LET THE GAMES BEGIN – By Jodi
"Alex? Aren't you ready yet?” Walker called to her from the bottom of the stairs.
"Well I was until your lovely daughter decided to take her diaper off and rip it to pieces. I'll be down in just a minute." Alex replied just a little irritated.
Walker chuckled thinking of Angela's new game of removing her diaper just to see how many pieces she could tear it into. Of course, Alex didn't find it amusing, especially if there was something in it.
Walker hoped the family trip to the zoo would put Alex in a better frame of mind. He had found her earlier that morning crying in their bathroom. When he asked her what was wrong, she lifted her hand and without saying a word handed him the white stick with the blue plus sign on top. He had been thrilled knowing exactly what it was. Alex on the other hand didn't seem so thrilled.
"Oh Walker, I can't believe I'm already pregnant again." cried Alex.
"Alex this is great, I am thrilled if that's what you are worried about. We just talked about trying to get pregnant again in 6 months. We are just a little early."
"But Walker, 6 months would have made a big difference. Angela would have been a little over 2 years old when the next baby got here. Now she will only be 17 months old. That is a big difference."
"It's okay Alex I promise. We will deal with it just fine. Angela is a good baby and I bet the next one will be too."
"I know Walker, but oh man I am just not ready for the morning sickness again. With any luck maybe I won't be so sick this time. You know the DA is not going to be happy about this. I have only been back at work 6 months as it is.”
"Well he had to know when we got married this could and would happen. We both made it known that we wanted children and we wanted them sooner than later."
"You know when this happened don't you?" Alex smiled slyly. "I guess this really is my fault."
He thought about it for a moment and knew exactly when it happened. It was a Wednesday and they had met Gordon downtown for dinner when he arrived in Dallas to take depositions. They had all returned to the ranch later that night and he had gone out to the barn to take care of the horses. Alex had taken Angela inside to get her ready for bed and get her dad settled in the downstairs guest room. Alex had come in the barn as he was taking care of the stalls. "I thought you were nursing Angela." Walker questioned. Angela was only nursing at night now to go to sleep and he knew Alex still enjoyed that closeness with their daughter. "I was but she was so tired she went right to sleep. I put her in bed and told Daddy I was going to come and help you finish with the horses since it was so late." Alex replied.
“I’m almost done with the stalls if you want to put some feed out.” said Walker.
Alex put feed in all the stalls and when she turned around to tell Walker she was done she saw that he had taken his shirt off, that was the beginning of it all. She walked up behind him and slipped her arms around his waist, she never could resist his well defined chest when his shirt was off and it glistened with sweat . She started kissing his shoulders as she slowly moved her hands lower. He turned around in her arms and kissed her deeply. Things started heating up and clothes started coming off as the kissing continued. Walker stopped abruptly, much to Alex’s chagrin. “We don’t have any of those little foil packets out here. We need to take this in the house.” “It’s okay.” says Alex between kisses. “It’s the wrong time of the month…and I’m still…nursing so…that helps…with birth control…” That had been such an incredible night, they never thought about it again until now.
“Yep, it is definitely your fault, but I’m still not complaining. Come on let’s take our family to the zoo.” says Walker as he puts his hand on Alex’s stomach. They walked out of the bathroom, collected their daughter and headed out on their family trip.
Walker and Alex were enjoying the trip to the zoo more than Angela. They loved watching the look on her face with each new animal they saw. She was squealing with delight and kicking her feet. As they walked up to the monkey exhibit, the primates started jumping and swinging wildly around their cages in response to the little girl’s squeals. Alex was watching Angela when she suddenly saw her bottom lip moving out into a pout and tears brimming her eyes. “Come here my sweet baby, it’s okay, the monkeys just love your little squeals of delight.” cooed Alex to her daughter lifting her out of her stroller.
Walker leaned over and wiped the tears off of Angela’s face. “I knew I should have brought my gun!” teased Walker.
“Walker, be serious. You can’t shoot the monkeys because they made your daughter cry. They were just having fun with her. “ Alex laughed slapping him on the arm. “Look in the diaper bag and hand me her juice cup.”
“Well I don’t like anyone or anything making her cry.” Walker said as he reached in the diaper bag to retrieve the sippy cup. As he leaned over to hand Alex the cup, the hair on the back of his neck stood up alerting him of danger. Walker looked around slowly so as not to alarm Alex. He surveyed the area around them but did not see or hear anything out of the ordinary. He couldn’t explain it but when the hair stood up on his neck it always meant some type of danger was close.
“Walker, Angela doesn’t want this cup, she wants to nurse. I’m sure she just wants the comfort after her little scare. She probably needs a diaper change too. I’m going to walk around and find a bathroom. I’ll meet you back here in a few minutes.”
“NO!” barked Walker.
“Excuse me, no?” asked Alex a little agitated at Walker’s demeanor.
“Let’s go to that little café over there and get something to drink. You can change her in the stroller and you can sit comfortably while she nurses.”
“You know I don’t like an audience when Angela is nursing, especially now that she likes to bite and kick the blanket off my shoulder. What is going on?”
“Nothing. Come on let’s go get something to drink.”
“Walker, I know you. You’re in that protective mode.”
“Alex, I’m always protective of you and Angela.”
“I have been to the bathroom several times today and you didn’t object so why now? Please tell me what the problem is.”
“I don’t know Alex. I just got a feeling something wasn’t right a few minutes ago. It’s probably nothing but I don’t want you two out of my sight right now. Are you about ready to go home?”
“Yes, but let’s get something to drink. I will change Angela and she will probably nurse herself to sleep then we can go.”
He watched as Walker guided his family over to one of the cafes. He had accomplished what he wanted to and he was ready for the games to begin.
Walker and Trivette had been out of the office most of the day tracking down leads on a car theft ring. Walker wanted a cup of real coffee, not the kind that he was still being forced to drink at home. He poured a cup and smiled thinking about his wife and daughter. Angela had such a good time at the zoo. He couldn’t help thinking about his feeling that they were being watched. When nothing happened, he had chalked it up to his over protectiveness of Alex and Angela. However, he was about to find out he had a right to be worried.
Walker with cup in hand walked to his desk. He wanted to call Alex to find out if she still had her meeting at the HOPE Center that night. If so, he would pick up Angela and have dinner ready for Alex when she got home. As he sat down and reached for the phone, he noticed a manila envelope in the middle of his desk labeled,
Ranger Cordell Walker, Personal and Confidential
“Trivette, did you see who put this envelope on my desk?”
“No partner. I didn’t notice it when we came in earlier.” said Trivette as he turned around to finish inputting info into his computer.
Walker looked at the envelope and proceeded to open it. ‘Probably some snitch with some info.’ thought Walker to himself. He took a letter and picture out. He turned the photo over and immediately felt a clinch in his chest. Staring at the picture, he felt his anger rising. He immediately opened the letter and stared reading.
What a gorgeous wife you have Ranger Walker. That blond hair and those incredibly long legs.
And that baby girl with her curly blond hair. She looks so much like her beautiful mother.
You really should keep a better eye on them. Especially now with a new baby on the way.
I know you wouldn’t want anything to happen to your happy little family.
In a rage, Walker clinches his fists and slams them down hard on his desk causing everyone in the office to jump. Trivette immediately knew something was terribly wrong.
“Walker what is it? What’s wrong?” Trivette could see the rage in his partner’s face. He could also see anguish and that combination usually meant it had something to do with Alex. He had seen it many times before.
“Walker? Walker?” Trivette gets no response from Walker who just sat staring straight ahead with clinched fists and jaw.
Trivette noticed the photograph and letter. He reached to pick them up. He looked at the photo and read the letter. Anger started to rise in him too.
“When was this picture taken and where?” Trivette asked.
“Saturday at the zoo.” Walker answered in a trance like fashion.
Trivette reread the letter. ‘New baby’ he thought to himself. Walker hasn’t said anything about Alex being pregnant again. How could this guy know?
“Walker? Alex is pregnant?”
“Yes.” Walker answered.
“Why didn’t you tell me? When did you find out?”
Walker seemingly came out of his trance and looked at Trivette.
“Alex took one of those home pregnancy test Saturday morning. She has a doctor’s appointment Thursday to confirm the pregnancy. We were going to wait to tell everyone after her appointment AND don’t start on me about it.”
“Walker, I think it is great. Are you and Alex happy about it?” Trivette asked making a mental note to tease Walker when the atmosphere was better.
“Alex was not too happy at first since Angela is only nine months old, but I think she realized I was happy about it so she is better. Trivette, the only way this guy could have known about this pregnancy was to be in my house Saturday or Sunday or to have my house bugged. We have not said anything about it outside the house. Alex took the test Saturday morning and the test was in the garbage can in our bathroom until Sunday when I emptied all the trash cans in the house. So he had to either hear it through a bug or find the test in my house. Get someone out there to sweep for bugs and dust for prints, especially in our bathroom. There shouldn’t be too many prints in that bathroom besides mine and Alex’s.”
“Will do partner. I’ll get Gage and Sydney to take care of that. Are you going to tell Alex about this?”
“No I don’t want her worried right now. This may be just a one time thing. You know how rough her first trimester of pregnancy was with Angela with the morning sickness and then the rough delivery. I don’t want her all stressed out if it’s just some guy trying to get his kicks. If this continues, I will tell her. But right now remember, not a word of this to Alex.”
“Not a word of what to Alex?” Alex asked as she walked in the door and over to Walker’s desk.
“Uh…I think we are busted Walker.” says Trivette.
Walker threw an angry glance at Trivette.
“Congratulations Alex. Walker slipped up and told me about the new baby. You know he can’t keep a secret from me.”
Walker breathed a sigh of relief at Trivette’s quickness on his feet. “Sorry sweetheart. You know Trivette. He keeps pushing me if he thinks I’m not telling him something. I got tired of him asking and just told him.”
“It’s okay darling. I don’t care if he knows, he is like a brother to me. I’ve been through this before, I know my body. My doctor’s appointment is just a formality. I‘m sure you have teased my husband unmercifully by now Jimmy Trivette.”
“Now why would I do that?” smiled Trivette.
“Well you teased him forever about us getting pregnant on our honeymoon and now Angela is only 9 months old. I just knew that you would have something to say about us being married 18 months with one baby and one on the way in light of your ‘Walker it took you 7 years to marry Alex but only 7 days to get her pregnant.’ Remember that statement Jimmy?” laughed Alex.
“Yeah I remember. But I’m looking forward to another godchild. I just love Angela so much.” Trivette stated, not wanting to tease Walker too much given what had just happened.
“Well Jimmy, I’m glad you are happy for us. You will definitely be this baby’s godfather too. Walker, I just came in to remind you about my meeting tonight.”
“I remembered Alex. I will pick up Angela and have dinner ready when you get home.”
“Great!. I should be home by 8:00. I’ll call you when I ‘m on my way.” Alex says as she leans over and kisses Walker goodbye. “I’ll be leaving here in about an hour.”
“Me too. I’ll see you at the HOPE Center before Angela and I head home.” replied Walker.
“Bye sweetheart.” says Alex. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Alex walks out the door and heads back to her office.
“Okay Trivette, get Gage and Sydney over to my house. I want them in and out of there before Alex gets home tonight.”
“I’ll get them out there. But Walker? You’re going to have to tell Alex sooner than later. She is way too smart. We may have fooled her this time, but she will figure out we are keeping something from her.”
“I know Trivette and I will tell her if I get another envelope or we find something at the house. I know I can’t keep this from her and I wouldn’t if it weren’t for the pregnancy. I just don’t want her upset right now. I almost lost my wife and daughter due to stress on Alex from one criminal. I’m going to do everything in my power to keep this pregnancy as stress free as possible. I know that will be tough given our jobs, but I am going to do what I can.”
“I understand Walker.”
“Thanks Trivette. I appreciate what you did earlier with Alex.”
“What is family for partner? I worry about Alex too and want her to have an easy pregnancy and delivery this time. Let me get Gage and Syd out to your house now.”
Walker pulls up to the ranch and sees that Gage and Sydney are still there. He takes Angela out of her car seat, grabs her diaper bag and heads into the house. Angela squeals with delight when she sees Sydney. It warms Walker’s heart to know that his daughter is loved by so many people and to know that love is returned.
“Angela, hi sweet girl.” says Sydney as she takes the baby from Walker. “How is my little sweetheart doing..” Angela giggles as Sydney tickles her neck.
Gage comes downstairs when he hears Walker and Angela come in.
“We swept for bugs boss and didn’t find anything. I got some fingerprints but we’ll have to see if there are any we don’t know.
“I am convinced the guy was in here while we were gone. I don’t understand how he got in. There has been no sign of a break in and the alarm company didn’t show an entry with anything but our codes. I need to know how this guy got in my house. I don’t want it to happen again, especially if Alex is here alone with Angela. I don’t feel at peace if I can’t depend on them being safe with locks and the alarm.” says Walker rather irritated.
“We’ll see what we can track down.” says Sydney. “Trivette told us about the new baby. Congratulations. We won’t say anything to Alex until she tells us. Trivette just thought we needed to know what the guy may have found. He showed us the letter and photograph. Sorry this is happening.”
“Thanks Sydney and Gage. I just don’t want Alex to know about all this until I have something concrete. If nothing else happens then there is no concern.”
“Do you really think this is an isolated incident?” ask Gage.
“No. And that is what I’m afraid of.” state Walker with concern in his voice.
“Well, well. I bet the mighty Ranger Cordell Walker is livid by now. Everyone knows how protective he is of his wife and daughter. He’ll think it is someone from his past cases or his wife’s past cases. He’ll never guess it is a fellow officer, one that knows all the tricks to keep from leaving evidence and getting caught.”
Dallas police officer Brad Adams’s plan was to make Ranger Cordell Walker suffer and the best way to do that was to threaten the safety of his family. He would torment the mighty Ranger until he perfected the right amount of revenge. Ranger Cordell Walker was directly responsible for his being cut from the Ranger program. His dream was always to be a Texas Ranger, now that dream was dead. He wanted Walker to believe his “dream” family would be dead too.
Walker entered the Ranger Co. B office stopping for a cup of coffee before heading for his desk.
“Mornin’ partner.” says Trivette as Walker sits down.
“Good morning Trivette. Do we have anything back from my house?”
“Nothing was found. No bugs, no fingerprints that couldn’t be identified. This guy is either good or he wasn’t there.”
“He was there Trivette. I could feel it. There is also no way to know about Alex’s pregnancy if he wasn’t.”
“Maybe he was following Alex and saw her buy the pregnancy test.”
“I don’t think so Trivette. She bought the test last week over in Denton after she finished some depositions but couldn’t get the nerve to use it until Saturday. I think this guy just started following us.”
“Well you know I never question your Cherokee intuition. So I guess we wait to see if you get another envelope.”
“Yeah, but I’ve got to find a way to keep watch over Alex and Angela constantly without Alex getting suspicious.”
“Oh and how are you going to do that Walker? You know Alex, you start guarding her 24/7 and she will know something is going on bro. You not only married a very beautiful woman, you married a very smart one too.”
“I know, but I’ll find a way.”
“I’m telling you she is going to know something is up.”
“I can handle my wife, Trivette.”
“Yeah right.” laughed Trivette. “I’ve seen you “handle” your wife. She is going to eat you alive when she finds out you have kept this from her.”
It had been three days since the last envelope arrived. Walker was beginning to hope that it was a one time thing, but he wasn’t letting his guard down just yet.
He and Alex had ridden to work together the last two days. He told her he was worried about her becoming dizzy or nauseous while driving since she had such a hard time during the early stages of her first pregnancy. Alex seemed to accept the explanation chalking it up to his usual over protectiveness.
“Alex are you ready to go?”
“Uh…yeah sweetheart, I’ll be down in just a minute. Is Angela ready?”
“Yes. I have her bag ready and we are both just waiting on you.”
Alex came down the stairs at that moment looking a little pale and tired.
“It’s started hasn’t it? The morning sickness?” Walker asked already knowing the answer.
All Alex could do was nod her head. Walker hated seeing Alex like this but it would enable him to keep up with his reason for driving her to and from work everyday.
Walker left Alex at her office and headed for the Ranger Co. B office. He stopped at the coffee pot then walked towards his desk. When he got to the corner he spotted it. There sitting in the middle of the desk was another manila envelope labeled;
Ranger Cordell Walker,
Personal and Confidential
Walker sat down at his desk and stared at the envelope. He could handle a threat against him, but he couldn’t handle a threat against his wife and daughter and now he had another child to worry about.
“Mornin’ partner.” Trivette said as he walked through the door. He stopped short when he saw the look on Walker’s face and then saw the envelope.
“You opened it yet?” asked Trivette.
“No.” answered Walker.
There was silence between the partners as Trivette stood at Walker’s desk.
“Anyone see who put this manila envelope on Walker’s desk?” Trivette asked other personnel walking around the office. As he surveyed the room everyone was shaking their heads no.
“Do you want me to open it for you Walker?” asked Trivette.
“NO!” yelled Walker. “Sorry Trivette, I didn’t mean to yell, just give me a few minutes.”
Jimmy walked to his desk knowing Walker needed time to process what was happening. He knew Walker had been hoping the first envelope was a random thing but now knew he and Alex were facing yet another crisis. Glancing over at his partner’s desk, Trivette could see Walker just staring at the envelope. He decided he would start on his paperwork knowing Walker would open it in his own time.
Walker knew that he had to open the package. He was hoping he could will it not to be there but knew it wasn’t possible. He would open it, deal with it and get back to work. He wasn’t prepared though for what he would see.
As he turned the opened envelope up a photo and letter fell out, just like the last one. Taking a deep breath, he turned the photo over. At that moment, he lost all the control he had left. In one swift motion, with one arm, he raked everything off his desk sending items flying across the room. Immediately the whole room became quiet and all eyes were on Walker. He stood up his face beet red, his fist clinched and his breathing labored.
Trivette walked slowly over to Walker’s desk. He glanced down at the floor and saw a photo laying face down close to Walker’s boot. Trivette slowly bent down picking up the picture and the letter that had also fallen to the floor. He turned the photo over and realized what sent his partner into a rage. It was a picture of Angela sleeping peacefully in a crib. He didn’t know when or where the picture was taken. He glanced at Walker. Trivette slowly opened the letter and started reading:
Ranger Walker, what a beautiful baby girl you have.
Look how she sticks out her bottom lip while she sleeps.
You really should be more careful watching over her. What any man wouldn’t give to have a sweet little girl like this.
Sweet dreams Angel.
Trivette looked up at Walker and knew when he read the accompanying letter his rage would return full force. Not many people knew the significance of the Angel reference. Walker and Alex had only told a few of their close friends about Walker’s vision when Angela was born. Trivette noticed Walker moving back to sit down in his chair.
“Do you know when and where this picture was taken Walker?”
There is a moment of silence before Walker answers. “It was taken yesterday at the HOPE Center.”
“Are you sure?”
“YES Trivette I am sure! Those are the clothes Angela was wearing yesterday when I picked her up and I recognize the crib as the one she sleeps in when she is there.”
“I will call Josie and see if anyone remembers someone taking pictures there yesterday.”
“Okay. Also ask her if she saw anyone hanging around the center. She usually alerts Alex or me if she does but maybe it slipped her mind yesterday. Where’s the letter?”
“Walker, why don’t you let me send the picture and letter down to the lab to check for prints.”
“Trivette, I want to see the letter.”
“Partner maybe you should wait….”
“Dammit Trivette give me the letter now!”
Trivette slowly handed the letter to Walker, not sure if he was ready for what was to come. Walker grabbed the letter and started reading. Trivette watched Walker’s face as he read. Walker seemed to read without any emotion at all. ‘This is not good’ thought Trivette. Walker finished reading the letter and slowly folded it at the creases. He handed the letter to Trivette.
“Take it and the picture down to the lab.” Walker said calmly. “I want both of them back as soon as possible though.”
Walker slowly got up, reached for his hat, turned to Trivette and said, “I’ll be back.” As Walker turned and walked towards the door, Trivette saw tears in his friend’s eyes bringing tears to his own. Walker was the bravest, strongest and most determined person he knew. Someone who stands firm and never backs down. Whoever was doing this had found the only weakness in Walker’s life…Alex and Angela.
Brad Adams was standing in the hallway as Walker left Ranger Headquarters. A smile of satisfaction crossed his face as he caught a glimpse of the Ranger’s face.
‘Oh my plan is working to perfection. Tormenting Walker using his wife and daughter is brilliant. And Ranger Walker, you didn’t think I was Ranger material’
Getting that picture of Walker’s daughter yesterday was so easy. He had been at the HOPE Center taking a witness statement from a newly battered wife that had been brought in. So his presence there wasn’t out of order.
‘This is becoming quite fun, especially seeing the mighty Ranger’s face when he sees my little packages.’
Brad walked off with his next little package already formulated in his mind.
Walker walked around the park across from the courthouse thinking. He knew he was going to have to talk to Alex. He just couldn’t imagine how he was going to do it though. This was taxing him to his limits especially after the letter and picture today. Alex would fall apart. Her emotions were already sensitive with the pregnancy, he didn’t know how much she could take. He agonized over his decision. ‘If I don’t tell her she will be very angry with me, but her stress level would be low.’ he thought to himself. He knew he was kidding himself. Alex would know something was going on as soon as he stepped up his protection of her and Angela. ‘Today is her doctor’s appointment. I’ll go with her and find a way to talk to Dr. Bates and get her opinion before I talk to Alex.’
Alex was sitting at her desk clearing up some papers before leaving for her doctor’s appointment when she heard a knock at her door. Before she could say anything, her handsome husband walked through the door.
“Hey Cowboy. I was just getting ready to leave for my doctor’s appointment.
“I know, you ready to go?”
“You’re going with me? It’s just the initial appointment. She’ll confirm the pregnancy and give me the due date, both of which we really already know.”
“I want to go Alex. I want to be a part of this entire pregnancy. I may miss some appointments, but I’m going to do my best to make them all.”
“I love you Cowboy.” Alex said as she leaned in to give Walker a meaningful kiss.
“I love you too. Let’s go.”
They arrive at Dr. Bates office a few minutes before Alex’s appointment time and sit in the waiting room.
“Mrs. Walker.” the nurse called her name.
Alex and Walker walk through the doors leading back to Dr. Bates’ office. They sit in the chairs in front of the doctor’s desk waiting for her to come in.
“Walker, Alex nice to see you. So we decided to have another baby already?” said Dr. Bates with a smile on her face.
“Well…” Alex blushes as she answers. “There was a little lapse in birth control judgment on my part. I would have liked a little more age difference between Angela and a new baby, but we are happy about it.”
“Now I can’t imagine you two having any lapses in judgment.” Dr. Bates laughed. Walker and Alex were both friends so she liked to tease a little.
“Well things got out of control too fast one night. I thought it was the wrong time of the month, I was still breastfeeding and we didn’t have immediate access to a foil packet. It appears I was wrong and here we are.” Alex laughed.
“Alex you of all people know you can’t depend on breastfeeding or the wrong time of the month for birth control.”
“Now you tell me!” Alex and Dr. Bates both started laughing.
Alex realized Walker had not been paying attention to their conversation since he wasn’t squirming in his seat at the mere mention of their sex life. She knew there had been something going on all week and she planned on finding out what it was as soon as they left Dr. Bates office.
“Alright Alex, my nurse is going to take you back to an exam room. I’ll see you in a few minutes.”
Alex and Walker followed the nurse down the hall.
“Alex, I’m going to find the restroom. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
“Okay sweetheart.” Alex said as she followed the nurse into one of the exam rooms.
Walker saw Dr. Bates walking down the hall . “Dr. Bates can I talk to you for a minute before you go in to see Alex?”
“Sure Walker. Is there something wrong?”
Walker proceeded to explain to Dr. Bates everything that had been going on and his concern for Alex.
“I need to know that Alex and the baby are going to be okay if I tell her about the letters and the pictures. You know Alex, she will be very upset about this but she will be more upset if I don’t tell her and she finds out. After the stress she was under during the last pregnancy caused her to go into premature labor, I’m worried. I can’t go through that again worrying if I may lose my wife and/or child.?
“Well Walker there is a chance that extreme stress could cause Alex to miscarry this baby since it is so early in the pregnancy, but she does need to know. How do you feel about telling her now with me present and I can monitor her?
“I was hoping we could do that. But as this situation goes on and more pictures and letters arrive how do I monitor her?
“Walker, Alex is a very strong person. I think she can handle this if she has the information in a controlled way. The problem during her last pregnancy happened so fast, her hormones were at an all time high, she was at the end of the pregnancy, miserable and just being pregnant was new to her. She knows what to expect this time around and knows she has to watch her stress.”
“Thank you Dr. Bates. I am not looking forward to this but it has to be done. You have made me feel better though. I appreciate your friendship and care of Alex and our children.”
“Alex is a friend and I feel privileged that you trust me to take care of them. I will be there is just a minute and we’ll get it done.”
“What took you so long darling?” Alex asked as Walker finally came into the exam room.
“I was trying to find you.” Walker said just as Dr. Bates entered the room.
“Well Alex your blood pressure looks great and your urine test is fine. We will have the blood work back in a few days but I don’t anticipate any problems there. You are about five and a half weeks along so it looks like we will have baby number two in about 35 weeks or a little less. Let’s take your blood pressure one more time.”
Dr. Bates put the blood pressure cuff on Alex’s arm. “It looks good Alex. I’m going to leave this on for a few minutes. Walker has something he needs to discuss with you and I want to monitor your pressure.”
Alex’s heart sank. She knew there was something going on with Walker and it must be something serious. “Walker? I knew something was wrong and you were trying to protect me. Just tell me what it is and we will deal with it.” Alex said more confident than she really was.
“Alex, I have received two packages at the office. Both packages have contained a letter and a picture. The first picture was of you holding Angela at the zoo.”
Walker took the picture and letter out of his jacket and handed them both to Alex. He watched her face as she looked at the picture and read the letter. He saw tears forming in her eyes.
“He had to be in our house to know about my pregnancy.” Alex said in a low flat voice.
“I agree Alex. I had Gage and Sydney sweep the house for bugs and dust for fingerprints. There were none. He must have worn gloves.”
“Do you have the next letter and picture?” asked Alex.
“Alex are you okay?” asked Dr. Bates as she took Alex’s blood pressure.
“Yes, I’m fine. I don’t like this but I’m okay.”
“Sweetheart this next letter and picture are hard to show you. I want you to know first that I will catch this guy. I am ordering protection for you and Angela. I don’t want you going anywhere without me or whoever is guarding you. I know I promised that I would keep this pregnancy free of stress but you know I can’t completely do that as much as I would love to. But I promise to protect you and our daughter.”
Tears were now running down Alex’s face. Dr. Bates took her blood pressure and nodded to Walker that it was alright.
“Walker, I need to see the other picture and the letter.”
He removed the photo and letter from his jacket, hesitating slightly as he handed them to her. Tears started flowing as she looked at the picture. As Alex finished the letter she was sobbing.
“Oh Walker who is doing this and why?” asked Alex.
“I don’t know sweetheart but we are working on it. I am checking every possibility.”
Alex sat staring at the picture of her sleeping baby. Walker saw the sudden change in her face, a look of anger appeared.
“WALKER! This picture was taken at the HOPE Center. How dare he.”
Dr. Bates could see the anger on Alex’s face. She proceeded to take her blood pressure again.
“Alex your pressure is slightly elevated but it is okay. I want to monitor you more closely until this person is caught. I want to see you in two weeks. Walker, if you get another package and Alex shows any distress I want you to get her back in here immediately. Understand Alex?”
“Yes Dr. Bates. I want this pregnancy to go smoothly and not have a repeat of the first one. This is all very disturbing to me but I know Walker and Trivette will work hard to find this person. I can deal with this.” Alex says as she smiles weakly at her husband.
Walker knew this was disturbing her more than she was letting on but as long as Dr. Bates was okay with her health he could settle down. He knew he wasn’t going to be able to keep anything from her now so he and Trivette had to find this person before the situation went on much longer. He couldn’t take much more himself and he didn’t want Alex to either.
“Walker, let’s go get Angela and go home.”
“Sure Alex. Are you really okay?”
“Yes. I just need to hold our baby for a while.” Alex turned to stare out the truck window, not wanting Walker to see the tears in her eyes.
“Alex you go on in and get Angela ready to go home and I will fill Josie in on the situation and the guards that will be here.”
“Okay sweetheart.” Alex says as she heads for the HOPE Center baby room.
“Walker!” Josie says as she walks into the foyer.
“Josie, let’s go to Alex’s office so we can talk. Alex went down to get Angela. I’m sure she will be there for a little while.”
“What is going on. Jimmy said you were sending over two guards and that you would explain.”
“Well Josie…” Walker explained everything to her and discussed the arrangements for the guards that would be watching Angela and the center.
“Walker I am so sorry. I don’t know how anyone could have gotten the picture of Angela. I didn’t see anyone with a camera yesterday. I also can’t imagine anyone here at the center being involved. You know how strict we are about people living and working here. Someone is always with the babies but yesterday one of the ladies went to the restroom and the other worker stepped into the backyard when she heard one of the older kids crying. She said she was out of the room for less than a minute. I have made it clear that someone is to be with the babies at all times and I promise it will not happen again.” Josie said.
“While I’m not happy that Angela was left alone Josie, I know and understand things happen. I know how tight things are run around here and Alex trust you completely. I know it won’t happen again. I’m going to get Alex to take the tomorrow off so Angela will not be back until Monday. If this is not settled by then I don’t want anyone near her but you or Maria.”
“No problem Walker. Maria is here from 7-4 and when she needs a break, I will watch Angela.”
“Thanks Josie, see you Monday.”
Alex had been quiet on the way home. Walker knew she was very upset but at the moment he felt powerless to do anything.
Trivette had two guards posted at the entrance to the ranch and Walker had talked to DA Moody about Alex being off on Friday. The DA was happy for Walker and Alex about the new baby although he wasn’t looking forward to being without his best prosecutor for extended periods of time again. Captain Briscoe had assured Walker the Rangers would do everything they could to catch the guy doing this and would accommodate Walker regarding time off.
“Alex why don’t you go upstairs, change into something more comfortable and lay down for a while. I will start dinner and let Angela play with her toys here in the living room.”
“I am going to change but I will take Angela with me. She probably needs a new diaper and I will change her into something cooler.” Alex replied as she started upstairs with Angela.
“Okay sweetheart. I will start dinner and call you when it is ready.” said Walker knowing that Alex didn’t want Angela out of her sight. He felt the same way.
An hour later dinner was ready and the horses had been taken care of. Walker quietly climbed the stairs not wanting to disturb Alex’s time with Angela but knowing that Alex needed to eat something. She had trouble keeping anything down during the day so she needed to eat at night.
Walker looked in Angela’s room but not finding his wife and daughter he headed towards his and Alex’s bedroom. What he found there took his breath away. Alex was laying on her left side cradling Angela. Both had fallen asleep while Angela was nursing. Alex’s nipple was still in Angela’s mouth but her little lips were open and she was not sucking. ‘My two beautiful angels.’ whispered Walker. ‘I will do everything I can to protect you both, NO ONE will hurt either of you while I am still breathing.’
Walker watched his two girls sleeping wondering how he had gotten so lucky. He had everything he had always dreamed of, a family of his own.
Alex started to stir. Walker leaned down and pushed several strands of hair away from her face.
“Shh darling. Angela is sleeping. You both fell asleep.”
“How long have we been sleeping?” asked Alex just as Angela started her sucking action again using her teeth this time.
“OUCH!” gasp Alex as she jerks, pulling her nipple from Angela’s mouth causing a loud popping sound.
Walker starts to snicker which in turn causes the now very much awake Angela to clap her hands and laugh at whatever her daddy finds so funny.
“It is not funny you two. You think it is so funny Cowboy then you can nurse this next one. Let’s see how funny it is to you when the little imp bites down on your nipple. And as for you little girl, it is not nice or funny to hurt mommy even if your daddy finds it amusing.”
“You ready to eat?” asked Walker still sporting a smile.
“I’m not really hungry but I guess I need to try to get something on my stomach.”
“Were you able to keep anything down today?”
“A handful of crackers and half a can of Sprite.”
“Well then you definitely need to try to eat. I made shrimp fettuccini. That should be pretty mellow for you.”
“Why don’t you take Angela and get her started on some noodles and I will be down in a minute. I want to wash up.”
“Okay see you in a minute.” Walker said as he leaned in giving Alex a lingering kiss.
“What was that for?” asked Alex.
“You’re beautiful, you’re the mother of my children, I love you…” Walker answered placing a hand on Alex’s still flat stomach. “Do I need anymore reasons?”
“No absolutely not and I love you too.” Alex said giving Walker one of his favorite smiles as she turned and headed to the bathroom.
Walker walked downstairs with Angela grateful for the few stress free moments he had just spent with his family.
Thursday night and Friday were quiet, stress free days at the Walker house. Angela spent a lot of time entertaining her parents with her wobbly attempts at walking. Walker had invited Jimmy and Erica to come out to the ranch on Saturday for lunch. He wanted the weekend to be as easy going and carefree as possible for Alex. Her morning sickness didn’t seem as bad when she was taking it easy and relaxing. Walker enjoyed pampering his wife and he planned to do a lot of that the remainder of the weekend.
Trivette and Erica arrived a little after 11:30. Erica had made Alex a batch of fudge brownies. She remembered Alex had craved them when she was pregnant with Angela.
“Oh Erica you are wonderful. I have already been craving these brownies and I am only 5 weeks pregnant. I will probably be as big as a house by the time this baby gets here.”
“Alex, please. You weren’t that big when you had Angela and within a week I could hardly tell you had even been pregnant.” said Erica.
“You are too kind. Come on in and sit down. Angela has decided she wants to walk but her legs aren’t cooperating to her satisfaction. She is very entertaining.” laughed Alex.
Angela was sitting on a blanket in the living room eating some Cheerios and playing with some blocks. She squealed and laughed when her mother and Erica walked into the room.
“Hi sweetie.” Erica said to Angela as the baby crawled over and started pulling up on Erica’s legs.
“Momma!” Angela said pointing at Alex.
“Yes that is your momma baby.” answered Erica.
“Daddy and Uncle Jimmy went outside sweet girl. He’ll be back in later.” said Erica. Angela accepted that answer, sat down and crawled over for more Cheerios.
“She is so sweet Alex. I can’t wait for Jimmy and I to get pregnant.”
“Erica, are you and Jimmy trying?” asked Alex excitedly.
“Yes we are!” gushed Erica.
“Oh, if you get pregnant soon our babies will be close together. That would be so much fun.” smiled Alex.
“I know. When Jimmy came home and told me you were pregnant again he said the same thing. He is like a little kid just waiting to open that present at Christmas. He can’t wait.”
“Well tell him to hurry up and get you pregnant!!” laughed Alex.
“Jimmy needs to get some pointers from Walker. He didn’t seem to waste any time.” countered Erica.
“Tell me about it!” quipped Alex.
“Have you found anything at all from the letters or pictures?” Walker asked Trivette as they leaned on the corral fence watching the Walker’s horses.
“Nothing at all. The paper is plain printer paper and the print is from a basic computer printer. The pictures are from a basic camera, probably printed off a home computer.” answers Trivette.
“There has got to be something. It worries me because this guy is being so careful that he may escalate his actions if he thinks he is getting away with what he is doing.”
“You haven’t gotten a package since Thursday and today is Saturday. Maybe you won’t get any more.” opined Trivette.
“Maybe, but probably not likely. Alex is so relaxed this weekend. I want this to last for the next 7 ½ months.”
The Walkers and Trivettes enjoyed a leisurely lunch of steaks, baked potatoes and salad. They were sitting on the front porch talking while Angela napped when the postman came driving down the driveway.
“We must have a package.” Walker noted.
“Dad called the other day and said he was sending Angela something. This must be it. He just loves to spoil her. I think he is trying to make up for missing part of my childhood.” Alex reflected.
“Great he’ll be sending her a car for her first birthday!” countered Walker as everybody laughed.
The postman walked towards the porch carrying a package and the remainder of the Walker’s mail. Alex took the box from the postman while Walker took the rest of the mail. Trivette was the first to notice the manila envelope amongst the letters and magazines in Walker’s hand.
“I was right, the package is from my dad. When Angela gets up we’ll open it up and see what she got.”
Walker looked over at Trivette and noticed him nod towards the mail he had in his hand. When Walker looked down he noticed what Jimmy was nodding at.
“Alex why don’t you go check on Angela, she’s been asleep for a while. I’m interested to see what your dad sent maybe Angela will be awake.” Walker said hoping Alex would not catch on to his ploy to get her in the house so he could open up the newest envelope. He planned on showing it to her but he wanted to see it first.
“I’ll go with you Alex.” Erica said. She wasn’t sure but she thought she saw some kind of signal between her husband and Walker.
Once Alex and Erica were in the house, Walker quickly pulled the manila envelope from the rest of the mail. The address reading:
Ranger Cordell Walker,
Personal and Confidential
Walker stood frozen as he looked at the envelope. It was bad enough getting these packages at the office but it was worse getting them at home.
“Do you want me to open it?” asked Trivette.
“No. I need to do this.” answered Walker as he started opening the envelope.
Again there was a picture and letter. Walker turns the picture over. It is of him and Alex coming out of the doctor’s office on Thursday. He was kissing Alex and had his hand on her stomach. He remembered stopping as they walked out, kissing Alex and asking if she was okay. He remembered telling her that everything was okay and that he was so excited about the new baby she was carrying. He had put his hand on her stomach and told her he loved her. Although they had been in public, this picture felt like an evasion of their privacy.
Well Ranger Walker, so it’s official.
You are going to be a father again. Congratulations.
You seem to really love your wife.
It took you seven years to decide to marry her
but it didn’t take you long to get her pregnant, again.
Walker stood frozen. The second letter had made reference to the word angel, which not many people knew held a special meaning for him regarding his daughter. Now this letter talked about him taking 7 years to marry Alex but her quickly getting pregnant. That is exactly what Trivette had teased him about.
“Trivette, the person doing this is someone close to us.” Walker handed the letter to Trivette and waited for him to read it.
Walker could tell by the look on Trivette’s face that it had registered with him too.
“Walker, this guy almost says verbatim what I teased you about!” Not many people were around when I teased you about it. And the angel reference in the last letter. Not many people know what that word means to you.”
“I know Trivette. Now I am even more concerned if that is possible. I can’t believe someone close to me could be involved in something like this, but the references are just too much of a coincidence.”
“Hey guys look who was awake.” said Alex as she came out onto the porch with Angela.
“Dada, dada, dada…” Angela babbled as she looked at her daddy and he winked at her.
Alex was smiling at the display between her daughter and husband but stopped cold when she saw the manila envelope in Walker’s hand. Walker was playing peek a boo with Angela when he saw the color drain for Alex’s face.
“Honey are you okay?” asked Walker as he reached for Alex’s arm guiding her to the porch swing. Trivette had walked over and taken Angela from Alex when he saw her notice the envelope.
“Yes, I’m fine. Is that another picture and letter?” asked Alex but already knowing the answer.
“Yes it is.” said Walker as he handed them both to Alex.
He watched as Alex looked at the picture and read the letter. He saw the shock and then anger on her face realizing she had picked up on the reference also.
“This has to be someone we know! This is exactly what Jimmy teased you about Walker. It is just too coincidental for this to be random. Then the reference to angel with Angela’s picture. This is definitely someone we know or who knows us. It is bad enough that we have to deal with criminals on a daily basis doing things like this, but to have someone you know doing it…” Alex said starting to cry.
Walker dropped down on one knee putting his left hand on Alex’s hands and with his right hand lifting her to chin to allow her to look at him.
“Alex this may be a good thing.” said Walker looking directly at Alex’s eyes.
“WHAT! What can be good about it?” Alex replied not understanding what Walker meant.
“This narrows our search down somewhat. Before we had no idea if it was someone from your past or present cases or my past or present cases, some random act, someone we knew, etc. This way our field just got smaller.”
“I understand now. I don’t know which is worse someone you don’t know playing a cruel game with you or someone you do know playing a cruel game. How can anyone we know be doing this to us?” replied Alex.
“I don’t know honey, but when I find him I will get some answers one way or another, I promise you that!” declared Walker with a renewed sense of determination. Alex was right. When you had to battle strangers on a daily basis it was one thing, but having someone you know do this….
Brad Adams was having a great day. His little game with Ranger Walker was working even better than he had envisioned. His initial plan was to send a few letters and photos and then stop. However, as the game progressed the more fun he was having. He was angry with the Ranger for cutting him from the ranger program just because he had missed a few days of training due to a trip to Las Vegas with his buddies. They had planned that trip several months before he had been accepted into the Ranger program.
Brad was too busy gloating over his thus far successful game with the Walkers to notice the construction zone he had just entered. Suddenly Brad realized there was a stopped backhoe in front of him but before he could react, he hit it head on. When Brad came to he realized he was pinned in the car. He also realized that his game with Ranger Walker had come to a halt………for now!
It had been a little over two months since the last package had arrived. Walker was beginning to breath easier every day that this nightmare might be over. Alex was more relaxed, her morning sickness was easing off and she was starting to show. Things seemed to be getting back to normal.
Alex had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday for her sonogram. They were going to find out the sex of the baby early on this time so that planning would be easier. Walker wanted to surprise Alex again with doing the nursery. They had decided to leave Angela’s room as it was since she was still so young. They were going to make the second guest room upstairs into the new baby’s room.
Alex loved that Walker was just as excited about the new baby as he was with Angela. She knew a lot of it stemmed from Walker’s childhood. Alex knew early on in their relationship that Walker was passionate about having a wife and children. She always knew he would make a wonderful father but she was amazed at just how wonderful a father he was. He was so devoted to Angela and was already very devoted to the new baby. Alex placed her hand on her slightly rounded belly, ‘I can’t wait for you to meet your daddy and him to meet you. You will always know without a doubt that he loves you.’
“Alex are you feeling okay sweetheart?” asked Walker as he walked into the baby’s room to see Alex standing at the window.
“Yes honey I am just fine. I was just standing here thinking how lucky this baby is to have a daddy like you.” Alex answered turning around finding tears in Walker’s eyes.
“And he or she is lucky to have a mother like you.” said Walker.
“HE is lucky to have us both!” smiled Alex.
Walker was now standing in front of Alex. He placed his hand on her stomach, something he would never get tired of doing especially once he was able to feel the baby kicking.
“Or SHE will be lucky to have us both.” countered Walker.
“It’s a boy. Call it your Cherokee intuition if you want to but I know without a doubt this baby is a boy.” Alex said with absolute certainty in her voice.
“I don’t care if it is a boy or girl as long he or she is healthy and you have an easier time this go round and are healthy too. Anyway we will know on Thursday for sure and I can get started on this room.”
“I can’t wait Walker. Angela’s room is awesome and I know I will love this one just as much.”
“I came to find you to see if there is anything else I needed to do for Angela’s birthday party Saturday.”
“No, I think everything is ready to go. Jimmy and Erica are going to pick up the cake on their way out here. Gage has volunteered to take care of the balloons, which Sydney says is the perfect job for him since he is so full of hot air.” Alex laughed. “You are going to pick dad up at the airport Friday night, right?
“Yes. Gordon’s plane arrives at 6:20 p.m. I will just go straight to the airport from the office. We should probably be back here by 8:00. He said that he would have Angela’s present with him but that he had to check it like luggage. I can’t imagine what he has bought her. For goodness sake she is only a year old.”
“What about you darling? You bought her a pony for her birthday. She can’t even ride the thing.”
“I know Alex, but I want her to get used to horses and have her pony get used to her. She will be riding soon. I want her to start early.”
“Well we can discuss that later Cowboy. We need to get going or we are both going to be late for work. I’ll get Angela and meet you downstairs.” Alex said walking out of the room. Walker still insisted on driving her to work even though there had not been a package in over two months.
Monday was Brad’s first day back to work having missed over two months of work due to the accident. He was glad to be back. He’d had a lot of time to think about the game he had been playing with Ranger Walker. At one point he had decided not to continue the game.
However, last week, he had stopped by headquarters to make sure his paperwork was in order to return to work on Monday when he heard several of the guys talking about the mighty Ranger Walker. The guys had been at C.D.’s after work and saw Walker. They asked him about his “stalker” and Walker had replied that the dirt bag had gotten scared knowing that he (Walker) was on his tail so he was running scared. They had laughed when Walker said the guy was no man because a man wouldn’t hide he would come out in the open and fight Walker. Walker’s comments enraged Brad and he decided to resume his game and kick it up a notch. He would show Walker who the man was and who needed to be scared. Brad decided to put his new plans in motion the week he started back to work.
Brad knew he needed to find a reason to be at Ranger Headquarters. In order to restart the game and kick it up a notch, he needed to catch up on Walker and his family. Since both of the Walkers worked in the courthouse, it was the best place to pick up the info he needed. Later that afternoon he got his break. His sergeant asked him to go over to the HOPE Center and re-interview the battered wife he had taken a statement from several months before the accident. ‘Maybe I will get lucky here.’ thought Brad. ‘That is where I got the picture of Ranger Walker’s daughter and that lady Josie that runs it never pays attention to the police when they were there. Yes this is just the luck I needed.’
Brad arrived at the HOPE Center a little after 4pm. Josie was in the hallway when he arrived.
“Excuse me, Ms. Martin?” said Brad.
“Yes sir, Officer Adams.” said Josie looking at the name tag and badge on his shirt.
“I’m looking for Mrs. Jensen. I took a statement from her several months ago and I was sent back to take another statement since she has returned.”
“Sure Officer. I will go get her. If you want to wait in the resident’s living room right through that door, I will send her in.”
“Thank you ma’am.” said Brad as politely as he could.
Josie walked out of the room and Brad stood looking around. Just as he started to turn to walk towards the resident’s living room, the front door opened. Much to Brad’s delight, in walked Alex Walker. What luck thought Brad, but he knew he had to play it cool.
“Is someone helping you?” asked Alex.
“Yes ma’am, I am here to take a statement from one of your residents and Josie went to get her.” answered Brad.
“I don’t believe I have seen you here before, my name is Alex Walker. I am the owner of the center. Have you been here before?” questioned Alex.
“Yes ma’am, I have. I took a statement from Mrs. Becky Jensen a couple of months ago and my sergeant sent me back to take another statement since it seems she has returned to the center.” answered Brad.
“Yes she left after a couple of weeks and went back to her husband. He became abusive again so she returned.”
Josie came back into the room followed by a brown haired lady who looked like she had been beaten up pretty good.
“Oh Officer Adams, I see you have met the owner of the center, Alex Walker. Alex, Officer Adams is here to talk to Becky again. I think she has decided to file charges against David.”
“Are you sure you are ready this time Becky?” asked Alex.
“Yes ma’am I am sure. I am getting too tired to keep doing this anymore.” answered Becky.
“Okay Becky, you know Josie and I will help you every step of the way. Thank you Officer Adams for coming over and doing the statement here.” replied Alex.
“No problem ma’am, just doing my job. Okay Mrs. Jensen why don’t we go into the living room where you will be more comfortable.” directed Brad.
Becky turned and started walking towards the living room. Brad turned but hadn’t taken a step yet when he hear Josie asking Alex about the weekend.
“Is everything all set for Angela’s birthday party Saturday?” asked Josie.
“Yes I think I have everything ready. I didn’t realize how much it took to plan a party for a one year old. I guess it will only get worse the older she gets.” laughed Alex.
“You said 1:00 right?”
“Yes. Everyone should be there by then.” answered Alex.
Brad had walked slowly towards the living room still able to hear the conversation between Alex and Josie. He jumped when Becky asked him a question.
“Do you mind if I go to the restroom before we start?” asked Becky.
“No not at all. Take your time.” answered Brad excited about being able to listen to Alex and Josie a few more minutes. He stepped around the corner where he could not be seen by the two women talking or by Becky when she returned. What luck he was having today Brad thought.
“When is your dad flying in.” asked Josie.
“Walker is picking him up Friday night. I don’t know what in the world he bought Angela but supposedly it is pretty big. Walker didn’t seem thrilled.” laughed Alex. “My sonogram is Thursday afternoon so we will know what this new baby is. We plan to surprise my dad and everyone else at the party!” said Alex happily.
“Oh I can’t wait. That is going to be so much fun.” replied Josie. “Hey let’s go on back to your office and finish talking. I have some paperwork I need you to sign.”
Perfect Brad thought. So Alex Walker was having a sonogram on Thursday afternoon and the Walkers were throwing a party for their daughter on Saturday. ‘Oh so much information and so many possibilities.’ quipped Brad. He couldn’t wait to set his new game in motion. Brad turned ready to finish the job he was there to do and then get started on his newest package.
“Oh Walker, I am so excited I can’t sit still.” said Alex shifting in her chair outside the sonogram room at Methodist Hospital. “You would think from my excitement that this was our first baby.”
“Alex we will be just as excited about baby number 6 as we were with Angela and this baby.” Walker smiled slyly.
“Six babies? And just who is having all six of them? One or two more MAYBE for me but not six. You may have to find another wife!” laughed Alex.
“Oh darling there could never be another wife for me. You are more than I can handle now.” Walker was laughing before he could even finish the sentence.
“Am I getting too fat for you Walker? What do you mean I am more than you can handle.” Alex said with some frustration in her voice.
“Oh no Alex. Attack of the hormones. I didn’t mean you were too big for me I meant you are too feisty, strong willed, etc…” Walker said hoping to fend off hormone induced anger.
“I’m sorry Walker the hormones have been rushing today. I guess it is the excitement of finding out what this baby is and Angela’s party on Saturday. I just need to get a handle on this frenzy of emotions and not take it out on you. You are too wonderful to me to let that happen.” Alex said with tears in her eyes.
Walker didn’t think he would ever get used to this anger one minute crying the next hormone rush. He knew enough by now to tread lightly, cause anything you said could and would be used against you!!
“Mrs. Walker.” the nurse called.
“Well Walker here we go. It’s a boy I just know it!” replied Alex confidently.
Alex and Walker were led to the sonogram room. The nurse told Alex to sit on the exam table and Dr. Bates would be in shortly. After a short wait the door opened and Dr. Bates walked in.
“Well Alex, Walker you ready to see this baby and find out if it is blue or pink?” asked Dr. Bates.
“Absolutely.” answered Alex. “But I already know it’s a boy.”
Dr. Bates smiled and looked at Walker who shrugged his shoulders and replied, “She said it’s Cherokee intuition and that I was rubbing off on her.”
Alex laid back on the table and pulled her top up under her breast. Dr. Bates lowered the top of Alex’s maternity pants exposing her rounded belly to the cold air.
“Well Alex, it looks like you are showing earlier this time. I remember last time you were about six months before your tummy became rounded.” observed Dr. Bates as she applied the conduction jelly to Alex’s stomach. “But that usually happens with subsequent pregnancies.”
“See Alex by the sixth baby you will start showing the day you get pregnant.” laughed Walker holding Alex’s hand and kissing it.
“Sixth baby?” mused Dr. Bates.
“I told him I didn’t know who he was having six babies with. I was only good for three, maybe 4. We’ll have to see how I feel after this one is born?” Alex said as everyone laughed.
Dr. Bates started running the transducer across Alex’s stomach. Shortly the image of the baby came on the computer screen.
“Well there’s the latest Walker baby. Here is the head, there’s one arm, there is one leg and there is the heartbeat. He or she is laying on their side. Let’s see if we can get it to turn a little. You both still want to know, right?” asked Dr. Bates.
“Yes.” said Walker and Alex in unison. Walker laid his hand on Alex’s stomach and started talking in a low steady voice. Amazingly the baby started to move and turn.
“Well, well, this baby already knows its daddy’s voice.” noted Dr. Bates. “Let’s see now. There are two arms, two legs, a nice strong heartbeat and…..well Mr. and Mrs. Walker it appears this baby has an extra appendage!”
“It’s a boy?” asked Walker smiling.
“Yes Walker it appears you and Alex are having a healthy baby boy.”
Walker looked down at Alex who had tears running from her eyes. “Sweetheart are you okay.” asked Walker.
“I’m more than okay darling. I am giving you a son and I’m just…overjoyed.” replied through increasing tears.
“Honey, I told you I didn’t care if it was a boy or girl I just wanted it to be healthy.”
“I know Walker but you can’t tell me you are not thrilled to have a son to carry on the Firewalker name and legacy? Alex replied.
“Yes Alex it is overwhelming to know that my son will carry on the Firewalker name and Indian legacy. I just don’t want you to think that I would have been disappointed in any way if this baby had been a girl.” answered Walker leaning down and kissing Alex letting her know he meant what he said.
“Well Walker, Alex. Everything appears to be moving along nicely. The baby looks to be very healthy. The growth rate is right on target, the heart beat is good. I’ll see you next month unless something comes up before then.” said Dr. Bates as she cleaned the jelly from Alex’s stomach.
“Thanks so much.” said Walker and Alex in unison, both beaming at the knowledge they were having a healthy baby boy.
Brad had watched Walker and Alex enter the exam room followed shortly by the doctor. He needed to find a way to use something about this appointment in his next package. He was standing in the shadows when he saw the exam room door open and the three occupants come out.
“Here is your copy of the sonogram picture and there will also be one in your file.” replied Dr. Bates.
“Thank you Dr. Bates. I will see you next month.” beamed Alex as she and Walker left holding each other’s hand.
Brad knew he needed to get his hands on that file. That picture is exactly what he needed for his next package. ’Now how do I get my hands on it.’ He watched as Dr. Bates walked into the nurses station and placed the Walker’s file on the corner of the desk.
“Lori, here is Alex Walker’s sonogram file. Please make sure this gets to my office.” Dr. Bates directed the nurse.
“Yes Dr. Bates.”
‘Perfect.’ thought Brad. ‘Now I just have to get that nurse away from the desk for just a second and I can be in and out with that picture.’ Brad sat and waited as he watched the flurry of activity. He had been standing and watching about ten minutes when the nurse stood up and walked around the desk. ‘Here’s my chance.’ he thought.
As the nurse walked in front of the desk she called to someone down the hall that she was going to the lounge to get a drink and would be right back. When she was almost out of sight, Brad moved from his hiding place and walked casually to the nurse’s desk. He calmly looked around, glanced down at the folder and opened it with his thumb. He was able to slide the thin picture out of the folder with little trouble. Once he had the picture out he rolled it in the palm of his hand, walked down the hall and exited into the stairwell.
‘Oh man that was perfect. This is so much fun. I can’t wait to deliver my next little package to the mighty ranger and a birthday party seems the best time to do that.' mused Brad as he exited the hospital and walked towards his car.
Walker lay in bed thinking about the past year. One year ago today, he had been sitting beside Alex’s hospital bed not knowing if Angela was going to live or die. It had been a rough week for the Walkers and the Rangers. A week that he would just as soon forgot if not for the fact Angela had come into his and Alex’s life. Walker vividly remembered the moment the nurses first placed Angela in his arms. She had seemed so tiny and she looked just like Alex. He had sat holding her and chanting to her for over an hour. She had still been attached to tubes and wires but was breathing on her own. He had walked down to the NICU shortly after his vision assuring him Angela was going to be okay.
He also remembered that night handing the baby to Alex and telling her about the vision and his desire to name her Angela. They had discussed many names but had agreed to wait until after she was born to make their final decision. Angela had not even been on their list of names, but once Alex heard Walker’s vision and the events surrounding the delivery, she had readily agreed on the name Angela. They had also chosen Elizabeth as her middle name in honor of both their mothers.
Walker felt Alex starting to stir. She had been sleeping with her left arm across his chest.
“Good morning beautiful.” said Walker as he stroked her back.
“Good morning Cowboy, been awake long?”
“For a little while. I’ve just been thinking about this last year and how much things have changed. One year ago today we were given the most precious gift in the world.”
Walker felt his chest getting damp realizing Alex was crying.
“Alex, sweetheart, why are you crying?” asked Walker knowing Alex cried at the drop of a hat these days.
“I remember that day too. I remember seeing Jimmy lying in that hospital bed not knowing if he was okay and thinking that could have been you. I had gotten so angry. I remember that angry conversation with you and then the stabbing pain in my side. I knew something was not right. Although I had never been in labor before, I knew the pain was different that what I was told to expect. Then I remember the rush of doctors and nurses. I could tell from Dr. Bates voice and demeanor something was terribly wrong. I was so scared and they told me you couldn’t be there. The next thing I remember was waking up with you by my side then realizing I was no longer pregnant and scared that something had happened to the baby. Then I saw you smiling. I still remember being worried until you came through the door holding our daughter in your arms and saw the look on your face. I knew she already had you wrapped around her little finger!” Alex said as tears continued down her face.
Walker wiped the tears from Alex’s cheeks. “She was okay and she is perfect today one year later. And yes, she does seem to have me wrapped around her little finger. In fact, all her fingers. I still look at her everyday and can’t believe that she is here, that she belongs to us. I just love her so much. I love you too and can’t wait for our son to get here.” Walker started rubbing Alex’s stomach. “I can’t wait for him to start kicking. I always loved that feel although I know it is not always comfortable for you.” Walker says as he kisses Alex.
“Sometimes it is uncomfortable but I love it. It is just a reminder of how much we love each other and that our love created that little kicker in there.” Alex laughed.
“Are you ready to get up. Our guest will be arriving in a few hours and our birthday girl will be up soon. I know you have a million things for me to do.” said Walker.
“Well honey, there is only one thing I have for you to do right now.” Alex said seductively as she started running her fingers down Walker’s chest and under the covers.
“Isn’t this what got you in the condition you are in?” laughed Walker as he started caressing Alex’s back moving lower with each stroke.
“Yes it is and I loved every minute of it. How about you?” teased Alex making Walker gasp as she reached her target.
“Yes I definitely enjoyed every minute of it and if you weren’t already pregnant you would be shortly.” Walker said as he kissed Alex passionately.
“Oh Walker you say the most romantic things!” said Alex as she pulled the covers over their heads. The sounds of giggles and moans could be heard as Walker and Alex began to show each other just how much they loved each other.
“Gage, how many times do I have to show you how to tie the balloons. The ones you have tied are leaking air. What did you do bite them as you were tying them?” Sydney scolded Gage.
“No Syd. I was doing it like you showed me but my fingers are much bigger than yours so it is not as easy for me. If you are such a pro at balloon tying why don’t you tie them and put the streamers on while I blow them up.” Gage said trying to sound agitated.
“Are you two going to fight all afternoon?” asked Walker trying not to laugh.
“Gage just doesn’t follow instructions very well.”
“Syd I told you your fingers are much smaller than mine and it makes it harder for me to tie them. Tell her Walker. She has smaller hands.”
“He’s right Sydney, you do have smaller hands.” Walker conceded with a grin. “But Gage you don’t follow instructions very well. You two get these balloons done. I’m going to run in the house and see if Alex needs any help.”
Walker entered the house and walked up the stairs. Alex, you need me to do anything else. Jimmy and Erica should be here any minute with the cake. I have the tables all set up and Gage and Sydney are trying to blow up the balloons if they can stop fighting long enough.” Walker said as he walked into Angela room.
Alex was trying to get Angela dressed but she wanted to play and was not cooperating. “Angela do you want to go play with the balloons?” asked Alex a little frustrated.
“BOONS!” laughed Angela.
“Here Alex let me finish getting her dressed and you can finish up anything you need to do.” said Walker.
“Gladly. Here is the top to those pants and if you will bring her downstairs when you are done I will do something with her hair.” answered Alex before walking out of the room.
“Okay angel. Let’s get you dressed and downstairs so we can have a birthday party. Uncle Gage and Aunt Sydney need you to show them how to work the balloons and Grandpa has a really big present for you to open.” said Walker as he managed to get Angela’s clothes on without too much trouble.
Walker picked Angela up from the changing table and headed downstairs. As he entered the living room and set Angela down with her toys, he could still hear Sydney and Gage fighting over the balloons. He walked into the kitchen and found Alex getting all the hamburger fixings together.
“Who do those two remind you of.” asked Walker.
“I don’t know, who?” answered Alex.
“Us.” said Walker.
“Us?” asked Alex.
“Yes. Remember how we used to argue about everything in the beginning, we were trying to fight the feelings we had for each other. They just need to give up and concede defeat the way I did.” said Walker.
“The way you did?” laughed Alex. “Honey it took you a long time to concede defeat regarding your feelings for me and it took a lot of patience and persuasion on my part.”
“You’re right and I regret it everyday. I can’t tell you how happy I have been since the day we got married. I don’t know what I was thinking in taking so long. The last 21 months have been the best time of my life. If I had conceded my feelings a lot sooner I could have had all of this a lot sooner.” Walker said as he wrapped his arms around Alex.
“Yep, you’re right Cowboy. You could have had all of this a lot sooner.” Alex says in a low voice as she runs her nails down Walker’s back and kisses along his ear.
“You are starting something you can’t finish my dear. Besides I have had this a lot longer than 21 months sweetheart.” states Walker as he rubs his hand along Alex’s ribcage and lightly touches Alex’s breast.
“Well how is my little pumpkin this morning.”
Walker and Alex both jump at the sound of Gordon talking to Angela. Both are smiling and blushing. Walker leaned back in towards Alex and whispered in her ear, “I expect you to finish what you started later tonight upstairs after the party. We can have our own party.”
“Oh I always finish what I start. You should know that by now Cowboy.” Alex stated seductively.
“Yes I am definitely aware of that and I love the way you
finish what you start. There are perks to this rush of pregnancy
hormones.” Walker laughed as he and Alex went to join the rest of the party
The party was underway and everyone was having a great time. It was funny how grown adults could have so much fun at a one year olds birthday party. Gordon was playing with Angela, Trivette and Erica were playing Alex and Walker a game of horseshoes. Josie and her new boyfriend had walked over to the corral to pet the horses.
“I think Angela is ready to open these presents.” called Gordon.
Everyone started gathering around the table that held Angela’s presents. One by one Walker and Alex helped Angela open the gifts the guest had brought. With each new gift she opened, Angela wanted to sit and play.
“Alright my little pumpkin it is time to open Grandpa’s present.” said Gordon as he took Angela from the table and set her down in front of the huge package on the ground.
“What is this Daddy? The box is bigger than she is.” asked Alex.
Gordon helped Angela remove the wrapping paper.
“He did buy her a car! I told you he was going to buy her a car.” exclaimed Walker as he watched Gordon pull the pink battery powered car from the box.
“Oh my gosh, daddy. She is too little for that.” said Alex as she watched Angela clap her hands and laugh as she looked at the car.
“I wanted my granddaughter to ride in style!” gushed Gordon as he picked up Angela and set her in the car. “We just have to teach her how the peddles work.”
“I can’t believe you two.” Alex said as she looked at Walker and her dad. “Walker I guess you better go get your birthday present.”
Everyone watched as Walker started walking towards the barn. “Where is he going?” asked Trivette.
“To get our present for Angela. It was all his idea. I didn’t have anything to do with it.” answered Alex.
As Alex finished talking everyone looked over and to see Walker coming out of the barn leading a beautiful chestnut colored pony. The pony had a pink leather saddle on its back.
“Happy birthday angel.” said Walker as he reached the party guest and picked Angela up. He sat her on the pony and handed her the bridles.
“WALKER! You hold on to the bridle, she is too little.” said Alex with a little panic in her voice as she quickly walked over and put her hands up to hold on to Angela.
“Relax Alex, she is our daughter so she should naturally be comfortable around them. You rode your horse for a while when you were pregnant with her and she has rode with me practically since the day we brought her home from the hospital.” said Walker.
“Me riding my horse while pregnant won’t make her safe on a horse at age one. And you were with her, holding her when she rode with you. There is a big difference Walker with her sitting on a horse by herself.” countered Alex.
Everyone was watching and smiling at the exchange between Walker and Alex. No one noticed the car that had pulled into the driveway. Trivette was the first to notice the woman walking towards the party holding a bouquet of balloons.
“Walker?” said Trivette pointing towards the driveway.
Walker looked to see what Trivette was pointing at. He nodded as he and Jimmy started walking towards the delivery lady. Both noticed the manila envelope in her hand as they got closer to her. Walker felt a clinch in his chest knowing what it was and realizing the nightmare he thought was over was beginning again. There was no way to hide this from Alex until after the party was over. He was getting angrier as he approached the delivery lady. This was his daughter’s birthday. How dare this guy try to ruin this day for them. Walker thought back to Lavacot and a year ago when he tried to ruin this day for him and Alex. Lavacot got what he deserved and whoever was sending these packages would get what he deserved too.
“I have a delivery here for a Ranger Cordell Walker.” said the delivery lady.
“That’s me. Do you know who sent these?” answered Walker.
“There was not card but there was this envelope along with the balloons.” said the delivery lady as she handed Walker the envelope and balloons.
“Do you have the name of the person who purchased these?” asked Trivette.
The delivery lady looked down at her clipboard. “No sir, it was a cash sell. We don’t get that information for cash transactions.”
“Do you remember what the person looked like?” asked Walker.
“No sir. I wasn’t the one that took the order, I just deliver them. You could call the shop and talk to Debbie. She is the one that took the order. I just need you to sign here for them.” said the lady as she pointed to the signature line.
“Thank you. I will call and talk to Debbie.” said Walker.
Walker didn’t realize that Alex had walked over and was standing behind him.
“Is that what I think it is?” asked Alex with fear in her voice.
Walker turned around and was pained by the look on Alex’s face. They had both hoped since it had been a little over two months without a manila envelope that the nightmare was over. They had both just started to relax and now this.
“Alex, sweetheart. We will open this, see what it is and deal with it. We are still looking for leads although we haven’t had one of these for over two months.” said Walker making a feeble attempt at reassuring Alex.
“I can’t believe he would do this on Angela’s birthday. I wanted today to be special.” said Alex with tears forming in her eyes.
“It has been special Alex. Look at her over there with your father and that enormous pink car he brought her.” Walker said trying to interject some humor into the situation.
“Walker, I know she is too little to understand any of this, but I wanted the day to be special for us too. We went through so much a year ago not knowing for a while if she….” Alex couldn’t finish her sentence.
“Alex. You need to remember what Dr. Bates said about your stress. Angela was and is just fine. Yes we went through some tough times but we have our little girl. This guy is just trying to scare us. This has been going on for several months and all we have had are pictures and letters, nothing more. We will open this one, read the letter, look at the picture and as bad as it may be we lay it aside and concentrate on the rest of Angela’s party. Okay?” asked Walker.
“Okay. Open it and let’s get this over with.” said Alex trying to muster some confidence.
Walker opened the envelope. He looked up at Alex before removing the contents. “Are you sure you are alright?”
“Yes I am fine. I will relax…some.” smiled Alex.
Walker carefully removed the letter and picture from the envelope, not wanting to lose any evidence that the package might contain. He turned the picture over knowing immediately what it was, the sonogram photo from Thursday. He heard Alex gasp.
“How did he get that picture? There are only two of these. We have one, which I know is still inside hanging on our refrigerator and the other was in my file which Dr. Bates has. He had to have gotten the picture from my file somehow.” stated Alex. “Read the letter.”
Walker opened the letter trying to hold it as lightly as possible.
So Ranger Walker you are having a son.
You will have the perfect dream family, a wife, a daughter and a son. What more could a man want.
I had my perfect dream but you took that away.
Take care of your perfect dream, you never know when you might lose it or who may take it away.
Walker folded the letter and placed it along with the sonogram photo back in the manila envelope. He then looked at Alex who had tears in her eyes.
“I am going to catch him, Alex, I promise you that. No one, and I mean no one is going to hurt you, Angela or the baby. Why don’t you take Angela in the house and lay down for a little while.” said Walker.
“No Walker. I feel fine. Today is Angela’s birthday and I intend to finish celebrating it. I will not let him ruin any more of our daughter’s birthday. We still need to blow out the candle and cut the cake.” said Alex confidently knowing that they had been faced with many crisis in the past and had always prevailed in the end. There wasn’t just her and Walker involved this time but also their two children. She knew before they were married Walker’s greatest fear was something happening to her and any children they may have because of their jobs. She had convinced Walker that them being together and someday having a family was worth the risk. She still believed that and hoped Walker did too.
“That is just what we will do Alex. Okay everyone, we are going to have cake and ice cream and let Angela blow out her birthday candle. Alex you light the candle and I will get the ice cream from the house.” Walker said as he climbed the porch steps and entered the house. He laid the newest envelope on the dining room table. He and Trivette would follow up on the newest package Monday, but today he was going to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.
“Here’s the ice cream, vanilla and chocolate.” said Walker as he returned, setting the ice cream on the table and looking around at the somber faces. “We have a lot to celebrate. It is my angel’s first birthday and we are having a son. Now I say those are reasons to celebrate.”
“A grandson, that is wonderful.” said Gordon hugging Alex. “Now what do I call him? You are pumpkin and Angela is little pumpkin. But I need something else for my grandson.”
“Well daddy, I’m sure you will think of something. And
by the way, I’m sure Walker would want something a little more masculine.”
“A son Walker. That is great partner.” said Jimmy slapping Walker on the back.
“Yeah Trivette it is great. I would have been happy with another girl, but a son will be nice. Now I just need to make sure everything is okay.” said Walker a little preoccupied thinking about the latest envelope. ‘I had my perfect dream but you took that away. What did the person mean, what dream did I take away from him.’ thought Walker.
Everyone continued to enjoy Angela’s birthday party and never noticed the white truck that passed the house a couple of times. Brad saw the Springtown Sheriff’s patrol car sitting at the entrance to the Walker ranch and made sure his passes in front of the house were spread out enough as not to draw their attention. ’I wonder how the mighty Ranger felt about my latest present? I bet it is driving him crazy wondering whose dream he took away.’ Brad thought to himself. He could faintly see the bouquet of pink balloons and knew that Walker had received his envelope.
“Trivette I just don’t have a clue what dream I took away from anyone. I couldn’t sleep last night wracking my brain trying to figure that out. I know I kept Alex awake tossing and turning.” said Walker getting irritated the more he tried to think.
“Gosh partner that could be anyone meaning anything. Someone who went to jail could have lost their family, their job, etc. We have taken down a lot of big drug rings. Some criminal may even think it was their dream to be a big drug lord. There are so many possibilities. “ answered Trivette.
“Yeah I know. But I have a feeling this is something different. I can’t put my finger on it.” said Walker.
“Cherokee intuition?” asked Trivette.
“Yeah something like that.” laughed Walker. “Have you heard anything from the lab on the newest letter and picture?”
“No nothing yet.” answered Trivette looking up to see Alex walking through the door.
“I called Dr. Bates. She said that the sonogram picture is missing from my file. She is so upset that someone could have gotten it. She apologized over and over for it happening. I told her it was okay that this guy is good and she never would have imagined it happening.” said Alex as she walked over to Walker’s desk.
“This person is going unnoticed when he is following us. I also called the florist shop that delivered the balloons and envelope to Angela’s party. I talked to Debbie the person that took the order. She said she doesn’t remember what the person looked like. She said they were very busy that day and doesn’t even remember if it was a man or woman that placed the order. So we are at a dead end there”
“He had to follow us to the hospital for my appointment. How did he know I had an appointment that day? Is he following me/us everyday?” asked Alex
“I think he definitely followed us to the hospital that day and he had to be close to the sonogram room to know about the picture and your file. Do you remember when we walked out into the hallway. Dr. Bates gave us the sonogram picture and said the other one would be in your file? He very well may have been in the hallway watching us.” said Walker.
“I do remember that!” exclaimed Alex. “She also said something about the baby being a boy. Although he could have gotten that information off of the sonogram picture. I don’t like this feeling of being watched.”
“I don’t like it either Alex. I don’t like being watched and I don’t want you and Angela watched either. If only I could come up with one clue, but there is absolutely nothing.” said Walker becoming more agitated.
“Well darling, I need to get back to my office. I have a meeting at the Hope Center this afternoon. Are you going to pick up Angela?” asked Alex.
“Yes I am going to pick her up, but I will be back when your meeting is over and will follow you home. I don’t want you on the road by yourself.” answered Walker.
Alex leaned down and kissed Walker on the cheek. “I love you Cowboy.” she whispered.
“I love you too, sweetheart.” said Walker.
“Trivette this situation is frustrating. You know my biggest reason for waiting so long to marry Alex was worrying about putting her in danger because of this job. Then I finally decided to trust myself, you and the Rangers to help keep her safe rather than lose her. Now my worst fears are coming true. I don’t know who I am protecting her from and now I have two children to worry about!” Walker said slamming his hand on the steering wheel of his truck. “We don’t have one clue who this guy is. How am I going to protect them from the unknown. All the letters point to someone we know or who knows us. This whole thing has me suspecting everyone, including you and Gage.”
“You suspect me and Gage? Are you serious partner. You know I would NEVER do anything like this to you and Alex. For heaven’s sakes Walker, Angela is my goddaughter. Do you really think I could or would do something like this to you and Alex? Or Gage for that matter?” asked Trivette very obviously shaken by Walker’s statement.
“Of course not Trivette, I‘m sorry. I didn’t mean that I actually suspected you or Gage I just meant that it is making me crazy and the thought did cross my mind but it was easily dismissed. I know you love Alex and Angela almost as much as I do. I could never seriously think you would be involved.” answered Walker.
“Walkman, I know this guy is making you crazy, that is his game. I truly believe this whole thing is just that, a game. He is trying drive you crazy worrying about Alex, Angela and the baby. His plan is working perfectly if he can even make you think for a moment that your partner and friends could be involved. I think the game will eventually stop and I know you will be crazy until it does, but just remember man, I love you and Alex and Angela. I love the little boy that Alex is carrying. I would do everything in my power never let anything happen to any of you. We will get through this I promise.” said Trivette.
“Thanks Trivette. Although I know everything you said I guess I just needed to hear it. I’m just worried that this guy might decide he likes this game and wants to change the rules.” answered Walker.
“Well Walker, we won’t let our guard down and if he changes the rules of the game we’ll find him. He will slip up one day and we will get him.” said Trivette.
“I am just praying that the slip up doesn’t involve my wife and children. Let’s go check out those leads we have in the Morales case.”
Brad Adams was becoming restless as he sat on his couch watching a basketball game. ‘I have no life.’ he thought to himself. ‘My job stinks. I get the dog shifts. I applied for a detective position and haven’t heard anything yet. My girlfriend just broke up with me.'
“MY LIFE SUCKS!” yelled Brad out loud to his empty apartment.
It had been a little over two months since his last surprise package to Walker. He hadn’t been able to get any good information on Walker to send out a new package. He had been worried about getting caught after sending the balloons to the birthday party. Brad had followed Walker and his partner to the flower shop where he had bought the balloons and watched as they talked to the lady who had taken the order. He had intentionally picked that florist knowing they were usually very busy and cash orders didn’t warrant much attention to the customer. It had been obvious that the clerk didn’t remember him but it had still scared him. He had decided to lay off for a little while.
Brad didn’t realize that he had become increasingly depressed over the last few months. He had started slacking in his appearance and the upkeep of his apartment. His supervising lieutenant had just made a comment last night about his uniform not being up to regulation. Who did he think he was? His uniform was fine. He had worn the shirt he wore the night before because he hadn’t had time to go by the cleaners. It was a little wrinkled but so what. It looked fine to him.
‘I need to start my game back up with Walker. I miss it, I was having fun. Maybe I can get some good information soon.’ Brad thought to himself as he got dressed for work. ‘I will stop by Ranger Headquarters in the morning and see what I can find out.’ He finished getting dressed, wearing the same shirt for the third consecutive day. The depression was increasing making him unaware of just how careless he was becoming.
Brad arrived at work and retrieved his mail from his box. There was letter from the Review Board that made the decisions regarding detective promotions. He hurriedly opened the letter.
Dear Mr. Adams,
Thank you for your application for rank of Detective, Grade 1 with the Dallas Police Department. However we regret to inform you that at this time we have made our choices for this class of detective candidates and your name was not chosen. We encourage you to reapply for the next class of detective candidates in six months.
Department Review Board
Brad was seething with anger as he finished reading the letter.
'Walker, I know you had something to do
with this.‘ said Brad to himself his rage
increasing with every thought. ‘You just couldn’t be happy with taking
away my dream of becoming a Texas Ranger you now had to stomp on my detective
dreams also. You will pay for what you have done to me. You are living
the dream life Walker, a great Texas Ranger, a gorgeous ADA wife, a beautiful
little girl and now a son on the way. Well Walker, get ready for
that dream to end. You don’t deserve to have everything when some people
have nothing! You can’t take someone’s dreams away and expect to live
yours. I will get you Ranger Walker!! '
“Walker we need to get up and get ready for work, we are going to be late.” said Alex.
“I know Alex but this has always been one of my favorite things to do.” said Walker as he rubbed the cocoa butter across Alex’s increasingly larger belly. “When you first started using this stuff when you were pregnant with Angela to help with stretch marks I was amused, but it really worked and I just love rubbing it in. I love feeling the baby move and kick as I do it. He really seems to enjoy it.”
Alex was in her sixth month of pregnancy now and really showing. “I thought Angela was going to be the kick boxer in the family but this baby kicks more than she ever did. I hope he isn’t this active when he gets here, I will never get any rest.” laughed Alex.
“He’s a boy honey what do you expect? He will have his black belt by the time he is six months old.” laughed Walker as he placed his hand on Alex’s abdomen feeling the baby give a good kick.
“There you go so son. Throw that leg higher you will get more power.” said Walker with his mouth close to his son’s cozy home.
“WALKER! He kicks with enough power now without instructions from you. I don’t think you would be so quick to give lessons if he was kicking you.” exclaimed Alex.
Walker pulled Alex up from the bed and wrapped his arms around her. “Sometimes I get jealous that you have this special bond with him by carrying him. I know I can feel him kick but I know it is a lot different for you physically and emotionally.” Walker said.
“Well honey, any time you want to carry him around for a while just let me know I would be happy to oblige.” laughed Alex. “Honey it is amazing though feeling him move. I was overwhelmed when I felt Angela but it is just as amazing this time. I wish it was something you could experience once.”
“Me too. I love you so much Alex. I am still amazed that you chose this rough, unrefined cowboy to love and have children with.”
“I love you too very much too. I happen to love this rough cowboy and I think you are fine, not unrefined.” purred Alex as she ran her fingers down well defined chest. “I would not have chosen anyone else to have babies with Cowboy!” Alex pulled Walker’s head down to her lips and gave him a passionate kiss.
“Oh God Alex I would love to continue this but we have got to get dressed.” said Walker feeling himself becoming very aroused but continuing to return Alex’s kiss. They continued to kiss as Walker laid Alex back down on the bed. Just as things were really beginning to heat up and the Walkers knew they were going to be late, they heard a voice…
“DA….DDDDDY!” yelled Angela now wide awake.
Walker got up from the bed and helped Alex up. “Well I will go shower you go get the little mood breaker!” laughed Alex as she headed to the bathroom.
“Oh the mood is not broken honey, just postponed.” replied Walker as he headed down the hall to his daughter’s room.
“Good morning Angel.” Walker said as he lifted the curly blond headed little girl out of her crib. “I need to teach you about timing. You ready for breakfast? Let’s go fix mommy and you something to eat.”
Walker carried Angela out of her room and down the stairs to start breakfast, feeling confident that their lives seemed to becoming more stress free as the days passed. Trivette may have been right about the guy playing games with his family. It had been over two months since Angela’s birthday and the last package. Maybe he had gotten tired of the game and moved on to something else. Whatever it was Walker was thankful that the letters had stopped. In approximately three months he and Alex would have a new son. He had something he never thought he would have again, a real family. Alex and Angela were beyond what he had dreamed for himself and now a son. Dreams really do come true.
Unbeknownst to Walker, there was someone in Dallas at that moment who no longer believed in dreams and who wanted to make sure no one else’s dreams came true either, especially the dreams of Ranger Cordell Walker.
Brad knew he had to keep up with his so called job as a Dallas Police officer at least for the time being. As much as he now hated it, but it was the only way that would keep him in a position to carry out his vendetta against the mighty Cordell Walker. He intended to get as much information as possible to revive his game. His game plan had changed now that Ranger Walker had kept him from getting the detective position.
Brad didn’t just want to play a game with the Ranger now, he intended to win the game. He would show everyone that Ranger Walker was not the almighty man everyone thought he was. He would prove that he was mightier.
“Adams, wake up!” I need you to take this papers over to Ranger Headquarters.” yelled the lieutenant.
“Sorry sir. I will get those over there now.” Brad said with a smile on his face knowing his plans were now being set in motion.
“Brad I don’t know what is going on with you. I know you are disappointed with not making the detective list this go round. If you don’t get your head back in the game you won’t make the list next time. You have what it takes Brad you just have to wait your turn.” said Lieutenant Daly.
“Yes sir. I plan to turn things around real soon.” answered Brad.
“Good I hope you do.” said Lieutenant Daly.
‘Oh I will don’t you worry, but not in
the way you are talking about.’ thought Brad. ‘I
had my chance at detective but someone ruined that just the way they ruined my
chance of being a Texas Ranger and that person will pay.’
Brad walked out of the precinct heading for Ranger Headquarters.
‘Let the games begin!’ whispered Brad. ‘And I WILL be the winner.'
“Trivette have we got the lab reports back on the Morales case? Walker asked.
“Mary just called and said they were ready to pick up. I told her I would be down shortly to pick them up.” answered Trivette.
“Great. Maybe we can get those warrants and pick him up. He is slippery as an eel. Everything we have tried to charge him with he has gotten out of. Hopefully the lab reports will be the sticking point this time.” said Walker.
Trivette stood up and walked over to Walker’s desk. “I will go get the reports now. You want to grab some lunch when I get back?” asked Trivette.
“I’m going to call Alex and see if she wants to go to Café Marina. She’s been really tired and not feeling attractive lately. I want to take her out to a nice lunch.”
“Alex, not attractive? Even pregnant she is still beautiful.” said Trivette.
“I know that Trivette and you know that but that is how Alex feels. You will learn about these pregnancy hormones when Erica gets pregnant. Believe me Trivette, you will learn more than you ever wanted to know.” laughed Walker.
Walker and Trivette continued to talk, neither one noticing Brad had walked into Headquarters a few minutes earlier. People were in and out of Headquarters all day long so anyone that looked like they belonged there, especially if they were in police uniform, didn’t get a second look.
‘So you’re taking your wife to Café Marina. I have always wanted to eat lunch there.’ thought Brad as he stood listening to Walker and his partner talk.
“Okay partner. Have a good lunch with your wife, tell her she is beautiful. I think I will call Erica and see if she wants to go grab a bite. I will see you back here after lunch and we will go over the lab reports.” said Trivette and turned to leave the office.
Walker picked up the phone and dialed Alex’s office number.
“Alex Walker.” answered Alex.
“Hi sweetheart.” said Walker.
“How do you feel about going to Café Marina for lunch?” asked Walker.
“That sounds great. What’s the occasion?” asked Alex.
“I just want to take my beautiful wife out for a nice lunch.”
“I see. Trying to make your pregnant, not feeling so attractive, wife feel better by taking her to lunch.” said Alex.
“I want to take my gorgeous wife out to lunch, pregnant or not.” said Walker.
“I would be happy to go and thank you for thinking I am gorgeous even when I don’t feel like I am. What time do you want to go?”
“I will come down to your office in about 30 minutes, can you be ready by then?” asked Walker.
“Absolutely. I have a light day today so I will be ready. See you then. Love you.”
“Love you too.” said Walker as he hung up the phone.
‘Oh how sweet.’ thought Brad sarcastically. ‘She probably thinks you are the perfect husband. If she only knew how you ruin people’s dreams, she wouldn’t think you were so great then would she Walker?’
Walker finished up the paper work on his desk before standing up to get his hat to go meet Alex. As he walked towards the door one of the secretaries bumped into him, grabbing his arm to keep from falling.
“ I am so sorry Ranger Walker. I was reading this report and wasn’t paying attention.”
“No problem Denise. I was thinking about something else and wasn’t paying attention either.” replied Walker.
“How is Alex doing? She looked great this morning when I saw her. Just a few more months right?
“She is doing great. Getting bigger everyday. We have about 3 more months.”
“That’s wonderful. Tell her I said hi when you see her.” said Denise.
“I will. I am on my to meet her for lunch now. Thanks for asking.” said Walker as he walked out the door on his way to Alex’s office.
‘Perfect.’ thought Brad glad that he had to wait
on the paperwork he brought over. ‘Now I need to get to Café Marina to
enjoy a great and hopefully informative lunch.’
“This is great darling. Thanks for bringing me here today.” said Alex.
“You’re welcome honey. I love having lunch with my wife.” replied Walker.
“Well I love having lunch with my husband too. I wish our schedules coincided better so that we could do this more often. I will be really busy the next couples of months trying to tie things up before I take my maternity leave.”
“Are you still planning to take off two weeks before your due date if everything keeps going smoothly?” asked Walker.
“That is my plan. We still haven’t decided if we are going to do a planned c-section or just wait for me to go into labor and have the baby naturally. I told Dr. Bates we would decide pretty soon.”
“What do you want to do sweetheart. I think you need to make the decision since you will be the one going though surgery or labor.”
“We will be going through it together. You are still planning to be there aren’t you? I know last time everything went so fast and with all the problems you couldn’t be in the delivery room. This time I really want you to be there.” said Alex.
“Yes I still plan to be there. I am a little nervous but I don’t want to miss it this time. So which would you rather do Alex?”
“I don’t know Walker. I really don’t want to have a c-section again but it seems safer after just having one so soon. Dr. Bates said she didn’t see a problem with trying to have the baby after going into labor and if we encountered any problems she would go ahead and do the c-section.”
“Whichever one you want to do Alex is okay with me as long as you and the baby are fine.” said Walker.
“I missed the whole labor thing the first time. I think I want to experience that. I feel like I missed something with Angela. They put me to sleep and when I woke up she was here. I missed her first cry, I missed immediately seeing her, I missed them laying her on my chest…..” Alex said as she started to cry.
“It’s okay sweetheart. You won’t miss it this time. You will hear our son cry for the first time, you will see him as soon as he is born and I’ll make sure Dr. Bates lays him on your chest. I want this to be a much better experience than last time, but we have a beautiful, healthy daughter though and that is what is important.” said Walker. “I won’t like seeing you in pain, I didn’t the first time.”
“Thank you honey. I promise not to squeeze your hand too hard.” Alex laughed. “Now we need to talk about names. Since we know it’s a boy it should be easier this time not picking two names although we didn‘t use either one of them!”
“Alex I know you have your heart set on his middle name being Cordell, but I not really happy about that.” said Walker.
“Why not? I love your name. I really want our son to have your name.”
“Honey I don’t want him to feel like he has to live up to some standard. If his name is something Cordell Walker everyone will always compare him to me.”
“You’re his father. How can it be bad for him to be compared to you.” asked Alex disappointed.
“I just want him to have his own life. I don’t want him to feel pressured to be a Ranger just because I was and because he has Cordell Walker in his name. I know that may sound egotistical for me to think I have this great name, but I just want our son to be able to choose what he wants to do and what he wants to be on his own.”
“You do have a great name honey. You have done great work in this state and your name is well known. That is why I want your son to have your name, not for egotistical reasons. I want him to always be proud of who he is and who his father is. I am proud of you too.” countered Alex.
“I am proud of my work here and what I have accomplished. I just don’t want our son to feel pressured by that in any way. Let’s compromise and use my middle name for his middle name, John. That way he will be named after me and my father.” said Walker.
“Okay we can do that. Although I still like the name Cordell for his middle name I understand your reasons. So we have a middle name, what about his first name?” asked Alex.
“Well I have been thinking about that and there is one name that I really like but I don’t know how you will feel about it. Although after I tell you I think you will find it pretty funny given the speech I just gave you about my name.”
“What name is that darling?” asked Alex smiling, believing she already knew the name Walker was thinking of.
“Cooper. You know after Hayes Cooper?” said Walker wondering what Alex’s reaction would be.
Alex started laughing.
“What is so funny Alex?”
“I knew that was the name you were going to pick and it was the name I was going to suggest to you. We actually agree, how about that? Although I do find it pretty funny after your speech about not naming him Cordell Walker. You know we could name him Cooper Cordell Walker. Now that would be a name to live up to.” quipped Alex.
“I think Cooper John Walker is just fine. Definitely not Cooper Cordell, I would never do that to him!”
“We agreed so easily I can’t believe it. So it is settled then? Cooper John Walker?” asked Alex.
“Cooper John Walker. I like it. How about you Cooper?” Walker asked as he placed his hand on Alex’s stomach just as the baby gave a swift hard kick to her left side.”
“Ohhh!!” Alex groaned as she rubbed the place where the baby kicked. “Maybe we need to name him Bruce Lee Walker the way he kicks.”
“Hey watch your mouth. I have a pretty good kick myself, we don’t need to name him after some other martial artist. I‘m hurt.” said Walker trying to pout.
“Oh honey, now I didn’t mean to bruise your ego.” Alex said as she placed her hand on the side of his face. “You do have a good kick and so does your son, that hurt.”
“Are you okay?” Walker asked suddenly concerned that it may have been more than a kick.
“Yes honey, I am fine. He just is a little overactive today and he can kick hard. I am not in labor or anything. We still have quiet a few weeks until that time. We need to make sure we watch his legs when he gets here.” laughed Alex.
They finished eating their lunch and left as soon as Walker paid the bill not realizing that Brad Adams, the man responsible for their mysterious packages was sitting on the other side of the planter boxes listening to every word they said.
‘This is great.’ thought Brad. ‘I have lots of information to start my next package. From here on out Ranger Walker this game just got personal. I have nothing left but this game and I intend to win at all costs.
“Adams where have you been?” bellowed Lieutenant Daly as Brad walked into the precinct office. “Dispatch said you were out of your car for almost an hour.”
“I wasn’t feeling well sir. I pulled over in a convenience store and got something to drink and some crackers. While I was in there the clerk started telling me about some suspicious characters that have been in and out of his store lately. He was thinking they may be casing his place. I guess the time got away from me.” lied Brad, not really caring if his superior believed him or not.
“Did you make a report?” asked the lieutenant.
“No sir. He was really vague on his descriptions and they kept changing as did his story. I thought I would just make a note to drive by occasionally and let the next crew know the details.” said Brad, not wanting his lie to be written down on paper in case someone decided to check.
“Okay Adams. But I want a report if you get any more complaints from him or you see anyone that fits any of his descriptions.” said Daly.
“Yes sir.” replied Brad glad that the lieutenant was dropping the subject. He didn’t want anything to get in the way of his game and the plans he had.
When Brad arrived home after his shift, he sat down and started composing his letter for the continuation of the game he had started with Walker. ‘What you got before Walker was just a prelude to the game. Now we will begin in earnest. Let the games begin.’
Wednesday morning Walker and Alex arrived at work. When they got to Alex’s office door Walker kissed Alex tenderly on the lips. “Have a good day sweetheart.” he said.
“I will, you too.” said Alex as she opened the door, entered her office and walked towards her desk.
“Good morning Ranger Walker.”
“Good morning Dana. How…” started Walker but before he could finish he heard Alex scream.
He burst through her office door and saw Alex standing behind her desk crying and pointing. There on her desk was a manila envelope addressed:
Personal and Confidential
“Oh my God Walker, it has started again. Why after all this time? Why is it addressed to me and not you?” asked Alex through her tears.
“Dana, Ranger Headquarters and tell Trivette to get down here now.”
“Yes sir.” Dana said as she went to her desk to call Trivette.
“I don’t know Alex. When Trivette gets here I will open the letter. I don’t want you to touch it.”
“Okay.” Alex answered weakly.
A few minutes later Trivette came running into Alex’s office.
“What is it Walker? What is so urgent?” asked Trivette out of air having taken the stairs two at a time not wanting to wait on an elevator.
“Another letter, this time addressed to Alex.” answered Walker pointing to the envelope on Alex’s desk.
“No man. I thought this was over. Now he starts back up but sends the letter to Alex instead of you? He has changed his game.” said Trivette.
“I know Trivette and that worries me.” said Walker and hears Alex starting to cry harder having sat down in her desk chair when Trivette came in.
Walker kneeled down in front of Alex and lifted her chin to look into her eyes. “Everything is going to be fine Alex, I promise.”
“I just thought this was over. Everything has been so peaceful and pretty stress free the last two and a half months. Why does our lives have to be one crisis after another?” Alex asked knowing that Walker didn’t really have an answer for her.
“Look at everything we have been through since we have known each other, Victor LaRue not once, but three times, Max Kale, Caleb Hooks and Karl Storm just to mention a few. We have always come out on top no matter what they threw at us. We have always been stronger in the end.” Walker said trying to calm Alex.
“I know but I just wish we could have some long stretches of peace, especially now that we have children. Before it was just you and me but now Angela and the baby are involved.” said Alex wiping her tears.
“I don’t like it either Alex, especially with children involved. But this guy will slip up and I will catch him. If he is changing his game plan maybe he will get sloppy and leave a clue.” said Walker.
“Me too, Walker. Me too.”
Walker reached for the envelope and opened it up. Inside was only a letter, no picture.
“No picture this time Walker?” questioned Trivette.
“No just the letter. Maybe this is an apology letter saying he was finished with the game.” laughed Walker trying to make Alex feel better but knowing that the game was not finished.
Alex and Trivette smiled, also both knowing the game was not over.
Walker started reading the letter to himself not believing what he was seeing. The more he read the angrier he got. “The son of a….” Walker said stopping before completing his thought.
“What does it say?” asked Alex.
Walker looked up at Trivette with anger, fear and despair in his eyes. ‘It must be bad.’ thought Trivette.
With much trepidation, Walker handed the letter to Alex then turned to look at Trivette.
Alex started reading the letter:
Mrs. Walker or can I call you Alex. You are such a beautiful woman. Too bad your husband doesn’t think so now that you are pregnant. You should really keep a better eye on him too. That little red head in his office is becoming a little too cozy with him, her hands all over him. Then him telling her how big you are getting everyday. What a shame. I would never talk about my wife that way if I thought she was beautiful and especially if she were carrying my baby.
Don’t you wonder why he doesn’t want your baby named after him? Seems a little suspicious if you ask me. Maybe he plans on taking off with the red head and leaving you with a baby to raise not wanting his son to have any name ties to him. Just some food for thought Alex.
“Walker what is he talking about? What red head?” asked Alex very angry.
“Alex I don’t know what he is talking about. I think there are a couple of women with reddish hair in our office but I have never really paid attention.” answered Walker.
“Well I think you sure would remember her having her hands all over you or is that such a common occurrence that you can’t remember. Or telling her how fat I am getting everyday?” Alex said sarcastically.
“Alex! How could you even think I would allow that to happen. I love you. If something like that would have happened I would have told you. I don’t keep things from you and you know that.” Walker countered, floored that Alex was even thinking these things were true.
“Walker this guy has known things that are going on before anyone else and has always been right. Why would he start making up things now?” Alex asked.
Walker stepped towards Alex and put his hands on both her arms looking straight in her eyes. “Alex I don’t know. I promise you one thing, nothing has or will ever happen between me and any other woman. There will NEVER be anyone else in my life but you. I love you so much and I would not jeopardize our family.” Walker laid his right hand on Alex’s stomach. “And this is not fat, it is our son. You are as beautiful to me today as you were on our wedding day.”
Alex started sobbing. Walker took her in his arms and hugged her until she stopped.
“I am so sorry Walker. I know that you love me and I know that you would never hurt me by being with another woman. These letters starting back up, hormones, I am just crazy right now. I love you and trust you completely. Please forgive me?” asked Alex.
“Honey, I could never stay mad at you. I understand how you feel. I am mad about this letter too and this guy’s attempt to turn you against me. We just need to figure out what he is talking about and maybe we can get a lead. Let’s sit down and read over the letter again and see if we can read between the lines and find a clue, okay.”
“Okay. I am sorry Walker.” said Alex as she sat down on the couch in her office. Trivette had left the room earlier when she started berating Walker about the letter and he returned as they started reading the letter again.
“Sorry Jimmy that you had to hear my jealous hormonal raging at my husband. I know he would never hurt me like that but emotions just got the best of me.” said Alex.
“No problem Al. Walker has been educating me on pregnant woman and when to duck and cover. It will all come in handy when Erica gets pregnant.” laughed Trivette.
“So you have been educating him on when to duck and cover huh? Well you didn’t take your own advice a few minutes ago when I started in on you.” said Alex.
“Well I need to teach him about compassion and understanding too when it comes to beautiful, pregnant wives.” Walker said as he leaned over and kissed Alex on the cheek as tears welled up in her eyes.
“Thank you sweetheart.” Alex said, unable to say anything else.
“Okay let’s see if we can pick this letter apart and get a clue as to where our mystery guy has been. I just don’t know what he is talking about the red head being all over me. No one in the office has acted inappropriately at all.” said Walker puzzled.
“The part about you not wanting the baby being named after you. Remember we had a discussion about that the other day at Café Marina. Could he have been sitting somewhere around us and heard our conversation? That is the only time we have really talked about it.” questioned Alex.
“I hate the thought, but that has to be it. There are a lot of plants and things between tables there where someone could listen to conversations but not really be noticed.” answered Walker.
“You’re right there are sweetheart. I sure hate that he heard our whole conversation. Not that we said anything secretive or anything.” said Alex.
Walker, Alex and Trivette sat there looking at the letter, all three deep in their own thoughts.
Walker suddenly jumped up. “He was in our office Trivette! Alex. The day we were going to Café Marina, I picked up my hat, I was walking towards the door thinking of you not really paying attention when Denise, one of our clerks bumped into me. She grabbed my arm to keep from falling. She apologized for running into me and then she asked how you were doing and said something about you not having much longer to go. I told her you were doing great, getting bigger everyday. I didn’t mean you were getting fatter, I meant the baby was growing fast and you didn’t have long to go. He had to be there and witness the exchange. Then he used that to spin a story to make you mad. Denise has reddish hair and she did grab my arm to keep from falling. I’m sorry I said you were getting bigger everyday, but I didn’t mean it in the way he put it in his letter. I’m sorry Alex.”
“That had to be it darling. I forgive you for saying I was getting bigger everyday, I understand what you meant. He did take a simple meaningless exchange and try to use it to drive a wedge between us. I’m sorry again Walker for ever doubting you and believing the letter, even for a moment.” said Alex with fresh tears in her eyes.
“It’s okay darling. I understand how you were feeling. I definitely forgive you and love you.” replied Walker.
“Partner, this guy has to be someone we know or someone that belongs in our office. He would have been noticed by now putting the notes on your desk or hanging around long enough to see and hear the exchange between you and Denise. Whoever it is, people are comfortable with him being around. I say it has to be a police officer or another Ranger. I know we don’t want to believe that, but it is the only way this plays out.” said Trivette.
“Well as much as I hate to admit it, I believe you are right. If he is a police officer or Ranger, he could have easily taken the picture of Angela at the Hope Center without anyone paying any attention to him. Policemen are there all the time. Problem is, it still doesn’t give us a clue as to who.” said Walker.
“We need to start making notes of who is in our office without drawing attention to what we are doing. Try to write down every officer that comes in. Maybe with the next letter we will be able to narrow it down substantially.” said Trivette.
“That sounds like a plan. I will call Josie and have her do the same at the Hope Center, although we don’t know if he has been back there or not.” added Walker.
“Honey, are you going to be alright if Trivette and I go back to our office?” asked Walker concerned that Alex might still be upset.
“I’m fine darling. I have some work to finish up here and as soon as you are ready to go let me know since we rode together today.” answered Alex.
“Alright, I will call you when I am ready to go. I want to call Josie and work out a plan with Trivette on keeping track of everyone that comes into our office. Why don’t you do that here to. It won’t be as hard for you to be discreet since you don’t have that many people in and out of here all day.”
“Okay Walker I can do that.” said Alex.
“Bye. I’ll call you later.” said Walker as he and Trivette left Alex’s office.
‘Well I wonder if the Walker’s are still a happily married couple. Alex Walker should have read my letter about her unfaithful husband by now. What do you think of your mighty husband now?’ thought Brad. The depression was taking a toll on his mind now. He was starting to believe that the scene between Walker and his clerk really had been some sorted affair instead of a simple bump into each other.
‘Are your dreams starting to unravel Walker? Can you see them ending just like mine did? You ended my dreams and I will end yours. My game has just begun.’
“Good morning sleepy head.” said Walker leaning down to kiss his wife as she woke up.
“Good morning.” said Alex as she started to sit up in bed. “What is this?”
“Breakfast in bed. I thought you deserved it this morning.” answered Walker.
“And what did I do to deserve it. If I remember correctly, I fell asleep last night before you ever got out of the shower and came to bed.” Alex laughed.
“You did and I enjoyed watching you sleep. But you deserve it because you are my gorgeous wife and in two months you will give birth to my son.” replied Walker.
“Well thank you darling. You are right, I am seven months today. It seems to go so fast at times and at other times it seems like I have been pregnant forever.” laughed Alex.
“I know I feel that way too. Sometimes I can’t wait for him to get here and at other times I feel I need a little more time to get ready.” Walker laughed in return.
Walker laid across the bed while Alex ate her breakfast. He loved watching her and never stopped wondering what he did to deserve her.
“How about I go get angel face ready for the day while you shower, I showered before I fixed your breakfast. We need to take two cars today. I have a 5:00 meeting with the Commander and I don’t know how long I will be.” said Walker.
“That’s fine.” said Alex. “I have a light schedule today so I may leave a little early. I have a few things I want do before the baby gets here, like stock up on diapers and things like that. If I do a little at a time it will be easier.”
“Take it easy. If you need me to do anything just let me know. I plan on finishing the baby’s room this weekend so don’t go in there yet. I want to surprise you. Whatever you pick up just put in Angela’s room or in here until I am finished. Understand?” warned Walker playfully.
“Yes sir.” laughed Alex.
“I mean it Alex. I want you to be surprised like you were with Angela’s room.”
“I want to be surprised. I loved when you first took me in her room when you finished and I can’t wait to see Cooper’s room.”
“Cooper’s room. That sounds great doesn’t it.” asked Walker.
“Yes, it sounds wonderful. He is no longer “the baby” he has a name. Cooper John Walker. I love it.”
Alex went to take a shower and Walker went to get Angela dressed and fed. Each with their own thoughts about husbands, wives, sons, daughters and family.
Walker looked at his watch. It was 5:45 and he couldn’t wait for this meeting to be over so he could get home to Alex and Angela. He looked forward to his evenings with his wife and daughter. He enjoyed his daughter and daddy time at night before Angela went to bed. Then he could enjoy his husband and wife time with Alex.
Commander Briscoe continued talking about new procedures and new policies. As he started talking about the new procedure for interrogations, his phone buzzed. Agitated because his secretary knew she was not to disturb the meeting, he answered gruffly, “YES.”
“Sorry Commander Briscoe. I have Josie Martin on the line for Ranger Walker. She says it is very important.” his secretary relayed the message as Commander Briscoe gave Walker a hard look.
Walker looked at his watch again, 5:50. What was Josie calling about at this time of day that is so important. Maybe someone came into the Hope Center that worried her.
“Sorry Commander, I really need to take this.” said Walker.
“Go ahead Walker, but hurry back. We have a few more things to talk about.” said the Commander.
Walker opened the door to the Commander’s office and stepped out into the waiting area. He reached for the phone as the Commander’s secretary pressed the line that Josie was on.
“Josie, this is Walker. What going on?”
“Walker. Were you supposed to pick up Angela this afternoon? She is still here and I tried Alex on her cell but she is not answering. I thought maybe she had a deposition and you were picking Angela up.” said Josie.
Walker felt like his heart stopped. He had to catch his breath as a wave of panic washed over him.
“No Josie. Alex was picking her up. She said she was going to try to leave a little early today and run some errands. I’ve been in a meeting since 5:00 and I told Alex I didn’t know what time I would get away.” said Walker trying to think of all the reasons why Alex had not picked their daughter up yet. All of the reasons he could think of made him panic even more. “Josie will you take care of Angela until I can get back to you. I am going to try to track Alex down and find out why she hasn’t been there yet. I will call you as soon as I know something.”
“No problem Walker. You know I love Angela and will take care of her any time. Alex probably lost track of time running her errands knowing you were going to be tied up a while.” said Josie trying to ease Walker’s fears.
“Yeah probably so Josie. One of us should be there shortly.” answered Walker not believing a word of what he just said. Alex didn’t lose track of time and always answered her cell phone, especially if Josie from calling from the Center.
Walker hung up the phone and stood staring at the Commander’s door. There had to be some easy explanation of why Alex had not picked Angela up. Walker kept thinking of all the reasons she was late. He reached over and picked up the phone again to call Alex’s office. The phone rang but no one picked up.
“Tell Commander Briscoe I had to run down to my wife’s office for a minute.” said Walker to the Commander’s secretary.
Walker ran to Alex’s office hoping she was there, but knowing she wasn’t. Everyone was gone for the day. He used the key he had to Alex’s office to let himself in. Everything was neat and in order just as Alex usually left it when she went home. He walked over to her Rolodex to find her secretary’s home number. He would call and find out what time Alex left this afternoon and start from there. He found Susan’s number and dialed it.
“Hello.” Susan answered.
“Susan, this is Ranger Walker.”
“Oh hi Ranger Walker.” Susan said wondering why her boss’s husband was calling her at home. “What can I do for you?”
“Susan what time did Alex leave this afternoon?” Walker asked trying to calm himself. “About 3:30. She said she was going to pick up Angela and run some errands. Why, is something wrong?” asked Susan as her heart started beating faster.
Walker put his hands on Alex’s desk to steady himself. She left 2 ½ hours ago to pick up Angela and she hadn’t been there yet. Something was wrong, terribly wrong. He was kicking himself for not putting guards back on Alex after receiving the newest letter yesterday.
“Ranger Walker, please. Is something wrong. Where is Alex?” pleaded Susan.
“Susan I’m sorry.” Walker said realizing he hadn’t said anything. “Josie called from the Hope Center and said Alex had not picked Angela up yet. Did Alex say anything about where she was going specifically?”
“No, Ranger Walker, she didn‘t. Where can she be? Can I do anything to help?” asked Susan.
“I need to go Susan. I will call you when I know something.” Walker said hanging up before Susan could say anything else.
He leaned on Alex’s desk trying to compose himself and breath. ‘Alex where are you? Hold on baby I will find you wherever you are.’ Walker cried to himself as he took off running down the hall and burst into Commander Briscoe’s office.
“Alex is missing! I need everyone’s help!”
Alex had no idea where she was or how long she had been there. She knew her eyes were covered with a blindfold and that she was sitting in a straight back cushioned chair with her hands tied behind her back. She also believed she was in some type of large empty room judging by the hollow echoes she heard when she moved. She was fairly comfortable but knew she would need to go to the bathroom shortly.
She remembered leaving work and walking out to her Durango in the parking garage. She had gotten in and shut the door when someone from behind covered her nose and mouth with a rag. The next thing she remembered was coming to where she now was.
‘I’m not going to panic. Walker will find out I am missing and look for me. Josie will call him when I don’t pick up Angela.’ Alex said to herself.
“Well, well Mrs. Walker, or should I call you Alex, you are finally awake.” said Brad.
“Who are you and why am I here.” asked Alex becoming frightened now.
“Oh you’ve seen me before but you probably don’t know who I am. Your almighty Ranger husband knows me though. See he has taken away several of my dreams and I plan to take away his.” answered Brad.
“Please don’t hurt my baby he has nothing to do with this.” pleaded Alex knowing that she would do everything in her power to protect her unborn son.
“Ah, but Mrs. Walker he does. Ranger Walker’s son is part of his dream, his dream family. You know I have always wanted a son. Maybe I will just take the Ranger’s dream, make his son mine.” said Brad toying with Alex.
“Walker will NEVER let that happen.” Alex said.
“Well right now it looks like I have the upper hand. But actually you and your son are just part of the game I am playing with your husband. I don’t plan to hurt you or your son, it is your husband I want.” said Brad.
“Why are you playing this “game”? What has my husband done to you?” asked Alex trying to understand exactly what was going on.
“He took away a dream I had. Then when I thought I had moved past that, he took away another dream.” Brad answered.
“What dream?” asked Alex.
“That will have to be my secret for now. If I told you I would compromise the game. Just sit back and get comfortable until my next move is in place.” said Brad.
“Please. Can I use the restroom? My back is hurting too. If I walk around for a minute it will get better.” asked Alex, trying to think of some way out of the situation she was in. She knew there wasn’t much she could do at this point without jeopardizing the baby. If she could just figure out where she was…
Brad looked around. “Okay. I will take you to the bathroom. Your walk to and from there should take care of your back. Just don’t try anything or I promise you, I will kill you and your baby.” said Brad.
“Thank you. I promise I won’t try anything. I don’t want my baby hurt.” said Alex not knowing if the guy was bluffing but she didn’t intend to take any chances.
Brad untied Alex’s hand but left the blindfold in place. He led her across the floor to the bathroom. “Here is the door. Do not take the blindfold off, just feel your way around.” he said.
“How am I supposed to do that without hurting myself?” asked Alex.
“Either feel your way around or I’ll take you back and tie you up.” Brad said angrily. He knew Alex Walker was a very smart woman and he wasn’t going to take a chance that she was looking for a way to outsmart him.
“Okay! I will feel my way around. I really need to go.” Alex said knowing that she couldn’t wait. She felt for the door and walked in. When she was done she walked slowly back towards the door feeling around her as she walked. She thought about lifting the blindfold but decided she could not take the chance.
“Very good Mrs. Walker. Thank you for following my rules. I don’t want to hurt you but I will if I have to.” Brad said as he led Alex back to the chair and sat her down. “Put your arms behind you so I can tie them back”
“How long are you going to keep me here?” asked Alex.
“Well if your husband plays by the rules of the game it shouldn’t be that long.” answered Brad.
“I really need to eat something, I haven‘t eaten since lunch and I am not feeling too good.” Alex said not really that hungry but trying get the guy to talk. She thought she recognized the voice. She was almost certain she had heard it before. She knew it wasn’t any of their friends or anyone from her or Walker’s office. In her line of work listening and remembering voices was important and she was good at it.
“I’ll see what I can find. I don’t have long before the next move in the game with your husband.” Brad said as he left the room to find something for Alex to eat.
‘I know I have heard that voice before but I can’t remember where. Think Alex, think.’ Alex said to herself.
Brad walked back into the room and untied Alex’s hands. “Here is a bag of chips and a Coke. It was all I could find. Don’t try anything or as I said before, I will kill you and your baby. Hurry up too, I need to get out of here.”
Alex ate the chips and drank half the Coke. She had not had any caffeine during her pregnancy but decided she did need to drink something and half a can of Coke wasn’t going to hurt anything. When she was finished she sensed Brad walking behind her.
“Put your hands behind you, I need to retie them.” Brad said as Alex complied and he retied her hands. “I’m leaving now. You shouldn’t be here that much longer if everything goes according to plans. If not, well someone will find you someday.”
Alex could feel tears welling up in her eyes. She had no idea what his plans were or who was supposed to find her. She heard a door shut. It sounded like a rolling door at a mechanics shop. Was she in some kind of industrial area or some type of shop? If he said someone would find her one day if things did not go according to plan did that mean she was in some type of abandoned building.
Alex was started to panic, but knew that was not good. She needed to think good thoughts and stay calm, that was best for the baby.
“Walker will find me, he always does is situations like this.” Alex said out loud trying to calm herself. She started to laugh. “It’s pretty sad when situations like this happen so often that I can make a statement like that.”
She started thinking of all the times that Walker had rescued her. The time with Rev. Bodie when she had kissed Walker after he found her in the compound and the time with Victor LaRue when he had kidnapped her and an oil executive along with several other people. He had held her until she got her bearings back after saving her from the car crusher. She also remembered the time with Max Kale. She had been strapped to a bomb and Walker saved her by cutting the wires to the bomb. He had kissed her before cutting the wire. There were so many others. She smiled thinking about how all those times involved either big hugs or kisses and many before they were even a couple.
She also thought about other times with Walker, like their time on the river before everything feel apart. It was the first time they had slept together, it had been everything she had imagined and more. The time they went to Indian Wells and posed as a married couple to help C.D. She had hoped that the time would show Walker how good it felt to be a married couple. They’d had some really great times.
The past couple of years had been even more than she had dreamed of. The wedding, honeymooning in Paris, the birth of their daughter then finding out they were having a son. Alex took a deep breath. She was starting to panic again, tears starting to trickle down her cheeks.
“Relax Alex. Walker will find you. He has to know by now that you are missing. If nothing else, Josie would have called him when you didn’t pick up Angela.” Alex said talking to herself thinking about her blond haired, blue eyed daughter.
She dropped her covered eyes down, looking towards her stomach, “Daddy will find us. He loves you very much even if he can’t hold you or see you right now. Your daddy will always protect you.” Alex whispered to her unborn son, tears now flowing unchecked down her face.
Captain Briscoe’s office
“Walker. What do you mean Alex is missing?” asked Trivette.
“That was Josie on the phone. Alex has not picked up Angela. I called Alex’s secretary Susan and she said Alex left at 3:30 to pick her up and run some errands.” answered Walker.
“Maybe she decided to run her errands and then pick up Angela.” countered Trivette.
“Josie said she tried to call Alex’s cell phone but she didn’t answer. I tried to call her cell phone also and it just rang. I left a message when her voice mail picked up. Trivette, Alex would answer my call and Josie’s call especially if she were just running errands. The only time she doesn’t answer is if she is in court or a meeting but then she always lets me and Josie know in case something happens with Angela.” Walker said becoming more frightened and angry.
“Waters, run down to the parking garage, second level, parking space C3. See if Walker’s white Dodge Durango is there. His wife drives it. If it isn’t there see if you find any sign of a struggle. If it is there look for the same thing.” Trivette instructed another Ranger.
“Yes sir, be right back.” answered the Ranger.
“Thanks Trivette.” said Walker.
“Walker whatever you need just let me know. We will get everyone on this. We’ll find Alex.” said Captain Briscoe.
“Thank you sir, I really appreciate it.”
A few minutes later Ranger Waters returned to let them know Alex’s Durango was not in the parking garage and there was no sign of a struggle. He had found nothing.
“Let’s get back our office. I need to start making some phone calls.” said Walker.
Ranger Headquarters’ office
Walker and Trivette walk into their office, both grabbing a cup of coffee before sitting down to make preliminary phone calls.
“I’m going to call the State Troopers to see if there have been any accidents. Can you call the sheriff’s office and city police and do the same?” Walker asked Trivette.
“Sure thing Walkman.” answered Trivette. “Walker we will find her. She and the baby will be fine. She probably just lost track of time and maybe her cell phone battery is dead and she doesn’t know it.”
Walker was making a mental note of who to call and where to start looking. If he could just remember the name of that baby store she liked to go to. He would call there and see if she had been by. He walked to his desk and as he rounded the corner he saw it sitting in the middle of his desk, the manila envelope, addressed:
Personal and Confidential
His heart sank. He had been hoping against hope that Alex’s disappearance had nothing to do with the envelopes that had been arriving over the last six months. He knew at that instant that his hopes had been dashed without even opening the package.
“Yeah man.” said Trivette sitting down at his desk to start making calls. When Walker didn’t respond, he looked over at Walker’s desk. He saw Walker standing at the corner of his desk looking down. He stood up and saw it, the manila envelope.
“Walker, you want me to open that?” asked Trivette.
“No, I need to do this.”
Walker picked up the envelope, opened it and emptied the contents on his desk. There was a picture and letter. He took a deep breath, turned the picture over and tears immediately came to his eyes. The picture was of Alex sitting in a chair with her hands obviously tied behind her back and she was blindfolded.
He sat staring at the picture, all types of emotions running rampant. He was angry at whoever had taken her and angry at himself for not foreseeing it. He was worried that this guy had already done something to her and he would never see her or their baby again. And he was scared for his little girl, what would happen to her if her mommy didn’t come home tonight. He knew he had to pull himself together. Nothing had happened to Alex, he knew it, he felt it. He would find her and she and their unborn son would be home with him and Angela.
He needed to read the letter that accompanied the picture. He unfolded it and started reading, anger rising the more he read:
Well Ranger Walker, how do you like the picture? She is beautiful isn’t she even tied up and blindfolded. I understand you like the game of chess. So is this check or check mate? I say check since I am not ready for this game to be over. I have just been having a little fun. Although I have to say, I don’t think your wife is having too much fun. Pregnant women are such high maintenance, they need to go to the bathroom and eat. Don’t you find that just a little annoying?
Would you like to have your wife back? She was so easy to take. You really should teach her to be more observant of her surroundings. You would think her being an ADA and the wife of a Ranger she would know better.
Anyway, you can find her on West Mills Street. I think I will let you figure out where. It will be more fun that way. Tell her I said hi!
Oh and Ranger Walker? The game has just begun.
“Trivette, let’s go. West Mills Street is in the industrial section. There are a lot of abandoned buildings and warehouses down there. Dispatch some other units to help us search. Also get an ambulance out there. I don’t know if Alex has been hurt or not. If she hasn’t had anything to eat or drink since this afternoon her blood sugar may be off and she and the baby could be in distress. Just have them standing by in the area so we can call them when we know what condition she is in.”
“You got it Walker.” responded Trivette as he and Walker ran out the door to the Ram.
Once they had reached the Ram, Walker sped off towards the east side of Dallas. He felt relieved that he knew where his wife was but worried because he didn’t know what condition she was in. He slammed his hand on the steering wheel.
“So help me, if she or the baby are hurt in anyway, I will kill this guy myself.” seethed Walker.
“Take it easy man. Just think positive. His letter seemed to indicate that this was just part of his game. He took Alex just to show you he could. We will find her and she will be fine, just happy to see you.” said Trivette trying to sound positive.
“She better be fine. I’m not interested in his game. He may have “won” this part of his game, but he won’t win anymore.” responded Walker. “I’m just worried about her not eating or drinking. If she doesn’t eat regularly, she doesn’t feel good. I just don’t want her to suffer in anyway because of some grudge this guy has against me. She doesn’t deserve that and neither does the baby.”
“She probably needs to go to the bathroom. I can’t get over how many times a day a pregnant woman needs to go. When we find her she will probably be more interested in that than in you Walkman.” Trivette said trying to lighten the mood.
“Yeah I know.” said Walker, appreciative of Trivette’s efforts to make him feel better. “When we get in the building, I will find Alex, you find the bathroom.”
“Sure thing man. You can count on me.” laughed Trivette praying that everything was alright with Alex and that a bathroom was the only treatment she needed.
They had been searching for a little over an hour and Walker was becoming more agitated as the time wore on. It was now a little after 10:00 p.m. He had called Josie and asked if she could keep Angela overnight. Josie was more than happy to take care of the Walkers’ daughter. She had assured Walker that Angela would be just fine and urged him to find Alex and not give up hope. That is one thing he knew he would never do, give up hope of finding Alex. She was his life and he could not lose her or their son. He had dispatched a unit to the Hope Center in case the guy decided to go after Angela too.
“Walker man, what if this is just another one of his game’s and Alex is not even around here?” asked Trivette.
“We still have several blocks of buildings to check. I believe Alex is here somewhere and we will find her. Keep looking.” said Walker.
While Walker, Trivette and the other units searched for Alex, Brad sat in his police cruiser listing to the radio. There were regular updates on the search. He knew from the last location given, the search team was getting close. He had lucked out a couple of weeks ago getting a call to check out vagrants in the area. When he had entered the warehouse, he knew it was the perfect place to hide Alex Walker. That stretch of industrial buildings had once been a booming area but the all the buildings were now abandoned. He knew Ranger Walker would be frantic and furious by now and probably wondered if his wife was even at the location.
Alex was tired, hungry and her whole body hurt, she had been sitting in the same position for hours. She really needed to go to the bathroom and knew if Walker didn‘t find her soon she would have to embarrass herself and go there sitting in the chair. She was starting to get worried, she had not felt the baby move in about an hour. Shifting and moving as much as she could she tried to get him to move or kick, but there was nothing. Tears were now flowing as she thought about losing the baby.
“Come on Cooper, give mommy one of your good kicks. I know I say it really hurts when you do that but I would love to feel one right now.” Alex said in a soothing tone looking down at her rounded stomach. As she finished her sentence, willing the baby to move she heard a noise. ‘Had the guy returned or had Walker found her?’ she said to herself scared of the possibility the guy might have returned to do something to her.
“WALKER!” yelled Alex. Her throat was dry and she could not yell as loud as she would have otherwise. “WALKER!”
The two police officers had to break the front window to get a hand in to try to open the lock on the door.
“Wait Bill, did you hear that? I thought I heard a voice.” said Officer Freeman. Both officers stood still for a minute and listened. “There. I can’t understand but it sounds like a woman’s voice.”
“Yeah I heard it. Get Walker down here it must be his wife.” said Officer Bill Moore.
Officer Freeman primed his radio. “Ranger Walker. I think we found something. We are at in the building at the corner of West Mills Street and Industriplex. We had to break the window to get to the door lock and we think we heard a woman’s voice. We couldn’t make out what she was saying.”
As soon as Walker heard the officer say they thought they found something he and Trivette starting running. They met the two officers in front of the building before the officer finished talking to him on the radio.
“ALEX? Alex can you hear me?” screamed Walker as Officer Freeman unlocked the door. He motioned for everyone to be quiet. He thought he faintly heard a voice. “ALEX?” he yelled one more time.
“Walker. I’m here.” Alex tried hard to yell back. He had found her, she knew he would. She started to sob now knowing that she had been found but worried that something was terribly wrong with the baby.
“That’s her.” said Walker running toward the place where the voice seemed to be coming from. Get the ambulance down here. I want her taken to the hospital immediately!”
“I’m on it Walker.” said Trivette as he relayed the message to the ambulance crew that had been on standby.
“ALEX? Keep talking so I can follow the sound of your voice. It is dark in here and I need your voice to find you.” Walker called out to his wife.
“I’m here honey, please hurry.” Alex sobbed.
Walker’s heart was breaking. He could tell Alex was crying. She must be scared. He only hoped when he located her that she and the baby were okay. She sounded good other than the crying but he could tell her voice wasn’t as strong as usual. She must be close to dehydration by now. He was sure the guy had been long gone by now and knew from the photo he must still have her tied up, unable to move around.
“WALKER!” yelled Alex.
“I’m coming baby. I am almost to you. Your voice is becoming louder.” yelled Walker back to Alex. “Guys get those flashlights up here, I need more light.”
Walker moved his flashlight around the area looking for Alex or possible places she could be. From behind him he could see more lights and the area getting brighter. Just then to his left he saw a door and a couple of windows. It looked to be some type of office. ‘She’s there.’ he said to himself and quickly moved that way.
He shined his light in the window and saw Alex sitting in a chair blindfolded. “Alex I’m right here I just need to get the door opened.” She didn’t say anything, he just heard her sobbing uncontrollably.
He tried to open the door but it wouldn’t budge. The guy must have locked it when he came out. Walker shined the flashlight all around the door frame. The light caught something shiny. It was a padlock. Not only had the guy locked the door on the inside but he had padlocked it as well. He heard Alex continuing to sob. He used the end of his flashlight and started hitting one of the glass windows. He had to get in to Alex now. The glass window shattered on the second hit.
“Trivette here help me climb in this window. Give me a boost with your hands. As soon as I am in to Alex and have her ears and body covered, shoot that padlock off. Alex will never be able to go through that window. I will unlock the door when I get in.” said Walker.
Trivette cupped his hands and Walker stepped up and climbed in the window. He unlocked the door and quickly walked over to Alex.
“Sweetheart I’m here.” He removed the blindfold from her face but she didn’t look up at him. “I’m going to cover your ears so Trivette can shoot the lock off the door.” said Walker. Alex continued to cry but said nothing. “Go Trivette get that lock off.”
Trivette pointed in gun at the lock and shot. The lock fell open. Trivette removed it and opened the door. Walker was on his knees untying Alex’s hands. She still had not spoken to him.
“Alex, baby. Talk to me please. Are you okay?” said Walker still bent down looking up into Alex’s face as he finished untying her hands.
“I need to go to the bathroom now, but I can’t move.” replied Alex in a whisper.
“Trivette find a bathroom. There has to be one somewhere around here.” ordered Walker.
“There is one pretty close, I went right before the guy left me alone.” said Alex.
“Here Walker. I found it.” called Trivette from just outside the office area.
“Here sweetheart, I’ll help you stand up.” Walker said before realizing Alex’s had not moved her hands from behind her back even though she was not longer tied up.
“Alex I untied you. Bring your hands around front and I will help you up.” said Walker.
“I can’t.” cried Alex. “My shoulders hurt and I can’t make them move.”
Walker took a deep breath trying to get his emotions in tact. He could feel tears coming to his eyes but he knew he needed to be strong for Alex. He didn’t want her to see his tears. Thanks goodness for no lights other than the flashlights.
“Here baby. I will slowly move your arms around. Tell me if I am hurting you too much.” said Walker gently to Alex.
Walker could feel her muscles trembling as he slowly worked them around out of position behind her. He could feel her shaking.
“Are you okay Alex. Is it hurting too bad?”
“Everything hurts too bad right now. It’s fine. I just need to go to the bathroom more than this hurts.”
Walker had Alex’s hands moved around and they were in her lap. He wanted to give her a minute but he was aware of her need to go to the bathroom. “Okay honey, I’m going to help you stand up and I will guide you to the bathroom slowly.” said Walker.
He reached under her arms and helped her to stand. As she got upright her legs buckled, not able to support her weight. Walker reached down and scooped Alex up carrying her to the bathroom.
“Give me a couple of those flashlights.” Walker said looking around at the other officers gathered there. He spotted the ambulance crew standing behind Trivette. “You guys be ready with that gurney when we are done in here.”
Walker stepped into the bathroom and closed the door. He sat Alex down helping her to the toilet. He placed the flashlights with the beams shining up to illuminate the room. Alex started sobbing again.
“Alex. Honey it is okay. We found you and I know you were scared.” said Walker trying his best to sooth Alex.
“Walker I haven’t felt the baby move in over an hour. Something is wrong. We can’t loose him.” Alex said, her sobs becoming louder.
“We won’t loose him. He is okay. He is probably just tired and hungry like you.” said Walker placing his hand on Alex’s stomach willing his son to move. ‘Come on buddy, move so your mommy knows you are okay.’ Walker said to himself as he gently rubbed his son nestled in Alex’s womb. He felt nothing and he began to worry. He had never failed to get a kick out of the baby since he began to feel him move several months ago.
When Alex was finished he helped her up and steadied her. He noticed her ankles were really swollen. She didn’t need to be walking.
“Come on Alex. There is an ambulance crew outside. I want you to go to the hospital to be checked out. Dr. Bates has been called and she will be there waiting. Everything will be fine baby. We need to get some food and liquid in you for you and the baby.” said Walker trying to reassure Alex that everything was fine. Trying to reassure himself.
“Oh Walker what if something is wrong?” sobbed Alex.
Walker opened the door to the bathroom and carried Alex out. The ambulance crew had the gurney right outside the door. He laid her gently down and helped cover her with the sheet. He looked up at the two crew members and they could tell just by the look in his eyes that they needed to hurry.
When they were outside, they loaded Alex into the back of the ambulance. Walker threw the keys to the Ram to Trivette. He didn’t need to say anything. Trivette knew Walker was riding with Alex and he would follow in the Ram.
Once the ambulance door’s closed, the crew immediately started working on Alex. They relayed details to the hospital and received instructions on what to do for her while in route. They placed an oxygen mask on her face and inserted an IV line in her arm to start hydration. They took her blood pressure and pulse.
“How far along is she?” one of the crew members asked Walker.
“She is 7 months today.” answered Walker ready to give any information necessary to help Alex. He wrote on a piece of paper that Alex had not felt the baby move in over an hour. He showed the paper to the paramedic. He didn’t want to say it out loud for fear of upsetting Alex further. The paramedic nodded.
Next the paramedic lowered the sheet, raised Alex’s shirt up and placed a stethoscope on Alex’s stomach to listen for the baby’s heartbeat. Walker held his breath as the paramedic moved it around to locate the sound. The paramedic stopped, keeping the stethoscope in place. ‘Please let that be the heartbeat.’ Walker said to himself.
The paramedic looked up at him and nodded, but Walker could see concern in his eyes.
Alex pulled the mask away from her face. “Did you hear his heartbeat?” she asked frantically.
The paramedic looked at Walker. “Yes ma’am I heard a heartbeat. It is a little slower than normal. Your doctor will check it again when we reach the hospital. It could be low because you are pretty dehydrated and the fact that you were in the same position for a while.” said the paramedic looking at Walker again and trying to reassure Alex at the same time.
“But I haven’t felt him move in so long. He is usually very active.” said Alex started to sob again.
Walker placed the mask back over her face. “Sweetheart. He is probably just sluggish right now because he is hungry and thirsty too. You know how you get when you go too long without food or water. Like now. “
“He’s right Mrs. Walker.” added the paramedic trying to help Walker and calm his patient. Her blood pressure was starting to rise and he needed to keep that down. She didn’t need that on top of everything else. He knew the baby’s heartbeat was critically low.
Alex continued to cry. Walker leaned down and placed his lips on Alex’s stomach and kissed it. He placed both his palms on her stomach and his mouth close to his son. “Come on son you are a Firewalker and a Cahill, strong and stubborn. Don’t give up. We need you to give a little kick. Just let us know you are okay.” Walker said in a low soothing tone knowing Alex and the paramedic probably could not tell what he was saying. He raised up keeping both of his palms on Alex. Then he felt it. That undeniable movement of his child. It was a kick, not the usual strong kick that he knew hurt Alex but a kick nonetheless. He then felt Alex’s sobs.
“You felt that too Alex? See I told you he was okay.” said Walker wanting desperately to ease Alex’s pain. She nodded.
The paramedic again placed the stethoscope on Alex’s stomach. He didn’t have to move the device long before he picked up a stronger heartbeat. “We have an increased heartbeat. It is still below normal but much better than it was.”
Walker reached down and took Alex’s hand in his. She squeezed his hand and he squeezed back. He knew they were lucky. He had again found her at just the right time. When was their luck going to run out. He couldn’t take a chance of something happening to her again. He had to find the guy doing this before something else happened and when he did he planned to show him that he picked the wrong Ranger to play games with.
Alex spent a day and a half in the hospital. Dr. Bates
had done a sonogram, blood work and every other test imaginable. She
released Alex only after she was sure the baby’s heartbeat was back up to
normal and that Alex was fully hydrated. She gave Alex strict
instructions not to return to work for the next week and that she wanted to see
her in the next couple of days.
Walker drove Alex home. Trivette had gone by the Hope Center and picked up Angela earlier in the day and taken her to the ranch. He wanted to take Alex straight home from the hospital but he also knew Alex wanted to see Angela as soon as they were there. They pulled in the driveway and up to the house. Trivette was standing on the front porch holding Angela. Walker looked over at Alex and there were tears in her eyes.
“She is fine Alex and so are you and Cooper. We are home now. I want to get you in the house so you can rest.” said Walker.
“I have missed her so much and it has only been two days.” said Alex.
They had not talked about what happened. While she was in the hospital he had wanted her to rest and not worry about reliving it yet. He knew that she had had a bad dream last night. She woke up crying and sweating. He had been at her side immediately but he just held her not wanting to ask her about the dream. That would come soon enough. He wanted to make sure she could emotionally handle talking about it and he knew that she wasn’t the last two days.
He went around to the passenger side and helped Alex out. She was still a little weak but she was getting better.
“Momma!” called Angela struggling to get down. Trivette looked at Walker and Alex who both nodded.
Trivette leaned down and sat Angela on the ground. She ran as fast as her little legs could carry her and she fell into Alex’s legs. She hugged her for a moment and then put her arms up to be picked up. Walker reached down and scoped his daughter up.
“Momma!” Angela said again as she reached for Alex.
“Come on my angel. Let’s get mommy inside to the couch and then she can hold you.” Walker said to the baby, knowing Alex didn’t have the strength to carry her up the stairs and into the house.
Walker helped Alex up the stairs and into the house. Once inside, he led her to the couch. When she was sitting down he placed Angela on her lap. The child immediately turned and wrapped her little arms around Alex’s neck, hugging her as hard as she could.
“Did you miss me baby? Because I sure did miss you.” said Alex trying not to cry as she held her daughter. She knew Angela would not understand why her mother was crying and she didn’t want to upset her daughter. She knew Angela had been in good hands with Josie and then with Jimmy and that Angela loved them both. But she also knew the sudden change of the last two days may have been hard on her.
Angela laid against her mother, not ready to get down anytime soon. Walker loved what he saw. His wife and daughter safe in his home. He could feel himself getting angry at the thought of the last two days. He was deep in thought when he saw Angela jump.
“What’s wrong Alex?” asked Walker anxiously.
“The baby kicked hard and I think she felt it against her side.” Alex smiled.
Angela had sat up and she was looking at Alex’s stomach. “Did you feel your new baby brother kick Angela?” asked Alex as she picked up her daughter’s hand and placed it where the baby had kicked.
“Babeeee.” said Angela.
“Yes that is Cooper.” said Alex. “He is your brother.”
“Ooper, budder.” repeated Angela.
Alex, Walker and Trivette laughed at the little girl’s efforts to repeat what Alex had said.
Just then the baby kicked again with a swift kick and Angela started to laugh.
“Oh man,” said Alex with a wince. “Well he is back to his normal self, hurting me again.”
“You okay?” asked Walker.
“Perfect!” said Alex. “I plan to enjoy every painful kick until the day he arrives. When I thought I had lost him I longed for that powerful kick. Now that I have it back, I intend to enjoy it no matter how much it may hurt.”
Walker knew exactly how Alex felt. When he had found her in that abandoned warehouse and saw the condition she was in he had been devastated. But when she told him the baby had not moved in so long and then when he couldn’t get a movement out of the baby he too thought he had lost his son. He had never been so happy when he felt that first little kick. It was almost better than when he felt the baby kick the first time when Alex was far enough along in the pregnancy to feel it.
Erica had come out to the ranch and brought dinner. The Walkers and Trivette enjoyed a quiet afternoon together just sitting around. They all enjoyed watching Angela run around and play after she had gotten comfortable enough to leave her mother’s lap. She would come back to Alex frequently to get a hug and to feel the baby.
“Babeeeee.” she would say and then laugh when she felt him kick.
“You are as bad as your daddy. It really isn’t that funny.” laughed Alex.
“Remember Cooper, get that leg higher so you can get more power.” Walker laughed as he placed his hand on Alex’s stomach snuggling closer with her on the couch.
“Stop it.” Alex said hitting him on the arm. “I told you he doesn’t need any more power. It is definitely powerful enough now!” Everyone laughed as they each enjoyed the happiness they felt that the Walkers had again thwarted a criminal’s attempt to harm them.
Trivette and Erica left at 7:30 both telling Walker and Alex to call if they needed anything. Trivette knew that Walker would be taking a few days off and that Alex wasn’t going back to work for a week. Trivette knew that Walker, Alex and Angela needed the time together to move past what had happened. He intended to make sure no one disturbed them. He had the sheriff’s department place a squad car at the entrance to the driveway and left strict instructions as to who could enter the ranch. Anyone else wanting to see the Walkers had to be cleared with him first.
“Alex come on. I will help you upstairs. You lay down while I give Angela her bath and get her ready for bed.” said Walker helping Alex up from the couch.
“I can do it Walker.” said Alex.
“Not tonight honey. I want you to rest. I will do it quickly and then bring her in and we can all lay down and snuggle while she goes to sleep and then I will put her in her bed.” said Walker.
“Okay. That sounds great.” Alex complied knowing that she was still very tired. She was getting her energy back but slowly. Her arms and legs still hurt some from sitting in the same position for all those hours. Walker had been so caring while she was in the hospital to massage the areas that were sore. She smiled at the thought of how loving and caring her husband was. ‘Thank you God for giving me such as wonderful husband and thank you for giving my children such a wonderful father.’ Alex prayed. She laid there smiling listening to Angela’s giggles as Walker bathed her.
“Coming in for a landing mommy we are all done with our bath.” Walker said as he entered their master bedroom with Angela in the air flying like a plane, a big smile on her face. Walker had dressed her in Alex’s favorite pink sleeper and combed her hair which was still damp from being washed.
“Okay sweetie here is Miss Dolly and fuzzy blanket.” said Alex to her daughter as she handed Angela her favorite doll and blanket, both of which she could not sleep without.
“Why don’t you two lay here and read a book while I take a quick shower?” Walker said as he handed Alex Angela’s favorite book, Curious George. Alex was laying with her back propped up against the headboard. Angela had crawled up and was snuggled tightly against Alex’s right side. He knew he could stand there all night watching the sight of his wife and daughter and never get tired. He hurried and gathered up his things for his shower so he could get back and join them. When he returned a few minutes later Alex was hugging Angela, rubbing her back and singing to her. Walker slowly and quietly laid down on the bed with Angela between him and Alex. He kissed his daughter’s soft blond curls and looked up at Alex, she had tears in her eyes. He didn’t say anything knowing exactly how she felt. Before long, Angela was fast asleep.
“Here let me put her in bed and then you and I can have some snuggle time before we go to sleep.” said Walker.
Alex leaned down and kissed her daughter on the cheek and slid her hand down the baby’s cheek. “I can’t believe how much I missed her the last two days. What am I going to do when the baby is born?” Alex whispered.
“You’ll be fine darling. It will be a completely different situation. She will come to the hospital to see her brother and you will have our son to keep you busy.” Walker said as he placed a kiss on Alex’s cheek before picking Angela up.
“I love you Cowboy.” said Alex.
“I love you too Alex, more than you could ever know.” Walker said smiling as he walked out of the room to put his daughter in bed.
He grabbed her from behind and she struggled to get loose. She was being dragged across the cold concrete floor and thrown into a chair. As he blindfolded her and tied her hands, he kept taunting her. ‘I will kill your husband then his wife and children will be mine.’ She felt his hands on her, he was sliding them down cupping her stomach. ‘I have always wanted a son. I can’t wait until I hear him call me daddy.’
“NO, NO. Never. Get your hands off of me.” screamed Alex.
“Alex. Alex. Honey wake up. It’s okay. You’re home. I’m here.” said Walker shaking Alex trying to wake her up.
“No. Get your hands off of me. Leave me alone. Please don’t hurt my baby.” screamed Alex trying to shove Walker’s hands away.
“Alex. Wake up. Wake up honey it’s me.” Walker said grabbing Alex trying to hold her down to stop her fighting.
She stopped fighting and started sobbing. Walker started hugging her tight, talking softly to her, letting her know she was okay and at home. He kept telling her he loved her and nothing was going to happen to their baby. He felt her muscles starting to relax.
“Alex. Sweetheart. It’s me. Wake up.” said Walker soothingly.
Alex’s eyes fluttered open. Walker felt her muscles starting to tense up before she completely woke up and looked around.
“Oh Walker.” cried Alex as she threw her arms around his neck. She was holding on like she would never let go.
“It’s okay sweetheart. You had a really bad dream. But you are home and in our bed. Everything is fine.” said Walker.
“Walker it was horrible. My dream was much worse than what actually happened. He kept telling me that he was going to kill you and that me and kids would be his. He told me he couldn’t wait for our son to call him daddy.” Alex said, laying back down as she described the dream.
“You don’t have to worry about that. I will never let that happen.” Walker said trying to keep his anger in check at what his wife had gone through.
“That is what I kept telling him.” said Alex. There was a long pause. “I recognized his voice Walker.”
Walker sat bolt right up in bed. “Who is it?” asked Walker with more force than intended.
Alex started to cry again, “I don’t know. I just know I recognized his voice. It was not one of our friends or anyone in our offices. I’ve gone over and over the voice and tried to remember where I have heard it and I just can’t remember.”
“Alex I’m sorry if I scared you. This is just the break we needed. Why didn’t you tell me before?” said Walker.
“When you found me I felt so bad and was so worried about the baby that I thought maybe I had imagined it. But after the dream last night in the hospital and then tonight I am sure I recognized his voice.” explained Alex.
“Do you think you would recognize it again?” asked Walker.
“ABSOLUTELY!” exclaimed Alex. “When I was sitting in that chair not knowing what he was going to do to me, our baby, you. I started focusing on his voice, asking him questions to make him talk. He never gave away any information to indicate who he was or how he knew you, but I listened carefully to his voice. This person has to be someone that is around where we are to know the information that he knows. He seems to be getting bolder so maybe he will show up where I am. Since I don’t know what he looks like he probably won’t be worried about me recognizing him.”
“We haven’t talked about what happened. I wanted to give you a few days to recuperate, make sure the baby was okay and that you were okay before we discussed it. How did he get you? Was it in the parking garage? The Durango was found yesterday afternoon at a park in South Dallas.” asked Walker.
“Yes it was in the parking garage. When I came out of the elevator in the parking garage I was thinking about the errands I wanted to run and where I needed to go. I wasn’t paying attention. I always look in the back seat before getting in the SUV, but I didn’t that day. I remember opening the door and getting in then putting the key in the ignition. I don’t remember anything after that until I woke up sitting in the chair in that warehouse. I feel so stupid. I am an ADA and my husband is a Texas Ranger. I, of all people, know about being cautious of your surroundings.” explained Alex.
“You are definitely not stupid Alex. Everyone, even an ADA and a Ranger‘s wife, can have other things on their minds at times and forget to be cautious. Some of the times I have been shot or gotten hurt on the job were times when I had a lapse in judgment and just wasn’t as cautious as I should have been.” said Walker trying to ease Alex’s guilty feelings.
“I understand what you are saying. The one time that I don’t check the backseat is the one time I should have. I was just anxious to get some things done for the baby before he gets here.” said Alex.
“Well sweetheart, as much as I hate to shop, how about we make a list of the things we still need and the things we need to do before Cooper gets here and we will do them together.” said Walker kissing Alex on her forehead.
“Walker are you sure. You do hate to shop.” laughed Alex.
“Yes Alex I am sure. You and our children are the most important people in my life. I want to help you take care of things regarding the children. I don’t like changing diapers either but I do it because I want to not because I have to.” Walker laughed back.
“Thank you darling. I appreciate that very much.” said Alex.
“Let’s try to get a little more sleep before Angela gets up. You need to get your rest.” said Walker.
Walker turned the light off and snuggled back under the covers with Alex. He tucked her against him and laid his hand on her belly. The baby gave and kick and settled down. Walker kissed the top of Alex’s head. She placed her hand on Walker’s hand and moved it up to her breast. Neither of them got any more sleep.
“Alex I don’t like this. I think you need to go home and rest.” Walker said as they got in their SUV leaving Dr. Bates‘ office after Alex’s appointment .
“Walker I have rested for the last three days. I am tired of resting. I need to get out. I feel great. We agreed before we left the house that if Dr. Bates said no about going to the Hope Center then I would go home, but she said she didn’t see any problem with me going in and doing some paperwork. I promise I will not do anything else. You can run to your office and see if there is anything you need to take care of. I should be done in an hour and a half to two hours.”
“Walker?” Alex responded with her famous pouts.
“Alright but I am not really happy about it. I’m going to have a police unit outside. I really want you to stay in your office.” said Walker.
“Walker, I will be fine. Angela will be in the toddler room and I will probably walk down there for a few minutes to stretch my legs. I will also be going to the bathroom. Remember I do that a lot now.” Alex said with a little smile on her face.
“Okay Miss Smarty Pants. But just stay away from the windows and the doors.” Walker replied.
“Yes sir!” Alex said with a salute.
“Alex I mean it. This is serious.” Walker said a little irritated at Alex’s apparent nonchalant attitude.
“Walker believe me I know this is serious. I am the one that was kidnapped and spent two days in the hospital.” Alex said with a little more bite than she intended.
Walker pulled up in front of the Hope Center, shut the engine off and turned to Alex.
“Sweetheart I know you get upset with me sometimes for being too over protective. I’m sorry. I just worry about you. I love you and I am supposed to protect you. Can you understand that?” asked Walker.
Alex reached her hand across the seat and held Walker’s hand. “Darling that is one of the things that I have always loved about you. Your protectiveness of me. Sometimes I do feel smothered but for the most part I enjoy it. I know you love me and you protecting me is one way of showing me your love.”
“I do love you Alex and it hurts me so much when something happens to you. What hurt me the most the other day was knowing that you were scared, tired, hungry, and I couldn’t do anything about it until I found you.” said Walker.
“I love you too Cowboy and thank you for loving me so much.” said Alex.
Walker called into Headquarters and ordered a unit sent to the Hope Center for a couple of hours. He waited for the unit to arrive and gave them specific instructions regarding his wife and daughter. He made sure Alex was safely in her office before walking down to the toddler room to see his daughter before he left.
Brad Adams couldn’t believe the luck he was having. His unit had been dispatched to the Hope Center to stand guard while Alex Walker and her daughter were there for a few hours. He had to think of some way to get into the Center to gather information for his next move in the game.
Alex had settled in and started going over the budget figures for the Center. She needed to look over the numbers Josie had provided regarding the new programs they wanted to start. As she looked over several of the papers there was a knock at her door.
“Come in.” called Alex.
“Hey Alex. How you doing? I was tied up outside when you came in. Walker came out and told me you were here. He said there was a police unit outside too while you were here.” said Josie entering the office.
“He probably also gave you strict instructions about watching me like a hawk. All the dos and don’ts for Alex.” said Alex sarcastically.
“A little testy today are we?” asked Josie with a laugh.
Alex started laughing too. “Josie I love my husband more than life itself. But he drives me insane sometimes with his protectiveness. Since I came home from the hospital he has not let me do anything but sit or lay on the couch or sit or lay on the bed. I am so rested I can’t see straight. He completely takes care of Angela. He lets me hold her, read to her or play with her as long as I am sitting or laying down.”
“Wow Alex. Do you know how many women would love for their husbands to do that?” Josie said jokingly but admiring Walker.
“I know Josie and I am very grateful to have such a wonderful husband. I couldn’t ask for a better one. I am just too independent I guess that is why it drives me crazy.” says Alex realizing just how lucky she was.
“The man adores you Alex. I can see it every time I am around you two. There is nothing he wouldn’t do for you. The night you were missing and he called to ask if I would take care of Angela he was frantic Alex. I could hear it in his voice. He was desperate to find you. Just remember, he loves you and he only wants to protect you because of that love.” said Josie, a little jealous of what Alex had with Walker and hoping to find someone who would treat her so well one day.
“I know Josie and I do appreciate it. I just need to let some of my independence go and truly appreciate what I have. I know I am far luckier than most and I should realize that working here at the Center. Working with these women gives me a better appreciation of what I do have. I know Walker would never lay a hand on me or my children. Here I am telling you how crazy I am because my husband does TOO much for me!” said Alex.
“I know I….” Josie stops hearing someone come in the front door.
“I’ll go see who that is.” says Josie as she walked out of Alex’s office.
Alex walked to the door to see who it was. She could see Josie’s back but she couldn’t see who she was talking to. Alex started to shut her door when she heard the visitor talking to Josie. The voice. Alex froze. It’s him, the man that kidnapped her. Alex covered her mouth trying to stifle a cry. She slowly moved out of her office trying to get a glimpse of who Josie was talking to. She needed to know who it was but she didn’t want the man to see her. As she moved to the corner of the wall leading to the reception area she saw the man’s face. What she saw scared her even more. It was the police officer that had come to interview Becky Jensen. It was the day she told Josie about having the sonogram and they discussed Angela’s party. That is how he knew. He had been listening.
Alex slowly walked back to her office and quietly shut the door. She had to call Walker. She wondered if the officer was here to talk to a battered woman or if he was part of the security detail that Walker had set up outside or was he there to finish his game. She couldn’t remember his name, but she definitely remembered the voice. She was absolutely sure it was the same man.
She sat down at her desk, picked up her phone and dialed Walker’s cell phone number. He picked up on the second ring.
“Hey beautiful. Miss me already?” teased Walker.
Alex sat there for a minute unable to speak.
“Alex? Are you there?” asked Walker a little concerned.
“Walker…he…is….here.” Alex said a little above a whisper.
“Who’s there sweetheart?” asked Walker confused.
“The voice.” said Alex unable to say anything more.
Walker felt a clinch in his chest. “Stay in your office and on the phone. I am on my way.”
“Officer Adams so nice to see you again. Can I help you with something?” asked Josie oblivious to what was going on.
“No ma’am just checking the grounds. My partner and I are Mrs. Walker’s security detail outside.” answered Brad.
“Oh that’s great. You are already familiar with the surroundings.” replied Josie.
“Yeah it did work out great.” said Brad knowing just how great it had worked out for him.
“Would you like some coffee or something else to drink. Maybe something for your partner?” offered Josie.
“No ma’am but thank you. I was just going to look around, make sure everything was going okay.”
“That’s fine. Walker didn’t say anything about you making rounds, but that’s great.” replied Josie.
“Yeah we take our security detail seriously when Ranger Walker is giving the orders.” said Brad trying to appear very businesslike.
“Oh I understand that when it comes to Ranger Walker. You don’t want to cross him or get on his bad side, not a pretty sight.” said Josie feeling very suspicious for some reason. Walker had been very detailed when giving instructions about the police officers out front. He never mentioned them coming in to look around. Josie was starting to feel uncomfortable but didn’t understand why. Officer Adams had been here several times before. Maybe this whole ordeal with Alex had her more on edge than she thought.
“Well I guess I will check around before going back to my car. Is Mrs. Walker working somewhere in the building?” Brad asked.
“Yes she is here in the building.” answered Josie not wanting to give out details on Alex.
“We were told her daughter is here too.” said Brad, again trying to appear very businesslike.
“Angela is here as well.” replied Josie.
“I assume she is feeling better after the ordeal she went through with being kidnapped and all. I heard she spent a couple of days in the hospital.” quizzed Brad fishing for information.
“Alex is feeling great. She spent a couple of days in the hospital. Her doctor was worried about her baby but he is doing fine now.” Josie said, only giving out the information most people already knew.
“I guess she doesn’t have much longer before she has the baby. Do you know if they have any names picked out yet?” asked Brad.
Josie was just about to come up with some answer for him when she heard a child crying. “I’m sorry you will have to excuse me. I need to go see what is going on.” she said glad to have an excuse to stop answering Officer Adam’s questions.
“No problem Ms. Martin. I need to get back outside. My partner is probably wondering what happened to me.” said Brad, upset by the disturbance. He didn’t get any information that he didn’t already had. He needed more for his next package to Ranger Walker.
Josie walked around the corner to see who was crying. She needed to get back to Alex’s office and tell her about her uneasy feelings regarding Officer Adams.
“Alex are you still there? Stay on the line so I can hear what is going on.” asked Walker.
“I’m still here Walker, just hurry.” whispered Alex.
“I’m hurrying Alex. I will be there in just a minute. I tried to call the unit outside the Center but they are not responding. Do you see who the person was?” asked Walker.
“He is a Dallas police officer. He has been here before working with some of the battered women. Walker I have got to get Angela. She is in the toddler room playing. What if he goes after her?” said Alex desperate to have her daughter with her.
“No Alex. Stay in your office. He doesn’t know you recognized him or his voice. If he is still in the building and you go get Angela he may get suspicious.” said Walker hoping that Alex would listen to him.
“Walker I can’t sit here while our daughter is down the hall and that monster is in the building.” said Alex beginning to cry.
“Honey, please listen to me this time. I know you are scared and you are very worried about Angela. But please honey, please stay in your office. Trivette and I are almost there and we will get him.” begged Walker.
“Alright Walker. I will stay here. But please just hurry.” said Alex trying to calm herself.
Alex hears the door knob to her office turn. She takes a deep breath scared that the officer has found her office. Alex was relieved when she saw Josie walk in.
“That was Officer Adams. Remember he was here before. He was assigned as your security…..” Josie started to say.
“It’s him.” said Alex.
“Oh my God Alex. I knew something was wrong. We were talking and I kept getting this really uncomfortable feeling. That is what I was coming to tell you.” exclaimed Josie.
“Walker and Trivette are on their way. Will you please go get Angela and bring her in here? Make sure he doesn’t see you if he is still in the building. I want her with me, but I promised Walker I would stay here.” asked Alex.
“Okay Alex.” Josie said as she walked to the door. But before she could reach for the knob the door opened.
“Look who I found.” said Brad Adams holding Angela.
Alex gasped but tried to remain calm for her daughter‘s sake. “Oh thank you for bringing her to me. I was just about to go get her.” said Alex trying desperately to appear unaffected by his presence. “We need to get ready to go. My husband should be here any minute.”
“There has been a change in plans.” said Brad. “I am part of your security detail. He called and asked that I bring you to Ranger Headquarters.
“What do you mean? My husband would not change plans without talking to me first. Let me call my husband first.” said Alex.
“No that won’t be necessary. You know who I am don’t you?” asked Brad knowing Alex Walker had been toying with him.
“I don’t know what you mean.” replied Alex, hoping Walker would hurry up and get there. She knew the situation was quickly becoming desperate.
“Don’t play with me Mrs. Walker. I saw you earlier in the hallway when I was talking to Ms. Martin. You recognized me somehow, but how? I really would like to know where I slipped up. I have been so careful. I know it has driven your husband crazy, which has been my plan.” said Brad.
Alex hesitated for a moment. She didn’t know if telling Brad how she recognized him would be a good idea. But she knew if she could keep him talking it would buy Walker and Trivette more time to get there and put a plan in motion.
“I recognized your voice.” answered Alex.
“I knew you were smart Mrs. Walker, but it seems I underestimated you a little.” mused Brad.
“Can I please hold my daughter? She is starting to get fussy.” said Alex noticing Angela squirming to get down.
“No I think she is just fine here. She needs to get used to me since soon I will be her daddy.” said Brad.
Alex wanted to scream at him that he would never be Angela’s daddy. Her daddy would be here soon and everything would be fine. She knew she couldn’t make him angry though, especially with him holding Angela. Alex noticed Josie was very slowly inching her way towards the door. She didn’t know if that was a good idea or not but if she could get to Walker and let him know what was going on…
“SIT DOWN Ms. Martin.” Brad screamed, scaring Angela and making her cry.
“Please you are scaring her. Let me hold her and she will stop crying.” pleaded Alex, desperately wanting her daughter in her arms and away from Brad.
“Here take her.” said Brad, shoving Angela towards Alex.
Alex took and daughter, hugging her fiercely. “It’s okay baby. Shh. Daddy will be here soon.”
“Yes Daddy will be here soon. Your old daddy and I have a game to finish then your new daddy will come get you.” said Brad to Angela.
“You are not her daddy and you will never be her daddy. You may finish your game with my husband but Walker will be the winner, not you.” Alex bit back.
“Oh on the contrary Mrs. Walker. Your husband and his partner will be joining my partner at the morgue.” said Brad.
Alex and Josie exchanged glances.
“You killed your partner?” asked Josie.
“He became part of the game. He was starting to get suspicious of my interest in this Center and Ranger Headquarters.” answered Brad.
Alex knew if he could kill his partner he must be crazier than anyone thought. She had to keep him talking. She thought she had heard a noise outside her door. Walker must be here. He would have evacuated the building before coming to her office.
“Why are you playing this game with my husband? What has he done to you?” asked Alex trying to buy some time.
“He took away my dreams.” answered Brad.
“What dreams?” asked Alex.
“I was a Ranger candidate and your husband cut me from the program. Then when that wasn’t good enough, he made sure I didn’t get chosen for the detective program with the police department.” answered Brad.
“Well if he did those things he must have had a very good reason.” replied Alex.
“He had no reason. I was a perfect candidate for the Ranger program. It was my dream since I was in grade school to be a Ranger and he took that away. I missed one day of training and he said I wasn’t candidate material.” explained Brad fuming.
“He wouldn’t just cut you for missing one day. There must be more to it than that. I know my husband, he doesn’t do things like that without a valid reason.” said Alex, knowing there was more to the story than that.
“Well I guess you don’t know your husband as well as you think you do. When I decided to let go of the Ranger dream and apply for detective training with the police department, I didn’t make the list. I know your husband made sure I didn’t get that appointment either.” said Brad.
“I know he wouldn’t do that.” said Alex.
“Well he did. He ended my dreams and now I plan on ending his.” said Brad growing angry.
“How do you plan on doing that?” asked Alex, not really sure she wanted to hear his answer.
“By killing him. Then he won’t have his dream job or his dream family.” answered Brad.
“Brad Adams has Alex in her office. Josie and Angela are in there too.” said Trivette giving Walker the information the SWAT team had gathered.
They had arrived at the Hope Center and found Brad Adams’ partner dead in his patrol car. He had been shot one time in the head at close range. One of the neighbors in the area had heard the shot and called 911. He had gotten the call from Alex about the same time.
“This guy is a loose cannon Trivette. He could do anything. I am going to call Alex’s number and see if she picks up.” said Walker.
Walker dialed Alex’s telephone number and listened to it ring.
“Don’t answer that.” Brad said loudly as Alex reached for the receiver.
“What if it’s my husband. Maybe he wants to talk to
you.” said Alex trying to coax Brad.
Brad stood there for a minute thinking as the phone continued to ring. “Alright pick it up.”
“Hello.” answered Alex, hoping it was Walker. She needed to hear his voice.
“Alex. Are you and Angela okay?” asked Walker relieved to hear Alex’s voice.
“Yes we are fine. Josie is here with us too.” said Alex, trying to give Walker information he would need.
“I know. We have the SWAT team outside. Can you see his service revolver? Is it in the holster?” asked Walker needing to know what Brad Adams was doing.
“Yes.” answered Alex.
“Tell him I want to talk to him.” said Walker.
“My husband wants to talk to you.” Alex said to Brad.
Brad took the phone from Alex. “What do you want Walker?”
“Adams let them go. This is between you and me. It doesn’t concern them.” said Walker.
“You’re wrong there Ranger Walker.” Brad said his words dripping with sarcasm. “This does concern your wife and daughter, or should I say my wife and daughter. I intend to kill you and make them mine. We will be having a son in a couple of months too, am I right Ranger Walker?”
“That is my wife, daughter and son. They are not yours and they never will be. Understand that Adams if you don’t understand anything else. Come out here and face me like a man.” Walker said seething with anger. He needed calm down and not make Adams mad and endanger his family.
“Face YOU like a man Walker. Did you face ME like a man when you cut me from the Ranger program or did YOU face ME like a man when my name didn’t make the detective list. No YOU didn’t face ME like a man so why should I face you like one?” asked Brad growing very angry.
“Adams I told you to your face that you were being cut from the Ranger program. You made that choice, not me. It was your decision to go on vacation while in the training program even though you were told you couldn’t go. As for the detective list, I don’t know anything about that.” said Walker. He had information pulled on Brad Adams and remembered he was cut from the Ranger program. The dream he had talked about in his packages was the Ranger program. Walker didn’t have a clue what detective list he was talking about.
“That trip had been planned before I was accepted into the Ranger training program. You could have let me go it was only one day.” said Brad growing angrier.
“Adams I told you that qualification tests were that weekend and if you missed them it would put you out of the program. You made your choice. My hands were tied. If you didn’t test I didn’t have a choice but to drop you.” Walker tried to explain, knowing Brad Adams had his mind made up and nothing he said would change that.
“Then I applied for a detective position but my name was not chosen to make the class. I know you had something to do with that. Wasn’t spoiling my Ranger dream enough for you?” asked Brad starting to pace. He was growing angrier by the minute.
“Adams I don’t even know what you are talking about. I didn’t have anything to do with you and the Police department.” said Walker.
“LIAR!” yelled Brad as he slammed the phone down.
Brad turned and paced back and forth. He was furious. How dare Walker lie to him. Walker made the choice to cut him. He stopped and turned to Josie.
“Go, get out.” he said to Josie.
“What?” asked Josie not really understanding what Brad wanted her to do.
“I said get out, now.” yelled Brad.
“What about Alex and Angela?” Josie asked, not willing to leave them behind.
“They stay with me. Now go or die.” said Brad as he pulled his service revolver from its’ holster.
Josie looked at Alex. How could she leave her and Angela here?
“Go Josie. Please.” Alex said with tears in her eyes.
Josie started walking towards the door. Just as she reached the door she heard Brad behind her.
“Tell Ranger Walker if he wants his wife and daughter, come get them. Tell him if anyone else comes through that door I will kill them both. Understand?” said Brad angrily.
“Yes I understand. Please don’t hurt them.” Josie said, started to cry as she opened the door.
“That’s up to Ranger Walker.” said Brad as he backed away.
Josie ran down the hall a short distance before she encountered Walker and several SWAT team members. She fell into Walker’s arms crying as hard as she had ever cried before.
“Josie are Alex and Angela okay. Did he let you go?” asked Walker anxiously to know what was happening with his family.
“They are okay Walker. He told me to get out or he would shoot me. I tried to get him to let Alex and Angela come with me but he said to tell you if you want them, come get them. He also said if anyone else came through the door he would shoot Alex and Angela. He is serious Walker. He is close to losing it.” Josie said.
“Is his gun still in his holster?” asked Walker.
“No he took it out and pointed it at me when I asked if Alex and Angela could leave with me. Alex told me to leave. I am so sorry Walker. I tried to get him to let them go.” sobbed Josie.
Walker took both of Josie’s arms in his hands and let straight at her. “Josie this isn’t your fault. Brad Adams is solely responsible. You did the right thing. It kept you safe and it helped Alex.” said Walker trying to console Josie.
“What are you going to do Walker?” asked Josie.
“I’m going in. I will get Alex and Angela out of there safe. Brad Adams will not win this little game he is playing.” said Walker confidently.
“Please get them out Walker. He is crazy. He thinks that Alex, Angela and the baby will be his. Does he really think if he kills you that Alex will go with him willingly? That is crazy.” asked Josie.
“He isn’t thinking straight Josie. I will get them out. Where in the room is Alex and Angela?” Walker asked, needing information on where everyone was.
“Alex is sitting in her chair behind her desk and Angela is on her lap. Brad is or was pacing back in forth in front of her desk.” answered Josie.
“Okay. Josie go outside. The women and children from the Center have been taken across the street. They need you.” said Walker trying to convince Josie to leave.
“Good luck Walker. I know you will win. You are far better than this Adams guy and good guys should always win.” said Josie.
“Thanks Josie. This good guy intends to win.” smiled Walker.
As soon as Josie was out of sight, Walker turned to the SWAT commander. “I’m going in. He said if anyone else came through that door he would shoot my wife and daughter. I am not taking any chances. I’m going to try to get them out first. Just be ready for back up, the first shot you hear come in.” instructed Walker.
Walker decided to try to call Alex again. If he could get Alex to pick up the hint to get herself and Angela on the floor he would feel better about her somewhat being out of the way. He dialed Alex’s office number. She pick up on the fifth ring.
“Hello.” said Alex tentatively.
“Sweetheart are you and Angela still okay?
“Yes darling we are okay.” answered Alex.
“Tell your husband he needs to get in here or I’m going to start shooting.” said Brad angrily.
“He said you need to get in here now Walker or he was going to start shooting.” Alex relayed the message.
“I bet Angela is getting fussy.” said Walker.
Alex sat there for a minute wondering why Walker was changing the subject. She decided to play along knowing it was probably part of his plan.
“Yes she is starting to get fussy.” answered Alex.
“Why don’t you put her on the floor and you and she can play with her toys.” Walker said hoping Alex picked up his meaning.
Alex thought for a moment. He knew once she got down on the floor she had a hard time getting back up. Then she realized what he was saying. He wanted her and Angela down on the floor so they would be out of the way.
“Tell him now Mrs. Walker.” said Brad growing very angry.
“He said now Walker. I will play with Angela and keep her entertained.” said Alex.
Walker knew Alex had picked up his hint. He just hoped Brad wasn’t as wise. “Okay Commander I am ready. Remember, the first shot you here come in. I want my wife and daughter out of the way.” said Walker.
“Yes Ranger Walker. Good luck and be careful.” said the commander.
Meanwhile Alex was trying to figure out a way to get on the floor without Brad getting suspicious. As luck would have it Angela started to cry.
“Why is she crying?” asked Brad very irritated.
“She is probably sleepy. Can I lay her down on the floor over here and see if I can get her calmed down?” asked Alex innocently.
“Fine as long as you get her to shut up. Your husband will be in here any minute and I need to think.” answered Brad.
Alex sat Angela down on the floor and moved down to sit beside her. She pulled the baby as close to the wall behind her desk as she could get. It was as much protection as she could possibly have in this circumstance. However, she wouldn’t be able to see over the desk to know what was going on.
There was a knock at the door. “Adams? I’m ready to come in.” said Walker.
“Open the door slowly but do not come in yet.” Brad ordered.
Walker slowly opened the door. He could see the corner of Alex’s desk and hoped she and Angela were on the floor. “Okay Adams.” said Walker.
“Your gun holster better be empty. Pull up your pant’s legs also, I want to make sure your backup is gone to. Walk slowly in with your hands up.” said Brad.
Walker raised his hands in the air after pulling up his pant’s legs. He had removed his gun from his holster and stuck it in his belt in the back of his pants. As he walked in he got a better view of Alex’s desk. He didn’t see her. ‘She must be on the floor.’ Thought Walker.
“Where is my wife and daughter Adams.” Walker asked making sure Adams didn’t know he had gotten Alex to get on the floor.
“They are behind the desk. The baby….” Brad stopped mid-sentence realizing Alex had played him by asking to get down on the floor with Angela.
“You tricked me your little bit….”
Just a Brad started to swing around and aim his gun towards Alex, Walker pulled the gun from his back belt and fired a shot hitting Brad square in the chest. Brad stood still for just a moment as the front of his navy blue uniform started getting darker, being soaked by his blood. He glanced up at Walker, then fell forward. Walker rushed over and kicked the gun away from Brad’s hand as members of the SWAT team stormed the room. Walker felt for a pulse but did not find one. Brad Adams was dead, the game was over.
Walker rushed behind the desk where Alex and Angela were. Alex was sitting against the wall hugging Angela tightly to her chest, covering the baby‘s ears and rocking her.
“Come on sweetheart, it’s over.” Walker said soothingly to Alex.
Alex just sat there rocking Angela. “Alex. It’s over. Adams is dead. He can’t hurt us anymore. Come on baby. Here let me help you up.” Walker said gently. He was beginning to worry that Alex was in shock.
Trivette was standing on the other side of Alex’s desk. He had come in with the SWAT team. Walker reached down and gently took Angela from Alex’s arms and handed her to Trivette. Angela was sucking her thumb and laying her head on Trivette’s shoulder ready to fall asleep.
Walker kneeled down in front of Alex. “Look at me Alex.” he lifted her chin to look in her eyes. “He is dead. He can never hurt us again.”
“No more letters, no more pictures…” said as she started to cry unable to complete her thought.
Walker lifted Alex up and wrapped his arms around his wife. He held her as she cried out all the fear that she had the last 6 ½ months. He felt like crying along with her, but he needed to be strong for her. He never liked having to take a life but in this case he felt totally justified. If he had not shot first, Brad’s intent was to start shooting at Alex.
“You won the game.” Alex said almost in a whisper.
“No honey, we won the game. Come on Alex let’s go home. It looks like we have a sleepy baby on our hands.” Walker said was he looked over at his daughter who was almost asleep on Trivette’s shoulder.
Walker led Alex out of her office, shielding her from the sight on Brad’s lifeless body laying on the floor. He knew there would be paperwork and reports to complete but that could wait until he was sure his family was safe and sound at the Walker ranch.
6 weeks later
2 days after the official closing of the Brad Adams case
“Come on Alex you can do this. Take a deep breath and push.” said Walker.
“I’m pushing!” replied Alex becoming very irritated at Walker. “Can’t you see that?”
“A couple more pushes and this baby will be here Alex.” said Dr. Bates trying to help Walker.
Alex took a deep breath and started pushing as hard as she could. She was squeezing Walker’s hand so hard he thought he would never be able to fire his gun again.
Alex let out her breath as the contraction eased off. “I think I liked my first delivery better. Let’s do the C-section.” she said as she felt another contraction starting.
“Too late for that Alex the baby is crowning.” said Dr. Bates as Alex pushed through the contraction. “His head is out Alex. Give me short breaths but don’t push. Let me get his mouth and nose cleaned out. He has fuzzy reddish blond hair you two.”
Walker looked down and saw his son’s face. He looked back at Alex with tears in his eyes. “He looks like Angela sweetheart.” said Walker overcome with emotion. He had missed this with Angela because of the emergency c-section. He now knew what he had really missed. What a miracle, the birth of his son. He leaned down and kissed Alex on the cheek as she was breathing trying not to push.
“Okay Alex. One good push and this baby boy will be here.” coached Dr. Bates.
Walker winced as Alex gripped his hand, clamping down like a vise. Alex gave one more hard push and the baby was out. Dr. Bates clamped the cord and the baby gave a loud hearty cry.
“Well he is definitely a boy and has a great set of lungs.” grinned Dr. Bates. “You ready to cut the cord Walker.”
Walker felt the blood drain from his face. “Uh…sure. This isn’t going to hurt him is it?” asked Walker.
“No he won’t feel anything at all.” Dr. Bates assured him.
Walker took the scissors from her and cut where she instructed him to. Dr. Bates laid the baby on Alex’s chest.
“Oh Walker. He is beautiful. He does look like Angela. Look at his hair. It is the color of yours.” said Alex lovingly admiring her son.
“He is perfect Alex and you are perfect too. Thank you for giving me another beautiful baby.” said Walker placing a kiss on Alex’s lips.
“He is perfect. I think you had a little to do with him being here too darling.” laughed Alex.
“Alex, we are going to take him and get him cleaned up and weighed. Walker you’re welcomed to go with him while I finish up with Alex. We will move her to a regular room shortly and then they will bring him in.” said Dr. Bates.
“Go ahead honey. Go with Cooper. I will see you in a little while.” said Alex.
Walker kissed Alex again then followed the nurse as she took his son to the newborn nursery. Dr. Bates finished up with Alex and she was moved to a regular room.
There was a knock at her door and Alex looked up to see Walker entering holding their son. “Well mommy here I am.” Walker said as he walked up to the bed and placed the baby in Alex’s waiting arms.
Alex looked down at the baby and smiled. “Well Cooper John Walker welcome to our family. I am so glad you are finally here.”
Walker put his arm around Alex’s shoulder and lovingly ran his the back on his index finger down the sleeping baby’s cheek.
“Well Alex you got what you wanted, to see him as soon as he was born, hear his first cry and have him laid on your chest. You got all three.” said Walker.
“Yes honey, dreams do come true.” agreed Alex.
Walker smiled as he gazed at his beautiful wife holding their newborn son and thought, ‘Yes Alex, dreams do come true if you hold on to them and want them bad enough. I am looking at my dream come true right now.’