Holding her tight in his arms he kept pressure on the wound as she turned her head into him; he was worried about her and angry at himself for not reacting faster to the situation.

“Don’t do it Walker, don’t blame yourself for this, if you hadn’t pushed me it could have been a lot worse.”


“No buts, you saved my life whether you want to believe it or not; I just hope Jimmy catches him.”

The paramedics arrived and carefully took her from his arms so they could evaluate her injury and he was ready to spit nails by the time they said, “Ms. Cahill, you’ll be fine, we’re going to take you to St. Mathews and let the doctors take care of this.”

Holding out her other hand towards Walker she asked,” Will you come?”

Taking her hand in his he gave it a firm squeeze and unmindful of the numerous people standing around he dropped a kiss onto her lips before saying, “Soon as I find out what happened with our suspect I’ll be there, I promise.” He watched them wheel her out and went in search of his partner.

Jimmy kicked the ground in frustration as he realized the shooter had gotten away; his next thought was Alex and he hurried back inside where he met his partner and asked, “How is she?”

“She’ll be okay; I take it our shooter got away?”

“Sorry man, but it looks that way.”

Clinching and unclinching his fists he replied, “We’ll find the man who did this, don’t you worry and when we do…” Turning abruptly away he said, “Let’s get to the hospital.”

Following behind, Jimmy couldn’t get his partner’s tone of voice out of his head; he knew for a fact that when the man was found he was going to have a very hard time keeping his partner from killing him.

By the time they got to his truck his fury had eased and he said, “You better call CD and tell him what happened, he’ll want to be there.”

“Sure, I’ll tell him to stop by Alex’s apartment and get her some clothes to change into.”

The comment actually brought a grin to Walker’s face as he remembered the last time CD had to bring her clothes; he had gotten a huge kick out of Alex’s account of the older man blushing and stammering when she had asked if he had packed bra and panties. Not that he would ever admit it but he knew he would have been just as tongue-tied as CD had been.

After Jimmy made the call he settled back into his seat and looked over asking, “You holding up okay?”


“Come on partner this is me you’re talking to, I know there’s more than friendship between you and Alex…”

Warningly he said, “Trivette!”

Holding up his hands in surrender he responded, “I know, I know, geez getting answers out of you is like pulling teeth.”

They rode the rest of the way in silence and after parking the Ram he said, “Honestly, I’m better now than I was earlier, but not by much.”

Staring after the retreating back he snapped his mouth shut as he thought, “Well that’s more of an answer than I normally get.”

They were given a brief update when they went in then they sat down in the waiting area where they were joined a short while later by CD who sat down saying, “Don’t you two even start with me about what I packed. How’s she doing?”

“She’s going to be okay, they’ll be releasing her later.”

“What’s the plan once she’s out of here Cordell?”

“I’ll take her home; can you take over for me after you close up tonight?”

“Of course I can; I’ll stay with her as long as you need me to. Look you two have everything under control here; I’m going to head back and make sure I get all the shifts at my place covered for a while. I’ll see you later tonight.”

After CD left Jimmy said, “She’s not going to like this.”

With a loud sigh Walker responded, “I know, but I don’t care, keeping her safe is the number one priority at this point.”

When the doctor came out a few minutes later he said, “You can go see her now.”

When they walked in her eyes went immediately to the suitcase that Jimmy held and she asked, “Is that for me?”

“Yeah, we had Big Dog go to your place and get you some clean clothes.”

Laughing she said, “You guys are so mean; I’m not sure he’s over the last time he had to do this.”

“Just more ammunition to tease him with.”

Realizing that she and Jimmy were the only ones laughing she looked over and was stunned at the raw fury in the eyes of the other man in the room. “Jimmy, would you give us a few minutes please?”

Looking from one to the other he said, “Sure, I’ll be right outside.” He backed out of the room and thought, “If anyone can get him calmed down it will be Alex.”

She held out her hand saying, “I could really use one of your hugs.”

“I don’t want to hurt you.”

“You won’t.”

He sat down beside her and very carefully pulled her into his arms, after a couple of minutes he put just enough distance between then that he could reach her lips with his; breaking the kiss he said, “Promise me you won’t ever scare me like that again.”

“Oh honey, you know I can’t do that anymore than you can, we both have jobs where we’re going to make enemies, we just have to accept the risks and go on with our lives.”

“Yeah, well I can at least keep you safe until we catch the person who did this.”

Before she could question him a nurse walked in saying, “Ms. Cahill, I have your pain medication and the doctor is signing your discharge papers now.” Spotting the suitcase she said, “Do you need some help getting dressed?”

“Yes please.” She looked up and said, “This discussion isn’t over Cowboy, now get out of here before I make you help me.” She laughed as his face flushed and he made a hasty exit.

A short while later she was sandwiched between the two men in the Ram, furious with both of them over their decision that she needed to be hidden and protected.

He knew exactly what was on her mind and carefully said, “I know you don’t agree with what Trivette and I are doing, but the guy got away; if he was willing to come after you at the court house he won’t have any qualms about coming after you at your apartment.  We just want you to be safe, is that really so hard for you to understand?”

Giving in she said, “I guess not, it’s just that I have a lot of work that needs to be done.” Thinking for a minute she added, “I know what I can do! We have to drop Jimmy off anyway, so I can go get what I need from my office real quick.”

“Nice try, what you can do is call Myra, tell her what you need and have her bring it downstairs when we get there.”

Gritting her teeth she responded, “You are so damned stubborn.”

When Walker didn’t respond Jimmy said, “You should be used to that by now.”

Shrugging her shoulders she bit back the gasp of pain and replied, “I know, let me use your phone.”

A few minutes later they dropped Jimmy off and Alex slid over to the passenger side of the truck as she waited for Myra to bring the files she needed. Unable to stand the silence she said, “Well this day sure hasn’t gone the way I expected it to.”

“You can say that again.” He turned to face her as he said, “I definitely wasn’t expecting you to get shot, and I wasn’t expecting how I felt. If anything happened to you…” He struggled for the right words and finally said, “I don’t want to lose you, especially not when I’m finally realizing how important you are to me…does that make sense?”

A knock on the truck window kept her from answering and as she turned towards the sound she muttered, “Her timing is just as lousy as Jimmy and CD’s.” She rolled down the window and took the files carefully saying, “Thank you Myra.”

“I’m just glad you’re okay; call me if you need anything else, I’ll be happy to bring it over.” She looked at Walker saying, “You better take good care of her or you’ll be answering to me; do I make myself clear?” She winked at him as she added, “I expect you to be on your best behavior.”

“Yes ma’am I understand perfectly.”

After her secretary left Alex asked, “Now what were you saying before we were interrupted?”

“You heard exactly what I said.” Leaning over he kissed her then said, “Let’s get you home.”

When they arrived at her apartment a little while later she said, “I don’t know about you but I’m starving, why don’t you order us some pizza.”

“Okay, what are you going to do?”

“Take a shower.”

“Alex, you can’t get your stitches wet.”

“Then I guess I’ll take a bath.”

Watching her head for the bathroom he couldn’t resist calling after her, “Make sure you put on something decent; remember CD will be here later.”

Laughing she replied, “Yes sir, no short robes tonight, got it.”

Once she disappeared he called to order their dinner then sat down on the couch; he leaned his head back and closed his eyes.

When she walked into the living room she thought he was asleep and carefully walked up behind him; just as she started to tap him on the shoulder he reached back and grabbed her hand, “Nice try.”

“One of these days Cowboy…”

“Never happen.”

She pulled her hand from his, walked around the couch and sat down beside him saying, “I hope our dinner gets here soon, I’m exhausted.”

“It’s been a tiring day and I’m sure the pain meds they gave you at the hospital are working on you as well.”

They sat in companionable silence until the pizza arrived then ate and sat back down on the couch. He saw her grimace of pain and without being asked he retrieved a pain pill and a glass of water.

She took it without protest then after he sat back down she snuggled into him smiling as his arm automatically went around her and after getting comfortable she was instantly asleep.

It was later than he had planned before CD finally made it to Alex’s apartment; he let himself in with the key that he had and smiled at the scene before him. They were sitting on the couch his arm protectively around her and both of them were sound asleep. His eyes got misty as he looked at two of the three people who meant the world to him; looking up he silently said, “Lord please let these two wise up and live happily ever after…Cordell’s gun shy because of all the hurt he’s had in his past but Alex is so perfect for him.”

Waking up he felt another presence in the room and he was on full alert before realizing it was CD. He carefully disengaged himself from Alex, stood up and shook hands with his friend saying, “Guess I fell asleep on the job.”

“I’m sure you needed it.”

Bending down he effortlessly lifted Alex into his arms and asked, “Can you turn the covers back on her bed CD, I’ll get her situated then I’m going to head home.”

The older man quickly did as he was asked and watched as Walker gently lowered her down and pulled the covers up over her. He hesitated for a second then placed a gentle kiss on her lips as he whispered, “Good night.”

Going back into the other room they talked for a minute before CD said, “You go on home Cordell, I’ll take care of her.”

He headed for the door saying, “Thanks CD.”

“No need to thank me son, you know I love her too.”

When the door closed behind his friend he whispered, “Not one word of denial; if it wasn’t so late I’d have to call Jimmy and tell him.”

It wasn’t until he got to his truck that CD’s parting words registered and with a groan he said, “Now I’m in for it, he’ll tell Trivette and both of them are going to be watching Alex and I closer than ever. “ The smile that appeared on his face would have caused even more speculation as he said, “But…Alex Cahill is definitely worth the teasing I’m going to get.”