A friend swears they saw in print that the character of Walker was born in 1947, that would put him at 25 during the timeframe (1972) mentioned in Codename: Dragonfly.

This is a contradiction to the series…**Using history and the dates mentioned on his parents’ tombstones he would have only been 19, kind of young to be called the best marine.**

Therefore I’ve decided to go with the 1947 date, even though that makes him 18 years older than Alex!

But then again…we know the character of Jimmy went to college, played a year of football, then had to do his eight years as a cop before joining the Rangers, so he was roughly 31/32 when he partnered with Walker, 37/38 when he met Erica who was maybe 22/23.

GIVING THANKS

NSSNTRVLR

November 18, 2001

Some things just weren’t meant to be and apparently James Trivette playing horseshoes was one of them; he finally threw them down in disgust saying, “That’s it! I’d have better luck throwing the whole darned horse.”

His wife laughed at him as she said, “I’d pay to see that.”

Going up behind her he wrapped his arms around her and caressed the spot where his twins resided. “We’ll have Uncle Walker teach these two when they’re old enough and then they can defend the family honor.”

Alex laughed and said, “Well after they’re born Erica can play for both of you.”

All of them laughed as Jimmy shook his head and said mournfully, “It’s not my fault they didn’t play this game in the neighborhood I grew up in.”

Walker started to say something else but was interrupted by a cry from the baby monitor; motioning for Alex to stay seated he said, “I’ll get her; come on Trivette, let’s see if you can change a diaper.”

As the two of them disappeared upstairs the women heard him reply, “We have babysat her before and I changed her just fine.”

Erica rubbed her stomach as she said, “I hope these two are as easygoing as Angela.”

“Any luck with finding out if they are boys or girls?”

“No, every time we go for a sonogram they are facing each other; it’s so frustrating.”

“What about names?”

“That we have already agreed on, boys will be James & Simon, girls Jamie & Samantha, one of each would be James & Samantha.”

“Well my husband is positive at least one of them is a boy, so I guess we’ll have a James Jr.”

Looking nervously at the stairs Erica whispered, “No, he plans to name him James Cordell Trivette.”

Blinking back tears Alex replied, “Walker will be thrilled and considering you’re whispering I’m going to pretend I don’t know.”

“Thank you; I know Jimmy wants to tell him after they’re born.”

“Let’s go inside; we need to work on the Thanksgiving details some more and as enthralled as our husbands are with that little girl upstairs they may not come down for hours.”

They moved inside and Erica asked, “Are we still planning on eating late?”

“Yes…Walker, Jimmy and I are going to be serving the homeless most of the day; it’s sort of a tradition for us…CD started it.”

“I wish I’d had the chance to meet him; all of you were so close.”

“I’m sure you know a lot of this but the four of us...we made our own family. Walker had no blood kin after his Uncle Ray crossed the river, Jimmy was so estranged from Simon that for years we didn’t even know he had a brother and my father and I were not on speaking terms at the time. CD became a father figure for all of us and Jimmy and I have always had a brother/sister relationship. As for him and Walker…they got off to a bumpy start but they’re closer than most real brothers and I have no doubt that they’d give their life for the other in a heartbeat.”

“Sometimes when Jimmy gets in a reflective mood he’ll tell me stories about CD taking him snipe hunting, fishing on the bayou, trying to make him eat chili, so many things; I’ve gone with him to visit CD’s grave and seen the tears in his eyes.”

“About a month after Angela was born we took her out to his grave and introduced them; he would have loved her so much…and spoiled her rotten. Just between us…I wasn’t the only one crying that day.”

When the two men came back into the living room they took one look at their respective wives and asked in unison, “What’s wrong?”

Looking at her husband Erica replied, “We were just talking about CD.”

Walker went to Alex’s side and slipped an arm around her as he said, “He loved this time of year, Thanksgiving and especially Christmas.”

Sinking down beside Erica, Jimmy said, “I remember decorating Christmas trees, having the orphans come out for stories and presents, toy drives, food drives; Big Dog was like a kid himself at this time of year.”

Softly Alex said, “Walker and I kissed for the first time at one of CD’s New Years Eve parties and we didn’t even like each other at the time.” She laughed as she added, “We were in the middle of chewing each other out when the clock struck Midnight and out of nowhere he upped and kissed me.”

Laughing he answered, “I was trying to shut you up and it worked…but I also realized that I liked kissing you.”

With a sigh Jimmy said, “I remember another New Years Eve, Walker had gone undercover and none of us had heard from him; we were all miserable and then he walked in.”

“Oh yeah I remember that, he laid a kiss on me that had me wanting to drag him to the nearest bed but as usual CD interfered, then YOU!”

They laughed and Walker explained, “I’d hit my head and didn’t remember who I was until a short time before midnight; I knew where everyone would be so I just showed up.”

All of them lapsed into silence for a couple of minutes until Jimmy said, “CD did so much for me; I wish I’d told him more often how much I appreciated it.” He wiped a tear from his eye before saying, “Enough of this maudlin stuff, let’s talk about happier things…like who all’s celebrating Thanksgiving with us this year.”

Picking up the notepad on the coffee table Alex said, “Unless you guys know something I don’t…it’s the four of us, my Dad, Erica’s Dad, Angus and Betty and Angela.”

Walker replied, “Well Trent is going to be with his family; Syd and Gage are working, but plan to stop by for leftovers and dessert…”

“Simon and Carlos are in the middle of a big investigation.”

Erica said, “My Dad asked Josie to come.” When they all looked at her in surprise she said, “I thought you knew, they’ve been seeing each other for a while now.” She laughed at the surprised faces and added, “I think you guys are forgetting that there’s 16 years between Jimmy and I, it’s not that much different between Dad and Josie.”

Alex and Walker exchanged a significant look before she said, “The age difference between Walker and I was never a factor in our relationship either.”

With a grin Jimmy said, “Before he came back to work this last time…that young group he was up against in all the tests learned real quick that a fifty-four year old was quite capable of kicking their butts.”

Laughing, Walker said, “I enjoyed it too!”

Realizing they had gotten sidetracked yet again Alex said, “Well we know that Angus and Betty will be helping Erica here with the cooking and babysitting; my Dad had already made plans to go with us to feed the homeless; Erica you need to find out from your father what he and Josie plan to do. I’ve got the list of who’s making what and I’ll give you that as well in case she wants to add something.”

They talked for a while longer then Erica said, “I hate to break this up…”

Jimmy immediately stood up and helped her stand as he said, “They’ve worn you out for the day; let’s go home so the three of you can get some sleep.”

Everyone said their good-byes and after they were alone Alex said, “Bed doesn’t sound like a bad idea.”

Giving her a kiss he said, “You go ahead and take a nap, I’ll…”

Grabbing his hand she laughed as she responded, “Who said anything about a nap; I had other plans in mind.”

He looked at her and a smile slowly spread across his face. “You do come up with the best ideas.”

As she tugged him upstairs she replied, “Always.”

Much later they did fall into a satiated slumber and probably would have stayed that way longer had it not been for an angry cry from their daughter; after she was changed and fed they placed her between them on the bed and just watched as she began to drift off again.

“Do you want to let her sleep or should we get up and go for a ride?”

“Dang Cowboy, why are you asking hard questions?” She thought about it for a few seconds before answering, “If we let her sleep too much now she may keep us up all night, but if we go riding by the river she’ll want to be in the water and it’s a little cold for that idea.”

“Hon, there are plenty of places to go on the ranch where she won’t see any water; but I was talking about a ride in the truck? You were just saying a couple of days ago that she needed some new clothes.”

In disbelief she asked, “You want to take us shopping? Okay who are you and what have you done with my husband?”

They both laughed before he said, “Call it temporary insanity; do you want to go or not?”

“You’re on Cowboy; why don’t you get Angela ready while I get dressed.”

It was pretty late when they got back home and they had ended up eating at the mall food court; she had left him there with Angela for a few minutes while she made a purchase of her own to surprise him.

While he put their daughter to bed she went into the bedroom, changed and waited; the look in his eyes when he walked in and saw her told her it was money well spent.

Stopping in his tracks he swallowed hard and choked out, “Alex, that’s…” Words failed him and he crossed the room in three long strides; he took her lips eagerly as he picked her up and lowered her onto the bed.

When she could breathe again she murmured, “I’m going to have to buy lingerie more often if that’s the response I’m going to get.”

Chuckling he responded, “Honey, you can surprise me like that any time you want to, but you know I never let you wear it more than a few seconds.”

“I know, but that initial look in your eyes is worth every penny.”

Wrapping her securely in his arms he said, “I love you.”

Cuddling in even closer she said, “I love you too.”

November 22, 2001

After a light breakfast the six friends climbed into the Chevy Suburban that Jimmy had recently purchased and laughed when he said, “It was between this and a mini-van.”

Upon arrival they found Father Blake and after talking with him for a few minutes it was decided that Alex, Josie and Gordon would help serve while Walker, Jimmy and Fred bussed tables.

Walker had requested the assignment as he knew several of the people who would be attending and being out among the tables would give him the chance to talk; they trusted him more than any other law enforcement officer in the area and would tell him things willingly that they wouldn’t tell anyone else under duress.

Many greeted him by name as they came in and there were many handshakes and hugs exchanged over the next few hours; he listened attentively to everything he was told and got a few leads he would be following up on.

Alex and Josie both had business cards for the HOPE center with them and handed them out to some people who might benefit from the services provided.

It was nearly time to call it a day before the person he had all hoped to see arrived; he walked in saying, “Did you give up on me?”

“Soldier! We were beginning to think you wouldn’t make it.”

“I had planned to be early to help, but my family showed up out of the blue.”

“How’s your granddaughter?”

“Doing great; I hear you and Alex have a little girl now.”

Pulling out his wallet he showed a couple of pictures and Soldier motioned for Walker to follow as he went straight to Alex saying, “She looks just like you.”

“You should come by and meet her sometime, you have our number.”

“I might do that.”

Once the cleanup was completed and they’d assisted Father Blake in loading the leftovers for him to distribute they all climbed back into Jimmy’s SUV and headed for the ranch.

Leaning his head back Gordon said, “That was probably one of the most selfless things I have done in a long time; I lost count of the number of people who thanked me for helping them out; it felt really good.”

Putting her hand on his arm Alex replied, “CD had a hard time selling me on the idea the first time but after that I was hooked; I wish I could do even more.”

Fred said, “It definitely opened my eyes; I thought prison was bad, but what they’re dealing with is much worse, at least I had a roof over my head and knew where my next meal was coming from.”

Speaking up Walker said, “There are people on the street by choice, but a lot of them just fell on hard times and can’t get the break they need to pull their life back together. It’s sad, we live in a country that sends millions of dollars to other countries to help their poor and homeless, but basically ignore our own.”

The ringing of a cell phone interrupted and Alex realized it was hers; she answered it and after a brief conversation she hung up before saying, “Well darn!”

“Something wrong hon?”

“I wanted to surprise you; I invited some extra guests, but White Eagle has pulled one of his disappearing acts and Billy went to be with his son Tommy; Sam is coming but his truck broke down so he may not make it in until much later tonight.”

Jimmy said, “Hopefully he makes it before Erica and I have to leave tonight; I haven’t seen him for a long time.”

Seeing the questioning looks on the faces of the others Alex said, “Sam Coyote is with the tribal police on the reservation where Walker spent part of his childhood.”

“He’s a good friend who didn’t hold my white mother against me.”

Wanting to learn more Josie asked, “What about the other two?”

“Billy Gray Wolf is my blood brother and White Eagle is a very powerful medicine man.” Giving a devilish grin he added, “As a matter of fact Trivette knows him quite well; ask him about Cherokee Purge.”

From the driver’s seat Jimmy said, “Let’s not go there partner, I don’t want to lose my appetite.”

Walker told them a little more about his life back then and filled them in on Uncle Ray’s influence in his life and how he had been one the people that insisted Alex was meant to be with him.

Arriving at the ranch they all went inside and were met by Erica who said, “Hope all of you are hungry; it shouldn’t be much longer.”

Kissing her Jimmy asked, “You didn’t overdo it did you?”

“You’re joking right? Betty hardly let me lift a finger.”

Leaving their friends downstairs Walker and Alex went to the nursery and stood in the doorway with their arms around each other as they watched their daughter sleeping; he whispered, “Her first Thanksgiving, soon she’ll have her first Christmas, her first New Years and most importantly of all…her first birthday.”

Teasingly she replied, “Then it will be her first day of school, getting her driver’s license, prom, graduation, marriage…”

With a shout of laughter he responded, “I’m not even going there.”

The sound woke Angela up and realizing it Alex said, “Now you’ve done it; we might as well take her downstairs so everyone can fuss over her.”

They shared a loving look and a lingering kiss before he got their daughter from the crib and carried her downstairs where he handed her to Gordon as he said quietly, “Better get your fix while you can; I’m sure you’ll have competition shortly.”

Knowing it was the truth he held her against his chest and couldn’t stop the shiver that went through him as he thought of what had happened a little over a month ago.

Alex took Walker’s hand and they went into the kitchen to see if there help was needed and after being assured everything was under control she pulled him out onto the porch and they sank down onto the swing together where he immediately wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tight against his side as he said, “I love you.”

“I love you too”

Betty went out later and the sight of the two of them made her smile; she had never seen him so happy and it was because of the woman at his side and the child they had created. Blinking back tears she said, “It’s time to eat.”

As they all gathered around the table Walker said, “Before we eat let’s take the time to share what we’re thankful for.” When the others agreed he said, “I’ll start…I’m thankful for the lives of my best friend, my wife, my daughter, my father-in-law and I’m especially thankful for the doctors who saved my life.”

Alex said, “I’m thankful for my family and my friends; we’ve all been through so much in the last year but we not only survived…we’re stronger than ever.”

Gordon was next and he said, “I’ll keep it simple…I’m thankful for family, friends and especially…forgotten wallets.”

Jimmy spoke up, “I’m most thankful for my wife and the babies she’s carrying; I’m also thankful that a few of us here managed to cheat death.”

Erica said, “I’m thankful I came back to Dallas and Jimmy gave me a second chance, I’m thankful he survived the wrath of a madman, for the children we’re going to have soon, and most of all I’m thankful that all of you have welcomed me into your family.”

Fred added, “I’m thankful my little girl is happy and thankful I met a special woman.”

Josie replied, “I’m thankful for Erica’s help at HOPE center and thankful she introduced me to her father.”

Betty said, “I’m thankful for good friends to share the holiday with.”

Angus summed it all up perfectly when he said, “Amen.”

They all ate until they couldn’t hold any more; Gordon and Fred volunteered to do dishes and everyone else retreated to the living room where they talked for a while before Angus and Betty said good night and headed home.

Alex went to put Angela back in her crib and Jimmy grabbed the remote to turn the game on; he was quickly drawn in and Walker just shook his head as he stood up and walked outside; he was joined a couple of minutes later by Erica and she sat down on the swing saying, “I’ve already learned not to disturb him when the Cowboys are playing.”

“Yeah, if Dallas makes the Super Bowl and you go into labor that day you’ll be delivering those two on your own.”

“Bite your tongue Cordell Walker.” She immediately wondered if she had overstepped the boundaries of their friendship and was relieved when he laughed.

“You’ll do.”

When Alex joined them a little while later she rolled her eyes saying, “Looks like we’ve lost Jimmy.”

Stepping out Fred replied, “That boy does love his football.” He looked at his daughter asking, “Are you ready to go home? I can drop you off.”

“I think I’ll take you up on that idea; if Josie wants to stay and watch the game I’m sure Jimmy will give her a ride.”

While they were talking Gage and Sydney arrived and after exchanging greetings they went inside and fixed themselves a plate of food and carried it to the living room where they were both drawn into the game.

Josie ended up going when Fred and Erica did and Alex stepped inside to see that her Dad was engrossed in the game as well; after threatening the foursome in the living room about not getting food all over the place she rejoined her husband on the porch where they sat quietly as they waited for their last guest to arrive.

Sam smiled when he got close enough to the house to see the two people waiting for him; he parked off to the side and climbed out of his truck where he immediately pulled Walker into a fierce hug before doing the same to Alex. “Sorry I’m late, but I busted a radiator hose.”

“I’m just glad you made it; I didn’t even know you were going to be here until you called Alex earlier.”

“That’s why it’s called a surprise.”

Taking him by the arm Alex pulled him inside and showed him where the food was. “Make yourself a plate then you can either come back outside with us or join the football junkies in the living room.”

A while later they all heard the groans of dismay so they weren’t surprised when Jimmy came out saying, “They lost by 2 points.”  He saw Sam and asked, “When did you get here?”

“Right after the explosion and the fire trucks.”

“Huh?” Then he realized he was being teased and held out his hand. “It’s good to see you again.”

“You as well.”

Gage and Sydney came out and after being introduced Syd said, “Alex everything was great and we’d really like to stay longer but we have to work tomorrow so we’re heading out.”

“Be careful driving back.”

Jimmy said, “I should be going as well; thanks for today guys, it was wonderful.”

After their three friends left they went inside and found Gordon carrying dishes from the living room to the kitchen. “Be right back.” Coming back into the room he held out his hand saying, “You must be Sam Coyote; I’m Gordon Cahill, pleased to make your acquaintance.”

Accepting the handshake Sam said, “Nice to meet you as well.”

They finished cleaning up and talked for a little while before Sam said, “It’s been a long day; I think I need to call it a night.”

Standing up Alex said, “I made up the room across from my Dad’s for you; grab your bag from the truck and I’ll show you.”

Gordon decided to turn in as well and after getting the two men settled Walker made a trip outside to feed the horses before going back inside and upstairs; he held his hand out to Alex as he nodded towards the shower and placing her hand in his she followed him.

Much later they crawled under the covers and she sleepily said, “It was a good day.”

“Yes it was; the first of many we’ll have as a family.”

Drawing his lips to her she said, “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Within minutes her breathing told him she was asleep and he smiled as he thought, “She never fails to surprise me; what will it be next?” Even after he closed his eyes and fell asleep, the smile remained.

The next morning when he arrived at the barn he found that Sam was already at work. “You’re up early.”

“Not for me, I’m always up by this time of day.”

“There’s something on your mind, I can tell.”

“Washo, I need to ask you something…”

“The only time I’ve ever known you to be at a loss for words is when there’s a woman involved.” When his friend remained silent he asked, “Do I know her?”

“Yes you do…she says she loves me and I love her but…there are many moons between us and there are some who do not believe our feelings are real.”

“Sam…you’re not getting any younger; if you have a chance for happiness, reach out and grab it with both hands, hold on tight and don’t let go.”

“Thank you Washo, perhaps I will head home sooner that I had originally planned.”

The two men shared a smile and Walker waited until Sam got to the door of the barn before saying, “Say hello to Shana for me.”

“Sometimes I think there is some White Eagle in you Washo.”

Finishing up in the barn Walker went inside and took a shower before going after his daughter; he carried her into Alex and after she’d had breakfast he put her back in the nursery then crawled in bed with his wife.

“I thought I heard a truck start a little while ago.”

“You did, Sam decided to go home.”

“But he just got here.”

“I know he did but he has something very important to do.”

“Okay, then we’ll go to the reservation soon so we can visit.”

Her acceptance of his Cherokee heritage was yet another reason he loved her so much; he knew she would never try to dissuade him from visiting and she would welcome any of his friends who came to say hello; Angela would grow up on the ranch, but she would spend time on the reservation as well. “Maybe we’ll make it near Christmas, if not we will definitely go around her birthday.”

They lapsed into silence as they just relaxed, cuddled and kissed for a little while; both of them toyed with the idea of taking it to the next level but knew her Dad would be up and around before much longer.

The rest of the day was spent together and they even managed to talk Gordon into riding with them to the river and despite the fact the water was a little chilly they all played in it for a couple of hours. Late in the afternoon they dropped him off at the airport and on the way home she said, “I have plans for you when we get home.”

Her voice told him exactly what she had in mind and with a wink in her direction he flipped on his lights and pressed down on the accelerator.