There are several people I need to thank for this story…Swoopes, Froggie, Dakota, Mel, Jamie, Gabelle, and Pam. You guys are the greatest and without you this story would have never been finished. And thank you Froggie because without you the RAM would have been totaled again. It’s because of you guys that I continue writing. You all pushed me to get this done and here it is…I hope you all enjoy.

Hold Onto Me
Sequel to High Stakes

"Oh Walker, it's absolutely beautiful up here!" Alex said as Walker parked the RAM at the base of the mountain in Evergreen Colorado.  Walker had found her notes, just a few days before. When he had entered her apartment and found it empty he could have died at that moment. He had blamed himself repeatedly for not listening to her. She had needed him, wanted to spend some togetherness and he had pushed her away.  Instead he should have accepted, should have taken her away. But he was so darn stubborn. Now they both were paying, Walker blaming himself and most importantly Alex having been violated in a way no one person should have. So once Alex had been released from the hospital Walker had gotten everything together and had taken her away. 

"Walker…Hon…" Walker was pulled from his daydream and found Alex's beautiful eyes looking at him with concern.
"I'm sorry Alex, what were you saying?"
"Just how beautiful it is here." Alex knew he blamed himself for what had happened and she tried to tell him none of it had been his fault.
She should have known better than to suggest a crazy idea like getting away while he was on a big case. What had happened was a tragedy no one could have prevented it. Fredricks had wanted her the pictures showed that. Alex was trying to heal and for that she needed the one person she had come to trust and rely over the years. He had rescued her from so much and she couldn’t let him blame himself for what had happened.  She knew Walker couldn’t always be there in the nick of time, she would have to prove that he saved her every day just by loving her.

The RAM was left at the bottom of the mountain and with the help of a guide they made their way up to the cabin, on horseback. The cabin was secluded, nothing with in miles of them. Using the notes Alex had made before begin kidnapped he had found the perfect spot.
Once at the cabin Walker and Alex took their gear and the guide took the horses down the mountain. Before he left he promised to return in one week to get them. One week, with no one but each other. Alex couldn't think of a better way to help each other through their ordeals.

"Okay, well I'm unpacked. Let's go explore!" Alex said exiting the bedroom to find Walker lying on the couch. He hadn't flinched when she had exited. Walking over quietly she went to the sofa and leaned forward just a bit to see if Walker was asleep when he suddenly grabbed her, pulling her down on top of him.
Both started laughing as Walker brushed a strand of hair from her eyes. Bending forward Alex captured Walker's lips in a passionate lock. She loved her cowboy, loved the way she made him melt when she kissed him like this. No one knew it but she was the only one that could beat him sparing. Walker said she cheated, Alex insisted she just used the gifts God gave her. One tiny kiss strategically planted behind the ear and she had him every time. At this point Alex would seal her victory with a final kiss that usually ended their sparing.
"Let's go for a walk…" Alex said once the kiss ended.
"I was thinking of staying here for a little longer." Alex could only smile at his words, they still shocked her. She let her mind wander to several years before. Hank Sweet had called her at C.D.'s on some information and Walker had driven her to meet him. Once at the meeting place they had found him, three men had been hassling him and it wasn't until he was shot and lying in her and Walker's arms they identified him. After getting soaked in the fountain Walker had taken Alex to her car and then to her apartment.
She had gone to change and Walker had made himself some coffee. Walking out of the bathroom she had on a rather short robe. Together they sat on the couch but she remembered how he had quickly moved when she crossed her legs. After Walker had rushed out the door, not remembering his gun until she reminded him, Alex had chuckled with the satisfaction of knowing she drove him crazy. He had been so flustered and today well he still blushed if things went too far in public, but in private they had several times walked right up to the edge where there would have been no turning back. They had chosen, together, instead to wait for the magical moment on their wedding night.

"Are you sure you're up to this?" Walker asked several minutes later as they walked out the door hand in hand. The bright sun blared on their faces and the snow was easily seen this close to the summit. Alex wanted to check out the surroundings.
"I'm fine, my body has healed and I have my favorite cowboy." Alex saw his face fall for a second, and knew he was still uncertain about keeping her safe. "Walker what is it?"
"Nothing, come on let's go." Alex was hurt, she wanted to prove to him that she didn't blame what happened on him. Again she was thankful the vacation had come so quickly, allowing them to get past this.

The afternoon had gone by so fast. For hours they had explored the area around their cabin. There was so much wildlife and at one point Alex had feared the thought of a grizzly bear, but thankfully nothing happened. After they had been gone for an hour or so they came across a small river. The water was so clear you could see right to the bottom.
Fish were swimming freely and on the opposite bank an elk was standing in the shadows waiting for the intruders to leave so it could get a drink. The mountains stood in front and behind, hiding them from the outside world. They sat next to each other on the bank, enjoying the warmth of the sun. The water danced around the boulders, and even though it was still winter the mountain air was only a bit crisp.
Walking back to the cabin Alex knew she was the happiest she had ever been. Never before had a vacation been taken that involved just Walker and herself. Sure they had gone to Cradle City Utah a few years before but that had been business. This trip was different…it was just the two of them. She was being a bit selfish, it would have been nice to have included others but this was their time. Trivette was like a brother, C.D. was like a father, and well Carlos and Trent they always managed to take away precious time she could be spending with her beloved. Slightly chuckling to herself Alex remembered one other person that had the same habit of walking in at the wrong time, Uncle Ray.
"What's so funny?" Walker asked as they reached the cabin.
"I was just thinking of how wonderful it is to be here with you ALONE, with no one to interrupt us. Uncle Ray always seemed to walk in at the wrong time?"
Walker chuckled and nodded his head. "Yeah, and this is what he wanted." He replied kissing her quickly as they sat together on the steps. Walker draped his arms around her shoulders and Alex laid her head against him. She could feel the powerful muscles in his chest as her cheek rubbed slowly against them. Turning her head she looked up at him. His attention was now focused off into the distance and Alex feared, for a moment that she had upset him by mentioning Uncle Ray.
"Do you miss him?" Alex asked after a few moments.
"At times I think of how happy he would be to see us together, seeing that I finally realized what he knew all along. But I have someone to fill the void…"
"Oh really…who would that be?"
"You my dear…" Alex could only smile at his final statement. She too missed Uncle Ray. Uncle Ray had known since they day the two of them met they were meant for each other, but it had taken them years to really see it themselves…but now there was no turning back. They were in love and maybe it was all the time they had spent fighting, who knew, and their love was stronger than anything else in the world. Alex could pin point the exact moment she knew how much Walker loved her, it was when he had been willing to let her go. For years she had seen the jealousy when she dated casually, never straying far from Walker, waiting for him to make a move. But then Dalton had returned and she had been so confused, not knowing what to do. It had been that one early morning when Walker had caught her coming out of Dalton’s trailer. She could see the pain in his eyes. He knew she was hurting and he had pushed her to bear her heart. As Walker took her in his arms Alex had cried, not just because of Dalton, but also because Walker was willing to give her up. All he wanted was her happiness, and if it was Dalton then he would let her go. As she had clung to Walker, there was no doubt in her mind who the right man for her was. Sure they had difficulty, what relationship didn't, but all it took was patience and they were at the point Alex had dreamed of for so long. Soon they would be married. But first she had to help him and prove that he was still her self appointed guardian and without him she wouldn't ever be able to heal from Fredricks.

"Come here, " Walker said pulling Alex deep into his embrace. Feeling the tension inside of her Walker knew what had to be done. Moving to the couch Walker sat and then guided Alex so she was on the floor in front of him. Alex felt his hands slowly begin rubbing her neck and shoulders. Those powerful hands kneading each muscle, releasing the tension. Her back arched into each magnificent stroke, she loved the way he worked this magic with her body. Closing her eyes she allowed a quiet moan of pleasure escape her lips as Walker's hands moved down her back.
When he stopped for a second Alex moved so she was lying on her stomach. Walker followed suit and straddling her he began massaging her entire back. Not an inch was untouched. Each gentle stroke brought a moment of pleasure. There was just something special in each back massage given to her by her cowboy. Every inch of tension every minute of despair left. It was times like these that reminded Alex that she was the luckiest woman alive. But there was only so much time that Alex could let go by during a massage before she needed more. Slowly turning under Walker she moved so she was facing him and seconds later their lips met. Alex moved her hands to his chest and began feeling every ridged muscle. His shirt was pulled taut and slowly her fingers slid the buttons threw the holes, starting at the top and working her way down, until his chest was fully exposed. Letting her hands explore slowly she slid them to his shoulders and gently slipped the shirt off. Following suit Walker began to undo the bindings of her blouse and slid it off her shoulders. He was placing kisses on her neck and tracing them down her chest stopping just above the lace.
"Walker…no…we can't..." Alex said with hesitation. She didn’t want to push him away, she wanted to continue, wanted to make love to him, but couldn’t.
"Alex, I'm sorry, I didn't mean…" Walker feared he had hurt her. Again he had placed his own feelings above hers. Rising he grabbed his shirt and walked into the cold night air.
Alex picked up her blouse and quickly clothing herself she ran out after him. He was standing on the porch looking up at the star-lit sky. Alex too looked up and noted how they shined more brilliant on the mountain than even at the ranch. Up there it was almost like you could reach out and touch them. It was a breath taking sight.
"Alex, why have you stayed with me?" The question came suddenly and caught Alex off guard. 
"I'm not sure if I follow…" Alex started trying to figure what direction this was heading.
"Over all these years Alex, why have you stayed? I couldn't stop LaRue and I couldn't get Fredricks. I let you down again."
"Walker, I can't believe you are even talking like this. I know you can't be every where at once. You're standing here blaming yourself for not being there for me? Am I hearing you right?" Alex stood there for a second until Walker slightly nodded. "Walker, you were there each and every time. Thoughts of you holding me, kissing me, smiling at me, knowing how much you care for me, they all got me through. What Fredricks did was awful and yes it is going to take some time to heal from, but I have you here and that's all I need." Alex moved so she stood directly behind him.
"But…before…in there…I…" Walker turned to face her as she cut him off. "Honey you did nothing. I stopped you because when we make love for the first time I don’t want it linked back to something bad. Instead I want to be able to think back and remember our beautiful wedding…want to be truly and completely yours. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. From where I stand you're stuck with me forever. I have stayed with you because you have always been there for me, remember you are my self-appointed guardian."
"Alex, I just try so hard to make sure that you are safe…"
"I know, and I love that. But you can't always save me from men like LaRue and Fredricks. Your love for me is all I need every day…and it's that which saves me. The greatest dream I have is being married to the most wonderful man in my life. And soon that dream will come true."
Walker bent forward and captured her lips in a passionate kiss that sealed their love once again. Alex knew that Walker was finally past the problem that had plagued him for the past several days. Now they could begin to enjoy their week together.

I wanna wake up each morning
With you for the rest of my life
I wanna feel your heart beating
Just get lost in your eyes
You can tell me your secrets
You can let me feel your pain
You can show me your weakness
And never be shamed

That night they spent wrapped around one another in the tiny bedroom. The cabin only came with a full sized bed and for a couple that was used to sleeping and sharing queen-sized, well the blanket war was waged through out the night. At one point in the night Alex grabbed the blanket and rolled swiftly and after the blankets were torn from Walker he turned towards her and wrapped his arms around her waist. It wasn’t long and Walker grabbed the blanket back from her. Slowly she moved her hand from his waist and slid it ever so delicately till it rested on his thigh. She could fell every muscle…powerful…perfect. As her hand moved again a giggle escaped her lips as Walker jumped, allowing her to reclaim the blankets once again. Finally late in the night they began as they had started wrapped around each other covered with the blankets.

"Good morning…" Alex said early the next morning. The first rays of sun were shining through the window as Alex turned to face Walker.
"Good morning…" Walker said placing gentle kisses on her cheeks and finally her lips.
"How are you feeling?" Alex asked remembering their conversation from the night before. Never did she want Walker to doubt her love for him. What she had said was truth, she loved him more than anything and would never leave him.
"I'm fine, thank you." Walker responded continuing the rain of kisses over her face. Alex loved having him this close, nothing inhibiting their time together. She felt his hands move from the waist up where they rested on her breasts. He began massaging them as he had her back the night before and Alex began wondering if he had ignored her request. Yet she didn’t want him to stop.
"Wa…Walker…" Alex once again regretted stopping him as much as she wanted to make love to him she didn’t want to look back and remember Fredricks, she wanted to only remember passion and love.
'I'm sorry, you just…well…" Alex smiled as his face went flush and she knew what he wanted to say but couldn't. What Walker couldn’t say with words he never left unsaid with actions, she always felt special in his arms.

After breakfast Alex put together a small lunch and the two set out together. Walking to the river they sat out on a small knoll over looking the water. As the sun slowly climbed higher in the sky and the temperature rose they enjoyed just being together. Sitting ever so quietly small wildlife passed by them. Several birds filled the trees and Alex smiled as a deer came out hesitantly and drank quickly. For Alex the only thing that could make this better would be beautiful and fragrant flowers. But it was late winter and not time yet.
"You know what I realized today? Walker asked as he laid on his stomach looking deep into Alex's eyes.
"What's that?" Alex responded lying on her back and looking up at Walker.
"Well I already knew your eyes sparkled like the stars. But they are also the most beautiful shade of blue. In fact they are the same color as the sky."
"Oh Walker…why is it that you always get romantic when we're on the middle of a mountain?"
"I don't know, maybe because you are the most enchanting woman I know, or maybe out here I am completely at ease and able to express my true feelings to the woman I love."
"You never cease to amaze me. For so long I didn't think you had a romantic bone in your body." Alex said as she took his hands in hers.
"Alex, I've wanted to tell you these things for years. I'm not sure why I never did, you deserved to hear them all the time. I've loved you for so long and never knew how to tell you. Every time I tried my tongue got twisted and the words never came out right. It finally dawned on me when we were up on the mountain several years ago. There you were helping me, after being up on the mountain for two days. All I saw was how beautiful you were and knew I had to tell you. It's still hard for me to say those things to you but…" Alex finally pulled him to her and hushed him with a kiss. Never in her wildest dreams did she think she would hear Walker talk like this. He was one of the most amazing men she had ever known, never failing to surprise her.
"See if I had known that would be your response I would have been more open." Walker said touching her cheek gently with his hand.
"Yeah right. Up until a couple of years ago you acted like a junior high school boy, but well that made me want you all the more. Your innocent looks, how you blushed when we stood too close."
"Alex, you drove me crazy…you still do." Alex giggled at his final statement, she knew he spoke his true feelings and she was enjoying the flustered look on his face. "What is so funny?"
"You," Walker grabbed her sides and tickled her. He loved hearing her laugh and after what had happened to her just a couple of days earlier it was wonderful to hear her laughter again. He was amazed at how she appeared to have healed so quickly. She hadn't discussed much with him and he knew she would, he just had to stay by her side, which wouldn’t take much effort.

After lunch they decided to go sit closer to the water. It was just so clear and the boulders provided a bridge to the other side. Water lapped the shore ever so gently and Alex was grateful they were there while the water level was low.
"Walker, let's walk across the river." Alex said standing and taking his hand.
"Alex, that water is cold."
"I know, but the water's low we can use the rocks and walk across." He watched as she started and knowing there would be no reasoning with her he followed. Several times they almost fell in but eventually they made it across and managed to stay dry.
"Okay Alex, now that we are here what are we going to do?" Walker asked trying desperately to figure out what was so important on the other side.
"Nothing, I just thought it would be neat to come over here." She replied starting to walk into the trees.
Before she knew it Walker swept her into his arms and spun her around. Stopping he stood there for several seconds just smiling at her in his arms. Alex noted the anguished look on his face and knew he was thinking about the last time he had held her in his arms.
Taking her hand she cupped his face and kissed him gently and affectionately. "I love you." She told him quietly. Walker set her on her feet and just took her in his arms for a giant bear hug. She was the most unique woman, always knew what he was thinking, knowing the right things to say to him.

The afternoon was spent in the dark secluded forest. Because of the dense trees the heat of the sun didn’t reach them which made it a bit cooler than on the open field they had been before. But Alex didn't mind it one bit, it was a perfect excuse to stick close to Walker.
Together they had explored a bit more finding nothing spectacular but a small bear den, and neither felt up to sticking around for very long.
"Alex, we need to get back. The sun will be setting and the clouds are rolling in. Looks like it might snow tonight."
Her face immediately drew bright at the thought of spending the next day cuddled around the fire, snuggled in a blanket. "Okay." Taking his hand they headed back to the river. Once there they started to cross.  About half way to the other side Alex's foot slid off the rock and she fell headfirst into the water. Stopping Walker reached down and pulled her back to dry ground. He knew the water was freezing and could tell Alex's body was already numb from the cold temperature. Taking off her now soaked jacket he replaced it with his and then slowly guided her to safety.
The walk to the cabin was agonizing. She was so cold; her body was shaking violently. Alex’s lips and fingernails were blue and her movements were forced. By the time they reached the cabin the snow had started to fall and Alex had nearly lost consciousness gathering her in his arms Walker carried her the last few minutes. Taking her inside he removed her wet clothes and covered her with blankets. The rushing to the fireplace he started a nice fire. Once the fire was rolling he went back to the couch and held her in his arms trying to will her to wake up. Over the next several hours she would wake but instead of pleasant thoughts her mind was back to her captivity and escape.

"I'm sorry I tried to get back to you…I did…" Walker held Alex tight as she fought the nightmares. She was still shivering and for some reason her body temperature refused to rise. He had moved her from the couch to the floor directly in front of the fireplace. Holding her in his arms he had hoped the fire and his body heat would warm her, but so far it wasn't working.  For the past hour he had tried to get her body temperature to rise.  The only chance he had was the giant claw-foot bathtub but she needed to wake up first. Fear had set in and once again Walker felt helpless. He needed her, she understood him like no other. Even Ellen didn't compare to Alex, she was the most wonderful thing that had happened to him and he wanted nothing more that to save her from this.  Since he had gotten her to the cabin she had been screaming random thoughts of leaving him. He knew she was having flashback nightmares to earlier in the week. As he clutched her tightly on the floor he heard her say some sort of goodbye to him…
"I'm sorry…Walker…I couldn’t go on…I tried…for you…tried to get away…but…I'm not…not strong enough. I've always needed you…I loved knowing…you were there for me…I love you…and sorry I won't ever be your wife. Please forgive me…"

It had taken her awhile to get it all out but piece by piece Walker fit together what had been going on in her head out in the forest. All he could do was hold her closer. Her hand was in his and he would occasionally kiss her forehead. They would get through this, Alex would be his wife and they would grow old together. There was no way Walker was going to lose someone he cherished again, not like this. Ellen had been hard, the pain still lingered on, deep inside. But losing Alex, just the thought brought tears to his eyes. Alex was his everything, she was his life... she completed him. There had been a time when he would do anything to solve a case, and there was still times that he did what he wanted to. But somehow Alex had gotten to him. His mind went to a conversation they had had just a year or so earlier. It had been late one night as they sat out on the porch looking at the stars. He had been recovering from a knife wound and Alex had volunteered to stay out at the ranch. That night he had noted how quiet she had become. Usually she was talkative and he always loved their discussions. Yet for some reason on that particular night she was quiet and it had bothered him.

"What are you thinking about?" He asked taking her hand in his.
Alex had sat there a few minutes wondering if she should answer the question truthful or not. "Do you know how close I came to losing you?"
She finally asked. "I don't know what I would do if I lost you."
He had sat there thinking on her response when he finally answered with a question he knew she wanted to ask but would never dare to verbalize.
"Alex, do you want me to quit the Rangers?"
Alex was shocked at the question. She didn't know what to think…for a long time she had wanted to ask him but she knew how much being a Ranger meant to him and she didn’t want to jeopardize what they had. There had been another before her that had asked him to do such a thing and he had chosen the Rangers, Alex wasn't willing to give him up, even though deep inside she secretly wished he would.
"Yes…no…" she finally stammered out. Stopping she composed herself and then answered again. "Yes because I couldn’t bear the thought of losing you. But Walker I could never ask you to do that. You will always be a Texas Ranger and I don’t want to hurt what we have. I worry but no Walker I don’t want you to quit."
"Alex…you know…if you asked…I would." Alex looked at him immediately and was very shocked to see that he was being completely honest with her. Tears welled in her eyes knowing he would give up that much just for her.
"Thank you…but you know I would never ask you to do that…as much as I would love to. No Walker, I fell in love with you as a Texas Ranger, and that's how it will stay. But you can do me one favor."
"What's that?"
"Be careful…" She said it short and sweet and for the most part he was careful, well he attempted to be as careful as his job would allow.
Their relationship had changed at that moment. Alex knew that he loved her more than anything else and Walker knew that Alex trusted his judgement.

I wanna lay down each evening
With you right here by my side
I wanna get drunk on your laughter
And wipe all the tears when you cry
You can scare me with your darkness
You can blind me with your light
Throw your worries out the window baby
On your wildest night

Suddenly he was pulled from his daydream as Alex looked up at him for the first time in over an hour and a half. "Walker?" She asked hesitantly. As she continued to lie in his arms he could feel her still shivering.
"Sh…it's all right. You are going to be just fine…I have you."
"Walker…I'm cold…"
"I know…I have an idea…" Picking her up he sat her down on the couch and surrounded her with blankets. "I'll be right back…" Alex could only nod her head she had no energy and wanted to just sleep.
Rushing to the bathroom he began to draw her a bath. He filled the tub with warm water and then went out to get her. Picking her up he carried her to the bathroom. "What are you doing?" He heard her raspy voice asking as they entered the tiny room.
"I am going to put you in the water. Hopefully it will get you warm…"
Again the only response was a nod. Slowly he laid her in the water.   She was so weak and he took her hand and held it tight as she went in and out of consciousness. Her body began to gain its color, her fingernails began to turn pink again, and her shivering slowed at first and then stopped.
Alex could tell her body was warming and she wanted to wake up, but her eyes were too heavy. She could feel Walker's gentle hand holding her own. At times he would lean forward and delicately touch his lips to her forehead. Sleep was needed, Walker was there and everything was going to be fine.
A sigh escaped Walker's lips as he watched her warm in the tub. She looked peaceful lying there and he was thankful nothing critical had happened. Placing her in warm water was a risk he hadn't wanted to take but what choice did he have? Her body was now warm and after a few minutes he took her back in his arms and carried her to the bed.
Placing an extra blanket on her he watched as she slid deep into the warmth.

Several tiny flames flickered around the room as Alex slowly opened her eyes. Except for a couple of candles glowing in the room darkness had fallen upon them. Her body was warm and pulling back the blankets she found Walker must have dressed her because she was now wearing her nightgown. Her robe was lying on the chair next to the bed and standing up she slipped it on. Looking to the bed she was surprised that Walker wasn’t lying with her so she headed to the living room to look for him.
The flickering fire that was still blazing in the fireplace was the only light coming from the living room. As she took a couple steps forward she saw him. His naked back was to her and his shadow bounced off the walls. She stared at the rippling muscles that were before her and marveled at the perfection of his body. She had seen him without a shirt on before but for some reason this was different. The flames seemed to outline his perfect body and watching him she knew he was in a trance.
Not wanting to disturb him she turned for a second to look out the window. The snow was really coming down. Huge flakes seemed to flutter in the wind blowing around in circles until they could finally escape and make their final journey to the ground. The drifts were huge and Alex thought how wonderful it was that her fantasy was coming true…up in a cabin with the man she loved and they were snowed in.
She heard Walker shifting and her attention was brought back. This time she found him facing her. Both stayed fixed in their positions for several seconds until Alex took a step forward. Moving slowly she met him near the fire. As she reached out to him her arms wrapped around his shoulders. Walker bent his head forward and placed his forehead on her abdomen.
Ever so slowly Alex pulled him up so their eyes met and he brought his hand so it cupped her face. She was so enchanting, he thought to himself…a glorious vision…his beautiful angel.
"How are you feeling?" Walker finally spoke in a whisper barely audible.
"I'm fine…" Alex responded not taking her eyes from his.
"I was…I thought…"
She hushed him and smiled her wonderful smile. "I'm fine…"
"Are you sure?" He asked as they continued to stand in each other's embrace. Alex only nodded, her head was still a little heavy and she could use a little more sleep, but she didn't want to waste another minute away from Walker's powerful arms.  Letting Alex go for a second Walker grabbed the beautiful afghan that was on the back of the couch. Taking her hand again he led her to the fireplace. Together they sat on the floor staring into the flames.
Alex had taken her seat in front of him as his arms and legs encircled her body. Walker had placed the blanket around his shoulders and wrapped them both inside the warm fibers.
Alex had laid her head against his chest and closed her eyes in the security she was feeling. Walker gently kissed her naked neck and she felt his soft beard caressing her ivory skin. Nothing further was spoken between them, as they stayed wrapped in each other's love. As Alex's eyes grew heavier Walker moved so they were lying on the floor. The blanket covered them as Walker held Alex close not wanting to let her go. He too was happy about the snow falling outside. They would be forced to spend the day inside but that wasn’t anything he was going to complain about.
Walker was thankful he had taken the time to bring in the extra firewood earlier. He knew by now it would have been covered by the snow. There was enough for a couple of days so he allowed himself to fall asleep as he held Alex like a China Doll.

Much later his eyes opened, at first he wasn't sure why. Looking down he saw Alex hadn't moved and he closed his eyes but it was only a second when he heard it again, it was a roar. The floor began shaking and it was then Walker knew what was happening…somewhere higher in the mountains snow had been worked loose and it was tumbling down toward the cabin.
The ground began trembling with greater force and Alex awoke with a start. "Walker…what…?" It was at that moment the cabin shook with great force and Walker feared the walls wouldn’t hold up, but thankfully, so far, they did.

"Walker! OHMIGOD Walker what happened?" She stood up and met him at the window. Looking out there was only snow, and Walker could tell Alex was worried.
"Avalanche…" it was just one word and Alex wasn't sure how to react.
"You mean we're trapped?"
"Yeah…" She stayed in the same spot as she watched Walker move from window to window trying to see if there was a chance of them getting out, but nothing. "Well it doesn't look like it covered us completely…" He said going to the fireplace.
"Why do you say that?"
"Because the smoke isn't backing up into the cabin…if the roof was covered the smoke would be coming in here."
"Okay so no electricity and no way to get out of here." Alex chuckled at the thought, her fantasy was coming true but at a really bad time.
She was feeling trapped and would try to calm herself down. Going to the couch she joined Walker as she shook her head in frustration. If they had planned this to happen nothing would have gone right, and now here she was "trapped" in a cabin with her favorite Ranger and yet she wasn't sure if she could take being kept in the tight surroundings.

"What are you shaking your head at?" Walker asked again wrapping his arms around her.
"Just that my fantasy came true…"
"Oh…? What was your fantasy?"
"That I would get stuck in a cabin, on the top of a mountain with the man I love."
"Well I'm sorry to disappoint you but I don't think he's going to make it…there is no way he could get through this…" Alex playfully hit his arm as she snuggled closer into the crook of his arm. She would try to sleep, maybe that would take away the closed in feeling she was having.  Not wanting to tell Walker she decided to just let things go, they would be rescued eventually and she could handle this. Fredricks wasn't around, it was Walker that held her tight in her arms.  About an hour later the two headed to the bedroom. Walker figured they had been lucky, the snow had been slowed by the trees which had sat behind them. From his best judgement the cabin was only ¾ covered. But there wasn’t anything they could do, so they might as well get some sleep and see what the next day brought.  Lying in bed Walker had his arm wrapped securely around Alex’s waist.  She tried to sleep but something kept bringing her out of the slumber. The snow was settling on the cabin causing the boards to squeak under the pressure. As her eyes closed in fatigue she would wake with a start. Finally after trying several times to get some sleep she got up and went to the living room. She couldn’t get that sound out of her head, every where she went it was there. Walking into the room she thought the creaking would go away…instead it got worse. Putting her hands to her ears Alex tried to block it out. Nothing was working and she had to get out…had to get away from the noise.  Sitting on the floor she crawled into the far corner and sobbed. The tears were falling from her eyes in sheets and she couldn’t stop them any more than she the noise in her head. Her body was shivering and fear had encompassed her once again. Suddenly someone was grabbing her arms. Looking up she saw Fredricks and she started fighting. There was no way he was going to hurt her again. He had done it before and he would do it again. She was kicking and hitting him with everything in her. His hands were grabbing her harder until she couldn’t move her arms any more.

“Alex, “ the trance was broken and she was back in the cabin. Looking forward she realized Walker had been the one holding her. Pushing him away Alex jumped up and walked to the couch. Walker had seen the fear that was in her eyes when she had fought him and then pushed him away.
Throughout the past two days Alex had helped him over come his fear of not being there, now it was his turn to help her get past this.
Going to the couch he sat down next to her and she moved as far as she could away from him. “Alex, do you want to talk about this?” Looking at her she had now curled herself into a ball in the corner of the couch.
Watching her she looked like as if she wanted to burrow a hole through the couch, he hated seeing her frightened, especially of him.
Then she spoke. “There was this door…not to the room, it was to the outside…and it squeaked. When I heard it I knew he was coming back.
Then he would enter the room…he would sit on the side of the bed…right next to me. His breath…it reeked of alcohol…and his hands…they…they…touched me…all over. I couldn’t stop him…my hands and legs were tied …I wanted to fight…I tried to fight…but couldn’t make him stop. It wasn’t long and he was on top of me…I heard him unzipping his jeans…and he was kissing me…and then I stopped thinking…I knew what was going to happen…and there was nothing I could do. My only thoughts were of you…and how you would come and save me…any minute you would come rushing through the door. When you didn’t I thought to myself of all the times we spent together…all the times you held me…feeling your arms holding me…I don’t know how long…time stopped…I was his toy and he…the bed creaked…and all I wanted was for it to stop. “ Walker could only sit there as she disclosed the horrid events that had taken place not a week earlier. He wanted to take her in his arms, to hold her like she had just said…but when he brought his hand close to her she shied away.

“I cried myself to sleep…and awoke later. The room was dark and I wasn’t sure if he was there, but I had a chance to escape. I knew he would kill me either way…and I was going to get out…so I escaped, only to find myself lost in the forest. My mind was racing at how proud you would be if I was able to get away on my own…to prove to you that I was strong enough, that you didn’t have to protect me. But my clothes had been ripped…and the air was so cold. I tried to call out to you…wanted to make sure you knew I tried to get   away…hoped you would be able to forgive me…prayed you would be able to move on with your life. Then darkness…until I woke up with you holding my hand…you were looking at me with those wonderful eyes…but all I kept wondering was why you were touching me…I was dirty… I saw the hurt in your eyes…and knew that you blamed yourself. So…I pushed it aside…wanted to be there for you…instead of the other way around…” She was crying again and turning to Walker, for the first time since she had began to tell the story, he held out his arms. At first hesitation was on her face, but knowing that Walker still loved her regardless what had happened…she allowed him to take her into his strong arms. Burying her head in his shoulder she wept, allowing some of the pain and suffering to escape from her. Ever so delicately Walker picked her up and sat her on his lap so he could hold her. He knew she had been hiding something from him…that she had put up a facade just for him.

Hold on to me when your world’s turnin’ cold
When it feels like your life’s spinnin’ out of control
You’re hoping prayin’, tryin’ so hard to believe
Hold on to me when there’s no middle ground
And every emotion is coming unwound
And you don’t know if you can hold on
To your Dreams
Baby you can hold on to me

“Alex…honey…”Walker started some time later after the tears had stopped falling. She was still in his lap clinging to him…not wanting to let him go. “Alex…none of this was your fault…you know that. But what I really want to tell you is that there is no way in the world I would ever not want you. You don’t have to prove anything to me. Alex…you are the most wonderful woman in the world… you are very strong, you were strong enough to get away and I know you are strong enough to get through this. You mean everything to me and I would do anything for you and right now I am going to make sure we get through this.” Looking down into her eyes he caught a glimmer and a ray of hope shining right a long. With a nod of her head she closed her eyes and was finally asleep.
They laid together on the couch Walker holding her and she snuggled closer to him as the night wore on. Walker dozed on and off throughout the night. When he awoke the fire had died and the cabin was freezing.
Sliding out from under Alex, Walker worked a bit to get the fire going again and hoped they would be dug out soon. The added snow was making it harder to keep the cabin warm.

“No!!” Walker was startled out of his slumber as Alex began screaming.
He had left her lying on the couch and had lain on the floor. Reaching up he took her hands in his and tried to wake her up.
“Alex…” Looking into her eyes he knew she wasn’t completely awake yet and he didn’t want to hurt her.
“Oh Walker…” She fell into his chest crying as soon as she awoke from the nightmare. Walker held her tight and rubbed her back easing the tension that had once again returned.
“Are you all right?” He asked joining her on the couch and pulling her to him.
“I don’t know. I dreamt about the room again…I was so scared…I was trying to fight him…but couldn’t…I was trapped.”
“Alex…you are safe now…nothing is going to happen.”
“Get me out of here…I need to get out.” Alex demanded, trying to get up as Walker held her tight.
“Alex…Alex look at me!” Finally she looked at him and he could see the fear in her eyes as he tried to calm her down. “Take a deep breath…come on…focus on me…now take a deep breath…there you go.” It took a few minutes but finally her breathing was returning to normal.
Staring into his blue eyes Alex was able to finally relax. Her fingers were digging deep into Walkers’ forearms and yet he didn’t flinch…she needed something to grasp onto and if it was his flesh well he would endure it for her. He could feel her releasing the tension that had been bottled up inside of her for days. Finally he pulled her close, holding her tight against his masculine chest. Her body was warm and alluring and Walker continued to hold her, rocking her back and forth…soothing her fears, calming the tears.

“Oh Walker…am I ever going to get over this?” Alex finally asked later that evening as they sat wrapped in the blanket cozied up the last of the flickering fire. All of the firewood was gone and Walker was worried about making sure she was staying warm.

“Yes Alex you will get over this…and I will be by your side the entire time. But you can’t keep this bottled up inside anymore…talk to me when you are hurting…”
Alex looked at him with questioning eyes and tilting her head she sighed heavily before she began. “You are the last person to be giving that sort of advice…”
“What is that supposed to mean?” He asked looking down at her.
“Walker…you are not the best at telling people when you are hurting…I know that, C.D. knows it, even Jimmy knows…”
“We aren’t talking about me…we are talking about you…”
“Oh so I’m the only one that is supposed to tell my feelings…you can just go off and…” Suddenly her lips were claimed by his and closing her eyes she allowed him to break off her sentence. Finally he released the kiss and tilting his head forward their foreheads met in a silent expression of love. Knowing the fire was dwindling Walker went into the bedroom and pulled the mattress to the living room. They laid in each other’s arms that night and as the fire died out completely he pulled her closer using his body heat to keep her warm.
That was how Trivette and C.D. found them early the next morning, wrapped around each other, conserving heat. Walker woke with a start as the door was opened and a blast of Arctic air followed behind. Glancing down he noted Alex hadn’t stirred and for that he was happy, she had finally gotten a good nights rest. The first since Fredricks. But as he started to get up Alex awoke and smiled at him, not yet seeing Trivette and C.D.

Brining her hand up she gently touched his face…” Thank you for keeping me warm last night Cowboy…” Walker felt his face blush and it was only then that Trivette made their presence known. Alex could only laugh as she watched Walker looked into her eyes. Suddenly he pulled her closer and kissed her passionately without caring that they had an audience.
“Okay you two that is enough…”C.D. said walking in the door. But they were completely lost in one another.
“See Big Dog, they were all right…” Trivette said smiling at his partner and best friend.

“You know Walker I could have stayed at my apartment…” Alex said walking into the living room at the ranch a day later. After they had been dug out Walker and Alex figured they would just head on back…they wanted to get home and relax from their vacation. So they had gathered up their things and ridden back down the mountain. Once back to Dallas, Walker had driven straight out the ranch without hesitation, without asking Alex.
“I know, but I figured we are still on vacation and well…” she chuckled at the devilish look in his eyes.
Walking up to him she looped her arms around his neck and stared into his eyes. “Walker, thank you…without you I would be out there fighting my way back.”
“Anything for my Angel, I love you. We helped each other, and now we can start to get on with our lives.”

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