He couldn’t remember ever being so upset with her, how could she do this to him?
He’s always trusted her judgment,. Now he felt betrayed, he had such a empty feeling in his gut, he’s never raised his hand to her, but tonight, she pushed his buttons entirely too far. He’d almost hit her. My God, he was losing it! He was so upset he couldn’t eat his supper. She just sat there, looking at him with those blue eyes, he couldn’t take it. He grabbed his coffee and headed for the barn.
She waited almost an hour before she dared to venture out to him. She stood there on the porch, looking at him as he paced around, kicking at the ground. She turns around and runs back in the house and up to the master bedroom. She finds them on his nightstand, puts them in her jeans and heads to the barn.
He’s standing there at the corral fence, his shoulders slumped. He’s watching the racehorse he’s just bought. He searches his shirt pocket for them, a hand reaches out in front of him, "are you looking for these?"
Walker turns towards the voice and reaches for the objects in her hand. "Thank you," he says quietly. He’s still upset with her, as he lights up the cigar she was offering him. She knew he always loved his cigars after supper, she watched him as he inhaled deeply then blew it out. She used to hate their smell and the smell that would be on him afterwards, but she grew to like the smell, mainly because she wanted to please him.
"I’m sorry Daddy."
He looks at his daughter, she is so beautiful. She’s got her Mother’s blue eyes, her hair is thick and long, going down to her buttocks, her hair is a light auburn with blonde highlights, and a smile that would melt your heart. She’s got that little giggle that she inherited from Alex, plus she’s got a body that is driving the boys crazy. It’s that body that has gotten her into trouble with her Daddy, and the bikini that she was wearing.
Walker looks at his little girl, "You disappointed me Angela—I thought you had better judgment than that."
"But, Daddy it’s the rage—all the girls in the sophomore class are buying them."
He shakes his head, "You have always been your own person, you have never been one to follow someone else’s path---what possessed you to think that your Mother and I would allow you to wear something like that? For Christ’s sake Angel, you were almost nude!!
She bites her bottom lip and looks up at him in the same manner that her Mother always took when she was trying to put something past him. "I’m sorry Daddy, I’ll take it back."
Walker throws the cigar butt on the ground, "You’re damn right you’re taking it back, and you’ll get something that both your Mother and I approve of."
She stands there, drawing an imaginary line with her foot. "Does this mean my sweet 16 party is still cancelled?"
He ponders the thought, sweet 16, damn—it seemed like only yesterday that he and Alex were bringing their daughter home from the hospital. Where did the time go, he wasn’t ready for her to grow up so quickly. Sweet 16 now, and soon she would be graduating high school and then off to college. Then if things went in order, she would be walking down the aisle, and there would be another man in her life. He used to tease his friends that had daughters, now he was feeling their fears, their emptiness. He couldn’t stand the thought of another man in her life.
The boys were definitely coming around. She wasn’t allowed to date till she turned 16, though she could go with groups, and that’s how she met Dylan. Walker wasn’t ready for any young man to be special to her, but Dylan was certainly at the top of the list. He was the school hero, tops in all sports, smart alecky, and all the girls were gushing over him, including Angela! Dylan had been to the ranch several times, and right from the start there was something about him that Walker didn’t like. Alex kept telling him to give the boy a chance, but when he saw Dylan trying to kiss Angela, Walker came unglued. Of course finding out whom Dylan’s Father was didn’t help matters any. He was Dalton Reed’s son, and Dalton was an old boyfriend of Alex’s. He couldn’t stand the thought of Dalton coming around Alex, and he didn’t want his son around his daughter!
Lately, Angela hadn’t been saying too much about Dylan, Walker was glad of that. Angela hadn’t said who she was going to ask to be her date to the sweet16 party to be held at the country club. She seemed pre-occupied with someone else on her mind. Walker sighed, now what yahoo is she going to be gushing over, he was afraid to ask.
"No," he answers slowly. "You’re party hasn’t been cancelled—I wouldn’t do that to you, it’s one of the most important times in your life, besides, --your Mother would kill me!"
Angela breaks out into a wide smile and Walker just melts, she could always do that to him. She had 16 years to work on him, he was wrapped around her little finger from the very first moment he held her.
"Oh, thank you Daddy—thank you, thank you," she squeals, throwing her arms around his neck.
She lays her head on his chest and he puts her arms around her, kissing her forehead, "You’re welcome baby."
They stand there for the longest, holding each other.
"Daddy, wanna know a secret"?
"What secret Angel?"
Angel—she wouldn’t let anyone but her Daddy call her that. To everyone else it was Angela only, not even her Mother called her Angel
Angela continues to hold on to him "It’s about Dylan."
Walker tenses up, and she can feel him doing so, "What about him?"
"I think he’s a creep."
"What---I thought you had a crush on him?"
"Oh Daddy---that was a long time ago—now there’s someone else!"
Again he tenses up as he forces himself to ask who this new boy is, "Who is this new boy?"
"I don’t want to tell you just yet---because I haven’t asked him yet to be my escort."
Walker looks down at her and smiles, "And like, he would refuse you! What boy would refuse you, is he from Mars or something?"
"Oh Daddy, you’re just bias."
"Yep---sure am where my favorite daughter is concerned."
"Daddy—I’m your only daughter!"
He kisses her forehead, "And, the only daughter that I want!"
They turn around and start walking to the ranch house, "But, what if Mom has a girl this time?"
"I’ll send her back—besides the sonogram said another boy."
Angela groans, "Creepers—now I’ll have four brothers!?"
It’s now the night of the sweet 16 party:
Alex is busy trying to help Angela with her gown, she’s decided on lavender, with lavender/peach flowers at the one side of her long flowing hair. Alex helps her brush her hair one last time before they start down stairs. Her brothers are looking on, as Alex asks, "Well, what do you think guys?"
They all stand there gaping, the twins have just turned 13.
"You look beautiful Angela," says the first one.
"Thank you Cordell" she answers softly, then she looks at Cooper. Alex gives him a prod, "say something, tell your sister that she looks nice."
He looks back at his Mom, "Angela always looks beautiful---for a sister!"
Alex shakes her head, "Coop…"
"It’s okay Mom, I told you that you and Daddy should have stopped having kids after I was born---you can’t improve on perfection!"
She playfully sticks her tongue out at Cooper, he just smiles and gives it right back to her.
Little Ray tugs on his sisters’ gown, "You pwtty sissy."
She reaches down and kisses him, "Thank you."
She turns to her Mom, "I guess I’m ready------has my date arrived yet?"
Cordell nods, "Yep, he got here about 20 minutes ago---and boy is he nervous?"
"Why shouldn’t he be, Dad is probably giving him the third degree!"
Alex sighs, "Okay guys, you can go down stairs and wait—we’ll be down shortly."
Walker is pacing the floor, looking at his watch, looking up the stairs. He hasn’t been this nervous since his and Alex’s wedding. He looks towards his friend, as always, is as cool as a cucumber.
"Would you relax, walk-man, be like me---cool."
"Yeah Trivette, just you wait till your daughter turns 16 and going on her first date and all, then we’ll see how cool you are."
Walker looks over at Trivette’s son, J.W. If anyone was more nervous than Walker, it was J.W. Walker smiles as the boy kept tugging at the tie of his tuxedo, and rubbing the tops of his shoes on the back of his pants. The corsage he held kept going from one hand to the next. Trivette walks over to him, and puts his arms around him. "Calm down, the worst is over, you got past the old man’s approval."
J.W. swallows and looks at Walker, Walker stares back at him, trying to make him nervous---it’s working.
The twins come sliding down the banister. "She’s coming!"
Little Ray runs over to his Daddy and Walker puts both his hands on his shoulders as everyone’s eyes look towards the stairs. Alex comes down in her pale blue maternity dress, and walks over beside her husband. He puts his arm around her waist and kisses her cheek, "You look beautiful" he whispers.
Alex pulls on Cordell’s shirt, "Where’s the camcorder?"
He holds it up, "Right here Mom, relax—I’ll make sure we get plenty of good pics!"
The moment has arrived and Angela descends down the stairs. You could hear a pin drop and then the oohs and aahs begin. Alex breaks out in tears as she grabs hold of her husbands’ tuxedo.
Trivette nudges his son to present the corsage. J.W. walks up slowly to her and helps her to pin it on, then he reaches out to kiss her on the cheek, and takes a quick glance at Walker and steps back. Trivette walks up and kisses her, "You’re a knockout, Angela."
"Thank you, Uncle Jimmy."
Angela looks to her Daddy, and slowly walks up to him. He can only stare.
"Do you like my dress, Daddy?"
Walker nods his head slowly, "I love your dress, Angel—it’s beautiful---but you make it beautiful!"
Alex watches them as the two look into each other’s eyes. "Your father and I bought you this Angela" and she hands her daughter a heart-shaped necklace with "sweet 16" engraved on it. She breaks out in a smile as big as Texas as she grabs them both, thanking them over and over.
"Hey guys, don’t mean to break this up, but we need to get going," Trivette exclaims.
They all walk slowly towards the door and Angela stops, "You all go ahead, I need to talk to my Dad."
Walker stands there looking at her, "Dad?----Not Daddy anymore?"
She smiles at him as she sees the tears coming into his eyes, "Oh, Daddy," and then she runs into his arms. "You’ll always be Daddy, but now I’m a young woman and I thought it would sound more grown up if I called you Dad."
He dabs his eyes, "Yeah, I guess if you want to sound grown up and all, I guess that’s okay."
She looks at him and gives him that smile, "Can I ask you a question ----Daddy?"
"At the dance tonight, would you dance the first dance with me?"
Walker reaches out and takes her in his arms, "I’ve got the rest of my life to dance with you---but tonight you dance with your young man, cause I have a feeling he’s going to be coming around a lot!?"
"And, you don’t mind?"
"No Angel—I don’t mind, I don’t mind at all."
Walker and Alex didn’t get to stay for the whole dance as they ended up rushing Alex to the hospital, and exactly 16 years to the day, another little girl is placed in Walker’s arms. He gushes as he holds her, "wow---my little princess" and Cherokee Rose is now Daddy’s little girl----too.