Beach Blanket Weekend

By: Lelani

Texas Ranger Cordell Walker rapped his knuckles on the door that was labeled, Alexandra Walker, Deputy District Attorney. The knock was more of a warning rather than a request for entry. His wife knew that knock and rather than calling out to him to enter, she merely looked up from her desk expectantly, waiting for her husband’s head to peek around the door to see if she was available. When he saw that she was alone and not on the phone, he entered the room and headed with a purposeful stride to her desk.

There were books and files open and strewn across its top, a sure indication that she was busy and he shouldn’t stay long. “Hi honey, I just stopped in to see if you wanted me to pick Angela up from daycare. It looks as if I’ll be getting off a little early today. Trivette and I booked those two drug couriers and they’re not talking. We’re going to have to find another way to bust up this particular ring.” “If you could pick Angela up that would really help me out. I’d like to stay and finish this, I don’t know when I’ll be home, but I’m guessing late.” 

Walker clarified, “Late, as in after Angela goes down for the night?” “Oh, I hope not. I hate to miss her evening bath.” “I know and she hates it when you’re not there. For some reason, I just don’t read bedtime stories as well as mommy does. What’s that you’re working on?” “It’s the Jinwright double homicide case and I’ve got more bad news.” “What?” “I have to fly down to Corpus Christi tomorrow to depose a witness.” “Can’t you send one of the ADA’s?” “Walker, this is a really complex case and I’m afraid that if I don’t go there myself, something vital might get missed. I can’t stand the thought of missing Angela two nights in a row though; she’s going to think her mommy abandoned her.” “So, now I know the reason for the grumpy look when I walked in.” “Well, I didn’t become a mother so that I could spend my days and nights away from my baby.” “Sounds like you’re having the working mother blues again.” “It’s this blasted job, I go for weeks at a time with nine to five hours and then I get some big case dumped in my lap and I have to spend days or weeks working ridiculous hours.” “I know, honey, but you’re with Angela every weekend and most nights.” “Well, tomorrow is Friday and this witness is going to be hostile. If I can’t get her testimony by late afternoon, I’ll have to stay down there.”

Walker looked pensive and then said, “What if Angela and I came with you?” Alex looked surprised, but there was already hope in her eyes. “Really? You think you could do that?” “For you? I can do anything,” he grinned his boyish grin at her, but she pursed her lips and wasn’t impressed. “Really, can you take off?” “Alex, I put in three eighteen hour days this week, I don’t think anyone is going to begrudge me a Friday off.” “That sounds great! I’ll have my secretary call and change my reservations. Can we stay the whole weekend?” “Sure, let’s stay until Sunday night and fly back then.” “Okay, I’ll have her confirm that hotel room I had booked and see if they can upgrade to a double with a crib.” “Sounds good, but let me talk to her and you get back to work. Since I’m a bachelor tonight, I think I’ll take Angela out for a ride. She’s always better on the back of a horse.”

Alex rolled her eyes at her husband. “Walker, she’s never going to walk if you and Ranger carry her everywhere.” “Relax, Alex, she’s only thirteen months old. She’ll walk when she’s ready.” “I know, but she’s been so ahead of her peers in everything else…” Walker laughed at his wife, “It’s not a competition you know. Besides, she’s probably waiting till she’s ready to run.” “Well, all I can say is, I better be there for her first steps. I don’t want to miss them.” Walker leaned over the desk and kissed his wife, “Get to work and I’ll see you at home later.”

Walker arrived at HOPE House and found his daughter standing up holding onto the arts and crafts table in the daycare. She looked at her father and began her favorite chant, “dadadadadadada”, while she slapped her hands on the top of the plastic table. “Hi angel face,” Walker greeted his pride and joy. She grinned and then turned to face him and took a step toward him. Walker’s breath caught and he watched as she took a second step. He crouched down with his arms extended toward her and said, “That’s it baby, walk to daddy.” Angela took a third faltering step and then promptly sat down on her diaper padded bottom. Her lower lip stuck straight out and she got a look that reminded Walker of Alex in the mornings.

Walker stood and swooped his baby up into his arms, causing her to grin and chuckle. “You did it! You walked!” Walker cried, but then remembered Alex’s parting words to her, “But we won’t tell mommy, okay?” He caught Josie’s eye and she nodded her head, silently agreeing to keep the secret. She knew how important it was to Alex to see her baby’s first steps. Josie was good at keeping secrets. She hadn’t told either of Angela’s parents that she had been walking for nearly a week now.

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Alex came in after ten that night, dragging herself into the door and kicking off her shoes almost before she was all the way through. Walker was in the living room reading and got up to greet her. “Hi, I was getting worried.” “I know; I just had so much research to do on this case. It’s going to be hard to prove, we only have circumstantial evidence and they’ve got some damn good defense attorneys who are making me jump through all sorts of hoops.” “You’ll outsmart ‘em.” “Yeah, well, we’ll see. If I can crack this witness, I may have a chance.”

Walker’s priority was his wife, not the case. “Have you eaten? Can I fix you something?” “No, I didn’t eat, but my stomach has already shut down for the night. I’ll wait till morning. I just want to kiss my baby and go to bed.” “What about your husband?” Alex raised her eyebrows, “What about him?” “Don’t I rate a kiss?” “Depends…” “On what?” “On whether or not you’ll give me a massage.” “I’ll give you the massage, but I want the kiss first, otherwise, you’ll fall asleep before I get paid.” “Okay, I guess I can do that,” she said as she leaned into him and let him kiss her.

As often happened, as soon as their lips met, the kiss changed from gentle and welcoming to passionate and needy. It was Walker, who put on the brakes and pulled back, holding her head to his neck and stroking her hair. “Go say goodnight to Angela and I’ll meet you up in our room.” She nodded her head against his neck and headed on up.

Alex entered Angela’s room and peeked at her over the bars of the crib. “Hi baby, I missed you,” she whispered to her sleeping daughter. She broke the most sacred rule of parenting; she woke her sleeping child up. She just couldn’t resist and reached in to lift her out to hold her in her arms. Angela startled and fussed for a second, but Alex tucked her under her chin and went to sit in the rocker with her and sing to her. Angela settled against her mother’s breast and fell back into her deep sleep.

Alex spent a good fifteen minutes with her, wishing it were longer, and then replaced the sleeping infant into her crib. She headed into the master bedroom, directly across the hall, and stripped off her suit and headed into the shower. She covered her hair, not wanting to get it wet before going to bed, but she stood under the warm spray and just let it pulsate on her tired body. After she finished her shower, she toweled off and went into the bedroom.

Walker was waiting for her and gestured to her to lie on the bed. Alex didn’t argue as she lay face down and waited for him to begin soothing the massage oil into her skin. Walker stroked and soothed her bunched and tired muscles, concentrating on her shoulders where she had knots from leaning over her desk for far too many hours that day. Alex drifted and fell into a deep relaxed sleep. When he’d finished, Walker covered his sleeping wife with a sheet and slipped into the bed next to her.

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The next morning, the Walker household was in an uproar. Packing for their weekend getaway and getting ready for work had them running to and fro. They left half an hour later than usual, but Alex was hopeful that they hadn’t forgotten anything vital.

They dropped Angela off at HOPE House and went into work to wrap up things in order to leave early. Walker finished filing his paperwork on the bust of the two couriers he and Trivette had nabbed trying to bring narcotics in on a chartered plane, while Alex prepared the papers she needed to take for her deposition scheduled for later in the afternoon.

They headed back out to pick Angela up and Alex ran in to get her while Walker waited in the Alex’s Durango. Angela was playing with blocks when she arrived and she smiled and greeted Cassie, a HOPE House volunteer who had been working in the nursery for nearly a month. Cassie was fifteen and expecting a baby of her own. She was working at the daycare to learn how to care for the children before she needed to start caring for her own baby. Her school allowed her to go half days only and to count her time at the center as work experience. She greeted Alex when she came in, “Hi Miss Alex, you’re here early today.” “Yes, Cassie, I have to go out of town this weekend, so I came to get Angela to take her with me.” “Oh, that’s great. Aren’t you excited about her walking?” “What?” “She’s done it everyday now for four days and she took four steps in a row today before she sat down. She only took three for Ranger Walker last night.” Alex smiled tightly, “That’s great. Well, Josie’s still on the phone, can you tell her that I couldn’t wait? I have to catch my flight. I’ll see you on Monday.” “Sure,” Cassie said agreeably.

Alex waved at Josie and took Angela under one arm and the diaper bag under the other and headed out. She had managed to keep a lid on her anger in front of Cassie, but her poor unsuspecting husband was about to get it with both barrels, right between the eyes. “I can’t believe you would keep something like this from me!” Alex all but shouted at Walker, as she strapped Angela into the car seat. “What? What’d I do?” Walker asked, unsure what she was talking about. “So, Angela’s been walking and you didn’t tell me!” Alex said in a quieter voice, with no less anger.

Walker waited until Angela was strapped in and Alex had returned to the front seat and done up her own seatbelt. She turned to look at him expectantly and waited for him to respond. “She just started last night, the last thing I wanted to do was tell you, especially after you’d just told me that you didn’t want to miss her first steps. Besides, you know how tired you were when you came in last night, I couldn’t exactly tell you then.” “She didn’t just start last night; she started early this week according to Cassie.” Walker was at least relieved that it hadn’t been Josie who had let the cat out of the bag. Still, he knew that Alex was very upset to have missed such a milestone in their young daughter’s life and she was undoubtedly going to take some time to get over it. He had a feeling they were in for a bumpy flight, despite the cloudless skies.

Alex was monosyllabic the rest of the ride, only giving him the briefest of answers. He asked which airlines they were booked on and she said, “Southwest.” He asked what time the flight was scheduled to depart and she said, “2:10.” Walker parked the Durango in long-term parking and they took the shuttle into the airport.

Angela had fallen asleep on the car ride over and Walker disengaged the car seat and carried her along with one of the suitcases, leaving Alex to manage the suitcase on wheels, the carry on and the diaper bag. They reached the terminal and stood in line to check in their luggage, keeping only the one carry on and diaper bag. The line to get through security was long, but moved at a reasonable pace. They reached their gate in plenty of time and Walker gratefully set the car seat down; Angela was getting heavier by the minute.

Alex walked away to check out the magazine stand and came back with some light reading for the trip. Not that she would read it, she just needed some space away from Walker. She was fuming at him and even though, deep down, she knew that he wasn’t the one she was angry with, it was just easier to believe it for the moment.

As with all Southwest flights, anyone could sit wherever they wanted to, so the Walkers chose a row near the front. Alex had taken Angela out of the car seat prior to boarding and Walker gave the gate agent the car seat to check for them. He was going to offer to hold Angela, but one look at Alex’s face and her protective grip on their daughter and he decided to alter his plans. He stepped into the row of seats and let Alex have the aisle seat. It was a full flight and the woman seated to Walker’s right, next to the window, was an attractive twenty something. She got a grin on her face and flirted outrageously with Walker. Alex merely ignored her outwardly, but inwardly, she was racking up points in her ‘reasons to be angry with Walker’ column.

Angela was awake and cranky and she insisted on climbing out of her mother’s arms and into her father’s lap; not endearing her to her mother. Alex pulled out her magazine and flipped through the pages, trying to ignore the twenty-something woman on the opposite side of Walker, make over her daughter and going on about how ‘cute’ she was.

The change in pressure during takeoff bothered Angela’s ears and she became fussy. Alex pulled the diaper bag out from under the seat in front of her to get her a bottle. She had read that sucking on a bottle during flight helped a baby equalize the pressure in its ears. She reached in the side where the bottles were usually kept, but found nothing. She pulled the bag up into her lap and began digging through it, but found no bottle. She rolled her eyes up into the back of her head, “Oh, damn,” she muttered. “What?” Walker asked. How to tell him that she had been so upset by what Cassie had told her that she had left HOPE House without stopping by the fridge to get Angela’s bottles?

Alex took a deep breath and fished out the pacifier to give to Angela, hoping that would appease her. “No bottle,” she said. “How can we not have a bottle?” Walker asked incredulous. “We just don’t,” she said. Now Walker’s mood was not the best.

 

The young woman next to Walker grew less and less enamored of both Walker and Angela. Fortunately, the flight was short and they were landing soon after Angela went into full voice. The second change in pressure caused her to begin to scream and neither Walker nor Alex could calm her. Alex handed her back to Walker in order to stand with the diaper bag. As she reached for her, Angela’s crying made her sick and she spit up, wiping out the cute crop top the twenty year old was wearing. Alex had to bite her lip to keep from laughing at the girl’s horrified expression. 

Alex made a beeline for the exit door, the other passengers giving her right away with her screaming baby. She left Walker to deal with his seatmate and headed out past the gate to a small gift shop that boasted a variety of ‘traveler friendly’ items. She was hoping to find a baby bottle, but had no luck. She went to a small ice cream shop and bought a scoop of strawberry ice cream in a cup and sat with Angela at one of the small white plastic tables and spoon fed her the ice cream. It took a few bites, but Angela’s cries calmed down to snuffles and by the time she had finished the tiny cup of ice cream from the tiny plastic spoon, she was calm.

Walker located Alex and told her that he would collect the luggage and meet her down near the carousel. When she walked up to him, he had the two suitcases and the car seat along with the hand carry. She picked up the car seat and headed out to flag a taxi. Walker followed with the rest of the luggage and realized that she was still not talking to him.

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When they arrived at the hotel, they found that there was a problem with their reservations. They had been given a single room, Alex’s original reservation, and had no record of the upgrade. They were told that due to the fact that it was the weekend and they were only a block from the beach, that there were no other vacancies. Alex signed in and went up to the room, still barely speaking to Walker. She showered and changed and headed out to her deposition.

While Alex was gone, Walker made some phone calls and found a beach house that they could rent for the weekend. He packed their bags and moved out of the hotel, paying for the one night and left a message for Alex so that she would be able to find him and Angela.

It was nearly sunset when Alex’s taxi pulled up to the address that Walker’s note had specified. She got out of the taxi and headed into the small white house that sat on stilts and overlooked the ocean. She climbed up the stairs and when no one answered her knock, she let herself in. She went through the small house that was mostly windows, looking for Walker and Angela. She opened the French doors and stepped out onto the deck overlooking the ocean.

Down near the water’s edge, she spotted her husband and daughter and the first smile to grace her face in hours appeared. Alex turned back indoors and went to her suitcase, changing into her bikini and headed down to the beach. When she arrived, she found Walker carrying Angela up to the shower to rinse her off.

“Hi,” she greeted him. “Hi, how’d it go?” Alex shrugged, “Well, there’s certainly no smoking gun, but I think I got some information that will strengthen the case.” “Good, do you need to go back?” “I’d like to try one more time tomorrow. I made arrangements to go back in the morning.” “Okay,” he said as he rinsed his daughter off. “Are you two going back inside?” she asked. “No, but this is Angela’s fifth shower in the last hour. She seems to think that sand is edible. I don’t even want to think what her diapers are going to be like for the next few days.” Alex smiled wryly and walked back down the beach to where Walker had a blanket laid out.

When they arrived, Walker put one of Alex’s t-shirts that he’d taken out of her bag on his daughter to act as a beach cover up. The oversized shirt was adorable on her and Alex couldn’t help but smile at the picture she made. Alex stretched out on the blanket with her daughter seated in the curve of her waist. Angela patted her mother’s tummy while Walker worked on the castle he’d begun building to amuse Angela. Unfortunately, she’d been more interested in eating the sand than in building a castle with it. Alex inhaled the salty smell and sank down into the sand. She listened to the sound of the waves as they crashed against the shoreline and held Angela against her side. She’d suddenly been transported to a small piece of heaven.

Alex drifted off to sleep, but her nap was short-lived as the sun went down and the air temperature dropped. She woke up shivering and found that Walker was lying next to her with Angela sandwiched between them. He was watching her sleep in the moonlight and when she opened her eyes, she was startled to see him staring at her. “Have I been asleep long?” she asked. “No, maybe half an hour.” “Well, I’m cold; I guess we should go in.” Walker nodded in agreement and scooped Angela up to head indoors. Alex shook out the blanket and followed.

Walker had gone grocery shopping and he lit the grill that sat out on the deck and barbecued hamburgers while Alex gave Angela a bubble bath and fed her a bottle. The small family sat at the table to eat their evening meal. Angela had her own plate with her food cut into small chunks that she was able to pick up with her hands. French fries were definitely her favorite of the foods offered.

After a wrestling match with her father on the area rug in the living room, Angela was ready for bed. She’d had a full day. Alex walked her around with her head lying on her shoulder and sang lullabies to her. She slowly dropped off to sleep and Alex put her down in the crib Walker had set up in the spare room.

She headed back out to the living room to find that Walker had poured her a glass of wine. “Let’s go out on the deck,” he suggested. “It’s chilly out there,” Alex complained. “I’ll keep you warm,” he promised. He set their glasses on the small table next to one of the lounge chairs and then sat down in it, lying back. “Come here,” he prompted his wife. Alex sat in his lap and lay back against his chest. Walker covered them with a light blanket to protect them from the ocean breeze. They lay there gazing at the stars, occasionally taking a sip of wine and not talking.

“How are you feeling?” Walker asked, making sure to tread lightly. “Foolish, I’m sorry I got so mad at you. I was really just upset about missing Angela’s first steps.” “I know, don’t worry about it. It’s that working parent guilt thing.” “I just don’t want to miss the milestones.” “Alex, milestones are not important. At least, they’re not as important as the day to day love and care and attention you give her.” Alex sighed and snuggled her head back more deeply into his shoulder. “I know, you’re right, it’s just hard sometimes.” “Alex, being a parent is hard, no matter what.” “You are happy that we had her though, aren’t you?”

Walker debated tipping her out of his lap and onto the hard deck for daring to ask the question. He decided that she was feeling insecure and that she was asking the question for that reason and not because she really had any doubts about how much he loved being a parent. He set down his empty wine glass and took hers from her, setting it down too. Then he wrapped his arms tightly around her and gave her a bear hug from behind. “I love being a daddy almost as much as I love being a husband. I’ve got the two most wonderful women in the world in my life, I couldn’t ask for anything more. Well, I take that back, I could ask for one thing more.” “What?” Alex asked. “Another baby,” Walker said simply.

Alex struggled against his tight hold until she was able to sit up in his lap. She squirmed around until she could face him. “Are you totally nuts?” she asked him. “No, ouch! Sit still woman or there will never be the possibility of more children.” “You seriously want to have another child when we can barely spend time with the one we have now?” “Alex, you’re exaggerating. We spend a great deal of time with Angela. One or the other of us is always picking her up early from daycare. We spend at least ninety percent of the weekends together. I think we could handle another baby with no problem. However, I realize that this isn’t the best time for this conversation, so let’s shelve it for later.”

Alex looked at him, unable to read the expression in his eyes in the dark. She didn’t sit back and relax though, so Walker said, “I do have one other request.” “Oh, now what?” “Well, if we aren’t going to make a baby tonight, maybe we can still practice our technique?” he asked, sounding innocent, but he immediately pulled her down onto his chest and captured her lips in a heart stopping kiss. Alex struggled against his hold for a few moments, but then gave up and sank down into him, moaning into his hot mouth.

Walker’s hands eased their grip on her arms when he felt her surrender. He used them to better advantage, stroking down her back and then reaching in between them to cup her breasts. His hands flattened against the rounded globes and he rubbed his palms against her, feeling the tips harden in response. Alex too was eager to feel him and she planted her palms against his chest and splayed her fingers out over his pectoral muscles. She dueled his tongue and then sucked it into her mouth only to let it slide slowly back out. “Walker,” she whispered between kisses. “Hmm?” “I’m cold.” “Oh, baby, you don’t feel cold to me, you feel hot and passionate and so very sexy…” he said in that deep tone of voice he used when he was very aroused. “Let’s go take a warm shower together, I bet that would warm me up,” Alex suggested. “Lady, I like the way you think,” he said as he let go of her so that she could stand up and then offer him a hand to pull him up as well. The wine glasses forgotten, they headed into the house and straight to the master bathroom.

Alex was in the lead and she reached for the faucet to get the water running. Walker stood behind her unbuttoning her blouse, his fingers unerringly seeking out and opening each button. He pulled the blouse back and off her shoulders to find that she was wearing a bra that hooked in the front. Why she had bothered to put one on after they returned from the beach was beyond him, but he turned her rapidly, causing her to lose balance. She gave a startled cry, but found that she was safe, as he caught her and held her waist, his mouth searching out her lace covered nipples, wetting each in turn.

Alex’s head was thrown back as the sensations tore through her. The feelings pooled in the pit of her belly and she felt the moisture pooling at the juncture of her thighs. At this rate, she didn’t think that they were going to make it into the shower. She used her hands that were buried in his hair, to yank his head back and give her a moment of relief. Walker’s eyes were dilated and her movement only spurred him on to unhook her bra so that he could see the effect of his handiwork. He admired her ripe full breasts, enjoying the tightness of her nipples and knowing that it was he who caused that phenomenon.

Alex took advantage of the slight separation of their bodies to run her hand up the hard bulge inside his jeans. She deftly unbuttoned his fly and eased the zipper down, stroking him through the material as she did so. Walker moaned and nearly popped out of the fly before she freed him, to spill into her hands. She pushed his briefs down and over his hard erection and held his length, stroking up and down in quick motions that had him gritting his teeth trying not to come. “Alex!” he shouted, trying to maintain control.

Alex smiled, glad to have taken the control away from him, if only momentarily. She quickly shed the remainder of her clothes and stepped back under the warm spray. Walker followed suit, stepping out of his jeans and into the shower. Alex had poured shampoo into her hand and was busy shampooing her hair, arching her back to do so. It wasn’t an innocent move, she knew that it would drive him wild, it always did.

As expected, Walker reached for the liquid soap and placed some in his palm, taking advantage of her unguarded breasts to begin soaping her there. His hands glided over the already tightened peaks and then cupped the heavy globes. He then trailed down her abdomen, using the soap to help him glide down to her navel where he paused to insert a finger and then he slid down to the beginning of her mound. At the hairline, he stroked laterally, going around her with both of his hands and cupping one round buttock in each hand.

Alex leaned her head back to rinse the shampoo out and then wiped the water from her face and reached her hands around his waist. She guided him in a tight circle, landing him under the spray of water. It was her turn to touch him and she began by filling her hand with shampoo and working it into his thick hair. Walker tilted his head back to prevent the shampoo from getting into his eyes, but he ran his hands up and down her buttocks to her lower back to her shoulders. As she rinsed the shampoo from his hair, she leaned her chest against his and rubbed up and down, eliciting another moan from his throat. Walker tried to tighten his grip to pull her snuggly against him, but she resisted and reached for the soap.

Walker sighed, but allowed her to enjoy the same sensations of touch that he had enjoyed with her. She filled her hand with the liquid soap and began at his shoulders, lathering his chest and following his abdomen down to his erection that pulsed to life in her soap slick hands. This time, when she pumped him, he didn’t object and instead held onto the bars on the walls of the shower stall to remain standing as she rapidly brought him to completion. He shouted out his orgasm and Alex watched his body spew the seed that signaled his release.

Leaning back slightly to catch his breath, Walker reached for the detachable shower nozzle and used it to rinse her front thoroughly. He then applied a small amount of soap to his hand and cupped her at the apex of her thighs. He reached between the velvety lips and eased his fingers into their folds, letting the moistness he found there combine with the soap to increase the glide of his fingers. He pumped her rapidly until she was at the edge and then he removed his hand completely and set the shower wand on pulse and aimed it at her most sensitive spot. Alex jerked back in response, but then shifted to gain the most pleasure from the pulsating water.

Walker watched her with a smile on his face, knowing that she was enjoying this as much as he was. He shifted the water occasionally, making her move to follow it. Her eyes were closed and she was lost in the sensations. Walker felt himself grow hard again as she moaned out her pleasure. He watched her breasts move with her body’s movements and suddenly, the temptation was just too much. He quickly switched the water off, to her cry of frustration, and then he lifted her bodily out of the shower and carried her to the bed. “Walker, the bedspread!” she shouted. “To hell with the damn bedspread,” he muttered as he placed her on the end of the bed, spread her legs and still standing, plunged deeply into her.

Alex gasped as he rammed home, deep inside her warmth. She was so close to orgasm that she was certain one or two pumps of his hips would send her over. She was right. He pulled out and pushed back in again and she was lost. Her hands clenched the bedspread and she screamed a high pitched vocalization that signaled her release.

Walker paused only long enough to let her body complete the rapid contractions that limited his access to her depths. He then began to pump deeply into her, gripping her hips and pulling them up off the bed to meet his pelvis. “Open your eyes, Alex,” Walker commanded and Alex did, watching the strain on his face as he bottomed out into her again and again. “Show me your breasts,” he pleaded and she responded by cupping her breasts and holding them up for his eyes to feast on. “I’ve got to taste them,” he decided and lowered her hips to lean forward on the bed, covering her with his body as his mouth closed over one ripe nipple.

Alex was again reaching another climax and the suckling on her nipple was nearly her undoing. He shifted to the other side and bit down, drawing a moan from deep within her. Walker’s hips never lost their pace and he released her nipple to cry out, “I’m coming, oh god, Alex!” as he pumped his seed deep within her. Alex was right with him and his words sent her spiraling down into the abyss along with him.

Soon after, Walker stood back up and pulled out from her. She gave a small cry of loss when he left her body, but he reached down to scoop her up and carried her back into the shower. This time, he merely rinsed her off and then they stepped out together and wrapped the large fluffy towels around their bodies to dry them. Alex blew her hair dry and then turned to him and dropped the towel, standing there nude and proud. “Last one between the sheets is a rotten egg!” she challenged and fled the room to dive between the sheets.

Walker followed at a leisurely pace. He went into the baby’s room to check on her and found that their noisy love making had not disturbed her slumber at all. He considered soundproofing their bedroom at home before she got too much older. He smiled at his little angel, covered her with a blanket and then went in search of her mother, whose blanket he planned to remove.

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Walker and Alex slept in the next morning, the sound of the surf acting as a lullaby. Unfortunately for them, Angela was awake and ready to go at her usual time. She had woken up and amused herself with the crib toys for awhile, but then she stood up, holding onto the bars of the crib and announced to the world that she was up and wanting attention.

Alex heard her daughter and moaned and then reached back to slap Walker’s chest. “Your daughter wants you,” she told him. “I thought she was your daughter,” Walker muttered. “Not in the mornings,” Alex denied. “Well, okay, I’ll go get her up, but if she walks…” Alex reached beneath her head and whipped her pillow out, completing a full arc that ended with the pillow slamming him in the face. She slid out of bed and stormed off to the nursery, not even aware that she was wearing absolutely nothing.

Walker realized that despite their conversation the night before, the subject was still a sensitive one and he had blown it. He sat up and moaned, putting his head in his hands. It was not going to be easy to get her back into a good mood. He got out of bed, took a quick shower and dressed and then headed into the kitchen to prepare breakfast.

Angela hadn’t been willing to wait and the sight that greeted him had him gulping to swallow his Adam’s apple back down to where it belonged. Alex sat stark nude in one of the cushioned chairs, feeding Angela her oatmeal with raisins. Remembering his shy modest Alex of the past, it brought home to him just how far she’d come in her own confidence and comfort with her body and with him. “Alex, I’ll feed her if you want to get a shower. I know that you said you had an appointment this morning,” he offered.

Alex looked up at him and glared, “It’s not until later and I can feed my own daughter.” “Right,” he said, wisely deciding not to argue. Instead, he went to the refrigerator and pulled out bacon and eggs and started on their breakfast. He had also bought canned biscuits at the grocery store and he popped those in too. Without a word, he placed Alex’s plate in front of her and then went to the end of the table to eat his own meal. He watched as she struggled to eat her breakfast and feed Angela too. She finally gave up fighting Angela for possession of the spoon and just gave it to her, which allowed Angela to alternate between eating the oatmeal and flinging it.

Walker saw Alex look around for a clock, but he didn’t offer her the time, he wasn’t about to give her the chance to bite his head off again. She finally looked pointedly at his watch and said, “Do you have the time?” Walker played innocent and looked at his watch and said, “It’s nearly nine.” Alex’s eyes got round and she looked over at Angela who was wearing a great deal of oatmeal. She then looked at herself, the oatmeal having been smeared across her chest, and knew that there was no way she could skip showering. The stickiness between her thighs sealed it. Looking at Walker, she was forced to say, “She’s all yours, I need to get going.” He just nodded in acknowledgement and wished he could lick the glued on raisin off her chest. Knowing better than to offer, he silently finished his own breakfast.

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Just before noon, Alex’s taxi pulled up in front of the beach house. She went up and wasn’t surprised to find the house empty. She expected Walker and Angela to be on the beach. When she went out on the deck, she couldn’t find them and was puzzled, but not worried. She figured that Walker had taken a walk or had found that he had forgotten something at the store and had gone to get it.

Deciding to take advantage of the beautiful day, Alex fixed herself a sandwich and ate a juicy peach and then changed into her bikini and headed down to the beach. She lay her blanket down and then she stretched out to enjoy the sun. She was tired, having had limited sleep the night before. She rolled onto her stomach and began to fantasize about the previous night. Her husband’s stamina was amazing and she had lost count of the number of times both she and he had climaxed. She made a sort of mental game of it, counting the times each had been brought to orgasm as the warm sun baked her.

Alex had thought that Walker would be back any minute and hadn’t bothered with trying to smooth sunscreen on her back. She certainly hadn’t thought that she would fall asleep in the sun, dreaming sensuous dreams, or that she would awaken nearly two hours later. She glanced at her watch and was shocked to find that it was almost two p.m. Alex got up and headed back into the house, thinking that maybe Walker had put Angela down for a nap and thought that he would leave her alone. After all, they hadn’t exactly parted on the best of terms.

When Alex got inside the house, she couldn’t believe that Walker had still not returned. It wasn’t like him to be gone so long without leaving her a note to let her know where he’d be. Of course, there was no answering machine and she’d spent two hours on the beach where she wouldn’t be able to hear the phone if he had called her to tell her where he was and what the hold up was.

Feeling the tenderness on her back, Alex decided to take a shower and then try to figure out where her husband and daughter were. She looked in the cupboard and pulled out the vinegar, deciding that she would try the old home remedy for sunburn. She turned the water on as hot as she could stand it and then she gently washed herself and poured the vinegar all over her back. When she finished, she smelled strongly of vinegar, but she was hopeful that she had averted any blistering of her skin.

Stepping out of the shower, Alex quickly realized that she was going to have to air dry as she couldn’t bear the touch of the towel against her skin. She turned to see her back in the bathroom mirror and moaned when she saw the fiery red color of her shoulders, her back and the backs of her legs. The slim white bands that marked where the straps of her bikini had been were testament to her folly. She was fried. She cursed her own stupidity, but decided to wait until Walker arrived home to ask him to apply lotion to her back.

Going into the bedroom, she searched for something she could wear. She finally settled on a loose cotton beach cover, but a bra was definitely out of the question. She headed into the kitchen to get some ice water, knowing that dehydration was a problem with a burn this bad. She was still in the kitchen drinking her water, when she heard the front door open. “Walker! Where have you been?” she asked before he could even get in the door.

Angela was in Walker’s arms and upon seeing her mother, she cried, “Momma” and held her arms out to Alex with tears welling in her eyes. Alex forgot everything as Angela called her momma for the very first time. She walked quickly over to grab Angela and to hug her to her. “Careful of her leg,” Walker warned. Alex had tears in her eyes at having her daughter call her by name and hadn’t noticed the loosely applied gauze bandage on her left thigh. “What’s this? What happened?” Alex asked looking directly at Walker for the first time and seeing extreme fatigue and what she thought looked like pain, in his eyes.

Walker set the car seat down and headed to the couch, propping his left leg up. “I took her in the ocean and we ran into a man-o-war.” “What? Isn’t that like a big jellyfish?” “Sort of, but they have a much more potent sting.” “Are you all right?” Alex asked concerned as she realized that it was pain that she saw on her stoic husband’s face. “We will be. I got us to the emergency clinic and we’ve both been treated with antihistamines and a bunch of other injections. Luckily, Angela only has one small spot on her thigh. The doctor told me that the sting of a man-o-war can be potentially fatal, especially to someone her size.” “Oh dear god!” Alex cried as she hugged her infant tightly to her.

Realizing that her emotional response wasn’t helping anything, Alex got up and went into the kitchen and refilled her glass of ice water and brought it back to Walker. She then fixed a juice bottle for Angela. Remembering that he had said that they had been given antihistamines, she assumed that they would both be quite thirsty. They were, but they were equally sleepy as the drugs were making them groggy.

As soon as Angela was sound asleep, she took her into her bedroom and laid her in her crib. Alex then came out to inspect the damage to her husband. “Walker, stand up, you need to get to bed.” “No, I’ll stay here,” he argued incoherently. “No you won’t, now come on, I’ll help you.”

Alex pulled him up off the couch and guided him into the bedroom. She undid his shirt buttons and peeled his shirt off, exposing the ugly red lesions that spread across his ribcage. “Oh dear god,” she gasped. She then undid his pants and peeled them gently off, noting that there were more lesions on his thigh. The right side of his body was covered in lesions and she could only imagine the pain he was in. “God Walker, did they give you something for the pain?” “They wanted to, but I wouldn’t take an injection. I was afraid I wouldn’t be coherent enough to get Angela back here.” “Why didn’t you call me?” Alex wanted to know. “I did, several times, but you didn’t answer.”

Alex felt a pang of guilt, knowing that she had been ‘sunning’ herself on the beach when her family needed her. She would pay for her folly all night. “Did they give you anything to take once you got here?” she asked. “Yes, there’s a bag of pills…” Alex eased him down on the side of the bed in a sitting position and left to see about the pills.

There were two bottles of pills and two tubes of ointment. The pills for Walker were pain pills and Angela’s pills were just antihistamines. Alex got another glass of water and shook out two of the pills. She returned to the bedroom and made Walker take them down. After he eased back on the bed, she smoothed the cream into his lesions and then left him lying there uncovered.

Alex then went in to check on Angela and found that she was resting comfortably. Alex tried to sit down, but found that she couldn’t sit because of the backs of her thighs. She went into the bedroom and took off her beach cover and lay down on her stomach next to Walker. The entire family slept the rest of the afternoon away.

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Alex awoke a little after six and went in to check on Angela. She was just waking and Alex changed her soaking wet diaper and then she applied the salve to her leg and rebandaged it. She carried her into the living room and set her on the area rug with several of her favorite toys while she prepared dinner. 

Just as she finished baking the frozen lasagna Walker had purchased when he’d done the shopping, Walker emerged from the bedroom. “Hi honey, how do you feel?” she asked, her brow wrinkled in concern. “Better and I’m starved!” he said. “Well, I’m just about to pop the garlic bread into the oven, but if you’ll carry over the lasagna, the salad is already on the table.” Walker nodded and complied with her request. He then scooped his daughter up and cuddled her for a minute before putting her into the highchair.

Alex pulled out the fragrant toasted bread and walked over to the table with it. Walker noted that she was once again wearing one of his t-shirts, but he was used to that so didn’t comment. He did notice how gingerly she sat down though. She sat on the very edge of the chair so that her bottom was barely on it. She held her back straight and didn’t lean back to get comfortable. “Honey, is there something wrong?” he asked. Alex looked up at him guiltily, “I fell asleep on the beach this afternoon and got pretty burned.” “Alex! You know better than that! What were you thinking?” “I thought the two of you would be along any minute, so I didn’t put on sunscreen, waiting for you to do it for me, then I accidentally fell asleep and…” “Well, it’s lucky for you that I put in some of White Eagle’s ‘pale face sun cream’,” Walker told her with a smile.

Alex laughed at the name Walker had just made up. White Eagle had given them a salve that was used for just about every ailment under the sun. Each time they used it, Walker found a new name for it.  “Well, I would have had you put some of it on me earlier, but you weren’t exactly up to it. Maybe we should see if you brought any of White Eagle’s ‘man-o-war cream’.” “I’m sure it’s better than that stuff the doctor gave me.” “Well, I don’t want to test it on Angela until we see if any of your appendages fall off.” Walker’s eyebrows shot up under the fringe on his forehead. “You better hope none of my appendages fall off. Thank god for my swim trunks or I could be in serious pain.”

Alex smiled at him and took a bite of her garlic bread. “I guess it’s not going to matter if I have garlic breath tonight is it?” “Why not?” “Well, since we’re both out of commission and I already smell like vinegar…” “Oh, is that you? I kept having these dreams about fish and chips…” “Oh… YOU!” Alex said, remembering not to hit him as she normally would. Walker chuckled, enjoying the banter. Despite the stress and strain of the day, it was always nice to unwind with Alex and now with Angela too.

“Angela, no!” Alex cried, jarring Walker out of his reverie. He looked up in time to see his daughter toss a large glob of lasagna onto the floor. Luckily, it was a tile floor and clean up wouldn’t be difficult. “Angel, no making messes for mommy to clean up.” “Momma, momma!” Angela squealed. “Hey, when did she start saying that?” Walker asked. “This afternoon when you guys returned from the ER.” “Oh, yeah, that’s all hazy.” “I imagine it is.” “Well, anyway, that’s great!” “Yeah, it really is.”

Alex’s tone had changed and Walker looked at her and realized what a momentous occasion it was for her. “It is great. NOW do you believe that you’re a good mommy? I mean, Angela apparently does.” Alex looked at him and smiled, “Yes, I’m a good mommy and you’re a good daddy and maybe we should talk about another one soon.” “Now you say that, when both of us are incapable of doing anything more than talking about it.” Alex grinned wickedly at him. “Give it a day or so.”

They enjoyed a quiet evening, Alex giving Angela another dose of the antihistamine when she became fussy and tried rubbing at her bandaged leg. Angela was soon sleepy and Alex held her and walked her around the living room, quietly singing to her. After she put Angela down, she went into the bedroom where Walker was seated on the side of the bed applying the ointment to his lesions. “Are yours itching too?” Alex asked, but then after seeing his face, knew that it was much worse. “More like stinging,” he said, trying not to grit his teeth. Alex went back into the kitchen and got his pain pills and brought them to him with a glass of water. “I don’t want those,” he grumbled. She held her hand out with them in her palm and said, “Take them,” in a tone that brooked no argument.

Walker complied, but was not happy about the show of weakness. After he’d swallowed them down, Alex pulled off her t-shirt and stood in front of him with her back to him. “Can you please rub some of that on my back?” she begged. “My god, Alex!” Walker exclaimed when he saw just how badly she was burned. He scooped out a large portion of the salve from the jar and gently smoothed it over her shoulders, back and the backs of her legs. Once he had finished, Alex shut off the light and lay down next to him on her stomach once again.

Walker was not able to lay on his front and Alex was unable to lie on her back. The two made quite a pair as they tried to sleep. Walker was luckier than Alex as the pain pills put him to sleep, but she had slept quite a bit that day and she began to shiver as the shock of the sunburn took over.

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The next morning, Walker was much improved and Alex was exhausted. He smoothed more salve onto her back and convinced her to stay in bed while he went to deal with Angela. Alex joined them an hour later and the family ate breakfast and then took a stroll on the beach before the sun got too hot. Alex slipped on her bikini bottoms with Walker’s t-shirt to go out on the beach.

Walker picked up shells for Angela and they put her in between them, each holding a hand to let her walk for a short distance. Walker then held her and had Alex go a few feet down the beach on the hard packed sand near the shore and told his daughter to “Walk to momma.” Angela looked puzzled at first, but Alex encouraged her, sitting on her knees and holding her arms out. Angela did finally take a tentative step and then another until after five full steps, she reached Alex’s outstretched arms and Alex hugged her to her, tears streaming down her face.

Walker watched with a grin plastered on his face and then said wryly, “You know what this means don’t you?” he asked. Alex looked questioningly at him. “We’ll never have another moment’s peace. We’ll be chasing after her for the rest of our lives.” Alex smiled and said, “There are worse fates.” They continued their walk until the sun began to beat down with some intensity and then they headed back to the beach house.

Alex packed them up while Walker fixed lunch. They ate together and then put Angela down for a nap. Her small lesion on her thigh was nearly gone and they just put some of the prescribed cream on her leg before putting her down.

Walker came back out and said, “Well, we have over three hours before we need to head to the airport, any suggestions of what we should do?” Alex knew that look and she asked, “Are you crazy?” “Oh yes, crazy for you,” he answered. Alex shook her head at him, “I thought you were in pain.” “Not anymore, I told you that White Eagle’s salve would fix it. How’s your sunburn?” “I still can’t wear a bra.” “Darling, you won’t need one for what I have in mind.” “I can’t lie on my back,” she told him. “That’s okay; it’s your turn on top anyway.” “You’re serious.” “Do I look serious?” he asked. His question prompted Alex to look down his body and the hard ridge causing his shorts to pop out gave her her answer.

Alex shook her head at Walker, but she headed toward the bedroom, slipping the t-shirt over her head. Just as she reached the door, she turned to face her husband and tossed the t-shirt at his face. Walker caught it and held it to his nose to sniff it, enjoying her scent that clung to it. He began to follow Alex, but she stood her ground, holding her arms on the door frame and gyrating her hips that were still covered by the bikini bottoms. “You are one sexy lady,” he told her as she smiled seductively at him and rolled her hips forward in a particularly suggestive move.

Walker reached her and leaned forward to capture her lips with his. His hands were next to make contact, cupping her bare breasts and rolling her nipples between thumb and forefinger. Alex sighed into his mouth and established the next contact when she repeated the rolling motion of her hips, brushing up against the hard bulge in his shorts. Walker moaned into her mouth and reached his hands down and around her, pulling her hips into him and rolling his hips in a motion that mimicked what she had done.

It was Alex’s turn to moan as she felt the pressure against her pelvis and she was flooded with moisture. Letting go of the door frame, Alex reached her hands forward and undid the clasp of his shorts, peeling them open to spill out the hidden prize. She stroked his arousal through the cotton of his briefs and Walker’s hips began a rhythmic motion against her hands.

With a small laugh of triumph, Alex stepped back and continued backwards until she felt the edge of the bed against the back of her knees. She gazed into his eyes as she lowered her bikini briefs slowly down her thighs. Walker’s eyes stayed locked with hers for as long as he could stand the anticipation, but finally, they dropped to take in her splendid nudity. Alex watched the flush rise in his cheeks as he gazed at her and drank in her seductive beauty.

Walker stayed where he was and forced his eyes back up to hers. He saw the look in her eyes and knew that she’d seen the hunger in his. It wasn’t fear that he saw in her eyes, but rather, pride and anticipation and hunger of her own. He hooked his thumbs into his waistband and pulled his shorts and briefs down to his knees, letting them fall the rest of the way to his feet and then stepping out of them. He watched as she warred with herself and then let her eyes drift down his body, drinking in his hard masculinity. When her eyes finally returned to his, her pupils were so large that they made her eyes look midnight blue. It was his turn to smile, as a predator smiles at its prey. She was his. He knew and she knew it. He could see the knowledge in her eyes.

“Don’t forget my sunburn,” she whispered a warning as he walked toward her. He smiled slightly and gave a shake of his head, silently promising not to forget. He stood directly in front of her and then dropped down to his knees, burying his face in her downy curls. His hands steadying her as he grasped her buttocks, Walker eased his tongue out to taste her intimately. Alex’s hands immediately went to his head, burying themselves in his hair as he flicked his rough tongue against the highly sensitized flesh at the juncture of her thighs.

Alex shifted her feet slightly, spreading her legs to allow him access. Walker answered her unspoken invitation by flicking his tongue back and forth on her swollen nub. He then pulled it into his mouth and sucked on it with a gentle motion, rolling his tongue against it over and over again. Just as she was about to explode, he released it and pushed his tongue deeply into her wet opening. His tongue thrust in and out until she gasped in air and let out a high pitched sound of ecstasy. He plunged his tongue in one more time and then pulled her clitoris back into his mouth to suckle it as her body was racked with convulsions.

Walker sat back and looked up at her. Her head was thrown back and she was relying on his hands, still at her buttocks, to keep her upright. Walker pulled her forward slightly, shifting her balance forward and then he stood up and away from her. He walked around her and lay in the middle of the bed on his back. Reaching his arms out in spread eagle fashion and gripped the posts of the headboard. “I’m all yours baby, have your evil way with me.”

Alex surveyed her husband as he appeared supplicant. She didn’t believe it for a minute. She also knew that once he reached a certain point, he would forget her sunburn and would grab her. She needed something to restrain his hands with. She looked around and saw the sashes that held the curtains back. She walked around the bed and unhooked them, letting the gauzy curtains fall closed, so that they billowed out with the ocean breeze. Walking back to the bed, she loosely tied each of his wrists to the posts and smiled at him coyly. “I don’t trust you,” she told him. “Smart woman,” he acknowledged.

Now that he was truly hers to do with as she pleased, she wasn’t quite sure where to start. The most obvious place was already standing upright in proud attention. Alex climbed onto the bed and sat on her knees beside him. She leaned forward and gripped the top of the headboard. Lowering her upper torso down, so that her breasts brushed his face, she said, “Kiss me.” Walker dutifully traced the curves of her breasts with light teasing kisses. “My nipples,” she gasped as he circled them, but didn’t touch them. Again, he obeyed, but on his own terms. He lightly kissed each nipple in turn, but didn’t open his mouth as he knew she wanted.

Alex gave a groan of frustration and sat back up to face him. She took her own hands and pinched her aching nipples, holding her breasts for his gaze and then looked at him, letting him know that she would exact revenge. She reached for his nipples and treated them as she had her own, pinching them and then scratching her nails lightly over them. She used her nails just a little harder as she left light scratch marks down his chest and abdomen. She then focused on his tight erection and touched the very tip of him with her index finger, wiping off the dew drop from the tip and then taking her finger to her mouth and sucking on it. She watched his eyes contract as she swirled her tongue around her finger, sucked it in deeply and then pulled it out with a pop. “Mmm…” she said with a smile into his wide eyes.

Alex repositioned herself again and lowered her torso so that her breasts brushed his lips and the soft hair that surrounded his mouth. “Open your mouth and suck on me,” she commanded. Walker heeded her command, knowing that she had the control and that she would only reciprocate if he complied, she would not pleasure him unless he first pleasured her. He used a strong pulling motion to suckle her nipple deeply into his mouth. After several minutes, when the pleasure neared the point of pain, Alex pulled back and let him begin on the second nipple.

This time, as reward, she moved back and reached her own mouth down to his nipples and suckled them until he moaned. She then traced each of the eight nail marks she had made down his torso and abdomen with her tongue. She would get down below his navel and the mark would end and she would begin at the top again. On her eighth trip down, Walker was fairly certain that he would go mad with anticipation. She dipped her tongue into his navel and his hips bounced up off the bed in response.

Knowing that she had stretched this game of seduction out to its limit, Alex shifted herself so that her face was lined up with the smooth head of his erection. She placed one hand above and one hand below his hips, pressing down on the bed to steady herself, and then she lightly licked the tip of him. Once he was thoroughly moistened with her saliva, she licked down the length of his shaft. Her tongue touched him so lightly that he could get no relief from it. She worked her way all the way around him until she had licked every millimeter of his throbbing shaft.

Deciding that she had drawn out the suspense long enough, she straddled Walker, sitting on her knees. She looked into his face and saw that his eyes were closed and there was a sheen of sweat on his brow that was wrinkled in concentration. He was biting his lip to keep from begging her to let him come. “Tell me what you want,” she said as she sat there not touching him. She leaned forward so that she could brace herself on the top of the headboard, her face level with his. “You, I want you,” he moaned. “What about me?” she asked, determined to make him say it. “I want to be inside of you, I want to feel you wrap your silken walls around me.” “And then what?” she asked as she shifted to let the tip of him press against her entrance, but didn’t lower to let him in.

Walker pulled on the ties she had bound his wrists with. “Tell me,” she repeated. “I want to bury myself in you and I want to pump every drop of my seed into you,” he panted. She rewarded him by sinking down slowly onto his shaft, swallowing him up in her passion slicked depths. Alex bottomed out, pressing her pelvis tightly against his. “Tell me that you love me.” “I love you.” “Tell me that you want me.” “I want you, oh god, I want you.” “Tell me who the best lover in the world is.” “You are, oh… Alex, please…” he finally gave in. Alex smiled a purely triumphant smile and raised herself up, holding onto the headboard for balance and then began to ride him in one of the most punishing rhythms either had ever established.

Walker was so far beyond aroused that it was nearly painful to have her clenching her muscles tightly around him as she continued to ride him up and down, over and over again. Sweat dripped from her brow to land on his already wet face as she desperately tried to bring them both to climax. The bedsprings complained against the abuse, but with each thrust of her hips, Alex brought them both closer to climax. Finally, just as she was nearing exhaustion, Walker cried out. “Alex, oh god, I’m coming,” and with that, she felt the warmth of his seed rushing up into her. The sensation triggered her own release and she milked his release with the contractions of her body.

Mindful of the areas to the side of his ribcage that were not completely healed, Alex slumped down to the other side of him and lay there trying to regain her breath. Walker twisted his wrists, freeing them from the bindings and he reached his hands to her tousled hair and combed it back from her red and sweaty face. “I love you,” he told her as he kissed her silk tresses. They lay there, both slick with sweat as they began to regain their breath and they both slipped into a satiated sleep. 

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They lucked out that Angela woke up in time for them to catch their flight, just barely. Walker heard her cries for them to come rescue her from her crib and slid out from under Alex and got up to get her. On the way, he glanced at his watch and realized the time. “Alex!” he shouted and she nearly leapt straight in the air. “What?” she cried. “We have thirty minutes to pack and dress. I’ll call the taxi and get Angela, you shower and start packing.”

Working in tandem, they threw everything they had brought into the two suitcases. Alex took the quickest shower of her life and Walker was right behind her. Angela was amused at her parents’ antics and watched them flying around the beach house, throwing clothes in bags and searching corners and crevices for all of her essentials. Walker left a note of apology and a tip on the counter for the cleaners and they headed out.

Alex put her makeup on in the cab and pulled her hair back into a ponytail. She was wearing a simple sundress and hoped that it wasn’t too apparent that she hadn’t worn a bra. They arrived at the airport and waited through the various lines and reached their gate nearly ten minutes before the doors closed. Grabbing their boarding passes, they headed on board the plane and found seats that were across the aisle from each other.Alex hadn’t made the same mistake twice, this time remembering to pack a bottle. As the plane taxied down the runway, she cradled Angela back into her arms and gave her the bottle. It worked and when she finished the bottle, Angela went willingly to her father. Alex was unable to get comfortable in the seat and was cursing the scratchy fabric the airlines used all the way to DFW. She was relieved when the plane landed and the tired and tanned family exited the plane to collect their bags and head for home.

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Monday morning came far too soon and they were back to their old routine. Alex took Angela to HOPE Center where she dropped her off with a kiss and then headed into work. Walker had gone straight in. Trivette had a possible lead on the drug ring they had been working on and he wanted to get started on following it up right away.

At noon, Alex was in desperate need of a break. She had been pouring over the deposition she had taken in Corpus Christi and found that it corroborated certain other facts. Each statement taken alone was meaningless, but put together, she thought that perhaps she had a chance of getting the man, who had murdered a young couple while they slept in their house, convicted. Her one roadblock was motive and she now had statements from a witness that verified her suspicion that he shared a past with the couple. In fact, the man suspected of murder was the former boyfriend of the murdered woman and he hadn’t taken her marriage to someone else well at all. Knowing this, Alex felt certain that she could find instances of his stalking and harassing her.

Alex headed into the Ranger’s office to see if anyone was up for lunch. She was surprised to see that the whole gang was there. They all agreed to lunch at a new Italian place that had just opened and was getting good reviews. As they sat waiting for their antipasto, Trivette looked at Walker and Alex’s glowing faces. “So, how was your weekend?” he asked. He hadn’t gotten anything out of Walker that morning when he’d asked. Alex looked at Walker and Walker looked at Alex and a secret smile passed between the two. All of the misunderstandings, the disagreements, the man-o-war sting, the sunburn, everything that had gone wrong with their weekend were pushed to the backs of their minds. Instead, they remembered the time on the deck of the beach house, Angela calling Alex ‘momma’, the laughing and the lovemaking. They turned in unison and looked at their friends and said simply, “It was wonderful.”

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