Life on the Line

                                    By Carol (hussy49@hotmail.com)

           The Rangers got a tip that there was a big meeting going on in Dallas of several Mafia bosses.  That was something the Texas Rangers didn’t need.  They had their hands full with the drug cartels and the gangs.

 “This all we need right now.  Why do they have to pick Dallas or Texas for that matter.”  Walker commented. 

“Trivette lets go talk to Willie and see if he heard anything.  If not maybe he can find out something for us.”

 “If anyone can Willie can Walker, I don’t know what we would do without him.”

           On their way to find Willie a truck pulled out in front of them traveling at a high rate of speed.

 “Trivette called in the licenses plate number.

“Trivette could you repeat the licenses number you are breaking up?”  Trivette repeated the licenses plate number.

 “Walker what is wrong with your radio?”

 “I don’t know I think there is a short somewhere.”

 “You need to get it fix Walker.”

 “I will Trivette just as soon as I can.”

 “Walker I think that guy is drunk.”  Walker got on the speaker. 

“Pull over to the side of the road now or we will shoot out your tires.”

 The guy pulled over immediately.  There were no wants or warrants out of the plates.  Walker got out and went up the driver of the truck. 

“You seem to be in a big hurry sir.”

 “No I was just heading home Ranger.”

  “How much did you have to drink?”

 “Just a couple of little drinks that’s all.”

  “Will you please step out of the truck sir?”

 The guy got out of the truck and was so drunk he couldn’t stand up.

 “ Sir you are very lucky you didn’t kill yourself or someone else, you are under arrest for driving under the influence.”

 “Oh man this is not cool.” 

“No it’s not you could have killed someone.” 

Just then a police car drove up. 

“Hi Trivette, Walker any problem?”

 “No just a drunk driver.”  Trivette told him.  Do us a favor will you?”

 “If I can Walker what is it?”

 “Can you take this guy in and book him for us we can do the paper work.  We are on our way to meet someone.”

 “Sure no problem, but you owe me one.”

 “Thanks.”

             They started on their way again to fine Willie.  They didn’t have any problem at all finding him. 

“Walker, Trivette are you two looking for me?”

 “Yes we are Willie.  Have you heard any thing about a meeting going on between some Mafia bosses?”

 “No Walker not a thing, I can do some checking around and get back to you.”

“Can you see if you can get names for us?”

  “I can try?”

 “Thanks Willie.”  Walker and Trivette both gave Willie $20.00 for his trouble.  “Thanks guys. I will call when I have something for you.

         The next day Walker and Trivette went to meet Willie to see what they had for them. 

“What did you find out Willie?”

“There is a meeting going on in Dallas the day after tomorrow but I couldn’t get a time or place.  No one is talking at all.  I did get a name for you, someone you have been after for a long time.  The Ortega twins.  They are in town for the meeting, I did find out where they are staying.”

 Willie handed Trivette a piece of paper with the address on it. 

“You did great Willie.”

 “If I find out anything else I will let you know.”

  “Okay thanks again.” 

“You’re welcome.” 

           Walker put a team together to raid the house where the Ortega brothers were staying. They surrounded the house.  Walker, Trivette and two other Rangers took the front.  They burst through the front door and shots rang out.  The Rangers returned fire killing two of the five men that were in the house.  The other three gave up.  Unfortunately the Rangers were only able to take one of the Ortega brothers into custody.  The other brother was not there at the time.

 “Manuel it was only a matter of time. You should have stayed out of Dallas.”

 “My brother will get me out Ranger you will be sorry when my brother hears of this.  You will be sorry you messed with the Ortega’s.”

 “Yeah, yeah get going before I decide to shot your ass.”  Walker told him.

 “Damn Trivette I was hoping to get them both.”

 “I know Ortega is not going to be happy when he finds out we have his brother.”

  “Walker did you get the radio fixed yet? “

 “No I haven’t had time.  I will take it in tomorrow and we can take your car.”

 “That’s a good idea.  That radio could get you into trouble Walker, suppose something happened and you can’t radio for help.”

 “Trivette I said I would do it tomorrow.”

 “Yeah well see that you do.”

       After work they stopped at their favorite hangout.

“ Hi CD.” 

“Hi fella’s.”   Walker looked around and didn’t see Alex.

“CD have you seen Alex?”  Right behind you cowboy.”  Alex said grabbing him around the waist.

 “Hi their counselor, you’re a sight for sore eyes.”  Walker embraced Alex with a big hug.  “Oh did you miss me today?”

 “I sure did.”  Walker gave Alex a tender kiss on the lips. 

“Shall we go find a secluded corner to sit in away from everyone?”  Walker asked.  “Sounds good to me.”  Walker and Alex retreated to their booth leaving Trivette at the bar. 

“Do you feel up to a dance Alex?”  I always feel like dancing as long as it’s with my favorite cowboy.”  Walker held Alex tightly against him as they danced.

 “You sure smell good Alex.”

 “Thank you.”  Alex said as she gave him a kiss.  After the dance they went back to their corner. 

       Walker sat there smiling at Alex but didn’t say a word.

 “Walker why are you smiling at me like that.”  Walker took Alex’s hand and kissed it.  “I was just thinking how lucky I am to have you.  When ever I have a bad day at work or something goes wrong I know that you will be there waiting at the end of it and believe me it gets me through some rough times just knowing that I have you there to hold and to love me.  And to make me forget about all the bad that is out there.  I love you so much and I don’t know what I ever did with out you before I had you in my life.  I don’t ever want to lose you.” 

“Oh Walker that is one of the sweetest things you ever said to me. You won’t ever lose me that I promise. I feel the same I can’t even imagine my life without you in it.”  Walker held Alex in his arms for a long time, just enjoying each other’s company. Walker captured Alex’s lips in a long passionate kiss.

“Alex if we keep this up I will never get home tonight.”

“That’s alright with me, I like it right where I am.”

“Me too but we both have an early day tomorrow.” 

“Yes we do I guess we should call it a night.” 

      “Hey guys we are headed home see you tomorrow.” 

“Hey Walker I’m headed out too I’ll walk you two out.”

“Good night Big Dog.”  Trivette said good night and headed to his car.  Walker escorted Alex to her car.  A few more kisses and a big hug and Walker put Alex in her car and she headed home. 

“See you for breakfast in the morning Walker?”

“You bet.”  After Alex left Walker got in the ram and started to leave when a man ran up to him. 

“Ranger, there’s robbery going on at Billy Bob’s, two men with guns.”

“You stay right here.”

“Walker got on his radio to call it in.  “This is Walker I need back up at Billy Bobs robbery in progress.”  Walker pulled up in front of Billy Bobs and started to get out of the truck. 

“Walker please repeat you location you’re breaking up.” 

“Send back up to Billy Bobs in the stockyards.”  Walker repeated.

 “Come in Walker I need you to repeat the location “

         “There he is, remember I don’t want him dead, shoot him if you have too just don’t kill him.”  Ortega told his guys.  They all start firing at the truck. They made sure Walkers truck was disabled so he couldn’t go anywhere. Walker returned fire but couldn’t get a clean shot.  There were too many of them and they had Walker pinned down.  Walker tried to get though on the radio again.

“Officers needs help shots fired send back to Billy Bobs in the stock yards damn it.”  Someone shot out Walkers window and the glass shattered sending class flying. It hit Walker and he got glass in his eyes.  Walker was unable to focus, he couldn’t see and was unable to defend himself.   One last time Walker tried his radio and prayed it would get through.

“Officer down need help, BILLY BOB’S.”  Walker shouted in frustration.   But the only part of the massage that got through was officer down. Then the radio went dead.”

“Dam radio.”  Walker yelled as he through the Mic down.

“I hate when Trivette is right, he will never let me forget it. That’s if I live through this."

             The dispatcher was only getting bits and pieces of Walkers transmission but now she was getting nothing at all.

“Ranger Trivette come in, this is dispatch.”

“Trivette here.”

“Ranger Trivette Walker is in trouble but I can’t get a location on him.” 

“What do you mean in trouble and why don’t you have a location?”

“He called in an officer down but there is something wrong with his radio.  I only got part of the massage but now I am getting nothing at all.”

“I just left him 20 minutes ago.  Put an APB out on Walker’s truck and concentrate on a 5 block radius of CD’s in the stock yards.”

“Okay Ranger I’m on it.”  Trivette tuned and headed back to CD’s to check around the stockyards.  He was almost home.  Walker couldn’t be too far from their Trivette thought.

       There was a building a few feet away from Walker if only he could make it to the building maybe it would provide more cover then the truck.

If I stay here I’m a dead man what do I have to lose.”  Walker thought to himself.  Walker’s eyes were blurry but he could see the shape of the building and he decided to go for it.  Walker fired at the men and took off running but before he could reach the building someone fired and grazed Walker in the head.  Walker went down and was not moving. 

        “I told you not to kill him.”  Ortega said. 

“He is not dead boss.”

“He better not be.” Okay let’s get him and get out of here before the cops show up.”   They want down and checked Walker and he was half-conscious.  Put him in the car and get out of here. 

           The APB was put out on Walkers truck and it didn’t take them long to find it. “Trivette come in.”  “This is Trivette tell me you have good news.”  They spotted Walkers truck at Billy Bobs but no sign of Walker so far.  “I’m just a few blocks away, thanks.”  Trivette pulled up in front of Billy Bobs and there were several officers there.  “What did you find out anything?”

“Not yet Jimmy, Walker is no where to be found.”  Trivette got a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach when he saw Walkers truck.  “Oh my God!”  The Ram was covered with bullet holes and there was blood on the ground and on the seat. 

“Walker partner where are you?  What the hell happened here?”  Trivette said to himself.   

          After getting back to their hideout they took Walker inside.  Ortega went in to talk to Walker.

“So you are the famous Walker we have heard so much about.  You have been much trouble to my brother and I Ranger.   I heard you are real tough, well you don’t look so tuff to me.”

          Ortega got down in Walkers face.

“You are going to be sorry you took my brother.  Real sorry Ranger.”  Walker took his foot and kicked Ortega as hard as he could.  Ortega picked himself up off the floor and was not a happy man.

“You have a lot of nerve I can say that for you.”  Ortega took his foot and kicked Walker in the face as hard as he could.”

“That should take care of him for a while.  Tie him up tight I don’t trust him one bit.”  “As hard as you kicked him he will be out for hours, besides he is injured he ain’t going anywhere.”

“You heard me tie him up.”

         Trivette knew he had to be the one to go tell Alex.  But what would he tell her.  Trivette didn’t know if Walker was dead or alive or what happened to him.  Trivette knocked on Alex’s door.  Alex was relaxing on the couch when he knocked.   When Alex opened the door she knew something was wrong.

“Jimmy what’s wrong?  Where is Walker?”

“May I come in?”

“Oh I’m sorry Jimmy come in.  Something is wrong I can tell by the look on your face.” “Alex something did happen but I don’t know what or where Walker is.” 

“Jimmy what are you talking about?”  Walker called into dispatch something about a robbery but his radio was not working right so they didn’t get a location.  Then he called in an.”  Trivette paused for a moment.

“What Jimmy?” 

“He called in an officers down then his radio went dead.”

“Oh no!  You have no idea what happened to him?”

“No we did find his truck at Billy Bobs.” “And what did you find out?”  They have to tow the truck.  Alex it was covered in bullet holes and there was blood.”

“Oh Walker.”

“Jimmy you think he is dead don’t’ you?”

“I just don’t know Alex. But if they killed him where is the body why take it?  I think he is alive. I don’t know who is behind this but I have a real good idea.”

“Who Jimmy?”  “The Ortega’s we have the one brother in jail and I think that is why they took Walker.” 

“I have to get going and see what I can dig up.”

“Find him Jimmy.”

“I will Alex, I will.”

          Trivette went to find Willie and see if he heard anything about hat happened to Walker.   I was just going to call you Ranger Trivette.  I did hear something about your partner and I am very concerned.”

“What do you have for me Willie?

“The Ortega’s are the ones you are after.  The brother of the one Walker took down is responsible.  Ranger Trivette be warned if Walker is alive then they are looking to trade him for his brother and if anything at all happens to him they will take it out on Walker and you will never see him again.”

“That’s what I was afraid of.”

“Thanks for your help Willie.” 

“You’re welcome.  Good-luck Ranger. I hope everything works out.  If I hear anything else I will let you know.”

“Thanks Willie I will make sure you are paid for your help.”

“Just get Walker back okay?”

         Meantime Walker was just waking up. He found himself tied up.  His head was throbbing.  He was too dizzy to set up.  There was blood all over the floor where he was laying.  Every time Walker blinked he could feel the pain from the glass in his eyes. Walker had no idea where they had taken him.  A few minutes later Ortega came in to see if Walker was awake.  

”Walker I see you are awake finally.”  

“What do you want with me Ortega?”

“I want my brother back and your going to help me get him back.”

“Sorry I can’t do that.”

“You can and you will.  I am going to trade you for my brother.”

“They won’t go for it, you are wasting your time.”

“You better hope not or you won’t make it out of here alive.”

“You better hope your wrong Walker.” 

            Ortega took a video camera and used it to send pictures of Walker to Ranger headquarters.  He want to make sure they knew what shape what was in.  Ortega ordered his men to set Walker up so they could tape him.

“What are you doing Ortega?”  Walker asked.  They started taping Walker but Walker didn’t know it yet. 

“You can see what we are doing can’t you?”

“No I have glass in my eyes I can’t see anything.”

“Now that is a shame.”

“Yeah I bet you are all torn up over it.”

“Walker you are going to tell your partner to release my brother within the next 24 hours or you are a dead man.  If anything happens to my brother you are going to pay dearly for it.”

“You’re wasting your time I tell you.”

“It’s my time to waste.”

“They are not going to release your brother, I’ll tell you that now.”

“You better hope your wrong Walker.  Now I have the tape running and I want you to tell your partner they have 24 hours to release him or you’re a dead man.”  Walker just sat there not saying a word.

          “Do it now or you’re going to be sorry.”

“Trivette they want me to tell you to release Ortega to trade for me.  Trivette under no circumstances are you to release Ortega don’t worry about me.”

“Not smart Ranger.”  Ortega said as he kicked Walker in the ribs.  He made sure it was on the video for Trivette to see. 

“Do you see what shape your partner is, Ranger Trivette?  Well he looks good compared to what he will look like if I don’t get my brother back.  You have 24 hours to release my brother or Walker will pay for it.”  Ortega sent one of his men out to take the tape to Ranger headquarters.

          He walked up a young man that was going into the courthouse.

“Hey kid. Do me a favor will you?” 

“If I can. What is it?”  “I’ll give you 10 bucks if you take this package to Ranger James Trivette at Ranger Headquarters.   I have an appointment and I ‘m running late.”

“Oh sure I guess I can do that.”  The kid took the package and took it to Trivette.  Trivette saw the young man come in. 

“Can I help you?”  Trivette asked. 

“Yeah I was looking for Ranger Trivette.”

“I am Ranger Trivette what can I do for you?”

“Someone asked me to give this to you.” 

“What is it?”

“I don’t know a man gave me $10.00 to give it to you he said he was in a hurry and didn’t have time and I was coming in here anyway.”

“Okay, thank you.” 

         Trivette picked up the phone and called Alex’s office.

“Alex this is Jimmy can you come to my office right away?”

“Sure what’s up?”

“I just received a package and I bet it has something to do with Walker.”

“Okay I will be right there.”   Alex rushed in to Ranger headquarters to see what it was that Trivette received.

“Okay Jimmy I’m here what is it?”

“I don’t know I don’t know I haven’t opened it yet.”

“Well what are you waiting for open it.”

“I guess I am afraid of what I will fine inside.”

“Me too Jimmy.”  Trivette opened the package he received and inside was videotape.  Alex and Trivette looked at each other.  Then he put the tape and turned it on.

“Oh no Walker! “ Trivette said.

“Jimmy what have they done to him?  Look at him.”  They listened to the tape and what Walker had to say.

“Jimmy, you are not going to listen to Walker are you?  They’ll kill him.”

“Remember you have 24 hours to release my brother or Walker will pay with him life.”

          “Alex I need to show this tape to the captain and see what he is going to do.” “Okay I’m going with you.”  Trivette knocked on the captain’s office door.

“Captain I have some news on Walker.

“Come in Trivette.”  The captain looked at the video.

“What are we going to do captain?” 

“You heard Walker and he is right there is no way we can release Ortega, not even for Walker.  We will have to fine out where they are holding him.”

“Captain you can be serious this is Walker we are talking about you can’t just leave him there.”

“Alex I am sorry we are going to do everything we can to get Walker back.”  “Everything but let Ortega go, you mean.”

“Walker is the best damn Ranger we have you can’t just let Ortega have him.” 

“Trivette I know how close you two are and we will do everything we can.”  Trivette got mad and stormed out of the office with Alex right behind him.

“Jimmy what are we going to do?”

“I’m going to try and find out where they are holding him. Don’t worry Alex I will find him if it’s the last thing I ever do.”

“I’m going to go talk to Ortega right now.”

            “We have nothing to talk about Ranger.”

“Yes we do we have my partner to talk about.  Your brother has my partner and I want him back.

“Where is he?” 

“I have no idea I have been in here remember?”

“You know where your brother is holding Walker and I want him back.  If anything happened to Walker you’re a dead man and that’s a promise.”

“I have nothing to say Ranger.”  Trivette tried his best to get Ortega to talk but it was no use.

“You remember what I said, if anything happens to my partner Ortega you’re a dead man.”  Trivette told him as he walked out of the room.  Ortega was taken back to his cell.  It was getting late and time to call it a day.  Trivette would get a fresh start in the morning and try and find out where is partner was being held.   

           Trivette stopped by Alex’s office before going home.

“Alex I couldn’t get a thing out of him.

“I’m going to call it a night and start again in the morning.”

“Good idea I’m going home too it’s been a long day.  Jimmy I’m so worried about Walker he has got to be okay.  I don’t know what I would do if I lost him.”

“Alex you listen to me, you are not going to lose him, we will find him I promise.”  Trivette gave Alex a hug to comfort her. Go home and get some sleep Alex.”

          Meanwhile back in Ortega’s cell he and the other two prisoners he was sharing a cell with were talking.  Ortega told them who he was and about his brother holding Walker.  The other two got an idea to get even with Walker and Trivette.  They were up for 3 counts of murder and had nothing to lose.  They knew if Ortega were killed in jail Walker would be the one to pay for it and they would be there way of getting even with Walker and Trivette.   The next morning Ortega was found dead in his cell.  Soon the news would be out and that would mean trouble for Walker.

       Trivette got a call at home telling him of the death of Ortega.

“What?  How did that happen?”  You can’t let the news media get a hold of this or Walker is a dead man.” 

“I’m sorry Trivette it’s too late it’s all over the news.”

“My god do you know what he will do to Walker now?  Has anyone told Alex yet?”  “No I thought you might want to do it yourself.”

“Yes I’ll do.”  Trivette went to Alex’s apartment to talk to her.

“Jimmy what are you doing here so early?  It has to do with Walker doesn’t it?”

“Yes I’m afraid it does.”

“What happened?

“Ortega was found dead in his cell this morning and it’s already all over the news.”

“Oh no Jimmy now there is no reason for them to keep Walker alive they are going to kill him.” Alex started to cry knowing what this meant for Walker.  How was he going to get out of this?”  There seemed to be no answers to their question.  No way to help Walker at all.

        Ortega got news of his brother’s death and immediately went into see Walker.  Ortega went over to Walker.  Walker was weak and didn’t have much strength. 

“Well Walker you don’t look good and I am afraid you are going to look a lot worse.  My brother is dead and you are doing to pay with your life.”

“Gee that’s a shame. To bad they didn’t get you too.”  Walker told him.  Ortega grabbed Walker and started to pull him up to him feet when Walker took him foot and planted it right in Ortega’s stomach knocking the wind out of him.  Ortega picked himself up off the floor for the second time.  “That is the second time you have done that to me and it will be your last.  Now that you had your fun it’s my turn.  You are going to die a slow death.  Nothing too fast for you, I want you to suffer.”

“Your turn is coming Ortega you kill a Texas Ranger and everyone is going to be after you.”

“Well, don't you worry about me.. I can take care of myself. Hold him.”

Ortega took and knife.  It’s a shame you can’t see what it is I am going to do to you.  I have a knife and I’m going to use it on you I want you to bleed to death slowly and painfully. 

           Walker struggled but it was no use. He cried out in pain as Ortega planted two knife wounds in Walker where he would bleed slowly and painfully just as he said he would do.

“What do we do with him now boss?”

“Let me think about it.”

“I have a great idea.”  One of the other men said.   There is a land fill site on the other side of town and they are going to fill it in, in the morning what better place for Walker then a dump.”

 “What a great idea, do it.  But make sure you tie his legs and gag him don’t take any chances that someone could hear him cry out for help.”

“My pleasure boss.”  They tied Walker’s feet together and then gagged him. They put Walker in the back of a truck and took him out to the landfill site.  Making sure there was no one around to see them they took an unconscious Walker out of the truck and put him in a place where no one could see him and covered him up with the trash.  Walker woke up about 30 minutes later among the garbage and the trash. 

         Walker was helpless to free himself.  Ortega made good on his threat, Walker was in a lot of pain and slowly bleeding to death just as Ortega said he would.  Walker couldn’t believe he had been dumped in the garbage and left to die.  He couldn’t help think he was glad that Alex or Trivette couldn’t see him like this.  He felt so humiliated. He couldn’t let Ortega get away with this but there was nothing he could do about it.  He also knew that if he was to die like this Trivette would stop at nothing to make sure he paid for what he done.  Walker and Trivette were very close and he only hoped that Trivette wouldn’t lose control. “Walker, you’re sounding like you are giving up. You’ve been in tight spots before, so HOLD ON.”  Walker said to himself as he lay all alone. 

           Willie liked Walker and Trivette a lot and was glad to help him out when ever he could so he did some digging and found out the names of a few of Ortega’s men.  One was killed in the shootout with the Rangers and the other one was still around.  Willie found out where he liked to hang out and that he loved his tequila and that he had loose lips when he was drunk so that gave Willie an idea.  Get close to this man buy him drinks and get him drunk. Maybe he would get some information out of him about what they did with Walker.  He found out that this guy came in about 10:00 in the evening so all Willie had to do was wait until he showed up.  Finally there he came in the door.  Willie followed him to the bar and sat down next to him.  After a few drinks they started to talk to each other.

“Can I buy you a drink my friend?”  Willie asked.

“Sure I never turn down a drink.” Say what is your name anyway?”

“My name is Jose.”

“My name is Willie.” 

“Hey bar keep another round over here please.”  The two men talked and drank for hours.  But Willie only looked like he was drinking.  He poured his out when he wasn’t looking. After the bar closed they went to Jose’s car to drink and talk.  Time was running out for Walker and Willie had to hurry up and get the information he needed to find Walker.

          Willie brought up Walkers name to see what kind of reaction he would get out of Jose.

“I hate that Ranger one of these days he will get what’s coming to him.  I just hope I am around to see it.”  Willie told Jose.

“What is it you have against Walker?”  Jose asked.

“That damn Ranger has been a thorn in my side for years.  I would like to see him get his for once.”

“My friend your dream has come true.” 

“What do you mean?”  “Walker got what was coming to him.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You don’t have to worry about Walker any more.”

“Yeah right.  There don’t seem to be any way to stop that man.”

“I told you not to worry any more Walker won’t be bothering anyone any more.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because me and a few friends took care of him.”

“You did?  Tell me about it.” 

“My boss put a few knife wounds in him and dumped him in that land fill site on the other side of town.”

“You mean to tell me you killed Walker?”  He wasn’t dead when we dumped him, because the boss wanted him to die slow. But he should be dead in a few hours they are going to fill in that dump this morning and Walker will be buried along with all the garbage.”

“Oh what a fitting end to the Ranger good job Jose.  I can’t believe someone finally got him.” 

       It was 5AM and Willie knew he was running out of time.  He had to get away from this guy and contact Trivette fast.

“Now that Walker is taken care of my friend I think I can sleep real good.  I better call it a night, what’s left of it that is.”

“Yeah me too will you be around tomorrow?”

“Yeah I will make a point of it.  See you later Jose.”

“See you Willie.  Willie took off as fast as he could and called Trivette.  Trivette gave Willie his cell phone number for emergency cases only.  Trivette knew he could trust Willie with it.

         Trivette was fast to sleep when the phone rang.

“Hello.”  Trivette this is Willie I found out where there took Walker but you are going to have to hurry.  His life is on the line here.” 

“Willie?”

“Yeah it’s me, they took Walker to that land fill site across town and he is hurt bad.  Ranger they are do to plow that ground under and Walker with it if you don’t hurry.”   “Willie, are you sure?”

“Positive.”

“Okay thanks Willie.”

Trivette got on the phone to Ranger headquarters and told him what he had.  Time was of the essence.  It was already 7AM and the crew was already at work filling in the dumpsite, unaware of the Rangers’ presence. Trivette took a chopper out the site where they took Walker.  He had to stop the crew before it was too late to save Walker.  Emergency crews were on their way and so was the Careflite chopper.  As soon as the chopper landed Trivette ran over to stop the crew from plowing any more ground.

          “Trivette Texas Ranger.  I need you to stop work immediately.”

“Why Ranger what’s going on?”

“We have reason to believe someone is buried alive in the garbage here somewhere.”  We need everyone to help us look for him now.”

“Okay Ranger no problem.”

 In no time there were a dozen people on hand to look for Walker.  There was a lot of ground to cover and time was running out with each minute that passed.

“Walker?  Can you hear me?”  Trivette called out.  But there was no response. KEEP LOOKING, KEEP LOOKING!!!  He’s in here somewhere, I know it!”  A few minutes later Alex arrived on the scene to help in the search for Walker.  Trivette stopped for a minute and looked out over the land filled with garbage.  The thought of his partner dumped among all of this made him sick.  He tried his best to hold back a tear but it made it’s way down his cheek as he thought of Walker and desperately hoped they were not too late.

“Jimmy we can’t find him.  WHERE IS HE!!!!!   Alex asked.

“Keep looking Alex. He’s here, I know it!”  Alex went back to looking and about 10 minutes later she stumbled over something and fell.  When she looked to see what it was she had fallen over.  Walker.

“WALKER!” Alex screamed.  Over here!  I found him!”  Walker can you hear me?”

Oh my god!”  Hurry he is hurt real bad.  Alex stumbled over Walker who was just a few feet from the plow.  Just 2 minutes later and Trivette would have been too late.  Walker was real pale from the loss of blood.

         They loaded him into the chopper and got him to the hospital as fast as they could.  A few minutes later the doctor can out. 

“He needs a blood transfusion right away he has lost too much blood.  His condition his very critical.”

“Doctor we have the same blood type please use my blood.”  Trivette told the doctor. “Great Trivette, Walker would like that.”

“Come on let’s get you prepped.  After the transfusion they were able to stabilize Walker enough to get him into surgery.  Willie got to the hospital as soon as he heard about Walker.  Willie looked around but didn’t see Trivette any where around so he went up to Alex not knowing how she was.”

“Excuse me miss are you here about Walker by any chance?”

“Yes I am is there something I can do for you?”

“I was just wondering how he was?”

“We don’t know yet.”

“Where is Ranger Trivette?”   Walker needed a transfusion so Jimmy gave blood to him.” 

“Oh that’s good I sure hope he will be okay.”

“May I ask who you are?”

“My name is Willie I am a friend of Walker and Trivette.  You must be Miss Cahill.” “Yes I am.”

“Here comes the Doctor.  Doctor how is he?”  Alex asked. 

“He is critical but he is alive.  10 minutes later and it would be too late, you would be going to his funeral.” 

“Is he going to live right?”

“It’s hard to say right now the next 48 hours are critical.  I’m not too worried about the bullet he took to the side of his head but I am worried about the other two.  He lost a lot of blood and there are internal injuries.  It’s a miracle he is still alive.

“What about his eyes doctor?”

 “We flushed out his eyes, they are scratched from the glass but he will be able to see again as soon as they heal.  We are going to keep them covered for a few days.”

“You know Walker Doctor you have worked on him many times he will pull through I just know it.” 

“You’re right about that Alex he has a knack for beating the odds.  If I were a betting man I would put my money on Walker.”

“May we see for a few minutes?”

“Sure right this way.  He is unconscious and will be that way for sometime.”  Alex found herself standing by Walker’s side in the hospital, once more wondering if the man she loved would pull through.  She knew his job was dangerous and that some day it could cost him his life.  If she had not gotten involved with Walker then she wouldn’t have to go through the pain of losing him every time something happened.  But Walker was unlike any man she had ever known and she couldn’t walk away if she wanted too. 

         Alex kissed Walker on the cheek gently as she sat by his side.

“You are going to be okay Walker I know it.  You can’t leave me I won’t let you.”  Trivette went outside to give Alex a few minutes alone with Walker.

“I’m going to go and let Jimmy in here for a few minutes but I will be back.  I love you cowboy.”

“Jimmy go on in and see Walker.”

“Thanks Alex.”  Trivette looked down over Walker with thoughts in his head about finding him in a dump.  That was harder for him to take then see him laying in the hospital fighting for his life.

“Come on Walker I know you are fighting hard right now I know you. Open your eyes and talk to me partner you are too damn stubborn to die. I am so sorry I wasn’t there when you needed me the most.  I will get the guy’s that did this to you that is a promise.”

          For two days Trivette and Alex took turns sitting at Walkers side not leaving him alone for a minute.  Praying he will wake up soon.  Alex was sitting with Walker when Trivette came in to take his turn to sit with Walker.

“Hello Alex, how is he tonight?”

“No change Jimmy. Jimmy I’m going to go home and lay down for a few hours. Would you call me there if anything should happen?”

“Okay. I will.  You try and get some sleep.”  Alex started out the door when Trivette yelled. 

“Alex! Come here. Quick!  Walker’s waking up!!!

“Come on Walker!  Wake up partner.”  Alex took Walker’s hand in hers.

“Walker, it’s Alex. Can you hear me?”  Walker responded by squeezing Alex’s hand.

            Walker started to stir.  He didn’t speak a word.  But he did let out a few moans.

“Walker talk to me.”  Trivette said to him.  Walker can you hear us?  But didn’t say a word.  Alex I’m going to go get the nurse.”  Trivette ran out to fine the nurse, while Alex tried to get Walker to talk.

“Walker darling please talk to me.  The nurse came in and checked Walker. Ranger Walker can you hear me?”  The nurse asked.

“Nurse why doesn’t he say anything?”

“He’s just coming out of it, he will don’t worry.  I am going to call the doctor.  Walker closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep again.   The nurse came back a few minutes later.  The doctor is on his way Miss Cahill.” 

“Thank you nurse.  He fell asleep again.” 

“Right now that’s the best thing for him.”

“If he wakes up again let me know.”

“We will thanks.”  

“He is going to be Okay Jimmy I know it.”

“Sure he is.”

          Walker was starting to wake up again just as the doctor came in.  Could you two wait out side while I examine him please?”

“Sure we will be right out side.”  Alex told the doctor.  But when Alex tried to let go of Walkers hand he wouldn’t let her go.

“Walker it’s Okay I will be right back.”  But still Walker wouldn’t let Alex’s hand go. “No.”  Walker said in a low but firm voice.

“It’s Okay Alex you can stay with him.  It’s quite clear he is not letting you go anywhere.” 

“Walker tried to take the bandages off of his eyes.  But the doctor had to stop him.

“No Walker you can’t take them off. Listen to me.  Your eyes are going to be fine.  You have to let the scratches heal.  They won’t heal if you take the bandages off do you understand me?”  That seemed to calm Walker down.  You have some very serious injuries and you need to stay calm and rest.

       Walker, I’m right here too partner.” Trivette told him.  It was days later, Walker was getting stronger and now it was time to take the bandages off of his eyes.  Walker still wasn’t talking to anyone.  This had them concerned. The doctor ran test after test and could find no reason for him not to talk.

“Walker the doctor will be in here anytime now to take the bandages off of your eyes.  I wish you would take to me.  Tell me what’s wrong.”  

“Good morning you two.”  The doctor said as he came in the room.”

“Good morning doctor.

“Is Walker talking to you yet?”

“No he’s not talking yet.”  “Walker, now how much longer are you going to worry this beautiful lady of yours?”  You need to talk.  But for now let’s just get the bandages off so you can see.  I’m going to take the bandages off and I went you to keep your eyes closed until I till you to open them.”

           The doctor slowly unwrapped the bandages from Walkers eyes.  Alex was by his side holding on to his hand. 

“There you go.  Now Walker I want you too slowly open your eyes whenever you are ready.  Things will be a little blurry at first then they will start to clear up.”  Walker opened his eyes.  He could see a figure standing at his side and it took a few minutes to focus. 

“Can you see okay Walker?”  The doctor asked.”  Walker nodded yes.

“No Walker I want you to tell me yes not nod.”  Walker still didn’t talk.

“Doctor something has to be wrong.”

“It’s not like Walker to just not talk.”  The only thing wrong with Walker is his pride, Alex.”

“DOCTOR!  “What kind of thing is that to say? “

“The truth. Isn’t that right Walker?  You found him in a dump and I think that is what is bothering him.  It’s a little hard for him to take.

“Isn’t that right Walker?  Your pride was damaged.”  The doctor was trying to get Walker mad enough to talk.

“You’re damn lucky to be alive Walker. It was a miracle you were even found.  You think this has been easy on your loved ones? No, it was just as hard on them and you are making it even harder by not talking to them.”

“YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.” Walker yelled.

“Yes I do. You can’t be getting yourself upset Walker.  I think you will recover fully but only if you listen to your doctor.”

Walker looked at the doctor and then at Alex.  He could see the pain in her eyes and realized that the doctor was right.

         ”I’m sorry Alex.  I didn’t mean to worry you.”

“That’s okay I understand. I was just afraid that there was something else wrong.”  Walker reached up and pulled Alex down close to him and gave her a kiss.

“Okay, ‘nuf of that stuff. Now, Walker, tell me, are your eyes okay?”

“Yeah, they’re fine thanks.”

“Good. Now you need to rest.  It may not have occurred to you, but you are in critical condition.”

Alex eyed her fiancée.  “Oh, don’t worry, Doctor, I’ll make sure he rests. Walker grimaced.  He knew Alex wasn’t kidding. “See that you do, or I’m going to kick some serious butt here. The Doctor winked at Alex as he exited the room.  After the doctor left Alex sat by Walker’s side.  She could see he was exhausted and was trying his best to stay awake.  “Close your eyes and sleep darling. I’ll be right here when you wake up.  Less then 2 minutes later Walker was sound asleep.  Alex stayed by Walker’s side while he slept.  Trivette left earlier to try and track down Ortega and his men.  He decided to stop by the hospital to check up on Walker.

“Hey there Alex.  How is everything?”

“Doing better Jimmy.”

“I see the doctor took the bandages off.  Can Walker see okay?”

“He can see fine.” 

“That’s a big relief.”

“Jimmy what’s wrong?  You haven’t been yourself this last week.

         Walker had awakened from his nap but kept silent to hear what Trivette had to say. “It’s this whole thing with Walker. I’m finding it really rough, hard to deal with.”

“What do you mean Jimmy?”

“Alex, when I became a Ranger and was partnered with Walker it was the best thing that ever happened to me.  Walker is the best and to have him for a partner is a real honor.  To have this happen to him is tearing me up inside.  He didn’t deserve this.”

“Jimmy that’s exactly why Walker wasn’t talking, because of what happened. But we have him back and that’s all that counts. We’ll all get through this together.

“I’m going to be just fine. You too just worry too dang much.”

“Walker! How long have you been awake?  Trivette asked.

“Long enough partner, long enough.”

“Walker,  didn’t your mom tell you it’s not nice to listen in on other peoples’ conversations?” “Hey, it’s your fault.  I was asleep until you woke me up.”

“Welcome back, partner.”

“Thanks.  Question.  How did you find me anyway?  I thought I was done for.” 

“You can thank Willie for that. He’s the one who saved your life.”  Trivette went on to explain to Walker Willie’s part in all of this.

“I guess I owe Willie my life.  I need to do something special for him. I  owe him everything.”

“You’re right Walker, but what?”

“I don’t know yet. I’ll have to think about it.”  While you think about it. I’m going to go see Willie and let him know you’re okay.”

“Tell him… thank you… for me.”

“I will.  I‘ll be back later Walker.”

        Walker was in the hospital for two weeks and then released.  He was still unable to work.  Alex stayed at the ranch to help Walker out. 

“Alex, it’s such a beautiful night. Let’s go sit on the porch.”

“Good idea.”  Walker and Alex cuddled up close together on the porch swing and looked up at the stars.  That was a wonderful dinner Alex, thank you.”  “Anytime cowboy.”  Walker gave Alex a long passionate kiss.

“I love you lady. I know I don’t say it often enough, but I do know that I couldn’t stand to be without you.”

“I love you too cowboy.”  Walker and Alex sat on the porch for a few hours then moved inside to the couch and sat in front of the fireplace.

Walker started to get a little frisky but Alex put him in him place real fast.

“Walker as much as I want to make love to you the doctor said no strenuous exercise.  You are not up to this.”

“Alex, I’m fine.”

“No, you are not fine.  But just you wait until you are better.”

“That sounds like something worth waiting for.”  Walker pulled Alex in close and gave her a kiss that took her breath away.

“Is it okay if I kiss you?  Or is that too strenuous?

“No you can kiss me as much as you want too.  Especially if you kiss like that.”

           Ortega had left Dallas and went back to Mexico.  But as soon as he heard Walker survived his injuries he made plans to return to Dallas and finish the job.

“What does it take to kill that man?  Guess I have to go back and finish the job right this time.  He will pay for my brother’s death.”

Walker was getting stronger but still had a long way to go before he was back to his old self again.  Little did he know he would be tangling with Ortega again, and very soon.  But this time Walker was not helpless.  Trivette stopped by the ranch to check on Walker.  “Hey there Walker.  How are you feeling today?”

“I’m doing juuusssstttt fine. Why not?  Mother hen over here won’t let me do anything.”

“Good for you. Alex.”  “Trivette, you miserable traitor,” roared Walker, jestingly. Trivette, what did you find out about Ortega?”  He’s back in Mexico, Walker.  You know, Walker, when he finds out you’re still alive he will be back to finish what he started.”

“He’d be crazy to come back here again.”

“Walker, he IS crazy,” Jimmy said, soberly.

       A few days later Walker and Alex were getting ready for bed.  Walker wheeled around suddenly and listened intently. “Alex,  someone is in the house.  Call for help and look yourself in the bedroom. DON’T come out until I come and get you -no matter what.”

“Walker,  please be careful.”

“I will.”  Walker grabbed his gun and went to search the house.  Alex did as Walker asked and called for help. Then locked herself up in one of the bedrooms.  Walker searched the house room by room.  As it turned out Alex locked herself up in the room Ortega was hiding in.  He grabbed Alex.

“If you say one single word lady, you’re dead.  Now get moving.”  Ortega used Alex as a shield as he left the room.  Walker searched the house and found nothing so he went back to check on Alex.

“Are you looking for me Walker?  Drop the gun or your lady is dead.”

“Let her go. She has nothing to do with this.”

“Drop the gun, I don’t say it again.  Walker looked at Alex and dropped his gun. 

“NO! Walker, he’ll kill you.”  Alex yelled. 

“Kick the gun away.”   Walker kicked the gun away from him. 

“You are a hard man to kill, Walker.”

“So I have been told.” 

“Not this time. I’m going to do the job right.  Walker was afraid for Alex. You could see the palpable anger in Walker’s eyes.  How dare this man come in his house and take Alex.  

“You won’t survive this time.  I promise you.  After I get finished with you, maybe me and the lady will do some partying.”

“You keep your dirty hands off of her.”

“Don’t try it, Walker. Ortega said as he saw Walker looking down at the gun on the floor.  Say good-by to your sweetheart, Walker.” 

     “You blame me for your brother’s death.  It’s your fault,  not mine, if you had picked an honest living your brother would be alive today.”

“No more talk.  Alex looked into Walker’s eyes and mouthed the words on three.  Walker nodded slightly letting Alex know he understood.  Alex counted to three at the same time Ortega pulled back the trigger on the gun ready to fire.  1,2 3.  On three Alex stomped on Ortega’s foot then jabbed him in the ribs.  Walker tackled Ortega and the two men wrestled to the ground fighting over the gun.  Walker managed to knock the gun out of Ortega’s hand. The two men got to their feet and with two well placed kicks Ortega was back on the floor again, but he grabbed  hold of the gun again.  Walker tackled him before he could get a shot off.   Walker and Ortega fought over the same gun for the second time.

“Get back, Alex!”  Walker yelled.   All the sudden the gun went off.  Alex yelled at the same time Trivette burst through the door with back up.  Everyone froze for a moment waiting to see who was going to get up.  Trivette held his gun on Ortega when he saw him getting up of the floor.  It would seem that Ortega was the victor again.  They could see Walker lying there with blood all over the front of his shirt but then Ortega fell to the floor.  Alex ran over to Walker.

“Walker, you’re hurt!” 

“Jimmy, call an ambulance!”

“I’m okay, Alex.  My wounds opened up again, that’s all. But, I’m fine.”

“No, you are not fine.”  Alex could see  that Walker was trying to hide the pain.

        “Walker!  Are you okay partner?”

“I’ll be all right.  What about Ortega?”

“He won’t be bothering you again.”  Walker was taken to the hospital to have his wounds tended.

“Walker?  Good LORD, not YOU again!  I thought my instructions were to take it very easy.  This is NOT, I repeat, NOT, very easy.”

“It’s not my fault.”  The doctor took care of Walker’s injuries.  I would like to keep you overnight Walker.” 

“NO, not in your life.  Not again.  I’ll be just fine at home.”

“Alex, is he always this stubborn?” 

“No, actually, this is one of his good days,” Alex replied sweetly.  Walker glowered at her.  Alex ignored him.

When Walker was feeling better he and Trivette went to see Willie. 

“Hey Walker, you’re looking good.” 

“I’m feeling good,  thanks to you.  I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.

“I wanted to thank you for what you did.”

“You’re welcome, I’m just glad I was able to help.”

“Is there anything I can do for you?”

“No not a thing.”  Walker handed Willie $1000.00.  What’s this for?”

“Anything you went to use it for.” 

“You don’t have to do that Walker.”

“Yes I do.  I owe you my life, that’s the least I can do.”

“Thank you, Walker. I can sure use it.”

“Are you back to work yet?” Willie asked.

“I’m going back on Monday.  I better get going, thanks again, Willie.”  Walker gave Willie a hug and pat on the back.  Then said goodbye.

        On their way to C.D.’s, Walker and Trivette tried to come up with something more positive to do for Willie, other than giving him cash.

“Trivette you know, We really don’t know anything about Willie and I want to do something special for him. See what you can find out about him.  Maybe that way we can find the best way to help him.”

“You got it.  I’ll start right away.”  Trivette spent a few days checking on Willie’s background.

“Hey Walker, you wouldn’t believe what I found out about Willie.”

“Okay, tell me.”

“It seems about five years ago Willie’s wife and 2 years old son were killed in a fire. He was at work at the time.  It hit him really hard.  He lost his job two months later.  He’s been living on the streets ever since.” 

“Willie is homeless?”

“Yes he is.  He never got back on his feet.  He didn’t feel he had any reason to after losing his family.  You wanted to find a way to help him, Walker? Well I would say you found it.”  “Yeah I would say so.”  Walker took a few weeks trying to find the best way to help Willie and he came up with a terrific idea.

        There was a place on the edge of town that was run down.  Walker talked to all the right people and they said they’d let him have it, free and clear,  if he paid the back  real estate taxes.  Walker took up a collection and once the word got out, every law enforcement agency in Texas donated money to Walker for his cause.  He had all the volunteers he needed.  Also the habitat for humanity got involved and renovated the place from top to bottom.  People even donated furniture.  Everything was falling into place great. Soon they would be ready to show Willie the surprise.

       Finally the day came.  Walker and Trivette went to find Willie. 

“Willie are you busy?  Walker asked. 

“Me? Oh yeah, real busy. Can’t you tell.” Willie laughed.

“Come with us. We’d like to show you something.”

“Where are you going to take me Walker?”

“You’ll see soon enough. Get in.”  Willie climbed into the Ram and they took him to the house.

“Walker, why are we here?”

“You’ll find out if you get out of the truck.”

“Walker, Willie said, suspiciously. You two have something up your sleeves.  I can tell.”  They walked in the door and dozens and dozens of people yelled  ‘SURPRISE!”

“Trivette, Walker! Are you going to tell me what’s going on?

“Okay, Willie we wanted to do something special for you and we came up with this.”  “With what?”

“This house. It’s all yours.”

“Walker! Have you lost your mind?  I can’t pay for something like this.”

“You don’t have to worry about that. It’s all paid for.  There are  6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, so you can give several other homeless families a home,  plus yourself.  Since that place is paid for, you have no payments.  Just yearly taxes and that’s not much. You can charge a rent that these families can afford to pay.  And you’ll pick the families you think should benefit from the house.” 

“Walker I don’t understand. Why you did this for me?”

“There were dozens of people who chipped in to help and most of  them are here right now.  You have done so much for us and you saved my life. This is our way of saying thank you.”  Willie was absolutely speechless. He didn’t know what to say.  “No one has ever done anything like this for me before.  I won’t let you down. I promise.”

“I know you won’t.”  Everyone started cheering and congratulating Willie.

         They had one hell of a party that day.  And it changed Willies life totally around.  He was happy and fulfilled again.  He filled the rooms and gave some deserving families the break they needed.    Willie met a lady and fell in love again and was married one year later, in the same place that changed his life.  Willie continued to work with Walker and Trivette and furnished them with extremely valuable information.  What a hell of a team they made.

The Usual Legal Disclaimers.

                                                    The end  J