By Katie 59
In the living room Walker was reaching down with a coat hanger to scratch his leg that was in a cast when Alex entered the room and started scolding him as she would a young child “Cordell John Walker, what do you think you are doing? If you keep scratching that leg you're going to get an infection in it and that would set your rehab schedule even further back." Dropping the hanger Walker replied “I’m tired of it itching so badly. I can't wait for this cast to come off so that I can get started on walking again."
“Walker you are listening to what Dr. Braken told you about not rushing things, aren't you? Promise me that you haven't been trying to do anything on your own while I've been at work. I know it's hard but if you don't follow Dr. Braken's advice you may never walk again." Alex grilled Walker because she knew how he was about not listening to doctors. Walker answered “No Alex I haven't been misbehaving while you're at work."
“Good keep it that way." Alex told him and left the room while Walker turned on the T.V. only to find that the T.V. station was running a promo for an interview with his wife Antoinette Harte who had recently tried to kill both him and her daughter Susan. (Lost Future) In the promo Toni said that if it was the last thing that she did she would get her child back from the man who had tried to kill himself and her baby at his reservation. That it was wrong that Walker who hadn't even fathered the child in question should be allowed custody of the child while the custody case was being decided by courts in two different states, Texas and Oklahoma. Then the station added the tease that maybe Walker and Miss Harte weren't the only ones fighting over the child, that maybe another real blood relative was going to enter the custody battle. Walker called Alex into the room and told her about the interview. Alex said to him “I know about the interview, we can watch it together later after the children are sleeping. The relative that the station is talking about is Agent Seden's mother who has also petitioned the courts for custody of Susan. She says that neither Miss Harte nor you should have custody of her grandchild. Harte because she's an unfit mother and you because her son Agent Seden was the biological father of Susan."
Getting upset Walker snapped at her “Why didn't you tell me this sooner Alex? You know that I consider Susan to be my daughter every bit as much as John is my son." Alex held up her hand and almost gently told him “Don’t take this out on me Walker, I didn't cause this mess. I consider Susan to be my daughter every bit as much as John is my son, you know that. I love that child as much as if I had given birth to her myself. Not to change the subject but my father, your attorney said that he'll be out here tomorrow to discuss the custody case with you, okay?"
“Okay Alex. Have you heard anything from Trivette concerning the investigation into Agent Seden's death?" Walker asked Alex who replied “No I haven't but I've been real busy at work lately. What do you say about us going out to C.D.'s for dinner with the children? Maybe Trivette will drop by there while we're there."
Walker agreed and they went to C.D.'s for dinner. As they were eating their dinner Trivette entered the bar and spotting Walker and Alex there said to them “I’ve been looking for the two of you. I have some news concerning you know who."
Alex suggested “Walker, why don't I take the children into the back room to color while you and Uncle Jimmy talk?" Alex left the table with the children and Trivette told Walker “The F.B.I. found a fingerprint on the timer that was used to set the car bomb off and they finally traced it to none other than orderly Jackman from that veteran’s hospital in Oklahoma that you were undercover in after your shooting. They're going to be bringing him for questioning about it."
"How does that help me Trivette?" Walker questioned his former partner who answered "Right now it doesn't but there are rumors that Miss Harte was seeing Jackman when Seden's car was blown up with him in it. There are also rumors that Jackman was furious when Miss Harte married you instead of him. Maybe just maybe the F.B.I. can get him to turn on her and then Miss Harte will be arrested and in jail where you don't have to worry about her trying to take Susan from you."
“Thanks Trivette." Walker said realizing that Trivette was doing his best to help him out. Trivette teased him “So how is Alex dealing with your grouchy bear routine? Has she gotten really mad at you yet? Has she yelled at you or threatened to throw something at you like you deserve?"
“No Alex hasn't gotten mad at me and that's not like her. Before I was shot whenever I made Alex mad she let me know about it but ever since I returned to Texas with Susan Alex doesn't even raise her voice at me, no matter how much I upset her. It's just not right." Walker answered causing Trivette to laugh “Walker you act like you want Alex to let you have it with both barrels."
Walker seriously answered “At least then I'd know that she still feels the same way about me. You know the way Alex felt about me before I was shot and left town." Trivette advised him “Well then all you have to do is to get Alex mad enough to let you have it. Then the two of will be back to normal. Let me know when you're going to do that because I'd love to watch the fireworks."
Walker semi growled “Trivette." Trivette said as he got up from the table “See you Walker, right now I have a date with a pretty lady."
That night they watched the interview of Walker's wife and all during it Toni Harte kept a handful of tissues close by so that could cry into them every so often. The main subject was Walker and how he had tried to kill himself and her precious daughter Susan at his reservation in Oklahoma. The interviewer, Chase Strauss asked her "Miss Harte what about the allegations that you were the one who tried to kill your daughter and Cordell Walker? What's your response to that allegation and the fact that Mr. Walker's attorney Gordon Cahill convinced a judge in Texas that you were a danger to your daughter and appointed Alex Cahill as the temporary guardian of your young daughter."
Toni wiped away her tears, took a minute to compose herself then said "There is no truth to that baseless allegation. I love my daughter. How a judge went along with Mr. Walker's and Mr. Cahill's lies I don't know other than the fact that Miss Cahill is an A.D.A. in Texas and the judge was predisposed to give her and that man my daughter because of that. Mr. Walker was the one who tried to kill my baby. How could anyone look at the facts and still allow him anywhere near my baby is beyond me. But I promise you this, I will take my baby away from him if it's the last thing that I do."
"There are rumors that you had a life insurance policy out on your husband that paid you double if he killed himself. What do you have to say about that?" Strauss questioned Miss Harte causing her to start crying again. After taking some more time to wipe her tears away Toni answered in a halting voice "Yes, it's true... but I had to look out for my baby...John was always talking about...well being of no use to anyone...And I thought that maybe if he...Well if he took his own life I would need some sort of income to help me raise my baby. That's the only reason I took out that policy, I swear that I never really expected him to try to kill my baby while trying to kill himself."
"Why do you call Mr. Walker John and not by Cordell his first name? Also can you please tell us about your marriage to him? Were you in love with him when you got married?" Strauss asked Harte who replied "I call him John because he was using the name John William Collins when I first met him in a veteran's hospital so since I knew him as John I kept calling him John which is his real middle name. No I wasn't in love with Mr. Walker, I was still in love with Special Agent Seden who is the real father of my daughter Susan. It's just that I felt so sorry for John being all on his own in a wheelchair and so far away from home. So when he suggested that we get together I agreed. It was the biggest mistake that I ever made because as soon as my daughter was born John became so possessive of my daughter that I considered taking my baby and leaving him for her sake. I regret not following through with that but John begged me not take his only reason for living away from him so I stayed. As time went on I began to realize that John had deep seated emotional problems that I couldn't help him with. I began to go out on the town with my friends in an effort to forget about the fact that John was only interested in my daughter and not me."
"Are you implying what I think you're implying?" Strass questioned in disbelief so Toni quickly replied "No, what I meant was that John wanted things to stay the way that they were between us. When we first got married John said that we should sleep in separate bedrooms until after the baby was born and I went along with it. After my daughter was born I suggested that we start sharing a bedroom but John refused saying that his room was closer to the nursery and that he would be able to hear the baby at night. When my daughter was two I confronted John about our sleeping arrangements and he told me that he would never share a bed with me so I gave up on him. I understand now that he wasn't interested in creating more of a normal life for himself. John never looked into anything that would enable him to get out of the apartment more. He never went to rehab. When I suggested that he go see a doctor to discuss the possibility of him walking again John said that he was able to take care of his daughter and to get off his back about it. The only thing that interested him was staying home with my daughter twenty-four seven. As for my baby she adored John so much that I stayed in the marriage for her sake. I did not know until it was too late that John had been in touch with Sam Coyote at the reservation where he grew up and was making plans to take my daughter and live there without me, her mother."
Strauss asked "Is that why you were suing the reservation also when you thought your husband and daughter were dead?"
"I now believe that John took us there that weekend to talk Mr. Coyote into letting him live there with my daughter but that for some reason Mr. Coyote refused so John then decided that if he couldn't have my daughter all to himself he would never let me be with her again. That's when he threw himself and her over that cliff." Toni answered as she began to cry yet again.
Strauss said "We will be interviewing the attorney for Mr. Walker, Gordon Cahill tomorrow night, be sure to tune in for it. I'm sure that it will be very revealing." As Walker shut off the T.V. Alex got up from the couch and headed for the doorway. Walker asked her "Alex, are you ever going to forgive me for marrying that woman?"
Alex in a all too quiet voice answered "There's nothing to forgive." Walker trying to break through to her snapped "Damn it Alex tell me what I did was wrong or something. I married another woman and you're acting like it means nothing to you."
"You did what you had to do Walker, I understand that. See you in the morning." Alex again quietly answered him. Walker reached for Alex's arm but she avoided him so Walker replied "Good night. Alex please check on both of the children before you turn in, will you?"
"I do that every night Cordell Walker." Alex said and left Walker sitting there in his wheelchair wondering if he and Alex would ever get back what they had had before his shooting.
Walker was meeting with Gordon Cahill at the ranch and the first thing Gordon asked him was "Do you want to release a statement to the media about your wife's interview last night?" Walker shook his head no so Gordon changed the subject "Okay now as to the custody fight I believe that you have a good chance of winning the cases in Texas and Oklahoma but if you're having second thoughts about keeping custody of Susan now would be the time to let me know about it."
"I want custody of my daughter so that Alex and I can raise her with our son. I will never change my mind about that." Walker vowed.
"Okay now the fight may get a little nasty and I will do my best to keep Susan out of it but I have to warn you that Miss Harte's attorney Gail Legget has petitioned the judge in Oklahoma to have Susan testify in court that you tried to kill her. I have opposed the petition on two grounds, one that it was untrue and two that it would be too much for a three year old to testify in court, for any reason. That's why we will not be having Susan testify to her mother trying to kill the two of you. I was able to find out the name of the attorney who prepared the papers so that Miss Harte could give Susan to the state of Oklahoma whenever she wanted to but he is refusing to admit anything citing their lawyer-client relationship. I filed a paper trying to get around that and the Texas court has agreed with me but the Oklahoma court is taking their time with the ruling. Now Walker I have to get into a delicate matter; how disabled were you when you were first in that wheelchair and how disabled are you now? Walker I need truthful answers from you. Are you willing to be truthful in this matter?" Gordon finished up.
"Yes, when I first ended up in this wheelchair I was to be blunt like a newborn baby but within three months I regained all functions below my waist but I still couldn't walk. Recently I began to feel sharp needle like pains in my lower back and legs and I have been able to shift my legs since then. I also have some feeling in both of my legs, mostly pins and needles but the broken one is itchy all the time under the cast." Walker answered his attorney.
"That's good to hear. Now when you were in Oklahoma did you attend any sort therapy? Did you make any effort to make a life for yourself besides taking care of Susan?" Gordon questioned.
"Until Susan was born I went to the rehab center every week and I seemed to be making progress with my legs but then Susan was born. After that whenever I wanted to go back to the rehab center Toni came up with a reason to be somewhere else then so one day I told her that she was watching Susan and that I was going to the rehab center. When I came back to the apartment that evening Susan was crying her lungs out and Toni was in her room blasting her stereo to drown out Susan's crying. I confronted Toni about neglecting our daughter like that and Toni told me that if I had been so concerned about Susan I would have stayed home and taken care of her instead of going out. Toni then made it clear that if I left the baby with her again I would regret it so I decided to hold off on going to the rehab center until Susan was older." Walker explained.
"Did you tell anyone about that incident?" Gordon asked Walker who answered "The neighbors called the cops but Toni told the officer that came out to take the report that she had been in the shower and hadn't heard the baby crying and was really sorry and that it wouldn't happen again so he let it go at that."
"Walker, why did you stay with that woman? I know that you thought you didn't have any rights regarding Susan but couldn't you have at least called a lawyer to find out that for sure?" Gordon again questioned Walker who bit back "I did contact a lawyer, one Cyrus F. Winslow and he told me that no judge in his right mind would take an infant from it's mother and give it to a man who wasn't the child's real father to begin with and who was also handicapped."
"Okay just asking, don't bite my head off. I'll contact him and see what he has to say about his advice to you. Now how are you and my daughter getting along? I need to know because the judge in either state will want to be sure that Susan is in a stable home with parents who love her." Gordon said.
"Alex loves Susan as much as she loves John but when it comes to me I don't think she cares about me anymore and I don't blame her." Walker replied.
"Has she said that to you? Because I know for a fact that Alex still loves you more than anything. I mean look at what's she's doing for you, she's has her father being your attorney. More than that Alex is being the mother to Susan that the child never had. A woman doesn't do that for a man unless she loves him. Walker you have to understand that Alex was devasted when you left town then you never called her and while she understands your reasons at the time it hurt her worse than anything has ever hurt her in her entire life. Think about it the man that my daughter loved left her behind when he should have needed her the most he married another woman. Give Alex some time to deal with everything that's happened before you give up on her will you?" Gordon again finished up with a question.
"I will never give up on Alex, I know that she loves Susan as much as I love her and John. Someday the four of us will be a family and nothing or no one will ever stand in the way of that." Walker vowed.
"What about Mrs. Seden, are you and Alex willing to let her be part of Susan's life? She is the child's grandmother after all. I don't think that she really wants sole custody of Susan but does want to be a part of her granddaughter’s life." Gordon asked Walker who told him "I want Susan to know her grandmother but I feel that the best place for Susan is here with Alex, John and myself as part of a family. I'm willing to let Mrs. Seden see her granddaughter."
That night during the interview Gordon stated Walker's case for custody while refusing to say anything about Miss Harte other than the fact she had tried to kill Walker and Susan at the reservation. Strauss then asked him "What about Special Agent Seden's mother and her petition for custody? Will your client deny her her rights as the child's grandmother?"
"My client wants his daughter to know her grandmother and he is willing to let his daughter see Mrs. Seden but he feels that the best place for his daughter to be raised is at his ranch with his son John and Alex Cahill, the boy's mother." Gordon stated.
"What about marriage, will Walker be marrying your daughter anytime soon? Or are you just saying that to make his custody case appear better?" Strauss questioned Gordon who answered "Before he was shot Cordell Walker had planned to ask for my daughter's hand in marriage. I believe that it would be in everyone's best interest for the divorce to be finalized as soon as possible so that they can marry and raise their children together, as it was meant to be."
Walker was on the porch watching the children play in the yard when Trivette drove up. After getting out of the car Trivette asked him "Hey Walker is there any place more private that we can talk?"
"Alex is cooking dinner, we can talk here." Walker answered his former partner who sat himself on the porch swing and said "I got a call from the F.B.I. and so far all Jackman will admit to is having an on and off affair with know who for the last five years. That he broke it off with her when she started seeing Agent Seden but that they resumed their affair about six months after someone was born."
"Mr. Walker, what's an affair?" John questioned Walker who answered the child "Son ask your mother that question when you're older, much older." Then Walker said to Trivette "How about you come to the barn with me to check on the horses?"
"Let me tell Alex that we're going to the barn to check on the horses, that way the children won't hear what we're talking about." Trivette answered Walker and then got up from the swing and went into the house where he found Alex in the kitchen so he said to her "Alex, Walker and I are going to the barn to check on the horses. Do you want me to bring the children in first?"
"I'll get them. We'll eat after you and Walker get done doing whatever it is that you're planning on doing in the barn." Alex replied and went outside to watch the children. Trivette went to help Walker off of the porch but Alex told him "Don't bother he can do it all by himself, Walker doesn't need anyone." Walker got himself out of the wheelchair and placed it on the ground then got himself down the steps and put himself back into the wheelchair. As Trivette stood there wondering why Alex hadn't even tried to help Walker and why she seemed so uncaring about Walker he started wheeling himself to the barn. Trivette quickly followed Walker into the barn.
"Hey man, are you and Alex all right?" Trivette asked Walker who changed the subject. "Did the F.B.I. say anything else?"
"Just that Jackman wants a plea deal before he'll admit to anything other than the affair and right now the F.B.I. is mulling that over. Not to change the subject but Captain Harland told me to tell you that your workman's comp checks will be switched to your address here." Trivette answered him.
"What workman's comp checks? I wasn't getting any kind of checks from the state of Texas or the Texas Rangers for my being shot. I wasn't on duty when I got shot, remember? I only got disability checks from the federal government and that was only after my undercover assignment was over with and I moved into that apartment." Walker replied.
"Are you sure about that Walker because according to Captain Harland you sued for workman's comp right after you and Miss Harte were married and you started getting the checks within six months." Trivette questioned his former partner who again stated "Trivette I did not get those checks, I did not sue to get them and I do not want them. I only took the disability checks because I needed some money to live on. The second that I'm walking again I'm going to get them stopped. I will not live off of others."
"Okay let me go talk with Harland to get this cleared up. I'll call you when I find out what's going on." Trivette said and left the ranch.
After they were done eating dinner the doorbell rang and Alex answered it to find her father there with a woman. Gordon told them "Walker and Alex, I would like you to meet Madge Seden. Madge this is my daughter Alex, her friend Walker, Alex's son John and Walker's daughter Susan."
Alex said to Madge "Nice to meet you, would you like some coffee?" Madge answered "I would like some tea if it's not too much trouble."
"Okay, I'll make up some but in the meantime Dad why don't you and Walker take Madge and the children into the living room? I'll have the tea ready shortly." Alex said to them.
As they were drinking their tea Madge said "They really do look like they could be brother and sister. I don't want to cause you any trouble but I do want to get to know Susan but my lawyer said that the only way that I could be assured of that would be to get sole custody of her. At my age I don't know if I can give her the type of home that she deserves. Anyhow I watched the T.V. news last night where they interviewed Mr. Cahill. I then went to see him this morning and he assured me that you would let me get to know Susan. That's why he brought me out here tonight so that we can work out some sort of agreement regarding my granddaughter. Can we? Because I really do want to do what's best for her."
Walker answered the woman "I would like my daughter to know her grandmother. If you want we can sign an agreement saying exactly when you can visit her or we can all agree that you can stop by here to see her in the evenings whenever you want to and see how that goes."
"I would like to be able to stop here and see her in the evenings, several times a week. Would that be okay with you Miss Cahill? This is your ranch after all." Madge Sedan asked Alex who answered "That's fine by me and this was Walker's place before he signed it over to me after he was shot."
"So the two of you are going to be getting married just as soon as his divorce is final and raise these children together?" Madge questioned them and Walker replied "Yes." Alex didn't answer the question.
Madge began to visit her grandmother several times a week and she told Walker after one of the visits "I can see that my granddaughter has a father who loves her very much and that Miss Cahill loves her as much as she had given birth to Susan herself."
"That Alex does." Walker replied.
"I'll have my lawyer drop the custody case and keep things the way that there are right now. Thank you Mr. Walker for loving my granddaughter as though she was your very own daughter." Madge told Walker who told her "Susan is my daughter. By the way Alex wants to know if you want to go shopping with her and Susan on Saturday. Alex said that she needs to get Susan some new clothes because she's outgrowing everything."
"Tell Alex that I'll be glad to." Madge answered then left the ranch. They went out shopping together and got both of the children new things. When they returned to the ranch Madge told Susan "Grandma has to be somewhere next week but she'll be back to visit you the week after that."
Susan said "Okay grandma." John then asked "Can you be my grandma too? Susan gets to have my grandpa Gordon and my grandpa C.D."
Madge replied "If that's okay with your parents." Alex told her "Yes it is because we already think of you as our children's grandmother."
After getting his cast removed the first thing Walker asked Dr. Braken was "How soon can I begin my physical therapy?" Dr. Braken replied "Let's run a few tests first shall we? Now Walker I want you to lay back on the bed and slowly try to raise each leg, the left one first."
Walker slowly and with a great deal of effort raised the left one all the way but he could only raise the right leg only half-way. Dr. Braken told him "That's good Walker, very good. Now since you have more movement in your legs than I was expecting it should be no time at all until you're walking. However and this is very important I do not want you overdoing it. If you feel extreme pain in either one of your legs during your rehab you are to stop what you're doing and give that leg some rest. Understand that?"
"Yes." Walker replied wanting to get out of the doctor's office. Dr. Braken said "I know that you want your life back Walker but you have to take it one step at a time. I'll have you start your rehab tomorrow, is that soon enough for you?"
Walker's grin was all the answer that Dr. Braken needed.
Awhile later Walker entered C.D.'s looking for Alex but she wasn't there yet so he wheeled himself to a booth where he waited for Alex and the children. As he was waiting a customer began to harass a lady that was in another booth so Walker said to him "Leave the lady alone."
When the man kept it up Walker added "I told you to stop bothering the lady now stop." The man looked at Walker in his wheelchair and laughingly replied "How are you going to stop me? Are you going to run me over?"
The man then tried to grab the lady but Walker grabbed his arm to stop him and the man said "Ooh, I'm shaking in my boots, a fool in a wheelchair has a hold of me." The man then took a swing at Walker but he blocked it and punched the man in the stomach doubling the man over. Walker then grabbed the man by his collar and told him "Get lost."
After the man left the lady said to Walker "Thank you Mr. ?" Walker answered "The name is Walker."
"My name is Lydia Martine. Can I buy you a drink to thank you?" Lydia asked Walker as she moved over to the booth that he had been sitting by. Walker replied "No, I'm waiting for my children and their mother."
Lydia got up kissed Walker on the cheek and told him "Thank you again." As she walked away Alex who had witnessed the kiss questioned "Who was that woman and why was she kissing you?"
"Just some lady that I helped. I'm going to start rehab tomorrow." Walker answered as the children got into the booth. "That's good to hear before you know it things will be back to the way that they were before you..." Alex trailed off.
C.D. came over then and took their orders and a short time later Trivette came in and suggested to C.D. "Hey grandpa C.D. didn't you tell me that you had something in the back room for the kids?"
C.D. took the hint and led the children to the back room. Trivette then said "That workman's comp claim that was filed in your name was filed by Miss Harte's attorney Gail Legget and she's claiming attorney client privilege but all the checks were deposited into Miss Harte's bank account. Captain Harland sent the investigators a sample of your handwriting and it doesn't match the signatures on the checks. Also your signature appears to have been forged on the lawsuit papers so the F.B.I. is looking into prosecuting Miss Harte for workman's comp fraud. Captain Harland said that in order for that to happen you have to file a statement attesting to the fact that you never sued for workman's comp. He said that D.A. Moody said that he would be able to take your statement himself at three in his office. Can you make it?"
"I have to find someone to watch the children, Alex has court this afternoon." Walker answered Trivette who sighed and said "You can bring them by Ranger headquarters and I'll watch them while you see Moody. Just promise one thing Walker."
"What one thing Trivette?" Walker asked not realizing that he had taken Trivette's bait. Trivette grinned as he answered "That your daughter Susan is not nearly as hard-headed as your son John is."
Alex did the answering this time "I'm afraid that she is Jimmy but what else would you expect from Walker's daughter?" Trivette said "Great just great but I did say that I would watch them both."
After Walker gave his statement he went to Ranger headquarters for the first time in well over three years. After the Rangers that he knew said hi Captain Harland told them "Okay that's enough, get back to work. Walker in my office now."
Walker followed Harland into the captain's office. Harland opened his desk drawer took out a Ranger badge and said "As soon as you are on your feet again and can pass a physical this badge will be yours again. That is if you want to return to the Texas Rangers, do you?"
"Yes I do." Was Walker's answer.
Walker worked tirelessly on walking again and within four months he was able to walk again and the sharp pains in his lower back and legs began to lesson. Also in a stunning move Toni Harte agreed to a divorce so long as the custody of Susan wasn't part of the divorce. Gordon told Walker to agree to the terms so that he and Alex could get on with their lives and Walker did. The divorce would then be finalized within several months' time. The State of Oklahoma was still investigating whether Walker tried to kill himself and Susan at the reservation or whether Miss Harte had tried to kill Walker and her daughter. That they didn't expect to make an arrest any time soon in light of the ongoing custody battle. The federal government was still investigating Toni for workman's comp fraud but the investigation into Agent Seden's death hadn't led to anyone being arrested yet. Now able to walk Walker scheduled his physical just as soon as Dr. Braken gave him the okay to do so and needless to say Walker passed the physical. With the physical passed Walker was reinstated as a Texas Ranger and was assigned to be Trivette's partner again. The morning that Walker was to return to work he said to Alex "Can I borrow your car to drive to work? I don't have my own vehicle.”
Alex answered " No you may not."
"Alex I have to drive something to work. Listen how about I drive your car and drop you off at work?" Walker questioned Alex who changed the subject by asking him "Walker, while the both of us are at work, who's going to be watching the children?"
"Can't you drop them off at the day care center for the D.A.'s office? Trivette told me that was where John was going during the day while you worked until I returned to Texas and started watching him along with Susan." Walker said to Alex who replied "I can drop John off there but I can't drop Susan off there because she's not legally my daughter."
When Walker sat there without saying anything else Alex sighed then told him "You do know that the Rangers now have a day care center, don't you?"
"That's great, I'll drop Susan off there. Where is it by the way?" Walker replied.
"Actually it's the same one as the D.A.'s. The Texas Rangers got permission to have their employees use it too, mainly the women who work in the office doing paperwork but the Rangers are also allowed to leave their children there while they're working. You'll have to fill out the paperwork yourself before they'll take her this morning but after that all you'll have to do is to drop Susan off each morning on your way to work. Now come on children, let's clean up so that we can go to work." Alex said.
As they were going outside Walker asked "Alex are you going to let me drive your car or not?" Alex answered "No, I'm not cowboy. You can drive your truck instead, see it's right over there." Alex pointed out Walker's truck then she tossed a set of keys to Walker and told him "I'll take John with me you take Susan, see you later Walker."
Walker and Trivette were conducting a bust when one of the guys decided that he wasn't going to be arrested and fought Walker who was barely able to take him down. As they were sitting in the truck Trivette in an effort to lighten Walker's somber mood said "Hey Walker, how about we spar? I might actually have a chance this time. I mean I have to spar with you and win at least one time before you get back to where you were then I'll never have a chance to beat you."
Walker seriously answered "I may never be that way again Trivette."
"Walker you were in a wheelchair until very recently, give yourself some time before you decide that you won't get back to where you were. Because let's face it pal if there is any man on the face of this earth who can do it, it is you. You're too stubborn not to get back to where you were before you were shot. Walker you and I both know that. If you don't believe me go ask Alex, she'll tell you that I'm right." Trivette answered Walker who teased "I'm not the stubborn one, Alex is."
"That's right, you're the hard-headed one or is that mule-headed? Now how about we go and do the paperwork on this bust? Oh by the way it's your turn to do the paperwork." Trivette teased right back.
That night after the children were asleep Walker was getting ready for bed in his bedroom when he started wondering if Alex was still awake and the more Walker wondered about it the more interested he became in finding out the answer. Walker went upstairs and without knocking on Alex's door went into the bedroom to discover her standing there naked. Alex quickly covered herself with a sheet as she questioned him "Don't you know how to knock? What do you want?"
After swallowing the lump in his throat Walker answered "I want you Alex." Then he pulled her into a kiss which Alex returned before coming to her senses and shoving him away." Good night Walker."
Walker neared her again but Alex held up her hand to keep him away so Walker asked her "I know that you want me too. Alex, what's wrong?"
"What's wrong is that you're married to another woman and I've told you before that I won't have sex with a married man. Until you can come to me free and clear I will not sleep with you. I will not have a child out of wedlock again." Alex replied as she moved further away from him yanked open her dresser drawer took out a nightgown and put it on. Walker told her "Just as soon as the ink is dry on the divorce papers we will get married Alex."
"You're forgetting one important thing Cordell John Walker." Alex answered causing Walker to ask her "What one thing?"
"You haven't even asked me to marry you and even in the unlikely event that you do ask me to marry you I'm leaning towards saying no. Now it's been a long day and I'd really like to get some sleep, leave this room now Walker." Alex snapped at Walker who was somewhat glad about it because Alex had finally shown her temper to him. Walker told her "Alex I know that I hurt you very badly by doing what I did and I'm sorry for that but I really thought it was over between us."
"So you say but if you had to do it all over again you would have done it exactly the same way again because you are the most hard-headed man on the face of this earth. Too damn stubborn to accept help from the woman who loved you then. And being the fool that I am I still love you. Walker please just leave me alone tonight." Alex answered Walker who said "Alex you are not a fool and you're right about everything that you just said but I do regret hurting you Alex, more than you'll ever know. I will regret it for the rest of my life."
When Alex didn't say anything to that Walker then changed the subject by saying to her "Alex, thanks for taking care of my truck for me while I was gone."
"I kept it your truck up and running because I knew that you would want it running when you came back home. I just never expected it to take you over three years to come back home. It's been so hard for me to live here without you but I stayed because I wanted our son to be raised at your ranch." Alex replied getting a little tearful so Walker wiped her tears away as he said "I know that honey and I swear that if it's the last thing that I do I will make it up to you. I love you Alexandra Cahill."
"I love you too Cordell John Walker." Alex reached up to bring Walker's head down for a kiss which quickly turned passionate. Breaking off the kiss Walker told Alex "We'll take this up on our wedding night lady." He then left Alex's room.
Gordon Cahill called Walker at home to tell him "Walker the judge in Texas has unexpectedly agreed that the custody of Susan should be decided in Oklahoma by Judge Roulent of the family court division. I filed papers to appeal the ruling but in the meantime Miss Harte, and her attorney Gail Legget, Susan, Alex, John, you and I have to be in Judge Roulent's courtroom tomorrow morning at ten. This is not a hearing to determine custody, it's just a hearing so that Judge Roulent can get to know all the parties involved."
"Are you sure about that Gordon? I won't lose my daughter to a woman who tried to kill her and who's made it clear that she intends to give Susan away to the state." Walker objected so Gordon assured him "That won't happen, you have my word. Listen Walker, let me talk to Alex will you?"
Walker handed the phone to Alex and went outside. Alex said to her father "Dad, what's wrong? Walker seems upset by whatever you just told him."
Gordon answered his daughter "The three of you and Miss Harte, her attorney and I have to be in Judge Roulent's courtroom tomorrow morning at ten. Now Alex you have to make sure that Walker's there along with Susan because if he doesn't show Roulent will have no choice but to grant Miss Harte custody of Susan and that's the last thing that any of us want."
"I'll talk to him later Dad. We'll be there." Alex responded so Gordon changed the subject "So how is my grandson John doing? Is he as stubborn as you are?"
"No, he's as hard-headed as Walker is. And your granddaughter is just as stubborn too. Walker and I are going to have fun when they are teenagers." Alex said to her father who asked her "Alex you sound like you've accepted Walker's proposal of marriage. So when are the two of you getting married?"
"No Dad, I haven't accepted Walker marriage proposal because he hasn't asked me yet. Right now I'm not sure what my answer would be if he ever does get around to asking me." Alex lamented to her father who sighed to himself then told her "Alex, you love Walker as much as he loves you and you know that he will ask you to marry him. You also know that you are going to say yes because you want to be his wife. Alex I never told you this but right before you were shot Walker called me up and asked me would it be okay if he became my son-in-law. I told him that would be okay and he told me that was good because he had been thinking about asking you to marry him. Then you were shot and Walker threw himself into getting the people who shot you which he did. Then on his way to see you Walker was shot changing everything for the two of you. Alex do me and yourself a favor, forgive him for the choices that he made back then and give Walker a chance at making things right."
"I already did that Dad and I want more than anything for things to work out for us and our children. So that means when Walker asks me to marry him I'll say yes." Alex said.
When they were in the courtroom they were told that the judge was running late so Walker and Alex explained to the children what they were doing in a courtroom and Susan asked them "Is the judge going to make me go live with Mommy today?"
Alex answered "No he isn't honey. Susie Q. the judge just wants to see that your Daddy and I love you and your brother very much, that's all."
Judge Roulent finally entered the courtroom with Miss Harte's attorney Gail Legget but Toni hadn't entered the courtroom so Gordon asked "Your Honor, might I ask where Miss Harte is?" Judge Roulent answered "She'll be along in a little while, right now I'd like to talk with young Susan here. Susan tell me how do you like living at Miss Cahill's?"
Susan answered "I like it, she has horses and buys me dollies and clothes." Judge Roulent then asked "Do you get to see your grandmother much?"
"Yes she comes and visits me at the ranch all the time. John and I like her a lot, she buys us both things and takes us out for ice cream." Susan replied.
"John is he Miss Cahill's son that's sitting next to you?" Roulent questioned Susan who answered "Yes. Grandma said that he's my brother because we have the same Daddy. He's nice too except when he won't play dollies with me. I play cars with him so he should play dollies with me, Grandpa C.D. does."
"What about your father? How does he treat you?" Roulent kept up the questions.
"I love my Daddy but he doesn't treat me to ice cream, he and Miss Alex tells me and John that grandma will treat us to ice cream. You know that my Daddy's face is fuzzy now and that he walks instead of riding in his chair. I love Miss Alex too and I want her to be my Mommy." Susan told Judge Roulent who smiled at her then said "Okay Susan, how about you and John go with this nice lady while I talk with your father and Miss Alex?" Susan and John were led away.
After they had left the courtroom Roulent said to Walker "I want you to explain to me why I should give you custody of a child that you didn't father. Why shouldn't Miss Harte, who's the child's mother be given custody of Susan?"
Walker replied "I may not have fathered Susan but she is my daughter and I love her as much as I love her brother John. Miss Harte does not love Susan and she never will. I along with Alex will raise both of our children with a lot of love and understanding."
"I don't doubt that you care for the child but I don't think that's a good enough reason to keep a child from it's mother so you're going to have to do better than that explanation if you want to be a part of Susan's life. Prove to me that you deserve to raise the child and why you feel that Miss Harte is an unfit mother." Roulent informed Walker who answered "Because she doesn't love or want Susan, I'm sure that you're aware of the fact that Miss Harte had papers drawn up so that she could give Susan away whenever she wants to. Not to mention that Toni threw Susan over the side of a cliff on the reservation as she told me that if I wanted my precious daughter so much to go get her. Alex is truly the only mother that Susan has ever had. Alex loves Susan as much as she loves John. She and I will raise them as the brother and sister that they already are. We are a family and that will never change."
Susan and John were led into the judge's chambers where Toni Harte was waiting and she put on a show for the bailiff "Oh Susan, baby. Mommy has missed you so much. Did those mean people hurt my baby? Mommy has been crying every night for you."
When Susan didn't answer Toni suggested to the bailiff "Could you please get me a glass of water for my daughter?" The bailiff hesitated and said "I'm not supposed to leave them unattended with you."
Toni asked the bailiff "Do they have to know that you left the room to get a child a glass of water?" The bailiff left the room and Toni snarled at her daughter "Now listen and listen good you little brat, you had better tell the judge that you want to live with me."
Susan went to leave the room but Toni grabbed her and after shaking Susan told her "Now when that lady comes back you are to tell her that you don't want to see your Daddy anymore. That you want to live with Mommy, got that?"
Susan cried "I love my Daddy and Miss Alex, I want to live with them and my brother John." Toni then tightened her grip on Susan and yelled at her "I just told you what to do and you had better listen to me if you know what's good for you. If you don't do what I tell you to do I'm going to hurt you. Why did you and your father have to survive when I tossed you over that cliff? I would have cleaned up on the insurance money and the money from the lawsuits but no the two of you just had to live and cost me everything. Now I have to act like I care for you, at least until I can get rid of you for once and for all."
When Susan cried even louder John kicked Toni in the leg and told her "Leave my sister alone." Toni knocked him to the floor and John said "My Mommy and my Daddy are going to be mad at you for hurting Susie and me."
The door opened and the bailiff entered the room, seeing Susan crying and John on the floor she asked "Miss Harte what happened here?" Toni told her "My daughter is crying because her so-called brother pulled her braids. When I tried to gently explain to him that he wasn't to pull Susan's braids he jerked away from me and fell on the floor."
"Okay, Judge Roulent wants to see you in his courtroom right now, your attorney is waiting there for you. I'll keep the children in here." The bailiff told Miss Harte who left the room. John defended himself "I didn't pull Susan's braids, that lady made her cry."
Miss Harte went into Judge Roulent's courtroom. After she was seated a bailiff entered the courtroom and whispered in the judge's ear. Roulent then said that there would be a short break and for them to wait in the courtroom until he came back. When the judge returned he announced "I have made a decision concerning custody of Susan Antoinette Harte. Now Mr. Walker I know that I told your attorney that I wouldn't be deciding custody today but everything's changed. Therefore I am granting custody of Susan to the parent whom she belongs with and that is... "
With a show of tears Miss Harte broke in "Thank you your honor for giving of my daughter to the parent who truly loves her, her mother." Roulent rapped his gavel to silence her then said "I am awarding permanent custody of the minor child in question to Cordell John Walker. You of course have the right Miss Harte to appeal my decision but you should know that my chambers that you were in is monitored and there's a recording of you threatening your daughter and knocking young John Walker to the floor when he tried to protect his sister. Mr. Walker, your daughter's last name will be changed to Walker by my order. Bailiff remove this woman then inform the D.A. that I need to speak with him later."
After Miss Harte was removed her attorney Gail Legget left the courtroom and Roulent said "I'm sorry Miss Cahill that your son was shoved to the floor by Miss Harte when he tried to protect his sister. I was trying to see how Miss Harte would treat her daughter when no one was watching her. I will turn over the video tape of what happened in that my chambers to the D.A. to see if he wants to charge Miss Harte with anything. Also you should know that this courtroom also has a monitoring system in it and I saw how you treated Susan when you were waiting for me to enter the courtroom earlier."
"Are John and Susan okay?" Alex and Walker asked at the same time. Roulent answered them "See for yourself." The children were brought in and Alex hugged her son as Susan hugged her father. Roulent then said "I'll strip Miss Harte of her parental rights so that means Miss Cahill you may adopt Susan when you marry Mr. Walker. Mr. Cahill I'll see to it that you receive all the legal papers as soon as possible."
"I'd like to adopt Susan, thank you your honor." Alex answered the judge who told Walker "Mr. Walker, how about you returning to Texas with your family?" Walker, Alex, the children and her father left the courtroom.
Gordon entered Ranger headquarters and seeing Walker there asked him "Do you have a minute?" Walker answered "Yes I do, how about we use the conference room?" They went into the conference room where Gordon took out a stack of legal documents and handed them to Walker as he said "You are now an unmarried man Walker, these are your divorce papers. This set of documents are the ones that grants you sole custody of Susan and these are the ones that states that Antoinette Harte has no legal rights to the minor child Susan Antoinette Walker. That means Walker that you and Alex can get married whenever the two of you want to. That also means that just as soon as you and Alex are married she can file the papers to adopt Susan. Any questions?"
"What about John, can I adopt him after we get married? I mean I know that I'm his father but Alex and I weren't married when he was born. That makes a difference, doesn't it?" Walker asked Gordon who answered "Walker you do not have to adopt your own son, he already has the last name of Walker. No it doesn't make a difference if the parents weren't married when the child was born if the mother lists the father on the birth certificate and gives the child the father's last name. In your case Alex did that, remember John's full name is John Cahill Walker. Now not that I'm being nosey or anything but when are you going to ask my daughter to marry you?"
"Thanks to your good news I can surprise Alex by asking her to marry me tonight while we're eating at La Mancha's. Do you think that you could pick the children up later on this evening and take them to your place and watch them overnight? If you can't let me know and I'll see if C.D. or Trivette will watch them overnight." Walker replied.
"I'll pick them up at six and take them to dinner then to my apartment, is that okay?" Gordon asked Walker who said that was okay.
Alex entered the ranch house to find Walker sitting on the couch waiting for her, she asked him "Walker where are our children?" Walker replied "Your father is keeping them overnight and we're going out to dinner at La Mancha's. Now you go ahead upstairs and get yourself ready to go out while I confirm our reservations."
"Can't we do this another night? I had a really bad day in court today and all I want to do is to put my feet up and rest." Alex objecting to Walker's plans sat herself down on the couch kicked her shoes off and put her feet up. Walker pulled Alex up from the couch and suggested "Why don't you take a bubble bath while I fix us dinner? We can go out to eat some other time."
Alex took a nice long bubble bath and returned downstairs dressed in some old sweats only to find Walker dressed up in a tuxedo. Looking at the way Walker was dressed Alex questioned him "Walker why are you dressed like that? Didn't you say that you were going to fix us dinner?"
Taking her hand Walker led Alex into the dinning room as he answered her "I did fix you dinner, see there it is. Alex the reason that I'm dressed like this is because I thought that you would like having me all dressed up when I proposed to you. Although I had intended to ask you while we were eating dinner at La Mancha's." Several tears leaked from Alex eyes causing Walker to ask her "Honey, what's wrong?"
Alex threw her arms around Walker's neck as she answered "The man that I love planned a romantic evening so that he could propose to me. Not only do I refuse to go out to dinner with him but I make him cook dinner then I dress in some sweats while he's wearing a tuxedo. Walker I'm sorry for ruining your plans."
Walker replied "Alex you didn't ruin my plans, at least not yet. Honey the only way you could ruin my plans would be if you were to turn me down. You're not going to do that to me, are you?"
"Walker, I can't turn you down because you haven't asked me anything. You are planning on asking me something, aren't you?" Alex teased Walker who said "Oh yeah, you're right. Sorry." Then he got down on one knee took Alex's hand and looking her in the eyes asked her "Alexandra Erin Cahill will you marry me?"
Alex quickly pulled Walker to his feet and said "I will marry you Cordell John Walker, I love you so much." Walker placed the engagement on Alex's finger then kissed her. The kiss very quickly turned passionate. Walker took a step back cleared his throat and told her "How about we eat dinner?"
"That can wait cowboy, right now I want to make love with you." Alex then pulled Walker back to her and kissed him. Walker deepened the kiss then picked Alex up and headed up the steps with her. When they were done Alex moaned a little bit and Walker became concerned "Alex is your back hurting you?"
"It's not my back that's a little sore, I've forgotten what kind of man that you are. I'll be fine in the morning." Alex answered Walker who realized what she meant and stuttered "You haven't...I mean hasn't there been anyone...It was over three years since we...uhm."
When she understood what Walker was implying Alex got up from the bed as she questioned him "Are you trying to tell me that you think that I've been with other men while you were gone? What's wrong with you? You know that I promised to wait for you and I did, didn't I? How can you lay there after we make love and even suggest such a thing?"
Walker quickly got up from the bed himself and said "I'm sorry Alex, I didn't mean to upset you. I know that you promised to wait for me but I went and married another woman and I guess...well I thought that you might have at least thought about someone else."
"Well I didn't because I was waiting for a stubborn mule-headed cowboy to come back to me." Alex replied as she slipped a nightgown on. Walker put on his clothes and said "Alex about what I did to you, I can never tell you enough that I regret the last three years and what I put you through."
"Cordell Walker, I don't regret the last three years and you know why?" Without waiting for an answer Alex continued "In the last three years I had our son and you became Susan's father and there is nothing to regret about that. Yes it was hard on me while I was carrying our son and you weren't here but I also gained a daughter when you came back to me. Walker the past is over and done with and we are here together."
"I love you Alex." Walker said to Alex who kissed him then told him "I love you too cowboy but how about we go eat the dinner that you fixed? For some reason I'm starving."
As they were eating Walker asked "Alex do you want to get married right away or do you want time to plan a big wedding?"
"I want to get married right away so if you want us to get married by a justice of the peace that's fine by me. The sooner that we're married the sooner that I can adopt Susan." Alex responded.
"How about we get married in two weeks time in Thunder Malloy's old church? Will that give you enough time to plan a wedding?" Walker questioned Alex who shook her head no as she said "Not two weeks, make that one week or three weeks, just not two weeks."
"What difference would it make if we got married in two weeks instead of one week or three weeks?" Walker asked.
"Because my dear if we get married in two weeks neither one of us is going to enjoy the honeymoon too much. Did you understand what I'm saying?" Alex asked back causing Walker to blush when he figured out what she meant. After a minute of silence a still blushing Walker managed to say "Three weeks it is then."
"Would you mind if we didn't make love until then? Because the next time we make love I want us to do it as husband and wife." Alex asked Walker who agreed "Fine by me lady."
A week before they were to get married Alex and Walker were at C.D.'s with their children and their friends who were celebrating the upcoming wedding. Trivette decided to tease Walker by asking him "Hey Walker where are you staying at the night before the wedding?" Walker answered "At the ranch, where else would I be staying?"
"I guess that means that you aren't superstitious? You do know that according to superstition that if Alex sees you the night before the wedding that the marriage is doomed to fail, don't you?" Trivette asked Walker but Alex answered him "Walker is not the least bit superstitious but I am so that means I will be spending the night before my wedding at my father's place."
Trivette decided to tease Walker some more and said "You guys never did tell me the details of Walker's proposal. I'll bet that he wore an old pair of sweats while you were all dressed up Alex. Then while you were eating dinner I'll also bet that my partner suggested that now his divorce was final you two should get married. The man is not the least bit romantic."
Alex replied "It wasn't exactly like that Jimmy, I was the one wearing sweats while Walker was the one who was dressed up, in a tuxedo no less. Just so you know Walker is very romantic when it comes to me." Trivette then asked "So where are you two going on your honeymoon? Anyplace special, you know like Paris? Come on you have to tell me where you're going Alex."
"Sorry but I don't know, Walker picked where we're going for our honeymoon. Besides Trivette anywhere that I'm with Walker is special." Alex said then took Walker by the arm and told him "They're playing our song, let's dance." As they were dancing Alex said "I'm so happy Walker."
Walker joked "Does that mean we don't have to go on a honeymoon after all?" Alex seriously answered him "Walker if you'd really rather stay home with the children instead of going on a honeymoon I'll understand."
Walker kissed Alex then told her "You'll like where we're going Alex." As they watched Walker and Alex dance C.D. said to Trivette "I can't wait to see Alex and Walker get married next week. Everything seems to going so well for them right now."
"I know what you mean C.D., Walker has custody of Susan and Miss Harte has been arrested for threatening Susan in Judge Roulent's chambers and will soon be arrested for workman's comp fraud. And last but not least the feds told me off the record that Jackman has agreed to a plea deal in Seden's murder and gave them proof that Miss Harte planned it. Apparently she thought Seden was going to marry her but he told her that he wasn't so she had Jackman plant the bomb in Seden's car. Now all that's left is for Alex and Walker to live happily ever after." Trivette answered.
Alex stood by the bed in the honeymoon suite and watched as Walker paid the porter then closed the door behind him. Walker neared Alex and asked her "Well Mrs. Walker, what's the first thing that you want to do as a married woman?" Deciding to be impish Alex said "How about a walk?"
Walker started to the door as he answered "Alex we can see the lights of Paris from this room but if my wife wants to take a walk that's what we'll do." Alex told him "Cordell John Walker get back here right this minute and make love with me." Walker listened and when they were done Alex dreamily said "That was great, how soon can we do that again?"
Walker answered "Give me a minute to recover lady." Alex questioned "Just a minute?" Walker pulled Alex close and asked "Yes just a minute. I'm ready to go, are you?" Alex nodded yes. The next morning Walker asked her "Do you still want to take that walk?"
"Can't it wait?" Alex replied as she stretched her arms causing the sheet to slip below her waist. Walker quickly pulled Alex into his arms and the walk was forgotten.
Two months later Alex asked Walker to stop by her office that she needed to tell him something. When he got there Walker asked "What did you want to tell me Alex?" Wrapping her arms around Walker's neck Alex replied "I wanted to tell you that you're going to be a Daddy again. I'm almost three months pregnant, it must have happened the night you asked me to marry you."
"I will be with you every step of the way this time Alex." Walker vowed to his wife who said "I know that darling, now that we found our future."
I don't own Walker Texas Ranger, C.B.S. and other entities do. Neither I or this story was meant as an infringement on their rights. It was written as tribute to a good show, nothing more.