it on. Her first reaction to the dress was "Oh great, SIMPLE!" She was not a simple lady and she didn't think this red dress was for her, but she tried it on anyway because Walker had suggested it. To her surprise it was the perfect dress for her, she only hoped that Walker would agree. Alex decided not to let Walker know which dress she was getting, but she wanted to still see his reaction to this dress. When she stepped out of the dressing room into the adjoining room where Walker was waiting, all heads turned and Walker's mouth fell open. She looked beautiful in the dress.

"Walker, I don't know. I liked the last one better."

"Pick which ever one you like the most, you look great in all of them!"

"Why thank you. I think I will go for the last one then. I'll go and pay for the dress. It will only take me a second and I'll meet you outside."

"All right, Alex." Alex could tell Walker was disappointed. Maybe this was a mean trick to play, but she wanted to surprise him on New Year's Eve. She paid for the red dress and soon met Walker outside.

Now standing in front of the mirror, all ready to go, Alex couldn't wait to see Walker's face when she stepped into the living room to show him. She looked around in her jewelry box for a necklace to match the dress, but it was no use. She couldn't find one. "Oh well, this will just have to do," and with that Alex stepped out of her bedroom. 

Walker hadn't been waiting long when he heard Alex's bedroom door open. He stood up waiting to greet Alex when she entered. Just like the first time he had seen her in the dress his mouth fell.

"I...I thought you decided on the black dress?"

"Well, I wanted to surprise you and I could tell how much you like this dress. I am going to have to take you shopping with me more often," she said giggling. For the first time Alex realized what Walker was wearing. "I thought you said you had a suit?"

"Oh? A suit or a tux. It don't matter they are all the same to me. I would rather have my jeans on," but he would make the sacrifice of wearing a tux cause it meant the world to Alex.

Alex quietly thought to herself, "If he only knew how good he looked in a tux he would wear it more often!" A smile formed on her face. "Well, I guess we both had surprises for each other tonight."

"If you don't mind, I have another surprise for you," he said as he took a long black box out of his coat pocket and handed it to Alex.

She opened up the box and realized she was looking at a diamond necklace. "Oh, Walker! You shouldn't have."

"Maybe, but I wanted to.” Walker took the necklace out and gentle placed it around Alex's neck and fastened it. Turning her back around he looked at her from head to toe. "Happy New Year's, honey." He embraced in a quick kiss which Walker ended soon. "We have to go if we are going to have dinner and be at C.D.'s tonight to hear Colin sing." Alex went to the closet and grabbed a black dress coat to go with her outfit and headed out he door. 

On the way to Ernesto's they talked about each past New Year's Eve that they had spent together and the one that Walker almost missed. "So what is the time schedule tonight?" Alex asked knowing if they weren't at C.D.'s by midnight they would never hear the end of it.

Glancing down at his watch to check the time Walker started to state the schedule. "We will get to Ernesto's around nine, then we will head for C.D.'s which will take half-an-hour and be ready to celebrate at C.D.'s by midnight."

"Then what?" Alex asked.

"It's too early to say. Oh perfect timing we are here!" Walker was lucky they arrived when they did cause Alex would of gotten the rest of the evening plans out of him and he didn't want to tell her yet. The dinner went great just as Walker had planned. Alex was taken by surprise for the third time that night when Walker asked her to dance. He hated dancing at public places, but tonight she was not with that same Walker. This one was pulling out all the stunts. The couple left and headed for C.D.'s. This had been the place they had met for the last seven countdowns to the new year. As the couple entered, they were both greeted with good comments about their wardrobes. Trivette and C.D. were waiting at the bar for their friends to make it their way.

"You look beautiful, Alex." C.D. said as he took her coat and placed it in a safe place behind the bar.

"What happened partner? Did she force you to wear the tux?" Jimmy asked teasing Walker.

"No, I picked it out for a special lady tonight!" Alex was now smiling at his last comment. "I sure hope she shows up," he said glancing around the full room. Walker let out a small grunt as Alex hit him in the stomach for his reply to Jimmy. "I was just joking! C.D. did you save our table?"

"Yes it's right over there, and ready for the two of you."

"Thanks. Lets go honey." Hand in hand, Alex and Walker headed for their table to wait for the countdown. Walker spotted Colin Raye preparing to sing. I'll be right back hon, I need to talk to Colin. Walker soon returned to spend the rest of the year with his special girl. "Alex, have I ever told you the best gift I ever received?"

"No, what was it?"

"You! The gift of your love and I don't plan on returning it."

"Oh, Walker!"

10...9...8..."I love you, Alex!"...3...2...1 HAPPY NEW YEAR'S and just like clock work the couple kissed as they both told each other "Happy New Year!"  

"All right everyone let's get this party started. I have a special request to start the new year out right." Colin said bringing the room's attention onto him.

"Alex, would you like to dance." Walker asked knowing what Colin was up to. It was his own idea.

"Sure, but there isn't any music," she said referring to the silence that had overcome the bar.

"There will be soon," Walker said pulling Alex out of the booth and to the middle of the dance floor. At this point, Alex noticed that everyone had moved to the edge of the floor and was staring right at them.

"Walker, why is everyone looking at us?" Alex whispered into his ear, but Walker just smiled back.

"Alex this is from a certain Ranger. He wouldn't give his name. He was sure you would know who he was. 1, 2, 3, hit it boys!" ordered Colin to his band.

Alex had tears forming in her eyes already. Not from pain, but from joy. They were forming because she had realized that Walker had picked out this certain song for a reason so gently she placed her head on his shoulder and moved closer to Walker. "Alex, these words to this song are what I need to say to you, but can't. Listen to them and you will learn more about the best GIFT I ever received. Alex just nodded her head and began listening to the song. 

Winter snow is falling down

Children laughing all around

Lights are turning on like a fairy tale come true

Sitting by the fire we made

You're the answer when I pray I would find someone and baby I found you 

And all I want is to hold you forever

All I need is you more everyday

You saved my heart from being broken apart

You gave me your love and I'm thankful everyday

For the gift 

Watching as you softly sleep

What I would give if I could keep just this moment

If only time stood still

But the colors fade away and the years will make us gray

But baby in my eyes you'll still be beautiful 

And all I want is to hold you forever

All I need is you more everyday

You saved my heart from being broken apart

You gave me your love and I'm thankful everyday

For the gift 

And all I want is to hold you forever

All I need is you more everyday

You saved my heart from being broken apart

You gave me your love and I'm thankful everyday

Can't find the words to say

For the gift 

Alex was now in tears. The words of the song was how she thought about him too. "Alex, are you OK?" Walker asked not knowing that the song would affect her the way it did.

"Yes. Oh Walker how did I ever get so lucky?" she asked throwing her arms around his neck and giving him a full passionate kiss on the lips.

"Well, lets give this couple around of applause. I think they are going to have a wonderful future together and watch each other grow old." Colin said and after that he began his next song. This kiss between the couple finally ended and they headed back to their booth. They stayed for another hour before deciding to go home.

"Happy New Year's you guys! I'll see you tomorrow partner."

"Sure you will Walker!" Trivette said as he gave a secret wink to Walker.

"Jimmy that's enough, now help me clean up!" C.D. said handing Trivette a broom. The four friends just started to laugh. "Bye you two be careful on the way home." C.D. warned.

Alex turned and ensured C.D. they would and with that they left. 

It was approaching two in the morning by the time Walker and Alex got to her apartment. Everything had gone just as planned tonight and Walker was grateful for that. Alex invited Walker for a cup of coffee and as he accepted the invitation he made his way to the balcony to look out over the Metroplex as Alex made the coffee. She soon returned carrying two mugs and offered one to Walker.

"What are you looking at?' she asked.

"It just amazes me the difference between the city sky and the sky at the ranch."

"Yeah, I know what you mean. The ranch's sky showcases many more stars. I can't wait until you get to share them with me every night."

"What? Those are my stars, who said I would share?"

"Walker, didn't anyone ever tell you to share?"

"Yes, but then they also said I was stubborn!" Alex started to giggle because of the truth in that statement. Walker was really stubborn, but she had learned to love it just like everything else about him. "I'll share this with you though!" Walker said as the took Alex in his arms and gave her a kiss. Just then the phone rang. It rang twice before Alex attempted to retrieve it. "I don't think so lady. You got an answering machine, let it do it's job," and Walker started back into the kiss. After a few more rings the machine did pick up and stated Alex's message. BEEP! "Cahill, this is Dalton. I need to talk to you about us and the future. Call me!" BEEP!

As soon as Alex heard the voice she stopped kissing Walker, but didn't pull back. She just stood there frozen in place. After a few moments she snapped out of it. "Oh my god! He was serious!" Alex was becoming weak in the knees so she made her way to the couch. How could this be happening? Just as her and Walker finally had everything working out, Dalton had to come back into the picture. Walker accompanied her to the couch, he wasn't for sure what to make of the recent events. What future does Alex and Dalton have together?

"I...um...I better go so you can call Dalton." he said as he stood up ready to leave.

"Walker, don't go please. I'm just as surprised about this as you. What could he possible want? We need to talk about this before I talk to Dalton." Walker knew what Dalton wanted he wanted Alex back. Walker would of rather gone home to think through this events, but he decided to stay longer cause Alex was upset. He tried to stay calm, but in the inside he was a wreck. What if she choose Dalton over him? He could never live without Alex, she was HIS gift!

"I guess he didn't hear the news, yet." Alex said trying to break the tension in the room. She leaned over on Walker and placed her arms around him and laid her head on his chest. "Walker, the only future I have is with you. You know that don't you?"

"Yeah I know. So are you going to talk to Dalton?"

"I won't if you don't want me, too."

"Alex you can talk to who ever you want." he said knowing deep inside that he rather she didn't, but he could stop her from talking to other people.

'Maybe if I don't reply he'll leave and we can start to share those stars of yours."

"Lady I already told you I didn't share easily!"

"Well we are going to have to work on that." Alex said still in Walker's embrace. Silence fell over the room and they both fell asleep in each others arms. 

Walker woke up first and didn't realized he had fallen asleep. He careful moved out from under Alex without waking her up and then he went to change back into his pair of jeans and shirt that he had worn to her apartment from work. Walker was surprised to find them folded and cleaned. As he came back into the living room he grabbed a blanket and covered Alex up with it who was now in PJ’s. "She must of been up last night," he thought to himself. This was going to be just as hard on her as him. Next he moved into the kitchen to see what he could make for breakfast. Alex woke up to the smell of food. Her eyes soon focused on the man in her kitchen fixing food. She strolled over to him an wrapped her arms around his mid-section. "What are you cooking?"

"I got bacon, eggs and your favorite biscuits and gravy. You better change before you eat." Alex glanced down to see that she was wearing her PJ’s.

"Why you don't enjoy seeing me in my PJ’s?"

"Of course I love seeing you in them, but I figured you would want to change into something else. If you don't I would be fine with you wearing PJ’s."

"Well I guess I will change. It is a good idea," she said as she turned to leave, but not before planting a kiss on his check. When Alex got done changing they ate breakfast together.

"Well, I got to go home and tend to the horses then meet Trivette. I'll see you at C.D.'s for lunch, right?"

"Yes, but Trivette said he wasn't planning on seeing you today." she said as her hand slowly moved down Walker's thigh.

"I am going to prove him wrong. I'll talk to you later," and with that and a good-bye kiss Walker was out the door to save the world once again. 

"Man am I surprised to see you this morning, pard!" Jimmy shouted as he jumped out of his chair to greet Walker.

"I told you I would be here and I am." Walker said bluntly not wanting to tell everything to Trivette, but he knew Trivette would ask.

"So what happened between you two last night?" Trivette asked quickly.

Walker glanced around the room to make sure they were the only ones in the room before answering Trivette. "Dalton called her last night," he said quietly not wanting to talk about it.

"Dalton!?" Trivette shouted. That was the last thing he was expecting to hear Walker say about the evening with Alex. "What did he want?"

"Trivette, it was her phone call not mine."

"Do you think since this weekend is his last career ride he came back to keep his promise?" Trivette questioned.

Walker remember the last time he had talked to Dalton and how Dalton promised he would be back for Alex. It was Walker's worst nightmare and he hoped it never came back to haunt him, but it had!!! "I don't know!!!!" Walker yelled. He was very irritated at the fact that Trivette keep pushing the subject. Seeing Trivette's facial expression change, Walker realized that he had yelled at his best friend. "Sorry Trivette. I didn't mean to yell at you, but I don't really want to think about it. I just want to enjoy the holidays with my friends and Alex," explained Walker.

"I understand, partner. It must be hard for you." Walker just nodded his head in agreement. A minute passed with silence until the young Ranger started once again. "Do you trust her??"

Walker lifted his head to see Trivette staring at him. How could he yell at Trivette for asking the same question that had been running through his own mind all day? "As much as I trust you with her life," Walker simply stated. After hearing Walker's reply, Jimmy knew Walker trusted Alex to make the right decision for herself. Trivette only hoped it was the right choice for everyone. 

The day had gone on with little criminal activity. Most of the other cops were out ticketing drunk drivers on New Year's Day. Walker's lunch hour was nearing quickly and since the office was so quiet Trivette and him decided to leave early to meet Alex at C.D.'s. As Walker parked the RAM in the lot he scanned for Alex's car, but it was no where to be found. Trivette quickly parked his car next to Walker. Both men exited their vehicles. Walker met his partner at the back of the RAM.

"Hey, Trivette, don't bug Alex about last night I don't know how she is handling it."

"No problem, Walker," and with that the two Rangers walked into their favorite hangout to enjoy their lunch with friends.

Alex would be there soon, Walker was guessing in about twenty minutes. He hoped that gave him enough time to talk with C.D. It didn't take long for C.D. to notice something was on Walker's mind. "What's eating at you Cordell?" Walker willingly told C.D. about the phone call because C.D. had been a friend for many years now and usually listened instead of judging. "Well Cordell that little lady loves you more than you'll ever know. The two of you have been through tough times before and everything worked out all right. It will this time just watch and see."

"I hope you are right, C.D." The three men then started talking about the holiday and the party the night before. 

Ten minutes until Alex reached C.D.'s. She was running a little behind schedule, but how many times had Walker made her wait for him? She had to find out the answer to her own questions. What if Dalton had come back for her? She had once wanted to have a life with him, but those plans were broken when he left. She was just getting over him and had started to realize that her heart belonged to Walker, but when Dalton was under protection those feelings for him came back. However, Dalton once again left her alone as he rode into the sunset, but now the phone call. Alex hadn't planned to talk to Dalton about the phone call because everything between her and Walker were finally coming together. For some reason after Walker left, she had a feeling that she really needed to talk to him. She needed to tell Dalton it was over, and Walker and her were going to be married. Alex knew Dalton was at Mesquite because this weekend was the big event rodeo and Dalton had announced that this was to be his last ride. With Dalton Reed being a famous name in rodeo it was hard for Alex not to hear Dalton and his plan to retire because he had to get his life back on track. When she had shown up at the arena, she asked for Dalton, but no one had seen him. After waiting for several hours, Alex noticed it was time to return to Dallas and meet Walker for lunch. She was now approaching C.D.'s as she pulled her car into the lot she found both the RAM and the red sport car. Seeing both of the vehicles, Alex double checked her watch thinking she was really late, but she wasn't. It was noon, their scheduled time. Alex wondered if Walker came to talk to C.D. Could she blame him though? She really needed to sit down and talk to him, but he usually wasn't to willing to listen about their relationship. Some how Alex would have to make him listen to her, but first she needed to clear things up with Dalton. 

Alex came into C.D.'s and turned around to take off her coat and as soon as she had Walker was there to help her with it. "Thanks, Cowboy."

"No problem. How is your day going?' he asked as he escorted her to their booth.

"Good so far except for I missed you."

"Well I am here now so you can't be lonely anymore, " Walker said with a smile on his face. Jimmy soon met them at the booth, followed by C.D. and his famous chili. "So what have you been up to?" asked Walker as he finished his food.

Alex did know what to say, she didn't really want to tell him she went looking for Dalton. "I went shopping downtown," she finally said.

Walker knew she was hiding something and he only imaged it had to do with Dalton. After a few more minutes of conversation C.D. asked Jimmy to help him in the kitchen. The two gathered up the dishes and disappeared leaving the couple to talk privately.

"You went to see Dalton didn't you?" Walker asked.

"How did you know? Oh never mind it's got to be that Cherokee in you."

"No actually, it is Sunday. The stores are closed."

"Well you are right. I went to talk to Dalton, but he wasn't there. I just needed to find out what he wanted."

"Alex, I know I don't tell you how much you mean to me enough, but it is really hard for me to express my feelings out loud."

"I know..."

"Shh..I want to tell you this and it is hard enough for me already. Alex I love you more than anyone possibly could, but I want you to be happy forever and if you would be happier with someone else so be it. Alex, do you understand what I am saying?" Walker asked and after a few moments of silence he lifted Alex's head up so that her eyes meet his. They were filled with tears and Walker felt bad that he had made her cry, but he really wanted her to know that. "Alex, I'm sorry," he said as he placed her head back on his chest.

"Walker, how could I get so lucky to have you in my life? You are too good to me," she said still trying to calm herself down, but it really made her feel lucky to hear Walker say that he wanted her to be happy. He REALLY did love her!

"Alex, nothing is too good for you," and with that he lifted her head back up to give her a kiss. The couple continued to hold on to one another for several minutes until Walker looked at his watch. "I have some errands to run. I'll meet you here tonight to watch the rodeo, right?"

"You bet you will, Cowboy! I don't plan on returning my gift either."

Walker made his way out of the booth and gave Alex’s a kiss. "Bye see you later tonight."

"OK bye Walker, I love you."

"I love you too Alex," and with that Walker was out the door. He stopped once he got outside of the bar and leaned up against the pole in front. He really hoped Alex was serious about keeping her gift forever. He knew it would be hard to live with out her, but happiness was what he wanted most for her.

Walker began to realize he had many emotions running through him and he need to work some of them out. He headed toward his truck, he knew exactly what he need: A GOOD, HARD WORKOUT. 

Walker decided to go to the Ranger Headquarters to work out. He already had some clothes there and since it was a holiday it would be empty. At least he hoped so. The Ranger changed out of his badge into a pair of black karate gi pants. He decided to workout with no shirt cause it would just get all sweaty. Walker started with a light workout of lifting weights and jumping rope. His got his blood moving throughout his body and his skin started to shine due to the sweat he was now producing. Soon his emotions started to build and he realized he need to spare more than anything. He called Trent up real quick to ask if he was busy and as usual Trent was willing to come down and help Walker out. It would probably be thirty minutes before Trent would get there so Walker decided to hit the punching bag. With each blow, his muscle tensed and emotions ran wild. Soon Walker was remembering every moment he had ever spent with Alex. Why did he tell her what he had at C.D.'s? He might as well of told Alex to go and be with Dalton. "Stupid me!!" he thought. Just then a slamming door broke up his thoughts. It was Trent. "Thank god I really need to get these things off my mind and into the open." Walker and Trent spared for an hour. Both men gave it their all, but in the end Walker won and all his emotions were out and ready to be talked about. The men jumped out of the ring to get their towels to soak up the sweat that was dripping off of each of their muscles.

"Thanks, Trent!"

"No problem. Do you feel you are up to talking about it?"

"Yeah. I just want Alex to be happy and I was sure I was the one to make that come true until Dalton showed back up. I won't fight over Alex cause that is not right, but I will do all I can to keep her here in Dallas with me." Walker said.

"I am sure she will stay her with you Walker. She loves you and Dalton had his chance and blew it." Trent said trying to calm Walker's nerves.

"You're right Trent! Thanks! Well I need to be going I have a TV date with the prettiest gal in Texas," Walker stated with a smile quickly appearing on his face.

"Have fun and I am certain everything will work out for you and Alex."

"I hope it does. I hope it does." With that the two karate experts picked up their towels and bags and went their separate ways. 

Walker quickly made his way home. He needed to still take care of Amigo, Angel, and the other horses before he took his shower. The hot shower should clean my head he thought. What was it about hot showers that just cleansed the soul? As he walked out to the barn to tend to the horses, he remember how that hot shower had helped him after Alex was shot. Walker reached the barn and as he entered he greeted each horse. He quickly fed and watered them so that he could get cleaned up for the evening. The ranch was awful quiet tonight Walker thought to himself. It really needed more company, it needed Alex! Why hadn't he asked her to stay with him yet? Did she want to? Of course, she did she was the one that said she wanted to share his stars. However, inviting Alex to stay now was a bad idea, she might think he was only doing it to keep her from Dalton. Having more company at the ranch would just have to wait Walker decided as he entered the house. He laid his gun on the table by the door and raced up the stairs to his needed shower. Within minutes the room was filled with steam. Walker turned off the water and reached for his towel to wrap around his waist. As he stepped out, he almost fell over the towel he was placing around him. "Man, I really need to get shorter towels!"

Walker quickly got ready by picking out his outfit for the night which ended up being his maroon western shirt, black jeans, and black hat. Before he left the ranch he pinned his badge on and placed his gun around his waist. Walker didn't like having to take his gun everywhere, but it was safer for him and everyone if he had it near. Just as he was ready to leave the phone rang. As he answered the phone he hoped it wasn't a call relating to work cause he was really looking forward to the evening with Alex.


"Hey there, Cowboy. I am glad I caught you at home."

Walker let out a sigh as he heard Alex speak. "What’s wrong, Alex?"

"Oh. Nothing is wrong, Walker. I was just calling to ask if you would mind picking me up to go to C.D.'s tonight."

"I would love to take you, Alex. I'll be there, at your apartment, in about thirty minutes."

"OK great! Thank you, Walker."

"Anytime, hon. See you soon."

"I can't wait, Cowboy. Bye."

"Bye, hon." 

Walker hung up the phone and was relieved that Alex had wanted to ride with him to C.D.'s. More time with Alex was something he could never get enough of. Just as he had told her, he arrived at her apartment within thirty minutes. Knocking on the door, Walker waited impatiently for his fiancée to answer so he could see her. The door started to open and gradually revealed Alex standing there in black jeans and her hunter green western shirt.

"Wow, you look great!" Walker said as he saw Alex was wearing a western outfit. She usually was wearing suits and other clothing that were much more fancier than Walker's, but she always seemed to returned to her country roots.

"Likewise, you wore my favorite outfit of yours."

"Well anything to impress my lady. Are you ready?"

"Yeah I'm ready and you always impress me!" she said giggling as she grabbed her coat and locked the door. She quickly put her arms around Walker's waist and his quickly went around her shoulders as they walked towards the RAM. 

Sunday night, at C.D.'s to watch TNN Mesquite rodeo, had always been a tradition among the four friends. It was the one night that they could always count on being together on. Well at least, they tried to be together on Sunday evening. The bar was packed for the retirement of Dalton. It wasn't everyday that a hometown boy made it big in the PBR and goes out on top. As for Walker and Alex, they probably were the only two people that didn't really care about the legend ending that night. As far as they were concerned it was hopefully the last night that Dalton Reed would ever be a part of. Trivette and C.D. had stayed at the bar counter until the rodeo itself started. They had decided to let the engaged couple have a few minutes to themselves. The time went quickly for the couple and they were soon joined by their two best friends for the start of the big event rodeo.

The show started out with a brief summary of Dalton Reed's career. The announcers continued to talk about Dalton and all his success and every time his name was mentioned Alex slipped a little further into Walker's side. He knew she was uncomfortable with the evening so he leaned over and quietly whispered, "Do you want to leave?" Alex just shook her head no. Realizing that Alex didn't want to go, but was still uncomfortable, Walker wrapped his arms around her tighter. The embrace seemed to work cause she was soon at ease and joined in on the conversations.  Half way through the rodeo the score stood at 88 points, put there by a new rising star. The breaking in the rodeo was filled by an interview of Dalton. Alex hadn't seen Dalton since the trial and as he came onto the screen her breath caught. He was extremely thinner in the face and looked really tired. Dalton answered the questions about his career and the bull he drew with ease. Finally the question came that Alex was waiting for. 

"So Dalton why have you decided to end your career here in Texas?"

"Well as I have stated before I need to get my life back on track and Dallas was the best place for that to happen."

"What's so special about Dallas?" 

Walker could feel Alex tense back up so he carefully untangled his arms from around Alex and started to massage her shoulders. As he started to relax her muscles, she let out a sigh and Walker whispered into her ear, "Everything will work out." Alex simply mouthed, "I know." 

"Dallas has always been special to me. I have some unfinished business here in town that I was hoping to clear up, but I haven't heard from her yet."

"So there is a special lady here in Dallas?" 

Alex dreaded what Dalton would say. "Please, please don't say my name," Alex said under her breath. Walker moved his hands from her shoulders to once again being around her body in a protective way. Dalton looked straight into the camera as it zoomed in to focus on his face. Alex could see the worry, confusion, and the start of tears in his eyes. 

"Yes a very special lady that I let slip away once and I was hoping that Cahill would give me a second chance to make it up to her," and with that Dalton headed out of the camera's view. 

Alex was so frustrated at Dalton for his words cause she had already given him a second chance and he had blown it. She wasn't about ready to fall for him for the third time. Alex let a few sniffles escape as the emotions built up in her and Walker automatically started to move his hands in a circular motion to help calm Alex down. The whole table was concerned for Alex now. Walker looked up at C.D. and C.D. just nodded his head. This was hard on Alex and it would be best if she just went. "Alex lets go," Walker said hoping she was now ready to go home.

"No, I am OK, really? I just...oh never mind. I want to stay here, please?" Alex said with her puppy dog eyes looking right at Walker.

Walker knew he couldn't resist them, but why did she want to stay? "Sure, Alex what ever you want." 

A few more riders took their chances with the bulls however the score still stood at 88 points. "AND HERE HE IS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!!" the announcer said bringing the crowd to its feet. "YOU ARE WATCHING HISTORY IN THE MAKING!" Alex couldn't figure out what the big deal was about Dalton retiring from bull riding. "So what? A stupid, stubborn cowboy rides a bull for a living and everyone cheers for him!" Alex said to herself.  

As Dalton made himself comfortable on the bull making sure everything was OK and double checking the ropes. Dalton could feel the power of the beast underneath him. He had drawn a mean bull one that had never been ridden before. Just the way Dalton wanted to go out, riding the top bull of the circuit for eight seconds. Dalton nodded his head and the gate flew open. The bull gave three tough kicks as soon as it was out of the gate, but Dalton as ready for them and didn't fly off. The bull was surprised that he still had a rider so he quickly turned to the right and started with fast spins. Dalton was thrown out of the right possession onto the side, but he quickly got back in the center right as the bull decided to change directions and turn left. With a couple of spins in the new direction, the bull was able to throw Dalton off his back just as the buzzer went off. Dalton had made his last ride, but that was not what he was concerned about now. His hand was caught in the ropes. He couldn't get freed from it and the bull wasn't letting up with the assault. With every kick the bull undid any attempt to undo the rope that Dalton had started. 

The crowd at the bar had all became concerned for Dalton. It was awful to see this sort of thing happen. Alex was even worried for the rider. One wrong move and the rider could end up in dead. Alex quickly buried her face into Walker's chest, not wanting to watch the assault any further. Walker's eyes stayed focused on the TV and as a fellow bull rider, he hoped Dalton wouldn't get seriously hurt. Seeing Alex's reaction Walker's arms went around her to comfort her, but never did his eyes leave the screen. 

Dalton could see the clowns trying to get near the bull to help in the attempt to free his arm. Dalton was sure his arm was out of place, but that was not his main problem. Dalton's legs were killing him and he figured they were broken cause the 2,000 pound bull had stepped on them several times already. Dalton's concerns turn to what he would do when he got freed cause he couldn't get up and run away. Finally after a minute of being tangled up, Dalton fell to the ground. The bull sensed that Dalton was no longer on his back and quickly turned around to see where he had fallen. 

The bar erupted with cheers that Dalton had gotten undone and now everyone was shouting "RUN!" With tears running down Alex's face she look up at the screen to make sure that Dalton was OK and that is when it happened. 

Dalton had hit his head hard on the ground and when he looked up he could see the bull heading for him. He automatically started to army crawl to the side, but Dalton knew he would never make it. The bull quickly reached Dalton and pounded his head into the back of Dalton. The bull continued the attack until he noticed Dalton was no longer moving, but the clowns were. The clowns were distracting to the bull so he charged them and followed them into the shoots. Rodeo officials and doctors quickly ran to Dalton's side. Dalton was seriously hurt and he knew it. He was finding it had to breathe and he knew that his lungs had been punctured. The medics quickly loaded him onto the stretcher and headed for the hospital..  

Alex was now in tears. Why she was crying she didn't know. She didn't think she cared about Dalton anymore. She looked up at Walker who was still in disbelief. "Walker..?" Alex said not know how to exactly say what she wanted, but Walker already knew.

"Come on get in the truck. They probably took him to Methodist. C.D. can you call and check?"

"You got it, Cordell," and with that Walker and Alex quickly ran out of the bar to the RAM. Walker wasn't sure why Alex wanted to go, but he knew she did. Within a few minutes of starting off for the hospital C.D. called and told Walker that his guess was right, Dalton was at Methodist. Alex had still not gotten calmed down yet. She was still crying and was shaking all over.

"Alex, you need to calm down, hon. You are going to make yourself sick. I am sure he is fine and you are going to have to control yourself before you can see him."

Alex quickly calmed herself down hoping Walker was right about Dalton being OK. As they reached the hospital, Alex didn't even wait for Walker to completely stop the truck. She jumped out and headed toward the hospital entrance. As she approached the desk, she asked where Dalton Reed was. As the nurse looked for the information on Dalton, Walker made his way to Alex taking her hand to comfort her.

"He is in ER on level three. There is a waiting room you can sit in until the doctors are ready to talk to you. You are family right?"

"Ummmm..." Alex didn't know how to answer the question. "No madam we are friends of Dalton." Walker said. Alex looked up at Walker. She never thought she would hear Walker call Dalton his friend.

"I am sorry sir, but only family members are allowed up there until further notice. Feel free to stay down here until then."

"Thank you madam." Walker carefully turned Alex and lead her to a chair. Nothing was said between the couple, but their hands never broke hold.

"Are you the people here to see Dalton?'

Walker and Alex hadn't noticed the doctor coming into the room. "Yes sir we are." Alex softly spoke.

"I am sorry to give you this news, but it doesn't look good for Mr. Reed. Do you know where we can contact his family?"

Alex's grip on Walker's hand tighten as she received the information on Dalton's medical conditions, "No sir I don't, but can I see him?"

"Come with me to the floor. I don't know if you can see him, but you can come to the ICU now. By the way what are your names?"

"Oh sorry doctor, I am Ranger Cordell Walker and this is Alex Cahill."


"Yes." Alex said realizing that the doctor was referring to her.

"So you are the little lady, Dalton was talking about before the ride?"

"Yeah I guess."

"Well that changes everything. He has been saying your name. You are welcomed to see him."

The doctor lead Walker and Alex to the room. "Here you go, Dalton is in there, but as I said earlier he is really bad off. He has internal bleeding that we can't stop. It is only a matter of time before..."

"Thank you sir," Walker said shaking the doctors hand. The doctor soon left leaving Alex and Walker standing outside of the room

"I guess a lot of people watched the rodeo tonight. Everyone knows me as the girl that didn't give Dalton Reed a second chance," Alex said as she started to cry again. Walker wrapped her up in his arms.

"Alex we both know you gave him a second chance. Are you up do seeing him?" Walker asked as he lifted up her head to look into her eyes.

"Yeah I am ready. Are you going??"

"No this is between you and Dalton. If you need me I will be here," Walker said as he moved to a chair that sat right outside Dalton's room. Alex nodded her head and took a deep breathe of fresh air as she placed her hand on the knob ready to walk into a world she wasn't sure about. Walker watched as Alex stepped into the room and closed the door behind her. Why had he driven Alex here he asked himself again? Cause he loved her and knew she would want to be with Dalton. Walker had to admit that he was concerned for Dalton too. Maybe Dalton had been the one that came back to take his Alex, but seeing Alex and Dalton dance together at the bar made Walker realize how much he loved Alex. Oh course he loved her, but seeing Alex and Dalton together made him want Alex more. It was from that moment on that Walker decided to take his relationship with Alex more serious. After Dalton left things soon went back to normal. Walker and Alex was spending time together, but now Walker was taking her out of dates and buying flowers just because. Dalton had played a major part in the advancement of Walker and Alex’s relationship. Thanks to him the couple would be married soon and begin a life together.  

The beeping of the monitors was something Alex could never get used to. She stood at the door not sure what to do. Dalton looked awful with bruises and cuts all over his pale face.

“Who’s there?” came a faint raspy voice.

Alex didn’t know what to say. “Well I am not an Alexandra or an Alex or a Kay...”


Alex slowly came to the side of his bed and when Dalton’s hand reached for her she took it and placed a kiss on the back of it never letting it go. “What ever happened to Mine?”

Dalton let out a soft giggle, but some quit cause of the pain. “I needed to talk to you, but I couldn’t get a hold of you.”

“Well I am here now so what do you want to talk about?”

“Alex there is no easy way of saying this....I have cancer.” Alex was shocked. After all this time she had thought he was going to ‘I am still in love with you’. She had been such a fool to not help a friend. “Alex my doctor gave me a year to live. That was six months ago so decided to quit riding and enjoy life. You know get it back on track. When I came to Dallas I heard about you and Walker. I was heart broken, but I guess I had my chance and blew it.”

Alex was now crying. She was trying to hold it in, but she wasn’t able to do it.

“Cahill don’t cry. You deserve someone better than me. All I ever offered you was a life in a trailer moving from rodeo to rodeo. Alex I know I am dying. Actually I glad it happened this way instead. I love the rodeo, I can’t think of a better way of going out. By the way what was my score?”

Alex looked up at Dalton. She should have known. “93 points and first place.”

“Well I’ll be, it was a ugly ride, but it got the job done. Cahill, could you do something for me?”

“Anything Dalton,” Alex said quietly with tears still flowing cause she knew this was her last chance to be with Dalton.

Dalton slowly moved his other hand and wiped away the tears. “For starters stop crying.” Alex just smiled about Dalton. “Alex I want you to take the prize money and use it for the HOPE center.”


“No buts Cahill. I won’t need it anymore and you are the closest thing I have to a family anymore.”

Alex slowly bent her head down a gave Dalton a kiss on the lips. One final kiss. “Thank you so much. The HOPE center appreciates it and your generosity will never be forgotten. I will never forget you,” she whispered.

“Cahill I won’t forget you either. Is Walker here?”

Alex was surprised that he wanted to know if Walker was around. “Yeah he is outside.”

“Could you have him come here?”


“Please Cahill. I need to talk to you both.” 

Alex released Dalton’s hand and moved towards the door and opened it. Walker jumped out of his chair and walked towards Alex. He noticed she was crying and quickly embraced her in a hug. “Dalton wants to talk to us.”

“About what?”

“I don’t know. He just said he needed to talk to us.”

Walker put his arm around Alex as he opened the door for. They walked into the room together and Dalton was glad to see them together. They looked so perfect together.

Alex quickly went to Dalton’s side and took his hand in her’s. Walker’s arm was still around Alex’s waist in a protective matter.

“Hi Walker.”

“Hi Dalton.” Walker didn’t know what else to say. He was still trying to figure out why Dalton had wanted to talk to him.

“Walker I know we haven’t been friends in the past, but I appreciate what you did for me a few years back.”

“No problem Dalton. It is part of the job, but riding the bull wasn’t.”

“Yeah, I am sorry about that.”

“Don’t worry about it. I enjoyed it.”

“Walker what I really wanted to talk to you about was Cahill.”

Walker knew he was going to talk about Alex he just wasn’t sure how. Walker’s grip around Alex tightened. She still hadn’t moved just continued to hold onto Dalton until the end.

“Don’t worry Walker, I ain’t going to steal her from you. Walker make sure she gets everything she ever wants in life. She is the best and I was stupid to give that part of my life up. I am glad she meet you, someone that will always care for her. You two were meant to be together!”

Alex was now in tears and Walker could feel his heart hurting inside. “I will give her everything she wants and believe me I know how special she is.”

Dalton reached out his hand to shake Walker’s as if to make an agreement. After the brief shake Dalton took both of this hands and released the couple’s hands into one another’s so that Walker and Alex were now holding hands. “Walker, I gave Cahill the prize money I won this evening for the HOPE center make sure she uses it and inside my trailer is a tape marked Cahill. Make sure she gets it. Now, you two have a happy life together!” With that the room filled with buzzing as the monitors went off. Dalton was dying.

Alex quickly released Walker’s hand and went to plant a kiss on Dalton forehead. “You are a good man Dalton Reed,” she whispered then back she went to Walker who lead her out of the room. The couple embraced in a hug outside of the room. Dalton was out of their lives, but neither one wanted it to happen like this.  

The next several days Alex and Walker just spent together. Both went to the funeral, but neither had been out other than that. The days were spent by Walker holding Alex at her apartment. “Alex, I went to Dalton’s trailer this morning and got that tape for you. Do you want me to play it?”

Alex just nodded her head. Walker got up and moved toward the tape player on the table across the room. He pushed the play button and made his way back to the couch. As he sat down Alex curled up next to him. The song started to play and the couple just sat and listened. 

Third of June she said goodbye   She’s in love

I watched her walk into the night   She’s got that fire in her eyes

The hardest things I ever did was let her go  She’s in love

We swore as friends we’d stay in touch  How her smile lights up the sky

Best of friends don’t mean that much   It’s like she’s walking on air

When that phone call comes to tell you  She’s been set free

She’s in love      Still I can’t believe

She’s in love

She’s in love      Strolling down a one-way street

She’s got that fire in her eyes    She’s in love

She’s in love      You’d swear her heart has wings

How her smile lights up the sky   She’s in love

It’s like she’s walking on air    Why can’t it be me

She’s been set free

Still I can’t believe     She’s in love

She’s in love      She’s got that fire in her eyes

Strolling down a one-way street   She’s in love

She’s in love      How her smile lights up the sky

You’d swear her heart has wings   It’s like she’s walking on air

She’s in love      She’s been set free

Why can’t it be me     Still I can’t believe

She’s in love

Everyone I’m doing fine    Strolling down a one-way street Learned to get on with my life   She’s in love

I just want what’s best for her    You’d swear her heart has wings

So I lied      She’s in love

Found a note on my door last night   Why can’t it be me

Said, “I’ll be your friend ‘til the day I die”  

But you should know I found someone  Now she’s in love

Now she’s in love     Why can’t it be me

She’s in love

She’s in love

She’s in love

She’s in love 


Alex’s face was buried into Walker’s chest. He could feel her tears as they damped his denim shirt. “I guess he did hear,” was all Walker could say. The couple sat on the couch for several minutes. By the time Alex was done, she didn’t have anymore tears to cry. After that night things went back to normal for Walker and Alex.  


“Ready Alex?”

“Yes, almost.” Alex came to the door and opened it for Walker. As he came into the room he saw that it was almost completely empty except for a half dozen of suitcases and boxes. Yesterday he had came and picked up all the furniture with the help of Trivette. Walker had taken all of Alex’s personal possession to the ranch yesterday too. The only thing that remained in Alex’s apartment was her clothes and a single picture of her, Gordon, and Walker. It had been taken the day Gordon had gotten out of rehab and it had became the most important photo she had.

“Walker I can’t believe I am going to be living with you!”

“You know Alex if you aren’t ready to move into the ranch and would rather wait until we get married...” Walker’s words were interrupted by a kiss.

“I don’t want to rethink it. I want to live at the ranch and spend every moment with you.”

“Oh I am glad to hear that cause...well I want to spend every moment with you too.”

Alex took one last look around her apartment as Walker took half of the bags out to the RAM. He came back in and grabbed the remaining bags and waited for Alex to come with him to the RAM. She said her silent good-byes and then picked up the photo that was so dear to her and then locked the door never to see it again. 

That evening was spent sitting in the porch swing. “Walker I am glad you decided to share these stars with me.”

“I’m glad you decided to share your life with me,” Walker said as he kissed Alex on the lips.

“I’ll be right back. I have something for you.”


“I said ‘I’ll be right back’,” and with that Alex disappeared back into the house. Alex came back on the porch carrying a portable radio.

“What are you doing?”

“Patience my darling patience!” Alex giggled as she went to radio and turned on their favorite country station. “Walker I know you have made yourself my guardian angel and I appreciate it so much. You are the only person I can sit down and talk to about what is on my mind.” Alex reached into her pocket and pulled out a small gold charm. “Walker I would like it if you would wear this on your hat. I understand if you don’t want to though.”

Walker looked down at the charm that was on in his hands. It was a guardian angel pin. “Alex I would love to wear it! Thanks so much. Now I have two very special gifts in my life.” Walker moved forward and gave Alex a kiss. One that full of passion. Alex’s voice grabbed Walker’s attention and he realized it was her on the radio dedicating a song to him. The couple wrapped up in one another’s arms and love and listened to the song play. Sharing the stars with each other was now a nightly event and one that Walker enjoyed! Dalton Reed had threatened his relationship with Alex twice, but both times their relationship grew stronger. Dalton truly was a good man. 

Sometimes I swear I live with an angel

Sent from above to watch over me

He wears his love just like a halo

If he's not an angel, what else can he be

He wouldn't say he's anything special

Betcha that's how all those angels are

But when he comes around miracles happen

I felt the first one when he touched my heart 

Though I've never seen him fly

On the wings of love he carries me

Heaven bound I'm mystified

How with just one kiss he made me

Believe in angels

Though I've never seen him fly 

This mornin' he walked up

Smiled and kissed him

I never let on that he's not foolin' me

But I think it's so cute how he says

He's from Houston

I swear there's wings tucked up his sleeves 

Though I've never seen him fly

On the wings of love he carries me

Heaven bound I'm mystified

How with just one kiss he made me

Believe in angels

Though I've never seen him fly 

Heaven bound I'm mystified

How with just one kiss he made me

Believe in angels

Though I've never seen him fly 


A very special thanks to my mom who gave me this idea. For hating Walker she sure had a great story idea. I would also like to thank Tammy for helping me out with this story so much. I don’t know if it would have gotten done with out you, Tammy. Also a thank to Froggie who kept me on task with the ending. She was so set on having WAM's that I just couldn’t disappoint her by having a Alexandra Reed. Sorry for all the pain I have put you through Froggie.  

“The Gift” is sung by Colin Raye and written by Jim Brickman.

“She’s In Love” is sung by Mark Wills.

“Fly: The Angel Song” is sung by The Wilkinson’s and written by Steve Wilkinson and Rory Michael Bourke. 

“Walker, Texas Ranger” and it’s characters belong to CBS Inc., Norris Brothers Productions and maybe other copyright holders. This story and the author is in no way connected to those copyright holders and intends no infringement on their copyrights. The story is only meant as an entertaining tribute to a great show and it’s cast and crew. This story is part of a mailing ring and may be distributed and copied freely, in its entirely, for personal use. 

All original author and copyright information must remain intact. 

Any sales or other uses of this document are expressly forbidden, without the specific consent of the author(s).