Jingle bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh
The carolers in the mall were moving away from Alex and the singing permeated the air of Christmas. She was trying to find a present for Walker and had been here for a couple of hours and with only four days till Christmas she couldn't decide what to get him. What to get for the man with everything? She knew his favorite color and had scoured the mall for anything he might need. But she'd only come up dry and he wasn't giving out any ideas and even Trivette wasn't any help. So the search went on. She'd thought about a new sweater and pant set, but after sneaking a look in his closet she'd decided against that and music was also out. A new pair of boots perhaps? Maybe, but he already had four pairs. Something for the truck or a new saddle for his favorite horse, but she just couldn't decide.
Her bag was full of everyone else's presents. For C.D. a new bar mug set of 20, Trivette, a trivia game and her friend, Julie, a new neckerchief. As she looked around nothing seemed to fit what she wanted for him and exiting the mall she returned to her car without Walker's gift. She had his Christmas card already, but was still looking for that perfect gift. Since their engagement they'd only gotten closer and she hoped that they could spend as much quality time together over the holidays as possible. He'd come to mean so much to her and this was their first Christmas as a couple and she wanted it to be special.
Reaching her car she started to open the door when from behind her she heard someone approach her and turned to see who it was, but before she could she felt an arm come around her and she turned and found herself in Walker's arms. He was standing in front of her smiling.
"What are you doing?"
Smiling back at him she said, "I could ask you the same question," giving him a mysterious grin. Placing her bag in the car she turned again in his arms and kissed him. "No peeking allowed!" She didn't want him to know she hadn't found his present yet. "So what are you doing here?" she asked still smiling.
Walker looked slightly uncomfortable and replied, "looking for Christmas presents."
"Oh," she replied and laughing," any luck yet?"
"Sort of," he replied turning towards his truck, which she noted was parked just a few cars over from hers. He too was carrying a bag of things in his hands and returned to the truck to place them inside and close the door. Then smiling he returned to where she was standing and said "How about lunch? I'm hungry."
She smiled and took the arm he offered and they entered the mall. Lunch went quickly and Alex had a court case that afternoon so Walker walked her back to her car kissed her goodbye for then and told her he'd call her later that evening.
Alex stood outside Courtroom 3 in the courthouse and talked
quietly with the DA waiting to start the case that she hoped to put three
drug dealers away for a very long time. They were standing a short ways
down the hall, having posted bail a short time after being arrested typical
for drug dealers and they were glaring at her from a safe distance. The
bailiff opened the doors to the courtroom and everyone started filing in. Alex
reached the desk where she would present her case from and her assistant
opened his case and sitting down started to file through papers getting
them ready for rebuttal of the plaintiff's attorney. The Judge entered
the courtroom and everyone stood while the bailiff read out the charges
filed by the state of Texas Vs. William Dubree.
"Hear ye hear ye this court room will now come to order the Honorable Judge Myers Presiding."
"Everyone may be seated."
Everyone sat down and Alex started her opening statement after the judge told her to proceed. "Your Honor, the District Attorneys office will prove beyond a doubt that on the night of May 12th 1998 the plaintiff William Dupree, Joseph Martinez, and Jeffrey Lawrence shot and killed Matt Stevens in cold blood after a drug deal went bad and dumped the body in the Trinity River."
The defense attorney soon started his statements after Alex
had finished. "Your Honor, we ask that along with proving that Mr.
Dupree was nowhere near the area that night we also can provide an alibi
and that my client wasn't responsible for anyone's death in any way and
that this all just a waste of this courts and your honors time and the
taxpayers money. The DA has fingered the wrong man. When we present our
evidence the jury will have no other choice but to release this innocent
man. We're requesting that we be allowed to enter into evidence a tape
that will be highly damaging to the DA's case and will prove my client
innocent. Your Honor we request to call our first witness Sandy Winters." Right
as the defense called her witness the doors at the back of the courtroom
opened and three men walked down the aisle wearing overcoats and pulling
them open displayed assault rifles, walking quickly down the aisle they
shot the bailiff and stood at the front of the courtroom and put one gun
to the judges head.
"We now have control of this courtroom and if anyone calls out or doesn't do as we say, you'll all die. We're taking Dupree out of here and the Assistant DA there is coming with us for our hostage." Turning to Alex one of the men roughly grabbed her arm and started to lead her away. Dupree was laughing, but Alex was angry. The nerve of these men appalled her. Walking into a court of law and taking this prisoner and her like it was nothing. They led her out the door like there was nothing wrong and one whispered to her to stay quiet or she would die right there in the hallway. Looking around she saw no help nor any sign of anyone she knew. The getaway car was outside and they roughly shoved her into it before she had a chance to call out or try to escape. The car sped away and no one followed.
A few minutes later in the courtroom the judge and a couple of the witnesses were telling the police about the incident and within fifteen minutes Walker got a call from Trivette. Walker was out in the field talking to suspects in a case and Trivette had been in the office following up on files to help Walker when the phone rang and he'd gotten the call telling him of the kidnapping of Alex. Walker ran for his truck and flew to the office where he got the details from Trivette.
"They called the police right after they left the courthouse and gave them a description of the three men and that Alex was taken as a hostage. They don't know where they went but I had them fax the pictures and information and I'm doing a follow up on computer files and backgrounds right now. Don't worry Walker, We'll find them."
A short time later Trivette was in the office following up on recent release files when the phone rang, "Trivette". He said into the phone. On the other end a voice electronically disguised said, "We have Alex Cahill and will tell you where to find her in exchange for one thing." Trivette spoke, "And what would that be?"
The voice on the other end said, "You. And we let her go it's you we need and if you want her to stay alive meet us at the Ft. Worth Stockyards rodeo arena at four pm," then the caller hung up.
Trivette looked around and looked at the time. One o'clock. Three hours until he had to be there. And they'd said for him to come alone and they'd let Alex go. "How to know if it wasn't a trap or if they'd just kill them both?" Part of him knew he should call Walker, but the other part of him said no, that he could handle this. Walker did it all the time and they might kill Alex if anyone came with him. He walked out of the office and out into the unknown anything to save Alex. Using his cell phone he did leave a message on Walkers answering machine and told him he'd gone to see about something and he'd talk to him later.
Meanwhile, Alex was in a darkened room with the door locked
and her captors right outside. She could hear their voices, but when she'd
arrived here they had locked her in this room she'd been left alone. Though
she was scared she remained quiet and looked around the room for anything
she might use for a weapon, but no luck. Just a bed, a chair and a window
made of glass, but it had bars over it. She could see the street from the
room, but knew any attempts to call out for help would only alert her captors.
Meanwhile Trivette had reached the Stockyards arena and soon after arriving a car pulled up behind him. Slowly coming to a stop, two men got out. Trivette got out of his car, meeting them halfway between the two. "Where's Alex?" he asked. The two men looked at one another. "She's in a safe place and were going to take you to her. Just come with us."
Trivette looked at the two men, "Where are we going?"
"You'll see," they replied. And turning they returned to the car waiting on Trivette to decide. Looking around he felt some indecision, but finally walked over to the car and sat down. They traveled for about 45 minutes and Trivette recognized an area of Dallas that he'd been to with Walker. The car came to a stop in front of a house on a residential street and the two men indicated for him to follow them inside. The windows had bars on them and he wondered if this was where they were keeping Alex.
Alex saw Trivette coming up the walk from the room they had her in and wondered what he was doing there. How did he know and who were the men with him. Where was Walker and what was going on?
Trivette and the men entered the house and Trivette saw, upon entering the house, the man that the guys at the courtroom had identified as William Dupree. That is the last thing he saw before he felt a sharp pain to the back of his head and he blacked out. When Trivette woke up he didn't know where he was at first, but in looking around he noticed an area of town that he recognized and he was in an alleyway lying on the ground. It was late evening and he felt strange staggering to his feet he looked down at his clothes. They were dusty and torn. His face felt funny and he realized he had at least a four-day beard. "What the hell had happened?" he asked as he thought back and remembered leaving the office and going somewhere, but couldn't remember where. He walked a few blocks, stopping now and then to get his bearings. "Only a few more blocks to the office," he said to encourage his movement.
Walker had been in a near state of panic and worried the last few days. Trivette was missing as well as Alex and no word from either for the last four days. They'd found Trivette's car at the Ft. Worth Stockyards and Alex's was still at the courthouse where she'd been kidnapped by William Dupree's men and no word since. He'd been up without sleep for the last four days. Christmas had come and gone and it got a little harder each day. Where were they and what had happened to them. He started out of the office looking around in the hall spotting a person staggering towards the office in dusty dirty clothes and stooped over like they were going to fall down. He walked over quickly grabbing for the person as he did so the man turned in his arms and said one word, "Walker." before passing out. Trivette was the person and Walker breathed a sigh of relief to the sky above that he was still alive and unharmed, but where was Alex. Calling for help and waiting and wondering what was coming next. Walker prayed for her safety as he had for his partners.
The sun shone bright into Trivette's window at the hospital
and he was starting to feel better each day. Walker had been here and gone
and he still couldn't recall the last five days and that worried him. Alex
was still missing with no word from her captors and Walker was just about
to go out of his mind with worry and all, but torn the town apart looking
for her with no success. Walker was frustrated and upset he knew, but
he just couldn't recall past leaving the office the next thing he remembered
was waking up in the alleyway. What had happened to the last three days?
He kept feeling like there was something he was supposed to remember, but
it just wouldn't come to him. Walker had spoken to his bosses about Trivette
and despite the memory loss of the last three days he had checked out medically
so they'd put him back on the force. Walker was told to keep an eye on
his partner and the first sign of trouble to let them know.
A few days went by and Walker and Trivette were in the office still looking up suspects connected to Dupree and they thought they had a lead and were just starting to head out the door when the phone rang. Walker returned to answer it and the voice on the other end asked for Trivette so he handed the phone to him. Trivette he replied into the phone and the voice on the other end said just one word before hung up. Trivette looked up at Walker, hung up the phone, and they headed out the door.
Jimmy was quiet on the ride over to the location and had been for the last few days. Walker knew that the missing three days were driving him crazy, with Alex still missing and not knowing if she was alive or dead. The phone rang again in the truck this time Walkers cell phone connected with dispatch and the operator said she had a call about Alex. "
"This is Dupree, I have something you want so come and get her if you can. Meet us at the Mandalay Canal shopping area by the bridge six pm and don't be late if you want her alive," the caller said laughing.
"We'll be there and if you've harmed her you'll wish to god you were dead." Walker warned as the caller hung up.
The trip to the canal didn't take long and Trivette hung on around a few corners. He knew Walker was upset and he was feeling funny himself. The phone caller had said only one word and he got the feeling that Walker was his enemy, the feeling stuck with him all the way to the canal and by the time they got there he was reaching for his gun expecting Walker to do something to him. However, Walker just got out of the truck walking quickly across the parking lot to the ramp. Trivette walked behind him and had the feeling that he should pull his gun and shoot him right now. They were approaching the shopping area and Trivette saw two men on the other side of the canal with Alex between them. They started up the bridge, as did Walker. Alex was scared and when she saw Trivette with Walker she became more scared. She'd heard his screams the nights they'd tortured him and knew that he wasn't the same Trivette as before this had happened. Could Walker trust him now? Did Walker know what they'd done to him? As she was led up the bridge and saw Trivette behind Walker the men with her started talking to Trivette and Walker.
"We want Dupree and you get the Assistant DA here so let's
just do this quickly and we'll be on our way." The groups both stopped
at the top of the bridge. Alex looked at Walker and then glanced at Trivette.
His eyes were glazed and he was reaching for his gun. He didn't have a
clear shot; her stomach fell as he pulled it directly behind Walker aiming
at his back.
She heard herself scream and yell out "Walker, behind you," leaping to the side of one of her captors she saw Walker turn. She heard Trivette moan and saw the sweat running down his forehead and down his face. His eyes were glazed and looked like a wild man. Alex stood to the side of her captors.
"Yeah Trivette, that's right he's your enemy he's the one you want, just pull the trigger." Looking at Walker the leader Dupree said, "You see Walker we have him under our control he thinks your the bad guy here. Look at him Walker; can you imagine the headlines in the morning? Ranger Trivette and Walker shot to death in shootout, but only we'll know it was Trivette that took you out first."
Trivette looked from Walker to Alex to Dupree his eyes crazed and a wicked smile on his face. A look that turned Alex's blood cold. The shot came and Alex heard herself scream and knew that whatever happened to Walker that their lives were going to be changed forever. She saw Walker hit by the bullet and watched as he fell powerless to the ground. Then she heard another shot ring out and saw Trivette fall and Dupree turned towards her. "Now both your heroes and loves of your life are gone and we have our revenge. Have a wonderful life Alex" turning he walked away.
Alex at first was stunned and between Jimmy and Walker she stood and pulled out her cell phone calling for help as tears ran down her face, not knowing if either of them would live. She crumpled in a heap and waited for help to arrive trying to keep what little sanity she had left. She covered Walker’s body with her own and prayed calling his name and willing him to live. Turning towards Trivette she heard the ambulances and knew that help was only minutes away, she passed out.
Alex was for once numb as the true reality hit her that these two men might die and that the man she loved and who she was going to marry might not make it to their wedding day. She wrung her hands as she walked slowly back to the waiting area not sure for once what to do. The next few hours were excruciating and as Alex and C.D. waited they prayed and many times Alex just curled up in C.D.'s strong arms and cried. She knew that no matter how much she wanted it that this was out of anyone's hands except the doctors and Gods. C.D. too was worried and tried his best to assure her. The word finally came down in the form of a nurse at two am and it wasn't good, but they were both alive and with that there was hope. They were both still in critical condition and were stable for now both were going to ICU and visiting was going to be immediate family only. The doctor also came down to talk to C.D. and Alex and though they were critical he still held out hope for them and he'd do all he could for them.
The next few weeks were difficult and long ones for Alex and between working and spending her nights at the hospital she was soon worn out. When C.D. came to relieve her, he found her with baggy eyes as he took a look at her and said one word, "Home!" She looked at Walker and back at C.D. and gathered her things and left the hospital. Home? Where was that she asked herself? Her apartment only seemed like an empty shell and she found herself heading toward the one place she really felt like she belonged. The ranch!
Trivette was starting to come around and after a few long days of worrying if he'd pull through, it looked like he was going to make it though. Although he would have a long recovery, but Walker was still in guarded condition. He had squeezed her hand a few times and seemed to be trying to come out of it, but only time would tell. As Alex drove down the highway tears filled her eyes and not being able to see she pulled of the road getting out on the dirt road that led to the ranch and stood looking out at a field of flowers as the sun was just starting to set with golden colors of red and purple. From a distance away she heard a horse whinny and knew that Walker's horse also missed him and probably wondered where his master was. The tears started to abate and she climbed back in her car and made the rest of the trip to the ranch. Reaching the house she got out and took her night case and clothes out heading inside. The ranch was so still and quiet devoid of Walker's presence that she'd always sensed before. She put her things in Walker's room and went outside to see if the horses needed feeding and watering and then reassured them that Walker would return soon. Walking outside the barn and turning to the fence that surrounded the ranch she continued to watch the sun come up in the distance in front of her. A mist formed and she watched mesmerized as an Indian woman on a horse came towards her and she realized that this was one of the visions that Walker had often spoke of. At first she was frightened, but as the Indian woman approached, she saw her more clearly. Her fears abated and the Indian woman spoke.
"Walker is with the spirits now, but you are his earthly soul mate and wife. For in his eyes he already has claimed you as his own, through all the hard times you will endure know that his love for you is strong and you, his woman, and strength are his life. Go to him Alex, his spirit needs you as does his heart and only you can keep him in the earthly plane. He grows tired of the fight and needs your strength to bring him back to where people still need him. Don't be afraid to love him for your future will be full and many young braves will come of your union."
The horse and the Indian woman turned and started to go and as Alex watched her leave she knew that all her doubts were in vain because she belonged at Walker's side. For whatever time they had left. Turning back to the house she called the hospital.
"C.D. here," the familiar voice said.
"I'm going to get some things from the apartment and come back here to the ranch. My place is with Walker, C.D. and just tell him I love him very much and will be there soon."
Alex entered the hospital nervous, but determined to bring Walker back to her and the world that loved him. She couldn't let him go, not when she'd just found him in her heart and knew that his love would be the only true one for the rest of her life, come what may he was her heart and soul. She entered the ER and C.D. stepped aside to let her in close to him. "He's not changed much Alex. We're all worried nothing seems to be able to bring him back," touching Walker's forehead with his large loving hand before he stepped away and nodded almost like he was giving up.
Walker was floating far above the bed and could look down on the bed and see Alex and Trivette there and heard their words, knowing they were concerned. He could hear Alex speaking her words of love and encouragement to him. He soared higher and as he turned he saw the sky above and felt a warm presence. So peaceful and loving and he wanted to go closer. The monitors changed in front of Alex's eyes and then went flat. Alex heard herself scream out his name “Walker, No you can't go I won't let you, come back to me please." The medical team rushed in and Alex moved back to let them do what she knew had to be done to bring him back to her. She heard the paddles and saw his body rise in response and tears swelled on her eyes. She cried and gripped her hands together and felt her nails dig into skin; again the paddles and again his body rose in response. Then a beat feeble, but finally a beat. Meds being given per the IV and the doctor allowed her closer," talk to him Alex, bring him back."
The tears continued and she took his hand, "Please Walker, I love you, I know your tired, but I need you and there’s nothing I want more than to share our life together, please come back to me."
Walker looked down at the body on the bed and turned to the presence, "Go back, you still have work to do. We'll be here with you always," and turning towards the body he returned.
"Walker, I'm back and I need to tell you some things, I can't live without you or your love I need you to come back to me please. Walker, you can't leave me now. We have a wedding and our whole life together to spend loving, living, fighting and making up, and without you I don't want to be here." Tears rolling down her face she told him her heart." I doubted you and our love that we can make it in all these terrible things that seem to occur to us and I realized that it's your love and us being together that keeps me going and there's nothing more that I want to do than spend the rest of my life loving you. Please baby just fight, fight for us. I'm going to be right here and I know you’re tired, but just listen to my voice. Come back to me my love!" The words were spoken and she hoped he could hear them. Sometime later in the evening, Alex had laid her head down and was leaning onto the side of the bed with her hand still in his when the arm moved and the movement woke her. She looked noting that the monitors seemed calmer and his eyes were open. They looked her way and as she stood up she felt him squeeze her hand. The breathing machine in his mouth kept him from speaking, but his eyes said so many tears filled her eyes and she turned to call a nurse.
A few days later Walker and Trivette were getting better and Trivette was complaining about the food while Walker was awake alert and complaining about the open gowns and being cooped up in this hospital. Still weak, but improving daily the two men finally met via wheelchair in Walker's Room. As Trivette entered the room he wasn't sure of the reception he'd get and had spoke to Alex first, but she'd reassured him that Walker had understood that he'd been brainwashed and that now seemed to be gone and he'd never intended to shoot his partner and best friend.
Walker was speaking to Alex as he entered. "Yes, I've been thinking that maybe a long vacation is due and maybe we could set a wedding date for sometime after we return." Beaming Alex replied, smiling at Walker and noting Trivette's arrival left the two of them to talk.
"Hey Walker, your looking better," he said.
"So are you partner, glad to see you made it and were together once more partners and friends always."
Trivette reached out his arm to Walker, "Thanks man, I'm really sorry, I almost got us both killed. I still don't remember those days that they had me."
Walker replied, "It doesn't matter now, we're alive and going to be just fine. Hey, I have a question to ask you? Will you be my best man at our wedding?"
"Alright man, it's about time!!!" Trivette replied. "When and where?" Trivette asked.
"As soon as we can and I'm taking her away to Tahiti for the honeymoon. C.D. is already working on the arrangements." Alex came back a short time later and Walker took her hand, "Hey, lady what would you think if I told you I wanted us to be married in a few weeks?"
"What?" she replied. "Us, me and you? Now I know you’re not well yet you're still delirious," laughingly she sat in Walker's lap. After he reached for her and pulled her to him. Leaning down close to his lips she replied, "Are you sure Walker?"
"Never been more sure of anything in my life," he replied. Alex smiled and leaned down to kiss him their lips meeting and a slow fire started to burn in them both.
"When?" she asked as their lips separated.
"How about Jan 27th?"
"That's only a few weeks, but I think I can throw a wedding together in that time, next question is where?"
"Don't worry C.D. is working on that so you just focus on the dress and the bridesmaids. Trivette and C.D. are going to be my best men."
"Oh, so you've already been planning I see?" she smiled and hugged him. "I love you, Walker, for the rest of my and your life." She wanted to tell him of the vision, but decided to keep that to herself for just a while longer. After all they had the rest of their lives and that was time enough.