Angel On My Shoulder

By: Sasquaw

The Rangers are investigating a case of baby swapping at a small hospital outside of Denton. Rangers Walker and Trivette are talking to the head nurse. The nurse is very agitated that her staff is coming under fire.

"I’m telling you, it was just a minor mistake. The Ramos baby's nametag came off and he was taken to the wrong room. The mistake was caught immediately and everything is okay now."

Trivette looks at the woman, "A minor mistake you say? What about the parents of the Ramos baby? They're not taking this so lightly, it was a pretty careless mistake. We were called out to investigate, if that gives you any indication as to how seriously the family views this ‘minor mistake’."

"I understand that Ranger Trivette---mistakes happen, we've been understaffed---we've made our apologies to the parents of both babies---they are trying to understand how this could have happened!"

Walker looks at the nurse, she seems genuinely upset about the whole matter. "Look, fortunately there was no damage done---this time. But, in the future, a better security of these babies will have to be followed or this hospital will be looking at lawsuits."

The nurse nods, "We are in the process of hiring new security, better ways of keeping the babies tagged... This will not happen again, I can assure you!"

The nurse nods and hurries off. The Rangers watch as she lowers the boom on the staff.

~~~ 

They are on their way back to Dallas; Trivette is still fuming at the negligence of the hospital staff. He shifts around in his seat, he's still nursing his broken bones suffered just three weeks before from the run in with L'avacot.

"I tell you Walker, I am so glad that Ericka and I don't live in this area, because there is no way I would allow Ericka to have our child in that hospital---NO WAY!"

Walker looks at his partner, "Hey---are you trying to tell me something?"

Trivette smiles wistfully, "As soon as we get married, I plan to start a family right away."

Walker breaks out in a wide grin as he thinks of the strong willed Ericka. "And what does Ericka say about all this? I thought she just got back from finishing what she calls ‘growing up and figuring out what she wants from life.’ That doesn’t sound like someone anxious to start a family right away; not to mention that you haven’t set a wedding date yet. Ever hear of putting the cart before the horse?"

Trivette is grinning from ear to ear. "Don’t forget my ‘power of persuasion.’ I have no intention of waiting around for seven years before marrying the love of my life. After the slow start though, you and Alex sure got busy starting your family right away."

"Yeah and I drove Alex crazy checking on her all the time. I was so worried about her and the baby. Near the end of her pregnancy, I thought she was going to banish me to the barn to sleep."

Trivette looks at Walker and laughs, "Nothing has changed since my little goddaughter has arrived---you're still pampering Alex!"

Walker smiles thinking about his beautiful three-week-old daughter. "And I intend to keep on pampering her. She's still not up to par yet. She's still sore from the c-section and her back has been giving her trouble."

Trivette starts to speak when a call comes over the radio "Robbery in progress---hostages taken---corner of Fourth and Lexington."

"We're on it!" Trivette radios back as the Ram's flashing lights come on and they speed towards downtown Dallas.

~~~ 

At the hospital, the Rangers were being watched. A big man was paying particular notice to the Ranger with the beard. He stayed in the background, not bringing any attention to himself. After the Rangers leave, he makes a phone call. "Yeah, it's him! I told you we would get another chance---we will make him pay---him and that cute little DA of a wife. Their world will fall apart, right before their eyes!"

~~~

The next morning finds Walker getting his infant daughter dressed while Alex is running around trying to find a certain pair of heels, fix her hair and check her computer for some files that her new secretary has lost. Walker has the baby lying on their bed and he's kneeling down on the floor trying to get her little one-piece snapped. Angela is trying to be very good, allowing her daddy's big hands to maneuver the snaps together. She looks back at the blur before her, she may not be able to see her daddy too clear yet, but she definitely knows his voice!

"Okay Angel, I got you all ready." As he reaches down gently to pick her up, he rests her against his chest, brushes the little wisps of hair back and kisses her repeatedly.

"Alex, we're ready. Are you ready yet?"

Alex has taken off to the bathroom. "Be ready in a second sweetheart---I can't find my earrings!"

Walker shakes his head, "Are you sure you should be going in today? The doctor said for you to take at least another week or two off."
Alex comes out of the bathroom and she just has to stop and look at her two ‘favorite people’ in the whole world. Walker has Angela dressed in his favorite color on her, lavender. He's walking around holding her close to his chest and talking to her, kissing the top of her head. Now he's started humming a lullaby called 'All the Pretty Little Horses' "...blacks and bays, dapples and grays, coach and six white horses."

Alex smiles, taking a deep breath; she can't get over how Walker has taken to parenthood. She always knew he would make a good father, but the way he has taken over caring for Angela continues to blow her away. He's up constantly checking on her during the night or fidgeting with the monitor and asking Alex, "Are you sure it's working okay? Is it turned up loud enough?"

She stands there watching the two of them, Angela looks so much smaller when Walker is holding her, which is almost every minute that he's home. His big hands caress her little back and she has a little curl at her neck that both she and Walker have a habit of trying to wrap around their finger.

Walker has now found that curl as he sees Alex watching them. He looks down at the heels she's putting on, "Alex, it's no wonder your back is hurting, wear some flats!"

"Honey, I have to go into court today to talk to the judge. I can't wear flats!"

Walker shakes his head and looks down at his daughter. "Stubborn---are you going to be like your mother? Stubborn as the day is long."

Alex laughs and walks over to her husband and kisses him lightly. "I'm not stubborn, I'll have you know. It's just that this suit doesn't look good with flats, but to make you happy, I'll carry a pair of flats with me and when I'm in the office and out of court, I will wear them. Okay, sweetheart?"

Walker nods his head and then holds up the little headband. "I couldn't get this on right, my hands are too big. I was afraid I might hurt her head."

Alex takes the little white headband that has an orchid flower at the front and places it gently around Angela's head. "There my little angel, all pretty!"

Walker smiles and kisses Angela. "Well, I know I've said it a couple thousand times, but I'm saying it again. You make beautiful babies, hon."

"I beg your pardon, it takes two you know. WE make beautiful babies."

He reaches over and kisses his wife, his right hand finding her buttocks, "Yes we do, don't we?"

~~~

Alex arrives at the HOPE Center with Angela. This will be the first full day that Alex has been away from her daughter. She keeps reminding Josie about the little things Angela does and doesn't like. Josie just looks at Alex and smiles, Alex shakes her head. "I'm being a pain in the butt, aren't I?"

Josie laughs, "Yes, but a loveable pain in the butt," both women laugh.

Alex notices the new volunteer, "Who’s she?"

"That's Monique. She came in last week with a sob story about her husband beating her, said she needed to do some volunteer work to get her mind off things."

Alex looks at Josie and back to Monique. She's a young woman, mid-twenties and very attractive. Josie introduces them, the woman can't stop staring at Alex and then she sees Angela.

"What a beautiful baby, may I hold her?"

Alex looks at the woman, her first impulse is to say ‘no’ to a stranger holding her child, but she nods in approval. As the woman holds Angela, Alex unconsciously keeps her hand to Angela's back, giving the woman a feeling that Alex must think she doesn't know how to hold the baby.
Monique smiles slowly, "Really Mrs. Walker, I do know how to hold an infant. I have two of my own."

Alex puts her hand up and makes an apology, "Sorry, I'm just not used to anyone else holding Angela."

Monique looks down at Angela, as she repeats her name over and over. "What a beautiful name. It fits her, she's like a little angel."

Alex beams, "Yes, her name is very special, we almost lost her. My husband and I feel like the angels were looking out for her and so---we named her Angela."

Josie returns from answering the phone and looks at Monique and the way she keeps staring at Alex and then to Angela. "Monique, why don't you help Teresa and Maria with the breakfast?"

Monique hands Angela back to Alex, "Sure," she answers slowly. As the woman walks off, she turns around and looks at Alex again.

Josie shakes her head; "She's a weird one. She's only worked here a few days and she's always avoided the other babies, but she sure took to Angela."

"Josie, what do you know about her? Did you check out her story about being beaten? Where are her kids?"

"What kids?"

Angela starts to whimper, "Uh oh---someone is getting hungry. I'd better feed her or that Walker temper is going to disrupt the whole Center!"

After nursing her, Alex decides she needs a diaper change, anything to stall leaving her baby. She hadn’t realized how difficult it was going to be to leave her precious angel and go to work.

"I'll do that Alex. You have to get to work." Josie takes Angela while Alex goes to fetch the diaper bag.

Alex watches as Josie takes Angela and starts 'cooing' at her. "I'll be in my office most of the morning. At one o’clock I have to be in the judge's chambers, but as soon as that is over I will be back in my office, so..."


"Alex please! I will call you if there are any problems. Now, would you please go?"

A very reluctant Alex kisses her daughter goodbye and heads to the courthouse.

~~~

When Alex reaches her office, she has a young couple waiting to talk to her, they introduce themselves as Ruben and Tina Ramos.

"I only have a moment; I'm rushed for time. What is this about?" she asks them.

The man does most of the talking. "We want to make a complaint against the Holy Cross Hospital outside of Denton. They were very negligent in taking care of our son".

Alex thinks a moment and stares back at the big man. "I thought all of that was resolved. From the report my office got, there were not going to be charges brought up."

The woman says nothing, which Alex is finding very unusual for a young mother not to be expressing her fears about her baby being taken to the wrong parents. Alex thinks to herself about being in the same situation, she would be having plenty to say. She would be more than irate at the hospital's negligence. She keeps looking at the woman; she too is very attractive. She has dark brown almost black hair and something about her puts her in mind of Monique.

Alex smiles and looks at the woman, "Excuse me, I don't mean to stare, but do you have a sister named Monique?"

The woman looks to the big man and back to Alex, her eyes are rather cold, she shakes her head "No" and then looks away from Alex.

"We have no relatives here Mrs. Walker and my wife doesn't understand much English. What are you going to do about this?"

"I’ll have it looked into. You make out the proper complaints and I will have the police investigate the matter further."

The man thanks Alex and then nudges his wife out the door.

Alex watches them as they walk to the elevator. "Something very strange about those two," she says to herself.

~~~

The couple gets on the elevator and the man hisses at the woman. "I told you to lighten up. What were you trying to do back there? I told you to act like you were upset over this whole matter, instead you kept staring at that DA and acting like you had no feelings at all!"

The woman stares back at him, her eyes are so cold. "I wanted to kill her. I could have blown her away while she sat there, looking so prim---acting so prissy. I told you we should have taken care of her and that Ranger husband of hers and the kid too. All of this would be over now!"


He slams his fist into the elevator door. "You are not thinking straight, but how is a lunatic suppose to think straight after spending the last five years in a loony bin for the criminally insane?"

"And whose fault is that?" she screams back at him.

He nods his head, "None other than Ranger Walker and that wife of his. We will get our revenge and my brother will be able to rest in peace. THAT you can count on!"

"You know what you promised me, Carlito. You said that if I played my part well I would have my son back."

The big man groans, he grabs the woman and shakes her. "Would you wake up? Your son is dead and he's dead because of those two people! Get it through your head Mona, your son is dead!"

The woman gets a blank look on her face. "He's dead? When did he die?"

"He's been dead for nearly six years now."

The woman starts to cry, "I don't remember him dying----was he a good boy?"

"He was just an infant, Mona. He was barely a couple of days old, yes he was a good boy and his father would have been proud of him."

The woman rubs her head, "I have a headache---can we go home?"

As the elevator door opens they step out, running right into Trivette. Trivette says his apologies and then sees that the woman has been crying. "Are you all right, ma'am?"

The big man sees the badge on Trivette's chest. He puts his arm around the woman and replies; "She's fine."

The woman looks to Trivette, a glassy look in her eyes. "We have to get home now, our son is crying."
The man pulls her away and they head for the front entrance of the courthouse. Trivette watches them, "Hmm, wonder what she's spaced out on?"

~~~

The Rangers are heading back to Holy Cross Hospital. "Tell me again why we are going back to that hospital. I thought everything was okay?"

Walker sighs, "All I know is that the Ramos' have filed a complaint with the DA's office and Alex wants us to serve the papers."

"Why not let the Denton locals handle it? It's their jurisdiction, why us?"

"Trivette, it's not the first time that we've overstepped the local police, besides Alex has a very funny feeling about the Ramos couple. Something just didn't sit well. She said the woman's behavior was very odd, actually Alex used the word ‘cold’."

The head nurse is stunned. "What do you mean the Ramos' have filed a complaint? When they left, they were all smiles saying they understood the mix-up."

Trivette looks at the nurse, shaking his head. "When they left, where did they go?"

"They said they were going back to their home in Mexico City. They left Monday afternoon, right after you two left."

Walker and Trivette exchange glances and Walker decide to go a different route of questioning. "Was Mrs. Ramos as understanding as her husband about the mix-up?"

The nurse stammers, "Not exactly, she was very upset and did a lot of yelling at my staff, which is understandable. I mean, what mother wouldn't be upset? I understood her anger, but when they left, she had calmed down and even apologized for her outburst."

The Rangers look at each other. "You mean she knew enough English that you understood her?"

"She wasn't speaking Spanish---not the whole time she wasn't---she spoke mostly English."

Walker recalls what Alex was saying about the woman not saying much and her husband saying she didn't understand much English. Trivette is picking up on his partner's vibes.

"Could you describe the Ramos couple to us? Was her husband a big man over six feet?"

The nurse thinks a minute. "No, Ruben Ramos was a small man, very timid like. It was Mrs. Ramos who had the temper. But like I said, they were both all smiles when they left. They didn't act like they were upset and certainly nothing was said about filing a complaint against Holy Cross!"

Walker takes the papers back and puts them inside his shirt. He nudges Trivette and they walk off a few feet.

"Something’s not right Trivette. That was not the Ramos couple in Alex's office making that complaint. Why don’t you ask around and see what kind of information you can come up with. In the meantime, I'm going to call headquarters and get a sketch artist up here. Let’s see if we can get a sketch of Ruben Ramos and another from Alex of the guy who was in her office. I have a feeling they are not going to be the same."

"You got it. I think I will start with the place that holds the most gossip."

"Where's that?"

"Nurses' lounge and if that doesn't work, I'll go to the maternity ward."

Walker smiles, "Careful Trivette, if you get too nosey they might try to swap you!"

~~~

The composite sketch of the man who had gone to Alex's office has come up on the computer screen. Trivette recognizes him as the man that he ran into earlier at the courthouse.

"Walker, I saw this man. He and his wife were getting off the elevator. The woman was upset, she'd been crying."

"Okay, try and match this sketch to known criminals. If we can find out who he is and bring up the files on him, we might be able to figure out what he’s up to. Why don’t you describe his wife to the sketch artist, maybe we can ID her as well."

Walker calls Alex to tell her that the man and his wife were imposters.

"This is not making any sense Walker. Why would they want to file a false complaint? What have they got in common with the Ramos' and where are they? Have you located them yet?"

"We've got an APB out on them and we've notified the Mexican authorities. In the meantime, we're talking to all of the personnel at the hospital and showing them the composite sketches. Maybe someone has seen the imposters at the hospital and we can piece together a connection."

"That makes sense. I knew there was something strange about the way that woman behaved, she was too calm. If that had been me, I would have made a complaint against that hospital and I would..."

"Careful honey, it's doing no good to get upset about this. We're going to find the Ramos' couple and find out what's going on. Actually, no crime has been committed except filing a false police report. There's not much we can do, once we do find them."

Alex smiles, "Okay, I'm going by the HOPE Center to pick up our little bundle. I'll be there for about an hour, I’ve got some paperwork to catch up on. What would you like for supper?" Alex hears a long silence. "Walker, are you there?"

"I'm thinking, I'm thinking," he replies.

"About what?"

"About what I would like for supper. I assume you're not on the menu yet?"

Alex pouts, "Not for another three weeks, doctors orders."

"Damn! I guess it's more cold showers."

Alex coos, "You're not doing without. I see that you're taken care of don't I?"

"But, when do I get to return the favor?"

She laughs, "In three weeks and Cowboy, I'm going to be insatiable!"

She hears him laugh. "You're always insatiable and you are not going to last another three weeks. You almost gave in this morning and if it hadn't been for our little blue eyed alarm clock we might still be in bed."

"Honey, I'm hanging up now, this call is bordering on being phone sex and I have got to get to the center. I’ll see you at home, bye, I love you."

Trivette is walking back to his partner as he sees Walker putting his cell phone away and judging by the "goofy" look on his partner's face, he knows he's been talking to Alex. He knows that look all too well, he feels the same way after talking to Ericka.

"Okay, this is what I got. The man has been identified as a Carlito LaRoche. He worked here about two months---janitorial service. Quiet, no trouble and he's got no records except for a couple of speeding tickets."

"What about the woman, his wife or whoever she is?"

Trivette frowns, "That's the strange part. I showed the composite sketch of the woman I saw getting off the elevator. The nurses said that she looks similar to a woman who worked here, but they’re not the same person. The woman on the elevator was short, less than five feet; this other woman is described as being about five foot six or so. They both have dark hair and eyes and the one thing that all the nurses agreed on was the ‘cold’ look she had. She wasn't very likable. The nurses said she worked as a nurse's aide, but she only worked here a couple of days, saying she couldn't take the ‘squalling babies’ and that they drove her crazy."

"Was she working here at the time the Ramos' baby was born?"

"Yep, her last day was the day the babies got swapped. Sound interesting to you?"

Walker nods his head. "Yep, very interesting. Does this woman have a name?"

"Yep, Marie Duponte---French, just like the name LaRoche."

Walker sighs, "Doesn't make any sense. Babies are swapped, the parents decide not to file any charges and then one of the couples ‘supposedly’ does file charges, but why go all the way to Dallas to file those charges? Why not go to the local police station, less than ten miles away? Why would anyone want to drive to Dallas and claim to be someone they’re not to file charges against a hospital in Denton. And why go to the DA’s office? We had already been to the hospital to investigate what had happened. Why do you suppose they didn’t come to us?"

"Maybe they were afraid we had spoken to the real Ramos couple when we came to the hospital and we would have known right away that they weren’t them. Walker, I have a feeling that the Ramos couple never got back to Mexico City and if I'm right, where are they? And where is that little baby?"

"I don't know Trivette, my intuition says it's not good."

~~~

The baby has been crying for a good hour now. The man is walking in circles, smoking one cigarette after another. He looks at the woman holding the child; she is making no effort to quiet the baby. She is just staring at him, a blank look on her face. "Can't you stop that kid from crying? Give him a bottle for Christ’s sake!"

The woman talks very slowly, "Can't, the baby was breast feeding. The woman is dead, there is no milk."

"Well, do something. Go to the store and get some formula or whatever the hell you're suppose to feed an infant---just shut him up! I told you we should have gotten rid of him when we wiped out the parents."

The woman gets up and lays the baby on the bed. "Yes, that is what I'll do. I will go to the store and get baby milk. Yes, that's what I will do." She starts to the door and then turns around and goes back for the baby and the two of them disappear out the door.

Thirty minutes later, the woman comes back in and lays the baby back down on the bed; the baby is very quiet. The woman nods her head and hums a song and then she goes to the refrigerator and takes out a beer. She sits down across from the big man, he keeps looking over at the baby.

"Thank god, you finally got that kid quiet."

The woman continues to sing a song to herself, twisting her long black hair around her finger, rocking back and forth. "Victor is asleep---yes---he's sleeping. No more crying---he's a good boy---he won't cry no more."

The big man stares back at her and then he gets up slowly and goes to the bed and looks at the small figure lying on the bed. He curses and then he starts wrapping the bedspread around the still form.

The woman looks up at him and runs to him trying to take the baby from him. "Where are you taking my son? I have to change him---he's dirty---let me have him!"

The man pushes her away. "Stop it Mona. The baby is dead, you killed him."

The woman starts to cry. "I didn't mean to---they made me do it---they are mean people---they made me do it!"

The man walks out the door of the motel, looks to make sure no one is watching, and then he heads for the dumpster. When he comes back in, Mona is looking at the newspaper clipping from three weeks before. It shows a bearded man holding a baby up and kissing it, while a blond headed woman looks on smiling. Mona starts singing again and then she looks at the big man.

"They look so happy, don't they?" Before the man can answer, Mona tears the newspaper into shreds. She steps back rubbing her hands together. "Die---die---die," she chants.

~~~

Alex has arrived back at the HOPE Center. She goes immediately to the nursery and picks Angela up and takes her to her office, putting Angela down in the little bassinet. Angela stirs very little as Alex fusses over her and kisses her. "Have you been a good girl, huh? Did you give Josie a hard time? Oh, Mommy has missed you so much." Alex sits down at her desk, pulling the bassinet as close as she can, and starts on her paper work.

Josie ‘pops’ her head in. "Hey working girl. How was your first day back in the office?"

Alex smiles, "Exhausting! But, I will not admit that to my husband. He didn't want me going in today. My feet are killing me, not to mention my back."

Josie shakes her head. "Well, Angela was very good for her first day away from her mama. From what I saw of her that is!"

Alex frowns, "What do you mean?"

"I hardly got to hold Angela at all today. I couldn't get her away from Monique."

Alex smiles faintly. "What do you know about her, Josie? Has she had any more trouble with that abusive husband? And who keeps her kids? Are they in school?"

"What kids, Alex? Monique never mentioned any kids to me."

A strange feeling comes over Alex. "She told me she had two kids and from what I could gather, they weren’t very old."

Josie frowns, "Well, she is a volunteer and we are not obligated to ask them a lot of personal questions, but..."

"But what?"

The phone rings and Josie reaches over to answer it. She looks back at Alex and smiles, "Alex, there is some gentleman caller on the phone and he wants to know if you would prefer going out to dinner, rather than fixing supper at home."

Alex breaks out in a huge smile. "Tell him he'll have to talk to my husband about that."

Josie starts laughing and hands the phone to Alex. "You better take this, he's starting to breathe hard."

"Hi honey, don't tell me, you’re going to have to work tonight and that's the reason you want to go out and eat, right?"

Monique has seen Alex come in and head for her office. She casually walks up to the door and tries to listen to Alex's end of the conversation. She hears Josie say that she will watch Angela while Alex goes to dinner with her husband. She backs away from Alex's office and goes to the bathroom to make a call. She whispers into the cell phone. "She's leaving the kid here while she has dinner with her husband, we make our move as soon as she leaves."

Monique has made her way back to Alex's office just as the gray Ram pulls up outside the Hope Center. She moves away from Alex's office and watches the bearded man as he walks inside, nodding to Josie and kissing Alex. He then goes straight to the bassinet and picks up Angela.

"Are my girls ready for dinner?"

"Sweetheart, Josie said she would watch Angela while we go to eat."

Walker looks disappointed. "But I told Mario at the restaurant that we would bring her in. He and his wife are wanting to see her."

Alex smiles, "Well in that case, we'll take her with us. Is that okay Josie?"

"Sure, I'll see you in the morning, Angela. Have a good dinner."

Monique curses as she watches Walker grab the baby things and Alex takes Angela and head towards the truck. She watches as Walker reaches in the back seat for the baby carrier and puts it in between them. She grits her teeth as she watches them drive off, then reaches for her cell phone again. "Change of plans, they took the baby with them. I know, I know, time is running out."

Walker has been driving for about five minutes as he keeps looking at Alex, who is trying to get comfortable in her seat.

"Okay Alex, when were you going to tell me?"

Alex looks at her husband timidly and then pulls the little nursery blanket up around their daughter. "Tell you what?"

Walker frowns and lays his hand over hers. "About your back hurting. I can tell by the way you're walking that your back is hurting. It is isn't it?"

She hesitates, "A little."

Walker shakes his head. "You see! I told you that you were rushing going back to work. It's only been three weeks since Angela was born. The doctor told you to take off at least another week or two. Why are you being so stubborn? Are you that bored with married life and being a new mommy that you want to risk your health by going back to work too soon?"

Alex stares at her husband. "Bored? How can you ask me that?"

"Because that's what it sounds like to me, that you're bored!"

Alex's bottom lip is starting to quiver. "Cordell Walker, don't you ever accuse me of being bored with our marriage! We discussed my continuing to work after Angela was born. That's one of the things that we talked about in detail before we decided to start a family, that I would still have my career."

"Your career is not the issue here. Your going back to work too soon is."

"So I’m human and I tried to be superwoman and do it all. I left work in a mess and the DA has been pressuring me to come back."

"And you caved? How come I never win one of our arguments, but the DA does? What’s he got that I don’t?"

"He’s my boss, not my husband. Besides, it’s easier to wrap you around my finger. I can always use sex to get what I want from you."

"You better not use it to get what you want from the DA!"

"Don’t worry, I won’t use it with you either."

"No, anything, but that! You promise to stay at home until you’re really ready to go back to work and you can use your feminine wiles to ‘have’ your way with me anytime."

"Don’t you mean to ‘get’ my way with you anytime?"

"Uh uh, I’m in pain waiting as it is. So will you agree to stay home a while longer?"

"I’ll stay home for a few days. Anything to get you to stop talking about it. I want to enjoy my meal before your daughter decides she wants to be fed again."

Walker smiles and looks down at his daughter, touching her face lightly with his finger. "Look at her, even in her sleep she has your stubbornness, the way she keeps that right hand doubled up and her bottom lip is quivering."

Alex smiles, "She keeps that right hand doubled up because of you. She's going to be a fighter, just like you. My insides were all bruised from all that kicking she was doing for nine months and now I look for her to punch out the nurse the next time she has to get another shot."

"She does have a temper, doesn't she?"

Alex takes her husband's hand and kisses it. "She comes by it naturally, Irish and Cherokee on your side and Irish, Scotch and English on my side. What a combination!"

~~~

The big man is pacing; he looks at Mona and shakes his head. The woman is still singing to herself, twisting her hair and rocking back and forth.

"Carlito, is Victor coming back?"

He walks over to the woman and shakes her, "NO! Victor is not coming back; neither of them is ever coming back! They're dead Mona! D E A D---get that through your sick head---they're dead!"

The woman continues to sing and then she goes down on the floor and rolls around. She chants a song about being dead and then she starts to remember, being in that hellhole, the crazy people around her. They were touching her, feeling her and then she starts to scream. "It's their fault---it's all their fault! She couldn't keep her hands off my husband; she made him crazy. She would tease him, he would get mad and then she would laugh at him, make him crazy---do
crazy things---she's a bad woman Carlito---she has to die!"

Carlito curses, "Don't forget him! Don't forget that boyfriend that killed him---they are both to blame!"

They don't see the tall dark headed woman walk through the door. "What are you two lunatics up to now? I swear I don't know which of you is the craziest! My sister spent over five years in an insane asylum, what’s your excuse Carlito?"

The man says nothing as the woman goes over and picks up her sister off the floor, brushing her hair back. "Everything is going to be okay Mona. I saw the ones responsible for your pain and soon they will die."

Mona cries softly. "And what about my son? Will they let me have him now? Can I take him back to France with me?"

Monique looks at her and nods. "Yes, you can take him back to France with you."

Mona lies down on the bed and within minutes she's asleep. Monique looks around the room and then to Carlito, "What happened to the Ramos' baby?"

Carlito sighs and nods towards Mona, who is sleeping with her thumb in her mouth. "What do you think? She killed him, the same way she killed the others---including little Victor!"

Monique goes to the refrigerator and takes out a beer. "Time is running out, we have to make our move soon, before they find the bodies of the Ramos' couple and start putting things together."
Carlito swears, "I could have taken out the Ranger and that woman of his years ago, but you wouldn't let me!"

"You know why Carlito. I made a promise to my sister that we would wait till she was out of that place and she could watch them die."

"Your sister is nothing more than a vegetable. She knows nothing about what is going on here. The Walkers have to die and so does that kid of theirs!"

Monique walks slowly over to Carlito and kisses him. "They are going to die, my sweet and your brother’s revenge will be taken as well as my sister’s for losing her husband and son to the hands of that Ranger and her, Alex Cahill-Walker. It's all her fault for teasing him, leading him on..."

"And what about the kid? You promised Mona a son; the Walkers had a little girl. What do you plan to do about that?"

Monique smiles and looks at her sister. "Do you really think that my sister is in a state of mind to know the difference? Besides, she'll end up killing the kid, just like she did the others!"

Carlito smiles, "And what about us Monique? After we take care of the Walkers and give Mona the kid, can we get back to what we had?"

Monique nods her head and walks over to touch her sleeping sister. "Yes, after the Walkers are dead, we can go back to France, our job here will be finished. Vive Victor LaRue!"

~~~

The Walkers are enjoying their Italian dinner while Mario and his wife have Angela, showing her off to the other employees. Alex keeps watching the couple going from table to table showing off their beautiful daughter and hearing the ‘oohs and aahs’.

Walker looks at his wife. "Honey, eat your dinner, Angela is fine."

"I know, I know she's in good hands."

Walker teases her, "Are you going to be such a protective mother after we have our next child?"
Alex smiles, "What's this? You want another baby? You said just last night that you didn't want another baby for at least two years that you wanted to have Angela all to yourself and spoil her rotten! Did you not say that?"

Walker nods, "Yes, I said that, but every time I see you in that that sexy little negligee, my mind starts wandering and I sort of like this idea of making babies."

Alex giggles, "Oh, so do I, Cowboy!"

Walker reaches over to kiss his wife, his cell phone rings.

"Walker, we just found two bodies. They've been identified as Ruben and Tina Ramos."

Walker nods his head slowly, "And the Ramos' baby?"

"No sign of him, but it doesn't look good. The Ramos' put up quite a fight, especially Tina. She was beaten, her head was caved in by some blunt instrument, but not before she was kicked in the stomach repeatedly."

Walker takes Alex back to the Hope Center to pick up her SUV and he helps her to get Angela strapped into her baby seat. He has said nothing all the way to the Center, as he keeps thinking of the Ramos' baby. He kisses Angela, letting his fingers linger on her angelic face. Alex is watching him, she knows her husband's thoughts as she walks around to the passenger side and puts her arms around him.

"I don't know what I would do if anything were to happen to you or Angela. I can't imagine my life without either of you."

"Honey, we're fine. You have got to stop worrying about us and find that little baby." She looks into his eyes, caressing his beard.

Walker closes the passenger door, "You be careful going home. Keep the doors locked. Is your cell phone working okay?"

"Yes."

"Check it, make sure before I leave."

Alex reaches into her purse and checks the phone. "It's fine honey, it's working fine, the batteries are fresh."

"Okay, you go straight home and lock the doors when you get there."

Alex can see that this Ramos' case has really gotten her husband on edge; she's never seen him so rattled. "Walker, what is it, why are you so jittery? This isn't like you."

Walker places his hands on his wife's shoulders. "Alex, for once, don't argue with me, just do as I say, okay?"

"Okay honey, I'll do everything you said, be careful, I love you."

"I love you too, Alex. I'll call you, stay close to the phone."

~~~

The two Rangers are looking at the bodies of the Ramos couple. Trivette bites his bottom lip, he's seen hundreds of bodies, he wonders if he will ever get used to the sight. "Why did they beat her like that Walker, why?"

Walker takes a deep breath, picturing how the woman must have been fighting to protect her baby. "I don't know partner, some of these sons of bitches just like to torture, they get off on it!"

"Okay, this is what I got. The bodies were found at the side of the road just off Highway 83, heading south. A couple was having trouble with their car when this big black Caddy came up on the North side over there, dumped the bodies out and left. They couldn't identify them, a man and a woman. They said the man was rather large, they didn't see the woman that clear, just that she kept kicking at one of the bodies till the man practically threw her in the car."

"License number?"

"Couldn't see it, they took off too fast."

Walker walks around the scene. "See if you can get a cast of this tire print. Put an APB out on all late model Cadillac’s. We need to talk to those witnesses again."

"Everything is taken care of, the witnesses are standing right over there."

Walker and Trivette talk to the witnesses for a good twenty minutes, they can offer no more information.

Trivette is looking at his partner. "What are you thinking about Walkman? What's bothering you?"

Walker shakes his head. "I can't put my finger on it, but my intuition keeps coming up with a feeling of ‘deja vu’."

Trivette sighs, "Well, never let it be said that I question that Cherokee intuition. Walker, what are you referring to?"

Walker turns and walks off. "When I figure it out, I'll tell you!"

His partner sighs, "It's going to be a long night."

The rest of the evening and into the night is spent going over lab reports, questioning the witnesses again and showing them pictures of Carlito LaRoche and Marie Duponte. The couple shakes their heads.

"The man maybe, but the other woman, I don't think so. She was such a tiny little thing, looked almost like a kid and she kept kicking at the bodies, especially the woman's and saying, ‘die, die,’ over and over again."

~~~

It's almost 3:00 a.m. when the Rangers decide to call it a night. Walker has to use his key to get in. He quickly steps inside and resets the alarm system. Never in his life did he ever think he would put in a burglar alarm, but as soon as Alex said she was pregnant, his whole line of thinking changed. He was constantly checking to make sure all the doors and windows were locked, something he had never bothered with in the whole time he lived on the ranch. Most of the time he never bothered to lock his front door that was the first rule he changed. He also kept a small handgun just over the door and made sure Alex kept up her practice on the firing range.
When he wasn't home, he kept after her to keep the doors locked. She was just as adamant as he was about keeping an eye on Angela, as the stories would come out about babies being taken right out of their bedrooms and front rooms with the parents just a room away. If Alex was in the kitchen, Angela was right there with her or her bassinet would be pulled out into the middle of the living room so Alex could watch her from the kitchen. Angela's bedroom door was never closed, the monitor was turned up to the max, they could hear her breathing.

Walker turns to go up the stairs, decides he's hungry and goes to the kitchen instead. Alex has left him a note on the fridge. "Sandwiches for you inside, piece of chocolate cake on the cabinet, don't make a mess, love you."

He laughs to himself, "Heaven forbid I mess up her kitchen. I'm too tired to eat, I'm going to bed."

He goes to the nursery first and checks on his daughter, winds up the little music box that plays ‘Nadia's Theme,’ kisses Angela and says "Goodnight my angel."

A soft voice comes over the intercom, "Goodnight Cowboy and where's my goodnight kiss?"

He smiles and walks across to their bedroom, "I should have known you'd still be awake."

Alex pulls herself up in bed and watches as her husband walks to the bed and lies down beside her, putting his head on her bosom.

She strokes his hair back, "Long evening, huh?"

He nods, putting his arms around her waist and nestling closer to her. "We haven't found the Ramos baby yet and chances of finding him alive are next to nothing.”

"I was afraid of that, but I've been doing some thinking and you're right."

"Right about what?"

"About my going back to work too soon. If it's okay with you, I'll just work on my cases from here."

He raises up and faces her, "Uh huh, you really did get your back to hurting again, didn't you?"

She’s hesitant to answer, but concedes meekly, "Yes, big time. My back is all knotted up. You think I could get a back rub from a certain Cowboy?"

Walker sighs, "Oh, I guess. You know how much I hate massaging your sexy back. I should make you suffer for not listening to me, you know that?"

She looks up at him with those blue eyes, "If you give me a massage, I'll make it up to you in the morning."

"This is the morning, Alex."

"So what are you waiting for? Go take your shower and come to bed and hurry."

~~~

Monique has been watching the front door of the Hope Center looking for Alex. She keeps looking at her watch, finally she asks Josie about her.

Josie looks at her curiously. "Alex isn't bringing Angela in today. Alex hurt her back and she's decided to stay home the rest of the week and if her husband has anything to say about it, she won't be coming in for the rest of the month!"

The look on Monique’s face changes dramatically. "The rest of the month?"

Josie looks at her, "Yeah, maybe."

Monique turns, "I think I'll leave early today. I got some things that need to be taken care of. Is that okay?"

Josie nods her head and watches as Monique heads for the door. "What is your fascination with Alex and Angela?" she says to herself.

~~~

At the Walker ranch, Alex is taking Walker his coffee while trying to keep a fussy Angela from throwing up her milk. "Honey, time to get up, its after 7:00 a.m."

Walker stirs and mumbles to himself, "I just closed my eyes. I didn't hear our blue eyed alarm clock go off."

Alex is trying to balance the baby and hand Walker his coffee. "That's because I've been up with our alarm clock since around 5:00 a.m. She's not feeling too good, got another nervous tummy. I'm taking her to the doctor today."

Walker reaches up and takes his daughter; Angela is starting to cry. "What are you being so fussy about today? Things just aren't going your way? Tell daddy what it is."

"I think it's the formula again, they will probably have to change it."

"When you nurse her, she doesn't get fussy."

"I know, but I'm not producing enough milk to keep her satisfied. You have one hungry little daughter with a huge appetite!"

Walker grins, "Just like her old man." He moves his brow up and down, looking back at his wife.

Alex smiles, "Yes and that's the reason you didn't get much sleep or allow me to, that huge appetite of yours!"

"Are you complaining Mrs. Walker?"

She reaches down and kisses him and then takes her daughter. "No, I'm not complaining, but you better get your rest because in the next three weeks, you are going to be working OVERTIME!"

Alex takes the baby and lies down beside her husband.

Walker laughs, "I'm looking forward to it. What time is Angela's appointment?"

"I don't know yet, the offices aren't open. I’ll start calling right at 8:00 and try to get her in as soon as possible."

Walker sighs and takes a drink of his coffee. "You just be careful hon, take extra precautions for the next few days."

Alex is again trying to nurse Angela; the right breast is not giving any milk, so she switches her to the left. She looks back at Walker. "What's going on, why are you so nervous about this case? Is there something you're not telling me?"

He gets up and walks towards the bathroom, stopping to get a fresh pair of underwear. "I don't know Alex, it puts me in mind of another case about five years ago. Remember the Hamilton case?"

Angela has finally started a gentle suckle, "Hamilton? You mean Judge Hamilton, the one that sentenced Victor LaRue to that insane asylum, saying he wasn't fit to stand trial for the murder of those hostages?"

"The same. He said LaRue wasn't fit to stand trial, that he needed psychiatric help. LaRue escaped and ended up killing Hamilton's wife and fourteen year old daughter."

Alex's face takes on a look of total disgust at the mention of LaRue's name. The memories of him trying to rape her, not once, but three times, haven’t faded completely. The countless nights of nightmares that she had afterwards and finally the day that Walker ended his worthless life, once and for all!

"I remember, all too well and I also remember Hamilton's daughter begged for her life before LaRue raped and killed her!"

"Yeah well, if you recall there was a couple involved in that killing that we never caught. LaRue wasn't talking or at least he was pretending that he didn't understand the questions and so on. But, he definitely had help in torturing those poor people. The Hamilton girl mumbled that ‘she had such cold eyes,’ right before she took her last breath."

A chill goes down Alex's spine as she cuddles Angela closer to her. "And you think that this reminds you of that case? Walker, Victor LaRue is dead, you killed him!"

Walker looks back at his wife. "I know LaRue is dead and I've regretted not taking out that scumbag the first time that he tried to hurt you, but Alex, we never found that other couple and they were just as ruthless as LaRue."

Alex is starting to shake; Walker walks over to her and puts his arms around her. "I'm not telling you this to scare you Alex. I just want you to be extra careful. All of this is too similar to what happened five years ago and it’s making the hair on my neck stand up. So, be careful, please?"

Alex nods, he kisses her forehead and then goes to take his shower.

~~~

The Rangers are now at headquarters.
"Walker, they found the black Caddy and guess who it belonged to?"

"The Ramos couple."

Trivette nods his head, "Bingo! They were last seen alive at a gas station over on Carson and 34th. The manager said they were soon joined by another couple, they all crowded into the Caddy and left, going south."

"Did the manager say if the Ramos' acted as though they knew this other couple?"

Trivette nods, "Yep, the two men shook hands and slapped each other on the back, they were all laughing."

"What about a description of the big man, is he the same man that you saw in the sketch and on the elevator?"

"The same one and the description of the woman was the same woman I saw getting off the elevator crying."

Walker starts reaching for his hat, "Got an address?"

The two Rangers head for the door. "Motel over on 4th and Elm."


~~~

Alex has just taken Angela into the doctor’s office; the couple watches them from a distance. Carlito takes out his cell phone and makes a call. "Yeah, she's in the doctor’s office now with the kid. I don't know how long this will take, are you ready at your end?"

Monique answers, "I'm more than ready. I've followed her home and I've watched the routes she takes when she leaves the Interstate. As soon as she hits Highway 199, we make our move."

"Okay, we’ll meet you at the rendezvous point."

~~~

The Rangers have gotten the keys to room 123 at the motel where the abandoned Cadillac was spotted. The manager has said they checked out sometime during the night, leaving the room a mess.

Walker walks in first. Trivette fans the air, "Jeez the manager wasn't kidding, this place is like a pig sty."

They walk around the room; empty pizza boxes and half-eaten chicken are laying everywhere. Walker spots the newspaper lying in the floor, he holds up the shreds. He's trying to place the paper together when Trivette calls out to him. "Walker!"

Walker turns around to see Trivette holding a baby's pacifier. The men just stare at each other. Trivette calls for back up. Soon the place is crawling with law officers, going door to door, and questioning everyone. The search is halted. They've found the Ramos' baby in the dumpster, thrown away like just a piece of trash.

Walker stares at the body of the infant, visions of his daughter lying there, wrapped in an old bedspread. Trivette watches his partner's face turn from anger to fear. He walks up to him, laying his hand on his shoulder.

"Walker, you better look at this. I've had the phone company trace all the calls going in and out of here for the past week, that's how long they've been here. Most of the calls are local, but this call came from down around Jacksboro. The number is listed to a Fred Wagner, didn't we bust him a couple of years ago for gun theft and among other things forging passports?"

"Yeah, I remember him; he also had a rap sheet for being involved with some illegal baby adoptions. Let's go pay him a visit."

The Rangers drive north to Jacksboro. One of the young officers is inside the motel room, looking at the torn newspaper that Walker had dropped when Trivette found the pacifier. She picks up the shreds and starts trying to put them together. Her senior officer yells at her to help with another matter. She shoves the newspaper aside and goes to do his bidding.

~~~

Monique is driving north to Springtown, towards the Walker ranch. She stops outside of Reno, about ten miles from Springtown. It's a small town; blink and you miss it. She follows the road as it curves and continues over a railroad track. She watches as the train stops and reloads. It will move a couple hundred feet down the track and stop again. The warning gate keeps going down, irritating the drivers. The woman just watches and studies how the big machine operates.

~~~

At the pediatrician’s office, Alex puts Angela into her baby seat and as instructed heads down the hall to her OBGYN. The couple watches her go into another door and wait some time more until she emerges from this second office and heads for the elevator. The couple follows her. Alex has to stop at the pharmacy to pick up a couple of prescriptions and while she waits, her cell phone rings.

The couple moves closer to Alex to hear the conversation. The woman is eyeing the baby and keeps nudging the big man. He keeps telling her to be quiet. The woman is getting angry. "We can take the baby now," she whispers.

"We stick to the plan. There is no way we can grab the baby now, see how she's keeping the baby close to her? Now just shut up and be patient!"

"Hi honey, yes everything is fine. The pediatrician suggested a different formula, but said to only feed it to her in emergency situations."

"But I thought you weren’t producing enough milk." There is silence for a long moment.

"Alex?"

"He sent me to my doctor and she said that I have to change a few things."

"Like what?"

"Well, for starters, I have to get more rest."

"So going back to work so soon is out?"

"Yeah and I have to start eating more. She said that I’m losing weight too quickly and I also need to start drinking more fluids and taking some vitamin and mineral supplements. She said that there is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to nurse Angela without supplemental feedings and she said that since the formula makes her sick, I need to make nursing her a priority."

"Okay Alex, I can tell by your voice that you’re feeling guilty enough, so I won’t tell you ‘I told you so’."

"Thanks, that’s big of you. By the way, we need to buy a cow."

"What?"

"You should see how much milk she wants me to drink in a day. It would be cheaper to just buy our own cow."

"No way, you’ll never be willing to get up at sunrise to milk it."

"Me?"

Walker laughs in her ear. "Alex, you’re not a bad mommy. You’re just an inexperienced one. I’ve been worrying about how thin you’ve been getting. Don’t worry about being sexy for me, you know I can’t resist you no matter what. I bet you’re supposed to cut down on the stress in your life as well, huh?"

"You think you’re so smart don’t you cowboy. When will you be home?"

"As soon as I can get there, no promises. How about you, are you heading home now?"

"I'm going straight home. I’ll stop and pick up some bar-b-cue at Fat Albert's for supper, will that be okay?"

"Don’t you dare forget to get me a big piece of cherry cobbler."

"No, I won’t forget the cherry cobbler and since I’m supposed to eat more, I’ll get enough for me too. See you tonight."

The couple follows Alex to the parking lot and watches as she heads to a white SUV; the new dealer tags still in the window. They wait till she has the baby tucked in and then they head for their auto, a beat up ‘81 Ford pickup.

~~~

The Rangers are about fifteen miles from Jacksboro when a call comes over the dispatch, "Ranger Walker, you have a call from a Sergeant Mills, DPD. He says it's urgent."

"Put him through."

"Ranger Walker, one of my officers found a discarded newspaper in that motel where we found the Ramos' baby."

"Yeah, what about it?"

"Ranger, we put the paper together the best we could, it's a picture of you holding your little girl at the hospital when she was born."

Walker's knuckles grow white as he grips the steering wheel, slams on his brakes and heads south, toward Springtown.

"Trivette, dial Alex's number!"

Alex is approaching the railroad tracks, the warning gate is down and the lights are flashing. The train is approaching as the whistle blares. The noise is deafening as Angela starts to cry. The phone is ringing, as Alex takes Angela from her baby carrier. Angela is screaming at the top of her lungs as the train's whistle is getting louder and louder. Alex is trying to calm her and answer the phone at the same time. An ‘81 Ford pickup pulls up behind Alex's SUV.

"Hello?"

"Alex, this is Jimmy, where are you?"

Alex can barely hear the voice at the other end. "Hello Jimmy, what's wrong? Is Walker okay?"

Trivette hands the phone to Walker. "She must be near those railroad tracks in Reno, the baby is crying so loud she can hardly hear me."

"Alex, are you okay?"

Alex can hear the fear in Walker's voice. "Yes, we're okay. Angela is afraid of the train whistle. Honey as soon as we get to the other side I'll call you back, I can hardly hear you."
"Don't hang up Alex, stay on the line!"

Just as Alex starts to answer, the truck behind her bumps her and keeps bumping her towards the railroad track. Alex looks up in the rearview mirror, and presses her foot down on the brakes as hard as she can. "What is your problem, can't you see that the train is coming?" The SUV is being bumped harder; Alex is pressing harder on the brakes, Angela continues to scream.

"Walker!" Alex cries out.

The Rangers are hearing Alex's voice screaming. Walker throws the phone back to Trivette as he floors the Ram, sirens and lights flashing.

"Alex, what's wrong?"

"Jimmy, some idiot is trying to push me onto the railroad tracks, he's crazy, the train is coming! Walker!"

Carlito and Mona are laughing as the truck continues to push the SUV, the tires of the smaller vehicle are squealing. Alex is hitting her horn and trying to turn around in her seat to wave the guy away. They laugh louder as they see her frightened face. The bigger truck backs up and then rams the SUV through the warning gate. Another car on the other side runs through the warning gate and hits Alex's SUV. She can't go forwards or backwards, they have her blocked in and the train is bearing down.

Alex is screaming and crying as she reaches for the door. Carlito runs up to her door and shoves it back, trying to grab Angela through the open window. Alex bites his hand and reaches for the button to the power windows. The window almost catches Carlito's hand, as he curses and starts kicking the door of the SUV. Mona runs to the other side and tries to reach in for Angela, Alex hits her in the head with the cell phone, the phone cracks.

"Alex! Alex!"

The train is getting closer; Alex can feel the SUV vibrating. She screams louder, hoping that the connection to her husband wasn't broken. The Rangers can hear her screams as Jimmy is screaming back that they are coming. Walker's eyes are staring straight ahead, his hands are gripping the steering wheel so tight, his whole body is shaking. They see the train bearing down from the north end as Jimmy tries to call the engineer. They see the SUV on the tracks; the train’s whistle is blaring louder. Walker's Ram flies over the tracks in front of the train, the engineer's face goes pale as he sees the truck fly across the tracks, he starts hitting the brakes.
Carlito and Mona see the Ram coming towards them as they run to get into Monique's car, it backs off and they speed away. Walker's Ram slams to a stop and he and Trivette start running towards the tracks, the train is getting closer.

Alex sees them coming as she tries to open her door---it's stuck! She can't reach the button for the power windows. Walker yells at her, "cover up!"

Alex turns away from the window as Walker's elbow breaks it, sending glass everywhere. "Take Angela!" Alex screams.

Walker grabs his daughter and hands her to Trivette and then he starts pulling on the door, he can't get it open!

"Alex, you're going to have to crawl out!"

Alex starts towards the window, she can't move, her shoe is caught under the brake pedal. She tries to kick it off. "I can't get it off---Walker---I'm stuck!"

Walker reaches down into his boot for his knife and then dives headfirst through the window and over Alex. Alex can see the train getting larger; the engineer is desperately trying to stop it! The squealing of the metal against the tracks is almost unbearable as Alex covers her ears and screams for her husband to hurry. She's trying to look around for her daughter and she sees Jimmy handing her to a motorist that has driven up to help.

Walker is trying to reach Alex's foot and starts cutting at the strap that is caught on the brake pedal. Jimmy and another motorist are pulling on the jammed door. Finally, Walker gets the strap cut and yells to Alex to pull her foot loose and crawl towards the broken window. Jimmy and the other motorist reach for her and start pulling her through. Alex looks back and screams for Walker as he is scrambling to get through the window.

The motorist yells at Jimmy that he has Alex and for him to help his partner.

Jimmy is trying to pull Walker through the window; his gun belt catches on
the gearshift.

Alex is trying to run back to her SUV, screaming for Walker to get out. Walker starts cutting at his gun belt. The train is less than a hundred feet as Trivette takes a final pull, jerking Walker through. They scramble to get out of the way of the SUV as it's hit and dragged along the track. The two Rangers watch, as the little SUV folds up like an accordion. Alex rushes towards them and throws her arms around Walker.

She keeps asking him if he's okay, but all he can do is nod. He's panting heavily as he whispers, "Is Angela okay?"

Walker and Alex look up to see the lady motorist walking towards them with a screaming Angela. Alex is crying uncontrollably as she takes her daughter and mumbles a "Thank you" to the lady holding her.

Trivette yells, "Where's the ambulance?"

~~~

Alex and Angela have been airlifted to Mercy Hospital to be checked out. Angela is fine, just frightened from all the screaming. Alex's ankle has been badly bruised and she has cuts from crawling through the broken glass. Walker has cuts and bruises too. The doctor has asked Alex to spend the night, but she refuses.

"No, I want to go home. Are you sure my daughter and husband are okay?"

Walker walks into the examining room with Angela asleep in his arms. "We're fine honey, we're both fine. The doctors have given us a clean bill of health."

Walker places Angela in Alex's arms, kissing them both and whispering, "The Angels were sure looking out for us today, they were definitely on our shoulders leading the way."

Alex starts to cry as she touches her husband's cheek and then pulls their daughter closer into them. Walker sits down on the side of the bed, holding them close.

Monique, Mona, and Carlito make it to the airport. Their plane leaves DFW, heading for France. The DPD and Texas Rangers can't stop the flight. They will notify the French police and the trio will have a welcoming party when they land in Paris.

Walker takes his family home, swearing to himself that as soon as Alex is well, he will head to Paris and escort the trio back to stand trial for the murders of the Ramos' and their baby boy, plus two counts of attempted murder on his wife and daughter. But for now, he just wants to stay close to the two people that are his whole life.

It's nighttime at the Walker ranch; as Walker and Alex are sitting in the porch swing with their daughter in between them, sound asleep.

"Walker, I have always believed in guardian angels and now I'm even more convinced they exist. We definitely had Angels looking out for us that day on the railroad track."

Walker reaches out for his wife's hand and says softly, "I've started to believe in Angels more and more since the day Angela was born. That vision that I saw surrounding her, she was truly a gift from the Angels."

In the distance a tiny bell rings and three shooting stars light up over the Walker ranch.

~~~

The End

August 30th 2001