The New Truck

                                              by Leigh (starmaid@mailexcite.com)

Alex poked her head into the office of Texas Ranger Company B and seeing that Walker was indeed at his desk, she continued inside. At the moment the rest of the desks were empty so they had the room to themselves.

"Hiya, Cowboy!" She greeted him, giving him a kiss before lifting herself to a seat on the corner of his desk.

"Hi, yourself!" he smiled back, grateful for the distraction.....this particular piece of paperwork wasn't going too well....and the fact that he knew he was going to get some serious static from the other Rangers about the reason for it wasn't helping any....

"Whatcha working on?" Alex asked innocently, although she knew well enough... Trivette had stopped by to fill her in before heading out to lunch....

Walker's answer was terse and unhappy, "Vehicle requisition."

Alex lifted her eyebrows, "Another one? Walker....what happened to the Blazer?"

"Dang things axle broke right in the middle of a pursuit! Lost the Beaumont's 'cause of it!" Walker complained.

"The axle just broke? Right in the middle of the street?" she questioned doubtfully.

"Well....no.....not exactly in the middle of the street......" he hedged.

"Okay....where were you...... exactly.....when the axle broke?"

"Ummmmm, outside of town......"

"Outside of town.....where?" she persisted.

Walker could see she wasn't going to let this go, "Okay, Alex, okay.......Trivette and I were after them out near Delaney Creek! Should've had them too....if the fool thing didn't go and break on me! Now we have to go and hunt those two down all over again!"

"Oh, Walker....." Alex sighed, "Delaney Creek is some of the roughest ground around here......what were you doing chasing them in the Blazer? You should have had an ATV or a motorbike or even a horse.....not a car......"

"Alex.....I should have had THEM! I've chased guys down and brought them in before from out that way.....if I still had my....."

"DON'T say it, Cordell Walker!" she interrupted, raising a warning finger, "don't say it even one more time......."

Walker's truck had been destroyed when Alan Peters, a corrupt federal prosecutor, had convinced Walker to go into 'protection' before a major case against the Masterson's, who were running a major crime ring, came to trial....But he had also faked Walker's murder by planting a bomb and a body in the Ram at Walker's ranch. His plan had been to keep Walker in hiding and in the dark until the trial was over and the Mastersons found not guilty or the charges dismissed. Then the Masterson's had planned to torment Walker with the information that his friends believed him dead, complete with video tapes of their reactions...before they really had Walker killed with no one the wiser.

Everyone, including Alex, C.D. and Trivette, had been convinced by the sham, and it had been a bad time for all of them...Fortunately, Walker had realized that something wasn't right at his 'safe house' before it was too late and he had headed back for Dallas.

With his friends help he had been able to put the whole puzzle together before the trial had begun without anyone finding out he was back. They got a conviction for the Masterson's, and a new indictment for putting out the contract on Walker, and had nailed Peters as well........

It had been two weeks since his reappearance, and Walker had been forced to use police issue transportation in the meantime, since he now had none of his own....and this was the third one he'd wrecked......

Alex was struck by his bemused expression at her warning, Walker really didn't have any idea just how fixated he was on his 'vehicle'! At last she smiled at him in amusement, "Okay, Cowboy.....grab your hat.....let's go."

"Go where, Alex?" Walker queried, even as he complied with her request.

"The motor pool is tired of watching you trash perfectly good cars.....we're going to get you one of your own to abuse!" she informed him.

Walker gave her a dejected look, "I can't, Alex....you know that....my insurance wouldn't pick up the cost for what Peters did. Unless the feds come through with some kind of settlement.....I just can't afford two payments....."

She smiled again, "Well, with you ruining cars right and left...somebody's been putting the pressure on.....the DOJ finally coughed up! They agreed to pay off the balance on the Ram, AND spring for the full cost of whatever kind of car you choose, within reason of course,....as long as you agree not to file a lawsuit naming them as culpable in what Peters was up to......and I have been officially designated to take you 'vehicle' shopping right away!"

Walker brightened, "No kidding? I know just what I....."

"Walker....." Alex pleaded, "Before you get exactly the same truck you always choose....can't we at least go look at some others? I mean.....I might wind up driving this one sometimes too......"

Walker looked startled at the idea for a moment, until he realized she was right. He and Alex had finally gotten officially engaged,....on the news and therefore in front of most of Texas to boot....., right after he had shown up unexpectedly at the Masterson trial....and if they were married, there WAS a good chance that she might also drive his car occasionally......

"Yeah.....you're right, Alex." he agreed. "I hadn't really thought of that. Okay.....let's go shopping for something we can both live with!" Walker smiled as he wrapped his arm around her waist, then continued, "How about I buy my best girl some lunch before we hit the lots?"

"That sounds great, Walker. Oh, and while we're finding you a new truck, what about a new color?......What do you think of something red?"

"Alex!" Walker admonished. "I'm no fireman! Geez.....red!"

"Okay, okay.....sorry about the red,"  she conceded quickly.

Walker could still be heard continuing in disgust as they stepped into the elevator, "Red...... How am I supposed to park that in the brush so it won't be seen? Might as well paint it neon pink and hang signs on it........."

"Walker! Enough already......I said I was sorry!"  Alex said as the elevator doors slid shut.

Three hours and four car dealerships later Alex watched Walker's head swivel for the umpteenth time to catch a glimpse of a Ram he had spotted as they walked hand in hand around the lot. It had been that way all afternoon....he never made mention or even approached a Ram, but his head went up like radar whenever one was somewhere in the vicinity.

Every other make of truck they had seen had been unacceptable for one reason or another, .....it wasn't sturdy enough.... too difficult to find good service.... not enough leg room.... too small.... too big.... not American made...... always something! And she hadn't even bothered suggesting a car.....THAT would have been pushing it too far!

As she watched the wistful gaze he gave the truck....Alex smiled to herself and conceded defeat....how could she have ever thought she'd be able to convince Walker that another truck would do? She stopped in mid stride, pulling him to a stop as well, and his attention snapped right back to her.

"What is it, Alex? See something you like?" he asked.

Alex turned to face him, looking him straight in the eye for a moment..... then taking a deep breath she blew it out quickly to lift a strand of hair that had fallen in front of her eye, and finally answered him.

"Alright, Walker....I give.....you win......" she said as she placed her hands on his shoulders.

"What are you talking about, Alex?" Walker wondered in complete mystification.

Alex smiled, "A Ram, Walker......go ahead and get a Ram..."

Walker's eyes lit up for a moment, but then he shook his head, "No, Alex....you don't want a Ram....and I meant what I said, we'll find something we both like..."

Alex studied his face,  she knew he was completely in earnest.....Walker fully intended to find a compromise that would please her, and he would do it without reservation or regret. It was a sweet and loving gesture that told her how highly he valued her happiness.....and it was more than she would ever really ask. He loved the Ram....and she had to admit, she just couldn't see him driving anything else anyway.......She reached up and took Walker's face in her hands and told him firmly....

"Walker.....it will always be your truck. You're the one who will be using it day in and day out and I KNOW that you really want a Ram....so let's go FIND you a Ram, okay?"

"Are you sure, Alex? Cause I really don't want something as dumb as a truck to turn into a sore spot between us......"

Alex lifted an eyebrow in amusement and replied with mock surprise, "YOUR truck? DUMB? Now I KNOW you really love me!"

"Alex!" he chuckled, "Course I love you more than a truck! Gonna marry YOU aren't I?" but then he teasingly swung his head around and gave a mooncalf stare at the Ram even as he wrapped his arms around her.

Alex swatted his arm in playful exasperation. "Okay, okay.....let's go look at the Ram!" she giggled.

A little later that evening the two of them went to C.D.'s for supper, the bar was still decorated with a few failing balloons and crepe paper streamers....the vestiges of C.D.'s 'Grand Reopening, Welcome Back Walker Reverse Wake and Engagement Party'..... Spotting Trivette at the bar talking to C.D., Alex and Walker made their way over to join their friends.

"Hi, Jimmy," Alex accepted a kiss on the cheek from him, "Hi, C.D. Been waiting long?"

"Nope." C.D. responded as he pulled off two drafts for the newcomers, "Jimmy here just got in the door himself."

Trivette looked at Walker, "So....did you find something to suit this afternoon, Pard?"

Walker turned to Alex. "How many people did you tell we were going to look for a new truck today?" he asked accusingly.

Alex laughed, "Oh Walker, just Jimmy and C.D. ....it's not like it was supposed to be any big secret!"

Then another man wearing a Ranger's badge approached the group, "Yeah...and Jim told me...."

"And me!"  a voice from a nearby table added.

"And me!", "And me!", "And me!" several more chimed in as Walker fixed Trivette with a scathing look.

"Okay, Walker, what did you pick?" asked the first man.

"Yeah, what's the new 'vehicle'?" another pressed.

Alex rolled her eyes and the entire bar burst into laughter.

"A Ram!" Trivette shouted, turning to C.D., "HA! Pay up, Big Dog! I told ya he'd wind up getting a Ram!"

C.D. looked at Alex plaintively as he pulled a bill from his wallet, "Darlin', I thought you said you were gonna make sure he got something different this time? I wuz counting on you.........."

"I'm sorry, C.D. .....I tried......I really did!" Alex reached up and patted Walker's cheek with one hand, "But you didn't see those poor hurt puppy dog eyes every time we went past a Ram! I just had to give in........how could I say no to that face?"

Walker swatted Alex's hand away good naturedly amid the roars of laughter from the appreciative crowd. "Cut it out, Alex!" he muttered with a smile.

"But I didn't fail you completely, C.D." Alex added, "Walker didn't get exactly the same truck......"

"Whaddya mean by that? Is it a Ram or ain't it?"

"Oh, it's a Ram alright.....same make same model.......that's Walker!" She giggled, "But they couldn't find one anywhere in blue.....so he got a different color.....it's green....."

Trivette looked interested, "This I've got to see.....where is the new truck, Walker? Let's have a look at it....."

Walker grinned, "Sorry, Trivette, it's not here. We had it sent right to the shop to have the lights and radio installed.....and some detailing, too, maybe....should be ready for the road in a day or two....."

With the fun apparently over for this evening at least, the ribbing and teasing by friends and co-workers in the bar gradually died down and Alex, Walker, Trivette and C.D. were finally able to sit and have their meal in peace....

Three days later Alex arrived at C.D.'s for lunch. Joining Trivette at a table, she looked around the room, "I thought Walker was supposed to be here? He asked me to meet the two of you for lunch....."

"He'll be right along, Alex.....I dropped him off at the shop to pick up his truck....they called this morning and said it was finally ready.....he could hardly wait to get over there!" Trivette grinned.

Just then Walker strode through the door with a huge smile on his face. Hanging his hat up on his way, he swept Alex into a kiss before seating himself beside her.

"Well....." Alex was just a little breathless, Walker was generally more reserved in public..., "I can see we're going to have to get you a new truck more often!"

C.D. arrived from the kitchen with a tray holding their lunches and began placing the plates around the table, "Hey Cordell, heard from Jimmy here that you finally got your new truck today.....how's she look, son?"

"It looks great, C.D.! And it's some good to be back in my own vehicle again!" Then Walker turned to Alex, "Oh, and I have a surprise for you, too...."

"For me?" She questioned, "What have you been up to, Walker?"

"It's great, Alex!  I remembered how you wanted me to get a new color for my truck, but green just wasn't me.....and the shop was having a special on paint jobs......"

Alex looked startled, "Walker.....you had your truck painted? What color?"

He grinned, "Well, it ain't red that's for sure! C'mon outside, I parked it out back.....I just know you're gonna like this color......took me a long time to pick it out...."

Abandoning the table, the four rose and hurried out the back door....and Trivette and C.D. burst into laughter.

Taking one look at the truck, Alex collapsed against Walker, all she could say was "Oh..............Walker!"

"What? What's wrong? I thought you'd like it? Don'tcha like it, Alex?"

Parked in the alley was a Dodge Ram, painted silver blue ......just like every other Ram Walker had ever owned.............

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'Walker Texas Ranger' and it's characters belong to CBS Inc., Top Kick Productions and maybe other copyright holders. This story and the author is in no way connected to those copyright holders and intends no infringement on their copyrights. The story is only meant as an entertaining tribute to a

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