Here is a story. I figured that if Alex deserved a day, so does Walker.

Jen M.

FATHER'S DAY

At 6 a.m., Alex began hearing sounds from the nursery. Four-week old Angela was getting ready to cry and demand her morning feeding. Alex had only been up with her two hours earlier but Angela had fallen asleep before she'd eaten enough. Alex couldn't believe how routine and serene her life had been since the birth of Angela. Of course, she was tired a lot but Walker, her husband of 13 months, had been fabulous. He'd cooked, cleaned, done laundry and worked. She was blessed that he had taken two weeks off from work when Angela was born. That really had been a surprise to her.

Sighing, Alex knew she had to get up soon or Angela would awaken her Daddy. Today was Father's Day and Alex had a very special day planned for Walker. Smiling, as she crawled out of bed and stretched, she remembered how special he'd made Mother's Day for her and she wasn't even officially a mother at that point. She and Angela had been busy making surprises all week. Well, she had been busy and had been telling Angela all about it.

Walking quietly into the nursery and cooing softly to the baby, she was rewarded by a spit bubble from her daughter and waving arms and kicking feet. Angela was definitely a perfect little angel. Smiling, Alex changed the baby's diaper and picked her up and went to the rocking chair for the feeding. Opening her gown only took seconds but Angela was impatient this morning. While feeding the baby, Alex went over their plans for the day. Angela appeared more interested in her mother's breast than plans for the day but she maintained eye contact with her mother for a long part of the time. Alex couldn't help but marvel at Angela's eyes. Even though they were blue like hers, she could look straight into your soul, just like her Daddy could. Alex brushed the soft blonde baby-fine hair from her daughter's forehead and gently kissed her. Unlike most newborns, Angela was blessed with a lot of hair. Alex smiled, thinking she might need a haircut before she was six weeks old.

By 7 a.m., Alex was ready. She put Angela back into her crib for a short nap and hurried to the kitchen to fix Walker breakfast in bed. She quickly fixed breakfast for the two of them that included scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, fresh fruit and coffee for Walker. She was still drinking milk so she added a glass for herself. To the tray, she added fresh pink baby roses in a vase, and then added a card and small gift. She'd had so much fun making the card. Angela wasn't really impressed with her mother's talents, but someday, she would appreciate it! Alex headed upstairs with the tray and was hoping that Walker had not awakened. He was usually such a light sleeper that it was hard to fool him but recently he seemed to sleep more deeply. Probably because she didn't keep waking him in the middle of the night! God, how she missed his body! She didn't know if they could make it another two weeks or not!

Alex set the tray on the bureau in their bedroom and noted that Walker appeared to be fast asleep. She loved watching him sleep. He looked so peaceful and boyish. She didn't think she could love him anymore than she did, but the next day, she'd realize that she did love him more and more every day. Being married to him was wonderful. No one, except Alex, knew much about Walker's romantic side. Alex still marveled at the things he did for her like bringing her yellow roses or sneaking into her office for a quick kiss during business hours and finding that special spot behind her ear that drove her crazy. And then, there were the nights! He could take her breath away with a single look or a wink. He seemed to know her thoughts almost before she did. Sighing, Alex crept back into the nursery and saw that Angela was awake and kicking. Everything was going according to her plan. She picked up the baby and returned to her husband's bedside. Again, she stood there watching her husband sleep for a moment. Sitting on the side of the bed with the baby in her arms, she gently kissed his temple, then his cheek, and finally his lips. He had the most incredible mouth! Before desire could get the best of them, she placed Angela on his chest and knew that little wiggling body alone would awaken her husband. She was right. He opened his eyes and looked straight at her! Cradling his baby, he never took his eyes off Alex's. Still tossled from sleep, she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen.

"Good Morning, Cowboy! Did you sleep well?"

"Morning, Honey. What time is it?" Wrapping his arms around Angela, he moved into a sitting position. "And how's my little Angel this morning?" He gently kissed his baby daughter and then his wife again.

Alex rose to get the breakfast tray and sit it across her husband's lap.

"What's this? Breakfast in bed? For me?"

"Happy Father's Day, Darling! Angela and I wanted to surprise you."

"Well, you certainly did that!"

Walker and Alex shared their breakfast first then Walker was allowed to open his card. He found juggling the tray, Angela and opening a card more than he could handle. Alex removed the tray and took their daughter.

Walker opened his card. He was excited - his first Father's Day card. He never dreamed that such a day was possible. His life was so complete. Looking at his two special girls, he couldn't imagine that life could be any more perfect than it was. Alex had made it complete and Angela was icing on the cake! She was proof of their love and he adored her and her beautiful mother.

He opened the card slowly savoring every moment of it and knowing that he was driving Alex crazy! He smiled at her and winked.

"Hurry, Darling! Angela wants to see the card!"

"Oh, Angela does, does she?" Walker smiled at Alex and winked at his daughter.

Walker decided not to tease Alex any longer and ripped open the envelope. The front of the card was a photo of him and Angela that he didn't know existed. Looking quizzically at his wife, she smiled.

"I took that last week. You two looked so adorable!"

The picture was made in the living room. Walker was sitting in the lounge chair sound asleep. Angela was snuggled on his chest and you could only see the side of her face. Even in his sleep, Walker was smiling. He was cradling Angela's hand against his chest. Alex had printed "Happy Father's Day, Daddy! Love, Angel." On the inside of the card, Alex had inked Angela's hands and put her prints all over the inside of the card. She had written, "Dear Daddy, Mommy told me that my handprints were already all over your heart and I wanted to be sure that you knew that too. I'm glad you're my Daddy. Happy Father's Day! Love, Angela."

When Walker finished reading, he had tears in his eyes and reached for his daughter. She snuggled contentedly against his chest. Alex also had tears in her eyes watching this man that she loved more than life itself with their daughter. She handed Walker a box and said softly, "This one is from me."

Taking the package, Walker adjusted Angela so he could open the gift. Inside in a beautiful silver frame, he found a picture of Angela and Alex also made last week. Alex was smiling into the camera and Angela was wide-awake but had the cutest little spit bubble on her mouth. "I had Jimmy take this one for us. I hope you like it. Angela and I thought it would look nice on your desk."

Walker took the small frame with his two favorite girls in it and kissed it. He said, "Yeah, I think I know the perfect spot for it. Thank you, Honey, for the picture and especially for the gift of our daughter. I never thought I would ever be a Daddy much less be married to the most beautiful woman in the world." With tears in her eyes, Alex kissed her husband long and slow.

"Walker, this is just the beginning of a special day. Why don't you spend some time with Angela while I take a quick shower. Then you can shower and we'll go for a ride."

Getting up, she kissed Walker with another kiss that left him breathless. He wondered how much more of this celibacy he was going to be able to stand, especially, if she kept looking at him with that smile and those eyes.

While Walker showered and dressed, Alex prepared the next phase of the surprise. She had fried chicken and made potato salad and fixed a large thermos of tea yesterday. She'd added fresh fruit and Walker's favorite Angel Food cake for dessert. All this was packed in the picnic basket. She fixed up a bag for Angela and was waiting when Walker came downstairs.

"OK, Alex, what are you up to?"

"Darling, I don't know what you're talking about." Alex was smiling. "Come on, grab that basket or take the baby and let's go. I can't saddle the horses and thought you might do that for us."

Walking out to the barn with the baby in his arms, Walker asked Alex if it was OK for her to ride. He reminded her that she'd only had surgery to delivery a baby four weeks ago. She assured him that she'd spoken with her doctor and gotten permission. She just had to ride slowly and most especially, no racing!

After saddling the horses, Walker put on the special Native American pouch that would hold Angela. She snuggled contentedly against her daddy and they all three rode off towards Walker and Alex's favorite spot by the pond. They stopped once so Alex could nurse the baby, then continued on with Angela again snuggled against her Daddy.

Around lunchtime, they arrived at their destination. Alex took Angela while Walker dismounted and took care of the horses. Spreading the blanket on the ground and getting Angela's boppy pillow, Alex nursed Angela while Walker spread the picnic out. Alex was propped against the tree and looking quite content. Life couldn't get any better!

"Alex, what's this?" Walker asked his wife while holding up two packages.

"Oh, that's for later!"

"But I've already gotten a Father's Day gift. What are these for?"

Alex looked at her husband and smiled and blew him a kiss. God, Walker thought, she looked so sexy when she did that. He had to get his mind on food and quick!

With the baby asleep, Alex laid her on the blanket so that she and Walker could enjoy their meal.

"When did you find time to do all this?"

"Well, while you and Jimmy were out working yesterday on that case, Angela and I decided to fix you a special meal."

"Oh, so Angela helped did she?"

"How's the chicken? And the potato salad?"

"They're both great, Hon!"

"So, your daughter is a great helper, huh?"

Walker laughed. He loved this side of Alex. "Well yes, but we'll see how good she is at cleaning up!"

Both of them were watching Angela sleep. "Oh, Walker, can you believe that she's ours? I don't think I can describe how much I love her. She is so beautiful!"

Walker reached out and touched the blonde hair at the nape of Angela's neck.

"Yeah, I love watching her too. Look at that cute little expression on her face. She is so calm and peaceful. She's only been here four weeks and already I can't remember life without her."

"Walker do you ever worry about being a good parent to her? I do…I mean what if I mess up really bad with her?"

"Alex, you won't mess up with her. You're a great mother and you'll only improve as time goes on. No, I'm not worried about being a good parent because I'll have you there by my side to guide me."

Alex moved to sit beside of Walker. He opened his arms to her. She always felt so safe and secure when held in his arms. She could only imagine how Angela must feel. Before long, Walker noticed her soft breathing and knew his wife had fallen asleep. He knew she was tired but she never complained. He tried to do as much as he could to help her. With thoughts of Alex, he found himself falling asleep too.

Neither of them could sleep long as they daughter demanded attention. Walker settled Alex against the tree with the boppy pillow after he changed Angela's diaper. While she was nursing, he packed up the picnic box and checked the horses. When he sat back down, Angela had finished eating and was drifting off to sleep again. Alex laid her back down on her baby quilt. Alex suggested that he open his two presents.

"Alex, one present was enough."

"Just open it, Cowboy!" Alex moved to sit beside her husband. She felt the need to touch him.

Walker opened the first box to reveal a new watch. Alex knew that his had stopped working recently.

"Alex, this is beautiful! How did you know I needed a new watch? I don't remember mentioning it."

"No, Darling, you didn't, but a wife just knows these things! Look at the inscription."

The words on the back of the watch brought tears to Walker's eyes. "To my daddy on his first Father's Day. Love, Angel."

"Alex, this is just perfect. Thank you and my little Angel so much." Smiling because she knew the tears would come otherwise, Alex helped Walker fasten the watch to his wrist.
"Now, open the other one!"

Walker tore the paper from the other box. This was turning out to be such a wonderful day but was so emotional. He didn't realize that he was such an emotional person but every little thing that Alex was doing for him was bringing tears to his eyes. How in the world did he get so lucky? Removing the cover from the box, Walker saw the faces of himself, his wife, and his baby starring up at him from another silver frame. This frame was engraved with the words, "Happy Father's Day." The photograph was taken the day that they brought Angela home from the hospital.

"I thought this would be perfect for your nightstand."

Walker pulled Alex to him and kissed her long and passionately. She felt her body respond like she'd gone days without water. Her fingers found the buttons on his shirt and soon they were skin to skin. Walker didn't think he'd ever get enough of this beautiful woman. Just as he reached for the snap on her jeans, Angela started to cry. Pulling apart slowly and savoring the moment, Walker picked up his daughter. Alex buttoned her blouse back and waited until her breathing returned to normal. Walker checked and found that Angela needed a diaper change. Looking over at Alex, he realized how much he wanted her. He could see that she was having trouble getting her emotions back under control, too. He decided they had better leave before things got out of hand.

The sun was beginning to get warm and they didn't think it would be good for Angela to stay out much longer. Just before Alex picked up their daughter, Walker drew her into his arms.

"Thank you for one of the happiest days of my life. Thank you for all the presents you have given me, but most of all, thank you for loving me. I know that I'm the luckiest man in the world."

"No, Cowboy, I'm the luckiest woman in the world. I can't believe that I have you and our baby. Your love gives me life."

Holding her tight, Walker kissed her. Slowly releasing her, he knelt down to pick up the baby and handed her to Alex. He gathered up the blanket and the rest of their things. He mounted and reached for Angela and they all three headed home.

It was well past 3 p.m. when the Walkers arrived home. Walker knew that Alex was probably exhausted. He sent her and Angela into the house while he took care of the horses. When he entered the house, he found both of them sound asleep. Deciding that he could use a nap, too, he slipped into bed beside his wife. Pulling her close, he was rewarded by a contented sigh.

Walker couldn't get to sleep, though. Too many memories kept flooding his mind. He thought of his parents and how they had created a life of love and safety for him. He thought about growing up on the reservation and how difficult life had been for him when he lost his parents. He thought about Uncle Ray and how he had brought balance and love back into his life. Uncle Ray would be so proud of Angela and he knew that somewhere in the spirit world, Uncle Ray was aware of his happiness. He thought about C.D. and how much he loved him and how sad he was that he'd been murdered. He thought of all the people that had come and gone from his life. He wanted Angela to know about these people. Together, Alex and he would tell their daughter. That brought his thoughts back to his beautiful wife.

Alex…even the name brought a smile to his face. Yes, he wanted to share with his daughter all about her mother. He remembered that first time in court when Alex was grilling him while he was on the witness stand. He had been arrogant and rude but that was a cover. He'd only seen her from the back of her head. He knew she had all that blonde hair. When she looked up at him with those blue eyes and that luscious mouth, he didn't know how he was going to get through any testimony. That's probably why he'd acted the way he had. Then a few days later on New Year's Eve, they'd bumped into each other. He'd kissed her. He knew he was lost then but it took him a while to do anything about it. They became great friends, then, lovers and now she was his wife and the mother of his child. He was truly blessed!

Sighing, Walker eased out of his wife's arms. She stirred and awoke.

"Hey Cowboy, where are you going?"

"I thought I'd work out a bit. Is that OK with you?"

"Sure. Is the baby still asleep?"

"It's only been an hour but she'll probably be stirring soon. Why don't you go back to sleep?"

"No, I need to get up. I've got steaks marinating for dinner and then one final surprise for you!"

"Alex…"

"Shhhh, Cowboy! This is my day to pamper you and since I can't do it in the way that I really want to, you'll have to put up with my way now!"

Smiling and kissing her softly, Walker went downstairs to the gym. Alex got up and picked up the baby monitor and went downstairs. It was nearly 6 p.m. and she wanted to have dinner ready soon.

Angela awoke in a happy mood and after she was changed and fed, she laid in her port-a-crib and cooed while Alex worked the kitchen. Walker came up after his workout. Alex told him by the time he showered dinner would be ready. Walker couldn't imagine a more perfect day.

After dinner, Alex and Walker took Angela to the swing on the porch. Handing Angela to her Daddy, Alex returned to the house and brought out something else for Walker.

"Alex…"

"Walker, this isn't much in terms of cost. This is something that I made for you. I want us to keep adding to it so that we can pass it down to Angela someday."

Walker took what looked like a book from Alex. Opening it, he discovered that Alex had put in photos of himself and herself as children along with pictures of their parents, Uncle Ray, C.D., their friends who were both living and gone. She had also included a picture of the ranch and the horses and ended with another family photo of the three of them that was made the day they brought Angela home.

Walker pinched the bridge of his nose to keep his emotions under control. Under each of the pictures, Alex had written a special description of the pictures. The rest of the book was empty awaiting new family times together -a book for Angela to grow up with.

"Alex, this is wonderful. Thank you for putting all this together for us all. It'll be our family history. I love you so much."

Holding Angela with one arm and Alex with the other, they went into the house. It had been a perfect day. Walker knew that he'd never been happier in his life. Looking back out the door, he thought he saw a few ghosts in the yard and they amazingly looked like his parents, Alex's mother, Uncle Ray and C.D. and they were all smiling and dancing. Shutting the door, Alex and Walker climbed the steps and put their daughter to bed. As they climbed into their own bed, Walker kissed his wife and thanked her for a beautiful day. They drifted off to sleep feeling safe and secure in their love. It had been a Happy Father's Day filled with love.